Weak Weather | 3 New Cases | Smaller Counties | Dimmick Park | Relief Bill | Golden Spike | County Aid | Autocorrect Rabbit | PG&E Funds | Quakescape | Community Needs | Authors' Night | Chicks In | Goya's Greatest | Flying Carpets | Mendo Loggers | Budget Report | Yesterday's Catch | Street Physician | Mad Mask | Healthcare Industry | Myanmar Warning | Walking SF | No Quiet | 1952 Honeymoon
A WEAK WEATHER SYSTEM will bring light rain and snow to areas in the north this morning, otherwise dry conditions are expected today. Additional light rain and snow showers will continue through Wednesday before dry weather returns for the second half of the week. More rain is possible for the weekend. (NWS)
3 NEW COVID CASES reported in Mendocino County yesterday afternoon.
SUPERVISOR MAUREEN MULHEREN:
Small County Framework
Because California's case rate metric is normalized per 100,000 population, a number of counties with small populations have experienced large swings in their daily case rate as a result of a small number of newly reported cases. For some counties, this has raised the specter of needing to move back to a more restrictive tier despite overall disease stability and a demonstrated ability to trace, follow up with, investigate and support cases.
For example, once a small county is in yellow tier, a small number of cases – as low as 1 case per week for 2 consecutive weeks – could cause it to return to a more restrictive tier. While the overall proportion of cases may be the same as a larger county, the absolute number of cases is also an important consideration in gauging county capacity to control transmission through disease investigation, contact tracing and supportive isolation.
It is not in the interest of the public health of communities to close or restrict entire business sectors on the basis of such a small number of cases, and in some situations a small swing in week over week case counts can move a county from yellow tier all the way to purple tier. Because the state wants to avoid swift shifts in tier status based on small absolute case number changes, we are creating an alternate case assessment measure to apply to small counties. Small counties are defined as having fewer than 106,000 residents.
Alternate Case Assessment Measure
Small counties are subject to all existing Blueprint rules (test positivity thresholds, minimum duration of 3 weeks in a tier before moving to a less restrictive tier, inability to skip over a tier while moving from more restrictive to less restrictive tier designations, etc.) with the exception of the case rate thresholds as delineated below.
The alternate case assessment measure provides a small county protection against sudden tier changes as a result of small increases in cases.
For a small county that has test positivity that meets the threshold of that county's currently assigned tier, but is flagged for potentially moving to a more restrictive tier based on its weekly case rate assessment, the following criteria shall be applied in lieu of the Blueprint case rate thresholds.
If the county exceeds the following absolute weekly case numbers based on its population and tier for two consecutive weeks, it will be required to move to a more restrictive tier:
Current Tier Pop ≤ 35K Pop 35K-70K Pop 70K-106K
Yellow 7 14 21
Orange 14 21 28
Red 35 42 49
Movement into Yellow Tier
In moving from purple to red or red to orange tiers, small counties are subject to all existing Blueprint rules (test positivity thresholds, minimum duration of 3 weeks in a tier before moving to a less restrictive tier, inability to skip over a tier while moving from more restrictive to less restrictive tier designations, etc.).
For a small county to move from the orange to yellow tier, it must meet the existing test positivity threshold of less than 2%. However, in lieu of meeting the established daily case rate threshold for yellow tier of less than 1 case per 100,000, a small county is allowed to have a daily case rate of less than or equal to 2 cases per 100,000. Of note, these are the same parameters used for the health equity acceleration criteria to yellow tier.
 Twenty-two California counties have a population of less than 100,000. Sutter, which has a population of 106,000 is also included as it shares a health officer with Yuba County. Counties below this size have similar challenges and opportunities in controlling COVID-19 transmission and generally do not have major or large, densely populated cities. This distinction factors into how rapidly COVID-19 transmission can increase beyond households and the ability of the county to rapidly identify and contain outbreaks with existing contact tracing, isolation and quarantine resources.
Activities and sectors will begin to open at a specific tier based on risk-based criteria (PDF), as outlined below. Lower risk activities or sectors are permitted sooner and higher risk activities or sectors are not permitted until later phases. Many activities or sectors may increase the level of operations and capacity as a county reduces its level of transmission.
