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MCT: Friday, April 10, 2020

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DRY WEATHER conditions will prevail through mid next week as high pressure remains anchored offshore. Temperatures will generally warm up in the interior this weekend and remain above normal through mid next week. Marine air and onshore breezes will keep coastal areas cooler. (NWS)

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PHILO ROLLOVER (Thursday afternoon)

At the top of the hill by the Navarro Vineyards tasting room around 4:30 pm. The male victim was on the far side of this truck with others attending to him. Waiting on CHP and ambulance.

(Kathy Wylie)

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AV SENIOR CENTER DIRECTOR RENEE LEE INFORMS US:

We are still serving our delicious lunches on Tuesdays and Thursday during the COVID-19 pandemic. However, our resources are limited right now and our budget is being stretched, so please call ahead to order your lunch if possible as it is difficult to provide too many walk-ins and we hate turning folks away. We are now typically serving between 11:30-12:15pm as our staff is on limited hours as well. Call 707-895-3609. Thank you and be well!

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A GRIM FINANCIAL FORECAST

by Mark Scaramella

Mendo Treasurer and Tax Collector Shari Schapmire told the Supervisors on Tuesday that the April 10 property tax deadline was not extended and people are “encouraged” to pay on time if they can. Governor Newsom has asked (but not ordered) counties to cancel penalties for late payment and a process to do that is underway. But the County depends on these revenues for about $40 million in General Fund services (about half of which are law enforcement including the District Attorney and the Jail).

County Auditor Lloyd Weer said that first installments of property taxes were paid in December and they were in line with budget expectations. But, because of the virus/shelter in place economic shutdown, the second installment “is probably not going to hold up.” Weer said he can’t determine the “revenue performance” at this point and he won’t know “until we see the kinds of delinquencies that we experience.”

Schapmire said she collects about $145 million in property taxes each year. So far, about $32 million has not been collected. Typically $4 million is uncollected anyway in a normal year. So that leaves $29 million left to collect. But some other one-time funds may reduce that shortfall to about $20 million “which I realize is still a lot of money,” Schapmire hastened to say.

Oddly, Schapmire also said her office “cannot accept partial payments.” They are working on a penalty cancellation request form which will require tedious case by case review. “We will have to be liberal with this,” Schapmire said. Under the Teeter Plan which requires the county to front money to school districts, incorporated cities and special districts, the County is legally required to give them their sizable portions of whatever those second installments turn out to be, then hope collections somehow cover it in the end, usually with penalties and interest, but not so much this year with cancelled penalites.

By law then, about 70% of the $145 million goes out to the schools, special districts and cities, leaving $40 million or so for the County.

Schapmire didn’t mention how much shortfall they may face in the County’s two other tax revenue sources — bed tax and sales tax. (The bed tax is certainly going to be way down given that the county’s inns, motels, hotels, and b&b spas are closed. And so many businesses have also closed that the sales tax harvest will also be down significantly.)

For this fiscal year (ending in June) Mendo budgeted about $90 million in total tax revenues, including about $25 million in sales tax, the aforementioned $40 million or so in property tax, about $6 million in bed tax, over $2 million in anticipated penalties and interest, and another $12 million of property tax backfill from the vehicle license fees that were canceled a few years ago and replaced with a larger property tax allocation from the state. Somehow some pollyannaish optimist projected about $4 million in “cannabis taxes,” which would have been fanciful to realize in a good year.

Given that the last three months of this fiscal year are obviously going to result in significant tax revenue reductions, it’s probably safe to say that sales and bed taxes will be off by at least 20% on top of whatever property tax shortfall there may be. If property tax revenues are down by just 10% that’s over $4 million. Sales tax could be off by $5 million. Bed tax could take big hit of $1.5 million or more. Penalty and interest revenue could easily be off by $1 million due to the “liberal” hardship cancellations, and upwards of $3 million in vehicle license fee offset property tax revenues could disappear. Without even addressing the hard-to-accept $4 million in cannabis tax receipts, we’re talking large tax revenue shortfalls.

Then there’s the fees and service charges that will not come in, probably at least another $2 million.

Conservatively, Mendo is looking at a general fund revenue shortfall of at least $15 million off the budgeted $90 million just for this year, not to mention the following years as what’s left of the economy tries to catch up.

Of course, there could be some local agency bailout money from the feds or the state, but it probably won’t come anywhere near closing the gap given the overwhelming demands for fiscal help from the federal government and the relatively paltry amounts being disccussed so far.

Speculation has already begun that property values are going to take a large hit in the next year or two as well, which translates to bigger property tax shortfalls in future years.

One interesting wild card that occurred to us is the school closures for three months. If school are closed, does Mendo still have to pay the school districts their full property tax allotment? One would think that school budgets would shrink in proportion to reduced “average daily attendance” so maybe the County can keep some of those property taxes as an offset to the looming shortfalls. (We have a call in to County Schools Superintendent Michelle Hutchins, but so far no response.)

Looking back on the last, much less severe, budget crisis in 2009 we recall that the County took a number of what were considered then to be drastic cost-cutting measures including:

  • A 10% across the board pay cut.
  • Mandatory and voluntary time off.
  • A hiring freeze and non-replacement of retirees (who were encouraged to retire).
  • Canceled, reduced and delayed capital improvement projects.

Since the virus budget fallout is clearly already worse than the 2009 “Great Recession” impact, it’s not too soon for Mendo’s budget and finance people to prepare a few general fund revenue scenarios with accompanying budget reduction estimates and start preparing for the budget cuts to come that will probably be steep, painful and long lasting.

And who knows what kinds of cuts are in store for the even larger state and federal grant aid programs, primarily in Health and Human Services, like food stamps, mental health, public health, Medi-Cal/Medicaid, and general welfare grants.

Ms. Schapmire concluded by saying that the financial picture is made up of “a lot of moving parts,” but she neglected to note that there is sand in the gears.

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AV MARKETS STILL OPEN

AV Market is still open daily from 10-6.

Boont Berry is open for take out food from their deli, curbside delivery and regular shopping. They can also do special orders, and there has been a pop-up "Love Table" there in recent weeks offering free homemade bread and other items. (707) 895-3576

Lemons Market is still open daily for groceries, meat, fish and deli.

Yorkville Market still open for take-out and groceries. (707) 894-9456

Also:

4 Bar K Ranch is still taking orders for local beef. contact Dave Kooyers at dkooyers@gmail.com (707) 895-2325

Boonville Barn Collective still selling olive oil, chile powders and salts.

Natural Products of Boonville still has mushrooms and more each week, plus veggie starts! (see information below). (707) 684-0182 or keepertrout@gmail.com

Petit Teton remains open, selling a wide selection of produce, meat, eggs, plants, and canned food. They can prepare a grocery bag in advance. (707) 684-4146 or farmer@petitteton.com

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NO ON THE AVALON

To the Fort Bragg City Council and Fort Bragg Planning Department:

Greetings:

I am commenting on Mr. Hunt’s Avalon Hotel project.

It is obvious to me at least that the scale of this project is off the charts. The design is overwhelming, an overwrought piece of work which in my estimation qualifies as "celebrity architecture."

It is not in keeping with the existing three motels along the Haul Road. It is too massive and too high.

Allowing a development of this size will have an impact on the city's water supply, and cause congestion on Highway 1 as so many cars leave the hotel, restaurant and convention Center. And it will provide lots of minimum-wage jobs and will make Fort Bragg ever more reliant on tourists to prop up the economy.

Do we really want to be beholden to tourists? Isn't there a better use for this property? How about our seniors and lower-income workforce? Are only tourists have can pay $200 a night entitled to enjoy life along the Haul Road?

Does Mr. Hunt have any social philosophy, an egalitarian ethic? Or is the only concerned with making money? A two story condo would fit in that space quite nicely, less enabled seniors on the first floor, more agile workers on the second, perhaps with a dining room to help the seniors. A project like that would serve some of the immediate needs of Fort Bragg and provide jobs also. I realize you cannot stop him from planning anything he wants on his property, but you can deny it, or better yet, try to encourage him to build something that will benefit local residents and not just cater to tourists.

Many of us believe the coronavirus will be around for quite some time. Social distancing may be the new norm. Do we want development that is dependent on bringing people from faraway places? Do we want to put additional strain on our small hospital?

This project will have a deleterious aesthetic effect on the Haul Road enjoyed by so many as well as the look of Highway 1 as people are approaching town.

I urge you to think twice before giving your stamp of approval to this project. Please enter my comments into the official record.

Thank you,

Louise Mariana, RN

Mendocino

PS. Despite my Mendocino address I do most of my business in Fort Bragg and have done so for 40 years.

