- Positive Nurse
- Future Plans
- Deserted Street
- AV Testing
- Grocery Outlet
- Parenting Solution
- Attestation Testiness
- Good Lie
- Bridge Jumper
- California Theatre
- Personal Tragedies
- Romanian POWs
- Disproportionate Response
- Obstacles Gauntlet
- Heroes All
- Titantic Stateroom
- Remember Optum
- Ballplayer Boccabella
- Supe Letters
- Ballplayer Bass
- Ed Notes
- Yesterday's Catch
- New Party
- McKibben Response
- Mass Rolfing
- Postal Service
- Santa Rosa
- Bike Trip
- Found Object
SHOWERS are expected to continue today and Thursday across the area with the most coverage in the north. Dry weather is expected for Friday with more rain for the weekend and Monday. (NWS)
POSITIVE CASE OF COVID-19 IDENTIFIED AT MCDH
By William Miller, MD, FACP, Chief of Staff, MCDH
On Monday, May 11th, we were notified that one of our staff members at the hospital has tested positive for COVID-19. This test was done out of the county and will not appear on tallies for Mendocino County. As you know, we have been preparing for the inevitable eventuality of our first case in the community since this pandemic hit our shores.
Upon receipt of this information, we immediately notified the Mendocino County Health Department and have been working closely with them in our response to the situation. We have generated a list of all staff and patients who may have been in contact with this staff member. As of this writing on May 12th, we have already tested 54 of our staff members who may have had contact. Fifteen have come back negative and we expect the rest of the results in the next day or so.
We have started the process of notifying each patient who was in our hospital or ED between April 29th and May 5th and who may have had contact with this staff member to instruct them on self-isolation and offer testing to them. If you think you may be one of those patients, you can call us at 707-961-4718 and leave your name, date of birth, date you were in the hospital and your phone number. We will call you back with information on whether or not you should be tested. However, please, only call if you were a patient here in our ER or admitted to the hospital between those dates of April 29th to May 5th.
There is a lot of speculation already flying around on social media about this case. So, let me respond to some of the rumors. Yes, this person is a traveler, but she is also one of our regular nurses who has worked here for several years. The fact that she is a traveler does not mean that she brought it into the community. In fact, since she has been here for a significant period of time, so it is equally possible that she contracted it from a community member already here, even perhaps from a patient. We simply do not know at this time and should not jump to conclusions.
Since the onset of the COVID crisis, we have been closely adhering to the latest guidelines from the CDC. We have been screening all staff and visitors prior to entry. Staff who have symptoms are referred for further evaluation and are tested and/or asked to self-quarantine for 14 days. Symptomatic employees are not allowed to go back to work without prior clearance.
Additionally, all of our staff and patients are required to wear masks as well as patients prior to coming in. We have also been practicing distancing and doing frequent handwashing. We also greatly appreciate all of the community members who have been also doing those things as well as sheltering-in-place. We know that this is the best way to prevent the spread in our community. This is the reason that we need to enforce such requirements.
We are committed to keeping our staff and patients safe. We are also committed to keeping our community members informed. We will continue to put out information to the community as it becomes available.
MENDOCINO COAST COVID-19 UPDATE FOR THE WEEK OF MAY 11, 2020
from Tabatha Miller, Fort Bragg City Manager
As a I write this week’s Miller report, the community just learned that a nurse who recently worked at the Coast Hospital was diagnosed with COVID-19 and we are all waiting to hear the results of additional testing of those who had contact with this individual. These days I spend a lot of time trying to guess at the future and plan for it. The exposure from the nurse is an example of something that is almost entirely out of my control, but I so want to understand how it will impact our community.
Another area that I have little control over is the impact to our economy from the shutdown. These impacts are still developing and hard to measure. I spend time reading the Wall Street Journal, CNN articles, LA Times and listening to the news to get a better understanding of the impact on us all financially. At these early stages, this is estimation, observation and predictions. As most of you are aware, the City laid off four employees and partially furloughed another twelve over a week ago. In addition to that action, we froze four part-time seasonal positions, an open Police Sergeant, a soon to be open Community Services Officer, a Planner and we will not replace the Public Works Director who is retiring at the end of the fiscal year.
A steep decline in projected sales tax revenues is part of the reason C.V. Starr Community Center will likely remain closed until after the first of the calendar year. The other reason is health and safety. Community pools remain shut by the shelter-in-place orders. These actions were done to ensure that the City conserves and prepares for the eventual recovery. These are tough decisions but every day financial indicators tell us that this recession is not going to be V shaped, with a steep drop but quick steep recovery. Instead, many economists now predict that this recession and recovery will be more U shaped with the impacts lasting well into next calendar year.
Early projections put together by Tourism Economics for Visit California project a 50% decrease or loss of $72.8 billion in travel spending for calendar year 2020. This is a decrease in tax revenue for the state and local governments of $80 billion. California travel spending for the months of April and May are projected to be down 81% from the prior year. Statewide, 613,000 jobs or 51% of the industries’ jobs will be lost in May alone. This is similar to what we are experiencing locally.
Governor Newsom and the Mendocino County Health Officer have already indicated that lodging and tourism may be the last industries in our state and county to reopen, in late stage 3 or stage 4 of the Governor’s four-stage resiliency road map for reopening the state. I am not trying to present a dire picture. There is quite a bit of hope in the recovery. But I also believe we need to take a realistic view and plan ahead. Many local businesses such as hotels and lodges, retailers, restaurants and other industries are planning together and figuring out how to reopen and how to communicate to health officers that they know how to do that safely.
As county officials urged us all to do late last week, we need to politely but adamantly demand more testing capacity in Mendocino County. We need to prepare to welcome visitors back, but not until it is safe for all. One thing I was reminded of today, is the changes in travel and tourism that will likely be with us for years. I don’t see the popularity of cruises returning any time soon. Most of us will avoid overseas travel and airplane trips for a while. I see us shying away from crowded destinations like Disneyland and Las Vegas. Which leaves Fort Bragg and the Mendocino Coast as an ideal road trip destination. Don’t get me wrong, this isn’t the entire answer. We will still need to consider our health and safety – not to mention stable and more diverse ways to make a living. Which by the way, is another thing we need to plan for now.
