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Mendocino County Today: Wednesday, Dec. 28, 2022

Mainly Dry | Entrance Buoy | Sandbar Breached | Karok Settlement | Linda Stewart | Ukiah Train | Boonquiz | Fernbridge | PV Fatality | Sketchy Railing | AVUSD Update | Klamath Crossing | Seeking Fellowship | Beetles | County Notes | Hunter Ranch | Mysterious Ren | Nancy Masten | War Q&A | Blue Lake | Art Contest | Worley Booked | Philo Matchbook | Hutchins Tenure | Yesterday's Catch | Accepting Money | Tree Art | New Laws | Colusa Drought | Winter Covid | Cookie Cutter | Newsom Pardons | Fentanyl Trade | QB Controversy | Biden Break | Inflation | Coastal Diss | Klamath Ferry | Ukraine | War Funding

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ISOLATED SHOWERS may continue in the northern inland areas otherwise mainly dry weather is expected. Another front will bring rain, mountain snow and locally strong winds Wednesday night through Thursday. An active storm track will continue to bring periods of rain for the remainder of the week into early next week. (NWS)

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Noyo Entrance Buoy (12/27/22) by Dick Whetstone

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NAVARRO RIVER WATCH (yesterday afternoon) by Nick Wilson

2pm: Navarro River exceeded forecast and flooded Hwy 128 at usual spot as of 1:45 pm. Sandbar breaching now and probably end 128 flood in a few hours. Caltrans on scene and undecided whether to close 128 temporarily. Cars still wading thru with water up to hubcaps.

4pm: Hwy. 128 is open to traffic and not likely to flood again in the near future.

The Navarro River breached the sand bar this afternoon and allowed the water level to go down and end the brief flooding of Hwy 128 at the 0.18 mile marker. CalTrans did briefly close the highway, but reopened it at 3:19 PM according to Ceci Winigar, who kindly emailed me that information.

The river gage reached 15.2 ft. at the peak, which was 2 ft. higher than forecast. There was a high tide at 1:30 PM. There was big surf also, and combined with the high tide the larger waves were breaking and washing over the sand bar.

The sand bar breach was very gradual at first, taking over 2 hours to dig out enough sand to let the backed up water out.  It was rushing out at full bore when I left my view post about 3:40 PM.  The flow at that point was about 100 ft. wide, and several feet deep at the center.

The first breach of the rainy season happened early on the morning of Dec. 10. The sand bar closed in again several days ago due to lack of rain and low flows.

Forecast rain and showers this week and continuing into next week should keep the channel open for the foreseeable future.

NWS forecasts a new peak of 16.2 ft. at 7 PM on 12/31.

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Karok Settlement, Klamath River

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Linda Stewart was born in Sacramento, California in 1943. She was raised in Boonville, California. Her mother, Beth Tuttle, was a schoolteacher and born into one of California’s early settler families. Linda’s father, Walter (Shine) Tuttle, moved to Anderson Valley in his early 20’s and was one of the contractors who helped build many of the structures in Anderson Valley today.

Linda married a man from Philo and had two children, Nancy and Brian. After the end of her marriage to Brad Witherell, Linda married Charles (Chuck) Stewart, who was raised in Walla Walla, Washington. Chuck and Linda recently celebrated 37 years of marriage. Chuck brought to their family two children of his own, K.C. and Kelly.

Linda worked as a teacher’s assistant in the 1st grade at Windsor School District for 10 years and later for the Federal Government both at the Warm Springs Dam in Healdsburg and then as a Purchasing Agent for the Bureau of Land Management in Ukiah.

Linda and Chuck moved to Potter Valley in 2004, where they tended 8 acres of vineyards. Linda quickly became engaged with her community. She joined the Potter Valley Garden Club shortly after moving to Potter Valley, becoming the Vice President in 2007, a position she held until her resignation in 2021. She and Chuck enjoyed many adventures in their motorhome when the vineyard allowed, traveling near and far to visit family, small towns they had grown to enjoy, and beautiful parks, and to attend spring training.

Linda was never happier than when surrounded by her friends and family in her beautiful Potter Valley home and garden. The family is enormously grateful that she was able to remain at her new Santa Rosa home with support from hospice and that she passed peacefully with her loving husband at her side, surrounded by family.

Linda is predeceased by her sister and brother-in-law, Doris and Ron Vaughn, and her grandson Wiley Bellen. She is survived by her husband, Charles (Chuck) Stewart, her sister, Betty Hiatt; her children, Nancy Witherell (Betty Andrews), Brian Witherell, K.C. Stewart (Mysty), and Kelly Tynan (Tom); her grandchildren, Daphne Witherell, Bennett Witherell, Nichole Sahlbach (Michael), Derek Weaver, Samantha Stewart, and Kyle Stewart; her great-granddaughter, Scarlett Sahlbach; and a host of nieces and nephews dear to her heart.

 A Celebration of Linda’s Life will be held at 11:00 AM on Saturday, January 14th at the Potter Valley United Methodist Church. A private burial will be held prior on January 3rd in Boonville. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that a donation be made in Linda’s Memory to the Anderson Valley Historical Society, the Potter Valley Garden Club, Sutter Care at Home (Hospice), or a cancer-oriented charity of your choice.

Arrangements are under the direction of the Eversole Mortuary.

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Northwestern Pacific, Ukiah, 1931

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The final General Knowledge and Trivia Quiz of 2022 will take place tomorrow: Thursday, December 29th at Lauren’s at The Buckhorn. Kick-off' is at 7pm. Hope to see you there - you know it makes sense! — Steve Sparks, The Quizmaster.

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Fernbridge, Eel River, 1920

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On December 26th, 2022, at approximately 1:15 AM, the California Highway Patrol responded to a two vehicle collision on Eel River Rd. in Potter Valley.

Based on the preliminary investigation it was determined Caldwell was driving a 2016 Subaru Crosstrek southbound on Eel River Rd., south of Gibson Ln. Stanley was driving a 2001 Chevy Cavalier northbound on Eel River Rd., south of Gibson Ln. For unknown reasons, Caldwell allowed the Subaru to drive across the double yellow lines separating the north and southbound traffic lanes. As a result, the front of the Subaru collided with the front of the Chevy. As a result of the collision, Caldwell and his passenger Alvarez both sustained major injuries and were transported via ambulance to Adventist Health Ukiah. Stanley also sustained major injuries and was transported via Ambulance to Adventist Health Ukiah. The passenger in Stanley’s vehicle sustained fatal injuries. The identity of the deceased party is being withheld pending notification to the next of kin. 

At this time, alcoholic beverage impairment is suspected to be a contributing factor in this collision. Caldwell was placed under arrest for felony driving under the influence. Caldwell was released to Adventist Health Ukiah for further medical treatment due to the severity of his injuries. This collision remains under investigation by the California Highway Patrol, Ukiah Area. Anyone with information pertaining to this incident are asked to contact the CHP office at (707) 467-4420. 

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SKIP TAUBE: Mendocino headlands blowhole fencing down more; getting sketchy!

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AV UNIFIED, End of Year Update

Anderson Valley, Do You Know…

As the year comes to a close, I would like to express my gratitude, appreciation, and wonder at the progress and improvements the staff, students, and community have created over the past 18 months.

