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MCT: Tuesday, September 10, 2019

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COOL INTERIOR TEMPERATURES AND SCATTERED SHOWERS will continue today, with warm and dry weather returning tomorrow. Isolated thunderstorms will be possible this afternoon and evening across portions of Del Norte and northern Trinity counties. (National Weather Service)

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IF YOU'VE NEVER experienced a Boonville Fair, this weekend it's on, on, on! Fun stuff for children of all ages. I try to get down to the Fairgrounds early afternoon of the opening Friday, when everything's still fresh, often seeing people not seen in many a moon. Last couple of years there's been something of an exhibit revival in that young people, especially young family people, are again participating. I'll miss the Apple Bowl football game, and already miss high school football as it disappears from the Redwood Empire, hastening to add that I've learned to enjoy watching soccer now that I've mastered the rules, a learning process that took me a full decade. Saturday nights at the Fair used to feature lots of fighting, but now that fighting is weaponized hand-to-hand combat of the recreational type is no longer the drunken fun it used to be. Slim Pickens famously said that Boonville was the roughest town he ever called a rodeo in, which is saying something considering he called rodeos all our surpassingly violent country. The Anderson Valley is considerably calmed these days now that naked aggression is fully clothed. The dogs bark, the caravan moves on.

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NIGHT LIGHT OF THE NORTH COAST: Beauty on the Redwood Highway

by David Wilson

I hope my images stoke appreciation for the beauty and wonders around us here on the North Coast of California. Many people never experience so uniquely beautiful a countryside as ours, and too many who live within them forget the treasure they have. They are the unlucky ones. Perhaps my images and stories will help to enlighten those who have never seen the wonders all around us, and reacquaint those who might have forgotten and gotten absorbed in the race and lost their place in the mundane. To be grateful for where one lives is a blessing too easily lost.

I know what it is to drive for an hour through the snarl, crawling along too slowly, too crowded between too many terrible drivers, a smog-belched yellow haze in the air you breathe — you drive and you drive, and how far do you get? Not very. (“Damn, this traffic jam!”)*

Here on the North Coast one could spend that same hour driving through places like this stretch along the Redwood Corridor… and for an hour of beauty you’re transported 65 miles away (for some drivers a bit more!). All the while you are driving among the hills, along rivers, high above Pacific vistas, through parks and forests full of clean air. Drivers are so few and far between that the bad ones are mostly easily avoided.

I’m running the numbers on our little corner of the world here, people, and… let me see… ah, carry the 7… yes — no matter how you add it up or slice, it’s coming up paradise. It’s not too many places in the world where a photograph of the local freeway is a thing of beauty. Think about it. It’s a blessing to be grateful for where one lives, and I very much am.

*From James Taylor’s song “Traffic Jam”.

Late night cars paint their strokes of light onto the dark canvas along a redwood corridor on US 101, the Redwood Highway. Photographed from the Avenue of the Giants, Humboldt County, California.
“Redwood Highway Mandala"

Each of us is alone inside our own thoughts. We struggle mightily to express ourselves so that others will understand us, and many of us attempt to understand others, but we are always alone in our thoughts. Perhaps it is that innate aloneness that leads to us feeling separate from Nature. Oh, but we are so far from being separate from Nature; that is an illusion. We are not separate from nature, we are but a tiny part of Nature. We are not large, we are small. Earth itself is not large, it is minute. It is a mote in a sea of Nature so large that we call it the Universe. Hack and hew though we might, we will never tame the Universe.

(To keep abreast of David Wilson’s most current photography or peer into its past, visit or contact him at his website or follow him on Instagram at @david_wilson_mfx.)

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MARSHALL NEWMAN WRITES: “Here is another postcard from e-bay. In this case, the addressee and message are interesting. Nellie Ward was born in 1890, married Roy Bradley in Ukiah in 1912 and died in in Idaho in 1980. The “Frank” in the message is almost certainly Frank Ward, Nellie’s older brother and Charmian Blattner’s father. The postmark is faint, but I think it is 1902, which would make Frank Ward about 19 years old. The photograph is probably somewhere across the Navarro River south of Philo, either at the Pines (now The Land), Highland Ranch (now Blackbird Farm) or Hendy Grove (now Hendy Woods State Park).

PS. By the way, dances in Anderson Valley were big social events in the 1890s and 1900s. I am not sure Nellie Ward and Roy Bradley married in Ukiah in 1912, but Ukiah is where the marriage license was issued.”

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JIM GIBBONS ON FOOT RACE TIMES: I was surprised and delighted to see you mention me and Jerry Drew in your recent Off The Record column. I've been noticing this slow down for years, mostly here in Hawaii, because I see local race results almost weekly in the local newspaper, but don't follow running results in California anymore.

For example, just this past week the 5k/10k winners at a race on the coast (Run for Hope) were 21:50 and 38:42, and second place was over 40. Neither of those times would have won any of the nearly 450 races I ran in California in the 70s, 80s, and 90s.

One example that comes to mind is the 1990 Wharf to Wharf 10k from Santa Cruz to Capitola. I ran a 34:40 and finished in 100th place. It was slow for me but I don't recall my excuse. I wrote down all my race times but not my excuses when I wasn't pleased with my time.

Oh, and I ran a sub 6-minute pace (41:39) in my first Bay to Breakers in 1981 to also finish 100th. I even have the little medal to prove it. I was one of the seeded elite runners, passing Laurie Binder, the first woman, just before the turn on The Great Highway to the finishline. That was her fourth victory as first woman, and also one of my goals. But now I'm starting to brag.

The good news, I guess, is more people are running for their health and fitness. Of course, Americans are still gaining weight but hell, I've seen fat folks in races and even the Ironman Triathlon, so you don't have to be trim to be fit. Since I stopped running three years ago my six-pak has turned into a mini-keg. What can I say, I love beer and ice cream.

And no, I don't want to challenge you to a push-up contest.


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There are a couple of homeless encampments in Willits along Baechtal Creek, near Safeway and Burger King. Haven’t seen them myself but was told that there’s large mounds of garbage, including shopping carts, human excrement and drug paraphernalia in the middle of the creek; mounds of it as big as cars. The creek is going to become polluted again unless strides are made to either disband the homeless encampments or provide refuse containers and some type of bathroom facilities. Across from Rite Aid, behind Browns Corner theirs an additional garbage dump site that seems to be growing.

I'm also concerned that in the event of a disaster or PG&E blackout the homeless communities have not been prepared and will be seriously/negatively impacted. I doubt that most of our homeless community have any knowledge of where to go for assistance, medical attention or food during the disaster. Many charge their phones or use internet, eat from the garbage cans of local businesses that will most likely be closed during blackouts. Does anyone know if there’s been any outreach to the homeless encampments, free lunch lines etc. Things could get very crazy, very quickly during a disaster unless there’s been some outreach to that community.

(Via MendocinoSportsPlus)

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THE ESSENTIAL TOMMY WAYNE KRAMER: "Why don’t we see Hispanics begging? Why no roaming bands of Mexican drifters hanging around town, doing dope, harassing people at Safeway and camping at the railroad tracks with their vicious chihuahuas?"

OR DARN NEAR any other ethnic rep other than beat down palefaces? On the subject of ethnic generalizations, school people right here in Boonville, where the student body is about 85% Mex-American, say that large majority of the student body presents virtually no disciplinary probs, their orderliness seemingly rubbing off on the gringos, who also don't act up much. I think that young Hispanics are better behaved because their families are, or tend to be, intact, and their children are raised to be polite and respectful of others, especially adults. Used to be gringo offspring were similarly brought up, but along the way, and again school people will verify, the parental attitude changed to, "Why are you picking on my baby?"

