- Rain Coming
- Early Returns
- Variety Show
- Rubble Watch
- CSD Meeting
- Plum Moon
- Coronavirus Preparedness
- Handwash Alert
- Airport Encampments
- Redwood Ladies
- PG&E Scared
- Honey-Oil Boys
- Yesterday's Catch
- Girl-Scout Dinner
- Grand Guignol
- Hauling Water
- Clam Beach
- Coronavirus Questions
- Plutocrat Squeeze
- Bullyboy Trump
- Ocean Waves
- Feral Tweakers
- 1968 Lesson
- Rap Song
- Biden Youth
- Citizens Overruled
- Bullet-Train Path
- Art Walk
- Wildlife Films
- Emerald Museum
- Found Object
WARM AND DRY CONDITIONS will continue across inland areas through Thursday, with patchy marine clouds along the coast. Light rain is expected late Friday and Saturday, with cooler temperatures over the weekend. Some light rain is possible Monday through Wednesday in Mendocino and Lake counties. (NWS)
EARLY VOTE RETURNS with almost 10,500 votes counted, about 20% of registered Mendo voters show:
Sanders was ahead of his Democratic Party rivals with 42% of Mendo’s Demo votes cast. Bloomberg was a distant second at 13%, Warren with just over 12%. Joe Biden almost 12%. Buttigieg 10%.
Statewide Sanders won California at about 30%, Biden at almost 21%, Bloomberg at 17% and Warren about 12%.
(However, nationally it appears that Biden’s campaign has been rejuvenated in most of the other “Super Tuesday” state primaries.)
Trump got about 92% of early Republican voters.
The seven Green & Peace & Freedom candidates together totalled 46 of the over 9,000 initial ballots.
Locally (round number percentage):
First District Supervisor: Glenn McGourty (47%) was leading Jon Kennedy (29%) with James Green (18%) and John Sakowicz (6%) trailing.
Second District Supervisor: Maureen Mulheren (42%) was leading Mari Rodin (33%) and Joel Soinila (25%)
Fourth District Supervisor: Incumbent Dan Gjerde (58%) was substantially ahead of opponent Lindy Peters (42%).
Measure D, the application of transient occupancy taxes to private campgrounds was leading but not by a lot with about 53% in favor. (50%+1 required), while the accompanying advisory Measure E calling for the proceeds to go to fire departments was approved by a much larter 65%.
Measure C, Coast Hospital Affiliation with the Adventist Chain was being approved by 90% of the just over 2600 votes counted in the Healthcare District.
Current Election Results, Mendocino County: mendocinocounty.org/government/assessor-county-clerk-recorder-elections/current-election-results
If these trends continue, we might see a run-off between Rodin and Mulheren in the
First Second District with some question about where the Soinila votes will go in a run-off. And we might see a run-off between McGourty and Kennedy with questions of where the Green and Sakowicz votes will go in a run-off. And, if that happens, the run-offs won’t be until November with plenty more months of possible campaigning. But, of course, these results are early. There are tens of thousands more votes to count and we might not get the final results until the end of March.
POLLING STATION NOTES: As expected, there seemed to be more provisional ballots this year, at least based on Boonville’s polling station at the Fairgrounds (an admittedly small sample size, but…) First, for the no party preference voters who wanted to vote for Bernie Sanders or some other Democrat who didn’t get a Democratic Party ballot, and second, at least according to two poll workers we talked to, the ballots were mailed out so early that quite a few people seem to have lost them over the intervening weeks and are showing up at the polling station asking for a provisional replacement ballots. "It's hard to gage turnout," said one poll worker, "because Anderson Valley is still primarily a mail-in ballot precinct, but we sure have been busy today." That seemed to be true while we were there because the line to sign in was backed up to outside the Apple Hall door.
SO WE WERE NOT SURPRISED to see the low percentage of ballot results posted on the elections department’s webpage tonight.
FOR REFERENCE, on June 8 of 2016 the County released some preliminary and very misleading election results from 11,320 ballots or 24.19% of registered voters counted. The numbers back then didn’t add up either. They said they had almost 16,000 vote by mail ballots and almost 1,000 more provisionals. Which were uncounted at the time of that first info release.
IN LATE JUNE of 2016 Navarro Ballot watcher Mike Kalantarian wrote to the Supervisors:
Open Letter to Mendocino County Board of Supervisors:
Today is June 27, 2016. Twenty days have passed since our Primary Election took place, yet we still lack meaningful results (more than half of our votes remain unaccounted).
Six-and-a-half hours after the polls closed 11,320 votes were tallied and posted. Two days later (June 9) we were informed that at least 16,525 ballots remained uncounted, and since that time we have received no updates.
We should not have to wait this long; therefore, I am asking you, the Board, to 1) investigate the problem, and 2) find a solution. If we need to hire temporary workers (jobs!) to get our results processed more quickly, let's do it. At the very least, a few updates along the way would be much appreciated.
Imagine if you were one of the candidates for judge this time round — their race is close. Same for the residents of Fort Bragg, who await the results of their Measure U (only 22% of the Fort Bragg vote initially got posted). Much hangs in the balance for these people, their lives currently in limbo.
