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COLD MORNINGS and seasonably cool afternoon conditions are forecast to occur across Northwest California this week. In addition, a front will pass east across the region during Wednesday. Beneficial rainfall will occur across lower elevations, while snow develops across the interior mountains. Dry weather will then be probable this Thursday through the weekend. (NWS)
HUFFMAN TO VISIT BOONVILLE SCHOOLS
Huffman visiting on Monday — You are most welcome to attend at 10:30
Dear AVUSD Community,
I am very grateful that Congressman Huffman will be on site at our High School Campus on Monday, January 23 at 10:30 to view our deteriorated conditions at the site, including our broken septic systems and building needs, and meet with students and staff. I expect his full visit will be about an hour.
Matt Bullington will be the host teacher and Mr. Folz's class will join Mr. Bullington’s class. This is an important site visit to teach students about government and drive our request through awareness for funding support.
Please note the Congressman’s office asked me to caution that they are committed to attending, but his schedule does change pending emergency events.
Looking forward to an informative and productive visit!
Louise Simson, Superintendent
Anderson Valley Unified School District
BOONVILLE QUIZ TOMORROW
Yes, The General Knowledge and Trivia Quiz returns this week - at 7pm on Thursday, 19th January, the 3rd Thursday of the month. This week’s topics will include Film, Literature, History, Sports, Geography, Music, a Picture Round, Pot Luck and True or False…
Hope to see you there.
Steve Sparks, The Quizmaster
PART-TIME JOB IN FORT BRAGG
St Michael & All Angels Episcopal Church is now accepting applications for a part-time administrative assistant. Good computer (including Quickbooks), organizational and communication skills required. Approximately 12 hours per week. Compensation negotiable based on experience. Training provided. Please email: firstname.lastname@example.org for an application form. Return the application form and your CV by January 31, 2023.
Mendocino County has received a significant amount of rain in a relatively short period of time, causing localized flooding in low-lying areas along the Russian and Navarro rivers. Flood waters may contain human fecal material, livestock manure, and other hazardous materials and should be approached with caution.
The floods will leave a mess behind them, and people will want to clean up their property and repair their homes as soon as possible so they can move forward with their lives. Some simple precautions can help protect their health and safety as they do so. Here are some tips to stay safe as the flood waters recede:
• Water that is contaminated may cause gastrointestinal illnesses when ingested, with symptoms including vomiting, diarrhea or nausea. Avoid any contact with flood water due to the potential for high bacteria levels, particularly if you have any open cuts or sores. If exposed, you should wash thoroughly with soap to remove any potential contaminants and apply antibiotic ointment to any wounds to discourage infection.
• If you suspect your drinking water has been impacted, your best options are using bottled water or bringing your water to a rolling boil for one minute. Do not use contaminated water to wash dishes, prepare food, make ice, brush teeth, or make baby formula.
• If flood water reached your well or covered the top of your well casing, assume your well may be contaminated. You can sample your well water for Total Coliform and E. coli through Alpha Analytical Labs in Ukiah if you believe your well may be impacted, and you can contact Mendocino County Environmental Health at (707) 234-6625 for information regarding water well disinfection.
• Do not eat foods that have come into contact with flood waters. Throw away food that cannot be kept cold or properly heated due to lack of power.
• Don’t use a generator, pressure washer, charcoal grill, camp stove, or any other gasoline- or charcoal-burning device inside your home, garage, or near a window, door, or vent. Carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless gas. If carbon monoxide poisoning is suspected, seek fresh air and consult with a health care professional immediately.
• If there is standing water in your home, never turn power on or off yourself - contact an electrician.
• Remove mold by washing with soap and water and letting surfaces dry completely. Some materials such as moldy clothing, ceiling tiles, and sheet rock may need to be replaced. If mold-related illness is suspected, consult a health care professional.
• Remember to frequently wash your hands with soap and clean water! If clean water is not available, use hand sanitizer. Wash your hands often, especially before preparing food, before eating, after using the restroom, and after any cleanup activities. Washing your hands will help prevent illness.
The Mendocino County Public Health Department will continue to monitor the situation in order to help protect our community’s health. Please contact Environmental Health at (707) 234-6625 if you notice any problems or have questions.
CREEKSIDE CABINS PROPERTY OWNER REFUSES TO FIX Mendocino County sinkhole, leaving residents stranded
A sinkhole that opened up on a Mendocino County road just before the new year, stranding about 50 Creekside Cabins residents and guests, has steadily grown in the ongoing heavy rain and flooding from recent storms.
by Kylie Lawrence
A sinkhole that opened up on a Mendocino County road just before the new year, stranding about 50 Creekside Cabins RV Park and Resort residents and guests, has steadily grown during the recent storms that brought daily downpours and flooding to the North Bay.
The sinkhole first appeared on a private road, off Highway 101 between Arnold and Willits, that leads to Creekside Cabins.
The hole has since collapsed into the ground and now spans the width of the road, leaving residents unable to drive in or out of the property for more than two weeks.
The owner of the private road, Teresa Thurman, has suggested she will not take action to fix the hole, according to the Mendocino County Executive Office. She did not respond Tuesday to Press Democrat requests for additional comment.
“It’s just a mess,” Mendocino County Sheriff Matthew Kendall said. “When people step away from their responsibilities, everyone around them starts to lose their rights.”
First responders arrived Dec. 30, when the sinkhole first emerged, to inquire about the safety and needs of residents, as well as locate an emergency access route, according to a Jan. 11 press release from the office of the county’s emergency services director.
Mendocino County Social Services also came to establish safety plans for residents and ensure that residents have access to food, medical supplies and other emergency services.
The next day, Dec. 31, the county was notified by Caltrans that maintenance and repair of the private road was the responsibility of the property owner.
According to the release, Thurman was contacted and informed of the need for both permanent repairs and temporary access. The county also referred multiple contractors capable of fixing the hole, the release indicated.
Thurman selected a contractor, who met with Caltrans and state authorities to begin work to repair the hole. But Thurman then suddenly put a halt to the repairs.
Since then, no temporary bridge has been installed and repair work has yet to begin as the sinkhole continues to grow.
“The County has been informed that the property owner declined to engage their chosen contractor. The owner has not communicated any plan or intent to repair the encroachment and has made recent statements suggesting unwillingness to perform the work,” the Jan. 11 press release stated.
