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A COLD UPPER TROUGH will continue to bring showers with light snow accumulations above 2000 feet today through this evening. Drier weather with cold winter temperatures are forecast for Monday through Tuesday. (NWS)
MOST RECENT DOWNPOUR (since Saturday morning): Yorkville 2.32" - Boonville 2.12"
HWY. 128 REOPENED TO TRAFFIC AFTER SANDBAR BREACH [Saturday morning]
Highway 128 is now open to traffic, even though the state highway info website shows it still closed.
I just got home from verifying that the sandbar has a wide channel through it, and he Navarro River is draining to the sea!
CalTrans has opened the gate and removed barriers on 128 at the Navarro Bridge.
The Navarro River sandbar breached early this morning, ending the flooding of Hwy. 128. With the sandbar now opened, there is no danger of flooding on 128 in the near future.
The state highway website, which often lags behind reality, lists 128 still closed https://roads.dot.ca.gov/
Look at the Navarro gage chart and see the sharp drop in level beginning about 6:15 AM. https://water.weather.gov/ahps2/hydrograph.php?wfo=eka&gage=nvrc1
I saw a few vehicles at Navarro State Beach, so the access road is now passable and the beach parking area has drained off.
Heavy rain and winds overnight brought branches and foliage down on Albion-Littleriver Rd. and parts of Hwy. 1, so be alert for hazards on county roads.
I'm not an expert. Just sharing my observations of the Navarro sandbar over the past several years. Hope you find it helpful.
DIANE KUSTER SHUGART, 81, passed away on December 4, 2022.
She was born on April 20, 1941 in St. Helena, California. Diane grew up in Calistoga. While in college at UC Davis, she met Robert Shugart and they were later married. In 1968, Bob and Diane moved to Ukiah with their infant daughter, Kendall. A year later, their son Jason was born. Their family was briefly rounded out by a foster daughter, Vikki. Diane was always restless to do more, so she and Bob embarked on a grand project to build their own house. Using bits and pieces from their travels, Diane and Bob were able to build a great house in the woods and a small farm with animals of all kinds. Every nail, wire, and window was put in place with their two hands. After raising her children and seeing them off to college, she longed for adventure and a new way to share her myriad skills. Diane and Bob joined the Peace Corps in Honduras. It fulfilled her needs of helping people and seeing the world. After several years away, Diane returned to Ukiah and helped the community in any way possible, like reading at schools or working at local volunteer organizations and continuing her work in local politics. She also built two more houses, just because she could. She lived an amazing life of travel, building, and caring for the people around her. Diane is predeceased by two of her brothers and her husband, Bob. She is survived by her two children, Kendall and Jason, their spouses Brendan and Bethany, her grandchildren Claire and Henry, and her youngest brother, Jim.
Arrangements are under the direction of the Eversole Mortuary.
IT WAS A REAL STORM: A mega-storm hit Northern California on Saturday bringing with it 50 mph winds and rainfall as well as 11 inches of snow in some areas. Officials in Sacramento said that over 30,000 were without power as pictures of downed powerlines across the area spread online. In Sacramento County, at least five cars were trapped between powerlines on Saturday afternoon. A National Weather Service bulletin read: “High winds, heavy snow and heavy precipitation will reach the Pacific Northwest today, then impact California.” While in the Sierra Nevada, up to five feet of snow, three inches per hour, was expected. The snowfall began Friday night. A flood advisory is in place for Placer, Colusa, Sacramento, San Joaquin, Solano, Sutter, Yolo and Yuba Counties. That advisory reminds motorists never to drive through floodwaters. The bad conditions are expected to last until Monday.
ARMED ROBBERY IN BOONVILLE
On Friday, December 9, 2022 at 2:40 PM Mendocino County Sheriff's Deputies were dispatched to a reported arm robbery at the Mi Esperanza Market located at 14289 Highway 128 in Boonville, California.
It was reported a person, possibly an adult male, had entered the business with a handgun and committed an armed robbery of a large amount of money, estimated to be $20,000.00, before leaving the business on foot.
Personnel from the California Highway Patrol and California State Parks arrived approximately 13-minutes after the call had been dispatched to the Deputies. They began a canvas of the immediate area for the suspect which ended unsuccessfully.
Deputies, along with Sheriff's Detectives, arrived and began investigations into the circumstances of the armed robbery.
Investigators learned the suspect had entered the business at approximately 2:35 PM fully clothed to include a facial covering while an adult female was working alone inside the business.
The suspect was openly holding a handgun downwards near their waistline. The suspect made a hand gesture for the adult female to be silent as he walked behind the counter. The suspect accessed a cash drawer and took a large amount of money thereafter leaving the business on foot.
Sheriff's Office investigators are actively investigating this armed robbery and have viable leads at this time. To protect the integrity of those leads, no further information is available for public release at this time.
Anyone who believes they have useful information for investigators associated with this incident are asked to contact the Sheriff's Office Tipline by calling 707-234-2100 or the WeTip Anonymous Crime Reporting Hotline by calling 800-782-7463.
FORT BRAGG FOOD BANK
NEW UPS STORE IN MENDO
New shipping in Mendocino
Great new UPS shipping place opened where Zo Copy Shop used to be in Mendocino. Has saved me several trips to Ft. Bragg, and it's locally owned.
Ronnie James <firstname.lastname@example.org>
WILLITS MAN ARRESTED FOR ASSAULT CONTESTS THE ALLEGATIONS — Law Enforcement Investigation Continues
Troubling reports emerged on Monday, December 5, 2022, that a suspected attacker was on the run after striking a Willits man with a baseball bat causing serious injuries to his head and face. The following day, 33-year-old Christopher Roy Krch was arrested as the suspected attacker. However, since then, a video has been released showing a different set of events may have occurred.…
UKIAH SHELTER PET OF THE WEEK
There are lots of benefits to adopting an older dog, and Rocket is a perfect example! This guy is mellow, but don’t get us wrong. Rocket still enjoys daily walks, and would LOVE a little area outside, where he could loll about, soak up the sun, sniff the grass, trees, birds, flowers! This handsome and mature gent is easy-going and would make a great addition to any family. Rocket is 6 years young and 92 pounds. He’s neutered and ready to head right to your home for the holidays.