As for the main event of this election, the presidential primary, a majority of Mendo's Bernie votes remain uncounted. The parade has long since moved on and many of our voices were never even heard. This is a crappy version of democracy, and we can, and should, do better.
Mendocino is one of only seven counties in California that handle election results in this unresponsive way. I suggest we leave that sorry bunch and join the other 51 counties that provide updates as their ballots are processed. You can see that list here: http://vote.sos.ca.gov/returns/status/
Thank you for your consideration of this matter (it would be nice to have this resolved before November rolls around),
Mike Kalantarian, Navarro
THE SUPES DID NOT RESPOND nor correct anything at the time back in 2016 and have done nothing about it since then. Given this year’s likely higher-than-average provisional votes, it’s likely it will take even longer. And if, as also expected, one or two or more of the races are close, it might take even more time than the legally required 30 days.
VARIETY SHOW 2020
Do you have tickets?! If so, great!!! We will see you at the show!!! If not, head on over to Lemon’s or the AV Market! They both have tickets for both Friday and Saturday! Can’t buy tickets ahead of time? Have no fear! You can purchase tickets at the door! It’s going to be an amazing weekend of laughs, excitement, and entertainment! Get your tickets and join us at the show!
RUBBLE WATCH: Removal of the debris from December's disastrous fire in central Boonville was supposed to commence in March. It's March, and the rubble remains.
BOONVILLE WATER/WASTEWATER COMMITTEE RE-SCHEDULED
Dear Interested Parties,
Due to one of our members being affected by the travel ban, there is a possibility we will have a quorum for Thursday…so this special meeting will occur at 10:15am. Please see the attached agenda for information and location.
Please note, the public comment portion and Q&A is intended for those questions that are not already in our FAQ section online. In the interest of time, please familiarize yourself with the FAQ prior to attending at http://avcsd.org/watersewer.php
Joy M. Andrews
District General Manager (Office days Tues/Wed/Thurs)
Anderson Valley Community Services District
P.O. Box 398
Boonville, CA 95415
office(707) 895-2075 xt. 103 fax (707) 895-2239
SPECIAL MEETING of the Water Projects Committee
ANDERSON VALLEY COMMUNITY SERVICES DISTRICT
To be held at the BOONVILLE FIREHOUSE, 14281 Highway 128
March 5th, 2020 at 10:15am
Call To Order And Roll Call:
Recognition Of Guests And Hearing Of Public:
Approval Of January 2, 2020 And February 6, 2020 Minutes
Changes Or Modification To This Agenda:
Proposition 218 Process And Technical Assistance Options
Report On Drinking Water Project
Report On Wastewater Project
Committee Process For Responding To Public Comments
Concerns Of Members:
LOOKING AT THE MOON THROUGH THE PLUM TREE
CORONA VIRUS PRESS CONFERENCE ON THURSDAY
To be streamed live.
Mendocino County Health Officer and Sheriff to Hold Press Conference on 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)
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. The Interim Health Officer Noemi Mimi Doohan and Sheriff Matt Kendall will hold a joint press conference updating the community on the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19), local preparedness and response efforts.
When: Thursday, March 5, 2020 at approximately 9:00 a.m.
Where: County Administrative Center – Conference Room C – 501 Low Gap Road, Ukiah, CA 95482
Who: Noemi Mimi Doohan, MD, PhD, Mendocino County Interim Health Officer
Matthew Kendall, Mendocino County Sheriff
Live Online: The press conference will be live streamed on the Mendocino County YouTube Channel (www.youtube.com/MendocinoCountyVideo) and Facebook page
For more information, please contact the Executive Office at (707) 463-4441
MCOE VIRUS CONTINGENCY PLANS
County School Superintendent Michelle Hutchins:
We are working closely with Public Health to be sure our school leaders have the most up to date information. We plan to create a county-wide workshop for education to prepare for a potential epidemic that could include school closures. Of course we want to do everything possible to keep schools open as it is disruptive to close schools but public safety is of most importance. We negotiated a good price for our schools to employ a distance learning solution quickly with a non-profit company called Acellus to lessen the impact a school closure would have on a community. This specific solution can be used with or without technology access so connectivity will not be an issue. In addition to Acellus, we are creating a menu of options schools can use to deploy independent learning opportunities if kids are asked to stay home. We are also getting licenses for schools to be able to video conference meetings so that the administrative functions would continue. At this point, we are not being told to keep kids home unless they exhibit flu like symptoms which is the same thing we do now."
MARIN SCHOOLS GEAR UP TO GEAR DOWN
Marin County Schools Prepare for Coronavirus/COVID-19
Marin County, CA – School leaders and health experts in Marin County are coordinating efforts to help prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus/COVID-19 and determine how schools will respond in the event that a case is identified at a school site. Working closely Dr. Matt Willis, Public Health Officer, and his team at the County Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), school leaders are receiving the most current information related to the virus along with guidance about keeping students and staff safe.
