Hot | Coast Range | Lightning Fires | Toxic Algae | Petroglyphs | Dehydration Day | Cheer Camp | Tyler Missing | Supe Contradictions | Cash Receipts | Cousins | Boonquiz | Ed Notes | Irrepressable | Doohan Appointed | Being Ejected | Chorale Class | Goodlife Baristas | Driving Class | Cannabis Workshop | Music Day | Climate Corner | Westport Rock | DMV Hell | Accessory Dwellings | Old Garberville | Healing Touch | Marie DeSantis | Yesterday's Catch | Try This | Ouija Mat | Mob Movie | Schumann Theater | Death Trap | Equal Share | Maui Investigation | Beat Up | Blind Side | Dog Conspiracies | Forty Verses | True State | Two Hobbies | Cell Sickness | Ukraine | Army Men | Exit Strategy | Bad Math
HOT WEATHER will persist throughout the area today with scattered thunderstorms persisting in the northern half of the area. Cooler and calmer weather will gradually build into the weekend. (NWS)
STEPHEN DUNLAP (Fort Bragg): A foggy 54F this Wednesday morning on the coast. I expect clearing & a mix of clouds today. We have a 20% chance of a shower tonight & tomorrow morning, then same again Thursday night & Friday night as the tropical flow continues.
YESTERDAY'S HIGHS: Ukiah 108°, Yorkville 106°, Laytonville 105°, Boonville 104°, Covelo 103°, Fort Bragg 66°, Point Arena 62°
LIGHTNING SPARKS SEVERAL FIRES IN THE MENDOCINO NATIONAL FOREST
Fire personnel on the Mendocino National Forest are responding to lightning fire starts after thunderstorms passed through yesterday. On the Grindstone Ranger District two fire starts called Slide 1 and Slide 2 occurred near Slides Ridge, approximately 1.5 miles north of Mt. Linn in the Yolla Bolly Middle Eel Wilderness. The two incidents merged, and the incident is now being called the Slide 1 Fire.
The Slide 1 Fire is at 60 acres, according to the latest report from fire personnel. The fire is burning in timber and brush and has potential for moderate to high rate of spread in rugged, steep terrain. The fire is within the 2020 August Complex footprint. Fire managers are using a full suppression strategy.
Current resources assigned to the Slide 1 Fire for initial attack include seven smokejumpers, one air attack, one air tanker, three engines and two type-2 on-call crews. The air tanker has dropped retardant.
Resources to support initial attack are en route including three engines and a task force engine. Fire managers have also ordered additional resources for tomorrow, including six type-1 or type-2 initial attack crews, four falling crews, two type-2 helicopters, one air attack and two air tankers.
Also today firefighters on the Covelo Ranger District responded to a lighting start called the Hole Fire, which is located near the Hell Hole Creek. The Hole Fire is contained and in patrol status at .1 acres.
A red flag warning is in effect through 10 p.m. tonight given the increased potential for lightning on dry fuels. The forecast shows periodic thunderstorms throughout the week.
More information on the Slide 1 Fire will be provided in the morning or as it becomes available.
POST ON TODAY’S VALLEY FACEBOOK PAGE: “People of Anderson Valley: There's toxic algae in the water at Hendy Woods.”
SPY ROCK PETROGLYPHS (photos by Robert Vargas)
FUNNY THINGS HAPPENED ON THE WAY TO THE HOSPITAL
Kirk Vodopals: I went to the emergency room yesterday. I started out the morning vomiting at 4 am followed by regular diarrhea all day.
My body was aching so much that I couldn't sit still. My family had left the house and by 1:30 I felt like I had trouble breathing. I first suspected that I had a bad reaction to the coconut milk ice cream (homemade) that I had last night. That suspicion waned as the day went on.
I started to get worried so I called a gentleman I love and respect dearly. I told him my synopsis and said I was having trouble breathing and that I might need a ride to the hospital. He asked if I could hold on because he was waiting for a package.
I then called my good friend and neighbor and he came over promptly and assisted as I called 911. Just as I hung up with 911 I saw a call come in that said Restricted on the caller ID. I assumed it was emergency personnel and answered. It turned out to be another neighbor of mine. He asked how I was doing. I said bad and that I was probably going to the hospital. He expressed his condolences and asked if I could recommend a good plumber. I handed the phone to my neighbor who was assisting me.
The wonderful emergency personnel arrived quickly. Many thanks to Chief Avila and the wonderful EMT who remembered that I briefly volunteered years ago for the department. I was then loaded into the ambulance.
I went bumbling down the road being cared for by another wonderful paramedic. Then I saw my wife trailing in her car. I started to get choked up about my kids and family. I then saw a line of cars piling up behind the ambulance (our pace was not exactly rapid) and the driver pulled over at Floodgate.
He came around back and opened the doors to tell the paramedic that my wife called and that I probably had an allergic reaction to the coconut ice cream. We proceeded on. I re-thought my need for the ambulance.
All my vitals were decent, so I elected to be dropped off in Boonville and get a ride over the hill with my wife.
Made it to Adventist ER in Ukiah. It was a relatively short wait. Adventist staff were wonderful. They said it was probably dehydration from working in the sun all day on Sunday plus possibly a rotovirus that's been going around.
Exited the ER after a couple of hours. Wife went to Costco as I sat in the car. Made it home to hug the kids and say thank you to my wonderful mother-in-law for watching the kiddos in my time of need.
As I walked the dogs this evening I thought life is precious and hilarious. I then told myself not to drink out of the public water trough as I typically do on my evening walks.
Take care everyone.
AV CHEER SQUAD GOES TO CAMP
WILLITS MAN MISSING FOR NEARLY TWO WEEKS After Being Released From Regional Hospital
by Matt LaFever
38-year-old Willits resident Raymond Tyler was released from Shasta Regional Medical Center in Redding on August 3, 2023. Despite arrangements for transportation back to Mendocino County, family, and law enforcement are concerned for his well-being after being unable to make contact with him or confirm he made it back to his Willits home.
Colene Brown, Tyler’s sister, told us she grew up with her brother in Willits and lived there until she moved to Kentucky.
She said Tyler was hospitalized due to psychiatric issues. “This is the first he’s had a break from reality like this.” In the days since his release in Redding, his location and condition have remained unknown. “I’m trying to spearhead the search for him but it’s difficult to do from 2000 miles away.”
From Brown’s understanding, “the last confirmed sighting of her brother was someone reporting they “gave him a ride north of Willits on Oil Well Hill on August 5th.”
Willits Police Officer John Gale is heading the investigation into Raymond Tyler’s whereabouts. He told us that Redwood Community Services had arranged Tyler’s transportation from Redding back home to Willits, but despite his attempts to confirm the transportation had been provided, RCS has yet to provide information to his inquiry.
Officer Gale said he has spoken with three individuals who reported seeing Tyler in the Willits area between August 3 and August 10. One woman told Officer Gale she saw Tyler near his Willits residence located by the intersection of South Main Street and Monica Lane.
These reports have led law enforcement to believe he is likely in Willits, but he remains missing based on the fact both his family and law enforcement have not substantiated his location nor made direct contact.
Fundamentally, his sister Colene Brown wants to know her brother is safe. She said, “He may be very sick” and asks the public to keep their eyes out for Tyler.
Raymond Tyler is 38 years old, stands 5′ 7″, and weighs approximately 150 pounds. His hair is reddish-blond, his eyes are blue and he has freckles. Brown says her brother has a scar on his chest as a result of open heart surgery, a noticeable scar under his right eye, and asthma. He is known to carry a backpack.
Officer Gale asks that if anyone has information about Raymond Tyler’s whereabouts to contact Willits Police Department immediately at (707)459-6122 so officers can make contact and verify Tyler is safe and in good health.
