- Warm Interior
- Carefree Youth
- Vehicle Rollover
- Missing Person
- Virus Protection
- Sheriff Says
- Bear Spray
- Disembodied Poets
- Prescribed Burn
- Variety Video
- Glass Beach
- SIP Discussion
- Elk 1901
- Ed Notes
- 3 Weeks
- Navarro Beach
- MCBG Opening
- Yesterday's Catch
- Loquat Trees
- Squeezing Labor
- Fred NYT
- Douglas Iris
- Why Return
- Side Entrance
- Eat Local
- Zipping Flynn
- Beyond Trump
- Found Object
DRY WEATHER and warm interior temperatures will persist through Friday as high pressure continues to build over Northwest California. Onshore breezes will keep coastal areas seasonable cool, along with periodic episodes of overnight and early morning marine stratus. There is a chance for showers and isolated thunderstorms beginning Friday evening and lasting through the weekend. (NWS)
MEMORIAL DAY AT THE GREENWOOD ROAD BRIDGE
On both sides of the Greenwood Road Bridge on Memorial Day there were no parking places with the south side parking going all the way up to the driveway to Cheesecake. Nobody seemed to have any concern that a virus is in the area.
A VEHICLE ROLLOVER blocked both lanes of traffic Saturday night on the Boonville end of Highway 253 near the Anderson Creek bridge a little after 7:30pm. The driver was able to get himself out of the damaged vehicle without injury and AV Fire did some traffic control while the overturned vehicle was removed.
Luther George Jackson, a 77 year-old male, residing on the 31000 block of Little Valley Road, Fort Bragg is missing.
He was last contacted on 05/14/2020. Jackson was known to walk in the wooded areas around his home and was very reclusive. After not returning calls and not being home for charity meal pick ups on two occasions, he was reported missing to the Sheriff’s Office on 05/21/2020.
The Mendocino County Search and Rescue Team (SAR) was activated and a search was scheduled. A total of 18 SAR volunteers and staff searched Jackson’s property and the surrounding area. K-9’s, ATV’s, ground personnel and UAV’s were deployed and searched throughout the day. The area consists of large timbers, dense brush on mild to rugged terrain. We were unable to locate Jackson [yesterday].
A request for mutual aide was sent to surrounding counties for assistance with further search efforts to continue [today], 05/25/2020.
If you have any information on Mr. Jackson’s whereabouts please contact the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Dispatch Center at (707) 463-4086.
On Thursday, May 21, 2020 at approximately 1:30 P.M., Deputies with the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office were dispatched to a welfare check at a residence in the 31500 block of Little Valley Road in Fort Bragg, California.
The reporting party was an employee of the Fort Bragg Senior Center, who normally visits the resident multiple times each week to deliver meals.
Deputies responded to the residence, but were unable to locate Luther Jackson, 77, of Fort Bragg. A search of the residence and nearby property were conducted, but Jackson was not located.
A report was taken for Jackson being a missing person, and Patrol Deputies continued to search for Jackson.
Jackson is described as a 77-year-old white male, approximately 5 feet 9 inches tall, 175 pounds, with blond / gray hair and blue eyes. It is unknown what clothing Jackson was wearing when he went missing.
Mendocino County Search and Rescue personnel were contacted and initiated a deployment to assist with this continuing investigation.
A more comprehensive search of the residence and property was conducted on 05-24-2020 utilizing Search and Rescue personnel, ATV's, Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), ground searchers, and canines.
Search and Rescue personnel were unable to locate Jackson so mutual aid resources were requested through the California Governor's Office of Emergency Services Law Enforcement Branch.
On 05-25-2020, a total of 54 Search and Rescue personnel continued searching for Jackson as a part of this missing person investigation.
Personnel and volunteers from the following agencies responded to assist with the Search and Rescue deployment:
Bay Area Mountain Rescue Unit, San Mateo County Sheriff Search and Rescue, Napa County Sheriff Search and Rescue, Marin County Sheriff Search and Rescue, Sonoma County Sheriff Search and Rescue, Lake County Sheriff Search and Rescue, California Rescue Dog Association, and Mendocino County Sheriff Search and Rescue.
Due to the increased traffic on Little Valley Road, travelers are being requested to avoid this area unless absolutely necessary.
If you must travel on Little Valley Road, please drive slowly and be alert for pedestrians, ATV traffic, and searchers along the roadway. There are numerous vehicles and personnel associated with this search on Little Valley Road so please use increased awareness if you need to travel in this area.
Anyone with information regarding Jackson's possible whereabouts is requested to contact the Sheriff's Office Dispatch Center at 707-463-4086.
