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DRY AND MILD weather is forecast to occur across the interior through Friday, while humid and blustery conditions are expected near the coast. After Friday, cooler weather and widespread rain will be likely Saturday through Monday. (NWS)
3 NEW COVID CASES reported in Mendocino County yesterday afternoon.
GOV. NEWSOM DECLARES DROUGHT EMERGENCY for Sonoma, Mendocino counties in visit to Lake Mendocino
by Mary Callahan
With the cracked, parched bed of Lake Mendocino at his feet, Gov. Gavin Newsom proclaimed a local drought emergency in Mendocino and Sonoma counties on Wednesday, saying the region stood apart from the rest of California due to “acute and dramatic” water-supply woes heading into the driest months of the year.
The declaration marks the most formal step so far in addressing what’s now the second straight year of extremely low rainfall, resulting in record-low levels at this time of year in both Lake Mendocino and Lake Sonoma. Together, the reservoirs supply drinking and irrigation water to three counties and more than 600,000 North Bay residents.
“This is without precedent,” Newsom said at a news conference on the dusty lake bottom. He noted that where he stood should have been 40 feet of water. Instead, it was in bright, glaring sunshine.
The executive order and drought emergency he signed on that spot is not immediately accompanied by any mandates. But those could be forthcoming as conditions evolve, Newsom signaled.
“I want to be clear, we are gaming everything out,” he said.
More counties are likely to be added to the list with Sonoma and Mendocino, as California braces for its first statewide drought under Newsom and its second since the five-year drought under his predecessor, Jerry Brown.
It is up to the governor to proclaim a statewide drought, and though Newsom stopped short of that move Wednesday, he noted that his announcement outside Ukiah had parallels with orders that Brown had given in early 2013 when similar conditions existed.
Climate change is a driving factor, he said.
“The hots are getting hotter. The dries are getting drier,” he said. “We need to disenthrall ourselves with old ways of managing water supply and distribution.”
His order was intended to make the state and local agencies more nimble as the drought deepens and new conservation measures and tools are needed, he said. It also is aimed to speed funding for water management, conservation and habitat protection efforts.
“The targeted emergency proclamation today will give our state agencies the tools needed to take fairly drastic actions to preserve water for the use of communities and for health and safety purposes,” said Wade Crowfoot, secretary of the state Natural Resources Department. “And specifically, our state Water Resources Control Board has the potential through this executive order to potentially curtail water rights that would normally legally entitle water users to divert from the system. That’s an important power that needs to be used very judiciously.”
In the Russian River basin that feeds into Lake Mendocino and Lake Sonoma, about 780 entities, including small water districts, vineyards, orchards and other users already have been notified their ability to withdraw water may be reduced or cut off this year, according to the state water board.
Newsom said he would rely on drought advisers who have stayed on from the Brown administration as well as what other states are doing to confront similar conditions across the American West.
But he said his actions in California would take the drought region by region, given complex water systems that in some places rely heavily on snow pack, or on sprawling water systems like those that run through the Central Valley and to cities in Southern California.
The Russian River system is of particular concern at this point, Crowfoot said, because it is not connected to wider state and federal networks and does not benefit from snowmelt.
Though connected through the Potter Valley Power Plant to the Eel River and two reservoirs there, the Russian River watershed “really relies on precipitation falling in this watershed,” Crowfoot said.
“Lake Mendocino,” said state Sen. Mike McGuire, D-Healdsburg, “is the canary in the coal mine with regard to California’s drought.”
Some degree of drought is present throughout California, Newsom acknowledged though he hedged when he was asked where conditions were worse, noting that such calls can be political. Varying circumstances across the state do not warrant “a one-size fits all” approach, he said.
“We are taking a sequential approach. We are taking a targeted approach, and we are taking an approach based on actual conditions on the ground,” he said.
Those include 2-year rainfall totals in Santa Rosa that are about half what they should be and in Ukiah are comparatively lower, leaving Lake Mendocino at less than 44% of its storage capacity. Lake Sonoma is at about 62%.
Lake Mendocino’s smaller size means it holds less water even in a normal year and the deep layer of accumulated silt below the water line means that it has even less to offer than would seem this year. That is a worry for downstream rural customers and agricultural users between Ukiah and Healdsburg.
Releases from the lake also sustain flows for imperiled salmon and steelhead trout. But even those flows have been reduced under permission from state authorities.
Lake Mendocino has been the focus of a pioneering effort to hold back more wintertime supplies through the use of advanced forecasting technology that helps dam managers more precisely tailor releases ahead of the region’s biggest storms, the remaining supply is likely insufficient to last through the year, said Grant Davis, general manager of Sonoma Water, the county water agency.
“With no additional rain and continued consumption from water users downstream, we anticipate the very real possibility of not being able to release water from this reservoir by fall,” Davis said.
The combined Russian River system managed by Sonoma Water serves about 600,000 urban water users in Sonoma County and northern Marin County, in addition to thousands of rural consumers along the river stem and in Mendocino County. There is likely to be increased demand from otherwise independent consumers, as well, given dry irrigation and storage ponds around the region.
Some dairy farmers in southern Sonoma County already are trucking water from the city of Petaluma to parched lands to water livestock, for instance, while city of Santa Rosa, which normally provides about 1.7 billion gallons of recycled water to rural land owners for irrigation purposes each year, has about 600 million gallons to offer this year.
Mendocino County supervisors on Tuesday declared a local emergency and “imminent threat of disaster due to drought” in response to recent conditions, while Marin Water has adopted new water use restrictions that include prohibitions on landscape watering between 9 a.m. and 7 p.m., washing vehicles at home, power washing homes and business, washing driveways or sidewalks and other measures.
Sonoma County officials have not declared a drought emergency.
(courtesy The Press Democrat)
GOVERNOR DECLARES DROUGHT EMERGENCY in Northwest Counties
by Rachel Becker
California Gov. Gavin Newsom today declared a drought emergency for parched water systems along the Russian River watershed that serve hundreds of thousands of Californians in two counties.
The emergency declaration will give state agencies the power to relax some water quality requirements, allowing more water to be stored in reservoirs serving Mendocino and Sonoma counties.
Most of the state is suffering severe drought conditions due to low rainfall and snowpack, but state water officials said that the other regions aren’t hit hard enough yet to declare a statewide emergency.
Standing on the edge of Lake Mendocino, a rain-fed reservoir rimmed with a cracked crust of mud, Newsom said he is preparing statewide by issuing a separate order calling for a range of actions, including improved monitoring of groundwater pumping and identifying vulnerable rural water systems with tenuous water supplies.
“We’ve barely been out of those drought conditions (in recent years) and here we are, entering back into those drought conditions,” Newsom said.
