- Warm Inland
- Biden Again
- Election Monitors
- Deputy OD
- Paris Cafe
- Compaction Raises
- Moon Shot
- Millsite Maps
- Laytonville Basketball
- New Chief
- Ed Notes
- Leave It
- Poking Placebo
- Cruel Hoax
- Jargon Feast
- Stay Home
- Thistle Removing
- Grateful Support
- Helicopter Survey
- Cash 1959
- Elk Fundraiser
- Yesterday's Catch
- Rural Life
- Pugnacious Joe
- Old Reliable
- Virus Odds
- Mendocino Storytellers
- Face Touching
- Found Object
WARM AND DRY conditions will continue through Friday, with well above normal high temperatures expected inland. It will remain cooler and breezy along the coast, with offshore gales. Much colder, showery conditions are likely this weekend, with accumulating snow possible over interior highway passes. (NWS)
BIDEN WINS STRING OF KEY PRIMARIES TUESDAY IN MAJOR BLOW TO BERNIE SANDERS
Joe Biden had a big night of wins that are paving a clear path to the Democratic presidential nomination with commanding victories in Mississippi, Missouri and Michigan, a state that was vital to his rival Bernie Sanders.
DEMOCRATIC PRIMARY ELECTION FRAUD: CALL FOR OAS INVESTIGATION
In light of clear irregularities in voting results in the 2020 Democratic presidential primary and structural barriers to voter participation, The Grayzone and CODEPINK call on the Organization of American States (OAS) to provide emergency international election monitors in the primary contest.
SHERIFF KENDALL'S FIRST BIG TEST
On Monday, March 9, 2020 at about 8:33 PM, on-duty deputies from the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office overheard radio traffic of a medical emergency at a residence in Fort Bragg. Deputies recognized the address as the home of an off-duty Mendocino County Deputy Sheriff. A Mendocino County Sheriff’s Sergeant responded to the location along with EMS personnel.
Upon arrival, EMS personnel were administering life saving techniques including NARCAN. The deputy was transported to a local hospital, where he is expected to recover. While at the scene, the Sheriff’s Sergeant noticed drug paraphernalia as well as suspected illicit drugs in the residence. Based on the circumstances the sergeant believed this medical emergency was possibly a drug overdose.
Mendocino County Sheriff Matt Kendall was contacted while personnel were on scene and briefed on the situation. In order to preserve the integrity of this investigation, Sheriff Kendall contacted the Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office requesting they investigate this case. The Sonoma County Narcotics team was assigned this investigation and responded to Mendocino County where they took over this investigation. A search warrant was obtained through the Mendocino County Superior Court and was served by the Sonoma County detectives.
Currently this investigation is continuing and upon completion will be reviewed by the Mendocino County District Attorney’s Office.
The Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office wants to be as transparent as possible during this investigation; however this is an active investigation. The Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office is deeply concerned this incident can cause degradation of public trust within our community.
Additional information will be released to the public when the investigation has been completed by the Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office.
The deputy involved in this incident has been placed on paid administrative leave, pursuant with department policy. Detectives from the Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office are currently working the criminal investigation, while detectives from the Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office Professional Standards Bureau will completed the internal affairs investigation.
The Mendocino County District Attorney’s Office will review the criminal investigation to determine the presence of any criminal violations.
ED NOTE: I'll bet this guy was injured wrestling with a member of the defendant community. Police work takes a heavy toll, physical and mental.
APRIL IN PARIS will be the theme for the First Friday Open House at the Old Coast Café at 101 N. Franklin St in Fort Bragg on April 3rd, 5:00 - 7:00 p.m.
A very special frozen non-alcoholic drink will be available along with freshly brewed Thanksgiving Coffee. Influenced by France’s rich history, the 13th through the 19th century will be represented in the food offerings, along with made-to-order fruit tarts and Queen Marie Antoinette’s Petit Gateau Rose. Our culinary arts vocational students will not only be preparing most of the food offerings, but also presenting and serving their creations. We will be throwing in a little history about each dish, too!
MENDO SUFFERS FROM “COMPACTION”
ON LINE DICTIONARY: “Compaction is what happens when something is crushed or compressed. In many places, garbage undergoes compaction after it's collected, so that it takes up less space. The process of making something more compact, or dense and very tightly packed together, is compaction. Geologists (scientists who study rocks and earth) might talk about the natural process of compaction, when sand or silt becomes denser and denser over time, as heavy material presses down on it. Computer scientists might instead think of data compaction, when data is simplified by removing information that's unnecessary or redundant.”
