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MCT: Sunday, March 15, 2020

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A COLD LOW PRESSURE SYSTEM will drift southward offshore tonight into Monday, with gradually diminishing shower activity. Additional substantial mountain snow and coastal small hail will be likely today before the showers decrease. Lighter showers will continue during early to middle portions of next week. (NWS)

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A statewide public health state of emergency was declared March 4 to allow for prioritization and enhancement of the state's response to the global COVID-19 outbreak.

Mendocino County's Public Health Officer Dr. Noemi (Mimi) Doohan on the same day declared a county-wide public health emergency in order for all Mendocino County agencies to also prioritize and enhance localized COVID-19 activity.

A declaration of emergency is a legal document that opens the door to further resources and coordination between local, state and federal agencies; helps speed up emergency planning; and, assists in emergency contracts and staffing.

The above declarations also allows for reimbursement by state and federal governments for local government initiatives that lessen or attempt to lessen the impacts of the public health emergency.

Under California Penal Code § 396, it is illegal to charge a price for goods or services that is more than 10% higher than the price was on March 3, 2020, the day immediately preceding the aforementioned declarations of a public health emergency.

This price-gouging prohibition applies to those who sell, among many other things, food, consumer goods, emergency supplies, medical supplies, and gasoline.

If it is determined that a violator has been involved in price gouging and criminal charges result, that person, if convicted, is subject to penalties of up to one year in the county jail and/or a fine of up to $10,000.

Violators are also subject to civil enforcement actions including civil penalties of up to $2,500 per violation, injunctive relief, and mandatory restitution.

While there may be legitimate (lawful) reasons for prices to increase during the pendency of the current public health emergency, complaints of price gouging or COVID19 scamming will be investigated, at the discretion of the District Attorney, by the District Attorney's Bureau of Investigation Services to determine whether there is sufficient evidence to prove that a criminal statute has been violated.

Consumers should be aware that there may be fake websites, emails. texts, and other messages circulating from people claiming to be from the World Health Organization (WHO) or Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), or anyone claiming to have a coronavirus cure or vaccination. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is false.

Those wanting to report possible price gouging or coronavirus scams in Mendocino County may timely submit written complaints, along with any documentation, to the DA's Ukiah office (P.O. Box 1000, Ukiah, CA 95482), Attn: DA Investigators.

(Mendocino County District Attorney presser)

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ANDERSON VALLEY'S transient-dependent inns and restaurants are already feeling the bite of reduced tourist traffic. To re-state the already obvious, the economic pain inflicted by the coronavirus is already severe.

THE ESTIMATE of how many more people are going to become infected ranges wildly, but Johns Hopkins says as many as 10 million may need to be hospitalized because of it. Of that number, as many as 9.6 million will need to be hospitalized and about a third of them - some 3 million - will need ICU-level care. There are only 100,000 ICU beds in America and 790,000 ordinary beds across the country. Not all of those people will need to be hospitalized at the same time, and experts say the crisis could last up to nine months.

AS OF SATURDAY, most Mendocino County schools are not closed. School districts are among the thousands of enterprises that are going to need big bailouts given that their funding is pegged to attendance. No attendance, no funding.

THIS ON-LINE SUGGESTION: "Many Districts are doing drive by lunches for those families that count on these meals so can we please set this up for our families here that need it! This has been brought to my attention by my kids who are concerned for their friends and know many families that this is their only meal!"

FRANCE AND SPAIN have ordered everyone to stay home, while here at home Andy Slavitt, former Acting Administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has tweeted, "Last night I was on with state & local officials around the US well into the night. By Monday, March 23 many of our largest cities & hospitals are on course to be overrun with cases." Slavitt then listed highlights from the memo he had prepared which included telling people to self-isolate now, closing bars and restaurants, grab medical supplies "even from the black market if necessary" and prepare for a "tsunami of patients" that will soon arrive at hospitals.

MENDO simply doesn't have the capability for an emergency of this magnitude or even a much smaller emergency, although no reported cases here yet. We can only hope our authorities are thinking Worst Case contingencies.

MARK SCARAMELLA ADDS: That patient load would be on top of all the regular medical care, plus whatever spill over, unknown ramifications, and ripple effects there may be, plus the ongoing mental health and drug cases.

LOCALLY, we’ve heard from a few emergency responders that some volunteers are starting to get nervous about taking shifts in light of the risks, travel restrictions, quarantines, and precautions. If first responders and medical staffers catch the disease or even have to be quarantined themselves, the patient capacity would be reduced accordingly.

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County Health Officer Dr. Noemi Doohan is not recommending closing Mendocino County schools at this time. The Public Health Division has been actively responding to the threat of COVID-19 since early January 2020 and today there are ZERO known cases of COVID-19 in our County. At this time there is no evidence of community spread in Mendocino County or our neighboring counties. However, the Bay Area is experiencing outbreaks of COVID-19 and we recognize the threat this presents to Mendocino County based on our proximity to the Bay Area.

The wellbeing of the children in Mendocino County and the essential role schools play in their lives and our society is of the utmost importance. Any decision we make for the health of our children must be grounded in science. For this reason the County Health Officer looks to the CDC for guidance in decision-making. This week the CDC issued guidance regarding considerations for school closures. The CDC recommends that school closures be considered when there is a confirmed case of COVID-19 in a school facility or when there is evidence of local community spread of COVID-19. The guidance document can be viewed online at:

We recognize that numerous Bay Area counties ordered school closures this week due to community spread of COVID-19. Available data indicate that only longer school closures of 8-20 weeks, accompanied by social distancing, might lessen the spread of the virus if it’s present in the community. There is a role for brief school closures in response to school-based cases of COVID-19 for decontamination.

We want to support our schools during this trying time and the decisions schools have made for their students’ wellbeing. For schools that have decided to close in Mendocino County, we recommend moving up spring break and taking this time to disinfect the school, teach and reinforce healthy hygiene and strengthen COVID-19 mitigation planning. For schools that haven’t made a determination regarding closures, Dr. Doohan suggests learning from the Bay Area approach. Consider the recent actions in San Mateo County where school operations are being modified to allow for certain core functions of the schools to continue alongside at-home learning.

