Hot | Eel Riverbank | Students Talking | Old Garberville | Brain Health | Dump Day | Weed Check | Guest House | Ed Notes | Garberville Setting | 5150 World | Cloverdale Church | More Shelters | Tannen/Storywrens | Yellow House | See You | Yesterfruit | Planning Canceled | EV Grid | 2002 BMW | Boys Hike | Yesterday's Catch | Ban Vandeman | Donner Dining | Humboldt Wind | Dam Removal | Poker Dogs | Documentary Photography | 1968 Deadheads | Rich Men | Niners Report | Poverty Issue | Wicked End | Neo Feudal | Ukraine | Cowboy Etiquette | More War | Drive-In | Fossil Ruling | No Mas | Greatest Qualities
ABOVE NORMAL TEMPERATURES will continue into the middle of the week. Isolated, mostly dry thunderstorms continue to be possible across portions of the interior. Cooler temperatures are expected late in the week. (NWS)
STEPHEN DUNLAP (Fort Bragg): A balmy 56F with clear skies (at 5am) this Tuesday morning on the coast. Today could go many directions as there is fog nearby & tropical moisture continues to flow by. We have a 20% chance for a shower Wednesday & Thursday nights which indicates the tropical flow will continue for a few days.
ELEMENTARY IS ROCKING & NO CELL PHONES IS TRANSFORMATIVE
Dear Anderson Valley Community,
Welcome back! It was wonderful to have our students and staff back on campus!
The elementary staff were welcoming first timers and teaching them all about the “business of school.” Watching Ms. Mayne and Ms. Soto showing, with amazing kindness, the procedures of the school day was heartwarming and encouraging. I saw no tears! The newbies were happy to be at “the big school!”
The preschool was in full swing with Teacher Anita hosting a pretend snack bar session and pretend phone calls with families with the amazing staff.
The upper grades were already into relevant material and the kitchen was cooking it up!
The high school started off with a brief rally led by the exceptionally well-rehearsed, AV Cheerleaders. And then, phones were pouched throughout the day. Was it hard? I am sure it was, but I watched students play a game of Uno in the student Zen Den lounge and visit, students were walking next to someone TALKING instead of with heads down and thumbs working a device. I saw students with great attention to their teachers. In short, I saw something completely different than I have viewed in my past two years.
I am deeply grateful to the students, parents/guardians, and staff that shifted to make this happen. I think this no cell phone policy will set Anderson Valley head and shoulders above the County and State in mental health/wellness and achievement. This is huge–thanks to you all.
A few faculty notes on today:
”I can only say WOW. It was a night and day experience. Though the students say this is going to be hard, not having cell phones, even they are admitting it is going to make learning so much more focused. It was amazing to NOT have that constant presence of the phone in the back pocket, and instead, more of a human presence.--So grateful!” — Kira Brennan
I know it was just the first day but I just loved no phone life on campus so much. Kids were socializing and talking to each other which was just a joy to behold. I didn’t hear any complaints or have any issues with pouching. I am so grateful for this change. Thank you to everyone! — Ali Cook
Students were well behaved and they had a great time being back at school! It is going to be a great year! — Maryann Grezenda
It felt so NORMAL and I felt good at the end of the day. — David Ballantine
I will say from my own perspective (and I carry two phones and tried my best not to use them in front of kids), I came home much more relaxed. Let’s see if it stays that way!
On a different note, I walked with a structural engineer. We are going to aggressively petition the State for replacement/repair of the domes, gym, and shop. More fun! I am going to need you on this one to be LOUD. Details to follow! Big State official visit on August 24–Number two State Superintendent and Number One State Facilities head. Let’s get this done for our kids–they deserve it.
Hope you are well!
JOIN US THIS SUNDAY FOR BRAIN HEALTH AND ICE CREAM SOCIAL
This Sunday, August 20th, 4 to 5:30 PM
Anderson Valley Senior Center
Ice Cream Served
Join us for brain health: a review of recent medical literature by Ron Gester, AVV Board member & retired emergency physician. Although the presentation is not about psychology, it is inspired by the June 26, 2023 Hidden Brain podcast titled "The Best Years of Your Life". Shankar Vedantam, interviews Stanford psychologist Laura Carstensen. https://hiddenbrain.org/podcast/the-best-years-of-your-life/ Highly recommended.
Please RSVP with the coordinator — thank you!
Anica Williams, Cell: 707-684-9829, Email: email@example.com
BOONVILLE DUMP DAY
BOONVILLE – Caltrans District 1 and the county of Mendocino announced a Clean California (Clean CA) Dump Day event for Saturday, Aug. 19, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. or until capacity reached at the Mendocino County Fairgrounds, 14400 Highway 128, Boonville.
This Dump Day allows residents to drop off mattresses and off-rim car and light truck tires (limit nine per load) for free. Dump Day events were made possible through Gov. Gavin Newsom’s Clean California initiative – a sweeping $1.2 billion, multiyear cleanup effort led by Caltrans to keep roads and waterways free of litter, create thousands of jobs, and transform state and local public spaces through beautification efforts. Tires on rims cannot be accepted.
Caltrans reminds motorists to properly secure and tarp all cargo loads prior to driving. Transporting unsecured loads is unsafe, illegal, and pollutes California’s roads and waterways. Loads that are not tied down, enclosed, or secured by tarps or other means will not be accepted.
CODE ENFORCEMENT REPORT
Today (Monday) I was able to observe Mendocino County Code Enforcement follow through on an investigation of a personal cannabis garden. The garden had been located using satellite surveillance.
The land owners had medical recommendations to use cannabis. They met the setbacks of 100 feet from the property line and 200 feet from another residence. The Code Enforcement officer verified these facts, came to the conclusion that the property owners were in compliance and closed the investigation.
The process was quick and professional. I can't say that every action taken by Code Enforcement has gone as well but, what I witnessed today did.
Cannabis is, and will continue to be a hot button issue. People have the right to enjoy their property. Some people do not enjoy the smell of cannabis. The required setbacks seem reasonable to allow those who are offended by cannabis the ability to enjoy their own property.
