- Dry Thunderstorms
- Missing Elder
- Social-Security Scam
- Jerky Wins
- Yorkville Market
- Disco Ranch
- Great Haul
- Naturally Warm
- Ambulance Financing
- Naked Lady
- Jail Construction
- Homeowner's Insurance
- No Herbicides
- Fire Relief
- Yesterday's Catch
- Basic Math
- Congress Problem
- Thompson Corked
- 437 Things
- Pedophile Rings
- Virtual Man
- Media Reform
- Pak Station
- Fortmann Mansion
- Stay Independent
HOT INLAND CONDITIONS will continue today while increased cloudiness will lead to cooler temperatures at the coast. Isolated dry thunderstorms are possible today from eastern Mendocino to parts of Trinity and interior Humboldt and Del Norte Counties this afternoon. Cooler temperatures are expected for the end of the week. (National Weather Service)
HIGHS YESTERDAY: Boonville 99, Yorkville 102
OLD GUY STILL MISSING
"John Alan Baker suffers from Alzheimer’s Disease and was reported missing from his residence in Southern California. His vehicle, a 2017 burgundy Lincoln MKZ, was located, stuck, in a remote location, on a dirt road east of Fort Bragg, off of Little Valley Road. Mr. Baker is a white male, 81 years old, 6' 3", 190 lbs, gray short hair, blue eyes and has a missing front tooth. He was last seen wearing a button-up shirt and jeans. Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department (LASD) is the lead agency on this case and if you have information that would help find Mr. Baker, please contact the LASD Missing Person Unit, Matthew Pereida at (323) 574-4506. However, if you have any information on Mr. Baker's whereabouts in Mendocino County that would help our Detectives and Search and Rescue Teams find him, please call the Mendocino County Dispatch Center at (707) 463-4086."
KATHY BAILEY WARNS:
Some words of warning: For the last week or so I have been getting multiple calls a day on both my mobile and landline from a person saying various untrue things about my Social Security. Until today it was saying my SS was frozen and I would never get it back unless I immediately called. Today they escalated to claiming that they are filing a lawsuit and an arrest warrant had been issued. The number to call has a 574 area code, which, according to Reference.com, "a phone number with a 578 area code represents an attempt to disguise the source of a call." It is a code that is not assigned. If you know someone who might be vulnerable to being scared or confused about an awful scam like whatever this would be if I called, please check in with them and make sure they know not to pay any attention. Thanks.
BOONVILLE 'JERKY MAKERS' WIN $10,000 GRAND TOP PRIZE
From the West Business Development Center:
"Sunday night at the Mendocino College Theater, in front of a live audience of more than 225 people, five finalists competed for prizes of almost $20,000.00. Jaime Connolly from the KOZT emceed the hour-long event, and every finalist took home a prize ranging from $10,000 for first place to $750 for fifth place.
The Grand Prize of $10,000 from the John and Sandra Mayfield Economic Development Fund at the Community Foundation of Mendocino County went to Lama Nasser-Gammett and the Forest People of Boonville for their Organic mushroom jerky. “As organic mushroom farmers, we wanted to create a product that is healthy, nutritious and easy to take on the go. Mushroom jerky is the perfect, high-energy snack chock full of beneficial nutrients for anyone who needs a burst of protein during their busy day. Our jerky is also vegan, gluten free, and paleo friendly. There’s nothing like it on the market. We can’t wait for you to taste it.”
IT ALL HAPPENS IN YORKVILLE!
September at the Yorkville Market
I hope you have all had a wonderful Summer!
September is now upon us, with Fall peaking around the corner, and at the Market we are getting ready for a wonderful harvest season.
This month we are restarting our Friday Dinners and have more fun nights planned:
First, join us on Friday, September 6th for a delicious Vietnamese Feast. We will be serving Shaking Beef as our main course with local Summer Vegetable Spring Rolls and Tapioca Mango pudding for dessert. Price will be $23 per person for 3 courses. Happy Hour begins at 5:30pm, Dinner served at 6:00ish.
We will be continuing our pizza and game night on September 13th, a fun evening to chat with your neighbors and see who is the best Scrabble champion in town. Happy Hour and Food begin at 5:30pm.
On Friday, the 20th we will be hosting our Fiesta Night! We will be serving homemade Chile Rellenos and we will have live music from a new Yorkville Band, Sister, Sister! Music and Happy Hour start at 5:30pm, food served at 6:00ish.
