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LARGE SURF AND HIGH TIDES will be the main concern today, with early morning showers and lingering low clouds lifting for the afternoon. After a dry break on Monday, heavier and steadier rain will return Monday night and Tuesday for the northern half of our area. (NWS)
40 NEW COVID CASES reported in Mendocino County on Saturday, bringing total to 2886.
DUNGENESS CRAB PRICE STRIKE ENDS: Markets may see stocks return by next week.
January 7, 2017 — An 11-day strike by thousands of West Coast crab fishermen has ended after a successful negotiation of prices with seafood processors.
The agreement reached late Friday will restart the sputtering season for much-sought-after Dungeness crabs in Northern California, Oregon and Washington.
The Humboldt Fishermen’s Marketing Association told KRCR-TV in Eureka that the crabbers had settled on a price of $2.875 per pound of crabs with major buyer Pacific Choice Seafood.
The processors had initially agreed to $3 a pound in early December, then backed off to $2.75, which led to the strike. The agreed-upon price is halfway between those figures.
The association said the deal was reached in Oregon, which sets the price for the entire coast.
Bernie Lindley, a crab fisherman in Brookings, Oregon, said he has mixed feelings about the price.
“Happy? I don’t know,” Lindley told the Curry Coastal Pilot. “In a successful negotiation, nobody’s happy and nobody’s pissed. For me, personally, I wish it would’ve been resolved more fairly for the fishermen.”
The strike left crab pots empty in Sonoma County and much of the state during what is normally a busy part of the season.
UKIAH SHELTER PET OF THE WEEK
Gigi is an owner surrender, so we have lots of information about her. Gigi lived in a home with kids, including very young children, and did well. She is described as a very mothering dog to kids and animals. According to her previous guardian, Gigi gets along with all animals—including cats, is well behaved, enjoys playing in water, and loves car rides. Gigi is a smart cookie and already knows sit, down and shake. Gigi is a mixed breed dog who is five years old and 72 pounds.
For more about Gigi, go to mendoanimalshelter.com. While you’re there, read about our services, programs, events, and updates regarding covid-19, as it impacts Mendocino County Shelters in Ukiah and Ft. Bragg. Also, check out our adoptable dogs and cats! Visit us on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/mendoanimalshelter/ For information about adoptions please call 707-467-6453.
SUPERVISOR WILLIAMS: Governor Newsom’s fiscal year 2021-2022 budget proposal released today includes a proposal to consolidate the three state licensing authorities into a single Department of Cannabis Control. This proposal was first announced in January 2020 but was delayed due to the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. If approved by the Legislature, the new Department will be created on July 1, 2021.
SCOTT WARD REPLIED: Just moving the deck chairs on the Titantic. California government is incapable of streamlining or simplifying anything. Same tune different band.
MARK BOUDOURES wants to know: "Has anyone noticed an extension ladder that wasn’t there yesterday? Stolen from in front of Lauren’s last night (Friday). Thanks for your help."
ANDERSON VALLEY VILLAGE MONTHLY ZOOM GATHERING with Mendocino Public Health Officer Dr. Andy Coren.
See YouTube from Jan 8th (52 min): Public Health Officer Dr. Andy Coren provides an update on the status of COVID-19 in Mendocino County. Find out about the vaccine distribution plan as well.: https://gmail.us3.list-manage.com/track/click?u=cea1e601922fa82e47579cc80&id=f8ce2a78ad&e=358077c1c9
AND Join us for: AV Village Monthly Zoom Gathering: Knowledge is Power — Discover the invaluable Senior resources in our county! Sunday January 10th 4 to 5 PM
Did you know there is a one stop shop when it comes to knowing senior resources in the county?
Meet the Community Resources Specialist who has responded to the questions and needs of more than 5,000 local older adults and their loved ones. Kathy Johnson with Community Care’s Senior Information & Assistance Program will highlight frequent aging topics and referrals as we greet 2021 with new wisdom and energy. https://gmail.us3.list-manage.com/track/click?u=cea1e601922fa82e47579cc80&id=1ef7eb8f9f&e=358077c1c9
Zoom link below and will be emailed to our mailing list at least the week before, please RSVP with the coordinator (firstname.lastname@example.org) so we can get an idea of attendance, thank you. Looking forward to seeing you soon! BYOB for a more enjoyable event!
Meeting ID: 434 337 6734
One tap mobile +16699009128,,4343376734#,,,,,,0#,,490940# US (San Jose)
Dial by your location +1 669 900 9128 US (San Jose)
MENDOCINO COAST HEALTH CARE DISTRICT MEASURE C OVERSIGHT COMMITTEE
The Mendocino Coast Health Care District Measure C Oversight Committee is looking for 2 new members. Please join us Monday 1/11/2021 to learn more about the committee. For more info contact email@example.com
FROM THE GRACE HOUSE/SUN HOUSE MUSEUM
As the sun sets on 2020, we thought we'd share a look back at the past Grace Hudson Museum year in images. From the pre-pandemic days of exhibits to the Wild Gardens in bloom, our first ever virtual Gala, expanded social media series, and some of our Fall programs. We celebrated the retirements of Sherrie Smith-Ferri and Karen Holmes, and welcomed new curator, Alyssa Boge. Somehow we got through this crazy and challenging year.
