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MCT: Monday, April 20, 2020

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COOL, CLOUDY CONDITIONS are expected today along the coast with only partial and brief periods of sunshine expected. Interior areas will see increased shower activity this afternoon and evening. Dry conditions are expected Tuesday, with additional rain expected Wednesday as a cold front moves across the region. (NWS)

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Well, looks like howling in my part of the neighborhood is not going to happen anymore (very end of Airport Rd. Fort Bragg). Neighbors so upset by it, they began shooting a gun after every howl, then my immediate next door neighbor started to run a hedge trimmer, every time we howled, so we could not hear answering howls.

— Cindy Lemas, via facebook

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LAUREN'S RESTAURANT is crucial to the community life of the Anderson Valley, not only because of Lauren's unfailing graciousness as proprietor and hostess, but because the space is large enough to comfortably embrace larger events, those events and many others enhanced by the stage at one end of the building. And the food is real good. Lauren's is an institution since February of '96 — in a place lacking the venues where bands and dances and trivial pursuit contests and even large-scale birthday parties can be accommodated. But Lauren's, like so many businesses everywhere, is in peril of going under. There simply aren't enough takeout customers to keep it alive, but if Lauren's goes, this already battered community will take a fatal blow. There's nothing here to replace it. People who can are stepping up all over the country, and there's a lot of money these days in the Anderson Valley, and right now if some of that money could step up with a loan to keep Lauren's alive until the plague is in full remission, that padrone would be doing the Anderson Valley a huge favor.

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COMMUNITY CONCERN AND ANGER spread quickly online and throughout social media Friday following Mendocino County officials’ live update informing the public an inmate placed on quarantine on April 7 at the California Institution for Men (CIM) in Chino was released just one day later.

A memorandum dated April 9 titled “Contact to an infectious COVID-19 case” sent to Stanislaus County of Department Health confirms the inmate displaying no signs or symptoms, was to be separated (quarantined) for the next 14 days to ensure he is past the incubation period for COVID-19. The same memorandum states the inmate was released to the Stanislaus parole region on April 8.

In response to a request for comment, Dana Simas, Press Secretary, California Department of Corrections, emailed a narrative Saturday morning.

“The formerly incarcerated person was identified as a possible contact to a COVID-19 case at California Institution for Men on April 7. He was identified as meeting the criteria for expedited release as laid out in California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation plan. He was asymptomatic in a comprehensive screening by institution medical staff before his release on April 8, and was provided a facial barrier to wear while in-transit to his county of release.

“The public health nursing staff at CIM provided the offender with education regarding COVID-19 and instructed him to immediately report to Stanislaus County Probation and was advised to self-quarantine upon arrival in the county through April 20.

“Immediately before release, all inmates are screened for symptoms of influenza-like illness (ILI) including COVID-19. The screening includes asking an individual if they have a cough, fever and/or difficulty breathing, and taking their temperature. Should an inmate with a positive COVID-19 test be due to be released after serving their full term under the law, CDCR will work closely with community partners relative to the release.

“CDCR made the required notifications to the offender’s identified county of release, including the Stanislaus County Probation Department and the Stanislaus County Department of Public Health. Stanislaus County Probation granted the offender a travel pass to Mendocino County where he has a support system, that was a decision made at the local level.

“To maintain open lines of communication and cooperation, Secretary Diaz has been in communication with the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office since CDCR was made aware of the situation and concerns between the county probation departments. CDCR completed the expedited releases under the plan by April 13. All current release of offenders are those who have met their full sentence as determined by the law, CDCR cannot hold offenders past their scheduled release date.

“To increase our efforts to protect the community, CDCR is providing all members of the incarcerated population with at least two reusable cloth barrier masks, which they may take with them upon their release. To keep members of our population informed, we have created and distributed fact sheets and posters in both English and Spanish that provide education on COVID-19 and precautions recommended by CDC. We have also begun streaming CDC educational videos on the CDCR Division of Rehabilitative Programs inmate television network and the CCHCS inmate health care television network.

“We take the health and safety of our incarcerated population and the community-at-large very seriously and have taken unprecedented steps to address this public health crisis,” the email concludes. “We continue to take additional precautions and actions as well, including reducing the density in dorms, verbal and temperature screening of all those entering state prisons, providing masks and hand sanitizer to all staff and the incarcerated population, and suspending in-person visiting and volunteering. We will continue to expand on our efforts to safely and securely increase physical distancing within our institutions.”

Mendocino County Sheriff Matthew Kendall remains adamant, through his discussions with other agencies, permission by Stanislaus County Probation was given to the now confirmed positive COVID-19 inmate only after his arrival in the Ukiah Valley area. Commenting on the state’s release of known exposed inmates without testing, Kendall adds, “It seems to defy human logic.”

Unconfirmed sources believe the inmate received a ride from the family of another released inmate to the Sacramento area before traveling to Mendocino County with a relative. No public transportation was used. Public Information Officer Sarah Dukett confirmed Public Health is conducting an ongoing contact investigation for this case.

While the governor’s office did not provide an official response late Friday evening, Press Secretary Vicky Waters responded via email the office was looking into the matter.

(Courtesy, the Ukiah Daily Journal)

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HEARN GULCH, Mendocino Coast

(photo by Randy Burke)

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Ted's April 16 COVID-19 update

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.

I’d feel better if residents could access and enjoy the beach. I’m with you. Internally, there has been an ongoing push and it’s fully understood, we’re able to social distance in nature, probably better than at Walmart, Costco and Home Depot, which is allowed. Risk of locals in public spaces was not the motivation behind the restrictions in the public health order. The bay area has significant cases. If we attract bay area folks to our beaches, trails and parks (which I know is happening even with the restrictions in place), these guests will stop at grocery stores, gas stations and other facilities. Based on what we know, the spread would quickly surpass our treatment capabilities. Closing state highways leading into Mendocino County is not within our powers. Early on, I had asked CalTrans to place “NO VISITOR SERVICES AHEAD” signs at our entrances and even this was denied. The fractured nature of government leads to awkward solutions, many of which are imperfect.

