- Little Sun
- Market Plummets
- Dem Debate
- Two Countries
- School Petition
- Coast Sky
- Elk Store
- Newsom Guidelines
- Modified Schooling
- Ed Notes
- Covid News
- Trump Timeline
- Italian Advice
- Ukes Silenced
- Yesterday's Catch
- AV Inn
- Fire Claims
- Snowy Hills
- Census Forms
- Pioneer Family
- AV Village
- Purple Pipe
- Fort Point
- Odious Machine
- Heroic Actions
- Some Choice
- Meeting Bernie
- Business Plan
- Straight Shooting
- Mind Vacation
- RQMC Appreciation
- Pestilent President
- Always Look
DRIER AIR will temporarily allow for some sunshine for northwest California on Monday, before another round of light rain and mountain snow lifts back in from the southeast later on Monday through Tuesday. High pressure will build in Wednesday and Thursday with drier conditions and moderating temperatures, before the next storm system threatens by Friday or the weekend. (NWS)
STOCK MARKET PLUMMETS MONDAY MORNING
A 15-minute trading halt was triggered after the Market opened this morning with the S&P 500 down 8.1%, the Dow Jones Industrial Average down 9.7%, and the Nasdaq Composite down 6.1%.
BIDEN AND SANDERS CLASH over coronavirus and healthcare in first one-on-one debate
Some of the night’s key takeaways:
Coronavirus dominated the debate, with Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders offering different visions for how to combat the crisis. After the pair bumped elbows to greet each other, Biden described the coronavirus crisis as an “all hands on deck” situation that required immediate steps to protect vulnerable communities, while Sanders said the pandemic underscored the need for an overhaul of the US healthcare system to protect all Americans. The contrast reflected one of the key questions in the primary race: should the country focus on immediate, short-term results or broad, structural change?
Biden pledged to choose a woman as his running mate. Sanders would not explicitly commit to selecting a woman running mate but said, “In all likelihood, I will.” Biden’s pledge could help to reassure Democrats who are disappointed that the party’s historically diverse field has narrowed down to two white men in their late 70s.
Biden avoided a complete debacle, which Sanders needed to change the direction of the race. Biden did stumble at times, but considering his significant delegate lead, Sanders needed his opponent to have a terrible night if he wanted any chance at turning the tide of the race. Biden managed to avoid that catastrophe.
The debate was surprisingly combative considering the current crisis. Many commentators had predicted the night would be relatively tame as the candidates focused on the health crisis gripping the country. However, Sanders went after Biden for his refusal to disavow super PACs, his support from Big Pharma, and his past comments on Social Security, and Biden returned the favor by criticizing Sanders for his record on gun control and his recent praise of Fidel Castro.
Tonight made the case for holding debates without live audiences. The debate was conducted without a live audience or a media spinroom because of coronavirus, and a number of commentators said it was a welcome change from past debates. It’s possible the practice could be replicated with general election debates.
(Guardian of London)
SUPERVISOR TED WILLIAMS:
Let's follow the trend of South Korea and not Italy. South Korea tested 15,000 people every day, providing drive-through testing, 118 facilities at no charge. They executed greater public outreach, advising citizens to cancel all gatherings. They kept schools closed. If we track Italy, in ten days we'll cross 16k cases in US. We don't have control of testing. We can be more aggressive with social distancing.
PETITION CIRCULATING TO CLOSE FORT BRAGG SCHOOLS
Mendocino high school is already being closed due to the coronavirus. We need to close FBHS before students start to contract the disease.
THE ELK STORE
To our friends and neighbors in Elk,
Times like this call for creativity and community. As we are trying to heed recommendations to limit person-to-person contact, we have been trying to figure out what this means for us at the Elk Store. We have been struggling between trying to remain open so that we and our employees can pay our bills (even when traffic is already down by over 20%) and continue to serve this community, and recognizing that continued tourist traffic through our business puts our families and this community at risk of infection. We want to do what is best for this community, especially recognizing that many people living here are of retirement age, thus at higher risk of complications and death from the novel Coronavirus. We will need your help to stay afloat during this uncertain time. This is a difficult time of year for small businesses on the coast in normal years. Every purchase you make will help us to get through this. We are counting on Elk.
Beginning on Monday 3/16, the Elk Store will be not be allowing customers inside and we will be reducing our hours to 11am-4pm. We will continue to sell groceries, beer and wine, deli and panini sandwiches. We will be expanding our service to include dinner and grocery deliveries two nights a week to Elk addresses. We also will continue to accommodate special orders of bulk items. We consistently get high marks from the Health Department and will continue to take extra hygiene precautions during this time, including frequent hand washing and regularly disinfecting surfaces.
Groceries: We carry most staples including fresh bread, dairy, beer and wine. To place a grocery order, call 877-3544. All orders will need to be paid for over the phone with a credit card. You can pick them up out front or have them delivered (see below). Special orders of bulk items can usually be accommodated, orders will have to be placed on Monday by noon.
Deli: Please visit our website for our deli sandwich menu. We will also be firing up the smoker for dinner options on Saturdays and Wednesdays. Please check our website for updates and menus as options will change from week to week. Dinners will need to be ordered the day before so we know how much food to prepare. This Saturday the first dinner will be pulled pork, baked beans, and potato salad for $20.
Deliveries: We can deliver groceries and personal items, deli sandwiches, and dinner on Wednesdays and Saturdays. Deliveries will begin at 4 pm. Please call the store before noon to place a delivery order. We will deliver to Elk addresses and charge a $20 delivery fee (minimum purchase $30). All orders will need to be paid for in advance over the phone by credit card.