Those who want to consume cannabis for medicinal and/or recreational uses should have the right to produce their own as long as it is done in a way that protects their neighbors rights.
Being part of a community means have consideration for others. This depends on communication and sometimes, compromise. Regulation and Code Enforcement are a poor substitute for being good neighbors.
I liked being able to see enforcement in action. Sometimes with controversial issues, the truth is obscured by personal emotions. Hopefully, the situation continues to evolve where people's differing viewpoints can be heard and result in respectful dialogue. The more we can communicate, the stronger our community will be.
A CALLER alerts us to the small print on the flier from the Post Office announcing that the proceeds from its Breast Cancer Awareness Month stamp goes 70% to the National Institute of Health and 30% to the Department of Defense, which kinda makes this guy want to buy only the first 70% of the stamp.
A BOOK NOTICE wafted down out of cyber space onto my computer screen the other morning. It was a blurb for a history of Jonestown called, “Snake Dance: Unravelling the Mysteries of Jonestown” by Laurie Efrein Kahalas.
MS. KAHALAS, former parishioner of the berserk pastor's church — (Jones also taught school in Boonville when he first arrived in Mendocino County), says she was “contacted by an Angelic Presence four years prior to what the world would come to know as ‘The Jonestown Tragedy’” and has written up an insider’s guide to subsequent events.
FOUR YEARS advance warning apparently wasn’t sufficient to propel Ms. Kahalas out of the church prior to the reverend massacring his congregation, which she says she somehow survived. She now attributes the Jonestown tragedy to a vast U.S. government conspiracy to wipe out Jones’ “left wing, interracial church” because our government doesn’t like “leftwing, interracial churches.”
THE BEST BOOK on the Jones phenomena, in my opinion as somewhat of a scholar of macabre Mendo events, is by the late Shiva Naipul, V.S.’s brother. It’s called “Journey to Nowhere, A New World Tragedy.”
JONES was hardly a left-winger, whatever that political Rorschach means these days, but he was adept at being all things to all people, depending on the circumstances he found himself in. In a very short time after his arrival in Redwood Valley, Jones was foreman of the Grand Jury and he was throwing dinners for everyone from the inland libs to Walter Heady of the John Birch Society.
ON-LINE INQUIRY? Does anyone remember the grocery store at State St and Gobbi next to Norge Village Cleaners that had a rack with rollers in the front that the Checker could put your groceries on and they could roll it from inside to the outside through the front windows? I think it was Purity. It was to make it easy to pull your car up front and load your groceries.
Re; Mental Illness, Addiction & homelessness….
That is the order …. The illness first, self medicating turning to addiction then turning into homelessness. Then revolving door of jail and psych stays, quite honestly you are lucky if you get the psych stay but then what, 3 to 5 days is not enough to stabilize and help someone. But there is no help, because these people are expected to understand and follow through, they simply can not aside from the fact these people need dual diagnosis treatment that is not accessible. There is a shit load of money allocated to service providers for these issues, but you can see money is not the issue, the laws are, the understanding and application of the 5150 statute is extremely subjective depending on responder. I am all for mandatory treatment ie, Lauras Law, but in our county not sure it is working and what about mental health court? There are 2 people that are severely mentally ill that keep getting arrested Jake Lewis Kooy, how many times has he been arrested? A freaking lot. And Jahlan Travis who was arrested again last week, and yesterday he was walking in the middle of State Street, sicker than shit talking to the voices in his head. He was on the front page of the UDJ about the state of homelessness, his condition severely downplayed. It is going to continue to get worse we must change how we do things to help these people. Hopefully SB43 will be adopted which will change the criteria for gravely disabled.
THE CRIMINAL ELEMENT
The neighborhood centered at South State Street and Talmage Road in Ukiah, CA deserves a Federal study. It is a microcosm of why postmodern America is imploding, particularly on any Friday and Saturday night. Interesting to note that the Building Bridges Homeless Resource Center is NOT the problem. It is what is outside of the property that mirrors the global collapse of civilization, particularly the abuse of narcotics and the extreme consumption of alcoholic beverages, plus a modicum of serious mental illness related to the aforementioned. Meanwhile, inside of the homeless shelter, it is relatively safe and clean, with long term beds, showers, laundry facilities, microwave and plug-in cooking pans, open phone lines, and a computer available. The City of Ukiah ought to increase the budget for Redwood Community Services Organization. Do not criminalize the homeless. The homeless need housing conveniently located in the urban sector. It is the criminal element which has attached itself to the homeless situation which needs to be separated and dealt with. Thanks for getting it! Donations of food and certain clothing items may be arranged to be brought to the shelter, by telephoning (707) 234-3270. The address is 1045 South State Street, Ukiah, CA. Thank you very much indeed for your solidarity.
Craig Louis Stehr
HOLLY TANNEN AND THE STORYWRENS in concert at The Lost Church, Ross Street between Mendocino Avenue and B Street.
Our door appears only at showtime. (Use 427 Mendocino Street for GPS).
$15 General Admission
Doors at 4:00pm. Show from 4:45-7:00pm with one intermission
The Story Wrens
Playing Celtic harp, whistle, guitar, fiddle and other folk instruments, the Story Wrens use songs to travel through time and tell stories of knights, maidens, sailors and other figures of the British Isles of centuries ago. www.storywrens.com
Holly Tannen was given a dulcimer in 1964 for her 17th birthday, and adapted it to backing up ballads and fiddle tunes. In 1973 she moved to England to perform and learn songs from traditional singers. She studied folklore with Alan Dundes at UC Berkeley. https://hollytannen.com
Vaccines, boosters, and masks are strongly encouraged, but are not required as per local Public Health Policy.
I SEE YOU,
Dirty on the street
Yelling, cussing, no shoes on your feet
The tormenting pain, I spot in you
Reveals the shame deeply hidden from view
We recognize blame as the defense
Individual accountability the pretense
We tout loudly with conviction
The right to exist individually
In control of our identity
I see you,
Talking to the voices in your head
Telling you to throw the rock at that lady before she steals your baby...
