MCT: Monday, May 18, 2020

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SHOWERS AND THUNDERSTORMS will move across the region today. Thereafter, partially clearing skies tonight will aid in patchy valley fog and frost. Otherwise, drier weather appears likely during mid to late week. (NWS)

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HEALTH OFFICER UPDATE ON 14TH CASE

Post Date: 05/17/2020 12:44 PM

On Friday evening May 15, 2020, the 14th Mendocino County COVID-19 case was reported to Public Health. The case investigation and contact tracing was immediately initiated by Public Health to learn the source of infection and ensure that asymptomatic contacts were quarantined and symptomatic contacts were tested and isolated. Initial findings of this investigation were determined and verified by Saturday evening, followed by a prompt Statement by Mendocino County on Saturday evening, identifying the 14th case as an elderly male living in the Ukiah Valley who is a close contact of two residents of Lake County, who themselves had been newly diagnosed with COVID-19 on Saturday afternoon.

The source of this outbreak involving three people has been determined to have happened at an inland Mendocino County church where a live stream church service with singing occurred on Mother’s Day. All three of the new cases (the 14th Mendocino County case and the two new Lake County cases) were at the venue during the live stream and two of the individuals participated in the live stream event with singing at the church. Mendocino and Lake County Public Health are working together to reach any other individuals who are contacts of these three new cases, including anyone who participated in the live stream church service with singing.

One of the Lake County residents was hospitalized at Adventist Health Ukiah Valley on Saturday. The other Lake County resident and the Mendocino County 14th case are in stable condition, in isolation, at their homes.

To protect privacy, Mendocino County is not releasing the name of the inland Mendocino church at this time, but is urging the church leaders to do so themselves in order to encourage members of the church to seek testing for COVID-19 and medical attention if needed.

Free COVID19 testing will be offered by Mendocino County Public Health on Tuesday, May 19 in Redwood Valley at Eagle Peak Middle School from 7:00 am – 2:00 pm. Any individuals who have participated in the production a live stream church service with singing in inland Mendocino County on Mother’s day and their close contacts are urged to come for this free testing if they are not sick, or to contact their medical provider and seek medical attention (call ahead) if they are sick.

It is critical for organizations where work groups engage in live-streaming of events follow section 14(p)(iii) of the Health Order by implementing the required safety measures and mitigating additional risk associated with singing like utilizing a plexiglass screen between singers in the same venue, proper ventilation, distancing greater than six feet and ensuring singers are not positioned face-to-face. The additional safety measures while signing can help prevent outbreaks seen in other areas of the Country like Washington State (cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/69/wr/mm6919e6.htm). Following the Facial Covering Order while at work is also an important step in stopping the spread of COVID-19 in the workplace. 

For more on COVID-19: www.mendocinocounty.org

Call Center: (707) 234-6052 or email callcenter@mendocinocounty.org

The call center is open Monday – Friday from 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.


TWO MORE LAKE COUNTY RESIDENTS TEST POSITIVE FOR COVID-19; CASES TRACED TO MENDOCINO COUNTY CHURCH SERVICE

LAKE COUNTY, Calif. – On Sunday, officials reported that two new cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed in Lake County and that they’ve been traced to a Mother’s Day church service in neighboring Mendocino County.

Lake County Public Health Officer Dr. Gary Pace said the latest two Lake County residents who tested positive for COVID-19 are members of the same household, and there is a known connection to a confirmed positive case in Mendocino County. 

Pace said one of the individuals is hospitalized.

Case investigations and contact tracing are ongoing at this time, Pace said.

Lake County’s confirmed COVID-19 case total now stands at 10. 

Health departments statewide on Sunday reported more than 79,000 cases and more than 3,200 deaths have been caused by COVID-19.

The Mendocino County Public Health Department said Sunday that Lake County’s two latest cases are related to Mendocino County’s 14th case, which was reported to that agency on Friday evening.

“The case investigation and contact tracing was immediately initiated by Public Health to learn the source of infection and ensure that asymptomatic contacts were quarantined and symptomatic contacts were tested and isolated,” Mendocino County Public Health reported.

The agency said that the Initial findings of this investigation were determined and verified by Saturday evening.

Mendocino County’s 14th COVID-19 case is an elderly male living in the Ukiah Valley who is a close contact of the two Lake County residents just diagnosed with COVID-19. The Lake County cases were confirmed on Saturday afternoon, officials said.

The source of this outbreak involving three people has been determined to have happened at an inland Mendocino County church where a livestream church service with singing occurred on Mother’s Day, Mendocino County Public Health reported.

Officials said all three of the new cases were at the venue during the livestream and two of the individuals participated in the livestream event with singing at the church. 

Mendocino and Lake County Public Health officials are working together to reach any other individuals who are contacts of these three new cases, including anyone who participated in the livestream church service with singing.

One of the Lake County residents was hospitalized at Adventist Health Ukiah Valley on Saturday. The other Lake County resident and Mendocino County’s 14th case are in stable condition, in isolation, at their homes, officials said.

To protect privacy, Mendocino County Public Health is not releasing the name of the inland Mendocino church at this time but is urging the church leaders to do so themselves in order to encourage members of the church to seek testing for COVID-19 and medical attention if needed.

Pace declined to release further information about the Lake County cases in order to protect the identity of the individuals.

Lake County’s previous cases also were connected to out-of-county contacts and some involved multiple people in the same households, as Lake County News has reported.

The other eight individuals in Lake County who tested positive for the virus have recovered, Lake County Public Health reported.

To date, Lake County Public Health reported that more than 1,100 county residents have been tested for COVID-19.

The news comes as Lake County is preparing to submit a variance to the state to seek a quicker reopening under the governor’s Roadmap to Recovery.

If you have symptoms or are otherwise concerned you may have been exposed to COVID-19, contact your medical provider, visit https://www.projectbaseline.com/study/covid-19/ to schedule drive-thru testing or contact the Health Services Department, Public Health Division, for information on your options. 

