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MCT: Tuesday, March 3, 2020

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WARM AND DRY CONDITIONS are expected today through Thursday, with cool temperatures along the coast and increasing marine clouds in some areas. Light to moderate rain is expected late Friday through early Saturday, with cooler temperatures over the weekend. (National Weather Service)

MARSHALL NEWMAN NOTES: “Everyone will be talking about this dry spell soon enough, but one element that San Francisco weather forecasters have mentioned is – despite this being a leap year – this has been the driest February in San Francisco since 1854.”

DRIEST FEBRUARY: As climate scientist (and author of the Weather West blog) Daniel Swain noted: "Well, it's official: most of California just experienced driest February on record. Locations like Ukiah, Sacramento, Redding, & San Francisco recorded no rain at all during a month at peak of the rainy season." Here in the Anderson Valley we weren't completely shut out as both Yorkville and Boonville recorded 1/25" rain during the month.

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EARL JAY ‘PETE’ PETERMAN died Thursday February 6, 2020 in Ukiah at the age of 93. Born on May 16, 1926 in Pennsylvania to Hazel Constant and Edward Peterman, Earl called Mendocino County his home for 55 years. He served in the United States Army Air Corp during World War II, and worked as an electrical engineer for over six decades. Earl's memory will be carried with love by all who knew him. A Memorial Service will be held on Saturday, March 14, at 11am, at the New Life Community Church, Ukiah. Graveside service will be on the next day, Sunday, March 15, at 4pm, at the Evergreen Cemetery in Boonville.

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2019 NOVEL CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19) UPDATE FOR MENDOCINO COUNTY

In light of recent news regarding local transmission (“community spread”) of novel coronavirus (COVID-19) in Northern California, Mendocino County Public Health is taking steps to prepare for the possibility of cases in our community in the near future.

While there are ZERO known cases of COVID-19 in Mendocino County at this time, and the risk of infection in our County remains low, the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and California Department of Public Health (CDPH) are recommending that our Nation and State prepare for a possible pandemic of COVID-19.

The term “pandemic” describes a disease that is affecting many places and populations around the world at the same time. Pandemic does not necessarily mean a disease that is extremely deadly or untreatable. The coronavirus in its usual form causes the common cold. COVID-19 can cause an illness that is like a severe flu, while most people experience mild or no illness. In general, children have not become seriously ill with this new coronavirus infection.

In order to protect ourselves from COVID-19 infection, it is important to follow all of the same recommendations that are related to prevention of the spread of influenza and other preparedness response:

  • Stay home from work and/or school if you or your children become sick with a flu-like illness (fever and respiratory symptoms)
  • Make sure you have a supply of your routine medicine, a thermometer so you can know if you develop a fever, and have extra nonperishable food at home
  • Make plans now to have the support necessary if you need to stay home due to illness; reach out to family, friends, and neighbors to offer and receive support
  • Wash your hands regularly with soap and water after being in public
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands

If you should need medical care for a respiratory illness, call ahead to your health care facility and talk by phone with your health care provider if possible.

For general health related questions or other concerns during business hours, please call Mendocino County’s Call Center at (707) 234-6052.

Since early January 2020, Mendocino County has been part of a coordinated Public Health response involving the Federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the California Department of Public Health (CDPH). Mendocino County Public Health has led this local effort in response to the rapidly evolving multinational outbreak of respiratory disease caused by a novel (new) coronavirus that was first detected in Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China.

While there are currently no cases in Mendocino County, (a 'case' is defined as a person who has tested positive by the CDC for COVID-19) this new coronavirus has now been detected in 75 countries and territories, including 43 cases in the United States (US) and at least 40 cases in California, (24 of which cases were people who caught the virus on the Diamond Princess cruise ship or caught the virus in Wuhan, China.) 1 person has tested presumptive positive for the coronavirus in Sonoma County. The patient had recently returned from a cruise ship that departed from San Francisco to Mexico, and is currently in stable condition and under isolation. There have been 2 deaths from COVID-19 in the US, both being in persons over the age of 50 with underlying health conditions. All of the known COVID-19 cases in the US are in isolation until they no longer have any sign of the infection on follow-up tests. COVID-19 tests are currently controlled by the CDC and have just become available to some Public Health labs in California. It is expected that the COVID-19 test will become more readily available in the coming weeks.

As of March 2, 2020, California has had at least five cases suspected to have been contracted due to community spread. Community spread is defined as the transmission of the virus without known contact with an individual with the virus, and without known connection with travel to or from a location where the virus is known to be rapidly spreading (China, Iran, Italy and South Korea).

Mendocino County’s Public Health system has been actively preparing in coordination with Federal and State partners and the local health care system for community spread of novel coronavirus COVID-19. Mendocino County Health & Human Services Agency will continue to update the community as new information becomes available.

(Mendocino County Press Release)


FROM SUPERVISOR WILLIAMS: “In response to a flurry of private messages regarding the County's response to Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19): California has identified 34 cases of coronavirus. Of those, 24 were involved passengers from a cruise ship or from repatriation flights from China. Our State has the first case of "community spread." Another ~8,400 residents within the State are being monitored for COVID-19, but only 200 test kits have been available. The Center for Disease Control had a glitch with test kits. State and local health departments to begin testing next week. The rate and methods of spread are still being studied. Watch for fever, cough shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, but given how similar this list is to the flu, keeping COVID-19 out of Mendocino County is unlikely. Washing hands and taking reasonable exposure precautions will hopefully buy time for the health system to ramp up detection and treatment plans. Concern has been expressed about the lack of releases from our local hospital and Public Health. Go easy on them. There isn't much substance to share, beyond what is trickling down from the federal and state authorities. The potential impact to health and economy are not discounted. State government is treating COVID-19 as the greatest present health concern. I'll share noteworthy details, but I'm not going to litter social media with releases lacking substance. In preparation for storms, PG&E power shut offs and now COVID-19, I urge the public to stock up on supplies. If we have an outbreak, it'll be better if we're not all rushing for supplies at once.”


FROM the Anderson Valley Health Center: “Hi all, We are instituting precautionary measures at the health center starting next week due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19). If you are concerned you could have Coronavirus, please CALL us if you have cough/fever AND one of the following: have traveled outside of the United States in the past 14 days or have been exposed to a known Coronavirus patient. If you are unable to call, we will have a doorbell by the main entrance, if you have flu symptoms (cough AND fever) and are unable to call us please come ring the bell and a nurse will come to evaluate you outside the health center. Thank you and good hand-washing goes a long way!”


CRACKPOT CORONAVIRUS THEORIES seem to be spreading faster than the virus itself. Do your community a huge favor by relying entirely on medical professionals for advice, such as Dr. Michael Turner, a local medical man, who writes:

“It’s just the flu,” is the new catchphrase from the Mad Dog Right, emanating from Trump through Mulvaney to Limbaugh and of course all the way down to Philpott. (Of course no experienced health care worker would ever say “it’s just the flu.” Patients with colds say they have the flu; patients with the flu say that they’re going to die.) Virologists and epidemiologists around the world are trying to build a model of this outbreak. As of yesterday, the conservative estimate is that 10% of the population will become infected, with a 1% mortality rate. This translates to 325,000 deaths in the USA. The most gloomy prediction posits a 70% infection rate with 2.5% mortality, or 8,100,000 deaths. The big variable here of course is how much we still have to learn about the virus’ behavior. But the other variable will be the degree of public compliance with public health recommendations. This is why the “it’s just the flu” mantra is not just silly, but criminally dangerous.

PS, By the way the reason for the concern about COVID is precisely because it is NOT like the flu. Influenza viruses have long infected humans, and we have developed biological defenses against them. This COVID virus has long infected certain animal species, but has now jumped from an animal reservoir into the human population. So the concern is the same as if humans started getting sick from canine distemper, a lot of unknowns with a big potential downside.

Michael Turner MD


THE LATE GENE SCARAMELLA, a native of Manchester, remembered that "In the fall of 1918 the big flu-influenza epidemic hit the coast. Every day I saw a hearse go by taking people to the cemetery. Fortunately, out of the five of us in the family, Dad was the only one who caught it. He was quite sick but he recovered. It was a very, very serious epidemic."


IT RAGES ON: The coronavirus death toll in the U.S. has risen to six as the top infectious disease official in the country warned the disease had likely reached 'pandemic proportions'. Health officials announced on Monday that four additional people had died in Washington state. Two other patients in that same area died over the weekend. Five of the six deaths have been linked to the LifeCare long-term aged care facility in Kirkland just outside Seattle. It came after Dr Anthony Fauci, the head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, has warned that the coronavirus has likely reached 'pandemic proportions'. He said that the disease had now reached 'outbreak proportions' as 91 cases were confirmed across the U.S. Dr Fauci went on to say the U.S. might need to consider social mitigation, including closing down schools and not allowing events where large crowds are in confined spaces. It comes after a New York doctor warned coronavirus cases in the U.S. will surge into the thousands by next week and the former head of the FDA claimed three critical weeks were lost in containing the spread of the virus due to faulty test kits given out by the government. State and local authorities are now also stepping up testing for the illness as the number of new cases grew to 91 across the U.S. on Monday, with new infections announced in California, Florida, Illinois, Rhode Island, New York and Washington state.