MONDAY NIGHT, FORT BRAGG
FROM THE AV HEALTH CENTER: We will be conducting surveillance testing in AV on Thursday the 14th. We plan on testing all employees on-site at Roederer that day including both vineyard and winery employees. We are also going to test all our healthcare providers with direct patient contact and the two housing locations managed by the Anderson Valley Housing Association. We have 150 test kits and are partnering with Mendocino County Public Health. Our intention in choosing whom to test was to test vineyard workers that may be traveling from out of county, those living in congregate living arrangements and other essential workers.
GLAD TO SEE GROCERY OUTLET DIDN'T GIVE UP ON FORT BRAGG...
People who lived mostly AWAY from the Fort Bragg city limits - some as far away as Albion - torpedoed the Hare Creek Mall project of which Grocery Outlet was to be an anchor store. The outlet did not give up on Fort Bragg, however.
If you go to the City of Fort Bragg web site you'll note on "Active Planning Permit Applications" the following:
Grocery Outlet CPD /Design Review /Parcel Merger
Coastal Development Permit 8-19 (CDP 8-19), Design Review 1-19 (DR 1-19), Parcel Merger (MGR 1-19)
Project Summary: The project would include the demolition of an existing 16,436 SF former office building, and construction of one 16,000 SF retail building. The project would also include the construction of a 53-space parking lot, site landscaping, and the merger of three existing parcels into one parcel.
It looks like the area to be developed is the old county Human Services building - wonder how the out-of-towners will try to torpedo this project ?
CEO TAKES UMBRAGE; HEALTH OFFICER PEEVED
At their Tuesday Board of Supervisors meeting Supervisor John McCowen noted that the Shelter in Place was taking a significant toll on local small businesses. “Every day of this dooms another small business,” said McCowen, adding that there should be “more of a sense of urgency.”
Health Officer Noemi Doohan replied that she was “working every day” and had taken no time off, and that she was “surprised” at McCowen’s statement implying the standard “whenever” mentality had infused the County’s bureaucracy while locals were hurting. Doohan said she thought her latest Shelter in Place Order had already opened things up a good bit. “Let’s see how that goes,” said Doohan. “This gives people time to prepare for re-opening” — a reference to a hoped for further relaxation of the Shelter in Place in two weeks. However, that next phase of re-opening requires that the County demonstrate that a series of preparatory requirements be met first, a process the state calls “attestation.”
McCowen then proposed: “I would like the Chairman of the Board to direct the CEO to assure that the Public Health Officer has all the resources she needs to complete attestation process [a certification process required by the state to make sure the County is ready to open up more businesses]. We have identified a number of tasks that need to be completed. Let's make sure something isn't getting done because no one has time to do it. I would hope we would be able to give that direction.”
Board Chair John Haschak: “Is there any objection to that direction? … Hearing none, I think we can give that direction to the CEO.”
CEO Angelo then took a page out of President Trump’s playbook and turned this ordinary question into a grievance.
CEO Carmel Angelo: “Chair Haschak?”
Angelo: “This is the CEO. [They were on zoom so Angelo had to id herself.] I would like to weigh in.”
Angelo: “I'm curious if Supervisor McCowen and the Board really think that that is something you would have to direct me to do? I wouldn't just, after 13 years, know to do that on my own?”
Haschak: “So it's— I will take that to mean— The CEO is going ahead and will be doing that.”
Haschak: “Supervisor McCowen, did you have some questions then?”
McCowen “The only reason I thought it necessary to bring that up — and I don't question the CEO’s commitment to fulfilling Board direction — I did have a concern that the attestation process, the mechanics of assembling the documents, were kind of being represented to be more complicated than I think it is. I think it's getting the right information from the right people and putting it into the state-mandated form. So thank you.”
Later, McCowen couldn’t help getting the last word. After describing the state’s consultation and technical assistance process during the “attestation,” McCowen added that he “hopes things move as fast as possible. In my world, that would already have been done. Hopefully that can occur soon.”
FROM THE CHP
"At approximately 6:27 pm, Humboldt Communications Center (HCC) broadcasted a call of a male subject who had jumped off the Confusion Hill Bridge (Southeast side). The Garberville Area CHP along with Mendocino County Sheriffs Office, CalFire, Piercy Volunteer Fire Department and Cal-Trans responded to the scene.
The male subject was found on the bank of the river below the bridge and pronounced dead by fire personnel. The identity of the deceased party is being withheld pending notification of the next of kin.
This incident remains under investigation by the California Highway Patrol Garberville Area."
MSP Coverage Of Incident
Man Jumps To His Death Off Us-101 Bridge
MSP had the scanner off listening to the Fort Bragg City Council meeting, but an alert viewer (thanks Judy) sent along this item from the CHP incident log - a man jumped to his death from the US-101 South Fork Eel River bridge.
It was stated this was an "11-44" (deceased).
Another viewer messaged us @ 6:37 pm: "Two Sheriff cars northbound US-101... and another just now. I'm at Willits North interchange."
Fast Facts On Bridge
Height - 140 feet (north bridge), 255 feet (south bridge)
Design - Closed-spandrel beam bridge (north), cantilever bridge (south)
Material - Concrete, steel
Total length - 531 feet (north bridge) and 1,239 feet (south bridge)
Width - 40 feet (approximately, for both bridges)
No. of spans - 3 (north), 3 (south)
The Confusion Hill Bridges (aka. Confusion Hill Realignment, Confusion Hill Bypass or South Fork Eel River Bridges) are a pair of high bridges carrying two lanes of U.S. Route 101 over the South Fork Eel River in Mendocino County in the U.S. state of California. The bridges were constructed to reroute approximately 1.7 miles of the highway away from a massive landslide area on the south bank of the river. The north bridge was finished in July 2009 and the south bridge completed in September 2009; the whole bypass was officially opened to traffic in October of that year."
Wikipedia link: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Confusion_Hill_Bridges
CALIFORNIA THEATRE, SANTA ROSA: cinematreasures.org/theaters/28446
WORSE THAN INCONVENIENT
To the Editor:
It’s obvious we need to take this virus seriously and I certainly am taking all prudent precautions like wearing a mask, washing hands, social distancing and much more. But it’s also obvious this near complete business shutdown is causing much more then just a little personal inconvenience along with all the economic damage. When figuring the cost/benefit of the shutdown I think we also need to take into account the many personal tragedies that it brings with it. The longer the present situation goes on there will be an ever increasing rate of suicides, alcoholism, depression, domestic violence and many more effects no one wants to see. As an example according to the CDC there has been an 800 percent increase in the calls to the “Suicide Crisis Hotline”. In the end, like many people, this current situation will cost me nothing. My SSI checks will keep coming and my investments will certainly come back better then ever. If you are one of the lucky ones and have a secure income and situation it’s easy to say “Stay home, watch Netflix, be happy”. But unfortunately this is not the case for many people who will lose everything they have worked their entire life to build, jobs, businesses, homes, savings, families even their sanity. Many of them see no way out and no future. I believe these people deserve more of our consideration.
