- Sunny Weekend
- First Case
- Lockdown Enforcement
- Remembering Ricky
- Homeless Exemption
- Pacific Coast
- CSD Teleconference
- Ed Notes
- Treasury Proposals
- New Normal
- Virtual Classroom
- Social Distancing
- Coast Clinics
- Yesterday's Catch
- Silent Dan
- Backyard Bidet
- LakeCo Report
- MCBG Closed
- Hendy Open
- Useless DNC
- Cursive Writing
- Lockdown Life
- Inhumane Capitalism
- Dangerously Stupid
- Good Advice
- Bum Fight
- Illustrated Goldie
- Horse Lady
- Which Biden
- Coronavirus California
- Tulsi's Out
- Remembering Kayo
- Found Object
WHILE A FEW SHOWERS will be possible across the interior this afternoon, high pressure will build in through the weekend with moderating temperatures and some sunshine. There will still be areas of low clouds and fog during the overnight and morning hours, especially in the valleys. The next storm system will bring widespread rain and mountain snow along with colder temperatures during the early to middle portions of next week. (NWS)
FIRST CONFIRMED CASE OF COVID-19 IN MENDOCINO COUNTY AND HEALTH OFFICER ORDERS COUNTY RESIDENTS SHELTER-IN-PLACE
Post Date: 03/18/2020 5:45 PM
Today, Mendocino County Public Health confirmed the first case of the coronavirus (COVID-19) in Mendocino County. This individual is in stable condition and is being placed in isolation. The individual has a known exposure to a person with COVID-19.
“This first case is not shocking to us,” said County Public Health Officer, Dr. Noemi Doohan. “Mendocino County has been preparing for a possible pandemic of COVID-19 since January, as many counties around us have reported cases and community spread of COVID-19.”
Mendocino County Health Officer Dr. Noemi Doohan has issued a Health Order directing all county residents to Shelter-In-Place, effective starting from March 18, 2020 at 10 p.m. until April 7, 2020 at 11:59 p.m. This difficult decision is being made because Mendocino County’s first confirmed case of COVID-19 has been identified and the Bay Area is experiencing an alarming rise of COVID-19 cases — resulting in an imminent threat to our county’s health. This Order closely follows the Bay Area and Sonoma County Shelter-In-Place orders.
This Order is to ensure that the maximum number of people shelter in their places of residence to the maximum extent possible, in order to slow the spread of COVID-19. The Order directs all residents to remain at their place of residence, except to conduct Essential Activities, Essential Businesses, and Essential Government Functions (defined in the Order).
This Health Order limits activity, travel and business functions to only the most basic and essential needs, and prohibits transient lodging for non-essential purposes. To the extent that individuals must use shared or outdoor spaces, all must maintain social distancing of at least six feet between themselves and others while outside their residence. Our goal is to protect the public’s health by aggressively minimizing the spread of this pandemic.
“We have been preparing for this situation since January, so while this is a serious order, there is no need to panic,” said Dr. Doohan. “We owe our seniors, healthcare workers and other vulnerable populations in our community our strict adherence to this order, for their protection.”
Essential Activities (exemptions to the Shelter-In-Place Order) include:
- Tasks essential to maintain health and safety, such as obtaining medicine or seeing a doctor;
- Getting necessary services or supplies for themselves or their family or household members, such as getting food and supplies, pet food, and getting supplies necessary for staying at home;
- Engaging in outdoor activity, such as walking, hiking, or running provided that you maintain at least six feet of social distancing;
- Performing work providing essential services at an Essential Business or Essential Government function (defined below);
- Caring for a family member in another household;
- Caring for elderly, minors, dependents, persons with disabilities, or other vulnerable persons.
The business community is advised to refer to Section 9 of the Order attached for the definition and a full list of essential business.
Violations of this Order are considered a threat to our county’s health, and adherence is enforceable by law. The Health Officer will continue to evaluate this rapidly evolving situation, and may modify or extend this Order if needed.
- Keep a distance of at least six feet away from others
- Don’t shake hands
- Wash your hands thoroughly and often
- Don’t touch your face with un-washed hands
- Cover coughs and sneezes (into your elbow and away from others, not hands)
- Regularly clean high-traffic surfaces
Official information on the coronavirus and shelter-in-place frequently asked questions can be found at mendocinocounty.org.
MESSAGE FROM SHERIFF MATT KENDALL ON PUBLIC HEALTH ORDERS
With the recent orders from the Mendocino County Health Officer, I realize there will be several questions and concerns regarding enforcement of these orders. The Sheriff's Office remains dedicated to providing the highest level of service to the public. The Mendocino County Health Officer has implemented these orders to comply with the directions and guidelines being distributed by the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Mendocino County Department of Public Health. As I have said before, enforcement is more often than not education. Our county has historically done the right thing for our families, neighbors and persons in our communities. We have been through a lot in the past few years with several disasters and rapidly evolving situations. We have come out of these disasters stronger than before. Much of this is due to the resilient nature of our communities and our willingness to help our neighbors. Enforcement of these orders will be completed by law enforcement officers, however discretion will allow for the spirit of the law to be factored in on every contact. I am encouraging all persons to review the Mendocino County Health Officer’s Orders in their entirety. Many questions and concerns will be answered upon reading these orders.
The full content of the issued orders can be found at the following hyperlink: mendocinocounty.org/community/novel-coronavirus
Sheriff Matthew C. Kendall
REMEMBERING RICKY DELFIORENTINO
As many of us are coping with the COVID-19 crisis for the last couple of weeks, it is important that tomorrow, March 19, 2020 at 11:51 hours we stop and take a minute or two of silence to honor Deputy Ricky DelFiorentino.
Six years ago, at approximately 11:51 hours, Deputy DelFiorentino was ambushed when he located a suspect who was on a crime spree from Oregon to Fort Bragg. Deputy DelFiorentino located the suspect vehicle near Ward Ave. As he parked his patrol car to find the suspect, he was shot to death while beginning to exit his patrol car by the suspect who was hiding in the brush.
Deputy DelFiorentino was a 26-year veteran of both the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office and the Fort Bragg Police Department. Deputy DelFiorentino was a devoted father, husband, son, and brother. Most of all, he was devoted to the Fort Bragg community; he dedicated his life to secure the safety of this community. It is not uncommon to hear members of our community speak about this great man and how he was such a likeable person. “He was approachable, addressed our concerns, sympathetic to our needs” the list is long.
Deputy DelFiorentino loved his entire family, but he also gave back to the youth of the community. He was a key supporter of the Police Activities League (PAL) program. It was not uncommon to see him cooking hot dogs or cleaning fish at the PAL fishing clinic. He was also an avid wrestler back in his younger days. He was a wrestling coach at the Fort Bragg schools, a mentor to those youth in need or support. Overall he was just a plain likeable person who is greatly missed by his wife, children, parents, brothers, sister and the entire community.
Deputy Ricky DelFiorentino, thank you for your honorable, dedicated service. You are truly missed. "2 Adam 60" was his police radio call sign. 2 Adam 60, 10-10 (radio sign for off-duty), Thank You for your sacrifice “Ricky D”.
John Naulty, Chief, Fort Bragg Police
A HOMELESS CALLER from Fort Bragg asked us Wednesday, “They’re telling us to stay home, to shelter in place. But we don’t have a home or any shelter. What are we supposed to do? They’re talking about a curfew. Are they going to arrest us?”
WE DOUBT they’ll arrest you, but that’s a good point. According to Wednesday’s Order of the County Health Officer, the shelter in place “exempts individuals experiencing homelessness from the shelter in place order, but urges them to find shelter and government agencies to provide it.”
Since this is an emergency situation, and the Health Officer has “urged” government agencies to provide shelter, which should mean room vouchers to anybody who needs one through Social Services offices, or through the Hospitality House office in Fort Bragg either of which the caller should probably visit and pointedly ask about citing the Health Officer’s order.
AT WEDNESDAY EVENING’S Anderson Valley Community Services District meeting, conducted via teleconference with most of the participants calling in from their homes, AV Fire Chief Andres Avila said that a few older volunteers had decided to seriously shelter in place and stay home and not go on calls, but, because of the shelter in place order, some younger others who were now staying home because of the shelter in place were available to cover those shifts, with some adjustments. For the time being they have adequate protective gear for responding to calls in homes, but backup firefighter responders will not go inside unless it’s a life threatening situation. (More to come from this interesting meeting.)