HOW TO PROTECT AGAINST CORONAVIRUS

Subject: What I am doing for the upcoming COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic.

Dear Colleagues, as some of you may recall, when I was a professor of pathology at the University of California San Diego, I was one of the first molecular virologists in the world to work on coronaviruses (the 1970s). I was the first to demonstrate the number of genes the virus contained. Since then, I have kept up with the coronavirus field and its multiple clinical transfers into the human population (e.g., SARS, MERS), from different animal sources.

The current projections for its expansion in the US are only probable, due to continued insufficient worldwide data, but it is most likely to be widespread in the US by mid to late March and April.

Here is what I have done and the precautions that I take and will take. These are the same precautions I currently use during our influenza seasons, except for the mask and gloves.:

1) NO HANDSHAKING! Use a fist bump, slight bow, elbow bump, etc.

2) Use ONLY your knuckle to touch light switches. elevator buttons, etc.. Lift the gasoline dispenser with a paper towel or use a disposable glove.

3) Open doors with your closed fist or hip - do not grasp the handle with your hand, unless there is no other way to open the door. Especially important on bathroom and post office/commercial doors.

4) Use disinfectant wipes at the stores when they are available, including wiping the handle and child seat in grocery carts.

5) Wash your hands with soap for 10-20 seconds and/or use a greater than 60% alcohol-based hand sanitizer whenever you return home from ANY activity that involves locations where other people have been.

6) Keep a bottle of sanitizer available at each of your home's entrances. AND in your car for use after getting gas or touching other contaminated objects when you can't immediately wash your hands.

7) If possible, cough or sneeze into a disposable tissue and discard. Use your elbow only if you have to. The clothing on your elbow will contain infectious virus that can be passed on for up to a week or more!

What I have stocked in preparation for the pandemic spread to the US:

Latex or nitrile latex disposable gloves for use when going shopping, using the gasoline pump, and all other outside activity when you come in contact with contaminated areas.

Note: This virus is spread in large droplets by coughing and sneezing. This means that the air will not infect you! BUT all the surfaces where these droplets land are infectious for about a week on average — everything that is associated with infected people will be contaminated and potentially infectious. The virus is on surfaces and you will not be infected unless your unprotected face is directly coughed or sneezed upon. This virus only has cell receptors for lung cells (it only infects your lungs) The only way for the virus to infect you is through your nose or mouth via your hands or an infected cough or sneeze onto or into your nose or mouth.

Stock up now with disposable surgical masks and use them to prevent you from touching your nose and/or mouth (We touch our nose/mouth 90X/day without knowing it!). This is the only way this virus can infect you - it is lung-specific. The mask will not prevent the virus in a direct sneeze from getting into your nose or mouth - it is only to keep you from touching your nose or mouth.

Stock up now with hand sanitizers and latex/nitrile gloves (get the appropriate sizes for your family). The hand sanitizers must be alcohol-based and greater than 60% alcohol to be effective.

Stock up now with zinc lozenges. These lozenges have been proven to be effective in blocking coronavirus (and most other viruses) from multiplying in your throat and nasopharynx. Use as directed several times each day when you begin to feel ANY "cold-like" symptoms beginning. It is best to lie down and let the lozenge dissolve in the back of your throat and nasopharynx. Cold-Eeze lozenges is one brand available, but there are other brands available.

I, as many others do, hope that this pandemic will be reasonably contained, BUT I personally do not think it will be. Humans have never seen this snake-associated virus before and have no internal defense against it. Tremendous worldwide efforts are being made to understand the molecular and clinical virology of this virus. Unbelievable molecular knowledge about the genomics, structure, and virulence of this virus has already been achieved. BUT, there will be NO drugs or vaccines available this year to protect us or limit the infection within us. Only symptomatic support is available.

I hope these personal thoughts will be helpful during this potentially catastrophic pandemic. You are welcome to share this email. Good luck to all of us!

James Robb, MD FCAP


TOM ALLMAN: "Ok, I was extremely conscious about hand washing and shake hands yesterday. I washed my hands 8 times during my day. I had approx. 20 people offer to shake my hand at two events but I simply said ‘Good to see you, I’m not shaking hands because of this coronavirus.’ People understood and it led to several conversations about the virus. I don’t think anyone was offended and many said that would try to do the same thing. Did you wash your hands more than usual?

Let’s be clear, Government is not going to be able to keep this out of our communities. It is vitally important that we take care of ourselves, and as such, take care of our friends and family. We’ve spend a week talking about trivia and facts, but now let’s talk about the next three months.

Our health officers don’t know the answers to many of our questions because the Coronavirus is a new strain of the flu. I have spoken with our county health officer who is working with the Sheriff’s Office to help prepare. We are not even halfway through this crisis.

Please follow the news, please keep washing your hands and please stay healthy. It’s going to be a great Summer and I want to see you ‘out there’ enjoying life."


ED NOTE: My wife just bought me a bottle of hand sanitizer, saying, "I know you NEVER wash your hands, soooo." I was mildly insulted that my wife of 55 years still didn't trust my hygiene commitment, and tried to argue that my daily shower was enough soap and water for my waking hours. She was not mollified. I promised to use the hand sanitizer, though.

I agree with Allman. This could be real bad, not only in itself but for the economic disruptions it's likely to cause. I hope we don't see people fighting in the aisles at Safeway!

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NIGHT LIGHT OF THE NORTH COAST: Houda Beach Cave

by David Wilson

It was a low tide, a low moon, the cave, and the Milky Way… long had I waited for this combination to come together, and when it did, somehow I was there. All summer I’d watched the tides, waiting for a tide low enough for me to get to the cave safely sometime before midnight (hey, I get tired.) But the idea had slipped from the forefront for a time, and I hadn’t been watching the tides when the bug to go out hit me and I called my brother Seth for company on a photographic outing.

Checking the tide, I saw that it would be fairly low right after the crescent moon set. I decided on Houda Beach, anticipating that some interesting rocks would be exposed. I hadn’t realized that the tide would be low enough to reach the cave until we arrived, but it was. Not only that, the Milky Way was lined up outside of it, framed in the entrance, along with the silhouette of Camel Rock near the setting moon. I’d wanted this photo for months, but only when I forgot to plan it did it come about. It’s interesting how that works. And I realized then that even if low tides had allowed me nighttime access to the cave during the summer months, the Milky Way would have been out of view to the left. It had to be this night. And I was there. I’m grateful for these opportunities.

Leaving the cave we were alerted by sirens behind us, and turning found a large fire burning farther north up Scenic Drive, illuminating the entire area and throwing a great smoke plume across the waters. According to reports I read later it was a vegetation fire. We watched the lights of first responders approaching it, and it seemed to us by the diminished glow that they quickly had it under control.

The Milky Way rises from the horizon near the glow of the setting crescent moon outside of this hidden Houda Beach cave. Camel Rock’s silhouette is large on the horizon beside the glow of the setting crescent moon. Humboldt County, California. September 13, 2018.

A fire broke out north of us while we were in the cave. The blue light stabbing into the picture from the right was a vehicle approaching the fire, and the blue lights to the left are Trinidad and surroundings.

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

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IT’S OFFICIAL: Mendocino Coast District Hospital closes its obstetrics department effective March 31

February 28, 2020 -- to whom it may concern:

Mendocino Coast District Hospital will close its obstetrics department March 31, 2020 at 5 p.m. due to decreasing birth and increasing costs of providing the service.

The obstetrics department consists of two labor and delivery rooms, three postpartum rooms and a nursery. We have one full-time employee that this will affect. This employee has been cross-training to another position and will be retained unless they choose otherwise.

The three nearest facilities that offer obstetric services are as follows:

Ukiah Valley Medical Center, 275 Hospital Drive, Ukiah, CA 95482 707-462-3111, 57 miles.

Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital, 1165 Montgomery Drive, Santa Rosa, CA 95405 707 525 5300, 118 miles

Sutter Santa Rosa Regional Hospital, 30 Mark West Springs Road, Santa Rosa, CA 95403 707-576-4000. 113 miles.

Interested parties may offer comments at Mendocino Coast District Hospital at 700 River Dr., Fort Bragg, California. Comments can be left at 707-961-4610. Our chief executive officer is Wayne Allen. He is at 700 River Drive, California Fort Bragg, California. The phone number is 707-961-4610.

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ED NOTES

YOU CAN NOW get breakfast burritos at both ends of the bountiful Anderson Valley. AV Market has been selling Chef Betty's superlative to-go burritos for some time, and now the Navarro Store, never to be outdone, has on daily offer its own Deepend 14-inch breakfast burritos, enough burrito to feed you, your sig other and whatever little ones you've got tugging at the livingroom curtains.

LIKE ALL MEDIA we make mistakes, and last week we made a uniquely terrible one in announcing the death of our old friend Lisa Walters. Lisa lives on. It was her husband, Greg Girard, who died, not Lisa. Knowing her these many years she’ll be amused, but we mightily regret the error.

