- Dry Breeze
- 6 New Cases
- Stage 2
- Compliance Crucial
- Weed Totes
- Auto Repair
- Philo Ballers
- Navarro Ice House
- Redwood Sluice
- Ed Notes
- BS Blizzard
- Hudson Essex
- Medical Procedures
- Yesterday's Catch
- Falling Giants
- Off Track
- Media Malfeasance
- This Lot
- Eel Take
- Acid Eaters
- Haight 1972
- Stay Home
- Fortuna 1907
- TRUST Act
- Three Syllables
- Pandemic Pastimes
- Marco Radio
- Victims d'Angelo
DRY WEATHER, increasing interior temperatures, and breezy winds are expected for the foreseeable future as high pressure continues to build over Northwest California. By early next week, high temperatures across the interior will climb into the low to upper 90s. Onshore breezes will keep coastal areas seasonable cool, along with periodic episodes of overnight and early morning marine stratus. (NWS)
SIX NEW CASES
Post Date: 05/22/2020 3:13 PM
Today Mendocino County went from 15 to 21 cases, increasing our numbers by almost 50%. ... The 6 new cases are from the 337 tests from the Redwood Valley surveillance testing on May 19, 2020. All positive cases have been notified and are in isolation at home with close contacts in quarantine. Case investigation and contact tracing is underway. Of the 6 cases, all 6 cases have been confirmed as connected to the outbreak at Redwood Valley Assembly of God. Anyone who has been in recent contact with this church who hasn’t been tested should seek testing. If you are sick please contact your medical provider. Free testing for those without symptoms can be accessed at the County’s OptumServe testing site in Ukiah at the Redwood Empire Fairgrounds. Appointments can be made online at https://lhi.care/covidtesting or by phone at (888) 634-1123. Testing is available Tuesday - Saturday from 12:30 pm – 7:00 pm.
MENDOCINO COUNTY FINDS 6 NEW CORONAVIRUS CASES CONNECTED TO LOCAL CHURCH
NOTICE TO BUSINESS OWNERS ON REQUIREMENTS FOR EXPANDED STAGE 2 OF REOPENING
Post Date: 05/22/2020 5:17 PM
The ability of the County to open up safely depends upon the responsible conduct of all of our local businesses, which engagement and cooperation will help the County make the case for expanding more quickly to future phases of reopening as permitted by the State. The County is at a critical moment, with six new COVID-19 cases today, increasing the number of cases in the County significantly. If we as a community do not take care, especially when reopening businesses, we risk sending the County backwards to Stage 1, instead of continuing to move forward. Even a single business can stall the County from further reopening and possibly cause the County to revert backwards to more restrictive shelter-in place-orders.
Please remember that violation of or failure to comply with the Mendocino County Health Officer’s Order is a misdemeanor punishable by fine, imprisonment, or both. (California Health and Safety Code § 120295, et seq., Cal. Penal Code §§ 69, 148(a)(1)). Pursuant to Mendocino County Urgency Ordinance 4461, regulatory fines maybe imposed, for business up to $10,000 per violation, and for individuals of up $500 per violation.
New activities now permitted under the current revised Health Officer’s Order, effective May 22, 2020 at 11:59 p.m., include limited dine-in restaurants and limited in-person shopping at retail stores. However these businesses may not begin operation, or expand existing services until Self-Certification is complete as follow:
Self-Certification must be completed as follows:
Restaurants opening for dine-in service must complete a self-certification prior operating for dine-in service. Operating without the self-certification is a violation of the Health Order that may result in strict enforcement with penalties.
Retail establishments for in-store shopping must complete a self-certification prior operating for in-store shopping. Operating without the self-certification is a violation of the Health Order that may result in strict enforcement with penalties.
Self-Certification is required within 7 days of May 21, 2020, for all businesses allowed to re-open under Stage 2 prior the May 21, 2020 Health Order, including retail for curb-side pickup and delivery, outdoor business, lower risk business, limited services, manufacturing, construction business not allowed in Stage 1, and offices not previously open in Stage 1.
Self-Certification must be submitted here: https://www.mendocinocountybusiness.org/
Businesses not permitted to operate in Mendocino County during Stage 2 reopening, per State rules:
Personal services: hair and nail salons, tattoo parlors, gyms and fitness studios
Wellness services: non-medical massage, chiropractic
Bars, winery tasting rooms, lounges, nightclubs
Entertainment venues: movie theaters, gaming, gambling, arcades, live audience sports, indoor museums and gallery spaces, concert venues, convention centers, festivals, theme parks
Hotels/lodging for tourism
Campgrounds and RV Parks except as state below.
Campgrounds and RV parks are closed except for essential workers providing services in Mendocino County, others traveling to Mendocino County for business reasons allowed in the Shelter-In-Place Order, full-time tenants and persons who do not have a primary residence. The owner/operators of these establishments are required to obtain verifiable proof of tenant status prior to allowing tenants to use or occupy the facility.
All individuals (and businesses) must follow County and State Health Officer orders which are issued under the authority of California law. As a condition of re-opening, current orders require, among other things, local business compliance with state and local industry-specific guidance and submission of self-certification forms. State Statute explicitly provides that Health Officer orders may be enforced by the local sheriff or other peace officers of the County. Violation of the Orders may subject a person or business to criminal or civil penalties, as well as other legal consequences. In particular, any business that violates the Health Officer's orders risks committing negligence per se and exposes itself to civil liability for all damages created by any viral transmission that occurs at their place of business.
For more information on the County of Mendocino Shelter-In-Place Order please visit the County website at https://www.mendocinocounty.org/community/novel-coronavirus/health-order, or contact the COVID-19 call-in center at (707) 272-6052.
MENDOCINO COUNTY MOVES INTO EXPANDED STAGE 2 OF REOPENING
ATTESTATION APPROVED AND REVISED HEALTH ORDER ISSUED
Post Date: 05/21/2020 5:55 PM
On May 19, 2020, Mendocino County promptly submitted a COVID-19 County Variance Attestation to the California Department of Public Health in order to safely move further into Stage 2 of reopening. Mendocino County is pleased to announce, that on May 20, 2020, the State of California posted Mendocino County’s self-attestation on the California Department of Public Health website thereby allowing additional Mendocino County businesses and services to open with adaptations and implementation of industry guidelines, including retail stores for in person shopping and dine-in restaurants.