THE COUNTY BOARD OF SUPERVISORS AND STAFF, especially Mendocino County’s new Human Resources Director William E. Schurtz, invoked the word often at Tuesday’s meeting. But they were not talking garbage, nor removing anything unnecessary or redundant — not literally anyway. Instead they were talking about the problem of giving raises to lots of people only to find out that some upper level managers are not paid enough more than their highest paid subordinate. This situation was previously described in the Board’s agenda packet as “disparity,” but on Tuesday it had morphed into “compaction,” meaning the “squeeze” created by the ever encroaching raises given to subordinates while not giving proportionately larger raises to their bosses.
GUESS WHAT THE SOLUTION to this compaction problem is? (Hint, it cost an additional $140k and the Board voted 5-0 to solve it — at least for now — for a dozen top Health and Human Services bureaucrats.)
SUPER WORM MOON
JESSICA'S MAP REVISION
by Rex Gressett
The Fort Bragg City Council met Monday night to consider, among various issues of serious import, the Georgia Pacific Mill site. OMG.
Discussion of the mill site is not a discussion - it is relapse. Relapse of a most horrible kind since it goes on forever. Normally protracted addiction eventually kills you and out of grievous suffering, the Angel of Death comes as a kind of a blessing. But City Council planning for the mill site, that immortal beast may have different participants, even different Planning Directors, but the discussion itself has outlived all of them, and it will outlive these five councilors.
It has been going on for lo these 20 years. As the curtain rose and newbie Councilwoman Jessica Morsell-Haye and Jeremy Logan of the Planning Commission took the stage, I am sure that the citizens in benumbed attendance must have cast a wistful thought back through the ages to those memorable epochs of discussion that have gone before.
Long ago in heroic times, the mill site discussion first emerged out of the defining cataclysm of the new age, the abrupt and heartless closure of great Georgia Pacific lumber mill. The Mill, as aged grandparents now tell their little ones, was long ago the foundation of a Golden Age. The great GP mill was a titan of prosperity and exaggerated in every respect.
Massive in its extent, gigantic in its apparatus, the mill was built to process the greatest trees on the planet.
Huge redwoods, too large for even inconvenient transport, were worked almost in the midst of the forest in a little town that grew up specifically to house and accommodate the workers that labored at the mill. In those days everyone that wanted to work could work. This idea, incomprehensible in the dismal modern present, was the substance of a remarkable little community - where honest physical work was the only requirement for a real life.
All the lovely bungalows that characterize Fort Bragg, the pleasant gardens, the cleverness of a citywide second unit ordinance that enabled a thrifty homeowner to work at the mill and rent to a co-worker all grew organically out of the culture and joyous independence of a thriving kind of unique city.
The hospital so recently run into the ground by incompetence and greed, was funded and founded by the mill to deliver our babies and handle our emergencies.
It is harder (and more necessary) to describe the culture that grew out of the stern, but universal, prosperity so far over the hill from a hectic and tumultuous world. Modern California - in all of its chaotic irrationality - might have been happening on another planet. Fort Bragg had a brass band in those days and a company store where every convenience of modern life could be earned.
When the mill closed there was serious doubt that the city and its complicated civic apparatus could even survive.
But the vast vacant 420 acres sited on the incomparable wave-battered Pacific coast was a kind of question (and perhaps an answer) to the existential uncertainty of an uncharted future.
Meetings were held. True community meetings where hundreds of imaginative thinkers and would-be innovators shouted and advocated and imagined. The mill site itself was as exceptional a city asset as anything any city had anywhere. Ideas for its creative use flew through the air like fireworks. Monday night councilwoman Jessica reminded the city, in passing, that all-told 66 meetings have been held on the future of the Georgia Pacific mill site.
Certainly at those first 20 or 30 meetings notes were taken by our civic authorities. Perhaps those notes even exist somewhere hidden deep in the bowels of City Hall in some unmarked file labeled “dreams.” Certainly, in all the discussions that originated in the unmanipulated public discourse, there was no mention, nay not ONCE - of high-density housing light industrial or visitor-serving commercial. All that came later.
What the people wanted then, and perhaps what they want now, was a bold imaginative vision.