MEMORIAL DAY MESSAGE FROM SHERIFF KENDALL
On this Memorial Day, I would like to first thank all of our veterans and the families who have made sacrifices for our County. When I was a child in the 1970s many of my friends and relatives were still mourning the recent loss of a loved one either in combat or due to complications of combat. As I grew older and issues in the Middle East grew following the 9/11 attacks I was again reminded of the costs to our country. We need to remember freedom isn’t free.
Currently I am working hard to continue to serve the County while ensuring we don’t remove the freedoms that we have shed blood for.
Due to the concerns over COVID-19, I have taken many steps to educate and assist our community to pull through this in a fashion that we always do, stronger together.
There are several concerns regarding the enforcement of the health order and which direction we should go. Luckily, we have the Constitution of the United States. This is a guide which has been in place for over 200 years. It is the founding principles our nation was built on.
There are times when people forget the vast majority of my job as the Sheriff is to protect the rights of all. When you see deputies at a peaceful protest we aren’t there to arrest, we are there to ensure the protesters are safe and protected.
"We the People" truly means all of us.
I am seeing several suggestions coming in from a myriad of sources on how laws should be enforced. Many of these suggestions include stopping people who appear to be out of place, or stopping everyone and demanding identification. Some have suggested we set up roadblocks to take identification. I realize fear of the pandemic is causing some people to look to the extreme for a solution. Please understand the people who are calling for these actions are not bad people. To the contrary, they are good people who are concerned about the health and wellbeing of themselves, their neighbors and their loved ones.
These suggestions are always appreciated however many of them are in direct conflict with the Constitution of the United States. People who enter Mendocino County still have the rights afforded to everyone in the United States.
I will not succumb to pressure in any form to begin violating rights. This is a slippery slope, which will always cause unforeseen issues. Currently we have a crisis with a pandemic, however, with the rise of opiate consumption we could see the actions we take today become widespread to deal with future problems. A search for identification could easily turn into a search for narcotics. A stop of a person who doesn’t appear to belong here is an illegal detention. I fear a small tear in the 4th amendment will rapidly become a gaping hole and we have completely undermined our trust within the community and moved one step closer to a police state. This is why we must remember our founding principles.
I have given specific instructions to all of our deputies regarding enforcement of the health orders. The instructions are simple, and take fully into account the rights provided to all in our nation. If a deputy makes a traffic stop for a violation which they have probable cause to enforce, they can and will take identification. If a person has come here from out of the area and is violating the health order, the deputy is to provide a copy of the order and make a determination if a notice of violation is appropriate. This is a civil notice and we must give the subject 24 hours to correct their actions prior to serving the subject with a civil citation.
When deputies are called to a report of a health order violation, they will complete an investigation to see if it is actually a violation. A determination will be made of how to move forward and if a notice is warranted. Many things are not what they appear until such time we have all of the information. Most people are compliant and truly want to do the right thing for our community.
The pandemic is constantly evolving. Therefore the Health Order must also be a constantly evolving document. The order requires frequent analysis of what activities are deemed to be inappropriate and subject to enforcement. This tends to make enforcement difficult at times because our residents and our Deputies are required to fully understand the legality of the order's updated language, which can be interpreted in different ways.
It is not the intention of the Sheriff's Office to have any law (criminal or civil) misapplied, therefore educational enforcement has remained my primary goal with public contacts during this Public Health pandemic.
Over the weekend Deputies have made several contacts related to the Health Order, many of which were persons who weren’t able to leave the area due to the COVID-19 restrictions. One couple from Europe is unable to get home at this time and awaiting a time when they can return. Therefore a person who was originally reported to be camping, is actually currently homeless and sheltering in place.
We must remain human throughout this event. Our enforcement efforts will remain justified and reasonable. That is what we should all expect, and deserve from the people who serve us including the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office.
In closing I am asking we all remember the incredible freedoms we have here in the United States. On Memorial Day please take the time to remember those who sacrificed for us ensuring these freedoms.
Sheriff Matt Kendall
NIGHT LIGHT OF THE NORTH COAST: Isolated Thoughts & Silver Linings
by David Wilson
During a global pandemic, one might sometimes feel a bit low and disinclined to search for silver linings. And yet at unexpected turns, one stumbles upon them anyway.
Look at reflection. For many people, there is a great deal of time for thinking now. I’m prone to embrace opportunities to reflect anyway, but observations suggest it’s not so for everyone. While for some it may be difficult to be alone, it’s also the best time to delve deeper into your own thoughts.
Solitude affords the opportunity to choose any thoughts you’ve ever had, and explore them. You have your entire catalog. Ignore old thoughts you don’t want to rerun. You may yet learn or discover things from exploring your own previous and partially-examined musings, for in examining them more closely you may find that some of them link in previously unseen ways. Or maybe you’ll find your creative self is writing you a story or taking you on a fantastic voyage as your mind plays. My nighttime photography often gives my mind time to wander the thought trails of discovery.
And sometimes it yields a more tangible experience.
