- Third Case
- Shelter Animals
- Local Shopping
- Philo Schoolhouse
- My Shrink
- Green Hills
- Ed Notes
- Ukiah Overlook
- Suicide Reporting
- Sunny's Donuts
- Boont Menu
- First Case
- Covid Explained
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- 5-Minute Test
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- Great Healing
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- Elmhurst Hospital
- Look Glamorous
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- Mr Superlative
- U.S. Stats
- Athlete Activists
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- Great Friday
PERIODS OF SHOWER ACTIVITY will occur across the region through early next week. Cool weather and additional showers may persist going into middle to later portions of next week. (NWS)
HEALTH OFFICER CONFIRMS THIRD CASE OF COVID-19
Post Date: 03/28/2020 3:04 PM
The Mendocino County Health Officer Dr. Noemi Doohan has confirmed a third case of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) in Mendocino County. Like the first two cases in Mendocino County, this third case is thought to be travel related and does not appear to indicate community spread. The individual is from Inland Mendocino County, is in stable condition, in isolation at home with active public health monitoring, did not require hospitalization, and poses no risk to the public at this time.
Additionally, Mendocino County Public Health has reported that the first Mendocino County case, from the South Coast, who was monitored daily in isolation by public health, has recovered. This individual remained in isolation as directed for the designated amount of time- 14 days from symptom onset and until symptoms resolved.
Regarding the new COVID-19 case, Dr. Doohan stated, “Public Health was notified late yesterday evening of a third COVID-19 case. This person is on home isolation, doing well and does not pose a risk to the public. The individual is being actively monitored by public health along with their primary healthcare provider. The healthcare facility where this case was identified used proper Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and handled this case in an exemplary manner that protected their healthcare workers, staff and patients from exposure. We will continue to release announcements of new cases promptly, by 6pm each day.”
This third positive COVID-19 individual was identified through the Public Health Lab system in coordination with our healthcare providers. Across the nation, the current situation for COVID-19 testing is highly problematic due to shortages of the test sampling materials and limited testing capacity. In response to this challenge, Mendocino County Public Health has developed a process for facilitating COVID-19 testing for our healthcare partners. Currently, the Mendocino County Public Health department can facilitate testing through our affiliated Public Health lab, located in Santa Rosa.
As of today, the average turnaround time for the one commercial lab available to our County, Quest, is two weeks. The Public Health Lab turnaround time is at most 72 hours, which includes the time needed for pickup of the sampling kit from the Healthcare partner and delivery of the sample by courier to the Santa Rosa lab. Given the current restricted access to COVID-19 testing supplies and resources, the testing that Public Health facilitates for partners includes symptomatic patients from specific categories: healthcare workers, public safety personnel, people of high public health risk (nursing home residents, incarcerated people, homeless), high risk exposure (due to travel or contact) and emergency room and hospitalized patients in whom the test result will change management of the patient. Anyone who is tested for COVID-19 MUST remain in isolation until further directed by their clinician who ordered the test. People who are sick and being evaluated for COVID-19 can spread the disease unless they stay in isolation away from other people.
The Public Health facilitation of COVID-19 testing is a top priority so that our healthcare partners can increase testing efficiency and ensure that individuals most at risk can be tested promptly.
Below are the COVID-19 testing numbers as of March 27, 2020 at 3:00 p.m.
Public Health Lab:
- Negatives: 42
- Positives: 1
- Pending: 13
- Total: 56
Commercial Lab (Quest):
- Negatives: 101
- Positives: 2
- Pending: 28
- Total: 131
- Recovered: 1
"To keep COVID-19 from spreading like wild-fire in Mendocino County, we must make sure everyone continues to Shelter-In-Place, and maintain physical distancing while carrying out essential activities and business. Additionally we must make sure that people who are sick with COVID-19 symptoms, and their close contacts, stay isolated and quarantined away from others as directed by their clinicians and Public Health" said Health Officer Dr. Doohan.
- Be familiar with the Shelter in Place order and follow it’s directives (https://www.mendocinocounty.org/community/novel-coronavirus)
- Keep a distance of at least six feet away from others when in public
- 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
- If you are sick stay home unless you need to seek medical care in which case you should call ahead
For more on COVID-19: www.mendocinocounty.org
Call Center: (707) 234-6052 or email email@example.com
The call center is open Monday – Friday from 8:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m.
STANDISH-HICKEY & THE PANDEMIC
by Malcolm Macdonald
What does Standish-Hickey State Recreation Area, a mile and a half north of Leggett, have to do with the Covid-19 pandemic? Nothing of a direct nature is the correct answer. However, there is a connection to the devastating pandemic of a century ago.
A little history for context. Miles Standish and Henry Hickey, whose names are now attached to the recreation area, have a specific tie-in to my family's history. They were owners of what was then called the Albion Lumber Company from 1891 to the summer of 1907. At that point they sold the Albion mill and adjoining vast timber acreage to the Southern Pacific Co. Standish and Hickey took that money and invested it in the buy up of tens of thousands of acres of timber land throughout Mendocino and Humboldt counties. One of my grandfathers, John Macdonald, served as a trusted timber cruiser for Standish and Hickey during their tenure in Albion then as something of a scout in deciding what tracts of land to purchase as they expanded their timber empire.
John Macdonald died in October, 1916, from a rather horrific throat cancer, leaving a widow, two adult sons in their late twenties, an eighteen-year-old daughter, and young sons, aged nine and seven. My father was the nine-year-old, who in turn had survived a bout with childhood tuberculosis. Two years after John Macdonald's death, Mendocino County, the nation and the world would cease to worry about diseases like tuberculosis for a time because something more fearsome was about to rear its head.
Dr. Loring Miner of Haskell County, Kansas noticed the first cases of the influenza that would grow into a pandemic in January, 1918; the first cases in the United States, that is. The precise origin of the deadly infection is still being argued over in scientific circles. World War I raged in Europe at the time. The major players in the conflict, Germany, France, the United Kingdom, and the United States all censored information about the spread of influenza, therefore, in Spain where newspapers remained free to publish what they wanted, that neutral country became associated with the deadly outcomes. Thus, people still refer to the pandemic, killer of as many as fifty million (some serious minded accounts claim double that number) human beings, using the moniker “Spanish flu.”
Dr. Miner's observations did not gain any substantial notice until an April, 1918, public health report; this after more than a hundred cases among soldiers at Fort Riley, Kansas in March. Over the coming months, as the U.S. continued to ship 100,000 men per month to Europe, influenza cases sprang up intermittently across this country.
If the Kansas outbreak could be called the first wave of influenza in this country then the second wave didn't attack until nearly a half year later. In the last days of August, several sailors on the Boston docks showed fairly severe symptoms. They were admitted at Chelsea Naval Hospital and the disease spread from there. Forty miles away at Fort Devens, where 50,000 soldiers were quartered, the numbers afflicted climbed alarmingly and in haste. By September 23, 10,500 cases existed at that army base. A doctor at the fort described the situation, “This epidemic started about four weeks ago, and has developed so rapidly that the camp is demoralized and all ordinary work is held up till it has passed…
“These men start with what appears to be an attack of la grippe or influenza, and when brought to the hospital they very rapidly develop the most viscous type of pneumonia that has ever been seen. Two hours after admission they have the mahogany spots over the cheek bones, and a few hours later you can begin to see the cyanosis extending from their ears and spreading all over the face, until it is hard to distinguish the coloured men from the white. It is only a matter of a few hours then until death, and it is simply a struggle for air until they suffocate.
“It is horrible. One can stand it to see one, two or twenty men die, but to see these poor devils dropping like flies sort of gets on your nerves. We have been averaging about 100 deaths per day, and still keeping it up. There is no doubt in my mind that there is a new mixed infection here, but what I don’t know.”
By the last week of September, the malady spread outside of Fort Devens and the nearby small towns to 50,000 residents in the state. On October 1st, that commonwealth recorded 75,000 cases. At the end of the first week of October, more than a thousand people in Boston had died from influenza. By then it was all over New England and moving rapidly throughout the nation. Philadelphia was hard hit, 500 or more corpses lined up at a time awaiting burial with scarcely anyone to do the job.
