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Mendocino County Today: Wednesday, April 7, 2021

Persistent Ridge | 4 New Cases | Orange Tier | Russian Gulch | Vaccination Information | Viking Etiquette | Independent Investigation | Twin Teller | Handling Nutjobs | Jail Garden | Medical Assistants | Scare Word | PG&E Webinar | Korea 1953 | Narcan Saves | Socialist Plots | Supervisor Briefs | Ocean Plunder | Ed Notes | Yesterday's Catch | Claud Cockburn | Bezos Mansion | Jim Crowing | Bigfoot Wallace | Afghanistan 1980 | Internet Censorship | By Cannon | Mother Maloney | Selfish Idiots

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DRY WEATHER AND SEASONABLE TEMPERATURES are expected through at least Friday due to an upper level ridge persisting over NW California. (NWS)

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4 NEW COVID CASES reported in Mendocino County yesterday afternoon.

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ATTA BABY, TREV!

Mendocino County Qualifies for Orange Tier Threshold

Governor Newsom announced today the change in tier structure, as a result of increased vaccine distribution.

This change in tier structure allows Mendocino County to shift to the next less restrictive Orange Tier in the states Blueprint for a Safer Economy.

The change to the Orange Tier will take effect Wednesday, April 7th and will be reflected in a revised Mendocino County Health Officer Order to go into effect on April 7th, at 12:01 a.m. Best,

Trevor Mockel


CHANGING MENDOCINO COUNTY QUALIFIES FOR ORANGE TIER THRESHOLD 

Governor Newsom announced today the change in tier structure, as a result of increased vaccine distribution. This change in tier structure allows Mendocino County to shift to the next less restrictive Orange Tier in the states Blueprint for a Safer Economy. The change to the Orange Tier will take effect Wednesday, April 7th and will be reflected in a revised Mendocino County Health Officer Order to go into effect on April 7th, at 12:01 a.m. 

Approved activities should be reviewed on the Blueprint for a Safer Economy plan as released by the State of California available on the following link. https://www.cdph.ca.gov/Programs/CID/DCDC/CDPH%20Document%20Library/COVID-19/Dimmer-Framework-September_2020.pdf

Some of the approved activities include but are not limited to: 

  • Bars that do not provide meals will be allowed to open outdoors only with distancing, masking and infection control safety measures. Masks are required except when people are eating or drinking.
  • Breweries, Wineries, Distilleries that do not serve meals can now open indoors at 25% capacity or 100 people, whichever is fewer.
  • Restaurants can increase capacity for indoor dining to 50% capacity or 200 people, whichever is less with continued safety modifications.
  • Cardrooms can operate indoors at 25% capacity with modifications.
  • Places of Worship can hold services indoors at 50% capacity with modifications.
  • Fitness Centers can operate indoors at 25% capacity and indoor pools can now re- open with modifications. Masks are required unless swimming.
  • Movie Theatres can increase capacity to 50% or 200 people, whichever is less with modifications. Seats must be reserved, and each group must have 6 feet of distance from other groups in all directions. Masks required.
  • Family Entertainment Centers can open indoors at 25% capacity for distanced activities, such as bowling or escape rooms with modifications. Masks required. Can increase to 50% capacity if all attendees have proof of being fully vaccinated or a recent COVID-19 test with a negative test result.
  • Grocery and Retail Stores open indoors with modifications.
  • Hair Salons, Barbershops and Personal Care Services open indoors with modifications.
  • Museums and Zoos can be open indoors at 50% capacity with modifications.
  • Fairs can open with a maximum of 25% capacity with modifications. All staff are required to test for COVID-19 weekly, and all visitors and participants must be residents of California.

Advancement to the Orange Tier reflects the patience and persistence of our whole community in Mendocino County. The shift to the Orange Tier also comes as the County continues to make progress on vaccinations despite supply. As we wait for everyone to have access to vaccines, the County urges all to remember that indoor activities pose a much higher risk than outdoor activities and to take every step to reduce risk as much as possible. This is especially critical given the recent detection of variants in Mendocino County. To keep yourself, your family, your friends and neighbors, and our broader community safe, follow these core principles:

  • Stay masked. Consistent use of face coverings both indoors and outdoors, especially double-masking, is very effective at preventing spread of the coronavirus.
  • Stay outdoors. Outdoor activities are far safer than indoor ones.
  • Maintain at least 6-foot distance from others. Social distancing from those who do not
    live in your home is effective at keeping the coronavirus away.
  • Avoid groups outside of your household including crowds. The fewer people you encounter and the fewer interactions you have, the lower the chance the virus will spread.
  • Get vaccinated when it is your turn. All vaccines authorized by the FDA for emergency use work well and will help keep you, your family, and your friends safe.

“Our County has done well through this difficult last year,” shared Dr. Coren “Cases are declining and we are getting out vaccines. This allows us to relax some restrictions,” he then caution all sharing “It is important for people to know that the East Coast and Minnesota are experiencing a possible start of a new wave. So we must continue to be careful and avoid high- risk activities.” 

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Russian Gulch (photo by Dick Whetstone)

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TO VACCINATE OR NOT TO VACCINATE? PART 2

Miller Report for the Week of April 5, 2021

By William Miller, MD; Chief of Staff at Adventist Health – Mendocino Coast Hospital

This is the second in our two-part series on vaccinations in which we will address specific concerns about COVID vaccines.  Part 1 explored the history of vaccinations.

A valid question to begin with is, “Why is it important to get as many people vaccinated as possible?”  The answer, based on sound epidemiological and virology science, is that we know this pandemic is unlikely to end until we reach herd immunity, which occurs when 80-85% of the population is immune.  Approximately 30% of Mendocino residents have received at least one vaccine dose.  Also, it appears that the COVID vaccines may give a stronger immunity than having had the actual infection.  This may seem to not make sense, but there is a good, although complicated, explanation that has to do with how the virus evades the immune system during an actual infection.

Thinking on whether to get vaccinated falls into three categories: first are those people that are planning on getting vaccinated or already got the shot, second are those that are undecided and wish to “wait and see” and third are those that have decided not to get vaccinated. Several surveys of the US population have shown that about 60% are in the first group, about 15% in the “wait and see” group and about 15% in the last group.

In those surveys, the biggest concern is whether enough research was done to show that the vaccine is safe. Fears are expressed about this being new and untested technology.   It turns out that both “new” technologies are not all that new and have been used in vaccines before COVID.  The mRNA technology used in the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines has been used in vaccines against Zika and rabies.  The Johnson & Johnson vaccine uses viral vector technology that has been used in vaccinating against Ebola.  Research on developing a vaccine against coronaviruses like SARS-2 (the virus that causes COVID) began after the SARS-1 and MERS outbreaks about 15 years ago, both being very closely related to COVID/SARS-2.  

Emergency Use Authorization given to these vaccines by the FDA speeded up the process by getting rid of much of the bureaucratic red tape that slows down bringing on new drugs.  However, the same studies are required and the same stringent analysis of the data is performed.  It is true that we don’t have several years of experience with these vaccines. This may be a reasonable concern.  COVID is causing thousands of deaths daily worldwide and the experience we have now, which is about one year’s worth, strongly suggests that these vaccines are safe.

Another frequently raised concern is that mRNA vaccines will somehow alter our genetic makeup.  This is false.  Messenger RNA (mRNA), as the name implies, are instructions to a cell on what protein to make and how to make it.  Our genes are DNA.  DNA is what codes for mRNA, but mRNA has no way to alter a cell’s DNA. It simply doesn’t work in that direction.  Further, mRNA is destroyed rapidly in our bodies as a means of quickly turning off the signal to make a particular protein when it is no longer needed.  So, mRNA literally lasts only a matter of minutes to hours before being degraded.

The fear that the vaccines will implant a microchip that allows the government to track us may stem from a suggestion made in the past that microchip implants could be used as part of vaccine programs in third world countries as a means of helping health care workers know which vaccines a person has had since health records are difficult to keep in those countries.  While that was an idea discussed, it has never been implemented.  If you have watched the vet place a microchip in your dog or cat, you know that it is a rather large needle and the microchip is about the size of a grain of rice and is clearly visible.  This is definitely not included in any vaccine, for one thing the needle is way too small.  For another thing, our cell phones already track us far more effectively than any microchip, reporting all sorts of data about us to more than just the government.

Some people fear that vaccines are a plot to cause sterility in undesirable populations.  Sadly, such plots have existed in the past, such as the one in which Nazi’s used radiation to try to sterilize Jews.  So, it is understandable that minority populations might have this fear.  Some Muslim countries have opposed Western vaccines, such as the one for polio, out of this exact fear.  It is hard to persuade people against this level of mistrust.  However, there is no evidence that any vaccines have this effect.

