- Big River Beach
- Highway Collision
- George Chadwick
- Covid Hospitalizations
- First Death
- Mendo Stats
- Gittings Missing
- Cummings Coffee
- Mask Citations
- Manchester Station
- Ed Notes
- Yesterday's Catch
- Radical Left
- Gigantic Egos
- Train Station
- School Decision
- Landlord's Game
- Washington Greenbacks
- Dos Rios
- Mask Psychology
- Grundy's Restaurant
- Marijuana Clearing
- Hale's Grove
- Planning Agenda
- Main Street
- PA Election
- Train Station
- Bye Bye
- How Fun
- Snyder Time
- Enduring Austerity
- Found Object
NEAR NORMAL TEMPERATURES are expected in the interior through the week. Marine air and onshore breezes will keep coastal areas seasonably cool. (National Weather Service)
BIG RIVER BEACH
DRUNK CLOSES 101
On 07/06/2020 at approximately 1238 hours, Ian Worley was driving his 1982 Toyota Pickup southbound on US 101 just north of Cummings Road in Mendocino County. Nelson Cuberli was driving a 2019 Hyundai Accent northbound on US 101 north of Cummings Road. For reasons still under investigation, Worley lost control of the Toyota and traveled across the dividing section and into the northbound lanes. The Toyota collided with the Hyundai and both vehicles came to rest within the northbound lanes.
Ian Worley was arrested for suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol before he was taken to the Mendocino County Jail. Nelson Cuberli sustained minor injuries as result of the collision and was transported to Howard Memorial Hospital.
US 101 was closed at Cummings Road for approximately 2 hours for scene investigation and vehicle recovery. All traffic was diverted into the Cummings Road On and Off Ramps.
Caltrans, Calfire, Leggett and Laytonville Volunteer Fire Departments, Laytonville Ambulance and McCaffrey’s Towing assisted with traffic control and vehicle recovery. This collision remains under investigation by the California Highway Patrol Garberville Area.
A CAUTIONARY TALE
Public Statement From The Family Of George Chadwick, Sr.
"As the children and grandchildren of George Chadwick Sr, we would like to make a statement regarding his passing on July 1st, 2020.
Our father and grandfather passed away after a 7-week battle with the effects of Covid-19. In life, George was a strong, hard-working, physically fit 80-year-old veteran, karate instructor who walked several miles a day and was heavily involved in his church. He was well known in the community and loved by many. He was a strong, virile man who loved God, his family, his life, and his country
There are many questions involving the movement and progression of his battle with Covid-19. We are providing the following timeline of events. George contacted Covid-19 Sunday May 10th, 2020. He began showing symptoms Wednesday May 13th and tested positive May 15th. He went into immediate quarantine. His symptoms were monitored by Mendocino County Health Department and initially his stats were good. One week later on May 22nd, his oxygen saturation began dropping to danger levels and he was transported to Ukiah Valley Medical Center. One day after his arrival, he was placed in ICU. He would then spend 20 days in ICU at UVMC fighting for his life before being sent out to Kentfield for rehabilitation. George was at Kentfield from Wednesday June 10th to his death, Wednesday July 1st. From the initial testing to the final day of his life, he did continue to test Covid-19 positive. Though he was a strong man, he never recovered from Covid-19 and spent his last days struggling to breathe.
We understand that there are many questions and we simply do not have all of the answers at this time. As of this date, there has been no formal cause of death provided to us. We appreciate the support we have received from the community in our time of grieving. However, we are a very private family and ask that we be allowed to mourn our loss in peace."
COVID HOSPITALIZATIONS AT ALL-TIME HIGHS
Four months into the coronavirus pandemic, the Bay Area, California and the US overall are right back where we started with cases surging and hospitalizations at all-time highs.
Source: SF Chronicle (https://projects.sfchronicle.com/2020/coronavirus-map/)
MENDOCINO COUNTY’S FIRST CORONAVIRUS DEATH IS UKIAH MAN LINKED TO REDWOOD VALLEY CHURCH OUTBREAK
by Mary Callahan
An 80-year-old Ukiah man who died last week, nearly two months after he was first was diagnosed with COVID-19, appears to be the first Mendocino County coronavirus death.
George Chadwick Sr. died July 1 after weeks of hospitalization and, later, treatment at an out-of-county rehabilitation center in the community of Kentfield, according to the Marin County Office of Vital Statistics.
Chadwick was a member of the Redwood Valley Assembly of God Church, a church linked by local health authorities to an outbreak of coronavirus that infected at least nine people after a virtual service on Mother’s Day, when houses of worship across the state were closed.
Chadwick reportedly was in the church during the recording of the service, in which singing occurred. He developed symptoms on the Wednesday after the May 10 service and tested positive on May 15, his family said.
In a posting on Facebook, family members described Chadwick as a “strong, hard-working, physically fit” veteran and karate instructor who was very involved with his church.
Mendocino County will not be counting his death in its coronavirus statistics until it receives formal state notification, a necessary bureaucratic process to ensure no individual case gets counted in two counties, Mendocino County Chief Executive Officer Carmel Angelo said.
Angelo said she is aware there are members of the public who think for some reason the county, which has 92 COVID-19 cases so far, is trying to avoid claiming its first fatality. But she said the county has yet to receive notice of any kind from anyone other than journalists.
