- Coastal Clouds
- Soccer Match
- Mark Fontaine
- Robbery Suspect
- Wineries Bootprint
- Theophile Roederer
- AV Village
- RCMS Hospice
- Housing Costs
- Stop 5G
- Supes Critic
- Firescaping Talk
- Pot Amnesty
- Digitizing Records
- Yesterday's Catch
- Shcool Xing
- Big Joke
- 60s Wave
- Veterans Day
- Try Reverse
- Landline Phones
- Billionaire Candidate
- Class Politics
- Homeless Huts
- Please Vote
- Planning Agenda
- DNC Voting
- Local Berners
- Instinctively Undemocratic
- Found Object
DRY WEATHER will continue to prevail through next week. A deeper marine layer will keep coastal areas mostly cloudy for at least one more day. Increasing northerly winds offshore should result in some break up of the coastal cloud cover on Sunday. (National Weather Service)
Anderson Valley High School's boys soccer team will be hosting the semi finals match this Saturday, November 9th, against Tomales. The game starts at 2:00 and the winners will advance to the finals. Come support our boys for their hard work this season by showing up! Weather should be pleasant, so come to the soccer field by 2:00. Since this is a post-season game, admissions will be charged: $11 for adults, $6 for students and seniors.
Arthur Louis ‘Mark’ Fontaine went to be with his Lord on Friday, November 1, 2019. He was born in Rochester, Vermont, to Maurice and Phyllis Fontaine, on August 24, 1940. Mark served in the US Air Force during the Vietnam Era and was subsequently a member of American Legion Post 385 in Boonville. He served his post as Adjutant, Commander, and Chaplain. One of his proudest achievements was earning a Bachelor of Arts in Biblical Studies.
Arthur is survived by his wife, Ellen Ingram Fontaine; his children in Texas: Brent (Yvonne) Daugherty, Scott (Terry) Daugherty, Traci (Jacob) DeLeon, eight grandchildren and 2 great-grandchildren; Jodie (Jens) Dennhardt, Jennie (Chris) Kraemer, Amanda (Nikki) Cebrian. He was "Bompa" to grandchildren: Ryan, Logan, Kaity, Anna, Jessica, Ella Rea, Sophie, Felix, and Kailey. He is also survived by numerous nieces and nephews. Arthur was predeceased by his parents, brother Maurice, sister Joann, and grandson Ben.
Visitation will be on Friday, November 8, 2019 from 3–7pm at Eversole Mortuary in Ukiah. Graveside services to be at Evergreen Cemetery in Boonville on Saturday, November 9, 2019, at 11am. Fellowship gathering to follow at the Anderson Valley Veteran's Hall in Boonville.
COAST CINEMA ARMED ROBBERY ARREST
Harbor Jetty Parking Lot; 211 PC (Armed Robbery), 422PC (Criminal Threats), 459PC (Burglary)
Suspect: Matthew Vicchione, 37 years old
Location: Coast Cinemas
On November 4, 2019 at 7:18 p.m., Officers were dispatched to Coast Cinemas for the report of an armed robbery which had just occurred. Once on scene, Officers determined that a suspect entered the business at approximately 7:10 p.m., brandished a semi-automatic handgun, and demanded money from an employee at the cash register. The suspect then fled the location with an undisclosed amount of cash. No one was physically injured during the robbery.
Since the day of the robbery, Sheriff’s Office personnel and Parole Agents have been instrumental and critical to the identification of the suspect and his whereabouts. With their invaluable assistance, members of the Fort Bragg Police Department, the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office, including the Mendocino County Regional SWAT team, and agents from State Parole, took the above named suspect into custody for the robbery and other criminal charges. The suspect was transported and booked at the Mendocino County Jail in Ukiah.
Anyone having additional information related to the case please contact Officer Ferris at (707) 961-2800 ext. 126 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Anonymous tips may be left on the Crime Tip Hotline at (707) 961-3049. Questions regarding this press release may be forwarded to Sergeant O’Neal at (707) 961-2800 ext. 120 or e-mailed to email@example.com.
(Fort Bragg Police Presser)
MORE ON THE CINEMA ARMED ROBBERY SUSPECT
MSP viewers and social media can be a wonderful thing. Thanks to some “sleuthing,” we’ve found some photos of 37-year-old Coast Cinema armed robbery suspect Mathew Arlin Vicchione (senior) in happier days — it appears he was released from prison one year ago this month. We are still awaiting the booking information from the Mendocino County Jail - it wasn’t posted as of Friday @ 9:00 am.
And it should go without saying — but please remember, all suspects arrested by law enforcement are to be presumed INNOCENT unless/until convicted in a court of law.
That said, the following is hard to verify — but we have no reason to disbelieve it. An MSP viewer messaged us Friday morning about some background on the suspect, “He has only been up here for less than a year because he was in prison. His mother lives up here. Mathew spent 14 years in prison for beating someone in the head with a hammer. He attacked his current girlfriend a few nights ago. He is dangerous and scary.”
Another comment MSP received was, “He was always thinking he was a badass from Vallejo.”
