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COOL SHOWERY WEATHER will impact Northwest California today. Drier and warmer conditions are then expected on Monday, followed by additional periods of cool temperatures and possible rain during mid to late portions of next week. (NWS)
STEPHEN DUNLAP (Fort Bragg): At 4:30am I have clear skies & 57F on the coast, but I am expecting cloud cover at any point. Our forecast calls for showers today although our system seems to have fallen apart overnight. I think we had some showers overnight but I did not check the rain gauge. Generally quiet this week with some chances for rain Wed & Thur, we'll see.
TWO DEAD IN COVELO PLANE CRASH
On Friday, October 20, 2023 at 6:00 PM, Mendocino County Sheriff's Deputies were dispatched to a reported airplane crash at a rural location in the 21000 block of Airport Road in Covelo, CA.
A short time later, Deputies were informed the airplane was on fire and the fire was spreading into nearby vegetation.
Personnel from Cal Fire, United States Forestry Service, California Highway Patrol, and Round Valley Tribal Police Department responded to the crash scene as well.
Once the fire was contained, Deputies began searching the debris field. Deputies located the bodies of two deceased individuals who remain unidentified at this time due to the conditions of their bodies.
Deputies initiated a Coroner's Investigation specific to Aircraft Accident protocols and contacted the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB).
The circumstances/cause of the crash is currently being investigated by NTSB investigators who were making arrangements to respond to the crash scene upon being notified of the incident by the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office.
The Sheriff's Office Coroner's Division will continue Coroner's Investigation in conjuction with the NTSB investigation.
Anyone with information that may assist investigators are urged to contact the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office Dispatch Center by calling 707-463-4086.
HAPPY 97TH HALLOWEEN TO PHILO’S GLENN GASAWAY!
AV UNIFIED NEWS
Dear Anderson Valley Community,
It was a wonderful week in the Valley. Our Senior athletes for soccer and volleyball were celebrated at the high school on Thursday night. It was beautiful to see so many people there to honor them. We also had the high school Honor Roll ceremony on Friday night, and I appreciate the students and family members that attended.
Saturday was an exciting day at the elementary school with the debut of the first Saturday school program created by Charlotte Triplett. We receive after school program funding worth hundreds of thousands of dollars. It is restricted in category, and we can’t use it in the regular day programs. Part of the requirement is that we host 30 additional days of school at the elementary site. We did that in the summer last year, and I will be frank, it was a waste of money and staff effort in the last two weeks, as attendance was strong for the first few weeks of school and then dropped off.
What we are trying to do now is sprinkle some scheduled Saturdays into the program featuring some high interest activities as well as a few days of school over the long winter break to meet the requirement. Post-Covid, our students need as many social engagement opportunities as well as academics as possible. We are hopeful that this will be a well attended program. We had almost 100 students sign up for today’s program and although only 50 showed up for the reservation, it was a marvelous day filled with soccer, tennis, yoga, art, and more. It is available to TK-6 grades. PLEASE, if you make a reservation for your child, please make sure they attend as we have staff that have given up their Saturday to be there to support them. More dates are on the books! Ask the school site for a schedule.
Elementary school also has Family Art Night scheduled on Thursday, October 26. Join the site for dinner and an art activity led by Kathleen Michaels. This is a great beloved tradition that is being brought back for our students and families. Make a FREE reservation for dinner and the activity at the school office.
On Wednesday, October 25 at the high school, we are going to have a scheduled speaker who has been inside the federal prison system as an inmate. Many of our students, particularly some of the high school boys, glamorize the inmate culture. This will be age-appropriate for 9th to 12th grade but if you would prefer, we can opt out your student by calling the office. Social media glamorizes some of the worst things in our culture through music, images, and film. A little bit of a reality check can sometimes shape a choice.
State-wide test results were released, and it is obvious we have a lot of work to do. One of the things that we look at is the growth in the cohort year over year. The State compares seventh grade last year to seventh grade this year which does not show you the growth of the students year over year. I am particularly pleased that many of our cohorts show great growth, particularly at the elementary school and our eighth graders last year. We are on the right track in language arts, and math is a huge focus at both sites within the year.
To the families of the current eighth graders that I have been calling regarding the behavior notes from their classroom teachers, thank you for your cooperation and counsel with your student. Hopefully, overtime we can reshape this class to be prepared for high school. We appreciate the support.
Attending school daily remains a top priority. Your student really does get behind when they’re not here. We have started an attendance race at the high school for grades 7 through 12 for the class winner of percentage of daily attendance. There will be weekly prices by class and quarterly awards of an uptown field trip for lunch. Daily attendance matters. Help us help your kids. If you have an emergency, and need support with a ride, please call your student’s school office. This is not meant to be every day, but is there in the event of an emergency.
We are grateful for your partnership. I hope you have a happy and healthy week ahead.