Criteria used to determine low/medium/high risk sectors
Ability to accommodate face covering wearing at all times (e.g. eating and drinking would require removal of face covering)
Ability to physically distance between individuals from different households
Ability to limit the number of people per square foot
Ability to limit duration of exposure
Ability to limit amount of mixing of people from differing households and communities
Ability to limit amount of physical interactions of visitors/patrons
Ability to optimize ventilation (e.g. indoor vs outdoor, air exchange and filtration)
Ability to limit activities that are known to cause increased spread (e.g. singing, shouting, heavy breathing; loud environs will cause people to raise voice)
Schools may reopen for in-person instruction based on equivalent criteria to the K-12 School Guidance. Schools in counties within the Purple Tier are not permitted to reopen for in-person instruction, with exceptions outlined in the K-12 School Guidance. See the guidance and the K-12 Schools FAQ for additional information on school re-opening eligibility criteria under the Blueprint.
As stated in the K-12 School Guidance, schools are not required to close if a county no longer meets relevant school re-opening criteria (e.g., goes from Red Tier to Purple Tier or has adjusted county case rates ≥25/100,000 population) but may consider increasing testing per the CDPH supported testing framework.
THE SENATE has passed Biden's $1.9 trillion COVID relief bill with no support from Republicans after Democrats were forced to cut direct payments to $1,400 and reduce unemployment benefits. Pulling an all-nighter to sort out a mountain of amendments — nearly all from Republicans, all of which were rejected — senators approved the sprawling package on a 50-49 vote along party lines just after midday Saturday. Vice President Kamala Harris didn't have to pass the tie-breaking vote because Republican Senator Dan Sullivan left the Capitol during negotiations after his father-in-law passed away. The legislation will now be shipped back to the House for its expected approval after complaints from the Sanders wing of the Democrats, before being sent to Biden in the coming week for his signature. The huge package — consisting of nearly one-tenth the size of the entire economy — is Biden's biggest early priority. However, it only passed after cutting direct payments, reducing unemployment benefits and failing on the $15 national minimum wage. “We tell the American people: help is on the way. Our job right now is to help our country get from this stormy present to that hopeful future,” Biden said.
SUPERVISOR TED WILLIAMS
American Rescue Plan Act, was passed Saturday by the U.S. Senate. The bill, which NACo [National Association of Counties] helped to develop and strongly advocated to pass, includes $65.1 billion in direct, flexible aid for every county, parish and borough in America. Is that about $15.6 million for Mendocino County?
FROM SHERIFF MATT KENDALL to the Board of Supervisors:
March 5, 2021
Re: PG&E Funding Allocations
Chair Gjerde & Members of the Board,
I noticed on the agenda summary for the Mendocino County Board of Supervisors meeting to be held on March 9, 2021, the Board will be discussing the issue of the PG&E settlement and where to use these funds. For over a year Mendocino County has been in possession of over $20 million from the PG&E settlement stemming from the 2017 wildfires which devastated Mendocino County.
In reviewing the agenda summary it appears there will be much discussion regarding how the board will be allocating these funds for various projects. I realize this is one-time funding and therefore it should be invested in projects which would save money and continue to support increasing efficiencies in our duties to serve the community. The Sheriff's Office is in need of funding to support projects and support public safety. My hope would be that we can have further discussions regarding these allocations.
I saw in the presentation the thoughts regarding hardening the 911 system as well as completion of the public safety communication tower and the generator for the Sheriff’s administration building. These are excellent ideas and all of the needs are real. However, the addition of the generator to the Sheriff’s admin center is listed under “fiscal stability.” When I think of fiscal stability I think of strategically investing monies to save money and using the savings to improve sustainable service to our residents. The generator is simply a facility modification which doesn't create fiscal stability and should not be so listed.
I believe we will also need to begin looking at several projects which would save money for the county. I previously brought to the Board the idea of a courtroom located on the Sheriff's office campus adjacent to the jail. This would allow us savings which could be used on personnel. If we invest our capital in a fashion which would allow efficiencies we can shift the savings into funding personnel which are extremely needed to serve the public. My sense was we all agreed that this was a good idea. However there was no funding for it at the time.
Cannabis enforcement both through code enforcement and the Sheriff's office has been woefully understaffed. With the upcoming changes in the ordnance we could begin to see improvements in this area. However it will take an investment. We could use funds towards up-to-date and real time satellite imaging which would decrease the personnel time and the use of aircraft needed to make decisions and prioritization. This would also be an area we could strategically invest in and reap the benefits for future sustainable service. Simply stated, we have several areas which could be improved upon.
As I look over the presentation I would like to see categories added to the worksheet which would include grant funding opportunities as well as projected return on investment. I believe this would help us to set achievable goals for the future.