On May 11, the day after the Mother’s Day service, Jack McMilin, the pastor, and his wife, Sharon, who was part of the service, both tested positive. Jack McMilin, who is active on the church’s Facebook page and leading church services, was hospitalized but appears to have made a full recovery.
Chadwick initially quarantined at home but was hospitalized a week later and spent 20 days in intensive care in Ukiah’s Adventist Hospital before his transfer to Kentfield, his family said.
(courtesy The Press Democrat)
CURRENT COVID-19 STATISTICS FOR MENDOCINO COUNTY (July 6, 2020)
MAN MISSING OUT OF FORT BRAGG
Fort Bragg Man Missing Since Late June; Family and Law Enforcement Seek Public’s Help in Locating Him
Ann Gittings woke up in the early morning of June 27 to find her adult son Robert Gittings nowhere to be found. In the weeks preceding his disappearance, Ann said she was concerned for her son’s declining mental health. After he had been missing for several days, Ann reported her son’s disappearance to Fort Bragg Police Department.
Ann explained that the morning Robert disappeared, he came over to her home at approximately 4:00 a.m. to have breakfast. Ann described the property as a two-acre parcel south of Fort Bragg with Robert living in a home immediately adjacent to Ann’s. When she fully awoke at 5:15 a.m., he and his vehicle were gone.
Ann said Robert has never left home without notice for extended periods of time. Before his disappearance, Ann said Robert’s mental health appeared compromised. She had reached out to Mendocino County’s mental health resources but found them difficult to obtain due to COVID-19 closures.
Ann said she had contacted all of Robert’s known friends who expressed concern about his disappearance and joined in social media efforts to bring attention to finding Robert.
Sergeant Jon McLaughlin said Fort Bragg Police received the initial report regarding Robert’s disappearance on July 3. Based on the information the officer received, the department entered Robert’s information into a nationwide missing person database and issued a Be On the Lookout for his vehicle to California law enforcement.
As to potential locations of Robert Gettings and his vehicle, both Robert’s mother Ann and Sergeant McLaughlin expressed having no indications of where he might have gone at this point.
Sergeant McLaughlin described the department’s next investigatory steps include attempting to reinstate cellphone service to the phone Robert is known to carry in attempts to ping his location, reviewing Robert’s credit/debit/EBT card history to identify where he might have gone, and message Robert’s various social media accounts encouraging him to get in touch with law enforcement.
Being that the location Robert went missing from is not in Fort Bragg’s city limits, Sergeant McLaughlin said there is a possibility the case will be taken over by Mendocino County Sheriff's Office. He explained that the State of California requires the agency who first took the report of a missing person to conduct the initial investigation.
Robert Gittings is 29 years old, 5 ‘11’’, and approximately 260 pounds. He is described as wearing black pullover hoodies, pants or basketball shorts, and always a hat and black-rimmed glasses He drives a dark gray 2007 Scion TC Sedan (California License #5XMS399).
Sergeant McLaughlin asks that if anyone has information about Robert Gitting’s movements or location, please contact the Fort Bragg Police Department at (707)964-0200.
— Matthew LaFever, firstname.lastname@example.org
HUNDRED DOLLAR FINES FOR NOT MASKING UP?
Letter to Board for July 8th meeting
To: Mendocino County Board of Supervisors:
Carrie Brown, John McCowen, Ted Williams, John Haschak, Dan Gjerde
Re: BOS Meeting July 8th “Health Order Enforcement”
There is a consensus, at least on the Fifth District Facebook Page, that there needs to be enforcement of the Health Order. Specifically, for “facial coverings”. There are too many violations, both in businesses, and in the public at large, which put our communities at risk as the cases mount in the State and now our County. Time seems to be of the essence as Dr Doohan predicts that we are at the beginning of a surge with 53 hospitalization expected by the end of the month.
The question is what to put in place for enforcement. The State has made the violation of the Health Order a misdemeanor. Sheriff Kendall has said that he thinks that is too severe and seems to be unwilling to enforce it, if that is the penalty. The idea of an ‘infraction” has come up which Sheriff Kendall seems to think “fits the crime”. I think that this idea is good. The fine, in my opinion, needs to be enough to get people’s attention, (this is serious), but not excessive. I would think that a minimum of a $100 fine would be appropriate. You could “warn” people, you could try to “educate” people, but this is a quickly emerging Health Emergency and I don’t think there is time to “warn” or “educate”. I would make it simple: you violate the Health Order, you receive a “citation”.
There has been some discussion of creating a “citizens patrol” to encourage compliance. I do not think this is a good idea. The people who refuse to wear masks often have very strong views about their “rights” and I think it would take a “Badge” to get their attention.
State Law says that police “shall” enforce Health Orders and Sheriffs “may” enforce Health Orders.
My assumption is that the Cities: Fort Bragg, Willits, and Ukiah, are under the County wide Health Order and that their police departments are mandated by the State to enforce this Order. If there is uncertainty regarding this mandate and their obligation to enforce it, then perhaps the Board should consult County Counsel for a determination.
The Sheriff seems to have much more discretion as to enforcement. There appears to be no mandate for enforcement. He must agree to the concept. Sheriff Kendall has indicated that he would be willing to enforce the Health Order if the violation is an “infraction”.