Another worry is that the vaccines will not prevent infection by one of the new variants.  So far, all the vaccines appear to provide protection against all current the variants. The protection against two of the variants, B.1.351 (in South Africa) and P.1 (in Brazil) may not be as complete, however, it looks like the vaccines do help prevent a more serious illness.  There have been a few reports of people getting COVID after vaccination.  Almost all of these have occurred between the first and second doses or within the first two weeks after the second dose.  In those cases, the vaccine did help prevent hospitalization and death.  Promoting wide vaccination of the population so that herd immunity stops the pandemic will actually help to prevent new variants from developing.

There are still several important things that we do not know yet about the vaccines.  The most important is how long will the immunity last?  We know that the immunity is strongest in the first 3 months and appears to still be effective out to 8 or 9 months.  Beyond that, we don’t have much experience since the studies using the vaccines only began about 9 months ago.  It may be necessary to get a periodic booster shot.  For comparison, the flu shot only gives strong immunity for about 3 months, which is one of the reasons we need a new flu shot each year.  Nine months is similar to the length of immunity we are seeing from the actual COVID infection as well.  In other words, people who have had COVID may be at risk to get it again over time.  This is another strong argument for obtaining heard immunity as soon as possible.  For this reason, it is recommended that people who have had COVID still get vaccinated.

The views shared in this weekly column are those of the author, Dr. William Miller, and do not necessarily represent those of the publisher or of Adventist Health.

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UKIAH CITY MANAGER SAGE SANGIOCOMO on the Magdaleno Incident:

On April 1, Ukiah Police responded to a call reporting that an individual was exhibiting erratic behavior in a public setting. During the incident, a number of methods to subdue and restrain the individual were employed, prompting an investigation regarding the incident’s escalation and whether Ukiah Police principles and protocols were followed.

City Manager Sage Sangiacomo states, “We understand the community concern that has been expressed over the use-of-force by the police during the incident last week, and the City of Ukiah is taking this very seriously. We are launching a full and independent investigation into the incident to determine what happened and whether police actions were consistent with department training and policies. The City also intends to seek an independent review of the existing policies to determine whether they could be augmented or otherwise improved. We believe in the importance of oversight and accountability for our police department. Not only do they need the right policies, training, and tools, but they also need accountability if there are problems that arise. That is essential for keeping community trust in the officers who are on the front lines and responsible for keeping us safe.

“At the same time, we are receiving questions about the nature of police response when addiction or mental health issues are involved. We share the community’s concern that there are not more robust options for addressing these challenges. We are hopeful that the funding resulting from County Measure B can be used to help provide those resources. We look forward to collaborating with other stakeholders and concerned county residents to address this important issue.

“The City has been and will continue to push for better solutions in addressing the needs for mental illness. But today, in this moment, the City is moving forward with next steps to ensure an independent investigation of the April 1st incident is completed in a timely manner. We are committed to transparency, and will provide more information when it is available.”

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ON LINE COMMENT OF THE DAY

Pete Davidson, the SNL actor / comedian, who also suffers from mental health issues, made an observation recently that I found true. Paraphrasing: having a mental illness isn’t an excuse to be an asshole. Take your meds. Stay on your meds. Lots of people are assholes but keep it under control. Lots of people have mental health issues but keep them under control.

Family always comes along after the fact, wringing their hands and complaining that their kid / brother / father / whoever just needed help, and has issues, and yadda yadda yadda. Where is the family when dude is going slowly more and more crazy and needs to be corralled and made to take his meds? They ain’t around. Because ain’t nobody care until they smell blood (or money) in the water. They let their family member reach a point where the only intervention becomes the cops, because they let their family member slowly lose more and more of a grip and did nothing.

Crazy “assholes” (Pete Davidson’s self-descriptive term) eventually become crazy assholes that get naked, fight cops and don’t go with the program. If force is needed to bring said crazy asshole into custody and protect the public, protect the cops, and – frankly – protect the crazy asshole – then force gets used. It’s not pretty, but neither is letting a mental illness fester for years and then foisting it off on the police to handle once it’s become an untenable situation like a meth’d out naked violent dude roaming up Main Street.

If you don’t like the way the cops handle crazy, then don’t call them for crazy. Call the county mental health department and let them figure out how to catch a naked, violent guy in the middle of the street and medicate him accordingly. The cops, I am sure, would be way more happy to just go write speeding tickets to normal people than to deal with naked nutjobs.

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JAIL GARDEN PRODUCES MORE THAN FOOD

For the past several years, the Mendocino County Jail has been lucky enough to have Master Gardener John Holt volunteer his time teaching inmate garden crews how to grow their own food. But learning the fundamentals of gardening is just a part of what John offers. 

As any gardener will tell you, there’s something therapeutic about getting your hands in the dirt and nurturing seedlings. But having once been a pastor, John offers these individuals much more than an opportunity to spend time in the sun. 

Read more about the successful Jail Garden Project in the article below written by MCSO Professional Standards Bureau Supervisor Zohar Zaied: corrections1.com/re-entry-and-recidivism/articles/how-a-correctional-garden-is-cultivating-inmate-rehabilitation-sPhUsNW6ycZGKELu/

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GET TRAINED

Medical Assistant Training

If you know anyone interested…

Adventist Health has developed a new training program for Mendocino County residents interested in becoming medical assistants. The program will take place over seven months of online training, including 200 hours of in-person experience, in order to “grow and teach the next generation of medical assistants.”

Applications for the program are open now until the end of April, and classes are planned to begin in June. More details are in the announcement from Adventist Health below.

For more information on the COPE Health Solutions and the MA School offered by Adventist Health, including application deadlines and process, please visit: copehealthscholars.org/programs/medical-assistant-school/

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PG&E VIRTUAL SAFETY TOWN HALL - Wed, April 7 @ 12 pm

PG&E will be hosting a regional virtual and interactive town hall Wednesday, April 7, 2021 from 12:00 pm to 1:30 pm. This meeting is for anyone who is interested in learning more about their Community Wildfire Safety Program and other Public Safety Power Shutoff preparedness resources.

Please share this opportunity with your partners and communities.

For more information: pge.com/en_US/safety/emergency-preparedness/natural-disaster/wildfires/community-wildfire-safety-open-house-meetings.page

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Korean War, 1953

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NARCAN SAVES FOUR AT THE COUNTY JAIL

On Monday, April 5, 2021 at about 7:38 PM, Correctional staff were alerted to a female inmate having a possible seizure in one of the facility’s female housing units. Correctional staff along with jail medical staff from NaphCare, our contract medical provider, responded to the housing unit. They found a female shaking and having what appeared to be a seizure. 

After an initial assessment was done, medical staff determined that the female needed to go to the hospital. An ambulance was summoned to the jail. As medical staff continued tending to the seizure, an inmate alerted staff to another inmate having seizure-like symptoms.

Jail and medical staff recognized that the inmates might be displaying symptoms of an overdose. Correctional and jail medical staff began administering Naloxone (NARCAN) to the two inmates.

Emergency medical personnel arrived and began treating one of the inmates as jail medical staff treated the other. After several doses of Naloxone, the condition of the two inmates began to improve. As staff continued to tend to the initial two individuals, another female began displaying symptoms of an overdose. Emergency medical staff, jail medical and correctional staff worked together to stabilize the three affected inmates for transportation to a local hospital. A fourth inmate notified staff that she had ingested the same substance as the other three inmates.

The four inmates were transported to Adventist Health Ukiah Valley Hospital where they were treated and later returned to the custody of the jail.

The substance that was ingested by the inmates was located near one of the bedding areas. The substance was tested and was determined to contain fentanyl, a strong opioid. Fentanyl is dangerous because it can be deadly in minute quantities. 

County personnel with specialized training were called in to decontaminate the area in which the fentanyl was discovered.

An initial investigation into how the fentanyl came into the facility indicates that the substance was brought in by one of the inmates secreted it in a body cavity, making it extremely difficult to discover even while completing an unclothed search of an inmate. Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office personnel are conducting a criminal investigation into the drug’s introduction.

The Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office would like to thank our Correctional staff, NaphCare staff, the Ukiah Valley Fire Authority and MedStar for assisting in saving the lives of these three individuals. We would also like to thank the Mendocino County Department of Health and Human Services for providing jail staff with the Naloxone, which was credited with saving the three inmates’ lives.

Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office

Matthew Kendall, Sheriff-Coroner

951 Low Gap Rd, Ukiah, CA 95482

(707) 463-4411, Sheriff@MendocinoSheriff.com

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SUPERVISOR BRIEFS

by Mark Scaramella

NOT MUCH OF INTEREST at Tuesday’s Supervisors meeting. Mostly just reports from staff and agencies. The Board spent an unusually long 3.5 hours in closed session on four listed topics:

9a) Pursuant to Government Code Section 54957- Public Employee Performance Evaluation - Agricultural Commissioner/Sealer of Weights and Measures

9b) Pursuant to Government Code Section 54956.9(d)(1) - Conference with Legal Counsel - Existing Litigation: One Case - County of Mendocino v. Anna Stockel, et al. - Case No. SCUK-CVG-20-74829

9c) Pursuant to Government Code Section 54956.9(d)(4) - Conference with Legal Counsel - Initiation of Litigation: One Case

9d) Pursuant to Government Code Section 54957.6- Conference with Labor Negotiator - Agency Negotiators: Carmel J. Angelo, Jenine Miller, and William Schurtz; Employee Organization(s): All 

After the 3.5 hours County Counsel reported that “direction was given to staff.”

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THE SUPERVISORS were generally supportive of several spending requests for the $22.7 million PG&E settlement windfall. Predictably requests included more fire safety funding, improvements in emergency medical services, dispatch and local agencies, and improvements of the County’s Emergency Operations Center, including a permanent emergency management facility (instead of setting one up for each disaster). County Transpo Head Howard Deshiell had some road improvement proposals as well. More proposals are expected in the next to Board meetings, including some from the affected areas of the 2017 wildfires in Potter Valley and Redwood Valley which Supervisors Mulheren and McGourty are assembling. Presumably, given the positive response from the Board these first proposals will be fleshed out and brought forward for separate consideration in the weeks ahead. 

CEO Angelo had her own idea for at least some of the money saying that although the County is in good financial shape at the moment, the Board should consider putting some of the $22.7 million into reserves.

It’s not clear at this point what it will all add up to. Roadwork in the affected burn zone could get costly. Each proposal was broken down into increments so that when the list takes shape the Board can trim some of the spending so that smaller and priority projects get funded first.

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SUPERVISOR MAUREEN MULHEREN maintains an official website (maureenmulheren.com) with a feature entitled “Weekly Updates,” although some weeks go by without an update. For March 30, Supervisor Mulheren reported someone asking her what she does besides go to meetings. “I read a lot of emails, research topics the Board is discussing, prepare for my meetings and most importantly talk to people, on the phone, distanced outside, whatever it takes to make sure I hear from the community about what they are interested in and how I can help.”

Unfortunately, Ms. Mulheren takes pains to avoid actually saying anything about any issues, choosing instead, like former Supervisor Carre Brown, to rattle off places she’s gone, meetings she’s attended and general subjects. 

For example, on Friday, March 26, Supervisor Mulheren reported, “I had a long conversation with a vineyard owner that had questions about Phase 3 (cannabis) and what it could possibly mean for traditional agriculture in Mendocino County.”

Really? Indeed, what could it mean to the “vineyard owner” who claims to represent “traditional agriculture”? Your public wants to know, Supervisor. What DOES it mean to vineyard owners? Was the vineyard owner interested in switching to pot? Adding pot to the vineyard? Etc.

There’s not much point in posting info-free topics and meetings and activities unless there’s at least some actual content and take-away included.

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ED NOTES

MY FAVORITE local attorney, far and away, has always been Jared Carter, the go to guy for the Northcoast’s forces of destruction. The old boy’s getting on, but in his prime at public meetings, his performances were comic masterpieces. 

CARTER was always offended that he and Mendo’s most rapacious kulaks — later Trumpers, you can be sure — were being challenged. One of his main moves was to throw a contemptuously inclusive, over the shoulder gesture at the audience, as he fairly shouted, “Now these people....” The implication being that “these people” — were the hippies, communists, non-Republicans certainly — opposing whatever ghastly project Carter and Friends were up to.

HE ALSO SEEMED to be regarded by his clients as something of an intellectual. When Charles Hurwitz, the Texas pirate, set about looting Pacific Lumber of its carefully managed forests while also helping himself to the worker’s pension fund, Carter came up with the notion that any interference with people like Hurwitz amounted to “takings,” the appropriation of their private property! Naturally, this cockamamie argument went over boffo with the Nixonian meatballs he represented.

WHICH REMINDED ME: IN 1998 CDF did a week-long crackdown on Pacific Lumber. It was regulatory show biz at its best. CDF had informed Pacific Lumber it had lost its license because of its numerous violations of timber harvest plans. But, having grabbed the headlines for a day in a terminally cynical but effective ploy to pretend that there’s effective government oversight of the timber industry, on New Year’s Day, when much of the country was asleep or inattentive from hangovers, CDF announced it had reinstated PL’s logging license — that PL had magically gotten back into compliance with the regs.

I HAD A FEW encounters with Carter via demand letters he had served on me for a couple of clients of his. Demand letters are lawyer letters that say either retract whatever it was that offended the client or else Carter would sue. His process server was a Ukiah friend of Carter’s who fairly danced down my driveway. “Got ya this time, big boy.” But our information was sound, and truth is a defense against libel claims, so I was never sued by Mr. Takings. In fact, Carter’s demand letters were an opportunity to re-publish the alleged offense.

WE’RE TALKING major institutional memory here at the Boonville weekly, all the way back to 1970. While other media have come and gone we, out of pure inertia and lack of ambition, have stayed, all that time keeping a skeptical eye on doings behind The Green Curtain.

ONE MORE BLAST at Carter, and typical of his mafia-like tactics. I think it was ‘98 when Carter threatened the entire town of Fort Bragg, declaring that if the town’s popular Fire Marshal, Jim Rutherford, wasn’t gone by January 1st, Carter, acting on behalf of a tiny minority of Fort Bragg developers who assumed they were exempt from the rules — in this case the fire code the town had just adopted after hiring Rutherford to help write it and enforce it — would sue to get him gone. Never was a suit, but that’s the way these big fish in Mendo’s miniscule pond, operate. 

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CATCH OF THE DAY, April 6, 2021

Ammerman, Coltrain, Cunnan, French

RHONJENE AMMERMAN, Fort Bragg. Protective order violation, failure to appear.

GARY COLTRAIN, Potter Valley. Fugitive from justice. 

JOHN CUNNAN, Covelo. Probation revocation.

JEFFREY FRENCH, Willits. Taking vehicle without owner’s consent, failure to appear, probation revocation.

Gurrola, Harris, Kafer

JESSE GURROLA, Covelo. Assault weapon, loaded firearm in public.

EUGENE HARRIS, Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-alcohol, probation revocation. 

KARLI KAFER, Ukiah. DUI-alcohol&drugs.

Lewis, Magana, Marrufo

SHALOM LEWIS, Fort Bragg. Parole violation.

CARLOS MAGANA, Ukiah. Ex-felon with tear gas as weapon, concealed dirk-dagger, paraphernalia.

SHAYLENE MARRUFO, Santa Rosa/Ukiah. DUI, child endangerment, suspended license for reckless driving.

Misita, Murguia, Olvera

JOSEPH MISITA, Ukiah. DUI.

CHRISTOPER MURGUIA, Ukiah. Assault with deadly weapon not a gun.

ARELI OLVERA, Willits. Controlled substance, paraphernalia, burglary tools, probation revocation.

Sanchez, Questoni, Staser, Wears

SAMUEL SANCHEZ, Ukiah. Parole violation. (Frequent flyer.)

MARCI QUESTONI, Petaluma/Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-alcohol, public urination, contempt of court, probation revocation.

CHRISTOPHER STASER, Ukiah. Domestic battery.

ALLEN WEARS, Covelo. Failure to register as sex offender w/priors. reckless evasion, parole violation.

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I, CLAUD: FROM THE WEEK TO THE WORKER

by Fred Gardner

In his autobiography, I, Claud…, Alexander Cockburn’s father, Claud Cockburn, describes being recruited by the Daily Worker in late 1936:

“It was about this time that Mr. Pollitt, Secretary of the Communist Party of Great Britain, whom I had never met, was suddenly announced on the telephone. Would I, he asked, take the next train, in 20 minutes or half an hour, and report on a mine disaster at Gresford, North Wales? Why? Because he had a feeling that there was a lot more to it than met the eye. But why I in particular? Well, because, it seemed, Mr. Pollitt —who was worrying at the time about what he believed to be a lack of ‘reader appeal’ in the Daily Worker— had been reading The Week, and thought I might do a good job. I like sudden decisions, and went, and I did a good job.”

The Week was the mimeographed newsletter Cockburn had launched in 1933 to reach the political influencers of the day. He was sure it would succeed and it did. His small network of foreign correspondents met several times a week to share information. “There was something to be said for regular exchanges even when there seemed to be no news at all,” Cockburn writes in I, Claud... ”The mere fact of each in turn going through a kind of ‘total recall’ of what had been said by informants — diplomats, financiers and others — during the course of the past 48 hours was clarificatory and often produced a piece of the great jigsaw which otherwise could’ve been overlooked or forgotten.” 

