- Building Ridge
- Missing Ballots
- Lisa Walters
- Bean Waived
- Cannabis Talk
- Khadijah Event
- Matt Bat
- Lighthouse Lunch
- Mari, Mari
- River Restoration
- Fish Waiting
- Remove Invasives
- Dow Drop
- Homeless Space
- Horse Pardon
- Variety Show
- Uneda Eat
- Hippie Relief
- Smoky Sattui
- Campaign Contributions
- Sleep Normal
- Love Hurts
- Let's Go
- Dyerville Bridge
- MEC Alive
- Wildlife Films
- Yesterday's Catch
- Glib Tool
- Beer Drinkers
- Allowing Homelessness
- Common Good
- Literacy Lawsuit
- Understanding Socialism
- Logical Conclusion
- Scare Word
- False Promises
- Bible Belts
- Found Object
DRY AND WARM CONDITIONS are expected through the work week as a ridge of high pressure builds over the west coast. Cooler and potentially showery conditions are expected over the weekend. (NWS)
by Mike Kalantarian
We've got four registered voters in our household: one Democrat and three No Party Preference (NPP). The Democrat received his ballot in early February, but by the middle of this month the three NPP voters (who had requested “crossover" ballots to participate in the Democratic primary) had still received nothing. This seemed strange: the same address but differing service, seemingly based on party preference. I called the Mendocino County Registrar of Voters and was told that all ballots were mailed out on February 3, eleven days past, so they would mail us replacement ballots.
Curious about this, I posted a note online asking if anyone else had the same problem, and received a half-dozen responses from other NPP/crossover voters waiting for their ballots to arrive.
By February 20 we had still not received ballots, so I went to the registrars' office to request a replacement ballot in person. As the receptionist went off to produce it, other staff came up to answer my questions. They told me the printing/mailing of Mendocino County ballots had, for the very first time, been contracted out to a private vendor [subsequent research seems to contradict this claim, indicating Mendocino has been subcontracting with this particular vendor at least as far back as 2018]. I asked who the contractor was, and after some balking — "I don't see how that is relevant" — was given the name Integrated Voting Systems. Replacement ballot finally in hand, I went home with piqued interest.
The next day I researched "Integrated Voting Systems" and discovered a sordid history of bungled ballots, unpaid taxes and debts, liens, suspension, evasive name changes, asset and liability dodging, delinquent filing, foreclosure, lawsuits, bankruptcy… In other words, exactly the sort you'd want to trust your vote with. The miscreant behind all this mayhem was owner Eric Kozlowski. At the end of this piece are links to stories which elaborate on past issues with this outfit.
Meanwhile, back to the present, if you have not received your ballot yet, you should go to the registrar's office in Ukiah (501 Low Gap Road) and get your replacement ballot in person. For many, of course, that will be a long drive and imposition, but because election day is only a week away (March 3) simply calling the office (707-234-6819) to request a replacement by mail is probably too late now.
If you did not receive your original ballot (or got it very late), please email me (firstname.lastname@example.org) including your party affiliation and whether or not you requested a crossover ballot. I'm curious whether these delays/omissions indeed targeted NPP/crossover voters, as appeared to be the case from my initial inquiry.
Three full weeks after they were supposedly mailed (Feb. 3), our three original NPP/crossover ballots have still not arrived. I don't think they're coming, and I wonder how many other Mendo voters will be completely shut out from voting in this election (or forced to submit a provisional ballot).
After all the underhanded electoral shenanigans we've seen in the recent past, I'm not discounting the possibility that darker forces are still working to suppress our vote. It stands to reason that NPP/crossover voters might be targeted as likely Sanders supporters, and therefore a worthy demographic to disenfranchise. It wouldn't be the first time something like this has happened, and it's why you hear people saying that Bernie will have to over-win this election in order to win. The powers that be are terrified of that happening and will do most anything to stop it.
Further reading on the deeply troubled past of Eric Kozlowski and Integrated Voting Systems:
"Behind those bungled ballots"
"Ballot printer imperiled 2016 election: Even more Colorado counties hired IVS after feud, court battle”
"SLO County ballot printer’s messy family bankruptcy"
"SLO County vendor’s troubles raise the question, who’s printing your ballots?"
"Fresno ballot vendor has trouble in Colorado, warned by state of California"
LISA WALTERS has died. A long-time resident of the South Coast, Lisa was a reporter for the Independent Coast Observer, the MendoNoma weekly based in Gualala. She wrote a lively stick, as the old timers used to say, always managing to enliven the staid pages of the ICO with her varied accounts of the doings of the odd assortment of characters drawn to Point Arena and points south. Lisa had been ill for some time and incommunicado, but I’ll never forget her first visit to Boonville. Arriving at our office she announced, “I just got propositioned three times at the bar [the old Boonville Lodge] by two men and a woman, and I was only there for about five minutes!” Lisa, with her alert eye for the absurd, took a lot of great stories with her.
JUST IN: Gina Bean, represented by ace Coast attorney, Mark Kalina, has waived her right to a preliminary hearing and will be arraigned on charges of fleeing an accident scene at 9 am Friday, March 6. DA David Eyster is prosecuting the case himself.
THE BACK STORY, beginning with the CHP account of the sad event: CHP Presser of, Dec. 6, 2019:
“On July 18, 2019, a hit-and-run traffic collision occurred on Highway 1 at Little Lake Road, resulting in fatal injuries to 21 year old Calum Pulido [Hunnicutt], from Mendocino County. The suspected driver, 41 year old Gina Rae Bean, from Mendocino County, was traveling northbound on Highway 1, when she struck Pulido as he was skateboarding westbound on Little Lake Road. Bean subsequently fled the scene in the suspect vehicle, a 2006 Toyota Tundra. As a result of a quick response and follow-up investigation by the California Highway Patrol, Bean’s Toyota was located at a local auto body shop. Upon locating the Toyota, it was determined that Bean’s boyfriend, 36 year old Ricky Santos, from Mendocino County, had attempted to repair Bean’s vehicle in an effort to destroy any evidence. As a result of an ongoing and thorough investigation, the California Highway Patrol submitted multiple charges to the Mendocino County District Attorney’s Office on Bean, including Felony Hit-and-Run and Vehicular Manslaughter. Multiple charges were also submitted on Santos, including Conspiracy and Destroying or Concealing Evidence. On November 27, 2019, the Mendocino County District Attorney’s Office issued arrest warrants for both Bean and Santos. On November 27, 2019, investigators from the California Highway Patrol located Santos and placed him under arrest. With the persistence of the California Highway Patrol investigators pursuing Bean, she turned herself in to the Mendocino County Jail on December 2, 2019. Bean then posted a $50,000 bail and was released on bail.