For more about Rocket, head to mendoanimalshelter.com
If you can’t adopt, consider fostering. Our website has information about our Foster Program, on-going Dog And Cat Adoption Events, and other programs, services and updates. Visit us on Facebook at: facebook.com/mendoanimalshelter/
For information about adoptions, please call 707-467-6453.
AV UNIFIED UPDATE
Dear Anderson Valley Community,
Happy holidays to you! Many thanks to the many families that participated in the food drive at the Junior/Senior High school. We are so grateful for your support for our families in need at Anderson Valley. We also LOVE THE PARENT/GUARDIAN support for the celebrations of student of the month at the elementary school. We appreciate the collaboration!
This Thursday, join me and Deleh for a coffee on Thursday at the high school at 8:00. This is a great way to visit and exchange ideas.
So many great things going on. I am so very grateful to the leadership of Cymbre Thomas-Swett at the elementary school. Definite transformation with the amazing energy and collaboration of the elementary staff is on-going. I appreciate Stefani Ewings’ work at the high school to support coverage and discipline and the curriculum pilots. The teachers worked so hard to create a quality WASC report. All good STUFF.
But, we do have a new challenge with all of this rain and the septic leach lines at the Junior/Senior High School. We ordered porta-potties to get us through this week. The contractor is working on a solution.
At the Junior/Senior High School, if you want to schedule a meeting relating to Spring classes, please reach out to Mr. Howard at email@example.com to schedule a time to visit.
Summer school planning is well underway. More news to follow.
The waiver for the skatepark, which is step one, was filed last week!
Have a wonderful week, and know we greatly appreciate all of your collaboration for your students.
Anderson Valley Unified School District
ANDERSON VALLEY VILLAGE List of Events
POINT ARENA CITY COUNCIL MEETING, Tuesday, December 13, 2022
NOT MANY PEOPLE REMEMBER that back in 2018 CEO Carmel Angelo and her staff, including current CEO Darcie Antle, the Senior Budget Officer, promised to do some real budget management and reporting.
From the CEO Report, August 21, 2018
Although the Board of Supervisors passed a balanced budget for fiscal year (FY) 2018-19 on June 19, 2018, the budget team is ramping up their efforts to improve the budget process for FY 2019-20 and ensuring good financial stewardship in FY 2018-19 by implementing the following departmental budget administration and management practices and reporting methodologies.
Budget Management trainings will be held once per month for department budget staff.
Topics will include; Budget Management 101, Budget Metrics, Monitoring 1000 [General Fund] series, Budget development practices, Quarterly Reporting, just to name a few.
A Metric Dashboard has being created for each department to report on their progress each month to the Budget Team including such metrics as:
• Adopted Budget to Actuals (detail vs summary).
• Vacancy rate with department projected savings to the end of fiscal year.
• Three efficiencies from each department/division (this allows for sharing of best practices).
• Grant funding opportunities explored/awarded during the month.
• Other metrics will be added during the year such as Contract management and administration reporting.
All required budget forms will be reviewed for necessity, efficiency and duplication.
Budget update reports will be presented to the Board of Supervisors every other month in addition to the regular quarterly and mid-year reports.”
* * *
Guess how much of this was “implemented.” (Spolier Alert: None.)
The point of this look back is to note that CEO Angelo and Assistant CEO Antle knew full well what proper budget management was and is. They did not pretend the Auditor was responsible for it, in fact the Auditor wasn’t mentioned. They also properly noted that the best way to squeeze the budget if it needs it is to require the departments to come up with budget cutting ideas, not to turn the question over to Supervisors who are ignorant of County operations.
Of course, none of this stuff came to pass because Angelo soon realized that to do it would 1) create questions that she didn’t want to be bothered with, and 2) cause her staff to do some real work for a change.
No Supervisors followed up on these promises or asked what happened. As a result, some five years later with no budget management or reporting predictably, the Board and the public and the employees find themselves disengaged from the budget and ignorant of the general operations of the County’s departments, producing the administrative malaise that the Supervisors and the CEO’s office now find themselves in. Instead, they thrash hopelessly in the dark, discussing impractical and entirely theoretical budget options that are not grounded in managerial knowledge.
— Mark Scaramella
OPUS CHAMBER MUSIC Concerts presents The Paris Quartet on Sunday, 3 PM, Preston Hall, Mendocino.
Paris, in the 1730s, was the place to be. The music of Bach, Couperin, Telemann and Rameau was heard in all the best salons. These composers knew each other’s music well but forged their own inimitable styles. The Paris Quartet, (harpsichord, viola da gamba, flute, and violin), based in the San Francisco Bay Area, has played the chamber music of Bach, Rameau, Telemann, Couperin, and occasionally other great composers since 2008. They love this stuff.
Tickets; brownpapertickets.com/event/5592525, Out of this World in Mendocino and Harvest Market in Fort Bragg.
More information at http://symphonyoftheredwoods.org
THE DOCTOR, THE DEALER, THE COP, THE ADDICTS AND THE DEAD: A Tour Through Humboldt’s Fentanyl Epidemic
The day she died, Paula Moon-Sylvia planned to make cheeseburgers for herself and her nephew at her Weitchpec home. Her nephew took a nap and went looking for his aunt when he woke up. He found her body, dead from a fentanyl overdose with methamphetamine toxicity on Nov. 8, 2021.…
MARI RODIN APPOINTED UKIAH MAYOR
by Justine Frederiksen
Despite Vice-Mayor Josefina Dueñas being next in line to become mayor, the Ukiah City Council Wednesday voted unanimously to appoint City Council member Mari Rodin to the seat instead.
