Light Rain | MTA Routes | Help Margriet | Children's Concert | Log Train | Finnish Mural | Outgoing Hutchins | Historical Society | Next Quiz | Borges-Gurr Case | Undergrowth | New Charges | Huntress | Quake Awake | Mascot Contest | Support Farmers | Cornet Band | Dr Swain | Axial Tilt | Winter Cheer | Finest Redwoods | Triple Junction | Drydocked | Nonsensical | Log Truck | Wasserman Note | Yesterday's Catch | Franco Harris | Tree Down | Music Teacher | Marshfellows | Pay Transparency | Liberace Xmas | Alex < Tucker | Aurora | Loneliness | Israel | Stalin's Birthday | Ukraine | Winter Night
ANOTHER ROUND OF LIGHT RAIN will arrive today into Friday. Warm and muggy weather will continue through the Holiday Weekend with most areas outside of Del Norte County likely to have a dry but cloudy Christmas. (NWS)
I am reaching out to the community because my friend, former neighbor and a beloved artist, Margriet Seinen, has suffered a horrific loss. A few nights ago, her home, studio and all her possessions, including decades of art work, even the digital copies, were consumed in a fire. She is currently in the hospital recovering from injuries she sustained trying to escape the blaze.
I know that many on the coast are also struggling. If you are not one of them, please consider sending Margriet some support: gofundme.com/f/surround-margriet-with-loving-hands
MUSIC BY KIDS FOR KIDS
Symphony of the Redwoods violinist hosting free Holiday Children's Concert, Thursday, December 22nd at 4 PM, Preston Hall, Mendocino. Come hear local youth musicians perform holiday favorites! FREE - All ages welcome - masks provided. For more information text: 707-813-4429 or email, firstname.lastname@example.org (Not a Symphony of the Redwoods event.)
LAUREN SINNOTT: “From Finland to Fort Bragg” - the new mural is up! See it on https://historymural.com/finn/
My first in a series of posts about the mural portraying the Finnish immigrants to Fort Bragg, CA is about its portraits. Immigrants from Finland during the late 1800s and early 1900s formed the largest national group to create the bustling town of Fort Bragg on the northern California coast. See their stories here and go to the website for more: https://historymural.com/finn/families/
OUTGOING MENDOCINO COUNTY SCHOOL SUPE MICHELLE HUTCHINS posts end-of-tenure thanks: youtu.be/-jUK5qYaA_A
THE FINAL GENERAL KNOWLEDGE AND TRIVIA QUIZ of 2022 will take place next Thursday, December 29th at Lauren’s at The Buckhorn. Kick-off at 7pm.
Happy holidays to one and all.
Steve - The Quizmaster
BORGES-GURR VS. MENDOCINO COUNTY, The Latest
Here's a response regarding Borges v. Mendocino filed on December 1, 2022. It discusses the District Judge's errors in her decision to dismiss. These are not small-time attorneys. They know their business. (James Marmon)
Background link: "The Gurr-Borges Plot Thickens" (November 4, 2020)
FORMER ROHNERT PARK POLICE OFFICER TO BE ARRAIGNED ON NEW FEDERAL CHARGES
Prosecutors say the former police officer was involved in an extortion scheme targeting motorists on Highway 101. Another defendant, a former sergeant, pleaded guilty to similar allegations last year.
by Colin Atagi
A former Rohnert Park police officer is scheduled to be arraigned Thursday in federal court on new charges related to allegations that he extorted cash and drugs from motorists he’d stopped for traffic violations along Highway 101 near the border of Sonoma and Mendocino counties.
Earlier this month, a grand jury indicted Joseph Huffaker on new charges of impersonating a federal officer, falsifying records and aiding and abetting, according to a superseding indictment filed Dec. 13 in the U.S. District Court for Northern District of California.
Huffaker, who was employed as a Rohnert Park Department of Public Safety officer from 2012 to 2019, was previously indicted last year on federal charges of conspiracy to commit extortion and extortion under color of law.
His defense attorney, Christopher John Shea, declined to comment Tuesday, and federal prosecutors could not be reached for comment.
If convicted as charged, Huffaker could face a maximum sentence of 60 years in federal prison. He is expected to return to court on Jan. 18 to schedule future hearings.
A second defendant, Brendan “Jacy” Tatum, pleaded guilty on Dec. 1, 2021, to federal charges of extortion in his role as a peace officer, falsifying police reports and tax evasion. He was indicted in September 2021, and sentencing has been delayed on multiple occasions.
Tatum, a former sergeant, is now scheduled to be sentenced April 26. His attorney, Stuart Hanlon, said he expects the sentencing to take place as scheduled.
“I think we’re pretty much ready now,” Hanlon said.
He added that Tatum could be sentenced to five to 10 years in prison. He is spending time with his family while he can, his attorney said.
