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MCT: Saturday, April 18, 2020

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COASTAL LOW CLOUDS will persist today and possibly for the next few days as weak onshore flow continues. Interior areas will see a little less afternoon shower activity today. The threat of showers and possible thunderstorms returns to the interior on Monday. (NWS)

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County Health Officer Dr. Noemi Doohan said Friday afternoon that a person “from an outside area” was tested positive for corona-virus, Mendo’s fifth case. The person is a male age 19-34 and was asymptomatic, said Dr. Doohan, and is now quarantined at a home somewhere in Mendo with a relative.

Sheriff Matt Kendall added the more interesting details, revealing that the man was an early release from Chino state prison, not a Ukiah resident. He was ordered to turn himself in to Stanislaus County Probation and follow their quarantine regimen, but instead he ended up in Mendocino County. The (former) inmate had a known contact with a coronavirus patient before being released. He was freed from Chino on April 8 and was in Ukiah for an estimated six or seven days before being contacted and tested. Kendall complained about how the guy could be released like that and not go to Stanislaus Probation, saying that the situation “was pretty disheartening for me. … Letting somebody like that go with a known exposure is kind of like throwing sparks in dry grass. … We don’t need any more of this in the State of California.”

Ukiah Police Chief Justin Wyatt added that the probationer was apparently authorized simply by phone by Stanislaus Probation to come to Mendocino. Wyatt was also quite upset that anyone could authorize this relocation and not let Mendo know.

Mendo Probation Chief Izen Locatelli said he was annoyed that the corona carrier was in the Ukiah area for six or seven days as well. Locatelli said people were being released from state prison in “large batches” fanning out over the state on buses and there didn’t appear to be enough being done to track them.

Kendall added that he was “quite upset,” and that he had contacted a top state prison authority and the problem was being addressed. But, Kendall added, how many have already been released?

Dr. Doohan said that the corona man was asymptomatic and had assured her that he had quarantined himself since being released.


Mendocino County Health Officer, Dr. Noemi Doohan has confirmed a fifth case of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) in Mendocino County. Like the previous four cases, this case is related to an exposure outside of Mendocino County and does not appear to indicate that community spread has occurred inside our County. This person was released from a state correctional facility by the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR), and was transported, untested, from that facility to Mendocino County in order to stay with a relative. The individual has not shown symptoms and was directed by CDCR to self-isolate until the COVID-19 testing was done.

Mendocino County Public Health was made aware of this person’s presence in the County yesterday [Thursday] morning, as soon as Sheriff Kendall became aware. This person was evaluated at a local primary care clinic within hours, and Public Health transported the COVID-19 test sample to the Public Health lab in Santa Rosa promptly, resulting in a positive test result within 24 hours. The primary care clinic responded to this urgent need in an exemplary matter, and took proper precautions including using personal protective equipment, while evaluating the individual. A detailed contact investigation is underway by Public Health.

Fifth Case Details: Male between 19-34 years old, asymptomatic (meaning not showing symptoms at this time), in isolation at home with a relative, in the Ukiah Valley with active public health monitoring since yesterday.

“It can be easy to let our guard down as Sheltering-In-Place seems to drag on,” said Dr. Doohan “but this case is proof that we still need our county’s Shelter-in-Place order to protect us while we gain precious time to prepare for the threat of COVID-19 community spread arriving in the near future, like it has in Sonoma County. Sheltering-In-Place is not optional. We must continue to Shelter-In-Place, while practicing social distancing, and wear face coverings while out in public for essential activities.”

Anyone who is tested for COVID-19 MUST remain in isolation until further directed by their clinician who ordered the test under the Blanket Isolation and Quarantine orders released by Dr Doohan on April 8, 2020. Of the five positive cases our county has had, the first four have fully recovered and are currently Sheltering-In-Place.

For more on COVID-19:

Call Center: (707) 234-6052 or email

The call center is open daily from 8:00 a.m. – 8 p.m.


Released Chino prisoner with COVID ends up in Ukiah

With that background in mind, please be assured that the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office, the Ukiah Police Department, the Adult Probation Department, and local Department of Public Health all acted as fast as is humanly possible when this unacceptable example of "state prison inmate dumping" came to light.

As used in this statement, the phrase "state prison inmate dumping" refers to the early release of inmates with known virus exposure to benefit the depopulation of a state prison facility at the cost of placing local public health across the state at risk.

Kudos to Sheriff Kendall, UPD Chief Wyatt, Chief Probation Officer Locatelli, Dr. Doohan, Dr. Flaherty, and the others who locally acted quickly and decisively to attempt to put an electronic monitoring fence around this CDCR-created problem.

In attempting to get answers, District Attorney Eyster and Sheriff Kendall requested a teleconference with the Governor Friday afternoon vis-à-vis the state prison policies that allowed this to happen and what state response Mendocino County could expect regarding this individual but apparently that request was denied or just not possible.

Which leaves glaring questions still to be answered -- why is it appropriate to give a state prison inmate a health notice that he may have been exposed to the virus and must undergo a 14-day period of quarantine, but then early release that person the very next day with full knowledge that the quarantine period had not been successfully completed? What could possibly go wrong? And how many more virus-exposed inmates have also been granted early releases back into our communities in the state's effort to depopulate its facilities?

Additional background:

(District Attorney Presser)

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A COYOTE looks over the water during a visit to a mostly deserted Kirby Cove on the Marin County side of the Golden Gate Bridge. Photographer Scott Oller captured the moment on April 9, 2020

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THE BOONVILLE LODGE, or the bucket of blood

… has breathed its final breath.

We could only stand and watch

… as it died a fiery death.

It didn't go down easy though,

… it fought a valiant fight.

All through the hours of the afternoon

… and well into the night.