The Week published stories that correspondents “could not venture to send directly to their papers or news agencies but which they could send if they had just appeared in The Week and could thus be quoted instead of being sent on the responsibility of the correspondence… And then naturally the whole business ‘snowballed.’ When it was seen what kind of stories The Week uniquely would handle, all sorts of people — for motives sometimes noble and quite often vile — would approach The Week to draw its attention to the most extraordinary pieces of more or less confidential information. Sometimes it came from frustrated newspapermen who could not get what they considered vital news into their own papers. More often such confidences were the outcome of obscure financial or diplomatic duels. They would come for instance from a Councilor of an Embassy who was convinced of the wrongheaded policy of the Foreign Office and the Ambassador.”

Sources inside Germany risked their lives communicating with The Week. One informant was “a devout Catholic and astute anti-Nazi,” secretary to von Papen, the former chancellor who served as Hitler’s vice-chancellor in 1933-34. “It was of course impossible,” Cockburn writes, “for this secretary to send his information through the mails and I had, in fact, insisted that nothing must be written down at all. I had a messenger, a former sports writer whom nobody suspected of being anything but a damn fool, travel to and from Berlin to talk with the secretary, memorize his information and bring it back to London.

“Unfortunately the secretary was less careful than he should have been. He kept a file of The Week… One day in June my messenger, who generally had very little interest in politics and was not particularly alert to what was going on, arrived in Berlin and went to see the secretary. The copies of The Week were covered in blood — the man had been shot at close range by the SS assassins who had just invaded the house. Our liaison man escaped, by an estimated four minutes, before they returned to the lower floors after a search of the bedrooms to find someone else they might like to kill.”

Note the wee ironic twist at the end of that tragic paragraph. Irony is a form of humor, according to Fowler’s great essay, and Claud Cockburn’s sense of humor seems inextinguishable. 

In October 1936 Ribbentrop became the Nazis’ Ambassador to England: “You did not have to waste time wondering whether there was some latent streak of goodness in him somewhere,” Cockburn writes. “To help mold his ideas I had arranged to have conveyed to him that my real name — now clumsily translated from the German— was Hahnbrant and that my father came from Czernowitz. Supposing that this piece of intelligence had been treacherously sold to one of his agents by a friend of mine, Ribbentrop was inclined to think it true. He never really believed any report honestly come by.”

When Ribbentrop’s agents (“enormous blondes”) were tailing Cockburn around London, he “arranged for use on these occasions of some informative little dialogue with whichever friend happened to be sitting with me. 

“‘Me: Say what you will, you cannot deny the Gentiles started the last war… 

“‘Friend: But think of their contributions to literature, culture in general. Look at Shakespeare. 

“‘Me: Shakespeare I grant you — if he really was a Gentile. But if you want to talk about writers, what about Wells and Shaw? Typically disruptive, negative Gentile mentalities. Mind you, I’ve many good Gentile friends myself. But taken in the mass… Besides, I always think there’s something queer about their eyes’.”

Soon Ribbentrop’s operative “hurried off to report on the swelling arrogance of the crypto-Jewish conspirators, and add another page or so to my dossier.” Since Ribbentrop became Ambassador in October, 1936, we infer it was sometime soon thereafter that Cockburn went to North Wales to report on a mine disaster for the Daily Worker.

Pollitt of the Communist Party wanted to hire him as a full-time reporter. The pay was drastically less than he made putting out The Week and contributing to other publications. But Cockburn describes the Worker job offer as “irresistible — the more so because of my experience among the British Labour people and Liberals.” He had been writing “a weekly page of paragraphs on foreign affairs” for a paper owned by the liberal Daily Herald. ”It was not a bad page,” he reflects, “but it had something frail and brittle about it — and I knew the reason the things I really thought were happening could not be expressed directly in that Labour-organized newspaper, and once again I faced the same inhibitions and distortions of expression, of style, as I had faced at The Times.”

Though Cockburn doesn’t describe joining the Party, he generalizes: “If there were things to disagree with the Communists about, what I felt at the time was that they were a lot nearer being a creative force in British politics than any other that I could see.”

The Cliveden Set

Claud Cockburn did not coin the aphorism “Believe nothing until it has been officially denied,” which is often attributed to him, He writes in I, Claud ... that he’d been hearing that cynical advice “since becoming a journalist.” And then it came to mind when he heard a leading Wall Street banker soothingly reassure a roomful of reporters that “There was nothing basically wrong with the country’s economy. What had occurred was due simply to ‘a technical condition of the market’.”

Cockburn did coin a phrase that had political impact. In The Week he was exposing “those in high places... working for the appeasement of Adolf Hitler,” who often gathered and conferred at the Astor family’s Thames-side estate at Cliveden. When Cockburn dubbed them “The Cliveden Set” in a headline, his mocking, class-conscious appellation stuck. Today “The Cliveden Set” warrants it own Wikipedia entry! Cockburn’s authorship is acknowedged, and The Wiki notes, “It has long been widely accepted that the aristocratic Germanophile social network was for friendly relations with Nazi Germany and helped create the policy of appeasement.” 

But...

“The actual beliefs and influence of the Cliveden Set,” the Wiki goes on, “are matters of some dispute. In the late 20th century, some historians of the period came to consider the allegations about it to have been exaggerated. For instance, Christopher Sykes, in a sympathetic 1972 biography of Nancy Astor, argued that the entire story about the Cliveden Set had been an ideologically-motivated fabrication by Cockburn that came to be generally accepted by a public, which was looking for scapegoats for the British prewar appeasement of Adolf Hitler. Some academic arguments have stated that Cockburn’s account may have not have been entirely accurate, but his main allegations cannot be easily dismissed.”

Next installment: Spain

* * *

* * *

BASEBALL SAYS NO TO JIM CROW 2.0

by Dave Zirin

The Big Lie has been replaced by 50 little lies nestling in 50 different states. The Big Lie, of course, is that if only the presidential election hadn’t been stolen, then Trump would still be in office. That’s now playing out in statehouses around the country, with legislation aiming to suppress, primarily, Black voters.

Nowhere has the lie been embraced with more gusto than the state of Georgia, the very state that was scrutinized by every GOP official for fraud after the party got its ass kicked in the last election. They found nothing, despite Trump’s felonious insistence that Republican officials manufacture some votes for him.

Yet, in the wake of his party’s historic defeat, Governor Brian Kemp has banked his political future on the fiction that Georgia’s GOP was defeated only because of an absence of this elusive “election integrity.” So the state passed a set of Jim Crow laws buttressed by a set of Jim Crow lies. It’s brazen as hell. Instead of competing for votes, the GOP has gone full white authoritarian in a manner that would make Bull Connor blush. Kemp is serving up these oppressive laws with a hearty helping of slop-Orwellian disinformation: It’s Orwell for people who didn’t do the reading. Or, as Kemp tweeted, presumably while peering up to the sky for lightning bolts, his racist voter suppression bill “expands access to the ballot box and ensures the integrity of our elections.”

In response, Major League Baseball decided to take a stand and move the 2021 All-Star Game out of suburban Atlanta. It was really the only decision the leagues could make. Already, there were rumblings from players and managers about boycotting the game. Already, their own sponsors were pressuring them to do something. The cognitive dissonance of a year when they would be celebrating Atlanta’s own legend, the late Henry Aaron, with Jim Crow Georgia standing as a backdrop proved to be too much to bear.

Immediately, the GOP floodgates opened with one collective whine about “cancel culture” and “the woke mob.” No need to quote them. They are now baying at the moon about baseball, trans kids, Dr. Seuss… pretty much anything to distract from the unprecedented humanitarian crisis that has taken place on their watch. If there weren’t so many dead bodies strewn about, this latest “cancel culture” mewl would be high comedy. Baseball is about as liberal as George Will. It’s as conservative an institution that we have outside of official GOP circles. MLB is to radical social change what the horse and buggy was to the Model T. If anything, baseball’s revulsion should be a wake-up call to how toxic these obvious, racist voter suppression laws are to corporate America. If even baseball finds you to be too noxious a bedfellow, that should definitely be cause for some kind self-reflection. Instead, Republicans are doubling down in a fit of tantrums and martyrdom that would shame a teenager.

Shamelessness is a political vulture, always looking to feed, and sure enough, we are seeing the return of Kelly Loeffler, last seen losing her Georgia Senate race and then being driven out of the WNBA for being too racist. She had the gall to issue a statement invoking Aaron’s name, saying, “The MLB had a chance to honor an iconic trailblazer and Braves legend Hank Aaron. Instead, the[y] bowed to the woke disinformation campaign of the Left.”

