MCT: Thursday, June 27, 2019

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DEMOCRATIC 2020 CANDIDATES CLASH On Healthcare, Immigration And Economy In First Debate.

by Lauren Gambino

The first ten Democratic presidential candidates cast themselves in sharp contrast with Donald Trump in the first primary debate of the 2020 election on Wednesday night, even as they disagreed on how far left the next president should lean.

The candidates took to the stage at the Adrienne Arsht Center in Miami for the first of back-to-back debates over two nights, which see the 2020 race kick-off in earnest and give the 20 candidates who qualified for the events a national platform, which is likely to clarify the leaders in the enormous and unsettled field.

Candidates savaged Trump’s handling of the US economy and the migration crisis at the US-Mexico border. But despite his tweets, the president did not dominate the debate, which also saw clashes on healthcare, inequality and foreign policy, promises on immigration, reproductive rights and the economy, and a lengthy discussion of the climate crisis – a novel development for US presidential debates.

Elizabeth Warren took center stage in more than one sense, as the only top-tier candidate to appear in the first debate. The Massachusetts senator, who has built momentum by releasing an ever-expanding cache of policy proposals, was asked the first question, on the economy.

She said the economy was doing “great” with the wealthy, for owners of private prisons, for Big Pharma, “for giant oil companies,” but not for people struggling, not for people who need to buy prescription medications, earning the first of several applauses.

In addition to Warren, the other Democrats in Wednesday night’s lineup were the New Jersey senator Cory Booker; the former Texas congressman Beto O’Rourke; the former housing secretary Julián Castro; the Minnesota senator Amy Klobuchar; the Hawaii congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard; the Washington governor, Jay Inslee; the New York mayor, Bill de Blasio; the Ohio congressman Tim Ryan and the former Maryland congressman John Delaney.

For the many Americans who have not followed every twist of an election that is still more than 16 months away, the debate offered a first glimpse of 10 of the Democratic candidates hoping to take the Democratic nomination, to go head-to-head against Trump in November 2020.

Booker and O’Rourke occasionally spoke Spanish – a gesture that was ribbed online by some rivals who will appear in Thursday’s debate. Andrew Yang tweeted “My Spanish is terrible” and apologized to his ninth grade Spanish teacher.

One NBC debate moderator, Chuck Todd, launched into a string of questions about the climate crisis, beginning an exchange lasting around seven minutes – more than the entire time spent on climate in the 2016 general election debates.

Miami is seen as one of the US cities most under threat from the effects of climate change. Asked if his plan could “save Miami,” Inslee – who has made the environment the central plank of his campaign – touted efforts he has lead as a governor.

Trump loomed large over the debate – tweeting his thoughts intermittently – but he was not a focus. A quarter of an hour passed before his name was mentioned, by Klobuchar.

As the candidates debated healthcare and discussed immigration, Trump, watching the debate aboard Air Force One on his way to attend the G20 summit in Japan, tweeted simply: “BORING”.

The candidates diverged sharply on how boldly to transform the US economy. Only Warren and DeBlasio raised their hand when asked who would eliminate private health insurance as part of their healthcare plan. And there were subtle disagreements on how heavily to tax wealthy Americans.

The debate was seen as clarifying moment for several candidates who have struggled to break through. Castro appeared to find his voice on immigration and afterward told reporters that he believed his standing would “change after tonight.”

O’Rourke, who entered the presidential race with a higher national profile than many of his rivals, found himself on the defensive. No candidate criticized Warren directly, allowing the Massachusetts senator to command the conversation on issues of healthcare and the economy.

In one of the most memorable exchanges of the evening, Inslee jumped into the healthcare debate to tout his record as the “only candidate here” who has passed legislation protecting a woman’s right to access reproductive health through her health insurance. 

With a smile, Klobuchar shot back: “There are three women on this stage that have fought pretty hard to protect women’s right to choose.”

The stage reflected the increasingly diverse Democratic party in which women and people of color are ascendent. Three women – two more than have ever shared a stage during a presidential primary debate – a Latino former congressman and a black senator participated in the debate.

Immigration opened a round of fierce debate led by Castro. He grew emotional when responding to a question about the photo of an immigrant father and his toddler daughter found lying face-down after drowning in the Rio Grande, and called the image “heartbreaking”. “Frankly, it should piss us all off,” he said.

He then implored O’Rourke, a fellow Texan who has also made immigration reform a central plank of his campaign, to support his plan to decriminalize border crossings.

The candidates were also asked for a show of hands of who would sign on to the Iran nuclear deal negotiated by the Obama administration in 2015. Every candidate except for Booker said they would.

The two-hour debate was briefly stalled by a technical difficulty with the moderators’ microphones. The network quickly cut to a commercial break but Trump, ever eager to attack the press, seized on the mishap. “Truly unprofessional and only worthy of a FAKE NEWS Organization, which they are!” he tweeted.

After the two-hour special, the Trump campaign called the debate an “in-kind contribution to the President’s campaign”, in a lengthy statement that accused the Democrats of exploiting the crisis at the border while embracing “socialist policies”.

The second night on Thursday sets the stage for a contentious debate between the two leading contenders: the former vice-president Joe Biden and Senator Bernie Sanders. They will appear alongside Senator Kamala Harris and Pete Buttigieg, the mayor of South Bend, Indiana. The other contenders on Thursday night are the New York senator Kirsten Gillibrand, the Colorado senator Michael Bennet, the former Colorado governor John Hickenlooper, the California congressman Eric Swalwell, the new age author Marianne Williamson, and the tech entrepreneur Andrew Yang.

The sprawling field of Democratic contenders – which grew last week to 25 – is the largest and most diverse in presidential history. Biden consistently leads the field in polls. He is trailed by Sanders and Warren, progressive firebrands who, according to recent surveys, are neck-and-neck. Rounding out the list are Harris, who had a strong start to her campaign but hasn’t yet taken off, and Buttigieg, who has soared from near anonymity to near the front of the pack.

It is perhaps a sign of the times that a “meme” candidate – Yang – and a bestselling author of new age self-help books – Williamson – will have a chance to make their case for the presidency while a two-term governor of Montana, Steve Bullock, and a decorated US Marine Corps veteran and three-term Massachusetts congressman, Seth Moulton, have both been excluded.

To qualify, each presidential hopeful cleared a threshold set by the Democratic National Committee: they secured donations from more than 65,000 people in at least 20 states across the country and reached at least 1% in at least three separate national or early-state polls.

(Theguardian.com)



Gabbard v. Ryan

Rep. Tim Ryan and Rep. Tulsi Gabbard went head-to-head on Afghanistan, with Ryan arguing for U.S. engagement to dispel the Taliban from growing, and Gabbard arguing for the return of U.S. troops from Afghanistan.

Moderator Rachel Maddow brought up the two US soldiers who were recently killed in Afghanistan and asked Rep. Tim Ryan (D-OH): “Why isn’t that war over, and why can’t presidents of different parties figure out how to get out?”

Ryan responded that the US “must be engaged” and then tried to pivot back to domestic issues, saying, “If we are getting drones shot down for $130 million because the president is distracted, that’s $130 million that we could be spending in places like Youngstown, Ohio, or Michigan or rebuilding.”

But as soon as he finished, Gabbard, an Iraq War veteran, jumped in with a forceful rebuttal.

