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Mendocino County Today: Sunday, Feb. 12, 2023

Clear & Warm | Pancake Breakfast | Hendy Hike | Ornbaun Fire | Pet Mickey | Shelter Capacity | Spay/Neuter Vouchers | Charging Sites | Golden Owl | Career/College Fair | Heart Health | Fort Bragg Model | Little Dog | Ed Notes | Job Fair | Safe Harbor | Navarro Postcards | Ambling Chanter | Yesterday's Catch | Clean Slate | Shot Costs | Variety Show | Homeless Seniors | Please Explain | Killing Biz | Two Furries | Difference Maker | Ukraine | Ricky Steals | Freelancers Wanted | Sunflower Room

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CLEAR, WARM WEATHER is on track today. Gusty north winds return tomorrow with very cold air arriving by Tuesday. Light precipitation Tuesday will bring light snow as low as 1000 feet with small hail possible along the coast. Very cold morning temperatures are expected midweek. (NWS)

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On the Second Sunday of every month in 2023, the Hendy Woods Community is covering the Hendy Woods State Park’s Day Use fee ($8) for local residents from the following communities (know your zip code): Yorkville, Boonville, Philo, Navarro, Comptche and Elk. Enjoy a free visit to the park on us and stroll the old growth redwood groves and beautiful meadows, hike the trails, and unwind along the river! Note: Day use is from sun up to 1 hour after sunset.

HIKE HENDY WOODS, Sunday, Feb 12, 2023, 11 AM | Meetup

For Boonville and beyond MeetUp members! Amy P will lead a hike through Hendy Woods. Walk about 3 mph, and do a 6 mile loop. Park outside the park before turning left into the park.


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Alisha and John Ornbaun and their family lost their home and belongings in a fire this [Saturday] morning.

Alisha is an employee of Laytonville School District and John is an employee of Geigers. Thankfully, their family is all physically ok and trying their best to deal with the tragic aftermath of this event. We are incredibly heartbroken over this news and would like to support them as best as we can. Alisha has been an amazing member of our community volunteering her time whenever she can to help our kids and we want to return the favor in her time of need. Their immediate needs are: clothes, food, pillows, blankets, and household items. Please contact Alisha to coordinate dropping off items. Also, Geigers has posted that items can be dropped off there and during the weekdays, items can be left at the school offices. In the long term, they will need financial support to replace what they have lost and support in getting other living arrangements. If you can support them in any way it is greatly appreciated.

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Mickey is a handsome, medium-sized dog. He came to the shelter as a stray, so we don’t know about his past life. But at the Shelter, he is a friendly dog and a little bit shy. Mickey walks well on leash and overall is a mellow guy. We have not seen him play with toys, but hope his new guardians will teach him all about fun with stuffies and tennis balls! Mickey appears friendly with other dogs. Mickey is 1 year old and 50 pounds. For more about Mickey, head to

The Shelters are packed with dogs, so if you can’t adopt, consider fostering. Our website has information about our Foster Program, our on-going Dog And Cat Adoption Events, and other programs, services and updates. Visit us on Facebook at:

For information about adoptions, please call 707-467-6453 in Ukiah, and 707-467-6453 in Ft. Bragg.

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by Sara Reith

Economic woes are hitting shelter animals hard, as would-be adopters struggle with rising costs, housing insecurity, and the difficulty of finding affordable veterinary care. The result is that animal shelters across the country are at capacity. Some shelters have even re-instituted the practice of euthanizing for lack of space.

Mendocino County Animal Shelter is not destroying animals to make room at this time, but dog lovers had a scare late last month when eight large-breed dogs were placed on a euthanasia list. The list was quickly mothballed, but the shelter is still pleading with people to foster and adopt animals. And shelters are hard-pressed to put limited resources into caring for animals with behavior problems.…

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Message from Ted Williams: 

The Mendocino Council of Governments (MCOG) is partnering with ChargePoint, a recipient of a “Rural Electric Vehicle” grant from the California Energy Commission, in soliciting community input on preferred electric vehicle (EV) charging sites to be installed in the greater Ukiah/Redwood Valley/Hopland area. The project includes installation of 25 EV chargers dispersed at five separate sites, including a fast charging hub in central Ukiah, plus four additional sites to be located in the project area. Each of the five charging sites will include approximately five chargers. MCOG is seeking input from countywide residents on where these chargers should be placed, since many households work, shop, or attend school in the greater Ukiah area. To kick off the public outreach process, community members are invited to participate in a virtual workshop on Thursday, February 16 (5:30 -6:30 p.m.) in which representatives from MCOG and ChargePoint will review the project’s goals and invite community input. To attend this workshop, please click on the link below. Additional opportunities for public input will be available beginning February 15, 2023 through an interactive survey and map on MCOG’s website, where individuals may pin their preferred charging location and provide comment. Comments may also be mailed to the MCOG office at 525 S. Main Street, Suite G; Ukiah, CA 95482, or emailed to Topic: Rural EV Charging Station Locations - Community Workshop Time: Feb 16, 2023 05:30 PM Pacific Time (US and Canada) Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 845 6856 6336

Passcode: 076926

One tap mobile

+16694449171,,84568566336#,,,,*076926# US

+16699006833,,84568566336#,,,,*076926# US (San Jose)

Dial by your location +1 669 444 9171 US

(via Coast Democrats <>) 

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BETH SWEHLA has been awarded the North Coast Region Golden Owl Award! 

This award is given to agricultural educators who devote countless hours, and often their own resources, to positively impact the lives of their students. Ms. Swehla was anonymously nominated for this award. 

She will go on to represent Anderson Valley and the North Coast region at the state level in March!

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Tuesday, February 28, 5:00, High School Gym

Who Should Come?

All Students And Parents/Guardians

4th Grade And Up 

What Is It?

Free Barbeque Dinner cooked by Mrs. Rhoades

Learn about opportunities for different careers and colleges from different organizations including:

US Army, Electrical Union, Sonoma State, Mendo College, Health Care Careers, Painters Union, and many more!

Extra Credit For Attending!

Sign Up In The Office!

Louise Simson, Superintendent

Anderson Valley Unified School District

Every Student • Every Possibility • No Matter What

Cell: 707-684-1017

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What a waste but not a surprise. Fort Bragg made the decision to go against the grain of the current help the homeless/mentally ill status quo. We are all aware the current system does not work and pouring more money into it won’t help either. We made the decision to take care of it our way. We were not afraid to fail knowing our intentions were good and that we already had a well laid out plan on how not to succeed at solving the issue. The state had done that for us. With a grant of $221,793K this is what we have accomplished in the last nine months. You will see in the numbers, arrests of transients have gone way down but arrests are up. That is because our police officers now have the time to address real crimes and arrests criminals instead of spending 75% of their time dealing with homeless/mentally ill issues. Ok, so what is my point? Next time give me the money. Until those receiving funds to serve this demographic are required to provide programatic reports proving they are making a difference nothing will change. Chief Cervenka will be giving a larger more detailed report on the 27th at the regular meeting of the Fort Bragg City Council.

Demographics Served and Impact on Law Enforcement:

July-December 2021July-December 2022
Transient Arrests15774
Total Arrests299417
Percentage Arrests of Transients53%18%
CRU I-Cases0485
Clients Served0140
Average Age046

Homeward Bound: 12 total bus tickets purchased. Ten successful reunifications ending homelessness and two failures; one due to mental health complications and the second due to being arrested and incarcerated the night before departure.