THE FOUR HORSEMEN OF THE APOCALYPSE have saddled up and are galloping straight at us. War? Check. Pestilence? Check. Famine? Check. Death? On the way. There have already been 281  wildfires in California this year, including 87 in the past week, covering 200 acres, according to CalFire. At the same time last year, the agency had handled 91 fires scorching 78 acres. The average for the period is 246  fires burning 1,546 acres. The U.S. Drought Monitor last week classified 60% of California as “abnormally dry,” including nearly all of Northern California, with a small segment in “moderate drought.”

MARK SPRINKLE has again been turned down for parole, an act of pure sadism on the part of the State Parole Board given that Sprinkle has racked up a nearly perfect record inside. The guy's another example of personal growth via incarceration, and not the same man he was when he went in on what has always seemed like a set-up by his tweaker ex-girlfriend. Sprinkle's case is linked below, but having known him for years now I can attest to his "getting with the program" as an inmate. He's done everything possible to demonstrate his fitness for release. And, by the way, this is a man who was always employed as a truck driver on the outs, so it's not as if he'll be one more lost soul shuffling up and down State Street with all his stuff in a Safeway cart.

THE GOOD NEWS! Babylon Berlin, season three, has begun on Netflix.

A DEAD MAN was in day two of his eternal journey in the next world from where his remains sat on a bench near Johnson Park, Fort Bragg, when someone finally noticed that he appeared to be dead. An on-line commenter opined, "Part of Ft. Bragg's homeless eradication program. Guess he didn't qualify for the get-out-of-our-town bus ride. If he'd have been a dog there'd be a GoFundMe account and a thousand concerned citizens up in arms over his plight."

ANOTHER ONE GONE: Amy Klobuchar will suspend her campaign and endorse Joe Biden Monday night in Dallas, Texas, her campaign has confirmed. Pete Buttigieg, who dropped out of the race Sunday night, will also endorse Biden, Reuters reported minutes after Klobuchar pulled the plug on her campaign. Klobuchar, a senator from Minnesota, had momentum coming out of the New Hampshire primary, but couldn't repeat the result in the more diverse states of Nevada and South Carolina who held contests the last two Saturdays. All the middle-of-the-road extremists are now clustered around poor old Joe.

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FIRST FRIDAY ART WALK, FRIDAY, MARCH 6, 2020.

http://artwalkukiah.org

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PETERS V. GJERDE

by Rex Gressett

There is a commonsense idea popularized recently by Professor Alan Abromowitz of Emory University that he calls “Negative Partisanship." Simply put, this is the idea that in many elections, people don’t vote FOR their guy as much as they vote AGAINST the other guy.

When the Mendocino Fourth District goes to the polls this Tuesday, the question for most of us will be not who do you like, but who do you distrust more. This year, the Board of Supervisors incumbent Dan Gjerde is being challenged by long-serving Fort Bragg city councilman Lindy Peters.

Peters has been on the Fort Bragg city council on and off for 18 years but nobody loves him — and a lot of people don’t like him. Perhaps it is the gradual drip-by-drip over years and decades of shifting positions, venal compromises, gratuitous, relentless grandstanding and a low key, but palpable, disdain for public opinion when it bumps into bureaucratic priorities.

Whatever the cause, that part of the electorate that does not like him does not like him a lot.

And then there is Dan Gjerde. It’s been four election cycles (16 years!) since incumbent supervisor Gjerde has been annoyed by a contested election. Dan Gjerde ran unopposed for both of his two terms on the board of supervisors, and was reappointed twice to his seat on the Fort Bragg City Council.

When you look up “entitled” in the dictionary there is a centerfold insert of Dan Gjerde.

Gjerde attributes his uncontested string of non-elections to his own superb performance. He can’t actually name any particular policy, initiative, or proposal for which he can legitimately take credit. He can fake a few, but Gjerde’s performance in the two political events this year was more or less a complete fail. Gjerde is unaccustomed to anyone probing too deeply into his record on the board. The way he sees it, he does his best, and by all accounts what he does best is follow instructions from the CEO. That IS his record. But this year he may be swimming against the current.

The elephant in the room this election is the way the Board of Supervisors has devolved into a kind of administrative assistant to the County CEO. The bi-weekly meetings have become a kind of game show where the CEO moderates a panel of contestants competing to answer her questions, fulfill her expectations and keep the discussion (what there is of it) respectfully within Ms. Angelo's comfort zone. When the Mendocino Grand Jury blasted the Supes in general, and I believe Gjerde in particular, earlier this year they put it this way:

“The Grand Jury became aware of public concerns addressing the issue of whether the CEO was exceeding her authority in determining and implementing policies that govern the county.”

Under the guise of contributing technical clarification to the board discussions, CEO Carmel Angelo has become the ultimate arbiter of board policy — and the people of the county have gotten sick of it.

Supervisors John McCowen and Carre Brown are truly obsequious, but this flack from the Grand Jury is not their thing. Both are walking off the job.

For poor Dan Gjerde, there is no retreat. At $86,000 a year (minus his 10% self-imposed pay-cut), he likes the gig and he has made kowtowing to the CEO exactly what he stands for.

When Gjerde was asked about it at the League of Women Voters debate, he saw nothing wrong with bootlicking subservience to the CEO and pointed out that the CEO would be retiring in two years anyway so his abject absence of independence, integrity, or responsibility to his constituency might be objectionable now — but relax — it would not be an issue in two years.

Lindy told me early in the campaign that before he tossed his hat in the ring he made an agreement with Gjerde that they would not “go after” each other. It seemed kind of weird to me. I always thought in my barbarous way that going after the other guy in an election was what elections were for.

The veneer of civility started cracking a little late in the election but by and large, they have held to their deal.

Maybe it’s a concern for civility.

Or maybe betting on the other guy's bad record is a game where the less you say, the better off you are.

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WHO IS MEEKA FERRETTA?

James Marmon writes:

Who appointed Meeka Ferretta to sit on the Behavioral Health Advisory Board and why did the Supervisors allow her to be on the Measure B Oversight committee? She is a college student who is using these seats to advance her future career as a mental health therapist in Mendocino County. She is kissing up to likes of Miller, Schraeder, and Angelo in order to pave the way. This is unethical. I am so glad to see that 3 of you guys are going away. Maybe there's a light at the end of the tunnel after all, I sure hope so. You stupid SOB's.


JOHN MCCOWEN REPLIES:

Mr. Marmon,

In answer to your question of who appointed Meeka Ferretta to serve on the Measure B Oversight Committee, it was the Board of Supervisors.

In answer to your question of why did the Board allow her to be on the committee, it is because she met the representational category for the seat for which she applied and she was the only applicant for that seat. Measure B, as approved by the voters, mandated that one of the eleven seats on the Oversight Committee be filled by a member of the Behavioral Health Advisory Board. In keeping with State statutory requirements, the position was publicly noticed for appointment, but only members of the BHAB were eligible to apply.

In addition to the requirements of Measure B, the BHAB follows a practice of nominating one of their members to serve on the Measure B Committee and their nominee was Meeka Ferretta who submitted an application. Although nothing would prevent one or more additional BHAB members from applying, it is likely that the Board of Supervisors would honor the recommendation of the BHAB. As it turned out, Meeka Ferretta was the only applicant and was therefore appointed on the Consent Calendar.

There is nothing unethical in having people with some knowledge of and genuine interest in a particular field from serving on an advisory board. In fact, it is advantageous to the County to have people with direct knowledge or interest in particular fields volunteer to serve on boards and commissions.

John McCowen


JAMES MARMON REPLIES:

She's not going to be objective, she is career building. If she pisses the wrong person off it could destroy her career in Mendocino County. I can attest to that. As a college student studying to become a licensed mental health therapist, she should be protected from herself. I don't know what the BHAB was thinking when they put her in as chair and then allowed her to apply for a seat on the Measure B oversight committee. I believe Meeka is using the behavioral health advisory board and oversight committee to jump start her career, which is definitely unethical. She should talk to an adviser at her school. I'm 100% sure they would agree with me. She has both a personal and financial interest that will effect her objectivity moving forward. I be so glad when you're gone John, I'm counting the days.

James Marmon MSW

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MARILYN MONROE at Santa Monica Beach, 1962

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MENDO COUNTY 'LAFCO' DEALS WITH PEOPLE WANTING TO LEAVE COAST HOSPITAL DISTRICT

This is interesting. It's a "Continuance of the December 2, 2019 public hearing for the Commission to consider an application initiated by landowner petition to detach approximately 35,000 acres from the Mendocino Coast Health Care District."


UPDATE: UNANIMOUS VOTE TO ALLOW RESIDENTS TO ‘DETACH’ FROM COAST HOSPITAL PARCEL TAX

LAFCO commissioners agreed (5-0) with residents on Orr Springs Road that they don’t belong in the Mendocino Coast Hospital District and shouldn’t pay the $144 per parcel Hospital district tax.