THE ROLLING DISASTER rolls on. Trump said Wednesday that he thinks of himself as a “wartime president” battling an “unseen enemy,” the coronavirus. Wartime footing? He said, yes, “I actually do look at it that way.” Trump said he'd use the Defense Production Act to ramp up manufacture of medical equipment. “There's never been an instance like this where no matter what you have, it's not enough. If we need to use it, we'll be using it full speed ahead.”
A HEDGE FUND BILLIONAIRE got big media play Wednesday with hysterical claims that "hell is coming" and "America will end as we know it" if the America and the rest of the world isn't shut down immediately for thirty days. Bill Ackman said that the big hotel chains like Hilton and Marriott are closing and will not re-open. Ditto for the Las Vegas strip. Why Ackman is regarded as an authority on apocalypse probably dervies from the media's instinct to prostate itself at the foot of money. A lotta scare talk isn't what we need now.
HERE IN MENDOCINO COUNTY I noted some churlish comments suggesting that auslanders hunkering down, or planning to, in uncontaminated (so far) Mendo's many transient rentals be discouraged. Why? A little biz of this type might help support the many small County restaurants, which are already suffering, but hanging on by offering food to go.
HEARTENING that people are stepping up, people like Boonville's Amanda Hiatt, who posted this note today: "Need groceries, prescriptions or animal food picked up in Ukiah. Let me know we would love to help you out! Costco, Raleys e cart, etc. Or if you just want some kfc chicken!"
DEFINITIONS. Speaking for me, myself and I, and as a staunch lib lab all my life heavier on the lib over the lab, I've never once heard an accusation of racism, homophobia, sexism, or any of the rest of the denunciatory catechism, from a good person, at least a person I thought was in a position for him or herself to make moral judgements about his or her fellow citizens. Especially in Mendo. Usually the condemnation comes from a terminally screwed up person of the neurotic type drawn to the "left" out of personal misery, and somehow conflates that personal misery with the unending political struggle for basic tolerance. Call me pollyanna, but people are getting along these days better than at any time in our violent history, as the lunch time crowds in any town of any size prove, as people of all kinds and colors, simply by being, confirm genuinely loyal cross-racial, cross-sexual, cross-gender friendships where they previously did not exist.
5.2 QUAKE off Petrolia this afternoon a little after 3. Don't even think what the Big One might mean at this time. But speaking of which, the very best on the subject of quakes remains, "A Dangerous Place" by the late Marc Reisner. Along with the basic facts, you get a lively capsule history of California and its misplaced metropolises, like Frisco and LA, plus a likely scenario of what will happen in the Bay Area when the Big One strikes.
IN PASSING, Reisner describes Father Junipero Serra's problem with erotic dreams. The padre kept a nail-studded board over his bed for whenever the houris disturbed his sleep. He'd force himself awake and beat the eros clean out of himself.
TREASURY PROPOSAL: DELIVER $500B TO AMERICANS STARTING APRIL
By a sweeping bipartisan tally, the Senate on Wednesday approved a $100 billion-plus bill to boost testing for the coronavirus and guarantee paid sick leave for millions of workers hit by it — and President Donald Trump quickly signed it. But lawmakers and the White House had already turned their focus to the administration's far bigger $1 trillion plan to stabilize the economy as the pandemic threatens financial ruin for individuals and businesses.
MENDO’S NEW NORMAL
by Tom Allman
Suppose the sun started rising in the West, now suppose that we suddenly had to drive on the left side of the road and now suppose that everything we know as normal changed to abnormal. This way of thinking is now becoming a commonplace manner of daily life.
As the retired Sheriff of Mendocino County, I can assure you that these conversations have occurred at every level of government for over a decade. We discussed (and experienced) floods, fires, tsunamis and earthquakes. We have experienced the most serious financial meltdown since the Great Depression as well as horrific and shocking crimes that caused all of us to question the good of humanity.
Now, the children of the 2000s will see life change forever. The emotional toll that COVID-19 will have on our youngest generation is yet to be understood. The impact on young parents who will do anything to protect their family is hard to imagine, yet we will all go through these mental and social changes.
The seriousness of the Coronavirus is extreme. Our communities can not rally around each other, like we have done for generations, because of social distancing. We can’t have a pancake fundraiser or a chicken bbq at the local firehouse to support each other and assure our neighbors that things will soon return to normal, because things will never completely return to normal.
Mendocino County is the 11th (per capita) in the state of California for suicides. Our opioid death rate is in the top 10%. Now, the emotional toll of this crisis is kicking us in the gut. We can do better.
Can you please have a conversation with your family and closest friends and share your thoughts? Kids are scared but so are our senior citizens. Our government leaders are looking for direction, but I assure you that these same leaders know what to do because I know every one of them. I have worked side by side with every leader in our county and I know that they have the intestinal fortitude to allow their leadership to excel and help all Mendocino County residents slowly return to being able to live their lives. While I shake my head at some of the other leaders we have at the state and national level, I don’t question our local leaders.
Please listen to, and heed, the simple directions we have all heard. True and total self isolation is no longer an unknown term, we know what it means. Serious hand washing should no longer be scoffed at. Having two weeks of food/medicine should be the norm. Yes, it’s silly to hoard toilet paper but not silly to properly prepare your family for being isolated for 2-4 weeks. Food and medicine, food and medicine and food and medicine, for your family and your pets.
Staying home on weekends will allow all families to get to know each other again. Kids can ride bikes in the driveways and parents can be parents. Maybe it’s true that the more things change, the more they stay the same. As a child growing up in Humboldt County, I don’t remember my family going to very many social events. We stayed at home, did our chores and homework. Life happened along the way. Society has changed with the evolution of the internet and modern transportation.
Leadership starts at every level. Parents are the most influential leaders any child could ever have. Parents lead by example. Please explain to your family how important it is to follow the simple instructions that we all have been given. Please lead by example by washing your hands many times a day. Call for takeout, call and use a credit card to pay for a gift certificate now that you can use later at a hardware store or clothing store, get a gift certificate to go to a movie once we can go back to the movie theater. If you have to go out, please remember to stay the social distance of 6 feet from others.
Yes, there will be a time, this year, that life can begin to return to a new-normal. But until we reach that magical time, let’s remember to keep our wits, check on our neighbors and support our local businesses as well as we can. If our local businesses fail, it will greatly hamper our ability for our communities to assume the new normal.
And most importantly, remember that it will just take one infected person to move this virus through our community and out to another community. Please realize how important it is to NOT shake hands, give social hugs or share drinks and food.
I personally want to give a shout out to the hundreds of First Responders and medical providers who are stepping up to protect our communities. They still have the same worries, that we all have, for their families but they are protecting us in a world we have never experienced. Please wave at the men and women and give them the community support which they deserve. The utility workers, small business owners/employees and essential employees are also feeling the stress, but performing their duties. Thank you.
We, as Mendocino County, are renown for our resilience. Let’s make our ancestors proud of their legacy.
GRANDSON’S VIRTUAL CLASSROOM
FROM SUPERVISOR WILLIAMS:
COVID-19 shelter in place
Mendocino County has a positive COVID-19 case. The case is being carefully investigated and (non personal) details will be shared as available. A shelter-in-place order is in effect. Please be part of the solution in flattening the pandemic curve through adherence to social distancing -- you might be young and healthy, but could seriously impact someone who is not.
Mendocino Coast District Hospital has four ventilators. Inland hospitals have only slightly more. If the coronavirus pandemic worsens, these life-saving machines, which move breathable air into and out of a patient's lungs to address respiratory failure, could be in short supply. Facilities in neighboring counties also run the risk of being overwhelmed as the virus spreads. Back in February, infectious disease specialist Dr. James Lawler of University of Nebraska Medical Center offered a projection to the American Hospital Association of 96 million Americans would becoming infected, 1.9 requiring a hospital intensive care unit and half of them needing a ventilator. New York's first 1,700 cases had a 19% hospitalization rate. The seriousness of the risk is conveyed through President Trump’s move to send a Naval hospital to our West Coast. The order creates a great inconvenience and a detrimental impact to our economy, but based on the information at hand, we feel it is necessary. The language attempts to align with bay area counties for consistency with adjustments to palliate the impact. Please ask your circle to follow the order for the greater good. Our success in slowing the spread will only be as good as compliance.
