- Frosty Mornings
- Rain Totals
- Adventists Prep
- Medical Emergency
- Pay Up
- Covelo 1876
- Ed Notes
- Spit Not
- Wine Sanitizer
- Fog Light
- Garden Starts
- Best Closing
- Farm Box
- Drunken Judge
- $1200 Limit
- Hospitalized Her
- Travel Reasons
- CA Covid
- Release Denied
- Yesterday's Catch
- Lockdown Results
- Oak Health
- Who's Delusional
- Chinese Virus
- Hospital Ship
- Civic Reforms
- No Mercy
- Found Object
A FEW SHOWERS will linger across the coastal mountains today, otherwise expect mostly clear skies once the morning valley fog clears. Mainly dry weather is expected Thursday and Friday, with some cold and frosty mornings, especially Thursday. The weekend is looking wet, with mountain snow.
CLEARING SKIES and mainly dry conditions will bring some frost to some localized valleys this morning. Most areas will see slightly colder temperatures Thursday morning with mainly clear skies and dry conditions. Many interior valleys will see below freezing temperatures while areas may see some frost and temperatures slightly above freezing. Friday will see some moderation in most areas. (NWS)
MONTHLY PRECIPITATION for the 2019-2020 rain season, thus far:
- 1.84" Yorkville
- 1.80" Boonville
- 0.04" Yorkville
- 0.04" Boonville
- 4.76" Yorkville
- 3.97" Boonville
- 12.96" Yorkville
- 7.28" Boonville
- 3.12" Yorkville
- 2.19" Boonville
- 0.04" Yorkville
- 0.07" Boonville
YTD (Oct 1 - Mar 31) TOTALS
- 22.76" Yorkville
- 15.35" Boonville
ADVENTISTS PREPARE FOR VIRUS
by Chris Calder
As Covid-19 cases in San Francisco jump by the dozens each day — although nothing like the wrenching scenes from New York City — people in rural Mendocino County 120 miles north wait fearfully to see if the fragile local health care system can survive a Covid surge.
Three hospitals serve Mendocino County. Adventist Health owns the ones in Ukiah and Willits and in May it will take over the Fort Bragg hospital. The County's Public Health Officer, Dr. Noemi Doohan, has directed the public response, but if a Covid surge hits here it will be the Adventist’s facilities treating patients.
Jason Wells is president of Adventist Health’s Ukiah and Willits facilities and the most visible negotiator for the Adventists’ effort to take over managing Mendocino Coast Hospital.
On Monday, Wells said that under any of the scenarios being reasonably considered now, Mendocino County will have what it needs.
The hospitals in Ukiah and Fort Bragg are setting up triage tents and Coast Hospital has arranged extra space to go beyond its 25 beds if needed, Wells said.
Ventilators and N-95 protective masks have been the focus of concern everywhere. Wells said that the Adventists’ 21-hospital system has enough resources to shift where they are needed.
"We are going to have to shepherd what we have for certain," he said. "But I know we will be supplied through whatever type of surge happens."
That includes Mendocino Coast District Hospital which Adventist doesn't take over management of officially until May, said Wells. District voters approved that agreement with a tsunami-like 93.1% in March.
"They are part of the family now," Wells said, and they will have access to Adventists supply of vital equipment and personnel.
Wells praised Dr. Doohan, Mendocino County's Public Health Officer, for her forword-looking orders to shelter in place. And while numbers are still tentative, he said, Northern California's quick response might be saving lives and sparing rural California the worst.
As of Tuesday, Sonoma County had 55 cases, Humboldt County 18; Del Norte, Trinity and Lake counties report no confirmed cases.
Wells said Adventist Health as California's largest rural health care provider is uniquely positioned to meet the pandemic. The organization’s chief clinical officer, Dr. Hoda Asmar, is a specialist in infectious disease control. Because of her focus, he said, "we were much quicker to accept the need to get things right."
Adventist Health’s CEO, Scott Reiner, is incoming president of the California Hospital Association and has worked closely with the governor's office and the governor himself, Wells said. The CHA should be an influential voice in this crucial year for health care policy.
Well said Adventists and its rural clients "will legitimately have a seat at the table."
For the immediate future, he added, "Adventist is pretty well prepared and we are all in this together."
TUESDAY’S BOARD OF SUPERVISORS MEETING was abruptly and melodramatically cut short after about two hours when CEO Angelo announced that there was a “medical emergency” involving “key staff.” Angelo then announced that because their overworked Clerk of the Board Lindsay Dunham was no longer in the Board Chambers, the meeting would have to be closed. No further information was made available.
EARLIER in the morning the Board approved an administrative ordinance which allows non-sworn code enforcement personnel the authority to issue administrative misdemeanor public nuisance citations to assist law enforcement in monitoring the shelter in place public health officer's order throughout Mendocino county. For commercial activities — specifically AirBnBs, said County Counsel Christian Curtis — a penalty of $10,000/day could be imposed. For activites not engaged in making a profit, the penalty would be $500/day. Violators would receive a notice of violation on the first day with 24 hours to correct the violation, i.e., stop the rental or show that it is “essential.” After a 10-day appeal opportunity the Health Officer will issue a ruling and if the violator still requests a hearing, it would be sometime after the social distancing orders are ended. There probably will be some kinks in this to work out on a case by case basis, depending on who’s renting to whom. Explaining the $10k/day fine structure, the text of the agenda item added, “For violations of the orders of the Health Officer involving activities designed to make a profit, the administrative penalties must be extremely substantial so as not to be relegated as “the cost of doing business.”