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ED NOTES

MORE masked people in Boonville running brisk errands before disappearing back into their bunkers. At the Yorkville Market this morning I kept my required six feet from the store’s welcoming proprietor, Lisa Walsh, but had to close to about four feet to hand her my unsafe cash for the cookies I bought.

A masked man entered the store and backed away from me until he bumped into the beer cooler. Can't blame him. He came within twenty feet of certain death!

MR. RANDOLPH BISSON’S booking photo is a portrait of perfect and understandable anguish.

He’s 65 and looking at an attempted murder charge, assault on the police officers pursuing him as he made a mad dash up the Mina Road that runs north out of Covelo, and just may be the most historically rich stretch of back road anywhere in Northern California. There’s something beguiling about it. I’ve always thought of it as the outlaw’s alternate route to Highway 101. The Mina not only leads to the ranches of some of the wealthiest families in America, there are also the lonely homesteads of a wide variety of people who just want to be left alone. They include estranged combat veterans, dope enterprises, doom preppers, and old fashioned hermits. Eventually, the Mina Road traveler comes to Alderpoint, having paused at the triparte county junction of Trinity, Mendo and Humboldt, from which you can see the Pacific to the west, miles of forest everywhere else. Alderpoint was once a thriving stop on the old Northwestern Pacific Railroad line, complete with three hotels, and a little farther north is Fort Seward, an odd expanse of open field and an odd neighborhood of suburban-looking homes. The long gone fort at Fort Seward recalls that soldiers were stationed there as late as 1880 to subdue the Wylackies who, if they’d had guns and horses when the first palefaces showed up, wouldn’t have been defeated for many years later. I’m looking forward to Mr. Bisson’s version of events. His adventure is in the tradition of the Mina.

(THE LATE VIVIAN WEATHERHEAD was raised at Mina where her father ranched and ran the Mina Post Office, all traces of which are gone although I recall a tumbledown shack at the location that once served enough of the area to warrant a post office. Vivian taught school in Berkeley and retired to Boonville. She had many happy memories of her youth at Mina.)

NPR annoys this old crank no end. I hear it every morning as I walk, its provocations helping me to pick up my pace. Those provocations include, of course, America’s premier nuzzlebum, Scott Simon, but fortunately for what’s left of my mental health he’s only on Saturdays. People complain about the dumbing down of our fine, fat population without realizing how much of the systematic infusion of pure stupidity is tax-funded. Take this one tiny example: NPR news, every morning, mentions the birthday of a celebrity whose fame derives from dumb television or movies or even dumber music. Madonna? Really? Why not note the birthday of someone of real achievement like Dr. Fauci? Marie Curie anyone?

THE NEW RHETORIC is also like taking steady tap-taps to the skull from a ballpeen hammer. When did we go from people to folks? I’d rather be a people than a folk. We all have folks but they’re none of anybody’s business beyond family. Scott Simon’s got to be kept at arm’s length always.

I’M ALREADY missing baseball. I’d hope to take in a few Giants games this season, looking out at the San Francisco Bay between pitches from my preferred seat at the very top of the ballpark. I don’t miss the NBA because unless the Splash Bros are playing I don’t like the freelance hoops style characteristic of most NBA play. The Warriors, when everybody’s healthy, are thrilling because they play a team game. I don’t care how great a player like Lebron is, watching him fly coast to coast for a slam isn’t nearly as exciting as Steph getting off an amazing pass that only he sees, and we marvel at after he’s brought it off. The Niners? O yea. Count me in, mos def. But I watched through all those lean years, too, so my Niner credentials are in order, bub.

A NEW ROADSIDE sign just went up south of Boonville warning that littering will cost a slob a thousand bucks. The sign itself is a gross form of littering since it wrecks an otherwise charming rural vista of oak-studded hills, but if anyone has ever been fined a thou for littering in this county it has escaped my hawk-eyed vigilance. So we live with litter telling us not to do it.

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ORCHIDS AT MY SISTER’S HOUSE

photo by Susie de Castro

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HUM BABY?

High pitched hum?

Anybody know what the annoying high pitched hum is in Boonville?

Thanks,

Sheila

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HASTINGS HOMELESS ENCAMPMENT - Leaders ‘At An Impasse’ Over Issue - City Pushing For Fairgrounds, County ‘Adamantly’ Opposed

by Justine Frederiksen

While city of Ukiah and county of Mendocino officials can agree that the large homeless encampment just north of the Ukiah airport is a problem, they cannot agree on how to solve it.

“The city of Ukiah has been extremely vocal and reached out numerous times to the county about this encampment,” Mendocino County Chief Executive Officer Carmel Angelo told the Board of Supervisors during its April 7 meeting, explaining that the county wants “to do everything we can to protect the public’s health and help the city, and I have been working with City Manager Sage Sangiacomo to figure out what can we do short of breaking down the camp,” which she pointed out was against federal and state guidelines regarding encampments.

“And today, we are at somewhat of an impasse, because the city would like the county to move the encampment to the (Redwood Empire) Fairgrounds, and I am refusing to do that,” Angelo continued, adding that officials are continuing to explore alternate sites for “those who prefer to stay in a camp. But I refuse to take that encampment and move it to the fairgrounds.”

In an update he gave to the Ukiah City Council last week, Sangiacomo described formulating a plan to address the health and safety risks posed to the public by the encampment as “incredibly important, to not only mitigate the risk to the homeless population, but to reduce the threat to our first responders: police officers, firefighters and EMS. We certainly do not want a surge in (COVID-19 cases) to spread in a population of 50 or 60 people that will quickly overload our medical and first-response resources in our community. We will do everything we can to be preemptive in that endeavor.”

On April 1, Sangiacomo said he was hopeful that the city and county would have “some substantial plans in place and potential for implementation here in the next week or so.”

Short-term solutions

Second District Mendocino County Supervisor John McCowen said he has been visiting with the residents of the camp regularly, and feels he has been able to make some positive changes and connections.

“The current residents of the camp agreed to not let any more people in, and I am paying some of them to pick up trash,” said McCowen, explaining that he pushed both city and county officials to agree to add a Dumpster, portable toilets and hand-washing stations for the camp residents to use.

That equipment was added to the camp on Monday, March 30, and the following day, the county Board of Supervisors was expected to hear staff’s plan for sheltering all of the county’s homeless residents during the COVID-19 crisis, including those in the large encampment.

“(Governor Gavin Newsom) has provided emergency funding to (California’s counties) to shelter the homeless during this public health crisis, and we understand that the county of Mendocino will be receiving about $300,000 for this purpose,” Ukiah Police Department Chief Justin Wyatt said in a video posted to his department’s Facebook page last week.

“Public Health’s plan to address this plan was to be heard (at the March 31 meeting of the Board of Supervisors), but unfortunately, that meeting was cut short and we weren’t able to hear those details. However, we did hear reminders that the county’s Health and Human Services Agency is responsible for delivering homeless services, and that those services existed well before the outbreak of COVID-19.

“We learned that the county has contracted with Redwood Community Services, and that resources are being directed toward the homeless…and to address the largest encampment in Ukiah,” continued Wyatt, adding that he was encouraged to hear a plan was being formed.

He also addressed the notion that “If law enforcement had kept the encampment from growing to begin with, there wouldn’t be such a problem” by describing homelessness as “not a crime, and there is no law enforcement solution for homelessness. Law enforcement’s role (regarding homeless residents) is the same with the rest of the community: to enforce laws to keep the peace. And enforcement alone has been ineffective in Ukiah to stop encampments. We’ve had difficulties finding supportive services partners able to join us and engage the homeless with us in the field to offer options as an alternative to enforcement. All spokes of the wheel must be engaged for any part of the wheel to be effective.

“Law enforcement does not ever have the ability to provide housing, to deliver social services or to physically, forcibly move people to a more desirable location,” Wyatt said.

“So, when asked ‘why the police allow encampments to get so big?’, I would say, ‘We did or didn’t allow anything.’ But in response to this public health crisis, we did stop contacting camping violators to ask for their cooperation. When communities have a situation that explodes, when one spoke of the wheel stops, it represents the absence of the remaining spokes of the wheel. And that’s what has happened with homeless encampments in Ukiah. Law enforcement had to stop actively engaging homeless campers because of the threat of (COVID-19). Now that law enforcement cannot engage with the homeless, it’s up to the remaining spokes of the wheel to make a difference.

“We patiently look to the supportive services providers for plans for the homeless and encampments and to keep our community and first responders safe,” Wyatt said.

“The Ukiah Police Department will continue to respond appropriately to crimes in progress, and continue to provide for the safety of our community while also ensuring that we don’t unnecessarily expose ourselves to a threat that could limit, or end, our ability to do that.”