Public Health can be reached by email, MHOAC@lakecountyca.gov or by phone during business hours at 707-263-8174.

(Elizabeth Larson, Courtesy, Lake County News)


MENDOCINO COUNTY CHURCH SERVICE BLAMED FOR RURAL NORTHERN CALIFORNIA CORONAVIRUS OUTBREAK

Mendocino County officials said Sunday a Mother’s Day church service is to blame for an intercounty coronavirus outbreak of three people, including the county’s 14th confirmed case of COVID-19 — an elderly Ukiah Valley man.

pressdemocrat.com/news/10970239-181/mendocino-county-church-service-blamed

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"OVERCAST AT DUSK: I liked the eerie effect of the lighting."

(photo by Harvey Reading)

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CITY OF UKIAH ADJUSTS PERMITTING REQUIREMENTS in Support of Local Business’ Attempting to Comply with COVID-19 Measures

by Matt LaFever

In the wake of last week’s closure of a Ukiah lemonade stand and the online outrage that ensued, the City of Ukiah has adopted an emergency order “expanding the temporary use of property for businesses impacted by COVID-19.”

The emergency order, published on Friday, May 15, stated: “the city of Ukiah recognizes that businesses need to have the ability to modify operations which require unique allowances and temporary relief from certain zoning and land use regulations.”

In contrast to the previous lengthy permitting process, the emergency order allows for businesses to “apply at no cost for the temporary use of City-owned and private property for modified business operations as may be necessitated by the impacts of COVID-19.”

A business interested in using public or private space in efforts to heed the COVID-19 regulations must, “submit a no-fee Temporary Use Permit Application in a form approved by the City manager, which shall include a description of proposed use and a drawing/depiction of the proposed location and layout.” Businesses can utilize “temporary signage” and must not “ interfere with vehicular and pedestrian traffic, or access under the Americans with Disabilities Act.”

Don Delahoyde, the owner of the lemonade stand whose closure led to the city of Ukiah’s emergency order, referred to the emergency order as “amazing” and said he was considering opening the lemonade stand once again. Hoping to develop further opportunities for businesses to provide for Ukiah customers, Delahoyde said he would be meeting with Ukiah’s Fair Board to propose creating a “drive-thru food court.”

City Councilwoman Mo Mulheren said, “I’m glad that the city was able to find a way to adapt to the changing needs of our business community in these challenging times. This won’t be our first hurdle, but we can get through this if we work together.”

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LIVE OAK GARAGE, BOONVILLE, 50s

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URGENCY IN THE EMERGENCY

by Jim Shields

At the Board of Supervisors meeting this past Tuesday, Supervisor John McCowen was doing his job, quite doggedly in fact, attempting to convince outgoing Public Health Officer (PHO) Mimi Doohan to prepare a state-required attestation form that would lead to approval of reopening certain segments of the shutdown local economy.

But Doohan remained insistent she couldn’t do so until the county was in compliance with a so-called Stage 2 testing standard. She estimated it would take another two weeks before the county could meet the guideline that calls for 135 COVID-19 tests per day.

Counties will get the green light from the state after submitting attestation forms proving they are ready to reopen at a faster pace. A county that has met certain criteria in containing COVID-19 may consider increasing the pace at which they advance through Stage 2 of California’s roadmap to modify the Stay-at-Home order.

As of this Thursday, the state has allowed 19 counties, including neighboring Humboldt County, to reopen quicker under its Stage 2 guidelines. The goal is to open the state in a way that minimizes the risk for COVID-19 to the extent possible, which includes: 1) limiting non-essential movement and mixing of populations, especially within jurisdictions with higher confirmed cases, and 2) delaying the opening of environments in which there is prolonged and close contact as part of the way business must operate.

All 19 counties have filed an attestation that they have met the readiness criteria. These counties can move more quickly through Stage 2, opening sectors once state guidance is posted for that sector. Meanwhile, Mendocino County’s economy will remain closed pending resolution of the daily testing requirement.

Doohan said she doesn’t believe the county can meet testing criteria without state support and providing assistance such as a mobile testing van.

Supervisor John Haschak suggested writing letters to Gov. Gavin Newsom and President Trump requesting immediate aid to resolve the lack of testing capabilities. The full Board concurred with his proposal.

But McCowen remained on task stating that “every day that goes by (without filing reopening plans) is life or death” for local businesses. “We are crushing the life out of local businesses,” he said. McCowen said a number of times that it was “urgent” for the PHO to begin to prepare the required reopening documents in anticipation of the daily testing issue being resolved. He demanded that Doohan have them ready in time for the next week’s Board meeting.

Doohan responded, “I’m baffled by your questions about urgency. I’m working night and day” on pandemic-related matters.

The PHO evidently doesn’t understand that lots of folks, including this folk, are working night and day. That’s our duty and responsibility as government employees. No one needs to thank us, single us out for praise, or give any special recognition for any of us doing what is expected of us: It’s called doing your job.

Keep in mind, while PHO Doohan is doing her job long-distance from San Diego, and the rest of us, presumably, are doing our jobs here in Mendocino County, the majority of fellow citizens are mostly locked down in their homes, unable to work, and most likely not receiving a paycheck, while we government employees continue on the public payroll. The ones making the real sacrifices are the so-called “non-essentials,” rendered as such by government fiat.

So McCowen is absolutely on course when he talks about the urgency of the situation at hand. People’s economic lives are at stake, after all.

Under criteria listed by the California Department of Public Health (CDPH), “A county that has met certain criteria in containing COVID-19 may consider increasing the pace at which they advance through Stage 2 of California’s roadmap to modify the stay-at-home order. The goal is to open the state in a way that minimizes the risk for COVID-19 to the extent possible, which includes: 1) limiting nonessential movement and mixing of populations, especially within jurisdictions with higher confirmed cases, and 2) delaying the opening of environments in which there is prolonged and close contact as part of the way business must operate.”