Approximately 22 individuals were assisted with fuel funds. These individuals were non-local homeless individuals attempting to reach support systems in other areas.

Rehabilitation Services:

Three individuals were provided assistance in being admitted into In-Patient Rehabilitation services. Two individuals completed their In-Patient programs and are currently in sober living environments. Eight other referrals have been received and the CRU Team is actively working on finding placement.

Unduplicated Individuals Temporarily Housed by Extreme Weather Shelter (EWS): 82 (11/15/22- 2/4/23)

Seven individuals were moved to permanent or temporary housing following their participation in the EWS program.

Other Services Provided:

Coordinate transportation with the County Probation Department to ensure probationers are successful while on supervised probation. This includes transportation to court dates, probation check-ins, and employment and housing opportunities.

Attending Behavioral Health Court and providing reports to the Court related to the client’s progress, and assisting the Court with connecting client to additional services.

Providing on-site immediate triage and assistance to individuals during homeless camp cleanup operations conducted by law enforcement and Code Enforcement. This service has previously been made available to Sheriff’s Office at locations outside our jurisdiction.

Provided critical assistance to individuals transferring from homelessness to permanent housing during the opening of the Plateau Housing Project. This included identifying immediate needs of clients related to furniture, kitchen and bathroom supplies, and general assistance in learning how to live in a home. CRU continues to provide ongoing assistance to these individuals to ensure they stay housed.

Collaborating with Jail Discharge Coordinator to assist with housing, employment, and connection to services before individuals are discharged from jail.

Providing immediate and ongoing support to families with family members experiencing mental health illnesses by offering wrap-around support, connection available services, and general assistance.

CRU serves as an immediate point-of-contact for all social services in the Fort Bragg areas during critical incidents. For example, during the recent storms CRU collaborated with County agencies to quickly mobilize to assist with the housing and needs of individuals living outside our jurisdiction but affected by the storm.


Bernie Norvell, Mayor, Fort Bragg

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LITTLE DOG HAS DIED, passing peacefully at his Boonville home of many years three weeks ago. Born 20 years ago and raised by a single mother — "I was a hit and run job. Never knew my Pops, and Mom was a bit of a floozy, always running off with dachshunds, but I persevered like the champ I am."


Little Dog spent most of his life in Boonville except for two years as a pig hunter with TJ Bird in Cloverdale. “Those were good times,” LD remembered. “TJ fitted me out with my own helmet, and boyo boyo I was one tough mutt, me and my running dogs tracking down many a wild old razorback in the back country between Cloverdale and Boonville. Tell you the truth, I always felt unappreciated in Boonville where my night watch service for all those years was taken for granted. And this place was overrun with gd cats, the worst creature God ever made, right up there with hyenas. 

“I liked living next door to the Redwood Drive-In, though, because a lot of those little white fluffy jobs outta Marin County — hubba fuggin' hubba! — would pull in to gas up, and when they got a look at me, they'd jump the fence… Let me tell you they broke the sexual monotony around here. I was always a big one for the ladies. 

“Will I miss life? No. I'm in an all-dog heaven, no night watch duty and not a cat anywhere up here, but those fluffy babes outta Marin are everywhere. So long, Mendo. Don't worry about me. I'm in a better place, that's for sure.”

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The superintendent of a New Jersey high school where the above 14-year-old student was viciously bullied days before committing suicide has defended the school and instead blamed the 14-year-old’s family. Superintendent Triantafillos Parlapanides — $190,000 a year — claimed Adriana Kuch took her own life due to her father’s extramarital affair, the suicide of her mother nearly a decade ago, and the teen’s own “poor choices” surrounding drugs in 7th and 8th grade. Kuch died Feb. 3, two days after a video appeared on social media showing a group of students striking her with a water bottle while shouting insults. Prosecutors announced on Friday that four students have been charged in connection with the attack. One is facing a charge of aggravated assault, another is facing a charge of harassment, and two others were charged with conspiracy to commit aggravated assault. The school did not call police after the attack—Parlapanides claimed such action would have violated school policy. Kuch’s father has criticized the school’s handling of the incident and said that oafish Parlapanides was victim-blaming his daughter. “My daughter was attacked in your school and you did nothing,” he said.

MEANWHILE, in marvellous Marin, a fifteen-year-old girl overdosed on fentanyl at the Red Hill shopping center but revived by fast-arriving cops. In the same shopping center, the CVS store was closed early for the day when a pack of junior high boys on electric bikes rode into the store and out after grabbing what they could carry. And a 7th grade boy was taken into custody when a teacher spotted him puffing dope on a vape pen with a half-dozen more pens in his jacket assumed to be for sale. His indignant parents blamed everyone but themselves.

DA Eyster

ALMOST DROPPED my coffee cup this morning while cruising England's infamous on-line tabloid, the Daily Mail, when up popped a photo of DA David Eyster alongside this blurb:

“That's one way to win a case! Motorist escapes DUI conviction by arguing driving drunk was necessary to 'escape two angry women' after his wife caught him in bed with a neighbor who kept her llamas at their ranch. Thomas was found by his estranged wife performing oral sex on his neighbor Ann Landauer while he and his wife Lara were estranged after she asked to visit her llamas on the ranch.”

THE SORDID DETAILS and the names of the players must have been sold to the Mail by someone on the Mendo inside because these facts were not released locally. (The Mail pays for this stuff.) Al Kubanis, Mendo's most visible Trumper, was the defense attorney, and the jury obviously had a fine sense of the ridiculous in acquitting the guy. This latest Only In Mendo event reminded me that for a population of only 90,000 people, half-of-them presumed innocent, Mendo gets more outside media attention than any comparably-sized area of the country. 

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FARTHER NORTH, ON THE MENDOCINO COAST, the area’s isolated feel was heightened during the storms. “There are limited ways in and out,” said Matthew Kammerer, the chef at the Harbor House Inn, in the town of Elk, which can be reached only via hairpin turns on coastal Highway 1 or through winding redwood forest roads. Two of those routes, including a portion of Highway 1, were closed for days. While this storm was major, it wasn’t unprecedented — Harbor House had already made the decision to close its restaurant during January, largely because of safety considerations for the staff. The hotel itself remained open.

“We weren’t telling guests not to come, but we were telling them that it was dangerous,” Mr. Kammerer said. “We turned Harbor House into a bit of a safe haven for our staff, and opened it up for them to come stay, or cook a meal.”

(New York Times)

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Craig Stehr:

Utilizing the EBT card Saturday morning to purchase hot food and coffee at the Ukiah Food Co-op, (this is an additional benefit after the flooding, which California’s Mendocino County has received, and is good until President’s Day February 20th), plus, having a wallet flush with cash (because the Mendocino Community Health group on Hazel Street in Willits credited the SBMC checking account $60, many months after the worthless dental visit there, i.e. paid $280 using Partnership HealthPlan of California, $80 out of pocket, in which the dentist saw me for 15 minutes, took three xrays, measured the space between teeth, and said I had a cavity which he grudgingly offered to fill at a second appointment, (which I was unable to schedule with them), after he suggested that I go elsewhere for the routine filling, I ambled to the Ukiah Public Library chanting “Om Aim Hrim Klim Chamundaye Vicche” to the warrior goddess Kali Ma, who destroys the demonic and returns this world to righteousness, and in whose yugic dark phase the planet earth is now in, all the while awaiting a subsidized apartment after being on the waiting lists for one year while surviving at the Building Bridges homeless shelter, which is transferable if lived in for 12 months, to anywhere in the United States of America, including capitol hill in Washington, D.C. which you certainly comprehend would be the ideal place to relocate and be based in order to advocate for a global spiritual revolution; contact me if you want to do anything at all of any importance, as I am ready and eager to take action, as opposed to biding my time in the stupidity of postmodern America, watching the mental factory’s thoughts form and dissipate, while walking around Ukiah identified with the Immortal Atman always glowing in the svarupa, or heart chakra.

