MCT: Wednesday, April 29, 2020

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A GRADUAL COOLING TREND is expected through the remainder of the week and into the weekend. A series of weak cold fronts will graze the northern portion of the area over the next several days bringing some light rain to the Redwood Coast. Rain chances will increase area-wide over the weekend, with the best chances north of Cape Mendocino. (NWS)

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SURVEILLANCE TESTING RESULTS

by Tabatha Miller, Fort Bragg City Manager

Last Wednesday, April 22nd, Mendocino County, Mendocino Coast Clinics, Coastal Street Medicine, Mendocino Coast Hospitality Center and the City of Fort Bragg collaborated to launch community surveillance testing for COVID-19. Surveillance testing is used to determine if undetected community spread is present. No one tested showed any signs of the virus. That’s the point. It is this type of testing that helps us to understand the spread or lack of spread of COVID-19. It is the testing we need to safely ease or lift the shelter-in-place orders. 

The Fort Bragg Group was provided 120 COVID-19 test kits. While this is a small number when you consider the number of residents in our City, it represents 16.2% of the total 739 test taken as of April 27th. Trying to figure out how best to allocate 120 tests in our community was one of the challenges. Originally, the idea was to open it to anyone who wanted to be tested. Almost everyone wants to be tested, so crowd control was a large concern. The better question is whose results benefit the data and the community. The answer is those individuals who interact with the public and are at the greatest risk.

These tests were administered in the City to asymptomatic essential workers and other vulnerable populations. The essential workers included local law enforcement officers, health care staff, delivery personnel, food service workers, and social service providers. Prior testing was conducted at Sherwood Oaks and all test results were negative.

Coastal Street Medicine and Mendocino Coast Hospitality Center administered the first round of testing to those experiencing homelessness, those who are being sheltered at local motels, and the staff in direct contact.

The second round of testing occurred in the parking lot of Mendocino Coast Clinics. Testing was done on essential workers from our community. City staff scheduled appointments to allow for efficient traffic flow and to ensure everyone stayed in their vehicles so as not to put anyone at risk. At the end of the afternoon, 71 individuals were tested via oral swab (mouth not nose). These tests were expedited to the Sonoma County lab by Mendocino County Public Health. Twenty tests were analyzed there and the other 100 were sent to University of California San Francisco (UCSF) Medical Center.

Typically, the results for the COVID-19 swab test take up to 48 hours, we hoped for results on Friday and it is now Tuesday, almost a week later. As of writing this article, we know that the first 101 tests processed were negative and one was damaged in transit and couldn’t be used. We await the results of the other 18 tests. Like testing across the country, the labs are backed up and one major limiting factor is the lack of swabs.

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(photo by Larry Wagner)

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COVID TESTING

by William Miller, MD, MCDH Chief of Staff

There are two different types of tests for COVID-19 caused by a coronavirus named CoV-SARS-2.  These tests either use something called PCR to detect the genetic material of the virus by swabbing either the nose or the back of the throat; or test blood for the presence of antibodies to the virus.  Let’s look at each to understand their value and limitations.  

PCR stands for polymerase chain reaction, which is a way to duplicate genetic material in a sample to literally millions of times over.  Thus, you could theoretically take a single strand of DNA and duplicate it to the point that there are now millions of identical copies.  The power of this is that it makes it millions of times easier to then detect the presence of that genetic material. This technique is used in many things from looking for someone’s DNA at a crime scene, to detecting viruses.  It is an extremely powerful technique.  It is also very specific to just the particular virus you are looking for.  If you get a good sample and the test is run correctly, it has very low false positive and false negative rates.  

You may have heard about some problems with the early PCR test developed by the CDC for COVID which was released in March.  The problem was that one of the reagents was faulty giving a high false positive rate. At MCDH, we are using a different test developed by Abbott.  You may have heard about a problem that the Cleveland Clinic had with the Abbott test.  It was reported in the news that the Abbott test had a lot of false negatives.  However, it turns out that they were not collecting the sample correctly which was leading to the false negative results.  While every test will always have those few erroneous results, PCR in general is a technique that without question gives some of the highest reliabilities of any test we do in health care.  The primary limitation of PCR testing is that it only tells you that you have the virus now, it doesn’t tell you if you had it in the past or whether you are immune.  

There has been a lot of excitement recently about antibody tests, also known as serology tests because it is done on a blood sample.  First, you need to know what an antibody is.  When virus or bacteria invades our body, the lymphocytes in our immune system try to make antibodies against proteins on the virus surface.  These antibodies then are released into our blood stream and when they encounter the virus, they stick to that protein on its surface that they are designed to go after.  This then allows other cells of the immune system to hook onto the virus and destroy it.  It takes a while for the immune system to create antibodies to a virus the first time you get infected and during that time, the infection can really get ahead of the immune system.  However, after infection is eliminated, the antibodies may remain in the blood stream for a long time, ready to go again if there is ever another attack.   This “memory” is what is involved in developing immunity.  Vaccines work by taking a viral protein that when injected into a person will cause protective antibodies to be formed and give immunity without having to go through the illness.  A very important thing to know is that not all antibodies lead to immunity.  In other words, the presence of antibodies to the COVID virus does not guarantee immunity.  There are many factors that play into whether an antibody gives immunity or simply indicates prior infection.  The only way to know if a particular antibody gives immunity is to study the behavior of the disease in a large population of people over a long period of time to see who gets the disease a second time and who does not.  We simply have not had that much time to tell with COVID-19.

A test for antibodies uses proteins similar to those found on the virus and tags them with a marker.  These tagged proteins are then mixed with the blood (serum) from a person and if there are antibodies to that protein present, then they stick to the test protein and are thus detected.  The biggest potential problem with the current tests being promoted for COVID is cross reactivity.  This means that a person may have antibodies to a coronavirus because of a previous exposure, but was it the COVID-19 coronavirus?  There are many different strains of coronavirus that go through our population every winter causing the “common cold”.   Since they are all coronaviruses, they tend to have very similar if not the exact same proteins on their surfaces.  If you read the fine print on these tests and if the manufacturer is giving an honest disclosure, you will discover a list of other strains that would give you a false positive.    I am not aware of any antibody test for COVID that has been touted thus far that does not have this limitation to at least some degree.  

If you combine the problems with false positives due to cross reactivity and the uncertainty as to whether a true positive means immunity or not, then the risk is that someone who gets a positive test and thinks that they are safe will no longer take steps to protect themselves or others.  If they are not immune like they think, then they may get COVID-19 and spread it to others with serious consequences.  

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is responsible for ensuring that all of these tests work correctly and are very accurate before they are released to be used on the public.  However, due to the urgent nature of this crisis, there has been a suspension of much of the regulatory safeguards that would normally be required.  As a result, we have a remarkable number of both PCR and antibody tests coming out.  I suspect that many will, in the end, fall by the wayside as not being accurate enough.   I am more confident in the PCR tests.  As for the antibody (serology) tests, it is my opinion that it is way too early to rely upon any of them for much meaningful information at this time.

At MCDH, we are expecting to be able to offer the PCR test to the general public soon.   This is being done in concert with the Sonoma County Health Department and UCSF.  We have not yet received any of the test kits that we requested, but will put out an announcement as soon as we are able.  We expect to be able to do about 300 tests per week.  The Mendocino Coast Clinic has already begun participating in this program and has tested a number of local homeless people through its Street Medicine Program.

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CLEONE STORE

(photo by Chris Calder)

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COMPTCHE FATHER’S DAY BBQ CANCELED

Dear Friends, Family and Comptche Community,

Due to the uncertainty of Covid-19 spread and in the interest of public safety the Comptche Volunteer Fire Department is cancelling our annual Father’s Day Chicken BBQ for 2020. Please plan on joining us for our best ever Father’s Day Celebration in 2021. We deeply appreciate your tremendous support. Happy Fathers Day!

