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DRY, PLEASANT FALL WEATHER accompanied by morning frost and mild afternoon temperatures can be expected through the week. (NWS)
YORKVILLIANS ARE MOURNING the loss of Maria D'Amato who died suddenly on Saturday. Maria and her spouse Stacy Alberto have given a lot to our community. They made the old “Oaks” on Hwy. 128 into a community gathering place with fun, food, music and laughter. Maria was an avid sports fan but her real passion was flying. She was a top rated flight instructor and a commercial airline pilot. Last weekend she flew a 737 to Hawaii and back. Maria lived every day to the fullest, a lesson for all of us. Stacy asks for your patience as she grieves privately and figures out how to move forward. Please send condolences to P.O. Box 91, Yorkville CA 95494.
— Bob Sites
AV SENIOR CENTER BUS CATALYTIC CONVERTER STOLEN
AV Senior Center Director Renee Lee writes: Really? Is that what this world has come to? Stealing from non-profits! I received a call from the AV Senior Center bus driver this morning aka the amazing Lindsay Clow. He informed me that somebody stole the catalytic converter off the senior bus over the weekend! Grrrrrr!!!! If anyone saw any suspicious activity near the center please give us a call at 895-3609.
MAN DIES IN WILLITS CRASH
On November 11, 2022, at approximately 5:20 PM, A solo occupant was driving a GMC Yukon and traveling north on Sherwood Road, south of Birch Street. For reasons still under investigation, while the driver negotiated a turn in the road the Yukon crossed over the double yellow lines into the southbound lanes and then left the roadway. The GMC turned in a counterclockwise direction which caused the GMC to overturn to its right and collide with a tree. It remains under investigation whether or not drugs or alcohol were a factor in this crash. The identity of the driver is being withheld until next of kin is notified.
The California Highway Patrol, Little Lake Fire Department, Brooktrails Fire Department, Willits Fire Department, and the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Department all responded to the scene. This collision remains under investigation by the California Highway Patrol – Garberville Area.
SCHOOL BOARD SUPPORTS THE SKATE PARK. Last Tuesday the Anderson Valley School Board voted unanimously to support the construction of a Skate Park in Anderson Valley. They agreed to sell the land needed that sits in the Community Park next to the Health Clinic for $1. This generous gesture will put in motion grant writing etc. by the hardworking long time supporters of the park lead by the Service Learning Team, Noor Dawood and other skatepark advocates with the Community Services District. It looks like there really will be a park! See article in this issue for details. This example of a community pulling together for the common good is so inspiring. Margaret Mead famous anthropologist wrote, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has.” (Terry Sites)
AV SKATEPARK PROJECT
On last Tuesday, November 8th, the AVUSD school board voted unanimously in favor of transferring ownership of the AV Community Park area to the AV Community Services District (CSD) -- for the explicit purpose of developing a skatepark on the property.
More than 90 AV community members showed up to the public hearing to show their enthusiastic support for the Skatepark Project. Many sported hand-printed AV Skatepark t-shirts and buttons (designed and made by SLT students), purchased at the door. 14 Jr/Sr High Service Learning Team students participated in the formal presentation (along with their facilitator Noor Dawood, AV Skatepark Project Grant Coordinator Jamie Umble and Donna Pierson Pugh on behalf of the CSD Rec Committee), and several community members were invited to speak on behalf of community groups with an interest in skatepark development.
The Board's commitment to transfer the property is a huge step forward for the AV Skatepark Project! Skatepark development would not have been feasible on school district land, so sealing this transfer was critical for the project's viability.
The Technical Details
The school board voted to approve that "Anderson Valley Unified School District file an application with the State Board of Education seeking a waiver under Education Code section 55030 to permit a land transfer to the Anderson Valley Community Services District for development into a skate park." What this means is that as a result of this vote, the school district's attorney will file an application with the California Department of Education to waive regulations that would normally make it very difficult for a school district to transfer ownership of its property. The waiver process is easy and straight-forward (the state is obligated to approve our application once our school board has given its blessing), but it will take three to four months for the process to be completed. Once that waiver process is completed (hopefully by March 2023), we will work out the property transfer details with the school board and county and complete the transfer of ownership. In the current meeting, one school board member brought up the possibility of the board imposing contingencies on this transfer (for example, a requirement that certain development take place by a target date or that a certain standard of maintenance be upheld), which could result in the property being returned to the school district if certain expectations are not met. We will return to this question after the waiver process is completed, in the process of finalizing the transfer.
Huge Thanks to:
- AVUSD board members for generously volunteering your time and energy to serve our community; for thoughtfully considering our proposal over these many months; and for enthusiastically supporting this transfer for the betterment of our community.
- Superintendent Louise Simson for investing so much time and care to provide counsel and facilitate the many technical aspects of our proposal.
- The AV Community for SHOWING UP when you were needed, and for showing your support in the many ways that you did at the meeting. It was hard not to feel pride in our little community last night.
Now that we have the site secure, we can move ahead with:
- expanded local fundraising campaign
- grant applications
- community-centered custom design process
The AV Skatepark Project Working Group will resume biweekly meetings, and AV Jr/Sr High Service Learning Team students will continue to meet weekly.
How You Can Help:
- Visit avskatepark.org to DONATE to the project.
- Share the website and encourage others to donate and sign the petition.
- Stay tuned for a list of current needs and sign up to help!
Anderson Valley Adult School
AV UNIFIED NEWS: TOWARDS ACADEMIC ACHIEVEMENT
Dear Anderson Valley Community,
I spent the day Monday in SST Meetings, (that’s a fancy abbreviation for Student Study Teams). Essentially, it's a chance for a few key players, including the parent/guardian, counselor, teacher, and the student to talk about how to help and support kids that are performing below their ability.
The fundamental take away I have from these meetings after three months of school is that kids don't understand that an “F” grade puts them in credit deficiency in grades nine through twelve and jeopardizes their graduation. I think you know by now, I struggle with low achievement. Somewhere along the way, some of our kids and families have started to buy in that a D is viewed as an adequate grade. In my world, a D is a huge wake-up call, and grade F is a fail. Is there a teacher engagement piece of that to make sure that we are lighting kids’ fires? Yes. But there's also a fundamental importance that students and parents/guardians understand that if the kid receives an F at the semester grade, they are at risk of not graduating high school when that grade is received in grades 9 through 12, unless credit recovery is done in summer school.
It is also important to understand that if you have hopes for your student to go to a four year university, colleges won’t look at kids with multiple Ds & Fs. Some universities don't even consider Cs. If you want your kid to go to a four year college, grades matter starting in 9th grade on paper, but in reality in middle school because if they don’t know the middle school material, their high school career will be a struggle. Are there other options like community college, yes, but I want to be clear: effort and grades matter and you need to know what your kid is doing in their classes. I realize, we have a struggle with the on-line math program, and that is another conversation. This is relating to kids that are pulling more than one D or F in a semester continuously, and I assure you we have those kids.
What does it take to graduate high school with typical credits? 260 Credits; 220 for CTE Academy which emphasizes work/mentorship experience.
Call me if you want to set up a college success 101. I want your kid to go to college. Come talk to me and Mr. Howard, so you will know what they need to do to be ready.
