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A PACIFIC STORM SYSTEM will approach the region today. South-southeast winds will subsequently become gusty ahead of the storm, and rain will spread east across the region this evening. Some snow will also be possible across the mountains of Trinity County tonight. After the front passes east, showers will prevail during Sunday, and a few thunderstorms may develop near the coast. Drier weather is then expected early next week. (NWS)
AV UNIFIED UPDATE
Dear Anderson Valley Community,
Today was a really good day….
First of all, nothing broke! That’s a good thing, as we have had a string of not great luck. I am grateful to Dennis Johnson for coming in to shut off water valves even on a sick day. That’s commitment! We had such a cascade of plumbing emergencies, I am thinking of changing my title to Superintendent/Plumber.
The second great thing were the two animal conservation assemblies we held for the district at the high school. If your kid came home and said they touched an alligator, they weren’t fibbing. I have worked with this organization in my past districts, and it is one of the most engaging and energizing presentations for kids. Mr. Gabe brought a monkey, lemur, alligator, red tail hawk and a few other creatures, and the students learned about them and their habitats. The Junior/Senior High enjoyed the first assembly, and then we bused the elementary kids over. It was a great day. I received 18 beautiful thank you notes from Ms. Cook’s class with heartfelt thanks for having the experience. (Don’t worry, the alligator had already eaten!). We will do this annually and rotate the animals.
The day got even better when our teachers’ union ratified a two year contract. Our classified unit had ratified theirs earlier in the month as well. What that means for our district is stability. That takes trust. I applaud our union leaders, Arthur Folz and Belma Rhoades, for the shift in culture we have created together over these two years. That is good for kids and employees. I am grateful for our staff. Good things ahead.
In other news district-wide, the elementary septic plans are in plan review. Many thanks to our community for all of the outreach to political contacts regarding our septic. I am sure we can get 60% replacement funding But we need to go for 100 percent. We passed a bond, but we didn’t expect it to go for septic. I may ask you to jump back in this fight. The paperwork load on this is insane for Leigh and Angel, but we are going to do it. We got the $59,000 check this week for the high school gym heaters. The State and the Feds need to step up. Thanks to Senator McGuire’s staff for the support.
On a final note, thank you to all of the parents and guardians that have met with me about grades. I care about your kids. Nine out of ten of you are in partnership with me about achievement and change. I have to admit, I feel bad when I get the flack from the other ten percent where I often feel like I care more about their kid’s outcome than they do. I have been in many systems. I flunked out of college the first time because I wasn’t prepared as a kid of 18. I went to trade school and back to college at 44. I get it. I am not an adversary, I am a partner in achievement and I embrace trade and vocational schools as an alternate to college.
What I want is for your kid to have a good life…I know you do too.
So on that note, come to our Career and College Fair on Tuesday, February 28 AT 5:00. All grade levels are welcome. This is a family event. Tell your school site office that you want to come, so we can have a dinner ready for you and your kids. Miss Rhoades is cooking it up, so it will be tasty.
Grateful to you all,
Louise Simson, Superintendent
Anderson Valley Unified School District
Every Student • Every Possibility • No Matter What
ANDERSON VALLEY FIRE DEPARTMENT: You might have noticed a number of new road signs popping up in the various corners of the Valley. Colin Wilson put together this map with a road index. How many newly named roads do you see?
THE MAJOR’S EMERGENCY ROOM BILL:
(Note: Pacific Redwood Medical Group, PRMG, operates the Emergency Room at Adventist Health Hospital in Ukiah.)
THE ANDERSON VALLEY VARIETY SHOW is in May this year! You have time to work on your act - please contact Captain Rainbow for more info and/or to get your slot in the show: 707-472-9189
POINT ARENA ON THE MARCH!
The agenda for the upcoming February 7, 2023 City Council housing workshop. At the workshop, the community will have the opportunity to learn about and discuss important issues related to housing in the city, including:
- Results of the recent Community Housing Survey and Property Owner Survey
- Updates to Accessory Dwelling Unit regulations
- Updated zoning designation within city limits
- Streamlining of the City's permitting process
- Potential development of multi-family housing on a city-owned parcel
The agenda can also be viewed at https://pointarena.ca.gov/notices/2023-02-07-city-council-workshop/
FUEL BREAKS AND FIRE PREVENTION Follow Up Meeting: A Community Listening And Planning Session
Mendocino Volunteer Fire Station 44700 Little Lake Rd. Mendocino CA Tuesday, February 7th, 6:00pm - 8:00 pm. For questions or suggestions, contact Kyle Farmer, firstname.lastname@example.org
A fuel break is a “strip of land on which vegetation has been modified so that a fire burning into it can be more readily controlled.”
In the coming years, CAL FIRE will build strategic fuel breaks across Jackson State Demonstration Forest. These fuel breaks will work best if they are planned and implemented in collaboration with JDSF’s neighbors. Please join us at the Mendocino Volunteer Fire Station to hear an update from:
CAL FIRE staff about how community input from the November meeting has been incorporated into the Fuel Treatment Project Plan. Community concern about forest fuels adjacent to the Mitchell Creek neighborhood, expressed in public comment and collaborative mapping, is now in the assessment phase.
Representatives from State Parks Wildfire and Forest Resilience Program who will give an overview of recent projects and future plans. The areas identified as important for fuel management during the November meeting are situated at the boundary between State Parks and Demonstration Forest land, and interagency collaboration will be vital.
University of California Cooperative Extension will cover general fuel break effectiveness and ecological impact research, as well as upcoming opportunities community pile burning classes. - Mendocino Fire Safe Council will be on hand to provide home hardening advice and help coordinate “home-out” fire readiness efforts.