Bear spray is HOT, I can now tell you with perfect assurance. One of those silver linings. Not that this insight arose from all that thinking; it was more of a physical lesson from last night’s photographic adventure. Still, let’s embrace it.
When photographing at night I usually have some bear spray with me — you know, in case it actually works and some critter gets the idea I’m a snack. While my night photography is often a solo expedition, last night I was fortunate that my wife joined me on a midnight outing to capture the accompanying photograph, for she was a big help when the evening ended with some surprise first-hand insights into the effectiveness of bear spray.
It was late, after 1:00 a.m. when we got home. As I pulled my pack out of the car, the bear spray in the pack’s outer side compartment rubbed across the seat, which dislodged its trigger guard, and, in the same motion, depressed the thumb trigger briefly. TSHHHHHT!
I heard the sharp hiss and felt the wind of it against the side of my face almost simultaneously, but I was quick enough to close my eyes at the first sound and to stop breathing. Fortunately I had a partial breath, and as I backed quickly away from the cloud I exhaled steadily to clear out any that I’d breathed in. I knew some had gotten in as I could smell it. Most of it had passed over my shoulder, but the edge of the blast got the corner of my eye, cheek, and hair.
Ok, I thought after a moment. It’s not so bad. By the next moment I was reconsidering. It was HOT!
If from one moment to the next the difference was that steep, I knew I’d better get inside quickly and rinse it out. But by the next moment I couldn’t see very well, for it hurt too much to keep that eye open, and it turned out the other eye was irritated as well and beginning to be painful to keep open. I dropped my stuff in the driveway and stumbled inside as quickly as I could, explaining to my wife as I shed my shirt and headed to the sink.
Imagine in your mouth a great glob of the hottest habanero paste ever, burning your tongue to a tortured crisp and consuming your mouth in pain — and then take that sensation of mangled, burned tongue and smear the searing feeling onto your cheek and your neck and your eye. I love hot food, and as I experienced this in my eye, on my skin, the burnt-hot smell of it in my sinuses, I thought about it in the back of my mind, and I could not find in the experience any but the most distant of relation to the spicy peppers I love to eat. This, I decided, could never be food.
Lots of rinsing at the sink followed by a late night shower fixed it all up. Afterward, at the urging of my wife, I called the Poison Control number on the canister and the helpful guy told me I’d already done everything right. Today my eye is ok, but my cheek and neck feel as if they’d seen too much sun yesterday. And the residue is still dangerous. After handling my clothes to wash them this morning, a nice welt and some itchy spots developed on my hands where I touched some of the stuff. It’s strong stuff.
Serious Recommendation: If you go into the field with bear spray, bring enough water to wash it out of your eyes. If this had happened out in the field, my canteen would not have sufficed. You will want a lot of water.
It is amazing sometimes what revelations a photographic outing can bring. Silver linings!
A lonely figure in the world looks out into the night from deep within the comforting recesses of his own thoughts. May 23, 2020 in Humboldt County, California.
(To keep abreast of David Wilson’s most current photography or purchase a print, visit or contact him at his website mindscapefx.com or follow him on Instagram at @david_wilson_mfx.)
2020 MENDOCINO SPRING POETRY CELEBRATION (35th Anniversary, 15th consecutive revival)
No, not Zoom, smartphone. Record your four minutes and email them by Sunday JUNE 14. The main event will be broadcast on Mendocino County Public Broadcasting at kzyx.org, Sunday JUNE 21. It’s our annual open marathon. It’s easy! the mics are good, and it’s just like emailing photos. With iPhone, go to your app Voice Memo; with Android, go to Voice Record.
If you don’t have a phone, exploit your techie friend. State simply your name, the title of the poem, and then the poem(s). Dan Roberts will be broadcasting the work on June 21 and beyond, on his program RhythmRunningRiver. Whatever your location, you’ll be speaking through the web to the world.
Email up to four minutes by June 14, to both Dan and me: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com.
Keep it that simple. But for friendly and inspiring further info: www.outfarpress.com/mendocinospringreading2020
Gordon Black, producer
AV FIRE BATTALION CAPTAIN ANGELA DEWITT:
Had the privilege of taking part in a 100+ acre prescribed burn on the Cooley Ranch yesterday.
Fire is an important part of a healthy landscape in California - responsible and healthy application of fire is a lost art. This burn was a partnership between many entities, including the Cooley family, the Good Fire Alliance, the Mendocino County Prescribed Burn Association (this was their kick-off event!), and Fire Forward. I’m glad AVFD got to show up and pitch in, and proud of the way my crew worked. As a local fire agency, our objective is always fire suppression; it’s rad to see this proactive strategy at work.
THE FIRST NIGHT of the Anderson Valley Variety Show 2020 is now available on YouTube. Second night coming right up.