“Is that what you will tell the parents of those two soldiers who were just killed in Afghanistan? ‘We have to be engaged’? As a soldier, that answer is unacceptable,” she said. “We have to bring our troops home from Afghanistan. We are in a place in Afghanistan where we lost so many lives. We spent so much money. Money coming out of every one of our pockets and should be going into communities here at home. Meeting the needs of the people at home. We are no better off in Afghanistan today than when this war began.”

Gabbard has billed herself as a non-interventionist, often calling on her military service to illustrate her objections to what she sees as needless conflicts overseas.

She vocalized a theme that’s been embraced at points by everyone from Trump to Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT): that the US needs to end its costly and indefinite military engagements overseas.

Ryan responded to Gabbard’s statement by digging in on his idea of engagement. “I don’t want to be engaged. I wish we were spending this money in places that I represented that have been forgotten and we were rebuilding. The reality is if the United States is not engaged, the Taliban will grow.”

But Gabbard interjected, and the exchange got even more heated:

GABBARD: “The Taliban was there long before we came in and will be there long before we leave. We cannot keep the US deployed thinking we are going squash the Taliban.”

RYAN: “I didn’t say squash them. When we were not there, they started flying planes into our buildings.”

GABBARD: “The Taliban didn’t attack us on 9/11; al-Qaeda did. That’s why I and other people joined the military. To go after al-Qaeda. Not the Taliban.”

Neither Ryan nor Gabbard has significant support at the moment, which makes this exchange a little less relevant. But it still matters — not least because the fact that US troops are still fighting and dying in Afghanistan rarely if ever comes up these days in national conversations.

Gabbard spoke openly and honestly about how the authorization to use force after 9/11 turned into an interminable war on terror that expanded outside the US’s stated mission — an issue that continues to resonate today with many progressive Democrats.

She’s also right; the US likely won’t defeat the Taliban with force. Facing that reality, the Trump administration is currently trying to quietly negotiate a peace deal with the Taliban after 17 years of war. It’s something any Democratic president will have to deal with too.

(Vox.com)


FROM THE AVA'S perspective, Elizabeth Warren "won" going away and preferable to Bernie because she's younger. Tulsi Gabbard did well, deBlasio better than we expected from him, Beto came off as slow, pandering, evasive; Booker glib and insubstantial, Delaney deranged, the rest of them an undifferentiated mass of cliche-spouters.

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FLYNN BANNED FROM LIBRARY

The library staff took real offense at last week's column and took real action, banning me for 30 days or "until County provides an official response per Karen Horner." Who and what is Karen Horner?

They claimed I was not only sexually harassing them but inciting others to behave likewise. Apparently I "fetishised" the stereotype of the deceptively sexy librarian. My mistake was naming Ukiah library specifically, but dang it, it's SOP for small-town papers to name-check the citizenry as often as possible.

I also presumed (not sure why) that not only would everyone understand my tone, intent, and character, but that any wobblers in the area of sexism and PC would fall my way by dint of my reputation. I guess I just thought of my space as being safe, in the way of the tumblings of adolescents and puppies-there'll be some roughhousing, but no one really gets hurt.

I feel literally sick that someone felt threatened by me and thinks of me as some kind of drooling raincoated lecher haunting schoolyards and public pools. I would rather be thought of as a…anything, really, than a perv. I always make a conscious effort when interacting with women to make absolutely sure that any thoughts regarding their physical being do not betray themselves with untoward leers, ogles, or even glances. I look into their eyes, I keep a respectful distance and my hands to myself, and I don't offer unsolicited compliments. I am, in short, a gentleman.

The 30-day ban may as well be life, because I'm not going back in there until there's been a complete staff turnover — no way could I walk in there under their accusatory eyes, and if you know me at all, you know that's pretty much the worst thing that could happen to me short of major amputation. I have written three different pieces about libraries and how much I love them. It's like Starbucks to young professionals, Walmart to Juggalos and Nascar fans, the Forest Club to Bruce McEwen. Where there hell will I go now to bide a wee, the courthouse?

If anyone has an opinion about this after reading the piece, I'd appreciate hearing it.

Oh yeah, Bruce and Mark-aren't you supposed to be protecting me from myself? What else is an editor for, anyhow? I am of course kidding. If murder threats on the letters page are permissible, you're not going to let a little sexual harassment interfere with the first amendment. If the paper has also been subject to any rebuke or censure, I am very sorry.

Flynn Washburne

Ukiah

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BOONVILLE QUIZ TONIGHT (Thursday): With the temperatures dropping, you have no doubt seized the opportunity to hit the books in preparation for tomorrow evening's General Knowledge and Trivia Quiz. Good to hear it! Thursday is the fourth Thursday of the month and that means the Quiz will resume at Lauren's Restaurant with the first question tossed out at 7pm. See you there…

Steve Sparks, The Quiz Master

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‘ANTELOPE GAZING AT MONKEY’

(Photo by Harvey Reading)

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RAINBOW RIDGE

by Ellen Taylor

There is a great forest, that stands on the ridges to the north of Petrolia. These mountains are the source of the Mattole River’s largest and formerly most bountiful tributaries, the North Forks. Their branches are so steep, their weather so wild that not even the rapacious MAXXAM corporation, which owned it from 1986 to 2008, could destroy this forest completely. And so, it has survived into the modern era.

These forests are now the property of Humboldt Redwood Company, which plans to log them. HRC brings with it a new paradigm for timber harvest: certified sustainable logging. This system, which contains appealing features for the public, such as protection for old growth trees, ban on clearcuts, and consultation with the wishes of neighboring communities, was initially greeted with enthusiasm by elements who fought MAXXAM tooth and nail. However, certification is gradually defining itself as just another mechanism, adjusted to dwindling resources, to continue what former Cal Fire director Richard Wilson has called liquidation logging.

Where MAXXAM was the lion, ravaging the virgin redwood forest, HRC is the jackal, gnawing the last scraps off the bones.

And so, just as the timber wars of the nineties, with their martyrs and heroines such as Julia Butterfly and Judi Bari, made their way into international news, so in this new setting the same issues, which now have planetary importance, are percolating through into national headlines. From a standpoint of natural resource extraction, we are living in a different world than the one in which MAXXAM operated. Climate catastrophes are upon us now, together with the imminent disappearance of 1 million species, according to the just-published UN Biodiversity Report.

Our children are alarmed for their futures. Twenty-one of them brought a lawsuit against the government for violation of their rights. Julia Olsen, lawyer for the “Our Children’s Trust” lawsuit, in her closing statement before the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, reflected that “If we look back on the 20th century, we can see that the rights of women and people of different races were the Constitutional questions of that era. And when our greatgrandchildren look back on the 21st century they will see that government sanctioned climate change was the Constitutional issue of the 21st century”.

Indeed, it is a civil rights issue in which our children and future generations are victims of discrimination, deprived of their right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

Young people have of course been aware of this for a long time and fought to save their heritage. The Mattole was one of the most violent theaters of action during the MAXXAM/Pacific Lumber years. Forest defenders lived in the woods and pleaded with timber fallers to spare the trees. They spent the entire winter of 2000 in this forest, on Rainbow Ridge. Older residents blockaded the gates to the property every day at five o’clock in the morning. There were tree-sits, connected with ropes and nets to make up entire arboreal communities. Many people were thrown in jail.