Thank you to all who joined us in July - we had a fun Flea Market and a wild BBQ competition with truly delicious ribs. Your support is greatly appreciated and allows us to continue hosting fun community events.
Stay tuned for more information on our 2nd Annual Yorkville Fire Station Appreciation Dinner on Saturday, October 12th.
Wendy Lamer (pronounced “Lamier”) is the proprietor of Disco Ranch, a new European wine bar and specialty market in the center of Boonville where Wendy sublets the old Aquarelle Restaurant.
Having moved from Georgia where she worked as a wine distributor for Winebow, she followed her brother, Greg Lamer, Westward to Mendocino County California. Greg is the hospitality director at Roederer, Scharffenberger and Domaine Anderson, and has worked there for a little over a year.
Why the funny name: Disco Ranch? Wendy explains that she lived in a well-to-do neighborhood. Parties were rotational at the homes of several neighbors. One week they told Wendy it was her turn to host the party. She lived in a simple farm house with two barns. Not the digs these folks were used to. So Wendy hung up her disco ball and broke out her favorite selections of French and Italian wines and entertained her neighbors with the finer tastes in wine. They were delighted with Wendy’s knowledge of wine and its familial histories, some dating as far back as the 1400’s for the French and Italian wines. As a result, her neighbors wanted her to host their parties from then on… Disco Ranch was born.
Disco Ranch carries a fine selection of hors d’oeuvres to go with those fine French, Italian, Spanish, (and world-wide) wines, at reasonable prices.
Wine Club is on the third Monday of the month when you can taste six wines from around the world (3-4 Countries) for $10, or take home all six bottles for $99.00.
Each Friday, the Farmer’s Market sets up in the parking lot at Disco Ranch, where locals mingle with tourists, who flood in for produce, bread, beverages, and fine wine from Disco Ranch, complimented by green olives stuffed with anchovies, truffle or salmon pate, European cheeses and local chevres, to include small tasty plates. Tourists, too, are blown away by the reasonable prices of the imported European wines, and having access to them in a small town like Boonville, CA.
In addition, Wendy stocks local wines of those wineries without tasting rooms: known locally as, “the orphans”.
Disco Ranch is open from 10:30 to 6:30 daily, Thursday through Monday; Closed Tuesday and Wednesday.
GREAT DAY IN ELK RAKES IN A COOL TWELVE THOU
THE HEBREW HAMMER, aka Jacob Silverman. This guy has been bombarding us with letters out of the County Jail where he's presently confined on drug-related charges. He's also been tried and convicted of various crimes in Humboldt County. Prior to his arrival in Humboldt and Mendo, Silverman did a stretch at Pelican Bay for an attempted murder conviction.
WHEREVER he lands Silverman fires his attorneys, none of whom he pays because he's an indigent. We pay for his defense, which he happens not to have because he's obviously guilty as charged of drug trafficking. He's on his fifth attorney here in Mendo.
SILVERMAN also presents management problems at the County Jail where he vilely insults staff and other inmates, necessitating his isolation. Recently, Silverman refused to leave his cell for a court appearance, resulting in an unnecessary disruption of the day's court proceedings.
I'M SURE there have been other memorable inmates confined to the Low Gap jail, but Silverman may be in a class of difficulty all by himself.
AND NOW THIS. The most recent letter we have from this incompetent career criminal — he's in more than he's out — says previous letters from him are forgeries!
"YOUR allowing falsified fraudulent felonious letter (sic) deliberately processed to misrepresent me! And your racism is oozing with Benjamin Netanyahu's racist doctored add (sic) I've written you my letter. Publish it with my picture please. If you continue to process information without my signature then I know, too, your (sic) involved in some form and will take note of the in another form. (sic). Formally: I request all letters and envelopes be preserved as evidence for prosecution to further acquire each and all fingerprints. So please contact the Sheriff Allman to process the investigation immediately! Failure to honor this action is failure of yourself. Jacob Silverman."
I'VE CONCLUDED after a not particularly close textual analysis, that Silverman is the author of all the letters mailed to us from the County Jail under the name of Jacob Silverman, aka The Hebrew Hammer. Why would he malign himself? As a HumCo psych worker accurately assessed him, Silverman is a narcissist. Even negative attention is a kind of drug to him. He loves it, especially confined as he is with nothing else to do but harass staff and other inmates and write crank letters to newspapers.