A COUPLE WEEKS LATER A READER WROTE: “I just noticed that DA Eyster has decided to charge Gina Bean, the woman who somehow hit and killed pedestrian Calum Hunnicutt in Mendocino last year not with vehicular manslaughter as recommended by the CHP, but that Ms. Bean "…did willfully, unlawfully, and knowingly, being a driver of a vehicle involved in an accident resulting in death to a person other than herself, fail, refuse, and neglect to give to the injured person and to a traffic and police officer at the scene of the accident her name and address…to render reasonable assistance to the injured person; and perform the duties specified in Vehicle Code Sections 23002 and 20004." In other words, vehicle code violations for fleeing the scene, not the penal code violation (PC 192) for vehicular manslaughter. I am not an attorney and I don’t know all the particulars of what happened that fatal night when Ms. Bean (allegedly) ran over Mr. Hunnicutt. But after a little on-line research I see where a prosecutor has to prove some level of reasonable negligence to justify a vehicular manslaughter charge and that one of the main defenses against a vehicular manslaughter charge is to essentially blame the victim for causing his own death by acting negligently himself. So I’m guessing that the CHP report may not provide enough information to prove negligence on Ms. Bean’s part, and, knowing a little about the dangers of skateboarding or walking across the intersection where the incident occurred, the DA may have calculated that the best course is the no-brainer fleeing the scene charge. This way he’s more likely to get a guilty plea and/or verdict and he can avoid the awkward defense tactic of having to publicly point out whatever the late Mr. Hunnicutt may or may not have done to contribute to his own death. (Going too fast? Drugs? Hot dogging? Poor conditions at the intersection, etc.?) Nevertheless, I think dropping the CHP’s vehicular manslaughter charge this early in the case is premature and unjustified and shouldn’t have been done until after the case was well down the road and at least not sooner than the preliminary hearing. So far I have not seen any outrage on the part of Mr. Hunnicutt’s friends and family concerning the dropping of the vehicular manslaughter charge though. Maybe they know something I don’t know.”
FRED GARDNER CANNABIS TALK IN WILLITS ON SUNDAY: “I've been invited by Richard Jergensen to give a talk at the opening of a new Cannabis Museum in the old Rexall Building, 90 So. Main Street, in Willits on Sunday March 1, 2:30 pm. I'm going to recount the history of the medical marijuana movement (which was usurped from the grassroots leaders by Soros-funded operatives in '96 and finally derailed by The Industry by 2015). If I have time for the modern era, I'll discuss the corruption of Cannacraft, a multimillion dollar Santa Rosa corporation with a great PR staff. Dan Hamburg helped them wangle an important permit. (Info: 889-2449)"
To the Editor:
We are writing to express our deep gratitude to the family and friends of Khadijah Britton, who recently hosted the event, "Say Her Name--Khadijah!" at the Covelo Recreation Center.
Khadijah is a young Native American woman who has been missing from the Round Valley Reservation for more than two years. The story is heart-breaking yet the event was heart-lifting. The Round Valley Feather Dancers shared powerful and healing dances. All Voices Choral Project sang with sheer, utter joy. Bear Singer-Drummers raised their voices and pounded the rhythm of everyone's heart beating as one.
Mike Duncan of Fatherhood is Sacred spoke of being tired of abuse, violence, and hate; how all Native Americans are affected by historical trauma, and how you can't give what you don't have yourself. He said the songs and dances work to heal. He urged men to learn to be gentle, to walk in goodness, and to focus on prayer for strength.
Other speakers informed the community of local services and programs grounded in Native American traditions: American Indian Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Program; Red Road for putting away addiction to alcohol and other drugs; Motherhood and Fatherhood Are Sacred for safe and happy families; youth services, including sobriety and academic tutoring.
We learned a shocking fact: the U.S. Department of Justice finds that American Indian women face murder rates more than 10 times the national average. We learned about California Assembly Bill 1854, which would create the Missing or Murdered Native American Women Task Force, and develop a database for locating missing Native American persons. This important bill is about to go to the Public Safety Committee and needs our support. The Committee asks that letters be sent electronically to: https://apsf.assembly.ca.gov/
Once it passes policy committee, it will go to Assembly Appropriations, and letters of support can be sent to: https://apro.assembly.ca.gov/
Newly-appointed Sheriff Matt Kendall expressed the importance of using encouragement, rather than pressure, on anyone who may have information leading to Khadijah. The anonymous tip line is (707) 234-2100.
Again, a tremendous thank you to the family and friends of Khadijah, for an afternoon that transformed collective pain to community unity. In closing, we offer a poem by Jessica:
Say Her Name-Khadijah
I was there to listen and support
I heard the stories, and felt them
I heard the pain, and felt it
I heard inspiration, and felt it
I heard love, and felt it
And still feeling it
Jessica Harness, Leslie Hines, Sandra Wake
A DAY ON THE COAST WITH GENTLEMAN MATT
On Saturday, February 22, 2020 at approximately 11:13 a.m., Mendocino County Sheriff's Deputies observed a vehicle parked along side the roadway and stopped to check on the occupant(s) that were located in the 16000 block of North Highway 1 in Fort Bragg. Upon contact, Deputies identified the sole occupant as being Mathew Spencer, 39, of Chico.
He was seated in the passenger seat. He was overly nervous given the nature of the contact and informed Deputies that he was with a female whose whereabouts were not known. Spencer also alerted Deputies that he was armed with a large knife. Deputies observed a large stick laying on the ground outside the vehicle that was improvised into a weapon. Deputies conducted a warrants check on Spencer and confirmed he had an active out of county felony arrest warrant for attempted robbery, assault with a deadly weapon, and being an accessory to a felony. Based on the aforementioned circumstances, Deputies initiated an area search for the female. Deputies deployed Mendocino County Sheriff's Office K-9 "Takoda," who successfully tracked and located an adult 31-year old female nearby. Upon contact with the adult female, Deputies determined Spencer and she were romantically involved and that she had been physically assaulted by him earlier in the day while driving on Highway 20 between Willits and Fort Bragg. Deputies observed the adult female had significant injuries to her face. Medical personnel were dispatched to the scene and assessed the adult female's injuries as being a fractured orbital bone and a fractured nose. Deputies ultimately arrested Spencer on the out of county arrest warrant and open charges of felony domestic battery and battery resulting in serious bodily injury. Spencer was booked into the Mendocino County Jail where he was to be held in lieu of $95,000 bail for the warrant and an open charge bail amount of $250,000 that was increased by a Mendocino County Superior Court Judge at the request of the investigating Deputy.
"THE MENDOCINO COUNTY HISTORICAL SOCIETY, for would like to invite the public to join us at our quarterly general meeting & luncheon on March 8, 2020 at noon at the VFW Hall in Fort Bragg, 360 Harrison Ave. March’s meeting will feature Richard Biffle of the Fort Bragg Coast Guard Station who will discuss the history of the Mendocino Coast’s lighthouses and lifesaving. For lunch, corned beef and cabbage with all the fixings prepared by the Sons of the American Legion. (No veggie option this time). The meeting is FREE to attend WITHOUT LUNCH. If you would like to enjoy our catered lunch at the event please follow the instructions below under the lunch details."
Lunch is $20 for MCHS members and $25 for everyone else. Please call the mendocino county historical society by february 27 to reserve your plate. 707-462-6969 thur- sat 1-4pm. Email us at email@example.com or message us on facebook. Unfortunately, we will not be able to add anyone to the lunch list after February 27 because we will have already given the attendance number to the caterer. But as always, the meeting is free to attend without lunch.