Sincerely, CVFD Members

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AS THE WORLD TURNS it turned to an odd coincidence for me Tuesday involving a Redwood Valley man named Douglas Stone, Jr., who had recently begun burglarizing his neighbors. The widow of a friend had invited me to cull her late husband's books, taking those I wanted. It was an offer I couldn't refuse. The house was deep in the hills of Redwood Valley, a beautiful place at 1900 feet with a 360 view that includes Lake Mendocino. Noting that windows had been broken out in the main house and an adjacent building, my hostess explained, "A man broke in when I wasn't here, and he came back last Friday night when I was here." She said it was about 10:30 when she saw headlights pulling up her driveway. "I was just going to sleep upstairs when I saw the lights and then heard someone fiddling with the front door. I have a gun but I couldn't ever shoot anybody, so I just kind of crouched by my bed when he came all the way into my house. I told him I'd called the police and they were on the way. He mumbled something like, 'I thought there was a fire here,' and he turned around and left. He sounded almost apologetic, and I thought, Well, somebody in his life maybe taught him some manners." 

THE INTRUDER turned out to be Mr. Douglas Stone, formerly a volunteer firefighter and a long-time resident of Redwood Valley. In his haste to flee the widow's home Stone had crashed his truck and was still sitting in it amidst the plunder from other burglaries when the first deputy arrived to arrest him. 

STONE had been carrying a loaded handgun and a pry bar. At his home, recently vacated by his wife, leading to speculation that Stone's criminal adventures were an expression of his distress at the breakup of his marriage, a virtual treasure trove of stolen goods was recovered. It seems more likely Mrs. Stone left because her mister was something of a lunatic. 

MY HOSTESS had previously lost a laptop and a printer to Stone, along with an old coin collection, which has been found among Stone's booty. 

SO OFF he goes to the Mendocino County Jail where he was booked and held on $75,000.00 bail. Which he quickly posted. While Stone was being processed in and out of the jail, the cops were going through his Redwood Valley house where they found lots of stuff stolen from homes up and down the Black Bart Trail. Stone was arrested a second time, this time graciously turning himself in, but after terrorizing my hostess when he entered her home with a loaded gun and arrested as he fled her home. 

AND HERE'S where the Stone case gets positively weird, as described best in the Sheriff's presser: 

"STONE was booked into the Mendocino County Jail a second time for Possession of Stolen Property, Unlawfully Possessing Marijuana for Sale, Manufacture of an Assault Rifle, Possession of an Assault Rifle, Possession of a Silencer, and Possession of Burglary tools. In accordance with the COVID-19 emergency order issued by the State of California Judicial Council, Stone's bail was set at zero dollars and he was released after the jail booking process." 

BREAKING into an elderly woman's home with a loaded gun gets you no bail and release? 

TWO DAYS LATER, on Sunday night, Stone was out on no bail after his armed break in two days earlier. A guy goes over to Stone's house to return his dog. Stone greets his visitor by charging out of his house waving a butcher knife, threatening to kill the guy, kill his own dog, kill his ex-wife, and kill her new boy friend. 

STONE was arrested and bail is set at $275,000. As of Tuesday night, Stone is still in jail. 


STONE FINALLY JAILED FOR SERIOUS THREATS WHILE ON BAIL

On Sunday, April 26, 2020 at approximately 10:20 PM, Deputies from the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office were dispatched to contact an adult male regarding criminal threats.

Deputies learned the 46 year old adult male had traveled to the home of Douglas Stone Jr., 42, of Redwood Valley, in order to provide him with his dog, which he was caring for during Stone's previous incarceration the day prior.

Stone

When the adult male entered Stone's property, Stone exited his residence with a large butcher knife and threatened to kill the adult male. Stone also threatened to kill his own dog, as well as his ex-wife, and her new boyfriend.

The adult male was in sustained fear, and believed Stone was going to try to kill him, and attempt to find and kill the 27-year old ex-wife and 29 year old new boyfriend as stated.

Stone also made statements to the adult male that if any law enforcement personnel were to come to his residence, he would kill them as well.

On Monday, April 27, 2020, Deputies obtained an arrest warrant for Stone for Criminal Threats and Committing a Felony while released on Bail.

Later that day at approximately 5:00 PM, Stone turned himself in to a Mendocino County Sheriff's Deputy.

Stone was subsequently booked into the Mendocino County Jail where he was to be held in lieu of $275,000 bail.


Facebook comments:



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THE SUPERVISORS spent a couple of hours Tuesday discussing Health Officer Dr. Noemi Doohan’s revised Shelter in Place (SIP) order. Dr. Doohan said she expects to relax more of the current restrictions in a couple of weeks, but that much depends on what Governor Newsom does between now and then. 

THE SUPERVISORS have been fielding a number of complaints and requests about contradictions and inconsistencies in the current Order and wanted to know whether they will be addressed in the next SIP order. 

SUPERVISORS Williams and McCowen complained about local chain and big box stores being allowed to be open and sell common items like pens and art supplies while local small “non-essential” speciality businesses that sell the same things must remain closed. The Supervisors said the next order should move away from essential/non-essential and more to opening businesses that can ensure safe operations. Dr. Doohan seemed amenable to the suggestions, but seemed most concerned about businesses that serve out-of-county customers that might attract unknowing virus carriers. 

SUPERVISOR WILLIAMS ran down a list of a dozen or so business categories that he’d like to allow to re-open under limited conditions (which we will summarize in an upcoming report), asking Dr. Doohan to comment on each. Williams also said that he’d received quite a few complaints from Coast residents that they’ve observed out-of-county and out-of-state vehicles which seem to be in violation of the travel restrictions. Williams wanted to know if the County could somehow increase enforcement of visitor violations. 

SHERIFF KENDALL said he can't pull travelers over without reason, but that when possible he could do “casual contacts” to remind people of the order, although that won’t make much of a dent in the problem. 

FINALLY, Transportation Director Howard Dashiell suggested covering up the existing “WELCOME TO MENDOCINO” signs on Highway 101 south of Hopland and on Highway 20 with “CLOSED” signs or “NO GUEST SERVICES.” (Maybe they could simply paint “NOT” in big black letters before “WELCOME TO MENDOCINO COUNTY” and save a lot of time and expense.) A similar sign on Highway 101 coming south out of Humboldt County was mentioned. Supervisor Williams wanted signs on Highway 128 and on the south end of Highway 1 as well. But it will take a little longer to install any new signs. Mr. Dashiell volunteered to propose sign covers for the two existing signs soon, and look into new signs at the two or three other main entry points. 

DR. DOOHAN said that she didn’t expect restrictions to be significantly reduced for months if not more given the possibility of a “surge” coming north from the Bay Area. But she did agree to consider allowing local businesses and residents a little more flexibility to the extent allowed by the state. Local business categories — B&Bs, restaurants, wine tasting, shops, barbers/hair salons, etc. were encouraged to submit their plans for review for possible inclusion in upcoming revisions. 

THE CONTRADICTION in the discussion that wasn’t addressed is that opening up tourist-oriented businesses to serve some locals won’t do much good if tourism is still discouraged. Restaurants, inns, and tasting rooms that depend on the deeper pockets of visitors to sell their $300 a night rooms, $40 a bottle wines and $30 plates of spaghetti won’t be able to stay in business long if they have to depend on the much shallower pockets of Mendolanders. 