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Ah Bernie, we hardly miss ye

by Tommy Wayne Kramer

Looks like we won’t get a good hard shot of Bolshevism after all. Bernie Sanders has dropped out of the race.

Well, why not? His work is done, his dreams fulfilled: The economy is in a shambles, most workers are unemployed and we’re short on toilet paper. America’s wealthiest socialist can now return to his three mansions in Washington and Vermont.

Bernie Sanders may be gone, but debris from the Comrade In-Chief’s campaign will surely linger. Unlike supporters of other candidates, those who gave their hearts and dollars to Bernie will wallow many years in joyful, agonizing, sweet despair.

His failed campaign is a triumph; his blue stickers will remain until they’re all that’s holding bumpers onto Priuses.

Yard signs will proudly stand, signals to the world that though the war is over, the tattered remnants of Bernie’s glorious fight lingers on in the bosoms of courageous Sandernistas.

To be a leftist is to live in romantic delusions. They love believing they are desperate, glamorous rebels locked in a mighty struggle against the forces of tyranny.

The blue Bernie posters are battle flags, and will soon become frayed relics reminding the world of a noble stand by a bold martyr in a valiant effort to bring Utopia to us all.

Did his campaign fail? Only temporarily, their hearts cry out, knowing history bends toward top-down government control over citizens happily subservient to program administrators who live 3000 miles away.

A Bernie sign is a proud emblem of that commitment, a display of unity among the first brave souls willing to surrender their freedom for security (and lots of free stuff).

The rest of us are merely relieved to know statues of Bernie won’t be erected around the country and that Ukiah won’t be re-named Sandersgrad.


Tommy Wayne Kramer's schizo column on Sunday describes Bernie as a Bolshevik but then rightly recommends a couple of local socialist upgrades — adequate funding for Ukiah-area firefighting and hazard pay for food store clerks.

Kramer's a smart guy, and a very good writer. His Sunday column enlivens our intellectually entombed county like no other. I know he reads a lot so I'm recommending a crash course in the isms via Edmund Wilson's seminal primer, "To the Finland Station" where, if the columnist reads with the understanding he's capable of, he will conclude that Bernie, any other place in the world, would be a social democrat, placed comfortably in Franklin Roosevelt's Democratic Party and even more comfortably placed among the sensible sectors of today's Democrats. Which is why Bernie has again reverted to the tame precincts of mainstream liberalism as represented by Democrats.

FDR, some people still argue, saved American capitalism from real Bolsheviks of which Bernie is definitely not one. Comrade Kramer, if he reads with even half-attention, will learn the diff between a communist, a socialist, a fascist, a Bolshevik, a Menshevik and so on. A funnier version of basically the same primer is George Bernard Shaw's "The Intelligent Woman's Guide to Socialism and Capitalism…"

Bernie in the Bolshie-Lenin-communist-socialist context, would be a Menshevik, the democratic socialist political party murdered unto oblivion by the Bolsheviks.

These aren't distinctions without a real difference. They matter because, as our country descends into widespread chaos and the accompanying civil pain certain to ensue, life and death arguments over who gets what and how much will be back again with the same life and death intensity it was fought over during our Great Depression.

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I’m not the first to suggest retail clerks and cashiers, exposed as they are to Covid cooties, be lumped in with so-called first responders.

Cashiers, like those at Safeway, Raley’s and Lucky, are required to do what the rest of us are warned not to do. Cashiers are on the front lines, forced into nonstop semi-intimate contact with a motley assembly line of strangers, most of whom are probably not contagious.

A recent New York Times article singled out grocery stores as just about the only place Americans have increased their spending during the last month, and compared to hotels, airlines and restaurants, grocery stores are raking in the cash. Great. I wish them well. Keep those PopTarts coming.

Now let’s double the pay for workers at those stores, and then give them time-and-a-half on top of it. That’s cheap.

You wouldn’t risk the Coronavirus for $500 a minute; giving cashiers $75 an hour isn’t a nickel too much. — Tommy Wayne Kramer

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(photo by Larry Wagner)

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LOCAL FLOUR, Doug Mosel writes:

Bruce and Zach Schat,

Last week's Off the Record comments about the scarcity of flour in local stores caught my eye, as you might imagine. While the commodity chain may be slow or interrupted, local supply of flour and whole grain is not! Mendocino Grain has experienced dramatic increases in demand and we are supplying Ukiah Natural Foods as well as bakers and chefs through the MendoLake Food Hub.

Rachel Britten, who is taking over, has seen to acquiring additional stocks of local/regional grain so that we can continue to supply freshly-milled flour on order. We are considering an additional mill to increase our capacity to meet growing demand. People may contact Rachel directly (707-841-1256) or the MendoLake Food Hub (

Zach, thank you for all you are doing go keep people fed during this disruptive time. Bruce, I continue to appreciate my daily dose of the AVA! I hope you and yours are staying safe and well.


Doug Mosel

The Mendocino Grain Project


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IT WAS OBVIOUS during the debates that Joe Biden was pretty much out of it. Since, Biden has benefitted from his invisibility during the virus. He re-surfaced on CNN last week where he struggled to say something coherent about Trump's coronavirus response. Speaking to Anderson Cooper and Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Biden said, "You know, there's a uh, during World War II, uh, you know, where Roosevelt came up with a thing uh, that uh, you know, was totally different than a, than the, the, it's called, he called it the, you know, the World War II, he had the war the War Production Board." It amounts to elder abuse to keep shoving the old hack out there.

