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A LOW PRESSURE SYSTEM located over the North Coast this morning will continue to brings periods of rain showers and snow showers through Monday. A break in the active weather pattern is then expected on Tuesday and Wednesday. (NWS)
ROSSI HARDWARE, Downtown Boonville, Christmas Season 2022
THE ELK STORE SAYS THANK YOU:
"We are overwhelmed with gratitude. Humbled by the support of the Elk Store community near and far. Thank you to Chef @dphopps and @aka_weezy of @izakaya_gama for putting together a gofundme to help us out after the burglary, and to all of those who donated, stopped by, texted, commented, bought sandwiches for their entire staff, and called. Faith in humanity restored."
A GREAT REDWOOD TRAIL, IN THEORY
A hundred years ago a person in San Francisco could take the ferry to Tiburon, get on the train and later that same day be on the Eel River as a guest in a tourist hotel, with good food, fishing, swimming, all the activities available to a person on a riverside vacation. There were places down the river from Dos Rios such as River Gardens and Nashmead which catered to these train tourists. Personally I would like to see something like this happen again, with perhaps parking at Longvale (junction of 101 and 162) with a little store for outfitting, another place in Dos Rios to leave your car and get on the trail. A shuttle from Alderpoint? There are dozens of rail to trail conversions in other parts of the country and these are delightful. I have been to some of them and believe me the easy grade on an old rail line is wonderful to walk on or bike. Yes, Bosco and his crew are swindlers. There are always scams associated with railroads, part of the territory. And California might be essentially incompetent to pull this off. A three mile pedestrian right of way along Highway 162 in Round Valley has been in the planning stage for ten years now, a million dollars (more or less) spent on “studies” and right of way, and the thing isn’t built yet. I really don’t know how California can ever get this Great Redwood Trail built with the present “can’t do” culture. But I still like the idea.
DON'T DO IT, PUC
To the Editor:
‘Solar on every rooftop’ is a critical goal as we implement needed efforts to limit climate disruption. State planners agree we need to triple large scale solar AND rooftop solar to meet the State’s energy goals for electric vehicles and heat pumps for heating and air conditioning.
But the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) is proposing to vote to decrease the credits it pays to new solar customers who generate excess power for PG&E by 75%. This credit decrease effectively stops new solar installations as was demonstrated in Nevada, Arizona and Hawaii when those states enacted similar measures.
PG&E claimed that solar customers don’t pay their fair share. On the contrary, solar customers pay to install solar, pay for long distance power distribution and help the state during summer heat waves by providing enough power to curtail rolling blackouts. PG&E claims solar installations were only on wealthy households. Currently most solar installations are on low/ moderate income households. Fair solar credits are needed to encourage new solar installations.
PGE is guaranteed a 8-12 percent profit on distribution infrastructure in the form of rate hikes. Rooftop solar reduces the need for those lines and thereby reduces their profits. Is PGE’s assault on rooftop solar because of the profit it loses by not needing to build more long distance power lines?
You should care about this issue. An easy action is to go to solarrights.org and scroll down to the box to email Governor Newsom.
INTRODUCING GLEN RICARD'S ROADSIDE ART GALLERY
Ricard, who lives in barbarous splendor in Mendocino where abandoned buildings are not tolerated, has maintained this major eyesore and fire trap in Boonville for almost fifty years, thanks to a combination of bureaucratic sloth by both the county of Mendocino and Anderson Valley's Community Services District board. One of these hot, windy summer days Ricard's major hazard to the entire Haehl street area will go up in flames, taking the entire neighborhood with it.
* * *
ON APRIL 18, 2012, the Community Services District Board voted 5-0 to send this letter to slum meister Glen Ricard of Little River:
“Dear Mr. Ricard,
This community and this Board believe that your abandoned and rundown building is a blight on the town of Boonville and a threat to the health and safety of the neighbors and neighboring properties. It also gives an initial bad impression of the town of Boonville to visitors approaching from the south which can affect local commerce. It is clear that your structure presents a fire danger because of the decrepit condition of the building, siding and internal collapse, and because transients can easily, and apparently have, broken in and entered the building in the past. Transients are known to occasionally start cooking fires which could easily get out of control. They are likely to conduct illegal drug activity in the building. We ask that you either:
1. Simply demolish the building because it appears that it has no economic value and the property would probably be worth more if the building were removed.
2. Refurbish and remodel the building for beneficial occupancy (as apparently preliminarily applied for several years ago).
Or 3. Sell the property to a willing buyer at a reasonable price.
Are you and/or your insurance carrier aware of the liabilities the building presents? We may be able to advise or assist you in arranging for the safe demolition or destruction of the building and removal of debris.
We encourage you to work with the local community to arrange for beneficial local occupancies that would become the basis for the construction of a new or remodeled building that would then provide income to you, while providing additional residential or commercial space in Boonville. We would like the courtesy of a reply to these concerns and requests with an indication of what your plans are for the property.”
NO RESPONSE from the Little River shack master. True to form, Ricard maintains his usual sphinx-like silence. Rev up the bulldozers.
Regarding the Nov. 30 letter: “Sometimes the late 60s felt like this.”
See the movie “CSA: Confederate States of America.”
Recommended by E. Baines.