For counties with approved plans and attestations, under Early Stage 2 procedures they can reopen the following types of busnesses and institutions: • Curb-side Retail • Manufacturers • Logistics • Childcare for those outside of the essential workforce • Office-based businesses (telework remains strongly encouraged) • Select services: car washes, pet grooming, and landscape gardening • Outdoor museums, and open gallery spaces and other public spaces with modifications The following businesses and institutions are not permitted in Stage 2: • Personal services such as nail salons, tattoo parlors, gyms and fitness studios • Entertainment venues with limited capacities, such as movie theaters, gaming, gambling, and arcade venues, and pro sports • Indoor museums, kids museums and gallery spaces, zoos and libraries • Community centers, including public pools, playgrounds, and picnic areas • Limited-capacity religious services and cultural ceremonies • Nightclubs • Concert venues • Live audience sports • Festivals • Theme parks • Hotels/lodging for leisure and tourism – non-essential travel • Higher education

While the above criteria are guidelines for counties, each county’s expanded Stage 2 reopening plan is different. COVID-19 Orders Constitutional Challenges: If Liquor Stores and Pot Dispensaries Are Open, Why Aren’t Churches, Lawsuit Asks

As I’ve said many times, no matter where you stand on these C-19 stay at home orders and business shutdowns, I believe most people would agree that they have been destructive economically, socially, and constitutionally.

Here’s another example of one of the lawsuits that have been filed alleging constitutional rights have been violated by the orders.

Three Southern California churches that want to keep holding in-person services during the coronavirus outbreak sued Governor Gavin Newsom and other officials on Monday.

The suit, filed in the federal court for the Central District of California, challenges stay-at-home orders issued in the state of California, and in San Bernardino and Riverside counties. None of those orders list houses of worship as critical infrastructure, where people are allowed to meet face to face.

“Liquor stores are open. Dispensaries are open, but the church has to be closed. I don’t see the rhyme or reason for that,” said Patrick Scales, head pastor at Shield of Faith Family Church. “How can I be a pastor and lock up the doors of the church? For me, that’s contradictory to what the gospel says or what our core beliefs are.”

The complaint cites the 1993 U.S. Supreme Court case Church of the Lukumi Babalu Aye v. City of Hialeah, in which justices held that “a law burdening religious practice that is not neutral or not of general application must undergo the most rigorous of scrutiny.”

The lawsuit argues that the orders are discriminatory because certain businesses can get exemptions while churches cannot.

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

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VISITING FROM AMADOR....

On Thursday, May 14, 2020, Mendocino County Sheriff Deputies were investigating an unrelated burglary that occurred in Point Arena.

During the course of that investigation Deputies developed a person of interest identified as Terry Kelly, 34, of Fort Bragg. 

Kelly

Deputies also confirmed Kelly was on active felony probation out of Amador County for possession of stolen property and his probation included a 4th Amendment search waiver.

At approximately 1410 hours, Deputies contacted Kelly at a vehicle parked in the 24000 block of Highway 20 in Fort Bragg after receiving information he was a stranded motorist in that area.

During that contact, Deputies observed Kelly’s vehicle was loaded with a large amount of miscellaneous property.

Deputies conducted a search of Kelly’s vehicle and discovered a variety of packaged unopened consumer goods.

Upon further investigation, Deputies determined those consumer goods were recently stolen from FBA Inspection [an on-line order fulfillment warehouse] in the City of Fort Bragg and the burglary had been reported to the Fort Bragg Police Department.

Deputies arrested Kelly for possession of stolen property and he was transported to the Mendocino County Jail where he was ultimately booked and released because of the California's current zero bail provision.

Deputies continued their investigation and also learned Kelly was in possession of an unreported stolen dump trailer parked at a residence in the 44000 block of Pomo Lake Circle in Irish Beach [Manchester].

With the assistance of the California Highway Patrol, Deputies responded to this location and recovered the stolen dump trailer.

During an inspection of the trailer, it was discovered the attached license plate did not belong to the trailer and was associated to another unreported theft that occurred in the 13000 block of Point Cabrillo Drive in Manchester.

At the present time, the trailer is suspected stolen property. Deputies have not been successful in identifying the owner of the trailer and are asking for the public's assistance.

The trailer was possibly taken from a location on Airport Road in Fort Bragg.

The time frame when the trailer was taken is unknown. The trailer has been recently spray-painted and most or all identifying marks removed.

Photographs of the trailer can be found on the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office Facebook page at the following link: facebook.com/MendocinoSheriff/photos/pcb.10157212509527967/10157212507787967/

If you recognize this trailer or you know who the possible owner of the trailer might be, please contact Mendocino County Sheriff's Office Deputy Martin (Incident Number 20-11935) at 707-961-2421 or by email at martinj@mendocinocounty.org

The Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office would also like to thank the Fort Bragg Police Department and the California Highway Patrol for their provided assistance during this investigation.

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(photo by Skip Taube)

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SHEMIA, YUKI WARRIOR

by Malcolm Macdonald

Shemia, a Yuki warrior, died in February, 1885. He was probably in his forties or early fifties at the time of his demise. His death occurred as a result of a violent attack by another man whom he had known all his life. The killing was not based on some childhood grudge, but on what the killer perceived as an unforgivable injustice perpetrated by Shemia.

If you like 19th century killings, and I do mean multiple ones, you've come to the right place. If you like the grisly details revealed, ride along. However, this is also an attempt to examine how and why some parts of our local history remain shrouded if not forgotten. In addition, the actions described herein provide the all too familiar sad ends for a pair of Indian warriors as well as an undisputed Indian victory from more than 150 years ago.

Shemia was referred to as “Indian Charley” by whites. The only reason we have the name Shemia to go by derives from a single account of events that transpired primarily in Leggett Valley from the 1850s and 1860s as well as on the north coast on into the 1880s. That source is an account written by Jeremiah M. “Doc” Standley about the first arrest he made as a Mendocino County deputy sheriff in the fall of 1867.

The name Shemia could be a phoneticized spelling, representing the way Doc Standley heard the name pronounced by his killer, a man called Billy Malmaquist. Unlike many other Indian deaths, Shemia's end did not go unnoticed in the local press.