Screaming in fear
From something not really there
I see you,
Sick & in need of help
Unable to request it for yourself
I will ask over & over again
Get help for you to mend
I see you,
It doesn’t have to be this way
We can change our approach
Make a difference, create hope
I see you!!
— Mazie Malone
USTA GO IN THE A&P and you smelled the fruits and vegetables as soon as you crossed the threshhold. You didn’t need to ask a clerk anything. The nose said it all—bananas, tomatoes, melons of all kinds, oranges, apples—you could tell the sweet from the not-yet-ripe, the hearty from the bland.
I ain’t lived there a long time, so I don’t know if the Baltimore area is still a truck-farmin’ one. Usta be that a farmer, whatever other selling arrangements he had, also sold direct, from a roadside stand or a city-street horse cart. (“A-rabs” ((“a” as in a-bomb)) we usta call the old black guys walking along beside their cart. “CANTA-LOOOP,” they’d call; “FRESH SWEET CORN!”) And “fresh” meant “FRESH”! You didn’t have to be a farm-raised kid to know that the sweetness in fresh corn is perishable and fast-fading. You didn’t have to be told a good peach SMELLED, Goddammit, like a good peach. Strawberries! Oh, Lord!
NOWADAYS, the Safeway produce section has produce harder than croquet balls and with all the marvelous scent of a damn ice cube. You can stick your nose into a pile of honeydews as deep as a Lume Starter Pack, and—NUTHIN!
NO PLANNING IN AUGUST
Cancellation of Planning Commission Meeting for 8-17-23
The Cancelation Notice for the August 17, 2023, Planning Commission meeting is now available on the department website at: mendocinocounty.org/government/planning-building-services/meeting-agendas/planning-commission
Please contact staff if there are any questions,
Commission Services Supervisor
County of Mendocino Department of Planning & Building Services
860 N Bush Street, Ukiah, CA 95482
Main Line: 707-234-6650
JOHN REDDING: My favorite utility if not company of all time is PG&E. Well, not my favorite-favorite, but my favorite worst of all time. (A great read about the rise and fall of PG&E is CA Burning.)
So, it comes as no surprise to read that the CEO of PG&E wants to use the batteries of EVs to stabilize the grid.
THE DREAM CAR
by Steve Heilig
Almost everybody seems to agree that the Mendocino/Sonoma coast is some of the most beautiful landscape on the planet, and many of us who feel that way covet real estate there. I’m generally immune to “real estate porn” but I confess to sometimes idly perusing what’s for sale with an ocean view, between, say, Muir Beach and Mendocino, despite prices that render such spreads beyond even the realms of fantasy.
Thus when I saw country music legend Kris Kristofferson’s coastal ranch was now on the market I had to take a peek. Near Elk, it looks wonderful, with a mile of ocean frontage, pasture and forest acreage, and some semi-rundown dwellings and barns that haven’t been all gentrified into Veblenesque, conspicuous consumption showoffy embarrassment. Perfection, or close to it, and all this for only $17.2 million. If I could round up about 50 friends/partners we might be able to swing it, if there’s enough water there, and the new age of geriatric pseudo-hippie coastal communes could commence. One can dream.
But this is a story of a car, one with, sorta, tenuously, a Kristofferson connection.
When I was a teenager in Southern California there was a girl on our block named Lisa and that’s about all I knew about her other than the obvious fact that she was a beautiful blonde. She didn’t talk to me and vice versa, I don’t think we ever exchanged a word even though living very close and going to the same schools. In fact I didn’t know anybody who knew her. Maybe she knew or her parents wisely warned her not to mess with our questionable pack of rattier beach kids on the block. I never thought of her as snobby or shy or anything, she was just on some kind of different level. I really only have one lasting image of her - driving by in her new green BMW 2002, long blonde hair blowing out the window.
We all graduated and life went on and I never thought of her - but I couldn’t forget that car. I had a “company car” Ford Pinto wagon via my dad for one year, putting about five years of wear and tear and mileage on it, and then was on my own. Form followed function, and affordability. That meant very cheap used VW bugs, bought for a few hundred bucks, and then a 1969 camper van I kept and loved for a decade and drove all over the continent. But somewhere in my psyche was lodged an unattainable “forest green” 2002 with a sun roof.
I saw them around, very cool cars even though, or maybe because, it was the cheapest BMW model, thought of as a “entry-level” option, made only for less than a decade starting in the late 1960s. There were various models, all square-ish in shape, big windows, low to the ground, a fast four or five-speed shifter. Put surf racks on it and you would among the coolest anywhere. It seemed the wheels of choice for some of the classier pot dealers too. Then I saw a photo of none other than Bob Marley with one and there was no question left what the ultimate vehicle was. When Marley was asked what a ghetto rasta like him was doing with such stylish transport, he just replied “What do you think BMW stand for? It’s Bob Marley and the Wailers, mon!”
But I never really looked for one of my own until a decade after high school when I wound up in San Francisco and my beloved 1969 VW camper was no longer very practical. I was walking down the street with my good friend Dave, telling him of my 2002 fantasy, when he just pointed at one parked next to us with a “For Sale” sign and said “You mean like that one?” It was meant to be. I found a phone booth, called the number, and a test drive and $2500 later I finally had my own forest green 1975 BMW 2002, sunroof included. I sold my VW van, sadly, and my rusty VW convertible too, and that about covered it.
What a car. For the first time I was a fast driver, maybe from all that pent-up VW-thwarted urge for speed. Some friends say they never wanted to ride with me again. Cruising up or down the coast, from Big Sur to Humboldt, over Mount Tam to Bolinas and back in record time, sunroof open, was such fun. I had a cassette deck in there for loud music. The interior was funky from age, salt water, soggy dogs and neglect. Once my meticulous engineer CEO dad got in, looked around, sighed, and said “How many vaccinations will I need after riding in this thing?” (But he also said he was glad I finally had an actual engine in front of me instead of the single thin layer of sheet metal the van had). I met the renowned actor/writer Peter Coyote for lunch in Marin and when we walked out to the parking lot we marveled that we both had the same car, although his was a bit cooler of course, being a Ti model with a stronger engine. A Bolinas artist pal Ken Botto had one just like mine too, albeit with holes rusted through the floor, and we too were immediately brothers of the old beemer. It was almost a cult thing.