SHERIFF KENDALL ON KZYX - discussion about enforcement of Shelter in Place order, Wednesday 27th.
Open Lines with Karen Ottoboni 9am
Tune in Wednesday morning, when host Karen Ottoboni will be joined by Mendocino County Sheriff Matt Kendall for a community discussion about enforcement of the Shelter in Place order during the pandemic. What can be done when people are not following the rules, and how can people's health be protected without violating people's rights? The phone lines will be open for your calls. That's Wednesday at 9am, here on KZYX and Z
IF OUR PHONE goes dead at 895-3016 it's because I'm at war with AT&T, a war I can't win although justice is on my side with all her mighty righteousness. I may be reduced to using one of those cell jobs designed for impaired old guys, the ones with the giant numerals and simple directions for the technically retarded. Here's what happened, although most people reading this have had versions of the same experience. The phone monopoly keeps raising my rates, charging me $150 for "desirable placement" in a business directory. Which I don't need and definitely don't want. Talked to six different people over three hours, none of whom could or would kill the fee. Instead, they tried to sell me more stuff I don't need. So I'm killing all service by not paying my latest bill, the only way to ever get the attention of a mammoth corporation. When 895-3016 goes dead, you can always contact us the old fashioned way —via the U.S. Postal Service.
CHRIS SMITH, the Press Democrat columnist, wrote an affecting piece last week describing the closures of several Sonoma County weekly paper-papers. Some of them are going on-line, some of them are just going to dead newspaper heaven. Smith quotes a young woman as saying she much prefers getting her information electronically, that paper-papers get her hands dirty from the ink. She also didn't like the feel of newsprint, that "cheap paper."
I DON'T KNOW anyone under the age of sixty who reads a paper-paper. More years than I can count I read three newspapers a day — the Press Democrat where, for a spell, I was often vilified, a form of free advertising I could not otherwise have afforded; the Ukiah Daily Journal whose then-editor, Randy Foster, flipped out at the mere mention of Boonville's beloved weekly, and more free advertising in that paper; and the SF Chron where, over the years, I've been accorded the respect that may or may not be my due. These papers are all struggling but, and this is merely an intriguing rumor, the Ukiah paper is said to have a prospective buyer lined up, which I find hard to believe but there it is. The PD and the Chron are doomed. As are all paper-papers.
TECHNOLOGY has overtaken and defeated paper-papers. The gizmo generations get everything they need from their telephones, which are manufactured by semi-slave labor, made from rare, finite materials, are un-recyclable, mind-scrambling, attention deficit-inducing, and anti-social. Of course if minute-to-minute updates on the cretinous activities of the Kardashian girls are more important to you than the grand old institution of American newspapers, walk on with your heads packed with straw.
THE ONLY PAPER-PAPER I read is my own, plus the ICO outta Gualala, and Jim Shields' Mendocino County Observer. (Shields, based in Laytonville, is truly excellent on local stuff.) I read a couple of highbrow mags this lowbrow has read for years, both of which come in tabloid form, dirty ink and cheap paper. On the occasions I see it, I like the Willits Weekly whose Mike Adair and Jennifer Poole are fine reporters who weekly bless the small town they cover. On-line, I read the absolutely crucial MendocinoSportsPlus; Kym Kemp's equivalently crucial Redheaded Blackbelt; and Hank Sims’ Lost Coast Outpost. I read the Sunday Ukiah Daily Journal for Tommy Wayne Kramer, the Northcoast's liveliest writer going away. The Journal's KC Meadows is also a local must read but seldom bothers anymore. For a small population, Mendo, teeming with ingrates as it is, is fortunate in having a functioning media, but it's clear that a majority of people get all their information from each other on Facebook, an electronic, round-the-clock feeb-a-thon.
WHEN I TOOK over the ava in January of '84, most of the advertisers fled, one guy in Ukiah even sending me an old fashioned telegram that said only, "Out Now." I'd anticipated a certain amount of push-back, ha-ha, and knew my survival would depend on making the paper good enough, interesting enough to survive on subs and stand sales — plus legal ads. Legal adjudication, as it's turned out, is the sole remaining value inherent in community-based newspapers. Once some crafty newsman persuades a local court to recognize on-line newspapers as the media of record for a specific area, paper-papers will have no value. (Any attorneys out there who will rep us, let's go.)
EARLY IN THAT JANUARY of '84, as Mendo recoiled in shock and horror at the sudden transformation of the Anderson Valley weekly to… Well golly, blatant blatency, a chamber of commerce delegation came to visit consisting of the late Jerry Bowers, Ken Allen of what would become the famous Boonville Brewery, and Sean Donovan, later the mercenary founder of KZYX who retroactively billed the station $28k for his work "on behalf of the community." All three of these characters were Limbaugh Republicans. The late Bowers, as I recall, said something like, "We're hoping you'll use the paper for the betterment of the Anderson Valley," meaning them and their friends. "Boys," I assured them, "I'll do my darndest."
