- Warm Interior
- Planned Outage
- Mendo Covid
- Ricardo Stocker
- Cleone Quake
- Cannabis Ordinance
- Columbi Specials
- Hand Memory
- Starry Night
- Wig Thieves
- Sidewalk Chalk
- Redwood Ave
- Ed Notes
- Yesterday's Catch
- Nuclear Fraud
- Rockport Bridge
- Abortion Prez
- American Idiot
- Planning Agenda
- Salmon Creek Hotel
- Summer Steelhead
- Finnish Band
- Prison Vigil
- FB High
- Corporate Congress
- Blame Boots
- Comrade Hall
- Newsom Demo
- Coonrod's Stand
- Wasp Dick
- Money Velocity
- Going Broke
- Navy Dirigible
- Trout Farm
- Parent Concerns
- Marilyn Photo
- Found Object
WARM AND DRY CONDITIONS will continue for most interior areas for the next week, although an isolated thunderstorm or two will be possible near the Trinity Alps this afternoon. Coastal areas will remain cool and cloudy for the foreseeable future, with a few hours of sunlight during the afternoon hours. (NWS)
We received a letter from PG&E warning of a planned outage in our area (Anderson Valley? beyond? who knows) to install new overhead equipment. Estimated timeframe is early Wednesday morning (12:15 am - 6 am). The odd thing is the sign-off phone number, provided for more info, which is labeled "Humboldt Planned Outages, Planned Outage Coordinator" (916 386-5271). The question is: why Humboldt?
MENDO COVID, JULY 27
Ricardo Horacio Stocker, age 72, passed away peacefully July 1, 2020 at home on Greenfield Ranch, surrounded by family. Diagnosed with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) only one year ago, Ricardo's valiant struggle and graceful acceptance inspired all those around him.
Ricardo is survived by his brothers Hector José Stocker, Patricio Stocker and sister Arabella Stocker, wife Deborah Mead, daughter Franziska Scholter, three sons Orion, Morgan, and Santiago Stocker, and seven grandchildren, Mia, Ricky, Otto, Polly, Anella, Jakob, and Mary.
He was born September 11, 1947, in Buenos Aires, Argentina to Héctor Stocker and Carlota Mujía Linares. He grew up in Buenos Aires attending Catholic school and studied Agronomy before moving to Mar del Plata to study Philosophy. In 1970 he left Argentina and travelled throughout Latin America and Europe. From 1974-1976 he studied Waldorf Education at Emerson College in England, and from 1976-1977 at the Alanos School in Germany, where his daughter Franziska was born to Gabriela Scholter in 1978. In 1978 he met his future wife Deborah Mead in London. They moved to Northern Ireland to teach at what was then the then only non-denominational school in the country. His eldest son Orion was born in Belfast. In 1980 the family moved to rural Colorado, where Ricardo taught as a Waldorf teacher for four years. Morgan Stocker, their second oldest son, was born in 1981.
In 1984 the family moved to Northern California, where Ricardo was hired as a teacher at the Waldorf School of Mendocino County, in Calpella. The family moved to Greenfield Ranch, just outside of Ukiah. Ricardo loved nothing more than to wander over hill and dale greeting the trees as he passed. Their youngest son, Santiago, was born on the ranch in 1984.
Ricardo, a believer in life-long learning, never stopped pursuing further education, receiving his BA Degree from Prescott College in 1994, his MA degree from Saybrook University in 1999 and his PhD in Psychology from CIIS in 2003 (at the age of 56!).
Throughout his life in Mendocino County Ricardo affected the lives of many people. He worked as a counselor in drug and alcohol programs; provided bilingual counseling thru Nuestra Casa, Anderson Valley School District, Project Sanctuary, the Youth Project and Nuestra Alianza; was a storyteller at Juvenile Hall and in various elementary classrooms. Ricardo is remembered fondly by literally thousands of students at Mendocino Community College where he taught for more than 19 years.
Ricardo was a true renaissance man. He played the guitar, piano and flute, wrote poetry in Spanish and English, and in 2015 wrote a book entitled 'Our Compassionate Kosmos' which has impacted many people. Ricardo saw himself as a citizen of the world traveling to Spain in 2004 after the Madrid bombings, visiting hospitals to sit with victims and families bringing support and comfort. He reached out to others wherever he travelled.
A beloved professor, storyteller, counselor, musician, philosopher, mystic, and poet, Ricardo will be greatly missed by all who knew him. In his life he taught more than 3,000 students, traveled in more than 20 countries, and officiated seven weddings.
Ricardo passed with grace and dignity looking out upon the land that became his life's work to cultivate and protect. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Nuestra Alianza in Willits.
MSP just got three messages saying people in Fort Bragg felt an earthquake - nothing on the USGS site - yet
MSP got the update from the USGS - it was a 2.6 magnitude temblor @ 5:29 pm that had an epicenter located 1.4 miles East of Cleone. According to the USGS, the quake was 1.3 miles deep and 2 people reported “feeling it” so far — 24 from Fort Bragg and 2 from Mendocino. UPDATE: At 7:00 pm, there were 77 responses of "feeling it" (69 from Fort Bragg, 7 from Mendocino & 1 from Willits).
DETERMINED TO END LEGAL POT PERMITTING
An Open Letter to Supervisor Williams,
Thank you for your recent response to my concerns about the plan to abandon our cannabis ordinance and replace it with a Use Permit process. Unfortunately, all of my concerns about this proposal went unanswered by your letter.
You neglected to even mention the fact that the plan you and Supervisor McCowen have cooked up is to open up cannabis cultivation to our last remaining open space: our rangelands. This would be a considerable expansion of cannabis cultivation in our county, not supported by our General Plan, and deserves at least a mention, I would think.
You also did not enlighten me as to where all the water to support this plan would be coming from. Nor did you acknowledge that this water use, both legal & illegal, would likely have a very negative impact on our water table and our ability to support our struggling salmon runs.
Additionally, you did not acknowledge the fact that if we abandoned our ordinance, which provides for strict environmental controls, we would be replacing it with a system that is not nearly as protective. If Planning and Building showed way too much “flexibility" in their approval of these permits the public would have little recourse other than to sue the county. Why is this advantageous to the public’s interest? You did not say.
You also claim that “many” permits would likely be denied under the Sensitive Species Review Process. “Many” is likely an exaggeration, but it is clear that we do not yet know the number. The county handed out temporary permits without oversight and now there seems to be a lot of effort extended to protect those permits that cannot qualify and should not have been given out in the first place. If some of these parcels cannot meet the environmental requirements than the grower can always move to a property that can. The oversight provided by CDFA & CDFW is what will protect the interest of the public, not whatever Planning & Building decides in the moment. Why are you wanting to develop a workaround to the ordinance for those parcels that cannot meet the environmental standard?
Lastly, the public has been largely ignored and kept out of the information loop. It’s only been the cannabis industry that has been invited to the table. Brent Schultz of Planning & Building, was supposed to release the recent communications between the county and Calif. Dept of Food & Ag and Calif Dept. of Fish & Wildlife. Not only did he not release this information to the public but it was not released even to Supervisor Haschak. This is unacceptable.
We all deserve the information needed to make informed decisions, and we deserve, and want, a place at the table. Please consider establishing a Standing Committee for cannabis, rather than an Ad Hoc committee, so that all pertinent information will be available to all of our leadership and all concerned members of the public.