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CATCH OF THE DAY, Saturday, February 11, 2023

Cabrera, Fryman, Hodges

JOSE CABRERA-INFANTE, Santa Rosa/Ukiah. Domestic battery, controlled substance, probation revocation.

JASON FRYMAN, Willits. Domestic battery, evidence tampering, controlled substance, paraphernalia, resisting, probation revocation.

JODI HODGES, Ukiah. Probation revocation. (Frequent Flyer)

Lopez, McElroy, McEntee


TONY MCELROY, Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-alcohol, controlled substance. (Frequent Flyer)

LAUREN MCENTEE, Ukiah. Domestic battery.

Painter, Pearson, Philliber, Sevilla

PATRICK PAINTER JR., Ukiah. DUI, unspecified offense, probation revocation.

ADAM PEARSON, Ukiah. DUI-alcohol&drugs, parole violation.

CYNTHIA PHILLIBER, Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-alcohol.

JUAN TOVAR-SEVILLA, Ukiah. Assault with deadly weapon not a gun, controlled substance, paraphernalia.

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by Jim Shields

It’s been announced that President Biden will end all the pandemic emergency orders on May 11.

Seems like just as most folks were getting used to living under permanent Covid regs now they’re going to go poof.

Whatever will we do with ourselves?

According to a Washington Post report, the move kicks off a massive effort to unwind a sprawling set of changes put in place during the earliest days of the crisis to give the government greater flexibility to respond. Since then, most Americans have been fully vaccinated against the virus and life has largely returned to normal. Still, an average of more than 500 Americans are dying every day from Covid-19.

I did the math on that death rate, it comes out to 182,500 over a year’s time.

That’s nothing to sneeze at, or cough at, or die at.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, Covid-19 has killed more than 1 million people in the United States since the start of the pandemic, and life expectancy has been cut by nearly 2.5 years since 2020. 

The data from 2022 suggests that there were significantly fewer Covid-19 deaths in the third year of the pandemic than there were in the first two. More than 267,000 people died of Covid-19 in 2022, according to preliminary data from Johns Hopkins University, compared with more than 350,000 Covid-19 deaths in 2020 and more than 475,000 Covid-19 deaths in 2021. 

Now here’s something you better pay attention to:

Among the most significant effects of ending the emergencies are that many Americans will have to start paying for coronavirus testing and treatments, depending on their insurance coverage and where they live. 

Do you have any idea how much a C-19 shot costs? If you held a gun to my head I couldn’t tell you.

But since I’m curious fellow, I did some research so now you can lower that gun at my temple.

My main sources of the information I’m about to share with you are KFF (Kaiser Family Foundation) and investor calls (meetings between a company and potential investors) recently made by Pfizer and Moderna.

KFF is an endowed, nonprofit organization, without any connection to Kaiser Permanente, which provides independent, reliable information on national health issues, at least that’s what I’ve found to be the case.

The federal government has so far purchased 1.2 billion doses of Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines combined, at a cost of $25.3 billion, or a weighted average purchase price of $20.69 per dose. In total, the federal government has made six different bulk purchases from Pfizer, totaling 655 million doses, and five bulk purchases from Moderna, totaling 566 million doses, thus totaling the overall 1.2 billion doses. 

The federal price paid per dose has generally increased over time, with the highest price paid for the most recent bivalent, or updated, boosters. The most expensive price per dose paid by the government was for the recent purchase of bivalent booster doses from each manufacturer, including 105 million doses at $30.48 per dose from Pfizer and 66 million doses at $26.36 per dose from Moderna (or a weighted average price per dose of $28.89). This represented a 56% increase in the price per dose for Pfizer, compared to the initial Pfizer purchase price, and a 73% increase for Moderna. In total, the U.S. has purchased 171 million doses of the bivalent booster at a cost of $4.9 billion.

While the commercial prices for COVID-19 vaccines are not yet known, both Pfizer and Moderna have signaled likely ranges that are three to four times greater than the pre-purchased federal price for the bivalent booster. In a recent investor call, Pfizer indicated that it expected a commercial price per dose for its vaccine to be between $110 and $130. Moderna has suggested a commercial price between $82 and $100 per dose. 

So now you’re in possession of pretty reliable information that once federal support for Covid vaccination ends, there’s a bit of sticker shock in the near future for most of us. Especially for the poor, the working class and the ever-shrinking middle class with no or bare-bones health insurance plans. I knew there was a reason I was a leader (yes, there was a few of us) in the labor movement back in the day, but any gains that were made moving people into middle-class status have been systemically eroded, if not entirely wiped out by the twin-party sell-out all in the name of globalism.

Anyway, here’s one last Pandemic-related item that revolves around Valentine’s Day.

According to the California Farm Bureau, “Fresh cut flowers have seldom been so coveted. Floral sales are soaring as Valentine’s Day approaches, and it’s more than just the season that is driving the trend. The cut-flower sector has seen a renaissance due to the pandemic, as many floral customers have come to see home bouquets as a regular part of “self-care.” Valentine’s Day typically trails only Mother’s Day in volume of flowers sold and is often the highest revenue event of the year.”

You can chalk up one positive consequence of Covid-19, and it’s all about love.

Isn’t that grand?

(Jim Shields is the Mendocino County Observer’s editor and publisher,, the long-time district manager of the Laytonville County Water District, and is also chairman of the Laytonville Area Municipal Advisory Council. Listen to his radio program “This and That” every Saturday at 12 noon on KPFN 105.1 FM, also streamed live:

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by Ana B. Ibarra

Norma Johnson cracks a faint smile as she adjusts her stylish cat-eye glasses.

She’s at St. Mary’s Center’s cafeteria in West Oakland, where older adults in interim housing or living on the streets can drop by for a free meal. But Johnson’s mind is elsewhere. Her treasured red leather rocking chair, along with most of her belongings, sits in a storage unit. She’s afraid if she doesn’t pay her $500 balance soon, the storage unit operator will auction everything.

“I gotta pull a rabbit out of my hat,” Johnson, 65, said during a rainy January day. “I don’t want to lose the things I do have. I don’t have a house, and now I won’t have,” she hangs her head before finishing that sentence.

Unexpectedly, Johnson finds herself in the middle of a budding crisis: aging without a home. 

California accounts for about a third of the nation’s homeless people, and among this population, seniors are estimated to be the fastest-growing group. One key indicator is the state’s tally of people accessing homelessness services. From 2017 to 2021, California’s overall senior population grew by 7% but the number of people 55 and over who sought homelessness services increased 84% — more than any other age group — according to the state’s Homeless Data Integration System. 

For comparison, the number of people accessing homelessness services across all ages increased 43% during this time period.

Elderly people who are homeless include those who have been unhoused for a long time and are getting older. But they also include those who are part of a growing trend, research shows: people experiencing homelessness for the first time after age 50.