Louise Simson, Superintendent
AV Unified School District
JAIL GARDEN UPDATE
In collaboration with Mendocino College, Inmate Services provided a course called AGR-180 Fall Sustain Vegetable & Fruit Production. This course focused on teaching sustainable methods for growing fall vegetables and fruits, catering to both gardeners and small-scale farmers. Participants were introduced to key techniques and principles in various areas including season extension, site and soil evaluation, propagation, irrigation, pests, diseases, weed control, composting, soil preparation, pruning, harvesting, storage, and produce preservation. While the course primarily emphasized organic and sustainable practices, alternative approaches were also discussed. A total of eleven inmates, both men and women, successfully completed the course and even delivered their final presentations. Their commitment, goal-driven attitude, and ability to earn college credits mark a positive step towards transforming their lives. We take pride in their achievements and wish them continued success in their future endeavors.
ANDERSON VALLEY VILLAGE: Events Calendar
UKIAH SHELTER PET OF THE WEEK
Paisley is sweet, energetic, happy and affectionate. If you’re looking for a hiking partner or a dog to train for agility, Paisley will be perfect. Paisley has good indoor manners. We’re recommending older children in Paisley’s new home because she can be a little mouthy. This lovely girl is a Shepherd X, 2 years old and 59 gorgeous pounds. For more about Paisley and all our adoptable dogs and cats, head to mendoanimalshelter.com. For information about adoptions, call 707-467-6453. Check out our Facebook Page and share our posts! And, if you’re looking for a puppy, the shelter is full of the cutest and sweetest pups. Click here to see them all!
by Frank Hartzell
Some get ecstatic about dance, I am enraptured today about insurance. For the first time in 5 years, I was able to buy home insurance from an insurance company.
After Liberty Mutual unceremoniously non-renewed me with no reason provided, I found that all of California's admitted insurance companies were in what appeared to me to be a criminal monopoly/cabal. Almost every one of them, and I called them all, gave me the same nonsensical answer about something called “brush maps” indicating my home was likely to turn into a Cleone Candle at any moment. Sometimes word for word. Whoever “brush maps” was, I was not allowed to see him or ask him any questions. Almost everybody was using the same bogus AI mapping program to deny me insurance, which seems like a possible crime to me, if only insurance companies weren’t above the law.
Rich Pyorre first rescued me with Lloyds of London once, but then after a few years nothing changed on my end but they decided to join all the insurance companies admitted to sell insurance by the state of California by refusing to write me a policy. This included the likes of State Farm and Farmers as well as all those available to independent brokers. I tried Costco, AAA and goofy online companies that people suggested, which actually simply go to Liberty Mutual and such and charge the consumer a markup. That’s also true of Geico, which advertises it sells home insurance, but actually doesn’t, it's just another middleman to the cabal. Many locals and local insurance folks hunted and hunted, none as hard as Rich. I thought I had been to every broker in town but missed one.
I checked every year, it was as if I was a teenage suitor living in his mother's basement and asking Naomi Campbell out on a date.. NO NO NO NO insurance for you! Then bang I was talking to Jay McMartin-Rosenquist and she told me she got home insurance from Team Insurance between D’Aurelios and DMV in Fort Bragg. I called and Noble over in Ukiah wrote me insurance in less than five minutes.
Holy pickled albacore batman!
Here is the insurance company, if you are one of the many people I have met going without, call them or better yet, an independent local broker and give it a try. It's Delos and the mainstream underwriter is Homesite. You might think I live in a wildfire zone. You would be wrong. I am 250 yards from that little firebreak called the Pacific Ocean. A good portion of our property is a pond. We are near sea level, always wet, even in a drought. The neighbors are also all swamp critters, with year round marsh on the back property so deep I can sink past my considerable middle and up to my Irish eyebrows.
My dad, the previous owner and an engineer, and curious type fella, with the help of a few old friends working off the books, did a core sample and was amazed to find our sand went down and down and down and finally turned to sandstone, then into harder sandstone. No sign of the bedrock, something he was always searching for in his days driving piles for bridge construction. He and his pals concluded this place had been sand dunes until less than 1000 years ago and had been sand dunes probably for 20,000 years before that, maybe more.
The sandy part of the sample showed there had never been a wildfire here so it has likely been since before the pyramids were built since any fire scorched the bishop pine, bull pine, grand fir and redwood trees here.
This all was blatantly obvious for decades to Liberty Mutual, who sent a jolly adjuster out in the old days for coffee, stories and a shot of strength from the walled city of Tullamore . They have long since fired the adjusters and won't send anyone out nor will they consider any FACTS about the property.
We don’t need no stinking facts, we have AI!!!
This made me very curious and I began to investigate. I found out that this has nothing to do with wildfires. It is happening in every state and across the world at the same rate. But in California the insurance companies can quickly find a nitwit in the media who will compose a story that makes the insurance companies brave heroes in the face of wildfires. I mean it does seem obvious. But it's not true.
It's about AI, saving money and scamming their own charters. I'm going to say that three more times in this rant because nobody seems to be able to hear the truth today.
* * *
I did a piece for Real Estate Magazine a couple years ago where I interviewed everyone from state senators to the insurance commissioner to insurance companies and what I found is that blaming California's wildfires is literally a smokescreen. That article was much more objective and complete than this rant. If you ask at email@example.com I will send you a copy.
If any libertarians are still reading, please stop now as I am going to point out the fact that insurance companies, when they form, must agree not to practice discrimination. Horrors! The powerful have to follow rules and not simply rob us all! It's the job of the courts and the other two branches of our state and federal government to make them do this. If insurance was only for the wealthiest people in the most safe areas, everybody else would either perish in a calamity of any kind or be paid for by the rest of us in the end.