SENATOR MIKE MCGUIRE called in to tell the board that so far it appears that the “Shelter at Home” is “slowing the surge [in California], but we are far from out of woods,” adding that the anticipated patient surge will be “more than significant.” McGuire said “Most of the surge is south of us. We will know more in two to four weeks.”
ED NOTE: According to a chart presented at the President’s Tuesday briefing, their (probably optimistic) model shows a tailing off of cases sometime in August.
BOARD CHAIR JOHN HASCHAK proposed some kind of policy to formally suspend consideration of non-essential items, giving as an example a cannabis discussion that was previously set for Tuesday’s afternoon discussion. His colleagues didn’t think such a formal policy was necessary, saying that each Board member should only propose essential items as it is. Supervisor Ted Williams observed that the only non-essential item that he’d heard anyone bring up was the very item Haschak had raised. After wasting about ten minutes on the item, Haschak decided that he was glad he reminded his colleagues not to bring up non-essential items.
CONGRESSMAN JARED HUFFMAN also called in briefly to say that Congress is considering helping small businesses keep people on payroll even while staying at home with some kind of “foregivable loans.”
SUPERVISOR CARRE BROWN’S main concern was her own pet subject: the status of the Potter Valley project and transfer from PG&E to some kind of regional agency as yet unclear. Huffman tactfully replied that all stakeholder input was being considered.
AFTER OMINOUSLY telling the Supervisors that there may come a time when there’s “no agenda at all,” CEO Carmel Angelo told the Board that her staff had been working over the weekend and was ready to discuss presliminary planning for an “isolation and quarantine” plan for homeless people in the County, especially an encampment in South Ukiah near the Airport. Angelo said she was “working with the Ukiah City Manager” and Redwood Quality Management Boss Camille Schraeder for a response to the Ukiah encampment near Airport Park Boulevard. “It’s a problem for the full public, not just the individuals,” said Angelo. “We are working on a plan. Multiple resources are going into our homeless issue response.” But the medical emergency ended the meeting before they got into it. Therefore, other than the County’s apparent intention to produce a plan, presumably with senior HHSA staffer Becky Emery as the point person for some “advance planning,” there won’t be any more public discussion of the subject until next Tuesday when the Board will try again to hold a virtual meeting. By then, we hope that the harried clerk of the Board’s medical issues are resolved.
NO JOKE: PROPERTY TAXES ARE STILL DUE
No Changes To Property Tax Payments Due To Covid-19
As Mendocino County Tax Collector, I understand and share in the public's anxiety and concern about the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.
So the pubic is aware, County Tax Collectors cannot change the April 10 deadline for the second Installment of secured property taxes because the delinquency date of Friday, April 10, 2020 is established by State law. Furthermore, critical County services, such as emergency response, public health, schools and other local financial obligations are dependent on these scheduled revenues.
However, the County does have authority to waive penalties, costs, or other charges resulting from tax delinquency due to reasonable cause and circumstances related to this crisis. To obtain the Request for Penalty Cancellation form please visit https://www.mendocinocounty.org/ttcforms. Please read the instructions for this process carefully.
Due to this crisis, the County Administration Building is closed to the public. All taxes, assessments, penalties, fines or fees must be remitted as follows:
Mailed through the US Postal Service;
Electronically online or by phone (see below for more information); or
Drop box in front of the County Administration Building.
Cash must be converted to money orders or cashiers checks.
Full staffing will be available by telephone to deal with urgent matters.
Additional information will be provided as it becomes available. Thank you in advance for your cooperation during this crisis!
Electronic Payment Information
To pay your Current Year Secured 19-20 tax bills please visit www.mendocinocounty.org/securedtax and have your parcel number ready. This portal allows for direct payments to the property system and will look up the amount due on your single parcel for the current secured tax year only. If you have multiple parcels/bills to pay, you can enter it as one transaction and incur one fee by going to the miscellaneous tax payment page below.
To pay any other tax bill such as Unsecured, Supplemental, Multiple Current Year Secured Tax, Transient Occupancy Tax, or Business Licenses, please visit www.mendocinocounty.org/misctax. You must have your bill number available and the amount due.
To pay Cannabis business tax please call our office at 707-234-6848 to obtain the correct payment amount and information regarding electronic payments.
(Press release from Mendocino County Tax Collector)
ON KZYX Tuesday morning I listened to Dr. Trotter talk with Camille Schraeder. Trotter is an ER doctor in Ukiah, Ms. Schraeder and her husband own Mendocino County's mental health franchise, a franchise that costs Mendocino County $20 million a year. If even half the adult population of the county were starkers, that’s lot of money to treat exactly how many people. Those numbers remain unknowable except to the proprietors, who may even claim them as proprietary, I don’t know. Trotter managed to elude prison time when a Ukiah High School kid overdosed unto death in 2003 on unsecured drugs he obtained from the Trotter home. Why unsecured drugs were in the doctor's home resulted in an expensive civil judgement against Trotter, but Mendocino County being the kind of place where history starts all over again every morning, here he is passing out advice on the radio. Trotter should have been criminally prosecuted but when’s the last time you saw a “professional” person prosecuted in Mendocino County?