MSP also heard there is a move afoot by some to have the hospital parcel tax taken away completely via the ballot box…

(Via the essential MendocinoSportsPlus)

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CATCH OF THE DAY, March 2, 2020

Castaneda, Defrates, Fuentes-Ruiz

JOHNNY CASTANEDA, Redwood Valley. Dumping in commercial quanitites, polluting state waters, probation revocation.

JENNIFER DEFRATES, Redwood Valley. Failure to appear, offenses while on bail.

TRINIDAD FUENTES-RUIZ, Ukiah. DUI.

Hanover, Langenderfer, Maynard

THOMAS HANOVER JR., Ukiah. Probation revocation. (Frequent flyer)

BRANDON LANGENDERFER, Laytonville. Paraphernalia, mandatory supervision sentencing.

ANDREW MAYNARD, Fort Bragg. Disorderly conduct-alcohol, probation revocation. (Frequent flyer)

Meders, Reyes-Campos, Williams

WILLIAM MEDERS, Willits. Paraphernalia, suspended license (for reckless driving), driving without license, county parole violation, probation revocation.

LATOYA REYES-CAMPOS, Ukiah. Dumping in commercial quanitites, polluting state waters, probation revocation.

LYDELL WILLIAMS, County parole violation, probation violation.

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JOINT STATEMENT FROM DOS, DOJ, DOD, DHS, ODNI, FBI, NSA, and CISA on Preparations for Super Tuesday >>> "Office of Intergovernmental Affairs (IGA)" IGA@messages.dhs.gov

WASHINGTON — Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, U.S. Attorney General William Barr, Secretary of Defense Mark Esper, Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Chad Wolf, Acting Director of National Intelligence Richard Grenell, Federal Bureau of Investigation Director Christopher Wray,U.S. Cyber Command Commander and National Security Agency Director Gen. Paul Nakasone, and Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency Director Christopher Krebs today released the following joint statement:

“Tomorrow, millions of voters in more than a dozen states and territories will cast their votes in presidential primaries. ‘Super Tuesday’ will see more Americans head to the polls than any other day of the primary season. We continue to work with all 50 states, U.S. territories, local officials, political parties and private sector partners to keep elections free from foreign interference.

“Americans must also remain aware that foreign actors continue to try to influence public sentiment and shape voter perceptions. They spread false information and propaganda about political processes and candidates on social media in hopes to cause confusion and create doubt in our system. We remain alert and ready to respond to any efforts to disrupt the 2020 elections. We continue to make it clear to foreign actors that any effort to undermine our democratic processes will be met with sharp consequences.

“The level of coordination and communication between the federal government and state, local and private sector partners is stronger than it’s ever been. Our Departments and Agencies are working together in an unprecedented level of commitment and effort to protect our elections and to counter malign foreign influence, but voters have a role to play too.

“We encourage all voters going to the polls to check your voter registration and know ahead of time when to vote, where to vote, what’s on your ballot, and whether your state requires identification. Your state or local election official’s office is the most trusted source for election material. A well-informed and vigilant republic is the best defense against disinformation.”

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ON THE EVE OF SUPER TUTU

Buttiboy, Rock Klobster, even Chris Matthews
All dropping like flies
Securing their berths in luxury boxes
As the DNC collides with history

You can smell the desperation
As they place their last-minute bets
On Senile War Horse or Detestable Plutocrat
In the outside lane, Bespectacled Nag whinnies

— Mike Kalantarian

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CLASS: THE LITTLE WORD THE ELITES WANT YOU TO FORGET

Aristotle, Niccolò Machiavelli, Alexis de Tocqueville, Adam Smith and Karl Marx grounded their philosophies in the understanding that there is a natural antagonism between the rich and the rest of us. The interests of the rich are not our interests. The truths of the rich are not our truths. The lives of the rich are not our lives. Great wealth not only breeds contempt for those who do not have it but it empowers oligarchs to pay armies of lawyers, publicists, politicians, judges, academics and journalists to censure and control public debate and stifle dissent. Neoliberalism, deindustrialization, the destruction of labor unions, slashing and even eliminating the taxes of the rich and corporations, free trade, globalization, the surveillance state, endless war and austerity — the ideologies or tools used by the oligarchs to further their own interests — are presented to the public as natural law, the mechanisms for social and economic progress, even as the oligarchs dynamite the foundations of a liberal democracy and exacerbate a climate crisis that threatens to extinguish human life.

truthdig.com/articles/class-the-little-word-the-elites-want-you-to-forget/

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ON LINE COMMENTS OF THE WEEK

[1] 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.

[2] Yes, California is the 5th largest economy in the world. We don't have a wealth problem, we have a tax problem. We need to limit how much money people can sequester into non-taxable family foundations, where they essentially hoard money and fund pet project, have a wealth tax on all income over $5 million and force Apple, Google, Facebook and other large tech companies to bring back the billions of revenue they are off-shoring and pay taxes on it. The founders of these companies and many of their employees have many hundreds of millions of dollars in this state from our infrastructure and they need to pay it forward so the next generation of Californians don't face a state with a collapsed public sphere. We need to stop taxing the middle and working class and start taxing the ultra-wealthy. Mark Zuckerberg has a net worth of over $45 billion. We need a progressive income tax in this state and in the nation. We need to have the same tax code they did in the 1950s and 1960s to help stabilize the growing wealth inequality and support the middle class. California is more wealthy than many countries. We have a ton of money here, we just need to redistribute it a bit more.

[3] Godwin’s law (or Godwin’s rule of Hitler analogies) is an Internet adage asserting that “As an online discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches 1” that is, if an online discussion (regardless of topic or scope) goes on long enough, sooner or later someone will compare someone or something to Adolf Hitler or his deeds, the point at which effectively the discussion or thread often ends. Promulgated by the American attorney and author Mike Godwin in 1990, Godwin’s law originally referred specifically to Usenet newsgroup discussions. It is now applied to any threaded online discussion, such as Internet forums, chat rooms, and comment threads, as well as to speeches, articles, and other rhetoric where reductio ad Hitlerum occurs.

Godwin has stated that he introduced Godwin’s law in 1990 as an experiment in memetics.

In 2012, “Godwin’s law” became an entry in the third edition of the Oxford English Dictionary.

[4] If you had any idea of what goes on behind the curtain in the food industry you’d never eat anything again that you didn’t grow yourself.

I have some examples from stories told to me by various friends

– a niece who worked for KFC said that sometimes at night after closing the workers there would get into food fights throwing pieces of raw chicken at each other. In the end it all when back into storage.

– a friend who worked in Stein’s pickle factory cautioned that you never want to eat pickle relish

– a co-worker whose wife worked in a chicken factory strongly advised you never want to buy a packaged cut up chicken. He said you should always be able to see the whole bird. When dead chickens move down the production line where workers hack them into pieces, as chickens with pussy infections and other nasty lesions come along the bad parts are cut away and discarded but the remaining good appearing ones are kept.

– my worse tale came from a friend who was a truck dispatcher where trucks with produce came to discharge their loads. This guy was a big flannel shirt wearing meat and potatoes type who loved hamburgers but would never eat ketchup. One day a truckload of tomatoes dumped its load over the collection hopper. He said there were always left over crushed tomatoes in the bottom of the beds when the trucks were set aside for the remainder of the day. On this one occasion when the truck returned to the hopper so the crushed tomatoes could be scooped into the hopper when they went for use in ketchup he saw that to bottom of the bed had a blue sheen over the entire surface. It was from all the blue bottle flies that had collected and died on the surface during the day. The whole mess went into the Ketchup hopper.

– I’ve seen some awfully disgusting food handling with my own eyes waiting in the back of a tavern where a friend used to work.

– A prosperous restauranteur in our city was once asked where his favorite place to eat was in our town and he replied “The Mongolian Grill because you can see what you eat before it is cooked.”

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AT THE EPICENTER OF SUPER TUESDAY, the Sanders Coalition Is Set to Shake the Political World

by Norman Solomon

For many years, corporate media outlets said it couldn’t be done. Now, they say it must not be. To the nation’s punditocracy—tacitly or overtly aligned with the nation’s oligarchy—nominating Bernie Sanders as the Democratic presidential candidate would be catastrophic.

But the 17,000 people who jammed into the Los Angeles Convention Center to hear Sanders speak on Sunday night are part of a progressive populist upsurge that shows no sign of abating. What I saw at the rally was a multiracial, multigenerational coalition with dimensions that no other candidate can come near matching.

With scant support from people of color, the media-pumped campaign of Pete Buttigieg has ended and Amy Klobuchar’s candidacy is about to collapse. Tom Steyer’s self-financed escapade has folded. Despite his win in South Carolina, Joe Biden’s campaign is hollow with "back to the future" rhetoric. Mike Bloomberg—the quintessential "Not Us. Me." candidate—might soon discover that he can’t buy elections no matter how much money he plows into advertisements, endorsements and consultants.

As for Elizabeth Warren: after impressive seasons of articulating a challenge to corporate power last year, she has recently diluted her appeal with murky messages of "unity" while gratuitously sniping at Sanders. Looking ahead, it’s unclear whether Warren will renew her focus on denouncing the political leverage of wealth. Top Democratic Party power brokers don’t want her to. Before the end of spring, we’ll know whether "nevertheless, she persisted."

