- Heat Wave
- SF Fire
- Covid Conundrum
- Navarro Estuary
- EMT Appreciation
- Shasta Sunset
- Pet Adele
- Woods Work
- Sanders Bros
- AV Calling
- Reopening Biz
- B Graveyard
- Ed Notes
- Yesterday's Catch
- Humco Cannabatement
- Corduroy Road
- Walmart Good
- Walmart Bad
- Senior Sacrifice
- Strosa's Homeless
- Blooming Keppel
- Edu Cuts
- Belladonna Mowing
- Mamalcoosh Demise
- FB 1906
- Carpenter Show
- Bear Baiting
- Caspar 1905
- Media Cowardice
- Marco Radio
- Ford Blood
- Murky Angelou
- Found Object
UNUSUALLY INTENSE & PROLONGED EARLY-SEASON HEATWAVE DEVELOPING ACROSS CALIFORNIA.
Following recent NorCal rains, a dramatic shift to hot/dry conditions.
BIG FIRE AT PIER 45, SAN FRANCISCO
Firefighters have contained a fire that erupted early Saturday morning at a warehouse on Pier 45 at Fisherman's Wharf, according to the San Francisco Fire Department.
HUMBOLDT COUNTY: MORE SICK, MORE DEAD WILL BE ‘THE COST OF COVID’
by Daniel Mintz
Humboldt County is moving to further revive its economy but it is doing so with eyes open – coronavirus is spreading, cases are increasing and Humboldt’s first two deaths were seen last week.
The realities and hard choices of living through a pandemic were evident as county Health Officer Teresa Frankovich and Sheriff Billy Honsal updated the Board of Supervisors at its May 19 meeting.
“It’s been a strange past week or two,” Frankovich said, adding that the county confirmed 27 new cases in the two weeks prior. All but one of them was from the ten-day period beginning May 9.
The total case count was at 81 as of the time of the meeting. Five more cases were confirmed the day after and by the end of the week, the total count was at 91.
The county’s first COVID-19 death, of a 97-year-old woman under care at the Alder Bay Assisted Living facility in Eureka, happened two days before the meeting.
A few hours after Frankovich’s update, the second death of an elderly Alder Bay resident was announced.
The accelerating coronavirus activity emerges as Humboldt county ventures into resuming retail business activity. A variance that loosens restrictions on doing so was approved by the state on May 14 and as of May 23, 265 non-essential but “low risk” businesses had been certified for reopening by the county.
A previous round of retail reopenings only allowed curbside pick-up service but in-store customer shopping is now allowed. It’s conditioned on certification, which requires each business to submit a plan for how COVID-19 spread will be prevented.
The variance gives the county leeway with more reopenings and was approved by the state as local cases began up-ticking.
Frankovich said the county’s variance report includes “a plan for how we monitor going forward so that we know how to proceed with opening, or whether to pause or if there comes a moment when we need to step back and pull back on some of the things that we’ve opened up.”
Local hospital and contact tracing capacities “look good,” Frankovich said, but not all is well.
“Certainly our numbers reflect the fact that people, in spite of the restrictions in place, have been moving about a bit more in the community and we have had some cases related to travel and we have had cases related to people meeting – gatherings,” she said. “It’s an important time to remind people that our ability to manage the flow of cases, to not have large numbers of cases at the same time, is threatened when we have people moving beyond what is allowed.”
Also important are measures like face masking, said Frankovich, which prevents infections and “is not a temporary measure, it’s a measure that we’ll be doing for a while.”
Dine-in restaurants are among those that have applied for certification but Honsal said the county’s priority now is approving retail business applications. And one question over-rides.
“Our number one concern, oftentimes, is our employees going back to work – is it going to be safe?” Honsal said. “And customers, when they go into retail establishments – is it going to be safe? Are there going to be mitigation measures to minimize exposure to COVID?”
If a business is certified, those measures are deemed to be in place. But infections will occur.
“We know that as we start opening things up, there’s going to be people that, as we start congregating, that will be sick,” said Honsal. “But our hospitals are ready and we understand the risk that is in play – it’s a balance, for sure, on both sides.”
He acknowledged that “it’s troubling, with all the positive cases lately” but on the other side of the balance is the extreme economic impact of keeping non-essential businesses closed.
“We are going to have illness, moving forward, there’s no way around that, we accept that, because there’s no way to exist as we are for months, for years ahead,” said Frankovich. “And we’re going to have additional deaths – it is the cost of COVID.”
She emphasized that “staying home as much as possible” continues to be an important part of reducing spread.
Frankovich flagged the imminent opening of casinos as a risk – tribes are not subject to state and county authority and the Cher-Ae Heights casino in Trinidad re-opened on May 22. The Bear River Casino Resort in Loleta announced a May 24 opening.
“The casinos are a very big concern of mine,” said Frankovich, and even with safety measures in place, their opening is “way ahead of what we’re ready to do right now in our community and I’m hoping there will be some restraint used here.”
During a public comment session, one resident said Frankovich has been “taking a lot of heat locally, with misguided and misdirected anger directed towards her for just trying to do her job, which is to protect the public health.”
Another resident said his family is planning a reunion event and “I have a sister in Missouri who is looking forward to it and I’m not looking forward to it at all.”
There was acknowledgement that some people won’t continue to follow guidelines. Board Chair Estelle Fennell noted that several infections in Mendocino County were traced to the opening of a church.
“People under-estimate, I think, the risk of bringing together people from different households when we’re emerging from this because we’ve all been quite separate from each other,” Frankovich said.
