- California Burning
- 175 Closure
- Brushy Fire
- 128 Rollover
- Honest Advertising
- Uncounted Ballots
- Little Dog
- BOS Agenda
- Permit Problems
- Coppola Weed
- Uncomfortably White
- Pelosi Money
- Huff Excited
- Sharky's Lounge
- Yesterday's Catch
- Measles Encephalitis
- Bookshop Events
- Alternative Medicine
- Thompson's Priority
- CERT Training
- Millionaires' Club
- Facebook Dystopia
- Wiseguy Act
- Salmon Documentary
- Concerts Weekend
- Losing Friends
- California Poetry
CALIFORNIA BURNING. AGAIN.
* * *
CAMP FIRE UPDATE (Friday morning): 70,000 acres; 5% contained; 15,000 structures threatened.
Evacuations: Evacuation orders established for Paradise, Magalia, Concow, Butte Creek Canyon and Butte Valley Forest Ranch is under evacuation warning. For more information on evacuations visit, buttecounty.net
Road Closures: Hwy 70 between Pentz Rd to Plumas County line, Skyway, Hwy 99 from 149/99 junction to 9th St. Hwy 191 and Pentz Road. For more information on road closures visit, dot.ca.gov/hq/roadinfo/Hourly
Conditions: Firefighters continue to be challenged with extreme fire and weather conditions including strong winds and with long range spotting. Due to the fluid and rapidly changing conditions, residents are urged to stay updated through official sources for changes to evacuations and road closures.
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COMMENT ON KYMKEMP.COM
“'Pretty much the community of Paradise is destroyed, it’s that kind of devastation,' said Cal Fire Capt. Scott McLean late Thursday. 'The wind that was predicted came and just wiped it out.'
McLean estimated that a couple of thousand structures were destroyed in the town of 27,000 residents about 180 miles (290 kilometers) northeast of San Francisco, where residents scrambled to flee. The extent of the injuries and specific damage count was not immediately known as officials could not access the dangerous area.”
If anyone needs help picturing a town of 27,000 residents, that’s the same population as the Eureka city limits, or all of Arcata and surrounding communities combined.
* * *
Thursday, 11pm: Camp Fire Devastates Paradise Near Chico — Businesses, Church, Numerous Homes Burn
by Kurtis Alexander, Lizzie Johnson, Gwendolyn Wu, Erin Allday
PARADISE, Butte County — More than 30,000 people fled for their lives Thursday as a late-season wildfire swept across this town in the Sierra foothills, incinerating numerous homes and businesses and prompting desperate rescues of residents trapped inside buildings and on clogged evacuation routes.
The blaze exploded to more than 20,000 acres, adding to a catastrophic two years of wildfires in California that have raised new questions about how the state will cope with a warmer and drier climate.
Smoke turned the daytime sky black in Paradise, a community of 27,000 that sits 15 miles east of Chico and 80 miles north of Sacramento. Authorities raced to evacuate a hospital while calling in hundreds of crews from across the region to attack the flames from the ground and by air.
“There’s pretty much complete devastation in that community — entire streets where houses are wiped out,” said Lynne Tolmachoff, spokeswoman for the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection. “It’s not looking very good at all.”
As of Thursday evening, the Camp Fire had no containment, and 15,000 structures were threatened. The flames moved within 2 miles of Chico city limits, and around 9 p.m., residents in the southern part of the city were advised to evacuate.
High winds were hampering air tankers’ efforts to extinguish the flames, said Cal Fire spokesman Scott McLean. Similar winds were expected to continue through the night. Red-flag conditions were in place until at least 10 a.m. Friday.
Fire officials said they had received reports of some deaths from the blaze. At least two firefighters were injured. Several hundred homes, and perhaps more than 1,000, had burned.
“We were engulfed in flames,” said Butte County Supervisor Doug Teeter. “I don’t know what we are coming back to after this. Probably a moonscape. As we drove out, homes were burnt to the ground.”
Among the structures lost to the flames were a McDonald’s, a Mormon church, a Black Bear Diner and Paradise’s wood welcome sign. Streams of residents hurried out of town, inching along the few available routes.
Family members and friends searched for scores of missing people. They inundated 911 with hundreds of requests for help tracking down people who were feared trapped behind fire lines. They flooded Twitter too, posting names and photos of loved ones, along with the addresses where they’d last been seen.
The cause of the fire, which ignited at 6:30 a.m., was under investigation. Authorities released no immediate information about the extent of the damage and the toll of injuries. The inferno was so huge that dense smoke clogged skies throughout the Bay Area — roughly 200 miles southwest of the blaze — and residents across Northern California were warned to expect poor air quality through Friday.
Evacuation efforts were “difficult, to say the least,” said Lt. Al Smith of the Butte County Sheriff’s Office, noting that several deputies who ventured into evacuation zones to rescue residents also became trapped by flames burning around them. “I can’t think of an area that’s safe right now.”
The blaze, named the Camp Fire because of its proximity to Camp Creek Road near Highway 70 in the Feather River Canyon, was scorching several areas within Paradise, which is home to many retirees. Acting Gov. Gavin Newsom, filling in while Gov. Jerry Brown traveled out of state, declared a state of emergency in Butte County.
The Butte County towns of Paradise, Pulga and Concow were evacuated shortly after the fire started. Cal Fire officials said residents of Magalia, Butte Creek Canyon and Butte Valley had also been ordered to leave.
Pacific Gas and Electric Co. reported that 34,280 customers in Butte County and neighboring Plumas County had lost power.
Firefighters spent the morning trying to evacuate trapped Paradise residents while creating firebreaks within the town and even moving some people to empty parking lots. Engines from the San Francisco and Santa Rosa fire departments and other California agencies were aiding Butte County firefighters.
The Paradise Unified School District and Butte College closed their doors Thursday morning under evacuation orders from fire officials. The Paradise schools superintendent said she had seen photos of several schools burning.
Feather River Hospital in Paradise was evacuated after flames jumped a road leading to the hospital. Fire officials said some people were trapped in a tunnel under the hospital and forced to shelter in place before escaping. The hospital largely survived, but an auxiliary building burned, according to Cal Fire.
“In the past few years, just the way fires have moved, firefighters have had to help with evacuations before they can go back in to put out the fire,” Tolmachoff said.
Butte County officials did not send an Amber Alert-style message to warn people in and around Paradise about the rapidly spreading fire early Thursday, a Sheriff’s Department spokeswoman said. Instead, the department turned to an opt-in program to contact an estimated 23,000 people who had signed up to receive emergency notifications or who had landline telephones.
In October 2017, Sonoma County officials opted not to send out the Amber Alert-style message during the Tubbs Fire, which eventually killed 24 people. That decision was criticized later in a state audit.
In Paradise on Thursday morning, Jennifer Broussard, 41, woke to thunder — or at least that’s what the fire sounded like, she said.
She and her husband, Ryan, 50, left their home in a rush. Both in their pajamas, they had no time to change into anything else. Police were everywhere shouting, “Move! Go! Get out!”