Thank you for your understanding and patience as we figure out how best to support our families and community. We will try our best to accommodate your needs. Check our website as things may change.
Elise, Sean, Dominic and Vincent Ferrarese and the staff at the Elk Store.
GOVERNOR NEWSOM calls for closure of all bars, wineries
The new orders are “guidelines“ that “we have the capacity to enforce if necessary,“ Newsom said.
AP: 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 conditions to isolate themselves at home in a bid to contain the spread of the coronavirus. … With 8,000 unsheltered across the state, Newsom also said they will be working with hotels and motels to get the homeless out of encampments.
ED NOTE: What’s next? Closing marijuana dispensaries?
NOT ME, GAV
’Governor Newsom asks all over 65 to self-isolate at home’
A Reader Writes: I just watched a press conference during which Gov. Newsom called for all seniors over 65 to isolate at home. He also closed bars and wineries and asked restaurants to maintain social distance in their establishments. We have so many seniors in this community, myself included. I hope that there will be some kind of support structure for those affected.
WHAT THE HECK IS 'MODIFIED SCHOOLING'?
Mendocino County Health Officer And Mendocino County Office Of Education Issue Statement Regarding Modified Schooling
County Health Officer Dr. Noemi Doohan and Mendocino County Superintendent Michelle Hutchins are issuing the following statement regarding modified schooling:
By March 17 all school districts in Mendocino County will transition to modified schooling. The Mendocino County Office of Education and Mendocino County Health Officer will work directly with the school districts in early April to reevaluate the need for continued modified schooling after spring break. School districts across Mendocino County will be customizing the modified schooling approach based on local needs and resources, which may include suspending site based learning.
Health Officer Dr. Noemi Doohan stated, “After discussions with the Superintendents of every district in Mendocino County, I support the decision of our education leaders to initiate modified schooling until mid-April. As a community we must emphasize the importance of social distancing with our children to make the transition to modified schooling an effective mitigation strategy for COVID-19.”
County Superintendent Michelle Hutchins stated, “The collaborative effort of our school leaders and Health Officer is impressive. I applaud the efforts of each school leader as they work with their schools to employ modified schooling. Public Health is supporting each school district to define the particulars of modified schooling to best meet the needs of each community and make best use of local resources.”
Please visit www.mendocinocounty.org 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 email@example.com. The call center will be open during regular business hours, Monday – Friday from 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
A READER NOTES: "Modified Schooling” — Intentionally vague term… At Mendocino, Ukiah, Point Arena, Willits and Round Valley (so far), it Appears to mean closed school sites. It may be that they establish small group instruction, or some other means of using school facilities for instruction but that remains to be seen. Poor wording!"
MODIFIED SCHOOLING, A TRANSLATION
We are writing to provide updated information regarding the closure of site-based school that was announced on Friday and our plans for modified schooling moving forward. Modified schooling may include, online learning, packets, and possibly small group instruction that meets social distancing guidelines.
First and foremost, please do your part to follow social distancing guidelines provided by the California Department of Public Health. It will be counterproductive to host student gatherings and to travel to and from areas with COVID-19 outbreaks. Please limit social gathering and travel.
Why was site-based school closed?
- In response to significant absenteeism of staff and students” (CDC Guidance). Mendocino Unified attendance had declined to 78% by the end of the week.
- Provide staff needed time to prepare materials for modified schooling.
- Avoid putting students, staff, and community at risk until we can better understand and prepare for what
we are facing.
What will happen next?
- Teachers will prepare to transition to modified schooling. Updates on how to access coursework will be available on mendocinousd.org and through site communications.
- Beginning Tuesday, lunches will be distributed within our school communities. Updates on times and locations will be available on mendocinousd.org.
- Mental health staff is available to consult with students and families.
- All schools and buses will be deep cleaned.
How long will modified schooling last?
- Modified schooling will last through spring break, April 17th.
- The situation will be reevaluated at the beginning of April and before site-based schooling is set to resume on April 20.
We understand that schools provide many necessary services and that closing site-based schooling is potentially a burden to families.
Should your family or should you know of any family needing additional support, please contact the schools. We will keep you updated as the information changes.
— Jason Morse, Kim Humrichouse & Tobin Hahn (Superintendent Principal, Mendocino K-8 Schools & Principal, Mendocino High Schools).
DEPARTMENT OF UNINTENTIONAL SATIRE: "Savings Bank of Mendocino County wants you to know that they are taking proactive measures to prepare for Coronavirus (COVID-19). They are closely monitoring developments from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, as well as state and local authorities and are aware that COVID-19 has been declared a global pandemic by the World Health Organization."
JUST WHAT AMERICA NEEDS, bankers telling us to wash our hands while they pick our pockets.
WHICH REMINDS ME that the St. Francis Hotel on Union Square, San Francisco, once employed a full-time guy to wash money. Guests got crisp, clean bills and coins so shiny they looked like they came straight from the Mint.
HAS THE TRUMP ADMINISTRATION even confused the weather? Sunday's was positively schizo, with alternating periods of sleet, snow, rain, and bright sunshine, with a few rainbows on top.
ITALY really knows how to do catastrophe. Their air force did fly-overs trailing the national flag as Pavrotti belted out Nessum Dorma. At night, sequestered citizens sing to their neighbors from their balconies.
AMERICA'S IMMUNOLOGIST, Anthony Fauci, said Sunday that we haven't seen the worst of coronavirus yet, that it's "possible" that the death toll could near 2 million in the US if all efforts to mitigate the outbreak fail. "Although that's possible, it is unlikely if we do the kinds of things that we're essentially outlining right now." Fauci is the top immunologist and an expert on infectious diseases at the National Institute of Health. He was responding to an analysis released by The New York Times detailing the "worst case scenario" estimation of coronavirus cases, hospitalizations and death tolls that could result from the coronavirus outbreak in the US. (Not for an outback editor to challenge His Eminence, but shouldn't a scientist stick to probabilities?)