She added that the goal isn’t to stop infections from happening because that can’t be done. “What we’re trying to avoid is a large number of exposures from a single case,” she said.
NAVARRO RIVER ESTUARY
DAVID SEVERN WRITES:
My and Mary Walsh’s daughter Dandelion, now for some years a paramedic in Fresno, posted this on Facebook a couple days ago but I didn’t see it until last evening. In honor of her and all the others who do first responder work and the fact that this past week has been designated EMT WEEK 2020 I thought it would be appropriate to publicize.
Dandy Allegra (Formerly of Boonville)
May 21 at 9:49
It is widely known that this old bag cries at the drop of a hat. It’s kinda my thang, ya know.. (to be fair.. I’ve gotten wayyy better over the years!
It is also fairly widely known that EMS is (dare I say... was..?) the least favorite first responder of all the first responders. I mean, y’all like us when you need to but we do tend to get forgotten somewhere between the thin blue line and the hunky red line quite often. It’s kinda a thing, ya know..?
The last few weeks have been a totally different story. I’ve had people bless me and pray (openly) for me more in the last month then probably in my whole career. I get texts and emails and gifts in the mail nearly every day. People have offered to buy me food and coffee daily, local companies have dropped off PPE, snacks, gift cards, etc, at our HQ several times a week. There are hand written signs on every ambulance entrance of every facility I’ve been to on a call thanking “us” for serving. The Chief of Surgery at our local Level 1 Trauma Center addressed me by my first name last week! We get priority entry to stores, discounts on websites... There’s even a chapel in Vegas that will marry us for free (now THAT is a good idea…! My darling aunty from Plymouth (whom I’ve met once in life) bought me and my girls an amazing Easter brunch from 3,100 miles away.
It’s been 20something years since I wrote my first PCR. 15+ since I gussied up in the same pretty whites I still wear most days now.
Let me tell you folks. I just can’t. It’s lovely. Really. I mean, a full tank of gas comped cuz I had to fill’er up on my way home today, just cus I didn’t take off my uniform before going into the Valero?! ITS JUST NOT NORMAL!!!
I just can’t handle getting weepy 47 times a day anymore. Come on, people! I worked so hard to be a “normal person.” I’m circling the drain here, folks... Don’t let me go out like this!!
All joking aside:
To my community, to my family, to my peers...
WOW, right? Drink it up! This is an odd reality we’re living in, but this silver lining is something worth standing back and admiring. And a challenge worth standing up to meet, full fledged! They see you now, my pretties! Act accordingly.
I am so proud! And I am so humbled...
SHASTA IN THE SUNSET, from somewhere in Scott Valley Friday night, taken by unknown travellers on the downlow. I.e., not me. (Chris Calder)
DELIGHTFUL ADELE DEFINITELY has hound in her DNA, 'cause she loves to howl.
She's a talker, and apparently she gots lots to say! Adele really enjoys going out for walks and sniffing around. She wants to be with people and is curious about other dogs. We think she will do fine in a home with children. Although Adele enjoys being outside exploring, during her evaluation she navigated to the couch to lay down, so she does settle nicely inside. With Adele, you get the best of both worlds: a couch buddy who can chill, and a lively sniffer and outdoor lover! Adele is 6 years old and is eligible for the shelter's Senior Dog Discount.
Check out Adele's webpage at http://www.mendoanimalshelter.com/dogblog/adele
Our thanks go out to the many folks who have adopted or are fostering shelter guests as we navigate the county's covid-19 Shelter-in-Place order. When a shelter guest spends time in a foster home, they get to hang out in a warm, loving environment, and we get a lot of information that helps their eventual adoption. You can see all of our adoptable guests by visiting our website: mendoanimalshelter.com. Call Amy at the Ukiah Shelter at 467-6453 and Adriana or Jennifer at the Ft. Bragg Shelter at 961-2491 / 961- 2526, if you are interested in adopting of fostering. Stay safe!
AV FIRE BATTALION CHIEF ANGELA DEWITT on how to make a dent in the local unemployment rate:
“Imagine a work force dedicated to fuel reduction and habitat restoration! Now that the roles of fire and grazing on the landscape have been reduced, Doug Fir encroachment into the oak woodlands (and other types of understory fuel reduction) has to be dealt with mechanically, a task much too big for many property owners.”
MARSHALL NEWMAN PASSES ALONG:
The caption says “James Beeson Sanders. Joe Sanders. At Peachland.” Due to the former’s middle name, I assume both are related to Henry Beeson, one of AV’s earliest settlers (he is buried at the Rawles-Babcock Cemetery) and the last survivor of the Bear Flag Revolt of 1846 that established the California Republic. James (1848-1923) is buried in the Ukiah Cemetery. The deer in the background is a little unusual.
QUESTION FOR AV VILLAGE MEMBERS regarding Check-in/ friendly calls: We (usually Anica and now volunteers) have been calling members about once a month to check-in/ say Hi and possibly have a chat and we want to know:
Do you want these calls more often, less often or not at all, please let us know if you haven’t already?
Do you have a preference on who calls you, i.e., do you want it to be someone you know or not — we have some new younger volunteers available for calls as well?
Is there anything else we can do for you that we are not doing already?
Covid-19 Testing available in Ukiah
Mendocino County is partnering with the State of California and OptumServe to launch a COVID-19 testing site in Ukiah.