Those at increased risk of losing shelter tend to be older adults who live alone and on fixed incomes, with little to no savings. A main contributor, experts say, is that as California rents soar, seniors’ income streams, including Social Security benefits and Supplemental Security Income, have not kept up. 

Black Californians have long been overrepresented in the unhoused population — representing about 6% of the state’s population but close to 30% of those accessing homelessness services, state data show.

“For many of us, there’s a picture in our mind connected to substance abuse or mental health issues. And for maybe a quarter of people who are currently unhoused, that is a cause. But most people becoming homeless today do so for economic reasons,” said Sharon Cornu, executive director at St. Mary’s Center, a nonprofit group that operates several services for older adults, including transitional housing.

“As someone in this age group, I can tell you, it’s remarkable to think about; you’ve kept yourself employed and housed and above water this whole time period, and in what ought to be golden years, here you are out on the street,” she said.

Respite at St. Mary’s Center

Just last summer, Johnson was living in a three-bedroom house she shared with a housemate and working at a COVID-19 testing site. But her situation changed suddenly. She had to stop working to undergo surgery for an old back injury. Then her housemate of almost three years moved out, leaving Johnson on the hook for the full $2,500 rent that she could not afford on her own. 

After she lost her place, Johnson was referred to St. Mary’s Center, where she currently shares a trailer with five other people. Everyone who stays at St. Mary’s transitional housing units is 55 or older and many have bounced from the streets to shelters to living in cars or staying with relatives. Here, they have access to a case manager. The goal is to link them to any health and social services they may need and help them find permanent affordable housing. 

Stories like Johnson’s are common among people who have been through St. Mary’s Center — barely making ends meet, an injury or stint of bad health having forced them to leave jobs sooner than they had hoped. In some cases, the death of a loved one, family conflicts or abusive relationships left people without a place to stay. 

Others, like Elbert Lee Jones Jr., spent decades on the streets. Born in Germany to a military family, he and his family moved to Oakland when he was 5 years old. As a young adult, he worked in fast-food restaurants, laundromats and convenience stores.

“I had jobs, had a life, until cocaine came knocking on the door. It came knocking on the door and really messed up a whole lot,” Jones said.

Strong and mostly healthy, he managed on the streets for a long time. Then about three years ago, he woke up in his tent to foot pain so unbearable he could barely stand. An ambulance took him to the closest emergency room, where doctors told him he had gangrene on his toes; they would have to amputate all of them.

“They said ‘If you hadn’t come in when you did, you’da been dead,’” Jones said. “That was the darkest part of my life right there.”

After some time healing at a nursing home, he was back on the streets. In a wheelchair and about to turn 60, his situation was getting more complicated. So when the clinical director at St. Mary’s Center approached Jones under a freeway overpass last year and offered him a place to stay, he accepted. He was reluctant at first, he said. It had been a long time since he’d trusted anyone.

On the streets, 50 is the new 70

Research has shown that living on the streets — eating and sleeping poorly, being exposed to the elements, not getting proper medical care and losing medication during encampment sweeps — will prematurely age, sicken and kill people. That is why when speaking about the homeless population, advocates and experts often refer to “seniors” as anyone 50 and above. 

By the time homeless people are in their 50s and early 60s, they look much more like other people in their 70s and 80s, said Dr. Margot Kushel, director of UC San Francisco’s Benioff Homelessness and Housing Initiative.

“Everything is shifted back about 20 years,” Kushel said. “The health problems that we normally associate with aging — vision problems, hearing problems, cognitive impairments, difficulty bathing, difficulty walking — all of those things start much younger.”

Their situation could also trigger anxiety, depression and substance use.

Recently, the state launched incentives for Medi-Cal providers, who serve low-income patients, to start and grow street medicine programs. Historically, most of these programs have been funded by philanthropic groups and foundations. And perhaps now more than ever, these programs play a crucial role, but in limited numbers they can only do so much for this medically needy population. Routine care and timely diagnosis are more difficult when people are moving from one encampment or shelter to another.

And simply put, “There is no medicine as powerful as housing,” Kushel said. 

Researchers for one UCSF study published last summer followed homeless people 50 and older over eight years in Oakland and found they were 3.5 times more likely to die early compared to other seniors in the city. In the study, the median age of death was 64.6 years old, compared to 76.1 years for all Americans. The main causes of death for the unhoused were heart disease, cancer and drug overdose. 

The health needs of seniors can be complex. And most shelters are not equipped to serve a geriatric population. Programs that serve seniors specifically, like the one at St. Mary’s Center, are few and far between.

Across the state, shelters are being overwhelmed by unhoused people who need more than these facilities can provide. For example, ideally, shelters would have a nurse on site, but that could cost about $90,000 a year per nurse, which most facilities wouldn’t be able to afford, said Sara Mirhadi, chief program officer at Poverello House, which provides food, shelter and social services to homeless people in downtown Fresno. 

In the past several years, her shelter’s population has gotten older and their disabilities have increased. A number of those who come in regularly are in wheelchairs and need help using the bathroom. When you add conditions such as dementia and mental health issues, caring for this population becomes even more challenging, Mirhadi said.

“At this point, I feel like our shelters are slowly becoming de facto nursing facilities,” she said. “I’ve had to ask staff to do a lot of things that they normally wouldn’t do.”

The Fresno-Madera region has seen one of the biggest jumps in homelessness among the 55- and-older population, increasing 216% from 2017 to 2021, state data shows. Coincidentally or not, rents and home prices in the Fresno area have skyrocketed in recent years. Other areas that saw more than a two-fold increase in homelessness among this age group include the Yuba-Sutter area, and Yolo, San Francisco, Merced and Alameda counties. (Homeless data is tracked by regional agencies whose territories can include a single city or several counties.)

“I think we need to really take a hard look at what we’re doing for our elderly population, because they should not be in a shelter,” Mirhadi added. 

Making a dent in homelessness

In January 2021, Gov. Gavin Newsom released California’s Master Plan for Aging, a 10-year blueprint on how to better prepare the state for a graying population — a quarter of the state’s residents will be 60 or older by 2030. The rollout of this plan also comes at a time when an estimated 2 million seniors are considered economically insecure, struggling to afford rising rents and health care costs. 

The No. 1 priority in that master plan is increasing affordable housing options for seniors, allowing them to age in place. The plan lays out goals and initiatives that legislators and the administration can pursue over time. 

“Once homeless, older individuals face really unique barriers that make it extremely difficult for them to get housed again, so putting the emphasis on homeless prevention and making that a front and center strategy of dealing with older adult homelessness is something that we are seeing more attention paid to,” said Patti Prunhuber, director of housing advocacy at Justice in Aging, a legal advocacy group focused on senior poverty.

One proposal Prunhuber and other advocates are pushing for this year is Senate Bill 37, carried by Sen. Anna Caballero, a Merced Democrat, that would create a state-run housing subsidy program for elderly people and those with disabilities at highest risk of becoming homeless. A similar bill died in the legislature last year after it failed to receive funding in the state budget. 

A state subsidy program would supplement federal assistance programs — such as Section 8 vouchers — that help about 10.2 million Americans with “extremely low incomes” afford rent. With demand outpacing supply, only about 4 out of every 10 people eligible for a federal rental subsidy receive it, said Sharon Rapport, California policy director for the Corporation for Supportive Housing, a nonprofit organization that advocates for homelessness prevention and a sponsor of the bill. 

The goal of a state program would be to help people obtain federal rental vouchers, but in the meantime provide state-funded help. This way, more older adults will be able to stay in their current homes, she said.