In retrospect, one can see when influenza hit Mendocino County. The October 12th Mendocino newspaper contains no mention of the disease. One week later the annual Apple Fair in town had been postponed. During the third week of October, Fort Bragg recorded 175 cases, with many new cases coming to light every day. The first death noted in the Fort Bragg and Mendocino papers was “that of a little Italian girl.”
The same papers stated, “Gauze masks are in general use as they are considered one of the best means of prevention. The marshal [in Fort Bragg] is insisting on their being worn in the business portions of the city.”
Grammar schools and high schools were closed around the county. A 34 year-old employee of the Mendocino Lumber Company perished from pneumonia within a couple of days after being stricken by the influenza. Young adults, partly due to the close quarters in military outposts, made up a disproportionate percentage of the dead.
That third week of October, 1918, saw the Mendocino County Board of Health not only order the closing of schools but churches, theaters, and other public gatherings. All county and city employees wore masks at their place of work. A town nightwatchman was among the first flu deaths in Willits.
On October 17th, Ukiah counted more than a hundred cases, but only two deaths. By November 8th, there were well over a hundred cases at the state hospital in Talmage, immediately outside Ukiah's southeast limits. At the Albertinum Orphanage (on West Church St.) 50 boys came down with the flu and at least five of the sisters attending them grew ill as well. Two of the boys succumbed. “The remains of Willie Burke, an eleven year-old, who died at the local orphanage, were shipped to Oakland, where his mother resides.”
In Ukiah, a 38 year-old father of three died as did a 25 year-old motor company representative. The Preston home in the county seat turned into a Red Cross hospital, home to 20 patients served by graduate nursing students. Adolph Marks, a 30 year-old manager of the Cecille Hotel, who had previously worked in the long established department store bearing his and his father's surname, died from pneumonia shortly after contracting influenza. The war-bound son of the long time Mendocino County Tax Assessor W.S. Van Dyke, died before ever going overseas.
The warring nations signed an armistice on November 11, yet the battle with influenza remained the top story in local papers. More than 20 had died in Fort Bragg by the date. Edward (“Ned”) Hickey, the eldest son of Henry Hickey (partner in the Standish and Hickey lumber business), stayed with the tie making camp he supervised on Wages Creek despite an outbreak at that locale. As the most educated young man around, he acted as surrogate doctor and nurse to the lumbermen coming down with the dread malady. At some point in late October he, too, was overcome by influenza symptoms. Some of the healthier men in camp carried him on a litter until he could be transported by faster conveyance to the Fort Bragg hospital. He died there on November 24, aged 28 years, one month, and one day, survived by his father, his mother, Emma Ritter Hickey, and younger brother, Henry Ritter Hickey Jr.
Forty deaths had been recorded at Fort Bragg alone by early December. This in a county with a total population hovering around 24,000. Nevertheless, the epidemic appeared to subside at this point. The City Trustees lifted the ban on gathering in public places, except for “moving-picture theatres.”
An odd occurrence took place at the mouth of Ten Mile River that week. One hundred or so wild swans alighted near the ocean, pausing during their migration south. They remained at rest for only a few minutes then, as a local newspaper recalled, “these beautiful white birds presented a wonderful sight as they rose and took flight…”
The holidays came on with scarcely a notice of the bug then the New Year hit with another wave. Forty-five to 50 new cases were reported to the county board of health in the first few days of 1919. Schools closed again. In Fort Bragg all households where influenza existed were quarantined. Masks returned as required apparel. A special night watchman was hired to stop violators of the health codes. A young mother, Mrs. Snow, was one of 1919's first fatalities at Fort Bragg. Twenty-one year-old George Williams succumbed in Mendocino. A two-year-old died at Ten Mile, a 55-year-old man in Caspar, and so on. By the time 21 families remained isolated in quarantine in Fort Bragg the board of health closed movie theaters once more as well as all public gatherings, and the most drastic of measures, bars were ordered shut tight by 10 p.m. and not allowed to furnish chairs for seating.
On January 14, James Henry Dilling, a native Australian, died from pneumonia brought on by influenza. In his 52 years, most of his adult life a resident of this county, he had run a photograph gallery in Mendocino, a livery business in Wendling, then later an auto stage route from Wendling to Cloverdale and back again. Despite Mr. Dilling's death on a Tuesday, by the ensuing Saturday, Mendocino City's Dr. Russell Preston reported no new cases of influenza. In early February an 11-year-old girl died at Camp 11 near Greenwood and others were afflicted. As late as June, relatively mild cases gained attention in Covelo, but by and large, summer brought a halt to the national and international pandemic.
One of the ironies of the pandemic on the Mendocino Coast played out with the early November death of Constantine Silveria, the local undertaker. Silveria (born Constantine Lemos in the Azores) bought his undertaking business in 1913 then graduated from embalming college in Oakland during 1916. Unfortunately, the influenza laid him low two years hence. Into that breach stepped Henry “the hermit” Shaw. Then 36 years of age, Shaw was an ordained minister who had studied surgery in his native England but became a nurse instead. He also possessed a license for embalming from the state of California. He continued in his undertaking as an undertaker until 1920. He later went on to run an auto garage, became an honorary member of the Willits Fire Department as well as the Fort Bragg Police and Fire Departments. In the early 1930s Shaw took up residence in what most locals described as a shack alongside Virgin Creek, north of Fort Bragg. Periodically thereafter he scribed “The Hermit's Column” for the Fort Bragg Advocate-News.
Being isolated on the Macdonald ranch with the nearest neighbors nearly a mile away on one side and nothing but timber, grasslands, and streams for miles and miles in all the other directions has its advantages in the time of Covid. So, too, did the isolation of this ranch prove a safe haven for my father a century ago. No member of the Macdonald family suffered any of the afflictions of the influenza that killed people they knew in Mendocino, Fort Bragg, and elsewhere throughout the county.
One of the people they knew was young Ned Hickey, who perished trying to help the men who worked for him on Wages Creek. In his honor, Standish and Hickey, offered to the state a tract of land on the west side of what is now Highway 101, roughly a mile and a half north of the town of Leggett. The charge to the taxpayers: zero.
The state accepted the offer in the first days of August, 1921. It was the wish of Miles Standish, Mrs. Emma Ritter Hickey and Henry Hickey that the area be known as the Edward R. Hickey Memorial.
COVID-19 ANIMAL SHELTER UPDATE
MANY THANKS to the folks fostering dogs during Mendocino County’s Shelter in Place order. Not only does a lucky dog get out of the shelter and into a warm, snuggly home, we also learn a lot about each dog—something that helps his or her eventual adoption.
Also, the shelter benefits by having a kennel available for any emergency surrenders during this difficult time. 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 dogs. Call Amy at the Ukiah Shelter at 467-6453 and Adriana or Jennifer at the Ft. Bragg Shelter at 961-2491 / 961- 2526, if you are interested in adopting of fostering.
ANDERSON VALLEY VILLAGE
CHECK IN AND SHOPPING RELATED
Welcome to Anderson Valley Village. We are a locally inspired and managed non-profit organization. Our mission is to help older adults remain active, connected, and independent in the place they call home while enhancing the quality of life in our community. See what's new in the valley.
Hope all is well considering… There are a lot of things that can keep busy around that house I am sure! Thank you for sheltering in place — you are not only protecting yourselves but you are also protecting other members of our wonderful community!!
Please minimize your exposure by having someone else shop or pick up prescriptions for you — there are volunteers available for this! Also, beware of misinformation and scams especially during these uncertain time!
For example Inspector General Warns About New Social Security Benefit Suspension Scam
Also, since we had to cancel our April gathering — set for Sunday April 12th we wanted to see if folks were still interested in meeting virtually via Zoom or another video conferencing application… we could help you through the technical process — you can either use your computer, smart phone or just call in with your home phone… Let us know what you think. And we can try other meetings like this for virtual tea parties, book conversations, check ins, watch a ted talk and discuss it, etc. Please let us know if you are interested in something like this and what topics, days and times work best for you.