Goons lit truck tires under the trees of young climbers. Others were wrapped in duct tape and lowered hundreds of feet headfirst. Many young people, earnestly desiring a better world for themselves and their children, were severely traumatized in these Mattole timber wars. Some of them cannot forget the blood spilled here, and are continuing to defend these same forests twenty years later.

Resistance was not confined to direct action. Beginning in 1990, Mattole residents challenged every single MAXXAM timber harvest plan in court. Issues concerning the public trust were brought before the Board of Forestry. However, when in 2007 MAXXAM declared bankruptcy as they had planned all along, only the 3500-acre Headwaters Forest, of MAXXAM’s 210,000 acres, was offered any permanent protection.

Looking back, it is curious that the Mattole was so passionately defended during the timber wars. It is not glamorous, like Headwaters Forest. But, unlike redwood lands, which are rather sterile, mixed fir and hardwood forests can support a marvelous variety of life, including many species which are on the decline and need places to live. For the original indigenous inhabitants of the Mattole, these mountains must have been spiritually associated with salmon, so prodigious were their salmon runs. Early colonists used to say that you couldn’t get a horse to cross the lower North Fork because of the flashing tails.

The ardor to defend the Mattole may also have arisen from recognition that already so much vital energy had been dedicated to the river’s restoration. Although the name Mattole means “clear water” it is presently categorized as a degraded stream, for turbidity, temperature and sediment. This was caused by logging followed by the floods of ‘55 and ’64. Mattole dwellers, recognizing this catastrophe, have been trying to restore habitat and bring back the salmon ever since the late 70s. The notion that local communities could manage their own environment and resources was initially considered radical, and met with strong government agency resistance. However, community insistence eventually prevailed, and we now have the Mattole Salmon Group, the Mattole Restoration Council, Sanctuary Forest International, the Lost Coast League and the Middle Mattole Conservancy, all of which are dedicated to the restoration of the watershed. These groups employ large numbers of people and have acquired investments totaling millions of dollars in restoring it.

But they have never had access to the North Forks. That is why, when Pacific Lumber declared bankruptcy as it had planned, and HRC took possession of their Mattole forests, everyone breathed a sigh of relief. There was general delight when HRC’s Mike Jani climbed up Noonan Creek to thank a tree sitter for saving an ancient tree named Spooner. HRC, we thought, was different. It would recognize that these forests were exhausted and depleted, that 97% of the old growth forest was gone and that the soils needed time for recovery. Its owners the Fisher family, were enlightened billionaires who would take a long view in regard to profits, an ethical position about outsourcing environmental impacts, and a fraternal interest in cooperating with communities they had suddenly moved into. They would recognize the importance of the tanoak as the tree of life from worm to eagle. Who knew, they might, like philanthropists before them, create a Fisher forest beside the Rockefeller forest, and create a wildlife corridor for martens and fishers to traverse in response to seasonal and climate changes! After all, Robert Fisher sat on the cabinet level California Strategic Growth Council, which had state responsibility to curb greenhouse gas emissions. They might allow the UC Natural Reserve System in for important studies. They were doubtless aware that their forests could attain the highest carbon densities of any ecosystem in the world, and that they were capable of making a real difference. They would grieve over the reality that there was no longer a single intact landscape in North America, and seize the challenge of restoration.

They would recognize the animate existence, the vital force, of the place. The pledge they had made, when they became certified, meant that their love of the forests would be consonant with the rapidly changing conditions of life on this earth, and resonate with what was our life project!

It was not to be. Other than containing a set-aside, a “representative sample area”, of some 200 acres temporarily safe from harvest, and eliminating clear cuts, they were little different from MAXXAM. They hacked-and-squirted unentered forests with imazapyr, a pesticide banned in Europe since 2003, following it up with the infamous glyphosate. They haggled over the definition of an old tree. They approached their new possession through the calculus of short-term profit. There was no vision of managing for 300-year-old trees and abundant wildlife: logging cycles would merely be extended from 40 to 60 years. The definition of sustainability would be held to a bare minimum of survival.

The Lost Coast League therefore brought a grievance to SCS, the organization which monitors the adherence to principles of sustainability of the certified timber companies. Our grievance was found to have merit. HRC was ordered to rewrite their herbicide policies, about which there had already been outcry, in neighboring Mendocino County where the Fishers own Mendocino Redwood Company.

They were ordered to look at their forests again to identify “high conservation value” forest, which though not necessarily containing trees which had existed before 1800, the running definition of “old growth”, but which had characteristics of old forests, with undisturbed soil, moisture retention, multilayered canopy closure, habitat for a variety of species, and features of vegetative organization such as mosses, snags, and decadent logs.

Although the FSC certification requirements require consultation with affected communities when accomplishing these directives, HRC neither completed their obligation to SCS nor contacted the Lost Coast League, and on June 5th they began logging.

HRC’s forests have been patrolled for almost a year by Lear Assets Management, a security company whose personnel usually have military backgrounds, wear camouflage with military insignia and are fully armed. Their job is to catch the forest defenders, who have been living in the Rainbow forests almost steadily since 2014, when HRC first tried to log. The forest defenders have been able to construct two blockades, the effectiveness of which depends on someone being suspended in such a way that any effort to take down the blockade would result in that person’s death. They were effective for awhile, but are now gone, and Lear has been successful in preventing a new one from being erected.

They were, however, not able to prevent a climber, Rook, from setting up a tree-sit, in an old growth tree, marked for logging because it was in the path of a road HRC planned to build. Rook had been working on this tree-sit all winter, dragging supplies little by little up the tree, out of sight of Lear security.

Two days after the logging began, four members of the Lost Coast League, all in their late seventies, appeared at Monument Gate at four AM, and placed themselves in the path of loggers on their way to work. They were immediately handcuffed by the Lear security men, and taken to the county jail.

The private security hitmen did not arrive in time two days later, however, to prevent a team of forest defenders from erecting a 14 foot ladder, held with guy wires to the gate and adjacent trees with a climber named Isabel poised perilously on top of it. Dismantling this contraption, to which a cherry picker had to be brought, lasted for several hours, while the sun rose over the fog flowing down the Eel river far below.

In the forest, HRC sent a masked climber up Rook’s tree. He cut off all the branches around her. He cut down her food and water supplies. A six gallon jug almost hit her in the head. Since then Rook has been without supplies, hugging the tree through strong winds and even a 5.6 earthquake. The Lear private security force has alternately harassed the forest defender with loud music and lights all night, jibes, starvation and even water deprivation.

A excavator has been knocking over trees perilously close to Rook’s tree, and a laughing driver hit her with a branch. In response to this, the very next day a lockdown on the culprit excavator was achieved in spite of the private security guards. There were more blockades and lockdowns at the gates.

Meanwhile, two red tree voles, a state-listed species of special concern due to their increasing scarcity, have joined Rook in the tree sit. A short distance away, as if in solidarity, a Northern Spotted Owl, a threatened species on both federal and state lists, has started a tree sit of its own, eloquently identifying “high conservation value” of critical habitat, since the company was too ignorant or negligent to have identified it for themselves.

Rook’s response to all this had all the solemnity of Greta Thunberg, combined with the terrible sadness of Chief Seattle:

“Whatever their intentions, the men who guard this tree, who hunt us in the woods, who escort the loggers to work each morning, are doing their part to create the future their descendants will inherit - one of famine, climate migration, global poverty. They are enabling the global collapse. They are making me watch the destruction of a place I love.”