There are also repercussions for middle school with low grades. Low grades are indicative that a student is not mastering fundamental skills. Those fundamental skills set you up for great success in high school. If a student didn't learn them and blew them off in seventh and eighth grade, then they’re going to struggle in high school. I celebrate the partnerships with parents/guardians, where parents/guardians visit and collaborate and listen and share, look at the grade reports, look at the missing assignments, and transform in partnership with their students and teachers what the outcome is. What we are doing right now isn't working and I need some help. You need to be looking at your students' grades on a daily or several day basis and just checking in. If they're not performing, ask how we can help. Terese Malfavon is in the library every morning from 7:30 to 8 to provide free academic support. She's here after school in Room 1 from 2 to 3:30 every Wednesday. Every single teacher, when approached by a kid, will provide targeted feedback on what to do to improve grades. I know it's post-pandemic. However, the pandemic is over. We need to figure this out. Because it is not okay.
On a happy note, I want to let you know that I'm super grateful to our business manager, Leigh Kreinhop, who has figured out a way as our Budget Fairy Godmother for us to get rid of gate fees for all games. The CIF controversy with the outrageous gate fees was a wake-up call for me and made my head explode. All parents, guardians, community members should be able to attend our athletic events every day for free. We welcome you and hope that you will come out and support us. We will not be charging an entrance fee for any students/parents/guardians/community members. Maybe you buy a slice of pizza in the Snack Shack or just clap really hard for our kids, but we need our games to grow. Come out and help us! We need supervision, support and drivers too.
I need some help, folks. Many of our kids can do better. Let’s make it so… They can achieve it– but you need to expect it.
Anderson Valley Unified School District
AV FOODSHED & AV GRANGE are teaming up again for the annual (except the last 2 years) COMMUNITY HOLIDAY DINNER. This year it's on Sunday December 4th, starting at 5pm.
Beginning in the late 80's it's become a wonderful tradition, especially wonderful this year because it feels like we're being able to enjoy each others company NOT on zoom.
So, come have a delicious FREE dinner at the AV Grange, turkey, mashed potatoes, and gravy along with coffee, tea, water and we hope apple juice provided by AV Foodshed and AV Grange and all the extras provided by everyone else, we're talking a monster potluck here with you bringing desserts, salads, drinks, vegetarian options etc., and we ask that you bring your own utensils, (there will be a wash station). Make a list of ingredients so people will know whats in your offering.
On loan from the school will be air purifiers and volunteer workers will wear masks, (thanks Louise).
We aim to have live music to eat by and a kids zone as well. Don't forget the LOOOONG line where you get to hang out with friends and neighbors, (there will be a bit of finger food served as we wait).
As always there is much need for volunteers to cook turkeys, smash those potatoes and make stuffing before the event, AND folks to pitch in, working the kitchen, serve, set up, decorate, clean up and on and on. It's a great way to meet and greet both new and old members of our community. If you want to help out before or during the event please email Jen Burnstad at firstname.lastname@example.org
All are welcome, put the date on your calender! See you all soon - for real
PILLOWS AND FRIDGES
A good pillow makes all the difference in the world to having a better night sleep. Fort Bragg Outlet here in Fort Bragg has stacks of them that just arrived a few days ago, mostly USA made, from COSTCO. The going price is $25 and on the box it says 5-year warranty. Fort Bragg Outlet also has mini refrigerators at a good price. There are two sizes, the small one and the bigger one that has a bigger freezer box. Brand names Fridgemaster and Medea.
Fort Bragg Outlet, 1031 S Main Street, 707-962-9307
KENNY STOCKS, 76, called today. I mention his age because, as he put it several times, “I'm too old to be living in my car.” Mr. Stocks is a long-time resident of the Mendocino Coast. He was a little scattered, and the sad story he told is complicated and involves lots of lawyers and courts, local, state and federal. Yes, that complicated.
BOILED down to its essentials, what happened is that somehow, a man Stocks characterized as a criminal, operating out of Shasta County, got the Stocks family evicted from their Mendocino home and got himself moved in.
STOCKS' EVICTION was so sudden that it left Stocks standing outside his front door in his bare feet, and left Mrs. Stocks, a former teacher, in a kind of non-communicative paralysis.
NOT ONLY was Stocks evicted, he says that the criminal, represented by a Ukiah attorney named Morrow, took possession of his home and all its contents, “right down to family photographs.” Stocks says his home's contents consisted of some five million dollars' worth of antiques, which Stocks, who once worked as a building contractor, sold and traded to supplement a meager retirement income.
“EVERY TIME I get into court I win, but here I am homeless,” the old man says.
HAVING LIVED in his car for two years now, Stocks says he has been consistently ill-treated by local authorities. He has a Texas lawyer trying to get him justice, but he says she's also been insulted by the local authorities who, Stocks says, operate more like the mafia than they do impartial guardians of civic processes.
”I'M TOO OLD to be living in my car out in the cold,” Stocks says. “I've been seriously robbed.”
I TOLD HIM I'd call the lawyers involved to see if I can get their versions of these unhappy events, and we shall see what we shall see.
WHY WE NEED a resident deputy. A series of petty thefts, highlighted this week by the theft of the catalytic converter off the Senior Center bus, has locals complaining. There are thefts and there are annoying trespasses by kids drinking and leaving their trash behind, one of whom, during late night merriment, left his sweatshirt, sunglasses and his class schedule with his name on it at the high school near a bunch of empty White Claw cans. None of this separately is a big deal, but cumulatively leaves a lawless impression. Former resident deputies Squires and Walker knew who was doing what without even leaving their homes, but the criminally-disposed always know where the cops are. Or aren't.
I USED to get sick at least once every winter, some years several times, until it finally occurred to me to stay out of crowds during the cold months. My crowds were movie theaters, some of whose audiences sounded like they'd come straight out of tb wards, hacking and hocking throughout the film. Haven't suffered so much as a cold in several years simply by staying home from October to May.
BIDEN'S thundering on about how the recent election was all about preserving democracy naturally left out the unencouraging fact that less than half people voted. I don't see what's democratic about the two parties excluding alternatives to them like the Greens and Peace and Freedom. A choice between bad and worse is like the choice between one eye and sightlessness. I daresay that like most Americans, I feel totally unrepresented and choice-less at all levels of government beyond Mendocino County, and if you give me a few minutes maybe I can come up with an elected local rep I might follow across a busy street.
FODOR SAYS, skip Mendocino, “which has acutely felt the impact of California's drought. Normally soggy Mendocino has seen scant rainfall; currently, it's 22 inches short of normal for the year. It's the second-driest year on record, going back almost 130 years. In 2021, some restaurants and hotels began paying to truck in water as Mendocino's aquifers became depleted. Fodor's says it doesn't want people to boycott the areas they highlight; instead, they suggest giving those locations “a break” to recover and to travel as responsibly as possible by conserving water, supporting companies that are committed to sustainability and booking trips in the shoulder season.”
ED INQUIRY: What's the “shoulder season”?
JUST IN. The Major reminds me that Johnny Schmitt once explained to him that the “tourist season” is roughly from Memorial Day to Labor Day. The “shoulder season” is a reference to the weeks and months before Memorial Day and after Labor Day when many B&Bs and hotels have less than full occupancy and the marketing efforts are targeted towards those months before and after the tourist season. The Winter Season is typically January to March when business is off and some tourist operations simply close or offer limited hours and services.