SUPERVISOR WILLIAMS REPLIES:
I support the shortest, fiscally responsible path to a state compliant regulated cannabis cultivation program. I don’t prefer ministerial or use permits, but if the current approach subjects cultivators to indefinite limbo with enforcement efforts deadlocked by ambiguity, I support legislative remedy. Regulated cannabis is better for the environment. The current program is a failure. Approximately zero outdoor cultivators have been successful in state annual licenses.
”You neglected to even mention the fact that the plan you and Supervisor McCowen have cooked up…”
As explained in my previous response, Supervisor McCowen and I did not collaborate. I first saw his high level idea the same time the public gained awareness, through the published agenda.
"Unfortunately, all of my concerns about this proposal went unanswered by your letter.”
As I understand the proposal, it’s to ensure cannabis cultivation meets the requirements of the California Environmental Quality Act. I support this goal.
To the Editors:
This is a response to your Valley People item of 7/22/2020 about Ms. Whaley's writing of a piece about the so-called veterinarian, Bill Hand.
I remember him vividly. I had recently founded the Mendocino Coast Humane Society. Without a building yet or surgical options, we were glad to have Dr. Hand’s mobile unit to use for spay/neuter and basic vet care — or so we thought.
I took an animal to his MASH unit that needed veterinary attention and he stood at the doorway and yelled at me while pointing to his crotch, "Get out of here or I'll shove my big dick up your ass."
Why would Ms Whaley want to write about this creep? He was a deranged, disturbed man.
NIGHT LIGHT OF THE NORTH COAST
by David Wilson
It was the night I shot that first comet photo panorama, July 13, with the comet small over Trinidad. My brother and I had been so focused on photographing the comet that we didn’t even look the other way until late. When we were about ready to leave, we noticed this sight behind us. Wow! So I took a couple more photos.
WIG THIEVES NABBED
"On Saturday, July 25, at approximately 9:54 am, a Ukiah Police community service officer (CSO) responded to a report of a burglary that had occurred earlier in the morning at Shag Salon (633 S. Main St.).
Upon arrival, the CSO met with the owner of the business and learned that two unknown subjects had thrown a rock through the front glass door of the business, entered the business, and stolen approximately $1,700 in wigs. The CSO obtained surveillance footage of the two suspects committing the burglary.
The CSO returned to the Ukiah Police Department and disseminated the surveillance footage to all on-duty UPD personnel. One of the suspects captured on surveillance footage was quickly identified by a UPD police officer as Oscar Cabezas-Tafoya, 20, of Ukiah. Cabezas-Tafoya is a known Ukiah transient.
Two UPD police officers quickly took to the streets of Ukiah and began searching for Cabezas-Tafoya. Not long after their search began, the two UPD police Officers located Cabezas-Tafoya in Gibson Creek under Highway 101.
Accompanying Cabezas-Tafoya was Luna Magdaleno, age 29, of Ukiah, who was identified as the second suspect caught on surveillance footage during the burglary of the salon. While searching the immediate area around Cabezas-Tafoya and Magdaleno, officers located all of the stolen property from the salon.
A records check was performed on both Cabezas-Tafoya and Magdaleno. Magdaleno was found to have an active misdemeanor warrant out of Mendocino County for violation of probation. Magdaleno was also found to be on active probation out of Mendocino County with the term “obey all laws.”
Cabezas-Tafoya was arrested and booked at the Mendocino County Jail for Burglary and conspiracy. Magdaleno was arrested and booked at the Mendocino County Jail for Second degree burglary, conspiracy, and the misdemeanor warrant. Cabezas-Tafoya and Magdaleno are both being held on a $15,000 bail."
CAROLEEN JETT GREEN doing a sidewalk chalk drawing, just for fun.
You have seen her work in a lot of major motion pictures, you just never knew it. She is drawing this on the sidewalk in San Rafael. After all the artists are done, the City will wash it all away with a fire hose. (Bill Kimberlin)
REDWOOD AVENUE, FORT BRAGG
BLUNT TALK for blunt times. Nina Turner, a co-chair of Bernie Sanders’ presidential campaign, said today that the choice between Biden and Trump is… “It’s like saying to somebody, ‘You have a bowl of shit in front of you, and all you’ve got to do is eat half of it instead of the whole thing.’ It’s still shit." Ms. Turner is a former Ohio state senator.
SANDERS, an easy over socialist if there ever was one, endorsed Biden and even released a “unity” agenda with him, but it's not clear if all that many leftwing Democrats of the Sanders disposition can bring themselves to vote for the comprehensively odious Biden. I can't do it myself, and I'll bet a solid ten percent of Northcoast voters feel as I do, that ten percent being people more or less in the Sanders camp, people who despise the mainstream Democratic Party as the dependable half of the national disaster.
IS IT SEXIST to complain about women who talk through their noses? Men do it, too. But women's voices, when they're overly nasal are somehow more annoying, at least to this oinker. If you're on national television or radio and talking is what you do for your living, wouldn't you want to learn to speak less like an old fashioned dentist's drill and more like the BBC voices of yesteryear? Take this lady Laura Trevelyan of the BBC Nightly News. Competent reporter, pleasant affect, but a weaponized voice that pounds the listener like a jackhammer. Used to be BBC announcers sounded like God, and the BBC's female announcers sounded like Mrs. God.
READING OVER Sierra Wooten's unhappy exchange with Fort Bragg's Lindy Peters, and her even unhappier and purely gratuitous blast at FB City Manager Tabatha Miller, it's clear the kid is a mental case. There are lots of mentals involved in the Black Lives Matter protests, not that there aren't lots of unconfined mentals period these days. It was the same in the big demos of yesteryear in Frisco, Oakland and Berkeley except, as I recall, the very first protests I participated in as a young lib lab. Those were with CORE and highly organized with on-task, articulate leaders. A few years later, from '67 on, there were always lots of young guys, especially, who showed up to fight the police for the pure hell of it. If there was any way to get honest answers out of the young white dudes lighting up downtown Portland every night, they'd admit they're there for the excitement, not out of any political motive. And a handful would be straight-up 5150, the ones who do the kamikazi stuff.
CATCH OF THE DAY, July 27, 2020
SEAN BURDEN, Sonora/Ukiah. Petty theft with priors, felon with firearm.
JAMES GODDARD, Ukiah. DUI, controlled substance, paraphernalia.
JOSHUA MEDINA, Fort Bragg. Criminal threats, resisting, probation revocation.
FRANKLIN ROCKWELL, Ukiah. Domestic abuse, protective order violation.
HUGE CRIMINAL RACKETEERING CONSPIRACY orchestrated reactor bailouts
It’s been a bit of a Watergate week for nuclear power, with individuals in two states arrested for criminally defrauding the public to keep nuclear power alive. In Ohio, it was public officials, backed by nuclear company money, who illegally orchestrated a massive subsidy. In South Carolina, it was the arrest of an energy company official who has pled guilty to a $9 billion nuclear fraud.
SUSPENSION BRIDGE, ROCKPORT
THE PRO-ABORTION PRESIDENT
by Steve Heilig
Donald Trump is in the White House because of abortion. Not solely that issue, of course, but it was his craven, calculated, and hypocritical embrace of the “pro-life” label just when he decided to run for office that pushed him over the edge with the many millions of evangelical Christians, Catholics, and other Americans for whom that is a single-issue deal-breaker. Added to the blue-collar discontent, racist backlash against the last president, and decades of anti-Hillary Clinton propaganda - OK, with her botched campaign too – and voila – here we are, where our whole beleaguered nation might be asked the classic Reaganite campaign question “Are you better off than you were four years ago?” Unless you are one of the fortunate 1% who got a tax cut, the question likely answers itself.