There are three generations of forest defenders, the oldest of which are in their 70’s, the now-grownup kids of twenty years ago, and a whole new generation of passionate young people, who see waves of heat moving northward from the equator, pushing desperate populations along with them, surreal fires and droughts, wars, poverty and famine, and want to save something of what they instinctively love and know is necessary for the survival of the earth as we know it.

The Mattole community is asking HRC not to cut down the forest of the North Forks of the Mattole. There is too much soul hung up in that place already. Their certification standards require them to harmonize their activities with the communities within which they operate, in order to be consonant with the rapidly changing conditions of life on earth. The California Forest Practice Rules are dangerously obsolete, and the FSC rules as well. These forests have a potential destiny superior to being turned into board feet for profit. They are relatively fire-proof and fix enormous amounts of carbon. There are rare agaricon mushrooms. There are fishers and voles and goshawks and eagles and there ought to be more. It needs to be restored to its former splendor. The riparian areas are denuded on many of the tributaries, and must be shored up and replanted. There are scientists from UC who are interested in studying virgin, carbon-rich soils compared with disturbed terrain, and other issues in the Mattole.

In this, we are looking forwards, not backwards. Little towns and city neighborhoods must remain vigilant, and protect the places they live in. We are thinking locally as a small isolated community must, for survival, and we are thinking globally, as we watch the climate become more and more chaotic, with increasing alarm.

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IT'S STILL NOT SO SIMPLE

by Jen Burnstad

For 2019, the Not So Simple Living Fair has metamorphosed into the Not So Simple Small is Beautiful Gathering. This well loved offering of workshops and demonstrations celebrating rural living and homesteading skills will be held on July 26 -28 at the Groundswell Community Retreat Center in Yorkville. Groundswell is a small, beautiful, shaded space that implements many of the rural living skills that are the foundation of the event.

Even though our small organizing committee has scaled down the event… in some ways we are offering more. We're excited to partner with our friends at Groundswell. The land has rustic cabins and tent camping with plenty of areas for workshops scattered throughout the woods. All around a central kitchen, dining hall, and campfire where there will be Hosted Campfire Conversations. There is access to Rancheria Creek, a hot tub available, and locally sourced community meals provided by Groundswell's culinary team. Plus, Saturday night will be an Acoustic Band Scramble. So bring your musical instruments!

The theme this year, E.F. Schumacher's Small is Beautiful Theory of Economics advocates for the use of appropriate technologies as if people and the planet mattered. This concept blends with the Not So Simple vision because the rural living skills/technologies offered by our presenters encourage self reliant livelihoods in harmony with the land where we live and work, our communities, our bio-regions and beyond.

Jim Tarbell will give the Key Note address. Jim is the founder of the Grassroots Institute whose mission is to give communities skills to strengthen self governance and control corporate power. He is an early advocate of Building the Economy for Our Common Good in Mendocino County. Jim and dozens of workshop participants have spent the past two years putting together the Map of the Economy for the Common Good. He will speak about the vision and purpose of the map and how participants in the Not So Simple Gathering can all be part of it.

A limited number of tickets are now on sale. To buy tickets, see the schedule of workshops, and learn more about the gathering visit…http://notsosimple.info/

Or call 707-895-3243

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ON TUESDAY, we asked County CEO Carmel Angelo if Ag Commissioner Harinder Grewal had been placed on administrative leave, which is what we'd heard from a reliable source in the County Administration.

Ms. Angelo replied: “I am referring this to [Human Resources Director] Heidi Dunham. The Ag Commissioner does not report to me. Thank you.”

That was funny, because if Grewal doesn’t report to the CEO, who does he report to?

So we asked Ms. Dunham about it.

Ms Dunham replied, “This is a confidential personnel matter and I cannot discuss it.”

BUT WEDNESDAY morning, Ms. Dunham wrote: "Good morning. I read your article today and I would like to clarify that the Ag Commissioner reports directly to the Board of Supervisors."

WE WROTE to the Supervisors and received no response.

If Mr. Grewal had been formally terminated, we would have been told that he was no longer employed by the County. If it’s “a confidential personnel matter,” then the likelihood is that someone has accused him of something “inappropriate,” and the County Counsel’s office is probably going to pay an expensive outside attorney to conduct “an independent investigation” while Mr. Grewal remains on the County’s payroll until the matter is resolved.

BY WEDNESDAY NOON these anon comments were received:

(!)"Consider this an unsolicited, confidential observation, and opinion:

Harinder Grewal has instituted a regimented and demanding work environment in the Ag Commissioners office. The workers there are pushing back. This has nothing to do with sex. It likely has more to do with nagging, questioning, and pressure from the boss to do more in less time. This has created stress and a disruptive work environment. Remember, working in an AG Commissioners is not new to Grewal. It is what he does.

(2) "Harinder Grewal was placed on administrative leave because there is a discrimination lawsuit (as well as many grievances about his behavior) going forward. This shouldn’t be a surprise as EVERY woman who worked in the Ag department left – quit or transferred to another department. His behavior towards the women on his staff was unbelievable. Even more importantly, he was incompetent. This is why the CEO took the cannabis program away from the Ag department. From the cannabis program to mental health to social services to public health to Human Resources to the Probation department – this county is being grossly mismanaged and the Board of Supervisor’s need to take back control. Fire Carmel Angelo and Tammy Moss Chandler. We did not elect them. Ms. Angelo and Ms. Chandler have done real damage to this county, and wasted millions in tax payer dollars. Promote people who have demonstrated abilities to lead. Barbara Howe was such a leader, and Anne Molgaard is such a leader, but both women have either been fired or sidelined by Ms. Chandler. We believe Ms. Howe was fired for doing her job, rather than contracting out services the way Janine Miller does – another one who needs to go. Most county workers care deeply about this community, but it is very hard to want to keep going under the burden of this incompetency and nepotism. I hope the Supervisor’s are listening."

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AS IF THE DAY'S EVENTS AREN'T DEPRESSING ENOUGH….

On April 3, 2018 [more than a year ago] at around 10:05 PM the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office was called to the Ukiah Valley Medical Center on the report of a suspicious death of an infant, decedent Mia Diaz, who was less than one day old. Deputies learned the infant had been delivered by the suspect, Yareli Diaz, 24, of Ukiah, earlier that day. In Diaz's initial statement she claimed that she was unaware that she was pregnant but delivered the baby while in the bathroom at her home. The death of the child was determined to be suspicious, as it appeared to be a health baby with no obvious cause of death, and the suspect's statements were inconsistent. The Mendocino County Sheriff's Detectives were assigned to continue the investigation.

During the investigation Detectives learned Diaz delivered the child around 2:45 PM but failed to render any aid or care to the child. Diaz cleaned up the bathroom in what appeared to be an attempt to conceal the child's birth from her parents. Diaz wrapped the child in a towel and carried the child to a parked vehicle and placed the child in the rear seat area and left her there while she (Diaz) went back into the house. The outdoor temperature on the afternoon of April 3, 2018 was 77 degrees fahrenheit according to the National Weather Service.

Diaz later responded to work shortly before 6:00 PM and worked until approximately 8:45 PM when she left for work to meet a friend. Diaz then told the friend what had happened and the friend convinced her to immediately take the baby to the hospital for care. Detectives believed between the birth and the arrival at the hospital the infant had received no care from Diaz. Life saving measures were attempted by hospital staff but they were not successful.