The OptumServe testing site in open to the public Tuesday - Saturday from 12:30 pm - 7:00 pm at the Redwood Empire Fairgrounds, 1055 N. State St., Ukiah CA 95482 in Carl Purdy Hall.
OptumServe testing site is open to the public. The public is encouraged to schedule an appointment to be tested for COVID-19 prior to arriving. Appointments can be made by calling 888-634-1123
Anica Williams, Anderson Valley Village Coordinator
Mendocino County "essential" businesses which stayed open during Shelter-in-Place Phase 1 DO need to self certify to remain open for Phase 2. These businesses have a week to complete the process, which is reported to take about 5 minutes assuming safety measures are in place. https://www.mendocinocountybusiness.org/
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) on the Shelter-in-Place Order effective May 22, 2020 at 11:59 P.M.
OVERVIEW OF SHELTER-IN-PLACE ORDER: http://ted.net/20200522_SIP_Phase2_FAQ.pdf
Mendocino County Moves into Expanded Stage 2 of Reopening
Attestation Approved and Revised Health Order Issued
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.
MEASURE B: WHERE GOOD IDEAS GO TO DIE
Let’s review the proposals arising since the passage of Measure B offered either by the Measure B Committee or the Supervisors. Most have disappeared; all remain undone.
• The Supervisors and the Measure B Committee have passively gone along with a state-grant-driven project to expand the Schraeder’s privatized operation on Orchard Street, knowing that letting his happen first will probably mean no Psychiatric Health Facility, the primary purpose of Measure B.
• They have purchased and started to remodel a Training Center in Redwood Valley but even this simple task is still far from complete. And more Measure B money has been spent hiring more and more consultants, managers and admin staff, all of this without any objective progress in three years.
• There’s still no response to the City of Willits’s letter asking whether the County intended to follow Willits’s planning regs for any facility in Willits.
• There’s no independent estimate of the cost of remodeling Old Howard Hospital into 1) a PHF, or 2) a smaller Crisis Residential Treatment satellite facility. Although nobody liked Margie Handley’s private cost estimate and the site is still under consideration, nobody has asked for an independent estimate of putting the old building to use for the north County, although the need for the independent estimate was agreed to early on.
• Supervisor Williams’ repeated requests for a “Business plan” for operating whatever facilities are built remains elusive and has been due for more than a year now, and even that was late.
• The Kemper Report’s recommendations and associated cost estimates have been shelved, even though everyone involved priased the report as the best summary of the situation they could possibly have.
• After saying at least twice that a Crisis Van proposal from the Ukiah Police Chief modeled after the Eugene, Oregon “CAHOOTS” program should be pursued, no one even asks who’s working on it.
• Early on the Committee voted to re-institute the widely praised MOPS (Mobile Outreach Van) program, but even with the supplemental Measure B funding the MOPS program has floundered with minimal staffing since one of its senior proponents retired a couple of years ago — and nobody, including former Sheriff Allman who was largely credited with starting the MOPS program, has raised the issue since the Measure B Committee voted to provide more MOPS funding.
• Although the least expensive, fastest and simplest way to provide Crisis Residential or Crisis Stabilization facilities is to remodel an existing building or house, the Committee has chosen a much more expensive gold-plated ground-up project on Orchard Street which will involve expensive, out-of-county architects and years of construction.
• Although local Adventist CEO Jason Wells offered to remodel their Willits and/or Ukiah emergency rooms into a PHF, and the Supervisors wanted that proposal to be pursued and costed out, nobody has yet officially asked the Adventists for a cost estimate.
• We still await County Counsel’s ruling on the legality of partnering with Adventists for Measure B facilities.
• Several committee members have offered to work with Mendocino College to explore the creation of a psych tech training program to help staff the Measure B facilities, and all involved know that such a program is the only way the Measure B facilities could be staffed, but nobody has even begun that conversation.
THE CORONAVIRUS IS, according to reliable science, uniquely adapted to infect us humans, a new fact of life most of us, me included, have a hard time grasping the ongoing consequences of. I remember getting worked over by some bad flus before it occurred to me to avoid movie theaters and other mob scenes in the winter months. Haven't had one for years. But this corona thing is a true beast because it isn't entirely clear yet how it's spread. Obviously, though, masks and social distancing reduce the risk, a fact evident from the beginning of the outbreak when there were virtually no cases in Mendo or other outback counties. We benefitted from being naturally distanced, but that advantage could come crashing down if we open up too soon to the great unwashed.
THE PLAGUE is still spreading “uncontrolled” in 24 US states and its death toll will triple in the next two months to 288,000 according to a statistical model prepared by the always reliable Imperial College of London.
FOR YEARS, HIGH SCHOOLS have boasted of their effectiveness by how many graduates they pack off to college, a meaningless standard if there ever was one since anybody can go who can pay the freight. Any anybody can emerge from four years of college grabass with a diploma, especially in the bullshit liberal arts with its jive-o gender studies and the rest of it. Engineering? Architecture? Medicine? Ability and discipline required. These show biz people bribing admission's offices to get their little bubbleheads into "elite" schools — USC is elite? The football team certainly, but the rest of it? — deserve at least a year in their local county drunk tank for being as silly as their offspring.