COULD some other prisoner be writing fake Hebrew Hammers? Maybe, but that would require the forger to possess not only the resolve to harass a minor irritant like H.H., be familiar with various anti-Semitic tropes and also possess the clever literary ability not ordinarily found among persons confined to rural county jails. It would also require that a jail staffer allow a fake Silverman to mail out letters-to-the-editor under Silverman's name, and I seriously doubt a jail staffer, however annoying he or she may find this character, would risk committing a crime simply to complicate Silverman's life.
IS SILVERMAN NUTS? No, although everywhere he goes jail and court shrinks spend hours of public time debating his mental functioning. The guy's simply found a way to make himself the center of minor attention, which he's previously received in the various jails of the Northcoast. Hammer the Hammer, judge. Send him back to the state pen where he belongs.
THE SUPERVISORS spent a lot of time Tuesday discussing ambulance financing in the wake of the collapse of the “Exclusive Operating Area” idea (which some people insist might still be alive outside of Ukiah, a concept we find highly unlikely). A possible sales tax increase was mentioned as was expanding the transient occupancy tax (TOT/bed tax) to campgrounds as possible new sources. Apparently the state has imposed a cap on total sales taxes which Mendo is very close to with the library tax and the Measure B Mental Health Facilities/Services measure on top of other city sales taxes. So even if such new sales taxes — amount unknown so far — could be developed, vetted, put on the ballot and maybe voted up in an optimistic time line of maybe two years, there will still be a funding gap for local ambulance services which everyone seems to think needs immediate attention — especially in light of the EOA collapse which was supposed to result in better funding (if you believed its promoters), but which has turned out to be nothing but a giant multi-year stall/snow job.
IF THE SUPES were serious about doing something now for local ambulance operations, they could at least give them the $90k back that was not allocated this year because they spread the previous amount into cities this year, reducing the rural allocation. So where could they get a quick $90k?
THE TOURISM PROMOTERS SPEND something like $1.5 million a year trying to entice tourists to “Visit Mendocino.” The County contributes several hundred thousands of TOT dollars to that effort — an effort which makes no measurable difference that we can see. But even if it did, a significant percentage of those “visitors” need ambulance service when they drink and drive, when the collide with us or their fellow visitors, when they have heart attacks or strokes while enjoying Mendo’s unique attractions… So surely, any reasonable comparison of how to spend those hundreds of thousands of promotional dollars would show that the local ambulances are a much better choice for $90k of it — even for the tourists that they say they draw here.
IT’S A CLEAR INDICATION of the Mendo’s contorted priorities when they seem to think wasting hundreds of thousands of dollars on mythical “promotion” is somehow of economic value to the County (without any independent proof) when a no-brainer small allocation to local ambulances can’t be shifted from promotion to ambulances who have clear, documentable need for it.
WE’D LOVE TO SEE somebody like Senior Tourism Promoter Wendy Roberts come before the Supes someday soon trying to argue that her ineffectual tourism people need the $90k (or more) more than the ambulance services do.
DOROTHY MURIEL WHEELER (1891-1966) attributed ~ Unknown title and date, watercolor on paper
AT THE MENDO SUPES MEETING:
Sheriff Allman On County Jail Construction
MSP Notes: The Sheriff was talking about new construction - but he said the old Building #1 would need to be demolished within 10 years; the new building should be operational in 2022.
This was from the info provided the Supervisors:
"Operational Program Statement
A. Intended Capacity and Type of the New Building
The new Type II building will be known as Building 3 and will be located at 951 Low Gap Rd. Ukiah. This project includes the design and construction of a 21,000 square foot stand-alone, one story building with a sloped roof system. The project is adjacent to the existing jail facility and connected via a covered walkway.
This project is on County owned land in the City of Ukiah. The project will provide housing,programming, medical and mental health treatment space and a new public visiting center. Housing will include 60 maximum-security beds, a safety cell, recreation yards, central control, medical exam room, dental exam room, clinical suite, program/group rooms, and staff support space. The visiting center will include contact and non-contact visiting rooms.
B. Security and Classification to be Housed
Building 3 will be a circular design maximum-security facility with compact and clear sight lines for in-direct supervision of six housing units. Throughout the building, we have a strong emphasis on security glazing. For example, there will be security glazing on the cell fronts and the front of each housing unit. The building will house pre and post sentenced male and female inmates. It will provide the opportunity to centralize the inmates with serious medical and mental health conditions for better treatment and programming. It will provide ideal opportunity for more access to programming to offenders that are currently underserved.
