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THE BRIEF INTERMISSION in active weather will abruptly end today as another strong Pacific cyclone begins to impact the region. This storm system will bring gusty to strong southerly winds, high elevation snow, and a new widespread flooding threat from heavy rainfall on top of already saturated ground. (NWS)
HWY 128 IS OPEN, SAYS CALTRANS
Hwy 128 is open, says Caltrans on it's highway information website: https://roads.dot.ca.gov
Earlier it was closed in two places by fallen trees, including at Indian Creek just past Philo, as well as from the coast to Flynn Creek Road.
Two more hits are on the way from the current storm series, and they will definitely close 128 again, so be sure to check the website linked above before planning to travel.
Best advice is stay home, don't roam!
POINT ARENA CITY HALL OPEN FOR ELECTRONICS CHARGING AND WIFI DURING POWER OUTAGE
Point Arena City Hall/Veteran's Memorial Building is now open via generator with full power and internet access.
Residents are encouraged to visit City Hall to charge electronics, use wi-fi, and receive updates.
Hours of operation are 9am to 4pm Friday and Saturday or for as long as the outage lasts. It is expected that power will not be restored in Point Arena until at least Saturday evening.
Point Arena City Hall is located at 451 School Street in Point Arena.
Paul Andersen <firstname.lastname@example.org>
THE MCHCD BOARD MEETING HAS BEEN POSTPONED. The new date is tentatively 1/12/23. Info at http://MCHCD.org/
KATHY WYLIE: Re-sharing from Mikael Blaisdell's post: “The Point Cabrillo Lighthouse got hit with a wave this morning that busted the back doors and flooded the interior to about 2 feet. Stay away from the headlands!"
KNYO IS TEMPORARILY OFF THE AIR, but is still on the web at KNYO.org
Bob Young will write soon with all the details, but the short story is:
KNYO's tower was a 70-foot tree with the antenna at the top. This storm knocked that tower down. Options are: 1. Put up a man-made tower right where the old one was and avoid any FCC fuss about location and power and so on. That's almost as expensive as starting a whole radio station all over again, so probably not. 2. Wrestle the paperwork through the FCC meatgrinder -- time-consuming -- and move the transmitter down into town with the antenna on the roof of the studio, the way most small-town low-power stations do it. Slightly less expensive, but there are landlords to deal with too. And 3. I don't know. There might be another organic tower near enough to the existing transmitter site, meaning a matter of yards this way or that, to just run a fresh cable up and put the antenna there. I don't think there is, though.
Until the antenna goes back up in the air, wherever that is, which might be a week and it might be months (see above), KNYO will only be on the web via KNYO.org. Tell your friends. I'll be doing my all-Friday-night Memo of the Air shows as usual, and I think the other airpeople involved will also be continuing. KNYO runs on about $12,000 a year. The expense of whatever solution is picked will add thousands to that. If you've been on the fence about helping real local radio with some money, now might be when to get off the fence and send the actual money. There's a donation heart at KNYO. Poke it and see what happens inside you, like when you go to the dog pound just to look, not expecting to commit, but of course you fall in love and come home with a puppy. Something like that.
by Mark Scaramella
Among the new Consent Calendar rules in the Board of Supervisors 2023 Rules of Procedure are some crazy high cost thresholds.
“Consent items consist of items that are routine in nature and that do not require individual consideration. Such items may be moved from the Consent Calendar to Discussion for separate consideration at the request of a Supervisor, or the County Executive Officer,” explains the intro.
“The following matters are appropriate for the Consent Calendar:
• Equipment purchases less than $750,000
• Service purchases of less than $750,000
. . .
• Agreements/contracts or extensions/amendments/change orders to contract which do not
individually or cumulatively exceed $750,000
• Unbudgeted expenditure which is absorbed within existing budget and is under $100,000
Then they add: [NOTE: This is a partial listing.]”
Our first impression was that this was just a typo, that sombody added an extra zero or two, by mistake. But no, they actually think that agenda items of less than a whopping $750,000 are “routine.” It’s yet another indication of this Board’s reckless attitude about public expenditures, their lack of oversight of departmental expenditures and a reflection of their extreme indifferance toward County operations.
PS. There was no section concerning the Consent Calendar in last year’s Rules of Procedure, making this unprecedentedly high threshold even more outrageous. They just throw it out there. There is also no mention of restrictions on retroactive consent calendar items, a subject that previous boards specifically frowned on and required explanations for (although they seldom failed to approve them). There are three sizable retroactive items on next Tuesday’s Board consent calendar, plus one on the regular calendar.)
* * *
SPEAKING OF PROFLIGATE SPENDING, despite continuing to claim that money is tight, and despite near torrential rain amounts falling on the County, the Board proposes to spend $223k this year for an expensive consultant “to Serve as The Water Resource Specialist and to Create a Mendocino County Water Resource Team to Serve as the Mendocino County Water Agency.” Yes, we know, there’s still a drought. But couldn’t this be postponed if money is tight?
* * *
HERE’S ANOTHER ODD ONE: “Adoption of Resolution Approving Department of Transportation Agreement Number 220039, Amended and Restated Franchise Agreement Between the County of Mendocino and Solid Wastes of Willits, Inc., Effective January 1, 2023, Through December 31, 2029 [sic], for Residential and Commercial Garbage, Recyclable Material and Organic Waste Collection for Solid Waste Franchise Area Number One (Willits, Westport, Laytonville, Covelo and Leggett Areas).”
WE ARE NOT SURPISED THAT TRASH COLLECTION RATES ARE GOING UP under a new contract, especially given higher fuel costs and dump fees, but a seven year contract? It’s unheard of. In the past the outyears were options and they didn’t extend over seven years! We don’t see how this benefits the County or Solid Wastes of Willits.
* * *
IN THEIR LATEST GRANT APPLICATION for $5 million more in state “local equity grant” funding, Mendo offers this explanation for why they need the money:
“Mendocino County has been subject to more paramilitary cannabis eradication than any other county in the state except Humboldt County. Initially the communities most targeted were the “back to the land” migrants who grew these cash crops to supplement their income in this high poverty (over 19%) rural county. The county is home, still, to these households along with their descendants.