According to an indictment filed in September 2021, Tatum was accused of extorting a total of at least $3,700 in cash and 85 pounds of marijuana from motorists traveling Highway 101. Huffaker is accused of being involved in at least two of these alleged incidents.
Tatum led Rohnert Park Department of Public Safety’s Drug Interdiction Team from 2014 until 2017. Team members were tasked with conducting traffic stops to seize illegal drugs — efforts that were in addition to their regular duties.
Members of the Drug Interdiction Team were required to document and submit seized property as evidence. According to department protocol, Sonoma County judges had to sign off on any destroyed narcotics.
Federal prosecutors said Huffaker and Tatum shook down drivers on Highway 101 for cash, pot and property without documenting the stops or the evidence they seized. Tatum acted alone beginning in August 2016 but Huffaker got involved around the time of the team’s termination in January 2017, according to the indictment.
Prosecutors allege the men pretended to be agents with the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. The defendants allowed motorists to go if they did not contest the seizures, and did not report the contraband to their department.
“In these instances, the officers were not on duty, did not have body-worn cameras, were not in uniform and wore no insignia indicating they were with the Rohnert Park department, claimed to be ATF agents, and did not use a marked RPDPS police vehicle,” prosecutors wrote in the indictment.
According to court records, the final seizure allegedly made by the defendants took place in December 2017, there had been at least eight victims since the traffic stops began, and the defendants tried to falsify records in February 2018 to conceal their activity.
Authorities began to investigate the team in 2018 when a driver reported that he’d been unlawfully stopped and his marijuana taken by suspicious officers. More complaints from other motorists followed.
In early 2020, Rohnert Park paid $1.5 million to settle federal civil rights lawsuits filed by motorists who accused Tatum and Huffaker of robbing them of money and marijuana after they were pulled over on Highway 101 near the Mendocino County line.
MYSHAKE APP WOKE PEOPLE Hundreds Of Miles From California Quake Epicenter With Shrill Alarm
by Rachel Swan
When a fierce 6.4 magnitude earthquake convulsed coastal Northern California on Tuesday morning, china flew from cabinets near the epicenter, and residents woke to find their power out and their floors blanketed in glass.
Hundreds of miles south in the Bay Area, bleary-eyed people were startled out of bed when a shrill alarm bleated from their cell phones, up to two minutes before the shaking started.
Some instantly took to Twitter after the alert from the MyShake early warning system with its three-note chime and a man’s computerized bellow: “Earthquake. Drop, cover, hold on. Shaking expected.” And some were irritated when they rushed to check their phones at 2:34 a.m. but did not feel the ground sway beneath them.
Nonetheless, many also said they were grateful for the technology.
It only took seconds for reports of the Ferndale earthquake to spread across Northern California, after 271,000 MyShake users heard their phones squawk, according to Richard Allen, director of the Berkeley Seismological Laboratory and leader of a team that developed the software.
App users who had set their home base locations in the Bay Area and then traveled for the holidays got earthquake warnings in far-flung locations, including Miami and Mexico.
Roan Kattouw, a San Francisco resident visiting in-laws in Ohio, said he bolted upright when the siren-sound of MyShake woke him up at 5:30 a.m. Eastern time.
“I deleted the app, personally,” Kattouw said, adding that he might have been just as aggravated had he been home in San Francisco.
Allen encouraged people who do not want alerts for faraway earthquakes to use the app’s default setting, which tracks a phone’s current location, rather than its home.
“Earthquake early warning is never going to be perfect,” he said. “We very rapidly come up with our best estimate of the magnitude, and we send out a warning to anyone in the zone that would normally feel shaking. Usually it works well, which means we have a few seconds to protect ourselves in a devastating earthquake.”
Given the strength of the Ferndale temblor, which rocked areas of California’s northern coast for 20 seconds, the Bay Area remained conspicuously calm, surprising Allen and other seismologists. Though Allen would typically expect a more intense ripple through the Bay Area, he acknowledged the rattling decreases the farther away people are from the site of the quake.
By contrast, many Bay Area residents felt a 3.6 magnitude temblor that struck El Cerrito early Saturday morning — knocking pictures from the fireplace mantel at a reporter’s home near the epicenter, for example — though the earthquake was not strong enough to trigger a MyShake alarm.
MyShake starts blaring only when tremors reach 4.5 magnitude or more, Allen said, a threshold the engineers set so that people won’t constantly receive alerts for small quakes jostling various parts of Northern California. Most people who have downloaded the app are hundreds of miles away from Ferndale in Humboldt County, where three plates join to form the Mendocino triple junction that ruptured Tuesday.
Jason Patton, an engineering geologist for the Department of Conservation at the California Geological Survey, calls this tectonic junction “the Triangle of Doom.”
“It’s the most seismically active part of California,” said Patton, who lives in the sand dunes west of Eureka. He noted that the area hasn’t been extensively studied because few people live there, which may also explain why it wasn’t saturated with cell phone alarms on Tuesday morning.