The State’s Roadmap to Recovery does not allow the opening of salons, lodging for tourism (either for in-county or out-of-county residents), bars, winery tasting rooms, public pools or entertainment venues at this time. These businesses are currently listed by the State of California as eligible for reopening when California, statewide, moves into Stage 3 or 4 of the gradual reopening process. Public events and gatherings of any size also remain prohibited at this time.
BEFORE businesses can reopen, they must comply with State and County guidelines, and file the Mendocino County self-certification form, developed by the County of Mendocino in collaboration with West Business Development Center, found at www.mendocinocountybusiness.org. Businesses that were authorized to re-open under Health Officer Orders, issued prior to May 21, will have seven days to complete the same self-certification.
Following the achievement of Mendocino County’s completed attestation, Health Officer Dr. Noemi Doohan issued a revised Shelter-In-Place (SIP) Order today, Thursday, May 21, 2020, reflecting the new allowable activities, as of May 22, 2020 at 11:59 p.m. The major changes include allowing limited dine-in restaurants, limited in-person shopping at retail stores, and clarification that preventative dental care is allowable under healthcare operations. The Order also allows limited use of shared pools only for childcare units, children’s extracurricular units and work groups of lifeguard trainees.
Mendocino County’s revised SIP goes in effect tomorrow night Friday, May 22 at 11:59 p.m. and will be in place until June 12, 2020.
The Health Order and a summary of the major changes are available online at https://www.mendocinocounty.org/community/novel-coronavirus/health-order. The order is enforceable by imprisonment and/or fine thus we urge all residents to closely read the order and follow it.
More information on Governor Newsom’s resilience roadmap and four-staged plan to reopen California, please visit: https://covid19.ca.gov/roadmap/. For more information on the businesses/sectors that fall within the various stages of re-opening, please view the Resilience Roadmap Business Sector Chart.
For more on COVID-19: www.mendocinocounty.org
Call Center: (707) 234-6052 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
The call center is open Monday-Friday from 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
STANDING O FROM SUPERVISOR WILLIAMS
Re: health order enforcement
I applaud the business community across our county for actively engaging in implementation of safety precautions necessary to meet state requirements. It’s with great relief to see the first concrete stages of economic reopening. More than ever, choosing local is critical to our sustainability. Many businesses have endured the financial hardship of extended shutdown. Changes in operations have narrowed margins. Many are still without an adequate customer base due to the state-wide prohibition on tourism. Please, when you shop, try to favor the businesses of our neighbors.
I will continue to support good faith attempts at meeting compliance. Where there is ambiguity, I expect the county to collaborate with business on reasonable steps forward. However, out of fairness to struggling businesses that have strived to meet or exceed expectations, we shall not tolerate flagrant disregard. We are in this together. Staying open is contingent upon maintaining a low flow of infections. Those not included in Phase 2 deserve the shortest path to earning income. If we see a surge of cases or indications that healthcare could become overwhelmed, more restrictive orders will go into effect, undoubtedly putting more businesses under for good. Intentionally violating the orders where options exist for reopening will jeopardize the livelihood of others and necessitate enforcement.
MARIJUANA, found during a traffic stop near Miranda in Humboldt County, shown in an open tote.
This is a press release from the California Highway Patrol:
On May 21, 2020, at approximately 1205 hours, Humboldt Communications Center received a call reporting a vehicle towing a cargo trailer, driving recklessly on US-101 near Redcrest, causing a minor collision. Garberville Area officers located the vehicle and conducted a traffic stop on SR-254 at Maple Hills Road. Upon contacting the driver (Manuel Turchan) an investigation was conducted where approximately 778 lbs of processed marijuana was located inside the cargo trailer.
Deputies from the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office assisted with the traffic stop. The driver was cited and released.
ERNIE PARDINI WRITES: I recently started working as a service writer at West Coast Mufflers and Auto repair in Ukiah. I know that Anderson Valley has few choices when it comes to getting vehicles repaired and was excited when I discovered the honest and quality service available at West Coast. The mechanics here at West Coast are some of the finest I've had the pleasure of working with and the Owner Mike bends over backwards to get vehicles in and out in a timely fashion. One of the techs was born and raised in Anderson Valley and is as good as they come. Those of you who know me know that I wouldn't recommend this shop if I didn't genuinely believe in the quality of the work done here. We're located at 850 S. State st. in Ukiah. Next time you are looking for auto repairs, do yourselves a favor and check us out. You'll be glad you did.
PHILO BASEBALL TEAM members, from the early 1900s
A LONG LETTER arrived here the other day soliciting fix-up funds for Navarro's Ice House, which the letter describes as "one of the many icons of Anderson Valley history," going on to say, "Unfortunately it has been slowly deteriorating for many years now. Its only salvation has been the herculean efforts by Ronnie Bloyd, David Jones, and a host of other local talent that kept running in to put the paddles to it keeping it living for a little bit longer. Now it is time to stop placing bandaids and to save it completely. So many other historical homes and businesses in the Anderson Valley have been lost already. I don't want this one to do the same. I just saw one come down right around the corner from the Ice House. I would hate to see that happen here. This has been my goal since I purchased the property earlier this year…"
THE PROPERTY was purchased about a year ago by Darrell Tuttle, brother of the talented local artist, Denver Tuttle, but there is no address on the letter for interested donors to send money to.
LIKE MANY of the Anderson Valley's older structures, the Ice House has seen many incarnations, among them brothel and land office, the latter, I believe, serving in the booming pre-Depression years of the 1920s when an enterprising fellow bought up much of central Navarro and divvied it up as small vacation properties, kind of a mini-version of Rancho Navarro, both developments having in common legal beefs with the developers that took years to resolve. Navarro today is a patchwork of tiny parcels.
NAVARRO boasts a cluster of beautiful old buildings — I feel major nostalgia just driving through the place — including but not restricted to the old school house and the once upon a time mill superintendent's rural-majestic home, also on Wendling Street.
