- Cooling Trend
- New SIP
- Parks Open
- Haircut Essential
- Rogue Counties
- Testing Needs
- Scott Valley
- Supe Letters
- Legal Tender
- Bar Love
- Hammerstrom Arrested
- Bombing Yemen
- Lockdown Song
- B Dollars
- Pressed Flowers
- Ed Notes
- Yesterday's Catch
- Real Heroes
- Kezar Stadium
- Flynn Flam
- Applebee Resistance
- High-tech Cars
- Covid Relief
- Gun Dealer
- Dental Support
- VE Day
- Opportunity Knocks
- Found Object
INLAND TEMPERATURES WILL COOL SLIGHTLY from yesterday as a cooling trend begins in advance of a Pacific storm approaching the west coast. Coastal areas will also see increasing marine influence with overnight low clouds and fog...along with patchy drizzle possible. Much cooler temperatures are expected next week, with a wetting rain expected Monday through Wednesday or Thursday. (NWS)
FLOWER MOON OVER ANDERSON VALLEY
HEALTH OFFICER ISSUES NEW HEALTH ORDER FOLLOWING GOVERNOR NEWSOM’S STATEWIDE TRANSITION TO STAGE 2 OF RE-OPENING
Post Date: 05/08/2020 6:48 PM
County Health Officer Dr. Doohan issued a new Shelter-In-Pace (SIP) Order in alignment with Governor Newsom’s modified Stay-At-Home Order moving California into Stage 2 of his four-staged plan to reopen the State. The Governor’s Stage 2 Order goes into effect today, May 8, and allows the gradual reopening of lower-risk workplaces with adaptions outline in the State’s workplace safety guidance.
Mendocino County’s new SIP goes in effect tonight, May 8 at 11:59 p.m. and will be in place until June 8, 2020.
In accordance with the statewide directives, and in light of the collective efforts taken to date in Mendocino County to slow the virus’ trajectory, the Stage 2 Order allows additional lower risk business activities to resume while the Health Officer continues to locally monitor certain COVID-19 indicators. These indicators include the trend in the number of new COVID-19 cases, the capacity of our local and regional health systems, the supply of personal protective equipment available for healthcare providers, the ability and capacity to accurately test for COVID-19, and the ability to conduct case investigation and contact tracing for the volume of cases and persons exposed to the same.
For a description of which businesses are in Stage 2, versus later stages, please see this chart here: mendocinocounty.org/community/novel-coronavirus/health-order
The major changes to the new Stage 2 Shelter-In-Place Order include:
The Order identifies new “lower risk businesses”, such as all retail establishments (curbside pickup only), manufacturing (urging work in stable groups of 12), workers providing cleaning and disinfection services, animal hygiene and care for health and safety purposes (such as dog grooming during foxtail and tick season), and construction as permitted by the State, which are allowed to operate with proper COVID-19 prevention protocols and in accordance with any industry-specific guidance issued by the State (https://covid19.ca.gov/roadmap/#guidance).
The Order also allows for certain “outdoor businesses” such as golf courses, horseback riding facilities (and other recreational facilities) and services provided by landscapers and gardeners (to the extent not purely for aesthetic purposes) to operate with proper COVID-19 prevention protocols.
Essential Activities have been expanded by the Stage 2 Order to include a wide-range of activities that can be done within 50 miles (as measured by a straight line on a map) of one’s residence by household or living unit, including golfing, swimming, surfing, kayaking, canoeing, among other activities.
People may also recreate in their vehicles within the same 50 mile restriction, by household, living unit or Stable Group of 12 (defined as a group of 12 or less members over a 30 day time period), such as travel to a location for outdoor recreation, attend a ceremony or a live-streamed or video-recorded event, or simply to engage in recreational driving or boating, with proper social distancing, facial coverings and other protective measures.
The Order expands “essential businesses” to include real estate functions and automobile dealerships with strict adherence to the State specific industry guidance
Childcare and other programs providing care or supervision for children have been expanded for families to perform essential activities and to enable work pursuant to the Order and pursuant to certain restrictions as outlined in the Order.
The Health Order and a summary of the major changes are available online at https://www.mendocinocounty.org/community/novel-coronavirus/health-order. The order is enforceable by imprisonment and/or fine thus we urge all residents to closely read the order and follow it.
More information on Governor Newsom’s resilience roadmap and four-staged plan to reopening California, please visit: https://covid19.ca.gov/roadmap/.
For more on COVID-19: www.mendocinocounty.org
Call Center: (707) 234-6052 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
The call center is open Monday-Friday from 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
STATE PARKS OPEN
State parks update: Mendocino County no longer on the state parks closure list
Rogue counties are getting a lot of attention about the pace of economic reopening, and degrees of public health safety requirements from the state. Apparently, Mendocino County is going down the same road based on some online comments by county Supervisor John McCowen.
McCowen seemingly has joined in the clamor that “Local conditions in Mendocino County and our experience on the ground is not accounted for in the Governor's Order. The Governor is running a risk (and I think we might be seeing it happen in Yuba and Sutter) of provoking an overreaction.”
Then, McCowen offers up a litany of complaints and suggests at the end that “The Governor can solve this problem and others with the stroke of a pen by simply allowing local Public Health Officers to make decisions based on local conditions and experience.”