Ted Williams has indicated that the State would pay 50% of overtime costs for the enforcement of the Health Order.
The Path Forward
If the Board votes for Enforcement via an “infraction” with fine, then I would then think a meeting with the County and City Governments would be needed in order to make sure everyone was on the “same page”, and that there were no “resistances” to moving forward in this way. What would then need to be worked out is allocation of resources (police, sheriff, code enforcement, etc.) to begin enforcement.
In closing, I think that passing the ordinance with infraction/fine is necessary in order to protect our communities, especially the areas of our County such as the Coast with many tourists visiting from points unknown. We must move on this “pre-emptively” and not wait unit we are in “crisis mode”.
BISHOP’S STANDARD STATION, MANCHESTER
A READER WRITES: "Would have high interest in your take on the Baldwin video should you get it. As I told my son I thought it was an anti-White polemic that seemed extreme, bigoted and stereotyped as the same crap the Black community has endured for centuries and I feel sure there are intelligent people across the board who would agree."
PRESUMABLY you are referring to the excellent film now on Netflix called "I Am Not Your Negro" based on an unfinished essay by James Baldwin and featuring lots of clips of Baldwin in action? I thought it was very interesting, and an irrefutably true presentation of both the facts and the only conclusion that can be drawn from the facts of four centuries of terror, cruelty and general abuse suffered by black people. Baldwin's prescient essay, The Fire Next Time, warned that unless there's serious remediation, which obviously isn't possible with either political party.....well, it's happening, the fire this time. I didn't get anti-white out of it. In fact, I've been surprised for years that more black people don't think like Farrakhan given the enormity of injustice they've endured. Baldwin is still the strongest voice black people have had and the warning voice white people at the power levers have ignored. But now that the whole show is coming apart I wouldn't bet on justice emerging from the ashes.
DUAL AWARD for Supreme Optimism goes to the young couple who not only bought the old Wildflower Motel in Point Arena but spent five years fixing it up, and plan to re-open it as a Japanese-style bistro in October of this year. The Wildflower, formerly the Sea Shell Inn until it was finally closed by the county, was the most exciting hostelry on the Mendocino Coast, maybe the most exciting on both coasts. Teeming with tweekers and any number of oddballs beyond even Mendo's infinite tolerance, and always rumored to also offer a variety of std services, the Wildflower still welcomed unsuspecting travelers, several of whom fled in the middle of the night when the merriment surrounding them reached fever pitch. We wonder if the present owners, Jeff Hanson and Laura Cover, did an exorcism when they took over. Anyway, good on them for bringing the place back to life, albeit a sedate one, and here's hoping they make a go of it.
WITH THE BUZZARDS circling our fragged county, now might be a good time to consolidate the schools into a single, county-wide district overseen by a single county superintendent of schools rather than all these mini-school districts with their individual and highly expensive administrative apparatuses. Wha...wha... what? How about our independence? What independence? The state dictates what and how the little savages learn, assuming against all the evidence they do learn something over 12 years of seat time, so there's no independence to lose, and a consolidated school system would save broke taxpayers some money. OK, maybe not one system, but how about consolidating adjacent school districts like Mendocino and Fort Bragg, Potter Valley and Ukiah, and maybe even Boonville and Ukiah. Laytonville, Leggett, Covelo, and South Fork could become one district, maybe called, The Outliers or Back Country Unified.
CATCH OF THE DAY, July 6, 2020
VINCENT BERTAIN, Ukiah. Burglary.
AARON GOMEZ, Laytonville. Domestic abuse, assault with deadly weapon not a gun, false imprisonment, criminal threats.
BRYAN GRIZZLE, Fort Bragg. Controlled substance for sale, suspended license.
CURTIS HALL, Ukiah. Domestic abuse, false imprisonment.
ANNE OCONNOR, Fort Bragg. Domestic battery, assault with deadly weapon with great bodily injury, battery, damaging communications device.
KURT POEHLMANN, Kenwood/Fort Bragg. DUI.
JUSTIN SETTLES, Fort Bragg. Protective order violation, paraphernalia.
RAUL TELLEZ-SANTOS, Ukiah. Resisting/threatening officer.
DAVID VARGAS-HERNANDEZ, San Mateo/Ukiah. DUI, no license.
ON LINE COMMENT OF THE DAY
I think this is off of the mark. Had Trump outright crushed Antifa and BLM then he’d be seen as a villain. Instead, he is allowing the Left to run wild and have a temper tantrum that the Independent voters want no part of. People aren’t dumb – they can see that, yes, a white cop killed a drug overdosed felon but they can also see that since that time, blacks have shot hundreds of their own. They are even killing their children.
Everyone but the radical left knows that Biden has dementia and would be nothing but a tool for klowns like AOC. Biden couldn’t ever tame the mob because that is his base of support. A vote for Biden is a vote to have your city burnt to the ground.
Imagine how horrible it must be to be an innercity black and watch privileged white cucks burn down and loot YOUR neighborhood in the name of racial equality? That certainly must sting.
Finally, minorities use police services much higher than, say, the people in my neighborhood. This is a fact. Defunding the police leaves the poor without any protection at all. Rape, murder and mayhem are off the charts in their neighborhoods. I can’t imagine that anyone with any sense sees this as a good thing.