Once in the late 1990s I drove it up to a Garberville Rotary club lunch at the old Brass Rail restaurant in Redway, where I’d been invited to give a talk on the new proposals to legalize medical marijuana. I dressed nicely and outlined the science, history, policy and all that contentious stuff, and everyone was very respectful and polite. With all the post-talk questions, I was one of the last to leave. When I got out to my car in the big parking lot, one of the longer-haired attendees was standing there. “Nice talk”, he said. “I really liked the part about you helping dying hospice patients use it - can I give you a pound or two to take back with you?” This was when the best Humboldt herb was going for up to $5,000 per pound. Still, I had to refuse, fearing a headline along the lines of “Prominent Medical Marijuana Advocate Arrested Shlepping Pounds of Pot,” or like that. But I did ask him how he knew which car was mine. “Oh c’mon, it’s kinda obvious, right?” He laughed. Which was why I couldn’t head back down 101 with a stinky trunk full of buds.
Eventually my 2002 was getting rustier and crustier and needed lots of work. I didn’t really want to pay for that, but I couldn’t part with it either, so I wedged it into the back of our garage, where it sat for years, increasingly buried in clothes, boxes, surfboards, bikes. My longtime mechanic, who raced those collectible cars on weekends, eventually asked about it and I told him. He shook his head in disgust and said he’d come tow it out and see what was possible. Not much, as it turned out, it was close to junk by then. I let him keep it. Well-maintained “cherry” versions of 2002s now got for $30,000 and way up. Again, a cult kinda thing. Rehabbed VW campers can fetch similar prices. I basically gave mine away. I’m just not good at this sort of thing.
As for my teenhood neighbor Lisa, who unwittingly ignited my 2002 obsession, it turned out she wound up marrying and making a family with…. Kris Kristofferson. Small world. Even though I admittedly haven’t listened to his music all that much, I’ve always admired him. A Rhodes Scholar, hard-scrabbling songwriter whose first couple of albums were full of undisputed classics, respected actor, survivor of many personal health struggles, he’s the kind of figure people who know him speak very highly of. Most recently, his good nature and boldness was recalled in the episode where the lately departed singer Sinead O’Conner was being booed at a big concert soon after she tore up the Pope’s photo on national television. Kristofferson was the one to come out onstage, hug her, and say “Don’t let the bastards get you down.” A good man and gesture, especially since, as it turned out, she was right.
Back in the day, as they say, I no doubt drove my one BMW vastly past the Kristofferson coastal estate any number of times. I should have thanked Ms. Kristofferson for the inspiration, not that she’d recall me or care. Or that I’d ever get any discount on the purchase price. But again, one can dream.
ON THIS DAY IN MENDOCINO HISTORY…
August 14, 1912 - A large crowd turned out to see the Columbia Park Boys Club perform at the Odd Fellows Hall on the northeast corner of Ukiah and Kasten Streets in Mendocino. This club was founded in San Francisco in December 1895 by Major Sidney S. Peixotto to help at-risk boys in the south of Market Street tenements expand their opportunities through education, theatre, music, outdoor recreation, museums, and travel. Long summer hikes covering hundreds of miles were a highlight of the program. For several weeks, the boys would hike during the day, set up their own camp, do their own cooking, then perform for local audiences to raise travel money.
In 1912, 42 boys hiked from Petaluma to Eureka, then journeyed back down the coast towards home. This was the club’s fifth summer hike through Northern California. Following their arrival in Mendocino that morning, the boys were treated to lunch by Daisy MacCallum, served to them in an arbor of evergreens and firs on her croquet grounds. The Mendocino Lumber Company launch and rowboats were provided by Superintendent J. S. Ross to take the boys to the boom where they enjoyed a good swim. The Mill cookhouse provided dinner at 5 o’clock.
Their performance that evening included acrobatics, singing, comedy, and skits. The Beacon reported that “The band was in good fettle and played sprightly music at and prior to the show.”
The troupe stopped to perform in Albion later that week, then completed their final performance in Point Arena. From Point Arena, they took the steamer back to San Francisco.
CATCH OF THE DAY, Monday, August 14, 2023
WASHINGTON ARANA-ORDONEZ, Bronx, New York/Ukiah. Pot cultivation for sale, conspiracy.
LELAND BEAN JR., Willits. Probation revocation.
RONALD BLOYD, Navarro. Felon with firearm, ammo possession by prohibited person.
ASHLEIGH ESTES, Garberville/Ukiah. Controlled substance, probation revocation.
FELIX FRANCISCO-PEREZ, Covelo. DUI, no license.
KATE JACKSON, Clark’s Summit, Pennsylvania/Ukiah. DUI.
JESUS LLAMAS, Bronx, New York/Ukiah. Pot cultivation for sale, conspiracy.
RAMON MACIEL, Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-alcohol. (Frequent flyer.)
LLOYD ROBBINS JR., Willits. Controlled substance, failure to appear.
LIAM SMITH, Willits. Probation revocation.
JUAN VICENTE-CARBRERA, Ukiah. DUI, no license.
DOWN WITH ANTI-MOUNTAIN BIKER!
I've long appreciated all of your work, and I adore The AVA. You may remember me from more than a decade ago - I was behind the upstart experiment "Empire Report" news site in Sonoma County. I'm a long time subscriber, and I live now in West Sonoma County.
I'm writing to you in my capacity as a fellow non-violent human and as an outdoor trail advocate. It has come to my attention that you've published a letter from Mike Vandeman entitled: DOWN WITH MOUNTAIN BIKING! I know of Mike, and deal with him on a weekly basis in my capacity as a bicycle and trail advocate. I'd like to kindly ask that you unpublish his work from the web for several reasons:
1 - Mike has a long-standing and well documented history of violence towards anyone who rides a bike with knobby tires (of any age). If you're so inclined to research, I believe his recent case of "child molestation" in Alameda County is unresolved. I don't believe this charge was sexual in nature, rather was about a group of children who rode bikes in the urban neighborhood whom he repeatedly harassed. He also was charged with physically attacking a mountain biker on a trail some years ago.