NOW THAT THE UC system is dumping the SAT and other alleged winnowing entrance exams, tests any young grind can ace simply by applying himself, there still has to be some kind of means to tell if the kid is up to it. High school grades and standards having become so inflated as to be meaningless, simply admitting a young person to one of the UC schools on the basis of his grades and self-alleged involvement in his "community," means a lot of admittees will drown the first semester, at least in the demanding studies. The blah-blah majors are duck soup for anybody with a pulse. I'd ask the college bound to write an essay to check if he can read the NYT with reasonable understanding plus a couple of those math questions like, "If one airplane leaves Omaha at 8am Americano time, and another one departs Mobile at 10am, what time will the flight crews hand out tiny packages of Eagle Nuts when both planes are over Hong Kong on their way to Peking?" But the higher ed racket, like many other rackets — Hertz bit the dust Friday — would seem to be mostly over, at least in their present incarnations. There's not going to be some kind of magic resumption of life as we knew it.
AND SHE DIED IN '75: "Never has our future been more unpredictable, never have we depended so much on political forces that cannot be trusted to follow the rules of common sense and self-interest—forces that look like sheer insanity, if judged by the standards of other centuries." — Hannah Arendt
THE BEAUTIFUL WOMEN with big white teeth and the soft-looking blow-dry boys, television sector, are all agog at Joe Biden's latest gaffe where Biden told a black radio host calling himself Charlamagne tha God, that Mr. God "ain't black" if he can't figure out who to pick between Biden and Trump in November. Biden of course, like all the big shot Democrats, talks about his defense of African-Americans like he was the reincarnation of John Brown.
IT WAS ALREADY totally farcical when one of Trump's moronic sons immediately denounced Biden as a racist, an accusation usually hurled by libs at other libs who are perceived as not quite up to virtuous standard on the race question. Conservatives, especially of the Trump type, are assumed to be synonymous with the Klan. Myself, I think race relations are better than they've ever been, which seems to be a minority opinion these days, although racism is certainly real enough, especially at the command levels where the national treasure is divvied up. The real issue with Biden is his functioning. He's obviously past it, and here we go with the "opposition's" candidate the only possible phony liberal in the country who could possibly lose to the Orange Monster.
IS TRUMP a conscious liar or simply so dumb, so inarticulate he literally doesn't understand what he's saying, and can't remember what he's said minute-to-minute? The old boy obviously has basic animal cunning superior to most of us animals, but I'd say, like Biden, he's a diminished capacity case. Their "debates" are going to be something, and this, the country of Lincoln-Douglas!
CATCH OF THE DAY, May 23, 2020
JASON BACCHI, San Mateo/Ukiah. Evasion, failure to appear.
SEAN BORG, Ukiah. DUI.
RAMON FLORES, Ukiah. Parole violation.
JAMES GARDNER III, Ammo possession by prohibited person, parole violation.
DANIEL HEATH, Ukiah. Probation revocation.
JOHN HOGSETT, Lakeport/Hopland. Drugs or alcohol in jail, probation revocation.
JARED KIDD, Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-loitering, county parole violation, resisting. (Frequent Flyer)
MIGUEL SANCHEZ SR., Ukiah. Domestic battery, witness intimidation, false imprisonment.
PENALTIES, COSTS, FINES, AND FEES: A DEEP LOOK AT THE HUMBOLDT COUNTY CANNABIS ABATEMENT PROCESS
ON LINE COMMENT OF THE DAY #1
I get a bit wearied with the “mom and pop” idea that they held America and its communities together. If they got crushed they deserved it. Recall on payday when theirs was the only game in town and their prices were usury in disguise. You can have that shirt in blue or white or white or blue. We forget that before Walmart, a company called Sears/Roebuck showed up with a catalogue from which you had choice even to buying a house. Montgomery Ward and JC Penny were also in the game crushing M & P. Walmart brought a bigger game to the economic fight but then Amazon showed up and you can order a house from them. Mom and Pop were doomed due to better ideas and consumer demand. I haven’t been to a Walmart for several months and am doing okay. But I’m glad it’s there so I can get my car serviced, eat lunch, get my eyes checked and a haircut, grocery shop, get a new shirt in any color I want and do it under one roof in climate controlled comfort. Mom and Pop are also in the store shopping. They are on the scooters filling their basket.
There is an ongoing myth of some sort of golden age when people were not greedy nor looked after their own self-interest. It is a myth. Greed has always existed. Wealth has never been equal. All men are not created equal nor treated equally. If anything, Walmart leveled the playing field. A set of dishes cost the same regardless of race or financial status.
ON LINE COMMENT OF THE DAY #2
I am not comforted by the reward of a leveled playing field because of what got lost in the process. If people were economically disadvantaged by localized economies we are all now disadvantaged by the globalized economy even if I can by a toaster for 10 cents on the dollar relative to prices 40 years ago. Wal-Mart and other TBTF mega merchants are not simply the beneficiaries of efficient markets, they are an invasive species with no or few natural predators and thus decimate the indigenous local species called local, organic economies. Further, while it is true that not all men are created equally, that does not apply here for Wal-Mart is not a man. It is an entity, non-human and endowed with ubermensch advantages wrapped in bullshit protectionist legalities. If you don’t see that then perhaps you’ve been socially distanced in your ivory tower even before Covid hit.
“MIGHT AS WELL HAVE THEM WALK THE PLANK” — Cuts may force many seniors into nursing homes
Gov. Gavin Newsom's proposed cuts to meet the new coronavirus economy include two California day programs aimed at keeping poor and medically fragile seniors in their homes, and out of institutions.
HOMELESSNESS IN THE ROSE CITY
Growing homeless encampments under Highway 101 have made it nearly impossible to walk downtown. To maintain social distancing, we must run the gauntlet in the street with the traffic.