Watching LA lit up with banned fireworks while the news reporters scream about $50,000 fines says it all. Everyone saw it.
IT WAS HARD TO IMAGINE how 2020 could deteriorate any further in America. The world's greatest superpower has been brought to its knees by a pandemic that's infected nearly three million people and killed 132,000, the worst recession in nearly a century that's cost tens of millions of jobs, the murder of a black man at the brutal knee of a racist cop that triggered mass protests dogged by violence and looting, and a vicious culture war erupting over much of the nation's history. It's felt recently like the whole country has gone into some kind of anaphylactic shock and nobody is quite sure how it will emerge. Then Kanye West stepped forward to metaphorically cry 'HOLD MY BEER, 2020!' and announce he is running for president. And I immediately realised I was wrong: things could get worse, a lot worse. This year's election is one of the most important in US history. America can't afford for it to be turned into an unedifying clown show where the result is decided by a smug, gobby, irrational, unpredictable billionaire star on a gigantic ego trip. We've already got one of those running.
— Piers Morgan
ISLAND MOUNTAIN TRAIN STATION
PLANNING FOR SCHOOL IN THE FALL
by Michelle Hutchins, County Superintendent of Schools
I recently read a blog by a comparative immunologist and professor of biology at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth. His name is Erin Bromage and he explained the formula of how COVID-19 spreads: Successful Infection = Exposure to Virus x Time. After reading his blog, I began to worry once again, not only about what will happen when school resumes this fall, but about how people will line up against each other, those in favor of distance learning versus those in favor of returning to the classroom.
The COVID-19 pandemic has people choosing sides in a way I could not have predicted, and this polarization is dangerous. When we stop listening to each other and we make decisions based on belief rather than a careful weighing of all the issues, we are far more likely to make bad decisions.
Voting By Proxy
In our soundbite, meme-driven world, complex problems don’t fare well. Many people don’t have the interest or the attention span to really understand what’s at stake. Instead, we use a proxy. We say, “I’m with my elected officials, so if they say the pandemic is declining, it’s declining,” or “I’m with healthcare professionals. If they say wear masks, I’m wearing a mask,” or “I’m with economists. If they say go back to work, I’m going back.”
Using a proxy tends toward oversimplification and rarely takes into consideration all the motivations at play. You’re not the president, motivated by getting re-elected. You’re not a healthcare professional sworn to the Hippocratic Oath (i.e., first, do no harm). You’re not an economist who uses assumptions to create economic models—assumptions you may know nothing about, let alone agree with.
No Good Options
As school administrators begin contingency planning for the fall, they are sure to receive criticism from all sides. There are few topics that make us more emotional than our children, and if we believe our children are at risk or getting short shrift, we typically give our school officials an earful.
School administrators are in a no-win situation. They must plan for social distancing in facilities that were not designed for it. They must safeguard staff and students, including those most at-risk from the virus, including employees 65 or older and anyone who is medically fragile. They must continue to adhere to state regulations such as balancing the budget when tax revenues have plummeted and the need to invest in new technology for distance learning has skyrocketed. They must consider all students, including those with special needs, those without internet access, and those with other obstacles to learning. In short, they are in a no-win situation.
I share this to ask for your patience and to remember that schools must deal with trade-offs. For example, the upsides of bringing children back to the classroom this fall may include them receiving a more robust education, better social and emotional health, and more financial security as their parents go back to work. However, there could be serious downsides. Students may inadvertently share the virus with each other and others they encounter. More people may die. Fear of infection may cause the economy to fall deeper into the recession or worse, causing a steep decline in people’s social, emotional and financial health. Sadly, we simply do not have enough information to know. We cannot predict the future. All we can do is extrapolate from the information we have and learn from those that go before us, including schools around the world that are not on summer vacation.
School administrators are not the only ones forced to make decisions that cannot possibly please everyone. On June 16, 2020 the non-partisan news outlet CalMatters.org published an article titled, ‘Things have gotten ugly’ — Pandemic Pushback Drives Health Directors to Quit. In it, reports of death threats to public health officers are cited as one of the reasons so many California health officers have resigned or retired in recent months.
Kat DeBurgh, executive director of the Health Officers Association of California, said “Health officers are always there working in the background to protect communities from communicable disease. This is the first time I’ve seen this level of animosity.”
She continued, “Health officers all over the state are feeling tremendous pressure, not just the expected pressures of working really hard to stop this virus...We’ve never seen this level of public comment becoming threatening, a personal attack, a questioning of a health officer’s motivation.”
Please Seek To Understand
As this pandemic evolves, we continue to learn more about how it spreads, who is at risk, and what treatments or actions can slow or stop its transmission. Before you judge those responsible for making hard choices, seek to understand their position. If appropriate, get involved in the process. Share your thoughts, preferably without malice.
IS DAN SNYDER REALLY CHANGING THE WASHINGTON TEAM’S NAME?
by Dave Zirin
We are so close. After decades of demonstrations, meetings, and boycotts, the Washington football team has finally entered internal discussions about changing its dictionary-defined slur of a name. For the past 25 years, team owner Dan Snyder has refused to listen to the National Congress of the American Indian, the Idle No More movement, and the host of Native American activists who have pleaded with him to do the right thing. He has ignored the American Psychiatric Association, which concluded that these brands harm children. But this time, it’s different: He’s being forced to listen to his sponsors.
