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MCT: Thursday, April 23, 2020

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MORNING CLOUDS along with patchy fog and drizzle will give way to sunshine and mild temperatures this afternoon. Some coastal fog may linger into Friday morning, otherwise expect warmer temperatures and sunshine inland. A couple of showers may clip northern portions of our area over the weekend and early next week, otherwise high pressure promote mainly dry weather and a continued warming trend. (NWS)

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OVER STRONG OBJECTIONS from County Auditor Lloyd Weer, Former Sheriff Tom Allman, Fort Bragg electrical contractor Mark Myrtle and Ukiah City deputy manager Shannon Riley, seven members of the Measure B committee voted to approve CEO Carmel Angelo’s recommendation that the Supervisors divert $1 million — “a nice round number” Angelo said by way of explanation for the amount — of Measure B services money to “support and expand” existing mental health services Wednesday afternoon. As described by Angelo, the money would go to the Community Foundation of Mendocino first, and then be handed out to existing mental health service providers (i.e., Camille Schrader and her subcontractors) who can apply for the money to the Community Foundation through some as yet undefined process. (An ad hoc committee of some of the yes-voters will be formed to work on the process.) If, by some chance, FEMA were to reimburse any of the $1 million, the reimbursement would go back to the Measure B coffers. The no-voters said the proposal was outside the scope of what the voters approved when they voted for Measure B and with the current economic downturn there’s going to be a hit to the Measure B sales tax revenue which should not be further reduced by a $1 million diversion. But those arguments didn’t sway the Angelo faction of the Measure B committee who thought that handing money over to the existing outfits will somehow help address the general stress and anxiety some members of the community may face these days with the virus and related stressors. How the Supervisors will receive this recommendation is anybody’s guess. But it will be interesting to hear the likely exchange between former Sheriff Tom ‘Measure B’ Allman and the other no-votes vs. CEO Angelo and her mental health services faction when the item appears on an upcoming Board of Supervisors agenda. 

GRABBING a million or so from the Measure B fund is not supportable, although a majority of the Measure B oversight committee somehow thinks it's a swell idea. And routing the diverted Measure B funds, in direct contradiction to what voters thought would be money spent on the specific purpose of in-county sequestration of the mentally ill, through the palsy-walsys of the Community Foundation Fund of Mendocino County, is a pointless subterfuge added to the insult of the diverted million. But now it goes to the Supervisors for a vote where, as always, CEO Angelo's ongoing, no questions asked relationship with Camille Schraeder, will be approved, 4-1, Williams perhaps dissenting.

THE ONGOING root of the prob here is the Schraeders’ management of the $20 annual million they already get from Mendocino County's bamboozled taxpayers. Twenty annual millions is a lot of money for a county with a population of not quite 90,000 people to be handing over to the privatized services of Mr. and Mrs. Schraeder. As we have often asked, what are we getting for our twenty mil? How many people are getting services, and how many people are serving them up? Giving the Schraeders a hurry up additional mil out of designated sales tax money that was not supposed to become a county slush fund, should not be approved, but…

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To shelter-in-place or not to shelter-in-place... that is the question. There has been a lot of talk recently about the wisdom of the shelter-in-place mandate and when it can be lifted. To be sure, from a public health perspective, shelter-in-place has been the one thing that has had the greatest impact on slowing the spread of COVID-19. From the perspective of protecting our health care system from being overwhelmed, it has been essential. However, there are costs involved that are economic, psychological and measured in terms of our civil liberties. 

In thinking about this, it is reasonable to compare COVID-19 with influenza, but make sure we are comparing pandemic to pandemic. Just like there are different strains of coronavirus, there are different strains of influenza. The COVID-19 pandemic is most comparable to the Influenza Pandemic of 1918 (aka the Spanish Flu). It is not comparable to the garden variety influenza that we experience each year. COVID is much more easily spread than the flu. The 1918 flu was roughly 2 times more contagious than regular flu, while COVID is roughly 5 times more contagious than regular flu. That higher degree of contagion means that the virus is spread rapidly through the population and once it gets going the number of cases will double every two days. The incubation time of all three is about the same 2-4 days on average. The 1918 Influenza Pandemic had an overall fatality rate of about 2% with the majority of deaths being in the 20-40 year old age group. Worldwide, this led to about 50 million deaths of which approximately 675,000 were in the US. COVID has a fatality rate of about 4%. While this number may be an overestimate, since we don’t know exactly how many people have been infected, we can judge that it is at least as serious as the 1918 pandemic. The majority of deaths with COVID are over age 65 comprising almost 80% of all deaths. 

The key to controlling spread of an infectious disease like this is to isolate the people who are infected until they get over the illness and are no longer contagious. Under normal conditions, this involves testing to determine who has it followed by contact tracing as a means of determining who may have caught it. However, in this case, that could not be done because when it started spreading in the US, we did not have an effective test. By the time someone presents sick, they had already spread it to many others. So the epidemic took off and the only way to control it at that point was to essentially isolate everyone. Hence, the shelter-in-place requirement. Stanford has produced an excellent epidemiological model for the effects of shelter-in-place versus no shelter-in-place for this disease. The website allows you to use this model to look at any county in the US. If you go to Mendocino, you will see that without shelter in place we would have about 800 patients requiring admission by mid-May. We only have 140 hospital beds in our county. Of those, 100-200 would be here at Mendocino Coast Hospital with our 25 beds. We would have been completely and utterly overwhelmed. In such a situation, we would be forced to use mass casualty protocols to triage people into those that would be treated and those that would be simply made comfortable. Fortunately, with shelter-in-place, that is stretched out over the months to come such that we won’t have more than about 10 patients or so at any one time. By keeping hospitals from being overwhelmed, we will be able to provide better care and that will translate into lives saved. 

When we consider the economic impact of the pandemic, remember that economy would be severely affected from the large number of deaths and the disruption caused by panic regardless of shelter-in-place. Things certainly would not be “business as usual” while hundreds, if not thousands, of people are dying all around. If we look at the New York / New Jersey experience where this took off before such measures could be put into place, they were having up to a thousand deaths in one day at one point in the two states combined. The dead are being buried in mass graves, the first time that has happened in the US since the Civil War. Clearly, such a situation is going to have a dramatic impact on the economy even without shelter-in-place. It is not a good situation either way. However, I think it is wrong to believe that the economy would not be dramatically affected if we simply let the epidemic run its course and killing perhaps millions of Americans in the process. 

Another objection to the shelter-in-place directive is the loss of civil liberties. This is a valid concern as we all saw how quickly some of our liberties were eroded following 9-11. Fear makes us vulnerable and we may be willing to give up freedoms for a sense of safety. It does seem an odd paradox, though, that people are willing to die to protect freedoms, but not willing to temporarily give up some freedoms to live. 

Whichever way you look at shelter-in-place, it has helped buy hospitals and health care workers across the country some much needed time to prepare for what lies ahead. This extra time could mean getting more protective equipment so that when we potentially put our lives on the line to take care of COVID patients, we can protect ourselves. Also, by preventing an overwhelming of hospitals, it means that we will be able to give each person admitted with COVID the best chance at survival. And when we do roll back on the shelter-in-place directives, if it is done in a thoughtful manner, we can avoid losing those gains that we have achieved. If we just drop shelter-in-place in response to an angry backlash, then we will likely be inviting the very surge in cases that we have been trying to avoid. It seems to me that in the end it comes down to two scenarios. One with shelter-in-place in which we impact our economy, but save more lives. The other in which we do not shelter-in-place and we still have a damaged economy, but a horrific loss of life. 

— William Miller, MD, hospital Chief of Staff

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Making the right decisions for today and for the future. If you have monitored recent City Council meetings, you know that the City is trying to measure the impact of COVID-19 and the world-wide economic shut-down on our local economy. The City depends on local businesses, especially our hotels, retail stores, restaurants, bars, gas stations, and local attractions to collect the City taxes added to the businesses’ sales. This means that like many of our businesses, the City is dependent on tourism. Tourist-based economies have been hit hard by this shutdown. The worldwide hotel industry is down 90%. 

The City’s General Fund which pays for most of our basic City services, including Police, the costs of our Volunteer Fire Department, Parks and Trail Maintenance, Community Development, Code Enforcement, Engineering, Economic Development, Visit Fort Bragg, the Noyo Center and Athletic Fields contributions, and City Administration relies on sales tax and Transient Occupancy Tax (TOT). These two sources make up approximately 47% of the City’s General Fund budget. With nearly all of the City’s 900 plus hotel rooms empty, I have estimated that TOT collections may be down 90%. The tourists that visit Fort Bragg and fill those rooms account for around 40% of the City’s total sales tax collections. Regional residents account for about 33% with the remaining 27% coming from Fort Bragg City residents. Add to this impact the number of businesses which are closed or severely limited in their ability to transact businesses. And finally, we have to consider the sheer number of employees who are no longer working or who are working fewer hours and buying what they need or just what they can afford. 

