- Frosty Morning
- Michael Farrer
- Iowa Caca
- Unity Luncheon
- Forums Audio
- Cannabis Confab
- Condon Complaint
- Deputy Walker
- Saffron Paintings
- Crab Feed
- Unintended Consequences
- Water Meeting
- Dukett Selection
- Trail Scam
- Wildlife Lawsuit
- Quarry Lawsuit
- Sidewalk Closed
- Voter Information
- Yesterday's Catch
- Art Walk
- Mexican Avocados
- Dumb Dems
- Protective Measures
- TV Culture
- Political Reality
- Sold Out
- Winter Abundance
- America First
- Buttigieg Myth
- Niner Grades
- Halftime Comments
- Compost Workshop
- Super Buffet
- Working Poor
- Found Object
AFTER A FROSTY START, expect another cool and breezy but sunny day. A warm front will pass to our north on Wednesday, but will bring cloudiness to northern portions of our area. Otherwise, high pressure will remain in control through Friday with moderating temperatures, some sunshine, and light winds. (NWS)
Michael Deady Farrer was born December 3, 1940, in Healdsburg, California, the son of JD and Eva Farrer. Mike died January 31, 2020, in Roseburg, Oregon. He lived recently in Winston, Oregon, having moved from Coos Bay, Oregon, to be near family. He is survived by wife Sharon Farrer, daughter Michaél Friedlein and husband David, daughters Andrea Farrer and Tammy Farrer, daughter-in-law Lyn Farrer, grandchildren Brittany Daugherty and husband Jason, Shaina Farrer, Joshua Friedlein and wife Chloe, Hannah Friedlein and great-grandson Simon Daugherty. A memorial service will be held at First Baptist Church in Coos Bay on Wednesday, February 5, 2020, at 2 PM, with Pastor Ron Moore officiating. Final interment will be at Evergreen Cemetery in Boonville, California, on Saturday, February 8, 2020 at 11 AM.
MARRIED MONDAY at the Mendocino County Courthouse, AVA staffers Marilyn Davin and Bruce McEwen. Judge Moorman performed the ceremony before a room full of Courthouse staffers, friends of the popular couple and well-wishers.
Thanks to a barrage of technological problems and reporting "inconsistencies," we still don't know, as of early Tuesday morning, who won the Iowa Democratic caucus. It was a mess that put a damper on what should've been an exciting kickoff to primary season.
We'll presumably get the results at some point Tuesday, but patience isn't exactly a strength of social media. After the contest was promoted for months as an opportunity for Democrats to find some clarity with their nominee, plenty of people woke up Tuesday morning without any answers — and took to social media to voice their frustration.
UNITY CLUB GUEST LUNCHEON at the Fairgrounds Dining Room at 12:30, February 6th. The speaker will be our own 5th District Supervisor, Ted Williams. The public is invited to hear Supervisor Williams at 1:30. Cookies & beverages will be served. Bring a dessert or salad.
SUPERVISOR CANDIDATES' FORUMS [AUDIO]
1st District [Green, McGourty, Kennedy, Sakowicz]: kzyx.org/post/1282020-1st-district-supervisor-candidates-forum
2nd District [Mulheren, Soinila, Rodin]: kzyx.org/post/1282020-2nd-district-supervisor-candidates-forum
4th District [Gjerde, Peters]: kzyx.org/post/1162020-4th-district-supervisor-candidates-forum
SPEAKING of Mendo candidate forums, they’re traditionally unenlightening because, from our perspective anyway, they are much too tidy, much too constricted, much too polite, with pre-screened questions that often weed out the interesting stuff. Let the candidates speak to direct challenges from the audience, within reason of course. Mendo being Mendo there are always a handful of the unhinged who dominate any public event that isn’t ruthlessly moderated. But you can have a freewheeling exchange without it getting out of hand if the moderator knows his/her stuff. (KC Meadows of the Ukiah Daily Journal is particularly good in moderator mode.)
TOM CONDON, former co-owner of the Buckhorn Bar and Restaurant, is rightly upset with last week’s mention in this space suggesting that former employees are having trouble getting their W-2’s. If they are, it’s their fault, was the gist of Condon’s complaint, which certainly seems legit from here. Apologies.
FORMER Boonville resident deputy, Craig Walker, was on the Channel 7 news the other night busily going about his work for his new employer, the Moraga Police Department. Walker was at the scene of a shooting, a rare event in that otherwise placid suburb. Here in Mendo, and on his home turf of Anderson Valley, Walker was a busy lawman indeed, although on its surface rural Mendo looks even more placid than the prosperous Bay Area ‘burbs, Mendo has a much larger population of people who need constant supervision of the type only the police can provide. On that same telecast, Spencer, the Weather Guy, had ‘Navarro’ inscribed on his weather map!
THINGS I LIKE include the impressionistic paintings of local landmarks by Saffron Fraser. I’m the happy owner of Saffron’s lively and colorful rendition of the Navarro Store, and fully intend to buy another of her reasonably-priced paintings or prints as finances permit.
ST. ELIZABETH SETON held its 18th annual crab feed last Saturday (Feb. 1st) to an overflow crowd of 350 guests dining on succulent crab with Balo Estate Pinot and Yamakiri Chardonnay. Not only were Valley residents heavily in attendance, but guests came from as far away as San Francisco, Emeryville, Manchester, Sonoma, Lakeport, and Ukiah, with one person coming all the way from Lake Placid, New York who was thought to have traveled the farthest to attend the festivities until we discovered a couple had made the jaunt from Paris, France. Almost the entire village of Yorkville attended, holding court over a string of tables and taking home numerous raffle prizes, including a wheelbarrow. Next year’s event will be February 6th.