THE CONVERSATION ranged from scattered to incoherent, with Schraeder speed-rapping stacatto bursts of acronyms about this or that psych program as if people listening were familiar with them. As is typical with Mendo public radio talk the participants lathered each other up with what swell work they were doing as if they were an order of poverty-vow nuns and not the highly paid people they are. The quality of the work they do? Evidence of its effectiveness continues to be so sparse that former Sheriff Allman, expressing the collective desire of law enforcement for an in-county psych facility, got Measure B passed outside the existing array of helping professionals who leave much front line psych work to the county's police forces.
WHAT I LEARNED during the hour-long rah-rah with Schraeder and Trotter is that when locals nut up and wind up in Trotter's emergency room they can get interim help there, which is often complicated, however, by their street drug use on top of their psychological problems and their prescribed meds. Safe, secure help for more than a few days at a time is not available in-county, hence Allman’s Measure B which would build a place (or places) to provide it. Extreme cases, assuming they're found acceptable by expensive, distant psych facilities, and the subtext here is if that distant facility can get paid for them, are sent outtahere, frequently with a police escort which also drives up costs. At these distant lock-up operations medications are juggled, the patient is sent back to Mendo to repeat his or her hellish cycle.
MENDOCINO COUNTY pays out annual millions to these distant pill jugglers which, as former Sheriff Allman has repeatedly pointed out, Mendo could save these millions by treating the difficult people here at home if we built here at home the physical premises to provide longer term time-outs.
MS. SCHRAEDER did mention a useful new entity called the Warm Line. Lonely, troubled people can call the Warm Line and talk to a warm, presumably sympathetic person.
SPEAKING of doctors, how about the Colfax boys out of the hills of Boonville? Grant Colfax is the Bay Area's go-to medical guy, while his younger brother, Drew, is a Mendo go-to medico. Home schooled, the both of them.
NOW THAT AMERICA is in free fall collapse, it will be interesting to see what and who gets funded in the new fiscal prioritization. Unfortunately, given the previous prioritization of them that has, it is unlikely to be mental health programs for them that don't have.
IRONY, I guess, is that the people deciding what is and what isn’t an essential service are themselves non-essential. For instance, if the County CEO’s office disappeared how long would it be before anyone noticed they were missing? Speaking for myself, I only pay strict attention to Doc Doohan; a lot of the stuff coming out of the county is just noise.
A READER ASKED US TODAY if any of Anderson Valley’s many wineries are producing hand sanitizer, apparently thinking that wine is some kind of disinfectant — or not having a clue about what’s involved. Producing anything like the concentrated antiseptic level 70% alcohol requires a distillation capability which we are not aware of in Anderson Valley. Just to confirm, we asked local grape grower/realtor Anne Fashauer who agreed that she didn’t know of any. Besides, even if you have a still to distill raw wine into brandy, it’s only about 35-40% alcohol, and reconfiguration would be required to produce twice the concentration of alcohol. By percentages alone if you had a gallon of wine at say 12% alcohol, that would translate to maybe 7 ounces of nearly pure everclear type alcohol, or about ten ounces of 70% alcohol. (The highest proof grappa we’ve ever heard of is 60% alcohol and that stuff would knock out anybody, maybe even including a virus.) (Mark Scaramella)
COASTAL TRAIL IN FOG
(photo by Larry Wagner)
BETH SWEHLA WRITES: I just received a letter from Mendocino County Schools informing me that all Mendocino County Schools will be closed through May 1st. This is not a surprise to me. What it does mean is the Anderson Valley High School Agriculture Dept. and FFA will not be holding the annual plant sale for the first time in about 20 years. Many people are already planting or planning gardens. Please make sure you are not counting on our plant sale for your plants. We wish we could supply your plants but it is not possible at this time. Thank you for your continued support of our program. We will be back next year!
FROM PENNYROYAL FARM:
Our thanks to the first folks who ordered Pennyroyal Farm's Box — we're keeping it going! Another week's worth is up for pre-order, call or order online; Tue & Thu pick up in Boonville and Wed Senior Delivery available. Stay local + healthy.
LAWSUIT ACCUSES HUMBOLDT COUNTY JUDGE of Drunkenly Attacking an Attorney, Throwing Him Off a Boat, and Says County Employees Tried to Cover It Up
by Ryan Burns
In an incendiary lawsuit filed earlier this month, an attorney with the county’s Public Defender’s Office accuses Humboldt County Superior Court Judge Gregory J. Elvine-Kreis of verbally and physically assaulting him during a Memorial Day celebration at Shasta Lake last year.
Plaintiff Rory Kalin, who has worked for the county as a deputy public defender since October of 2017, alleges that during an attorney-filled party on a boat this past May, Elvine-Kreis got drunk and belligerent before verbally and physically attacking Kalin, repeatedly calling him “Jew-boy” and then throwing him overboard.