BURIED DEEP in Monica Huettl’s recent report in MendoFever on the August Redwood Valley Municipal Advisory Council is the following statement which the very reliable Ms. Huettl says came from Supervisor McGourty’s “notes” that he submitted to the advisory council because he couldn’t attend the meeting.
“McGourty is working with Supervisor Ted Williams to develop a plan for the County Finance Department, which would be headed by a hired, rather than elected, manager.”
First, at their last meeting almost a month ago now, McGourty and Williams agreed with the rest of the Board that “staff” was supposed to work on this “plan,” not them.
Second, the Board explicitly made no decision on how it would be “headed,” because, among other reasons, that would be up to the voters, not the Board.
And third, McGourty said that he and Williams hadn’t had time to do what their budget ad hoc committee had been tasked with, i.e., give specific instructions to the Auditor on what financial reports they want because, McGourty said, they hadn’t had time previously as they were busy working this year’s budget in June (which wasn’t true — they had plenty of time).
Yet, here they are (apparently) finding time to do the opposite of what the Board decided (the Board directed staff to do it) while wasting their precious four-week “summer recess” ignoring what they were tasked to do.
Basically, Supervisor McGourty managed to contradict board direction and himself at least three times in just one sentence!
McGourty and Williams get away with this nonsense because very few people follow this stuff closely enough to notice.
SUPERVISOR WILLIAMS: Mendocino County "unincorporated area’s cash receipts from January through March were 5.6% below the first sales period in 2022… Net of adjustments, taxable sales for all of Mendocino County declined 9.6% over the comparable time period." (HDL)
BOONVILLE QUIZ THURSDAY NIGHT
Yes, the third Thursday is almost upon us and that means The General Knowledge and Trivia Quiz will take place at Laurens at The Buckhorn in downtown Boomsville on Thursday, August 17th beginning at 7pm. Good grub, refreshing drinks, and fun banter with assorted “brainiacs” and self-described “rocket scientists” — sounds like a good plan! Hope to see you there. Cheers,
Steve Sparks, Quizmaster
SPARE YOURSELF the discomfort of stuffing yourself into a sweatbox of a too-small wing of the Fort Bragg Library next week by reading my notes in preparation for debating the Name Change Fort Bragg.
ER, strike that. I meant to say that in preparation for next Tuesday night's high school-formatted argument with some new guy in town who wants to change Fort Bragg's name to Look At Us We're Not Racists-ville, I offer these arguments against a name change.
1. America was founded on the backs of slaves and the repeat slaughters of Native Americans. But America not only survived its unpromising founding but has since prospered as a thriving multi-ethnic society whose race relations have become steadily more harmonious over the past 70 years. Where there were virtually none in 1950, there are now literal millions of loyal, affectionate inter-racial relationships, proof of which is the fully integrated town of any size in today's America, including Fort Bragg, and please explain how a Black man was twice elected president of the United State if America is a racist country, and explain how Fort Bragg voted for that Black man twice, 60-40 (roughly.)
2. The Name Changers make it seem that Black slaves and Native Americans were acted upon, never acted to resist, only a pathetic mass of resignation. Fact: there were constant slave insurrections, and Native Americans took at least 400 years to subdue. Right here in Mendocino County, where Indians didn't have guns and horses, resistance began with the first appearances of white settlers and their syphilitic white cohort of criminals and didn't end until the first years of the 20th century. Resistance to white incursions was constant among Northcoast tribes, so fiercely resistant that the U.S. Army maintained a presence at Fort Seward in Southern Humboldt until the very end of the 19th century.
3. Braxton Bragg, after whom Fort Bragg was named by an ass-kissing Army subordinate of his, was a product of his time and place. He was a slaveholder and plantation proprietor but only half a villain until he joined the Confederate rebellion and also became a traitor, thus achieving full villain status.
4. Bragg, you say, is honorably memorialized because Fort Bragg is named after him. Has Fort Bragg ever honored Bragg other than that one tiny faded plate announcing the town's 1850 founding attached to the big rock on Main Street? Nope, never. The rock is it. Is George Washington, slave holder, honored anywhere in the USofA? Everywhere, so why not start name changing with the biggest name of all, Washington D.C, rather than Fort Bragg, a little town in rural Northern California that happened, almost accidentally, to be named after an obscure Confederate general whose incompetence got him cashiered by the South, and whose tactical blunders helped the North defeat the South in our first Civil War? (A second Civil War seems to be coming right up.)
5. Wrong history is suggested by the Name Changers as they imply that the Army was complicit in murders of Indians. In fact, the Army, in the form of an initial Fort Bragg platoon of twenty soldiers — your basic token presence and not, as the name changers have it, an occupying force — was dispatched to Fort Bragg simply to mark the reality of a new American frontier settlement. As a matter of historical fact, the Army, as directed, subsequently tried to protect Indians, especially the women, from the invasion of std-bearing scumbags, and then, unhappily, the Army was ordered to remove Indians from the failed Mendocino rez to what was thought to be the more secure, sustaining reservation in Covelo. The Army's function was benign, protective. The most spectacular atrocities against Mendocino County's Native Americans, and these murderous onslaughts were probably the worst in all of the early United States, occurred inland throughout the Eel River Basin where the State of California paid for a genocidal attack on all the Native Americans who could be found. That state-funded assault, supplemented by hundreds of murders committed by freelance killers, went on for an entire year. (The freelancers were at it until at least the 1880's.) The Army did not participate in either the funded genocide or the freelance murders but were too few and too ineffective to stop the freelancers, chief among them The King of Round Valley, as George White was described by the national press of the time.
5. The mere talk of a name change, let alone a tax-exempt one, is an insult to the collective memory of many generations of Fort Bragg people who have grown up here, gone to school here, married here, struggled and thrived here who rightly love their town and are justly proud of it. Viva Fort Bragg!
LAKE COUNTY'S NEW PUBLIC HEALTH OFFICER
By a unanimous vote of the Lake County Board of Supervisors this afternoon, Dr. Noemi Doohan was appointed to the position of Lake County Public Health Officer during closed session and, in the subsequent open session, the proposed contract for Dr. Doohan’s services was approved by unanimous vote of the Board.
The cost of Dr. Doohan’s annual salary (well above the salary displayed in the official job description), benefits, and severance package will come out of the Public Health Services department budget, but the PHO reports directly to the Board of Supervisors, in compliance with the County’s published job description:
https://www.governmentjobs.com/careers/lakecountyca/classspecs/913903?keywords=Public Health Officer&pagetype=classSpecifications
The public will now have the task of observing Dr. Doohan’s delivery of services, in line with the official job description. The address listed for Dr. Doohan in the proposed contract is Solvang, California, although — as reported in the Anderson Valley Advertiser on March 18, 2021 — Dr. Doohan owns property in the Ukiah valley in Mendocino County.
Specific Public Health Officer responsibilities are described as follows:
Develops and maintains awareness of ordinances, laws, rules, and regulations related to public health issues.
Assesses and reports on the health status of the community, using accepted epidemiological methods.
Acts as a medical consultant to the Board of Supervisors and the Health Services Department, helping to set priorities and establish policies on health-related matters.
Provides leadership in public health matters for the community, assessing health risks and communicating those risks responsibly and effectively to the community.
Ensures the effectiveness of mandated health protection functions of County government, including services related to communicable disease control, maternal and child health, emergency services and disaster preparedness, sudden infant death, family planning, environmental health, vital statistics registrar for births and deaths, public health nursing, nutrition, and chronic diseases.
Ensures a working relationship with a public health laboratory for services.
Provides public health and medical expertise, a community perspective, leadership, and facilitation to public agencies and community-based organizations that impact public health and public policy.