Derelict RVs and campers are parked along our streets. Now the city has opened an encampment at the Finley Center. The West End is already a magnet for the homeless due to various social service offerings. The Finley camp is another amenity to attract still more unsheltered. Enough is enough.
The quality of life in our neighborhood is poor. We deserve the ability to move about freely without fear and to enjoy our neighborhood without dealing with the disease, addictions and unstable behavior that brought these people to the state they are in today.
It seems as if the homeless have more rights than law-abiding, taxpaying citizens. Other parts of the city and county should be considered for any new encampment or homeless services. Moreover, moving to a sanctioned encampment shouldn’t be voluntary, nor should campers be handpicked, leaving the most needy and incorrigible behind.
The city and county should ensure the safety of our West End neighborhood and other neighborhoods. It’s time to address the underlying conditions that led to the problems of the unsheltered in Sonoma County.
SCHOOLS FACE PROSPECT OF LAYOFFS, FURLOUGHS AS STATE BUDGET SHRINKS
Schools must prepare to do more with less as the fall term approaches. Gov. Gavin Newsom’s latest budget proposal includes steep cuts to California school districts, many of whom were already spending beyond their means.
SKIP TAUBE ASKS: Who had all naked ladies mowed in Mendocino rotary park?
THE DEMISE OF MAMALCOOSH
by Malcolm Macdonald
Last time we recounted the killing of a Yuki warrior named Shemia by his fellow Yuki, Mamalcoosh. The piece also discussed how their names were anglicized to “Indian Charley” and “Billy Malmaquist,” respectively. The only historical document that provides their actual names was written by Jeremiah M. “Doc” Standley.
Standley's story concerns his 1867 travels to Usal, as a twenty-two-year-old fledgling deputy, to affect the arrest of a man named Jerry Bailey. The accused had stabbed Mamalcoosh several times on the beach south of the mouth of Ten Mile River.
Despite his status as an Indian, Mamalcoosh had an advantage most native people did not. One of his sisters had married E.J. Whipple, former Ten Mile Station manager of the Mendocino Reservation and owner of the biggest ranch in that neck of the coast. Whipple's multiple petitions to the county sheriff led that elected official to send young Doc Standley to the edge of the “Lost Coast” to arrest a white man, Bailey, for stabbing an Indian, Mamalcoosh.
Standley accomplished his mission and in so doing learned a great deal of backstory about Yuki-white relations in Leggett Valley dating to at least the mid 1850s. That backstory connected Mamalcoosh and Shemia and their ultimate fates in the 1880s.
The Yuki of Leggett Valley traded amicably with a white settler named Johnson Heacock in the 1850s. So amicably he was allowed to marry the daughter of a tribal leader named Ishoma ( another of Mamalcoosh's sisters) as well as employ her two closest friends about his household. By the mid 1860s, Heacock had fathered nine children by his wife and her two friends, one of whom Mamalcoosh considered his love interest.
In 1867, Heacock brought a white bride, Agnes Stokes, to live with him, essentially kicking out the Indian women and their children. The Yuki tried to strike an economic bargain with Heacock, something akin to a 19th century divorce with alimony and child support. The Yuki asked for half of Heacock's monetary gains. Multiple times Heacock refused the deal. Eventually, a group of young warriors, including Mamalcoosh and Shemia, were sent to make the request a final time. Heacock rejected the offer again. The Yuki warriors tortured Heacock, tying him down and starting fires under his hands and feet, until he gave up the secret location of his gold coins, which amounted to about $20,000. Heacock threatened to go to the white authorities and the Yuki killed him. Mamalcoosh performed the deed with a sharpened broad ax brought down through Heacock's neck with a single blow.
Jerry Bailey had been Heacock's long time employee, though he had left by the time of the killing, disappointed by his employer's treatment of the Yuki women. Nevertheless, in a more or less drunken state, Bailey quite coincidentally encountered Mamalcoosh on the Ten Mile beach months later and stabbed him with his knife. Mamalcoosh, obviously, survived the wounds.
The $20,000 in gold coins that the Yuki warriors collected from Heacock's estate was divided into two equal portions, according to what Mamalcoosh told Doc Standley. Half was given to the three Yuki women Heacock treated as his wives and their children. The other half was sent on to the Modoc, of northeastern California, who were engaged in a defensive war against white settlers. Many years later, Mamalcoosh discovered that Shemia had kept for himself a sizable quantity of the gold coins intended for the Yuki women and children. This injustice caused the two Yuki men to become bitter enemies. It was this deceit, Mamalcoosh said, that precipitated his killing of Shemia in February, 1885.
Though the evidence against Mamalcoosh at his July trial was relatively circumstantial, a jury voted for conviction in rather rapid fashion. Reporting on the trial indicated that no substantial defense was offered. The jury did stay out for fifty-six hours trying to decide whether to sentence the defendant to death or to life imprisonment. Early on the jury split, ten for imprisonment and two for the death penalty. After fifty-five of those hours, Judge McGarvey had the jury room locked. He told the men they would not get out for any reason until they reached a verdict on the punishment. One hour passed before the sentence came down: life imprisonment.
Mamalcoosh's brother, known to Standley as Mack (another Yuki name lost to history), worked for the lawman on his ranch. At the time, federal statutes required the forcible removal of Indians to reservations like the problematic one in Round Valley. California law allowed Indian adults to work under indenture for a white citizen. The white person did not have to pay any salary to the Indian beyond basic room and board, but in return the indentured Indian laborer did not have to be removed to a reservation. Doc Standley, like several other well-meaning whites in Mendocino County including Helen and A.O. Carpenter, used the indenture law to save Indians they knew from the reservation system.
