- Partly Cloudy
- FB Coping
- Franklin Street
- Loud Bikers
- EMS Report
- Locked Down
- Virtual Supes
- Animal Shelters
- Virus Tent
- Yorkville Take-out
- Grocery Service
- Noyo Princess
- FB Foodbank
- Empty Shelves
- Reuse Masks
- Sunset Strip
- Yesterday's Catch
- Disquiet Spring
- Hard Time
- Never Work
- Joe One-liner
- SF Images
- God Spoke
- Life Transformed
- Virus Bomb
- Deferred Payments
- 2020 Census
- Trump Timeline
- Bad Reporter
COASTAL CLOUDINESS will give way to at least partial sun by afternoon along the Redwood Coast today. Otherwise, partly cloudy skies are expected with a few showers are possible again during the late afternoon and early evening hours. The next round of rain and mountain snow will arrive Monday into Tuesday. After a brief period of dry weather during the middle of the coming week, more unsettled weather is forecast by Friday. (NWS)
FORT BRAGG WITH PLAGUE, MARCH 2020
by Marilyn Davin-McEwen & Bruce McEwen
Turning off Highway 101 onto 20 West the day before St. Patrick’s Day brought a foreboding chill, maybe even a shiver. When we left Ukiah the hammer had just come down and public spaces were shutting down. We didn’t know what to expect in Fort Bragg assuming we survived the wet, winding, foggy slog through Highway 20’s dense, dripping evergreens as we chased the fading light to the coast. This is not the greatest road to travel any day at dusk, let alone on this day when it felt like driving underwater headlong into the murk. When the road finally levelled out and the tang of the sharp salty air made it through the vents it was a relief to get out of the car and stretch.
Had we entered a time warp?
Everything was open. People were blithely going about their business, eating companionably in restaurants and bellying up to local bars. There was not a mask to be seen on Fort Bragg’s pedestrians, and what gloves there were appeared to be for the comfort of the wearer rather than for protection against the plague.
Hungry after skipping lunch, we drove down the steep road to Noyo Harbor and pulled into a parking spot in front of The Wharf. A cheerful old hippie-looking couple climbing into their pick-up turned to say, “You won’t have any trouble getting a table.” After climbing the steep steps to the dining room we settled into the best table in the house overlooking the sunset over Noyo Harbor. The Miss Kelley III glided below, her crew displaying an impressive haul of silvery fish as the trawler maneuvered around the buoys leading into the harbor.
Ah, serenity and calm, so refreshing after the jabbering talking heads in the cities prophesizing the end of life on Earth as we know it. “The coronavirus is nothing like the flu we usually get,” they warned ominously over the airwaves as we tucked into our crab cakes and scallops.
The Travelodge wasn’t as full as I’ve seen it while covering other AVA stories but it wasn’t deserted, either. By Day Two Fort Bragg restaurants were still open but preparing to close their in-dining services to offer only curbside deliveries beginning the next day as the new official buzz-phrase, “social distancing,” took effect.
Becky Parrish owns a popular North Main Street restaurant where lines for breakfast frequently snake down the block. Like any good citizen soldier, Parrish said she’s following the official guidelines right now but isn’t afraid to question what she sees as the unequal application and inherent unfairness of the restrictions. “We’re not in China, we’re in America,” she said. “We need to be able to ask questions and the government needs to answer them.” Parrish said that providing hot food for people is within the allowed-business guidelines but that restaurants have been reduced to curbside and take-out deliveries while people are crowded cheek by jowl in long lines at big corporate grocery stores like Safeway. “What has happened in the local economy is that people are standing in crowded lines in grocery stores exposing themselves to one another while small independent restaurants are only allowed to do curbside service and their businesses are down 75 to 100 percent,” she said. “Business is going to the big grocery stores. Please don’t forget about us.” So much for Trump’s crocodile tears about supporting small businesses because they are “the engine of the American economy.”
Bruce McEwen: As I was collecting our purchases at Purity Market, I overheard the next customer in line complain about the shortage of paper products, namely toilet paper, and the checker, a manager I think, said that he was somewhat disappointed in his supplier because after thirty years of business the supplier had given all the toilet paper to Safeway and left none for Purity Market. “It just goes to show,” the manager commented acidly, “how little we matter when it comes right down to it.”
Later, as I was in line at Coast Hardware, I heard the checker Wally comment to a local, in reference to the expected shelter in place order Wednesday evening that “They won’t be asking me to stay at home” – Wally appeared to have been working overtime already and was expecting to log long hours in the coming days.
On Wednesday evening and again on Thursday morning, foot and bicycle traffic on the Haul Road and over the Pudding Creek trestle was moderate, not to say light, and the headlands and beaches were peopled as heavily as I recall they used to be a dozen years ago when I lived in Fort Bragg and walked the Haul Road regularly; people were every bit as friendly as ever before and, this being migration season, many were equipped with binoculars for whale spotting.
Back at our motel I chatted with a college student on spring break from Chico State, Michael, who seemed unconcerned about the pandemic. Another fellow, an older guy with dreadlocks down to his knees, almost, said his sister had rented a room at this motel for him on Sunday. This guy, who asked his name not be used, said his sister had inherited all the family fortune, and that she very stingily doled out minimal amounts to him, and that she must have felt a tinge of guilt about the prospect of him being on the streets during the pandemic crisis, so she booked the room for him.
Marilyn: By Thursday morning every single business on normally busy Laurel Street was closed: galleries, coffee shops, upscale clothing stores, the cool sock shop. Like other restaurants, Cucina Verona was only doing take-out. A lone chair right inside the door was for customers awaiting their orders. All the other chairs were stacked upside-down on the dining room tables. Riley, who said she’s worked at the Laurel Street restaurant for three years, was taking orders and answering the phone while wiping down menus and check trays with disposable sanitizing wipes. She said that three or four servers usually work at the restaurant, along with at least two or three cooks. With takeout only, that’s down to herself on the floor and two cooks. Riley was clearly sad that everyone else had been laid off and would have to apply for unemployment because there were no other restaurant jobs around. “In 2008 I was laid off during the financial crisis,” she said. “It took months for me to get unemployment.”