I realize this idiocy is also called libertarian paradise.
Many years ago insurance companies played all these same kinds of tricks in order NOT to sell insurance to black people. Those efforts were called redlining. I could show you the original charter from the 1950s of a Fort Bragg housing association for a new subdivision that includes “no blacks.”
This nasty stuff led to the creation of the California FAIR plan (Fair Access to Insurance) in 1968. The plan is composed of all the admitted insurance companies selling as a group. It's not a government agency, so they can control it even more that way. It's also a scam. They create regulations as a cabal that allow them to get out of risky insurance. They dump people like me, who really aren’t risky into the FAIR plan, where we get very sketchy and almost not worth doing insurance for 3x the cost of what I used to pay. So instead of paying liberty mutual $780 a year (which was probably a bit low considering any fire risk) I was paying close to $4000 for a much lesser policy. Liberty Mutual gets more money cooperating in the cabal than it did from me directly. In fact the FAIR plan didn't cover the contents of my house and so I had to go to Safeco, which is owned by Liberty Mutual and pay them more than I paid for my entire policy.
The most grim aspect of this scam is not that guys like me are paying more per month for insurance than I did to rent my house in Ohio. The worst part of this is the catastrophic impact, including future deaths and widespread mayhem that is caused when all the insurance companies in your state start ignoring fire prevention as a factor in insurance and only considering AI maps because it’s cheaper than having a good ole boy come out and look at 50 houses in a day and write a long list of ways we can all do better to protect our homes from fire, which we all did back then..
Our entire neighborhood was willing to get together collectively and reduce fire risk But this matters not in the slightest to admitted California cabal insurance companies. They are not even slightly interested in reducing fire risk. Read my article in the Real Estate Magazine about fire captains losing their insurance and being unable to talk to their insurance companies about how much they had done to fire harden their homes. Insurance companies are doing this to save money with AI and don’t give a damn about fire hardening or fire prevention. They own both political parties now, having previously only had title to the California GOP.
Back in the 1980s I gathered signatures for many insurance reforms. Democrats back then were charging headlong into Republicans who didn’t want insurance regulated. I helped in a small way push through mandatory car insurance and a ballot measure that cracked down on car insurance rate hikes and finally an effort in 1991 to elect, rather than appoint the insurance commissioner. Insurance companies soon figured out the solution to all of this, own two political parties rather than one.
It has worked.
Delos did make me put my money where my mouth is. If I have a wildfire, I have to pay $15,000 on a claim. If it’s any other kind of fire, such as a regular house fire, claim (and many more types of claims including liability are possible). My new Delos policy costs $2600 rather than the California Fair Plan cost $3800, for way more insurance coverage. I have never filed a home insurance claim and hope not to but I have heard the FAIR plan is very slow and hard to deal with. My broker would have done that, but I wanted to ask them some questions directly so I called. After 33 minutes on hold I hung up. I have never filed a claim with Delos but read all about them. I don’t like the fact they are so proud of doing everything by AI but at least they are honest about it and don’t run homey commercials about a goofy guy and a Llama and pretend like humans are making the decisions. They have good ratings and no record of not paying legit claims. They have an A minus rating from AM Best Rating, which is the largest insurance company rating service in the world. AM Best rates liberty mutual A stable. The ratings go all the way from A+++ down through the alphabet.
For reasons I will only tell you one on one but involving a multi-year research project I did, it unnerves me about who is behind Delos, that the company is named for a sacred Greek island, where Apollo was born. Some of you may know what I’m talking about.
Another awful aspect of this is that people who can’t buy insurance or are running without any (YIKES) often seem like they are ashamed or that they don’t want people to know this about their property. This isn’t about your property, it’s all a bunch of flying horsepucky!
Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to provide your comments and say if you would like to be part of an objective story in an insurance magazine that is currently interested in that.
I’d like to see our state and federal representatives do something about this and the county supervisors make some sort of statement to send to them. Join me! Or write me and tell me why I’m wrong.
Remember AI, scamming and cost savings. Not wildfires!
TREVOR MOCKEL, the inexperienced candidate for First District Supervisor endorsed unquestioningly by all five supervisors last May before the filing deadline was even passed, has a habit of inflating his rhetoric in an amusing attempt to curry favor with everyone he meets on the campaign trail while at the same time saying absolutely nothing about local issues. We have compiled his on-line comments since his candidacy and endorsement and, like the Supervisors, find his exaggerated choice of words to be truly great, amazing, incredible, inspiring, insightful, enlightening and fantastic! (But, oddly, never “awesome.”)
“…an overwhelming sense of gratitude and excitement … dedicated to serving my community …work tirelessly to create a better future … public service has been the cornerstone … the honor of serving in various capacities, … the privilege of serving as a Field Representative for the California State Senate, … valuable experience working for First Five of Mendocino County … I believe in the power of our collective potential. …I believe that together, we can build a brighter future for Mendocino County. … a fantastic time Tuesday night at a networking event … a great group of professionals. …Yesterday was amazing! … It's incredible to see so many people working together … I am feeling grateful and inspired! … the outpouring of support … a dedicated and inspiring woman … a part of such an incredible community!