Develops and maintains an effective working relationship with the Health Services Director in support of service delivery.
Advises the Health Services Director on management and administrative issues, both directly and as a member of the department’s management team.
Works in partnership with the Health Services Director regarding the development of the department’s budget.
Effectively sets and follows a budget, particularly in relation to determining priorities and resource allocations for public health programs.
Advises the California Department of Public Health via the California Conference of Local Health Officers on the development of public health-related standards, rules, and regulations, as required by statute.
Provides for the clinical supervision of mid-level practitioners, public health nursing staff, and vital statistic support staff via medical and public health protocol development.
May be assigned to serve as the Health Services Director in his/her absence.
Performs related duties as assigned.
Plan, organize, manage, and administer Public Health programs and services.
Select and supervise staff, provide training and development opportunities, ensure work is performed effectively, and evaluate performance in an objective and positive manner.
Develop, organize, analyze, and interpret statistical data.
Assist with the development and administration of budget and control expenditures.
Develop and maintain effective public relations with clients, staff, community groups, and other government organizations.
Develop, maintain, and prepare public health statistics, records, and required reports.
Communicate clearly and concisely, both orally and in writing.
Effectively represent the Public Health Department in contacts with the public, community organizations, and other government agencies.
Convert complex and technical medical terminology and concepts into easily understood written documents and forms that are accessible and useful for both professional staff and laypersons.
Develop and maintain cooperative relationships with community organizations, other County departments, and other government agencies to accomplish goals through others.
Regularly work well under pressure, meeting critical deadlines.
Utilize a computer, relevant software applications, and/or other equipment as assigned to perform a variety of work tasks.
Establish, maintain, and foster positive and effective working relationships with those contacted in the course of work.
INFORMATION ABOUT MENDOCINO COLLEGE CLASSES offered in Boonville this fall (please note the Adult School is not involved in offering this class, but helping spread the word):
Chorale for Older Adults (MC class MUS 580-0733) Information about the class:
1. This is a non-credit course and will cost $12 for the entire semester.
2. The class will run on Thursdays from 4- 6:50 p.m. from August 22nd to December 14th, 2023
3. Location: Anderson Valley Elementary School campus, room 24
Information from the teacher about the course and teacher bio:
Chorale for Older Adults is a place to sing together! Studies have shown that everything about singing in a choir makes you healthier and happier. We will choose repertoire that fits our group, learn to sing it together and hopefully have a "sharing" of some sort at the end of the semester. There is no pressure with this group. You do not need to audition, or know how to read music, or have ever performed in a choir before. You must come only with an open mind and open heart.
Teacher bio: Trained at Westminster Choir College, which led to solos at Carnegie Hall and with the Metropolitan Opera in New York, Jenni Windsor taught music at the Friends Academy on Long Island, the laboratory school for the Bank Street College of Education in Manhattan and Julliard before earning her Masters degree from the Conservatory of Music at University of the Pacific. Lured to the North Coast by family, she was a featured soloist with the Redwood Community Choir before becoming its Director. She has performed featured roles in The Secret Marriage and The Medium with the Mendocino Chamber Opera and was choirmaster for the Mendocino Music Festival’s production of Carmen. With Gloriana Musical Theater she has been the vocal director of The Wonderful Golden Goose, The Aristocats, Alice In Wonderland, Gloriana’s Broadway, musical director of Next to Normal, director “Rent”, and the director of The Sound of Music. Jenni is the director of Gloriana Studios, which opened recently in the Boatyard Shopping Center. She has directed many musicals along the way including Little Women, Just Another High School Musical, Grease, Footloose: The Musical, Legally Blonde: The Musical, and Into the Woods. In her spare time she teaches music theory, music history and community choir classes for Mendocino College. Her newest project has been to work on Woody Guthrie’s American Songbook in collaboration with MTC.
How to register for these classes:
If you have never taken a Mendocino College class before, you will need to apply to the college. If you are a returning student you will need your Mendocino College student ID number. Some people have found it tricky to apply on the college's website. Whether a returning student or a new one, you are welcome to call Tammy Carlson to register by phone at 707-459-6224. You can pay Tammy by phone with a credit card or mail a check made out Mendocino College and mail it to Mendocino College-North County Center, 372 E. Commercial St., Willits, 95490. Payment can also be made at the Ukiah campus.
GOOD LIFE CAFÉ & BAKERY, Mendocino
Look at these awesome goodlifers, Focusing, multitasking, working together, bringing Mendocino and all our visitors from afar yummy coffee and tasty eats. We love what we do, we love our grateful customers and our amazing community, and we’re proud to offer our village a heartbeat and hub that they can depend on. While we love doing it consistently, 7 days a week, and are hoping to expand our offerings into dinner in the coming year, at the moment, with several of our staff leaving for colleges and many of our own kids going back to school, we’re going to have to change our hours a bit, The plan is to close at 2 pm instead of 3 and still stay open 7 days a week as you’ve come to expect and count on. Please know we’re doing what we have to to remain viable and keep ourselves and our lives manageable and enjoyable. Since we’d like to be here for you for years to come, we need to make it work for us too, and this is a plan designed to accomplish that. We’re sorry to disappoint any of you by closing earlier but please know that we are doing what we need to right now. It’s been quite a summer and last few years, and we hope for more great seasons to come. We love you Mendocino and we look forward to seeing you soon. And we’ll be serving our infamous pancakes til we close at 2, as long as supplies allow!
AGE WELL, DRIVE SMART
Senior Driver Education Class
Take part in the California Highway Patrol’s (CHP) Age Well, Drive Smart senior driver education class. Age Well, Drive Smart was developed to assist senior drivers, 65 years of age and older, to continue to drive safely. This is a FREE class is taught by a CHP Officer and co-taught by a CHP Senior Volunteer. The curriculum addresses such topics as aging and its effects on safe driving, maintaining good physical health, self- assessment, and more. Completion of course may even help you save on your car insurance. The class will be held from 1-3 pm (just after lunch) on September 5th at Anderson Valley Senior Center. No registration requited. Call AVSC at 707-895-3609 or CHP at 707-467-4420 with any questions.
Renée Lee, Executive Director, Anderson Valley Senior Center
BETTER YEARS LATE THAN NEVER, RIGHT?
Cannabis Ordinance Streamline Workshop
Tuesday August 22, 2023, 1:00pm –5:00pm
We invite members of the community to participate in our Cannabis Ordinance Streamlining Workshop.
Please join us in-person or on Zoom via the below link to discuss possible revisions to Mendocino County Cannabis Cultivation Ordinance 10A.17.
In-Person Location: Agriculture/University of California Cooperative Extension Large Conference Room, 890 N. Bush Street, Ukiah CA 95482
Zoom Meeting: https://mendocinocounty.zoom.us/j/88583077738?pwd=dHJ5UVBCZ0grVGlIK0tZV2tBOUhCZz09
Meeting ID: 885 8307 7738
PUBLIC LIBRARIES DEBUT CLIMATE CORNERS
Learning niches include a Toolkit for Free Home Energy Upgrades
by Suzanne Pletcher
The Willits branch of the Mendocino County Library opened a Climate Corner amongst its bookshelves on July 31 that is dedicated to helping patrons learn about climate change and take action.
The niche is stocked with a curated collection of books for all ages about climate change, a continuous-loop inspirational video featuring county businesses that use 100% renewable electricity, a do-it-yourself toolbox stocked with energy-efficiency tools and free supplies, and recycling how-to pamphlets. “This is a topic that is very close to our hearts,” said Denise Jessie, library branch supervisor. ”People in Willits care.”
In 2021, Jessie explained, the Willits library’s theme was “Obtainable Sustainable,” so the Climate Corner, sponsored by the county’s public power utility, Sonoma Clean Power, provides an extension of that educational effort.