After Wyatt’s video was posted, McCowen responded in an email sent to both city and county officials stating that “the county’s commitment (to re-locate every camp resident who is willing to be relocated) is contingent on the city manager’s commitment that the UPD will not continue to allow homeless camps to become established.

“I have always agreed with you that homelessness is not a law enforcement issue, and no one is looking to you to solve the homelessness problem,” McCowen continued. “(However), the legitimate role of law enforcement, according to Dr. Robert Marbut, includes prevention of permanent encampments, recovery of stolen property (shopping carts), protection of our waterways and related issues. The responsibility of the county is to provide services, including housing, but all services are contingent on available resources and willing participants. I agree that an enforcement-only model will fail, but so will a services-only model. Without support from law enforcement, the county will never be able to supply enough services.

“The irreplaceable role of law enforcement is to assure minimum standards of behavior, and community and environmental protection for the sheltered and unsheltered alike,” McCowen continued. “When those experiencing homelessness are not allowed to establish permanent camps, then those who can be helped by services are more willing to seek them. Likewise, those who are not interested in services, but who have other options, including staying with friends, family or returning to their home communities, will be more likely to seek them. The common goal of law enforcement and service providers must be to reduce the number of people experiencing homelessness in our community, not make it easier for them to be homeless.

“The county will fulfill its commitment to the city to address the encampment (north of the airport), but it will have a limited impact unless you are willing to embrace the traditional role of law enforcement to keep the entire community safe, both those who are housed and those who are not,” McCowen writes, ending his email with: “It should not be the role of my elderly classmate to wake up the transient blocking the door to her place of work and ask him to move because your officers have been directed not to respond.”

Some in camp given hotel vouchers

Tammy Moss Chandler, director of the county’s Health and Human Services Agency, told the Board of Supervisors Tuesday that “our outreach team assessed over 50 people at the encampment and offered shelter to people who were over 65, had health conditions, young children, or who qualified for other programs.”

Moss Chandler said that with the use of hotel vouchers, “we have housed a total of 80 people throughout the county, including 73 adults and seven children.”

As for the county’s plan to address homelessness on a permanent basis, Moss Chandler said “Our very exciting [soc] Strategic Plan was expected to be presented to the county’s Continuum of Care board in March, but because of COVID-19 that has been delayed. It is still anticipated to move forward, and hopefully will be presented at the April 20 meeting.”

As for the current status of the camp, McCowen said Tuesday it was “not ideal, but it meets the minimum standards. We want to keep the people in the camp safe, as well as the general community, and simply breaking up the camp and having them disperse would not be a good idea. We are still trying to identify a more appropriate location for the camp to move.”

(Courtesy, the Ukiah Daily Journal)

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Yorkville Fixer-Upper

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OKAY, LET’S SHARE SOME VALLEY SECRETS!

by Russ Emal

Not secrets about people. There are no secrets in Anderson Valley about people. The signs at each entrances to the valley could say The Gateway to Gossip. I mean secret places in the valley. I know a few. Some are public and some are private. To get to some you need to cross property that is private. But they do exist. I’d like to learn about a few more hidden treasures here in the valley. And I’d like to hear your experiences at my favorite spots.

I believe the very first spot I heard about and visited is one many have probably also been to. If not, put it on your list of where to go when you can go again. It is not actually much of a secret. It’s the lookout tower. Many people know how to get there. If you don’t, just ask around. When on the valley floor and you look up at the tallest mountain sitting above the valley it might seem it would be a quick ride to get there. But it is not. It may take something close to an hour. But the drive is worth it. You drive through some beautiful valleys and see some of the old ranches. This area is called Signal Ridge. But also known as Vinegar Ridge. Back in the day, wine was made here by early settlers. The ‘Eye Talians.’ I’d guess if they used the term vinegar in naming the area, they had as yet to learn the fine techniques of wine making used in the valley today. When you get to the top the view is spectacular. They could have filmed the Sound of Music there. 🎼 The hills are alive with the sound of music….But bring your own music. On a good day you can see the Pacific Ocean and many inland valleys. Bring lunch and a bottle of wine. (I think legally I must say please drink responsibly.)

I’m not going to give you the exact location of my next spot. But you pass it on the way to the lookout tower. It’s known as Maple Basin. Ask your friends about it. It is a real special swimming hole. Actually there are a few places there where you can get into the water. I am sure a few others who are reading this has been there also. It is a bit of a hike but well worth it. Clothing optional. Actually I do not think anyone has ever dressed there.

You know the big open area just past the town of Navarro? It’s on your left as you leave town. That huge area was once one of the many mill sites at the far end of the valley. It is also a great flat area to pick berries in the summer. I think the land is private, but I have picked berries there for years. But that is not the secret part of this area. Most if not all of the water for Navarro comes from a spring above the old mill site. Actually there is a deep cave with a dam in front of it. The cave is full of fresh spring water. Trust me when I say it is well hidden. It's a big hill and a small cave. Not to mention it’s a very steep climb. Good luck if you try to find it!

I know of three great swimming holes on the Navarro. Two are well known. Near the bridge over the Navarro and Iron Bridge. Iron Bridge has no bridge. So if you are looking for one you will not find it. Look for all of the parked cars on 128. Most of them come from the coast. I often pass them as I try to get away from the valley heat in the summer as I head to the coast and the cool fog. Much less known is the Blue Rock swimming hole. Most all loggers know of this place as it is on Masonite. To get to it you need to pass locked gates. Perhaps ask a logger friend with access to the logging road you enter at the North Fork of the river.

As long as I am giving away secret spots not near me I guess I have to give away one near where I live. It’s up Nash Mill road. Well up that road system you will find perhaps the tallest water falls in the valley. Actually two waterfalls. When you run out of road you have a mile hike up a very narrow very steep ravine. After getting to the first falls, you climb up the ravine wall next to the falls. Another half mile hike and you get to the bigger of the two falls. The first is perhaps 30’ tall and the larger about 50’. When we first went to the falls many old growth redwood tress were in the ravine. At the foot of the trees lived a field of beautiful flowers. Trilliums, redwood sorrel and redwood orchids. The area was never logged due to the steepness of the ravine. Sadly, about twenty years ago a high-lead operation was able to log the area.

I think the most popular spot in the valley, at least for teenagers is/was Falkner Park. This can not really be called much of a secret. Often high school students head to the park for parties. It has always had a reputation for the place to be for a local good time. It’s where all of the underage high school kids go to drink. If you had kids when Keith was around the valley, I am positive they ran into Keith at the park. While I am pretty sure he never arrested any of our kids, he poured out hundreds of cans and bottles of beer there. More beer has watered the redwood trees in that park than does the rain. Most kids had a seat in the back of Keith's patrol car for a chat. I think his expression was, “I need to have a few words with you in my office.”

So far so good. Stay at home and keep you, your family and all of us in Anderson Valley safe.

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CATCH OF THE DAY, April 9, 2020

Garcia, Linderman, Lopez, Vargas

NOE GARCIA JR., Ukiah. Ammo possession by prohibited person, county parole violation.

BRIAN LINDERMAN, Willits. False imprisonment, resisting.

JUAN LOPEZ, Willits. Controlled substance, county parole violation, resisting.

ROBERTO VARGAS JR., Hopland. False imprisonment, suspended license (for refusing chemical blood test), probation revocation.

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LOGAN’S RUN FOR PRESIDENT

by Flynn Washburne

I'm pretty sure I've mentioned what follows here in this space before, and I hate to repeat myself, but it has particular relevance now. I'd hate to be one of those people who repeats a story over and over to the same audience; on the rare occasions I do I feel acute embarassment and worry about creeping senility. I know people who otherwise seem sharp and aware but will repeat a story before 12 hours have passed, and it's very difficult to feign interest when they do. But bear with me on this one—I think I'm on to something.

Who is responsible for 99% of all technological advances? Who is it that initiates cultural shifts and improvements in our quality of life? Who invents things, solves long-unsolved problems, innovates, creates, elevates, and shakes up the status quo? Young people. Brains firing rapidly and energetically. It is axiomatic in the "hard" science community that if you haven't made a major breakthrough by the age of 30, you're basically through and may as well take that position in the physics department of some cow college on the windswept prairie.

Who, on being dissatisfied with a situation, expends time and energy to change it? Who takes to the streets to express their dissatisfaction, who sacrifices their freedom and well-being in service to a larger cause? Who believes so strongly in their ideals that they will give their very lives in pursuit of their realization?

Hint: they don't have AARP cards.

And yet the people we install in positions of power, the ones we allow to make the decisions that affect our health, welfare, and security, our ability and potential to prosper, our pursuit of the happiness promised to us by the founding fathers, are used-up, burned-out, mossbacked, hidebound, dust-farting fossils who wouldn't recognize or entertain a new idea if it bit them on their wrinkled old asses. Their best days are behind them, their ideas about how things should be locked into place under administrations of yore whose policies have no more relevance to the modern era than do the practices of the Pony Express.

