- Warmer Drier
- Knifing Fatality
- Covid Assembly
- Survey Results
- Mating Dance
- Helicopter Show
- Food Bank
- Poetry Celebration
- Knife Fight
- Pudding Creek
- Missing Miller
- Carefully Fall
- Party Altercations
- Secret Testing
- Social Bubbles
- Giant Beer
- Ed Notes
- Yesterday's Catch
- New Abnormal
- SF Wartime
- Premature Conclusions
- Berlin Wall
- Rodeo Shirts
- Civic Center
- Dance Macabre
- Second Coming
- Moonie Wedding
- Michael Alone
- Found Object
AN ISOLATED SHOWER or thunderstorm will be possible from southeast Trinity County south across Lake County this afternoon. Otherwise, warmer and drier conditions are expected across the interior through mid to late week, while periods of marine stratus impact coastal locations. (NWS)
FIND THIS PERP FAST!
On Sunday, May 17, 2020 around 11:59 PM the Mendocino County Sheriff's Dispatch Center received a 911 call from the 32000 Block of North Harbor Drive in Fort Bragg. The caller reported numerous subjects had just assaulted a person from that residence with a knife. Deputies responded to the location where they found no one at the location. It was clear that some type of assault occurred at the location.
While Deputies were at the North Harbor Drive location the Fort Bragg Police Department were summoned the Coast District Hospital for two persons who arrived with what appeared to be stab wounds. A short time later Fort Bragg Police Officers notified Sheriff's Deputies a third party arrived at the hospital also suffering from what appeared to be knife wounds. Deputies responded to the Coast District Hospital where they learned hospital staff had attempted life saving efforts but a 32 year old male from Fort Bragg, died from what appeared to be multiple stab wounds.
Deputies learned a second person, a 22 year old male from Fort Bragg, and a third person, a 23 year old male from Fort Bragg were also being treated from what appeared to be stab wounds. These two men were stabilized and then transported to an out of County Hospital for more advanced care. These two men were later listed in stable condition and are expected to recover from their wounds.
Mendocino County Sheriff's Detectives were called to assume the investigation. Detectives have not yet identified a suspect or suspects in this case and the motive for the assault is also under investigation. Staff with the California Department of Justice Crime Lab in Eureka responded to assist in the processing of the crime scene. An autopsy is scheduled for Wednesday 5/20/2020.
The Sheriff's Office is requesting anyone with information related to this case to contact the Mendocino County Sheriff's Tip Line at (707)234-2100 or the anonymous WeTip system at (800) 782-7463.
THE MAN stabbed to death at Noyo today is believed to be Harry Mila, but no official confirmation has been made. Mila's killer, as of late Monday night, is being sought.
HEALTH OFFICER UPDATE REGARDING 14TH CASE AND REDWOOD VALLEY SURVEILLANCE TESTING
Post Date: 05/18/2020 1:43 PM
On Sunday, May 17, 2020, the Health Officer issued additional information regarding Mendocino County’s 14th COVID-19 case and the two other related cases from Lake County. Public Health has determined the 14th case was exposed to COVID-19 at an inland Mendocino County church on Mother’s Day, May 10, a day where a live stream service with singing was recorded. At the time of that press release, the County did not release the church information to protect privacy. The church has since announced on social media that the pastor of the church has been diagnosed with COVID-19. If individuals have recently visited the Assembly of God church in Redwood Valley, or have come in contact with individuals involved in the live stream service production on Mother’s Day, we encourage you and your close contacts to get tested for COVID-19.
Free COVID-19 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 recently visited the Assembly of God church in Redwood Valley, or participated in the Redwood Valley Assembly of God Mother’s Day live stream, (including 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.
Mendocino County is continuing its case investigation and contact tracing for the 14th COVID-19 case. Mendocino and Lake County Public Health are working together to reach any other individuals who have been exposed to this outbreak.
For more on COVID-19: www.mendocinocounty.org
Call Center: (707) 234-6052 or email email@example.com
The call center is open Monday – Friday from 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
FROM SUPERVISOR WILLIAMS:
The pandemic has been a learning experience for all of us. The recent cases involving Assembly of God church in Redwood Valley highlight our fragility in riding the line of adequate precaution. I personally do not feel comfortable dictating how churches may operate, but I do hope we can partner to protect the most vulnerable members of society. Neither returning to normal nor sheltering indefinitely are prudent. The long horizon necessitates transitioning from extreme sheltering to operating with new safety measures. I've yet to meet a public official in our county who is not concerned about interfering with the rights of the people. Threats of legal action over limits on group singing, whether in church or other venues, do not provide the best path for joint engagement in brainstorming solutions. We have an opportunity to collaborate towards upholding freedoms while respecting the needs of our health-compromised and elderly neighbors. Many commercial media companies, by their nature, will hype any message capable of selling advertisements. Nevertheless, for those who end up in the intensive care unit, no matter the statistical rate, the experience is far from hype. I encourage anyone who could have been in contact with the mentioned church to be tested. Your test could save a life. If privacy stops you, reach out to me anonymously and we'll find a path forward. Our best hope for protecting health and the economy will come from working together.
TED'S SURVEY RESULTS: ted.net/20200516_TedCOVIDSurvey.pdf
‘INSTANT FROM A MATING DANCE, SANDHILL CRANES’
by Anne Fashauer
This past week saw sunshine, rain and helicopters. Now, I don’t know about you, but I love helicopters. I have no idea why, I just do. I have never been in one, I don’t really want to go into one, but there is something about them, their ability to fly in ways an airplane can’t, that appeals to me. When I worked for the US Defense Department I had a poster of an Apache attack helicopter, fully loaded and ready to kill tanks, and I loved it. Silly, but there you have it.