The suit, which was first reported by the Times-Standard, says the physical attack exacerbated a traumatic brain injury Kalin had suffered the previous month. He wound up hospitalized for nine days and began suffering from seizures, increased anxiety and panic attacks, according to the complaint.
The suit further alleges that after the attack, Kalin was subjected to “harassment and discrimination” at work, and that his bosses, including former Public Defender Marek Reavis, “took part in an effort to cover [the incident] up.”
Elvine-Kreis spent years working in the Humboldt County Public Defender’s Office before he got appointed to the bench in 2017, and Kalin’s suit suggests that he’s still tight with that crew. It says the “get-together,” which took place on May 25, 2019, at Antlers RV Park and Campground in Shasta County, had been arranged by the wife of Kalin’s immediate boss, Luke Brownfield.
“Many of the attendees were employed in the Public Defender’s Office, as well as their spouses, families and other acquaintances,” the suit says.
Is it appropriate for a judge to party with attorneys who regularly appear before him in court? Well, that behavior appears to fall into a gray area, ethically and legally. A 1994 advisory opinion from the California Judges Association’s Committee on Judicial Ethics says that before attending an attorney-hosted social event with free food, beverage or entertainment, “each judge must determine in advance of the event whether it is ethically proper to attend.”
The opinion also states, “A judge should not attend such an event if attendance would undermine public confidence in the impartiality of the judiciary or promote the private interests of another.”
The Lost Coast Outpost left a message with the Humboldt County Superior Court seeking a comment from Elvine-Kreis. We’ll update this story if and when we hear back.
The lawyer representing Kalin is former Eureka City Attorney Cyndy Day-Wilson, who appeared to dodge disciplinary action or outright termination by agreeing to resign from the city in June of 2018. Day-Wilson is also representing former Humboldt County Counsel Jeffrey Blanck in a lawsuit against the county.
Kalin’s suit seeks unspecified damages as well as attorney fees and $50,000 in civil penalties. He’s suing Elvine-Kreis for battery, assault, violation of his civil rights, negligence and infliction of emotional distress.
His suit recounts the alleged attack in some detail. It says the party, which consisted of about 25 people, was aboard a boat that Brownfield had rented from Antlers RV Park. Kalin observed Elvine-Kreis “drinking large quantities of alcohol and becoming belligerent and intoxicated,” according to the complaint. “Plaintiff also observed the Defendant acting inappropriately with women, making inappropriate remarks about women, and flirting with other men’s wives,” it says.
About half an hour into the boat ride, Elvine-Kreis “began calling [Kalin] a ‘Jew Boy’ and making fun of his Jewish heritage loudly,” the complaint states. “He laughed loudly while making these statements. Defendant also referred to Plaintiff as ‘Jew-boy’ while speaking to [Kalin’s] wife.”
Kalin kept his mouth shut during all this abuse, the suit says, because Elvine-Kreis is a judge — one he regularly has to appear before in court. “Even more troubling,” the suit says, “is the fact that Mr. Brownfield, [Kalin’s] supervisor, stayed silent and did not intervene” during the anti-Semitic insults.
The shove overboard came “without warning,” the suit says. Kalin was fully clothed at the time, and the contents of his pockets included his keys, his wallet, prescription medication and the iPhone he used for work.
“[Kalin] was understandably shocked and embarrassed at what had just happened,” the complaint says. “When the boat arrived back at shore, [he] went to his tent where he remained until after [Elvine-Kreis] had left the next morning. While in the tent [Kalin] experienced a severe anxiety and panic attacks as a result of Defendant’s action.”
The suit says that, several hours after returning to shore, Elvine-Kreis asked Kalin’s wife, “Where’s your girlfriend?” referring to Kalin.
Weeks after the incident, Kalin began suffering seizures, increased anxiety and panic attacks, according to the complaint. The suit says Kalin had been hit in the head with a golf ball just weeks before the boat-shoving incident, and the pair of head injuries triggered this severe physical reaction, which left Kalin hospitalized for nine days.
Ten months later, Kalin remains on medical leave.
Before the humiliating events of Memorial Day weekend, Kalin was “a highly valued member” of the Public Defender’s Office, having received high marks on his employee evaluations, according to the complaint. Upon returning, however, Kalin “was not treated with the same respect among his colleagues … .”
The suit says Brownfield is close friends with Elvine-Kreis and accuses the former of making “false accusations” against Kalin — accusations “that allegedly came from the bench that [Elvine-Kreis] sits on.”
The accusations led to “an adverse employment action” against Kalin, despite his objections and “in direct contrast to his excellent performance reviews and recent promotion,” the lawsuit alleges.
Neither Brownfield nor Reavis, the former public defender, are named in the suit. Just last week, at a special meeting devoted mostly to talking about the COVID-19 outbreak, the Board of Supervisors appointed Meagan O’Connell interim public defender. Reavis had mysteriously disappeared from the position after less than two years on the job.