With the estimated decreases in City fees and other taxes, the City’s General Fund is likely spending $425k more a month than it will bring in. This means that in the five weeks since March 18, when the County’s Shelter-in-Place Order was mandated, the City has already used up the $490k Recession Reserve created by City Council last year – plus more. I don’t expect the Governor or the County Health Official to give the full green light to our local tourist economy before late summer. This means that without cutting staff and services, we will likely continue to eat up reserves in the months to come. In total, the City’s General Fund had $3.14 Million in reserve as of July 1, 2019. I estimate we have $2.6 Million now. 

By the end of May, if my estimates are even close to accurate, this could be down to $2 Million and by the end of June at $1.5 Million. This means City reserves built up over many years may be reduced by half in just three and a half months, well before we expect to start an economic recovery. I have never experienced anything like this in my life. Trying to model the impact of the global shutdown on our local economy is challenging. It is also serious. For the City, it means balancing the ability to continue to provide services, preparing to support our community and businesses when we do open back up, against difficult staff reductions now. My projections are likely off by some factor. My hope is that I have been too pessimistic but my fear is that I have not been sufficiently pessimistic. 

The City’s most recent General Fund Financial Projection is available for viewing at, under Agendas & Meetings, Special City Council Meeting on April 20, 2020. 

— Tabatha Miller, Fort Bragg City Manager

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Violent Gang Members Heading Out Of Town On The Bus To San Quentin … When CDCR Resumes Accepting Sentenced Inmates. 

Two gang defendants convicted of trying to randomly shoot a man that neither knew and neither had ever seen before were sentenced to state prison this morning in the Mendocino County Superior Court.

From a brief glance at the victim as the victim drove in the opposite direction past them towards Boonville, the two defendant mistakenly came to a quick conclusion that the victim was associated with a rival gang and needed to be pursued.

Defendant Alfredo Asher Knight, age 18, of Redwood Valley, stands convicted by plea of attempted murder in the second degree, a felony. He also admitted the truth of two sentencing enhancements, the first being that that he was personally used a firearm in the commission of the attempted murder. 

The second sentencing enhancement that defendant Knight admitted was that he committed the attempted murder for the benefit of a criminal street gang.

Defendant Knight, the gunman, was sentenced to 300 months (25 years) in the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. 

Because he stands convicted of a violent crime, any credits defendant Knight may attempt to earn in prison towards early release shall be limited to no more than 15 percent of his overall sentence, meaning no more than three years, 9 months. This conviction also constitutes a Strike offense for future use, within the meaning of the modified Three Strikes law.

Stillday, Knight

Co-defendant Marshall Leland Stillday, age 20, of Hopland, also stands convicted by plea of attempted murder in the second degree, a felony. Defendant Stillday admitted the truth of the same sentencing enhancement that he also participated in the attempted murder for the benefit of a criminal street gang.

Defendant Stillday, the driver, was sentenced to 180 months (15 years) in the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. 

Because his conviction is also violent, any credits defendant Stillday may attempt to earn in prison towards early release shall also be limited to no more than 15 percent of his overall sentence, meaning no more than two years, 3 months. This conviction also constitutes a Strike offense for future use, within the meaning of the modified Three Strikes law.

According to the probation department’s investigation, Stillday and Knight claim to be associated with local subsets of the Norteño criminal street gang – a local criminal gang subset known as ATC, an acronym for Aztec Tribal Cholos, and a local criminal gang subset known as UNLV, an acronym for “Us Northerners Love Violence.”

After being informed today that each defendant had received the expected state prison sentences, the victim sent thanks to the prosecutor, and related that he now can live his life in peace knowing that these two men – strangers to him that night and even now – will not be a threat to him and other folks minding their own business and, as in this case, just trying to get home.

As background, the underlying victim in this case was driving home to Boonville on August 7th of 2019 from a friend’s house in the Poleeko area. While driving towards Boonville, other cars were also driving west in the direction of the coast. One of vehicles that happened to be driving westbound was a silver Mustang. 

It was later determined that the Mustang was being driven by defendant Stillday. According to later statements, defendant Knight, the front passenger in the Mustang, told Stillday -- as the victim’s vehicle had passed them heading in the opposite direction -- “That’s that Boonville blue-ragger,” a derogatory name for a member of a rival Sueño (Southerner) criminal street gang. 

With that, defendant Stillday made a quick u-turn and began following the victim’s car into and through Boonville. Noticing that a Mustang now seemed to be following him, the victim parked and went into the Pic-N-Pay in Boonville as he didn’t want the suspicious car to follow him to his home. 

After waiting a little bit, the victim again tried driving home, but the suspicious Mustang was still lurking nearby. Uncertain what to do, the victim drove his vehicle into the well-lit fairgrounds parking lot. For protection, he pulled up under a street light in the center of the parking lot, and waited for whoever was following him to stop and leave the area. 

Instead, the occupants of the Mustang continued their hunt, also driving into the fairgrounds parking lot. They stopped for a moment, but then the Mustang began to creep forward slowly towards victim’s vehicle. 

Suddenly, driver Stillday sped up and raced towards where the victim had parked under the light. As the Mustang got quite close to the victim’s vehicle — about five feet from victim’s driver’s side door -- defendant Knight fired at the victim, a gunshot that flew past within inches of the victim’s head, exiting through the passenger-side rear window of the victim’s car. 

The occupants of the Mustang then sped away on 128 into the night.

Law enforcement later located a spent .45 caliber shell casing near the location where the victim said the Mustang’s passenger had fired at him. 

A focused investigation by the law enforcement members of the Sheriff’s Office eventually lead to the arrest of these two defendants.

The law enforcement agencies that identified these men and gathered the underlying evidence to support the prosecution and conviction of each were the California Highway Patrol, the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office, as the primary investigating agency, the Fort Bragg Police Department, and the District Attorney’s own investigators.

The attorney who has been personally handling the prosecution of these two defendants is Assistant District Attorney Dale P. Trigg.

Mendocino County Superior Court Judge Keith Faulder previously accepted the plea and sentence bargains as negotiated by ADA Trigg, and today imposed the stipulated state prison sentences as had also been negotiated.

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LIKE EVERYONE ELSE, I've had my share of bad colds, some of which were probably a flu virus. I've fought them off with liberal shots of whiskey and fruit juice chasers with a dose or two of Theraflu. The whiskey cure seems to be contra-indicated for this corona thing and, at my advanced age, if I got it I suppose I'd have to check in at the Adventist Kill Factory in Ukiah. I would much prefer Coast Hospital where patients are spared diet lectures and the other advice the Adventists pass out via the intercom when you're trapped with them. Other than age, I don't "present" the rest of risk factors that carry off the poor souls struck down by this virus, almost all of whom are aged and sick. Everyone else beats it. But its ramifications have been terrible, and much trouble lies ahead, and will lie there for a long time.

GOVERNOR NEWSOM said to stay inside, wear masks when you're outside and stay away from other people in so far as it's possible. And, of course wash your hands and stay out of your nose. He said restrictions can't be lifted just yet pending expansion of testing. Tests, he said, will inform him and the virologists which areas of the state can come out of hiding. He said he's fully aware of the economic damage being done with the shut down order but to lift it too soon risks wider catastrophe.

NEWSOM said Trump promised to provide California with the required specimen swabs for coronavirus testing — 100,000 this week, 250,000 next week, with six new testing sites to become operational soon with an ultimate testing capacity of 1.5 million serological tests at 130 facilities throughout the state.

CURRENTLY, there's only a statewide ability to do 14,500 tests per day among all public and private medical labs. The Newsom administration's target is for 25,000 tests per day by the end of April and up to 80,000 daily tests in the near future.

SODDEN THOUGHT: With Trump and the fascist media stirring up the remedial readers, and the Democrats again putting up the only person who could lose to him in November… What if Biden does beat him and, as would be likely, the orange monster doesn't go gracefully, in which case we would hope the military and our police forces would prove loyal to democratic principles and crush the whole disgraceful mob of them.

IN OTHER NEWS from the plague front, Southern demonstrators for lifting sensible covid precautions are being called the Flu Klux Klan, which is unfair but got a laugh outta me.

THE BANKS have so far made a cool $10 billion processing emergency bailout money, most of which have gone to large businesses.

DISNEY laid off 100,000 people while slathering executives and shareholders with $1.5 billion in bonuses and dividends. 

THERE are "growing concerns" about the national food supply caused by a rash of food processing plant closures whose workers have tested positive for the virus but have labored on unprotected.

THAT GREAT PATRIOT, Mitch McConnell, said today (Wednesday) he would oppose any bailout of pension funds. 

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It appears as if the runner trips over the hill for food, etc are slowing down. I have thought long and hard about “needing” to go to Ukiah. I somehow have managed to have all of my food, etc. needs met here in BV. A few purchases via Amazon but that’s all. Lemons seems to have a bit of just about everything as does Burt and the AV market. I do believe from my various readings and articles from CDC that we are going to be in this for a long time. 