She moved from Los Angeles to Paradise 20 years ago, and was surprised upon arriving in town how clear the stars were at night. But in the daytime Thursday, she couldn’t see anything except black smoke obscuring the sun and sky.
“The simple things we take for granted,” Broussard said at an evacuation shelter in Oroville. She tapped ash from her cigarette on the concrete and said, “That is a whole town gone.”
The intensity of the Camp Fire’s surge through Paradise drew immediate comparisons to the Tubbs Fire, which wiped out whole neighborhoods in and around Santa Rosa, and the Carr Fire, which blitzed Redding this year. Gov. Brown and others have raised alarm about the nearly year-round danger in the state, but no broad solutions have surfaced. Twice in the past two years, fires have set the state record for size.
In the tiny town of Concow, northeast of Paradise, Nate Tockey, 35, got a call from a neighbor at 7 a.m. warning him about the fire. He woke his three children, warned his wife and saw a dark, orange sky when he went to the porch.
His wife, Kat Tockey, 36, left her purse behind, and they didn’t bother to grab their computer or important papers from a filing cabinet. By the time the five of them piled into a car, 50- to 100-foot flames were approaching from three sides. They could feel the heat through the closed windows of their sport utility vehicle.
“At this point I’m pretty sure the house is gone. I’m prepared for the worst,” Nate Tockey said. “We knew we lived in an area of fire danger, but we never knew it would be like that.”
Kat Tockey and the children — 9-month-old and 11-year-old sons and an 8-year-old daughter — were staying at the Neighborhood Church evacuation center in Chico. Pets weren’t allowed, so Nate Tockey said he would sleep in the car with their rottweiler, Tig, and cat, Kitsy.
Kendra Luck evacuated with her father and stepmother a few hours after the fire started. Her stepmother spotted flames shooting up a hillside outside of town around 8 a.m., and the three of them started packing.
An hour later, the smoke was so dense that they turned lights on in the house. The sky was an eerie — but familiar — red glow. Her father and stepmother have lived in the same house in Paradise for 16 years, and this was their third fire evacuation.
“They’re getting used to this,” said Luck, a former Chronicle photographer. “Everything was glowing that fire red. That was enough for them, so we just packed up and left.”
Hundreds of people were unaccounted for Thursday evening after the mad rush to evacuate. Especially worrisome were reports of older people — including some with dementia or mobility problems — who had not checked in with friends or relatives.
A 96-year-old woman who slipped into a stranger’s car to flee from her retirement home as it was engulfed early Thursday was among the missing. Marcia Hamilton, who had been living at Feather Canyon Retirement Community for nine years, was evacuated from the senior home around 9:30 a.m., just as walls of fire closed in.
She joined dozens of other residents outside the main entrance waiting for rides out of town, but firefighters, staffers and others were scrambling to find transportation, said Hamilton’s daughter, Lynn Hamilton. Her mother was put in a car with strangers who said they would take her to an evacuation center. But Lynn Hamilton never heard whether they arrived.
She was worried in part because her mother left without medication required for her heart condition and cholesterol, and without her walker or a cell phone.
“She needs to take her medication every day,” Lynn Hamilton said.
Marcia Hamilton was found hours later in Yuba City, 50 miles to the south.
(San Francisco Chronicle)
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As of 8pm Thursday night Calfire reported the blaze was over 20,000 acres with no containment. 2300 firefighters were on scene where “extreme fire and weather conditions including strong winds and long-range spotting” were occurring.
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COMING FOR CHICO
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SF CHRON, 3pm. PARADISE, Calif. — More than 30,000 people were ordered to evacuate several Sierra foothills towns near Chico on Thursday as a wildfire raged out of control and grew to more than 18,000 acres in just eight hours. Law enforcement reported that some residents and sheriff’s deputies were trapped inside the perimeter of the conflagration while thousands tried to flee. Evacuation efforts were “difficult, to say the least,” said Lt. Al Smith, of the Butte County Sheriff’s Office. Several sheriff’s deputies who went into the evacuation zones to rescue residents also become trapped by active flames burning around them. “I can’t think of an area that’s safe right now,” Smith said.
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THE CAMP FIRE CREATED A DEATHLY PALL OF SMOKE THAT descended on Mendocino County (and other counties in NorCal) Thursday a little before noon.
Mendo’s emergency services office and air quality district quickly sent out press releases that the smoke did NOT originate in Mendocino County but was drifting in from a big new Butte County fire that Calfire dubbed the “Camp” fire possibly because it was started by a campfire. From Boonville looking west you could even see where the smoke layer ended just above the tree line out toward the Coast:
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A Ukiah reader sent this picture of how eerie things looked:
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UPPER RANCHO NAVARRO THURSDAY AFTERNOON
A Navarro reader: It was very weird here also...reminded me of solar eclipse conditions.
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SUSIE DE CASTRO SENT THIS PIC FROM LITTLE RIVER:
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AV FIRE CHIEF Andres Avila reported Thursday afternoon that no AV Fire units had been requested so far. But, “the Mendocino Unit is stripped down, we could end up staffing the CalFire Station in Boonville if needed.”
* * *
MENDO EMERGENCY SERVICES OFFICE:
Operational Area Partners,
There is very large and thick smoke in Mendocino County due to a large fire in Butte County, the Camp Fire. The extremely thick and visible smoke is due to this fire and not from a fire in Mendocino County. Mendocino County residents and visitors can check the air quality for Mendocino County at the Mendocino County Air Quality Management District's website at http://www.co.mendocino.ca.us/aqmd/ if they have concerns regarding air quality.
Please communicate this within your organizations and to your residents. Public Safety Answering Points (911 Call Centers) have been receiving a large number of calls regarding the smoke which has impacted operations. Mendocino County OES sent a county-wide Nixle Alert at the request of CALFIRE Mendocino Unit letting them know that the smoke is due to a fire outside of the county. You can find the Nixle Alert here: http://nixle.com/AJ3ze
The last official update from CALFIRE from 9:23 am this morning had the Camp Fire at 5,000 acres. The CALFIRE incident page can be found at http://www.fire.ca.gov/current_incidents/incidentdetails/Index/2277. Butte County Sheriff's Office is putting out information regarding evacuations live to their twitter at https://twitter.com/ButteSheriff.
Please let OES know if you have any questions or concerns
* * *
Wildfire Burns Into Paradise, California, Forcing Evacuations
TRAFFIC ADVISORY - ROUTE 175 CLOSURE
Full Closure of Route 175 - from 1 mile west of Buckman Drive to Grants
Quarry in Lake County. Tuesday, November 13, 7 am to 8 pm.
Full closure of Route 175 is needed to replace a damaged culvert that runs under the roadway. The culvert was damaged from the Mendocino Complex Fire this summer.
Public Information Officer
for Lake and Mendocino Counties
Caltrans District 1
4pm: AIR ATTACK STILL GOING STRONG ON DOS RIOS FIRE
The wind has picked up and additional air assets have arrived on the scene of the "Brushy Fire" located near Dos Rios, off Highway 162, East of Highway 101 and West of Covelo.