2 - Mike does not live in Ukiah as he purports, but in Berkeley - hence he is writing about a trail issue related to Briones Park in East Bay Regional Parks (near Pleasanton).
3 - Mike's form of anti-bike, anti-trail advocacy isn't built on anything other than his word, yet he depends on the perceived credibility of “being published” - such as has just occurred with The AVA.
I fear that continuing to give him a megaphone is dangerous. I'd like to know that one of my favorite sources of relevant information wasn't hoodwinked by someone I am very familiar with the hoodwinky tactics of.
Thank you for your consideration,
Berkeley - CA 6/2/10
Michael Joseph Vandeman was arraigned in court today. He is scheduled to re-appear in court Thursday with his legal counsel.
Vandeman was arrested by UC Berkeley police last Friday May 28th for assault with a deadly weapon. The full police report is here: https://police.berkeley.edu/crimealerts/2010/10-052810-37NC.htm He was reported and arrested for carrying a handsaw and cutting one of the two bikers across the chest. This is not the first time such an incidence has been reported.
Local news station KPIX Channel 5 covered the story and it ran in the local nightly news. Video is available here: https://cbs5.com/video/?id=65884
The arraignment was at 2pm Wednesday and bail was reduced from $30,000 to $12,500. It is unknown at this time if bail has been posted. Pending contact with his lawyer, Vandeman is scheduled to reappear in court Thursday to enter his plea.
Vandeman is a long time anti-mountain biking zealot who has been infamous in the SF-SJ Bay Area for decades. His campaign against mountain bikers dates back to the heyday of local cycling internet newsgroups.
UC Berkeley police urge cyclists to come forward with any information on similar assaults. University of California Police Department Criminal Investigation Bureau: (510) 642-0472 from 8AM-5PM, or (510) 642-6760 all other times.
In an unrelated story, a Florida man stabbed two cyclists who were out on a holiday ride, this past weekend. More info on our sister site here: https://reviews.roadbikereview.com/blog/two-cyclists-stabbed-after-holiday-ride-one-in-critical-condition/
This just in: Another story of violence against bicyclists. "Manhunt for driver who struck 4 bicyclists in S.F." https://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi
A READER WRITES:
Anti Mountain Biking Fanatic Mike Vandeman Arrested for Assault with a Deadly Weapon Against Two Bikers
HUMBOLDT BAY WIND PROJECT
…The offshore wind proposal, driven by the Biden and Newsom administration efforts to dramatically increase renewable energy, would erect dozens of turbines three times the size of that smokestack with blades as long as a football field in an area of the Pacific Ocean nearly 10 times the size of Manhattan.…
A FEW MILES SOUTH OF THE CALIFORNIA-OREGON BORDER, up a remote canyon on the Klamath River, the hum of heavy machinery marks the start of the largest dam removal project in U.S. history.
Hundreds of workers and scores of trucks and wrecking vehicles last month began dismantling a nearly century-old concrete dam, the first of four hydroelectric dams slated for demolition in an ambitious bid to restore one of the great rivers of the West.
The 33-foot-high dam known as Copco 2 in Siskiyou County, about a six-hour drive from San Francisco, is the smallest of the four structures being removed. But it represents a monumental step for environmentalists, Native Americans and commercial fishermen who have been pushing for decades for the once improbable rewilding of the 250-mile river.…
DOCUMENTARY PHOTOGRAPHY occupies a very important place in the history of photography. Toward the end of the 19th century, Jacob Riis (How the Other Half Lives) showed the terrible living conditions of immigrants and at the beginning of the 20th century Lewis Hine depicted child exploitation in the United States-presumably the land of progress and prosperity. Documentary photographers have long been aware of the enormous contribution the language of images can make when placed in the public eye.
David Bacon has worked with images as vehicles for consciousness in his effort to show the working conditions and exploitation of immigrants and other groups in the United States and Mexico since the mid-1980s. This determination is part of his activism and work in defense of labor rights on both sides of the border. Through the solidarity he has created with workers and migrants, he has been able to build the empathy necessary to carry out his work, which is unique for the respect and closeness he achieves with these groups, his affirmation of their political struggles and personal identities, and his going beyond the merely descriptive record of their lives to produce images and essays of a great aesthetic and documentary richness.
This book illustrates how Bacon, in his portrayal of the border over more than 3 decades, incorporates not just the physical presence of migrants but also their voices. Indeed, this intimate dialogue between photography and oral history is one of the most significant elements of his work, giving him a personal signature that distinguishes him from others. He is an artist committed to political activism who creates a harmonious relationship between the images and the texts he writes, which have sometimes been published as pieces of photojournalism, but which also culminated in photographic books and exhibitions.
The 413 images published in this book, made between 1985 and 2018, are the result of an intense process of review and editing by the author from a universe of almost 20,000 images. The photographs chosen are intertwined with a visual narrative that leaves no room for anonymity as it chronicles a succession of real conditions in people's lives, turning them into active subjects who defy oppression and are not merely passive victims of circumstances and repression. The photos focus on human beings, with first and last names, who generally are invisibilized by the powerful and the media but who in these pages reclaim their voice and intimacy as their unique and distinctive features are put on display.…
RICH MEN NORTH OF RICHMOND
I’ve been sellin’ my soul, workin’ all day
Overtime hours for bullsh-t pay
So I can sit out here and waste my life away
Drag back home and drown my troubles away
It’s a damn shame what the world’s gotten to
For people like me and people like you
Wish I could just wake up and it not be true
But it is, oh, it is
Livin’ in the new world
With an old soul
These rich men north of Richmond
Lord knows they all just wanna have total control
Wanna know what you think, wanna know what you do
And they don’t think you know, but I know that you do
‘Cause your dollar ain’t sh-t and it’s taxed to no end
‘Cause of rich men north of Richmond
I wish politicians would look out for miners
And not just minors on an island somewhere
Lord, we got folks in the street, ain’t got nothin’ to eat
And the obese milkin’ welfare
Well, God, if you’re 5-foot-3 and you’re 300 pounds
Taxes ought not to pay for your bags of fudge rounds
Young men are puttin’ themselves six feet in the ground
‘Cause all this damn country does is keep on kickin’ them down
Lord, it’s a damn shame what the world’s gotten to
For people like me and people like you
Wish I could just wake up and it not be true
But it is, oh, it is
Livin’ in the new world
With an old soul
These rich men north of Richmond
Lord knows they all just wanna have total control
Wanna know what you think, wanna know what you do
And they don’t think you know, but I know that you do
‘Cause your dollar ain’t sh-t and it’s taxed to no end
‘Cause of rich men north of Richmond
I’ve been sellin’ my soul, workin’ all day
Overtime hours for bullshit pay
SHE WAS ARRESTED OUTSIDE S.F.’S MID-MARKET WHOLE FOODS A WEEK BEFORE IT CLOSED.