The wind kept blowing harder

… with every passing hour.

fanning the quickly growing flames

… unleashing ungodly power.

Finally, as the flames died down

… and the smoke began to clear

I could hear the sounds of glasses clinking

… and the sloshing of ice cold beer

I could hear the banging of pool balls

… and the jukebox’s lonely song

and the off-key voices of a couple of drunks

… as they tried to sing along.

I could hear the shuffle of feet

… as couples danced across the floor;

the creak of rusty hinges

… as someone came in through the door.

Then there was only silence

… smoldering embers all that remained

We'd lost a precious treasure

… town would never be the same.

— Ernie Pardini

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by Benna Kolinsky

The AVFB was started in 1982 and since then has continued to distribute food to seniors, families with children, couples, individuals, people with fixed incomes, people going through a rough patch, people who have a job, people out of work, people with a home and people without shelter.

Since its inception the number of people who come to the food bank has steadily been increasing and we believe that reality will continue into the future. We currently have been packing 100 bags of commodity food and 100 bags of fresh produce that feed about 800 + people. Our December FB, thanks to the AV fire department angels, always includes the giving of toys and books to children.

At present and especially during this time of COVID 19 we know that our community’s need for food is greatly increasing. As we are a collective of senior citizens, for the most part, we are hoping that younger people will step up and join us.

We are always so grateful for your financial help and now we must ask for your physical help as well with unloading the heavy pallets of food off the truck, sorting and bagging the food and distributing the bags of food to the people who come to receive them. All of this must be done in a way that protects all of us from getting sick. That means wearing masks and gloves and keeping distance between each of us as we fulfill these jobs.

We have some extra volunteers for the immediate future, but once the COVID 19 crisis is over we will need additional volunteers. If you are interested in helping, please contact Benna Kolinsky at

Currently the AV food bank happens every 3rd Monday of the month. Given the COVID 19 crisis, we will hold the food bank the 1st and 3rd Monday of every month, from 3 to 6pm, beginning May 4th. We hope to continue this increased schedule throughout the crisis.

In the meantime we want to let everyone know that there is a foodbank in Ukiah and also one in Ft. Bragg that people in Anderson Valley are welcome to go to. The Ukiah Foodbank located at 888 N State St 707-463-2409 is open W and F 12-4 and T and Th 9-12.

The Ft. Bragg foodbank located at 910 N Franklin 707-964-9409 is open M- F senior hours 10 – 11:15 and then reopen for everyone 12 – 3.

In tremendous appreciation for our wonderful community,

The Anderson Valley Foodbank. April 2020

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At Hendy Woods

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This is my response to the Willits woman who died at the hands of her husband. She was beaten to death, around the head, lost her speech ability, lost consciousness, and died. The official response seems to be that the imposed stay at home restrictions and loss of jobs caused a spike in domestic violence.

Listen to assemblyman Jim Woods response which echoes County Sheriff Kendall's explanation: "What I attribute most of this to is stress," and, "the public needs to raise awareness of the dangers of domestic violence and sexual assault."

How many years must we hear this refrain?

This is a namby-pamby response by males "in charge" who are really paying lip service to their violent brethren.

This unnamed woman who paid the price of men defending men had called several times reporting violence against her and the restraining orders had no effect on her persecutor.

We have monuments to the "unknown soldier." How about one to the unknown women beaten to death?

Should we blame stress? Is that an excuse for violence against your family? Think of the Great Depression, the dust bowl era. Was there a surge in violence by men against their families during those stressful times? No — check out the statistics.

What makes today different? We live in a society that enshrines violence and macho behavior. Check out the movies, TV cop shows, video games…

One attack against a woman, child or animal is all a society should tolerate. If we really want to consider ourselves evolved and humane, these violent people who are usually men should be locked up forever.

How many times do you need to read about men raping and beating young girls and boys? Their bodies are not fully formed. They cannot withstand the assault of a violent penis. Many suffer from torn up insides. Peritonitis develops and they are ruined for life. I say try these perps for attempted murder.

Not all men are evil and wicked. But those who consider themselves kind and compassionate must speak out against their violent brethren and this includes our legislators, our judges, lawyers, politicians. Until that happens, it's gonna be same-o, same-o.

My heart is so full of sorrow for this Willits woman. It's hard for me to keep finding affection and love for my fellow humans.

Women have got to rise up and speak their outrage against such horrible violence against their own. It's nice there are hot lines and shelters, but they have not curbed the violence against women, children and animals one bit.

Official platitudes, lip service — this woman isn't buying it.

Louise Mariana, RN


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Mendocino County's health order will expire ~May 10. Re-opening of the local economy will not mean returning to pre shelter-in-place normalcy. California has largely modeled the state-wide policy after the coordinated efforts of bay area counties. Our county will likely continue aligning with the bay area counties and at a minimum, we must adhere to the restrictions imposed by the state. We cannot institute orders less restrictive than the state.

Although our effective social distancing prevented the predicted surge, we remain without herd immunity or a vaccine. The risks of COVID-19 remain. Models will likely allow business to resume in phases, but under modified operations. For example, facial coverings, limited occupancy, frequent sanitization, gloves, body temperature checks and other precautions will likely become standard practice. The shift to reopen also depends greatly on scaled up testing, testing which depends entirely on state support.

It’s foreseeable that not all businesses will survive. If a restaurant, already operating on slim margins, is authorized to reopen, but with disposable menus and a fraction of the seating, will it be financially viable? Will lodging be allowed to bring as many visitors? These details have not been worked out, but I believe visitor based economies will be hit harder by state rules. Industry should be brainstorming methods to reduce risk. The county has every intention of working with the business community to leverage ideas for re-opening to the greatest extent possible.