LAUREN SINNOTT: Hi friends, my interview with Blake More aired on KZYX - Mendocino County Public Broadcasting on Thursday, 2/2/23 (cool date numbers! Also it’s Imbolc, pagan equinox) I talked about my new mural, “From Finland to Fort Bragg” and the rich Finnish heritage in our northern neighbor city.
You can stream the interview live on KZYX and afterwards too. To see the images I will discuss, start here: https://historymural.com/finn/ and click on the five buttons for more.
Here’s a link to the recorded interview: jukebox.kzy.org (and go to listing for Thursday at 7pm.)
THE ARTISTS' COLLECTIVE IN ELK will be presenting a dual show for the month of February. We will be having our usual Valentine's jewelry show, featuring the jewelry of our three jewelers: Walt Rush, Rhoda Teplow, and Lee Zabin. In tandem with this, we will be having a posthumous show of drawings entitled Jim Vickery in Black and White.
For over 50 years Walt Rush has been creating and designing jewelry. In order to achieve some of his creative designs he has developed some unique techniques. Walt enjoys the outdoors and the beauty of the ocean and because of this he has created jewelry with a more fluid and organic look. To achieve these designs he actually cast in water, straw and also hand fabrication and wax carving which gives the jewelry a look like the rolling surf, crashing waves, driftwood and things of nature. Walt works mostly in Silver and Gold and also uses precious and semi-precious stones.
After graduating from U. C. Berkeley, Rhoda Teplow joined the Peace Corps. She was assigned to a village in Togo, West Africa. There she was introduced to African trade beads, which had originally been brought from the island of Murano, in the Venetian Lagoon of Italy. Her body of work includes her own handmade porcelain beads, brass from the Ashanti tribe, recycled glass beads from the Krobo tribe in Ghana, hand-carved jade beads from the middle fork of the Eel River, Tibetan/Nepalese jewelry, colorful handmade beads from Bali, and other beads she has collected in her travels around the world.
Lee Zabin makes jewelry from abalone shell, and other shells, as well. Most of the shell in her jewelry is collected here on our Mendocino coast. It is made in the tradition of Native American regalia.
Jim Vickery was a graphic artist and painter, and lived in Irish Beach. He is well known locally for his whimsical, bizarre and hilarious drawings and paintings. On display this month will be his original pen and ink drawings of fantasy lighthouses.
Because of COVID and poor weather, we will not be having our artists' reception, but the show may be seen daily, from 10 to 4. The Artists' Collective is located at 6301 S. Hwy 1, between the post office and Queenie's, in greater downtown Elk. (707) 877-1128.
MORE FED MONEY FOR MENDO
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) in partnership with the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (CalOES), the United States Small Business Administration (SBA), and Mendocino County Disaster Recovery and OES have been tracking, documenting, and verifying storm damages for several weeks with the goal of bringing additional recovery resources to Mendocino County.
As of February 2, 2023, the County of Mendocino has been added to the major disaster declaration for California’s severe storms and flooding. The County has been approved for both Public Assistance and Individual Assistance to support recovery efforts related to damage and/or losses from the storms that began on December 27, 2022.
The County is currently working with State and Federal partners to establish Disaster Recovery Centers. FEMA Disaster Recovery Centers (DRCs) are accessible facilities and mobile offices you can visit to learn more about FEMA and other disaster assistance programs.
Additional information will be released as soon as specific details become available.
MEMO OF THE WEEK
(Excerpts from a presentation scheduled for Tuesday’s Board of Supervisors meeting involving an assessment of the County’s new(ish), and controversial, Public Records Act process which basically charges requesters of public documents for search time, but not for the document(s).)
* * *
Unlike the federal Freedom of Information Act, as well as the sunshine laws of other states, the California Public Records Act (“PRA”) contains no mechanism for the recovery of the cost of staff time spent searching for and providing public records. By default, this cost is borne entirely by tax dollars. In the case of counties, however, this unfunded mandate can be offset if the governing body elects to adopt a fee by ordinance. This statutory mechanism, enacted after Proposition 13 limited the ability of local government to raise taxes, provides a safety valve to avoid records requests from overwhelming available tax dollars.
Mendocino County Ordinance No. 4507 was drafted for the purpose of reducing the burden to local tax dollars created by this growing number of Public Records Act requests. For some of these requests, the expenditure of public dollars furthers important governmental purposes of transparency and accountability necessary for a well-functioning democracy. In many other cases, however, local tax dollars are expended in a manner that inures primarily to the benefit of [i.e., benefits] private parties, including private companies outside of Mendocino County.
Staff have identified roughly three types of PRA requests that appear to be an inefficient use of taxpayer dollars and a significant burden on local resources. First, a substantial number of requests appear to be made for commercial purposes.
For example, multiple out-of-state “asset recovery” companies routinely request information on all uncashed checks, including the names and mailing addresses of the recipients. Similar requests have been made to other departments with the apparent intent of identifying potential customers for marketing purposes. This category also includes other types of economic research, such as requests establishing the County’s investment strategy, rates charged by competitors, or other economically valuable information.
Second, a significant number of PRA requests appear to be from attorneys or private litigants seeking to develop evidence for private lawsuits. If these parties were to subpoena the records, state law requires them to pay up to $24 per hour for staff time locating and make the records available. Subpoenaing a County employee to testify at deposition would require the attorney to pay the full cost of the witness’s time, and requires an initial deposit of $275.