FROM FRIDAY'S CHRON: .... Authorities are offering up to $150,000 for information about two separate incidents where robbers targeted mail carriers in San Francisco’s Mission District. On Thursday afternoon, multiple suspects confronted a U.S. Postal Service mail carrier near the intersection of 23rd Street and Hampshire Street and took their postal keys, according to Matthew Norfleet, a postal inspector and spokesperson for the U.S. Postal Inspection Service’s San Francisco division....
THAT WOULD BE Matthew Norfleet, AVHS graduate and the son of the late David Norfleet and Linda Filer of Philo. Mathew married Maya Durrett of Yorkville, also a graduate of AVHS. Maya and David make their home in San Francisco.
USED TO BE we had a branch bank in Boonville, and a drug store, and a fightin' bar, and a high school marching band, and a resident deputy, and a justice court with our own elected judge. Take all of the above away and the question is, are we a community or merely affinity groups strung out along Highway 128?
I ASKED Chloe Guazzone, the administrator of the Anderson Valley Health Center if the HC's drug store was available to walk-ins: “No, we are classified as a dispensary and can only dispense to our patients. It's a much bigger operation to keep a full service pharmacy running. We try to limit the amount of drugs we dispense.”
SHERIFF KENDALL, shorthanded as always, has assured us that Anderson Valley will eventually get a resident deputy. His problem is that soon after he gets a likely prospect, the prospect, having been trained and having gotten some on-the-job experience, leaves the Sheriff's Department for a much better paying job with Sonoma County or even Ukiah, the latter paying nice bonuses for new officers.
IS THERE A HYDROLOGIST in the house? A reader writes:
“It is incomprehensible to me that the State Water Resources Control Board has not followed such critical parameters as fluctuations in the water table and transpiration volumes of the vegetation. At present the total acreage in vineyard in The Valley is about 2500 acres, which might represent 200-300 acre aspiration feet a year. This is a very rough estimate based on about 500 wicks per acre. Grapes are much less work than apples and can be dry-farmed because of their very deep main (tap) root. There are a few surface roots that compete for moisture and nutrients, hence the use of herbicides.” THE APRIL 21st 1899 edition of the Mendocino Dispatch-Democrat reported that “Ukiah now has two daily trains to and from San Francisco. The evening train came in Saturday night at 8:30. The morning train leaves at 5:20.”
DESPITE a takeover of the defunct rail line by prominent Northcoast Democrats who easily arranged for millions of rail dollars out of the Demo-dominated state legislature to again run trains from Marin to Eureka, the revived rail fantasy collapsed, most of the old line magically became another Demo boondoggle called the Great Redwood Trail with railroad property in Ukiah becoming the site of a new County Courthouse no one wants, former Demo congressman Doug Bosco became the private owner of lucrative rail properties in Sonoma County.
STATE TEST SCORES reveal that only about a quarter of County students are up to state standards in language and math proficiency, but Anderson Valley's English scores have improved since the arrival of our remarkable superintendent, Louise Simson. She has also managed to get the funds for a major rehab of our aged school facilities and, to top off her recent accomplishments, Ms. Simson has obtained a major CalTrans grant for an all-weather playing field and track, this last a boon for the entire Anderson Valley community.
FLOWERS OF THE KILLER MOON as reviewed by the New York Times: "It's a rightly apocalyptic image for this cruel and baroque American story of love, murder, greed and unspeakable betrayal in 1920s Indian Country, a true-crime epic that Scorsese — with grace, sorrow and sublime filmmaking clarity — has turned into a requiem for the country."
SO, DOUBLE DUMB me pays $9.50 to see this ersatz epic, doubly stupid for believing a review in the newspaper of record, a record that should require a requiem for America on a daily basis, maybe two a day with Biden as president and Trump poised for a second round as chief of destruction.
I HAPPENED to have read the book by David Grann the movie is based on. It's a sordid tale of white criminals marrying Osage women in an oil-rich area of Oklahoma, then murdering their wives to get their oil wells before moving on into Omaha country clubs in time to preside over the all-time race massacre in that town, but celebrated as successful grassroots capitalists with respectful entries in Who's Who In America and respectful obits in the NYT.
I WAS CURIOUS how Grann's book would be movie-ized, and there being no honest movie reviewers left in America since Pauline Kael and Dwight Macdonald shuffled off, the only review I saw was the blurb cited above, which should have alerted me I was in for a rough three hours at the Fairfax Theater because any movie or book celebrated by the NYT is almost certainly as bogus as the review.
SURE 'NUFF. I lasted 45 minutes, although after five minutes there was no sign Flowers was going to get any better after the deluge of mawk and unconvincing scene-setting that kicked it off, complete with supposedly authentic Osage rituals conducted in Tonto-speak. All-in-all, Flowers is what you get when pretend liberals make a movie about crimes against Indians.
THE TRUE STORY BEHIND ‘KILLERS OF THE FLOWER MOON’ IS BEING ERASED FROM OKLAHOMA CLASSROOMS
by Jim Gray & David Grann
During the early 20th century, members of the Osage Nation in Oklahoma were systematically murdered by white settlers. Yet outside the Osage Nation, the history of this racial injustice — one of the worst in American history — was distorted and then largely erased from memory.
