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WINDS will gradually diminish through the day today. Dry weather will persist through the end of the work week, along with cool nighttime lows and near normal daytime highs. A wetter pattern will develop late in the weekend and into next week, with locally heavy rainfall possible across Del Norte and Humboldt counties on Monday. (NWS)
STEPHEN DUNLAP (Fort Bragg): A brisk 48F on the coast this Thursday morning. I expect 1 more day of haze. Clear skies on Friday then some fog for the weekend. A healthy chance of rain on Monday.
BROWN WATER IN WILLITS
The city of Willits reported this week that the brownish water many residents had flowing from their taps was the result of a fire hydrant being hit last Friday.
In a Facebook post Monday, the city of Willits described “the unfortunate brown water incident” as beginning around 1:45 p.m. Friday, Sept. 15, when “the contractor working on the new California Conservation Corps campus, hit a private fire hydrant (connected to the city of Willits’ water distribution system) with a piece of construction equipment.”
Though the fire hydrant “was shut off within 10 minutes of being hit,” the city of Willits explains that the hydrant being hit did cause “most of the city’s distribution system to be disturbed by the high-pressure velocity that scoured the water mainlines.”
On Friday afternoon, the city advised that “some areas may still be affected by lightly discolored water as the distribution system settles back to normal working conditions,” and also advised residents “not to do light-colored laundry if you are experiencing discoloration.”
The city reported that it was continuing to monitor the system’s conditions and (would) “update the community only if there are any lingering concerns. We ask the community to please contact City Hall/Water Department at 707-459-4601 with any questions you may have.”
(Ukiah Daily Journal)
We are sad to announce the passing of Tanabelle Arleen Mulyca, or as Grandpa used to call her, “Boomer.”
Tana passed at the young age of 47 on Sept. 5, 2023, surrounded by loved ones after being diagnosed with stage four cancer in Lake County.
She was born in Yuba City, California, on Christmas Day in 1975 and she was raised in Philo by her grandparents, Lilabelle and Arthur Knight Jr.
Tana (Tanabelle) is survived by her little doggies, (her kids), Cheyanne, Bubba and Smokey; mother, Alicia R. Knight and father, Bernard S. Mulyca; siblings, Victor Ruiz, Rolando Ruiz, Angelina Gamez, Mark Mulyca and Melissa Mulyca (Pettit), and (brother from another mother as Tana would say) Travaris Coleman; Uncle Brub and Auntie Ann; cousins, Art, Liz and Jake; all the Santa Rosa Family-Grandfather side, and Marysville Family-Grandmother side; Uncle Evert, Aunt Bernice, cousin, Anthony, Shawn and John John.
Tana’s pride and joy was her niece and nephews, her angel Cassie Girl, Baby Vic, Romeo and Lil Juju.
She loved to share her love of food, making homemade lasagna, spaghetti, tacos, cakes and pies. She could make any cheese cake at your request, we, the family would challenge her to make new cheesecakes, and she would be up for the challenge. She always looked forward to cooking for the ones she loved and getting us all together.
Tana had the heart to help others, she would help anyone that needed a place to stay, there are many of us who have lived with her once or twice. She loved to drive around with her dogs and be with family. She was the glue of the family, the closest thing to the grandparents, after they passed.
A Celebration of life will be a private ceremony with close family members and friends. Tana, will be missed dearly.
Arrangements by Chapel of the Lakes Mortuary, 707-263-0357 or 707-994-5611, or visit www.chapelofthelakes.com.
AN ANDERSON VALLEY FIRE STRIKE TEAM was deployed for almost three weeks at the Smith Rivers Complex fire in Del Norte County, returning on September 7, AV Fire Chief Andres Avila reported this week. The locals spent most of their time doing “structure protection” as well as helping with firebreaks and fire suppression on the permimeter. The Smith Rivers complex fire was started by a cluster of lightning strikes on August 15 and at last count was up to almost 100,000 acres in size. That fire complex including the Anvil fire, Bedrock fire and Lookout fire are the main sources of smoke blanketing much of northern California this week. Fire crews are hoping for preliminary containment by the end of this week, but it will still be burning for days after that.
CHIEF AVILA also reported that ambulance call volume is up in the Valley because “Anecdotally, [responders] are finding that some people are having a harder time getting appointments with their doctors, and then resort to calling 911 due to their declining condition, or perhaps even out of frustration in receiving needed care. Ambulance Manager Clay Eubank also speculated that the local increase in Ambulance call volume could be related to the increasing age demographic in Anderson Valley.”
TREVOR MOCKEL, September 16, 2023: “What a night! Redwood Community Service’s annual fundraiser, The Rhinestone Cowboy, at Nelson Family Vineyards was a blast. We enjoyed Cook's BBQ, live auctions, and a fantastic country concert with Johnny Young, McKenna Faith, and headliners Love & Theft. Even better, all proceeds supported RCS's core values of helping vulnerable communities for long-term success.”
SHERIFF’S NEW HIRES
The Mendocino County Sheriff's Office held a ceremony for multiple new employees and their families on Monday September 18, 2023.
Corrections Deputies Keith Michelucci, Gabriel Madrigal, and Ashley Edwards (pictured above) were sworn as Corrections Deputies and will immediately begin their training in the Mendocino County Jail.
Community Services Officers Marcus Gonzalez and Carson Word were also introduced during the ceremony held Monday
Sheriff Kendall also announced the promotion of Corrections Lieutenant John Magnan, who previously worked for 26 years with the Riverside County Sheriff’s Office. Lieutenant Magnan joined the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office last year and also served 12 years in the United States Air Force.
Congratulations to Corrections Deputy Michelucci, Corrections Deputy Madrigal, Corrections Deputy Edwards, Community Services Officer Gonzalez, Community Services Officer Word, and Corrections Lieutenant Magnan.
If you or anyone you know is interested in working for the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office, please visit www.mendocinosheriff.org and select "Careers" on the top right banner.
UKIAH VALLEY ATHLETIC CLUB ABANDONS MEDICARE WELLNESS PROGRAM
Today I received the following email. It concerns senior wellness programs such as United Healthcare's Renew Active. (United Healthcare is the leading supplemental insurer for the Medicare population in Ukiah area.)