I DIDN'T KNOW BOWERS, and Ken Allen and I had what you might call a rocky relationship. I was selling my paper in the gift shop at the brewery, but every other week it seemed, he'd kick me outta there, until he also kicked me clear out, the gift shop and the bar and restaurant.
DONOVAN was like a giant mosquito. Wherever I saw him, and he seemed to be everywhere, he'd get right in my face with a big smile on his face, his wall eye going one way, the other eye roaming hither and thither, and there he'd be a twitching, coke-bottled mass of passive aggression. When he hustled the libs for thirty grand of scarce membership money for founding KZYX, hand-picking the chronophages still droning on on the station thirty years later, I wasn't surprised that Donovan had set things up so there would be no community control of the operation. Sure enough. He went on to some public station in Alaska where he was almost immediately fired, but around here, at least in the dimmer precincts, Donovan is still revered, and occasionally we'll hear at fundraising time a slobbery, mawk-drenched tribute to the founding father.
A READER WONDERS…
Why, in the middle of everything going on, is there not a Board of Supervisors meeting for THREE weeks? Last meeting was May 19, next meeting June 9. I know they have been meeting weekly for a while when usually every two weeks. But give me a break!
BOTANICAL GARDENS SOFT RE-OPENING
The Coast Botanical Gardens open tomorrow for members only. Go online and buy ticket and reserve your time slot 10 or 1. Open Tuesday to Thursday for now. New members welcomed. This is a start!
Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens is gradually re-opening beginning with our local members. We look forward to welcoming you back!
Reservations are now available to members of the Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens who live within 50 miles. There will be time-slots available each Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. The Gardens will temporarily remain closed to members and the public on Monday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Details on what to expect upon your return can be found on our website), but here are some highlights:
No walk ups! You must reserve online first. Daily capacity is capped to ensure necessary space for social distancing.
Reservations are open for local members of the Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens only at this time. In accordance with the current county health order, you must reside within 50 miles of our location to enter.
Well-behaved dogs that can be handled with compliance to distancing are allowed.
We hope to gradually allow an increase in visitor numbers over time but it is only with your cooperation as a visitor that we can succeed in this re-opening. To learn more about the changes we've made to keep visitors and staff safe, make a reservation, or become a member www.gardenbythesea.org
CATCH OF THE DAY, May 25, 2020
SCOTT FRANKS, Ukiah. Battery, protective order violation.
MARISSA FRENIER, Fort Bragg. Taking vehicle without owner’s consent, loitering with intent for prostitution, no license.
ROYCE FULTON, Fort Bragg. Disorderly conduct-alcohol, failure to appear.
ROBERT GARDNER II, Potter Valley. Controlled substance, for sale, paraphernalia, resisting.
LELANY HILL, Gualala. DUI-alcohol&drugs, evasion.
LEINA LETTE, Ukiah. Parole violation.
COLE PARKIN, Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-alcohol.
JAVIER RAMIREZ, Ukiah. DUI-alcohol&drugs, suspended license, probation revocation.
DERRICK RIDENOUR, Ukiah. Burglary tools, ammo possession by prohibited person, large capacity magazine, controlled substance for sale and transportation, probation revocation.
CHRISTOPHER WEISS, Sacramento/Ukiah. Stolen vehicle, controlled substance.
ON LINE COMMENT OF THE DAY
I have now run a few companies. Over time, I have experienced a repeated epiphany; which is that you never realize which employees are useless until they go on a vacation and nothing bad happens. Now, this isn’t a dig at good employees; good ones find ways to delegate their responsibilities and still check their emails – great ones work harder while on vacation. However, the bad ones often vacation themselves out of a job – oddly, those are usually the ones who keep reminding me about how valuable they are. Ironic right?
I bring this up because most employees just went on a 3-month forced vacation. As I speak with my friends, they’re all saying the same things;
For 80% of employees, work from home went better than expected and my friends are now wondering why they need an office building and the associated expenses.
For 20% of employees, it has been chaos and it seems silly to retain office space just to micro-manage these weaker employees.
If they are going to run the business through Zoom meetings, why do they need expensive Americans when there’s some guy in Poland who will work harder for 10% of the price? …
Rewinding a few decades; America outsourced its blue-collar manufacturing workforce and hobbled the middle class. The white-collar guys have sort of ignored this as everything at Costco got cheaper. However, there were big consequences along the way. Now I wonder if we are about to outsource a lot of the white-collar jobs too. That would be crippling for the economy.
It’s coming, and soon. NYC is going to see an unbelievable collapse in property values, which is going to cause a budget crisis that makes the 1970s look like a picnic.
FRED GARDNER MENTIONED in New York Times Sunday.