MENDOCINO COAST CLINICS PROVIDES COVID-19 CARE
Fort Bragg, CA — Like most health centers right now, Mendocino Coast Clinics (MCC) is doing everything possible to provide top-quality health care while preparing for a potential surge in patient visits caused by the COVID-19 epidemic.
“As of today, we still have no confirmed cases here on the coast or anywhere in Mendocino County, but common sense tells us it’s coming,” said MCC Executive Director Lucresha Renteria. “At this time, we are providing essential MCC services. We have modified the seating in all MCC lobbies to allow for social distancing. This is an evolving situation, so things will change. Effective Thursday, March 19, the dental clinic will reduce services and behavioral health appointments will move to telephone visits as much as possible. We will continue to evaluate other uses of telehealth and telephone visits for other MCC services.”
Renteria asks that patients with fever, cough, and/or trouble breathing who want to see an MCC medical provider call us first at 964-1251. This allows nurses to meet patients in their cars rather than having them come into the health center where they could infect others. It also allows staff to use protective gear such as gloves, masks, and gowns before interacting with the patient. MCC has a limited number of testing kits and are evaluating patients to test those who meet the criteria. No patient will be denied testing due to inability to pay.
MCC is dedicated to serving all people on the coast, including the most vulnerable populations such as the elderly and the homeless. To do so, it is imperative that healthcare workers remain healthy. Renteria urges people to comply with Public Health directives to limit face-to-face contact with others as much as possible, to respect social distancing, to engage in hand washing and other hygiene recommendations like coughing into tissues, and to continue to stay informed as the situation evolves.
For the latest Mendocino County Public Health coronavirus updates, visit mendocinocounty.org/community/novel-coronavirus
To schedule a medical appointment at MCC, call 964-1251.
CATCH OF THE DAY, March 18, 2020
MARCOS FERMIN-GARCIA, Ukiah. Attempted car theft, tampering with vehicle, resisting, probation revocation.
CLIFTON STEGNER, Redwood Valley. Domestic battery.
'HEY MSP - ANYONE HEAR FROM 4TH DISTRICT SUPERVISOR ELECT DAN GJERDE?'
MSP got a message from a viewer saying, "Fifth District Supervisor Ted Williams posts multiple times daily keeping people informed on developments on the pandemic crisis - where's Dan Gjerde. Shelter in place doesn't mean 'Silence in Place'."
MSP checked Supervisor Gjerde's "Fourth District" Facebook page - his last post was February 20th @ 4:53 pm.
REPORT FROM LAKE COUNTY
AT&T’s “U-verse” has left this reader without internet or phone service since last Friday. A failed wi-fi router was said to be the fault, and its replacement arrived yesterday. After installation, the phone worked for about 20 minutes or so, and reverted to its prior failed state. Throughout the days, email was downloadable at unpredictable times (signaled by incoming bulletins from the Sacramento Bee, which somehow appear on the desktop, alerting me to the brief ability to fetch new mail).
In those two or three minutes of online access, I was able to respond on Saturday to the announcements from KPFZ managers that the station would be off the air on Sunday and Monday, and return on Tuesday to provide emergency coverage of the current “pandemic” population orders. On March 16 I received an email from “LakeCoAlerts” requesting acknowledgement of receipt (a first), and stating that “A Public Health Message and Public Health Orders have been issued for Lake County.” This morning’s planned foray into town will enable me to do that, but the message could have been stated in the email itself (sigh).
Scuttlebutt and the supermarket sez we expect to hear from the Sheriff’s Office soon that the county must “shelter-in-place” (with restricted excursions to resupply household needs, and no telling how that will be enforced). Libraries are closed, too, so locals who depend on that for internet communication services are just plain S.O.L.
Using the wi-fi access of a generous downtown neighbor, The Essential Public Information Center on Main Street I will be sending this note to “reach out” to others who may be experiencing a similar problem. Normally, Facebook would be a reliable “go-to” for community information, and I expect that when the local difficulties are repaired we will find many such complaints. I will copy to draft emails the last 5 days of the AVA (assuming you’re all still up and running), perhaps they will also reveal similar discontinuities of service — but in the meantime, Lake County’s local lockdown (“self-quarantining”) is depleting our supermarket stocks of basic necessities: meat, bread, soups, fruit, toilet paper, cleaning supplies.
The senior center in Lucerne first announced it would be shuttered, except for regular free food distribution events, a couple of weeks ago; a more recent announcement extended that closure (including distribution of free nutrition supplies from the Redwood Empire Food Bank out of Santa Rosa) for the month of April as well.
Our greatest concern is for those older folks we normally serve as senior center volunteers — it’s not clear whether the Lakeport center is continuing to provide home-delivered meals in the Northshore towns, or providing any kind of on-site assistance. Over the past several months, we’ve heard reports that more and more homeless persons are accommodated by the center — and fewer “regular” participants have been congregating there. The significant number of older adults among the local homeless populations are at greatest risk, lacking ordinary sanitation for long periods of time (and then only if they can get to the senior centers).
Lakeport’s Chief of Police Brad Rasmussen described to our listeners on March 12 the new protocols LPD officers are using to protect themselves from exposure to COVID-19, and extra sensitivity to homeless “residents” and their higher risks for all kinds of infectious diseases. Lucerne, already pummeled by extreme poverty, mentally ill/homeless population, and limited resources, turned up 85 unsheltered residents during the late-January “Point in Time” count (Lakeport identified 100, Clearlake around 250). Many of these persons are dependent on the senior center’s nutrition distribution services, on a “good day.”
The assumption being that nutrition is central to maintaining a healthy immune system, the absence of supplementary resources for impoverished people and the maintenance of the home-delivered once-daily “meals” for already disabled elders seems to be more than callow and heartless. But perhaps my reading of the events from self-sequestration and blocked communication services is in error, and everything is just “fine.”
This being written in the luxury of my heated and electrified home — sans internet and phone service — mayhaps I’ll find enlightenment in the past few days’ AVA. In the meantime, we wish you all well and undaunted.
COAST GARDENS CLOSED
We are now closed in this evolving situation. The Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens is adhering to county public health orders and looking to the county for guidance as to the status of our activities as a public garden and community resource.
Events and workshops have been cancelled through April 4.
Stay safe and healthy! Please check our website for updates: gardenbythesea.org/
DAY USE OPEN AT HENDY WOODS but Campgrounds and group activities are closed at Hendy Woods and throughout the State Park system.
The campgrounds are closed, but the parks remain open for day use at this time. Here is a link to the official press release: parks.ca.gov/NewsRelease/943
ON LINE COMMENT OF THE DAY
BIDEN? This is the same tired bullshit list that gets trotted out every election cycle to keep us in line with the centrist, republican lite corporatist fuckhead that the DNC chooses for us to vote for. Looking at Biden’s voting record doesn’t give me the slightest bit of assurance that many of these items won’t go the opposite way anyways. He voted for war. He voted for reductions/cuts to “entitlements” i.e., shit we pay for — he is not a Democrat. He lies as much as Trump does. Difference is he smiles more so we feel all warm and fuzzy inside while our liberties get stripped away and our tax dollars get wasted on COMPLETE HORSESHIT. Sorry, but not sorry. Your candidate wants my vote? Come and earn it. Otherwise, kick rocks. If the DNC insists on this modus operandi they will lose again. This time worse than 2016. Wake up and stop falling in line with this piece of shit Democratic Party. It’s wholly owned by the donor class. For them a loss in 2020 is a win. They still get your money and you still get jack shit.
BACK TO BASICS
I wonder why high-pressure tactics were used in an article to persuade people to drop cursive in schools (“Kids can’t write cursive — no big deal,” March 8). Big guns were brought out. The pro-cursive movement is a “right-wing conspiracy,” with an appropriate quote from the paranoid fringe. Teaching cursive was described as an indoctrination tool for unruly children to mold them into “a fine platoon of soldiers.” Compared to my instruction in cursive, it was ludicrous.
The coronavirus pandemic teaches us not to place our eggs in one Chinese manufacturing basket, which suddenly becomes inaccessible. We assume there will never be widespread system failures requiring nonkeyboard communications. Printing is slow and awkward. More importantly, we would lose handwritten works of statesmen, theologians and long-ago writers if people can’t read cursive, which is already happening. Sure, the “official” version would be on computer, but how could we verify it is real?
In the TV series “Man in the High Castle,” a filmmaker from the Reich is making a film claiming America was always under the Reich. Her boyfriend says no one will believe it. “This will be the only version available,” she replies. “In three generations no one will remember anything else.”