“At UVAC we value your health and wellness. I think we have shown this in many ways over the years… We try to provide a great service to our members first and the community next. Roughly 5 years ago we brought a couple of healthcare supplement programs to UVAC, This was not easy, we wrote, called, and visited them at booths in IHRSA to get them here. Since then, our reimbursement has remained the same from them but they are offering it to more and more people. As you are experiencing at home, all of our costs have shot up, for example,payroll, instructor wages, utilities, water, sewer, pool salt, Co2, insurance, and everything else that is required to maintain the facilities. The way these programs work is they pay us a pre-agreed upon price per visit up to a certain amount of visits (a cap). We also have the added fee for software. We truly want to support our community and keep all engaged in physical activity, however as a private business we can not afford to subsidize these government-funded programs. On January 1st your supplement package will expire and your membership will be canceled. To help make our facilities more affordable we came up with something that will make it easier for you to remain a member and allow us to figure out our budget as we move forward.
1. If you join as a regular senior member before Oct 15th, you will be locked in a 1/2 the senior rate (1/2 senior rate is $32.50). This will remain in effect as long as you keep your membership current with no future changes to your account. (no initiation dues no processing fees) This is only for members that are on a qualifying silver sneakers or AARP program.
2. If you join as a senior member after Oct 15th but before 1/1/2024 you will be in at the senior rate ($65.00 no initiation dues no processing fees)
3. If you wait until after 1/1/2024 your membership will cancel and you will have to join as a new member. (paying initiation, processing at current senior rate with a 12 month agreement)”
Comments: Senior Fitness programs are incredibly effective in preventing the manifestations of chronic disease such as stroke and heart attacks. The benefits of daily exercise far surpass those of regular medical care for the treatment of diabetes and obesity. Therefore one must wonder if ownership at UVAC actually, deeply “values community health and wellness.”
It should also be noted that UVAC has the only large indoor pool in the valley, which is a lifeline to many elderly people with severe mobility problems.
So the benefits of these senior programs are immense, and their disappearance should be of great concern to the entire community.
I've had discussions in the past with the management of UVAC and it's always seemed to me that they regarded these senior programs as burdensome. But to blame a senior program for their budgetary difficulties is absurd. It's not the fault of the old people if management can't make a profit. Seniors aren't to blame if the facilities need upgrading, the bathrooms often dirty, or that certain areas of their gyms are full of poorly functioning equipment.
I think UVAC's basic financial problem is that people don't want to pay premium, upfront rates for a shabby facility whose overall vibe is that of an aging 1970s racquetball club. Scapegoating the elders isn't going to help with that. I'm guessing that the majority of the affected old people, many of whom have much worse budgetary problems than UVAC, aren't going to be rushing to sign up for this new deal. Indeed, it appears that UVAC's actual plan is to gain through subtraction. But it's sad to see this further degradation of preventive health care in the Ukiah community.
Mike Turner, MD
PETIT TETON MONTHLY FARM REPORT - AUGUST 2023
Hi again, everyone...
Obviously peak harvest season goes on for awhile! I claimed exhaustion in my last essay but there's no break in sight yet. I haven't the energy to write an essay, but I can relate what's gone on today...so far.
We arose at about 7am and I prepped a breakfast, did some exercises, then tended to our new "barn" cat that's presently residing in the mudroom. I fed him, gave him his medicine and played with him for a few moments before going to breakfast. (Note: We could only see his eyes when we selected him from the feral section of the shelter last Tuesday, mainly because he didn't hiss at us. They told us he was probably around 2 yrs old, fixed, chipped and free. We brought him home to discover he had white legs and belly with a lovely stripped coat and tail, for sure younger than 2 and certainly not feral. And very sick. Steve drove him back to Ukiah next day for antibiotics, wet food and an apology. Kitty is much better now and eating a lot. We named him Tuxedo since he is wearing one, then learned that that's the name given to his coloring!)
I arrived in the commercial kitchen at about 9:30 to clean up for the kitchen crew arriving at 10. My plan was to make it quick so I could go up to 501, a short drive, to harvest the aquaponic greenhouse. But first, aside from the sink and a few dishes, there were many boxes of pears, apples, tomatoes and jujubes needing sorting and culling each day along with any produce displays set up for visitors over the weekend. Then Juan came in he and we coordinated what each of us would be doing for the day. I was just starting the culling when Steve came in to say we had customers who had been here before. Our customers are our "accidental" social life so if they are sociable, so are we, and this couple was. After ringing up their purchases, during which Aaron and Trudy arrived for work, we all started chatting. They are an interesting couple of our age and we enjoyed the conversation but finally had to acknowledge that we had work to do.
As soon as they left, Salvador, Juan's brother (both live on the property), came in with a box of produce from 501...eggplants, peppers, tomatoes...which I needed to weigh individually to input on our harvest list, then sort for ripeness, put in the walk-in, leave on the counter or set aside to be cooked. Juan reappeared with his harvest of Sungold tomatoes which he input and left for me to decide if they were ripe enough to go to the box being prepped for pickling that morning. I told Aaron they were good.
It was 10:45 when I finally finished in the kitchen and headed for the car. Up top I met Salvador and before I doing my work harvesting tomatoes, peppers and raspberries, we discussed the tomato crop outside the 501 greenhouse, the rabbit enclosure construction which he will be doing, and a fix for the tub full of water in the aquaponic system in which some beautiful turmeric plants were growing. It was 11:30 when I brought my harvest into the kitchen and started sorting, weighing and putting it away. There were a lot of tomatoes that needed to be cooked for sauce so I set myself up to clean, cull and cut them into a large pot. I finished ten minutes before our group lunch at 12:30.
This description is of one morning for me, but everyone else was equally busy...Steve with accounting, labeling and repairs, Aaron and Trudy prepping for pickled cornichons, tomatoes, and beets meanwhile canning something pre-prepped, Juan harvesting and pruning. I always feel I'm in a Richard Scarry book...Busy Town; Busy People or What Do People Do All Day! It's so rewarding when everything gets done, no food is wasted, the shed is full to the brim with canned goods and everyone is happy to head home after a rewarding day of labor. We are incredibly lucky to have such a wonderful team.