By utilizing the Public Records Act, however, litigants have been able to procure much of the same service at taxpayer expense. One such requester has made more then 200 requests for documents related to a private lawsuit against her neighbors. That requester was later ruled a vexatious litigant by the Mendocino County Superior Court.
Third, a small number of requestors appear to be motivated merely by a desire to disrupt operations or otherwise adversely affect the county. Most often, these requestors are upset about a policy, permitting, or other issue they lack any legal basis to challenge. Though rarely stated explicitly, the intent of these requests often appears to be to punish the County or its staff for decisions that the requestor did not like. This conduct is perhaps best exemplified by a 2019 email by a local attorney to several state agencies. That attorney was unusually explicit about his intent, stating:
“I will, however, continue to hound you. You still have the 10 days mandated by the Government Code to respond to my Public Records requests. It is now up to you to spend your staff time researching and sending me all the required documents, and I intend to request my friends and colleagues to pester you for such information also. If you won't license, you will at least keep busy with paperwork. I will file similar requests of CDFW and the Water Board, as I have already with Mendocino County. Spend your staff and attorney time on that!”
While the number of such requestors is small, they account for a disproportionate number of highly resource intensive requests.
The Public Records Act contains no explicit mechanism to mitigate these expenses. In some cases, courts have held that the public interest exemption under Government Code section 6255 allows local agencies to avoid unduly burdensome requests. The County, however, must prove that the burden of responding to each such request “clearly outweighs” the public benefit of disclosure. Unlike in civil discovery, the County is forbidden from asking a court to rule on this issue. Instead, the County may either comply with the request or deny it and wait for the requestor to file a lawsuit. If a court ultimately disagrees with the County’s assessment, the County will be required to pay an award of attorneys’ fees. The result is the staff are incentivized to err heavily on the side of disclosure, spending time and resources on burdensome requests of dubious public benefit.
Moreover, Government Code section 6255 is a poor tool to address the cumulative impacts of a large volume of requests. Courts evaluate each request on case-by-case basis, without regard to the identity of the requestor or the purpose of the request. This analysis is inherently poor at accounting for the overall impact of a large volume of requests from foreign companies or the sort of coordinated harassment campaign described in the above quote. The result, again, is that staff err more heavily on the side of disclosure than they would in a discovery context, dedicating substantial staff time to requests that provide little or no benefit to the residents of Mendocino County.
To address these issues, the Board of Supervisors has adopted Ordinance No. 4507, which imposes fees for the staff time spent in response to certain requests. Although the Public Records Act does not contain language allowing for the recovery of these fees, Government Code section 54985 allows the County to implement this sort of fee structure by ordinance. County Counsel reviewed similar such ordinances from Ventura County, Shasta County, Los Angeles County, and others, and chose to use the Los Angeles County ordinance as a model. The amount of the fees was based on the weighted rates for the relevant staff positions, so as to be near but below full cost recovery.
. . .
From the ordinance’s effective date in August of 2022 to December 31 of that year, Mendocino County received approximately 328 CPRA requests in the Next Request portal, for an average of 3.5 requests per business day. Although substantially higher than the rate of requests in 2016 through 2020, this 3.5 rate was lower than the 4.5 requests per business day experienced for the first part of 2022. This suggests the possibility that the fee ordinance is having a modest deterrent effect on requests, but the available data is too small to draw reliable inferences at this time.
County Counsel has reached out to the departments for information on any fees charged during this same time period. Of the 328 requests made during this time, five received formal fee estimate letters. This number excludes any high-volume requests that were narrowed by the requester after initial discussions with County staff. A couple of these requests came from media requesters shortly after implementation of the fee ordinance and were unusually broad for those requesters. This suggests the possibility that the requests might have been crafted, in part, to test the operation of the new fee ordinance. No fees were collected, but media requesters were informed of the ability to obtain records without charge.
Impact to County resources is still difficult to quantify at this time. There are still twelve active requests from before the ordinance’s effective date which County staff are responding to. Another 91 from this time period are in the “waiting for requester” status, indicating that they have likely been abandoned. Nevertheless, some of the preliminary results suggest that the ordinance is effective in mitigating costs related to abusive and commercial requests. It is expected that additional information will provide a clearer picture in another six months.
(Christian Curtis, County Counsel)
BENEFIT CONCERT BY ALEX DE GRASSI
Guitarist Alex de Grassi to perform a benefit concert for the College Coastal Field Station
The Friends of the Mendocino College Coastal Field Station and Natural Sciences, an affiliate of the Mendocino College Foundation, is excited to announce a rare solo concert with internationally acclaimed guitarist Alex de Grassi to benefit the Mendocino College Coastal Field Station. The concert is scheduled for Saturday, February 25 at 7pm in the Little Theater on the Ukiah campus of Mendocino College. Tickets are available online at https://mndocf.ejoinme.org/AlexdeGrassiConcert and at the Mendocino Book Company in Ukiah.
"Our community is blessed to have such an amazing musician as Alex de Grassi,” said Dr. Steve Cardimona, professor of Earth Science at the college. The Wall Street Journal has called his playing “flawless”, Acoustic Guitar Magazine calls him a “legend” and Billboard hails his “intricate finger-picking technique with an uncanny gift for melodic invention.” The GRAMMY® nominated musician is also a graduate in Earth Science from UC Berkeley where he studied economic/urban geography; however, it is his musical talents that have captivated audiences around the world for decades. "To have Alex share his unique talent for such an evening benefit is absolutely phenomenal!”