ON THE GRIM SUBJECT of the Demo's standard bearer, the woman who says Biden sexually assaulted her nearly three decades ago, shoving her up against a wall and roaming around in her underwear, well hell, kinda late filing a police complaint, isn't it? Did Biden do it? Probably. He gets handy with women, and even little girls, on national television so he clearly has “impulse control issues,” as they say in Therapy Land. In a porn-drenched society like this one it's surprising there aren't more sexual assaults. I bet a majority of women everywhere have suffered indecent assault of varying intensities ever since the loosening of eros's untamed beasts in 1967. Used to be women had male relatives looking out for them, and men insulted women at their peril.

AS THE COUNTRY spirals downward, and more and more people are thrown out of work — Neiman Marcus has closed, and there go 14,000 jobs and many of the ancillary jobs that supplied the store — the $1200 stimulus pay outs are a cruel joke on the minority of people who've got them. The people who haven't got them will soon be heard from in mass rioting, which I predict will commence by the end of May and continue until the cold weather sets in. Canada offers its citizens a real bailout, with $2,000 a month going to the unemployed for the next four months. We oughta being doing that here to forestall true chaos and violence but…

EARTH DAY SUNDAY? Yup, and an anniversary of the Oklahoma City bombing of the federal building. The earth seems to celebrating Earth Day in a rather harsh way with a major virus attack on her tormenters, and who knows how many Timothy McVeighs will be unleashed by the economic crash.

THE EDITORIAL in Sunday's Press Democrat was titled, "Newspapers vital role in the time of coronavirus." I don't think so. Newspapers are too slow to keep up with events. It's all social media now, or on-line sources. The PD is the last place I'd think to look for plague updates, or even ordinary information.

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WE AWAIT more complete coverage of that awful “One World: Together At Home” fundraiser for medical workers and the World Health Organization Saturday night by our resident music critic David Yearsley. But in the meantime, let’s just say we’ve heard better performances at local karoake bars than most of those alleged “stars.” Lady Gaga got off on the wrong foot by getting the rather simple chords wrong for ‘Smile.’ (Does anybody even care about getting harmonies right anymore? Compare it to Nat King Cole’s version if you dare.) Mick Jagger’s song selection, “I Can’t Get No Satisfaction,” was, ahem, inappropriate; he should have retired years ago and his aging fans obviously can’t get no satisfaction no matter what he does; that goth kid who sang ‘Sunny’ could barely be heard (and the chords her accompanist played were off too — compare it, if you dare, to Bobby Hebb’s original, or Urbie Green’s amazing trombone instrumental version). Elton John at least can at least still play a decent piano, but I had no idea why he sang at all. John Legend is over-rated to begin with. Eddie Vedder drowned himself out with his groaning reed-organ accompaniment. Stevie Wonder is still Stevie Wonder, but he’s getting old. Why, oh why, did Jennifer Lopez choose to sing that mawkish “People Who Need People”? At least two of the pianos were badly out of tune. It sounded like most of them were just winging it with embarassingly underprepared renditions of whatever they performed. Camila Cabelo, the girl who sang the Satchmo standard, ‘What A Wonderful World,’ with Shawn Mendes, was the only really listenable singer in the bunch, but the tune is too schmaltzy and their slow ballad tempo so maudlin that it had no business in the line up. (Satchmo could only pull it off because he was Satchmo.) Taylor Swift is pretty at least. If Mad Magazine was still around they’d probably have renamed it “One World: Shoulda Stayed Home Together” or something. Apparently, it doesn’t matter to modern audiences though: the thing reportedly raised almost $130 mil for a good cause. We wonder how much more could have been raised if the performers had taken it seriously, or if they even can. (Mark Scaramella)

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by Jim Shields

On Tuesday, April 14, Gov. Gavin Newsom released an outline of his plan to transition from the state’s shelter-in-place orders to reopening California’s mostly shuttered economy.

“This cannot be a permanent state,” Newsom said at his daily media update on the war against the COVID-19 outbreak “These stay-at-home orders have a profound impact on the economy.”

Newsom estimated the state could start looking at partially and incrementally relaxing stay-at-home orders by the first week of May, but it would all be dependent on numerous factors relative to the pandemic.

To that end, Newsom unveiled six “key indicators” that will form the calculus and California’s thinking for when and how to modify the stay-at-home and other orders during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The day before at Monday’s press briefing, Newsom said he will work with the governors of Oregon and Washington on regional plans for the “incremental release of the stay-at-home” orders. Although he didn’t mention President Trump by name, he made a point several times emphasizing that these regional plans will rely on “science, not political pressure.”

The Governor noted that the progress in flattening the curve, increased the preparedness of the health care delivery system and the effects of other COVID-19 interventions have yielded positive results. However, these actions have also impacted the economy, poverty and overall health care in California. Any consideration of modifying the stay-at-home order must be done using a gradual, science-based and data-driven framework.

“While Californians have stepped up in a big way to flatten the curve and buy us time to prepare to fight the virus, at some point in the future we will need to modify our stay-at-home order,” said Governor Newsom. “As we contemplate reopening parts of our state, we must be guided by science and data, and we must understand that things will look different than before.”

Newsom says his team is looking at six key indicators that will be considered before modifying the state’s stay-at-home orders and “how to start reopening the state’s economy”:

• The ability to monitor and protect our communities through testing, contact tracing, isolating, and supporting those who are positive or exposed;

• The ability to prevent infection in people who are at risk for more severe COVID-19;

• The ability of the hospital and health systems to handle surges;

• The ability to develop therapeutics to meet the demand;

• The ability for businesses, schools, and child care facilities to support physical distancing; and

• The ability to determine when to reinstitute certain measures, such as the stay-at-home orders, if necessary.

The Governor said there is not a precise timeline for modifying the stay-at-home order, but that the six indicators will serve as the framework for making that decision.

