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MCT: Friday, March 13, 2020

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A COLD UPPER-LEVEL STORM SYSTEM is forecast to move across the region this weekend. Heavy mountain snow and coastal small hail will be possible as numerous showers spread across northwest California Friday night through Sunday. (NWS)

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WHITE HOUSE coronavirus expert Dr. Anthony Fauci said on Friday morning that the current state of crisis in the US would last for two months and that 'it's all on the table' in terms of how much more severe things may become. In a series of interviews with Good Morning America and CBS this morning, Fauci delivered his bleak assessment of what is still to come. 'It's certainly going to get worse before it gets better...there's no doubt we have not peaked yet,' he said.

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EARL "PETE" PETERMAN (1926 to 2020)

Pete was born in 1926 to Edward and Hazel Peterman. His growing up years, in Pittsburgh, PA, Denver, CO, Reno, NV and Stockton, CA have led to eye-opening stories of his adventures, inventive exploits, and fascinating technical pursuits. They have included impressive chemistry and physics 'experiments', mining projects, 'underground' (but overhead) radio broadcasts, and nearly everything that one could find in 'The Boy Mechanic' and much more.

The Denver Streetcar system and the FCC never fully unveiled the inventive genius of young Earl Peterman. At age 16 Earl aggressively pursued entering the US Army Air Forces radar training program, but he was 'too young'.

But upon seeing his spectacular test scores, the Army sent him as a civilian to the intensive radar training programs at Marin JC, Cal Poly San Louis Obispo, San Bernardino State, San Jose State, and Stanford University. Upon completion of his radar training, studies, he finished an accelerated diploma program at Sequoia High School in June 1944 and was inducted into the U.S. Army in July 1944.

But we digress… While Pete was finishing up his intensive radar program at Stanford, a fellow student of mysterious origin and subsequent history, Freddie Kong, insisted that he meet Marolyn Jennison. Two momentous things happened as a result of that meeting: 1) Marolyn Jennison's father, Earle (a pastor), introduced Pete to a personal and saving knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ. And 2) for Pete and Marolyn, it was love at first sight. Through the completion of the radar program, Army enlistment, and the end of WWII, they were married in September 1946, and came to have five children: Edward, David, Vernon, Julie, and Eric. And, as the Lord would also have it, they have 13 grandchildren, 24 great grandchildren and one great-great grandchild.

While in the army Pete came to meet his life-long very good friend, Jim Book. It was while they were on a troop train that they each noticed the other studying their Bibles. Both Jim and Pete continued to study their Bibles – for years and years and years! Pete was active in church in Palo Alto, CA. In 1966 he moved the family to Anderson Valley, CA, where he built a home for them. In Anderson Valley he continued leading Bible studies and was a pastor in Boonville for a number of years. Knowing and serving Christ was the greatest joy of his life, seconded by his love for his wife and family.

Pete continued his work in electronics for the rest of his life, being a prolific inventor, as only partially demonstrated by the five patents he held in electronics. At various stages, each of his children participated in his electronic business, with contributions ranging from electronics assembly, engineering and marketing management, electromechanical research and design, to programming. The ongoing electronic research and development extended Pete's technical and business impact into international markets, which included underground and overhead utilities, one-call systems, missionary radios, railways, airports, recording studios, emergency response, and rapid transit, to name but a few.

On the Anderson Valley scene, we could tell of Pete's persistent participation in the Thistle Wars. And what moving tales could be told of midnight milking and majestic redwood trees and famously funny farm animals, mossy fences, and misty old orchards, along with family fun and adventures on and under the ground, and in the air.

Pete is survived by his brother David, and was preceded in death by his sister, Marilyn Ortega. He was also preceded in death by his son Edward, and is survived by his wife, Marolyn, the remaining four children, and all the grand-and great-grandchildren and his great-great granddaughter.

The Memorial service will be: Saturday, March 14th, 11-3 New Life Community Church 750 Yosemite Dr, Ukiah, CA 95482.

The Graveside service will be: Sunday, March 15th, at 4 Evergreen Cemetery Anderson Valley Way Boonville, CA 95415. In lieu of flowers, donations in Pete's name may be made to the international ministry of The Luis Palau Association.

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The body of the man found in Otis Johnson Park in late February has been identified as Jeffrey McKevitt.

Jeffrey McKevitt

Born in Ireland, McKevitt was known to live outdoors and love nature. A wife and a son live locally on the Mendocino coast.

The death was reported Wednesday, Feb. 26, when a caller to the police reported finding an adult man’s body near the 800 block of East Laurel Street, just inside the park.

The Fort Bragg Police Department said at the time that it had called in the coroner’s office to take over the case.

McKevitt’s family is located in Ireland, where the body has been sent for burial.

(Fort Bragg Advocate)

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“IN 1918 AN INFLUENZA VIRUS EMERGED—probably in the United States—that would spread around the world, and one of its earliest appearances in lethal form came in Philadelphia. Before that worldwide pandemic faded away in 1920, it would kill more people than any other outbreak of disease in human history. Plague in the 1300s killed a far larger proportion of the population—more than one-quarter of Europe—but in raw numbers influenza killed more than plague then, more than AIDS today. The lowest estimate of the pandemic’s worldwide death toll is twenty-one million, in a world with a population less than one-third today’s. That estimate comes from a contemporary study of the disease and newspapers have often cited it since, but it is almost certainly wrong. Epidemiologists today estimate that influenza likely caused at least fifty million deaths worldwide, and possibly as many as one hundred million. Yet even that number understates the horror of the disease, a horror contained in other data. Normally influenza chiefly kills the elderly and infants, but in the 1918 pandemic roughly half of those who died were young men and women in the prime of their life, in their twenties and thirties. Harvey Cushing, then a brilliant young surgeon who would go on to great fame—and who himself fell desperately ill with influenza and never fully recovered from what was likely a complication—would call these victims “doubly dead in that they died so young.” One cannot know with certainty, but if the upper estimate of the death toll is true as many as 8 to 10 percent of all young adults then living may have been killed by the virus. And they died with extraordinary ferocity and speed. Although the influenza pandemic stretched over two years, perhaps two-thirds of the deaths occurred in a period of twenty-four weeks, and more than half of those deaths occurred in even less time, from mid-September to early December 1918. Influenza killed more people in a year than the Black Death of the Middle Ages killed in a century; it killed more people in twenty-four weeks than AIDS has killed in twenty-four years. The influenza pandemic resembled both of those scourges in other ways also. Like AIDS, it killed those with the most to live for. And as priests had done in the bubonic plague, in 1918, even in Philadelphia, as modern a city as existed in the world, priests would drive horse-drawn wagons down the streets, calling upon those behind doors shut tight in terror to bring out their dead.”

John M. Barry, “The Great Influenza: The Story of the Deadliest Pandemic in History”

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On Thursday, Governor Newsom issued an executive order further enhancing State and Local Government’s ability to respond to COVID-19. Among other items, the order “Allows local or state legislative bodies to hold meetings via teleconference and to make meetings accessible electronically.” The full executive order can be found here. Item #11 in the executive order also addresses suspension of certain Brown Act rules.

Last night, the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) issued an updated policy for public gatherings in response to COVID-19. California Special Districts Association (CSDA) is following this policy and encourages all special districts to thoroughly review the policy and consider its application to your district’s operations and activities.

In times where the health and safety of our communities are at stake, it is important for public officials at all levels to inform ourselves of the best available facts and provide clear and accurate communication. We want to ensure that we are taking the appropriate steps and that our actions and communications do not lead to worse outcomes than necessary. This means following the guidance of health experts to demonstrate calm and thoughtful leadership.

The policy goes on to state, “Certain activities are essential to the function of our state and must continue. Hence, this does not apply to essential public transportation, airport travel, or shopping at a store or mall.”


The Governor’s Executive Order N-25-20, issued today, affords some open meeting law flexibility for local governments during this public health emergency.

Several people have contacted me with concern about schools. It's my understanding that school district superintendents will react to guidance from Public Health. Our trusted Public Health Officer is working closely with the State and tracking moment to moment. That said, as someone who isn't an expert in public health, I wouldn't be opposed to seeing government pick up the pace. The risk/reward favors early action. I'm cancelling my participation in all face to face events, because I don't want to add risk for our vulnerable populations.

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Coronavirus Update – Cancel Non-Essential Gatherings Of 250 Or More

In Mendocino County, the Office of Education and local school districts continue to work together to monitor, communicate, and prepare for COVID-19. To date, no one in Mendocino County has tested positive for the virus.

Currently, all Mendocino County school districts are following guidance from the County Public Health Department and other governmental agencies, including the Governor’s Office of the State of California. This week, the Governor’s Office released a statement with a series of recommendations to help prevent the transmission of COVID-19.

To ensure the safety of our community and prevent overloading our health care system, starting today, I am advising that schools in Mendocino County follow the Governor’s advice to cancel events and gatherings of 250 people or more. Additionally, I am recommending that all non-essential gatherings (such as field trips, shows, dances, assemblies, athletics, other events, and meetings) with fewer than 250 people be evaluated on a case-by-case basis by each school district superintendent or charter school director.