C. Inmate Movement
The design of Building 3 puts emphasis on bringing most of the services to the inmates to minimize movement from the housing units. The higher levels of treatment from medical or dental will require movement within the building. The need for a contact visit with an attorney will require movement from the housing unit. Non-contact attorney visits will occur at the housing unit. Sheriff’s Services Technicians will be posted in the control center to control all entrances and exits via cameras and electronic control. The housing 2 deputies will be in possession of security tablets to open doors, respond to intercoms, and turn on and off lights, water, audio and video equipment within the housing unit.
Food Preparation and Serving
The existing kitchen will produce three meals a day for inmates housed at all three buildings. The kitchen supervisors and inmate worker staff currently prepare approximately one thousand ninety-five meals a day.
The jail will utilize food carts to transport food to the buildings. Correctional Staff and inmate workers will serve meals in the housing units of Building 3. Two hot and one cold meal are served daily to our inmate population.
D. Staffing Plan and Cost Analysis
Building 3 will have five fixed posts. Three of posts are going to be staffed by corrections deputies; they are two housing posts and one movement post per shift. For a twenty-four/seven operation, it will require twelve additional correctional deputies to staff the inmate housing and inmate movement posts. This is two more corrections deputies than our estimate in our SB844 application.
The other two posts, Visiting Reception and Control, will be staffed by Sheriff’s Service Technicians. Visiting will be staffed twelve hours a day seven days a week. The control will be operated twelve hours of the day seven days a week. The remainder of the day, the housing deputies will utilize security tablets to operate doors, intercoms, lights, television, and plumbing. The existing control in Building 2 will operate the main doors entering and exiting Building 3.
Supervisory staff will need to increase from the current allocation of eight to ten. This is to ensure best supervisory practices. There is also a need for immediate supervision due to the high risk and health acuity of the inmates that will be housed in Building 3. There will be no additional command staff needed for this addition."
MR. COPPOCK: "I just learned that someone I know in Albion has been turned down for homeowner's insurance, after many years. She cut back trees and cleared brush and did what was demanded of her, as far as I know. Someone else is selling out, perhaps for the same reason. Apparently her company is simply pulling out of a big swath of the country.
This is becoming a spreading problem, even on the Coast. Others are seeing rates go up a bunch, especially if they change providers. Is there anything that might ameliorate this situation at the county level. I understand that global warming will make the situation worse."
We are writing to voice the shared concern about the PG&E usage of herbicides for vegetation management under the 60 KV power lines that span across the entire Greenwood Ridge from Anderson Valley to the town of Elk. The herbicide they are using is commonly known as Roundup and glyphosate is the main ingredient.
Glyphosate was patented by the Monsanto Company (now owned by Bayer AG) as an herbicidal agent in 1974. Glyphosate-based herbicides are now the most commonly used herbicides in the world. Glyphosate tolerant genetically modified (GM) crops were commercialized in the mid 1990's and were assumed to be safe for health and the environment. This assumption perpetuated by Monsanto continues to be promoted today despite scientific evidence that glyphosate harms human health and the environment.
In a research study compilation entitled The Unintended Consequences of Using Glyphosate (2012) there is a demonstrated correlation between glyphosate and serious health and environmental hazards. This includes the disruption of hormonal systems and beneficial gut bacteria, damage to DNA, developmental and reproductive toxicity, birth defects, cancer and neurotoxicity. Glyphosate can harm all facets of an ecosystem including soil biology and composition, water, aquatic organisms, amphibians, reptiles, invertebrates, non-target plants, animals and humans.
Glyphosate and its metabolites can be highly active and mobile and persist for many years in the environment, depending on the conditions. Using toxic glyphosate could not only harm beneficial vegetation and wildlife but could also jeopardize public health and safety. Glyphosate use could foster herbicide resistant super weeds and as this herbicide is also a patented desiccant (drying agent) it could increase the risk of fire.
Monsanto asserts that glyphosate or Roundup is safe but there are now countries all over the world that are banning the use of Roundup due to concerns about links to cancer and chronic kidney disease among other health concerns.