In order to support our local businesses why can’t folks just shop in town? Burt can and will order just about anything anyone wants. 

He has for me and delivered my purchases to the house. Lauren’s needs your business and I have done my best to get to-go food from her. 

So we don’t get a “bulk bargain” at local markets but they are here for us and are doing a lot to keep everyone safe. Rossi’s is on top of it as is the post office. The Farm Supply are totally compliant with the glove and mask rules and do their utmost to make your shopping as safe as possible. 

Stay home, lay low and make the most of your life. It is a gift.

Susan Bridge-Mount, Boonville

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by Bob Dempel

Canyon Road is just North of Geyserville. I had been contacted by an owner of a small older vineyard to inspect the vines for disease or insects. It turned out to be a typical older vineyard with what I suspect was a 1900’s house built upwards from the vines. As a protocol I have used for years I always check with the occupant of the house before I go snooping around the vines, especially when the house is occupied by a tenant.

A young man answered the door and we briefly introduced each other. From the elevated position of the house I could see a green circle in the middle of one of the blocks of vines. I assured him I would not wonder into that portion of the property. While talking I noticed an extraordinary wood stove, shiny fittings, brass doors. Like no other wood stove, I had ever seen. The young man then showed me a unique way of scraping the ash out of the stove into a container in the front of the stove. He made this stove by hand and it showed. I excused myself and inspected the vines and reported to the owner my findings.

I did not think about the stove for many years until I read an article in the Press Democrat about a shooting on Canyon Road in Geyserville. It seemed that two persons attempted to help themselves to a portion of Pot that was being grown in the middle of a vineyard. The owner saw the intruders and a gun fight followed. No names were used but I could put it all together. I saw no follow up article and again forgot about it for years

I built a tasting room sometime later in Hopland for McDowell Valley Winery. In the tasting room there was a corner space for a stove. After McDowell occupied the building I stopped by one day and right there in the corner was one of Mr. Canyon Roads shiny wood stoves. I asked the owner Bill Crawford about the stove and yes, he had purchased the stove from Mr. Canyon Road. 

Again, years went by and no thought was given to the unique stove. One day I was at the sheriff’s office in Ukiah. Right there in the parking lot was a unique pickup parked. The side racks were spotless and carved into the polished wood was an ad for wood stoves. By nature, I am curious if not a little nosey. I waited and sure enough the driver of the pickup appeared. I was able to say hello and that we had meet several years ago on Canyon Road. We traded small talk for a while and then I asked hm about the incident reported in the Press Democrat. He said, Well Bob, hear is the way it happened.

From the house I saw some movement in my pot patch. I grabbed my rifle and went down the stairs. As I got closer one of the robbers was attempting to raise his rifle towards me. He was having trouble raising it due to getting tangled up in the pot vines. I raised my rifle first and shot. I then proceeded with caution to the pot patch. Sure, enough I had hit the robber. He was not hit bad and I drug him back to the house and propped him up against a side of the house. He was conscious and we exchanged a few harsh words. I looked in the vineyard for a second robber and about that time I heard a car start down by the road. I spent a short time making sure that the second robber was gone. I then went back to the house to attend to the first robber. When I got to the house the first robber was dead, I panicked. I didn’t know just what to do so I put his body in the back of my pickup. I drove around for several days with the body and then to the old county dump above Cloverdale and dumped the body out I then came back to my home on Canyon Road. A short time later I was visited by a Deputy Sheriff. A person had gone into the Sheriff’s office and filed a report of a shooting on Canyon Road. And the report named me as the shooter. The Deputy took me to the Sheriff’s office for an extensive interview. I gave them my side of the incident. I was kept at the sheriff’s office for some time and released. That is how the article appeared in the Press Democrat. I was never arrested or charged. I never heard again from the sheriff or the District Attorney. I just went back to building beautiful wood stoves.

I think about the stove that McDowell Winery bought. They went out of business a few years later and we sold the building in Hopland to some people that converted it to a restaurant. 

I never saw the stove again. 

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Looks like we dodged a coronavirus bullet, no thanks to irresponsible state prison officials who released a quarantining inmate to the streets of Stanislaus County.

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ON TUESDAY, MendocinoSportsPlus posted about a couple refused lodging at the Beachcomber Hotel. Here is what the Fort Bragg Police log said of the incident:

”8:02 AM - Misc Crime, 1111 North Main St, reports subjects were refused a room as they stated they were traveling thru from Seattle. When refused they returned with recording equipment demanding to record r/p for refusing to rent. Subjects confronting hotels & law enforcement claiming covid-19 shut down is illegal. Left upon request. NFA (No further action).”

It's interesting to note, Seattle is the county seat of King County in Washington - there have been 5,360 confirmed cases of Coronavirus there and 373 deaths.

Just this morning this was posted by KIRO TV station 7: "Gov. Jay Inslee said the state will not be able to lift many of the stay-at-home restrictions implemented to fight the coronavirus by May 4, the date through which the current directive is currently in place."

So what were these clowns doing down here? Stay HOME!

MSP post Tuesday:

Unwanted 'Filming' At Fort Bragg Motel — The scanner said (8:04 am) two people tried to rent a room at the Beachcomber Motel, 1111 North Main St, Fort Bragg. They were denied - then went out and got a video camera and started to film staff. They refused to stop filming & leave. Law enforcement is on its way.

Update — The subjects claimed they were self-proclaimed "traveling free press" who wanted to confront law enforcement over the Shelter In Place order that they say is illegal.

(via MendocinoSportsPlus)

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Oh, they talk about "the payoff." 

The payoff is various, according to these crazy people, and there are so many of them. One is simple (befitting the simple minds of the Trumpsters): just like Dear Leader said, it's just a treasonous conspiracy to ruin the economy to make Trump lose the election. I see so many comments to that effect — mostly nobody ever asks these idiots if the gov'ts of Italy and UK and South Korea and China and the rest of the world where COVID has hit hard are in on the conspiracy, and willing to sacrifice their citizens for the evil Demo-RATS, who apparently, also, have no businesses or jobs of their own to worry about as they're on George Soros' payroll. 

To many of these people, I believe, the rest of the world is not quite real in the best of times, and they're ready to ascribe anything to "Fake News." But mostly, I expect, they just don't think through their conspiracies.

HOWEVER, it's not just the Trumpsters. Our own former county supervisor Hal Wagenet posted on Facebook, with the words, "Finally the TRUTH....." accompanying it, a video by an insane anti-vaccine charlatan, osteopath Rashid Buttar. 

The video picks up on the idea you may or may not have seen going around that the COVID-19 shutdowns are a false flag operation designed to allow Bill Gates' dream to come true: decorating every human being with forced vaccinations and tracking microchips. And somehow the 5G cell towers are involved in COVID, too. 

Here's the link to Hal's Facebook post. He did get some pushback about it.

And here's a link to a Media Matters debunking of the same video:

But if you really want to give yourself a headache, check out the crazies on Willits Weekly's Facebook post Monday (see link below) about how the county health officer told BOS she was planning to make the mask order mandatory as of April 24 - OMG, I mean just OMG. It's astonishing. And one of the worst things is that nobody, I mean nobody ever actually reads the actual post, let alone the original material accompanying it, as evidenced by the dozens of repeated questions that are answered in the post or original material… I think the idea that we have a "literate" country is, shall we say, less robust, than some of us hoped.

Excerpts from the Willits Weekly’s facebook posts:

Comment #1: Like writing any if those people would do any good. They are all a active like Nazi tyrants just grabbing our Wright's with no consequences to them . This is so illegal wonder. [entire comment sic]

Comment #2: I have never had anyone take or even want my Wright's. If you want some, just ask. Now if you are talking about our Constitutional rights, that's a different story. I have the right to go to a destination without the possiblity I could lose my life because some lunatic refused to wear a. mask because it violated what? His right to live? Think about it.

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CATCH OF THE DAY, April 20, 2020

Cotton, Elliott, Hand

MICHELLE COTTON, Willits. Protective order violation, evasion.

ALICIA ELLIOTT, Covelo. Controlled substance, interfering with police communications, protective order violation, probation revocation.

HEATHER HAND, Ukiah. Controlled substance while armed with loaded firearm, possess-purchase controlled substance/narcotics for sale, stolen property, conspiracy.

Siddons, Way, Woodburn, Yates

MARIYA SIDDONS, Ukiah. Domestic battery, assault with deadly weapon not a gun, probation revocation.

SHAUN WAY, Potter Valley. Controlled substance while armed with loaded firearm, possess-purchase controlled substance/narcotics for sale, stolen property, harboring wanted felon, conspiracy.

SEAN WOODBURN, Mendocino. Domestic battery.

GEORGINA YATES, Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-alcohol.

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Today is QEII’s birthday. Ninety-four! Nice going, Liz! Longest reign in history!