FRED GARDNER RESPONDS: "Yes, I created this Frankenstein," says Fred Gardner. The New York Times has outed Gardner as the first journalist to write about the medical potential of CBD, a non-intoxicating compound in marijuana. Gardner broke the story in Synapse, the UCSF weekly, in 1999. He is a longtime AVA contributor (since 1984 or '85) and edits a tabloid journal called O'Shaughnessy's that pro-cannabis doctors distribute to their patients. In 2009 Gardner convinced growers of CBD-rich plants to share their genetics on a non-profit basis, and created Project CBD "to both learn from and educate users." Gardner says the Times piece by Amanda Chicago Lewis, which ran on Sunday May 24 "conveyed an enormous amount of information but left out a lot, too. I was hoping she'd tell how Cannacraft trademarked Project CBD and turned it into a PR arm of the company." Cannacraft is a Santa Rosa company said to be worth $300 million. Their brands include Care By Design and AbsolutExtracts. The owners of the Press Democrat are major investors.
WHY GO BACK?
Why does restoring the economy have to be done on the backs of the poor? Instead, let’s “tap the brakes” on the obscene distribution of wealth in our country. Let’s “hit the pause button” on a growth-based economy that is unsustainable on its face. Why print trillions of dollars so we can all crawl back to a structure that guarantees poverty, warms the planet and can’t be sustained?
How many pandemics will it take for us to finally get it right?
CITY LIGHTS BOOKS side entrance, 1965
MEAT: TO EAT OR NOT TO EAT?
by Jonah Raskin
Meat is the enemy! That’s the mantra I hear these days from nearly all sides of the political spectrum. In The New York Times author, Jonathan Safran Foer, recently wrote, “We cannot protect our environment while continuing to eat meat regularly.” He added, “We cannot protect against pandemics while continuing to eat meat regularly.”
In the latest issue of the magazine, Columbia, which is published by my alma mater, the editors claim that COVID-19 started in the markets in Wuhan that sold wild animals such as pangolins, small endangered mammals whose meat is viewed as a delicacy and is eaten especially by wealthy Chinese. The editors also said that the virus might have been spread by hunters and poachers “involved in the illicit animal trade.” Maybe.
For most of my life, I’ve been told that raising animals is bad for the planet. One of my brothers has been a vegetarian for the past 50 years and won’t allow any beef, pork or lamb in his house. Grains, vegetables and cheeses keep him fit enough to bicycle from the Pacific Ocean side of San Francisco to the Bay side, and then to play handball and take a sauna at the South End Rowing Club.
When I’m at his Ocean Beach apartment, I eat what he eats and often feel deprived. As I have aged, I have eaten less meat than I did as a teenager when I lived on burgers, fries and shakes. I still enjoy a burger occasionally, bacon occasionally and a steak occasionally. When I do eat meat it’s usually from a local rancher and a friend who raises ducks, geese, lambs, pigs and chickens.
I call him “Roi.” His meat is not certified by the USDA. Indeed, it’s blackmarket meat which might be why it tastes so good, though his animals are grass-fed which adds to the richness of the flavor. The animals live healthy lives on a small ranch about a mile from my house. It’s an easy walk that I take a couple of times a week.
Roi’s ranch is the opposite of factory farming, which I believe is bad for humans and for animals, too. COVID-19 has revealed the evils of industrial slaughterhouses. Two Tyson plants in Iowa have been hot spots for the virus. Ditto for a Smithfield pork plant in South Dakota. Stay away!
All around me, many families raise animals which they slaughter and eat. Some friends say they “harvest” their livestock because “slaughtering” sounds barbaric. Some of them become fond of their pigs, which are pretty smart animals. Recently, I visited Roi’s ranch and watched him slaughter four lambs. Then I observed the “field butcher” skin the animals, gut them, remove the feet and store the carcasses at the back of his truck before taking them to his shop where he would cut them up.
Roi used a sharp knife to kill four lambs, three females and one male all of them between 12 and 18 months old. Roi doesn’t ever transport his animals to a slaughterhouse, which stresses them, he claims, and adversely affects the taste and the flavor of the meat. Mark O., the field butcher, arrived about 8 a.m. and worked steadily until about 10:30 a.m. “This is my whole life,” he told me. “I’ve been doing this ever since I was in high school in the 1970s. I learned by doing.” Mark travels all over northern California to ply his trade. He charged Roi $30 an animal.
That morning, Mark cleaned his blood-stained apron and washed down the carcasses with cold water from a hose. He kept his knife razor sharp. While he worked, he explained, “People around here used to be self-sufficient. They reared animals for food and they grew most of the fruits and vegetables they ate. The commercial system destroyed the mom and pop ranches.”
It did much the same all over the U.S.