NO REPORTED CASES in Mendo as of Sunday, but who's getting tested? No testing, no verified cases. Seems obvious weeks later that the beast is stopped by strict quarantining, which is how South Korea and Singapore have halted its spread. That being the case the Mendo schools oughta close down for a coupla weeks until the local virus picture comes into focus.
SHERIFF KENDALL probably knows that the virus is going to mean long hours for him and his department. Even without the plague, in an imploding society it will be the cops picking up the pieces, if the pieces can be picked up. And this sucker is coming apart fast.
TREASURY SECRETARY STEVE MNUCHIN was on Fox News Sunday morning talking to Chris Wallace about the administration’s financial bailout plans in response to the virus-ravaged economy. Mnuchin, like most of the Trump admin, doesn’t exactly inspire confidence. While avoiding any specifics about pending legislation, Mnuchin said he didn’t want to get specific because, “The President has drafted a tweet,” which was being reviewed. Huh? This was the first we’d heard that Trump’s tweets were “drafted” and reviewed by others. Our entire eocnomic response to the Corona Virus crisis depends on a Trump “tweet”? The I Ching is a better bet. We’ve descended a long ways from the standard set by FDR’s “day that will live in infamy” address to a joint session of Congress in 1941. (Mark Scaramella)
COVID-19 PANDEMIC NOT ALL BAD NEWS
by Jim Shields
On Wednesday, March 11, the World Health Organization (WHO) today declared COVID-19 a pandemic, pushing the threat beyond the global health emergency it had announced in January.
According to a WHO statement, the novel coronavirus, the first known to cause a pandemic, has infected more than 118,000 people and killed more than 4,000 in 114 countries, numbers expected only to rise, causing deep concern both by the alarming levels of spread and severity and the alarming levels of inactivity.
WHO says in the past 2 weeks, the number of cases of COVID-19 outside China has increased 13-fold, and the number of countries has tripled.
Close on the heels of WHO declaring a pandemic, a day later Governor Gavin Newsom issued a new executive order outlining California’s ability to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, including delaying state tax filing deadline, and authorizing the state to “commandeer” property for the purpose of quarantining those suspected of being exposed to COVID-19. Here’s Governor’s order:
• Waives the one-week waiting period for people who are unemployed and/or disabled as a result of COVID-19;
• Delays the deadline for state tax filing by 60 days for individuals and businesses unable to file on time based on compliance with public health requirements related to COVID-19 filings;
• Directs residents to follow public health directives and guidance, including to cancel large non-essential gatherings that do not meet state criteria;
• Readies the state to commandeer property for temporary residences and medical facilities for quarantining, isolating or treating individuals;
• Allows local or state legislative bodies to hold meetings via teleconference and to make meetings accessible electronically; and
• Allows local and state emergency administrators to act quickly to protect public health
Newsom also announced that gatherings should be postponed or canceled across the state until at least the end of March. Non-essential gatherings must be limited to no more than 250 people, while smaller events can proceed only if the organizers can implement social distancing of 6 feet per person. Gatherings of individuals who are at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19 should be limited to no more than 10 people, while also following social distancing guidelines.
“Each of us has extraordinary power to slow the spread of this disease,” Newsom said when announcing the state’s new policy Thursday night. “Not holding that concert or community event can have cascading effects — saving dozens of lives and preserving critical health care resources that your family may need a month from now. The people in our lives who are most at risk — seniors and those with underlying health conditions — are depending on all of us to make the right choice.”
Additionally, Newsom summarized certain benefits to assist state workers potentially affected by the pandemic:
• If unable to work because employee is caring for an ill or quarantined family member with COVID-19 they may qualify for Paid Family Leave (PFL).
• If unable to work due to medical quarantine or illness, the worker may qualify for Disability Insurance. Those who have lost a job or have had their hours reduced for reasons related to COVID-19 may be able to partially recover their wages by filing an unemployment insurance claim.
• If a worker or a family member is sick or for preventative care when civil authorities recommend quarantine, workers may use accrued paid sick leave in accordance with the law.
• If workers are unable to do their usual job because they were exposed to and contracted COVID-19 during the regular course of their work, they may be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits.
By the way, all information and resources related to the Governor’s Executive Order can be found at
Newsom also disclosed that some of the kits the state received from the federal government lack chemical reagents, which are needed to actually run tests for the coronavirus that causes COVID-19.
He said it was “imperative” that the federal government send more necessary chemical reagents
“I am surprised this is not more of the national conversation,” Newsom declared. “We need to focus in on these tests.”
Currently there are 18 public health labs testing for the virus. In total, the state’s public health labs have run more than 1,500 tests, and nearly 200 people have tested positive for the virus in the state.
Water Treatment Practices Effective Against COVID-19, WHO Says
In my role as district manager of the Laytonville County Water District, I received this week a couple of of emails from WHO and Department of Homeland Security regarding the pandemic.
WHO sent out a technical brief stating that “current water treatment methods are expected to be effective against the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19).”
The brief noted “the presence of the COVID-19 virus has not been detected in drinking-water supplies and based on current evidence the risk to water supplies is low.” It also asserted “conventional, centralized water treatment methods which utilize filtration and disinfection should inactivate COVID-19 virus” and stated chlorination and UV treatment have been effective against other coronaviruses.
Since our water district employs a state-of-the-art chlorination/disinfection system(s), I already knew, or at least strongly suspected, we were ok on the COVID-19 issue.
The Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) sent an “insights bulletin” addressing how water utilities can manage risks associated with COVID-19. The document describes infrastructure protection measures, supply chain risks, and cybersecurity best practices that organizations should consider as they move to mitigate operational impacts of COVID-19.
Trump’s Proposed ‘Tax Holiday’
Donald Trump told Republican senators on Tuesday, March 10, that he wants a payroll tax holiday through the November election so that taxes don’t go back up before voters decide whether to return him to office, according to reports on the president’s remarks.
Clearly Trump is concerned about the Coroanavirus-driven bombardment on the U.S. economy that saw the stock market on Monday take its biggest losses in three decades. Recessions are not advantageous for incumbent presidents seeking re-election.
Trump proposed eliminating federal payroll taxes altogether for the rest of the year, according to a report from CNBC Tuesday.
The proposal would include eliminating both the employer and employee payroll taxes on Social Security and Medicare, according to the report.
“There was also discussion of making the payroll tax rollback permanent,” CNBC reported.
The Social Security payroll tax is 12.4 percent on the first $137,700 of wages. It is officially split between employees and employers, although most economists consider the entire amount to be a tax on worker earnings. Self-employed workers pay the full amount themselves. The Medicare payroll tax is an additional 2.9 percent levy on all wages, also split between employees and employers, with no cap. Top earners pay another 0.9 percent Medicare surtax.
When CNBC asked about the potential cost of a payroll tax cut, a White House official reportedly asked why there is always a focus on the cost of tax cuts.
Most American workers pay more in payroll taxes than in federal income taxes, so eliminating the payroll tax would be welcome to workers.
(Jim Shields is the Mendocino County Observer’s editor and publisher, and is also the long-time district manager of the Laytonville County Water District. Listen to his radio program “This and That” every Saturday at 12 noon on KPFN 105.1 FM, also streamed live: http://www.kpfn.org)
LETTER FROM ITALY to Friends in East Sacramento and the U.S. from her direct experience.
"To all my friends back home in the U.S. I hope you will take time to read this and understand that I was you. As a friend said, "It’s because the US is our home country and we want you guys to know what’s coming. We are telling you what we wish we had known just two weeks ago. Think of it like “future you” sending back a message through time and space to “present you”. Obey or disregard at your own peril." XOXO
My heart is very heavy as I read your posts, speculations and questions. Misinformation is flying around the internet. Politics are rampant. Please, slow down the crazy train and panic and focus on facts. Many of you are so good at being voices of calm and sourced info and now is your time to shine.
There is no need to panic. But also be aware that three weeks ago I would never have imagined the situation in which we now live here in Italy. Life went from normal in a vibrant, tourist-oriented country to empty streets, shuttered businesses, police checkpoints and a healthcare system stressed to breaking.
I'm not personally concerned about my chances if I get COVID. I said that at first. Maybe you think it now. Fine. Maybe you really aren't at high risk either. After all, at first, it seems like it's "just a bad flu" or as if everyone is overreacting. But then you begin to see who IS dying. And you get really concerned--fast.
Like what about my 95-year-old Mama, my sister-in-law (Wanda), my mother-in-law, or my friends with asthma? All are super high risk. I don't want you to give it to them and I don't want to unknowingly be a carrier and give it to your loved ones.
Daily we get updates on the new cases in Italy and new deaths. We've sustained 150-200 new deaths each day for several days now. Over 2300 new cases yesterday!
Know who is dying? The adorable Italian nonni (grandparents) who are the soul of Italy, the teenager who has overcome so many odds to live with cystic fibrosis, the mother of 4 who was beating cancer but weak and couldn't beat COVID, the uncle who was triaged lower because he also had diabetes and heart issues. We all know these people because it could be OUR grandparents, niece, wife, uncle, friend.
Doctors are having to choose who receives limited health care. Ventilators are all in use. Healthcare personnel are working around the clock and completely cut off from their own families to meet this crisis. Retired healthcare workers are coming back to serve. Cardiac ICUs have become wards for COVID patients. So if you have a heart attack where do you get help?
Wait, how slow is the ambulance to even respond to your medical emergency like an accident, heart attack, appendicitis, etc? Right. They may show up too late to provide what should be "normal" care standards.
I know it is absolutely hard for Americans to imagine giving up our right to free movement. "Don't tell me I can't go to the playoffs or see my kid graduate basic training or to the concert I've been waiting for weeks to attend." Heck, I'm a huge extrovert and this is killing my sanity. I'll gain 20 pounds from stress cooking and eating. But seriously that's just a blip on the radar for what some people will face. Are the playoffs really that important? Can't we handle some distance education and canceled vacation plans? PEOPLE are more important than those things--at least they are to me.
Please, please don't think this is a government grab for power! Consider that you are doing the very best thing for your own family, friends, and coworkers and being a damn responsible human by staying home and avoiding contact. This should be YOUR own common sense decision and choice. It's the right thing.
We need to help "flatten the curve" as they are calling it. Slowing down the new cases and spread is a critical way to help our healthcare response and to help the economy stabilize.
The US is so far behind the response curve on this. I'm disappointed in the lack of testing we've done and how delayed these closures and new rules have been. It should have been done (in the rosy glow of hindsight) two weeks ago.
Don't underestimate what can change in 2 or 3 weeks. We have the capacity as a country to not panic and just come together and handle this stuff. I know we do. But we have to get past the conspiracy and skeptical responses to understand that it isn't IF but WHEN the numbers go off the chart in the US. I really believe it's everywhere and we are on the brink of a blowup in cases like none other.