The issue has now been referred to Mendocino County Code Enforcement, the state licensing authority over the business and Caltrans for “appropriate enforcement action,” the press release stated.
On Saturday, the county’s code enforcement declared a public nuisance at the Creekside Cabins property, due to Thurman’s “failure to address urgent health and safety risks.”
The county has since reached out to a contractor to provide a temporary bridge over the sinkhole while occupants relocate to a safer area.
Mendocino County Public Health on Sunday issued a public health advisory related to the sinkhole, stating that the office is investigating concerns for the health and human safety of the residents at Creekside Cabins.
Because the road is impassable, restricting any vehicle from entering or exiting the property, the county public health office has concerns if septic tanks have been reached for required monthly processing, in addition to if there has been appropriate garbage disposal and retrieval.
“The lack of access to the property may also impair the ability to replenish oxygen supplies for those who need it, to maintain electrical appliances, to shop for necessities, to safely travel to school or work, and to receive emergency attention by first responders,” the public health advisory stated.
“We have all these people here but the government can’t help with private issues. If a tree falls in my driveway, I don’t expect the government to come fix it with taxpayer dollars,” Kendall said.
While the county plans to install the temporary bridge as soon as possible, Kendall didn’t have an estimate of when that would be completed. Until then, Kendall wants to ensure the residents’ needs are being taken care of by his office, as well as by Mendocino County Social Services and Office of Emergency Services staff.
The county health office plans to continue investigating and monitoring the situation with County Code Enforcement. In the meantime, the public is encouraged to stay away from the area.
FLOOD RELEASES MADE FROM LAKE MENDOCINO FOR 1ST TIME IN 4 YEARS
For the first time in nearly four years, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers began a series of high-flow releases Monday from the Coyote Valley Dam at Lake Mendocino near Ukiah.
Officials said the releases will reduce reservoir levels that had “significantly increased ... well into the flood control pool at Lake Mendocino for the first time since 2020” due to the series of moisture-laden atmospheric rivers that drenched the North Bay region at an almost daily pace for more than three weeks — since Dec. 26.
The high-flow release, officials said, will get rid of the excess water so the reservoir can accommodate additional rainfall this season.
The torrential storms deposited more than two feet of rain on some of the wettest parts of the North Bay, according to National Weather Service meteorologists and local water experts.
As of Monday, according to Chris Outler, a meteorologist at the weather service’s Monterey office, nearly 19 inches of rain had been recorded at the Charles M. Schulz-Sonoma County Airport, while the Venado weather station west of Healdsburg had recorded just under 24 inches, and Austin Creek, just north of Guerneville, recorded just under 30 inches.
The Army Corps determined that Monday would be the right time to conduct the releases as the storms appear to have died down, reducing the risk of swamping downstream areas such as Hopland, 50 miles to the south.
In addition, the releases would help to improve conditions for communities along the Russian River, which is expected to continue to recede well below flood stage, which is 32 feet in Guerneville.
Showers are expected to return to Sonoma County on Wednesday, according to the National Weather Service, but they likely won’t start until after 4 p.m. with an accumulation rate of between a tenth and a quarter of an inch.
Forecasters predict Tuesday will be sunny with a high of 55 degrees. And, following Wednesday’s potentially wet weather, the sun will again return to the region Thursday, with sunny skies expected through the weekend.
(via Army Corps of Engineers)
POTTER VALLEY EAGLE TREE SPARED; Congressman Huffman Blasts Department Of Fish And Wildlife
by Sarah Reith
A Ponderosa pine tree in Potter Valley containing a decades-old bald eagles’ nest has been spared for another year, amid calls for tribal consultations and Congressman Jared Huffman’s fury that a federal permit was apparently granted without engaging local tribes. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service confirmed that it gave PG&E a permit to remove the tree on January 5, but that as of January 13, that permit is invalid, “and they are not presently authorized to remove the nest.”…
MENDOCINO THEATRE wants you to perform in this beautiful space at no rent. It’s a great place for local musicians to showcase your work in concert style. We want you. Full bar in lobby. (Elizabeth Craven)
JAN WAX (Philo): Friends, I'm astonished that a KZYX manager, who is leaving in 2023, has just fired the best program director the station has had in a long time. If you feel this move is outrageous, that the ELECTED Board did not have a voice in this firing of Alicia Bales, please let the station hear your feelings. No reason for the firing has been offered. We need transparency!! 895-2448 or 895-2324 or KZYX.org - also the KZYX Board of Directors' email is email@example.com. Thanks.
MONICA FUCHS ADDS: Transparency? We asked for that for years!
COURT EXTENDS PUBLIC HOURS - OFFERS MORE ONLINE SERVICES
Beginning today, Mendocino County Superior Court has expanded its public hours at the clerk’s offices in Ukiah and Fort Bragg and by telephone.
The clerk’s offices will be open to the public from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. The public phones will also be answered between the hours of 8:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m.
The court’s website provides information about cases that can be filed in the court, as well as information about specific court cases, hearings, jury duty and self-help assistance. The public can electronically file documents, download and purchase copies of court case documents, and pay court fines and fees on the court’s website. The public can also confirm or postpone jury service on the website.
The court’s local rules and orders, courtroom calendar, remote appearances and other information relevant to cases filed in the court can also be found on the website, at www.mendocino.courts.ca.gov
For more information contact: Kim Turner, Court Executive Officer, 100 N. State St., Room 303, Ukiah, CA (707) 463-4664.
(Superior Court Presser)
KZYX'S MANAGER, Marty Durlin, and the president of the station's board of directors, Dina Polkinghorne, presented themselves Monday night to field questions from listeners, most of whom were unhappy about the firing of station program director, Alicia Bales. Station stalwart 'W. Dan' Houck moderated.
MS. BALES did not call in to present her version of events, leaving Ms. Durlin and Ms. Polkinghorne unable to discuss what they defined as a “personnel matter.” Ms. Durlin said early on she was in her 28th year as a radio station manager, later confirming that she will be leaving her position soon. She said she had hired Ms. Bales based on Ms. Bales abundant qualifications for the position, but relations had soured and Ms. Durlin could no longer “support” Ms. Bales.
IN LIEU of any comment from Ms. Bales we can only conclude that her dismissal was justified. The callers in defense of Bales, none of whom knew why Ms. Bales had been fired, defended her for reasons unrelated to her job performance. One caller said she was happy Ms. Bales was gone from the station because she'd canceled the ‘Left, Right and Center’ program.