“The cannabis market initiated, and maintained, by these residents provided much needed economic opportunities for county residents. Eventually the cannabis economy generalized throughout Mendocino County, which included existing cultivators, but also and bringing in new migration pulled by market opportunities. About 10 years ago the cultivation market crashed and local and state regulatory policies around cultivation became increasing volatile between 2008 and 2016.
“In a prohibition impact survey administered by the Mendocino Cannabis Alliance, populations impacted within Mendocino County included those living in Covelo, Redwood Valley, Laytonville, Round Valley, Anderson Valley, Willits, Potter Valley, Ukiah, and Mendocino Village among others. Specifically, those growing in the legal medical marketplace were put at risk of Federal law enforcement activities by a well-intentioned policy of the locally elected County Sheriff- the “zip tie” program. Personal impacts reported in the survey include arrests, loss of income, asset forfeiture, loss of employment, police harassment, and trauma associated with enforcement. Personal impacts that were reported indicated that the paramilitary cannabis eradication that our County endured damaged the ability of those involved to take care of their families, participate in community organizations, and trust in government. The top two impacts identified were access to safe banking, and lack of trust in government.”
THAT’S FUNNY. Because County Counsel Christian Curtis continues to have doubts about the federal legality of this state program which provides money to pot growers (who are supposed to give it back to Mendo for administration, among other things), even while Mendo uses much of the money to fund the pot permit bureaucracy off the top.
AND WHAT IS MENDO DOING WITH THEIR BIG SHARE of the “equity grant” money?
“Additionally the County has contracted with 4Front Partners d.b.a. Elevate Impact Mendocino to provide: a. Cannabis Equity Grant Program Administration through the Elevate Impact Mendocino website for equity grant development, grantee education, reviewing eligibility and grant application review, grant disbursement with the county, post grant technical assistance, and finally tracking of the grant funds and use; b. Business Development Technical Assistance to qualified equity entrepreneurs including but not limited to: business planning, accounting/bookkeeping, loan applications, human resources, business operations and emergency preparedness; c. Cannabis Cooperative Technical Assistance to provide seminars to qualified equity entrepreneurs including but not limited to: introduction to cannabis as a corporate model, role of governing documents including mission statements and bylaws, cannabis leadership models, and state regulations and policies. The County continues to contract with Elevate Impact Mendocino.”
DESPITE THIS, Mendo still has only a few pot permit applicants with state licenses, out of about 1200 that initially applied. (Very few new permits have been applied for since the first bunch back in 2017 as pot growers started realizing that there’s little chance of getting a state license even if they spend hundreds of thousands on consultants, lawyers, dubious mitigations, appeals, and other state agencies. Not to mention the difficulties some growers are having trying to prove to the pot bureaucracy’s satisfaction that they were negatively affected by the War On Drugs in the past.
LEAGUE STAYS NEUTRAL
The League of Women Voters of Mendocino County, like its parent organization, the national League of Women Voters, is a nonpartisan organization with a mission to encourage informed and active participation in government. The League is nonpartisan at all levels, including our local League, and never supports candidates.
Unfortunately, an article in the December 22, 2022, Advocate-News gave the impression that LWV of Mendocino County had supported a candidate for Fort Bragg City Council. This is a big deal to us because our ability to provide a trusted source of objective political information depends on our 100-year-old reputation for neutrality.
While the League encourages its individual members to be fully involved in politics, including running for office and working on campaigns, our only involvement as an organization in the City Council race was to organize a candidate forum for all the candidates at Town Hall.
Dorine Real and Paula Cohen, co-presidents League of Women Voters of Mendocino County
FREE FIRE-WISE BUILDING TRAINING FOR LOCAL BUSINESS
Free Training for Contractors, Building Designers and Building-Supply Stores on Fire-Wise Building Strategies and Materials, March 13-14 in Ukiah*
Wildfire is a natural part of our environment, and we must learn to live with it. Because the State of California realizes this, it has begun to adjust its laws requiring wildfire preparation, just as it did for earthquakes. Insurance companies are also beginning to demand certain preparation standards in order for homeowners to receive favorable insurance premiums and outcomes.
This means that home-improvement customers will increasingly be demanding wildfire-related advice, products, and services. Hardware stores, contractors, and building designers will be on the front lines in helping people make the best decisions that could save lives and homes.
To help position your business for this potential growth in revenue and reputation, the Mendocino County Fire Safe Council (MCFSC) is hiring the highly respected National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) to provide a free two-day training designed for building-supply stores, architects, building designers and contractors located within Mendocino County.
There is no entity better qualified to provide this training than NFPA, a well-established organization familiar with up-to-date fire-safety codes and strategies. MCFSC is providing this training for free and even including a free lunch, so that this important knowledge can be shared and implemented more widely throughout our community.
The training, to be held Monday-Tuesday, March 13-14 at the Alex Rorabaugh Center in Ukiah, will provide state-of-the-art best practices on products, standards, and strategies that you can share with your customers to prepare their homes and properties as well as possible for wildfire. You will learn how to help them think through wildfire risks and harden their homes against wildfire through products and improvements such as 1/8-inch screening on all vents, dual-pane tempered-glass windows, fire-resistant decking, siding and paving types and placement, and much more.
Participants are required to attend both days of the training. We realize that two full days may be a lot for professional people, but we believe it will be well worth your while because:
You will gain bragging rights as trained in the best current knowledge about making homes and property resistant to wildfire damage.
This training normally costs hundreds of dollars per person, but this one-time opportunity offers it to you for free, including lunch on both days.
MCFSC will add all businesses who complete the full training to a business directory of NFPA-trained stores and contractors that will be shared with all MCFSC members and contacts as well as on its website.
MCFSC will also share its list of approved businesses extensively with its network of 50+ Neighborhood Fire Safe Councils, in its monthly newsletter, on its social media pages, and at community events including its well-attended Wildfire Safety Expos.
