- Warm Inland
- Hungry Kids
- Reopening Mendo
- Headlands Trail
- Negie Again
- Dr Colfax
- Windows Book
- Every Sunday
- Elk Oasis
- Pistol Whipping
- Greenwood School
- Ex Visit
- Lake Cleone
- Oscar Popped
- Mendocino Bluff
- Vehicular Assault
- Elk Parade
- Youth PTSD
- Grazing Sheep
- Census Work
- Greenwood Train
- Planning Agenda
- Ed Notes
- Yesterday's Catch
- Organic Farming
- After Floyd
- Hopland Church
- Stock Rebates
- Loading Logs
- Black Culture
- Budget Compromise
- Art Workshops
- Not 1968
- Inner Pathway
- Found Object
WARM AND MOSTLY DRY conditions will continue today through Thursday in interior areas, with cool conditions along the coast. Marine layer clouds will increase along the coast Wednesday and Thursday. Cooler, showery conditions are expected over the weekend, particularly on Friday. (NWS)
SUPERVISOR TED WILLIAMS on Leisure Travel Reopening:
Mendocino County is ramping up the reopening. Twelve industry guides published by the state last Friday will soon be reflected locally. I expect a general announcement tomorrow with an effective date of ~Friday. All of the sector categories are important to the people directly impacted, but leisure travel arguably has the greatest health and economic ramifications to our coastal region. With federal unemployment and other financial programs finite, it is not possible for our economy to remain closed for the duration of the pandemic. Lodging will bring thousands of visitors to our small towns. I fully understand the concern about potential fallout, but I believe we have a balanced plan and we will be ready to take the necessary steps should healthcare become overwhelmed.
Systems respond better to gradual change. I imagine lodging will be phased in, allowing for reassessment as we proceed. Latency elsewhere seems to be three to four weeks, so I imagine the first phase will last about one month. Lodging partners represent more than ownership of large visitor properties. They maintain a significant local workforce and provide customers to many local enterprises. In recent talks, it's become clear that they can act as our partner in visitor education. Although we are just now preparing to open for visitors now, it's not secret that visitors have been pouring in for weeks. I believe our lodging partners will be a tool to boost compliance with facial masks and other distancing protocols. This partnership may prove more effective at steering visitors towards voluntary compliance than any enforcement effort could achieve. Further, lodging understands the reality of future shutdowns should cases explode and I am convinced they'll work with the greater business community to make our reopening a success. Peer pressure.
Like all other businesses involved in the reopening stages, lodging will self certify. As part of this process, I imagine they will submit formal plans to detail site specific means of meeting the state and local requirements.
These requirements might include screening visitors for illness, allowing last minute cancellations and ensuring capacity to quarantine guests who become ill while here. I expect guests will sign a local requirements form and inns will report occupancy data in case we're forced to scale back. To meet the more rigorous cleaning standards, I expect 24 hours between guests and double that for vacation rentals. To ramp up more gradually, perhaps we'll see 66% of normal occupancy for hotels and three family unit visitors per month at vacation rentals. I know lodging has advocated for full open before the independence day weekend, but I see potential for public health to run the first phase from June 12 to July 10.
We're learning to live with COVID-19. For those with compromised health or unwilling to accept the risks involved in this experiment, there is no shame in sheltering like never before.
NOYO HEADLANDS TRAIL
THE USUAL SUSPECTS, COVELO DIVISION
On Thursday, June 4, 2020 at about 2:49 AM, while Mendocino County Sheriff’s Deputies were investigating an unrelated incident, Deputies located two vehicles parked in the roadway in the area of Ledger Lane and Hopper Lane in Covelo.
The vehicles appeared to possibly be involved in a traffic collision, which prompted the Deputies to stop and attempt contact.
As they approached the vehicles, Deputies activated their emergency lights so the occupants of the vehicles would know they were law enforcement.
Deputies observed that one of the vehicles was a Ford Mustang and observed a subject they knew from prior contacts as being Negie Fallis, 39, of Covelo, sitting in the driver’s seat.
Deputies exited their patrol vehicles and started to approach on foot.
As the Deputies got closer to the Ford Mustang, Fallis put the vehicle in reverse and started to leave the scene. Fallis backed the vehicle into a driveway of a nearby residence.
Deputies knew Fallis to be on Post Release Community Supervision (PRCS).
Fallis appeared to be fleeing the scene, therefore Deputies pursued him on foot.
As the Deputies got closer, Fallis accelerated rapidly backing deeper into the property but quickly ran out of terrain and came to a stop at the far west corner of the property.
Deputies illuminated the vehicle with flashlights and were clearly able to identify the driver as Fallis who was the sole occupant of the vehicle.
Fallis has prior convictions for carrying firearms and is on PRCS for Felon in possession of a firearm.
Deputies observed Fallis reaching down towards the driver’s side floorboard of the vehicle. Deputies feared Fallis was either trying to hide or reach for a firearm, so they directed him to exit the vehicle at gun point.
Fallis was verbally ordered out of the vehicle several times before complying with the Deputies verbal commands. Once Fallis exited the vehicle he was placed in handcuffs without incident.
Fallis' PRCS terms stated he is subject to search anytime by law enforcement and to obey all laws.
A search of Fallis' vehicle was conducted by Deputies. They immediately observed a glass methamphetamine smoking pipe in the center console of the vehicle, which was in plain view.
Deputies also located a loaded Glock Model #23 Semi-Automatic .40 caliber handgun underneath the driver's seat. Deputies later confirmed the handgun was previously reported stolen out of Lake County.
Deputies continued the search of the vehicle and located a Ruger Mini-14 rifle in plain view behind the front passenger seat. The rifle had been converted into an assault rifle and found to be loaded.
Fallis was evaluated and determined to be under the influence of a controlled substance.