The Westport News-Argus (also reported in the Mendocino Beacon of February 21, 1885) gave a fairly detailed account: “During the week our town has been livened with the examination before Justice Bear of Billy Malmaquist upon the charge of murdering another of his race known as Indian Charley in the woods between Cottaneva and Usal, on Thursday, the 12th inst. Charley had been stopping at the rancheria above Devilbiss' place and Malmaquist had been living at Turner's about a mile further north. They were at Cottaneva together Thursday afternoon and were seen going north from there about four o'clock, and Charley was never seen alive after that. As he did not return to the rancheria that night and was known to have considerable money on his person, the other Indians became suspicious, and learning that he had been in Malmaquist's company they became alarmed, and made a fruitless search after him. Learning that Malmaquist had left that neighborhood, too, they came to Westport and reported their fears to Justice Bear, and asked for the arrest of Malmaquist. A warrant was placed in the hands of Constable Thos. Flynn, and he found Malmaquist at 2 o'clock Friday morning at Jennie Frank's 'dive' on Chadbourne creek. Immediately after his arrest Malmaquist admitted that he had killed Charley and that he hid the body in the woods, but did not describe the locality. Justice Bear went up on Saturday and with four Indians and a dog tracked the murderer to the place of the killing, which is on the county road about a quarter of a mile this side of Turner's gate. In the brush a few feet from the road the body was found. From the testimony of those who washed the body there were eleven wounds in the head and neck, showing that Malmaquist was bound to maintain his reputation as the 'boss' Indian murderer. An inquest was held at the Cottaneva mill and the jury returning a verdict charging Malmaquist with murder.

“Malmaquist was arraigned on Wednesday and after an exhaustive examination lasting through two days, Justice Bear held Malmaquist for murder and committed him to the county jail without bail.

“Malmaquist is a big and active Indian, nearly twice the size of his last victim, and is well-known on the coast as a red-handed murderer. One of the witnesses recounted six affrays in which he had got away with his victim, and if he can save his neck this time in the face of the evidence against him we shall indeed be surprised.”

One striking line in this account remains, “Malmaquist is a big and active Indian, nearly twice the size of his last victim...” Did that mean that Mamalcoosh was unusually large for a Yuki? Was Shemia exceptionally small for a Yuki warrior? Are there implications about ancestral marriages between the Yuki and neighboring groups that created size anomalies? Did Standley use the term Yuki when he might have been more accurate in describing them with the moniker of a neighboring tribal group? We'll leave that to anthropologists and further ethno-geographic study.

The misidentification of Indian names didn't stop at Shemia being called Indian Charley. His killer's name was not Billy Mamalcoosh. In actuality it sounded something akin to Mamalcoosh. Both were Yuki. Mamalcoosh's father was known as Ishoma. Both of these names only survive due to Doc Standley's account. Mamalcoosh had at least two sisters. Unfortunately their names had already been anglicized by the historical point in time Standley's account began (1850s).

The documentation of Deputy Standley's first arrest exists today because his ancestors preserved his hand written version of events in Leggett Valley, Usal, and the Ten Mile River area in the 1850s and 1860s. Such are the vagaries of historical research. Standley's manuscript, probably written in the 1890s, places that initial arrest as happening in 1866. Multiple newspapers, the Mendocino Herald and the Sacramento Daily Union put the same events in 1867. Hard to argue with the printed contemporaneous facts, even with such a detailed primary source as Doc Standley.

(Next time: the backstory behind Shemia's murder.)

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CATCH OF THE DAY, May 17, 2020

Gonzalez, Mitchell, Velasco, Whipple

MINDY GONZALEZ, Ukiah. Burglary during state of emergency, grand theft, receiving stolen property, mail theft, conspiracy.

RONALD MITCHELL, Fort Bragg. Protective order violation.

LUIS VELASCO, Ukiah. Domestic abuse, false imprisonment.

DOUGLAS WHIPPLE III, Redwood Valley. Burglary during state of emergency, grand theft, receiving stolen property, mail theft, conspiracy, probation revocation. (Frequent Flyer)

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FEDS SUSPECT VAST FRAUD NETWORK IS TARGETING U.S. UNEMPLOYMENT SYSTEMS

nytimes.com/2020/05/16/us/coronavirus-unemployment-fraud-secret-service-washington.html

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SENSE & NO SENSE

Editor,

Removing Scott Dam to improve the habitat for the North Coast salmon makes sense (“Plan filed to remove dam,” Thursday). Removing the nine megawatts of clean renewable power that is generated by the existing dam doesn’t make sense.

Municipal planners are requiring new homes to be constructed with all-electric heating, cooling, water heating and appliances. Electric vehicle charging is increasing. The consensus is the utility companies are striving to produce electricity using renewable sources to lessen the reliance on fossil fuels such as natural gas and coal.

It seems prudent to offset an equal or greater amount of clean renewable power prior to removing Scott Dam or any dam.

Norman Vachon

Windsor

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ON LINE COMMENT OF THE DAY

The mad alt-right are a total humor-free zone, Maj – you know that. They go on a feeding frenzy every day … trawling up and down the corridors of the dark web, looking for lies and rumours about:

1. White people suffering some setback or other – because they’re white

2. Non-white people gaining something (or getting away with murder)

3. People falling for the anti-Trump coronavirus hoax

4. Cast-iron proof that Obama and the Mob are all criminals going to jail

Then they publish all that nonsense wherever they can. Way of the world.

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NEW YORK CITY PARK

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‘BRING OUT YOUR DEAD!’

The Tumbrels Roll Again

I like risk. It stimulates me. I’ve jumped out of airplanes, climbed high mountains, run the rapids, driven fast cars on twisty roads, piloted a small plane through the Devil’s Triangle—I can’t remember what-all—but I don’t like a blind chance. I need to look before I leap, assess the odds. My age puts me in a high-risk group for covid, and I don’t want to catch it. In all those places where ignorant people are bustin’ out of quarantine to go to beaches and bars and hair salons, there will be regrets and shock, grief and suffering—and plentiful litigation. The ignorant will accuse the ignorant, and the courts will grow tired and dismissive of it.