We will continue to monitor the situation daily and follow the recommendations of Public Health, CDC, and the Governor’s Office. We’ll also continue to reinforce best practices such as handwashing, remaining at home when ill, keeping your hands away from your face, and maintaining daily disinfection of surfaces. Individual districts may take additional measures in coordination with local health officials.

All Mendocino County school districts are in regular communication and coordination with the Mendocino County Office of Education, Public Health, and other agencies. We remain vigilant in our approach to maintaining the wellness of our students, families, and employees.

We will provide regular updates in the days and weeks ahead.

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by Jonah Raskin

I spend most of my days and nights in a relatively small room, about 20 feet by 20 feet with about 8 feet headroom. I refer to it as my “cell” and like to say I have entered “the monastic phase” of my life. I sleep in my cell and write and read in my cell. I have just moved here after living in a much larger space, and also after having lived for the past twenty years by myself. I was alone but not lonely. Now I share space with the 84-year-old woman who owns the place and who has her bedroom on the opposite side of the house. We meet in the kitchen and the living room, occasionally eat together and share a common bathroom.

Living with another person takes some adjustment, especially now with the coronavirus. We use separate dishes and silverware, wash our hands frequently and make jokes about washing and wiping surfaces. We also laugh about consumers buying and stockpiling more toilet paper than they’ll ever use in a year. That compulsion strikes me as an index of the ways that the virus hits people on a primal level. “Yeah,” Thora, my housemate, said last night when we were watching the news on PBS, which heightens my anxiety level. Thora added, “It’s life and death.” When I lived by myself for 20 years I did not own a TV, and rarely if ever watched the news on TV. Thora watches religiously and surfs from station to station. She’s an addict. I can only take it in very small doses.

One thing I have noticed, after watching TV news with her for two weeks, is how repetitive it is and how one-dimensional and simplified. The anchors, reporters and the so-called experts who are called upon to comment, sound like talking machines who don’t think much, if at all. In the wake of the crisis, I have put myself under a kind of house arrest, though I can and do go outside, get into my car, drive, go shopping in Cotati, to the local library for DVDs, and to the bank to deposit checks. I have thought about what many of us have gone through over the past five or six years: drought followed by fire, and smoke, forced evacuations, and now the coronavirus. It feels biblical.

Indeed, it’s the plague, which is why I went to the library and borrowed Albert Camus 1947 novel, La Peste, which was translated into English in 1948 published as The Plague. I’m a Camus fan and am looking forward to reading the book and wondering in what ways it’s revealing about the current pandemic. I happen to prefer the word “plague” which conjures up all kinds of horrible images.

I’m inside my cell right now, on my computer. Occasionally, I look out at the flowers in bloom. I listen to the bird songs. I can hear, in the distance, the sound of traffic on Old Redwood Highway, which runs in front of the house where I am now living. Thora’s daughter and son-in-law have a house next door. I often visit them; we also eat together. It’s not communal but it has some aspects of communal living, including shared food and appliances such as a machine to wash clothes, and a line to hang them in the backyard.

I’m at Thora’s because I was evicted from the place where I was living. The landlord sold the property and the new owners wanted to occupy the house, after ripping it apart and remodeling big time. One of the great pluses about moving has been downsizing. I threw away tons of stuff and I’ve stowed papers in Cotati. I also sold some of my archive to the University of Texas. I feel lighter. I like having nearly everything I want and need in my cell, with the kitchen a few steps away and the bathroom around the corner.

Thora spreads out and makes messes. She seems to be incapable of throwing stuff away. She can also be forgetful. The hard part about living here is being in someone else’s space. It’s Thora’s house. She doesn’t have many rules, but she has some, including no watching sports on her TV. I can live with that. I like living through the plague with a small community. I know I can count on Thora, whom I have known for 40 years, and on her daughter and son-in-law. If we have to go down, we can go down together. I expect the plague will get worse and that it will linger. People I know and love will probably die. I think about the writers and thinkers who have urged all of us to be hopeful, to create community and to solve our own problems independent of governments. I know that some of that is possible. I also believe that the only way to survive the plague is if and when governments act in concert. Too bad Trump doesn't know how to cooperate or tell the truth. Meanwhile, I'm trying not to touch my face with my hands.

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"I am writing to you from Bergamo, Italy, at the heart of the coronavirus crisis. The news media in the US has not captured the severity of what is happening here. I am writing this post because each of you, today, not the government, not the school district, not the mayor, each individual citizen has the chance, today to take actions that will deter the Italian situation from becoming your own country’s reality. The only way to stop this virus is to limit contagion. And the only way to limit contagion is for millions of people to change their behavior today.

If you are in Europe or the US you are weeks away from where we are today in Italy.

I can hear you now. “It’s just a flu. It only affects old people with preconditions”

There are 2 reasons why Coronavirus has brought Italy to it’s knees. First it is a flu is devastating when people get really sick they need weeks of ICU — and, second, because of how fast and effectively it spreads. There is 2 week incubation period and many who have it never show symptoms.

When Prime Minister Conte announced last night that the entire country, 60 million people, would go on lock down, the line that struck me most was “there is no more time.” Because to be clear, this national lock down, is a hail mary. What he means is that if the numbers of contagion do not start to go down, the system, Italy, will collapse.

Why? Today the ICUs in Lombardy are at capacity — more than capacity. They have begun to put ICU units in the hallways. If the numbers do not go down, the growth rate of contagion tells us that there will be thousands of people who in a matter of a week? two weeks? who will need care. What will happen when there are 100, or a 1000 people who need the hospital and only a few ICU places left?

On Monday a doctor wrote in the paper that they have begun to have to decide who lives and who dies when the patients show up in the emergency room, like what is done in war. This will only get worse.

There are a finite number of drs, nurses, medical staff and they are getting the virus. They have also been working non-stop, non-stop for days and days. What happens when the drs, nurses and medical staff are simply not able to care for the patients, when they are not there?

And finally for those who say that this is just something that happens to old people, starting yesterday the hospitals are reporting that younger and younger patients — 40, 45, 18, are coming in for treatment.

You have a chance to make a difference and stop the spread in your country. Push for the entire office to work at home today, cancel birthday parties, and other gatherings, stay home as much as you can. If you have a fever, any fever, stay home. Push for school closures, now. Anything you can do to stop the spread, because it is spreading in your communities — there is a two week incubation period — and if you do these things now you can buy your medical system time.

And for those who say it is not possible to close the schools, and do all these other things, locking down Italy was beyond anyone’s imagination a week ago.

Soon you will not have a choice, so do what you can now.

—Maya Farrah (via Mali Moe / Facebook)

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The Federal Reserve stepped into financial markets Thursday for the second day in a row and the third time this week, this time dramatically ramping up asset purchases amid the turmoil created by the coronavirus.

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One evening last year Democratic member of Congress Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez was chopping vegetables in her kitchen while speaking to her millions of Instagram followers via livestream: "Our planet is going to hit disaster if we don't turn this ship around," she said, looking up from a chopping board littered with squash peel. "There is a scientific consensus that the lives of children are going to be very difficult." Her hands fluttered to the hem of her sweater, then into the waistband of her trousers, which she absentmindedly adjusted. "And it does lead, I think, young people to have a legitimate question, you know, should…" she took a moment to get the wording right: "Is it okay to still have children?"

Her comment spawned a flurry of pieces on why you should or should not procreate. But the thorny question of whether it is okay to have children — a question about what we owe one another and what we owe the unborn — remains. As Ocasio-Cortez put it, there’s "just this basic moral question: like, what do we do?"

It seems increasingly clear that we are living in a time of radical destabilization of life on Earth which complicates the act of bearing children in ways that society has yet to grapple with. We lack the language to talk to one another about the fact that a child born today will live on a planet hotter than it has ever been since human civilization developed. The mind balks. Language fails. How do we talk about having children when we keep hearing that even if global emissions dropped to zero tomorrow some amount of global heating is already locked in for at least a decade, as a result of the amount of carbon we have already released into the atmosphere? Or when it's possible that we have already passed tipping points, with effects that researchers don't yet understand?

We know enough to know that people are living with the effects of global heating right now. We know that climate risk and the worst effects of ecological disaster are unevenly distributed across race, class and gender, and among industrialized and developing countries — for many people, conditions tantamount to the end of the world have already arrived. We know that to avoid the devastation of vulnerable communities and to avert the risks of mass starvation, civilization collapse and species extinction, we need to decarbonize the global economy. The faster the better. And it's not just carbon. Human activity is causing catastrophic soil degradation, chemical pollution, and ecological collapse. We are witness to a staggering loss of biological diversity. Extinctions. Microplastics. Bee colonies. Dead zones. Every biological mother on the planet has DDT in her breast milk.

The polar icecaps are melting. Is it okay to have a child? Australia is on fire. Is it okay to have a child? My house is flooded, my crops have failed, my community is fleeing. Is it okay to have a child? It is, in a sense, an impossible question. With her careful rhetorical shift from the intimate "should I?" to the more theoretical "Is it okay to still have a child?" Ocasio-Cortez conjured the paradox of scale that haunts any consideration of the ethics of childbearing in a time of planetwide catastrophe. Having a child is at once the most intimate, irrational thing a person can do, prompted by desires so deep we hardly know where to look for their wellsprings, and an unavoidably political act that increasingly requires one to confront not only the complex biopolitics of pregnancy and birth, but also the intersecting legacies of colonialism, racism and patriarchy, all the while trying to wrap one's head around the relationship between the impossible extremes of the personal and the global.