Fallis was arrested on charges of Violation of Post Release Community Supervision, Felony under the influence of a controlled substance while armed, Felon in possession of a firearm, Possession of ammunition by a prohibited person, Carrying a loaded firearm in public or in a vehicle, Possession of an assault weapon, and Felony possession of a stolen firearm and booked into the Mendocino County Jail where he was to be held in lieu of $75,000 bail.
ED NOTE: Negie Fallis remains the one and only suspect in the kidnapping and subsequent disappearance of Khadijah Britton)
AV VILLAGE MONTHLY ZOOM GATHERING: COVID19 in AV with Dr Drew Colfax
Join us on June 14 from 4:00 - 5:00 on Zoom (meeting details below)
Dr. Drew Colfax will share his extensive knowledge and experience with the COVID-19 in Mendocino County to guide AV Village members in navigating Stage 2.5 of the Pandemic. At a point when we are all weary of sheltering in place and would like to resume a more socially normal life, what counsel does Drew have for us to stay safe, stay well and stay sane?
Participants will be muted but can submit questions through the chat feature or ahead of time by email (email@example.com)
Please RSVP (firstname.lastname@example.org) so we can get an idea of attendance thank you and let us know if you need tech support beforehand and we will arrange that.
Topic: AV Village June Gathering: COVID19 in AV with Drew Colfax
Time: Jun 14, 2020 04:00 PM Pacific Time (US and Canada)
Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 818 6988 7525
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Anderson Valley Village Coordinator
David Severn Writes:
Spurred by the murder of George Floyd and in solidarity with protests across America and even across the ocean, 17 Anderson Valley people came together Sunday at 12 noon to express their opposition to systemic racism coupled with police, often fatal, brutality towards people of color.
Not a bad turn out having only been noticed briefly on Facebook the afternoon before. It was agreed to return every Sunday at 12 noon until the matter is resolved.
Please, if you too are saddened and angered at the ongoing racist attitudes and treatment of people of color, join in and let your presence be your voice amplified in the growing roar for social justice for every human being in this country and on this planet, Earth.
A FAILURE TO COMMUNICATE
On Wednesday, June 3, 2020 at about 11:33 PM, Mendocino County Sheriff Deputies were dispatched to the Round Valley Tribal Police office to contact a person who reported he was kidnapped and robbed while in Covelo.
When Deputies arrived they contacted a 23 year-old male, and three other male subjects.
The 23 year-old male's brother-in-law translated for the male as he only spoke Spanish. Deputies learned the 23 year-old male and other listed victims (see above) all worked on a marijuana grow site in Covelo.
Deputies learned on 06-02-2020 at about 1:00 PM the owner of the property, identified as Emergene Phillips, 20, of Covelo arrived at the property in a Ford Edge.
Upon arrival, Phillips exited the vehicle and started yelling at the 23 year-old male and another of the listed victims. The 23 year-old male did not understand what Phillips was saying so he contacted his brother-in-law to respond to the location and translate for them.
The brother-in-law was reportedly told by Phillips that the 23 year-old male and one of the other listed victims owed Phillips thirty thousand dollars and that Phillips wanted the money.
Phillips was told the payment would not be possible until after the marijuana was harvested and sold.
Phillips retrieved a black colored rifle from the rear of the Ford Edge and fired it three times into the air while demanding payment.
Phillips was told that they did not have any money to give him and Phillips then pointed the rifle at the pair (23 year-old male and one of the other listed victims) before leaving a short time later.
On Wednesday, June 3, 2020 at about 8:00 PM, Phillips returned to the marijuana grow site with another subject identified as Leonard Whipple (AKA Ed Davis), 51, of Covelo.
The 23 year-old male attempted to run, but heard a gunshot and stopped. He turned around and observed Phillips holding a silver color handgun. Phillips started yelling, approached the 23 year-old male and hit him in the upper back twice with the pistol prior to pushing him to his knees.
Phillips pointed the gun at the 23 year-old male and told him to call his brother-in-law. During the call Phillips reportedly told the brother-in-law that he would shoot the 23 year-old male if Phillips did not receive the payment.
Phillips forced the 23 year-old male into the rear seat of the vehicle he and Whipple arrived in.
Phillips and Whipple drove around Covelo with the 23 year-old male while searching for the brother-in-law. Phillips called the brother-in-law several times demanding money or that he would kill the 23 year-old male.
Phillips later released the 23 year-old male on Airport Road and drove away with Whipple.
Deputies observed marks and bruising on the 23 year-old male's back which were consistent with the reported pistol whipping.
The area where the incident originally took place was processed for evidence. Deputies also checked the area for Phillips and Whipple but were unable to locate them.
Phillips was subsequently located in Covelo and arrested for the above listed charges. Phillips was booked into the Mendocino County Jail where he was to be held in lieu of $250,000 bail.
A report is being forwarded to the Mendocino County District Attorney's Office for consideration of charging Whipple for his part in the incident.
ANOTHER CANDIDATE FOR FATHER OF THE YEAR
On Thursday, June 4, 2020 at approximately 5:49 A.M. Deputies from the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office were dispatched to investigate a domestic violence dispute in the 5000 block of East Side Calpella Road in Ukiah.
On arrival, Deputies contacted a 37 year-old female and Deputies learned at 5:00 A.M. she was assaulted by her ex-boyfriend and the father of her child (Javier Mendez, 39, of Calpella).
Mendez came to her residence and an argument ensued. The 37 year-old female told Mendez she was going to call law enforcement.
Mendez then hit and kicked the 37 year-old female, causing her to fall to the ground. Mendez then hit the 37 year-old female's head against the ground, causing injury to her head, prior to leaving on foot.
Deputies searched the area for Mendez, but were unable to locate him. Deputies learned that Mendez was restrained from contacting the 37 year-old female by a served protective order and that he was on formal probation with terms including, but not limited to, not contacting the female.