Both Jessie and library technician Will Minor flagged their Climate Corner’s DIY Toolkit stocked with energy-saving tools and free products. It is available for checkout, just like a book. “It’s very popular,” said Minor.
The toolbox has a thermometer, voltage meter and air leak sensor plus tools to fix water leaks. The tools come back with the box, Jessie said, “but there are items in there that you get to keep.” She listed free insulation for electric sockets, high-quality LED lightbulbs and low-flow showerheads, rolls of weatherstripping, faucet aerators and instructions. Whatever products are used are replenished by librarians when the toolkits are returned.
“Many of us want to be sure that we aren’t wasting water and that we aren’t wasting electricity, so this is a very handy toolkit,” said Jessie.
The subtitled video at the Willits library Climate Corner uses the gorgeous scenery of Mendocino County and local business testimonials to promote Sonoma Clean Power’s EverGreen service, 100% renewable electricity generated by local solar and geothermal energy that the County of Mendocino upgraded their eligible facilities to in January, 2022. The upgrade to EverGreen, which included each branch of the library, was the first action taken after the county’s board of supervisors unanimously adopted a Net Zero Carbon Resolution.
Since the upgrade, the County of Mendocino has reduced its carbon footprint by more than 75,000 pounds of CO2, equivalent to not consuming almost 4,000 gallons of gasoline, according to an EPA emissions calculator.
“As a follow-up to the significant action of adopting the resolution, the County and Sonoma Clean Power explored ways to inspire the public to take their own actions to reduce their carbon footprint,” said Mendocino County 3 rd District Supervisor John Haschak, who represents Willits. ”That climate change awareness campaign became Climate Corners. They provide inspiration and lots of ideas, and the toolkits are a great way to take action in your own home.”
A second Climate Corner is slated to open at the Covelo branch library in August, with others staggered to open later this year. Sonoma Clean Power provided a grant to cover the library’s cost of adding more than 30 new titles to their existing collection of climate-related books. DIY Toolkits already are available for checkout at each branch library.
OMG THE DMV
Dear AVA Editor,
Being a dutiful citizen I had to go to the DMV for a glitch saying I had no insurance. In fact it was the vin was the same, the License plate numbers-letters had changed. Anyway this female told me as a boss I had to go on line to clear this up. My registration information was locked up. Sigh. So I called this 1(800)777-1333 and this automated voice male AI gave me nothing but grief, then after (IT) the AI said it’s spinning its wheels, gave me a call back. Finally results! A real person says to email the old insurance policy and the new one to Vipdmv.ca.gov right away. My best bro who has a computer said this is not a (valid) email address. So, since I never drove away from the DMV parking lot I walked back in and said it’s not helping and said why. A smirky lady said sweetie just use the last (5) numbers of the liscence plate as a pin, no dice, then with my gut in knots still waiting for a second call back I overheard the other lady tell another customer it’s the last (5) of the vin (no dice) after almost 4.5 hours of this not being resolved I get this man on my call back (Fred) who upon hearing my crisis transfers me to his supervisor who fills out the correct page to the VIP staff office. Now I’m on hold for 24 hours to get a confirmation number. I hope your Monday was better.
AND A CABIN OUT BACK FOR GRAN
Public Hearing on Proposed ADU Ordinance
Point Arena City Council To Conduct Public Hearing On New Accessory Dwelling Unit Regulations
The Point Arena City Council will conduct a public hearing at its regular monthly meeting on Tuesday, August 22nd at 6:00 PM. The public hearing — which will be held both in-person and via Zoom — will provide an opportunity for members of the public to comment on the draft Local Coastal Program (LCP) amendment that, if adopted, will update the City’s regulations for Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs). At the meeting, the City Council will consider introduction of an ordinance amending the City’s Zoning Code to comply with recent State legislation relating to ADUs and to establish an administrative approval process for ADUs.
Final actions on the LCP amendment for ADUs are slated for the September 26th City Council meeting when the Council will consider adoption of the ADU ordinance, adoption of amendments to the City’s General Plan to address ADUs, and direction to staff to submit an LCP amendment application to the California Coastal Commission for certification.
The City of Point Arena is committed to addressing the pressing need for affordable and accessible housing within the city. Community members are encouraged to attend the public hearing and let their viewpoints be heard!
Point Arena City Council Public Hearing on ADUs
Tuesday, August 22nd at 6:00 PM
Point Arena City Hall & via Zoom
451 School Street
Point Arena, CA 95468
More information, including links to the new proposed ordinance can be found on the City of Point Arena website at: pointarena.ca.gov/housing
AUTUMN GOES DEEP!
Offering Deep Tissue, Restorative, Healing Touch Massage Clinic. This is a great way to see what I do at a discounted price. Offered at my sweet studio in Albion, just before Middle Ridge (directions upon booking). 50 Minutes Sessions for $60. Check the time slots below for availability and contact me privately at firstname.lastname@example.org
Sunday, 8/20 Timeslots: 9am-9:50, 10am-10:50, 11am-11:50, 1pm-1:50, 2pm-2:50, 3pm-3:50, 4pm-4:50
MARIE DE SANTIS
Dobie Dolphin Writes:
Bruce Anderson's article about Marie De Santis brought back memories. Someone gave me her book, ‘Neptune's Apprentice,’ when I started fishing back in the 80's. I loved her stories, sense of humor, and her toughness in the world of commercial fishing, which wasn't always welcoming to women. But times have changed and now we have the formidable, well respected women on the F/V Princess and Anna Neuman, the go-getter harbormaster in Noyo.
Years later, I met Marie, when she was working for the Women's Justice Center. She was truly dedicated to helping women, who instead of being treated as victims of rape and domestic violence were often shrugged off with a "she asked for it" attitude.
Here's her obituary from The Mendocino Voice:
Obituary: Remembering Marie DeSantis, the “Bad Ass Angel”
Marie Cecile DeSantis, born March 24, 1945, passed away from a prolonged illness on Thursday June 20, 2019. She is survived by brother Martin DeSantis, and brother Daniel DeSantis and sister-in-law, JoJo DeSantis. She leaves behind countless friends and colleagues all over California, the states and the world.
Marie was passionate and she was powerful. She once described herself as a “living legend”, and left behind an enormous legacy of work. She is the author of four books, “Molly, The Longline Fisher, “Neptune’s Apprentice “, “California Currents”, and “Starfish Detectives”. Her written works reflect her years as one of the first women to fish commercially, chasing the fish from Columbia to Alaska. Affectionately known as “The Captain”, she never lost her love and respect for the Pacific Ocean, continuing to fish here in Anchor Bay, sharing her boat and her knowledge with friends. She performed environmental testing work locally and is well known to the older fishing community as a champion for the rights of fisherman, demanding fair pay and many regulations on fishing safety.
Subsequent to fishing commercially, Marie became a major figure in the fight for womens’ rights as the Director of The Women’s Justice Center in Santa Rosa. From the 1990’s until recently, she focused on helping women and girls who were victims of rape, domestic violence and child abuse; this service was provided free of charge. The organization was involved in grassroots efforts toward improving the criminal justice system, and with a large percentage of Latina clients, the center was simply known as “Justicia”. The website will continue as an archival resource, see justicewomen.com <http://www.justicewomen.com/news>.
Until very recently, she worked behind the scenes providing emotional support to victims and their families primarily in Sonoma and Mendocino Counties. Her unflinching tenacity earned her the nickname “Bad Ass Angel” — Marie loved this moniker and lived up to it. She helped put away many perpetrators of violence against women and girls. Marie said, “Because I believe the problem is completely solvable and that the liberation of women’s energy from violence will change the world.”