Many thanks to all of our members, volunteers, stakeholders, and constituents. We couldn't have done it without your encouragement, kind words, generosity, and all around support. What will 2021 bring? We are eager to see. Wishing all of you a safe and blessed New Year! See you on the other side.
THE MYSTERY OF THE BROKEN GLASSES
by Wes Smoot
One morning in early March of 1971 I was one of the workmen gathered in the Laytonville State Highway Maintenance Yard awaiting instructions on the day's work. During this usual pre-work bull session I overheard the boss, L.B. Peterson, say that he had heard a strange tale that weekend in Boomer's Bar, the local tavern. As he retold it I was so intrigued that I decided to do some investigating.
It seems that Claude Rose, a bartender at Boomer’s, had worked on a ranch near Middletown a year or so back in the heart of Lake County’s “diamond” country. Rose and his wife are rockhounds and naturally collected some of the diamonds (which are really quartz crystals). Mrs. Rose later showed me a widemouth quart jar which she said had been full of the rough diamonds but they had given about half of them to friends and fellow rock hounds.
Claude's stories are one of the attractions at Boomer’s and one day in September of 1970 a stranger and his wife who had come in for a drink heard his story about finding the diamonds. They asked if they might see them and possibly buy one or two. Claude replied that he would give them some, but the rocks were at his home and he couldn't leave the bar to get them. The stranger said they would be passing through Laytonville again in about two weeks and he would stop at the bar to pick up the diamonds.
The next day Claude brought a few of the diamonds to the bar and put them in a two-ounce heavy-base shot glass on a shelf over the cash register. Four days later he and a couple of customers heard a sharp plinking sound from near the register. The best way he could describe the sound was to say it reminded him of the report of a 22 caliber rifle.
Looking in the direction of the sound, Claude saw that the shot glass containing the diamonds was lying in two pieces. The glass had broken from the lip at the top, down one side, across the bottom and up the other side. The glass had not shattered; the break was so smooth it looked as if it had been cut. Claude found no evidence that anything had struck the glass and he was certain it had not been cracked when he put the diamonds in it.
A couple of weeks later, early in October, the couple who had asked for the diamonds returned. By this time three shot glasses had broken in the same mysterious way and of course Claude told the couple about this. They found it hard to believe even when they saw the broken glasses.
Nevertheless the couple asked permission to buy a couple of the shot glasses to take along with the diamonds.
Later they wrote to Claude to say that in a casino in Reno, Nevada, they had made a bet with a bartender that their diamonds would break a shot glass within seven days. This was something of a gamble on their part, for all they had to go on was Claude’s story.
The bartender took the wager and set the shot glass (one the couple had bought from Boomer’s) with the diamonds in it on the back bar. The glass fell apart in less than three hours! This was the shortest time yet, the longest having been nine days.
Vern Tweedy, the manager at Boomer’s, was astounded by the phenomenon. He tried putting the diamonds in different types of glasses such as those used for highballs, cocktails and old-fashioneds. Nothing happened. Tweedy went so far as to purchase another case of shot glasses from his supplier on the assumption that perhaps something was wrong with those he had on hand — but the diamonds broke the new shot glasses in the same manner.
On one occasion, two mining engineers working temporarily in Laytonville heard what was happening and came to see for themselves. After listening to the story they bought a few of the glasses from Tweedy and Claude gave them a few of the diamonds. That night the two engineers stayed in a Laytonville hotel. After what they had heard they didn't want to chance breaking a glass until they got to their own homes, but in handling the diamonds before they retired they must have placed one of the rocks near a shot glass because the next morning when they got up the glass was broken. When the bar opened the engineers were waiting to tell Claude their story.
Many of the townspeople theorized that music from the jukebox in the bar or loud noises from passing lumber and log trucks hit just the right vibration to break the glasses. I can rule out such causes, however, for the mining engineers glass broke in a quiet motel room. Also, three glasses have been known to break outside the bar itself. Any sort of chemical reaction involving alcohol can be ruled out too, for only two of the glasses which were broken had been used. The rest were new glasses right out of the case and some were from an entirely different shipment.
As near as I have been able to find out, the diamonds have broken approximately a dozen glasses.
While all this was going on Robert Drummond, a Penn State University student majoring in biochemistry, was working in Laytonville as a geologist's assistant. He acquired some of the diamonds and also bought a half-dozen shot glasses and returned to Penn State in November of 1970, determined to do some research. Through correspondence with Mr. Drummond I learned the results of his work.