As a result of their investigation, Deputies developed probable cause to believe Mendez was in violation of the listed charges.
On Friday, June 5, 2020 at approximately 11:00 A.M. Deputies observed Mendez at the Coyote Valley Casino in Redwood Valley.
Deputies contacted Mendez and arrested him Domestic Violence Battery, Felony Violation of Probation, Violation of Domestic Restraining Order.
Mendez was booked into the Mendocino County Jail where he was to be held in lieu of $25,000 bail.
LAKE CLEONE (McKerricher State Park)
OSCAR'S LAST RIDE (for now)
On Thursday, June 4, 2020 at approximately 11:51 P.M. Deputies were investigating an assault with a motor vehicle case in the 600 block of Talmage Road in Ukiah.
During their investigation, Deputies contacted Oscar Bernal, 31, of Ukiah and questioned him about the assault. While talking to Bernal, Deputies observed the ignition assembly in the vehicle he was driving appeared to be altered.
Deputies checked the registration of the vehicle and were advised the vehicle was stolen out of Cloverdale, California.
Bernal was determined to be in possession of the vehicle and could not provide any paperwork for the vehicle. A records check revealed Bernal was on felony probation out of Mendocino County.
Bernal was arrested for Possession of Stolen Vehicle and Felony Violation of Probation.
Bernal was transported to the Mendocino County Jail where he was asked if he had any weapons or drugs in his possession. Bernal denied having neither weapons or drugs in his possession.
During the intake process, suspected methamphetamine was found in Bernal's pocket. Bernal was arrested for Smuggling Controlled Substance Into Jail.
Bernal was booked into the Mendocino County Jail were he was to be held in lieu of $10,000 bail.
The 30 year-old male owner of the stolen vehicle was contacted and responded to the scene where he re-took possession of the vehicle.
JULIE IN REVERSE
On Thursday, June 4, 2020 at approximately 10:42 P.M. Mendocino County Sheriff's Office Deputies were dispatched to the Talmage Bridge, located in the 600 block of Talmage Road in Ukiah.
The Deputies were dispatched to a reported assault with a deadly weapon incident with the deadly weapon being a motor vehicle.
On arrival, Deputies learned a 31 year-old female was reportedly standing outside of her vehicle, talking to her boyfriend when an acquaintance (Julie Legendre, 36, of Ukiah) pulled up in a vehicle.
A verbal argument ensued and Legendre began backing her vehicle towards the 31 year-old female. Legendre slammed on the brakes prior to hitting the 31 year-old female. Legendre did this two times until the 31 year-old female swung a wrench at Legendre's vehicle, breaking one of the passenger side windows.
Legendre then accelerated forward and hit the 31 year-old female with the driver's side fender and mirror of the vehicle. Legendre then collided with the 31 year-old female's vehicle prior to driving off.
The 31 year-old female was treated by medical personnel at the scene.
Deputies searched the Ukiah area for Legendre and her vehicle, with negative results.
On 06-05-2020 at approximately 7:00 P.M., Deputies located Legendre in the 1200 block of South State Street in Ukiah.
Legendre was arrested and booked into the Mendocino County Jail for Felony Assault With A Deadly Weapon - Not A Firearm, where she was to be held in lieu of $30,000.00 bail.
ELK ST. PAT’S PARADE
HERE YOU GO, CAMILLE
Below is information on the proposed Innovation Plan for Mendocino County.
This plan was originally shared on April 29, 2020. The final plan is attached to this email for review.
This plan is currently being considered for approval. Staff is currently preparing the analysis and recommendation, which will include a summary and analysis of any public comment received. Please take this opportunity to review the attached and provide your comments or letters of support/opposition to the contact indicated below no later than COB on Friday, June 12, 2020.
Project Name: Tech for Trauma
Project Amount: $800,000
Project Length: 5 years
This project will look to explore ways to increase engagement with youth and transition aged adults by utilizing virtual reality with the goal of reducing the high rate of post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety, and depression amongst the youth and TAY populations in their community.
To provide comment, please email the Commission at email@example.com or
contact Wendy Desormeaux at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please include the name of the INN Project in the Subject line.
Comments due by: COB Friday, June 12, 2020
FROM THE CENSUS MAN…
Census work: Hwy 128 today, Myers Flat, Pt. Arena next
This post is made in my personal capacity, not authorized by the U.S. Census Bureau, Dept. of the Interior.
Today I'm planning to work several specific places along Hwy 128 from Yorkville Ranch to Rancho Navarro, and maybe some Albion Ridge spots if there is time left. Tuesday I'm driving way up to Myers Flat in Humboldt, 4 hours of driving plus the time to work half the town. Wednesday I'll be back in Pt. Arena on the north side of town and its northern suburbs.
Thursday is the end of this particular census project updating the maps and leaving questionnaire packets.
Many folks in the outback have already responded online or by mail. The census doesn't tell me which ones. If I leave you a packet and you have already responded, you can dispose of it, or send it in anyway. But please don't pass it along to a friend at another location because it is already registered to your address and location.
If I arrive and you tell me you have already responded, I will thank you and will not waste a packet. Save a tree!
If you get your mail at your physical address, you should have received a mailing from the census months ago. However if you get mail at a PO Box, then census will NOT mail it to you but will send me or a co-worker to locate certain physical street addresses and leave reply packets.
To be clear, I am not asking for your census information or even your name. I'm just updating the existing census maps and leaving reply packets. It's up to you to mail in the form or respond online at the link provided inside the envelope.
The good news from my personal capacity viewpoint is that nobody has shot at me, so far, and nobody has been outright hostile. Maybe a little annoyed that I have shown up at their hidden, hard to find, remote pot gardens in the outback. But most people have been at least polite, most of them friendly, and some of them helpful when I ask: "Where the heck am I?" Even most of the dogs have been okay after they get over their initial shock at being invaded by a stranger.