Attendees who complete the course will be able to advertise that they have increasingly in-demand knowledge that many of their competitors don’t.
If you operate a building-supply store, or are a local building designer, architect or contractor interested in this rare free-training offer—and if you can commit to two full days to complete it—you can request a spot at *firesafemendocino.org/nfpa-training/ <http://firesafemendocino.org/nfpa-training/>*, or call MCFSC at (707) 462-3662. Attendance is limited to only 40 people, so do not delay.
Please note that submitting a registration form does not guarantee you a spot in the class. MCFSC will try to ensure that all corners of the county are covered, in fulfillment of its mission to create a more fire-safe county. Priority will therefore be given to businesses representing the highest contact potential for geographic and numeric reach to Mendocino County homeowners. MCFSC will, however, endeavor to include all who can sincerely make the best of this unique opportunity.
FORMER SUPERVISOR Johnny Pinches called today to talk about this and that. I asked him if he was staying out of the atmospheric river. “You know, it's all just rain until you turn on the news. Then it sounds like the end of the world.”
PROMPTED by the news in the ava about the County's six million dollar budget shortfall, the aghast Pinches, the only supervisor to carry around a thoroughly annotated copy of the budget with all frivolous expenditures underlined, said he had two ideas for saving some money. Close juvenile hall and close down the pot program “since the pot business is gone.”
PINCHES pointed out that our juvenile hall only has a few inmates at any one time, Mendocino County should partner up with a neighboring county, saving a big hunk of money right there.
THE POT PROGRAM is pretty much funded out of grant money routed to the Emerald Triangle through the state. It employs at least ten people kept busy nitpicking the gro applications from the hapless saps who seem to think the licensing process is reasonable.
APPROPRIATELY, the Pot Program is housed on the upper floor of a structural boondoggle, a North County courthouse erected in Willits nearly forty years ago, it began to collapse the day it was occupied. Locals say the roof still leaks. The County tried to sell the failed structure to Willits, but Willits, rightly assessing the monstrosity as an eternal maintenance bill, said No. The Superior Court sold the Willits courthouse to us as a “major convenience” for court patrons living in Mendo's far flung north, just as they are falsely selling the new County Courthouse at the foot of West Perkins (Ukiah) as an all-round step forward for justice in the county, and we'll pause here for the hollowest laughter. Soon abandoned in 2009 because it was falling apart, this major eyesore fobbed off on an unsuspecting Willits, has for years squatted in the middle of town like a malignant mushroom, housing, ironically, only the Willits Police Department and the pot program. (And maybe the Air Quality District staff.)
I KNOW it's painful for lots of people to even consider, let alone grasp, that Biden is out of it — “What? The President of the United States ga-ga?” But to disbelieve your eyes and ears as this international symbol of elder abuse totters out occasionally to bumble through a teleprompter presentation, calls into question the functioning of your perceptive apparatus. As soon as he's gone we'll get a ton of books by insiders describing Biden's ahem, limitations.
SO, there he was Thursday — “We interrupt this program for an important message from the president's puppeteers” — and then Biden slurs his way to confirmation of Trump's COVID-19 restrictions to expel border crossing migrants from Cuba, Nicaragua and Haiti, while allowing up to 30,000 people from those countries to enter the U.S. by air, monthly. The Associated Press reported ahead of Biden's immigration speech Thursday the broad outlines of the White House's plan - which basically penalizes those who arrive on foot at the U.S.-Mexico border, but still allows asylum seekers to enter the country. NPR's pious intros are especially annoying, as the announcing voice is lowered sanctimoniously as if the speaker is creeping up on sleeping Jesus, and out shuffles this ancient bagman for the credit card companies.
CLOSING EVENT for "Gathering Time" at Grace Hudson
On Saturday, January 14, from 2 to 4 p.m., the Grace Hudson Museum will host a closing reception for its exhibit Gathering Time: Pomo Art During the Pandemic, including an artist panel on Pomo regalia and traditional art. Gathering Time contributors Vince Brown, Patricia Franklin, Robert Geary, Clint McKay, and exhibit curator Meyo Marrufo will speak about their regalia and traditional art pieces. The event will close with a performance from the Elem Indian Colony dance group. Gathering Time closes on Sunday, Jan. 15.
The COVID-19 pandemic that began in March 2020 had an outsized impact on the California Native community. Death rates were higher than with other groups. An economic slowdown meant that some Native people, including local Pomo people who were selling their crafts, could no longer do so. Art shows got cancelled. Basketmakers had trouble gathering materials.
While the pandemic slowed down or stopped contact between people, it also stimulated a renewal of art and regalia-making in the Pomo community. People simply had more time on their hands, and a heightened impulse to connect to their traditions and express joy and grief. Community members took part in online classes. Places like the California Indian Museum and Cultural Center (CIMCC) helped elders set up their wi-fi so they could stay in contact while they sheltered in place. Pomo craftspeople found each other on social media. Silver Galleto (Cloverdale Rancheria/Southern Pomo) started a Facebook page for Pomo weavers to share knowledge of Pomo basketry.
Marrufo (Eastern Pomo) and Bonnie Lockhart (Sherwood Valley Band of Pomo Indians) collaborated on a mass mail-out of masks and cards reminding people to wash their hands and wear masks, because "your elders would do anything for you, you should do it for them." Marrufo and Lockhart sent out cards to over 4,000 tribal people with this message, causing people to respond that she was "a good person." She answered, "I'm not good; it's that I can't afford to lose anyone else." Others such as Eric Wilder (Kashia Pomo) also created PSA art to keep the community aware and incorporate tribal traditions.
Connecting with the elders through learning and deepening knowledge of Pomo traditions also seemed to stimulate a wave of concern for the generation yet to come. Many artists in the show created baby baskets as a means to express this. Katie Williams-Elliott (Hopland Tribe) contributed to a baby basket display, with photos, art, and the cradles themselves. Corine Pearce (Redwood Valley Rancheria), a sought-out baby basketmaker, made a "pleasure basket," one that she only worked on at her leisure. Martina Morgan (Kashia Pomo) contributed not only her baby basket work but her other weaving as well.