THIS SECRET BAR IN THE REDWOODS IS ONLY ACCESSIBLE BY VINTAGE TRAIN
The magical outdoor oasis offers a truly unique experience.
by Tina Caputo
There’s nothing like taking a drive up the Pacific coast to calm the mind and awaken the senses — especially when there’s a one-of-a-kind experience waiting at the end of the journey. That’s just what you’ll find at Glen Blair Bar, an outdoor watering hole set deep in the majestic Mendocino County redwoods.
One of the things that makes this venue truly unique is its location. Glen Blair Bar is accessible only by way of the Skunk Train. Since 1885, this historic line has chugged its way through redwood groves and across trestle bridges into Mendocino’s scenic Noyo River canyon. Now, on Friday nights, it carries passengers from the Skunk Train Depot in Fort Bragg to a delightful hidden bar.
Starting at 6:30 p.m., passengers pay a $35 round trip fare ($25 for locals) and hop aboard a vintage train for the 25-minute ride to Glen Blair Junction. Along the way, bar-goers may purchase freshly popped popcorn as well as beer and wine as they take in views of the surrounding redwood forest while seated in enclosed train cars or standing on a breezy open-top “deck.”
As the train arrives at the Glen Blair Junction clearing, a magical, fairy-lit oasis comes into view, complete with fire pits, lawn games, live music, picnic tables and a bar station serving local wine, beer and cocktails. Even on cool, rainy nights, Glen Blair is a cozy destination thanks to the expansive covered bar structure and plenty of warming patio heaters. Trains depart hourly until the bar closes at 10:30 p.m.
Opened in October 2022, the Glen Blair Bar concept was two years in the making. The Skunk Train folks previously used the spot for events, weddings, concerts and movie nights before they hit on the genius idea to add a Friday night bar. “Why have the venue,” says Skunk Train General Manager Stathi Pappas, “if you’re not going to share it?”
As long as there are riders who want to make the journey, Glen Blair Bar will remain open year round.
Although the adults-only experience was created with locals in mind, it provides an excellent excuse — as if anyone needs one — for an overnight stay or weekend getaway in Mendocino. We can’t think of a better way to whet a thirsty traveler’s whistle.
Skunk Train Depot, 100 West Laurel St., Fort Bragg, 707-964-6371, skunktrain.com
ON LINE COMMENT OF THE DAY
They could turn Garberville into an authentic 80’s boomtown-era tourist Potropolis with everyone in costumes-camos and reggae beanies, long skirts and dirty sweaters. Stand back, folks, here comes CAMP! Stores with tourist crap, and of course, a dispensary. Like Frontierland, only stoned.
NORTHCOAST FASHIONS, AN ON-LINE COMMENT:
The Humboldt Honey Poster is inaccurate, in many ways…
Generally speaking, the woman pictured here is much too trim, svelte even, to qualify. Also, like the woman on the Garberville Farmer’s Market T-Shirt, Humboldt County Women tend to be busty, and generally they can’t afford to go out in the winter in Birkenstocks, especially not Arizonas, which would be quickly destroyed in the rains of Northern Humboldt, and not unless the socks are Merino Wool, not just those Army Surplus Wool socks we all used to wear in college…
Long skirts are so over, and these days you will observe Lululemons and Crop Tops on nearly everyone female, with an “ugly sweater contest” perpetually held, or a simple down vest, and nobody wears a Babushka or remembers the “Grateful Dead” any more than they remember Bod&Carol&Ted&Alice…
Some things don’t last, and earrings are still cheap and made everywhere by neo-hippies, but the Southwestern Hippie Ethic has melted into the Millennial Ooze, and you should have to travel further North, like to Coastal Oregon, to find even one woman dressed like an 80’s college woman…
The poster is an interesting cultural artifact, that nobody outside your weird county would understand, but it was amusing, the first time I saw it, some ten years ago in the used book store in Garbistan…
I might, just might revive it myself, except that I would study the women of Olin College of Engineering in Needham Mass, looking for important trends to ridicule, searching for a style which may not exist at all, like a “typical” “Humboldt State Woman”…
I will discuss it with the women software engineers of San Francisco, and get back to you, but the Humboldt Honey is probably insulting to most, grossly inaccurate, and overall, an insignificant artifact from a colorful time that never existed at all…
A PERMIT IS NEEDED FOR THIS?
Public Hearing: Downtown Park Coastal Development Permit
Notice Of A Public Hearing
Notice Is Hereby Given that the Point Arena City Council will conduct a public hearing at City Hall, 451 School Street and online (https://zoom.us/s/84888251095) on December 13, 2022 at 6:00 p.m., or as soon thereafter as possible, on the following project:
Case: CDP #3-2022
Date Filed: 9/16/22
Owners: City Of Point Arena
Applicant: City Of Point Arena
Zoning: Park (P)
Request: Coastal Development Permit for playground improvements (new swing set on expanded playground footprint, requiring approximately 1,050 SF of grading and installation of 24” retaining wall), and drainage improvements to restore a historical drainage ditch/channel.
APN: 027-111-034 and 027-111-035
Location: 230 Main Street, Point Arena, CA
Files: Coastal Development Permit Application and Civil Plans
Public Hearing Date: December 13, 2022
The Point Arena City Council is soliciting your input. All interested parties are invited to attend and be heard at this time. Applicants or their agents must appear for their hearings. If you challenge the above matter(s) in court, you may be limited to raising only those issues you or someone else raised at the public hearing described in this notice, or in written correspondence delivered to the City Clerk at, or prior to, the public hearing. All documents are available for review in the City Clerk's Office. The City Council's action regarding the item shall constitute final action by the City unless appealed to the Coastal Commission. Appeals to the Coastal Commission must be made in writing within 10 working days following Coastal Commission receipt of a Notice of Final Action on this project. Should you desire to request notification of the City Council's decision you may do so in writing by providing a self-addressed stamped envelope to the City Clerk.