Shopping Guidelines during Pandemic
This guide was created to help AVV volunteers and members reduce their risk of infection from going shopping during a viral pandemic. It provides a brief overview of the issues and detailed steps that should be considered in organizing, executing, and concluding a shopping trip. The goals are to eliminate any possible contamination of the shopper, the transporting vehicle, the items purchased, and their final destination — home. This one-page guide is available on our website under the Resource tab > Health and Safety Advice or here.
AV & Other Local Stores Offering Pick-up, Delivery and/or Special Senior Hours:
Note this info is subject to change, as always check with the business or organization for the latest info.
AV Senior Center — 895-3609 or see website — We will be providing take out and/or delivered meals on our regular lunch/dinner days (Tuesdays & Thursdays). If you would like a meal delivered, please notify the AV Senior Center at 895-3609 by 11 am. Those picking up their meals may do so at noon, our regular lunch time or 6 pm on our dinner nights. Bringing your own container is encouraged. Of course non-seniors are always welcome. Regular pricing still applies: $6 seniors/$7 non-seniors.
Anderson Valley Market — 895-3019 — curbside pick-up, no deliveries.
Boont Berry Farm, Boonville — 707-895-3576 In addition to our normal selection of food, we are offering take out deli food, street side delivery of preordered items and special orders of bulk items. We are able to deliver food to those who cannot leave their homes. Just give email us firstname.lastname@example.org or give us a call.
Boonville General Store (707) 272-6004 Open 8am to 3 pm. You can make your orders by facebook messenger or place your order by phone and Pick-up or we will deliver your food to your home.
The Company Kitchen, Philo — Place your order from 5-8 at 895-3698. We are still doing take out Tuesday-Saturday 5-8! We also have some nice wines that you can take to cozy up at home with (beer too)! Hope everyone is well!
Costco (707) 313-8012 members aged 60 years and older or those with physical disabilities will be able to shop from 8 — 9 AM on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays until further notice. Only members meeting this criteria will be allowed to enter the warehouse and guests will not be admitted. The pharmacy will also open at 8 AM but the food court will remain closed until normal business hours.
Disco Ranch Wine Bar & Specialty Market — The Disco will be offing retail sales only. As you hunker down you might as well have tasty treats! 11-6 please call ahead for curbside orders. 707-901-5002 Online ordering coming soon!
Harvest Market — Online shopping and special hours of shopping for customers over 60 and/or immunocompromised individuals: 5am-8am - Harvest, Fort Bragg (707) 964-7000; 7:30-8:30am - Harvest at Mendosa's, Mendocino (707) 937-5879.
Lauren’s 895-3896 — Due to the current situation and State rulings about Coronavirus, we will be serving takeout only. Curbside pick up is available. Hours and days may continue to change. We serve Dinner Tuesday through Saturday 4 — 8 pm Monday Night Mexican 4 — 8 pm. Lunch is cancelled until this is over… Our dinner menu is available at our website
Lemons Philo Market, Inc. — 895-3552 —will do pick-up. Delivery Services will be offered Monday through Friday from 12 PM to 5 PM. No orders will be accepted after 4 PM on the date of delivery. That said if we feel delivery is unnecessary or not easily accessible we can refuse services. Please do not take advantage of the services we are offering. There’s a $50 minimum on orders and payments must be made by cash check or existing charge account. Orders can be placed by messaging us on Facebook or calling in during business hours (707)895-3552. Please be sure to provide the delivery address and intended method of payment when placing your order. Feel free to message us on Facebook if you have any questions!
Mosswood Market (707) 895-3635 — 7 am to noon — open for takeout or you can call ahead to order and pick-up.
Navarro General Store — 895-9445 — will do pick up but no deliveries
Petit Teton remains open and has for sale fresh food such as chard, kale, scallions, celery, escarole, endive and leeks. And canned food — everything from soup to jams to kraut and kimchi, savories, and pickles of all kinds. Our meats are a wide range of beef cuts, beef sausage, various pork cuts, squab in two-packs, and stewing hens. We also sell eggs and a selection of house and bedding plants. You're welcome to call or email, and if you know what you want, we can prepare a grocery bag in advance of your visit. Or just stop by. Petit Teton Farm, 707.684.4146, email@example.com 18601 Hwy 128 (4 miles from Boonville).
Raley’s (they are short of supplies) 1315 N. State St., Ukiah CA, 95482; Store: (707) 468-5178; Pharmacy: (707) 468-5156 offers curbside pickup for prescriptions at our Pharmacy locations. Shop online at Raley's and pick up your groceries (orders need to be done 3 days in advance of pick-up). Raley’s has two unique Senior Essentials Bags available for purchase at a discounted price. These bags can be picked up daily, curbside (back of the store) or in store. They will make every effort to meet demand. Call to check supplies — 707-367-0328
Redwood Drive-In — 895-3441 — remains open for take-outs, propane, and fuel. Hours: 7AM-8PM
Safeway in Ukiah and Fort Bragg Have special shopping hours for seniors, expecting mothers and immune compromised individuals: Tuesday & Thursdays 7 am — 9 am. Call the store for info Ukiah +1 707-467-2700 or Fort bragg 1707 964 4079
Ukiah Natural Foods Co-op (707) 462-4778 — We have started Priority Shopping for seniors and vulnerable shoppers from 9am-10am every day. This is a courtesy and no one will be turned away. Please note that temporary store hours are 9am-6pm.
Yorkville Market — Reduce the open hours of the store to 11:00am — 5:00pm. Friday’s we will still be open from 8:00am to 6:00pm in order for there to be enough time to collect your grocery orders. Starting next week we will also be closed on Tuesdays. I will have the Market phone forwarded to my cell, so if you need something during the times we are closed I will happily run over to the store and open it for you. I will have paper copies of the ordering list 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 firstname.lastname@example.org or call (707) 894-9456 your order in by Wednesday at noon and your items will be available for pick up on Friday afternoon. 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.
BLAST FROM THE PAST: CHARMIAN
March 18, 1992
Spring always makes me recall my early days in elementary school -- then called grammar school -- when the schoolhouse was located to the right of the Clearwater Road in Philo near the PG&E station. Unfortunately, it bears little resemblance to that schoolyard of long ago! At that time there was the schoolyard in front, dominated by the huge pine tree cut down a few years ago. The stump is still there. The building was built to house 40 or 50 pupils. It had double porches in the front, two small ante rooms and a large schoolroom. There was a role of windows looking out toward the road on the left and in those days there was a view! Where the Catholic church stands and the PG&E station and the houses that encompass that huge field are now, there was a large grassy area with here and there majestic oaks and a few silvery logs basking in the sun. Far away (or so it seemed to my childish eyes) there was the outline of the hill with Johnson's Stores standing where it still stands, now owned by the Lemons.
A rail fence cozily defined the field and no one objected when children made a teeter-totter by putting a long plank through a rail on the fence and "teetered." No one objected when small girls crept over or through the fence and with their dolls closely clutched in their arms played house among the silvery logs with acorns and oak leaves as plates and food.
Beside the schoolhouse on the right close to the building was a huge oak tree. And here it was that you could swing to your heart’s content. The "boys" and the "girls" privies were outside and many a child made this an excuse to leave the schoolroom; and then sat and swung in the swing, getting a few minutes of relaxation. An excellent place for solitude as there were no windows on that side to make anyone spy the recalcitrant student! Some yards away from the left-hand steps and porch was the well house! It was really a triumph of architecture to me with its cement floor and cemented sides of the well and the roof that peaked on top and sloped on all four sides. It made me think of a pagoda!
Everyone took their lunch (no cafeterias available) and these set on shelves on the left side of the school in the small girls’ ante room. A similar ante room on the right (the boys’ side) was where the boys kept their bags and buckets. The small porches at the top of the steps had seats running around the sides and either porch was liable to be the lunch place for the entire school unless it was raining, in which case we ate indoors. On really fine days the big pine tree was a favorite spot as well as several other trees dotted here and there.
It is sad when such places are gone. The school was attended by my father, by his children, and by my older children. It was closed in the early 1950s. Later when PG&E bought this land, they had it torn down. A substantial building with no one left to plead its case to remain to be used as a cultural center, meeting hall, or whatever! Perhaps even then it was too late!