PEOPLE COME TO SUSPECT’S DEFENSE
We also noted this comment to the MSP post on the arrest of the suspect:
“He has an alibi and is currently scheduled for the day and time (with claim to video surveillance of attendance) it would have occurred on the 4th. People need to stop hopping on this bandwagon, there's a reason for due process. I'm not saying he's innocent of any/all crimes he may have against him behind closed doors aside from this — but this is getting out of hand to have his name slandered in town now (soon also his face), but also on the radio… Come on. I know MSP reports on literally everything, but this kind of high profile arrest should have been kept quiet until the outcome was determined. So unless something comes to light that debunks his entire alibi we should assume he will be okay. Whether he has a past record or not he's an asset to our workplace and a friend to many of us. Treat him with some respect please.”
THANK YOU TO OUR LOCAL LAW ENFORCEMENT COMMUNITY
We want to extend, on behalf of the City of Fort Bragg, a sincere thanks and appreciation to the members of the Law Enforcement Community on the coast for their great work in apprehending the armed robbery suspect. This work is the result of teamwork and attention to detail. Members of our Police Department worked closely with Parole Agents, the Sheriff’s Office and ultimately the County’s Regional SWAT team to take the suspect into custody safely and without incident.
This robbery was traumatic to the staff of the Coast Cinemas and to their surrounding neighbors. A regular night out with the family could have turned out very differently and we are thankful no one was physically injured.
As Mayor Will Lee points out “An armed robbery in Fort Bragg is not a regular crime that we face in our beloved city. We choose to live and work here because it is a safe community and we all look out for each other. Our brave men and women in law enforcement work tirelessly every day and night to keep us safe and we thank them for their hard work.”
Our local law enforcement officers are faced with many challenges every shift. They have to deal with mentally ill people, homeless individuals and those under the influence of controlled substance and alcohol. They perform those duties with skill, dedication and patience. From the entire City Council and City Manager - THANK YOU!
Questions regarding this information should be directed to Tabatha, City Manager, at (707) 961-2829.
SONOMA COUNTY STUDIES TAKE ISSUE WITH WINE INDUSTRY’S EXPANSION, SCRUTINIZING TRAFFIC, EVENTS
Sonoma County wineries should bear the bulk of the responsibility for improving relations with rural neighbors, according to a pair of recently released county studies calling for fewer events, more coordination and a higher standard of review for new or expanding wineries.
WHEN ROEDERER WAS REAL
THE ANDERSON VALLEY VILLAGE
AV Village Events this Weekend
"Thanks-Giving: The Village Highlights Gratitude" on Sunday November 10th 4 to 5:30 pm at Lauren's will honor Mary Moore Gaines and Lauren Keating, as well as gratitude for our community for creating and supporting this endeavor - refreshments provided! Also, at this gathering we will be collecting info from you on how the power outage impacted your life (what worked, what didn’t work, what we can do better, etc.) to be discussed in greater detail at our January 12th gathering on Disaster Preparedness and Emergencies.
And we also have a volunteer training Sunday November 10th 3 to 4 pm (right before our monthly gathering) at Lauren’s — we ask each new volunteer to complete this short training; please RSVP with our coordinator (contact info below) if you can attend. Thank you!
Also, you may want to download the MyShake earthquake app to your smartphone - It might give you a little time to get ready for an earthquake. See more at:
Anderson Valley Village Coordinator
A READER WRITES: Re: Redwood Coast Medical Services in Gualala — I just got a garbled word from someone in RCMS (Redwood Coast Medical Services) that our hospice program has been discontinued. As a hospice volunteer, and assuming this is true, this is not the way end of life issues end (no pun intended). When considering death, which we all want to deny, our main resource here on the coast is hospice. To allow us to end our lives in dignity at our homes has always been the consideration of Hospice of RCMS. But if you dig deeper, a lady by the name of Cerruti donated $4 million to the hospice effort on the coast. Somehow, RCMS assumed the windfall, and all was good, until RCMS has run into the financial grim reaper. I worked diligently alongside the hospice head nurse (Vicci Marcotte) while the power was out, and she was stellar in her efforts to ascertain all patients were covered, as well as others unaccounted for… And now I hear the program is suspended… I sure hope I don’t need care tonight. It is my opinion that due to RCMS’s difficulties of cash flow that Doric Jemison-Ball and the board have decided to cancel the hospice program here on the coast, and assume the $600,000 reserve benefit. All I gotta say to Doric and the board members is, “Hope you got nobody to offer.”
FORMER COUNTY BUILDING INSPECTOR SCOTT WARD WRITES: The state legislature and governors are the reason housing costs are now averaging $300 per square foot. The codes are changed every 3 years and are increasingly complex due to every Tom, Dick and Harriet’s elected official subservience to the environmental lobby, the unions, product manufacturers, Building Industry Association and stupid ideas from unelected desk jockeys in state departments and commissions. When I started as a rookie building inspector for Mendocino County in 1988 the codes (building, plumbing, mechanical and electrical code) were the size of a paperback novel. Now they are over a 1000 pages in each code, some having two volumes. Additionally the state has come up with the California Energy Commission and the California Green Building Code. The new triennial state code mandate for the new and improved code is on January 1, 2020. Any guesses as to whether the new code will be simplified or more complex and more expensive to comply with? There is not much a city or county can do to make housing affordable when the state legislature and governor are working against them.