For further information contact the City of Point Arena:
Mailing Address: PO Box 67, Point Arena, California 95468
City Hall Location: 451 School Street, Point Arena, California 95468
Telephone: 707 882-2122
Date: November 29, 2022
GREAT GIFT FOR A KID:
Hi. I have a bunch of magic cards. More than just the pic shows. I have magazines, dice and other things that I believe go with the cards. We can negotiate a price after you take a look at what I have.
I'll be fair on price if you be honest with me on what all I have. Actually, I'll give someone a steal of a deal for everything.
Please Facebook or text Tom at 707-684-9759.
Thanks for looking.
THE HAPPY HANDYMAN
Here we are, among the winter months and holiday season. If you don't want to put off those little projects or “to do” things I can help you get it done in a timely manner with expertise and attention to detail. We all need a little help once in a while and this season is just the ticket to help this community.
With over 30 years experience in the business, local references, tools and transportation I'm sure we can find a solution for any circumstance both simple and intricate. I'm available and excited to work with you on anything you have in mind.
The Happy Handyman
H (707) 397-1484
C (707) 357-3071
PRETTY SURE ALL THREE DiMaggio brothers played the Loggers in Fort Bragg. (Right after the war?) Vince DiMaggio, on the left, married a Fort Bragg girl and is buried at the Rose Memorial Park Cemetery in FB.
DAVIS GEE: Mendocino County Library - Fort Bragg
A scared-looking man walks into the library and asks, “Do you have any books on paranoia?”
The librarian replied, “They’re right behind you! “
CATCH OF THE DAY, Sunday, December 4, 2022
JOHNNY AZBILL, Santa Rosa/Ukiah. Metal knuckles.
KENNETH DEWITT JR., Ukiah. Parole violation.
TORRON HENDERSON, Willits. DUI.
ELLE MARTEENY, Ukiah. Mandatory supervision violation.
DOMINIC SHAUL, Willits. Probation revocation.
TRISTIN WILEY, Willits. Domestic battery, controlled substance, battery on peace officer, probation revocation.
ELECTRIC BILL, Using Your Computer Till You Fall Asleep (Coast Chatline)
Keri Ann Bourne:
Looking at a screen causes a drop in the body's ability to make melatonin which is the natural hormones that your body uses to help you sleep. Many studies have shown this. So when people “plays with/watches their computer/phone/tablet/TV” because they can't sleep they are doing the opposite of helping get back to sleep.
Better off reading a book or doing a breathing exercise. Anything besides screen time.
* * *
Marco McClean: People are different from each other, though. I'm always doing things --work, projects, reading, driving, whatever-- until I feel sleepy, and then I stop and sleep. The only thing that interferes with that is really-wrong food (a big salad just before bed), or too much caffeine in a day, or an infuriating catastrophe like when the Community School was taken over by the school district in 1984, or KMFB was bought up and destroyed in 2011, or something like that; then I'm buzzing inside and bad dreams for a week, but those times are so far between. Often, at work, I look at the clock, go somewhere with a door that shuts, lie down, or just sit in a chair and tip my head down, sleep for ten or fifteen minutes, feel way better, go back to work and take fifteen minutes off my timesheet.
And if you use something like dark mode* for your phone or tablet or computer, text is just as legible and it's dimmer than light on a book, not brighter. If you believe what they're saying lately about the color of light being a problem, turn the colors the way you want them. Screens now don't flicker in a way for your eyes to react, the way tube teevees and monitors used to. Spread your fingers and wave your hand in front of a light image on your computer screen. In the old days, with a tube monitor, you could see the motion-strobing. It doesn't do that anymore. It's as smooth as light on a piece of paper, and /way/ smoother than light on paper, if your reading light is the old fluorescent kind.
*Dark mode makes the screen black, or makes blank places in your browser or other program dark, and the text is light. Everything has a dark mode available anymore; look up how to switch to that.
I agree with you about screens if you're watching a show, though. The natural tendency, when you get to the end of an episode of a great show --and why watch it at all if it isn't great-- is to just start the next episode, and then the next. Like this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yYjLrJRuMnY
It's funny that I'm not like that about books. I /like/ to put the book down at an exciting part and then think about it and look forward to coming back later. Juanita is the other way around; the better something is the more she can't stop. She doesn't like to stop anything. And no matter how sleepy she is she can't take a nap because it doesn't recharge her, it just fixes it so she has to keep sleeping. She has alarms in her phone, and an old-fashioned mechanical bell alarm in the bathroom. The phone wakes her up so she notices she has to pee, and the alrarm goes crazy in the bathroom, so there's nothing for it but to get up. On the way there's the heater knob and the lights, and so on, and then she's hungry and she has to feed the bird and go to work.
TOMMY CAN YOU HEAR ME?
by Tommy Wayne Kramer
The ability to hear clearly being the last refuge of a guy clinging desperately to middle age, I ignored, denied and resisted the idea I might need a hearing aid.
It was different when my eyesight fogged up a few years ago and I could simply drop by the clinic to get cataracts snipped from my eyeballs and return home with 20-20 vision. Ears are different, and when you have to hang fat tan plastic blobs on both sides of your head you might as well also hang a sign that says “Frail Elderly Geezer” around your neck.