This past week we had two helicopters at our place for the whole day. It was an experience. The first one arrived just after 8:00 AM. Big, thumping, bass-toned whumps filled the air. It landed in the field near my horse barn; looking down from my house it looked almost as big as the barn. I drove down, in my pj’s, with my first cup of coffee, to check it out. There were three guys from the Henkels & McCoy crew there as well and we surrounded the pilot and asked a bunch of questions. I learned that this particular “bird” is a 1963 Huey that had served in Vietnam. It used to bear bullet holes from that war but over the years those parts had been replaced (I also learned that there is another one in service that still bears those wounds). And I learned that to purchase one of these beauties would set you back about $1,000,000. I think I’ll stick to bicycles!
A second “bird” arrived shortly thereafter; this one a more modern helicopter, more like the ones that Reach uses. It wasn’t nearly as cool as the old Huey, but still quite impressive.
I spent a couple of hours of my morning watching the helicopters and the H&M crews at work. The helicopters had two jobs: move equipment and move crews. Each helicopter had a long cable dangling from its belly; this had different sorts of hooks depending on the type of load. The first items to be lifted off were crews; two men (and they were all men, though I was told there are female “linemen”) would hook themselves via a harness to the cable and up and away they would fly. It looked terrifying and thrilling all at once. I really could not get enough of watching this, the hooking up and the flying away. Several of the crew would wave to us watchers, some laid back as though taking naps, ha! After most of the crew was in place then the “birds” began lifting crates of tools and equipment, bundles of wires and other stuff. The final loads were the large metal poles that are replacing the old wooden poles; all of this work is for fire safety (and to help keep PG & E out of another lawsuit, no doubt).
I had to leave to show a property but when I came back the work was still ongoing. This time crews were coming back and being replaced by different crews; I assume different technical specialties. Empty crates or crates filled with obsolete equipment came back. Finally, the old poles were brought back and then sawed into pieces and loaded on trucks for removal. As I watched the back and forth, the occasional landing of the ‘copters for fuel or to change cables or hooks, I kept thinking - if only that old Huey could talk, what sorts of history could it report? If only!
I was able to speak to one of the crew members upon his return. I asked him what it was like to be lifted up and away like that. “It’s a rush!” He admitted that the first time he was pretty nervous, but once you get used to it then it’s just exciting. He said he only had one bad experience and that had been recently, up in Laytonville. The pilot took off and started heading north; as he gained altitude he saw two other incoming helicopters and had to quickly reverse course to the south. There was a delay in the line, a lag if you will, then the line caught up and they were snapped forward at an alarming rate; that was one experience he would not care to repeat.
It was a fun, exciting and noisy day. We are expecting them at least one more time in the next few weeks and I’m looking forward to it. We found the following day to be almost too quiet, with the normal level of non-activity. I will also add this, despite the number of trucks, large and small, the trailers and equipment and all the parts and pieces, when I walked across my field the following day I found next to nothing left to indicate that they had been there; kudos to them for such a respectful, responsible clean up. I look forward to another exciting day of this and also another nice break from our current situation. Other than a few masks and social distancing, Covid-19 took a backseat for a day.
Photos and two short videos at: mendocountry.com/annes-blog/2020/5/18/helicopters
AV FOOD BANK NOTE: Each family got a bag on the pew, a bag on the floor, a bag of mixed produce on the floor, and 1 doz eggs. All kinds of nutritious and varied food filled each of the bags. Kudos to everyone who donates both their time and financially.
AV is a great community of people with tender and large hearts. What a gift it is to be part if this magical place.
— Benna Kolinsky
MENDOCINO SPRING POETRY JUNE 14
35th Anniversary—15th consecutive revival
Join in the 15th annual revival of the Mendocino Spring Poetry Celebration, held heretofore at the Hill House in Mendocino. This year we'll distance by smartphone, and email audio for broadcast on KZYX FM, Mendocino County Public Broadcasting. The deadline for contributions is JUNE 14, and the virtual main event will be aired on JUNE 21, the solstice and first day of summer. Auspices abound.
Wherever you are, you needn’t miss participating. It’s an open poetry reading. Follow host Dan Robertrs’ friendly directions below, and send up to four minutes of audio to Dan and me by JUNE 14. This spring harvest of poetry will be broadcast beginning JUNE 21 and in succeeding weeks.
Learn how to get your good words into audio: see host Dan’s instructions below. Easy as emailing photos, really!
Gordon Black, producer
THE KNIFE FIGHT
by Bill Kimberlin
I directed the actor Slim Pickens in a TV spot for the Forest Service one time. He was an actual cowboy in his early years and then got into acting. His most famous role was in the movie, “Dr. Strangelove” where he played the character, Major ‘King’ Kong. He was also a rodeo announcer and had worked the Boonville Fair. I’m told he said that Boonville was the roughest town he ever called a Rodeo in.
One of my uncles was named, “Kid Dutro” and he used to tell stories about those days as he had been a professional prize fighter as well as a blacksmith and he was the bouncer at the local Bucket of Blood saloon in Boonville. You didn’t want to mess with Kid because he could donate you to a graveyard if he wanted, even in a bar full of loggers.
By the time I got to Boonville for my high school years, things had calmed down quite a bit. Except there was this one night.
We were not yet old enough to drive or purchase alcohol, an item of which we were in constant pursuit. This meant that we had to make alliances with people who had cars and/or, who were old enough to buy beer.