“I am strongly pro-choice” is what Trump said repeatedly prior to seeking office. He was likely telling the truth then, at a minimum for personal reasons (and what other motivations really fuel anything he does?). It’s pointless to speculate on how many unintended pregnancies he might have been personally party to, especially given his tendency to pay off anybody with compromising information on him, and/or to require nondisclosure agreements. He did say that avoiding sexually-transmitted diseases was his form of “service” during the Vietnam War he dodged. In any event those are private matters, and it’s his policies and their impacts that really matter. And with regard to those it is possible to propose what for some might be a startling hypothesis:
Donald Trump is responsible for more abortions than any person alive.
How could that be true? One of the very first things Trump did upon taking office was re-instating the “Global Gag Rule,” a Reagan-era ban on funding for any international aid programs that provide abortion that has been reversed by democratic presidents and reinstated by republicans since first instituted (again by a president who flip-flopped on abortion to serve his election purposes). Medical and public health experts and associations have always opposed it, even when they have no other position on abortion, for the seemingly obvious reason that in areas with few healthcare resources, those who provide abortion tend to also provide a wide range of women’s health services, including contraception and sex education. They also tend to deal with many unwanted pregnancies and serious complication of unprofessionally performed abortions, including self-induced ones – these being a widespread and tragic cause of much maiming and death among women, not to mention death of fetuses. Most anyone who has worked in or even just visited health clinics and providers in the developing world has likely witnessed the horrors women face in this regard.
Just last year, Stanford researchers published in the leading medical journal The Lancet some evaluation of the impact of the Gag Rule. Results showed a 40% increase in abortion rates in countries when the policy was active, as well as a drop in the use of modern contraceptives. The year before, a 100+ page report from African nations titled "Prescribing Chaos in Global Health: The Global Gag Rule From 1984-2018" detailed the many ways Trump’s expanded Gag Rule adversely impacted women and children. Similar research with similar results has been reported from Latin America and Asia. The Stanford researcher summarize the evidence thus: “Our findings suggest how a U.S. policy that aims to restrict federal funding for abortion services can lead, unintentionally, to more – and probably riskier – abortions in poor nations.” Given the populations in those regions, this likely means many thousands of abortions every year, and likely more than that.
What about here in the good ol’ USA? Abortion rates have been declining for decades, for various reasons including demographic trends (declining numbers of young people) and especially a wider use and availability of contraception. But Trump has worked hard to institute a domestic gag rule as well, blocking the use of Title X funds for the poor if any funded organization even talks about abortion, let alone refers for or provides it. These efforts have been opposed by the American Medical Association and American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology, who are hardly “liberal” organizations but know the real consequences of such policies.
What if abortion bans were instituted here? The real numbers on how many less a abortions might occur are fuzzy estimates. So are estimates on how many women would seek illegal ones. But we know from experience that would be many, with many tragic consequences. I learned this dramatically while still a student. Decades ago, medical and public health trainees at UCLA were sometimes taken on a tour of an old hospital ward, previously dedicated to women suffering the aftereffects of illegal abortions. I believe there had been something like 70 beds then and the veteran professor who guided us on the visit said that until 1970, when abortion was legalized in California, the ward was always full of suffering and dying women. “We used to have to mop their blood from the floors here – it reminded me of serving in World War II,” said the old doctor. After the laws changed, the ward quickly emptied out and was no longer needed.
This is what anti-choice activists, whatever their motivations, seek to bring back. They try any sneaky way to curtail abortion access, usually failing for legal reasons, but succeeding in some regions via harassment and even murder of doctors. But they are misguided. Most Americans support abortion, at least early in pregnancy when the vast majority of abortions occur and when the embryo or fetus looks nothing like what most people would consider a “baby.” But in fact virtually every “pro-choice” person shares their ostensible goal of reducing unwanted pregnancy and abortion, and we know how to do that. Endless arguments about “when life begins” or what Jesus did or didn’t say about abortion (he didn’t) don’t solve anything. Focusing on what works – widely-available low-cost or free contraception, fact-based sex education, economic support and equality for poor women, adoption where desired, and more are what work. Preaching about being “pro-life” and seeking to deny access to abortion does not. That only makes the activists feel more, well, “holy,” while in fact adding to the problem they say they seek to solve. So the uncomfortable truths are that Planned Parenthood and similar organizations prevent more abortions than any amount of ‘pro-life’ advocacy ever has. And let’s not forget that Donald Trump, again, is most likely responsible for more abortions around the world than any other human alive.
HOW FREEDOM BECAME FREE-DUMB IN AMERICA
The American idiot is, by now, a figure that’s the stuff of myth and legend across the world.
BOY DO WE HAVE PLANS!
Planning Commission agenda for August 6, 2020, is posted on the department website at: https://www.mendocinocounty.org/government/planning-building-services/meeting-agendas/planning-commission
Please contact staff with any questions.
James F. Feenan
Commission Services Supervisor
Mendocino County Planning & Building Services
860 North Bush Street, Ukiah CA 95482
Direct Line: (707) 234-6664
Main Line: (707) 234-6650
SALMON CREEK HOTEL
OUR BELOVED SUMMER STEELHEAD
(Friends of the Eel)
A new report offers hope of future protective status for summer steelhead!
What a strange new reality we are all adjusting to. We hope this newsletter finds you and your loved ones healthy and coping well. The staff at FOER are so thankful for continued support from our long-time members. Now more than ever, support from individuals like you allows us to continue our meaningful work. If you are able, please click here to make a contribution .
Friends of the Eel River plays a critical role in seeing that volitional fish passage is restored to the upper Eel River watershed. Luckily, this work has been mostly uninterrupted by Covid-19 and the new paradigm. We continue to push on a variety of fronts to see that Scott Dam is removed in a timely manner, and Eel River salmon and steelhead are given a chance to recover.
Especially vulnerable are the remarkable summer steelhead. You may recall that we petitioned to list summer steelhead in the Eel River with the state of California and the Feds. The federal petition was denied, however we feel confident about our odds when we re-submit the petition, partially because of a new report released by NMFS this summer. Read on the learn more.
If you're interested in summer steelhead, be sure to listen to the Econews Report episode from last month all about summer steelhead. Also, the podcast episode from last week covered the latest developments in Klamath Dam removal, a process that Eel River dam removal advocates are watching closely. Click here to listen to the Klamath Dams episode.
Summer steelhead workshop report offers a new path to protection
By FOER Conservation Director Scott Greacen
Over the last few years, Friends of the Eel River has been calling particular attention to summer steelhead in the Eel River. These extraordinary fish certainly deserve the spotlight. What makes their fascinating story of summer steelhead urgent today is the peril they face. If current trends continue, these marvels of evolution will disappear from the Eel watershed in our lifetimes.
A quick recap: steelhead, Oncorhynchus mykiss, are generally described as the anadromous form of rainbow trout. On the North Coast of California, most steelhead are winter-run. They come up their natal river in December through April, spawn immediately, then die or return to the Pacific. Some steelhead, however, enter freshwater in the late spring, swim far up their watersheds to remote canyons where they spend the hot summer months sheltering in deep cold pools. When the fall rains come, these fish climb higher up their watersheds than any other salmonid, often surmounting obstacles that have been thought barriers to fish passage in the process. These summer steelhead have long been recognized as different from their winter-run cousins in both their bodies and their behavior.
Similarly, spring-run Chinook salmon in the Klamath watershed’s Salmon River are strikingly different from their fall-run cousins. Both summer steelhead and spring chinook have suffered disproportionately from the impacts of our industrial society on their freshwater habitats. The dozens of spring Chinook which still return to the Salmon River are the last remnant of runs that were probably larger than the fall chinook runs before the US colonized the region.