LIFE IN THE CALIFORNIA COVID-19 LOCKDOWN
by Manuel Garcia Jr.
How’s life under quarantine? I bust out daily (unless my wife strenuously objects) to try to get supplies. This is supposedly officially allowed by the Shelter In Place Order, to wit:
“For purposes of this Order, individuals may leave their residence only to perform any of the following ‘Essential Activities.’ But people at high risk of severe illness from COVID-19 and people who are sick are urged to stay in their residence to the extent possible except as necessary to seek medical care.
1) To engage in activities or perform tasks essential to their health and safety, or to the health and safety of their family or household members (including, but not limited to, pets), such as, by way of example only and without limitation, obtaining medical supplies or medication, visiting a health care professional, or obtaining supplies they need to work from home.
2) To obtain necessary services or supplies for themselves and their family or household members, or to deliver those services or supplies to others, such as, by way of example only and without limitation, canned food, dry goods, fresh fruits and vegetables, pet supply, fresh meats, fish, and poultry, and any other household consumer products, and products necessary to maintain the safety, sanitation, and essential operation of residences.
3) To engage in outdoor activity, provided the individuals comply with Social Distancing Requirements as defined in this Section, such as, by way of example and without limitation, walking, hiking, or running.
4) To perform work providing essential products and services at an Essential Business or to otherwise carry out activities specifically permitted in this Order, including Minimum Basic Operations.
5) To care for a family member or pet in another household.”
During this time Convenience stores, hardware stores, farmers markets, gas stations, auto supply/repair, banks, plumbers, electricians, post offices, laundromats can all stay open. Childcare centers will remain open with restrictions. Restaurants can only deliver or provide take out options: no dining in.
I’m 70, but I still gotta’ eat, wipe my ass (which I prefer to do with that unobtainium: toilet paper), and I can’t stand going stir-crazy. So on outings I will go; but fear not, I have NO PROBLEM staying far away from all of my fellow Americans, ever (I’m a socialist misanthrope).
I think we in this household will have enough toilet paper; we only have double our usual not excessive supply, a fortunate last-minute buy about 7 days ago. I can’t get any more oatmeal (my standard survival ration), and forget about anything for hygiene like laundry soap (I’ll have to use dish liquid or Cascade dishwasher granules, for washing clothes).
Yesterday, before the midnight deadline for starting this porous curfew, we rented seven DVDs from our local (and very rare) video renting store, to wile away our boring hopefully germ-free staycation. Beyond that I have my homemade collection of geology and nature documentary DVDs, as well as a few bought old chestnut movie DVDs (Goldfinger, Pat Garrett & Billy The Kid, Women In Love, Lawrence Of Arabia, Casablanca, The Big Sleep, Treasure of Sierra Madre, and some other minor classics), which are here loved only by me it seems. And we have books! I’m currently reading “The Invisible Invaders, Viruses and the Scientists Who Pursue Them,” by Peter Radetsky. Thank god for reading, but one does get bleary-eyed, weary and butt-sore from too much reading.
I suppose when we’ve eaten down our food stores we’ll be reduced to ketchup of stale saltines. Hope I don’t have to call 911 and beg for food, playing the old card. I did manage to buy some Bushmills and vodka on the Ides Of March (liquor stores are “food stores” by the Shelter In Place Order, aren’t they?), to accompany me during the Biden-Bernie debate. So, I could continue to strain my liver to wile away the time during the lockdown, though my fortitude for booze ain’t what it used to be. But alcohol does kill germs. Yesterday, I did manage to score a whole chocolate cake and two tubs of coffee ice cream for my 3 week long socially distanced birthday party, which last night was accompanied by watching the 1971 movie “Panic in Needle Park.” (Appropriate, n’est-ce pas?)
I look enviously at the cats, their lives have not changed. Canned cat food remains easily available (and no I don’t want to eat any, even the pricey stuff from Canada), and they still go outside for their carefree galavanting (the birds on my hillside are quite aware of our young cats, and easily taunt them without hazard, by singing out and cawing their mutual warnings from on high). I’m saddened by the dearth of hummingbirds. In 2015 I had literally hundreds (four big feeders going fulltime), but since 2017 very few. I suspect a great dying from climate change and the wildfires since 2016. Who knows?, maybe the animals all wish the same for us from COVID-19 or an even harsher superbug, for their salvation from habitat-loss extinction.
I see an enormous traffic on Facebook now (even me, and I hate it!) because of so many sequestered and bored people. I suspect all Counterpunch-focused writers are ‘scribbling’ (pecking) away from sheer boredom besides the urge to “save the world;” probably enough articles for several Counterpunch Lockdown Special Editions (which might be a needed mercy to so many stir-crazed readers).
Anyway, that’s my Lockdown Saint Patrick’s Day report on life in the California COVID-19 quarantine.
(Manuel Garcia, Jr, once a physicist, is now a lazy househusband who writes out his analyses of physical or societal problems or interactions. He can be reached at email@example.com.)
ON LINE COMMENT OF THE DAY
That’s the way it is in a capitalist system. No business because of the virus? Fire staff and send them home to shelter in place. So the working class is without money, without a way to pay basic expenses. That is a failure showing the inhumane face of capitalism.
That is not the way it is in a social democratic country like Denmark. The president of Denmark said to the employer, yes send them home because of the virus, but you cannot fire them, and the government will pay 75% of their salary. A more humane way to treat people, because people in Denmark are not just cogs in a capitalist market, not widgets. They are recognized as human beings and are treated with dignity and they are supported economically by the Social Democratic GOVERNMENT.
Denmark is one of the most egalitarian societies in the world. The Danish welfare model ensures a healthy work-life balance as well as free education and healthcare for all. That is possible in a market economy where the Government redistributes wealth equally instead of allowing for a huge gap of wealth inequality.
THE STAGGERINGLY CRASS and selfish stupidity of spoiled millennial idiots like Vanessa Hudgens will help Coronavirus kill more people and they need to drop their blinkered stupidity and wake up! Yesterday, The High School Musical star turned on her Instagram live 'story' and broadcast her insensitive thoughts on the coronavirus to her 38.4 million followers, many of them young and impressionable. The tone-deaf actress said it was inevitable people would die from the virus and then issued a lame apology the next day which only compounded her error. Indeed, amid the terrifying coroanvirus crisis, despite some millennials being stoic and sensible, some are behaving like complete and utter cretins. I couldn't believe the idiocy of so many Spring Break students flocking to the beach in Florida, hugging and kissing each other like it was VE-Day. Or the crass stupidity of all those flocking to bars on St Patrick's Day around America yesterday, when even Ireland shut down every pub in the country. In the general scheme of things right now, the thoughts of someone like Vanessa Hudgens shouldn't matter. But when someone with 38.4 million followers who hang on her every word is spewing such dangerous nonsense, it actually does matter. It can literally mean people live or die.
— Piers Morgan
Here, the best single piece of advice about the coronavirus, or anything, really, and it's only eighteen seconds long: misscellania.blogspot.com/2020/03/the-best-single-piece-of-advice-about.html
In Other News-- Helen wrote earlier about playing music in the cafe near a table of sniffling children, where her reflex response to concern of disease was to reach over and open a window. I forwarded it to myself with the MCN-Announce part of the subject line removed so it would go into my Inbox and not remain in the Announce folder, so it'll be on top Thursday night and Friday afternoon when I'm shoveling things into my show file. I went to my Inbox minutes later; there was a reply from support services of Net Uptime Monitor, a program I use to make sure my internet access is reliable for streaming my show to the transmitter (it flashes reassuring green lights and keeps a log). Apparently I had miss-shortcut-keyed the email forward and sent Helene's story not to myself but to NUM's support as a request fo a repair ticket, which their robot says they'll get to as soon as possible. Now I'm looking forward to their suggestions on the subject. If I were them, I'd say, "Tell your friend Helene to try closing the window and opening it again." I'm leaving it up to them, but I will squeal with joy like a little girl if they say that.
BUM FIGHT GOES BAD
"On Tuesday, March 17 at approximately 12:47 am, officers were dispatched to the area behind CVS (155 South Orchard Avenue), in the area of the loading dock, regarding a report of a male who was bleeding severely from his head. An anonymous male requested a Denny’s employee telephone 911 regarding the injured male.
Upon arrival, UPD officers located a 57-year-old adult male lying on the concrete floor of the loading dock. The male was lying in a large pool of blood and he was bleeding profusely from his head.