There were two people who had these qualifications. One was a Mexican guy named Rudy. To call Rudy a bad driver would be such an undeserved honor that I cannot bring myself to include the name Rudy in the same sentence with the word driver. He may have had a car but it would have been a grave injustice to call him a driver. His car somehow moved, but it was never under human control. It may have been the first self-driving car. In order to save our lives we occasionally would grab the wheel or even stomp on the brake to try and avoid tragedy. Somehow we continuously overlooked our personal safety for the distinction of knowing someone who could transport us, however ingloriously, and in addition provide beer.
The second person on whom we relied was a guy named Tucson. He lived in a small apartment right next to the old Philo post office, whose postmaster in those days was Marshall Wynn. Marshall had two sets of cash drawers in the post office because he was also a coin collector. One was for incoming coins and bills and the other, which had been carefully gone through the night before, was for the outgoing coins and bills, as change.
Tucson owned three things. A T-Shirt, a pair of Levis, and an old Harley Davidson motorcycle. He had a kind of James Dean look about him except with jet black hair. Without the T-Shirt he had enough bad boy look to bankrupt every girl in the Valley if he had sought donations. Unfortunately for him, he didn’t know that.
In addition to the Boonville fair in summer time, we would occasionally find someone to drive us to Cloverdale for the Citrus Fair. Where the citrus came from we didn’t know, and still don’t, but that’s what they call it. Tucson was our spiritual advisor on these trips and since a car was not among the three things he owned, we must have been riding with someone else, but he was there.
Our plan was to drink beer and chase girls. However, we had not as yet settled on a specific approach, so we just drove up and down the main street yelling at any girls we happened to see. After a couple of passes through the town, Tucson finally started talking about a specific flaw in our strategy. “We are trying to attract them, not scare them away.”
We were immediately struck with the logic of this criticism. We could not find a flaw in his reasoning. I remember thinking that, “Come talk with us” might have been a good approach but my companions were not high in verbal skills so I didn’t mention it. Our respect for Tucson had by now reached a great height even as we retreated home without victory, except for the beer of course.
It may have been the next year, I don’t remember, but we were still carless so we made the same excursion in my cousin Avon’s car. At the time, he owned a 1956 yellow Ford convertible. Since he lived on a ranch, where you could drive without a license, he had run through at least 15 cars before his 16th birthday. They were all just old jalopies at the time but would attract much more attention today.
I believe this was a time when we actually attended the fair. That was usually just something we said to grown-ups who were always asking questions and it seemed like a logical reply and hard to counter. Much better than answering, “Where are you going?” with “Nowhere,” or “What are you going to do?” “Nothing.”
This year we attended the Citris Fair. However, about 10pm Avon announced that he would be leaving the fair and going home. We could go or stay. It was one of those suit yourselves announcements. This was quite a shock to us because the night had just begun. There was a dance still to come. Of course we couldn’t dance or were too shy to ask but you could at least go and stand around with your hands in your pockets and later when someone asked, you could truthfully say, that of course you had gone to the dance. Now, all that was ruined, and so we were pissed. Nevertheless, we now had no choice. If we wanted, we could walk the 27 miles back to Boonville. But there were no takers.
We all unhappily piled back into the yellow ’56 Ford and raced out of town. As we blasted up Hwy 128 on the Cloverdale road, we started needling Avon for driving like an old woman or whatever insult we could come up with. Avon just drove faster and faster, most of the time dangerously on the wrong side of the road just to have enough room to make the turns on that windy pavement at high speed.
Besides myself and my cousins, Avon and Mike, the passengers included Gary Robertson, Gary Owens, and David Bloyd.
Most of the angry talk took place between Avon and David. I had never seen David so angry, he was usually the quiet one. It got so ugly that by the time we reached the Mountain House Avon and David had decided to fight it out. Avon pulled the car over and we all got out to watch. I could not imagine a stupider decision on Avon’s part. To fight a Bloyd? On the side of the road in car headlights? This was going to be Mike Tyson against Minnie Mouse.
It was true that Avon was over 6 feet tall and David just 5-8, if that. But still, no contest in our beer befuddled minds.
Now something astonishing happened. Somehow David Bloyd wound up on the ground and Avon sped off in his car leaving us all behind.
In a few minutes David was almost unconscious. How could this be? We flagged down an oncoming car and got David and ourselves back to some kind of Cloverdale emergency room. They called the cops. David had been stabbed and it collapsed his lung.
My aunt drove to Cloverdale in what was now the middle of the night to pick us up. She always had a pink Lincoln and this one was a 1959 model. It was the largest American production car ever made and it had an engine to match.
A year later, after I had finally gotten my driver’s license I used to borrow this Lincoln to go on dates. If you punched the throttle on the Grange Hall stretch it took off and could easily hit 100 mph before you reached Farrer’s Turn. The body just lifted up off the wheels as if to fly. With that speed and a 12 way power seat made of Australian leather, you had the perfect date car. Not to mention the radio that blasted from I don’t know how many speakers. My aunt once complained to the dealership about the gas mileage which was pitiful, and they responded by saying, “Madam, people who buy Lincolns don’t care about gas mileage.” Well, my aunt cared even though she had her own private gas pump at her Valley Summer Resort. During WWII, with its gas rationing, our guests were afraid of long drives for fear they couldn’t buy gas for their return trip, so my aunt put in her own gas station.
To put it mildly my aunt was not happy with our actions and especially for going to the police. You just didn’t go to the police for Valley fisticuffs, even if a weapon was involved. We all understood that. Once the police get involved you suddenly have a whole new set of problems. I thought then, that we were just so upset that one of our buddies got hurt, that we got the cops involved. But that wasn’t it. That wasn’t what happened. We were just too inarticulate to explain what really happened.