At that point Ben, one of the (surviving) chefs, came out to the dining room to deliver more grim news. “I just heard that we could be closed for six months,” he said. “By that time, I’ll be homeless.” He added that his grandmother, a local therapist, helps him out but that overnight her daily appointments had gone from five or six to zero. “It’s scary,” he said. “I don’t understand why every business has to shut down. The social and economic fallout is the only effect I can see from this virus.”
At this point it’s hard not to speculate that an admittedly more difficult targeted approach to managing the coronavirus may have better served the good people of Fort Bragg than the economic neutron bomb that blindsided them this week. What are these people, who lost their jobs and their businesses overnight, supposed to do? As impotent, hand-wringing debate rages in Congress over what to do, whether to send everybody a thousand-buck check someday, extend unemployment, yada-yada… Rome burns. And we haven’t heard much from basic services forgiving payments, just a lot of hooey like “We’re helping our valued customers manage their payments. We’re here for you.” Manage their payments with what? Kick them down the road a few months then demand payment in full, probably with interest? And, just as the downtown chef fears, if you do end up homeless, then what?
When I stopped by Hospitality House, refuge for many of Fort Bragg’s homeless, there was no room at the inn; all the beds were taken. Twenty-four-bed Hospitality House and beds at three other much smaller sites are nearly always full. If a tsunami of human need for shelter hits town in the wake of mass lay-offs and shuttered businesses, where will those in need lay their heads at night?
That’s a question that’s keeping Mendocino Coast Hospitality Center Executive Director Carla Harris up at night.
A 30-year-plus veteran of working with the homeless, the addicted, the poor, and the victims of social injustice─including post 9/11 in her native New York─she said she took her Mendo job in Fort Bragg two years ago because life here fits her better than in the big cities. When I sat down to talk with her in her orderly office in the elegant Old Coast Hotel on Franklin Street, she said that county organizations representing different facets of emergency response had just formed a task force with state and federal resources to make sure everyone stays current in this rapidly evolving situation.
“What was true yesterday may not be true today,” she explained. Harris said no services have been cut, and that food supplies and other resources have not been affected. Which doesn’t mean it’s business as usual. For one, Hospitality House abruptly lost many of the 25 to 50 volunteers who keep many programs going. “More than half of our volunteers are seniors,” Harris said. “And as a vulnerable population they are now sheltering in place at home. We need help, and my request is that younger, healthy people reach out to us.” Harris said that she believes the threat of the virus is real, that the emergency measures either recommended or mandated by county, state, and federal governments are being made in good faith. Reassuring her fragile residents, many of whom experienced trauma before becoming homeless (which brings its own trauma), is part of her job. She said that fear is often felt most intensely by the most vulnerable, to the point now where some of her homeless residents feel uniquely exposed to and fearful of extreme measures like forced quarantine or even martial law.
If all of this upheaval is enough to throw someone into God’s arms for hope and spiritual succor that, too, is suffering its own brand of social distancing. I caught the tail-end of the last in-church noon mass at Our Lady of Good Counsel Catholic Church on South Harold Street. The church’s 14 rows of wooden pews held only a dozen or so worshippers, some of whom told me they were worried about replacing the daily mass with televised versions.
Devout Catholic and 30-year Fort Bragg resident Jose Mendoza stopped to speak with other attendees after the mass. “My concern is that people will eventually stop coming to church,” he said. “There have always been masses on TV but this is an experiment. I worry about the people who depend on coming here every week.” The church has expanded its lunch program from its regular Wednesday rotation to every day.
As I walked back to our car an exuberant young woman ran up to me after mass. A physician’s assistant and pre-med student, Jacqueline Lee said she’s most concerned about social unrest.
“Mass panic scares me more than anything else,” she said. But her response is to engage with helping the world, not hiding from it. She said she’s helping prepare the church’s daily hot takeaway meals. For Lent, instead of giving up something like meat or chocolate, she’s “praying a rosary for the world. I decided to do more instead of giving [something] up,” she said.
Bruce: Friday morning at the Ten Mile Court in Fort Bragg, Bailiff Mark McNelly informed me that the only courtrooms in Ukiah still operating were Departments A, Judge Keith Faulder’s; C, Judge Cindee Mayfield’s (Family Court); and H, Judge Carly Dolan’s Criminal Court, for video arraignments from the jail. The Ten Mile Court has adopted a policy of seating people in the gallery three seats apart, but no one besides myself came in, except a woman there for a case management hearing; and she was told by the clerk that all such cases had been continued for 90 days, by order of the presiding judge, Hon. Ann Moorman.
The court reporter, Kimberly Foster congratulated me on my recent marriage and said it must be difficult for a journalist to get around in these trying circumstances where only essential workers are supposed to be out of their houses and going about their business. I responded, perhaps too heatedly, that the only one who would tell a journo that his work was not essential during a crisis was a dictator.
There was nothing on the calendar but family law cases featuring lawyers Bart Kronfeld and Greg Petersen, and they were there only for the formality of continuing their cases to a later date. I had hoped to see the Ten Mile prosecutor, Josh Rosenfeld, but was told he wouldn’t be in until Monday; and, maybe, depending on developments, not even then.
There’s a crew remodeling some of the rooms at the Travelodge and I spoke with two of them on Friday during break. Their work was deemed essential, one man in every other room, an empty room in between, the tile setter in one, the carpenter in another, the plumber in a third one. This is all within the guidelines, even more so, the general contractor, Guero, told me.
Pete, the tile-setter, said it looked to him like we were one step away from martial law. We were all out of range of each other, more than the prescribed six feet, but we were all on the same page on this idea, the likely onset of martial law, especially considering Sheriff Matt Kendall’s comment that he didn’t want to enforce the stay at home order, but would if he had to. As to one man per room, this meant only a journeyman could work, since apprentices, by definition, would have to be supervised, to some extent, six-feet notwithstanding.