Among other duties, Steve is the point of contact at the college regarding the Coastal Field Station property at Point Arena. For over forty years, the Field Station site, with its original Coast Guard structures and surrounded by the California Coastal National Monument, has provided active learning opportunities for students of the natural sciences to study marine life, the California coastal prairie ecosystem and the many incredible geological features in the area. “The Coastal Field Station is an exceptional asset that sets Mendocino College apart from other community colleges, allowing for unique opportunities where students can perform exciting hands-on activities and be exposed to scientific research,” Steve explains. “In addition, on-site dorms and kitchen amenities allow for overnight and multi-day trips, adding an element of community bonding for the students that cannot be achieved in the classroom.” However, along with the benefits of using such facilities comes the responsibilities of maintaining the buildings and grounds. There are a lot of repairs and deferred maintenance to address.
The Friends of the Mendocino College Coastal Field Station and Natural Sciences is a non-profit affiliate of the Mendocino College Foundation, created with the mandate to renovate the Mendocino College Coastal Field Station. Since 2015, community donations of funds and volunteer time have supported projects both large and small, from the simple replacement of room heating and kitchen cooking appliances, to the installation of new roofs on all 4 dorm houses. Other recent donor-funded projects include updating of the electrical systems in the education building and well house, site cleanup to improve access, and well-water system rehabilitation.
“With such amazing community support, we have been able to accomplish a lot over the last few years,” Steve says.
“There is still a lot more work to do, though.”
In 2019 the Friends of the Field Station embarked on a capital campaign with a goal to raise $250K. In the summer of 2022, the halfway point toward that goal was reached, and a special donation of $25K by Robert Blanc jump-started the second half of the campaign.
“I cannot think of a more memorable way to celebrate the 40+ years of college stewardship over the unique coastal property than a performance by Alex de Grassi. It is also an excellent opportunity to reach out to the community with a special event to highlight our Friends group and the work we have been doing to support natural science students at Mendocino College,” Steve notes.
Alex de Grassi has been a unique voice in the world of acoustic guitar for the past 40 plus years and his solo steel-string guitar recordings have influenced a generation of younger players. He has performed in concert venues and festivals around the world including Carnegie Hall, the Kennedy Center, Montreux Jazz Festival, Belfast International Festival and the Bath Guitar Festival. Employing a broad palette of techniques and timbre to create a highly orchestrated sound, he has become known equally for his evocative compositions and arrangements as well as for his sheer virtuosity. His debut 1978 recording, Turning: Turning Back (cited by Acoustic Guitar magazine among their top ten essential fingerstyle recordings), and the subsequent recordings Slow Circle (1979) and Southern Exposure (1984), and his Grammy nominated recording The Water Garden (1998) are considered classics of the solo guitar genre. In addition, he has received commissions from the New York Guitar Festival to score for silent film as well as from String Letter Publishing to collaborate with violinist Jeremy Cohen in an original work for guitar, string quartet and string orchestra. A Bay Area native, Alex currently lives in Mendocino County.
Advance tickets can be purchased online (https://mndocf.ejoinme.org/AlexdeGrassiConcert) or at the Mendocino Book Company for $30. Tickets at the door will be $40 (cash or check only).
Proceeds from the event will go to the Friends of the Mendocino College Coastal Field Station and Natural Sciences for the upgrade and improvement of the Coastal Field Station near Point Arena.
GOING TO SANTA ROSA JUNIOR COLLEGE
by Ken Hurst
My Senior High School class of 1959 was the first class to graduate from the then-new Anderson Valley high school. Shine Tuttle was the architect and builder of the school. From 1959 on we had the finest small school gym around for basketball and volleyball.
I loved going to school there until the last day when awards were given to those chosen to be the best for a variety of school activities, including sports. I knew I was going to win the new trophy for all-around athlete which had been won the year before by my good friend Bill Long.
A new football coach had come to Anderson Valley High School; he was a pretty good coach even though we finished second in the league to Point Arena due to their star Matt Piper who was very fast and a strong runner.
I, ahem, was the best basketball player and the best football player and the best baseball player, all by consensus.
Our new coach Mr. Bushe wanted me to play catcher on the baseball team. I told him with the whole team listening that I didn't want to play catcher. I wanted to play shortstop for the New York Yankees.
Bushe laughed and said I was going to play catcher and that he was my coach and that was that. I said if catcher was my only choice I would go out for track.
I did run track and Mr. Bushe ever after hated my guts. I'd heard and believed that he had married a cheerleader on a city team and had had to go to the country to work as a teacher-coach. I won a lot of points as a track man but I wasn't a star in any single event. I enjoyed the freedom to work out in the sun.
At the awards ceremony in the AV High School gym I still expected to win the perpetual three-sport award. But as I started to stand up for the trophy I saw Coach Bushe on the stage of the gym laughing at me. I knew I hadn't won. My friend Billy Triplett advised me I had to keep my gripes to myself. The Oddfellows were the ones who voted for that award. I knew Buster Hollifield and Bob Rawls were important members of that club, both of whom I admired, and that was that.
From Boonville, I went to Santa Rosa Junior College. The football coaches lined us up for a footrace, which the coaches thought was a quick and logical way to choose positions. I finished fourth and James Gray finished first. James Gray was recently voted to be the best athlete in Santa Rosa Junior College history. I agree that he was the best football player to play at Santa Rosa Junior College.
Sammy Prather finished fifth in that football trials race. I didn't know he was even coming to Santa Rosa Junior College. But he came up behind me and goosed me and he was laughing when I turned around and saw him. We were together most of the time. At noon we would have lunch at his aunt's house about a half a mile from the Junior College. His aunt was smart and fun.
James Gray and I were the two wide receivers. I felt Sammy Prather should have been the wingback for special plays. Sammy was fast and quick and he had very good hands. Coach Bob Mastin believed that Sammy was perfect for that slot too, but head coach Rodgers (it might have been Roberts) felt Sammy should be a guard, a lineman.