Well, given the questionable hiring by McCowen and other Mendocino County supervisors of a new Public Health Officer from Nevada, I wonder: 8newsnow.com/news/local-news/controversial-health-district-leader-dr-joe-iser-sets-jan-3-retirement-date/
Public health concerns need to be addressed responsibly, and with uniformity. Yes, rural areas at this point in the pandemic seem to be faring better than urban regions but the trend nationwide suggests not for long. Even with the positives for Mendocino and other rural counties, it needs to be asked where is the testing?
Can the county certify, among other things, that:
- Testing is available for at least 75 percent of residents within an hour in rural ones.
- At least one person in Mendocino County is trained and ready to work as contact tracers per 100,000 residents.
- There has been no more than one Covid-19 case per 10,000 residents in the past 14 days.
- Temporary housing is available for at least 15 percent of the county’s homeless population in case of an outbreak.
Mendocino County is easing shelter-in-place restrictions, but cannot maximize loosening as allowed under the Governor's new order due to insufficient testing capabilities. We have averaged 24/tests per day under a mix of contracted support from Sonoma County's public health lab and temporary state coordinated resources. Based on our population, in order to fully reopen as allowed by California Phase 2, we must certify capacity to test the required 135 people per day. Other counties are in a similar position and have responded by scaling up their public health laboratories. We don't have a public health laboratory to scale up. Staff has been working to identify excess capacity elsewhere, but as of now, no plans are in place. With a required formula of 1.5 tests/day per 1,000 residents, all counties are rushing to meet their own needs. The state has eighty mobile testing labs ready to address "testing islands." We should qualify, but we have yet to receive a mobile lab. We have specimen supplies, staff ready to gather specimens, but no dedicated lab. Mendocino County is a lab testing desert. This will impact our economic recovery and public health wellbeing. To fact check staff, I've contacted test device manufacturers. Backorders are presently at approximately two months (plus integration for a county that has not operated such units) and growing. Without state assistance, our economy will be further impacted. This is for the PCR testing necessary to meet requirements.
Direct your support for state assistance to meet our state mandated testing requirement to Dr Dean. I ask that while your expression be appropriately firm, we remain respectful of our state partners. The message needs to be conveyed, but in a manner that will continue to strengthen relationships. I see other counties violating state direction and I shake my head, wondering how successful they'll be in securing disaster and recovery dollars.
Dr. Charity Dean, Co-Chair of the State Testing Task Force: email@example.com
SELECTED SUPERVISORS CORRESPONDENCE:
I find it hard to believe that this county is so petty as to put up signs saying your not welcome here. Very much a Trump vision of F___ the rest of you. There is little to be gained by this move other than piss off people from within county and out of county.
 Dear All,
I'm looking at the 5 Ts of this Covid-19 scenario. They are:
Temperature -- do we have sufficient numbers of non-contact thermometers to adequately monitor citizens wanting to enter shops and businesses to transact business? Thermometer reading for employee and customer alike. If so, how many do we have and how are they being deployed? Please be specific.
Testing -- our testing rates has gone up significantly over the past week. Good Job! To which cohorts has it been directed? It seems hot-spots are environs where many people live in close quarters. Has Public Health prioritized these? The jail, residential senior care centers, half-way houses -- you get the picture. Are the residents of these facilities prioritized? If not, why not?
A second matter about Testing: how many kits do we have available? How many will we have next week? And the week after that? Please advise the public.
Each of these last three elements is beyond the scope of my inquiry right now. The first two are of utmost importance methinks.
I'm addressing these questions and comments primarily to Dr. Doohan, whose email address I do not have. Someone might forward it to me, but please forward this missive to her.
As we all are aware, information is power, and without the necessary measurements, we cannot best manage this Covid-19.
Having said that, I have to say we have done a remarkable job thus far. Kudos to you all.
Thanks for your consideration.
 Dear Mendocino County Supervisors,
We are writing to express our concern regarding the proposal to consolidate the Public Defender, Alternate Defender and Conflict Defender offices in the FY 2020-21 Budget Workshop Presentation in Item 5d of the Board of Supervisors’ Agenda.
There is no explanation or detail regarding this item or what the consolidation would entail, but it projects a $500,000 annual savings. Without details, the public does not have an opportunity to review the recommendation and the Board can’t determine if the change is in the best interest of the County.
The Alternate Defender Office (ADO) represents defendants when the Public Defender Office (PDO) declares a conflict of interest. A conflict of interest exists when multiple defendants participate in a single crime and are charged as co- defendants. Only one person in the group of co-defendants should be assigned an attorney from the PDO. The PDO and the ADO are located in separate buildings to avoid any appearance of conflict of interest. Even having support staff work on related cases for both the PDO and ADO can create the appearance of a conflict. When the PDO and ADO both declare a conflict of interest, a conflict attorney is appointed by the court from the Conflicts Attorney List and is paid from the general fund.
Back in 2011, the Grand Jury studied the PDO and ADO. They recommended that the Mendocino County Board of Supervisors maintain the Office of the Public Defender and the Office of the Alternate Defender in separate buildings. The Grand Jury also recommended in cases with multiple defendants having the District Attorney charge defendants separately to save the County money; as fewer defendants will need the private “conflict” attorneys. The biggest cost burden identified in the budget report is from private attorneys being assigned from the Conflicts Attorney List. Following this second recommendation more closely may reduce the need and expense of private attorneys from the Conflicts list.
We recognize that the County is facing uncertain financial challenges because of the unprecedented COVID-19 emergency. The Board will need to make hard decisions about how to balance the County budget going forward. But in these deliberations, we need to make sure that a defendant’s right to effective counsel without possible conflicts of interest are maintained.