Former Ferndale Mayor Don Hindley, who hasn’t downloaded MyShake, said that he was literally and figuratively in the dark.
“The things we’ve collected over the years have gone,” Hindley said over a crackling analog landline — the only phone he has that will work without electricity. He described how all his crystal dishware fell from a high shelf when the quake hit, spattering glass on the floor of his old Victorian house. With the heat shut off, Hindley had lit a fire in his Franklin stove to keep warm.
“It’ll be flashlights and candles tonight,” he predicted.
While most of the warnings reached people far away from the hard-hit areas of Ferndale, Arcata, Eureka and Rio Dell, the MyShake app “worked great from a technical standpoint,” Allen said, noting that the detector algorithms functioned just as they were designed. He said a handful of Bay Area residents detected light wobbling, indicating the earthquake’s sweep.
Reports of damage appear as blue and purple hexagons on the MyShake app. A quick perusal at 10:30 a.m. Tuesday showed 18 people in Eureka had reported suffering damage, while 26 reported nothing. Photos and videos circulating on social media showed books careening off shelves, huge ruptures in roads and a house with a collapsed porch.
MyShake has enabled researchers at UC Berkeley and other laboratories to treat the earthquakes that jolt California as data for an ongoing research project. Phones equipped with the app that are plugged into power and are stationary will record the ground motion when a quake strikes, using the phone’s accelerometer as a tiny sensor.
These phones are akin to seismic instruments distributed throughout the urban environment. They log the waveforms from earthquakes and upload the reports to Berkeley Seismological Laboratory, presenting scientists with a clearer picture of how people experience earthquakes in a region where the ground often snaps.
WHERE FOOD COMES FROM
Green String Farms in Petaluma has announced that it is going out of business. This has shocked many locals who depend on its produce. But the reasons behind its failure are the same reasons many farmers struggle — lack of labor and water. Add to this the increased cost of fertilizer and fuel, among other increased costs, and you have a scenario that many other farmers face while trying to stay in business.
We just reached 8 billion people on this planet. Just 12 years ago it was 7 billion. Climate change and drought have fallowed many acres in the western United States. The Mississippi River is at its lowest flow in history. The war in Ukraine has destroyed the breadbasket of Europe. Green String Farms is just another example of farmers and agriculture failing because of climate change.
It’s time for people to realize that food doesn’t simply come from a grocery store. Water doesn’t simply come from turning on a tap. We need to support farmers — all farmers. We need to act on climate change by reducing our consumption of fossil fuels. We are linked to the environment in more ways than we realize.
MCHC WELCOMES CHIEF MEDICAL OFFICER DR. MATTHEW SWAIN
MCHC Health Centers is pleased to announce the arrival of Dr. Matthew Swain as the new chief medical officer. Dr. Swain, who began his new role in November, oversees MCHC's clinical practices, including mental, dental, and behavioral health. In addition to being a member of the executive team, Dr. Swain continues to see patients, as is the case for all clinical leaders at MCHC.
Dr. Swain comes to Mendocino County from Alaska, where he spent the last two and a half years practicing family medicine on the Kenai Peninsula in the small coastal town of Homer. Prior to that, Dr. Swain spent three years as the chief of primary care for Alaska's Veterans Administration Healthcare System, where his duties included clinical and administrative supervision of 30 providers spread across six clinics. Before moving to Alaska, Dr. Swain, a veteran of both the Navy and Marines, practiced medicine and held a number of leadership roles at Camp Lejeune in North Carolina.
While he is accustomed to small-town living, he admits that Northern California and Southern Alaska are very different — and that by comparison, Ukiah feels pretty big. "In Alaska, it sometimes seemed like we had just as many moose as people," Dr. Swain said. "I think the most we ever had in our yard at one time was six." Then he asked, "Do you know why the stores in Homer don't have automatic sliding doors? Because they don't want the moose walking in. I'm not kidding."
Although he speaks highly of his time in Alaska, he explained that he and his wife, a nurse leader, were ready for a new adventure, and after a nationwide search, they chose MCHC. In addition to the small-town atmosphere and beautiful natural setting, Dr. Swain chose the area because the MCHC team was so dedicated to its mission of providing the highest quality healthcare for everyone in the community.
"When I first visited, everyone was smiling, engaged, and clearly invested in their jobs; people weren't just punching timecards," he said. He was also drawn in by MCHC's team-based approach to care. "Team-based care means having a small group of dedicated providers and support staff who know you and your health history," Dr. Swain explained.
As a family physician, he has always held a holistic view of wellness, one that integrates a person's physical and emotional health, so the way MCHC's structure encourages collaboration was another good fit for Dr. Swain. "Being able to walk down the hall and consult with providers across different disciplines is so much better than reading notes and going back and forth over the phone. Multiple perspectives improve care. No one person has all the answers all the time," he said.
To be a good physician and leader, Dr. Swain's philosophy is that you have to be genuinely interested in patients and what is going on with them — even outside of medicine. A lot of factors affect health, and lab tests rarely tell the whole story. Mood, family, and work all play a role, too.