ON LINE COMMENT: No one can be sure at this point if the more lurid allegations in the suit are true or not. We were not there. However, I have been a member of the Humboldt legal community for almost 40 years. I have never heard of a judge maintaining this sort of personal relationship with individuals after taking the bench and yet continue to preside over cases in which they are involved. A judge has the ethical responsibility to remove him/herself from any matters where there could be even the appearance of impropriety. Judges do it as a matter of course. The fact that this judge does not see fit to do that is troubling indeed.
THIS TIME HE HOSPITALIZED HER
On Monday, March 30th, at approximately 5:00 PM, Mendocino County Sheriff's Deputies were summoned to the Emergency Room at Howard Memorial Hospital for a reported fall victim that appeared suspicious in nature. Upon arrival, the deputies located the victim, an adult female, age 49 of Willits, who was being treated for major head injuries which left her unconscious and unable to communicate. The deputies knew the female from numerous prior calls for service, which included calls for domestic violence involving the same victim. After learning the victim had severe head injuries that were more consistent with a violent act and not a fall, the deputies responded to the victim's residence to contact her husband. The deputies contacted the suspect, Tavion Johnson, 21 year old male of Willits, at his residence in the 2600 block of Goose Road.
After completing their investigation, which included interviewing Johnson, and inspecting the crime scene, Deputies determined that there had been a violent encounter between Johnson and the victim, who is Johnson's wife. Johnson was ultimately arrested for felony domestic violence, violation of a domestic violence criminal protective order, violation of probation (of which Johnson was on probation for previous domestic violence arrests) and for causing great bodily injury to the victim during the commission of an act of domestic violence. Johnson was transported and booked into the Mendocino County Jail where he is being held without bail. The victim in this case was transported to an out of county hospital for a higher level of treatment due to the severity of th injuries she received during the violent encounter with her husband.
PEOPLE SHOULD CARRY ‘EVIDENCE’ OF TRAVEL REASONS IF EXCEEDING 2KM LIMIT
People deliberately contravening new Covid-19 regulations can be arrested and prosecuted, Garda Commissioner Drew Harris has said.
CRUEL & UNUSUAL PUNISHMENT
Jonah Raskin writes:
I thought readers of the AVA might like to hear the latest news about Derick Almena, the defendant in the Ghost Ship case. There was a hung jury for Almena at the end of his trial last year. His co-defendant got off. Almena is locked up in the jail in Santa Rita, waiting for his second trial, on 36 involuntary manslaughter charges stemming from the fire in Oakland in 2016 that killed 36 people.
That second trial has been put off until July because of COVID-19. My brother, Adam, works as a PI for Tony Serra, Almena’s lawyer, now 85-years-old. Adam told me this morning, that Tony had a phone call with Judge Trina Thompson (the courtroom is closed) and asked her to release Almena. She denied the request, though a jail nurse tested positive for COVID-19. Also one unit at the jail was placed in quarantine after a deputy became ill.
Adam and I both think it’s cruel and usual punishment to be locked up in a jail where people have the plague. “If Derick dies behind bars, his death will be on Judge Thompson’s hands,” Adam said. I hope that doesn't happen.
CATCH OF THE DAY, March 31, 2020
JESSIE ANGUIANO-LOZANO, Willits. DUI, grossly negligent discharge of firearm, controlled substance for sale, sale of organic drug, controlled substance while armed with loaded firearm, suspended license (for reckless driving), conspiracy, probation revocation.
PAUL BAUGHMAN, Ukiah. Domestic abuse.
EMILIO FELIX-PEREZ, Richmond/Ukiah. DUI.
CLEVON GRANT, Bronx, New York/Ukiah. Failure to appear. (Photo not available.)
JOSEPH HART, Laytonville. Attempted murder.
SHANNON HUFFAKER, Mendocino. Domestic abuse.
TAVION JOHNSON, Willits. Domestic abuse, great bodily injury during commission of felony, protective order violation, probation revocation.
WESLEY LEWIS, Ukiah. Grossly negligent discharge of firearm, conspiracy.
BRITTANY POWERS, Willits. Grossly negligent discharge of firearm, conspiracy.
BEND IT LIKE THE BAY AREA: Doctors See Flatter Curve After 2 Weeks Of Social Isolation
State leaders and doctors are cautiously optimistic that the Bay Area's early moves to lock down residents two weeks ago have prevented surges of coronavirus patients from overwhelming the region's health care capacity thus far.
ON LINE COMMENT OF THE DAY
Private healthcare insurance and pharmacy is expensive because you are paying for the 3-5 administrators that are standing behind every front line health care worker. You are not just paying for the nurse and the doctors time, but the salary of 3-5, six figure administrators to work 9-5 (with benefits) and be on the company’s softball team on the weekends. These administrators also intentionally understaffed the healthcare facilities that a person is likely to frequent. With the exception of a few places, hospitals are routinely understaffed, and don’t even talk about long term care. That incident in Washington state with the elderly care unit, one sick CNA who has to work to feed their family, could easily have infected those elderly patients, most CNAs have two jobs to make ends meet. CNA’s and nurses commonly have from 15-20 patients to care for in a long term care facility. That kind of service is low quality and your bill still comes to 4000-12000 a month. Thats not intensive medical care, that someone like me bringing you pills in a cup with a cup of water, taking vitals and a 2x a week visit from an occupational therapist. The CNA’s, nurses, and attending physician, and PT’s, OT’s ST’s do ok but that isn’t even a fifth of the cost of staying there. You’re paying for the administrators lifestyle. We have pharmacist who are working like slaves in some of these chain pharmacies. They make good money, but there is a limit to how hard a person works before it gets dangerous to the patient. You seem to think that the free market will provide, yea for those administrators, who are denying you optimal care because they have to get their cut.