California’s last drought began in 2012 and spanned five years.
Newsom’s new drought emergency declaration focuses specifically on the Russian River watershed, which spans Sonoma and Mendocino counties and has been hardest hit by the drought desiccating California. The region relies on rainfall, and is isolated from state and federal aqueducts.
It is also home to the endangered Coho salmon and the threatened Chinook salmon and Steelhead trout, which will be at risk if too much water is diverted from the river for farms and taps.
The emergency order will allow state officials, if necessary, to restrict the amount diverted and speed up contracts for certain services, such as relocating fish stranded in drying puddles.
“It’s a fairly isolated watershed, and as a result, in the second dry year, is experiencing acute dry conditions that threaten not only the ability to provide water for communities for domestic use, but then also certain imperiled fish populations,” Natural Resources Secretary Wade Crowfoot said in an interview with CalMatters.
Sonoma Water, a major provider in the region that serves 600,000 Sonoma and Marin County residents, has seen water levels in the region’s two major reservoirs reach historic lows. Lake Sonoma and Lake Mendocino have hit 62% and 43% capacity, respectively — lower than during the peak of the last drought when dry mud cracked around the puddle of Lake Mendocino’s remaining water.
Rainfall in the city of Ukiah has reached only 39% of average so far this year, beating dryness records set during the severe 1976-1977 drought. In Santa Rosa, precipitation has dipped to 38% of average.
Already, Sonoma Water has reduced flows out of the Coyote Valley Dam on Lake Mendocino to the lowest they can go, said Brad Sherwood, a Sonoma Water spokesperson.
“If we get no additional rainfall, and we can’t reduce diversions off the river, then there’s a true possibility that that reservoir will essentially dry up,” Sherwood said. “We project it will get to a level where we don’t even know if we’ll be able to get water out of it.”
While rain is expected for the weekend, experts say it’s unlikely to quench the parched conditions.
“We don’t anticipate this upcoming storm to be a typhoon deluge like it’s being reported,” Sherwood said. “It would take seven to 10 inches of rain to even make a mark, a dent in our water supply needs.”
Already, water providers in the Russian River watershed and others relying on its water have been sounding the alarm.
Mendocino County’s Board of Supervisors voted to declare a drought emergency on Tuesday. And the Redwood Valley County Water District that serves 1,200 residential and 200 agricultural customers just north of Ukiah has asked residents to use no more than 50 gallons per day per person, according to Ken Todd, vice president of the Redwood Valley County Water District’s board.
The district has also completely eliminated water for agricultural users, including Todd, a grapegrower. Once he taps out the reservoirs on his vineyards, he said, he’ll be out of water. “We won’t have enough water for irrigation this summer. So it’s definitely going to impact our crop,” he said.
Marin Water, which serves more than 191,000 people in Marin County, also receives about 25% of its water from reservoirs on the Russian River. On Tuesday, its board of directors voted to restrict certain uses of drinking water, including washing vehicles at home, power washing structures, and street cleaning. Golf courses will also be allowed to only water trees and greens starting on May 20th.
“We really want to make sure that we do everything that we can to preserve our water supply, because we’ll need it heading into the warmer months until we hit the rainy season,” said Jeanne Mariani-Belding, a spokesperson for Marin Water. “Hopefully, what will be a rainy season.”
(courtesy CalMatters. CALmatters.org is a nonprofit, nonpartisan media venture explaining California policies and politics.)
FROM SUPERVISOR WILLIAMS
MENDOCINO COUNTY: HOME OF SUN GROWN WEED
by Jim Shields
For two consecutive weeks, the Mendocino County Board of Supervisors have been shaping the new proposed, ever-evolving Phase 3 Cannabis Ordinance.
On April 12 at a Special Meeting, the Supes were “work-shopped” by a delegation from the California Department of Fish & Wildlife (CDFW). I’ll explain the purpose of that session shortly.
Their 11-hour meeting on Monday, April 19, resulted in several major changes to how pot is going to be grown in the future if they make final approvals at the next scheduled meeting on April 27.
At the April 19 meeting, Supervisor Glenn McGourty presented his colleagues with a 10-point memorandum that quickly became the focus of the Board’s attention for most of the session. Supe John Haschak characterized the memo as a “good starting point” for their discussion to get the ball rolling on finalizing months of unending yammering about the proposed Phase 3 program.
Regardless of McGourty’s close ties to wine-grape industry, his memo captured almost all of the loose ends never addressed during the chaos created by the existing Pot Ordinance. It actually is probably the most cogent piece of work by any County official in recent memory, at least in my memory.
On a related matter, Supervisor Ted Williams’ unbroken refrain of unloading responsibility and accountability for the utter failure of the Board’s handling of the Cannabis program, serves no useful purpose, nor does his carping about how the vast majority (probably 80-to-90 percent) of County residents who oppose the Phase 3 Ordinance, have been misled and bamboozled by, presumably, folks like me, Haschak, Mark Scaramella, Bruce Anderson, leaders of a referendum movement, and who knows who else. Believe me, the people of this County are not fooled by anyone regarding this proposed Ordinance; they figured it out all on their own.
According to Williams, “The county ordinance passed in 2017 does not fit with state law. The Planning Commission staff did not have the expertise or oversight for Phase One; they had no idea that our cannabis ordinance did not align with state law from the very beginning; it’s a failed ordinance. Our county has taken a lot of heat on why cultivators aren’t getting licensed but it isn’t the County’s fault; we have nothing to do with the state license.”
His explanation is absurd and patently false since County officials, all by themselves, dug the hole they now find themselves in. The state had nothing to do with it.
For four years, starting just a few weeks after they approved the original Cannabis Ordinance in May of 2017, I began repeatedly warning County officials of two glaring shortcomings in that ordinance: Insufficient environmental review and the lack of enforcement. But even more importantly, I wasn’t the sole voice cautioning them. State resource agencies (CDFW and CALFIRE) in July of 2017, just weeks after approval of the original Cannabis Ordinance, paid the Supes an unsolicited visit and in a no non-sense manner put the County on notice that the Ordinance must be enforced and that there were potential CEQA problems that were outlined in some detail. The Supervisors were non-responsive to the advice. Ironically, at the just held April 12 Special Meeting, the very same CDFW representative, Angela Liebenberg, Sr. Environmental Scientist Specialist, Cannabis Enforcement Program, who addressed the Supes back in July of 2017, once again presented a different Board (Dan Gjerde the only holdover) with basically the same message from four years ago: Pay attention to your CEQA obligations and enforce your ordinance.
Liebenberg closed her presentation by asking the County to “please consult with CDFW, and CDFW looks forward to working with the County to avoid, minimize and/or mitigate the potential environmental impacts of (the County’s) cannabis regulatory program.”
