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MCT: Wednesday, January 1, 2020

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A COLD FRONT clipping northwest California will bring showers to the area today, mainly north of Mendocino county. High pressure returns with dry weather for Thursday and most of Friday, before another fast-moving front brings more showers for Friday night and Saturday. (NWS)

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MONTHLY PRECIPITATION for the 2019-2020 rain season, thus far:

December 2019

  • 12.96" Yorkville
  • 7.28" Boonville

November 2019

  • 3.12" Yorkville
  • 2.19" Boonville

October 2019

  • 0.04" Yorkville
  • 0.07" Boonville

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AULD LANG SYNE, ORIGINAL SCOTTISH WITH ENGLISH TRANSLATION

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WHY MRC’S RECENT SILENCE?

Editor,

Normally, MRC's propaganda wing responds quickly to newspaper letters and articles on their poisoning program (aka "hack & squirt"). They even created a special section on their website for that purpose: https://www.hrcllc.com/measure-v.

However, soon after California's Attorney General belatedly claimed potential conflict-of-interest on Mendocino County's Measure V, MRC has become uncharacteristically quiet on the topic. I suspect their legal department told the spinmeisters to go mum on the matter.

Mike Kalantarian

Navarro

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DA CLEARS THE DECK

Ukiah, Tuesday, Dec. 31. -- Completed In Half The Time...

When Proposition 64 - The Control, Regulate and Tax Adult Use of Marijuana Act -- was passed by the voters in 2016, it contained provisions that not only prospectively reduced or eliminated many marijuana law violations, but it made those changes retroactive. 

This meant people with felony or misdemeanor convictions for marijuana-related offenses that were changed by Proposition 64 became legally entitled to petition the courts to expunge (dismiss) or downgrade those prior convictions. 

To participate in this new form of marijuana-related amnesty, all one had to do was file a simple written form request for Prop 64 treatment with the Superior Court in the county where the conviction had been entered. 

From November 8, 2016 through December 31, 2019, 130 individuals with prior marijuana convictions entered in the Mendocino County courts have taken advantage of Prop 64 to have their prior conviction(s) expunged or reduced. 

However, requiring an individual (or his or her attorney) to initiate the Prop 64 process as approved by the voters was deemed still "not good enough" by the California Legislature. “The majority of eligible individuals have not gone through the process of petitioning the courts,” complained one legislator.

To "fix" the apparent lack of interest, Assembly Bill 1793 was passed by both houses of the California Legislature and signed into law by the Governor in November 2018. AB 1793 required the California Department of Justice to sift through its criminal records database to determine which prior marijuana convictions still remained unchanged and which of those marijuana convictions may still be eligible to be expunged or reduced. Under AB 1793, the legislative analysts predicted that as many as 218,000 marijuana convictions could be revised.

The criminal records database information developed by the Department of Justice was provided to the local district attorneys on or about July 1, 2019. Without additional monies to fund the effort, each district attorney was thereafter required on or before July 1, 2020, to review each local marijuana conviction to decide on an individualized case and defendant basis whether a prior marijuana conviction was eligible for expungement, some kind of revision, or reduction. 

Interestingly, AB 1793 does not require that the person with a prior marijuana conviction be contacted for input and/or consent or, for that matter, that he or she even still be alive.

Locally, while understanding that he had a full year to review all of Mendocino County's marijuana convictions pursuant to AB 1793, District Attorney Eyster put his local analysis on a fast track, using to his advantage his own in-house data management system, a system known as Justware.

In half the time allotted by law (from July 1, 2019 through December 26, 2019), the DA and his staff completed their multi-year review of all marijuana convictions entered in the Mendocino County courts from 1973 to present. 

What does this mean? The DA has filed written AB 1793 motions with supporting spreadsheets with the Mendocino County Superior Court in 3,311 cases. Each of the DA's written motions identify the cases in which the DA believes Prop 64 treatment is warranted and further recommends what that treatment should be, pursuant to the changes in the marijuana charging statutes and other guidelines originally established by Prop 64. 

When and where those motions will be heard and whether or not the Prop 64 relief suggested by the DA for each case will be granted is still to be determined. 

Designated by law as the de facto "attorney of record' in all AB 1793 cases, the Mendocino County Public Defender has been granted more time by the court to review the work product served on the Public Defender on a weekly basis for the last six months by the prosecutor's office.

The DA thanks his hard-working team for taking care of local business in more than a timely manner. He added, "When I was a young prosecutor there used to be a thing known as finality of judgments. That important legal concept seems now to be a thing of the past." Continuing, he noted, "Let's not forget that Prop 64 also granted the same reduction relief to defendants convicted at the felony-level of simple possession of methamphetamine, cocaine, heroin, and other controlled substances. I wonder when those felony convictions are going to likewise be addressed by the Legislature, if only to treat people equally and in a fair manner."

(Mendocino County District Attorney)

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MENDOPARKS FIRST DAY HIKES at MacKerricher and the Mendocino Headlands

MendoParks First Day Hikes 2020 will feature whale walks from MacKerricher and the Mendocino Headlands State Parks. Learn about the gray whale migration as well as other cultural and natural history of the parks while taking in all the beauty the Mendocino Coast has to offer! Meet at the Visitor Center and welcome in the new year with beautiful hike. Walks are complimentary. Binoculars provided. All ages welcome. Well-behaved dogs on leash permitted.