A BETTER WAY?
To the Editor:
I’d like to say something that I get the sense lots of us are feeling but not saying. The overall response to the virus – basically “shut down most normal human activity” – does not seem entirely proportionate to the actual threat of the virus. In fact, the response seems rather disproportionate and far more likely to do real lasting damage to civilization than does the virus itself.
There are lots of threats in the world that wreak tragically early deaths upon millions of people every year … nine million deaths from malnutrition, four million from bad air, two million from diarrhea, to name just a few. We don’t shut down the planet to prevent these millions of mostly poor mostly brown people from dying prematurely every year. What is different now? The best I can figure is that now, some small percentage of everybody – not just mostly poor mostly brown people but everybody – is suddenly at slightly increased risk of dying earlier than would be ideal. So now we must shut down everything. And what is the effect of this? Who is most harmed?
Saving some thousands of physical lives in the U.S. by sacrificing tens of millions of livelihoods (22 million new jobless in this country as of the last few weeks) does not seem like entirely sound moral reasoning, let alone sound economic or social reasoning. Forcing our children to stay home and away from other children does not seem physically or emotionally better for them, certainly not over the long-term. Forcing so many stores to close while allowing a few to remain open does not seem necessary or just; if social distancing and sanitation are key, then these practices can be applied by all or most businesses just as they are being applied at grocery stores, hardware stores, fast food joints, etc.
The response to the virus also seems somewhat blind to biology and evolutionary history, with strict limits on our need for physical interaction and connection with other humans and a rejection of our eons-evolved cellular and collective immunity intelligence.
Where is this approach coming from? Why is it almost universally accepted as the only reasonable response? It appears to me that most of the thinking around the current response is grounded in one very narrow slice of reasoning from one part of the medical community. But there are lots of doctors and researchers all over the world who are presenting a very different kind of assessment of what is happening and what a reasonable response should look like. It’s unfortunate that so few elected leaders are listening to these other voices, who are talking about things like the evolution of the adaptive immune system and the intelligence of immune response, within each of us individually but also collectively, which are capable of navigating and responding to things like this new ripple in viral information coding. All that’s needed is a little time and for humans to at least somewhat keep behaving like humans.
We are all exposed to lots of variations of coronaviruses throughout our lifetimes. This new one, SARS-coronavirus-2, is particularly bad – for now. But it is circulating. And as generally happens with new virus variants as they circulate and interact with other variants, they mutate into something less lethal. Human interaction speeds along that weakening process.
So, at the very least, the “let’s make up an impossible new awful terrifying world” response that we are experiencing being proposed and imposed seems to not make total sense biologically, evolutionarily, or epidemiologically. And it makes no sense economically or socially; or from an equity perspective.
Can we please be smarter? Can we please manifest a better middle way? One that respects the severity of this new viral code, respects peoples’ frailties to it, respects the frailties of our medical system – but also respects our basic animal humanness, respects the ability of our bodies to deal with viruses and the necessary dance that happens between viruses and animal hosts, respects the needs of our children, and respects the reality that being physically with each other is one of the most important factors in our overall health and well-being.
We need not be so afraid of death. Some of us will not make it past today or tomorrow or next week or next month. Because of this virus or some other virus or some countless other million things. We know this. We grieve our losses and we go on living. This virus is not the thing that is going to get us.
What we need to solve for real is ourselves and our civilization.
JIM, MIKE, & MENDO HAVE COVID 19 ON THE RUN!
Sacramento, CA — Senator Mike McGuire and Assemblymember Jim Wood have been diligently working with county officials to ensure rural Californians are not left behind in coronavirus testing deserts as the state boosts the number of testing sites.
Currently, there are over 700,000 Californians who still aren’t within an hour’s drive of a testing site after a commitment was made by the state that all Californians will be within a one hour drive of a site. Obviously, this is unacceptable to both the Assemblymember and Senator. Senator McGuire and Assemblymember Wood have been working hand in hand over the past several weeks with county officials and the California Department of Public Health to get a state testing site secured for local residents.
“If we are truly going to be a California For All, we need Testing For All,” Senator Mike McGuire said. “The road to reopening our economy and our schools is built off of data, science and a robust testing program in all corners of this state. Assemblymember Wood and I have been working overtime to ensure testing equity and additional state testing sites on the North Coast will be a huge boost. We are grateful to the County, California Department of Public Health and Governor Newsom for their partnership with this critical initiative.”
“In rural California, testing has been virtually unavailable,” said Assemblymember Jim Wood. “Testing and timely processing and reporting results are absolutely necessary to protect people’s health and desperately needed by local governments so they can make smart decisions about how to move forward in providing guidance to our local businesses, schools and other services.”
A state sponsored testing site will be up and running in Mendocino County soon. Specific details and logistics on the site are currently being organized between the County and the California Department of Public Health. More information will be provided from the County of Mendocino in the coming days.
“Thank you Senator McGuire and Assemblyman Wood for your advocacy on Mendocino County’s behalf to secure testing capacity for our community,” said Mendocino County Board of Supervisors Chair John Haschak. “CEO Carmel Angelo, Health Officer Dr. Doohan and our employees at Public Health have been working incredibly hard alongside our State representatives to ensure testing access for our residents. This testing capacity is vital to move forward with reopening businesses and rebuilding our local economy.”
“Senator McGuire and Assemblyman Wood are heroes for our region. They are always there to help Mendocino County. Many thanks to them for the additional testing that Governor Newsom will provide to our county,” Mendocino County CEO Carmel Angelo said. “And thank you to all the people in Mendocino County for answering the Call to Action and letting their voices be heard. Mendocino County residents are part of this solution.