The scene indicated there had been an altercation, as there was a large amount of blood on the walls near where the injured male was located. David Giusti (age 67, of Ukiah) was also located in the area of the loading dock and initially denied any knowledge of what happened to the victim.
Officers rendered first aid and summoned EMS to the scene. While Officers were rendering first aid, Giusti walked away from the scene pushing a shopping cart. As other officers arrived, Giusti was located a short distance away and was detained.
Giusti was covered in blood and had a shopping cart that was filled with his personal belongings. Officers located a blood-covered wooden dowel inside the shopping cart. The subsequent investigation revealed there had been an argument between the victim and Giusti and evidence caused officers to believe Giusti was responsible for the victim’s injuries. Giusti was arrested without incident.
EMS transported the victim to Adventist Health Ukiah Valley hospital where he was treated for significant injures to his head. The injuries rose to the level of Great Bodily Injury, and would most likely lead to permanent disfiguration and could have been fatal had he not received medical treatment.
The victim was later transported to an out of the area trauma center for further medical treatment. At the time of this press release, the victim was in stable condition.
Giusti was transported to the Mendocino County Jail where he was booked for the aforementioned violations. Giusti remains in custody with a bail of $250,000.
The Ukiah Police Department’s Detective Bureau has assumed the investigation of this incident and are attempting to identify the anonymous male witness, who requested the call to 911. Anyone with information regarding this incident is urged to contact UPD.
The Ukiah Police Department would like to thank the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Department personnel who assisted with the initial investigation of the incident.
As always, our mission at UPD is simple: to make Ukiah as safe a place as possible. If you would like to know more about crime in your neighborhood, you can sign up for telephone, cellphone and email notifications by clicking the Nixle button on our website; www.ukiahpolice.com."
(Ukiah Police Presser)
Some clarification please.
A woman on the internet is accusing Mendocino Animal Control of doing hideous things to her horses, like breaking their legs! Seems preposterous.
She’s asking for a lot of “crowd” funding to help her provide for her horses and go to court.
Someone named Ann Katherine Caudra in Fort is this woman, or her friend.
Is there any truth to these accusations? Or is the complainant just an equine hoarder?
ED NOTE: Ms. DelaQuadra lost custody of her horses because she was unable to care for them. That custody was lost two years ago. Ever since she has alleged a wide-ranging conspiracy against her. She's obviously unhinged but more to be pitied than condemned.
WHERE CALIFORNIA STANDS WITH CORONAVIRUS TESTING RIGHT NOW
By Rachel Becker
Coronavirus testing has been plagued by confusion, delays and chaos, with the number of available, usable tests far outstripped by the need. The situation, health care providers and experts say, has impaired their ability to know how many people have the virus — but a significantly larger number, they suspect, than that confirmed by state and federal officials.
Gov. Gavin Newsom says, however, that help is on the way, from university medical centers, private labs, the tech sector and more. So where are we on this? Who can get tested and where exactly should you go? If you do get a hold of a test, is it going to cost anything? Here’s what you need to know.
How many tests does California have?
On Sunday, California Gov. Gavin Newsom said California has conducted 8,316 tests, and has the capacity to run just short of 9,000 more. On Monday evening, he said that the state’s 19 public health labs have increased tests “by a few hundred” over the previous 24 hours. Still, he said, “That clearly is not enough.”
By Tuesday, the number of public health labs conducting testing had increased to 21. And the state has also turned to academic medical centers as well as private companies to fill in those gaps. UC San Francisco, UC Los Angeles, UC San Diego, and Stanford are all offering tests for the novel coronavirus — and UC Davis is currently racing to get three different types of tests online.
Nam Tran, associate professor and senior director of clinical pathology at UC Davis, said one of the tests that runs on an SUV-sized instrument created by Roche Diagnostics should come online within weeks and is expected to churn out 1400 results per day. He called it a “game changer.”
As for private companies, Quest Diagnostics has been running 1,200 tests a day out of its lab in San Juan Capistrano, Newsom said Monday — and could ramp up to 10,000 tests per day across the country with the addition of another laboratory by the end of this week.
Should I get tested?
Californians are still facing delays, or no tests at all. And a surge of demand for testing supplies — including swabs, kits for extracting the virus’s genetic material, and personal protective equipment for healthcare workers — threatens the state’s efforts to scale up tests.
At a time of limited resources, testing should be reserved for people with moderate to severe symptoms and for those with underlying health conditions, said Michael Romero, a program manager with Placer County’s public health emergency preparedness team.
Symptoms can show up between two days and two weeks after exposure to the virus, and include fever, cough, and trouble breathing, according to the CDC.
“Our guidance is if you have mild symptoms, just stay home, testing would help you know whether you have it or not, but it wouldn’t change anything,” because there is currently no treatment, he said.
Can I get tested?
One challenge is the patchwork of guidance about whom to test first across California’s counties, private testing companies, and health systems, according to Kat DeBurgh, executive director of the Health Officers Association of California.
Guidelines may vary from county to county because of the uneven spread of the novel coronavirus, and local public health departments are required to approve the tests run through their labs, DeBurgh said. She’s calling for more guidance from the state about whom to prioritize, she said, to help with the crush of calls that local public health officers are triaging.
In Los Angeles County, for instance, the public health laboratory “will test specimens from high risk patients requiring a rapid public health response if they test positive,” according to guidance from the county. Any other patients with fever and symptoms of a respiratory illness who may have been exposed should be tested by a commercial laboratory, instead.
At Kaiser Permanente, whom to test is up to clinicians, spokesperson Marc Brown told CalMatters in an email. Tests are only available to Kaiser members with a doctor’s order.
Priority goes to hospitalized patients as well as people experiencing symptoms who also have additional risk factors such as being over 60 years old, heart or lung disease, or who are immunocompromised. Anyone exposed to someone with a confirmed or suspected case of the novel coronavirus, or who recently traveled somewhere affected by it, will also be prioritized.
Where can I get tested?
People should first check with their doctor’s office to ask whether they’re collecting specimens, said Romero with Placer County. If their doctor is not doing testing, they can try calling their local urgent care. Romero said people should not go to the emergency department just for testing. That is what would cause unnecessary overflooding in the ER, he said.
Some counties, like Los Angeles and San Diego, ask that people who do not have a primary care provider call the county’s 2-1-1 line for information on where they can find providers with tests.
Sutter Health, for example, is asking that its patients schedule a video visit with a doctor to check whether they meet testing criteria. If a person does meet the criteria, then doctors make arrangements with patients about specific locations where they can go for testing.
Some health systems have also opened drive-thru testing for its members.
Is testing free? What if you’re uninsured?
Earlier this month, Newsom announced that all screening and testing fees would be waived for about 24 million Californians. That includes co-pays and deductibles for a hospital and doctor office visit associated with the test. But if a person is sick and needs further treatment and care, that cost is not required to be waived.
Newsom’s order does not apply to people who work for large employers and whose private health plans are regulated by the federal government. That said, an emergency coronavirus response bill pending in Congress would require that testing and all related fees be covered by all forms of insurance without out-of-pocket costs for the patient.
The California Department of Public Health has said that people who are uninsured and have symptoms should contact their local health department for information on how to get tested.
Some health clinics, like the AltaMed group in Southern California, are waiving test fees even for patients who are uninsured, but again, tests are only given to people who are showing symptoms. Also, clinics can help enroll patients in any available county program that may cover fees, and clinics themselves often charge on a sliding scale, which means costs are based on a person’s ability to pay.
Testing through the Verily screening pilot program screening in Santa Clara and San Mateo counties is a philanthropic effort and also free to the public.
What’s the deal with Verily’s triage site?
Confusion has dogged the rollout of a triage site aimed at directing concerned Californians to testing. At first, President Donald Trump said Friday that “Google has 1,700 engineers working” on a screening website that would be “very quickly done.”
In fact, it was Verily, the life sciences subsidiary of Google’s parent company Alphabet, behind the effort, and the site was not a nationwide screening tool but one specifically for Californians in the Bay Area. Newsom announced the triage website on Sunday, where people can fill out a questionnaire and schedule an appointment at one of two test sites in Santa Clara and San Mateo.
So far, however, demand far outstrips availability: 174,000 people visited the website in the first day since it opened, Newsom said Monday. 174 people filled out the questionnaire. 50 people signed up for specific appointments — and 30 people actually showed up. Newsom said he expects testing to grow by 200 to 400 tests per site, and in a press briefing on Tuesday, he projected the Verily mobile test sites had conducted 320 tests that day.