It was also important to mourn and honor those felled by the pandemic. After losing her father, Laura Inong (Little Lake Pomo and Concow) wrote a poem for him which is installed in the roundhouse on display in the exhibit. "What makes magic? What makes good medicine?" Inong asks in the poem. "The magic is your memory. The medicine is your legacy." Jojo Birmingham, a regalia maker, also died during the pandemic. "When we dance, we dance for loss but also for renewal," states Marrufo. "We survived historical trauma. And we continue to survive. One event doesn't define who we are.
"We dance in and dance out," she continues, noting that the Gathering Time exhibit opened with a dance from the Hopland Pomo Dancers and ends with one from the Elem Indian Colony dance group. "We dance to understand that everything we do is rooted in our traditional ways."
Admission to the closing panel is free with Museum admission: $5 general; $12 per family; $4 for students and seniors; and always free to members, Native Americans, and standing military personnel.
Gathering Time was made possible by the Sherwood Valley Band of Pomo Indians, the Robinson Rancheria Band of Pomo Indians, the Guidiville Indian Rancheria, Shingle Springs Band of Miwok Indians, Conrad Forest Products, and California Humanities, a nonprofit partner of the National Endowment for the Humanities.
The Grace Hudson Museum is at 431 S. Main St. in Ukiah. For more information, please go to https://www.gracehudsonmuseum.org/ or call (707) 467-2836.
HOW TO WRECK AN INDUSTRY
Since the passage of the Adult Use Of Marijuana act in 2015 all the big news outlets have put a consistently negative spin on pot! The government has purposely set up many restrictive roadblocks for all the farmers and the newspapers have mostly ignored the issue. (Hot tamales!)
Until last Sunday and Monday, in the Press Democrap. Front page news with pictures of those ex-outlaws who laundered mucho bucks into legalized grows. I have no compassion for these cheap meretrix who jumped into bed with the corrupt government regulators! You got exactly what you didn’t want. An out of control hyper-regulatory regime! Made up of a bunch of bureau-terrorists! Now do you believe me?
I have watched people at the supervisors meeting be ignored and could see the government hacks looking at the clock to see when the dirty long-haired hippie’s 1 minute was up! Turn off the microphone, next, and make it quick! When the government admitted that they could not stop the people from doing what they wanted, they simply changed gears. Don't trust the government! Little bit late for that!
The smart growers stayed out of sight and continued to grow. Out in Covelo, there are five times as many “unregulated” grows compared to the “Permitted.” Anyone who says legalization is going ok is a complete moron, not paying attention, or a total liar. Almost all of the “legal” growers are pushing weed out the back door to make ends meet. The government has done its best to put the growers out of business. Former Mendo and Sonoma County Ag Commissioner Tony Linegar said, “They could not have come up with a better plan to shut down the small growers.” He “retired” very shortly after he said that to state Reps McGuire and Woods. The best AG commissioners can’t be honest or else!
I'll bet you a dollar that the wine industry has made all sorts of dirty deals with the government to keep weed out of wine country! How much money have these super rich winos funneled into these lowlifes pockets? The rich keep on getting richer! Now all the small players are out, I'll bet you another dollar the winos jump right in (official gap filler).
I used to help out at a cultivators group in a weekly meeting about how to grow a good pot plant, and who shows up? None other than a manager from Korbel winery! He was writing and asking questions galore and maybe planting some plants on the back 40. Another wino asked me to show him how to grow. He is just west of Healdsburg on Dry Creek. Winos suck water, lots of it and other things too! The Winos don't want any pot because then they will have to be required to obey all the environmental laws including riparian setback, fertilizers, and pesticide use that the pot growers are made to follow.
Try running five tractors down River Road at 8:00 in the morning — you better be wine related. Try putting 50 migrant workers out in a field with 20 bright lights at 10 or 11 at night — you better be a wino!
In 2015 the Press Democrat sent a reporter to my house to talk about pot and a current court case that I was subjected to. The reporter came to my court case and I was talking to her. Keith Faulder (my attorney) and my wife were sitting on a bench outside the courtroom and the prosecutor in my case went over to them and told them that I had to stop talking to the press. WTF! The public forum keeps them honest!
I plead guilty To cultivation of over and out so my parents would not have to keep coming to court again and again! Out of all my cases I've never seen a jury! It has never gone that far because the government does not want everyone to know what they are really about. (Shame on them)!
I have to ask, why was there no article in the Press Democrap? Only the mighty AVA has the balls to put it all out there! Bruce Anderson thought I was full of shit until I showed him my patients. I would like to ask Gary and Ladonna Haga how much money they made off of pot before they made the mistake of shacking up with the government. The growers are stuck where they put themselves. No refunds and you will never see the money that is owed to you! If I had not listened to Eddie Lepp’s really bad advice and just stayed on the mountain I would be a multi-millionaire, but I would not have helped to change the laws. Twenty-plus felonies dismissed over 20 years. I have put up the good fight for a really long time now, and I'm hoping that others will step in with me to help fight for our civil liberties.
Fred Gardner said that the big players only fought for legalization because they could make bank! Shame on you! Steven DeAngelo is a low life because he used the patients for his financial benefit. Where are the patients now Steve?
Sometimes I wish I had not fought for legalization because it went from criminal to corrupt very quickly. To anyone wanting to play the legal grow game, I would question your sanity and business sense. The growers will never make it until the regulators allow vertical integration (be allowed to sell what you grow)!
There are many many reasons that growers will fail! Hard work is fine and commendable, but today's growers have to be hardcore assholes to outwit, outmaneuver, and take advantage of everyone else in the game! Distributors should be shuttered because they are worthless assholes with an angle so they can walk off with the persimmons (walking off with the prize)!
Not only did Gary and Ladonna make the mistake of trusting the government but they put a shit ton of weed into a “guy with a suit’s” hands! Go ahead, take my weed and I’ll see you later. As Judge Judy says, “Stupid, stupid, stupid.” After he ripped you and a bunch of other growers, or should I say “ex moonlighting outlaws,” he ran for a government position. Imagine that! You should have taken the money and crawled back into your hole before you dealt with the snakes! You were blinded by the dollar signs!