by Roland Li
A week before Whole Foods abruptly closed in San Francisco’s Mid-Market neighborhood, an employee flagged down a Tenderloin police patrol. It was April 5, and a woman had just robbed the store, the worker said.
Officers confronted the woman, Deidre Davis, who resisted arrest before she was detained and booked in jail, according to a police report. Two days later, District Attorney Brooke Jenkins’ office charged Davis with second-degree robbery, resisting arrest and use of a deadly weapon — a glass bottle.
The 25-year-old woman was accused of stealing a “single bottle of prosecco” from the grocery store, according to her attorney, Jack Lamar, a San Francisco deputy public defender. The Public Defender’s Office declined to make Davis available for an interview.
The case highlights the city’s complex public safety challenges and a legal system that officials and experts say must grapple with those stealing to survive, in contrast to organized criminals looking to profit.
Thefts were hardly unusual at the Whole Foods, which was a hotbed of retail crime after it opened in March 2022, according to shoppers and Supervisor Matt Dorsey. Davis’ arrest marked one of the final incidents before the grocery store at 1185 Market St. announced a temporary closure. Four months later, it remains closed.
Retail crime, exacerbated by mental illness and homelessness, has been a major challenge for downtown and Mid-Market merchants, according to business owners and landlords. Plunging foot traffic due to remote work and diminished tourism and high business operating costs are also major factors.
“I sincerely hope that her case is not being used to fuel a false and disturbing narrative that blames unhoused and mentally ill individuals for all the city’s woes,” Lamar said in a statement to the Chronicle. “The most vulnerable members of our community need treatment and compassion. Shoplifting is a crime of desperation and poverty. We are in Ms. Davis’ corner and will zealously defend her in court. Our office is also working to connect Ms. Davis with community-based services that can address her needs.”
Neither the Public Defender’s Office nor the District Attorney’s Office disclosed whether Davis was diagnosed with mental health conditions. It wasn’t clear whether she is homeless.
Police received hundreds of 911 calls regarding the store in the 13 months it was open, and shoppers told the Chronicle that they regularly saw people stealing food and alcohol during that time. A man fatally overdosed on fentanyl and methamphetamine in a store bathroom in September.
Whole Foods said in April that the closure was “to ensure the safety of our team members.” The Amazon-owned company did not respond to requests for comment on the Davis case, nor has it said when or whether the store will reopen.
It wasn’t Davis’ first time behind bars: She was out on bail on two other cases, and she wasn’t eligible for parole after being convicted last year for battery in a different case, according to the District Attorney’s Office. In 2017, she was convicted of assault.
Davis faces an ongoing case after being jailed for weeks and multiple court hearings over four months. She was recently referred to diversion by a state judge. The program is an alternative to prosecution and incarceration, meant to connect people to treatment providers.
On Thursday, she appeared in court but was found not suitable to be transferred to Drug Court. A suitability hearing was scheduled for Monday to potentially transfer her to Behavioral Health Court, which is meant to aid people with mental health issues.
District Attorney Jenkins told the Chronicle last month that her office takes into account a suspect’s background when seeking punishment or treatment.
“You have to make sure that there is some proper form of accountability. That depends on the type of offender, that it depends on their individualized situation. Some of our folks are struggling with addiction. That’s why they’re stealing to support their habit. We need to make sure that we are getting them into drug court. We are getting them treatment if they’re stealing, because this has become the mode to take care of themselves,” Jenkins said.
She said there was “stronger accountability” needed for “a repeat offender who continues to violate the law no matter what we do.”
Jenkins said an obstacle to the city’s prosecution of retail crime stems from Proposition 47, passed in 2014, which raised the value threshold for stolen goods to $950 for felony theft charges. Thefts of goods under $950 in value are typically classified as misdemeanors.
“Where we are struggling right now is to the extent that retail theft is a misdemeanor, so (if) under $950 is stolen, those misdemeanors are diversion eligible by statute. And so trying to ensure that we can even find a method of accountability for repeat offenders of misdemeanor petty theft is very difficult in the environment that we have right now,” Jenkins said. “That is a really tough space that we’re in right now.”
Charis Kubrin, a criminology professor at UC Irvine, said she was “sympathetic” to the district attorney’s challenges but believes the impact of Prop. 47 on retail crime has been overstated. Kubrin co-authored a 2018 study of Prop. 47 that suggested the measure had no effect on robbery or other violent crime trends statewide in the years after it was passed, though larceny and motor vehicle thefts increased moderately.
The $950 threshold is in line with other states, and before the change, people convicted of petty theft were being sent to state prison, contributing to overcrowding and a 2011 Supreme Court decision that ordered a reduction in inmate population, she noted.
As in Davis’ case, alleged theft of goods under the $950 threshold can result in felony robbery charges if the person uses violence or threats.
The district attorney’s charges say Davis stole “by means of force and fear” but didn’t specify her actions.
Many retail thieves are never caught. Those who are arrested are typically charged with misdemeanors, said Neil Hallinan, a defense attorney at Hallinan Law Firm who isn’t involved in the Davis case. “In my experience, retail theft rarely becomes a felony,” he said.
Under state law, petty theft misdemeanor charges have maximum fines of $1,000 and six months in jail. Felony robbery charges can lead up to $10,000 in fines and up to nine years in prison for first-degree robbery and five years in prison for second-degree robbery.