“Killers of the Flower Moon,” a film directed by Martin Scorsese, shines an extraordinary light on these events and provides a long overdue opportunity to restore them in our consciousness. But ironically, at the same time that the film is being released, there is a new attempt to suppress the teaching of this very history in the state where it took place.
In 2021 the Oklahoma Legislature passed a bill prohibiting teachers in public school from instructing several concepts, including that “any individual should feel discomfort, guilt, anguish or any other form of psychological distress” on account of their race or sex. The vagueness of the law has caused teachers to censor themselves, for fear of losing their licenses or their school’s accreditation. In a high school classroom in Dewey, Okla., copies of “Killers of the Flower Moon,” the nonfiction book behind the film, were left unread because the teacher worried about running afoul of the law. Another teacher confessed that she was uncertain if she could refer to the settlers who murdered the Osage as white.
At stake in these fights is not only factual accuracy. It is also how new generations will be taught to record and remember the past — both the good and the bad — so that they can learn to make their own history.
The story of what’s now called the Osage Reign of Terror is essential to understanding America’s past. After vast oil deposits were discovered under their lands, the Osage were suddenly, by the 1920s, among the wealthiest people per capita in the world. In the year 1923 alone, the roughly 2,000 Osage on the tribal roll received a total of more than $30 million, the equivalent today of more than $400 million.
As their wealth increased, though, it unleashed an insidious backlash across the country. The U.S. government passed legislation requiring many Osage to have white guardians to manage their fortunes — a system that was both abhorrently racist and widely corrupt. Then the Osage began to die under mysterious circumstances: There were shootings, poisonings and even a bombing.
After the official death toll reached at least 24, the Osage Tribal Council issued a resolution demanding that federal authorities investigate. The case was taken up by the Bureau of Investigation, which was later renamed the Federal Bureau of Investigation. In 1926 an undercover team of operatives finally caught a flamboyantly brutal killer and two of his henchmen. The bureau’s young director, J. Edgar Hoover, promptly closed the case, and the story of how his men had triumphantly ended the Reign of Terror by apprehending the mastermind became the widely accepted version of events.
Yet there was a much deeper and darker conspiracy that the bureau never exposed.
Numerous other Osage had died suspiciously — the cause of death often cloaked behind alcoholic poisoning or wasting illness or as simply unknown. Despite evidence that the victims had been murdered for their oil money, the cases were never properly investigated. Moreover, they could not be linked to the same killer caught by the bureau. The history of the Reign of Terror was less a question of who did it than who didn’t do it.
It was about a widespread culture of killing. It was about prominent white citizens who paid for killings, doctors who administered poisons, morticians who ignored evidence of bullet wounds, lawmen and prosecutors who were on the take and many others who remained complicit in their silence — all because they were profiting from what they referred to openly as the “Indian business.” The real death toll was undoubtedly higher than 24. One bureau agent admitted: “There are so many of these murder cases. There are hundreds and hundreds.”
The Osage had these events seared in their memories. Yet most Americans had excised even the bureau’s sanitized account from their consciences. Like the Tulsa Race Massacre, which occurred during the same period, the Osage Reign of Terror was generally not taught in schools, even in Oklahoma. Mary Jo Webb, an Osage schoolteacher, once placed in her public library in Fairfax, Okla., a paper she’d written on the murders, but someone, she said, quietly removed it. The victims’ history, along with their lives, had been rubbed out. And even now, as their stories are being dramatized in a movie and shown in theaters across the country, there is a campaign in Oklahoma — this time with legislation — to deter the history from being taught in schools.
Last year the Osage Nation Congress unanimously passed a resolution calling for repealing the Oklahoma law that bars teaching the concept that students should feel psychological distress on account of their race. “Teachers are scared to speak the truth about what’s happened,” said Eli Potts, who was elected to the Osage Nation Congress in 2018. “I personally have had schools and I know of others who had Osage individuals who were scheduled to speak on ‘Killers of the Flower Moon’ rescind those offers because of this bill. We owe it to those before us to speak the truth,” he continued, “regardless of how uncomfortable it makes you feel, because it’s the truth.”
It’s not just Osage history that is being threatened. Other tribal nations in Oklahoma have joined the Osage in seeking the law’s repeal, warning that it undermines accurate learning about their own pasts. And in Bixby, Okla., a public school canceled a lesson plan that focused on “Dreamland Burning,” a young adult novel about the Tulsa Race Massacre.
The movement to suppress elements of American history extends well beyond Oklahoma. According to an analysis by The Washington Post, more than two dozen states have adopted laws that make it easier to remove books from school libraries and to prevent certain teaching on race, gender and sexuality. In 2023, PEN America, which defends freedom of speech, reported that book bans in U.S. public school classrooms and libraries had surged 33 percent over the previous school year, with more than 3,000 recorded removals; among them are classics by the Nobel laureate Toni Morrison (banned in 30 school districts) and Margaret Atwood (banned in 34). School curriculums are being revised to mask discomfiting truths — so much so that in Florida students will now be taught that some African Americans benefited from slavery because it gave them “skills.”