A post mortem examination was later conducted by a forensic pathologist and the infant was found to be a full term, healthy female. In August of 2018 the Mendocino County Coroner's Office received the final cause of death from the pathologist. The cause of death was determined to be asphyxia due to the baby's mouth and nose being covered by towels and the placenta.

Detectives learned Diaz did in fact know she had been pregnant and that she had delivered a child several years before that her parents were helping her raise. At the conclusion of the investigation Detectives submitted the case to the Mendocino County District Attorney's Office for review and consideration of a charge of murder. The DA's Office then filed a case in the Mendocino County Superior Court and requested an arrest warrant charging Diaz with murder.

On June 25, 2019 around 5:45 PM Deputies responded to the 2400 block of North State Street in Ukiah and took Diaz into custody on the warrant. She was later booked into the County Jail on one count of murder. Her bail was set at $500,000.

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A READER WRITES: "When having my fractured ankle ex rayed recently, I discovered that the wheelchair at the Mendocino Coast District Hospital does not have any sort of footrest. This felt quite unsafe and I sent the article below to them. Perhaps Malcolm McDonald could notice if the issue ever surfaces at a board meeting.


WHEELCHAIR SAFETY

We are preparing to file a lawsuit against an assisted living facility in Michigan which caused a severe injury to a resident when an aide attempted to push her in her wheelchair without the footrest intact. Our client sustained a severe fracture of her left ankle requiring surgery and an extended hospitalization. In a case we recently resolved, Greenway v. Petoskey Geriatric Village, Margaret Greenway died as a result of injuries sustained by her when she was catapulted from her wheelchair as she was being pushed by an aide down the hall without the footrest in place. Footrests are a commonsense safety device for use with wheelchairs to prevent serious lower extremity injuries. Wheelchairs are intended to assist patients in a medical setting who cannot walk on their own. Wheelchair safety must be practiced by healthcare providers who should never assume that it is acceptable to push somebody in a wheelchair without footrests.

* * *

OLD TIME 4TH OF JULY CELEBRATION!

Thursday, July 4th (Independence Day), 12pm-4pm

Boonville Fairgrounds

KIDS (12 & under): free; ADULTS: $5

Join us for a Bounce House, Parade, Games, Food & more! Volunteer teachers and parents will be leading a water balloon toss, tug-o-war, sack races, and a chicken “clucking contest! Our local fire trucks will be there as well as a yummy cake auction, tasty wine auction, and music from a brass band! It is sure to be a great event for all members of the family! We look forward to seeing you and your littles there!

*This FUN-raiser supports our local AVUSD Wellness Committee who helps our schools provide local and healthy foods, fruits and veggies to our kids.

Many thanks to local collaboration with Pennyroyal Farms, Bucket Ranch, Paysanne, Lauren’s, Stone & Embers, Poleeko, Boonville Hotel, and Anderson Valley Brewing Company.

Want to volunteer? Contact Anya Farquhar to help with the wine auction.

* * *

DON’T BRING A DOG TO WORK — DAY

To the Editor:

I’d like to respond to the recent Ukiah Daily Journal article regarding “Bring a Dog To Work” day.

Allow me to list the potential negatives in doing this:

-Allergies from dog dander.

-Getting bit by a dog, or having your dog bite someone, and getting hit with a lawsuit or having to start one.

-Insurance concerns.

-Possible rabies. Who is going to qualify or certify these animals?

-Employees getting up and down all day taking them on potty breaks, and where?

-Potty accidents, and the clean-up.

-Employees distracted from concentrating on what they are being paid to do.

-Possible transmission of fleas or ticks to humans.

-Possible transmission of fleas or ticks to other dogs.

-Possible allergic reaction to flea or tick bites.

-Encouragement of vermin and insect infestation due to water and food bowls.

-Dog fights and vet bills.

-Dogs getting loose and either lost or hit by a car.

Here is my point. Part one.

Any possible benefit to humans by bringing dogs to work is countered by all of the negatives that I have just listed. And if that isn’t enough, the dogs really do not like it. They are creatures of routine and habit. It actually might stress them out and the owner out a lot more than you may think. And, the article says that if your dog doesn’t want to come, then you can “borrow” a dog for a couple of days. Are most people prepared at home to accommodate a borrowed dog? And, do you want to go to work to find a borrowed dog watching your pet chihuahua and looking around for condiments? Now, no one can say anything negative about our known concern for animals, and the Humane Society on Uva Drive.

We are regular contributors. And what I just said IS around our ultimate concern for animals. I gently suggest that more information should be obtained around this “idea” and I invite all to simply call a local vet anywhere in Northern California, including your own vet, and ask them point blank if they believe that this is a good idea. I have called several local vets, and they all confirm what I have stated and believe to be accurate and true.

Let’s promote spaying and neutering more. Let’s address animal abuse. Let’s pay more attention to the animal(s) that you already own. Have a certain time of the day when you spend just 10 minutes together with your family and pets. Just 10 minutes.

Here is my point #2

Geez, maybe pay attention more to our children. Take them to work with you instead. Teach them by example. Your dog could care less. Or maybe schedule one night a week where the family has dinner all together. Don’t make mom or dad responsible for cooking that night, and then play with the animals. Bring in something premade from Safeway, or In and Out Burger. Talk about the day. Finish up. Then show your animals some love.

My last point #3

And how about this idea…let’s prioritize our city’s needs, and work on programs that focus on those big issues first and foremost…like the continuing and growing homeless problem, the continuing and growing loose needles and drug addiction problem, the lack of enough housing to encourage positive growth problem, the Palace Hotel problem, etc.

This is just my humble opinion.

We have bigger fish to fry here in Ukiah. Yes, or No?

Johnny Keyes

Ukiah

* * *

WHERE'S WENDY?

Warrant Wednesday!!

Wendy Joaquin Is Wanted For Felony $100,000

Person Prohibited From…

Prison Prior X3

S/A Strike Prior

Poss Marijuana L 28 5 Grms Ovr 18

Poss Controlled Substance

Failure to appear, Felony Or Agree

Misdemeanor $5.000

Probation Revoked


Age: 46 years old

Height: 5' 04"

Weight: 260 lbs

Hair: Brown

Eyes: Brown

Last seen in: Covelo.

* * *

PREPARING

To the Editor:

The daily news was touting an Obama era program for the “Third World” called “Lighting for Literacy”. It uses simple technology with solar cells, charger, and batteries meant to power efficient LED lighting strips to extend daylight so that young students could move away from lanterns and candles to get usable light for dark-hours school work. With nascent power instability and future insufficiency already here in the West, is it time to borrow from the “Third World” to light our lives during 3 to 4-day power outages with high wind events during fire season?

Clearly we need local governments to help promote a concept of a diversified power grid, not use investments in a better future as a revenue stream to fund the cost of government payrolls. Shouldn’t investment in a friendlier form of power generation be treated as growing the world we want to live in? Shouldn’t investing in more efficient household enhancement for energy efficiency be taxed only for the cost of the purchase? If we want solar to grow, do we want to add a yearly enhanced property tax?

While shopping around for what might be available for coping or just getting through a 3 to 4-day dark home during our loss of electrical service, I had to gas up at the Forks. Do they or other service stations have generators? Not hardly! So, to keep our generators, and thus our refrigerators going, we need to keep at least 10-gallons of gas stored at home? So, we have to keep a basic ½ tank of gas in our vehicles, too? I’ll bet our local government hasn’t thought that one through. What about spillage and accidental fires from gas cans? Then there are the food stores that also don’t have generators and cannot process electronic transactions. Doesn’t that mean all affected businesses will have to close? Remember the Lake County fires of last year? Can promises really be made to insulate or protect service in any one area?