So like I said, I was a bit reluctant. When it got to the point I needed subtitles to talk to my wife I knew things had to change, but divorce somehow seemed excessive. I went to an hearing doctor instead.
One of the things you have to do when you see an audiologist is sit in a booth wearing earmuff-style headphones while pressing a button when you detect beeps or buzzes being transmitted. Easy.
I did so well I thought maybe Dr. Stephanie Griffin, the DJ playing those beepy noises, might tell me I should see a divorce lawyer, or at least have my wife speak louder. Really, I thought I got straight A’s on that hearing test.
But by the time I got out of the booth and back in my chair she already had a printout of the results, and it looked like a chart of the stock market collapse in October of 1929.
“Are you holding that sheet upside down?” was my hopeful question, which she tactfully ignored and went on to explain that while my hearing was better than the paperweight on her desk, it was not quite as good as a clam’s.
The upshot was me taking that lonnnng walk (about 14 steps) to an office down the hall where a sign on the door said “HEARING AIDS: Frail & Elderly Only.” By the time I took a seat my hair had turned white and I needed a cane.
I’m getting a hearing aid, sob.
Goodbye reckless youth. Farewell good ol’ middle age. Hello Eversole Mortuary.
Today’s hearing aids aren’t the beige, banana-sized contraptions that old guys with yellow teeth and stained trousers have perched atop their ears. Nossir, it’s the 21st century and today’s hearing aids are keeping up with the times.
Now you can get hearing aids in bright fluorescent colors that sparkle and shine, in case you want to put bling on your ears. Little pink tubes leading to bright yellow gizmos are exactly what I’m not in the market for, so I asked what she had in the way of fat tan blobs. Dr. Griffin laughed.
She had some other options. I wound up with a silver bullet resting atop each ear, with a little tube (clear plastic, thanks for asking) dipping into tiny Panasonic 600 watt speakers stuffed into my ear canals. Not really, but you get the idea.
I’ve been wearing ‘em a few days now and what’s mostly noticeable is the incongruous sounds that accompany activities that ought to be near-silent. Turning a newspaper page makes the harsh rattle of noisy aluminum foil. A bird squawking in mid-air 30 feet overhead made me duck and cover.
Piddling into a porcelain bowl full of water sounds like 50 lbs of gravel dumped down a pit lined in galvanized steel. Any word with an “S” finishes in a long lisping wash of gray. Plates, bowls and silverware clank and crash like explosions from a Dolby-enhanced space alien invader movie.
Conversations? Hard to tell. At this point 95% of my spoken words are to the dear wife who, realizing I have hearing aids, assumes the polite thing to do is yell at me. In return I point and grunt.
All these minor glitches will be sorted out I’m told, and soon enough I’ll be able to hear people talking behind my back from a quarter mile away. Not that I’ll want to.
I’m content to have my new eyeballs from the cataract surgery and eardrums courtesy of a new sound system. I think I’ll go ahead and fix all my five senses.
Stay tuned. Learn all about my upcoming tastebud-ectomy, coming soon in this very publication.
* * *
Obvious, And 100% Effective
There’s no reason to doubt that we can solve the climate crisis simply by submitting to big new tax increases the Democrats are urging.
After all, look what lots and lots of money have done to cure homelessness, poverty, college tuition costs, healthcare and the war on Drugs.
KAREEM ABDUL JABBAR : “The best guy I’ve played against might have been Larry Bird. People don’t appreciate Bird enough. They think he is a chubby white guy, but he would wear us down. The muscle that is in between his ears was the best. He was always in the right place at the right time.”
WITH JIMMY GAROPPOLO’S FAIRY-TALE SEASON OVER, CAN 49ERS SUSTAIN SUPER BOWL DREAMS?
by Ann Killion
In the words of Kyle Shanahan, “crushing.”
On Sunday, the San Francisco 49ers won a game but may have lost their season.
Jimmy Garoppolo, whose foot buckled under the full weight of a Miami defensive lineman during the 49ers’ first possession of the game, is done for the season.
After the game, Shanahan announced that Garoppolo will undergo season-ending surgery to repair a broken foot.
“It was pretty crushing,” Shanahan said of the news. “We know what Jimmy’s been through and how hard he’s worked.”
A broken bone gave Garoppolo his starting job back, when Trey Lance broke his ankle in Week Two. Eleven weeks later, a broken bone takes it away and now puts the fate of the team in the hands of rookie Brock Purdy, who was the final pick of the 2022 draft.
And who knows what that means?
“We’ll see going forward, but this is a resilient group,” Shanahan said.
But being resilient with a winning veteran replacing untested Lance is quite a bit different than being resilient when replacing that winning veteran with a completely raw rookie.
Once again, season-ending injuries have the 49ers reeling. Once again, the fragility of the human body in a brutal game could derail their hopes and dreams.
It is heartbreaking for Garoppolo, who was in the midst of a potential fairy-tale scenario. The ideal narrative would have gone something like this: The once discarded quarterback humbly returns, leads his team to glory, and is crowned king of the NFL on the season’s final day, lifting the Lombardi trophy. And everyone lives happily — if not necessarily together — ever after.
Now Garoppolo is hurt, his third season-ending injury during his time with the 49ers and his fourth serious injury in the past five seasons.