Scott Ward, Certified Building Official, retired
NO ON 5G
PLEASE ATTEND the Fort Bragg City Council meeting Tuesday, November 12 at 6 pm at Town Hall 363 N. Main Street in Fort Bragg. Let the City Council know (in 3 minutes) if you agree or not with the City's Aesthetic Guidelines and Standards for Deployment of Small Cell Wireless/5G Telecommunication Facilities.
Agenda (item 8B Guidelines & 8 attachments) and look at public comments attachment 5 (70 pages).
Give input for the public record to City Clerk June Lemos Jlemos@fortbragg.com, City Manager Miller Tabatha TMiller@FortBragg.com Planning Commission firstname.lastname@example.org and City Council members Will Lee Wlee@fortbragg.com, Norvell, Bernie Bnorvell2@fortbragg.com, Jessica Morsell-Haye email@example.com, Peters, Lindy LPeters2@fortbragg.com and Tess Albin-Smith Talbinsmith@fortbragg.com
Please sign this petition (include your name and a brief comment). It will be presented to the Fort Bragg City Council on November 12. Please send a copy to City Clerk June Lemos Jlemos@fortbragg.com and firstname.lastname@example.org Please forward it to your friends, encourage them to sign and spread through facebook.
We have not set up fundraising for this petition. The "Promote Petition" option Change.org asks of you will not go towards this cause.
Below are sample letters. At a minimum include: I object (if you do) to 4G and 5G micro-towers in Fort Bragg based on the adverse effects on our health, safety, fire risk, devaluation of properties, aesthetics, impacts on the environment, loss of privacy and excessive energy usage it demands.
Another sample is here:
Many cities and towns in California have filed law suits protesting the pressure from the federal government to allow small cell wireless facilities to be installed in cities and towns next to homes, schools and parks. Many cities and towns used experts to educate themselves and their communities about the dangers of this new technology and held workshops to educate the public. Most of them held one or more meetings focusing on just this topic alone. The City of Fort Bragg so far has not. Governor Brown vetoed Senate Bill 649 backed by the cell phone industry that would have made it easier to install microwave radiation antennas, but the federal government is only giving cities and towns minimal decision power.
Thanks, Fort Bragg neighbors
Stop 5G Mendocino
REX GRESSETT gave the Supervisors one of his refreshingly blunt assessments of their work at last Tuesday's Board meeting in Mendocino on the Coast:
“I would like to thank Ted Williams in general terms for his initiative, his continuing innovation, and his direct involvement, for battling against a Board of Supervisors that appears to many of us -- I know that it's obligatory to thank you, thank you -- but I would like to tell you that a lot of people in Mendocino County think that the Board of Supervisors is indolent, arrogant and incompetent. Preeminent amongst those is my own district representative, Dan Gjerde who will not do a town meeting, who will not do an interview on the PEG station which we have repeatedly invited him to do, and who will not even answer e-mails. Let's take a look at what that indolence has got us. That arrogance. We had a speaker here from the cannabis industry who said that her fees have gone from $40 to $5,000. You guys are driving the marijuana industry into the illegal end of the woods by this unbelievably complex, convoluted, and impossible set of regulations that you guys have just casually dumped on a growing industry. You basically made the illegal marijuana industry thrive. What do you expect to get out of it? Taxes? Why are you doing that? Why don't you take a look at this nice turnout here? We routinely have this in Fort Bragg. Fort Bragg is a very active and democratic city. We have basically eliminated all regulations on marijuana except state regulations. They haven't really made that official, the planning commission did. The city has kind of adopted it. They approved the suspension of regulations but they didn't really address it. But it's a very obvious thing to do. You are not making any money on taxes for marijuana. You are driving these people into the woods, increasing the pollution when they are illegal. Eliminate all regulations for marijuana in Mendocino County except for state regulations! Hello! That seems like such an obvious, simple, easy thing to do. But the Board of Supervisors in their arrogance — putting their salary raises on the consent calendar — we noticed this. We see when Mr. Williams comes up here with these innovations and we see when Dan Gjerde will not meet with people in his own district. We know what's going on with the Board of Supervisors. I know that most people who come up here that it's important for them to demonstrate their patriotism and their respect for government in general and so they thank the Board of Supervisors out of hand. But I'm telling you you're doing a terrible job. And mostly on marijuana. Thank you again Mr. Williams.”
After that blast, Mr. Gressett complained about the board putting a $422,000 grant to the Sheriff on the consent calendar without discussion which turned out to be somewhat of a bust because Sheriff Allman calmly pointed out that the $422,000 was a grant earmarked for law enforcement communications upgrades and had been previously discussed and approved by the board.
SUPERVISOR WILLIAMS then commented about a letter that the Board planned to send to PG&E hoping that they’d somehow improve things for the next shutoff:
Supervisor Williams: “I would like to make it clear that this man-made disaster may have been created by PG&E’s power shut off, but it was at the state's approval. Essentially the state approved the initiation of a disaster in our county. I say that because we had the CPUC come to our meeting and we expressed a number of concerns all of which have come to fruition during the power shut off. I went with Sonoma and Napa County supervisors and staff to the CPUC to further articulate our concerns which seem to have been ignored. I would like the language to be clarified that this state was involved with this PSPS (Public Safety Power Shutoff).”