There are communities and neighborhoods now throughout California who are saying “No” to the use of herbicides such as glyphosate in areas alongside their homes and in their watersheds. Additionally, Glyphosate is prohibited for use on California Organic farms, of which there are several on the Philo-Greenwood Ridge road. In regards to PG&E’s herbicide application, there are entire communities that are “opting out” and instead choosing the option of manual removal for vegetation management.
Most landowners in the Greenwood Ridge Road vicinity have chosen to manually remove vegetation and many community members are noticing the contrast to those who chose herbicide application and those who did not. The biggest and most noticeable landowner is Mendocino Redwood Company (MRC) whose use of Round up is dramatically visible.
What is important for landowners to know is that they have an option. For those who choose to not apply herbicides, PG&E hires licensed arborists to selectively cut the targeted species, the crew then chips and cleans up the entire area leaving it free from potential fire danger. For those who opt for herbicides PG&E contracts a crew to manually apply (often spraying) the herbicide which leaves behind a mess (and eyesore) of dead and dying fuel for potential fire danger. They then later come back to remove and chip up the large debris. PG&E advocates that this type of herbicide application is the best method for vegetation removal and fire prevention. For those of us who live here and are witnessing and living with the outcome of the two different methodologies, there are many who beg to differ.
We, on the Philo-Greenwood Ridge road who oppose the use of herbicides, hope other landowners will come on board and “opt out” of future herbicide usage. This does not just affect those who live near the PG&E power lines, this affects all of us and our entire ecosystem. All landowners have a choice and from what we have seen the negative impacts of herbicide usage on our environment and the health and safety of our community far outweigh the economic incentive that motivates PG&E.
For more information, please call PG&E at 800-743-5000 to Opt Out of further herbicide usage for those near the power lines. Or contact Peter Beesley at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions. If you want to express your concerns to Mendocino Redwood Company (MRC) you could email Sarah Billig at email@example.com.
Greenwood Ridge Neighbors,
MENDOLAKE COMPLEX FIRE RELIEF CENTER SEEKING SUPPORT
Though the 2017 and 2018 fires in Lake and Mendocino Counties are a distant memory for the bulk of the communities at this point, recovery efforts are still under way for many of our community members. Some have started the process of rebuilding their homes and their lives while others are wading through the slow painstaking process of building their new normal.
The MendoLake Complex Fire Relief Center has remained a constant source of supplies and support not only for survivors of the major fires in our area, but the single home fires. Anytime there is a displacement, the all-volunteer crew of the MendoLake Complex Fire Relief Center has been there to provide much needed day to day living items, guidance, support, referrals, and grant applying services. At the center of this process is Center Director, Danilla Sands. Sands and her crew of volunteers have worked tirelessly to acquire donations both locally and on a larger scale to serve the needs of the community.
Though the center is volunteer operated, and the supplies are donated, there are other day to day expenses involved with keeping this resource functioning and operational. The biggest expense being rent for the warehouse. Currently located near the firehouse in Redwood Valley, as Sands says “We received a really great deal on the rent, but it is in no means free to have the center open. Through fundraising efforts and donations, we have been blessed to be able to operate this long. We still have families coming in to receive help every week. From evacuations to full losses, there are needs to be met and we are happy to help with things as big as furniture to as small as tooth brushes. Imagine having to suddenly leave your home with only the clothes on your back. What would you need just to get through the next few days? We are blessed to be able to do this but if the rent isn’t raised, the center might have to shut down.”
Sands has a fundraising opportunity at the North Bay Artisan Showcase and Faire September 14 and she needs the community’s help to pull it off. The event will be running in coordination with the End of Summer Show & Shine Classic Car and Motorcycle Show in downtown Ukiah. MendoLake Complex Fire Relief Center will have a booth set up in Alex Thomas Plaza. Sands says “What we have in mind is to make fundraising fun. The plan is to have certain local people take a 30-minute spot in a chair in the middle of a booth. Then other members of the community can pay $5 for two “cream plates” to throw at the person seated in the hot seat. Or for an extra $10 one of our volunteers will smash the target in the face with cream. We are looking for bosses, dignitaries, coaches, local business people. Anyone that you can think of that you would like to smash a cream pie in their face. The participants will receive a certificate and a shirt at the end of the event showing off how much money they raised during their time at the event. We will publish the schedule on our Facebook page so that community members will know when to show up for their selected person.” Volunteers are needed for 30-minute shifts from 10am to 4pm. Volunteers can send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or call (707)489-3970 or send a message to Danilla Sands on facebook to sign up.