Regulatory frameworks all share two major features: A set of regulations and the means to enforce them. Period. They work in tandem, hand-in-glove. If you don’t enforce the regulatory framework, you have nothing. Which explains the cannabis program in this county for the past four years. I’ve repeated that warning time and time again.
It also explains the takeover of Covelo by violent criminal elements and other scofflaws who immediately moved in to fill the vacuum created by the County’s premeditated failure to enforce its ordinance. County officials bear responsibility for the violence, lawlessness, and environmental degradation in Round Valley.
Anyway, enough history, here’s McGourty’s memo:
“I believe the following guidelines will help us in deliberations concerning crafting the cannabis ordinance and its implementation:
“1. Our first step is an enhanced active code enforcement similar to Humboldt County’s to stop illegal grows. There are too many of them, particularly in rural residential areas and they need to be abated. We need to be sure that both our Code Enforcement Program and the Sheriff’s Office are adequately staffed and funded to make a measurable difference in this coming year.”
The Supes agreed with this recommendation.
“2. Given drought conditions, there should be no expansion of actual growing during the 2021 season. According to Dr. Sam Sandoval, UC Extension Hydrologist, the biggest negative impacts on surface water and fisheries occur when water is diverted in the upper reaches of a watershed. We definitely do not want expanding growing in those regions this year.”
The Board decided this recommendation would be implemented.
“3. This is a good time to ‘get our house in order’ with the Phase 1 program. A thorough review of applications should be made to find a pathway to compliance that will enable applicants to obtain a use permit and a state issued cannabis license. We need to complete the electronic application submission portal. I support additional staffing to review the applications and make final decisions. Applications that have no path forward due to inadequacies of the site to meet regulations or other disqualifying issues should be rejected.”
The Board generally agreed with this recommendation.
“4. Phase 3 should be opened as a pathway for some of the Phase 1 applicants to complete mitigated CEQA compliant permits. Under a CEQA compliant process, they may have the ability to mitigate issues that would otherwise disqualify their projects.”
There was general agreement on this also.
“5. Additionally, I recommend a pilot program of new applicants on parcels more suited to conventional agriculture. I see a selected cohort of 30 existing resident Mendocino County farmers who are presently locally in business producing crops other than cannabis who wish to enter the cannabis business. Required classes should be held to ensure that their applications are properly assembled and complete upon submission. We need to be sure that the Cannabis Program has adequate staffing to review new applicants. An orderly roll out of the new expanded program is the goal of this effort.”
This recommendation will be discussed further, most likely at the April 27th meeting. About a month ago, I proposed something similar to Haschak. It was modeled on a provision in the County’s Hemp Ordinance where five special permits for large, super-sized operations would be put out for bid
“6. In this expansion, the permits will be for sun grown cannabis only. No greenhouses, hoop houses or other growing structures would be permitted. A small (maximum 1000 square foot) structure would be allowed to propagate or harden off seedlings and starts.”
The Board agreed that under an approved Phase 3 Ordinance that all marijuana will be planted in the ground and sun grown. All growing will be outdoors, there will be no indoor grows, and no mixed light. But Phase 1 windoor and mixed light would be grandfathered in to Phase 3. More discussion will occur on prohibiting greenhouses and hoops, but basically they’re relics.
“7. No expansion of cannabis into Rangeland, TPZ or other areas unless there already exists non cannabis crop land that has been cleared and has a legal reliable water source.”
It was agreed that pot could be grown on Range Land if there was a history prior to 2015 of the site being cleared, tilled, with any kind of agriculture activity, a proven water source with an irrigation system. Reportedly there are relatively few sites that meet this criteria.
“8. No operations should be considered for permitting that require internal combustion generators or pumps, water to be trucked in (except in emergency situations,) extensive grading or tree removal.”
This recommendation was also acceptable to the Board.
“9. No fencing that block views are allowed in any newly permitted plantings. We want to maintain our pastoral vistas and an open feel of the region.”
There was general Board agreement on this proposal subject to reviewing state regulations.
“10. In order to allow direct sales for very small producers, a microbusiness option should be implemented similar to regulations allowed under state licenses. The one presently allowed in our ordinance is too small in square footage to be practical.”
I believe there was general acceptance of this recommendation subject to further review.
At the very end of the meeting, the Board took a “straw vote” on the so-called “10 percent rule” whereby cannabis cultivation would be allowed on 10% of the total land of a parcel with a minimum size of 10 acres on lands zoned as Agriculture or Upland Residential.
Third District Supervisor Haschak maintained his opposition to the rule while his four colleagues (Dan Gjerde, Ted Williams, Glenn McGourty, and Mo Mulheren) remained firmly in support of the provision.
That issue will be decided at the April 27th meeting.
If the Supes approve the rule, an immediate move to circulate referendum petitions will occur, according to proponents of the referendum.
I’ll keep you advised since I’ll be supporting the referendum and assisting its organizers.
(Jim Shields is the Mendocino County Observer’s editor and publisher, email@example.com, and is also the long-time district manager of the Laytonville County Water District. Listen to his radio program “This and That” every Saturday at 12 noon on KPFN 105.1 FM, also streamed live: http://www.kpfn.org)
LIBRARY NEWS! (From the Tuesday CEO Report):
Friends of the Ukiah Library have purchased seven new Playaway Launchpads for the Children’s Department.… The Willits Branch is preparing Mental Health Awareness programs for May.
PARK NEWS! (From the Tuesday CEO Report):
All County parks are now open to the public following State of California guidelines to reduce the transmission of the Corona Virus. New COVID-19 guideline signage is being made and will be placed by Facilities. Overnight camping at Indian Creek is the only service not currently available.
The Cultural Services Agency is recruiting for a seasonal Camp Host for beautiful Indian Creek Campground. More information and the application can be found here: mendocinocounty.org/government/cultural-services-agency/parks/indian-creek
JOE LOUIS WILDMAN MEMORIAL Caravan and Gathering
Saturday April 24, 2021
Caravan 2:45 p.m. @ Alex Rorabaugh Center Parking Lot, 1640 S. State St.
Memorial Gathering 3:15 p.m. @ Todd Grove Park Picnic Area (westside), 600 Live Oak St., Ukiah.
BLUE MEADOW FARM PLANT SALE
Saturday, April 24, 9:00am — 2:00pm
Heirloom, Early Girl and Sungold Tomatoes
Some Eggplant & Peppers (more next week)
Blue Meadow Farm 3301 Holmes Ranch Rd Philo 707 895-2071
INVESTIGATING ICTHYOSAUR On Nevada’s Loneliest Highway
by Katy Tahja
Know what an Ichthyosaur is? Imagine 225 million years ago a swimming dinosaur about the size of a city bus. Traveling to central Nevada to see the fossils of this creature has been on the Tahja family “Bucket List” for decades, so as properly vaccinated seniors with masks, off we went.