Can I say this? Maybe it would be green if all the ignorant caught covid—God grant a mutation that targets the ignorant—and died. I can imagine an entire sector of people who admire the current president I wouldn’t miss. (Well, maybe one or two I still like despite their willful blindness; somehow they can’t help it), but mostly it would be like waking up to a fresh, glowing spring morning to find them all taken up. As humankind groans, nature thrives. Coincidence? Duh. It would be nice to see it made permanent—a new deal, a new plan, a general slowing of the rush to extinction, maybe a reversal of it, a “Consciousness III,” as the late futurist Charles Reich put it.

And it’s not just Wisconsin or Georgia. The idiots and flat-earthers are everywhere. Apollo 13 was a ruse, Nine-Eleven a deep-state conspiracy. Those buildings never came down. It was—and is—a mass hallucination, planned and organized in Kenya, just as the Holocaust is a false account of things that never happened, of thirteen million people murdered and roasted like marshmallows—(“I don’t THINK so!” they say, in tones that threaten your peaceful nature). That’s part of the global Jewish conspiracy to make us all worship Moses.

On every continent except, one hopes, Antarctica, the idiots are out. I might catch covid, but not in a tattoo parlor. As far as I know, it hasn’t reached my hood yet, but we all go around in masks to show solidarity, and Tom Hohner, our coastal grocer, has handwashing stations coming out of the walls. This place is like Berkeley. It’s a notch smarter than most. Be wise.

— Mitch Clogg

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THE APPEARANCE OF PANDEMIC PROTECTION &  THE REALITY OF BETRAYAL

Editor,

The US Government established pandemic preparedness programs while simultaneously eviscerating the necessary capacity to effectively respond, potentially allowing millions of Americans to die.

Scientists around the world had been warning the government since 1980 that the chance of a new pandemic was on the rise. Most come from animals and are called zoonosis. They have been rising for decades, tripling in the last 20 years while becoming more deadly.

Industrial animal farming combined with destruction of ancient forests and their ecology along with capturing, selling, and eating wild animals has made it easier for unknown viruses to spillover and affect humans. Nature in itself has no value to corporations; it must be converted into commodities for profits. Years of sustained destruction of the Earth’s ancient forests, by increasingly deregulated profit driven Agribusiness Corporations, has created conditions for the emergence of pandemics. 

Ebola and SARS (a corona virus) are recent lethal zoonosis. A new mutation of the SARS virus could kill 30 million Americans. A highly contagious mutation of the Ebola virus could kill 150 million Americans. Scientists have been warning us for years that a pandemic is highly probable and its lethality will be unknown. 

Over the last 40 years, scientists and Public Health experts urged the US Government to establish pandemic preparedness and a worldwide surveillance system to quickly contain, suppress and eradicate any new deadly virus. The CDC (Center for Disease Control) created a Special Pathogens Branch, and the WHO (World Health Organization) developed the Global Outbreak Alert Response Network. The major infrastructure for such protection is the Public Health System, which has over one hundred years of experience in testing, tracking and quarantining patients. A robust Public health system infrastructure, such as exists in Taiwan and Singapore, comprised of thousands of clinics with tens of thousands of employees across the country has the capacity to protect us from Pandemics.

Yet the tragic reality is that during the last 40 years, the US government has carried out a silent war on the Public Health System. The very infrastructure necessary to carry out the directives of the Pandemic Preparedness organizations was systematically dismantled. Our Public Health System has been defunded by some $150 Billion since 2009. 

This savage underfunding resulted in cutbacks, hospital closures and privatizing medical care. There is now only a skeleton Public Health system, unable to carry out the protective measures needed to stop a pandemic. The dismantling of the Pandemic Response Team in 2018 and the April 2020 suppression of the CDC’s Covid-19 Pandemic report are only the latest anti-scientific nails in the coffin of the people’s Public Health System. The generals devised a battle plan but the guns were made of paper and the troops have been sent home.

May 2020, In the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic, where the number of dead is approaching 100,000 and heading towards a quarter of a million, Corporate America, anxious to start making profits again, is pushing “get back to work.” Dr. Fauci, lead of the White House Corona Task Force asked, “how many deaths and how much suffering are you willing to accept to get back to what you want to be, some form of normality, sooner rather than later?” 

The US Federal and State governments were aware that the lethality of any new pandemic would be unknown, and yet they systematically weakened the critically important Public Health System, leaving millions of Americans defenseless.

We have been riding the profit system into the valley of death. It is time to rise up in solidarity and build a society powered by the health needs of the 99%.

Dr. Nayvin Gordon 

Oakland

(Dr. Gordon writes about health and politics and can be reached at gordonnayvin@yahoo.com.)

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MENDO MISSES THE BOAT, AN ON-LINE COMMENT

Santa Barbara has received 6.7 million from cannabis tax. Plus another 800k That will be added to their 4th quarter totals. Their Building and planning departments read the california building codes differently than Mendocino county on many issues especially in regards to temporary structures like hoop houses. When a state goes legal the price briefly rises then plummets. Mendocino county has missed the bubble, we are already seeing the concentrate market going soft even though it is a large sector of industry sales. We missed the opportunity to build infrastructure and market share from the boom. This will put individual cultivators at 30% of potential production for the first 5 to 7 years of the legal industry. This will prolong a system of cultivation that uses a migrant work force for large harvests instead of year around production with full time local employees. We had an opportunity to build something great and we missed it. If it was not for Ted Williams we would have less people in the application system today and many permitted farms would have withdrawn their application. The longer we delay the farmers from establishing year around farms the longer it will take before our county can establish a stable income from the new cannabis industry.