Marilyn: Laws, like revenge, are best served cold – or in this case, enacted. Remember the Patriot Act where our collective fears distracted us long enough for our government to throw away our civil liberties with both hands? We find ourselves at a similar crossroads. When I was walking down Laurel Street at high noon, the only person out on the street, a city police car, slowed beside me and the cop took a good look at me snapping photos of the street’s closed shops and eerie emptiness. I must have passed some test because the cop slowly moved on to look for somebody else. Maybe for a group chatting in somebody’s backyard? Freedom of assembly could be next on the chopping block.
As I write this from the Travelodge, Trump is live on CNN, droning on about how hard everybody is working to solve this unrest and pummel the virus into submission. The California Department of Public Health just announced that statewide there are 675 confirmed cases and 16 deaths from the coronavirus. In 2018, 3,651 Californians perished in traffic accidents. This is not to say that death should be taken lightly.
But there is an issue of perspective, here. That perspective is fear. A fear of the unknown that the leaders we elected to protect us are frantically fanning through their domination of the airwaves and a compliant media who believe everything they’re told and question nothing. About the Travelodge? I dropped by the office to chat with the woman in the office who checked us in to see how the corona virus restrictions were affecting business. “I’m sorry,” she said, “but I just signed a paper from headquarters saying that I wouldn’t talk with the media.” When I called their customer service number to ask a PR-type about it she wouldn’t refer me to anyone without screening me first. Wouldn’t even give me the HQ phone number. “It’s our protocol when reporters call,” she said, reading none too apologetically from a script.
(Bruce and Marilyn reporting from Fort Bragg, with more regional coverage to follow barring arrest for “non-essential” newspaper reporting.)
FRANKLIN STREET IN FORT BRAGG AT 2:00 PM SATURDAY
ABOUT A DOZEN VERY RUDE MEXICAN HARLEY RIDERS and their girlfriends stopped in at the Redwood Drive-In in Boonville Saturday just past 5pm. They all got off their bikes and stood around in the back listening to deafening Mexicanish rap music emanating from at least one of the bikes as a few of them gassed up and picked up chips or something inside. Rude, loud bikers of all flavors and stripes do this regularly at the Drive-In, of course. But this gang was doing it now, ignoring shelter-in-place, thumbing their noses at “social distancing” niceties as the gals jumped on the bikes behind their macho men grabbing them in extreme opposition to “distancing” before rumbling off toward Highway 101.
EMS OPERATIONS REPORT — Anderson Valley Ambulance, March 21, 2020
A lot can change in 30 days. We are currently maintaining staffing coverage during this Pandemic. We have modified our existing protocols (in real time) for a pandemic and have done extensive training over the past month.
Currently I have only had one individual withdraw from shifts due to being part of a high risk demographic. I anticipate more, however no one has suggested they were concerned yet.
We are currently adequetly supplied for Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). We have over 200 N-95’s, about 40 +/- BSI (Body Substance Isolation) kits which include N-95s, goggles, gloves and gowns. We have a limited supply of goggles and are asking folks to clean and reuse the ones we have.
The annual Easter Egg hunt has been cancelled. Volunteers Antoinette and Philip were going to have the teachers gather the drawings and turn them in. I believe they were still going to judge them and offer top prizes for the best drawing.
(Clay Eubanks, AV Fire Ambulance Manager)
MENDO’S FIRST VIRTUAL BOARD MEETING, PART 2
‘JUST THE BEGINNING…’
by Mark Scaramella
First: Yesterday we reported that the Supervisors did not discuss AirBnB rentals as part of the shelter in place order. Re-reading the County Health Officer’s order, however, it’s clear that AirBnB rentals are part of the ban on commercial rentals with exceptions for housing those under isolation and persons doing essential business. Exceptions must be approved by the Health Officer.
At Friday morning's virtual Supervisors meeting, Supervisor Ted Williams asked about precautions being taken for critical staff at the County’s Emergency Operations Center.
Sheriff’s Lieutenant Shannon Barney said that access is restricted to primary team members who are staged through an entryway where their temperatures are taken. Two separate teams have been set up in separate locations with overlapping functions. One team goes down, the other takes over.
Lieutenant Barney went into some detail about the County’s Emergency Operations Center now moved to the Probation building on Low Gap Road, Ukiah. He also noted that they are rotating people through County’s newly established call center, which has upwards of 65 county employees to answer the public’s crisis related questions. “It’s stressful for everyone including staff,” said Barney, adding that some employees needed help arranging for child care because schools are closed.
Williams was concerned about keeping key staff on the job, saying they needed to do more isolation for top staff while on duty. He thought more should be done by way of backup plans.
Dr. Doohan, Mendo's public health boss, agreed, saying that she is working on specific guidelines for facility access for senior staff and supervisors.
Williams asked how the public should get clarifications on the Health officer’s orders.
County Council Christian Curtis replied that they are “trying to get certain questions routed through an attorney.”
Williams declared, “If it takes an attorney to get clarification, we are not doing our job.”
Curtis said that sometimes it’s necessary to get a legal review of questions and answers and that they are trying to be as clear as possible — there will always be some uncertainty when issuing such general orders.
CEO Carmel Angelo said that County departments have been closed to public walk-ins. People should call ahead if they need to see someone or call the County’s call center at 234-6052 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Some employees have called in sick and some are just staying home for one reason or another. Others are at their positions, but not dealing with the public in person.
Supervisor John McCowen said that he understood from state projections that the virus may spread in waves with ups and downs for as long as a year or more.
Public Health Officer Dr. Noemi Doohan agreed, saying that they hope to have a vaccine or treatment before 18 months, but that the situation is open-ended. “This is just the beginning of our shelter in place life,” she said. Dr. Noemi added that China seems to be developing some immunity and that she hopes the County can handle its surges. “We are in this for the long haul,” said Doohan. After noting that her husband lives in San Diego, Dr. Noemi added, “I am not leaving Mendocino County. This is not likely to be a short-term problem.”
Assemblymember Jim Wood came on the line to describe measure taken at the state level, but he didn’t have much in the way of details. “The world has been turned upside down,” Wood said, adding that specifics about state plans are forthcoming. Wood said that he is personally working on what to do about daycare centers.
Supervisor Williams asked Wood if anything was underway at the state level to help Mendo get the homeless off streets.