A community forum is scheduled for March 9 from 6-7:30p.m. at the Marin County Office of Education located at 1111 Las Gallinas Avenue in San Rafael. The forum will include health experts from the DHHS and Kaiser Permanente. Facebook live streaming will be available through the Marin COE Facebook page https://tinyurl.com/tb2odfx.
“We are taking this situation very seriously for the sake of our students, staff and community at large,” said Marin County Superintendent of Schools Mary Jane Burke. “While this situation is evolving, we are following the recommendations of local health experts.”
The DHHS recommends common sense guidelines for protecting against the spread of infectious diseases including:
Encourage students and staff to stay home when they are sick.
Those who have a fever at school should go home and stay home until fever-free for at least 24 hours without the aid of fever-reducing medication.
Separate sick students and staff from others until they can be picked up to go home.
The Center for Disease Control (CDC) does not recommend that people who are well wear a facemask to protect themselves from respiratory diseases, including COVID-19.
Facemasks should be used by people who show symptoms of COVID-19 to help prevent the spread of the disease to others.
Promote hand hygiene among students and staff through education, scheduled time for handwashing, and availability of soap and water and/or hand sanitizer.
Avoid touching your face, particularly your eyes, nose, and mouth.
Teach and encourage proper cough etiquette—cough or sneeze into a tissue, sleeve, or arm (do not use hands).
Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
The Marin County Office of Education has a dedicated web page related to the coronavirus at www.marinschools.org. The page includes written communications from the DHHS and resources related to hygiene, talking to kids about the virus and distance learning.
The Marin County Office of Education (MCOE) is also working with the DHHS to update its infectious disease emergency response plan, which was developed in 2009 in response to the H1N1 virus. The document serves as a plan for schools to manage an infectious disease emergency.
In the event that a case of coronavirus occurs at a school site, the school’s crisis response team will work with public health officials to determine next steps, which may include closing a school for up to 14 days.
County Superintendent Burke praised the collaboration efforts of school leaders to prepare a database of online and paper based learning resources for schools to use in the event of a closure and to support the continuity of teaching and learning.
“All of these efforts are reflective of our community’s ability to come together in a time of need. While we are hoping that we will not need to implement our plans for a worst case scenario, we will be ready.”
UKIAH ADDRESSING HOMELESS ENCAMPMENTS NEAR AIRPORT
Urgency ordinance designed to keep ‘Runway Safety Zones’ clear
by Justine Frederiksen
At its next meeting Wednesday, the Ukiah City Council will consider an “urgency ordinance” designed to address the homeless encampments near the Ukiah airport.
In her report for the March 4 meeting, Assistant City Attorney Darcy Vaughn describes the ordinance as designating “two areas adjacent to the northern and southern ends of the runway at the Ukiah Municipal Airport as Runway Safety Areas to be kept vacant in order to preserve public safety and ensure safe operation of the airport.” The ordinance would also make it a misdemeanor offense to be in those areas without “written authorization from the Airport Manager or the City Manager.”
The need to control the number of people who congregate in these areas for safety reasons was recently used in part to deny a permit to a business just north of the airport that was hoping to add a building to its property.
“By not building this, we won’t be saving anyone from a plane crash,” Mike Zeman, service manager for Garton Tractor on Talmage Road, told the Ukiah City Council in December of 2018, explaining that the proposed 7,500-square-foot building with five service bays would have allowed the business to operate more efficiently. “We’re trying to fix all the tractors in three counties in a teeny little building, and we get backed up as much as 10 weeks with customers screaming their heads off. People are already in this area all day every day, both customers and employees, and we just want to be able to put a roof over it.”
The Ukiah Planning Commission originally approved a permit for the building in October of 2017, but current Mayor Doug Crane filed an appeal of the project that cited three concerns, including how close the building was to the Runway Protection Zone.
“My understanding is that the idea is to have open fields where someone could land a plane, rather than crashing into a building,” said Council member Steve Scalmanini, explaining that he understood that the proposed building was within the “A zone,” which he said was supposed to be open space near an airport in the case of an emergency.
Airport Manager Greg Owen pointed out that while the “1996 land use plan has the ‘A zone’ going well past Talmage Road, the new ‘A zone’ is only the RPZ, and the proposed project would be outside both (zones).”
“We may be holding up a project because the city and county weren’t moving forward with updating their plans as they should have been,” said then-Mayor Maureen Mulheren. “I’m challenged to hold up one project because of the lack of follow-through between agencies.”
To approve the project, four out of the five council members needed to vote to overrule the county’s Airport Land Use Commission’s determination that the project was not compatible with the county’s airport plan, but the motion failed with both Crane and Scalmanini voting against it.
“The county plan should have been updated every five years, and if it had been, we would not be here tonight,” said Brad Campbell, the general manager of Garton Tractor, before the December 2018 vote.
In January of this year, Campbell wrote an email to Mulheren and City Manager Sage Sangiacomo to express frustration about the homeless encampments near Garton Tractor, which he pointed out were inside the Runway Protection Zone and therefore should be subjected to the same density standards that were used in part to deny the permit the business requested.