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VIRTUE SIGNALING has long been a Frisco export, a regular San Francisco bi-product right up there with Rice-A-Roni, It's-Its, and Tony Bennett riding cable cars halfway to the stars. But the San Francisco Board of Supervisors managed to achieve a new low in pure posturing righteousness when it passed a resolution Tuesday declaring that the National Rifle Association is a domestic terrorist organization. Please. The NRA is for sure a gang of yobbo paranoids, but the violence that is the American birthright and characteristic now of the average American's daily experience, especially if you factor in the prevailing social vibe, can hardly be blamed on a gun club. But the resolution is typical of both contemporary San Francisco politics and the in lieu of politics that we get from both political parties. The SF Supervisors can pass pointless resolutions but outside the splendors of their chambers the city's streets are a mass of seething despair, and all they can do about it is shovel upwards of $350 million a year to their soul mates and fellow highly paid Democrats who run the city's "helping" agencies. But the NRA is the prob, right? Heaping on the hypocrisy, Frisco’s supervisors have offered to buy PG&E’s Frisco infrastructure for upwards of $2 billion, begging the question, If you’ve got that kind of money wouldn’t the money be better spent on restoring at least a semblance of civic order?

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JAMES MARMON WRITES re the County proposed Orchard Avenue (Ukiah) buy back:

“The Shraeders bought the Orchard Ave. property for $2,550,000 on 06/06/17. They used $500,000 gifted to them by the county for the down payment. I wonder if they’re going to keep the existing building or give that back to the County as well. The County had previously leased that building before the Shraeders bought it. The Schraeders had to get out from underneath that property because they did not get the 5 million dollar grant that they promised the County they would receive to build a CRT and CSU with. Lots of questions need to be asked. I hope one of the Supes pull this consent item, even at the risk of pissing off Angelo and Schraeder.

“friends don’t question friends”

Also the Schraeders found out that they couldn’t bid on operating the PHF, CSU, and CRT combined if they are the owners of the property because they would have an unfair advantage over other bidders.

PS. There’s actually 3 lots on that property, 1 empty and two with the existing building built on the two.

ED NOTE: If this transaction is approved — on the consent calendar no less — on Tuesday, we will submit a Public Records Act request for all documents related to this suspicious buy back.

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A question found on inland social media Sunday: "City of Ukiah when are you going to remove all the transients that are camping outside our gate on city property at the end of the airport runway?

You posted a note on our gate the other day saying you were doing a cleanup last Thursday. There are more transients than ever camped there now. What’s with all the bicycles? They’re obviously stolen.

Your posted signs say 'Runway Clear Zone - no parking or standing' yet there they are.

I’m nervous about being on my own property now. We all know they’re going to eventually end up on that new rail trail but right now this problem needs to be addressed."

(via MendocinoSportsPlus)

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2020 Election Debates Live on a big screen at the AV Senior Center next to fair grounds on Hwy 128 in Boonville. The first is Thursday Sept 12th from 5-8 PM at the Senior center. We will show the 3rd Democratic Debates on a large screen with good sound system. Light refreshments. This is a open event, with no bias. We hope that folks can come and share critical but friendly ideas. The event is designed to inform voters. We hope to show all 2020 election debates.

Couple of comments. Americans need to remember that we can disagree and still be friendly. I have many conservative and ultra liberal friends who I talk with and we manage to share our thoughts peacefully without calling one another out. There is just too much to say the current resident of the White house. To underscore his impact, I have rarely called the white house prior to his term and find myself calling very frequently. All of my representatives are on my immediate call list.


Our constitution clearly defines roles. The President presents direction and serves when emergencies occur. Congress makes laws and holds the pure strings. They may provide funds for the President to disperse but they are designed to stay within the boundaries of disbursement. The president's recent shifting of Defense and FEMA monies, especially right as we entered a potentially dangerous natural disaster again, is unconscionable and stupid. FEMA monies are crucial with flooding, wild fires, earthquakes, tornadoes and hurricanes. What is he thinking?

He has violated our constitution again and well, he did it knowing that Congress was out of service and thus could not react immediately. Even his allies are angry. Congress clearly disbursed funds for Trumps wall and clearly acknowledge the emergency with that. In my opinion, this president's plan has stimulated the problems at the southern border. His capture and hold is expensive and unduly taxes the Border patrol. Capture and release programs worked in the past to the level of 90% successful immigrant reporting. A simple tracking device would solve this and be considerably cheaper and would eliminate the torturous situation of immigrant incarceration. Incarcerating aliens who willfully follow the rules and report, severely erodes the catch and release integrity. And last, taking children from their parents especially as they are seeking asylum is immoral and kidnapping. The damage it does to children is huge, unacceptable and unAmerican. We are a caring people. We can solve problems without hurting people and their families. It is ironic that even past President W. Bush acknowledged the need for immigrant reform which Congress has sat on for decades. Simple rules would allow many immigrants the opportunity to return home annually and not set up second homes and families because of impermeable border. Then President W. Bush noted the need for these people in our work force. Congress if anything is the blame for the problem for lack of action, but the President has defined the direction of action which has been expensive and inhumane.

Thanks for the opportunity to share my concerns

Greg Krouse


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THE ROLLING SWINDLE rolling along under the auspices of a new County Courthouse, rolls on. The Judicial Council of California, an over-large committee of mostly connected lawyers and judges and the politically ambitious, headquartered in posh, unvisited (except for them) offices in the San Francisco Civic Center, has announced that Lake County is their first priority for a brand new courthouse, Mendocino County their fourth most urgent site in the state in need of new quarters for judicial proceedings.

THE MENDO END of the swindle rests on facts unlikely to be discussed any place but here. But the primary fact, and it's the one on which the rest of the swindle rests, is the site just off West Perkins in Ukiah was once owned by the old railroad that ran between Sausalito and Eureka. Over years of surreptitious maneuverings, Democratic Party bigshots, led by former Congressman Doug Bosco, a handful of these Democrats, with Bosco first in line as Number One creditor, wound up owning much of the abandoned rail line and all of the old train station in Ukiah where the new courthouse will be erected although no one except Bosco and the handful of career officeholders around him, plus a retired Ukiah judge named David Nelson, want a new courthouse.

SUPERVISOR McCOWEN, probably thrilled to be playing with the big boys, has functioned as logistics man on the Ukiah end of this deal, a deal certain to be a major fiscal blow to what's left of old Ukiah and an even larger fiscal blow to the County of Mendocino. It's a long story, aspects of which I've updated and follow below:

RETIRED JUDGE DAVID NELSON has always been an ardent advocate for the unnecessary new County Courthouse. He’s also been the only local advocate, ardent or not so ardent. At a Board of Supervisors meeting back in November of 2015, Nelson accurately described the many problems the new Courthouse will cause when it is built at the old Ukiah Train Depot site, especially on the District Attorney’s office because the new Courthouse will be some four blocks away from the present, perfectly serviceable Courthouse. After that 2015 assessment, Nelson suggested that the solution to the problem would be for the County to acquire a parcel next door to the Depot site and build facilities to house all the offices that will have to scurry back and forth from the present Courthouse to the new Courthouse that will house no one except our monarchical 9 judges. The Supervisors, as always instantly assuming the prone position before higher authority, could only reply “Thank you” to what is obviously a looming disaster for County functioning. And there has been no elaboration from Judge Nelson or anyone else about what to do about the District Attorney, Public Defender, Alternate Public Defender and other public services. We’re not surprised that the Public Defender and Probation departments have been silent on the subject; they’ve never paid much attention to county business unless it directly effects them.