— Meehan Crist, London Review of Books

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Please contact Tanya McCurry at 895-2291 if you can donate this item.

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VOTER TURNOUT for the March 4 election was less than 25% according to the County Elections office.

For the latest election results, visit

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WHEN TRUMP said last night he was banning Europeans as of midnight Friday, I scurried to the Guardian website for confirmation because I wasn't sure I'd heard right. But the virus horse being long out of the barn, what's the point? Trump's chaotic administration's big game of catch-up isn't likely to catch up. Then the stock market, wildly overvalued since 2008 when Obama shoved billions into the big banks, lost another 2000 points Thursday. Mendo's pension and investment pool money is heavily invested in the market — blue chip companies, we're assured — but the total economic impact of the national shutdown is already hurting millions of paycheck people.

ON A POSITIVE NOTE, the trees along Ukiah's South State Street are in bloom, a kind of floral version of lipstick on a pig, but if it's possible to make State Street beautiful, see it now before the annual re-set.

AMONG the millions of things I don't get, is Joe Biden. I don't see how it's intellectually-emotionally possible not to see that he's lost it, that he's the weakest Democrat possible to put up against Trump. Not just saying this as an embittered Berner, but trying hard to be objective here. If the Biden forces don't try to use the plague as an excuse for ducking out of the scheduled debate between Bernie and Biden, Biden's obvious unfitness will be even more obvious. If Biden is the plutocracy's candidate, the only way he has any chance against Trump is a total economic collapse, and people turn to him in desperation.

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FORT BRAGG SAFEWAY THURSDAY AFTERNOON - a photo from a viewer saying, “Safeway: run on toilet paper.”

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WHALE FESTIVAL has been cancelled. The annual Coast event has always been a dependable late winter boost for Coast business.

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UKIAH, Wed., March 11. -- A Mendocino County Superior Court jury returned from two-days of deliberations to announce that it was hopelessly deadlocked and would not be able to reach verdicts on the felony charges it was asked to decide.

After private discussions with the lawyers, the Court eventually declared a mistrial, thanked the jurors for their service, and excused the panel.

Before the jury was excused, it was ascertained that the jury was generally deadlocked 9 for guilt to 3 on the four pending felony charges and accompanying special findings.

Pending a decision from the DA on whether he will seek a retrial against each defendant on the still-pending marijuana-related robbery and other charges, the following defendants were ordered back to Court on April 2nd: Nathaniel Dominic Kurtz, age 25, of Petaluma; Azuriah Paul, age 25, of Forestville; and Shane Christian Waier, age 26, of Capitola.

Paul, Waier, Kurtz

Please note that each of the above defendants continues to be presumed innocent unless and until the contrary is proved beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

On April 2nd when the case is again called, the court will make inquiry of the prosecutor regarding the DA's decision on whether or not there will be a retrial. Pending that decision, it is expected that the attorneys will privately discuss in the intervening weeks whether an outcome short of a new trial can be achieved.

If no negotiated outcome has been reached by April 2nd and the DA opts for a retrial, the case will be put back on the trial calendar so that down the road a new jury can be selected to hear and decide the factual issues at hand.

The attorney who is handling the prosecution of the three co-defendants is Assistant DA Dale P. Trigg.

The investigating law enforcement agency that investigated and developed the evidence underlying this prosecution is the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office.

Background: "Low Gap Raiders Come to Court"

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THE NAVARRO RIVER MOUTH SANDBAR breached today, opening a narrow channel north of Pinnacle Rock and releasing dammed up water from the tidal estuary into the green Pacific. Mendocino County California just had a completely rainless February, resulting in very low river flows, not enough to keep a channel open through the sandbar.

This is a still frame from an aerial video done with a DJI Phantom 4A camera drone. It was taken just before sunset on Thursday, March 12, 2020.

(Nick Wilson)

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by Justine Frederiksen

In an attempt to address the homeless encampments near the Ukiah Municipal Airport, the Ukiah City Council recently adopted an urgency ordinance designating the open space near the airport as Runway Safety Areas that need to be kept clear.

“The issue has become more urgent now that there are groups of people residing in these areas, and staff wants to have a mechanism to make sure these areas can be kept clear (due to the safety issues),” Assistant City Attorney Darcy Vaughn told the City Council at its last meeting, referring to “two areas adjacent to the northern and southern ends of the runway” that the city owns and keeps vacant in the event that a plane “overshoots or undershoots the runway, or needs to make an emergency landing.”

Vaughn said that the ordinance makes it a misdemeanor offense to be in the Runway Safety Areas without permission, and allows the Ukiah Police Department to cite people in the area for trespassing.

“All we ever see is where (those without homes) can’t go, but I have yet to see any proposal about where they can go?” said Council member Steve Scalmanini. “So when are you going to bring us something that says where they can go?”

In response, City Manager Sage Sangiacomo said that city staff does “work very diligently with community partners on services,” pointing to numerous projects that have been approved in recent years that include not only the Building Bridges community center on South State Street, but the Willow Terrace apartment complex on East Gobbi Street. “The list is quite extensive for the types of services we are providing to our homeless and transient populations.”

“The trend is clearly in a good direction, but we still have some people obviously un-housed, so what do we do?” Scalmanini said. “I still feel like we’re not helping those who obviously need some kind of place to be. Just saying ‘no’ is just one way to move them elsewhere. Can the public provide them a place to put a tent, that has an outhouse and a place to wash their hands, where they can be any time of day and night?”

As one option, an audience member suggested that people be allowed to camp on the lawns in front of City Hall on Seminary Avenue, “and they can bathe in the fountain, use the bathrooms here, and they’ve got city police and fire here to serve them in a central location.”

In response, Sangiacomo said that even if the city wanted to allow camping, “we do not receive the funding, nor do we operate the wrap-around services that are necessary. We do have enforcement services, but I would argue that enforcement and police and arresting people is not the right alternative.

“If there is a desire for alternative housing services (such as campsites), that needs to be taken up with the agencies that are receiving the funding for those types of services,” he said. “I would also submit that we are working with our county counterparts and the service providers to find other opportunities to say ‘yes’ (to shelter) … and to be able to do it safely with the right services.”

Sangiacomo pointed to the “successful” effort to move homeless encampments on Airport Road last year as a rare example of “when we had some true engagement between service providers to find alternative (housing). To my knowledge, we haven’t had the same type of coordinated effort since. We hope that we can engage again with the service providers and with the county to provide the appropriate alternatives to the individuals that do desire services, and provide the appropriate levels of housing and services they truly need, and not just employees pushing them along.”

“The (underlying) issue was somewhat identified at a meeting between (2nd District Mendocino County Supervisor John McCowen), the city manager (Sangiacomo), the deputy city manager (Shannon Riley) and myself,” said Council member Jim Brown. “There’s a lack of coordination of the service providers on getting anything done. Nobody can be identified as who is coordinating the efforts to make anything really happen.

“Until we get to that point where we can identify someone to really get these service providers all at one table and build a schedule for the day shelter … and decide who should be monitoring showers and who should be monitoring the washing of the clothes,” Brown continued, a reference to the need to “engage, rather than enable,” people requesting services, an approach that consultant Dr. Robert Marbut pointed to as the crucial first step to reducing the number of people living on the street. “And you know something, if you want to take a shower and you want to wash your clothes, by God, you’re going to have to meet with a service provider to see if you’re going to accept help.

“And if you’ve been identified as not accepting help, then we’re not going to put a lot of effort into you,” Brown continued. “And until that gets done, we’re going to sit here and spin our wheels round and round and round like we’re doing right now. I needed to say that, and we need to take a step further, and I’m more than willing to take it.”

Brown then made a motion to adopt the ordinance, and it passed with only Scalmanini voting “no.”

(Courtesy, the Ukiah Daily Journal)

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Queenies Roadhouse cafe in Elk reopen for the season. Tomorrow Friday March 13th. Open daily 8 am till 3 pm. Closed Tuesday and Wednesday. We serve breakfast all day. So come on down. 707-877-3285.

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by Mark Scaramella

Rather than trying to summarize last Tuesday’s tedious two-hour long discussion of Supervisor Williams Mental Health “outcome data” request, let’s simply review how the initial and quite reasonable request from the Fort Bragg City Council was ignored, watered down, and indefintely delayed.

On February 9, 2020 the Fort Bragg City Council voted unanimously to send the following letter to the Board of Supervisors:

Re: Redwood Quality Management Company & Redwood Community Services

Dear Mendocino County Board of Supervisors:

Mendocino County’s reliance on Redwood Quality Management Company (RQMC) and Redwood Community Services (RCS) for Behavioral Health and Recovery Services appears to increase each year. As the services that RQMC and RCS provide are expanded, the Fort Bragg City Council would like to see more data on the success of those programs locally, here on the Coast, and countywide.