Supervisor John Haschack: “It's certainly ironic that we are dealing with a man-made, private utility public entity or public utility privately owned entity and we are in a mess. I want to thank the CEO’s office and the supervisors for the work you did during the shut off. I was in Washington DC at that time so I was skipping from one emergency to another, as I left Washington DC they had the impeachment vote so — anyway, I agree with what Supervisor Williams is saying.”
REX GRESSETT RETURNED to the podium for another bracing blast: "The emergency that happened was really a wake-up call to people in Fort Bragg. We were really shocked when they turned off the power. It hurt a lot of people. When the shut off happened we began to realize that there was very limited or no planning for an emergency in Fort Bragg. We were taken completely by surprise. The city had done absolutely nothing. PG&E had some shelters and tents and the City Council got out there and directed traffic, but we had no preplanned vision for the emergency. The grand jury indicted you guys [the Board of Supervisors] for not having a general vision of what goes on in the county and for dealing with routine items, or deferring to the chief executive officer, for not looking forward into the future in a visionary way. This grand jury report has been totally ignored. Nobody at the Board of Supervisors except for Ted Williams has taken it in any way seriously. If we are going to have a vision for Mendocino County, an emergency of that kind is minor. We could be faced in the future with real emergencies where people are starving to death. I understand that there are empty containers, transport containers that were long ago supposed to be filled with food for an emergency that are now sitting rusting in various lots around the county. The Board of Supervisors — that grand jury indictment said that you don't have a vision. And there is no hope that you will have a vision if you continue on in this indolent way. You need planning for the future and we need planning for the future in Fort Bragg. We need a Board of Supervisors that is willing to get out and do things. This emergency occurred and just a little statement to the state is not enough. You need to take that emergency as seriously as we took it in Fort Bragg. And look forward in our uncertain future as a country and as a county and develop a plan for a real emergency. You have done no real emergency planning. If people were cut off from food supplies coming from San Francisco we would all starve to death. There is no plan, there is no discussion, there is no cogent action on the part of the Board of Supervisors on anything at all. Ted Williams comes in here and tries to push you guys into action. Dan Gjerde won't even meet with the people of the city of Fort Bragg. He won't do a PEG interview. You guys are inert. You are not doing the job we require you to do to address the future and the problems like this emergency situation with PG&E. It should be a wake-up call to you like it was to the rest of the county and the people of Fort Bragg."
Supervisor Carre Brown: "The County of Mendocino has been planning for several months ever since the CPUC announced they would allow the major utilities in California to declare a power safety shutoff and we have been engaged. And if you don't go to our website and take a look at the recommendations and the information we have collected — I just want to respond that we will have a full item coming before us later on today and I hope that people will participate."
Supervisor Dan Gjerde: "In defense of the city of Fort Bragg, I don't see anyone sitting out there from the city, but I would like to offer a little defense for them. They were very prepared in many ways. It was not their fault that Comcast countywide dropped Internet service almost immediately after the emergency. Their Internet system was down. The county has its own Internet system so all county bulletins were still functioning. I hope that in the future we will have an arrangement with the city of Fort Bragg and with the city of Willits etc. that if their Internet system were to fail at some point during an emergency the county could back them up in some way. But the county was prepared. All county buildings had power generation and the city of Fort Bragg did as well with their buildings."
Supervisor Brown: "All the municipalities and the county engaged."
It appears to us that Mr. Gressett was saying that the County had no plan for how to help County residents who may have needed help when the power was shut off. But Supervisors Brown and Gjerde preferred to answer that the County itself and the cities were prepared. They’re both sort of right — the County operations were pretty well prepared to the extent that they had back up generators and most County employees showed up for work and did their parts. But Gressett is right that not much planning was done about things outside the County offices in Ukiah. And not much assistance was offered except for local agencies and facilities that happened to open on their own like fire departments, police, hospitals, ambulances, and a number of non-profits and businesses who helped out.
Supervisor Williams: “I would like to thank county staff and Deputy CEO Steve Dunnicliff because if you were in Albion or Comptche or Boonville or Gualala, the reason you got fuel is because Steve went face-to-face over the hill and had a conversation about communities being without fuel and really got the fuel trucks moving in the right direction. There were people in Comptche who did not have enough fuel to get to Fort Bragg to fuel up. They had generators that were out and they didn't know when power would come back on so it was a huge help. I was surprised how quickly staff, mostly Steve, was able to get that fixed. I will also say that it's ironic that in preparing for an adverse event like this resulting from climate change that we are talking about stockpiling the very fuel that causes climate change. Maybe we need to take this discussion in the direction of solar panels and batteries at key facilities so that we have the ability to recharge our devices and get by without using an absurd amount of fossil fuel.”
TED WILLIAMS: AMNESTY FOR LEGACY POT GROWERS
Board of Supervisors, November 12, 2019 Agenda, 6c
Discussion and Possible Action Including Direction to Staff to Develop a Cannabis Cultivation Amnesty Transition Pathway
(Sponsor: Supervisor Williams)
Direct staff to formulate a cannabis cultivation amnesty program along a path of least resistance and realistically sufficient to transition all commercial cannabis cultivation from black market to legal market, requesting assistance from the State where necessary. Further, directing staff to return to the Board of Supervisors with the draft program, including necessary variances from the State to reach collective goal of fully compliant cultivation.