COVID-19 has revealed the fissures in the U.S. food system. Over the last few months, more and more consumers have been joining food coops and CSAs for organic fruits and vegetables. Increasingly, consumers have been purchasing meat from ranchers like Roi, who tells me that men and women like him are “increasing production,” which means raising more animals. I hope so. We need more locally grown food.
Still, Roi’s not getting rich raising animals, nor is Mark O. becoming wealthy by slaughtering them. But they’re not in it for the money.
On the evening before Memorial Day, I BBQed some of the chops from one of Roi’s lambs. They were tender and juicy, and I felt good eating meat from animals I knew were humanely treated by a rancher who cares about the planet and who does all he can do to nurture the environment, and where he lives with his teenage daughter.
The COVID-19 epidemic has made me appreciate the meaning of “local” more than ever before. I’ve seen that “go local” can be more than a slogan and that people who want to eat healthy and protect the planet can buy meat and vegetables from small producers who live and work close to the land. I also have a small vegetable garden in my backyard. I’m growing tomatoes, lettuces, eggplants, herbs and squashes and look forward to harvesting and eating the fruits of my own labor. I’ll go on eating meat, but I won't live by meat alone. Pass the salad and the bread, please.
(Jonah Raskin is the author of “Field Days: A Year of Farming, Eating and Drinking Wine in California.”)
by James Kunstler
What “the Resistance” really fears more than anything is General Michael Flynn’s mouth. He’s been under a judicial gag order since his case went before Judge Emmet Sullivan’s federal district court. Understandably, Gen. Flynn wasn’t eager to complicate his unjust plight with a contempt citation. Judge Sullivan’s recent shenanigans have one object: to keep that gag order in force as long as possible. The moment Judge Sullivan confirms the DOJ’s move to dismiss the charges, as he is duty-bound to do, General Flynn will be free to offer his views to the public. That might be inconvenient in an election season.
I’m sure he has a lot to say. Gen. Flynn was head of the Defense Intelligence Agency for two years (2012 – 2014) under Barack Obama, and he knows a ton about every crooked operation Mr. Obama presided over, including the Benghazi fiasco, the Ukraine regime change op, and especially Mr. Obama’s hijacking of the NSA supercomputer surveillance database known as “the Hammer,” which was set up originally to track terrorists and then used by DNI James Clapper and CIA chief John Brennan to spy on Americans, most particularly Mr. Obama’s political adversaries. It’s rumored that Mr. Obama took the database with him when he left the White House, and it is said to contain great gouts of usefully damning information about just about everyone in government, including senators, congressmen, and Supreme Court justices.
Gen. Flynn became an antagonist to Obama & Co. when he objected to the nuclear deal they were cooking up with Iran and when he spoke out against the CIA’s 2013 Timber Sycamore op to arm and give money to Isis terrorists opposing Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. Mr. Obama canned Gen. Flynn in 2014. What really sealed Gen. Flynn’s fate was when he started publicly complaining about the politicization of John Brennan’s CIA. The New York Times quoted him saying, “They’ve lost sight of who they actually work for. They work for the American people. They don’t work for the president of the United States. Frankly, it’s become a very political organization.”
And a few months later, he jumped on Donald Trump’s campaign bandwagon. When he led the cheer “Lock her up” at the Republican convention, you can imagine how that gave the heebie-jeebies to a whole lot of other Deep State denizens besides She-Whose-Turn-Was-Foiled. And then, Lord have mercy, he was appointed to sit at Mr. Trump’s very elbow in the West Wing as National Security Advisor! Well, you can imagine the tremors that provoked. Gen. Flynn had declared his intention to completely reorganize, partially dismantle, and audit the intel community monster that had spread like a slime mold through the government. Mr. Brennan especially feared the audit part of the deal, since his agency regarded the billions of dollars that flowed in and out of it as just another one of its sacred secrets. Flynn had to be stopped.
So, John Brennan concocted the RussiaGate scam to put over the idea that General Flynn was an errand boy of Vladimir Putin — lock him up! — and for good measure, Mr. Trump probably was, too. Once they embarked on that grand misadventure, and enlisted the foolish James Comey and his FBI zealots to assist, the gang found themselves involved in a dangerous game of sedition, poorly thought out and executed desperately. And finally, by all that’s holy, the improbable Mr. Trump actually won the election, ensuring that he would be privy to every dark secret moldering in the vaults of the US government.
For three years, the whole wicked scheme has been slowly but steadily unspooling. The hapless (and perhaps senile) Robert Mueller was brought in to cap what threatened to become a political nuclear meltdown. We must suppose that Mr. Mueller was just a figurehead, and yet the supposedly brightest gang of Lawfare attorneys he enlisted — Weissmann, Van Grack, Rhee, Zebley, et. al. — absolutely blew it. They came up with zilch on Russian collusion, they muffed the attempt to nail Mr. Trump on an obstruction of justice rap (and watched helplessly as the inept Schiff & Nadler flopped fecklessly at impeachment), and now, having been exposed in the malicious prosecution of Gen. Flynn, they were forced to drop the case against him.