“The New Yorker” ran a piece on her, not too long ago. The writer spent rare time with her, at the hair dresser’s, say, and at other times the public doesn’t see. There is, with any royal person, moments of straight-up ordinariness. She furnished a lot of those. The article concluded that, at the end of a long close-up encounter, she was “a quirky little person.”

Who wouldn’t be? I can think of nothing—zip—that she has ever said worth remembering. Not once. No trace of wit, of intellectual curiosity, of philosophy, of—I’m sorry—notable intelligence. I’ve thought, for most of my life, that it would be hard as hell to find someone less relevant, except as a beloved British institution, than the king or queen of England since Victoria.

As the covid mess unscrolls, Klieg-lit by the helplessness of the U.S. government, the lapses in common sense and the bell curve of human intelligence, are glaring in their starkness. Too bad it’s not IQ connected, killing the stupid at a higher rate. (Actually it sort’ve is. You see the stupid in videos and stills, grouping snugly together in stupid places, like Florida beaches in spring, the American South and vacant-minded west. Accelerated natural selection is at work here.)

The constant grind of reality versus fantasy keeps refining our close-up look at the comparative smartness and mindfulness of us Merkins. We’re getting data that no survey, census or study would give on the national head space. They talk about flattening curves! Imagine if we cold march all our dumbies off to the Soylent-Green Machine. It would flatten the U.S. IQ bell curve to the point that we’d be as smart as Asians or Germans or lots and lots of people not coldly and deliberately stupified by unwritten American capitalist theory and practice (don’t teach your masses too much).

Then there are the intelligent who cozy up to the Right “because the pay is better on that side.” I watched Bill Krystol, former high government official, prominent neoconservative intellectual. Krystol reminds me of William F. Buckley, Jr., who reminded me of the Devil. These are people who have wit enough to fully grasp the consequences of their political and economic stances on the common people, routinely including death, quick and slow. I value the word “evil,” because evil exists. When smart people realize their acts cause misery and death, they are evil, and I, alone in my room, mutter, “Eat shit and die!” I need not be polite and civil, alone.

Still, we’re getting a precise count of the wrong-headed in the United States. They’re easy to spot, making no concession to their own or their neighbor’s wellness or wellbeing, loud mouths uncovered.

FINALLY, THIS: I was a paratrooper, a Screaming Eagle, a member of the storied 101st Airborne Division. God, I was daring! I was brave, daring, motivated, young, trained and armed.

But I was not called to war. I served during a brief interlude in our endless procession of wars. I did not earn the coveted Combat Infantry Badge. The 101st was called to protect then-VP Richard Nixon from a justly angry mob in Caracas, Venezuela in 1958. My battalion was not sent to that. A sister battalion went. (No C.I.B. for that action.)

We were summoned to Lebanon that same year. Christians and Muslims were killing each other again. (Which of these majestic faiths is the religion of peace? I keep forgetting.) Egypt and others were watching, with gleams in their eyes. (Our “police force” included marines and troopers from a different 101st battalion from mine, again.) No C.I.B.’s there, either.

I wasn’t called to Little Rock, either. Arkansas Governor Orval Faubus defied the federal order to integrate Central High School in Little Rock. There were nine black kids who wanted to go to school. Faubus called in the Arkansas National Guard to stop them, and activists in Little Rock crowded together to help keep those damn kids from polluting the white kids. So President Eisenhower sent us. Again, they called up a different battalion, one I had belonged to but transferred out of. Goddamn it! There was a moment I missed that pains me still.

They teach you different ways to use a rifle—you can shoot, use the bayonet or slam the butt against somebody. That guard walking the enemy’s ammo dump in the middle of a frigid night can be silenced without shooting, they trained us, by using a garrote or, in a pinch, by violently driving your rifle butt into his backbone (after enlisting the required stealth and speed). They said the shock of a suddenly broken spine drops you silently. 

I wouldn’t know. I only did that in training, but for that eventuality and for crowd control, I knew the “vertical butt stroke.” Holding your rifle diagonally across your body, in a posture universally understood to mean “stop,” in the event that somebody gets too close anyway, you sharply bring up your bottom hand, the right hand that grips the stock, you bring it abruptly up and hit your nuisance in the face, neck or chin. That’s a vertical butt stroke.

Now it happened that one young Arkansas man was not prepared to get all obedient to a bunch of boys in soldier suits, and he grabbed for a trooper’s rifle. The kid didn’t even have to think about it. The butt of his M1 just seemed to come up on its own, and the jaw of the protestor just happened to get in the way, and the protestor went down as if persuaded by Muhammed Ali. I wasn’t there. Again. Too bad. The rifle weighed ten pounds. When you’re hit with it, you tend to stay hit. I would have loved to see that moment, loved more to be on the hitter side, holding the rifle, but, alas…

So I didn’t see war in Lebanon, mobs in Venezuela or even that high-school dust-up in September, 1957. I did get to wear my dress uniform at the commencement prom of an all-girls high school in Baltimore, my boots with inspection spit-shine, brass agleam and trouser & tunic creases like knife edges. I like dancing. They don’t have a badge for dancing, far as I know.

Thus was my Cold-War heroism, but this page-long digression sets me up to say what I wanted to say when I wrote “FINALLY.”

Except at the live-fire exercise near the end of infantry training, I never had to duck a bullet during my time, but I got Hazardous Duty Pay for jumping out of airplanes. That upped my army pay from $100 a month to $155.00. Hazardous duty!

Now we’re standing up and holding congratulatory signs for doctors, nurses, ambo drivers, first responders of all kinds, grocery-store clerks and delivery-truck drivers—you name it, and it’s all right and proper. So, HOW ABOUT HAZARDOUS-DUTY PAY? Instead of extending our collective hand in a six-foot-away handshake, why in hell don’t we do something a little more substantial for the people who are risking their lives while most of us huddle in shelter? Give them hazardous-duty pay and strike an honor-medal to pin on their protective equipment. Think Trump might think of that?

Whatever you think, settle in for the long haul. We’ll be years getting through this, and it will come back, with totally unpredictable intensity an unpredictable number of times.

— Mitch Clogg

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Dear AVA,

As a lifelong healthcare worker, I would like to share an entire list of symptomatology repeated to me by folks who think they’ve survived Coronavirus, ...including me. Rarely have I heard doctors and health officials on the radio, describe the first two symptoms*.

• Conjunctivitis followed by

• Curious loss of sense of taste/smell when eating, accompanied soon after by sore throat.

• Fever, chills (Slept 1 week, drank lots of water every time I awoke),...accompanied by sore aching muscles/bones all over body.

• Productive lung cough (Not so much a head cold or sinus infection).

• Wheezing, rattling chest noises, shortness of breath on exertion.

• Productive cough to clear bronchial airway remained after worst symptoms had abated. (For which I requested/received antibiotics, licking it almost immediately, w/in 24-36 hrs. My Doc told me that antibiotics would only help if it was bacterial. However, the use of antibiotics soon abated the airway problem altogether. Mostly, I reserve antibiotics for tick bites!)

Lastly, laryngitis lasting about a week.

Mostly in that order, it lasted two months from beginning to end. There was no testing available to me (Jan-Feb 2020). What I do know is that fluids, lots of rest, sitting with feet up with torso tilted upright to sleep when possible, and acupuncture, gave me relief. I spent time in nature, and with my horse, weeding out an abandoned garden-full of thistle, which my horse fortunately considers a delicacy he’s just gotta have. I turned him loose, and watched him eat.

Yesterday I read that the sun kills the virus. (My Minnesota Swede cousins were right to say, ‘get a lot of fresh air to remain healthy!’) But authorities tell everyone to shelter in place, which is inside for many folks. I kept moving, (and away from humans!), went outside to breathe fresh air whenever possible, motilated as a bi-ped when not on the equine quadra-ped, and got flat intermittently throughout the day; the barometer being, fluid retention in my usually boney feet. 

I enjoyed the solitude of catching up on at least a dozen books I’ve bought or borrowed from Dawn Ballentine’s full-service Hedgehog Books at Boxcar Depot in Boonville, and am sorting through old essays I’ve written and collected, some of which were published in the AVA. Without a job… employment… there is no time. No schedule. Less stress in a strange sort of way – even without money! I often remember Author and Shamanism historian, Michael Harner, who once told me, “Time is a construct created by man purely for the measurement of making money.” Without a job and income, there is now time to finish old projects: Like labeling and sorting, downloading and printing pictures from all my phone/computer-type appliances. Weeding and planting a garden, cleaning closets, saving a leaning 100-year old barn-wood shed, stacking firewood, planting drought resistant plants, burn piles, and it turns out my horse is good at learning tricks.

I would like to point out two particularly kind, generous acts of community I experienced during Pandemic 2020 and thank these kind locals: 

Yesterday, a bunch of cars lined 128 in front of Methodist Church. Sign said, “Food Bank 3-6”. I was looking for regular food bank volunteer, Buffy, so I followed their handy circular drive-up. There were about a dozen volunteers in face masks standing back in a clutch, like a wedding party, on the church steps. One clip-boarded volunteer greeter with a page-full of names at the car window. Boxes of food at bottom of steps, ready to go. No Buffy; but, boy, were they organized! Warmed my heart.