He also noted that things will look different as California makes modifications. For example, restaurants will have fewer tables, perhaps disposable menus, wait staff will wear masks, school classrooms will be reconfigured for social distancing, and students start times will be staggered to reduce contact among students.

“Normal it will not be, at least until we have herd immunity and we have a vaccine,” Newsom said. “The prospect of mass gatherings is negligible at best.”

He closed out the briefing with this cautionary remark: “Let’s not make the mistake of pulling the plug too early,” he said. “I don’t want to make a political decision that puts people’s lives at risk, and puts the economy at more risk.”

State’s Drought Condition Improves — Somewhat

According to this week’s U.S. Drought Monitor’s report, drought conditions were eradicated in Southern California, but the rest of the state, basically Northern California, remains classified in a range from abnormally dry to severe drought.

“Record-setting rains continued in Southern California and Arizona,” according to this Thursday’s’s Drought Monitor report. “Over the last six weeks, areas in and around Kern County, have gone from significant precipitation deficits to well above normal readings accompanied by flooding in the region. Most of southern California recorded 800 percent of normal precipitation just in the last week and 200-400 percent of normal over the last 30 days.”

This past week, moisture-laden storms that included five consecutive days of drenching rain were responsible for knocking out drought conditions in Southern California, according to the drought report.

Here in Mendocino County, its northern two-thirds is considered to be in severe drought, while its southern environs are in moderate drought conditions.

While the weekly-update drought report is good news for SoCal, it does nothing to alter Northern California’s mostly tinder dry landscape as the National Interagency Fire Center continues to warn that California will likely see an early start to fire season.

(Jim Shields is the Mendocino County Observer’s editor and publisher, and is also the long-time district manager of the Laytonville County Water District. Listen to his radio program “This and That” every Saturday at 12 noon on KPFN 105.1 FM, also streamed live:

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CATCH OF THE DAY, April 19, 2020

Cutts, Hoffman, Neely

CHRISTIAN CUTTS, Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-alcohol.

AUBREY HOFFMAN, Ukiah. Suspended license (for DUI), resisting, probation revocaiton.

GREGORY NEELY, Willits. Disoderly conduct-alcohol, criminal threats, false ID.

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One major aspect of 1918 flu was that young, vigorous people in their 20’s suffered high mortality rates. Apparently this was due to a hyper immune response which resulted in rapid fluid build-up and death in days from “drowning.” Seriously, there is a local news blurb (I saw it in Hum. Historian) about a group of Croatian immigrants who worked in logging, as tough and hard as any Swede, Portuguese, or tribal member, who died in days from the 1918 flu. That effect is being reported these days.

Remember, when you see screw-America reporting on Fox and Fiends about how covid-19 is no worse than the “flu”; none of you, nobody living today, has seen a flu season with patients crammed into overwhelmed hospitals and bodies stacked up in morgues. Bill Bennett and the Fox regulars will lie just like their hero, dear, maximum, supreme leader.

Depending on which book you read, the “herd” immunity was not something everybody volunteered for. It just happened that way. One theory is that the first wave in 1918 was a more typical strain with a much lower death rate, but which served as a vaccine against the killer strain.

The major idea with social isolation is to SLOW the rate of infection so the medical care and research efforts can catch up treating patients, learning what works, and developing a vaccine. And dealing with bodies.

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Mary Oliver for Corona Times 
(Thoughts after the poem Wild Geese) 
By Adrie Kusserow

You do not have to become totally zen, 
you do not have to use this isolation to make your marriage better, 
your body slimmer, your children more creative.

You do not have to “maximize its benefits” 
by using this time to work even more, 
write the bestselling Corona Diaries, 
or preach the gospel of Zoom.

You only have to let the soft animal of your body unlearn 
everything capitalism has taught you, 
(that you are nothing if not productive, 
that consumption equals happiness, 
that the most important unit is the single self. 
that you are at your best when you resemble an efficient machine).

Tell me about your fictions, the ones you’ve been sold, 
the ones you sheepishly sell others, 
and I will tell you mine.

Meanwhile the world as we know it is crumbling. 
Meanwhile the virus is moving over the hills, 
suburbs, cities, farms and trailer parks. 

Meanwhile The News barks at you, harsh and addicting, 
until the push of the remote leaves a dead quiet behind, 
a loneliness that hums as the heart anchors.

Meanwhile a new paradigm is composing itself in our minds, 
could birth at any moment if we clear some space 
from the same tired hegemonies.

Remember, you are allowed to be still as the white birch, 
stunned by what you see, 
uselessly shedding your coils of paper skins 
because it gives you something to do.

Meanwhile, on top of everything else you are facing, 
do not let capitalism coopt this moment, 
laying its whistles and train tracks across your weary heart.

Even if your life looks nothing like the Sabbath, 
your stress boa-constricting your chest. 
Know that your ancy kids, your terror, your shifting moods, 
your need for a drink have every right to be here, 
and are no less sacred than a yoga class.

Whoever you are, no matter how broken, 
the world still has a place for you, calls to you over and over 
announcing your place as legit, as forgiven, 
even if you fail and fail and fail again.

Remind yourself over and over, 
all the swells and storms that run through your long tired body, 
all have their place here, now in this world.

It is your birthright to be held 
deeply, warmly in the family of things, 
not one cell left in the cold.


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HE COULD SEE THE FAT BOY at the bus stop two blocks west. He looked up the street and in the distance saw the flat face of the bus, no larger than the eraser at the end of a pencil. He began to run toward the bus stop, made it with the bus still blocks away.

"Hi," he said to the fat boy, look at him hard.

"You were in the drugstore," he said.


They said nothing more until they were on the bus.

"Where did you go to school?" asked Bob Dollar.

"School! I don't honor them with my presence. I fucking quit school."

"Wow. Your parents let you quit?"