I sometimes think Superintendent's count time in “dog years”. One year can feel like seven years in some cycles, but I am so very appreciative of the changes this community is making for the lives and learning of kids post-Covid, when our normal was completely turned upside down, and we have had to recreate a new achievement landscape. 

Our highlights together:

Community passed the $13 million dollar Measure M bond with 71 percent of the vote (virtually unparalleled in California to have that level of support)–this community cares about kids! The community recognized the need for the facility upgrades and supported making a change in the environment that kids deserve to learn in. I always say, “Your educational experience should not be defined by your zip code.” Rural students deserve to have the same facilities as bigger districts, and your vote for the bond will go a long way to support that. Thank you to Philip Thomas for chairing our committee.

Leigh Kreienhop worked her magic to get the first $7 million dollars for the bond funded before the Federal Rate hikes started to take hold.

Collaborative union relationships grew with the units able to come together and settle two years of union contracts, with the 2022 contract settled not in arrears for the first time in a very long time. We appreciate our union Presidents Arthur Folz and Belma Rhoades, and their work to do the very best for their members and the district.

Four new heaters were installed in the high school gym. No more blankets!

State of the art pooled testing program featuring Anderson Valley in trade publications and commercials rolled out for the 2021/22 school year to ensure a safe return to in-person learning.

Construction plans under the direction of Don Alaimeda are in final completion stages for the high school remodel, science lab remodels, gender neutral bathrooms, and septic replacement at elementary school for the first $7 million dollars of the bond. An emergency septic replacement was installed at the elementary until full construction could occur. The septic is expected to be installed at the elementary in summer 2023 and high school construction underway in summer 2024.

Two new playgrounds at the elementary, new carpet in Peachland Preschool, and a new garden area for the elementary were installed, and a current plan to add a stove, vent, and upgraded electrical to the elementary kitchen to create more fresh food cooking on the site is in the works funded by a grant Mel Pardini located.

A full HVAC replacement on the science labs and unremodeled high school wing was completed in December 2022 paid for by federal dollars.

A robust Language Arts curriculum pilot under the leadership of Principal Cymbre Thomas Swett completed at the elementary school with a new adoption expected in February 2023 to increase student language arts achievement.

Science and math curriculum pilots are underway at the Junior/Senior High School with adoptions expected in Spring 2023 under the direction of Stefani Ewing.

At the elementary site, strong attendance for Site Council and ELAC meetings, which is stellar. Thank you Cymbre and Deleh for your coordination on that and to Julie Honegger, as well, for a high reclassification rate for our students to graduate from the EL status.

Thank you to our thoughtful board members Richard Browning, Saoirse Bryne, Erika Gatlin, Justin Rhoades, and Linnea Totten. They tirelessly devote their time and energy to do the best they can for kids and staff. I also appreciate Vero, Leigh, Sara, and Angel for their work in the district office and their willingness to support where ever needed.

Wynne Crisman just finished a major wi-fi upgrade for the entire district to provide stable and reliable connectivity.

A comprehensive and complete WASC report for the Junior/Senior High was written by the certificated staff in just four months, and it is a strong report with focus goals outlined for teacher retention/housing, student engagement, Project Based Learning, and facilities improvements.

Twelve students graduated from the Auto Mechanics class at Mendo College. A huge shout out to David Ballantine and Dennis Johnson for making that possibility happen! Another cohort took the on-line Honors English class for college units.

Thank you to Amy Burger for proctoring the on-line math courses and keeping kids on task to pass. It was hard, but they are doing the work.

A resetting of expectations for athletes that they are scholars first and athletes second. This has been a slog in resetting the culture, but I am truly appreciative to John Toohey, and Coaches Mr. and Mrs. Espinoza and Mr. and Mrs. Rhoades making it clear that academics matter. I also, because I am old school, have to LOVE that the teams are now required to dress up on game day to show our pride. Full uniform replacements are on order for all teams with uniforms more than four years old. (Our basketball uniforms are ancient).

Return of the Redwood Classic! Yahoo! Girls Volleyball progressed into the championships and Boy’s Soccer won their division. Good stuff. Girls Soccer enjoyed some strong games as did our football team. Great to have a return of sports in post-Covid, and we thank the coaches for their work.

Removal of all gate fees to ensure participation by our parents/guardians in our sporting events and increase community attendance!

Return of field trips at both sites and college visits! Hugely important. Trips to the Gold Country, FFA Nationals, Puerto Rico and Ashland’s Shakespeare festival, funded in part by the generous donations of the Ed Foundation, are planned for the spring. A college and career fair is planned in February 2023 for sixth grade-12th grade students and families. More than 150 families came to the kick off dinner at the Junior/Senior High School.

A beautifully updated and curated library at the elementary school spearheaded by Kelsey Pearl is a new shining jewel of the site.

A huge shout out to Charlotte Triplett and the Flynn Family Circus for that wonderful Circus Arts summer school. Only in Boonville…

Major clean up of both sites to create an aesthetic that exhibits pride and care. Thank you to our maintenance and grounds crew. Another thank you to Marcia Martinez and our bus drivers for making our buses always get where they need to be!

Funded an interior hallway painting project at the high school and exterior of the middle school to create a reset. A district painter will be hired in the next couple of months to implement a systematic painting plan for the district to improve the aesthetic of the campuses and extend building life.

Thank you to the community businesses that are hosting our students in mentorship opportunities in construction and hospitality industries coordinated by Nat Corey Moran to give real world work experience to our kids. 

We have applied for funding for after school programs for high school and for a community liaison position to increase our opportunity to meet the needs of the whole community.

You have to love the Service Learning kids that petitioned the school board for the land for their skatepark! Democracy in action and a great learning experience under Noor Dawood’s direction.

Clubs have expanded including screen printing, cooking, photography, GSA and more. Elementary clubs are thriving, especially cheer! The more our kids have to do, the BETTER.

But most importantly, I value the strong parent/guardian partnerships. As we began grade reviews throughout the quarter, I think I have had 80 meetings with parents/guardians who want to know how to support their students. We have that same partnership with elementary school parents too. I appreciate the translation of Ernesto Macia and Eric Guerrero in these meetings, and I always walk away feeling that our parents/guardians equally share our goals to have their students succeed.

Areas of focus as we move forward include increasing our students' academic progress, supporting their wellness/well-being (including diminishing the reliance on substances), improving our student’s engagement with Project Based Learning opportunities and robust new curriculum, and getting those facilities to appear top-notch. Teacher housing also has to be addressed. I know this was controversial in the past. Bottom line, the district will not be able to attract and retain talented teachers to fill our vacancies until they can have an affordable and stable place to live in this beautiful community. Student chronic absenteeism and effectively creating the understanding by our community that all students need to come to school every day are also fundamental areas of improvement that will positively impact the achievement and culture of the district every day. When we get everybody to school everyday, we stop having to “catch people up” and are instead, “able to move everyone forward, every day”.

I also want to recognize and thank our retirees that will be finishing their careers at the end of this coming school year (or summer school year):

Deb Pichler

Sid Frazer

Leslie Hubbert

Susan McClure

Jennie Moore

Your service and devotion have impacted a generation of students.

I am very grateful to this community’s welcome and openness. I look forward to a wonderful year ahead.

Wishing you a very joyful New Year!