Wood didn’t have any specific Mendo-info, but said that “I would not wait for the state” — meaning for now at least Mendo should be addressing that situation on its own.
Supervisor McCowen asked about the timing of the pot cultivation “true-up” having to do with the tax payments and associated calculations for permitted pot growers. Answer: Grace periods are being established.
This brought McCowen to the “fiscal implications” of the property tax collections.
An assistant Tax Collector said that Teeter payments (i.e., advances) to schools and special districts would be continued. Those payments are about two-thirds of the property tax revenues; one third is for county general fund operations.
McCowen asked for a report on the tax situation at the next Board meeting that addresses the possibility of property tax deferment.
County Counsel Curtis said that tax deferment/collection is a State discussion, with state regulation, and that the Supervisors may not have authority to defer collections.
Supervisor Dan Gjerde asked about the cost of the county advancing money to schools and special districts, adding that if property tax revenues are delayed, it might mean that the County pays out of pocket before being reimbursed, creating cash-flow problems.
Either way, the subject will be on the Tuesday, March 24th meeting agenda. For now an April property tax payment (the second half installment) will be due. (We assume that property tax due dates will be extended, but it will have to come from the state.)
McCowen asked staff to prepare a letter to the state about In-Home Care workers that describes what the state should do to for their protection and financial support. A letter will be on Tuesday’s agenda for Board approval.
McCowen asked about how the County would handle its share of about $150 million in new emergency homeless funding coming from the state. Mechanisms are not clear at this stage, and staff agreed to pursue the question.
Then came the touchy subject of “essential businesses.”
McCowen, probably referring to Ross Liberty’s Factory Pipe operation at the old Masonite plant site in Ukiah, said the County should support “some businesses which help sustain the national economy,” and avoid implications of shutting down businesses which are suppliers of parts to other companies. “They could be deemed unreliable and put out of business,” if they don’t continue operating, said McCowen, adding that the County should consider “ranges of interpretation and implications” of the essential business definition if the virus emergency extends for a year or more. “We have to maintain our economy while social distancing,” McCowen declared.
Supervisor Gjerde said the County needed some kind of process to determine if businesses can comply with safe operations — again referring indirectly to Factory Pipe, adding that “manufacturing facilities with high wage jobs can’t just shut down.”
McCowen said the County should start planning for vote-by-mail elections. He noted that it’s getting hard to find poll workers, most of whom are elderly. Mendo already does a lot of mail voting, so why not just go all the way?
CEO Angelo concluded by noting the importance of keeping the virus out of County operations. “If one gets it,” Angelo said, “others will have to be quarantined.”
Nobody specifically addressed “Moby Grape,” or “Big Pot” during the “essential business” discussion, but there were several passing mentions of “ag” and ag workers and spring plantings that must proceed. Several attachments to the Friday morning agenda were from grape and pot growers who want their businesses to continue. We assume the County will try to make some accommodation for them, after all they do make up a large part of what’s left of Mendo’s economy. But essential or not, they may find themselves like everybody else: overwhelmed by events.
The next Board meeting — another virtual one — is the regularly scheduled one for Tuesday, March 24 when virus-related subjects are expected to dominate the agenda while other less pressing business is set aside. Overall, Friday’s precedent-setting meeting was handled reasonably well under the circumstances. As the crisis unfolds we hope the Board and staff stay healthy and can focus more on policy and priorities and avoid getting too deep into operational details like what procedures will be used for staff entrance into various offices.
ms notes: We agree with Supervisor Gjerde that the County “needs some kind of process to determine if businesses can comply with safe operations.” Each business which considers itself essential should be able to apply for some kind of “essentiality permit” with an accompanying proposed safety plan following whatever guidelines the Health Officer sets out. After all, businesses are required to submit all kinds of plans — stormwater runoff plans, hazardous materials plans, workplace safety plans, etc. Although they usually just collect dust and don’t get much attention. BUT, and here’s where Gjerde’s idea might fail given Mendo’s history of non-enforcement of businesses rules (other than legal pot businesses): The business’s safety plan has to be simple and clear and there has to be a reliable method of strict on-site enforcement. Mendo’s standard “wink and nod” method of enforcing business rules (when was the last time a business was even cited or fined for a violation of an environmental rule, say?) must be replaced by, let’s call them “HO deputies,” tasked with frequently visiting the “essential business” to make sure they’re complying. So, like that restaurant on the South Coast that the HO closed for safety violations a few days ago, the HO should close any violating businesses on the spot. They can appeal, but they can not stay open during the appeal.
COVID-19 ANIMAL SHELTER UPDATES, MARCH 21
To ensure the Animal Shelter is able to maintain valuable open kennel space during the County's Shelter in Place order, we’re letting the community know they can play a huge role in helping us by fostering a shelter animal for approximately a 2 to 4 week period. With the wonderful help of Mendo animal-lovers the past several days, many of our shelter dogs are in foster homes! What we need now is help getting our dogs ADOPTED! All dogs are licensed, altered, vaccinated, micro-chipped and have passed the required behavioral testing. You can see all of our available shelter animals by visiting http://www.mendoanimalshelter.com/.
Please don't forget that we have reduced adoption fees for all of our long stay, adoptable dogs. Call Sage or Amy at the Ukiah Shelter at 467-6453, Adriana or Jennifer at the Ft. Bragg Shelter at 961-2491 / 961- 2526, if you are interested in adopting or fostering.
To protect the public and shelter staff, Mendoino County Animal Care Services Sheters are closed to the public during the County Shelter in Place Order. We ask customers to knock on the front door during normal business hours--10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday if you need assistance, and to please keep 6 feet or more away from the door when a staff member greets. Customers can also call Animal Care Services at 463-4427 and speak with a staff member during Tuesday through Saturday business hours. Depending on your need/request, we may be able to assist you. Please advise staff if you have lost your pet animal. People who have lost pet animals can file a lost pet report online HERE: https://www.mendocinocounty.org/government/animal-care-services/lost-animal-report-1801 No volunteers are permitted at Animal Care Services at this time. Thank you from shelter staff.