I’ve known Mari Rodin for almost thirty years, and have had the opportunity to witness her contributions to our community first hand. During that time, she has won millions of dollars in grant funds that have been invested directly into the people and organizations that make Mendocino the place we call home.
Mari and I have worked together on various projects over the years, with both Ukiah Players Theatre and SPACE, including the initiative, Ukiah Grows the Arts. Each time, I have been impressed by the level of integrity and commitment she brings to the table. When she was serving as mayor of Ukiah, during her three terms on the city council, she invited me to share with other council members and the broader community the storytelling and placemaking work that I have been engaged in for the last couple decades.
Mari is thorough and thoughtful, finds common ground without compromising her values, and is dedicated to making our community a better place. Those are the qualities I want in a County Supervisor.
I am writing to support Mari Rodin for 2nd District supervisor. I have worked with Mari over the years on various community economic development projects. I was the executive director of the Economic Development and Financing Corporation (EDFC) while she was the City of Ukiah’s representative to our board of directors. I have always been impressed with her understanding of our county, her curiosity to learn and ask about the things she was unfamiliar with, and her ability to bring in grant funds to further local goals. She is a supporter of Measure B and mental health services in our county, affordable housing, environmentally responsible development, and economic revitalization for our rural community. Aside from specific projects, Mari is a good listener, able to understand the needs of constituents and the complexity of finding solutions. She will bring a collaborative mindset to her role as County Supervisor, a good understanding of government finance, and a willingness to solve problems for all residents. I urge your support.
COULD BE THE AGE DIFFERENCE
On Friday, February 21, 2020 at about 2:12 PM Mendocino County Sheriff’s Deputies were dispatched to contact an adult female regarding a domestic violence incident that had occurred a few days earlier. The 48-year old adult female was contacted via telephone and agreed to meet with Deputies at an undisclosed location in the Brooktrails subdivision in Willits. Deputies met with the adult female and learned she had been physically assaulted by her husband, Tavion Johnson, 21, of Willits, a few days earlier.
Deputies learned the adult female was staying at friend’s residence during the time of the incident. At about 10:00 PM that day, Johnson showed up at the residence and pushed his way inside when the adult female answered the door. An argument ensued between the adult female and Johnson. The argument escalated and Johnson threw his vehicle keys at the adult female striking her in the face causing visible injuries. Johnson eventually left and the incident went unreported until Feb. 21, 2020. Deputies further learned Johnson was on Mendocino County Probation and a temporary restraining order had been issued, prior to the incident, protecting the adult female from Johnson. Deputies later located Johnson in the city of Willits on Feb. 21, 2020 at about 5:00 PM. Johnson was arrested for Domestic Violence Battery, Violation of Domestic Violence Restraining Order, and Violation of Probation and booked into the Mendocino County Jail where he was to be held in lieu of $25,000 bail.
RESTORING STREAM FLOWS and Increasing Water Supply: Strategies for Farms, People and Fish in the Navarro River Watershed - Community Meeting at River’s Bend Retreat Center, Thursday, March 5th, 6-9 pm. Potluck supper 6-7 pm, presentations begin promptly at 7:00 pm. Updates and strategies regarding water supply reliability and storage, fisheries restoration, soil and water conservation, flow enhancement and volunteer monitoring will be shared by the Mendocino County Resource Conservation District, The Nature Conservancy, Trout Unlimited, and Shippensburg University.
Restoration Projects Tour, Friday March 6th, 9 am – noon. Tour will begin at the Anderson Valley High School, please park in the tennis court parking lot. We will visit stormwater, off stream water storage, large wood, and rainwater catchment projects. To RSVP for the tour call 462-3664, ext. 103 or email Linda.firstname.lastname@example.org
These events are being paid for through funds from the CA Wildlife Conservation Board, Prop 84, and National Fish and Wildlife Foundation.
SPEAKING of fish and the half-dead Navarro, Dave Severn reports that he’s seen clusters of big steelhead pooled up waiting for enough water to get upstream to spawn. A completely dry February doesn’t make life easier for the few valiant fish that still try to fight their way back to their places of birth, that multi-streamed Valley network feeding the Navarro.
HEY, here's River Watch now:
The good news, I guess, is that there are lots of fish in the River and as of Saturday the 22nd the mouth was open. On Sunday I counted over 40 large steelhead in one school, 25 in another and at least 15 in a hole in the shade that made it hard to count as they moved about. The River is clear, clean and without much algae but pretty darn low. At 67.6 cu. ft. per second (csf) it is well below the median of 674 and the average of 1150 but still above the 1991 record low of 19 cfs. The average for the past five years of drought 2012 - 2016 was 116 cfs. It would seem that with no rain in sight things are looking not so good.
These fish have been hanging out for about a week and my guess is that they are waiting, hoping you could say, for rain. The water is so low that I imagine they would tear themselves up pretty bad if they tried to venture further. Steelhead can and do go up river to spawn and back to the ocean seven or more times over their lifespan and therefore take care of themselves. A salmon, a coho, on the other hand goes up stream to spawn one time and then dies leaving its small fry to make their way down the shallow streams and ultimately to the ocean where they grow to maturity. In their case the adults don’t care so much how bad they beat themselves up, their lives are over anyway. These are the dwindling ones that people in wonder used to see quite often far up the stream reaches into hills and mountains, but for quite some years now have been very rare.
We humans are so cavalier in the face of our ability to use, manipulate and dominate other life forms, elements and processes. But now with the rebellion of Nature to the battering being given maybe it is time to exercise some precaution and understanding toward our use and abuse of water - that very element thought of as sacred to the Native Peoples who lived here in Anderson Valley continuously and peacefully for at least 5,000 years before we ever showed up. And in doing so let us exercise the best science available to guide us not our emotions and feelings based so often on rationalization and greed.
— David Severn
INVASIVE PLANT REMOVAL at Hendy Woods State Park, Volunteers Needed!
Sunday March 22nd and April 19th 10 am to 12 pm
Hendy Woods State Park
Please join us in restoring natural habitats by removing invasive plant species (mainly poison hemlock and Dock). Take local action and be rewarded with FREE entry to the park.
~ rain cancels ~
Meet at the Day Use Area of Hendy Woods State Park
Dress in layers, bring gardening gloves with rubber palms, shovel & a picnic lunch.
BLACK SWAN ON THE WING? The Dow Jones Industrial Average was down almost a thousand points at the end of trading on Monday as investors feared a global coronavirus pandemic. Shares skidded, oil prices sank and the price of gold surged as the number of people infected or killed by the viral outbreak surged, heaping more uncertainty on the economic outlook. Finance chiefs of the Group of 20 major economies warned the outbreak that began in China is threatening to derail world growth. The price of gold, viewed as a safe haven in times of peril, jumped $35.80 to $1,684.60 per ounce, its highest in seven years.