Troyle Tognoli, Julie Beardsley, Nick Wharff and Brian Klovski Mendocino County Chapter Executive Board, SEIU Local 1021
 Dear Chair Haschak and Members of the Mendocino County Board of Supervisors;
The Willits Environmental Center supports the opening of Phase 3 on July 1, 2020. We oppose the proposed MND addendum and Ordinance amendment to postpone opening Phase 3.
Proposing to postpone the opening of Phase 3 for almost a year, rather than proceeding with the long established Phase 3 opening date of July 1, 2020, has implications that are potentially controversial and consequential. Therefore, we do not think it is in keeping with the Board's intention of delaying non-COVID-19, non-essential controversial issues until the public is able to participate in discussions readily and reliably.
In addition, the Phase 3 applicants are the farmers and business people that the County should be eager to welcome - new applicants willing to operate openly and legally in accordance with the opportunities and restrictions set forth in the County Ordinance, well established and available for anyone to assess. These are the business people who have decided they can work within the County's legal framework and build a viable business. Why put them off for another eleven months and risk losing them altogether?
Phase 3 applications may be somewhat easier for the Planning Department to process because there will not be the ambiguities of having to prove prior cultivation or the complications of relocation, and the Phase 3 zoning districts allowed for new cultivation are clear and straightforward. Opening Phase 3 will further the process of directing this industry to areas more accessible to customers and services, where environmental conflicts are minimized and water availability more secure, and where future growth can be accommodated, just as intended by the original Ordinance and the adopted MND.
If the County plans to confront non-permitted growers in an effort to bring at least some into the legal system as tax- paying residents and business people, Phase 3 provides a path for those willing and able to do so.
Do not delay Phase 3. We think it is a good and logical step toward meeting the social, economic and environmental goals of the Ordinance and its accompanying MND.
Thank you for your consideration of these comments.
Sincerely, Ellen Drell, for the Willits Environmental Center
 April 27, 2020
Chief Executive Officer EOC Commander
The County of Mendocino
Dear Ms. Angelo,
204 S. Oak. St., Ukiah, CA 95482
The Community Foundation of Mendocino County has been closely following the impact of COVID-19 in Mendocino County, and has established the COVID-19 Relief Fund to provide basic needs to individuals, families, and organizations adversely impacted by the pandemic. We are writing to you today to request the County of Mendocino’s fiscal support for these efforts.
Based on the current economic data about our county, it is possible that at least 55% of Mendocino County residents are not likely to have the resources to weather the financial impacts of the pandemic. This includes both those below poverty already (about 19%) and those who are Asset Limited, Income Constrained, and Employed (ALICE) households with income above the Federal Poverty Level but below the basic cost of living (about 35%). Mendocino County is also home to a large tribal population (approximately 6%) and Hispanic/Latino population (approximately 25%). Historical inequities and language barriers present additional challenges to receiving timely and accessible aid as well.
To date we have granted $170,000 from the COVID-19 Relief Fund. $100,000 of this has been to provide immediate financial assistance for individuals and families without other resources. The remaining $70,000 was granted to senior centers and food banks in all seven regions of the county to ensure hunger relief to the food insecure. We currently estimate this to include seniors; low-income families and youth; low-access residents; individuals with underlying physical, emotional, or intellectual conditions; disabled; homeless or housing insecure; Native Americans and communities of color; veterans; undocumented migrants; and service workers.
Our nonprofit partners have ramped up many of their services to ensure the food banks are open, the Meals on Wheels programs continue, and that senior centers can serve this critical population. Our food relief partners throughout our county are:
- Anderson Valley Food Pantry Anderson Valley Senior Center Caring Kitchen (NCO)
- Coastal Seniors
- Mendo Lake Food Hub (NCO)
- Ford Street Community Food Bank
- Hospitality Center
- Indian Senior Center
- Laytonville Food Pantry
- Laytonville Healthy Start
- Manchester / Point Arena Rancheria (Coastal Seniors)
- Mendocino Food and Nutrition Program
- Potter Valley Youth and Community Center
- Redwood Coast Seniors
- Round Valley Food Pantry
- Round Valley Indian Tribes Senior Center
- Ukiah Senior Center
- Willits Community Services
- Willits Daily Bread
- Willits Senior Center
We are requesting $250,000 from The County of Mendocino to be used for food relief and personal hygiene products, with 15% for indirect overhead for program administration. These funds would be granted through our trusted non-profit partners to serve populations in every community countywide. By matching what we have raised to date, the County of Mendocino can make a significant impact to help residents who are struggling through this crisis. Together we can distribute 2-4 more rounds of funding to organizations in need, to ensure our people are cared for at the most basic level. The Community Foundation has a solid history working collaboratively with the County of Mendocino to support our communities in need. This collaboration was critical to the success of our fire recovery efforts, and we hope to work in partnership again to help everyone in our community through this unprecedented crisis.
Thank you for your consideration, please let me know if you have any questions.
Megan Barber Allende
President/CEO, Community Foundation of Mendocino County
MEMO OF THE WEEK
To: Lou Higgins
From: Bill Grimes
May, 6, 2020
Subject: What else?
The real problem, the one that hurts, is there’s not a restaurant open for dining, and therefore, and more importantly, no bar for drinking. Just after a couple of years out here in suburbanville having three favorite watering holes where the barmen and I address each other like frat brothers. It’s all gone.