After the world premiere of “Killers of the Flower Moon” at the Cannes Film Festival, Matt Pinnell, Oklahoma’s lieutenant governor and a Republican, encouraged audiences to see the movie. (His state had even provided financial incentives for the production.) A reporter asked him why, if people from around the world should watch the film, the subject can’t be taught without fear in Oklahoma’s public schools. Though he acknowledged a need to clarify the law, in the five months since the festival, the state legislature has not done so.
If such policies continue, new generations of Americans will be deprived of the wisdom of history — all of history: the stirring, the cautionary, the truth. As Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Chuck Hoskin Jr. put it, Oklahomans cannot “move forward unless we understand how we got here.”
The same is true for all of us.
CATCH OF THE DAY, Saturday, October 21, 2023
ELIGIO GARCIA-GARCIA, Windsor/Ukiah. DUI causing bodily injury.
KIMBERLY JONES, Ukiah. Assault with deadly weapon not a gun, criminal threats.
LUZ MARTINEZ-TREJO, Ukiah. DUI.
NATHAN MORALES, Covelo. Disorderly conduct-alcohol, under influence, paraphernalia.
EDGAR SANCHEZ-ASCENCIO, Fort Bragg. Failure to appear.
RAYMOND VALENTINE JR., Ukiah. Public urination, resisting. (Frequent flyer.)
CAMERON WATTS-ROBINSON, Atascadero/Ukiah. DUI.
SMART CHUGS ON
Andrew Smith has some valid points and some erroneous ones. He is correct that the early development of SMART was flawed, especially in the area of climate change and highway congestion, as the original build out eliminated most of the rail switches used by previous freight customers, who now ship via heavy truck.
While the Windsor extension shutdown was a Bay Area regional issue over bridge tolls, the comment about state Sen. Mike McGuire’s not supporting extending SMART to Ukiah, within his own district, is telling, as a lot of trucks could be removed from Highway 101 with rail service to Ukiah.
The glass is now over half-full and increasing as the months-old airport shuttle is becoming known, funding to rebuild the Healdsburg bridge has been identified, and Windsor should have a working connection next year. Celebrate the “comings,” not the shortcomings.
COVID DASHBOARD (Coast Chatline)
1. Check out the rate of people with up-to-date vaccinations. Even for people over 65, it?s only 12%.
2. "An Admission of Epic Proportions": Health Canada Confirms DNA Plasmid Contamination of COVID Vaccines
Regardless what anyone believes these news seem alarming to me.
3. Jean wrote about the low rate of people with up-to-date vaccinations in Mendocino County. Judy asked why?
4. Vaccine shots are available now. I got mine last week in Santa Rosa. My neighbor got hers yesterday at Rite Aid in Fort Bragg (by appt.) You can get both the Covid and flu shots on the same visit. This time I had no reaction, not even a sore arm.
5. My opinion is get your vaccines! I also highly recommend the Paxlovid, if and when you do get it. Helped me and our whole family tremendously. This is a rough Covid, I know how it went for 12 different people and those that dodged the Paxlovid because of Fox News right wing drivel and/or left wing goofiness from Kennedy suffered badly and one went and finally got it. Children's Health Defense is not a credible source in my view. When you go there a picture of Kennedy the Kook pops up. The links provided are interesting and someone did a lot of hard reporting work to prove a point, sort of like Fox News still trying to prove Hillary's emails are the story of the millenium.
ED NOTE: I was completely up to date with Covid shots when I got Covid. Paxlovid got me out in about ten days. I've had worse flus, but the Covid was no joke. Normally, with flus, I use the down time as an excuse to get drunk. But with Covid I had no desire to “burn it out with pints of Makers.” Covid attacked my lungs bad enough to cost me my voice. The upside? When I bellow-whisper my estranged opinions, people have to pay attention to hear me.
We are in Orwellian times. The WSJ is reporting today that Scientific American, a publication that modestly claims to be the gold standard of scientific publications, wrote that scientists should prioritize “reality” over scientific “rigor.”
Huh, I thought scientific rigor was the key to unearthing what is real and what is not. Nope.
The context here is that a random control study done by researchers at the Cochrane Library came to the conclusion that masks were ineffective against covid.
A Harvard professor of science history, not a real scientist at all, wrote in Scientific American that this confused and misled people because it used too much scientific rigor. She went on to suggest that it was time to change the method to one that presumably uncovered the truth she was looking for.
Up is down, war is peace, hate is love and, well, scientific rigor is bad.
Do lobotomies hurt? Asking for a friend.
STEHR PRODUCTIONS PRESENTS, ‘THE GOLDEN PRESENT!’
Warmest spiritual greetings, Typing this message up at the Ukiah Public Library, on another sunny day in Mendocino County. Got up early at the Building Bridges Homeless Resource Center, and following morning ablutions, continued with the waste basket emptying and hauling the outside containers over to the containment area. This is always satisfying, since it needs to be done. Left with a small shopping bag to do "litter patrol", and after checking LOTTO tix at the Express Mart, pushed on to the Ukiah Food Co-op for an Italian caprese breakfast sandwich and a seasonal 20 oz. iced pumpkin spice chai latte. Then, walked to the library and read the New York Times before going on a public computer. This brings us up to the golden present. Tick Tock Tick Tock
Craig Louis Stehr
MEMO OF THE AIR: Chicen Heart! Thump-thump. Thump-thump.