Coach Mastin said he couldn't get the head coach to appreciate Sammy's 5'-3" size and see his good hands and cutting skills.
Sammy told me, “I am not a goat,” and quit Santa Rosa Junior College.
I wasn't playing my favorite position at quarterback because a classmate had accidentally shot me in the chest. He barely missed my heart and the bullet went into my neck and did something that kept me from throwing well ever again.
About that same time, I had gone to Gualala with Gerald Holcomb, the younger brother of Anderson Valley's Bill Holcomb, and Claude Bierman. I didn't want to go because Gerald and Claude were both drunk. But I decided to take them because I was concerned that if I didn't go they would drive off a cliff and they would be killed.
I protected Claude from prosecution by saying that the shooting had been an accident.
CATCH OF THE DAY, Friday, February 3, 2023
LELAND BEAN JR., Willits. Controlled substance, probation revocation.
JOSHUA COHAN, Comptche. Disorderly conduct-alcohol, paraphernalia, probation revocation.
MARTIN CORTEZ, Willits. Domestic battery.
VINCENT HERNANDEZ, Ukiah. Controlled substance, county parole violation.
ROBERT JAMES SR., Ukiah. Failure to appear.
CHRISTOPHER LANE, Lakeport/Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-alcohol.
JAKE LEWIS-KOOY, Ukiah. Petty theft, paraphernalia.
JOSHUA MCWHORTER, Albion. Disorderly conduct-alcohol.
SHANE MILLER JR., Ukiah. Probation revocation.
ORLANDO MUNOZ, Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-alcohol, paraphernalia, county parole violation.
JESUS PEREZ-MUNIZ, Redwood Valley. Pot for sale/transportation, evasion.
SOPHIA PICENO, Ukiah. Assault with deadly weapon not a gun, willful cruelty to child-possible injury or death.
JASON SANDERS, Willits. Failure to appear.
SHAWN SPILLER, Fort Bragg. Controlled substance, county parole violation.
PATRICIA TREPPA, Redwood Valley. Disorderly conduct-alcohol, false ID, battery on peace officer, resisting.
TAKE A KNEE
by Lindy Peters
There is an expression in competitive football that all players are familiar with. When a player is injured badly, no matter which team that player is on, you “take a knee.” The teammates and opponents alike pay tribute to the fallen soldier by huddling together on the field while resting on one knee as the injured are attended to. You’ve no doubt seen this. It is an unwritten bonding experience between two teams on the battlefield. A reality check that the next man down, in fact, could be you.
When first string 49er quarterback Trey Lance was injured in just the second game of the season, last year’s starter Jimmy Garoppolo was on the bench to relieve him. Jimmy G turned the season around and San Francisco started winning after floundering around with a losing record early on. But then HE goes down. Out for the season. Who is HIS back-up? Up steps rookie 3rd string quarterback Brock Purdy and the rest is history. Or is it?
Here is where the 49er top brass may have made a huge mistake.
Knowing they are now down to literally their last standing quarterback, why on earth would GM John Lynch and Coach Kyle Shanahan sign Josh Johnson to back him up? There are still 7 games left in the season. Johnson is a journeyman practice-squad QB at best . Definitely not ready for prime time. This is your best insurance policy in case somehow Purdy gets hurt too? Well let me give you the news. This insurance policy was never going to pay-out, even if you thought you were covered. In fact, you may have just unknowingly thrown your season away as soon as the ink dried on Johnson’s contract.
Why not take a chance on someone more familiar with the franchise? Why not make the biggest headlines of the NFL season? Why not bring in a double-threat QB who can run and throw? And why not a guy that this NFL franchise city might welcome with open arms given the circumstances? Why not bring in a quarterback who fairly recently took this storied franchise all the way to the Super Bowl?
What a story! Let’s play fantasy football, shall we? Had 49er GM Lynch and company re-signed Colin Kaepernick as their 4th-string-quarterback-insurance policy instead of the woebegone Josh Johnson, we would have had a completely different story line today. Yeah the Niners may have still lost the NFC championship game. But imagine if a familiar number 7 trotted out to the huddle when Purdy went down instead of number 17. Can you imagine?!
First off, hold the press. The media would have gobbled this story up like a late night White Castle slider. The announcers, clearly pro-NFL, would be gobsmacked and tongue-tied. The vaunted Eagles defense would no longer be able to put 8 men in the box to stop an obvious running play. No. They’d have to defend the pass. Kaep can still zing a football 60-70 yards with reasonable accuracy. He has showed as much in his audition work-outs, most recently with the Raiders. He is much more mobile and a serious threat to run. Just ask the Packers. But most of all, his teammates would have believed they may have had a chance in this one. He would’ve given them at least that much. And you can’t tell me fans across the nation wouldn’t be glued to their TV screens to see what Kaepernick would do. Most of them probably hoping he’d fail.
But what if he didn’t? What if this 49er hero-turned-villain was suddenly the hero again? What if he led his team to a couple of touchdowns and the Niner defense, no longer having to defend such a short field, was able to thwart the Eagles and make it a close game? Theoretically they would have had a much better chance to win this game. And Colin Kaepernick leading the 49ers to the Super Bowl? I can’t even fathom the media hype.