Sincerely yours,

Louise Simson, Superintendent

Anderson Valley Unified School District

Every Student • Every Possibility • No Matter What

Cell: 707-684-1017

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Crossing the Klamath, Martin's Ferry, 1910

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ROBBIE LANE: For whatever reason, I’ve been recently called by the Creator to do positive things for my fellow man. Having stated that, I’m looking into doing an undominational fellowship, starting here in Anderson Valley. By undominational, I mean just that: No religion or particular set of beliefs required, beyond the knowledge and acceptance that all any of us require is love, compassion, acceptance, and gratitude. I don’t currently even know how this looks, or will pan out. What I know is that I’ve been tasked by the Creator to take matters into my own hands. Hands that have not always been so compassionate. But that has become a part of my past. My new calling is to bring as many of us together as possible, in the spirit of love and compassion. If this resonates with anyone of you, please PM me, or call me at (707) 489-2915.

Again, this is uncharted water for me, but I know that it is what I’m supposed to be doing right now.

We can do joyous, wonderful, impactful things together, if we can all find some sort of common ground.

Please, give me any input and suggestions as to how we can move forward with this…

Christian, Muslim, Buddhist, Jew, Agnostic, all notwithstanding. We are in this together. Atheist as well. We’re all here to be kind to one another, and to be our brother’s keeper.

Think about this, and hit me up with any suggestions or critique.

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by Mark Scaramella

SPEAKING TO the Redwood Valley Municipal Advisory Group last month about the Groundwater Sustainability Agency that the State forced on Mendo a few years ago during one of our recent drought periods, Supervisor Glenn McGourty blurted out this revealing remark: “If we can show that the groundwater basin is being recharged year to year, it should result in less monitoring from the State.”

Of course McGourty and his wine pals (like Al White, for example) resent any pesky water impositions from the state, just like they resented the state’s requirement a few years ago to develop their own plans to coordinate frost water pumping to avoid fish strandings. In that one they even sued and won in the local wine-drenched Superior Court but of course they lost on appeal. Turns out having to prepare their own plans wasn’t such a burden after all. 

We’ve noted before how the Groundwater Sustainability Agency has no interest in sustaining anything other than their own blank draw on whatever water is available for their grapes. That’s why the wine-dominated agency hasn’t done anything but “talk and pump.” They do spend a lot of time and state grant money on meetings, and studies, and consultants and water modeling, and reports… though. 

But McGourty’s blurt to the Redwood Valley MAC makes it as clear as anyone might want: All those studies and meetings and models are nothing more than a transparent attempt to get the state off their back so that they can go back to pumping as usual. 

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ERIC SUNSWHEAT, commenting on the AVA’s website last week mentioned in passing:

“While pumping gas for his car in Ukiah, former County supervisor David Colfax said, once years out of office, he was never asked by County officials, as to his experience or advice on any matter. Expertise lost, although some may have a differing opinion.”

“Expertise”? If by expertise Sunswheat means how to get yourself a pay raise and then hang on to it while you impose pay cuts on County employees? Yes, considerable expertise. We’re not aware of any other “expertise” former Supervisor Colfax might bring to the table — “although some may have a differing opinion…”

But carping aside, the comment brings up an interesting phenomenon regarding former county elected officials. With the occasional exceptions of John Pinches and John McCowen (and going back aways Norman de Vall), we’re not aware of a single Supervisor who has engaged in public discussion on any county matters after leaving office — even though they were deeply involved in them for at least four years or more. 

Just in this century we can think of several names that we’ve never heard from again: Hal Wagenet, Tom Lucier, Carre Brown, Kendall Smith, Dan Hamburg, Michael Delbar, Patty Campbell, Richard Shoemaker, Jim Wattenburger Charles Peterson. 

For one prominent recent example, not one former Supervisor commented on the controversial and wrong-headed consolidation of the Treasurer-Tax Collector and Auditor-Controller. Nor did any of them comment on the crazy pot permitting policy at the time it was being formulated.

Pinches and McCowen have commented on a few subjects after leaving office (water storage projects and additional public debt, respectively). Former Supervisor Norman de Vall commented on a few subjects as well years ago. Former Supervisor Jim Mayfield even made a few remarks at couple of board meetings. Like the rest of the public, they were all totally ignored. 

It’s a two-way street. Colfax’s complaint about not being contacted is contradicted by his silence on County matters since leaving office with his nice pension. If he were keeping up on things he’d comment; he certainly wasn’t reticent as a Supervisor. So if he’s not paying attention and commenting, why would the County or current Supervisors be interested in his “expertise” or experience?

We’d love to hear from any of these alleged public servants on any subject. They shouldn’t need someone to call on them. But like past boards, this current board hasn’t expressed much interest in any public input from anyone, anyway. So why should they waste their breath?

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Hunter Creek Ranch, near the Klamath, 1955

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The search for Ren Oschin began when we posted this item on Mendocino County Today back in April: “Chuck Wilcher relays the sad news that long time coast resident Ren Oschin passed away Tuesday. She was 78. She was a good soul and will be missed by many.”

Which prompted an Indiana man named Steve Hinnefeld to ask if we new anything more about Ren.

And Chuck Wilcher offered, 

“Like most Mendonesians she was kind of eccentric. A nice person overall. Very generous with her money for which (to me anyway) she seemed to have a lot. She donated to several local charities mostly the to the Cancer Resource Center. I met her in person in the mid-90s when she attended the Mac user group meetings we held at the MCOE lab at Mendocino High School. She was also a subscriber of the Redwood FreeNet where most of us got to know her online. It was through the FreeNet she became acquainted with a woman from Maine, Nancy Mason. (She was one of our guests at a user group meeting. Nancy was a big wig in the national OneNet network which my hub and the county library’s hub were connected to. Ren visited her a few times in Maine and, if I remember correctly, paid for a trip to Europe with her. I consulted with her on computer issues many times over the last decade. The last few years she had a helper manage her daily duties and shopping as her health was failing. That’s a brief summary for the many years I knew her.”

I wondered about her because over the long years I’ve encountered so many people whose back stories were vague, so many people who came and went but were vivid enough to wonder about. So I asked Mr. Hinnefeld how he knew Ren.

“You know,” Mr. H began, “it's been 40 years and I don't remember everything. Ren went by ‘Rene’ when she lived in Indiana. I remember that she came here from California, and I think she grew up there; I don't know where in the state. I also don't remember (if I ever knew) what brought her to Bloomington. I remember her once showing me a photo of her father, a handsome, dark-haired man. That was as close as she came to revealing anything personal. ‘Kind of eccentric’ sounds right. I never knew if she had money but don't recall her having a job in the time she was here. We were part of an informal ‘old-time music and dance group’ of young people who got together for weekly contra dances, parties, fiddle-and-banjo music sessions, potlucks, etc. This would have been in the late '70s. Rene became close friends with an older man named Bob ‘Strawberry’ McCloud, who was a very accomplished old-time, square-dance fiddler. A very working-class guy who had lived a kind of rough life. I think he was teaching her to play the fiddle. They were an unusual pair: the short-haired, eccentric young woman from California and the old Kentucky fiddler. In the last few years of his life, she drove him to music festivals in the Midwest and Southeast, where, thanks to her help, he gained sort of a following among young traditional-music revivalists. He died in 1980, and I think she left Bloomington not long after that. She had made some home recordings of his music and shared them with friends, and I'd been trying to reach her in connection with that. I had an email address and phone number from about five years ago, but she never responded to either. Anyway, that's the story as best I remember it. Thanks to you and Chuck for sharing what you know.”