When it comes to what Henry Aaron would have thought, I’ll go by his friend Dusty Baker, who said, “That was a pretty big and bold move by baseball. I’m proud of the fact they stood by the voting rights of people. This is what Hank would’ve liked. Even though it’s in his town. He had the rights of people at the forefront of his mind and his heart.”

To be clear, baseball did not move because of any kind of threatened players strike or upheaval from below. The players have had no chance to meet and discuss what their approach to the game may have been. This is about the desire of Major League Baseball as an institution to bring the sport into the 21st (or even 20th) century. MLB wants to celebrate Henry Aaron and Jackie Robinson. It wants to embrace the new faces that are making the game, like Kim Ng, Tim Anderson, and Fernando Tatis Jr. This would have been an impossibility with Governor Kemp lurking in the background. There are clearly mixed feelings about this in the league’s various owners’ boxes. The Atlanta Braves released a rather horrible statement, refusing to put the blame for this where it belongs: on Kemp and his ilk who passed these laws. Then there are the Baltimore Orioles, one of several teams to issue statements far better than the Braves’. Franchise owner John Angelos, in a statement cosigned by Baltimore Mayor Brandon Scott, wrote,

"As the birthplace of civil rights icon Thurgood Marshall, we stand united with Commissioner Manfred in denouncing this malicious legislative effort to suppress voters in Georgia and other state legislatures. Baseball is our national pastime and preserving the right to vote is a pillar of our American democracy. The City of Baltimore and the Birds of Baltimore applaud MLB’s patriotism in supporting voting rights, and we encourage everyone to use this moment to fight for fair elections and register eligible Americans to vote and make their voices heard."

Yes, there are many political figures in Georgia, like Stacey Abrams, who don’t want to see any kind of economic boycott of their state. But if MLB feels like its brand will be harmed by being in Georgia, whose fault is that? Baseball needed to make this move. It had to finally do more than talk a good game. The legacies of people like Jackie Robinson and Henry Aaron, along with the climate in this country created by the social movements of the last year, put it in a position where there was really only one choice it could make. Baseball has long said the right thing without doing anything. Well, Major League Baseball is finally doing something, and what it is doing, amazingly enough, is the right thing.

* * *

TODAY IN TEXAS HISTORY -- On today’s date 204 years ago, Thursday, April 3, 1817, famous Texas Revolutionary War soldier & Texas Ranger William Alexander Anderson “Bigfoot” Wallace (1817-1899) was born at the town of Lexington in Rockbridge County in the Commonwealth of Virginia.

Ranger Wallace

When Wallace heard that his brother & one of his cousins had been killed in the Goliad Massacre, he set out for Texas to “take pay out of the Méxicans.” Years later, he confessed that he believed the account had been squared. Wallace fought at the Battle of Salado Creek & the Battle of Hondo River, & he took part in the Mier Expedition. He was also a survivor of the infamous Black Bean Incident.

According to the Texas State Historical Association’s Handbook of Texas Online: On this day in 1817, Bigfoot Wallace was born in Lexington, Virginia. He arrived in Texas during the Texas Revolution, fought Gen. Adrián Woll’s invading Mexican army near San Antonio in 1842, & then volunteered for the Somervell & Mier expeditions. Some of his most graphic memories were of his experiences in Perote Prison. As soon as he was released, he joined the Texas Rangers under Jack Hays & fought with the rangers in the Mexican War. In the 1850s Captain Wallace commanded a Ranger company of his own, fighting border bandits as well as Indians. He spent his later years in Frio County, near a hamlet named Bigfoot. There he was known as a mellow & convivial soul who liked to sit in a roomy rawhide-bottomed chair in the shade of his shanty & recount over the stories of his career.

The town of Bigfoot, located 35 miles south of San Antonio, was originally named Connally’s Store when it was first settled around 1865, but when the first Post Office opened in 1883 the name was changed to Bigfoot in honor of Bigfoot Wallace, who was a resident of the town.

Note: Wallace was fond of wearing moccasins rather than ordinary boots or shoes, & despite his moniker, “Bigfoot,” his feet were only of average size.

Genealogical Note: Bigfoot Wallace is sometimes said to be a direct descendant of famous Scottish Knight Sir William Wallace (1270-1305); however, this is incorrect -- William Wallace never married & has no known descendants. William Wallace is, in fact, a 16th great uncle to Bigfoot Wallace -- their common ancestor being William Wallace’s father Malcolm Wallace of Elderslie (1249-1305).

Additional genealogical note: Buttermilk Junction band leader Michael Lee Garrett is a seventh cousin, six-times removed to Bigfoot Wallace & a twenty-second great nephew of Sir William Wallace.

The 1872 albumen-print photograph depicts Bigfoot Wallace at around the age of 55. On the back of the photograph, a handwritten note states that the hunting pouch Wallace is wearing was “taken from the Indian Chief ‘Big Foot’ from whoom [sic] he derived his name.”

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Afghanistan, 1980

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ON THE MISERABLE NECESSITY OF DOING CENSORSHIP STORIES IN PAIRS

by Matt Taibbi

For roughly half a year, I’ve been running a series of interviews called “Meet The Censored,” with the aim of highlighting the scope of a growing Internet censorship issue.

From now on, “Meet the Censored” articles will be released in pairs. The speech debate has become so partisan that people now often cheer news that this or that person has been kicked off the Internet — this is an increasingly common reaction. When I profiled World Socialist Web Site writer Andre Damon, conservatives complained that his site wasn’t representative of the censorship problem, and I was showing bias. When I profiled Irreversible Damage author Abigail Shrier, leftists argued I was carrying water for the intolerant right.

I don’t particularly care whom people think I’m carrying water for, but in the effort to keep eyes on the ball, I’m going to release these stories in matched sets: one on the right, one on the left, one conservative, one not, etc. The first two such pieces, coming out today, will feature the non-profit investigative outfit U.S. Right to Know, and well-known conservative reporter Paul Sperry.

Nearly three years ago, when I first started covering this stuff, I realized the censorship issue would be a tough sell in the Trump era. For blue-leaning audiences, news that companies like Facebook and Google had begun shutting down or de-ranking accounts in ways we’d never seen before was, to my initial shock, mostly perceived as a good thing. In the wake of Trump’s election, many Democrats believed something had to be done about “fake news,” Russian trolls, and, especially, inflammatory right-wing speech.

Polls showed 40% of millennials believed the government should be allowed to limit speech offensive to minorities, a number significantly higher than the one for either Baby Boomers (23%) or GenXers (27%). If those levels of support among younger voters existed for outright government censorship, how would that audience ever be convinced to care about private companies zapping political accounts?

The issue was such a non-starter with younger, blue-leaning audiences that when I did a feature about Facebook’s 2018 purges of so-called “inauthentic” accounts, ‘Rolling Stone’ headlined the piece, “Who Will Fix Facebook?”, as if to disguise what the story was actually about. (I got letters from disappointed readers who’d been drawn in by the headline, hoping to read a story demanding that Facebook wipe out more right-wing/conspiratorial content). After the expulsion of Alex Jones and Infowars from Apple, Facebook, Google, and Spotify, it seemed many younger readers didn’t see a problem with increased content moderation. If anything, Silicon Valley didn’t remove enough obnoxious content.

Conservative readers from the start have been significantly more unnerved by the content moderation movement, for the obvious reason that most higher-profile targets of tech crackdowns have been right-wing figures. After years of decisions like kicking Donald Trump off Twitter, suspending or banning figures like James Woods and Milo Yiannopoulis, and intervening to block access to the New York Post’s coverage of Hunter Biden, the censorship issue in conservative media has usually been pitched as being a problem exclusive to them.

After the Hunter Biden story was blocked, Republican politicians like Mississippi Senator Roger Wicker and Colorado’s Cory Gardner hauled tech CEOs to Washington to face accusations of “bias.” At the much-covered hearing in October, Wicker railed at Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey. “Mr. Dorsey, your platform allows foreign dictators to post propaganda, typically without restriction,” he said, “yet you typically restrict the president of the United States.” Ultimately, like nearly all problems in this country that have both bipartisan causes and an impact in all directions, the censorship issue has been chopped up into parts, in order to be marketed to different news demographics, and consumed as partisan grumbling.

Conservative outlets have sold the story as a conspiracy of Democratic politicians and “Masters of the Universe]” tech companies. In mainstream outlets like the New York Times, meanwhile, the speech issue has usually been pitched as a chin-scratching intellectual dilemma: how much freedom can “civilized” society safely brook, in the age of figures like Trump and Alex Jones? Often, you see the issue framed as an either/or, i.e. either a “Wild West” of no controls, or a more civilized regime of thoughtful moderation. In one Times editorial, Shira Ovide cheered the Apple App Store model of “utter lack of free speech,” saying few “credible people” would want our online world designed any other way:

It’s time to stop debating whether we want powerful gatekeepers vetting information. We do. We don’t want people to be able to shout the proverbial “fire” in a crowded theater, and we don’t want terrorists, stalkers, dangerous conspiracy theorists, and authoritarians to have free rein on the internet.