MacKerricher State Park, 24100 MacKerricher Park Road, Fort Bragg. 11:00am. Meet at the Visitor Center. RSVP for First Day Hikes at MacKerricher: mendocino-area-parks-association.networkforgood.com/events/17717-first-day-hikes-2020-at-mackerricher-state-park

Mendocino Headlands State Park, 43505 Main Street, Mendocino. 1:00pm. Meet at the Ford House Visitor Center and Museum. RSVP for First Day Hikes at Mendocino Headlands: mendocino-area-parks-association.networkforgood.com/events/17720-first-day-hikes-2020-at-mendocino-headlands

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W. EUGENE SMITH, Steel Mill Worker, Pittsburgh, 1955

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NIGHT LIGHT OF THE NORTH COAST: 2019: Night Light in Review

by David Wilson

We live in the Milky Way galaxy. It’s a flattened pinwheel shape, and our solar system is out on one of the arms. Our galaxy gets its name from the bright band of stars called the Milky Way, which we can see stretching across the night sky. The band is an edge-on view of our galaxy from within the galaxy; it is what we see as we look through the thick part of the pinwheel comprising all of the stars, nebulae and everything else that lie between us and the other side of the galaxy. When one looks into the night sky to either side of the Milky Way’s band, we are looking outward from the galaxy’s plane. Here there are fewer stars, and beyond them lies the great space between galaxies.

The brightest, most detailed area of the Milky Way is the galactic core. We can’t always see the core because as Earth moves around our sun in its year-long trek, each night of the year our dark side faces a slightly different view of the sky. As a result, some times of the year the core of Milky Way is not in view at night. During winter in the northern hemisphere Earth’s night side faces the fainter stretches of the Milky Way. As we leave winter and spring approaches, we begin to have a view of the core in the early pre-dawn hours. The Milky Way will rise earlier each morning; toward the end of May the Milky Way’s position in the sky at 1:30 AM is similar to the pre-dawn view of late March. In late June, the core will be low on the southeastern horizon when darkness falls, and it will be higher in the sky each night immediately after dark through the summer.

In a few of the images through the year I have labeled celestial points in the sky. While the Milky Way and stars always follow the same paths across our skies through the seasons, the planets move independently against the starry backdrop. They travel in their own orbits around our sun, and because they’re closer to us than the stars are (by a lot), their independent motion relative to us causes them to move across the otherwise fixed star field. It’s the same principal at work as when you look into the distance and sway from side to side: you will see nearer objects appear to move back and forth relative to more distant objects. This year we had Jupiter and Saturn straddling the Milky Way all season; next year they’ll both be close together to the left of the Milky Way. Last year Mars was close to the Milky Way, but nowhere near it this year.

The night sky is fascinating in its variations. Here on the North Coast we are blessed to live in an area where the skies are dark enough to enjoy its bejeweled wonders, and we are fortunate that it is not yet too crowded with space junk. Please enjoy these images of Night Light from our precious North Coast from the year 2019 just gone by.

One road takes you home. Another leads you away. And some will take you inside yourself. Where are you going today? Pre-dawn Kneeland Road, Humboldt County, California. March, 2019.

Guardians of the Night. The full moon rises behind towering redwoods standing watch on the Avenue of the Giants in the Eel River valley. It was 11:30 pm. A breeze played among the branches and grasses beside the road. Sunlight? Nope! The only light on the landscape was that of the moon, made bright from a long exposure in this photograph. Humboldt County, California. June, 2019.

“A shooting star! Over near Jupiter!” I missed the meteor at the time, but not the magic of the night. Below us the Eel River glided between Redwood-covered hillsides under the night sky. I was with a former student and her friend and we played with our cameras while we stood in awe of the night. I found the meteor when I examined the photographs later. Humboldt County, California. July, 2019.

Late night cars paint their strokes of light onto the night’s dark canvas along a corridor of towering redwoods on US 101, the Redwood Highway. Photographed from the Avenue of the Giants, Humboldt County, California. August, 2019.

Ramparts stand watch over the great Pacific at the edge of the continent at Patrick’s Point. Behind the trees glows the town of Trinidad and vicinity. On the horizon, two fishing boats glare redly at each other. Patrick’s Point State Park, Humboldt County, California. September 2019.

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

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JOEL VEIKKO SOINILA SUPERVISOR 2020

LOCAL FORWARD THINKING SMALL BUSINESS OWNER

I’m Joel Veikko Soinila and I’m running for Second District Supervisor in Mendocino County. Raised in Redwood Valley, I have been a resident of Mendocino County for the past 30 years. My family’s roots in the county date back over a century. My grandfather Veikko Soinila opened a business in Redwood Valley that has been family owned and operated for 70 years. I attended Ukiah High School and graduated from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo receiving a BS in Agricultural Business. After spending a decade as a financial analyst, productivity engineer, program manager (Ukiah Valley Street Medicine) and property manager, I am now the owner of an Independent Real Estate Brokerage and partner in a real estate investment group.

I want to assist Mendocino County's second district, and the county as a whole, in achieving forward thinking with result-based accountability. I would like to aid in bringing financial transparency at the county level to the community. I do not believe the taxpayer dollars and county funding are being spent on smart growth. Too often decisions are reactive and rarely proactive. By being progressive and forward thinking, we can ensure we see the changes needed to have a healthy vibrant community now and in the future.

The vote takes place March 3, 2020. If one candidate does not receive 50% +1 vote in March, it will result in a runoff between the top two candidates. I am determined to win this in March, but am also a realist and understand this may very well go into a runoff with two candidates. Overall, the people have a choice this election so I have already achieved one of my goals.

You can find me on Instagram and Facebook @joelforsupervisor or you can visit my website at joelforsupervisor.com. From this website you can learn about my platform, join my mailing list for campaign updates, sign up to publicly endorse me or donate. If you do not have access to the internet you can call with any questions, concerns or requests (707) 391-7403 during my business hours (7 days a week 7 am to 7 pm).