STAY HOME & MAKE NEWS OF YOUR OWN
by Jonah Raskin
The doctor wasn’t in his office and wasn’t seeing patients either, but he was talking with them by phone, and trying to be supportive. After all, psychotherapy had to go on, with or without the coronavirus, and the good doctor—an old fashioned shrink—wasn't about to abdicate his responsibilities or renounce the Hippocratic Oath which he had sworn to uphold when he became a doctor more than fifty years ago. Mental health, he insisted, was as vital as physical health. After all, a sick body could lead to a sick mind, and, by the same token, a sick mind could exacerbate a sick body. COVID-19 had the potential to drive some people around the bend.
The book-lined office was too small and too cramped for the good doctor to meet face-to-face with patients, who might have been infected and carrying the pathogen. “My shrink” I’ll call him. He has helped me through divorce, deaths in the family and my own neuroses, though he has told me “You aren’t neurotic.” I hope not, but perhaps I’ve figured out how to turn my neuroses into art.
Not a Jungian, Freudian, or Sullivanian, my shrink takes what he wants and needs from many schools of psychiatry and psychoanalysis. He insists that he’s on the side of his patients, not the drug companies or the medical industry, which demands records. He tells me that he doesn’t keep records on me, and I almost believe him.
Years ago, when I obtained Allen Ginsberg’s medical records as a patient at the New York State Psychiatric Institute, my shrink assured me he would never hand over any records about me to any biographer. Since he aims to protect my anonymity, I’d better protect his.
My shrink seems to keep all the information about my head in his head. He charges $10 a session, which usually lasts an hour. I haven’t yet mailed him a check for our therapy session last Monday, a week or so into my quarantine.
He’s about 80 and not about to retire. He seems to enjoy his work, though I have never met any of his other patients or discussed them with him. Mums the word. Ever since 2000, when I first saw him, he has known that I “catastrophize.”
As a result of my habit of expecting the worst, I have often intensified my anxieties. Oddly enough, during the present crisis my anxiety levels have not ballooned. In fact, I believe I’m less anxious now than I have been for a long time. “Don’t catastrophize,” my shrink tells me. He’s hip to the words that we use and that can either increase or decrease anxiety. Saying one is “concerned” feels different than saying one is “worried.”
My shrink does some catastrophizing of his own. During our last session, his big worry was that the president would declare “victory” over the virus, urge citizens to venture out, go back to work, take up their ordinary pursuits and then there would be “an even bigger spike” than we’ve had so far. His own sister, he said, called from Upstate New York and explained that her friends and neighbors were worried that New Yorkers would flee the city and bring the pathogens with them. In fact, they’ve been doing precisely that for weeks. The Big Apple is one of the least healthy cities in the world right now.
“The virus brings out the best and the worst of people,” my shrink said and went on to wonder if the virus “was drawing people closer together or pushing them further apart.” We both found evidence to support both sides of the argument. He remembered that his own grandfather died in 1918 of the influenza that killed an estimated fifty million people. “Besides war, this is the most disruptive thing we’ve seen in the last hundred or so years,” he said.
During our session, he switch from psychiatry to medicine and suggested that older men like himself and I were at greater risk than younger men because the virus destroyed the lining of the lungs and could lead to pneumonia. ”It’s essential that we cut down the sources of infection,” he said. When I explained that I rarely watched TV news he talked about what he called “the coronavirus syndrome.”
That's when you watch four or five hours a day of TV news about the virus and your brain is adversely affected. There was, he said, “a plague of information.” What we needed, were reality checks to determine accurately the degrees of danger and act appropriately.
“Oddly enough,” he said at the end of our hour on the phone, “people with obsessive compulsive disorders are often ahead of the curve.” Was it obsessive-compulsive behavior to wash my hands with soap and hot water throughout the day? I don't think so, but I’m not washing them continually. Also, I’ve managed to stop touching my face.
Years ago, I learned to refrain from putting my hands on my eyes and lips at the meditation sessions in Berkeley led by Wes Niskar, otherwise known as “Scoop,” who popularized the expression, “If you don’t like the news go out and make some of your own.” Scoop, would urge us meditators not to scratch an itch. When Scoop broadcast on KSAN, it seemed easier than it is now to go out and make news. I don't like the latest broadcasts about the virus any more than anyone else. Also, I don't plan to become another statistic. What do you think, Scoop? Is that a way to make the news in 2020?
ACCORDING to the Wall Street Journal, Trump wants Americans to see his signature on the stimulus checks. Such checks would normally be signed by a disbursing officer, not the president. While signing the bill into law in the Oval Office on Friday, the president appeared to express awe at the price tag attached to the legislation, calling it a “great honor” and saying, “I never signed anything with a T on it.” The legislation he signed includes expanded unemployment benefits, direct cash payments to every American earning less than $99,000 a year, and billions in job retention loans for small businesses.
NOTHING has changed since the dawn of time. Since the Lascaux caves. As soon as night falls we still gather together around any vague light, drowning our sorrows in primitive music and intoxicating substances. Man may have learnt how to fly beyond the stars, to walk on the moon, to gorge on the Milky Way, but he still returns to his cave, the fear of the bear deep inside him. (Pascal Garnier)
SAN ANSELMO is not a place that inspires fear unless it's the fear of boredom. My entire family lives within a few blocks, with three branches in nearby San Francisco. Life in San Francisco, as we know, can be wildly unpredictable, and sometimes frightening. But if anything fear-inspiring ever happens in San Anselmo, it happens indoors, and it isn't likely to be driven by fear. San Anselmo is my cave from late Thursday afternoon until early Sunday morning when I depart for Mendocino County, a much more diverse and interesting place, to me anyway but, these odd days, as silent as San Anselmo is every day.
EVERYONE'S WORLD has suddenly been upended, and San Anselmo is confronting its fear while at the same time expressing awe in a most unique way — fear of this silent, unseeable affliction that has driven us all indoors, and an awe, bordering on reverence, for the front-line people who are fighting the affliction for all of us. At 8pm we all go out in front of our houses and howl, howl like wolves. Friday night, the whole seldom seen population of my street and all the surrounding streets and the whole town of thousands of people stood outside their caves and howled, howled a multi-age feral cacophony of multi-generational tribute howls to our life lines, the doctors and nurses and store clerks and cops and delivery people everywhere in the world. And we did it again Saturday night and every night until we win.
I READ THE BOOKS ARMANDO GAVE ME, the book of stories about Che Guevara that tells how Che refused the gift of a bicycle for his daughter, because bicycles belong to the State, to the People, not to any particular individual. I asked Armando why, if bicycles were for everyone and not for individuals, they made bicycles for individuals to ride? Why didn't they make us a gigantic bicycle that we could all get on and pedal together, millions of pedals moving at the same time, all riding in the same direction? (Carlos Manuel Alvarez, The Fallen)
DAVID SEVERN WRITES: I opened a June 05 VP file while searching for something I was writing about and stumbled on this quote.
“You can outrun rednecks but you can’t outrun a mountain lion.” Roger Schoenahl talking about things he fears last week in Café Glad.
THE NOYO SUICIDE
I believe it is a mistake to not publish the details of suicides as the more people are aware of the causes, the more they can be helpful to others.
The reason does not have to be specific. But it helps the community at large to deal with it if they know Alice/Bob ended their life due to terminal illness, money problems, loss of a loved one, loneliness, etc.
It also gives them an inclination to help similar people they know.
Since 1999, when they passed the .08 law, and shut down all our social places, the suicide rate in rural America has sky rocketed. (Google it) People cannot tolerate solitary confinement. We are social creatures.
It got so bad in Ireland, where they passed a .06 law, they began issuing drunk driving permits to rural dwellers. (Google it)
Of course, the Irish are known for their common sense and compassion. (Google it)
Captain Cass Farrington
Robin Epley Replies:
Hi Cass -- I believe it is a mistake to report on suicides overmuch. Please read these guidelines from the National Alliance on Mental Illness.
We will not be publishing more than is absolutely necessary about any suicide, and even then only when the police issue a public report.