Highway 50 through Nevada proclaims itself “The Loneliest Road in America.” For a starting point we were lucky to have family in Carson City and Highway 50 there is surrounded by suburbia, but once you are east of Fallon it’s wide open spaces and small towns all the way to Utah. If you are interested in Native American culture there are two great petroglyph sites along this highway. Grimes Point and Hidden Cave is east of Fallon and Hickson Summit is near Austin and both are easy to access.
Salt Wells Basin east of Fallon is a flat dried up lake bed stretching miles in every direction. The crumbling edge of the highway asphalt and local black rock induce people to pull over, walk out on the playa verge and spell out messages for passing motorists to read. These message writers don’t mess around — the entire preamble to the Declaration of Independence was spelled out along the roadway along with simpler “Billy Loves Suzy” and “Jesus Saves.” On a water tank along the highway someone had painted “Nowhere Nevada” and yes, it feels like the middle of no place.
It’s empty country. You look at mountain ranges that have never been farmed, ranched, mined, or had trails worn into them. The “It’s Good For Nothing” human interpretation of undeveloped open space is what leaves it beautiful to this casual observer.
Earthquake faults from a 1954 7.3 earthquake near Fairview south of the highway are a geologic roadside attraction. At Middlegate state highway 361 takes you south to Gabbs and then turn off towards Berlin-Ichthyosaur State Park. It’s a doubleheader state park-a gold mining ghost town with a fossil site right up the road.
Berlin began in 1863 as a gold mining town with a stamp mill that lasted into the 20th century. It’s in arrested decay with plenty of structures to peek into and signage. There are spectacular views from the hillside townsite and the fossil shelter is just up the hill. When Ichthyosaur swam here there was no North American continent-there was a single land mass on earth called Pangea. So what caused 40 individual 50’ long predators weighing 50 tons and possessing eyeballs 12” wide to die and pile up on top of each other? It’s been a mystery since the fossils were discovered in 1928. The ranger there told us current research may lead to the discovery that a red tide poisoned ammonites, the predators favorite food source and caused a quick mass die-off. The fossil shelter is full of displays and a dozen exposed fossil skeletons. As we ate in the picnic grounds at 7,000” we imagined massive reptiles swimming around us in times gone by.
Via 50 mph gravel roads we left headed north through the Reese River valley. We were passed by a 4-wheel drive school bus as we went to our overnight destination. Now to be polite discussing other states small towns I will not name this next community. It’s east of Fallon and west of Eureka. We stayed at one of the two motels in town, with a microwave but no coffee maker in our room. Why is this important? There is no breakfast place in town. The motel manager loaned us cups and bowls from her own kitchen so we could make coffee and oatmeal from our traveling food stash.
I have always associated the term “food desert” with inner cities where the grocery store is distant and all that’s available is junk food at a mini-mart. Well let me tell you folks, it exists in central Nevada. In this town there is no grocery store and the nearest one is 50 miles away. There were two dinner dining choices-one had a sign on the door saying “Masking Prohibited” so that lost our patronage immediately. The only other option was a bar packed with unmasked people smoking sitting packed at the bar with loud country music playing—truly deserving the term “dive.” It had one item for dinner, a French Dip sandwich with macaroni salad-the weekly “special” for $10. Other nights they heated frozen pizzas. Luckily they did take out and we retreated to the motel room to eat and drink Great Basin’s “Icky” Beer.
Driving north from Highway 50 we indulged in a favorite family search, we chased the route of abandoned narrow gauge railroad lines. These lines were torn up 80 years ago with the rails sold for scrap and the railroad ties becoming fence posts for ranchers. Finding the grades for the tracks can take you down many a dirt road to station locations not found on 21st century maps. First we explored the Eureka and Palisade Railroad line. We got lightly rained and snowed on. We were in the middle of not place and loved it. We overnighted in Battle Mountain on Highway 80 where a restaurant served us prime rib tacos which were quite tasty. The next day we drove back south again this time following the Nevada Central Railroad tracks. All these little railroads brought ore up to the big main line railroads paralleling Highway 80 to be taken to smelters. Mining is still a big business and employer in Nevada.
Returning to Highway 50 we stopped off at a favorite rockhounding site for Wonderstone-a colorful name for 12 million year old banded rhyolite spit out by volcanos. My idea of a great rockhounding site requires it be close to a major highway, accessible by a Subaru, and having lots of rock on the ground you don’t have to whack from a boulder with a rock hammer. This site, behind Grimes Point, meets all the requirements PLUS you get your choice of colors: yellow, green, reds and purples and there is literally a mountain of each color AND it is patterned with wavy lines. What more could a rockhound ask for? We brought 20 pounds home for garden borders.
After a week in Nevada I can tell you this: EVERYONE is hiring, from hamburger joints to mining concerns. Gas was $2.59 a gallon. Rural billboards are entertaining. One had the 10 Commandments on it and the next two featured a psychic and pregnancy counseling. Windmills are not yard decoration, they pump water to stock tanks.
For miles there are no fences along the highway and it’s open range. Cattle guards, which stretch across the road, can be traversed at 70 mph without a bump. There are still herds of wild horses to see. Eagles use power transmission poles to build nests on top of since trees are few and far between. If my grandson had been with us we would have heard “Are we there yet?”
So if you ever want to see where swimming carnivorous dinosaurs abounded take the Loneliest Road in Nevada to the center of the state and go exploring. Just don’t plan on it this summer. The whole park shuts down May 1st for major road reconstruction and they expect to be closed all summer. The construction crews will live in the campgrounds and they hope to get the work done before the snows fall. Think next year.
STORY from this morning's Press Democrat: “Grammy-nominated singer Phoebe Bridgers was spotted at a Whole Foods in Santa Rosa on Sunday, according to Twitter users.”
AN OLD PAL of mine, now in his 70th year, led a wild and dissolute life until his late 40s when he’d exhausted the non-renewable male energy a wild and dissolute life requires. In return for some rare thrills, O.P. amassed a three-page rap sheet and two tours of the state prison system. “I did fine when I wasn’t drinking,” he explains with a rueful smile, adding, “I’m not proud of what my life used to be.” O.P.’s last arrest was in February of 1975. The law says a person who has become a law-abiding citizen can have his or her civil rights restored by applying to the state which, in turn, verifies that the formerly dissolute has indeed changed his or her ways. Before the reign of Governor Wilson, California governors, including Ronald Reagan, routinely signed hundreds of pardons every year. Wilson didn’t sign a single one, ignoring O.P.’s along with all the other reborn miscreants. O.P. would like to serve on juries and otherwise be restored to full rights of citizenship. He has his certificate of rehabilitation signed by a Mendo County judge, and all the counties where he’d been arrested in his previous life as an outlaw have no objections to his being pardoned and fully restored to citizenship. The current status of pardons? There’s an application process, but it’s not simple, and the odds against serious felons being restored to full citizenship are very, very long.