Most, if not all, of the information provided by RQMC focuses on numbers served and not on measuring the improvements in the health and wellbeing of their clients.

Without compromising confidentiality, it would be helpful to know how many clients enter programs with substance abuse or undiagnosed mental health illnesses and are successfully treated.

For example, a metric that measures the baseline of clients entering the system and tracks and reports progress over time will provide accountability for County funds and a measurement to gage ongoing improvement. Although the City Council is not well versed in Behavioral Health and Recovery Services standards and metrics, we have no doubt such assessments exist to guide and evaluate these programs.

The City Council feels strongly that we should compare our local programs to others in the region and across the nation, to evaluate success and pursue means to improve our programs, not just the numbers served.

Similarly, we understand that there are limited County resources available for these services and would like to better understand the costs and the impacts to the County.

How much do we spend per person? How does this compare to other jurisdictions? How much is saved in other costs such as law enforcement and emergency health care by successfully treating an individual as opposed to a person left suffering from untreated illnesses and diagnoses?

As we all understand, Behavioral Health and Recovery Services are a vital and integral piece of the overall success of our County.

As such, the Fort Bragg City Council respectfully requests that the Mendocino County Board of Supervisors require a professional assessment of the services provided by RQMC and all of their subcontractors using an appropriate industry standard. The results of such an assessment can be used countywide to evaluate the quality of services provided and measure success and progress going forward.

The County could use these same results to build standard requirements or metrics into their service agreements.

Thank you for your ongoing service to our County.


William V. Lee, Mayor

Teresa K. Albin-Smith Councilmember

Bernie Norvell Vice Mayor

Jessica Morsell-Haye Councilmember

Lindy Peters Councilmember

Supervisor Williams, presumably motivated Fort Bragg’s letter to the Board, subsequently agendized item 6c on the Board of Supervisors February 25 agenda:

“Item 6e) Discussion and Possible Action Including Possible Direction to Director of Health and Human Services to Request Aggregate Patient Outcome Data from Redwood Quality Management Company (RQMC) and Subcontractors, Pursuant to the Scope of Work under the County’s Various Contracts with RQMC, and Disseminate with Related Trends Analysis. (Sponsor: Supervisor Williams). Recommended Action: Direct Mendocino County Director of Health and Human Services to request aggregate patient outcome data from Redwood Quality Management Company and subcontractors, pursuant to the scope of work under the County's various contracts with RQMC, and disseminate with trends analysis.”

That February 25 agenda item included the Fort Bragg City Council’s letter as an official agenda attachment.

Expanding on the February 25 agenda item at that time, Supervisor Williams had also requested: “the count of unduplicated persons served, duration served and cost per case, count of release plans prepared, count of times particular individuals have returned for further treatment and most importantly, how many patients are more self-sufficient due to the millions of dollars we spent.”

But, because Supervisor Haschak’s suggested tweaks to the County’s failed pot permit program took all afternoon on February 25 without any decision (of course), Williams’ “outcome data request” agenda item was continued to March 10 when it was re-agendized — but re-worded — as Item 6a:

“Item 6a) Discussion and Possible Action Including: 1) Direction to the Mendocino County Director of Health and Human Services to Request Aggregate Patient Outcome Data from Redwood Quality Management (RQMC) and Subcontractors; Disseminate with Trends Analysis; 2) Direction to the Chief Executive Officer to Return with Options Regarding a Request for Proposal Process for Adult Mental Health Services; and 3) Direction to the Chief Executive Officer to Return with Estimate of Mental Health Funds Available for Repurpose to Meet Measure B Promises (Continued from the February 25, 2020, Board of Supervisors Meeting)

(Sponsor: Supervisor Williams) Recommended Action: 1) Direct Mendocino County Director of Health and Human Services to request aggregate patient outcome data from Redwood Quality Management Company and subcontractors, disseminate with trends analysis; 2) Direct CEO to return with options for request for proposal process for Adult Mental Health Services; and 3) direct CEO to return with estimate of Mental Health funds available for repurpose to meet Measure B promises.”

Gone was the phrase, “and disseminate with trends analysis.” (Which, we might note, is the key ingredient missing from existing RQMC’s nearly meaningless “data dashboard” statistics snapshots. x number of this, y number of that, z number of those — as Fort Bragg noted, without any context the raw numbers are meaningless. But these kinds of data-heavy-but-info-free reports are all anybody’s been able to get out of Mendo’s helping professionals.

Also gone was Williams’ request for “the count of unduplicated persons served, duration served and cost per case, count of release plans prepared, count of times particular individuals have returned for further treatment and most importantly, how many patients are more self-sufficient due to the millions of dollars we spent.”

But, and here’s where things went seriously south, the March 10 agenda item no longer included Fort Bragg’s letter. In its place was an attachment entitled “RQMC Adult Mental Health Services Contract Summary,” with an irrelevant page-long list of Board decisions on the Mental Health services contract fiascos going back to 2013.

Fort Bragg’s letter had disappeared and Redwood Quality Management Company’s contract history mysteriously replaced it.

After about two hours of discussion and public comment on Tuesday — largely a group love letter to RQMC and the subcontractors — the Board then voted 5-0 to:

“Direct Mendocino County Director of Health and Human Services to request existing aggregate patient outcome data from Redwood Quality Management Company and subcontractors with referral to the Behavioral Health Advisory Board for analysis; direct staff to consult with the Behavioral Health Advisory Board and return with a Request for Proposal process for adult mental health services; direct CEO to return with an estimate of mental health funds available to repurpose to meet Measure B promises.”

So Supervisor Williams’ already watered down agenda item was further watered down by adding the word “existing” to the proposed request for “aggregate patient outcome data,” (whatever that is) and by inserting “with referral to the Behavioral Health Advisory Board for analysis.”

Nobody mentioned the original Fort Bragg letter on Tuesday. Nobody even suggested that the Fort Bragg letter be included in the entirely vague “referral to the Behavioral Health Advisory Board for analysis.”

Based on their history, the Behavioral Health Advisory Board can be relied upon to do no “analysis” of anything and to take their own sweet time not doing it. Their whole function is to listen to the bureaucrats and the contractors and accept their info-free reports unquestioningly.

So, gone was any mention of:

• A metric that measures the baseline of clients entering the system and tracks and reports progress over time;

• Compar[ison of] our local programs to others in the region and across the nation.

• How much do we spend per person?

• How does this compare to other jurisdictions?

• How much is saved in other costs such as law enforcement and emergency health care by successfully treating an individual as opposed to a person left suffering from untreated illnesses and diagnoses?

• Requir[ing] a professional assessment of the services provided by RQMC and all of their subcontractors using an appropriate industry standard.

• Build[ing] standard requirements or metrics into their service agreements.

This kind of thing, of course, is SOP for Official Mendo. Take a straightforward legitimate request, run it through the usual self-serving bureaucratic obstructionists, water down the request to nearly nothing, belittle and/or ignore the original requester and continue with the CEO’s business as usual. The Grand Jury gets this kind of treatment all the time. And so have we in the few prior instances where we have asked the helping professionals for explanations of odd or unusual situations or developments. It’s impossible to get a straight answer out of them.

There may be a faint hope that the Fort Bragg City Council will remind the Board that their letter remains unanswered. But even that seems unlikely because Fourth District Supervisor Dan Gjerde sat silently on the sidelines on Tuesday as the City Council he once sat on and supposedly represents was ignored. The Fifth District Supervisor was the only Board member who even seemed interested in the subject, albeit a much diluted version of it.

PS. At one point Supervisor John Haschak wondered whether, in preparing an RFP for the next round of adult (not “children’s services,” which the County defines as under-25 — that didn’t even come up) mental health service contracts, if the County could consider bringing at least some of the adult mental health services back in house with county staff. After the bureaucrats got through pointing out that staffing up for anything like that would be too darn hard for them, and his colleagues showed no interest at all, Haschak dropped that idea too.

* * *

CATCH OF THE DAY, March 12, 2020

Anderson, Baker-Raymer, Ceja-Lopez

WILLIAM ANDERSON, Whitehorn/Ukiah. Suspended license (for DUI).

STORMY BAKER-RAYMER, Hidden Valley Lake/Ukiah. Controlled substance for sale, paraphernalia, controlled substance where prisoners are kept, smuggling controlled substance or liquor into jail, conspiracy.

JOSE CEJA-LOPEZ, Ukiah. Failure to appear.

Cornejo, Donahe, Fermin-Garcia, Knepper

JOSE CORNEJO, Ukiah. Paraphernalia, probation revocation.

MICHAEL DONAHE, Ukiah. Probation revocation. (Frequent flyer.)

MARCOS FERMIN-GARCIA, Ukiah. Stolen property, suspended license (for DUI).

BENJAMIN KNEPPER, Woodburn, Oregon/Ukiah. ammo possession by prohibited person, prior felony conviction, resisting.

Leo, Marshall, Nash

PAUL LEO, Mendocino. Disorderly conduct-alcohol.

WILLIAM MARSHALL, Willits. Probation revocation.

ISHMAEL NASH, Ukiah. felon-addict with firearm, ammo possession by prohibited person, loaded handgun-not registered owner, probation revocation.