THE CHINESE VIRUS AND WILL LEE
by Rex Gressett
Fort Bragg Mayor Will Lee poked his nose out of his Mayoral bunker to respond in wrath to a recent article of mine. It was a victory of a kind. The Mayor is so locked into his own bubble of arrogant in-transparency that any response at all is a little amazing. Of course, the Mayor did not address the city information failure - but he did have a point.
The Mayor posted a little rant that buried the issue I had raised of unhelpful lockdown information, and the no actions dwindling of the ad hoc committee and raised instead a beef over terminology.
Will Lee thinks that using the term “Chinese Virus” is xenophobic and outrageous. For once, I agree with the glib, empty-headed Mayor. I repent. The Corona19 virus really should not be called the “Chinese” virus. The term is irresponsibly unspecific. I promise the mayor and the city that from henceforth I will refer to the virus as the “CCP Virus;” the Chinese Communist Party Virus.
In 1939, the ship “Saint Louis” set sail from Nazi Germany with 239 terrified German Jews fleeing the impending genocide. The ship was turned away from Cuba and then, to our eternal national shame, the ship was turned away from the United States. It returned to Germany and (about half) of the passengers ultimately died in Nazi concentration camps.
In 1939, Roosevelt and the people of the United States - far from the convulsions of Europe - were still able to rationalize the rise of a totalitarian dictatorship. As a nation, we ignored the moral implications of totalitarianism. We set aside morality. We turned our back and we shut our eyes. The storm broke over us. Millions died and in Germany, a generation of the most intellectually sophisticated, deeply moral, peaceful people in Europe or in the world went to the gas chambers.
If America had welcomed the “St Louis” would it have made a difference? Certainly to the terrified refugees on board it would have made a big difference. Maybe if we had opened our arms it would have encouraged Jewish immigration to the United States in that dark time. Maybe it would have made no difference at all to the coming world convulsion, but to the soul and the conscious of America it damn sure would have mattered. If we had the courage then to recognize evil it would have changed us. Our national failure should never be forgotten.
The same spirit of denial that laid down for the totalitarianism of Nazi Germany and betrayed the “St Louis” is alive and well in America today.
Fort Bragg Mayor Will Lee, with his trademark posturing arrogance, his open contempt for transparency and his disdain for the legal responsibilities of elected local government is upset that anyone would dare to be angry at totalitarian China.
Mayor Lee's outrage over the use of the term “Chinese Virus” is a barely concealed defense of a slave state. Let's not make any untoward references about Communist China, who with the compliancy of greedy corporations and enabling politicians, destroyed the industrial foundations of what was once the greatest producer of goods and products and prosperity that the world has ever known. The empty factories across America, the diminishing standard of living that affects us all, the diminishing lifespan of Americans can be traced without difficulty to the offshoring of American industrial capacity to totalitarian Communist China. Will Lee does not want you to remember that.
A few days ago, the official voice of the Communist Chinese Party released the following threat:
“If China retaliates at this time against the United States it will announce not only a travel ban on the United States - but will also announce strategic control over medical products and ban exports to the United States. If China announces that its drugs are for domestic use and ban exports, the United States will fall into the hell of a new coronavirus epidemic.”
It is not an empty threat - 90% of all US pharmaceuticals are manufactured in China.
When Wayne Allen the CEO Of our local hospital told me when I asked about a promising drug to fight the virus. Hydroxychloroquine saith MCDH, CEO Wayne Allen sent me the following email:
“There are current investigations being done with this medication and others that may be useful for the treatment of COVID-19. As the studies about the virus treatment and prevention continue, the nationwide health care communities may need to adjust treatment plans accordingly. Currently, the manufacturer of this medication has no supply available through wholesaler channels. It is on the list of nationwide drug shortages.”
In the ongoing national crisis, the outrage against alleged xenophobia against the Chinese has been as loud and virulent as it is silly.
Our own Mayor Will Lee doesn't think these things up but locally he is always among the first to jump on any bandwagon of political correctness. I think that most people locally who have seen a few City Council meetings will immediately appreciate that Will Lee does not have either the imagination or the personal courage to originate anything. Will is just doing what he does.
In this case, he is obediently repeating the standard, politically correct, talking points of what is actually a deliberately manufactured consensus. He thinks he is saying whatever is hip.
But if you look closely at it, what they are shouting at us with such indignant piety - what you see is actually a consensus that supports and condones the corporate outsourcing of a nation's prosperity to a slave state.
What Will Lee and the censors and the corporatists fear above all else is the impending sea of change that they know is coming. Millions of people are getting the idea that free people can create a new future for our nation.
It is not an exaggeration to say THAT future depends on cutting supply chains to the Chinese totalitarian slave state and to what has become the epicenter of evil in our generation.