GOVERNOR NEWSOM OFFERS UP SANTA ROSA GREENWAY SITE FOR HOMELESS SHELTERS
Gov. Gavin Newsom’s administration has given Santa Rosa the option to set up emergency homeless shelters on nearly two miles of state-owned open space in east Santa Rosa where city officials and community advocates are planning a unique greenway project with housing and shops.
INSIDER HUMOR. A re-upping subscriber writes, “Maybe Trump will pardon Jerry’s horse,” the joke being that Jerry Philbrick of Comptche, a militant Trump supporter, had mentioned in a letter to the editor that he’d been thrown from his horse, necessitating a trip to Coast Hospital for repairs.
THE 30th ANNUAL mondo boffo Variety Show will be at the grange the first weekend in March, on Friday and Saturday nights. There will be tickets available a week ahead of time at Lemon's and Anderson Valley Markets, and there will be tickets available at the door. Everyone holding a ticket will be admitted, although seating is limited, so come to the grange early if you'd like a seat. The party in the grange parking lot is part of the fun, there's locally made food for sale, all your friends will be there, and raffle tickets will be available to purchase. Proceeds go directly to our community.
UNEDA EAT is Boonville’s latest entry into the local dining arena. Uneda Eat, from the first accounts we’ve received is a welcome addition to an already attractive array of restaurants stretching from Yorkville to Navarro. Uneda has transformed its area of the Farrer Building into an attractively beckoning kinda rustic space where, over the years we’ve seen a variety store, Bruce Bread, antiques and way, way back the Farrer’s general store whose second floor was a community dance hall and, on occasion, a courtroom.
HUMCO HISTORY: HIPPIE INFLUX IRKS SOHUM SO MUCH THEY PETITION FOR RELIEF FROM COUNTY SUPERVISORS IN 1969
In October of 1969, 111 residents of Southern Humboldt allegedly signed a petition requesting relief from what the Times Standard of the time called a “mass infiltration of hippies into that area.”
A BOONVILLE READER ASKS, “The new winery off Deer Meadow burned multiple piles of brush yesterday (Thursday) each of which was the size of a small house. They fouled the air in the entire valley. Can you get information out of CalFire or the CSD as to whether this is legal and, if so, how is it legal? My burn permit limits the size of my pile. Larger burns are supposed to have a smoke mitigation plan.”
WE FORWARDED this question to AV Fire Chief Andres Avila. This kind of irresponsible behavior by vineyards is common, unfortunately, in this case the aftermath of landscraping vineyard prep by the V. Sattui wine company at the foot of Octopus Mountain. The answer usually comes back as “legal, as long as…” something or other… permit… burn day… But without any consequences, sanctions or fines. Sometimes, somebody in authority goes so far as to say it’s a bad idea. But a range of neighbor-abuse continues, everything from 2am frost fans to air pollutions. Years ago there was a vineyard prep burn by William Hill who’d cleared and burned hundreds of apple trees at the Philo end of Anderson Valley Way to make room for a vineyard. That burn was so bad that you literally could not see the Valley floor coming over the hill from Ukiah. No consequences, of course.
AV FIRE CHIEF Andres Avila: “These piles are larger than AV Fire Department is allowed to issue under our current burn permit program. I was told that this burn was a legal burn operation that was authorized by Mendocino County Air Quality Management District (MCAQMD). MCAQMD has very specific requirements that are followed prior to issuing a large burn permit (wind direction, inversion layers, drying period for fuels, etc.). I can't comment on the smoke from Thursday because I was in Yorkville and did not see it. Controlled burning will undoubtedly create some smoke, but MCAQMD's regulations are intended to prevent any unhealthy imposition from smoke generated while burning. Fire agencies are also involved for the obvious reasons of controlling any unintended fire escapes into the wildland, adjacent structures or neighboring properties. Both agencies have regulations to regulate improper burning as it relates to their jurisdiction. If there are questions related to local air quality, residents should contact MCAMD. If the burn is a fire hazard or is out of control, they should contact their local fire department.”
MENDO SUPERVISOR CANDIDATE CAMPAIGN CONTRIBUTIONS (as of latest February 2020 filings with County Elections office)
Candidate John Sakowicz: John Sakowicz. $2,000; Stephen Projan, Retired. $2,000.
Candidate Glenn McGourty; SEIU Local 1021. $5,000; John Valentic, Dermatologist, UVMC $500; Jan McGourty (wife). $2,000; Barry Vogel. $125.; McFadden Vineyard. $1,000; John Buchsenstein, “Wine Educator.” $200; Alex deGrassi, $100; Ann & Tommy Thornill, $100; Donna Moschetti, $100; Phyllis Curtis $200.
Candidate James Green; Janet Lapierre, Ret’d. $500; Chris Philbrick, $500; Ross Liberty, $999; Paul Green, $100; Johnny Keyes. $1,000.
Candidate Jon Kennedy; Chris Philbrick. $500; Donald Foster, $250; Kerry Randall, $100; Eve King, $100; Jim Leddy, $100; Janet Upton, $50;
Candidate Mari Rodin; Mari Rodin. $1,000; Burt Rodin (retired). $2,000; Barry Vogel. $300; Katrina Frey: $200; Guiness McFaden: $250; Susan Rounds (Educator, Dharma Realm): $100; Renee Vinyard, Phys. Asst. Adv. Health: $250; John Schaeffer $250; Norm Rosen Esq. $250; Justin Peterson Esq. $320; Adina Merenlener, Researcher Hopland Field Station. $2060.; Lisa Hillegas Esq. $125; Margaret O’Rourke Esq. $200; Martha Barra. $1,000 ; John McCowen $1,000; Madelyn Yeo. $100; Susan Jassen. $100; Michael Cannon. $300; Timothy Pletcher, $100; Ian Roth, $100; Alan Nicholson, $100; Clare Friendlander, $100; Marvin Trotter, $100; Howell Hawkes, $250.
Candidate Maureen Mulheren; Suzanne Pletcher $100; James Mulheren (Father). $500; Edward Mulheren $100; Patrick Pekin Esq. $250; Brandy Moulton $520; Jim Brown (retired Prob. Chief, former City Councilman): $100; Lester Marston Esq. $500; William Nathan (Consultant). $900; Shannon Johnson North American Organics. $1350; Cold Creek Compost. $500; Dina Polkinghorne (Project Sanctuary). $200; SEIU 1021. $5,000; Cynthia Dumont. $100; Sunshine Pleasants, $120; Julie Beardsley, $100; Jodi Todd, $100; Melanie Bagby, $144; Chiah Rodrigues, $100; W.Bies Valasco, $100; Maureen Mulheren. $92.
Candidate Joel Soinila; Charles Bartleson (retired). $1,000; Cynthia Jeavons $700; John Jeavons, $150; Vicki Roberts, $65; Helen Raiser, $350; Moises Gonzalez, $25; Scott Miller, $20; Matt Leach. $37; Steven McCall, $20; Mark Maples, $10; Alyssa Ballard, $100; Katrina Ballard, $100; Kirk Kimmelshue, $100;
Candidate Dan Gjerde: Dan Gjerde. $950.
Candidate Lindy Peters: Michael Strup, Wood Wide Farms. $500.