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Nancy Alice Masten, Blue Lake

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Hi Mr. Anderson,

My name is Joseph Collins, and I'm in eighth grade at St. Mary's School, in Ukiah. I have a project called Proteus, which is a 12 page essay on a chosen topic. I want to ask you if I could interview you on the topic I chose, The Russo-Ukrainian War and How it Affects the World. I have researched a lot on this topic already, and I hope you can help me understand more about it. If you can allow it, I would also like to record the interview. The recording will not be shared, except for my teacher. If you want, I can send you the questions that I have for you. You can contact me for the time and place for the interview. 

Thank you for your time, Joseph Collins


I'm flattered to be invited to help, Joseph. I'm not anything like an expert on the conflict but I will share my opinions with you. You may want to expedite your project by sending me the questions, which I can then answer by either email or by telephone. I'll keep them short and to the point although these are big subjects. (Old guys like me can go on and on.) You're welcome to share whatever I say with whomever you like. Please send me the questions.

WHICH young Mr. Collins soon did.

1. How do you think Russia is affected by the war?

2. How do you think Ukraine is affected by the war?

3. How do you think the U.S. is affected by the war?

4. Do you think that Zelensky and Putin will negotiate a peaceful ending to the war?

5. What does Putin want from Ukraine?

6. What do you think the most likely outcome of the war will be?

7. Do you think America is greatly affected by the war?

8. Should we be supplying Ukraine with so many weapons?

First, Mr. Collins, a disclaimer: I have no special knowledge of global affairs, but like most reasonably informed people I fear that the indefensible invasion of Ukraine by Putin's Russia may lead to a wider war in Europe and on into a nuclear exchange between the US and Russia, which would be a major catastrophe for the entire world.

1. How do I think Russia is affected by the war? I like to think most Russians oppose it, but reliable information out of Russia is not available. Ordinary Russians are negatively affected via an increased cost of living, travel bans, deaths of their combatants, and, by extension, being global pariahs.

2. Ukraine has been partially destroyed by the invasion and millions of its citizens forced into exile. It is literally being bombed back into the 19th century.

3. Americans suffer because a huge part of our annual budget is being spent on weapons, money that could be used to at least partially allay the hardships suffered by many people here at home.

4. Zelensky will have to be compelled by the U.S. to negotiate or lose American aid, and Putin is unlikely to negotiate on any terms but his own, hence the present stalemate. The Biden administration seems reluctant to pressure Zelensky and has no influence with Putin. Most wars end when one side or the other “wins.” This war seems likely to continue endlessly.

5. Putin, a nationalist in the Russian tradition, wants all of Ukraine as part of a greater Russia, a unification of all Slav peoples under a Russian umbrella, much as it was under the Czars and then Stalin. 

6. The outcome of this endless war, now in its tenth month, will be the further destruction of Ukraine and more economic hardship for Russians and us Americans who are funding Ukraine and, hovering over all of it, is the ever present possibility of nuclear war.

7. America is harmed by the war by diverting much public money to Ukraine as our own country falls apart.

8. I think we (the U.S.) should make aid to Ukraine contingent upon negotiation to end the war even if it means giving up the Russian-speaking areas of Ukraine. 

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Snowy Mountains & Blue Lake (1953) by Yu Chengyou

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CALL FOR ARTWORK ENTRIES: “Inspirare: A Members’ Juried Exhibition”

Artwork take-in date: Tuesday, January 3, 11am-3pm

The Mendocino Art Center hosts “Inspirare: A Members’ Juried Exhibition,” January 6 to February 5, 2023, an in-person showing juried by award-winning international artist Robert Rhoades.

Enter Your Artwork

*Consider what your artwork's deepest inspiration is: what breathes life into your art ... what, in your artwork, inspires others? The Latin word “inspirare” is from the word spirare or spiritus (spirit), meaning “to breathe” or “breathe into.” What is the nature or spirit of your artwork? A question that can be infinitely evolving, or shrouded in mystery. Please join our artist community in sharing your work.* AWARDS First Place: $100 + *NEW!* We are sweetening the pot with the addition of a FREE two-day class, in-person or online (up to a $320 value)! Second Place: $75 Third Place: $50

More Information

Not A Current Member? There is still time to become a member, enter your artwork in "Inspirare: A Members' Juried Exhibition," and enjoy the benefits of membership.

Join Today!

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On Friday, December 23, 2022 at approximately 1:41 A.M., Mendocino County Sheriff's Deputies were patrolling the area of Brush Street outside of Ukiah when a Deputy observed Kevin Worley, 30, of Ukiah, driving a vehicle. The Deputy was familiar with Worley and knew him to have a suspended license and an active arrest warrant.

Kevin Worley

Worley had stopped and exited his vehicle before the Deputy was able to initiate a traffic stop. The Deputy subsequently contacted Worley in the 300 block of East Gobbi Street.

Worley was detained, and a record's check confirmed the existence of an outstanding Mendocino County misdemeanor warrant for his arrest.

Just before Worley was placed under arrest, the Deputy determined Worley was in possession of a concealed knife, possession of suspected methamphetamine and suspected fentanyl.

Worley was placed under arrest for the misdemeanor warrant, possession of a controlled substance, and possession of a concealed dirk or dagger.

Worley was booked into the Mendocino County Jail where he was to be held in lieu of $18,500 bail.

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MARSHALL NEWMAN: From e-bay, a local matchbook of its era - the 1940s. Before my time. Love the phone number, which was before the"TWinbrook 5" prefix of the 1950s. 

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by Michelle Hutchins, outgoing Superintendent of County Schools

At the end of this year, as many of you know, my tenure as County Superintendent of Schools will come to a close. These past four years, which included a life-altering pandemic, have made me a better leader, a better professional, and a better person. I leave my position with an immense sense of gratitude to the many individuals and partner agencies who have been central to carrying out the mission of the Mendocino County Office of Education (MCOE).

First, I would like to recognize the staff of the county office, who together, working arm in arm, embraced change, and a new vision for students across the county. They are among the most dedicated and extraordinary people I have known, and I am so grateful to them. MCOE is a team that knows and embodies our values of Service, Excellence, Innovation, and Teamwork - as we carry out our work every day.

I am proud of the new coastal center and the staff supporting our coastal school district partners. We changed the way in which we do our professional development. Prior to the pandemic, we had begun to explore new ways to deliver training. We are pleased with the progress made at supporting our employees in their professional development and learning, which ultimately impacts the quality of service we provide to our students and families.

Over the last four years, it is important to note that we hired many fantastic employees. When it comes to innovation, our team implemented many new initiatives that positively impact students all over the county. Between how we teach and how we approach student learning as mentors and as staff developers, we've brought Innovation to the classroom in Mendocino County. We have the first-ever educational technology leadership Consortium that Mendocino County has ever seen.

Lastly, I want to commend the MCOE team for their commitment to teamwork and a continuous improvement mindset. All our departments are now aligned with the California system of support. Together we created a map of how to continue to move MCOE forward.