As much as possible, children should be allowed to carry on with their education and normal activities. We encourage all school officials to carefully review and follow the CDC’s guidance for Considerations for School Closure, as well as Public Health’s recommendations for canceling certain non-essential gatherings and events, which also apply to schools.

Mendocino County Public Health is sensitive to the schools that remain open and those that choose to close their doors. We support looking at creative educational options to continue the best care and education for our children.

Governor Gavin Newsom today issued an executive order ensuring California public school districts retain state funding even in the event of physical closure. The order directs school districts to use those state dollars to fund distance learning and high quality educational opportunities, provide school meals and, as practical, arrange for the supervision for students during school hours.

The order provides that even if schools close temporarily because of COVID-19, school districts must:

  • Continue delivering high-quality educational opportunities to students through other options, distance learning and independent study;
  • Safely provide school meals through the Summer Food Service Program and Seamless Summer Option, consistent with the requirements of the California Department of Education and U.S. Department of Agriculture;
  • To the extent practical, arrange for supervision for students during ordinary school hours;
  • Continue to pay employees.

The full executive order can be viewed at

Please visit for the latest local news on COVID-19. For general health related questions or other concerns regarding COVID-19, please call Mendocino County’s Call Center at (707) 234-6052 or email The call center will be open during regular business hours, Monday – Friday from 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

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"Have you heard a rumor about COVID-19 in Mendocino County? We're sure you have. We've been hearing them all, too.

Please know that healthcare providers MUST report any positive cases to us, and in return, we have a duty to let YOU know if and when we see our first case here.

"At this time, Mendocino County has ZERO cases! Have a question? Reach out to our Call Center at (707) 234-6052 or email"

Be sure to follow their Facebook page at

— County of Mendocino/Mendocino Sheriff

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by Daniel Mintz

Coronavirus/COVID-19 disease is now deemed a global pandemic and Humboldt County has declared a local health emergency, which will lead to funding for response coordination between local, state and federal agencies.

“Although there is currently no evidence of local community transmission in our county, it will almost certainly occur,” said Public Health Officer Teresa Frankovich at a March 11 press conference announcing the emergency declaration.

The county has had one coronavirus case and no others since.

Frankovich emphasized that there has been “no significant change in our local situation” but “this is an important proactive next step as we observe what is happening across California and across the country.”

The declaration is a prerequisite for funding to enhance preparedness “and to react quickly to anticipated increases in local COVID-19 activity,” Frankovich said.

She added that demand for testing and health care will increase along with numbers of cases. The declaration also allows federal reimbursement for the costs of case identification and containment efforts, including county Public Health Lab testing.

Commercial labs will also have a role and Frankovich said the expansion of testing capability is “an exciting new development in our ability to respond to the outbreak locally.”

During a question and answer session with reporters, Frankovich said the decision on when to test will be made by primary health care providers, not the county.

At the time of the press conference, 11 residents had been tested for the virus and Frankovich said that until new cases emerge, there are no recommendations for socially-focused measures such as limiting or eliminating gatherings.

But reflecting the fast-changing nature of the outbreak, California Governor Gavin Newson recommended cancelling gatherings of more than 250 people on the day of the press conference.

And in the days following, local municipalities, organizations and schools cancelled gatherings.

Informing the public on the triggers for preventative measures is key to containment. The county’s Public Health Branch and Office of Emergency Management (OEM) have set up a Joint Information Center.

Sheriff Billy Honsal said the OEM will support the Public Health Branch’s efforts. Planning for response includes defining the county’s health care capacity, he continued, as well preparing for effects on government operation.

“We have to prepare for what happens when our government and community services start declining because people are sick,” Honsal said.

Frankovich said the county is bracing for “ratcheting up the response depending on what’s going on in the community.”

She added, “Are we looking at closing schools yet? No. Are we looking at the possibility of doing that and what would trigger that? Absolutely.”

Later that day, College of the Redwoods (Eureka) announced that it will be extending spring break until the end of March and Humboldt State University has suspended classroom gatherings until mid-April.

World travel opens transmission potential. A reporter asked how the county is handling returning travelers.

Frankovich said the federal Centers of Disease Control and Prevention has identified “level three alert” areas like Japan, Italy, South Korea and Iran where travelers should enact self-monitoring and limited activities upon return.

Later in the week, President Donald Trump announced that travel to the U.S. from Europe is banned for 30 days.

Disease incidence is expected to further impact social life in Humboldt County.

“The bottom line is that COVID-19 planning and response requires a robust community-wide effort and a local public health emergency sets the stage for the continued and expanded work that must be done as we move forward,” Frankovich said.

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We are asking visitors and patients to use the South Lobby (Patient Services building) to enter the hospital. This is a temporary measure to control the flow of foot traffic in and out of the hospital. New signage is posted near entry points - please adhere to to the guidelines to help us manage the spread of infection.

  1. Emergency Room. This entry is only for ER patients
  2. Diagnostic Imaging. This entry is only for DI imaging patients
  3. The South Lobby. This entrance is for all other patients and visitors.

All other public entry doors are closed from the outside until further notice. We know this may cause some inconvenience and we apologize and ask for your understanding and patience while extra precautionary measures are in place.

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ONE OF THE LARGEST PRIVATE EMPLOYERS and tourist attractions in Sonoma County, Graton Resort and Casino in Rohnert Park, was still operating as usual as of Friday, but monitoring the fluid situation. The casino employs 2,000 and attracts many visitors from all over the Bay Area, many of whom arrive by the busload. But pressure was mounting late last week on top tourist spots as county health officials issued an order banning all gatherings of 250 or more until further notice. It was unclear Friday night how or if the casino would be affected by the public health order.

“Graton Resort & Casino is committed to protecting the safety and well-being of our guests and team members. We’re monitoring the situation around COVID-19 closely and are staying fully updated on CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) guidelines to manage the situation,” general manager Lana Rivera said in a Thursday statement. “We also remain in regular contact with Sonoma County authorities and we’re prepared to pursue all appropriate action as needed.”

(Santa Rosa Press Democrat)

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AFTER A PRELIMINARY ON-LINE POLL of Community Services District Board members the CSD Manager confirmed today that, so far, there will be a regular 5:30pm Board meeting on Wednesday, March 18 and at least a quorum of Board members will attend. (The call-in/teleconference option is not planned as yet.)