We think recent science confirms that summer steelhead are different from their winter-run cousins in ways that are truly significant for the biology and evolution of these fish. That is to say, summer steelhead are different in precisely the ways that the federal Endangered Species Act (ESA) was intended to recognize and protect. But when FOER asked the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), the federal agency responsible for the conservation of anadromous fish under the ESA, to list North Coast summer steelhead as a distinct unit, NMFS denied our petition. However, a June NMFS report from a workshop of the leading salmonid researchers, hosted by NMFS’ own specialists, offers hope that an emerging consensus around the genetic basis of run timing in salmonids could provide a foundation for greater recognition and protection of summer steelhead.
Read the full piece here. Recent scientific discoveries have validated the ancient knowledge that summer-run steelhead and spring chinook salmon are truly distinct from their winter- and fall-run cousins. The Karuk Tribe has filed a petition to list Klamath spring chinook, while FOER has petitioned to list Northern California summer steelhead, as distinct under the federal Endangered Species Act.
FOER Conservation Director Scott Greacen talks with summer steelhead researcher Sam Kannry; the Karuk Tribe’s new Director the Natural Resources Department, Bill Tripp; and tribal consultant Craig Tucker about what makes these fish so special, why it’s so important to bring them back, and how we are working to do that.
Econews Report episode on Klamath Dams. Last week the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission either moved along the Klamath Dam removal project, or else it threw a big wrench in the works. S. Craig Tucker, consultant to the Karuk Tribe, and Mike Belchik, senior water policy analyst with the Yurok Tribe, joins Scott Greacen (Friends of the Eel) and Tom Wheeler (EPIC) for a spirited discussion on the new news about the state of dam removal. What does the FERC ruling mean? Will it speed up dam removal or slow it down?
FINNISH BAND, FORT BRAGG
SAN QUENTIN VIGIL SAYS INCARCERATION HAS BECOME A DEATH SENTENCE
by David Bacon
On Sunday, July 19, about a hundred people gathered at the gate of San Quentin State Prison in San Rafael, to call for the release of prisoners because of the terrifying spread of COVID-19 inside the facility. On May 30th the state Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation transferred 121 prisoners from the California Institution for Men prison in Chino into San Quentin. At the time there were no known cases of the virus in San Quentin, while Chino was a recognized hot spot.
The coronavirus infection spread rapidly through San Quentin. According to the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation [CDCR], as of the date of the vigil there were 928 active cases and eleven prisoners had died.
Less than half of the prison's current 3,524 population had been tested in the two weeks prior to the vigil. According to the CDCR, the concentration of confirmed cases at San Quentin is 621.9 per 1000. By comparison, for California (a hot spot state) as a whole, the confirmed case rate is 11.1 per 1000. (source: https://www.cdcr.ca.gov/covid19/population-status-tracking/)
The vigil organizers include the Interfaith Movement for Human Integrity and the Stop San Quentin Outbreak Coalition, which describes itself as "a collective of formerly incarcerated folks, loved ones with direct connections to San Quentin State Prison, community organizers, and currently incarcerated folks at San Quentin State Prison." Other participants came from the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights, Re:Store Justice and the Asian Prisoner Support Committee. The speeches and placards they carried demanded that Governor Newsom come to the prison, that the state grant large-scale releases without categorical exclusions (a 50% reduction in the prison population), and an immediate stop to all transfers between prisons and from prisons to ICE detention centers.
The day following the vigil a twelfth prisoner, Troy Ashmus, died of the coronavirus according to prison authorities. Five more prisoners have died in the past week, bringing the total number of deaths at San Quentin to 17. In just 25 days, the number of incarcerated people at San Quentin with COVID-19 went from zero to over a thousand active cases. As the numbers rise, demonstrations by desperate families have become increasingly frequent.
According to the CDCR, the state prison system now has 7,672 confirmed cases, of which 1,025 were reported in the last two weeks. Governor Newsom has announced that he will release 8,000 prisoners by the end of August, but over the next six weeks the infected will likely number in the tens of thousands. With a prison population of 104,725 (123% of its designed capacity) there isn't adequate space for isolation.
Laura Mondragon, wife of a prisoner, told the vigil participants that Newsom had to act more quickly to prevent more deaths. "Getting sent to San Quentin shouldn't be an automatic death sentence," she said. "But with the virus there is a terrible risk that it will be for people like my husband."
Article with lots of photos: capitalandmain.com/demonstrators-call-release-san-quentin-prisoners-amidst-covid-outbreak-0727
FORT BRAGG HIGH, 1890s
DUMP CORPORATE CANDIDATES
In Germany, the unemployment rate has gone up only slightly because of the COVID-19 lockdown. German stimulus bills have been in the hundreds of billions, as opposed to the trillions that the U.S. has spent only to wind up with much greater unemployment numbers.
That’s because instead of corporate bailouts, which are essentially looting our economy and giving to the rich, the German government spent its bailout money covering the paychecks of businesses. That way Germans aren’t left high and dry. They still have their jobs, and businesses are a lot more protected.
Of course, Germany also offers universal health care.
Congress could still do this, but it chooses not to because the biggest concern of a congressperson is helping donors. That’s why the few people in Congress calling for much more help for us than a $1,200 check and COBRA insurance are the members who run grassroots campaigns. The value of corporate-free candidates is as plain as day.
THERE'S MAN all over for you, blaming on his boots the faults of his feet.
— Samuel Beckett
COMRADE CLUB HALL, FORT BRAGG
PROTESTERS CHAIN THEMSELVES TO CALIFORNIA GOV. NEWSOM’S HOME AS CORONAVIRUS DEATHS MOUNT AT SAN QUENTIN
by Don Thompson
SACRAMENTO — Demonstrators chained themselves to a fence outside Gov. Gavin Newsom's home on Monday, calling for mass inmate releases and an end to immigration transfers because of the coronavirus pandemic, as deaths mounted at a San Francisco Bay Area prison.
The California Highway Patrol cut the chains linking protesters to the bars of the gate at the front of the residence in suburban Sacramento after about two hours, but could not immediately say how many had been arrested.
Television footage showed 14 demonstrators sitting cross-legged and chained to each other and the front gate, wearing surgical-style masks and plastic face shields to keep from spreading the virus.
The California Liberation Collective organized the protest that it said included several community organizers who are in the country illegally as well as immigration attorneys whose clients risk becoming infected.
The 14 were backed by dozens of other protesters calling for more prison releases because of outbreaks particularly at San Quentin State Prison. Nineteen inmates have now died there, including a 10th inmate from death row over the weekend, tying the death toll with the California Institution for Men east of Los Angeles.
Demonstrators want Newsom to grant mass clemency and order more earlier releases to reduce the prison population, the collective said in a statement. The governor has previously ordered steps projected to lead to the early release of about 10,000 inmates, or nearly 10% of the inmate population.
The collective called that “too little, too late." The 14 were backed by a banner hanging from the governor's gate saying “Free Them All.”
It accused Newsom of “hypocrisy” for putting a moratorium on executions while he is governor but said he has “presided over dozens of preventable deaths in state prisons" and “issues hollow statements about racial justice while leaving Black and Brown people to die in squalid cells.”
Newsom's office did not respond to a request for comment.
The collective also called on Newsom, a Democrat, to halt transfers of inmates from state and local custody to federal immigration officials, and to stop the expansion of immigration detention.