Reyes, Rich, Salgado

IRA REYES, Covelo. Assault with firearm, shooting at inhabited dwelling, ammo possession by prohibited person, felon-addict with firearm.

STEVEN RICH SR., Ukiah. Parole violation.

PEDRO SALGADO, Santa Rosa/Ukiah. Failure to appear.

Strodes, Syvertson, Turner

DONNA STRODES, Willits. Disorderly conduct-alcohol.

SAMUEL SYVERTSON, Clearlake/Ukiah. Parole violation.

CHELSEA TURNER, Ukiah. Probation revocation.

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Elk’s 33rd Annual Rummage Sale scheduled for April 4th & 5th has been postponed due to the coronavirus.

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This is a new age, politically. You don’t run away from political faux pas and gaffs, you run full steam ahead and actually embrace them! I’ll give you a hint: you throw the whole #metoo and lefty crowd under the bus and tell them you don’t want their damn votes anyway. Tell them all to fuck off and die. Problem fixed for 2024 as well, as they’ll have nowhere else to go. Then you pivot hard right and simply out Trump, Trump. You don’t beat Trump from the left, you beat him from the right! Not hard to do for the HRC wing of the Jackass Party. I’m calling it the Scorched Earth strategy.

* * *

* * *


by Paul Modic

I drove down to Willits and spent the night at the Super Eight motel and after half a cup of Ensure and another half cup of black coffee, doctor's orders to only ingest one cup of liquids, drove across town and into the suburbs to Howard Memorial Hospital.

After registering at one of the office slots just off the main desk I was taken to the pre-op room where I put on a hospital gown, stashed my clothes and backpack in a small lockable closet, and lay back on the bed. Various nurses came, took my vitals, and I was asked more than a few times what my name was, my date of birth, and why I was there. A friendly masseuse asked me if I wanted her services. She was very good, pulling up on my neck and shoulders.

Something I said triggered one of the nurses to start to tell me a story about some experience she or a friend had had and I cut her off. “Well, I thought you might be anxious,” she said.

“I'm not,” I said. “I'm completely anxiety-free so I don't want to hear about someone else's anxiety.” She seemed a little disappointed.

The surgeon came in dressed in his scrubs and I mistook him for an orderly—I had never seen him in his work clothes before. He asked how I was and I said I was feeling good and was going to just do whatever I was told.

“Am I allowed to have my old joint?” I said. “The one you take out? I'd like to have it.” This was actually a friend's idea.

“No,” he said. “By law we have to send it to the state but I could take a picture of it.”

He left and the anesthesiologist came in. She had me sit up but I wasn't able to bend forward enough for her to be able to administer the spinal anesthetic later. “Well, we can turn you on your side,” she said.

They rolled me out of the room, moved me onto a new bed, and into the bright shiny operating room. I-V tubes were attached to my arm. The anesthesiologist told me the doctor said I was healthy so they would go ahead with the general anesthetic, if that was all right. “Well, if I have a choice I'd rather turn on my side and have the spinal,” I said. After a few moments of conferring they went along.

The anesthetic was administered and the next thing I was aware of I was being wheeled out of the operating room and down the hall to my room. I noticed a clock on the wall said 2:30--the hip replacement surgery had taken the predicted two hours.

I was taken to a room in the ICU area because all the usual post-op recovery rooms were full. All afternoon I was rarely alone as my blood pressure, oxygen, and temperature were monitored by a rotating crew of nurses and CNA's. Monitors were chirping and blinking and into the I-V tube on my armed dripped water from a bag hanging above me on the I-V stand as well as an antibiotic and Tylenol drip. The blood pressure cuff hung loosely on my upper arm awaiting action. My finger was nestled in an oxygen checker.

At my side was a small flexible plastic bulb that filled by suction with excess blood through a tube originating from the operated-on area. When it was nearly filled it was emptied and the amount entered into the computer screen up on the wall.

I called my coach/caregiver who was sitting in a waiting room reading somewhere. She wanted to come by but I told her I wasn't in the mood for visitors.

There were two tethered oversized remote control paddles at the bedside. The main one had a big nurse button at the top, with smaller buttons beneath it saying toilet and pain. In the middle were two buttons to control the lights, and at the bottom the TV on/off switch with buttons to press to move the channels up and down for the limited selection of channels..

The other remote had four digits to press to reach the cafeteria, my calls down were always answered on the first ring. By nightfall when my appetite returned I ordered a meal from the cafeteria downstairs. It was okay.

That first night was rough and when the night nurse Gabriel arrived with his cool intelligence and gentle bedside manner I was reassured in the intensity of those moments that I was well taken care of. He checked the monitors and gave me some pain pills. I was planning on avoiding the Oxycontin but did opt for a 5 a couple times though I never did take a 10.

In the middle of the night I got into some conversations with Gabriel. He said he was twenty-six, from the Philippines, and had been in the country since he was six. He hadn't been back in years and wasn't planning on it. He lived outside Willits with his father who was also a nurse. “You know how the Filipinos are,” he said.

“All about family?” I said.

By then I was lucid and asked a lot of questions. (He said he rarely had conversations with patients up on the ICU as they were usually pretty out of it.) When I saw how competent he was I asked him if he was thinking of moving up and becoming a physician's assistant or something.

“I'm twenty-six and I'm making six figures,” he said. “I'm on seven days and off eight. It's perfect, I love my job. I like it that I can clock out and go home, unlike the doctors who are on call twenty-four hours. I've woken up the doctor many times in the middle of the night when there's an urgent matter to deal with. I usually know what to do but I have to call. People have left to make more money in the Bay Area but often they come back. It's just more laid back here in Willits and everyone is nice.”

“Wow, a hundred grand,” I said. “How much is the surgeon making? Five hundred thousand? A million?” He nodded.

I tried to pee without success using the handheld urinal while lying down. Gabriel pinned the drain bulb to my shirt, helped me up, and I held the urinal for a while as he stood by. “Well, maybe you could do something else,” I said. “I can stand up here on my own.” He occupied himself with some other chore for a few moments. (He gave me a tissue after which seemed kind of funny.)

“I thought they said they were going to get us walking the first day,” I said.

“Well, there's a staff shortage right now,” he said. A little while later he said,“You want to take a walk?” I walked down the hall and back with my walker with Gabriel close by.

I tried to go to sleep. I couldn't sleep on my bad side so I tried the other. Gabriel gave me a pillow and told me to put it between my legs below the knees when I was sleeping on my good side so I wouldn't cross my ankles in the night, something that increases the chances of dislocation.

We had been told that we couldn't go home until our drain stopped draining and we had a bowel movement, but a fart or two might be our ticket out as well. I dutifully reported my farts to Gabriel and said, “Is it like monopoly where we can trade in four farts for a BM?” (The next day I left with nineteen farts but no BM.)

I finally got four or five hours of sleep in hour or two intervals and Gabriel said that was pretty good for the first night. He said I had to be up at six and sitting in the comfortable recliner by seven when the doctor came in with his crew of six or seven.

“I hope you can handle all the people,” he said.

“No problem,” I told him.

He got me coffee, how I liked it, but when I stood up I felt dizzy and started to sweat. The coffee stayed on the nearby table. All I wanted was to lie back in the bed and when I did it felt glorious. The doctor came in with his crew promptly at seven, saw my condition, and said I had ortho-static hypotension. He said to give me lots of water. My blood pressure was low from all the blood draining out of the operation area and a transfusion was discussed. Soon after drinking about a quart of water I felt better and my blood pressure gradually rose all morning.

{The RN's were making a hundred grand, the doctor probably a million, towels and sheets went into the hamper at an alarming rate, I could order anything I wanted from the restaurant, and it was all free to me on Medicare. I thought the health care system was broken but here I was getting all this intense attention from nurses, CNA's, and doctors as I recovered in my private room. Maybe that was why the system was broken because someone was paying all this money (fifty grand? a hundred?) for my surgery and care. Did I deserve it? Why me? I had to figure this out. No wonder the millennials hate the boomers?}

They all tromped out and I lay in bed relaxing then drank my coffee and ordered breakfast. A nurse came in to draw more blood and put my finger into the oximeter to check my oxygen. She checked my blood pressure while excess blood drained into the little bulb at my side.

The food was just okay, maybe because all the drugs had suppressed my appetite or my expectations were high because a neighbor, Whitey, had raved about it. When I had been interviewing hip replacement vets while trying to figure out where I should get the operation, the most common surgical procedure performed in the U.S, she had said the Willits hospital experience felt like being in a spa.

I was still in the ICU room without a proper bathroom so I used the handheld urinal a couple more times as liquids and drugs dripped slowly into my arm, the tubes joining in a cluster of junctions and labels taped to my skin.

Physical therapy was at nine which was me walking down the hall and back with a walker. The physical therapist fastened a fat belt around me and either held it loosely or could easily grab it if necessary. Then in another room I was shown by a friendly hippie chick pushing forty how to use the tools to dress: a grabber to pick up things from the floor, a dressing tool with a shoehorn on one end and a plastic hook-like appendage on the other, and a sock-assist. After demonstrating she asked me to take off my pants and try putting them back on.

“Do you have underwear on,” she asked.

“No. Gabriel said I didn't need to,” I said.