“The state should be in this business too because the feds alone can’t solve homelessness and the state alone can’t solve homelessness,” Rapport said. “But they can make a big dent in it and eventually solve it if they’re both putting in resources toward programs that work.” 

With the help of housing navigators at St. Mary’s Center, Jones has spent the last eight months filling out applications for subsidized housing. If everything goes as planned, he expects to have his own studio apartment in Oakland by the end of this month.

It’ll be a far cry from his 20-plus years on the streets, he said. 

He has a vision for his place: “I want it to be homey, warm. A place you could be comfortable in,” he said. “I’m going to have pictures up on the walls. I’ve got a green thumb. I’m going to have plants. It’s gonna be nice.”

Johnson said she, too, dreams of having a place to call her own again. 

“I don’t want to have to worry about people leaving me behind with the whole amount of the rent,” she said. “I don’t want to do that anymore.”


* * *

* * *


by Andrew Bullis

I never understood why veterinarians are at such a high risk of suicide. Until I became one.

The classroom is quiet. It’s a Friday afternoon in the first week of a new quarter. The threat of a midterm exam is far off, and all we really want to do is go home and enjoy the weekend.

Dr. Miller stands at the bottom of the classroom. (Names in this piece have been changed.) He’s waiting for the clock to strike the hour. I say bottom because third-year veterinary medicine students have lectures in a classroom designed like the nosebleed section of a stadium. Someone once told me it’s the steepest classroom in North America. I’m not sure if that’s true, but it always gets a laugh at vet conferences.

Miller is tall and balding, with ears that jut out from his head. He dresses in the classic uniform of Midwestern academia: khakis, dock shoes, plaid short-sleeved button-down, thick leather belt. We know the look well: My classmates and I have been through a grinder of a program, literally hundreds of hours spent studying or in class together. But despite our obvious comfort with one another, the room is dead quiet. Why?

It might have something to do with the title slide that Miller has just projected: Euthanasia and its many forms: on farm and at home.

We all know that this lecture will be grim—Miller is a pig vet, after all. That might mean nothing to you, but in the vet world, it says everything. Swine vets work on swine systems and whole populations. They treat groups of animals, not individuals the way general-practice vets do. Doing so requires an incredible amount of data, and the ability to interpret it dispassionately.

Because of this, they’re also stereotypically cold, calculating, and, in a word, ruthless. They’re not your typical warm, fuzzy family vet, and they’re not shy about “liquidating” entire farms if their data says it’ll help the overall system. For this reason, I know that Miller’s talk will cover mass euthanasia—how to put down entire farms of animals, and how to do it effectively.

“I know this is the last thing you all want to talk about,” Miller says. “But this is the one thing you all need to do, and do well. You see, our business is healing, yes. But you all know there’s only so much we can do. In the end, euthanasia is an option.

“I want to make this abundantly clear: If there’s one thing you must do flawlessly in your career, it’s killing. I don’t care if it’s an old dog, a sow, some pet chicken, a stallion, or a fucking 3-day-old kitten. You will do it humanely. That means quickly, painlessly, and compassionately.

“Some of you say pig vets have no heart,” he continues softly. “That might be true, but find us when we have to liquidate a farm. Those days I still carry with me.”

Miller starts to tell us how euthanasia works. His instruction is exhaustive and methodical. But there’s a crucial thing he leaves out: what all that killing does to humans.

“Andrew, it’s not good—100 percent broken. Poor thing can’t even walk,” my vet tech Hanna tells me.

It’s two years later, and I’m now a small-town vet working in Pennsylvania. I’ve treated everything from cats to chickens, but I’m still learning, so I’ve learned to trust my techs when they say something’s wrong.

She’s just finished going over the history for my next patient. It’s a busy Saturday in November. The air is cold and the sky is bleak. The day has been abysmal. To start, I have a puppy with parvovirus, who is, despite my best efforts, trying to die. At the same time, a cat I diagnosed with cancer died in its cage after we sedated it to place a catheter. The owner had elected for euthanasia, but we couldn’t place the catheter while the cat was awake on account of it being quite vicious. We had sedated it and left it to get sleepy, only to come back and find that the sedation had killed it. Did the cat suffer? No—the sedation also has a powerful opioid that relieves pain. The owner was a different story, screaming both at me and my staff that we had robbed them of the chance to say goodbye.

Welcome to my every day. As I’ve discovered in my two years as a vet, being verbally abused by owners is part of the job. A 2021 study conducted by the British Veterinary Association revealed that of 572 veterinarians interviewed, 57 percent had felt intimidated by clients’ language and behavior, a 10 percent increase from the year before. In small-animal practice, it’s even worse, with 66 percent of respondents reporting that they’ve felt intimidated and harassed.

Usually, management tells us to endure these diatribes. Some practices are gravely afraid of losing these clients at the expense of their staff’s emotional well-being.

“Let’s see what we’ve got here,” I say, going over the chart with Hanna. My patient is a 5-month-old female mix named Lacey whose leg was crushed in an accident three days ago. She hasn’t walked right since.

Entering the exam room, I immediately notice the little dog lying down on a blanket. While responsive, with eyes that track me as I move, she doesn’t rise to greet me. She’s small and fluffy, black-haired with white accents.

Her male owner is sitting with her on the floor, cradling her head. Her female owner is on the bench. Both look shaken, nervous, and distraught.

I find in trauma cases it’s best to get to the point. “Hi, guys. I’m Dr. Andrew. I understand Lacey has hurt her back leg. May I take a look?” I move toward Lacey and lower myself to the floor.

“Doc, it’s the leg that’s up,” the male owner tells me, eyes bloodshot from crying. He clutches Lacey’s upper back with the large, worn hands of a working man.

I gently place a hand on Lacey’s back and move it down her leg to the middle femur. The injured leg is three times the size of the other, and with just my light touch, Lacey screams.

It’s not a sound of surprise, like a yip or a squeal. The scream a dog makes when it’s hurt is soul-cutting. This animal is in pain. The female owner shudders and looks away. Lacey looks around and whimpers, pawing at her male owner for help. I immediately remove my hands.

I order an X-ray. I think it’s broken, but I want to confirm. “The X-rays are $150—is that OK?” I ask. The owners both nod. I call for a litter to transport little Lacey back to the X-ray room.

Most people think the vet takes the X-rays, but many, including me, do not. We’re taught how to in vet school, but in a well-run clinic, the vet should never take them; the techs do. So, after I give the tech my instructions, I step into my office to make a call to another owner. After I have an in-depth discussion with them about why they shouldn’t be feeding grain-free food to their pet, Hanna comes running back.

“X-rays are up for Lacey; it’s not good,” she says. Doctors do read X-ray films, but you don’t need to be one to diagnose Lacey’s problem: Her left femur is severely fractured. In fact, the fracture is so bad that the fragments have made a cross—literally perpendicular, with one laid over the other.

In orthopedics, the less a fracture moves—meaning the less the fragments of bone move in relation to one another—the better. And fewer fragments are better. Lacey has two fragments—normally not so bad, but they’re so commuted that to splint or cast this fracture would be impossible. Lacey needs surgical fixation.

For the uninitiated, surgical fixation is a process by which a surgeon (usually an orthopedic specialist) puts the fragments back into alignment with bone plates, wires, and pins. The surgery to do this is expensive—around $5,000 to $6,000—and entails a lengthy, delicate recovery where the dog cannot be allowed to run or jump. The alternative would be amputation, a surgery I could do myself for about $800. The dog would be left without a leg, but most dogs adapt well to a three-legged lifestyle. I explain these options to the owners in the room after I take Lacey back in.