The critical pathway here seems to be the inescapable problem causing the need for these power blackouts - the failure of people and governments to properly maintain easements for electrical service lines, followed by maintenance of the utility’s vast equipment grid, much of which gets shrouded by vegetation. I’ve tried to do my part to follow CAL Fire recommendations, but many neighbors just talk about the inconvenience of power outages. They don’t seem to understand that they, too, have to do their part. I took an old pine tree down last week and a neighbor catcalled me, “You going to take down all your trees?” Nope! I do know the wind direction and how the next fire storm could move on me.

Do you?

David W. Dippel

Redwood Valley

* * *

JOHN SAKOWICZ saw this item in the June 2019 Mendocino County Employees Retirement Association newsletter: “The MCERA investment portfolio ended May at a value of $508 M, a decrease of nearly $23 M during the month. The preliminary total portfolio return was negative 4.30% compared to a negative 3.59% for the comparison benchmark. For the fiscal year to date, the total return is negative 0.89% versus positive 1.99% for the benchmark. U. S. equities returned negative 6.70% for the month while International equity return was negative 6.60% and Fixed Income return was a positive 1.32%. Fiscal year to date returns are negative in the domestic and international equities allocations at -0.31% and -8.72% respectively. Fixed income maintains a positive return of 6.23% year to date. The Real Estate portfolio, updated once a quarter, remains positive at 4.76% through the end of May 2019.”

NEVERTHELESS THE ACCOMPANYING GRAPH still shows a slight net upward trend in overall stock value going back to June of 2017. But the newsletter’s writer(s) don’t offer any explanation for the recent drop.

* * *

CATCH OF THE DAY, JUNE 26, 2019

Araiza-Brummett, Cochran, Diaz, Wolk

MISHAEL ARAIZA-BRUMMETT, Hopland. DUI.

KEENAN COCHRAN, Fort Bragg. DUI.

YARELI DIAZ, Ukiah. Murder.

MARK WOLK, Disobeying court order, probation revocation.

* * *

REFLECTIONS ON ABBIE HOFFMAN & JOSHUA FURST’S NOVEL, ‘REVOLUTIONARIES’

by Jonah Raskin

Joshua Furst’s novel Revolutionaries, which offers a fictional portrait of Abbie Hoffman, was published in April 2019 and was reviewed in the New York Times and the New Yorker. In the novel, the Abbie character is named Lenny Snyder. His son, Fred, tells his story.

I read the reviews before I read the novel; the reviews colored my view of the characters and the plot. It wasn’t for fun or entertainment that I read Lenny’s story, but rather because my 1996 biography of Abbie Hoffman, For The Hell of It, will be translated into French and published in France in 2020.

Curiously, or perhaps not, more biographies have been written about Hoffman than about any other white radical in the Sixties. Also more novels have been written about him than any of his contemporaries and his comrades.

“Why is that?” I asked myself before dipping into Furst’s Revolutionaries, and, while the novel gave me some answers, it didn’t answer my fundamental curiosity about Hoffman’s appeal for biographers and novelists.

In the Acknowledgement at the back of the book, Furst thanks all the people who helped him write Revolutionaries. He also thanks “Abbie Hoffman—provocation, inspiration—for having ever existed.” He adds, “We need your spirit in the world more than ever.” Furst may actually feel that way, but reading his novel, one might well come to the conclusion that we don’t need Abbie’s “spirit”—whatever that might be—at all today.

Near the end of Revolutionaries, the narrator, Fred, a fictional version of Abbie Hoffman’s real son, America, wonders how the “bad” parts of a person can “exist simultaneously with the good.” He explains, “They’re inseparable from the good, so entwined that the one can’t exist without the other, two versions of the same vision, a difference in point of view.”

That passage seems to be intended as the novel’s take-away; the lesson the reader is supposed to learn or discover. Reading Revolutionaries one can’t help but come to the conclusion that Furst has or had ambivalent feelings about Abbie. Granted, young Fred isn’t exactly the same as Furst. But by telling the story from Fred’s point of view, Furst seems to share it, adopt it, and embrace. For all practical, literary purposes Fred is Joshua and Joshua is Fred.

It may be that the only real or authentic way to tell Abbie’s story is to tell it from opposing points of view. After all, Abbie was diagnosed as bi-polar. He swung back and forth from manic to depressed. He was a utopian and a dystopian. For him, Woodstock signaled the birth of the Age of Aquarius and the beginning of American fascism. Give hippies marijuana, rock ‘n’ roll and sex and they’d be easily pacified and co-opted, he argued.

Abbie Hoffman actually had two sons, Andrew and America, who had two different mothers. I knew both of them, though I have not seen them or had any contact with them for many years. Fred is clearly inspired by America; his mother was Anita Hoffman, who died of cancer and whom I knew well during the last decade of her life when she lived near me in Sonoma County.

I imagine that Anita would not like the way she is portrayed in the novel, nor would she enjoy the fictionalization of Abbie’s and America’s life. She liked hagiography. Of the four Abbie biographies her favorite was Marty Jezer’s Abbie Hoffman, American Rebel (1992), which took as gospel Abbie’s version of his own life, Soon to Be a Major Motion Picture (1980), a false document if ever there was one.

Michael and Robbie Meeropol, the sons of Ethel and Julius Rosenberg, didn’t like the way that E.L Doctorow fictionalized their family in The Book of Daniel (1971), which has been called “a semi-historical novel.”

Furst has Lenny Snyder, his stand-in for Abbie, do things that Abbie probably never did, though I can’t prove it.

Revolutionaries makes me wonder all over again about the ethics of fiction writing, and about what Hunter S. Thompson called the literary “cannibalization” of the lives of real people. Novelists have been doing that ever since the birth of the novel in Europe. Furst follows in their footsteps, and like them is guilty of cannibalization. The only punishment seems to be bad reviews and lousy sales.

The dead can’t sue for libel; also, it’s unlikely that America Hoffman would sue for invasion of privacy, though he might have a legal leg to stand on. My own feeling is that Revolutionaries is a passable ersatz version of Abbie Hoffman’s life; it’s not awful and it’s not really good, either.

Furst’s novel reinforces my belief that biographers and fiction writers have looted Abbie’s life precisely because it is loot-able. It’s on the historical record and public information, and it is rich in ambiguity and contradiction. Anyone can make of it what he or she wants to make of it, with only one’s own conscience as a guide.

In 1978, I published a novel in which the main character, Kenny Love, was inspired by Abbie, who provided a blurb that said, “an uncanny accurate portrayal of the underground world.” Bill Kunstler called it “a compelling novel of underground life.” Kunstler didn’t mean to be ironical or sarcastic.

Abbie did, though readers would not have known that I helped him skip bail and go underground, lived with him in Mexico in 1975, when he was in exile and wanted by the police, and then reconnected with him when he surrendered to the authorities and served a brief time in prison. Both Bill and Abbie were kind to say the things they did about my novel.