The motion to appoint Rodin as mayor and have Dueñas remain as vice-mayor was made by Council member Juan Orozco, who served as mayor last year. After his motion, which cannot be heard on the videotaped recording of the meeting, a surprised Dueñas asked him why he did not support her becoming mayor.
“I believe the role of mayor should be (filled by) someone that is ready to be a mayor, that is ready to be a leader, that is reliable, and competent,” said Orozco. “I think this role of being a mayor is not just a simple thing to do. I’m not saying we don’t ever want you to be mayor, I think we need one more year to see how you develop and grow into leading this institution; it’s a very serious institution.”
“I would support having Dueñas continue to serve as vice-mayor until she is fully prepared to serve in the position,” said Rodin, explaining that serving on the City Council “requires consistent, reliable and timely attendance at council meetings and ad-hoc committee meetings, and a clear understanding of council member roles and responsibilities, and at least a basic understanding of council processes and procedures, including the Brown Act and Robert’s Rules of Order.
“Also, a thorough understanding of the wide variety of issues that come before the city council, which means, learning about the background and context that we discuss at the city council, which is especially critical for the mayor, because the mayor may need to clarify issues for other council members, or for the public, and may need to moderate conversations between council members, and be able to explain votes,” Rodin continued. “And I feel that, if vice-mayor Dueñas demonstrates these capacities in the coming year, it would be my honor to nominate her for mayor.”
When Orozco pointed to Dueñas having difficulty running a meeting when filling in for former Mayor Jim Brown and Dueñas asked for more details, he said she “needed the support of others on the council to run the meeting, and I don’t feel that the mayor should be asking how to run the meeting, it stalls the meeting as we go along. I’m hoping that with another year of these meetings, you would learn the routine of running the meetings.”
When reached for comment Thursday, Orozco said that he and Rodin had discussed his motion before the meeting, and he admitted that he also did not want to nominate Dueñas to continue as vice-mayor, but had agreed to make that part of his motion at Rodin’s urging.
“I think I saved the day, for the council, for the staff, and others,” Orozco said of his motion to not have Dueñas serve as mayor. “It sounds ugly to say, but that’s a reality. I’m not happy with her, and others are not happy with her.”
When asked for more details, Orozco described Dueñas as being late to meetings, lacking knowledge and confidence, and that her inability to speak sign language caused communication difficulties.
When asked if any council members had spoken with Dueñas directly regarding these issues and explained that they might prevent her from becoming mayor if not addressed, Orozco said he was not aware of anyone doing that.
Rodin did not return a phone call seeking comment. Dueñas has not yet responded to attempts to contact her.
During the meeting when Dueñas suggested that newly seated City Council member Susan Sher become mayor instead, Sher said she appreciated the sentiment, but did not feel ready for the role.
“I support the views of (Council members) Rodin and Orozco, and from my perspective, I don’t see any discriminatory intent whatsoever,” Sher said.
“I certainly am sympathetic to possible hard feelings, but I agree that another year would be ideal for more training and more demonstration of that you are, in fact, ready to take the reins. I value and honor you, but I think we need to hit the pause button for another year.”
A member of the audience then addressed the City Council, saying that “Rodin and Orozco used what I would consider to be vague language about why Dueñas is not qualified to be the mayor. I would want, as a member of the public, to hear specifically why she is not qualified. I would also like to hear specifically what the qualifications of mayor are that Dueñas does not possess.”
He went on to say that while he doesn’t “necessarily think that there is discriminatory intent, I think that discrimination oftentimes is very unintentional, and that it’s very important for us as members of a community, to look inside ourselves, at our biases, that are not necessarily conscious or intentional, and consider the ways in which we are discriminating against people in ways that we do not intend to do.”
The City Council then voted unanimously to have Rodin serve as mayor and Dueñas to continue as vice-mayor, as Duenas said, “I will accept this” before voting “yes.”
The resolution presented as part of the agenda packet for the City Council to consider has Dueñas being appointed mayor, but before presenting the item, City Clerk Kristine Lawler said that the “council has the ultimate discretion to elect, or not elect, any council member for any office at this time.”
The appointment of mayor was made after an announcement by Lawler of the official results of the Nov. 8, 2022, Ukiah City Council Election. With 4,065 ballots cast by city of Ukiah residents, challenger Susan Sher received 2,210 votes, incumbent Juan Orozco received 2,087, incumbent Mari Rodin received 2,068, incumbent Jim Brown received 1,909, and challenger Thao Phi received 1,500.
The top three vote-getters of Sher, Orozco and Rodin received seats on the council, thereby relieving Brown of his, and creating quite possibly the first Ukiah City Council to have a majority of women rather than men.
Brown began the meeting as mayor, then stepped down by saying, “This is way easier than the presidential election, isn’t it? Happy holidays, I hope everybody is kind to everybody, take care.”
A READER WRITES: “Sorry, Mr. Editor, but a lot of guys say they did this, did that in high school. You told the reporter you pitched a 13-inning shoutout? I don't quite believe you.”
OH YE OF LITTLE FAITH. I did, and here's the proof. I also think I was the first high school kid to hit a homerun out of that ballpark, Albert Park, San Rafael, but I don't have confirmation of that singular and perhaps imaginary feat. I was mediocre at the college level, but by then I'd stopped working on my game and was writing bad poetry hoping to become a beatnik. Then, suddenly, everyone was in on that beatnik act as the hippies jumped off and I went back to prose, prosaic prose, but I've usually been able to get my point across.
Tam, Catholic High Victorious In Overtime Thrillers
by Dick Powers, San Rafael Daily Independent Journal (Summer, 1957)
A big right-hander and a pint-size lefty gave Marin County baseball fans some excitement to talk about last night in the opening of the fourth annual Marin County baseball tournament at Albert Field in San Rafael. Both pitchers had to work for their victories as the regulation games went over the seven inning limit.