Humorously, that Times piece, with its obligatory reference to shouting fire in a crowded theater (a scenario which by now has happened in theory roughly ten billion times more than in reality), was forced to concede that Apple-style moderation can have a bit of a downside. For instance, Ovide wrote, Apple controls in China have resulted in bans of companies the government “believes break its laws,” like “some news apps, including The New York Times.” Apart from censorship of her own newspaper, ditching “the myth of free expression” was presented as mostly a good thing.

When this issue first started gaining steam a few years back, it looked like Facebook’s shutdowns of sites like Jason Bassler’s Free Thought Project or James Reader’s pro-Democratic “Reverb Press” might be algorithmic glitches, just as the zapping of a “No Unite the Right 2” page advertising an anti-nationalist counter-demonstration appeared to have been. The public was told the companies were mainly going after Russians and hate speech.

It’s now clear that’s not the case. One of the fundamental (and clearly intentional) elements of the crackdowns of the last few years has been the systematic de-ranking or removal of smaller, independent news sites. The pulling of raw footage and livestreams by outlets like Jordan Chariton’s Cou or Ford Fischer’s ] seems to indicate that platforms like YouTube and Facebook want to limit the power to use certain images or content to larger, corporate outlets like CNN, CBS, or the New York Times.

In other words, if the Charitons and Fischers of the world can sell their work to a big national outlet, mazel tov. If they choose to try to publish it on their own, they risk having their work pulled by Facebook and Google. It’s a journalistic Sophie’s Choice: either sell away your competitive advantage (i.e., your mobility and “on the ground” reporting) to a corporate rival, or put your financial fate in the hands of invisible, unreachable executives at places like YouTube, the type of people Chariton described as being harder to find than CIA operatives.

Either way, you’re surrendering, involuntarily, to giant companies. The reason going after independents matters so much is that “credentialed” media, when they screw up, tend to do so en masse. If you try to launder all content through a handful of big corporate players like CNN, MSNBC, and the Times, you’re virtually guaranteeing that the next WMD or Gulf of Tonkin or Russiagate reporting fiasco will go undetected for longer. The same reasoning applies to algorithmic changes that sharply reduced traffic at alternative sites like World Socialist Web Site putting a thumb on the scale to drive readers into more “mainstream” baskets just makes bigger outlets worse and less accountable.

Stories like Fischer’s and Chariton’s are important to help convince non-conservative readers of the seriousness of the censorship problem. On the other hand, avoiding the issue of censorship of conservative sites isn’t right, either. That absolutely is happening, even though the highest engagement numbers on Facebook continue to be enjoyed by people like Jordan Peterson and Dan Bongino.

It’s become so taboo on the blue side to express any concerns about censorship of conservative voices that it’s rarely even presented in the mainstream press as a legitimate issue, unless someone like, say, Bernie Sanders admits to being “uncomfortable” by the precedent of tech monopolies hitting the mute button on a sitting president of the United States.

The phenomenon we’re living through isn’t about partisan politics. The central problem is the speech landscape has been almost fully privatized, with the overwhelming majority of people getting information via a handful of key companies: Apple, Google, Facebook, Twitter, Amazon. That bottleneck makes it possible to control information in amazing new ways, especially since the companies have shown, from the zapping of Infowars to the paper-training of Parler, that they’re willing and able to work in concert, against any set of actors they deem unsuitable.

When Infowars was kicked off those platforms, huge percentages of people cheered, because who doesn’t hate Alex Jones? But who was kicked off Facebook, Apple, and YouTube was less important than the what and how: unaccountable, unelected private executives making major decisions about who gets to speak in a 100% non-transparent, unappealable process. The same problem is inherent in the case of Trump’s Twitter ban, even though a strong argument can be made that Trump did repeatedly violate the company’s terms of service. The issue isn’t companies shutting Trump down, it’s that shutting a president down is even possible. As Sanders (and, sadly, few other politicians on his side of the aisle) pointed out, “tomorrow it could be somebody else who has a very different point of view.”

Moreover, the mission creep has been mind-boggling. Silicon Valley has gone from banning Trump for past concrete violations to future potential violations. Facebook just last week banned an interview of Trump by daughter Lara, declaring that “the voice of Donald Trump]” will henceforth be removed, as the risk of allowing it to be heard at all is “too great.” In flash, content moderation went from enforcement of terms of service to Minority Report-style projection of future offense.

Furthermore, the bans on Trump almost immediately swam downstream and turned into bans of people covering Trump. In the same way that people like Fischer and Chariton were penalized for filming pro-Trump protesters, groups like the Freedom of the Press Foundation had their database of Trump tweets attacking the media temporarily removed] from Google Docs. Only through sheer luck — the Foundation had contacts in Google — was the database restored.

This is a consistent feature of these stories, as Gary Ruskin of U.S. Right To Know discovered in the case of his own organization, which saw a sudden, catastrophic drop in traffic: people who experience suspensions or algorithmic changes find themselves frantically looking for backchannels into the Silicon Valley castle, to plead their cases. “It’s straight out of Kafka,” says Ruskin. “What door do I knock on?” If there’s a person who doesn’t think this is an insane way to manage the media business, I’d like to hear the argument.

Ten years from now, people will likely not have trouble realizing that putting five or six companies in charge of regulating all content was probably not a good idea, for all but a small handful of empowered actors. At the moment, the partisan angle is clouding the issue, as ordinary people are being conned into viewing speech as a giant turf war in which they have a rooting interest. News flash: you probably don’t.

* * *

Execution by Cannon, Iran, 1890s

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MY MOTHER WON’T LEAVE ME ALONE

Editor,

My name is Amanda Maloney and I am a resident of Vacaville, California. On August 24, 2020, a restraining order was granted to me by Judge Shauna L. Chastain of the Superior Court of Solano County. This order forbids my biological mother, Marlena Maloney, from contacting me via any means. On October 1, 2020, Marlena violated his order by sending me an e-mail. I promptly reported this to the Vacaville Police Department and had my case (#20-07629) handled by Officer Andre Carson. When it arrived at the district attorney’s office they decided that it wasn’t enough to put a warrant out for Marlena’s arrest as they had no definitive proof that the e-mail account she used was linked to her identity.

On October 31, 2020, I received a greeting card in the mail. Although her name or address was not on it, I know that it was sent by mother due to the postmark being from her hometown of Eureka, the handwriting being identical to her, and the language within it being very similar to those within the past e-mails she has sent to me as well as messages sent to associates on my facebook account, stating how her daughter had been told a “web of lies” by social workers and other county officials in order to destroy her family. Once again, I reported this to the Vacaville Police Department and my case (#20-8412) was handled by Officer Jeremy Johnson.

On November 24, 2020 I received another greeting card in the mail from my mother. Just like the previous one, the only proof I had that Marlena sent this card to me are the same points I mentioned above. I have also reported this to the Vacaville Police Department and had my case was handled by Officer Stevens (who refused to give me his first name). Instead of filing an official case report, he instead gave me an incident report (#201-1240016), stating that it was inappropriate for a case report to be made for the previous card as well as this one.

Shortly afterwards I was looking through the past e-mails that Marlena sent to me before I got the order and discovered some that included photos of herself, myself as a child (photos which nobody else would own, etc.), as well as many others containing definitive proof that this e-mail account was tied to her identity. I contacted the district attorney’s office and spoke with Christine De Leo, the agent handling my case (# FFL-1230129) regarding this additional evidence. I then got in touch with her supervisor Suzanne, who instructed me to complete and submit the FL-410 (order to show cause and affidavit for contemtt) and FL-412 (affidavit of facts constituting contempt) to the courthouse. I did so right away and was granted a court hearing for February 1, 2021 in which Judge Shauna L. Chastain would be presiding again.

Before this date I worked to gather as much evidence as I could to convince the courts that Marlena was guilty. In addition to the e-mails, I also asked the court to send me copies of her past criminal cases. There I found a minute order from 2011 (Case#FCR261058), which had Marlena’s full name, date of birth, previous address and phone number. The handwriting that this was written in is almost identical to that on the greeting cards. During this time, I received a phone call from Marlena’s public defender, Marjaneh Maroufi, who has represented her in her past cases dating in 2012-2013. Ms. Maroufi informed me of my mother’s desire not to appear in court. She also told me Marlena’s defense stating how I have been brainwashed by the county systems to resent her and how my father was really the abusive parent. I told Ms. Maroufi about how those statements were classic lies that my mother tells to deny accountability for her actions and warned her not to be deceived by them. Ms. Maroufi told me she would keep my words in mind but the tone voice did not do much to convince me. Sure enough, when the day of the court hearing came, Marlena was not present. Although I was previously informed by Ms. Maroufi that Marlena did not need to be present at the hearing in order for you to proceed, the case was not heard. Instead, the hearing was delayed until March 23, 2021, during which time Ms. Maroufi stated that she would have a “warrant “ placed by the time this new court date came.