Thank you for reading,
Robin Epley, Editor, Fort Bragg Advocate
EVEN THE DA LIKES SUNNY'S: "As L likes to say, "set your money free so it can help others." So on Lee's suggestion, L and Lee set some money free this morning at Sunny's Donuts on South State. I was the appreciative recipient of two sugar-raised doughnuts and one plain cake. Yum! P.S. Sunny's current C19 shelter at home promotion is to spend $5 in the store and get a free coffee.
THIS IS OUR NORMAL DAILY MENU at Boont Berry Store in Boonville. We will have most of these items most days. If there is something you would like to order, let us know. if there is something not on the list, we're happy to try and provide that. Thanks for everybody's continuing support.
FRIDAY POST ON 'POSITIVE' VIRUS TEST ON SOUTH COAST
MendocinoSportsPlus saw this posted by Brandon Carr to south coast social media (Gualala Trading Post)
I am going to get a little personal on this post because rumors need to be quashed. My other half Holly McCarroll and I recently ended a stretch of intense quarantining after a direct exposure at her work. It's a long story, but we all have a lot more time these days, right? I was a B- in English, so try to stay with me;)
So as the story goes, my girlfriend and I are both high-tiered chefs here in town. We considered ourselves to be in a compromising situation due to proximity of San Francisco as well as the nature of global travelers being our guests.
We took a vow in late February to be proactive at our respective kitchens (Vue/Timber Cove) to make sure everything was sanitary like our lives depended on it. Both of us warned our staff to be extra careful and everyone nervously seemed nonchalant. We are germ nerds, we get it!
At that time, I think everyone assumed we were conspiracy nuts and at points we both felt like maybe we are overreacting. Seeing the situation in China as well as watching a cruise ship totter away in the waves off our coast made us realize a lot. That we have a moral responsibility over lives and we can start with ourselves.
You are probably asking yourself 'Why are you telling me this Brandon, what's the point?'
This is where the story goes sideways, this is where this became real to us.
After practicing social distancing and staying home March 16th-19th by choice, we wake up on Thursday, March 19th with a call that Holly needs to show up to work because everyone has been exposed to our counties first confirmed Covid-19 case.
Her manager, a person who had recently traveled, had been sick on March 12th and had been tested. She told coworkers she took a test and was negative. We now know this wasn't the case, and their alleged negligence put everyone at risk as she continued to work despite Case 1 seemingly not knowing the results yet.
So everyone was taken back when called in to meet a Sheriff at work.
After hours of anxious pacing in a parking lot, they received direction to go to the local Urgent Care and do a nose culture. Moments after that, the health official announced violation of law by my girlfriend's work and crucified them at their first press conference for the county on the news. Details are still murky as more important fires needed putting out.
The flow of messages and rumors checking on us started to fly in. Our telephones rang like we were having a telethon. To boot, the Public Health Official identified case 1 as a woman younger than 30, thus making her one of only a few female managers that could qualify as case 1. With tears and fear in her eyes, she uttered to me that 'We did the right thing and people think it's me, this is going to end my career and ruin my reputation. Not only that, but I have Lupus and could die from this'
We reached out to all of our people we were in contact with to let them have as a heads up as we awaited our results. We used this time to encourage others to take this seriously and to proclaimed Coronavirus not to being a hoax or embellishment.
We had many arguments with people not isolating as we knew this monster was lurking.
It's very humbling to have your life not be promised, to be helpless in the fact you can't leave to get food (Big shout out to our friends who stump delivered us groceries) or that you can't do anything without risking innocent lives.
We called Urgent Care every day after a few days, wondering why the testing was taking so long. Some of her coworkers announced their negative results after a few days which made things worse when we had to continue to wait.
March 25, at noon, we make our daily call to see if the results are back….negativeeee!!!!! We start slapping high fives and I think may have even twerked a couple times, Holly would say it looked more like me humping the air, but I digress.
The silver lining to this very real nightmare my girlfriend and I faced is that she is an everyday hero like so many in this fight. Her determination, precision to excellence and going over and beyond cleaning prevented many people from getting sick. The employees that were tested due to exposure ALL received negatives. If she hadn't ran her kitchen like the strong powerful alpha boss female she is, we would have had many people compromised and perpetuated this monster.
Holly McCarroll saved lives and I am so proud of you babe! You are my hero! In a world of talk is cheap, you are "That action!" Undeniably top-shelf
I love you more and more each day
COVID PATHO, INTERESTING PRESENTATION
(A Coast reader notes: It was discussed yesterday at a Coast Life Support District training for emt's and paramedics, and other medical personnel in Gualala.)
AIRBnB WARNS RENTERS
From Airbnb Friday, March 27 6:55 pm:
We hope this email finds you well during this time.
As of March 18, 2020, the County of Mendocino is requesting that all short-term rental activity (defined as a stay of 30 days or less in a hotel, residence or other facility), cease except for providing quarantine facilities to house displaced persons (with express approval from County Health Office), and essential government workers or business functions like maintenance workers.
Violation of this order can result in criminal penalties, civil liability, or other consequences. Per the order, businesses will be held responsible for any spread of the virus including medical costs, lost wages, pain and suffering, and all other damages.
You can read more here. Please coordinate directly with your guests accordingly.
We sincerely apologize for the inconvenience, but appreciate your support in ensuring compliance with these regulations as local governments address Coronavirus (COVID-19) public health concerns.
Cancellations will be handled according to your cancellation policy or, if booked on or before March 14, 2020 with check-in dates before and including April 14, Airbnb’s Extenuating Circumstances Policy will apply.
For more on Mendocino County COVID-19 guidelines and information, please visit their website.
Our thoughts are with you and our community during this time,
The Airbnb team
NAME THAT FLOWER
COAST HOSPITAL CLOSES OB AS PLANNED
It is with a heavy-heart that we are sending out a reminder that the OB Department will close on Tuesday, March 31, 2020 at 5:00 pm. We want you to know that our hospital and staff remain dedicated to the safety and health of the families in our community. If you find yourself in an emergent situation, our emergency room staff are prepared to provide you with care.
RENTALS, A CONVERSATION (Coast Listserve)
Suellen: Air B and B are renting in Mendocino. I just googled 60 places available in the surrounding area.
Alan Haack: They need to be officially closed. However, it's so controversial. Somehow people don't get that the only thing distinguishing California so far is its Shelter In Place. Neither hotels and motels nor Air B and B are involved in sheltering in place. In fact, they're doing the opposite by encouraging people to leave home and trip around. It's beyond my imagination that people can play "constitutional issue" when we have a health crisis and Shelter In Place seems to be flattening the curve of disease and death.
Rene Roberts: It’s not controversial at all. There is an emergency county order that mandates that all transient housing of any kind not accept reservations. Violators are subject to civil and criminal penalties. Air BnB should not even be accepting reservations, much less guests!
Deborah: I can't resist getting into this conversation. Air B and B initiated a hold on all reservations at least through April 3. What you all are missing is that as an Air B and B host you can't book your place without going through the Air B and B system. So everyone should just relax and worry more about Beachcomer Inn who is still booking.
Wendy Roberts: AirBnB are renting in Mendocino. I’m having a little problem with this vilification of lodging businesses with scant information about whether and to whom rooms are being rented. For example we have a number of medical workers who regularly stay in Airbnb units while working here. There are others who stay in FB while en route to provide or access essential services. Right now, I’m personally involved in transporting a local friend out of the area for essential medical treatments that require overnight lodging in Santa Rosa. I’m sure there are abusers, but some of the scathing comments are rather over the top.
NOT WEARING MASKS TO PROTECT AGAINST CORONAVIRUS IS A ‘BIG MISTAKE’
Interview with the director-general of the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention.
CALIFORNIA CORONAVIRUS TRACKER
ON LINE COMMENT OF THE DAY
If you take the expected events out of insurance, and make it true insurance, the price drops drastically, because most people don’t have major medical events requiring prolonged hospital stays and surgery.
I kept trying to explain this aspect of Obamacare to a young woman who thought she “needed” insurance. They put that “access to health care” slogan out there in the MSM and it amazed me how many people bought it.