“Well, it's nothing I haven't seen before,” she said. Like almost everyone I asked she was a long-time local from Willits or Ukiah. Even my surgeon grew up in Willits.

I pulled my pants off and she handed me the dressing tool. I was able to get it caught within the pants leg and pulled it up. I tried out the sock assist and the shoehorn for my shoes which worked as designed.

Later the masseuse came back to my room and gave me a delightful foot massage. She was happy to have the hospital gig, Dr. Bowen's idea. It was the first time she wasn't working three or four jobs to make a living on the Mendocino coast as she neared sixty. Dr. Bowen was the top doc in the orthopedic department, so legendary that someone told me that other doctors come from all over the country for his work with their joints. I picked his sidekick, a man not yet forty, because it would have taken a few months longer to get Bowen, who was aging out anyway.

I sat in the big reclining chair in my room in the ICU and ordered lunch. While I was waiting for it the Joint Care Navigator, a statuesque brunet named Annie, came by and said my room was ready in the normal post-op area.

“But my lunch is coming,” I said.

“We'll get it to you,” Nurse Annie said. “I'm going to put all your things onto your bed and roll it down.” I was pushed in my plush mobile recliner down the hall and into the elevator followed by my bed piled with my clothes, books, transistor radio, dressing tools, shoes, jacket, and backpack. Now I had my own real bathroom.

After lunch we had physical therapy where we all met in a big room to go over our exercises. Each recovering patient was accompanied by a family member the hospital called your “coach.” (One of the post-op people had four or five family members with her.) The coaches also learned the exercises to prod, pressure, and encourage the rehab process, in theory.

There were six post-op patients in the room, four were knees and two were hips. The other five were women and I was the youngest at sixty-five. Monday was surgery day and each of the three surgeons had two operations, one at nine and one at twelve. (Wednesday was the other surgery day.)

Nurse Annie had an easy going attitude sprinkled with an appropriate touch of humor as she guided us through our exercise sheet, ten easy flexing exercises with ten repetitions that were meant to help us rehabilitate our knees and hips. She also showed us how to apply the ice packs on our incisions.

The rest of the day was resting until dinner which could, along with everything else on the menu, be ordered at any time. I watched some TV and read a few pages from my book.

On the second night more nurses and CNA's dropped by for more testing, monitoring, and emptying the drain bulb. My blood pressure had gotten back to normal by the end of the day. A supervisorial type nurse came in and told me the nurses were supposed to tell me the side effects of each drug they gave out. I said I didn't want to know.

I told her I could get up to pee on my own but she said I wasn't allowed to and a buzzer would sound if I left my bed and some nurse would come help me. At three in the morning I woke up and wanted to pee. I knew I could easily make it to the bathroom and back, thought about it, then dutifully pressed the nurse button. A CNA quickly arrived and watched me go to the bathroom door. “You don't have to come in,” I said but she hadn't intended to.

I noticed some blood dripping down my pants leg and spotting the floor so she called the night nurse on duty to check it out. She emptied my drain bulb and there was very little blood meaning I could probably be discharged soon. She measured it and entered the numbers into the computer.

“What is it with this hospital?” I said. “The night nurse makes a hundred grand, the surgeon makes a million, and I'm getting a free hip replacement. How about the CNA's? Do you get paid well?”

“Well…” she said and just then the night nurse came in.

Frank was a character, older, and with the aura of a hipster. (He probably took his earring off before he went to work.) He redid the bandage and offered me some pain pills.

“I can give you a sleeping pill also,” he said.

“No thanks, I've never taken one of those,” I said. “I'm thinking I should stop taking the narcotic, the Tramadol.” I took one anyway. “Some supervisor came by and said the nurses are supposed to tell me the side effects of all the drugs, that we will answer a questionnaire later asking if you did. I told her I didn't want to know.” I'd completely surrendered myself to the surgery and wasn't going to quibble over any side effects.

Frank looked exasperated. “It's called perverted logic,” he said. “The side effects are often the effects that are usable in the situation.” He rattled off all the side effects from memory.

Frank liked his job working nights and getting those long twelve hour shifts. I asked him to turn the blinking, chirping monitors off, turn off the always-on computer in the corner, turn off the bathroom and doorway light, and also asked him if he could tell them not to come in anymore and just let me sleep. It was after four. He left the monitors on but turned them away from me.

At precisely six in the morning Christina waltz into the room, turned the monitor back, and started with the blood pressure.

“So early,” I said. “Am I supposed to be ready in my chair at seven for the doctor and his crew to come in.”

“Yes,” she said, which turned out to be inaccurate.

“I just want to find out if I'm going home today,” I said.

“Why you want to go home? You got a dog?


“A wife?”

“No.” I did start wondering why—it was pretty nice in my hospital room. Christina was my first and only feisty smart-ass CNA. Later when I was up and sitting in the bedside recliner and my walker was on the other side of the room I said, “Could you bring the walker over to me?”

“Why? You can't use it anyway unless we're here,” she said.

“I'd just feel better if it was near,” I said.

I asked her for some coffee and ordered more with breakfast. I was starting to order more than one meal because I didn't know how big they were or if I would like them and also wondering how much they were charging Medicare and Blue Shield for the preparation and delivery.

Seven o'clock came but no one showed up. Finally a doctor or physician's assistant came into the room and sat down. I asked her if I was going to go home today.

“We won't know until later,” she said.

“Well, I was told that the doctor was coming by to check me out at seven and it's past eight,” I said.

“It's Wednesday, he's in surgery. I could get a word to him.”

“Well, no, don't bother him if he's busy. I'm only concerned because I need to tell my driver if he's coming down today from Garberville.” She looked exasperated, and we interrupted each other a couple times. “Look, it's fine if they're not coming, I would just like to know.”

It got heated for a few moments, then she came off her attitude and I tried to mellow out as well. We said our “I'm sorries” about the momentary kerfuffle and shook hands. I regret to this moment losing my cool, for nothing really. (That damn smart aleck Christine, with the misinformation!)

After a triple breakfast (eggs, pancakes, and granola) the physical therapist arrived. She put the harness on me and I walked down the hall to join the others. We went through our exercises and icing again and Nurse Annie told us about “Magic Monday” when we would remove our bandage over the incision exactly a week after our operation. She said we would all get a wheelchair ride down for our celebratory group luncheon at noon.

I got to try going up the sample steps in the corner of the room, which I did with ease. The masseuse was there helping out with logistics and I said, “Hey I'm available for more massage.” That got a few laughs but I was serious.

On the way back to my room we ran into the surgeon. He shook my hand and said I could leave. “Can you arrange your ride for this afternoon?” he said. I went back to the room, called my driver, and he said he would arrive around two.

Nurse Annie came to my room to take me down to the going-away luncheon. She changed my drain bandage and showed me the supplies: gauze, tape and waterproof bandages that I would use at home. “Throw in some extras,” I said. “I don't want to run out.” The incision bandage was waterproof and permanent, for a week, but I would have to change the drain bandage daily.

She didn't like the looks of my blood-stained pajamas and I found my last clean clothes to change into. I got into the wheel chair and she looked quizzically at me as I grabbed the New York Times. “Fear of boredom,” I said.

She folded up the walker, put it on my lap, and pushed me town the hallway to the cafeteria. “Do you want to get out of the wheelchair before we go in?” she asked but I didn't care.

In a dining room off the main cafeteria two long tables were set for us. I chose comfort over sociability positioning myself at the far end of the table in the cushy booth seat. As the others gradually filtered in the tables filled and I had someone to talk to. There was a woman at the other end of the table that I regret I didn't talk more to but I was too self-absorbed and focused on the whole intense surgery experience to give anything else much thought. She was the coach for her mother, a pleasant lady from Mendocino who was there for a new hip but it was still draining so they wouldn't let her go home yet.

Nurse Annie was going to change my bandage one more time and I suggested my coach be there to watch as she would probably be changing it for a few days when I went home. I called her to tell her the plan and she was amenable.

I showered, packed, and put on my street clothes. Nurse Annie took my medication list to the hospital pharmacy and a small stream of functionaries come to the room. The drug guy came by,explained each med, and I made notes by each when to take the pills, with food or not. The hospital outtake administrator came by with some papers to sign. The nutritionist knocked on the door and though I successfully put her off, as I was still gathering up my things, I couldn't resist asking a question or two which launched her on her spiel, ie white rice bad, whole oats good.

My coach and driver showed up and I suggested the coach do the final bandage so Nurse Annie could watch and make sure she did it correctly. After that she went off to the pharmacy get the drugs and when she returned I paid the difference.

Just before I left the drug lady came by with my last pills. “And here's the Tramadol,” she said.

“Oh, I don't think I want to take that anymore,” I said.

“Well, you'll be traveling awhile,” she said.

“Oh all right,” and I downed my last narcotic.

We loaded up some plastic bags with my things, and more items that I had accumulated, and Christina rolled me down to the front of the hospital. My driver drove up to the curb and I got into the car. On the road again.

My big adventure was over.

Addendum: Day Four, Rehab.