Happy Fall...Nikki Auschitt & Steve Krieg
NEW LAKE COUNTY MUSEUM EXHIBIT opening on September 24, 2023
THE FBI HAD SO MANY paid informants among the rioters on Jan. 6 that it lost track of the number and had to do an audit to determine exactly how many “Confidential Human Sources” run by different FBI field offices were present. At least one informant was communicating with his FBI handler as he entered the Capitol, according to Steven D’Antuono, formerly in charge of the bureau’s Washington field office. Attorney General Garland testified today that he didn't know if there were any.
…Former Capitol Hill Police Chief Steven Sund has said that, in addition to the paid informants, the FBI had at least 18 undercover agents in the crowd plus an estimated 20 from the Department of Homeland Security.
(Miranda Devine, New York Post)
AS THE AVA POINTED OUT at the time of the January 6 lunkhead riot, the FBI was undoubtedly present in significant numbers, and it wouldn't surprise me if a few of them were yelling, “Hang Mike Pence.”
JAMELLE BOUIE OF THE NEW YORK TIMES:
“The Idea That Biden Should Just Give Up Political Power Is Preposterous.” As it dawned on this outback editor that Biden is going to run again, as is Trump, of course. Pretty cynical of the Demo shot callers to shove Biden out there again, but then what choice do they have? The NYT thinks Biden is viable, and vis a vis Trump he probably is, even if the Democrats have to formally embalm him and wire him for sound. This election just might be The Final Absurdity.
DON'T tell Mr. Bouie, but it's obvious to most people in our doomed land that Biden hasn't exercised political power for years. Who is exercising power at the moment is not known, but it isn't the president. Even Obama described Biden as a "fuck up" he had to keep an eye on lest he fuck up.
TAKING A BREAK from Big Think to return to local, Y Ranch residents are alarmed that the Santa Rosa realtor handling a sale property is a little too casual with keys to the place. Anybody who expresses an interest in buying gets a key, which has resulted in poachers and who knows who else doing their various things on the remote forty.
(THE Y RANCH is a subdivision between Boonville and Yorkville. Most interestingly, it abuts, on its northeast end, the archaeological treasure commonly known as the Spirit Rock, a giant boulder covered with ancient Native American messages at what was once a trail linking Lake County with the Mendocino Coast. A wacky hippie mystic built a house there but the commune he envisioned never came off. The site is as idyllic as prehistoric sites can be — a large meadow at the headwaters of Feliz Creek rich in old oaks. The beauty is in stark contrast to lower Feliz as it passes beneath Highway 101 at Hopland, a denuded, desert-dry river bed that looks like one of those stream beds on Mars. I've seen vague references to the Spirit Rock area serving as a Native American sanctuary from slave-takers and soul-savers, the latter Spanish soldiers dispatched from the missions at early Sonoma and San Rafael.)
MAZIE MALONE NAILS IT: ....Even though a parent and school can intervene the illness remains throughout life, so episodes of psychosis must be addressed in the immediacy of the condition. There are billions of dollars allocated to service providers for mental illness treatment so money is not the issue. The root issue is the law, you can not force treatment or hospitalization, and because of that everyone is at a loss to do anything effective. So they all sit in their corner doing their job thinking others are doing theirs and nothing is accomplished.
JACOB PATTERSON seems to have caused the exit of another capable Fort Bragg City manager. Peggy Ducey has resigned, as had Tabatha Miller before her. Patterson, a non-practicing attorney who lives with his mom, seems to get odd kicks out of burdening the City with frivolous legal requests which, of course, he doesn't act on. He's obviously harassing the City without caring that he has cost the City thousands of dollars in staff time. And there also seems to be a sexist motive at work in Patterson's harassment, in that only women bear the brunt of his constant attentions, and the departures of successive female city managers are assumed to be to a large degree due to Patterson's constant recreational demands on their time. (Please excuse my resort to the blunderbuss term “sexist.” I try to stay away from the caw, caw, cawing terms of the professionally aggrieved.)
JACOB PATTERSON REPLIES:
A couple of corrections are in order. First, Peggy Ducey might have resigned but she was not a “capable” city manager, IMO. Second, her resignation was not in response to me, or at least not to me alone; she alienated many members of the community and we are better off without her in charge. Third, I am not sure where this false narrative came from regarding my living situation. I don’t live with my mother, I live in a house by myself that is owned by my family and I rent it from them. That is true for a lot of people on the Coast who are fortunate enough to be able to find rental housing, which is in short supply.
GROWING UP ON THE MENDOCINO COAST
by Eugene Scaramella
I’ll begin with a summary of family origins in Delebio, Northern Italy. My brothers Joe and John were both born there in the late 1800s. Delebio (which I finally visited in 1975) is a small town in Northern Italy very near the Swiss border near Lake Como.
My father Carlo came to Northern California in 1900 or 1901. He worked in the woods in Cleone and also worked loading lumber boats.
When he went down to load a boat at Little River one weekend it got stormy and the captain decided that he better get out of there. So the captain put out to sea and didn’t put anybody ashore. He headed down toward San Francisco and finally put my father ashore in a rowboat somewhere near Stewart’s Point. Dad had to walk all the way back to Cleone. It took him a couple of weeks, according to my brother Joe [Scaramella]. But part of that time he spent stopping and visiting Italian people along the way, and probably he had a couple of sips of wine.
In 1906 my father had finally saved enough money to arrange for my mother and brothers Joe and John to come to California.
My mother and Joe and John, who were seven and eight at the time, took the train from Delebio to Genoa and then from there they took a boat to Northern France, and then by ship to New York. They were steerage all the way across. They were down in the hold and according to Joe the conditions were pretty miserable. They arrived at Ellis Island and hooked up with a friend of my father’s who spoke English. They took a train to San Francisco, arriving there on the 17th of April, 1906. That was the day before the big San Francisco earthquake on the 18th. Father had arranged to travel to Point Arena by the steamer Pomo. It was supposed to leave at 10 o’clock the following morning.
The earthquake came a little after 5 o’clock in the morning and there was a fire in the hotel and everybody had to get out. Mother lost all her belongings, including her laces and other prized possessions she brought from Delebio.
Joe and John got the measles and the family was quarantined in a chicken coop in the harbor area for several days and then Joe and John got taken in by a local family in Oakland and in a matter of weeks they arranged travel to Point Arena. They took a train to Cloverdale and a horse-drawn stage to Elk and a horse-drawn wagon down to Point Arena.