Keeping the MendoLake Complex Fire Relief Center open and functioning is paramount to the community’s recovery efforts. Donating 30 minutes of your time on a Saturday can make a world of difference to our local survivors. Take a seat to help raise the rent for this worthy cause and tell your friends to come throw in their support September 14th at the North Bay Artisan Showcase and Faire!
CATCH OF THE DAY, AUGUST 27, 2019
CARLOS ALVAREZ, Ukiah. Ammo possession by prohibited person, probation revocation.
DAVID CHURCHILL, Fort Bragg. Under influence.
DAVID JOHNSON, Covelo. DUI, protective order violation, probation revocation.
SAMANTHA MENDEZ, Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-alcohol.
CASANDRA RAWLS, Calpella. Suspended license (for DUI).
SAMUEL SIERRA, Ukiah. Controlled substance, probation revocation.
DOMINIC SINGLETON, Redwood Valley. Burglary.
ROCHELLE SWOPES, Mendocino. DUI.
ON LINE COMMENT OF THE DAY
Until a majority of Americans learn and understand mathematics (which I do not think will ever happen) they will continue to delude themselves into believing that they can make $50K a year and spend $200K because they can afford the monthly payments, the decay will slowly move forward. As the losers slide one by one off of the economic treadmill and into their parent’s and grandparent’s basements, the vast majority of remaining consumers will not notice their disappearance. The retailers certainly have, but they too are expendable and easily written off as natural selection to the Cyber-stores and online betting parlors. As governments move in to desperately capitalize on any remaining vices like drug sales, gambling schemes, and probably even prostitution next, they too will feed off of the general public until nothing remains but bare bones.
I especially like the way the Good Book says that the ending act (not actually an end) will come as a total surprise because that is exactly how it is playing out, surprise, surprise, surprise.
As of Aug. 22, 135 House Democrats were in favor of opening an impeachment inquiry. Sadly, Rep. Mike Thompson of St. Helena isn’t one of them. We deserve better. Thompson takes his cues from Speaker Nancy Pelosi and rarely stakes out a position without a nod from Aunt Nancy. It would be refreshing to have a young passionate female aspirant challenge this stale incumbent in next year’s primary.
THE INTERNET believes in the existence of VIP pedophile rings. It went big on “Pizzagate,” the bogus 2016 conspiracy theory spread by white supremacists proposing child abuse by senior officials. That’s not to suggest pedophile rings don’t exist, but you need to be careful about the way such allegations can be made to appear instantly substantial by the manner and speed of their promulgation. Richard Henriques, a former High Court judge, has just concluded his review of Scotland Yard’s handling of the allegations made by Carl Beech, who was recently sentenced to 18 years for falsely accusing a number of senior figures of abusing children. “Never again,” said Lord Bramall, a former chief of the defense staff, one of those falsely accused, “should the presumption of innocence be reversed on the say-so of one person and for the convenience of one organization.”
But the case against Epstein and his friends is based on evidence. When you speak to people about this former investment banker, what you discover is that he was a half-educated man who not only fetishized his fetishes, but turned his friends into fetishes too. A billionaire can buy yachts and private jets, or the biggest apartment in Manhattan, but Epstein wanted influence and connections more than anything else, especially with people who’d passed their exams. He “dealt” in underage girls, and there’s strong evidence that he had friends who procured girls and other friends he shared them with. A judge in the Southern District of New York has stated that some of those alleged to have been involved were “famous, some not.” Giuffre, one of Epstein’s chief accusers, has twice accepted out-of-court settlements said to involve millions of dollars.
—Andrew O’Hagan, London Review of Books
MORE THAN 70,000 PEOPLE were expected at the Burning Man festival this week in the Nevada desert, but you can go there without leaving home.
TO FIGHT CORPORATE 'ASSAULT ON JOURNALISM,' Sanders Unveils Plan to Stop Big Media Mergers and Bolster Independent News
"When I am president," Sanders said, "my administration will put in place policies that will reform the media industry and better protect independent journalism at both the local and national levels."
ROSE PAK & THE RACE CARD
From a recent edition of the SF Chronicle:
Over the objections of hundreds of Chinatown residents, the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency narrowly voted Tuesday night to name the city’s newest Muni station after the late Rose Pak — a heroic role model to supporters, but a “morally corrupt bully” and “liar” to many others.