The Sheriff's office was the first agency to respond during the 2017 fires which devastated our county. The original fire was discovered by a Patrol Sergeant while patrolling in the Potter Valley area. He immediately contacted our dispatch center and began the response by sheriff's deputies and fire personnel which clearly saved lives. This occurred because we had personnel on duty completing their duties.
I believe we are on the right track to addressing several issues which do need to be addressed as we look to the future. I am simply asking that we continue with conversations regarding the allocation prioritization and planning in order to serve our community's interest to the highest standards.
If we are truly going to strategically invest portions of this capital into fiscal stability, this must be a stated goal. The spending must match that goal. My hopes are we can look deeply into strategic investments, the projected return on investments, and be committed to allocate future savings to the correct location. If we use this one-time capital as “seed money,” we could plant several fields which would allow a greater harvest for our county.
Sheriff Matt Kendall
Mark Scaramella notes: The fact that the Sheriff even had to submit this comment to the Board for next Tuesday’s Board meeting is yet another example of CEO Angelo’s neglect of law enforcement in major funding decisions.
NOTHING FOR COVELO EITHER, Lew Chichester writes
Re: PG&E Disaster Settlement Funds - It was certainly disappointing and sadly completely expected that the county officials have not reached out to local groups who are directly connected to the needs for community preparedness. Here in Round Valley we have a disaster preparedness study group which has met extensively the last few years and has a detailed list of community needs and existing resources so we would be more adequately prepared in an emergency event. Did the county, in preparing the list of “projects” ever consult the Round Valley Area Municipal Advisory Council? Nope, seems like whoever made up the recommendations just made stuff up, and we assume the money will be spent on salaries for people in Ukiah. Nothing for actual physical improvements to existing infrastructure which with some actual capital investment would provide substantial resiliency in a local disaster. I hate Ukiah, the office people there use the data and metrics for county wide needs and then spend most of the money on themselves, applying for more grants, going to meetings, preparing reports. We have a town here with no fire hydrants, a community center with potential facilities for disaster preparedness with no backup generator, and a need for brush clearing along county and private roads. These are real, quantifiable, justifiable needs of our community. A cost analysis could be produced in an afternoon. County, just ask us what we need. We can tell you.
The road ahead leads to the evening of March 18th. At 6 pm, Gallery Bookshop will host an Authors' Night Zoom event. I will be in attendance to talk about my photo collection, Mendocino Inspirations. This view of the moon over Littleriver is one of fifty plus visual depictions on or near this coastal paradise.
Mendocino Inspirations or my novel, Outlaw Ford, can be ordered from the fine folks at our local independent book seller through their easy to access website: gallerybookshop.com. You can also call 707-937-2665.
For more information on the Zoom event you can use the event page link: https://www.gallerybookshop.com/event/authors-night-zoom-0
Or just the registration link: https://us02web.zoom.us/.../tZUodumhrT8rGtHQImxni7zGVRIAg...
And there's a Facebook listing for the event here: https://bit.ly/3aSxr36
ANDERSON VALLEY FARM SUPPLY:
Chicks are in!
We have: Silver Laced Wyandotte, Easter Egger, Barred Cochin & Ancona!
COMING SOON, FLYING CARPETS
by Tommy Wayne Kramer
Today we explore the shabby, semi-shady spending schemes of our elected representatives who, failing repeatedly and learning nothing, plunge ahead with billion dollar projects you and I know are idiotic.
(One of) Jerry Brown’s follies was a super-fast train to be launched way far east of Ukiah and terminating in a city no one ever heard of somewhere out in a desert, dead on inspiration. It never launched, it never landed and it never made sense.
Jerry’s Bullet Train took a self-administered high caliber round through the temple and collapsed in an expensive bloody heap, but not before spending hundreds of millions of dollars and leaving behind not one inch of track. You may remember. Remember also that no politician, including Governor Moonbeam, had the decency to apologize for all our money squandered on nothing.
Next, SmartTrains absorbed tax dollars the way thirsty mops absorb red blood, red ink and real money before succumbing to reality, which is that no one rides dinky little rail cars bouncing between Sonoma and Marin Counties just to experience the thrill of finding a taxi cab or boat or bus over to San Francisco, unless the whole point of the excursion is to take the train back to Santa Rosa in time for lunch.
Which is probably the reality for California lawmakers. They don’t have actual jobs with “work” hours or an expectation they produce anything of value. Instead they dream up green energy slogans and alternate transportation fantasies designed to prevent citizens who pay highway taxes from driving on highways.