I miss the feeling of having showered and shaved, donning dry-cleaned threads and sauntering into a favored restaurant, its bar endowed with the seductive ambience, the hue of twilight, the resonance of clientele urbanity, and a bartender with polished confidence, and the comfort of high back chairs. It’s also nice to be greeted with Good Evening Mister Grimes.
I love bars, a generality I know, but I think we need good bars to reduce the haunting ghosts of uncertainty, to discard banal voices, and provide an environment where the guy sitting next to you might be the next Lou Higgins.
For me there is no more diverse, more egalitarian, more non-judgmental setting than a tavern tailored to your whims. And I like to get mildly, at least, drunk.
FORMER FORT BRAGG CITY COUNCILMAN arrested for domestic abuse
Well here's a shocker: former Fort Bragg City Councilor Doug Hammerstrom was arrested by Fort Bragg Police Thursday night @ 10:36 pm for domestic violence, false imprisonment and resisting arrest and was booked on three misdemeanor charges at the Mendocino County Jail Friday morning and released from the Ukiah lockup @ 8:44 am on $10,000 bond.
LEAVE YEMEN ALONE
To the Editor,
There is so much injustice in the world. One of the most devastating examples in the world right now is the United States of America in collusion with the body-hacking Saudis, bombing the small country of Yemen. Yemen is also being attacked from within by rebels (thugs?).
This bombing buddy duo has bombed markets, schools, hospitals, etc.
"Oh beautiful for spacious skies."
What is it we want? What is it the Saudis want?
Yesterday, the news of another attack in Yemen: the coronavirus.
How heartless can we be?
Imagine, if we were being bombed in the midst of this epidemic!
Let's demand an immediate halt to this colossal abuse of power.
We have more time now theoretically.
Can we take some time to let our power structure know that this is unacceptable?
"America," "America, God shed his grace on thee.” “And crowned thy good with brotherhood…"
In this day and age, expanded to the world.
PS. The Arabs in Gaza, the Native Americans, and the Uyghurs of China (not currently our fault) — the list could be expanded.
AS OF APRIL 2, 2020, Measure B has brought in about $15.5 million and expended about $0.5 million ($274k of which was spent on the Redwood Valley “training center"). Consultant Lee Kemper got about $64k. Consultant Sarah Riley got about $13k. And Measure B reimbursed the County for almost $162k for the cost of the measure’s election. (There is no breakdown of the $162k.)
ARTWORK OF BOONVILLE ARTIST SUSAN ROBINSON
THIRTY-THREE MILLION have filed for unemployment in the US since the coronavirus lockdowns began in earnest in the middle of March. Many more have tried and failed because of ancient software. But 20.5 million is the official number of jobs lost in April. According to a report released on Friday by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, is the worst single month for job losses since records began to be kept in 1939.
WE'LL SEE what the Democrats come up with in the way of the FDR plan they're talking about, and I doubt we'll hear any of our leaders indict capitalism — the unregulated type we've got going here — as the root cause. Even without Cheeto Head at the top of the national government, this terrible affliction needn't have caused the pain it's causing and will cause for the foreseeable future. Our privatized medical system has of course proved laughably unequal to the task, and as yet there's no mention of the needed Rooseveltian-quality help people are going to need to bring at least a semblance of stability to their lives. $1200 to a portion of upside down citizens is hardly going to right the ship.
NOT RECOMMENDED VIEWING but interesting is the four hour American Masters nauseatingly hagiographic documentary on George W. Bush and his repellant government as he and they ignite a steady series of disasters for two terms in office. Not to be too boringly repetitive, but the downward spiral had already been set in motion prior to Bush, and now this, a guy who makes Bush look like Abe Lincoln. In a country with millions of smart, capable people, what the hell happened?
RENDESIVIR, the drug that apparently beats back some cases of coronavirus, costs $9.32 to make, but will cost patients in the neighborhood of $4500.
CAN we please suspend the resoundingly untrue mantra, "We're all in this together"? No, we aren't. Lots of people are doing just fine, our supervisors, for instance, and a slew of our highly paid public bureaucrats. Wait! I've got it! Everyone employed by the county who makes more than $70 grand take at least ten percent off the top, collect it every month, and give it to the in-county food banks. The Supes, evaluating them on the basis of their weekly performance, would give half their pay. (Food banks everywhere in the country are beginning to run out of stuff, especially money to buy goods.)
CATCH OF THE DAY, May 8, 2020
SHANNON ARNOLD, Fort Bragg. Disorderly conduct-alcohol, probation revocation.
DOUGLAS HAMMERSTROM, Fort Bragg. Domestic battery, false imprisonment, resisting.
ISMAEL MARTINEZ, Fort Bragg. Controlled substance for sale, smuggling controlled substances or liquor into jail, suspended license, probation violation.
EUGENE MCDONALD, Willits. Elder abuse resulting in great bodily injury or death, domestic battery.
MARCIE QUESTONI, Petaluma/Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-alcohol.
ROBERT TAYLOR, Ukiah. First degree burglary.
WE HONOR WHAT WE VALUE: ENTERTAINERS OVER SAVIORS
by Ralph Nader
“We honor what we value,” goes the old saying. In our hedonistic culture we value most those who can put a ball in a hole. We ignore those who save lives through civic action.