Although the conservatives are by far the worst offenders, clinging as they do to their wistful notions of a bygone America that is not, in fact, based in reality, and predicated upon the subjugation of women and minorities (it may be true that in 1957, a white male could provide for a family on the proceeds of a single job based on products sourced, produced, and sold here in the USA, but it was necessary for a significant portion of the populace to be relegated to menial positions or no position at all to realize it), not even the "progressive" Democrats with all their accrued "experience" and "wisdom" seem to grasp the obvious fact that the reason they are able to live so far beyond the effective range of usefulness is because of young people.

In finally conceding to the obvious admitting that specifics of "race" and gender do not, per se, entitle one to any more opportunity than anyone else, we are in the midst of new and challenging social and economic paradigms, and we need forward-thinking, idealistic, fearless, innovative, intelligent young people to meet those challenges and reshape the government and the country. We need streamlining and efficiency, and we need most of all to realize that spending $100,000,000 every year to support a greedy, nest-feathering, opportunistic cabal of thieves and liars (Congress) is a criminal waste of money better spent on improving the lives of the people. The fact that people engaged in the most pointless, do-nothing sinecures since the lickspittles installed in the courts of bygone monarchs make $200,000 a year while honest, hardworking people break their backs and still have to go without is sufficient motivation for bloody revolution, in this writer's humble opinion.

Donald Trump, being not only long past being useful at anything besides polyp production never really capable of anything worthwhile anyway, is also pathologically narcissistic and would love the rest of the world to die with him. This is why he foments conflict, exploits and wastes precious resources, and actively works to destroy the environment. He doesn't care about the present generations, much less future ones, and their health and welfare concern him not one bit. Despite his absurd claims to be the greatest president ever, he knows that history will regard him as the venal, stupid, dishonest, rabble-rousing piece of shit that he is, and so his only recourse is to eradicate history by obviating the future. If he can't be the best president, he can at least be the last one.

Politicians in a system like ours are, in the main, by definition opportunistic tools of the corporations that control this country. Make no mistake, it is Capitalism that is the operative descriptor of the USA, not democracy. The list of actual public servants motivated by a genuine desire to serve the people is shorter than a dwarf's inseam. None of these mendacious old farts establishing policy are capable of vision or taking the long view because, let's face it, the older you get, the less you care, and if you are such a twisted, misguided, and foolish person that you actually want to go into politics, chances are you never really cared about anyone but yourself anyway.

Youth is the answer. Spirited, motivated, energetic young people unafraid of giving offense and capable of looking beyond the present moment. We need a Fidel, a Che, a Hamilton, and if you put someone like that into the mix I will not only man the phones and knock on doors but throw bombs if necessary. I support Bernie's goals and platform 100% but let's face it, the man is no tactician and hasn't the vigor to make it happen.

I'm not saying that we should grind up old people into cat food or anything; we make great teachers and storytellers and young people love it when we recount the good old days of milkmen, 25c gas and smoking in the doctor's office. Some may accuse me of shitting where I eat, given that the sum of the staff, contributors, and readership's aggregate age would confound current calculating technology, but we are perfectly capable of doing what we do and still viable in our present circumstances. We are the ones who criticize. This is where wisdom and experience is practically applied.

Capitalism is by definition unsustainable and bound to eat itself, and the republic has been rotting from the inside since about 1820. We don't need wisdom, we need change, a top-to-toe housecleaning and a return of power to the people. Stop nominating and electing dinosaurs and start pretending that this country and its people have a future.

* * *

"WHERE WYOMING'S BADWATER CREEK Meets Boysen Res. (Wind River)"

photo by Harvey Reading

* * *

BERNIE’S DECISION: RETREAT SHOULD NOT BE CONFUSED WITH SURRENDER

by Norman Solomon

Politics is ultimately about life and death, as the current pandemic horrors make clear. Policies that can seem abstract not only routinely harm quality of life; they also kill.

Both Bernie Sanders campaigns for president have brought a principled seriousness to the national discourse that no other candidate has come near matching. Now, we seem to be entering new terrain. Or are we?

You might not like “war” metaphors -- but a vicious reality is that various types of warfare are constantly happening against billions of people on this planet. Humanity is under siege from structured injustice due to anti-democratic power.

We don’t have a choice of whether or not we’re in a class war. It’s going on perpetually -- waged with enormous financial, political and media firepower. The firepower of class warfare against Bernie Sanders has been ferocious and unrelenting. The Bernie campaign is dissipating, but class war is sure to remain unrelenting.

Our choices revolve around whether and how to fight back against the centralized wealth and huge corporate interests waging that endless war. Now, as the era after the Bernie 2020 campaign gets underway, I’d like to tell you a little about one of the countless inspiring activists I’ve met -- and why his outlook is so connected to the moment we’re in now.

Fifty years ago, Fred Branfman saw the human consequences of war in Laos -- an airborne genocide that took place courtesy of U.S. taxpayers and the Orwellian-named Defense Department. Fred was a humanitarian-aid volunteer in Laos when he discovered that his country was taking the lives of peasants there by the thousands.

Fred assembled Voices from the Plain of Jars. Published in 1972, with the subtitle “Life Under an Air War,” the book included essays by Laotian people living under long-term U.S. bombardment as well drawings by children who depicted the horrors all around them. As one bookseller put it, “This is the story of the first society to be totally destroyed by aircraft.”

In 2006, when I talked with Fred, he said: “At the age of 27, a moral abyss suddenly opened before me. I was shocked to the core of my being as I found myself interviewing Laotian peasants, among the most decent, human and kind people on Earth, who described living underground for years on end, while they saw countless fellow villagers and family members burned alive by napalm, suffocated by 500-pound bombs, and shredded by antipersonnel bombs dropped by my country, the United States.”

Fred moved to Washington, where he worked with antiwar groups to lobby Congress and protest the inflicting of mass carnage on Indochina. He saw the urgent need to work inside and outside the political system to change policies and save lives.

More than three decades after his experiences in Laos, Fred wrote about “the effect on the biosphere of the interaction between global warming, biodiversity loss, water aquifer depletion, chemical contamination, and a wide variety of other new threats to the biospheric systems upon which human life depends.” He was far from optimistic. And that’s where, in April 2020, Fred has much to convey to us with a spirit that remains powerful several years after his death.

Many people who pay attention to national and global realities are in despair, and the loss of the Bernie campaign now adds to the weight of pessimism. Fred would have understood. Looking toward the future, he said, “I find it hard to have much 'hope' that the species will better itself in coming decades.”

But, Fred went on, “I have also reached a point in my self-inquiries where I came to dislike the whole notion of 'hope.' If I need to have ‘hope’ to motivate me, what will I do when I see no rational reason for hope? If I can be ‘hopeful,’ then I can also be ‘hopeless,’ and I do not like feeling hopeless.”

He added: “When I looked more deeply at my own life, I noticed that my life was not now and never had been built around ‘hope.’ Laos was an example. I went there, I learned to love the peasants, the bombing shocked my psyche and soul to the core, and I responded -- not because I was hopeful or hopeless, but because I was alive.”

And human.

That should be reason enough for solidarity and determination. We will often lose. We will not give up. We must not give up.

(Norman Solomon is co-founder and national coordinator of RootsAction.org. He was a Bernie Sanders delegate from California to the 2016 Democratic National Convention. Solomon is the author of a dozen books including “War Made Easy: How Presidents and Pundits Keep Spinning Us to Death.”)

* * *

* * *

TURNABOUT TARGET

Editor,

While they were flying high and making lots of money, the nation’s airlines were merciless in squeezing passengers every way they could. Now, they are begging for $40 billion of our money. C’mon, Congress, let’s see some bargaining. An inch more on the seats? Two inches more legroom? One free bag? A snack? For billions of dollars, the sky’s the limit!

Doug Bosco

Santa Rosa

* * *

ON LINE COMMENT OF THE DAY

Yesterday I learned that Linn County, among the 99 counties in Iowa, has the most Covid 19 cases with 184 patients testing positive for the virus that causes the disease. Of those 184, there are 77 in a single long-term care facility, that is, a nursing home.

This confirms what I have known since my 10 days in a nursing home following my heart surgery in November 2018. We should all do everything we can to go directly from our own home to the funeral home.

Avoid going to a nursing home unless you want to be given “care” by incompetent staff who hate their work. Avoid going to a nursing home unless you enjoy losing your dignity. Avoid going to a nursing home if you want to keep any of your money.

After 10 days as an inmate in a long-term care (nursing) facility, I had to be readmitted to the hospital that did my surgery for another week, to get 14 lbs. of fluid removed from my tissues. The weight gain resulted from the nursing home botching my medication.