THE NAVARRO STORE also goes back a ways, not all that long ago serving as a combined market and post office under the auspices of Mrs. Zanoni, a kindly old woman who, at the sound of someone entering her store, would totter out from her attached home to attend to business which, until the fairly recent past under retail maestro Dave Evans, wasn't nearly of the volume it is today. One memorable morning, a young guy just out of prison whose name I dimly recall as Ronnie Lee, robbed Mrs. Zanoni at gunpoint. Mr. Lee would get out of prison, do his little crime spree, and go right back to prison, as he did after robbing Mrs. Zanoni, probably a good thing for him because there was a community consensus that he ought to be hanged. On late summer nights with the cooling grey of the Pacific fog winding through the redwoods you can almost hear the many volumes of stories born in this one magic little place.
POTTER VALLEY PROJECT CONSTRUCTION
THE SUPERVISORS, with minimal comment, have unanimously approved another round of funding for Visit Mendocino (formerly the Promotional Alliance), which is basically tax-funded advertising for (mostly) wineries but also the general splendors of Mendocino County. Check that: the splendors of the Mendocino Coast, which are indeed splendid but kinda crowded in the hot weather. Myself, given the choice between Mendocino and Covelo, I'd choose Covelo.
VISIT MENDOCINO, is, in reality, ten or so slicksters and their telephones who get paid to go to Frisco dinners and wine tastings. Anyway, they're funded at around $1.5 million annually for these demanding jaunts, and I say “around” $1.5 mil because to ask for the exact number is to get a lot of blah-blah about this funding source and that funding source, but boiled down it's mostly government money.
THE IRONY, though, is that visitors to Mendocino County are presently unwelcome, so promoting visitation is on hold. Locals do not want you to come here at this time, and if you do motor on up from the Bay Area there are no accommodations, no wine bars for you. They're still closed, although the beaches of Mendocino County and state parks were reopened to LOCALS on Wednesday. (Who's checking who's local?) The upshot? We're presently paying Visit Mendocino to do double-nothing, their usual nothing plus virus-nothing or double nothing.
I GAVE UP ON The Nation magazine years ago, after years of being a faithful, even avid subscriber. The Nation finished me off when they signed off on an editorial (except Cockburn, of course) declaring that it was crucial to support Gore over Bush, and that Ralph Nader was an enemy of the people for running in opposition to Gore and flab-glab neo-liberalism. Now we have Katha Pollit of The Nation writing, "I would vote for Joe Biden if he boiled babies and ate them. I cannot believe that a rational person can grasp the disaster that is Donald Trump and withhold their support from Biden because of Tara Reade. I would say this even if I had no problems with Reade's account."
I'VE PAUSED to recite the Jesus Prayer, but well, gee, I think I'm a rational person who grasps the Trump disaster who wouldn't vote for Biden if he married Tara Reade and don't think she's pivotal to anything anyway, and certainly not cash and carry liberalism of The Nation type. Orange Man, and trying hard here to be objective, is actually better than Bush certainly, and better on lots of stuff than Hillary would have been. He cooled out Little Rocket Man; he got a peace process going in Afghanistan; and he turned the FBI and all the spy agencies upside down. Of course he, like Obama before him, has shoveled billions upwards to the people who fund him and the Democrats. Biden has signed off on every disaster since he first took office. A vote for him is a lateral move from Trump. But, with the curtain ringing down on the whole show this particular conversation is probably moot.
TODAY'S HEADLINES say that Trump and McConnell want to phase out coronavirus-related unemployment benefits to get Americans to go back to work, one more demonstration that they, and the Democrats who set unemployment at $600 a week for now, are totally out of touch with the millions of people who work for less, much less in many cases. Prediction: Pelosi and Co. will agree to downsize unemployment checks.
WE'VE GOT a nut out of Oregon running for U.S. senator who, like millions of her fellow screwballs, get their political views from the QAnon website, the ultimate in conspiracy-think. According to these people, Trump is fighting a secret war against a “cabal” made up pedophile-cannibals in the global elite and Democratic Party. They are also convinced that Trump will soon imprison or execute top Democrats, including Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. Trump has invited QAnon promoters to the White House, and frequently retweets their opinions. His nominee for director of national intelligence, Rep. John Ratcliffe a Texas Republican, has been revealed as a QAnon guy.
PERSONAL ANECDOTE. A Mexican kid who does odd jobs for us also works for a guy whose views seem to come from Alex Jones. One day the kid says, "So and So told me that Michelle Obama is really a man. That's why they call her Mike." Young man, the people who say stuff like that are the same people who want to wall you out. You come to us any time you need a reality check.
WITH one in four working persons now unemployed, 1.6 million people, just in April, are unable to pay their mortgages, the largest single-month jump in history. With all the talking teeth and hair-do's saying the economy will bounce back as soon as it's re-opened are simply relaying the Trump party line although they wouldn't think so. This economy isn't coming back in pre-covid glory, and for millions of Americans it won't be coming back ever.
TIME FOR TORCHES AND PITCHFORKS. America’s billionaires got $484 billion RICHER during the pandemic, with the top five seeing a combined $76 billion added to their personal wealth. The top five U.S. billionaires — Jeff Bezos, Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, Warren Buffett and Larry Ellison — saw their wealth grow by a total of $75.5 billion, or 19%.
YESTERDAY WE MENTIONED THE “BLIZZARD OF BULLSHIT” generated in response to questions addressed to county administration. For those few readers who may need another example of the phenomenon, put on your parka and hitch up your sled dogs for this exchange from Tuesday’s Board of Supervisors meeting:
“Agenda Item 5b) Discussion and Possible Action Including Adoption of Resolution Authorizing the Mendocino County Health and Human Services Agency Director to Sign Agreement No. 20-10185 with the California Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) in the Amount of $3,649,500, $1,216,500 Each Year for Three Years, to Allow Mendocino County Behavioral Health and Recovery Services (BHRS) to Contract with Partnership Health Plan of California (PHC) to Administer Drug Medi-Cal (DMC) Organized Delivery System (ODS) Services on Behalf of Mendocino County to Medi-Cal Beneficiaries Through the Utilization of Federal and State Funds Available for Reimbursable Covered Services Rendered by Certified DMC Providers, Effective July 1, 2020 through June 30, 2023 (Sponsor: Health and Human Services Agency)”
Supervisor Ted Williams:
“Just like with RQMC [Camille Schraeder’s Redwood Quality Management Company which Williams has been trying without success for years to get some kind of meaningful reporting from] we should be asking about performance metrics. A couple of years out, how do we look back and determine whether it was a success? Do you have any thoughts on how we are going to track this contract since we probably don't have much bargaining ability given that it's Mendocino County versus the Partnership program? It would be great to have metrics in place so we know if we're successful."