A LITTLE COUNSELING WILL PATCH THINGS UP
On Friday, February 21, at about 6:44 am, Mendocino County Sheriff’s deputies were dispatched to a possible arson at a residence in the 22000 block of East Side Road in Willits. Upon arrival, deputies observed a residence engulfed in fire with local firefighters engaged in fire suppression efforts. Deputies made contact with an adult male who was the owner of the residence. Deputies learned the 47-year-old male had been threatened with great bodily injury by his cohabitant girlfriend, Carley Schlapkohl, 34, of Willits, in the early evening hours on Thursday, February 20th.
The adult male and Schlapkohl were at the residence in the early evening hours Thursday when she became agitated and verbally hostile towards the adult male. Schlapkohl became antagonistic to the point where she threatened to cut the adult male's throat. Later in the evening, the adult male was lying in his bed alone when Schlapkohl came into the bedroom and jumped on his chest in a violent manner. Schlapkohl then placed her arm against his throat and assaulted him by grabbing the back his head in an aggressive assault manner. Schlapkohl left the bedroom, resulting in the adult male eventually falling asleep. He later awoke in the early morning hours on Friday to discover the residence was on fire. The adult male attempted to locate Schlapkohl, however, she was not present in the house and he escaped the residence while calling 911 to report the fire. Deputies searched the area and located Schlapkohl sitting in an abandoned vehicle in the 22000 block of East Side Road. Schlapkohl was arrested and booked for misdemeanor domestic violence battery and criminal threats and was to be held in lieu of $25,000 bail. The cause of the residential structure fire is under investigation at this time.
NIGHT LIGHT OF THE NORTH COAST: South Fork Bridge, July 2018
by David Wilson
Built in 1910, this old railroad bridge crosses the Main Fork of the Eel River just upstream of the confluence with the South Fork Eel River. I’m not absolutely certain what to call the bridge, having seen it called variously “South Fork Bridge,” “Dyerville Train Trestle” and “Dyerville Bridge." It is part of the old Northwestern Pacific Railroad that used to run through Humboldt County until the end of the 1990’s or early 2000’s. Two of the four spans of this bridge were washed away in the 1964 flood; I imagine they were the two spans on the left, being shinier and perhaps newer.
This summer I went out on two different nights to this bridge with a photo friend of mine, the first night becoming overcast early. Illuminating the bridge was an exercise in painting light with a flashlight, adding touches of light here and there in the dark. Some light also came from street lamps along Highway 101 across the river far behind us. A combination of those lamps, the light painting, long exposures of around 30 seconds, a high ISO setting (light sensitivity), and a fairly wide aperture combined to make the scenes bright and detailed.
My hope was to make a panoramic image of the bridge with the Milky Way arcing over it. I’d scouted it out in the daylight, and I saw that if I came back at night I would find the image I sought. But it’s often overcast along the river late at night, and such proved to be the case the first night. I took a few photographs, but the sky grew progressively cloudier and, though we waited patiently, we were never to get a clearer view of the Milky Way and I didn’t make the panorama.
We returned a few days later and were graced with perfect, cloudless weather. Mars hung bright on the horizon beneath the bridge, nearing its closest approach to Earth since 2003, when the two planets came closer together than they had been in 60,000 years. Nearby, Saturn was visible in the heart of the Milky Way. The air was warm, and everything felt perfect. We were stoked.
I made the panorama by shooting four vertical photographs of the bridge side by side, each of the images overlapping the next. Later I would match them together in the computer to show the entire, wider scene. It was a challenge to illuminate the shots consistently with only a flashlight, but it’s necessary in order for the separate images to blend well with each other.
One can see this bridge from a broad overlook on the Avenue of the Giants, complete with info signs, just to the north of the Honeydew/South Fork exit off Highway 101. From that spot, look southward up the left-hand Main Fork Eel River to see the bridge. It’s also visible from the freeway in that area. The South Fork Eel River valley branches off to the right.
These are the same railroad tracks you see against the bluffs across from Rio Dell, and the tracks that run along Eureka’s waterfront, where you can still find some rusty trains sitting on the rails down at Commercial Street and Waterfront Drive; they're the tracks that run along 101 between Eureka and Arcata, and the ones that continue out past Janes Road toward Blue Lake. It’s easy to forget as younger generations grow up without them that not too long ago the trains were running, and one could daily watch them pass and hear their whistles and rumblings.
The Milky Way arcs from horizon to horizon above the South Fork Bridge in this panorama on the Main Fork Eel River, Humboldt County, California. July, 2018.
South Fork Bridge beneath an annotated panorama showing the planets Saturn and Mars, the latter large as it neared its close approach, as well some of the notable stars along the Milky Way.
(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.)
WAIT A MINUTE, SAKO
As President of the MEC, I’m obliged to make a few corrections to the misconceptions expressed by First District candidate, John Sakowiz and Mary Massey in a recent AVA.
First, I did not resign from the MEC Board when Alicia Bales left to become KZYX Program Director, I stayed on the Board, as John Sakowicz and Mary Massey know, since they were each present at subsequent Board meetings while I was on the Board, when they were asked to resign.
During the transition after Alicia’s departure, we did change the Board’s regular meeting day and forgot to publish the new day in the MEC Notes. This may have led some folks, like Mary, to conclude the Board was defunct and the MEC was dead. However, rumors of our demise are greatly exaggerated.
Second, there was nothing curious about my call-in to KZYX during John Sakowitcz interview. I asked him the same question I asked other candidates regarding his position on Measure V enforcement. I prefaced my remarks by quoting the answers he gave in writing to Mendocino Climate Action’s Q&A, where he seemed to contradict himself, first advocating enforcement, then praising Mendocino Forest Company, the main Measure V violator, and hectoring activists for “demonizing” the Company. What was curious was Sakowicz shying away from a lawsuit, a subject he knows a lot about, but I suppose it depends on which end of it he’s on.
Finally, publicly disclosing information purportedly taken from a confidential, good faith mediation to smear someone, is stunningly unethical, even in this Age of Trump.
The MEC is proud of our role as incubator for the Mendocino Climate Action Advisory Committee and supports the development of the MCAAC. In my personal opinion, no amount of well placed funding is too much to try to salvage Life as we know it and our future existence on the Planet. A few nuclear weapons would go a long way.
I’m pleased to report the MEC and KMEC are alive and breathing and beginning to thrive. We welcome all the dedicated, sincere, hard working activists in our County and beyond, so sorely needed by the Earth, and hope we can be of assistance.
Naomi Wagner, MEC President
THE HEALTH OF OUR WATERWAYS: Wildlife Film Fest continues with four remarkable films
On Friday, February 28, the International Wildlife Film Festival will highlight four remarkable films depicting efforts to save threatened waterways. The event takes place at the Ukiah Civic Center, at 300 Seminary Avenue. Doors will open at 6:15 p.m. with snacks and live music by Sheridan Malone. Films will begin at 7 p.m.