In the beginning, there were many many ideas for achieving it. Plant trees, some said. Open space everyone said, bring people to the city to share in the wonder of re-created open acreage.
What city in California has anything comparable? The ocean, the very air, the sweep of space were a thing in themselves. We envisioned a monument to the preservation of sanity and no one in those days mentioned development at all. Those meetings were an expression of common collective optimism and hope for the future.
Then they stopped having them. It was all too much.
The planning for the mill site was taken from the people and given to the adults at City Hall. Meetings became multiple-choice questionnaires with minor variations on a few grim zoning options. High influence local businessmen advocated behind the scenes for light industrial access to the great open space and found their advocates on the city council.
Marie Jones, then Development Director, labored with mindboggling persistence and mind-numbing insensitivity over decades to reduce the planning to a prototype of conventional textbook zoning - as if the mill site was only another annex to sprawling suburb somewhere.
After millions of dollars in planning money had been routed through the development department, at last, in 2012 Dan Gjerde and Marie Jones brought forth a grotesque plan for “Me Too” mansions and curving suburban streets that blew up like a petty firecracker under the disdainful indignation of the astonished and unimpressed Coastal Commission.
No plan was the end result — but the millions of dollars that produced nothing was safely in the pockets of the development bureaucrats and consultants and the planning went on like clockwork.
The endless planning process became an established local industry - albeit one in which only a few people had the good fortune to be a participant. Through it all, the mill site itself sat fenced off and inaccessible to mere mortals, gradually acquiring a kind of disheveled wild beauty. Weeds poked through the broken concrete. Rabbits and owls returned. Down at Town Hall at least we got maps.
How many years did Marie Jones tinker with maps? She became a true expert at map making with colored zones and overlays, PowerPoint presentations and intrepid relentless modifications. They got more and more complicated. Perhaps “inclusive” is the word.
In the end, Marie's maps included every use and application for the land conceivable in the mind of man. There were zones for heavy industry, light industry, high-density housing, and low-density housing, there was a special zone for ”the big idea” just in case someone came up with one.
There was a special zone for former members of the City Council booted from office by disillusioned citizens to continue their own self serving intrusion into public affairs and public finance by the creation of a museum to celebrate the ocean. All of it was diligently reduced to wonderous colored maps submitted to the council by Marie Jones at irregular intervals.
Last Monday night the Ad Hoc Committee for the Mill Site Planning Process featuring Councilperson Jessica Morsell-Haye and Tess Albin-Smith produced their own first map. Gone were the colored zones, the overlays and the multiplicity of options. What a disappointment.
Jessica's map looked like something that came out of an East German commie planning commissariat. One great block of brown marked off for high-density housing. And a mundane L shaped appendage for something — light industrial, visitor-serving commercial?
I defy anyone who watched the meeting to tell me what exactly they have in mind.
Simplicity has its attraction. Condensing the bad ideas of decades into one unified bad idea provides a kind of focus. The City Council looked at the map and tried their best to ask questions, but they have become accustomed to more animated presentations with better maps.
Meet the new map, same as the old map. Only duller. Still without imagination — still without vision. Still without an adult discussion about water, still with no possibility of approval by the Coastal Commission.
Marie Jones is gone and after decades of ruinously expensive and elaborate, nay sophisticated failure, they have decided wisely not to hire a replacement for her.
I think it is safe to say that no one misses Ms. Jones, but damn you gotta miss the maps.
LAYTONVILLE BASKETBALLERS LOOKING TO FINISH SEASON WITH A FLOURISH
Laytonville High School girls basketball coach Corey James knew years ago that this season’s team would be a good one. And that’s only partially because three of the nine girls on the team are his daughters.
WILLITS hires County's first black police chief. Greg Allen comes from a successful tenure at Morro Bay, but already we've received a video of Chief Allen and another Morro Bay cop allegedly using unnecessary force in February of 2018 to arrest a character calling himself Nasty Nat. Nasty, togged out in paramilitary black, had been filming the inside of the Morro Bay police station and generally conducting himself in a suspicious manner. He refused to identify himself or explain what he was doing. Nasty wasn't injured during the incident and, judging from what we could see in the video, the two cops did not use more force than necessary to get this screwball to stop creeping around the station which, apparently, can be charged as a misdemeanor. From everything we could find about Chief Allen he's a good cop and a good guy.