But in the real world this could never happen. In fact, the one entity that would stand to benefit the most from this hoopla is the one entity that made sure it will never happen. Make no mistake about it, the NFL has banned Colin Kaepernick. The 49er quarterback still had a bright future in this league when he decided to sit out the ceremonial pre-game National Anthem. He felt there was too much police brutality in America and so to bring attention to this festering issue he would not participate in “honoring America”. This was 6 years ago. Care to argue that point today? Anyway, though they publically deny it, Kaepernick won a huge court settlement suing the owners for collusion. So as 49er fans watched in horror as Josh Johnson fumbled away an easy shotgun snap from center, we all knew right then we were watching the end of our season.
I’ll bet someone else was watching all this with interest as well. But unlike the rest of us Couch Coaches and Monday Morning Quarterbacks, this guy could have actually played. But he didn’t. He couldn’t.
You want to know why?
Because when the rest of the team was standing on the field, he took a knee.
LARRY SHEEHY: It’s been 40 years since the poster’s first publishing in 1983. Since that time, producer and HSU alumni Ingrid Hart has never earned a penny from the poster.
Back in 1983, the poster “Are You A Humboldt Honey?” was created as equal parts parody and love letter to the ideals of a utopian woman’s message of peace, happiness and, above all, love. The woman in the poster wears a No Nukes t-shirt, a Question Authority button, and Bobby McGee’s dirty red bandana. In her right hand she’s holding a joint filled with Humboldt’s finest weed – cannabis sativa. What’s not to love about this honey? Apparently quite a bit.
On April 17, 1983, Humboldt’s daily newspaper, the Times-Standard, put the poster on the front page above the fold, helping the poster’s press run of 1,000 sell out in two months. “When the story ran the nasty grams started and I received lots of hate mail in the Letters to the Editor section of the Times-Standard,” said Hart. I had to disconnect my telephone because people were calling and leaving awful messages.”
The poster revealed a divide in the Humboldt County community, separating the lumber and fishing industry from the youthful alternative lifestyle of the Arcata area, a rift that 40 years later remains to this day.
“To be fair,” said Hart, there were many people who loved the Humboldt Honey. There were many letters to the editor that defended her. My favorite is a letter written by Eureka resident Michael R. Langdon titled ‘The woman is a rare flower’ and ends with the sentiment, “I think I’m in love.”
It’s been 40 years since Hart has published the poster. Since that time, she’s never earned a penny from this entrepreneurial effort. Nor has she ever marketed or merchandised the Humboldt Honey until now. “I’ve never sold her out,” said Hart. “This commemorative printing of the poster is a gift I’m returning to anyone who’s been lucky enough to experience Humboldt County and embraces the Humboldt Honey’s message of peace, happiness and above all, love.”
In keeping with the Humboldt Honey’s integrity, Hart is donating 25 percent of the net profit to the North Coast Environmental Center in Arcata. The poster cost is $25 and is available at THEHUMBOLDTHONEY.COM
Again, it's been 40-years since I published the Humboldt Honey poster. Since that time I've never earned a penny from this entrepreneurial effort. Nor have I ever marketed or merchandised the Honey until now. I've never sold her out. This commemorative printing of the poster is a gift I'm returning to anyone who resonates with Humboldt County and an alternative lifestyle. In keeping with her integrity, I am donating 25 percent of the net profit to the North Coast Environmental Center in Arcata.
MEMO OF THE AIR: GOOD NIGHT RADIO show all night Friday night! Another odd one.
Deadline to email your writing for tonight's (Friday night's) MOTA show is about 7pm. If you can't make that, send it whenever it's done and I'll read it on the radio next week. Next week is fine.
As a result of [insert long story here] I'm likely to be pretty low-energy tonight and might conk out an hour early and put on Doug Nunn's very long History of Hit and Run Theater: Part 1. Here's a link to that, in case that's all you're interested in, or in case something happens and I don't play it. https://www.thesnapsessions.com/episode-50-the-history-of-hit-run-theater-part-1/
Memo of the Air: Good Night Radio is every Friday, 9pm to 5am on 107.7fm KNYO-LP Fort Bragg as well as anywhere else via KNYO.org. Also the schedule is there for KNYO's many other even more terrific shows.
Any day or night you can go to https://MemoOfTheAir.wordpress.com and hear last week's MOTA show. By Saturday night I'll put the recording of tonight's show there. And besides all that, there you'll find a collection of educational material to amuse yourself with until showtime, or any time, such as:
The all-aluminum 1941 Chrysler Thunderbolt. The green one-- not turquoise, not aqua, not Mig-green, but something in the middle. https://www.vintag.es/2023/01/1941-chrysler-thunderbolt.html
And a self-explanatory game that I think I'm just average at but that's still fun. You look at pictures that have lots of clues in them that turn out to be natural unintended tricks-- black and white, for example, or anachronistic cars, or Eastern Europe, or a film still-- and guess what year the pictures were taken. You get points for how close you come. https://www.chronophoto.app/game.html
Marco McClean, email@example.com, https://MemoOfTheAir.wordpress.com
DAO DE JING (VERSE 16)
– Chinese characters, Tao Te Ching, Chapter 16
zhi xu ji.
shou jing du.
wan wu bing zuo.
wu yi guan fu.
fu wu yun yun, ge fu gui qi gen.
gui gen yue jing.
shi yue fu ming.
fu ming yue chang.
zhi chang yue ming.
bu zhi chang, wang zuo xiong zhi chang rong.
rong nai gong.
gong nai quan.
quan nai tian.
tian nai dao.
dao nai jiu.
mo shen bu dai.
– Pinyin translation, Daodejing, Chapter 16
— Craig Louis Stehr
ED NOTE: Craig, you've got a spelling error in paragraph 4: 吾以觀復. This should read: 去你的
WOW! ANOTHER BOLD STAND BY LITTLE MIKEY
The alarm couldn’t be louder. Our state is facing unprecedented, destructive wildfires – 14 of the largest 20 wildfires in California history have occurred just in the last decade.