He wrote me that he had arrived at a theory, if not a solution. He first determined the specific gravity of the Laytonville diamonds and found it agreed with the figure for the “Herkimer diamonds” of upstate New York which are quartz. Drummond placed some of the Herkimer crystals in vials at the University and the vials broke. He told me that the vials break only when they are in direct contact with the quartz. In the mining engineers’ room at the motel, however, a shot glass not in contact with the diamonds broke. Perhaps the difference in weight and thickness of the glass in the vials and in the shot glasses explains it.
Drummond’s theory is that the stones act like the old crystal set radios and magnify radio frequencies sufficiently to shatter glass just as high frequency sound can do. I am inclined to agree with this theory, especially since Drummond has found that the crystals seem to lose potency over a period of time. He discovered it takes longer each time for a given crystal to break the glass. I know from my study of radio that the early sets tended to fade as the crystals aged.
Whatever the explanation, the townspeople of Laytonville have a subject for conversation and controversy that will last for years. For me, this has been one of the most interesting mysteries I've run across in a lifetime of searching for gems, minerals and treasure.
Now some 50 years later, this mystery still remains unsolved. Over the years I have acquired a few of the larger rough stones and have had a couple of them faceted for a ring setting. But I was careful not to keep them in close proximity of the one and only shot glass that I got from Mr. Rose. If anyone can come up with a reasonable theory of how these glasses broke I would like to hear from you. You can write to me in care of this newspaper or call 895-3888.
THE SIQUEIROS & THE GRINGO
Or, Gained In Translation
by Stewart Bowen
A recent edition of Jeopardy featured Los Tres Grandes, the three famous muralists who challenged the social order in Mexico in the mid-20th Century. The correct response was Diego Rivera, the best known of the three. But the other two, Jose Clemente Orozco and David Alfaro Siqueiros, also played important roles—important enough to be thrown into prison on charges such as “social dissolution.” This was the charge against Siqueiros who spent four years in Cell No. 36 in the Lecumberri Prison in Mexico City.
I was reminded of my one and only tenuous connection with Siqueiros. This must have happened ten or fifteen years after his death in 1974. I was visiting my expat friends in Oaxaca, Rex and Lolly. It was Christmas.
Also visiting was their niece, Shari, from San Antonio. Shari was about my age. The three were very close; Rex and Lolly had raised Shari, mostly in Mexico, as though she were their daughter.
My friends had recently sold The Mill in the mountains 20 km north of Oaxaca, which they had run as a Bed and Breakfast Inn for a number of years. (This was how I first met them.) It was a hard-to-reach, but idyllic location in the Sierra Juarez mountains overlooking the entire Oaxaca Valley—the perfect spot from which to observe the sun setting behind Monte Alban while enjoying a margarita. But that's an earlier chapter.
Rex and Lolly had moved into town, one of the more upscale neighborhoods called Xochimilco. At the time of this visit, they had already embarked on their next project, the Instituto Cultural de Oaxaca. They had paired up with a prominent local couple I shall call C, and L.
It seemed like a good match-up. Rex had run the cultural exchange program at the US Embassy in Mexico City for a number of years. Lolly, in her former life, had been an English teacher with a master's degree from Columbia. At the time, C. was the Secretario B for the state of Oaxaca ("roughly equivalent to a Lt. Governor in the States," Rex once told me). L, was the local authority for archaeological affairs for the federal government in Mexico City.
Here, I digress: I had half hoped to acquire one of C's business cards without actually asking. But he never volunteered one, in spite of several bottles of Jack Daniels carried down from California. In Mexico, such a card would get one excused from any number of minor (and not so minor) transgressions. But, alas, it never happened. And fortunately, I never had need of it.
The Institute already had a campus, most of a city block, just off the Pan-American Highway on the south side of town. They had attracted and hired some teaching talent, both Mexican and American. The idea, not all that original, was that sudents, from 18 to 80 would come to Oaxaca for a week or a month for a full-immersion culture/language program while living with a Mexican family. At the time I am remembering (mid-to-late 80s), the venture seemed to be prospering in spite of early signs of strain in the four-way partnership. I made my own very modest contribution by planting a plug in the Follow the Reader column in the SF Chronicle. (Sin verguenza—shameless!) It worked.
Christmas Eve dawned bright and sunny, with that fathomless blue sky one finds at higher altitudes and southern latitudes. But my hosts were not feeling well. In fact, they could barely get out of bed. “You and Shari are our emissaries today,” Lolly told me. “We need you to take a special Christmas present to our friends, C. and L.” It was a small, framed bit of artwork. I got a glimpse before they wrapped it. All these years later, I can't even say if it was a painting or a drawing and I would be at a loss to describe the content. But I did note the small inscription in the corner, “Siqueiros, Lecumberri” and a date. It may have portrayed another prisoner, mostly naked, crouched on the cement floor of his cell, but I can't vouch for that.
The present between us on the front seat of the battered Ford van, Shari and I roared up the steep driveway out of the compound. Shari was in high spirits. Over the clatter of empty Negra Modelo cans rolling to the back of the truck, she punched up the Eagles on the cassette player. "You're riding with me today, Stewart," she yelled over the noise.