It said he “criticizes Trump when convenient, but ... turns incarcerated Californians who are eligible for release over to ICE instead of their loved ones.”
California already has state laws blocking immigration facilities and limiting law enforcement agencies' cooperation with immigration officials.
Meanwhile Monday, more than 100 University of California, San Francisco doctors were among 750 people signing a statement delivered to Newsom calling for more prison releases. The move was organized by UCSF's chapter of White Coats For Black Lives, which said the signers also include nurses and other medical and mental health providers, students and community members.
They and the collective both called for reducing San Quentin's inmate population by half to slow the spread of the virus.
For most people, the new coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough that clear up in two to three weeks. For some — especially older adults and people with existing health problems — it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia, and death.
Condemned San Quentin inmate Johnny Avila Jr., 62, was the latest to die Sunday of suspected complications from the coronavirus. The 19 overall deaths there during the state's worst prison outbreak ties San Quentin with the California Institution for Men in Southern California, which previously had the most deaths.
Avila was among three men convicted in 1994 of two counts of first-degree murder for the slayings of two young women in 1991. The other two men were sentenced to life prison terms.
Dorothy Medina and Arlene Sanchez attended a party in rural Fresno, “where Medina was brutally gang-raped,” according to a state Supreme Court decision upholding Avila's death sentence. She and Sanchez were then driven to the bank of a canal and killed, each with two bullets to the head.
Avila is the latest of 47 inmates to die statewide of suspected virus complications.
More than 1,800 inmates statewide currently have tested positive for the virus, while officials say more than 5,600 have recovered. San Quentin has more than 500 active cases, more than the next two hardest-hit prisons combined.
(courtesy Associated Press)
SAM COONROD: THE ANTI-KAEPERNICK
Giants Pitcher Explains Refusal To Kneel For Black Lives: “I’m A Christian.”
by Hemant Mehta
During Friday night’s baseball game — their first of the shortened season — San Francisco Giants relief pitcher Sam Coonrod refused to take a knee with the rest of his teammates in honor of Black lives and the fight against racial injustice. The preplanned act of symbolism took place just before the National Anthem.
Coonrod later said that as a Christian, he didn’t want to kneel for anything other than God...which might have made some sense if he didn’t go on to spread right-wing propaganda about what Black Lives Matter represents.
“I’m a Christian,” Coonrod said. “I can’t get on board on a couple of things I’ve read about Black Lives Matter, how they lean toward Marxism and said some negative things about the nuclear family.”
He was referring to comments made five years ago by a Black Lives Matter co-founder, acknowledging she was a Marxist, cited repeatedly now by some conservative commentators.
“I meant no ill will by it,” Coonrod said. “I don’t think I’m better than anybody. I’m just a Christian. I believe I can’t kneel before anything but God, Jesus Christ. I chose not to kneel. I feel if I did kneel I’d be a hypocrite. I don’t want to be a hypocrite.”
He’s just a Christian, but most everyone else who was kneeling is...what, exactly?
Most of those players are undoubtedly Christian too. Somehow, they understood the difference between using their platform to draw attention to racism and injustice through the act of kneeling and staying true to their personal beliefs.
Had Coonrod kneeled who exactly would have called him out as a religious hypocrite? It’s a bogeyman that exists only in his mind.
But he decided the simple gesture was actually an act of Christian Persecution, as if Major League Baseball wanted him to violate his religious freedom. The selfishness right there is unbelievable. Christians who have similar mindsets routinely want everyone pledging allegiance to the U.S. flag...but kneeling for Black lives is somehow crossing the line?
The controversy is less about his not-kneeling and more about Coonrod’s bizarre misunderstanding about what BLM represents, as if one person stands for the entire movement, or as if everyone who’s been protesting these past several weeks gives a damn about every word written on the Black Lives Matter website.
To not even understand what his colleagues are doing, and then to cite his faith as a shield against criticism, just reveals how little he knows about the moment we’re in as a nation...
Coonrod shouldn’t be penalized for not kneeling. His manager already said there was no issue in the clubhouse. But no one should pretend this has anything to do with faith when plenty of other players who share his religion knew better.
This wasn’t some Colin Kaepernick act-of-courage moment. This was ignorance masquerading as faith. He’s lucky there weren’t fans in the stands able to react to it in real time.
FRISCO DICK IN THE WASP, FORT BRAGG
GOLD AND SILVER ARE JUST GETTING STARTED
by Frank Holmes
The U.S. Mint made an unusual request last week. In a press release dated July 23, the bureau literally begged Americans to start putting coins back into circulation by spending or depositing them.
As you may have noticed, people just aren’t making transactions with coinage like they used to. That’s especially the case now in the age of the coronavirus. With many people sheltering-in-place, billions of dollars in everyday purchases are being made online that in normal times would have happened at the cash register.
This is creating a national coin shortage.
“Until coin circulation patterns return to normal, it may be more difficult for retailers and small businesses to accept cash payments,” the Mint writes, adding that for millions of Americans, cash is the only form of payment. Without coins, retailers can’t break bills.
This crisis, if it can be called that, got me thinking about the velocity of money. In simple terms, money velocity measures the number of times a unit of currency changes hands in a given period of time. As an illustration, imagine you spend $10 on lunch at a restaurant in a strip mall. That same $10 is then used by the restaurant owner to pay the lease, the landlord then uses it to pay its own creditors, and so on.
When the velocity of money increases, it suggests greater economic activity. Money is being spent more freely and rapidly. And when it decreases, it suggests the opposite—that the economy is stagnating or deteriorating. People aren’t spending.
Below is the velocity of M2 money supply, which includes not just cash but also so-called “near money”: savings deposits, money market securities and the like. As you can see, it’s at its lowest level ever, using 60 years’ worth of data.
So what does this mean, and can we blame coin hoarders for this decline? Hardly. Instead, we should be directing the blame at the Federal Reserve, which has flooded the economy with easy money.
Record Money-Printing Has Been Rocket Fuel for the Price of Gold
Never before in its 244-year history has the U.S. economy been so saturated with money. In fact, there’s too much of it. M2 money supply growth is at 24 percent year-over-year, the fastest rate ever.
Obviously the economy isn’t growing that quickly. It’s simply impossible for much of this newly-issued money to be lent out to consumers, and with rates so low, there’s little financial incentive to do so. So it’s just sitting in banks’ excess reserves.
Kind of like how coins are just sitting in people’s couch cushions and mason jars right now instead of being put into circulation.
For many people, this underlines the belief that fiat currency is intrinsically worthless. Because cash is not linked to a hard asset—or, for that matter, anything of value—the central bank is free to print as much of it as it pleases, right out of thin air, regardless of there being a demand for it or not.
And as anyone who’s taken high school economics knows, when supply outpaces demand, the value of any asset plummets.
THE INSANE LEADING THE BLIND
by James Kunstler
On our way to becoming a nation of hobos, the Democratic Party’s Antifa shock troops brought out the lethal weapons this weekend, hoping to provoke a Kent State 2.0 type bloodbath that would clinch the election for the mummified remains of Joe Biden, currently reposing in his basement sepulcher. How’d that work out?
In Louisville, Saturday, just after lunchtime, the self-styled Not Fucking Around Coalition (NFAC) was mustering for action and “inspecting firearms” (according to NFAC comandante Grand Master Jay) when one of said weapons accidently discharged and mowed down three NFAC warriors — nicely demonstrating the hazards of fucking around with loaded weapons.