While some businesses will be able to operate under new provisions, others with high transmission risk and low social benefit could remain closed much longer. I would not be surprised to find some businesses closed for a year. The types of venues where people mix and mingle by design will likely be the last to reopen.

What does all of this mean for a region significantly supported by visitor services? It’s distressing and let's hope I’m wrong, but lack of transparency will amplify the injury to our local economy. From all I’ve absorbed of the situation, modifications to our economy will be non-negotiable and creative planning should begin now to soften the blow. The discourse over balancing health concerns with economic concerns and how the economic concerns are actually another form of health concerns will rage on, but concurrent with those debates, we must adapt to the new normal.


How does this translate to an analysis of necessary and perhaps unnecessary county services under a constrained budget, driven by significant revenue losses?


Hard to say.

Millions lost in bed tax (nobody staying here).

Millions lost in sales tax (few essentials only, less cash to spend).

Property tax is a big unknown. It depends how many businesses fail and how many cannot make mortgage payments.

Business tax revenue will drop.

It depends on State and Federal assistance. So far, the PPP [paycheck protection] program has not helped many in our county.

The economic hit might be about three times as severe as the 2008 recession. How will it translate in lost county government revenue? And what services will be cut? I don't think it's premature to begin the discussion, but to carry it forward, I'll need support from colleagues who may or may not be ready to discuss.


I know you are already thinking about it. And since it only takes three votes to move anything forward in this county, perhaps now IS the time to build a county budget from the ground up while Supervisors McCowan and Brown are still in Office. There may be no option B. Thanks for your thoughtful post.


Realistically, the revenue numbers will not be known in time to build the budget. I imagine a bare minimum budget with anticipation of corrections. Not ideal. Hopefully we can have the ground up planning no matter the actual numbers.

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Leonard Lake, one time Anderson Valley resident

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On Sunday, April 12, 2020 at approximately 11:33 PM, Mendocino County Sheriff's Deputies overheard Fort Bragg Fire and Mendocino Coast District Hospital Paramedics being dispatched to a person who was in respiratory arrest and possibly suffering from an overdose at a residence in the 17000 block of Railroad Lane in Fort Bragg.

Deputies were in the area and arrived moments later to find a 34 year-old male in a comatose state with shallow and sporadic breathing.

Deputies observed items suggesting the adult male was, in fact, suffering from an illicit drug overdose.

Deputies administered two dosage units of NARCAN, which caused the adult male to regain consciousness and become alert.

The adult male was transported via ambulance to the hospital for further evaluation/treatment.

In April 2019 the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office (MCSO) began to issue NARCAN® (Naloxone HCI) nasal spray dosage units to its employees as part of their assigned personal protective equipment.

MCSO's goal is in protecting the public and officers from opioid overdoses. Access to naloxone is now considered vital in the U.S. The Center for Disease Control.

The California Opioid Overdose Surveillance Dashboard reports Mendocino County ranking, per capita, 3rd in all opioid overdose deaths. (

Narcan nasal spray units are widely known to reverse opioid overdose situations in adults and children. Each nasal spray device contains a four milligram dose, according to the manufacturer.

Naloxone Hydrochloride, more commonly known by the brand name NARCAN®, blocks the life-threatening effects of opioid overdose (both medications and narcotics) including extreme drowsiness, slowed breathing, or loss of consciousness.

The antidote can reverse the effects of an overdose for up to an hour, but anyone who administers the overdose reversal medication in a non-medical setting is advised to seek emergency medical help right away.

The spray units can also be used by Public Safety Professionals who are unknowingly or accidentally exposed to potentially fatal amounts of fentanyl from skin absorption or inhalation.

The issuance of the Narcan nasal units, thus far, have been to employees assigned to the Field Services Division and the Mendocino County Jail medical staff.

Employees are required to attend user training prior to being issued the medication.

Sheriff Matthew C. Kendall would like to thank the Mendocino County HHSA Public Health for providing the Narcan nasal units to the Sheriff's Office free of charge as part of the Free Narcan Grant from the California Department of Public Health.

Since the April 2019 issuance, there have been four separate situations wherein Mendocino County Sheriff's Office Patrol Deputies have administered Narcan and saved the lives of four people in need of the life saving antidote medication.

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On Wednesday, April 15, 2020 at around 2:00 PM, Mendocino County Sheriff's Deputies responded to a violation of a domestic violence protective order in the 18000 block of North Highway 1, in Fort Bragg.

Deputies responded and contacted a 40-year old adult female who is the protected person on the court order.

Deputies learned Kristofer Anderson, 53, of Fort Bragg, was the restrained person on the court order and obtained evidence that Anderson had violated the restraining order multiple times by telephone, since being served with the order on 04-11-2020.


After being served with the order, Anderson contacted the adult female in person, at her place of employment and made threats toward her. Deputies determined Anderson had engaged in a course of conduct that terrorized the adult female and caused her to be in fear for her life.

Deputies quickly located Anderson about a mile away in the 18000 block of George's Lane.

Deputies determined that probable cause existed to arrest Anderson for Stalking in Violation of a Protective Order and Violation of a Domestic Violence Protective Order.

Deputies arrested Anderson and he was booked into the Mendocino County Jail to be held in lieu of $50,000 bail.

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Dayak Heads (Borneo)

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The study found that the extreme dry spell could hit a huge region of the West from Oregon and Montana, down through California and New Mexico, and part of northern Mexico. A leading cause of the increasingly dry conditions is the climate crisis. A warmer world creates the conditions for more severe, longer, and more widespread drought.

