- Logo Sentenced
- Weekend Heat
- Jazz Night
- PG&E Concerned
- Marijuana Raids
- Fruit Ripens
- Asphalt Fast-Track
- Sheetrocked Firehouse
- Velma's Open
- SEIU Protest
- Hydrant Geyser
- Suitor Rejected
- Underpaid Attorneys
- Canned Wine
- Yesterday's Catch
- Hillary Meddling
- Mueller Letdown
- Hippy Murders
- Pablo Poisoned
- Chaotic Reality
- Far Left
- Junk Email
- You're Mad
- Useful Idiot
- Protecting Trump
- Bad Letters
- Dem Reputation
- Moon Welcome
- Social Work
- Momma Mia
- Fuente Show
- Already Failing
- Powerful Chanting
- Found Object
In a highly emotional court hearing Friday, a judge sentenced a former Santa Rosa Junior College coach to 15 years to life for a fatal DUI crash on Lakeville Highway.
HOT WEEKEND. Inland highs will be more than 100 degrees. But then a significant drop on Monday with inland temps barely into the 90s for the rest of the week. Coastal temps will seldom exceed 70 for the rest of the week with mid-60s common on weekdays.
PG&E IS VERY WORRIED About The Disabled People Who Might Be Affected By Their Planned Outages, So Much So That They Pay An “ADA Program Manager” To Suggest That People Apply For Grants From "Other Organizations" To Be Prepared For The Outages
Speaking in Willits on July 18, Ms. Deirdre Walke, ADA Program Manager for PG&E, the utility’s Medical Baseline Program, was asked about the effects of their planned power outages on disabled or otherwise compromised customers, e.g., people with special heating and/or air-conditioning needs, compromised immune systems, and dependent on life-support equipment, as well as people who use respirators, iron lungs, hemodialysis machines, nerve stimulators, aerosol tents, nebulizers, motorized wheelchairs, and other similar equipment. PG&E’s Ms. Walke, ever so helpful, “urged them to create a personal plan for prolonged power outages.”
“These are our most vulnerable customers and I’m so worried about them,” said Walke. “I’m telling our customers that we want to do more.” She said she has “personal hopes” to develop partnerships with [unspecified] “other organizations” who could provide special needs customers with grant funding to purchase generators so they are protected during power outages. “Often times customers that have critical medical needs can’t afford backup generation.” said the oh-so worried Ms. Walke. “And, I’m hoping [sic] the technology (for generators) will take off and drive the price down.” Never mind actually going through the process of getting the correct one and setting it up properly and turning it on at 1am when the “customer” is already disabled.
MARIJUANA RAIDS IN MENDOCINO COUNTY mark renewed targeting of illegal operations.
BACK TO THE FUTURE. Those big pot raids in the North County over the past two weeks are certain to help pot prices. Local growers tell me they expect $1500 a pound this season, a huge rebound from the rock bottom prices of last year. We used to joke that pot raids functioned as a price support program, with the cops taking off enough grows to keep prices lucratively attractive to farmers. Legalization having failed in Mendocino County because of its ludicrous complications, lots of growers are choosing to stay illegal.
LEAD STORY IN THIS MORNING'S PRESS DEMOCRAT:
[The sun rose, too.]
DEFEAT THE ASPHALT PLANT
To the Editor:
The Mendocino County Board of Supervisors once again may have opened the door for opponents to defeat the construction of a new asphalt plant at the Harris Quarry on Ridgewood Summit just off U.S. 101.
Those opponents have fought off the proposal by Northern Aggregates, Inc. (NAI), owners of the quarry, for the past 15 years with two successful lawsuits against the County and NAI that cost nearly $200,000 in attorney fees and costs paid to opponents.
When the Supervisors erroneously agreed with NAI at their June 18 meeting that the proposal could be put on a fast track to bypass hearings before the Planning Commission, they gave potent legal ammunition to anyone opposing the asphalt plant.
The authority for such a fast track is provided by Sec. 2.54.010 of the Mendocino County Code, which states that the Board “may reserve to itself the functions of the planning agency when time is of the essence” with regard to a permit application. In other words, the Supervisors may dispense with the specialized expertise of the Planning Commission only when there is a good reason to hurry.
To meet this primary requirement, NAI’a attorney and quarry manager were allowed to testify after Board Chair Carre Brown had closed public comment on the issue, telling the Board that the quarry would be required to shut down, probably in July, when it reached the 75,000 cubic yard annual production limit imposed by its original conditional use permit.
Knowing these statements to be false, I stood up in the meeting and attempted to tell the Supervisors that they were being deceived. Ms. Brown refused to let me speak.