As The Big Lead reported,
“Shareholders and investment firms involved with Pepsi, FedEx, and Nike have penned a letter to the gigantic sponsors asking they end their partnerships with Washington unless the team name is changed. AdWeek reports three separate letters were sent, signed by 87 firms and shareholders. This is significant because the 87 signees in question are reportedly worth $620 billion combined. That’s a lot of money talking to three of the biggest sponsors in sports.”
Nike, the official outfitter of the NFL, has even removed the team’s apparel from its website.
Of course, these corporations didn’t just wake up one day and notice that the multibillion-dollar brand they were promoting is a racial slur against those that this nation dispossessed to create our outpost of settler colonialism. It has taken a national uprising against racism and white supremacy, which followed the police murder of George Floyd, to make this change ever so close to being a reality. Corporate sponsors are desperate to stay relevant to a younger generation that is more left-wing, less white, and far less accepting of the status quo.
Jacqueline Keeler, who founded the organization Eradicating Offensive Native Mascotry, says that the recent uprisings have been a game changer: “Without BLM’s activism and basically changing the playing field, change would not have happened. We owe this to the struggle of the black community. We always do. They are our leaders in this country for social justice. Always have been. Every success we’ve had has been made possible by their courage.”
True as this may be, people like Jacqueline Keeler, Amanda Blackhorse, Ray Halbritter, Suzan Shown Harjo, and many others are responsible for putting the team name up for public debate and scrutiny. They have always linked the struggle against mascot names to the harsh realities of Indian Country as well as to the broader issues of systemic racism and settler colonialism.
The DC area is only .6 percent Native American, according to the most recent Census. That near-absence of Native voices was a precondition for the team to have such a racist brand. Only because the team’s original owner was a white supremacist named George Preston Marshall, who kept the team all-white longer than any other NFL franchise, was the team saddled with a brand so obscene. It was these activists who over decades dragged that history out into the open so it could connect with the kind of powerful moment and movement that we are living through today.
But this struggle is not over. I won’t believe that the team has actually changed its name until the players take the field with a new moniker and logo. Snyder is such an erratic and impulsive personality that he could change his mind tomorrow and insist upon keeping the name that he clings to as desperately as Trump clings to Confederate statues. The pressure must stay on him: financial pressure, media pressure, and the pressure of Native American activists. Dan Snyder is on a precipice, facing away from the wrong side of history where he has always found a cozy home. He still needs to be pushed.
DOS RIOS, 1900
ON LINE COMMENTS OF THE WEEK
 JUST AN ELDERLY WOMAN who has been protesting against injustice against people and the land for most of my long and interesting life. I went to my first protest in 1965 when the US set off nuclear test explosions in the Aleutian Islands, a protest where I was almost run over at the Canada/US border by someone who didn’t like us blocking the border and who really liked nuclear bombs. I’ve protested against every war since then, and I’ve never stopped speaking up when I see unfairness and injustice or inequality and corruption, or when I see the planet we all depend on being ruined for greed and to support the unsustainable lifestyles that most people seem to want. It breaks my heart when I think of all the good that could have been done in this world if trillions of dollars hadn’t been spent on war and weapons used to subjugate people who don’t happen to live the way other people think they should. I think everybody should have healthcare and a decent roof over their heads, and that three people shouldn’t be able to have as much wealth as the bottom 50% of the country. I live a simple life, grow a lot of food for myself and our local food bank, used to be an organic farmer before I got too old, and I’ve never been paid by a political party or George Soros or anyone else to go to a protest, even though it sometimes cost me quite a bit of money to get there. I donate whatever I can spare from my very modest income to help the homeless and support organizations that are trying preserve the earth from destruction. I’ve watched as the rich got richer and everybody else got poorer, while those in government of whatever party lived the high life and made sure their pals got to skim off the cream off while everybody else got the dregs. I’ve watched schoolkids go hungry while politicians flew around in private jets, and watched people living in the streets while others own multiple homes in different parts of the world that they fly to in their private jets. I’ve watched indigenous people and people of color and people of various religions and sexual orientations be treated as second-class human beings by those who think they’re superior to them for whatever reason they can come up with. I’ve watched women fight for the right to vote and to be able to open a bank account and get a credit card and own property. I’ve watched a good portion of the planet and millions of species be destroyed for greed and power, and sometimes even just for fun. I’ve seen the human population go from a bit over 2 billion to 7.8 billion as humans have overrun this beautiful planet and claimed nearly all of it for ourselves, with complete disregard for the needs of the other species we share it with. It’s been a long strange trip and I’m at the point where I honestly don’t care if the human species survives because we are probably too stupid to make a go of it on Planet Earth without killing off everything else, and that really wouldn’t be fair or just.
 NOBODY GOT SNAGGED in any undertow they did not want to get caught in. Consider: Annie Edson Taylor an American schoolteacher on her 63rd birthday, October 24, 1901, became the first person to survive a trip over Niagara Falls in a barrel. After she got out of the barrel she was terrified and said: ‘Nobody should ever do this again.’ The parade of fools never stopped. Including an experienced Kayaker who though he could kayak over Niagara Falls. His body was never found and the kayak took two days to wash up on shore. Then there was the guy who went over in a high tech orange barrel and was going to repeat the stunt in the Houston Astrodome by dropping from the roof of the dome into a pool of water. Once was not good enough. He died trying. So, Who knew civil disorder and civilizational decline could be so much fun? I have other ideas of what fun is and being a rebel without a cause is not one of them.