“Sorry to bother you two, but I’m tired of calling the Ukiah PD daily to remove trash from our fence line at Garton Tractor,” Campbell wrote. “Imagine showing a tractor to a customer and you have to walk around human feces, or asking your employees to clean that up! (And) as Doug Crane continues to remind us, this zone has a human density standard that Garton Tractor has to follow, why not the city on their property?”
In describing the need for the urgency ordinance, Vaughn writes in her staff report that “there has been an increase in incidents of people entering and remaining on property to the north and south of the runway at the Ukiah Municipal Airport that is… reserved and kept vacant for public safety reasons in the event that an airplane landing at the airport undershoots or overshoots the runway or needs to make an emergency landing.
“(Also), the City Council finds that the existing regulations governing the land encompassing the RSAs are not adequate at this time to prohibit incursions into the RSA that may threaten the public health, safety, and welfare, (and) that there is a current and immediate threat to the public health, safety, and welfare presented by entry and assemblage of people, including forming encampments, within the RSAs. In the absence of this ordinance’s immediate effectiveness, the city would be unable to prohibit assemblage in the RSAs, as well as to protect the public health, safety, and welfare from the potential adverse effects of assemblage within the RSAs.”
The City Council will consider adopting this Urgency Ordinance at its next meeting, which begins Wednesday, March 4, at 6 p.m. in the council’s chambers at 300 Seminary Ave.
(Courtesy, the Ukiah Daily Journal)
A LEAGUE OF THEIR OWN: THE WOMEN WHO STARTED SAVING THE REDWOODS
A READER WRITES: "PG&E must be scared. Went to the Ukiah payment/business office the other day. I first noticed a new extra tall fence with razor wire on top surounding the complex. Walked into the office and was greeted by a guard. I looked at the lady behind the counter and computer through thick bullet resistant glass as we tried to talk having to repeat ourselves a few times. As I walked out, I measured my height by the scale applied to the side of the door, just like I was walking out of a bank. PG&E must be scared."
L.A. BOYS GUILTY
Defendants Grant James Anderson, age 31, and Adam Robert Bushaw, age 35, both of Los Angeles, were remanded into custody Tuesday morning in the Mendocino County Superior Court to begin serving their local prison sentences.
Both defendants were convicted by plea back in November of unlawfully manufacturing "honey oil" by means of an illegal chemical (butane) extraction process, a felony.
Tuesday morning Mendocino County Superior Court Judge Keith Faulder denied each defendant's application for probation and, instead, sentenced each to 60 months in local prison (aka the Low Gap jail).
As authorized by law, Judge Faulder also "split" each defendant's 60 month "prison" sentence so that each will only serve six actual months of incarceration before being released on 48 months of mandatory supervision, a New Age form of formal supervision.
As background, defendant Bushaw explained in his court statement that he did not think it would be a big deal that they did not have a permit [to chemically process marijuana with solvents] "due to the culture in Mendocino County since everyone is involved in the marijuana industry."
Defendant Anderson's explanation was they began extracting without a permit because they needed to make money to invest back into their business. They decided to move ahead even when they could not obtain necessary permits even with the help of an attorney. Anderson lamented that, "Sonoma County was giving out permits for marijuana extraction; but to purchase property in that area was going to cost roughly a million dollars."
District Attorney David Eyster had argued that these defendants were deserving of the aggravated sentence of 84 months. He sought a split of 24 months incarceration with 60 months on mandatory supervision.
In explaining why he thought the case was aggravated, DA Eyster made the point that not only were these men intentionally circumventing the local and state marijuana permitting processes, they were also putting their black market BHO into vape pen cartridges and marketing them under the name "Cali Piffs." Unfortunately, none of these marketed cartridges had undergone quality assurance testing by a reputable lab -- as required by law.
"Their business plan was to risk the health and lungs of unsuspecting consumers in order to maximize their black market profits," argued Eyster.
Laboratory testing of cannabis products is required to make sure, for example, that microbiological contaminants, like yeast, mold, and E. coli, are not presented in the product before it gets marketed. These types of contamination can happen because of unsafe or unsanitary handling. Also, traces of pesticides and fertilizers are often found in California cannabis products, and is one of the most common reasons tested products fail laboratory inspection.
The five workers hired by these defendants to operate the manufacturing process were convicted in a separate prosecution last December. The five were convicted by plea of unlawfully maintaining a location for the manufacture and storage of controlled substances, a felony. Each is currently on supervised probation and each has completed the jail component of their probation.
The law enforcement agencies that investigated and developed the evidence to support the convictions discussed above were the Mendocino Major Crimes Task Force, the Sheriff's County of Mendocino Marijuana Eradication Team (COMMET), and the Department of Justice forensic crime laboratory.
CATCH OF THE DAY, March 3, 2020
MARY BLOYD, Lakeport. Disorderly conduct-alcohol.
LUIS CABRERA-ALOZANO, San Jose/Covelo. Pot sales, felon-addict with firearm, loaded handgun-not registered owner.
ANN CARLSMITH, Lucerne/Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-alcohol, failure to appear.
DANIEL DURAN, Willits. Elder abuse with great bodily harm or death, criminal threats.