Meanwhile, media coverage remains saturated by the Sanders-can’t-beat-Trump mantra, but that claim is eroding. The New York Times—which, like other major outlets, has racked up a long record of thinly veiled hostility toward Sanders and has been amplifying the panicked alarms from top Democrats—recently published two cogent opinion pieces, "The Case for Bernie Sanders" and "Bernie Sanders Can Beat Trump. Here’s the Math."

Even the Times news department, a bastion of hidebound corporate centrism, acknowledged days ago that Sanders "appeared to be making headway in persuading Democratic voters that he can win the general election. A Fox News poll released on Thursday showed about two-thirds of Democrats believe that Mr. Sanders could beat President Trump, the highest share of any candidate in the field."

But make no mistake about it: The bulk of powerful corporate media and entrenched corporate Democrats will do all they can to prevent the nominee from being Sanders. (I actively support him, while not affiliated with the official campaign.) More than ever, the current historic moment calls for a commensurate response: All left hands on deck.

A chant that filled the big hall in Los Angeles where Sanders spoke on Sunday night—"Sí, se puede"—came from a crowd that was perhaps half Latino. A coalition has emerged on the ground to topple longstanding political barriers of race, ethnicity, language and culture, with shared enthusiasm for the Bernie 2020 campaign that is stunning, deep and transcendent.

"Look around," said Marisa Franco, co-founder of the Latinx and Chicanx activist hub Mijente, during her powerful speech that introduced Sanders at the LA rally. "We are perched at the edge of history. There is so much at stake in the 2020 election. The world around us is bursting with problems and bursting with possibilities. And that’s making some people very very nervous. You know why? Because we’re winning."

Franco added: "Bernie Sanders presents the clearest alternative to Trump. He is willing to name the problems, what’s causing them, and proposes the bold solutions that we need to solve them… We want—and we demand—elected officials who are going to fight like hell for us."

(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.)

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REPUBLICANS FIGHT THE PANDEMIC

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ON LINE COMMENT OF THE DAY

Money was always at the root of it, with plutocrats cooking up schemes to profit from development of alleged “greening” technology, or through such financial chicanery as trading in instruments like carbon credits. But to be fair there’s many personal motivations for all this climate perturbation. Some people are truly convinced that doom is around the corner, some in the scientific community are just looking to make a modest living through research dollars, some people are just trying to get laid.

The more cynical of them won’t be surprised by what’s going to hit, but I’m afraid that some of the young, the naive, the pink, the moist, still in school and therefore unschooled and unhardened in the ways of the world, are in for a real let-down. That is, they’ll find out they’ve been played, that it was a con, all of it for the rich to get richer, for the comfortable managerial clerisy to carve out jobs in universities and in well-compensated bureaucratic positions ie climate regulatory bodies.

When the financial and economic unwind comes (as it must), when current arrangements vis-a-vis trade with China come to a grinding stop, through either money conduits clogging up with the detritus of financial collapse, or something like this Wuhan flu, or a choking off of oil pipelines from the Middle East, a great re-arrangement will have to happen.

And given the exigencies of getting necessary materials and objects no longer made on the North American continent, never mind the continental USA, climate concerns will dissipate like morning fog.

Let-down? What let-down? Global warming? What global warming? Oh THAT global warming. Well, that’s all to the good isn’t it, what with all that CO2 bringing about a re-warming and re-greening of the planet. THAT’S what we were all concerned about all along. Wasn’t it? More CO2, not less. Warmer is better, isn’t it?

And so with Democrats and – cough – progressives guilty of the very accusations that they’re presently hurling at their political opposites, people are showing their cognitive flexibility. Two plus two equals five? Sure, why not, if my livelihood and well-being depend on it, I am convinced of the unalterable truth of it.

With this as the precedent, with the intellectual and behavioral template being set as we speak, they’ll insist they were always for the very things they previously said they were against. Down the memory hole it goes, reality shape-shifting on the pages of the august New York Times, the paper of record.

There’s no way they can pull it off you say? I say they can and they will.

* * *

BUTTIGIEG QUIETLY DROPS OUT AFTER REALIZING HE’S BEEN RUNNING FOR WRONG PARTY WHOLE TIME

thehardtimes.net/culture/buttigieg-quietly-drops-out-after-realizing-hes-been-running-for-wrong-party-whole-time/

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COMETBUS: POST-MORTEM

by Larry Livermore

My first reaction when I saw that the latest issue of Cometbus had been subtitled Post-Mortem was, “Wait, who died?”

Having read a pre-publication copy of the text, I had come away feeling nothing like a funeral. Quite the contrary, in fact: it was a rich, thoughtful, and insightful investigation into the cultural landscape in which the author had been both participant and observer for most of his life.

Over that length of time death will naturally be a factor, overtaking institutions as well as individuals, but what I read seemed more a tale of adaptation and survival. Maximum Rocknroll may be gone, along with most of the magazines like it, but Cometbus, which preceded nearly all of them, endures. If that’s not a case of the cream rising to the top, I don’t know what is.

Aaron Cometbus is a legendary but sometimes shadowy figure, even in the underground scene. Many writers and artists don’t deliberately seek out the limelight, but far fewer make a point of actively avoiding it. Photographs of him are rare, especially considering the many luminaries he’s rubbed shoulders with, and even close friends will sometimes get a vague non-answer when they inquire as to what he’s been doing or working on lately.

He’s always preferred to let his work speak for him, and even then he meticulously curates what goes out to the public. This has been the case with not only his magazines and books, but also his music. At least two of his bands, Crimpshrine and Pinhead Gunpowder, had the potential to be far more famous than they were, but in neither case did he allow them to be packaged and marketed in a way that would make that likely to happen.

It’s not – at least as far as I know; it’s always dangerous trying to interpret someone’s intentions – as though he were deliberately trying to stay under the radar. That was often the effect, but I’ve always assumed he was amenable to being more widely recognized – but only if he remained in charge of the terms and conditions.

Aaron started out in a strictly print-and-vinyl world, and has made few concessions to the onward rush of technology. Eventually, years after the fact, he allowed some of his music to be released on CD, but I have no idea if he’s made the leap into the streaming universe – or if, if he hasn’t, if he ever will.

As someone who’s been championing his work for well over 30 years, I used to find this frustrating, but now, like Elvis Costello, I try to be amused. Aaron and I have had some lively discussions (to put it euphemistically) on this topic over the years, even though I’d discovered when he was still in his teens that while he might concede a point, getting him to change his course of action was another matter altogether.

Nowadays, I prefer to talk with him about the many things we agree on. I’d love it if more people – many more people – could be exposed to his work, and I have to assume that someday they will be, but for now he seems determined to value quality over quantity. In other words, if you’re looking for the online edition of Cometbus, let alone Facebook or Twitter accounts alerting you to new Cometbus developments – don’t hold your breath.

Many of my readers will already know Aaron, of course, dating back to the days when you could find his handmade and handwritten zines at punk shows and record shops everywhere, and when you’d often run into the man himself selling newly minted copies out of a ratty backpack. But many more, especially younger ones to whom words printed on paper are either a hipster affectation or a relic from their grandparents’ era, might need an introduction.

Simply put, Aaron is one of the leading voices of his generation. He’s been writing about music and culture and history and everything in between since he was a child, and his work skirts and transcends the boundaries of fiction, nonfiction, journalism, and agitpop (sic). Some, myself included, have glibly compared him to Kerouac (I later amended this to “Kerouac with a good editor”), but unlike the seminal beat, Aaron’s work has grown stronger, tighter, and more direct with the passage of time. Instead of succumbing to the bitterness and cynicism that overtook Kerouac when he should have been in his prime, Aaron goes from strength to strength. The freeform odes to the open road and new horizons (never, it must be said, as rambling, disjointed, and directionless as Kerouac’s amphetamine-fueled discursions) have evolved into gentle and indeed loving explorations of what it means to be a part of – and apart from – a society that is itself constantly in flux.

In this incarnation, he might have more in common with Joan Didion, except that while Didion explored the counterculture as a very observant tourist, Aaron has always been a local. Post-Mortem finds him at the top of his game, exploring his own innate curiosity while creating an invaluable document of the broad spectrum of subcultures, countercultures, and odd little niches that typically get lumped together under the rubric of “punk.”

Before beginning to write, Aaron set out on an investigative journey that took him what must have been close to 10,000 miles around the country, visiting old friends and associates and finding new ones that he barely realized existed. His purpose was to investigate how – or if – the various countercultural institutions he’d grown up with had weathered the years. He referred to it as an “inquest,” which might seem to carry with it a little confirmation bias, but also broadened his inquiry to include enterprises he confesses to having “ignored or dismissed” in the past.

“I wanted to get past the rhetoric and find out what actually worked,” he says, and I nearly cheered aloud when I read that, because it neatly summed up my own views on the matter. It also seemed to build a bridge across one of the few continuing differences of opinion I’ve had with Aaron. As it would turn out, some division remained, but far less than before.