There’s a lot more to tell, none of it good. Stay away from nursing homes, everyone.

* * *

* * *

LEARNING NOTHING AGAIN

I'm eighty-one. That's not such a big deal anymore. When I was born, my statistical life expectancy was 62 years, and 81 was unusual. I was born in 1938. Add 62 to 1938 and you get 2000. I wondered, as a boy, if I'd see the turn of the century.

Years went by. I was working for the California Department of Health while Bill Gates was in his garage in Sunnyvale, or wherever, inventing the future. There was no Internet.

I went through the area that would later be Silicon Valley with my health-department boss. This was Santa Clara Valley and environs. Here's Wikipedia: "The farmlands of Santa Clara were called "the Valley of Heart's Delight" for its high concentration of orchards, flowering trees and plants. Until the 1960s it was the largest fruit-producing and packing region in the world, with 39 canneries." [Is there something sad about that or is it just me?]

It could also be called "the El Camino Real Corridor." El camino real means literally "the royal road," sometimes rendered as "the king's highway."

By whatever name, it runs north-south through the cities and communities now referred to as Silicon Valley, and when my boss and I drove through, it was during a nasty recession (initiated by the international oil interests). Business failures were so common, a new specialty, "failure management," sprang up. Big new office buildings were dark except where failure-management firms were, and the tops of numerous buildings had giant billboards advertising this new service. Weird!

And here we are again, maybe, brushing up on our failure-management skills, this time settling in for a long siege in spite of the happy talk to the contrary.

Boom and bust, boom and bust: that's the base line for commerce, always. Africa, battening down for CV19, is presently being eaten by grasshoppers. If it ain't one thing, it's another!

They're rioting in Africa. They're starving in Spain. There's hurricanes in Florida, And Texas needs rain. The whole world is festering with unhappy souls: the French hate the Germans, the Germans hate the Poles. Italians hate Yugoslavs, South Africans hate the Dutch--and I don't like anybody very much!!

But we can be tranquil and thankful and proud for man's been endowed with a mushroom-shaped cloud, and we know for certain that some lovely day someone will set the spark off and we will all be blown away!!

They're rioting in Africa, there's strife in Iran. What nature doesn't do to us will be done by our fellow man.

My fellow ancients remember Studs Terkel, writer and raconteur extraordinaire. He occupied the 20th century (b. 5/16/12) and kept on, enthralling people, into the new millennium, October, 2008. I was just reading his "Hard Times," a fat collection of interviews with citizens from presidents to housemaids, recalling their own journeys through the Great Depression.

Those stories are as fresh as when he heard them. The book might have been published this morning.

The voices from the '20s and '30s sound shiveringly like today's. Times get hard. People suffer and die, poorest and unluckiest first. It never, never, ever changes. The hardship may be from fire, flood or pestilence (like today), but those are only contributing factors. At the center of catastrophe (as well as leading to it and away from it) is LUCRE, monetary gain, better known as PROFIT. The phrase "filthy lucre" is a pleonasm (check THAT out; I just looked it up). It's a pleonasm when you use an adjective on a word that already has that meaning. "Lucre" has had bad connotations since before it was English. As well say stinky stench.

Enough, Mitchell, what's your point?

My point is that avarice, another definition for lucre, is as old as humanity. It has decent ancestry: you save up against times of scarcity, but it's greed when you're already well provisioned, and it upsets the apple cart almost as fast as aggression and lust.

We fail, era after era, to make education a thing to advance the SPIRIT as well as the practical skills of man. This is the result. Here in God-blessed America you can get the best of everything, but it's all for a price, and anything's usefulness comes a distant second to its profitability.

So, you can buy a jet to make war or travel in style; you can buy stuff from the most exquisite makers and merchants. You can buy weapons you never imagined and get entertainment that dazzles you--all high-profit commodities. You can also get the novelcoronavirus19 because there's not much profit in a cloth mask. Guns, tanks, bombs, professional football teams, yes, but if you want a cloth mask, shop South Korea. If you want to get a test for the illness, you'd better go abroad (except you can't) because the covid test is not a profit center.

The stock market is an example of how wealth maintains itself at any cost. Investors make money betting a company will lose just as they thrive when their investments reflect a company's growth. At all costs, protect your investment, and if you can, socialize your losses and privatize your gains. Corrupt government is your forever henchman. The banks lost a few trillion by lending money on worthless securities. The government (under Saint Obama) bailed out the lenders, and spread the gigantic loss across American society. Ordinary families went homeless; despicable bankers and other financiers went golfing.

This happened in the recent so-called Great Recession. It should be called The Great Hosing. I happened to be in San Diego when that went down. I saw families, entire families, sitting, stunned, amidst their belongings on sidewalks, block after block after block, everywhere. On the news, there were pictures and videos galore. For about five minutes. I wonder why those images came down so fast.

What we call education has not advanced since the Greeks practiced it, during their age of ascendancy. People are noticing that, but nobody is unsnarling the parts of today's crisis so we can extract a useful truth from it.

And what might be a useful truth?

Even a revolution, like Bernie kept bleating about, is insufficient, absurdly insufficient. We need what we won't get. We need a total re-boot, and anybody who says that out loud will be instantly banished to an unlit corner. It's the secret that the dominant class in any and all societies guards like the combination to Scrooge McDuck's counting room. Society must be kept stupid! We're leading the world at that. Who wants to spend their time learning stuff when there are so many funner things to do?

(Incidentally, if I sound like a horrible turncoat in my denunciation of Bernie Sanders, it's because in the end he put his pride and stubbornness ahead of his task. He played against a stacked deck, we all knew that from the git-go, but he refused to up his chances by changing his tiresome way of campaigning. He's an experienced man, and he blew it like a rookie.)

(Mitch Clogg)

* * *

LITTLE BROWN BAT

photo by Carston Butters

* * *

CLOSING THE OCEAN [Tune: My Bonnie Lies over The Ocean]

by Holly Tannen, 04/04/20

You tell us you’re closing the ocean
We can’t go for walks on the coast
We can’t watch the whales or the sunset
And just when we need them the most.

Give back, give back
Give back our ocean to us, to us.
Give back, give back
Give back our ocean to us.

You tell us you’re closing the ocean
You’re keeping the parking lots barred.
You say if we make a commotion
You’ll call out the National Guard.

You know where we live thanks to Google
You know where we’ve been by our phones
You know who our friends are from Facebook
And you can police us with drones.

We’re all scared to death of the virus
We comfort each other and cry.
The rich and the poor will all catch it
But only the poor folks will die.

Give back, give back
Give back our country to us, to us.
Give back, give back
Give back our country to us.

* * *

* * *

ESTHER MOBLEY, the wine diarist, writes: "By now, you may have seen the reports that wine sales have hit Christmas, and Thanksgiving, like levels since much of the US began staying home to halt the spread of the coronavirus. The most stunning boost came during the week of March 15, according to Nielsen, when off-premise (aka retail) saw a year-over-year increase of 66% (!) in wine sales value. That was the week that most of the Bay Area’s counties instated shelter-in-place orders, which makes it likely that there was a “stocking up” mentality at work. That week, too, was the period in which breathalyzer data from San Francisco company BACtrack showed a 42% increase in blood alcohol concentration among some of its Bay Area users, as I have reported.

* * *

STATE TELEMEETING ABOUT CALIFORNIA FISHING BAN ERUPTS INTO CHAOS

The California Fish and Game Commission abruptly canceled a teleconference Thursday morning amid cries of “make fishing great again!” and “fascists!” before it could consider authorizing a limited ban on sportfishing in some areas.

sacbee.com/sports/outdoors/hunting-fishing/article241886476.html

* * *

* * *

BERNIE SANDERS WAS RIGHT ALL ALONG

"The indefatigable Vermont senator has always known the money was there to help people who need help and he has always been prepared to spend it to help people who need help - long before a lethal virus began obliterating United States' Ponzi-scheme-like economy with tornado-like ferocity. Sanders and his humane designs to begin the long-overdue overhaul of the existing political and economic infrastructure to help people who need help were dismissed by the neo-liberal industrial complex as the fantastical musings of a socialist cuckoo who kept peddling the impossible. Well, the impossible has miraculously turned possible. The fantasy has, in part, turned real."

aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/surprise-bernie-sanders-200409101837191.html

* * *

* * *

SANDERS SUPPORTER ASKS Why Didn’t Sanders Carry on the Fight to the End?

by Laurie Dobson

As people come to grips with Wednesday’s announcement that Bernie Sanders has suspended, i.e. dropped out of, his campaign, a myriad of collective feelings will have to run their inevitable course.