Besides the standard agenda topics there will also be:

Presentation on Nexus Study – Dave Roderick [related to a development fee for fire services on new construction]; An Emergency Responder Fee $300 for fire department portion of Medical Calls, and a discussion of COVID-19 Department Protocols.

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Local restaurateurs, bar owners and caterers are bracing for what many fear could be a crippling downturn in the dining industry, with fears over the widening coronavirus pandemic already this week resulting in skyrocketing cancellations, thinning crowds and growing uncertainty in an already precarious business climate.

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You may have seen the Advocate News article headline "Cancellations and postponements on the Coast" with a picture of the Fort Bragg farmers market. The Farmers Market is open and outside this week with two hand washing stations. Also, only the vendors will be allowed to handle and bag merchandise. Thank you for supporting local farmers and eating fresh, local food. Wednesday 3-5pm on Franklin St next to City Hall.

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JANUARY 5, 1933 — SAN FRANCISCO’S GOLDEN GATE BRIDGE construction began from the Marin shore. It cost $1.3 million less than the $35 million budget and was completed ahead of schedule in April 1937.

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Arena Theater Closing through Saturday, March 28, 2020

Members, friends and supporters of Arena Theater, please read this message from the board:

In consideration of the recommendations of local government and health authorities regarding COVID-19 and out of caution and with particular concern for at-risk groups, Arena Theater will be temporarily closing for a minimum of two weeks starting today, Saturday, March 14. All scheduled programming during that time is canceled. We hope to reschedule as many events as possible and will share details as soon as they are available.

This decision has been reached after much deliberation and in acknowledgement of Arena Theater’s role as a regional destination. The theater draws customers from Mendocino County and beyond, and is a community gathering place with regular medium to high-volume foot traffic. Despite having recently implemented increased sanitation and other precautionary measures, Arena Theater believes the best course of action at this time is a temporary closure. By voluntarily closing, we are prioritizing the health and safety of customers, staff, and the community at large, including vulnerable populations.

During this temporary closure, the theater will still be accepting Memberships and financial donations. Public support is especially appreciated during this time and will help the theater to reopen with minimal disruption as soon as it is acceptable to do so.

We appreciate your patience and understanding during this time. We look forward to resuming business and welcoming customers back to the theater upon reopening. In the meantime, visit our website for updates regarding rescheduled special events at:

Arena Theater, 214 Main Street, Point Arena, 707 882-3272 Office hours: Mon, Wed, Fri 10-3, Thu 9-1, closed on Tue, Sat, Sun.

For tickets and event details visit find us on facebook. Arena Theater is located at 214 Main Street, Point Arena, California. Arena Theater is a member-supported community theater owned and operated by the Arena Theater Association, a 501 (c) (3) not for profit corporation.For additional information


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THE CORNED BEEF IRISH DINNER on Sunday March 15th at St Anthony’s Church Hall in Mendocino will not have the sit-down dinner due to coronavirus concerns. Instead, we will have 'take out' for the corned beef dinner.

People interested in a great dinner can have the food wrapped and taken home. Doors open at 4:00 pm.

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The Soroptimist International of Fort Bragg’s annual Whale Run & Walk has been POSTPONED to July 11, 2020.

For details please go the the Whale Run website:

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CATCH OF THE DAY, March 14, 2020

Colley, Costa, Counts

WILLIAM COLLEY JR., Fort Bragg. Probation revocation.

WINTER COSTA, Soquel/Laytonville. Burglary, vandalism, criminal threats, conspiracy.

LUCAS COUNTS, Santa Cruz/Laytonville. Burglary, vandalism, conspiracy.

Day, Dearing, Delgado, Gott

RICK DAY, Santa Rosa/Ukiah. Driving without license, probation revocation.

JONI DEARING, Fort Bragg. Trespassing/refusing to leave, probation revocation. (Frequent flyer.)

JESUS DELGADO JR., Fort Bragg. Probation revocation.

ROBERT GOTT, Redwood Valley. Controlled substance for sale, unlawful display of registration.

Hillman, Hollis, Jackson

TRENT HILLMAN, Kelseyville/Fort Bragg Controlled substances or drugs where prisoners are kept, ammo possession by prohibited person.

JOSEPH HOLLIS, Fort Bragg. Protective order violation, probation revocation.

JAMESON JACKSON (See note below), Ukiah. Domestic battery, second degree robbery, protective order violation, criminal threats, probation revocation.

A.Miller, K.Miller, Palacios

ANGEL MILLER, Ukiah. Parole violation.

KAMERON MILLER, Soquel/Laytonville. Burglary, vandalism, conspiracy.

JOHN PALACIOS, Ukiah. Probation revocation.

Rodriguez, Rulka, Ryan

JAIME RODRIGUEZ JR., Ukiah. Loaced handgun-not registered owner, ammo possession by prohibited person, felon-addict with firearm, parole violation.

REBECCA RULKA, Ukiah. Under influence, paraphernalia, probation revocation.


Sanders, Shillings, Stough

RHONDA SANDERS, Willits. Protective order violation.

DAYNICE SHILLINGS, Ukiah. False report of crime, probation revocation.

WALTER STOUGH, Fort Bragg. Trespassing/refusing to leave, probation revocation. (Frequent flyer.)

NOTE, FROM THE AVA of January 27, 2010:

“Locals are not happy that Jameson Jackson is out of jail, and less happy that Jackson's back in Mendocino County. He was 15 on February 24th of 2001 when he and Chris Coleman, also 15, walked into the little convenience store in Brooktrails (west of Willits) and shot Joan LeFeat to death as she begged for her life. Coleman functioned as Mrs. LeFeat's executioner, Jackson provided the gun. Testimony revealed that Jackson made no effort to dissuade Coleman from shooting Mrs. LeFeat. The killers fled with cigarettes and a few dollars from the till. They were soon caught. Jackson was prosecuted as a juvenile, Coleman as an adult. Jackson was recently paroled to Riverside County after 8 years in the California Youth Authority. His parole was supposed to keep him in Riverside County, but he's been living in Willits and commuting to Riverside County to see his parole officer. Jackson will now, presumably, be returned to prison. Coleman got 25 adult years in prison where he remains. The murder shocked and disgusted everyone who knew Mrs. LeFeat, a long-time resident of Comptche before she moved inland to Willits.”