MTC'S ‘NATIVE GARDENS’: Review by Motherbear
I am interested in origins and when we claim them and when we stop, the power of language and place. (Tania; Native Gardens; Act 1, Scene 2)
It was the opening night Gala for Native Gardens, presented by Mendocino Theatre Company; a grand event for MTC family and friends who gathered in support of the final production of the season. Anticipation was in the air. MTC theatre-lovers were engaged and ready for something to lift the spirit.
Native Gardens, a true comedy, is the right medicine.
Seated and waiting for the play to begin gives time to appreciate the amazing set design by Diane Larsen; and the hands-on work of Steve Greenwood, a team that has impressed in the past. In creating this set, they have gone a step beyond.
The setting is a suburb on the outskirts of Washington, D.C. From the audience vantage point, we see a back door and back yards of two row houses. Separating the two yards is a fence covered in English Ivy and a garden of flowering plants.
The house darkens; the stage lights up. Two couples each in their own yard, speak to the audience, thus setting a different kind of scenery, an emotional backdrop.
One couple is elderly and white. Virginia, played by Kaye Handley, and Frank, played by Steve Jordan, have lived in the house for decades. Their yard is clean and clear, except for lawn chairs and table, some manicured bushes and the flower garden.
The other couple is young and brown. Tania, played by Maria Ramos, and Pablo del Valle, played by Alexsandro “Alex” Bravo. They have just moved in. Their yard is a bit run down with debris on the ground — leaves and acorns from an old Oak tree.
The couples speak in turn — It’s a historic neighborhood, … Stately houses and gardens, .. Ours is a fixer upper, … A tree., … Old neighborhood, … New neighbors.
Vignettes, used throughout the play, offer unspoken thoughts rather than words. Even in the midst of making plans, pragmatic action proceeds. At times, characters speak the same lines together. Despite differences and underlying concerns, diversity shares more sides to an issue than one might expect. More subtle comments, so skillfully delivered by the actors, using comedic pauses and tone, inform us that all may not be well in the garden.
Native Gardens is a true comedy. And more.
Karen Zacarias, award-winning Latina Playwright, has offered a well-written script, funny and still full of what is needed in the all-too-judgmental society of today. It Is a play that informs, teaches, and entertains at the same time.
Lynn Sotos, Director, explains in her notes,
On one side of the fence is a new young couple of LatinX ethnicity and, on the other side, an elderly establishment couple. The play addresses … the melting pot, ethnic roots, racism, ageism, the border wall , the American Dream, and entitlement…
The conflict that emerges bears all the ins and outs and ups and downs of what is being fought over in everyday realities, political and social; however, as the action unfolds, the line of separation is not delineated in a simple way. Privilege and Entitlement are noted on both sides of the fence. Racism and Ageism are noted on both sides of the fence. The boundary is shown, time and time again, to shift, with skillfully done humor in the handling of it.
A side note —
I had long wondered what the X meant after Latin. The term LatinX came out of the Spanish-speaking queer community, to challenge gender binary.
Regarding gender binary, let’s talk about the women in Native Gardens,.
Tania is a smart and strong woman, defending her doctoral dissertation in Anthropology, soon to give birth to her first child. She is a go-getter who believes that Nature is the way to resolve climate change. Tania wants her back yard to be a mini-demonstration garden showing Nature is the game-changer.
Virginia is a hardworking business woman who, in the day, when women could not have their way, became an engineer; and now, in her elder years, has a privileged position at Lockheed Martin. She has an adult son, not married. She hopes he will one day marry in their back yard. Despite her WASP-ish nature, she is proud of her Polish descent.
Though gender issues are not the main theme of the play, the women rise to the occasion, attempting to resolve conflict. Virginia and Tania bond over woman issues. The women overcome.
The men have a more physical stake in the game —
Frank works from home. His great love is for his garden, regularly using perstices to keep it flourishing; hoping each year for a win in the Potomac Horticultural Society’s Garden Competition. Gentle and flexible, he yields with ease to the reconstruction of the fence and removal of the English ivy; at least until the flower garden is in jeopardy. He acknowledges that his son may not be straight.
Alex is the son of a highrankingChilean, disowned because he married Tania, a peasant. He is a lawyer in a prominent legal firm, hoping to become partner. His flexibility is challenged when it comes to the law, though he is more flexible in garden matters. He likes Frank’s flowers.
At the start of the play, we find that Alex has impulsively invited his Boss to his house. The Boss has invited the office colleagues to attend. At first, the logic of this is disputed by Tania; but in the end they decide to offer a BBQ which turns her attention to her beloved back yard.
Is everyone happy? Maybe for a minute. Until Tania, in looking at the plans, discovers that the property line is off by a couple feet, explaining why the neighbor’s yard is larger than their own. And thus, the play lurches forward causing things to escalate quickly, positions and sides changing and shifting, often in the course of well-intentioned conversation.
The backyard — an idiomatic expression for what is intimately mine and not yours. It does not belong to anyone else. The expression, Not In My Backyard, creates an adamant acronym.
Native Gardens, is a wonderful, straightforward script. The complexity of the issues is embedded in the characters, as Americans, as much as they are in us. Most importantly the questions of Greed versus Kindness come up. These characters, like most of us, tend to resist greed and long for kindness. All involved — the director, the cast, staff, volunteers, all come out sweetly smelling like roses.
What do you want to grow in your backyard? It is not just about flowers, trees and bees. It’s about sharing ideas, about resolving conflict, and appreciating the contributions of others, always keeping the future in mind. And in practice.
Native Gardens runs thru December 4, 2022
Thursday through Saturday evenings, with a Sunday matinee
GRO PERMITS, an on-line comment: I tried jumping through the permit hoops to avoid being abated. I personally never wished abatements on anybody. My impressions were, I could stop growing, get abated, or get permitted, and continue. There was no clear indication of how the new law would shake out, and for sure, the permitting process is very unpredictable. For every permitee in the process I’ve talked to, each one has different unique bureaucratic hurdles to overcome. I think things have gone the way you predicted. Most of us Permit Pansy’s are with you not against you! Much of the process is a big double cross that is harder on honest players than well heeled investors with a fleet of lawyers.
NOVEMBER WAVE UP at Caspar Community Center
Get your boogie shoes on! Caspar Community Center, November 19th from 7 pm to 10 pm
The legendary Mighty T-Bones bring their joyous brand of Rock-Boogie-Blues to our first indoor, evening Wave Up at the Caspar Community Center for your listening and dancing pleasure. The Mighty T-Bones include:
* Mike Ward - Guitar/vocals
* Johnny Bush - drums/vocals
* Jon Faurot - bass
* Doug Smith - keyboard
* Nat Montoya - harp
Join your friends and neighbors in enjoying this stellar evening including:
* Spacious dance floor and comfy seating
* Brilliant sound and dazzling lights from Crosstie Productions
* Delicious wine, beer, and snack treats from Kokkos/Redwood Event Center
We are ever grateful for the continuing support of our founding sponsors and encourage you to thank them with your patronage.
* Scott Roat Realty
* Harvest Market
* Thanksgiving Coffee
* Mendocino Cafe
This will be an epic evening of mighty music, dance, and community. See you there!