My questioning of the title Post-Mortem hints at but doesn’t fully cover the point I raised (but not too vigorously; it was too nice a day for philosophical debates) during a long walk across Brooklyn. It wasn’t so much whether the counterculture was alive, dead, thriving, or barely hanging on; what I wanted to know was if the concept of a counterculture was even still useful.

“The main failure of the underground, as I saw it, was setting our sights too low,” Aaron writes. But aren’t you, by defining yourself as “underground,” situating yourself in society’s basement right from the start?

However, I don’t want to pursue that line of inquiry beyond simply raising the question. What I do want is for people to read Aaron’s new work, think about it, talk about it, maybe even write to him (yes, pen and paper, that still happens!) to share your views. I wish I could give you a link to where you could read it online, but ha ha, fat chance of that.

So what you’ll need to do is to seek out a copy at your local independent book or record shop, or get in touch with one of the DIY distributors who make sure valuable stuff like this gets out to the public. If you’re not sure what that means, ask a punk. Or, um, you know, try the internet.

* * *

AMERICANS SAY NO NUKES!

Half the US population favors the nuclear abolition treaty

beyondnuclearinternational.org/2020/03/01/americans-support-a-nuclear-ban/

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SAKO FOR SUPERVISOR

To the Editor:

I have known John Sakowicz since 2006, and I am his cohost/coproducer on the radio show, "Heroes and Patriots", on public radio.

The show's focus is national security, intelligence, and foreign policy.

Our guests have included members of Congress, four-star generals, Pulitzer Prize recipients, Noble Prize laureates, and whistleblowers at the CIA, FBI, and NSA.

John's reputation for integrity, expertise, and experience, and the show's reputation for accuracy and fairness, have been key in scheduling these guests.

John's national reputation carries over to his local reputation here in Mendocino County, where John has lived for 20 years, and worked at the Sheriff's Office, and served on the Retirement Board, the Ukiah Valley Sanitation District, the County Redevelopment Authority, and the County Grand Jury.

John has an MA and BA from the Johns Hopkins University, and worked for many years on Wall Street before moving the Mendocino County.

I urge voters to support John Sakowicz on March 3 for Mendocino County, 1st District Supervisor.

Mary Massey

Ukiah

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LAST-MINUTE SPECIAL INTEREST CASH POURS THROUGH CALIFORNIA’S $50,000 LOOPHOLE

If you’re a voter in east Los Angeles County, there’s a chance there’s a glossy ad sitting in your mailbox right now that touts Sylvia Rubio, a candidate in one of the hottest races for the state Assembly, as a “passionate advocate for women and children” who has “lived our life” and “shared our stories.”

Read the mailer carefully and you’ll see in the fine print at the bottom that the “our” refers to the inoffensively named “Hope & Heritage” committee, which paid for the ad. But here’s what you won’t see: Hope & Heritage is primarily funded by an industry group that includes the pharmaceutical industry and one of the largest dialysis clinic operators in the state.

lostcoastoutpost.com/2020/mar/2/last-minute-special-interest-cash-pours-through-ca/

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THIS AIN’T NO FOOLIN’ AROUND

by James Kunstler

The shadow of Corona virus creeps ever-darker across the scene like a cosmic messenger from Karma Central telling mankind to stop and assess. We’re about to find out what we’ve wrought with the wonders and marvels of globalism. Is there anything you can think of over at the WalMart or the Walgreens that isn’t made in China? I mean, everything from a dustpan to a lint brush? I can’t say for sure, because I’m not over in China, but the place is apparently not open for business these days. One must surmise that a lot of activities in the USA may not be open for business much longer, either.

The action in my local supermarket yesterday had an undercurrent of stealth desperation; no overt panic buying, no fighting in the aisles, but an edge of suspense. Personally, I cleaned out an entire product-line of cat food, loaded up on cooking oil, rice, dry beans, and evaporated milk — and I wasn’t the only one checking out with the sixteen-roll bindle of toilet paper. Obviously, many products were still there on the shelves to get (minus that cat food). Is the time perhaps at hand when a lot of stuff won’t be? Just sayin’.

The message is getting out — though not from US authorities yet — that everybody may soon be spending a lot of time home alone. That’s exactly what has happened in China and a region of northern Italy. France banned events with more than 5,000 people (why that number, exactly?). Japan has canceled school for the time being — duration unknown for now. So a USA lockdown is not merely hypothetical. These, then, are two fundamental conditions the world faces for a while: nobody moves and nothing gets produced.

Are we taking this thing too seriously (some might ask)? I don’t pretend to know the answer, except, again, to point to China and think that they can’t possibly just be fooling around with all those zombified cities and shuttered factories. The next question might be: will the global economy return at some point to “normal” operating conditions, that is, the fabulously complex network of supply lines, markets, and payment arrangements as they worked up until January 2020? I am for sure not sure about that. Once a gigantic and fantastically precise mechanism breaks, I doubt it comes back together neatly and quickly. In the physical universe, the power of emergence is like the cue ball on a billiard table, and it appears that all the rest of the colored balls will be bouncing off the bumpers and sinking into pockets for a while… and eventually the global table will look a lot different.

I’ve long maintained that of all the many networked systems we depend on, banking and finance are the most fragile, the most susceptible to dangerous disorder. And, of course, that is exactly what we’re seeing in the stock markets. Trillions of dollars in notional wealth have vaporized. Over on the bond side, interest rates are crashing toward zero as loose capital desperately seeks a safe harbor. But how safe is Bond Harbor, exactly, when all the advanced nations are so deep in the borrowing hole that they can never really meet their obligations? And Gawd knows what is going on with the “innovative” financial IEDs in Derivatives Land. How can they not be blowing up with price movements of the kind that went down last week?

As that colossal hairball unravels, nobody will get paid for anything for a period of time, again, duration unknown. There was chatter last week about a supposed Sunday meeting of global Central Bank poohbahs looking to come up with a battle plan for arresting the damage. It must have been mighty secretive because there’s nothing about it on the news wires Monday morning. But what can they do, really, except the only thing they know how to do, which is to jam more “money” into crumbling arrangements? And then, we must ask, when does this stuff lose its credibility as “money”? Answer: when the contours of the black hole it is disappearing into become obvious and undeniable — and some might argue that we can already see all that. If the equity markets turn up today, that will probably be an indication that the CB Boyz and Gurls have launched a direct stock-buying blitz… meaning that, until further notice, markets are not really markets. That would be a set-up for another round of cratering when the CBs shoot their wads on that gambit.

One thing I’m hearing a lot is how much this emergency spotlights the USA’s need to reindustrialize. That would be a natural conclusion, but I warn you it will not work out the way they’re saying. I’m not going to harp on this for now, but our energy supply situation is not what it’s cracked up to be, specifically shale oil, which depends utterly on a reliable stream of loans to keep up the incessant fracking — not a bright prospect with credit markets frozen — and above and beyond that, it’s an industry that doesn’t pay for itself, doesn’t make a red cent. So, watch for carnage in the shale oil patches. The next trick will be to nationalize the industry, and that will only add another layer to a looming national bankruptcy.

Now, that suggests to me that we’re not actually able to return to manufacturing at the scale we abandoned a few decades ago — in other words, Make America Great Again. If we make anything, it’ll be at a much smaller scale, and maybe even a scale that would seem laughably humble. When the dust settles from the present financial meltdown — and that might take a while — Americans with any remaining capital might want to invest in water-power and hydroelectric sites. (Note, there are plenty here in Washington County, New York.) The hydroelectric part is a bit iffy, since that does require a lot of copper and steel for the turbines. But water-power itself can drive machinery. Again, just sayin’.

Of course, one of the ironies of this situation is that the entire news media assumes that the election contest is proceeding along the usual formal trajectory. No one seems to wonder whether the party conventions can even be held if the corona virus sticks around through the spring, or even the election, for that matter.

(Support Kunstler’s writing by visiting his Patreon Page.)

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A FORT BRAGG WOMAN named Candy Moulton announced via facebook: "This morning I served Dan Gjerde, 4th District Supervisor with an order to appear in court for violating the 1st & 14th amendments and suppressing free speech on a public forum (social media) as a public official. Blocking people, preventing them from commenting and deleting posts and comments has been ruled illegal on numerous occasions like last July when federal court ruled that Trump couldn't block critics on Twitter. Mendocino constituents deserve a supervisor that doesn't feel the need to silence his critics."

GJERDE does seem hyper-sensitive to criticism, and Ms. Moulton is correct re the Trump legal precedent. What's most disappointing about Gjerde is that he's smart and capable, knows everything about the nuts and bolts of local government but has been inert. We thought he'd team up with Williams to become a formidable duo on the Board of Supervisors, but that hasn't happened. Gjerde's' slightly more engaged lately, but rather than join the energetic Williams, Gjerde has joined the other gold bricks is cordoning Williams off, although Haschak occasionally does the right thing in support of Williams, the only fully functioning supervisor Mendocino County has.