Jackson: 2001, 2010, 2020

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THE BOARD OF SUPERVISORS has cancelled a Monday, March 23 Board workshop on the subject of “Conduction of Public Workshop Including Discussion and Possible Action Regarding Issues Related to Latino Community Engagement (Sponsor: Supervisor Haschak)”

The workshop was described as “Discussion and Possible Action Including a Workshop Associated with Issues Related to LatinX Community Engagement, Including Possible Direction on the Following:

Formation of a “Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Task Force”

Board of Supervisors Hosting Bilingual Town Hall Meetings at Least Once a Year

County Hosting Community Forums for Feedback on County Services

Increasing the Number of Bilingual Staff (Focused Recruitment and Fund Spanish Language Courses for Current Staff)

Support for Family Resource Centers

(Sponsor: Supervisor Haschak)

Recommended Action:

Receive informational presentation and provide possible direction regarding issues related to LatinX community engagement, including: Formation of a "Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Task Force", Board of Supervisors hosting bilingual town hall meetings at least once a year, County hosting community forums for feedback on County services, Increasing the number of bilingual staff (focused recruitment and fund Spanish language courses for current staff), and Support for Family Resource Centers.

The Regularly scheduled Supervisors meeting on Tuesday, March 24 is still pending. (There was no meeting scheduled for this coming week.)

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ATTENTION local historians: Phillip Ward sends along this item from the AV Museum website...

"Mr. Joseph Rawles and his family arrived in Anderson Valley in 1857. Their journey began in Ohio. From there they lived in Indiana, Missouri, Iowa and Nebraska, then back to Iowa, where they made the decision to go to California. They resided in both the Grand Island in the Sacramento River and Rincon Valley near Santa Rosa before moving to Anderson Valley. Mr. Rawles took up a claim near what was later named Peachland on Lone Tree Ridge. In 1858, Mr. Rawles purchased the land and home of Mr. Walter Anderson. By 1880, records show that he owned 1600 acres of farming and grazing land, stocked with 3,160 head of sheep. Mr. Charles Wintzer arrived in 1858 and built a house, a store and established a post office. He was a stockman and later sold all his property to Mr. Robert Rawles, the son of Joseph Rawles." …

Comment: So somehow my Great Uncle Maxwell C Triplett must have connected with Rawles Ranch — or maybe just a neighbor — and I note several of my Grandfather Ivan S. Triplett's photographs are taken from Lone Tree Ridge. Very interesting.

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Like a typical Husky, Wade has an independent streak. He's curious and gets distracted by his environment, cause he loves sniffing and checking out everything. It takes him a few moments to focus on the humans around him. Wade is friendly and walks well on leash. Because it takes him a minute or so to relax when introduced to another dog, Wade should meet any potential canine housemates. Wade is a 1 year old, neutered male, weighing in at a handsome 56 pounds.

The Ukiah Animal Shelter is located at 298 Plant Road in Ukiah, and adoption hours are Tuesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Visit our website for information about our canine and feline guests and all of our services, programs and events: For more information about adoptions please call 707-467-6453.

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FORMER SHERIFF and Founding Father of Measure B Tom Allman gave this update at last Tuesday’s Board of Supervisors meeting: “We certainly are very thrilled with the new project manager and how she's handling this and leading the Measure B committee through this. To the citizens who are wondering, Why isn't Measure B doing anything? They are! I want them to actively follow the videos. It certainly started slow, but the momentum is building right now and with this new project manager and with the funds in the bank we are ready to see some projects happen and provide services. This is a good time for Measure B right now.”

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I am looking for a "copy editor type" who has a background in making a document readable in correct form. This is my third and final year at Stanford's GSE program in Developmental and Psychological Sciences and I am preparing a report on my findings, theories and proposed action relative to: The organic, psychological, social, spiritual and environmental factors that demonstrate: "Openly engaged peaceful caring facilitates adaptive daily living." This is a near 500 page doc in Rough Copy. So I am looking around for a literate and caring soul who would do this with me for love, money and the common good.

Gregory K. Sims, PhD, Visiting Scholar

GSE DAPS Program, Stanford; 707-684-0043

P.O.Box 1, Boonville 95415

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This global health crisis shows us how unfit Donald Trump is. Donald Trump isn’t fit to be president of the United States even in the best of times, but this global health emergency has shown all of us just how dangerous he can be when an actual crisis hits his desk.

It’s hard to tell whether the presidency is too big for him or if he’s just too small for it, but it is clear that he shouldn’t be anywhere near a position of power at any level of American government.

And the Republican Party, paralyzed by cowardice and blind partisanship, would rather whistle past the graveyard than responsibly deal with this emergency as quickly as possible.

At the end of the day, the GOP knows that if they sound the alarm now, it would be an acknowledgement that their dear leader has completely bungled this – and, boy, they couldn’t do that.

So the American people are forced to wait out this crisis as Donald Trump – the chaos president – and his cult-like mob of sycophants in Congress try to convince us that this is all fine, nothing to see here, Trump is doing A-plus work.

The least any of them could do is let the adults handle things for the next eight months until voters can send them back to where they belong.

Lives depend on it.

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MARCH 1942, BARRACKS UNDER CONSTRUCTION at the Pomona Fairgrounds to house detained Japanese-Americans

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To the Editor:

As a long-time citizen of Ukiah, I am equally amazed and perplexed at the amount of deterioration of the myriad roads and streets in our wonderful town. While some well-travelled and severely pock-marked streets have been beautifully resurfaced this past year – Washington, Luce, Orchard, Oak Manor Dr., Brush St. (thank you City of Ukiah & Ghilotti Bros.), many others remain in abysmal decay.

So my question is – “What happened to the funds (approximately $3 million dollars per year) that were/are generated each year with Ukiah’s Measure Y that were to be used to improve our roads?” The good folks of Ukiah deserve to know what the future brings to our distressed roads and streets. Is your Pavement Management System operational these days? It certainly does not appear to be.