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PALE BLUE DOT

by Manuel Vicent (translated by Louis S. Bedrock)

The Pale Blue Dot is a photograph of Earth taken Feb. 14, 1990, by NASA’s Voyager 1 at a distance of 3.7 billion miles (6 billion kilometers) from the Sun. 

In 1977, NASA launched the Voyager I probe with the mission of finding and studying the limits of the solar system. After 13 years of travel, when the vessel was beyond the orbit of Pluto, it was turned toward earth for one final glimpse. From 600 million kilometers away, our planet looks like a speck of dust illuminated by the sun amidst cosmic darkness. This bluish speck of dust, which is our home, carries with it, and through the universe, the secret of life as well as the chaos of the human race with its gods, beliefs, passions, crimes, homelands, and ideologies. 

This out of body vision of earth, obtained through the computer screen, is inoculating in our conscience the sensation that on this ship of fools, lost in space, we either save everyone or we will all go to hell together. Upon this speck of dust, all the advances of science and high technology are also at the service of fanaticism and moral depravity. Any desperate character has at his disposition arms of mass destruction connected to his hatred, his vengeance, or simply to his stomach pains. 

In the same way that, since the collapse of the Twin Towers, we've become accustomed to the virus of terrorism and the fact that the scanner has become an obligatory step in our lives, and in the airport we accept that they touch every part of our body and go through our luggage — in which a bottle of cologne might be taken for an explosive. Now Covid-19, which has just made its presence known on this blue speck of dust, has made us aware that all of humanity forms a tightly woven fabric and, beyond race and ideology, each person is part of a knot to which all of us are tied and all that is needed is one sneeze in any corner of the planet to put the entire human race in danger. 

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CONSIDER THE GREENLAND SHARK

by Katherine Rundell 

In 1606 a devastating pestilence swept through London; the dying were boarded up in their homes with their families, and a decree went out that the theaters, the bear-baiting yards and the brothels be closed. It was then that Shakespeare wrote one of his very few references to the plague, catching at our precarity: “The dead man’s knell / Is there scarce asked for who, and good men’s lives / Expire before the flowers in their caps / Dying or ere they sicken.”

As he wrote, a Greenland shark who is still alive today swam untroubled through the waters of the northern seas. Its parents would have been old enough to have lived alongside Dante; its great-great-grandparents alongside Julius Caesar. For thousands of years Greenland sharks have swum in silence, as above them the world has burned, rebuilt, burned again.

The Greenland shark is the planet’s longest-lived vertebrate, but it was only recently that scientists were able to ascertain exactly how old they might be. In 2008, Jan Heinemeier, a Danish physicist, discovered a way to test lens crystallines, a protein found in the eye, for carbon-14. The amount of carbon-14, a radioactive isotope, found naturally on Earth varies from year to year; there were huge spikes during the 1960s, when mankind was at its most enthusiastic about nuclear weapons, but every period has its own carbon-14 signature. By testing the crystallines in the sharks’ eyes, it was possible to determine, very roughly, their date of birth: Of 28 tested, the largest, a 16-foot female, was reckoned to be somewhere between 272 and 512 years old. Size is a relatively good indicator of age, and there are records of sharks reaching 24 feet long; so it’s very possible that there are sharks in the water today who are well into their sixth century.

The Greenland shark is not obviously beautiful. Its face is blunt, its fins stunted, and its eyes attract a long worm-like crustacean, ommatokoita elongata. These attach themselves to the cornea of the sharks’ eyes, fluttering from their eyeballs like paper streamers, rendering them both almost blind and more disgusting than seems fair. They smell, too. Their bodies have high concentrations of urea; a necessity, to ensure they maintain the same salt concentration as the ocean, preventing them from losing or gaining water through osmosis, but it is a necessity that means they smell of pee — so much so that, in Inuit legend, the shark is said to have arisen from the chamberpot of Sedna, goddess of the sea. The urea is also what makes them poisonous to humans when eaten fresh. If raw and untreated, the toxins in the flesh can render you “shark drunk”: giddy, staggering, slurring, vomiting. They become safe only if the meat is buried for several months and left to ferment, then hung out to dry for months more. Served in small chunks, and known as hákarl, it is considered, by some, a delicacy, and by others an abomination. Apparently it tastes like a very ripe cheese, left for a week in high summer in a teenage boy’s car.

The Greenland shark is slow, as befits a fish so venerable. At full speed and with strenuous effort, it moves somewhere between 1.7 and 2.2 mph. Although one of the two largest flesh-eating creatures in the sea, it has an astonishingly slow metabolism; in order to survive, a 500-pound shark has to consume the caloric equivalent of one and a half chocolate digestives a day. They are both hunters and scavengers; they have been thought to hunt seals, perhaps inhaling them as they sleep on the surface of the water, but largely they eat whatever falls off the ice: reindeer, polar bears. The leg of a man was found in one shark’s stomach, but none of the rest of him. And they are slow even in the process of dying. Henry Dewhurst, a ship’s surgeon writing in 1834, saw a shark caught and killed:

“When hoisted upon deck, it beats so violently with its tail, that it is dangerous to be near it, and the seamen generally dispatch it, without much loss of time. The pieces that are cut off exhibit a contraction of their muscular fibers for some time after life is extinct. It is, therefore, extremely difficult to kill, and unsafe to trust the hand within its mouth, even when the head is cut off. And, if we are to believe Crantz, this motion is to be observed three days after, if the part is trod on or struck.”

They live deep down and lead secret lives. Although they have been seen at the water’s surface, they prefer to be close to the bottom of the ocean, where it’s dark and cold: they’ve been found as far down as 7,000 feet: six Eiffel Towers deep. Nobody has ever seen one give birth; we have never seen them mate. 

Their invisibility to humans also means that we don’t know how endangered they are: they’re currently listed as “near threatened,” but they could be the most populous sharks in the world, or urgently at risk. We do know that for some time they were over-fished in large numbers – 30,000 a year in the 1900s – in order to extract oil from their bodies. It was said that there were places in the Norwegian archipelago where houses painted in the emulsion made from the sharks’ liver oil shone bright even after 50 years: a paint like no other. We know, too, that because it takes 150 years for a female to be ready to breed, they replenish slowly. The Greek poet Oppian claimed that, when threatened with danger, a parent shark would open her cavernous mouth and conceal her young ones within. As this is, alas, unlikely to be true, we will need to take care of them ourselves.