Following the conviction and sentencing, Mack asked Doc Standley (by then Sheriff of Mendocino County) to accompany his brother to a safe installation at Folsom Prison. After the long ride with the prisoner and an overnight stay in state prison, Doc spent the following morning in deep discussion with a despondent Mamalcoosh in a small private room. There, the Yuki warrior told the lawman the details of the Heacock killing and his reasons for doing away with Shemia.
When they parted, Mamalcoosh expressed to Standley that he had been told Indians did not last much more than three years as a prisoner before they die. As Doc rose to leave, so, too, Mamalcoosh stood and gave the sheriff a hearty handshake. The Yuki added that it was time for a final confession. “Tell my brother that it is true, I killed Johnson Heacock and murdered Shemia in cold blood.”
Doc Standley concluded his account by saying that Mamalcoosh correctly predicted his demise, that he died at Folsom three years later. As poetic as that might be, it serves only to prove that Standley's memory was likely a wish fulfillment written from enough years distance that he had forgotten the Yuki's real date of death. Doc probably wrote this final aspect of the story several years later, in the 1890s or perhaps the early part of the twentieth century (He himself died in the summer of 1908.).
Mamalcoosh's death did not go unnoticed. He actually lasted less than eleven months in Folsom Prison before succumbing there in June, 1886. The Dispatch Democrat, of Ukiah, did not know his true Yuki name, but it reported, “Malmaquist was a perfect specimen of physical manhood and was a terror. He is the only Indian that could make [S]quealing Charley and Poker Bill take water.”
Lest readers think Indian names were the only ones written differently in the 1800s, the newspaper account of the killing at Leggett Valley in 1867 lists the victim as Johnson Hickox. Doc Standley had first hand contact with Jerry Bailey, who worked for the man for several years. Standley consistently refers to the early Legget Valley settler as Heacock, never Hickox.
Ultimately, Jerry Bailey, along with a group of white men who traveled to the scene and witnessed Heacock's head displayed on the tip of a spear, all came to the conclusion that Heacock had gotten what he deserved. Other than Bailey's drunken attack on Mamalcoosh, none of the other white witnesses to the death and destruction at Heacock's place pursued any retribution against the Yuki.
The full length version of “Doc Standley's First Arrest” can be found in the AVA archives from March 21st and 28th as well as April 4th and 11, 2018.
It can also be read at malcolmmacdonaldoutlawford.com
FORT BRAGG, after the 1906 earthquake
by David Yearsley
Cameron Carpenter, the irrepressibly brilliant American organist, is not one to stay still. To watch him in the cockpit of his International Touring Organ, a two-million dollar technological marvel contrived not by Lockheed Martin but by the digital organ building firm of Marshall & Ogletree, is to witness energy so explosive that you expect Carpenter to lift off the bench at any moment. An eighteenth-century eye-witness to J. S. Bach’s callisthenic organ pedaling thought his feet were winged like Mercury’s, but Cameron’s appendages appear rocket-powered, and he pilots his musical space ship to planets old Johann didn’t even know existed. Carpenter must be among his generation’s most-travelled virtuosos, and he boldly goes where no man has gone before.
The ITO has five keyboards for the hands and one for the feet. These keyboards are framed by banks of colorful buttons and tabs that bring on and off sounds sampled from the great church organs of the world, musical vehicles anchored to their architecture. Carpenter’s fingers jump and jab from one keyboard to the other, constantly manipulating the sonorities and often bringing out unexpected melodic lines that require him to play on three manuals simultaneously—a Hydra sprouting not new heads but new hands.
Carpenter is a force of nature and technology: a vastly gifted, endlessly creative, and indefatigably hard-working musician, who, I’d venture to say, has practiced his astounding craft more than any organist of his—or perhaps any other—time.
Carpenter is spectacular. Indeed, being visible is crucial to his art and entertainment. The organs of pre-industrial Europe were the most advanced machines in the world with their complex system of mechanical remote control in which an organist could operate thousands of pipes far from his fingers and feet. Yet the organist was often hidden behind large cabinets of pipes, or placed too far above the audience for his movements to astonish visually. The just-cited report of Bach’s pedaling heroics was possible because an eyewitness had been invited into the organ loft. Carpenter has to be seen to be believed, and making the organ portable—with aid of a big-rig and a platoon of roadies—allows him to descend from distant balcony to concert stage. The lunar module lands before blasting off again.
With the astounding physicality of his performance Carpenter has ushered the King of Instruments, freed from unwieldy pipes, into the YouTube age. As far as I can tell, the Dutch organist Ton Koopman’s 4.6 million hits for playing a short Bach fugue on one of those giant old organs of Europe captured on micro-chip for digital dissemination, surpasses Carpenter’s individual metrics. But Carpenter has many YouTube videos with hundreds of thousands of hits and these offerings cover a vast range of repertoires and styles: theatre organ romps, impossibly difficult symphonic transcriptions, sprawling video game fantasies, light-speed études, and organ classics weaponized with his full arsenal. He likes to retrofit the Bachian warhorses with cruise missiles. In these hugely varied and ceaselessly impressive videos you can also hear him speak: he’s articulate, provocative, witty, thoughtful, irreverent—and always energetic.