"Of course they let me quit. The alternative was handcuffs and forcible transport. I had a problem with the teachers. My parents don't care as long as I read a lot of books."

Bob Dollar could believe that the fat boy had problems with his teachers. He could see the potential for arousing teacher fury. "So what happened? You just didn't go in one day? You just said to your family, ‘I quit’?"

"Okay, here's what happened." Orlando spoke in a weary voice as though harried beyond bearing. "In this school I was in a class. The teacher's name was Miss Termino. We called her The Terminator. And The Termite. She assigned this dumb ass paper. ‘What I plan to do with my life.’ Everybody had to read his little masterpiece in class. It was the usual dumb shit, kids who wanted to be computer programmers, software entrepreneurs, doctors and nurses, motorcycle racers, DJs."

He had touched on a subject that greatly interested Bob.

"How do they know?" he said. "How do they know what they want to be?"

But Orlando avoided philosophical discussion and continued his story.

"So, everybody reads their little paper except me and then The Terminator says, "That was excellent, class." She didn't mention that nobody said they wanted to be a scientist or a mathematician, which everybody knows what's wrong with the country. One of the things wrong with the country. So I said, ‘Miss Termino, I didn't read mine. You skipped me.’ And she said, ‘I didn't skip you, Orlando, I assumed you would not have done the assignment as usual.’ So I go, ‘I did this one,’ and I got up and walked to the front. Kind of stamping. And I read my paper. I knew it by heart. I go: ‘Orlando's Ice City. I do not want to be a brain surgeon or president, I wouldn't mind being a champion wrestler or a guy who raises pit bulls or the captain of an ocean liner, but first I am going to build an ice city at the South Pole and I will get money from big corporations and hire a bunch of guys with no jobs — clean up the bums in Kansas City — to build the ice city. The buildings will all be clear ice and I will have a big furnace to melt snow and squirt the water into molds — rectangles cubes cones and cylinders — and the bums will put them together into big ice skyscrapers and domes and I'll have all these lights inside so the ice buildings at night will shine in colors and the best and biggest buildings will be huge tetragons, and if people want to tour the city I'd charge $50 each and that would include penguin steaks for dinner.’ So then a girl goes, ‘Penguin steaks! Ich! Gross!" And I gave her a shove because it was proof of a closed mind and penguin steaks are probably pretty good, but the girl fell on her desk and broke her teeth off just like a hockey player and The Terminator said go to the office. I said not a word but picked up my books and walked. Quit. My father — he's a jerk but so what? — sided with me. Then two weeks later we moved here."

"I guess you got a good imagination or you're a big liar," said Bob Dollar.

"Well, that's for you to find out." Orlando hung from the straps as his body swayed with the bus’s motion.

Bob said, "I don't get how people know what they want to be before they're old, like 20 or something."

"You don't have a clue?"

"No. Do you? I mean, after building the ice city."

"Sure. I want to be rich and rule the world. I want to be a computer geek. And I don't want to build the fucking ice city no more. That was kid stuff. Why you want to know something about quitting school? You planning on doing that?"

— Annie Proulx, ‘That Old Ace In the Hole’

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I ASKED MOHAMED EL-ERIAN, the longtime Co-Chief Investment Officer at PIMCO, the world biggest bond fund (he now advises Allianz, PIMCO’s parent company), about the confidence of hedge-fund managers like the Fokkers and the would-be Teppers. "It's idiotic," he said. "Well, I shouldn't use that word. This notion of a V, of a quick bounce back to where we were before — people don't understand the dynamics of paralysis."

He said, "This is much bigger than 2008. 2008 was a massive heart attack that happened suddenly to the financial markets. You could identify the problem and apply emergency remedies and revive the patient quickly. This is not just a financial stop. This is infection all over the body, damage to virtually every limb and organ. The body was already so fragile. Those of us who have had the privilege of studying failed states have seen this before, but never in a big country like the United States, let alone a global economy."

He went on, "In the financial crisis, we won the war but lost the peace." Instead of investing in infrastructure, education, and job retraining, we emphasized via a central bank policy of quantitative easing (what some people call printing money), the value of risk assets, like stocks. "We collectively fell in love with finance," he said. Apparently we are still in love.

Last Thursday amid news that another 6.6 million Americans have lost their jobs, the Fed announced the infusion of an additional $2.3 trillion including hundreds of billions to purchase corporate debt ranging from investment grade to junk: big dirt. Stocks surged anew. The Fed was propping up risk assets again, at a scale that dwarf the interventions of 2008, and the bankers were back, hats in hand. They get paid like geniuses, and yet, every ten years, they need bailing out.

— Nick Paumgarten, The New Yorker

* * *

* * *



Governor Newsom just bought $1 billion worth of facemasks from a communist outfit in China that is very skullduggery. The company is known for selling bad goods. All the countries in the world won't buy stuff from them. But Newsom did — $1 billion worth of facemasks. That's normal for him. He also invested $1 billion worth of retirement funds from state employees into a communist nation that's now going defunct. What will happen to the billion dollars? Our tax money.

Then another $125 million, no, $150 million, for the illegal aliens, our tax money, instead of going to the local people who need money is going to the illegal aliens. Normal for Gavin Newsom.

Nancy Pelosi stopped the plan to help the small businesses that President Trump worked up to allow small businesses to get reimbursed for some of the bad times we are having. She stopped it because she wanted the money for herself to put in the green new deal and all that stuff. So Pelosi is the reason for small businesses not getting their money. Believe it or not. It's the truth.

All these Democrats are rotten to the core. They interfere with everything that's trying to be done in the United States. The coronavirus that President Trump started working on the minute he heard about it right away the Democrats were trying to impeach him and didn't pay any attention to it, just smoking their crack pipes on impeachment, that's all they wanted to do. They didn't care about the coronavirus, they turned their back on it. President Trump fought it tooth and nail. That's alright, it will all come out in the wash.