Streets like Dora St. and most of Main St., that are widely used as north-south arteries, make me feel like I’m driving on cobbled-stone streets in Bavaria, Germany. I shouldn’t have to worry about spilling my coffee on my pants when navigating those streets.

Occasionally, in the bottom lower right corner of the Ukiah Daily Journal, Cal Trans has a blurb called “Roadwork planned in Mendocino County” and goes on to identify future repair jobs. A great idea. Maybe the City of Ukiah can take the lower left-hand corner and identify future city street repairs, that is, if there are any?

Jon Henderson


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by David Heller

As was mentioned in the comment section in last week’s Odd Old News, the second wave of interest in developing Southern Humboldt’s gas and oil deposits occurred in the early 1890’s. The first well near Garberville was located up the East Branch of the South Fork of the Eel River. It is thought to have been on or near Speed DeVee’s old property and wrecking yard, near the current Palomino Estates residential development.

The West Coast Signal reported in December of 1891 that a Southern California company had secured rights to 11,000 acres in the Garberville area for oil exploration.

In 1892 oil prospects from the East Branch started showing promise, Superintendent Gilfillan reported that the well was down 150 feet. When the drill was withdrawn and waste pumped out, the fine rock was found to be wet with petroleum. Shortly several flasks of oil were pumped out. One newspaper editor said: “If this shall prove a true strike of paying quantities of oil, the railroad problem is solved and Humboldt will soon be joined by bands of steel with the outer world” (Humboldt Daily Standard, 1/17/1892).

In response to the initial success of the Humboldt Oil and Land Co. near Garberville, another company was incorporated with one million shares of stock available for $1 each. “Should the well now being sunk by the pioneer company turn out even a pumping well of a few barrels capacity, it would give southern Humboldt such a boom as it never saw before” (HDS, 3/3/1892).

Ezra Reed who lived across the East Branch from the oil well reported that men were working day and night and that most of the land around him was leased for oil exploration, and repeated the high hopes for the oil bringing a railroad to Humboldt county (HDS, 3/3/1892).

At 318 feet some caving of the well shaft occurred, prompting Superintendent Gilfillan to go north to order some casing. “Down to that depth the bore was in solid sandstone and needed no casing, much to the surprise of all concerned. The cave is not a serious one, and well is now down nearly 400 feet with a diameter of ten inches. The bore will be reduced to eight inches and the casing will be used so that there will be no danger of stoppages, or breakage or losing of tools” (HDS, 3/7/1892).

Prospects seemed good for greater economic development. “In the event that oil is discovered in paying quantity in the Garberville region, two future enterprises are strongly hinted at. One is a toll road outlet to Mendocino county, the other a pipe line to move the oil output to Shelter Cove. This information was imparted to the Herald by a resident of Mattole Valley.” (Daily Humboldt Times, 3/19/92)

Officers of the oil company received a promising letter stating that the well was now down 465 feet in soft sandstone. Nearly all the casing was in place and 200 feet more was ordered to be delivered. “At a depth of 402 feet a nice showing of oil was struck with a strong flow of gas. Mr. Gilfillan states that when he lit the gas an explosion followed strong enough to frighten the workmen out of the derrick” (HDS, 4/9/92).

Soon a cable broke leaving the sinking tool in the well necessitating a long delay until a new cable was shipped from San Francisco which when it arrived was put in place and the drilling tool raised. The sinking tool weighed 3000 pounds, and was in the well 500 feet below the surface with 200 feet of cable attached. Development proceeded fitfully.

Mechanical failures continued to plague the well operation, and the enterprise ceased to operate. Shortly thereafter, some of the mining equipment was moved to the Briceland area where prospects seemed brighter, more oil companies were formed by local investors, and drilling commenced on the first well.

Undated photo, Briceland Oil Well [Photo from the HSU Library, Special Collections, Humboldt Room]

Hopes of a railroad to the area were realized a few decades later, but a railroad to Shelter Cove never manifested. Another business plan for Shelter Cove came to light when Supt. Gilfillan wrote in the San Francisco Chronicle (11/4/91) that “a company soon will soon begin construction of an oil refinery at Shelter Cove, the point to which oil will be pumped” from some twenty eight miles away in the Mattole. But, once again, another major economic development busted before it boomed, and Shelter Cove was spared being an industrial port.


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'HE'S AN IDIOT': Critics say Trump has failed the US in this test of reassurance.

For Trump, who has spent years undermining experts, scientists, and trust in government, the pandemic has shown his weaknesses


Ashish Jha, director of the Harvard Global Health Institute, told the Bloomberg news agency: ”This is an unmitigated disaster that the administration has brought upon the population, and I don’t say this lightly.”

STEVE HEILIG WRITES: Here’s what the nation’s biggest scientific association feels about Trump’s non-response, and gutting of preparedness – it’s scathing (as they’ve been on his climate ignorance):

It’s not a right v. left thing, but an expertise v. incompetence and corruption thing. We’ve got the wrong man in the wrong place at the wrong time.

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photo by Harvey Reading

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To the Editor:

I have hit a tipping point. I will no longer willingly give money to the illegal, traitorous, illegitimate federal government. So next month I’ll file my federal tax return along with a statement of tax resistance. The government is using the money for evil purposes — stealing babies, killing people, destroying the environment, or simply handing vast wads of cash over to people who already have too much. Meanwhile the government is not helping the people who need help and isn’t protecting the citizenry from gun violence or pandemics.

I’ve already given the government $21,000 in withholding this year, so not paying the additional $3,000 which is due is not such a big brave step, but it’s the best way I can think of to voice my outrage at having my country stolen by criminals. And the moment a legally-elected government is seated, I will gladly, gladly, gladly pay all back taxes and penalties.

Deborah White


* * *

* * *


by Todd Walton

Dexter is totally bummed. He’d arranged to take a week off from work, had the car tuned up for the long drive, gotten all the requisite tests for sexually transmitted diseases and came out clean as a whistle, bought a new tent and a deluxe queen-sized air mattress, and now the Love-In has been cancelled because of the dang virus that’s going around.

He reads the email from Happy Farm Retreat Center again and decides to give them a call.

“Happy Farm Retreat Center,” says a woman who sounds mighty cheerful. “Crystal Jade speaking.”