However astonishing on screen, Carpenter is driven to reach his audience—from kids to seniors—in live performance. For more than a decade he has been based in Berlin, but continues to tour the globe, from Sydney to Shanghai to Moscow.
The lockdown has curtailed these travels, but could not keep him from his public for long. More than a month ago, on Easter Sunday, Carpenter presented a live-streamed concert in the empty Konzerthaus in Berlin. His younger self was often costumed in abundant sequins, but on Easter Carpenter was dressed in simple black t-shirt and trousers. The only sparkles to be seen were those on the heels of his organ shoes. Vertical wands of colored light ringed, séance-like, the ebonized console of the ITO, with larger beams illuminating the columns looming in the recesses of the hall. Especially in the hulking neo-classical interior of the Konzerthaus—a favorite Berlin building of the Nazis—this tableau summoned thoughts of Albert Speer’s monumental, menacing light sculptures.
Carpenter started the program already seated at the ITO with Bach’s Prelude and Fugue in E-flat. Uncharacteristically, he did not indulge his penchant for kaleidosonic registration change. Those chromatic shifts were left to the light show. But Carpenter larded on ornaments and flourishes to Bach’s majestic work as if he were trying to bewitch rather than orate. His hands and feet were possessed: every bar offered the chance to cast another fidgety spell.
Carpenter then tangoed with Argentinian master Astor Piazzolla’s Oblivion—an ominously atmospheric counter to the preceding Bachian uplift. Mussorgsky’s Old Castle brought more portents of ruin, before Louis Vierne’s Carillon de Westminster opened tantalizingly optimistic urban vistas, Big Ben back in business for the crowds of tourist down below. From thence we re-entered the labyrinth with Joe Hiasishi’s soundtrack for the dystopian (or so it seems to me) video game, Nausicäa of the Valley of the Wind. It is perhaps in these soundscapes that Carpenter navigates his ITO most deftly, and always with demonic delight. The music was eerily, unsettlingly beautiful before plunging into the apocalyptic. From that virtual world Carpenter made a quick flyover of verdant fields with Percy Grainer’s “Irish Tune from County Derry” — the digital (and pedal) wizard enjoying some hi-tech leprechaunery. Carpenter’s volcanic transcription of Howard Hanson’s “Romantic” Symphony hardly finished off the hour by calming Corona fears. This extraordinary organist played the Prince of Darkness on a day meant to mark light and resurrection.
Sequestered in his solitary Valhalla on Easter, Carpenter then took his talents to the people in May with a series of 36 half-hour concerts given on four consecutive days outside of senior homes and other care institutions. That’s nine-and-half hours of recital playing per day. Olympic marathons have been won by runners in their thirties, and it’s clear that Carpenter has not lost a step, even over the long haul. Few, if any, have the physical and mental endurance to meet such a challenge.
He played the programs from the bed of a Mercedes-Benz transport truck half the size of the big-rig required for the ITO. The tarpaulin pulled back to reveal him at another of the King of Instruments’ lesser courtiers—a machine called the Viscount. It’s less flashy but more portable than the ITO, ideal for these commando performances.
From windows of the multi-story building above seniors looked down and listened, some with binoculars so as to get an even closer look at what from afar might have seemed impossible. This time Carpenter wore funky tails, and the brightest thing in his sartorial ensemble were orange earplugs: the speakers boomed out high-decibel Bach. The E-flat Prelude and Fugue took up the first half of the thirty minutes, but Carpenter’s incessant additions seemed more like slightly bored doodlings than a conjurer’s off-the-cuff incantations. One can hardly blame him for trying to keep interested over such a grueling docket of live performances.
Carpenter then tossed off an assortment of Goldberg Variations. Once again he overlaid Bach’s filigree with his own. Even if these intrusions violate the precepts of good taste, I nonetheless admire how enough is never enough for Carpenter, even in Corona Time. The show is everything, and accordingly Carpenter’s feet sometimes took over the athletic line the composer had originally assigned to the left hand, which idled nonchalantly as if to underscore the feat taking place below. The concert ended with the Goldberg’s last number, the so-called Quodlibet. In it Bach masterfully combines at least two lowly folk tunes above the governing Goldberg bass-line. Thus the arduous, ingenious set concludes with irreverent humor, both self-effacing and self-aggrandizing. Rather than demurely winking and nudging in the manner that the Quodlibet seems to call for, Carpenter launched this sublime bagatelle towards the twilight with a mighty crescendo so that the seniors could be sure that he’d come to his suitably rousing conclusion. Carpenter took his richly deserved bow after a long day on the bench and off it, to disparate but sincere applause from the windows above and the courtyard beyond.
An autonomous orchestra unto itself, the organ is the musical instrument of social-distancing par excellence. Old-school types like me safely ensconce themselves in fortresses of pipes and behind railings in balconies. Carpenter has often claimed that far-flung arrangement as something to be fought against, even demolished. With Carpenter, as in any number of folk tales, the King rides out to meet his people. Much is lost and much is gained through the organ’s mobility and storage capacity of different sounds.
Corona cannot stop Carpenter, and it is exhilarating to see and hear him—even if from a few floors up or on a computer screen a continent away.
(David Yearsley is a long-time contributor to CounterPunch and the Anderson Valley Advertiser. His latest book is Sex, Death, and Minuets: Anna Magdalena Bach and Her Musical Notebooks. He can be reached at email@example.com.)