Dr. Swain explained, "You have to be willing to get into all the little details, because the little details are often what make the difference between living a healthy, comfortable life or not. When a patient knows you care about what they care about, they're a lot more likely to work with you to maximize their quality of life."
As a leader, Dr. Swain says he is responsible for clearing obstacles and providing support to employees. "It's my responsibility to take care of everyone who takes care of patients, whether they're providers or the staff who support, whether they are answering phones or cleaning treatment rooms," he explained.
MCHC CEO Rod Grainger said, "It is not often you find a leader that fits so well into your existing team. With his leadership philosophies, his skills and experience, as well as his personality, Matt is winning over the team and already having a positive influence the culture of our organization. His personal mission aligns with our mission for both our employees and our patients. I am thrilled to have him on board."
Regardless of what he is doing at any given moment, Dr. Swain says his ultimate focus is providing excellent, value-based healthcare to the local community. Sometimes that means treating patients directly; other times that means caring for the providers who care for the patients so they are free to do their jobs.
"MCHC employees are mission-driven and committed to meeting the emerging needs of patients in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. It's an honor to be the chief medical officer here and I look forward to helping providers and staff grow and succeed every single day," he said.
MCHC Health Centers includes Hillside Health Center and Dora Street Health Center in Ukiah, Little Lake Health Center in Willits, and Lakeview Health Center in Lakeport. It is a community-based and patient-directed organization that provides comprehensive primary healthcare services as well as supportive services such as education and translation that promote access to healthcare.
The earth is tilting on its axis! It's getting colder. My day is so short! Omigod! The sun--if there WERE sun--is shining on a surface so slanted, most of the warmth bounces off.
1:27 P.M., 1:27:50, -51, 52...ONE TWENTY-EIGHT! THERE! WINTER! RIGHT NOW! WHAT'RE WE GONNA DO?
Nothing--that's what. As big a shot as we think we are, ain't a damn thing we can do about this but try to enjoy it. A little nog, little weed, roaring fire, popsicle toes, long night... (the longest; tomorrow will be a longer day. Every day will have more light than the day before for the next six months. There's that).
A couple of times my daddy went outside, gathered snow, mixed it with vanilla, sugar--I don't know what all--and we ate sweet. My father was known to his friends as a convivial man, but around home he was more scary than convivial, so his making snow-confections was a cool departure.
I like things bigger than me and bigger than US. The Pacific Ocean, the seasons (Vivaldi's always good on the seasons), skiing - check that view! I like things that don't care what we do. Winter is here and spring will soon be, regardless of the excrement of the world, the McConnells, Manchins, Sinemas, trumps--you know: EXCREMENT! These A-holes make my Yule less bright, but they will die, hurray, and spring will come, just like they never existed.
So be of good cheer.
WHAT TRIGGERED TUESDAY’S 6.4 MAGNITUDE CALIFORNIA EARTHQUAKE?
by Kurtis Alexander
The site of Tuesday’s 6.4 magnitude earthquake that damaged multiple homes and businesses in Humboldt County is an area rife with seismic activity. The quake is neither the first, nor will it be the last, to jolt California’s far north.
Exactly one year ago, the region was rattled by a 6.2 magnitude temblor, which triggered rockslides and sent groceries shooting off store shelves. The U.S. Geological Survey counts at least 40 quakes of magnitude 6.0 or greater within 150 miles of Tuesday’s shaker over the past century, including the 7.2 magnitude Cape Mendocino earthquake and tsunami in 1992 that led to a federal disaster declaration.
Tuesday’s 2:34 a.m. jolt has since been followed by dozens of aftershocks, as large as 4.6 magnitude, and more are expected in the coming days. USGS scientists say the probability of another earthquake of 6.0 magnitude or greater in the area within the next week is just 1%, though more big ones are virtually guaranteed in the future.
The region’s volatility is due to the uncommon intersection of three tectonic plates: the Pacific, North American and Juan de Fuca or Gorda plates. The merger is sometimes called the Mendocino Triple Junction.
“These plates are basically bumper-carring into one another,” said Sarah Minson, a research geophysicist with the USGS who grew up in Mendocino County and now works at the Earthquake Science Center at the Bay Area’s Moffett Field. “They don’t fit into each other nicely.”
Minson said it’s too early to know exactly which plate, and what faults between or on the plates, might have triggered Tuesday’s earthquake. But she suspects the activity was likely strike-slip movement along one of the area’s more active faults — the Mendocino Transform Fault, between the Pacific and Gorda plates, or the San Andreas Fault, between the Pacific and North American plates — or one of the faults that spider off these major faults.
“A lot of the earthquakes that are happening there are horizontal mechanisms,” she said. “That’s day in and day out where most of the seismicity is coming from.”