THE PSYCHOLOGY BEHIND WHY SOME PEOPLE REFUSE TO WEAR FACE MASKS
As coronavirus cases spike, those who refuse to wear face coverings remain as firm in their choice as ever. Here's what psychologists say is driving their behavior.
CLEARING OF PAST MARIJUANA CRIMES MOVES FORWARD ACROSS CALIFORNIA
PLANS? YES, PLANS A BUNCH.
Planning Commission agenda for July 16, 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
DOS RIOS MAIN STREET
Point Arena Election
A General Municipal Election will be held in the City of Point Arena on Tuesday, November 3, 2020, for the following Officers: Three (3) Members of the Point Arena City Council for the full term of four years. The nomination period for these offices begins on July 13, 2020 and closes on August 7, 2020, at Noon. If nomination papers for an incumbent officer of the city are not filed by August 7, 2020, the voters shall have until August 12, 2020, to nominate candidates other than the person(s) who are the incumbents, for that incumbents elective office. Nomination information can be obtained in the Office of the City Clerk, 451 School Street; Point Arena, CA; between the hours of 9:00 a.m. and 4 p.m.; Monday through Thursday and 9am to noon on Friday. Please note that City Hall offices are closed on Wednesdays. For more information, contact City Hall at 882-2122 or the website at: pointarena.ca.gov. If no one or only one person is nominated for an elective office, appointment to the elective office may be made as prescribed by §10229, Elections Code of the State of California. The polls will be open between the hours of 7:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m. on Election Day.
DOS RIOS TRAIN STATION
BYE BYE AMERICAN PIE
by James Kunstler
Way back in the 1950s, the popular euphemism to describe black children struggling in poverty was “underprivileged.” The elegant trope guided the nascent social services industry that reached full flower a few years later in Lyndon Johnson’s War on Poverty — a cause as lost, it turns out, as the War in Vietnam. The wonder is that it took seventy years for the race-and-gender faculty to come up with the corollary notion that white folks must be excessively privileged, and must be punished for their broken promise to bestow more privilege upon those lacking it.
And so, in the paroxysms of early summer, 2020, with Covid-19 raging world-wide and the floor dropping from underneath our shuck-and-jive economy, and the climate doing… whatever it’s doing… Chuck and Nancy led their privileged minions in a ceremony of penance, taking their knees with shoulders draped in kente shawls of atonement, signifying… wait a minute… signifying what, exactly?
That they were surrendering their privilege? Cue laugh track. What it really signified was how plumb out of ideas they are for correcting this diabolical injustice. Of course, the animating principle of the Woke Inquisition is that nobody is forgiven for anything. Your request for absolution is only proof of your wickedness, requiring further punishment. So, what was to be done, then?
Well, nothing. Moiling mobs of the underprivileged were granted permission to go “shopping” after-hours on Rodeo Drive, Midtown Fifth Avenue, and other upscale zip codes around the country — accompanied by privileged white “allies” piously working out their own Ivy League bad karma. When there was no more schwag left to loot, the mob was invited to stage an orgy of statue-toppling. Nobody interfered with that tantrum, thinking, perhaps, that losing a few public monuments was a small price to pay for preventing some more ghastly blood-in-the-streets scenario. The police were reduced to acting as spectators while awaiting wholesale dismissal from their jobs and enduring the censorious opprobrium of their elected overseers, pledged to defunding law enforcement.
The nation managed to get through its shameful Fourth of July birthday without the demolition of Mount Rushmore or the torching of Mount Vernon, but the Sunday following a virtual army of black former military personnel (so they said), armed with assault rifles and clad in combat drag, marched into Georgia’s Stone Mountain Park, where a colossal bas-relief sculpture stands carved into the rock wall depicting that trinity of Confederate arch-fiends Robert E. Lee, Jefferson Davis, and Stonewall Jackson.
The militia styled itself as the Not Fucking Around Coalition (NFAC). It’s leader, name of Grand Master Jay, declared “every descendant of slavery a political prisoner” and proposed to found a new all-black nation — “We’ll take Texas,” GM Jay averred. They affected to be met by an opposing army of white supremacists, but none showed up. Perhaps the enemy was not informed ahead of time. The marchers pretended to be disappointed. “We here! Where the fuck you at?” their leader asked. Echo answered…. Battle of Stone Mountain averted.
Now what? What’s next in the escalating 2020 war of (so far) symbols? The resurgence of Covid-19 has prompted more shut-downs, meaning resumed job layoffs, business destruction, and anxious, seething, sweltering boredom for those not privileged to be working from home. The current round of government payments is about over, too, and millions may be facing eviction, mortgage default, car re-po, and other personal catastrophes. Another round of $600 “bonuses” will not avail to solve those problems, and when it’s spent on the imperative need for food, then what?