UNINTENDED CONSEQUENCES. Back in 2016 when the Anderson Valley Community Services District surveyed a couple dozen local residential wells in downtown Boonville, elevated levels of nitrates and coliform were found. When these worrisome results were reported to the State Water Board, State staffers decided that Boonville's fouled agua made the scruffy little town eligible for substantial amounts of public funds for municipal water and wastewater projects.
A STATE WATER bureaucrat who reviewed the findings from the testing apparently decided it might be time to re-survey Boonville’s public entities — any place, including restaurants where water was on offer. As the wheels of bureaucracy ground on, the surveys — simple forms returned to the Water Board — revealed to the Water Board bureaucrats that some public-serving establishments had to be re-classified because of increased numbers of people visiting them — NOT that there was any problem with the water, which was being monitored for the state out of the County’s Environmental Health Department.
WITH THIS reclassification — a complicated “decision tree” exercise based on the survey results — local establishments fell into a higher category of water monitoring, which required more frequent testing and oversight by the state’s Regional Water Quality Control Board, not the County’s Environmental Health department.
UP went the costs for the local businesses. Simply on the basis of those original, innocent-seeming surveys local businesses and organizations now have to pay several thousand dollars more per year for monthly testing , the results of which must be sent to the state’s Regional Water Quality Board in Santa Rosa. Even though there was no indication of any contamination in water in any of these places, the state compelled the much larger fees based on the state's arbitrary calculations.
THE CSD’s WATER/WASTEWATER PROJECT standing committee will meet at the Boonville Firehouse tomorrow, Thursday, Feb. 6 at 10:30 AM. Joy Wildflower from the State Water Resource Control Boards, Division of Drinking Water, Mendocino District will be there to discuss water quality issues in Anderson Valley.
TED WILLIAMS: Cannabis update: “Megan Dukett has been appointed to Acting Cannabis Program Manager. I worked with her on the Parks assessment last year when she was Program Administrator of Cultural Services Agency. I'm pleased she was selected and I have confidence she'll make a difference. In other words, I can work with her. I don't know that she has direct cannabis experience, but she understands the program needs, specifically removing barriers and finding ways to issue permits (which translates to less illicit market, greater county revenue). I was briefed on the recruitment process and thoroughness of interviews. The reassignment was based on merit. Cannabis license transferability has begun. Renewals have become an over the counter process, in place of the stunning full re-application process. I believe the tax appeals are complete. I expect Brent and Megan to bring further recommendations to the board for reducing complexity.”
MEGAN DUKETT is kin to Sarah Dukett who is a deputy CEO. Nepotism is an ongoing problem in Mendocino County, as is insider hiring. What Megan and Sarah know is how to massage CEO Angelo, who obviously placed Sarah Dukett in the nicely compensated job.
GREAT REDWOOD TRAIL SCAM: According to a report in Sunday’s Ukiah Daily Journal by Justine Frederiksen, State Sen. Mike McGuire was in Ukiah Friday to celebrate the first completed segment of the Great Redwood Trail, which McGuire said will be “the longest Rail Trail in America” once it stretches from San Francisco Bay to Humboldt Bay. Which it will certainly do some time around the Twelfth of Never. “This is going to be a ton of work over the next several years, but we’re on the right track,” said McGuire as if he were manning a shovel and, as with many of his public pronouncement you get that sinking feeling that he believes his delusions.
THE DEMOCRATS completely screwed taxpayers with their previous decades of “Little Train That Never Could” propaganda, wasting literal millions of public dollars on bogus track maintenance and administration. Even my fellow amnesiacs remember this same kind of overhyped Trail rhetoric from the Demos for their equivalently fraudulent “North Coast Railroad Authority.”
BUT THE UKIAH links will soon enable Ukiah’s more adventurous pedestrians to walk all the way to Ukiah’s wastewater treatment plant, a fitting terminus given the accompanying hype.
WE WONDER how much “new housing” the $4.6 million dollars spent on this boondoggle would finance? Not to mention the nearly $1.5 billion the entire 320 miles of the fantasy “trail” would cost at $4.6 mil per mile.
SPEAKING OF FRAUD, note that our big three reps — Huffman, Wood and McGuire — are playing it safe with presidential endorsements, not that they're permitted to make them on their own. They'll go with whomever the party endorses while praying that it isn't Bernie.
WILDLIFE CONSERVATION ORGANIZATIONS SUE MENDOCINO COUNTY CHALLENGING FEDERAL WILDLIFE SERVICES KILLING PROGRAM
Organizations Press County to Seek Alternatives to Killing Hundreds of Animals Each Year
UKIAH, CA - Two wildlife conservation organizations filed suit today against Mendocino County. The suit challenges the County’s certification of its Final Environmental Impact Report (FEIR) on its wildlife management program. It further seeks to reverse a controversial decision by the Mendocino County Board of Supervisors to renew its contract with USDA Wildlife Services (WS) for killing wildlife in the county.
“We have determined that the County’s FEIR is fundamentally flawed and does not meet the minimum standards of environmental review required by the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA),” said Attorney Don Lipmanson, who is representing plaintiffs Project Coyote and Mendocino Non-lethal Wildlife Alliance.