I would have told the Board that in actuality, Mendocino County Superior Court Judge Richard Henderson has specifically ordered that no such production limit may be imposed. He signed a Peremptory Writ of Mandate on Dec. 21, 2015, concluding a years-long legal battle between the owners of Harris Quarry and a group called Keep the Code. Paragraph 3 of the writ as drafted by the prevailing attorney and presented to Judge Henderson for his signature would have required that the county must “Prohibit quarrying activities at Harris Quarry in excess of the rate of 75,000 cubic yards per year allowed under Harris Quarry’s previous conditional use permit (#UR 19-83/95).” However, Judge Henderson struck out this provision before signing the writ, and his actions subsequently were affirmed by the Court of Appeal.
In other words, Judge Henderson specifically considered whether the extraction limit should be enforced and decided that it should not. Because the judge has the final authority, the quarry cannot be shut down, and there is no compelling reason why the specialized expertise of the Planning Commission should not be called upon to evaluate NAI’s permit application.
I explained all this in a letter emailed to all the Supervisors on June 23, 2019, and asked that the question of original jurisdiction be put back on the Board’s agenda for further consideration. They have refused to do so. (I have sent them copies of this letter as well.)
If NAI’s application for a new asphalt plant is granted without being studied and heard by the Planning Commission, the Supervisors will have violated Sec. 2.54.010 of the Mendocino County Code, and Keep the Code may have a legal basis to challenge and defeat the approval. NAI and/or the County once again could find themselves on the hook for attorney’s fees and costs.
SHEETROCKING THE FIREHOUSE FOR SAFETY
As we develop the upstairs crew quarters in the apparatus bay, we're working on ensuring the safety of our firefighters by sheetrocking the ceiling of the downstairs shop and storage, and making sure we have adequate flamable liquids cabinet space.
The Sanchez brothers, Abraham and Isaac, came to the station every day after work and did a professional quality sheetrock and painting job. Many others pitched in to help, too.
We'll post an update when the job is done.
AV Fire Chief Andres Avila
VELMA'S FARM STAND NOW OPEN!
- Blueberries (this weekend it’s “Misty”)
- Peaches (Blazing Star)
- Plums (Santa Rosa)
- Early tomatoes
- Lemon cucumber
Hours for this weekend are:
- Friday: noon-6pm
- Saturday: 10am-4pm
- Sunday: 10am-2pm
- Closed Monday
INTERESTING COMMENT on homeschooling by Kathy Wylie:
“Homeschooling only works academically as long as the parents can keep up. Most parents hit that wall with Middle school math textbooks and concepts. I started and ran a charter school – that’s when 'hardcore' home schoolers gave in and enrolled their kids in the 'regular' school setting. VERY often, homeschool kids like this, lagged behind academically, from their peers…"
MENDO WORKERS PROTEST FOR WAGE INCREASES
Mendocino County Chapter SEIU Local 1021 ramped up its pressure on the county with an informational picket in front of the Mendocino Administrative Building in Ukiah on Tuesday as the union continues its negotiations for better wages.
WILLITS POLICE POST ON TODAY'S 'GEYSER'
Thanks are due to Patti Colter-Caldwell for this dramatic photo of this afternoon's event! Officers are busy with the involved vehicle in the story of vehicle vs. fire hydrant with Little Lake Fire and COW Water Dept on scene.
Dispatch would like to thank the dozens of community members calling in the accident. While dispatch had all info needed to start patrol's response, it's community participation that got them where they needed to be quickly from the get-go.
DOWN TO ONE: Coast Hospital Committee makes Adventist sole suitor for Coast Hospital.
The committee charged with evaluating offers from two healthcare organizations interested in taking over operations of Mendocino Coast District Hospital, announced at a hastily-called special board meeting Monday afternoon that one of the suitors, American Advanced Management Group, has been rejected.
MENDO LAWYERS MAY WALK
by Lindsay Peak
The Mendocino County Public Attorneys Association (MCPAA) has been in negotiations with the County of Mendocino’s Board of Supervisors since October of 2018. In November, MCPAA made an offer to the county’s chief negotiator, attorney Donna Williamson, a partner of Liebert Cassidy Whitmore, an employment law firm in San Francisco.
The union received no response until last month, although the contract had expired on Jan. 1. It dictates salaries for the public attorneys. Despite numerous mediation attempts that remain ongoing, the parties have stalled in negotiations. While the Board of Supervisors approved a 17 percent raise for themselves in 2018, public servants continue to struggle to make ends meet, the union said.
The District Attorney’s Office and the Public Defender’s Office are preparing for a countywide strike. Teamsters, Joint Counsel 7 and the North Bay Labor Council have been contacted to sanction the walk-out.