ALBERTO NEEDS HELP
If my son had a good attorney he would have been at a state facility for his mental problems and the attorney would have made damn sure the District Attorney didn’t scare him into taking a plea on the other eight fires.
Guess my son is a supervillain and able to leap over buildings and fly at unbelievable speeds to get around town and start 12 fires.
I have seen other arsonists on line that got three years tops for fires! My son does have mental problems and was insane at the time but the DA doesn’t want that to be considered. It’s not like he burned down homes or killed anyone, murderers get less time!
Some called him a “POS”? Anyone that knows my son will tell you he is a respectable man and will give his last dollar to someone in need! But unfortunately, like so many others in this town, alcohol brings out the buried demons.
My son should be on his way to Napa state hospital, not prison!! When he was a boy his mother and father weren’t around to protect him from the evils in the world and the influence of older drug addicts and alcoholics! He’s been crying out for help for a long time, his parents failed him as a boy, the system failed him and now his public defender is failing him!
Like I said, IF we had money, he would already be getting the help he needs, but here we are! He’s not an evil person, just someone in need of help!
Dezra Williams, mother-figure of Alberto Vincent Acosta
13-YEAR-OLD DRIVING DRUNK
On Saturday at 6:54 a.m., Ukiah Police Department officers responded to a hit-and-run collision in the 100 block of Wiyat Drive, involving an SUV colliding with a parked vehicle, causing the parked vehicle to crash into the garage of a residence.
In a press release, the UPD stated that “the driver and passenger of the SUV were intoxicated female juveniles who fled the scene of the collision. Residents in the neighborhood followed the juveniles and updated Ukiah PD dispatch of their last known locations and direction of travel, allowing officers to set up a perimeter. Residents followed the juveniles until they began hiding in bushes and jumping over other residents’ fences. The driver, a 13-year-old Hispanic female, and the passenger, a 15-year-old Hispanic female, found an open side door to a garage and tried to hide inside the garage while the occupants were home.”
UPD officers began searching the area, and learned of the girls’ location “after the homeowner was surprised by their presence after walking in her garage. The juveniles were initially detained and the investigation continued. With the cooperation of the involved officers and the public’s cooperation this case was quickly closed,” the UPD stated.
“Surveillance video, witness statements, and other evidence was gathered and submitted to juvenile probation. The driver was turned over to Probation at Juvenile Hall and the passenger was turned over to a parent.”
Violations listed for the 13-year-old driver were: Driving while impaired, being a minor driving with a blood alcohol content of more than .05 percent, being a minor transporting alcohol, hit-and-run, and trespassing in an occupied dwelling. The press release also listed a violation of trespassing in an occupied dwelling for the 15-year-old passenger.
The UPD extended its thanks to the California Highway Patrol “and to the public who cooperated and assisted in this investigation.”
— Ukiah Police Department
ANOTHER TOUGH GUY
On Saturday, November 12, 2022 at approximately 6:06 AM Deputies from the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office were dispatched to investigate a disturbance.
Deputies contacted witnesses and a 20-year-old adult female in the 1500 block of Chardonay Court in Ukiah.
Deputies learned at approximately 6:00 AM the adult female was reportedly physically assaulted by her ex-boyfriend, Kalub Piceno, 19, of Ukiah.
During the altercation Piceno struck the adult female in the face with closed fists and bit her right-hand causing injuries and pain. The Deputies noticed the adult female had visible injuries to her hand.
Piceno had left the scene prior to the Deputies’ arrival. Deputies searched several locations before locating Piceno and placed him under arrest for Felony Domestic Violence Battery.
Piceno was subsequently booked into the Mendocino County Jail where he was to be held in lieu of $25,000 bail.
ODESSA, ME LUV, THAT BLANKET IN YOUR BACK SEAT SEEMS TO BE ALIVE
On Thursday, November 10, 2022 at approximately 10:58 PM Deputies from the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office were conducting proactive patrols in the 300 block of Brush Street in Ukiah.
While patrolling, a Deputy observed a suspicious parked vehicle and contacted the driver who identified herself as Odessa Oneil, 47, of Ukiah. While speaking to Oneil the Deputy observed a large blanket in the backseat of the vehicle which moved slightly. The Deputy asked Oneil if someone was underneath the blanket and she denied there was.
The Deputy fearing for his safety asked Oneil to remove the blanket at which point Oneil hesitated and moved the blanket reluctantly, only moving a very small portion. It was obvious to the Deputy that Oneil was trying to conceal a subject in the backseat, and she continued to deny anyone hiding in the backseat.
After several minutes, Oneil finally unlocked the door to the vehicle and the Deputy contacted the passenger who was underneath the blanket.
Both Oneil and the passenger provided the Deputy with a false name of the passenger. Upon further investigation the Deputy determined the true name of the passenger was Lee Long, 54, of Ukiah who had an active Felony warrant and was on Post Release Community Supervision (PRCS) with numerous terms.
A search of Long and his property yielded a can of pepper spray.
Long was arrested for the Felony Warrant, a new Violation of PRCS, Unlawful Possession of Pepper Spray by a Prohibited Person, and Falsely Personating Another.
Oneil was arrested for Delaying Obstructing or Resisting a Peace Officer During the Performance of his Duties and Harboring, Aiding or Concealing a Subject Wanted for a Felony.
Long and Oneil were subsequently booked into the Mendocino County Jail where Long was to be held in lieu of No Bail due to the PRCS violation and Oneil was to be held in lieu of $15,000 bail.
GREAT SHOW FOR THE KIDS, PEDRO
On Saturday, November 5, 2022 at approximately 10:31 PM Deputies from the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office were dispatched to investigate a disturbance.
Deputies contacted a 43-year-old adult female in the 1700 block of Tanya Lane in Ukiah.
Deputies learned at approximately 10:28 PM the 43-year old adult female was reportedly physically assaulted by the father of her children, Pedro Cortez-Ayala, 41, of Ukiah.
During the altercation Cortez-Ayala pushed the adult female causing her to fall which led to her sustaining injuries which caused her pain. During the altercation Cortez-Ayala also threatened to inflict great bodily injury to the adult female and her family.
The adult female was scared and believed Cortez-Ayala would carry out the threats. Cortez-Ayala later threatened to inflict great bodily injury to the adult female if law enforcement was called. Deputies noticed the adult female had visible injuries to her arm.
While on scene Deputies located Cortez-Ayala and placed him under arrest for Felony Domestic Violence Battery, Felony Criminal Threats, and Prevent/Dissuade a Witness/Victim by Threat or Force.
Cortez-Ayala was subsequently booked into the Mendocino County Jail where he was to be held in lieu of $25,000 bail.
CATCH OF THE DAY, Sunday, November 13, 2022
LEWIS DISHMAN, Ukiah. Saps or similar weapons, controlled substance.
TERRY ELLISON II, Covelo. Stolen vehicle, reckless evasion, parole violation.
LEONARD WHIPPLE, Covelo. Domestic battery, criminal threats, county parole violation.