ROBERT ELSTON, Willits. Disorderly conduct-alcohol.
LUIS KUHAU, Fort Bragg. Aggravated assault with intent to commit mayhem, rape, sodomy, oral copulation, etc., battery with serious bodily injury, touching of intimate parts of another against their will, false imprisonment.
SALVADOR NAVARRETE, Redwood City/Ukiah. Pot for sale, pot sales.
SHAWN SPILLER, Fort Bragg. Failure to appear.
UKIAH GIRL SCOUTS will host their 11th Annual Corned Beef and Cabbage Dinner; Saturday, March 21, from 5-8pm at Bartlett Hall 499 Leslie St Ukiah. Tickets include Corned Beef and Cabbage, Salad, Homemade Irish Soda Bread, Dessert and 1 drink. Tickets are $15/age 13-and-over, $10/age 12-and-under, there will be a price increase at the door so get your tickets in advance from your Local Girl Scout, Holes in the Wall, or the Mendocino Book Company.
GIRL SCOUT COOKIES: At this time of the year, a few customers may truly seek out the cookies, which we all know are wildly overpriced, costing $5 or $6 for a lightweight box that'd cost a buck-and-a-half under any other brand. Obviously, that's not the point. As with any fund-drive, the idea is to support the cause, but with the cookies, uniquely, customers buy them to give “the awesome girls who sell them,” in the words of the Girl Scouts, “the opportunity to learn essential life skills, soar in confidence, and quickly discover the leader within.” Research has shown that none of that happens when parents sell the cookies at work.
SIMPLE LIFE: HAULING WATER
by Paul Modic
Life was simple living in a small cabin in the hills: another middle class white kid who moved to the country and didn't really know what he was doing. I never went to the dump as I didn't have any garbage. Yeah, the original ecologists: if you don't have money you don't make trash. That still blows my mind: I didn't have garbage! And no running water either so I decided to do something about that.
The first year on the mountain I hauled gallon glass jugs up the hill by hand, maybe five gallons twice a week up from the county road. That winter I went back home to Indiana and came back the next spring with a $300 Dodge Dart station wagon. The first time I drove up that steep dirt road with a 55 gallon barrel of water in the back there were lots of other things in the car from my trip wedging in the barrel. At the top of the road I ran the water into another barrel above the cabin. A black plastic line snaked to a faucet over the little sink.
The next time I hauled a barrel up the hill I didn't remember doing anything special to secure the barrel the first time so I filled that sucker up at a nearby spring and headed up the mountain. When I got to the top the barrel burst out of the back of the car smashing the tailgate glass and hurtled down the hill, 440 pounds of out of control water. If it had hit the cabin there would have been two big holes in it.
I had to go all the way to San Jose to get a new piece of glass to replace the smashed one. After that misadventure I started securing the barrel with an old tire. The next year I got an old Dodge truck and could haul two barrels at a time--I was on my way.
WHOLE LOT GOIN' ON AT CLAM BEACH, Redwood Hwy/US 101, 1940s
Individuals are testing positive in Northern California for the coronavirus. We are informed of the county in which the person resided but not the town. The authorities don’t want residents of that town to panic. They moved one patient from Solano County (Travis Air Force Base) to an unnamed hospital in Sonoma County and another to a hospital in Sacramento County, yet another to a Napa hospital.
Not stating which town the infected person resided in has every person in every town in that county worried. Did I have contact with that person? Where do they work, get their coffee in the morning, shop, go to church?
Why transfer them to another county, thus possibly exposing more and more people? We had them quarantined at Travis. Now we have them coming into contact with others in multiple hospitals in Northern California. Maybe I’m just paranoid, but I don’t have much faith in our ability to control the spread of this virus once it appears in our state.
AMERICAN FUHRER: TRUMP’S CORRUPT RAMPAGE AGAINST AMERICANS
by Ralph Nader
Delusionary, dictatorial Donald Trump is drunk on power. Trump’s monarchical and lawless actions are a clear and present subversion of our Republic and its Constitution. As soon as the impeachment trial ended and Trump was acquitted by the Senate’s supine Republican courtiers (except for Senator Mitt Romney), vengeance flooded Trump’s fevered mind.
Ignoring warnings from his advisors, Trump is lashing out in all directions, unleashing torrents of foul-mouthed tweets. Note with alarm how this American Fuhrer is consolidating control and using his presidential power to smash all opposition. Remember that last July Trump declared “I have an Article II, where I have the right to do whatever I want as President.” He wasn’t kidding, America.
Trump is shocking his current appointees—in addition to those who have quit or been fired in purges. Without evidence, he is accusing the intelligence agencies and the FBI of conspiring against him! Trump has attacked both the Justice Department and Attorney General William Barr because of the sentencing recommendations by four DOJ prosecutors for convicted criminal and Trump advisor Roger Stone. Barr, a Trump toady, was shaken. Barr said it would be impossible for him to do his job if Trump kept interfering.
As Mark Green and I depicted in our new book, Fake President, loser Trump always retaliates against opponents by charging fraud, fakery, and crookery. Trump’s intimidation of others is amplified by the media that gives no right of reply to Trump’s targets.