I have yard signs available for anyone who would like to show their support. They can go up January 3, 2020. If you would like one please contact me using one of the ways I have provided above. For those interested, there will be a candidate forum for the first and second districts on January 28, 2020 at 6pm in the Ukiah City Council Chambers (300 Seminary Ave. Ukiah, Ca 95482). This event is sponsored by The Ukiah Daily Journal, the American Association of University Women and the Mendocino Women’s Political Coalition.

It’s time for change!

Contact: Joel Soinila

joel@joelforsupervisor.com

(707) 391-7403

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CRAB FLEET IN FULL GEAR FOR NEW YEAR’S FEASTS AFTER DELAYED START

The rush to renew a North Coast New Year’s tradition — feasting on freshly caught Dungeness crab — may help ease the pinch of a late start to the season for fishermen and retailers, but mediocre early returns have so far added a little lemon juice to the cut endured this year by the fleet.

pressdemocrat.com/business/10528717-181/north-coast-tradition-renewed-as

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MR. WENDAL WRITES: DAN GJERDE: “Let’s catch up. See you at my website.”

His website says “Each week, year after year, Dan invests substantial time connecting you with County news and services…In addition, Dan routinely shares County news on his Dan Gjerde 4th District Supervisor page…”

His “Dan Gjerde 4th District Supervisor” facebook page that he provides a link to consists of some photographs he posted in September 2011, nothing until a new cover photo was added in March of 2012 and then nothing until October of this year. Who would consider that to be routinely sharing County news on his page? The flurry of recent activity, out of character for the 4th district supervisor, is only because he has competition for his seat. It’s the same m.o. used when he was on the Fort Bragg City Council.

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THE FOLLOWING QUESTIONS HAVE BEEN SENT TO ALL CANDIDATES FOR SUPERVISOR. Your answers will appear as you've written them in the Anderson Valley Advertiser, both online and in the paper-paper.

  1. Why, specifically, are you running for Supervisor? Which countywide problems do you see as primary? What specific improvements do you want to make? And, if elected, how will the public be able to measure your success?
  2. How do you view the functioning of the present board?
  3. Do you think promotion is among the best uses of bed tax revenue? (Roughly $5.5 million a year)
  4. Your ideas on how to make an effective cannabis program.
  5. Your views on regular (monthly) departmental reporting.
  6. Do you think the County’s Mobile Outreach program is working as funded? Are the walking wounded getting attention in proportion to the money spent on them?
  7. Why are the County’s social services programs understaffed?
  8. Do you think the County is doing enough to source contracts with local businesses? If not, what would you do to improve it?
  9. What is your opinion of effectiveness of the $20 million the County spends with the privatized Redwood Quality Management Company for mental health services?
  10. Do you think the County is doing enough to promote creative solutions to homelessness, i.e., trailer parks, tiny houses, FEMA trailers etc.?

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555 CALIFORNIA STREET AND THE PYRAMID

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HARVEST HARVESTED

On Sunday, December 29, 2019 at approximately 6:00 PM, Mendocino County Sheriff's Deputies were dispatched to a reported theft that just occurred at Harvest at Mendosa's in Mendocino. Deputies arrived and began checking the area for the suspect, later identified as being Bailey Marie Albers, 20, of San Francisco.

Albers

Deputies were initially unable to locate Albers and then responded to the location of the theft. Deputies learned that Albers had loaded a shopping cart full of merchandise and bypassed the check stands and loaded the items into her vehicle. At approximately 9:00 PM, Deputies located Albers inside of her vehicle on Main Street in Mendocino. Deputies observed numerous items within the vehicle that had been reported stolen earlier in the evening, including numerous items that were inside of Harvest at Mendosa's hand baskets. Albers exited her vehicle and immediately became confrontational with Deputies. Albers was arrested for possession of stolen property. Deputies recovered a large amount of property from within the vehicle and it was positively identified by an employee of Harvest at Mendosa's. The stolen items, mostly consisting of household goods and cookware, were valued at more that $1,000 dollars. Deputies attempted to place Albers into a vehicle for transport to the Mendocino County Jail and during this time, she became more uncooperative and attempted to escape the control of Deputies. Albers used her leg and kicked a Deputy and then attempted to spit her saliva on multiple Deputies. Albers was then placed into a vehicle and was transported to be booked into the Mendocino County Jail, without further incident. Albers was booked into the Mendocino County Jail Felony Grand Theft, Felony Possession of Stolen Property, Resisting Arrest, and Battery on a Peace Officer, where was to be held in lieu of $15,000 bail.

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SNOOZING CRANKER

On Sunday, December 29, 2019 at approximately 10:10 AM, Mendocino County Sheriff's Deputies responded to a residence in the 32000 block of Hare Creek Road in Fort Bragg. Deputies responded to the residence while conducting follow-up investigations on an unrelated incident. During the course of this investigation, Deputies observed Kenton Michael Colberg, 31, of Fort Bragg sleeping on a sofa with a large bag (consistent with a quantity possessed for sales) of suspected methamphetamine in front of him.

Colberg

Deputies retained the drugs, woke up Colberg, and arrested him for Possession of a Controlled Substance for Sale. Colberg was booked into the Mendocino County Jail where he was to be held in lieu of $25,000 bail.

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CATCH OF THE DAY, December 31, 2019

Browne, Danahy, Newbolds

DANIEL BROWNE, Ukiah. DUI, probation revocation.

BRADLEY DANAHY, Willits. Parole violation.

MICHAEL NEWBOLDS, Ukiah. Controlled substance for sale, probation revocation.

Ponder, Roberts, Torres

ELIZABETH PONDER, Carson City/Fort Bragg. DUI.

CHERRI ROBERTS, Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-alcohol. (Frequent flyer.)