“We did not reach this decision lightly, but decided to sue only as a last resort after the Mendocino County Board of Supervisors refused to engage in constructive dialogue regarding its determination to renew its contract with WS and its inhumane and outmoded Integrated Wildlife Damage Management Program, which relies heavily on lethal and indiscriminate tools including cruel strangulation neck snares,” said Camilla Fox, founder and executive director of Project Coyote.
For decades, Mendocino County has contracted with USDA Wildlife Services to kill thousands of wild animals, largely at the behest of ranchers. Between 1997 and 2017, WS trappers killed 181 mountain lions, 261 black bears, 235 gray foxes, 112 bobcats and 4,119 coyotes in Mendocino County alone.
In 2014, a coalition of wildlife advocacy groups, including Project Coyote, sued the County under CEQA for failing to study the environmental impacts of their contract with WS. The plaintiffs argued that killing these wild animals can have devastating environmental impacts, and that non-lethal methods of predator control are more effective and humane. In a settlement agreement, the County agreed to produce an Environmental Impact Report (EIR) to analyze the impacts of their lethal methods, and to consider non-lethal wildlife management alternatives. In the draft EIR, released in June 2019, the County indicates an apparent preference not only for renewing their contract with WS, but also an interest in expanding the use of lethal methods of wildlife control to include neck wringing, cervical dislocation and the use of CO2, all of which can cause extreme pain and suffering. Non-target animals, including companion dogs and cats as well as threatened and endangered species of wildlife, fall victim to WS’s lethal approach to wildlife management. One WS trapper in Mendocino County boasted of killing more than 400 dogs in a ten-year period.
“The best available science shows that killing wild carnivores to reduce predation on livestock is rarely necessary or effective,” said Fox. “In addition, the draft EIR clearly demonstrates that the proposed lethal program could have negative impacts on the regional population of mountain lions — a species that conservation groups have petitioned for listing under the California Endangered Species Act in certain parts of California.”
Throughout the entire EIR process, Mendocino Non-lethal Wildlife Alliance and Project Coyote presented the County with models and methods from other counties in California, Oregon and elsewhere that are not only more humane, but are more effective in protecting human health and property and are more cost-efficient to implement than the WS Integrated Wildlife Damage Managment Program.
“We insist the County address the many deficiencies in the FEIR and make a serious effort to implement a non-lethal, locally operated program aimed at minimizing human-wildlife conflicts in Mendocino County,” said Lipmanson, who served on the Mendocino County Planning Commission for six years. “The County can and must do better than just depending on an outdated and often cruel federal wildlife killing program, whose agents trap and eventually execute many hundreds of native carnivores each year while ignoring the value of wildlife to local residents and to the surrounding environment.”
SUIT TO STOP HARRIS QUARRY
Citizen opponents of the giant asphalt plant proposed at the top of Ridgewood Grade on U. S. 101 have filed their third lawsuit charging that Mendocino County did not follow the law in granting a use permit for the plant.
The suit asks that Mendocino County and Northern Aggregates, Inc., (NAI) the owner of the Harris Quarry where the plant would be built, re-evaluate the potential environmental impacts of the proposed asphalt plant. It was filed by Keep the Code, Inc., (KTC) the nonprofit citizens group that also filed the two previous suits.
The County originally granted the use permit in 2012; KTC immediately filed suit challenging it and won in both Mendocino County Superior Court and the Court of Appeal. NAI brought its application back to the county last May, asking that the county decide the matter on a “fast track” that would bypass the county planning commission, and the Board of Supervisors agreed.
KTC’s new lawsuit challenges the legality of the 3-2 vote of the Board of Supervisors on December 16, 2019, that lumped the approval of the use permit together with seven other issues in a single vote. The lawsuit alleges three specific ways in which the vote violated state and county law:
- The Board of Supervisors violated the California Environmental Quality Act by refusing to consider significant information regarding new and changed conditions not available when the original Environmental Impact Report (EIR) was approved in 2012.
- The new use permit was granted in violation of state law requiring that all use permit applications be evaluated according to a revised county General Plan that has been updated to discuss new levels of fire danger. Mendocino County never has so updated its General Plan, which has been required since 2014.
- Consideration of the revisions in the original EIR and the new use permit application did not include a hearing before the county Planning Commission as required by the Mendocino County Code.
The lawsuit alleges that: “This case also centers on the County’s disregard for the public’s right to review and participate in the decision-making process that CEQA guarantees. CEQA mandates public accountability by requiring the County to engage as a partner with the public through evaluating shared expertise, disclosing agency analyses, checking for accuracy, detecting omissions, discovering public concerns, and soliciting counter proposals.”
Cynthia Raiser Jeavons, president of KTC, said that her organization represents a broad- coalition of county residents. “Supervisors Ted Williams and John Haschak cast the 2 dissenting votes when the permit was granted, demonstrating their understanding that the proposed project does not adequately protect local safety, health, and the many hundreds of nearby taxpaying properties,” she said.