(Personally I love public transportation, and encourage more people to ride-share, take buses or hitchhike so they’re not in my way when I roll about in my eight wheel drive Dodge Hemi pickup.)
Demanding peasants utilize public transportation is what brought the late, great North Coast Rail Authority (NCRA) to life a decade or two ago as a money-sucking agency full of promises it had no intention keeping. It lied to the public about the train’s rosy future until the last of many millions went spiraling down drains from here to San Rafael.
Once dead (again, no apologies from elected officials about shredded tax dollars) it was instantly reborn as a new and improved pedestrian Rail Trail. This too shall fail, and our legislators probably already know it but are waiting to spring the punchline on us the same way Mike McGuire (D-Self) sprang his most recent one about the dead and buried NCRA.
McGuire, in a Ukiah Daily Journal front-pager (originally by Isabella Vanderheiden of the Eureka Times-Standard) said his new million mile sidewalk puts the bad old railroad to a well-deserved death. The new trail, says McGuire “Officially, once and for all, disbands the NCRA, which is a hot mess and is bankrupt.”
Bravo, Mike. Way to stand up for sound fiscal planning and prudent spending. Your footpath to nowhere will probably cost less than the Hubble Telescope.
What he conveniently avoids: Any explanation on who caused this big hot bankrupt mess. The pure disaster of the NCRA rests with the California legislature. Our elected reps dreamed up, gave birth to, then nurtured and spent untold sums on the project; McGuire acts like the subsequent abortion is our fault, or at least nothing for which he or his colleagues bear responsibility.
Also, please note lack of apology for money spent on nothing.
He and his merry band of lawmakers ignore, and have ignored for decades, that money generated by highway taxes and gasoline taxes are intended to be spent on roads. What Northern California needs today is wider, better, modern highways suitable for travel in the 21st century. Or the 1990s. Or the 1970s.
But what do we have? In all of California, the most populated state in the nation, we have two (2) north-south roads. One is Highway 101, and it includes sections with one lane in each direction.
Our highways are suitable for the 1930s. We commute daily on roads built 100 years ago and hardly improved in 50. Drive in or out of Hopland, north or south, on a narrow single-lane of poorly illuminated pavement.
Head north out of Willits and experience an exciting one-lane journey. Fasten your seat belt. Bring your rosary beads. Take the 90 mile trip (one lane each direction) on Highway 20 from Ukiah to Williams, but only with an ambulance following.
McGuire and his friends don’t drive these stretches. They get hauled around in limousines, popping up here and there for photo ops and a chance to brag about the joy of walking the improbable Rail Trail from Hopland to Laytonville. Wheee.
More McGuire, solemn-like: “We’ve always known that creating the Great Redwood Trail was not going to be easy, nor will it be quick. There’s going to be a ton of work ahead of us for many years and it’s going to take time to do this project right.”
That “ton of work” will be done by men with picks, shovels, trucks and bulldozers, the kinds of guys Mike McGuire has never met. Also, he undoubtedly mumbled the same empty “do this project right” rhetoric about the Bullet Train and the SmartTrain.
The hiking trail, begun loudly, will spend hugely, die quietly, blame shifted instantly. New bold and unrealistic spending plans will be announced.
I vote for Flying Carpet technology. It runs on solar or wind or whatever, and will require massive investments from taxpayers to nurse it along. Mike McGuire is already preparing a speech.
(Courtesy Ukiah Daily Journal)
NOTES ON THE COUNTY'S 2021 MID-YEAR BUDGET
by Mark Scaramella
We’ve become accustomed to a general lack of meaningful information in the County’s budget presentations, so we were not surprised to find copious data gaps in the CEO’s “Mid-Year Report & Adjustments” budget report in next Tuesday’s Supervisors Agenda packet.
After a self-serving introduction about how the County has “re-engineered how work is done,” and “is learning to adapt” and “rising to the new challenges” associated with the pandemic, we waded through a virtual swamp of buzzphrases like “focusing on fiscal stability,” “financial sustainability,” “organizational development…” “rising costs,” with no solid ground ever reached, as the CEO’s introduction goes on for page after page after page without providing a single actual county budget number, even going so far as to claim that they “conduct regular monthly budget monitoring” — a demonstrably false statement made worse by its lack thereof.
In fact, it’s not until page 31 that we get tangible budget info in a list of Capital projects for fiscal year 2020-21, most of which, we weren't surprised to learn, are said to be under or on budget. Whether they are or not, especially the bigger ones which are still in process… Well, just try and find out.