(Mark Scaramella)


FROM SUPERVISOR WILLIAMS:

Public health offered a forecast to guide limited reopening expectations on Tuesday. Dr. Doohan’s best estimate based on present knowledge:

- reopening must happen in phases

- if we have a surge, we’ll pause or revert to sheltering

- if a particular type of business creates cases, that category might be set back

- no gatherings larger than 18 (next 3 months)

- recreation to reopen in first phase (trails, golf, etcetera)

- children will be allowed to return to school (fall)

- children will be allowed to participate in camp, activities, libraries

- tourism will need to wait (perhaps modified, 14 day quarantine could be accommodated)

- bars, wine tasting and the related not for first phase / 3 months

- essential/non-essential will transition to low risk/greater risk

Testing

- best science demands 150 tests per day per 100k residents

- we need about 150 tests per day (at about 27/day now)

- capacity is currently limited based on available collection samples (kits)

- capacity is limited by public lab (Sonoma County, also shared with Lake County)

- additionally, Ukiah hospital performs up to 60 test per week, Willits 70 per week

- a testing machine at the Round Valley reservation has 48 total tests remaining, reserved for symptomatic cases

Emergency Operations Center

- has shifted from public safety to departmental, run by Health and Human Services

County Services:

- continue to operate, mostly closed to face to face traffic

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SUNKEN YACHT

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WHAT I DID ON MY COVID VACATION

by Malcolm Macdonald

This time last year, like as not, I might have spent part of the day hiking an eight mile loop in Russian Gulch State Park. Part of my motivation would have been preparation for summertime backpacking trips to the Marble Mountains or the Sierra. Of course, eight miles in Russian Gulch is not the same as eight miles with a forty pound pack on at 5-6,000 feet in the Marbles or double that elevation on or near the John Muir Trail. 

There are streams and lakes and waterfalls in other parts of California, but we have our very own waterfall of note in Russian Gulch State Park. 

Even though I've captured it in photo form, I recognize now how many times I walked past it unappreciative, wanting only to complete my eight miles in a certain amount of time. One detail I've omitted up to here is that a year ago, at the end of April, I wouldn't have taken a photograph of the waterfall in Russian Gulch or any other one. I didn't possess a camera. I didn't even own a phone that took pictures. 

That all changed in the week leading up to Memorial Day last year when I purchased my first smartphone, not because I intended to take photos, but for the ability to text. So for awhile I became a text addict. No twelve step meetings for that, not even teleconference ones. 

Then the Fourth of July weekend rolled around. In an attempt to divert my mind from some short term disappointment, I moseyed down the hill in the early evening hours of July 6th to check on the cows then continued west alongside the Albion where it runs as slightly more than a trickle before turning into a real stream at a bend that corresponds to the mouth of Duck Pond Gulch. There's something of a hump in the road as one approaches Duck Pond Gulch. As I started up the dirt hump my eyes caught sight of a full grown black bear ambling along the same roadway in front of me. 

The smartphone made its way out of a pocket and I snapped a picture with a tree hanging over the road partially blocking the sight line. The summer evening breeze blew up the river, so the ursine hadn't detected my presence. It stood and plucked cones from a fir then continued down the old roadway and around a bend. I texted a friend, explained the situation, and asked, “Should I follow the bear around the bend?”

I fully expected a negative response along with some sort of, 'be wary, wary caweful' admonition complete with Elmer Fudd spelling. Instead, the reply was, “Yes.” 

I did follow the bear around the bend in the road. Fortunately, it had meandered into the tan grass of the field that runs the length between Duck Pond Gulch and Slaughterhouse Gulch. For almost an hour I followed the bear's path with my smartphone clicking pictures periodically. The bear crossed the river with a mighty splash and a bound to the other side. Eventually, it stood and gazed at me, about seventy-five yards away.

That experience pretty much propelled me on my way to the next addiction. I used to scoff at friends who just had to stop and employ their camera at every lake, unique rock formation, or hawk flying close. Sadly, there's no twelve step program for iPhone photo abusers. Yes, in early November, I graduated from smartphone to iPhone, but I certainly didn't stop taking pictures.

A few weeks back, the same friend who told me to follow the bear around the blind curve in the road, and who has been the recipient/victim of many a photo attached message since, said, “You need to put an inspirational book together. Photos and descriptions…”

So, that's what I've been doing during much of my Covid-19 vacation. Each day begins with a feeding of the wee herd of heifers.

Naturally, that provides the occasional photo op as do other not so everyday occurrences, such as the setting sun being squished between a cloud bank and the ocean.

Putting together a collection of photos into a book for all the world to scoff at is far more intimidating than following the bear 'round the bend in the road. With the significant skills of another friend guiding me, perhaps this collection will actually get out there. It would be the height of pretentiousness for me to claim to be anything beyond an amateur who may have lucked out once in awhile with subject matter. It's a no-lose situation because someone I care about has already deemed some of these photos inspirational.

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THIS WEEK AT BLUE MEADOW FARM

Pepper, Eggplant & a few more Tomatoes starts

Open Tuesday, 10:00 am

Not many, they go fast, come early!

Blue Meadow Farm, 3301 Holmes Ranch Rd, Philo 895-2071

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A READER WRITES:

Sounds like letter writer, Name Withheld, has more of a gripe with Claude Steiner, Dr Doohan’s dad, than with Dr Doohan. The missive would be more believable if he/she wrote about Doohan’s abilities rather than her touchy-feely father’s history. Sounds to me like he/she was perhaps an annoyed member of the former Round Mountain enclave. I don’t see what Claude’s (who’s in the big fuzzy in the sky) actions have to do with covid-19. But I guess the writer got to air some dirty laundry and vent. 

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OLD CHINATOWN, SF

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73 AND THIS GUY TAKING CARE OF YOU

On Monday, April 27, 2020 at about 8:30 PM, Mendocino County Sheriff's Deputies were dispatched to a welfare check on a 73 year-old female in the 26000 block of Oriole Drive in Willits.

When Deputies arrived they contacted Jeffery Gabel, 50, of Willits who appeared to be under the influence of a controlled substance.

Gabel

Deputies initially learned Gabel and the 73 year-old female were having problems and investigated the situation further.

Deputies subsequently determined Gabel was acting belligerently earlier in the day causing the 73 year-old female to leave her home.

When she returned, Gabel again began being belligerent and pushed her. During the assault, Gabel struck the 73 year-old female with his elbow causing her to complain of pain in her back.

Due to the 73 year-old female's age, Gabel was arrested for elder abuse resulting in bodily harm and was transported to the Mendocino County Jail.

In accordance with the COVID-19 emergency order issued by the State of California Judicial Council, Gabel's bail was set at zero dollars and he was released after the jail booking process.

PS. Please visit the following link to hear Sheriff Matthew C. Kendall provide a Public Safety Message on the current COVID-19 emergency order related to zero bail: facebook.com/MendocinoSheriff/videos/2568683186688486/

TRANSCRIPT OF SHERIFF KENDALL’S “ZERO BAIL” REMARKS:

Hello, I'm Sheriff Matt Kendall. I'm here to speak with you regarding the enforcement of laws about booking into the Mendocino County Jail, and the recent legislative changes for releases arrestees during the COVID-19 orders. I'm hopeful these orders will be rescinded at the end of this crisis.