Mother’s sister, Maria Ceceliani, and her family lived there, so they stayed with them until they found a place to stay. I’m not clear on exactly where they stayed originally, but it wasn’t long before Father bought a hotel and saloon at the bottom of a hill opposite the house where Joe now lived [at the intersection of Iversen Lane and Highway 1].
There were several problems there including a washout and slide which destroyed the original building. There were also problems with dad’s saloon partner. At that location my slightly older brother Charley was born on April 25, 1907, and I was born on May 30, 1908. Dr. Pitts was the attending physician and he didn’t register my birth. This gave me a lot of trouble later establishing a birth date for use in entering the Navy in 1942.
My own recollections start at Brush Creek, which was my first home after we moved from the hotel. As I understood it, father was a tie contractor. He had a contract on the Garcia River at a place called Caruther’s Camp. I probably was there but I don’t remember it. I do remember being at Brush Creek.
Our house there was a small log cabin and as I remember it had no floor. My mother would cook for the family and do all the washing and cleaning for the three or four hired men who were mostly Italian immigrants.
A tie contractor worked something like this: The owner of the lumber company would assign a section of the wooded area to a contractor who would be responsible for cutting down the trees and then cutting them into eight foot lengths and splitting them into ties of various sizes, 7x8 or 6x8, or 6x10. These were split out of the logs and then trimmed with a broad-axe. Subsequently they were hauled to the railroad siding by horse or hand where they were counted and paid for based on the number and quality of ties that were delivered.
Access to that house was very precarious. There wasn’t any road so we… The only time we could go up from the road (which now goes over the Mountain View Road)… we’d have to go up by streambed. It was inaccessible in the winter during the flood stage.
One incident I recall while living there was about 1912. The hired men were teasing me about drinking wine. They offered me 25¢ if I could drink the remainder of the wine that was in the bottom of the bottle. I looked at it and I thought it was one of those bottles with a fake, push-up bottom. So I drank it all. It turned out to be two or three inches of wine. I promptly walked off the porch and fell into some bushes there. All the hired men had a big laugh at that.
About 1912 we moved to Valley Crossing. You probably know it better now as the area called Twin Bridges which is east of Sea Ranch headquarters.
My father had another tie contract there. We lived about a half a mile downstream from Twin Bridges on the Gualala River. We had a house and a few acres where we kept horses, chickens, and cows, and we had a garden. My mother and father made cheese and sausage and butter and they made our soap from the various parts of the pork which we killed. Mother cooked on a big woodstove for the family and the hired help.
One of the first things my father did when we moved to a new location was to make a brick oven. He made a floor out of bricks which were made out of some kind of clay which we collected. We put kind of a dome shape over the top of the floor out of brick and then it had a little dent in the back and we would put wood in there for maybe eight or ten hours and heat the bricks up and then make bread by working the dough by hand and forming it into loaves and putting it into the oven, usually overnight. That made enough bread to last maybe a week or so. Some of it got pretty hard. It was probably nourishing but it wasn’t very tasty.
After about year there, Joe left home. I think he was about 14. My father had a tendency to make deals after he had a few glasses of wine. And the family was expected to make good on the deal no matter how hard and had to do a lot of work. Joe resented that and finally left. He went to work in North Beach in San Francisco.
My brothers John and Charley and I went to school there. It was then known as the Del Mar School. It had all eight grades in one room. John graduated there. Charley and I went through the fourth grade. I was five when I started school. They needed one extra person — me — in order to have enough pupils to qualify to get a school designation.
There were a lot of exciting events that happened there.
One of the most unusual things was due to our difficulty in talking good English at that time. Our lunch was rather unusual in that all we had was some dry bread and some dry cheese and salami. I think once in a while we had a small bottle of wine. We would go and eat our lunch in the woods and we wouldn’t fraternize with the other students because our English was poor.
In the wintertime sometimes when the Gualala River was in flood stage we would have to take a boat to cross it to go to school and then cross it again when we came back. Each time we had to put the boat in several hundred yards upstream because as we rode it across it would float down. If we wanted to land at point A, we would have to set the boat in about 200 yards upstream on the opposite bank and row and then finally get across to Point A. In the evening on the way home we would reverse the procedure.
In late 1914 the work in the woods dried up and there was no work. So the family had no cash income. We had animals, lots of game and fish, and a garden. Of course we needed salt and spices and sugar and things like that. We had to buy that on credit at the company store. I don’t know how Father ever paid it off but he finally did. We had quite a bit of hard work to keep things going but we made it.
I recall that my father used to make home-made cheese — we had racks and we had the cheese and we’d have to salt it and turn it. It was lots of work. Meantime my mother had to wash clothes in a boiler. She’d put that on top of the stove and boil some of the clothes. It was really a lot of work. Of course we never had running water at any of these locations nor did we have an indoor toilet. We either had a “shit pail” or we’d have to go out in the woods wherever we happened to be.
In 1918 we moved to Alder Creek, north of Manchester. It took two days to get up there from Valley Crossing. We had all our belongings in the farm wagon driven by a four-horse team. We had two bales of hay in the back of the wagon and the cattle followed the wagon. We got along fine without getting too many strays. I wish we’d had a camera, it would have been quite a scene to see this grouping of animals, wagons and people and horses going over the hill from up at the top and down to where Sea Ranch is now and on to Highway 1 and then on up to Gualala. We stayed there with the owner of what later became the Milano Hotel. It was owned by an Italian fellow by the name of Burt Lucanetti. We called him Big Burt. He was friendly with Dad and he put us up overnight and had a corral to keep the cattle in.
The next day we started on up the coast and we got as far as my mother’s sister’s, Maria Ceceliani and her family. They had a small ranch near the intersection of Highway 1 and Mountain View Road. From there we went on to the Alder Creek Ranch which is where Ray Stornetta later lived. We rented that place for five years, from 1918 to 1923.
There again it was an older house as I recall. There were three rooms and we had no indoor toilet or running water, as usual. We had to get our water from a well which was maybe a half a mile from the house. We’d go down there with cans and bring it up. We had a separate place where we had a smaller well where we got water for the animals. Some of the animals… there was a spring down there next to the well that they could drink out of.
The fall of 1918 was when the big flu epidemic hit the coast. I can recall every day seeing a hearse go by taking people to the cemetery. Fortunately, out of the five of us in the family at that time, Dad was the only one who caught it. He was quite sick but he recovered. Charley and I and John and Mother never contracted it. It was really a very, very serious epidemic.