On page 34 we get a partial list of departments which are included for being significantly over or under budget, but not the actual departmental budgets themselves.
Predictably, with crime being the County's only growth industry, law enforcement and the judicial departments are over budget, with the DA and Public Defender being over by almost $1 million each. (Out of how much total budget? We’re not told. Presumably the Sheriff’s deficit is a smaller percentage of his budget than the DA’s and the Public Defender’s.)
There are no concluding remarks. No recommendations about what to do about the over-runs, if anything, or which reserve funds might have to be tapped to cover them, or if anything at all can be done to mitigate them, or what will be done about them next year.
The Sheriff’s office budget is said to be about $1.7 million over budget in total and it is only here that we finally get some useful numbers and relevant budget information:
“Budget Unit 2310 – Sheriff-Coroner
At mid-year, the Sheriff’s Office now projects their budget will be $1,695,496 dollars over budget. Overtime is projected to be over budget by $1.5 million, due to unusually high demand and an unrealistic budget estimate [which they do every year to artificially “balance” the budget]. Other 1000 series accounts are projected to offset that overage with savings of approximately $335,000, for a net overage for the account series of $1.165 million. Retirement contributions are projected to be $340,000 under budget, though the department has no control over the budget estimate or the actual costs. In the 2000 series, the forensic pathology services contract has spent 50% of a 5 year contract consumed due to a higher need for autopsy services in 2020 and 2021.
Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office (MCSO)
At Mid-Year the Sheriff’s Office Field Services Budget is projected to suffer a budget deficit of $1,392,000, for FY 2020- 21. This budget deficit is for three (3) reasons: the amount of overtime field services had to expend while assisting in the natural disasters the County of Mendocino has faced, the large increase in violent crimes (homicides, robbery), and the amount of Coroner’s cases and the corresponding autopsies which had to be completed. The Sheriff’s Office staff continues to work to reduce the overall budget deficit, through a number of budget efficiencies that have been implemented this fiscal year, and last fiscal year. The Sheriff’s Office goal is to maintain the highest levels of service possible to the Mendocino County community; and continue to find ways, through these budget efficiencies, to reduce overall costs to the County’s General Fund. These cost saving methods include:
Reorganizing the Professional Standards Bureau (PSB) to assist with background and employment processing. This has significantly reduced the length of time for each applicant application and background process, increased the speed in hiring new personnel, and almost completely eliminated the need to contract with outside (contracted) investigators; which has resulted in significant savings to the County.
Sheriff’s Office staff has continued their focus on the hiring of new Field and Corrections Deputies to fill open sworn positions. Maintaining a full work force, helps the Sheriff’s Office control overtime costs, work related injuries, job stress and burnout.
Last year, and this year, the Sheriff’s Office has expanded its Deputy-In-Training Recruitment Program, selecting current Corrections Deputies for training as Field Deputies. This strategy of selecting local, already proven, already employed, internal candidates has increased the likelihood of success in completing the vigorous Basic Academy and FTO process, and helped with the long-term retention of personnel. These efficiencies have reduced overall costs in developing and training personnel and helped to significantly reduce the high costs associated with personnel who once hired, cannot successfully complete the field-training program.
The Sheriff’s Office continues to try to keep the Dispatch Center fully staffed, which would help reduce overtime and training expenses. At this time the Dispatch Center is short one position. The Sheriff’s Office continues to review staffing patterns and is researching options to increase efficiencies and maximize possible savings within the Dispatch Center.
The Sheriff’s office continues to provide direction to the sector commanders regarding the removal of the four hours of overtime associated with 12-hour shifts. This change has resulted in a reduction of overtime hours.
The Sheriff’s Office has asked and received assistance from the Auditor’s Office regarding payroll related issues. This transformation will not only assist the Sheriff’s Office in time management regarding payroll, but also assist in less overtime for the Auditor’s office.
The Sheriff’s Office continues to give direction to schedule mandated training (Range, Defensive Tactics and Driving) for all sworn staff during their regularly scheduled work weeks, to reduce overtime expense, reduce liability and meet all required mandates.
Close monitoring of Sheriff’s Office overtime and personnel training costs is continuing. To help reduce overtime and training costs, Sheriff’s Office personnel continue to work to have mandated training courses certified by POST and STC for presentation here locally. This change reduces expensive travel related costs for legislatively mandated training.