Megafires have threatened the way of life for millions of Californians.
Some of these horribly destructive wildfires have been set by arsonists.
That’s why Senate Majority Leader Mike McGuire announced that he has introduced a critically important bill, SB 281, to extend California’s law that throws the book at individuals who are convicted of aggravated arson. This is an issue that McGuire has championed for years.
Here’s why – some of California’s most destructive wildfires and commercial fires have been started by arsonists, such as:
- The Clayton Fire in Lake County in 2016 burned tens of thousands of acres near Lower Lake and destroyed 300 structures, including 189 homes.
- The massive five-alarm fire that destroyed a Home Depot in San Jose, causing more than $17 million in damages.
- The July 2021 fire set by a Clearlake Oaks resident in Lake County that destroyed or damaged 11 buildings.
- The Hopkins Fire in Mendocino County that destroyed 30 homes and burned 257 acres.
“An aggravated arson charge is reserved for the worst of the worst – the most heinous arsonists who exhibit specific intent to inflict damage and destruction in our communities or who are a continuing threat to society. We need to ensure this groundbreaking public safety law remains in place and we’ll be fighting to get this bill passed working alongside first responders and District Attorneys from across the Golden State,” Senator Mike McGuire said.
There are three possible ways to be convicted of aggravated arson: Any prior arson convictions within the last 10 years; damage or destruction of five or more inhabited structures; or damage and other losses and fire suppression costs in excess of $8.3 million.
“This legislation will provide District Attorneys across California with the tools needed to properly punish repeat criminals who wreak havoc in our communities through death and destruction,” said Sonoma County District Attorney Carla Rodriguez. “Aggravated arson affects the well-being of all Californians and should be addressed accordingly. We look forward to working with Senator McGuire to see SB 281 across the finish line.”
The bipartisan legislation is Joint Authored by Senator Stern and co-authored by Senator Dahle, Roth, Dodd, and Assemblymembers Aguiar Curry, Wood, Connolly and Dahle.
She was a phantom of delight
When first she gleam'd upon my sight;
A lovely apparition, sent
To be a moment's ornament;
Her eyes as stars of twilight fair;
Like twilight's, too, her dusky hair;
But all things else about her drawn
From May-time and the cheerful dawn;
A dancing shape, an image gay,
To haunt, to startle, and waylay.
I saw her upon nearer view,
A Spirit, yet a Woman too!
Her household motions light and free,
And steps of virgin liberty;
A countenance in which did meet
Sweet records, promises as sweet;
A creature not too bright or good
For human nature's daily food;
For transient sorrows, simple wiles,
Praise, blame, love, kisses, tears, and smiles.
And now I see with eye serene
The very pulse of the machine;
A being breathing thoughtful breath,
A traveller between life and death;
The reason firm, the temperate will,
Endurance, foresight, strength, and skill;
A perfect Woman, nobly plann’d,
To warn, to comfort, and command;
And yet a Spirit still, and bright
With something of angelic light.
— William Wordsworth
BAN RUSSIAN ATHLETES
Thomas Bach and the International Olympic Committee seem to be inclined to allow Russian athletes to compete in the 2024 Paris Summer Olympics “in the interest of international sports.” No doubt, their overriding interest is cash flow. If Russians compete under any loophole, the resulting glory to Russia and propaganda for Vladimir Putin will ultimately cause death and suffering to many.
American athletes can influence the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee, which provides support to them. They who have devoted their lives to winning in the Olympics should be thinking about the outcomes from sharing the world stage with Russians. Expressing their distaste to the American powers-that-be can have an effect. The objective to blockade those who would allow Russia to have his way.
If Russia is not blocked, the Americans who resist competing have their life’s work to lose. For those who compete, I am not worthy to shame them.
Reflecting on my decision to serve in Vietnam from 1969 to 1975, the desire to stop what I believed to be aggression led me to risk my life. Can a nation, without cause, invade and massacre the population of another and not be stopped? It almost happened in 1939.
LETTERS FROM PLEIKU
each of us
is a can of tomato paste
and though we may not
all have the same label
as we spin through the air,
when we land too hard
or get torn,
from the outside or within,
we spill out and
stain the hands of everyone
who knew us.
— Michael O’Donnell, KIA 24 March 1970, Ben Het, Vietnam
MACK HAD NO GREAT FONDNESS for Memphis. Once, as a boy, he'd been chased by a bee there, down a street that was long and narrow and lined on one side with parked cars. He'd ducked into a phone booth, but the bee waited for him, and Mack ended up stepping out after twenty minutes and getting stung anyway. It wasn't true what they said about bees. They were not all that busy as a bee.
— What You Want to do Fine, Lorrie Moore
ON-LINE COMMENT OF THE DAY
The American food system is based on manufactured microwavable cheese snacks, chicken nuggets, and frozen pizzas produced by giant companies. These items can’t be grown in home gardens. Many Americans don’t know the first thing about growing their own food, or what to do with it after it’s harvested.
Young twenty something to garden center manager: “Hi there! The wife and I are “going green” and starting our first garden this year, and we’d like to put in a few rows of frozen pizzas and chicken nuggets to diversify our harvest and tide us over the winter. You wouldn’t happen to have seeds for those and any growing tip books or advice to offer, would you?”
Manager: “Yes sir, but as you can probably guess, those are both high demand items and we’re all out of stock right now. I can take your order for delivery when they come in, but because they are in high demand and prices are rapidly escalating, we do require 100% pre-payment up front. Will that be check, cash, debit card, or your first born?”