Summary of Request:
Onerous regulation by the State has impeded the ability of our cannabis cultivators to come into compliance with the emerging legal market. This has left cultivators in fear, county services starved for revenue promised by legalization and the environment without protection. More than 90% of present cultivation might be outside the permit framework and without a clean slate amnesty approach, this trajectory will not change. State regulation was an abrupt change for our legacy cultivators. Systems do not respond well to abrupt changes. An amnesty program offering ample years to come into compliance will allow cultivators to remain in business while gradually transitioning. State assistance will be necessary to permit first and address compliance issues in reasonable time. It is requested that staff be directed to formulate a cannabis cultivation amnesty program including any necessary variances from the State, and return to the Board of Supervisors for final approval of the program.
TED WILLIAMS: DIGITIZING COUNTY RECORDS
Board of Supervisors Agenda, November 12, 2019, 6d
Discussion and Possible Action Including Direction to Staff to Author a Specification Document Outlining Document Digitalization Plan
(Sponsor: Supervisor Williams)
Direct staff to author a specification document outlining document digitalization plan including equipment and personnel needs, tentative schedule, training, file naming convention, public access, redaction , redundant offsite storage and an associated cost analysis.
Summary of Request:
Digital documents reduce staff time and allow greater public access. Information Services staff is best positioned to build a plan of execution. The initial cost will be offset by long-term efficiency. The County’s IT Master Plan includes an initiative (Number 22, Electronic Document Management System (EDMS)). Currently, the County does not have a consensus on a singular preferred solution for a future organization-wide document management system. Further, the IT Master Plan recommended that the County consider all EDMS options by first conducting a needs assessment and process review with all departments to gain an understanding of how an EDMS system should work across the entire organization. Additionally, it was recommended that the County consider what functionality, configurations, and training would improve the staff members’ ability to effectively utilize an EDMS system, provide more transparency, and integrate other departmental applications and business processes.
CATCH OF THE DAY, November 8, 2019
EDUARDO ALVAREZ, Ukiah. Parole violation.
SYDNEY BEAL, Potter Valley. Probation revocation.
ANTHONY BERTOZZI, Redwood Valley. Protective order violation, probation revocation.
AMY CARDOZA, Redway/Redwood Valley. Theft by forgery of access card, controlled substance.
SAMAYA CLEARWATER, Willits. Domestic battery, probation revocation.
JENNIFER CRAM, Ukiah. Petty theft with priors, contempt of court, disobeying court order, failure to appear.
TONIA CRANE, Lucerne/Redwood Valley. Taking vehicle without owner’s permission.
THOMAS CUTHBERT, Ukiah. Protective order violation.
NICKOLAS DUNSING, Calpella. Probation revocation.
CLAYTON GARROUTTE, Ukiah. Probation revocation.
MALINDA HARRELL, Ukiah. Trespassing, on school groiunds without lawful business/interfering with peaceful conduct.
DANIEL MEINECKE, Leggett. Parole violation.
NATHANAEL MURRAY, Carlotta/Redwood Valley. DUI.
ROBERT ROBINSON, Ukiah. Failure to appear.
SHANE SAWDON, Willits. Sex registrant failure to report address change.
BRIAN THERRELL, Hawaii/Redwood Valley. Smuggling controlled substance or liquor into jail, false ID, failure to register.
KENNETH WHIPPLE, Covelo. County parole violation, suspended license.
JENNIFER WILLIAMS, Mckinleyville/Ukiah. DUI.
THE HOUSE WITH THE MEZZANINE
"Last week Anna died in childbirth. If there had been a dispensary nearby, she would still be alive. And it seems to me that gentleman landscape painters while it has some sort of convictions in that regard."
"I have very definite convictions in that regard, I assure you," I replied, but she shielded herself from me with the newspaper as if he did not wish to listen. "In my opinion, dispensaries, schools, libraries, first aid kits, under the existing conditions, only serve enslavement. The people are fettered with great chains and you don't cut the chain, you merely add new links to it — there’s my convictions for you."
She raised her eyes to me and smiled derisively, while I went on trying to grasp my main thought:
"What matters is not that Anna died in childbirth, but that all these Annas, Mavras, Pelageyas bend their backs from early morning till dark, get sick from overwork, tremble all their lives for their hungry and sick children, fear death and sickness all their lives, get treated all their lives, fade early, age early, and die in dirt and stench; their children grow up and start the same tune, and so hundreds of years go by, and billions of people live worse than animals — only for the sake of a crust of bread, knowing constant fear. The whole horror of their situation is that they have no time to think of their souls, no time to remember their image and likeness; hunger, cold, animal fear, a mass of work, like a snowslide, bar all the paths to spiritual activity, and what precisely distinguishes man from animal and is the only thing worth living for. You come to their aid with hospitals and schools, but that doesn't free them from bondage, but, on the contrary, enslaves them still more, because, by introducing new prejudices in their life, you increase the number of their needs, not to mention that they must pay the zemstvo for their little pills and primers and that means bending their backs even more."
"I won't argue with you," said Lida, lowering the newspaper. "I've already heard it all. I'll tell you just one thing: it's impossible to sit with folded arms. True, we're not saving mankind, and maybe we are mistaken in many ways, but we do what we can, and we are right. The highest and holiest task for a cultured person is to serve his neighbor, and we try to serve as we can. You don't like it, but one can't please everyone."