Strong-armed Bruce Anderson, ace right-hander of the Tamalpais High School mound staff, opened the tournament in fine fashion, eking out a thrilling 13-inning 1-0 victory over a fighting San Rafael baseball squad.
After Anderson had toiled his time on the mound, Marin Catholic’s left-handed curveballer Bob DeRosa limited the Drake Pirates to 5 scattered hits, while his teammates brought home a 3-2 triumph for the Catholic chucker in the eighth inning.
In tonight's opener, set for 6:15, the Drake Pirates meet the San Rafael Bulldogs with Tamilpais and Marin Catholic tangling at 8:30, weather permitting.
In the opener both Anderson and San Rafael's Al Watkins pitched one of their finest games of their careers, and probably one of the top Marin County baseball games in a few seasons. It was the longest game in Marin County history, and the longest Marin County prep game since the Santa Rosa-Tam game in 1955.
Both chuckers worked their way into tough spots throughout the game, but neither would yield a tally until the Mill Valley club pushed its victorious run across in the 13th.
Tam’s winning run scurried across in the last half of the 13th when centerfielder Tim Ferrell lead the inning off with a single in centerfield. Bill Ahern sacrificed him to the second sack and Don Johnson followed with his third single of the night, this time to left center, bringing Ferrell over the dish with the triumphant tally.
In the nightcap, John Boccabella, the Marin Catholic big sticker, gave his mates the opening lead of 1-0 as he brought in DeRosa with the opening run.
Drake came back to take the lead in the third frame as with one out Dave Williams doubled Jim Barbeau around to third base. Brian Cox’s sacrifice hit brought Barbeau in to tie up the game, and Bill Gallagher's following double gave the Pirates the lead, 2-1.
Marin Catholic again came back in the sixth inning when Cox brought Barbeau in with the tying run. Marin's Paul White led off with a free pass advancing to second on a sacrifice hit by Ray Little. Art Quinn struck on a third strike pitch and Ron Blum brought White across with a single.
The winning run scored in the eighth as with one out Blum again singled, going around to third on a subsequent single by Dave Ferriss. A throw from the outfield got away from catcher Ed DeMaestri and Blum kept coming around, going over for the winning score.
Both winning pitchers of the night sent 13 batters back to the bench on strikeouts while DeRosa walked four and Anderson five. In 13 innings Anderson gave up eight scattered hits while in eight frames DeRosa allowed only five. Pitcher Anderson went one for five at the plate and made two solo put outs in the field.
A POEM ABOUT BASEBALLS
by Denis Johnson
for years the scenes bustled
through him as he dreamed he was
alive. then he felt real, and slammed
awake in the wet sheets screaming
too fast, everything moves
too fast, and the edges of things
are gone. four blocks away
a baseball was a dot against
the sky, and he thought, my
glove is too big, I will
drop the ball and it will be
a home run. the snow falls
too fast from the clouds,
and night is dropped and
snatched back like a huge
joke. is that the ball, or is
it just a bird, and the ball is
somewhere else, and I will
miss it? and the edges are gone, my
hands melt into the walls, my
hands do not end where the wall
begins. should I move
forward, or back, or will the ball
come right to me? I know I will
miss, because I always miss when it
takes so long. the wall has no
surface, no edge, the wall
fades into the air and the air is
my hand, and I am the wall. my
arm is the syringe and thus I
become the nurse, I am you,
nurse. if he gets
around the bases before the
ball comes down, is it a home
run, even if I catch it? if we could
slow down, and stop, we
would be one fused mass careening
at too great a speed through
the emptiness. if I catch
the ball, our side will
be up, and I will have to bat,
and I might strike out.
CATCH OF THE DAY, Saturday, December 10, 2022
MIGUEL AVALOS-LOPEZ, Fort Bragg. Domestic battery, criminal threats, resisting.
SONO CARRIGG, Ukiah. Vandalism, parole violation. (Frequent flyer.)
JERRY DEGURSE, Willits. Suspended license, probation revocation.
NESTOR ESCARENO-FLORES, Covelo. Vandalism, controlled substance, paraphernalia, probation revocation.
LON HUNOLT, Willits. Felon-addict with firearm.
CHESHIRE MAIAVA, Fort Bragg. Petty theft, possession of device to tamper with vending machine, burglary tools, ammo possession by prohibited person.
ROBERTO MATA, Ukiah. Domestic battery, unauthorized entry of dwelling without owner consent, probation revocation.
ANGEL MILLER, Ukiah. Parole violation.
ALFONSO MOLINAMELLA, Redwood Valley. DUI.
PETER ROSE JR., Point Arena. Assault with deadly weapon other than firearm, criminal threats.
DANIEL ROSSITOR, Mendocino. DUI.
JOHNATHAN SPEARS, Willits. DUI, misdemeanor hit&run with property damage.
HEIDI THOMPSON, Redding/Ukiah. DUI.
MAYA WINEBRENNER, Redwood Valley. Failure to appear, probation revocation.
ON LINE COMMENT OF THE DAY
I just finished reading a novel titled Commonwealth by Ann Patchett (winner of all kinds of awards) and it has made me realize that I have lived a very boring life and am a very boring person.
UKRAINE COULD USE IT
As we shop this holiday season, how about we cut back a buck here, $10 there, then send the savings to Ukraine? There may be people on our gift lists who really don’t need much of anything, and surely there are survivors and refugees of Russia’s savagery who need everything. Any number of humanitarian agencies are struggling to assist beleaguered and suffering Ukrainian children, seniors and others who huddle amid the bombardment or the raw realities of displacement.
I chose UNICEF. No wrapping or bows required.
WELCOME TO AMERICA
Man Arrested On Suspicion Of Assaulting Tourist Couple Outside Petaluma Hotel
by Alana Minkler
A man was arrested Thursday morning on multiple charges after assaulting a tourist couple and trapping them for almost two hours in their car outside a Petaluma hotel, police said.