HAPPENS ALL THE TIME, Miss Manners, and I really wish you could do something about it. Someone calls the ava, and we’re chatting along when suddenly the caller gasps, “Sorry, got to go. I’ve got another call coming in.” And while you’re at it, can you possibly do something about all these nasal voices we suffer these days? Maybe if you just encouraged the major genders to “Speak from the diaphragm, from the diaphragm, not your noses!” Men sound like whining wusses, women like skill saws.
A TINY BLURB in a Press Democrat many years ago told us that a man named McLeod was shot dead at his ranch out on the Mina Road. The Mina Road is a sort of inland Highway 101 preferred by outlaws to elude the CHP. It links Covelo and Alderpoint. McLeod’s pick-up truck was found in San Francisco the day after he was murdered. That was it. End of story. No follow-up. The reason it appeared at all I suppose was because it wasn’t clear to media where McLeod’s ranch was. Mendocino County’s Sheriff’s Department was first responder to the scene of the crime although it turned out that McLeod’s property is in Trinity County not far from Kettenpom, which is basically a general store in a wide spot towards the north end of the Mina Road, which eventually reaches Murder Mountain, aka Alderpoint. An anonymous caller told me that McCleod had quite a back story, that he’d had left his job as a school administrator and had since made lots of money growing pot in what amounts to a sort of no man’s land where Humboldt, Mendocino and Trinity counties meet in the deep east of the Emerald Triangle, that McLeod’s estranged son had once worked as a jailer for Mendocino County, that McLeod had been married five times, that he’d been a decorated paratrooper during World War Two, and that his last wife lived with a son in Santa Rosa. When I called Trinity County to see what they knew of McCleod’s death, a detective told me that an eyewitness to McCleod’s murder had told them that a man named Daniel Clemons, then 45, had killed McCleod and was being sought.
Clemons had worked for McCleod growing weed, and there was a beef between them about money. Clemons was eventually arrested some twenty years later living under the surname ‘Shade’ in Okay, Oklahoma. He was extradited to Trinity and packed off to the state pen on a second degree murder charge in 2017.
THE McCLEOD story reminded me of the still unsolved murder on January 26th of this year of 85-year-old rancher Richard Grayson Drewry on Island Mountain Road on the border of Humboldt and Mendocino counties, although there is no evidence that Drewry was a marijuana grower. He may have had trouble with trespass grows. Helluva thing to live to be 85 only to be shot to death. The Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office is the lead investigatory agency regarding the case.
THANKS FOR THE GRAPES, SUPERVISORS
Attn: Dan Gjerde, Ted Williams, John Hasochak, Glenn McGourty, Maureen Mulheren
RE: Cannabis Ordinance Mendocino County
Dear Members of the Board,
How can I express just how grateful I am? As a grape grower that is fairly hands-off, and I have hired a vineyard management company, so I have completely relinquished my responsibility, yet I still reap the big financial benefits, and I couldn’t live this way without the political support of the BOS. I am writing to you from one of my vacation homes in Mexico. Growing grapes for wine has afforded me a very comfortable lifestyle. I just want to say ‘thank you’ for not implementing limiting ordinances on the grapes that I grow, and instead putting strict ordinances on cannabis. If my vineyard had to abide by a fraction of the ordinances the county and state has for cannabis, I wouldn’t be able to thrive as a business or own multiple vacation homes. Cannabis companies can’t even write-off business expenses like I or you can for our lifestyles or businesses. Check out Internal Revenue Code 280E for info about how businesses expenses can’t be tax deducted. This makes cannabis cultivation even more trouble than it’s worth, and I wonder if one must be a masochist to try going legal in Mendocino County. Then the local ordinances add insult to injury. So thank you; I am so comfortable right now as a grape grower in Mendocino County.
I hope that more restrictions are added to the local cannabis ordinance; listen especially to input from vineyard owners because those are the opinions that matter the most, right? Is that logic? I do find it wildly appropriate for residents without experience in cannabis to speak to the legitimacy of it as an industry. While the entire country is on its way to legalizing recreational cannabis, Mendocino County is still debating if it’s an economic industry. I appreciate the filibuster-mannerisms of the BOS and residents of the county speaking about an industry they don’t know anything about. Some of the residents are complaining from homes on mountain tops and I must say, your views are incredible! The photos of the hoop houses almost look like they’re taken from an eagle’s point of view. Some of you, like me, have the luxury of complaining from our homes that tower over everyone else; even nature. Sometimes I wonder if I’m encroaching on nature myself, but that makes me feel like a hypocrite so I lean into Manifest Destiny, and I feel no personal responsibility about anything! Cannabis is a scapegoat. Please BOS, keep blaming everything on cannabis; it’s a great distraction.
There is definitely a shortage of liveable wage jobs in Mendocino County and allowing more legal businesses to legitimize could create jobs, but personally I’d rather see Mendocino County become more like Napa; no middle class and a polarity of rich and poor. I mean, the disparity is already existent in Mendocino County, but I think the BOS should deny cannabis as an industry to bring respectable jobs to the county. I really just hope people don’t realize that the worsening economy in Mendocino is related to legalization and more relaxed county ordinances in almost any other county in the state, because the state itself has multitudes of regulations to follow already. By increasing regulation on one agricultural industry, but not another works extremely in my favor. So again, thank you. Worsening economy exacerbates despair, but that doesn’t affect you or me that much, so why should we care? Sounds like the poor need to pull themselves by their own bootstraps and Mendocino County policies can continue to be influenced by the most affluent instead of the underrepresented.
People are easy to herd into mob mentality and I really appreciate the herding, and scapegoating and blaming the lack of the county’s resources on cannabis. Blame wildfires, climate change, etc., all on cannabis. It also takes hundreds of gallons of water to yield a single gallon of wine, and sometimes I request to water my vines during the hottest part of the day just because I can without any scrutiny. Waving to you all from my deck overlooking the Gulf.
Thank you for reading! Cheers.
RONNIE JAMES ON MOUNTAIN LION FACTS & SAFETY:
I was recently asked about how to get rid of the mountain lion at the south end of Ft. Bragg without killing it, but I'm afraid the answer isn't going to make anyone happy. Fish and Wildlife is the only agency allowed to deal with a mountain lion, and they will tell you that unless they are called and can inspect dead livestock where it was killed, there is nothing they can or will do. It must be livestock, dead cats and dogs do not count. If you have fresh (24 hours old or less) dead livestock remains you can apply for a depredation permit and the county's trapper will come out and try to trap the animal, then shoot it in the trap, or hunt it with dogs and shoot it when they find it. There is absolutely no relocating mountain lions in California. It is against the law. I think F&W are so nonchalant about mountain lions because they have never really had any human attacks to deal with or respond to. Livestock and pets yes, people, no.