THE POPE IN ALASKA
The Pope went on vacation for a few days to visit the rugged mountains of Alaska. He was driving along near a campground when he heard a frantic commotion just at the edge of the woods. He found a helpless Democrat wearing shorts, sandals, a “Vote for Hillary” hat and a “Save the Trees” shirt. The man was screaming and struggling frantically, thrashing all about trying to free himself from the grasp of a ten-foot tall grizzly bear. As the Pope watched in horror, a group of Republican loggers wearing “Go Trump” shirts came racing up. One quickly fired a .44 magnum slug right into the bear's chest. The two other men pulled the semiconscious Democrat from the bear's grasp. Then using baseball bats, the three loggers finished off the bear. Two of the men dragged the dead grizzly onto the bed of their pickup truck while the other tenderly placed the injured Democrat in the back seat.
As they began to leave, the Pope summoned all of them over to him. "I give you my blessing for your brave actions!" he proudly proclaimed. "I have heard there was bitter hatred between Republican loggers and Democratic environmental activists, but now I've seen with my own eyes that this is not true.
As the Pope drove off, one logger asked his buddies, "Who was that guy?”
"Dude, that was the Pope," another replied. "He's in direct contact with Heaven and has access to all wisdom.”
"Well," the logger said, "he may have access to all wisdom, but he don't know squat about bear hunting. By the way, is the bait still alive or do we need to go back to California and get another one?”
MEDIA COWARDICE AND THE COLLUSION HOAX
What happens when the press becomes an interest group whose interest isn’t the truth?
ESTONIA. WHEN YOU'RE TRYING TO BE SO GOOD.
"The world leader that really came to nothing as far as my memory was concerned was Hitler — in the days when the Nazis were just a comical kind of minority party of nuts that no one took seriously at all — the man sitting next to me was Hitler. He made so little impression on me I can’t remember a second of it. He had no personality whatsoever." —Orson Welles to Dick Cavett
The recording of last night's (2020-05-22) Memo of the Air: Good Night Radio show on KNYO-LP Fort Bragg and KMEC-LP Ukiah is right here: https://tinyurl.com/KNYO-MOTA-0386
Furthermore, at https://MemoOfTheAir.wordpress.com you'll find a fresh batch of dozens of links to not necessarily radio-useful but nonetheless worthwhile educational items I set aside for you while gathering the show together. Such as:
The monster under the bed. https://misscellania.blogspot.com/2020/05/the-monster-under-bed.html
Lottery. Your numbers are lucky! https://boingboing.net/2020/05/20/come-out-its-time-for-the.html
Then she stops, and always just in time. Queenie, Stripper-Queen of Space, performs for shy proto-YipYips in a soundstage on another planet. Entirely SFW. http://www.weirduniverse.net/blog/comments/lunar_striptease
And Grandma Zelig. Also she was an astronaut. (via MissCellania) https://www.boredpanda.com/vintage-photos-my-grandmas-illustrious-career-johnny-quan/
Marco McClean, firstname.lastname@example.org, https://MemoOfTheAir.wordpress.com
HOW AMERICAN HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS LEARN TO LOATHE LITERATURE
First published in 1970, ‘I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings’ is what we have since 10 learned to recognize as a “survivor” memoir, a first-person narrative of victimization and recovery. Angelou transports us to her childhood in segregated Arkansas, where she was raised by her grandmother and was mostly content, despite the unpleasantness of her white neighbors, until, after a move to St. Louis, eight-year-old Maya was raped by her mother’s boyfriend.
One can see why this memoir might appeal to the lazy or uninspired teacher, who can conduct the class as if the students were the studio audience for Angelou’s guest appearance on Oprah. The author’s frequently vented distrust of white society might rouse even the most sluggish or understandably disaffected ninth-graders to join a discussion of racism; her victory over poverty and abuse can be used to address what one fan, in a customer book review on Amazon.com, celebrated as “transcending that pain, drawing from it deeper levels of meaning about being truly human and truly alive.” Many chapters end with sententious epigrams virtually begging to serve as texts for sophomoric rumination on such questions as: What does Angelou mean when she writes, “If growing up is painful for the Southern Black girl, being aware of her displacement is rust on the razor that threatens the throat”?
But much more terrifying than the prospect of Angelou’s pieties being dissected for their deeper meaning is the notion of her language being used as a model of “poetic” prose style. Many of the terrible mysteries that confront teachers of college freshman composition can be solved simply by looking at Angelou’s writing. Who told students to combine a dozen mixed metaphors in one paragraph? Consider a typical passage from Angelou’s opaque prose: “Weekdays revolved on a sameness wheel. They turned into themselves so steadily and inevitably that each seemed to be the original of yesterday’s rough draft. Saturdays, however, always broke the mold and dared to be different.” Where do students learn to write stale, inaccurate similes? “The man’s dead words fell like bricks around the auditorium and too many settled in my belly.” Who seriously believes that murky, turgid, convoluted language of this sort constitutes good writing? “Youth and social approval allied themselves with me and we trammeled memories of slights and insults. The wind of our swift passage remodeled my features. Lost tears were pounded to mud and then to dust. Years of withdrawal were brushed aside and left behind as hanging ropes of parasitic moss.”
To hold up this book as a paradigm of memoir, of thought “of literature” is akin to inviting doctors convicted of malpractice to instruct our medical students. If we want to use Angelou’s work to educate our kids, let’s invite them to parse her language, sentence by sentence; ask them precisely what it means and ask why one would bother obscuring ideas that could be expressed so much more simply and felicitously.
— Francine Prose, excerpt from "I Know Why the Caged Bird Cannot Read"