It's been a week since the the surgery and today the nine inch long bandage is going to be removed. I never wanted to look at the bandage and and just took a quick glance during the last moments at the hospital to learn how to change it. I never wanted to know exactly what the surgeon was going to do but now I'd like to know as my story lacks any description of the main event: what exactly happened in the operating room?

I went into the hospital on Monday, left Wednesday and home rehab began on Thursday.

Upon climbing the steps into the house I realized I wasn't going to have any mobility issues. My mother used her walker to stay upright, a way to get around without falling, a damned necessity. I used mine to take weight off the new hip, baby it into its new role.

The first morning home I took forty-five minutes to organize my meds, exercise program, and icing. I made a graph for the week including which pills to take when, then marked the top of each container with one large letter with a magic marker, a big T for Tylenol, an A for aspirin, and so on. (Some you take before meals, some with meals, some twice a day, and some once.) I marked the pill chart with the corresponding initial so I wouldn't have to scrutinize each bottle every time.

Then came the physical rehab. There were ten easy flexing exercises with ten repetitions twice a day. I had to ice the operated on area for twenty minutes six times a day.

And then there were the “leg squeezers,” this electrical device clamped on my lower legs which intermittently squeezed one than the other.The first two days I did it for three hours in hour-long intervals then slacked off to two hours a day and then one. The purpose of these were to lower the possibility of potentially fatal blood clots. I had asked Nurse Annie what was the chance I'd get a blood clot and she said half of one percent, which made me laugh but I still tried to get an hour or so a day in. She said I should ideally have them on all night! My coach has to come in to fasten them on and take them off, although last night I knew she was watching a movie in the guest cottage so I mangled them off with my toes.

The first night back I told my coach she wouldn't have to be there very long but the amount of time the rehab routine takes makes me grateful for all the meals she makes.. I've started making my own breakfast as I don't like to be disturbed in the morning while I write up the memories of my big adventure.

A few times a day I go off into another room and forget my walker, hurrying back to grab it when I realize it. One of the pills is a stool softener and I only had to take one of those on the first day. There is no difficulty showering either which amuses me when I ponder all the thought I put into it before the main event, like installing a grab bar in the shower stall.

My coach comes in once a day to change my drain bandage but I'm just being coddled and lazy—I could reach down and do it myself, if necessary: The covering is peeled away, the folded gauze removed and both tossed in the trash. Then another piece of gauze is folded twice, placed on the drain hole and covered with another water-proof cover. I like to shower and change into fresh clean pajamas just to give my caregiver a break, normally I'll wear those PJ's for days. (I've always said I wear my pajamas all day, then take them off when I go to bed.)

I haven't touched the narcotic Tramadol yet although the first night I was relieved to know it was waiting there on my dresser if I awoke in the night with excessive pain. I tried an experiment the last twenty-four hours that didn't work out well: I had been taking just the Tylenol for pain every four hours and wondered if I could get off it. During the night I didn't take it for twelve hours and then next day had a gap of seven hours. Bad idea, the area where I was cut open was stinging with discomfort. Lesson learned, I'm back on it every four.

The hip replacement surgery is coming off as advertised: I no longer cry out in pain a few times a day when I move. I no longer wince and am unable to walk for half a minute upon rising from a chair. It's no longer painful to reach out to grab the car door. My back no longer hurts when I rise from the bed. It really is the miracle predicted. As long as I take it easy and don't push it I should be walking in the park again in a month or so.

* * *


The moral crusade to erase gender differences will dissipate like early morning mist like a lot of the other nonsense inflicted in this nonsense-infused age, such as the incessant quacking about gender fluidity, insofar as it’s allowed to talk about actual gender because then maybe you’re making an implicit assumption that gender differences actually exist. Aren’t you? Can’t have that now can we? You wouldn’t want the twitter mob to ruin you. Would you?

Regardless, given the exigencies of the coming time of troubles, whether they’re diseases spread by the misconceived notion that borders shouldn’t exist, that as an impediment to free travel and migration, they’re a blight on humanity, or whether the troubles are of an economic variety as unworkable arrangements of the previous generation unwind, there’s tons of other shit that gets flushed.

Like Drag Queen Story Time, which on its own is just a passing silliness. The problem is that it’s not on its own, it’s part of wider, longer-lived societal patterns of behavior.

There was a shit-disturbing article that I read on-line, which I thought it was on Quillette, itself a shit-disturbing publication, but now I can’t find it. Anyway, it was written by a mom that can’t get with progressive parenting of the type that encourages sexual activity among teen kids. This mother essentially crapped on the modern-day approach saying nothing comes of it but single, crazy cat-ladies and women like Charlotte on Sex and the City bemoaning the fact that she’s been dating since she was fifteen. And she’s exhausted. Nope, this writer’s kids are going to have sex with their one and only. One. Only. From which they will raise families.

A laudable goal, and a strong antidote to the insane behavior that’s been not much good for anything other than spreading disease and single motherhood.

But the bigger point is that the practicalities of the future will dictate a whole lot less in the way of personal autonomy in sexual and other matters, and a whole lot more in the way of personal obligation. Mutual obligation that is. That is, if you want to survive in a way that’s more than just staying alive day by day.

The future world will resemble a world that isn’t long past. It will be a place that won’t give you what you want in two clicks and a yawn. Some physical force might have to be exerted to fulfill some basic desires (like eating) and when that happens, the muscle power of the sex capable of exerting it will come back into vogue. And wouldn’t it be nice if the man behind the plow had some gal cooking while he’s doing the back forty? Wouldn’t it be nice for the gal doing the cooking to have that sturdy specimen doing the heavy lifting? Watch for old-fashioned sex roles and division of labor to follow close in.

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Sunday March 22nd and April 19th 10 am to 12 pm.

Hendy Woods State Park

Please join us in restoring natural habitats by removing invasive plant species (mainly poison hemlock and Dock). Take local action and be rewarded with FREE entry to the park.

Rain cancels

Meet at the Day Use Area of Hendy Woods State Park.

Dress in layers, bring gardening gloves with rubber palms, shovel & a picnic lunch.

Hendy Woods Community

For info contact:

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Milestone for Senior Information & Assistance at Community Care

March 2020 Marks A Milestone for Community Care's Senior Information & Assistance Program. In 2006 the program expanded its service area to include older adults in all of Mendocino and Lake Counties. Each year it has responded to the questions of an average of 384 individuals, and approximately 293 of those annual inquirers have been first-time callers. Now in its 14th year of speaking with older adults and their loved ones from Point Arena to Clearlake Oaks, Senior Information & Assistance is pleased to report that it has served over 4,000 unique individuals.

Funded through the Area Agency on Aging of Lake & Mendocino Counties, and with the longtime support of the T.R. Eriksen Foundation, Senior Information & Assistance not only offers referrals to callers about available programs and services for older adults, it also checks back with them to see if they were able to make a connection to those supports. This follow-up component is one of the things that brings callers back to Community Care months and years later as new needs and questions arise. To learn more about area resources for adults ages 60 and older, Contact Senior Information & Assistance Monday through Friday, 8:00am to 5:00pm, by calling (707) 468-5132 or 1 (800) 510-2020, or visit

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FALLS CHURCH, Va. (AP) — A federal judge on Thursday ordered the release of former Army intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning, who has been incarcerated since May for refusing to testify to a grand jury.

U.S. District Judge Anthony Trenga ordered Manning’s release from jail after prosecutors reported that the grand jury that subpoenaed her has disbanded.

The judge left in place more than $256,000 in fines he imposed for her refusal to testify to the grand jury, which is investigating WikiLeaks. The fines had been accumulating at a rate of $1,000 a day.

* * *

QUOTE OF THE DAY: “Your nervous system isn't just a fiction; it's a part of our physical body, and our soul exists in space, and is inside us, like the teeth in our mouth. It can't be forever violated with impunity…”

—Boris Pasternak, Doctor Zhivago

* * *

* * *


Is COVID-19 an Offensive Bioweapons Agent?

J Holden wrote (Coast Listserve):

I’m relieved to report that grandstanding crusader Sakowicz and his windbag of falsehoods only managed to garner a reported 131 votes in his District 1 supervisorial bid, finishing dead last among the four candidates with less that 1/3 of the votes of the third-place finisher. Even with more mail-in ballots left to be counted, this resounding defeat will hopefully quell ex-Wallstreeter Sakowicz’s ambitions to place himself among his self-selected “Heroes And Patriots” on his KMUD radio show.

Marco here, J:

131 isn't a big number, but it's 131 more votes than you or I got. At least he tried. At least he did that. He's wrong, as are Inger (of course) and more, on the subject of weapons-lab COVID-conspiracy nonsense, but everybody's wrong about something, and it's easy to look into it and figure that out. And Sakowicz' radio show, where he and Mary Massey interview world-class behind-the-scenes political figures and scholars on various subjects, is close to top notch. Again, it's one more effort that he makes and is making that you don't and are not. You're merely bitching about something or someone that displeaseth Your Majesty, as usual. Just like all of us, John wasn't always as complicatedly screwed up as he is now; he's had some trouble in his life, I understand his mother just died, but he perseveres and a great deal of his work and thought is still worthy of consideration.