Hallinan is skeptical that harsher penalties would deter retail crime. He sees retail crime rooted in some of society’s deepest challenges: inequality, lack of job training and education, and cost burdens such as having children to feed.
“This is really a poverty issue,” he said.
Historically, San Francisco has seen high property crime, particularly thieves smashing car windows to steal bags and laptops. However, its violent crime rate is relatively low compared to other major U.S. jurisdictions.
Reported robberies dipped since 2020 but are up slightly in the past year, according to police data. Officers have previously said retail crime is underreported.
The Mid-Market area where Whole Foods opened has also struggled for decades with crime, homelessness and drug use. A void in office workers, government staff and tourists in the area and across the city has only exacerbated the challenges, Kubrin said.
“We have rising rates of homelessness, mental health challenges, poverty and inequality that are exacerbated in a place like San Francisco, and you have a pandemic that changed people’s routine activities,” Kubrin said. “When people move out of the city or don’t traverse this part, it creates opportunity.”
“Crime is a piece of the puzzle,” she said. “It is not the entire puzzle.”
ON-LINE COMMENT OF THE DAY
I’m reading a short history of Guatemala. It’s shocking, really the similarities between the US today and the Guatemala of the 19th and first half of the twentieth century. The landowners owned 70% of the country and controlled pretty much all of the country’s wealth. The indigenous Indian population was deliberately kept illiterate. This is exactly the same tactic as is being used in the US today. The population, while not completely illiterate in the literal sense, is very much illiterate in terms of being able to assimilate actual accurate, actionable knowledge about the real state of their world, their economy and their polity. This is made possible through the actions of the education system, the media and the government all working together to create a “fog” of misinformation. The indigenous Indian population was also kept in a perpetual state of economic serfdom through a calculated system of debt coupled with wages calculated to be too low to allow debt to ever be repaid; the proverbial “company store” system.
It is all very familiar to the neo feudal system being imposed on Americans today.
UKRAINE, MONDAY, 14 AUGUST
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky vows "completely fair retaliation" after deadly Russian shelling in the southern Kherson region Sunday. His remarks come as officials in Moscow report multiple Ukrainian shelling and drone attacks on Russian territory.
Russian missiles struck Odesa overnight, wounding at least three people, a Ukrainian official said early Monday. The southern port city has been relentlessly targeted by Moscow's forces.
Meanwhile, Ukraine called Russia's boarding of a cargo vessel in the Black Sea "an act of piracy," marking the latest flare-up over the sea's shipping lanes since a key grain deal collapsed last month.
And the Russian ruble hit a 17-month low against the dollar Monday, highlighting the growing squeeze on Russia’s economy from Western sanctions and a slump in export revenues.
AMID 'STAGGERING' UKRAINIAN TOLL AND SOURING US POLLS, BIDEN SEEKS BILLIONS MORE FOR WAR
by Aaron Mate
The Biden administration is asking Congress for an additional $24 billion for the Ukraine proxy war, more than half of it in military aid. The request comes one week after a CNN poll showed, for the first time, that a majority of Americans oppose additional funding to Kiev.
For a White House committed to ensuring a Russian “quagmire” in Ukraine, public opinion is of secondary importance. Two months into a widely hyped yet now faltering Ukrainian counteroffensive, a fresh influx of NATO weaponry appears necessary to prolong the war. In one of several gloomy assessments to appear in US establishment media, a senior western diplomat tells CNN that the prospect that Ukrainian forces can “make progress that would change the balance of this conflict” is “extremely, highly unlikely.” Ukraine’s “primary challenge” is breaking through Russia’s heavily fortified defensive lines, where “Ukrainian forces have incurred staggering losses.” According to Democratic Rep. Mike Quigley, US military assessments of the war are “sobering,” with Ukraine now facing “the most difficult time of the war.”
This picture, CNN’s Jim Sciutto observes, represents “a marked change from the optimism at the start of the counteroffensive,” with Western officials now acknowledging that “those expectations were ‘unrealistic.’” The battlefield reality is so dire that it is even “now contributing to pressure on Ukraine from some in the West to begin peace negotiations, including considering the possibility of territorial concessions.”
But as Biden’s new spending request suggests, there is no sign that the US is among those Western states applying pressure for peace. After all, the stated US aim, as top officials have made clear, is not to defend Ukraine and its long-term future but to instead “weaken” Russia (Lloyd Austin) and ensure “a strategic failure for Putin,” so that Russian can “pay a longer-term price in terms of the elements of its national power.” (Jake Sullivan)
Whereas CNN’s Western sources now allow themselves to admit that their publicly voiced “optimism at the start of the counteroffensive,” was “unrealistic”, it was in fact, dishonest. As Pentagon leaks and subsequent disclosures have confirmed, US officials were well aware that Ukraine was not prepared to take on Russia’s heavily fortified defenses, but kept that assessment under wraps. Accordingly, while Ukraine’s battlefield losses are indeed “staggering”, what is perhaps most “sobering” is the fact that the Biden administration both anticipated and encouraged them.
But just like souring US public opinion, Ukrainian casualties are also a secondary concern, as the Biden administration’s more candid neoconservative proxy war partners continue to make clear.
To push through the new spending package , the White House is “counting on help from Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the Republican minority leader,” the New York Times reports. At a public event, McConnell detailed his rationale: The US, he explained, hasn’t “lost a single American in this war,” – not accurate if one counts mercenaries and private citizens, but correct in its implicit recognition that Ukraine has lost tens of thousands of lives on its American sponsors’ behalf. According to McConnell, there are additional benefits of the war that do not extend to ordinary Ukrainians: “Most of the money that we spend related to Ukraine is actually spent in the US, replenishing weapons, more modern weapons. So it’s actually employing people here and improving our own military for what may lie ahead.”
Therefore, according to prevailing Biden-McConnell policy, the US must continue to fund a war that will sacrifice many more Ukrainian lives, all so that domestic war profiteers can reap taxpayer largesse for “replenishing weapons”, and so that the US – not having its soldiers die in Ukraine – can use the opportunity for “improving our own military” for a war that it might actually fight.