Many employees of the Solano courthouse have advised me that I did not need an attorney of my own as long as I had enough evidence to prove that my mother was aware of the restraining order I had against her and that she willfully disobeyed it. Still, I felt like I needed someone to help me with this case and contacted Matthew Martinez. I told Mr. Martinez about my situation and needs. He said that he would be happy to put together a packet and request for a criminal case to send to the district attorney as well as appearing with me in this upcoming court case. He also spoke with Ms. Maroufi over the phone who said that Marlena would agree to speak via telephone in the next court hearing. 

To my surprise, Marlena actually showed up in person during the court hearing on March 24, 2021 and was arraigned. Our case is now set for trial and we will return on May 5, 2021. From what I’ve been told this trial will most definitely proceed whether or not Marlena decides to appear.

Marlena Joyce Maloney is a deranged, evil creature who has been mentally and emotionally abusing me since childhood. So far, the weak willed attitudes of the court have not prevented her repeated criminal actions. If anything, they have enabled her to continue to find new ways to sink her claws into anyone she can by discovering covert methods to avoid being brought to justice. If nothing is done to stop her, she will only persist until the day she dies. 

For years, Marlena had been lying to police officers, court officials, therapists and members of the public alike, convincing them that she is not a danger to others all while she continues to relentlessly torment her own children behind closed doors. Children who have spent their entire lives witnessing those who are meant to protect and serve the ones who cannot defend themselves on their own consistently fail to perform their duties. Children who feel frustrated, exhausted and ultimately helpless in their fight to escape the inhumane force that has oppressed them since birth.

Restraining orders do not work. Blocking of social media does not work. Constantly changing personal contact information does not work. Constantly running and hiding does not work. Merely trying to ignore Marlena’s behavior does not work. Up until now, pleading with the court to take a more assertive, aggressive demeanor does not work.

When will this torture finally end? When will the court officials finally open their eyes and see Marlena Joyce Maloney for the ruthless, remorseless, child abusing public menace that she truly is? What more can be done to motivate them to step up and permanently stop Marlena’s spread of resentment and pain to nearly everyone who crosses her path once and for all?

Sincerely,

Amanda J. Maloney

Vacaville

Attorney Matthew Martinez, 1600 Sacramento in Way, Suite 236, Sacramento, CA 95815/916-804-8871, Martinezdefense@gmail.com

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31 Comments

  1. Craig Stehr April 7, 2021

    I’d rather NOT get the Pfizer vaccine at the fairgrounds on Thursday, due to reports about the side effects, plus the need for a second shot, which might well have even more side effects. Where can I get the Johnson & Johnson vaccine (as recommended by Dr. Fauci)? #2. I did NOT receive the $600 federal stimulus by direct deposit into my checking account, and therefore, I did file TurboTax in March, which indicted that I would receive it. Checking government websites accomplished nothing , except to note that the $600 was apparently sent to me February 17th (though not actually received). Will I actually receive it, prior to the government announced $1400 federal stimulus expected in April? #3. If I do receive either or both amounts, will I lose my SSI because my checking account balance is over $2000? Hopefully, this AVA posting is appropriate, will therefore be left on here, and I will receive helpful responses from my fellow Americans, so that I actually receive anything tangible. P.S. I would have gone into Health and Human Services in Ukiah, and also the Social Security, but that is not allowed due to COVID-19 restrictions. So, rather than doing nothing at all, I am posting this here, for the more literate general public to read, and then please, please respond to me with helpful information, and anything else that I might get from you that would be beneficial to me. Thank you!

    Craig Louis Stehr
    April 7, 2021
    Email: craiglouisstehr@gmail.com
    P.O. Box 938, Redwood Valley, CA 95470-0938
    No phone

    • Lazarus April 7, 2021

      To parrot old Joe, “wear a mask, wash your hands… Get a shot when it’s your turn. We can do this, we’re in this together”

      But at your age and mine, the so-called side effects will never materialize. Although, make sure the needle is small, why, they may be microchipping you…
      Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman,
      Laz

    • Professor Cosmos April 7, 2021

      The Johnson and Johnson vaccine hit a production glitch with 15 million doses thrown out recently. I haven’t seen clinics posted for that yet here.
      I had a sore arm after the first Pfzier dose and a sore arm and swollen throat lymph node on the side where I got the 2nd shot, a common side effect.

      • Lazarus April 7, 2021

        I had Moderna, first shot the usual soreness in the arm. The second shot for me was an ass-kicker. Within 12 hours of the second vaccine, I was sick. Could not sleep, brain fog, muscle pain. 12 hours after that, I was okay.
        Be well,
        Laz

        • Marmon April 7, 2021

          It sounds like your body went right to work. They told me to not take any pain relievers at my second shot. They said “let your body work it out”. Getting sick and feeling pain is a good sign not a bad one.

          Marmon

        • chuck dunbar April 7, 2021

          The second Moderna shot hit me even harder–took 3-4 days to get back to normal, had chills, very lethargic, felt really out of it (brain fog?). Nice to get back to good ole normal. My wife, after the same shot, had short-term lethargy, very sore arm but was fine after a day or 2. Then–and we are not sure whether this was a delayed shot reaction or ?–12 days later she had 3 episodes, spaced over 3 days of lethargy, mild chills, serious brain fog and very high blood pressure. The second one was scary enough for her that we went to the ER. After an EKG, blood work, and an exam–all normal– they could find nothing and home we went. She rested a good bit over those several days and is fine now. I see in reading some blogs about reactions that a few others report such delayed symptoms. Hard to complain much, though, as it’s good to feel safer now.

          • Bruce Anderson April 7, 2021

            I had two Modernas, the last three weeks ago, neither with any apparent consequence ,but last Sunday I got sick as a dog, sicker than any dog I’ve known, and just this morning the doc at the AV Health Center told me he thought I had strep throat but the symptoms are v. similar to covid.

          • Professor Cosmos April 7, 2021

            2 and a half weeks after my 2nd shot I got strep throat like symptons and they put me on penicillin, which worked fast. All good now, I guess.

    • Marshall Newman April 7, 2021

      I had the Pfizer vaccine. First shot was a breeze. Second shot, the shot location hurt for a couple of days and the elbow below hurt for nearly a week. I think the nerve sheath may have been irritated. No other issues with either jab; no lethargy, no muscle pain, no brain fog.

      Now regarding whether to get vaccinated. A few days of minor to moderate aftereffects from the vaccine is far preferable to being one of the 1.5% of folks who will die after getting Covid and the larger percentage who will experience lasting – and possibly permanent – issues from the virus.

  2. George Hollister April 7, 2021

    H. L. Mencken:

    “The kind of man who wants the government to adopt and enforce his ideas is always the kind of man whose ideas are idiotic”

  3. Kathy April 7, 2021

    Shouldn’t the UPD officers in question be placed on administrative leave, pending the outcome of the ‘independent’ investigation (paid for by the city)?

  4. Kathy April 7, 2021

    It seems unfair to bash the lone supervisor who has reported the BOS actions of the previous day.
    I have often read the criticisms in the AVA about information gaps withheld from 501 Low Gap.
    Now that we have a Supervisor who finds it important enough, and has the skill set to immediately report meeting actions, I think praise should instead be offered.

  5. Rye N Flint April 7, 2021

    RE: Vaccine fears

    First off, I would like to state that I am fully vaccinated for COVID and Hep B, but to claim that the fears over vaccines are completely unsubstantiated is the wrong conclusion. It shows ZERO research was done to confirm that opinion… making it typical confirmation bias. Here are a few articles showing why people are afraid of getting Vaccinated:

    CIA organised fake vaccination drive to get Osama bin Laden’s family DNA
    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2011/jul/11/cia-fake-vaccinations-osama-bin-ladens-dna

    CIA re-releases polio in pakistan
    https://www.grunge.com/321975/the-tragic-true-story-of-the-cias-fake-vaccination-campaign/

    Polio eradication: the CIA and their unintended victims
    https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(14)60900-4/fulltext

    It’s OK to inject EthylMercury into people… trust us, we are the FDA, and the Patriot act voided any possible lawsuits, so don’t even try to sue Eli Lily for making Thimerosal.
    https://www.fda.gov/vaccines-blood-biologics/safety-availability-biologics/thimerosal-and-vaccines

    Should We Worry About Metals in Vaccines?
    https://www.chop.edu/centers-programs/vaccine-education-center/video/there-difference-between-aluminum-injected-vs-ingested

  6. Rye N Flint April 7, 2021

    RE: CEO Angelo had her own idea for at least some of the money saying that although the County is in good financial shape at the moment, the Board should consider putting some of the $22.7 million into reserves.