Well, the political conventions. Personally, and what with the virus rampant, I doubt they will be held in the traditional way — the great civic center jamborees of shoulder-rubbing, sign-waving, and conga-dancing. Meaning that even more than ever before, these extravaganzas will be reduced to mere TV shows that nobody will watch. Could be a boon to the phantom candidacy of Joe Biden, who would remain coolly stashed away in his basement sepulcher, presented to the electorate as a hologram. Then again, an entirely off-stage convention could invite backstage intrigue on the part of those unconvinced that a holographic president will do in this year of pending social and economic collapse. Hillary to the rescue, I’d say.
The embattled and sore-beset Donald Trump looks like he’s on-the-ropes. It’s hard to say if he even comprehends the gravity of this blossoming long emergency or fourth turning crisis. He’s fought off every effort to overthrow him by the Deep States pygmies of sedition, but the collapse of an empire is more like a battle against fate itself. Like him or not, you have to feel for someone in such a monumental struggle.
(Support Kunstler’s writing by visiting his Patreon Page.)
RETIRE THE REDSKINS
The Washington Redskins National Football League franchise is a disgrace! In the year 2020, Washington team owner Daniel Snyder cannot possibly continue to rationalize keeping his ridiculously racist team name in the face of widespread, righteous public condemnation of Snyder’s racist recalcitrance.
Our nation’s capitol’s team name “The Redskins” will be retired before this football season begins, if Representative Raul Grijalva (D-AZ) has anything to say about it: "The time [for the name] has ended. There is no way to justify it. You either step into this century or you don’t. It’s up to the owner of the team to do that.”
In 1997, Washington, D.C.’s National Basketball Association franchise willingly changed its name from “The Bullets” to “The Wizards.” So what’s Daniel Snyder’s problem (other than being a bigot)?
As silly as some of these monikers are below, any one of them would be preferable to Washington D.C.’s current NFL team name. Take your pick, Mr. Snyder.
- Washington Redcoats
- Washington Rednecks
- Washington Redrums
- Washington Red Dawns
- Washington Red Foxes
- Washington Red Lines
- Washington Red Rovers
- Washington Red Tides
- Washington Red Riding Hoods
- Washington Red Sparrows
(Melania Trump can be the team mascot)
ONE FAMILY. $1,200 A MONTH
by Rachel Swan
Every day brings a new series of painful calculations for Paulina Barajas.
The Concord mother of five and her husband, Sergio Martinez, always knew how to stretch a small paycheck. They’d lived for years on Martinez’s salary as a cook at Sizzler, barely enough to cover rent on a three-bedroom townhouse and put gas in a Chrysler minivan they’d plastered with honor-student bumper stickers. With a little help from the neighborhood church, they paid for soccer cleats, PG&E bills and toddler toys.
But when shelter-in-place orders clamped down, Martinez got laid off for two months, then returned to work with his hours cut in half. Like so many Bay Area residents, he and Barajas found themselves in a disorienting situation, with a list of expenses that far outstripped their income.
“Everything is so expensive,” Barajas often says in Spanish — a near-constant refrain. Squinting, she does a mental tally: $1,499 a month for rent. Gas for the minivan came to $45 a month. A 12-pack of Top Ramen at FoodMaxx cost $7. Her husband’s current monthly earnings? About $1,200.
The financial devastation of the coronavirus is coming into focus for policymakers, nonprofits and economists, who are watching the working class slide deeper into poverty in the Bay Area and nationally. While the pandemic unsettled lives everywhere, its impact was especially vicious for people like Barajas, who live on the margins, gritting their teeth every time a bill comes in.
A study of U.S. Census Bureau data showed that prior to the pandemic, 305,000 Bay Area renters made less than $2,800 a month — or 30% of the region’s median income. Now, that population is swelling.
Families with no savings or safety net are struggling with job losses and rent payments they can’t make, surviving on meals from the public schools or neighborhood food pantries. Even as nonprofits raise donations and cities do emergency triage — including temporary bans on evictions — some fear a much greater catastrophe could unspool in the coming months.
Without massive intervention, some observers say, the region’s already dire homeless crisis will become much worse, with many of the working poor losing housing.
“You know how they talk about a perfect storm?” asked Stephen Krank, coordinator of Vincentian Services for St. Vincent de Paul of Contra Costa County, a network of churches that distribute food and other forms of charity.
“No rent, no jobs, no one can pay for PG&E,” Krank continued. “And then where do you go for help?”
In May, California’s unemployment rate hit 16.3%, scarcely dipping from a record of 16.4% in April, which outstripped the worst point of the great recession. The state had shed 2,267,100 jobs outside the agriculture industry in the course of a year, with the most severe damage inflicted in hospitality, trade and transportation.
That cratering of the job market had a severe human cost. Applications to the CalFresh food assistance program more than doubled in the course of a month — from 37,286 in the fourth week of February to 95,516 during the same week in March, leveling off to 66,290 applications by the fourth week of June.
And many stood to lose their housing. In the week ending June 16, the U.S. Census Bureau surveyed 1.36 million tenants in the San Francisco metro area and found that 102,160 had no confidence in their ability to pay rent in July, and 102,431 had only “slight confidence.” Of 12.3 million people surveyed statewide, 3.3 million had little or no confidence that they could afford to pay next month’s rent.
Those lucky enough to still have jobs often work in environments such as retail and food service, where they face a higher risk of infection and, with it, the looming possibility of being laid off or going bankrupt from hospital bills. The nonprofits and government agencies that support this population are overwhelmed by the magnitude of need at a moment of deepening budget cuts.