(Presser, KeepTheCode, Mendocino)
VOTE BY MAIL (ABSENTEE) BALLOTS AVAILABILITY
Vote By Mail (absentee) Ballots all Vote By Mail voters today Monday, February 3, 2020 and are available now in the County Clerk's Office, for the Presidential Primary Election to be conducted on March 3, 2020, according to Katrina Bartolomie, Assessor-County Clerk-Recorder. The County Clerk's Office is located in Room 1020 of the County Administration Building located at 501 Low Gap Road, Ukiah. If you do not receive your ballot within one week, please call our office at (707) 234-6819. Sample Ballots (local voter information booklets) were mailed by our vendor last week and should be arriving in your homes, if you do not receive your Sample Ballot by the end of the week, please call our office. Katrina Bartolomie reminds voters who wish to vote in the March 3, 2020 election, that the last day to register to vote is February 18, 2020. Voter Registration cards must to be postmarked by that day or completed online at https://registertovote.ca.gov/ by midnight (February 18, 2020). For additional information please contact the Election / County Clerk’s Office by calling 707 234-6819.
CATCH OF THE DAY, February 3, 2020
JASON BEIBER, Fort Bragg. DUI.
CESAR CASTILLO-LUNA, Cloverdale/Ukiah. Probation revocation.
AARON GONZALEZ, Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-alcohol.
JONATHAN HOPPNER, Willits. Parole violation.
CHEYENNE RAMSING, Willits. DUI.
GABRIEL SALTO-VANDENDRIESSCHE, Barcelona, Spain/Willits. DUI.
ALEX TING, Allen, Texas/Fort Bragg. Vandalism.
MALISSA WARNER, Ukiah. Parole violation.
FEBRUARY 2020 FIRST FRIDAY ART WALK
Art Center Ukiah 201 S School Street Presents a LIVE ART Event Quick Draw 4.0 The fourth year of this “live art event,” patrons watch while selected local artists draw from live models. Drawings and other art will be for sale and on display through the month of February. Live music David Partch. Refreshments served.
Enoteca Wine Bar 206 W Church Street will feature art by Chat Ko
Bona Marketplace 116 W Standley Street Bona will host Marita McDonough, a watercolor artist with vibrant abstracts
Ukiah Library 105 N Main Street Ukiah Join the DRBU Arts Initiative for this special event to celebrate the lunar new year, featuring a photography and calligraphy exhibit on virtue and community. Create festive new year lanterns, try brush calligraphy, enjoy traditional Chinese music and dance by the students of the Developing Virtue Girls School. Savor delicious vegetarian treats and refreshing teas.
This event is for all ages and is sponsored by the Ukiah Valley Friends of the Library and the Mendocino County Library. For more information, please contact the Ukiah Library at 707 463 4490, or email email@example.com.
Mama’s Medicinal’s 328 N State Street Join Emily and her artist Chris McKee for an evening of art and tea tasting.
Craft Distillers 110 W Clay St Visit the Museum to see the featured one of a kind art pieces
Corner Gallery 201 S State St
ENJOY YOUR GLOBAL WARMING GUACAMOLE!
In 2016, Ecoamericas reported that the U.S. bought 700,000 tons of Mexican avocados the preceding year. In 2020, that number is expected to hover around 1.2 million tons valued at more than $2.5 billion, according to the Mexican daily La Jornada. In 1993, immediately prior to the implementation of NAFTA, Mexican avocado exports earned a mere $19.135 million.
A January 29 story by the BBC reported nine out of ten avocados sold in the U.S. come from Mexico, specifically the southwestern state of Michoacan.
There, production skyrocketed from a respectable 32,000 acres in 1974 (Ecoamericas) to an astonishing 415,000 acres by 2018, figures from the Mexican federal agricultural agency report. According to Mexican media reports, the Michoacan avocado industry involves 26,234 producers and 60 packers, providing 310,000 direct and 78,000 indirect jobs to the local economy.
Avocado orchards have transformed Michoacan’s landscape, turning an estimated 121,000 acres of former carbon dioxide absorbing forests into export producing orchards.
— Kent Patterson
ON LINE COMMENT OF THE DAY
I arrived in the US yesterday from Hong Kong. Basically, no protective measures are being taken at the US airport. They only asked me if I had been to “China” recently. They probably won’t be able to stop it as the virus is highly contagious before, during, and after symptoms. Even after the subject “recovers”, he/she can still transmit the virus. A friend had a much more rigorous inspection entering Australia. Australia advises self-quarantine for 14 days. I’ll self-quarantine here in the US for 6 days as the German case study suggests that it lies dormant for 3 – 4 days. I have a small fridge and a microwave in my hotel room. I’ll wear a mask to the supermarket today and stock up on food.
DENIS ROUSE WRITES:
(1) I'm an old LA'er, a Ram fan to the end, admit it was a pleasure to watch the 49'ers get their asses handed to them. (2) The over-the-top, increasingly frequent commercial interruptions of the game are making it nearly too painful to watch. (3) The cacophonic half time show featuring kids in cages and prurient pole dancing made me think of Jeffrey Epstein. You're right. We're doomed. Best, Denis.
A READER WRITES: Through the looking-glass
I watch so little TV that my occasional visits tend to be startling…even a bit shocking. While I enjoyed the game, the viewing experience as a whole once again made me glad of my decision to cut TV culture out of my life. What a wretched mess it is artistically, morally, and stylistically. Full of stylized violence and empty eroticism, ominous music, bathos, fantasy, threat-posturing, posing, greed, and histrionics. (Should I tell you how I really feel?) How do people get inured to it? You get the feeling that if it could possibly be contrived to be any more mannered, frenetic, bombastic, slick, and shallow, it would be. Particularly poignant and regrettable to me were all the shiny expensive ads for wretched junk food and horrible junk drinks — the kind of stuff that is slowly killing a lot of us.
by James Kunstler
All of a sudden, events are looking a bit fluxy out there, as though the world is shuddering through some spooky ch-ch-ch-changes, like a monster waiting to be born, with strange convergences of ecology, politics and economy, and there’s only so much you can do to prepare, really. Criticality is in the air!