"True, Lida, true," said the mother.
She was always timid in Lida’s presence and kept glancing at her anxiously when she spoke, afraid of saying something unnecessary or inappropriate, and she never contradicted her, but always agreed — true, Lida, true.
— Anton Chekhov
ON LINE COMMENT OF THE DAY
Most Americans have never heard of Bloomberg (will probably confuse his name with the department store Bloomingdale’s) and Trump had high name recognition before he came down the escalator & declared war on Mexico. What does this man even think he has to offer the country? The self importance this announcement implies is staggering.
"THERE ARE CERTAIN QUEER TIMES and occasions in this strange mixed affair we call life when a man takes this whole universe for a vast practical joke, though the wit thereof he but dimly discerns, and more than suspects that the joke is at nobody's expense but his own."
—Melville, Moby Dick. Chapter 49 "The Hyena"
"SAN FRANCISCO IN THE MIDDLE SIXTIES was a very special time and place to be a part of...it seems reasonable that every now and then the energy of a whole generation comes to a head in a long fine flash that sense of inevitable victory over the forces of Old and Evil. Our energy would simply prevail. We had all the momentum; we were riding the crest of a high and beautiful wave. So now, you can go up on a steep hill in Las Vegas and look West, and with the right kind of eyes you can almost see the high-water mark that place where the wave finally broke and rolled back."
— Hunter S. Thompson
by Fred Gardner
"Trump's Opposition to 'Endless Wars' Appeals to Those Who Fought Them" read the headline above a front-page story by Jennifer Steinhauer in the New York Times November 1. The percentage of vets deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan who disapprove of US intervention there has almost doubled since 2011! Key excerpts follow.
“Among veterans, 64 percent say the war in Iraq was not worth fighting, according to a study by the Pew Research Center, slightly higher than the 62 percent of civilians who feel the same way. Disagreement with the conflict in Afghanistan is lower — 58 percent of veterans and 59 percent of the general public believe that was not a worthy war. While some veterans support continued military engagement in Syria, more than half — 55 percent — oppose it…
“Many who served are concerned that the suicide rate among veterans outpaces that of the civilian population and is rising faster among younger veterans. Thousands who served in Iraq and Afghanistan are struggling with life-altering injuries that would have killed veterans of previous wars. And homelessness is a stubborn problem — only 7 percent of Americans are veterans, but they make up about 11 percent of the homeless population…
“Support for the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq was already declining a decade after the terrorist attacks on the United States, with Pew finding in 2011 that about one-third of veterans of the post-9/11 cohort believed those conflicts were a bad idea. Disagreement with the policy was found to have almost doubled in the more recent Pew poll among this cohort. The latest Pew study found that neither rank nor combat experience differentiated veterans’ views of the wars…”
Steinhauer contrasts the anti-war views now coming from Iraq/Afghanistan vets and those expressed by Vietnam vets.
“The regret over the wars among these veterans is distinct from the feelings of veterans of the Vietnam era. Many served in that war only because they were drafted, and it prompted widespread public protests. Veterans of all ages have soured on the latest conflicts, which unlike Vietnam have been fought with an all-volunteer force that seems proud of its decision to choose public service and feels embraced by American civilians regardless of whether they supported the wars in the Middle East.”
In Vietnam, draftees' resentment may have contributed to anti-war sentiment during their two years of active duty; but it was mainly what they saw in country that led them and the Regular Army GIs serving three years to conclude that they should not have been sent there —just as the volunteer-Army vets who fought in Iraq and Afghanistan are now doing. Veterans of all three wars came to feel that US intervention was wrong after they were deployed and saw how the locals felt about the situation and the level of destruction being wrought.
Most so-called volunteers are driven to enlist by socioeconomic pressure. Steinhauer quotes an Iraq vet named Daniel Schick, who joined the military because "I wanted out of Podunk; I wanted upward mobility.” Schick lost seven members of his unit in one deployment. “I kind of developed a cathartic bitterness,” he said, reflecting on his service. “It was a waste of blood and treasure and destroyed what little infrastructure that the Iraqi people had.”
"Cathartic bitterness" is a brilliant description of the attitude that enabled Daniel Schick to deal with the trauma he lived through in Iraq. He now lives in Oregon and is working for the state Department of Environmental Quality.
The story of vets coming to disparage of the US role in Iraq and Afghanistan did not require an upcoming-election angle, but as the headline showed, the editors of the Times are preoccupied with Donald Trump and 2020. Steinhauer duly analyzes the impact antiwar vets might have on the re-election of a President who claims to want to put an end to "Endless Wars." She notes that Trump has hardly reduced the number of US troops stationed overseas (about 200,000), and that his announced withdrawal of troops from Syria turns out to be only a partial withdrawal.
Implications for Medical MJ Proponents
Many military vets have found that marijuana provides relief from PTSD, and proponents have implored the federal government to let VA doctors approve its use by patients. The VA has stonewalled for years citing a lack of any clinical trials confirming the widespread claim of benefit.
Arizona psychiatrist Sue Sisley, MD, finally got federal approval to conduct such a trial after many years of trying. Her protocol states that the study "will explore whether smoked marijuana can help reduce PTSD symptoms in 76 U.S. veterans with chronic, treatment-resistant posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Participants must be U.S. veterans, men or women, aged 18 or older with a diagnosis of PTSD that has not improved after trying either medication or psychotherapy."