At about 10:14 a.m. Thursday, an employee at Best Western called 911 after they found two people bleeding in the backseat of a Dodge Charger parked outside the hotel on South McDowell Boulevard, Petaluma police Sgt. Tim Lyons said.
When officers arrived, three people ran toward them, two of whom were bleeding profusely from their faces and the other, Kyler Udell, 27, of Fairfield, who was unharmed, police said.
The two who were bleeding was a couple visiting from Sweden and were at the hotel to pick up a friend, Lyons said.
The incident began after Udell parked his pickup truck behind the couple’s car around 7:50 a.m. and blocked them in, Lyons said. He then approached them and accused the pair of coming out of his hotel room.
Udell then entered the couple’s car and struck each of them, knocking one of them unconscious and breaking the other’s nose, police said.
Police believed Udell may have then held the couple in their vehicle for almost two hours until police arrived, taking their cellphones and demanding they be unlocked.
The couple were transported to Petaluma Valley Hospital for treatment.
Lyons said Udell appeared to be delusional and possibly under the influence of drugs.
Udell had claimed an unknown woman was drugging him, according to police.
“But these people did not know him, had never seen him before and have no connection at all,” Lyons said of the couple.
The friend who the couple was to pick up at the hotel was eventually located and verified their version of the events, police said.
Udell was arrested on suspicion of robbery, false imprisonment and battery and booked into the Sonoma County jail. His bail was set at $250,000.
"And in her living cloak she swayed to him, the murmur swelling seductive and caressing in his innermost brain, promising, compelling, sweeter than sweet. His flesh crawled to the horror of her, but it was a perverted revulsion that clasped what it loathed. His arms slid round her under the sliding cloak, wet, wet and warm and hideously alive, and the sweet velvet body was clinging to his, her arms locked about his neck, and with a whisper and a rush the unspeakable horror closed about them both..."
Here's the recording of last night's (2022-12-09) Memo of the Air: Good Night Radio show on 107.7fm KNYO-LP Fort Bragg (CA): https://tinyurl.com/KNYO-MOTA-0518
Thanks to Hank Sims for tech help, as well as for his fine news site: https://LostCoastOutpost.com
Thanks to the Anderson Valley Advertiser, which always provides about an hour of each of my Friday night shows' most locally relevant material without asking for anything in return, going back decades. Further, thank tiny bravely struggling KNYO itself (KNYO.org). Find the hidden donation heart there and help the station out with a substantial gift from your own hidden heart, maybe. Or try the new fire-engine-red vibrantly healthy KNYO hot sauce, for vim and pep. ("It's toasted!")
New stories by David Herstle Jones, Paul Modic, a chapter each from books by Kent Wallace and Clifford Allan Sanders, poetry by Notty Bumbo and other poems old and new, science and art and jokes and dreams, health advice, some perspective on events of the small and big world. And all rounds to a close with the gripping and creepy and wonderful 1933 story /Shambleau/, read aloud by its author, C.L. Moore (1911-1987). She was 22 when she wrote it; it was her first sale, like /Black Destroyer/ was A.E. Van Vogt's first sale. So many of the giants in the old days seemed to spring full-blown from the brow of Zeus without any preamble. Mary Shelley, for example. John Kennedy Toole, William Kotzwinkle... Maybe it's the internet that changed that. Now they'd have made a thousand skateboarding or unboxing videos and had messy public breakups and so on before they're even in their teens. The modern equivalent of /Frankenstein (or) The Modern Prometheus/ is a nine-year-old girl shredding a guitar, or a boy balancing standing on his hands on two wine bottles or reaming a racist a new one in a grocery store checkout line... Ah, no, dang it– I see now that I forgot /again/ to include Ezekiel Krahlin's story in the show. Zeke, that was not on purpose. I'll do it next week. I'm marking it in the show file right now.
Besides all that, at https://MemoOfTheAir.wordpress.com you'll find a fresh batch of dozens of links to not necessarily radio-useful but nonetheless worthwhile items I set aside for you while gathering the show together. Such as:
Sign up and try this. It's the first project of this kind that has impressed and delighted me to this level since a DOS nonsense-poetry-generating program I bought for $15 and ran on an IBM XT in the 1980s. This one is made to give advice, and it comes with many self-deprecatory warnings. Prompt it with a story idea and see what happens. The old Jews have a word for the reaction you are sure to have; that word is, fittingly in the case of a story, /plotz/ (the good kind, from happiness and excitement). https://chat.openai.com/chat
Cosplay bully/cowards in military body armor, with their large-magazine metal overcompensation penises on display, to oppose people playing dress-up in a style other than theirs, that they think is a danger to kids because it might make them think it's okay to dress up funny too. https://twitter.com/MrJonCryer/status/1599276094368403457
And real honking bluesmasters. (In the /O.C. and Stiggs/ issue of /National Lampoon/, O.C. played harmonica and Stiggs called him a honking bluesmaster. That's where that term comes from.) https://nagonthelake.blogspot.com/2022/12/the-blues-masters.html
Marco McClean, firstname.lastname@example.org https://MemoOfTheAir.wordpress.com
JULIA BUTTERFLY HILL:
Someone reminded me, today marks twenty five years that i climbed up Luna thinking it was going to be two weeks to a month i would be up there... it turned into two years and eight days.
Twenty five years ago today i stood at the base of that over one thousand year old ancient redwood tree, wet, shivering, cold, with a heart full of love and longing to help and make a difference. The air rich with pungent earthy, slightly sweet smell that the redwood forests have.
Pulling the climbing harness on up and over my damp and muddy rain pants. Paying close attention to remember the three steps necessary in securing the harness. Three crucial steps that literally make the difference between life and death when i am dangling eighty feet off the ground on a rope.
i don't now remember clearly all the thoughts racing through my head that morning. They were mixed in with the damp and cold fog that was still clinging to the trees, the hillside, and me.