Although US officials have reportedly “expressed frustration” at Ukraine’s efforts to minimize military casualties, the Zelensky government does appear to be a willing partner in McConnell’s sacrifice ritual. Ukrainian defence minister Oleksiy Reznikov is said to have told US officials that flooding Ukraine with weapons allows NATO allies to “actually see if their weapons work, how efficiently they work and if they need to be upgraded. For the military industry of the world, you can’t invent a better testing ground.”
For the benefit of weakening Russia, enriching US military contractors and serving as a NATO “testing ground,” Ukrainian lives are not the only staggering sacrifice. According to the Wall Street Journal, “20,000 and 50,000 Ukrainians who have lost one or more limbs since the start of the war,” a scale unseen for a Western military since the First World War, and a potential undercount “because it takes time to register patients after they undergo” surgery.
According to veteran State Department bureaucrat Aaron David Miller, the Biden administration has no other choice but to continue sacrificing Ukrainians. The US, he explained, “is in an investment trap in Ukraine with no clear way out. Chances of a military breakthrough or a diplomatic solution are slim to none; and slim may have already left town. We're in deep and lack the ability to do much more than react to events.” The key term here is “investment trap”: having invested in a proxy war aimed at bleeding Russia, the US is therefore obliged to continue it.
But if the US were driven by other concerns – such as Ukrainian well-being – it could consider supporting the diplomatic opportunities that it has blocked to date. Prior to Russia’s invasion, the Biden administration encouraged the Ukrainian government to crack down on political opponents; further integrate its military into NATO; avoid implementing the Minsk accords for ending its post-2014 civil war; and assault the Russian-allied Donbas. When Russia submitted detailed proposals in December 2021 to address its concerns, the White House effectively balked. And after Russia’s invasion, the US blocked a tentative peace deal that would have seen Russia withdrew to its pre-February 2022 lines. More recently, the US has pushed Ukraine into a counteroffensive that it knew had no chance, and rejected a Ukrainian NATO bid that it had long encouraged for the apparent purpose of baiting Moscow.
In short, the Biden administration has provoked this war and is now seeking a new influx of taxpayer money to prolong it. Even the latter goal is now openly admitted. At last month’s NATO summit in Lithuania, the New York Times reported, “several American and European officials acknowledged” that their “commitments” to Ukraine “make it all the more difficult to begin any real cease-fire or armistice negotiations.” Additionally, US-led “promises of Ukraine’s eventual accession to NATO — after the war is over —create a strong incentive for Moscow to hang onto any Ukrainian territory it can and to keep the conflict alive.”
So long as keeping the conflict alive comes predominantly at the cost of Ukrainian lives, then Washington’s bipartisan proxy warriors clearly have no qualms about forcing a war-weary public to foot the bill.
IN THE FIRST RULING of its kind nationwide, a Montana state court decided Monday in favor of the young people who alleged the state violated their right to a “clean and healthful environment” by promoting the use of fossil fuels. The win, experts say, could reshape climate litigation across the country and beyond. “People around the world are watching this case,” said one legal expert.
by James Kunstler
“It’s Not Left Vs Right Anymore, it’s Anti-Establishment Versus Pro-Establishment.” — Glenn Greenwald
Karma is God’s hickory switch, and almost always applied with a cosmic chortle. Things come around when a certain excess cargo of cognitive dissonance breaks the brains of those just struggling to carry on. The country has had enough — enough walking-talking hypocrisies, enough trips laid on it, enough Tik-tok lectures from the nose-rings-for-lunch-bunch. We’re at the end of something and the beginning of something new. As in: an ass-beating is coming down.
Cue one Oliver Anthony, southern country boy with a flaming red beard and a new anthem for millions sore-beset by the relentless effronteries of the ruling elites. Rolling Stone Magazine, a ruling elites house organ, played the phenomenon this way:
These things listed above are…what? Things that Rolling Stone is in favor of? Pet causes? High taxes and obese people on welfare? And Mr. Anthony’s song is dissing them? You mean Right-Wing influencers shouldn’t mention Jeffrey Epstein’s name? Is it just plain rude… or does it stir up unappetizing questions that are better off not being asked (in polite company)? Kind of shows you where the battle lines are drawn now, doesn’t it?
Perhaps the final insult galvanizing all this sentiment in a song was Merrick Garland’s devious Friday afternoon announcement — when, theoretically, no one was paying attention — that he appointed US Attorney David Weiss as Special Counsel in the Hunter Biden matter. This is the same David Weiss, you understand, who oversaw the Hunter Biden investigation for the past five years before ascertaining anything that might be chargeable from a vast inventory of financial crimes with an overlay of documented sex and drug transgressions. The same David Weiss who let the statute of limitations run out on many of those crimes while he dawdled and frittered in Wilmington. The same David Weiss who cooked up a wrist-slap plea agreement on all this, with a hidden Get-Out-Of-Jail-Free clause inserted slyly in the fine print of the so-called “diversion agreement” that would have immunized Hunter B against any further inquiries — which Judge Maryellen Noreika discovered only by chance at the last moment, scotching the deal. (And yet, the government now claims that the diversion agreement — and Hunter B’s immunity from further charges — “stands alone,” is “in effect” and “still binding.” Hmmmm….)
This sort of in-your-face audacity sums up Mr. Garland’s reckless, lawless run as a rogue attorney general. But then who do you appeal to for relief? Anybody wondering why there is actually no justice in America these days need seek no further. By the way, the appointment of Mr. Weiss was patently illegal. The Special Counsel statute states plainly that the post can only be occupied by someone not in the employ of the government. Does Mr. Garland not know how this works?
What the AG also flung in America’s face was the “ongoing investigation” dodge that supposedly would allow the DOJ to avoid answering any congressional inquiries into Hunter Biden’s tangled financial crimes, which, after all, were committed in the service of the Biden family global racketeering operation. Has a cover-up ever been more blatant? And so now the time has come to impeach Merrick Garland for breaking the special counsel law and obstruction of justice. It’s pretty cut and dried, and it should be the first order of business when Congress returns from its August recess making the rounds of the county fairs. The second order of business should be the impeachment of “Joe Biden,” if he hasn’t resigned before Labor Day.