Marie’s awards include: State of California Legislature Woman of the Year 2001, Jefferson Award 2006, and just two months before her death on April 25, 2019, Senator Jared Huffman Honored her life’s work with a Certificate of Special Congressional Recognition. She was unable to attend the event due to her illness.
There will be a celebration of her life in Anchor Bay later in the year.
CATCH OF THE DAY, Tuesday, August 15, 2023
RICO ACOSTA, Redwood Valley. Concealed firearm in vehicle with prior, loaded firearm in public, suspended license.
BILLY ANDERSON, Willits. Disorderly conduct-alcohol&drugs, disobeying court order, false ID, resisting.
LIZBETH BARRALES-GONZALEZ, Ukiah. Failure to appear.
LEONARD CAMPBELL JR., Hopland. DUI, suspended license for DUI, stolen vehicle, attempt to keep stolen property.
MARLIN CORBEN, Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-alcohol&drugs.
JENNIFER DEGROOT, Ukiah. Probation revocation.
JAYLN GAUSE, Point Arena. Domestic battery.
MICHELLE GOLDSMITH, Willits. Probation revocation.
JOE GUERRERO, Stockton/Ukiah. Pot sales, conspiracy.
DARYL HEIMSNESS, Willits. DUI, no license.
ELI HERRERA, Stockton/Ukiah. Pot sales, conspiracy, evasion.
LAMONT JONES, Ukiah. Failure to appear.
ANDREW LAO, Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-alcohol&drugs, parole violation.
RICARDO LOPEZ, Redwood Valley. Domestic battery.
DEMETER MCFADIN, Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-alcohol&drugs.
MARK NIELSEN, Ukiah. Domestic battery, controlled substance, county parole violation.
SEAN ROBERTS JR., Irvington, New Jersey/Ukiah. Conspiracy.
MALISSA WARNER, Ukiah. Parole violation. (Frequent flyer.)
KYM KEMP SLAM-DUNKS A GUN NUT:
GUN GUY: There’s no such thing as “gun violence” There’s people with guns committing violent acts. Try this, set a loaded gun on your coffee table and hold your breath until it commits a violent act.
KYM KEMP: There are no such things as car crashes. Try this, leave your vehicle in your garage and hold your breath until it hits something. Or…we could all recognize that cars have regulations and so do guns. Now the question should be what regulations work and what don’t to stop deaths and destruction from both.
FROM A READER: Considering today's exciting events…The best mob trial movie with a large number of defendants is Find Me Guilty (2006) by Sidney Lumet, starring Vin Diesel and Peter Dinklage. It is the true story of the longest Mafia trial in American history. Dialog was taken from the original court transcript and is seriously funny. Vin plays a mobster named Jackie D who starts the trial wth 19 other defendants (sound familiar?) and the usual gang of mob lawyers. Then he goes rogue, detaches himself from others, and goes pro se in the middle of the trial. Vin is pure New Jersey, and New Jersey chaos ensues. Dinklage is a mob lawyer who stands on a chair throughout and glowers at Vin. You can see it on many streamers. Tubi is good -- it is free and has relatively unobtrusive clusters of commercials.
PUPPETS AND PROTEST: Each summer, the Bread and Puppet Theater attracts crowds to rural Vermont for avant-garde performances with towering papier-mache figures, political effigies, a rowdy band and homemade sourdough bread. The driving force behind the shows, Peter Schumann, got his start making puppets for Vietnam War protests. At 89, he is still at the center of the company — the puppetry, the art, even the baking. NYT today. My sister went there last Fall, and her pictures were terrific. Maybe I can find them. This is from today's NYT.
HOW FIRE TURNED LAHAINA INTO A DEATH TRAP
by Nicholas Bogel-Burroughs, Serge Kovaleski, Shawn Hubler & Riley Mellen
When a historic coastal town in Hawaii was overrun by fire, many residents fled for their lives. But there was nowhere to go.
Only three hours before she found herself huddled in the Pacific Ocean, a barrage of embers and ash hurtling above her, Chelsea Denton Fuqua was lounging in bed with a fan, a pristine blue sky outside the window of her home that lies half a mile from the Lahaina waterfront on the Hawaiian island of Maui.
It was moments later when she caught a glimpse of smoke in the distance. At first it was a wisp, but within minutes it had grown thicker, rippling down the hillside on violent winds.
Ms. Denton Fuqua, 32, and her husband were worried. They had received no text alerts, no sirens, no evacuation orders — no sign for her and her neighbors, she said, that Lahaina, a community of 13,000 that was once the capital of the Hawaiian kingdom, was on the cusp of incineration.
But they knew what could happen in a wildfire. They grabbed a few essentials and prepared to leave in their cars. “People were just like, ‘Oh, are you heading out?’” Ms. Denton Fuqua recalled. “‘All right, be safe.’”
Nearly a week has passed since the inferno that swept West Maui last Tuesday. At least 99 people are confirmed dead, with the toll expected to rise substantially. Thousands of structures, mostly homes, have been reduced to rubble. Husks of incinerated cars line Lahaina’s historic Front Street, while nearby search crews make their way painstakingly from house to house, looking for human remains.
The fire’s swift rampage and stunning death and destruction are already raising questions about whether there should have been more aggressive management of electrical power as high winds buffeted the island, earlier warnings for residents in the fire’s path and better management of traffic to avert the paralyzing gridlock that funneled many people into a death trap.
Interviews and video evidence reviewed by The New York Times show that the brush fire that wound up wiping out Lahaina ignited under a snapped power line a full nine hours before it roared through town — flaring up in the afternoon after firefighters had declared it contained.
Yet in dozens of interviews with people who survived, residents in neighborhood after neighborhood said they had received no warnings before the fire came rushing toward their homes. They told stories of people scrambling to escape along the waterfront and driving past others who were cluelessly frolicking on the beaches. Some stood outside their houses, marveling at what was unfolding, still sipping cocktails. Tourists who got the word packed up and fled their hotels, while others were rolling in with their luggage.
“Nobody saw this coming,” said Mark Stefl, a tile setter. He said his first clue he might be in danger was when his wife spotted flames 500 yards from their house.
As the fire spread further into town, the problems multiplied: Hydrants ran dry as the community’s water system collapsed, according to firefighters. Powerful sirens, tested every month in preparation for such an emergency, never sounded. Lahaina’s 911 system went down.
Many of those who evacuated said they were corralled by road closures and downed power lines into traffic jams that left some people to burn alive in their cars and forced others to flee into the Pacific. Videos shared with The Times and posted on social media show cars on Front Street crawling in bumper-to-bumper traffic as smoke, embers and debris billow around them.
Government officials have blamed wind gusts that in some cases exceeded 80 miles per hour for fueling the ferocity of the blaze, combined with warming temperatures and drought that left the island’s vast grasslands and brush tinder dry.
The prospect of a destructive wildfire has been a growing concern across West Maui for years, as drought has worsened, invasive plants have created huge swaths of highly flammable grasslands, and worsening storms have spawned winds that can fuel fires. All those perils came sharply into focus in the days before Maui’s fire last week, when a hurricane building to the south, with significant winds forecast, created the very conditions that scientists had long warned could be a deadly combination.
Gov. Josh Green of Hawaii has said repeatedly since the fire that climate change is “the ultimate reason that so many people perished.” He has asked the attorney general to conduct a comprehensive review.
“Over time,” he promised, “we’ll be able to figure out if we could have better protected people.”
A power line and a ‘pop’
It was shortly after sunrise on Aug. 8 and wind was already blustering down Lahaina’s west-facing slope when Shane Treu clambered onto his roof near Lahainaluna Road to repair some damage. Pieces of roofing and heavy panels for a solar water heater had been blown off and were landing on his fence.