No one went to the police. We went to the emergency room. You can’t go into an emergency room with a wound from any kind of weapon and not have them call the police. That is the law. How many shot-up gangster movies have we all seen where the mobster can’t go to the hospital because they will call the police? The victim is bleeding to death from machine gun hits and he and his gang are avoiding the hospital like you avoid an old girlfriend.
No, the police came to us. As a result of all this, my cousin Avon did a stint in juvenile hall and our family had to go see a counselor as a group. This was because when they tested Avon’s intelligence his IQ was so high that it set off some kind of alarm bells somewhere in the juvenile justice system. That marked the end of my cousin’s crime spree.
David recovered completely and we all went back to raising hell in the Valley, but now with our own hot rod cars.
And the knife? Well, it turned out to actually be a sewing machine screw driver. Counting its handle it was maybe four inches long.
(Copyright©2020 by Bill Kimberlin, author of “Inside the Star Wars Empire: A Memoir” about his years working on motion pictures for George Lucas, to be released in paperback June 1 from Rowman and Littlefield.)
PUDDING CREEK MONDAY
MISSING FORT BRAGG PAROLEE
"On November 30, 2019, the Fort Bragg Police Department was notified that Michael Miller had not been in contact with family members since May 15, 2019.
As Miller was entered into the Missing and Unidentified Persons System (MUPS), officers learned that Miller had absconded from his California Department of Corrections & Rehabilitation Parole. As of May 1, 2019, Michael Miller has not been located and is still listed as a missing person in the National Missing and Unidentified Persons System. Below is a summary of the investigation up to this point:
Miller is currently on Parole with an active felony warrant. If seen, do not approach and contact law enforcement immediately.
Miller’s last contact with family was on May 15, 2019 via telephone from the Hospitality House (located at 237 N. McPherson Street). It was learned that Miller had been residing at this location until he was discharged on May 17, 2019 for an unknown reason.
Miller last accessed his known bank account in the month of May 2019 at Sinclair Gas (located at 863 N. Main Street). - Prior to his last contact, Miller had been classified as transient since approximately November of 2018.
From November 2018 to January 2019, it is believed Miller stayed with friends or camped around the Fort Bragg area.
Immediate family has expressed that Miller could potentially be either in the Ukiah area, Nevada, or Montana.
Additionally, information was gathered that Miller was staying in the Ukiah winter shelter and normally associated with a subject by the name, or using the moniker, of 'Chico.'
Miller is approximately 5’08” tall and weighed approximately 140-150 pounds when his family last saw him. Miller has brown hair and brown eyes. Miller also has multiple upper body tattoos. The most notable tattoos on Miller’s person are of two 'Praetorian Diamond Star' symbols near the left and right collarbone.
Anyone with information related to this investigation should contact investigating officer, Officer Welter at (707) 961-2800 ext. 168 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Anonymous tips may be left on the anonymous Crime Tip Hotline at (707) 961-3049."
A PARTY ON TABOR LANE
On Sunday, May 17, 2020 around 3:56 AM the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office (MCSO) received a 911 call about a shooting in the 100 block of Tabor Lane in Covelo. Initial reports indicated that an adult male, 55 years of age, had been shot, possibly with a shotgun in the lower back. A short time later MCSO Dispatch was advised there was a second victim, an adult female, 21 years of age, who had been struck with a baseball bat. These two victims were transported by Covelo Volunteer Fire Department Ambulance to the Dos Rios area where they met responding Deputies. At that location the adult female victim refused to cooperate with the investigating Deputies and the adult male, who was suffering a gunshot wound was unable to provide a statement. They were later transported to the Frank R. Memorial Hospital in Willits for treatment.
As the Deputies were talking to the victims a vehicle approached that might have had persons involved but it turned onto the Laytonville-Dos Rios Road, heading for Laytonville. Deputies were about to catch up with the vehicle and initiated an investigative traffic stop. Two persons were temporarily detained but later released after they denied being involved in the assault.
Due to the nature of the assault MCSO Detectives were contacted to assist in the investigation. They responded to the hospital where they found both victims being uncooperative. The investigation showed that at a property on Tabor Lane, that houses multiple related family members, a large party had occurred. During this party several females, perhaps related, became involved in a physical altercation where one person claimed the other had struck her with a baseball bat.
Additional relatives, from another residence, were alerted and came outside, possibly to intervene in the altercation. During this intervention several rifle shots were fired, with the 55 year old male being struck by one round in the lower back. All persons interviewed denied knowing who had fired the weapon and the weapon was not located in the search of the lot or the residences.
Due to the suspects, victims and witnesses being uncooperative no arrests were made and the case is currently under investigation. The victims were in stable condition and are expected to recover.
VIRUS TESTING IN FORT BRAGG - BUT IT’S A SECRET!
MSP heard from a viewer Monday afternoon who wrote: “There is no way to contact the county health officer to voice any concerns, suggestion, etc! She is completely insulated from the confusion she is causing. The only way to leave her a message is the county helpline number: Call Center: (707) 234-6052. (Which I doubt she gets...) Also of note - there IS testing in Fort Bragg tomorrow... (Did WE know about it??) You have to call 961-2823 to make an appointment, and THEN they will tell you where it is. Secrecy, much?”