After nine months of fruitless negotiations with a seemingly unsympathetic Board of Supervisors, the union feels it is at an impasse with the county. Its complaint: Mendocino County is vastly out of market – with the attorneys making on average 35 to 44 percent less than comparable attorneys in comparative counties equally sized with similar budgets.
Teamsters staff attorney Matthew Finnegan confirms the rumors. “That’s where we are headed. There’s been so much delay in our negotiations that members are rightfully done. And, we’re ready to go on strike today,” he said.
A strike by both offices will have a severe impact on daily court proceedings. Trials could be postponed. Those accused of dangerous crimes could be released. Local private attorneys may be solicited to substitute in. The jail population could spike as arrestees may face delays in being released on their own recognizance. Essentially, the courts may shut down. And there are public safety and financial costs associated with that.
“If a strike occurs there definitely will be an effect,” says Mendocino County District Attorney C. David Eyster. “We have and are continuing to plan for contingencies in that event. Be assured my assistant and I and others in the office will remain on the job and will continue to work with the courts to process public safety issues.”
If a strike does occur, it cannot go on indefinitely. Eventually, everyone must come to an agreement. So, what do they want?
Part of the “good faith negotiation process” is that there’s “no magic number,” as Finnegan explains. An acceptable offer would depend on the length of the contract, and how those raises are implemented, among other factors. The latest offer by the county of a 4 percent pay increase isn’t acceptable, he said. Many complain such a minor increase would cover only cost-of-living concerns while ignoring yearly inflation.
Koff & Associates (K &A), a human resources and recruiting agency, conducted a total compensation study draft report for the county. The report was delivered on April 25. Cherie Johnson, Juanine Cranmer and other county staff aided in providing the data used to analyze the current posture of the county. Included in the draft report: executive summary, study process, market compensation findings, and internal salary relationships.
The compensation review process was precipitated by many concerns:
Management and the employee groups feel that employees should be recognized for the level and scope of work performed and be paid on a fair and competitive basis that allows the county to recruit and retain a high-quality staff.
The desire to have a compensation plan that can meet the needs of the county.
And, the desire to ensure that internal relationships of salaries are based upon objective, non-quantitative evaluation factors, resulting in equity across the county.
According to the report, “the goals of the study were to assist the county in developing a competitive pay and benefit plan, which is based upon market data, and to ensure that the plan is fiscally responsible and meets the needs of the county with regards to recruitment and retention of qualified staff.”
The report summarized as follows: the county’s base salaries, overall, in comparison to the market are 22.8 percent below the market average and 32.1 percent below the market median. The county’s total compensation, overall, in comparison to the market is 8.6 percent below the market average and 7.5 percent below the market median. K & A considers a classification falling within 5 percent of the market median or average to be competitive. The findings note, however, the benefits package offered in Mendocino County is quite competitive.
Anthony Adams, deputy public defender and a member of the MCPAA negotiating team, feels the shortcomings aren’t supplemented with a competitive benefits package. “Don’t let the numbers fool you. Benefits have never bought my groceries, kept the lights on or paid my rent,” he states. Adams believes Mendocino is out of touch with the current market. He currently lives out of county where housing is more affordable.
“Public defenders are getting paid tens of thousands of dollars less than similarly situated counties. The county keeps digging the hole deeper and deeper. The only people falling in are the employees,” says Adams.
Frank McGowan of Fort Bragg recently signed a three-year rental lease to help offset inflation costs. His salary remains unknown for the upcoming years. An essential component of the deputy public defender’s rental agreement includes an 18 percent increase over the course of his lease. The first 6 percent went into effect in June.
Acting as the sole deputy public defender on the coast, McGowan’s caseload includes low-level misdemeanors to serious felonies. The defense attorney compared his salary as a deputy public defender level four to that of Sacramento County. McGowan reports he makes $58,000 less per year than his Sacramento counterparts. If he lived in Sacramento, the cost of living there would be roughly $1,000 less per month.
McGowan adds food for thought. His support staff makes about $1 an hour more than she would as an employee at McDonald’s. She is his sole assistant.
“The county does not seem to understand how grossly underpaid we all are. It’s not just our office, it’s county employees, in general,” McGowan said. He views the reported numbers as a “false economy.”
Many agencies in Mendocino County, in addition to the attorney offices, can’t maintain staffing at full capacity. Mendocino is known as a “train and trot county.” Inexperienced candidates and recent graduates enjoy basic employment education before moving on to use that knowledge elsewhere.
The reason many leave Mendocino County is that they can’t afford to raise families or cover basic costs of living, including debt repayment and housing. Credit card, student loan and personal loan debt are common complaints among many county employees. Personal relationships suffer or end over financial hardship, which in turn affects work productivity. The housing market remains disproportionate to the median income.