THE RECENT SALE of the NCRA's Ukiah station for the new County Courthouse on West Perkins that nobody wants and maybe ten people outside of Ukiah even know about, and a new courthouse which will further damage central Ukiah's struggling business district, is one more inside job by the Northcoast Democrats.

OUR OVER-LARGE Superior Court — 9 judges for 90,000 people — is joined at the hip to the Northcoast Democratic Party, which in turn is joined at the other hip to Bosco and the NCRA. It was insider baseball all the way as the valuable West Perkins property belonging to the NCRA was designated, then sold to the state for the new Courthouse nobody wants except our Superior Court judges. It will consist entirely of courtrooms and their majesties' "chambers." Toot-toot. All aboard!

UKIAH IS PAYING the usual outside consultant $28,524 to “evaluate traffic impacts to affected streets” for the new County Courthouse that no one except the County's nine (count 'em) judges wants. The new Courthouse, as we've often reported, is proceeding outside the usual public hearings, planning commission and city council approvals that large-scale projects ordinarily require. This thing is especially egregious because it consists mostly of courtrooms and the usual monarchical chambers judges assume these days.

THE 35,850-square-foot courthouse, guaranteed to be a major eyesore much like the now abandoned Willits County Courthouse, will sit on a 4-acre site bounded by East Perkins Street, Leslie Street, the railroad tracks and a residential neighborhood.

THREE MORE privately owned buildings are in the works for the site. They will partly house ancillary court services leased by the County at the usual exorbitant rents the County pays for privately-owned space. Of course traffic will be a mess at an already busy junction not far from Highway 101, although consultants have a way of coming up with rosy reports for the people who've hired them.

WE WROTE to then-Ukiah mayor Phil Baldwin for information about the new Courthouse and, Que pasa: Hola, Phil: Can you explain how it is that the new County Courthouse no one wants is proceeding outside Ukiah processes? No planning commission, no city council? Is Ukiah paying for a traffic study?

PHIL, always a gent despite the tons of abuse he gets, took a while to reply, but he did: “Sorry for delay in response. The courthouse developer, State of CA, is exempt from our planning process and permit requirements. Traffic study will consider feasibility of connecting Clay St. to Leslie and Hospital Drive to that Clay extension. City does own land on Leslie and NCRA has additional land for RR Depot area private development. Circulation is and will be problem with build out at this site and others throughout City. And no, this traffic study will find no magic to resolve traffic back-ups, yet it needs to be done in advance of the extensions. As you know, I've agreed that for less than half cost of new courthouse, the old one could have been renovated and made safe for all working and attending there. I also believe a 15 minute jitney from old courthouse to new should work just fine to get DA's, public defenders, and others interested to trials on time. — Phil”

MENDOCINO COUNTY DA DAVID EYSTER is emphatically opposed to a new County Courthouse. Alone among the County’s elected officials in his opposition to the project, which would re-locate superior courtrooms four long blocks east of its present location, Eyster says the present Courthouse can be made perfectly serviceable, and for a lot less money than a new "glass box" in the already crowded hospital neighborhood on West Perkins.

THERE hasn't been so much as a squeak of concern from either the Ukiah City Council or the County Board of Supervisors at a proposal that would massively disrupt public and county business simply for the convenience of nine persons — the Superior Court judges themselves. They want new quarters, no one else does except, apparently, Phil Baldwin.

FORTUNATELY for the functioning of the County’s legal system, not to mention the convenience of the un-consulted public, the new Courthouse project is presently stalled in its funding pipeline. But it's inexorably inching towards reality unless the formidable District Attorney is joined in an effort to stop it.

“I AM NOT a proponent of a new Courthouse,” the County’s top law enforcement officer declared. “What you’ve been told is that the present Courthouse is a dangerous building because it is not earthquake-safe. In the last earthquake, as Napa was falling, this place looked out onto downtown Ukiah with no impact on it.”

The DA proceeded to systematically rebut the arguments for the new structure.

“OK, if it’s old, you can do some work to make it safe and workable. They say it's dangerous for security. I can show you how that can be fixed. The front the Courthouse is just plain ugly. I think that’s a selling point to rehab this building because the ugly front facade takes up a lot of space that can be re-done as A usable, attractive work area. The back side of the Courthouse is perfect and beautiful. And it is historically significant. The front of the Courthouse can be made beautiful, too.”

AN HOUR later the DA conducted us on a tour of the premises. As we walked, he made a convincing case for a major re-do of the existing old structure some of which goes back to Mendocino County's beginning. It's clear the energetic prosecutor has given a re-model a lot of thought.

“THEY SAY it’s not safe to move prisoners through the building shared with the general public,” the DA continued. “I understand that. We can talk about that. I’ll show you how that safety issue can be overcome.”

WHICH he soon did, explaining that a re-model of the School Street entrance to the building is eminently doable to funnel defendants directly into a holding area and the elevators up to the courtrooms.

THE ever-upwards cost estimates of the proposed new Courthouse?

“WHAT’S THE NUMBER” Eyster demanded. “$96 million, or has it been revised? It’s come down lately. It was around $120 million at one point. I’ll say we can do what I’ll describe for $91 million,” he laughed. “In the private sector if I said I could do this under budget I’d get a bonus of half of what I saved! I’m for incentives to get things right.”

Eyster was critical of the apparent desire of the County’s judges to enjoy their own facilities. Exclusively. The proposed structure would house only their courtrooms and chambers and staff. “The new thinking with the courts is, we don’t want to share public facilities with any other entity. When we close the door at night we don’t want anyone in our building.”

“AS YOU SEE,” Eyster said, referring to the unending bustle between the DA’s offices on the ground floor and the upstairs courtrooms, “we are constantly back and forth, up and down the stairs. We’re a workhorse operation — file it, get it here to there. It’s all on us. They [the judges] demand it all happen in a timely manner. We serve them.”

"If we have to shuttle up and down Perkins… Well, there goes the schedule."

THE DA pointed out the window of his conference room at the random sprawl of busy West Perkins Street and State Street, the heart of Ukiah.

“DOWN past Rainbow Ag and the new sports bar there’s the railroad station. On days like this — bright, sunny, cheerful — maybe it’s relatively easy for us to get 50 to 100 cases up and down Perkins without the files falling apart on the street. But last year when all the cats and dogs were falling out of the sky, explain to me the means of getting the cases down the street safely and whole. We’d have to have drying rooms for our files.”

The DA remembers receiving the sales pitch for the new courtrooms on Perkins.

“It was Henderson and Nelson in that order. [Both judges are now retired.] It wasn’t a conversation about what do you think about it, it was: We’re doing this. Good luck to you, our ship is sailing a certain course and we don’t even know if you have a ticket.”

DA media officer, Mike Geniella remembered, “One of them said we could have a golf cart system running back and forth.”

“AS I SIT in my office and watch State and Perkins,” Eyster replied, “I see lots of accidents. Golf carts running around downtown means there’s lots that can go wrong with that. This is an after-the-fact response to the judges' position of, This is what we’re doing. Ok, they said, you can help us by buying property down here for your offices. I don’t have that kind of purse, and the last time they discussed it with the County, they said no to any purchases of property for Courthouse offices. The County doesn't have the money, either.”