Just in the past week, the conversation about how Garoppolo was now in the driver’s seat was gaining steam. With Garoppolo the 49ers have won five straight, righted the ship and looked to be in control of the division and one of the favorites in the NFC. He was playing excellent ball.
There was speculation that when he becomes a free agent at the end of this season, he would finally have the power. He would be coveted by other teams, based on how well he has been playing. He would have leverage and options.
Now? He faces more rehabilitation from yet another surgery.
“My heart goes out to Jim,” linebacker Fred Warner said. “That sucks.”
In all the other ways except for the devastating news about Garoppolo, Sunday was probably one of the most satisfying wins of Shanahan’s career, considering that he was Yoda going up against Luke (Miami coach and former Shanahan protege Mike McDaniel). Considering that his starting quarterback went down with an injury on the team’s first possession and he won with a rookie quarterback whose nickname was literally “Mr. Irrelevant.”
But Yoda schooled Luke, including with a couple of red-flag challenges that — when they went Shanahan’s way — had McDaniel spitting obscenities at the officials on the Miami sideline. And Mr. Irrelevant — who is certainly not that anymore — outplayed a legitimate MVP candidate in Tua Tagovailoa, who had a terrible day.
Purdy handled the situation with composure and looked extremely prepared, a testament to Shanahan and his staff. But now he is tasked with guiding a Super Bowl-caliber team through the final quarter of the season and the playoffs. That’s a big ask.
The 49ers top-ranked defense was completely dominant again. Though it gave up a touchdown on the first Dolphins drive of the game and had its second-half shutout streak snapped, the defense was suffocating, collecting four turnovers, rattling Tagovailoa and ensuring the win.
“That was a really cool game, as a team,” Shanahan said.
But, oh, did the victory come at a cost and only the most determined or most delusional Garoppolo haters could envision this scenario as anything but extremely difficult going forward.
The fact that most of the players already knew what had happened by halftime, and were devastated for their leader, who they truly like and admire, makes the victory even more impressive.
There was a time when the back end of the 49ers schedule looked fairly manageable. It doesn’t look quite that way now: next week’s foe, Tom Brady’s Tampa Bay, is mediocre but still fighting for a division title. Then it’s a trip to Seattle, almost always a horrible experience for the 49ers. The 49ers also face the surprisingly competitive Washington Commanders and play in Las Vegas against the newly invigorated Raiders, before ending with Arizona.
Those are five difficult games to navigate.
Defenses win championships and now the 49ers defense will have to completely shoulder the burden. They will have to be like the ’85 Bears, the 2000 Ravens, the 2002 Buccaneers. To a man, on offense and defense, the 49ers players said they will all have to carry the load and pick up Purdy.
Can the last man selected in a draft in April lead a team to a Super Bowl nine months later? That would truly be a fairy tale scenario for Brock Purdy, worthy of a made-for-TV movie.
But for Garoppolo, the potential fairy tale is over. The season just turned into another heart-breaking nightmare.
BIG 5 NO-SHOWS MEETING ON RECORD OIL PROFITS
by Jim Shields
You could see this mess coming a million miles away.
That’s why I told you last week that California’s Big Oil interests are gearing up for a political fight-to-the-death over the proposed Windfall Profits Tax law. Millions of dollars will be spent by oil companies to cajole legislators to cold-shoulder the bill. They’ll tell Sacramento politicians that approving a new “tax” will be political suicide, a perilous move in these unstable economic times, and could accelerate a growing recession amidst California’s projected $25 billion budget deficit for the next fiscal year. Blah, blah, blah …
I also told you that the California Energy Commission would hold a meeting on Nov. 29 with oil industry executives and experts to seek more information about gas price spikes, refinery disruptions and record industry profits.
Well, the Energy Commission held its meeting as scheduled where they heard from industry analysts and consumer groups such as Consumer Watchdog, on mysteries like what’s driving California’s high gas prices, what’s behind all-time record profits, what are the best approaches to prevent future gasoline price spikes and whether Gov. Newsom’s proposal to tax oil corporation profits is the best answer to confront and solve through-the-roof gas prices.
Nearly everyone was in agreement that the state’s Big 5 oil companies are in possession of lots of information and data that are critical in learning how gas prices are determined. So their attendance at the meeting was critical.
Only problem was the five chairs reserved for the Big 5 — Chevron, Marathon, PBF Energy, Phillips 66 and Valero — were all empty.
So the Energy Commission had no help at all from the five companies that produce 97% of the state’s gasoline.
According to the Sacramento Bee, “Chevron, Marathon, PBF Energy, Phillips 66 and Valero — all declined to participate in the hearing. In letters to the commission, most said speaking publicly about their operations, maintenance and inventory levels would force them to divulge trade secrets. PBF Energy, however, added that “the politicization of this issue by Governor Newsom, heightened by the misleading information he released and commented on related to our (2022 3rd quarter) earnings, precludes us from participating in this hearing.”
Assuming arguendo that Newsom is fibbing whole cloth, or distorting the actual earnings of the Big 5, all the more reason for the companies to have attended the session. It would have provided them a ready-made platform to expose ol’ Gav as a four-flushing con man.
Just think, a golden opportunity squandered.
In a tweet, Newsom called the reasoning by oil companies “pathetic.”
“Oil companies saw a 1700% increase in profits this year — while you paid record prices,” he wrote on Twitter. “Now, these same companies refuse to explain why they are sticking consumers with the bill.”