One time I was talking with Peter Lit, back in the old days when he was operating the Caspar Inn. I was near the end of that week's delivery run of 4,000 copies of Memo, all of inland (Willits, Redwood Valley, Ukiah) and the north bit of the coast done with only south to Point Arena to go. There was no real general use of the internet to speak of; my public-access newspaper was the only thing like it, as far as I know, in the world, besides Usenet and scattered BBSs (Bob Blick's Spaghetti BBS, Redwood Free Net with its four phone lines in Fort Bragg and eight lines in the Ukiah library) and maybe the Anderson Valley Advertiser, which was and remains pretty amazing.

Anyway, Peter listened to my story about people complaining bitterly about something that appeared in the paper, I can't remember what, something their personal opponents/rivals had written that it cheesed them off was allowed to be printed for people to see —oh, I half-remember now; it was a seriously creepy old guy named Paul who would follow me around town in his white van, park wherever I stopped, hunch over his steering wheel and glare daggers at me, or maybe it was the board of the so-called public access teevee station in the high school library throwing up roadblock after speedbump after roadblock to prevent my, or anybody's, public-access teevee show from going on— and Peter said, "Marco, you're doing something, and they're not, and they can't stand that, that's all."

That's the right way to think about it. Although I see now that creepy Paul was doing something, something more like what you're generally doing, Joan. Or what Zeke is doing, or what the roulette wheel of anonymous coward/bully posters are doing. I feel conflicted about avoiding reading them. I go back and forth, checking sometimes just to see if anything has improved, and I always learn something, even if it's only that people don't change much once they've got stuck being furious about everything. It must be hard to climb out of that. It must be like trying to find your glasses when you've lost your glasses, or like trying to reach the vial of life-and-energy-restoring tretonin when you're weak and delirious from torture and it's only the last vestiges of your will to thwart your people's parasitic oppressors keeping you going, and you stretch out agonizingly slowly in the dirt, and you can only just touch it with the tip of your middle finger….

Speaking of which, I'm in Fort Bragg this week, so KNYO will be open as usual for yez to come in or call Friday night. If you're worried about anyone COVID-contaminating the guest mic by licking it or rubbing it under their arm or thinking diseased thoughts near it, I think you can use one of those dollar-store Medieval-plague-doctor bird-nose masks left over from Halloween and protect yourself that way. The nose sticks out nine inches and will totally block a microphone or anything else from somehow thrusting itself inside your mouth and painting a plague target on your uvula. I know I have at least five of those masks somewhere around here; I bought them for some other reason. I'll find them and bring them to the radio station. If you haven't got your own you can wash one of mine in the sink and say a little Jesus spell over it and use that, and keep it. Wear it to the store when you go to stock up on essential oils and homeopathic candy and, um, seventeen years' worth of toilet paper for some reason.

Also Mendocino Theater Company still understands that the show must go on. They've got a brand-new play there now: The Cemetery Club, featuring Janice Culliford, Raven Deerwater, Jan Saul, Lynn Sotos, and Debra Wagner.

"Three Jewish widows meet once a month for tea before going to visit their husbands’ graves. Ida (Sotos) is sweet-tempered and ready to begin a new life; Lucille is a feisty embodiment of the girl who just wants to have fun; and Doris wants everything to just stay the same. When Sam the Butcher enters the scene, a budding romance threatens to destroy their long-time friendship."

The Cemetery Club, Thursdays through Saturdays 7:30 pm, and 2pm Sundays in Mendocino Theater Company's little theater the Helen Schoeni Theater in the middle of the Art Center.

The box office number is 937-4477. And there's further info, and you can also buy tickets, via

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  1. Cotdbigun March 13, 2020

    I’m going to stop patroning your paper if you don’t stop xenophobicing your cartoons!

  2. James Marmon March 13, 2020


    I was wondering when tough guy Jim Brown would finally speak up. We worked together in 1998-99 on the Juvenile Drug Court. I was the substance abuse counselor and he was with probation, stick and carrot approach. I’ve always thought of him as being a reasonable person, his “I’ve had enough attitude” is late, but on target.

    “Until we get to that point where we can identify someone to really get these service providers all at one table and build a schedule for the day shelter … and decide who should be monitoring showers and who should be monitoring the washing of the clothes,” Brown continued, a reference to the need to “engage, rather than enable,” people requesting services, an approach that consultant Dr. Robert Marbut pointed to as the crucial first step to reducing the number of people living on the street. “And you know something, if you want to take a shower and you want to wash your clothes, by God, you’re going to have to meet with a service provider to see if you’re going to accept help.

    James Marmon MSW

    • James Marmon March 13, 2020


      “If there is a desire for alternative housing services (such as campsites), that needs to be taken up with the agencies that are receiving the funding for those types of services,” he said. “I would also submit that we are working with our county counterparts and the service providers to find other opportunities to say ‘yes’ (to shelter) … and to be able to do it safely with the right services.”

      -Councilman Scalmanini

      • James Marmon March 13, 2020

        Whether consciously or unconsciously, these agencies receiving funding for homeless services do not want to solve the problem. To tell you the truth, they would prefer things got worse. Jobs, Jobs, Jobs. I’ve worked for non-profits, folks always put their organization’s well-being ahead their client’s, it’s like a natural reaction.

        That was a “ethical dilemma” scenario we discussed in great detail in one of my master’s program classes. I would work myself out of a job and career if I though it was the right thing to do. I didn’t get in the business for the money, can’t say the same about others.

        James Marmon MSW

  3. George Hollister March 13, 2020

    During this age of “hard times” and “end of times” look at the industries that are mostly effected by this corona virus; travel, and recreation. These are luxuries, incase we need a reminder. The impact is huge. Airlines, and airplane builders, fuel providers, hotels, gambling, sports, concert and show providers, restaurants, etc. This means people in our “end of times” society have a lot of disposable money to spend, and a large part of our economy depends on that. Think back to the 1950s. This certainly was not the case then. Find any society in history where the amount of disposable income is available to be spent on travel and recreation. Even some of those who consider themselves as being part of the disadvantaged class make a trip to Mexico in the Winter. I don’t think this situation ever existed in history.

    • Harvey Reading March 13, 2020

      A very few have a huge amount of money. The vast majority do not. Nothing new.

    • izzy March 13, 2020

      We have a lot of what we don’t need, and almost nothing left of what we do.
      I refer, of course, to clean air, food, and water. With the rapidly evolving panopticon Surveillance State in the first category. Money is confused with goodness at our peril.

  4. James Marmon March 13, 2020


    Everyone reacts differently to stressful situations. The emotional impact of an emergency on a person can depend on the person’s characteristics and experiences, the social and economic circumstances of the person and their community, and the availability of local resources. People can become more distressed if they see repeated images or hear repeated reports about the outbreak in the media.

    People who may respond more strongly to the stress of a crisis include:

    • People who have preexisting mental health conditions including problems with substance use
    • Children
    • People who are helping with the response to COVID-19, like doctors and other health care providers, or first responders

    Reactions during an infectious disease outbreak can include:

    • Fear and worry about your own health status and that of your loved ones who may have been exposed to COVID-19
    • Changes in sleep or eating patterns
    • Difficulty sleeping or concentrating
    • Worsening of chronic health problems
    • Increased use of alcohol, tobacco, or other drugs

    People with preexisting mental health conditions should continue with their treatment plans during an emergency and monitor for any new symptoms. Additional information can be found at the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration website.

    James Marmon MSW

  5. James Marmon March 13, 2020


    Williams was scared straight, he peed. He experienced just how powerful the “Redwood Empire” is. Friends don’t ask friends to be more accountable, or participate in a competitive bidding process. They scolded pretty good for even thinking that way. I couldn’t believe how much they were insulted. It could prevent him from winning another term if he continues down that path, Chris Skyhawk is doing much better these days. “Go along to get along”, TED.



    • James Marmon March 13, 2020

      I couldn’t determine if they were really insulted or just hurt by the suggestion of questioning the good work they do. Probably both.

      James Marmon MSW

  6. Ted Williams March 13, 2020

    Mark, “existing” should be fine. The request is to look at our success to date, including all of the questions in the original summary.

    The data will be sent to the BHAB, but it’ll become public record at the same time. I’ll appreciate BHAB’s analysis, but I’ll be inspecting the raw data as well. If I’m to vote on mental health expenditures, it’s my job to understand our year over year accomplishments.

    • Lazarus March 13, 2020

      If I’m understanding the Coronavirus crisis correctly, the mental health issues, the homeless issues, and all other issues associated with, that myself and others thought were so important… suddenly are not.

      Whether you’re a believer or not, this virus situation may/will go on for months if not longer, and likely local government will delay everything else just to deal with Covid-19.

      As many have said, there are likely thousands if not millions of Americans walking around with Coronavirus right now, and they don’t even know it. At this point, the situation could be out of control, the government has all but admitted it. Dr. Anthony Fauci the Dean of deceases standard line is, “we don’t know”.

      Most will hopefully self resolve and move on, but some will not. In my life, the only 911 can rival what apparently is currently, seemingly, happening, and 911 may end up being a distant second…
      As Joe Biden infamously once said, “This is a big f**king deal”.
      As always,

  7. Lazarus March 13, 2020

    Apologize for my poor editing…

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