“ONE of the problems that this building has,” the DA conceded, “is asbestos. So we had an asbestos survey come in and they found some in our offices that we had to mitigate. Nothing significant. Experts came in from the Central Valley. They got it done inexpensively. None of the problems with this building are insurmountable, but the State Judicial Council says, We do what we want and you have to take it. They can do things by fiat.”

EYSTER points to Auburn's showcase Courthouse.

“It looks like the old Courthouse that it is, but inside they have all the modern amenities; they incorporated everything into their old building. Knocking it down would have meant the loss of significant history. We can do that here. Look at the new courthouses around the state. They’re all glass boxes, designs that do not fit the character or history of this area. They make no effort to make their new buildings aesthetically pleasing. We already have enough things being pushed across Hospital Drive, and here comes a new courthouse? And the traffic coming off 101 at Perkins already backs up! The Courthouse only should have been moved if it was consolidated with a new jail. That's not happening."

DEPUTY CRAIG WALKER, appeared before the Board of Supervisors on a Tuesday morning in May of 2014 to make the following remarks during public expression:

“Good morning. Craig Walker appearing strictly in my capacity as President of the Deputy Sheriff's Association. You might be surprised that I'm here this morning not to talk about negotiations or money. Rather, we’d like to talk about an issue that we would like to take a stand on and we would welcome your participation as well. That would be the prospective new courthouse. I think everyone in the room is familiar with some of the well-known issues involved there and the impact it would have on the downtown should the courthouse be relocated. Although we share those sentiments, our organization is concerned about the county's potential exposure to costs that will be in our opinion forced upon us by the relocation. We are referring specifically to the idea that the proposed new courthouse would house strictly court employees and that the county employees who currently are housed within the existing court facility and nearby would have to travel that extra distance. We don't think that's a feasible alternative for the medium or long term. What we envision is the county being forced at some point to construct another building down by the new courthouse or lease space at substantial cost and that we would then be on the hook for maintenance of the old and abandoned facility and all of these things could easily run into the millions of dollars in cost for the county that the state, as far as we can tell, is not factoring into their planning. So for those reasons our organization is adamantly opposed to relocating the courthouse. We feel that some reasonable renovations to the existing structure could be made at a fraction of the cost. We realize that this project is being driven by the State Office of the Courts and not by the county and not by some other local agency. Nevertheless, we think that because of that ancillary exposure to the County and to the county employees that we really need to work together and oppose this project and we will be contacting the Governor’s office and the Administrative Office of the Court to express our displeasure and we would like to think that you would join us in that regard. Thank you.”

The Board did not inquire or comment on Deputy Walker’s remarks.

AT THIS POINT, the only way to get the Board of Supervisors to pay any attention to the New Courthouse Problem — which at this late date seems to be a done deal — would be for the DA to submit a “new courthouse budget” adding x-hundred thousand dollars per year to his otherwise well-managed budget to accommodate all the time, equipment, vehicles, and hassle he’ll have to waste ferrying work up and down Perkins Street.

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On seafloor, sea urchins trump abalone

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Valley’s treated wastewater now irrigating vineyards

by Justine Frederiksen

The city of Ukiah made its first delivery of recycled water through its extensive Purple Pipe system this week, putting about 2 million gallons of water reclaimed from local sinks, showers and toilets into an irrigation pond just south of the Ukiah Valley Wastewater Treatment Plant.

“This is the coolest thing in the world,” said David Koball Thursday, explaining that his full pond will be used later for frost protection, while the water irrigating his 44 acres of vineyards through sprinklers and drip lines was coming straight from pipes drinking out of the city’s new ponds that can hold 66 million gallons of treated wastewater. “If all goes well, I won’t ever have to draw from the river again.”

Farmers with water rights like Koball can divert water from the Russian River flowing near their property, but use of that water requires adhering to an expensive and laborious process of compliance with state regulations. Plus dealing with the uncertainty of Mother Nature.

“You never know how much water will be flowing in the river, or even where it will be flowing,” he said, adding that he also prefers being able to leave the water in the river for all the plants, animals and everything else that depends on it. “Water is a precious commodity, so it’s great that we can recycle it and put it to good use again.”

“This was a baby step, but a major milestone,” said Sean White, the city of Ukiah’s director of water and sewer utilities this week. “We are hoping to bring other users online in the next two weeks as we work out the kinks.”

Now, and for the first 10 years, the city of Ukiah will be providing reclaimed water to all those users free of charge.

“Since farmers can already get water so cheap, either through water rights or for $47 an acre-foot (which is 325,851 gallons), we had to incentivize this somehow,” White said. “And this helps us, because we no longer have to discharge wastewater into the river,” a practice that has already become prohibitively expensive, and will soon be prohibited altogether.

The first three phases of the Purple Pipe Project, also known as the city’s Recycled Water System, buried 40,000 feet of pipe along the spine of the Ukiah Valley in what White had referred to as “the biggest water project in the Ukiah Valley since Lake Mendocino.” The southern end of the pipe is near Koball’s property, and the north end is about seven miles away near the softball fields on River Street.

The pipes don’t go straight north, however, making at least one long right-hand turn down East Gobbi Street to hook into Riverside Park before heading north again on Oak Manor Drive to deliver water to Oak Manor Park and Oak Manor Elementary School.

The completed phases cost roughly $32 million. To pay for that, White said the city received $36 million in funding from the state of California, about $10 million of which is in the form of a grant that doesn’t need to be paid back, and the rest in the form of a loan with only 1 percent interest.

The fourth phase will have the pipe continuing under Highway 101 and hooking up with the irrigation systems for “lots of turf” at the Russian River Cemetery and Ukiah High School on Low Gap Road, and the Ukiah Valley Golf Course. White said the city is still completing the design work and lining up funding for the final phase.

(Courtesy, the Ukiah Daily Journal.)

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Brown, Coria, Galindo

MICHAEL BROWN, Fort Bragg. Lewd/lascivious upon child under 14, continuous sexual abuse of child.

SAMUEL CORIA, Gualala. Failure to appear.

THOMAS GALINDO JR., Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-alcohol (September 8 and September 9) (Frequent flyer.)

Goodwin, Murphy, Perez-Martinez, Sierra

KELLY GOODWIN, Laytonville. Probation violation.

TERRY MURPHY, Fort Bragg. Failure to appear.

VICTOR PEREZ-MARTINEZ, Ukiah. Criminal threats.

SAMUEL SIERRA, Ukiah. Resisting, probation revocation.

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by James Kunstler

“For years, lawmakers in deeply blue, proudly progressive New York City have grappled with a seemingly intractable problem: Its schools are among the most segregated in the nation.” — The New York Times

And so Bill de Blasio, New York’s Mayor, who has been busy running for president, proposes to end the sorting-out system for the “gifted and talented” (G&T) that is theoretically responsible for that segregation. 75 percent of the G & T kids are Asian and white and, according to the school system’s Diversity Task Force, are not equitably distributed among the schools that end up being mostly black and Hispanic.

The proposal stoked a furor among those very “deeply blue and proudly progressive” parents whose G&T kids have been safely sequestered away from the “normals” who grind out their days in schools that only go through the motions of education and who come out years later unable to read or do math.

I’m a product of the New York City school system, so I know a little about it up close and personal, and many of its current features were well underway in the 1960s, when I was there. My primary school, PS 6, on 82nd and Madison Avenue, was almost entirely white because the Upper East Side was entirely white. However, New York was a middle-class city in those days. The hedge fund had not yet been invented. PS 6 released us little inmates to the streets at noon every day — hard to believe now — and I spent many lunch hours in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, which was a block away, and free in those days, and pretty empty on weekdays because all those middle-class adults were at work. Even stock-brokers were middle-class back then, though it might be hard to believe.