My first reactions are that I feel profoundly let down. In the middle of Holy Week, for God’s sake! While the virus is peaking and people are losing things right and left, how does it help that he does this now?

Bernie has always had terrible timing, a consequence of having bad advisors from the beginning. He always seemed to be reluctant to agree to anything people were crying out for him to say, especially to stop calling Biden a ‘good and decent’ man, his good friend, Joe Biden, the party’s only remaining nominee: an old man with a credible sexual assault allegation recently come to light; a serial plagiarist, a promoter of the worst policies the centrists had to offer.

Let me put this in clear terms: Joe Biden, the Democratic Party choice for President - a man with diminished mental capacities, is going against one of the most ruthless contenders in Presidential history, Donald J. Trump. On Bernie’s watch, and with his participation by concession, the Democratic Party will be utterly destroyed in November, and will have richly deserved it.

Bernie would also not fight back against Warren and her outrageous sexism charge. He wanted his kindly reputation to endure in a campaign that was not supposed to be about him.

In the end, this campaign was all about Bernie. This may not sound very charitable. I could not believe however, that there were no admissions of any missteps in his concession speech. No mention that he could have done more to address the concerns of many people.

For instance, although he said he was inclusive, he did not pay any particular regard to those not in the minority segments or youth age brackets that he was trying to romance. He would not stray from the talking points hammered into our brains, trying to burn a legacy into place, to make the case that he was the originator of these ideas, and, in my view, trying a little too hard to rewrite history.

His last speech as a contender showed him once more taking credit for these ideas becoming mainstream. Although he clearly was a defender, or at least a constant repeater of these ideas, was he helping “build a movement” by stamping his brand all over them? The progressive ideas that he embraced did not belong to him. Occupy was involved in income inequality long before Bernie hitched his wagon to that star.

Bernie did not come up with a tax on speculation on Wall Street (an idea that I supported in my run as an Independent from Maine for US Senate in 2008). It actually came from James Tobin, an economist who won the Nobel Prize. Tobin originated the concept of the STT (Securities Transaction Tax), which would be an optimal way to fight back against the tax breaks and cuts that Congress has showered on the rich for several decades. [nobelprize.org/prizes/economic-sciences/1981/press-release/]

The fight for minimum wage has been a progressive effort since I was young, hardly a new idea. Not a Sanders idea, although to be fair, he has strongly endorsed the idea for a long time. The same goes for single payer, or healthcare for all. Others, notably Physicians for a National Health Plan (PNHP) have fought these fights on behalf of the progressive cause.

Bernie adopted those ideas into the progressive platform he ran on. The need was evident, but the ideas are not new and are not his alone. Maybe he has fought for these things in the Senate, and as an Independent from Vermont, which would be a reasonable thing to do to stay in power, since they are among the most popular ideas for change in the country.

I am not impressed that Bernie could not summon the willpower to respond to the efforts of those who wanted him to go to battle. I wrote many columns trying to appeal to him to suit up. I attended ten of his campaign events in New Hampshire this time out and wrote and made videos to support his efforts from the beginning of this second campaign. I have tried to reach the campaign to no avail, to urge them to heighten their response and sharpen their attack on substandard candidates’ ideas.

Bernie was staggeringly passive; he let one opportunity after another go whizzing past with weak responses, if any, in the face of a growing Democratic resurgence determined to destroy him. His silences emboldened the corporate centrists, and confused supporters, who thought he would take the huge advantage they gave him and surge forth, brandishing fury and determination. Instead, he endlessly equivocated.

I have to own my part in this: I was stunned in 2016 when he said Hillary was right and that nobody cares about her damn emails. From the beginning I saw him back down. Everything since then has been consistent: he never went full tilt. He wanted to be loved more than being right at all costs. He was able to be loved again, and forgiven again, and able to let us down again. Yet I went along with it; I still worked on his behalf.

Despite his recent abdication (and, for some of us, his serial betrayal) Bernie Sanders will be remembered fondly, and he will likely be forgiven by the majority of his followers. Jacobin Magazine has written an article entitled “Thank You, Bernie,” making the case that Sanders two campaigns have made it possible to talk about socialism in America. It’s now okay apparently that he will be endorsing and campaigning for Joe Biden, who shamed Anita Hill and is now shaming Tara Reade. I have lived to witness the day this has happened. It is not a joke.

After losing last time, Bernie did an amazing job of trying to convince his hardcore supporters to stay in the Democratic Camp to support Clinton. Why would he not support Dr. Stein in 2016, who endorsed his platform? If he wanted a Revolution, she and the Green Party were the logical choice.

Why does he stay in the race now, collecting delegates which may still come his way this time around? He hasn’t succeeded in explaining this, which leads to the speculation that he is doing this to keep all the possible votes and funding he can collect, to turn them over to the Democrats for political gain, retain his Senatorial standing, and not be hated later like Ralph Nader. That’s why. He says it is to oppose Trump. We must keep following him on this, apparently, even in his absence. I guess he will be out there making Joe’s case for him, since he cannot make a compelling case anymore.

This time, he has left the race early, in April, with half the States not having even voted yet, with supporters that sent him money, who are now without a leader. Bernie can claim that he did not stay and fight his ‘good friends.’

In 2016 I was a Bernie candidate for State Rep., and a Bernie delegate and caucus captain and helped to start and run a pop-up office in York County, Maine and taught area workers how to fight in the caucus for him.

When he dropped out last time and supported Hillary, I protested at a rally and his rally people had me arrested for waving a green scarf in support of Jill Stein. I was literally dragged out by two policemen.

Bernie Sanders has caused me more effort and personal grief for the least amount of satisfaction of anyone I have ever known. No one else has asked so much of me and done so little, and not followed through on their promises.

He said he would stay in the fight. He wants people to support his platform and fight for his delegates at the convention. He just will not do it himself.

He is a consummate politician. He has saved himself and bowed out while we are struggling through a pandemic. Who told him this would be a good idea? He could have just said that he would be there on the ballots so the Democratic Party had an alternative in the event that Biden could not survive the allegations of rape and the demands of leading in a pandemic and staying mentally capable. These are real liabilities.

Sanders dropped out at the last possible point for Joe to make some bizarre case that he could credibly be the Democratic nominee; any longer and Joe would, and will, spectacularly bomb out, leading to four more years of Trump.

Bernie, you were the alternative. You ran the race, you did the work, you deserved to hang in there. You should have fought hard for a better deal and not sold us out in the stimulus package. That was a disaster. Your bright colors are starting to fade in the reality of this crisis. You did not call for an explanation for the allegations of rape against your “good friend.”

You never called out for Julian Assange to be dealt with decently. You sidestepped that issue of conscience. So many missed opportunities to do some good while you had the floor.

I am on a rant. Others will come after, and say other things. We are all pretty mad at you. More than most, I spent time and treasure to help you do the job. Why couldn’t you finish what you began? Not from the Senate. From the Presidential campaign that we contributed funds to, hoping you would lead.

Why, why, why? I will go to my grave wondering what the hell happened that I could believe in you again, be duped the same way again, and still want to see some good in all you did.

It’s just time to pick up and move on, a rather hard thing to do while we are all imprisoned in our own homes because of a bug. The man that could speak for us has just folded his tents. Gone, like a thief in the night. Good grief! Good night and good luck.

(Laurie Dobson, a new member of the ThisCantBeHappening! news collective, is a veteran political activist, and current Democratic Convention ‘Bernie’ delegate for the Cranberry Isles, Maine, writes for various blogs and is an EMT, USCG-certified captain, landscape design business owner, and columnist. Her website: EndUSWars.org.)

thiscantbehappening.net/sanders-supporter-asks-why-didnt-sanders-carry-on-the-fight-to-the-end/

* * *

“APRIL IS THE CRUELEST MONTH, breeding

lilacs out of the dead land, mixing

memory and desire, stirring

dull roots with spring rain.”

― T.S. Eliot, The Waste Land

* * *

STERNHALMA (neither Chinese nor Checkers)

* * *

SUPPRESS THEM

When thoughts arise…

CHANT

Om Namah Shivaya

— Craig Louis Stehr

* * *

FOUND OBJECT

26 Comments

  1. Susie de Castro April 10, 2020

    I’d rather be folk, than folks.

  2. Debra Keipp April 10, 2020

    Medical facilities don’t train employees and staff about sanitation and cleanliness. The common cold is still a mystery, and so are the germs which cause it!

    I went to the local clinic a coupla weeks ago for a tick bite, so I could get some antibiotic. I really had concerns about going to the clinic amid the current Coronavirus, but had worse concerns about Lyme’s Disease, so I wore my mask and trecked on in for a visit.