Tuesday’s movement was not likely the product of the Cascadia Subduction Zone, the fault line that stretches between the Gorda and North American plates. The Cascadia Subduction Zone has gotten a lot of media attention because of its potential to trigger a very large and damaging earthquake, but it is generally a lot less active than other areas.
The quake Tuesday was located about 10 miles southwest of the community of Ferndale, just off the Pacific coast, roughly 260 miles north of San Francisco. The depth of the quake was 11.1 miles, according to the USGS.
In Ferndale, where residents reported being awakened by breaking windows and dropping dishes, the movement logged at least a VII on the Modified Mercalli Intensity scale, which measures how an earthquake is felt by people, said Tim Dawson, program manager for seismic hazards at the California Geological Survey. A rating of VII, on the 1 to 10 scale, indicates “very strong” shaking and slight to moderate structure damage.
Field teams with the state Geological Survey were already on the ground recording the surface impacts, including landslides and liquefaction.
“These damaging earthquakes will occur in the future,” said Dawson. “Our message is that people need to be prepared for that to happen.”
While the Bay Area and Los Angeles may get more attention for their earthquakes because of the large populations and what’s at risk, Dawson noted that the seismic activity to the north is generally more frequent and can produce a wider variety of motion.
In the Bay Area, the main faults, including the Hayward, Calaveras and San Andreas faults, are strike-slip fractures in which blocks of land move horizontally. The Mendocino Triple Junction has strike-slip faults, including the end of the San Andreas Fault, which are very active, but it also has subduction zones and reverse faults that can cause land to thrust up or down.
Warmest spiritual greetings, Following a simple morning of ablutions at the Building Bridges homeless shelter in Ukiah, California, ambled southward to the Plowshares dining room for the free pork luncheon. Left, and headed north to the Ukiah Co-op for additional coffee. This propelled a trip to the Ukiah Public Library. Presently on computer #4, tap tap tapping away.
Recent writings on the subject of the Brahmic Vrittis taking over was sent out far and wide, and resulted in responses such as readers ultimately skipping a full reading, because it was nonsensical to them. Nonsensical?
Read through today's New York Times. You wanna know what "nonsensical" is? Nonsensical is this world and the completely crazy civilization in it. Self realization, spiritually focused direct action, and the Brahmic vrittis taking over is the only sensible reality on the planet earth, now or ever.
At the moment, Craig Louis Stehr is living in a homeless shelter, has $166.81 cents in the bank, is healthy and sane, and is advocating spiritual revolution worldwide in response to certain planetary ecological implosion, economic collapse, nuclear war, and madness. This may only be accomplished by "living from the heart". Living from the heart is to center the mind in the svarupa, or heart chakra, and thus be anchored in the deepest mystical reality possible, which is called "the lotus of the heart". Hold fast to that, and act from there! This is the way of spiritual revolution.
I would like to leave the homeless shelter in Mendocino County as soon as possible. If this makes sense to you, then please make contact and offer me a stable situation.
Yours for God realization and drastic social change,
Craig Louis Stehr <email@example.com>
A NIGHT TO REMEMBER
by Richey Wasserman
I met Eric Clapton while sailing on San Francisco Bay in the late summer of 1967. His band, Cream, was playing at the Fillmore Auditorium in San Francisco, their first time on the West coast.
My friends Addison and Amelie Smith were acquainted with Eric, and the great guitarist asked them to find someone who could take him, his bandmates, and his French girlfriend for a sail on San Francisco Bay. San Francisco Chronicle writer and marine artist William Gilkerson had the perfect boat - a 36’ traditionally rigged double-ender. The stage was set.
Crew consisted of myself, a few friends, and Cream drummer Ginger Baker, who climbed the main mast and sat at the top mast cross tee for the remainder of the day.
That sun-baked day resulted in an enduring friendship with Clapton (if such a thing exists with superstars) that lasted a number of years.
We met again in Chicago where I was traveling with the Butterfield Blues Band as their road manager - Professional job description or experience was luckily not required, although one needed good connections to supply the band members with a certain herb which was then illegal.
The BBB had a night off, and Cream was playing a concert at Northwestern University, so a few of us, including Butterfield, attended. The North side of Chicago is, as most of us know, the more prominent, the South side being less affluent, at least back then. But I digress. We went backstage to congratulate the band and we were invited to a party given by an artist friend of Butterfield’s at her crumbling mansion in the above mentioned South Side.
Clapton asked if we would accompany him to his high-rise hotel room to change clothes, and, of course we followed.
As we prepared ourselves for the evening before us, there was a gentle knock on the hotel room door. When opened we beheld two young women in hippy dress, carrying a beat up black leather satchel.
They introduced themselves as the Chicago Plaster Casters and to prove the quality of their craft, they produced various tools of their trade and some impressive examples of superstars’ um, members.
Needless to say, they were after Clapton, as he was at the top of his game, so to speak. To the young artist’s dismay, Eric demurred, with no little embarrassment. The rest of us found equally poor excuses, although who wouldn’t want to be enshrined along with such luminaries as Jimmy Hendricks? I wouldn’t.