UKIAH ADVENTIST HOSPITAL ERECTS VIRUS SURGE TENT
LISA AT THE YORKVILLE MARKET
It has taken me longer than expected, however I have finally put an ordering list together (attached). I will have paper copies at the store on the counter and also outside in the kiosk to the west of the front door and at the post office. Please email or call (707) 894-9456 your order in by Wednesday at noon and your items will be available for pick up on Friday afternoon. This list is evolving and will be updated as products change - if you have a specific item that you would like to receive, just ask! In the next week, the new goals are to have an online ordering option available, as well as delivery service starting in the Yorkville area.
Hope you are all well!
This last few days has brought new attention to the COVID-19 pandemic and how we should be addressing this situation as a community.
First, for the time being, the Market will remain open for our normal business hours. However, in order to help keep the Yorkville community healthy, we will be cancelling our happy hour gatherings for the next several weeks. For our health and yours we are wiping surfaces after contact and will maintain our high level of sanitation in the kitchen and greater store area.
We are focusing our attention on take-out items and I will be sending out a regular menu of what we have available. Today we made a batch of delicious Shepherd’s Pies that we will be serving tomorrow, along with corn beef and cabbage in celebration of St. Patricks Day. These will be ready to eat or pickup in the early afternoon - don’t forget to grab your Guinness to wash them down.
Also, in order to help everyone avoid going out more and farther than needed, the Market is offering more fresh groceries and dairy. We are now carrying extra milk, organic cottage cheese, individual and 1/2 gallons of orange juice, whipping cream, blocks of Clover Jack Cheese along with organic spring mix, asparagus, baby carrots, broccoli, cucumbers and tomatoes. Instead of going into town, think about picking up your necessities right here in Yorkville.
The goal in the next week is to set up a sort of CSA box system, where each of you can place an order for the specific groceries you are interested in for the week, that you can then pick up at the Market. This could include items like Costeaux bread, local honey, and of course our take and bake menu, along with the dairy and fresh produce mentioned above. I am working on creating an order sheet and will get this out in the coming days. Please let me know if you are interested in this or if there are specific items you would like to pick up from the Market.
Thank you for your support during the stressful and difficult time. We will continue do our best to serve the community for as long as we can. In the mean time, please send me an email and let me your ideas, thoughts or suggestions, or just say hello and let me know you are doing well.
Sending you all healthy wishes and a big email hug.
WE COULD ALL USE A LITTLE CHUCKLE! We continue to think we are providing a service. We are taking precautions every step along the way. The safety of our team, our customers our community continues to be our first priority, while trying to provide a service and maybe…. a smile.
To our valued customers and neighbors,
Like you, we are closely monitoring the Coronavirus pandemic, and acting as quickly as possible to continue serving you to the best of our ability, both in-store and through our various delivery options.
Your Safety is Front of Mind
We have continued to take enhanced measures to clean and disinfect all departments, restrooms and other high-touch points of the store throughout the day, as well as a deep cleanse at the end of each business day. Cart wipes and hand sanitizer stations continue to be available at key locations within the store for your convenience.
As recommended by state and local health officials, we encourage you to wash, or sanitize, your hands before entering and leaving the store as a courtesy to your neighbors and our associates.
We’ve created “Contact Free” delivery procedures for our team and have changed our signature processes so that our delivery drivers can sign for you when delivering your order, after completing an ID check, if necessary.
Keeping You Supplied
Our doors remain open and we continue to have essential goods that our communities need, and we are replenishing inventory as quickly as possible.
Some of our stores have adjusted their hours to give our teams the time they need to restock shelves and get ready to serve your community.
We have also reserved special times for seniors and other vulnerable shoppers who must leave home to obtain their groceries, unless otherwise locally mandated. We ask that you avoid shopping on Tuesdays and Thursdays from open time to 9 AM so that the stores can be available for them.
Our Grocery Delivery, Pharmacy Delivery and Drive Up & Go services are available, and we are doing everything we can to ensure deliveries and pickups are on schedule. We appreciate the patience and understanding our customers have shown as we strive to meet all of our customers’ needs during this critical time. Temporary Changes
We ask that you continue to respect the quantity limits of select, high-demand items put in place at your store in order to ensure more of your neighbors can find the products they need.
Our return policy is temporarily changing. We are not accepting returns at this time.
We have temporarily suspended our Raincheck service. Right now, we may be out of some items indefinitely. We will make every effort to let customers know when they will be in stock again. For Our Team
The health and well-being of our team remains our top priority. Associates diagnosed with COVID-19 will receive two weeks of replacement pay while they are unable to work. If the associate is unable to return to work after two weeks, the associate will be able to use any other sick leave pay or short-term disability.
We will also pay any associate who is asked to self-quarantine by their health care provider or by our company, based on current CDC risk assessment guidelines, up to two weeks of replacement pay while they are unable to work. Our teams across our stores are truly the people to thank for keeping our stores operating. Working long hours and stocking our shelves to keep up with demand, we truly cannot express enough gratitude for their dedication and commitment these last few weeks. Please join me in showing your appreciation when shopping with us next.
Thank you for the opportunity to serve you and your community. We appreciate your patience, and we will continue to keep you updated.
President & CEO, Albertsons Companies
FROM THE NOYO HARBOR PRINCESSES SATURDAY
"We have lost both our crab and cod markets in SF which still buy about 80 percent of the fish we catch. On the bright side, as long as we have diesel no one in our community will go hungry."
"HELLO FRIENDS OF THE FORT BRAGG FOOD BANK,
In response to the COVID-19, the Fort Bragg Food Bank is seeing an increase in the number of Food Bank clients we are serving. At this time we can only anticipate more of an increase.
It is imperative that the Food Bank stay open and serve its community now more than ever. With so many of our local businesses suffering there are so many people who now find themselves without a job or way to earn a living. The Food Bank is here for our community.
Currently, we have a handwashing station out front and our volunteers and staff are practicing social distancing and wearing gloves. We are cleaning our countertops frequently and doing our best to provide a safe environment for our clients.
Starting on Monday, March 23rd, the Food Bank will have extended hours of operation. Clients will be able to come in once a week to receive food.