With a grant of $2,156,000 from the state of Colorado and the help of veterans' groups, Sisley enrolled 76 qualified patients. (The original criteria for participants included combat experience but that was waived when recruitment proved difficult.) The trial was completed in February. The data was then prepared for publication in a peer-reviewed journal by co-investigator Paula Riggs, MD, and Marcel Bonn-Miller, PhD, the "Coordinating Principal Investigator." Neither of them interviewed any vets; that was Sisley's role. The results have yet to be published and revealing them in advance would get their paper spiked.
Sisley was appalled by the quality of the herb provided by NIDA's only supplier, Dr. Mahmous ElSohly of the University of Mississippi. This is how she described it to Randy Robinson of Merry Jane:
“It comes in these generic batches of either high-THC, high-CBD, or placebo cannabis. You have a very limited menu there, and they come in these ziplock bags. When you open it, it’s a greenish powder filled with extraneous plant material. So, there’s some flower; there’s some mixed stems and leaves, just ground-up fragments of the plant. It’s not just the tops of the plant — the flower — which is what we’d like to study…
“There’s no transparency. Normally, when you do clinical trials — and for years I did trials for Big Pharma — you get a complete drug master file that would give you all the details about the drug: its properties, how it was manufactured, et cetera. There’s none of that available.
“Even though the DEA takes millions of dollars of taxpayer money, they provide zero transparency. You’re not allowed access to the drug master file, which would be normal operation procedure in any other FDA trial.
“The only other federal agency who has access to the file is the FDA, and they refuse to share that with the public, which is already an abomination in my opinion. It should be challenged.”
I shared Jennifer Steinhauer's Times story with Dr. Sisley and was disappointed to learn that the vets in her study had not been asked about their attitude towards the mission itself. It stands to reason that if you feel the mission was truly to protect America people, then the impact of horrific personal memories might be tempered somewhat by a sense of having done some good. But if you feel the intervention was greed-driven and of no use to your people, there is no buffer when the nightmare images of death and destruction flood your brain. "Moral injury" is an apt term for the loss of that buffer. Cannabis might help veterans cope, and so might cathartic bitterness.
(Note: Such numbers are misleadingly low as a measure of the empire's military might because armed contractors are not "US troops.")
BRING BACK LAND LINES
Our family lives in Cloverdale after losing our home in Santa Rosa during the 2017 Tubbs fire. We’re concerned over the lack of phone and internet service (or the significant potential for losing it) during PG&E’s public safety power outages and wildfires.
In Fountaingrove, where we lived for 17 years, we enjoyed an old-school, copper-wired phone that worked during power outages. The copper wires were able to power our phone from AT&T’s central office. When we resettled in Cloverdale, we learned that copper-based landlines are no longer provided for new residences. As we’ve since discovered, voice-over-internet phones and most cellphones don’t work during a power outage, especially when there is no back-up battery power nor a diesel generator installed at either cell towers or service provider locations.
I’ve asked our state representative and county supervisor to ensure all telecom service providers return to Federal Communication Commission-mandated landline levels of reliability of greater than 99.999%. There is no reason why cellphone and internet services, regardless of how they are provided, should fall below the so-called “five 9s” level of uptime. Residents of Sonoma County should expect no less from our service providers.
ENTER THE OLD WHITE KNIGHT
by James Kunstler
They say he has beheld the weenies of the field and found them wanting — no, dangerously feeble, limp, insipid, deluded unto a kind of hebephrenia — and now, just maybe, Michael “Mike” Bloomberg will don the old steel breastplate and Kevlar jockstrap, take up the lance, and sally forth in a Lincoln Navigator to slay the Golden Golem of Greatness stalking the land… the last Great Hope of the Boomer Gen! That’s the scuttlebutt, anyway, or maybe more like a fevered dream of the restive elites stewing in their private equity aeries amid all this bothersome talk of wealth confiscation far out in the primary state flyover thickets.
Here’s what is generally misunderstood about Michael Bloomberg’s mayoral career in New York City. He did not so much manage or personally direct the fabulous post-9/11 revival of Manhattan and Brooklyn, the renovation of all those skeezy neighborhoods, the construction orgy of so many gleaming new apartment towers, the wondrous buff-up of Olmstead’s green gem, Central Park, the cleanup of the disgusting precinct around Times Square, and the defeat of common street crime — palpable improvements for sure — as he presided over the financialization of the economy run from those elite aeries on Wall Street, to the prodigious advantage of Old Gotham as all the assets stripped from the sclerotic industrial USA outlands got converted, abracadabra, into an infinity of digital dollar credits on the Too Big To Fail bank balance sheets, of which the revival of New York City was a mere byproduct. And so, Mike Bloomberg is now called to defend the empire of money under grave threat from these yipping midgets of socialist Jacobinism come to infest the Democratic Party. Or something like that. (Isn’t it all about narratives these days?)
People seem to forget that Mike was a Republican when he presided over all that glory, but let’s face it, maybe what the other party really needs is a less democratic approach to the situation at hand: the epochal inequality of wealth and the sickening twilight of the long “American century,” and all its usufructs.