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Mendocino County BoS meeting is on Monday (9am). Lindsey jogged my memory about the board’s approval of a Monday (instead of the usual Tuesday) to accommodate Supervisor Brown’s out of town official county business. Lindsey and the clerk of the board team deserve a proclamation for their effort on bolstering tools for public comment during the shelter in place:

“I am very excited to announce the soft roll-out of Granicus eComment, public comment software. We have been working very hard to provide acceptable options for public comment in light of recent challenges. We have been working on getting this software up and running for a while now, and I was just able to activate it with this agenda's publication. The public may access eComment from this link: All they have to do is find the agenda date they are interested in, and click the link. We sincerely hope this new tool alleviates some tension created by recent events by helping people feel heard and engaged.”

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(photo by Susie de Castro)

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GOVERNOR INSLEE PEGS IT. Jay Inslee, governor of Washington state, accused Trump today of "fomenting domestic rebellion" after Trump tweeted support for protests against a series of statewide lockdowns. Trump tweeted, "LIBERATE Minnesota" and then added Michigan and Virginia to the list of states that should be "freed" as protesters carrying Trump 2020 paraphernalia descended on a series of state capitols. Inslee, whose state had the first case of coronavirus, the first deaths, and the first restrictions, called Trump's tweets "unhinged rantings," and accused the president of encouraging violence.

THE PLAGUE has begun a terrible, open-ended series of unpredictable events, and when the top guy encourages his legions of camo-clad diabetics to go full-on lawless, well, here we go. Added to looming "civil unrest" as food banks run out of food, supply lines break down and at least twenty million people have no money or hope for relief, Mendocino County is going to be a good place to be in the months to come.

THE AVA COMMENTED RECENTLY: “We gather that Supervisor Williams doesn’t think CEO Angelo’s self-designated title of ‘incident commander’ is leadership enough.” Williams Replied: “My concern is not about the CEO’s leadership. With all due respect, I believe the public expects the board to step up in this time of disaster. It’s easy to place blame for any fallout on the CEO, but the buck stops with the Supervisors. We ended another meeting before lunch. What’s our economic recovery plan? What are we doing to ensure businesses get help with loan paperwork and individuals get help with unemployment filing? If scaled up testing is key to protecting life and the economy, considering our testing is low per capita relative to neighboring counties, why aren’t we talking about action? What has the board done to proactively recruit for a qualified public health officer, knowing our interim officer had a pre-agreed end date, with new job, house, family and life in San Diego? Bed tax, sales tax and likely sales tax will be impacted. How will we balance priorities given the loss of revenue? There is plenty of policy work for the board to engage in now, work that doesn’t place demand on already overwhelmed staff resources.”

SUBSEQUENT to the above, in an on-line comment, Williams wrote: “Carmel and I actually have a good working relationship. She understands my job is to represent the people and I understand I’m a huge pain in the ass.”

SAD that the guy feels it necessary to apologize for simply doing his job. The prob, Supervisor, is your four colleagues are not particularly competent to do the people's business, and your CEO has anger management issues, periodically going off on underlings to summarily fire them without explanation. Must be a swell work environment at the upper levels over there on Low Gap.

THE FOUR SILENT supervisors, automatic yes votes for whatever Mommy shoves in front of their cringing faces, wouldn't dare challenge the CEO because… Well, let me speculate: the three boys have mommy hangovers and are afraid the CEO might go off on them, and the one girl? Who knows, but since she has one interest — cheap water forever for her and her Potter Valley rancher friends, she thinks she's doing a great job signing off on whatever the CEO puts in front of her. (I see this week Carre’s off somewhere on undefined but “important county business,” and also note that the mother of all crises is paying a bunch of county admin people a small fortune in OT to steer us through, all of this being business as usual.

NOT TO GO all moralistic here as I write from my glass house, but the following neatly sums up the operation of the Mendocino County Board of Supervisors: Supervisor McCowen, before God and the 25 people looking on, attempted to install his close personal friend in a tax-paid, do-nothing position overseeing a climate change committee he created just for her. At roughly $100 thou a year!

GJERDE roused himself, with support from Williams, to get the jive climate change committee reduced to where it only costs $7500 a year, but should cost us nothing because the issue is being addressed by much smarter and much more committed people at the national and international level. However, Mendo being the home of more experts on all subjects than any other place in the world, a committee of climate experts was quickly appointed. Their $7500? They hired a consultant to organize themselves.

EVEN Trump and the grander crooks gnawing away at the foundations of the Republic don’t try the kind of overt swindling McCowen tried to pull off. But Williams and Gjerde were the only persons in the room who understood what was up.

A SECOND CASE in point not involving overt corruption of the McCowen type, but merely the usual pettifogging inertia characteristic of the supervisors: Ukiah wants to break up the burgeoning homeless camp at the north end of the airport runway, so the supervisors, the inevitable McCowen seizing the non-initiative, appoints himself and the inert Gjerde to an ad hoc committee to see what they can do about it. Which will be nothing, of course, which is the point of all the supervisors' ad hoc committees.

IF SUPERVISOR WILLIAMS and the occasionally alert Gjerde hadn’t derailed McCowen’s criminal attempt to make a large gift of public funds to his pal, we’d be stuck with another expensive leech sucking away at the disappearing resources of Mendocino County. Not to sound like too much of a crank, but every time I pay my property taxes with money I squeeze out of what income I have, I’ve gotta do a lot of extra push-ups and go on a very long hill walk to calm down.

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CATCH OF THE DAY, April 17, 2020

Aguilar, Campbell, Leon

OCTAVIANO AGUILAR, Sacramento/Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-alcohol.

ANDRU CAMPBELL, Ukiah. Probation violation.

LUIS LEON, Healdsburg/Willits. DUI

Martinez, Neely, Peterson

TORIBIO MARTINEZ-MARTINEZ, Santa Rosa/Ukiah. DUI with priors, suspended license (for DUI), DUI causing bodily injury.