Professional political parasites like Will Lee just want you to trust them. They use the tools that they have at hand - “shut up, get in line and let me lead” is the substance of their ideology. Political correctness is a tool.
Where would be if we threw off dithering, unsubstantial self-inflated egoist leadership and insisted on action from our representatives?
Has anyone noticed that Will Lee has not proposed a single policy of any kind? He is afraid that people will remember that we are Americans and we can do anything. If we remember it, posturing politically correct parasites like Will Lee will lose the substance of their power.
Sorry Mayor, I am not pulling punches. My nation is on the line. We are in a Cold War with the Communist Chinese. It will be a fight like nothing before in our history. And it’s a little silly to try and disarm us by calling us racists or xenophobes because our greatest allies, and the people that we love the best and respect the most, are those brave men and women are already actually bleeding and being imprisoned.
No words can express my admiration for the protesters and fighters in Hong Kong and now in mainland China. They are our brothers and they are taking the first blows with incredible courage.
We have monuments and statues to remind our grandchildren after the heroes have gone to their graves that patriotism is the fountain of unexpected courage. That it comes when we need it most, when the hour is darkest.
We raise monuments to common men that fought against impossible odds. In times of sudden and unexpected darkness in times of tragedy and in times of danger. We build monuments that, after the storm has passed gently, become perches for pigeons. Unfathomable to the kids that play in the park.
But show me the artist that can raise a monument that captures the bravery against incalculable odds that the people of Hong Kong showed when they waved American flags and in face of the CCP thugs sang the American National anthem.
Will Lee bleats that the term “China Virus” is xenophobic. Unthinking, basically stupid and very, very dangerous political correctness is Mayor Lee's default position.
But I put it to you as an American that political correctness at this time, and in this instance, is a betrayal of America and a betrayal of you and your family.
And perhaps most of all, it’s a betrayal of the Chinese fighters in Hong Kong and the first wave of brave rioters on the mainland.
Xenophobic my ass.
WILL LEE'S NOTE:
Chinese virus? Seriously? Xenophobic language is so dangerous and reckless.
From the World Health Organization:
Naming the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) and the virus that causes it
Official names have been announced for the virus responsible for COVID-19 (previously known as “2019 novel coronavirus”) and the disease it causes. The official names are:
Disease: coronavirus disease
Virus: severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2
Why do the virus and the disease have different names?
Viruses, and the diseases they cause, often have different names. For example, HIV is the virus that causes AIDS. People often know the name of a disease, such as measles, but not the name of the virus that causes it (rubeola).
There are different processes, and purposes, for naming viruses and diseases.
Viruses are named based on their genetic structure to facilitate the development of diagnostic tests, vaccines and medicines. Virologists and the wider scientific community do this work, so viruses are named by the International Committee on Taxonomy of Viruses (ICTV).
Diseases are named to enable discussion on disease prevention, spread, transmissibility, severity and treatment. Human disease preparedness and response is WHO’s role, so diseases are officially named by WHO in the International Classification of Diseases (ICD).
For those more ignorant or racist calling Covid-19 disease the “Chinese virus” is an excuse for hate crimes against the Chinese population. This has been documented as hate crimes have risen towards people of Chinese/Asian descent. Having a president, or public figure or a news reporter use this type of language is dangerous.
The Fort Bragg City Manager and the entire City Council have been working tirelessly on this emergency, whether he can understand that or not.
A Council Ad Hoc committee is an effective way to share information as it becomes available. As mentioned at last night’s special City Council meeting, the major focus areas will be:
Mental Health outreach and mitigation; our supply chain for essential goods to the coast; child care for essential employees (grocery stores; clinics; hospital, banks, hardware store employees); assisting families without safety nets who’ve lost their jobs; Homeless services; volunteer opportunities for those willing to step up during this crisis; health care delivery and accessibility; Information Sharing; small business assistance and forgivable loans; and the Council passed a Moratorium on Evictions last night through May 31, 2020 and researching zero interest loans for landlords.
THE LATEST NUMBERS ON TESTING FROM MCDH
Update on Covid 19 testing from the Hospital:
ZERO CONFIRMED CASES IN FORT BRAGG. 3 confirmed cases in the county; 1 recovered and 2 at home recovering. NO Hospital Admissions at this time.
At least get Council Member Jessica Morsell-Haye’s name and email address correct if you want citizens of Fort Bragg to write to her.
All City Council Members are available to answer questions and to speak with our constituents. I can be reached at: email@example.com or 707-961-2823 ext. 149.
Mendocino Coast families and friends, stay safe. Stay home!
OUT OF THE CORONAVIRUS CRISIS CAN COME EFFICIENT HISTORIC CHANGES FOR JUSTICE
by Ralph Nader
Many of us have heard that the Chinese character for “crisis” is also the character for “opportunity.” During the coronavirus crisis, we have a duty to apply political solutions and emerge much superior than before the pandemic struck an unready country. The time for serious civic reforms is now! Here are five fundamental opportunities for structural reforms and transformations:
1. The U.S. needs a permanent framework of explicit Congressional standards and accountability procedures for gigantic corporate welfare grants, loans, and other guarantees, especially during emergencies. Without these standards, the U.S. government has repeatedly bailed out capitalism with “socialism for the rich.”