ROLANDO TORRES, Yuba City/Laytonville. Failure to appear.

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IN OCTOBER OF 1839, Robert Cornelius made history in his Philadelphia home by being the subject of the first portrait photograph ever taken. The words on the back of the photograph, written in his own hand state, "The first light Picture ever taken, 1839". This photograph now lives in the Library of Congress.

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WALL STREET STANDS TO MAKE $1 BILLION OFF PG&E'S BANKRUPTCY – and Ratepayers Are on the Hook

PG&E’s bankruptcy is making some people very rich. Since the utility filed for Chapter 11 protection in January, lawyers and consultants have made a staggering $217 million. Big banks have netted $114 million in financing fees — and that number could top $1 billion by the time the company exits bankruptcy next year. 

Others are reaping the bankruptcy windfall, too. A handful of hedge funds stand to make billions because they own nearly one-fifth of PG&E’s stock and bought up more than half of the wildfire insurance claims against the company — meaning they are basically on both sides of the negotiating table in court.

kqed.org/news/11791486/wall-street-could-make-1-billion-off-pges-bankruptcy-and-ratepayers-are-on-the-hook

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‘THEN, I HAVE AN ARTICLE II, WHERE I HAVE THE RIGHT TO DO WHATEVER I WANT AS PRESIDENT’ — ‘KING’ DONALD TRUMP

by Ralph Nader

Against Donald J. Trump, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi wanted narrow impeachment charges, despite key House Committee Chairs’ arguments for broadening the impeachment charges. These veteran lawmakers, led by House Judiciary Committee Chair Jerry Nadler, urged Speaker Pelosi to include the ten obstructions of justice documented in the Mueller Report. These House Committee Chairs also wanted to add a count of bribery regarding Ukraine – a stance Pelosi took herself in a November 14, 2019 press conference. She then overruled her chairs and rejected the bribery count.

Speaker Pelosi told reporters on November 14:

“The devastating testimony corroborated evidence of bribery uncovered in the inquiry, and that the president abused his power and violated his oath by threatening to withhold military aid and a White House meeting in exchange for an investigation into his political rival – a clear attempt by the president to give himself an advantage in the 2020 election.”

“Bribery” is explicitly listed as an impeachable offense in the Constitution in Article II, Section 4 and resonates with the public. No matter, Pelosi dropped this crucial charge.

Since the two articles of impeachment – abuse of power and obstruction of justice (limited to the Ukraine matter) – passed the House on December 18, 2019, the Republicans may have given Pelosi reason to accept some of her colleagues’ pleas to broaden the impeachment charges.

First, Senator Mitch McConnell indicated that he was going to follow Trump’s White House in establishing the rules of the trial. What about the oath to “do impartial justice according to the Constitution and laws: So help me God?” The Senatorial jurors are going to let the defendant, Donald Trump, have a say on the rules in his own impeachment? That bad faith action prompted Pelosi to hold back sending the two approved impeachment articles to the Senate. Currently the stage is being set for the Senate to be a kangaroo court.

Second, more incriminating e-mails have emerged, linking Trump and his cronies to the Ukraine extortion/bribe. On January 3, 2020, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit is set to review two cases that will weigh heavily on Trump’s legal team. In one case, the district judge ruled that the White House had to obey a Congressional subpoena for the testimony of Trump’s lawyer, Donald McGahn, as the “most important” witness regarding Trump’s obstruction of justice in Robert S. Mueller’s investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 election. The second case involves the House Judiciary Committee’s access to grand jury testimony in the Mueller investigation to determine if Trump lied. The lower court judge said the White House must turn them over.

To add to these developments, Trump mocked Pelosi, asserting that the various impeachment charges she did not allow her colleagues to include in the impeachment articles means the other impeachment offenses were, according to Trump, all “lies” and “fake.” This should bother Pelosi because Trump is trying to legitimize these numerous impeachable offenses due to Pelosi’s inaction. Trump has defiantly refused to “faithfully execute” the laws for health, safety, and economic protections – enriching himself and displaying contempt for Congress by installing cabinet and other high officials without Senate confirmation. Trump also obstructs Congress by blocking Congressional Committee access to testimonies and documents. Getting away with very serious impeachable offenses sets a terrible precedent for future presidential lawlessness. See a listing of twelve such counts by me, constitutional law experts Bruce Fein, and Louis Fisher in the Congressional Record (December 18, 2019, page H 12197).

Nothing in the Constitution or federal statutes bars second or third rounds of impeachments. Indeed, attorneys for the House Judiciary Committee told the Circuit Court that it “is continuing to conduct its inquiry into whether the President committed other impeachable offenses. The Committee’s investigations did not cease with the House’s recent impeachment vote.”

Moreover, Nancy Pelosi has encouraged five House Committees to continue their probe into the outlaw president, whom Pelosi has called “a crook, a thief, a liar” and said she wants to see “in prison.” The question is whether she wants only “oversight investigations” or she also wants “impeachment investigations.” The difference is critical to Trump’s tenure, to the rule of law, and to making the Senate conduct a fair trial with witnesses (the latter backed by 71 percent of the people).

Prosecuting Trump’s other grave constitutional violations would demonstrate the important personal stakes for Americans who have borne the brunt of the President’s monarchical, illegal defiance that takes away life-preserving safeguards for the American people, which protects them from rampant corporate ravages.

With the coming of the New Year, Speaker Pelosi has a historic choice regarding constitutional order and compliance with the law by Donald J. Trump. Either she sends a boomerang to the White House or she delivers a solid, broad-based eviction notice that the Senate Republicans can try to defend in a public trial viewed by tens of millions of Americans.