My co-workers and I are all jamming to meet Thursday's deadline. We may be working until sunset, around 8:30 PM.
I'm looking forward to some time off and getting my other work caught up when this census project ends.
There will be another census project starting next week for Non Response Follow Up or NRFU in census-speak. The way these government bureaucracies love acronyms, I'll probably soon be telling them STFU.
MENDO PLANNING COMMISSION AGENDA for June 18, 2020, is posted on the department website at: mendocinocounty.org/government/planning-building-services/meeting-agendas/planning-commission
Please contact staff with any questions.
Commission Services Supervisor
Mendocino County Planning & Building Services
860 North Bush Street, Ukiah CA 95482
My Direct Line: (707) 234-6664
Main Line: (707) 234-6650
DISBAND POLICE FORCES? Hmmm. If it's put to a vote in black communities I doubt it'll fly since black people are victimized by criminals out of all proportion to their numbers in the society. The average black person probably wants more police, not fewer, not that I would know having been out of touch with black communities for some years now.
THERE ARE POLICE FORCES and there are police forces. Those that tolerate psycho cops, like the Minneapolis department evidently, need smart, humane people at the top of them, and where it doesn't exist, blame rightly belongs with the civilian government, which, also evidently, Minneapolis is deficient of. The ancient cliche about cops is that ten percent are saintly, ten percent represent an ongoing threat to public safety, eighty percent can go either way depending on who's in charge. If the in-charge cop is weak or incompetent or maybe even 5150, the whole department except its saints gets outta hand.
AOC and other lefties who want to divert funds from the Endless War Department are on the right path, that if black lives and everyone else's at the bottom of the economic pile are going to matter there's got to be massive injections of funding for strategies that create social stability, if it's still possible. An FDR-like public works program, along with UBI, single-payer, free daycare, free education and so on would do wonders, and is the kind of thing Democrats once stood for, but highly unlikely with a Biden government.
A COMMON argument for Biden from professional Democrats is, "Yeah, yeah. He's out of it and reactionary as hell, but he'll surround himself with good people." Names!
A LOT of the idiotic comment on the police from the libs is helping to guarantee the re-election of The Orange Monster. Minneapolis' City Council president Lisa Bender is for disbanding the city's police department. She said on Monday that people expecting help from the cops "come from a place of privilege," that she and her colleagues are already working on "community-based safety strategies about how to shift some 911 calls to crisis and mental health workers."
TRUMP isn't always wrong. His description of Colin Powell as an "over-rated stiff" seems accurate enough, and also fits most presidential cabinets going back to Truman.
OTHER BREAK-THROUGH IDEAS out of Minneapolis include "restorative justice," defined as "meetings" between perps and vics. O yea. And huggsies all round even if you don't get your stuff back. Especially if you don't get your stuff back.
IF TV SETS all come with closed captioning, why do we have to endure these grimacing, contorting, distracting sign language interpreters who now come with every televised public event?
GARDEN NOTES. I don't have a garden so much as I do a small wilderness plot I call a garden, an experimental garden you might say if you're being kind, and if a tangle of random plantings over the past five years can be called a garden in the usual sense. But jammed willy nilly into a small area it's worked out, at least to my low-standard satisfaction because it produces year-round color. Why, why, why… if Monet himself happened on it, and didn't look too closely and was kinda warming up…
TOM AKIN put in a small cactus garden for me here at the ava a couple of years ago, and I can't tell you how much enjoyment I've gotten from it in the form of flowers I'd never seen before on cacti. Never properly thanked the guy for his great gift that keeps on giving me bursts of unexpected beauty.
ON THE SUBJECT of floral delights, Jan the Mail Lady, in the full flush of her retirement, stopped by the other day with a bouquet of peonies, pink peonies, the only time pink is acceptable to me in floral form other than the mid-summer outbursts of pink ladies and a climbing rose here and there. I've always wondered why more people around here didn't plant peonies. They're so easy to grow even I have red ones I've managed not to kill, and have always intended to grow more.
CATCH OF THE DAY, June 7, 2020
RILEY ANDERSON, Ukiah. Burglary, false ID.
MICHELLE COTTON, Willits. Domestic abuse, trespassing, child abandonment/neglect, resisting.
TOMAS FERNANDEZ-RODRIGUEZ, Ukiah. Domestic battery.
LUIS PINEDA, Fort Bragg. Controlled substance, probation revocation.
JOHN RIDLEY, Boonville. Domestic abuse.
RICHARD SUGGS, Ukiah. Parole violation.
MONIQUE VALADOR, Fort Bragg. Controlled substance, probation revocation.
ESMERALDA VELASQUEZ, Lucerne/Ukiah. DUI, suspended license (For DUI).
CHE, CHEZ & ROSS CANNARD: ORGANIC FARMING, SONOMA, CALIFORNIA
by Jonah Raskin
On an overcast Friday morning near the end of spring, Juan Umaña rolled up his shirt sleeves and went to work in a newly ploughed field with rich black soil on an organic farm in Sonoma County, California, an hour or so North of the Golden Gate Bridge. Born and raised in Colombia, with a tattoo of Che Guevara on his right arm, Umaña would normally be at work at Chez Panisse—Alice Waters’ flagship Berkeley restaurant—where he prepared sumptuous meals for foodies who arrived from all over the world and wanted their taste buds to be delighted.
But these are not normal times. Umaña’s life has taken a turn he hadn’t expected a short while ago. Now he’s not working with kitchen utensils, but rather with farm implements. Yes, he’s laboring in the fields on a farm, but don’t call him a farm worker, at least not yet. Most of the Latino farm workers I have known and worked with have not spoken English as well as he, and none of them ever boasted a tattoo of Che Guevara, the Argentinian born guerrilla, who would approve of the guerrilla-style farming that’s taking place in an environment where grapes, vineyards and wine dictate many of the daily patterns of life and death in Sonoma.