C. and L. had just moved into their new luxurious home on a hilltop outside the city. We drove up the long, winding dirt driveway and parked among half a dozen other cars at the back of the house. Present in hand, we approached the back door. We were warmly greeted and Christmas greetings were exchanged. In the living room with other guests looking on, Shari handed over the small package. L. unwrapped it with care. When she saw what it was, she was visibly shocked. "¡Un Siqueiros!" She exclaimed, showing it to her husband. "From the prison period," she said in Spanish. She passed it around for the other guests to see. The silence was hushed, if not stunned.
Gradually, conversation resumed and I did the best I could in my feeble Spanish. (Perhaps this gringo should have been first in line for langusge lessons at the institute.) Drinks and savories were offered. The drawing reposed in a temporary place of honor atop a credenza. I now know that it was one of 204 pieces done by Siqueiros during his four years in Cell No. 36 before being pardoned by Presidente Lopez Mateos in 1964. He died in January 1974, perhaps only a dozen years before this story took place.
The absurd epilog: An hour or so had passed at the Christmas party and conviviality reigned. Shari was on her second or third Modelo. In a lull in the conversation, she said “Pues (well), Estewarte, what's next?” I answered incautiously. “You're in charge. I'm in your hands.” She translated the second sentence into Spanish for the room at large, which erupted in laughter.
TWO WEEKS AGO, I ASKED Mendo Public Defender Jeffrey Aaron if Tim Stoen was back in town and working for the Public Defender's office. Aaron said he couldn't tell me because it was a personnel matter, and as we all know personnel matters are the very keys to the kingdom. But Tim Stoen is right there in black and white on the State Bar website listed as employed by the Mendocino County Public Defender.
LOVE ME, I'M A LIBERAL, and I'm Anderson Cooper, one of many media stars who manage to make Trump and Trumpians look good: “All those Trump terrorists who stormed the Capitol then made it to safety will go back to The Olive Garden and their Holiday Inns for drinks and high five what a great day it was!”
THE BIG MISTAKE bluntly stated by the ACLU: “It should concern everyone when companies like Facebook and Twitter wield the unchecked power to remove people from platforms that have become indispensable for the speech of billions — especially when political realities make those decisions easier.”
ANYBODY BELIEVE THIS? “In the context of horrific events this week, we made it clear on Wednesday that additional violations of the Twitter Rules would potentially result in this very course of action. Our public interest framework exists to enable the public to hear from elected officials and world leaders directly. It is built on a principle that the people have a right to hold power to account in the open. However, we made it clear going back years that these accounts are not above our rules entirely and cannot use Twitter to incite violence, among other things. We will continue to be transparent around our policies and their enforcement.”
HURRY UP IMPEACHMENT: House Democrats on Monday will circulate an article of impeachment charging President Trump with “incitement of insurrection” after Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell told his Republican colleagues in the upper chamber that the earliest a second trial would begin is Inauguration Day. House Rep. Ted Lieu of California announced on his Twitter feed on Saturday that 180 members of Congress have signed as co-sponsors of the article of impeachment that he helped draft alongside fellow House Reps. Jamie Raskin and David Cicilline. Lieu, a Democrat, wrote that his party will introduce the article of impeachment during the House's pro forma session on Monday. Lieu said that while all 180 co-sponsors are Democrats, he is confident that Republican members of the House will support to impeach. “We strongly believe some GOP legislators will vote for the Article of Impeachment based on what they informed us confidentially,” Lieu told Forbes.
ANOTHER MEGA-LIE FROM APPLE (Saturday night): “We have always supported diverse points of view being represented on the App Store, but there is no place on our platform for threats of violence and illegal activity. Parler has not taken adequate measures to address the proliferation of these threats to people's safety. We have suspended Parler from the App Store until they resolve these issues.”
BY MY COUNT, Anderson Valley has been discovered by the national media more than a thousand times. This one from Forbes is the first discovery of 2021. "Anderson Valley & The Mendocino Coast Are The New California Dream" forbes.com/sites/kimwesterman/2020/11/28/anderson-valley--the-mendocino-coast-are-the-new-california-dream/
GET IT RIGHT
It’s difficult during this stressful time to not criticize others whom we perceive aren’t following the rules. My experience in our county is that most people are compliant with mask wearing and social distancing.
I take issue with Larry Carlin, who complained about people not wearing masks while walking outdoors. The state’s orders say that one doesn’t need to be masked while “outdoors and maintaining at least 6 feet of social distance from others not in their household. You must have a face covering with you at all times and must put it on if you are within 6 feet of others who are not in your household.”
I don’t wear a mask when I’m walking in my neighborhood (it’s always with me) because I avoid getting near anyone outside my household. I stick to my neighborhood because it’s not crowded, there is very little traffic, and it’s easy to move out to the street if someone is approaching on the sidewalk. People are courteous and cheerful as we do our little dance to avoid each other.
I won’t be shamed by people who don’t seem to be clear on what the (science-based) rules are.