Everyone knows that insurance companies hinder “access to health care.”
This woman had asthma. I asked her how much she spent in a typical year, for treatment of that “pre-existing condition.” Generally she spent nothing, but the amount she spent for “access” even with a subsidy, was always more than a doctor visit cost.
Then there was the specter of hospitalization. The insurance available on the bronze plan was lousy insurance.
So she spent more per month, to get “better” insurance, and still faced co-pays and an increased deductible.’
All this does is allows hospitals to charge more money for their services.
If they could only charge what people could afford to pay, they would go out of business.
People don’t understand that for the most part, they are self-insured.
TAX DAY NOW JULY 15: Treasury, IRS extend filing deadline and federal tax payments regardless of amount owed.
WANTED A PLACE TO LIVE…
I'm a handyman living in the fort bragg area in casper, hoping to find a spot to live in or around fort bragg. I have a motorhome i live in, a stepvan i keep my tools in and a truck, and rider mower and log splitter. I can be of great help to you when given that chance. I'm a clean quiet individual and pretty much on my own. I was born and raised in san francisco and had slowly migrated up this way. I have been living here in fort bragg a little more then 2 years now. I love the area and wish to stay for the rest of my life. I have landlord and work references.
ORCAS (Coast Listserve)
Elise King: Orcas have ruined the whale watching season for me this year. Several days ago I saw a huge group of several pods of orcas join together off Caspar, about 40 orcas. They were splitting into small groups and chasing down smaller dolphins and spent all afternoon in the hunt. But yesterday was worse. I watched two large orcas attack a gray whale calf very close offshore. It was sickening and I stopped watching after just a few minutes. Now I won't watch for whales anymore because those vicious orcas will not leave our coast and they are intercepting many whales.
Chris Skyhawk: I was in Mendo Savings Bank today and the teller told me she spotted orcas off the headlands about 11:30 this morning. I was wondering if anyone else might have caught them? I have been seeing the usual grays. But I love it when the orcas show up, although I am certain the mother gray whales herding their new calves home to the arctic do not share my joy.
Nicholas Wilson: Orcas have been around at least for tens of thousands of years. They have evolved naturally to be carnivorous predators. They eat smaller mammals. That isn't evil or wrong. It's how nature works. It is their nature. If you don't like seeing them feed, then don't watch. It's an extremely rare sight anyway. In 50 years living here and watching the whale migration whenever I get a chance, I have never even seen a single orca off our coast, let alone a whole pod of them, and so obviously I've never seen orcas killing or feeding on a seal or whale. Given the rarity of seeing orcas feed around here, there's no rational argument against watching migrating whales. Your chance of seeing orcas kill a whale is about the same as winning the Megamillions lottery jackpot.
GOVERNOR NEWSOM’S EXECUTIVE ORDER FOR COURTS
"SACRAMENTO – Today, Governor Gavin Newsom signed an executive order to enhance the authority of California’s Judicial Branch to take emergency action in the face of the COVID-19 crisis.
Specifically, the executive order empowers the Judicial Council and the Chief Justice of the California Supreme Court to take necessary action to be able to conduct business and continue to operate while responding to the COVID-19 pandemic. The order does not affect any existing court order or rule.
The order allows the Judicial Branch to allow for remote depositions in every case (the law had previously required that parties be deposed in person) and electronic service of process. Additionally, the order leaves the Judicial Branch discretion to make any modifications to legal practice and procedure it deems necessary in order to continue conducting business.
'Our courts need to continue to do their business for the sake of the law and public safety, and to the extent they are able to, and it is my responsibility to do everything I can to give the Judicial Council and the Chief Justice the flexibility they need to take actions to meet this moment,' said Governor Newsom.
The California Constitution establishes the Judicial Council as the supreme administrative and rulemaking body for California’s courts.
The Judicial Council, through the Chief Justice, has recently taken actions amid the COVID-19 outbreak, including suspending jury trials for the next 60 days and issuing other emergency court orders.
Visit covid19.ca.gov for critical steps Californians can take to stay healthy, and resources available to those impacted by the outbreak.
Here's the link to the press release: oesnews.com/governor-newsom-issues-executive-order-on-judicial-council-emergency-authority/
ABBOTT LAUNCHES 5-MINUTE VIRUS TEST for Use Almost Anywhere
CONGRESSMAN HUFFMAN: SOCIAL DISTANCING ‘THE COOL THING TO DO’
by Daniel Mintz
Congressman Jared Huffman’s March 24 town hall forum on COVID-19 was unlike any he’s ever done – social distancing held sway and the forum was done remotely, through streaming and TV broadcast.
Viewers were able to send in questions through Facebook, however, and questions on preventing viral spread, resources for aid and social responsibility were answered by Huffman and a physically-distanced panel of guests.
Huffman noted that the advent of coronavirus has triggered “really unprecedented measures that could seem extreme” but added, “The only way that we are going to contain this pandemic and keep our health care system from crashing is if we drastically reduce the spread of this virus.”
The forum itself was impacted by the spread of COVID-19. Huffman said an originally-scheduled guest, Marin County Public Health Officer Dr. Matt Willis, has been diagnosed with COVID-19.
Marin County Deputy Health Officer Dr. Lisa Santora was there in his place and joined another panelist, Marin Schools Superintendent Mary Jane Burke, in encouraging social distancing as a method of slowing viral spread.
“If we each take personal responsibility with this, then we will have a chance at this but if we don’t, we will continue to see that we’ve been seeing,” said Burke.
Santora advised managers of the essential businesses that are open to stagger the entry of customers, as some are not doing that.
Huffman also emphasized the importance of distance-keeping. “What might have seemed awkward maybe a week or two ago is now the cool thing to do,” he said. “You’re not going to offend anyone by maintaining their distance.”
Those walking on trails should “step far away” when passing others, as “you’re not going to offend them – they’re going want to be away from you, too,” he continued.
Shelter in place orders are also part of the strategy to defeat coronavirus but expenses continue to mount for those with lost incomes and for closed businesses.
At the forum through a phone feed, William Koontz of the Small Business Administration said Humboldt County is included in California’s disaster declaration and working capital loans to meet expenses are available to impacted businesses.
Issues related to contagion were also discussed.
Asked about whether coronavirus spreads through air or droplets, Santora said it’s now believed that the virus is primarily spread through droplets and generally, wearing masks isn’t recommended.
A question from a Humboldt County resident expressed concern over heavy visitation by tourists from urban areas and how to address vacation rentals.
Huffman said it’s a question that he often fields but rules for short term rentals are set through local ordinances. “You’re not going to see this addressed through congressional action, but I think it’s a conversation that needs to happen in each and every community, especially ones that are seeing these kinds of impacts,” he continued.
He added that continuing to open short term rentals to vacationers would violate the state’s shelter in place order. “So enforcement may be the real question at this point,” Huffman said.
With schools closed, remote learning is key to continuing education. But Huffman noted that broadband access is an issue in parts of his district, including Humboldt, where “there’s not much redundancy and the connection’s not great.”
He relayed a question that inquired how there can be equal access to education when learning’s done over an Internet connection.
Burke said some school districts and communities have established “hot spots” for accessing computers with reliable broadband but described the issue as being one that needs to be generally addressed.
“This is a bigger issue than this pandemic,” she said. “If we really care about equity and access, we have to make sure that we’re dealing with this when we’re not in a pandemic.”
Huffman said he preferred not to “get political” but the political ramifications of COVID-19 are hard to avoid.
Asked about working with President Donald Trump, Huffman said he’s willing to but he also said that Trump’s “irresponsible and indefensible actions” reduced the nation’s pandemic readiness and voters needs to be informed of that.
Answering another question, Huffman said a decline in viral spread could happen in late spring or summer and then re-emerge in November when “a really consequential election” is held.
“We’ve really got to anticipate potential disruption of the election,” he said, adding that he’s worried Trump could try to use his authority to delay the election if he believes he won’t win.
At the time of the forum, Trump’s comments on not letting “the cure be worse than the problem itself” were in the news. But asked if economic effects are more impactful than those of the virus, Huffman said trying to re-instate business as usual too soon is dangerous and will make things worse.