The cliffhanger 4-3 vote will establish the “Chinatown Rose Pak Station.” The naming issue has long divided the city’s Chinatown community, and the vote capped five-and-a-half hours of testimony in a sweltering hearing room where the air conditioning was broken and the polarization was complete.
Opponents — dozens of whom spoke in Mandarin with translators, or by video from their Grant Avenue shops — urged the seven transportation directors not to “shame” the community by naming the not-yet-finished station after Pak.
They accused the brassy, cigar-chomping community organizer of being a Communist spy, of failing to pay for her meals, and of masquerading as low-income even though she had wealth. They said she opposed practitioners of Falun Gong.
“I cannot deny that there are people who love Rose Pak,” said resident Adam Zing. “But you can see that so many people do not love her. Why force this on us? This is a public station. Take your love private. Don’t bring this upon us”…
Rob Anderson comments:
The Central Subway may not have been built without a deal between Rose Pak and Willie Brown.
Just as important, Pak degraded the city's political culture by playing the race card against critics of the Central Subway.
(Rob Anderson, District5Diary)
THE DERELICT FORTMANN MANSION, 1007 Gough Street. Aka The McKittrick Hotel in Vertigo. Pulled down in 1959.
MENDOCINO COUNTY'S SMALL CANNABIS FARMERS: WHY STAY INDEPENDENT?
Let's start with Flow Kana.
What do we know about Flow Kana, the privately held company that purports to take over the cannabis industry here in Mendocino County?
Well, because Flow Kana is a privately held company, it doesn't have to disclose its financials, so we don't know much. But we do know a little.
The company's founding date was 2014. Flow Kana total funding is $147.5 million, and its last round of funding was six months ago when Gotham Green Partners wrote a check for $125 million.
In a now-crowded industry long on expectations and short on profits, Flow Kana tries to stand out as brand that puts an emphasis on sun-grown, small batch, multi-generational farmers. Flow Kana wants its brand to be synonymous with consistent quality.
But doesn't everybody? Isn't this all branding mumbo jumbo?
We also know that Flow Kana wants its brand to be synonymous with innovation. .
There's THC and CBD, of course. But with a limited-edition launch called Pink Boost Goddess, Flow Kana declares to the world that it was the first company in the industry to "introduce" something called THCV.
THCV, do you say?
Pink Boost Goddess is Flow Kana's first release of what the company says is a high THCV strain. Pink Boost Goddess is cultivated by Emerald Spirit Botanicals, a cannabis farm located near Willits in Mendocino County.
Scientifically speaking, THCV stands for tetrahydrocannabivarin. According to California cannabis testing company Steep Hill, THCV is the “sports car of cannabinoids.”
The jury is still out on what exactly differentiates THCV from THC, but some research has suggested that while THCV does not produce psychoactive effects at low doses, it does activate cannabinoid receptors in the brain— which in turn cause the sensations collectively referred to as “being high” — in more concentrated amounts.
More mumbo jumbo? You decide.
Who is Gotham Green Partners. Well, here's a link to their website: https://gothamgreenpartners.com/
Click on it. It's dark. It says nothing.
An email address and an office address? Really?
And yet Gotham Green Partners has very deep pockets. On July 10, 2019, Gotham Green increased their investment in MedMen to $280 million.
MedMen wants to be the country's biggest operator of retail cannabis stores.
So, here's the question I hear most frequently asked about Flow Kana: Is Gotham Green Partners fronting for Big Tobacco or Big Alcohol?
Maybe yes. Maybe no.
But this is what I do know. Big Tobacco and Big Alcohol have already made their bets, and it doesn't look good. I'll explain below. They're desperate for profits.
THE BIG BOYS ARE TAKING IT IN THE SHORTS
In 2017, Constellation Brands bought an equity stake of just under 10% in Canopy Growth for $190 million in a deal that garnered significant attention for cannabis stocks and gave the sector a shot of legitimacy. That was the first high-profile investment of a "legitimate" publicly traded company into a pure-play cannabis peer. Since then, Constellation Brands has added mightily to its stake; according to regulatory filings, it now owns almost 36% of Canopy Growth.
In 2018, tobacco giant Altria pumped $1.8 billion into Cronos Group, and Molson Coors Brewing created a joint venture with HEXO to develop cannabis-infused drinks.