On April 6, the Judicial Council of California convened and adopted a statewide emergency bail schedule. They set bail on several felony and misdemeanor crimes at zero dollars. On April 13, the Mendocino County Jail will be releasing inmates housed within the jail who were being held on various charges deemed to be low-level crimes. Currently, many of these charges are violations of probation, narcotics, theft cases, and crimes that also include a wide variety of felony offenses, including Felonies which have been deemed to be lower-level offenses. These changes will also change who peace officers are allowed to book within the jail. Crimes which are deemed to be violent and dangerous felonies will still be booked, as well as domestic violence and crimes of that nature, including misdemeanors. Please understand my role as the sheriff. I have a moral obligation not only to the person's housed within the jail, but also to my staff. I also have to balance these needs with an obligation to provide public safety to the citizens of Mendocino County. As your share I've been taking and continue to take significant steps to address the COVID-19 outbreak and to deter the spread of the virus, including reducing jail populations where appropriate. This has been accomplished by increasing the frequency with which suspects are cited and released, granting shares release on a case by case basis, releasing medically vulnerable inmates and releasing sentenced inmates who are otherwise close to their release date. Often this is done in conjunction with the judges, the district attorney, probation and the public defender's office in the Mendocino County Jail. We're quarantining new inmates you come in from Hot Zone yours nation's taking inmate and staff temperatures before they enter the facility and issuing personal protective equipment to all staff. I'm still committed to public safety. I've spoken with the chiefs of law enforcement throughout Mendocino County. I will advise the Chiefs of Police of all releases to help assist them to protect their cities. I'm asking the public for patience during these times. We will continue to investigate crimes make arrests wherever we can. We will file cases with our district attorney for future prosecution and continue working with our partners to provide public safety. Thank you for your understanding and continued support to the Sheriff's office during these tough times.

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SUBWAY ROBBER HEADING TO STATE PRISON WHEN THE STATE PRISON SYSTEM RESUMES ACCEPTING SENTENCED FELONS

Defendant Dorian Michael Coon, age 21, formerly of Willits and Lakeport, was sentenced Tuesday in the Mendocino County Superior Court to 84 months in the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.

The defendant was convicted by plea on Jan. 3 of two felony counts of robbery in the second degree. The robbery were committed approximately two weeks before Christmas 2018 inside the Subway sandwich shop in Ukiah. 

Coon

The defendant also admitted he personally used a dangerous weapon (pellet gun) in the commission of the robberies.

Because he stands convicted of crimes characterized as “violent” in the state Penal Code, any credits defendant Coon earns in prison towards early release shall be limited to no more than 15 percent of his overall sentence, meaning no more than 18 months. These convictions also constitute a Strike offense for future use, within the meaning of the modified Three Strikes law.

As additional background, as reported in the Ukiah Daily Journal, on Dec.12 around 7:15 p.m. Ukiah police officers got a report of shots fired at the Subway at 130 N. Orchard Ave. When they arrived, officers found 21-year-old Dorian Michael Coon with multiple gunshot wounds in front of a Ross Dress store. He was flown to an out-of-county hospital where he was treated for his injuries.

Eyewitnesses told police Coon had just robbed the Subway with a gun. Police said they also learned that during the robbery, an armed customer inside of Subway with a valid concealed carry weapons permit shot the robber in fear for the customer's own safety and the safety of other citizens.

During the follow-up investigation, investigators learned that Coon used a "realistic-looking pellet handgun in the commission of the crimes," the DA said.

A co-defendant, Alexander Donovan Romero, age 20, of Willits, was earlier convicted in June 2019 of being an accessory to robbery, a felony. Defendant Romero was placed on 36 months of supervised formal probation. One term of that probation was that defendant Romero serve 180 days in the county jail, a sentence that he has since completed. 

The investigating law enforcement agencies that collected the evidence necessary to sustain the defendant’s convictions were the Ukiah Police Department and the District Attorney’s own investigators.

Assistant District Attorney Dale P. Trigg handled the prosecution of defendant Coon. Robbery victims appeared at the sentencing, and spoke about the impacts on their lives.

Mendocino County Superior Court Judge Keith Faulder presided over the Tuesday morning hearing.

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ANOTHER SLOB

On Monday, April 27, 2020 at about 11:40 PM Mendocino County Sheriff's Office Deputies were dispatched to a domestic disturbance in the 24000 block of Primrose Court in Willits.

The Sheriff's Office dispatch center advised a male subject, later identified as Laroy Madden-Stephens, 37, of Willits, was breaking items inside the residence.

Madden-Stephens

Upon arriving, Deputies learned Madden-Stephens was in a romantic dating relationship with a 31 year old adult female and they lived together at the location.

Madden-Stephens showed signs of alcohol intoxication when contacted by Deputies.

Deputies learned the couple had been arguing about their relationship when Madden-Stephens began breaking furniture and items in the bedroom.

The adult female was laying in the bed when Madden-Stephens flipped the mattress over causing visible injuries to her body.

The altercation continued when Madden-Stephens attempted to take the adult female's car keys so that he could leave the location but was unsuccessful in leaving.

Madden-Stephens was arrested for Domestic Violence Battery and was booked into the Mendocino County Jail where he was to be held in lieu of $25,000 bail.

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In this October 1918 photo made available by the Library of Congress, St. Louis Red Cross Motor Corps personnel wear masks as they hold stretchers next to ambulances in preparation for victims of the influenza epidemic. (Library of Congress via AP)

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AL NUNEZ TESTIMONIAL

Hi All,

I just hired Al Nunez to do some work for him. He is pleasant, punctual and skilled and very much looking for work. He has really strong carpentry skills, grounds work and mechanical know-how.

If you have any work to offer him now, it would be very much appreciated. His phone is 707-409-4147. No internet access.

Thanks for your community-mindedness.

Best to you, in these difficult times.

Sydelle (Coast Listserve)

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Camp Funston, at Fort Riley, Kansas, during the 1918 Spanish flu pandemic.

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LIBERATE TASTING ROOMS

To the Mendocino County Board of Supervisors,

As a small business owner facing possible months of closure, I am understandably concerned – both about the state of my business, and the vibrancy of our local business communities into the future. I would like the Board to consider reopening nonessential businesses, with the proper protocols in place first. 

Wine business groups, both local and state-wide, have been discussing best practices for facilitating tastings while keeping employees and visitors safe. Many of our Mendocino County tasting rooms are still local businesses, and rely upon the ability to host visitors to make ends meet. Here are the options that have been discussed locally, and seem reasonable to implement: 

- Taking reservations for tastings, thus ensuring a safe number of visitors for each space

o There are multiple reservation systems already serving the wine business

o This would allow for time to clean and disinfect the area before the next group 

- Decreasing capacity so proper social distancing can occur (removing tables, or removing tasting bars and replacing with distanced tables) 

- Tasting outside while the weather permits 

- Using compostable glasses, or giving away the tasting glasses as keepsakes to the customer 

- Removing communal dump buckets 

- Allowing customers to pay their tabs remotely with cell phone apps like Rooam 

- Installing hand sanitizer stations near tasting spaces 

- If the tasting room currently serves food (a small number), consider serving only pre-packaged foods opened by the customer 

- Reducing tasting hours/days 

The Wine Institute is currently exploring the development of a best practices guide for tasting rooms; my understanding is that it should be released in the next few weeks. 

It is certain that tourism will be down for many months to come, and businesses in the hospitality sector will still close, especially if lodging establishments do not open in the near future. And with summer heat comes the inability to ship wine to many states, reducing our ability to sell our wines outside the local area. However, not all our visitors come from afar; there are many locals who enjoy eating and drinking in their communities, especially as the weather becomes warm. Being able to plan for a reopening date, and implementing protocols to ensure that we can reopen safely, will allow our businesses a glimmer of hope amidst all this uncertainty, and the possibility of some revenue to come before the shoulder and winter seasons arrive again. 

Sincerely,

Kristy Charles, Co-Owner, Foursight Wines 

Boonville

* * *

* * *

LIBERATE BOOKSTORES!

Hello! 

I'm requesting that bookstores and perhaps other nonessential businesses be allowed to offer curbside pickup as soon as possible. 

We are able to do 100% no-contact sales, with people ordering and paying by phone or online and picking up from a rack outside our store. I believe it carries significantly LESS risk than ordering books and other merchandise for home delivery, either from us or from big businesses that are continuing to operate warehouses even as their workers get sick. 