My parents had split up rancorously and liked to bludgeon each other over money, so private school was out of the question for me. They were also absolutely not interested in my school career, being preoccupied with their own affairs. So, I was consigned to Intermediate School 167 on 76th and Third. It was now the heyday of desegregation, so the district comprised a thin ribbon through the Upper East Side exploding into a big mushroom cloud in Spanish Harlem. Thus, the school was about 80 percent black and Puerto Rican (as Hispanics in NYC were denoted then). Every day there was like Riot in Cellblock D. The G & T classes were then called “Special Progress” (SP), and I was in them, but between classes we-who-could-write-and-do-math circulated through the anarchic halls where shakedowns and beat-downs were a daily ritual.

I got through it somehow without running away to join the circus and got into one of New York’s so-called “specialized” high schools of which there were four (Brooklyn Tech, Stuyvesant, Bronx Science, and the High School of Music & Art). I went to the last one, M&A. It was perhaps 75% white, and quite civilized. The teachers were all various versions of Bernie Sanders. Shakedowns and beat-downs were unknown among kids who had to lug cellos and painted canvases through the halls. I disliked it moderately, though, because it was so far away it might as well have been in Czechoslovakia and the journey back and forth took hours. After that, I fled to college upstate and never came back.

Enough about me. Obviously, the racial shuffle has been going on for decades in the New York City school system, but in these times of white privilege and intersectionality, the escape routes of G&T and SP must be plugged. No extra gruel for you! But I have a remedy for the persistent problem of underperformance, one that has not really been tried: intense concentration, starting in preschool and going forward as long as necessary, in spoken English. Language is the foundation of learning, certainly of reading skill, and too many children just can’t speak English. Without it, they’ll be unable to learn anything else, including math. The reasons for their poor language skills are beside the point. Whether they are newcomers from foreign lands or the descendants of slaves, they need to learn how to speak English and to do it correctly, with all the tenses and correct verbs. They need to be intelligible to others and to themselves to make sense of the world.

The resistance to this idea would be mighty and furious, I’m sure. Some people will always be smarter than others, but the disparities at issue are badly aggravated by poverty in language. We don’t even pretend to want to take the obvious steps to correct this, even though it is obviously correctable. Learning anything puts people out of their comfort zone, so that can’t be used as an excuse. Diversity in language is a handicap, and it does not make you specially abled. In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

(Support Kunstler’s writing by visiting his Patreon Page.)

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Because we can. Because America’s collective amnesia is both good and bad. I’d have to think about the “good” part. The bad’s plenty bad.

Because we’re in shock. We’ve watched “democracy” redefined as “profits,” the bloody gains of our fights squandered. World War Two. I was five days away from my seventh birthday when they called it finally off on September second, nineteen forty-five. My birthday was more important. Anyway, the Japanese had signed surrender papers in August, so the official signings were anti-climactic. The war had occupied my entire life from my first birthday to my seventh.

I wasn’t sophisticated at seven. The war being over meant that there wouldn’t be Pathé newsreels at the movies on Saturday. You always hoped there’d be war footage after the feature—the real thing, the triumphant or desperate brassy music on the soundtrack, the stentorian voice-over, the G.I.s always moving forward against the “Japs” or the Germans, the fabulous death-dives of whining warplanes—all this action instead of just some guy talking. I didn’t know that the sounds were all applied in studios in London. Sounded real to me.

When the fighting stopped, we kept on being heroes. Our post-war arrangements with our former foes were compassionate and generous. Everybody noticed. An American could travel anywhere in the world and receive a giant welcome from people he didn’t know. That we would come to be called the Great Satan was unimaginable.

But we earned that sobriquet, and we’re earning it more and more every day. We have a great Satan running the country. Another in Britain. Another in Russia, in Brazil, in Saudi Arabia in Venezuela—everywhere—killers, torturers, incubuses and monsters, money-mad, every single one, sharing that madness like a uniform, a gang-tatt, a Mark of Cain, like an enemy you can’t shoot at.

The wretched people coming to us for protection and succor are victimized by us in their homes throughout all Latin America. We’ve set it up that way, installing regimes that guarantee our continuing profits by mass-murdering any and all who resist. Astonishingly brave people rise above the misery and try to lead, to ease suffering. We call that "Communism!" and train people in government schools in the fiendish arts of attack, torture and murder. We choose illiterate and poor men for this, to learn to suppress their own humanity and go back to their hoods in Nicaragua and Guatemala, Panama and El Salvador, to go back and do death and terror on their families and friends, on the brave who try to lead, on anyone, indiscriminately, who looks sideways, who doesn’t always look down—anyone—until the people are too brutalized, too terrorized to remain in their homes. You can’t go out for a sack of corn flour. The streets are more dangerous than our black streets. There’s robbery, rape and murder, at all hours of the day.

Then the people come here for refuge. I watched a mouse. It was a cat’s plaything. The cat intended to eat it, but it wasn’t hungry. It tossed the mouse up in the air and caught it. It swatted the mouse away and caught it again. The mouse, covered with dirt and spittle, was too shocked and dazed to run anymore. It kept creeping back to the cat for protection, for refuge, just like the people who come to our border and beg. They have no home. Their home is hell. Of our making. They come here not because they are stupid. They have no other option. We shoot them, rape them, beat them, separate them from each other and jail them.

That’s why the old people talk about old times. These days, despite our beaches and bars, our bikinis and bacchanals, are unbearable to us. Our dads and uncles performed chiropractic on the world and stood it back on its feet to be a good world. We had an official painter named Norman Rockwell who illustrated our good world and world’s fairs that demonstrated and celebrated it. There was plenty for many, enough for most, and things were getting better and better. General Motors would sell a million cars, pay good wages and post a two-percent profit. Times were good. A highly paid CEO made thirty times as much as the janitor, but the janitor’s kids were going to college, and they would get fancy jobs, too. Times were great.

When I entered the work place, America was the world’s farm, factory, science lab and doc. There were more jobs than people to fill them. You could write your own ticket. “Playboy” magazine told how corporations enticed potential employees with Jeff-Epstein blandishments.

[Y’know what? This is to be continued. There’s too much for a single installment. It’s too important. Mañana.]

(Mitch Clogg)

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WHY A DNC VICE CHAIR BAWLED ME OUT -- and Why Joe Biden Must Be Stopped

by Norman Solomon

The man quickly identified himself as a vice chair of the Democratic National Committee. He didn’t need to tell me that he was hopping mad.

Ken Martin

Ken Martin was angry that my colleagues and I were handing out a flier—providing some inconvenient facts about Joe Biden—to delegates and activists as they entered the New Hampshire Democratic Party convention on Saturday. The headline, next to Biden’s picture, quoted a statement he made last year: “I don’t think 500 billionaires are the reason why we're in trouble.”

While not flattering to the current frontrunner for the Democratic presidential nomination, the carefully documented RootsAction flier offered information that news coverage has rarely mentioned—and that party activists as well as voters overall should know.

But Martin had a very different perspective. He heatedly told me that distributing such a flier was divisive and would harm the cause of defeating Donald Trump.

I tried to assure Martin that I’m as eager to defeat Trump as anyone. At the same time, we need primaries for good reasons—including fact-based scrutiny of candidates’ records before they’re nominated. However, I found it difficult to get words in edgewise, as Martin continued to denounce the leafleting.