David Gurney: Made a living for a summer with that Gibson banjo in the undergrounds of London. In other words, the subway stations. People in Europe are a lot more generous with their tips for street musicians, so you could actually make 40 or 50 bucks a day playing on the street. And in the prime the underground spots I mean. Spots were fixed. There were low key underground sign up sheets on the billboards behind the best spots where are you went to sign up for your hour of playing time. The cops were apparently told to leave the spots alone and let people play. It was a good life, only made possible by my buddy his freaking name I can’t remember right now but let me sleep in his couch in London.
J.R. Rossum: I still have the Christy but I seldom play it anymore and yes, Paul was a decent teacher. I stopped taking lessons from him in spring of ‘62 when Jerry Kaukonen (Anglisized Jorma) blew into town on a Honda fifty and I began taking guitar lessons from him. Paul had been charging $1.50 per lesson and Jorma was much more expensive at $3.00 but he was way more thorough. He worked out of the basement at the Benner Music Company in San Jose. The way he taught was you would tell him what you wanted to learn from his performances at the local folk music clubs around the area (Offstage, Brass Knocker, Tangent). He had a little reel-to-reel tape recorder and you’d give him your tape. Then he’d play the song through at regular speed and sometimes sing a verse. Then he’d play it through slowly and describe what he was doing - “slide up to an A-position C at the 5th fret then pull-off with your pinky on the eighth fret first string and hammer-on using your middle finger 7th fret third string” and so forth. He didn’t leave out the complicated parts either so with a week’s worth of fairly diligent effort, you became a very impressive guitar player - if only on that one song. I continued the lessons from him for about a year and kept the tapes. A few years ago I took the tapes to Peter Temple and he digitized them onto CDs for me. I re-connected with Jorma shortly thereafter. (I still have a hard time not calling him Jerry - he doesn’t seem to mind.) In early ‘64 I moved up to San Mateo (CSM Go Bulldogs) and took a couple of lessons, banjo again, from Jerry Garcia - wasn’t real interested in teaching - at the Gelb Music store in Palo Alto. The guitar player from my little high school folk trio, Jeff Levin (later Geoff Levin), was playing bass in the Mother McCree Jug Band at the time.
Then in ‘64 I got drafted, later married and never got the chance to hit the road like you did. Sure sounds like fun. When were you around Palo Alto? I have relatively fond memories of playing at the Tangent in ‘63, ‘64.
48,000 CALIFORNIA ACADEMIC WORKERS STRIKE FOR HIGHER WAGES
US student-workers head to picket line amid a cost-of-living crisis that has left many struggling to afford housing.
More than 48,000 academic workers in the University of California system have gone on strike over what they say are unfair labour practices and low wages.
Researchers, postdoctoral scholars, teaching assistants and other employees headed to the picket line on Monday, launching what they describe as the largest academic worker strike in US history. The move is expected to halt activities within the University of California system, a network of 10 public universities and more than 280,000 students.…
REMAKING THE RIVER THAT REMADE L.A.
by Michael Kimmelman, photographs by Adali Schell
February 1938 was a wet month in Los Angeles. The ground, where it hadn’t been paved over, was saturated, which meant rain had nowhere to go except into the streets, canals and washes. On the 27th, a storm arrived. During the following days, the city received its second-highest 24-hour rainfall in history. Reservoirs overflowed, dams topped out and floodwaters careered down Pacoima Wash and Tujunga Wash toward the Los Angeles River. By the time the river peaked at Long Beach, its flow exceeded the Mississippi’s at St. Louis. “It was as if the Pacific had moved in to take back its ancient bed,” wrote Rupert Hughes in “City of Angels,” a 1941 novel that climaxes with the flood. In an instant, the Lankershim Bridge in North Hollywood collapsed, and five people were swept away. Sewer and gas lines ruptured; communications were cut; houses were lifted straight off their foundations and sank into the water. In all, 87 people died.
The Los Angeles River was never a storybook river of the kind that, like the Hudson or the Seine, we associate with great cities. It was an arid, Janus-faced watercourse — most of the time hardly more than a shallow, burbling brook, which ran underground in places and occasionally turned bone-dry. But with heavy rains, it was prone to flooding, occasionally gaining the full, deadly force of the Mississippi or the Colorado and violently overreaching its low banks.
That violence, as the geographer Blake Gumprecht recounts in his history of the river, was due, in part, to its extreme topography. You might not think of the river’s course as steep, because it emerges in the San Fernando Valley. But over 51 miles, beginning behind the football field of a high school in Canoga Park and ending at the ocean in Long Beach, the Los Angeles River descends more than the Mississippi does over its entire 2,000-plus-mile stretch — meaning it gathers tremendous speed and power when the waters run high.
Los Angeles repeatedly tried to tame and channel the river. A massive flood in 1914 turned Long Beach into an island and increased public pressure on authorities to subjugate the waterway, which only really became possible after the completion of the Los Angeles Aqueduct in 1913. A feat of engineering often compared to the construction of the Panama Canal, the aqueduct brought the Owens River on the eastern side of the Sierra Nevada to the San Fernando Valley, liberating Los Angeles from dependence on its erratic river, which could then be repurposed to channel floodwaters.
That job turned out to be an equally Pharaonic effort. Requiring decades of complex construction and finally completed in the 1960s, the channel remains the largest public works project the United States Army Corps of Engineers has undertaken west of the Mississippi. It meant widening, deepening and straitjacketing the river into a dogleg and entombing it in concrete for most of its length. Where it once naturally snaked along a shallow, quixotic route, sometimes turning west, sometimes south, the new channel charted a beeline for the ocean, resembling an airport runway for long stretches, broad enough to land jumbo jets, with a sad, narrow groove carved down the middle to handle the normal trickle of water.
Protecting downtown and the city’s infrastructure from floods, the channel made possible the emergence of Los Angeles as a great, global megalopolis of booming businesses and single-family houses with green lawns and swimming pools. It solved an existential problem, but it also left a gaping scar across the region, one that exacerbated growing racial and economic tensions. The vanquished river soon became a dumping ground and frequent crime scene, much of it fenced off, crisscrossed by bridges, hemmed in by railway tracks, highways and heavy industry. Increasingly, immigrant and working-class communities, victims of redlining and other discriminatory practices, found themselves concentrated in neighborhoods wedged between the freight trains and freeways that hugged the channel and its polluted, industrialized banks.
“Erased from the city’s mental map,” as Patt Morrison, the Los Angeles Times columnist and author of “Río L.A.,” put it, the river all but disappeared from the news except when someone drowned or Hollywood used the channel to stage an invasion of giant ants in “Them!” or a drag race in “Grease” or an epic chase in “Terminator 2.” Millions of Angelenos were only too happy to forget that the river even existed.
But over time, the river has slowly come back into focus. Since 1938, Los Angeles hasn’t suffered a flood as disastrous as the one that year, thanks in no small part to the channel’s engineering, which has also allowed Angelenos to forget the danger the river originally posed. As the threat of flooding receded in people’s minds, objections to the channel — and its effects — have grown. Droughts have increasingly raised questions about the logic of a channel built to hasten billions of gallons of rainwater out of the region and into the ocean. Environmentalists, concerned about the despoliation of nature, have been lobbying for the concrete to be removed and the river rewilded, with new marshes and wetlands to green the city and mitigate flooding. And social activists have focused on how the channel worsens racial and income disparities, depriving underserved communities of healthy open spaces and concentrating poverty along the industrialized margins of the river.