A READER WRITES: Saturday morning. Skies are overcast. Local economy on life support. 20 counties approved to open. Our Health Officer home in San Diego. Waiting to see what happens. What will happen? More businesses run by our friends and neighbors will close never to open again. Unemployment will run out but there won't be jobs to go back to. Without business and tourism there won't be sales and bed tax. The county and cities will cut jobs and services. Who is responsible? The governor in Sacramento and the Health Officer in San Diego. Why does our local health officer live in San Diego? I don't know. Ask Carmel Angelo or the do-nothing Board of Supervisors. The Health Officer blames the Governor. She says she can't be less restrictive, only more. More restrictive is what she's doing now. The Governor says fill out some paperwork and you can open. 20 counties did so. They were approved last week. Not Mendo. Dr. Doohan said at the Supervisors meeting that counties that turned paperwork in early were not well received. They made a big mistake. She said it would take two weeks to prepare the report. Another two weeks for the state to approve. Before the meeting was over someone said counties that submitted Monday were approved Tuesday. Not Mendo. She said don't wear a mask. Now she says wear a mask. She said stay home. Then she went to San Diego. Did she ever come back? Does anyone know? She said you couldn't go to the beach. Then she said you can. But only if you walk there. Then she said you could drive ten miles. But not to the beach. Now you can walk on the beach. Except when you can't. The parks are closed. Now they're open. Except when they're closed. Retail business is open. But only for curbside. Except liquor stores and pot dispensaries. Because they are essential. You can't groom a dog. Except when you can. You can't do any gardening. Except essential gardening. But no planting flowers. That's not essential. Nurseries are essential. You can sell flowers. But you can't plant flowers. Business can't open because the Health Officer won't turn in some paperwork. She's been working 16 hours a day. For 100 days straight. God bless her for that. Somehow she found the time to issue a brand-new order. Social bubbles are now legal. And children's extracurricular activity bubbles are legal. Mom and dad won't have a job, but what's more important? I can't complain. We're all in this together. Except when were not. Like some of us are social bubbling in San Diego. And some of us are going bankrupt in and out.
ANDRE THE GIANT’S BEER
EVEN the weather seems confused. Rained off and on most of the week, but contrary to the Chuckle Buds on tv, not enough altogether to beat back fire season more than a few days, but plenty enough to grow the fuel load after lots of people have completed, they thought, their 100-foot clearances.
HALF-OFF on Unity Club Plants: The Unity Club will be selling off the remaining plants this Friday at the Boonville Farmers’ Market. In order to completely reduce our stock of plants propagated here in the Valley by our garden group, we will be selling everything at half price. Our annual college scholarship fund relies on the sale of these plants, which would normally have been sold at the (cancelled) Spring Wildflower Show. We still have a few milkweed plants, lambs ears, irises, queens tears, rosemaries, watsonias, daylillies, scillas, verbenas, salvias, narcissus, geraniums, mints, several varieties of succulents and more.
The Boonville Farmers’ Market is held in the parking lot of Disco Ranch (the old Aquarelle) Fridays, 4-6 pm.
A SWEET-VOICED WOMAN ON KZYX last Thursday morning signed off with this startling statement: "It takes a community like ours to have a radio station like this." I wouldn't have dared put it that bluntly.
THE COUNTY'S long-distance health officer, Doc Doohan, speaking from her home in San Diego, said she was "working day and night" to keep us safe. I'd need 24-hour video confirmation of the doctor's tireless commitment, but looking back over the vastness of my experience, I've never heard anybody but a dedicated slacker make that martyr-ish claim.
ACCORDING TO MOODY'S — proved wrong and corrupt in 2008 — J.C. Penney, Rite Aid and Petco are insolvent. 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, taking up about half a block, but it may be on the way to Palace Hotel status, a crumbling pile of Used To Be, a kind of local Ozymandias eternally crumbling at Gobbi and So. State. Look on me now, hypochondriacs, and despair!
CATCH OF THE DAY, May 18, 2020
TALON BRITTON, Willits. Disorderly conduct-alcohol, parole violation, resisting.
JODI HODGES, Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-alcohol. (Frequent Flyer)
TRAVIS ‘THE HUMP’ HUMPHREY, Redwood Valley. Disorderly conduct-alcohol, probation revocation. (Frequent Flyer)
SKYLAR VINCENT, Willits. Paraphernalia, probation revocation.
ON LINE COMMENT OF THE DAY
Find me one person that said a year ago that this is where America would be today – there isn’t one. When we ask anyone what will America will be like in the Summer of 2021 nobody has a clue. The opinions range from filling sandbags to not good and all of the possibilities on the table are valid. There will be no “new normal” there will only be a new abnormal and the only question will be how bad that will actually be.
SF MARKET STREET, 1940
THE SELLER OF LIGHTNING RODS arrived just ahead of the storm. He came along the street of Green Town, Illinois, in the late cloudy October day, sneaking glances over his shoulder. Somewhere not so far back, vast lightnings stomped the earth. Somewhere, a storm like a great beast with terrible teeth could not be denied.
— Ray Bradbury, "Something Wicked This Way Comes"
HOW VIRUS DATA CAN MISLEAD
Life in New York City felt pretty normal in early March. Children were going to school. Restaurants and theaters were packed. On March 9, I recorded a podcast in front of a few hundred people in Times Square.
In hindsight, we know that the coronavirus was then sweeping across the city. Deaths peaked in early to mid-April. And the typical time from contraction to death is from three to five weeks, according to my colleague Apoorva Mandavilli — which suggests early March was near the peak for transmission.
Over the next couple of weeks, it’s going to be important to keep this recent history in mind. Without mass testing — and the United States is not doing mass testing — there is a lag before a virus outbreak becomes apparent. Most people who develop symptoms don’t do so for at least five days, and sometimes longer. The worst symptoms usually take almost three weeks to appear.