LAWSUIT FILED AGAINST SUPERVISOR DAN GJERDE FILED 3/2/2020

Good Morning,

Our contention with Supervisor began when he refused to engage with me regarding the Mitchell Creek overlay zone, showing favoritism to certain constituents (anti-cannabis) while ignoring others (permit holders he voted to close down with the sunset clause). Simeon and I have spoken extensively at the BoS meetings and we have both called Gjerde on his position and handling of the matter. Gjerde has refused to respond to multiple emails and phone calls and refused to take a meeting with us. As described below he had consultants redraw the map to specifically to exclude the 3 properties for which I asked him for his support regarding the overlay procedure.

Simeon tagged Gjerde in a post on his personal profile and Gjerde removed the tag and blocked him. Gjerde became very derisive at the BoS meetings. Recently in the 4th district race I became frustrated reading Gjerde's comments and attacks on Lindy Peters so I started to voice my opinion about Supervisor Gjerde's inability to be objective, resulting in my support falling to Lindy Peters. Shortly after this, my comments were removed and I was banned from commenting on Dan Gjerde's official candidate forum facebook page "Dan Gjerde, 4th District Supervisor".

In the Mendocino County 4th and 5th District facebook groups run and moderated by Kathy Wylie (a private citizen and not party to the law suit as she doesn't hold public office) I also had my commenting ability suspended, then I had all my comments and posts deleted. I was then removed and blocked from both groups. Kathy Wylie claims to be impartial to either candidate but clearly censored any criticism of Gjerde. She even removed a post from Marty McGee that cited a case (vs Trump) resolution stating that public officials cannot silence critics by deleting or blocking comments on a public forum such as facebook or twitter.

My posts were not abusive or slanderous, but were critical of Gjerde. As a public official I believe he needs to defend his position to his constituents, especially going into an election.

This has been ruled by the 4th and 2nd circuit courts as a violation of the constitution. With the election coming tomorrow, I decided to take action which will no doubt leave myself and my business at an extreme disadvantage if Supervisor Gjerde is re-elected. It also came out through other facebook posts that there are a number of people who have also been stripped of the 1st and 14th amendment rights byt having comments blocked, posts deleted, and access restricted from his public profile.

The 1st amendment is free speech, the 14th is the right to due process. Neither of which was engaged in by Supervisor Dan Gjerde.

Here is a link from the American Civil Liberties Union case that originally encouraged me to take action : https://www.aclu.org/blog/free-speech/internet-speech/court-rules-public-officials-cant-block-critics-facebook

And of course, there's the well known case against President Trump where he was ordered not to block critics on his Twitter account

Facebook post from Simeon Evans in 4th and 5th district groups moderated and deleted by Kathy Wylie. Explains how the friction developed:

Simeon Evans 11:59 AM (3 minutes ago) to Brandy Mendocino County 4th District Constituents.

I started responding to a comment by Dan Gjerde on Facebook in the 4th district supervisor group, but decided to switch gears as he has blocked my account from his primary account after I voiced oppositional viewpoints to him. I'm still blocked from that account. It reminds me of the case where Trump was told by Federal court that he was not able to block critics on Twitter while holding public office yet this is exactly what Gjerde is doing. He is blocking critics on Facebook while holding public office. So I decided to switch and make my opinion public to give voting constituents more information with which to judge his character going into this election.

After having clashed numerous times with him at BoS meetings and especially on the subject of the Overlay zones I have avoided further confrontation with him for fear of him using his position against me again, as he has in the past. It is however so frustrating watching him live and seeing him on Facebook making flagrantly baseless and inflammatory statements that I feel the need to make public my knowledge and voice my opinion on how he dealt with the debacle called the overlay zone.

As a property owner, last year I sent him an email requesting his support for the Mitchel Creek overlay zone and referenced several addresses. He didn't respond to that, or my subsequent emails, or my phone calls, but he did go to the consultants (hired to strategize a solution to problems created by the Sunset Clause) and handed them a re-drawn map that now marginally excluded every property I had referenced and as they told me first hand, when he gave it to them he informed them "this is the new map." He commented that he was in danger of losing the whole overlay if it wasn't shrunk again, as it had been previously shrunk to exclude another property with some vocal neighbors. Apparently he was called on this by his peers on the Board of Supervisors because this is a clear over-extension of his position and a conflict of interests but I cannot speak to that. I can say I think it is inappropriate and unethical for him to tell the consultants hired to present their findings to the BoS - what their findings should be! But that is exactly what they told me he did.

It is clear that he listened to hearsay and acted with prejudice. He took meetings with some people, engaged in correspondence and took phone calls from some constituents, but flatly ignored others. He did not treat his constituents equally. What's most hypocritical is that he supported the overlay zone, but only for certain people in a "we want these people to get it but not these others" kind of way.

I also feel obliged to call him out on a simple lack of honesty and integrity. There was a meeting put together at the Caspar community center to try and bridge the divide in the Mitchel Creek community. At least 15 people separately claimed to have invited him and requested that he attend. At the meeting that he very noticeably did not attend, the community asked where he was. Later he told inquiring community members that he did not know about the meeting and had not been invited. Apart from telling a bold faced lie, he demonstrated dishonesty and an inability to be forthright and an unwillingness to show up for his constituents when they call on him to show up, be present and do his job… that he's paid quite handsomely to do incidentally. From talking to many in the community I surmised his avoidance to be related to playing both sides and not wanting to be caught between polarized people that he had voiced conflicting positions to. It seems this is a pattern for him as he has been very noticeably and consistently absent from many community meetings.

I could spend a lot of time undermining his positions and countering his baseless, sweeping statements like this one in the 4th district group where he takes inflammatory, broad and underhanded shots at Lindy with not a shred of supporting evidence to back up his assertions but I'll limit it to just one. This is Gjerde's Facebook comment in response to Lindy Peters stating he thought the legally permitted and regulated cannabis businesses in the Mitchel creek area should possibly be allowed to continue to operate.

"My concern is that he is expressing a very radical concept for future land use decisions as a County supervisor. Here's why: local governments simply do not re-zone property over the objections of property owners. To re-zone property over the objections of property owners, as would be the case here, would create great uncertainty in our local housing market, and would almost certainly financially harm local homeowners up and down the Coast, and even in inland Mendocino County. A candidate for County supervisor should appreciate the consequences of his or her actions."

First of all, nobody said anything about rezoning. His statement was stand alone and there was no methodology applied.

* * *

HILARIOUS TRUMP STANDUP

18 Comments

  1. Eric Sunswheat March 3, 2020

    RE: As of yesterday, the conservative estimate is that 10% of the population will become infected, with a 1% mortality rate. This translates to 325,000 deaths in the USA. The most gloomy prediction posits a 70% infection rate with 2.5% mortality, or 8,100,000 deaths. The big variable here of course is how much we still have to learn about the virus’ behavior. But the other variable will be the degree of public compliance with public health recommendations. This is why the “it’s just the flu” mantra is not just silly, but criminally dangerous. – Michael Turner MD

    —————>. [criminally dangerous or potentially not?]
    March 2, 2020 11:54AM.
    Still, it is important to avoid scaring people about the risk of death from COVID-19 by continuing to ignore the fact that the vast majority of cases “have mild disease and get better without needing any special care.”…

    As the graph indicates, other countries include more non‐​severe cases than China does, notably by testing incoming travelers who arrive with a cough and fever. Even after casting a slightly wider net, however, the number of confirmed cases probably captures only about 30% of the actual number.

    By the morning of March 2, there had been 89,253 confirmed cases of COVID-19 reported around the world, with about 96% of those in Asia. For comparison, the were an estimated 37.9 million people living with HIV in 2018.

    It is worth noting that have also been 45,393 known recoveries from COVID-19 (compared to 3048 cumulative deaths) and, importantly, recoveries have been outnumbering new cases.

    What about the relatively small number of COVID-19 cases outside China? In his February 28, the Director General of WHO reported that “Outside China, there are now 4351 cases in 49 countries, and 67 deaths.” Deaths of 67 divided by 4351 seems to demonstrate a death rate of 1.5%. But such calculations are highly misleading.

    They assume the denominator of that ratio (4351) is as accurate as the numerator (67). Yet people with “mild cases who get better” are unlikely to ever be included in the denominator.

    If the WHO estimate of 4351 confirmed cases amounted to 30% of the actual number infected outside of China at that time, for example, then the combined total of both unreported and confirmed cases would be 4351 divided by 0.30 or 14,503.

    In that case, the actual death rate would 67 divided by 14,503, or less than one half of one percent (0.46%).
    https://www.cato.org/blog/misleading-arithmetic-covid-19-death-rates

    • Eric Sunswheat March 3, 2020

      —————->. March 03, 2020 1:32 PM ET
      The point is that every country’s numbers are the result of a specific set of testing and accounting regimes. Everyone is cooking the data, one way or another.

      And yet, even though these inconsistencies are public and plain, people continue to rely on charts showing different numbers, with no indication that they are not all produced with the same rigor or vigor.

      This is bad. It encourages dangerous behavior such as cutting back testing to bring a country’s numbers down or slow-walking testing to keep a country’s numbers low.

      The other problem is, now that the U.S. appears to be ramping up testing, the number of cases will grow quickly. Public-health officials are currently cautioning people not to worry as that happens, but it will be hard to disambiguate what proportion of the ballooning number of cases is the result of more testing and what proportion is from the actual spread of the virus.