And once again, thank you to all those individuals who make the MCOE the amazing organization that it is.

The work of a county office of education is complex, and multi-layered, and involves many external agencies to deliver critical services and support to our students. I would like to thank our local public health agency, the law enforcement agencies that serve our county, and countless nonprofits that support our students and families every day. Your work is vital to the health, safety, and well-being of our entire community. Thank you for being trusted partners that we can count on.

As I begin a new chapter in my career, I leave knowing that the work we have accomplished together will carry on. I look forward to being your partner in our joint mission to serve the students and families of Mendocino County.

It has been a pleasure to serve as your County Superintendent of Schools.

* * *

CATCH OF THE DAY, Tuesday, December 27, 2022

Barth, Chorley, Ewing

KARL BARTH, Fort Bragg. DUI with priors.

SHALEEN CHORLEY, Fort Bragg. Petty theft with priors-merchandise, paraphernalia, loaded firearm in public, concealed firearm in vehicle, drinking in public.

JESSICA EWING, Ukiah. Probation revocation.

Gomez, Kummer, Lockwood

GERARDO GOMEZ-LOPEZ, Willits. DUI with blood-alcohol over 0.15%, no license.

KATE KUMMER, Ukiah. Failure to appear, probation revocation.

BRYAN LOCKWOOD, Santa Rosa/Ukiah. Taking vehicle without owner’s consent, stolen property.

Massarelli, Rose, Villalpando

ROBERT MASSARELLI, Fort Bragg. DUI, probation revocation.

PETER ROSE JR., Point Arena. Burglary, vandalism. 

RUSSELL VILLALPANDO, Fort Bragg. Disorderly conduct-alcohol.

* * *


Good Luck, Postmodern America!

1:51PM on a sunny December 27th, tap tap tapping away at RespecTech in Ukiah, California. Identifying with "that which is prior to consciousness", there's $97.74 in the bank, still sleeping for free at the Building Bridges homeless shelter on South State Street (Telephone Messages: (707) 234-3270), accepting money at, snail mail may be sent to: P.O. Box 938, Redwood Valley, CA 95470, and da blog (which Earth First!er Ron Huber made for me) is at What more can I say? ~Happy New Year~

Craig Louis Stehr,

* * *

* * *


UKIAH, Monday, Dec. 26. -- Criminal Justice Laws Passed By The Legislature In Sacramento And Approved By Governor Newsom For 2023. 

AB 256 -- “The Racial Justice Act For All" 

AB 256 provides relief in cases where a final judgment was entered before January 1, 2021. This bill requires the court, upon a showing of good cause, to order disclosure of evidence related to a potential violation of the prohibition on seeking a criminal conviction or sentence based on race, ethnicity, or national origin. An exception to disclosure would apply when a statutory privilege or constitutional privacy right cannot be adequately protected by redaction or a protective order.

Evidence of a criminal conviction or sentence based on race may include non-statistical evidence.

A court must consider the totality of the evidence in determining whether a significant difference in seeking or obtaining convictions or in imposing sentences (based on race, ethnicity, or national origin has been established. Courts must consider whether systemic and institutional racial bias, racial profiling, and historical patterns of racially biased policing and prosecution may have contributed to, or caused differences observed in, the data or impacted the availability of data overall.

AB 2195 (Jones-Sawyer) -- “The Alternate Plea Act”

Drug convictions can subject immigrants to mandatory ICE detention with no possibility of release on bond. Drug convictions are grounds for deportation and bar most forms of immigration relief. AB 2195 creates an alternative plea for those charged with specified drug offenses, while maintaining the same criminal penalties. 

Prosecutors will have the discretion to offer this alternative plea on a case-by-case basis and only at the request of the defense counsel. This bill amends PC 370 to create PC 372.5, which will serve as a substitute plea for a drug charge that can be offered after a negotiation between the defense and the prosecution.

AB 2417 -- "Youth Bill Of Rights”

The Juvenile Youth Bill of Rights protections will apply to all youth in California including those in county-run facilities. The Youth Bill of Rights includes protections against discrimination based on gender expression and immigration status, timely access to restroom facilities, clean clothing and education access.

SB 357 (Wiener) -- “The Safer Streets For All Act”

This bill repeals the provision of California law criminalizing “loitering with the intent to engage in prostitution” and allows those convicted of a violation of loitering with the intent to commit prostitution to petition the court for the dismissal and sealing of their case, and resentencing.

AB 960 -- “Expanding Compassionate Release”

This bill requires the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) to make a recommendation for recall or resentencing of prisoners who have a serious and advanced illness with an end-of-life trajectory or who are permanently medically incapacitated. The bill creates a presumption in favor of recall and resentencing if the court finds that an incarcerated person is medically qualified and requires the appointment of counsel for indigent incarcerated persons referred for recall and resentencing under these provisions.

AB 1981 -- “Jury Pay”

The bill increases travel reimbursement for jurors to $12 per day and provides free or reimbursed public transit to and from courthouse for jurors statewide. It directs the Judicial Council to conduct a pilot program and study in six counties on whether increasing juror compensation and travel reimbursement increases juror diversity and participation.

AB 2167 -- “Alternatives To Incarceration”

Courts must consider alternatives to incarceration, including, collaborative justice court programs, diversion, restorative justice, and probation. Legislative intent is that the disposition of any criminal case use the least restrictive means available.

SB 371 -- “Criminal Records: Relief”

Allows withdrawing a plea and deleting arrest records for the purpose of most criminal background checks.

SB 990 -- “Parole: County Of Release”

Requires that prisoners paroled from the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) be released, transferred, or permitted to travel to a county where they have educational, vocational, outpatient treatment, or housing unless the person would present a threat to public safety.

SB 1008 -- “The Keep Families Connected Act"

Makes all communication services — including phone calls, video calls, and electronic messaging — free in all county jails, juvenile halls, and state prisons in California, thereby eliminating predatory communications costs for incarcerated people and their loved ones.

SB 1106 -- “Victim Restitution”

Provides that failure to pay court-ordered restitution to victims of crime shall not be grounds denial of a defendant's petition for expungement relief; denial of release on parole to another state; or denial of a petition for reduction of a conviction.

-- Information compiled by the Uthman Law Office of San Francisco.

(via District Attorney David Eyster)

* * *


“We are experiencing a confluence of crises resulting in catastrophic economic impact to our local agricultural industry,” said Colusa County Supervisor Daurice Kalfsbeek Smith. “We call on the State to provide immediate action to support our local economy, communities, and families.”

* * *


by Claire Hao

The Bay Area was a model of cooperation during the early years of the COVID pandemic, as residents sheltered in place, lined up for vaccines and donned masks in public. Many locals looked on with consternation as health precautions became politicized in other parts of the country.

Yet, even in this conscientious region, vigilance hasn’t lasted. As another winter COVID surge grips the region, large numbers of people are forgoing masks and skipping the latest booster — a vital tool in preventing serious illness as immunity from previous shots or infection wanes.

Since the emergence of vaccines and better COVID treatments — and the lifting of blunt governmental measures such as mask mandates — the public approach to the coronavirus has become more laissez-faire. Some call this approach the “figure it out yourself” era of the pandemic. But individual choices still exact a heavy toll on vulnerable populations, such as older and immunocompromised people, some of whom are retreating again from the public square.