And, Sweet Sharon Shapiro gifted April rent to renters at Boxcar Depot. Thank you, Sharon! 

We have a really kind community here in Boonville. So lucky, we are, to know what that is. 

Here’s hoping May Day doesn’t turn into just that for you! Like Queen Liz says, “Until we meet again!”. 


AbraKaDebra Bodywork

Boonville’s Boxcar Boardwalk

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ONCE THE RULING ELITES have determined that the danger of collapse and with it the loss of their real estate and securities assets has passed, they will order their pet Congressmen to allow expanded unemployment benefits to lapse. Those who are out of work will again try to make do with $347 a week, taxable. When they fail, which is inevitable, the jobless will be slammed with months of back rent and mortgages, plus interest and late fees, plus all the other bills that had been deferred yet unforgiven by landlords, telecoms and other owner-class types during the COVID-19 lockdown. Homelessness and poverty will skyrocket.

Like before.

Fear not. Factories will go back to cranking out Yobama action figures, mint-flavored condoms and Mercedes SUVs that retail for $220,000 while getting 12 miles a gallon. Choked highways will slow to a crawl. Skylines will plunge back under a sea of haze.

Coyotes and mountain lions will scamper back into the mountains. The birds will fly away again.

No one will check on grandma or grandpa.

There won’t be any need. 

(Ted Rall)

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By Michelle Hutchins, County Superintendent of Schools

In the wake of Covid-19, many teachers are balancing the need to care for their own children while keeping their students engaged in academics, and parents who are asked to telecommute are juggling their children’s needs with their family’s economic realities. Students, meanwhile, are trying to adjust to a new landscape full of uncertainty. 

This kind of disruption to our daily routines is rare, and many of us have understandably responded by complaining about all the unwelcome restrictions and limitations. But what if we concentrated on the opportunity, instead? What if we stopped focusing on the things we cannot control and started focusing on how to do things differently? I know this isn’t easy, but I certainly think it’s worthwhile. Although it’s far better for most students to be in a classroom with their peers, there’s a lot they can learn and experience during distance learning.

To help parents inspire, entertain, and engage their children in learning, my colleagues and I at the Mendocino County Office of Education (MCOE) have hand-picked educational resources to meet the needs of children of all ages and capacities who live in all sorts of family situations. We’ve intentionally chosen resources that support the coursework students have already received from school, not to replace it. 

When students experience hard times, they can often feel better by working through unfamiliar feelings by expressing themselves and by exploring their own voice in the world, be that through journaling, art, music, poetry, or other means. And having a little extra time on their hands can afford the opportunity to extend their formal learning with new and interesting skills. 

On our MCOE website, we’ve uploaded links to fun, engaging activities that cover a range of educational topics: preschool, English language arts, history/social science, mathematics, science, social-emotional learning, games, physical education, and other resource links. Although you’ll need internet access to view the resources, not all the activities require connectivity. View the resources by visiting

In addition to the activities on our website, here are some tips to manage the educational and emotional challenges of home study during times like these. 

Keep Routines in Place & Create a Daily Plan

One of the best ways to reduce children’s stress is to maintain familiar routines. Create consistent wake-up, mealtime, and bedtime routines. Then start each morning by sharing the day’s plan, so children know what to expect. 

Create a schedule that incorporates both work and relaxation time in accordance with your child’s developmental age and stage, including academics, non-screen creative time, exercise, snacks/meals, outdoor time, chores, free time, and more. 

Include Exercise in the Mix

One of the best ways to reduce stress is to MOVE. Get kids up and active. Walk around the block or race them to a visible landmark. Do an indoor scavenger hunt if the weather is poor. It’s hard to overstate the importance of exercise during a time like this.

Try New Things or Go Back to Old Favorites

Being at home together allows you to try new things and go back to old favorites. Bake cookies together. Do puzzles. Play board games or cards. Find the Legos. For ideas, visit and scroll to the bottom of the page under RESOURCES FOR SCHOOLS, FAMILIES AND THE COMMUNITY and click on Chatter Pack: A list of free, online boredom-busting resources. 

Connect with Friends and Family

This is also a great time to connect with friends and extended family. Schedule a time for children to talk to their grandparents or an elderly neighbor about the best thing that happened to them that day or what they’re looking forward to tomorrow. Have them write a letter.

Manage Your Own Anxiety

How we manage our own anxiety has a big impact on our children. Children take their cues from us, and they are perceptive enough to notice body language and other non-verbal communication. Depending on the age and needs of your children, keep your adult concerns private and appropriately monitor or limit your children’s access to newscasts and social media. If you’re upset, take a break. It’s best to tell your children the truth, but not to overshare.

Accentuate the Positive & Be Patient and Kind

During difficult times, the human capacity for kindness and compassion is often on display in extraordinary ways. Share examples with your children when you see them, and brainstorm with them about ways they can be helpful and kind.

Remember, most folks are doing the best they can under difficult conditions. Try to be patient with yourself, your children, your partner, your colleagues, and your children’s teachers. Practicing gratitude and helping your children practice gratitude is a great way to reduce stress and bring joy into your life. Whether we like it or not, our actions serve as a model for our children. Let’s model the behavior we want them to use. 

At the end of it all, we’re in this together. Let’s support one another.

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Leap Year 2020, during the Pandemic, I found a place for a Victory Garden w/room for my horse, too. After weeding, I fed him, and jumped back in the car, preparing to leave for the day. As I gripped the ignition, I thought, "Where must I be going on time today?" No work, what with the pandemic! Why not take a mid-day nap while the horse eats? Sun's coming out, Zzz ...warm car relaxing, Spring day birds tweetin', hummers hang humming, (I tend to think in Haikus when sleepy.) ...Zzzz I'd go riding, but reflexes not so sparky today...Zzzzz And out I went, until Ernie Pardini found me asleep in my car, loudly snoring. 

Nature is a great equalizer. No matter how disregardful and damaging an act man commits against nature, nature's "dealt" is often an unexpected shock suffered upon humankind. As an example: Coronavirus. AOC could not have better choreographed the 2020 Pandemic "shut-down" to prove her point about The Green New Deal, and it appears that the US Gubment shut-down has facilitated a practice-run of The Green New Deal unknowingly, and quite by accident. Aside from the government's use of the word "lock-down", using a prison term to acquaint the US population with required isolation, why aren't we hearing more from AOC presently? Noticeably, there is less air pollution caused by jet airplanes and vehicle emissions from millions driving daily to/from work. These, only two among the largest of air polluters around and above Earth's crust. Noticably Mother Nature is already bouncing back. I suppose Donald Trump wants the shut down over with ASAP before American's, dulled by his psychopathic lies, notice these healthy changes in Nature.

I've been teaching my horse tricks during the pandemic shut-down. I garden. He and I just finished weeding the raised beds full of thistle and California Poppy. He doesn't eat poppy, but delicately vanquishes the thistle, gently pulling it out and sliding it down his muzzle, root first, avoiding the stickers somehow. So very soon, I'll be ready for vegie starts. I'll plant a few things that make a good winter garden. For this season, though, herbs, rocket, cukes, squash, eggplant, peas; but avoiding zucchini! Needless to say, I've been outside alot through this pandemic stay-in-place order. I'm out of work as a hands-on healthcare worker. Lots of time on my hands. 

Playing with the horse last Sunday, I kept hearing the sound of Canadian geese overhead. Waaay overhead. I scoured the sky following my ears, until finally, a hair-thin line of geese appeared directly overhead, above AV Way, in Boonville. Flying NW in a perfect V, they were high out of reach and sound of the frost fans, but apparently replacing jet engines in the jet air-stream! Wow! That's huge, as far as air and sound pollution goes! Too many to count, that's how high I remember them flying as a child, before the jet streams became crowded with ...jets! I called Joe, who walked by, to tell him to get a load of the geese! Took him awhile before he spotted them also. He said, "Wow! Those wouldn't even show up if I took a telephoto shot; they're up so high!". 

Nice to see. And hear. 

I end this with a haiku dedicated to sweet Harumi Blyth, her father's daughter…

Reclaiming jet stream 

High altitude geese stroke sky 

Above AV Way


Debra Keipp

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by Ralph Nader

Shouldn’t our elected reps be on the job providing essential services?

In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic a careening, confused President is fibbing, flailing, breaking laws, and mishandling money. As the domino effect of this crisis mounts, the public is asking: “Where is the Congress?” Our Senators and Representatives have been home since March 20 and won’t be back until May 4th, not on the job inside the Capitol. Shameful!

Worse, some lawmakers want a remote Congress so they can remain AWOL and pretend to deal with the many crises remotely.

Why? Fear of the pandemic? Escaping rollcall responsibility? No matter that Congress can follow all the CDC guidelines and more for personal protection. No matter that millions of essential workers – some a few blocks from Congress, bravely go to work to perform their critical duties. Healthcare, transit, grocery, police, maintenance and sanitation workers, many executive branch civil servants and others are faithfully on the job.