Purchases within the 2000 series [outside costs/contracts] are being monitored and re-examined closely prior to authorization to determine if alternative solutions, recycling of older supplies and equipment or deferral could occur, prior to expending funds. This work by Sheriff’s office personnel has significantly decreased expenditures within the 2000 series.
During the 2020-21 fiscal year, the Sheriff’s Office Field Division had to re-imagine law enforcement as a whole due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The impacts of the pandemic included but were not limited to the following: Inability to train, overtime associated with the realignment of part of the Bailiff Unit becoming a Covid-19 taskforce, which included sworn deputies, a sergeant and a field lieutenant to oversee the operation. The reality and hardship associated with Field Service employees becoming Covid-19 positive, or becoming close contacts, and the effect this had on the Sheriff’s Office budget due to mandatory overtime to fill the vacant positions. The Sheriff’s Office was able to obtain a grant (Corona Virus Emergency Supplemental Funding Grant) which is used to help fund the office with Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). The one time grant was for $69,733 and greatly assisted the Sheriff’s Office to have the ability and funding source to keep employees fitted with the needed and mandatory equipment. Crime Calls for Service 2020 - 64,495 Coroner’s Cases for Fiscal Year 2020-21 (7 month period) - 329 Coroner’s Cases.
For Fiscal Year 2020-21, the Sheriff’s Office has expended $491,353.97 in autopsy costs. The monetary amount for the five (5) year pathology contract is $1,675,000. This pathology contract was implemented December 1st of 2019 and ends December 31st of 2024. Only one (1) year into this contact the Sheriff’s Office has had to expend approximately half of the allocated funds due to the immense increase of Coroner’s Cases and the autopsies associated with these Coroner investigations.
During FY 2020-21, both the Corrections Division and the Field Services Division have had to handle unprecedented situations never before seen or dealt with due to the Covid-19 pandemic. During this traumatic time, the Sheriff’s Office had 16 Correctional Staff become positive with Covid-19 as well as 131 of the Residents that the Jail has care and custody over. The Sheriff and his staff continually worked hand in hand with the County and Public Health to devise a plan of action to rid this Covid-19 virus from the Correctional Institution. This plan consisted of twice-a-week testing for all Residents and Correctional Staff, releases of all Residents that could be released on either home monitoring or early release, the continual cleaning and disinfecting of the Correctional Institution, wearing of proper and mandated Personal Protective Equipment, and the continual training needed to stop the spread of this pandemic causing virus.”
ALSO OF INTEREST in next week’s agenda packet is this closed session item:
“Pursuant to Government Code Section 54956.8 - Conference with Real Property Negotiator - Property: APNs 152-090-05, 152-120-09, 152-150-03, 152-150-05, 152-150-08, 152-180-05, 152-180-09, 167-120-15, 167-120-17, 167-160-03, 167-160-06, 152-150-02, 152-270-01, 152-270-05, 157-200-01, 157-240-01, 169-010-01, 152-100-01; Physical Address. 537 Parducci Road, Ukiah CA 95482. Agency Negotiators: Carmel J. Angelo, Janelle Rau, and Darcie Antle. Under negotiation: Property Acquisition, Price and Terms.”
WHY DOES THE COUNTY WANT TO BUY an empty manufacturing building and accompanying parcels in northwest Ukiah about two miles north of Mendocino College? According to property records the building was once operated by McGehee Development Corporation (Robert & Elizabeth McGehee) which went out of business in 2010. Google Maps shows the address to be part of the Parducci Winery complex. The property includes 18 separate parcels. Mendocino Wine Company and Parducci Winery are listed at 501 Parducci Road. Perhaps of most interest in the available documentation is the fact that the property has a substantial water right permit allowing appropriation of almost 300 acre feet per year from York Creek, a tributary of the Russian River.
Here's hoping a supervisor will ask and advise us in open session.
CATCH OF THE DAY, March 6, 2021
KILIAN COCHRAN, Gualala. Vandalism, failure to appear.
RUTILIO ESCOBAR, Novato/Ukiah. False imprisonment, criminal threats, damaging communications device.
JOSHUA FRAILEY, Orland/Ukiah. Failure to appear.
SKYLAR HENDERSON, Willits. Paraphernalia, disobeying court order, failure to appear, probation revocation.
TAWANA HENRY, Ukiah. Probation revocation.
BENJAMIN HOFF, Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-alcohol.
WILLIAM LEE, Willits. DUI, addict driving a vehicle, unlawful vehicle operation, disobeying court order, failure to appear, probation revocation.