(press release from Senator Mike McGuire)
TITANIC FIRST CLASS STATEROOM
Isn't it the same Optum that's being sent into Mendo to do the testing, the same Optum that got screwed on the ASO behavioral health contract a few years back? I think so. Newsom said he was sending them into both Mendocino and Lake Counties at his press conference today. Within 3 minutes of his speech he specifically addressed Lake and Mendocino Counties.
from: https://www.theava.com/archives/35095 (by Malcolm Macdonald, September 17, 2014)
"Keeping in mind that the public has never been shown how the evaluation system for the awarding of points was created let alone who created it and what criteria they created it upon, the Grand Jury did release a chart showing the points awarded by Cryer, Pinizotto and five committee members identified only as Staff #1-5 (Redwood Children Services was the points winner for juvenile mental health services in the county and graded in between Ortner and Optum). Pinizzotto gave Ortner 650 points and Optum 345 points. Cryer scored it 625 to 445 for Ortner. Staff #1 had it 540 – 420 for Ortner. Staff #2's card read 460 to 375 in favor of Ortner. Staff #3 had it a 440 to 0 knockout for Ortner. Staff #4 had it closer at 530 to 495 for Ortner. Staff #5 scored it for Ortner at 670 to 290. The chart of these scores appears in the Grand Jury report directly above the ‘Findings’ that the Board of Supervisors was required to respond to."
James Marmon, Ukiah
SELECTED LETTERS TO THE SUPERVISORS:
 To Whom It May Concern:
My name is Kristal Olsen, and I have been a resident of Mendocino county for the last 21 years. I have some very serious concerns about the trustworthiness of Dr. Iser, who is being considered to replace Dr. Doohan. I do not feel that Dr. Iser was properly vetted before being considered, as our county CEO, Carmel Angelo, stated that she had not seen the troubling article regarding Dr. Iser before considering him, in the interview on KZYX on Friday. And given that Dr. Iser stated in that same interview that the allegations the article claimed were ongoing had been resolved two years prior, it seems like there is a serious divergence in stories. It seems to me that this could be easily cleared up, but it hasn't been. And I can only conclude that it hasn't been because there was no thorough vetting process. A simple internet search would have found the article. And if the issue had been concluded, there would be records with the court of jurisdiction. If this, and other claims, have not been resolved in a satisfactory manner, I am concerned that they could jeopardize our county during what is already a very difficult and tenuous time. I also noticed that CEO Angelo alluded to being aware of some issues in Dr. Iser's previous county, but she did not mention what she was actually referring to, and whether it relates to any of the allegations mentioned in that investigative article. I think it would be prudent of our county leaders to postpone decision-making until a proper background investigation can be completed, and more information can be gathered and given to the citizens of our community. This is a time where we all need to feel like we have leaders we can trust, since life altering decisions hang in the balance.
Thank you for your time.
 To the Board of Supervisors:
Dr. Iser's appointment as the new Public Health Officer (PHO) by the BOS is unacceptable. Aside from "one or two stories" of questionable ethics and problematic dynamics, there is also a pattern of several euphemistic retirements from recent positions.
• Retired as a Commissioned Officer with the US Public Health Service
• Retired as Yolo County Health Officer
• Retired as Chief Health Officer of the Southern Nevada Health District
The county is in need of a qualified team player during the pandemic.
If the county is unable to attract a hire without a problematic and questionable past, the BOS despite their reservations should consider the advantages of state control.
In addition, there has not been an objective accounting shared with us about what has been explored regarding contracts with neighboring county PHOs. The idea I understand from Ted Williams has been dismissed, but has the county actually approached any of the PHOs?
One advantage of local control is to have better oversight with our sheriff's alignment with PHO orders. However, there is no indication that there is anyone encouraging that. As the sheriff announced he feels it is his prerogative to select which orders are worthy of his attention.As I understand CA law, the BOS, not the PHO, are required to supervise the conduct of county officers ensuring that they faithfully perform their duties.
Another perceived advantage of local control under a PHO is to advocate for a rural county with few cases for relaxing of SIP orders. However because of testing issues (see below), local PHO advocacy is irrelevant.
A definite advantage of a local PHO is knowledge of the county (Iser does not have and has been based in SF) and accessibility to local media (modeled by Dr. Doohan).
Barring the above theoretical advantages, the BOS should objectively consider potential advantages of state control. Potential advantages include:
- Alignment of state responsibility with actual resources on the ground.
- Resources for control of hot spots will be responded to.
• Management of potential surge would be maintained locally with possible support at the state level.
- Educational and state resources available and translated in relevant languages.
- When state options are offered, the county might act more quickly in in a more unified manner. For example, the recent Great Plates program misfired with little amplification from the county. A lost resource/opportunity for those living a distance from Mendocino towns.
• CA counties cannot have less restrictive orders than state orders. Local variance is understood at the state level:
Specifically: If a county decides to pursue a variance, the county could simply fill out a form.
1. Notify the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) and engage in a phone consultation regarding the county's intent to seek a variance.
2. Certify through submission of a written attestation to CDPH that the county has met the readiness criteria (outlined below) designed to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.
As the state mandates requirement for testing capacity of 1.5 per 1,000 residents. and as the county de-funded the public health lab and has not been able to compete for a sufficient testing machine, we have appealed to the state and the state's testing task force for a solution. This disconnect (between requirements and capacity) can only be addressed at the state or federal level. The governor is aware that rural testing deserts exist. It is up to the state to align resources with requirements (a local PHO cannot produce testing machines).
As the BOS moves forward with the hiring of Dr. Iser, it is hoped that at least they have carefully considered an attorney's input on contract issues related to retirement benefits. County residents should not have to foot the bill for a potentially irresponsible hire.
For all future hires, please include strong wording about a preference for a Spanish/English bilingual speaker and translators. The county has not been been consistently inclusive of Spanish and Asian language speakers with important information and resources during emergencies and this pandemic.
Please also address the following questions:
Please inform us how many contact tracers are trained and ready to go and how many of them are bilingual? Testing issues solved, contact tracers are a component of Test, Trace, and Isolate. As the number of COVID-19 positive cases have been 'manageable' to date we have heard little about the county's capacity for contact tracing. I have reached out to numerous people (Ted Williams, Mimi Doohan, County Public Health call line and others) through social media, calls, and emails without response The tracers can be volunteers, there is online training available, they can work remotely. They will need a supervisor. Who is assigned to manage contact tracers, with or without a county PHO?
Retired: BSN, MPH, PhD epidemiologist
I am Capt. Cass Forrington, owner of the Sea Glass Museum.
I was on Sen. McGuire’s conference call last night and was extremely distressed to hear the public health officer say we are “no longer a tourist economy until there is a vaccine”.
I find this to be completely naïve and off base. On the coast, ALL we are is a tourist economy, pandemic or no. What if there is never a vaccine? We still don’t have one for AIDS or the common cold.