Several decades after its completion, it is the flood channel itself — not the floods it was built to contain — that many Angelenos have come to see as the disaster.
IN JUNE, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors approved the first new master plan for the river in more than a quarter-century. Like all master plans, it lacks legislative teeth and has its share of detractors. But it is the most ambitious vision for the river since the channel was constructed, forward-looking and socially minded — a blueprint for encouraging legislators, private developers and community groups to come together around financing and new laws. It calls for tens of billions of dollars to go toward hundreds of projects in and around the river over the coming decades: the creation of a land bank, playing fields, cultural and community centers, public transportation and, of course, water management. Water and access to nature are treated as inseparable from issues like public transit and affordable housing.
The river traverses more than a dozen jurisdictions, flowing past almost every conceivable kind of neighborhood, through industrial zones, downtown and the urban wilderness of Griffith Park. It skirts the Warner Bros. and CBS studios on its northern end, and on its southern end divides some of the poorest towns in Southern California. In a sense, reimagining the river means reconsidering the governance and connectivity of the whole region.
Among the projects the master plan endorses is a proposal by the architect Frank Gehry for that southern stretch of the river. Collaborating with the landscape architect Laurie Olin and the engineering firm Geosyntec Consultants, Gehry imagines building platform parks levitated above the concrete channel at the river’s confluence with the Río Hondo and a new $150 million Gehry-designed cultural center beside the parks.
This is the area of the Gateway Cities, which include South Gate, Lynwood, Downey, Compton and Bell Gardens, and which for decades benefited from generous federal support. When companies like General Motors and Firestone shuttered factories during the 1970s and ’80s, white working-class families fled the area, and Latino immigrants moved in. Residents soon began to suffer the effects of huge public disinvestment and of the toxic waste left by the departed industries. These same towns were bereft of green parks and open spaces, a common determinant of public health. Today residents of southeast Los Angeles live, on average, a decade less than residents in neighborhoods on Los Angeles’s west side, a statistic that Gehry says stirred him to conceive the platform parks.
“When the former mayor of South Gate came to see me with his 4-year-old son,” Gehry recalls, “and said his son had a 10-year-shorter life span than kids on the west side because he doesn’t have enough parks and open spaces, that really hit me.”
His proposal involves constructing immense platforms or decks — holding troughs of dirt that support a landscape of hills, trees, horse paths and walking trails — creating green bridges as much as a mile long that span the two rivers. During extreme weather, the concrete channel can rapidly fill to the top of the embankment walls. The platform parks, raised on concrete stilts several feet above those walls, allow floodwaters to flow unimpeded into the Pacific. “We studied the river upside and down,” Gehry says, “and found that less than 1 percent of the time it runs very fast and is very dangerous. That meant we couldn’t remove the concrete, because it would cause the river to flood. So, we thought maybe we could deck the river instead.”
Some of the opposition to the master plan and to Gehry’s proposals comes from environmentalists who are pressing for a more natural version of the river. And some of it is from community activists who fear that any new development (not least development by an architect like Gehry, known for glamorous projects like the Walt Disney Concert Hall and the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain) will trigger displacement of poor residents. Among the naysayers is a venerable organization called Friends of the Los Angeles River, founded by the Texas-born poet and performance artist Lewis MacAdams. In 1985, MacAdams enlisted three friends to cross the First Street Bridge with him and cut a hole in a fence along the river. The quartet clambered down into the channel and walked upstream past the old city jail, to where Capt. Gaspar de Portolá and Spanish colonists first came upon the river and its centuries-old settlements of native Tongva, Kizh and Tataviam people in 1769.…
SOCIAL SECURITY, AN ON-LINE EXCHANGE:
(1) Social Security is arguably the WORST government run program in America. In 1983 my father passed away 21 days after he signed up to receive his SS benefits. He worked hard for 47 years. My mother died when she was only 51 and she paid into SS for 30 years but died before she could get the benefits she paid into. Since I was 30 years old and clearly not a dependent, all of the funds that my parents amassed were just gone…poof
(2) My parents were of the generation that saved and didn’t spend until they had saved enough to buy what they needed or wanted. If they had been allowed to save their money, on their own, they would have had the benefit of ALL of the money they earned. Now the government has the benefit of my parents combined 77 years of paying into Social Security.
3) Apparently some people think they should get their parents benefits when the parent dies. I wonder what those people think should happen if the parent lives to be 112? Should they get hit with the bill at some point.....say at age 85?
(4) “ The money did not disappear, it went to pay for benefits”
The benefits were paid to others.
They would have been better off putting their money in life insurance, then my father would have had the benefit of my mother’s hard work after her death and my father’s beneficiaries would have the benefit of his hard work.
“The purpose of social security is old age insurance”
But people don’t have a choice, it’s required, we don’t have an “opt out” choice that would allow us to make decisions regarding our own earnings.
(5) It is a national insurance policy. You don't get to opt-out of national responsibilities. There are no “others.” The benefits went for their intended purpose. The purpose is to provide a minimum level of survival for the elderly and for those who can no longer work and their minor dependents. I am sorry that your parents died relatively young, but they could have lived to a 100. That is how insurance works. I retired at 66 and started collecting then, but I also have other sources of retirement income. My wife is waiting to 70 to collect social security as the monthly check increases each year you postpone collecting until age 70. You can start collecting at 62, but the checks are much smaller and there are other restrictions. If you are likely not going to make it past 70, then you should start collecting early, but if you are likely to live until 90 or beyond, then it is best to wait until 70, if you can. It is insurance, not a retirement investment and some die young and never collect. On an individual level this may not seem fair, but the system is for the overall benefit of the nation so that we don't have millions of homeless elderly on the streets.
ON LINE COMMENT OF THE WEEK
Who cares about the frigging elections. It’s just entertainment. Like rigging elections is something new, are we just figuring this out. There is nothing you can do about it. Obviously voting hasn’t really worked since the fate of the Kennedy brothers showed the world what happens if ya don’t play along. Protesting doesn’t work either, they just ignore it or stomp it out if it gains momentum. Organizing any sort of resistance will fail also because it is pretty certain as soon as you get more then 3 people one of them will be an undercover FBI agent or informant. So just be patient and wait it out. They are bringing about their own demise. Life goes on, still plenty of joy out there to be had.
THE EMPEROR OF CHAOS HAS NO CLOTHES
by Maureen Dowd
Ding-dong, the Don is dead.
Or is he?
An election storm brought the house down on the Mar-a-Lago warlock and devastated Republican hopes for a rout.
Republicans are blaming Donald Trump for anointing wacky candidates and then using campaign rallies to promote his upcoming presidential announcement. Republican lawmakers privately say those self-indulgent rallies cost them Senate and House seats because many normal Republicans and independents have had their fill of Trump and his crazy train.
The third time should be the charm. Since winning in 2016, Trump helped Republicans lose the House in 2018 and lose the White House and the Senate after the 2020 elections. Now he seems to have rescued Democrats from the traditional midterm shellacking — Republicans are barely within reach of a House majority and are watching their chance of controlling the Senate slip away. Trump has been poison for his party.
Polls showed that even many people unhappy with Joe Biden voted Democratic, a sign that Trump fatigue has finally set in. It’s so bad, the Murdoch empire has turned on its former fair-haired boy.