What i do remember was this fierce determination that i was absolutely meant to be there to help in whatever way i could. It was beyond my comprehension that we as a human family were causing such rampant, horrifying, and heart breaking destruction in an area and to trees so profoundly beautiful and breathtaking.
i began to climb, not knowing what was coming my way. Thankfully or i never would have done it. i would not have believed myself capable of it all. i focused on the patterns of the bark of the tree, now known to the world as Luna. It was like watching the patterns and designs in the clouds in the sky. So many shapes and patterns. More than once, grabbing onto the thick, soft bark and pulling myself up to the trunk and putting my face as close in as i could to breathe deeply and feel myself merging with Luna and feel my energy go all the way down to her roots to help me feel more grounded and not so afraid.
Until i made it to the top of the rope where i had to unhook from the rope, and then use what are called "lobster claws" to climb the last 30 feet to the platform. These are flat webbing rope lines that are connected to metal locks and to the harness that are wrapped around a branch and locked off as i climbed so that in case i accidentally fell, i would fall three feet instead of over one hundred feet. Somehow even though i "knew" all of this would technically keep me safe, my nervous system did not believe it, did not care, and was having its own freak out over and over again off and on the entire way up. People ask me, "Weren't you afraid of heights?!?" i always reply, "i never in my life was until i was about seventy five feet off the ground and made the mistake of looking down!" After that i realized why they tell us over and over again... "Don't. Look. Down!"
i eventually made it to the platform at the top, one hundred and eighty feet up. That is eighteen stories up in a building for those of you who might need that to help imagine the height. The view was both breathtaking and heartbreaking all at the same time.
i could see for miles in every direction, so i could see both old growth and ancient forests... the lush emerald green with fog filtering through. And i could see the clear cuts. Burnt, desecrated swaths that look like bombs had been dropped in the middle of the forests.
i was viscerally reminded of all of the reasons why i had just gone through everything i had gone through to get to the top of that amazing ancient elder tree Luna.
It has been twenty five years since that day. Nine thousand, one hundred and twenty five days. Two hundred and nineteen thousand hours. Thirteen million, one hundred and fourty thousand minutes. Seven hundred and eighty eight million, four hundred thousand seconds. A lot has happened in all of that time... for all of us.
We think of life often in these BIG moments.
But life is also what is happening in all these little moments that we are so busy rushing on by. That second. That second that just happened. That was life. Right there. Right there. Life.
As most of you know, i have had a really hard time with living since 2014. Especially since 2018. That is a hell of a lot of seconds of my life that have gone by that i won't get back to do a do over. i have done my best to be of service and to make a difference even if it is just being present with people in all of that time. A lot of that time has been filled with a seemingly never ending well of grief and depression.
i am the girl who lived in a tree for 738 days. And i am the girl who some days can barely get out of bed and prays to whatever powers that exist that i will die so that i don't have to feel responsible to keep living anymore.
Either way and no matter what, life is still precious. Don't you dare waste it. That second. That one right there. That was life. That breathe you just took. That one right there. That one we both just took. That was pure magic.
We come into this life on an inhale. We leave this life on an exhale. What we choose to do with the gift of the breath of our life in between is up to us.
Through the good, the bad, and the indifferent. The ups and downs and in-betweens. Through the struggles and triumphs, the love and the heart break. At some point, for all of us, the final exhale will come... what do YOU want YOUR legacy to be??
With love and encouragement,
LINK TO ‘THE TWITTER FILES, PART 3’
Plus, a few comments on what's actually in our latest ‘nothingburger’
by Matt Taibbi
I’ve just published the “Twitter Files, Part 3” thread from Friday night here on TK. Because it exceeds size limits, I couldn’t email it to subscribers, but the document does live on the site now. Click here to access the material.
Remember that the next tranche of “Twitter Files” material is coming out soon at @ShellenbergerMD, and another one tomorrow is dropping @BariWeiss. Please check out their contributions.
In the meantime, I wanted to draw up a quick summary of the main revelations in these documents. I keep seeing colleagues talking about how it’s a “nothingburger” or “just shows a bunch of normal people doing the best they can,” which I guess is an opinion one could have. I obviously disagree. There’s a lot in this tranche, but the key takeaways, as I see them.
FBI/DHS/DNI coordination. We entered this project conscious of reports that federal law enforcement agencies might be in contact with platforms like Twitter about content moderation. After not seeing it in the first batch, the Slack entries in “Part 3” contain multiple, clear displays of cooperation between Twitter and federal law enforcement and/or intelligence, including:
a) Senior executives like Trust and Security chief Yoel Roth not only met regularly with the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security, but on at least one occasion liaised with the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI). This was not known previously.
b) Twitter executives didn’t just meet with agencies like the FBI, and didn’t just get general guidance about trends or warnings. We now have concrete examples of the FBI sending over reports about individual tweets, after which Twitter staff apply warning labels and other actions. This is direct evidence that federal law enforcement is in the business of identifying speech for regulation. How anyone can see that as a non-story is difficult for me to understand.
c) Continuing the theme of learning more about how Twitter works with its “trusted partners” in federal law enforcement, one of the most interesting exchanges was one of the least-noticed. In this Slack, Roth asks Twitter employees if they have a “debunk moment” about “the SCYTL/Smartmantic” vote counting conspiracies. He then says contacts at the DHS told him that these tales were an amalgam of “about 47 conspiracy theories.” He regrets DHS did not make this comment publicly.
This exchange both speaks in Twitter’s favor and serves as further proof of government meddling. The exchange seems to suggest Roth needs something he can hang his hat on to formally bounce a tweet, like a ruling from Politifact or an NPR article (the level of evidence they use to censor tweets reminds me of magazine fact-checking, and not in a good way). We seem to have seen multiple methods: either an agency like the FBI sends over evidence against this or that tweet, or it simply makes an ask informally, after which someone like Roth goes looking for a real-world excuse to ban. Again, it speaks in Twitter’s favor that they even had that much of a process, but it’s clear again that federal agencies are intensely involved with regulating speech at the most micro level.