MY OVERALL IMPRESSION of the hour-long open-lines session was that Ms. Bales support seems confined to the “activist” community she's been identified with for years, and that community is much reduced, average age of the women remaining about 75.
WE ALSO LEARNED that “News Director,” Victor Palomino, had left the station for a job in the Central Valley. Got a kick out of his rare reports on KZYX's scant morning news, always hoping he'd introduce himself with a clattering of hooves and a “Hi Ho! It's Victor Palomino!”
JUST TRY and get an honest budget out of KZYX. We don't know how many people get paid, we continue to wonder why a tiny radio station needs both a station manager and a program director, especially given that the program line-up has remained the same for many years. I'd say KZYX's best bet is to hand the reins over to the smart, capable Sarah Reith, but instead I'm sure we'll get the patented Mendolib “national search for excellence” as an excellency from within the incestuous semi-public radio station steps into the breach.
MY COVID REPORT. At the risk of becoming one more tiresome geezer talking about his medical problems, here goes. “Anyway,” the garrulous old coot began as the people who could plausibly make a run for it, did, leaving only those who'd been raised to be indulgent of the elderly, “Anyway,” my account might be useful to you if you get this very bad flu, but it's not life threatening if you're reasonably fit at whatever age.
I GOT SLAMMED on a Friday morning. It hit me so hard and so fast I considered pulling off the highway before I conked out totally and caused an accident. I imagined the Press Democrat story: “Irresponsible to the end, controversial Boonville publisher, Bruce Anderson, died Friday morning in a massive commute hour pile-up caused when his vehicle unaccountably reversed itself into oncoming traffic. Widely known as a before-noon drunk, Anderson seems to have deliberately thrown his car into reverse as his last act of cruel disregard for the public welfare…”
ANYWAY, I tested positive on that Friday a week ago, negative the following Friday. In between there was lots of coughing, a general weakness, congested lungs, loss of appetite, two bottles of Robitussin, sleep in between spasmodic coughing spells. Throughout, I was confined to a rear room of the castle from where I communicated with my wife by telephone. She did not seem to mourn our week-long separation, but she's never been given to emotional display.
TESTING negative so quickly was apparently due entirely to a drug called paxlovid, which speeds up the duration of covid. Nine days later, I'm still kinda weak, a little more deaf, taste buds still out, a little hacking and wheezing but able to resume my responsibilities.
SUPERVISOR MULHEREN (facebook post):
“I have 25 Assignments this year, some of these will also have additional ad hoc’s and special meetings with them. If you see a topic you are interested make sure you read my monthly report on my website MaureenMulheren.Com (it’s in the second BOS meeting agenda packet as well). Feel free to ask questions anytime about these Boards and Committees! Looking forward to a successful 2023!
(ms notes: maureenmulheren.com shows the latest update is for September of 2022.)
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SUPERVISOR MULHEREN (facebook post): “The US Army Corp in conjunction with Sonoma Water and the Department of Water Resources will increase the outflow of Lake Mendocino today (Tuesday). I read many, many posts about our inability to retain local control of this water resource. Many decades before I was born there was a Board of Supervisors with coastal supervisors that did not see this inland water resource as critical to the entire County and did not vote in favor of spending money on the Coyote Dam. Based on water conversations that we had last year I would say sadly, that hasn’t changed. We must work together inland and coastal in an effort to support improved water storage and local control in relation to Lake Mendocino and the Potter Valley Project. The County and City of Ukiah are collaborating to make sure that the release of the water does not cause flooding.”
SUPERVISOR MULHEREN NEEDS to provide a source for her unsubstantiated claim that coastal supervisors “did not vote in favor of spending money on the Coyote Dam,” because my uncle, former fifth district supervisor from 1952 to 1970 Joe Scaramella, told me that he was the only supervisor who voted to put up more money for Coyote Dam and the other four voted against it, saying they didn’t have the money or the need at the time. Or maybe there was more than one vote. Either way, we need the source of Supervisor Mulheren’s claim. PS. Mulheren’s claim doesn’t make internal sense either. If the “coastal supervisors” voted against it, that should have meant that the three inland supervisors voted for it and it should have passed, whatever “it” was.
DAVID KIPEN WRITES:
The State of California is trying to rev up the old WPA arts projects? They're pumping millions of dollars into a "California Creative Corps," the Upstate version of which has invited me to give a zoom talk Tuesday at 1pm:
I've been editorializing and otherwise working toward the reinvention of the Federal Writers' Project, so they think I'm some kind of expert. Mendocino County is in on this, and I figured you'd want to know...
Libros Schmibros, UCLA, L.A. Times Critic-at-Large
P.S. Please take a sec and read these brief, eloquent words from the great Rebecca Solnit in support of our 21st-Century Federal Writers' Project Act (aka HR 3054), and then consider asking your senator and/or rep to co-sponsor, thanks!
"The United States’ most precious and overlooked resource is stories, the stories of all the people who live far beyond the spotlight, rural people, indigenous people, elderly people who hold memories of the past that will soon vanish. The idea of sending waves of writers out to connect to these stories and maybe preserve them, as the oral historians of the Federal Writers Program did, is gorgeous and would save innumerable stories from vanishing for good, the stories of who we really are."
BIG DATA STUDY OF MENDOCINO: Government Spending Bringing Appalachia to Northern California
I am writing you because I put together this study to satisfy the requirements of the Google Data Analyst Program. Since many businessmen complain about the lack of information on Mendocino’s economy, I decided to focus on using large databases (Census Bureau, Bureau of Labor Statistics, and Bureau of Economic Analysis) to analyze Mendocino’s economy.
I discovered, to my surprise, that Mendocino’s poverty is higher than discussed, government spending is a bigger chunk of Mendocino’s economy than in most counties, and that the two are related. I pulled data for almost 3,000 counties for this study.
The Anderson Valley Advertiser is the only newspaper in the region that would even touch this. Note, I needed to invent a situation for the Google program, so I pretended that I was contracted by the Mendocino Board of Supervisors — which of course did NOT happen.
‘CRISIS MODE’: Failing pot farms are killing this California town’s economy
by Lester Black
Not long ago, Garberville could have held the title of California’s busiest town without a stoplight. Thousands of tourists filled this small town’s restaurants and bars after spending the day craning their necks at the towering redwood trees of the nearby Avenue of the Giants. And hundreds of cannabis farms in the surrounding hills of Humboldt County brought millions of dollars to the local economy.