Ivanka and Jared are moving on and are not interested in being part of a Trump restoration, according to Kate Bennett at CNN. Even die-hard Laura Ingraham seemed to sour on her former hero. “If the voters conclude that you’re putting your own ego or your own grudges ahead of what’s good for the country,” she told her viewers Wednesday night, “they’re going to look elsewhere, period.”
The New York Post ridiculed him on the cover as “Trumpty Dumpty,” with a gratuitous shot about how he not only had a great fall, but couldn’t build a wall.
Trump responded by calling the paper “the no longer great New York Post,” and he blamed his failure to complete the wall on former Speaker Paul Ryan, a Fox Corp. board member, and “Broken Old Crow” Mitch McConnell, saying they didn’t get him enough money from Congress.
But Succession in Murdochworld seems to be well underway. Its new infatuation with Ron DeSanctimonious has obviously enraged Trump, who’s casting spells from his Palm Beach lair, his incoherent nastiness zinging Republican stars and anyone else who makes his comb-over stand on end.
In his Truth Social posts, he tried to paint the election results as better than they were, sneering that candidates who shunned his support, including Joe O’Dea in Colorado, went down big and had a “Death Wish.”
With a racist crack about Glenn Youngkin’s name, Trump tried to undermine the governor of Virginia, a potential powerhouse, saying he would never have won last year without Trump giving “a very big Trump Rally for him telephonically.”
The former president also had a “Heathers”-like hissy-fit against Ron DeSantis. First, he thuggishly threatened the Florida governor after his Ohio rally last Monday, warning him not to think about getting in the presidential race.
“If he did run, I will tell you things about him that won’t be very flattering,” Trump said. “I know more about him than anyone other than perhaps his wife, who is really running his campaign.”
After DeSantis had a crushing victory in the once swingy Sunshine State, declaring it the place “woke goes to die,” Trump’s puerile jealousy exploded. He posted that he had rescued DeSantis when he was “politically dead.”
“And now Ron DeSanctimonious is playing games!” said Trump, angry that DeSantis wouldn’t rule out running for president in 2024.
Some in the GOP say attacking a younger generation of Republican stars puts Trump in dangerous territory. But that’s how Trump got to the White House, belittling Little Marco Rubio and Lyin’ Ted Cruz.
The moment feels reminiscent of Jan. 6 and its immediate aftermath. Republicans go crazy on Trump, say “enough is enough,” as Lindsey Graham did at that juncture, and act as if they’re ready to toss him aside. But it didn’t take long for “my Kevin,” as Trump called McCarthy, to make a groveling pilgrimage to Mar-a-Lago.
Republicans refused to convict Trump on impeachment charges and ban him from running for public office. Now they’re living with the consequences. It’s not hard to imagine that this revolt against the revolting Trump will die down in a few days and they’ll all be back behind this person that they blame for their current convulsions.
“If blackmailing Ukraine, inciting a riot, trying to overturn the election, hoarding classified documents, using overtly racist language for seven years, including at Glenn Youngkin today, was not enough to cause you to walk away from Donald Trump,” political analyst Ron Brownstein said on CNN Friday, what makes people think Trump is toast now?
One of the bright spots of the election is that a lot of people seemed to turn their back on crazy. Let’s hope that Republicans will get the message and move on from the King of Crazy before he gets another shot at destroying democracy.
TRUMP STILL DEMON KING OF US POLITICS
by Patrick Cockburn
People who detest Donald Trump as the demon king of American politics are hoping that the feeble Republican performance in the midterm elections will weaken or dethrone him.
Democrats successfully characterised the “Make America Great Again” (Maga), Trump-dominated Republicans as a threat to democracy in the eyes of many voters. Not for nothing did the Democratic Party funnel money in some cases to the primary campaigns of extreme Maga supporters to ensure that they became the Republican candidates. But they could probably have saved themselves the money, because the Trumpian version of the Republican Party has put down deep roots.
The Republicans may have the worst of all possible worlds: a Trump too powerful to displace as party leader because he has the support of party activists; but, come election day, a leader who alienates more voters than he attracts, and is becoming an in-house political Jonah, ensuring the Republicans’ continued under-performance in future elections.
Control of the Senate
Republican leaders are understandably on tenterhooks to see whether Trump’s promised “big announcement” on 15 November will be to declare his candidacy for the Republican presidential nomination in 2024. Many counsel delay, arguing that Trump as a candidate will damage their chances in the crucial run-off for a Georgia Senate seaton 6 December, which may decide control of the Senate.
Possibly, Trump will not want to risk being labelled an election loser once again, but a delay would be a tacit admission that he is an electoral liability. A delay would also undermine his tried-and-tested method of dealing with failure or defeat, which is simply to deny that they have taken place. Brazenly preparing the ground for this tactic prior to the election, he said: “I think if [the Republicans] win, I should get all the credit. And if they lose, I should not be blamed.”
He may well get away with this among his core supporters, since he long ago persuaded them – despite a complete lack of evidence – that he was robbed of the presidency by electoral fraud in 2020.
Trump is not entirely wrong
Yet Trump is not entirely wrong in denying responsibility for the failure of the “Red Wave” to rise above a ripple. Abortion, not Trump, was the main issue for 27 per cent of voters and these broke three-to-one in favour of the Democrats, according to the exit poll. Sixty per cent of voters believe abortion should be legal, but 89 per cent of those who want it to be illegal are Republicans. More than half of Americans believe immigrants help the country, but 83 per cent of those who do not are Republicans. Similar deep divisions exist over gun control and climate change.
In other words, Trump expresses the views of a large majority of Republican voters – but a minority of voters in America as a whole.
The glee with which Trump’s enemies have focused on his latest discomfiture is partially the result of wishful thinking. His track record is of surviving setbacks and scandals that would have sunk any other politician. Many Democrats in 2016 waited for him to self-destruct and instead saw him win the White House. His verbal complicity in the 6 January Capitol riot damaged him, but largely among Americans who would not have voted for him anyway.
As regards Trump’s survivability, I am reminded of the words of Conor Cruise O’Brien about Charles Haughey, an Irish political leader notorious for rising from what had been billed as his political grave: “If I saw Mr Haughey buried at midnight at a crossroad, with a stake driven through his heart – politically speaking – I should continue to wear a clove of garlic round my neck, just in case.”
Republicans and Democrats are nowhere near writing Trump’s political obituary, since his electoral wounds are not mortal. His many covert enemies among Republican Party leaders will be nervous of putting their heads above the parapet and will most likely wait until next year before seeking the nomination. Trump has already shown that he will ferociously attack any would-be rival, such as Florida governor Ron DeSantis, who cruised to re-election by a 20 per cent margin this week, and about whom Trump says that he knows dark secrets.
His Republican rivals know that opposing Trump unsuccessfully might terminate their careers, as critics of his role in the Capitol Hill riot have learnt to their cost.
A ‘cunning nutter’
The sigh of relief in London and most other European capitals over the underwhelming performance of the Republicans last week may therefore be premature. Non-Americans have tended to underestimate Trump as a politician since they became aware of him in 2016. Crazed and bizarre he may appear to be, but, says one former aide, he is a “cunning nutter.”
The midterms did not go the way Trump wanted, but they have once again made him the centre of media attention. The questions of whether he will or won’t stand again for the presidency is now being asked on every television screen in America and around the world.