Health & Human Services Director and Unofficial Deputy Director of Blizzards and Bluster Tammy Moss Chandler:
“This is an extremely different arrangement than we have for RQMC. We are not contracting out our services to local vendors. We are actually in a government entity partnership Medi-Cal plan. Partnership Health Plan is a Medi-Cal plan. We are contracting with them to help us expand our network into a regional process that they oversee. We are only a county. So actually this is for the entire region networking resources which are devoted to serve Mendocino County clients. It allows our local providers to be part of that expanded network and serves a greater number of people and expand our services and there's been a tremendous amount of investment by Partnership Health Plan already to provide local grants to, for example, Ford Street in our county and to many other substance abuse treatment providers throughout the entire Northern California region in order to expand and get ready for extending the work requirements under this. The question about performance measures, actually we will have very specific performance measures under this pilot project with the state and federal government as well as the Partnership Health Plan and we have already established quarterly performance meetings to help assure that our employees in our system locally are getting all the services and expansion that we are expecting out of this. I am happy to bring those quarterly reports to this board. There is a tremendous amount of quality assurance built into this government to government partnership arrangement."
Translation: As usual, there are no performance measurements or metrics other than the kinds of meaningless insider-only reports they now provide for RQMC.
Williams disappeared in the white out. The blizzard had done its job: "Thank you. I support it,” he said.
VINTAGE CAR IN MENDO
HOW ABOUT IT, BOS?
I see you do not intend to allow elective medical procedures until stage 3 or 4. Whenever that is.
I just had a call from a customer from Lodi who was diagnosed with kidney cancer 4 days before the shutdown. He was supposed to get a follow up within 2 weeks. It has now been over 2 months. His doctor called yesterday to tell him it was his last day at the hospital annex. They have closed 7 medical offices with multiple doctors and his doctor is being send to the unemployment office.
They have laid off 75% of the emergency room staff and 50% of the nurses in the hospital. They are going broke.
Like us, they have NO ONE in the hospital with COVID and NO community spread.
Are you going to let our doctors and nurses and hospital go broke, too? This is not caution, it is insane. People are dying because they cannot get treated all over the country. Another doctor I saw on TV said she had a patient who needed a hip transplant. NEEDED! Now a blood clot formed and has gotten in her lungs and she will probably die. We need to SAVE OUR HOSPITAL!
Get with it folks. You are literally killing us! What if it was your kid with cancer?
Capt. Cass Forrington
Sea Glass Museum, Fort Bragg
CATCH OF THE DAY, May 22, 2020
RAMON ALCAZAR, Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-alcohol, controlled substance.
RAYMOND ARRINGTON, Modesto/Willits. Maintaining a place for selling, giving, or using drugs, controlled substance for sale, honey oil extraction, conspiracy, unspecified offense.
DANIELLE BLOYD, Talmage. Trespassing, vandalism.
ROBERT COHOON, Willits. Maintaining a place for selling, giving, or using drugs, controlled substance for sale, honey oil extraction, conspiracy, unspecified offense.
NINA GIACOMINI, Ukiah. DUI.
CHRISTIAN HERNANDEZ, Ukiah. Unspecified offense.
TRENTEN KARR, Willits. Maintaining a place for selling, giving, or using drugs, controlled substance for sale, honey oil extraction, conspiracy, unspecified offense.
JACOB KIER, Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-alcohol, probation revocation.
DANIEL LEONHARDT, Troy, Illinois/Willits. Maintaining a place for selling, giving, or using drugs, controlled substance for sale, honey oil extraction, conspiracy, unspecified offense.
JOSEPH MORALES, Reno/Ukiah. Domestic abuse, false ID.
MATTHEW RANDALL, Hopland. DUI, suspended license (for DUI).
WHEN GIANTS FALL
by James Kunstler
It was only a few decades ago that Walmart entered the pantheon of American icons, joining motherhood, apple pie, and baseball on the highest tier of the altar. The people were entranced by this behemoth cornucopia of unbelievably cheap stuff packaged in gargantuan quantities. It was something like their participation trophy for the sheer luck of being born in this exceptional land, or having valiantly clawed their way in from wretched places near and far — where, increasingly, the mighty stream of magically cheap stuff was manufactured.
The evolving psychology of Walmart-ism had a strangely self-destructive aura about it. Like cargo cultists waiting on a jungle mountaintop, small town Americans prayed and importuned the gods of commerce to bring them a Walmart. Historians of the future, pan-frying ‘possum cutlets over their campfires, will marvel at the potency of their ancestors’ prayers. Every little burg in the USA eventually saw a Walmart UFO land in the cornfield or cow-pasture on the edge of town. Like the space invaders of sci-fi filmdom, Walmart quickly killed off everything else of economic worth around it, and eventually the towns themselves. And that was where things stood as the long emergency commenced in the winter of early 2020, along with the Covid-19 corona virus riding shotgun on the hearse-wagon it rolled in on.
We’re in a liminal, transitional moment of history, like beach-goers gawking at the glassy-green curve of a great wave in the throes of breaking. Such mesmerizing beauty! Alas, most people can’t surf. It looks easy on TV, but you’d be surprised at the conditioning it takes, and Americans are way, way out of condition. (All those tattoos don’t give you an ounce of extra mojo.) And so, in this liminal moment, the people still trudge dutifully to the Walmarts with their dwindling reserves of cash money to get stuff, going through all the devotions that we took for granted before the wave welled up and threatened to break over us.