Private local attorney Sergio Fuentes weighs in. “From what I have seen from my past co-workers and current colleagues, in the DA’s Office and PD’s Office, is that it is hard for them to remain in the area and set-down roots, because their pay barely covers their expenses. In some cases, I believe that some of them were going into debt, working full-time. This rang and rings true to me, because in many cases the student loans that are carried by my colleagues, is effectively a mortgage payment, that they cannot live in,“ he says.
Fuentes adds, “Considering the high costs of renting in Ukiah, it means that any new attorneys coming into the area, heavily laden with debt, will find it difficult to continue to work in this area, long term. This comparatively low pay, is especially hard on younger talent, because they are not established in this community and do not have the resources or the benefit of family connections to temporarily offset the costs of living in this area.”
With that kind of inequity in county comparison up and down the state, it is no surprise to find numerous open job vacancies listed on governmentjobs.com. Many ask how much money is wasted on recruiting and training employees as opposed to increasing salary so that those hired stick around. That data, however, is not currently available.
“In any new job there’s a learning curve and people get more productive as they settle into the job and as they learn the ‘ins and outs’ of the jobs. But here, just as they are reaching peak productivity, they leave. We have to start over,” says McGowan.
The result is arguably a county that lacks efficiency to build up institutional knowledge.
Lake County pays its deputy district attorney level one more than Mendocino County does for the same position. That county is renowned for being the poorest of all 58 counties in California.
Eyster agrees the current numbers fall short. “I believe that compared to their peers around the state, the local deputy district attorneys are indeed underpaid given the volume of their work and their public safety responsibilities,” he says.
The ongoing problem of retention is made clear when you consider his office’s current roster. Deputy District Attorney Houston Porter has been a member of the prosecution team since 2015. Yet, he is the third most senior deputy district attorney in Ukiah. The office is constantly replacing attorneys who leave for similar positions throughout California.
Stephanie Chavarria, Investigator II of Santa Clara County Public Defender, experienced her own struggle while employed with Mendocino County. “When I worked at the public defender’s office, I was hired on as part-time for the first three months. I had a second job to be able to support myself. Once I became full-time, it was a struggle financially. The low-pay wage was a major contributing factor why I looked for work elsewhere. We all put in hard work and dedication into what we do. We deserve to be compensated as such,” she says.
County attorneys must obtain permission from their department head to supplement income should they wish to engage in outside employment. The county currently prohibits additional legal work if the Department of Human Resources determines such work would be a conflict.
Chavarria saw many deputy public defenders come and go before she too relocated in September of 2016. During the three years she was employed with the County of Mendocino, the investigator observed name tags on office doors get removed and replaced with great frequency. “Most left to work in higher paying public defender offices. I would hear some of my colleagues express similar stresses of not being able to make ends meet,” she adds.
McGowan pleads, “Probation officers are being run ragged. The district attorney’s turnover is huge. The public defender’s staffing is nothing to write home about. It’s in their best interest to pay their employees what they are worth to stick around. This could be a win/win. We’re not asking for the moon. We’re just asking to move toward it.”
Heidi Dunham, director of Human Resources for the County of Mendocino, maintains hope that a settlement can be reached. She states, “Both parties are engaged in confidential mediation with the state mediator and we’re working to try to reach an agreement soon.”
(Contracted through the Judicial Council since 2018, the Law Offices of Lindsay R. Peak provides court appointed juvenile dependency legal services to Lake and Mendocino Counties. A former deputy public defender and private law firm associate, Attorney Peak additionally offers knowledgeable, trustworthy and comprehensive traffic, misdemeanor and felony criminal defense representation, without judgement, throughout Northern and Southern California.)
BOONVILLE HOSTS FIRST INTERNATIONAL CANNED WINE COMPETITION
The only requirements for entering the competition were that all entries had grape wine as a component and that the wine was commercially available somewhere in the world.
CATCH OF THE DAY, JULY 26, 2019
ERICA CERVANTES, Boonville. Controlled substance, disobeying court order, probation revocation.
ANTHONY DAHL, Fort Bragg. Probation revocation.
DANIELLE DAUGHERTY, Ukiah. Disobeying court order, failure to appear.
THOMAS GHOBASHI, Alexandria, Virginia/Ukiah. DUI.
JAMES HOFFMAN SR., Centerville, Ohio/Ukiah. Probation revocation.
MARK HUTCHINSON, Willits. County parole violation.
STEPHANIE LYLE, Ukiah. Probation revocation.
FRANK MACCHIANO, Redding/Ukiah. Parole violation.
LUNA MAGDALENO, Ukiah. Failure to appear, probation revocation.
JONATHAN ORTIZ, Ukiah. Petty theft, probation revocation.