The Press Democrap Sun-Mon Dec 11 and 12, 2022 front page says in bold letters: “Struggling to get paid.” I have a better heading. It should say: “Screwed hard by the government and their cronies.”
And now I would like to voice my humble opinion about the Press Democrap. This is the same paper that has devoted a whole section of their print to wine. All things wine. Wine, wine, wine! How can you ignore the horrible car wrecks, all the drunks on the road, medical costs for alcohol-related illnesses etc. The CHP and Sheriffs are spending huge money to get drunk yuppie scum off the highways before the thoughtless assholes kill your family. Around wine country most people's weapon of choice is wine. Oh okay, I'll only have one.
BS. Who has one glass of wine? I personally have seen a drunk come out of a liquor store with more wine and drive away drunk. Fuck you winos.
The Press Democrap is the biggest self serving, narcissistic, lobbyist, for the wine juggernaut. With this huge, two-part cannabis series they have accomplished what they set out to do! Undercut the growers and put even more doubt in the minds of possible cultivators. You are not telling anyone anything they don’t already know! Just stirring up the shit! Please stop!
Now a few words to reporter Andrew Graham! You completely missed the whole story you clueless fuck, what is wrong with you?! You should have interviewed some black market people and you would have gotten some straight answers. All the blackmarket people are laughing at the government and the legal growers and shaking their heads in disbelief. It is not the blackmarket grower, they are but a small cog in the machine. If the government hacks had come up with a fair game they would've had a whole lot better results. I place the blame mostly on the back of the clueless rule writers. These government regulators don’t know the first thing about the cannabiz and they are definitely against pot and have been for about 75 years! Andrew please stop being poetic. My friend Jonah Raskin spent years and years living in the marijuana world! After reading this dribble, it is very clear that you don’t know jack shit about pot or the people in it. Leave it to the pros like Raskin!
All a person can do is to try to keep doing what you can do, but now there is nothing to do for all the real growers except to do something else you might be able to do to keep you and yours going! Got it! Damn I sound like one of them! I guess what I'm trying to say is: Growers, find something else. I have watched too many people become slaves to the mighty dollar (myself included).
It is disgusting to me to watch these wealthy winos and their all white friends throw crumbs to the needy people with their fake, non-caring, elaborate fundraisers. If you have a stained breast (burdened by guilt) when you lay down at the end of the day — then!
People tell me I’m a player and it used to feed my ego. Back in 2015 I had a whole lot of plants and I got busted. Cops with automatics and even a tank. (No shit!) I saw the pigs pointing their guns at my wife and kids and all I could think about was how dangerous a position I had put my loved ones in. That was that, no more big grows. Safety first, money after that. I’m honestly happier now than I’ve been in a long time!
Well it’s been pretty quiet on the western front and I’m almost insulted that the man has stopped doing their stupid flyovers, over my house.
Sooooo I went to the Supes meeting in Santa Rosa for a while and I’m deaf so I’m watching these overpaid hacks talk and talk and talk but all I’m hearing is blah blah blah. And it just kept getting more and more ludicrous. So the Supes beat the growers to a bloody pulp with the help of NIMBYs! Mercilessly stomped on them until they quit. Fuck you! Twice! Just flat out lied to their constituents about everything from start to finish. It is the government's fault for this shitshow! Gobbledygook at its best!
Back to the Press Democrap, specifically Andrew Graham. Namby pamby writing. Look up “The Dunciad.” Your bosses are out to lunch! Turn off the Press and get a spine!
To Chris Coulombe” You fucked em good, you sure did!
To Gary and LaDonna Haga” You’re not the lone ranger!
To the government” you are as crooked as Lombard St in SF. Fuck you back! Twice! I think I’ll go walk my dogs in Armstrong Woods with my son! I walked away from pot and I feel good, much better now!
Oaky Joe Munson
PS. You don’t have to pay the government to give away pot now! Sooo, what do you think, maybe?
PPS. Derrick is the last true hippie.
FREE CLASS AT THE MENDOCINO ART CENTER FOR MENDOCINO COUNTY RESIDENTS!
Freestyle Flat Beaded Pendants, An in-person class with Meyo Marrufo, February 4-5, 10am-4pm
More information & registration: https://www.mendocinoartcenter.org/classes/freestyle-flat-beaded-pendants
Students will learn how to create their own pendant pattern design and bead them with seed beads. They will also learn beading basics such as bead sizes, needles and threads. Open to all levels.
This class is presented free to Mendocino County residents through a generous grant from The Community Foundation of Mendocino County.
Space is limited and prior registration is required.
Ten years ago this past May we rolled our first tank of milk through the creamery doors and made our inaugural batch of cheese and what a way to celebrate that anniversary with our Boont Corners Vintage being featured as one of Culture Magazine's Best Cheeses of 2022! The creamery earned another top award at the ADGA Goat Milk Products Competition with our Pepper Moldunes winning Reserve Best in Show and 1st place. At the American Cheese Society Competition Awards, there were over 1500 entries in 120 categories and 4 of the 9 cheeses Pennyroyal Farm entered placed 1st or 2nd in their category -- the best we have ever performed at ACS! Both Fratty Corners and Boont Corners Two Month won 1st place in their respective categories, and Boont Corners Reserve and Boonter's Blue won 2nd place in theirs. You can join us in celebrating our creamery's best with a wedge of each in our limited Bahlers Cheese Quartet.
DEB KEIPP RECOMMENDS: I saw the BEST baseball story last night on Netflix. The Battered Bastards of Baseball. Have you seen it? Can't imagine you would not enjoy it. It's about Kurt Russell's actor Dad, Bing, who was a character actor in the '60's. He was the sheriff on Bonanza for 13 years and a bunch of other jobs. Kurt and his mother tell the story of his Dad who was an old school baseball fan and player, and his experience with the Portland Mavericks in the 1970's. What a great great story about baseball. Check it out.