Many other such joint ventures followed.
THE ALTRIA-CRONOS DEAL
Altria’s (NYSE:MO) invested $2.4 billion investment for 45% of Cronos Group (NASDAQ:CRON). With Altria about to be underwater in its investment, Cronos has all that cash on its balance sheet. Now, Wall Street is wondering what Cronos will do with all that cash. Meanwhile, Cronos stock topped out at $24 twice between February and March of this year, then the stock fell into a bearish pattern. Cronos stock drifted lower and lower and is now in the $11 range, 54% below its yearly high.
BTW, Altria is the parent company for Philip Morris, a portfolio of cigarette brands, including Marlboro, Basic, Benson & Hedges, Chesterfield, and Virginia Slims. Altria also own wine brands, vap brands, and lots of other stuff.
Adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, debt and amortization was negative $17.77 million. Looking into the reconciliation of non-International Financial Reporting Standards measures, Cronos recorded a non-cash $263.9 million in the revaluation of derivative liabilities. Interest expenses topped $12.5 million. Accounting for the change in fair value of the financial derivative liabilities associated with Altria’s investment does not have an impact on the cash flow.
That said, Cronos ended the quarter with $2.3 billion in cash and short-term investments, almost all of it from Altria. Cronos has plenty of resources available to scale the business and to evaluate external growth opportunities.
My bottom line?
My 12-month target price for Cronos stock is $22.50. This is 95% above the recent $11.54 closing price. Investors who want to build their own fair value model may use a 5-year Discounted Cash Flow Revenue Exit model. One may assume strong revenue growth in that period. Even with a high discount rate, the fair value on the stock is higher than where Cronos stock is at today.
Should regulatory risks dissipate and the Canadian government allow derivatives and vaporizer products to launch, Cronos stock will rebound. And for Altria, its investment will pay off handsomely.
THE CONSTELLATION BRANDS-CANOPY GROWTH DEAL
How about the other big player, Canopy Growth Corporation?
In a stark reminder that the cannabis industry is still thin on profits, Constellation Brands (NYSE: STZ) said on Monday it will book a considerable loss on its investment in Canopy Growth (NYSE: CGC).
Constellation Brands is the world's biggest alcoholic beverages producer, and now the company says it stands to lose just over $54 million from its investment in Canopy Growth in its current second quarter of fiscal 2020, which will end on Aug. 31. The booked loss will derive from Canopy Growth's quarter that stretched from April 1 to June 30.
On a six-month basis (i.e., including the previous quarter), the bottom-line deficit will come in at more than $132 million. That shortfall will come from Canopy Growth's performance from Jan. 1 to June 30.
These losses are sickening.
THE HEXO-MOLSON COORS DEAL
On August 1, 2018, Molson Coors Canada, the Canadian business unit of Molson Coors Brewing Company (NYSE: TAP)), and leading Canadian cannabis producer, The Hydropothecary Corporation (“HEXO”) (TSX: HEXO), announced they entered into a joint venture to develop non-alcoholic, cannabis-infused beverages.
The joint venture was structured as a standalone start-up company with its own board of directors and an independent management team. Molson Coors Canada has a 57.5% controlling interest in the JV, with HEXO having the remaining ownership interest.
But again, as with Cronos and Canopy Growth, HEXO failed to deliver. Today the stock closed at $3.85. Earlier this year, it topped out at $8.40.
SO WHAT DOES ALL THIS MEAN FOR MENDO'S SMALL FARMER?
What it means is clear: Stay independent. Stay small. Stay family owned.
In a word…stay in control of your own destiny.
And it also means something else: Organize.
Organize with other small farmers. Become one voice. Become one political power. Recruit candidates who represent your interests. Vote as one.
Remember: Gotham Green Partners is to cannabis what the Deep State is to government. They're super-rich. And they're super-secret.
Why so secret? What are they hiding?
You won't win.
Remember: Altria, Constellation Brands, Molson Coors Brewing, and all the other NYSE-listed companies getting into cannabis are to cannabis what end-stage capitalism and natural resource extraction are to our planet. They're all about the money. They'll outspend you. They'll buy lobbyists. They finance political campaigns. They'll buy politicians. They'll build market share until market share becomes a monopoly.
You won't win, brothers and sisters.
Candidate, 1st District Supervisor