But today, the town is on life support. California’s cannabis legalization has killed many of those pot farms, leaving empty storefronts and a cratered Garberville economy in its wake. Overproduction has dropped the wholesale price of cannabis in California by as much as 95%. That’s made pot cheaper for consumers, but it’s also made it impossible for many farms to stay alive.
“The economy here has crashed,” said Laura Lasseter, the director of operations for the Southern Humboldt Business and Visitors Bureau. “... The economy in Southern Humboldt is in crisis mode, and 90% of that crisis mode is because of the cannabis industry.”
Garberville is the most obvious sign of an economic collapse that is reverberating across the surrounding “Emerald Triangle,” a three-county region that includes Humboldt, Mendocino and Trinity counties. For decades, this area was the cannabis-growing capital of the entire country, but now the pot farms are going out of business and bringing down the local economy with them.
County Supervisor Michelle Bushnell, who represents Garberville, said sales tax collections are down and storefronts across the town are empty. She has lived in the town since the 1970s and said she has never seen the local economy so depressed.
“I have been here my whole life, and I don’t know that I’ve ever seen it this bad,” Bushnell told SFGATE. “... I would really love to say, hang on and try, and things will get better. But I’ve been saying that for a year. I said a year ago that in a year we’ll be through this, but it’s been a year now, and it’s not any better. In fact, it’s worse.”
Meghan Joyce, the general manager of the local Chautauqua Natural Foods grocery store, said the business was down 12% last year, and the store is debating reducing its hours.
“We relied on so many cannabis farmers and people in the cannabis industry to keep our storefronts full and business in town,” Joyce told SFGATE. “It’s hard to see where we are going to get that from.”
The New Yorker once described Garberville as having the “rough edges of a gold-rush town, but with peace flags and hemp lattes.” Now the gold has left town, leaving rough edges and no one who can afford a hemp latte.
‘Nobody is making any money’
The first wave of cannabis growers came to Garberville and the greater Emerald Triangle in the 1960s and 1970s, when people following the “back to the land” movement took advantage of the region’s affordable real estate to build their own farms. The cool nights, consistent sun and plentiful water of California’s North Coast Ranges made it an ideal environment to grow cannabis. Pot quickly became a revenue source for many of these early homesteaders.
In the 1980s, the federal government waged a brutal war against illicit cannabis farming in the Emerald Triangle, yet the industry continued to grow larger. And then California legalized medical marijuana in 1996, creating a green rush of new cannabis farms. Soon, Humboldt’s farms were sending cannabis to dispensaries across the state and even feeding the entire country’s illicit market. By some estimates, the Emerald Triangle grew 60% of the pot in the entire United States.
But the same things that made Southern Humboldt County one of the country’s best places to grow pot before legalization are now working against it. After voters legalized recreational cannabis in 2016, the region’s dense forests and long winding dirt roads, which were good for evading law enforcement, became costly expenses when it came to running a legal business.
Wendy Kornberg, the owner of Sunnabis, a small cannabis farm 20 minutes down a dirt road from Garberville, said all of the surrounding pot farmers either have given up or are on the verge of bankruptcy. “Everyone is struggling. We all had to raid our kids’ college funds,” she told SFGATE. She said these farm failures have drained the town’s economy.
“I grew up in Garberville, from 1977 till I graduated high school in 1995, and I have never seen so many empty storefronts. The whole side of one of the streets is just empty storefronts. It’s a little bit terrifying when you look at it from that viewpoint,” she said.
Lasseter, of the visitors bureau, estimated that Humboldt County is on track to lose 50% to 70% of its cannabis farms. She said the biggest problem for the region’s farmers has been the state government’s allowance of massive pot farms. Originally, California voters approved a legalization plan that limited cannabis farms to only 1 acre for the first five years of legalization. But in 2017, the state created a loophole for companies to infinitely “stack” smaller licenses so they could expand their pot farms to more than a million square feet.
The state’s expensive regulations have added even more costs to farming cannabis, which many small farmers are unable to afford. Joshua Sweet, who owns multiple Garberville buildings as well as two pot farms, blamed the cannabis industry’s crash on overregulation. He is currently being sued by the state over an irrigation pond that the state says was built illegally.
“Before regulation, left to its own devices, this community was safe [and] vibrant socially, culturally and economically. Within five years of regulation, it has completely collapsed,” he told SFGATE. “Nobody is making any money.”
‘It’s trickling down to everyone’
Bushnell, the county supervisor, admitted that the county government could have done more to support the local cannabis industry.
“Could we have done better? Yes. Could the state have done better? Absolutely,” Bushnell told SFGATE.
One of the county’s more controversial actions was placing a cultivation tax on legal farms in 2017 that charged farmers based on their square footage, not the amount of pot that they actually sold. This added tens of thousands of dollars in costs to the small farms. Eventually, the county cut the tax rate by 85% and then suspended the tax entirely last November.
Kornberg, the cannabis farmer, said she always opposed the cultivation tax but still defended the county’s work in helping get pot farms approved.
“People want to blame someone, and it’s easy to blame your local representatives, but Humboldt did some amazing things to help us set up an easier track towards legalization,” Kornberg said.
Sequoyah Hudson, a farm owner and the CEO of Humboldt Sun Growers Guild, said business owners and many of the county’s political leaders never appreciated the cannabis industry, even as it was feeding millions of dollars into the local economy.
“[It was] absolutely taken for granted,” Hudson said. “It was such a supporter of our local economy in the background and behind closed doors. The people who were naysayers of the cannabis industry just weren’t aware of it.”
Mary Halstead, the owner of the Paper Mill, a stationary and art supply store in Garberville, said her business is down 40%. She agreed that the local economy was dominated by cannabis.
“Everybody either worked for a farmer, were a farmer or trimmed seasonally. That’s all anybody did around here,” Halstead told SFGATE. “My husband does tree work, and even he has very little work now because nobody has any money to hire him to do tree work. It’s trickling down to everyone, to every local business.”
Leaders in the town have largely given up on the idea that the cannabis industry will ever return to its pre-legalization scale. Instead, they’re trying to bring more tourists to the town. Lasseter said Garberville’s best hope of an economic rebound is to bring more tourism to the area’s natural beauty.
“What we’re working on is trying to stay in the positive and educate the community on how to transition to tourism. Mother Nature isn’t making another Avenue of the Giants or Lost Coast. That’s here, and the fall of cannabis can’t take that away,” Lasseter said.