The new hours of operation will be:
Monday Thru Friday
Seniors 10:00-11:15 am
All Ages 12:00-3:00 pm
Wednesdays only 4:30-5:30 pm
We will also be providing a curbside pick-up for those who prefer not to come inside.
For more information call (707) 964-9404
Thank you so much for all your support
Amanda Friscia, Executive Director
Mendocino Food and Nutrition Program Inc
The Fort Bragg Food Bank
910 North Franklin St
HORRIBLE CONDITIONS AT OAKLAND KAISER Endanger Nurses and (former Grand Princess) Patients, CDC downgrades protection protocols
Nurses at an Oakland, California hospital caring for patients being tested for Covid-19 received instructions this week to reuse disposable medical equipment, including masks and eye protection. The hospital, Kaiser Permanente Oakland Medical Center, issued guidelines to nurses explaining how to clean single-use supplies to serve multiple patients during one shift.
THE SUNSET STRIP in LA without a single human being in sight on the first Saturday of the Covid-19 Emergency.
CATCH OF THE DAY, March 21, 2020
ROBERT CHAMBERS, Ukiah. Domestic battery, disorderly conduct-alcohol.
KITE FINDSTHEFEATHER, Willits. Domestic abuse.
SHANNON HENSON, Willits. Battery with serious injury, vandalism, probation revocation.
DANIEL KOWALSKY, Ukiah. Failure to appear.
TIMOTHY MCNEILL, Fort Bragg. Domestic abuse.
CITALLI PINEDA, Ukiah. Disobeying court order, resisting.
KAREN FEIDEN REPORTS FROM NYC:
The Patience and Fortitude Lions silent before the barred doors of the New York Public Library's grandest building on Fifth Avenue. The song echoing from the rooftops in Brooklyn to combat isolation. An empty Times Square. A glorious spring, disquietingly early, Central Park in bloom, runners and bikes a vestige of normalcy. The last of the toilet paper gone from Whole Foods, but still widely available at corner bodegas.
Genuine leadership from Governor Andrew Cuomo, reminding us that competence in government is not only possible, but essential. Awareness that if we refuse to inconvenience ourselves now, catastrophe is next. It may still come.
For all its inequity and frustrations, It's a beloved city. Stay safe.
STRENGTH & WEAKNESS
by James Kunstler
Happy Colorectal Awareness Month, everybody — in case you’re wondering why it feels like fate shoved a four-by-four up your nether region where the sun don’t shine. Millions around the country must be stunned at how bad this suddenly is. And every new morning seems worse than the last: Friday the Thirteenth meets Groundhog Day. Jobs and incomes instantly gone. Businesses staring into the abyss. Retirements vaporizing. Everyone stuck home alone with nothing to think about but going broke and hungry. And the final indignity: the possibility of death if you stray outside to get something you need, or just seek the comfort of other people.
This is our hard time. If you ever needed God, or some human representation of the good father, this would be the occasion; someone to guide and reassure you and inspire you to do your best under difficult circumstances. For the time being, America has Donald Trump. To the agnostical thinking class, with its obsessive loathing of men, white men especially, and white men in the father role most of all, Mr. Trump represents the ultimate grotesquerie. To that class of scribes, professors, assorted “creatives,” virtue signalers, and social justice seekers, even Tennessee Williams could not conjure up a more fearsome and detestable Big Daddy than Mr. Trump. Hence, their nonstop underhanded attempts to get rid of him for the past three years — which had all the earmarks of a neurotic adolescent rebellion. (“The Resistance” was actually a good name for it.) And yet, there he stands at the podium in our hard time. You can call that a lot of things, but one of them has got to be: strength.
Yes, he is peculiar-looking: the strange blond helmet, the orange face. Note, back in one of America’s earlier hard times, a lot people thought Mr. Lincoln looked like a great ape, and had much sport with that image of him in the newspapers. It’s also a fact that the decisions he made led to the deaths of hundreds of thousands of mostly young men in the bloodiest slaughters then imaginable. Yet those young men going to their deaths called him Father Abraham in their songs around the campfire. I’m not saying that Donald Trump is another Lincoln — certainly not in sheer rhetoric — but I am saying we don’t know yet what his mettle will show in this crisis, and where it might take us. One thing for sure: he’s been subjected to more political abuse than any character on-the-scene in my lifetime, and it’s amazing that he didn’t fold or quit or lose his shit as it went on and on and on.
And so, you now have the strange and ironic spectacle of his organized opposition, the Democrats, hoisting up onto their pinnacle of leadership absolutely the weakest candidate possible to oppose Mr. Trump in the election: Joe Biden. There was something certainly supernatural about his ascent in the recent cluster of primaries, as if some gang of someones worked strenuously behind the scenes to make it happen. If Mr. Biden ever had any charisma even in his prime as a young senator, there was no sign of that now, either in his own bumbling behavior or in the sparse crowds that were flushed out of the DNC’s voter registration thickets to show up at his rallies. In fact, he emanated the exact opposite of charisma, a faltering flop-sweat odor of weakness, and of every kind of weakness: physical, mental, and ethical.
Biden’s role was not the good father, it was the half-crazy old uncle in the attic — the kind who puts on his threadbare best suit every day to go down to a corner bar and sip beers until it’s time to stagger back home, where a dutiful niece-in-law might give him supper, if he could manage to ask for it politely. The kind who, until his forced retirement due to incompetence and blundering, had worked as an errand boy for the local mob, picking up receipts from the numbers racket, and was then cast off like a banana peel in a drainage ditch when his usefulness ended.
Of course, Joe Biden’s eminence in government, as vice-president, afforded him grander opportunities for grift than that. He went into the anarchic mess of Ukraine — engineered by US agencies, by the way — as Mr. Obama’s “point man” and came away from it with at least several million dollars in a guaranteed revenue stream for his hapless fuck-up of a son, Hunter, and there’s hard evidence that many millions more found its way into Joe’s pockets, too, via Ukrainian oligarch money laundered through the banks of Estonia and Cyprus — who would look there? (Rudy Giuliani, actually.)