Of course, at 77, Mike also represents the arch-hobgoblin of Wokesterism, the religion of the neo-Jacobins, namely, old white men — the horror and effrontery! The ultimate slap-in-the-face to all those roistering trans-humans on campus, the lame, the halt, the mis-gendered, the perpetually victimized, the intersectionally oppressed, the over-phoned! Will they stand for this billionaire ringer being sent into combat by all those top-hatted, silk-stockinged villains of Capital? More precisely, will Bernie call “foul,” as he kind of failed to do in 2016 after Hillary’s DNC stooges flooded-the-zone and drowned him in super-delegates? Will Elizabeth Warren break out in a war dance? Will Hillary find a way to deliver 7.5 grams of lead to Mike’s medulla oblongata?
And how does Mike measure up against his old Boomer Gen fellow New Yorker and sometime adversary, Mr. Trump? For all of his gilded trappings, there’s no denying that Mr. Trump is beloved by what used to be known as the Salt of the Earth — more lately the “Deplorables” — despite the fact that the president may have actually never been on a New York Subway even once in his well-padded life, while Mike was a renowned “strap-hanger” in his city hall glory days. The awful irony! Also, President DJT is almost never seen dressed in anything but that straightjacket of a business suit and tie, gold cufflinks and all, while Mike has often appeared in Hamptons casuals of perfectly distressed blue jeans, polo shirt, and Gucci loafers which, these days, is tantamount to hippie garb.
Mike’s most obvious selling point is that he appears to be what used to be known as “a normal person,” that is in speech, manner, and general comportment. But, normal to whom these days? Perhaps not to the WalMart shoppers moiling by the tens of thousands in those heartland arenas where Mr. Trump casts his magic spells of plain speech and surly manner, much beloved in these days of dastardly, confabulating lawyer-speak, gender studies crypto-metaphysical bullshit, and self-serving New York Times Ivy League ambiguation.
Speaking of which, what might Mike Bloomberg do about the impeachment circus led by the imbecile Adam Schiff that is liable to end in a farrago of humiliation so intense that all the Lawfare ninjas on God’s green earth will not avail to rescue the Democratic Party’s lost honor? Or, how will a Bloomberg campaign maneuver through the blizzard of indictments coming down against the former agents, servelings, chore-boys, foot-soldiers, and media sirens of Barack Obama’s runaway Deep State?
(Support Kunstler’s writing by visiting his Patreon Page.)
A CHINESE PISTACHE AGLOW in Chico on Sunday.
IT'S BASICALLY ABOUT CLASS
Social Justice Warrior Hypocrisy - The Hill
Crystal Ball is quite right. It is ideology that matters. Multiculturalism separated from class struggle does not challenge capitalism, and is used by neoliberal Democrats to avoid class struggle. However, class struggle includes multiculturalism, as this black radical states:
“…post-civil rights black politics has tended to emphasize an “ethnic group” notion of racial solidarity that masks the fact that this race politics is itself a class politics. Black Democratic and other neoliberal elites have shown again and again in their sustained denunciations of the Sanders program since 2016 that they ultimately rely on race-specific arguments to oppose broadly redistributive initiatives that would improve the circumstances of African American working people along with all others. Ironically, this means that the constituencies most affected by economic inequality and disadvantage have the least voice in contemporary policy debates.”
HUTS FOR HOMELESS CATCHING ON IN NORTHWEST
ON LINE COMMENT OF THE DAY #2
Please VOTE. Every year I get poorer and the rich get richer. Distribution of this country’s wealth is the problem. And that will not change until more than 39% of the voters get up off their asses and VOTE!! It is they only way to change your condition. But the Trumpisters know the American voters are lazy and looking for an easy way out. If you work for a living you should know you have to work for a change in the country. As I look at my financial downward spiral towards a life after 65 with only Social Security and little else there isn’t much to look forward to. And yet our president and his friends are living well off of my taxes.
If that doesn’t change we will all be looking at a retirement home that today is called prison.
YES, WE HAVE PLANNING, AND LOTS OF PLANS, AND PLANS FOR PLENTY MORE PLANS, AND SOME DAY A MASTER PLAN, THE MOTHER OF ALL PLANS
The November 21, 2019 Planning Commission agenda has been posted to the department website at the below link:
BERNIE FOR PRESIDENT MEETING, talks, potluck TOMORROW
Bernie in 2020
Mendocino Coast Organizing Meeting
Saturday, November 9, 2019 7:00 to 9:00 PM
32820 Gibney Lane
RSVP 391-2348 or 961-9603
Meet Mike Norman, Mendocino for Bernie Organizer, Steve Early, Labor for Bernie, Claire Lau, Bay for Bernie.
Hosted by Faith Simon and Cal Winslow. Sponsored by Leslie and Richard Bryant, Sara Fowler, Greg Ross, Garth Saalfield, Carrie Durkee, Susan Hartley
"It is interesting to see how the establishment deals with dissent. It gives you a fair idea of who the establishment really is. You see who crawls out of the woodwork to take you on. Very often, it's an unexpected person. It's not the people who are completely on the other side of the spectrum, who are completely opposed to your point of view. It will be cowardly people who position themselves as being ‘balanced’ critics. They really can't deal with the real questions because they are instinctively undemocratic. There is nothing they condemn more passionately than passion."
— Arundhati Roy