Needless to say, the Commission did not make any formal policy recommendations. But the matters discussed at the day-long hearing are expected to help inform decisions by legislators who will consider Newsom’s October proposal to tax oil companies when they reap excessive profits and to fund rebates to taxpayers.
A special session to debate the merits of a windfall profits tax, which Newsom called for this fall, will begin on Monday, Dec. 6.
The Big 5 are already planning on funding “citizen initiatives” that would repeal any windfall profits tax legislation.
Likewise they are gearing up for litigation challenging Newsom’s proposed law if it’s approved.
This is one hell of a mess.
As I said recently, we’ll find out soon if our elected representatives are going to protect citizens from price-gouging at gas pumps.
Workers and the ever-shrinking middle class are getting hammered economically at every turn. For most folks, their “discretionary income” does not exist any longer, and it was only meager when it did.
It’s way past time to put a stop to the illegal fixing of the marketplace by these corporate outlaws.
We’ll soon see whom our state legislators stand with — or lay down for.
* * *
Last Stand For Gray Wolves?
Several outlets including Courthouse News and a wildlife association, report that a conservation group asked a federal judge on Tuesday, Nov. 29, to make the federal government comply with the Endangered Species Act (ESA) by creating a nationwide recovery plan for the gray wolf.
I was raised as a hunter (preferred game birds to four-leggeds) and was taught how to deal with predators, but I gave up hunting some time ago after the last of my Springer Spaniels (great bird dogs) passed away. I still deal with predators when necessary, employing both lethal and non-lethal methods as the case requires. Basically, my M.O. is live and let live.
Gray wolves are predators but so is man, and both species need some kind of protection and control to maintain proper balance in our world; or at least that’s what I think.
According to these just released reports I read, before government-sponsored predator killing curbed their numbers to approximately 7,000, a population that now lives almost entirely in northeastern Minnesota, the gray wolf had a population of about 2 million and territory that spanned much of the United States.
The species now exists only at about 1% of its historical numbers, a percentage that the Center for Biological Diversity blames on the absence of a sufficient recovery plan.
“The agency’s refusal to complete a national wolf recovery plan, besides violating the law, neglects both the people who want this majestic species to recover and the wolves who are so important to our country’s biodiversity,” Sophia Ressler, a staff attorney at the Center, said in a statement filed in a lawsuit this past Tuesday.
While Fish and Wildlife Service does have a recovery plan for the gray wolf, it was one developed in 1992 and last updated more than a decade ago in 2012. Ressler called it an “outdated, unambitious and piecemeal approach.”
Under the Endangered Species Act, the Service is required to complete a status review every five years for the gray wolf as an endangered species.
The raison d’etre of bureaucrats are studies, status reviews, recovery plans, and the like, along with millions of dollars expended to accomplish such things. So why no activity to comply with long-established ESA rules and policies on a animal that is inching toward extinction?
The Center also faults the Service’s current plan for focusing intently on Minnesota, without acknowledging actions that could be taken in other areas where wolf populations could thrive. The suit lists the West Coast, southern Rocky Mountains and northeastern United States as examples of other potential habitats.
Despite the gray wolf population’s low numbers, Wildlife Service has routinely attempted to remove protection from the species, most recently in 2020 under the Trump Administration. A federal court ruling in February restored protections, but without the critical recovery plans, for wolves in the lower 48 states outside of the Rocky Mountains.
Also listed as defendants in the suit filed this week, are Biden Administration officials Deb Haaland, the first Native American (Pueblo Tribe and 35th generation New Mexican) to serve as a cabinet secretary, in her role as the secretary of the U.S. Department of the Interior, and Martha Williams, as the secretary of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
Both of these Biden appointees were touted as “progressives” (whatever the hell that corrupted tag means nowadays) and “game changers” who would not be conducting business as usual (whatever the hell that declaration means).
So now we’ll wait and see what happens with the people who are responsible for protecting these gray wolves who are making their last stand.
(Jim Shields is the Mendocino County Observer’s editor and publisher, email@example.com, the long-time district manager of the Laytonville County Water District, and is also chairman of the Laytonville Area Municipal Advisory Council. Listen to his radio program “This and That” every Saturday at 12 noon on KPFN 105.1 FM, also streamed live: http://www.kpfn.org)
TO FREE US from the expectations of others, to give us back to ourselves — there lies the great, the singular power of self-respect. Without it, one eventually discovers the final turn of the screw: one runs away to find oneself, and finds no one at home.
— Joan Didion
TWO CHILDREN DIED, THOUSANDS CAN BE HELPED
by Maureen Dowd
About 10 years ago, Lloyd Carr, the former football coach for the University of Michigan, stopped by my office to bring me a football helmet.
It was maize and blue, and he had written “Go Blue!” on it. I had started as a sports reporter, but I didn’t understand what a legend this slab of a man was. He seemed fun and charming, but I had to call my football-loving sister to learn that Carr was one of the most respected college football coaches of the winningest program in college football history. The tough Tennessee native had joined the Michigan Wolverines in 1980 and led them from 1995 to 2007. Many of the guys in the bureau were awe-struck, crowding onto the couch to talk to him.
By the end of the afternoon, I was so impressed with the future College Football Hall of Famer, now 77, that we agreed to keep in touch. We emailed back and forth, until one day his emails abruptly stopped. “Hey,” I wrote to him. “What’s up? I miss talking to you.” That’s how I found out that this man, so full of verve and life, had gone into a miasma of grief.