If you folks do not allow tourism June – August, even if it is limited, you will completely destroy the local economy.
This will have severe repercussions that could last decades. We could lose the Skunk Train and the Botanical Gardens.
If the economy collapses, we will probably also lose our struggling hospital, which means retirees will have to move out.
The problem is, the public health officer does not trust people to do the right thing, even though the whole world now knows about mitigation procedures.
People can follow those procedures here just as well as at their home town.
Motels can hold a room for 2 days, or 3, before renting it again so they know there is no virus. Non-adjacent campsites can be utilized. There ARE other options.
What is the point in opening restaurants when there is no one here to eat in them?
Restaurants already run on slim margins. There are, by necessity, a lot of employees. If they can’t sell enough meals to cover costs, they will not open and fold up.
Property prices will plummet. Foreclosures will eventually ensue. You can forget about developing the GP land.
Domestic violence and divorce will go up.
We haven’t lost a soul to COVID yet, but if our economy doesn’t open up, we will lose a lot of people to suicide, drugs, alcohol, etc.
You folks need to wake up and get public health on board. I am also disturbed to see public health does not have an email address. Why not?
I would appreciate a reply to this email.
Cass Farrington, Fort Bragg.
TURNS OUT the young guy who'd been hired to replace the irreplaceable Jan The Mail Lady on her grueling daily mail delivery rounds from Cloverdale to Point Arena and back, wanted more money to do the job. The money offered was not enough and back the young family man went to his previous employment. Further, it turns out that these outback mail routes are owned by a company based in Virginia, and further-further turns out that the Virginia company tried to get Jan back. Of course they did, you betcha. But Jan is staying retired after nearly three decades of a daily grind few people could manage. Back in the day, the Mendo mail routes were bid out locally. Old timers will remember Jan's predecessor, Vivian Ellis of Cloverdale, back when everything, including the mail, was a lot simpler.
EVEN the weather seems confused. Rained off and on all day Tuesday, and, contrary to the Chuckle Bud tv weather people, not enough rain to beat back fire season more than a day or two.
ACCORDING TO MOODY'S, proved wrong and corrupt in 2008, J.C. Penney, Rite Aid and Petco are on the brink of insolvency. J. Crew, which employed about 13,000 people before an April furlough program, was the first high-profile retailer to seek bankruptcy protection since the coronavirus. Then Neiman Marcus went belly-up. That giant Rite Aid at Gobbi and S. State in Ukiah, a major eyesore, takes up about half a block.
ATTA GIRL, NANCE: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi unveiled a more than $3 trillion coronavirus aid package, encouraging Congress to "go big" with aid to about to be broke states and millions of already broke Americans. The Heroes Act [sic] provides nearly $1 trillion for states, cities and tribal governments to avert layoffs and another $200 billion in “hazard pay” for essential workers, another $1,200 direct cash aid to individuals, up to $6,000 per household. And $75 billion more for virus testing. A vote is expected Friday as is opposition from the bad people.
BEST NEWS on the day: Our Revolution Los Angeles announced Tuesday that an overwhelming majority of its members have voted to form a major new party and is joining the Movement for a People’s Party. The Our Rev chapter represents more than 10,000 people in Los Angeles. They are asking other Our Revolution chapters and progressive groups to join MPP and generally gear up to take on the duopoly.
EVEN THOUGH 1,000 workers at Tyson’s slaughterhouse in Waterloo, Iowa have tested positive for the coronavirus, it has reopened. Tyson said last week it would begin slaughtering pigs. The company promised that workers would receive daily screenings and access to nurse practitioners but many who can transmit the coronavirus are asymptomatic. At two other Tyson Iowa plants, 956 workers have tested positive. Meanwhile, “Millions of animals – chickens, pigs and cattle – will be depopulated because of the closure of our processing facilities, Tyson admits. (Martha Rosenberg)
ED NOTE: "Depopulated" is the Tyson euphemism for killing.
TESS ALBIN-SMITH of the Fort Bragg City Council went on about her gardener-maintained home premises the other night as the Council discussed fining other Fort Braggers for violating quarantine rules. The rules "allow landscaping and gardening work, but only if it is not for purely aesthetic purposes." Albin-Smith spoke from her purely aesthetic garden during the meeting.
WHENEVER I see a hyphenated name I see a high fly ball to deep right-center at AT&T where Albin sprints over from left field while Smith dashes from right field shouting, "I got it, Albin," but Albin shouts back, "No! Smith, I'll take it!"
CATCH OF THE DAY, May 12, 2020
SADIE GRAVLEE, Ukiah. Carjacking, kidnapping, conspiracy.
CHRISTOPHER KELLY, Fort Bragg. Domestic abuse.
JESSE MCGARY, Elk. Controlled substance, paraphernalia, disorderly conduct-alcohol, probation revocation.
OUR REVOLUTION LOS ANGELES Joins the Movement for a People’s Party, Calls on All Groups to Take “the Next Step in the Political Revolution”
Los Angeles, CA -- Our Revolution Los Angeles announced today that an overwhelming majority of its members have voted to form a major new party and it is joining the Movement for a People’s Party. The chapter represents more than 10,000 people in Los Angeles. They are asking other Our Revolution chapters and progressive groups to join MPP and finish the political revolution in a people's party.
Prominent Sanders surrogates RoseAnn DeMoro and John Cusack recently shared their support for starting a new party as well.
Our Revolution was founded by Sen. Bernie Sanders to reform the Democratic Party after his 2016 presidential run. Following a second rigged Democratic primary against Sanders and his supporters in 2020, and the party's refusal to champion progressive policies even during the extreme suffering caused by the pandemic, Our Revolution Los Angeles’ members decided that the Democratic Party is irredeemably corporate and must be replaced. By a 72 percent majority, they resolved to leave the Democratic Party and build a major new party free of corporate and billionaire money.
Our Revolution Los Angeles is calling on Our Revolution chapters and progressive groups nationwide to poll their members on joining the Movement for a People’s Party. Together they will co-host an informational meeting with interested chapters and groups on Thursday, May 14, to discuss and plan the new party.
“In Los Angeles, Democrats control city council and the mayor’s office. They also control the statehouse, governor’s mansion and most congressional seats. Yet homelessness soars in our city, millions of people in our country have no or inadequate healthcare, and wealth inequality has skyrocketed as billionaire wealth jumped over 200 times greater than median wealth, increasing 1,130 percent in the last 30 years,” said Our Revolution Los Angeles Chair Kyle Vertin.