“Take Back the Harbor,” the feature film, highlights the stories and work of an extraordinary group of students and their innovative teachers. On New York City's Governor's Island, an unprecedented program has an ambitious goal: to return once-bountiful oysters to New York Harbor in order to restore the health of the waterways. The foot soldiers of this environmental movement are high school students at a remarkable public school that teaches stewardship of the waterways alongside math and English. “Take Back the Harbor” is an inspiring story of youth working to solve an environmental problem as they persevere to turn the tide on decades of neglect.
Three shorter films will also be screening. “The Last Green Thread” (18 min.) takes viewers on an expedition into the most rapidly developing landscape in Central Florida, traveling the narrowest and most imperiled wildlife corridor in the state. This film was a 2019 IWFF Best Human and Wildlife Interaction Semifinalist.
“Blue Carbon: A Story from the Snohomish Estuary” (6 min.) is about the multiple benefits that estuaries provide. Blue carbon is carbon that is captured and stored by coastal wetlands, helping to mitigate climate change. "Blue Carbon" documents a first-of-its-kind study that quantifies the climate benefits of restoration in the Snohomish estuary in Washington State.
“Every Nine Minutes” (4 min.) refers to the amount of time that 300,000 pounds in plastic--the weight of a blue whale--makes its way into our oceans. To call attention to this crisis, the Monterey Bay Aquarium built a life-sized replica of a blue whale made of single use plastic trash. Certified by Guinness World Records, the whale is the largest sculpture of its kind ever built.
Tickets for the Wildlife Film Fest are available at Mendocino Book Co. or at the door. Series tickets are $45; individual tickets are a suggested donation of $10 for adults and $5 for children. Films are appropriate for older children, but parental discretion is recommended.
Proceeds from the film festival will benefit the RVOEP, a special program of the Ukiah Unified School District that provides outdoor environmental education programs to over 2,000 students each year on a 45-acre woodland in Redwood Valley.
For more information contact Maureen Taylor, RVOEP Education Coordinator, at 707-489-0227. A full schedule of films and music is available at the RVOEP website: http://rvoep.org/events/.
CATCH OF THE DAY, February 24, 2020
NICHOLE BIRDSALL, Ukiah. Attempted murder, assault with deadly weapon not a gun, burglary, battery with serious injury, violation of protective order.
SERGIO ESPINOZA, Santa Rosa/Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-alcohol, mandatory supervision sentencing.
EDWARD ESQUIVEL, Willits. Paraphernalia, county parole violation.
ARMANDO GONZALES, Ukiah. Domestic abuse, burglary, robbery, protective order violation.
SANTOS GONZALEZ-ESQUIVEL, DUI, suspended license (for DUI).
ANDREW HAWKES, Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-alcohol.
ARMANDO HERNANDEZ-CAMARGO, Covelo. Controlled substance for sale.
SEAN JARDSTROM, Ukiah. Disobeying court order.
RYAN LOEWER, Ukiah. False ID, probation revocation.
JUSTIN MALUGANI, Ukiah. Recklessly causing fire to structure or forestland, causing a fire, resisting, probation revocation.
SALVADOR MARIN-ORTEGA, Ukiah. Domestic abuse, criminal threats, damage-destroy communications device, protective order violation.
TYLOR ULUGALU, Comptche. Unlawful sexual intercourse with minor who is more than 3 years younger than perpetrator, parole violation.
OSCAR VENAVIDEZ, Philo. Disorderly conduct-alcohol, resisting.
AS A CORPORATE TOOL, BUTTIGIEG IS NOW A HAMMER TO BASH SANDERS
by Norman Solomon
Soon after his distant third-place finish in the Nevada caucuses, Pete Buttigieg sent out a mass email saying that “Senator Sanders believes in an inflexible, ideological revolution that leaves out most Democrats, not to mention most Americans.” The blast depicted “the choice before us” in stark terms: “We can prioritize either ideological purity or inclusive victory. We can either call people names online or we can call them into our movement. We can either tighten a narrow and hardcore base or open the tent to a new, broad, big-hearted American coalition.”
The bizarre accusations of being “narrow” and not “inclusive” were aimed at a candidate who’d just won a historic victory with one of the broadest coalitions in recent Democratic Party history.
Buttigieg has gone from pseudo-progressive to anti-progressive in the last year, and much of his current mission involves denouncing Bernie Sanders with attack lines that are corporate-media favorites (“ideological purity . . . call people names online . . . a narrow and hardcore base”). Buttigieg’s chances of winning the 2020 presidential nomination are now tiny, but he might have a bright future as a rising leader of corporate Democrats.
Weirdly, Buttigieg’s claim that Sanders has “a narrow and hardcore base” came from someone who appears to be almost incapable of getting votes from black people. In Nevada, columnist E.J. Dionne noted, Buttigieg “received virtually no African American votes.” And Buttigieg made his claim in the midst of a Nevada vote count showing that Sanders received more than three times as many votes as he did. The Washington Post reported that Sanders “even narrowly prevailed among those who identified as moderate or conservative.”
As chances that Buttigieg could win the nomination slip away — the latest polling in South Carolina indicates his vote total there on Saturday is unlikely to be any higher than it was in Nevada — his mission is being steadily repurposed. After increasingly aligning himself with the dominant corporate sectors of the party — vacuuming up millions of dollars in bundled checks along the way — Buttigieg is hurling an array of bogus accusations at Sanders.
Four months ago, while Buttigieg’s poll numbers were spiking in Iowa and big donations from wealthy donors poured in, I wrote an article with a headline dubbing him a “Sharp Corporate Tool.” The piece cited an influx of contributions to Buttigieg from the health insurance, pharmaceutical and hospital industries — while he executed a U-turn from proclaiming support for Medicare for All to touting a deceptive rhetorical concoction called “Medicare for all who want it.” I concluded that Buttigieg is “a glib ally of corporate America posing as an advocate for working people and their families.”
Since then, continuing his rightward swerve, Buttigieg has become even more glib, refining his campaign’s creation myth and fine-tuning his capacity to combine corporate policy positions with wispy intimations of technocratic populism. Buttigieg is highly articulate, very shrewd — and now, in attack mode, more valuable than ever to corporate patrons who are feverishly trying to figure out how to prevent Sanders from winning the nomination. During last week’s Nevada debate, Buttigieg warned that Sanders “wants to burn this party down.”
Over the weekend, the Buttigieg campaign sent out email that tried to obscure its major support from extremely wealthy backers. “At the last debate,” Buttigieg’s deputy campaign manager Hari Sevugan wrote indignantly, “Senator Bernie Sanders condemned us for taking contributions from billionaires. That’s interesting. Because what that tells us is in the eyes of Bernie Sanders, the donations of 45 folks (that’s .0054% of our total donor base) are more important than the donations of nearly 1,000,000 grassroots supporters.”
But Sevugan left out the pivotal roles that very rich contributors have played in launching and sustaining the Buttigieg campaign, with lobbyists and corporate executives serving as high-dollar collectors of bundled donations that add up to untold millions. Buttigieg’s corresponding shifts in policy prescriptions make some sense if we follow the money.