(Ralph Nader is a consumer advocate, lawyer and author of Only the Super-Rich Can Save Us!)

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ON LINE COMMENT OF THE DAY

“…millions of Americans literally starving.” Where would that be? In this country there are multiple federal nutrition programs, not to mention state and local programs, food banks, religious charities, etc. Yes, Trump is (or has) cut back on the food stamp program, but for able bodied, childless people. This is at a time of record low unemployment, where companies are going to prisons to recruit soon to be released inmates. Can you actually name someone in America who has died of starvation in the last 50 years? Yes, there are millions of Americans cold and homeless, but the vast majority of them are some combination of mentally ill, drug addicted, or alcoholic. In the past, they were placed in state hospitals or similar institutions, often against their will, as they were deemed a danger to themselves and others. The blame lies with the people who thought such a solution violated such people’s “rights”.

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IN ANY SYSTEM OF GOVERNANCE, a major problem is to secure obedience. We therefore expect to find ideological institutions and cultural managers to direct and staff them. The only exception would be a society with an equitable distribution of resources and popular engagement in decision-making; that is, a democratic society with libertarian social forms. But meaningful democracy is a remote ideal, regarded as a danger to be averted, not a value to be achieved: the "ignorant and meddlesome outsiders" must be reduced to their spectator status, as Walter Lippmann phrased the theme that has long been common coin. The current mission is to ensure that any thought of controlling their destiny must be driven from the minds of the rascal multitude. Each person is to be an isolated receptacle of propaganda, helpless in the face of two external and hostile forces: the government and the private sector, with its sacred right to determine the basic character of social life. The second of these forces, furthermore, is to be veiled: its rights and power must be not only beyond challenge, but invisible, part of the natural order of things. We have travelled a fair distance on this path.

—Noam Chomsky (1993)

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“Do you think they can tell that we’re from the future?”

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NOTHING IS EVERYONE’S FAULT

If both parties have an equal or near-equal hand in causing a social problem, we typically don’t cover it. Or better to say: a reporter or two might cover it, but it’s never picked up. It doesn’t take over a news cycle, doesn’t become a thing.

The bloated military budget? Mass surveillance? American support for dictatorial regimes like the cannibalistic Mbasogo family in Equatorial Guinea, the United Arab Emirates, or Saudi Arabia? Our culpability in proxy-nation atrocities in places like Yemen or Palestine? The drone assassination program? Rendition? Torture? The drug war? Absence of access to generic or reimported drugs?

Nah. We just don’t do these stories. At least, we don’t do them anywhere near in proportion to their social impact. They’re hard to sell. And the ability to market a story is everything.

Nomi Prins used to be a banker for Goldman Sachs. She left the industry prior to the 2008 crash and became an important resource for all Americans in the years that followed, helping explain what banks were doing, and why, from an inside perspective.

In Europe and the United States, she zeroed in on programs like Quantitative Easing that overworked the money-producing powers of the state and pumped giant sums of invented cash into the finance sector. She called this a “massive, unprecedented, coordinated effort to provide liquidity to [the] banking systems on a grand scale.”

Prins’s recent book on the topic, Collusion, describes a classic systemic problem, one that ought to have deep interest to “both” camps. For liberals, it’s a story about an obscene subsidy of the very rich, while for conservatives, it’s a profound story about the corruption of capitalism.

But TV bookers have struggled to figure out how to market Prins. She tells a story of a TV host who quizzed her off-air in a troubled voice.

“He was like, ‘I can’t tell if you’re progressive or conservative.’ And I thought, that’s good, isn’t it?”

In the Trump era, Prins has faced an even steeper uphill climb. Not only did she write a book called Collusion that isn’t about that collusion, she’s writing about a topic that really has no direct Trump angle. Although her book does explicitly talk about how central banking problems contributed to political unrest that led to both Brexit and Trump, that topic is not a popular one on lefty media.

When Ali Velshi (an exception, in part because he actually knew something about the issue) interviewed Prins on MSNBC, he made sure to tell viewers that her critique was different from the “secret society” conspiracism right-wingers often toss the Fed’s way. He asked her why viewers should care about the issue. She talked about how banks take Fed largesse and use it to buy back their own stock and feed asset bubbles, creating danger and accelerating inequality.

All important—but no partisan angle, not really. The one partisan take you could point to is Trump taking credit for a soaring stock market when a lot of it is central bank dope in the economy’s veins.

Nonetheless (and I’m sure it wasn’t Velshi doing this), the taglines during the Prins interview were almost all about Trump:

Trump set to remake fed to reflect policies.

Trump likely to leave lasting fingerprints on fed.

Author: Trump’s fed moves could leave globe devastated.

“If it’s not either for or against Trump, you don’t get airtime,” Prins says. “You kind of have to pick one side.”

This is the WWE-ization of news, incidentally encouraged by Trump, who has striven from the beginning to inject himself into the headlines. The problem is that this has paid off tremendously for him, and for commercial media across the political spectrum. But it hasn’t been so good for us.

The notion of a crisis caused by a bipartisan confluence of powerful interests doesn’t fit in the way we cover news today. It upsets the format.

— Matt Taibbi

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PRUNING & GRAFTING CLASSES!

Fruit Tree Pruning

This workshop is offered on two Saturdays, choose your preferred date to attend: January 11 or January 25, 2020 from 10:00AM to 12:00PM at Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens

When it comes to basic care and pruning of fruit trees, there are many different techniques, several of which have predictable results. This workshop will help you optimize performance from your fruit trees, according to your own needs and the specific environment in which the trees are growing. The focus will primarily be on, but not limited too, the pruning of fruit tree varieties appropriate to the North Coast climate, specifically apples, pears, and select stone fruits. Learn how the time of year and type of pruning cut can greatly influence the success of your fruit trees. We will cover a complete year’ cycle of tree growth — from the trees’ perspective as well as our own.