“Hey Crystal Jade,” says Dexter, sighing heavily. “Dexter Jones here. Remember me? I sure will never forget you. Hey, I just got the email saying this year’s Love-In has been cancelled. What’s up with that?”

“Oh, hey Dexter,” says Crystal Jade, her voice taking on a little bit of sadness. “Yeah. Sorry about that, but we had to cancel because there’s no way to test for sure if people aren’t carriers unless we test you right when you get here and then isolate you and test you again fourteen days later. And we don’t have the facilities to test three hundred people like that. Right? And we had people coming in from all over, so… yeah, just not a viable thing. Sorry about that. Everybody here at Happy Farm Retreat Center is totally bummed. Totally.”

Dexter sighs again. “So when do you think you’ll have the all clear to have the next love-in?”

“Maybe not for a year or two,” says Crystal Jade, sounding even sadder. “Or maybe not ever again. Big group things are just not a good idea anymore. Or even medium-sized group things. Or even more than a few people things probably. Anyway… I’m so sorry, Dexter. I do remember you and I was really looking forward to spending some quality time with you again. But things happen. You know? The universe is like totally wiggy sometimes.”

“So what about your individual retreat packages?” asks Dexter, desperate to be with Crystal Jade again. “Are those still happening?”

“They sure are,” she says, sounding cheerful again. “The costs have kind of gone up as you can see on our web site. Like way up. Like thousands and thousands of dollars. But that’s for the testing and the incubation period and re-testing, and if you’re all good after the fourteen days, then you get to move into a cottage here for as many days as you want to afford. But, yeah, that’s doable. Pricey, but doable.”

“So I come to you and get tested and enter an isolation ward or something for fourteen days and if I’m good to go after that, then I can start my stay there?” Dexter scratches his head. “What are we talking here? Thousands of dollars per day?”

“Not per day,” says Crystal Jade, matter-of-factly. “Only about seven hundred a day for those first fourteen days in the isolation room. With really good organic food and a big screen television and endless, you know, digital content. So about ten grand for that. And then it’s two-thousand-a-day after that to have free range of the facilities and the amenities, if you know what I mean.”

“Whoa,” says Dexter, seriously deflated. “That is like way beyond my budget. Way.”

“I know,” says Crystal Jade, sympathetically. “Way beyond mine, too, except I live here, so…”

“Lucky you,” says Dexter, disconsolately.

“I know,” says Crystal Jade. “Totally. And I’ve got another call, big guy, so take good care of yourself. Bye now.”

Dexter puts his phone down and goes out into his little backyard and stands in the middle of his scraggly lawn. He looks up at the sky and becomes entranced by a passing cloud elongating and breaking into pieces, and as he watches the cloud morph into many clouds he hears a voice, maybe God’s voice.

And maybe God says, “Tear up your lawn, Dexter, and plant vegetables and apple trees. Make friends with your neighbors. Wash your hands with soap several times a day. Avoid large crowds and obviously ill people. Be here now.”

* * *


by Dan Gentile

No one knew what was going to happen on the finale of the 24th season of "The Bachelor." Especially me.

On Monday night, I crawled out from the rock I’ve lived under for the last 18 years to watch my very first episode of "The Bachelor," in which host Chris Harrison repeatedly reminded viewers that even he was clueless as to the outcome of this “journey.”

Then for part two of the season finale, I left the comforts of my home and went to a rowdy viewing party at the San Francisco Athletic Club, surrounded by two dozen sports bar TVs and 100 screaming/laughing/crying mostly-female twenty-something members of Bachelor Nation.

You could say the goal of this story is to learn about love, the hard way.

It’s not lost on me that I was in the minority of Americans who didn’t know about fantasy suites or first impression roses or how liberally the contestants use the word “journey.” Over 7.5 million other people watched the two-hour cliffhanger on Monday night, or one out of every 50 people in the country.

Nearly everyone I’ve spoken to about the show seems a little embarrassed by it and admits that it’s a mindless hate-watch, but I’m not here to judge.

I’m just here to find out what happens when an airplane pilot named Peter who looks and sounds like a ventriloquist dummy spins the True Love bottle and it lands in between a dollfaced Instagram famous like-magnet and a sexually conservative former Miss Teen Alabama wearing a dress that looks like a pink Sharpie.

Now I don’t want this essay to be a slam dunk contest, but it’s genuinely hard not to make fun of these people, and that’s kind of the point. This isn’t a show for solo binging, it’s best enjoyed in a crowded room of people eating nachos and screaming over subtitles. From a non-scientific poll of coworkers and strangers booing next to me at the bar, nobody likes these characters.

Usually there’s at least one person worth rooting for (E! Online’s poll ranks Season 20’s Ben Higgins as the most popular of all-time), but I’m told this season’s crop particularly lacks depth, to which I can only respond: ¯_(ツ)_/¯.

To make this season’s “journey” even more atypical, the show doesn’t usually end like this. The final two-hour episode takes place in front of a live audience, which turns into a Jerry Springer-style smackdown between The Bachelor’s crying mother and a 23-year-old woman whose two main personality traits seem to be disdain for premarital sex and incredibly spidery eyelashes.

These volatile conditions mean that the finale is spoiler-free for the first time in years, and not even Peter knows which of the two women he will choose (to his credit, they do look nearly identical).

Personally I have some concerns about the environment in which this romance blossomed, but shut up dude. It’s 2020. We live in a nightmare, facts don’t exist, feelings are all that’s left, and no humans in the course of history have ever felt feelings as strong as Peter, Madison Rose and Hannah Ann.

For the crowd at the San Francisco Athletic Club, those feelings were as contagious as, well, let’s just say they were really contagious.

When I turn my attention from the TVs to observe the crowd around me, I notice that when people aren’t yelling, their eyes glisten nervously under the flat screen glow. There is a universal look of longing amongst these mostly women (but also some men!) as Peter the Pilot and @MagicEyeFace profess their love, regardless of how vapid they sound. I saw several hands wipe away tears. To my surprise, even I involuntarily lost a couple drops of eye juice, because I don’t think I’ve ever heard people talk to each other like this.