I've been following the sightings of this animal for a while. It is the habit of mountain lions to patrol their entire territory regularly every few weeks and they rarely stay in one specific area for long unless they are female with young in a nest somewhere, and it is that time of year. Lions usually hunt at dusk and dawn, and tend to be rather shy and reclusive and avoid people.
One of the biggest problems is people walking their dogs. The dog will sense or smell the lion and go after it, or the owner will let it off the leash and allow it to go after it. That all creates trouble, possibly a dead dog, possibly a treed lion. If you're out walking with your pet and it gets very interested in exploring something--don't let it. Always keep it on a leash--after all, you know there's a lion out there, why would you look for trouble. A lion will rarely approach a dog with intent to eat or kill it unless it's barking and threatening the lion. They do kill cats simply because they are another cat in the lion's territory, and it needs to be removed. It is our responsibility to keep our pets safe. After all, it is us who have chosen to live in the lion's territory. Like the Native Americans, they aren't going to give up easily--plus they don't know how, it's been their space for half a million years.
Walk with a friend, carry one of those pop-out umbrellas. Carry a pocket alarm that emits a car alarm sound (look up pocket alarms on Amazon, about $3 apiece). Carry bear spray or wasp spray, which reaches a distance of 12 feet. Pepper spray only reaches 2-3 feet--won't work. Wasp spray is really the best. You probably will never have to use it, but it will make you and your children feel safer. Do not let children walk or run far ahead of you on the trail. If you do catch sight of a lion, just turn around and walk away. Hard to do, my instinct is to run. Don't dress like a deer (favorite food), wear clothing with good contrast rather than a black jacket with brown pants. Also trust your own senses to alert you to danger. If your subconscious picks up the scent of lion, if you suddenly feel nervous or edgy, turn around and go back the way you came. Our own wild instincts are still active.
CATCH OF THE DAY, April 21, 2021
CARINA ALVAREZ-CARRILLO, Ukiah. Domestic abuse.
ROBERT CAMPOS, Willits. Domestic abuse.
SCOTT FRANKS, Ukiah. Resisting, probation revocation.
LUIS GONZALEZ, Covelo. DUI.
NELSON GORDON, Fort Bragg. Disorderly conduct-alcohol.
JOSHUA HALL, Fortuna/Ukiah. Failure to appear.
RYAN IVEY, Fort Bragg. Failure to appear, probation revocation.
STEVEN LAWSON, Willits. Parole violation.
REMO MCOSKER, Ukiah. Controlled substance for sale, parole violation. (Frequent flyer.)
RACELLE MUNOZ, Covelo. Protective order violation.
PATRICK TAYLOR, Ukiah County parole violation, failure to appear.
RACHAEL WILSON-ANGE, DUI, suspended license.
THE DAY OF THE ASHES
by Paul Modic
Yesterday, September 9, 2020 smoke and ashes from the nearby wildfires blocked out the sun and settled on the graves and gravestones in the local cemeteries. The ash covered everything: cars, yards, decks, and the gardens with huge squash leaves and budding marijuana plants were covered with billions of grainy grey granules. At sunrise the world was red, then dark all day, and then a tinge of orange at dusk. Long-time locals said they had never seen anything like it in their fifty years or more here.
With ash covering the town and hills, covid-19 announcing it's here to stay, and the economy tanking it's time to say, “Hey, it's been nice to know ya!” As Jim Morrison said, “No one here gets out alive,” so it might be time to start thinking of a final location to rest these weary bones, SoHum style. Let's explore the options.
In our area we have the Piercy Cemetery which is neglected and run-down and full. The first person buried there was John McCush in 1892. (Rose Warren, whose name is on one of the new Confusion Hill bridges, is buried there.)
The Harris Cemetery up the Alderpoint Road has existed since the late 1800's. There are a few plots available if you are related to people buried there or are an old-timer from that area. It's on private land and visits can be arranged if you have ancestors there. (No hippies, ie, back-to-the-landers, have found their final resting place there.)
It is much the same with the Ettersburg Cemetery. It started in the early 1900's and one of the local patriarchs was buried there last year. As space is limited only cremains are accepted for burial. It's located on private land and random visitors are adamently discouraged. (The Harris and Ettersburg cemeteries are pretty much private places for the old families.)
The Briceland Cemetery is also running out of room. If you live in or around that community you can probably be buried there if the cemetery board approves. For those who grew up there, left the area long ago, and want to be buried there the cemetery board is likely to approve. (This cemetery does take hippies, among the notables are Jan Iris and Jed Sherman.)
There is no charge and the family or friends of the deceased must arrange to dig the grave by hand. It's very dense soil so it doesn't have to be six feet deep if there is an appropriate liner installed.
The grave markers were originally made of wood and many were burned up when fire came through making it difficult to tell who is buried in that section. New grave stones are being installed to replace the wooden ones. All the work is volunteer and families of those interred are encouraged to help with maintenance, like cutting weeds down along the borders.
Once you're got a family member in there the rest of the family can follow, even if they never lived a day in Briceland. One person's brother went in thirty years ago, dying at China Creek. Ten years ago his mother was buried there and he's applying to the cemetery board to inter his recently deceased father's ashes along with his own in the family plot. These cremains will be buried in urns on top of the existing gravesite a couple feet deep.
The Garberville Cemetery is also available for members of the local community although I'm not aware of any boundaries for that. It is a volunteer-run business.
You can buy a 4' by 8' plot for $650. Digging the hole is your responsibility and people have been hiring a guy out of Fortuna who has the equipment after Garberville's longtime grave digger retired. It's $350 to bury cremains but it's unclear whether that price stands alone or if a plot needs to be purchased as well. One plot can fit a whole family of four to six members after cremation. Also, if there's a body already buried six feet under you can bury the cremains on top of it a couple feet deep. (If someone has been forced into poverty, eviction, and homelessness by the virus I wouldn't blame them for erecting a tent on their cemetery plot as a last resort.)
Best deal on bare-bones cremation in Eureka is about $1000.
(Thanks to Rhonda Hardy, Dick Drewry, Maurie Hobbs, Cindy Hall, and Diane Hawk for providing information about the local cemeteries.)