Even Republicans unsympathetic to Trump think that reports of his political decline are premature. “All of these Republican power brokers and donors and thinkers and talkers, for seven years they’ve wanted to be rid of Trump, but they never do, and they’ve never said anything,” former Illinois Congressman Joe Walsh, who unsuccessfully challenged Trump for the Republican presidential nomination in 2020, told the online magazine Politico. “Now they’re hoping, ‘Oh, my God, a miserable midterm and Ron DeSantis had a great night, this will finally take him out.’ It’s wishful thinking, it’s bullshit.”
Only time will tell, since one of the problems of American election reporting is that it often takes days, even weeks, for the most crucial races to be decided.
Clutch their clove of garlic
One veteran American political expert said last Tuesday that she would be watching a film and not the first election returns because all the important news would come later. We still do not know for certainty at the time of writing who will control Congress, with the Senate tipping towards the Democrats and the House tipping rather more decisively towards the Republicans.
Supposing these expectations are fulfilled, what does the future hold for American politics? Gridlock on legislation and furious Republican inquiries into supposed Democratic crimes, certainly. If Trump stands for the presidency – and that is not a certainty – then Democrats can look forward to Republican fratricidal strife.
Even with a Republican majority in the House, they will be vulnerable to a mutinous far-right faction – a situation not so different from the Tory Party in the House of Commons.
As for Trump, he certainly has been hurt by the outcome of the midterm elections, but even those Republicans who think this damage is serious and permanent would be wise to clutch their clove of garlic for safety’s sake.
Media outlets have been publishing lists of winners and losers in the midterm elections. Most of their picks are obvious, but almost nobody has pointed to one embattled group that will have been watching the results with special attention: the American wolf population.
Republican Congresswoman Lauren Boebert, who sought to delist wolves as an endangered species requiring federal protection, was at one point poised to lose a knife-edge election in Colorado. In one much watched video earlier this year, she jokes with an audience about shooting wolf puppies with her Glock firearm to make fur hats out of them. Sadly, she had regained a narrow lead at the time of writing. Howl.
USA’S MILITARY EMPIRE: A Visual Database
World BEYOND War has launched a new online tool at worldbeyondwar.org/no-bases that allows the user to view a globe pock-marked with 867 U.S. military bases in countries other than the United States, and to zoom in for a satellite view of and detailed information on each base. The tool also allows filtering the map or list of bases by country, government type, opening date, number of personnel, or acres of land occupied.
This visual database was researched and developed by World BEYOND War to help journalists, activists, researchers, and individual readers understand the immense problem of excessive preparation for war, which inevitably leads to international bullying, meddling, threats, escalation, and mass atrocity. By illustrating the extent of the U.S. empire of military outposts, World BEYOND War hopes to call attention to the wider problem of war preparations. Thanks to davidvine.net for a variety of information included in this tool.
The United States of America, unlike any other nation, maintains this massive network of foreign military installations around the world. How was this created and how is it continued? Some of these physical installations are on land occupied as spoils of war. Most are maintained through collaborations with governments, many of them brutal and oppressive governments benefiting from the bases’ presence. In many cases, human beings were displaced to make room for these military installations, often depriving people of farmland, adding huge amounts of pollution to local water systems and the air, and existing as an unwelcome presence.
U.S. bases in foreign lands often raise geopolitical tensions, support undemocratic regimes, and serve as a recruiting tool for militant groups opposed to the U.S. presence and the governments its presence bolsters. In other cases, foreign bases have made it easier for the United States to launch and execute disastrous wars, including those in Afghanistan, Iraq, Yemen, Somalia, and Libya. Across the political spectrum and even within the U.S. military there is growing recognition that many overseas bases should have been closed decades ago, but bureaucratic inertia and misguided political interests have kept them open. Estimates of the yearly cost to the U.S. of its foreign military bases range from $100 – 250 billion.
UKRAINE, MONDAY, NOVEMBER 14TH
Ukraine says Russia hit Kherson power station before retreat
Ukrainian national energy company Ukrenergo has said Russia destroyed key energy infrastructure before retreating from the western bank of the Dnieper River last week.
“The energy facility that provided power supply to the entire right bank of the Kherson region and a significant part of the Mykolaiv region, is practically destroyed,” Ukrenergo chief Volodymyr Kudrytskyi said in a post on Facebook, adding these were the “consequences the powerless anger of the occupiers before fleeing”.
UN calls for Russia to be responsible for reparations in Ukraine
The United Nations General Assembly has called for Russia to be held accountable for its invasion of Ukraine, approving a resolution recognising that Russia is responsible for reparations in the country.
The resolution, supported by 94 of the assembly’s 193 members, recognises that Russia must be held accountable for violations of international law in or against Ukraine and “must bear the legal consequences of all of its internationally wrongful acts, including making reparation for the injury, including any damage, caused by such acts”.
General Assembly resolutions are non-binding, but they carry political weight.
Zelenskyy calls liberation of Kherson ‘beginning of the end’
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy triumphantly walked the streets of the newly liberated city of Kherson, hailing Russia’s withdrawal as the “beginning of the end of the war,” but also acknowledging the heavy price Ukrainian troops are paying in their grinding effort to push back the Russians.
In Kherson, Zelenskyy awarded medals to soldiers and posed with them for selfies while striking a defiant note.
“This is the beginning of the end of the war,” he said. “We are step by step coming to all the temporarily occupied territories.”
But he also grimly noted that the fighting “took the best heroes of our country”.
Zelenskyy’s trip to Kherson was another in a series of unexpected visits to front-line areas at crucial moments of the war. This one was laden with both symbolism and the common touch – clearly aimed at boosting the morale of soldiers and civilians alike.
EU has delivered weapons and equipment worth $8bn to Kyiv: Borrell
The European Union and its member states have provided weapons and military equipment worth at least 8 billion euros ($8.27bn) to Ukraine, the bloc’s top diplomat says.
This sum amounts to about 45 percent of what the United States has supplied to Kyiv, Josep Borrell told reporters after a meeting with his EU counterparts in Brussels.
US imposes new sanctions targeting Russian military’s supply chains
The US has imposed new sanctions aimed at disrupting the Russian military’s supply chains, rolling out measures against 14 people and 28 entities that it said were part of a transnational network that procures technology to support Moscow in its invasion of Ukraine.
The US Treasury also designated family members of Russian oligarch Suleiman Kerimov as well as individuals that it said worked as financial facilitators in Suleiman’s network.
“The United States will continue to disrupt Russia’s military supply chains and impose high costs on President Putin’s enablers, as well as all those who support Russia’s brutality against its neighbor,” Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in a statement.
Kremlin confirms US-Russia talks in Ankara
The Kremlin has confirmed that talks between US and Russian intelligence officials were held in Ankara on Monday.
“Such negotiations really took place. It was the initiative of the American side,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov was quoted by Russia’s TASS news agency as saying.
Peskov’s remarks followed reports that said US Central Intelligence Agency Director William Burns had travelled to Turkey to speak to his Russian counterpart, Sergey Naryshkin, the head of Russia’s Foreign Intelligence Service.
Burns reportedly warned Naryshkin of the consequences Russia would face if it used nuclear weapons in Ukraine.
— Al Jazeera