Responding assets are reporting to an area near Eight Mile bridge on Hwy 162. Air tankers are at the scene from Sonoma County - as well as Yreka, Grass Valley & Redding.
Air Attack air-to-ground flying high above the fire said (3:37 pm) "The left & right flanks of the fire are looking good. No fire has extended past the dozer or retardant lines. We're going to hold the tankers in orbit for a while...the copter is still here for support." (MSP)
WHITE VAN OVERTURNS, CATCHES FIRE ON HWY 128
The scanner said the fire was out - the rollover was near mile marker 40 on Highway 128 about a mile west of the Yorkville Post Office. The occupants are out of the vehicle. Despite those reports - a full CalFire wildland air response was ordered to the “York Incident” including air tankers, a dozer and a copter. That is in addition to the Anderson Valley Fire Department & ambulance. There was a report there was an extension of the fire into the wildland... It's being called the "York Incident." At 1:49 pm, a first responder said there was no fire - cancel all out-of-county CalFire resources.
* * *
AV FIRE CHIEF ANDRES AVILA: I am very happy to have little to report. We received a dispatch for a traffic collision with fire in Yorkville that had spread into the vegetation. Considering the current CalFire engine and dozer drawdown [for the Paradise/Camp fire], along with smoke creating a limited visibility hazard for aircraft, we would have had a challenge on our hands. We arrived to find a single van overturned off the roadway with the patient self-extricated and no fire! The patient was released at scene with no injuries and CHP remained at scene to remove the vehicle. This is the way we like our emergencies to end up!
BALLOTS LEFT TO BE COUNTED
NOVEMBER 6, 2018 STATEWIDE GENERAL ELECTION
Mendocino County Assessor-County Clerk-Recorder Susan M. Ranochak announced that as with every other election, there are ballots left to be processed as part of the official canvass. Mendocino County has 16,730 Vote By Mail ballots to process, and 1,011 Provisional ballots to review and process.
Of the outstanding ballots left to count: the 3rd Supervisor District has 3,288; and the 5th Supervisor District has 3,210 ballots to process and count. The City of Ukiah has 2,900; The City of Willits has 776; and the City of Fort Bragg has 1,300 ballots left to process and count.
Per State law, we have 30 days to complete the canvass. The Statement of Vote, which breaks down results by precinct, will be available at that time.
If you have any additional questions, please call our office at (707) 234-6819
LITTLE DOG SAYS, “Listen up people! Not one of these mass shooters owned a dog. Think about it. I want all you lone nuts out there to get a dog. Only dogs can prevent mass shootings!”
BOARD OF SUPERVISORS AGENDA - NOVEMBER 13, 2018
MENDO’S POT PERMIT PROBLEMS: NOT OPEN TO DEBATE?
by Mark Scaramella
Donna Frank, a regional pot grower, processor and distributor concluded her remarks at last Tuesday’s Economic Vitality report discussion by saying, “Allow pot growers to have permits, make it easy. … Let your farmers grow; let them do what they do best.”
Supervisor John McCowen took personal offense at this:
“I just have to say, it’s not the County, it’s the state that is stopping people from being able to go forward.”
Ms. Frank stood up to respond, but before she could even get to the podium, McCowen quickly added, “I don’t want to debate it. Thank you.” Then when his mic was turned on McCowen repeated, “It is not the County, it is the state that is the barrier to people getting permitted. And I don’t want to debate it.” McCowen put his hands up as if fending off an attack, adding, “That's my perception.”
* * *
McCowen may not want to debate it, but we do.
For example, look at the reasons long-time Pot advocate Jane Futcher gave for dropping out of Mendo’s pot permit program last year. Ms. Futcher had applied to grow and sell 50 pot plants. (From “Why We Dropped Out” by Jane Futcher, July 19, 2017)
“Was it learning two months ago, despite four inspections last year — one by the sheriff’s department and three by a third party inspector, that our garage, a perfect drying area, fully insulated and plumbed, would no longer be usable because it is attached to — but not accessible from — our home?
Was it the news that we could not let two young volunteers help us for the summer if we did not buy worker’s comp insurance for them?
Was it learning that the county would require us to provide a wheelchair accessible rest room with septic and paved parking area for our volunteers, who are able bodied?
Was it the complexity of the bookkeeping required to track and trace every plant and all expenses and amendments and sprays applied from seed to processed bud to sale to a distributor?
Was it the excise tax and the plummeting price of cannabis making the costs of cultivation and permitting seem untenable?
Was it a local bank canceling our account because we had a legal cannabis business?
Or was it that you, the Board of Supervisors, told us that no matter how meticulous we farmers were with our operations and applications, you could not protect us from the federal government should they decide to raid us?
We woke up one morning in May and called our lawyer, called the North Coast Regional Water Board, and cancelled our appointment with the Ag Department to submit our application. We informed our co-op and distributor that we were out. We simply did not have the mental, physical and emotional resources to jump through all the hoops of the ordinance.”
Futcher concluded, “How do you expect small farmers to jump through all the hoops you and the state have asked of us?”
In that 2017 letter to the Board of Supervisors, Ms. Futcher was quite clear that the “hoops” were imposed by “you and the state.” “You” being the Board of Supervisors.
Certainly the state’s rules are part of the problem. And Mendo later relaxed the ridiculous wheelchair accessible paved path restroom requirement by allowing porta-potties, but the damage had already been done for many earlier applicants like Futcher.
But nobody in official Mendocino County at that time, a time when Futcher was just one of many local pot growers trying to go legit, made any attempt to clarify the process, explain what the state was doing that presumably let Mendo off the hook, or replied to Ms. Futcher, explaining that she was premature or incorrect and that she should not drop out.
Ms. Futcher didn’t even list the County’s sunset rules on coastal growers or the non-transferability of permits to new owners if a permitted property sold, or the County’s choice of a very non-standard track&trace software program that is not compatible with the state’s program and which pot growers say requires doubles work for them, or the unique opt-in/opt-out overlay zoning that allows neighbors in some areas to vote otherwise permitted pot growers out. All of which are certainly attributable to Mendocino.