Which is happening. Despite all the fake-heroic blather from the Federal Reserve, from Nancy Pelosi, from Mr. Trump and Mr. Mnuchin — from everybody in charge, to be really fair — and in the immortal words of another recent president — this sucker is going down. Specifically, what’s going down is the aggregate of transactions we call “the economy.” Meanwhile, the people in charge struggle to prop up the mere financial indexes that supposedly represent economic activity, but more and more just look like a shadow play on the wall of some special slum where the street-corner economists peddle their crack. Eventually, the people don’t even have money for the crack, and to make matters worse, whatever money actually remains on the street is worthless.
The wave is breaking now, and a lot of things will be smashed under it — are getting smashed as you read. As in any extinction event, it will be the smaller organisms that survive and eventually thrive and that’s how it will go in the next edition of America, whether we remain states united or find ourselves organized differently. Accordingly, the giants must fall. When the communities of America rebuild, it will be the thousands of small activities that matter, because they will entail the rebuilding of social capital as well as exchanges that amount to business. Social capital is exactly what Walmart and things like it killed in every community from sea to shining sea. People stopped doing business with their neighbors. It took a cataclysm for them to finally notice.
If you think Walmart will survive the same cataclysm that’s killing chain-store retail generally, you’re going to be disappointed. Everything about it is over and done, including the Happy Motoring adjunct that allowed the cargo-cultists to haul their booty those many miles home. (And, ironically, it wasn’t the oil issue that determined this, but the end of the financing system that allowed Americans to buy their cars on installment loans, when it ran out of credit-worthy borrowers.) Amazon will be the last giant standing perhaps, but it will go down, too, eventually, on its ridiculous business model, which depends utterly on a doomed trucking system. It will be like the last dinosaur roaring at the dimming sun — while the little proto-mammals skitter to their hidey-holes beneath it.
One thing remains constant: human beings are very adept and resourceful at supplying each other’s needs, which is what business amounts to. Young people, freed from the fate of becoming serfs to corporate giants, can start right now at least imagining what they can do to be useful to others in exchange for a livelihood. The earnest and energetic will find a way to do that at a scale that makes sense when a new order emerges from the wreckage. After a while, it won’t matter much what any government thinks about it, either. Like all the other giants, it will fall, too.
(Support Kunstler’s writing by visiting his Patreon Page.)
STEVEDORING, which had been a skilled labor, is fast becoming a labor without the skill. The modern steamship with her many holds is not loaded within the sailorlike meaning of the word. She is filled up. Her cargo is not stowed in any sense; it is simply dumped into her through six hatchways, more or less, by twelve winches or so, with clatter and hurry and racket and heat, in a cloud of steam and a mess of coal-dust. As long as you keep her propeller under water and take care, say, not to fling down barrels of oil on top of bales of silk, or deposit an iron bridge-girder of five ton upon a bed of coffee-bags, you have done about all in the way of duty that the cry of prompt dispatch will allow you to do.
— Joseph Conrad, 1905; from "The Weight of the Burden"
TIBURON TRAIN OFF-TRACK
IT TAKES SOME DOING on the part of Fox and the others to get “deplorables” enthusiastic about putting themselves and their families’ lives in mortal jeopardy in order to protect the investments of predatory capitalists; and it took some doing on the part of MSNBC et. al. to quash the Sanders and Warren insurgencies in order to make Joe Biden the chosen one.
What Fox and the others are doing menaces public health in ways that could, and likely will, take a catastrophic turn. What liberal media are doing is merely foolish, especially inasmuch as the insurgencies in question are more anodyne than revolutionary.
Even so, they seemed threatening enough to scare the pants off corporate Democrats and the Democratic Party’s “donor class,” and therefore to get Pelosi and the other party leaders to do them in. By so doing, they have been doing their part, unintentionally but inexorably, to keep Trump and Trumpism alive and well, just as surely as has Rupert Murdoch.
— Andrew Levine
ON LINE COMMENT OF THE DAY
I forgive the optimism. It is easy to fall into. People with a brain, even twisted ones always assume the other guy has one too.
Young people, freed from the fate of becoming serfs to corporate giants, can start right now at least imagining what they can do to be useful others in exchange for a livelihood.
Young people don’t know what being a serf is. Instant mobility lets everyone in America cover a geographic range which would define their entire life’s if the Toyota gods did not have ships. Serfs are prisoners of place and the young of America have no place. They are everywhere and nowhere all at the same time. Community? Where are the values that define what a community is going to come from? Before isolation was encouraged community was already destroyed. Standing six feet apart when you stare at a phone screen is only different to a space alien watching through an eye in the sky. Surface targets are traveling less and standing apart. Their economy has imploded. Beyond that they note no difference.
The virus is not making anyone smarter. A new golden age might emerge but no time soon and not from this lot. This lot wants free stuff and they stand on state capital steps with huge guns. They don’t believe in anything and certainly not community. Community means obligations and they don’t have an app for that. They all believe in themselves and their freedoms. Whatever those are.
EEL RIVER FISHING
RETURN OF THE ACID EATERS
by Larry Livermore
Quite a few friends, especially those primed for a midlife crisis but for whom a red convertible or summer in Tuscany won’t cut it, have been toying with the idea of trying – or re-trying – LSD.
Acid is respectable again, or at least that’s what you’d think judging from breathless accounts in all sorts of mainstream books and journals.
Among the defenders – I personally prefer to think of them as offenders – of the new psychedelia, one of the most flagrant is a former food writer named Michael Pollan. He claims that ingesting substances like LSD, psilocybin, DMT, and toad venom helped dissolve his ego, and has gone on to write a best-selling book about it. How I Lost My Ego While Still Being Able To Cash Royalty Checks Addressed To It was not the title, though I’d definitely appreciate it more if it were.
Who am I, you might well ask, to aim such harsh criticism at a recognized and renowned expert? For starters, I’m someone who has almost certainly taken more LSD than Pollan, and possibly more than the combined intake of a small city. I’m familiar with those other drugs, too, all but the toad venom.
That in itself doesn’t give me license to pontificate. The world is littered with former and current drug users who will furnish you with opinions and doctrines as numerous and mutually contradictory as those offered up by all the world’s religions.
Pollan enjoys the advantage of having acquired an Ivy League education before starting to deconstruct his consciousness; many of the first-generation pioneers of acid, yours truly included, had barely started college or were still in high school when they began arresting their intellectual development with psychedelics. If a little knowledge can be a dangerous thing – my own life has amply demonstrated that – a lot can sometimes be worse.