    The county is doing OK financially? Why are there so many empty HHSA, EH, and planning positions? Or at least the right hand doesn’t know what the left hand is doing. Why the secret county hiring freeze? Maybe the county doesn’t like normal hiring processes and would rather continue their nepotistic handpicked selection process instead? Seems something strange is going on.

  7. Eric Sunswheat April 7, 2021

    RE: April 7, 2021 MCT AVA COMMENT OF THE DAY… Paraphrasing: having a mental illness isn’t an excuse to be an asshole. Take your meds. Stay on your meds. Lots of people are assholes but keep it under control. Lots of people have mental health issues but keep them under control.

    -> March 30, 2021
    Popular website Urban Dictionary defines a vaxhole as “One who has been fully vaccinated for the COVID-19 virus and brags about it.”
    https://www.nydailynews.com/coronavirus/ny-covid-vaxhole-urban-dictionary-vaccinated-20210330-kehubu27ajhudps5pawwoleu5e-story.html

    RE: April 7, 2021
    Nine months is similar to the length of immunity we are seeing from the actual COVID infection as well. In other words, people who have had COVID may be at risk to get it again over time.
    This is another strong argument for obtaining heard immunity as soon as possible. For this reason, it is recommended that people who have had COVID still get vaccinated.
    The views shared in this weekly column are those of the author Dr. William Miller
    https://www.theava.com/archives/151218

    -> Monday April 5, 2021
    According to… Indonesian Technical Advisory Group on Immunization (ITAGI) Chair… Sri Rezeki the main objective of vaccination was not to create heard immunity as widely publicized but rather to lower the death rate.
    Not only participating in the preparation of vaccination roadmap, the ITAGI also gives recommendations to the health ministry.
    https://magz.tempo.co/read/37718/herd-immunity-is-not-the-primary-goal-of-vaccination

  8. Marmon April 7, 2021

    RE: CHAUVIN TRIAL BOMBSHELL

    One of the officer’s body cams while they were restraining the suspect were presented today where the suspect said “I ate too many drugs”.

    Too many drugs=excitement delirium. It is not clear if the officers heard that themselves because there was a lot of verbal communications between the officers and hysterical crowd at the same time.

    Reasonable Doubt.

    Marmon

    • Marmon April 7, 2021

      RE: EMOTIONAL RESCUE

      Had the suspect had not started screaming like a little bitch and actively struggling, everybody involved might had been less emotional and changed the officer’s tactics. Momma, Momma, Momma!

      Marmon

      • Marmon April 7, 2021

        Another bombshell for TV viewers today is that Officer Chauvin is a very small man who stood 5’9 and only weighed 140 pounds at the time of the incident, soak and wet. The suspect at the time of his autopsy was 6 feet 4 inches tall and weighed 223 pounds. I’m sure that’s something the jury has been thinking about every time they look at the defendant Officer Chauvin. The video the public saw was deceptive because it didn’t reflect everyone’s stature, big or small.

        Marmon

        • chuck dunbar April 7, 2021

          You ignore the germaine fact that 2 other officers were assisting Chauvin in holding down Floyd, it was not just Chauvin doing the restraining, though he was the lead officer…

          • Marmon April 7, 2021

            the other two officers were on his butt and feet. The 3rd one in charge of crowd control, the little Asian, was even smaller than Officer Chauvin.

            Marmon

      • James Luther April 7, 2021

        “Had the suspect had not started screaming like a little bitch and actively struggling, everybody involved might had been less emotional and changed the officer’s tactics. Momma, Momma, Momma!”

        Mr. Marmon, were you really once a social worker?

        Thank you AVA for providing us a place to express our simple selves.

        Jim Luther

        • Marmon April 7, 2021

          Yes, you created me. I think you will remember how the cops used to beat the hell out of me, the Branding Iron incident for one. Over the years I excepted the fact that I caused most of those beatings.

          “you’ll never take me alive copper’

          Marmon

        • chuck dunbar April 7, 2021

          Well put , Mr. Luther. I was going to write a response to this, but you said it perfectly:

          “Mr. Marmon, were you really once a social worker?”

        • Marmon April 7, 2021

          You probably wish now that you sent me to prison for 6 years instead of ordering me into recovery. Sue Masini freaked out, you should have listened to her. If you remember, I always cried Momma, Momma, Momma.

          Marmon

          • Marmon April 7, 2021

            I was charged with 7 counts of assault on an police officers, and resisting arrest, along with several drug violations. You judge Luther sent me to recovery. Thank You, Momma, Momma, Momma.

            Marmon

          • Bruce McEwen April 8, 2021

            If you sow wild oats, you can’t be too particular about who reaps ’em and how they thrash ’em, eh?
            — Grandpa McEwen

    • Bruce Anderson April 7, 2021

      Floyd was handcuffed. There was no point in sitting on his neck. Some cops become more compassionate, more sensible from the experience of their impossible work, but some become contemptuous of everyone. I’d suppose Chauvin, with his history of excessive force complaints, falls into the latter category.

      • Marmon April 7, 2021

        18 complaints filed against Chauvin over the course of his 19-year career with Minneapolis police, just one will be introduced at trial.

        Pete Hoyle must be laughing his head off. He usually had that amount in a single year. The whole town was filing complaints against him.

        I just hope that when Chauvin is only found guilty of man slaughter you and Chuck don’t start rioting and burning down your respective communities.

        Marmon

    • chuck dunbar April 7, 2021

      James, once again you cherry-pick the facts and leave out a critical part of the story, an important clarification by a witness–here’s the whole of it:

      “…Later, when asked if (Special Agent James) Reyerson heard Floyd in the video say, ‘I ate too many drugs, he disagreed until Nelson played the audio from a police body camera for him again.
      ‘Did it appear that Mr. Floyd said, ‘I ate too many drugs?’’ Nelson asked.
      ‘Yes, it did,’ Reyerson replied.
      But when prosecutors questioned Reyerson, they played a clip of the audio that made the special agent believe what Floyd said was, ‘I ain’t do no drugs.’ Reyerson clarified it was different than what was presented by the defense team.

      Politico, 4/7/21

  9. chuck dunbar April 7, 2021

    Critical Testimony in the Chauvin Trial Today

    “MINNEAPOLIS — Officer Derek Chauvin had his knee on George Floyd’s neck — and was bearing down with most of his weight — the entire 9 1/2 minutes the Black man lay facedown with his hands cuffed behind his back, a use-of-force expert testified Wednesday at Chauvin’s murder trial.

    Jody Stiger, a Los Angeles Police Department sergeant serving as a prosecution witness, said that based on his review of video evidence, Chauvin applied pressure to Floyd’s neck or neck area from the time officers put Floyd on the ground until paramedics arrived.
    ‘That particular force did not change during the entire restraint period?’ prosecutor Steve Schleicher asked as he showed the jury a composite of five still images. ‘Correct,’ replied Stiger, who on Tuesday testified that the force used against Floyd was excessive.

    Chauvin attorney Eric Nelson sought to point out moments in the video footage when, he said, Chauvin’s knee did not appear to be on Floyd’s neck but on his shoulder blade area or the base of his neck. Stiger did not give much ground, saying the officer’s knee in some of the contested photos still seemed to be near Floyd’s neck…

    Prosecutors stopped and started videos during the testimony from Reyerson, the lead state investigator, in an attempt to show the jury how long Chauvin held his position. Reyerson testified that Chauvin’s knee was on Floyd’s neck for two minutes after Floyd stopped talking, and for two minutes after Floyd ceased moving…

    Stiger was asked by prosecutors whether Chauvin had an obligation to take Floyd’s distress into account as the officer considered how much force to use. ‘Absolutely,’ Stiger replied. ‘As the time went on, clearly in the video, you could see that Mr. Floyd’s … health was deteriorating. His breath was getting lower. His tone of voice was getting lower. His movements were starting to cease.’

    ‘So at that point, as a officer on scene,’ he continued, ‘you have a responsibility to realize that, OK, something is not right. Something has changed drastically from what was occurring earlier. So therefore you have a responsibility to take some type of action.’ ”

    Politico, via Associated Press, 4/7/21

    • Marmon April 7, 2021

      Monday morning quarterbacking Chuck.

      “Too often we find that many chiefs, administrators, and even first-line supervisors know less than the newest recruits about tactical force issues, yet they are the ones that stand in judgment of officers and their decisions.”

      —Jeff Chudwin, attorney, chief of police (ret) and president of the Illinois Tactical Officers Assoc.

      Marmon

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