"How dare you speak to me in that tone of voice! There's murder going on in that place, I tell you, I know it as sure as I'm standing here! Research Institute? It's a house of murder, that's what it is! I've always known it was! Vivisection and torture and crimes against nature..."
Here's the recording of last night's (Friday 2023-10-20) close-to-eight-hour-long Memo of the Air: Good Night Radio show on 107.7fm KNYO-LP Fort Bragg (CA) and KNYO.org: https://tinyurl.com/KNYO-MOTA-0563
This particular show has a couple of unusually long stories: Chapter 14 of Del Potter's work-in-progress autobiography, the part about the LSD lab supply debacle that derailed years of work, and Eleanor Cooney's Tour Of Duty, about the flying-phobia nightmare big-publisher publicity tour for her 2003 book Death In Slow Motion, about the years of caring for her Alzheimered mother, as she puts it, which coincided with the beginning of twenty years and trillions of dollars of ridiculous destruction and mass war crimes ten thousand miles away so a handful of obscenely rich arms manufacturers and military contractors could stay obscenely rich through their retirement years and for no other reason. And there are poems, stories, songs, health info, science breakthroughs in both the microscopic realm and outer space. Flynn Washburne's true story about traveling to Mars as a child on the wings of his bossy sister's contagious imagination. David Herstle Jones' story about a restaurant cat from the point of view of the restaurant mice. Notty Bumbo, John Sakowicz, Manuel Vicent (translated by Louis Bedrock). A letter from Gaza by Ahmed Abu Artema, RD Beacon's weekly peeved punctuation-challenged lament for a gone world, the Norm MacDonald (RIP) story of The Moth and the Podiatrist and state-of-the-art A.I.'s pass-fair attempt to replicate the Norm MacDonald experience. Ezekiel Krahlin. Sebastian Iturralde. My dream journal. (I wish you'd send me your dreams, but apparently I'm the last person in the world who writes his dreams down anymore. Prove me wrong.) And so on.
I'm happy to read your writing on the radio. Just email it to me and that's all you have to do.
Besides all that, at https://MemoOfTheAir.wordpress.com you'll find a fresh batch of dozens of links to worthwhile items I set aside for you while gathering the show together, such as:
Ghost in the Shell locations, kind of. The anime, not the Scarlett Johanssen one. I liked /Lucy/. It goes with /Limitless/, which has Anna Friel, who I prefer to Scarlett Johanssen, though I'm not able to articulate exactly why. It might even be just that the relationship between her and Lee Pace in /Pushing Daisies/ was so natural and sweet, though they could only kiss through a sheet of cling-wrap because if their skin touched she'd have to go back to being dead again, for good.
Rerun: Hot Israeli army girls. And in the middle of all of them, Santa Claus parkour-flipping along battlement crenellations, for some reason. Hmm.
Chloe Firoanzo (say klo-ee fee-doh-AHN-zo) reminds me of my Aunt Jenny (of Aunt Jenny and Uncle Dave fame). Except Aunt Jenny wore very thick glasses that made her eyes enormous. Her eyes filled the frames of the glasses. And Dave's ankles hurt so one or the other of his feet was always up on something. And he smoked cigars, the biggest cigars you ever saw. As big as a kielbasa.
Biff Rose's jazz funeral. (108 min.) (via Bob Woelfel of KTDE) It's in portrait mode, and would only play the very middle of the picture, chopping off the top and bottom, until I full-screened it. If it's like that for you, do that. This really drives it home. He's gone.
And the future we all really wanted. The future we could have had instead of the one we got.
Marco McClean, email@example.com, https://MemoOfTheAir.wordpress.com
EX-MLB PITCHER ARRESTED IN INFAMOUS TAHOE MURDER MYSTERY
by Kevin Fagan
Nevada police on Friday arrested a former Major League Baseball pitcher on suspicion of shooting his father-in-law to death in his spacious Lake Tahoe home in a sneak attack that also left his mother-in-law so badly wounded and depressed that she killed herself 10 months later.
Danny Serafini, 49, of Reno, was nabbed by deputies in the tiny Nevada town of Winnemucca at 5:46 a.m., according to authorities in Humboldt County, Nev. He was being held there Friday on a no-bail warrant as a fugitive from justice, according to a jail official.
Around the same time, Samantha Scott, 33, was arrested in Las Vegas by the U.S. Marshal Service Nevada Violent Offender Task Force.
Placer County sheriff’s authorities, who have been investigating the Tahoe slaying mystery for two years, did not detail Scott’s connection to the case beyond saying in a statement that “both suspects are known to each other and to the victims.”
Serafini and Scott are expected to be extradited to Placer County within a week to face murder charges in the slaying of 70-year-old Robert Gary Spohr, and attempted murder charges for the shooting of 68-year-old Wendy Wood.