“The only way to revive the economy is to control this pandemic and if you think otherwise, it’s like trying to negotiate with the law of gravity – this pandemic is going to win that fight,” he said.
Santora said the experiences of other countries have shown that “strict containment measures” will be needed in the days and months ahead.
CATCH OF THE DAY, March 27-28, 2020
CHRISTOPHER BETTEGA, DUI, vandalism.
BENJAMIN GAYSKI, Willits. Domestic battery, probation revocation.
MARTIN JUAREZ, Hopland. Attempted murder, under influence in possession of weapon.
DEBRA KAESTNER, Redding. Counterfeiting apparatus, alteration/forgery of driver’s ID, forged checks, personation of another to recorded document, getting credit with someone else’s ID, smuggling booze or drugs into jail, offenses while on bail.
SHANNON KIDD, Ukiah. Battery, stolen property, parole violation.
DAWSON PAGE, Forestville/Redwood Valley. DUI, no license.
RHONDA RAYMOND, Sacramento/Fort Bragg. Counterfeiting apparatus, alteration/forgery of driver’s ID, forged checks, personation of another to recorded document, getting credit with someone else’s ID.
MONTE SHARP, Ukiah. Resisting/threatening an officer.
AND THE PEOPLE STAYED HOME. And read books, and listened, and rested, and exercised, and made art, and played games, and learned new ways of being, and were still. And listened more deeply. Some meditated, some prayed, some danced. Some met their shadows. And the people began to think differently. And the people healed. And, in the absence of people living in ignorant, dangerous, mindless, and heartless ways, the earth began to heal. And when the danger passed, and the people joined together again, they grieved their losses, and made their choices, and dreamed new images, and created new ways to live and heal the Earth fully, as they had been healed.
— Kitty O’Meara
BIG APPLE’S ELMHURST HOSPITAL REMEMBERED
by Rex Gressett
One day in New York City my bike was stolen. I loved that bike. It was stripped-down industrial black with fat tires and no-frills. Nice. But what I really loved, actually more than I loved my girlfriend, certainly more than music or reading or art or basically anything, was riding that baby through New York City.traffic. The heavier the better.
Riding a bike down 5th Avenue is as different from riding a bike on the Coastal trail as skateboarding down Mount Everest is from walking to the bathroom. Traffic is dense and relentless. It's like skiing in a herd of raging, honking steel buffalo, suddenly stopping and starting with single-minded contained rage. I cringe slightly to confess it, but the thing to do was to kind of lean into the back of a cab hold on with one arm (there is a technique) and let the acceleration launch you into a few blocks of mad acceleration.
Of course, the cabbies hated it and I know it was irresponsible — but I loved doing it. I was damn good at it and I did it all the time. It was a physical sport and I could make it from the Upper Westside to the Village faster than taking the subway. That’s fast.
I would dismount on Bleeker Street in the neon New York night and knock back a celebratory espresso. It was inexpressibly excellent. Anyway, the bike was stolen, and it took maybe 30 minutes of West Village networking to find someone who would give me another one.
Green-eyed Irish Rosie on east 8th had one in her apartment bedroom. I schlepped over to the East Village and astonishingly the bike turned out to be almost new. Wow. I bought a nick (that’s 5 bucks of pot) in Washington Square from my loyal and beloved guy who was naturally hard at work. I smoked a joint and headed to Queens to visit another person of my acquaintance who was waiting for me, with three compadres. By the time I left the village it was after 1:00 am. All perfectly normal.
I pushed up the Eastside and crossed the river on the Queensborough bridge at, I think it’s 57th?
You can love any bridge in the city. The Brooklyn Bridge is a mad medieval giant and the Williamsburg Bridge has a very cool subway track running over the traffic and next to the pedestrian walkway so the subway trains blast you with symphonic sound and fury as the E train — was it the E? — thunders past at intervals.
But my personal greatest bridge was the Queensborough. It’s a long long stretch of arching steel achingly high over the east river. It rises in a long slow arch to the first great tower, takes you at bird altitude over Roosevelt Island and falls in gentle majesty to the other great tower and then into the charmingly sleazy donut shops and strip clubs on the doorstep of the projects.
Going up is easy and going down at one in the morning is a long mad swoop. There are occasional speed bumps that never slowed down a serious rider. I was moving at close to top-speed on the downhill stretch with focused competency. When I went over a fateful speed bump and noticed, in sudden slow motion with what would have been alarm had there been time, my front wheel taking off ahead of the bike all on its own.
Whoever had given Rosie the bike had not tightened the lugs on the front wheel. The bike crashed into the grating and I went over the handlebars flying for a considerable distance like Superman — arms outstretched and everything.
You can learn a lot in a moment like that. I now find it entirely credible that a person's life can pass before their eyes at the moment of death. It did not happen to me, but the whole flight must have taken at most one second and yet it was a moment of prolonged clarity. I was aware of comical flight and I saw the hard steel railing coming right at me. I had a moment to turn my head which I did, and the guardrail, instead of splitting my head and killing me instantly, sheered off a large chunk of my forehead and part of my face and then I landed somehow on my back or maybe I rolled over. I lay there for a time, calmly observing that I was not dead and then decided that since I was not dead I would do the next obvious thing and discover if I could move. There was no pain. My power of locomotion was impeded because a large piece of what had recently been my forehead was hanging by a remnant of skin like a pancake not on my head.
I put my hand under it and flopped it back onto my face. I remember the flopping sound quite clearly. Then I got up holding my forehead to my skull and started walking down the bridge. After several hundred feet I passed my bike wheel. Bastard.
In New York, there are neighborhoods and districts for everything. There’s a garment district or there was, before China. There’s a meat market, a financial district of course and a fashion district.
There is a chess club street and there was the bar and music zone in the village where I lived at night. There are zones for everything. At the base of the Queensborough Bridge is one of two hot spots for black transvestite prostitutes. The other is snugged up to the meat market on the lower lower West Side. These denizens of the night are so distinct, so personally powerful and so off the normal human track that they are almost an alien species. They are long, long men, tall and slim, eerily graceful and jet black. They are oddly similar, a particular physical genre. They are without question the toughest bastards in New York, utterly fearless and more than anyone I ever met completely free. They are quite distinct.
I walked off the bridge and approached the gaggle —like a character from the Walking Dead drenched in blood holding my forehead and part of my face firmly against my skull. They kind of stared for a moment and one said “HONEY, what happen to you?” They sat me down on the curb, stuck a much-needed cigarette in my mouth, lit it for me and called the ambulance.
I truly believe that they saved my life.
I must have been in shock. In the warm New York night, they gave me an unremitting beam of immense unspoken sympathy and sustained me with their own ironclad toughness. They were unshakably calm, blessedly undemonstrative and totally loving. They saved me.
The ambulance took me to Elmhurst Hospital in Queens. Elmhurst, to indulge in massive understatement, is a big hospital. A city. Elmhurst is a 24-hour, self-contained metropolitan mega-hospital. It rises out of the cheek-and-jowl density of working-class Queens where a hundred twisting neighborhood streets all inevitably culminate in the behemoth medical center.
Elmhurst is vast and exquisitely competent. New York is where you go if what you seek is world-class preeminence. That’s what the great city produces. There are no words for the excellence of the care that I received at that great hospital. There is Rockefeller, whatever. NYU has a great hospital. There are hospital research centers and dozens of neighborhood hospitals all over Manhattan and Brooklyn — all of them are good.
Elmhurst in working-class Queens is better than any of them. It specializes in the average human being. Every person who walks through the door is the center of an all-hands-on-deck all-out effort.
For all practical purposes, everyone that comes in the door is a generic regular normal working-class person. The rich go elsewhere. Their loss. There is nothing about Elmhurst that is not first-rate. The whole hospital is a monument to superb professionalism and democratic equality. There is nothing quite like it. They patched me up and I spent a pleasant week stoned on morphine slowly reading Dracula. I recommend it to anyone. Now Elmhurst is in the news.