We have great systems. I know we do. But even our systems are about to have to be stretched on capabilities, beds, workers, and supplies. Can we be flexible and respond as needed?
That's up to every single American who has the chance to decide today if you will take this seriously. Will you put your personal liberties aside for a few days or weeks for a greater good?
Will you please not panic buy and clear out the shelves? Will you allow basic schedules of restocking to happen so everyone can have soap, TP, milk, bread, etc.? This is going to be a sustained response. It's not a snow apocalypse weekend that's all better when the snow melts. You're looking at 3-6 weeks. This started in mid-February and our closures continue to early/mid-April as of now. It could go longer.
Be prepared for 30 days minimum of hunkering down at home and avoiding other people outside those who live in your house. Stock up on craft supplies and puzzles for bored kids. Get some new books downloaded on your Audible. Buy wine. Get ingredients to try new recipes. Clean out your garage. There are 100 things we can all do with a few extra days/weeks at home to focus on family and home life.
Mainly, keep calm but please take this seriously. I'm praying for you as I hope you will pray for all of us in Italy.
I'm also choosing to find lighthearted jokes, memes, and videos to keep me sane. But don't for one minute think that means I don't believe this is the real deal.
ETA: We are fine here. We have food, gas and supplies. Mail is running for now. Our Garrison has responded well and we get updates regularly. Our move is in limbo as we see how long the effects last.
Canceled — Mendocino Coast UkeFest May 1 & 2
With great disappointment, we announce that the 2020 Mendocino Coast UkeFest is officially canceled. In spite of our strongest desire to “play on,” with each new turn we’ve been met by uncertainty and the reality of measures required for safe practice during this Covid19 pandemic.
We encourage everyone to plunk, play, strum and sing out as those in Italy continue to do. Please visit the websites of our wonderful instructors. It is possible that we will be hosting some workshops here this year, even if not the full festival.
Thank you for your understanding. Please be safe and take care. And play your ukuleles.
Mendocino Coast Ukuleles
CATCH OF THE DAY, March 15, 2020
KATHERINE HOLLOWELL, Ukiah. DUI.
ROBERT JOHNSON, Lewiston/Ukiah. DUI-alcohol&drugs, battery on peace officer, assault with deadly weapon not a gun, vandalism.
DEE O’HALLORAN, Mendocino. Assault with deadly weapon not a gun.
JULIO ROSADO, Gilroy/Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-alcohol.
DOUGLAS WHIPPLE III, Redwood Valley. Stolen vehicle, probation revocation. (Frequent Flyer)
BRANDON WIARD, Ukiah. Grand theft-auto, taking vehicle without owner’s consent, driving without license.
MCKENZIE WILSON, Redwood Valley. DUI, no license.
ANDERSON VALLEY INN
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CARSEY FIRE GOES TO COURT
by Mark Scaramella
A few weeks ago we ran an item in the aftermath of the mid-December cottage fire behind Lauren's Restaurant in downtown Boonville about Sarah Ryan’s attempt to get her $2000 rent deposit back from property owner Eddie Carsey. Ms. Ryan had rented the place since 2015, which functioned as both her home and a small day care before the December fire destroyed much of the building.
But there was quite a back story to Ms. Ryan's request — which went to small claims court last Thursday where Ms. Ryan appeared with a damages claim for $10,000, substantially more than the $2,000 deposit from Carsey and his partner, Tamara Baxman.
In their response to Ms. Ryan's claim, Carsey and Baxman forcefully argued that they shouldn’t have to pay anything because the fire was caused by Ms. Ryan storing a hay bale beneath the house which had dislodged the clothes dryer’s air vent, thus blowing hot air onto the hay bale and igniting it. Carsey and Ms. Baxman also itemized a series of rental agreement violations by Ms. Ryan which preceded the fire, such as using the premises for the daycare business without permission, making alterations without landlord approval, not maintaining the property, and so on.
Compounding the loss, Carsey and Baxman said they did not have insurance on the cottage because rural fire insurance is difficult to get these days, and prohibitively expensive, and would have raised the approximately $1100 per month rent Ms. Ryan was paying.
In his report on the fire, Anderson Valley Fire Chief Andres Avila confirmed that the fire began in the laundry room, but was unable to cite the exact cause: "Ignition: laundry area, wash house (laundry). Area of fire origin: Undetermined. Heat source: Undetermined. Item first ignited: Undetermined. Cause of ignition: Unintentional."
Carsey and Baxman submitted photographs of the remains of the building showing the area next to the dislodged dryer vent and the location of a partially burned hay bale directly under where the fire seems to have begun. The photos also show the remains of the dryer vent line under the house where it had been dislodged, presumably when the hay bale was placed there.
After listening to Ms. Ryan's claim and the Carsey/Baxman response, small claims court judge Jeanine Nadel, launching into full Judge Judy mode, was reportedly said to Ms. Ryan: "I’m not giving you any money because you are a bad tenant.”
Then Nadel turned to Carsey and said: “You should have evicted her.”
Judge Nadel denied Ms. Ryan's claim and the Carsey/Baxman counter-claim alleging fault on the part of Ms. Ryan.
Eddie Carsey is not sure what he's going to do with the remains of the burned out structure — the rear of the building is gone and the front has water damage, smoke damage and firefighting damage — which would require substantial remodel and repair.
“We were prepared to let this go,” Tamara Baxman said last week. “But she took us to small claims court and we had to respond.”
For now, Ms. Ryan continues fund-raising to re-establish via a Gofundme page.
Meanwhile Boonville, already short of housing, and Mr. Carsey have lost a nice rental unit, and Sara Ryan has lost personal belongings, her place to to live and her daycare livelihood.