With more parts of the U.S. starting to reopen, many people will be tempted to look at the data this week and start proclaiming victory over the virus. But this week’s data won’t tell us much. It will instead reflect the reality from early May and late April, when much of the country was still on lockdown.
“The data are always two or three weeks old,” Ezekiel Emanuel of the University of Pennsylvania told me. “And we have a hard time understanding that things are different from what we’re looking at.” Crystal Watson of Johns Hopkins University told The Associated Press that we wouldn’t really know how reopening had affected the virus’s spread for five to six weeks.
It’s possible that the reopenings won’t cause the outbreaks that many epidemiologists fear — because many people will still stay home, or because they will venture out cautiously, or because the virus may spread more slowly in warmer air. But it’s also possible that the country will find itself suffering through a new wave of outbreaks in June.
Either way, I’d encourage you not to leap to premature conclusions.
— David Leonhardt, New York Times (from email daily briefings)
BERLIN WALL, 1962
RODEO & COTTON
by Bob Dempel
My first rodeo was in Willits on the 4th of July sometime in the late 1940’s. My grandfather took the family to see the Willits Frontier Days Parade and Rodeo. So, before we get too far into this story let’s get the correct pronunciation of rodeo. There is no “a” in rodeo. So, you say row-dee-o, not row-day-o. I do not remember the rodeo first hand but my father had an 8mm movie camera and took some shots of a trick rider and some cowboy getting bucked off. Several years ago, I had the 8mm tape put on a DVD disc so seeing the scenes revived my memory. I was always going to make a copy of the disc and send it to Lee Persico up in Willits to keep with other memorabilia. Unfortunately, the October 2017 fire took the original film and the disc, so no history of the rodeo from me in the 40’s.
In high school I enrolled in the Agriculture classes. The curriculum included what they refer to as your student occupation experience which included raising some sheep. As an FFA member I could enter two market lambs in the Junior Grand National Livestock Exposition and Rodeo at the Cow Palace held each spring in San Francisco. After judging the market lambs, they were sent to an auction and shortly you would receive a check. Now for a kid from Hopland going to the Cow Palace is a life changing experience. At that time the agriculture classes were all male. Housing was easy, we all bunked together in some unused horse stalls. We all brought sleeping bags and put them on a mattress on single spring beds. One of the rodeo activities that you could participate in was called the calf scramble. I signed up along with 50 or so other high school guys. At an announced time, all 50 of us would run after a calf, and if you could hold onto the calf for a short time you got a ribbon. I did not hold onto a calf and so no ribbon. I tried all four years I showed there, but no ribbon.
It was when I served on the Board of Directors for the Sonoma-Marin Fair that that I met up with Cotton Rosser. Cotton’s company, The Flying U produces rodeo’s all across California and other western states. The Flying U started in 1930 when J.C. Sorensen partnered with Evert Colburn. Cotton and I both always attended the Western Fairs Association annual convention. On alternate years it was held in Reno, where the annual Reno Rodeo is held at the Nevada State Fairgrounds. He has produced the rodeo in Reno for over 50 years. I was at the rodeo in 2018 when they presented him with an award for his 50 years of production. I have also been able to sit in Cotton’s box for the rodeo. The seats are right next to the bucking shoots. I might add here that Cotton will be 92 in August. He was born Horton Alexander Rosser (Cotton) in Long Beach, California. He has taken so many falls from his horse I can’t recall the number. He also owns a country clothing store in Marysville. called “Cotton’s Country Corral.” In addition, he produced a book in 2007, appropriately titled “Million Dollar Memories - Fifty years with Cotton and the Flying U.”
Just a few years before the book was published 2007 Shirley and I were at a benefit dinner for the California Agricultural Leadership Foundation. Anytime you are invited to a benefit dinner it is going to cost you extra money. One of the live auction items were two tickets and accommodations for two nights at the National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas in December. This event is like the Super Bowl of rodeos. All of the high point cowboys work all year long to be able to participate in the ten-day event. I saw the item come up for the bidding process and was waiting with baited breath. I thought it would be great to attend. The bidding started and, in the end, I won (or bought) the tickets. I paid just about equal to a ton of grapes. The seats were donated by a fellow graduate of the leadership program, Leanne Rutherford. Her relative E. Rutherford was in business with Cotton many years ago.
Years rolled by and I stayed in touch with Cotton through the fairs and phone calls. Any time I wanted to attend the Reno Rodeo I would call the Flying U office in Marysville and see if any tickets were available. I would never ask for tickets on the weekend.
I attended the 100th anniversary of the Reno Rodeo last year. I again got tickets from the Flying U office. My very good neighbor John drove me up. We made a three-day affair out of it leaving on Sunday. I had tickets for the Monday night’s performance. Late June in Reno has to be the best of times for the weather. Evening temperatures hover around the low 70’s and no wind. Rodeo week brings an entirely different group of people. Lots of stars and stripes clothing, cowboy hats and western boots. The evening is strictly a family affair. John and I had pre-arranged to connect with another Rodeo supporter Lloyd Stueve, from Oakdale. Oakdale is the self-proclaimed cowboy capital of the world. Lloyd enjoys rodeo as much as I do.