MARTIN PEREZ-VALDIVAS, Ukiah. Probation revocation.
SOYRIA RAMOS, Hopland. Disorderly conduct-alcohol.
TASHINA RAY, Calpella. Domestic abuse.
IRA REYES, Willits. Probation revocation.
IAN RODGERS, San Luis Obispo/Ukiah. Protective order violation, probation revocation.
ANNA STEMPLE, Willits. Controlled substance, hypodermic syringe.
SARAH WALKER, Willits. Grand theft.
ASAHEL WEAVER JR., Willits. Mandatory supervision sentencing.
A PURVIEW OF DUST
by James Kunstler
Who imagined that in the climactic scene of the blockbuster RussiaGate fantasy, when the curtain was ripped away, the Wizard at the controls would turn out to be… Captain Queeg! We need not rehearse all the depressing particulars of Robert Mueller’s six-hour public humiliation in two House committee hearings in order to reach a set of conclusions about the conduct of his rogue investigation and the perfidious report issued in his name.
One is that Robert Mueller could not have run his investigation. There is even reason to question that he was briefed on the day-to-day developments by the people who did run it — since, for instance, he apparently never heard the phrase “Fusion GPS,” that is, the swarm of flying monkeys who delivered the whole shebang’s predicate documents known as the Steele Dossier simultaneously to the FBI, The Washington Post, and The New York Times beginning in 2016. By his testimony Wednesday, Mr. Mueller gives new meaning to the term useful idiot.
The two-year inquisition was run by attorneys Andrew Weissmann and Jeanie Rhee, two arch Hillary Clinton partisans (the latter a lawyer for the Clinton Foundation), leading now to the conclusion that the Mueller Investigation itself was no less a Clinton operation than the Steele Dossier. I wonder if it will become known whether Mrs. Clinton herself was in regular communication with Weissmann and Rhee during these years, or who were the intermediaries between them. Surely federal attorney John Durham has the mojo to seize phone records of the Mueller Team and find out exactly who was checking in with whom.
I, for one, even doubt that the lingering assertion of Russian “interference” in the 2016 election — taken as dictum by too many dupes — has any merit at all. Rather it was just a foggy byproduct of the mighty gaslighting effort by experienced Intel Community specialists working the zealously biased and credulous news media into a lather of bad faith. All of the Russians and “Russian agents” lassoed into narrative appear to have professional connections to either the CIA, the FBI, the US State department, or Mrs. Clinton’s various networks of myrmidons in the DNC, the Obama administration, and Fusion GPS. These relationships were all sedulously ignored by the Special Counsel’s office — and now they can’t be.
Hence, it is easy to imagine that Attorney General Barr and his lead investigator, Mr. Dunham, must now entertain the unappetizing prospect of examining the roles of Mrs. Clinton and the foregoing cast of characters in this melodrama for the purpose of discovering whether this was actually the seditious conspiracy that it appears to have been — with rather horrific possible consequences of grave charges and severe punishments.
In all this long and excruciating public playing-out of dark schemes, Mr. Trump, first candidate and now president, seems to have acted as little more than a tackling dummy for the Mueller Team and its backstage Clinton confederates. He tweeted childishly about the deeply partisan composition of the Mueller Team when he should have mounted a forceful legal opposition to the effrontery of their selection in the first place.
It’s interesting to follow the pronouncements of the bit-players in this spectacle, now that Mr. Mueller has inadvertently destroyed the basis of the sacred narrative. Rep. Jerold Nadler turned up yakking with Anderson Cooper on CNN last night, looking every inch like the Mayor of Munchkin Land, bloviating against the supposed imminent Russian takeover of America (read: by witches) and the now-receding fool’s errand of impeachment, which would only further expose the criminal culpability of his own Democratic Party in this sordid misadventure. Mr. Cooper looked deeply pained by the chore, and yet his own professional credibility is on the line after two years of allowing himself to be played like a flugelhorn by the folks who matter in this country, and he contested nothing in Mr. Nadler’s mendacious pratings.
And now a fretful silence will descend around this colossal goddamned mess as the momentum of history shifts against the perpetrators of it, and the true machinery of American justice is brought to bear upon them. The playing-out of Act Three will probably coincide with epic global financial disorder in the months ahead, further obscuring what people and nations can do to arrest the collapse of Modernity and its sidekick Human Progress.
(Support Kunstler’s writing by visiting his Patreon Page.)
CONFESSIONS OF AN INEFFECTUAL LETTER WRITER
Hating to confess it, I must admit that sometimes it gets depressing.