OPUS CHAMBER MUSIC - Grand Music in an intimate setting
Piano virtuoso Daniela Mineva will present pieces from the traditional piano repertoire including Beethoven's Rondo in C major, This Sunday at 3 pm, Preston Hall! Messiaen's Three Preludes, solo transcription for the first movement of Schumann's piano concert, and a new piece from the African- American Composers Margaret Bonds are also on the program. Ms. Mineva will provide background and commentary on each piece. Tickets at Out of this World in Mendocino, Harvest Market in Fort Bragg and online at brownpapertickets.com/event/5592544. Ms. Mineva will also be the featured soloist with the Symphony of the Redwoods concert on May 20th and 21st. For more information, please visit Symphonyoftheredwoods.org or call the office at 707-964-0898
CISNEROS, THE ROLLING FELON
On Saturday, January 7, 2023 at approximately 12:24 AM, a Deputy from the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office observed a vehicle in the 800 block of Talmage Road in Ukiah.
The Deputy observed several moving violations on the vehicle and attempted to conduct a traffic enforcement stop. The Deputy later learned the vehicle was being driven by the sole occupant, Jonathan Cisneros, 33, of Ukiah.
Immediately after the Deputy turned on his overhead emergency lights and siren, Cisneros failed to yield and continued to drive away. The Deputy pursued Cisneros as he proceeded to drive towards the city of Ukiah in a reckless manner.
Officers with the California Highway Patrol successfully deployed spike strips which effectively punctured all four tires on Cisneros' vehicle. Cisneros eventually came to a stop in the 300 block of Brush Street in Ukiah and he subsequently fled on foot.
Deputies were able to immediately apprehend Cisneros and he was taken into custody for reckless evadion.
Deputies searched Cisneros' vehicle and located a collapsible baton inside his vehicle. Deputies later learned Cisneros was out on bail on another unrelated case.
Cisneros was booked into the Mendocino County Jail where he was to be held in lieu of $60,000 bail.
TWEAKER CRIMES: THE MOUSE HOUSE CONSPIRACY
Cooperative effort between the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office and members of our community has resulted in the successful conclusion of two theft-related investigations over the past several days.
Engaged members of the community are an integral part of effective law enforcement. The Mendocino County Sheriff's Office is grateful for the public who do their part to report suspicious activity and assist with our criminal investigations.
The cases described below highlight the value of a strong relationship between the Sheriff's Office and the communities we serve. Working together, we make Mendocino County a safer place to be. Great work to all Deputies and community members involved in solving these cases!
On Wednesday, January 11, 2023 at about 11:48 A.M, Deputies responded to a reported theft from a business in the 2200 block of North State Street in Ukiah.
Deputies learned two subjects entered the store, approached the register as if to pay for several items and instead ran out the door with the items and fled in a vehicle.
The female suspect, Kelly Rogers, 38, of Willits, was later contacted and found to still be in possession of the stolen items. Rogers was arrested and booked into the Mendocino County Jail.
The male suspect remained unidentified, and Deputies had no further leads on his identity. A Sheriff's Office Facebook post was published, including a photograph of the male. Less than two hours after the posting, a community member called in and provided information identifying the male as Salvador Silva Riva, 31, of Cloverdale.
Further follow up on this information confirmed Riva was the male suspect who stole from the business. The stolen property was returned to the business and case has been forwarded to the Mendocino County District Attorney's Office for potential prosecution.
* * *
On Saturday, January 14, 2023 at about 7:17 A.M, Deputies responded to a reported theft from a residential mailbox in the 2800 block of Old River Road in Ukiah.
An alert resident saw a vehicle pull up to his mailbox and a male adult exited the passenger door. The male removed mail from the mailbox and the vehicle sped away. The resident reported the incident promptly and with good detail.
Deputies responded to the area and were able to locate the vehicle described as being used in the mail theft.
The vehicle was being driven by Amanda Terlouw, 23, of Ukiah. The front seat passenger was identified as Kraig Nowlin, 35, of Ukiah, and a rear seat passenger was identified as Nichole Sotille, 43, of Laytonville.
Sotille had two outstanding misdemeanor warrants for her arrest. Sotille was determined to not be involved in the theft. She was arrested on the warrants and later released with a notice to appear in court.
A search of the vehicle revealed articles of mail from (16) sixteen different residences from the Old River Road and Yokayo Tribe Ranch Road area.
Based on evidence and statements gathered, Terlouw and Nowlin were arrested for Theft of Identifying Information and Conspiracy to Commit a Crime. A search of Terlouw's person incident to arrest revealed she was in possession of drug paraphernalia. Both subjects were booked into the Mendocino County Jail where they were to be held in lieu of $15,000 bail.
NOAH BIG WOOF
On Wednesday, January 11, 2023 at about 8:15 PM Deputies from the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office were dispatched to a disturbance in the 2100 block of South State Street in Ukiah.
Upon arrival Deputies learned Noah Luranhatt, 32, of Ukiah, had reportedly threatened to physically harm and kill a 53-year-old female. Deputies discovered the adult female was scared for her safety prompting a call to the Sheriff's Office.
Deputies conducted an investigation and eventually located Luranhatt who was not present upon their initial arrival.
During the investigation, Deputies developed probable cause to believe Luranhatt violated California penal code section 422 (Felony Criminal threats). Deputies also learned Luranhatt was on active CDC Parole. Luranhatt's parole officer was contacted and briefed on this incident, resulting in an issued parole hold.
The Deputies arrested Luranhatt and he was subsequently booked into the Mendocino County Jail where he was held on a No Bail status.
CATCH OF THE DAY, Tuesday, January 17, 2023
CODY CALDWELL, Willits. Stolen vehicle, concealed dirk-dagger.
DANIEL KISLIUK, Fort Bragg. Battery, protective order violation.
JOHN RAMIREZ JR., Elmendorf, Texas/Ukiah. DUI-alcohol&drugs.
AMY STURGES, Ukiah. Vandalism, resisting.
Late lies the wintry sun a-bed,
A frosty, fiery sleepy-head;
Blinks but an hour or two; and then,
A blood-red orange, sets again.
Before the stars have left the skies,
At morning in the dark I rise;
And shivering in my nakedness,
By the cold candle, bathe and dress.
Close by the jolly fire I sit
To warm my frozen bones a bit;
Or with a reindeer-sled, explore
The colder countries round the door.