Instructors: January 11 - Russell Fieber is a seasoned landscaper with 30 years of experience in orchard restoration. January 25 - Di Scott has 20 years of coastal orchard experience and a lifetime of horticultural knowledge.

Payment Information: Class cost is $15 for members and Master Gardeners; $20 for non-members (includes Gardens admission for the day). Payment is due upon sign-up. Please note, all workshop fees are non-refundable unless the workshop has been canceled or rescheduled by the Gardens. Sign up by phoning 707-964-4352 ext. 16 or stop by The Garden Store at Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens.


Rose & Ornamental Pruning February 8, 2020 from 10:00AM to 12:00PM at Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens

Bring new life to your rose garden with a hard winter snip and clip! Join MCBG Gardener Mishele Stettenbenz for a hands-on training and learn basic techniques for pruning and shaping roses and other ornamental shrubs. Discover a variety of methods as Mishele discusses different types of roses and demonstrate how to prune each. Bring your leather gloves and a pair of pruners.

Payment Information: Class cost is $15 for members and Master Gardeners; $20 for non-members (includes Gardens admission for the day). Payment is due upon sign-up. Please note, all workshop fees are non-refundable unless the workshop has been canceled or rescheduled by the Gardens. Please reserve space for your preferred date by phoning 707-964-4352 ext. 16 or stop by The Garden Store at MCBG.


Fruit Tree Grafting March 28, 2020 from 10:00AM to 12:00PM from 10:00AM to 12:00PM at Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens

Gain hands-on grafting experience and come away with an apple tree to start (or add to) your own orchard! Grafting is a more advanced gardening technique used to connect two different plants so they grow as one. By grafting fruit trees, you can combine positive attributes that don't naturally occur in a single plant, extend harvest season by adding a number of varieties, enhance disease resistance, and improve cold hardiness. The workshop will include information on grafting, planting, soil, light, irrigation, fencing, future pruning, and disease.

About the instructor: Russell Fieber moved to California in the 80's with little formal gardening experience. After working at the Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens for a couple years, Russell gained enough experience to venture into landscape gardening. His first job included several large apple trees which had been pruned with pollard cuts (a severe pruning technique that involves lopping off large branches) causing massive die off. In order to repair this ailing orchard, he decided to add to his knowledge base, attending workshops and the annual Seed & Scion Exchange in Boonville. Eventually, he was able to restore entire orchards (as many as 80 trees). Russell is now a seasoned landscaper with 30 years of experience in orchard restoration.

Payment Information: Class cost is $20 for members and Master Gardeners; $25 for non-members (includes Gardens admission for the day). Payment is due upon sign-up. Please note, all workshop fees are non-refundable unless the workshop has been canceled or rescheduled by the Gardens. Class size is limited to a maximum of 15 participants. Sign up by phoning 707-964-4352 ext. 16 or stop by The Garden Store at Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens.

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FOUND OBJECT

28 Comments

  1. Lazarus January 1, 2020

    FOUND OBJECT

    Hey H, did you say Greg Louganis was in town?

    As always,
    Laz

  2. Harvey Reading January 1, 2020

    ON LINE COMMENT OF THE DAY

    Justifying the unjustifiable. Sounds like a conservative position to me.

  3. Harvey Reading January 1, 2020

    “…the first portrait photograph ever taken.”

    Too bad it was snapped before the guy combed his hair.

  4. Joe January 1, 2020

    For those of you rooting to impeach Trump with only 11 months until a election, i.e. Mr. Nader, please consider what you are wishing for. If it becomes the norm for the party in power to remove a president from power you are effectively removing your right to vote. It is already bad enough that the two party system corrals candidates of their choosing limiting your choice in the first place e.g. Clinton Bush dynasties. If Americans were smart they would promote a third party to bust up this monopoly on power. If Trump did one thing by becoming President he allowed the public to see into the corruption of the swamp which is Washington D.C. It really doesn’t matter who is in power in D.C. as long as this corruption exists. It would help Americans if they came together and reformed or replaced the status quo while there is a chance to do so. The other monster in the room is the private central banks and fractional reserve banking which has not been beneficial to anyone but the .001%, nothing changes until they are removed. You can vote for socialism or capitalism they don’t care they will still be the puppet masters and the prime benefactors.

    • Harvey Reading January 1, 2020

      Your argument might make a little sense, IF the electoral college did not exist. We do NOT have real presidential elections in freedomlandia. What we have is more like minority rule.

      • Joe January 1, 2020

        Who said anything about the electoral college?

        • Harvey Reading January 1, 2020

          I did. It, not the voters, choose the president.

          • James Marmon January 1, 2020

            So you’re a closet Hillary supporter I guess? explains everything.

          • Harvey Reading January 1, 2020

            You have a short memory, my dear fascist, or a poor one. Your mind works in a mysterious manner as well.

      • Joe January 1, 2020

        The electoral college was created so the large population centers could not override the more rural areas of the country. The framers got that right, they were protecting an important minority. They also knew that democracy was 2 wolves and a sheep deciding on what to have for lunch. That is why we are still a republic and should remain so. California has already decided on a one party system, we are seeing that play out now in many ways.

        • Harvey Reading January 1, 2020

          Minority rule is all that you describe, no matter how you rationalize it. It is not democratic. The electoral college should be dismantled and the senate should be apportioned based on population, no matter what the welfare “farmers”, or other minority factions say. If the majority live in urban areas, then too damned bad. They are still the majority, and their will should not be overridden by that of the backward the rural minority.