Compounding widespread apathy toward the latest surge is considerable confusion over how to behave at this stage in the crisis. Experts say, in particular, that the rollout of the new bivalent vaccine booster — the first to target both the original coronavirus and the omicron family of variants — has been tepid. Without a strong marketing push and government resources put into distribution, many Americans are unaware of the booster’s benefits, or even its existence.

“The situation is that people are left to decide as individuals,” said Denise Herd, a UC Berkeley behavioral sciences professor in the School of Public Health. “Without a lot of information, without a lot of support for some of these public health measures, we’re going to see what we do now.”

To date, only 21.4% of eligible Californians have received the bivalent vaccine, leaving the majority more vulnerable to severe illness. California’s uptake is higher than the national average of 14.6%, but still only a fraction of the 72.5% of people who received the initial two-dose vaccine series. The bivalent vaccine is authorized for Californians older than 6 months, depending on when someone completed their initial two-dose series and when they last received the older “monovalent” booster.

Bay Area counties lead the California average in booster uptake, but the proportion is still relatively low, ranging from 23% to 38% of the eligible population. That may be contributing to the sharp increase in local COVID cases in the past month and rising hospitalizations that further tax a medical system already straining with outbreaks of flu and respiratory syncytial virus, or RSV.

‘Pandemic fatigue fatigue’ and confusion

Some fatigue with the pandemic is “natural, expected and real,” said Marin County public health officer Matt Willis. He noted that the term has been used since 2020. Perhaps now, “we’re getting pandemic fatigue fatigue,” Willis said.

After all, the ability to self-regulate “is like a muscle that gets tired,” said Benjamin Rosenberg, a psychology professor at Dominican University of California. “Making that risk calculation every time you go out, it’s exhausting,” he said.

A recent Chronicle survey found fewer Bay Area residents wearing masks to go to the supermarket, despite the current COVID resurgence. While not a scientific study, comments offered to reporters — people without masks said they “gave up” and wanted to “move on with life” — underscored the public health challenge of encouraging voluntary compliance.

It’s easier to make healthy decisions when people have clear, credible and accessible information, and for the decision itself to be relatively easy to make, said Stanford medicine Professor Kevin Schulman, who researched marketing campaigns for the initial vaccines in 2021. But in the current pandemic landscape, Schulman said, it’s hard to find those attributes.

“This is no longer a scientific undertaking that all of us are following every week,” Schulman said.

Indeed, added Rosenberg, other “big-ticket items replaced COVID at the top of the list of things people are seeking to read about,” whether inflation, layoffs, Ukraine, abortion rights, the Warriors or the weather. And there’s only so much bad news that’s healthy to absorb: psychologists have actually measured an increase in news-related stress,according to the American Psychological Association.

“Some people are quite literally turning away from information about COVID. It’s almost like an ‘ignorance is bliss’ instinct,” Rosenberg said.

The waning attention is lessening cooperation with public health efforts. A September poll found, for instance, that half of the American publichad heard “little or nothing” about the bivalent vaccine.

But lukewarm messaging and the lack of a mass marketing campaign share the blame, Schulman said. “We’re not putting nearly as much effort into this as we put into getting people to vote for somebody,” he said, referring to political ads during the midterm elections.

Information isn’t reaching the people who need it most, added Debbie Toth, CEO of the Pleasant Hill-based nonprofit Choice in Aging. Older people get their information mostly from radio and television news, and sometimes the local newspaper. “I can tell you that older adults are not going to public health websites to look things up,” she said.

Lack of federal funding, mobilization

The White House has acknowledged the confusion to some extent. But it has also blamed Congress for failing to authorize additional funding to support the coronavirus response.

Meanwhile, the Centers for Disease Control has delegated much of the pandemic response to state and local public health departments who, in turn, say they’re looking to the CDC for guidance, said Stanford medicine Professor Seema Yasmin, an expert in science communication.

“In the middle of that, you have hundreds of millions of Americans who are like, ‘Who’s in charge of what’s going on, and what should I do?’” Yasmin said.

Resources are “really limited,” with no additional federal funding to do mass vaccination sites or other large campaigns, said San Francisco Health Officer Susan Philip.

Programs such as those that sent teams of people into nursing homes to vaccinate seniors in 2021 have been curtailed or eliminated.

“It’s the people with health insurance, with computers, with transportation options that still can really choose to be vaccinated or not,” said UC Berkeley’s Herd.

Some older and disabled people concerned

The urge to get back to “normal” life may be stronger among younger people, but they’re also at lower risk. More than half of confirmed COVID cases in California are among those aged 18 to 49, according to the most recent data from the state COVID-19 dashboard. Yet, Californians older than 65 — who are one-sixth of the population — make up nearly three-quarters of confirmed deaths in the state.

Another group at heightened risk of severe illness and hospitalization are people whose immune systems are compromised. As masks come off and precautions melt away, disabled writer, speaker and model Charis Hill, who has the inflammatory disease ankylosing spondylitis, has gone into isolation for self-protection.

“The fatigue of a lot of non-disabled people is that they want to travel again,” Hill said. “My fatigue is I just want autonomy over my own life and daily living activities.”

A return to normal ignores that “normal has never been good for disabled people,” Hill said.

Some jurisdictions are now moving to reinstate limited regulations. Last week, the Oakland City Council reimposed a mask mandate inside publicly operated buildings after lobbying from groups such as Senior & Disability Action.

Senior & Disability Action director Jessica Lehman despaired of the mind-set that COVID isn’t serious if mostly older and disabled people are going to the hospital and dying. It reinforces the idea that “seniors and disabled people are less important, less valued in society,” she said.

But most public health officials remain reluctant to enact mask mandates. “We will not be mandating behaviors unless there’s a major change in the virus,” such as a more virulent strain that’s highly infectious, Willis said.

Possible solutions

Short of across-the-board mandates or expensive marketing and incentive campaigns, health experts see ways the general public could be engaged again in helping to slow the virus and protecting themselves.

“You change the environment to make the healthy choice the easy choice,” said Dr. Sara Cody, the public health officer for Santa Clara County.

Simple measures can go a long way: offering free masks at the entrance of buildings, or suggesting patients get the bivalent vaccine when they visit their doctor or go to the pharmacy to pick up a prescription. The key is to grab their attention “at the fleeting moment” they become motivated, said Dominican’s Rosenberg.

It may also involve a rebranding of the vaccine: If part of pandemic fatigue derives from the sense of uncertainty, then “the vaccine itself is actually the remedy because it makes you safer in every way,” said Marin County’s Willis.

Added San Francisco’s Philip, “we need to reinforce the message that … it’s very effective at keeping people out of the hospital.”

(SF Chronicle)

* * *

* * *


California Gov. Gavin Newsom granted 10 pardons Friday, including for several people convicted of drug crimes more than 20 years ago and someone facing the possibility of deportation.

The California Constitution gives the governor authority to grant clemency. A commutation reduces the length of a prison sentence. A pardon would effectively do the same, but it also restores certain civil rights for people who have already completed their sentences.

In several of the cases, the pardon recipients received a Certificate of Rehabilitation from superior courts across the state after giving evidence that they had been “living an upright life” since their convictions.

Newsom looked at the recipients' conduct after the offense, as well as whether the pardon is “consistent with public safety and in the interest of justice.” The governor also weighed how how a pardon would affect the community, including crime victims and survivors, a news release said.