ED NOTE: I've several times been chastised by San Anselmo Karens of both sexes on my early morning walks through otherwise deserted dawn neighborhoods. One of the Karens has jumped my bones three times now, screeching, “Mask!” I caw back at her raven-style. I couldn't hear the male Karen but his vibe was semi-hysterical, waving his arms like I was about to step into crocodiles. For him I yelled back, “Garuda!” which puzzled him and gratified me. The plague has brought out the milk monitor in lots of people. I've had some weird early morning encounters in Boonville but those were with free range crazy people. I've Karened some dog people at the nearby elementary school attended by my grandchildren as the entitled ones worked out their dogs on the posted No Dogs Allowed children's playground. These people are just lazy. They could walk with their dogs rather than congregate where they're not supposed to, but…
LOCAL AUTHOR TODD WALTON WRITES:
I hope this finds you and your loved ones well and safe.
I’m writing to let you know about the publication of my new book Oasis Tales of the Conjuror and other stories, an exciting novella set in the possible future and four enchanting short stories. The lovely paperback is orderable from actual bookstores as well as from online book sites where both the paperback and e-books can be found. The paperback is $14.95, the e-books $2.99.
- Bookshop (Indie Bookstores) https://bookshop.org/books?keywords=todd+walton
- Amazon https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08S3432M7
- Apple Books https://books.apple.com/us/book/oasis-tales-of-the-conjuror-and-other-stories/id1547297489
- Barnes & Noble https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/oasis-tales-of-the-conjuror-todd-walton/1138417345
- Kobo https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/oasis-tales-of-the-conjuror
Other books of mine available from your local bookstores and online book sites are Little Movie tales of love and transformation and Buddha In A Teacup contemporary dharma tales.
Your reviews on Goodreads, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Apple Books are very much appreciated.
Happy New Year!
THE ECONEWS REPORT: What is Jackson State Forest Telling Us, and How Should We Manage It?
BETTER THAN ‘ANYONE COULD HAVE IMAGINED’: Inside Newsom’s Optimistic, Record-Breaking Budget Proposal
by Ben Christopher (CalMatters)
More than last year’s budget. More than the year before. More than any California budget ever.
Despite — or maybe because — the last 10 months of arrested economic activity and unchecked viral contagion, Gov. Gavin Newsom introduced a record-breaking $227 billion spending plan for the coming fiscal year.
A higher level of education spending per pupil than ever before.
An extra $4.6 billion to fund expanded summer school programs.
Nearly $1.5 billion to subsidize electric car sales and expand charging infrastructure.
$16 billion into the state’s rainy day fund.
$5 billion in “immediate action” pandemic programs he hopes the Legislature will pass in the coming weeks.
It’s certainly been a journey since last January. “We were talking about a ten-year expansion of our economy here in the state of California,” Newsom marveled at a press conference this morning. Then the coronavirus arrived. Lockdowns began. The number of unemployed Californians surged and tax revenue projections withered.
With his budget proposal today, the governor heralded what he framed as the beginning of the end. “We are on a much better fiscal footing than anyone could have imagined even a few months ago,” he said.
As always, Newsom’s fiscal framework is only the opening offer in a half-year back-and-forth between the governor’s office and the Legislature. The state constitution requires a final budget for the coming fiscal year be passed in June.
But this rough draft from the governor’s office will set the terms of debate for the taxing and spending negotiations to come. As the ongoing public health and economic disasters threaten an increasingly credible political disaster for the governor — manifested in a mounting recall campaign — the proposal also gives Newsom a chance to prioritize and set a new tone for 2021.
Where’s all this extra cash coming from?
The unexpected cushion of cash in this year’s budget is made possible by the dismally low expectations lawmakers worked under last summer. In a profoundly pessimistic mood, the administration and legislative leaders lowballed their projected tax haul.
Blessed is he who expects nothing, for he shall never be disappointed.
In November, the state’s nonpartisan Legislative Analyst Gabriel Petek broke the “jarring” news: “As it turns out, revenues have proven to be much more resilient than that…We see a very large revenue windfall taking shape.”
Driven by a still-roaring stock market and stable earnings among the state’s highest earners and largest taxpayers, the governor’s new tax revenue projection for the current fiscal year is 20% higher than it was projected to be in June. “Folks at the top are doing pretty damn well,” the governor noted today.
That doesn’t mean state lawmakers can go on a spending spree. This year’s extra financial buffer is a one-time pot of cash, but the economic drag of the pandemic could last for years. The governor’s office projects long-term deficits in the $7 billion to $11 billion range extending into the next three years.
That fiscal reality will make it much harder for the governor and Legislature to introduce permanent new programs or expand existing ones.
Budgeting on the fast track
Newsom’s fiscal proposal is running on parallel tracks this year: one set at the Capitol’s standard, lumbering procedural pace, the other cranked up to high, we’re-in-the-middle-of-a-pandemic speed.