Congress should be working harder than ever – 6 days a week, not its usual 21/2 days. Congress should be monitoring the spending of trillions of dollars it approved for recovery, and passing improved rescue legislation that puts the people first. Congress should also be anticipating and preventing the ugly greed of commercial lobbyists who will cravenly push for more giveaways for their fat-cat big-business clients. The devil is in the details and in the fine print of new and upcoming bills. Scams, gouging, waste, and corruption are exploding already in a corporate crimewave while the President pulls the federal cops off their beats.

Thirteen million people will lose their health insurance between March and July of this year. Over 25% unemployment is bringing untold fear, dread, and deprivations to millions of families. Where are the indispensable 535 lawmakers? Back at home ignoring their duties.

Small businesses and family farms, lacking the reserves and political privileges of big business, are suddenly experiencing a deadly freefall in sales with slow arrivals of temporary federal assistance. Many will face ruin and bankruptcy. Lifetimes of work smashed.

Trump has encouraged the EPA to stop enforcing violations of prohibited pollution laws. Trump’s FDA announced that it was suspending inspections of foreign plant exporters of food and drugs to the U.S. The President is even threatening the existence of our post offices.

Where is the Congress? It’s halls and committee rooms are empty!

With knowing criminal intent, the Trumpsters are running the life and health saving Federal agencies into the ground. Under Trump’s puppet Andrew Wheeler, the EPA has become the environmental pollution agency. OSHA has been turned upside down. Trump is even weakening nursing home safety regulations in our pandemic. Scientists and other civil servants are being muzzled or pushed out.

Where is Congress? It is looking for how it can push button constitutional duties from perches back home. Can Congress truly believe that it can run our national legislature from home? There is no substitute for members of Congress convening in real time in the nation’s capital. Article 1, Section 7 of the Constitution requires a quorum to conduct Congressional lawmaking. The full Senate voted in person in March to pass the $2.2 trillion relief/bailout package.

Now, Congress agrees another large assistance law is needed. It has to be preceded by hard work, the best ideas, public hearings, tight drafting, and intense deliberation over long days.

So far Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who is on the job, is resisting remote voting. Republican Senate leader Mitch McConnell said he agrees, but he led the flight out of Congress back to Kentucky a month ago.

Many of these pampered politicians, comfortable at home in their safe gerrymandered districts, drawing their regular salaries and benefits while watching or reading the stories of courageous workers risking their lives daily for pittances, will go down in history as cowards. Historians will not treat them kindly.

Meanwhile these so-called guardians of our crucial constitutional separation of powers are having a mock video hearing to try to show Congress can go online. This is indefensible when we have a Constitution-breaking monarchical president who says: “I have an Article 2 where I have the right to do whatever I want as president.”

Sovereign people – give your Senators and Representatives, who have fled Washington and are back home, a galvanizing piece of your mind. Just pick up the phone and dial your member or the Congressional switchboard (202-224-3141) and make your needs known. Remind them that if they don’t get back to work, you’ll remember in November.

(Ralph Nader is a consumer advocate, lawyer and author of Only the Super-Rich Can Save Us! )

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New Short Film from Mendocino Coast Films

In honor of Earth Day, here's our just-released short film, FARMSTEAD, shot on the Mendocino Coast.

This new short film features local organic farmers, Andy Pothast and Rachel Hoipkemeier from Root Down Farm.

Thanks to all who helped make this short film possible.

Synopsis: "Having restored an old abandoned farmstead, a Northern California couple makes farming their life's work.”

Enjoy and happy Earth Day!


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Show me one spot where white guys do actual 300 plus acre farm labor working for someone else and living in shanty towns. Please. 

For years now in CA farmers have watched their crops rot due to lack of workers even after putting out a call nationwide.

There are many articles online about pear farmers in that situation.

Immigration “reform” has nothing to do with all the rhetoric. The big ag companies want all of our food to come from out of country as it’s cheaper and easier to get around rules. So by deporting all the people who work in that industry makes it so there are no workers left here. 

In my 20’s, 4 of my guy friends who were in great shape went to work the fruit picking circuit. They lasted a month and said they couldn’t keep up with the 50 year old mexican guys.

Its hard work and is seen as low class so its entirely true that white guys dont work those fields. The pay is not good.

Most farm owners use machines.

It’s not racist. Its just how it is.

We’re not talking about home gardening or farming, we're talking about factory farming, the people out harvesting acres and acres of food working long days for low pay and living in camps.

I went to the camp Pacific Lumber used to keep its illegal workers at on the river, it was so sad to see how these guys had no way to clean up after spraying all those nasty pesticides and herbicides all day. 

Do you all not get that the largest group of welfare recipients are low income white folks? ????

Pear rot story

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by Dave Zirin

Sports is the last oasis of monocultural moments. The Super Bowl, March Madness, the opening pitch to start the baseball season, the NBA Finals, and the Summer Olympics are a few of the events we still collectively share, even in our sliced and diced entertainment landscape. These events, which timestamp the seasons in our subconscious, have been taken away from us by the coronavirus pandemic, but something close to a substitute has blessedly emerged.

For those immune to the ESPN hype machine, this is The Last Dance, the long-awaited documentary about the final season of the Michael Jordan Bulls dynasty of the 1990s. Rare footage, unseen since it was filmed over two decades ago, has emerged as a mammoth 10-part series to be shown over five weeks on ESPN. The release date was moved up to fill the content hole created by the coronavirus. Ratings for parts one and two are through the roof, the highest ever for an ESPN doc.

Grateful as I am for this film’s existence, it is a very flawed product. So far, it hasn’t been worth the gargantuan hype that has accompanied it. Granted, I was not necessarily the target audience. I grew up a Knicks fan in the 1990s. Michael Jordan’s Bulls stomped on the chests of those Pat Riley/Patrick Ewing Knicks teams. At times, reliving the Bulls’ supremacy felt like watching a frothy documentary about my last root canal.

For those born after 1990, I could see this being a useful education into the sheer physical and psychological dominance that Michael Jordan brought to the court every single night. It’s also novel to see the 57-year-old Jordan interviewed about his life. Speaking about himself, particularly his childhood in Wilmington, North Carolina, does not come easily to him. It’s moving to see him attempt to make sense of the racial and familial considerations that propelled him to seek refuge on fields of play. For being such a ubiquitous brand for almost four decades, Jordan is surprisingly reclusive. It makes for riveting, if not always elucidating, viewing.

Yet, as was seen infamously in Jordan’s churlish, biting Hall of Fame speech over a decade ago, the real Jordan behind the smiling hype and poetical play is compelling but also repellent. He was a bully as a teammate and someone who wanted to rip out your soul as an opponent. That he treated those around him so poorly does not make Jordan unique among those deemed geniuses in their craft. Steve Jobs wasn’t exactly warm and cuddly. But The Last Dance lionizes this behavior to an absurd degree. While exposing a new generation to Jordan’s greatness, the filmmakers also project his bullying as critical to his success. Former presidents and Hall of Famers, in tiresome fashion, pay tribute to his “intensity,” without a thought as to its toxicity.

Jordan’s insistence on being the alpha asshole deserves criticism, not praise. As soon as Jordan’s playing skills eroded, when he returned from retirement for two failed last seasons with the Washington Wizards, we saw the limits of this approach to building a championship team. If you are the greatest player ever, you can be a jerk or you can be Mother Theresa. You probably will find success. When Air Jordan became Floor Jordan in Washington, it was far less charming, as his harangues lost their power and teammates were beaten down with none of the attendant success.

The other part of this documentary that is (perhaps unintentionally) nauseating is the vilification of the late Jerry Krause, the portly general manager of this championship team. Krause is made to carry all of the blame for breaking up this dynasty. He is portrayed as some kind of petty schemer who wanted to tear it all down just to show he could rebuild a championship team without Jordan, Scottie Pippen, or coach Phil Jackson. The film crudely never mentions that Krause died in 2017, giving the impression that he decided not to cooperate with the project. No one is on hand to give his side of the story, or provide a sympathetic view.

Krause was no saint, and is by no means blameless. But to see Jordan, Jackson, and Bulls owner Jerry Reinsdorf repeatedly throw him under the bus is gross. It’s especially noxious since Jordan is now an NBA owner himself and putting all the blame on Krause gives his fellow “team governor” Reinsdorf a pass.

If the recollections of Krause feel unfair, the old footage from 1997 shows Krause constantly belittled by Jordan to his face about his height, weight, and general appearance. Again, this is all presented not only without criticism but with a message that this is part of what made Jordan great.

There is clearly space for a critical documentary about Michael Jordan and his legacy. Only judging by the first two episodes, this ain’t it. Given that Jordan and the NBA reportedly had veto power over all the footage, and that ESPN is a broadcast partner in this process, not a critical journalistic entity, no one should expect much to change with the episodes that lie ahead. It’s a shame.