The horses are out of the barn on the Wuhan Coronavirus. Air travel was curtailed too late in the game — and still only partially — with asymptomatic-but-infectious human carriers winging to every corner of the world and probably contaminating airports all along the way. There’s plenty of thought and counter-thought on what exactly is going on behind the scenes in China. The ruling party has knocked itself out demonstrating its earnestness in the crisis, performing great feats like the construction of a one-thousand-bed hospital in ten days, shutting down the lunar new year festivities (like cancelling Christmas here), and locking down a hundred million citizens in quarantine. Pretty impressive.
But there’s also a theory that the Coronavirus affords a cover for cascading failures in China’s corrupt and shifty banking system. The country had already stepped across some frontiers in demographics, energy consumption, and industrial growth that were shoving it toward contraction for the first time in two generations. Coronavirus has shut down a lot of production in big things like cars and big-little things like cell phones, and supply lines are shutting down to world markets. This amounts to the first big test of the integrated global economy, as well as the world’s debt-saturated business model.
When a lot of parties and counterparties can’t pay each other because their revenue flows are cut off, the securities, currencies, equities, and other abstract representations of wealth go south. The US and Europe are no better positioned for a crisis in their banking arrangements, and confidence is starting to crack. Both economic mega-regions have relied on central banking hocus-pocus to prop up stock markets and maintain the illusion that the logic of bonds still applies. The first thing to go moneywise in a contracting financial system is the magic of compound interest.
The US Federal Reserve has been massively gaming the Repo markets — overnight lending that uses bonds as collateral — since September, raising suspicions that more than one of its “primary dealer” banks are insolvent. Juicing them with “liquidity” is like painting over sheetrock infested with black mold. Looks good for a week or so, and then you’re in intensive care. Nobody knows yet what the effect of Britain’s escape from the EU will do to the Union’s remainers, but Europe’s bonded debt arrangements are even dodgier than America’s, since there is absolutely no EU central control of each member’s fiscal affairs. Anyway, the meta-trend now is the devolution of governance from giant-and-central to smaller-and-local, so the real question is how much disorder and damage do these nations endure as that happens. It’s been manifesting vividly in France for a year in the yellow vest protests.
Here in the USA, the knock-on effects of converging crises begin to look like a game of four-dimensional eight-ball. The oil markets are getting slammed around the $51 hashmark, making it more difficult for the shale oil producers to meet their onerous debt repayments (in an industry that just doesn’t make a profit). Lower gasoline prices may seem like a boon for US motorists, but it comes at the expense of bankrupting more oil companies and punishing lenders like pension funds that invested in shale securities in the desperate search for “yield.” Shale never was a rational business model despite its fabulous production surge in a very short span of years. Don’t be surprised if there’s an attempt to nationalize it, which will induce new problems of capital allocation and sheer incompetence in a world where central planning of anything is more and more a bad bet.
Looming and converging multiple crises are also behind the gross disorder in US politics, though the connections may not be so discernably visible. President Trump foolishly took credit for financial markets that he had correctly described as being “one big, fat, ugly bubble,” back in the febrile days of the last election. Now it threatens to leave him holding a big fat ugly bag of trouble. That booby trap is surely more hazardous to his reelection chances than the frenetic efforts of pissants like Adam Schiff running Wile E. Coyote ambuscades in the DC Swamp. Mr. Trump spent three years working, jawboning, and bluffing over global trade arrangements that are now suddenly falling apart. How much of that will turn out to be a temporary effect of the Coronavirus, nobody knows. Or maybe it’s an inflection point in the workings of our over-hyper-complexified human ecosystem.
These shifting quandaries leave the Democratic Party between that ol’ rock and a hard place. All of their bad faith ploys against Mr. Trump have failed so far. I speak to supposedly educated people every day upon whom the failure of the Mueller Investigation, the fiasco of impeachment, and the revelations of IG Michael Horowitz have made no impression at all. The Golden Golem of Greatness is still Putin’s Puppet to them. It’s a wonder of the age that they can’t cut their losses. And now Bernie Sanders suddenly looks poised to win the Iowa caucus and inflame the not-quite-so-socialist factions of the party, who appear to be ratcheting up some Wile E. Coyote traps against him. If that works, it’ll blow the party apart, 1860 style, into rump factions. But if Bernie somehow perseveres and gets the nomination… and the Potemkin financial markets tank… and Coronavirus turns out to be a very big deal for upsetting global trade… then, America may get its first zealous socialist president.
Yes, history repeats and rhymes and all that, but I don’t see Bernie replicating the triumphs of Franklin D. Roosevelt in Great Depression 2.0. Rather, by attempting to overlay command-and-control policies on a zeitgeist that wants to take us smaller and local, Bernie Sanders will only be bucking reality. The net effect of Bernie Sanders in the White House will be to finish off the economy… and imagine where that will take us.
(Support Kunstler’s writing by visiting his Patreon Page.)
SEED AND SCION EXCHANGE THIS SATURDAY
Learning to graft your own fruit trees and save your own seeds gives you the opportunity to grow your own food with little or no monetary input. This Saturday, February 8th, at the 37th annual Winter Abundance Gathering you can learn the skills to carry that off. The event will be from 9-4:00 at the Mendocino County Fairgrounds in Boonville. There’s no charge for admission, classes, clinics, or seed/scion/plant exchanges.