“Can’t you just cast it?” the male owner asks. His eyes dart between the X-ray image and my face. “I could try after we sedate her,” I reply, “but I am afraid we wouldn’t get good alignment of the fragments without surgery. The fracture is too commuted, and we’d have a limb that does not heal or heals at a very odd angle.” I explain that with surgery, plates and pins hold the bone fragments together and in the proper position. “With casting, an external device does this, and not as well—and it might cost more money in the end.”

The owners listen, but I can tell they’re very upset and have something else to tell me. The female owner shakes her head.

“Doc, we can’t afford any of the things you suggested, not even amputation,” the female owner says, fighting tears. “We can’t even have it casted, and we wouldn’t want to if it’s not going to work.”

This type of response is not uncommon in the veterinary world. Many people have animals, yet have no way of paying the costs that come with emergencies. There are, however, numerous options to make payment work for a client.

“Let me see what we can do,” I say. “I’m not sure what kind of options we have, but let me do some looking.” I leave the room and tell the staff what’s going on. Hanna has seen this situation loads of times. She reaches for a CareCredit brochure.

CareCredit fronts money for expensive surgeries and basic veterinary care. The clinic gets paid just like any other credit card charge, but CareCredit takes on the responsibility of payment. In Lacey’s case, it turns out that her owners don’t qualify for CareCredit. And our hospital doesn’t do payment plans—ever.

Simultaneously, another client says she urgently needs to talk to me. After assuring the client that the meds she picked up from us today are correct, Hanna comes back and says, “OK, so fracture dog: What if they surrendered the dog to me, and I paid the hospital for the amputation?”

It’s an attractive idea, but the owners won’t be able to see their dog again. They’d be surrendering their animal to another person—literally giving up ownership—no different from what happens at a humane shelter. I suppose Hanna could let the previous owner see Lacey again, but that would be entirely up to her. Still, this option would put Lacey first: It would mean we could do the surgery for the dog and avoid the ever-present threat of euthanasia.

Why couldn’t I just do the procedure for free? While this sounds altruistic, it’s not practical for every heartbreaking case we get. To keep people employed, we have to charge for services. Some hospitals have Good Samaritan funds; ours does not. It’s also Saturday, and I can’t contact management to approve a free surgery.

Besides, the way vet hospitals often fail financially is by giving services away. It leads to long hours with little to no pay, burnout, and a sense of worthlessness that perpetuates the veterinary profession’s already sky-high suicide rate. It’s not going to start with me.

I tell Hanna that her idea of surrendering the puppy is a good one. “See what they say, but make it anonymous,” I advise her.

This being a Saturday from hell, I’m pulled away to talk to a client who has been on the phone for 15 minutes with a tech, screaming about her dog’s spay incision. I talk the spay client down, reassuring her that we did in fact remove her dog’s uterus and ovaries in the surgery and that she had signed a form consenting to that. Then Hanna finds me.

“They don’t want to surrender even if it fixes their dog,” she tells me, on the verge of tears. “They don’t even want to cast it; they want to euthanize.” That’s odd, I think to myself—bizarre, really. Why would an owner want to kill a dog that could be saved? Now that euthanasia has entered their minds, I walk back into the exam room and have one last go.

“So, I did some digging, and I’m sure Hanna has mentioned it to you, but a tech here has volunteered to take Lacey if you surrender her,” I tell them. “You won’t own her any longer, but the tech will have the surgery done, and I really think Lacey’s chances of success are good.” I explain that I don’t think that euthanasia is warranted in this case—the dog is young, growing, and doing well, aside from this injury. I also don’t think that casting would be best for the dog because there’s more risk and likely more long-term expense for the owner.

“We want her to be put to sleep, Doc,” the man says, crying, his large hands shaking and clutching Lacey’s thick fur.

“Sir, it does not have to come to that; there are options. Lacey can live a good life,” I say, looking from him to the woman, who’s now staring at the wall. How can this be happening? They have two good medical options, and yet they’ve chosen a third, life-ending one. I’m dumbfounded.

“I don’t want to surrender her, and we can’t afford any surgery. I want to put her down,” the man says, getting the words out slowly. His eyes dart from me to the female owner. He can’t hold my gaze but looks more or less in my general direction.

“Let me see what we can do about that,” I say leaving the room. In the hallway, the staff stares at me, expecting some sort of plan to spring forth from my mouth that will save Lacey. I grip the treatment table, looking down and taking a few deep breaths. You cannot seize an animal, nor can you compel an owner to surrender or do what you think is best. I had just tried to sway them away from euthanasia, but to no avail.

OK, options, I think to myself. The owner is refusing both recommended treatment plans. I could euthanize. I could refuse to euthanize and send them home, pain meds on board, but the dog would still suffer, and the owner might take matters into his own hands. And yes, owners do shoot their own dogs. This may sound unthinkable, but in a rural community, it’s common. Despite what people might tell you, it’s not a humane solution.

So, I’m left with euthanasia or no euthanasia. No euthanasia will lead to more suffering and more trauma for Lacey before she inevitably dies, likely a slow and agonizing death at that—or one done by her owner with a gunshot.

There in the clinic, Miller’s words come crashing back: “Do it flawlessly.” Lacey deserves that, at the very least. Despite her owners’ decision, she at least deserves to die in peace. “You will do it painlessly,” I tell myself.

Gosh, this job breaks you.

I release my grip on the table and turn toward my techs. You’re the quarterback today, Bullis. Make a call.

“Have them sign a euthanasia consent form and an AMA. Put a catheter in her, and I’ll get the meds,” I say to no one in particular. I slowly walk back to the drug cabinet, hands shaking, and draw my injections.

Hanna places the catheter in the exam room in front of the owners so as to not move poor Lacey. I walk into the room and start giving my normal euthanasia speech, basically preparing the client for the process and what’s about to happen. The man interrupts me, now sobbing uncontrollably. “Just get it done.”

“OK. Let me just sedate her first,” I say. I reach down and start the injection.

The euthanasia goes smoothly. The only pain Lacey experiences is from the small pinch of the catheter. She doesn’t react to the drugs and doesn’t have any negative side effects. She dies in her owners’ arms, and they leave sobbing, without a word.

The staff—me included—is emotionally exhausted afterward. The whole day was bad. Not one easy client or patient. Two of my staff members are crying. I tell one she can go home, but she says it wouldn’t be fair to the rest of us. Some of these people make less per hour than a gas station attendant.

Despite my weariness, frustration, and even anger, I remind myself once more that I’m the doctor. I have to say something to my staff. I have to at least try and be a leader.

“I know you all are itching to leave, and trust me, so am I,” I tell them. “But I just want to say I’m really proud of all of you. Today we were handed a whole lotta shit.”

I tell them they’re the best techs I’ve ever worked with, and I mean it. “We don’t get to choose the challenges we’re faced with,” I say. “What happened today with the cat and the pup and all the angry clients was beyond our control. Sometimes animals just die. You can push as hard as you want, and sometimes they still die.”

The techs, some of them as old as my parents, nod and listen, but it’s Hanna who speaks up. “We get it, Andrew, but do you? It’s really important that you do.”

I nod, willing myself not to cry.