I THOUGHT IT WAS TOTALLY WRONG for Democrat-dominated Minneapolis City Council to agree to pay $27 million to settle a civil lawsuit from George Floyd's family while jury selection for Derek Chauvin's trial was still going on. Even worse was Democratic congresswoman Maxine Waters' outrageous clarion call on Saturday night for violent protests should Chauvin be found not guilty. Presiding Judge, Peter Cahill, branded her comments 'abhorrent' and said it was 'disrespectful to the rule of law and to the judicial branch' for elected officials to comment on the outcome of the case. It's hard to imagine a more stupid, reckless, reprehensible or incendiary thing for a sitting member of Congress to do, and who knows what horrific damage Waters may have done to justice if this case now goes to appeal? I don't think for a moment that Chauvin will be acquitted altogether if he appeals, but if he were to subsequently get off any of the charges, and serve a lesser sentence as a result, then that will be on Maxine Waters. And what was President Biden doing speaking out before the verdicts came back? On Tuesday, he said he was 'praying the verdict is the right verdict' and made it clear what he thought that should be, adding: 'It's overwhelming, in my view. I wouldn't say that unless the jury was sequestered.' He shouldn't have been saying it at all.
— Piers Morgan
THE TOKYO OLYMPICS ARE IN TROUBLE
by Dave Zirin & Jules Boykoff
From the perspective of the International Olympic Committee and the Japanese government, the 2020 Olympic games in Tokyo are simply too big to fail. Yet failure is still very much on the table. With less than 100 days until the scheduled start, Covid-19 cases are on the rise across Japan. Anger about the Games is also on the rise in Japan, with “Cancelling Olympics” trending on Twitter there last week. One recent poll found that more than seven in 10 people in Japan do not want the Olympics to happen this summer, with 39 percent preferring outright cancellation and another 33 percent favoring further postponement.
Even some elected officials appear to be waffling. Toshihiro Nikai, Secretary-General of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, stated on Japanese television, “If it becomes impossible, then it should be called off. What is the point of the Olympics if it’s responsible for spreading infections?” MP Akira Koike of the Japanese Communist Party said staging the Tokyo 2020 Olympics was flat-out “impossible.” Demand for the cancellation of the Olympics is on the rise.
Meanwhile, Tokyo Olympic boosters have been acting like blinkered greyhounds chasing a mechanical rabbit around the racetrack. Tokyo Organizing Committee President Seiko Hashimoto has insisted that the Games will go on. Hashimoto, who recently took over the job after previous president Yoshiro Mori was ousted for blatant sexism, acknowledged “a variety of concerns,” but said, “As the Tokyo 2020 organizing committee we are not thinking about canceling the games.” Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga has insisted that, despite the surge in Covid-19 cases in Japan, there has been “no change to the government position to do everything to achieve a safe and secure Olympics.” Sugahas parroted the International Olympic Committee’s flimsy proclamation that the Tokyo Olympics are “a beacon of hope to the world” and “the light at the end of the tunnel.”
Enter the public health scholars. In a scathing essay that appeared in the academic journal The BMJ, Kazuki Shimizu, Devi Sridhar, Kiyosu Taniguchi, and Kenji Shibuya wrote, “Plans to hold the Olympic and Paralympic games this summer must be reconsidered as a matter of urgency. The whole global community recognizes the need to contain the pandemic and save lives. Holding Tokyo 2020 for domestic political and economic purposes—ignoring scientific and moral imperatives—is contradictory to Japan’s commitment to global health and human security.”
In Japan, less than 1 percent of the population has been vaccinated, with a mere 0.4 percent having received two doses of the vaccine. Complicating matters, Japan’s population is skeptical of vaccinations in general. According to a study in The Lancet, Japan’s vaccine confidence is among the lowest in the world: less than 10 percent of those who participated in the study strongly agreed that vaccines are safe.
Meanwhile, amid the surge in cases in Japan, the government is throwing more and more money at the Olympics—and the Games’ costs are already running around four times higher than their original $7.3 billion budget (that’s almost $30 billion, a staggering figure by Olympic standards, rivaled by their neighbors in China). Japan’s Olympic minister suggested publicly that Olympic athletes may be tested daily during the Games. According to media reports in Japan, Olympic organizers have secured around 300 hotel rooms for Olympians who test positive for coronavirus symptoms, at the cost of millions of dollars. All this after the Japanese government raised eyebrows by ever-so-conveniently lifting its state of emergency order just days before the Olympic Torch Relay commenced. Then, earlier this month, the government imposed a month-long “quasi-emergency” order on Tokyo, even as the torch relay continues to wend through the country.
“People in Japan knew that lifting of the state of emergency happened too soon and the sight of torch relay has upset many,” Satoko Itani, a professor at Kansai University, told The Nation. “To add insult to injury, many Japanese medical workers are still waiting for the vaccine. The vaccination of elderly populations has only just begun and likely won’t be completed before the start of the Olympics. Hospitals around Japan are overwhelmed by rapidly increasing numbers of COVID patients.” Itani concluded, “It is very difficult not to realize that the effort to control the Covid-19 infection in Japan has been severely compromised or sacrificed because of the Olympics. People also realize that there are seemingly endless resources available when it comes to hosting the Olympics, but very few to save people’s lives and livelihoods here in Japan.”
In a way, the population in Japan has swung around to the position of anti-Olympics activists in Tokyo and around the world: The Games should not go on. Natsuko Sasaki, who was born and raised in Japan, told us, “It is significant that so many Japanese people have learned how the unstoppable Olympic machine works.” Sasaki, who now lives in France, where she is a member of the anti-Olympics group NON aux JO 2024 à Paris, added that the Paris 2024 Summer Olympics have not yet appeared on the general public’s radar, owing to the predominance of coronavirus coverage in the French media, but that the ongoing debacle in Tokyo might change that.
What is certain is that only the most craven Olympic media booster will be calling these 2020 Olympics a beacon of hope. Far from it; they have become a monument to excess and waste in the context of a pandemic when resources are desperately needed. If the situation in Tokyo remains the same, or tragically worsens, there will be a rebellion against these Games and that rebellion will have a reverb effect in Paris and in Los Angeles, the sites of the next two Summer Games. Tokyo’s willingness for the Games to go on, even if it means worsening the pandemic, raises the stakes dramatically for Olympic boosters and demonstrators alike.
LOCAL HEALTH CENTERS RECEIVE MUCH-NEEDED SUPPORT from American Rescue Plan
Mendocino County, CA — During the pandemic, local community health centers have spent untold, and often unpaid, hours testing and vaccinating their patients and other community members to reduce the spread of COVID-19. Thanks to federal funding, many of these organizations will be receiving some much-needed financial relief.
The American Rescue Plan Act provides one-time funding for a two-year period to support health centers funded under the Health Center Program “to prevent, mitigate, and respond to coronavirus disease 2019 and to enhance health care services and infrastructure,” according to the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA).