Newsom said Monday the whole idea is to expand these mobile test sites beyond the Bay Area. “The good news is operationally, things went fairly well, not perfectly, but fairly well.”
What will this test actually tell me?
The current test for the novel coronavirus looks for the virus itself by sniffing out the virus’s genetic code. These tests can tell you if you have an active infection. What they can not tell you is whether you’ve been infected and recovered.
“Something that is missing from our knowledge of this virus is how many people are exposed to it,” said Philip Felgner, director of the vaccine research and development center at the UC Irvine School of Medicine. That data is key for understanding the breadth of the outbreak, and just how lethal it really is.
So how will we be able to track the virus?
Researchers across the world are working on developing another kind of test — one that looks for signs of the immune response to the virus, called antibodies. This kind of test — a serological test — would allow scientists to search out people who have recovered from less severe or asymptomatic cases of the virus who never ended up in a hospital.
That could help scientists identify chains of viral transmission, home in on hotspots of the outbreak, and would be a first step towards a fuller understanding of why some people recover more readily than others. STAT has reported that the CDC is working on developing two of these tests, and Science has reported that scientists in Singapore used a serological test to track the outbreak.
Here in California, Felgner at UC Irvine has teamed up with a company called SinoBiological to create tests that can hunt for antibodies to nine different infectious agents including other coronaviruses like ones that cause SARS and MERS, as well as viruses that lead to similar symptoms, like influenza.
Felgner and a research institute in San Francisco called Vitalant intend to validate these tests and other, similar ones, by running them with leftover samples of donated blood from Seattle. Another test will look for the kinds of antibodies that can neutralize infections, giving a sense for how effective the immune response actually is.
Michael Busch, director of the Vitalant Research Institute, clarifies that these tests aren’t to screen the blood. “We don’t screen blood purposefully for this virus, it’s not a transfusion transmissible agent,” Busch said.
The goal, instead, is to survey communities to find out just how far the virus spreads, and for how long. “What it does show you is how many people were infected,” Busch said. That changes the calculus for what we understand about how often the virus causes severe symptoms, or kills people — and where exactly to be looking for it.
(Courtesy, CalMatters where reporter Ana B. Ibarra contributed to this report. CALmatters.org is a nonprofit, nonpartisan media venture explaining California policies and politics.)
TULSI'S OUT, SUPPORTS BIDEN
So today, I’m suspending my presidential campaign, and offering my full support to Vice President Joe Biden in his quest to bring our country together.
by Fred Gardner
Being the son of a Great Man isn't easy.
As a reporter I had seen Terence Hallinan in some very dramatic situations over the years. In an Army courtroom defending 14 Presidio stockade prisoners charged with mutiny. At City Hall in San Francisco, imploring his fellow supervisors to pass a resolution enabling Dennis Peron to distribute marijuana to AIDS patients. In a Sacramento hotel ballroom advising California law enforcement officials —some 260 district attorneys, police chiefs and sheriffs, all of whom had opposed Proposition 215— to leave its implementation up to their public health departments… But it was a mundane image from 2002 that the slide projector in my mind chose to display when I heard that Terence had died.
Terence, then 65 and the District Attorney of San Francisco, was in the driver's seat. The lone passenger was me, his press secretary. He had pulled over and parked to point out a huge chasm on which a new office building would soon be erected. “That could be the new Hall of Justice,” he said in an unusually wistful tone. “I want it to be called 'the Vincent Hallinan Hall of Justice'." Terence gazed at the hole in the ground for a while before adding, “The mayor knows how much it means to me.” Then he pulled out and drove back to 850 Bryant Street (where the Hall remains to this day).
Vincent Hallinan was an impossible act to follow. Terence, the second-oldest of his six sons, was the only one who spent a lifetime trying (though they all admired and were devoted to him). Terence once gave me a biography of his father, "San Francisco's Hallinan: the Toughest Lawyer in Town," by Joseph P. Walsh. I skimmed it back then and read it just now.
Vincent was born in San Francisco in 1896. His father, Patrick, had emigrated from County Limerick and worked on the cable cars. When the Carmen's Union struck for an 8-hour day, United Railroad fired them and brought in scabs and armed strikebreakers. In the battles that ensued, 239 men were wounded and three union men killed. Patrick Hallinan was clubbed, leaving him with a misshapen right hand and a long scar above his left eye.
He gave up on militance, found odd jobs, drank heavily, and the family kept moving into ever cheaper lodgings as babies arrived. There would be six girls and two boys sleeping four to a bed.
Eventually Vincent's mother, Elizabeth, moved with the kids to a cottage in Petaluma that had no gas or electricity.
At age 12 Vincent got a job delivering groceries for $1.50/week plus surplus produce. When he was 16 Elizabeth moved back to San Francisco and her husband (who had found work driving a horse and wagon for the city) so that Vincent could be educated by the Jesuits at St. Ignatius. There he excelled during three years of high school and earned a BA from the college (now USF). During his junior year he enrolled in night law classes and found his calling. He apprenticed to an experienced lawyer named Ryan and at age 24 —before he had his law degree— passed the first-ever written exam administered by the state bar association.
He worked 72 hours a week, did thorough research for every case, argued cogently and forcefully, and won most of the personal injury suits and civil-court actions he brought. He only charged if he won and his usual fee was 33% of the award. "Earning money never constituted a problem for Hallinan, even at the start of his legal career," according to Walsh, his biographer. He often didn't charge Irish laborers who were supporting large families. His first major purchase was a house in the Haight-Ashbury for his own.
Vincent Hallinan didn't attend mass but he helped build a social club for St. Agnes parish, which became extremely popular with young unmarried Catholics, staging musicals and monthly dances. He also led the Agnetian Club football team from a no-win season in 1921 to the Pacific Coast Club championship in '24.
"Hallinan invented a new defensive tactic, the 'roving center,'" Walsh writes in his bio. "On each of the opponent's plays Hallinan would stay at center only if the ballcarrier was coming at him, otherwise he would pull out of the line and follow the play, thus adding his strength to the threatened position."
Pro-football soon reached San Francisco, the top players were lured away from the clubs and the Agnetians disbanded. Walsh recounts: "Hallinan had captained the team doing its entire history and played every minute of each of its 28 games. Ripley's 'Believe it or Not' commemorated his durance record and designated him 'The Iron Man of Football.' His enduring contribution to modern football evolved from his 'roving center' device. Coach 'Pop' Warner introduced it at Stanford with All-American results. Thereafter, the innovation became nationwide and developed into the position of linebacker."
In 1925, Vincent took his first criminal defense case at the request of the Hallinans' milkman. His client was an elderly ranch mechanic named Johnny Tipton, who was facing a murder charge in Hanford, a town in the Central Valley. The dead man, whose life had been heavily insured, was the foster son of Tipton's niece; his will made her the main beneficiary. Hallinan ascertained that the grand jury had been shown the death scene not by the district attorney but —illegally— by a detective working for the insurance companies seeking to pin the rap on Tipton. A motion to get the case dismissed was denied and Hallinan spent three months in Hanford arguing in vain in a sweltering courthouse packed with hostile spectators. He was twice cited for contempt and paid $500 in fines, but he was confident that Tipton's conviction would be overturned and it was.
Back in San Francisco he resumed winning civil suits and building his practice. His football days were done but he took up swimming, rugby, and boxing. He sparred with his close friend John Willams (6' 4", 280 lbs.), who had won the national amateur heavyweight boxing championship. Willams convinced him to make some small stock purchases. Hallinan made a study of economics, decided that the market was "a racket," and sold off his holdings, netting $109,000 a few months before the market crashed. He leased a suite of offices in the newly constructed Russ building and bought a large redwood cabin near the newly constructed Hetch-Hetchy Dam. He had a boxing ring installed there and worked out often with Willams.
"Fighting was a natural to Hallinan when he was angry as laughing was when he was amused," his admiring biographer explains. Hallinan told Walsh that he had punched out 26 lawyers whose behavior in court angered him. The 27th was a younger, bigger lawyer who had boxed professionally and got the better of him. "The aura of physical primitivism never embarrassed Hallinan; he cultivated it," writes Walsh. "This was particularly true after rugby and football injuries disfigured the left side of his face and his left hand. By the 1930s corridor beatings had become unfashionable… As late as the 1970s Hallinan hit young attorneys who had lost their composure and called him vulgar names."