His grandson Chad, an angelic-looking blond, had been diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor on Sept. 23, 2014, three days before his fourth birthday. Fourteen months later he was dead, a victim of diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma.
Carr, his son Jason and his daughter-in-law Tammi started the ChadTough Foundation; so far it has financed over $20 million in research to combat D.I.P.G. The cancer is almost always fatal and 150 to 300 children get it annually in the United States alone.
Carr made his old mottos from the football field his mantra in fighting cancer: “You can’t do everything but you can do something” and “Blame no one, expect nothing, do something.”
“My entire life, from the time I was a kid, I hated losing,” Carr said when I called him on Thursday. “As a player and as a coach, anytime we lost, it was a heartbreaking loss for me, in my eyes. I thought I knew what heartbreaking was, but I didn’t. Chad’s experience has taught me. I know now.”
After Chad’s death, Tammi curled in a ball, thinking of all the things Chad loved: orange sunsets and garage sales and his older brothers. But then her son Tommy, who was 7 at the time, came into her room and called out, “Get up and make breakfast!” It was a reminder that she owed it to her two other kids to keep fighting. Tommy is now 15 and his brother C.J. is a high school junior who will be heading off to Notre Dame to play quarterback.
I also met Ciaran Staunton, like Lloyd Carr, before his life was wrecked. He owned two Irish bars, one in Midtown Manhattan and one in Brooklyn. I also knew his wife, Orlaith; his daughter, Kathleen; and his son, Rory, a strapping 5-foot-9, 169-pound 12-year-old.
“He fell in school,” Staunton said, recalling a Tuesday in March 2012. “Cut his arm. They didn’t send him to the nurse.” He was up that night, throwing up. Their pediatrician and doctors in a hospital emergency room said there was nothing seriously wrong. But bacteria had entered his bloodstream from the cut.
“He was starting to turn blue by Friday night. On Sunday night, our beautiful boy died. He was almost blue from head to toe. The Tuesday night before he died, I bought him a pizza and asked what type he wanted. The following Tuesday, I was in a funeral home and they asked me what coffin I wanted.”
Like the Carrs, the Stauntons started a foundation — called End Sepsis, the Legacy of Rory Staunton — to increase awareness of sepsis and improve measures to prevent it.
“We had never heard of the word ‘sepsis’ before Rory died. We didn’t hear it in the hospital,” Staunton said. “We had a hearing in the United States Senate on it. We found out that it was killing a quarter of a million Americans every year. Since Rory died, almost three million Americans have died from sepsis.”
With the work of the foundation and extensive coverage of their case by the late Times columnist Jim Dwyer, New York passed regulations that dictate how doctors should treat the preventable disease. The rules have been credited with helping to save thousands of lives.
“It totally destroyed my life, my wife’s life, my daughter’s life,” Staunton said. “Rory would now be 23. Trauma is the world we live in. It’s the world we’re surrounded by until, fortunately, we die.”
COMMONSENSE FROM SPERM WHALE WHALEN:
Left leaning commenters write an endless stream of profane diatribes against politicians and others with whom they disagree. So do those on the right. This does not amount to “hate speech”. You can't demand inclusion in the public arena and then cry “hate speech” every time someone disagrees with you.
The entire national dialogue could stand to have some cold water poured on it. But, just because one claims to be fighting for “justice” or “equity” does not mean that person is above having their ideas criticized, even in a rude, profane way. That is why the 1st Amendment exists. Better to shine the light of day on such speech and expose it for what it is than to hide behind some claim of freedom from attack due to what you are.”
MEDIA MOB TURNS ON TAIBBI
by Jonathan Turley
There was a time when the disclosure of a back channel for politically motivated censorship would have generated widespread acclaim and called for awards. This is not that time. Just ask Matt Taibbi.
No one is suggesting that the New York Post should receive a Pulitzer Prize for its long fight to prove the truth about the Hunter Biden laptop. Despite an alliance of most of the media and political establishment arrayed against it, the New York Post fought censorship and unrelenting attacks to bring this massive influence peddling operation to light. (Of course, the New York Times and Washington Post can keep Pulitzer Prizes for reporting on debunked Russian collusion claims created and pushed by the Clinton campaign.)
In the case of journalist Matt Taibbi, his analysis of thousands of documents has met with the standard scorched earth campaign from liberal reporters and pundits.…
UKRAINE, SUNDAY, DECEMBER 4TH
The Kremlin's internal polling shows only 25% of Russians favor continuing the war in Ukraine and 55% support peace talks, an independent Russian media outlet says.
Meduza says it obtained access to the survey conducted last month by the Russian Federal Protective Service. The results are markedly different from a July survey that showed 57% of Russians favored the war.
Denis Volkov, director of the independent sociological institute Levada Center in Moscow, said the share of Russians favoring peace talks and rejecting the war began growing rapidly with the September “partial mobilization” draft that added 300,000 soldiers.
“This is sheer reluctance to take part in the war personally,” Volkov told Meduza. “Now the risks are greater, and people want to start the talks.”
The British Defense Ministry said the results of the FPS poll were consistent with one conducted in October, adding: “With Russia unlikely to achieve major battlefield successes in the next several months, maintaining even tacit approval of the war amongst the population is likely to be increasingly difficult for the Kremlin.''
Russian crude has already fallen to near $60 per barrel despite the international benchmark Brent that closed Friday at $85.42.