MENDO'S plague prep can't help but be deficient given our remoteness from the likely hotspots and our scant resources. Anyway, how to beat back a virus whose means of travel is not known? The Chinese have apparently stopped the beast's spread by cordoning off whole cities and ordering their obedient citizens to stay in their homes on pain of, well, captives of big bro systems like China's do what they're told.
TODAY'S news said President Xi is visiting Wuhan, a strong signal that the Chinese, by sequestering millions of its people, have arrested the spread of the virus. An anarchic population like us Americanos are less likely to be as easily sequestered. If a thousand of us rustics are suddenly stricken, well, we're unlikely to be high priority in the outside world where citizens are being advised to be ready to self-sequester for as long as two weeks. And another doctor associated with Trump said he feared that we aren't "scared enough."
BUT no sign of the virus behind the Green Curtain. Our hardy, hand-washing population, spread over a vastness larger than Rhode Island or Delaware, may enjoy a kind of dispersed immunity; the virus seems most at home in large populations, which ain't us.
BOONVILLE'S rubble pile, scheduled for this month, remains piled, and frost fans have destroyed the sleep of South Boonville on two consecutive mornings. The legal noise level is 50 night time decibels. Over 50, and it's a misdemeanor. Frost fans are wayyyyyy over 50, and they come on around midnight and don't go off until the sun is up. But that's one law we're unlikely to ever see enforced given the domination of the wine industry in this county, although local property owners within hearing distance of vineyards, and so far quiescent, still don't seem to realize that their property has been big time devalued by these annual nuisances. In the immortal words of Philo wine baron, Ted Bennett, "My grapes are more important than your sleep." Evidently.
REPORTING FROM Lake County, James Marmon tells us that Mendo's former Public Health doc, Gary Pace, now Lake County's go-to medical man, informs his potential Lake caseload, "that the nearest testing location to Lake County is located in Sonoma County, and that its capacity is limited, but noted Monday that testing availability may go up as the multinational clinical laboratory Quest Diagnostics had begun offering COVID-19 testing in California. Dr. Pace described the testing situation as a 'huge bottleneck,' and noted that while he hopes Quest’s capability will increase testing rates, 'how that’s going to work, what the backlog is going to be, we just don’t know at this time’.”
MARMON wonders what will happen if there's a sudden coronavirus outbreak in Mendo and Lake with resources based in SoCo?
"WATCHING the [Mendo] BoS meeting live, Public Health Officer stated that all the Corvid-19 tests have to be sent to the Sonoma County lab and it takes time for the results to return. I just want to remind everyone of what happened in 2009, as reported by the Willits News":
County Suspends Public Health Lab Operation
“Operations at the county”s Public Health Laboratory have been suspended by unanimous agreement of the board of supervisors. The laboratory is located in the basement at the rear of the county administrative complex at 501 Low Gap Road in Ukiah.
While in the past the lab had employed up to six people, in recent years it has fallen on hard times, and an increasing amount of its work had been outsourced to contracting laboratories.
“Historically, the public health lab has had a difficult time with recruitment and retention of qualified lab personnel,” Health and Human Services Agency Director Carmel Angelo said in a written statement to the board. “This has negatively impacted the ability of the lab to expand and become self-sufficient and financially sustainable.”
IT STILL isn't known how the virus is spread, but it is spreading in cluster-outbreaks in different areas of the country. Mendo, so far, is unaffected, but reminders, complete with how-to illustrations, are popping up everywhere on public buildings, although most of us mastered the art of hand washing prior to toddling off to kindergarten. Myself, I've got a couple of bottles of something called 'Purell, 2X sanitizing strength. Kills 99.99% of most illness causing germs." But it's that hundredth of microbe that'll get you, no? Anyway, no more Irish Spring for this kid, except in the shower, of course.
MY LATE FRIEND, Alexander Cockburn, who had theories about all sorts of things, thought we were too clean, that our Tidy Bowl obsessions were making us weaker, less able to withstand disease, that we needed microbes to build up our immunity systems, that antibiotics were throwing off our thigamajigs.