When to go out, my nurse doth wrap
Me in my comforter and cap;
The cold wind burns my face, and blows
Its frosty pepper up my nose.
Black are my steps on silver sod;
Thick blows my frosty breath abroad;
And tree and house, and hill and lake,
Are frosted like a wedding-cake.
— Robert Louis Stevenson
ON LINE COMMENT OF THE DAY
Rural people have LOTS of firearms, and I suspect many of them have ammo out the wazoo. (Sounds like it around here, anyway.)
Re the ATM problem: Do local rural people keep a stash of cash around the house? I don’t know, but I’d doubt it. But I do suspect that many more people have a stash of gold and silver than you would think.
One guy I know who lives in a close-in suburb recently told me he has about $7,000 in junk silver, much of it stuff his late father collected. The reason I know he has it is because he recently asked me if I wanted to buy some of it.
Bottom line: I think there may be enough gold and silver stashed away among rural people to function as currency, at least minimally. Obviously, barter would be everyone’s preference.
We’re pretty close-knit around here. Productive and skilled people know and trust a lot of other productive and skilled people. They’ll get by. Though if you’re an asshole, getting by will be problematic.
I WAS MUGGED in the Old Times Square. I was quite a young man. They had a bookstore at that time that sold lots of remainders. I was coming out of the store with two bags and this guy stepped up to me, a very big guy, and asked me for directions. In order to give him directions I had to turn around and point towards Central Park. He stepped up very close and he said, "If you move, you're dead." I remember fear like a space heater starting at my feet and a wave of it going up. I guess I decided I was a pretty girl because what I said was, "I'm not going with you anywhere. I'm not getting in any car or van. If I have to die, I die right here on the street." Because as I always say to my daughter, "Nothing gets better after you get in the back of a van. Don't do it."
So he walked in the into Bond's and said, "Give me your wallet." I did, he took the money out. Then he started this long song and dance about his mother was poor, his sister was raped, he gave me this long bullshit story. And I remember saying, "You think you've got troubles?" I pulled out that day's Daily News. On the front page was this paraplegic who had, because of cuts in welfare, leaped out of his wheelchair and fallen onto the street. And he actually perused the column for a minute. Then he handed it back to me and said, "Okay, I'm going to leave now." And then he left and that was it.
In the early 70s when you walked out of your apartment in Manhattan you felt like you were in a jungle and there were predators all around. You were looking left and right constantly. Now I don't even think about the street life around me. It used to be, going to do research at the New York Public Library was to take your life in your hands. You had to find a way into the library than didn't involve getting attacked.
— Thomas Cook, Novelist
UNDER MUSK, TWITTER CONTINUES TO PROMOTE US PROPAGANDA NETWORKS
…Far from being an establishment outsider, Elon Musk himself is a major figure in the military industrial complex, and represents the long tradition of Silicon Valley giants being thoroughly enmeshed in the military and intelligence wars.…
HARVEY WEINSTEIN VERDICT Reminded Me Why I Interacted With My Rapist. It Made Me Feel Safe
by Kelly Hayes-Raitt
Los Angeles jurors found former Hollywood film producer Harvey Weinstein guilty of raping one woman but found him not guilty of other sexual battery charges brought by three other women, resulting in one acquittal and two mistrials from undecided verdicts.
Last month, after a month-long trial and nine days of deliberations, Los Angeles jurors found former Hollywood film producer Harvey Weinstein guilty of raping one woman. But some of those same jurors found him not guilty of other sexual battery charges brought by three other women, resulting in one acquittal and two mistrials from undecided verdicts.
When some of the jurors were later asked about the mixed verdicts, they noted the fact that these other accusers had all had contact with Weinstein following their assault. The jurors believed that continued contact created enough reasonable doubt to vote “not guilty.”
For many, including myself, it is baffling why a woman forced to engage in nonconsensual sex acts would stay in contact with her perpetrator.
For years, I was baffled by my own behavior toward my rapist.
Nearly 30 years ago, I went on vacation to a remote tropical island for a week-long scuba diving trip. In the wee hours of my first night there, the German manager at the resort where I was staying banged at my door, drunk. In a jet-lagged stupor, afraid that there was an emergency back home, I let him in. I’d had no reason to fear him — he’d been friendly and even a bit flirty, upgrading my room and buying me a glass of wine at the bar.
We began kissing, then having sex. This wasn’t what I’d planned, but I wasn’t saying “no.” However, when he reached down and removed his condom before entering me again, it was definitely not consensual. I froze. It didn’t occur to me to try and fight this husky man who was so heavy on me and holding down my shoulders as he thrust. I just wanted it to be over.
For the rest of the trip, I acted like nothing had happened. Although I kept him at arm’s length, I interacted with him at resort parties. He, too, acted like nothing had happened, as if this is how all the single women were welcomed. I even met him and his assistant manager in the bar for drinks one evening with my assigned dive buddy, a French woman I’d just met who spoke no English. But when the two men entered the bar, her stony expression told me she’d been “island welcomed,” too. I tried to hide how ashamed I was by my nonchalance.
After I returned home, it took me several months to define what happened as a “rape.” This was 1994, before open discussions about “date rape,” before it was widely acknowledged that most nonconsensual sex assaults happen between acquaintances — not by the guy in the dark hoodie who attacks unsuspecting women in seedy alleys. I was so relieved when, six months later, my AIDS test was negative.
It took me years to unravel my confusing behavior toward that man following our encounter. To this day, I still have trouble calling it a “rape” because doing so revives my vulnerability. Denial feels safer.
It wasn’t until five years ago, when I read Jon Krakauer’s book about the plague of sexual assaults on America’s college campuses, “Missoula: Rape and the Justice System in a College Town,” that I finally got it. Krakauer interviewed David Lisak, a researcher on the psychology of rape victims, whose insights helped me understand my complex and conflicting responses.
Acquaintance rapes often occur in places where a woman has presumed herself to be safe — her dorm room, the family room in her friend’s home, her hotel room — and by someone she had no reason to fear — the captain of the football team, her friend’s boyfriend or the friendly resort manager.
In order to feel safe again, the victim might deny what happened to her by questioning herself about whether she’d been raped or pretending nothing “wrong” had happened. If the rapist held some level of control over her in other ways — say over her career or reputation, for example — she might compartmentalize and minimize what occurred in order to regain her sense of control and safety. In my case, I needed the resort manager’s help to secure transportation off the island to catch my international flight. Interacting with one’s rapist is a way to re-establish normalcy.