I’m thinking of Timothy Leary and his accomplice, Richard Alpert (later known as Baba Ram Dass, or, among the irreverent Berkeley street kids, Baba Rum Dum). Both were highly trained and respected psychologists before they started messing around with LSD, which lent considerably more weight to their proclamations than if they had come from Joe Acidhead down the block.
Pollan would probably like to distance himself from the excesses and wrecked lives of the 60s – who wouldn’t? – but he comes across as Leary-lite, touting psychedelics as the cure for a host of ills, including some you didn’t know you had. When I was an impressionable yet idealistic young man, I read Leary’s 1966 interview with Playboy, in which he claimed that LSD would not only enable you to quickly transcend the spiritual and material realms, but could also cure alcoholism. Imagine my confusion a few years later when a regular visitor to the Leary household told me, “Oh, Tim hardly ever takes acid himself. His favorite drugs are Scotch and amphetamine.”
At least half of my fellow acid eaters from the 60s and 70s got strung out on substances ranging from cocaine to heroin to barbiturates and plain old booze, so I find it fascinating that LSD is once again being suggested as a cure for addiction. While it’s true that acid itself is not physically addictive (a claim and/or defense that seems to be made for every new drug that finds its way onto the market), “not physically addictive” and “not addictive” are two very different things. Marijuana, too, is not technically addictive, yet try taking it away from a long-term daily smoker (“It’s my medicine, man”).
LSD produces such drastic upheaval to “normal” ways of living that it’s hard to imagine taking it every day (I once managed 34 straight days before the police got involved, but my life had long since ceased being anything resembling normal). When I heard the Jefferson Airplane’s Grace Slick disparage repeated acid use by saying, “It opens a door, but once you go through a door, there’s no reason to keep going through it over and over,” I retorted, “Do you really not understand how doors work?”
Now “micro-doses” are all the rage, which reminds me of when DMT was sold as “the businessman’s trip,” the idea being that you could go on a 45-minute psychedelic voyage during your lunch break, then go straight back to manufacturing or marketing corporate deathburgers in the afternoon.
I never experimented with LSD micro-doses (macro-doses were more my thing; it was not unusual for me to eat as many as 30 to 50 hits at a time). But I did try something similar with peyote, gnawing a button or two each morning for a couple of months. It was about a quarter of the amount required for a full-fledged trip, but I lived in a world continually imbued with a rainbow-edged tinge.
If the peyote buttons hadn’t started rotting, I would have carried on longer. This was the year (1970) when I was going balls-out in search of a spiritual awakening. The spiritual aspect, as promoted by Dr. Leary, was what had attracted me to LSD in the first place (that plus teenage kicks), but finding myself a few years down the road and still mired in mundanity, I felt it was time to give life a kick-start. Using drugs and abstaining from them, fasting and meditating and chanting, checking out nearly every religious and quasi-religious group in town, I thought I was really getting somewhere until it all came crashing down and I found myself penniless, homeless, and sleeping on a cement floor in Akron, Ohio.
In principle, I thought, my heightened spiritual state should have allowed me to transcend petty concerns like not having enough to eat or subsisting on the kindness of old friends and new strangers. If reality was merely a construct (“a crutch,” bumper-sticker wisdom had it, “for people who can’t handle drugs”), how could it so easily intrude on my supposedly enlightened life?
For years – even long after I stopped taking it – I sung the praises of LSD. “It changed my life,” I swore. “I might not be here without it.” The hippies claimed that acid emerged at the same time as nuclear weapons because it was the cosmos’s antidote to the apocalypse. That sounded perfectly plausible to me.
It would be decades after my last LSD trip before it sunk in that the drug, while opening me to new ways of thinking, seeing, and being, could also offer a profoundly insightful vision of a truth that just wasn’t true. Example: one bleak autumn day in 1969, tripping on 10 hits of sunshine, I decided the most important thing in the world was to go to the kitchen and wash the dishes.
Standing over the sink, confusing the sound of running water with that of a laughing mountain stream, I had a revelation. This rigmarole with soap and water was merely a symbolic ritual, not unlike the Catholic belief that a words mumbled over a goblet of wine would transform it into a cup of Jesus’s blood.
In fact, I told myself, it didn’t matter whether I used soap, or engaged with the dirty dishes at more than a perfunctory level. As long as I went through the motions, splashed a bit of water about, and operated with good intentions, the dishes would become clean and sparkling of their own accord. Food poisoning? Merely the delusion of a disordered world.
This ability to devoutly embrace concepts that made no sense swept through the minds of the 60s generation, leaving lasting damage. It may well have laid the groundwork for today’s reality, where the president can say something completely preposterous, contradict himself the next day with something even more preposterous, and millions of Americas don’t bat an eye. Highly skilled epidemiologists and immunologists explain how to protect yourself against the pandemic, and post-truthers who barely graduated high school assure you they don’t “feel” a need to fear the virus.
“Enlightenment in a pill,” many have pointed out, is a quintessentially American concept. Who’s got time for all that prayer and study and meditation and practice when there’s an easier, faster way?
But there isn’t. Therein lies the great danger of LSD and its dopey cousin, marijuana. By offering a simulacrum of spiritual and intellectual growth – a very convincing simulacrum at times – it takes you everywhere except where you need to be, which is doing the long, hard work of learning to live.
Not to suggest that books haven’t been written under the influence of one drug or another, but imagine that someone was selling a novel-writing pill. Just eat one and everything that comes out of your pen or computer will be pure brilliance. You could even specify what sort of book you wanted to produce, be it a light French romance, a turgid Russian epic, a gritty, cutting-edge roman à clef.
The idea sounds ridiculous because it is. If anyone could create an enduring piece of literature by buying and consuming a pill, all books would become suspect, all authors evaluated not by the character of their writing but the quality of their drug connection.
The books that retained true value would be the ones with flaws, with the occasional malapropisms or tedious passages. Connoisseurs would treasure them, but few would read them. The products of better writing though chemistry would go down more smoothly and effortlessly.