That’s when he heard a sound from a nearby power line.
“The wind is still blowing super strong and I hear a pop,” Mr. Treu recounted. “I look and the line is just arcing, laying on the ground and sparking.” The power line, landing in dry grass, was “like a fuse,” he said. It blackened the ground at the base of a power pole and began to ignite nearby yards.
It was precisely the location where the brush fire that would eventually engulf much of Lahaina was initially reported, at 6:37 a.m., a Times analysis of video and satellite imagery shows.
Mr. Treu began filming with his phone, panning across three power lines on the ground. One could be seen dangling in charred, smoking grass. “That’s the power line that started it,” he said on the video. In an interview, Mr. Treu said he called 911 as the fire grew, across the street from his house. It took six minutes for the police to arrive, he said, and another six for the firefighters; a water tanker and two front-end loaders arrived to create a fire break.
County officials reported that the fire was “100% contained” by 9 a.m.
Mr. Treu said he resumed his repairs and then had his son drive him to one of his two jobs. In the back of his mind, he found himself wondering whether the fire might flare up again.
Maui officials put out a news release that said there had been an “apparent flare-up” of the Lahaina fire, and that the Lahaina Bypass — the road constructed in 2013 after residents complained for years that they might be trapped on the town’s single in-and-out road — was closed at around 3:30 p.m.
Mr. Stefl and his wife, Michele Numbers-Stefl, already spotted a fire an hour earlier about 500 yards from their house, a little more than half a mile away from the Treu residence.
“Oh, my God! Pack up the dogs, there’s a fire there!” Ms. Numbers-Stefl yelled to her husband. The flames along Lahainaluna Road inched closer, she said, 100 yards away, then 30 — “a freight train coming down the mountain,” in her husband’s words.
“When I turned around, it was right there — that’s how fast it was,” said Mr. Stefl, 67, a longtime resident who rebuilt after his home was destroyed on the same land in a 2018 wildfire. He said he and his wife “literally ran down the stairs, grabbed cats and dogs and backed up the drive through black smoke, fire, heat, just flying through.”
Had the authorities sent them any alerts or warnings?
“Oh, hell no.”
From land and sea, people stood stunned as the once-flickering grass fire near Lahainaluna Road appeared to balloon into a monster. In the upper floor office at his coffee warehouse in the center of Lahaina, next to a chocolate factory and a liquor store, J.D. Sheveland, 58, eyed the firestorm through his window as he paid bills and did paperwork.
The wind sent wooden pallets flying across parking lots, he said, and tore pieces from the new affordable housing complex. He looked toward the northeast at 3 p.m. and, like Ms. Denton Fuqua, saw wisps of smoke rising.
At 3:25 p.m., Mr. Sheveland captured footage of gray smoke starting to flow over the residential streets. Within 20 minutes, his video clips showed the smoke growing ever darker. In a video shot at 3:49 p.m. and posted on the photo sharing website Imgur days later, cars could be seen driving through clouds of smoke on Honoapiilani Highway in the direction of downtown Lahaina.
By 4:14 p.m., Mr. Sheveland, still in his office, could see flames leaping above the rooftops of homes as the blaze tore through the neighborhood, edging closer to the waterfront.
Tourists were left in confusion. At the landmark Lahaina Shores Beach Resort, Breanna and Glenn Gill had arrived for their vacation to discover that the power was out and that there was no cellphone service, but they had not heard about the fire; the guests and staff seemed to have even less information than they did.
At 4:17 p.m., they said, an emergency alert blared from their phones, awakening them from a nap and informing them of the fire for the first time. “Evacuate your family and pets now, do not delay,” it read. “Expect conditions that may make driving difficult.”
The Gills credit the message with potentially saving them from disaster. Even as they fled the hotel, other people were checking in. As they drove toward Kahului Airport — a slow, gridlocked drive that included dodging downed power lines — they saw a few tourists on the side of the road going swimming.
“It was very clear nobody had any idea how dangerous the coastline was at this point, or how dangerous the road conditions were,” Ms. Gill said. She believes they were quicker to leave because they are both from the Western United States and familiar with how dangerous and fast-moving wildfires can be.
Still, she wonders: What if they had turned their phones off?
As Ms. Denton Fuqua and her husband fled their house, police officers directed them away from the main arteries out of town and toward Front Street, the historic commercial street that runs along the ocean. Cars were bumper to bumper, and moving at a crawl. Electrical wires flailed overhead and the smoke was choking.
Finally, they decided to leave their cars in a garage and ran toward the ocean, hoping for clearer air. But debris was flying and small fires were cropping up around them, so they jumped into a stranger’s car for a brief respite from the smoke. Again they got stuck in traffic; again they got out.
By 5:15 p.m., they were cowering between a magic shop and a pizzeria on Front Street, a raging fire and a wall of smoke behind them. In front of them was a long line of cars, gridlocked, and then a short stone wall, and then the ocean. They tried to breathe through their shirts to mask the smoke.
Nearby, firefighters arrived to confront the fire near Mr. Sheveland’s coffee warehouse. As soon as they were gone, flames kicked up again in a field across the street. He grabbed a fire extinguisher and rushed outside. “I’m standing out there trying to put the little fire out and I start hearing, like, a jet engine,” he remembered. “The fire was sucking wind in. It turned into a firestorm right then and there.”
At around 5:30 p.m., he made a run for it. He climbed into his Dodge pickup and, in a caravan of three vehicles carrying seven employees and relatives, dashed down Keawe Street, just off the bypass road, toward the main highway. But the highway was closed, he said, covered with live power lines. Stuck, he turned toward the ocean, jumped the curb, rolled over a grassy area and into a Safeway parking lot.
He soon realized that the only road out of town was Front Street — but hardly anyone was getting out of town that way. Traffic would move a little bit and stop, move and stop.
In his rearview mirror, he could see the firestorm sweeping into Lahaina. Somehow, around 6 p.m., the cars began moving. He escaped.
By then, dozens of people, barely able to see through the smoke along Front Street, were perched on the edge of the sea wall, struggling to breathe.
“We couldn’t see people, but I heard people throwing up, screaming,” said Ydriss Nouara, a sales manager at a local hotel who was fleeing on a scooter with a neighbor. He said he watched as a pit bull threw itself into the water. He called 911, and the operator urged them to get into the water, too.
He watched from a jetty as boats in the harbor caught on fire and swirled around in circles, their masts ablaze.
Ms. Denton Fuqua and her husband had also clambered into the ocean. “We were with a bunch of people praying — kids were crying,” she remembered. “People were letting their pets go because they couldn’t carry them and cover their mouths.”
It was so dark that, at times, she could not see her husband, right next to her. Dozens of strangers floated around her, some holding planks to remain afloat. Embers would land in their hair and they would dunk their heads underwater to avoid catching fire.
“It was like a flamethrower on the town,” she said. “It was as if some person or mythical thing had a blowtorch and was just taking it to our whole entire town.”
Finally, they swam northwest along the shore to Baby Beach, a local landmark, and managed to reach safety.
By that time, a 45-foot Coast Guard cutter had approached the Lahaina breakwater, a little after 6 p.m. It was slow going: The smoke was so thick that the coxswain could not see the bow of the ship.
As they eased in, trying to avoid running aground in the wind and waves, the crew began casting rope lines through the smoke, feeling some of them grow taut as people grabbed them on the other end. They pulled them in. Seven people were saved.
HAWAIIAN UTILITY COMPANY PLEDGES to cooperate in Maui wildfire investigation
A Hawaiian electric power company says it will cooperate with authorities in the investigation of the cause of wildfires that devastated the island of Maui last week.
The death toll from the wildfires has reached 99, marking the deadliest in the United States in more than a century.