The office of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said the cap was too high, urging adoption of a $30 cap.
Russia rejects $60 cap:West could be cut off from Russian oil, but has been shrinking purchases for months
Russia calls for ban on oil price caps
A top Russian official called Sunday for a global ban on oil price caps, one day before a $60 per barrel purchase cap on Russian oil announced by the European Union and U.S. goes into effect. Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak said Russia would trim production rather then sell under the cap.
Sexual intercourse began
In nineteen sixty-three
(which was rather late for me) -
Between the end of the Chatterley ban
And the Beatles' first LP.
Up to then there'd only been
A sort of bargaining,
A wrangle for the ring,
A shame that started at sixteen
And spread to everything.
Then all at once the quarrel sank:
Everyone felt the same,
And every life became
A brilliant breaking of the bank,
A quite unlosable game.
So life was never better than
In nineteen sixty-three
(Though just too late for me) -
Between the end of the Chatterley ban
And the Beatles' first LP.
— Philip Larkin
MARK FIDRYCH: CRAZY STUFF
The Lives They Lived, 1954-2009
by Nicholas Dawidoff (NYT, Dec. 22, 2009)
On a late June Monday evening in the summer of 1976, a 21-year-old Detroit Tigers rookie named Mark (The Bird) Fidrych pitched against the Yankees in a nationally televised baseball game. Even 13-year-olds who lived in homes without televisions — like me — found a way to tune in. Fidrych was becoming an American sensation, and everyone wanted to see him.
Briskly and efficiently, Fidrych pitched all nine innings of a 5-1 Tigers victory that finished in less than two hours. On the mound, he frequently spoke to the baseball in his hand. He seemed to be encouraging it. Afterward, the fans of Detroit did the same for him, cheering and cheering until Fidrych returned to the field in tears to acknowledge them. This was one in a summer of what came to be known as “curtain calls,” and that Fidrych should receive them still makes perfect sense. No man ever seemed happier playing baseball, an exuberance that made those who only watched feel that way ourselves.
By season’s end, Fidrych had won 19 games and was voted Rookie of the Year. There are few things more appealing than a baseball rookie; every one offers the thrill of discovery, the potential for a bright, limitless future, the reassurance that things will go on despite what has been lost. All over America that Bicentennial summer, people wore shirts that said “The Bird Is the Word.”
Fidrych threw precise fastballs and sliders that came in banking low and hard across the plate like ospreys over water, but it wasn’t his pitches that won him his nickname. Fidrych was tall, with an eager ruff of light curls spilling around his cap, a substantial beak and merganser feet supporting sandpiper legs, and he had a way of moving around that struck all who saw him as ecstatically avian; he did not, of course, fly, but he didn’t quite walk either. He bounded and he flapped.
He also groomed the pitching mound with his bare hands, filling in the hollows and divots made by the opposing pitcher’s spikes and smoothing the earth before he stood to throw. “Why go into someone else’s hole?” he reasoned. He talked volubly to baseballs about “focus” and “flow.” After routine outs, he roostered around the mound in a brief, delighted strut. Fine defensive plays sent him racing across the diamond to congratulate the fielder. Whenever an opposing batter touched him for a hit, Fidrych blamed the ball and often requested a fresh one. He led the league that year in earned run average — and in most hands shaken after victories. Even opponents were fascinated, and while some of them tried his methods for themselves, inevitably they reported that balls — and bats — did not listen to them.
This was the very beginning of free agency in baseball, when money and commerce were infiltrating the daily sports section. Fidrych, with his $16,500 salary and joyful emanations, seemed to represent some bygone era — that mythical, unspoiled America. In March, at his first big-league spring-training camp, he exulted over all the free bubble gum. When he made the Tigers’ roster, he called his parents collect, asked after the dogs and then got to his good news. So frayed — and so denim and flannel — was his wardrobe that the Tigers sent him to a haberdasher with instructions to buy dress clothes for team travel. The three double-knit leisure suits he selected hung unused in an apartment where Fidrych said the dishes never piled up because he only owned four of them. “I don’t want to get impressed with myself,” he emphasized after he beat the Yankees.
He never had the time. A knee injury the following spring referred more burdens to a right arm that had thrown an astonishing 24 complete games the previous season. We knew less then about how to protect young shoulders and, if need be, how to repair them. After a couple of failed comebacks, Fidrych vanished from baseball.
He went home to a farm in Massachusetts and hauled gravel and graded roads for his friend Joseph Amorello’s construction company. Amorello says that, far from regrets, there was “always a smile” on Fidrych’s face. “The rain, the snow — he was the first one on the job every day.” Life just seemed to satisfy him. While Amorello reports that “he didn’t talk to his shovel,” Fidrych remained a guy in a flannel shirt who was happy “chasing dogs and kids around the living room.”
We had sensed how well he understood childhood. I was not the only self-conscious adolescent who on a sad day decided to tell a baseball about it. Seeing an adult acting like a boy also made the promise of growing up seem attractive. That a man could behave strangely and be applauded led you to think that eccentricity might be a virtue.
Any great athlete’s career represents a life span in miniature, an early lesson in mortality. Fidrych’s allotted days were as evanescent as his baseball career. Last spring, at 54, while he was repairing his dump truck, his shirt got caught in the drive shaft and he suffocated. There is something particularly brutal about the pitcher who publicly played with dirt being killed by the vehicle he used to carry it, as there is about a man who died young twice.