These two pleasant woman then offered to drive us to the party in their 1950 Chevy sedan, and Clapton eagerly accepted for us all as he was/is fond of American classic cars…Mohair seat covers and all.
Sadly the two entrepreneurs were not invited, but graciously dropped us in front of the party, on a street lined with crumbling showplaces.
The party was the typical ’60’s bash. As the saying goes, you weren’t there if you remember much of it. What did make it memorable was what happened in the wee hours when Butterfield and Clapton sat down in straight-backed chairs, knee to knee, for an impromptu concert. Butter with his Marine Band harp and Clapton playing a twelve string guitar. It was a mesmerizing and rare performance - Two masters of their instruments, in perfect synch, playing for themselves and a few friends the music of joy and sadness derived from our dark past and regrettable present: The Blues.
When it was over, perhaps an hour later, nobody clapped. Just a few hugs and smiles as we filtered out into the early morning cold. We knew we had experienced musical perfection. It was a night to remember.
(Richey Wasserman is a Point Arena Councilman)
I read with interest Mike Geniella's portrait of you in his article celebrating your Lifetime Achivement Award. Of course I remember your appearance in court in Point Arena and the famous "punch heard round the country". But what inspired me to send along the above memory is the news that we attended Tam High at the same time. I graduated in 1960 which, if my math is correct, puts you three years ahead of me, one year ahead of my sister Abby, and one year behind my brother John. He would have been the editor of the Tam High News at the time. Small world, indeed!
Please keep doing what you are doing, even though we may disagree more than we agree. I can't wait for each issue.
Best wishes for the holidays, Richey Wasserman.
CATCH OF THE DAY, Wednesday, December 21, 2022
JORDAN DANIEL ALGER, Temecula/Ukiah. DUI alcohol/drug, possession of drug paraphenalia, possession of controlled substance, poss marijuana L 28.5 grams over 18.
CESAR JULIO DELCAMPO, Ukiah. Disorderly conduct: alcohol.
ANTONE LAMARR JUNIOR DOWNEY, Covelo. Inflict corporal injury on spouse/cohabitant/dating relationship: felony.
JOSE JESUS HERNANDEZ, Ukiah. Inflict corporal injury on spouse/cohabitant/dating relationship: felony, battery against person defendant had dating, engagement, marriage or domestic relationship.
RONDA CHARLENE LAMB, Ukiah. Probation revoked-felony.
LUIS EDUARDO MAGANA-ALVAREZ, Ukiah. Probation revoked-felony, possession of controlled substance.
WINSTON NILMAN VANEWYK, Windsor/Ukiah. Hit/run misdemeanor.
ISAAC LEE DENNIS WALDREP, Ukiah. Failure to appear.
FRANCO HARRIS, the legendary Pittsburgh Steelers running back at the heart of one of the most astonishing plays in NFL history, has died, his family confirmed. He was 72. The four-time Super Bowl champion and Hall of Famer passed away just two days before the 50th anniversary of the “Immaculate Reception”—his ludicrously improbable catch and touchdown in the dying seconds of the Steelers’ 1972 playoff game against Oakland which gave Pittsburgh their first playoff victory in the franchise’s history. His death also comes just days before Pittsburgh plans to retire his #32 jersey in a halftime ceremony at its game against the Las Vegas Raiders. Harris’ family confirmed his death to KDKA-TV. No cause of death was reported.
MY SISTER ALSO HAD A SEPARATE OCCUPATION which was her study of music, at first conducted under my grandmother's instruction but now entrusted to a professional teacher whose name was Miss Aehle, an almost typical spinster, who lived in a small frame house with a porch covered by moonvines and a fence covered by honeysuckle. Her name was pronounced Ail-ly. She supported herself and a paralyzed father by giving lessons in violin and piano, neither of which she played very well herself but for which she had great gifts as a teacher. If not great gifts, at least great enthusiasm. She was a true romanticist. She talked so excitedly that she got ahead of herself and looked bewildered and cried out, "What was I saying?" She was one of the innocents of the world, appreciated only by her pupils and a few persons a generation older than herself. Her pupils nearly always came to adore her, she gave them a feeling that playing little pieces on the piano or scratching out little tunes on a fiddle made up for everything that was ostensibly wrong in a world made by God but disarrayed by the devil. She was religious and ecstatic. She never admitted that any one of her pupils, even the ones who were unmistakably tone-deaf, were deficient in musical talent. And the few who could perform tolerably well she was certain had genius.
— Tennessee Williams, The Resemblance Between a Violin Case and a Coffin
HERE’S WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT CALIFORNIA’S NEW PAY TRANSPARENCY LAW
by Grace Gedye
In less than two weeks, job seekers in California will finally know how much a job pays when they apply for it — if companies don’t figure out a way around a new law.