“We charge that the Democratic Party is no ally in fixing the major crises of our generation, such as healthcare, housing, and climate, but a partner of the elites seeking to increase their wealth and power at the expense of our safety and well-being. Complying with an increasingly corporatist party will harm any effort to guarantee Americans their basic needs,” stated Vertin.
“The people of Los Angeles need a corporate-free party. We’re calling on all fellow Our Revolution chapters and progressive groups to join us in building it. A people’s party is the next step in the political revolution.”
MPP was founded in 2017 by staffers, delegates and volunteers from Sanders’ first presidential campaign. It argues that both major parties are controlled by Wall Street and that working people must form their own progressive populist party. Organizers are planning a digital People’s Convention this August to contrast with the Democratic and Republican national conventions. The movement has adopted Sanders' campaign platform until members can determine the party platform at its founding convention next year.
Polls show that 57 percent of Americans want a major new party, including 71 percent of Millennials. A large plurality of Americans are now independent and nonvoters are the biggest voting bloc in every national election.
“The People’s Party will unite working people into the largest party in America in the next four years,” said Nick Brana, national coordinator with MPP. “We will get ballot access nationwide, send representatives to Congress in the midterms, win the presidency in 2024, and revolutionize this country.” Brana was the national political outreach coordinator with Sanders’ 2016 presidential campaign and a founding staff member of Our Revolution, its first electoral manager.
RESPONSE TO BILL MCKIBBEN by writer/director Jeff Gibbs
“Planet of the Humans” illuminates that where any of us cling to illusions, and associate with those with a profit motive, we are susceptible to making poor choices for the planet – unintentionally advocating for those things we know we should resist, and losing sight of those things for which we should advocate.
LITTLE RICHARD— he's gone. UK show description by Bob Bell of Oakland...
"It was an evening of unbridled madness. No stage patter, really no talking to the audience. Between each song he'd holler 'Well, alright, well, alright', maintaining the tension, stoking the fire. It was a mass Rolfing experience, it took the audience out of itself, it was pandemonium in its purest sense. It was, indeed, the very essence of Rock and Roll, cathartic, liberating and ultimately joyful. Richard was beyond musician. He was gone. He was shaman, he had the light in his eyes. And that was what we fans wanted - to be gone too."
WHY AMERICA CANNOT AFFORD TO LET POSTAL SERVICE GO BANKRUPT
by Tom Conway
Bill Boone was a fresh-faced 23-year-old in 1952 when he cast his first ballot for U.S. president, while proudly serving aboard an aircraft carrier off the coast of Korea.
The U.S. Postal Service carried that vote untold miles to the election board in Boone’s hometown of Benton, Arkansas, and he’s considered “the mail” an essential part of life ever since.
Today, the 90-year-old retired Steelworker relies on the postal service to deliver his medicines, Social Security checks and letters from relatives. A dedicated letter carrier even walks the mail up the driveway—past the mailbox—to Boone’s front door.
“I told him, ‘You can’t retire until I die,’” Boone said.
The postal service delivers to every U.S. address, no matter how isolated, and charges consistent, reasonable rates to all customers. It’s a lifeline for military members and the elderly. It keeps commerce humming and the country connected.
Americans love the postal service. Yet Donald Trump wants to kill it.
The postal service lost billions of dollars as businesses scaled back operations or closed during the pandemic. The agency usually supports itself with sales of stamps and other products. But now, without as much as $75 billion in emergency federal aid, it will go bankrupt in months.
Americans under stay-at-home orders, with limited access to stores and restaurants, need the postal service more than ever. They overwhelmingly support saving it.
But Trump refuses to help unless the agency quadruples rates on packages it delivers for Amazon and other companies. Because Amazon, UPS, and FedEx won’t deliver to some addresses, such as those in rural areas, they often rely on the postal service to carry packages the so-called “last mile” to a recipient’s door.
If the postal service raised rates, these companies would merely pass along the higher costs to their customers. And many Americans, like the 30 million or so who just lost their jobs because of the pandemic, can’t afford that.
The death of the postal service would deprive Americans of a way to vote, pay bills, apply for passports, get prescriptions, send letters, receive tax refunds, collect Social Security and ship items ranging from gold bars to cremated remains.
It would threaten the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, a law-enforcement agency that investigates narcotics trafficking, identify theft and other crimes.
And if the postal service vanished, so would the army of letter carriers who keep tabs on elderly residents, call the fire department when they smell smoke on their routes and generally serve as unofficial neighborhood watchmen.
“I just can’t believe the government would think about shutting down the postal service,” said Boone, who worked at Reynolds Metals Company for nearly 30 years and at Alcoa for 10 more.
“It would be kind of like living without people picking up your trash. In fact, it’s just not an issue that Congress or anybody should have to discuss.”
If Trump kills the postal service, people in remote areas—such as the 272 customers along a 191-mile rural delivery route in Montana and other Americans whom letter carriers now reach by mule, snowmobile and boat—would face higher rates from private shipping companies.
If they could get service at all.
“If private enterprise took over, I think it would be a lot more expensive, and our rural delivery would probably just evaporate,” said Mike Harkin, a longtime member of United Steelworkers (USW) Local 310L in Des Moines, Iowa. “I’d probably have to drive to town every time to mail stuff.”
Harkin, a Firestone retiree and member of the Steelworkers Organization of Active Retirees (SOAR), seldom sees FedEx and UPS trucks on his rural road miles from the small town of Woodward.
But the mail truck is another story. Harkin says his letter carrier will gladly drive packages up his quarter-mile-long driveway if they’re too big for the mailbox.
Although the postal service hemorrhaged money during the pandemic, it’s worked hard to keep America functioning through the crisis.
In addition to the regular mail, it delivers surveys for the critically important 2020 census. It brings masks, sanitizers, toilet paper and other pandemic staples that Americans order online. It accommodates small companies trying to stay afloat by conducting more mail-order business during the crisis.
In March, Trump signed a pandemic stimulus package with money for hospitals, aid for businesses and checks of up to $1,200 for individual taxpayers. The postal service delivers those checks, which Trump insisted bear his own signature.
Postal workers pay a heavy price for their dedication. Hundreds have been sickened by COVID-19. Dozens died.
By keeping post offices open and the mail flowing, the postal service provides a rare dose of normalcy during the pandemic.
And the agency’s importance is growing. Come November, American democracy may depend on it.