In Mendocino County, the federally qualified health centers (FQHCs) funded by the Health Center Program include Anderson Valley Health Center in Boonville, Long Valley Health Center in Laytonville, MCHC Health Centers in Ukiah and Willits, Mendocino Coast Clinics in Fort Bragg, and Redwood Coast Medical Services in Gualala. FQHCs and affiliated rural health centers such as Baechtel Creek Medical Clinic in Willits serve about two-thirds of people in Mendocino County, providing everything from medical care to behavioral health services, dental care, and some specialty services.
These health centers are deeply embedded in the communities they serve, having fostered extensive networks and trusting relationships that allow them to reach even the most underserved populations. Some health centers work in partnership with other agencies to provide street medicine to those without stable homes. Many FQHCs have well-established relationships with local school districts to assist children in poverty. Still others work with agencies that support housing, food distribution, and other services to connect with patients who need health care.
Mendocino Coast Clinics Executive Director Lucresha Renteria explained that she and other local health center leaders did what they felt they must do to care for their communities and hoped financial reimbursement would follow. Happily for them, it has. MCC will receive $2.23m. Redwood Coast Medical Services will receive $1.33m. Long Valley Health Center and Anderson Valley Health Center received $971k and $940k respectively.
“We’ve continually put patients above revenues whenever there was a question of safety. For example, when we see patients via telehealth, we receive about 50 percent of our usual rate from Medicare for in-person care. But we shifted to telehealth, because it was safer for people to receive care from home, especially medically vulnerable patients,” she explained. Renteria gave example after example of additional costs resulting from the pandemic, from supplies to facility upgrades.
Usually, local health centers negotiate purchasing agreements so they can buy items in bulk at a lower cost. However, when the pandemic hit, shortages of gloves, masks, swabs, and other essentials required health centers to buy supplies from non-preferred vendors at non-preferred rates. Meanwhile, more intensive cleaning between patients slowed things down, leading to fewer patient visits. Health centers are paid on a per-visit basis. Also, health centers upgraded their facilities and purchased extra equipment to improve safety. At Mendocino Coast Clinics, they installed a $40,000 touchless door entry system and purchased special oral suction units in the Dental Department to reduce airborne particles.
One of the biggest unanticipated expenses involved COVID testing and vaccination. Some health centers received grant funding for testing, but they did not receive reimbursement for the staffing and supplies associated with the community vaccination clinics they provided. Testing and vaccination expenses included tent rentals for outdoor events, temporary signage, testing supplies, the cost of shipping tests to labs, and most significantly, the staff time to administer tests and vaccines and coordinate the logistics, from patient appointments to extensive data entry required by government databases. Chloe Guazzone, executive director of Anderson Valley Health Center, said, “CHCs in Mendocino County have tried hard to ensure that not a single person in Mendocino County has been left out when it comes to COVID testing, treatment and vaccination.”
Renteria agreed and added, “FQHCs throughout the county had to maintain primary care services while balancing the community need for testing and vaccinations. At MCC, we hired nurses to create a vaccination team. We also had to pull some employees off their regular duties to help with vaccine clinics.”
Some employees had to take leaves of absence to care for young children who were forced into distance learning from home when schools closed their campuses. The remaining employees took on additional duties, often requiring overtime, and supported one another as best they could.
Many community health centers collaborated with Mendocino County Public Health, especially when personal protective equipment and disinfectant wipes were scarce. At times, the County Medical Health Operational Area Coordination (MHOAC) Program was able to order essential supplies and provide them to medical facilities free of charge. Renteria said, “Partnering with Public Health to make sure testing and vaccinations were deployed countywide put us in the top five California counties for vaccine coverage.”
With this new funding, health centers can continue and expand essential health services. According to HRSA, the American Recovery Plan funds are to be used for the following purposes: (1) Plan, prepare for, promote, distribute, administer, and track COVID—19 vaccines, and carry out other vaccine-related activities… (2) Detect, diagnose, trace, and monitor COVID—19 infections and related activities necessary to mitigate the spread of COVID—19, including activities related to, and equipment or supplies purchased for, testing, contact tracing, surveillance, mitigation, and treatment of COVID-19… (3) Purchase equipment and supplies to conduct mobile testing or vaccinations for COVID—19, purchase and maintain mobile vehicles and equipment to conduct such testing or vaccinations, and hire and train laboratory personnel and other staff to conduct such mobile testing or vaccinations, particularly in medically underserved areas… (4) Establish, expand, and sustain the health care workforce to prevent, prepare for, and respond to COVID—19, and to carry out other health work force-related activities… (5) Modify, enhance, and expand health care services and infrastructure… and (6) Conduct community outreach and education activities related to COVID—19.
NO MEMBER OF MY GENERATION: that demographic aneuryism called the Baby Boom, should miss the hapless irony that the first generation to plan its parenthood, to manage and manipulate its fertility, may well be the first generation to have our deaths planned for us, our morality managed and manipulated by our own children, those who survived the gauntlet of our choices. Likewise, we can depend upon them to make their choices the way we’ve made ours: by convenience and expedience and five-year plans, efficiency and function and high performance, quality time and available resources. Less, we’ve always lied to them, is more! Maybe we shouldn’t have fooled Mother Nature. Maybe we just should have played whatever numbers came up, instead.
— Thomas Lynch, The Undertaking
FIRST THE BANKS CLOSED, and then there was the earthquake. And people said, ‘Well the banks are open at last,’ because the windows were all broken. It was interesting the way the people took the bank closing. There was a feeling almost of relief: ‘Now nobody has any money!’ You see, if you have a hundred thousand dollars and I haven’t got anything, then I’m not comfortable about you; I need some of that. But if nobody has anything, then there is that feeling of relief, of equality. Well, nobody had any money. I know Studs Terkel and that was a fine book of interviews on the Depression he did, Hard Times. But there was one aspect of the Depression experience that none of the people in his book commented on, which was that you were no longer ashamed of not having any money. It was a very nice thing. You know, we lived on the alley on 55th, and in front of us lived a man with his wife and two or three children, and they were on government support. They got salt pork, and some ham, and a lot of beans. Well, I would swipe these goods from the bakery without the slightest feeling of embarrassment. And I would swipe these goods from the bakery without the slightest feeling of being a thief. I always honored the biblical injunction that he who labored in the vineyard was entitled to the fruits thereof, or some proportion.
— Dalton Trumbo on his youth in Grand Junction, Colorado
I WAS A BOSTON POLICE OFFICER FOR 27 YEARS. I know how Derek Chauvin became a murderer
Police culture is steeped in racism, authoritarianism and the belief that officers can do anything they want because they live in constant danger