SNOW ON SOME MAJOR AREA HIGHWAYS
CENSUS FORMS ARE HERE
Census questionnaires began arriving in mailboxes Thursday, asking Americans to participate in the count of how many of us there are, and where we live.
It’s happened every 10 years since 1790. It determines how many representatives in Congress each state gets. It governs the appropriation of $883 billion dollars of federal funding to the states, according to the George Washington University Institute of Public Policy.
So it’s darn important, and not so long ago, everyone understood that. It was a civic duty, and not a very onerous one at that. You just answer some questions and drop the form in the mail and that’s that.
Some people didn’t send in the form for whatever reason, and census takers would come visit their homes to get the necessary information. And even that wasn’t something most people resisted. Again, everyone understood how important it is.
But now, there have been attempts to politicize the process, as happens so often in America today. With the party in power seeming to target some groups of people, there are growing reservations that information we give to the census might be used against us.
There’s also a hesitancy born of tech companies profiting by mining and selling personal data about us, collected without our knowledge or approval. Privacy has become much more important to us as it has been eroded.
But those fears don’t change the fact that the census is critically important. It will guide many of the operations of the federal government for the next 10 years. Anyone who fails to respond isn’t protecting themselves, but rather damaging themselves and their community.
Personal census data has historically been pretty secure, and there’s no real reason to assume that will change. There are plenty of reasons to make a point of responding.
Census Day is April 1, and the process attempts to provide a snapshot of America on that day.
People can respond by mail, online or by phone. Census takers will be trying to get a count of the homeless, of college students living on campuses and of seniors living in care homes.
Some people will be missed, as they always are.
Make a point of not being one of them. Stand up and be counted.
(K.C. Meadows, Editor, Ukiah Daily Journal. Courtesy, the Ukiah Daily Journal.)
GLANCE AT THE PAST
The Mann Family in their home on Fort Bragg’s South Harold Street in 1908. One of Fort Bragg’s pioneer families, pictured are, from left, standing, Arthur Mann, Embie Mann; seated, Emily Mann-Johnson-Nelson, Louisa Mann, John Mann, Edith Mann, Florence Mann-Madison-Baker. From “The Mendocino Coast – A Pictorial History,” published by the Advocate newspaper.
ANDERSON VALLEY VILLAGE - WEEKLY UPDATE for 03/15/2020
Calendar events for the next two weeks hosted by The Anderson Valley Village as well as events in our community at large.
If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to contact us:
PURPLE PIPE PASSES TEST
by Mark Scaramella
Back in 2015 the City of Ukiah applied for and received water bond grants and loans for over $30 million for what has since come to be known as the “purple pipe project” — a large water-sewer plumbing/pump/pond project that reclaims treated wastewater from Ukiah’s sewage treatment plant in huge ponds south of Ukiah, which is then used for Ukiah Valley “agriculture” to reduce direct pumping from the Russian River.
A major phase of the project was completed a few months ago, largely through the professional efforts of former Russian River Flood Control District manager and Ukiah’s current Water-Sewer Director Sean White, a competent manager certainly, but who historically has always worked in the best interests of the wine industry.
On its face, the idea of using reclaimed water for grapes instead of pumping directly out of the Russian River seems like a step forward. But Sunday morning we saw a report by Ukiah Daily Journal reporter Justine Frederiksen entitled “Purple Pipe passes ‘mock frost.’
See how this works? A few years ago the state water board issued a rule requiring Ukiah Valley grape growers to prepare their own plans to avoid de-watering the Russian River during “frost events” when they all pump at the same time stranding and killing endangered fish.
The Ukiah grape growers quickly screamed bloody murder and sued and won a friendly ruling from Ukiah Judge Ann Moorman preventing the water board from such an impertinence as asking the grape growers to more effectively manage their water pumping for the sake of the river and the fish in it. That provincial ruling was, of course, overturned a year later when the appeals court said that asking grape growers for water management plans was legal. The grape growers grudgingly began submitting plans to the water board.
Then in November of 2014 came Proposition 1, the huge California water bond.
Proposition 1 “authorizes $7.5 billion in general bonds to fund the overhaul of the state's water system with the construction of dams and groundwater storage, watershed protection and restoration, improvements to groundwater and surface water quality, and flood protection. The bill aims to help California's water system meet the state's needs over the long-term.”
That’s how it was sold, and not surprisingly it passed by an overwhelming 67% yes vote.
Little did anyone know at the time, that one of the main local beneficiaries would be a bailout of Ukiah Valley grape growers who now, at no cost to themselves, but with the expenditure of over $30 million of taxpayer water bond money — double that actually because it’s a bond — get a huge influx of over 4.8 million gallons a day of reclaimed water for free so they can sprinkle their grapevines.
Ukiah Valley grape growers are thus spared the expense of the kinds of frost fans Anderson Valley grape growers purchased back in 2013 under similar water shortage conditions. And Ukiah Valley residents will benefit by not facing the threat of having their sleep destroyed by the equivalent of assault helicopters landing on their roofs at 3am.
But is this really the best use of the water bond money?
PS. Sean White’s new system passed the “mock frost” test with flying colors last week. Ukiah Valley grape growers were overjoyed. And Sean White was as proud as he could be: 4.8 million gallons of water a day, he said, “is a lot of water, but we have plenty more and we can store 66 million gallons. So we’re set.”
“We” being his wine industry friends.
MARSHAL NEWMAN WRITES: Since you showed Fort Point while the Golden Gate Bridge was being built… Here is a photo of it before the bridge. (1904)
"THERE IS A TIME when the operation of the machine becomes so odious, makes you so sick at heart, that you can't take part. You can't even passively take part! And you've got to put your bodies upon the gears and upon the wheels, upon the levers, upon all the apparatus, and you've got to make it stop! And you've got to indicate to the people who run it, to the people who own it — that unless you're free, the machine will be prevented from working at all!"