You do not need to bring seeds, scions, or plants to participate in the exchanges. If you do bring your own saved and labeled seeds to share, putting them in glass jars is good. Free seed envelopes are provided. A presentation on seed-saving basics will help you learn how to save your favorite seeds for next year.
A scion is a piece of a branch of your favorite fruit tree (see below) that can be grafted to rootstock or another existing tree. Local experts will be on hand to help with advice, giving hands-on clinics and presentations. Please bring labeled scions of your favorite fruit trees – especially the gems that are proven here. New varieties and your own seedlings are also welcome. If the varietal name is unknown, just label with your name, phone, and a brief description. Best scions are cut from the lower portion of the longest, straightest new shoots. Cut scions 8-12” long and clear bag them. Cuttings for rooting should be 12-18” long and bundled. Store them damp and cold on the north side of a building or refrigerate. Our dormancy period is short, so picking scions early is best, especially the plum family. Free bags and labels will be available.
Everyone is welcome to use our venue to give away or swap plants. Due to Sudden Oak Death and other root pathogens, please minimize the attached native soil. Try to use soilless potting mixes if possible, or bring plants bare root, gently washing native soil off dormant plants. Moist pine wood shavings (sold in bags as animal bedding) are best for packing roots and scions. Wet newspaper also works short term.
Beverages, snacks, lunch, seeds, trees, plants, farmers’ market items, and low-cost fruit tree rootstock will be for sale. For more information go to www.avfoodshed.com. Winter Abundance is sponsored by Mendocino Permaculture, Anderson Valley Adult School, and Anderson Valley Foodshed.
THE CREATION MYTH OF THE BUTTIGIEG CAMPAIGN
by Norman Solomon
This weekend, Pete Buttigieg told supporters that he became a viable candidate for president “on the strength of our vision” and “the urgency of our convictions.” Such rhetoric fits snugly into a creation myth about his campaign that Buttigieg has been promoting since early 2019.
Summing up the gist of that myth, Buttigieg began this year by standing at a whiteboard and looking into a camera while he talked about the genesis of his run for the presidency. “We launched as an exploratory committee, not even a full year ago, with a few volunteers, zero dollars in the bank,” he said — and “without the personal wealth of a millionaire or a billionaire.”
And Buttigieg offered reassurance to those concerned about big money in politics, saying: “What we built in 2019 we were able to put together without any contributions from federal lobbyists, or from fossil-fuel executives, and not one dollar from corporate PACs.” But, as Aldous Huxley wrote in the introduction to his classic novel of dystopian technocracy, Brave New World, “the greatest triumphs of propaganda” are accomplished by maintaining “silence about truth.”
Buttigieg has remained silent about what made the ascent of his campaign possible—the early, major and continuing support from extremely rich people enmeshed with powerful and destructive corporate interests—enabling the Pete for America campaign to get off the ground and gain altitude. Buttigieg’s rise was propelled by the rocket fuel of funding from—and bonding with—wealthy corporate operators, who bundled big checks from other donors and provided an establishment seal of approval that resonated with mainstream media.
The deft spin from the Buttigieg apparatus and the huge media hype about him have obscured the significance of his deep-pocketed backers. Key information about those ties has rarely gotten into the mass-media echo chamber. Yet, occasional reports have offered a window into the big-money support for Buttigieg that he is eager to leave unmentioned.
Buttigieg may have started his presidential campaign a year ago “with a few volunteers” and “zero dollars in the bank”—but it wasn’t long before plenty of millionaires and billionaires flocked to back him with their own money and piles of checks from wealthy associates.
“Pete Buttigieg Is the Only Top 2020 Democrat Taking Money from Lobbyists,” HuffPost reported in April. “Buttigieg’s campaign said the donations wouldn’t influence his policy positions and noted he isn’t taking donations from corporate PACs or fossil fuel interests.” Later, the Center for Public Integrity explained in mid-summer, Buttigieg “reversed his stance and refunded more than $30,000 from federal lobbyists… But Buttigieg has nonetheless continued to rely on wealthy and well-connected ‘bundlers’ to help him fundraise — and to great effect, raising more money of late than most other 2020 presidential candidates.”
As summer began, Buttigieg’s star was ascending on Wall Street. There, the New York Times reported, “donors are swooning over Mr. Buttigieg enough to open their wallets and bundling networks for him.”
By October, under the headline “Pete Buttigieg Takes Lead as Big Business Candidate in 2020 Field,” Fortune magazine was reporting that “when it comes to opening hearts (and wallets) of business leaders across America, Buttigieg is shining.”
It was the middle of October when Buttigieg defended his reliance on big donors with a memorable comment: “We’re not going to beat Trump with pocket change.” However, as Common Dreams pointed out, “Critics noted that (Bernie) Sanders and (Elizabeth) Warren are the top fundraisers of the Democratic primary, raising $46 million and $35 million mainly through small donations.”
In early November, the Washington Post reported that “Wall Street donors have a new favorite candidate in the 2020 Democratic presidential field: Pete Buttigieg. . . . Buttigieg leads his rivals in collecting contributions from the securities and investment industry, pulling in $935,000 through the first three quarters of this year, according to figures from the Center for Responsive Politics.”