    The medical assistant took my BP and put the pulse oxymeter on my finger. I was concerned about the BP cuff, as it has no sanitary insulating wrapper around it, and everyone gets the same fabric cuff wrapped and squeezed around their flesh without sanitary protection insulating the equipment from patients’ skin. When the med. asst. was done with the pulse oxymeter she threw it back toward the stand from where it came, and it, instead, missed its target and fell to the floor. The very dirty floor, I might add. I mentioned to the employee that she might want to pick the pulse oxymeter up off the floor – can’t be good to keep it on the dirty floor. She responded that they clean things up between patients, and left it lay there… on the dirty clinic floor. Ick. I remember working in hospitals and doctors offices during the 1980’s. When there was a little bit of down time, we were required to keep things clean in the medical environment: Door knobs and patient reception windows were washed regularly, as well as telephones and computer keyboards. Medical professionals are still trying to determine how long germs can live on a doorknob and it’s 2020!!! Is the Clinic really cleaned religiously and at least daily? Didn’t look like it.

  3. Randy Burke April 10, 2020

    Nice photo of the Kelpies in Falkirk, Scotland.. They light up at night too.

  4. Trelanie Hill April 10, 2020

    but,but,but, my local paper says vaccines are safe. especially polio vaccines.
    ;
    From #RobertFKennedyJr‘s Instagram post today, April 9th, 2020:

    #Vaccines, for #BillGates, are a strategic philanthropy that feed his many vaccine-related businesses (including #Microsoft’s ambition to control a global vac ID enterprise) and give him dictatorial control over global health policy—the spear tip of corporate neo-imperialism.

    Gates’ obsession with vaccines seems fueled by a messianic conviction that he is ordained to save the world with technology and a god-like willingness to experiment with the lives of lesser humans.

    Promising to eradicate Polio with $1.2 billion, Gates took control of India ‘s National Advisory Board (NAB) and mandated 50 polio vaccines (up from 5) to every child before age 5. Indian doctors blame the Gates campaign for a devastating vaccine-strain polio epidemic that paralyzed 496,000 children between 2000 and 2017. In 2017, the Indian Government dialed back Gates’ vaccine regimen and evicted Gates and his cronies from the NAB. Polio paralysis rates dropped precipitously. In 2017, the World Health Organization reluctantly admitted that the global polio explosion is predominantly vaccine strain, meaning it is coming from Gates’ Vaccine Program. The most frightening epidemics in Congo, the Philippines, and Afghanistan are all linked to Gates’ vaccines. By 2018, ¾ of global polio cases were from Gates’ vaccines

    and……..

    In 2010, Gates committed $10 billion to the WHO promising to reduce population, in part, through new vaccines. A month later Gates told a Ted Talk that new vaccines “could reduce population”. In 2014, Kenya’s Catholic Doctors Association accused the WHO of chemically sterilizing millions of unwilling Kenyan women with a phony “tetanus” vaccine campaign.

    Independent labs found the sterility formula in every vaccine tested.

    After denying the charges, WHO finally admitted it had been developing the sterility vaccines for over a decade.

  5. James Marmon April 10, 2020

    RE: WHAT COULD POSSIBLY GO WRONG WITH THE COUNTY’S PLAN OF PUTTING THE HOMELESS IN HOTELS DURING COVID-19 STAY AT HOME ORDERS?

    If the hotels get quarantined, and drug dealers aren’t allowed in, what will prevent the contagious residents from leaving to score the substances they seek? As cravings intensify, violence may erupt that can put hotel staff and other occupants at risk. Armed security guards patrolling the halls and buildings might be required to keep the right people in and the wrong people out. Could the police be expected to maintain order and prevent antisocial drug addicts from leaving their rooms? The County might offer some type of case management, but there’s already a dearth of needed homeless services, including high-quality psychiatric care and substance abuse treatment. Treating this service-resistant population is challenging under the best circumstances.

    There’s also no exit plan. Where all these people will go afterward is undetermined. California law stipulates that a person lodging in a hotel room for longer than 30 days is considered a tenant. Therefore, hundreds of people who have stayed in the hotels would become legal permanent residents, with protections against eviction. It could take months to get them out of their free rooms and back on the streets.

    James Marmon MSW
    Thinker

    • James Marmon April 10, 2020

      RE: THE HOMELESS INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX (ADVOCATES) AND POSSIBLE LITIGATION

      What happens after the virus threat subsides?

      “While the optics of eventually forcing homeless people out of a hotel room may be a public relations nightmare, Mohrfeld said he’s more concerned with possible future litigation from advocates preventing such action if better housing options don’t materialize.”

      “What happens when they don’t have anywhere to go and… (advocates) sue the state and say they can’t move them and then the state’s hands are tied?” said Mohrfeld. “The litigation aspect concerns me a lot.”

      https://calmatters.org/housing/2020/04/california-coronavirus-homeless-hotels-motels-newsom/

      James Marmon MSW

  6. Lindy Peters April 10, 2020

    You know what I really miss right now?
    “He hits it high… he hits it deep…it – is – OUTA HERE!”
    or maybe
    “Grab some pine, meat!”
    Giants baseball, win or lose, seemed to unify an otherwise diverse bunch of us here in Mendo County. And maybe your favorite spot to sit Bruce, high above and furthest from the field, will be a tough ticket to find because it has now become the most desired spot at the ballpark to safely view the action in a crowd. Bob Uecker was ahead of his time.

    • Bruce Anderson April 10, 2020

      I love that ballpark. If they ever quarantine us geezers as surplus eaters or simply in the way of post-virus America, AT&T is my first choice. The architects don’t get enough credit for, among other things, designing it in a way that nullifies the afternoon winds. Candlestick, as you probably know, was pretty much uninhabitable after 3pm. Funny thing, and my age is showing here, I don’t remember the wind being a factor at Seals Stadium where one of my most vivid memories is Luke Easter pumping one BP pitch after another clear outta there and on into the park across 16th Street. Hurry back, baseball!

  7. Lazarus April 10, 2020

    Found Object

    Hey H. Is that an Apple iPhone 11 Pro?

    As always,
    Laz

  8. Randy Burke April 10, 2020

    Found Object: Land sharks pay homage to their ancestor.

  9. Nate Collins April 10, 2020

    Re; NPR. Holy cow I heard the absolute crowning jewel of phoney bullshit. They had David Brooks and EJ Dione on talking about coming together getting past the blue/red divide and David Brooks starts crying to EJ Dione, well really to the massive audience, and saying how much he loves him. I have never heard anything as sappy syrupy fake phony farce in my entire Life.

  10. John Kriege April 10, 2020

    Re: “No Avalon”
    I say, Yes, Avalon.
    This could be a good thing for Fort Bragg. With limited other options, Fort Bragg has hung its hat on tourism. (After unfortunately letting its last historic downtown hotel go to a nonprofit, with no chance of property, sales or bed taxes or other tourist dollars from that property in the future.) 65 rooms, on a site that was a motel until it burned down, is not “off the charts” in scale.

  11. Harvey Reading April 10, 2020

    SANDERS SUPPORTER ASKS

    When are people gonna wake up and realize that “NEITHER” ruling-class-controlled party gives a damn about us commoners? They would gladly sacrifice any, or all, of us if it suited their needs. We exist only to serve them, as they see it. And, they see it that way, because of the subservience we demonstrate, gladly giving up freedoms for false security.

    • Randy Burke April 10, 2020

      Why give up? Why not REVOLT? That is the question.

      • Harvey Reading April 10, 2020

        You tell me.

    • Joe April 10, 2020

      We need a third party candidate who’s sole mission is to clean house.

      • Susie de Castro April 10, 2020

        But you gotta eat, first.

        • Harvey Reading April 10, 2020

          And neither party’s gonna help with that. Democrats have sold out working people for decades, since the 70s. Republicans always have been the party of the wealthy. Now, they “both” are the party of the wealthy. Biden fits right in that regard.

  12. Stephen Rosenthal April 10, 2020

    Re the budget shortfall: Here’s an idea. Start by cutting the salaries of the Supervisors and County Department Heads (including and especially Angelo) by 35%. Then cut the handouts to the “non-profit” helping agencies that can’t account for their expenditures in a formalized line-item budget by 50%. That should save at least a few million dollars. Won’t happen though. They’ll go after the slaves again.

  13. Betsy Cawn April 10, 2020

    “Hope” is the substitute for substance that has been peddled by Lake County’s “long-term recovery” land sharks since before the first devastating wildfire disasters here in 2015. “Hope Rising” was the delirious concoction of the then director of Adventist Hospital Clear Lake’s “Wellness” program director, whose dream house was taken by the Valley Fire in September of that year, and who immediately converted her own pain and sorrows to the capital gains of “leadership” and local celebrity as the commander in chief of the FEMA-formed “Long-Term Recovery Committee” (under the National Disaster Recovery Framework), aided and abetted by another “faith-based” organization, “Hope City.”