What is most troubling are the silences of the countervailing forces that Americans have a right to rely on to fight Trump the tyrant.
Post acquittal, Trump has doubled down on his numerous impeachable offenses (see the Congressional Record from December 18, 2019, page H 12197). But Democrats, who control the House, are not doubling down on their impeachment investigations. Instead, they are following orders from Speaker Pelosi and standing down.
Trump regularly attacks the judges who rule against him or dare to challenge his illegal acts. Yet there is only silence by the many judge’s associations and the many bar associations. The American Bar Association, which has over 194,000 members, remains asleep. All of its members, so-called “officers of the court,” are attorneys and should understand their responsibilities to uphold the rule of law.
Trump’s Party has a long history of vicious voter suppression (chronicled in the new documentary, Suppressed: The Fight to Vote, by Robert Greenwald). These anti-democratic actions should be considered serious crimes. However, the members of the National Association of Secretaries of State (NASS) are largely unprepared to protect voter rights and accurate counting of votes. Some Secretaries of State are aiding and abetting these electoral crimes. Current Georgia Governor Brian Kemp used his power as Georgia’s Secretary of State to suppress black voters, cheating his way to the Governor’s mansion in 2018.
Trump is now doing what all dictators do when they take power: he is purging the civil service of any critical voices of those who simply want to do their jobs. These civil servants made the “mistake” of enforcing health and safety laws that the supreme leader wanted to go unenforced to benefit the President’s big corporate buddies and donors. The government employee unions are not doing enough to fight back and explain what Trump the tyrant is doing to harm people—Trump voters and anti-Trump voters alike. Trump and his cronies are making America more dangerous again by scuttling protections that reduce deaths, injuries, and illnesses.
Whether it is the air you breathe, the water you drink, the vehicles you ride in, or the toxins in your workplace, Trump’s corporatist wrecking crew is running federal agencies into the ground. While corporate outlaws fill Trump’s coffers and hotels with riches, he gives them huge tax escapes and starves infrastructure. The word “corruption” cannot fully embrace how this insulting megalomaniac is tearing apart our country, our democratic practices, and our moral norms. Protections for children, the elderly, veterans and workers are all on Trump’s chopping block.
Who will stand up to this horrible bully who is intent on rolling back America’s gains and the anti-monarchy purpose of the American Revolution itself? Some in the media will sound the alarm. Sensing this threat, Trump interfered with government procurement to tilt a large contract away from Amazon because Jeff Bezos owns The Washington Post, which has run many articles about Trump’s rampage. Trump’s Republican campaign committee just filed a loser suit against The New York Times. Whether Trump wins or loses, the intimidation of the media is his goal.
These tactics are working on Chairman Jerome Powell and the Federal Reserve, according to former Fed insiders. As a result, the Federal Reserve has stayed committed to lowering interest rates to the detriment of savers. Intimidation is also working on the House of Representatives Democrats, who abhor the lives ruined by the savage sexual predator. Sadly, these lawmakers are not demanding a House Judiciary investigation of Trump’s treatment of women. Credible tort lawsuits are being delayed by Trump’s lawyers.
The cowardly silence of Barack Obama is the most stunning. In his extraordinary new book, The Triumph of Doubt, that names names, former head of Occupational Health and Safety Agency (OSHA), Dr. David Michaels, documents “President Trump’s desire to reverse anything the Obama administration did—if Obama supported it, Trump would do the opposite no matter what the consequences.” The results are more mercury and diesel particulates in your lungs, more deadly methane accelerating climate disruption, and more coal ash for your children to breathe. Trump’s administration is even failing to adequately invest in medical science, which could save you. Until the coronavirus came along, Trump demanded serious funding cuts for the Centers for Disease Control; these funding cuts were thwarted by Congress. Even more damning, the Trump administration fired the U.S. pandemic response team to save money! The CDC’s annual budget is equal to a mere three days spending by the Pentagon, whose budget Trump bloats.
So where is Obama? Critiquing music, making movies, attending NBA all-star festivities, and readying for March Madness. Obama is thoroughly enjoying himself. What about also using his high political poll ratings and his massive Twitter following (which is far larger than Trump’s) to combat Trump’s actions? If not for the wellbeing of the American people, Obama should at least want to protect his legacy.
If Obama remains so carefree in the critical months before November, he will need a sign beside the exhibits to be displayed at his forthcoming presidential library: REPEALED BY TRUMP.
(Ralph Nader is a consumer advocate, lawyer and author of Only the Super-Rich Can Save Us!)
ON LINE COMMENT OF THE DAY
I’m in a low income neighborhood. It went seriously to shit in the last downturn. It got back to (what passes as) normal (slowly) but I know what’s coming again.
Pplz get aggro we be servin’ up some lead.
Multiple attempts by meth-head creeps trying to bust in your door while you’re home and they hear you and they DO NOT CARE, surely work to force you to re-think your “Liberal” ideology and your views on the 2nd Amendment.