JOEL NEELY, Willits. Vandalism.

JESSE PETERSON, Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-alcohol, resisting.

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"IF ANYONE IS LOOKING FOR RUSSIAGATE 2, this is exactly how it begins. Blame China, and if that does not seem to be working, look for the perfidious hand of Vladimir Putin, who clearly spends all day in his office dreaming up schemes whereby providing medical supplies to the U.S. and Europe is all part of some master plan to subvert the 2020 presidential election. But wait a minute, the ballot will feature Trump against Joe Biden. Putin is too late. The election has already been subverted.

— Philip Giraldi

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SQUAW (FROG WOMAN) ROCK, looking north

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To the Editor:

During Holy Week, a four-page advertisement ran in our local papers that includes words and phrases such as “sin-o-gogues”….”religious folks who ran the show”….”hatching evil schemes”…”looking to kill the Man”….”The murderers’ moment came”…”they hired a snitch”…and more. Such expressions—intended or not—lay the ground work for hate and violence in the form of anti-semitism.

Some have suggested: “The ad is simply an expression of freedom of speech. It’s not anti-Semitic. The author is just dramatizing the death of Jesus.” But such words cut upon fracture lines that historically divide communities, inspiring violent citizens to hurt their fellow citizens. This advertisement was not appropriate and helpful to our community.

Here, the advertisement was an act of both an individual (the writer of the text) – and of a group (the newspaper group that chose to publish). Let us act as individuals and as a community by reaching out to the Mendocino Coast Jewish Community and Rabbi Margaret Holub expressing our personal support for their right to worship and believe. Let us exercise our freedom of expression by making the choice to not trade in hate-speech.

Let us also take the time to write to the publisher to express our concern. Let us exercise our freedom of expression by making the choice to not encourage hate-speech.

As reconciliation is not about being “right” it is about creating relationship; let us also reach out to the author of the poem and all our friends who found the poem beautiful. Let’s ask them what they love about the story of Easter, about Christianity, and about any Jewish people they know. Let us create safe spaces to grow in friendship and peace. We trust that G-d is always doing a new thing where—through the Spirit—we can create a culture that honors everyone as a “Child of G-d.”

-Rev. Matthew Davis, pastor, Mendocino Presbyterian Church; Rev. Randy Knutson, Priest-in-Charge, St. Michael and All Angels Episcopal Church & Pastor, Trinity Lutheran Church; Rev. Tansy Chapman, associate priest, St. Michael and All Angels Episcopal Church, Fort Bragg; Rev. John Carrick, Fort Bragg Presbyterian Church; Rev. Dr. Sunny Farley, pastor and Director of Mendocino Redwood Retreat

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SQUAW (FROG WOMAN) ROCK, looking south

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NOW OUR LAST ADVOCATE HAS DROPPED OUT. The last man standing will veto single payer, and thinks 2050 is soon enough to fix the climate. Say it ain’t so, Joe. I’ll tell you what is so. I don’t owe you my vote. I am working to create a new party that evolves from a growing movement to address issues first, and has a goal of peace and prosperity for all. American exceptionalism is based on ignorance, xenophobia and greed. There are sufficient resources on this planet for everyone to live vibrant, healthy lives and we can stop the destruction of a million species in the process. Out of the many progressive issue-based groups, The Movement for a People’s Party is growing. An online, alternative media is expanding and a coalition of young enthusiastic activists are choosing a different path for their future. Those of us who have been fighting these battles for decades have a chance to jump aboard and help get this train rolling. We do not have 30 years to address climate change. We can not afford to support rip-off insurance/health/pharma/fossil fuel/military/industrial complexes who buy our leaders with a small slice of their profits.

So Joe, if you want my vote, come to me. I’m clear on my cleaver, you have 6 months to understand that without our slice of the electorate, you lose. Presently your positions are to the right of the orange-haired monster. What does that make you?

— Tom Crofton

full article:

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Truck drivers have become more important than neurosurgeons. Farmers are more important than Trump and Pelosi and anyone else who draws a government wage. The person keeping the coffee going at a Pilot truck stop, if it is open, is more important than the CEO of any corporation. And yet…

Growing food whether on a large farm or in your backyard isn’t simple. The farm to market to dinner table system is complex and brittle. The same is true for the insulin that millions must have. We are accustomed to relatively instant gratification. That is also gone.

The “center isn’t holding”.

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by Dave Zirin

President Trump’s advisory board for reopening the economy includes representatives of the sports world who will presumably “advise” a time to reopen the gates and play ball. For the administration, this is a source of great concern. As Trump himself said, “We have to get our sports back. I’m tired of watching baseball games that are 14 years old.”

Many other politicians have echoed this sentiment. Sports are a priority, even if games have to be played in front of empty stadiums. Yet empty arenas don’t eliminate the risk that players, coaches, and medical personnel would run for contracting the coronavirus—you can’t exactly play sports with social distancing. So surely this committee would be a group of people known for keeping the safety of all athletic personnel foremost in their minds. Not exactly.

The crew that Trump has assembled is like the Bizarro World Super Friends: Baseball commish Rob Manfred, NFL commish Roger Goodell, NHL commish Gary Bettman, NBA Commish Adam Silver, NFL team owners Robert Kraft and Jerry Jones, NBA owner Mark Cuban, UFC overlord Dana White, and World Wrestling Entertainment founder Vince McMahon.

Let’s not mince words. With the exception of Adam Silver and Mark Cuban, this is a collection of the worst actors in the sports world: a group of brigands defined by their lack of care in normal times for the safety and well-being of their employees. It’s almost as if Trump were trolling every athlete, saying, “You are no more than products, and we will decide when to sell you once again.”