In a detailed essay for Common Dreams that appeared last week, “Buttigieg Is a Wall Street Democrat Beholden to Corporate Interests,” former Communications Workers of America chief economist Kenneth Peres summed up: “Buttigieg and his supporters like to portray him as a ‘change agent.’ However, he has proven to be a change agent that will not in any significant way challenge the current distribution of power, wealth and income in this country. Given his history, it is no surprise that Wall Street, Big Tech, Big Pharma, Health Insurers, Real Estate Developers and Private Equity have decided to invest millions of dollars into Buttigieg's campaign.”
In the aftermath of the Nevada caucuses, Buttigieg is escalating his attacks on Sanders (who I actively support), in sync with “news” coverage that is especially virulent from some major corporate outlets. Consider, for example, the de facto smear article that the New York Times printed on Sunday. Or the venomous hostility toward Sanders that’s routine on Comcast-owned MSNBC, which has stepped up its routine trashing of Sanders by journalists and invited guests.
More than ever, corporate Democrats and their media allies are freaking out about the grassroots momentum of the Bernie 2020 campaign. No one has figured out how to stop him. But Buttigieg is determined to do as much damage as he can.
(Norman Solomon is co-founder and national coordinator of RootsAction.org. His books include "War Made Easy: How Presidents and Pundits Keep Spinning Us to Death" and "Made Love, Got War: Close Encounters with America's Warfare State." He is the founder and executive director of the Institute for Public Accuracy.)
ON LINE COMMENT OF THE DAY
This process of allowing homelessness as an option needs to stop as it is too labor and time intensive for all parties involved. Homelessness is a lose, lose, lose situation for all involved. It's terrible for homeless individuals as they are not getting the help and support they need. It's terrible for communities as it compromises public resources. It's terrible for our community budgets as it drains resources. It's terrible for the environment as there is constant clean up, trips to the landfill and sanitation issues. If an adult cannot provide themselves with a basic necessity like shelter, then they need help. We should not normalize this behavior as a "choice". No rational person would make this a "choice." At this point, our social, environmental and legal contract is that adults work, pay taxes, contribute to their communities and provide housing for themselves. If they are unable to do so, then they become subject to the charity and mechanisms of tax-payer funded resources. Homeless advocates should not be normalizing this behavior and instead should be advocating for mental health resources, job training and shelter beds. I think CAN probably has enough data around costs, crime and public nuisance to make an excellent case. You have an on-going record of how many times people have been ordered services and how many times they have refused and what the economic and social cost has been.
CALIFORNIA WILL PAY MILLIONS TO SETTLE SUIT CLAIMING IT VIOLATED CHILDREN’S RIGHTS BY NOT TEACHING THEM TO READ
The state's $50 million payout to needy schools, announced today, resolves a sweeping lawsuit that put California on trial for failing to give low-income students equal access to literacy instruction.
ON LINE COMMENT OF THE DAY #2
My first thought when I heard the fairy tale that Russia was backing Bernie and wanted him to be President was — Vlad wants universal health care for all Americans? student loan forgiveness? affordable insulin? free university educations for all? What a nice man he must be! Such a joke. Do the people who put out this nonsense ever think it through to its logical conclusion?!
GUESS WE DIDN’T SEE THAT COMING
by James Kunstler
The metaphysical question, what does Russia want, is sounding a lot like the cosmic conundrum posed by Sigmund Freud: What do women want? Is Vladimir Putin transitioning to “become” a woman? It seems like the hormones are getting to him. One day he’s got a crush on Donald Trump, the next day he’s mashed on Bernie Sanders. At least according to America’s Intel Community. Or was that just Rep. Adam Schiff’s spin on the sigint served up to his House Intel Committee by one Shelby Pierson, “a senior intelligence official responsible for overseeing the issues of election interference,” as The New York Times described her. It looked, for a moment, like Mr. Schiff was trying to tee up a new killer-diller impeachment shot. But as usual with Mr. Schiff, the ploy went all Acme on him and blew up in his face.
Amazing how quickly the narrative flip-flopped, though, by whatever supernatural means the news media employs these days — Ouija boards, astral vision, virtual warping, metapotence, psionic equilibrium distortion, consort with the ghost of Allen Dulles…. One might deduce that the Democratic Party nomenklatura realized in a flash of insight that Russia’s affections were far more useful applied to Mr. Sanders than Mr. Trump, whose status among the Dems these days ranks as “worse than Satan.” Not much to work with there.
They’ve been struggling to find some means to stuff Bernie into the memory hole. They tried hauling Michael Bloomberg onstage to call Bernie a communist. That bombed (along with Mr. Bloomberg altogether). Everybody already knows Bernie spent his honeymoon in the Soviet Union waiting on line with the new missus for tin plates of kohlrabi soup. Sunday night, they duped Bernie onto a 60-Minutes workout, with Anderson Cooper playing inquisitor. Andy put the screws to him on the question as to how America will pay for all the free stuff Bernie proffers. The answers were embarrassingly inconclusive and nobody cared, perhaps because nobody believes it anyway, not even the most righteous Bernie Bros.
If nothing else, Bernie’s timing on free this-and-that couldn’t be worse from the vantage of history. Government health care and tuition-free college worked in some nations in the decades after the Second World War because of a steadily rising global GDP, which itself was pegged to a reliable and affordable fossil fuel supply. That’s over. The shale oil “miracle” has bamboozled the public for ten years. It was a great stunt, but that’s all it was, and it’s going to wither now for a lack of available capital, and there isn’t any combo of alt energy thingies to take its place. Neither the Woke half of America nor the MAGA half groks this situation. The money’s not there. And a lot of things that pretend to be money are figments of the banking-and-finance industry, soon to melt away.
And now the Corona virus steps onstage to ramify that situation, beginning with a virtual shut-down of the excessively complex, over-engineered, just-in-time global economy. Things are not being produced and supply lines are shutting down. Car-makers outside China have a couple of weeks before their production lines halt for a lack of parts. But, of course, every other industry will have similar problems and stoppages. Many working Americans are barely getting by from one paycheck to the next. How many missed paychecks will it take for genuine hunger to kick in and desperation with it? We don’t know because the US news media has been busy conjuring the many loves of Vlad Putin.
This is getting serious now. Some of you may have noticed this morning that the stock indexes are heading into the worst open in years. Today, Mr. Market woke up, like Rip Van Winkle, and discovered that the world changed while he was sleeping. There’s a fair chance that the conditions of daily life in America will deteriorate sharply in the months ahead. We’ve been remote-viewing the empty streets of Wuhan and other Chinese cities since January, thinking it was like one of our cable-network horror shows. It’s not inconceivable that an American city, or more than one, will be subject to quarantine, or that a whole lot of people just won’t leave their houses for a period of time. Will the truckers still truck things that people need? We don’t know. How do you hold a political convention in a situation like that, or even an election?