Peter and Madison and Hannah Ann’s love is a different type of love. A love so overpowering that it could not be described, even by people whose one job is to describe that love to millions of people in front of a camera. A love created in a TV echo chamber, unbothered by context or more than a couple months of history. Completely honest, because there's cameras everywhere. So pure that it causes a room full of 100 strangers to yell at the screen but also desperately want someone to look at them the way Peter looks at Hannah Ann, then Madison, then Hannah Ann, then his Mom (seriously what’s her deal), then Madison again.

Anyway, here’s the spoilers: Madison dumps Peter, then he proposes to Hannah Ann. A month later Peter retracts the proposal. Chris Harrison alerts Madison, who still loves Peter, kinda, and unconditionally (maybe). Peter loves her too, but as his brother reminds him, he also loves sex before marriage and “the club.”

So after a four hour “journey” of wavering between the social media model and a dry erase marker in high-waisted jeans (with a zipper in the back!), Peter realizes that maybe love is complicated. This is the hardest decision he’s ever had to make! And eventually he decides that before getting married, he could just hang out with Madison for awhile without the television cameras around.

Mindless is a word thrown around a lot when it comes to reality television, but for me, I think a more accurate phrase would be “mind full.” In four hours over the course of two nights, "The Bachelor" inflated my brain like a balloon. There was no room for anything else.

On the show, love is like candy, every night is Halloween, and an Instagram model waits behind every door. It’s overwhelming how purely basic romance becomes when there’s 7 million people watching, and even though these forlorn lovers speak entirely in cliches, those cliches are so powerful and the people so beautifully filtered that it short-circuits the emotional capacity of even the most jaded viewers.

But the secret sauce to the show's success isn’t the pretty people or the strangely sincere love they immediately feel for each other. The secret is that this “journey” isn’t one you take alone, but with a weekly crew of your closest friends (or strangers at a bar). For two hours, the rest of the world fades away, and all you’re left with is true love, friendship and something to make fun of, which is really all that anyone ever needs.

By the time this love rollercoaster hits the anticlimactic breaks, the crowd at the San Francisco Athletic Club looks exhausted. No cheers or boos erupt at Peter’s sensible decision, people just seem emotionally fried. I’d hoped to have a big moment with my new friends, cheering to Peter and Madison’s new life together (or whatever), but by now the pints are cleared, the eyes are dry and everyone looks towards the exits.

People had a great time while watching the show (me included!), but I felt surprised that no one expressed very strong feelings about the outcome. Before the show aired, most everyone I asked didn’t even have a guess who Peter would marry, let alone a dog in the fight. After it ended, they seemed equally ambivalent.

It seems to me that after spending 20 hours with these characters, their fates would be more important, but then I realized I had it all wrong. "The Bachelor" (and love!) isn’t about who wins or loses — the only thing that’s truly important is “the journey.”


* * *



  1. mendoblather March 15, 2020

    “People had a great time while watching the show (me included!), but I felt surprised that no one expressed very strong feelings about the outcome. Before the show aired, most everyone I asked didn’t even have a guess who Peter would marry, let alone a dog in the fight. After it ended, they seemed equally ambivalent.”

    We’re doomed.

  2. Harvey Reading March 15, 2020

    Kinda funny how the paranoids are emptying stores of toilet paper. These are the same idiots who stood by quietly and obediently as the amount of toilet paper per roll declined to about half what it was over the last 10 or 15 years. The current rolls are much narrower (width-wise), too, leaving a lot of the plastic “core” of the holder exposed. A species of monkey that dumb and subservient to its rulers deserves whatever bad things might happen to it.

    I learned years ago to discount by about 50 percent anything peddled by the authoritarian, kaputalist medical industry, too. They are as power-hungry as other kaputalists.

    • George Hollister March 15, 2020

      CDC is a federal government agency. I know it has failings, as all government agencies do. But they are in the lead here. The capitalists are being asked to assist, and mobilize. Even false narratives, repeated over and over, can be so beyond the pail that they fail to catch on.

      Meanwhile, back in the Wy. bunker—–

      • Harvey Reading March 15, 2020

        George, it would seem that, by random chance alone, you would say something that made sense…but not today it seems.

        I believe you meant “pale” rather than the word that means about the same as “bucket”.

      • Eric Sunswheat March 15, 2020

        The Wyoming Secretary of State office is the smartest business office out of any state in America. The state knows why you’re here. We have no income tax, our state formed the first LLC in 1977, and we’ve continually introduced better and better asset protection laws, along with great charging order protections, and further more, given you a way to form and maintain business entities through a competent registered agent in a manner that eliminates your name(s) from being accessed publicly. BUT because of all this the state has regulations on registered agents in Wyoming. We are the keepers of a Wyoming companies private details. It’s our duty as registered agents to know who our clients are, keep proper internal documents for you, and help you maintain a Wyoming Company. Your Wyoming registered agent should be able to make this process painless for you, not just offer you a cheap price. The State of Wyoming doesn’t want to know who the members and managers are, but they need to be able to point to someone who does. That’s why Wyoming regulates registered agent services.

        • Harvey Reading March 15, 2020

          And, Dear Eric, your point is…?

  3. Joe March 15, 2020

    For those of you so blind as to blame this virus on a politician remember that it was an infected person from foreign country who brought it here. The only way to completely stop it from coming here was to close all of the borders which is virtually impossible. The president cut travel to China soon afterward invoking howls of protests from the very people who are now sure this virus was concocted in the White House. Anything he does right or wrong will be spun to be the reason we are all suffering with this. This virus is a killer and it doesn’t give a damn about politics and people need to stay focused and united to defeat it. Next time you have the urge to scream about how we need open borders in this country and free health care for anyone who wanders across maybe this event will give you second thoughts . Unfortunately I think that common sense may have left California sometime ago.

  4. michael turner March 15, 2020

    American citizens returning home from a cruise are not “infected persons from a foreign country”, nor are they illegal immigrants. This outbreak has nothing to do with our immigration policies though the Trumpies would like you to think so…………I’ve actually never met anyone “screaming for open borders”, maybe I should get out more. But wait, I’m in self-imposed quarantine!