The sports champions – golf, basketball, football, and baseball – receive riches and accolades from the masses. They are inducted into “Halls of Fame” and are the subjects of biographies, and documentary and feature films. As for the mass life-savers – few even know their names, much less their dramatic victories against overwhelming odds.
I was reminded of this contrast by a major New York Times Sports feature on Tiger Woods and his comeback win in the 2019 Masters Tournament, which was watched breathlessly by millions of golf fans around the world. Praises poured in on social media and many articles, features, and editorials covered every nuance of this golf match.
Barack Obama tweeted, “To come back and win the Masters after all the highs and lows is a testament to excellence, grit, and determination.”
What about the excellence, grit and determination of economist James Love? In the midst of the horrendous HIV epidemic, Love brilliantly organized, argued, wrote, and traveled the world before he found Dr. Yusuf Hamied and Cipla, an Indian company that took down Big Pharma’s $10,000 price for HIV drugs per African patient per year to $300 per patient. Neither Love nor his allies William Haddad and Robert Weissman were the subjects of features in major media outlets.
Others in the unsung circle of self-motivated stalwarts are David Zwick, Clarence Ditlow, Dr. Sidney Wolfe, and Joan Claybrook. Zwick helped write the Clean Water Act of 1972 and then started Clean Water Action which canvassed tens of millions of homes, distributing materials sparking local citizen action and nationally lobbying against water pollution for over four decades.
Engineer and lawyer Clarence Ditlow ran the Center for Auto Safety in Washington, DC and over forty years caused the recall of millions of defective cars. He also got the states to enact “lemon laws” to give voice to new car owners getting justice when their new car turned out to be “lemons.” Over roughly the same time span Joan Claybrook repeatedly blocked the auto-giants’ constant efforts to weaken or stop federal safety regulation that protected motorists.
As for Dr. Wolfe, with his small team, he produced three major books: Worst Pills Best Pills, Pills That Don’t Work: A Consumers’ and Doctors’ Guide to Over 600 Prescription Drugs That Lack Evidence of Effectiveness, and Over the Counter Pills That Don’t Work reaching millions of consumers through mass audience outlets such as the Phil Donahue Show. Dr. Wolfe also persistently pushed the FDA and drug companies to remove hundreds of ineffective and/or dangerous drugs from the market, thus preventing health-threatening side-effects and saving consumers billions of dollars. That’s just a few of the successes of Dr. Wolfe’s Public Citizen Health Research Group.
In 1971 three scientists spun off from our organization to start the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI). Still turning its pistons nearly 50 years later, its long-time leader Dr. Michael Jacobson went after the junk food/drink industry and the deadly amount of high salt, high fat, and high sugar content in processed foods with scientific rigor and persistence. CSPI publishes the very popular health newsletter Nutrition Action and uses litigation and regulatory interventions to educate the public. CSPI arguably changed the nutritional habits of millions of people and exposed the slick and deceptive ads and crude direct marketing to children by the fast food chains and the cereal manufacturers. These companies are heavily responsible for the childhood obesity epidemic and its ongoing malignant health consequences.
Then there are Karen Ferguson and Karen Friedman running the Pension Rights Center in Washington, DC. They provide members of Congress and labor unions with technical advice on pension policy, inform the press, and help thousands of pensioners who are being ripped off by employers. Only trillions of dollars are at stake.
For these and many other long-term fighters for justice up against cruel or reckless corporations and their political toadies, there are few accolades, almost no recognition, and no citizen Hall of Fame. (See breakingthroughpower.org)
It is time for foundations or the enlightened super rich to start an annual “Citizen Academy Awards” to correct this imbalance of recognition and offer the mass media some inspiring content. This big-time dramatic event would elevate our priorities as a society and showcase motivating role models for our youngsters. Perhaps Barack Obama could be the first MC for this authentic reality event.
To put the spectator mania for professional sports in perspective, we can listen to the words of the great all-round Hall of Fame superstar, the late Al Kaline of the Detroit Tigers. At his peak in the nineteen sixties, he told New York Times reporter Ira Berkow:
‘Sometimes I wonder what I’m doing, if I’ve wasted my time all these years,’ he told me, his eyes thoughtful. ‘And sometimes I think I have. I would like to have more to contribute to society. I don’t know, maybe a doctor. Something where you really play an important part in people’s lives.’
Al Kaline was one humble, great athlete, compared, with some luminous exceptions, to the “me, me, me” narcissism of too many sports stars today. Sports superstars could easily direct more support and attention to those little recognized citizen advocates who protect the serious necessities of life on shoe-string budgets.
Moreover, in these critical times the selfless dedication of the nurses, doctors, grocery store clerks, postal workers activists, sanitation laborers, and other truly essential workers should spark long-overdue recognition of these valiant heroes and their critical contributions to our lives beyond the stage or stadium. ESPN has just broadcast a ten-part series about Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bills’ triumphant years of putting balls in holes for championships. Someday a network may produce a ten-part series on how citizen leaders historically built the justice safeguards that benefit us all. We should make it happen as owners of our public airwaves.
(Ralph Nader is a consumer advocate, lawyer and author of Only the Super-Rich Can Save Us!)
‘I SENT THEM’
by James Kunstler
“Our utter incompetence actually helps us,” declared Deputy Assistant Director of the FBI Peter Strzok to his confidante (10,000 text messages) and paramour, FBI attorney Lisa Page, when he discovered on January 4, 2017, that the agency had omitted to close the barren Crossfire Razor case against General Michael Flynn.