ELECTION INTERFERENCE? When @BariWeiss proved once and for all that Twitter does indeed engage in shadow-banning, or what they call “visibility filtering,” it was a significant step forward in our understanding of how internet platforms affect our perception of reality. In this batch of Slacks it’s unmistakeable that Donald Trump — whatever you think of him — was being “visibility filtered” even before the election. One of the first things new Twitter chief Elon Musk brought up with me was the question of whether or not Twitter interfered with elections. “For instance, is this candidate actually more popular than another, or did Twitter put a thumb on the scale?” he asked. Even these first document reviews make it pretty clear Twitter the company did do this. Again, it is very hard to look at these internal discussions and not conclude that the firm interfered with elections.
Now, what we don’t have (yet?) is proof that federal law enforcement or intelligence was heavily involved with electoral questions. We’ve seen individual reports filed from the FBI about smaller political accounts, and we have a sizable pile by now of communications showing that executives like Roth were in regular contact with those agencies. But so far these are just outlines. Nonetheless, they’re significant.
“HIT HIM HARD WITH FUTURE VIO” Watch @ShellenbergerMD for a more consequential example, but internal wrangling over a James Woods tweet shows the company doesn’t rule on a tweet-by-tweet basis, but has muscle memory about whom it likes and doesn’t, and who will be held to the letter of the rules, and who’ll be let slide.
DOUBLE-STANDARD There’s a clear difference in approach to how blue-leaning tweets were dealt with versus their opponents. This was really not a story we were looking for. But it’s clear as day in the docs. One side gets a pass even for things like #StealOurVote, while the other gets his with labels for saying things like “Say NO to big tech censorship!” and, “Mailed ballots are more prone to fraud than in-person balloting… It’s just common sense.”
MEDIA REGULATION, “TRUSTED SOURCES” and “TRUSTED REPORTERS.” As we learn Twitter’s language, we’re beginning to learn more about their attitudes. We’ve seen enough in the way of outlines about “visibility filtering” cases to know that accounts are more likely to be dialed down or made less visible if reported by what the firm calls a “trusted source,” of which for instance we know GLAAD is one. However we also now know that Twitter internally referred to media sources it believed were legit as “trusted reporters” (this could be Reuters or the New York Times), while it didn’t feel quite so strongly about others. In one detail in these docs, we see Twitter execs adding a “media ID” to a “bot” in a case involving Breitbart. This suggests at least one wing of Twitter was “visibility filtering” media accounts as well.
Again, watch my colleagues for more this weekend. But the info about government relationships is a significant step toward getting answers about key questions. More to come!
A MESSAGE TO THE NEXT GENERATION OF SCIENTISTS
by Anthony Fauci
Although I hesitate to use the hackneyed expression “It seems like just yesterday," it does feel that way as I prepare to leave the National Institutes of Health after over five decades. As I look back at my career, I see lessons that may be useful to the next generation of scientists and health workers who will be called on to address the unexpected public health challenges that will inevitably emerge.
At 81, I still can clearly recall the first time I drove onto the bucolic N.I.H. campus in Bethesda, Md., in June of 1968 as a 27-year-old newly minted physician who had just completed residency training in New York City. My motivation and consuming passion at the time were to become the most highly skilled physician I could, devoted to delivering the best possible care to my patients. This remains integral to my identity, but I did not realize how unexpected circumstances would profoundly influence the direction of my career and my life. I would soon learn to expect the unexpected.
I share my story, one of love of science and discovery, in hopes of inspiring the next generation to enter health-related careers — and to stay the course, regardless of challenges and surprises that might arise.
It was during my residency training that I became fascinated with the interface between infectious diseases and the relatively nascent but burgeoning field of human immunology. As I cared for many patients with commonplace as well as esoteric infections, it became clear that physicians and other health care providers needed more tools to diagnose, prevent and treat diseases.
To merge these interests, I accepted a fellowship at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases at the N.I.H. to learn the complex ways cells and other components of the immune system protect us against infectious diseases. In doing so, I would follow the N.I.H. tradition of bench-to-bedside research by translating laboratory findings into the care of patients and, in turn, taking insights from the clinic back to the laboratory to improve the science.
Despite having no prior training in basic science research, I unexpectedly became captivated by the potential it had for making discoveries that would benefit not only my patients but also countless other people I might never meet, much less care for as their physician. My newfound love for this work posed a major conflict to my well-laid plans for practicing medicine. Ultimately, I chose to follow both paths: to become a research scientist and a physician caring for patients at the N.I.H., where I have been ever since.
There is so much discovery that can happen inside a laboratory and in the clinic — even when you least expect it. Early in my career, I was able to develop highly effective therapies for a group of fatal diseases of blood vessels called vasculitis syndromes. Patients who otherwise would have died instead experienced long-term remissions because of the treatment protocols I developed. My foreseeable future seemed well charted: I would spend my life working on conditions related to abnormal immune system activity.
Then, in the summer of 1981, doctors and researchers became aware of a mysterious disease spreading predominantly among young men who have sex with men. I became fascinated with this unusual disorder, which would become known as H.I.V./AIDS. The hallmark was the destruction or impairment of the very immune system cells the body needed to defend against it. I also felt a strong empathy for the mostly young gay men who were already stigmatized and now were doubly so as the disease wasted their bodies, stealing their lives and dreams. Image
Much to the dismay of friends and mentors who felt that I would be short-circuiting an ascendant career, and against their advice, I decided to completely change the direction of my research. I would thereafter devote myself to AIDS research, by caring for these young men at the N.I.H. hospital while probing and uncovering the mysteries of this new disease in my laboratory — something I have now been doing for more than 40 years.