      People trust data. Numbers seem real. Charts have charismatic power. People believe what can be quantified. But data do not always accurately reflect the state of the world. Or as one scholar put it in a book title: “Raw Data” Is an Oxymoron.

      The reality gap between American numbers and American cases is wide. Regular citizens and decision makers cannot rely on only the numbers to make decisions. Sometimes quantification actually obscures as much as it reveals…

      What public-health experts call “community spread” had arrived in the United States. The virus would not be stopped by tight borders, because it was already propagating domestically.

      Trevor Bedford’s lab at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, which studies viral evolution, concluded there is “firm evidence” that, at least in Washington State, the coronavirus had been spreading undetected for weeks…

      We know, irrefutably, one thing about the coronavirus in the United States: The number of cases reported in every chart and table is far too low.

      The data are untrustworthy because the processes we used to get them were flawed. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s testing procedures missed the bulk of the cases. They focused exclusively on travelers, rather than testing more broadly, because that seemed like the best way to catch cases entering the country.
      https://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2020/03/how-many-americans-really-have-coronavirus/607348/

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  2. George Hollister March 3, 2020

    Something Bernie Sanders needs to consider:

    https://americashealthcarefuture.org/new-poll-vast-majority-satisfied-with-current-health-care-coverage/

    “The same Gallup poll also notes that the vast majority of all Americans are satisfied with the quality of their health care – rating it ‘excellent’ or ‘good’ (80 percent) – and their level of coverage (69 percent).” A strong majority of Democrats like their healthcare coverage, as well.

    158 million Americans get their healthcare at work. 66 million get Medicaid. 44 million get Medicare. 20 million use the ACA. 44 million have no health insurance. The total number of Americans is 138 million. Do these numbers add up? I would be surprised if they did, since nothing in American healthcare is clear. But it appears the focus needs to be on the 44 million who have no health insurance, and fully understanding who these people are.

    Another part of the equation is the healthcare industry makes it’s money from private insurance, and not Medicare, or Medicaid. So reductions in money going into the healthcare industry, to pay for everyone getting Medicare For All, would likely see people leaving the healthcare industry, making a healthcare worker shortage worse than it already is.

    The question for Bernie is would people be just as happy with Medicare for all as they they are right now with what they have? It is a stretch to ask if people would be more satisfied.

  3. chuck dunbar March 3, 2020

    Oh my, poet Bruce, you’ve outdone yourself:

    “…The worms commence
    Crawling in and out to
    Play pinochle on your snout…”

    A witty line in the middle of a cool poem about our end. Made me laugh on a day when my wife and I are lamenting the state of the union and the world.

    Thanks.

  4. Jim Armstrong March 3, 2020

    For this hearing, Mark Sprinkle had letters from three of the paid professional prison staff with whom he works on a daily basis..
    They were strongly worded in recognition of his rehabilitation and in their unanimous recommendations for his release.
    I believe DA Eyster has dropped his opposition to it.
    There is no reason to have added three more years to the 23 he has served.

  5. James Marmon March 3, 2020

    RE: MEEKA, MCCOWEN, AND ETHICAL DILEMMAS

    Ethical Issues and Career Stages

    “Different types of ethical dilemmas are faced by individuals at different career stages. Using Donald Super’s career development framework, researchers have found different types of ethical issues faced by those in the exploration, establishment, maintenance, and disengagement stages of their careers.

    In the aptly named exploration career stage, individuals focus on acceptance from peers and also may be most vulnerable to pressure from superiors. If achieving performance norms is critical to peer acceptance, this need for acceptance by peers can lead to ethical shortcuts. If the organization rewards goal achievement, the individual in this early career stage may feel pressured to achieve those goals using any means, ethical or unethical. The potential for ethical shortcuts is increased if superiors themselves do not model ethical behavior.

    When individuals enter the establishment stage, they have made some commitment to a particular profession or career and are increasingly concerned with career advancement. High levels of competition may result in individual ethical compromises to achieve promotion. In individuals with high success drives, this temptation may be intensified. In the establishment stage, the pressure to take ethical shortcuts may be mostly internal, in contrast to the exploration stage, in which pressure comes from peers and superiors.”

    http://career.iresearchnet.com/career-development/ethics-and-careers/

    James Marmon MSW

    • James Marmon March 3, 2020

      I know Meeka is getting up there in age and is a little late to the game, but using these shortcuts in order to advance her career is wrong, just plain wrong.

      She is a go-getter though, I give her credit for that.

      James Marmon MSW

  6. Kathy March 3, 2020

    Conveniently omitted: after repeated warnings to abide by the mutually agreed-upon group rules forbidding the slamming of candidates, Moulton and two others were blocked from two local Facebook groups (run by a small, diverse group of people). These two community groups, with over 2100 members in total, were created to encourage and promote CIVIL dialogue on matters affecting all residents on the coast.

    On this Super Tuesday, please get out and vote, like your country and your county depended on it.

    • Brandy Moulton March 7, 2020

      Kathy Wylie used her own political agenda to deem what was “allowed” in her group. Screenshots would show that none of mine, or anyone else’s comments were anything but factual and critical.

      She also removed posts by people who simply posted a link about free speech….how is THAT against your group rules?

      You’re biased and a liar, Ms. Wylie. But you are not a public official so I certainly cant fault you for anything more than that.

  7. Kathy Janes March 3, 2020

    Thank you for the excellent information from Dr. Robb.

  8. Craig Stehr March 3, 2020

    Kwaaaaaaaaaaaatz!

    When one truly dies and
    Leaves the body,
    One can go freely wherever one likes.
    In the midst of profound darkness
    Or when the doors and windows are shut,
    One enters a state of freedom.
    The body is like a dream.
    When we see this and awaken,
    Not a trace remains.
    – Takuan (1573-1645)

    • Bruce Anderson March 3, 2020

      When for reals you’re done and
      Your heirs and assignees have
      Finished going through your pockets
      The worms commence
      Crawling in and out to
      Play pinochle on your snout.
      When I awaken to shout,
      “I was hoping for eternal sunshine
      At the Giants ballpark!”

      — Bruce Anderson (1939-Any Time Now)

  9. sam kircher March 3, 2020

    Thank you Mike Kalantarian for your surgical study of someone’s clearly intentional failure to provide NPP voters with Democratic primary ballots. Would it surprise me to learn that the 70+ local victims of these shenanigans all voted Bernie over Hillz in 2016? Not at all. Reminds me of the special election, following the death of Norm Vroman, when several voters’ (mine included) ballots were left uncounted due to “discrepancies in signatures.” Of course the only ballots tossed out were those cast for Faulder over Lintott. I don’t normally trade on conspiracy theories, nor am I inclined to believe this county capable of pulling off such an elaborate disenfranchisement scheme. Democrats, you’re free to close your primary. Mendocino County, your preponderance of mail-in precincts is unconstitutional and inefficient. If this is what voting looks like here, I shudder to imagine how it goes in less “progressive” constituencies.

    • George Hollister March 3, 2020

      Comptche Post Office has had a problem with mail theft since mid-December. Post Office mail boxes have been broken into. While we will never know, it is possible that those ballots were stolen, and discarded along with everything else that had no monetary value.

  10. Harvey Reading March 3, 2020

    JOINT STATEMENT FROM DOS, DOJ, DOD, DHS, ODNI, FBI, NSA, and CISA on Preparations for Super Tuesday >>> “Office of Intergovernmental Affairs (IGA)”

    The fascist police state in freedomlandia is obviously well-established, and we let it happen.

  11. Lee Edmundson March 3, 2020

    NB: Mr. Gressett,

    Dan Gjerde was “elected” and then “re-elected” to the Fort Bragg City Council, not “Reappointed” as you state in your column. Just to keep the record straight.

    Shortly after Dan’s initial election, he was physically assaulted in City Hall by developer Dominic Affinito, for which Affinito suffered legal consequences. This altercation, I believe, put Dan on the guarded defensive from the get-go.

    So very many of us, who have been long-time Dan Gjerde supporters, are hopeful that — if he is re-elected 4th District County Supervisor — he will continue to come out of his shell and follow the lead of Supervisor Ted Williams, who seems to have grasped many essential handles of the labyrinth (Gordian Knot?) that constitutes Mendocino County Governance.

    If, on the other hand, Lindy prevails in the 4th, I’m hopeful he will follow up on his campaign rhetoric and have Williams’ back (read: a second for motions) for the continued unraveling of the Gordian Knot which currently (and historically) constitutes Mendocino County politics.

    The polls will decide. Either way, Measure B, Measure V, Pot Permitting, Homeless Housing, Mental Health Funding, Unfunded Pension Mandates — the list goes on and on and on…

    Dan Gjerde’s re-election (or not) is only a single piece in the jigsaw puzzle of Mendocino County governance. County Government will have 2 brand new Supervisors. Possibly 3. Perhaps it’s time to begin brand new. Vote your heart and head.

    Now, now let’s deal with the corona virus…

    Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

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