As the greatest city on earth buckles and heaves in the epicenter of the worldwide cataclysm, we are hearing reports that Elmhurst is also straining and perhaps failing. I don’t believe it. The national media says that there is a refrigerated truck parked outside to store bodies. They say that there is a line outside of people trying to get in and resources are stretched to the maximum. People are dying and many will die.
But one thing I know, the men and the women at Elmhurst Hospital are at the center of the fight right where they always have been, They are working with the most profound unselfish love and the most concentrated unrelenting energy.
If the world is ending — and I don’t think it is — Elmhurst Hospital will be right there fighting for every life, right to the bitter end.”
ANY GIRL CAN LOOK GLAMOROUS. All she has to do is stand still and look stupid.
— Hedy Lamar
NOR HERE NOR THERE
In all the years of voting in politics I have never been affiliated with any party. I vote for who, what and whatever I think is best for California and the USA. I try to keep an open mind about everything but when Pelosi announced on Thursday evening that they were going ahead with impeachment proceedings against President Trump the following Friday, I was a Republican.
I have never seen a more inbreed pack of wolves like the Democratic Party try to dismember an animal. Yes, I said animal, because President Trump is an animal. I cannot think of anyone who can take the BS he's been put through and survive.
I'm sick of listening to the Dems piss and moan about everything. They are worthless! They have had it way too easy for way too long and when it came time to work and take care of the American people they fell flat on their ass. Pelosi, Schumer, Nadler, the devils Shiff, Swalwell, Harris and the little dictator Newsom (and many others) need to go!
Just because you are in a party, and who the hell came up with party? because it sure as hell isn't one, doesn't mean you have to vote that way. There are a lot of people changing.
Mr. Quid Pro Quo Biden and his money-laundering family isn't worth a crap. Hell it might come down to the citizens of Ukraine being part owners of the San Francisco Giants thanks to the Bidens. (A joke? Maybe, maybe not.) Biden as president would only meaning Pelosi and the inbreed wolf pack would be running our country, not dumb-ass Biden. He is just their little puppet.
Come on editor. Bernie? Really? Backed by AOC. What does that tell you? Socialism doesn't work! We should give 50% or so of Californians credit for reading for a change and not passing Proposition 13. It's about time you closed your wallets to this tax sucking state.
Open your eyes and look at what President Trump has done for this country even if you do not like him as a person. Now the coronavirus. Time to listen with 20/20 hindsight how the inbreed wolf pack would have handled this. Give us a break with all of your crap. Tired of hearing it.
Keep America great. Vote President Trump.
formerly of Boonville, Philo, and Ukiah
Now in Mount Aukum, California
MORE EFFEN STATISTICS
Corona Virus Stats: U.S.:
% infected: .031%. About 3 of 10,000 people
% deaths: .00051%. About 5 of 1,000,000, 2019
Automobile accidents: 2019 (U.S)
"In 2019, (in the U.S.) an estimated 38,800 people lost their lives to car crashes — a 2% decline from 2018 (39,404 deaths) and a 4% decline from 2017 (40,231 deaths). About 4.4 million people were injured seriously enough to require medical attention in crashes last year — also a 2% decrease over 2018 figures."
ATHLETE ACTIVISTS RESPOND TO THE CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC
by Dave Zirin
I often write about the “activist athlete”—jocks who use their hyper-exalted, brought-to-you-by-Nike platforms to try and say or do something about the problems plaguing our world. Of course, right now the dominant, all-encompassing problem plaguing our world is, well, a plague.
Our games have shut down. Twenty-four-hour sports networks are contorting themselves into pretzels trying to fill the hours. Using home studios and without the help of makeup artists, these mottled souls are just days away from having to turn to debates about whether Pete Rose belongs in the Hall of Fame. As for the athletes, they—like so many of us—have cocooned with their families to wait Covid-19 out, hoping against hope that they will be able to go back to work.
In this utterly unprecedented context, it raises the question of what a socially conscious athlete can do. Thank the heavens, we have some quite inspiring, and at times heartbreaking, examples from just this past week.
One action is the most basic and human of all: that of transparency. We learned on Friday that ESPN basketball announcer Doris Burke has contracted the virus. Burke wants to be open about what she is going through as a way to speak to others about the importance of health, safety, and social distancing. Karl Anthony-Towns, the all-star center for the Minnesota Timberwolves has taken to Instagram to speak about how both his parents are now suffering through the virus. His mother, Jacqueline Cruz, is in a medically induced coma and has been put on a respirator. Through tears, he is trying to warn people to take this as seriously as possible. Rudy Gobert, called the “patient zero” of the NBA, has been open about his symptoms and recovery. These are difficult stories, but they serve the mighty purpose of letting people know that anyone can contract the virus and when we forego social distancing, the risk is real.
Another way to raise awareness was seen on Thursday and pulled off by the Golden State Warriors MVP guard Steph Curry. He held an instagram live chat with Dr. Anthony Fauci and actually was able to ask many of the commonsense questions that never seem to be answered in Trump’s daily media rallies because the Orange One takes up so much space with his blithering ignorance. Curry asked about comparing the flu to the novel coronavirus, whether warm weather would help mitigate its affects, and more. Over 50,000 people tuned in to see it live. It was an admirable use of Curry’s cultural capital to raise not only awareness but also intelligence.
Perhaps the most significant way an athlete can make a difference in people’s lives right now is if they leverage their fame to shame, as in shame the billionaire class to do the right thing and support their workers through these hardships. We saw this earlier in the week when Philadelphia 76ers star center Joel Embiid pledged $500,000 for Covid-19 relief in local communities, as well as helping those Sixers employees who would have been hurt. This pushed, within only an hour, the 76ers’ ownership group to backtrack on their intention to reduce at-will employees’ pay by 20 percent from April 15 through the end of June. Embiid literally stopped a pay cut for hundreds of people through using fame to shame. We have seen other players like 19-year-old Zion Williamson leverage their fame to shame by donating their own money to pay stadium workers and then force ownership to scurry up and pledge to do the same. Outside the world of sports, one would be hard-pressed to find any members of the billionaire class stepping up to fight this virus. Far from giving, they are taking, in the form of a $500 billion slush fund courtesy of Mitch McConnell. But in sports, they have actually ponied up some money, and without players pushing them to do so, it is difficult to imagine that they would have done anything other than cut back.
The examples above should give folks a sense of hope about what athletes can do amid the coronavirus crisis. They can raise awareness, be open with their struggles, use social media, or push their billionaire bosses to actually do something. It might not seem like much, but at a moment where helplessness and fear seem to be the dominant and guiding emotions, there is definitely a sense of hope that comes with seeing players with a conscience exercise that conscience in the most difficult of circumstances.
LARGEST LOCUST SWARMS IN 50 YEARS
Locust Swarms, Some Three Times the Size of New York City, Are Eating Their Way Across Two Continents
Climate change is worsening the largest plague of the crop-killing insects in 50 years, threatening famine in Africa, the Middle East and the Indian subcontinent.
By Bob Berwyn, InsideClimate News
As giant swarms of locusts spread across East Africa, the Arabian Peninsula and the Middle East, devouring crops that feed millions of people, some scientists say global warming is contributing to proliferation of the destructive insects.
The largest locust swarms in more than 50 years have left subsistence farmers helpless to protect their fields and will spread misery throughout the region, said Robert Cheke, a biologist with the University of Greenwich Natural Resources Institute, who has helped lead international efforts to control insect pests in Africa. "I'm concerned about the scale of devastation and the effect on human livelihoods," Cheke said, adding that he also worried about "the impending famines." "Despite the coronavirus pandemic, the region needs money and equipment to deploy insect control teams in the affected regions," he said. New swarms are currently forming from Kenya to Iran, according to the the United Nations locust watch website.
Addressing the outbreak requires urgent, additional funding and technical help from developed countries, Cheke said, because the tiny size and budget of the United Nation's Food and Agricultural Organization team responsible for locust monitoring and control is already overwhelmed. Changes in plant growth caused by higher carbon dioxide levels, as well as heat waves and tropical cyclones with intense rains, can lead to more prolific and unpredictable locust swarming, making it harder to prevent future outbreaks.
GREAT FRIDAY for Trump