We are able to offer this service without exposing our employees to each other or the public. We also normally employ 10 people, and being allowed to operate this way would increase the likelihood of surviving to rehire them. Thanks for considering it. 

Christie Olson Day

Gallery Bookshop, Mendocino

* * *

JT & FLORENCE FARRER

* * *

LIBERATE FORT BRAGG

Members Of The Mendocino County Board Of Supervisors, CEO Angelo & Dr. Doohan, 

Thank you for your ongoing leadership and support during the Covid-19 crisis. With its considerable dependence on tourism, the city of Fort Bragg anticipates a long, slow road to economic recovery. We are already seeing long established businesses make their shut downs permanent. 

Germany and Austria are reopening non essential businesses smaller than 800 sq m. With the assertion that smaller spaces are easier to control, and thus easier to execute mandated safety measures, I think that this approach is worthy of consideration for Mendocino County. We have a high number of owner operated businesses with few to no employees, making controls all the more feasible and incentivized. Many of our small businesses are the most vulnerable and have been unsuccessful in securing Federal aid. I have found the business owners I’ve spoken with to be in favor of this approach, understanding of course, that it may still be too early to take this step. 

The other key allowance I would request, is curbside pick-up for non essential businesses. It is my belief that allowing curbside pick-up would enable businesses to start adjusting to long term distancing by leveraging new tools and beginning to rebuild their cash flow. 

Within your parameters for reopening, please consider allowing clothing and shoe stores to accept returns so long as the businesses do not resell product for 3 days (giving time for the virus to die). That will better enable them to sell product without customers trying it on. 

Thank you again for all that you do. Respectfully, 

Jessica Morsell-Haye

Fort Bragg City Council Tel: (707)961-2823 x147 

* * *

ED NOTES

RECOMMENDED VIEWING: Michael Moore’s “Planet of the Humans,” available free now on YouTube.

NOT INTENDING to add to the prevalent, and justified anxiety about everything, but Adam Schiff has confirmed the mighty ava's prediction that Trump probably won't leave office peacefully in November. And if he does leave via a lost election to the only person in the country more unfit than him, he'll stir the Maga's to open revolt. 

ASKED on MSNBC Sunday about Joe Biden’s concern that Trump would try to delay the November election because of coronavirus, Schiff said the president didn't have the authority to postpone the election, but “I’m more worried he will try to disenfranchise millions of Americans than that he will try to put off the election. He’s already talking down absentee voting, making false claims about the reliability of absentee voting even when he votes by absentee himself,” Schiff said. 

NANCY PELOSI, adding to the prevalent sense of unreality, declared Monday, “Today I am proud to endorse Joe Biden for president of the United States because he will be an extraordinary president. He knows how to get the job done.” 

THE BIG SHUTDOWN has worked to the advantage of the Democrats in that they can plausibly keep Biden out of public view and, more importantly, hearing. They’ve got to know Biden is out of it. The debates, if there are any, just might be the final absurdity before we all find ourselves in roving bands of gleaners. 

A DATA ANALYTICS firm called FactSquared found that 216 large businesses pocketed a total of $854,740,825 in loans under the Paycheck Protection Program intended to help small businesses hit hard by the coronavirus crisis. 

GOVERNOR NEWSOM is facing intense lobbying from both business and labor as he weighs an executive order that would make it easier for essential workers such as nurses and grocery clerks to get workers’ compensation if they contract COVID-19. Organized employers, predictably, are opposed. 

THE STATE has already received 1,527 COVID-related claims, according to a spokesman for California’s Department of Industrial Relations, which oversees workers’ compensation cases. 

BOTH the California and U.S. Chambers of Commerce have urged Newsom to restrict any executive order to only some essential workers because their claims could cost employers and insurers billions of dollars. Unions want Newsom to include as many workers as possible because they often are required to work with inadequate protective equipment. 

* * *

CATCH OF THE DAY, April 28, 2020

Calvo, Faust, Freeman

DAVID CALVO, Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-alcohol,

MATTHEW FAUST, Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-alcohol.

JOSHUA FREEMAN, Potter Valley. Taking vehicle without owner’s consent.

Gabel, Madden-Stephens, Mickelson

JEFFREY GABEL, Willits. Elder abuse resulting in great bodily harm or death.

LAROY MADDEN-STEPHENS, Willits. Domestic abuse.

ASHLEY MICKELSON, Willits. Taking vehicle without owner’s consent.

Miller, Natareno, Phillips

SHANE MILLER JR., Ukiah. Vandalism, probation revocation.

CHRISTIAN NATARENO, Elk. Domestic battery, protective order violation, probataion revocation.

JODY PHILLIPS, Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-alcohol.

Sanchez, Sevy, Stone

FABIAN SANCHEZ, Fort Bragg. Vandalism, participation in criminal street gang, special allegation: street terrorism.

RON SEVY, Fort Bragg. Community supervision violation.

DOUGLAS STONE, Redwood Valley. Criminal threats, offenses while on bail.

* * *

MUSIC FESTIVAL CANCELLED

"It will likely come as no surprise to you that we have had no choice but to cancel our Festival 2020 season and the benefit events scheduled during that time.

Given the ongoing Coronavirus crisis, it became increasingly unlikely that gatherings would be possible in July, so we finally had to make this difficult and sad decision.

The Festival is the highlight of the summer for all of us—our wonderful audience, musicians, incomparable volunteers—the Festival community as a whole. We all will dearly miss it.

If you’re a ticket holder, please expect a separate email regarding your refund options.

Though there will be no live 'music on the edge of the world' this July, we promise creative ways to uphold the rest of our mission. We're planning to bring our musicians and music lovers together this summer via the Internet, and there will be plenty of opportunity to learn and listen.

Our adult education department, which has been going strong using Zoom, will expand beyond our current series of classes. Stay tuned! We’ll be in touch. Our fondest wish is that we'll be sharing music with you in the not-too-distant future.

We fully expect to resume bringing the Festival’s signature mix of live music to the Mendocino Headlands next summer. We’re grateful for the extraordinary Festival community of donors, sponsors, lodging providers, volunteers, and to the wonderful musicians whose performances give us joy, inspiration and respite from the cares and challenges of everyday life.

The past months' world events are unspeakably sad. We send wishes for everyone's good health and safety during this time.

From all of us here at the Mendocino Music Festival."

* * *

ORANGE PICKERS, circa 1918

* * *

ON LINE COMMENT OF THE DAY

Ladies and germs;

Consider a compass. 360 degrees.

There are as many opinions on the Covid-19 issue as there are degrees on a compass. Every pro and con argument can be found with a quick internet search. Every nuance. Every scholarly report, every half-assed opinion.

Here is what we currently know about the virus;

Not a God-Damned thing. We all have opinions, and we all can find argument on the internets that support and affirm those opinions. But opinions are not facts. The virus is called a novel virus for a reason, and the past 5 months of intense research is not gonna give us facts that we can make considered, correct decisions upon. 

In one month, maybe two, your opinions will be unrecognizable compared to those you hold today. I have come to the position that I have no opinion that I would consider reality based, and while I consider daily the veritable shit-storm of conflicting reports of all issues virus, I will view the issue with attention, but will withhold any thought of absolutes.

There just aren’t any.

* * *

* * *

MENDOCINO COAST BOTANICAL GARDENS - BLOOM BLAST

The Gardens are indeed beautiful right now and we are saddened by not being able to share them. In fact those of us who are on site realize more than ever that your visits are an integral part of the magic that one feels here. It turns out the Gardens need you too! We have decided to increase the number of "Bloom Blasts" and other communications so that we can keep you close to the Gardens. They will be mostly visual so that we can get short videos and photos out to you in real time and because you’d rather see pictures, wouldn’t you? 