BRITTANY LOBSIEN, Chico/Ukiah. DUI, paraphernalia.
MIGUEL LOPEZ-CEJA JR., Ukiah. DUI, no license.
RAFAEL PAZ JR., Willits. Controlled substance, paraphernalia, evasion, resisting.
JOSE RODRIGUEZ, Ukiah. Failure to appear, probation revocation.
ON LINE COMMENT OF THE DAY
You sound like a germa-phobe. I hope you let your wife out of that giant ziplock bag now and then.
Actually, I share your compulsive obsessive disorder to a degree. I can’t drink from a glass or bottle someone else’s mouth has touched.
You are certainly free to wear a mask forever as far as I’m concerned. Wear two or three. But no one should mandate such intrusive and uncomfortable policies upon others.
The mask fogs up my glasses and makes me inhale the stale, low oxygen waste air I just expelled. As a result so many brain cells die, I suddenly feel like watching Rachel Maddow.
MEET THE CENSORED; MYANMAR WRITER ZAW MOE SHINN
by Matt Taibbi & Emily Bivens
A military junta shuts down the Internet every night, while plotting by day to impose draconian controls over dissent. A warning from Myanmar
Not long ago, TK was contacted by a young writer from the beleaguered country of Myanmar, named Zaw Moe Shinn. Zaw, who is well known in his country for translating English books into Burmese, had just called a mutual acquaintance from the capital city of Naypyitaw, where there were over 10,000 protesters on the streets at the time.
The country had just gone through a military coup, and Zaw wanted to share the unique story of Internet censorship that flowed from that event. We arranged to interview him for “Meet the Censored.”
Zaw’s is a little different from the other tales in this space, as it primarily involves a state authority, not oligopolistic tech firms. But it’s horrifying all the same, and holds some potent warnings for those who haven’t thought through the worst-case scenarios for Internet crackdowns.
In order to understand the context of our interview with the young writer and activist, some background is required.
On February 1st, military authorities in Myanmar overthrew the civilian government, led by Aung San Suu Kyi. The army, led by General Min Aung Hlaing, detained Suu Kyi on the grounds that her election was “marred by fraud,” and declared a one-year state of emergency.
Within hours after seizing power, the new “emergency” government cut the Internet, stalling information flow while the organs of the state were taken over. This temporary measure soon became a regular feature, as the government soon began imposing regular nightly blackouts of the Internet. As reported in Al Jazeera yesterday:
“Every night for more than two weeks, the military has imposed an internet blackout from 1:00 a.m to 9:00 a.m. across the country. At the same time, it has also moved to grant itself sweeping powers to censor and arrest online dissenters. The regime has also banned access to websites, including popular social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.”
The blackouts have inspired the spread of many rumors, including a popular theory that the nightly blackouts involve an attempt at “installing new tech,” perhaps with more tamper-proof controls on speech and dissent. Meanwhile, the new government has drafted a new Cybersecurity Bill, along with proposals for a series of changes to its Electronic Transactions Law.
Human Rights Watch was one of many international organizations to denounce the proposals, which would require online service providers to make a broad range of user data available to the military junta, while also blocking or removing several categories of information, including, “misinformation and disinformation,” “causing hate,” and “disrupting unity, stabilization, and peace.”
The Chambers of Commerce offices of eight countries, including ones representing the United States, Germany, and the U.K., signed a statement condemning the proposals:
“Investors understand the importance of a robust cybersecurity framework and creating a secure digital environment for all, however… As currently drafted, it requires internet service providers to disclose user information to the authorities at any point in time and without justifiable reasons or an authorization from an independent judicial body of competent jurisdiction…”
Note the phrase “without justifiable reasons.” The faraway Myanmar junta naturally attracts the opprobrium of offices representing Western powers with more established democratic traditions. But the type of arrangement the Myanmar army is proposing to enact out in the open already exists in secret in the United States, where we learned in a series of episodes (including via the whistleblower Edward Snowden) about “ongoing, daily” collaboration between agencies like the NSA and companies like AT&T, Verizon, and others.
The new junta’s authoritarian script should sound familiar. It combines a declared political emergency with professed concern for stemming misinformation, hate speech, and incitement, providing the rationale for turbocharged surveillance authority.