PG&E CREWS OUT IN FULL FORCE RESTORING POWER Amid Historic Storm Conditions Across Northern and Central California
OAKLAND, Calif. - With a historic series of winter storms damaging electric equipment and causing power outages, Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) crews are mobilized throughout Northern and Central California assessing the damage and making repairs to restore power.
Over the 24 hours ending at 3 p.m. today, PG&E has safely restored power to more than 406,000 customers. As of 3 p.m., there are approximately 2,300 outages affecting 95,500 customers, with many in the North Coast, Bay Area and Central Coast areas. PG&E recognizes the urgency of restoring power and will work diligently until all customers are restored.
Hazards such as fallen trees, floods and debris flows have made gaining access difficult in some areas and could delay power restoration efforts. Additional storms are forecast over the coming week, which will likely also impact restoration times and lead to additional widespread outages.
"Our crews are out in full force restoring customers safely and as quickly as possible. We are conducting assessments of damage and prioritizing repairs with a focus on critical facilities and resolving outages that are impacting the largest number of customers. We have a short window of time to make as much progress as we can before the next weather system in this series of storms enters our service area over the weekend," said Janisse Quiñones, PG&E's Senior Vice President, Electric Operations.
The brunt of the atmospheric river storm hit Wednesday, bringing wind gusts over 100 mph and as much as five inches of rain in some areas. This came on the heels of an earlier series of storms, resulting in highly saturated soils that have contributed to downed trees and debris flows.
PG&E prepared for this weather and has mobilized more than 3,000 PG&E coworkers, contractors and mutual-aid personnel. Mutual aid crews from Southern California Edison, San Diego Gas & Electric, Oregon, New Mexico, Utah and Washington are also supporting response efforts.
"I'd like to recognize the thousands of dedicated professionals out there working tirelessly to get the lights back on for our hometowns," Quiñones said.
Keeping Customers Informed
Customers can view real-time outage information at PG&E's online outage center and search by a specific address, city or county. This site has been updated to include support in 16 languages.
Additionally, customers can sign up for outage notifications by text, email, or phone. PG&E will let customers know the cause of an outage, when crews are on their way, the estimated restoration time and when power has been restored.
Storm Safety Tips
* Never touch downed wires: If you see a downed power line, assume it is energized and extremely dangerous. Do not touch or try to move it-and keep children and animals away. Report downed power lines immediately by calling 9-1-1 and then PG&E at 1-800-743-5002.
* Use generators safely: Customers with standby electric generators should ensure they are properly installed by a licensed electrician in a well-ventilated area. Improperly installed generators pose a significant danger to customers, as well as crews working on powerlines. If using portable generators, be sure they are in a well-ventilated area.
* Use flashlights, not candles: During a power outage, use battery-operated flashlights and not candles, due to the risk of fire. And keep extra batteries on hand. If you must use candles, please keep them away from drapes, lampshades, animals and small children. Do not leave candles unattended.
* Have a backup phone: If you have a telephone system that requires electricity to work, such as a cordless phone or answering machine, plan to have a standard telephone or cellular phone ready as a backup. Having a portable charging device helps to keep your cell phone running.
* Have fresh drinking water and ice: Freeze plastic containers filled with water to make blocks of ice that can be placed in your refrigerator/freezer to prevent food spoilage.
* Turn off appliances: If you experience an outage, unplug or turn off all electrical appliances to avoid overloading circuits and to prevent fire hazards when power is restored. Simply leave a single lamp on to alert you when power returns.
* Safely clean up: After the storm has passed, be sure to safely clean up. Never touch downed wires and always call 8-1-1 or visit 811express.com at least two full business days before digging to have all underground utilities safely marked.
CATCH OF THE DAY, Thursday, January 5, 2023
REEF BALLOU, Willits. Domestic battery, damaging communications device.
DUSTIN CAVINO, Willits. Disorderly conduct-alcohol.
RICHARD CAVINO, Willits. DUI while on court probation, probation revocation.
AMANDA FIGG-HOBLYN, Willits. Domestic battery, probation revocation.
CODY LADD, Ukiah. Parole violation.
VICTOR MARQUEZ RAYGOZA, Ukiah. DUI.
JAMES MUNDAY, Ukiah. Domestic battery, controlled substance for sale, under influence and in possession of firearm, ammo possession by prohibited person, offenses while on bail.
ROBERT OCHOA, Little River. Under influence.
PETER ROSE JR., Point Arena. Failure to appear.
ON-LINE COMMENT OF THE DAY
Broke my right pinky finger playing dodgeball in fourth grade. Walking in shame to the sidelines – I didn’t catch the ball, so I was out – I grabbed that weird-looking finger – about 90 degrees, up and to the right, from where it should have been – and snapped it back into place. I was in the next game. That finger is still crooked, but works just fine. I was a better man then.
JIVAN MUKTA GLOBAL DIRECT ACTION TO DESTROY THE DEMONIC
Brahman, (which is the real you), exists “prior to consciousness”, and utilizes the body-mind complex in order to perform spiritual action for the expressed purpose of 1.destroying the demonic and 2.purifying the earth's atmosphere, which results in returning this world to righteousness. Jivan Muktas (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jivanmukta) are primarily responsible for the duty of performing the crucial global sadhana. Please contact me in order to form a group, to go forth and do precisely the will of the Divine Absolute. Thank you very much!
Craig Louis Stehr, email@example.com
THE SUCCESSION (PART 1)
Allow me to introduce myself. My name is Aaron. Bruce Anderson will be back at the helm next week, but he’s grudgingly given me the job of writing this issue’s Off the Record as a test. What I get if I pass is a question that’s better not to ask. Planning your own death is considered responsible, but planning someone else’s death is in bad taste—whether you’re Mike Sweeney or just a dedicated AVA reader who doesn’t want to see America’s last newspaper fold.
I’ve been bugging Bruce about it for several years. “What’s the succession plan?” I asked. He had none.