That’s precisely the case with chemically synthesized enlightenment. A well and consciously lived life is the greatest work of art any of us will ever undertake. There will always be a temptation to take shortcuts, not to mention that people like to take drugs, and will be glad of any excuse to do so.
But is there no reason, no justification, no potential value to the use of psychedelics, especially under the rubric of scientific investigation? There might be. Drugs like opiates create untold misery and destruction, but they also bring blessed relief for those suffering from painful injuries or illnesses. Though wildly over-prescribed, psychiatric drugs have enabled people with severe mental illness to return to a happier life. Psychedelics are often seen as an adjunct or even replacement for the multitude of antidepressants, mood elevators, and anxiety relievers currently coursing through the American bloodstream.
Perhaps some day science will find a way to use psychedelics in a measured way, guaranteeing results based on dosage and need. But as of yet it has not, and taking psychedelics remains more akin to playing Russian roulette with your mind. Just as with that deadly game, the majority who play may come away unscathed, but some will lose everything, and others will stumble through life mildly or moderately impaired.
I can no longer imagine what my life would be like if I had never taken LSD. After 40 years away from it, I’d like to think my brain has mostly resumed normal functioning, though I have no way of knowing that.
What I do know is that I enjoy – really enjoy – having a brain that works most of the time, and still appears capable of growth and development. Even acknowledging, as the hippies love to point out, that “everything is a drug,” that a plate of beans or a glass of water can also alter my physical and mental state, I’d prefer to avoid trading consciousness for a chemistry lab.
There will be those who will differ, sometimes radically, and to them I can only say good luck and knock yourself out. Though not, I hope, literally.
HAIGHT STREET, 1972
NOT COMING BACK FOR A WHILE
I drove out to Point Reyes Station on Friday night a few hours before sundown. It was the first time I had been there since the Shelter In Place had begun in mid-March.
I saw a large handmade sign as I entered town that said, "Stay Home." After reading some articles and letters to the editor in the local Point Reyes Light newspaper, I believed the sign’s intent was telling tourists to "go home" or, "Normally, we'd want your business, but now we're worried you are carrying the coronavirus so please go home and don't come back."
I think it will be quite a while before I return to Point Reyes Station.
“SOCIAL SECURITY IS THE PIGGY BANK that Republicans seem to go to whenever it dawns on them that we've gotta do something about the debt," Richtman said, "notwithstanding the fact that they passed a huge tax cut that added trillions to the debt and benefited mostly wealthy individuals and corporations.”
A SHUT-IN'S ADVENTURES:
Intellectual Stimulation in the Time of Shelter-in-Place
To: All similarly situated friends
From : A man bored with his brain
Yesterday, Claire and I wrapped up our weekly Meals on Wheels run. She grabbed a quick lunch (home made, of course) and dashed to the local weekly to complete a piece she enterprised about local writers and writing scheduled for publication today. Then to proof-read for a couple hours.
No such high-mindednes. I flicked on the news just in time for a commercial break “seven 30 second spots,” I counted. “four and a half minutes down."
I strategized what I would do to fill my unproductive life before Claire came home. I could count the times MSNBC anchors or guests said the word “Outrageous” between 2 pm and dinner. That was too easy. I needed a challenge.
Then—inspiration. All right, not really inspiration but I am 79 years old and it will do. I noticed a majority of every break pedaled some drug or health device. HIV treatments, HEP C drugs. Blood-clotting help promising joyful, exciting backyard or beach front Bar-B-Qs, replete with loving grandchildren and even the implicit promise of sex. As I watched these sadly inept efforts sweep across my screen, I began to cook up a bit of anger. “They’re talking to me,” I thought. "Those manipulative SOBs. I should look into this.”
One thing producers universally can’t resist, I learned, is the belief that what ever the product, golden retrievers, labs and kittens will help them sell it. Add a quirky, offbeat name, say, some never-heard-before word (Ilumya) call it a medical label and presto there is a product.
Now, the art. Give Fido a task, not just walking the beach with his super-anuated octogenarian arthritic human, who is staring out to sea wistfully. Show him fetching, jumping, rolling over. In his human's next scene, our cripple is in a pool swimming laps. Smiling.
The object of this exercise is not to get us to buy this pill, this happy train to wellness, it is to get our doc to prescribe it.
In this multi-billion dollar enterprise, these video creators make cynicism an art form. They appear to be proclaiming: Give me your broken body. Add a helpless four-legged furry thing, I will combine them with a nonsense, made-up word (Skyrizi, Epclusa) that on purpose doesn’t conjure an image. Instead it offers a promise of health and youth... it creates a feel-good mammal (dog, cat, horse), and provides both the producer and viewer with a blank slate (Ubrelvy), And your doc buys into the scam. It’s a profit-center, and he/she doesn’t have many left.
To round out the cynical cabal, images of relaxing adventure, kayaking alone on a serene mountain lake, video of exotic locales seduce us while the narrator lists the side effects and warnings as the price of the warm and fuzzies (cancer, stroke, insomnia), and always a few racially integrated shots, one of my favorites is HIV treatment (Biktarvy) two black guys lip kissing on a roof top. Both are dressed in hot shot designer clothes (Whew, good. They're not threatening).
Watch this crap long enough and you will discover all these made up words are three syllables. Pseudo something or other. Purporting to be about something, but it is not — it’s a highfaluting falsehood. Apparently three meaningless sounds strung together is better than two or four...
Here are the results of a couple hours of Chris Hayes and Rachel Maddow.
Jardiance (Type 2 diabetes)
Stelara (Crohn’s Disease, ulcerative colitis)
Sensodyne (dental sensitivity)
and so on
My guess is a similar search of and exposure to CNN or Fox would produce about the same list and frequency. But I don’t have the stomach to find out. Anyway, Claire just came home. I promised to cook dinner.
Hello, Sweetheart. How’s pizza sound?
MOTA: GOOD NIGHT RADIO ALL NIGHT!
Deadline to email your writing for Friday night's MOTA show is around 7pm. If seven comes and goes and you're not done, send it whenever it's ready and I'll read it on next week's show.
Memo of the Air: Good Night Radio is every Friday, 9pm to 5am on 107.7fm KNYO-LP Fort Bragg, and 105.1fm KMEC-LP Ukiah. Also there and anywhere else via http://knyo.org and click on Listen. And any time of any day or night you can go to https://MemoOfTheAir.wordpress.com and hear last week's show and shows before that. By Saturday night the recording of tonight's MOTA will also be there, in the latest post, right on top.