That fast track is reserved for roughly $5 billion in COVID-related policies that, in the governor’s view, are too urgent to be left to the constitutionally mandated five-month budget-writing timeline. It’s typical for governors to include “early action” items in their budget proposals. But they usually aren’t this big, ambitious or expensive.
“In this environment, we can’t wait as we traditionally have for the fiscal year to end — to adjudicate and dialogue around the give and takes of budget. There are certain things that require urgency,” Newsom said today.
He’s been previewing some of these insta-budget proposals all week. They include:
The “Golden State Stimulus”: The governor wants to send $600 checks to pad the pockets of hard-up Californians. Unlike the federal government’s COVID relief bill, these checks will only go to the state’s lowest earners — those who make less than $30,000. “We want to get roughly $4 million checks out within 3 weeks of me signing this package,” Newsom said.
Rental assistance: California got an extra $2.6 billion from the most recent federal relief bill to help renters. The governor wants to pass that renter relief alongside an extension to the current moratorium on evictions.
Cash for open classrooms: The governor stopped short of ordering the state’s public schools back open. He said he rejected presenting a “closed fist versus an open hand” today, but acknowledged that the state might need to take a heavier hand in districts where districts and teachers unions cannot come to an agreement. For now, he’s hoping a $450 per student cash bonus will entice districts to get their students off Zoom and back to brick-and-mortar school, once health authorities deem it safe to do so.
Small business boosters: The package includes more than a billion dollars in tax credits and cash grants to struggling businesses and non-profits.
It’s not clear when these measures will be introduced — and once introduced, when and if they will pass. But Newsom said he hopes to see some of these policies introduced “in the next few weeks.”
A return to the pre-pandemic era state spending?
Last summer, lawmakers got the budget to balance by drawing down the state’s saving accounts, rescinding a few tax breaks for businesses, cutting state worker pay and kicking the can on necessary payments — especially to schools.
The question going into this year’s budget cycle: How much of that will get backfilled?
The governor’s spending plan includes $9.2 billion to pay back deferred payments to public school districts. That adds up to about two-thirds of those IOUs.
The budget also seeks to restore some of the funding for higher education that last year’s budget gutted. And it introduces emergency grants for students struggling financially and proposes 9,000 new slots for the state’s chief financial aid program, the Cal Grant.
But at a time when early childhood advocates have been begging the state for support to keep child care facilities impacted by the pandemic open, the budget proposal shows no significant increase in investment in child care. Transitional kindergarten is getting a small boost with $250 million for expansion of the program for four-year-olds and additional on-time funds that also can be used for facilities.
Some new budget fights, same as the old fights
Progressive lawmakers have been clamoring for years, though with increasing urgency since the beginning of the pandemic, to expand Medi-Cal, the state’s subsidized health insurance program, to cover undocumented seniors.
Newsom got on board with the idea last last year but it foundered, along with so many other legislative ambitions, as COVID cases began to mount. Asked why the proposal was missing from his budget this year, Newsom emphasized how much more challenging the budget landscape is today compared to a year ago. “We have to be mindful of overcommitting $3 plus billion a year,” Newsom said, referring to the cost of expanding healthcare to undocumented seniors. “I believe in universal coverage…Right now the resources are scarce.”
This year’s budget proposal also includes a few tidbits likely to revive the perennial debate over housing production that pits the state against reluctant local governments.
It’s an urgent issue for the governor. During his 2018 election, Newsom vowed to oversee the production of 3.5 million units. But among the failed proposals to boost the production of housing was his ill-fated attempt to punish local governments that don’t permit enough housing by yanking their transportation funding. The governor’s office has also taken the Orange County beach town Huntington Beach to court for failing to build enough.
This year the governor is proposing to create a “housing accountability unit” which, according to a summary packet published today, will engage in “monitoring, technical assistance and enforcement of existing housing production laws.”
“This is to monitor city council meetings. This is to monitor board of supervisor meetings,” the governor said. “We’re not going to wait for an article to be written to be proactive in terms of holding local governments accountable.”
Newsom’s January budget proposal puts $1.5 billion towards his promise to phase out the sale of new gas-powered cars in California by 2035. About $465 million would go towards boosting incentives to purchase cleaner cars, trucks, buses, and freight equipment — including California’s Clean Cars 4 All program. Under the proposal, the state would also borrow $1 billion against future revenues to fund construction of electric vehicle charging and hydrogen fueling stations. “
“The Governor is rightfully prioritizing clean mobility and clean air for the Californians most vulnerable to pollution, poverty and pandemic,” Coalition for Clean Air policy director Bill Magavern wrote in a statement.
(CalMatters reporters Elizabeth Aguilera, Rachel Becker, Jackie Botts, Ricardo Cano and Mikhail Zinshteyn contributed to this report. CALmatters.org is a nonprofit, nonpartisan media venture explaining California policies and politics.)
CATCH OF THE DAY, January 9, 2021
ANEISSA ANDROYNA, Lakeport/Ukiah. Embezzlement.