          California is hardly a “one-party” state. I saw too many conservative asses calling the shots during my 52 years there. If a majority is currently from one party, then that is life in a democracy, which I prefer over fascist minority rule by rural conservatives any damned day of the year.

          As far as I am concerned, members of the house should be elected at-large (statewide), too. If people choose to live in rural areas, then that is their choice, which is to become a member of a minority group. if you look at rural areas, you will find that they are among the most backward places in the country, always getting tax welfare from the majority of taxpayers.

          One person, One vote. No favoritism to rural minorities.

          • Joe January 1, 2020

            Feel free to start your own country, meanwhile the U.S. is a republic and not due to change in the near future. Your hubris and the broad brush that you slander rural American society with is surprising since I assume you live in a rural area yourself. Maybe you haven’t had the privilege of stepping over feces and homeless people in the advanced metropolis of San Francisco lately?

          • Harvey Reading January 1, 2020

            You might be surprised how quickly things can change if a MAJORITY gets fed up enough. If they’re motivated sufficiently, you could see a whole new supreme law document, approved, in a democratically apportioned convention, by a simple majority, so fast it’s make your little head swim.

            Your reference to “hubris” and a “broad brush” is not accurate. I have lived for most of my life in rural areas and now live in a rural, backward state. I hear and read the spew like you produce on a daily basis. I would never want to see policies supported by people here become the law of the land any more than I would want to see those supported by Calaveras or Mendocino counties become the law of the land.

            I also remind you that a statement is not slander when it is a true statement. The same holds for libel, the correct term when discussing statements made in writing.

            I knew what I was getting into politically before moving here. I also saw plenty of homeless people in Sacramento. Their station in life was brought about by conservative policies at all levels of government, a government hindered by the backwoods mentality of rural areas.

          • Joe January 1, 2020

            O.K. Harvey, Happy New Year!

          • Harvey Reading January 1, 2020

            it’s should be it’ll in the last sentence of the first paragraph of my 1742 comment

            Happy whatever to you as well.

  5. Joe January 1, 2020

    Laws in over 70 major cities make it a crime to feed or house the homeless population.
    Go figure

    • Harvey Reading January 1, 2020

      Ya gotta remember, this is AMERIKA!

  6. George Hollister January 1, 2020

    Carl Rove from the WSJ:

    “Pete Buttigieg wins Iowa, but no Democrat arrives at the convention with a majority. The nomination requires delegates switching sides after the initial first vote or a second ballot where superdelegates are permitted to participate. I pick Mr. Biden to win, but I’d take the field if I could.”

    • Harvey Reading January 1, 2020

      Rove? You must be kidding. Why doesn’t he just do the right thing, and die?

    • Joe January 1, 2020

      I predict that there will be no clear winner at the Democratic convention which will allow a brokered convention and super delegates. At that point you will see Clinton, Michelle Obama or (name famous popular person), ride into the picture .

      • Lazarus January 1, 2020

        Perhaps HRC, but Michelle Obama?, I really doubt it. I do agree there is a better than 50% chance the convention will be brokered.

        The current field is so limited that there must be some kind of plan with the Brass to at least give the Dems a chance come November.

        In my opinion, no one in the bunch they have now has any chance against Trump as things stand today, obviously with Trump’s tendencies that could change.
        As always,
        Laz

    • George Hollister January 1, 2020

      After the first ballot, the Super Delegates vote, and control the outcome. This will make the convention interesting. Maybe even worth watching, at least partly, anyway.

  7. Kathy January 1, 2020

    Happy New Year! What’s the best New Year’s resolution? 1080p

  8. Eric Sunswheat January 1, 2020

    December 15, 2019
    The dynamic of blue light and how to reduce its effects
    A look into blue light and 3 things that can help you do something about it…

    Blue light lives on the lower end of the visible light spectrum where it’s classified with violet light as high energy visible (HEV) light.

    Why we should care about blue light…
    Naturally, blue light comes from the sun. Light sources like computer, smart phone, tablet, tv screens, and interior are emitters of artificial blue light. And despite the sun’s strength, the amount of time we spend in front of screens makes the latter cause for concern.

    As HEV light, blue and violet light’s intense waves are similar to UV waves in the risks they pose to our health.

    Light expert and Chromotherapy specialist Dr. Alexander Wunsch, has said blue light’s to be “more problematic for our retina than UV light.” And after looking deeper into it, it seems like slowly worsening vision (macular degeneration) could be just one piece of the puzzle.

    In one of Dr. Wunsch’s presentations called Potential Dangers of Light, he shares that when blue light hits the retina, it does a number of things:

    Blue light instantly causes the production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) in retina cells. In english, this means that every second we’re exposed to blue light, it kills the cells in our retina instantly.

    Eventually, this leads to tissue damage in the eye, which results in change of focus. This is the first step towards macular degeneration – blurriness.

    Blue light hits the pituitary gland which stimulates the secretion of stress hormones. This means cortisol, adrenaline, noradrenaline, TSH, estrogen, prolactin, and more are released into the body.

    Blue light hits the pineal gland and shuts down melatonin production. And, as our master hormone, melatonin controls our body’s clock, how well we sleep, what we feel like when we wake up, and how effective our immune system works…
    https://thriveglobal.com/stories/the-dynamic-of-blue-light-and-how-to-reduce-its-effects/

    Modern car headlights are too bright and are distracting drivers, the RAC has warned, as it is feared that “energy efficient” light bulbs are behind a rise in complaints.

    Some 15 per cent of drivers have suffered a near-miss due to the brightness of some new car headlights, according to a new report by the motoring body.

    Following a rise in complaints the Department for Transport set up a United Nations working group to explore why more drivers felt car headlights had become overly bright.