COCKBURN is hugely missed. He was an adventure all by himself, and his clarity in absurd times like ours is doubly missed. The only alive journalist I know of who even comes close is Matt Taibbi. Anyway, one day we met up in San Francisco for lunch with another vivid journalist, Warren Hinckle, also gone now. Cockburn and I popped into a Market Street camera shop where the Pakistani proprietor jumped to attention, clicked his heels and snapped off a Raj salute and announced, "Alexander Cockburn, gentleman and scholar. At your service, sir." Cockburn, who was always working, quizzed the guy on political developments in his mother country, made a purchase, and we walked on. As one of the most steadfast and influential defender of Palestinians writing in this country, and Palestinians owning many of SF's corner groceries. Cockburn was similarly greeted one night by the Palestinian owner of a deli not far from my place who thanked Cockburn for "your defense of my people." Cockburn insisted, over several minutes, that we pay for the bottle of Irish whiskey we'd set out for. It was a hard sell.
A READER WRITES: I detest pseudo-scientific nonsense like homeopathy, refusing vaccines, anything Gwyneth Paltrow peddles, and promoting acupuncture as appeared in the Valley People column Feb. 19. The good folk at the Senior Center will be tossing away their money which I’m certain could be better directed towards their wellbeing, like perhaps a good massage, a relaxing soak in a hot tub, a couple of hours at a good movie, etc. You cannot talk sense into the true believers, but one can hope, perhaps just out of curiosity, some will take the time to review the best analyses of this practice, and thus I recommend the website Science Based Medicine with this excellent overview. There are also many articles on the site on acupuncture over the years they can access. To pay for this “treatment” and not do some investigation, is lazy, to say the least.
MARK SCARAMELLA NOTES: Famous new age skeptic The Amazing Randi wrote: “The medical literature on acupuncture is clear: it does not work beyond placebo. No amount of anecdotal evidence can prove otherwise. However, this clearly has not stopped acupuncture from being outrageously popular in China.” Randi acknowledged that as a placebo there are a percentage of people who “think” they’re better after acupuncture for minor complaints and thus the Chinese medical establishment is happy to have acupuncture divert some people with minor complaints from heavier treatments who do not have any underlying serious medical condition.
SENTENCE OF THE DAY
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.
URGENT PUBLIC NOTICE FROM HUMCO COURTHOUSE: Don’t Come To Court If You’re Sick
Effective immediately, individuals that have scheduled court appearances and who are experiencing illness symptoms such as fever, cough, etc., should contact their attorneys and make arrangements to have their hearing rescheduled, or appear telephonically through Court Call or video remote appearance.
If you represent yourself, please call Court Call at 888-882-6878 to arrange a telephonic appearance at least three days’ prior to your scheduled court date. If you are a juror, please call 269-1270, or respond through the online juror portal at: https://jury.humboldt.courts.ca.gov/login.
The Court’s website will be modified soon to include more specific information regarding the public’s immediate health concerns at: www.humboldt.courts.ca.gov.
Thank you for your cooperation.
SMART MONEY'S ON THE THISTLE…
Navarro Point thistle removing this Thursday
Hello. We will be thistle-removing at Navarro Point this Thursday, March 12th, from 10am til noon.
The weather forecast for that morning is sunny with almost no clouds or wind and with the temperature in the mid-50sâ” a beautiful spring day in a gorgeous oceanside location.
Navarro Point Preserve is located on Highway 1 about a half mile south of the Navarro Ridge Road. Meet there in the little parking lot on the left/west of Hwy 1.
Hoping you will join us in eliminating the final 5% of this invasive plant,
Tom Wodetzki, Albion
CDFW HELICOPTER ELK SURVEYS TO BE CONDUCTED IN MENDOCINO COUNTY MARCH 12-15TH
The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) is planning to conduct helicopter surveys of elk in Mendocino County on March 12, 13, 14 and 15.
Aerial surveying is a common technique used by wildlife biologists to count deer, elk, pronghorn antelope and bighorn sheep populations throughout the state.
Many of the elk living in Mendocino County are found on private property, which means residents, tourists and motorists passing through the area may notice low-flying helicopters surveying for elk over private property during these days.
Survey polygons are in Potter Valley, Willits, Sherwood Valley/Laytonville, Eden Valley, Covelo/Round Valley, and Island Mountain (Mendocino/Trinity County border).
For additional information regarding the Mendocino elk helicopter surveys, please contact Angela Moran at (707) 445-5363.
ST. PATRICK'S PARTY IN ELK THIS WEEKEND
Don't forget that this weekend, Saturday March 14 is the annual Saint Patrick's Party in Elk. This will be the 127th annual Saint Patrick's celebration in Elk.
The Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church and the Greenwood Community Church are working together to celebrate St. Pat's with a Pot Luck at the Greenwood Community Center starting at 4:00pm lasting until 8:00pm. The two churches will provide corned beef and the traditional rum cakes for dessert. All are welcome to bring your favorite dishes which is what makes pot lucks such wonderful experiences tasting all those delicious foods people bring to share. There will be a silent auction with a great array of wonderful items donated by local business and artists. You may find gold at the end of the rainbow if you buy a chance to win the 50-50 raffle. Entertainment provided by Matthew Tyson and the Wild Elk. There is no charge but donations are welcome. BYOB. This pot luck is a fundraiser for both of the historical churches in Elk in order to provide on going maintenance on these lovely old buildings. The Community Church was constructed in 1893 and the Catholic Church in 1896. Don't miss this annual event. It is always great fun!
CATCH OF THE DAY, March 10, 2020
ABEL AGUADO, Ukiah. Toluene or similar substance, probatioin revocation.
JAMES ANDEREGG, Fort Bragg. Disorderly conduct-alcohol, probation revocation.
JORDAN CAMPBELL, Ukiah. Domestic battery.
ALEXIS CARRASCO-MATA, Ukiah. Protective order violation.
LUIS DIAZ-AVELAR, Covelo. Protective order violation.
SERJIO GONZALEZ, Ukiah. Probation revocation.
JORGE HERNANDEZ-HERNANDEZ, Eureka/Ukiah. DUI-alcohol&drugs, cultivation of more than six pot plants.
SHANNON JONES, Fort Bragg. Grand theft by servant.
KELLEE MANUEL, Ukiah. Probation revocation.
SUMMER MASCOTT, Fort Bragg. Probation revocation.
PABLO MORA, Ukiah. Parole violation. (Frequent flyer.)
KYLE STARK, Ukiah. Probation revocation.
RIVER STEWART, Willits. DUI, parole violation.
FIRES AND FOOD
by Lloyd Sinclair
It was October 26th, and I was writing a simple article about the power going out in Arcata and the subtle social benefits this might have, but I knew there was more to it. Then, due to fires burning around my hometown on the Mendocino coast, power failed long enough for a feeling of isolation set in.
It took me awhile to figure out what the real issues were, and a bit longer to come up with a possible solution. I heard conversations about fuel shortages, fights at gas stations, meat freezers thawing, stores losing money, and sick people without electricity for medical machines. But the most obvious conversation I feel needs to be addressed is food storage and our connection to feeding ourselves.
I was enjoying a beverage at a local drinking establishment when the lights went out, and basically nothing changed. I then left town for San Francisco to gear up for working the upcoming crab season. When returning to Mendocino a few days later there was different vibe in the air. The grocery stores had been mostly bought out, and people who were trying to get their projects done had an itchy vibe to them. So, to avoid the stress of the world, I figured I’d go to my parents’ house, which has always been a safe haven in my life. Home is also where I have long childhood memories of helping my mom in her vibrant green garden. When everyone else was panicking about food, I have gone there for a healthy meal from the garden that sits to the side of their house.
On this occasion my mother was thrilled to see me, but when sitting down with her and my step-dad for a nice dinner, we had a plate of rice, beans with some eggs. This was normal, but in past times, the centerpiece was usually potatoes and a mountain of greens. As the meal went on my mother explained that she had been doing more massages at the spa than in the past, and her wrist had been hurting, so she hadn’t put her garden in this year. I was aware of all this, but the importance of a home garden doesn’t settle in until the trucks aren’t showing up at the grocery stores. It’s then I felt I was eating from my parents’ doomsday stash of rice and beans.
That night I stayed in my little brother’s room and thought about how to solve the problem, and I realized it could only be solved with physical effort. So in the morning I started to dig in my mother’s garden, as I had when I was a child. So next time the power fails and people start to panic, we are going to have fresh potatoes and chard out of the ground once more.
I spent the rest of my day milling around Mendocino with the deepening realization of how feeble our food distribution system really is. While there are many backyard vegetable gardens in our area, there is still dependence on shipped food – food that is grown far away, warehoused, and delivered from refrigerated trucks. You may have some element of your diet that is produced or caught in your region, but typically with our complicated diets, we have no idea what comes from were, and because of this, no matter how country you are, you are likely eating an urbanized diet given the distribution system. And if you live on the Mendocino coast where, after just a few short days of trucks not delivering food, the population shows signs definitely being adversely altered.