It terrifies me now to consider how vulnerable I was back then. I was traveling alone, stuck on an isolated island with a serial rapist who probably told himself he was treating his guests to a fun vacation anecdote. There were no police to call. This was before emails and cell phones. There was no hospital, only a medical clinic attached to the resort. Everyone worked for this man.
It’s no surprise to me now that my body, mind and psyche went into denial. So it doesn’t surprise me that some of the women accusing Weinstein of sexual assault may have retreated into denial as well and continued communicating with this powerful man.
Jurors and judges in these sensitive cases need to be better educated about the variety of unexpected responses victims of sexual assault can have. We used to blame women’s pre-assault behavior for their assault — their clothing, their level of sobriety, their number of previous sexual partners. Now, we blame women’s post-assault behavior for creating enough reasonable doubt to acquit their perpetrators.
When will we stop blaming the victims?
(Kelly Hayes-Raitt is a journalist formerly of Santa Monica who now lives in Lisbon.)
ON ECONOMIC POLICY Democrats are indistinguishable from Reagan-era Republicans. On foreign policy they're indistinguishable from Bush-era neocons. But they're still able to sell the idea that they're progressive, even moving far to the left, by copious lip service to social justice.
Democrats will bomb you, starve you with sanctions, evict you, let you freeze to death, let you die because you can't afford medicine, let you work your fingers to the bone for pennies, but they will never, ever misgender you.
And rightists are all too happy to take that last bit as evidence that Democrats have in fact moved "too far to the left" and argue that US politics needs to move much farther to the right to counteract all the leftist extremism.
— Caitlin Johnstone
MAXIM thinks he is part of the people, linked to them by some supernatural force stronger than nature, like an inland pool which nevertheless feels the pull of the tides of the sea. That's his kind of talk. But he could not be more mistaken about the people. He compares them to animals, it's a likeness that comes up continually, yet he doesn't understand animals either. Neither beasts nor men are vicious, callous, ruled by passions and lusts, unless society, their environment, makes them so. Their basic instincts are not dark.
— Lenin, as channeled by Alan Brien
SO MUCH FOR THE IDEA THAT BIDEN IS THE ONE TO BEAT THE GOP IN 2024
by Norman Solomon
For many months, conventional media wisdom has told us that Joe Biden would be the strongest candidate to defeat Donald Trump in 2024 because he did it before. The claim was always on shaky ground — after all, Trump was the ultimate symbol of the status quo when he lost in 2020, as Biden would be in next year’s election. That’s hardly auspicious when polling shows that the current electorate believes the country is “off on the wrong track” rather than “headed in the right direction” by a margin of more than a 3-to-1.
But now, the bottom has dropped out of that timeworn spin for Biden in the wake of the discovery of unsecured classified documents under his control, the appointment of a special counsel to investigate and the botched handling of the scandal by the White House.
Yes, Trump’s handling of classified documents was far more egregious in comparison to what we know of Biden’s. But looking ahead, a Biden campaign would be incapable of making any effective criticism of Trump on the issue.
We can already see how having Biden at the top of the ticket would be a serious liability up and down Democratic ballots nationwide. “Awkward” just begins to describe the position that recent developments have put leading Democrats in. An early preview came days ago when Rep. Pramila Jayapal, chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, appeared on CNN and did the best she — or just about any fellow Democrat — could do under the circumstances.
“Certainly there’s a political problem for all of us as Democrats,” Jayapal acknowledged after being confronted with her tweet from four months ago condemning Trump’s conduct with classified documents, “but I do think that there are significant differences, and I do think it’s important to look at the fact that this president is cooperating completely with the investigation.” Later in the interview, Jayapal said: “So there are significant differences. It doesn’t take away my concern about the overall situation, and I do think we have to continue to look at the facts.”
As more facts emerged over the weekend, the situation worsened for the party currently hitched to Biden’s star. Under the telling headline “Biden Missteps on Secret Papers Create Self-Inflicted Crisis,” Bloomberg reported that “the decision to wait more than two months, until after midterm elections, to disclose the initial discovery of classified documents has fanned criticism of the president’s commitment to transparency that has only grown as Biden and his team stumbled through the subsequent week.”
Expanding on its big-type subhead “Drip of incomplete information suggests attempt at cover-up,” the article added: “Statements by the president, his lawyers, and his spokespeople that omitted key details — including information later revealed in news reports or subsequent statements — intensified the impression that the White House has something to hide. And the steady stream of revelations knocked Republican dysfunction on Capitol Hill out of the headlines while also offering a lifeline to former President Donald Trump, who is under criminal investigation for his own handling of classified documents.”
Even one of the most loyally partisan House Democrats, Adam Schiff of California, felt compelled to say during an ABC News interview on Sunday that “I don’t think we can exclude the possibility” that Biden’s handling of classified documents jeopardized national security. On Monday, after several minutes of defending Biden on NBC, consummate corporate asset Rep. Jim Clyburn of South Carolina said: “It’s no question the reporting of all this undercuts all of our credibility as Democrats when it comes to this kind of an issue.”
Another seasoned Democrat, only willing to be identified as a “former Clinton aide,” presented this analysis of Biden’s political peril in comments to The Hill: “Everyone can say what they want but this weakens him, full stop. This is just one of those things that will stick around and won’t go away.”
What does all this mean for progressives and anyone else who doesn’t want a Republican to win the White House in 2024?
Biden’s electoral future should be taken off the national table, so we can proceed with focused discussions of crucial issues on their merits rather than everything being constantly subjected to a political calculus as to the president’s prospects for re-election. This country is facing an ongoing cascade of crises, the Republican Party leaders are a clear and present danger to democracy, and Democrats will need the strongest possible ticket to defeat them. Joe Biden definitely should not be on it.
(Norman Solomon is the national director of RootsAction.org and the executive director of the Institute for Public Accuracy. He is the author of a dozen books including War Made Easy. His next book, War Made Invisible: How America Hides the Human Toll of Its Military Machine, will be published in Spring 2023 by The New Press.)
"CHILDREN OF THE COVID"
The latest tour de force by Matt Orfalea reminds us of the insane media scaremongering about children and COVID
by Matt Orfalea & Matt Taibbi
“I’m more worried for children than I’ve ever been.”