The European Union requires manufacturers of lithium batteries to provide for the recycling and disposal of the toxins. The USA does not. Nor do we consider the source of the electricity to run them; here in PCville, we install/provide free charging stations in our State Parks at the expense of all taxpayers for the Tesla crowd. And we cannot overlook the boon to marijuana growers; if they have an electric/hybrid vehicle and a charging station (kind of like an household outlet), they get highly reduced rates which significantly lowers their multi-THOUSAND dollar electrical bills. In a sense, we all subsidize the growers (who pay no tax on their income). Electric vehicles are oh so politically correct.
On the scientific front, scientists compute that a world-wide tree/shrub planting campaign would SIGNIFICANTLY reduce the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. This is a greenhouse gas which, all scientists claim, is responsible for climate change (some say this could be characterized as global warming). What is the response? Basically negative from all those who are committed to reducing greenhouse gas omissions; it's kind of like our Congress, no cooperation for the benefit of all allowed. My way or nothing.
The Republicans try to impeach the male Clinton for personal behavior; the Democrats are so tolerant of high crimes and treason. Meanwhile the Republicans call to ask if we think Trump is better at running the country than Obama. Of course, neither one of them runs the country; it is a cooperative venture. People talk about how the Republicans in Washington are abdicating their oaths and their responsibilities to this country; so are the Democrats. And so am I; writing pointless letters to the AVA, preaching to the choir (no offense, Jerry), making pointless phone calls to my "representatives."
POET PABLO NERUDA WAS POISONED
In 2017 a panel of scientists from the Canadian Mac Master laboratory and from Denmark and Spain delivered a joint report to Judge Carroza in which they reported the finding of deadly amounts of botulinum toxin (Clostridium) in bone remains and in the pulp of a Neruda's molar. That study also made it clear that the author of 'I confess that I have lived' had cancer, but that he did not die of cancerous cachexia, as stated in his false death certificate.
HAS IT EVER OCCURRED to any of you that all this is simply one grand misunderstanding? Since you’re not here to learn anything, but to be taught so you can pass these tests, knowledge has to be organized so it can be taught, and it has to be reduced to information so it can be organized do you follow that? In other words this leads you to assume that organization is an inherent property of knowledge itself, and that disorder and chaos are simply irrelevant forces that threaten it from outside. In fact it’s exactly the opposite. Order is simply a thin, perilous condition we try to impose on the basic reality of chaos.
—William Gaddis, JR
ZIP RECRUITING FOR CENSUS JOBS
Since I’m retired, I thought applying for a U.S. census job would give me a chance to contribute to the 2020 count effort. After getting online, I found the right link to apply and I filled out the initial questionnaire, selecting “part-time” as my work preference. Little did I know what was to come next.
Evidentially, the census folks use Zip Recruiter as their means of matching job openings with potential candidates. Not only was my background information (funny, I was asked if I was a U.S. citizen) shared with the Census Bureau, but also with wineries, hotels, senior helper groups, tutor jobs, real estate companies, etc. Now I get about 40-50 annoying emails per day for full-time jobs I have no interest in.
This is just a heads up for anyone wanting to apply online for a census job: Do it in person, unless you want to spend your time deleting emails throughout the day … and night.
ACCORDING TO A CNN SURVEY, 97% of Americans didn’t read the Mueller Report, including, based on his performance, Robert Mueller, which means the document is something like a James Patterson novel: the author didn’t write it and didn’t read it. He realizes its his because his name is on the cover, but since it lacks any cover art, he has little idea what it’s all about.
— Jeffrey St. Clair
ON LINE COMMENT OF THE DAY
I suspect there have been unreported attempts against Trump himself. It’s hard to imagine how difficult it must be to protect a man so deeply hated by many of the most powerful people in Washington DC. If that information ever becomes public, it will certainly be fascinating. And if the people behind such attempts are ever identified – I shudder to think of the consequences.
To the Editor:
I am sorry but I cannot approve of any person ever using the F word on TV. I cannot approve of the P word either. Kids are listening. Or the C word or the D word, or BS. Now, I really do not like the N word, or the B word, as well as the Big M, and the Big R, and X, and all A’s in general. I am against all forms of the H word. There’s too much H in the world and not enough L. Then there is T, and other SOB’s and UV which can be bad for you.
Oh my. Why are there so many bad letters in the alphabet now? What happened? NOW…how about the letter “E,” for enlightenment, or enrichment, or encouragement, earnings, earnest, eager, entrepreneur, excited, environmentalist and emancipation or enthusiasm. Education. Earth. Entrust. Envision. Excellence. Exercise. Excel. Energy. WOW! Who knew? Enigma.
Sure, there are some bad E words. Embezzle. Earache. Embarrassed, or Envy, but really, overall those E words look pretty doggone good to me. You too? So maybe we should all consider using more “E” words than “F” words everyday.
“G”… What do you think?