“Today, justice was served,” Placer County Sheriff Wayne Woo said in a statement. “The apprehension of those responsible for the tragic events that unfolded in Homewood, North Lake Tahoe in 2021 stands as a testament to the unwavering dedication of our detectives, law enforcement partners, and the persistence of our pursuit of truth.
“Understand that my team’s commitment to unraveling the most complex of cases prevails, and those who inflict harm upon our community will be held accountable every time.”
Serafini was a professional baseball player for 21 years, pitching with many teams — including a minor-league stint with the San Francisco Giants in 2000 — before retiring to run a high-profile bar in Sparks, Nev., near Reno. The Bullpen Bar had a streak of popularity after making it onto the “Bar Rescue” TV show in 2015, but it later closed.
Serafini graduated from Junipero Serra High School in San Mateo — the alma mater of baseball star Barry Bonds — and started his Major League Baseball career with the Minnesota Twins in 1992. He went on to play with several teams including the Chicago Cubs and San Diego Padres until, according to The Chronicle at the time, his MLB career ended in 2007 when he failed a performance-enhancing drug test and was suspended.
Sources close to the investigation told The Chronicle that early on, detectives suspected Serafini might have carried out the attack to pay off debts from his bar business, which at one point totaled hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Serafini declined to talk to the Chronicle when reached in July, but his wife, Erin Spohr — the slain couple’s daughter — told the Chronicle “I have no idea who did that to my parents.”
“I wish I knew,” she said. “Right now, we’re just trying to cope. I miss my parents tremendously, and I wish they could see my kids (sons, ages 2 and 5) grow up.” She said her husband, who at one time ran a baseball instruction school in the Reno area, was now working “in underground mining.”
Placer County Sheriff’s spokesperson Angela Musallam said a key element leading to Serafini was surveillance video shot at the family home on the day of the slayings, June 5, 2021.
“There was a lot of time spent by our detectives and the (Placer County District Attorney’s) office, and they ID’d him as that male who was walking into the home and then out of it again after the shootings,” she said.
Adrienne Spohr of Petaluma, another daughter of the victims, has led the family in keeping attention on the case, starting a website and offering a $150,000 reward.
“It’s awful,” Spohr told the Chronicle in July. “You can’t really ever go back to normal. There’s this big question mark floating — something horrific happened, and yet it’s like … everyone else goes on with their lives, but there’s this chasm in your life.
“You have your suspicions, but no one has yet been brought to justice.” She could not be reached for comment Friday.
The shootings happened on a Saturday evening after the killer sneaked into the house and waited nearly five hours for Spohr and Wood to come home. A surveillance camera captured a man wearing a hoodie and a white mask entering the house through the driveway.
When the couple arrived around 10 p.m., the killer shot them both in the head at point-blank range and fled. Wood regained consciousness and called 911. She survived her head injuries, but her husband died at the scene.
Her daughter Adrienne cared for Wood and placed her in a senior home in Northern California. But in March the depression and loneliness of living without the man she’d been with for 50 years overcame her and she took her life, Spohr said.
“She couldn’t handle it, the loss,” Spohr told the Chronicle in July. “She missed my dad like crazy. She was just stunned. It was like the killer killed her, too. When we bring that person to justice I certainly hope they are held accountable for both deaths. They are very much responsible for both.”
WAR ON GAZA
A convoy of 20 trucks carrying aid moved through the Rafah border crossing into Gaza from Egypt on Saturday, according to the United Nations, after days of diplomatic wrangling to get food, water and medicine into the blockaded enclave where supplies were running out and hospitals were nearing collapse.
Aid officials welcomed the breakthrough but warned that the trucks, which the United Nations said were loaded with “lifesaving supplies,” carried barely enough to start addressing the spiraling humanitarian crisis in Gaza.
WHEN YOU DECLARE TOTAL WAR against Gaza, which has been under perpetual siege since 1967 after being seized by Israel during the Six Day War, what is it you’re going to war against? There are no airbases, no army bases, no tank battalions, no air defense systems, no naval ports, no oil refineries, no rail system, no troop barracks, no armored personnel carriers, no howitzers, no satellite systems, no attack helicopters, no fighter jets, no anti-tank batteries, no submarines, no command-and-control centers. Just people, most of them women and kids. It’s why the entire population must be dehumanized, turned into “human animals” whose lives don’t matter.
— Jeffrey St. Clair
THE FRENCH ARE FOR THE MILLIONAIRE. The Americans are for the maid. Among the French, three out of five think the IMF’s former managing director, Dominique Strauss-Kahn, has been framed. (Strauss-Kahn tendered his resignation as head of the IMF May 18.) Here in the USA there’s not been a reliable poll, but public sentiment is clearly against Strauss-Kahn, amplified by self-congratulation that America is a nation of laws, a maid’s word as potent as that of a millionaire, in contrast to the moral decay and deference to the rich prevalent in France.
The French, for their part, stigmatize America as a puritanical, omnipotent imperial police state, whose intelligence agencies are efficiently capable of any infamy. But even as they charge that Strauss-Kahn was set up, the French press is rather weak on identifying or even suggesting the precise mastermind or group working to destroy a man who might have been the French Socialist Party’s candidate, evicting Sarkozy from the Elysée Palace.
— Alexander Cockburn (2011)