Then there’s former Ag Commissioner Diane Curry’s going-away statement that she made back on February 14, 2018 just before she was walked out of the County admin center by security:
“I feel like I am always in front of you defending this program which I will remind you is the County's program. But here's a little reality check. State licensing is here. We have temporary licenses. If our cultivators cannot get a state license they don't have a local license. And in order to get a state license you need a Lake and Streambed Alteration permit from Fish and Wildlife or a statement that you don't need one. We have been instrumental in pushing our cultivators to get those documents because without them there is no state license. There is no state license without already going through the State Water Board to get the water right and your discharge permit. Again, we have been instrumental in pushing those cultivators to get those licenses. No state license, no local license. So I would say that myself and my staff have been on the ground vetting these properties. We have been working with the state resource agencies to come into a partnership so they are confident in our program. I have talked with Fish and Wildlife and they are happy with what we are doing. The vetting is going on. So I would ask the Board, what part of this process do you want for us to not do? Because this is really important. The state is giving temporary licenses. No fees, you just get one. You just apply. But when the rubber meets the road if they don't have all this documentation they are not getting a state license. And frankly you have a lot of people out there who are never going to make it. How are we going to vet them? So we get 100 people — we get their permit fees. What does that do for us if it's not sustainable? It's a false sense of, Oh, we got $600 from 800 or 900 cultivators. But if only 50% of those get through, if we are lucky… We have to do due diligence. The state agencies are looking at us. They want us to have a robust program, something with integrity. How do we not fulfill that by not fulfilling the ordinance? We prepared our ordnance based on state legislation. So what part of that can we just pick and choose to get these people permitted? I ask you?”
* * *
A little later Curry continued: “But again, we only have a total of maybe 150 approvals from Planning and Building. So still, those people are not going to get a permit yet. The annual inspection is tied to the issuance of a permit. We have a year. And the annual inspection also says that we will plan that inspection when we actually have plants in the ground, which we don't. We want to time those inspections so that we have mature plants so we can do the canopy survey. So we can actually get something that's accurate. … I don't have any control over Fish and Wildlife and when they are going to determine, when they submit, or when they are going to issue their Lake and Streambed alteration permit. According to my staff and Fish and Wildlife if a cultivator even submits that paperwork there is still a lot of back-and-forth with those agencies because they don't have enough information. So again, if we go back to our ordinance, it also said we wouldn't accept an application until cultivators had all of that. So basically if we would follow our ordnance we would have nobody in the program. Because there's about one person who has their final Lake and Streambed alteration permit. … I have been in touch with the state Ag Department and we have talked about those issues. Yes, I'm sure other counties are having that problem. When we are talking about Yolo, say, they only have 70 cultivators they are allowing. It's only a pilot program. But there, you are talking about an area that is not impacted by meeting Fish and Wildlife approval requirements in the statute. I have reached out to Senator McGuire telling him some of these issues. But in Mendocino County, because of the geography here, I would say that 90% or our applicants are going to need that.”
* * *
Supervisor McCowen may not want to debate the point, but he himself seems to agree that Mendo’s permit process needs improvement. In fact, later in that same meeting on Tuesday, McCowen, referring to the pot permit program and the ad-hoc committee he sits on which has proposed some modified and relaxed rules, admitted, “We intend to simplify the inspection and application and renewal process. Certainly, that’s the direction we’re moving.”
But as long as Supervisor McCowen dismisses even the slightest hint that his unwieldy and expensive program is part of the problem, that “direction” will be slow in coming, if at all.
FRONTIERS OF FREE ENTERPRISE. Francis Ford Coppola, creator of the Godfather movies, has affiliated with the Humboldt Brothers, a marijuana business operated out of HumCo. The Bros will furnish the marijuana for Coppola's “Grower’s Series” brand, a faux wine bottle containing three varieties of dope, a pipe and matches.
BERNIE STATES THE OBVIOUS. But, unlike his colleagues, at least he has the courage to state it. “I think you know there are a lot of white folks out there who are not necessarily racist who felt uncomfortable for the first time in their lives about whether or not they wanted to vote for an African-American,” Sanders told The Daily Beast, referencing the close contests involving Andrew Gillum in Florida and Stacey Abrams in Georgia and the ads run against the two. “I think next time around by the way it will be a lot easier for them to do that.”
HUFF MOVES UP. “It’s hugely exciting,” said Democratic North Coast Congressman Jared Huffman announced Tuesday night about the election results giving the Democrats control of the House of Representatives. Huffman has easily won re-election in his gerrymandered congressional district stretching from Marin to the Oregon border. “It makes all the difference in my ability to get more done, but what the country desperately needs is a check and balance on Trump’s power,” Huff said. Huffman, steadily moving up the House seniority ladder, will become chairman of the Subcommittee on Water, Power and Oceans of the House Natural Resources Committee. His other assignment is the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure.
CATCH OF THE DAY, November 8, 2018
ERICH BAKER, Ocala, Florida/Ukiah. Under influence.
ROBERT CAMPBELL, Ukiah. Tresspassing/cutting down, destroying, injuring any kind of wood or timber, parole violation, probation revocation.
DENISE DAHL, Lower Lake/Ukiah. Failure to appear.
ADELINE EE, Willits. Disorderly conduct-alcohol.
SYDNEY FORD, Laytonville. Failure to appear.
MATTHEW GARWOOD, Ukiah. DUI.
JESSICA HOFFMAN, Fort Bragg. Under influence, paraphernalia, resisting.
RACHEL HUMECKY, Fort Bragg. Domestic battery.
RHANDA JACK, Ukiah. Arson of property.
ALICIA LOOKS, Fort Bragg. Controlled substance, failure to appear, probation revocation.
KELLI MCCOSKER, Ukiah. Failure to appear, probation revocation.
MARLIN PETERSEN, Ukiah. Probation revocation.
BLANCA VILLAGRANA, Covelo. Assault with deadly weapon not a gun, willful cruelty to child with possible injury or death.
'Tis the season to get your shots
MCN COMMENT: Let me remind you that the only thing that offers lifetime immunity from measles is getting the live virus. In the olden days, say, 1950s, 1960s, when most people had a diet good enough for survival, the biggest problem was how to keep children entertained when they'd be home bored with the measles. There is the rare case of a child coming down with a side effect, but let's measure that against the damage from the vaccine, which is unquestioned.
Roald Dahl — author of such books as Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, James and the Giant Peach, and Matilda — lost his eldest daughter, Olivia, to measles in 1962. Twenty-six years later, he penned a cogent and gut-wrenching plea to parents, urging them have their children vaccinated against the disease.
In light of measles' recent resurgence in the United States, Dahl's take on the seriousness of the disease, the importance of immunization, and the inanity of refusing to vaccinate "out of obstinacy or ignorance or fear," is as relevant today as it was when it appeared, in 1988, in a pamphlet published by the Sandwell Health Authority:
Measles: A Dangerous Illness
Olivia, my eldest daughter, caught measles when she was seven years old. As the illness took its usual course I can remember reading to her often in bed and not feeling particularly alarmed about it. Then one morning, when she was well on the road to recovery, I was sitting on her bed showing her how to fashion little animals out of coloured pipe-cleaners, and when it came to her turn to make one herself, I noticed that her fingers and her mind were not working together and she couldn't do anything.
"Are you feeling all right?" I asked her.
"I feel all sleepy," she said.
In an hour, she was unconscious. In twelve hours she was dead.
The measles had turned into a terrible thing called measles encephalitis and there was nothing the doctors could do to save her. That was twenty-four years ago in 1962, but even now, if a child with measles happens to develop the same deadly reaction from measles as Olivia did, there would still be nothing the doctors could do to help her.