At the ranch there we started out with about 20 cows and eventually built the herd to about 40. At that time we sold the cream. We’d milk the cows and put it into a tank. It had a hand separator which we cranked by hand and the cream came out of the top spigot and the skim milk came out of the lower spigot. It ran across to where we had our pigs. We fed the skim milk to them in those days. People who drank skim milk were very, very poor and there was kind of a stigma to drinking skim milk. Now it’s all in vogue.
By winter of 1919 Joe had married his beautiful wife Geneva in San Francisco and they came to live with us. That was a big treat because mother was a notoriously poor baker. She hardly ever baked anything except an occasional Italian panatoni at Christmas time. But when Geneva came, she started making cakes and pies and boy, she was really a hero around our place — particularly for Charley and me. We liked the sweet stuff.
Charley and I started Grammar School at Manchester. From the ranch there on Alder Creek we would walk, oh, it’s about two or three miles every morning and return in the evening. Manchester Grammar School at that time had two teachers. One teacher had grades 1-4. Charley and I were in grades 5-8. I was in the fifth grade and so was he. We completed all four grades there. Our first year’s teacher was a Mrs. Dorah. I don’t recall her as being particularly effective. But she was succeeded by Mrs. Morse who was an excellent teacher. She was an elderly lady and she drove a Model T Ford. She was very responsible for my interest in history and also in getting me to write and spell accurately.
While we were there we participated in a lot of escapades at Halloween, taking down gates… One time we took a buggy apart and we re-assembled it on the roof. People couldn’t figure out how that buggy got up there the next day.
They also used to have rodeos on the school grounds because one of the students used to ride a rather elderly horse and we were able to induce him to buck. We would take turns to see who could stay on the longest. Fortunately none of us ever got injured. It was sure an unusual thing to do.
Sometimes we’d sneak out during the noon hour to go skinny dipping down in Brush Creek. Several times we got back late and we were told to assume the angle. The teacher applied the ruler to our butts. It didn’t affect us too much, but it did sting a little.
We really didn’t have too much money in those days. So I started trapping. I had a trap line along the banks of Alder Creek. I caught a number of skunks, mink, raccoons and a fox or two. I would skin these out and send them to St. Louis to a company called H. Liebs and Company. They would send me checks based on what I sent them. Out of this I got enough money to buy several baseball bats, a first-baseman’s mitt, a fielder’s mitt and two or three baseballs, those cost about $3 each in those days. It was a lot of money. Whenever it got to raining or looked like it was going to rain Charley and I didn’t have to go to work in the fields, we’d go up behind the barn and take turns pitching and catching. We had a lot of fun. Charley was a left-hander. He could throw a pretty good curve ball. I was a right-hander but I didn’t have too much athletic ability in those days, I was kind of awkward. But when I got to high school I got a little better coordinated and I got on the basketball team as a freshman and played every year, and it was the same way in baseball. Of course the competition wasn’t very strong either. We only had about 12 or 13 boys go out for baseball, so it looked like almost everybody who went out made the team. We played all the coast teams and Anderson Valley within our league.
We also made our own wine. We had a tank that held about 200-300 gallons. My father would go over to Cloverdale and buy some zinfandel grapes and then they’d dump them into the tank a box at a time and all the rest of the family would get down in there and traipse around crushing the grapes. Later we finally got a hand crusher. That was quite sophisticated. In addition to that, after the wine was fermented the pomace was drawn off. We dumped the pomace into a makeshift still we made out of a ten-gallon milk can rigged up so we could put it on the stove. The lid was tapped with a lead coil which took the steam that came off and condensed it and caught it. That was what we Italians called grappa. It was pretty strong stuff. The amazing thing is that we weren’t aware that by using a lead pipe we were endangering our health. Of course a person didn’t want to drink too much of that stuff because it was mighty, mighty strong.
Charley and I both graduated there in 1922. We had quite an interesting graduation ceremony. There’s a copy of the program around with some of our old records. It included us participating in a small play and other things like that. As I recall I was the valedictorian. I don’t know what I talked about, but that’s what Mrs. Morse said I should do and I did it.
In 1924 our lease was going to be up at our ranch there at Alder Creek. Meantime, my Dad had bought what was then known as the Janigen Ranch. John and a hired man took some of the cattle and went out there for a couple of years. I stayed home and worked on the ranch with Charley. Neither one of us had gone to high school on completion of grammar school. I wasn’t supposed to go to high school either, but sometime after graduating from grammar school I contracted some severe tonsillitis and also something else, I forget what it was. But I was quite ill for about three or four months. Eventually I wound up in the hospital in San Francisco. It was called the Lane Hospital. It was a medical school for Stanford University at the time. I was there for several weeks and they gave me some kind of treatment and I recovered, it seems unusually well. After that bout I had hardly any health problems. I never was hospitalized again until I had a gall bladder operation in 1973.
Since I was not too strong in those days my father decided that I should go to school and try to take on a life that wasn’t quite so hard. There was a farm advisor here by the name of Mr. Foote who talked about UC Davis. He was instrumental in getting agriculture as part of the curriculum at Point Arena High School. The first ag teacher there was named George Stanley. He also was instrumental in getting me interested in going to Davis.
Later on Ted Liefrink was the second ag teacher who came over to Point Arena. He and Mr. Stanley were able to make contacts for me so that when I later went to Davis I had some work lined up — places where I could go and people would put me to work so I could earn some money to pay my college expenses there.
While this was going on we moved to the Janigan Ranch in 1924. That’s where I actually started high school. I used to walk down to the road from the old ranch and catch the bus. I had to get up about five o’clock in the morning, milk seven or eight cows, have breakfast, and walk down to the road and take the bus to high school and be there all day. About four o’clock I’d leave there and get home by about five o’clock and then out to the barn again and do the chores and the milking and have dinner and then do whatever homework we had, which wasn’t really very much.
While we were in the high school ag program we went to several judging contests at Davis, dairy cow judging mostly. We also went to the State Fair. I was exposed to the Davis campus as a high school student and it wasn’t really all that new to me. But it was quite an experience for me to go there.