On what was to be the last day of power outage I found myself talking to people on how the situation affected them, and what their solutions might be. That is when I was pushed in the direction of Mr. Sam Cook, our resident Texan. It was a beautiful day and I was again at Richard’s By the Sea, were you can have a cheap drink, watch the whales go by, and be told Kentucky is the greatest basketball team in the world. Sam had placed his BBQ trailer just down the street overlooking the Pacific Ocean, across from Out Of This World. When the meat in your refrigerator thawed you could bring it down to Sam and he would throw it on the grill for you to enjoy a sunset dinner, giving leftovers to mangy dogs like me.
When I arrived I was hungry and Sam had been cooking for days. He was running low on food, but I still got a little potato off the grill and had to ask him if the cops had stopped by. “Of course they did, he answered. “When they asked what I was doing, I just said you want some brisket? And when they asked me something else, I would say you want some brisket?” As I ate my potato he pointed his tongs at me: “You want some brisket? How you gunna say no to that? One of them looked damn hungry too.” He swung his tongs around. “What are they gunna do, shut me down? I’m feeding people in a time of need. I just wish some old boys would drop off some Valley oak to keep this going.” Sam shrugged, pointed his tongs at the coals, and I knew what had to happen.
Since then I have been talking to friends who own property, and now I am planting some big potato patches, so next year when the power goes out you can have a potato from me and my people, and some brisket from Sam. This also goes out to the officers of the region – – when your food stocks get low at home, grab and armload of oak, come back to the BBQ and bring your family down for a sunset dinner. And if we are lucky others will plant an excess amount squash and we’ll have a real meal provided by our community, rather than hope that the powers that be will deliver the big trucks full of food – a safety net we assume we are owed.
To conclude this idea, my mother reminded me of an old story she had been told. When my parents first moved up here, my mom had become close friends with an elderly lady in the Albion area. The lady once told her that when the Great Depression hit, she barely noticed, because she and her husband provided for themselves by means of their land, and sharing with the community around them. So she saw the Great Depression as a city thing. The lesson in this story is that if you know how to use it, the strength and security of rural life is in the soil you walk on.
ATTA BOY, JOE
Joe Biden Tells Factory Worker ‘You’re Full Of Shit’ During A Tense Argument Over Guns
ON LINE COMMENT OF THE DAY
A few months back, I happened to run into someone I hadn’t seen in years, and she filled me in on the doings of some people we both knew.
I was saddened to learn of the passing, at a relatively young age, of a friend of mine.
I say friend, but he wasn’t really a close friend, obviously, but he was someone I had always thought I would see again.
He was an odd sort of man, nerdy even, sometimes exasperating; but, as another friend and I had once agreed on about him, he was someone you could count on, even if everyone else had deserted you.
The kind of person you could pick up the phone and just say “I need help” to, and he would be there.
I started thinking, after reading today’s essay (but not for the first time), of some of the most reliable and capable friends I have. It’s a funny thing about reliability, it goes hand in hand with self-reliance, and the self-reliant people I know all own guns.
These are people who grow their own food, and now how to preserve it. Some hunt, some do not. They know how to fix their own vehicles.
I’m also just now noticing, one of these people has had trouble with one of his kids, because the kid married a “woman of color” and decided the old man is a racist transphobic xenophobe or something.
I am this very minute realizing the vale of the ‘trans’ movement.
It gets harder and harder to allege racism in a society that really doesn’t care all that much about race anymore. So, in order to divide the younger generation from people like I have mentioned, their patriotic elders, they have to come up with a “civil rights” issue so bizarre, repugnant, ridiculous, destructive, and just plain wrong, that the remaining patriots draw a line in the sand.
Now we have become deplorable, and the younger people are morally superior to us. Get it?
DO THE SENSIBLE THING
I live near Boston, not in it. But, if the Coronavirus does play out like the gloomier people are afraid of, I’m probably dead meat because in 2 months I’ll hit the 3/4 century mark. I’m fatalistic about it, so I’m not going too crazy trying to avoid it, but I am doing a few things to protect myself.
It’s obviously important to have my immune system in as good a shape as possible, so I eat well, with plenty of fruits and vegetables and high-quality protein, such as fish and eggs. I also take garlic supplements and eat a lot of garlic in my foods (e.g., I had delicious pesto tonight).