By then, Buttigieg was neck-and-neck with frontrunner Joe Biden for largesse from billionaires. In December, Forbes documented that “40 billionaires and their spouses have donated to Pete Buttigieg’s presidential campaign, according to an analysis of federal election filings, making the South Bend, Indiana mayor a favorite among America’s richest people.”
The outlines of Buttigieg’s high-roller fundraising strategy came into sharper focus in mid-December when his campaign released the names of about 150 wealth-connected supporters who had each “raised at least $25,000 for our campaign.” At the same time, Newsweek reported, “disappointed Twitter followers are requesting their money back from Buttigieg under the #RefundPete hashtag. Some say they are disappointed by his taking large donations, some say they’re disappointed by his consultation work, some say they felt ‘fooled’ by his behavior and donated earlier in his campaign.”
The effectiveness of the Buttigieg campaign’s creation myth will soon be gauged by vote totals. Running for president in an era of oligarchy, Pete Buttigieg has chosen to be an antithesis of Bernie Sanders (who I actively support), resembling countless politicians so eager to take big money from the wealthy that it’s unclear if they have any priority higher than trying to win the next election.
(Norman Solomon is cofounder and national coordinator of RootsAction.org. He was a Bernie Sanders delegate from California to the 2016 Democratic National Convention. Solomon is the author of a dozen books including War Made Easy: How Presidents and Pundits Keep Spinning Us to Death.)
ON LINE COMMENTS OF THE WEEK
 The candidates that speak up on material issues affecting the vast multitude of the bottom 90% will win the election. If, in their time in office, that winning candidate delivers on those material issues, they will win re-election. If the political class advocates for the unworkable status quo and keeps fighting the tranny wars, it creates a political opening of the type that Trump spotted. That’s all he did. So did Bernie. If the ruling elite and its enabling clerisy keep talking Russian collusion-meddling and this abuse of office nonsense, the odds of insurrection go up, armed or otherwise. And that little get-together by armed thousands in Virginia should have been instructive. You can say it was about guns like you can say the on-going kerfuffles in Hong Kong are about democracy. I would say that both are about something other than guns or democracy.
 Laytonville has quite the bright future in cannabis. Flow-Kana’s days are numbered and anyone who has lived in Laytonville 30 years or longer knows the Flo-Kana’s and the rest of the two-buck-Chucks of this world mean nothing to the long time growers who set the bar decades ago on quality weed. The foundation to Laytonville becoming anything other than a truck stop is to avoid the county process all together. Group the forces collectively and go straight to Sacramento. County level anything in Mendo is a joke. This thing at the Garden Club next Sat.is a good start to see where folks are at. Peace!
 I know I heard about some commission for the county [Mendo] to deal with climate change. I have a lot of thoughts on many things but I have a few questions I'm hoping can be answered.
With climate collapse happening, we are already seeing how the fishing industry is not going to be something the county can depend upon. Logging we already know is not dependable with the shutdown of the mill and the hack and squirt debacle (is there a commission for dealing with all the dead standing trees both from this and the beetles?)
The wine industry does more damage than anything to the land and water in our county, why does the county allow so many wineries instead of encouraging actual food production.
To bounce off food production, is there any plans to make a centralized area farmers can take their products for processing and selling? In Japan that is often how it's done so it's not all on each individual farmer to process and sell which tends to make things a lot easier and keep pressure off. The weed industry could be very profitable if it was accessible to more people (licensing etc.) along with more legit perhaps, processing jobs too and taxed well, perhaps encouraging hemp too for people who would be uncomfortable cultivating or working with drugs. As it is though it is not benefitting the county like it should. Are there projects in the works for the county to make electricity? (Solar? Wind? Wave?)
We cannot rely on tourism or the current incomes we have, the county needs to bring in an actual industry again (one that won't be detrimental to the environment around it also, lookin at you lumber and wine and sometimes weed too). We need to be able to make our county into something that people want to and can actually move to and live in. (I didn't even touch affordable housing, just had friends move to Arizona because of that issue, that is two people who could have been helping out the county and area that are gone now.) It's hard to admit we are in a climate collapse and also a not very positive turn in our county when it comes to getting people to want to move here or stay living here but we are and gotta think forward and in the now.
 “Civil War Two begins in earnest”? A literal civil war? I cannot picture a shooting war. I just cannot. Disgruntled people, marching around, maybe. Maybe smashing some windows and burning cars. And then what? How would this go? Soccer moms manning the barricades around the Walmart? Cubicle dwellers seizing the radio and TV stations?
 The Transgender Reading Hours are not civilization ending in and of themselves per se….maybe. However, they are a sign that our civilization is ending. Make of it what you wish but the cold, hard reality of demographics agrees. Sorry. If not Tranny Story Hour, then what? What will be the straw that breaks the camel’s back? The whole of the West is sinking. Some of it may stay afloat. Most of it won’t. Rome in its latter days can’t have looked as ridiculous as this.
SUPERBOWL REPORT CARD
MIAMI — The 49ers lost 31-20 to the Chiefs in Super Bowl LIV. Here are the 49ers’ grades.
Garoppolo: D. He had an opportunity to prove he’s not a game manager, an opportunity to lead a game-winning fourth-quarter drive in the Super Bowl and put himself in the conversation with Joe Montana and Steve Young. But Garoppolo failed. With the game on the line, he overthrew a deep pass to Emmanuel Sanders, who was open. Overthrew him by a cool five yards. Garoppolo finished with two picks and a 69.2 quarterback rating. He may become an elite quarterback one day, but he has a long way to go.