—Mario Savio, 1964
ON LINE COMMENT OF THE DAY
One way to think about social distancing is that to contribute to a great national cause in World War II you had to, like, die face down in the muck on some tiny pacific island, now you can literally stay at home, watch the Sopranos or that Netflix dating show and be a hero.
OUR CHOICES? OUR DEMOCRACY?
I think it’s not my place to advise anyone what they should do with their vote. But I do think it is instructive that "they" are trying to leave us with a choice between a vicious neoliberal war hawk and a fascist. Welcome to your democracy
Bernie Sanders represents many things to many people. To me, he represents a thoughtful and considerate man and here's why:
While living in Vermont in the early 80s I had the opportunity to meet Burlington Mayor Sanders under somewhat challenging circumstances. The first took place on a bitter cold day during the December holidays. I had parked in downtown Burlington across from City Hall to finish some last-minute gift shopping with my three young kids. When we returned to our parking space, the car -- a rusty Subaru -- was gone. It was then that Bernie approached with a "Can I help you?" When I told him that I thought our car had been stolen he looked at the street sign that clearly stated "12 minute parking" and asked, "did you read the sign?" I hadn't. Bernie told us to "Wait here," left us for a couple of minutes and returned to let us know that the car had been towed and he’d call a cab to take us to the car impound yard.
A few months later, after having dinner with friends in downtown Burlington, we got back to my car amid a full-blown snowstorm to discover the battery was dead. While we pondered what to do, a car slowly cruised by, made a U-turn, and pulled up to the front of the car. Mayor Bernie emerged with the words, "Looks like you fellas need a jump." Cables were connected, the car started and off we went.
Bernie is a true man of the people — then and now.
Mike Simpson, retired superintendent/principal
ON LINE COMMENT OF THE DAY
I have an old school mechanical stopwatch. We can drive around town and pull into small businesses. Seven Elevens, I-HOPs, gas station mini marts. That sort of thing. You torch up a fattie in the parking lot and stroll in coughing through the front door. I’ll click the stopwatch and we’ll see how fast places clear out. Once we get the hang of it we can sell squares in a grid like those people buy when they bet on football games. People can guess how fast new places will empty out. We can have a You Tube channel.
WHAT WILL & WON’T WORK
Has anyone thought that the deputy sheriff who got in a little trouble last week might have had some problems which were hard to overcome? People overdose every day in the United States. Do you hear about them? No. You only hear about it when they are in law enforcement or if they are someone the liberal media wants to jump on. Sheriff Kendall will have to straighten this out. The media won't leave him alone, they will jump on him every chance they get. Sad. Sheriffs do lots of good things in the United States. There are about five million officers in the United States. Give the guy a chance. A sheriff has to do his job with integrity and know the letter of the law and be able to defend himself and shoot straight and know when and if to shoot and where, and administer first aid, and still be a human being, not a robot. When a guy makes a mistake, which everybody does, he should get some rehabilitation at the County’s expense and then he should get his job back.
The Liberal Democrats are destroying the Constitution and screwing up the whole American thing that Trump and the rest of us stand for. Lots of people lost their lives trying to keep this country free for more than 200 years or so. But the liberals don't give a good god damn. All they care about is their own agenda to change this into a socialist country which will never happen, not as long as a few of us Republicans are left alive. The Liberal Democrats tromp on and slide over the Constitution and our liberty like wet cow shit!
God bless Donald Trump for many more years.
PS. I suggested to Howard Deshield recently to do some work on the Comptche-Ukiah Road and the Flynn Creek road. Some rough spots really need to be taken care of, the brush from the Comptche post office to Highway 1 especially. When it rains branches drop down about 4 feet onto your windshield. There are bumps on the Comptche-Ukiah Road that will break your springs if you hit them. I know where they are so I miss them. I will paint marks on them. I'm not afraid to do that. Maybe save a few old people from having a wreck.
PPS. When the American people face adversity, they do not run from it. They turn around and face it. And they overcome it like they have for the last 250 years. This coronavirus thing is here but we will defeat it. Just watch. But that does not go for the Liberals, there's nothing about them that is any good. They are trying to do a lot of harm to the United States and it won't work.
MOSE ALLISON, Your Mind Is On Vacation, 1976 Atlantic Recording Corporation
ANOTHER LOVE LETTER TO RQMC
To the Editor:
This letter is in support of RQMC, Redwood Quality Management Center, a 501 (c) (3) and its Chief Program Officer, Camille Schrader.
I support RQMC because of the improvement I see in mental health services especially in my corner of the county at Nuestra Alianza de Willits where I work.
When the county provided its own mental health services to members of the community, I had an opportunity to see the numbers of Latinos served in Mendocino County per quarter. Those numbers ranged from 1 to 4 Latinos per quarter.
When RQMC took over mental health services for the county, they contracted with Nuestra Alianza to work with vulnerable, underserved Latinos in Willits. In addition to outreach, the services are for prevention, intervention and education for people to attend presentations on topics of interest such as anxiety and depression, as well as to talk to a counselor and receive referrals for more services if needed. The number of people served at Nuestra Alianza averages 200 per quarter. That number is for Latinos in Willits. The Willits Latinos are approximately one quarter of the Willits population.