WERE AMERICANS FORCED TO DRIVE?
A recent article in The Atlantic rewrites history by claiming that the law forces Americans to drive automobiles. “Our laws essentially force driving on all of us,” asserts University of Iowa law professor Gregory Shill, “by subsidizing it, by punishing people who don’t do it, by building a physical landscape that requires it, and by insulating reckless drivers from the consequences of their actions.”
Shill is wrong on almost every point he makes. The reality is that Americans (and people in other countries) took to the automobile like ducks to water. If anything, the laws he claims forced Americans to drive were written as a result of the fact that driving had become the dominant mode of transportation.
Shill claims that the United States built “a massive network of urban and interstate highways at public expense.” In fact, that network was built almost entirely out of user fees, including tolls, gas taxes, and vehicle registration fees. Local streets were generally built by developers and turned over to city or county governments, which used property taxes to maintain them. But major arterials were paid for directly by auto users; in contrast, transit lines are almost entirely subsidized.
The interstates and most state highways were paid for out of user fees, not general funds; if users didn’t want them, they wouldn’t have paid for them…
Shill borrows Donald Shoup’s argument that minimum parking requirements forced developers to waste money on unnecessary parking. The reality is that developers build parking whether they are required to or not because they know that housing, retail, and commercial developments are almost impossible to sell or rent if there is no parking for residents, employees, and customers. Even if there were too much parking, it isn’t clear how that would force people to drive…
Even if Shill’s claims were valid, none of them truly force people to drive. Regardless of the validity of these specific arguments, any allegation that Americans have been forced to drive flies in the face of history. Auto opponents such as Shill and James Howard Kunstler not only imagine that driving was somehow forced on us, they fantasize that transportation before cars, such as intercity trains and streets, provided adequate and even an optimal amount of mobility for Americans.
In fact, it is likely that a majority of Americans in 1881, and even 1910, had never traveled more than 50 miles from where they were born. Some of the more adventurous might travel further when they left their parents’ homes but, once settled down, rarely traveled more than they could walk.
Most Americans lived in rural areas until the 1910s, and people living on farms might go for months at a time without seeing anyone except their immediate families…
Henry Ford’s mass-produced Model T changed all that. Suddenly, mobility was affordable to almost everyone, and auto ownership rates grew from less than 5 percent of households in 1913 to more than 50 percent a dozen years later. No one forced people to buy and drive cars; they did it because mobility was valuable to them and cars made it affordable…
Most Americans have always lived in single-family homes, and most of those who didn’t aspired to do so at some point in their lives. In the late nineteenth century, the factory system packed thousands of jobs into individual city blocks, and most of the workers couldn’t afford streetcars and so had to live within walking distance of their jobs. As a result, large apartment buildings were constructed in major cities such as New York, Boston, and Philadelphia, and people were often packed into those buildings at the rate of one family per room, with up to eight families sharing a single bathroom.
The automobile freed those people, giving them access to low-cost land outside of the cities on which they could build their homes. Ford’s moving assembly lines also moved the factories to the suburbs, as assembly lines required a lot more land than could be found in city centers…
Driving is faster and safer than cycling or walking and faster and more convenient than scheduled transit services. But a major attraction is its low cost. Today, Americans spend an average of 25 cents a passenger mile driving (including highway subsidies) while the nation’s transit industry spends well over $1 a passenger mile on rail or bus transit.
Moreover, the cost of driving has declined relative to average incomes. The share of personal income Americans have spent buying, maintaining, operating, repairing, and insuring their cars has declined from 9.6 percent in 1950 to 6.8 percent in 2017 (based on tables 2.1 and 2.5.5 of the Bureau of Economic Analysis National Income and Product Accounts). Despite this declining cost, average auto travel has grown from about 2,400 vehicle miles per person in 1950 to nearly 9,000 in 2017. Of course, that’s partly due to increased incomes, but the increased incomes are partly due to the increased productivity provided by the automobile.
Automobiles admittedly have some social costs, also known as negative externalities, including pollution and accidents. But these costs have been dramatically reduced in recent decades.
In 1970, the Environmental Protection Agency embarked on a two-pronged approach to cleaning up automotive air pollution. First, it encouraged cities and states to attempt to get people to reduce their driving. That failed miserably and, considering that one way that cities tried to reduce driving was to allow congestion to increase, and cars pollute more in congested traffic, may have done more harm than good.
Second, the EPA ordered auto manufacturers to make increasingly cleaner cars. That has been an enormous success: motor vehicles today produce only about 4 percent as much pollution per mile, including carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides, sulfur dioxide, and hydrocarbons, as vehicles did in 1970, and total pollution has been reduced by 88.5 percent.