Doris Lessing came close to the truth when she called it “revolutionary romanticism.” She certainly knew what she was talking about. A member of the Communist Party in Rhodesia and in England, she was for a time a good revolutionary romantic. One of the problems with revolutionary romantics is that some of the time some of them swing to the opposite end of the spectrum and become conservative skeptics and cynics and write about “The God that failed,” the God being communism.

Revolutionaries has both romanticism and cynicism. It’s all jumbled up, rather than fused into an artistic whole.

The review of Furst’s novel I found most intriguing was the review that David Ulin wrote and published in The Forward, the newspaper that calls itself “Jewish. Fearless.”

The Forward was a good place for Ulin’s review. Abbie Hoffman was born a Jew and died a Jew. He was Jewish at the New York Stock Exchange (mocking the moneychangers in the temple of capitalism), at the Pentagon (levitating the dybbuk in the war machine), and in Julius Hoffman courtroom (where he accused the judge of sucking up to the powers that be). Abbie’s body language was Old World Jewish and his humor was Jewish.

In his review in The Forward, Ulin wrote, “It’s hard to write historical fiction about recent history. That’s because history itself is, or has become, its own kind of fiction, told and retold, preserved in sound and image, as if these were windows we might open and climb through.”

Perhaps. I would add that it’s challenging to write complex yet endearing works of fiction, period, whether they’re set in the past or the present.

Readers today want to be told that the novel they’re reading, or are about to read, is based on a true story. They’re skeptical of the imagination. Revolutionaries appeals to that craving for fact and actuality, though it also divagates from them. It’s Joshua Furst’s recreation of the past to suit his own moral imperatives and those of his friends, editors and publisher at Knopf. After all, he, too, wants to survive in the literary marketplace. What would Abbie say? “Steal This Book.”

(Jonah Raskin is the author of For The Hell of It: The Life and Times of Abbie Hoffman and American Scream: Allen Ginsberg’s ‘Howl’ and the Making of the Beat Generation.)

* * *

* * *

CRAIG WENT TOO FAR

Craig Stehr Receives the Highest Social Accolade

Dear friends, I wish you to know that the Washington, D.C. Independent Media Center has banned the address that I am presently living at in Redwood Valley, California. This follows my having posted on the DC IMC newswire: "Dear Stupid Postmodern America". In my statement, I condemned the imbecility of American liberalism. I also praised radical activism, particularly environmental direct action and peace and justice campaigns. I am seeking others who are also spiritually Self realized to form a group, the purpose of which is to carry out Divinely prompted activity on the earth plane.
Please email me at : craiglouisstehr@gmail.com.

Indeed, let's get on with it!

Craig Louis Stehr

The Magic Ranch/Redwood Valley, CA.

* * *

BODYBUILDER ABBYE STOCKTON lifting dumbbell at Muscle Beach 1947

* * *

MENDOCINO COAST GARDEN TOUR

27th Annual

Mendocino Art Center

A Diamond Jubilee Event | 1959-2019

Saturday, June 29, 10 am - 5 pm

Order tickets online at MendocinoArtCenter.org/Garden.html

or call 707.937.5818

Enjoy a behind-the-scenes view of a diverse selection of five of the Mendocino Coast's most magnificent private gardens - situated from Caspar to north of Fort Bragg - on this self-guided tour. Also, savor a gourmet box lunch prepared by Ravens Restaurant at The Stanford Inn by the Sea (with three options to choose from) and browse a Garden Shop & Plant Sale at the Mendocino Art Center (June 29, 9 am - 5 pm). In addition, the “Members’ Juried Garden-Themed Exhibit” will be showing through June 29.

View photos and descriptions of the gardens on the tour: http://www.mendocinoartcenter.org/Garden.html

The 2019 Garden Tour is a fundraising benefit for the Mendocino Art Center.

The Mendocino Coast Garden Tour is generously sponsored by The Stanford Inn by the Sea.

* * *

* * *

I THINK there is no significant difference how the brain of an earthworm works and how a computer computes. I also believe that evolution implies there can be no qualitative difference between the brain of an earthworm and that of a human. It therefore follows that computers can, in principle, emulate human intelligence, or even better it. It's clearly possible for something to acquire higher intelligence than its ancestors: we evolved to be smarter than our ape-like ancestors, and Einstein was smarter than his parents. If computers continue to obey Moore's Law, doubling their speed and memory capacity every eighteen months, the result is that computers are likely to overtake humans in intelligence at some point in the next hundred years. When an artificial intelligence (AI) becomes better than humans at AI design, so that it can recursively improve itself without human help, we may face an intelligence explosion that ultimately results in machines whose intelligence exceeds ours by more than ours exceeds that of snails. When that happens, we will need to ensure that the computers have goals aligned with ours. It's tempting to dismiss the notion of highly intelligent machines as mere science fiction, but this would be a mistake, and potentially our worst mistake ever.

—Professor Stephen Hawking, 2018; from "Brief Answers to the Big Questions"

* * *

* * *

WINES AND SPINES BOOK CLUB at Dora's Gourmet Cafe

Thursday, June 27th, 6:30 PM

Adults 21 & over are invited to join our monthly book club for a discussion of The Hour of Daydreams by Renee Macalino Rutledge. We meet at Dora’s Gourmet Cafe (263 N. State St). For a full list of titles & more information, contact Melissa at 707-234-2862.

* * *

JULY 4TH BBQ & LAWN PARTY with the BEST Parade Viewing! The 30th Annual Kelley House Museum July Fourth BBQ and Lawn Party offers THE best parade viewing spot in Mendocino, plus live music, hot dogs, burgers, veggie burgers, margaritas, beer, wine, dancing and more! Located directly across from the Main Street judges' stand, this is the top spot to put down your blankets, set up your chairs, watch the parade and enjoy an old-fashioned small town Independence Day celebration. No entry fee. All food/drink proceeds benefit the non-profit Kelley House Museum. For more information, call 937-5791 or visit kelleyhousemuseum.org.

* * *

1910 STEAMER OFF MENDOCINO POINT. The cables were used to load passengers and cargo. — Glenn Mason postcard

* * *

'DRUG OVERDOSES have reached epidemic proportions in North America': UN issues warning to US as it says world opioid addiction is 50 per cent higher than thought and cocaine use is at record level

by Luke Andrews

The United Nations has issued a warning to the US of an 'epidemic' opioid crisis as it says the number of people taking these drugs jumped 56 per cent around the world.

In the 2019 World Drug Report, published today in Vienna, the organisation also warned that cocaine use had hit a new global record as a relaxation of tensions in post-conflict Colombia created space for further production.

Opioids are a broad group of drugs - including heroin and fentanyl - that are used for pain relief while cocaine, made from the leaves of the coca plant, causes people to become hypersensitive and irritable.

North America remained the area with the highest concentration of opioid users globally, according to the report compiled by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, prompting the UN warning as the number of deaths from overdosing on the drugs rose 13 per cent to 47,000.

Research chief for the agency, Angela Me, said: 'Drug overdoses have really reached epidemic proportions in North America'.

Fentanyl was identified as being a key problem in the crisis alongside other opioids.

The stark warning comes as global opioid use is revised upwards 56 per cent to 53million in 2017 as new data from Nigeria and India was added.

A separate crisis has been identified in North Africa and the Middle East, affecting Egypt, Nigeria and Ghana among others, where the opioid tramadol is being used for recreation.

The strong painkiller is being trafficked into the area from South Asia, for farmers, who take the drug and give it to their animals when having to work under extreme conditions.