More and more Americans want the federal government to make mail-in balloting a universal option because they fear catching the coronavirus at polling places.
They worry about standing in lines when public health experts stress the need for social distancing. They don’t want to touch the door handles at polling places or push buttons on voting machines, knowing the coronavirus can live on surfaces.
Boone says nothing will stop him from voting on November 3. He’ll go to the polls if he must but would feel more comfortable casting his ballot by mail for the first time since his Navy days nearly seven decades ago.
It isn’t just voters who are concerned. Some states fear they’ll have a difficult time finding poll workers, who are predominately elderly.
Only if Americans have the option of voting by mail can the nation ensure a viable turnout in a critically important election. That means saving the postal service.
Right now, Trump is among a minority of Americans who fail to see the postal service for the bargain it is. “I’d be lost without it,” Harkin said.
(Tom Conway is the international president of the United Steelworkers Union (USW). This article was produced by the Independent Media Institute. Courtesy, CounterPunch.org)
EARLY SANTA ROSA
RIDING THE COAST
by Steve Heilig
Way back in high school I somehow got the wild idea to ride a bicycle down the entire West Coast, from the Canadian to Mexican borders. Well why not? Summer was coming, I was all of 17 years old, born and raised on the Orange County Coast, with a yearning to see broader vistas.
I had a heavy funky old Schwinn Varsity 10-speed and liked it well enough but it occurred to me I might be able to scam a new one. I vaguely knew the guys at a local bike shop so went in to ask them if they, or maybe a bike company, might “sponsor” me to some extent with at least part of a new bike for the ride, in exchange for some advertising featuring my epic journey. To my surprise they were open to it, and although the details are now fuzzy I wound up with a new Raleigh touring bike, a white-framed beauty with a prized Reynolds 531 steel frame, the good stuff, worth about $250.00 in mid-1970s dollars (at least twice what the Schwinn would cost). Now I was committed. "Don't forget to take some pictures" said my shop pal.
As luck would have it, some friends were heading northward in a new VW camper van. We first hit Yosemite’s wonders, then headed northward, camping along the way. At the Canadian border, out I went. It was drizzly and bleak and home was over 1200 miles south and suddenly I felt like an idiot. But off I went, heading westward around the Olympic Peninsula to the Pacific Coast and southward.
The Washington and Oregon coasts went by quickly - too quickly, as the skies cleared and it was altogether gorgeous, but with a strong tailwind in the afternoons that pushed me along. I’d ride up and down mostly gentle hills, with sweeping vistas of stunning coastal cliffs and waves and green forest, stopping at small town markets to guzzle a quart of milk and keep going. The new hit song “Sundown” by Gordon Lightfoot was playing from radios all along the way. This was before bike touring became a common thing, and I wore old clothes, a baseball cap, tennis shoes. People were very friendly and curious about how far I'd gone and how far I was going. My legs were deep brown and the lower part of my face was too, where the cap didn't shade me from the sun.
I “camped,” if that’s the right word for tossing down a ratty sleeping bag just off the road someplace with crashing surf below, a few nights along the way, past Crescent City, Arcata and gloomy Eureka and then once into California Highway 101 turned inland a bit and it got hot. Really hot, July hot, not good for riding but I plugged along, through the welcome shade of the Avenue of the Giants, marveling at those trees, jumping in the Eel River for the first of what would be countless times in my life, and riding on. Sweat sometimes poured off my face under my soggy baseball cap, and my ratty shorts were even wetter and funkier.
At Leggett, Highway One coastward began, and so did a harrowing overheated long climb, bedeviled by giant logging trucks. Somewhere near the top the sun set and I pulled my bike off into the trees and flopped down, spent, for a restless sleep. Only a few cars or trucks went by all night. Mosquitoes made a meal of me but thankfully I was so tired I hardly noticed.
Dawn was welcome and I stuffed my bag into its sack, bunjy-corded it onto the rear rack, and headed south. Thankfully it was now downhill all the way to the coast, the temperature never rising far as I rounded the last curve and there was the welcome Pacific, even in morning fog. The winding road down to Fort Bragg was easy. It seemed so bucolic and beautiful; I had no inkling of dark deeds that had transpired along that stretch and passed one canyon where a decade later I would find myself in the midst of some of the most chaotic debauchery I've witnessed. But I made it to Fort Bragg happily and there I got quarts of both orange juice and milk and drank them both down. Heading onward south, again the scenery became wonderful, a dramatic rugged but lush wildness unlike anything I’d grown up with far to the south.
I stopped in Mendocino village, scenic to the point of parody, with hip-looking people hanging around, looking to be in no hurry. I bought some dates and a small bit of bulk peanut butter and went down to some benches I’d seen near the beach cliff for lunch. And then, in no hurry myself, passed out blissfully in the sun, the sound of waves below.
When I awoke it was quite late in the afternoon; I must have been tired. I saddled up and headed down the highway. Before long a thick dark grey fog bank rolled in with the growing wind, and then darkness itself came on, quickly. I'd have to find a spot to sleep before long. Locating suitably comfortable but private sleeping spots became much harder at night.
As I grinded my way up a long incline, a pickup truck flew by me, then its brake lights came on and the driver pulled over a dozen yards ahead. I rolled up cautiously as a man got out and waved me down. "Hey!" he said. "Where are you heading?"
"Well, Mexico, actually" I replied, and we both laughed.
"Not tonight you aren't!" he said, and then "Listen, it's gonna be a wet nasty night and I caught a lot of good fish today and live just up the road. If you want you can stay with me and my girlfriend and I'll drop you back off on the highway early in the morning, as I'm going out fishing again."
I checked him out. Seemed nice enough. And he was right that it looked to be a damp one. Plus a hot shower would be really, really nice. "Well, OK, why not?" I said, and lifted my bike into the bed of his pickup. Once in, talk was easy; his name was Ron and he mainly wanted to know what and why the hell I was doing this ride "That's crazy, I love it" he enthused. He was 27, really old, and seemed to have things together, confident and funny and competent, like.
A few miles down we turned up a smaller road and went just a mile or so up into the woods, then onto a gravel driveway up to a fine-looking wooden house. "Listen, my girlfriend's a real bitch, she's got that Indian thing, and our roommate's a weird one too but things will be cool. We can leave all the tackle and our bike in the truck but help with that cooler, it's heavy." I thought, OK, wonder what I've gotten into here, but we oomphed the big cooler up to the house and went right in.