On the other hand, there is today something that parents can do to make sure that this sort of tragedy does not happen to a child of theirs. They can insist that their child is immunised against measles. I was unable to do that for Olivia in 1962 because in those days a reliable measles vaccine had not been discovered. Today a good and safe vaccine is available to every family and all you have to do is to ask your doctor to administer it.
It is not yet generally accepted that measles can be a dangerous illness. Believe me, it is. In my opinion parents who now refuse to have their children immunised are putting the lives of those children at risk. In America, where measles immunisation is compulsory, measles like smallpox, has been virtually wiped out.
Here in Britain, because so many parents refuse, either out of obstinacy or ignorance or fear, to allow their children to be immunised, we still have a hundred thousand cases of measles every year. Out of those, more than 10,000 will suffer side effects of one kind or another. At least 10,000 will develop ear or chest infections. About 20 will die.
Let that sink in.
Every year around 20 children will die in Britain from measles.
So what about the risks that your children will run from being immunised?
They are almost non-existent. Listen to this. In a district of around 300,000 people, there will be only one child every 250 years who will develop serious side effects from measles immunisation! That is about a million to one chance. I should think there would be more chance of your child choking to death on a chocolate bar than of becoming seriously ill from a measles immunisation.
So what on earth are you worrying about? It really is almost a crime to allow your child to go unimmunised.
The ideal time to have it done is at 13 months, but it is never too late. All school-children who have not yet had a measles immunisation should beg their parents to arrange for them to have one as soon as possible.
Incidentally, I dedicated two of my books to Olivia, the first was 'James and the Giant Peach'. That was when she was still alive. The second was 'The BFG', dedicated to her memory after she had died from measles. You will see her name at the beginning of each of these books. And I know how happy she would be if only she could know that her death had helped to save a good deal of illness and death among other children.
--(signed) Roald Dahl
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Dahl's letter remains eerily appropriate today, in light of the ongoing and expanding measles outbreak centered in California. More than 100 cases have now been confirmed in 14 states across the U.S., including Arizona, Colorado, Illinois, Minnesota, Michigan, Nebraska, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Texas, Utah and Washington state. According to the latest figures from the California Department of Public Health, at least 91 of the cases are in California, 58 of which have been linked to the outbreak that began in Disneyland last month. The degree and scale of this outbreak (in the past thirty days, California has seen more confirmed measles cases than it typically sees in a year) has been pinned to the obstinacy, ignorance, and fear of those who would refuse their children, and anyone else unable to vaccinate for legitimate medical reasons, the protection immunization affords.
GALLERY BOOKSHOP CALENDAR OF EVENTS
Friday, November 16th
Meet & Greet with Maxine Rose Schur author of Marielle in Paris, 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm at Gallery Bookshop. Open to the public. More information at 707.937.2665 or gallerybookshop.com
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Saturday, November 17th
Benefit Shopping Night for Montessori Del Mar, 5:30 pm to 7:30 pm at Gallery Bookshop. Open to the public. More information at 707.937.2665 or gallerybookshop.com
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Friday, November 30th
Fire & Rain: Ecopoetry from California w/ Maureen Eppstein & Friends. 6:30 pm to 7:30 pm at Gallery Bookshop. Open to the public. More information at 707.937.2665 or gallerybookshop.com
(Gallery Bookshop, Mendocino, California)
by Bruce Brady
Until I underwent 'my' heart attack a decade ago, I sometimes amused myself, even if no one else, by describing myself (with an appropriately grief stricken face) as having PDD. Inevitably, the reply would come from a quizzical but usually empathetic face. It would ask, politely, `What is that? ' 'Problem Deficit Disorder. There's absolutely nothing wrong with me.' At this point in my particular voyage, it was likely that the the room would be filled with a collection of crystal-gazers, ear candlers, and all manner of 'therapists', massage, talking, aromatherapists who wreaked whatever magic they could muster as they attracted to a good many dollars from pockets (and sometimes the credit balances of the needy, defined as patients, to elist the terminology of so-called 'mainstream' medicine. They were, as we see presently in other forms, convinced like an old Christian, that they knew the truth. No quantity of serious, footnoted logic would ever convince them. Like climate deniers and right wing politicians, only they and their unique fog of bullshit held the truth. Everything visible here identified those present as firmly within the middle- or perhaps the upper middle class, aiming for something very like tribalism and a kind of borrowed authenticity. Arrogance and a kind of consuming self-regard which would do the gentle Narcissus proud. Then, one morning after listening to Dubya doing his weasel imitation on CNN, 'my' heart attack happened, and for the first (and last) time ever, I flew in a helicopter.
The next couple of years were singularly not good for my tender and somewhat battered psyche (or the retension of faith in the institution of marriage), but they sure provided fertile fields of opportunity to observe the common California manifestations of, as some wag observed, the firm believe that with the proper mixture of yoga, dogs, and weed at hand, anything was possible; many years evidently had to pass and be processed until a few of the memories got shaken loose here.
Explaining why he has so far failed to "get the better of a wolf," Cormac McCarthy's protagonist in The Crossing observes that "It ain't that they're all that smart, it's just that they ain't got all that much to think about." Keeping that observation firmly in place, imagine a large symphony orchestra, tuned and quieting before the conductor's upraised arms.
Ladies and gentlemen, The Landmark Forum. A thunderous major chord, led by the deep strings. Make sure you have peed. "The Forum" as it was commonly called, at least when I attended a weekend session in the early nineties, had by that time grown from its roots in the hot tubs of Esalen into an almost world-wide network of self-improvement seminars promising that participants would learn how to find within themselves the resources to access their spiritual centers and blah blah blah. In short, with luck and attention (and maybe even a few more evern pricier seminars) participants would develop the means, finally, to get it together. In the intervening years, The Landmark Forum has morphed and transformed and been forced by divestiture into Landmark Wordwide. At the time I attended, The Landmark Corporation also owner, of all things, The Weather Channel. Three-hundred bucks for the weekend, plus food and lodging.
A few weeks later, one of my wife's Forum veteran friends sat at the kitchen table, fairly gushing with enthusiasm for the wonderful stuff that The Forum had brought forth from her. Then, as I recall, she paused to sip some herbal tea and look appropriately blissful. Then she began talking again, this time recounting The Forum's final clinching argument. "If it wasn't for the money ($300.) is there anything else preventing you from taking this positive step this evening?" As happened often, I saw cynical laughter hastening toward my door. Word for word, these were the oft-practiced lines intended to motivate a signature on our second-mortgage contract to buy a $7,500 solar hot water system. Three or four years earlier, commissions earned from using these words had put a new Mustang convertible in the driveway and filled its glove box with enough cocaine to lead to a line of happy noses extending for years. The words also sell Chevrolets, houses, woodstoves, wedding rings, pianos, and, for all I know, Broadway hookers. Down to the placement of the commas, just another hustle. And the problem remained.