There are, indeed, several immediate observations that one can make about this den of thieves, before making a deeper assessment of the group itself. The first and most obvious is that there is nobody from the major sports unions on this advisory board: no Michele Roberts of the NBPA, no DeMaurice Smith from the NFLPA, no Tony Clark from the MLBPA, no Don Fehr from the NHLPA. In other words, the very people charged with helping to maintain the health and safety of the athletes are shut out of this all-important decision during a pandemic. That is unconscionable, and it reflects the anti-union zealotry that’s always been a part of Trump’s outlook on the world.

The second observation is that it’s all white. Do you realize how hard one would have to try to assemble sports leaders and come up with a rotary club of all white guys? Having Roberts, Smith, or Clark on the panel would have helped with this. Alas, again this is a reflection of the Trump administration’s dogged adherence to white supremacy. It will disproportionately be black athletes taking the risks by returning to the field, and yet Trump is telling all of them—the very players he branded as “sons of bitches” when they protested racism—that white people in power will be the ones making that call. If they do send players back to work, expect the owners and their children to remain in their hermetically sealed mansions until the coast is clear. They will assume none of the risk, but are being given an all-powerful megaphone to exhort the players to risk their lives for others’ profits.

Lastly, but certainly not least, one might think that women’s sports do not exist, based on this suburban buffet of sports leaders. It’s beyond offensive, and again entirely fitting with this administration, this president, and the gutter misogyny that’s defined his professional and personal life.

But most telling are the people themselves. Vince McMahon is an anti-union grifter who is currently putting his entire roster of wrestlers—or at least the ones he hasn’t laid off yet—at risk for Covid-19 by resuming live programming in Florida, thanks to an $18.5 million donation to Trump’s Florida reelection campaign, which inspired Governor Ron DeSantis to list pro wrestling as an “essential business.” He has risked his workers’ lives already, and now he gets to decide if other athletes will meet the fate of his employees.

Then there are the people from the NFL: Roger Goodell and the two football owners who pull his puppet strings, who just happen to also be million-dollar Trump donors, Jerry Jones and Bob Kraft. Their treatment and coverup of NFL players who have experienced concussions exposes them as people who care for their bottom line, not the health and safety of their players.

As for Dana White, another Trump friend/donor, he has been trying to establish a “fight island” in international waters where he can continue to stage bouts, no matter the health and safety implications for fighters. He’s almost a caricature, but tragically all too real.

If past is prologue, these people will push to reopen the sports world with little care for their employees. There is only one force that can stop them: the sports unions. The need for sports unions to step up and insist that no one be at risk before any games are played has become critical. This will not be a consensus scenario between management and labor. It will be a fight. If it’s not, people will get sick, people will die, and most of the masters of the universe on this committee won’t lose a wink of sleep.

* * *

* * *


Exit The Great Gray Hope — don’t mourn, organize

Sanders proved on one hand that a sizable potential constituency would support and fund a progressive agenda. On the other hand, the Democrats — who would rather risk four more years of Trump than back someone with a mild New Deal agenda — are the graveyard for such a movement. The Democratic Party is an instrument of class rule and not a democratic institution.

For all his remarkable accomplishments, Sanders’ legacy in 2020 will likely be that of 2016, which was to be the sheepdog that herded progressives into the Democratic Party and got nothing in return.

If your obsession in life is to defeat Trump, by all means hold your nose and vote for what you perceive as the lesser evil. But if your interest is broader — to pull the US political spectrum to the left and buck the neoliberal tide of imperial plunder and austerity for the working class, instead of encouraging the Democrats to be more reactionary than the Republicans — then vote for a left party such as Peace and Freedom or Green.

And, taking a lesson from Bernie, help build the mass movement. Significantly Sanders understood the limits of electoral politics and the corresponding necessity of building a mass movement: “When I talk about a political revolution, it means being an administration unprecedented, certainly in the modern history of this country… It is rallying the American people… I will be organizer in chief.”

Sanders’ parting remark on April 8 was “we have won the ideological battle.” Of course, ideas don’t have agency on their own. The battle is to organize a progressive constituency and not self-defeat by tethering to the Democratic Party.

— Roger Harris

full article:

* * *

* * *


  • Jeff Bezos: +$6,800,000,000
  • Mark Zuckerberg: +$6,200,000,000
  • Warren Buffett: +$5,000,000,000
  • Elon Musk: +$4,200,000,000
  • Larry Ellison: +$4,000,000,000
  • Larry Page: +$3,600,000,000
  • Bill Gates: +$3,600,000,000

Meanwhile, more than 23 million Americans have filed for unemployment in the past month. (Source: Public Citizen.)

  • Chumps: +$1,200

* * *

* * *


Just finished re-reading the Grapes of Wrath, and one of the scenes that struck me was when the big producers were slaughtering hogs and burying them, so they wouldn’t go to market and depress the price of meat.

And Steinbeck wrote of the anger that was growing among the migrants who were starving and watching their children fall dead. They saw these pits being guarded by men with guns so they couldn’t get the food.

And now we see reports over the last 2 weeks of immense amounts of milk being dumped down the drain, and chickens being slaughtered and buried, and vegetables dumped into pits, because the original buyers have defaulted on the orders, and no one has the brains to re-route the food to the food banks.

You can’t take all that milk and re-purpose it to cheese? You can’t sell it at a discount to the 1000 cars lined up at a food bank? The milk boards and government don’t want to see the milk price collapse? People aren’t going to forget what the gov’t really thinks of them.

* * *


by James Kunstler

This age of battling narratives tends to conceal the broken consensus behind it. What’s gone is a broad social agreement that there are certain fundamental realities, and then codes of conduct that follow from them. When anything goes, don’t expect people to do the right thing, or even know what it is.