Starting on Jan. 1, employers with at least 15 workers will have to include pay ranges in job postings. Employees will also be able to ask for the pay range for their own position, and larger companies will have to provide more detailed pay data to California’s Civil Rights Department than previously required.
California isn’t the first state to force businesses to put their cards on the table. Colorado took that step in 2019, and a similar requirement went into effect in New York City in November. Washington state has its own version that will also kick in on Jan. 1, and a similar statewide bill in New York was just signed by the governor.
The goal of the California law is to reduce gender and racial pay gaps. But New York City’s measure had a bumpy start, with some employers posting unhelpfully wide ranges the first day the law was in place. When Colorado rolled out its law at the beginning of 2021, some companies posted remote jobs that they said could be done from anywhere in the U.S. — except Colorado — dodging the requirement. That wasn’t widespread; about 1% of remote job listings included a Colorado carveout, according to reporting in The Atlantic.
But since California has nearly 7 times as many people as Colorado, according to U.S. Census data, excluding Californians in a remote job listing would come at a higher cost.
“California’s just such a huge economic center,” said Lisa Wallace, co-founder of Assemble, a compensation management platform. “There just aren’t that many industries that are not going to be touched by this.”
What’s the pay range?
Here’s what California job seekers can expect to see more frequently come January: $44 an hour to be a plumber in Berkeley; $18.38-$28.51 an hour for an assistant teacher job in Los Angeles; $74,600 – $141,000 per year for a future compensation analyst in Davis. If companies aren’t adding ranges, people can sue or file a complaint with the Labor Commissioner’s Office, which can issue a penalty of $100 to $10,000 per violation. Companies that don’t have pay ranges in job postings won’t get penalized for their first violation, so long as they add the information.
In addition to preparing to post pay ranges in job listings, companies that don’t already have pay bands for current employees should put them in place, and they should make sure that there aren’t pay disparities based on race, sex, or other protected classes between employees doing substantially similar work, said Jacklin Rad, a lawyer who advises employers on California workplace laws at Jackson Lewis, a law firm.
Businesses are about to have their pay scrutinized by job candidates and employees, said Wallace, the compensation platform company co-founder. “You better make sure that you have a really strong answer for why an employee is paid less,” than the posted range for a similar-looking job, she said. The new California law is uncovering that a lot of organizations have been operating without pay bands, Wallace said. Many of the company’s earliest customers were tech and biotech businesses, Wallace said, but since the bill was signed into law she’s seen increased interest from other sectors, including manufacturing and utilities.
One question that arose immediately when New York City’s law went into effect was how wide can a pay range be without violating the law? Some postings included ranges where the high end was about $100,000 more than the low end.
California’s law explains the required payscale as “the salary or hourly wage range that the employer reasonably expects to pay for the position.”
“It’s really ambiguous,” said Rad, the lawyer. “A lot of attorneys that work in this sphere ask themselves: ‘You know, if the range is too wide, then does that defeat the purpose of pay transparency?’”
CalMatters reached out to the Labor Commissioner’s office, which is charged with enforcing the payscale component of the law. The office didn’t make anyone available to be interviewed, and did not respond to a detailed list of questions about how the law will be interpreted.
California government agencies include pay scales in job postings, and some of the ranges are large. The Civil Rights Department, for example, recently had a posting for an “Assistant Deputy Director, Workforce Data Officer” with a listed pay range of $7,976 – $19,321 per month, which translates to about $96,000 – $232,000 per year. Another posting, for a Deputy Chief Counsel at the Civil Rights Department had a similar range.
Pay ranges are set by the state’s human resources agency, CalHR, and are influenced by bargaining with unions, said Adam Romero, deputy director of executive programs at California’s Civil Rights Department. Those two positions are “very senior,” and most roles don’t have pay ranges that wide, Romero said.
Reporting pay data
The second major component of the new law is that businesses with 100 or more employees will have to start reporting more detailed data on what they pay workers to the state.
It builds on a 2020 law that required companies to submit reports to the state’s Civil Rights Department breaking down how many employees they have in each job category and pay band by sex, race, and ethnicity. The goal was to enable state agencies to more identify wage disparities more efficiently, and to prompt companies to assess their own pay.
The reports are used “in individual investigations of complaints of pay discrimination or other types of complaints of civil rights violations against employers,” said Romero at the Civil Rights Department. The data on its own doesn’t prove there’s been a violation of the law, but it provides context, said Romero. The Civil Rights Department cited the pay data, for example, when it sued Tesla for race discrimination and harassment in February.
The law taking effect Jan. 1 requires employers to add median and mean hourly rate for each demographic group within each job category and include pay data for contractors.
“We are really trying to shine more light on this growing shadow workforce of contract workers,” said Mariko Yoshihara, policy director for the California Employment Lawyers Association, which supported the new law. Google, for example, has more temps and contractors than full-time employees, according to New York Times’ reporting. The new law will reveal how contractors’ pay compares to that of full-time employees, Yoshihara said.