Seriously though, we do want you to know how vital your support is to the Gardens. It is so unfortunate that the timing of the shelter in place order coincides with our busiest season. Based on last year’s income for mid-March to the end of April, we have lost over $250,000 in admissions, memberships, store, nursery, and Rhody’s Cafe income. If you are in a position do so, please consider making a donation o help us keep the Gardens beautiful and the lights on. 

And for our members... We can’t wait to see you and your pups back at the Gardens! We understand that you are missing out on the primary benefit of your membership expiration date to make up for the lost time. When the time comes, the Gardens will be awaiting you with open limbs, branches, leaves, and flowers. 

Thank you everyone and stay safe -

Molly Barker

Executive Director, Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens

* * *

* * *

PANDEMIC PANDEMONIUM--TODAY’S MERGING OF CALIGULA, NAZISM AND ‘1984’

Caligula, The Third Roman Emperor, liked to humiliate people and wanted to be treated as a god. He purged suspected enemies, and regularly ridiculed and insulted people. President Trump says he has absolute authority, and has purged and ridiculed many who have spoken against him. 

Nazis are racist authoritarians, and as Trump would say, some good people. Trump has fueled the growth of race and religious hatred since his election with racist scapegoating of various groups. 

‘1984’, the novel, existed in a time when ‘Ignorance is Strength’. Trump said the Corona virus is ‘the Democrat’s new hoax’, anyway it will all go away soon. Drink or inject Bleach and Lysol it may help he suggests. Take anti malaria pills, what do you have to lose? says he. Dr. Deborah Birx, White House Corona virus Response Coordinator said, ‘If there is a way that people can do those things (tattoo parlors, hair salons, massage therapy) and maintain social distancing, I don’t know how but people are very creative so I am not going to prejudge.’ 

People wake up before you walk off the cliff!

Dr. Nayvin Gordon

Oakland

* * *

A crumbling sea fortress in Peloponnese, Greece

* * *

SOLVING THE MIDEAST PROBLEM

by J.W. Grimes

People who love the sound of their voice usually talk too much and too loud. And that was case of the woman seated next to me at the dinner party. She prattled on about her recent trip to India as if no one at the table had ever been there. I tuned out when she proffered that Indians accepted widespread poverty because they had their transcendent spirituality, no need for the material possessions we of the West slaved for. This while she sipped Loire Valley Pouilly Fume and nibbled Chèvre truffles wrapped in organic bacon. I noted the expressions on the faces of the other sixteen guests, which suggested tedium as well.

My mind drifted to the football game I was missing. My favorite team playing their longtime rival.

It was then I had the whimsical thought associated with football. It was what this East Side mansion’s dining room would look like if I were a housefly roosted on the glittering chandelier high above the dinner table. I imagined it seeing it as a football stadium from the view of the Met Life blimp. The guests’ seats, eight on each side of the table would I likened to the stands on each side of the field. At each end of this fabricated playing field were the end zones where the hostess, Winifred Van Skiver, known affectionately as Winnie in this moneyed precinct, and in the other, on the opposite end of the table husband, Peter, renown for his eleemosynary contribution to scores of city and human charities. They perched on eider down Giant Abacus Cushions in regal slender, glowing with benevolence, suffused in their twinned graciousness. They were the goal posts.

Continuing this Barton Fink-type trope the playing field was adorned with three vintage crystal glasses and the seven silver utensils per setting, along with the butter and salad plates, envisioning their likeness to players, pre-game, standing for the national anthem.

I was comforted on the thirty-five yard line with the loquacious WASPy world traveler on one side, and an attractive middle-aged blond woman, the owner of a fashionable boutique on upper Madison, on the other. 

It was, for me, an extravagant New York dinner party populated with earnest, high profile people discussing grave matters of the day, or had been until the soliloquy next to me began. The conversation had evolved from natural disasters – there had been an earthquake the other day in Crete killing seven hundred people at last count; the arrest that week of two terrorists plotting a subway attack on the F line; to climate warming which prompted the witty Bill Gates-look-a-like seated across the table from me who remarked, “March is the new August.”

A well-funded think tank director named Carter Hale, whose chiseled face resembled those of the Roman emperors statued in the Met, was saying the new worldwide HIV breakout had begun in Ireland though even the Times had not gotten wind of it. The president of Bard College up the Hudson was lamenting the fact that gifting had not recovered from the near-great recession a couple of years ago; and a Silicon Valley VC who resided most of the year in a six bedroom penthouse suite in the Carlyle waxed ebulliently on the prospects for tech startups to slug “ten baggers,” the insider term for a profit ten times the investment. There was a Mrs. Goldberg, a ceremonious widow in her eighties whose husband had been a prominent banker and philanthropist, and a handful of other guests of varying stature and self-importance, sniffy, well informed, well fed, veterans of such occasions.

I was there because the host was a client at the white shoe law firm where I had recently been made partner. I’d been asked by the senior partner who managed the Van Skiver’s affairs to sit in for him, him being called to the White House for what I didn’t know. He made it clear this was a show of his confidence in me, and that the Van Skiver’s had been advised that I was the youngest partner in the firm now and they approved my attendance. “Be yourself,” said my boss, Willard Brown, eponymous sixty year old son of co-founder of Gray, White, and Brown, before he headed in a limo to the heliport on 34th Street. 

I’d rather be at the sports bar near my apartment watching ESPN’s Thursday night college football game but this was a command performance. I was more than a little nervous. I remembered what a colleague told me sometime ago, “Better to be quiet and have people think you are stupid than open your mouth and proving it.” 


The red wine, maybe a Pomerol, had been gently poured from the spot-free decanters into the gleaming Libby Via Tall wine glasses by two young tuxedo-clad waiters simultaneously, the one with the countenance of Brad Pitt handled the job on one side of the table while the other resembled a sleek wide receiver whose movement from guest to guest was virtually undetectable. The wine served now after the hour cocktail welcome perfectly complement the beef tournedos. I was a glass ahead of the others as I carefully signaled Brad for a refill. 

I glanced over to the boutique queen next to me, Lilly Willow was her name, who was looking across the table and noticed for the first time the flawless complexion of her angular face, suggesting world class nip and tuck, accompanied by sparkling diamond earring that whispered Tiffany. She was, I realized, the only person beside me not to comment. In that moment she made up with that reticence speaking with force. 

“We need in this country some out-of-the-box thinking on the Mideast. It’s an untidy mess. Years of Jews and Muslims killing each other. Iraq, Afghanistan, then Libya and now Syria in flames. We lack a coherent strategy to broker the end of the conflict between the Israel and Iran. Too many past failed attempts.”

I’d have to do better than that to get a passing grade from the Van Skiver’s.

The World Bank man sighed languidly, the tone as revealing as the content. “Every president since Carter has been working on it. It’s like talking to empty chairs. No end in sight.” His cheeks, in a sign of resignation perhaps, puffed up like the adder when confronted by the unknown. 

A moment of group reflection was quelled by the voice of our hostess. Winnie spoke in the manner of one long accustomed to being heard, drawing out each syllable in harmonious and patrician pitch. 

“With such a distinguished group of friends I can’t imagine not hearing a thought or two. Yes Lilly, something out of the box. Let no new idea go unspoken.” 

Her soothing smile evoked memories of a majestic rainbow in full. It was shared equally among all guests but I felt she spoke to me. It was time I sprung to life. Third and a long fifteen. I took the snap.

“Excuse me, but I too have been thinking about this Mideast conundrum.” I was synonym-constrained and didn’t want to use the pedestrian word “problem.” Conundrum. It was a conundrum, the whole affair. 

I forged ahead. “What if all the Jews left Israel. All of them and gave the land back to the Muslims and let them divide it up, however they want.”