Newsom has granted 140 pardons, 123 commutations and 35 reprieves since taking office in 2019.

“Pardons do not forgive or minimize the harm caused by crime. Instead, these pardons recognize the pardon grantees’ self-development and rehabilitation since then,” the governor's office said in the release.

Newsom’s pardons Friday included:

—U.S Army veteran John Berger, who was convicted of transporting a controlled substance in 1994. He now works to support others with their sobriety.

—Kathy Uetz, who was convicted of drug-related crimes in 1997 and has since volunteered more than 5,000 hours with a community emergency response team.

—Santiago Lopez, who was convicted of drug crimes in 2001 at 19 years old. He is now a facility manager of his church, as well as a peer counselor and, with his wife, the founder of a non-profit for youth leaders.

—Lucas Beltran Dominguez, 60, who faces deportation and family separation because of his conviction for transporting or selling marijuana and possession of marijuana for sale. The father of seven is an active member of his church.

—Michael Farrier, who was convicted of first-degree burglary and second-degree robbery.

—Kimberly Gregorio, who was sentenced to four years of probation and 180 days in jail in 1988 for possession of a controlled substance for sale and obstructing an officer.

—James King Ill, who has a conviction for selling cocaine.

—Kenneth Lyerly, who was sentenced in 2004 for a conviction of possession of a controlled substance for sale.

—Jimmy Picton, who has convictions from the 1970s for trespassing and possession of a controlled substance for sale.

—Julie Ruehle, who was sentenced to prison at 19 years old in 1999 for possession of a controlled substance and taking a vehicle without consent.


* * *

* * *


by Scott Ostler

There must have been a collective sigh of relief among fans of the San Francisco 49ers watching the telecast of the Memphis Grizzlies-Golden State Warriors game Christmas night.

The TV camera zoomed in to the courtside seats, where Brock Purdy was yukking it up with Deebo Samuel. Two 49ers teammates, just hangin’ out, having fun.

Why is that important? Well, over the decades, there has been a belief among 49ers fans, and in the media, that there is an ongoing tension and simmering hostility in the 49ers’ locker room over who the starting quarterback is.

Even going into this season, there was a buzz over how the team would react to Jimmy Garoppolo being evicted from his starting job in favor of the untested Trey Lance. The players love Jimmy! Jimmy versus Trey will tear apart the locker room!

Now, with Purdy starting to take on the look of an heir apparent, it’s, The players love Jimmy! Jimmy versus Brock is going to divide the locker room!

Is that really how it works? I checked with an expert on the subject of quarterback controversies and locker-room chemistry.

If anyone knows about what QB controversy turmoil can do to a team, it’s Joe Montana, right?

How was it back then, Joe, when you were the incumbent, being unseated by upstart Steve Young?

Quick recap: Montana led the 49ers to Super Bowl championships after the 1988 and ’89 seasons (having already earned the Niners’ first two rings after 1981 and 1984), and to the NFC title game after the 1990 season, then got hurt and missed ’91 and most of ’92 while rehabbing. When it looked like head coach George Seifert wouldn’t give Montana the starting job back, Montana requested and got a trade.

“I don’t really think there was a division (within the team), until Steve got to play while I was hurt,” Montana said.

So he didn’t feel tension in the locker room?

“Maybe off the field, with the guys upstairs, but not down in the locker room. The only tension was what Seifert kind of made, when you’re telling me I can’t come in the locker room. He goes, ‘I want you to come in (for treatment) after they go to the team meeting, and get your treatment and get out before they come out.’”

Sound familiar? Super Bowl quarterback forced into an awkward exile from his teammates? Must be a 49ers thing.

“George didn’t want me around,” Montana said. “That’s how I took up flying, that’s how I got my flying license. Well, my wife didn’t want me home,” he said with a laugh.

So the Joe versus Steve tension drove Montana not inside or outside, but up, taking to the skies. I didn’t ask Montana whether he considered strafing the practice field or towing a banner behind his plane, “Put me in coach, I’m ready!”

Once Montana was healthy, the controversy reheated, at least to the outside world.

“Then there might have been a division,” Montana said, “but you don’t really feel it in the locker room. The players just jump behind whoever is in there.”

If so, if that’s the way it is now with the 49ers, that sucks a lot of fun and excitement out of the situation for us voyeuristic outsiders. But these are different times. Maybe football players of today are more attuned to their feelings, more sensitive.

There seems to be a general assumption that players must take sides, almost as if the locker room is divided like the church at a wedding: friends of the groom on one side, friends of the bride on the other.

That belief is reinforced when the players embrace a new quarterback so enthusiastically. The 49ers loved Garoppolo, then they loved Lance, then Garoppolo again, now Purdy. How can true love be transferred so easily?

I blame it on George Kittle. The tight end was the president of the Jimmy G fan club, with the T-shirts and the kidding and the love and admiration. When Lance took the job this season, Kittle was effusive in his support. Kittle now is Purdy’s big-brother cheerleader.

There’s a lesson for future 49ers quarterbacks: Get Kittle on your side.

Here’s what I suspect. The players have their opinions on who should be quarterbacking, but it doesn’t change their job. Tackle Trent Williams doesn’t play to a 9.3 effort level when Garoppolo is in the game, and a 9.8 level for Purdy.

In fact, the players might enjoy the soap opera. It focuses attention on the team, and it spices up what can be a hard, boring job: lift weights, bang heads, rehab what hurts, repeat.

It helps that the 49ers have a knack for attracting quarterbacks who are likable and personable, popular with teammates. Montana, Young, Alex Smith, Garoppolo, Lance, Purdy. The only exception in that time span might be Colin Kaepernick. He was aloof in his earlier years, but in his final season with the 49ers, his teammates voted him the most inspirational player.

So, sorry, drama lovers. The 49ers’ locker room apparently won’t be torn apart over their quarterbacks. Unless maybe Purdy has a couple of rough games … and Garoppolo looks ready to play.

* * *

JOE AND JILL BIDEN are wheels up for a warm winter break in the sunny U.S. Virgin Islands as of Tuesday evening, leaving behind a nation wracked by a massive winter storm.

At least 70 people are dead and tens of thousands have been stranded to spend the holidays in an airport as airlines cancel flights en masse. But the Bidens will avoid another crisis on the home front while they're lounging in the sun - the Supreme Court ruled that the Trump-era Title 42 border restriction will remain in effect until at least February. The policy was due to expire hours after the Bidens took off - at December 27 at midnight. A fresh onslaught of border crossers were expected to make their break for the U.S.-Mexico border without Title 42.

— Daily Mail

* * *

* * *


After having taught medical residents from all over the country over the past 30 or so years (in major state and private university med ctrs), it is clear to me that those physicians most lacking in common sense are those from the Northeastern and West Coast cities. Schooled but poorly educated, they can quote facts but can’t apply them well to clinical situations, and are particularly confused w/ complex cases. CREATIVITY! They have none!!!! And the worst I’ve seen have been from so called ‘major ivy league med schools in the Northeast: automatons who can recite textbooks but can’t practice medicine worth a tinkers damn. And most hate their patients, especially those from ‘lower economic’ backgrounds. Zero compassion, zero empathy. I suspect this observation applies to other professions as well. Attorneys I know tell me the same scenario.