God bless Donald Trump.

Jerry Philbrick


* * *

* * *


by Bruce Anderson

On April 2nd of 2012, the Women's Voices talk program on KZYX devoted an hour to the 1990 unsolved car bombing of Earth First! leader, Judi Bari. Naomi Wagner and a woman called Mary Liz Thompson were the on-air guests of moderator, Val Muchowski. Wagner said her occupation was “activist” as anointed, Wagner said, by none other than Judi Bari herself.

Ms. Thompson said she was a filmmaker. She and Darryl Cherney, she said, had teamed up to produce an hagiographic epic called ‘Who Bombed Judi Bari?’ Ms. Thompson didn’t say her film was hagiographic, referring to it as if it were a reputable effort to explore the crime. There was no mention during the painfully inarticulate hour that an honest film by the same name appeared years ago, and the single specific fact that was mentioned by Muchowski, a retired Boonville teacher, Muchowski managed to get wrong. She said that Judi Bari had “belonged” to KZYX. In fact, Judi Bari forcefully took over the station one afternoon as an ostensible protest at the station's firing of Beth Bosk as a talk programmer. (An hilarious event previously described in these pages.) The upshot? Judi Bari took over Bosk's show, and one more chapter was logged in the big book of Mendo feminist solidarity.

Cherney, Thompson

I knew Judi Bari. She's since become one of those figures lots of people claim to have known well but didn't. The old girl wrote for my paper. Before I made the fatal error of demanding that she tell the truth about what happened to her, she'd call almost every day to discuss this, that and the other thing. I often visited her at String Creek, east of Willits. We were closely allied for about three years. But the instant I publicly said I thought it was time she fessed up, that her version of events was untrue, I was non-personed, and duly denounced by the local lemmings as a sexist, an FBI agent, an enemy of the people, a blah de blah and a blah de blah.

Judi Bari was a person of large gifts, and a person who not only didn't suffer fools gladly, didn't suffer them at all, hence her utter contempt for most of her comrades, that amorphous mass heavy on disturbed persons who attach themselves to any dissenting movement, always to the movement's disadvantage if not death.

Briefly, in the Redwood Summer period, Bari did manage to mobilize a brief counter force to the short-term profit-taking that saw distant corporations mowing down Northcoast forests, and the jobs that went with them. The woods industry itself, as it then functioned on most of the Northcoast, was trapped between the big timber corporations and the Redwood Summer demonstrations. Bari, at least rhetorically, supported woods workers, but it was clear to her that her troops, people who don't have to get up until noon, aren't going to have much in common with people who are up at five to go out to a hot, dirty, dangerous job that doesn't pay very well. People who do that kind of work, or any kind of real work, have to be organized from within. She knew that, and we often talked about it but, as she said of her allies, these are the people we have to work with, “And anyway Bruce I'm a hippie, too.” Such were her gifts, though, and her energy, that Redwood Summer also attracted large numbers of serious people, committed people. And lots of media, whose attentions, to Bari and Cherney, were like a drug. They got high on it.

Bari could be ruthless. You were either with her or you were not permitted to participate. Or denounced as an FBI agent. Or whatever other slur it took to get you out of the way. FBI agent was the big one. She called Cherney, the only fool she did suffer, and only suffered him because, after the bombing, she was stuck with him, an “idiot” so many times it could have been his middle name. She'd call me up. “Do you know what The Idiot did today?” I never had to ask which idiot.

It's clear Bari knew who bombed her and Cherney, and she was initially so worried that she would be implicated in the event she had her attorney, the late Susan B. Jordan, apply to the FBI for limited immunity from prosecution. The FBI said no immunity because they considered Bari a suspect in the crime. But the FBI never followed up on its own supposition, never seriously investigated the bombing. Why they would deny immunity then do nothing themselves to implicate Bari remains unknown. And why neither they nor the Bari Gang has followed up on the known, published evidence indicates co-dependence — that it appears it is in the mutual interests of the feds and the Bari camp not to solve the case.

Judi Bari

I'm ashamed now to admit Bari had me going as one of the many believers in a wider conspiracy against her because I didn't know her husband or anything about him except what she told me, which was that he'd beat and raped her. Which I didn't believe because I couldn't imagine her enduring any kind of mistreatment, let alone sexual assault. I thought I was merely listening to another alienated ex-wife going on about how evil her ex-husband was. Judi Bari's ex-husband, then as now the biggest elephant in the smallest room ever, was scrupulously kept off stage and out of the suspect pool. And he's still kept off stage by Cherney and Company as Not A Suspect.

The ex-husband not a suspect in an attempted murder of his ex-wife? And Mike Sweeney was not any old ex; he’d been around bombs and violent nut groups all the way back to his days at Stanford in the 1960s.

It belatedly dawned on me I was being hustled. The light snapped on at a 1990 neighborhood picnic at String Creek east of Willits, to which I'd driven Bari from a home in Cazadero. She'd been staying at a nurse's “safe” house high in the Cazadero hills after being released from a rehab hospital in Santa Rosa. She said her life was still in danger. She'd asked me to chauffeur her because, she said, I was the only person she knew who could be depended on to show up on time. Punctuality being my sole virtue, I showed up on time. She was good company. Smart and funny, and utterly unlike so many of the drear soldiers of “the movement.”

But JB, as I called her, was moving to a cabin at remote String Creek perfectly situated for a committed assassin to finish her off. I said to her, “This place isn't safe. Someone could drive up right to your door and shoot you.” She said, with suspicious flippancy, “If they're going to get me, they're going to get me.” I didn't believe her fatalism. She was a person who wanted to live. And I doubly didn't believe it because her two little girls were often with her at the cabin, and JB was devoted to them way past risking their safety and welfare. I knew then she knew what had happened to her, that she knew she was out of danger, that there would be no more attempts on her life.