Why is it guerrilla-style farming? Because it’s bucking big, corporate agriculture that relies on big machines, and that chews up and spits out workers all day long. Also because it builds soil rather than depletes it. You might call that revolutionary or at least radical.
With his hands on his hips and a smile on his face, Umaña tells me, “Che would be totally behind what we’re doing here. It’s not socialism, but it’s socialistic. We are connecting with the land and with agricultural labor. We’re seeing where the produce we cook with actually comes from.”
That’s new and different in the northern California foodie world that gets behind the slogan, “farm to table,” but where kitchen workers and farm workers rarely if ever connect except on rare occasions like July 4th and May 5th. Indeed, the men and women who toll in the sun rarely link up with the men and women who make sauces, salad dressings and pastries. Umaña is getting a crash course in agriculture, from the ground up, and he’s learning by doing.
He and his pals drop the “Panisse” part of the name and call the restaurant “Chez,” which rhymes with Che, who would enjoy the diversity of crops and the quality, too, on this small, organic farm on a rugged side of Sonoma Mountain where more than a century ago Jack London raised organic vegetables, reared pigs and horses and wanted to create a cooperative community. Alas, he died at the age of 40 in 1916 before he could translate his dream into reality.
Except for the sounds of the tractors, it’s quiet and calm, so quiet and calm that one might forget that the U.S. looks like it’s on the brink of civil war, or at least civil unrest the likes of which has rarely been seen.
If Che had wanted to launch guerrilla warfare in the U.S., Sonoma Mountain, with its steep hillsides, thick vegetation and running streams, would be as nifty a place as any. A guerrilla army would be able to live off the fat of the land for a good part of the year. In fact, the organic farm where Umaña is working boasts old fruit trees—apples, cherries, peaches, apricots, and plums— plus blackberries that are still producing abundant fruit. There are herds of deer and wild turkeys, too, that feed on the cultivated crops and can cause havoc. There are also wonderful plants that grow wild, such as amaranth, dandelions, purslane and chickweed.
For the last several months, COVID-19 has shuttered Chez Panisse. The kitchen and the dining rooms, both upstairs and downstairs, have been nearly as empty as Yankee Stadium has been during the pandemic. Never eager to be idle, Umaña, along with his pals from South America, have come to Sonoma to plant, cultivate and harvest and to enjoy being in the outdoors, not in the kitchen at Chez.
The farm that I’m visiting this morning probably has a name, though there is no sign at the entrance on Sobre Vista Road—with vineyards on all sides—or on any of the barns or structures which dot the landscape. Ross Cannard, the man who is in charge of the operation, is the son and grandson of farmers and teachers who changed the landscape of agriculture in Sonoma and beyond over the past fifty years. Ross has the weight of the past on his shoulders, though he wears it lightly, and he’s delighted that cooks and kitchen workers from “Chez” have come to lend helping hands. For a while it seemed like Ross would become an academic; then he saw the handwriting on the wall and decided to follow the path his father and grandfather carved out, albeit on his own terms.
Before COVID-19 struck, Ross sold his produce to Alice Waters. With the arrival of the pandemic, he had to change his marketing and do it fast or go broke. He created a CSA and now he provides consumers with boxes of fresh, organic produce. They’re happy to have it. Crops, like strawberries will arrive as spring moves into summer and then as fall arrives with a bang. September and October are usually the busiest months of the year for farming in these parts.
So far the CSA has been the salvation of the farm. “With COVID-19 the big food chains fell down,” Ross tells me. “In many cases, local food systems have filled the gaps. I think it’s good to have produce that’s grown a few miles from where you live.” Consumers like to know where their produce originates and the name and identity of the farmer who grows it.”
Ross has learned heaps from his father, Bob. Indeed, he relies on Bob’s advice almost everyday, but he’s not a slave to tradition. In many ways he’s overturning his father’s practices. Last year, his first year of farming on Sobre Vista, Ross used most of his father’s methods.
“It’s good to listen to the old fogies,” Ross told me. “But my dad has had some crazy ideas.” I’ve known Bob Cannard to grow acres of beets because he likes the way they look in a field, even though he doesn’t know where he’ll sell them. Ross appreciates the concept, though he wants to be able to sell what he grows, pay the workers and stay in business. His father didn’t and still doesn’t want to own any property. Ross wouldn’t mind owning the land on Sobre Vista. In fact, it would make him feel a tad more secure in these trying times.
Bob Cannard didn’t use a timer on his irrigation system. Ross put one in. Bob’s mantra was “simplicity.” Ross is embracing complexity. Bob didn’t trellis his tomatoes. Ross does. Bob didn’t aim to eliminate weeds. Ross wants to have more control over them. Bob was against refrigeration. Ross has instilled a “Coolbot,” a relatively simple method to keep vegetables fresh even on the hottest of days. He also keeps more thorough and detailed records than his dad.
Ross tells me, “Having a plan and sticking to it is the single most important thing. It’s the hardest part of farming.”
Dan Alterman—one of Juan Umañ’s co-workers from Chez—is also lending a hand at the farm. Born and raised in Buenos Aires, he worked as a chef at elite restaurants in Argentina before coming to the U.S. 18 months ago. At Chez, where the menu changed everyday, Alterman made salads and pastas and grilled meats. “It was sad for all of us when the restaurant had to close,” he tells me. “Here on the farm I’m learning how much work it takes to grow crops. I see the whole picture. We add compost, we plant and we harvest.”
After visiting with Ross and the laborers from South America, I stopped at “Paul’s Produce” and talked to Paul himself. Along with Bob Cannard, he’s one of the most respected farmers in northern California. Paul grows for the farmers’ markets in the town of Sonoma. When I suggested that small local farms were doing great, he told me, “Some are and some aren’t.” The CSA model is a step in the right direction, but it won’t end hunger in California or feed the poor.