The fires started on August 8 and ravaged the town of Lahaina, a popular tourist destination renowned for its historic landmarks in the west of the island.
Police said Monday that searches had been completed in only about 25 percent of the affected areas, raising concerns that the number of victims could further rise.
Access to the western part of the island, including Lahaina, is being restricted to ensure public safety.
On Monday morning, a long line of vehicles formed near a park where road passes were being distributed to residents and people engaged in restoration work. But the distribution of the passes was suspended around noon amid concerns that people not eligible were applying for them.
The cause of the fires has not been determined. However, US media report that an expert says power lines knocked down by strong winds could have sparked the fire.
Lahaina residents filed class-action lawsuits against the Hawaiian utility and its subsidiaries on Saturday for alleged failure to take necessary measures.
The utility said at a news conference Monday that it is working on restoration work, and that it will fully cooperate with authorities in the investigation of the cause of the fires.
(NHK World-Japan News)
SO I GOT BEAT UP in the ring a few times.
It was a few minutes of punishment, and then they paid me.'
— Chuck Wepner
‘THE BLIND SIDE’ WAS ALWAYS TRASH
by Dave Zirin
If retired NFL offensive lineman Michael Oher had his life rights stolen by Sean and Leigh Anne Tuohy—people who claimed to be his adopted parents—then the Tuohys would have enacted a rancid and larcenous grift.
A 14-page complaint filed in Shelby County, Tenn., says that—contrary to the narrative that became a best-selling book and hit movie—the Tuohys never adopted Oher. Instead, three months after he turned 18, the Tuohys tricked him into signing a document that made them his conservators, leaving him with fewer legal rights than a child.
If the charges are true, then the book and movie, which grossed $300 million and helped win Sandra Bullock a best-actress Oscar, was part of a racket that leveraged white America’s love affair with itself to scam Oher out of millions of dollars.
The author of the book about Oher and the Tuohys, sales machine Michael “Moneyball” Lewis, should also be compelled to answer some very uncomfortable questions in the coming days as to how he was duped. It was Lewis who spun this piece of Caucasian catnip: the tale of the white, southern, Christian Tuohy family who adopted troubled teen Michael Oher—presented in the book and film as an impoverished simple-minded behemoth—and turned him into a wealthy pro football player.
Now in court documents, Oher is saying that he learned several months ago that after going through legal papers, he discovered that he had never actually been adopted by the Tuohys. It was a sham perpetrated without his consent in order to get him to sign over his life’s rights for nothing. They were not parents in any legal or moral sense. They were conservators: think Britney Spears’s dad. As ESPN’s Michael Fletcher wrote in his expose: “The Tuohys used their power as conservators to strike a deal that paid them and their two birth children millions of dollars in royalties… while Oher got nothing for a story ‘that would not have existed without him.’”
For the film the Tuohys’ two children got a $225,000 payment and 2.5 percent of net proceeds for having their likeness portrayed. That would work out to almost $5 million per kid—and nothing for Oher. With that film deal, they tipped their hand as to who was really family.
Yet this alleged swindle perpetrated by the Tuohys is only an extension of what is so grotesque about The Blind Side itself: a “feel good story” that, even without this lawsuit, is hyper-exploitative trash. The smash hit starred Sandra Bullock as the white woman with a heart of gold. Hollywood rarely fails with this trope that tells white America that it is—despite all historic evidence to the contrary—morally righteous as it accepts Rudyard Kipling’s “white man’s burden” to extend a hand to the poor and downtrodden. This has been used by “liberal” Hollywood since at least 1939, when Scarlett O’Hara let Mammy sass her out of the goodness of her heart in Gone With the Wind. The list of white-savior prestige films is long—Mississippi Burning, Dangerous Minds, the fulsomely praised garbage documentary about school reform, Waiting for Superman come to mind. All of these movies sell the same tired fiction.
When The Blind Side film was released in 2009, the allegedly “slow” Oher spoke out against his “Baby Huey” depiction and refused to do publicity. Few noticed or wrote about it at the time. Oher may not have known about the fake adoption then, but he knew the one thing about the movie that the Academy did not: It was a terrible and racist film.
The emerging truth about The Blind Side fits neatly within our cultural moment. We are living in an era where people are realizing that waiting for a Superman is a fool’s pursuit, and people who present themselves as white saviors are more often than not white beneficiaries of Black pain, just as the Tuohys profited off of Oher’s hardships. If the charges are true—and the court documents are damning—then maybe this will go down as a turning point to never trust this trope again. There already is a growing consensus and understanding among young white activists about the difference between allyship and paternalism, the importance of creating space for others to speak and lead, and the understanding that the white-savior concept is a dangerous myth that has hurt far more than it has ever helped. Lewis was wrong to valorize this narrative. The Tuohys were wrong to exploit it, which they did whether these charges are proven or not. And Oher is right to take his name back. He’s a hell of a lot smarter than Lewis or the Tuohys have presented and that may prove to be their undoing. The flip side to white saviorship is white underestimation. The Tuohys underestimated Michael Oher. And now the whole world knows it.
* * *
RISING ABOVE THE EARTH PLANE'S SAMSARIC OCEAN OF ROTTING FECAL PIG MATTER
Sitting here easefully at the Ukiah Public Library, mind absorbed in the Absolute within the svarupa, or heart chakra, having just watched the international news reported online, it is with great joy that we all may live above the crazy constant conflict in the dark phase of Kali yuga. We identify with the Immortal Atman, and not the body and not the mind. Today let's chant the chalisa (forty verses) of the monkey god Hanuman, the army general who served Rama (seventh incarnation of the trimurti god Vishnu), all of which is beautifully elaborated in the epic Ramayana. Here's the anime adaptation: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0259534/
And here's the Hanuman Chalisa: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EfEy_PHxkPs
Craig Louis Stehr
THE TRUE STATE OF THINGS
Walter Kirn: Well, I would place him [RFKjr] in the anti-war camp, but those aren’t opinions that the press really reports anymore except as heresy and… disinformation. You see, they’ve redlined so many opinions that you can’t have issues. Should COVID be an issue? Well, you’re not allowed to talk about it. The war should be an issue, but you’re not allowed to talk about it. What about the economy? The things that are wrong with the American economy as far as I can see, are so structural, so fundamental and so fricking terrifying that it’s not being discussed either. You did a great piece this week about the sense that what we really have right now in Trump versus Biden is poor people versus affluent and rich people.
I thought that was brilliant. Because that’s what I see in my rounds. I see a country whose middle class is falling fast. For whose young people, the prospects of home ownership and maybe even regular employment are increasingly imperiled. And where a lot of people are homeless suddenly. I mean, I’ll just throw that in there. I’m seeing it everywhere. Housing insecurity, if you want to be euphemistic, seems to me to be pressing concern. But Biden is out there saying the economy is great and touting other metrics. And Trump is so... so catastrophic in his vision of where America is going that there doesn’t seem much room for the usual sorts of debates. And I don’t see the press entertaining the possibility that the economy might be bad, for example. Or for a lot of people.
Matt Taibbi: I think this is the major under-reported story of our American electoral politics for the last dozen years or so, is just this transformation that’s gone on among the major parties. If you go back to 1992, a very wealthy congressional district was probably 60% or 65% likely to be Republican. Of the top 20 or 30 richest districts, most of them were Republican districts in the early 90s. The Democrats have undergone a sea change in marketing since this DLC version of the Democratic Party that came into power with Bill Clinton. It advanced even more when Barack Obama came into office. So before we get to the whole question of what poor people are thinking or voting or how they are voting or for whom are they voting, we have to have concrete data about how very wealthy are thinking politically.