Drunk, high, cold, hungry, sick-of-it people are not a joke. People who let their own kids and pets go hungry and filthy while they tweak care even less about you. Normal people are not raised to view the world with a realistic idea of what many others are capable of. I had to re-learn over a period of years (due to China-outsourced downward mobility and social decline, thank you Bill Clinton) and it wasn’t enjoyable. Okay, it really blew. But I’d sure hate even more to be taking a crash course now. My life expectations have been beat to shit. For this I now rejoice.
TO DEMOCRATS CRAVING A BROKERED CONVENTION: Learn the Lessons of 1968
For four years, Democratic officials have insisted that Donald Trump is an unprecedented threat to the republic, a fascist and racist dictator whose removal from power is the paramount, if not the only, political priority. Yet the strategy on which they are now explicitly relying to prevent Sen. Bernie Sanders from being their 2020 presidential nominee — a brokered convention at which party elites anoint a nominee other than the one who receives the most votes and wins the most delegates during the primary process — is the one most likely to ensure Trump’s reelection.
Heard of a van that is loaded with weapons,
Packed up and ready to go
Heard of some grave sites, out by the highway,
A place where nobody knows
The sound of gunfire, off in the distance,
I’m getting used to it now
Lived in a brownstone, lived in the ghetto,
I’ve lived all over this town
This ain’t no party, this ain’t no disco,
This ain’t no fooling around
No time for dancing, or lovey dovey,
I ain’t got time for that now
Transmit the message, to the receiver,
Hope for an answer some day
I got three passports, a couple of visas,
You don’t even know my real name
High on a hillside, the trucks are loading,
Everything’s ready to roll
I sleep in the daytime, I work in the nighttime,
I might not ever get home
This ain’t no party, this ain’t no disco,
This ain’t no fooling around
This ain’t no Mudd Club, or C. B. G. B.,
I ain’t got time for that now
Heard about Houston? Heard about Detroit?
Heard about Pittsburgh, P. A.?
You oughta know not to stand by the window
Somebody might see you up there
I got some groceries, some peanut butter,
To last a couple of days
But I ain’t got no speakers, ain’t got no
Headphones, ain’t got no records to play
Why stay in college? Why go to night school?
Gonna be different this time
Can’t write a letter, can’t send a postcard,
I can’t write nothing at all
This ain’t no party, this ain’t no disco,
This ain’t no fooling around
I’d like to kiss you, I’d love you hold you
I ain’t got no time for that now
Trouble in transit, got through the roadblock,
We blended with the crowd
We got computer, we’re tapping phone lines,
I know that ain’t allowed
We dress like students, we dress like housewives,
Or in a suit and a tie
I changed my hairstyle, so many times now,
I don’t know what I look like!
You make me shiver, I feel so tender,
We make a pretty good team
Don’t get exhausted, I’ll do some driving,
You ought to get some sleep
Get you instructions, follow directions,
Then you should change your address
Maybe tomorrow, maybe the next day,
Whatever you think is best
Burned all my notebooks, what good are notebooks?
They won’t help me survive
My chest is aching, burns like a furnace,
The burning keeps me alive
Try to stay healthy, physical fitness,
Don’t want to catch no disease
Try to be careful, don’t take no chances,
You better watch what you say.
Biden Attempts To Win Over Youth With Appearance On 'The Ed Sullivan Show'
CITIZENS UNITED: THE COURT RULING THAT SOLD OUR DEMOCRACY
Ten years ago, in January 2010, the Supreme Court released its disastrous Citizens United decision. The court, either through remarkable naivety or sheer malevolence, essentially married the terrible idea that “money is speech” to the terrible idea that “corporations are people.”
THE FUTURE CALIFORNIA BULLET TRAIN would barrel out of Bakersfield and shoot up 4,000 feet over the Tehachapi Mountains en route to Palmdale, an engineering feat that would cost $18.1 billion and impose significant impacts — including the loss of low-cost housing, a homeless shelter and a high school, according to new details.
The impacts are outlined in a draft environmental statement released Thursday by the California High-Speed Rail Authority. It selects a preferred route that would include 9.3 miles of tunnels and 15.8 miles of elevated structures, representing about 30% of the entire passage between the two cities.
The rail segment is a crucial link in California’s ultimate plan of running bullet trains from the Bay Area to Los Angeles and beyond. But this stretch of the route, as planned, would take out the R. Rex Parris High School in Palmdale, the Lancaster Community Homeless Shelter, the Solid Rock Bible Church, eight motels, 253 residential housing units, 311 businesses and 175 farm fields, according to the environmental documents…
The environmental documents also indicate that a section of the iconic Pacific Crest Trail, which runs from the Mexican to Canadian borders through mountain ranges, forests and deserts, would have to be relocated. The resulting trail would run within sight and sound of the passing 220-mile-per-hour trains. The impacts “would be significant and unavoidable under CEQA,” the report states, referring to the California Environmental Quality Act.
The housing losses would include 34 single family homes, 164 apartments and 55 mobile homes, the authority said.