It is also being used for its euphoric effects and to 'improve sexual stamina', according to the report.

Near and Middle East and South-West Asia is the area with the third highest level of opioid users, at 2.3 per cent, behind Oceania on 3.3 per cent.

Cocaine production was also found to have jumped 25 per cent in 2017 after tensions reduced in Colombia.

Areas of the country, which produces 70 per cent of the world's supply, were reported to have been taken over by criminal gangs who are sowing new fields to produce cocaine.

The stimulants use is rising in Central and Western Europe, according to the report, after surveys of wastewater found more traces than expected, and in North America.

It was also reported that over the last 10 years seizures of the drug have increased by 70 per cent worldwide, with most of these happening in the Americas and Colombia.

Drug use globally was found to have risen 30 per cent when compared to 2009, while cannabis remained the most commonly used with an estimated 188million users in 2017.

(DailyMail.com)

* * *

"I’VE BEEN TRYING to get into a full time orchestra for the past 20 years. I'd guess I've been to over 200 auditions. It can be pretty heartbreaking. I tried out for the New York Philharmonic four times. One time I prepared three months for the Los Angeles Philharmonic audition, flew all the way across the country, and they cut me off after twelve seconds. But believe it or not, I still have a certain amount of optimism about the process. And I think I'm getting better."

* * *

A GIRL

The tree has entered my hands,

The sap has ascended my arms,

The tree has grown in my breast -

Downward,

The branches grow out of me, like arms.

Tree you are,

Moss you are,

You are violets with wind above them.

A child - so high - you are,

And all this is folly to the world.

— Ezra Pound

* * *

* * *

VACANCIES

Supervisors, Community Partners, and Interested Parties:

The list of vacancies, due to term expirations and/or resignations, for County Boards and Commissions has been updated. A list of all new and existing vacancies is available on the County Website at:

https://www.mendocinocounty.org/government/board-of-supervisors/boards-and-commissions

The attached document contains a list of the vacancies that are new, as well as ongoing.

There are vacancies on the following Board(s) and/or Commission(s):

Child Care Planning Council (1) Public Agency Representative -- Child Care Planning Council (1) -- Provider Representative -- Child Care Planning Council (1) Community Representative

* * *

POTEMKIN THE SILENT MOVIE

BATTLESHIP POTEMKIN (1925) With Eng Subtitles

Mark Scaramella Notes: A good at-sea re-enactment considering the times. But for the real — and much more amazing — full story read Neal Bascomb’s “Red Mutiny: Eleven Fateful Days on the Battleship Potemkin.”

* * *

"MUCH OF AMERICA’S post-World War II prosperity and most of its power are due to the US dollar’s role as world reserve currency. This role guarantees a worldwide demand for dollars, and this demand for dollars means that the world finances US budget and trade deficits by purchasing US debt. The world gives us goods and services in exchange for our paper money. In other words, being the reserve currency allows a country to pay its bills by printing money. A person would think that a government would be protective of such an advantage and not encourage foreigners to abandon dollars. But the US government, reckless in its arrogance, hubris, and utter ignorance, has done all in its power to cause flight from the dollar. The US government uses the dollar-based financial system to coerce other countries to accommodate American interests at their expense. Sanctions on other countries, threats of sanctions, asset freezes and confiscations, and so forth have driven large chunks of the world—Russia, China, India, Iran—into non-dollar transactions that reduce the demand for dollars. Threats against Europeans for purchasing Russian energy and Chinese technology products are alienating elements of Washington’s European empire. A country with the massive indebtedness of the US government would quickly be reduced to Third World status if the value of the dollar collapsed from lack of demand." - Paul Craig Roberts

* * *

TOURIST ATTRACTIONS IN NEW JERSEY (by Louis Bedrock)

13 Responses to "MCT: Thursday, June 27, 2019"

  1. John Sakowicz   June 27, 2019 at 7:16 am

    After the BOS gives County CEO Carmel “Boss” Angelo her walking papers, they need to clean house.

    Kit “The Consigliere” Elliott needs to go. Also Tammy Moss Chandler. And Heidi Dunham. And that’s just a start.

    I’m sick of seeing Heidi Dunham waddle up to the speaker’s podium at BOS meetings, with her bad beauty parlor hair, and smug attitude, and not have answers to any damn thing.

    I mean, I get it. Boss Angelo needs loyal soldiers to cover for her, and to do her dirty work, but how much does Heidi Dunham get paid?

    Something like $120,000?

    With benefits, how much? Something like $200,000?

    Am I right?

    And like almost every other county executive, department head, and manager…no real credentials. No elite university education. No professional licenses. Just an ability to suck up to the boss, and an absence of critical thinking and a conscience.

    Reply
  2. Mike Williams   June 27, 2019 at 7:49 am

    Is Carmel Angelo a resident of Mendocino County?

    Reply
    • Bruce Anderson   June 27, 2019 at 8:58 am

      Yes. She bought a house not long ago in Ukiah. Prior, I believe she commuted from Marin.

      Reply
    • Bruce Anderson   June 27, 2019 at 3:33 pm

      Wrong, Bruce. Ms. Angelo inherited the Ukiah home that belonged to her late spouse, Ana Mahoney. Prior, she rented apartments in Ukiah and Willits.

      Reply
  3. Emily Strachan   June 27, 2019 at 8:58 am

    John, your sexist post about Heidi Dunham is totally inappropriate. Stick to the facts when critiquing performances. You are hardly qualified to judge grooming and appropriate body weight. Look in the mirror.

    Reply
    • James Marmon   June 27, 2019 at 9:54 am

      What John said is not as bad as what Angelo and Dunham are doing? Redirect your outrage.

      Marmon

      Reply
    • James Marmon   June 27, 2019 at 1:43 pm

      Men can waddle and get bad haircuts too.

      Reply
  4. Harvey Reading   June 27, 2019 at 11:51 am

    Both the Hawking quote and the HRC wood chopper story make me glad that humans won’t be around much longer … not a single one of them. We were, and are, an evolutionary dead-end as a species. Too stupid to learn from our errors, which we continue to repeat; too greedy to exist for long anywhere, excepting perhaps somewhere with infinite natural resources and unlimited space, and those places do not exist except in the minds of greedy, reactionary, kaputalist scum. Good riddance.

    Reply
  5. Harvey Reading   June 27, 2019 at 12:28 pm

    “‘DRUG OVERDOSES have reached epidemic proportions in North America’: UN issues warning to US as it says world opioid addiction is 50 per cent higher than thought and cocaine use is at record level”

    Sounds like propaganda similar to what we were hearing in the 50s and 60s, and, indeed, throughout the history of this country (beginning with alcohol, which we consumed like water). It’s nothing but brainwashing to get us to accept more police power and give up more freedom, and, given the stupidity and good-follower tendency of humans, it works every time. It HAS happened here! And people respond by continuing to use drugs to escape the reality of a full-blown kautalist/fascist police state.

    Reply
  6. George Dorner   June 27, 2019 at 1:29 pm

    So Flynn is banned from the library because he wrote a column about it? Why are our local librarians opposed to the First Amendment?

    Reply
    • James Marmon   June 27, 2019 at 1:52 pm

      Because they work for Angelo, “big nurse” doesn’t want anything negative out there about her newly named cultural services agency. Wait until the book burnings when they go completely digital, librarians will disappear along with the books.

      James Marmon MSW

      Reply

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