I never aspired to a major administrative position and relished my identity as a hands-on physician and clinical researcher. But I was frustrated with the relative lack of attention and resources directed to the study of H.I.V./AIDS in the early 1980s. And once again an unexpected opportunity arose when I was asked to lead N.I.A.I.D., and I accepted, on the condition that I could continue to care for patients as well as lead my research laboratory. This decision transformed my career and opened opportunities to positively influence medicine and global health in ways that I had not imagined.
Beginning with President Ronald Reagan, I have had the opportunity to personally advise seven presidents over my 38 years as N.I.A.I.D. director. Our discussions included how to respond to H.I.V./AIDS, as well as other threats such as bird flu, the anthrax attacks, pandemic influenza in 2009, Ebola, Zika and Covid-19. I always speak the unvarnished truth to presidents and other senior government officials, even when such truths may be uncomfortable or politically inconvenient, because extraordinary things can happen when science and politics work hand in hand.
In the mid-1990s, lifesaving antivirals for H.I.V. were proven safe and effective, largely through studies supported by N.I.A.I.D. They were made available in the United States in 1996. By the turn of the 21st century, people with access to these drugs could expect an almost normal life span. But access for people living in sub-Saharan Africa and other low- and middle-income regions was virtually nonexistent.
Driven by his deep-seated compassion and desire for global health equity, President George W. Bush directed me, together with members of his staff, to develop a program that could deliver these drugs and other care to people in resource-poor countries with high levels of H.I.V. It was the privilege and honor of my lifetime to be an architect of what would become the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief program, which has saved 20 million lives globally. PEPFAR is an example of what can be accomplished when policymakers aspire to bold goals, underpinned by science.
If the far bookend of my N.I.H. career is H.I.V./AIDS, the near bookend is Covid-19. This pandemic was not completely unexpected, since emerging infectious diseases have challenged humanity throughout history, but some diseases can transform civilizations, and Covid-19 is the most devastating pandemic of a respiratory illness to afflict humankind since the 1918 influenza pandemic. And there is much to be learned from this ongoing experience with Covid-19.
The United States is reminded of the importance of continued investments in basic and clinical biomedical research. The major successes of the Covid-19 pandemic have been driven by scientific advances, particularly lifesaving vaccines that were developed, proven safe and effective in clinical trials and made available to the public within one year — an unprecedented feat.
Other lessons are painful, such as the failures of certain public health responses domestically and globally. We also must acknowledge that our fight against Covid-19 has been hindered by the profound political divisiveness in our society. In a way that we have never seen before, decisions about public health measures such as wearing masks and being vaccinated with highly effective and safe vaccines have been influenced by disinformation and political ideology.
It is our collective responsibility to ensure that public health policy decisions are driven by the best available data. Scientists and health workers can do their part by speaking up, including to new and old media sources, to share and explain in plain language the latest scientific findings as well as what remains to be learned.
As I think of that 27-year-old who arrived on the N.I.H. campus in 1968, I am humbled by the enormous privilege and honor I have had serving the American and global public.
I have experienced enormous joy and benefit from training and learning from the hundreds of brilliant and dedicated physicians, scientists and support staff members working in my laboratory, in the N.I.H. clinics and in the N.I.A.I.D. research divisions and from domestic and international research collaborators.
Looking ahead, I am confident that the next generations of young physicians, scientists and public health practitioners will experience the same excitement and sense of fulfillment I have felt as they meet the immense need for their expertise to maintain, restore and protect the health of people around the world and rise to the continual unexpected challenges they will inevitably face in doing so.
(Anthony Fauci is the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and the chief medical adviser to President Biden.)
WHY YOU SHOULD NOT GOSSIP.
In Ancient Greece, Socrates had a great reputation of wisdom. One day, someone came to find the great philosopher and said to him:
- Do you know what I just heard about your friend?
- A moment, replied Socrates. Before you tell me, I would like to test you the three sieves.
- The three sieves?
- Yes, continued Socrates. Before telling anything about the others, it's good to take the time to filter what you mean. I call it the test of the three sieves. The first sieve is the TRUTH. Have you checked if what you're going to tell me is true?
- No, I just heard it.
- Very good! So, you don't know if it's true. We continue with the second sieve, that of KINDNESS. What you want to tell me about my friend, is it good?
- Oh, no! On the contrary.
- So, questioned Socrates, you want to tell me bad things about him and you're not even sure they're true? Maybe you can still pass the test of the third sieve, that of UTILITY. Is it useful that I know what you're going to tell me about this friend?
- Not, really.
- So, concluded Socrates, what you were going to tell me is neither true, nor good, nor useful. Why, then, did you want to tell me this?
"Gossip is a bad thing. In the beginning it may seem enjoyable and fun, but in the end, it fills our hearts with bitterness and poisons us, too!"
- Pope Francis
UKRAINE, SATURDAY, 10 DECEMBER
Russia-Ukraine live news: Zelenskyy says Bakhmut is ‘destroyed’
President Zelenskyy has said that Russian forces have “destroyed” the eastern Ukrainian city of Bakhmut where the most active fighting in Ukraine is taking place.
Ukraine’s military also reports strikes in other provinces: Kharkiv and Sumy in the northeast, central Ukraine’s Dnipropetrovsk, Zaporizhzhia in the southeast and Kherson in the south.
Viktor Bout praises Putin, backs Russia’s war on Ukraine
Viktor Bout, a notorious arms dealer dubbed the “Merchant of Death”, has praised Russian President Vladimir Putin and backed Moscow’s war on Ukraine.
On Thursday, Bout, who was serving a 25-year sentence in a US prison, was exchanged in Abu Dhabi for American basketball star Brittney Griner.
Speaking to the Kremlin-backed RT channel in an interview released on Saturday, Bout said he kept a portrait of Putin in his prison cell in the United States.
Bout, 55, said he “fully” supported Russia’s military offensive in Ukraine and would have volunteered to go to the front if he had the “opportunity and necessary skills”.
“Why did we not do it earlier?” he said, referring to Putin’s decision to launch an offensive against Ukraine in February.