One of the more entertaining strolls through the byways of so-called Alternative Medicine (a post-New Age relative of Trump & Company's Alternative Facts) successfully (to some) makes its dangerous practice (e.g. ear candling) sound legitimate by describing the practice as any kind of medicine, whether alternative, mainstream, or traditional. Wikipedia says that it was once passed off as a practice of the Hopis, but the Hopis disavow it. Fighting off the cultural appropriation that comes with the unwanted appropriation of all the feathers and rattles and such.
In support of the New Age, it has (they have), in common with hippies, political junkies, and interpretive dancers the plain fact that they are so easily made fun of that it's really not sport at all. So try to look without laughing at an otherwise sane appearing person lying on the floor with a lit candle sticking out of one ear. Now try to carry on a normal conversation with this person who has been persuaded that they are curing their cancer, or balancing their energy, poking their grizzley, or some such. This takes some getting used to.
If ear candling presents too much of a challenge, turn to face the person over there hanging from a crossbar as though on a trapeze -- which, of course, they are. Now try to carry on anything resembling a normal conversation when your partner is hanging there upside down. Obviously, allowing one's spine some moderate stretching will likely result in positive results, at least for a while. But claiming some grandiose spiritual benefit does, in this instance, feel rather much. Imagine now, interacting with a roomful of these folks.
This easy recounting of some of the more obviously dingbat products of the New Age is, for me, not a pleasant survey. What I have mostly left out is the reason. I have mostly ignored, probably because I find it so offensive -- no matter its entertainment value -- to recall its adherents' smug assumption that somehow We Know Better, that acceptance of our enlightened opinions, should you manage it, could make you, perhaps, as spirutual as us. Anyone with a reasonable grasp of Aristotelian logic and a fifth-grader's grasp of general science will realize here that this is mostly bullshit with a capitol S.
Taking here, then, the broader view, one of the most basic assumptions of TNA (let's abbreviate, eh?) is that there is something requiring repair in all of us. This may, of course, be true. It is certainly true for 'mainstream' medicine. And it passes the intuitive smell test. But it is, for the true believers here, easily and readily (and almost irresistibly) commodified. And for the most part, there is no real licensing: Declaring oneself a 'certified' practitioner appears to be sufficient.
Many years ago, I saw a woman of some claimed (but unremembered) expertise at her office in Willits. Someone authoritative in my life at the time suggested that I see her for the… something… blocking my breathing through my right nostril. I don't recall much of what she did to diagnose my problem, but holding my arms outstretched at my side had something to do with her final determination that I was cured. I forget what she charged. A month or so later, I was diagnosed with what the folks at UC Med Center labeled a 'pre-cancerous tumor' in my right sinus cavity. Had I settled for the arm-pumping, the ending would likely have been far different here.
Striving (always!) for fairness, I will needlessly observe that mistaken theories have always been a very human thing. Generally, being wrong has always been one of the avenues to being right. However, in this case, it's pretty difficult to view all this caring with anything like neutrality. Accepting the truth -- or even the sometimes entertainining harmlessness of this serial nonsense -- is to miss the obvious main point: Having one's energy balanced, holding one's arms in the air to get rid of cancer, hanging Tibetan prayer flags outside of one's house, all of it is a bold faced assertion that one's opinion comes out of a life lived better than yours, or you would believe the same thing. Not only that, but giving this crap the old college try lets anyone listening to you understand beyond question that you are also a firmly committed member of the solid middle-class. Few, if any, poor folks get therapy, even when plainly called for. You have arrived, and without doubt, you know more. Just wait until someone asks.
So I was at state Sen. Mike McGuire and Assemblyman Jim Wood’s semi-annual election night party at the Union Restaurant in Santa Rosa, and I had two seconds to ask Rep. Mike Thompson, who will be chairman of the House Ways and Means health subcommittee, a question. I asked, “Now that you have the House back but not the Senate or White House, what is the first thing on your agenda?” His response — get Donald Trump’s tax returns. Love it.
WORKING "WITH" THE GOP IS THE SAME AS WORKING "FOR" THE GOP
Wake up people, Nancy has made it clear that The Corporate Democrats are not going after Trump.
Oh, I'm sure there will be some sabre-rattling and media propaganda to keep you on the edge of your seats.
But The House is too corrupt.
Congress Is Now Mostly A Millionaires’ Club
The Senate is protected by rigged voting machines and illegal voting laws and isn't going anywhere.
Nancy Pelosi: Impeaching Trump still not a priority’ for Democrats
Trump endorses Nancy Pelosi for speaker of the House
Nancy said that The Corporate Democrats will reach across the aisle and be bipartition. (Working with the GOP is working for The GOP)
You want change, then change the way we vote in America...
Get rid of lifetime & career politicians.
— Dennis O’Connor
A SMALL BURG just about 10 miles inside the Scottish border in October 2018
THE DYSTOPIAN FUTURE OF FACEBOOK
by Mark Kernan
This year Facebook filed two very interesting patents in the US. One was a patent for emotion recognition technology; which recognises human emotions through facial expressions and so can therefore assess what mood we are in at any given time-happy or anxious for example. This can be done either by a webcam or through a phone cam. The technology is relatively straight forward. Artificially intelligent driven algorithms analyses and then deciphers facial expressions, it then matches the duration and intensity of the expression with a corresponding emotion. Take contempt for example. Measured by a range of values from 0 to 100, an expression of contempt could be measured by a smirking smile, a furrowed brow and a wrinkled nose. An emotion can then be extrapolated from the data linking it to your dominant personality traits: openness, introverted, neurotic, say.
The accuracy of the match may not be perfect, its always good to be sceptical about what is being claimed, but as AI (Artificial Intelligence) learns exponentially and the technology gets much better; it is already much, much quicker than human intelligence.
Recently at Columbia University a competition was set up between human lawyers and their AI counterparts. Both read a series of non-disclosure agreements with loopholes in them. AI found 95% compared to 88% by humans. The human lawyers took 90 minutes to read them; AI took 22 seconds. More incredibly still, last year Google’s AlphaZero beat Stockfish 8 in chess. Stockfish 8 is an open-sourced chess engine with access to centuries of human chess experience. Yet AlphaZero taught itself using machine learning principles, free of human instruction, beating Stockfish 8 28 times and drawing 72 out of 100. It took AlphaZero four hours to independently teach itself chess. Four hours from blank slate to genius.
A common misconception about algorithms is that they can be easily controlled, rather they can learn, change and run themselves-a process known as deep “neural” learning. In other words, they run on self-improving feed back loops. Much of this is positive of course, unthought of solutions by humans to collective problems like climate change are more possible in the future. The social payoffs could be huge too. But what of the use of AI for other means more nefarious. What if, as Yuval Noah Hariri says, AI becomes just another tool to be used by elites to consolidate their power even further in the 21stcentury. History teaches us that it isn’t luddite to ask this question, nor is it merely indulging in catastrophic thinking about the future. Rapidly evolving technology ending up in the hands of just a few mega companies, unregulated and uncontrolled, should seriously concern us all.