The most recent example is the $2.2 trillion salvation package for big corporations, small businesses, local and state governments, workers, and a little for consumers. The bailout package is nearly 1,000 pages of vague language, loopholes, and other gateways for waste, fraud, and corruption.
To put it mildly, Congress is granting the Treasury Department huge discretion to provide more taxpayer welfare to the business community. We know how this is going to turn out in the highly partisan, corporatist, secretive Administration of Donald Trump.
The same lack of standards and openness afflicts the corporate “socialism” of the Federal Reserve even more deeply. The Federal Reserve has occult ways of incurring debt and printing money to save the big boys of Wall Street and those in their dependent commercial circles.
2. Congress must be held to a higher standard and must carry out its constitutional duties. Congress is the duly authorized branch of the government to establish clear public missions and exercise prudent oversight of government initiatives. But as constitutional law specialist, Bruce Fein, has testified repeatedly – “Congress is an inkblot,” abdicating its constitutional duties either to the Executive Branch, the courts, or to the ether.
Working a 2½ day week, when not on recess, Congress has less time to conduct rigorous appropriations and oversight hearings to be followed by competently drafted legislation.
So pathetic is Congress that since 1992, it has allowed the Defense Department to violate the requirement for annual auditable budgets—with impunity. Congress has rubberstamped trillions of dollars for the Iraq and Afghan wars under a special escape from customary Senate and House hearings. The military contracts with giant arms contractors are a wildly out-of-control fleece-fest marked by greased palms and golden handshakes.
And most troubling, Congress is complicit in endless wars, neither to be declared since World War II, nor to be evaluated regularly by the most powerful of our three branches of government.
3. We must never allow ourselves to be driven into a state of perilous domestic unpreparedness due to the grotesque misallocation of federal funds behind the warfare state. The Empire’s insatiable demands worldwide has created new enemies and starved funding for domestic necessities. Of the federal government’s operation budgets (excluding self-funded insurance and social security) nearly 70 percent goes to the military budget, interest on deferred debt for wars, the Veterans Administration, and pieces of other Departments such as Energy and Homeland Security.
The coronavirus assault finds the mighty, often-forewarned U.S.A. without adequate emergency planning for a pandemic. The U.S. has been unable to ready hospitals, add skilled staff, and conduct critical pandemic medical research. U.S. hospitals even lack basic equipment such as ventilators, facemasks, and – astonishingly, swabs. U.S. readiness requires a social safety net like what citizens in other Western countries have. It means more self-reliant production in the U.S. for pharmaceuticals (now outsourced heavily to China and India) along with the production of all basic necessities. The rules of corporate-managed “free trade,” have left us without a national defense from corporate avarice run amok.
The days of abandoning crucial elements of our protective economic sovereignty must be declared over once and for all. Our country must take care of itself right down to producing critical swabs, now rationed by a dominant Italian manufacturer besieged with virus-induced needs in Italy.
4. The media has to be smarter, dig deeper, and not wallow in official source journalism, while ignoring the knowledge and experience of citizen groups. Members of the media spend too much time ditto-heading each other, interviewing their own reporters, and not covering the daily power struggle between the haves and the have nots. Instead, some editors pursue long investigative features in search of prizes. Unfortunately, too many (but not all) journalists are content to rehash the news of the day with establishment talking heads.
Like politicians running for public office, the mass media mostly ignores the devastating impact on our country of the devouring, corrosive, burgeoning military-industrial complex (remember President Eisenhower’s warning) desperately looking for enemies abroad to justify their gigantic contracts.
5. The foundation on which all of the above relies — is the citizenry. Focusing on the 535 members of the Congress, a mere one percent or less of citizens forming Congressional watchdog groups over their two Senators and Representatives in every Congressional District can regain command of Congress. Only through citizen action will Congress perform its constitutional duties and turn the ship of state from corporatism to a functioning democracy.
In my small paperback, Breaking Through Power: It’s Easier than We Think, I outline specific, modest actions citizens can take to laser-beam focus back home on their legislators. What is needed is a left/right alliance on many fundamental changes. Such a latent, converging alliance, where people live, work, and raise their families, is politically unstoppable.
Marshaling decisive public opinion can overwhelm the divide-and-rule tactics of manipulative plutocrats. It happened before in our history and it can happen again in major ways—starting small and building quickly in each District.
Wide reaching, predictable crises, such as the coronavirus, invite long-overdue advances in the evolution of democratic societies. These include full Medicare for all, living wages, and law and order for big business. We need to make the most of these life-sustaining opportunities. Right now!
Please visit SinglepayerAction.org, Fight for $15, and Citizen.org.
(Ralph Nader is a consumer advocate, lawyer and author of Only the Super-Rich Can Save Us!)
US IGNORES CALLS TO SUSPEND VENEZUELA AND IRAN SANCTIONS AMID CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC
At a time when all of humanity is facing a common, invisible, enemy, world leaders have called for a suspension of economic sanctions that have increasingly become the pursuit of war by other means.