Because they live so far below our ships and divers, we do not know where they swim. They come to the surface only in the places where it is cold enough, in the Arctic, around Greenland and Iceland, but they have been found in the depths near France, Portugal, Scotland. Scientists say they may be everywhere the ocean goes deep and cold: they could be far closer to us than we think.

I am glad not to be a Greenland shark; I don’t have enough thoughts to fill five hundred years. But I find the very idea of them hopeful. They will see us pass through our current spinning apocalypse, and the crash that will come after it, and they will see the currently unimagined things that will come after that: the transformations, revelations, the possible liberations. That is their beauty, and it’s breathtaking: they go on. These slow, odorous, half-blind creatures are perhaps the closest thing to eternal this planet has to offer.

(London Review of Books)

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OBAMA’S VIRTUAL COMMENCEMENT SPEECH (Saturday afternoon)

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SWEDEN STAYED OPEN. A deadly month shows the risks.

by Lauren Leatherby & Sllison McCann

By late March, nearly every country in Europe had closed schools and businesses, restricted travel and ordered citizens to stay home. But one country stood out for its decision to stay open: Sweden.

The country’s moderated response to the coronavirus outbreak has drawn praise from some U.S. politicians, who see Sweden as a possible model for the United States as it begins to reopen.“We need to observe with an open mind what went on in Sweden, where the kids kept going to school,” Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky, a Republican, said at a hearing Tuesday.

But while Sweden has avoided the devastating tolls of outbreaks in Italy, Spain and Britain, it also has seen an extraordinary increase in deaths, mortality data show.

In Stockholm, where the virus spread through migrant communities, more than twice the usual number of people died last month. That increase far surpasses the rise in deaths in US cities like Boston and Chicago, and approaches the increase seen in Paris.

Across Sweden, almost 30% more people died during the epidemic than is normal during this time of year, an increase similar to that of the United States and far higher than the small increases seen in its neighboring countries. While Sweden is the largest country in Scandinavia, all have strong public health care systems and low health inequality across the population.

“It’s not a very flattering comparison for Sweden, which has such a great public health system,” said Andrew Noymer, a demographer at the University of California, Irvine. “There’s no reason Sweden should be doing worse than Norway, Denmark and Finland.”

No two countries are exactly alike, making comparisons inexact. Luck, travel patterns and personal actions play a role, not just government policy.

Swedish officials chose not to implement a nationwide lockdown, trusting that people would do their part to stay safe. Schools, restaurants, gyms and bars remained open, with social distancing rules enforced, while gatherings were restricted to 50 people.

Two months later, it has not been the worst-case scenario that many envisioned. COVID-19 deaths have disproportionately hit the elderly and those in nursing homes, as is the case in most countries, but hospitals have not been overwhelmed. As with the rest of the world, it will be months, or even years, before the full picture of mortality emerges.

“It is clear that mortality in Stockholm has been a lot higher than you would expect from a normal year,” said Martin Kolk, a demographer at Stockholm University. “But we will have to wait and see what happens. It’s a very big difference if we continue to see excess mortality for six more months, or if it will be back to normal levels in a few weeks.”

The New York Times measured the impact of the pandemic in Sweden by comparing the total number of people who have died in recent months against the average over the past several years. The totals include deaths from COVID-19, as well as those from other causes, including people who could not be treated or decided not to seek treatment.

While no measure is perfect, the increase in deaths offers the most complete picture of the pandemic’s toll, demographers say.

Swedish public health officials have defended their strategy, while acknowledging that the country has failed to protect the elderly. The goal is to limit the spread of the infection without having to lock everything down, they said.

“Once you get into a lockdown, it’s difficult to get out of it,” said Sweden’s state epidemiologist, Anders Tegnell. “How do you reopen? When?”

Instead of imposing strict lockdowns, public health officials said that Swedes could be relied on to go out less and follow sanitation guidelines. That proved to be true: As a whole, Swedes visited restaurants, retail shops and other recreation spots almost as little as residents of neighboring countries, according to Google mobility figures.

But there is reason to believe that Sweden’s approach may not work as well elsewhere.

Sweden’s low density overall and high share of single-person households — factors it shares with its Scandinavian neighbors — set it apart from other Western European countries. In Italy, the virus tore through multigenerational households, where it easily spread from young people to their older relatives.

And although Sweden is not a particularly young country in comparison with its Western European peers, it has a high life expectancy and low levels of chronic diseases, like diabetes and obesity, that make the virus more lethal.

Even without a full lockdown, Sweden’s economy has not been unscathed. Preliminary evidence shows Sweden has suffered similar economic effects as its neighbors: The Swedish Central Bank projects the country’s GDP will contract by 7 to 10% this year, an estimate on par with the rest of Europe. (The European Commission projects the EU economy will contract by 7.5%.)

That could change. But the country’s high death toll offers a warning, demographers say.

“Sweden will be judged at the finish line,” Noymer said. “But it’s a very high-stakes risk, and the consequences are people’s lives.”

(New York Times)

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(photo by Jim Mayfield)

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EIGHT HANDS

Daney Dawson wrote (Coast Listserve):

To truly understand the level of intelligence of the lowly Octopus, listen to the recording of Brahm's piano concerto for eight hands.


Marco McClean: 

Daney, ticks have as many hands as octopockles, and you have to unscrew them counterclockwise from the piano stool or they just go down farther (with the German threading). In the Southern Hemisphere it's the other way. Or you can rub them, or put alcohol on a q-tip, or solve it in advance by hiking (or playing piano) in a wetsuit. 