* * *

 Fort St. Elmo; Valletta, Malta

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Re: The Crescent City anti-lockdown demonstration: The most hilarious part of their argument is always about how “they’ve” scared us and we’re like “sheep.” I don’t know, but some things in life merit being scared, Karen. I swear the president’s inclination for constant temper tantrums have really spread like wildfire among his fan base as we see here. How privileged for you to get up and throw a fit about your “rights being taken away” and other bull shit while medical professionals all over the world risk their lives and “essential workers” are forced to risk theirs for shit pay and no benefits (don’t confuse yourself that they’re there because they want to be) and here are all these Facebook meme experts with MAYBE a high school education all of a sudden know more than experts who’ve dedicated their lives studying this shit. It must be their gut, their instincts. Same gut instincts that cause you all to gather during a pandemic. Keep up with the illusion the low case numbers mean you’re safe to go back to normal and that “social distancing” with everyone is going to protect you. But, perhaps the best thing about the current situation is that the consequences aren’t something happening ten, twenty years down the line. Nope, we get to watch all these stable geniuses drop ill and or dead within the next several months. Maybe we can gather a list of these proud patriots and it could be left to the discretion of medical personnel whether they’re worth the risk or not to take care of them when this happens? After all, why risk their own job and livelihoods for folks who swear they know what’s best?

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Professional Activists-Regarding Naomi Wagner, Willits, who self-identifies as an "activist" for a living 

I am responding to your recent letter on Activist Naomi Wagner.

Pre-pandemic, "Activist" Naomi Wagner wrote a letter to the AVA essentially to nullify my statement that Alicia Bales left the Mendocino Environmental Center twisting in the wind with no operating funds or board members. In her letter to the AVA, Ms. Wagner stated emphatically that she is the president of the MEC and that all is dandy. 

I am providing a portion of a Board of Supervisors meeting video which includes Naomi Wagner. I have also provided links to articles which show that Ms Wagner isn't the President of the MEC. The words are quoted from her own activist mouth.

The video is from the BOS Feb 4, 2020 meeting where Ms. Wagner spoke about the environmental issue: Hack and Squirt. When introducing herself to the BOS, Ms. Wagner made no reference to the MEC in Ukiah let alone that she is and has been the president since her buddy Alicia Bales left for KZYX in the summer of 2019. Ms. Wagner said she was there representing an entirely different group (SEIJ). Ellen Faulkner, who pals around with Ms Wagner wherever she goes is also in the video. Ms Faulkner was also recruited by Bales to be on the MEC board. Ms Faulkner makes no mention of the MEC when she introduces herself to the BOS. You would hope that both activists who were speaking about the environment would mention their activism work on behalf of the MEC.

When I revealed to the AVA that Alicia Bales left the MEC virtually broke and without leadership after her two-year tenure as president, Naomi Wagner came to her rescue and made up a story that she, Ms Wagner never left the MEC, and was in fact the president since the summer of 2019. Given that there is no info on the MEC or KMEC websites about any board elections or membership, it's hard to fathom that Naomi Wagner is the president of anything. 

As recently as today, April 22, there is no information about Naomi Wagner serving as the MEC president; no mention of board elections, no newsletters, no roster of board members, no board minutes, no news, no general membership meetings, no fund raising plans or activities, no annual meetings held, no volunteer opportunities, and certainly, no mention of an approved budget by the current board. As a non-profit and/or public radio station, these are REQUIREMENTS by the FCC and the Secretary of State to be in good standing as a not-for-profit. KMEC's website, which falls under the MEC umbrella is no better. Its operating license is in jeopardy.

After reviewing the video/articles, readers can make up their own mind about the activist, Naomi Wagner and her truth-telling.

Mary Massey


Here Naomi Wagner is listed in an article and makes no mention of being a member of the MEC in Ukiah.

Redwood Nation Earth First

In this article, she lists herself with a different group, Earth First!

As recently as December 11, 2019, an article from KZYX written by Sarah Reith, close pal of Alicia Bales indicates Naomi Wagner is not listed as the President of anything. Rather she is listed as a member of SEIJ, or, Social Environmental Indigenous Justice along with Ellen Faulkner.

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Senators wore face masks and grilled officials about Gov. Gavin Newsom’s $1.4 billion deal to buy masks and other protective gear — but got few answers during their first hearing on the state’s effort to stem the spread of coronavirus.

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Support Earth, Support Community Health

Dear Neighbors and Friends of Meadow Farm,

 Meadow Farm is a charitable organization formed especially for the benefit of our local communities and environment. We are grateful for this opportunity to be of service by sharing food and developing disaster relief potential.

Our organization is an IRS designated 501c3 non-profit and would wisely use funds donated to us for seeds, orchard trees, tools, irrigation, road, water systems, housing farmers, disaster relief supplies or any of the many projects we are implementing. Any funding, services or other gifts given would go to help us all move to a more local-based economy and healthier lives.

If you cannot donate financially we have other ways to help support this community resource. We are finalizing the construction of a small community-use house. The garden, too, is growing in size and takes much in the way of tools, soil and physical efforts

With these, and so many other, projects, we could use some help to support the ability we have to grow and give. (Our 3 main farmer/workers ages range from 66-75 years) We are doing all that we can to stay well and keep moving toward our goals of environmental healing and greater self-sufficiency for our region..but we need to start asking for support.

Some ways we could use help: If you can build benches or help install two large water tanks, we could collaborate on these projects. We have four solar panels that needs a structure.We need 8 feet of base cabinets, countertops and shelves for the community kitchen ( to share as a place for gathering, fermention/preservation of harvests, and plant-based cooking workshops.. among other uses in the future) Perhaps you have time and interest in helping here or from your home workshop. Or are you someone who can search and prepare grants for funding ongoing and future projects. All these would be valuable ways to contribute to the health of your family and wider community.

Please freely pass this along if you know of other folks that may be interested in being involved in such an endeavor.

We are grateful to our local volunteers and to the young people who have traveled here to work with us. And, of course, to our Mother Earth for her life-sustaining gifts.

In Appreciation,

Meadow Farmers and Leadership Circle

Sojourna Lee, Secretary

Meadow Farm Community Land Trust

IRS 501(c)3 charitable non-profit

Biointensive Mini-Farm

Food Security for our BioRegion

Disaster Prep and Relief

Building Community Resilience

 (707) 813-9234

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  1. Craig Stehr April 23, 2020

    ~Establishing Oneself on the Spiritual Platform~

    “The philosophical foundations and the religious consequences of the analysis lead to the need for a meditation on consciousness as the quintessence of the whole adventure. All study, all endeavour, and every enterprise, in every walk of life, results in the fixing of oneself in a type of reality. This is precisely the function of meditation.”

    Swami Krishnananda

  2. George Hollister April 23, 2020

    Mendocino County taxpayers have the power to vote to end the Measure B sales tax. That is the beauty of having local control.

  3. Stanley Kelley April 23, 2020

    Flu Clucks

  4. izzy April 23, 2020

    So now some of the Measure B money is headed elsewhere. No longer a surprising development, but one with consequences. The consequence is a NO vote on the various tax measures floated, for fear of exactly this sort of stuff. We do what we can from where we are. Grover Norquist’s old idea of reducing government to something that could drown in a bathtub takes on ever more appeal.

  5. George Dorner April 23, 2020

    Talk about a quickly fulfilled prediction. Yesterday, I warned that the Measure B funds would be raided for random usage instead of their legally designated purpose. Today, we discover the BOS has approved the first million dollar grab at Measure B funds.

    • Lazarus April 23, 2020

      She did hawk it at the BoS on Monday, and the AVA has been on it since then…
      As always,

  6. Lazarus April 23, 2020


    Hey, anybody know where can I get one of those 6 sided tarps?

    As always,

  7. George Dorner April 23, 2020

    So, are we going to hang onto sufficient funds for the construction of Measure B facilities?

    I doubt it. Measure B money will be pissed away on whatever.

    • Lazarus April 23, 2020

      The training center will be up and running soon. I admired how M-B member Riley referred to it yesterday, a possible glorified “Conference Room”…Which it could end up being, for the select few. wink, wink…

      The CRT on Orchard in Ukiah will be built because the mental health county pros and the CEO want it.

      The PHF will likely never happen, the only chance I see is Adventist Health on the coast. The problem with that is they’re into profit, PHFs are losers.

      The 38 mil. that M-B was counting on from taxes will likely never happen also. The County is already saying the economic recovery could take 5 years or more. Any weak business, which is most small ones, could already be done.

      Measure B Monies could be needed just to keep the doors open.

      Be Well,

      • James Marmon April 23, 2020


        Angelo is running out of things to offer Allman in order to buy his loyalty, that relationship is definitely on the rocks. The make up of that oversight committee is totally insane. We have the foxes guarding the hen house. To add, the BoS’s decision to lead from behind on Measure B decisions created the 2 year log jam. The so-called oversight committee members became the decision makers and the BoS became the oversight committee.