The situation in China may be too far gone already. The country’s finances were a gigantic game of pretend. In the old Soviet Union, beloved by Bernie, the joke was, “they pretend to pay us, and we pretend to work” — not a great formula for enduring prosperity. In China, the updated joke was “we pretend to make loans, and you pretend to pay them back.” The China boom was a lot like the shale oil “miracle.” They were both great stunts. They produced a lot of stuff by borrowing from the future. Now we have all that stuff and we have to maintain it, keep it running, borrow more money to make that happen… and suddenly, that’s no longer plausible. The entire industrialized world has fallen for the debt stunt. Observers have been waiting to see what would finally provoke the unwinding of massive false promises. Looks like the wait is over.
CFN Literary Bonus:
A Poem for Bernie
by Peter A. Golden
I remember you, Bernie Sanders, before you fled north to that Eden where skis and Birkenstocks blossom on the trees.
We had left the Fillmore that New Year’s Eve, heads full of noise and smoke, still dancing in the icy moonlight on Second Avenue, where old Jews, broken from the sweatshops, had once crowded into Yiddish theaters.
Steam fogged the bright windows of the deli, and inside the fragrance of pickles and smoked meats was as thick as perfume in a bordello.
How crowded it was! Hash-heads devouring Danish with corned beef, while lovers, brains tinted pink and blue with acid, counted the holes in the matzoh balls.
But you, Bernie, were not among them. You were in the back room, a starry-eyed Menshevik debating a Bolshevik with big yellow teeth and jellied calves feet in his mouth, and I prayed for you Bernie, prayed that Stalin wouldn’t emerge from the grave to plant an ice axe in your head.
And now here you are again, shining like a lava lamp in the Trumpian darkness, a white-haired, arm-waving sage, singing old songs to youngsters who never heard them, songs without meaning or music, offering up sugar-spun wishes like cotton candy.
Oh, the beauty, you say, when we are wrapped in the loving arms of government. Who could doubt a faceless bureaucrat would love you less than the silent God? So I am listening to you Bernie, remembering seaside summers and ice skating on a Norman Rockwell pond, because I also love the dream of an America that never was and never will be.
(Support Kunstler’s writing by visiting his Patreon Page.)
I remember before I tried meth, I asked people what it was like. They said “it’s like a burst of energy, a rush that takes your breath, it’s the best feeling ever, I don’t know how to explain it really.’ And they were right, but now if someone were to ever ask me what it’s like, I would tell them...
It’s like spending every single penny you ever had, on drugs.
It’s like going days without eating even though you were starving, but you needed dope more.
It’s like having to lie to every family and friend you had ever had.
It’s like waking up hating yourself from the shame and guilt.
It’s like going into withdrawals every 8 hours unless you had more dope to do. (And you usually didn’t)
It’s like never attending any family event because you were too high or too sick.
It’s like everyone eventually stopped inviting you to events. And even talking to you.
It's like crying yourself to sleep every single night because your children got taken.
It’s like knowing you have one more chance to get better before your child gets adopted and still choosing that bag.
It's like asking others how your own blood child is doing.
It's watching everyone around you succeed and yet you’re crumbling.
It’s like everything was on your drug dealers time. If they said five hours. You’ll wait five hours in a car.
It’s like stealing everything worth value for dope. No matter how sentimental it was to you, or someone else.
It’s like losing so much weight you can’t fit into any of your clothes.
It’s like losing everything you’ve ever owned in your entire life.
It’s like nobody believing a word you said, even if it was the truth.
It’s like being a prisoner inside your own head.
It’s like contemplating suicide every single day.
It’s like never being scared to die, because that’s what you wanted.
It’s like trying to shut your brain up for even five minutes. It was worth that little time of peace.
It’s like seeing your family cry for you to stop, only for you to leave and go get high. Because stopping wasn’t an option. It wasn’t possible.
It’s like you’d do absolutely anything for more. And you did.
It’s like everyone hating you no matter where you went, because they knew you were a drug addict.
You'll miss out on your children and they'll be grown before you Know it. You'd kill for your child and do any and everything for them yet you won't be able to get clean for them and we actually turn out to be the ones who hurt them the most.
It’s like overdosing and going to get high right after.
It’s like walking into rehab 100 pounds with the clothes on your back and being scared to death.
It’s like giving your entire life away.
So if you’re ever curious like I was, please at least know the truth. Curiosity killed the cat — and it will kill you too.”
— Jr Jackson
ON LINE COMMENTS OF THE WEEK
 Meanwhile here in China, the final solution to the virus problem will be to tell people to go back to work. This has already been communicated by the man in charge.
China can’t afford to shutter the country for much longer and the death rate is only 2%, mostly elderly and those in bad health. It is simply cheaper to sacrifice these and get on with the economy. China has plenty of people.
Today Shanghai is a ghost town. I took the car 15 minutes to the nearest McDonalds to get a real weekend meal and the streets were empty. A few electric bikes was all I saw. The local Carrefour was half empty and showing clear signs of empty shelves, a sign that people are hoarding.
The Western manufacturing company I work for is getting desperate to restart production and wants to send us to within a few miles of one of the most locked down cities in China. Problem is that if you test positive for fever they take you to the camp for testing. After a few days in this camp you will definitely have contracted something since anyone with a fever is removed by force to the camp. Corona, TB, cold, whatever, you are thrown into the camp with extremely limited facilities.
You must understand that the “makeshift hospitals” are not there to give you any medical care but to try to limit the contagion.
Temperature tests are carried out everywhere, when you enter a shop, a workplace or when you enter the gate to your residence.
Westerners do not have options, they will tell your consulate but that’s about it. You do not have the right to choose a private institution of your own, everyone must go to the state appointed “fever clinic”.
Another thing worth noting is that from today they have increased blocking of the VPN’s, making communication difficult.
Needless to say I have told my managers that I will not depart on such an adventure but will rather cancel my contract. There are still direct flight from here to my home country. Most other countries have blocked access to people from China.
Whatever they say this will absolutely screw the world economy up beyond recognition. Small enterprises like restaurants are going belly up and that means lower occupancy rates in commercial real estate. Large ticket items are being postponed. Anyone who can will stay home for as long as possible. Tourism will take big hit.
The Surgeon General has said that hopefully the spread will peak this month and then level off but this will go on for a long time. I think it will take until late spring or early summer before the general public begins to understand the hit the world is taking.
 I was a Boy Scout myself, well, 40 years ago now. My Scoutmaster was ousted for being, er, inappropriate with a few boys. Times were different then so it didn’t make any news, not even locally. Since there wasn’t any allegation of full fledged molestation, or actual sex, the parents didn’t press legal charges. But the BSA did kick him out and banned him for ten years. Of course he should’ve been banned for life.
When I got a bit older I pretty much figured out that my Scoutmaster had his designs on me too. I believe that the reason he never did anything to me was that he was afraid of my Dad. And my Dad did not like him from the get go, and he knew it. He suspected that there was something off about him. That is the key: A Dad who is wise, on the ball, and willing to protect his kids. Sadly too many kids don’t have that protection.
My experience overall was that some of my Scouting involvement was fun and provided me with some good memories. But in the long run it wasn’t really very helpful or morally uplifting, and some of the lowest life characters I ever knew as a teen were fellow Scouts. Including the adult leaders. The BSA overall is full of shit/hypocrisy and filled with despicable people. I hope it doesn’t recover from this bankruptcy.