An early version of the new law would have made each company’s pay data public. But after intense pushback from business groups — who said the data is not a reliable measure of pay disparities and that it would “set up employers for public criticism with incomplete, uncontextualized reports and create a false impression of wage discrimination where none may exist” — the bill was amended to keep the reports private.
If companies don’t submit their pay data, the Civil Rights department can take action. It sued Michaels, the craft store chain, and JP Morgan Chase Bank for not submitting the data; both companies settled, paying a combined total of about $23,500 to cover the department’s fees and costs.
HARD PROOF COULD EMERGE of the CIA directly assassinating JFK and as long as it was only covered by Tucker Carlson it would have zero meaningful impact.
Carlson now plays the role of Alex Jones: make sure he's the only one talking about an inconvenient truth and it makes it look like a right wing crackpot conspiracy theory. Only difference is Carlson has a much larger audience and therefore kills the story much more effectively.
What does it look like when someone criticizes nuclear brinkmanship with Russia, for example, and then starts babbling about woke M&Ms and saying the commies are trying to make your son wear a dress? It makes it all look bogus. And that's exactly what Alex Jones would do too: say real things about how the US is arming terrorists in Syria or whatever and then turn around and start babbling about Hillary Clinton being a reptile and child slave colonies on Mars, making the whole thing look crazy.
I used to think it was great when I'd see Tucker Carlson covering an inconvenient narrative like the chemical weapons false flag in Syria or whatever. I'd say "Ah good, it's getting mainstream coverage!" But over the years I've seen Carlson's "coverage" do far more harm than good.
Now good faith critics of empire get associated with Carlson and his right wing ideology whenever they talk about unauthorized narratives. Even very left wing empire critics like me get called right wing for criticizing US proxy warfare in Ukraine, just because Carlson does.
And this is possible because only the farthest fringes of the left ever talk about unauthorized narratives. No left-leaning media outlets close to the mainstream ever provide meaningful coverage to transgressive stories, so it makes it possible to spin them as right wing issues. So I'm not actually even blaming Carlson for this. Even if there wasn't a mountain of evidence that he's a US intelligence lackey (and there is), it'd still be primarily the fault of the left (and what passes for the "left" in the US) for leaving a right wing pundit to cover this stuff.
And of course it's not like Carlson is only reporting inconvenient facts. He spouts mainstream empire propaganda constantly. He's the single most effective promulgator of anti-China propaganda in the English-speaking world. So he's like a two-way propaganda street: the empire reverse-launders information through Carlson to make good info look dirty, and also he pipes propaganda into the minds of his establishment-wary audience making bad information look good. He may be America's best and most effective propagandist.
I don't claim to know exactly how planned out this all is or who's doing the planning, I only know that that's the effect of what Carlson does. When someone very prominent does something very convenient for the most powerful people in the world, it's probably not an accident.
— Caitlin Johnstone
LONELINESS I TASTE. The chair I sit in, the room, the house, none of this has substance. I think of Hemingway, what we remember of his work is not so much the color of the sky as it is the absolute taste of loneliness. Loneliness is not, I think, an absolute, but its taste is more powerful than any other. I think that endeavoring to be a serious writer is quite a dangerous career.
— John Cheever
ON-LINE COMMENT OF THE DAY
Israel is an apartheid state. That doesn’t come from me, but from the UN.
Israel is a genocidal state. A nicer term than “genocide” might be “ethnic cleansing.”
A very large portion of its territory is land stolen from the original inhabitants. Israelis are taught from earliest childhood to hate and look down on Palestinians as subhuman.
Furthermore, Israel is no friend to the USA. Israel tried to sink the USS Liberty and murder all of its crew. Israel has lied to and stolen nuclear secrets from the USA.
These are simply the facts.
UKRAINE, WEDNESDAY, 21 DECEMBER
Russian President Vladimir Putin promises to fulfil the goals of the Kremlin’s “special military operation” in Ukraine at an end-of-year meeting with his defence chiefs.
Air raid warnings are issued across Ukraine as President Volodymyr Zelenskyy leaves Kyiv for the first known time since the war began in February.
Zelenskyy is on his way to Washington, DC, for meetings with his American counterpart, Joe Biden, and members of the US Congress, the White House says.
The US is to announce a $1.8bn military aid package for Kyiv, which for the first time includes a Patriot missile battery.
President Volodymyr Zelenskyy met with President Joe Biden at the White House on Wednesday, his first known trip outside of Ukraine since Russia invaded about 10 months ago.
Biden said in a news conference that the United States would stay with Ukraine "as long as it takes" as the country enters what promises to be a brutal winter of war.
Zelenskyy is expected to address a joint session of Congress after expressing confidence in continued bipartisan support ahead of a power transition in Washington next year that puts the GOP in charge of the House.
Lawmakers are expected to vote imminently on a huge funding bill that includes roughly $44.9 billion in Ukraine aid.