There you have a perfect summary of the fantastic hubris at work in the agency-gone-rogue under then-FBI Director Jim “I sent them” Comey days before the swearing-in of a president somehow mistakenly elected by bamboozled voters — or so the thinking apparently went at the highest level there. Or what passed for thinking.
General Flynn, you see, having been anathematized by Barack Obama, and black-spotted by the so-called Interagency (i.e., the giant hairball of competing spy shops set up after the 9/11 fiasco), was about to assume the pivotal job of White House National Security Advisor, and it was known that he was fixing to change things up with all that. He had been director of one such shop, the Defense Intelligence Agency, for a few years and he had a fair idea just how lawlessly debauched the Intel Community had grown under CIA Director John Brennan and Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, not to mention Mr. Comey, and they all knew that. So, General Flynn had to go, and then get squeezed hard to somehow rat-out his boss, the incoming President Trump, against whom the Interagency had nothing but a dossier of already discredited oppo research baloney courtesy of the Clinton campaign.
The pretext was some conversations General Flynn had with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak a few weeks before the inauguration. The FBI cooked up a “narrative” that it was criminal misbehavior for a duly appointed incoming NSA to confab with foreign diplomats — a completely specious notion, of course. The Interagency’s errand boys in the press ran with that preposterous story, and the inconsolable cohort of Hillary voters herding up to form “the Resistance” went along with the gag out of sheer, crazed bitterness.
Attorney General William Barr neatly disposed of that yarn Thursday in his remarkable chat with Catherine Herridge of CBS News (transcript here), saying:
[H]e [General Flynn] was the designated national security adviser for President-Elect Trump, and was part of the transition, which is recognized by the government and funded by the government as an important function to bring in a new administration. And it is very typical, very common, for the national security team of the incoming president to communicate with foreign leaders.
Could it be plainer? In dismissing the case, Mr. Barr gave such a concise, lucid, and comprehensive account of his action that the enraged cadres of the Resistance immediately set their hair on fire and lit up the cable news channels with thunderous objurgation. The most amusing instance featured the apoplectic homunculus Jerrold Nadler, who threatened to haul Mr. Barr before his House Judiciary Committee to do some ‘splainin’ in the matter. That’s a colloquy I’d pay to watch — the stolid AG laying it out again in calm, straight talk with Mr. Nadler in such a stammering fury that his bariatric surgery adhesions finally give out and the committee chamber gets splattered with bits of brisket, kugel, and Dr. Brown’s Cel-Ray tonic.
Another ripe one was the MSNBC session between Resistance errand-boy Chris Hayes and the redoubtably mendacious Congressman Adam Schiff, whose own overloaded garbage barge of seditious perfidy was blown out of the water with one well-aimed torpedo by new Acting Director of National Intelligence, Richard Grenell, who threatened to immediately release Mr. Schiff’s trove of long-hidden interview transcripts from the House Intelligence Committee 2017 hearings on RussiaGate if the congressman did not do it himself and at once. The transcripts, you see, completely refute Mr. Schiff’s own longstanding edifice of falsehood about having evidence of collusion between Mr. Trump and Russia. If the Democratic Party had any dignity, they’d take away his committee chairmanship, at least.
We await additional action from Mr. Grenell over Mr. Schiff’s still-concealed transcript of Intel Community Inspector General Michael Atkinson’s secret testimony in last year’s impeachment hearings. Congresspersons enjoy limited immunity against the fallacious and slanderous things they say on-the-job, but not from felony crimes, and Mr. Schiff may find himself liable for something like seditious conspiracy around his intrigues with so-called “whistleblower” Eric Ciaramella, and others, in the UkraineGate sting operation.
A great deal of evidence of official criminal malfeasance has spilled into the public arena over the past three years, but recently it has turned into a flood, perhaps due to Mr. Grenell’s efforts, perhaps due to the posse of attorneys around Mr. Barr, including especially Jeffrey Jensen and John Durham. The official narratives of the RussiaGate conspirators are now openly overturned. Too many people know everything. The chronology of their misdeeds is now clearly established — for instance, the fact that the highest officials in the FBI and the DOJ knew by January 2017 that their sole asseveration of Russian collusion, the Steele dossier, was an utter, concocted, crock-of-shit.
Which means, of course, that the Mueller Investigation — begun months later — was also an adventure in bad faith, malicious falsehood, and official treachery. Everyone connected with it ought to be running scared now. Surely some will be indicted and tried, perhaps many. It will go hard on the whole Resistance, including the millions of rank-and-file Democrats who linked arms to cheerlead countless acts of legal depravity that have undermined American principles of justice and fairness. Accounting for all that in the courts will put extra strains on this society beset by the corona virus crisis and the harshest economic disaster in US history. It’s a hard passage, but it can’t be avoided.
The compliant and complicit news media has a lot to answer for, not only to the public but to their boards of directors — if those boards still have a vestige of decency. But for the moment they are still pretending that there’s nothing to see. Sooner or later, though, it will hit them, all those editors and cable news executives — that in their bubble of arrogant self-righteousness, they parlayed away their self-respect, their professional reputations, and their personal honor.
(Support Kunstler’s writing by visiting his Patreon Page.)
ON LINE COMMENT OF THE DAY #1
So we took our 2003 Toyota Highlander to Safelite and got a new windshield installed for about $250. I thought that was a very reasonable price. While we were in the waiting room a young man asked about the price of a windshield for a 2019 Nissan Altima. It was around $1200. The reason for the drastically higher price: the Nissan has some kind of a high-tech camera in the windshield that works with the car’s automatic guidance system.