Reported plans to form an official body that would arbitrate truth as part of efforts to prosecute and jail those guilty of spreading “false information” look to be an obvious Orwellian canard. It should strike American readers how similar the language used by dictatorial generals and Western advocates for increased speech control sounds. Calls for censorship always come in the context of a proclaimed political emergency, and are always framed as being in the interest of protecting the citizenry from falsehood, hate speech, or political violence — the only difference is, it’s more obviously a lie in some contexts, versus others.
There is a lot of complicated background to this story, from the army’s repression of the Rohinga Muslim minority to the Suu Kyi government’s own fall from grace — Suu Kyi, who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1991, faced calls to strip her of the award after criticism of her role in the Rohinga massacres. Most of the story Zaw told to TK’s Emily Bivens, however, is self-explanatory:
TK: Can you describe the feeling that day, February 1?
ZMS: It was shocking and hopeless, the strongest hopeless feeling in my life. Since I was sixteen, I’ve had a lot of difficulties in my life. But February 1st was the hardest one. I felt hopeless, like “Oh, my life has gone.” We all know what will happen to us if we live under that military leadership.
It's obviously annoying to hear that they’re lying again and again. They said they will hold an election in a year. Yes, they might do that, but their main idea is to get rid of Suu Kyi’s party, to get rid of that party completely. And the [National League for Democracy] won't be able to participate in the next election, that is the first thing that we want. That's why they are doing everything they can, like saying there’s been voter fraud, and they don't have proof. They are completely, shamelessly lying to the people of Myanmar, and to the international communities.
TK: Do you worry about being arrested yourself?
ZMS: Every day. Yeah. I could be arrested anytime, because I’m a sort of famous person on Facebook. I'm a writer myself, and people know me. And I’m still writing things against the military coup on Facebook. And I know I could be arrested anytime, but I can’t just keep silent. Because I wouldn't be able to live with that guilty feeling. So I speak out. And I know I could be arrested at any time.
TK: Is Facebook available in Myanmar?
ZMS: So far it is blocked, but people use it with VPN. It’s still blocked. The internet has some other websites blocked by the military. And we’re using Facebook with VPN, and every night, they cut off the internet. You know that, right, every night they cut off the internet from 1:00 a.m to 9:00 a.m… I think it’s been 20 days in a row or something, I'm not sure, but they've been consistently cutting off the internet. And then, you know, the internet is one of the few weapons that we have. We can go live on Facebook and people can see what we are facing and if they are, if they are around they can come to help. And so they take away our rights to use the internet freely.
TK: When did you become a political commentator?
ZMS: I’ve been writing political-related things for two years now, on Facebook. I didn’t have any problem. I wasn't afraid, or thinking I could be arrested any time before that coup, because I could write freely on Facebook, and I didn't know this coup would happen. But I thought that people, especially young people, need to know more about politics. What happened in the past 15 years is why our education system, has become the worst in Asia, maybe in the world. So, we’ve became more ignorant of the politics, and we’re afraid to talk about it.
My dad actually called me once and said, “If you want to keep writing those freaking political things, don't contact me again. Don’t call me again.”
TK: So, it’s created family strife for you?
ZMS: Older people [here] are afraid to talk about politics.
TK: Are you saying the older people are afraid, or are they just more comfortable with the change in regime?
ZMS: I think the fear comes first. And, you know, the comfortability comes next… Maybe they are really afraid, because they know how brutal the military is, you know, they have killed a lot of people in the past. Maybe they’re afraid their sons and daughters will be killed in this revolution.
The parents don't want to let their children go out and protest, but the good thing about this younger generation is they don't care because they have tasted democracy. It’s really free and it's good and you can do whatever you want. But for this whole February, it was like hell for them. Internet censorship, they had never heard of that… Internet censorship and everything… that makes them disgusted. They might not have a lot of knowledge about political things in the past, but they know what is right and what is wrong.
That's why they are protesting going out every day, knowing that they could be shot.
A DEPRESSING WALKING TOUR! Why San Francisco Is SO BAD Now
WEARY WITH TOIL, I haste me to my bed,
The dear repose for limbs with travel tired;
But then begins a journey in my head
To work my mind, when body’s work’s expired
For then my thoughts — from far where I abide—
Intend a zealous pilgrimage to thee,
And keep my drooping eyelids open wide,
Looking on darkness which the blind do see:
Save that my soul’s imaginary sight
Presents thy shadow to my sightless view,
which, like a jewel hung in ghastly night,
Makes black night beauteous, and her old face new.
Lo! thus, by day my limbs, by night my mind,
For thee, and for myself, no quiet find.
— Shakespeare, Sonnet 27