Fatalities due to auto travel have declined from nearly 450 people died per billion vehicle miles in 1920 to around 11 in 2010, where it has hovered ever since. Driving in urban areas is even safer, averaging just 8.5 per billion vehicle miles or (at 1.67 people per vehicle) about 5 per billion passenger miles. By comparison, light rail kills about 14 people and commuter trains kill about 9 people for every billion passenger miles they carry.
Americans will never give up the mobility and independence that automobiles provide. Rather than make up stories about how Americans were forced to drive, those who wish to reduce energy consumption, greenhouse gas emissions, and pedestrian accidents should focus on making cars more energy efficient and roads safer.
PELOSI CONCERNED OUTSPOKEN PROGRESSIVE FLANK OF PARTY COULD HARM DEMOCRATS’ REPUTATION AS INEFFECTUAL COWARDS
WASHINGTON—Admitting she had worries about the rise of left-leaning activist groups within her party, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi expressed concerns Thursday that outspoken progressives could do permanent damage to Democrats’ reputation as ineffectual cowards. “They mean well, but if they continue to aggressively push their agenda like this, they run the risk of fundamentally altering the public’s perception of Democrats as bumbling, feckless chumps,” said Pelosi, adding that this brash brand of politics could be easily manipulated by Republicans to paint the party as something other than a bunch of sniveling wimps who are too weak-willed and complacent to stand up for anything with even remote political risk.
“I understand where these groups are coming from, but while it might feel good to vent their frustrations about the state of the country, they could undermine what I believe should be our core 2020 argument: We are dithering, incompetent doormats who are infinitesimally less objectionable than our opposition.” Pelosi also noted that her concerns shouldn’t be overstated, as she knew it would take more than a few activists for voters to associate the Democratic party with the vaguest inkling of courage.
ON LINE COMMENT
Doesn't it seem that social work solutions have been an even more utter and complete failure than traditional policing solutions? What sort of education are social workers given these days? What expectations are placed on them? Does anyone ever measure to see if they've accomplished anything? What if the salaries that are now handed to social workers were instead invested in medical care, food, and housing?
I'd love to be corrected, and shown how taxpayers' investments in helping those at the bottom are actually going to help those at the bottom, but the older I get, the more it seems as if those investments are just paying a bunch of college grads who have nothing to show in return. I understand that there needs to be someplace to house college grads who majored in administration or social work, but why not just use the money now being burned to instead provide medical care, including psychiatric care, food and housing for the people at the bottom, and cut out the professional empathizers and empathizer-managers?
As for the terminology, "late-stage capitalism" or other, it is pointless to argue about that. There are a lot of people who are homeless in our streets, there are a lot of mentally ill people who are homeless, there are a lot of people who need some help to function, and who are obviously not getting it. Call that what you wish. Fucked up is probably the best description. Can we all agree that a society like ours is self-evidently fucked up?
MAMMA MIA! IS BACK this weekend with performances on Friday and Saturday at 7:30, and Sunday at 3:00 at Eagles Hall in Fort Bragg.
On the eve of her wedding, a young woman’s quest to discover the identity of her father brings three men from her mother’s past back to the island they last visited twenty years ago. Non-stop laughs and explosive dance numbers, along with the magic of ABBA’s hit songs combine to make this sunny, funny show a trip down the aisle you’ll never forget! Get your tickets in advance at Gloriana.org or Harvest Market in Fort Bragg. Limited availability at the door. Running now through August 11th. If you love ABBA and want to sing along, join us at our special Sing-a-Long Sunday performance on August 4th.
For more information please visit Gloriana.org
THE AMERICAN SYSTEM IS ALREADY FAILING
by Andrew Sullivan
I am asking for cooperation to be in Washington, D.C. on a long term basis and also to be in New York City for the purpose of performing rituals and powerful chanting plus other creatively focused spiritual group work. This is for the expressed purpose of destroying the demonic, and returning the world to righteousness! [At present, I am still being supportive at Earth First!er Andy Caffrey's place in Garberville, California, as he prepares for his upcoming climate justice themed cross country road tour, interviewing radical environmentalists along the way to Washington, D.C., whereupon he will meet with Green New Deal activists and continue being supportive of the Senator Bernie Sanders campaign for the presidency.] I, Craig Louis Stehr wish to associate with others to work in powerful spiritual ways to destroy the demons responsible for postmodernism's global failure, before sea level rise becomes a disaster insofar as coastal nuclear power plants are concerned. This is in addition to the other problems of this abominable civilization, which needs to be replaced by a brand new civilization based on Spiritual reality. Seriously, please contact me. I have sufficient money to get from California to the east coast again, and maintain myself awhile. You know that the situation has become crazy, so let us now take appropriate spiritual action together.
Craig Louis Stehr