The Covid-19 debacle presents just such a set of quandaries and puzzles. For many people stewing in quarantine, the virus is a just another evil phantom lurking in the permanent twilight zone of television, and even there, among the familiar jabbering figments, there’s little agreement about it. The statistical projections mutate weekly. It’s no worse than any annual flu… It’s a savage illness that attacks every organ in the body, leaves survivors maimed, and you can even catch it again… The lockdowns are imperative… the lockdowns amount to economic suicide… There’s no sorting it all out, and the uncertainty itself is intolerable.

The only certainty is that most of the people in lockdown are going broke fast. By any ordinary rules, they are wiped out. They can’t even pretend anymore to keep juggling all those monthly payments for rent or mortgages, food, the cars, the medical insurance, the electricity, the cable, and on and on. The $1200 mad money checks promised by Uncle Sam are little consolation for that, and the small business “loans” — if you can even jump through the infuriating hoops to get them — just pile on an additional layer of obligation in a lifetime of debt serfdom. You don’t have to leap too many steps ahead mentally to imagine utter personal ruin on that glide path. And so what if millions of others are feeling squashed by the same phantom forces of disease and finance?

One firm reality is this: the global debt system that supported the turbo-charged global economy was disintegrating badly in the early fall of 2019, threatening every financial asset and the markets that affected to manage them — and all the operations of modern daily life that they represented. Nowhere on earth was the debt load more out-of-control than in China, where there were no constraints whatsoever on the banks’ accounting fraud, since they answered solely to the ruling party, which had but one overarching policy: to keep ruling.

And the biggest economic fiction of all was that China could maintain its supernatural growth rates in a world that had actually reached the limits of growth. Mr. Trump’s trade wars sent tremors through the system. A whole lot of bad loans were about to be flushed down the drain. Banks everywhere else felt the vibrations, too, you may be sure. The Wuhan virus was, at least, a very convenient distraction from all that. And then, the darn thing got loose on countless airplane flights around the world.

The Covid-19 corona virus didn’t initiate the financial disorders of the moment in the US and Europe, but it ensured that there would not be another appearance of any “recovery” a la the central bank interventions of 2008-09. What it portends is a fast-track journey to a whole new disposition of things: first, for a while, a harsher, hungrier, angrier society of broken promises and dashed expectations; and then adaptation when a consensus emerges that the set of facts at hand amount to a new reality. In the meantime, we’re living in the meantime, which is not a comfortable place.

Money is not an economy. Money is a medium of exchange within an economy where people grow things, make things, move things, and serve each other in countless ways. We’re not going to replace all those growings, makings, movings, and services by just giving people money. Money may produce more money by the magic of compound interest, but money is not necessarily wealth, it just represents our ideas about wealth, and interest stops compounding anyway when the trend is clearly for reduced growings, makings, movings, and servicings. That’s exactly how and why capital vanishes. The hocus-pocus of Modern Monetary Theory can only pretend to work around that reality.

The world never reached such a pitch of activity up to the blow-ups of 2008, and it went through the motions for a decade after that. Now that it’s stopped, all that’s left is the law of gravity, and it doesn’t get more basic. The “wealth” acquired in the decade since by the so-called “one-percent” was loaded onto a defective aircraft, like a Boeing 737-MAX, and an awful lot of it will fall to earth now on broken wings. Their agents and praetorians on Wall Street are working feverishly to stave off that crash-landing, like a band of magicians casting spells on the ground while that big hunk of juddering metal augers earthward. Wait for it as spring brings new life across the land and things unseen before steal onto the scene.

(Support Kunstler’s writing by visiting his Patreon Page.)

* * *



  1. Eric Sunswheat April 18, 2020

    RE: Not all men are evil and wicked. But those who consider themselves kind and compassionate must speak out against their violent brethren and this includes our legislators, our judges, lawyers, politicians. Until that happens, it’s gonna be same-o, same-o.

    ———>. *For mature audiences only.
    April 10, 2020
    ‘When one decides to intimately engage with his spouse, it is befitting for him to refrain from the prohibited behavior which some of the common folk adopt, which consists in approaching their spouses hurriedly.

    Rather he should not do so until he has played and bantered with her in permissible ways. That includes cuddling, kissing and similar actions, until he sees that she has aroused herself to what he is seeking from her, feels relaxed and takes interest in it. Only then should he approach her.

    The wisdom of the religious code in this matter is obvious, and it is that the woman desires from the man what he desires from her.

    If he were to come to her abruptly, he may very well fulfill his need while she would remain upset and her dīn and chastity may be compromised as a result. If he however does as stipulated, then the matter will be eased for her and her dīn and chastity will be protected’.
    *For mature audiences only

  2. George Hollister April 18, 2020

    Hanlon’s Razor: “Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity.”

    I wouldn’t call our coronavirus response stupid, but expected ineptitude. South Korea seems to be the only country that has a clue in dealing with the latest coronavirus pandemic, but they learned from their own inept experience with SARS.

  3. James Marmon April 18, 2020


    Testing detects COVID-19 virus in raw sewage at Lake County sewer plants

    Lake County Public Health Officer Gary Pace said in a Friday statement that the test results of the untreated sewage confirmed suspicions from recent contact investigations that there have been some undetected infections in the county over the last month.

    He also noted, “Recent evidence, including the raw sewage testing, does suggest it is probable community transmission of the coronavirus has occurred in Lake County,” explaining that it hadn’t been previously identified due to a lack of adequate testing.

    So far, just over 300 tests have been conducted, and Pace said his agency is working hard to get more supplies and laboratory access, and the state is promising some changes in the coming weeks.