Running Backs: A. Jeff Wilson Jr. made a 20-yard catch, Kyle Juszczyk caught a touchdown pass and Raheem Mostert and Tevin Coleman combined to rush 17 times for 86 yards — 5.1 yards per carry. Mostert also scored a touchdown. These three should have touched the ball much more than they did.
Wide Receivers: A. Deebo Samuel had 39 receiving yards and 53 rushing yards — a new record for a wide receiver in a Super Bowl. Kendrick Bourne also caught a 26-yard pass on third down, and Emmanuel Sanders might have caught a deep touchdown pass on third down to win the game, but Garoppolo overthrew him.
Tight Ends: B. George Kittle made a beautiful deep catch at the end of the first half, but the officials flagged him for offensive pass interference. He finished with four catches for 36 yards.
Offensive Line: A-Minus. They blocked well in the run game and gave up only one sack, but Joe Staley committed a crucial false start in the second — an uncharacteristic mistake for a player of his experience and quality.
Defensive Line: A-Minus. They controlled the game for 54 minutes. The pass rush generated consistent pressure, flushed Patrick Mahomes out of the pocket and destroyed the continuity of the Chiefs’ passing game, until the defense got tired. Then the pass rush disappeared, and Nick Bosa gave up a 38-yard touchdown run to Damien Williams.
Linebackers: A. Fred Warner intercepted Mahomes and recorded seven tackles. Warner rose to the occasion. Kwon Alexander did not — he recorded only one tackle. Will the 49ers bring Alexander back next season? He’s expensive, and Dre Greenlaw might be better than him.
Defensive Backs: C. They played well until the final six minutes of the game. Then they gave up a long catch to Tyreek Hill. Backup safety Tarvarius Moore also committed a pass interference penalty in the end zone which led to a touchdown. And Richard Sherman got burned in man to man coverage by Sammy Watkins for a 38-yard catch. Two weeks ago, Packers wide receiver Davante Adams did the same thing to Sherman, but people overlooked that play because the 49ers won. The Chiefs didn’t overlook it. They attacked Sherman, whose legs are gone. The 49ers should draft a corner in the first round of the draft this year.
Special Teams: C. Richie James Jr. fumbled a punt and spent the rest of the game trying to make up his mistake. He kept running kickoffs out of the end zone for minimal gains. He did not rise to the occasion. Robbie Gould did, though. He made both of his field-goal attempts.
Coaches: D. Robert Saleh’s defense played historically well for the first three-and-a-half quarters until it got tired. That’s when it started giving up big plays. Saleh should not have asked Sherman to cover Watkins man to man, because Sherman is a pure zone corner who doesn’t run well enough to cover wide receivers man to man anymore. But this loss falls on the head coach, Kyle Shanahan. He evolved and improved this season, and yet he still can’t manage the clock in big games. Only three teams in NFL history ever have lost a Super Bowl when leading by 10 points in the fourth quarter, and Shanahan called the offensive plays for two of them. He’s beginning to seem like a high-level loser — someone who beats the competition all season until he finally beats himself. He is his own nemesis. These two Super Bowl collapses will define him until he wins a championship. Cruel, but that’s life.
"FIGHT THE URGE TO COVER MY DAUGHTERS’ EYES": Supervisor’s post about halftime show sparks reaction.
CHAR YER BIO'S, FOLKS
Reminder: compost and biochar workshop Feb 5 at Floodgate Farm, 9 AM
Floodgate Farm will be hosting a biochar burn and Johnson-Su bioreactor workshop this Wednesday, February 5th from 9 AM until 3 PM. The top-down open pile burn will start at 9 AM and bioreactor harvesting and rebuild around 10:30. Samples of biochar and finished compost will be available for your experimentation at home, and we can look at finished compost under a microscope. The rebuild will include wetting a variety of materials and filling the reactor. One of these is Azola. In the last year a fernlike pond plant Azola has colonized our lower pond (we think via a bird as we did not put it there). It does form a complete and thick blanket over the pond, which may or may not be desired, but makes a great mulch or compost ingredient. So anyone looking for this material for their own pond are free to take some home - after looking at our pond and ways we use it, then deciding whether this is for you. The workshop is at 12400 Bakers Creek Road. I will meet folks at West Road exit at 8:35 with an 8:45 departure; if you miss that and need directions, please call. It is 3 miles up Bakers Creek Road which goes off of Laughlin Way. There is an optional donation and/or please bring a lunch or potluck item, but noone will be turned away. We hope to see you!
Bill Taylor and Jaye Alison Moscariello 707-272-1688
ON LINE COMMENT OF THE DAY
There are so many people who are working and need a little assistance to help them. Many working poor would benefit from a small housing subsidy and free, quality childcare. This would be small potatoes compared to what we're spending on so few people and yield much higher rewards as the people receiving the benefits actually want to create a better life and contribute positively to society. It's crazy that this small group of people have manipulated the system to this point. I feel that we should offer shelter, that it should be mandatory that they take it or move on. I do not feel that homeless people should be free to occupy our commercial and public spaces because they don't feel like playing by the rules. We all work hard to make our way and contribute to society through our work, our taxes, our kindness and contributions to our community. It's not fair for one group of people to discard the rules and everyone else's hard work. We do need mental health and rehab beds and maybe we need to reinstate a modern version of the "poor house" where vagrants go instead of ruining everyone else's park or trail or downtown with garbage, fecal matter, needles and crime.