* * *

The Klamath and the Martin's Ferry

* * *


War has been raging in Ukraine since February 24. Without the support of the United States and the European Union, a sustained defense effort similar to what the world has witnessed would likely have been inconceivable.

But how much support has Ukraine received, and what difference has it made?

Only last week, US President Joe Biden pledged another $45bn in support for Ukraine – a package congress will now negotiate over. If the proposal is passed, it would be the fourth us aid package for Ukraine and the total money allocated for Ukraine since February would be nearly $100bn.

These staggering figures have led Russian apologist voices such as Republican Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene to claim that Ukraine has turned into a proxy war conducted by the US and against Russia. But it is not merely the fringe of the Grand Old Party that seems inclined to repeat Russian propaganda.

British newspaper The Independent published an opinion piece by its US correspondent titled: “It’s time to stop pretending what’s happening in Ukraine is anything other than a US proxy war.”…

* * *



  1. Marmon December 28, 2022

    RE: TOP STORY OF 2022

    Elon Musk’s Twitter Files show FBI/DHS/CIA/Deep State and Twitter (along with other Big Tech companies) interfered in the 2020 election.


    • Marmon December 28, 2022

      The Rabbit Hole posted

      “The media’s the most powerful entity on earth. They have the power to make the innocent guilty and to make the guilty innocent, and that’s power. Because they control the minds of the masses.”

      -Malcolm X

      “Twitter can change that”

      Elon Musk @elonmusk Replying to @TheRabbitHole84


    • Chuck Dunbar December 28, 2022

      Not to mention Fox News and all of Trump’s lawyers and sycophants and all the rest….

  2. Bill Pilgrim December 28, 2022

    re: Youth Wants To Know.
    “5. Putin, a nationalist in the Russian tradition, wants all of Ukraine as part of a greater Russia…”
    Bollocks! That big lie has been fostered in the west even before the SMO. The Russians want a neighbor that is not a base for NATO missile batteries and troops, not a base for Neo-Nazi militias, not a base for rabid Russophobes with military capabilities. The last thing Putin wants is dominion over a state that has consistently been labeled one of the most corrupt in the world.

    • Marmon December 28, 2022

      Bill Pilgrim, Focus, Focus, Focus. Russia, Russia, Russia.


    • Bruce Anderson December 28, 2022

      That too, Bill, but it’s all driven by Russian nationalism.

      • john ignoffo December 28, 2022

        Cui bono. Uncle Sam was never going to allow our German brethren to become dependent on Russian gas. If that means the destruction of Ukraine, oh well. What was wrong with the Minsk II peace proposal? Putin naively thought having a few thousand nuclear weapons meant he could act as brutally as NATO does. No way, Vlad!

  3. Chuck Dunbar December 28, 2022


    Power out here for 20 hours yesterday, not the end of the world for sure, thinking with empathy of Ukraine’s terrible plight. Large tree toppled over onto lines and power pole two blocks away, lots of chain saw work to be done before the linemen could work their magic. Just as the power came on at 6:49 pm, the classic “Truckin’ “ was playing on my battery-powered radio. These were the words I heard: “Sometimes the lights all shining on me…” It was a classic moment of serendipity that made me grin.

    So, thanks to the PG&E crews for your hard work, and to the Grateful Dead for their fitting words at the perfect time.

  4. Marmon December 28, 2022

    Should parents who expose their children to sexually explicit events and content lose custody of their kids?

    Marmon (former Child Welfare Worker)

    • Bruce Anderson December 28, 2022

      Yes. Any other questions today, Jimbo?

      • Marmon December 28, 2022


        You would be surprised about what’s going on with the Woke Social Services today. I know a grandmother who was denied placement in her home because the Social Worker was concerned that she wanted to get counseling for her 10 year old granddaughter who wanted to transition. Another grandmother I’ve been in touch with is being denied access to her 12 year old pregnant granddaughter who is in foster care. You don’t get more woke than today’s National Association of Social Workes (NASW) is. Only a matter of time before they allow pedophilia.


        • Bruce Anderson December 28, 2022

          Odd that you rightwingers have all these twisted but remote sexual fears storming through your fraught heads. Que pasa?

          • Chuck Dunbar December 28, 2022

            Rightwing fanatics attempt to distract us from their lack of meaningful policy ideas with this kind of titilating stuff. The psychological defense mechanism of “projection” almost entirely explains their current obsession with so-called sexual deviancy. Dirt assigned to others cancels their own deep-seated dirt that if allowed into the open would shame them. James can further explain this to us…

    • Marco McClean December 28, 2022

      Should parents who beat Jesus into their kids, and refuse to vaccinate them, and restrict their learning to a single magical book of nonsense history, lose custody of them? How about parents who subject them to ritual surgery to cut the end of their penis off? Or parents whose company commits great crimes to make them rich enough to have a nanny raise them while the parents travel for sport and further crimes? Should parents proud that their only source of political and social information is Fox News and downward from there lose custody of their kids? How about parents where the mother shamelessly bares her naked face or ankle in public for men to see who are not her brothers nor her husband? Should parents of /absolute litters/ of children lose custody of them?

  5. Bruce McEwen December 28, 2022

    RE: The Joe Bidens slipping off in the night to the sunny beaches and leaving the country in the clutches of the worst winter storm in memory — “Where’s all the outrage, now?” (to borrow a rhetorical device from the late Rush Limburger) when there was no end of it (outrage) when the Ron DeSantises took a vacation from the recent record-setting hurricane in Florida.

    Over to you, James…

  6. Lazarus December 28, 2022

    TikTok is banned on US Government devices.
    But they are a major sponsor of ESPN’s Halftime Show today. Optics…?
    What a Country, Joe Biden’s America!
    Happy New Year,

    • Chuck Dunbar December 28, 2022

      Trump had a chance to deal with TikTok, spouted off like he was going to ban it, but just blew it off, did nada, so it’s not just President Biden.

      • Bruce McEwen December 28, 2022

        It’s nice to have somebody to look down on, isn’t it. You can lick Biden’s boots when he wades in shit and spit it on poor old looser Trump; yes, and National Sore Loser Day is coming up next Friday == but let’s not set any precedence that could rebound on other presidents, eh, buddy?

        Giving up the Democrats is like giving up gluten — you feel better before it has even had time to work; try it!

  7. David December 28, 2022

    Does anyone else here think Robbie Lane and Craig Stehr should have a meet and greet? They sound like they share a calling.

    Also, I grew up watching Monty Python (Flying Circus, as well as the films) and I never thought that men dressed as, and pretending to be women, was at all sexually explicit. Men in drag reading children’s books to children just seems like a slightly different, yet equally benign form of entertainment.

    Boomers are very well aware of Monty Python, and many other similar tv shows and films, so why is this such a big issue? Did you all have issues with any of it back in the day?

    I’m a Gen X open minded person, who very much trips up on and sometimes bristles at all of the new terms for sexual preferences and the pronoun thing, but some of these over the top reactions/opinions on it that I’ve read here (and elsewhere) from clearly intelligent people, make me question what it is you’re all seeing and or assuming about these drag story reading events.

    • Chuck Dunbar December 28, 2022

      Thank you, David, for your thoughtful, sensible post.

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