At high school, since I was in the ag class, I got to know some of the more progressive farmers in the area, Walter Stornetta, Dan Jensen, Wes Christiansen, and another, I can’t think of his name. Anyway, he had a ranch right there in town. They were forming a committee to start a dairy show here. At the first show they were going to take their prize cattle down to the stream by the Garcia River, just north of it, and east of where the Manchester Cemetery is now. A man named Elias Bishop owned the property there. It was kind of a protected spot. We’d have a picnic and speeches and a judge from Davis would come over and he would judge the cows in the various classes, older cows and young calves, one-year-olds and some bulls. I remember a couple of our Jerseys got prizes and that was kind of exciting.
I was a part of the group that was organizing this fair. They wanted to get a permanent kind of a building for meetings and things like that. So Walter Stornetta donated some property which is now where the farm center picnic center is, where they have the Fourth of July picnics. To get enough money to buy the lumber we had a number of barn dances down at Walter Stornetta’s ranch. He helped us build a new barn and the second floor had a good lumber deck which was a good dance floor. We’d spread some soap chips on there and we’d get a band over and everybody danced until two or three in the morning. We made several hundred dollars there. Each time we’d have two dances. We used that money to erect the building that is now at the farm center. It didn’t have a permanent roof on it at the time.
Later, as it turned out, that was the place where I first met my wife Mary who had come up for one of those dances. (We were later married in 1936.) I graduated from high school in 1928 and that fall I went to Davis, majoring in Dairy Science.
(Eugene Scaramella was Mark Scaramella’s father. He died on December 31, 1999 at the age of 91 about 20 hours short of the millennium after a long career as a creamery manager, mostly in California’s central valley, retiring after several years as General Manager of the Challenge Cream & Butter Association dairy cooperative in LA.)
2023 UKIAH VALLEY RUSSIAN RIVER CLEANUP TO BE HELD SATURDAY, SEPT. 23
Volunteers Needed for Annual Pollution Prevention and Stewardship Event
Ukiah – Would you like to make an immediate improvement to the environment and have fun doing it? Does the sight of litter in our creeks make you want to take action? Then come join the annual Ukiah Valley Russian River Cleanup, held on Coastal Cleanup Day, Saturday, September 23, from 8:30 AM to Noon.
The 110-mile-long Russian River snakes around serpentine hills of blue oak woodlands from northern Ukiah down south of Healdsburg, before winding westward through steep, fir-studded valleys past Guerneville, and spilling past myriad Harbor seals into the Pacific at Jenner. The Russian River is home to snails, dragonflies, turtles, newts, snakes, toads, frogs, fish, otters, ducks, hawks, and so many other important friends in our ecosystem. Many sea-dwelling fishes including Coho salmon, Steelhead trout, and Pacific lamprey visit the Russian River to reproduce.
The Russian River watershed is also home to many dedicated human stewards. Last year, in the Ukiah Valley alone, over 140 volunteers collected 3,500 pounds of trash! Cigarette butts are the most frequently collected item, followed by single-use plastic packaging, such as food wrappers. It’s tempting to pull out large objects like tires and bicycles, but small litter is just as important, and cigarette butts release toxic chemicals into the water, which can pose enormous harm to aquatic species.
Be part of the solution! To join the cleanup, pre-register through MCRCD’s Facebook page, or directly at https://forms.gle/P3b9KcmVH8PM7TDo6 by September 18th. Volunteers will gather for a safety talk and to divide into teams. Come early at 8:30 to sign in and get a cup of coffee donated by Black Oak Coffee Roasters. Bring a water bottle, sturdy shoes, and work gloves. No flip flops!
The event is co-sponsored by the Mendocino County Resource Conservation District, Mendocino County Water Agency, and Redwood Waste Solutions, along with numerous local partners including the City of Ukiah and Black Oak Coffee Roasters. For questions or for more information, contact Jessica Reid at firstname.lastname@example.org.
CATCH OF THE DAY, Tuesday, September 20, 2023
CURTIS EVANS, Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-alcohol, failure to appear.
ANDREW GITCHEL, Willits. Burglary, grand theft, controlled substance, failure to appear.
FAITH HAYDEN, Ukiah. Domestic battery.
TODD SCHUETZ, Santa Rosa/Ukiah. Stolen vehicle, attempt to keep stolen property, evasion, resisting, county parole violation.
‘IT’S LIKE A ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE’: SF Street Horror Only Grows As Drug Overdose Numbers Spike
by Kevin Fagan
At first he lay twitching, then he just lay flat, chest still. The young man was overdosing on drugs, right there in the middle of a Mission Street sidewalk in full afternoon daylight Tuesday, and it took a minute for the crowd milling around nearby to notice.
Nobody moved until Will Krtek, who was sitting nearby at Seventh Street about to light up a hit of fentanyl, turned and saw the sprawled body.
He ran over and began breathing into the young man’s mouth, yelling, “Somebody help! Bring some Narcan!” Several federal and city police officers came over and called an ambulance, while Michael Walker dashed in from his tent across the street. He jammed a dispenser of Narcan — the lifesaving antidote to opioid overdoses — into the victim’s nostril and pushed the plunger.
The victim stirred just as an ambulance arrived. While he convulsed and screeched, paramedics loaded him in for a ride to the hospital.
That man was lucky.
His brush with death came one day after a city report revealed that the number of drug overdose deaths in San Francisco jumped to 84 in August, putting the city on track to see 845 overdose fatalities this year — surpassing 2020’s record 725 deaths.
“That’s the fourth person I’ve saved in the last week and a half,” Krtek, 39, said as he watched the victim — who was in too much trauma to give his name — be driven away. “I’m just glad he’s not one of those who died. I’ve saved people and then later I hear they died, and it just tears you up.
“That might be me someday,” he said, wiping a tear from his eye. “I’m homeless. I want to stop using, but I can’t make it happen — fentanyl is too strong, won’t let you go. It’s so hard to shake that people are going to find it no matter what.
“You could sell it on Catalina Island and people would get on rafts to go out there to buy it.”
Overdose deaths have always been a problem, but they’ve assumed a newly toxic dimension in the past five years as the highly potent and easy-to-overdose-on opioid fentanyl mushroomed in the drug trade in San Francisco and nationwide. Users like Krtek are scared.
“It’s crazy, so sad out here, it’s like a Zombie apocalypse,” said 32-year-old Georgia Taylor, who lives outside and said she began using fentanyl “because I lost my two kids to child protective services and had a broken heart.”