Small local organic farms don’t produce enough food to feed hungry families in Sonoma County and beyond. The vegetables and fruits are too expensive for most working class and even middle class families. Still, Paul’s Produce and the farm on Sobre Vista are models that show what could be done if corporations didn’t control agriculture and the food industry.
You won’t hear anyone at Tyson Foods saying what Ross told a group of students in one of my classes at Sonoma State University: “If our civilization is going to endure we’re going to have to see ourselves as a part of nature, not separate from it. At the end of the growing season, we want the soil to be as rich and as healthy as it was when we started.”
I would eat well at the end of the day. Paul Wirtz waded into his lush fields, harvested beets, turnips and celery and sent me on my way. Che would approve of his generosity.
(Jonah Raskin is the author of For The Hell of It: The Life and Times of Abbie Hoffman and American Scream: Allen Ginsberg’s ‘Howl’ and the Making of the Beat Generation.)
REQUIEM FOR GEORGE FLOYD
by James Kunstler
The occasion of the state funeral for the late George Floyd — rivaling the solemn progress of Abraham Lincoln’s casket across this land at lilac time so long ago — may be a good time for Americans to take stock of what condition our condition is in. Going on a fortnight of protests, riots, and looting, what exactly does black America seek in its cry for an end to systemic racism? Forgive me for saying the petition is vague. I’ll have to tread into realms of discourse that are taboo these days, so gird your loins if you care to follow.
Is there a campaign of police genocide against black people? The facts and numbers say emphatically no. (They’re discussed in detail in many articles by Heather MacDonald at City Journal.) Is it true that “black people aren’t heard”? If you follow The New York Times, America’s “newspaper of record,” that’s all you will hear. Has justice been denied in the killing of Mr. Floyd? Four cops have been swiftly arraigned on grave charges. Are black people denied the privilege of governing their own affairs? Many cities are run by black mayors, police chiefs, and district attorneys where, year by year, social dysfunction has only gotten worse.
Is a substantial portion of the black population not thriving in comparison to whites and other racial or ethic groups? Apparently so. The only truly systemic dynamic in their plight is the campaign by government, ongoing for more than fifty years, to uplift them with social programs, cash assistance, and affirmative action, plus monuments, prizes, and holidays, and very vocal public encouragement from “allies” in media, entertainment and sports. All this “help” only seems to make the problems worse.
It’s beyond obvious after a half a century and trillions of dollars spent that well-intentioned government support destroyed black family formation. Seventy-five percent of black children are raised these days in households without fathers because cash assistance is forbidden where there is “a man in the house.” Everybody knows the problem is generational and severe. Paying unmarried women (often just girls) to have babies can easily be seen as leading to many social disadvantages. Who is militating to change that — say, to allow cash assistance to married couples? Nobody, most particularly black America. Why? Because it’s an established racket, a hustle, a pattern of living, complete with customs and rituals, such as giving over young black men to prison as an initiation to manhood. Why are they sent to prison? Because they commit crimes.
The bamboozlement over this was especially vivid last week in the contrast between the sanctimony of the daytime protest marches and the nighttime looting, vandalism, and arson, of which there are hundreds of videos on the web, showing young black Americans acting like savages. The police all over America didn’t dare try to stop it lest they produce a new martyr to aggravate the insurrection. No plea arose from leaders in black communities across the land to stop the disgraceful behavior. It was not even recognized as disgraceful, rather regarded as a necessary ceremony for purging the bad feelings over George Floyd’s gruesome death at the knee of officer Derek Chauvin.
Why not try succeeding at school rather than prison? School has different requirements. I will venture an idea which is not just taboo, but taboo to an extreme: many black children cannot succeed in school because they do not speak English correctly at home and the schools have, as a definite policy, done nothing to correct that because it would be labeled as “racist.” If your language dispenses with grammatical form — such as the difference between the expression of past, present, and future — you’re liable to suffer cognitive disadvantages which result in doing poorly at school. You may even be incapable of showing up on time for anything.
The number one job in elementary school should be teaching children first to speak English, because without it, they’ll struggle to learn anything else. But we’re not interested. It might hurt someone’s feelings to learn that his or her speech is deficient. It might anger a parent to hear that. So, we choose to let the children fail. It’s a choice we make by consensus. Here’s some news for you: multiculturalism is itself a form of racism that ghettoizes language. Do you want that to continue? Are you really interested in change? Change that. Start there.
This points to a deeper and more fundamental question: Does black America really want to fully participate in our national life, or do they want to remain an oppositional faction within it, dependent, resentful, and violent? The George Floyd fiasco has distracted the country from the most severe economic crisis of the century, so far. Do you understand how much thought and effort it will take to reorganize America’s economic life? We are not going back to the way things were before the year 2020. A lot of familiar arrangements will not continue. Comforts and conveniences are phasing out. We don’t have time for histrionics. Can we please just respectfully bury this troubled man and get on with the tasks at hand?
(Support Kunstler’s writing by visiting his Patreon Page.)
ST. FRANCIS CATHOLIC CHURCH, HOPLAND
GOVERNOR CUOMO: AVOID BUDGET CUTS BY NOT REBATING STOCK SALES TAX TO WALL STREET!
by Ralph Nader
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo is basking in the popularity of his meticulous Covid-19 news briefings and simultaneously predicting a pandemic-driven $61 billion state deficit over four years. Astonishingly, the Governor electronically rebates an existing tiny stock transfer sales tax back to Wall Street. This stock transfer sales tax, bringing in an estimated 13 to 16 billion dollars a year, would reduce forthcoming budget cuts in health, education, transportation, and other safety nets.