MARCELINO ANGUIANO, Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-alcohol.
SEAN FINNEGAN, Ukiah. Under influence, controlled substance, paraphernalia, cruelty-inflection of injury to child.
MICHAEL FREEMAN, Covelo. Under influence.
STEPHANIE PHILLIPS, Ukiah. Under influence, controlled substance, paraphernalia, cruelty-inflection of injury to child, probation revocation.
THOMAS WAGGENER, Ukiah. Misdemeanor hit&run, parole violation.
So many people wonder why Trump can’t concede and admit he lost the election. Well, the reason is he can’t or he would be unemployed. Trump is a con artist, scammer, and high level grifter who depends on prevarication and canards for much of his income. By protesting the election results he was able to scam his not to well educated base out of at least $206 million which goes into a PAC (Political Action Committee) that he controls.
Trump reminds me of Joel Osteen, the televangelist who lives in a multimillion dollar estate compound and regularly fleeces his flock. He got $4 million of covid PPE money and bought a new personal jet. He pays no income tax.
Trump works in much the same way, but mostly in the political and shady business field. Remember Trump University?
So when the stolen election canard wears thin be prepared for the 2024 campaign fund drive to kick in.
Let’s Make American Great for Rich People Again.
LEE EDMUNDSON WRITES: The real New Year begins January 20th at noon.
The American Abyss: A historian of fascism and political atrocity on Trump, the mob and what comes next. nytimes.com/2021/01/09/magazine/trump-coup.html
THE TRUMPER PERSPECTIVE, an on-line comment:
Like everyone else here, I’ve been digesting all that has transpired in this past week and reflecting on the past 4 years, and I am left deeply depressed by my conclusions which are as follows:
1) Both of our political parties are morally bankrupt and don’t give a damn about this country or the people who inhabit it. Almost without exception, the people who populate the elected offices of our state and federal governments are narcissistic scum who care only about themselves and everyone knows it.
2) The United States government is financially bankrupt. It is only a matter of time before all of the Ponzi schemes of Wall Street, the Fed, and the BitCoin shysters collapse, leaving all of us to scramble for meager resources in the smoking ruins of the economy that will remain. The Dollar, of course, is doomed. Hyperinflation is just a matter of time and the savings of everyone will be destroyed unless you have had the foresight to stash away a little gold and silver buried in your backyard.
3) This country is already in a de facto “civil war.” The origins can be traced all the way back to 1865 when the last one ended, but the current conflict really got underway in a serious way after Trump won the election of 2016. That is when the Democrats, academia, Hollywood, Wall Street, the mainstream media, disgruntled RINOS, the Bush crime family, the Clinton crime family, the military-industrial complex, and pretty much everyone else who profits from the “established” corrupt system, decided to flush our Constitution down the commode and stop at nothing – and I mean nothing – to deny Trump and his nationalist/populist movement, the opportunity to drain the swamp and restore the political, social, and economic greatness that this country used to enjoy, once upon a time.
4) There really are “Two America’s” with utterly irreconcilable worldviews and this new civil war will not end until one side is completely triumphant and the other is utterly crushed. Sorry, but there will be no Great Compromise nor a truce. It’s been “game on” now for 5 years and counting and things are getting worse by the minute.
Just in the past week alone we have had Congressmen almost coming to blows on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives; an invasion of the Capitol Building by frustrated MAGA patriots fed up with the fraud, corruption, and lack of institutional response to correct any of it; and a planeload of people yelling and screaming at each other about the fraudulent election; etc., etc. Just GOOGLE, and you’ll find examples of this type of unprecedented unrest chronicled all over America.
Things are rapidly getting worse with each passing day and each fresh new outrage simply escalates things further. It feels like events are beginning to spiral out of control during the “Dark Winter” of 2020-21. (Just as happened during the Secession Winter of 1860-61.
Let us see if they leave this up.
I posted an article about the mess in D.C. I included pictures of Angela Merkel, one from a long time ago, when she was a communist, nudist, chemist, physicist and strapping young woman, in her nudist period, walking with others, likewise free. BAM! Facebook took it down. I violated "community standards." Can you imagine this happening in Germany, France, Italy? I objected instantly:
"You have censored my post, just now. It has pictures of Angela Merkel, one when she was a young nudist, walking with others. Tell me why this is offensive. If it violates "community standards," tell me why those standards merit upholding. THEN TELL ME WHY STATUES OF MEN, WOMEN, CHILDREN--STATUES, PAINTINGS AND EVERY CONCEIVABLE METHOD OF REPRESENTATION--ARE JUST FINE. Then tell me you've unlocked my post!"
Their answer came back just as fast with that bland, expressionless, tough-shit tone, like an Easter-Island statue. It merely repeated the main words: "You have violated community standards."
I ask you: Is this your community?