From there, Steve Talbot produced an honest film for KQED Television called ‘Who Bombed Judi Bari?’ identifying Mike Sweeney, the ex, as the most likely suspect in the attack on his ex-wife. Judi Bari herself had informed Talbot that she was certain Sweeney had done it, then she denounced Talbot for including Sweeney's long history of violent associations in his film.

Of course in certain credulous circles, namely the millions of screwballs who believe 911 was an inside job, the Building 7 paranoids and on through the catalog of crackpot conspiracy-think, all you have to do is invoke the historically villainous FBI and/or corporations, and/or berserk males and/or Christian fundamentalists and, in this case, you'll eventually win $4.2 million in a successful libel suit against individual members of the Oakland Police Department and the FBI. Which is what happened. (Our former supervisor, Dan Hamburg, is a Building 7 guy. Naturally he thinks the FBI was complicit in the Bari Bombing, which it may well have been but not in the way that Hamburg and his fellow Building 7 intellectuals might understand.)

And now we have a bogus new movie from Cherney and the Bari Cult cynically called ‘Who Bombed Judi Bari?’ 22 years after the honest documentary under the same title. The phony new ‘Who Bombed Judi Bari?’ film appears at the same time as a timely winning lawsuit to get some bombing-related physical evidence back from the feds that the feds have failed to analyze all these years. And “evidence” that Cherney and Company have never demanded in legal actions to examine.

I learned about the left over evidence in the Chronicle, that Cherney and Co. claim they will select an “independent” lab to analyze this stuff. Prediction: None of this will go anywhere. Because an honest assessment is in the mutual interests — financial on the Bari Cult side, professional on the FBI side — not to find who did it. And even the cult brains think it's odd that the Bari family never pressured the feds to solve the case. I don't think that's odd because I think the family also had a pretty clear idea about what happened.

Sure enough, nothing happened.

I've often tried to argue the skeptic's side of the case, and I think I've done pretty well where I've been allowed to present the obvious questions, but the great speakers-of-truth-to-power have gone all out to shut me down, so assiduous are they that reasonable people wonder what they're afraid of. One night at a Berkeley bookstore, one of the Bari-Cherney attorneys, a dim little sad sack named Ben Rosenfeld, was hooted at when he tried to refute the dissenting perspective. The Bari Ghouls seemed to have learned that night that it was a lot safer NEVER to debate the case in any kind of public forum before an impartial audience, hence the useful idiots at places like KZYX, KMUD, KPFA.

It's a huge irony that the Bari Gang won, of all things, a federal libel case based on the denial of their free speech. Of course theirs is the only speech they've ever been interested in defending.

We’re thirty years down the line since that car bomb blew up in Judi Bari’s Subaru, blew up in downtown Oakland at just about noon with Darryl Cherney conveniently in the passenger seat. On KZYX, as at other “movement” venues, no perspective is allowed other than the one that Bari was the victim of villains from the FBI. Or outback woman haters. Or timber corporations. Or deranged Christians. Or? Name your fave culprit.

What really happened? A fancy case of domestic violence, that’s what happened. On the off chance anybody’s interested, many more details of Mendocino County’s grandest swindle can be found at the AVA website,

Bill Verick, Redway, writes: “Your remarks about Judi Bari are very interesting. It confirms most of my own experience with her. She was smart and funny, but also ruthless and narcissistic. Back when my office was in Redway, Judi called me once. At the Garberville Rodeo Days parade, local dumbasses ran a float with Darryl and Judi hanging in effigy. Even though it happened in Humboldt County, Mendo activists were screaming to sue the float builders. Bari called to ask about the prospect. I told her people have a First Amendment right to hang her in effigy and that if she sued them she’d lose and probably have to pay their attorneys fees. Then I asked her if she thought activists should get sued if they hung or burned Charles Hurwitz in effigy. She got it right away and that was the end of that. She thanked me and we spent a little time marveling that Judi’s sister is the New York Times anti-environmental reporter Gina Kolata. I was impressed with how smart, decisive and unsentimental Judi was. She played a deeper and more sophisticated game than she let on or that many of her colleagues wanted to recognize. In a lot of ways Judi reminded of Mac McLeod, the Party organizer who waived the bloody shirt of his murdered comrade to rally strikers at the end of Steinbeck’s great, 'In Dubious Battle’.”


  1. George Hollister April 20, 2020

    We defend Bernie from the Bolshevik label, but he does the opposite with his open expression of admiration for the Soviet Union, and Castro. At best, Bernie accepts as trade offs the inherent and necessary repression the two represent. The Bern has changed his position on many issues, but his love of the Bolsheviks has never wavered.

  2. Craig Stehr April 20, 2020

    Han Chung-li,
    An officer of highest rank,
    Dreamed of an empire of ants
    And cast the seal of office down.
    Straw sandals are light;
    A bramble staff is firm.
    Go laughing with the sun and moon
    To the end of endless life.
    – Yun-k’an tzu

  3. David Gurney April 20, 2020

    Ed. please note:
    I didn’t write the “Wild Geese” adaptation of the Mary Oliver poem. It was written by Adrie Kusserow, as was mentioned in the MCN post. Please correct your attribution. Thanks.

  4. Stephen Rosenthal April 20, 2020

    “ Bernie in the Bolshie-Lenin-communist-socialist context, would be a Menshevik”

    Bernie is none of the above. He’s a fraud – nothing more, nothing less. And an angry one at that.

  5. Lazarus April 20, 2020

    RE: Judi Bari

    Without a doubt, she was an interesting character. When she moved to String Creek I remember hearing some of her neighbors up there were concerned. As you might imagine most if not all who lived in that area were dope growers or involved. In those days a bust was not a slap on the wrist and give the DA a bundle of cash. People went to prison and lost their property. I know of a neighbor who went to her and in no uncertain terms told her that her presence was putting their deal at risk. She allegedly told the guy to get ****ed and to beat it, which he did…

    She was caught lifting some tools from Mendo Mill in Willits. Mendo Mill took the tools away from her and declined to press charges, they were scared of the attention she might bring to them.