A few amused looks, more stares of stultification. I could feel the exhalation from a guest two seats away. 

No turning back, socially unacceptable to inhale another slug of Pomerol. I continued undaunted. I had the plan.

“Ladies and gentlemen I grew up in West Virginia which as you know is an impoverished state. Ranks at the bottom in education, income, in every key metric. This idea to end the Mideast standoff could also solve my home state’s problems while bolstering America’s prestige in the Mideast and increasing our GDP growth rate by maybe a third of a point in each of the next ten years.”

I caught my self short of adding, “What’s not to like?”

Blank faces. Bored and doubtful stares. How did this guy get in here?

“We all know Israel has a population of 7 million people, a little under 3 million households. West Virginia has about 24,000 square miles and with 640 acres per square mile that would be about 15 million acres. Subtract a few million because they are on Government-protected land, forests, rivers, caves, and the strip-mined mountains. And that still leaves ten plus million square acres.”

I gained a little attention from the Bill Gates look-a-like. However I noticed Mrs. Goldberg seemed bored and was motioning for a waiter. 

No more warm-up time. Nail it.

“The USA says to Israel: We will give every Israeli household an acre of land in West Virginia and a check for $50,000. An American passport too. Deal is all recipients would agree to live and work for a minimum of ten years in West Virginia.”

Total attention now but I couldn’t tell whether they thought I was insane or drunk, or not. I glanced quickly at Peter Van Skiver, our valued client, who seemed rather amused at this unconventional proposition.

“Not all the Jews will want to leave their very troubled country and not all will want to go to West Virginia. But Netanyahu will fix that. ‘Go to your new homes in the Switzerland of the States. Live there in peace and prosperity. Or stay here and suffer the pain the enemy will never cease from bringing upon us. Religious freedom, an opportunity to travel freely without stress, build your own synagogues, and build new industries.’”

Heads were now bobbing like Halloween apples in a tub of water.

“So, the Mideast problem is eliminated. No more US military presence there, no more aid to all those countries and dictators we prop up.” To lighten the message: “Maybe our President gets a second and richly deserved Nobel prize.”

“And here is the winning point for my beautiful but impoverished state,” my smile now as vast as Park Avenue which loomed outside the bay windows. “In ten years West Virginia will rank as one of the three most prosperous states in America, contributing significantly to the nation’s GDP growth. New businesses will sprout up like dandelions after a spring rain (my only gaffe, proof I was from the Hillbilly State.) Employment leaps ahead. The market loves it. The price of gasoline falls by a third as instability in the region diminishes. Unlimited possibilities.”

A voice to my right utters “Everyone wins.” Across the table “an elegant solution.” Another: “Zany stuff but I see a germ of an idea.” Another: “God is in the details.” Winnie” “Out of the box!” 

The twinkling sound of wine glasses exuberantly mating, the din of refreshed zeal.

Beaming with satisfaction I saw Mrs. Goldberg struggle to her feet. The room goes silent. People only rise to their feet at a dinner party when a toast is to be given.

Mrs. Goldberg momentarily teeters. Rights herself with a deep breath. Brad appears and takes her arm. 

“Now we just met, Mister, what is your name again, and I like your ideals of ending the slaughter over there, mostly caused by the Muslims. I grew up in Tel Aviv so I know of what I speak. And you are a man of great loyalty to care so much about your poor state. Who can not share your ideals?”

She paused. He cheeks reddening as she spoke. I had a foreboding sense she wasn’t finished.

“Now assuming what you have described works. The Israelis leave. Palestine gets the land. Peace follows in the region, the U.S. economy soars and West Virginia becomes the new California.” All eyes locked in on Mrs. Goldberg now.

“What you don’t know sir is that at the end of those ten years West Virginia would be at war with its border states Virginia, Pennsylvania, Ohio. Did I miss any?” 

Yes, I thought, Maryland and Kentucky.

She sat back down to unanimous approval as witnessed by the munificent smiles sent her way. No one seemed to have anything to add. The hostess announced to everyone’s apparent relief that Ben & Jerry’s ice cream and baked Californian figs would now arrive.

I might still get to see the fourth quarter after all.

* * *

FOUND OBJECT

26 Responses to "MCT: Wednesday, April 29, 2020"

  1. Eric Sunswheat   April 29, 2020 at 2:34 am

    RE: There are as many opinions on the Covid-19 issue as there are degrees on a compass. Every pro and con argument can be found with a quick internet search. Every nuance. Every scholarly report, every half-assed opinion…
    We all have opinions, and we all can find argument on the internets that support and affirm those opinions. But opinions are not facts. The virus is called a novel virus for a reason…

    ———>. April 28, 2020
    NewsGuard has classified mercola.com as fake news because we have reported the SARS-CoV-2 virus as potentially having been leaked from the biosafety level 4 laboratory in Wuhan City, China, the epicenter of the COVID-19 outbreak.

    NewsGuard’s intern Nina Zweig (edited by deputy editor John Gregory) referred to my February 4, 2020, article, “Novel Coronavirus — The Latest Pandemic Scare,” in which I stated:

    “In January 2018, China’s first maximum security virology laboratory (biosecurity level 4) designed for the study of the world’s most dangerous pathogens opened its doors — in Wuhan.1,2 Is it pure coincidence that Wuhan City is now the epicenter of this novel coronavirus infection?

    The year before, Tim Trevan, a Maryland biosafety consultant, expressed concern about viral threats potentially escaping the Wuhan National Biosafety Laboratory,3 which happens to be located just 20 miles from the Wuhan market identified as ground zero for the current NCIP outbreak.4”

    According to NewsGuard,5 “There is no evidence that the Wuhan Institute of Virology was the source of the outbreak, and genomic evidence has found that the virus is ‘96% identical at the whole-genome level to a bat coronavirus.’”

    Evidence Suggests SARS-CoV-2 Is a Modified Bat Coronavirus

    Sure, as detailed in my April 26, 2020, interview with bioweapons expert Francis Boyle, who drafted the Biological Weapons Anti-Terrorism Act of 1989, SARS-CoV-2 started out with a bat coronavirus, but scientific evidence has revealed much more about this virus, none of which NewsGuard is bothering to take into account before classifying and censoring reports as “misinformation.”

    Importantly, there’s compelling scientific evidence published in many prominent scientific journals showing this virus was indeed created in a lab and not zoonotically transmitted (transmitted naturally from animal to human).

    As explained by Boyle, SARS-CoV-2 appears to be a bat coronavirus6 that was modified to integrate spike proteins that allow the virus to enter human cells by attaching to ACE-2 receptors. It’s also been modified to integrate an envelope protein from HIV called GP141, which tends to impair the immune system.

    Additionally, Boyle strongly suspects nanotechnology was used in its creation as well, as its exceptional ability to stay airborne for long periods of time is a nanotech hallmark.7

    NewsGuard’s arbitrary dismissal of my February 4 article as fake news is equally inappropriate even if the virus is “all natural” and zoonotically transmitted. As reported by The Daily Mail, April 11, 2020:8

    “The laboratory at the center of scrutiny over the pandemic has been carrying out research on bats from the cave which scientists believe is the original source of the devastating outbreak.

    Documents obtained by The Mail on Sunday show the Wuhan Institute of Virology undertook coronavirus experiments on mammals captured more than 1,000 miles away in Yunnan — funded by a $3.7 million grant from the US government. Sequencing of the Covid-19 genome has traced it to bats found in Yunnan’s caves.”

    Governments Are Not Dismissing Possibility of a Leak

    An April 14, 2020, report9,10 by The Washington Post highlighted the fact that U.S. State Department cables from two years ago warned there were inadequate safety precautions and procedures in place at Wuhan’s BSL4 facility, and April 15, 2020, Fox News reported11 that “State Department leaked cables renew theories on origin of coronavirus.”