The Reno Rodeo Association knows how to put on a show. They open with old glory, followed with the national anthem and then a prayer. They also know how to give back. At one of the recent rodeo’s all of the work force in the arena wore pink shirts in salute to breast cancer research. The following year all of the work force wore purple shirts in support of men’s prostate cancer research. I can relate to both of these diseases. My way of supporting both of them was to try to purchase each last year’s shirt. This was not as easy as it sounds. Cotton did not know how, but suggested that I call the rodeo office. It took several calls but I finally contacted Ken Miner, Specialty Sales chairman. He would do the best he could. Shortly after I received in the mail a pink Reno Rodeo shirt. It comes with the rodeo monogram on the right side. Ken could not locate a purple shirt for me. I was most appreciative for the pink shirt and told Ken I would look him up at this last year’s rodeo. I would be the guy in the pink shirt. The cost of the shirt was a Jim Beam over (rodeo talk). We arrived early to eat at a food court just behind the grand stand. The court offers everything from corn on the cob to pickled pigs’ feet. We wandered through the court to find the rodeo store where we could find my new shirt friend. Sure, enough he was right there at the Reno Rodeo Specialty Store. We all introduced each other to Ken and wife Marianne. I immediately offered to pay my debt to society and buy Ken and his wife a Jim Beam over. Then the horror set in that there was no Jim Beam bar, only Jack Daniels. This was Jack Daniels night and all of the work force were wearing Jack Daniel’s black rodeo shirts. While John went over to the bar to get a couple of Jack’s for Ken and Marianne, she was shuffling something around. Surprisingly she had a purple shirt for me. She had found Ken’s purple shirt from the previous year, washed it, ironed it and had it for me. Ken and Marianne are right up there with motherhood and apple pie. On the way out of the rodeo I had bought a black rodeo shirt.
All three of us enjoyed the rodeo and returned to the Nugget to have a drink and turn in.
I decided a few months ago I would purchase tickets for this year’s rodeo. I could get tickets in the ADA section and have a better view. In one of my calls I thanked Cotton for all of the tickets he had given me over the past few years.
P.S. The Reno Rodeo for 2020 has been cancelled!
by James Kunstler
Western Civ’s most infamous encounter with pandemic disease, so far, was the big first wave of the Black Death that had a marathon run from 1346 to 1353. That bug was the real deal. It killed folks left and right, every age group, every social station, and it killed them ugly. Few who caught it survived. Up to half the population of Europe perished, along with a lot of their social and economic ways.
The cause of the Black Death was subject to every possible explanation except the actual one, Yersina pestis, a bacterium associated with rats and their insect parasites, fleas and lice, who also enjoyed an association with humans living in the generally squalid conditions of the day — the ancient Roman habit of bathing long forgotten. At the top of their list of causes was an angry God, and his wicked erstwhile subordinate, Satan. The “experts” of that time tended to cluster in the church hierarchy, with its drear obsessions and compulsions. The squishy boundary between the supernatural and reality loosed all manner of derangement. The Jews came in for much vilification, leading to massacres in Strasbourg, Mainz, and Cologne. On the whole, the episode represented a terrific humbling of humanity. The allegory of the Dance Macabre summed it up in mankind’s universal antic journey to the Palookaville of death.
On the plus side, as modern interpolators might say, the bubonic plague winnowed down Europe’s population to a scale more congenial with its resource base. After that big first wave of the disease, land was cheaper and human labor better rewarded. Eventually, more food got around. Incidentally, the plague provoked nostalgia for the classical antiquity of Greece and Rome, especially among the scholars of Florence, launching the extravaganzas of the Renaissance, the Enlightenment, and eventually our own pageant of techno-supremacist Modernity.
Covid-19 seems rather a punk-ass illness compared to the Black Death. Its victims by far are people already on a fast track to the last roundup. We know exactly what causes it, if not so exactly its origin, and yet the response among our experts has been far more ambiguous than those long-ago bishops of Christendom to the Great Plague. The various scientists, physicians, public health officers, and politicians seem, to the casual observer, about equally divided between those who consider the corona virus a grave threat and those who insist it’s hardly worse than any annual flu. What is one to believe? Or do?
Which brings us to the verge of the Great Opening-up. The current nostalgia for pre-Covid-19 business-as-usual is understandably intense. Gone especially from daily life are all the ceremonies of human togetherness, from gatherings of friends to the casual shoulder-rubbings of urban life to the crowded venues of the lively arts to the great moiling orgies of pro sports. The life of the perpetual jigsaw puzzle, YouTube, and Netflix has proved inadequate to human aspiration. Gone, too, are livelihoods, revenue streams, and rewarding roles in everyday existence. The itch to get out and do, get out and make, get out and be, is overwhelming.
Behind those plain yearnings, though, looms the specter of a system that appeared to be already foundering before Covid-19 entered the scene. There is, at least, considerable agreement that the disease catalyzed the disorders of finance and economy and accelerated the damage — just not among the people most responsible for engineering the fragilities that actually crashed things.
Jerome Powell, Pope of the Church of the Federal Reserve, went on the 60-Minutes show last night to reassure the nation that things will eventually get back to normal. “I think you’ll see the economy recover steadily through the second half of this year.”
Yessir, if you say so. Were his fingers crossed? You couldn’t tell because the camera had him framed in a head-shot. Personally, I think the Fed Chairman was blowing smoke up the nation’s wazoo. Spooky as it’s been, the Covid-19 virus has also been a great cover-story for the natural collapse of a severally unbalanced, ecologically unsound, and dishonestly represented set of arrangements that are now unspooling at horrifying speed. The car industry is dying. The airline industry is laying out its fleet of big birds in desert graveyards. The college racketeering operation went off a cliff, along with medical profiteering. Agribusiness no longer has a business model. Hundreds of kinds of services no longer have customers who can afford their offerings from acupuncture to zymurgy. None of that will be fixed by injections of miracle money borrowed from ourselves in quantities that would turn every US citizen into a millionaire — if it wasn’t just pounded down the rat-holes of the stock and bond markets.