“What about disaster scenarios? You or the Major becomes incapacitated. What happens when the paper-paper isn’t delivered to the printer in Hayward? Can it get back on track once the routines are disturbed? Is there a backup crew who know your passwords and deadlines and can keep the machine running when you hit a bump in the road?”
No again. Two men in their eighties, and they’d never given the matter a thought.
To imagine the AVA without its dynamic duo may be sacrilegious, but to let the paper unceremoniously end—not with a bang or even a whimper—seems a shame. One day it won’t show up on the stands or arrive in the mail, and the iceberg the AVA is the tip of will simply disappear. Without a plan in place, that’s guaranteed.
There are other places to announce library sales and quiz nights, to run the obits of Valley folks, and to list the mouthwatering menu at the senior center. Yet the AVA is a bridge between worlds which would be devastating to lose. Not only does it provide common ground for Anderson Valley residents of very different stripes, it gets sent out to a thousand weirdoes around the world who read the paper to feel informed, connected, and less alone. If it’s not a village square where we can all join hands and sing, it’s at least an arena where we can be stubborn together and enjoy a good fight.
Many subscribers have never been to Boonville, yet we find reading about it strangely addictive. Thousands of miles away, we tune in for updates on court cases, sewer systems, and potholed roads where country capitalists are just the newest cult carpetbaggers.
Could the AVA continue without Bruce and Mark? Perhaps not. Let’s plan a grand finale if that’s the case—a last issue filled with tributes and farewells when the time comes. But might it be possible to keep the paper alive without the guiding lights? The Chronicle without Herb Caen was once inconceivable, though that’s a bad example, since the Chron became unreadable the day after Caen sipped his last vodka martini. Yet these pages contain occasional Caen, Cockburn, and Clancy reprints. Could they feature Anderson and Scaramella “classics” someday?
Disaster planning, to me, is exciting rather than morose. That’s partly a reflection of my age, which is twenty years younger than the AVA-rage, and partly a reflection of my disposition. I’ve already picked out my grave. Now it’s a matter of deciding how to live—and figuring out how some of the things I love can be saved. It’s going to be rough saying goodbye to the elders I admire, but it’d be idiotic to let the institutions they sustained die at the same time.
I can’t boast about playing basketball in Borneo in the fifties, but I have other bona fides that qualify me for at least a fill-in spot here. I’ve been in the newspaper biz even longer than Bruce, editing and publishing my own small paper, Cometbus, since ‘81. I’m a native Northern Californian, now living in NYC. But let’s move on to some other news.
A late take on the Griner swap: Our government likes to tar its enemies with dismissive and exaggerated nicknames. Viktor Bout ended up with the cool “Merchant of Death” handle, which makes him sound like some Marvel superhero. Reporters picked up the phrase and parroted it, even in the hollowed pages of America’s Last Newspaper.
But what is Bout accused of, really? Selling arms to bloodthirsty rebel groups and terrorists? No, just selling arms to the bloodthirsty rebel groups and terrorists we don’t approve of. To my knowledge, he’s not a murderer, just another cynical entrepreneur making money from human suffering—like the U.S. government and countless private American companies. The list is long of arms dealers selling weapons to brutal dictatorships and shadowy armies, and Bout is nowhere near the top.
We paper-paper subscribers are lucky to get our AVAs within a month of publication, so pardon another late comment. Remember the Herb Caen column about meeting a representative of the underground press, in which the usually astute Caen obsessed on the reporter’s dirty shirt? “The New Left is humorless,” he concluded, “maybe because they think the joke is on the rest of us.”
An interesting contrast is the San Francisco Express Times piece that describes that same meeting through different eyes. The underground reporter clearly admires Caen. Neither he nor his paper come across humorless (“Kennedy Shot Again” was a recent headline), just hard-boiled. “I don’t like San Francisco chucked under the chin,” he explains. “San Francisco is beautiful, not cute.”
A good point, but San Franciscans would be overjoyed with merely presentable in 2023. Anything but a disgrace and a disaster would seem miraculous today. While we’re dreaming, how about some journalists (above or below ground) to cover the city passionately, the way they once did, describing it like the woman they loved?
And if they want to describe the city like the man or nonbinary person they love, that would be wonderful too. The AVA discussion about gender has felt a little knee-jerk lately. Sure, there’s plenty to make fun of in identity politics and the lexicon that comes with it. But is it fair to judge anything by its most excessive elements and its silliest representatives? Is that how you expect your own culture or community to be seen?
There’s no need to uncritically accept every new craze and phrase. But why be so quick to attack and dismiss everything as “woke,” when no one even knows what that means? Admittedly, I haven’t been great at adjusting to these changes myself. Every time a societal shift occurs, I make fun of it. Then a friend gets offended by one of my innocent-seeming comments.
Sometimes the change they’re going through makes sense to me. Sometimes it brings them happiness. Sometimes it sticks. Sometimes not. But I find that any pronoun or orientation or partner that brings someone I love joy is easy to get used to in the long run. That’s the bottom line.
Earlier I mentioned the San Francisco Express Times. I’ve been perusing that publication and other sixties-era undergrounds after buying a huge cache from a Brooklyn man of few words and many books. The best thing about not living through the sixties—except as a toddler—is being able to immerse myself in the press from that era without being accused of nostalgia. It’s not a personal journey or a yearning to be born at a different time. I immerse myself in Tanganyika in the fifties and Russia in the twenties too, but I’m glad to be living here and now.
The sixties underground press strikes a chord because the writing is evocative and impassioned, like good journalism should be. My favorite papers are the small ones away from the metropolitan areas, like the Fish Cheer from Pensacola, Sherwood Forest from Orange County, Home Cooking from Oklahoma City, and Northwest Passage from Bellingham. The characters and landscape are strange to me, but the stories of struggle and betrayal are as juicy and familiar as Greek myth. It’s the same way I feel reading the AVA.
It took some time to realize that there was more than coincidence at play. First I saw a byline by Larry Bensky in the San Francisco Express Times. Jonah Raskin showed up next, and others from the AVA’s stable. Eerily or tellingly their voices haven’t changed in fifty years. The big surprise was spotting Brad Wiley’s name in a 1970 issue of San Francisco’s Leviathan. I love Brad’s pieces on the Valley old-timers and the forces that brought the new settlers to Mendocino. Brad, if you’re willing, tell us about your own pre-history that led you north.