In Austin Saturday night, one feckless BLM mob marcher name of Garrett Foster brought his AK-47 to the street party. When he pointed it at a motorist trapped by the crowd, he got blown away to that great struggle session in the sky, the surprise of his life, I’m sure.
In Portland, OR, police found a bag of loaded rifle magazines and Molotov cocktails in the nearby park that serves as the rioters’ marshaling yard. Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler did not attend the evening’s frolics at the sore beset federal courthouse, having successfully subjected himself to ritual humiliation himself a few nights earlier. After midnight Sunday, police declared the Antifa actions “a riot” and made a few arrests.
Up Seattle way, a federal judge struck down the city council’s order against police using tear gas and pepper spray on rioters just in time for another weekend of rioting. SPD Chief Carmen Best declared, “In the spirit of offering trust and full transparency, I want to advise you that SPD officers will be carrying pepper spray and blast balls today, as would be typical for events that carry potential to include violence.” Hours later, after Antifas smashed the windows of ground-floor businesses, set fire to a construction site, and trashed the SPD’s East Precinct building, pepper spray and blast balls were deployed and forty-five of the mob were arrested (on rioting, assault, and other charges), while twenty-one SPD officers were injured.
Down in LA, Antifas broke into the federal Bureau of Prisons Detention Center. In Richmond, VA, rioters set fire to a city dump truck used as a barrier to protect a police station.
So it goes in the insurrection summer of 2020. The nation’s attention is averted from the real action taking place as the economy continues to implode and the US dollar slides on the Forex market — meaning that not only is business failing everywhere, and livelihoods extinguished, but the medium-of-exchange that represents all transactions by any remaining business is accelerating its decline toward the target value: zero. This is unfortunately what comes of the fiscal profligacy prompted by the corona virus crisis, with the Senate poised to introduce another $1 trillion in an emergency assistance spending bill that would reimburse 70 percent of unemployed workers’ lost wages. Over on the House side, Speaker Nancy Pelosi upped the ante to $3 trillion in emergency spending, designed to crater the dollar even faster and, theoretically, assure a Democratic Party victory on November 3 (to govern the smoldering cinder that will be left of the USA).
The counterforce to that lethal inflation is the choking off of capital flows from the tens of millions of mortgages, car loans, and myriad other obligations that can’t possibly be paid in August, September, and October. These tributaries flow into the larger rivers of capital, and when they dry up the entire global banking order may keel over, with those fabled financial weapons of mass destruction, the derivatives, triggering an orgy of counterparty insolvency. When capital stops flowing, you see, money doesn’t just sit there, it vanishes. The question is: can it disappear faster than fiscal policy-gone-wild can summon fresh money into existence? I guess we’ll find out.
The world has gone broke before — the Dark Ages, the Plague Years, the Thirty Years’ War, the Great Depression — but never broke like this, or this badly, or had so many people in it who were going to suffer from being broke. The Antifas on the streets of Portland, Seattle, and elsewhere probably don’t have collateralized loan obligations and other financial esoterica on their minds, but these things lurk somewhere in the collective subconscious behind the nihilism they’ve fallen into these brutal dog days of summer as the insane lead the blind.
(Support Kunstler’s writing by visiting his Patreon Page.)
NAVY DIRIGIBLE, FORT BRAGG
by Jonah Raskin (With apologies to Allen Ginsberg)
America I’ve given you my blood and my skin and
now I’m too old to riot in the streets of Portland,
$57 in my wallet and a quarter in my pocket, July 24, 2020
My thoughts are driving me crazy
America, when will you behave like a civilized nation?
Go fuck yourself with your armed federal agents and your tear gas
I’m in a bad mood tonight so get lost
I won’t finish this poem until I can clear my head
America when will you become enlightened
when will you strip down before all the nations of the world
when will you see who you really are
When will you be worthy of all the members of SNCC
America when will you stop using food to control the planet
I’m sick of your hypocrisy and your bombast.
When will I be able to go into my supermarket and buy local organic
food that doesn’t cost a fortune?
Don’t promise me apple pie in the sky when I die
Your 5-G towers are a nightmare
I want to live out my days as a wandering dharma bum
Isn’t there a way to avoid lining the capitalists up against the wall
and opening fire?
Che Guevarra didn’t really die in Bolivia, but I don’t think he’s
comin’ back to save us from Corona and trigger-happy cops
I’m really trying to get my message across
I refuse to give up my dream of revolution
America, stop ordering me about. I have a mind of my own.
I’ve been rereading Das Capital, like it more than Thomas Piketty
I refuse to pledge allegiance to a country that massacred thousands of
Indians, enslaved millions of Africans
I still haven’t forgiven you for what you’ve done to the immigrant
children on the border and in East L.A., East Oakland, East N.Y.
I wish I could stop reading the N.Y. Times online before I go to bed
It occurs to me that I carry the seeds of John Brown inside me and
that I’m talking to myself again,
that Mitt Romney doesn’t stand a chance against Trump
America do something now for all the unborn George Floyds in all
the cities from coast to coast
America I am Breonna Taylor and all her Black sisters
America I used to attend SDS meetings, listen to Mark Rudd orate,
before my ex wife went underground and
after I tried to levitate the Pentagon, protested against apartheid and
always loved the IWW
America, it’s those Chinese and Russian spies, and those terrorists
who want our Coca Cola and our Internet.
America I’m scattering my ashes above the fruited plain and praying for a rebirth of wonder.
(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.)
TROUT FARM, FORT BRAGG
SHOULD I QUIT MY JOB? California Parents Grapple With Education in a Pandemic
by Ricardo Cano & Lauren Hepler
They worry about who will care for the children and how far their education will slide.
They anxiously await details on what distance learning will actually look like this fall, hopeful but skeptical that there will be more structure and support than a spring of crisis education that left many dissatisfied.
They’re furiously networking on Facebook and Nextdoor in the tens of thousands to form learning pods or arrange childcare. They’ve placed a huge number of calls to local tutoring services in search of help. Some wonder who will watch their child — let alone supervise online classes — while they work essential jobs.
Parents of more than 5.9 million California K-12 children are scrambling to adapt to a new reality without schools to send their children to. Ninety six percent of the state’s total enrollment calls one of the 37 counties currently on the state’s watch list home. Many students still do not have computers and internet essential for connecting online, and research has increasingly shown the inequitable toll distance learning took on disadvantaged students who lacked opportunities to meaningfully engage in learning.
Many teachers and parents remain worried that physically reopening schools while coronavirus cases surge in most of the state will endanger educators and students and further spread the virus. Schools, which spent weeks devising plans for socially distant classrooms, still lack financial support from the federal government they say they need to safely reopen. Last week, as coronavirus cases continued to rise in California, Gov. Gavin Newsom unveiled new requirements that effectively shut the door for most schools to begin school with in-person instruction until their respective counties stabilize infections and hospitalizations.
Now, millions of working parents like Rebecca Hill in Chico have to wade through constantly evolving scenarios about the school year ahead, weighing the twin stressors of how prolonged campus closures will affect their childrens’ learning and mental well-being, as well as their own livelihoods.
Hill’s son and daughter will start second grade and kindergarten in less than a month under distance learning after Butte County landed this week on the state’s COVID-19 watch list, which now governs whether local public and private schools can physically reopen for in-person instruction.
But Hill, 38, is also back at work as a code inspector in neighboring Yuba County, where she spends her days scoping out buildings, nuisance calls and illegal marijuana grows in the rural northern county.