Hallinan fought judges, too —not with his fists but by pressing for reform of the civil court system. Judges and jurors were assigned to cases by a commissioner in thrall to the transportation and insurance companies. (The most frequent defendant was the Market Street Railway.) In six consecutive cases that Hallinan won in the 1930s, judges found insufficient evidence for the award to his client and ordered retrials. Hallinan determined that in 61 cases tried by the two most biased judges, only five verdicts against the Market Street Railway had been allowed to stand, and the awards were insignificant. He began filing affidavits claiming partiality and demanding a hearing whenever he had a case assigned to a judge he knew to be biased. The newspapers covered his campaign, his cases began getting reassigned, and his reputation soared along with his won-loss record. Following a review of the system by outside judges in 1937, reforms were instituted. These included selection of jurors from the voter rolls and assignment of cases by a rotating presiding judge.
In 1932 Hallinan's client Frank Egan, the San Francisco public defender, was found guilty of killing his wife but spared the death penalty. Hallinan did a day in jail for contempt; Egan would do 25 years. Also in 1932 Franklin Roosevelt was elected President and Vincent Hallinan, 35, married Vivian Moore, 21. It was a perfect match intellectually. Plus: she was a self-reliant knockout and he was a big, handsome man with a few battle scars. He had money and they both had class. He'd been a ladies man and intended to remain a bachelor. She dreamed of having six sons. (Her father was Irish, her mother Northern Italian. They divorced and Vivian had been raised by various relatives.) Hallinan was an outspoken atheist, Vivian was a free thinker, but they had a Catholic wedding in Reno hoping to please his parents.
Vivian promptly got into real estate and soon, although the depression was deepening, started making money. She renovated, rented out, and then sold two extremely rundown apartment buildings near San Francisco's business district that had fallen to Vince in lieu of payment. She would reflect: "I wanted to do something myself and I did not want him to dominate me or run my life. My subordination and dependence were undesirable for both of us."
Conn "Ringo" Hallinan (who is six years younger than Terence) says of his mother: "When the depression hit she had cash, which was rare, so she got great deals. Also, she was the first landlord in San Francisco to provide furnished apartments. She would go into the big furniture stores and say, 'I need this, I need this… and I want 50 percent off.' They'd say 'You're out of your mind.' And she'd say, 'Well, I need a hundred of them.' And they'd say 'Oh. We do 50 percent off.' She had savvy. She had a philosophy of charging renters below market rate. That resulted in two things: you never had vacancies and you never got sued. And it made her feel better about what she was doing.
Ringo once told me that their father made the Hallinan boys swim around the lake down the road from their cabin every morning before breakfast. (I call him "Ringo" because that's what Terence called him. I used to call Terence "Kayo" before I went to work for him.) The other day I called Ringo to ask, “And what if you weren't up to swimming around the lake?” He said, “You don't talk back to the burning bush." One time his father wouldn't let him get off the diving board, he said, until he executed a dive he was too afraid to attempt. "He kept me up there for an hour and a half because I was scared to do a one-and-a-half."
Not easy being the son of a great man.
"Not at all," Ringo confirmed. "I remember when he had us us go into the Merced River at the end of April —and it was good for us. The Merced River is too cold to swim in at the end of August. In April?"
"Why was it good for you?" I asked.
"Because it showed you were tough."
Conversation With Brother Ringo
At a reunion of the Presidio "mutineers," Randy Rowland said that Terence Hallinan had told him frankly at their first meeting in the summer of 1968, “I'm a Communist.” Rowland was an Army medic on orders for Vietnam who had been turned against the war by wounded soldiers he had been caring for at Fort Lewis, Washington. He was AWOL and drafting an application for conscientious objector status when he sought Terence's advice on how to turn himself in in a way that would advance the anti-war movement. It wasn't easy asking Ringo Hallinan if Terence was speaking literally or figuratively when he described himself as a Communist. It wasn't easy. Growing up in Brooklyn during the post World War II Red Scare you learned not to make such direct inquiries. But on the West Coast the left had not been pervaded by fearfulness and Ringo responded readily. "Terence was kind of in the party. I was in the party so I can tell you that he wasn't a member in the real sense of the word.
"My parents were never members of the Communist Party," Ringo went on. They never said anything bad about the party, although they had good reason to, because they saw the role that anti-communism was playing. They didn't want to give it any credence. In 1952 my father ran for president on the Progressive Parthy ticket. The Communist Party was the heart of the Progressive Party, the people who did all the work. But right before the election the Party decided that fascism was coming and they had to support Stevenson to stop fascism —another one of their completely bonkers decisions." The CP honchos didn't notifyHallinan when they suddenly withdrew support. "My parents showed up at campaign headquarters and there was no-one there," Ringo recalled.
Terence had told me he was a founder of the DuBois Clubs, which I assumed was a front for the Communist Party youth organization. "No it wan't," Ringo said. "Terence was one of the founders. I was there, too, as the first chairman of the first club in San Francisco. Then I was chairman in Berkeley when I moved there in 1964. It was much broader than a Communist Party front. What made the DuBois clubs attractive to some on the left was: we were the only mostly-white organization that had any African-American representation. A certain section of the left —mostly red-diaper babies— saw that as very important. The DuBois Clubs was much broader than the party, and at the same time, the party played an active role in the organization. It attracted people who never joined the party and wouldn't have joined the party.
"The DuBois Clubs were instrumental in the civil rights movement in San Francisco. The DuBois clubs really led the Mel's Drive-in Sit-in, which was the first mass civil disobedience in the north. And the next year it was the hotels, then automobile row. They wouldn't hire Black people to sell Cadillacs in San Francisco. And people thought irony was dead.
"In 1965 we took part in the bigt three-day teach-in that led to the formation of the Vietnam Day Committee and the beginning of a real massive resistance. It was a natural progression. People who had gone to Mississippi in 1963 came back and joined the Free Speech Movement in '64 We played a role in the huge demonstration in San Francsico that ended up in the Polo Grounds and the Youngbloods played the opening set. Kayo was really a major organizer of that, and did so through the DuBois Clubs.
"The Vietnam Day Committee organized a march down Telegraph into Oakland in '65.The Oakland cops blocked us at the border. So the next day we marched down Adeline and they blocked us again, only this time they had the Hell's Angels with them. The cops made way so the Angels could attack us.
"What they didn't know was that the front of our line had been organized by the DuBois Clubs and we had some serious beef. Kayo was the Golden Gloves champion —he was a seriously tought dude. And all of us had been street fighters. And we recruited street fighters. So the Angels came through,there were about 25 of them, led by Sonny Barger, and he tried to push through Kayo and I and we both hit him at the same time and he went down on his ass. Kayo hit him with a really sweet right hand and I hit him with a left hook to the chin —I didn't know Kayo was going to hit him—and he just went down! The bastards thought they could just beat up the peace demonstrators. They attacked this crowd of several thousand thinking we were pacifists, which we weren't. People were clamoring to get into it with the Hell's Angels. After about 15 seconds they realized they'd gotten into something they weren't prepared for. If it hadn't been for the Oakland cops, we'd have finished them off. But the cops attacked, they clubbed Terence over the head and me on the shoulder and we wound up crawling back to the Berkely lines. And Kayo says to me —while we're on our hands and knees— ”Ringo, you know it's true: the cops really are the armed agents of the ruling class.” He was funny! No matter what he was into, he was always in a slihgtly different place.
Terence and Ringo had first met Alex Cockburn at a peace march in England. I had forgotten the details. Ringo filled me in:
"We took Alex. It was the second Aldermaston March, 1961. We were friends with Konnie Ziliacus, who was a member of parliament from Manchester. Alex was dating Zillie's daughter. He had never taken part in a demonstration and we said, 'Come on, Alex, you gotta do this.' So he went and had a very good time, although it really rained and we all got very wet. It was a three day march ending in Trafalgar Square and overflowing into all the streets around it."
From Bob Egelko’s obituary in the SF Chronicle
Terence Hallinan, a onetime teenage brawler who became a fighter for civil rights and then an against-the-grain politician, serving as a San Francisco supervisor and the city’s district attorney, died Friday. He was 83.
“He passed away this morning, in his sleep, peacefully,” his son, Brendan Hallinan, told The Chronicle.