I drive home in a daze, take a shower, and sit on my couch, unmoving, feeling like absolute shit. I live alone. I have no girlfriend and no family in the area.

Until I started working, I never understood why veterinary medicine has such a high suicide rate. Female veterinarians in clinical practice are 3.4 times more likely to die by suicide than the general population; male vets are 2.1 times more likely. Three-quarters of these deaths come from vets in small animal practices like mine.

There are a number of reasons for this. Poor compensation is a major factor. Another is the crushing expectations of clients. Then there are the long hours, lack of work-life balance, and isolation from colleagues.

And the euthanasia gets to us. Really gets to us. Cases like Lacey’s haunt you. I didn’t see her owners again, but I know they have more pets. They just won’t bring them here.

It isn’t until you have a day like this that you realize the stress animal owners put on you or the gravity of the decisions you have to make. The pressure is so high—you’re the only one who can make the final call. In veterinary medicine, doctors operate alone. Yes, there are specialists and techs to assist you, but the system is much less organized than human medicine. It’s just you on an island, and you’re supposed to be the be-all and end-all doctor for anything and everything your community needs.

It’s hard, but Dr. Miller was right—at the end of the day, sometimes killing is the best thing we can do. Animals deserve a painless, humane death. I went to sleep that night knowing I at least did that and I did it flawlessly.

* * *

* * *


The filler where Tom Brokaw says it’s tough to make a difference reminds me of when he took his limo to see the 880 collapse from the Loma Prieta earthquake. That made a difference to me. 

— Ed Baines, Hood Mountain

* * *


At least one person was injured after a Russian missile strike on the Ukrainian region of Kharkiv.

Two former fighters of the Russian private military company Wagner have told CNNof their horrific experiences on the battlefield in eastern Ukraine, and how anyone who faltered was immediately shot by their own commanders.

Ukraine's capital Kyiv and surrounding areas, as well as Odesa and Dnipro regions, can avoid power cuts on Sunday, said Ukraine's state power generator, Ukrenergo. A day without electricity cuts is a rarity for Kyiv.


* * *

* * *


by Matt Taibbi

Freelancers Wanted: Help Knock Out the Mainstream Propaganda Machine

I started working on the #TwitterFiles months ago in the hope of answering a question about whether or not the government was teaming up with private platforms to censor political content. The answer quickly proved a decisive yes, but I’ve since run into a larger, more troubling problem that’s going to require many more person-hours and digging to understand. 

For a one-time project we’re aiming to publish in March, Racketneeds a hand. We’re looking for the following:

• a reporter or academic with experience researching government contracts, and/or the funding of NGOs or academic research institutions 

• an infographics designer, preferably with experience in areas like ecosystem mapping

Though we already have an excellent FOIA writer, experience in that area could be a plus. If you have other skills in mining publicly available information, you could be a fit for the project. Applicants should write to This is not volunteer work — we pay — but it is temporary.

What’s the job? Assignments will vary, and you’d be working under an editor (not me), but roughly: we’re trying to map a new wing of the U.S. government’s propaganda apparatus that popped into view thanks to the Twitter Files. State-directed censorship is scary, but the more disturbing activity we’re seeing inside companies like Twitter involves what you might call “offensive” information operations, a type of aggressive official messaging that all governments practice but is supposed to be restricted by law in the United States. 

For decades, our government at least loosely complied with legislation like the Smith-Mundt Act, which prohibits aiming at the domestic population any official propaganda “intended for foreign audiences.” However, gloves came off in recent years. 

In a remarkably short time since the end of the Obama presidency, the U.S. government has funded an elaborate network of NGOs and think-tanks whose researchers call themselves independent “disinformation experts.” They describe their posture as defensive — merely “tracking” or “countering” foreign disinformation — but in truth they aggressively court both the domestic news media and platforms like Twitter, often becoming both the sources for news stories and/or the referring authorities for censorship requests. 

The end result has been relentless censorship of, and mountains of (often deceptive) state-sponsored propaganda about, legitimate American political activity. In the Twitter Files we see correspondence from state agencies and state-sponsored research entities describing everything from support of the Free Palestine movement to opposition to vaccine passports as illicit foreign propaganda. Some of this messaging devolves into outright smear campaigns, with efforts to denounce the organic #WalkAway hashtag as a Russian “psychological operation” serving as a particularly lurid example. The Hamilton 68 story (about which more is coming) hints at this dynamic. 

The irony is the entire field of “disinformation studies” itself has the features of an inorganic astroturfing operation. Disinformation “labs” cast themselves as independent, objective, politically neutral resources, but in a shocking number of cases, their funding comes at least in part from government agencies like the Department of Defense. Far from being neutral, they often have clear mandates to play up foreign anddomestic threats while arguing for digital censorship, de-platforming, and other forms of information control. 

Worse, messages from these institutions are parroted more or less automatically by our corporate press, which has decided that instead of a network of independent/adversarial newspapers and TV stations, what the country needs is one giant Voice of America, bleating endlessly about “threats to democracy.” I’ve come to believe a sizable percentage of reporters don’t know that their sources are funded by the government, or that they’re repeating government messaging not just occasionally but all the time. The ones who don’t know this truth need to hear it, and the ones who knew all along need to be exposed. This project is about both of those things, too. 

Foreign state media is labeled on platforms like Twitter. 

I want to put labels on our own propaganda, and need your help to do it. 

* * *


  1. Marmon February 12, 2023

    “I can only conclude the Biden Admin hates our country. How else can we explain their destroying our country by handing over our border to cartels, starting a hot war with Russia, undermining our economy, and bringing us to the brink of nuclear apocalypse?”

    -Tulsi Gabbard 🌺 @TulsiGabbard


    • Bruce Anderson February 12, 2023

      If she said that she’s crazier than I thought she was.

      • Marmon February 12, 2023

        She may be our next Vice President Bruce, show some respect.


        • pca67 February 12, 2023

          Apparently it’s not too difficult moving from the Science of Identity cult to the MAGA cult.

    • Marshall Newman February 12, 2023

      Nothing succeeds like excess. This is excess with six degrees of separation from the facts. She has gone way overboard with this comment.

  2. Kirk Vodopals February 12, 2023

    Thanks for the article on veterinarians. My daughter talks of becoming one someday. Definitely lots of fine points to consider. I watched my college roommate at UC Davis isolate himself regularly to study. It was a long, difficult curriculum for sure.

    • Chuck Dunbar February 12, 2023

      Yes, excellent article on the dark side of this work. Hard to read, made me cry, remembering two years ago,putting down our kitty with cancer at home with the help of a gentle vet.

  3. Kirk Vodopals February 12, 2023

    I hope Taibbi and his associates sift through the Qanon propaganda, too. I consider it the flip side of the Twitter propaganda machine

    • Marmon February 12, 2023

      Most likely their research and findings will validate most those so called Qanon conspiracy theories as being true.


    • Chuck Wilcher February 12, 2023

      Hopefully he’ll cover the requests from the Trump White House to take down tweets dear Donald didn’t like. That and the right wing regurgitation machine fueling fear, superstition and ignorance.

    • peter boudoures February 12, 2023

      Was their conspiracy theory of high ranking officials being involved in child sex trafficking too far fetched for you? Little saint james ring a bell?

      • Kirk Vodopals February 12, 2023

        Adrenochrome! Democrats eat babies! Hillary is a lizard! Michelle Obama is a dude! Nobody died at Sandy Hook! Donald is of divine providence! …. how far you wanna take this?