Furthermore, at https://MemoOfTheAir.wordpress.com there's a good mile-and-a-half of frippery to gawk at while you wait for tonight, such as:
The swish machine. https://theawesomer.com/the-swish-machine/572747/
People reacting to seeing normally invisible skin damage from the natural healthful sun that kills millions of people every year by their pure enjoyment of its natural healthfulness. http://tywkiwdbi.blogspot.com/2014/08/put-on-some-damn-sunscreen-already.html
And, "Ehhh, c'est la goddamn vie," she says. https://boingboing.net/2020/05/18/the-story-of-mimi-and-brownie.html
— Marco McClean, email@example.com, https://MemoOfTheAir.wordpress.com
If it please the Court, my name is John Sakowicz, and I have been asked to comment on public corruption in Mendocino County in support of Barbara Howe.
I have lived in Mendocino County for more than 20 years where my wife and I have raised two sons, each of whom received Congressional nominations to federal military academies.
I know the internal politics of the county well. During these last 20 years, I have worked for the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office, served three terms on the Mendocino County Grand Jury, served as a public trustee and bonded fiduciary on the Retirement Board of Mendocino County Employee Retirement System, served on the Board for Successor Agency of the Mendocino County Redevelopment Authority, served on the Board for the Ukiah Valley Sanitation District, and served on the Board of the Mendocino Environmental Center.
Most recently, I ran for Mendocino County 1st District Supervisor. Since 2008, I have hosted and produced public affairs shows at KZYX, KMEC, and KMUD.
Finally, the Court may remember that in April, 2006, I sued District Attorney Norm Vroman for misappropriation of County asset forfeiture funds. My allegation was that Vroman had spent forfeiture money on machine guns, silencers, police lights and sirens on personal vehicles, a personal Ford Crown Victoria, a trip to the Gunsite Academy for firearms training, and to produce copies of the 2004/2005 Biennial Report of the DA’s office for use as campaign advertisements in Vroman’s run for district attorney.
Today, I write in support of Barbara Howe.
Barbara Howe's termination from county employment without cause or due process came as no surprise to me. Her former department, the Health and Human Services Agency (HHSA), has a long history of public corruption and political cronyism going back many years.
The mismanagement of County contracts for mental health services comes immediately to mind. Specifically, Tom Pinizzotto, HHSA's Mental Health Services Director, guided a $20 million contract to the Ortner Management Group (OMG), despite the fact Pinizzotto was a former executive at OMG. This was a blatant conflict of interest. Nonetheless, the County CEO, Carmel Angelo, turned a blind eye to it.
When OMG failed to perform as a county contractor, both the grand jury and the local press noted the failure. OMG's contract was terminated. Ms. Angelo then proceeded to fire Mr. Pinizzotto. His reputation was destroyed as a public employee. I think he now works as a "consultant".
What was unexpected -- and unfair -- was Ms. Angelo's firing of HHSA's Director, Stacey Cryer. Ms. Angelo needed a scapegoat, and she found it in Ms. Cryer. Not only was Ms. Cryer unfairly terminated, her professional reputation was destroyed. I don't think she has worked since she was fired.
Such is Carmel Angelo's management style. It is one of intimidation, bullying, and retaliation. It has left a long trail of bodies. I could name more than a hundred former county employees. In this declaration I'll name only three.
Kristin McMenomey, General Services Agency Director, Purchasing Agent, IT Director and Risk Manager, was unfairly fired, as Carmel Angelo consolidated her power as County CEO by bringing in all those functions into the County Executive Office. General Services, IT, and Risk Management had all been independent departments.
Chris Brown, Air Quality Management District Director was unfairly pressured to resign after citing the county for violating air quality standards when asbestos was illegally removed from a county building. Ms. Angelo couldn't technically fire Mr. Brown because he was a state appointee, but she could move his office to the basement, shut him out of county meetings, and otherwise marginalize him.
Alan Flora, Chief Deputy CEO, was suddenly and unfairly fired for no known reason. Mr. Flora was popular and competent, and widely perceived to be Ms. Angelo's successor. It has been reported that Mr. Flora came to work one morning, only to be asked to clean out his desk and be escorted out of the county administration building by security. He was fired without cause or explanation.
Another example of egregious insider politics is how Measure B monies were recently misappropriated earlier this year. Measure B was explicitly intended to build and operate a Psychiatric Health Facility (PHF), but now Measure B monies are being redirected to fund services. Former Sheriff Tom Allman's trust was betrayed. He fought hard to get Measure B passed.
One might argue that Measure B monies have now become Carmel Angelo's private slush fund.
On the subject of services, Redwood Quality Management Group (RQMG), which now has the mental health services monopoly that OMG once had, vigorously resists any call for independent financial audits.
RQMG and their subcontractors -- most notably Redwood Community Services -- also resist any call for contract performance studies or mental health outcomes studies.
RQMG and the County of Mendocino are playing a shell game with a property on Orchard Street in Ukiah.
Specifically, the County is looking into finding areas and buildings that could serve as Crisis Residential Unit(s), Crisis Stabilization Unit(s), and a 24-Hour Psychiatric Inpatient Health Facility. The County recently helped Redwood Community Services purchase two parcels of property of about 39,000 square feet on Orchard Street that the County could use for some of the units.
However, the County had not determined the full architecture feasibility of the parcels on Orchard Street, and now it looks like no deal will be done.
Barbara Howe saw all of the above, and more, as the County Public Health Director. She is smart and independent. She is professionally competent. And she will not compromise on issues of integrity and public ethics standards.
There is no doubt in my mind that Carmel Angelo, and her surrogate, Tammy Moss Chandler, purged Ms. Howe for the simple reason Ms. Howe would not "look the other way". Ms. Howe is entitled to -- and deserves -- whistleblower protections. She deserves damages for the personal and professional harm caused to her by a political machine that has been in power without any meaningful oversight by the Board of Supervisors for more than ten years.
1201 El Dorado Road
Ukiah, CA 95482-3680