Hallinan gained the nickname “Kayo” from his prowess as a boxer — he was on the boxing team at UC Berkeley and nearly made the U.S. Olympic team in 1960 — and from his pugilistic tendencies that led to a criminal record and almost cost him his legal career. It took a state Supreme Court ruling in 1966 to overturn the State Bar’s decision that the 30-year-old was morally unfit to practice law.
Thirty years later, after his election as district attorney, prominent developer Joe O’Donoghue said Hallinan slugged him at a restaurant where O’Donoghue had berated him for firing the son of a business partner, in a post-election office purge intended to shake up and diversify the office. The two reconciled shortly afterward with prodding from newly elected Mayor Willie Brown.
Hallinan also fought the status quo.
He was beaten and arrested as an antiwar protester and civil rights demonstrator in the 1960s. As a supervisor from 1988 to 1995, he was an early sponsor of transgender rights and a supporter of decriminalizing prostitution. As San Francisco’s top prosecutor for the next eight years, he hired women, minorities, gays and lesbians in unprecedented numbers, sought alternatives to prosecution for nonviolent crimes and declined to seek the death penalty for any capital cases — a practice his successors, Kamala Harris and George Gascón, continued.
“I’ve shown that you can be a tough prosecutor and still be true to your progressive ideals,” Hallinan said in 2003 after Harris, a former prosecutor in his office, defeated him in his bid for a third four-year term. Harris has gone on to become California’s attorney general and a U.S. senator.
“His storied legal career was intertwined with so much of our great city’s history,” Mayor London Breed said in a statement. “He was outspoken and fierce in his pursuit of justice, his defense of those in need, and his love for this city.”
Hallinan had radical roots. His father, Vincent, a renowned defense lawyer, ran for president on the Progressive Party ticket in 1952 from jail, where a judge had sentenced him for contempt of court during his defense of union leader Harry Bridges.
Hallinan grew up in a mansion in Marin County. At age 12, on a camping trip near Yosemite National Park, he fell off his horse, fractured his skull and was stranded for five days before being rescued by helicopter.
As a member of what the district attorney described as a “wolf pack,” Hallinan had several run-ins with the law between ages 16 and 22. A juvenile court judge convicted him of theft and battery at age 17. He pleaded guilty to assaulting the owner of a Sierra ski lodge at 18. And he was charged with felony assault for breaking a young man’s jaw at 22, but the jury deadlocked.
“I was a tough guy — in those days, people said, the toughest guy in Marin County,” Hallinan recalled in a 1995 interview. “I had a lot of anger.”
After graduating from UC Berkeley in 1960, he attended the London School of Economics and was arrested again — but this time for taking part in a nonviolent protest, a sit-down near the U.S. Embassy as part of a disarmament demonstration led by philosopher Bertrand Russell.
While studying law at UC Hastings in San Francisco, he spent the summer of 1963 registering black voters in Mississippi as a member of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee and was arrested and beaten by local police. He joined further protests in San Francisco with the NAACP, the Congress of Racial Equality and other civil rights groups. He was arrested six times in 1963 and 1964 and was twice convicted of unlawful assembly and disturbing the peace during sit-ins against auto dealers’ racial practices.
Hallinan graduated from Hastings in 1964 and passed the bar exam, but the bar’s Committee of Bar Examiners found that he lacked the “good moral character” required of lawyers, citing his violent past and numerous arrests. In a December 1966 ruling, however, the state’s high court said Hallinan had renounced violence since joining the civil rights movement, and he had not shown disrespect for the law as a protester.
If California disqualified from its licensed professions everyone who had been convicted of crimes for engaging in nonviolent civil disobedience, “we would deprive the community of the services of many highly qualified persons of the highest moral courage,” Justice Raymond Peters said in the 6-1 decision.
Hallinan worked as a private lawyer for nearly three decades. His clients included soldiers who were being held as prisoners in the San Francisco Presidio in 1971, in some cases for their opposition to the Vietnam War and for holding sit-down protests over stockade conditions.
He also represented the Diggers, a late-1960s Haight-Ashbury group that ran a free store on Haight Street but ran afoul of the police when they held a poetry reading and food giveaway on the steps of City Hall in 1968. The criminal charges, which included defaming the U.S. flag after one member wore a stars-and-stripes shirt, were quickly dismissed.
In 1978, Hallinan took up the case of Juan Corona, who had been convicted in 1971 of murdering 25 farmworkers. Arguing that Corona’s trial lawyer should have told jurors about his client’s schizophrenia, the attorney persuaded a state appeals court to overturn the convictions. Hallinan then represented Corona at his second trial in 1982, when Corona was again convicted and sentenced to life in prison.
Hallinan also served briefly on the defense team for newspaper heiress Patricia Hearst in her bank robbery case.
He entered politics in 1977, running for the Board of Supervisors, but lost to gay-rights leader Harvey Milk. Hallinan was elected on his third try a decade later.
After eight years as a member of the board’s progressive wing, he launched a surprising candidacy for district attorney in 1995, telling one interviewer that defense lawyers and prosecutors practice the same law. He defeated veteran attorney Bill Fazio with 52% of the vote, despite opposition from police and prosecutors’ groups, as well as major local newspapers.
Among his first acts as district attorney was to fire 14 longtime prosecutors, including the son of developer O’Donoghue’s business partner. It was the beginning of a series of personnel moves that gave women and racial minorities a combined majority on Hallinan’s staff.
Criticizing what he called the “revolving door of incarceration,” Hallinan expanded the office’s programs of supervision and rehabilitation as an alternative to punishment for nonviolent crimes, and steered juvenile offenders into training and treatment programs. And after declaring himself “America’s most progressive district attorney,” he squeaked through to re-election in 1999, again beating Fazio by 1,800 votes out of more than 200,000 cast.
But the felony conviction rate plummeted to just above 50%, among the lowest in the state, during his tenure. Hallinan, in explanation, noted that violent crime was also plunging in San Francisco, faster than it was dropping statewide, and attributed the drop in convictions in part to his alternative rehabilitation programs and the city’s liberal jurors.
When he told The Chronicle in 1998 that he suspected the slaying of an organized crime figure was related to the unsolved killing of Hallinan’s former campaign finance manager, an irate judge removed the district attorney’s office from the crime figure’s murder case, and the State Bar privately reprimanded him.
Perhaps his highest-profile case, known as Fajitagate, ended in legal and political embarrassment.
After three off-duty police officers allegedly beat a man for refusing to hand over a bag of steak fajitas in 2002, Hallinan accused the Police Department of a cover-up. He secured a grand jury indictment against seven senior officers — including Police Chief Earl Sanders and Assistant Chief Alex Fagan, whose son was among the three officers on the scene — for allegedly obstructing justice.
But Hallinan soon dropped the charges against Sanders, admitting he could not prove the chief was part of a conspiracy, and a judge dismissed charges against the other senior officers. The three off-duty officers were acquitted at a criminal trial, although a civil jury later ordered Alex Fagan Jr. and a second officer to pay damages. The case widened the gulf between the police force and Hallinan, contributing to his 12-point defeat to Harris in December 2003.
Hallinan returned to private law practice, teaming with his son, Brendan Hallinan, and specializing in medical marijuana cases. He remained largely out of public view, but in December 2014 the State Bar effectively ended his legal career with a 90-day suspension for using a bank account he had designated for clients’ funds as his personal account. No clients were harmed, but the misconduct was “willful,” said the bar’s disciplinary court.
In a statement Friday, Hallinan’s family said: “Terence was a visionary in the battle for social, economic and racial equality in the United States. A fierce advocate for the underdog, he fought for justice for the most vulnerable members of society and worked to reform the criminal justice system. Terence was a pioneer in the decriminalization of cannabis laws and the treatment of substance abuse as a public health issue.” Former Supervisor Tom Ammiano recalled his former board colleague as a true San Franciscan, unbowed by any criticism or popular opinion.
“I just loved and admired him,” Ammiano said. “I served on the Board of Supervisors with him, and I learned so much about government from him. He fit that San Francisco template of being very colorful. He was pugnacious — literally — he had been a boxer. He took on a lot of causes that were not very popular. He had that San Francisco bite, and he was also brilliant. When he became D.A., he was also under attack from the police union, from your newspaper. And he took the heat in the Hallinan way: It made me more resolved and more outspoken.”
Hallinan is survived by his wife, Lisa, daughters Savoy, Audrey and Vivian, son Brendan, and five grandchildren.