The virus attacks the lungs. If you don’t have high lung capacity, when you get sick, the rest of your body can’t get enough oxygen to function properly, so your other organs start to fail. That’s why older, sedentary people die from the virus more than younger ones. I walk a few miles a day or go to the gym and work out, and I believe my lung capacity is good.
I also do the other obvious, sensible things such as washing my hands frequently, avoiding large crowds, shopping late at night, etc. People don’t need anti-bacterial soap – regular soap is ok, and masks don’t really protect you, although I suppose they help a little.
I’m in good shape for my age; I’m not running around in a panic like I see so many others do. The mortality rate of the virus for people age 70-79 is currently 8%. That’s roughly 11 to 1 in my favor, and the majority of that 8% have pre-existing conditions (which luckily for me I don’t have) or are generally in bad physical condition. So I feel confident I can ride out the virus. But who knows? Que sera, sera.
LET ME TELL YOU A STORY - Mendocino Storytellers This Thursday!
Mendocino Storytellers next Meeting will be on March 12th at the Community Center of Mendocino, 998 School St., at 6:30 p.m. Please join us whether you come just to listen or have a story to tell. The suggested themes/topics will be, ”When Will I Learn,” or “Here We Go Again.” As always, this can be stretched in any direction — internally, family relationships, politics, you name it — or bring your own piece on a topic of your choosing. Sometimes people present on topics from previous months. We meet every second Thursday at the Community Center of Mendocino, 998 School St., at 6:30 p.m. Proceeds from the $5 suggested donations go to support the center’s after-school programs. Refreshments often are available.
If you’d like to tell your story, please contact Jean Arnold at email@example.com. This is a friendly, supportive group always welcoming new people, whether they want to exercise their voices or bring their ears. Get to know your neighbors, and express yourself!
ORWELLIAN VS. BIDENIAN
Orwellian: A totalitarian socialist society state.
Bidenian: Crooked as a Biden in the Ukraine.
I cannot explain why Hunter Biden had a job in Ukraine that paid $1.08 million per year. Except that it was tied to a $30 billion aid package to Ukraine. He did not have to show up for work or even be in the country to supposedly earn this kickback. The deposed leader of Ukraine at the time escaped with at least $50 billion of the country’s money (How much US tax dollars?) and is protected by international law.
Trying to get to the bottom of this President Trump almost got himself impeached. What did Obama know about this fake job to Biden and how would he explain this if he were subpoenaed? How many of these aid packages go out from the US to the world and what do the kickbacks look like? Not fake jobs like this but cash in envelopes or numbered offshore accounts.
So sure, Hillary would win and a little fake job you know for “playboy dignity” would never be scrutinized and here we are.
Bidenian — crooked as a Biden in Ukraine, a new dictionary word like Orwellian.
VIRUS PREP, AN EXCHANGE
Tip for avoiding face touching (and fixing an air bed)
Rainbird wrote (on Coast Listserve): “When I have an itch, I’ve been using a clean fork and then keeping it clean in a cup, tines up, for next use. Keeping it in a clean baggie would work while you’re on the go.”
Marco McClean: Or one could tie a cut-short toothbrush to the back of his thumb with a rubber band. Or just put the rubber band around one finger and have that be your face-finger and only use it for scratching your face.
A squirt bottle of vinegar and water. I remember from having shingles in 2001 that vinegar works better against itchiness and rashes than anything expensive from the drug store, as long as there isn't broken skin from scratching. And don't get it in your eye, of course.
I remember reading about a test of certain mild mental complaints or bad recreational drugs, and also a test of lying (or telling the truth and being worried they thing you're lying) (or of sexual nervousness), is that the person can't stop picking at his face and touching his hair. Soft mittens, maybe, would work, and tie them on securely. Or some kind of tape. Or E6000, which stays flexible and is harder to peel off even than silicone seal, and the whole time the person is madly rubbing his hands and fingers together to rub it into flakes and pills and get it off he's not messing with his face, and then you could just put more. It comes in toothpaste tubes and also in liquid form in a spritz vial.
And you can make a kind of papier mache of out E6000 and a little wad of paper towel material to quickly patch an inflatable bed. You push it into the hole or ripped seam with a small screwdriver and it seals from the inside, and then you put a strip of E6000-impregnated scrap cloth on the outside -- this all with the bed inflated, but not hard -- and there's your structural integrity even if the rip is a three-quarters of an inch long. It's great stuff.