That is the sort of president America would get if they happen to elect Joe Biden. The Democratic Party could not elect a strong and stupendously corrupt woman in 2016, and they have reeled in disbelief at their own failure ever since. Now they are marching forward into a national election — if that election can even be held, and we don’t know that yet — with a nominee who looks and acts like a wax figure of a president in one of those eerie hushed chambers of Disneyland. But please understand, this is exactly what the Democrats have wished for lo these several years that have taken us into America’s hard time: weakness and their own death, by suicide. Let’s not go there with them.
(Support Kunstler’s writing by visiting his Patreon Page.)
In the Democratic debate, Joe Biden said, in reference to the coronavirus, “Italy has a single-payer system, and it is failing.” The commentators thought that Biden had a clever point against Bernie Sanders’ “Medicare for All” plan. It was a clever one-liner, and Biden showed that he has as good talent for propaganda and distorting fact, as Donald Trump does.
The success of Italy’s health care system (and those of France, Germany, Spain, England and Canada) is measured over several decades by its quality, accessibility and affordability. The health care cost per-capita in Italy (and France, etc.) is about half that of the U.S., the life expectancy about four years longer and the infant mortality roughly half that of the U.S., all marks of a better system.
In all countries, containment of an epidemic or pandemic is handled by a separate agency. Its effectiveness depends upon funding by the political powers. Right-wing types of government will tend to cut the budget as Trump recently did. With the increasing number of infections, deaths, shelter-in-place orders, closing of businesses, schools, etc. one could say with as much veracity that the American for-profit health care system is failing.
CORONAVIRUS SHUTS DOWN BAY AREA: Photos show how life has changed
ON LINE COMMENT OF THE DAY
There have been numerous attempts to explain away the high numbers in Italy. None are successful. Many hinge on open contempt and devaluation of people over 50. I shouldn’t need to point out that is deeply sick, but apparently I do.
The tragic situation with the New Jersey Italian family (fully Italian as many in Jersey are, but homegrown and fully American) shows the inadequacy of all these rationalizations.
They’re Americans, yet rapidly decimated in a way that defies comprehension. Just like Italians still on Italian soil.
We don’t know yet why this is, and people should stop pretending they do.
If you hear a scary noise and you hasten to say “it’s just the wind” and maybe it isn’t the wind, you’d be better off to wait, admit you don’t know yet, and figure out what it is.
Scoffing gets you immediate answers, and it shuts people up, but few are inwardly impressed by scoffers or take them seriously. They’ll pretend to agree to stop the ridicule, but keep listening for what the noise really is. So false assurances waste everyone’s time and distract from the truth.
CORONAVIRUSES are a large family of viruses that usually cause mild to moderate upper-respiratory tract illnesses, like the common cold, in people. However, three times in the 21st century coronavirus outbreaks have emerged from animal reservoirs to cause severe disease and global transmission concerns.
There are hundreds of coronaviruses, most of which circulate among animals including pigs, camels, bats and cats. Sometimes those viruses jump to humans—called a spillover event—and can cause disease. Seven coronaviruses are known to cause human disease, four of which are mild: viruses 229E, OC43, NL63 and HKU1. Three of the coronaviruses can have more serious outcomes in people, and those diseases are SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome) which emerged in late 2002 and disappeared by 2004; MERS (Middle East respiratory syndrome), which emerged in 2012 and remains in circulation in camels; and COVID-19, which emerged in December 2019 from China and a global effort is under way to contain its spread. COVID-19 is caused by the coronavirus known as SARS-CoV-2....
When SARS emerged from China in 2002 it swept across the globe—largely through air travel—causing deadly illness. More than 8,000 people fell ill and 774 died, numbers COVID-19 surpassed within two months.
IT’S JUST STARTING
American life has been transformed in a few short weeks: The next few will be even tougher.
ON LINE COMMENT OF THE DAY #2
Given that the epidemiological model for this virus projects a 56% statewide infection rate, I fully expect some familiar faces to no longer be around once the smoke clears. Even if the local infection rate is a quarter of that, it’s going to be a very sad situation.
Assume your hands are contaminated every time you touch something in a public space. Keep them away from your face. Wash your hands and disinfect your doorknobs when you return home. Disinfect the faucet handles. Better yet is to carry a small spray bottle with a 10% bleach solution and some paper towels to carry with you. Pre-emptively spray every surface you touch in a public space. If someone asks what you are doing, offer to spray their hands. Also, assume that you are the asymptomatic carrier whenever you are in an enclosed public space. Start using masks at the earliest opportunity. You can even make your own using an old tee shirt. The stretchiness of the knit fabric keeps gaps from happening and it can be folded under for triple-thickness to compensate for its porosity. One knot behind the head is all that is required. You don’t want to be the guy who infects the store clerk who is compelled to interact with hundreds of people a day, or looking back at a crisis situation thinking of things you could easily have done but didn’t. Go the extra mile. It will, at the very least, make you feel better, and at the most keep you from becoming an unwitting virus bomb.
ON LINE COMMENT #3
I did a bit of "research" (aka half-ass googling) to see how mortgages and rents have been handled in the past during things like hurricanes and floods. Seems to be the case that mortgages are often deferred, and the terms of the mortgage is extended (sometimes you are forced to refinance at a higher rate).
But relief for renters (other than temporary eviction moratoriums) is rare. This is partly because deferment of rent is of little to no help for a renter, given that few could catch up on even one month’s back rent. Whereas a person paying a mortgage may only have to extend a 30 year contract by a few months.
Of course we should hope that this crisis is not handled in the typical manner.
JUST ANOTHER DAY AT THE BOMBING RANGE (Wyoming)
ONLY HAVE A POST OFFICE BOX? READ THIS…
If you have a PO BOX - PLEASE take the 2020 census now. There's a check box to state that you don’t have a census ID code at the start of the survey. It is a quick process. And it is estimated that each person noted on the census count will bring in $20,000 to Mendocino County over the next decade to pay for things like roads and social services.
PORTRAITS OF FIRE IN THE ANCIENT REGIME
by David Yearsley
Ithaca, NY — Just before the shutters were drawn on public gatherings in this college town in the middle of the Empire State, and before the thousands of students were sent away (many to corona hotspots in Westchester County and New York City), I went to the movies one last time.