        • Stephen Rosenthal February 12, 2023

          Jewish space lasers!

          • George Dorner February 12, 2023

            Fired from black helicopters at the witching hour.

        • peter boudoures February 12, 2023

          Democrats do eat babies. They flush them down the toilet six months in and brag about it

  4. DA Office February 12, 2023

    The AVA Editor wrote:

    THE SORDID DETAILS and the names of the [two angry women]
    players must have been sold to the Mail by someone on the
    Mendo inside because these facts were not released locally.

    Not as nefarious as it may seem. It is assumed that the Daily Mail simply went to the Superior Court’s new-ish “Information Portal,” typed in the defendant’s name, and looked at the defense attorney’s “motion in limine and statement of the case” in which attorney K provided the full details — player names and all — from a defense perspective. Yes, the Daily Mail would have had to pay 50 cent a page to the court for the 7-page defense document ($3.50) but anybody could have and can do that on this or any other case of interest. Yes, I will agree it is unusual to have such intimate detail provided for public scrutiny outside of a courtroom.

    — DA Dave

    P.S. Rosie (the Welsh Terrier) sends her condolences to the family and friends of LD on his passage over the Rainbow Bridge.

  5. Steve Heilig February 12, 2023

    RIP Little Dog, one with a big presence. I’d wondered about him. Even my late not-little (80-pound) dog Shuggie gave him the respect and deference a local deserved. I’m glad AVA central gave him a good life.

    • Lazarus February 12, 2023

      With the passing of Little Dog, then the heart-wrenching story of Lacey and her Mom and Dad, and being the owner of a 15 year old senior dog myself, it was an emotional, if not a little teary, morning read.
      But on the other hand, “all dogs go to heaven.”
      Happy Super Bowl, and Go Chiefs!

  6. Marmon February 12, 2023


    “Just wanted to thank the overwhelming number of people who responded to the call for freelance help yesterday. I’ve reached out to some already, others will be hearing from us in the next days, but in general, the breadth and intensity of the response is humbling. It seems a lot of people are feeling the same frustrations, and want to lend a hand. Thanks again, and we’ll try to respond to as many letters as we can in the next week or so, before getting to work, hopefully with your help”

    -Matt Taibbi


  7. Michael Geniella February 12, 2023

    So is Matt Taibbi suggesting the dawning of the Trump era ramped up the propaganda era the so-called Twitter files expose? “In a remarkably short time since the end of the Obama presidency, the U.S. government has funded an elaborate network of NGOs and think-tanks whose researchers call themselves independent “disinformation experts.”

  8. Marmon February 12, 2023


    “There’s been space junk, weather balloons, spy balloons, and military advancements for years. All of a sudden world super powers are shooting unidentified objects down. This looks like a testing of military prowess. Lack of evidence and briefings are extremely noticeable.”

    -Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene @RepMTG


    • Chuck Dunbar February 12, 2023

      Oh, dear Marjorie, we love to hear from you, and we think often of you in your lovely fur coat yelling nasty comments….You are truly a fine example for all….

    • Mike J February 13, 2023

      It appears that due to various factors, including the assigned tasks for the new All domain Anomaly Resolution Office, that they removed or adjusted filtering from NORAD radar detection sensors. While the NORAD Cmdr General VanHerc yesterday didn’t rule out ET objects for the last three objects shot down, it’s most likely they will discover that these are Chinese or Russian drones or perhaps domestic-based ones for research or other innocent purposes.
      Marjorie doesn’t quite understand that they need to actually recover and then study the debris from the last three shootdowns. The objects were smaller than the large Chinese spy ballon so scrambled jets had a hard time seeing details.
      There are members of Congress now who have been exposed to evidence indicating an alien presence. Marjorie is not among them.

  9. B. February 12, 2023

    We wish the Ukiah Animal Shelter was open between 12 and 1pm, during the week, so everyone could stop by during their lunch hour, to adopt a dog or cat they saw the night before, on your website. For many, it’s the only time they have. Please stay open til 6pm, so we can stop by after work as well. We wish you were open 10 to 6 all day sats and sundays, so we could bring our families and kids. A few hours on sat just is’nt enough. Please expand your hours, to better suit our busy schedules and make it easier for the community to come in and adopt. Please open up your weekends again for us. thankyou :)

  10. Mike J February 13, 2023

    There will be an effort by some now to make journalists aware of the most revealing data sources. The works of Professor (emeritus) Ardy Clarke will be highlighted as a good introduction providing a pretty comprehensive briefing re who is here and what they’re doing.

    “Press Release

    The United States Government has recently revived it’s attention on the UFO subject largely due to an increase in puzzling incidents experienced by military personnel.

    Provisions in the National Defense Authorization Act, now signed into law, have expanded addressing of what is now designated as UAP or Unidentified Anomalous Phenomena. This task has been assigned to a newly created “All-domain Anomaly Resolution Office” (AARO) under the direction of the Secretary of Defense and Director of National Intelligence.

    A significant portion of defined duties includes the collection of historical data related to sighting reports, going back to 1945. This appears to be limited to events traditionally characterized as close encounters of the first and second kinds: sightings of craft in the sky and craft in close proximity having physical effects. (The new law mentions biological effects as a focus as well as craft that exhibit transiting from air to under bodies of waters or the reverse.)

    Close encounters of the third kind incidents do not appear to be a focus for AARO or the national news media covering the revival of government attention. (These are incidents where craft have landed and people have reportedly observed, and sometimes interacted with, a variety of beings associated with the craft.) This category of cases carry even a bigger stigma than sighting reports of craft with what the latest AARO public report noted exhibited “unusual flight characteristics and performance capacities”.

    The following site provides a basic introduction and background education to the very large body of reports which may go a fair distance in helping identify the beings associated with this long-standing mystery:

  11. Craig Stehr February 14, 2023

    In regard to Bruce Anderson’s question about the potentiality of my functioning as an assassin, please accept my full explanation:
    Walked into the Throwing Axe establishment in downtown Ukiah, California Sunday afternoon, to discover one bartender, one cook, and no customers. The huge high definition sports screen was turned on, several billiard tables on two floors were available, nobody was throwing any axes in the booths provided, but you could, and while centering the wandering mind at its Source, chanting the warrior goddess Kali Ma mantram which is “Om Aim Hrim Klim Chamundaye Vicche”, I ordered a pint of Sierra Nevada’s Hazy Little Thing, and then took a seat at a table directly in front of the sports screen. The three of us enjoyed the entire thrilling football game, the postmodern(?) half time show, the awarding of the Lombardi Trophy, and the final game analysis.
    I considered the prospects of a global spiritual revolution during the course of consuming the pint of Sierra Nevada, two bottles of Blind Pig, two shots of Johnnie Walker Black Label on the rocks, and enjoying a steak ‘n cheese grilled sandwich complete with Miss Vickie’s Sea Salt & Vinegar chips. It is my joy to announce to the world that the problem is solved. Whereas it is very important for a spiritual revolution to succeed on the planet earth, it is not our responsibility to also ensure that society’s return to righteousness necessarily follow. Therefore, spiritually focused global direct action may begin immediately.
    Nota Bene: I am prepared to exit the Building Bridges Homeless Shelter located at 1045 S. State Street in Ukiah, California. Telephone messages may be left at: (707) 234-3270. Of course I am accepting money, being both practical and sane. >>> <<<
    Craig Louis Stehr
    Happy Valentine’s Day

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