Workers at the Alameda County Community Food Bank saw the first inkling of widespread hunger in mid-March, days before the first regional shelter-in-place order was instituted.
During the second week of the order, calls to the food bank’s emergency hotline increased tenfold to 300 a day. Drivers began pulling up to the headquarters on Edgewater Drive in East Oakland.
Many of these people had never sought donations before, said food bank spokesman Michael Altfest. They weren’t familiar with neighborhood churches or pantries; they found the headquarters and warehouse — which is not a distribution site — by frantically searching the internet.
“It’s a very natural reaction,” Altfest said. “Someone loses their job and realizes that for the first time in their life, they need food.”
The number of desperate households shot up. Food bank staff rushed to set up a drive-through distribution three blocks away, across a band of freeway from the hulking Oakland Coliseum. When it opened March 30, they posted signs with the address on the door of their Edgewater facility. “Looking to pick up food?” the signs asked.
Within days, hundreds of cars at a time were lining up, snaking around the parking lot and the surrounding blocks. As of June, the site regularly served 1,000 cars a day.
The same scene is playing out all over the Bay Area, a sign of how dramatically the coronavirus and economic downturn have upended people’s lives. When workers from Society of St. Vincent de Paul held their first pop-up food bank in Richmond on April 14 — handing out bags of produce and boxes of groceries from the parking lot of Catholic Charities East Bay — they ran dry within an hour and had to turn away a half-mile line of cars.
In Oakland, the school district doubled the number of meal sites among its campuses for summer, providing a lifeline for out-of-work parents — house cleaners and caretakers, line cooks and construction workers.
The sheer scale of anguish has many policymakers on edge. Charity and subsistence-level unemployment checks can go only so far.
In the short term, some observers are calling on the government to ramp up cash benefits as the most efficient way to help. One example of aid is the pandemic electronic benefits transfer card, which offers low-income families $5.70 per child for each day the schools were closed. It empowers parents to select and buy their own food, rather than making them stand in a food line, said Stacy Dean, vice president for food assistance policy at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities in Washington, D.C.
Experts also stress the importance of eviction moratoriums. Gov. Gavin Newsom has allowed cities to extend such protections through July 28. But state lawmakers are debating what happens afterward. Two San Francisco Democrats — Assemblymen David Chiu and Phil Ting — are pushing bills that would bar landlords from booting tenants who don’t pay rent during the coronavirus pandemic, and the State Judicial Council has paused eviction proceedings for the duration of Newsom’s emergency order, and 90 days thereafter.
Some say the urgency of COVID-19 requires more deep-seated reform.
“We’ll need nothing short of a fundamental reassessment of our safety net,” said Stephen Baiter, executive director of the East Bay Economic Development Alliance, an organization dedicated to economic and workforce issues.
He pointed to solutions such as universal basic income, which once may have seemed radical but now has wider appeal. Baiter also cited the need for health care to benefit gig workers, whose ranks will likely grow as other jobs evaporate.
With demands for social services picking up, some economists and activists are calling for an overhaul of the tax structure. They hope to tax middle-class and wealthy people at higher rates.
Such ideas are gaining traction. The question is whether policymakers can rally the political will to implement them.
On a sweltering Thursday in June, Barajas slowly pushed a shopping cart through the FoodMaxx on Monument Boulevard in Concord, while her sons tossed groceries inside. When they arrived at the meat aisle she gazed studiously at the price tags. Rib eye steak was $8.79 a pound — not bad, she said, plucking a plastic-wrapped container from the shelf.
“It’s $11 a pound at the little market up the street,” Barajas said, shaking her head.
By the time she got to the self-checkout, the cart was half full, mostly with bargain meats and bulk foods: tripe, beef heart, netted bags of peppers and onions, big packs of corn tortillas, cartons of yogurt and Lunchables. She pulled out a stack of coupons and paid with a government benefits card. Her 11-year-old son Abram scrutinized the receipt: $119.
Straightening her shoulders, Barajas rolled her groceries toward the family’s minivan, with Abram and his 9-year-old brother, Jacob, in tow. The car needed gas, her five sons were outgrowing their clothes, and Martinez had served only two meals at the Sizzler on Wednesday. She worried his hours might be cut.
“Problems here, problems there,” she said. “But we’re OK.”
She considers her family lucky. Barajas and Martinez each immigrated to the U.S. decades ago: Barajas was 18 when she arrived from Mexico. She got amnesty from the U.S. government and is eligible for a variety of benefits.
“My (undocumented) neighbors are less fortunate,” she said. “They don’t have papers. They’re afraid to seek services.”
Barajas’ family, like so many others, survives on a patchwork of government subsidies and donations — just enough to keep her from entering the wave of the suddenly homeless. She picks up free meals at her sons’ public schools and baby wipes for her toddler, 2-year-old Esau, at St. Francis of Assisi in Concord. To cut back on groceries she began cooking in bulk each morning, shoveling enough meat and tortillas on the fryer to last a full day.
But with a family of seven, the refrigerator empties quickly. And then she’s back at the grocery store, poring over receipts and watching every penny until rent comes due again.
(courtesy San Francisco Chronicle)