Or use familiar, comfortable ten-year-old technology to protest newfangled five-year-old technology, and roll forward in this way, adopting the less-old, becoming comfortable with it, and then using it to protest the further next only slightly old thing. It's just how people are. I, for one, don't see any reason why you can't get a car anymore with a real window crank on it, where you crank it up and you crank it down with your arm, the way God intended. And if you want food to stay cold, or you want to freeze a tick, you put it on a train to Canada. And if you want to talk to the people on the next mountain about octopockles or pandemics or poetry, you pay a yodeler serious clams to go out there and freakin' yodel in Morse code. Yodelers invented the rap battle. Nobody can touch them. 

Speaking of seafood and armchair protest, I saw a video a few years ago of a big loud happy Asian family sitting around a restaurant table, all laughing uproariously and having a swell time teaching their toddler to eat live octopus. I hope people don't still do that. I hate that. If you're going to eat something, kill it all the way first, not just part of the way. 

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16 Responses to "MCT: Monday, May 18, 2020"

  1. Marco McClean   May 18, 2020 at 2:14 am

    Webmaster, the link you provide to Obama addressing the graduating students is short. Here’s a good link:

    Reply
  2. Craig Stehr   May 18, 2020 at 4:11 am

    Ken Knabb’s article plus extensive links re: Corona Crisis…Bureau of Public Secrets
    http://www.bopsecrets.org/recent/corona.htm

    Reply
  3. Marshall Newman   May 18, 2020 at 7:53 am

    Love the photograph of the Live Oak Garage. Gone, but not forgotten.

    Reply
  4. Cotdbigun   May 18, 2020 at 9:36 am

    Whoa whoa Mitch,
    You might indeed be the ‘ I’ve Been Everywhere Man ‘ that Johnny Cash sings about, good for you. I’ll even agree with you that anybody not in agreement with your views is ignorant, which in itself is a sign of ignorance.
    But to wish covid-19 upon them so that:
    It would be like waking up to a fresh, glowing spring morning to find them all taken.
    That’s a bit harsh don’t you think? What if we only wished half of them dead, it would still be spring?

    Reply
    • George Hollister   May 18, 2020 at 10:02 am

      Everyone has their own version of The Final Solution.

      Reply
      • Harvey Reading   May 18, 2020 at 10:44 am

        That’s a rather broad statement, George, and total BS to boot.

        Reply
        • George Hollister   May 18, 2020 at 6:39 pm

          Haven’t you ever wished that your world would be a nice place if all those conservatives were neutered or just went away or disappeared? Imagine, emerging from your bunker, looking around, and they were all gone. Gone. Just a few MAGA hats blowing in the wind with the tumble weeds. Now you could rest, and then plan to start anew. A world free of capitalism. A world where everyone was as smart as you are. A world where people didn’t act stupidly. Your Final Solution realized.

          Reply
          • Harvey Reading   May 18, 2020 at 7:18 pm

            You pore ol’ sad dummy.

  5. James Marmon   May 18, 2020 at 9:40 am

    Today’s MCT makes me want to vomit.

    James

    Reply
    • Harvey Reading   May 18, 2020 at 10:44 am

      Conservatives, a group that includes Obama and most other democrats, make me feel that way.

      Reply
    • George Hollister   May 18, 2020 at 11:37 am

      James, you are supposed to read the paper, not eat it.

      Reply
      • Tad   May 18, 2020 at 1:25 pm

        James, maybe some warmed up leftover conspiracy theory from yesterday might settle your stomach.

        “Editor,

        Thanks to Tom Madden for his excellent letter recently. The coronavirus was probably started by the Liberal Democrats who realized they couldn’t impeach President Trump so they colluded with China and said, Come on, let’s spread a pandemic over here so it will make Trump look bad because there were several hundred Chinese between December 15 and January 15 who came into Seattle and spread around in the western states causing the problem off the bat, and then 400,000 of them came into the New York. You know what happened there.

        But it got away from them and it spread out in Europe also. I wouldn’t put this past the Liberal Democrats like Pelosi and Schumer and Schiff one bit. They don’t care about human lives as long as they can get Trump out of office. They are that terrible.

        So the liberal left is responsible for the pandemic. They probably told China they could have their way with the United States if they make from Trump look bad, and China jumped right on that. I know they would do that. Look at the blue states that will not let go of the lockdown. They want the economy to go down the drain so President Trump looks bad when the election comes. They want the coronavirus to work and wreck the economy and they will not give up their power. Sickening.

        God bless Donald Trump.

        Jerry Philbrick

        Comptche”

        Reply
        • Tad   May 18, 2020 at 4:47 pm

          James, take my Rx suggestion, above, with a 1/4 teaspoon of good humor.

          Reply
  6. Harvey Reading   May 18, 2020 at 10:51 am

    https://www.counterpunch.org/2020/05/18/reopen-the-economy-or-charge-of-the-right-brigade/

    “Half a shop, half a bar,
    Half a school onward.
    Into the Virus of Death
    Goad the Sick Hundreds.
    “Forward the Right Brigade,
    Charge on your cards,” he said.
    Into the Virus of Death
    Goad the sick hundreds.

    “Forward the Right Brigade!”
    Was there a MAGA dismayed?
    Not that the shoppers knew
    POTUS had blundered.
    Theirs not to make reply,
    Theirs not to reason why,
    Theirs but to buy and die.
    Into the Virus of Death
    Goad the sick hundreds.

    Covid to the Right of them,
    Covid to the Left of them,
    Covid in front of them
    Slaughtered and sundered.
    Stormed at with goods to sell,
    Boldly they shopped and well.
    Into the Virus of Death
    Rode the sick hundreds.
    Join the debate on Facebook
    More articles by:Marshall Sahlins”

    Reply
  7. Tim McClure   May 18, 2020 at 4:44 pm

    The Greenland shark, what a mysterious and pragmatic creature!

    Reply
  8. dbyron   May 19, 2020 at 9:11 am

    A.C.L.U. Warns Against Fever-Screening Tools for Coronavirus

    https://www.nytimes.com/2020/05/19/health/coronavirus-aclu-fever.html

    Reply

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