“You can’t help people who don’t want help,” she said. “You can find 100 people out here who have 100 different reasons for using, and we all have to be ready to quit before it will work. I’ve been clean before, and I so, so want to get clean again before I overdose and die. But it’s so hard.”
In 2017, 222 people died from overdoses in the city, and though the city has poured millions of dollars into police patrols and interventions like a temporary drop-in center in the Tenderloin, the trend upward hasn’t appreciably been stemmed. The record 725 deaths in 2020 dropped to 647 last year, but now this year’s spike is alarming drug users and city officials alike.
Health officials have said they are making medications that treat opioid addiction, including methadone, more available by expanding hours at pharmacies and clinics and increasing mobile clinics and care teams. They are also increasing distribution of naloxone, also known as Narcan.
The city has vowed to create “wellness hubs” for drug users, expand treatment access and availability, and create an office to coordinate city efforts. Wellness hubs were originally envisioned as a potential place for consumption of drugs under medical supervision, but that plan is on hold due to legal concerns. The city is considering opening a few of them, but without the supervised drug use component.
Meanwhile, a new Narcan-resistant drug has been gaining a foothold on San Francisco’s streets. Xylazine — commonly known as “tranq” — was present in more than 15 cases last year, according to the medical examiner. There have already been more than that this year.
Shannon Knox, director of the Drug Users Union nonprofit drop-in center for substance users in San Francisco, said Tuesday she thinks society and government have been too slow in responding to the fentanyl-triggered rise in overdoses.
“I think it’s absolutely horrific,” she said. “There needs to be a lot of critical thinking done. We need to be meeting people where they’re at and giving them a menu of possibilities for whatever it takes for them to change. Not judging them, but helping them change when they’re ready.
“People have been traumatized by all the impacts of being unhoused, living with addictions that can be disabling, incarceration, losing contact with their family and friends, watching their friends die in the street,” she said. “The people in San Francisco have been through so much. They need a lot of compassion. And help.”
Eddie G., a 69-year-old fentanyl user with “San Francisco” prominently tattooed across his belly, said he thinks the overdose problem stems from people not checking their drugs closely enough.
“They’re not buying good dope,” he said, as he stood on Minna Street after inhaling a hit. “You’ve got to check the color of your dope. You want it light, not dark. If it’s black? You could be dead.”
Eddie lives in a city supportive housing hotel and has overdosed three times, only living after being administered Narcan.
“I’ve seen four people die of overdoses, and it makes me make promises to myself that before I use, someone’s around to save me,” he said. “I just count on people having mercy in their hearts.”
He would find no mercy from the middle-age drug dealer hawking fentanyl from his parked car window several blocks away on Sixth Street.
“I don’t give a f— about the overdoses,” the dealer said as he handed a bindle over to a woman in exchange for $10. “You make your choice to put that s— in your mouth. That’s your business. I need to make my money.”
A block south of the car, a few steps into an alley off Sixth Street, a slightly younger dealer said he sticks to selling crack and methamphetamine because he can’t stomach the death gamble that comes with fentanyl.
“That way you can look yourself in the mirror,” he said. “People who sell that stuff — it’s in another world. My stuff will keep you up, but it won’t kill you.”
ON-LINE COMMENT OF THE DAY
Jeans are not really that comfy.
Training pants are comfy.
That is why Dopey Fetterman wears them.
Stretchy–easy to get in and out of.
I can’t conceive of why they had to change the whole Senate dress code for this damaged person. Just make one exception for him, and others who are similarly damaged.
That way we would immed. know who considers him- or herself to be mantally sub-par. Whoops, mentally.
But I guess “mantally” also works, in the context.
Truth via typo. An old idea of mine.
Today I read how the United Nations is having week long talks with a enclave of World Leaders and Speakers. This again reminded me of how difficult it is for opposing sides to come together in the highest good for all concerned. In these words, isn’t selfishness nor anger nor revenge. In my own way I decided to send a letter regarding (change) not pocket change but tangible change. I mentioned I had mailed letter(s) to two other governing entities and enclosed $1 to create synchronization. An idea in its most needed moments opens the way (s) of Realization. Also I mentioned the other World leaders do similarly (to move) the energy they are dealing with from afar. Lol I also mentioned my favorite movie is North by Northwest with Carry Grant.
BIDEN’S GREEN ENERGY MONEY IS SUGAR ON A POISON PILL
by Lydia Millet
We’ve just had the hottest summer in recorded history, with runaway wildfires in Canada and Hawaii, ruinous floods from Slovenia, Sudan and Hong Kong to Vermont and Brazil. We’ve seen nearly half of the world’s ocean waters in a heat wave, having absorbed some 90 percent of the heat produced by our greenhouse gas emissions.
Amid those catastrophes a new report from Oil Change International, out Sept. 12, showed that despite its rhetoric on climate leadership, the United States accounts for one-third of planned oil and gas expansion across the globe between now and 2050 — more than any other nation.
President Biden, with both help and hindrance from Congress, has brought us federal funding for clean technologies. That’s a crucial step but brutally inadequate: If we keep drilling, pumping and using oil and gas, green-energy money will remain a sprinkling of sugar on a poison pill.
In advance of this year’s United Nations Climate Ambition Summit on Wednesday, Mr. Biden has made concessions to the environmental lobby, canceling oil and gas leases in high-profile Alaska refuges and reserves. Those gestures are welcome, but also easy. The more difficult and more essential task is to remove incentives for oil and gas companies to continue their frantic pace of production, transport and profiteering.
The president’s answer to the climate crisis has been, in one word, more: more money for solar and wind, sure! But also more oil production and more exports of planet-heating fuels. More of everything! It’s the path of least resistance. And after all, more is the American way.
But more won’t cut it with fossil fuels, whether we’re using them ourselves or selling them to other countries. U.S. crude oil exports have gone up almost 850 percent since an important export ban was lifted in 2015, and in 2023 domestic oil production will hit an all-time high. Cleaning up our domestic portfolio won’t mean much if we keep shipping out dirty fuels to be combusted abroad.
The race to decarbonize should be embraced as a race to emancipation and to a greater global peace. Fossils are currently subsidizing conflicts from Russia’s war against Ukraine to militias in Myanmar. In the United States, they also have a regressive influence, since the steep, local environmental costs of producing fossils are borne by frontline populations that are largely poor communities and those of color.