    Yet NewsGuard, the thought police advertising front group for industries like Big Pharma and tobacco, simply dismisses and wants to bury this information. Such censorship has no room in a democratic and free society. I would argue that shutting down conversations about the origin of SARS-CoV-2 is a direct threat to democracy and indeed to science itself.

    Will NewsGuard classify The Washington Post’s and Fox News’ articles as “misinformation” as well? Fox News quotes Gen. Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff12

    “It should be no surprise to you that we have taken a keen interest in that and we’ve had a lot of intelligence take a hard look at that. I would just say at this point, it’s inconclusive, although the weight of evidence seems to indicate natural, but we don’t know for certain.”

    As you may have noticed, in my “flagged” February 4 article I didn’t even make an assertion, I merely asked the question: “Is it pure coincidence that Wuhan City is now the epicenter of this novel coronavirus infection?”

    February 16, 2020, Chinese scientists even raised the possibility that SARS-CoV-2 is the result of bioweapons research leaked from the Wuhan Institute of Virology. See the video below for this report.
    https://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2020/04/28/newsguard-fake-news.aspx

    Reply
  2. Craig Stehr   April 29, 2020 at 3:21 am

    ~Achieving God Realization while Waiting for the World to Reopen~

    “Practice zazen with your eyes half opened. In this posture, look upon the original countenance that you had before you were born of your mother and father! Before you were born of your mother and father means before they themselves were born, before heaven was separated from earth, before you took on human form. Your original countenance must be seen. In its original countenance a thing has neither color nor form, like formless emptiness. Thus the Buddha has taught: “Buddha body and Dharma body are like emptiness; Buddha body and Dharma body are your original countenance.”

    Craig Louis Stehr
    Email: craiglouisstehr@gmail.com
    Blog: http://craiglstehr.blogspot.com
    Paypal.me/craiglouisstehr
    Snail Mail: P.O. Box 235670, Honolulu, HI 96823-3511
    No Phone ;-)

    Reply
  3. john ignoffo   April 29, 2020 at 7:19 am

    Regarding a reader comment yesterday: we in flyover country do not consider California to be the “land of kooks and nuts”, but rather fruits, flakes and nuts (present company excepted of course).

    Reply
  4. Lazarus   April 29, 2020 at 7:48 am

    FOUND OBJECT

    But wait! We’ll give you a second Trump, Pence, 2020 for free! Just cover shipping and handling. Not sold in stores.

    As always,
    Laz

    Reply
  5. Cotdbigun   April 29, 2020 at 8:40 am

    What are the odds that anything that Adam “Shifty” Schiff says is true ?

    Reply
    • Marshall Newman   April 29, 2020 at 9:01 am

      Good, actually. He has exaggerated a few times, but most of his statements have been true.

      Reply
      • Joe   April 29, 2020 at 9:11 am

        Except that comparing the Nunez memo and the Schiff memo at this point in time reveals that he is a flaming liar . He is still holding back exculpatory testimony from being revealed in the whole impeachment hoax.

        Reply
        • Marshall Newman   April 29, 2020 at 10:02 am

          Comparing Schiff to Nunez? Really?

          Reply
          • Joe   April 29, 2020 at 10:54 am

            Yeah you are right, no comparison Nunez has integrity. Schiff’s wall of lies is falling by the day, he was part of the gang of 8 that new about the fake Russia investigation in the first place. When the information redacted and becomes public we will all see what they knew about it before it got started. The coup leaders about to be indicted, watch.

          • Marshall Newman   April 29, 2020 at 11:38 am

            I am perfectly happy to give you enough rope.

          • Bruce Anderson   April 29, 2020 at 12:21 pm

            I quoted Schiff because I share his view that Trump just might try to subvert the election, and Schiff is certainly better placed than me to be alarmed. The vehemence of disagreements these days has gotten US to a very dangerous place indeed, the ancient place of Shut Up Or I’ll Kill You. Sorry for pontificating.

          • Joe   April 29, 2020 at 12:48 pm

            What do you think about voting by mail and ballot harvesting that the democrats are proposing and doing in California. How about the George Soros connected voting machines? How about all the dead people that are being cleared off of state voting roles only due to law suits filed by judicial watch? What about all of the foreigners that are encouraged to vote in our elections by liberal politicians including Obama? – totally illegal. What about the coup that was attempted on Trump with the fake dossier paid for by HRC and laundered through her law firm which was based on info from a Russian operative? Was that election interference?

            But you are worried about pure conjecture from the echo chamber MSM that Trump is going to goof with the elections?

          • Joe   April 29, 2020 at 12:56 pm

            ..and what about the “choices” the DNC gives you to elect the president, do you think that is election interference? Do you notice that there seems to be peace when “their guy” gets in office so the corruption can go on behind the firewall of bought FBI alphabet soup agencies that cover for the criminals on a daily basis. The Epstien revelations should have shown everyone the dirty business of capturing everyone that the elite need to run the show. Yes democracy has died in the darkness but only because we let it. Let’s clean it up they want us divided.

          • Marshall Newman   April 30, 2020 at 4:45 pm

            Name calling. Diverting to a different issue. Making groundless claims. Joe is running the Trump playbook.

  6. Joe   April 29, 2020 at 9:03 am

    For those of you concerned about President Trumps moral character maybe you might be interested in the relationship between Ed Buck and Adam Schiff;

    https://loomered.com/2019/11/20/schiff-is-terrified-of-video-allegedly-in-custody-of-the-fbi/

    Reply
  7. Joe   April 29, 2020 at 9:23 am

    How about that Bill Gates he and Bezos got richer during the pandemic;

    https://www.zerohedge.com/markets/americas-super-rich-see-their-wealth-rise-282-billion-three-weeks-pandemic

    The guy that can’t keep a virus out of his operating systems wants to cure the human body of one?

    Reply
    • Bruce Anderson   April 29, 2020 at 2:20 pm

      He said, quoting Fox News verbatim, spittle flying, turning purple. Joe, even assuming your credulous catechism is true, save your energy for what’s coming, and it’s real.

      Reply
  8. Lazarus   April 29, 2020 at 9:43 am

    Mr. AVA,
    One of the most interesting moments in yesterday’s BoS meeting, which you chose to omit, was the Chair of the Board’s authority being challenger by Supervisor McCowen. After Supervisor Williams had been allowed to ask a dozen questions of the MHD, Supervisor McCowen took exception with the Chair not allowing him to do the same, it got rather testy…

    Then there was the attempt to slip by a proposed change in the rules for time limits of Supervisor questions and comments. Really Mr. Chair, what’s the rush? Regardless the majority prevailed and they, the other four Sups, got there way.

    This was the rub on Supervisor Haschak when he was involved in the Willits school business, a bit of a bully.
    Be well,
    Laz

    Reply
  9. John   April 29, 2020 at 12:09 pm

    I don’t find Sevy Sexy (cf Catch of the Day)

    Reply
  10. Bill Harper   April 29, 2020 at 3:50 pm

    Bruce,

    The Chinatown photo is depicting some sort of parade, wedding or other? Notice the woman in the only white dress leading the group on the left of the cable car.
    Also the street is full to the right of the cable car for only one or two blocks. the rest of the street beyond is empty.
    What was the point of the photo?
    Bill Harper

    Reply
    • Bruce Anderson   April 29, 2020 at 5:04 pm

      Beats me? What do you think?

      Reply
  11. Stephen Rosenthal   April 29, 2020 at 6:52 pm

    Thank you Dr. Miller for providing a much appreciated detailed explanation about Covid-19 testing. Interesting that he, not Dr. Doohan, the County’s MIA Public Health Officer, did so. Oh well, business as usual in San Diego, er, Mendocino County.

    Reply

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