ON-LINE COMMENT OF THE DAY
There’s no question that cell phones are extremely useful for various purposes but they have become a sickness. When you are out in public (on the street or in a restaurant) 9 out of 10 people are holding or staring into a cell phone. People eating at the same table do not interact with one another. Both stare into their phones. It’s a friggin’ sickness.
People in a line of cars stopped at a traffic light are engrossed in their phones. The light turns green and there is always one asshole who sits there as others pull away. I blow my horn angrily and make wild angry gestures hoping the asshole will see me in his/her mirror.
UKRAINE, TUESDAY, AUGUST 15
Russian missiles struck regions across Ukraine overnight, killing at least three people and destroying infrastructure and residential buildings.
Kyiv is pushing back on criticism that its counteroffensive is not advancing fast enough, saying it is focused on destroying Russia's capabilities and disrupting its logistics.
Ukraine's ally Poland is holding its largest military parade in decades, as tensions rise on the border between the NATO nation and key Kremlin ally Belarus.
Also, the US announces a fresh $200 million security package for Ukraine, including air defense munitions, artillery rounds and additional mine-clearing equipment.
DEVELOP AN EXIT STRATEGY FOR THE ENDLESS WAR IN UKRAINE
by Ralph Nader
Russia’s criminal war in Ukraine intensifies as it grinds on, World War I style with heavy casualties on both sides. While President Joe Biden keeps repeating that NATO, mostly meaning the U.S., will expand military support for Ukraine “as long as it takes.” “As long as it takes,” is not a policy, it is deadly procrastination without any exit strategy.
Of course, Biden, who voted for Bush’s criminal war in Iraq as a Senator in 2003, along with hundreds of billions of dollars over the years, is experienced in “as long as it takes.” That invasion and occupation took over one million Iraqi lives, even more injuries and sicknesses and plunged Iraq into destructive chaos that persists to this day.
“As long as it takes” for a million Ukrainian lives lost and the comparable destruction of their country? For the war to escalate beyond Ukraine, into Russia and bordering countries?
Biden spends more time thinking about when he will say “Yes” to Ukrainian president Zelensky’s demand for more powerful weapons – Advanced Armored Vehicles, longer-reaching artillery, Abrams Tanks with depleted-uranium rounds. The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) warns such ammunition is “chemically and radiologically toxic heavy metal.” The Harvard International Review reports “Depleted uranium may pose a risk to both soldiers and local civilian populations. When ammunition made from depleted uranium strikes a target, the uranium turns into dust that is inhaled by soldiers near the explosion site. The wind then carries dust to surrounding areas, polluting local water and agriculture.”
Biden also supports providing Ukraine with F-16s which take many months to learn to fly and he has already sent Ukraine cluster bombs to match Russia’s cluster bombs so as to further endanger Ukrainians, including children, for years to come. The New York Times reports, “123 nations – including many of America’s allies – have agreed never to use, transfer, produce or stockpile cluster munitions.”
The Biden Administration has no diplomatic strategies, no demand for an immediate unconditional ceasefire followed by top-level peace negotiations. This war is expanding and becoming more lethal each day. Provocations are also escalating as armed Ukrainian drones appear over Moscow and more Russian missiles target Ukrainian civilians.
Congress, ignorant of history’s lessons from wars in Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya and other military boomerangs of the U.S. Empire, rubber-stamp Biden’s demands without any thorough Congressional hearings to examine where this war is heading. Congressional Democrats did, however, make sure to block a proposed Inspector General’s Office to oversee the spending of tens of billions of taxpayers’ dollars in U.S. military aid, watchdog corruption and investigate diversions of military supplies.
A culpable Congress is also going along with the Biden/NATO decision to put 300,000 soldiers “at high readiness” stationed in the countries on Russia’s borders and in Europe. Already, thousands of U.S. soldiers, modern artillery and warships are in that region.
Dictator Putin doesn’t have to stretch the truth far in his propaganda to alarm the Russian people. They remember the invasions by Germany in World War I and World War II that took more than 50 million Russian lives and that caused massive devastation in Russia, their country. They see a military alliance of Western countries, (NATO) including Germany, Finland, Poland, Hungary, Czechia, Estonia, Romania and Bulgaria. They also see moves to include Ukraine.
In 1990 several Western leaders assured Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev that NATO would not expand. In 1991, when the Soviet Union started to formally dissolve and Soviet concerns about NATO increased. U.S. experts, including long-time expert George Kennan, warned of a red-line disaster. The Guardian notes that “Putin claims that [James] Baker, [former Secretary of State] in a discussion on 9 February 1990 with the Soviet leader, Mikhail Gorbachev, made the promise that NATO would not expand to the east if Russia accepted Germany’s unification.”
President Bill Clinton infuriated Russian President Boris Yeltsin by breaking with past U.S. assurances on NATO expansion.
As pointed out in a long Harper’s June 2023 article on Ukraine, “…at NATO’s Bucharest summit in April 2008, the U.S. delegation, led by President Bush, urged the alliance to put Ukraine and Georgia on the immediate path to NATO membership. German chancellor Angela Merkel understood the implications of Washington’s proposal: “I was very sure . . . that Putin was not going to just let that happen,” she recalled in 2022. “From his perspective, that would be a declaration of war.” America’s ambassador to Moscow, William J. Burns, shared Merkel’s assessment. Burns had already warned Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice that “Ukrainian entry into NATO is the brightest of all redlines for the Russian elite (not just Putin),” concluding that “Russia will respond.” (Why Are We in Ukraine? By Benjamin Schwarz, Christopher Layne).
Imagine the shoe being on the other foot, with Russia doing all this on our borders. Look how the U.S. reacted to 3000 lives lost on 9/11.
The media also hasn’t learned its history lessons. Coverage of the Ukraine War towers over its coverage of our illegal military invasions in the Middle East. Except they avoid reporting about peace advocacy by domestic and international groups.
While the New York Times’ readers are told about how domestic pets and athletes are faring in the Ukraine conflict, this newspaper of record ignores the voyage of the Golden Rule Boat, sponsored by Veterans for Peace, docking this year at ports on the west Gulf and eastern coast. The mainstream media ignored the rally by many peace groups on July 22, 2023, at Biden’s hometown in front of (Scranton, PA) the Army Ammunition Plant run by General Dynamics (See https://worldbeyondwar.org/scranton/).
Nor does the mass media probe the U.S. policy driving Germany into larger military budgets and weapons shipments to Ukraine, and ending the Nordic countries’ traditions of neutrality by bringing them into NATO. All these expansions provide huge business for the U.S. military-industrial complex, which Eisenhower warned us about. (https://www.archives.gov/milestone-documents/president-dwight-d-eisenhowers-farewell-address).
The expansions also scare the Russian public and increase popular support for the aggressor Putin and Russian troops. Roger Cohen’s long report in the New York Times on his trip through Russia shed some light on these feelings.
Our country should lead in peacemaking, in engaging the United Nations when its charter against offensive war is violated by any member country, and in observing our own constitutional mandates which reserve for Congress, not the Presidency, the power to declare war.
Instead, we expand a vast military budget (greater than the next ten countries combined, including China and Russia), operate military bases in over 100 countries, bristle with military threats or incursions in the backyards of many of these nations – in violation of international law, the UN charter (which we most prominently drafted in 1946) and federal statutes. All done in a bipartisan fashion, with astounding hypocrisy and self-righteousness.
Whether or not you are a veteran, I urge you to virtually attend the annual Veterans for Peace Convention on August 25 through August 27, 2023, to hear the views of people who abhor all wars in favor of stopping the slaughter and deliberately waging peace. (See, Veterans for Peace Convention Registration).
Otherwise, prepare for a war of attrition on both sides, which could last for years. Unless that is, it flares into a nuclear weapons war.
That should sober all hawks, including the consistent one in the White House.