    “Hope City’s” disaster-savvy owner/operators quickly commandeered the market for delivering social services and cheap construction labor with the support of the regionally entrenched Community Action Agency (endowed by public funding from the State Department of Housing & Community Development), otherwise known as North Coast Opportunities.

    “Hope City” persuaded the Lake County Board of Supervisors to grant the organization the free use of publicly owned land in Middletown’s Central Park, where a sizable structure provides dormitory-style residential accommodations for visiting teams of volunteers from religiously-affiliated disaster relief organizations and AmeriCorps, with a beautifully appointed kitchen and spacious dining/meeting hall, still today occupied at no charge by the husband-wife team of paid “Hope City” executive directors with unyielding “ownership” of the “Long-Term Recovery Committee” in what has how become the Lake County “Community Organizations Active in Disasters” (COAD).

    Despite many of those active organizations’ eschewal of the methods and designs for the Lake County COAD, under the “leadership” of paid staff from Santa Rosa Catholic Charities, the formation of yet another non-accountable intermediary between active and truly charitable entities (fraternal bodies, civic support groups, senior centers, and unique neighborhood service providers) and the official sources of outside assistance — through the federal and state system created by FEMA after Hurricane Katrina, “Voluntary Organizations Active in Disasters” (VOAD) — this self-serving virtual “club,” once again sponsored by NCO’s non-accountable beneficiaries of further public funding, expects Lake County’s dedicated volunteer service providers to supply the labor and infrastructure of non-governmental emergency and disaster response functions claimed to be the product of the real estate and banking beneficiaries espoused by Lake County elected officials and its administration.

    In order to gain access to millions of dollars from the state coffers available to replace lost homes in the Middletown and Cobb areas, the Lake County Board of Supervisors approved a letter to the state department, endorsing yet another construction-based non-profit entity, created by the District 5 Supervisor and his long-time building supply cronies, called “Hammers for Hope.” The state granted the requested funding access despite the fact that “Hammers for Hope” in no wise qualified for it, which made additional tax-payer funding available to “Hope City.”

    “Hope City” claimed, in 2016, as part of the then federally supported “Long-Term Recovery Committee” that its team would build 100 houses a year until the “recovery” phase of economic restabilization restored lost property values and units of service (customers and patrons of local businesses) to previous levels of satisfaction.

    The “Voluntary Organization Active in Disasters” members involved in shaping FEMA’s Long-Term Recovery Committee process immediately following Louisiana’s 2005 catastrophe? “Hope City,” then affiliated with the State of Indiana’s VOAD (but later exiled by its board of directors). To date, in Lake County, “Hope City” has claimed completion of 30 domiciles, although 20 of those were achieved through Presbyterian Relief Services’ assistance for installation of “mobile home” style structures, which “Hope City” chose not to endorse, despite the efficiency of that option.

    “Hope City” was also the beneficiary of a $1M “donation” from the massively wealthy developer of the new 24-square-mile “resort” complex that will take center stage in Lake County’s feeble tourism focus but completely self-sustaining and without any need whatsoever of the Chamber of Commerce services to achieve its world-class recreational venues in the gentle uplands of Pope Valley.

    In addition to resources supplied by its own “Hope Crisis Response Network” (still based in Indiana), “Hope City” formed its own California non-profit 501(c)(3) and could process its donated revenues on its own, but still uses NCO as the “fiscal sponsor” of its social worker-fed case management program to support the minimal construction activities here). For several years, a local event production group, “Spotlight On,” conducted “charity” benefit events in community-supplied venues, and collected donations for “Hope City” funneled through NCO’s administration — to date providing no reckoning of funds provided by United Way, among others, during the immediate post-disaster run up of the “Long-Term Recovery Committee” which called itself “Team Lake County” or “Hope City’s” control of “Team Lake County’s” front-man organization.

    “Team Lake County,” like “Hope Rising,” failed to develop the FEMA-recommended California non-profit corporation status and has virtually disappeared from visibility as a functioning coordinator of the local “Long-Term Recovery Committee” — and “Hope Rising” is now the financial burden of the Clearlake-based “Community Wellness Program” sponsored by the Adventist Hospital Clear Lake’s administration.

    “Hope Rising” purports to be operated by an independent “Board of Directors” which includes top elected officials of the County of Lake, and is functionally assisted by the Lake County Public Health Department (again using public monies) to fabricate — actually, to repetitively deploy the 20-years-standing known “needs” assessment process for breaking down the “feedback” from local citizens through inane “surveys” capturing, again and again, the bleak prospects and despair of Lake County’s second class citizens.

    “Hope Rising” itself consists of a hospital-funded website, “www.hoperisinglc.org,” with Governing Board members, Executive Committee members, and Proxy members, and one paid staff member funded by sole provider, Adventist Hospital Clear Lake. Clearly benefiting from the new “Public-Private” partnership with the County of Lake’s Public Health and Behavioral Health Departments, but not contributing a plug nickel to the cost of “Hope Rising’s” administrative staff and web-based organizational resources, the promises of “Long-Term Recovery” have turned to the conversion of “super-utilizers” (of hospital ER and Fire Protection District medical emergency responders) into self-sustaining, independently responsible and “healthy” citizens through short-term medical/mental care services for which Adventist Hospital Clear Lake is fiscally sponsoring the new “Hope Center” on Olympic Drive, without any commitment from “Hope Rising’s” so-called “Partners” to contribute ongoing operational funding, and accomplishments claimed by the MediCal/Medicaid funded service provider agencies to improve the “Long-Term Health Improvement” goals that almost completely ignores the plight of nearly 8,000 impoverished older adults in the County of Lake.

    While many of us greatly appreciate the effectiveness of the Lake County Public Health Department’s management of the current “COVID-19/SARS-CoV-2” health crisis, and newly empowered public health activists supported by the State’s Public Health “Medical Health Operational Area Coordination” system, the continued absence of accountability and accessibility of resources to address the needs of now housebound citizens deemed most vulnerable to the Coronavirus epidemic is matched only by the County’s ethically-challenged disaster mitigation, response, relief, and preparedness “leadership” embodied by our impotent “Disaster Council.”

    Fortunately, under the CDPH emergency management system implemented by fully competent staff under the direction of our Public Health Officer and the Public Health Department’s director serving as “Incident Commander,” previously atomized critical service providers and established municipal authorities in both of our incorporated cities, the “unprecedented” health crisis is met by a network of dedicated public servants and medical facility “Incident Command” centers.

    But the death blows of infectious disease impacts on Lake County’s always fragile economy and ever-struggling public infrastructure will put its entire population on “life support” for unimaginable years to come. Hope itself will not feed and cloth us, nor comfort the aging and multiply-disabled bodies now “sheltering in place” in areas of extremely high risk natural and human-made disasters. We HOPE that the unmasking of adventitious practitioners of public pillage will accompany the next “reality check” coming to a neighborhood near you, but don’t count on it.

    Meanwhile, be kind, be patient, be careful, be well, and keep up the nearly impossible task of informing a somnolent body politic. Where would we be without the AVA?

    Hopeless in Upper Lake. Thank you all.

  14. Harvey Reading April 10, 2020

    https://www.counterpunch.org/2020/04/10/biden-seriously/

    Biden (the senator from Citibank) or Trumples…whadda choice. Sort of like the “choice” between Clinton or Trumples. Two sides of the same coin. I’ll vote for neither scumball. Wake up. There is only one party, with one wing the tiniest bit less conservative than the other–but both are dedicated to wealth, no matter how much you may fantasize.

  15. Jim Armstrong April 10, 2020

    I just call the current ballpark Giant’s Stadium and forget the corporations.
    I love it in person and on TV and miss the heck out of it.
    Krukow still talks it up MWF at 7:30 AM on KNBR.

    Sternhalma or not, it is identical to my Chinese checkers layout.

  16. Susie de Castro April 10, 2020

    Food

    Me thinks the fruits and vegetables should be delivered to the grocery stores, pronto. Everyone from the pickers to the grocery stores could send their bills to Washington or Sacramento.

    Everyone, then, would be able to go to the grocery store to shop, regardless of ability to pay.

    Perhaps the larger chain stores would be able to handle the masses more easily. Of course any grocery store could volunteer to participate, and be accepted.

    ‘A disastrous situation’: mountains of food wasted as coronavirus scrambles supply chain | Coronavirus outbreak | The Guardian

    https://amp.theguardian.com/world/2020/apr/09/us-coronavirus-outbreak-agriculture-food-supply-waste#referrer=https://www.google.com

    • Susie de Castro April 10, 2020

      Is the above suggestion, impossible?

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