This means that the emerging fight against fossil fuel dominance is not a faint, symbolic echo of, say, the struggles for civil rights and the women’s vote, or of organized labor for fair treatment in the 1930s. It’s a fusion of the impulses behind each of these mass liberation movements, striving to unite the need for environmental justice with the need for racial equity, workers’ rights and an economic system that values the common good over narrow, elite interests. It asks our leaders to use science as the basis for policy — and for rational action. And it asks this not in the name of one group alone, but for all of us.
So far the United States is Goliath, not David. For the very first time, global leadership is naming and blaming fossil fuels for the crisis: while the Paris Agreement doesn’t even make mention of fossil fuels, U.N. Secretary General António Guterres is now targeting them directly by welcoming only nations that will commit to no new fossil fuel development and to concrete transition and phaseout plans to speak at the climate summit.
With its enormous economic, military and political clout, America is the colossus that stands in the way of a planetary crackdown on emissions. Congress is deeply entangled with the fossil fuel industry, and in the short term will stay that way. In time, we can hope for its corruption to wane and a belated survival instinct to kick in. But at this pivotal point, when science tells us we have to peak emissions by 2025, the only way forward is through the executive.
President Biden can’t stop oil companies from drilling on private or state lands, which are the source of the vast majority of our current output, but he can phase out oil and gas production on public lands. And he can reinstate a ban on oil and gas exports from private lands. He can stop saying yes to all new oil and gas projects — including the planned Sea Port Oil Terminal off the Texas coast, intended to increase our exports — and more exploration and drilling sites in the Gulf of Mexico.
He can declare the destabilized climate to be the emergency it is and stop the billions of dollars in fossil fuel financing invested abroad, which locks in decades’ worth of extraction. He can direct the Environmental Protection Agency to establish national limits for greenhouse gases under the Clean Air Act. He can end the Department of Energy’s fossil fuel financing programs and require that all new vehicle sales are zero-emission by 2030. He can prosecute polluters and utilities for the damages they cause under nuisance and fraud suits, as Gov. Gavin Newsom has just done in California, and bring antitrust violation suits against entities that obstruct the clean energy transition.
President Biden can do all of this. If he acts now with urgency and strength, he can replace the poison pill of carbon emissions with medicine. He can give us hope that the ones who come after us will not be subjected to summers of chaos that grow more ravaging every year.
(Lydia Millet is the author of more than a dozen books of fiction, most recently “A Children’s Bible” and “Dinosaurs.” She is deputy creative director at the Center for Biological Diversity in Tucson, Ariz.)
LINCOLN SAW IT COMING
In January 1838 when Abraham Lincoln was an Illinois state representative and just 29 years old, he delivered a speech to the Young Men’s Lyceum of Springfield, Illinois, titled “The Perpetuation of Our Political Institutions.” He warned that mobs of people who disrespected U.S. laws and courts would destroy the United States. In that speech he said, “If destruction be our lot, we must ourselves be its author and finisher. As a nation of freemen, we must live through all time or die by suicide.”
A very prescient statement made almost 200 years ago by a 29-year-old politician with less than a year of formal education graphically describing what is presently happening to our country. I fear that we are, indeed, dying by suicide. The present Republican Party is the antithesis of the Party of Lincoln.
Bob G. Field
Five American citizens unfairly held for espionage, a totally false, trumped up charge, by Iran were released two days ago by the Iranian government. They came home today. One of the five men had been held for eight years in Iran's worst prison. Five Iranians were released by the Biden Administration. $6 billion being held by us by South Korea was released for humanitarian purposes also. Our head negotiator, also responsible for the release by Russia of basketball stary, Bridney Gainer, is Roger Carsons.
Although some Republican politicians in Washington criticized the deal as a "prisoner ransom" that will encourage the unfair taking of American prisoners by enemy nations like Russia, Iran, North Korea, and others, the deal may also be seen as a positive step forward.
Snap judjments in world affairs can sometimes be very right or very wrong.
Frank H. Baumgardner, III
UKRAINE, WEDNESDAY, 20TH SEPTEMBER
Traffic on Kerch bridge linking Crimea with Russia has been suspended, according to local authorities, as a smokescreen — used for disrupting drone attacks — appeared on the occupied peninsula.
A cargo ship in the Black Sea hit a sea mine, according to Romanian authorities. At least 12 crew members were taken to a port near the Ukrainian border following an explosion about 25 miles offshore, Romania's sea rescue agency said.
President Volodymyr Zelensky urged a global front against Russian aggression in a dramatic speech to the UN General Assembly on Tuesday. Moscow's aim was "to turn our lands, our people, our resources into a weapon against you, against the international rules-based order," he said.
Ukraine’s special services were "likely" behind strikes on Wagner-backed forces in Sudan, a Ukrainian military source told CNN.
THE ANNUAL APOCALYPSE CHARADE
On August 3 the United States could start defaulting on its obligations as the Tea Party crowd in the House of Represenstatives refuse to raise the debt ceiling. Lights might start to go out: billions in social security checks might not arrive on time and America’s old folk could go without food or make the rent. US Treasuries will lose their top rating and the entire credit structure of the planet can start to come unglued. Goldbugs will be crazed with triumph as the precious metal soars to $3,000 an ounce and hyperinflation roars into life. Next thing you know, greenbacks are being tossed in the trash and we’re heading back to a barter economy.
America is in love with Apocalypse. It always has been. Every couple of years someone says the End is Nigh. When I came to America’s shores in 1972 Hal Lindsey’s The Late Great Planet Earth had just been published and sold 30 million copies over the next 20 years. Lindsey wrote, rather presciently, that the Antichrist would rule over a ten-nation European Community through the 1970s until the Rapture – scheduled for the 1980s – and the Second Coming.
The next big rendezvous with Apocalypse I remember was New York’s brush with bankruptcy in the late 1970s. The air was thick with what-ifs, and remained so till the arrival of the third Christian millennium and a tremendous burst of alarm at the notion that the world’s computers would shut down. They called it Y2K and it was a bust. From there it was a brisk transition to Global Warming, the non-believers’ version of the End Times.
Not many people here really think the US government will shut down on August 3. The fight over the deficit is one of those American ceremonies, as embalmed in ritual speech and gesture as an English coronation.
(Alexander Cockburn, July 27, 2011)