Finally, Judge Sullivan was recruited by The Resistance in a last-ditch effort to keep Gen. Flynn silent for a couple months more by ginning up an amicus circus that would invite a zillion bogus filings of briefs to be meticulously examined and argued, a pointless exercise in sound and fury. In doing so, he contradicted 25 of his own previous rulings against amicus filings by the defendant, and also moved in violation of a Supreme Court decision (Sineneng-Smith, 2020) and a DC Circuit case (Fokker Services 2016), as well as federal court rules against the use of amicus filings in criminal proceedings.
Now he has a few days to answer a mandamus motion from the US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit to cut the shit and do his bound duty in the case. I won’t rehearse the separation-of-powers argument, except to say that Judge Sullivan doesn’t have a leg to stand on, and will be lucky if he is not reprimanded by the higher court. He’s been played by the Lawfare gang and exposed as a useful idiot. They’ve tossed aside his personal honor like a banana skin. Gawd knows what else prompted him to lawyer-up.
The colossal melodrama of a sedition conspiracy is unspooling swiftly now. Before much longer, US Attorney John Durham will weigh in with something, whether it’s a mere report detailing gross abuses of power, or perhaps a string of hard indictments against the seditionists. With bales of evidence of their misdeeds now in the public domain, the various players must be turning on each other viciously now. There’s probably not enough room under the proverbial bus to throw anybody else. They’ll need a train.
Also, comically, FBI Director Christopher Wray opened an “internal investigation” last week to ascertain whether any current members of his agency engaged in any misconduct around the Flynn case. That’s cute. It only took him three years. Of course, most of the major perps have already been fired, Comey, McCabe, Strzok, Page. Why is Mr. Wray even still in that job, where his main occupation has been obstructing the release of court-ordered and congressionally subpoenaed documents?
You know what would be really a great move? Fire Chris Wray’s ass and replace him with outgoing Acting DNI Richard Grenell. Let Mr. Grenell just be Acting FBI Director for the statutory six months moving toward the election. Don’t even bother to nominate him and go through a senate confirmation. I bet a lot remaining information would get unstuck fast.
Oh, and get ready for Gen. Michael Flynn to speak. He might have a few interesting things to say. Not all of the news media will ignore him, and then those who do will have a lot to answer for about their long-running complicity in the criminal conspiracy to overthrow a president.
(Support Kunstler’s writing by visiting his Patreon Page.)
ON LINE COMMENTS OF THE WEEK
 Except this isn’t the flu – it is far more contagious and attacks bodily systems that the seasonal flu does not.
What freedoms have you lost??? What essential to life activities have you been denied from participating in??? You were able to go and purchase food, go to the pharmacy, obtain medical care, and walk your dog. So what freedom during a public health crisis have you lost? When did people become so inflexible that in the midst of a Pandemic you can’t stay the fuck in your house for a few weeks until the dust settles and to help the I.C.U. wards not be overrun? Do you really need a drink at the bar so badly that you can’t abstain from social-booze-ups until the curve is flattened? Are those dollar bills burning such a hole in your pocket that if you can’t get down to your local strip joint and start shoving cash into the g-strings of scantily-clad ‘dancers’ you might be driven to the edge of insanity???
Freedom, Freedom, Freedom my ass – You remind me of the brain-trusts running around waving their peashooters in State Capitals screaming about their Freedom draped in Confederate Flags and sportin’ Swastikas. How about this time the greater good Trumps your theoretical Freedom.
 “Trump fights problems, brings up issues, makes things happen.” A vague and frivolous statement. You might just as well have said, “Trump does stuff!” What has he accomplished, specifically – besides signing the same McConnell/Ryan tax cut and appointing the same judges that Jeb or Rubio would have? Have you noticed that he has appointed a bunch of donor billionaires and bankers (DeVos, Ross, Mnuchin) and lobbyists (wtf are their names anyway?) to his cabinet, to run the federal government? McConnell’s wife, for Chrissakes? Are trillion dollar deficits what you meant by “making things happen”? Because you couldn’t possibly have meant effectively fighting the pandemic. Hasn’t he just run his mouth for three-plus years?
 We live in the most interesting of times. Within the next three or four months, life as we know it will change, and I would expect not for the better. The changes will be organic…systemic. The center may or may not hold. There may be elections, there may not. The upcoming summer may be sporty beyond our usual expectations. Civil authority, rule of law, Constitutional protection…all things we take for granted, will most likely change. The social contract is about to be (I believe) broached. The infrastructure will be tested. Our worst fears of collapse will be proved or otherwise. All in the next three months. We will not suffer boredom.
 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 wands free stuff and they stand on state capitol 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.
 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.