He was right about his girlfriend. She was stunning, looked to be Native American with black eyes and black hair beyond her waist, but took one dark look at me then at Ron, wordlessly, until he said "This is Steve, he's riding his bike all the way from Canada to Mexico, can you dig that?" It seemed she couldn't, as she just walked out of the kitchen. I got the impression I might be just one more straggling stray her man had brought home. Ron shrugged at me and said, quietly, "See what I mean? Doubt she and I will last much longer, but well, you see what I mean, man..." and gave me an evil leer. I wasn't sure I did but didn't say anything as we opened some beers and set to the fish, big ones, and I was glad my dad had taught me all things fishing as I could talk with Ron about where he'd located them, what kind of tackle, bait, boat, etc. and even gut and clean one deftly. I could tell he was impressed. He went out to fire up the coals and while he was gone, the back door opened and another woman came in.
"Oops, uh, hi" she said, slightly startled. "Hi, I'm Steve" I said by way of explanation. "Ron found me riding my bike down the highway and invited me for dinner." She looked me over and smiled, cheerily said "Well, ok then!" and got herself a beer from the fridge. "I'm Amy." Amy was what might be called plain, especially next to Ron's girl, whose name I hadn't even caught in the glare of her looks. But Amy liked to talk and we went out to hang with Ron as he tossed the big fillets on the grill and brushed on homemade sauce from a coffee can. He offered that he regularly caught enough fish to sell to local markets and restaurants and feed his household, with plenty left over. I've got hundreds of pounds frozen here and would make you take some if you weren't on a damn bike," he laughed.
Suffice it to say dinner was superb. Ron's girlfriend came out to sit and eat with us, looking like Rita Coolidge I'd decided, but didn't say much. Ron, Amy and I yacked it up, drinking first beer, then wine, then a bottle of Johnny Walker he produced. Then, sitting on couches, he rolled up some local product and I found myself stuffed, stoned, and sloshed. Ron's girlfriend vanished without a goodnite. Ron went into the kitchen and started to do dishes so, feeling guilty, I jumped up to join him. I wound up drying. "Listen, man, none of my business but beware of Amy," he offered. "She's OK but I wouldn't go there, but well, up to you." Startled, I likely blushed, but just said, "Oh, umm, ok.. thanks."
Ron showed me my room, said a hearty goodnite, said he'd see me about 5:30 in the morning and vanished. I went back into the living room, where Amy still sat quietly, and sat down. We started talking some more. She asked me about the ride, and why I was doing it by myself. "Hmm, because nobody else is crazy enough to do it with me?" I replied. "Well I think it's great, it builds character," she said. I had no idea what that might mean but realized I was really tired and really wanted that shower, so I told her so, and said goodnight.
The hot water felt heavenly. I stood there for quite awhile, just feeling it. Then suddenly the bathroom light went out. I thought Bummer, power failure, but a quiet voice said "Hi again." I stood there frozen in place in the pitch dark as the shower door opened and someone stepped in. I felt a finger pressed to my lips. "Shhhh" she said, and giggled. And then hands gently on my shoulders, and then a kiss, and then a slow slick embrace all over, and then hands wandering around and down, and then a something I had never experienced before. Overwhelming, really. It didn't last long. She couldn't have found it too rewarding, it seemed to me, not that I knew much about what to think at that tender age. I might have semi-shouted at one point, and almost fell down, helpless. Then I was leaning dazed and panting up against the shower wall as the water still came down.
I heard another giggle, then the shower door, then a bit of rustling of a towel, and then she was gone. After a bit I rinsed off the rest of the shampoo and soap and got out, dried off, dressed again, brushed my teeth, and walked out. Nobody was still around and only a dim light was on. I just stood there for a time, then, no other option, went to bed.
Ron knocked on my door before dawn, said only "UP!" and I jumped up, got my shoes on, and headed into the kitchen where the light was. "Hey man, how'd you sleep?" he said, pouring me coffee he'd already made and tossing down a bowl for cereal, all set out too. "Really good!" I said. He looked at me, smiling. "Shower good too?" he said, chewing. "Oh yeah, perfect, it had been too long," I answered. "Right, I bet" he said, then we set to chewing, and I sensed there wasn't much time before we had to hit the road; fish were waiting.
Back down to the highway, the daylight coming on, we rode in silence until hitting the intersection with the highway. He pulled over, saying just "OK!"
I said OK too, got out, pulled my bike and bags over the edge of the pickup bed, and stood there, woozy. He came around and held out his hand, saying "Have a good ride!" I nodded, wanting to ask him something but even then not stupid enough to do so, so I just said thanks for everything, and as he pulled off he winked at me and said "Everything? Don't forget to write!" and roared off northward.
I watched him go, got on my bike, and started riding, slowly. It was chilly but not too bad and I slowly built up some momentum. I went along until I hit the next village, which might have been Elk, and thought it would be nice to get something hot to drink. At a small market there was a deck with an old-timer (I mean, in retrospect, like at least fifty or so) sitting in a rocking chair, like of of some old movie. I went in, got a cup of coffee which I rarely drank yet, filled it with half-and-half, and went back outside. "Nice bike" said the old guy. "Reynolds 531?" I laughed out loud, said yessir, and we were chatting about my ride while sipping our coffee. At one point I asked him about the road ahead, remarking on how winding it had been. "You think that's been something?" he laughed. "You'll find the next part crookeder than a dog's hind leg." I laughed, and then he added "But the most dangerous thing around here? The women!" and he guffawed.
He was right about the road. But I made it over 500 miles south, down through Marin and over that famous bridge and into the fabled city where I wanted to see the fabled Haight Street but it was a derelict, even scary wasteland; then down through Big Sur and the rest of the way to boring old Orange County. I'd been gone about three weeks but it was still summer and a friend there said "Hey, where you been?" "Riding down the coast, all the way from Canada!" I replied. "Bullshit," he said. Whatever. But in some way I felt I wasn't a kid anymore. I wasn't to stay living there much longer, and became a Northern California denizen the rest of my life.
I did take some photos, but the bike company, or the store, or both, didn't want to use them or my story for their marketing. Maybe I looked a little too ratty and longhaired to be a good clean bike spokesmodel. I kept the bike though, and rode it on the east coast, all over Europe and Great Britain and Ireland and even into Africa, and it sits, beaten and bent but too good to toss out, somewhere in the back of my garage. And I didn't remember to write until now, closing in on half a century later. But some things you just remember.