After a few minutes, I asked: “Do you want to have a conversation, or do you want to lecture me?” Martin’s reply came in a split-second: “I want to lecture you.” Give him credit for honesty.

A few hours later, Martin addressed thousands from the convention podium and—in more restrained tones—focused on blaming nonresponsive voters for the failures of Democratic candidates to inspire them. “In 2016 we had 10 percent of Democrats who voted for Donald Trump,” he said. “We had 53 percent of white women who voted for Donald Trump. We had a tripling of the third-party vote throughout our country. And probably most discouraging to me: as consistent Democratic base voters, people who always show up in elections, many of them didn’t show up to vote at all.”

A logical question would be: Why did many of them not show up to vote at all? But Martin wasn’t going there. Instead, he went on: “You see, Democrats, we’ve got great candidates on full display today and I can guarantee you one of them is going to be the next president of the United States. But we have to come together, we have to come together. Let’s not confuse unanimity with unity, we’re Democrats, we don’t agree on everything. But I will tell you, if we’re not unified we will not win this election. We have to come out and support whoever the Democratic candidate is.”

Martin is in major positions of power within the Democratic Party, not only at the DNC but also as chair of the party in Minnesota (the Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party) and as president of the Association of State Democratic Committees. For the bulk of the party leadership, in sync with frontrunner Biden, self-critical assessments are essentially off-limits. The boilerplate calls for “unity” serve to distract from tough-minded examination of the reasons for widespread distrust and low vote rates.

Refusals to examine the patterns of the past render many party leaders unable to recognize or acknowledge what a disaster a Biden campaign against Trump would so likely be. It’s of little use to plead for strong turnout from “Democratic base voters” after nominating a weak and uninspiring candidate.

“A core challenge for the Democratic Party will be to raise the voter participation rate while drawing presently apathetic and uninvolved nonvoters and occasional voters into the process -- largely younger people and African Americans,” the report “Autopsy: The Democratic Party in Crisis” said two years ago. The report (which I co-authored as part of a task force) pointed out that “a party doesn’t grow by simply tallying up members and scolding them into showing up.”

The specter of Joe Biden as the party’s nominee runs directly counter to what the Autopsy called for: “To flourish, the Democratic Party needs an emphatic mission and a clear moral message that excites and provides a purpose that is distinct from the otherwise cynical spectacle of politics. Inspiring programs for truly universal health care, racial justice, free public college tuition, economic security, new infrastructure, green jobs and tackling the climate crisis can do this. This is about more than just increasing voter turnout. It is about energizing as well as expanding the base of the party.”

As presidential candidates crisscross the country, only two are showing how to energize activism on a large scale while inspiring voters. That was apparent again inside the arena in New Hampshire, where Bernie Sanders (who I continue to actively support) and Elizabeth Warren delivered high-voltage progressive speeches that left others in the dust.

Biden’s mediocre speech at the New Hampshire convention on September 7 is already a historic record of a dismal candidate for president whose nomination promises to be a disaster. To pretend otherwise is hardly a service to the crucial task of defeating Donald Trump.

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WHEN YOU DISCOVER ROT in an apparently sound structure, the first question is: how far has the rot penetrated? If the rot has reached the foundation and turned it to mush, the structure is one wind-storm from collapse. How deep has the rot of corruption, fraud, abuse of power, betrayal of the public trust, blatant criminality and insiders protecting the guilty penetrated America's key public and private institutions? It's difficult to tell, as the law-enforcement and security agencies are themselves hopelessly compromised. If you doubt this, then please explain how 1) the NSA, CIA and FBI didn't know what Jeffrey Epstein was up to, and with whom; 2) Epstein was free to pursue his sexual exploitation of minors for years prior to his wrist-slap conviction and for years afterward; 3) Epstein, the highest profile and most at-risk prisoner in the nation, was left alone and the security cameras recording his cell and surroundings were "broken." If this all strikes you as evidence that America's security and law-enforcement institutions are functioning at a level that's above reproach, then 1) you're a well-paid shill who's protecting the guilty lest your own misdeeds come to light or 2) your consumption of mind-bending meds is off the charts.

— Charles Hugh Smith

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If you had asked me ten years ago what my political leanings were, or even three years ago, I would have said very left. Now I find myself bewildered by the left. I am seeing some of those leftist values turn into something really destructive as they spill into my classroom. Over the past ten years, I have seen a worrying decay of mental health in my students (I teach at an upper middle class, mostly white middle school). Anxiety and depression have been on the rise at my school as they have been at most others. Accepted “ideas” for the rise in mental issues are that students are too obsessed with technology and social media (which are both true!). But over the last two years in particular it’s like more and more of my students are feeling personally persecuted by the world. While feeling persecuted, angsty, and depressed has been a badge of honor for many a teenager in the past, lately, it’s taken on a different flavor.

Students often come into my classroom with entitlement issues (clearly learned from their parents. Teachers who do not act sufficiently servant-like can and have gotten my school sued. We have at least 1-3 absolutely preposterous lawsuits/threat of lawsuit going at any single time, and those are just the ones I hear about around the lunch table). But what the teachers at my school are seeing lately is a huge increase in what we’re calling “entitled victimhood.” I have multiple students this year bragging about how high their doses are of anti-depressants, how many times they’ve cut themselves deep enough to create scars, how dare the teacher not use their preferred pronoun again (even though said student changed the preferred pronoun, again, just the week before!). Don’t even think about requiring them to do schoolwork because they will threaten to harm themselves. In fact, I can be berated by parents and threatened with a lawsuit if I don’t let particular students listen to music through their earbuds–while I’m talking!

It used to be I could say that most students did not come in with these sorts of issues. Most students did not have parents who threatened legal action against their teachers at any misstep, most students went through the typical teenage turmoil and came out more resilient in the end. I STILL say that is true, but whereas it used to be that only 5% or less of my students/parents came in with extreme versions of the above outlined issues, that number has crept closer to 10-15% in just a couple of short years. What used to be rare is increasingly becoming the norm. This increase in number of students parallels an increase in severity of their issues. I have never had so many students try to “do something” to themselves as I have over these last two years–cutting, taking pills, actual suicide attempts.

Some of these students absolutely have real issues and need real help, but it also seems like some of these students have subconsciously internalized the left’s values of victimhood as power. The more depressed a middle schooler can prove to others he or she is, the more powerful that student becomes will be catered to by both adults and other students. I’ve actually overheard my students argue with each other over who was more depressed! (Student A: Well, I’m more depressed because I cut myself deep enough to leave scars last night. Student B: Well, I’m more depressed because I took a bottle of pills over the weekend and my parents had to take me to the ER.)

I guess my point in all this is to say that I am seeing the left’s rage and King of the Hill victimhood mentality may be contributing to actual, physically harmful outcomes for their children–right now. More of these students are learning to wield this newfound power of victimhood, wildly and indiscriminately. I would have never thought the next words would leave my mouth because I take mental health issues very seriously, but: physically harming yourself to prove how angsty and depressed you are has become trendy at my school. I daily feel like I’m being held hostage by my students over the threat of one of them harming themselves. It has been the strangest time realizing what’s been happening. I feel so sad for them knowing they will be wrestling with this toxic worldview for years to come.

(anon on-line comment)

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This Saturday, from 10:00-4:00, the 11th Annual Ukiah Valley Artist Open Studio Tour is happening! This once a year free extravaganza of sixteen artists showcases behind-the-scenes looks at some of the diverse and uniquely different art Ukiah and Redwood Valley artists create. From oil & acrylic paintings to jewelry, repurposed sculptures to watercolor, textile art to photograph, there is something for everyone to feast their eyes on.

Bring your friends and family to tour this free self-guided event, meet the artists, share some food and drink while experiencing a day full of art and creativity.

Sponsored by the Ukiah Valley Artist Coop, the artists this year include Marie Pera, Sherry Breeden, Debbie Worra, Garry Colson, Mary Monroe, Jeanne Koelle, Patti Kubran, Adele Pruitt, Jaye Moscariello, Spencer Brewer, Esther Siegel, Sharon Fenton, Cheryl Curry and her late father’s artwork Don Pagano, Jeanne Kennedy and Charles Montgomery.

For more information call 707-489-4771 or email at

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On August 25, 2019, the Washington Post published an editorial condemning Independent Vermont senator, Bernie Sanders, also a Democratic presidential candidate, for, among other things, excluding nuclear power from his version of the Green New Deal.

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“How I spent my summer vacation ignoring the inevitable.”

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DEER ARE AFRAID OF WILDCATS, wildcats are afraid of tigers, and tigers are afraid of bears. Covered with long shaggy hair and able to stand upright, bears possess exceptional strength and are quite capable of killing people. In the south of Ch'u there was once a hunter who could make all kinds of animal calls with his flute. One day he took his bow and arrows and his firepot into the mountains, and he made a call to attract deer. He waited, and when a deer appeared he started a fire, then shot the deer. But when a wildcat heard the deer call, it came too. The hunter was terrified and pretended to be a tiger to frighten it. But when the wildcat ran off, a tiger appeared. The man was even more terrified, and pretended to be a bear. The tiger ran off. But a bear heard the call, and came looking for a mate. When it saw the man it grabbed him and tore him apart and ate him.

It turns out that those who rely on external aids instead of developing what they have within themselves, invariably end up as bear food.

—Liu Tsung-Yuan, 790 CE

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It boggles the mind, so much destructive power in so few well-manicured corporate hands. You wonder how this could have been allowed to happen. For all the manly jaw-clenching of tens of millions of gun-owners purporting to defend the America, none did. What good were all those rifles? Did they defend the borders? Um. no. Wall Street ruined the country and much of the world and nobody lifted a finger, let alone fired a shot. Nor did I to my everlasting shame and disgrace. Mea fucking culpa. As for tyranny, if you don’t like the tyranny of an oppressive nation state, there’s the corporate alternative. You want to know what it’s like to live in an authoritarian regime? Go to work for any large company. It’s not like this is just so much verbal blithering, the demolition of the US economy outside of coastal enclaves is eyeball proof, eminently visually verifiable. It’s right under our nose. And it’s not like the societal consequences are unknown. The litany of calamity is right there for all to see; throngs of homeless, half of them gone nuts, a host of precariously employed and therefore unmarriageable young men, the prevalence of family break-up and of unwed motherhood and the disasters that by itself spawns. And the tens of thousands of yearly deaths by suicide, alcoholism and opium-derived drugs.

And so it’s not like the concept of “collapse” is the fantasy of dystopian writers, it’s the reality in the here-and-now. The irony, of course, is that the destroyers of the nation state themselves need that same nation state to survive. Yes, madness, gender confused and otherwise. Good way to put it. Yes, we’ve slipped a gear or two along the way. To say the least.

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PS 9/7/19 Big story in the LA Times today: "Will the NFL allow players to use marijuana? League wants Science to determine drug policy. " It should come as no surprise that NFL commissioner Roger Goodell is using "more research is needed" as a rationale for inaction. Capital-S Science is the last refuge of a Prohibitionist.

The Commissioner of the NFL is employed to serve the interests of the owners (just like the President of the United States). We know where these gentlemen are at politically because they have blacklisted Colin Kaepernick for three years, the prime of his career. The owners' mutual class interest obviously takes precedence over their separate teams' interests, which means zero tolerance for uppity workers. As NFL players demand access to marijuana — a non-opioid analgesic that might protect some against traumatic brain injury — the owners' game plan is to stall in the name of Science.

LA Times reporter David Wharton cites the 2017 National Academy of Science report as the authoritative assessment of the relevant Science. Excerpts from his piece follow:

“ It was last May that NFL executives joined with the players union to announce a series of initiatives aimed at athletes’ well-being.

“Each team must now retain a behavioral health clinician to be available for players at the training facility at least eight hours a week. Goodell said: “We’ve long been focused on mental health but this, I think, takes it to another level.”

“League and union leaders also created a joint committee to study issues involving therapy for injuries. Teams have been told to designate a pain management specialist and monitor all drugs — including opioids — prescribed to players.

“The decision to include cannabis in a study of medical alternatives generated the biggest headlines.

“A Gallup poll last fall found that 66% of respondents supported legalization. Eleven states already allow for recreational marijuana, with 33 permitting medical use. But the NFL’s chief medical officer made it clear the league will not be swayed by public sentiment…

“A 2017 study by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine stated that “conclusive evidence regarding the short- and long-term health effects — both harms and benefits — of cannabis use remains elusive.” The same goes for Cannabidiol, or CBD, which has no psychoactive effects…

“For now, the NFL has convened sessions with team physicians, athletic trainers and medical experts to discuss all aspects of the player-health initiative. The four members of the pain management committee have met once already and are scheduled to reconvene later this month.”

The piece ends with a quote from the NFL's Chief Medical Officer, Allen Sills:

“I think it’s really important that we go where the science takes us here,” Sills said last spring. “Not based on personal anecdote or opinion, but what is the medical science.”

The caption on an accompanying photo of Sills reads:

"the NFL's chief medical officer believes more research has to be done to gauge the effectiveness marijuana can have on alleviating pain."

Extra Point (Science as Marketing Prop)

When elite corporate evil-doers get exposed, their damage-control options include the purchase of dignified full-page ads in the first section of the New York Times. Full page ads from Purdue Pharma self-praising their efforts to curtail the opioid epidemic probably accounted for the Times's top source of revenue in the first quarter of 2019. Johnson & Johnson has spent big bucks this year vouchsafing their talcum powder. Justifications for Juul have abounded this summer.

The Times intermittently runs full-page ads from Bayer in response to juries finding that plaintiffs' exposure to Roundup caused non-Hodgkins lymphoma. Glyphosate, Roundup's active ingredient, has been banned in 17 countries, including Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Italy, and the Netherlands. Its use is restricted in many other countries, but it has the US Environmental Protection Agency's seal of approval.

Bayer took on Monsanto's liabilities when it paid $66 billion for the agri-chemical giant in 2016. Their defense of Roundup in the Times ad shows the extent to which the regulatory agencies serve the corporations as marketing props.

"Tested for 40 years. Approved for 40 years…Glyphosate-based herbicides, which include most Roundup products, are among the most rigorously studied products of their kind. Hundreds of studies submitted to regulators, peer-reviewed publications and ongoing review by regulatory and scientific bodies for more than 40 years support the safety of glyphosate-based products when used as labeled."

The spare text ends with a list of numerous regulatory agencies that have approved the marketing of Glyphosate.

Unmentioned, of course, is the wipe-out of the Monarch butterflies as Roundup destroys the milkweed that sustained them on their miraculous migration over the midwest. Other adverse impacts of best-selling weed killer keep coming to light.

PS 9/9/19: A full page damage-control ad in today's NY Times comes from the government of Hong Kong. "Despite recent disruptions, the fundamentals and institutional underpinning of our economy and society are strong. We remain a safe, open, welcoming and cosmopolitan society and an internationally connected, vibrant and dynamic economy."

(Fred Gardner)

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  1. Craig Stehr September 10, 2019

    In an exchange with Earth First!er (and one of the first climate justice activists) Andy Caffrey, I pointed out that it may well come to pass that in spite of all of our best efforts, there may be ecological chaos ahead. Insofar as any responsive eco-revolutionary activity, I pointed out that aside from possible small cells, there is no revolutionary group functioning in the United States. This whole idea of eco-revolution is a fantasy, even though there could very well be a whole list of disastrous problems in the near future, such as the use of nuclear weapons, financial collapse, commonplace malnutrition with millions permanently homeless, and even madness.
    The point that I made is that it is most important to identify with the Eternal Witness, and ride the mental waves and take care of the body. The mind and body are instruments for a Higher Purpose. This is the very best response to everything. There aren’t any satisfactory political solutions, and there never will be. There is no utopia anywhere. There is only rotting in the quagmire of samsara, and freeing oneself from it and identifying with the Eternal Witness.
    Of course I value the many years spent being active with Earth First!, 23 years of service with Catholic Worker, 15 times being in Washington, D.C. on the front lines of peace & justice, being part of both NYC and D.C. Occupy, and a list too numerous to detail fully of direct action groups, articles written, vigils kept, spiritual groups joined, and anything else that was sincerely lived over the past 70 years.
    On September 28th this body-mind complex will be 70 years young. I need to be out of my pal Robert Eggplant’s place in Pinole, CA on Saturday, and I have no idea whatsoever where I am going to go, or what I am specifically going to do in the future. But you know what? Rather than fend off a mental panic and start cursing postmodernism in America, I am going to identify with the Eternal Witness. Now you tell me: Did I get it right?

    Craig Louis Stehr
    September 9, 2019
    Facebook: Craig Louis Stehr

    • Shitbird September 10, 2019

      A few of the kids stated they clearly received communication from the closest being: there will be dire consequences due to misuse of technology and our impact on the environment. Twenty five years later, as adults, they all still hold to the story.

      I think reversing the degradation by our efforts are too late. We will have to focus on adaptation and drawing out new ways and a new cultural order on a canvas soon to go blank.

  2. George Hollister September 10, 2019

    Kunstler makes a good point:

    “Some people will always be smarter than others, but the disparities at issue are badly aggravated by poverty in language. We don’t even pretend to want to take the obvious steps to correct this, even though it is obviously correctable. Learning anything puts people out of their comfort zone, so that can’t be used as an excuse. Diversity in language is a handicap, and it does not make you specially abled.”

    The manor of speech elicits prejudices to all that hear. There is nothing anyone is going to do to change that reality. “Talk like a hick” and the automatic assumption is you are a hick. That is why it is so important to teach “proper English” in school. It’s essential.

  3. Lee Edmundson September 10, 2019

    I wholeheartedly agree with DA Eyster that the new County courthouse is an albatross and waste of taxpayers money. Better to renovate the existing courthouse and save many millions of dollars.

    Why we continue to feed what I call the Edifice Complex is beyond me. The state should follow the lead of local governments, rather than impose its will against the genuine needs of the people.

    County Supervisors should take a public stand stating with a loud and clear voice to Sacramento: We have greater needs for this money which can be much better spent on local programs than on brick and mortar projects that we neither want nor need.

    When democracies cannot change their minds, they cease being democracies.

    New courthouse needs re-thinking, now. Hello?

    We have greater needs for those dollars elsewhere.

    Much greater needs elsewhere in Mendocino County.

    I’m just saying…

    Similar to boondoggle thinking that closed the old Ukiah Post Office.

    • George Hollister September 10, 2019

      Lee, the money spent is other people’s money, so who cares? Nobody, really. If this was our money being spent, it would be a completely different story. That’s the simple reality of it.

  4. James Marmon September 10, 2019


    I can’t believe that Camille and her real estate friends are going to get away with using that $380,000 grant money as leverage to buy a 2 million dollar office building and then stick it to the county taxpayers to have to make good on it.

    Good job attorneys BRIAN C. CARTER and BRIAN S. MOMSEN (RCS Board of Directors) you did it again.


    • James Marmon September 10, 2019

      The grant was for Crisis Residential Treatment (CRT) only, nothing else. A three bedroom house with 6 beds would have done the job. It would have saved hundreds of thousands of dollars in hospitalization charges.

      Where’s the money Camille?


  5. Shitbird September 10, 2019

    The forced dispersal of the large encampment on Airport Blvd has had a very disturbing impact on the former residents of that site.

    Despite there having been several citizens writing out ideas here for safe ground sites (which would include waste mgmt, storage, toilets, showers, security guard, self governing cmt), this proposal of an interim solution falls on deaf ears.

    Hopefully, some young people will go out and become like the Cesar Chavez for the homeless…organize them into a recognizable entity that in turn engages in lobbying.

    Now….let us ponder now where these sites can be.

    Oh..and ignore some citizens who have hound dog genes, lol. And so called progressives who say “not in my hood”.

    • Harvey Reading September 10, 2019

      Not to mention wealthy conservatives who don’t have to say a word, because their neighborhood is hidden behind locked gates.

  6. Shitbird September 10, 2019

    Just saw a good question in comments to article below from possibly a local coast journalist that the author said they would follow up on (they asked for source of regerenced study)

    I wonder if this was followed up on?


    “Jackson Jeanne

    APRIL 5, 2016 AT 10:44 AM

    Wish I had seen this in 2015. Megan, unless I missed it, there was no mention of other ‘organs’ such as the gut. Not the stomach- but the gut..the colon. In your research did you come across widely published scientific proof where a University in California found that a percentage of school-aged children had GMO’s actually in the gut of the child…and I don’t mean in some GMO food the child had consumed, I mean actually adhered in the lining of the gut? You might want to talk with specialists in the area of colorectal surgery. Ask them if they are finding that more and more people under the age of 19 are suddenly popping up with gut problems so horrible (as in a destroyed colon- the entire colon) that the entire gut can not be treated due to the fact that by the time the ‘problem’ manifests to the point of bleeding, it is too late and the entire colon has to be removed or it will burst and kill the individual. There is no margin, no years of gut problems such as colitis or even Chrones- just a sudden need to remove a colon that looks like raw hamburger. This is ….”

    Reading the article and comments, I begin to ponder the ?: are Mendo voters misinformed or carrying incorrect notions re: GMOs. I do know that I am myself not well-informed on this.

  7. Lazarus September 10, 2019


    Time to move on… dude.
    As always,

  8. Harvey Reading September 10, 2019

    The slender girl has better legs and is overall ‘way more attractive …

  9. Harvey Reading September 10, 2019

    Hope that bill in your legislature (AB 5?) passes and puts outfits like Uber and other so-called employers who rip off their employees out of business.

    The U.S. government always lies and misleads. It’s a heritage thing, doncha know!

  10. Stephen Rosenthal September 10, 2019

    For the few of us who care, here’s a very interesting statistic that I just saw: Bruce Bochy started managing in 1995 and this, 2019, will be his final year. His record entering tonight’s game: 1995 wins, 2019 losses.

    • Harvey Reading September 11, 2019

      I neither support nor read Kunstler’s garbage.

  11. George Dorner September 11, 2019

    Bruce, Bruce, Bruce…the Willits Justice Center still houses the Willits Police Department, and still is not vacant. Can’t you find a truthful way of saying the court has left the building?

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