Algorithms, as Jamie Bartlett the author of The People Vs Tech puts it, are “the keys to the magic kingdom” of understanding deep seated human psychology: they filter, predict, correlate, target & learn. They also manipulate. We would be naive in the extreme to think they already don’t, and even more naive to think the manipulation is done only by commercial entities. After all, it’s not as if there aren’t lots of online tribes, some manufactured and some not, to be manipulated into and out of political viewpoints, our fleeced of their money.
In 2017 Facebook said they could detect teenagers’ moods and emotions such as feeling nervous and insecure by their entries, a claim they denied later, adding we do not, “offer tools to target people based on their emotional state”. The internal report was written by two Australian executives-Andy Sinn and David Fernandez. The report according to The Guardian was written for a large bank and said that, “the company has a database of its young users – 1.9 million high schoolers, 1.5 million tertiary students and 3 million young workers”.
Going one better still, Affectiva, a Boston company, claims to be able to detect and decode complex emotional and cognitive data from your face, voice and physiological state using emotion recognition technology (ECT)-amassing 12 billion “emotion data points” across gender, age & ethnicity. Its founder has declared that Affectiva’s ECT can read your heart rate from a webcam without the you wearing any sensors, simply by using the reflection of your face which highlights blood flow-a reflection of your blood pressure. Next time you’re listening to Newstalk’s breakfast show, think of that.
Affectiva’s ultimate goal of course, when you get past all the feel-good optimistic guff about “social connectivity”, “awesome innovation”, and worst of all “empowering” is, to use their own words, to “enable media creators to optimize their content”. Profiting from decoding our emotional states in other words.
Maybe Facebook (and Google) would use this technology wisely for our benefit, then again maybe not. It isn’t such a stretch to imagine how it could be used unethically too. To microtarget customised ads and messages at us depending on our state of mind at given time, say, and allowing Cambridge Analytica to harvest the personal data of 87 million Facebook users to subvert democracy with Brexit & Trump. Facebook claims they weren’t aware of this though. Well, maybe, maybe not, and in spite of their protests in recent years they are still not especially transparent or accountable given their enormous cultural and social power in our lives. Curiouser and Curiouser you might think, and you’d be right.
The second Facebook patent is even more interesting, if that’s the right word, or dystopian if you prefer. Patented this June, published under the code US20180167677 (with the abstract title of Broadcast Content View Analysis Based on Ambient Audio Recording, application no: 15/376,515) illustrates a process by which secret messages- ‘ambient audio fingerprints’ in the jargon-embedded in TV ads, would trigger your smart technology (phone or TV) to record you while the ad was playing. Presumably to gauge your reaction to the product being advertised at you through, perhaps, voice biometrics (i.e. the identification and recognition of the pitch and tone of your voice).
As the patent explains in near impenetrable but just about understandable jargon this is done by first, detecting one or more broadcasting signals (the advertisement) of a content item. Second, ambient audio of the content item is recorded, and then the audio feature is extracted “from the recorded ambient audio to generate an ambient fingerprint” and finally, wait for it, “ the ambient audio fingerprint, time information of the recorded ambient audio, and an identifier of an individual associated with a client device (you and your phone or smart TV) recording the ambient audio” is sent, “to an online system for determining whether there was an impression of the content by the individual.” It goes on to say that “the impression of the identified content item by the identified individual” is logged in a “data store of the online system”.
It goes on to state that “content providers have a vested interest in knowing who have listened and/or viewed their content” and that the feature described in the patent are not exhaustive, and that “many additional features and advantages will be apparent to one of ordinary skill in the art…”.
It is already obvious we don’t know how much Facebook and other big tech platforms monitor us, neither do we know how much data they hold on us individually and collectively and, critically, who has access to that data and how they could use it.
If you can sell consumer goods by such manipulation why not whole ideologies, chipping away at our human agency one dystopian tech innovation at a time, paving the way for the morphing of late stage capitalism into authoritarian capitalism; one efficiency gain at a time.
If put into place such “innovations” are designed to monitor our emotional states for monetary gain. In essence, it is a type of online mood tracking where we are the digital lab rats. Facebook is already valued at half a trillion US dollars giving it huge economic and cultural power.
According to Private Eye magazine, Facebook’s legal team say the patent was filed “to prevent aggression from other companies”, and that “patents tend to focus on future-looking technology that is often speculative in nature and could be commercialised by other companies”. As Private Eye pointed out though, it’s not as if Facebook has been completely transparent about such secretive issues in the past or present. The fact that Facebook generates billions by manipulating our emotions is not a surprise us, their business model is based on it, but how they intend to do it in the future should surprise, and alert us. We are after all the product. Over 90% of their revenues comes from selling adverts. They have the market incentive.
How will all this play out in the future? It isn’t difficult to build a picture of a commercialised and rapacious big tech dystopia, the very opposite of the freedoms and civil liberties envisaged by the original pioneers of the internet, and the opposite of how they currently perceive themselves.
Verint, a leading multinational analytics & biometric corporation, with an office in Ireland, has been known to install and sell, “intrusive mass surveillance systems worldwide including to authoritarian governments”, according to Privacy International. Governments that routinely commit human rights abuses on their own citizens.
China, a world leader in surveillance capitalism, recently declared that by 2020 a national video surveillance network, Xueliang, will be fully operationable, Sharp Eyes in English-Kafka and Orwell must be smirking knowingly somewhere. The term sharp eyes harks back to the post war slogan in communist China of “The people have sharp eyes”, when neighbours were encouraged to spy and tell on other neighbours of counter revolutionary or defeatist gossip about the 1949 revolution.
Democracies too have built overarching systems of surveillance. Edward Snowden told us in 2013 that the NSA was given secret direct access to the servers of big tech companies (Facebook, YouTube, Google and others) to collect private communications. As Glenn Greenwald said, the NSA’s unofficial “motto of omniscience” is: Know it all, Collect it all, Process it all.
Jaron Lanier, pioneer of virtual reality technology and a tech renegade, and an apostate to some, recently called the likes of Facebook and Google “behaviour manipulation empires”. Their pervasive surveillance and subtle manipulation through “weaponised advertising” he argues debases democracy by polarising debate at a scale unthinkable even just five or ten years ago, and it’s not only advertising that can be weaponised. Facebook, Google, Twitter and Instagram all have “manipulation engines” (algorithms we know little about) running in the background Lanier says, designed specifically by thousands of psychological & “emotional engineers” (“choice architects” or “product philosophers” to use the inane corporate gobbledygook). Their job is to keep you addicted to what’s now known as the “attention economy”-and attention equals profit. A better description still might be the attention/anxiety economy. Twitter has for instance a 3 second time delay between the page loading and notification loading, Facebook something similar-and always red for urgent. They are known in psychology as intermittent variable rewards, negative reinforcement in this context which keep behaviour going by the hope of maybebeing rewarded, with a like or a follower. This builds anticipation and releases feel good neurotransmitters, and taps into your need to belong, and to be heard-we’re intensely social creatures. The downside is the opposite of course, where we can be thrown into an emotional rollercoaster if the expected dopamine hit doesn’t come.