A few weeks ago, Hill and her husband debated whether to opt for morning or afternoon in-person classes under proposed hybrid scheduling — an anxiety-inducing prospect since her husband is immuno-compromised and receives dialysis three days a week. After their district said last week that it would start the year online, the question became whether to enroll full-time in an online school offered by the district, which Hill is leaning toward to minimize chances that her husband will get sick if and when schools do re-open in person. Homeschooling might be an option if they had the time.
One thing is for sure: “We definitely don’t have the ability for me to not work,” said Hill, the family breadwinner.
In Los Angeles, Tunette Powell’s three sons will begin the new year under distance learning, but details so far remain sparse three weeks before schools begin instruction, adding stress for how she and her husband, an essential worker, will balance work and co-teaching their kids.
As it did when it initially closed schools in mid-March, L.A. Unified, a massive district of 600,000 students, created a ripple effect across the state when it said July 13 that it would begin the year with full-time distance learning, citing surging cases in the county.
Superintendent Austin Beutner and school leaders across California have told families that distance learning programs will be more rigorous and robust than what schools offered this spring. New statewide standards for distance learning will attempt to hold schools accountable, and students will be graded for their work.
Still, many critical questions remain unanswered for Powell and other parents as the first day of school draws closer.
What will the school day look like? Will there be a consistent start time every day to plan her workday around? How much face time will her kids get with their teachers, and will her 11-year-old receive more live interaction than the weekly, one-hour check-ins from this spring? Will the district distribute newer devices to replace the outdated ones that resulted in several technical headaches last spring? Will there be support for Powell’s kindergartner and other young students not yet adept at using technology to learn?
“I don’t know any of that. I know none of that. It worries me,” said Powell, interim director of UCLA’s Parent Project, a think tank aiming to improve parent engagement in schools.
Powell’s oldest son, the 11-year-old entering sixth grade, is not enthusiastic about continuing distance learning. She’s especially worried about her youngest son, a 5-year-old who will start kindergarten at Baldwin Hills Elementary. Many academics believe younger students should be among the most prioritized groups for getting into physical classrooms once it’s reasonably safe to do so, arguing that elementary students stand the most to lose from being away from classrooms.
“He knows he’s going to a new school,” Powell said, “but I don’t think he’s fully grasped that going to a new school is going to happen in his room, so that’s been difficult.”
With schools across the country planning for distance learning starts, parent interest in arranging “learning pods,” in which small groups of students are taught by a tutor or teacher, has grown.
Shannon Mulligan, owner of Marin Tutors, has seen that spontaneous interest firsthand.
“As soon as Gov. Newsom announced schools weren’t going to open, my phone rang every day, all day, for four days in a row,” Mulligan said, with parents inquiring about teachers or tutors willing to participate in a learning pod.
The pod concept has attracted everyone from working class moms holding down full-time jobs looking for tutors to help guide their students during distance learning to a dad looking to secure a teacher for more than 60 hours a month to teach curriculum supplementing what his kids learn online.
Mulligan’s tutoring company, which also works with the county to offer services for foster youth, charges hourly rates that vary depending on educators’ experience. Individual rates for parents go down as students are added to the pod, with a cap of five kids. Once inside a pod, everyone wears masks outside, socially distanced.
Traffic on Mulligan’s website has increased by 75% since Newsom’s July 17 announcement. She said many calls come from parents with incoming kindergartners wary of how the tots will fare learning remotely.
“So many (parents) said to me when they called, ‘I didn’t want to have this happen, but I’m forced to homeschool now,’” Mulligan said.
Comprehensive current data on how working parents are adapting to school closures remains elusive. It’s unclear how many parents statewide have been laid off, reduced work hours or quit their jobs and filed for unemployment, since neither the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics or the California Employment Development Department include parental status in monthly job reports. That’s especially true for essential workers, who in California are disproportionately Black and Latino and have experienced higher infection rates, since policy analysts usually rely on longer-term Census surveys to gauge economic status.
“I don’t know if we do know a lot about those families, to be honest,” said Kristin Schumacher, a senior policy analyst at the California Budget & Policy Center, who is also juggling her 6-year-old’s Zoom classes while she works remotely. “The reality is a lot of families are really scrambling under impossible situations to make this work.”
In Santa Cruz County, Erendira Guerrero and her team at Encompass Community Services are trying to help fill the gaps for parents who work at farms, grocery stores, cleaning services and medical offices with remote versions of their Head Start and Papás program for fathers. Wellness check-ins are now done by phone or video chat, and more than 600 care packages have been distributed with diapers, toys and learning aids like puppets, bubbles and songs in English and Spanish.
Still, the pandemic has exposed major holes in systems like unemployment, rent assistance and health care, especially for undocumented families.
“A big part of our program’s work is focused on connecting parents with resources in the community to support their needs,” Guerrero said. “Some of our families are just not as comfortable sharing their needs over the phone or video.”
Existing regulations offer limited protection for working parents considering requesting time off or other alternatives to juggle school and jobs. For companies with 25 or more employees, California workers are guaranteed five days of job protection for emergencies under the Family School Partnership Act. The California Family Rights Act allows workers at companies with 50 or more employees to take 12 weeks off for a new child or family illness. In March, the federal government enacted the Families First Coronavirus Response Act to extend 12 weeks off for school conflicts, but it only applies to companies with 500 or fewer employees and excludes industries including health care providers.
For many families, that leaves “no great options,” said Katherine Wutchiett, senior staff attorney for San Francisco advocacy group Legal Aid at Work.
“We always recommend talking with your employer, seeing if there’s something that you can work out with them,” Wutchiett said. But outside those limited exceptions, “At the end of the day, if the employer says you have to be at work and they cannot be at work… there isn’t any legal obligation on their employer’s part to continue holding their job.”
Education policy advocate and former teacher Elliot Haspel floated the idea of a “Parent Protection Program,” modeled off forgivable loans made to businesses under the federal Paycheck Protection Program, but the prospect of major reform is uncertain. A bill from Santa Barbara Democrat Hannah-Beth Jackson, S.B. 1383, would expand state requirements for employers to provide 12 weeks of unpaid family leave and was approved by the state Senate but still requires sign off in the Assembly. Presumptive Democratic Presidential nominee Joe Biden’s plan for universal childcare, introduced this week, could help, but is several months away at best.
In the meantime, remote schools offer a prime example of the state’s increasingly polarized economy.
Some employees of deep-pocketed companies, especially in the tech industry, are offered company-funded online tools, additional paid time off or flexible schedules. Many essential workers have no recourse. The toll on women’s employment and the gender wage gap, kids’ educational attainment and costs for businesses seeing employees leave the workforce are just the beginning.
“What economists don’t consider often enough is the economic cost of duress,” said Tracey Grose, founding principal of Bay Area business consultancy Next Curve Strategy, who herself helped supervise Zoom classes for the children of two working neighbors in the fall. “When a family is stressed out trying to keep a roof over their heads, they cannot be the best parents they can be.”
Felecia Przybyla, a Sacramento County mom, is trying to answer long-term questions on short deadlines before classes resume. She works remotely for a company out of state while her husband reports to his job with the county, leaving her to juggle her own work calls and her three elementary-age childrens’ need for instruction and technology help. While she doesn’t want to rely on the state, Przybyla has considered leaving her job to focus on school and file for unemployment with expanded aid available to contractors like her.
So far, she’s held off.
“We’re hoping to buy a house in the next six months, and I need to have a job,” Przybyla said. “I don’t want to give that up, either, and I don’t think I should have to be put in a position to decide between a job that provides for our family and my kids’ schooling.”
ONE OF MY FAVORITE PHOTOS of Marilyn.