        I often ponder on how things might look now had the BoS accepted their legally mandated responsibility to taxpayers and moved things forward. Maybe it would have been worse, who knows? Either way, Angelo would still be in charge and no one oversees her, she’s the Boss you know.

        James Marmon MSW
        Former Mental Health Specialist
        Sacramento, Placer, and Lake Counties

  8. Stephen Rosenthal April 23, 2020

    I’ve been a proponent of and posted here many times that voters should always vote NO, regardless of the bleeding heart causes, for any tax on themselves. These taxes are inevitably and criminally misappropriated. Measure B is the poster child. George H put forth a good idea of voting to repeal the tax, but short of that I wonder if there’s any way the Feds or the State AG could investigate the ongoing financial shenanigans so prevalent and evident in Mendocino County.

    • Pam Partee April 23, 2020

      I am with you on voting against this and similar additional tax measures for services that should be covered by the general budget What have we received from this add-on sales tax revenue source: if I remember correctly, a sound system, a so-called teaching center, a consultant, a couple or three hired employees, and now a million dollars to the already well-financed mental health services conglomerate. Can we see the breakdown of revenue and expenditures? This was not one of those run around sales tax measures that went into a general fund with an advisory that could be voted down, which may violate the state 13th amendment. No, this one was a 2/3 vote with legal guidelines. Time to stop it by repeal or lawsuit.

  9. Susie de Castro April 23, 2020


    (clever how the word ‘Flu’ came about)

  10. James Marmon April 23, 2020


    I want to remind everyone that the Board of Supervisors has stated numerous times that they do not want any split decisions from the Measure B committee being pushed off on to them to approve. John McCowen thinks it’s better if all decisions are unanimous. With Weer, Allman, and Riley all dissenting, yesterday vote has the makings of a real political nightmare for the BoS. The main reason the BoS decided to lead from behind in the first place was because they didn’t want to be held responsible for any f***ups. Well guess what BoS members? you can run but you can’t hide.

    James Marmon MSW
    Personal Growth Consultant

    ‘don’t just go through it, grow through it’


  11. John Sakowicz April 23, 2020

    GRABBING that million bucks from the Measure B fund is not only insupportable, it’s also illegal. It violates the covenants of the Measure B ballot initiative. Measure B was explicitly intended to build a PHF.

    Is there a legal remedy for this cash grab? Causes for a complaint? In other words, a lawsuit?

    Who will sue on behalf of the taxpayer? Jared Carter, are you listening?

    — John Sakowicz

    • James Marmon April 23, 2020

      Jared Carter, Brian Carter, Philip Vannucci and Brian Momsen practice law in Ukiah under the firm name of Carter, Vannucci & Momsen, LLP. This firm also represents the Schraeders and two of them were actuallyt on Redwood Community Services’ Board of Directors at one time. The million dollars will eventually be gifted to this firm’s clients, why would one of them want to stop that?

      James Marmon MSW

      • Lazarus April 23, 2020

        This deal still has to get passed the BoS, wink wink.

        The Auditor-Controller for the County voted NO.
        The Ukiah Deputy City Manager voted NO.
        The one time Sherrif / “The God Father” of Measure B voted NO.
        The Electrical Contractor from Fort Bragg voted NO.

        Then again the vote was 4 against, and 7 for the million-dollar deal. Supervisors can count too…and there is “The Boss” to consider, for them.

        Stay well,

        • James Marmon April 23, 2020

          3 or the four have political clout, if it was Ross Liberty, Jed Diamond, and Meeka Freakka voting no it would be a whole different story. Their votes don’t carry as much weight, politically, as Allman, Weer, and Riley’s votes do.


          • Lazarus April 23, 2020

            If they feel they’re in legal territory maybe something happens, but the County’s lawyer was in the “Zoom” when this went down.

            Overruling a 7 to 4 vote? and The Boss was a yes vote. That would/could be akin to a no-confidence vote for her…it should be interesting as this moves through the system.

            I wonder how soon it makes the BoS agenda? They may let it cool off a while.

            Stay well,

        • James Marmon April 23, 2020


          Miller works for Angelo, Angelo works for nobody. Moschetti and Ferretta have close ties to the Schraeder Cabal. Jed Diamond hasn’t come down from an Acid trip he took in the 60’s and would hate to see old hippy new age therapists like himself not getting paid. Ross Liberty has his head so far up Angelo’s ass that if she takes a sharp turn it could break in neck. Who am I missing? Oh, Ace Barash, works for Adventist Health, who is currently discussing a partnership with the Schraeder’s for a portion of the Measure B pot of gold.

          James Marmon MSW

  12. Eric Sunswheat April 23, 2020

    RE: As recently as today, April 22, there is no information about Naomi Wagner serving as the MEC president; no mention of board elections, no newsletters, no roster of board members, no board minutes, no news, no general membership meetings, no fund raising plans or activities, no annual meetings held, no volunteer opportunities, and certainly, no mention of an approved budget by the current board. As a non-profit and/or public radio station, these are REQUIREMENTS by the FCC and the Secretary of State to be in good standing as a not-for-profit. KMEC’s website, which falls under the MEC umbrella is no better. Its operating license is in jeopardy.

    ———->. Try looking up Cloud Forest Institute, which is the umbrella non profit under which KMEC and Mendocino Environmental Center financially operate, beyond largesse of John McCowen, outgoing County Supervisor.

  13. John Sakowicz April 23, 2020

    Didn’t know that about Jared Carter’s law firm, James Marmon. All I knew was that Jared is a fiscal conservative.

    If now Jared Carter, who then would sue on behalf of the taxpayers, I wonder, over this Measure B swindle?


  14. George Hollister April 23, 2020

    “THE ONGOING root of the prob here is the Schraeders’ management of the $20 annual million they already get from Mendocino County’s bamboozled taxpayers.”

    I don’t believe this money comes directly from Mendocino County Taxpayers. I believe this is “other people’s money” that comes from the state and federal government. The fact that the $20 million is other people’s money is at the heart of the problem. On the other hand, Measure B money is Mendocino County taxpayer’s money. There is a big difference, a difference some people in the county bureaucracy fail to appreciate. This will be interesting. The county taxpayers may be less bamboozled than we assume.

    • James Marmon April 23, 2020

      So should Measure B money be used to subsidize other people’s money that is being wasted and/or misspent? According to the ordinance, it doesn’t matter. Throwing Mendocino County taxpayer’s dollars on top the 20 million without a clear understanding as to why, doesn’t make sense to me.


      • James Marmon April 23, 2020


        The idiom “throwing good money after bad” refers to spending more money on something problematic that one has already spent money on, in the (presumably futile) hopes of fixing it or recouping one’s original investment.

    • Stephen Rosenthal April 23, 2020

      Since the money is allegedly being mismanaged, the fact that the $20m comes from State and Federal grants should be cause for the DOJ and CA AG to investigate the Schraeders. The fact that Measure B’s tax dollars are about to be fraudulently misappropriated is subject to repeal of the tax measure and possibly criminal prosecution against Angelo, members of the Measure B committee and the BOS if they approve it.

      There is a headline story in this week’s AVA titled Mendocino County’s Greatest Swindle. I know the Bari saga is front and center on Bruce’s radar, but I maintain that Measure B is Mendo’s greatest swindle – from its very inception.

  15. Susie de Castro April 23, 2020

    Is Covid-19 ever treated like a severe allergic reaction, a (food) poisoning of sorts? Would Epinephrine and Benadryl work?

  16. James Marmon April 24, 2020


    Trump Suggested Experts Find A Way To Inject Light Or Disinfectants Into Human Bodies To Kill The Coronavirus

    “Supposing you brought the light inside of the body, which you could do either through the skin or in some other way,” Trump said during the daily White House coronavirus task force briefing. “The whole concept of the light, the way it kills it in one minute. That’s, uh, that’s pretty powerful.”

    The open-air treatment of pandemic influenza

    The H1N1 “Spanish flu” outbreak of 1918–1919 was the most devastating pandemic on record, killing between 50 million and 100 million people. Should the next influenza pandemic prove equally virulent, there could be more than 300 million deaths globally. The conventional view is that little could have been done to prevent the H1N1 virus from spreading or to treat those infected; however, there is evidence to the contrary. Records from an “open-air” hospital in Boston, Massachusetts, suggest that some patients and staff were spared the worst of the outbreak. A combination of fresh air, sunlight, scrupulous standards of hygiene, and reusable face masks appears to have substantially reduced deaths among some patients and infections among medical staff. We argue that temporary hospitals should be a priority in emergency planning. Equally, other measures adopted during the 1918 pandemic merit more attention than they currently receive. (Am J Public Health. 2009;99:S236–S242. doi:10.2105/AJPH.2008.134627)

    James Marmon MSW

    • Harvey Reading April 24, 2020

      Just more evidence of Trump’s idiocy and that of his loyal acolytes.

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