When and if these impacts would occur is only a guess, since the state lacks the $18 billion to build the section. The rail authority is working under a plan to build 171 miles of rail from Bakersfield to Merced for $20.4 billion, a cost that would consume all of its available funding if it can be completed on schedule by about 2028. But under its 2020 business plan, the rail authority still asserts it can complete the entire Los Angeles to San Francisco system by 2033…
The cost of building over the steep mountain range has grown much more rapidly than the entire project. In 2012, the Los Angeles to San Francisco construction was estimated to cost $68 billion, and it has since grown 18% to $80 billion under the 2020 business plan. By contrast, the cost of the Bakersfield to Palmdale section shot up from $7.7 billion in 2012 to the current $18.1 billion, an increase of 135%…
The modern route would include some massive structures, such as one viaduct extending 4,600 feet, nearly a mile, and another soaring 220 feet, roughly the height of a 20-story building, above the ground, according to the rail authority.
The last attempted rail path through the area was in the 1870s, when Southern Pacific carved out a winding route with thousands of Chinese immigrant laborers, equipped only with dynamite and hand tools. It is still the only rail route between the Central Valley and Southern California.
Since 2015, the rail authority and its consultants have been refining the Tehachapi Mountain crossing and the preferred route identified Thursday has fewer miles of tunnels. Five years ago, studies indicated that it would require 16 miles of tunnels, rather than the current 9.3 miles.
In addition to the tunnels, the route would include 75 overpass or underpass structures as it crosses highways. Another 49 roads in the way would just be closed.
— Ralph Vartabedian, LA Times
ART WALK UKIAH
On Friday, March 6, from 5 to 8 p.m., the Grace Hudson Museum will be open for its First Friday Art Walk. A special evening of Native flute music will take place from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., performed by Thayne Hake (Ojibwe/Anishinaabe). The Wild Gardens will likely be showing early spring wildflowers. All the galleries will be open, including the current exhibition, "Metaphor,Myth, & Politics: Art from Native Printmakers." And Little Bear will again be on hand with his ever-popular table of Native tools and toys. First Fridays at the Museum are always free and open to the public.
The Grace Hudson Museum is at 431 S. Main St. in Ukiah. For more information please go to gracehudsonmuseum.org/ or call (707) 467-2836.
OCEAN STORIES: WILDLIFE FILM FESTIVAL CONTINUES
Three award-winning films about the ocean will be shown at the International Wildlife Film Festival on the evening of Friday, March 6, the third Friday of five Friday evenings of films.
The feature film is “Humpback Whales--A Detective Story" (60 min). In 2015, a 30-ton humpback whale breached and landed on Tom Mustill and his friend in Monterey Bay. Both survived the incident, but the near-death experience haunted Mustill. He returned to the scene to discover far larger questions, not just about his encounter but also about humanity's relationship with whales and their future alongside us.
“Flamboyant” (13 min.) follows one young cuttlefish as she learns to hunt in a new home after a life-changing encounter with a scuba diver. Will she learn the right skills to compete with a new, established predator? “Flamboyant” was the 2019 IWFF Best Student Film Semi-Finalist.
“Albatross Island” (14 min.) depicts a magical place. Eighteen hectares of conglomerate rock off the northwestern tip of Tasmania, it is home to 5,200 breeding pairs of albatross. In the 1800s they were harvested to near extinction, but the population gradually recovered to half the estimated historical size. In recent years, however, the population has again begun to decline. This film was the 2019 IWFF Short Film Semi-Finalist.
All screenings are at the Ukiah Civic Center, 300 Seminary Avenue. Doors will open at 6:15 p.m. with snacks and live ukulele music by the Ukiah Uke Tones. Films will begin at 7 p.m. Tickets are available a Mendocino Book Company or at the door for a suggested donation of $10 for adults and $5 for children. Films are appropriate for older children.
Proceeds from the film festival will benefit the Redwood Valley Outdoor Education Project (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/.
THANK YOU WILLITS!
…for coming to our Emerald City Counter Culture and Cannabis Museum opening in the heart of Willits in the heart of Mendocino as the new jewel in the crown of the Emerald Triangle. We invite you to think of our community as truly The Emerald City! Something completely different is now here, and we created this exhibit of our mutual history for education and improved communication. Richard Jergenson has offered this gift to us to take forward as a community.
Please come in and see what we have done so we can talk together about how this museum is a starting conversation to brand Willits as one of the local historical sites of the counter culture, the back to the land movement, and the cannabis culture. Willits has everything it takes to be a prime visitor spot and tourism location. Whether you love cannabis or not, the truth is part of our shared local history. Behind the scenes cannabis has supported our economy for decades, even though we couldn’t see it because it was invisible.
We are losing our legacy farmers since legalization and the overregulation by our county and state, but we can capitalize on our history.
We have our true history and community that we have created over the years of living together in this rural valley. Let us use that as shared economic capital.
Today we announce to the world that we are indeed The Emerald City of The Emerald Triangle.
Thank you to all who have so generously donated, contributed and continue to support this work going forward.
Please do come and visit the Emerald City Museum, which is open in the old Willits pharmacy, right downtown, on the weekends Friday, Saturday, and Sunday from 2 to 6 PM each day for the rest of March.