Could this paper pivot to cover both coasts, with an editor on each? It’s already being published remotely, to a large extent. If my dream of a Nor Cal/New York local paper seems far-fetched, consider that many AVA writers are already New Yorkers. Their Lower East Side memories come out when they’re riled up or on a sentimental tear. This was a great place for them to grow up, and I feel the same about my hometown by the Bay: it was a great place to leave. We carry with us the values of where we were raised, but they’re easier to express far away.
ONE OF THE DOPIEST beliefs on the "populist right" currently is that the ruling elites care about normalizing wokeism and social justice. Our rulers don't give a fuck about trans rights or whatever, they only care about fanning the flames of culture war to prevent a class war. Our rulers would happily incinerate every trans person in the world if it meant cementing their rule. The instant Black Lives Matter sloganeering ceases to be politically useful it will be flushed down the toilet. They don't care about marginalized groups, they just use them.
It's so stupid. Like yeah, powerful plutocrats and secretive government agencies are scheming to normalize LGBT rights because they stopped caring about power and domination and just love wokeness now. Good thinking, dipshit.
In reality, marginalized groups pose no threat to you in any way whatsoever. You are meant to view them as the enemy so that you don't view your rulers (who don't care about either of you) as the enemy.
— Caitlin Johnstone
A COUPLE YEARS AGO, I posted a photo to my Instagram of what a boxer looks like after a winning bout. My face was swollen, the bruises were dark purple, and the blood was dried. It looked like it hurt a ton, but my expression was calm and I had the start of a sly smile on my face. That photo perfectly captures the mentality it takes to be a fighter: If you want to experience the thrill of victory, you've got to be willing to go through hell. And it's gonna hurt.
— Chris Algieri
UKRAINE, THURSDAY, JANUARY 5TH
President Vladimir V. Putin told Russian forces to observe a 36-hour Christmas truce, but Ukraine dismissed it as hypocrisy.
Putin orders a brief, unilateral cease-fire for his forces in Ukraine.
In a phone call with Putin, Turkey’s president calls for a cease-fire.
Ukraine recorded its largest annual fall in G.D.P. in over 30 years, a top minister says.
Germany faces renewed pressure at home to send tanks to Ukraine.
The kind of armored vehicle France is sending isn’t a game changer, analysts say.
Russia issues the first pardons to prisoners who fought in Ukraine, state media reports.
More than 60 percent of Bakhmut has been destroyed, a Ukrainian official says.
BRUCE MCEWEN CHALLENGE: Name the Bust
RIGHT & WRONG IN THE 21ST CENTURY
by Doug Holland
At the bus station, an old bum rolled himself around in a wheelchair, and as he rolled past me and onward, I could see the lettering on the back of his chair. It said, ALASKA AIRLINES, GATE ONLY, DO NOT REMOVE FROM TERMINAL.
It's a courtesy wheelchair, provided by the airline for weary travelers — very helpful, when grandpa is frail and can't walk too far, and the airport concourse seems six miles long. Like the lettering says, though, a courtesy wheelchair is not supposed to be wheeled out of the airport.
Nobody called a cop. There was already a policeman at the transfer center (which is unusual), and he didn't care either.
You already know why: An able-bodied teenager might enjoy tootling around in a wheelchair for a few minutes and a few laughs, but this was no teenager. And nobody chooses to ride in a wheelchair all over the city unless they truly need a wheelchair. That old man at the bus station needed his wheelchair.
For poor people, obtaining a wheelchair through “proper means” requires money they don't have, or a great deal of effort against a slow bureaucracy they might be unable to defeat.
That's a problem you can only imagine, until you need a wheelchair and don't have one. The solution is so obvious it seems silly saying it out loud:
If you need a wheelchair and don't have one, steal one — and especially steal one from a giant corporation. The cost of a wheelchair will do no damage to Alaska Airlines' bottom line.
* * *
The wheelchair observation leaves me on the verge of saying more, so why not say it?
Ordinary morality does not apply, when you're dealing with a giant corporation.
Take Kroger, for example.
If you walk into a Kroger-owned grocery store, load your shopping cart until it's entirely full, and walk out without paying — and if you do that twice weekly all year, eating for free and never purchasing even a pack of gum — your actions will have no effect on Kroger's profits. Zilch.
If an entire Kroger grocery store and everything in it burns to the ground, it would have such a slight impact on the company's bottom line, it rounds off to zero. That's how unfathomably huge The Kroger Company is.
In revenue, it's the 21st largest corporation in America, and worth about $41.5 billion. That's a few million less than Phillips 66, a few million more than Kimberly-Clark.
I have no personal grudge against Kroger. I shop there — and I pay, because I don't want to be arrested. But Kroger is not part of the same morality or society as you and I.
You're not even a gnat to them. “Shoplifting” at Kroger is immeasurably petty. It's not even jaywalking. It's more like pocketing one single grain of rice, from a train carrying fifty tons of it.
* * *
We live by some commonly-accepted rules, and should. It's what makes society work, and “Thou shalt not steal” is a cornerstone of that. If you steal from a person, or from a person's business, you're scum.
Corporations don't obey such simple rules. They break laws constantly, usually get away with it, or very rarely a small fine is negotiated, and even if the fine is millions of dollars, to a giant corporation, that's not much.
All giant corporations contaminate the earth, poison the air, treat customers poorly, lay workers off on a whim, and give millions of dollars to political campaigns and candidates that call for more of the same. They're cannibals of society, never part of it.
The ordinary rules don't apply to corporations, and we're suckers if we play by ordinary rules.
That's why “shoplifting” from Kroger, “robbing” a Bank of America branch, “stealing” cable TV from Xfinity, “pirating” movies or music from Columbia or Universal, or yeah, riding a wheelchair “stolen” from Alaska Airlines, is not morally wrong. Quite the opposite, it's the right thing to do.