    • Joe March 15, 2020

      Why does it matter where an infected person comes from or their citizenship? Yes foreigners have been the source of Covid19 infections in the U.S. If country A has the disease entirely contained within their borders is it not wise to shut down travel with that infected country? Immigration does affect the general population and good immigration laws protect the general population from diseases coming in. Ellis island was used to quarantine all people seeking to immigrate to the U.S. early in it’s history and it was very effective. Yes there are many people calling for getting rid of I.C.E and open borders, a local favorite AOC Is calling for this. Her mural is painted on the Mendocino Cafe, you can’t miss it. You can’t control a disease from a foreign country if you don’t control the border and our borders are porous.

  5. James Marmon March 15, 2020

    Beware the latest nasty virus

    It is a fast-moving disease, highly contagious and attacks the nervous system. Early stages are inexplicable, fast eye-blinking, light palsy, stammering and overbearing snobbery. Sometimes redness of the face and shortness of breath accompany

    Later stages include total delusionment, dementia, inability to think clearly and, ultimately, a madness that cannot be contained.

    In final stages, patients are often found wild-eyed, naked, frothing at mouth and writhing on the floor. This behavior has been likened to that of Antonio Salieri in the final scenes of “Amadeus.”

    Researchers have yet to arrive at a scientific name for the debilitating disease but it is generally referred to as Donald Trump Derangement Syndrome (DTDS). It is found in its most virulent and highly contagious strain among media and punditry circles.

    James Marmon MSW

    • Harvey Reading March 15, 2020

      What you describe is correctly known as Trumpitis, a disease common to all Trump supporters. Sufferers of Trumpitis tend to project their malady (using the pseudonym you mention for it) onto others not so afflicted in a subconscious–and completely useless–effort to cure themselves before they succumb to the always-fatal illness that steadily consumes whatever small portions of their brains that have not yet rotted completely away.

  6. James Marmon March 15, 2020

    This is how a business man deals with a National Crisis. He calls on his executive buddies who can step up to solve problems much quicker than the government can, and more effectively. There’s no reason for Trump to interact with big government “Crying Chuck Schumer” and “Nervous Nancy Pelosi” who would move towards a government takeover of major businesses, by way of laws and regulations.

    Capitalism and big business will prove out to be the big winner this year.

    Today, @realDonaldTrump held a call with more than two dozen grocery store and supply chain executives. All of the executives are working hand-in-hand with the Federal Government, as well as State and local leaders, to ensure food and essentials are constantly available.

    Here are some tips on asking for favors:

    Be direct but polite. …
    Don’t make it sound bad. …
    Avoid guilt. …
    Don’t cross the line. …
    Show respect. …
    Avoid constant one-sided favors. …
    Be personal but straightforward. …
    Take “No” for an answer.

    Also read:
    “The art of the deal”
    by Donald J. Trump

    • Harvey Reading March 15, 2020

      Good heavens, James. To think you actually believe that tripe. You and George would make great business partners. A loaded .357 will work, too, for getting “favors”, especially for those who aren’t among the “pets” of the local, snotty business owners.

      Let’s see now, Ted Sorensen was Kennedy’s ghost writer (Profiles in Courage for one). I suspect Mortimer Snerd was Trump’s ghost writer. Never had any desire to read, or hear, anything Trump had to say…ever, not from the time he first came on the scene with his snot-nosed, rich-boy BS back in the 70s.

      • Harvey Reading March 15, 2020

        Trump’s a semi-living testimony for keeping abortion legal.

  7. michael turner March 15, 2020

    The only way a travel ban would have worked is if someone had a crystal ball in November and banned all travel in and out of the country, including US citizens. In other words impossible. This outbreak neither confirms nor refutes either side of the immigration debate.

    • George Hollister March 15, 2020

      Very true, and mostly what we have with immigration is debate, and no policy. But it’s also true that it would have taken someone in the right place in government with a crystal ball to predict and prepare for this pandemic.

    • Joe March 15, 2020

      Limiting travel in infected area reduces the R0 (spread ) of the disease. The object is to smooth out the number of cases so it doesn’t overwhelm the medical system like it did in China and Italy. At this point it most certainly will overrun the system and there is no doubt of it in rural counties like our own. My point is that national borders are an important part of this process and you are correct this isn’t a discussion of immigration policy in general. In the meantime we might look forward to travel restrictions which are happening in every country that has the disease right now including ours.

      This is a good site I found for updates;

      Let’s everyone get local and grow a great garden this year.


      • James Marmon March 15, 2020

        Trump want’s to bail out travel and tourism, I wonder how the dems are going to react? Today here in California, Newsom called on all the bars and wineries to shut down. Let’s see how Nervous Nancy handles this. Can she work with Trump?

        California governor calls for closure of all bars, wineries

        “LOS ANGELES (AP) — California Gov. Gavin Newsom on Sunday called for all bars, wineries, nightclubs and brewpubs to close in the nation’s most populous state and urged seniors and people with chronic health conditions to isolate themselves at home in a bid to contain the spread of the coronavirus.

        The state also will reduce occupancy in restaurants by half to keep people farther away from each other, Newsom said at a news conference.”

    • Steve Heilig March 15, 2020

      Trump gutted the very offices and experts who would have been in charge of dealing with COVID.

      (Plus, the guy who actually wrote “Art of the Deal” for Trump now calls him an utterly dishonest and morally bankrupt fraud and “sociopath.” And he would know…)

  8. Eric Wilcox March 15, 2020

    White House has just declared all hospitals will be closed due to high numbers of Corvid-19 infected people showing up. Also, mandatory conservation of toilet paper that must be sent to the White House and TP the White House to protect it from the virus.

  9. James Marmon March 15, 2020

    I’m watching Neflix’s new release “The Assignment”. Two minutes and 39 seconds into the movie a hospital scene comes up with the caption “MENDOCINO PSYCHIATRIC FACILITY, DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND WELFARE”. I shit you not, check it out for yourself.

    The Assignment

    A hitman has his body surgically altered into a woman’s against his will. Now he has to track down the surgeon responsible and get his revenge.

    Starring:Michelle Rodriguez, Sigourney Weaver, Tony Shalhoub. I’m not sure if Allman did a cameo or not, we should ask him.

    • James Marmon March 16, 2020

      Further along in the movie they talk about the Doctor paying to have homeless people abducted for experimental surgery purposes. If I was one of the homeless in Mendo I would get out of town fast. Great movie, food for thought.


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