The goal is addiction into a consumption frenzy of socially approved validation. Big Tech’s social media universe is, as one reformed “choice architect” put it, “an attention seeking gravitational wormhole” that sucks you into their profit seeking universe. If you don’t think so, check how many times you look at your phone every day. The average person checks 150 times. Most of that is social media. We’re all in an attention arms race now.
There is a great German word: Zukunftsangst. It means translated, roughly, future-anxiety. Maybe it should be renamed Zuckerbergangstinstead.
(Mark Kernanis a Freelance Writer and Independent Researcher. Follow him @markkernan1. Courtesy, CounterPunch.org)
ON LINE COMMENT OF THE DAY
Dear Lady….Even in the softest of starlight this has become obvious now. Trump is truly a devious son of a bitch. Much, much smarter than any of his adversaries will ever give him credit for.
Trump is sort of a Yankeefied version of the Old Southern Country Lawyer. You know…the fella who has the chops to sit on the SCOTUS, but who never lets on how smart he is to his opponents in the courtroom. Just drawls on and on in a folksy Southern way until he puts the opposing counsel to sleep. Then he cuts their throats.
Trump’s version is more like a NY wiseguy, but it is essentially the same act. Behave like an average to below average schmuck while measuring your opponents for the casket you will bury them in.
Whole libraries will one day be filled with books studying Trump’s devious techniques. He is the Sun Tzu of Manhatten.
EEL RIVER SALMON DOCUMENTARY UNVEILING – VOLUNTEER SALMON ASSESSMENT TRAINING
The Eel River Recovery Project is a grassroots group that has been assessing Eel River fall Chinook salmon runs since 2012 and a new documentary summarizing their findings will be shown at the Willits Environmental Hub at 630 S. Main Street on the evening of Saturday, November 17. The film will start at 7 PM and will be preceded by a bratwurst BBQ at 5 PM.
The movie is entitled Signs of Resilience: 2012-2017 Eel River Fall Chinook Salmon Trends. It was artfully produced by Alan Olmstead of Sirius Studios in Eureka and provides a window on the beauty of the Eel River watershed in all seasons. Dramatic video footage of salmon staging, running and spawning provides evidence of robust recent runs. The film also captures the enthusiasm of volunteers who helped document salmon runs by joining dives, surveying from kayaks, or doing spawner counts in tributaries.
Citizens around the Eel River basin expressed concern about salmon extinction during scoping meetings in 2011, which triggered the beginning of the Chinook salmon surveys. ERRP has documented that there have been between 10,000 and 50,000 Chinook annually since 2012, which is well above the level of concern for population extinction. This is also equivalent to return levels of fall Chinook salmon documented by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service from 1955-1958.
In 2012, ERRP estimated that there were 20,000 to 50,000 Chinook disbursing to spawn throughout the basin, which was the high point. The lowest return was in 2015, when only an estimated 10,000 to 15,000 Chinook spawned. The run rebounded to the 20,000-30,000 level in 2016, but declined to 14,500 to 22,500 in 2018.
The movie reports that runs are healthy and rebounding in the Middle Fork, Black Butte, Van Duzen, upper South Fork and some sections of the main Eel River. However, Chinook salmon runs are low and/or declining in the lower South Fork and its tributaries, and the upper Eel River above Dos Rios. In particular, Tomki Creek seems to be losing its productivity, with only dozens to hundreds of salmon spawning in years when there are tens of thousands of fish elsewhere in the basin. As recently as 1985-1988 Tomki had 3,500 to 5,000 spawners annually. Outlet Creek also appears to be having problems with increased sediment discharge that may be threatening Chinook salmon success.
The California Department of Fish and Wildlife reported thousands of Chinook salmon spawning in Outlet Creek in 2006 and 2009, and ERRP also documented high levels of abundance in 2012 and 2016. However, in 2017 only five salmon carcasses were found by ERRP volunteers and very few redds observed.
In order to get a better understanding of distribution and abundance of Outlet Creek salmon and the condition of habitat and spawning success, ERRP and Friends of Outlet Creek are leading a 2018-2019 fall Chinook salmon citizen monitoring effort. On Sunday morning November 18 at 10 AM there will be a training at the Willits Hub where volunteers will be taught how and where to watch for salmon. Observations will be made after rain events, as Outlet Creek and its tributaries clear. Information will be relayed to ERRP Managing Director and fish biologist Pat Higgins who will help confirm observations. Pat will conduct the training and lead a field trip in the afternoon of November 18.
Signs of Resilience will also be shown on cable access channels in Mendocino and Humboldt counties, including on Mendocino TV and Willits TV. Show times on the latter channels will be 8 PM on Friday, November 23 and 8 PM a week later on Friday, November 30. The movie is also posted to YouTube with the address available on-line at www.eelriverrecovery.org. DVDs are available for $20 or free with an ERRP membership. There are no dedicated grant funds for the current fall Chinook assessment and it is hoped that Signs of Resilience will stimulate people to donate and/or join ERRP and support their work. For more information call (707) 223-7200.
TOO MANY EVENT CHOICES?
How’s this for a solution?
The annual a cappella benefit dinner/concert and a symphony concert on the same night! Now that's a dilemma! Fortunately, you don't have to choose; you can enjoy both this weekend. Saturday, November 10, 5:30 PM, enjoy courses from Trillium Cafe, Ravens Restaurant at Stanford Inn, Mendocino Hotel, Luna Trattoria, and Mendocino Cafe, wines from Greenwood Ridge Vineyards, Lula Cellars, and Husch Vineyards, beer from North Coast Brewing Company, and a concert by North Coast a cappella super groups the Acafellas and River, all joining forces in an annual benefit for the Community Center of Mendocino and the After School Enrichment Program. We'll start with dinner at 5:30, followed by a chance to peruse the many exciting items assembled by our intrepid silent auction team (getaways, meals, luxury and practical items), and finish with the always-lively a cappella extravaganza featuring the Acafellas and River. This annual event has sold out for the previous three years, so advance tickets are highly recommended. Tickets online at ccmendo.org, or at Out of This World and Harvest Fort Bragg. Info at (707) 367-0605.
Sunday, November 11, 2:00 PM, Symphony of the Redwoods Fall Concert, featuring pianist Richard Dowling. Smetana, Overture from The Bartered Bride; Rachmaninoff, Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini, Opus 43; Gershwin, "I've Got Rhythm" Variations; Dvorak, Symphony NÂº 8. Symphony of the Redwoods website.
“These parts used to be filled with White House officials. But then, one by one, they all disappeared.”
EVERY TIME I paint a portrait I lose a friend.
— John Singer Sargent
VISIONS & AFFILIATIONS
“The High and Palmy State of Poetry,” a marvelous, beautifully written, in-depth review of my book, Visions and Affiliations: A California Literary Timeline by scholar-poet Peter Whitfield is live at Caveat Lector (Vol. 29, No. 1). My deepest thanks to Peter Whitfield and to the editors: