- Mildly Dry
- No Dumping
- Restoring Power
- Public Utility
- PG&E Performance
- Shots Exchanged
- Glean Saturday
- Brady Cop
- Predicta Princess
- Haight Before
- Big Tree
- AV Village
- Yesterday's Catch
- Library Refuge
- Homeless Realities
- Modern World
- Tough Love
- DNC Corruption
- Young Janis
- Uncomfortable History
- Spaghetti Benefit
- Mentoring Offenders
- Dead Unicorn
- Found Object
MILD AND DRY conditions are expected to continue through Tuesday, with some increasing cloud cover over the weekend. Rain probabilities are increasing between the middle and end of next week. Cool overnight lows can once again be expected Friday night. (National Weather Service)
ON THE ROAD TO MENDOCINO
PG&E PUBLIC SAFETY POWER SHUTOFF RESTORATION UPDATE 2
10/10/2019 2:45 PM
The County of Mendocino has been continually monitoring the scope of the Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E) Public Safety Power Shutoff (PSPS) event occurring in Mendocino County.
On 10-10-2019 at 2:34 PM, PG&E announced that the areas within the scope of the PSPS event in Mendocino County are “all clear” of the weather event and PG&E staff will begin assessment followed by restoration of power to any affected residents.
The exact restoration time for the specific areas/communities of Mendocino County is unknown at this time and PG&E restoration efforts will occur only during daytime hours.
Important Information From PG&E About Restoration
Before restoring power, PG&E must inspect its equipment for damage and make any necessary repairs. That process cannot begin until the severe weather event has subsided.
Given the prolonged period during which the wind event will unfold, and the large number of power line miles that will need to be inspected before restoration, customers are being asked to prepare for an extended outage.
PG&E will work with state and local agencies to provide updated restoration timelines following the conclusion of the severe weather event.
Inspection and Restoration
It’s important for all customers to have an emergency plan to be prepared for any extended outages due to extreme weather or natural disasters.
Each situation will be somewhat different, just like each day’s weather.
After the extreme weather has passed and it is safe to do so, our crews will work to visually inspect each mile of our power lines to ensure they are free from damage and safe to energize.
Inspections will take place during daylight hours and, in most cases, we would expect to be able to restore power within 24 to 48 hours after extreme weather has passed.
However, depending on weather conditions or if any repairs are needed, outages (weather event plus restoration time) could last longer than 48 hours.
For planning purposes, we suggest customers prepare for multiple-day outages.
Steps to restoration include:
Weather All Clear - After the extreme weather has passed and it’s safe to do so, our crews can go into the field to begin patrols and inspections.
Patrol and Inspect
Our crews will work to visually inspect our power lines to look for potential weather-related damage to the lines, poles and towers. This is done by vehicle, foot and air.
Visual inspections are necessary since circuit breakers, reclosing devices and fuses that are typically used to help detect any potential damage from a weather event like a winter storm are also de-energized during a Public Safety Power Shutoff for safety reasons.
There are many challenges we face during inspections:
Some locations require workers to travel on narrow access roads. In locations with no vehicle access, crews might need to hike in remote and mountainous areas to inspect equipment.
At night, we can’t fly helicopters for visual inspections.
Isolate and Repair Damaged Equipment
Where equipment damage is found, crews will work to isolate the damaged area from the rest of the system so other parts of the system can be restored.
Where equipment damage is found, crews work safely and as quickly as possible to make repairs.
Once the poles, towers and lines are deemed safe to energize, a call is made to the PG&E Control Center to complete the energization process.
Power is then restored to customers.
Customers are notified that power has been restored.
For more information, please contact the Executive Office at 707-463-4441. The County of Mendocino anticipates being open to serve our constituents for the duration of this event.
GOV. NEWSOM: “They have an enormous amount of work to do to I think differentiate their leadership from the past, and be more proactively concerned not just about public safety, but the public interest more broadly, and not just the shareholders’ interest.”
THE WIND THAT DIDN’T BLOW
"It had the potential to be a very strong wind event, but 2017 was a very special event," said Brian Garcia, a forecaster with the National Weather Service office in Monterey. "This is the strongest fire season wind event that we've seen since the 2017 fires and when I say fire season we're talking the fuels are all dried out, the relative humidities are low and the winds are high, and so it's the trifecta of those things coming together that creates this high fire danger. But no, this event wasn't more severe than 2017 and we didn't forecast that." Jan Null, a consulting meteorologist with Golden Gate Weather Services, added, "If you cherry pick the spots, it might look equivalent to 2017, but if you look at the wind speeds in the valleys, it looks like a lot less." PG&E is standing behind its decision to shut off power and says the weather is presenting critical fire conditions.
ROUGH ESTIMATE of cost of the NorCal outage is pegged at a cool billion by the SF Chron.
GIVEN THE ANGER AT PG&E, there may at last be real movement to make it a genuine public utility rather than the profit-driven mess it is.
NOTHING FLAMMABLE happened in Mendo Tuesday into Wednesday into Thursday other than mass confusion at the often contradictory information raining down on the Northcoast via PG&E. The County's info flow was reliable if hours behind events. MSP was consistently on the ball with timely, accurate updates. Didn't hear KZYX but was told they were accurate. There was mild panic in Ukiah as people crowded stores for last minute supplies. Ditto for filling stations in Willits, Ukiah and Fort Bragg.
PG&E DOESN’T HELP THEMSELVES by trotting out ill-informed, evasive PR people who conspicuously avoid giving direct answers while mouthing empty canned phrases like “we understand,” “we appreciate,” “we know it’s frustrating,” “safety, safety, safety is important to us.” Followed by “we can’t say exactly when…” “Our people are closely monitoring…” “We take lots of factors into account…” “We have our own assessments…” Etc.
But that’s what they’ve been doing with all their public appearances and statements in Bay Area media. It is consistent with the statements made previously by their rep who made the two presentations to Mendo’s Board of Supervisors.
Yes, there were some gusty winds on a few hilltops in the East Bay. Yes, there was a real fire danger. But the maps of the outages that PG&E put forward looked more like the scribblings of a five year old with a crude map doing a kindergarten art project. What rhyme or reason process could have produced such diagrams? Out here, or across the street… out a couple blocks over… PG&E certainly made no attempt to explain.
PG&E also compounded the problem by starting the shut down too soon in some areas, by issuing statements that they later withdrew, by not being clear about areas that would NOT be shut off, by dodging questions about the large monetary damages that people and businesses are clearly suffering, by not offering to do any more than “help identify” people with medical issues, by trying to minimize the impact by counting “customers” affected instead of people affected, by having their lousy website crash due to the high number of “customers” trying to get info. And on and on.
Which brings us to some cynical speculation.
Was the hazard/risk exaggerated in terms of the area or the weather/wind for some reason?
Was PG&E punishing the public for blaming PG&E for fires that they don’t feel responsible for?
Was this more of a dry-run than an actual safety issue?
Was PG&E afraid that the fire season might pass without a shutoff so all their bogus “planning” and public posturing about “safety” shutoffs would go for nothing?
It will be interesting to see if the CPUC, the press, a whistleblower or some clever lawyers can find a way to get to the bottom of what was really behind PG&E’s crude attempt to make the public “safe.”
For now, whatever remained of PG&E’s credibility seems to have taken yet another hit.
MAN FIRES 50-CALIBER SEMI-AUTOMATIC HANDGUN AT MENDOCINO COUNTY DEPUTIES
A 26-year-old man fired a .50-caliber semi-automatic handgun — the highest caliber handgun available — at three Mendocino County sheriff’s deputies Thursday afternoon in Redwood Valley.
CHANGE - GLEANING AT BLUE MEADOW FARM WILL BE THIS SATURDAY
Help us take out the summer field and bring your produce home! Severe frost last night ended our season abruptly, but the last tomatoes, peppers, eggplant and pumpkins can be harvested now, so we’re changing our gleaning to THIS Saturday, October 12, 9:00 AM -on.
Pam Laird, email@example.com
SCHOONER HEADING OUT the Golden Gate passing Fort Point and US Army Presidio above ~ 1915
NOT GETTING IT (Willits Police Chief Warnock Doesn’t Convince DA Eyster)
Dear Mr. District Attorney,
Thank you for your correspondence of September 6, 2019. I have carefully reviewed the letter with our city attorney regarding its contents and would like to respond.
At the very beginning I would like to say that I completely understand and am in agreement with your position on being able to review with us any potential "Brady" issues when/before we hire sworn personnel. In all honesty and for the reasons I will outline below in more detail, I truly did not believe Officer Jones had such an issue, otherwise I would absolutely have consulted with your office before hiring him. I assure you that in the future this issue will never come up again. I recognize that whether an officer is on a "Brady List" is a matter fully within your discretion and I respect that this difficult determination is within your area of expertise and authority.
As you know, peace officers have to go through rigorous background investigations including medical and psychological testing. Although not required by law, most law enforcement agencies also conduct detection of deception examinations (polygraphs or computerized voice stress analysis). Willits Police Department is no exception.
The Willis Police Department has rigorous standards in hiring because honesty and credibility is an essential trait for a police officer. As you well know, but what probably most people do not, is that the majority of applicants for police officer positions do not get hired because of prior instances in their lives that show a lack of integrity and honesty. In the past, any applicants we were considering for hire that I thought could have had "Brady" issues, I have brought to your office for evaluation and have appreciated that you are able to vet these applications for us.
The honest reason that I did not discuss the hiring of Officer Jones was because I did not feel that he had a Brady issue because of the totality of the circumstances of his personnel records and because of the underlying details of his case that I will outline below that may not have been apparent from his bare record. Mr. Jones as you'll see has a somewhat unusual case. If I had been in any doubt I would have vetted him through your office before hiring them. Now, that I fully understand your position, going forward I will contact your office if there is any question whatsoever.
Here are the facts that I considered before hiring Officer Jones:
Through our investigatory process I found out that he had worked for Eureka Police Department for over a year and a half and was taken off his probationary period of one year because he was considered a good and competent officer. Further reports of his work substantiated his good employment history.
On May 25, 2018 he was sent to a call in which a dog had been killed. While on that call he had to break away to go to another call of a man with a gun. Later that day his sergeant in passing asked about the call. Jones described the wound to the deceased dog is looking like it was made by a BB or pellet gun. The sergeant asked him if he took photos. Jones thinking that he did told the sergeant that he had. The next day he tried to find the photos in his assigned camera and on his cell phone. He couldn't find them and said that he realized he had not taken photos as he had thought. Immediately realizing that he did not take those photos he told a field training officer and the original sergeant that he was mistaken and hadn't taken any photos. Jones said the sergeant said okay and did not chastise him or rebuke him in any way.
Or about June 19, 2018 Johnson submitted his paperwork to Willits Police Department to start his background in the hiring process. He said he wanted to work for the Willits police department because he and his wife are from Willits and he wanted to return and serve his hometown community. Within a week of turning his background paperwork over to me he advised his captain at Eureka Police Department that he applied at Willits Police Department. Jones told me that the captain was visibly disappointed.
On July 10, 2018, about six weeks after the deceased dog call, his sergeant submitted a "letter of concern" to the chief about the photo statements by Jones. An internal affairs investigation was started regarding "alleged dishonesty" to cover up inadequate work. Jones told me he was upset because he was being truthful about the incident. He also told me that he thought about quitting. I told him that if he quit before the Internal investigation was completed I would not even consider hiring him. He can document that he had to rush from the dog call to a "man with a gun" call.
WPD's contract background investigator conducted a background check which included reviewing Jones's personnel file, his previous background investigation file at the PD, and interviewing his coworkers. Because the IA was not completed, our investigator was appropriately not allowed to review any of that information at that time.
The IAs were eventually completed and the dishonesty issue was determined by a captain at Eureka Police Department to be "sustained." Jones told was told he would receive days off without pay as a penalty and had a "Skelly hearing" which is the obligatory administrative hearing that every public employee gets, usually with his boss (in this case the chief) to contest the penalty. The chief upheld the penalty. Officer Jones did not however appeal the IA and his legal counsel did not notify him thay this was an issue that could be considered a "Brady" issue that could affect his career. At that time he was frustrated and just wanted to leave and work for the city of Willits. According to Jones if he had had any idea that anyone would have considered this a potential "Brady" issue he would have fought it. There are other mitigating factors for Officer Jones that I'm not comfortable putting in a public document that I would like to share with you in person and work with you on how to deal with.
During the IA investigation Jones was placed on desk duty where he took reports from people who came into the police station to report crimes. After he received his penalty of days off without pay he was returned to full duty as a police officer and not put on a Brady list. The Chief of police told Jones that this incident would not be a career ender and they were giving him a second chance. This is another reason it did not occur to him to contest the IA finding.
In April of 2019 I spoke to a Eureka Police Department Captain. He told me he was concerned that we were going to hire Jones away from them and that he considered Jones a good officer. I told him we had conducted Jones’s background but hadn't decided whether we were going to hire him yet. The captain also told me that the Humboldt County DA had reviewed the IAs against Jones and determined that there were no issues.
After being placed back on full duty he put in his two week notice as he no longer wanted to work for the Eureka Police department. I told him before he put in his notice that there were no guarantees that the Willits Department would hire him. He said he understood.
As part of completing the background investigation Jones had to take a preemployment polygraph examination. During that examination I directed that he be asked on the polygraph if he told the complete truth during his IA investigations. He answered "yes" and passed the polygraph.
I also considered that there was no proof and no admission by Jones that he had been dishonest. The lying determination was the opinion of one person at the Eureka Police Department who was backed up by the Chief. Jones says he was never untruthful and merely made a mistake. Since there was no proof of dishonesty and considering the totality of all the information we had, I believed there was no issue, Brady or otherwise.
Being placed on a "Brady list" has, as I know you appreciate, been incredibly stressful for this young man. I have gotten to know Officer Jones and his family and find him to be a kind, diligent and hard-working officer who has the protection of the people of the city of Willits deeply in his heart. He is a devoted family man with many community ties who have risen up to support him. Also Jones is the kind of officer that we seek for our community and I feel that his difficulties have been caused by my failures and not bringing all these issues to your attention. I would honestly hate to think that my mistake and this incident, one of mistakenly not taking a picture of a deceased dog, in the course of being called away to an urgent call of "man with a gun," would destroy his career.
I would sincerely like to apologize for not coming to you first before hiring Officer Jones. This is something I will always do in the future.
I would like to take this opportunity to ask you to meet with me and Officer Jones to discuss the situation in light of the totality of the circumstances and also come to an understanding on what I can do to make sure that the Willits Polie department and the Mendocino County District Attorney's Office can work as a cohesive team here in Mendocino County.
Scott Warnock, Chief of Police
Dear Chief Warnock:
I have now read your letter dated October 2 of 2019 in which you attempt to explain away your past Brady disclosure failures as those failures relate to Jacob Jones. Candidly, if you and your attorney felt so strong the need to write a response letter, the two of you should have stopped after the second paragraph on page 1. I have also read Mr. Jones's facebook post, picked up and republished by the Anderson Valley Advertiser in which Mr. Jones attempts to put a positive spin for the wider Willits and Mendocino County communities on his Brady misconduct. In response to both your letter and Mr. Jones' posts, all I will say in summary is that the two of you just don't get it.
In the context of Brady vs Maryland, it doesn't matter whether a Brady cop has a supportive family, that he grew up in a particular community, that he has friends who like him, that his fifth-grade teacher thought he was kind, that his past or present coworkers think he's a good guy, that he may be a good husband, father or neighbor, or that his law-enforcement boss believes him over sustained findings of dishonesty and cover-up found to be true by his prior law enforcement employer. It doesn't matter what the Brady cops defense attorney did or did not tell him. It doesn't matter that he chose for whatever reason not to appeal the adverse findings to clear his name.
What does matter is that after a thorough investigation by the Eureka Police Department the EPD chief of police upheld the investigatory findings that Mr. Jones had knowingly been untruthful and knowingly made false statements. What matters is that after a thorough investigation, the Chief upheld investigatory findings that Mr. Jones had attempted to conceal defective or incompetent work in at least two separate circumstances. What matters is that after a thorough investigation, the Chief upheld investigatory findings that Mr. Jones failed to accurately document his use of force. What does matter is that he was given an opportunity to defend himself against serious allegations that were obvious acts of Brady misconduct and he lost in that effort.
Your expression of concern that Mr. Jones’s designation may have been caused by your failures as the hiring authority is further indication to me that you continue to not fully appreciate nor understand the Brady mandates and your Brady obligations. Any Brady taint on Mr. Jones was brought about by his misconduct while working to the north, not by anything that has happened in Willits. However, the latest attempts by both you privately and by Mr. Jones publicly to cast the underlying facts in Eureka necessarily tied to some of the EPD findings as inconsequential, demonstrate to me ongoing poor legal judgment by both you and Mr. Jones.
I previously exercised my own independent professional judgment after considering all the Eureka materials. I now have re-read your letter and Mr. Jones’s community explanation. Other than to create greater urgency and to reinforce my belief that my staff and I must keep a close eye on your hiring practices and legal judgment, nothing has changed. I have designated Mr. Jones as a Brady cop and that designation shall remain. There is nothing more that needs to be discussed.
That said, I am not telling you what you should do with Mr. Jones. I am simply telling you that Mr. Jones cannot and will not be used as a witness in any criminal proceedings filed in Mendocino County. If you choose to allow him to be placed in position where he becomes a necessary and material law enforcement witness in a criminal matter, you should also be ready to explain to victims, witnesses and others why that case will not be or was not prosecuted.
It is now past the time to move on. I will not be spending any additional District Attorney resources on this Brady designation and the reasons for it.
C. David Eyster, District Attorney, Mendocino County
PREDICTA ‘PRINCESS’ TELEVISION, 1959
Designed by Severin Jonassen and Richard Whipple, manufactured by Philco
“This 17-inch Philco Predicta Princess is a tabletop television. The screen sits atop a case of perforated metal, which makes the set particularly compact and lightweight. This move towards portability marked a change in American living room culture—from the television as a family’s central gathering point toward a more individual interaction. As its name suggests, these models were marketed toward women, particularly for the homemaker who could adjust the position of her television while doing housework. The Predicta Princess is an example of the trend to specifically target the female consumer through product design in the late 1950s and 1960s.“
HAIGHT BEFORE THE LOVERS MOVED IN
by Dave McCain
I lived in the Haight because it was a cheap, lower middle-class neighborhood, and a step above the Tenderloin. In 1963 it was a working-class neighborhood with a grocery store, hardware store, magazine store (yes there used to be many more than now), a couple of tailoring shops that did alterations, our own newspaper, The Haight Ashbury Independent, much like your own but with more advertising, a few columns, and local BS board news.
At the Haight hardware store I met Willie Brown my one and only time. He had on black rim glasses, a continental to the bone suit, like he was some earnest colored man interviewing for an accountant position. He was running for the first time for State assembly and Haight was in that district. He had a taste of the dandy in him. I think only Wilks Bashford saved him from buying a walking suit. I voted for him.
The Haight had a piroshky shop that catered to the White Russian colony and the Orthodox Church, a West Indian place, Connies. It was like a village set in a city, like the Mission District used to be and parts of the Richmond that still are. The city was like the main court and the neighborhoods its principalities.
And then, of course, there were the bars: the Golden Cane Cocktail lounge, a dyke bar with motorcycle bitches clinging to the BullDyke of the month, who, it was rumored, shot animal testosterone in those pre-storied days. The gay guys hung out at the Golden Cask near the panhandle and used the bowling alley as a pickup spot. The Haight Theater showed cheap movies weekdays and drag shows on weekends. All us poor students and yes, most were poor in those pre-student loan days, would gather at the magazine store on Saturday night and watch the drag queens roll in from the Castro. Our favorite was the three pink Cadillac convertible stuffed with pink poodles, yapping hysterically, badly shaven transes in prom dresses, ill fitting wigs and preposterous protuberances for breasts that had a distinct torpedo shape aimed wildly at any destroyer in sight. From our site out of the sight, the street cats catcalled, laughed and cheered them on to rehearsal. The only straight bar was Romeo’s, which, in grand SF tradition, opened at 6am. The hard-core alky crowd would already be lined up for first call. Some neighborhood bars lasted until the dope arrived which followed the gay culture and then came the Hells Angels, the mob with heroine, the bikers with meth, the hippies with acid and weed.
I lived there in 1962, 1963 and 1964. I lived on the corner of Haight and Ashbury in 1962, then on Beulah off Stanyan, then Fredericks, and finally Waller. I got locked out in a strike for pension benefits and couldn't make enough to get back to school so I dropped out after my junior year and took myself and my tools back to the Central Valley, Modesto, and went to work on the California Aqueduct for two years.
It was known then as it is now as Brown's folly. Seems old Pat and his family had a lot of cheap real estate land in the LA basin that couldn't be developed without water. I lasted two years of grinding labor, travel, exhaustion, heat strokes for my fellow workers of which four died and two were left mentally impaired. Two of them I watched it happen: delirium, no sweat, the gasping and the quiet. I rode that ditch from the Tracy pumping station to the O’Neil forbay. I got my first child out of it and enough money to finish my senior year. I hope Jerry "The Kid" enjoyed wealth. He didn't fall far from the tree as his latest attempt to grab water proves; that's the trouble with the rich: you give them a drink and they go to stealing so they can drink more. When Jerry left the seminary and became Guv Moonbeam with the blue Plymouth, I knew he was playing at being poor. He still hasn't figured out how bad it pisses off the real working poor. I quit the canal in 1968 and went back to school, into the dramas of delusional movements. I graduated in 1969, the year of the riots. But that is yet another story.
A good historian could find all the lunacy of American culture in the decade of the Haight. From working-class to yuppie ass, with a few revolutions tossed into one lifetime. I saw early what dope could do. I left the Haight with its runaways hanging onto parking meters weeping hysterically, friends committing suicide from bad trips, independent dealers thrown off a cliff in Bolinas with a grand in their wallets and holes in their heads. But I prefer to remember it as one of the few integrated places in San Francisco where we could sit out on the stoops and shop at night without fear. The Haight couldn't outlast the love that got imposed onto it. It was proof of the butterfly effect: tie-dye one t-shirt and all hell breaks loose.
THIS IS HOW BIG A REDWOOD IS
AV VILLAGE UPCOMING EVENTS AND BEYOND
There are some great upcoming AV Village & related events this month:
This Sunday's (Oct 13th) gathering "What’s for Dinner? Nutritional Health as we Age" 4 to 5:30 pm at Lauren's will feature 2 local speakers on food and nutrition related topics: Deborah Kanani of Comptche will talk about her meal delivery service and bring samples to share. And Rachel Williams, a Holistic Health Practitioner, will talk about our changing nutritional health need as we age. Refreshments provided!
Honoring Elders Day, Commemorate the past, Innovate the future is Saturday, October 26, 2019 from 9:30 AM to noon This is a free event brought to you by the City of Ten Thousand Buddhas and put on by the Instilling Goodness Developing Virtue Schools. 2001 Talmage Road, Ukiah. Contact Info: For further information or to make reservations call: 707-468-3896 or 707-462-0939 Also, sign up at the AV Senior Center to ride the senior bus or carpool over 707.895.3609
Our next Book Conversation is Wednesday Oct 30 at 11:00am at Lauren’s. The current book is “Enlightenment Now - The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress” by Steven Pinker. Because it is a dense book we are going to focus on the first 6 chapters as a starting point and see if people then want to go on and finish the book. For the Book Conversations we’re going to try for the last Weds of the month as a regular date, stay tuned. Contact Lauren for questions firstname.lastname@example.org
Coming the 3rd week of October (and running until the beginning of Feb 2020): Mind Body Relaxation Community Group with AV Village Member and Volunteer Lucinda Walker, MSW/ILS. This is a technique that is very basic. The emphasis is not on meditation but on overall relaxation to assist our overall health. After a few months of attendance you should be able to apply this technique in your own living room, car, or anywhere, anytime you feel you need to unwind your body and quiet your mind. (full description in the newsletter)
Please contact Lucinda ASAP to sign up or for more information: email@example.com
CATCH OF THE DAY, OCTOBER 10, 2019
MARSHALL COLLINS III, Manchester. Probation revocation.
RYAN DICKERSON, Fort Bragg. Disobeying court order, failure to appear.
CARLI FABIAN, Calpella. Unlawful display of registration, suspended license, failure to appear.
JOSE GONZALEZ-BARRAGAN, Gualala. Failure to appear, probation revocation.
RANDY PIKE JR., Ukiah. Suspended license (for DUI), parole violation.
ALEXANDER POULIDES, Willits. Failure to appear, probation revocation.
ANTIONE WEBB, Sonoma/Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-alcohol.
AS THE WELFARE STATE DECAYS, PUBLIC LIBRARIES BECOMES SITES OF SOCIAL TRAUMA
With no commons anymore, many homeless and struggling people find refuge at public libraries
FINALLY, REALITY CHECK ON HOMELESSNESS
I've been writing about homelessness in San Francisco for 15 years. Then-Supervisor Newsom's Care Not Cash was passed in 2002 by city voters who wanted something done about the city's growing homeless problem. (Oddly, the city's left has a history of getting the issue wrong, characterizing Care Not Cash as an attack on the homeless!)
That Newsom, unlike city "progressives," was serious about doing something about homelessness led to his election as mayor in 2003.
The city's left operated on the assumption that the homeless were simply poor people who couldn't afford the rent in pricey San Francisco, which was at best a half-truth. For anyone who took a look, many of the homeless clearly had substance abuse and/or emotional issues.
San Francisco is finally assuming that's the reality, that housing is not the only issue that has to be dealt with: Breed pushes expansion of mandated SF mental health treatment.
Another delusion fostered by the left: that the homeless were mostly long-time city residents who are down on their luck: Are the city's homeless really "San Franciscans"?
Of course that doesn't really matter, since no matter how long the homeless have been here, we have to get them off the street. But it's just another layer of bullshit obscuring the reality, that soon-to-be homeless people keep arriving in the city, which highlights the ultimate reality: homelessness and housing is a national issue that can't be solved by one city. All we can do is mitigate its impact with humane and realistic policies.
(Rob Anderson, District 5 Diary)
UKIAH, FORT BRAGG DITTO
Drugs and homelessness
We have no say in what is going on. I sit in dismay as a 51-year resident at what has happened to our city [Santa Rosa].
We are being fed that the homeless problem is solely due to affordable housing. If you look around at the hypodermic needles strewn about on city streets, trails and parks, you will discover what the real issue is. Our parks, trails and creeks are unusable. There is debris and human waste everywhere. It is disgusting.
We need to put a stop to this now. Ask any drug counselor and they will tell you the only thing that will help an addict is tough love. I believe we are enabling people to keep them from hitting bottom so they realize they need help. We need our police to stop the illegal drug flow they are getting.
I believe that the citizens in our community are all on board with wanting to help the underemployed get housing and, of course, to work with the mentally ill. I think we draw the line at enabling drug addicts.
BERNIE SANDERS IS SPOILING FOR A FIGHT WITH THE DNC
by Meaghan Day
With his new campaign finance reform plan, Sanders takes aim at Democratic Party kingmakers and their lobbyist friends. In a crowded field, this audacity sets him apart.
A few weeks ago, two Democratic Party officials toured K Street shops to explain how lobbyists can donate to the 2020 Democratic Party convention in Milwaukee. Politico obtained documents showing that, for example, $300,000 gets you VIP credentials and glitzy skyboxes towering above the convention floor.
In 2016, seventeen donors ponied up three-quarters of the Democratic National Convention’s funding, with many corporate sponsors (including Facebook, Bank of America, and Comcast) donating over $1 million apiece. More than a few of those donors also shelled out for the Republican National Convention, sending a clear message: whoever wins, we expect our interests to be represented going forward. Otherwise, you can kiss our money goodbye.
Today, Bernie Sanders threw down the gauntlet on corporate sponsorship of the convention. He released a multipoint plan to get corporate money out of politics. Its very first stipulation: “As the Democratic nominee, Bernie will ban corporate contributions to the Democratic Party Convention and all related committees.”
If Sanders is set to clinch the nomination heading into the convention, he will have increased — which is not to say total, given the forces arrayed against him — leverage over the party. His new statement indicates that he plans on using that influence to shape the nature of the convention itself, striving to create what his national policy director Josh Orton called “a people-powered convention,” instead of a spectacle literally watched over by the megarich and their lackeys.
The DNC, for its part, is adamant that it will not return the money it has raised from lobbyists and corporate PACs, nor break its promises of exclusive access and credentials in exchange for cash. If Sanders were the frontrunner, the result would be a tug-of-war between the nominee and the establishment apparatus over the role of corporate interests at the convention. With this proposal, Sanders shows that he’s spoiling for that fight.
If corporate money and influence in the Democratic Party makes your blood boil, then you had better hope for a strong Sanders showing in the primaries, because no other candidate is planning to mount this kind of challenge.
Elizabeth Warren is often mentioned in the same breath as Sanders due to her progressive platform (which echoes but tends to stop short of Sanders’s own) and her temporary abstention from the top-dollar donor circuit (another page taken from the Sanders playbook). However, Warren has also been hard at work assuring the Democratic Party establishment that she doesn’t plan to ruffle feathers. Given that she’s been cozying up to Hillary Clinton on the campaign trail, that she hired a top money bundler with a fat Rolodex as her campaign treasurer, and that she has announced her intention to drop her big-money ban in the general election, there’s no indication that Warren is planning on getting crossways with party kingmakers over the issue of corporate donations.
Warren’s justification for turning to corporate donors if she wins the primary is that she opposes “unilateral disarmament” against the Republican Party. This same phrase was used to justify Barack Obama’s 2008 pivot to corporate fundraising, too, and we all know how that worked out. Sanders has a different philosophy: he believes that the best way to beat Donald Trump in the short term and reactionary conservatism in the long term is to inspire millions of otherwise disengaged working-class people to participate in the political process. The best way to do that is to show people that politics doesn’t have to be rigged against them — and to fight against the rigging.
Beltway pundits and operatives may consider abandoning the usual fundraising strategies insane and self-defeating, but they’ve already been proven wrong. Bernie Sanders consistently raises the most money of anyone in the Democratic Party primary field, and he does so with far and away the most individual donors (Sanders has convinced over one million people to donate to his campaign; Warren’s number is about half of that).
For Sanders, putting an end to business as usual is not just a commitment he holds as he pursues victory; it’s the path to victory itself. His warning shot to the DNC shows he’s not planning to back down. And if he goes into the convention on good footing, we can expect fireworks.
ON LINE COMMENT OF THE DAY
You could have a TV show called “The Uncomfortable History Channel”.
Rather than those Ken Burn’s feel-good series about the US Civil War and the Vietnam War funded by the Koch Brothers that give the impression that we had the best of intentions, but it just didn’t work out, you could you could tell the horrible, uncomfortable, unvarnished truth. It could be hosted by the Joker who has to put on a mask to tell the Truth.
“This historical event, the firing on Fort Sumter, happened, and then it created a power vacuum and it all just quickly unraveled because of political expediency as everyone levered for self-advantage to further their careers and to line their pockets. And, thus, the slaves were “Freed”, and then they were not, or sort of pseudo-Free.”
SPAGHETTI DINNER SATURDAY WHITESBORO GRANGE BENEFIT FOR ALBION-LITTLE RIVER FIRE DEPARTMENT
A traditional spaghetti dinner will be served this Saturday, October 12, from 4-7 at the Whitesboro Grange. Proceeds will go to the Albion-Little River Fire Department. Bob Canclini will be serving his famous spaghetti sauce (meat and vegi), garlic bread, salad, and beverage (coffee, tea, soda) all included for $8 adults, $4 ages 6-12, and under 6 eat free.
I wish you all a wonderful Halloween and holiday season.
I have been accepted into the offender mentor certification program (OMCP) to become trained to be a certified alcohol and drug counselor. We actually receive topline elite training from some of the best counselors, psychologists, trauma specialists (from the military) and others in the field from around the country. It's kind of crazy when I think about the contrast between my life 10, 20 or even five years ago and now. I still have LWOP, but I have high hopes that I will be paroled in the next couple of years.
If anyone is interested in learning more about OMCP, I recommend you check out the CDCR website devoted to this topic. It is very informative and thorough.
Love, respect and bright blessings — take care,
THE NBA IS ONLY ‘WOKE’ WHEN IT’S PROFITABLE
by Dave Zirin
Not since Dwight Howard dared put the words “Free Palestine” on his social media in 2014 has there been such an uproar in the NBA over a tweet. This time the online transgression was committed by Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey, who tweeted—and then quickly deleted—an image captioned: “Fight For Freedom. Stand With Hong Kong.”
This modest tweet in support of demonstrators and strikers being shot in the streets was too much for China, a multibillion-dollar business partner of the NBA. Their autocratic compadres were furious, and the league backpedaled like a young Carmelo Anthony.
The ensuing response from Houston Rockets franchise owner (and Donald Trump backer) Tilman Fertitta and the NBA towards Morey has been a manic display of corporate cowardice, the equivalent of a parent screaming at a toddler in a restaurant that they are “making a scene.” After several state-run corporations announced that they would be suspending business with the Rockets, the NBA issued statements in English and Chinese. The English statement said “we recognize that the views expressed by Houston Rockets General Manager Daryl Morey have deeply offended many of our friends and fans in China, which is regrettable.”
The Chinese-language version was different, and it twisted the knife, saying: “We are extremely disappointed in the inappropriate remarks made by Houston Rockets General Manager Daryl Morey.” Fertitta who thinks nothing of being political when he fulsomely praises Trump, blasted Morey, tweeting, “Listen….@dmorey does NOT speak for the @HoustonRockets….we are NOT a political organization.”
The league also made Morey crawl through glass on his own Twitter account, where he said, “I did not intend my tweet to cause any offense to Rockets fans and friends of mine in China. I was merely voicing one thought, based on one interpretation, of one complicated event. I have had a lot of opportunity since that tweet to hear and consider other perspectives.”
Rockets star player James Harden piled on even more, expressing even more regret for his GM, saying, “‘We apologize. You know, we love China. We love playing there. For both of us individually, we go there once or twice a year. They show us the most important love.” Harden did not specify what “the most important love” happens to be, but it doesn’t take Goldman Sachs to tell us how that “important love” is measured.
Then there was Brooklyn Nets and Chinese billionaire franchise owner Joseph Tsai, who wrote a rather outrageous 748-word evisceration of Morey on Facebook. Tsai’s argument was that Morey’s fleeting support for the demonstrators in Hong Kong was an act of profound cultural ignorance and insensitivity about the effect his tweet has on the “Chinese psyche” because of the legacy of the Opium Wars of the 19th century. He also said without evidence that the 1.4 billion Chinese stood united against Hong Kong independence and presumably against Morey and his boorish yammerings about freedom.
The NBA, which likes to market itself as a progressive league, is demonstrating the difference between “woke consciousness” and “woke marketing.” This entire debacle undercuts its desired reputation as a supporter of progressive values—especially if Morey becomes collateral damage. As Bleacher Report NBA writer Howard Beck tweeted, “I understand financial/political realities at work here. But Morey was simply advocating for civil/humanitarian rights—the same values the NBA regularly espouses and purportedly stands for. If the league allows a team official to be fired for doing so, it undermines it all.”
The reality of course is that the freethinking “woke” NBA sides with their multibillion-dollar business partners over demonstrators’ being gunned down in Hong Kong. NBA teams may decline to visit Donald Trump’s White House, but they are standing with Trump when it comes to their disregard of Hong King’s freedom fighters.
The most stomach-turning part of this is seeing authoritarian Trumpists like Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio dragging the NBA for not supporting the Hong Kong protests. They must be absent of the shame gene, considering that their own president may have decided to ignore the demonstrations in return for political dirt on his opponents. There’s also the uncomfortable thought that if there were similar demonstrations in the United States, they would be the people calling for protesters and strikers to be shot.
The latest effort to finesse this comes directly from NBA Commissioner Adam Silver himself, who in a carefully worded statement said yesterday,
“We are not apologizing for Daryl exercising his freedom of expression. I regret—again, having communicated directly with many friends in China—that so many people are upset, including millions and millions of our fans. At the end of the day, we come with basketball as an opportunity to sell dreams, sell hopes.… that we are causing disruption in people’s lives and that we are causing disharmony, that’s something I regret.”
In response to Silver’s stopping short of full condemnation of Morey, Chinese State TV CCTV announced that it would stop broadcasting NBA games, stating, “We are strongly dissatisfied and we oppose Silver’s claim to support Morey’s right to free expression.”
To get a perspective on this, I reached out to Kevin Lin, a labor activist and researcher on China’s labor movement, who has written about the Hong Kong protests.
He said, “This has been a familiar pattern over many years. A company or an executive deliberately or unwittingly touched on a politically sensitive issue in China, be it Taiwan, Tibet or in the present case Hong Kong, leading to a public backlash and government pressure in China on the company to retract and apologize, or face commercial sanctions…. Over the last decade and half, the NBA League, teams, individuals players and sports brands have taken advantage of the popularity of the sports in China to earn billions of dollars through broadcasting rights, events, merchandise and sponsorship contracts signed between NBA players and Chinese brands. The goodwill that the NBA has shown to China, however, has proved to be exactly commercial in nature, if even individuals might hold progressive dissenting views.”
Lin also makes plain the dreary truth: “In the end, this is a classic cynical exercise of the capitalist class getting up in arms to discipline one of their own—a fairly disposable general manager as opposed to an owner—for letting a human rights concern get in the way of lucrative profit, while the political class exploits the opportunity for posturing even though they would have no qualm condemning and crushing a similar mass protest in the US. It has only become so much more intense because of the capitalist development in China has created a consumer market no business can ignore and a government with more coercive capacity, and because US-China rivalry has made any such incident so much more explosive.”
Lin adds, “For progressives, what deserves our foremost support are the citizens and workers in Hong Kong mobilizing.… It is their protests, mass demonstrations and a general strike headed by the Cathay Pacific union for which its employees faced retaliation that offer the best hope.”
The league will never side with a general strike in Hong Kong when business with China hangs in the balance. But NBA players should stand with the workers in Hong Kong instead of trying, like James Harden, to capitalize on China’s “most important love.” The league has shown which side it is on. The players, so outspoken on so many issues, should be unafraid once more and side with people instead of the league’s own bottom-line interests.
IS FLOW KANA A DEAD UNICORN?
Today's headline: Marijuana's "Big Four" Lost Nearly $14 Billion in Value During the Third Quarter
So Flow Kana is learning what every other "unicorn" already knows -- the narrative that had driven start-up hype and valuations for the last decade is now falling apart.
For the last decade, young companies with a hot new pitch, like Flow Kana's "value chain", in hot new industries, like cannabis, were fueled by a wave of venture capital-funded excess, which, in turn, encouraged fast growth above all else.
But now some investors and start-ups are beginning to rethink that mantra and instead invoke turning a profit and generating “positive unit economics” as their new priorities.
The nascent change is being driven by the notable failures of some high-profile unicorns -- the start-ups that were valued at $1 billion and above in the private markets — just as they reached going public.
The IPO for the office rental start-up WeWork got pulled, and their founder and CEO got fired by his board.
Shares of Peloton, a fitness start-up, and SmileDirectClub, an online orthodontics company, immediately cratered after their respective IPOs. And Uber, Lyft and Slack — which also listed their stocks this year — have similarly tanked.
Growing the top line and building capacity without any regard to the bottom line won't get you that multi-billion dollar IPO or M&A deal.
Flow Kana, take note: Those days are over. Profitability matters.
Vulture capitalists, err, I mean venture capitalists, like Jason Adler of Gotham Green Partners, will no doubt be more aggressive about controlling costs going forward. They're looking at “gross margins” — a measure of profitability.
Flow Kana's splashy acquisitions of the Real Goods campus and the old Fetzer winery, along with their rooster highly paid "spokespeople" posturing as hipster cannabis farmers, may be a thing of the past. I would also expect Flow Kana to be cutting back on its community picnics and fleet of taco trucks.
Flow Kana CEO "Mikey" Steinmetz, a.k.a. Mishkin, said he wants his Flow Kana to become “the Whole Foods of cannabis.”
Good luck, bro. At last week's Board of Supervisors meeting it was estimated that there are an estimated 9,000 cannabis farms in Mendocino County. But only 235 permits had been issued at the close of business Friday, October 4, when Phase 1 closed. And Flow Kana doesn't even control all 235 permits.
Time is running out, Mikey Boy.
Meanwhile, your monopoly here in Mendocino County may be at an end.
A bunch of us locals are looking a collectively owned supply chain -- something along the lines of Spain's Mondragon Corporation. If I get elected as 1st District Supervisor, I'll work with my colleagues on the board to create an economic development office to do exactly that -- create a "Mendocino Mondragon Corporation" and fund it with a $10 million industrial revenue bond from the California Infrastructure Economic Development Bank (IBank).
I may also be able to come up with a few million in other kick starter monies, too. Believe me, Mikey, I'm on it. I'd even invest my own money.
I'm also going to ask the Farmers Business Network if they want to partner with us.
Founded in 2014 by Charles Baron, a former Google program manager, and Amol Deshpande, a serial entrepreneur and venture capitalist, the Farmers Business Network charges farmers $700 a year to share and analyze data about their farms, buy supplies and sell crops. Mr. Baron said the start-up counts 7,700 farms as customers and has raised nearly $200 million in funding.
A company like Farmers Business Network wouldn’t have been possible 10 years ago, before the proliferation of cloud computing and the “digitization” of farming processes. Now, farms produce a lot of data, which Farmers Business Network is helping them to process and use to make decisions.
Agriculture is going through a digital revolution -- the Farmers Business Network could be a natural fit with the proposed Mendocino Mondragon Corporation.
Think about it -- an e-trading platform supported by e-payments and e-tracking.
Here's one more article for your reading pleasure, Mikey: https://avc.com/2019/09/the-great-public-market-reckoning/
So, I ask again: Is Flow Kana a dead unicorn?
When will Jason Adler's patience run out? Adler wants to eat your lunch. Profits -- Adler wants profits, Mikey. Gross margins. An ROI. A return on investment.
If Adler wanted "capacity" or "growth", he would have dumped his $175 million into WeWork. Or Peloton or the SmileDirectClub. Or Uber, Lyft, or Slack.
John Sakowicz, Candidate, Mendocino County 1st District Supervisor