    “Since there have been limitations in testing access, many people with mild illness in the community haven’t been able to be tested. However, it is reassuring we have not seen a rise in serious illness or hospitalizations,” Pace said.

    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that while SARS-CoV-2 has been detected in the feces of some patients diagnosed with COVID-19, the amount of virus released from the body in stool, how long the virus is shed and whether the virus in stool is infectious are not known.

    While it also isn’t known if there is risk for transmission from the feces of an infected person, the CDC said it’s expected to be low based on data from previous outbreaks of related coronaviruses, such as severe acute respiratory syndrome, or SARS, and Middle East respiratory syndrome, or MERS.

    The CDC said that, based on data so far, the risk of SARS-CoV-2 being transmitted through sewage systems “is thought to be low.” While transmission of the virus through sewage may be possible, there is no evidence that has occurred.

    • George Hollister April 18, 2020

      According to an article in the WSJ, April 9, horseshoe bat feces collected in a cave in Yunnan, China in 2013 contained COVID-19 virus. The article speculates that the most likely source of the current COVID-19 virus are horseshoe bats in the Wuhan vicinity, where the virus first expressed itself in humans.

      Hantavirus is also a respiratory virus that can be contracted from feces, in this case feces from mice. But I don’t believe hantavirus can be transmitted human to human as is the case with the Wuhan virus.

  4. Susie de Castro April 18, 2020


    Austin, Texas

    Home to the largest urban bat colony in North America, estimated at 1.5 million bats. The Congress Avenue Bridge, which spans Lady Bird Lake, formerly Town Lake, in downtown Austin, is home to one of the largest urban bat colony in North America. The colony is estimated at 1.5 million (Brazilian) free-tail bats.

    Austin’s resident bats are (Mexican) free-tailed bats, which migrate each spring from central Mexico to various roosts all over the southwestern U.S. On their nightly flights the bats eat anywhere from 10,000 to 30,000 pounds of insects, including mosquitoes and harmful agricultural pests.

    Starting in late March and continuing through early fall, North America’s largest urban bat population calls Austin home. Most are female

    *They’ve lived there for decades…zero problems.,h_647,q_75,w_1000/

    • James Marmon April 18, 2020

      Thank you for your bat advocacy Susie. I’m with you, speciesism should not be tolerated anywhere, especially here on the AVA.


      James Marmon

    • George Hollister April 18, 2020

      From WorldAtlas: “Bats are found on every continent except for the coldest and most isolated parts of Earth, including some islands, the Arctic, and the Antarctic. It is estimated that there are 900 to over 1,200 species of bats in the world, making up one-fifth of Earth’s total mammalian population, the second largest order after rodents. However, these numbers are relative measures as there could be more species of bats in the world. Most of the bat population is found in the tropics, with one-third of the total bat population in the world being found in South and Central America. The island country of Indonesia is a home for about 175 species of bats.”

  5. Lazarus April 18, 2020

    Found Object

    A little rest, after a yummy dinner on the once Human Highway.

    As always,

  6. chuck dunbar April 18, 2020


    “Why’d the chicken cross the road? To avoid them big cats!” I know, pretty stupid…

    • Lazarus April 18, 2020

      Better than mine.

  7. Randy Burke April 18, 2020

    Found Object….Cat Nap before the hoards return?

    And: Highway to Heaven

  8. James Marmon April 18, 2020


    Deadly bat fungus appears in California for the first time

    MENDOCINO Co., 7/8/19 — A deadly fungus that causes “White-nose Syndrome” has been killing millions of bats on the east coast and around the country over the past decade, but it has recently been detected for the first time in California, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife announced recently. The fungus has caused major die-offs in bat colonies across the country, and spores can be easily spread from one location to the next.

    People can assist with surveillance by reporting unusual behavior they see in bats. The announcement notes, “Sick or dying bats observed during winter in the colder regions of the state should be reported to CDFW at this link.

    The CDFW also requests that people who are entering caves take care to decontanimate afterwards and not transfer clothing and gear from one site to the next to avoid spreading the fungus.

  9. Stephen Rosenthal April 18, 2020

    FOUND OBJECT: Curbside Pick-up – Waiting for To Go.

  10. Craig Stehr April 18, 2020

    ~Contemplating the Mind~

    According to an account in a number of early Zen annals, one day when Tao-hsin was in Emperor Wu’s old capital, he happened to notice the sky above Ox Head Mountain south of the city. It looked so unusual, he decided to investigate and saw a monk meditating at the bottom of a cliff.

    When Tao-shin approached him and asked what he was doing, the monk, Fa-jung said, “Contemplating the mind.”

    Tao-shin asked, “Who is it who is contemplating, and what sort of thing is the mind?”

    The monk stood up and bowed.


  11. James Marmon April 18, 2020


    “Unless there is reasonable suspicion of infection, no quarantine. Can’t quarantine healthy people. The rule is set forth here in this habeas corpus case: In re Arata, 52 Cal. App. 380, 381 (Dist. Ct. App. 1921). Gavin Newsom’s order is unlawful.”

    -Shawn Mcmillan, Attorney at Law
    Member of Families Against Government Abuse since Mar 10, 2013

    Showcase: Shawn McMillan ‘Top Gun’ & ‘Street Fighter’ Civil/Parent Rights Attorney in California – Highest Paid US Federal Suits

    “Mr. McMillan has focused his practice on suing Child Protective Service agencies and social workers all over Southern California for unconstitutional practices. In 2011, he was selected as the Consumer Attorney’s of California as it “Street Fighter of The Year;” and in 2012 he was selected by California Lawyer Magazine as one of its “Attorney’s of The Year.”

    James Marmon, Social Worker
    Member of Families Against Government Abuse since Mar 15, 2013

    “No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.”

    14th Amendment

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