I consider most new cars to be junk. Not only are they ugly; they are way over-engineered. Our ’03 Highlander has all the major features of its day: automatic transmission, AC, power windows and door locks, power steering and brakes, AM/FM radio. But our car has no cameras, no computer monitor in the dash, and no self-driving feature other than cruise control. By 21st century standards, it’s pretty basic. And we’re glad it is.
A READER WRITES:
Keeping with your theme this week of posting a photo of a killer a day, take a look at this post I did for the blog a few years ago.
There were some well thought out comments. George Stimson who made more than one comment is pro-Manson and lives with Family member Sandy Good. He and Sandy were living in Lake County, on the west side, until the Valley Fire erupted and they lost their house. Not sure if they have started rebuilding yet.
COVID-19 SUPPORTING OUR NON-PROFIT PARTNERS
Community Foundation of Mendocino County
When newspapers began reporting local domestic violence was up by 25% and child abuse by 32% we were dismayed. The ripples of this crisis, and the necessary shelter-in-place order, are being felt across all facets of our community. From families fleeing violence, to small businesses struggling to survive, we knew we needed to find support for some of our local non-profits responding to this unexpected need. Which is why we have sent grants out to three organizations locally doing work to help our neighbors and friends survive the pandemic in unexpected ways. With this uptick in domestic violence and child abuse since the shelter-in-place order was enacted, we reached out to our local domestic violence agency, Project Sanctuary, to find out the impact on their organization.
Coming in short of their fundraising goals, the organization was scrambling to provide services remotely while continuing to shelter and care for victims in need. By providing a grant to Project Sanctuary, we are caring for some of our most vulnerable residents who need the basic support of a safe shelter, food assistance, and transportation when fleeing violence. Nuestra Alianza de Willits is another organization that needed our support. They are devoted to caring for the Latino population in and around Willits.
After discovering many of their members had been laid off, like so many in our community, they began a mask-making project in partnership with The Howard Foundation to sew much-needed face masks.
What they hadn’t anticipated was the increase in utility expense from running the sewing machines non-stop! By providing a small grant to the organization to cover this cost, we are enabling them to sew 7000 masks to be distributed through The Howard Foundation to community members. With small businesses making up the majority of local industry, West Business Development Center has been working non-stop to help support these struggling mom and pop businesses during this challenging time.
Forced to close their doors during the shelter-in-place, many of our smallest businesses are seeking resources and guidance on how to forge a path forward through this unprecedented crisis. By providing a grant to the organization, we are enabling them to respond to the extraordinary number of calls and emails, offer support to our small business neighbors as they apply for various government programs, and help to provide leadership and guidance on what lies ahead for this critical industry that makes up so much of our local economy.
For our other non-profit partners, struggling to meet an unanticipated financial need as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, we are expanding our Save-the-Day grant program. You can learn more about this grant program on our website. COVID-19 will leave an indelible impact on the landscape of our county.
While our resources are limited, as so many are, we hope to make a difference for these organizations that are providing critical resources during a challenging time. We are so grateful to our donors that have made these grants possible, and grateful to these organizations for the important work they do to help our communities thrive.
To learn more about the COVID-19 Relief Fund, or to make a contribution, visit our website. RESOURCES: To learn more about The Community Foundation of Mendocino County's response to COVID-19 please visit www.communityfound.org/COVID19/
To stay apprised of the latest information on the virus, we recommend following the Center for Disease Control (CDC) guidelines for preventing the spread of the disease. While we still do not know all the facts about COVID-19, the CDC has collected frequently asked questions on their website which may answer many of your questions.
To stay informed of developments in Mendocino County, we recommend following the County of Mendocino updates.
PAKISTANI GUN DEALER
MCHC HEALTH CENTERS SUPPORTS COMMUNITY DENTISTS TO REDUCE THE SPREAD OF CORONAVIRUS
MCHC Health Centers (MCHC) is safeguarding community dentists by providing emergency care to their patients in Ukiah, Willits and Lakeport during the Covid-19 shelter in place order.
When the statewide shelter in place began, dental offices throughout California were asked to reduce their practices to emergency services only. Most dentists complied to reduce the spread of the coronavirus and to avoid using personal protective equipment needed for those on the front lines of the pandemic. When community dentists did open their offices to treat dental emergencies, they could not avoid putting themselves and their employees at some risk.
MCHC Dental Director Dr. Navneet Mansukhani explained, “At MCHC, we were already minimizing staff and patient exposure by continually disinfecting the health centers, and employees were already using personal protective equipment. Plus, our dental staff was already coming in to work every day with the skills and equipment to care for patients, so offering emergency dental care to other dentists’ patients just seemed like the right thing to do, regardless of whether we are paid for the care. As soon as the shelter in place ends, we’ll send patients right back to their regular dentist.”
Dentistry is one of several essential health services MCHC offers. MCHC is a patient-centered medical home where patients can receive all their basic healthcare in one location, including medical, dental, behavioral health, and some specialty care. As such, MCHC has remained open throughout the shelter in place.
According to MCHC CEO Scott McFarland, MCHC has a history of community partnerships. He said, “We are so fortunate to have such a strong, community-focused team. I’m proud of our Dental Department for reaching out to support our community dentists and their patients during these challenging times.”