It is by Milton Greene. I first saw it in one of those in-flight magazines. I got hold of Milton, finally, asking to buy an original print. I got some great stories from him about how Marilyn was a huge fan of Lincoln and had read every book about him. He kept saying, "We were boy and girlfriend." Yeah, I get it Milton, but how about the photo? He is gone now and I never did get it. But I will.
— Bill Kimberlin
ON LINE COMMENTS OF THE WEEK
 “I really have to wonder why I spent all that money on her education and she can’t think for herself…. Why can’t most HS kids pass a simple math test? Write a coherent sentence?”
– I work in higher ed, which I think is mostly doomed in the next decade for a panoply of reasons, of which the most germane to this conversation is that you can’t have higher ed without “lower ed” first
– “Lower ed” (i.e., primary and secondary ed) is now about ensuring that there is someone to watch the young’uns while the folks are at work, that some kids get three square meals a day, and that violence is kept to a minimum, with only the occasional faculty injury or parental arrest.
– Who needs to know how to read and write when your smart house or social worker will do all that for you? And math is hard, and therefore [insert absurdly inflammatory politicized adjective here].
– As to why your higher ed’ed kid does not think for herself: thinking for yourself, or thinking critically (or even thinking, period), has been replaced in most non-STEM curricula by Critical Theory, Marcuse, Foucault, and Derrida. These intellectual anti-intellectuals see certain forms of thinking for yourself (unsurprisingly, those that contradict today’s cultural marching orders, which usually subvert norms while always leaving the real owners in charge) as making us into “bad people.” Cancel culture doesn’t seek to change actions, it seeks to change hearts and minds, to bring them into conformity with the day’s orthodoxy. It is theology, and stoopid theology at that.
2] “Do you suppose that voters have had a good look at these scenes and concluded that the Democratic Party is perhaps uninterested in civil order?”
This is 1968 all over again. All those ‘60s riots and things in the streets openly going to hell. The Great Silent Majority was watching back then and so they elected an insecure paranoid fellow who once said I Am Not A Crook who promised Law and Order in response to seeing all the mayhem. The silly public bought the joke and had law and order until Mr Not Crook was caught obstructing justice. Will the same fear response by the public happen again in 2020? Or, has the current occupant of The Big Chair tweeted once too many times, thrown one too many insults, displayed a bit too much Pure Ego to fit the taste of the Vast Uncounted Souls out in the sticks beyond the Beltway? In 2020, the victor will either be The Big Ego Man or the Who The-Hell-Am-I Man? Somehow this all seems to fit the spirit of the times just right. Either way, America loses.
“Is there anything about this republic that you think is worth defending?
Just having to pose this question just about answers it fully. Too many deep wrongs committed over too many years by too many people and too many mortal wounds left unhealed does not lead to a healthy body politic. And all the doctors are missing, too. Is that a warning siren we are hearing, or a funeral dirge? Maybe both.
 This is starting to feel like deja vu all over again. Clinton hands Pigmy Bush a fantastic economy, and what does Bush do? One disaster after another. 9/11. Iraq War. Hurricane Katrina. Finally the Great Financial Crisis where we’re losing a million jobs a month, unemployment at over 10% and people losing their homes in record numbers. Stock market in the toilet. Enter Barrack Obama, and like some majic shaman or voodoo doctor, he brings the economy back from the dead. Stock market at all time highs. Unemployment below 5%, health care for all Americans. And this with oil at over $100 barrel most of his term. Still had growth between 2 & 3 %. He hands this dream economy to Trump, who proceeds to do what he does best. He runs it into the ground. Now unemployment back over 10%. Biggest deficits in history BY FAR. Race riots in the street. Biggest public health crisis in American history with 140,000 dead and counting. This ain’t 1918 folks. You think America would wake up to the fact that conservative Republicans don’t know what they’re doing and run em out of Dodge? Biden gets the same crapper economy that his boss got. Deja vu all over again.
 Portland Mayor Wheeler actually got up and spoke to the crowd, like that other political failure, Mayor Jacob Frey of Minneapolis. Wheeler declared his support for BLM. He was asked if he would “defund” the police. He said no, he would not. He was quickly shouted down. He had a group of plain clothes police officers around him the entire time to protect him since the rioters next to the Mark O. Hatfield Federal Courthouse have repeatedly and violently assaulted numerous persons, some quite egregiously, often at random. He was later pelted with water and water bottles and had to be shielded when he was grabbed by several rioters as he returned to the “Justice Center”, ie. the central police station, located next to the Hatfield Courthouse.
Background on Ted Wheeler: He is the descendant of the founder of one of the six companies that were combined to created Willamette Industries, a large timber company that was purchased by Weyerhaeuser in 2002 for nearly $8 billion. He possesses an elite educational trifecta pedigree, having earned degrees from Stanford, Columbia and Harvard. He is personally worth north of $10 million. His mother just passed away, so perhaps he stands to inherit more money. His wife of many years has announced she is divorcing him, and thus he has moved out their house.
He faces a close run-off race for reelection as mayor, having failed to garner >50% of the primary vote total. His opponent is far further left politically than he is, so it is plausible that he is attempting to carve off a piece of her supporters by showing some sympathy towards their support for anarchical behavior that has been tolerated in Portland for the better part of four years.
On balance, Ted Wheeler has been the worst mayor in Portland in a long, long time. However, there are a number of mind-numbing radicals lining up to serve on Portland City Council, intent on implementing all sorts of social planning schemes to satisfy their moralization in the midst of this Great Awakening religious revival.
 Calling the protesters “antifa” may sound good but you miss the mark. You’ve got a mixture of old and young, different races and religions, but mostly a big number of pissed off people who are pissed off about a bunch of different problems.
Unemployment is probably 25-30% (the government statistics are rigged); we’ve got 30 million unemployed and the government doesn’t even count the 100 million who stopped looking. 50% of the population owns almost zero of the country’s wealth; 40% of Americans can’t come up with $400 for an emergency; 25-50% of small businesses will not survive the virus shutdown. One-third of renters and homeowners can’t pay their rent or mortgage. And before the pandemic, something like five million car loans were in arrears, so the evicted won’t even have cars to live in. And tens of millions have no health insurance–or crappy health insurance–during a damn pandemic. Hell, I’d be in the streets too.
We are in a depression and Congress has bailed out all the people who don’t need the money. And then you wonder why people are losing it?
 Fantasy and mania run rampant in the delusional republic, no more so than in the bastions of higher – cough – learning where derangement of emotion and disorder in logical processing mark the scholar and philosopher and self-proclaimed thought leader.
You can see it on the telly, in such shows as Amanpour’s gab-fest where self-congratulating participants laud themselves and the people that led the US and much of the world into this historical cul-de-sac where rules of nature and of such minor considerations as the march of history and its lessons are proclaimed to be suspended for no reason other than their inconvenience.
Realty’s logic is iron-clad but its means are devious. If disease plagues the thought processes of an increasingly unfit “thinking” class, with the concept of a “borderless world” as one of its manifestations, Reality has the solution. It’s called the coronavirus. You hear about natural selection? This is natural selection.
Most severely affected right now are the underclasses, those serving the physical needs of the intellectual, you know, people like farm workers, people in meat plants, but as economic and societal disruption spread, it becomes a matter of who has the means to provide for himself and his family i.e. guys with practical skills and not only that but means of self defense, i.e. fire-arms. And intellectuals have got a severe deficit in both these departments.
It’s a lesson of history, one of those buggery things that you see dotted throughout the written and archaeological record, elites are upended when they fail to get a clue.