THE OLDER PEOPLE made way for the youngsters in the improvised ballroom and went into the house. We sat in a circle around the large fireplaces; it was stiflingly hot in those stuffy rooms; we drank grenadine and punch. The men talked about the harvest, the farms rented out to tenants, the price of cattle. When older people get together there is something unflappable about them; you can sense they've tasted all the heavy, bitter, spicy food of life, extracted its poisons, and will now spend ten or fifteen years in a state of perfect equilibrium and enviable morality. They are happy with themselves. They have renounced the vain attempts of youth to adapt the world to their desires. They have failed and, now, they can relax. In a few years they will once again be troubled by great anxiety but this time it will be a fear of death; it will have a strange effect on their tastes, it will make them indifferent, or eccentric, or moody, incomprehensible to their families, strangers to their children. But between the ages of forty and sixty they enjoy a precarious sense of tranquility.
— Irène Némirovsky, 1941; from "Fire in the Blood"
THE HORNED, fur-wearing, shirtless man who was seen leading the charge into the Capitol building on Wednesday has been arrested. The U.S. Attorney’s Office for D.C. charged Jacob Anthony Chansley, also known as Jake Angeli, with violent entry and disorderly conduct on Saturday. The Phoenix, Arizona resident, who calls himself the “QAnon shaman” after the violent pro-Trump conspiracy theory, was seen in the Capitol with a six-foot spear and face paint done up to look like the American flag. Angeli spoke with 12 News on Thursday morning while he was waiting for a ride home from D.C., telling the outlet that he wasn’t concerned about the fact police were searching for him. It’s not clear how Angeli got to D.C., but he has a history of attending Trump rallies and Black Lives Matter counter protests where he holds a sign saying “Q Sent Me.”
“YOU FELT, in spite of all bureaucracy and inefficiency and party strife something that was like the feeling you expected to have and did not have when you made your first communion. It was a feeling of consecration to a duty toward all of the oppressed of the world which would be as difficult and embarrasing to speak about as religious experience and yet it was as authentic as the feeling you had when you heard Bach, or stood in Chartres Cathedral or the Cathedral at León and saw the light coming through the great windows; or when you saw Mantegna and Greco and Brueghel in the Prado. It gave you a part in something that you could believe in wholly and completely and in which you felt an absolute brotherhood with the others who were engaged in it. It was something that you had never known before but that you had experienced now and you gave such importance to it and the reasons for it that you own death seemed of complete unimportance; only a thing to be avoided because it would interfere with the performance of your duty. But the best thing was that there was something you could do about this feeling and this necessity too. You could fight.”
(Hemingway, For Whom the Bell Tolls)
POLITICAL DIVISIVENESS doesn't lend itself to having a coordinated, cooperative, collaborative response against a common enemy. There is also this pushback in society against anything authoritative, and scientists are perceived as being authority, so that's the reason I believe we have an anti-science trend, which leads to an anti-vaccine trend. Even with an effective vaccine — or several of them — social resistance could delay the longed for herd immunity. Threats? Oh my goodness. Harassing my wife and my children. It's really despicable. It's this dark-Web group of people who are ultra-ultra-ultra-far-right crazies. They somehow got the phone numbers of my children, they've tracked them with texts, some threatening, some obscene. We have gotten multiple death threats, my wife and I. It is what it is.
— Dr. Fauci
CHICKENS COME HOME TO ROOST.
”Trump's behavior raises a thorny constitutional issue: can a criminal be prosecuted for committing crimes?” —Frank Conniff
The recording of last night's (2021-01-08) Memo of the Air: Good Night Radio show on KNYO-LP Fort Bragg is right here: https://tinyurl.com/KNYO-MOTA-0418
This show ends with the annual reading of Brad Watson's story, Aliens In The Prime Of Their Lives. That's almost two hours long and starts a little after six hours into the show, right after the lady Mongolian hip-hop throat singer.
Further, at https://MemoOfTheAir.wordpress.com you'll find a fresh batch of dozens of links to not necessarily radio-useful but nonetheless worthwhile educational items I set aside for you while gathering the show together. Such as:
Okay, my world is complete. Every facet of this piece of art is perfect. I think I sprained a wince-smile muscle. https://laughingsquid.com/why-are-you-closed-heavy-metal-song/
These kids in the Philippines figured out a way to do million-dollar-camera-array bullet-time film effects with one phone. First they show you how they did it, then they show you the result. https://theawesomer.com/low-budget-bullet-time/605420/
And the way it used to be. Charles Tyler was the lead singer of Dada. Here's a short set of that band from one night at the Caspar Inn in 1982, with pictures all over it of Dada and some of the other wonderful Community School bands, and the local music scene and just Mendocino in general in the 1980s. How young everybody was. It seemed so real. And you, and you, and you were there. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hTgYmQv2kEI
PS. If you want me to read on the radio something that you've written, just email it to me and that's what I'll do on the very next Memo of the Air. That's what I'm here for.
— Marco McClean, firstname.lastname@example.org, https://MemoOfTheAir.wordpress.com
MY PSYCHIATRIST told me I was schizophrenic just like he was. I said, That’s ok, that makes four of us.
— Jackie Vernon