No Governor in the country has the luxury of simply keeping very significant tax revenues that are already collected to avoid cutting necessities of life. Yet Governor Cuomo has supported these rebates for the past ten years, as have previous New York state Governors all the way back to 1981 when this early 20th-century tax stopped being retained in the state’s treasury. As much as a staggering $250 billion dollars has been immediately returned to the stockbrokers over that time period.
Bear in mind, a fraction of one percent of this tiny sales tax is paid by the investors buying stocks, bonds, and engaging in massive volumes of derivative speculation. Since the great bulk of trading is conducted by upper-income people and large companies, this sales tax, unlike the regressive 8 percent sales tax ordinary New Yorkers pay when they buy from stores, is progressive in its impact.
So why hasn’t the media taken this eminently timely and newsworthy story to the people? I’ve been explaining this surrender to Wall Street for years. Most recently, given its timeliness, calling up reporters and columnists of major press outlets, but to no avail; with the exception of the Buffalo News. This indifference is inexplicable. After all, Governor Cuomo regularly talks about drastic budget cuts.
Well, a new factor may change this equation. Blair Horner, a longtime, prominent director of the New York Public Interest Research Group (NYPIRG), an influential university college student-funded civic advocacy group is now on the case.
On May 28, 2020, Mr. Horner held a virtual news conference in Albany, presented a letter signed by over fifty labor, consumer, women’s, educational, minority, health, taxpayer, elderly, and justice organizations – all calling on the Governor to keep the many billions of dollars from the stock transfer tax. The number of New York groups supporting this proposal will only grow. Attentively advanced by the seasoned Horner and his team, a detailed news release was distributed and several speakers, including me, briefly spoke. At question time, only a Newsday reporter asked about Wall Street’s reaction.
A half-hour later, no reporter asked Governor Cuomo during his long daily briefings about keeping the collected revenues. The next day there was no media coverage of this event and the benefits the revenue could have for communities whose members will be bearing the brunt of avoidable service cuts and job losses.
Everyday New York state rebates about $40 million to an upper-economic class, already further enriched by Trump’s 2017 tax bonanza. Nor have these privileged plutocrats shared, via a wealth tax, a fraction of the sacrifice of New York’s 2.2 million front-line Covid-19 workers. Shameful!
Bills mandating the retention of this stock sales tax are already in the state legislature. A prime sponsor, Assemblyman Phil Steck believes that there will be overwhelming left/right support in the polls.
However, the legislature’s leaders await the signal from a thus far reluctant Governor Cuomo. But not, I suspect for long.
With Wall Street’s Robert Rubin and Michael Bloomberg coming out for a financial transaction tax (thanks probably to the Bernie Sanders movement), can the son of Mario Cuomo be much far behind?
See the Coalition release, letter to Governor Cuomo, and the New York State Assembly and Senate bills to stop the rebate of the stock transfer tax at https://nader.org/ny-stock-tax/
(Ralph Nader is a consumer advocate, lawyer and author of Only the Super-Rich Can Save Us! )
ELK CREEK LOADING CARS
"WE, LIKE THOSE who opposed the long night of communism, no longer have any mechanisms within the formal structures of power that will protect or advance our rights. We, too, have undergone a coup d'etat carried out not by the large stone-faced leaders of a monolithic Communist Party, but by our largely anonymous corporate overlords. George Orwell wrote that all tyrannies rule through fraud and force, but that once the fraud is exposed they must rely exclusively on force. We have now entered that era of naked force. There are no excuses left.
Either you join the revolt or you stand on the wrong side of history. You either obstruct through civil disobedience, the only way left to us, the plundering by the criminal class on Wall Street, and accelerated destruction of the ecosystem that sustains the human species, or become the passive enabler of a monstrous evil. You either taste, feel, and smell the intoxication of freedom and revolt, or sink into the miasma of despair and apathy. You are either a rebel or a slave."
— Chris Hedges
ON LINE COMMENT OF THE DAY
There has been a systematic destruction of USA black culture since the 1960s
One way was the wrecking ball put to the black family, by paying black mothers hugely, if there was no man in the house
And then there is the role models for black people, pumped out by Hollywood … the Blaxploitation films starting in the 1970s, starting with offerings such as ‘Shaft’ and ‘The Mack’, idolising gunmen and pimps
And then starting in the 1980s, we had the ‘gangsta’ music songs and videos, continuing well into the present day, giving glamour to crime
And then we have the real hidden horror of the US justice system, which often doesn’t care if the black person arrested for the crime, is the actual one who did it … a soft-target is picked up and railroaded, often on bogus evidence by a snitch trying to avoid being prosecuted for his own crime … whilst the real criminal is left on the streets
And then the young black is railroaded into a plea bargain, by a corrupted ‘public defender’ lawyer who is threatened if he doesn’t play along, the lawyer saying ‘Look, I know you’re innocent but if you go to trial you get 50 years, if you admit guilt you’ll only get 5’ … and then the judge gives 10 years, and there is no practical appeal against the whole fraud upon the court
So young blacks are effectively told they are probably going to be arrested and jailed at some point, whether they commit crimes or not … so they may as well have some fun whilst waiting to get arrested
That’s been the USA for young blacks, gangsta role models and a judge-lawyer system corrupt up to the rafters
There should be no surprise the USA is exploding
“MUTUALLY REPUGNANT:” GOV. NEWSOM AND LAWMAKERS PURSUE BUDGET COMPROMISE
The two sides are negotiating California's budget compromise amid surging unemployment, greater needs and a deficit of up to $54 billion.
11 CREATIVE ONLINE WORKSHOPS IN JUNE & JULY
Zoom Art Workshops from the Comfort of Your Home
Instructor: Rebecca Wallace
BASICS OF STILL LIFE
June 13-15, 2020 (Today is the last day to register for this class!)