Mansukhani encourages patients with dental concerns to contact their regular dentist for a consultation and potentially, a referral to MCHC for emergency treatment. Once the shelter in place is lifted, MCHC will route all patients back to their private dentists.
For dentistry and other services, MCHC is currently providing some treatment on site and some treatment via telehealth, which involves consultations via secure video conferencing. Dental services are currently limited to those involving active infections or essential follow-up care, including for children.
MCHC is open during regular business hours with modified services at all four sites: in Ukiah at Hillside Health Center and Dora Street Health Center, in Willits at Little Lake Health Center, and in Lakeport at Lakeview Health Center. All MCHC health centers accept Medi-Cal, Medicare, Covered California insurance, and other insurance.
Learn more at mchcinc.org
THE RUSSIANS AREN'T COMING! THE RUSSIANS AREN’T COMING!
A barrel of Russian oil (or American or Saudi) is worth less than the can that holds it. It’s not worth anything. When wheat or corn fill all the silos and corn cribs and all the storage places are brim full, and mountainous heaps of grain sleep under the stars and harbor packs of rats, that grain is no longer a “commodity,” a thing of value; it’s a liability. Ditto crude oil.
Oil is Russia’s biggest export, its biggest source of income. Russia does not have a huge, resilient, many-sided economy. It has an economy smaller than Italy’s. It is not in the same club as the U.S., and now its main source of income, oil, is worse than worthless. America’s shale-oil fracking has finally come to fruition. Not only does it cause earthquakes where Mother Nature has long desisted with earthquakes (like Texas and Oklahoma), it has contributed to over-production and loss of Russia’s and Saudi Arabia’s wealth.
Fox News and "legitimate" news media don’t tell you about this—executives across the whole variety of industries won’t let their trained dogs in the news business talk about it—Russia, Saudi Arabia, the other middle-eastern oil states and oil-dependent economies of the west, like Venezuela’s, are broke. The U.S. economy is stalled (and after we bow to our masters about "reopening" and suffer big bad numbers) will stay stalled. We are China's biggest customer. What will China do? What CAN she do? Starve--that's what. That's what China does. Keep watching.
What does this mean? It takes a more-encompassing mind than mine to say. Since it’s not much subject to discussion, it’s not subject of public attention in the popular media.
Russians can be fierce. They are Slavs. They like fighting. We are scared of Russians. They drink more, fight more and don’t give a damn more than we. Death, to Slavs, is preferable to cowardice. I have a Polish friend who says when the Mongolians were attacking to the west, pushing their empire toward the Atlantic, they chose to go around his family’s native region in what is now modern-day Poland because attacking those animals just wasn’t worth the gains.
Tough. Good to have on your side. Not much chance of that with Putin, but it needs to be seen that Russia is winning the propaganda war more than any other. America persists in seeing Russia as if it is still the USSR. It isn’t. It’s a third-rate power. It’s biggest export, far bigger than all other things combined, oil, is worthless. The covid panic makes us blind to realities like this.
Big Oil told us for decades that “the end of Peak Oil is near,” and we’d better cut the industry a lot of slack because our existence depended on it. We believed it. So we did. We allowed the Gulf of Mexico to be fouled end to end. It still is. Before that, we allowed a drunken sea captain to wreck his tanker in Alaska’s Prince George’s Sound and the clean, pure Gulf of Alaska, one of the world’s most productive fishing grounds was (and remains) befouled. Crude oil is vile, stinking stuff, and both catastrophes are still happening in courts and sea bottoms. We’re eating contaminated seafood from both places, oiled shrimp, oiled crabs.
After years of resistance, we gradually accepted the fracturing of deep rock to extract oil from it, knowing it was an awful idea, yielding to the cry to “get government off the back” of the economy, and let Big Oil have its way. We polluted groundwater and, along with a lot of particularly foul crude oil, produced earthquakes in places that were seismically stable before we set off millions of underground explosions. The energy industry, with its millionaire-lobbyists in Washington, prevailed in courts, underground and underwater so we could have our cars and our toys and the Koch brothers their billions, their trillions.
Now—right now—we’re in a new game. Covid19 is a perfect screen. God only knows what devious and criminal action is underway as I write. We are governed by arch-criminals—Trump, McConnell, Barr—who are devoted to the uncodified constitution of the elite. The virus is knocking everything out of whack. The world’s biggest oil producers, one, two, three: the U.S., Russia and Saudi Arabia are awash in a substance we have been told is almost gone. What will they do to “open the economy” so they can get back to the Deep State’s single obsession: profits? What can they do?
This is a moment to reread Naomi Klein’s “The Shock Doctrine.” Covid19 is an equal-opportunity phenomenon, a universal shock that is indifferent to capitalism and its masters (except that it sickens the poor in far greater numbers than the rich), that seeds the subways of New York with corpses.
What sort of blossoming and what sort of harvest can we expect, sick or splendid? It’s in our hands. It’s always in our hands. Governments cannot act without the support, tacit or active, of the governed, without either satisfying the desires or distracting the attention of the people.
“The People,” the supposedly sovereign people of this republic, have been in a swoon since the rich started hiring the smart, and since then it’s been Katy bar the door, but that’s just an expression from long-ago British history. Right now there’s no door, no bar, no Katy. Everything is in virus-caused disarray.
THIS IS A MOMENT OF INCALCULABLE OPPORTUNITY. What shall we do with it? Passivity is no answer. Distraction must be no excuse.
— Mitch Clogg