The result of RQMC contracting with Nuestra Alianza has been significant. The Latino population is more knowledgeable about how to deal with anxiety and depression and is aware of services available to them in Willits, with referrals located in Ukiah and offered in English. The result for Nuestra Alianza is that RQMC has stabilized Nuestra Alianza which in turn holds a safety net for the vulnerable Latino community. Both community and organization are stronger, more stable, and more resilient with integrated quality care that is appropriate, accessible, available, and bilingual.
Sincerely, Dina Hutton, Nuestra Alianza, Board President
PRESIDENTIAL HISTORIAN ON PESTILENTIAL PRESIDENT
by Heather Cox Richardson
“I don’t take responsibility at all.”
This quotation, from Trump’s answer when a reporter asked him if he took responsibility for the lag in testing for the novel coronavirus, will be in every single history book written about this era.
He went on. When PBS White House correspondent Yamiche Alcindor asked why he doesn’t take responsibility for the problems combatting Covid-19 when the White House got rid of the pandemic team in 2018, he answered “I just think that’s a nasty question. When you say me, I didn’t do it…. I don’t know anything about it.” He followed up with “We’re doing a great job.”
This is the same man who said in his acceptance speech for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination: “I have joined the political arena so that the powerful can no longer beat up on people that cannot defend themselves. Nobody knows the system better than me, which is why I alone can fix it.”
Today, at 3:29, Trump held a press conference to announce that he was declaring a national emergency over the novel coronavirus. The national emergency declaration frees up $50 billion in federal resources to fight the novel coronavirus. Immediately after he gave the press conference announcing the designation, the stock market began to rise, and when it closed at 4:00, about a half-hour after he began speaking, the Dow Jones Industrial Average had gone up 1,985 points.
The president immediately sent to supporters — including some congresspeople - a note with a signed Dow Jones Industrial Average chart, along with screenshots of television coverage of the rising stock market, and a note saying “The President would like to share the attached image with you, and passes along the following message: ‘From opening of press conference, biggest day in stock market history!’” (The market’s 20% decline over the past couple of weeks is the fastest in history, and yesterday’s slide of 2,352 points was the worst day for stocks since the crash of 1987.)
In his press conference, Trump and his advisors also announced that Google had 1700 workers developing a website that would help Americans figure out if they needed a test and, if so, where to get one. His team was actually pretty specific about how that website would work. Unfortunately, the information was simply not true. The company Verily, which is under the same corporate umbrella as Google, is in the early stages of developing such a program for health care workers in the San Francisco Bay area. When New York Times writer Charlie Warzel asked a senior engineer at Google about the program this afternoon, the person answered: “No comment because there is nothing to comment on.”
An article today in The Atlantic, written by lifelong Republican Peter Wehner, who worked in three GOP administrations, summed up what some of this craziness means. The title is over-the-top (authors do not write the titles of their articles), but it reads “The Trump Presidency Is Over.” Wehner does not mean this literally, of course; he is arguing that the pandemic crisis has finally forced Americans to grapple with the fact that Trump is unfit to be president. They have, Wehner says, “seen the con man behind the curtain.” Having recognized that he is worse than useless, he says, they are “treating him as a bystander.” Other community leaders are stepping into the place he should have occupied: governors and businessmen and university presidents and sports commissioners. The Trump presidency, he says, is effectively over, although the president, “enraged for having been unmasked, will become more desperate, more embittered, more unhinged.” The piece captures the feeling of this week remarkably well, well enough that lawyer and leader of the anti-Trump Lincoln Project, George Conway, tweeted that the article is a must-read.
As I write this, at 12:54, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi marshalled a coronavirus bill through the House by a bipartisan vote of 363-40 (all 40 no votes were Republicans, and 9 Democrats and 17 Republicans did not vote. One Independent voted present). I have not seen the final bill, but its general outline would provide benefits to those at the bottom of the economy, suffering from the economic fallout from the pandemic as well as from Covid-19 itself.
Trump today said he would sign the bill, but Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is not in Washington, D.C., (he's at an event in Kentucky with Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh) so the Senate cannot take it up until Monday. Yesterday, McConnell disparaged the bill as “an ideological wish list” that added “various areas of policy that are barely related, if at all, to the issue before us.” He added: “As currently drafted, the proposal appears to impose permanent unfunded mandates on businesses that could cause massive job losses and put thousands of small businesses at risk.”
Certainly, the popular mood seems to be changing as hospitals are rushing to set up triage tents in their parking lots and recalling retired doctors, worried the healthcare system is going to be overwhelmed. On Monday, Fox News Channel personality Trish Regan said that Democrats’ focus on the coronavirus was “another attempt to impeach the president.” They were, she said, trying “to demonize and destroy the president.” Today the network announced she is going on hiatus. One final note. It is my observation that there are two unfortunate things going on in the media right now. First of all, there is a ton of effort to get the administration officials, especially Trump, to admit they screwed up. It’s a waste of time: he is a classic narcissist, and he will never admit blame. Ever. We will certainly need to take stock in the future of what went wrong here, but right now this expenditure of energy ain’t gonna produce much of use. Better simply to pay attention to those leaders who are working to protect us.
Second, we have a weird cycle going on in which experts on just how bad this virus is are trying to convince unbelievers who have watched the president and the Fox News Channel personalities downplay this disease and now dismiss it. As the experts explain, the unbelievers pooh-pooh them. Then the media tries to show those people how really bad it is, and they push back. Caught in that push-pull are those who really do understand that this is bad and are already terribly worried, and find each warning ratcheting up their anxiety. If that is happening to you, do note that there is a tug-of-war going on in the public discussion, and you are not its target audience.
(Heather Cox Richardson is a political historian, Professor of History at Boston College and the author, most recently, of “To Make Men Free: A History of the Republican Party.”)
ADVICE FROM BRIAN