Manager: “Oh, by the way sir, do you want to grow those pre-packaged in the box, or au natural? Sorry, but as you can imagine, the pre-packaged varieties sell for an even higher premium and the wait times are considerably longer, but they’re virtually pest-free during the growing cycle.”
UKRAINE, FRIDAY, 3RD FEBRUARY
Air raid sirens sounded in Kyiv on Friday as EU leaders hold a summit with President Volodymyr Zelensky in the Ukrainian capital. Top of the agenda is Ukraine's bid for EU membership.
Russian shelling ramped up ahead of the talks, with large fires reported in the southern city of Kherson and strikes in the eastern Donetsk region killing and wounding civilians.
Russia is bringing its war closer to the industrial cities of Donetsk with a series of missile strikes against densely populated areas, including Kramatorsk.
The US plans to include longer-range missiles in a new $2.2 billion Ukraine security package, officials told CNN.
by James Kunstler
The New York Times — indicted this week as a chronic purveyer of untruths by no less than their supposed ally, The Columbia Journalism Review — is lying to you again this morning.
This whopper is an artful diversion from the reality on-the-ground that Ukraine is just about finished in this tragic and idiotic conflict staged by the geniuses behind their play-thing President “Joe Biden.” By the way, it’s not a coincidence that Ukraine and “JB” are going down at the same time. The two organisms are symbionts: a matched pair of mutual parasites feeding off each other, swapping each other’s toxic exudations, and growing delirious on their glide path to a late winter crash.
The point of the war, you recall, is “to weaken Russia” (so said DoD Sec’y Lloyd Austin), even to bust it up into little geographic tatters to our country’s advantage — that is, to retain America’s dominance in global affairs, and especially the supremacy of the US dollar in global trade settlements.
The result of the war so far has been the opposite of that objective. US sanctions made Russia stronger by shifting its oil exports to more reliable Asian customers. Kicking Russia out of the SWIFT global payments system prompted the BRIC countries to build their own alternative trade settlement system. Cutting off Russia from trade with Western Civ has stimulated the process of import replacement (i.e., Russia making more of the stuff it used to buy from Europe). Confiscating Russia’s off-shore dollar assets has alerted the rest of the world to dump their dollar assets (especially US Treasury bonds) before they, too, get mugged. Nice going, Victoria Nuland, Tony Blinken, and the rest of the gang at the Foggy Bottom genius factory.
All of which raises the question: who is liable to bust up into tatters first, the USA or Russia? I commend to you Dmitry Orlov’s seminal work, Reinventing Collapse: The Soviet Experience and American Prospects, Revised & Updated.
For anyone out there not paying attention the past thirty-odd years, Russia, incorporated as the Soviet Union, collapsed in 1991. The USSR was a bold experiment based on the peculiar and novel ill-effects of industrialism, especially gross economic inequality. Alas, the putative remedy for that, advanced by Karl Marx, was a despotic system of pretending that individual humans had no personal aspirations of their own.
The Soviet / Marxist business model was eventually reduced to the comic aphorism: We pretend to work and they pretend to pay us. It failed and the USSR gurgled down history’s drain. Russia reemerged from the dust, minus many of its Eurasian outlands. Remarkably little blood was shed in the process. Mr. Orlov’s book points to some very interesting set-ups that softened the landing. There was no private property in the USSR, so when it collapsed, nobody was evicted or foreclosed from where they lived. Very few people had cars in the USSR, so the city centers were still intact and people could get around on buses, trams, and trains. The food system had been botched for decades by low-incentive collectivism, but the Russian people were used to planting family gardens — even city dwellers, who had plots out-of-town — and it tided them over during the years of hardship before the country managed to reorganize.
Compare that to America’s prospects. In an economic crisis, Americans will have their homes foreclosed out from under them, or will be subject to eviction from rentals. The USA has been tragically built-out on a suburban sprawl template that will be useless without cars and with little public transport. Cars, of course, are subject to repossession for non-payment of contracted loans. The American food system is based on manufactured microwavable cheese snacks, chicken nuggets, and frozen pizzas produced by giant companies. These items can’t be grown in home gardens. Many Americans don’t know the first thing about growing their own food, or what to do with it after it’s harvested.
There’s another difference between the fall of the USSR and the collapse underway in the USA. Underneath all the economic perversities of Soviet life, Russia still had a national identity and a coherent culture. The USA has tossed its national identity on the garbage barge of “diversity, equity, and inclusion,” which is actually just a hustle aimed at extracting what remains from the diminishing stock of productive activity showering the plunder on a mob of “intersectional” complainers — e.g., the City of San Francisco’s preposterous new plan to award $5-million “reparation” payments to African-American denizens of the city, where slavery never existed.
As for culture, consider that the two biggest cultural producers in this land are the pornography and video game industries. The drug business might be a close third, but most of that action is off-the-books, so it’s hard to tell. So much for the so-called “arts.” Our political culture verges on totally degenerate, but that is too self-evident to belabor, and the generalized management failures of our polity are a big part of what’s bringing us down — most particularly the failure to hold anyone in power accountable for their blunders and turpitudes.
This unearned immunity might change, at least a little bit, as the oppositional House of Representatives commences hearings on an array of disturbing matters. Meanwhile, be wary of claims in The New York Times and other propaganda organs that our Ukraine project is a coming up a big win, and that the racketeering operations of the Biden family amount to an extreme right-wing, white supremacist conspiracy theory. These two pieces of the conundrum known as Reality are blowing up in our country’s face. It will be hard not to notice.