    The rise in popularity of LED lights are among the potential causes of the problem being explored by the group.
    https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2018/03/24/drivers-complain-dazzling-headlights-led-bulbs-installed-cars/

    Jun 2nd, 2017
    Non-visual receptors in humans are especially sensitive to blue spectral energy, explains AURELIEN DAVID, and the latest LED technology enables high-quality white light with reduced blue content that can enhance circadian health.

    The impact of light on our sleep cycle and health is a major medical discovery of the last two decades. Artificial light, which is ubiquitous in modern societies, can influence the circadian cycle just like daylight does. This is both an exciting opportunity for the solid-state lighting (SSL) sector, and a cause for potential concern. Let’s discuss what is known about the non-visual aspects of light and consider how LED-based sources can evolve to enhance human health and wellbeing…

    In the early 2000s, based on seminal research on light and sleep, researchers identified yet-unknown receptors in our retinas: the so-called intrinsically-photosensitive retinal ganglion cells (ipRGCs)…

    What is most important about these receptors is their sensitivity to blue light – their peak sensitivity is at a wavelength of about 450-480 nm. When excited with light, they send a wakeup signal…

    The topic has become prominent enough to trigger statements from a variety of authorities, such as the American Medical Association (AMA) and the US Department of Energy (DOE). LEDs Magazine, for instance, has published a number of articles focused on recent AMA recommendations…

    Although the use of blue-pump LEDs has been unquestioned for two decades, the last five years have seen the rise of full-spectrum white LEDs based on violet-pump LEDs. This may be counterintuitive at first, since conventional wisdom asserts that the lower Stokes-loss of blue-pump LEDs is preferable. However, Soraa has demonstrated bulk-gallium-nitride (GaN) violet LEDs with a record efficiency, making full-spectrum LEDs competitive for lighting applications.

    Violet-based full-spectrum LEDs offer a significant improvement in quality of light, as was previously discussed in an LEDs Magazine feature article. In these full-spectrum products, the violet pump is complemented with three phosphors (blue, green, and red) to produce a full white spectrum with very high color rendering.

    In the BlueFree case, however, only green and red phosphors are used. By carefully selecting these phosphors, it is possible to retain very good color rendering despite the absence of blue radiation – in particular, the crucial rendering of red tones, which is most important to color preference, is excellent…

    Due to the existence of blue-sensitive receptors in our eyes that regulate our circadian cycle, light in a domestic setting (especially blue-rich LED lighting) has the potential to disrupt our sleep patterns in the evening and cause long-term health issues.

    A few commercial products currently attempt to mitigate this effect by delivering light of a very low color temperature, which suffers from an unpleasant yellow tint.

    In contrast, a newer technology can employ violet LEDs to create a true white light with virtually no blue radiation. A clinical experiment by Stanford’s Professor Zeitzer indicates that BlueFree bulbs are significantly less disruptive to our circadian system, when compared with standard LED sources.
    https://www.ledsmagazine.com/leds-ssl-design/article/16695634/bluefree-white-light-breaks-the-paradigm-of-circadian-lighting-magazine

    • Eric Sunswheat January 1, 2020

      Judge Allows California’s Shift to Energy Saving Light Bulbs
      The judge said the associations are unlikely to succeed in their lawsuit, which argues that the state rules conflict with federal law.
      By Don Thompson • Published 5 hours ago

      Mueller said state regulators appear to have acted properly under exemptions that gave special privileges to California and Nevada to adopt tougher regulations more quickly than the U.S. Department of Energy.

      In granting the exemptions, “Congress recognized, among other things, California’s history of leadership in energy efficiency regulations,” Mueller wrote.

      President Donald Trump’s administration in September scrapped an Energy Department rule that would have phased out less energy efficient incandescent bulbs nationwide. That decision slowed a yearslong effort by Congress and previous administrations to switch the nation to LED bulbs and other lighting that uses less electricity.

      Mueller’s ruling “keeps California at the forefront of the movement to resist the Trump Department of Energy’s efforts to tie Americans to the technology of the past,” Noah Horowitz, director of the Center for Energy Efficiency Standards at the Natural Resources Defense Council, said in a statement.
      https://www.nbclosangeles.com/news/california-news/judge-allows-californias-shift-to-energy-saving-light-bulbs/2283618/

      • Harvey Reading January 3, 2020

        “Modern car headlights are too bright and are distracting drivers, the RAC has warned, as it is feared that “energy efficient” light bulbs are behind a rise in complaints.”

        This was always a problem, but seems to have worsened as people became stupider. I find the newer headlamps to be much less distracting when improperly aimed than the old ones. Maybe it’s because their reflected beam is narrower, because of better reflectors in the headlamp assembly.

        It happens when idiots overload their vehicles and fail to compensate by adjusting their headlights (simple to do–used to be two screws, on for up-down, one for left-right on each headlight assembly). This is especially a problem with overloaded pickups but also is a problem with passenger cars with heavy loads in the trunk. Not a problem so much with tractor-trailer rigs and buses because they are monitored more closely by enforcement agencies.

        Sometimes poor headlight aiming is a result of pure stupidity. Some folks seems to think that illuminating the sky rather than the roadway helps them see better. Maybe they’re worried about low-flying saucers.

  9. Craig Stehr January 1, 2020

    ~Happy New Year~
    My poems, they’re poems too;
    Some people even call them hymns.
    Poems and hymns are on the whole alike
    When you read them you’ve got
    To go at it with care,
    Slowly, slowly, carefully probing
    Don’t rashly assume it’s all simple and easy.
    Use poems to learn how to practice the Way
    Then you’ll find it a hugely laughable affair!
    – Gensei (1623-1668)

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