The big question about the Great Opening-up is when the recognition of all that turns to raw emotion. Covid-19 may still be with us then, but it will be the least of our problems. The masks will come off. The dance will commence.
(Support Kunstler’s writing by visiting his Patreon Page.)
SUSPECTED THIEF, SOUTH AFRICA
Last year a poll showed that 29.6 percent of white Protestants in America believed that Trump was appointed by God. That figure, according to a fresh poll, has risen to 49 percent.
That figure is contained in Trump the Anointed? published by Religion in Public.
Researchers Paul A Djupe of Denison University and Ryan P Burge of Eastern Illinois University compared survey data from May 2019 among white Protestants to a survey they conducted in March of this year.
Last August, Trump sparked controversy when, during a press conference that included a question about trade negotiations with China, he called himself “the chosen one.”
Pointing skywards Trump said:
"I am the chosen one. Somebody had to do it. So I’m taking on China. I’m taking on China on trade. And you know what? We’re winning. I was put here by people to do a great job. And that’s what I’m doing. And nobody has done a job like I’ve done."
On the same day, Trump retweeted a comment by conservative radio host Wayne Allyn Root, comparing the president to the “King of Israel” and “the Second Coming.”
Robert George, professor and former chairman of the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom, was among the many critics of the narcissist’s comparison:
”For heaven’s sake (I’m speaking literally here), Mr. President you are not ‘like the King of Israel.’ You are certainly not ‘like the second coming of God.’ Why retweet nutty, and to religious ears deeply offensive, talk like this?”
Jay Lowder, a Texas-based evangelist who identified as a Trump supporter, called it “one of Trump’s most disturbing steps” and encouraged evangelicals to end their “silence” on the matter.
In an opinion column for The Washington Post last year he wrote:
"Trump is neither the ‘Second Coming of God’ nor the ‘Messiah.’ In repeating the profane quote, he gave a narcissistic endorsement and even thanked Root, a well-known conspiracy theorist, for his words."
Trump later walked back his comment, claiming in a tweet that he was being sarcastic and that the reporters present knew he was just joking...
MICHAEL JORDAN: ALONE
by Dave Zirin
The Last Dance is over. The music has winded down. The confetti has been swept aside. And everyone has gone home.
Remaining is one 57-year-old ex-jock, sitting in a house that is not even his own as the camera equipment is packed away and a production assistant with cold hands reaches for the microphone latched to his hip. And Michael Jordan is left alone.
Based upon the ten-part ESPN documentary about his life and tenure leading the dominant 1990s Chicago Bulls, “alone” is a familiar position. Jordan has a billion dollars, a second-rate NBA franchise (which must drive him batty), and what seems like a moat between himself and the people with whom he has spent the last 40 years of his life. In The Last Dance, Jordan’s bodyguards received more airtime than his barely present children. His first wife, Juanita, with whom he was married 17 years, went utterly unmentioned. His current wife, Yvette Prieto, also was not interviewed.
As for the people in the game that he mastered, they can only describe his greatness, intensity, and fits of anger at a remove. None are able to describe the person beneath that now brittle shell. He never let them in—and they would have needed a machete to chop their way to the person inside. All the slights that Jordan nurtured, the way a kid takes care of one of those treasured small plants in a Styrofoam cup that you get in second grade science, have become ropy weeds. The only human connection that Jordan seems to share with others is either a distanced respect for teammates with whom he would “go to war” or those with whom he is connected by grievance: people worthy only of revenge.
He no longer talks to his one-time good friend Charles Barkley because of Barkley’s years-ago criticism of Jordan’s management decisions for the Hornets. He keeps people at an emotional remove as sure as his beloved “body men” from years ago kept away the adoring throngs. In the last two episodes of The Last Dance, they put about as finely cured a spin on this as they could. His coach Phil Jackson said that Jordan lived “in the moment” like no one he had ever been around. That’s certainly one way to describe it. Another way is that Jordan came across as emotionally constipated: He seemed to fear that if he ever started to express his feelings, he might not ever be able to stop.
The Last Dance suggests that Jordan had to be this way, that this was the price of his greatness. Be monomaniacal. Be closed off from the people around you. Be the bully. And how many rings you accrue as well as how much money you make is how you keep score. As I wrote last week, this is absurd, jock-fantasia nonsense. The history of sports is peppered with winners who cared about the people around them as well as the broader society. Maya Moore, arguably the greatest women’s hoopster in history, just took two years off her sport in her prime to fight alongside her family for a wrongly incarcerated man named Jonathan Irons. That is the way she chose to use her fame.
But Jordan has never looked for another way to be. In Wright Thompson’s masterful look at Jordan when MJ turned 50, he said to Thompson about needing to be number one,
It’s consumed me so much. I’m my own worst enemy. I drove myself so much that I’m still living with some of those drives. I’m living with that. I don’t know how to get rid of it. I don’t know if I could.
This is someone tortured by his need to find success. Yet it’s impossible not to wonder, given the absence of success that Jordan has had in the basketball world since his time with the Bulls, if he’s become Al Bundy with a billion dollars: talking about the glory days, and still vexed by everyone who did him wrong.
Perhaps someday there will be a documentary that probes this affliction of the winner who repels everyone around them except for those paid to be in their presence. This wasn’t it. Instead it was a hagiography about one man’s quest for greatness. But unintentionally, it was about someone who had the world in his hands, oblivious to how with each passing year, his own world was becoming small.