    As to who blew her up, the stories in Willits were all over the place, a Fed deal, an angry logger, and her X. The car had supposedly been parked at John’s Place in Willits, there were rumors that’s where the device was put in the car. In those days the vibe was weird in Willits. Tree spiking, sugaring vehicles, sabotaging expensive logging equipment, and then the usual blocking of access to the trees. The cops all knew her on a first-name basis.

    She did raise a daughter during this turbulent time. Raising children is obviously no easy deal for regular folks, let alone with her lifestyle. The daughter was said to have been a straight-A student, and upon graduation received a full-ride scholarship to a major university, no easy deal for a kid of privilege, let alone the daughter of an activist like Ms. Bari.
    RIP Judi Bari
    As always,

    • Bruce Anderson April 20, 2020

      Make that two daughters, Laz, both of them very smart. Post-bombing they lived with the bomber, er, their father, from about ages ten and eight. No one in the Bari family, including Bari’s ultra-connected sister, Gina Kolata of the NYT, ever said a word about the bombing, not so much as a squeak of demand that the case be solved. Which tells us what, class?

      • Lazarus April 20, 2020

        Judi was the bad girl of the family, huh? I knew of several people who were given a monthly penance from a wealthy family to just stay away.

        I never knew anything about the extended family, with the exception of the daughter I mentioned. She was a Willits High grad.

        I’m well aware of your feelings about who the bomber is, but back then…Hell Jim Jones ran wild in this County, he threatened a friend of mine with death when she wrote a truthful piece on what he was up to, and nothing happened. My friend was told to hire security…
        As always,

  6. john sakowicz April 20, 2020

    To the Editor,

    In response to Bruce Anderson’s piece on Judi Bari, Bari’s ghost is alive and well. She may be found at KZYX in the person of Alicia Bales.

    Bales was a protégé of Bari back during Redwood Summer. In fact, it was Bari who gave Bales her so-called tribal name, “Littletree”.

    Bales now holds the number 2 management spot at KZYX. She is the station’s program manager.

    People should know Bales is every bit as ruthless and narcissistic as Bari ever was. Maybe even more so. The way Bales manipulated for total control of the Mendocino Environmental Center (the MEC), then used the MEC to lobby for the $96,000 program manager job at the Mendocino County Climate Action Advisory Committee, is something that should be cited in the DSM-5 and used by clinicians and psychiatrists to diagnose personality disorders.

    Bales didn’t get the job, of course. It was political patronage, pure and simple. Bales’ landlord and would-be suitor, 2nd District Supervisor John McCowen, was outed to the California Fair Political Practices Commission.

    In fact, the job was defunded by the Board of Supervisors.

    But Bales had a Plan B. And that was KZYX.

    Welcome to Judi Bari 2.0. Expect a radical political agenda to everything Bales does at KZYX. And expect a toxic personality to go along with it.

    John Sakowicz, Ukiah

  7. James Marmon April 20, 2020

    Supervisors to discuss hazard pay, face masks for county employees

    “LAKEPORT, Calif. – The Board of Supervisors this week will hold discussions about an update to hazard duty pay for essential workers as well as consider having county employees wear masks due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

    The board will meet virtually beginning at 9 a.m. Tuesday, April 21, in the board chambers on the first floor of the Lake County Courthouse, 255 N. Forbes St., Lakeport.

    The meeting can be watched live on Channel 8 and online at . Accompanying board documents, the agenda and archived board meeting videos also are available at that link.

    Because the meeting will be held virtually, members of the public are asked to submit comments on items to Please note the agenda item number addressed.

    In timed items, at 9:01 a.m. the board will get its weekly COVID-19 update from Public Health Officer Dr. Gary Pace.”

    James Marmon MSW
    Mask Maker

  8. deweydave April 20, 2020

    Building 7? There are none so blind as those who will not see.

  9. James Marmon April 20, 2020


    “In light of the attack from the Invisible Enemy, as well as the need to protect the jobs of our GREAT American Citizens, I will be signing an Executive Order to temporarily suspend immigration into the United States!”

    Donald J. Trump @realDonaldTrump
    31 min. ago

    • Harvey Reading April 21, 2020

      Stupidity personified.

  10. James Marmon April 20, 2020


    The recommendation to wear masks [Update: officially “face coverings” in the order] in public in Mendocino County will become an order, Friday, April 24 at midnight, Public Health Officer Dr. Noemi Doohan told the board of supervisors this morning. The main gist of the new “draft order” is:

    All persons shall wear facial coverings before they enter any indoor facility besides their residence, any enclosed open space, or while outdoors when the person is unable to maintain a six-foot distance from another person at
    all times.

    Additionally, it is recommended that each person engaging in outdoor recreation activity such as walking, hiking, bicycling, running bring a facial covering and wear that facial covering in circumstances where it is difficult to maintain compliance with social distancing requirements, and that they carry the facial covering in a readily accessible and safe location, such as around the person’s neck (if safe) or in a pocket, for such use. Because running or bicycling causes people to more forcefully expel airborne particles, making the usual minimum six fee distance less adequate, runners and cyclists must take steps to avoid exposing others to those particles, which includes the following measures:

    a. wearing a facial covering when possible;
    b. crossing the street when running to avoid sidewalks with pedestrians;
    c. slowing down and moving to the side when unable to leave the sidewalk and nearing other people;
    d. never spitting;
    e. and avoiding running or cycling directly in front of or behind another runner or cyclist who is not a member of the same household or living unit.

    James Marmon
    Mask Maker

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