Instructor: Larry R Wagner
CREATING PHOTOGRAPHIC ART: THE INGREDIENTS OF GREAT DIGITAL PHOTOGRAPHY
June 20, 27 & July 4, 11, 2020
Instructor: Deena S. Ball
INTRODUCTION TO WATERCOLOR
June 22, 24, 26, 2020
Instructor: Jacqueline Sullivan
FINDING OUR MUSE
June 22, 24, 29 and July 1, 2020
Instructor: Peggy Magovern
MENDOCINO BOTANICALS IN MIXED MEDIA
June 27-28, 2020
Instructor: Bette Barnett
STEEL AND GOLD: CREATIVE EXPLORATIONS IN MIXED METALS
June 29, 30 & July 1, 2, 3 & 6, 2020
Instructor: Deena S. Ball
LOOSE, DYNAMIC, VIBRANT WATERCOLOR LANDSCAPES
June 30 & July 2, 7 & 9, 2020
Instructor: Ellen Howard
PAINTING THE BEAUTY OF THE MENDOCINO COAST
July 6, 8, 10 & 11, 2020
Instructors: Pam Haunschild & Eve Margo Withrow
EXPRESSIVE WATERMEDIA TEXTURES
July 6, 9, 13 & 16, 2020
Instructor: Ian Hazard-Bill
HANDLES, LIDS, SPOUTS: THE SIGNS OF A GOOD POTTER
July 7, 9, 14, 16, 21, 23, 28 & 30, 2020
Instructor: Ian Hazard-Bill
CREATIVE RISK TAKING
July 8, 10, 15, 17, 22, 24, 29 & 31, 2020
Mendocino Art Center
WHY TA NEHISI COATES IS HOPEFUL
The author of Between the World and Me on why this isn’t 1968, the Colin Kaepernick test, police abolition, nonviolence and the state, and more.
ON LINE COMMENTS OF THE WEEK
(1) Relationships with the police starting going downhill once they started getting all the military goodies. Folks picked up these dudes were going to war in serious way. With who? Why that would be you. That spelled the end of community policing in a big way.
The current crop of looters and budding arsonists is exactly what you get when the rule of law has taken a vacation. Why should they worry? Much bigger crimes happen without much of a penalty. Corporations pay a small fraction of their ill-gotten gains in fines and of course, nobody ever goes to jail.
(2) Within a couple weeks, the news cycle gets back in gear and focuses on some other thing, maybe back to Wuhan hysteria, or climate change, or if its slow— shark attacks then lo & behold in maybe 3-4 weeks there will be another video of some cop somewhere doing something violent to somebody– and the whole cycle restarts again– fires & looting & more violence. Then it’ll die down again for a couple weeks yet again, until maybe a week or two later yet another cop, in some other town, does something violent to someone, and the looting & violence, etc. starts again.. and over and over.
I think this is just the beginning. Overlaying all this, you have the possibility of extremist groups fighting each other, or fighting the police, or fighting the police together.
(3) I expected an all-out mob assault on the White House tonite [Sat] but so far it hasn’t happened. I think with the right leadership they could pull it off because if they could breach the fence I doubt if the Secret Service or the Marines would fire into the crowd with live .223 rounds. Security details could be overrun. I wouldn’t compare it to the British assault on the White House in 1814. Oh the Brits burned the White House and the rabble in DC tonite would burn the White House to the ground if they could. More like in 403 AD when Barbarians from the east breached the walls of Rome, which was essentially the end of the Roman empire. The city was stripped clean, and it was the beginning of the end for the City of Rome itself as the imperial city. I don’t see any leadership emerging here, no Spartacus, Robespierre, or Trotsky, just a lot of cardboard signs, stupid slogans, looting of luxury goods, senseless destruction and unfocused rage. ‘We are marching for change’, WTF does that mean?
(4) Here's a very straightforward study demonstrating white privilege beyond any reasonable doubt: "Job applicants with white names needed to send about 10 resumes to get one callback; those with African-American names needed to send around 15 resumes to get one callback." White privilege does not mean that every white person has had it easier than every black person. It does not mean that a white person has not had to work hard to get everything they have. It means that, in our society, people with white skin are not handicapped by their skin color in the same way that black people are handicapped by their skin color.”
LOVE, HEARTS, SPRINGTIME, VISIONARIES, SUNLIGHT & THE INNER PATHWAY!
Please don't miss this special Pivot Point interview on KZYX: Belvie Rooks and Dr. Fran Grace in conversation with Christy Wagner. This Wednesday, June 10 at 9 a.m.
As is the case with so many in these unsettling times, our hearts are breaking. It feels particularly important to pause and celebrate what's hopeful and inspiring, especially the magic, mystery, and beauty of the Mendocino community and independent publishing.
The Power of Love: A Transformed Heart Changes the World by Dr. Fran Grace, Professor of Religion and Ethics at the University of the Redlands recently won the Benjamin Franklin Award for Most Inspirational Book.
Belvie Rooks, who has lived in Mendocino on and off since the early 80's, is a writer and film producer. She is the author of I Give You the Springtime of my Blushing Heart: A Poetic Love Song, which she co-authored with her late husband poet Dedan Gills. Belvie and Dedan are also featured contributors in The Power of Love along visionaries ranging Dr. Hawkins, Huston Smith, the 13 Indigenous Grandmothers, Mother Teresa, longtime Albion resident Sunlight, and many others.
This program is a celebration of Mendocino, the Ben Franklin Award and local independent book publishing. Cypress House consultant Cynthia Frank worked with Inner Pathway and Belvie Rooks from manuscript through the recent award.
For a couple of weeks after June 10, it will be archived for downloading at http://jukebox.kzyx.org/
To honor Sunlight and her contribution to The Power of Love, Inner Pathway, is making a special KZYX donation offer (available from June 10 through June 21). Please listen to the program for details.