Cinemapolis is a non-profit art house funded partly by sustaining members. The movie house offers a diverse program of independent, foreign, and locally-produced films. There’s even a cry-baby cinema for parents and infants on Thursday mornings, though as yet no interspecies screenings for pets and their human companions. Given canine immunity to the present plague and in light of the added emotional sustenance these four-legged creatures provide canophilic cinephiles in healthier times, I wouldn’t be surprised to see a new cinematic pet policy after the watershed weeks and months of the pandemic have passed.
Formerly housed in the dingy, rather claustrophobic, but somehow still charming basement of an urban mall called Center Ithaca, Cinemapolis moved just around the corner a decade ago to a new purpose-built structure wedged into a multi-story garage. Access for those arriving by car is gained by stairs/elevator leading down from the parking tiers. A couple of bike racks near the theatre’s doors gesture weakly towards the needs of cyclists, but serve only to draw attention to the overwhelming weight of the automobile infrastructure looming above one’s head.
Access for pedestrians is along a narrow alley, LED lights flickering off the gray concrete pillars and monstrous slabs. Against this backdrop, arrival by foot at this excellent cinema can verge on the post-apocalyptic. Every bomb shelter should have a big screen.
Still in the pre-apocalypse, the real-life mise-en-scène in front of the cinema was made to order for a final foray into the big dark before the joys and rigors of self-isolation begin.
Inside Cinemapolis I received my discounted ticket, and after scanning my membership card, the latex-gloved cashier informed me that I had earned a free concession. Common sense overruled the olfactory desire of this popcorn addict: these are not ideal times for finger foods.
The lobby was empty except for the employees, but surprisingly the screening room—one of five—was half full, and, as is often the case at Cinemapolis, mostly peopled by gray-haired folks. Ithacan spirits, at least those of the assembled cineastes, appeared undaunted by the viral threat.
Indeed, word of mouth—passed, one hoped, at the recommended hailing distance of six feet or more—had rustled up a large audience for Portrait of a Lady On Fire, a French film about a love story between two ancien régime young women of different classes: the one an aristocrat, the other a painter. The latter arrives to paint the former, who has thwarted previous attempts to capture her on canvas. If a successful likeness can be made, it will be sent to the Milanese nobleman with whom the parents have hatched an upwardly mobile matrimonial deal. The visiting artist must make the portrait without the portrayed finding out.
Save for a ferryman and the bewigged swarm of male aristocrats at an exhibition seen late in the film, Portrait of a Woman on Fire is free of male presence: masculine hegemony looms beyond the frame, but the on-screen love story and love scenes remain liberated from its distorting imperatives.
Fittingly, too, the film’s setting had something of a quarantine station about it—the threatening shores of an island off the Brittany Coast, with the surf crashing passionately on cue when called on to do so.
The sparse, superb script takes on many big themes (love, of course; the futility/necessity of resistance to the strictures of family and society; how to capture emotion in the motionless picture), but it does so in sparse, often witty ways through telling reversals and unexpected connections. One such moment comes in the form of the use of invisible quotation marks when the aristocrat asks the painter what she tells her sitters. (By this point, the painter has admitted to her previously clandestine mission.) There is a pause as the artist continues to work, and the question appears to have been ignored or forgotten. After a while, the painter extols the subject’s talent for sitting for a portrait and dispassionately catalogs the features of her beauty. There is another pause. “That is what I tell my subjects,” the painter concludes. A smile flickers across the sitter’s face, the artist’s too.
The writer-director Céline Sciamma cast her former lover Adèle Haenel as the laconic aristocrat, betrothed to the distant Italian. Both walked out of the recent Césars—France’s equivalent of the Oscars—when Roman Polanski was announced as the winner of the Best Director Award. Given such results, it’s hardly surprising that A Portait of a Lady On Fire, though nominated for nine César awards, came away with only one—for cinematography. The movie won the Queer Palm at Cannes: easily mistaken as a form of backhanded recognition.
Unapologetically a period piece, the film nonetheless resists the seductions of opulence—of vast wardrobes of luxurious gowns, of establishing shots of magnificent country houses, of rich gardens in full bloom. Instead, Sciamma concentrates on faces and bodies, creating calm painterly scenes whose stillness vibrates with emotion.
That deceptive tranquility extends to the soundtrack, purged of all music not heard or, in one instance of fragments played by the painter on a neglected spinet, actually made by the characters. Those snatches at the keyboard are taken from the violin concerto “Summer” from Vivaldi’s Four Seasons—here meant to provide the young, untraveled aristocratic islander with a glimmer of the cosmopolitan allure of Venice and its music. Even those bits of melody are pregnant with meaning if you listen for it: a huge tourist attraction in its day, Vivaldi’s music was performed under his direction by orphaned girls, destined for isolation or matrimony.
In this first of just three musical moments in the film, we hear only a few, ungainly notes. The painter can offer only a faulty memory of the full-blown concerto.
But every love story must, it seems, have its love song. This comes midway through the film’s two hours when the pair (and the servant), their love still undeclared but seething just below the picture surface, visit a bonfire where the island’s peasant women break into a kind of primal clapping and then successively break into ecstatic, faux-medieval polyphony repeating a Latin motto devised by Sciamma—fugere non possum [I cannot flee]. Redolent of a witches sabbath this wildly anachronistic music, the first of only two set pieces in the film, rings out with thrilling paradox: the song rises with the sparks into the night, escaping even as the poor but powerful singers—and the lovers who watch and listen—cannot. The scene and its music also gives the film its title scene: allegorical rather than melodramatic.
The Vivaldi returns in full shining raiment in the final scene that takes place in an opera theatre; the orchestra remains unseen, but its music must emanate from inside the hall. The tempestuous concerto blares, emotion leaps like flames, even as the listeners remain composed. It is music, after all, that closes the deal.
(David Yearsley is a long-time contributor to CounterPunch and the Anderson Valley Advertiser. His latest book is Sex, Death, and Minuets: Anna Magdalena Bach and Her Musical Notebooks. He can be reached at email@example.com.)