“It is picking off young people like we’ve never seen.”
“Think of the children!”
As Matt Orfalea shows in his new “Children of the COVID” video, this was real press commentary stretching across years about a Covid-19 virus now recognized to pose an extraordinarily small risk to children.
Living in America in the last 6-7 years has been like being trapped in a fugue state, where reality is kaleidoscopic, memory is elusive, and moments of clarity sometimes more jarring than reassuring. To be reminded of what we were told day after day for years, after being trained to forget, is like waking from an unpleasant dream, prompting thoughts like, “Did that really happen?”
In Matt’s video, we see how the pandemic was reported not as a collective problem to be solved, but a horror movie to be passively experienced. This is a media approach we see deployed in a variety of issues from fake news to “sonic weapons,” one that trains frightened audiences to endorse extreme solutions and outsource thinking to authorities. This makes it all the more important that we remember episodes like “Children of the COVID,” the next time we’re told to Be afraid. Be very afraid.
Pandemic coverage was also a classic example of how reporters now are often not really free to write in nuanced ways about politically charged issues. Even a breezy writing stylecan be taken as evidence of secret political unsuitability. A classic example was New York Times writer David Leonhardt, criticized for stepping out of what he called “Covid alarmism” to describe risks Covid posed to children. He wrote that “evidence suggests that serious versions of Covid will continue to be extremely rare in children,” information that was widely available and anecdotally clear.
Leonhardt in the Times noted more kids were dying from flu, drowning, suffocation, and other phenomena than Covid. This reporting dovetailed with the reports cited by Matt above, like the Nature study headlined, “Deaths from COVID ‘incredibly rare’ among children.”.
For his trouble, Leonhardt became the subject of numerous scalding media analyses, with Politico’s “The NYT’s Polarizing Pandemic Pundit” leading the way. Note the way he’s pilloried in that piece for coming up with a way to talk about the pandemic that audiences didn’t find off-putting or manipulative. See if these passages sound familiar:
He has positioned himself as the pundit who punches holes in public health orthodoxy, who shuns the “bad news bias” of journalism, who offers soothing rationality — grounded in his years of Pulitzer-winning reporting on economics — in the face of what he calls “Covid alarmism…”
Notable doctors and scientists have written to the Times, individually or in groups, to poke holes in Leonhardt’s coverage of the pandemic. They say that he cherry-picks sources and data…
New York Magazine did its obligatory “Why?” piece (“The Pandemic Interpreter”) about a media figure who deviated slightly from orthodoxy, asking “Why are so many liberals mad at David Leonhardt?” next to the unflattering asymmetrical portrait that’s becoming a mandatory element of the genre. The New Republic asked, “Why is David Leonhardt So Happy?” in a piece whose sub-headline declared, “He has repeatedly declared the pandemic is in retreat. He has cast doubt on masks. And he has one of the biggest platforms at The New York Times.”
The New Republic piece was typical of an approach that’s had its own epidemiological spread in the news business. If the standard tone is panic now, optimism or even-handedness about almost any topic is suspect, in both blue and red media. This is how we get headlines that castigate balance as “both-sidesism,” or warn you might be “disappointed” to learn from Robert Mueller the objectively good news the president isn’t a Russian spy.
With COVID-19, anyone trying to open discussions about relative social costs of lockdowns or school closures, the effectiveness of masks or ventilators, the protective effect of natural immunity, or the necessity of vaccines for children, was assumed to be making a political statement. Objections to policy concepts like vaccine passports were regularly cast as stealth campaigns against vaccines themselves. Moreover, any suggestion that children were anything less than walking vectors of death was similarly assumed to be a proxy campaign against adult vaccination, so we got opposite information instead.
“Experts” for years casually tossed out horrific numbers, like the NBC senior medical correspondent who in October of 2021 claimed 146,000 kids had died from Covid-19, when the CDC’s number was closer to 800. In the same period, Anthony Fauci said, “We have lost more children from SARS-CoV-2 than we ever lose for influenza,” which wasn’t true, either, but fit narratives at the time. Red Bull Tweeter and Democratic congressman Ted Lieu posted, then deleted, old inaccurate numbers about child deaths from Covid-19 just last month.
In late 2021, a group of British Universities published the study reported on in Nature, noting Covid “is very rarely fatal” even among kids with comorbidities. Not long after, the American Academy of Pediatrics noted that while kids accounted for 19% of all Covid cases, “among states reporting, children were 0.00%-0.27% of all Covid-19 deaths, and 3 states reported zero child deaths.” In a flash, those “it’s coming for our children” news stories mostly evaporated and handed third-class tickets to the memory hole, to be scooped up by the diligent Orf for the video above.
As some of the recent #TwitterFiles revelations have shown (including the most recent by Lee Fang), social media companies were pressured by industry lobbyists representing firms like Pfizer or BioNTech to eliminate or deamplify information about everything from natural immunity to activist support for a WTO waiver that might have allowed some countries to produce generic vaccines.
It’s clearly true that blue-leaning media figures weren’t alone in banishing nuance from pandemic coverage, with numerous instances of efforts to downplay real risksof the virus seen on channels like Fox, especially in mid-2020 when Donald Trump was still in office and blamed for high death tolls. There’s also no question the government and society in general has legitimate interest in using every available rhetorical technique to encourage vaccine use, when they believe it necessary.
Still, press and voters/news audiences have to be allowed to ask if there’s tension between profit and science when it comes to vaccines or any medicine. For decades, center-left media eagerly reported on stories about pharmaceutical companies who lobbied governments to overmedicate children when it came to problems like Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, or episodes like former Texas Governor Rick Perry’s push to mandate vaccines for Human Papillomavirus (HPV). But those lines of inquiry were closed for much of the pandemic. Discussion wasn’t much encouraged. Our job was to be scared, which wasn’t hard, especially for parents.
UKRAINE, TUESDAY, 17TH JANUARY
Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelensky said Russia’s deadly strike on a Dnipro apartment complex that killed more than 40 people was a "war crime" and vowed to bring its perpetrators to justice.
Russia's minister of defense announced President Vladimir Putin has decided toincrease the Russian Armed Forces to 1.5 million servicemen due to the "proxy war" that the West is waging.
The US Defense Department confirmed around 100 Ukrainians have begun their training on the Patriot missile system at a US army base in Oklahoma. The Netherlands said Tuesday it intends to jointhe US and Germany in sending the defense system to Ukraine.