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Mendocino County Today: Saturday, April 24, 2021

Cool Wet | 3 New Cases | Water Op | Closet Game | Dry California | Burn Permits | Mental BS | Table Setting | Insurance Cancellations | Jackson Action | AV Museum | Early Boonville | Streetscape Update | Drive-thru BBQ | Desalination Plant | Mucilage | Ed Notes | Transportation Talk | Elsie Allen | Yesterday's Catch | Allison Krause | Idle Chilango | Assault Weapon | Calm Killer | PA Agenda | Vaccinated? | Triple Zoom | Bad Girl | Slowing Covid | Smokestacks | National Dysfunction

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A COOLER AND WETTER WEATHER PATTERN will continue through the weekend. The steadiest rain and mountains snow is expected late tonight into Sunday. Drier weather with moderating temperatures will return beginning Tuesday. (NWS)

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3 NEW COVID CASES reported in Mendocino County yesterday afternoon.

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by Mark Scaramella

We reviewed as much local coverage of Governor Newsom’s Emergency Drought Photo Op in the middle of a large dry section of Lake Mendocino as we could find, looking for any real sense of emergency, or even urgency. Upshot: There was none. In fact, our elected officials focused mostly on what they are NOT doing about the drought, than on any responsible steps being taken.

The Officials on hand in the dry lake bed simply made shallow statements of how historically bad this year’s drought is, then went out of their way to avoid ordering any actual curtailments or conservation measures. Newsom himself said that his “emergency drought declaration [sic] is not [our emphasis] immediately accompanied by any mandates. But those could [our emphasis] be forthcoming as conditions evolve.” 

The head of the Sonoma Water Agency which controls more than 80% of Lake Mendocino’s water and sells it at a nice profit which goes into Sonoma County’s general fund coffers, a Mr. Grant Davis, said that “state regulators have informed approximately 700 vineyards, residential suppliers, and farmers, and others with water rights to the Russian River they could [our emphasis] have their water reduced [by how much?] in the months ahead. 

Newsom also said his administration “was not anticipating mandates [i.e., no mandates], but, “We are gaming everything out. I am not prepared to announce those [those what? games?]. We are prepared and have announced a declaration of preparedness.” 

What’s next? A Declaration of No Mandates? 

Joaquin Esquival, Chairman of the California Water Boards, explained the difficulty in managing drought [oh yeah, it’s so, so hard to order water use reductions…] and reminded Californians that “it is Mother Nature herself that is curtailing us.” According to one report, “Esquivel encouraged local leaders to take quick action and emphasize making water conservation decisions based on human health.” (As opposed to … what? Grapes?)

Newsom’s Emergency Photo Op supposedly “gives state and community officials more flexibility to develop systems and policies to manage water supply and distribution.” [We need water conservation, not “more flexibility.”] Another report summarized the Photo Op with, “While no [our emphasis] water rationing mandates have been outlined as of yet [our emphasis], as the drought progresses, curtailing water rights could [our emphasis] be the first step. ‘We have a new vision for water management,’ said Newsom, citing a ‘water portfolio strategy’ report his office released a couple of months ago.”

We wonder how bad it will have to get for Newsom and his timid local politician pals to actually institute the various water reduction stages that normally happen in a drought? The longer they wait, the worse it will get and the harder those “conservation decisions” will be.

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by Carmen George

California is bracing for what's likely to be another destructive wildfire season in light of record-dry conditions.

A number of hot spots are in the Sierra Nevada, where rural communities are still reeling from unprecedented wildfires last year in both size and severity.

"We should get ready for a very tough fire season," said Adam Kochanski, who leads the Wildfire Interdisciplinary Research Center's fire modeling group at San Jose State University. That work included tracking the Creek fire that ignited in eastern Fresno County — California's single largest blaze — in real-time with a blend of technologies.

The research center has never seen April fuel moisture levels so low in many California places.

"Something like this has never happened before," Kochanski said, "and it's something absolutely unusual and something we haven't seen, and that makes us concerned."

Fuel moisture percentages in many places are below 100% when they should be over that threshold in the spring, he said.

The National Weather Service at Hanford, California, is reporting a similarly grim situation. NWS meteorologist Kevin Durfee said conditions are among the driest ever, with fuel moisture levels mirroring those not normally seen until June.

Kochanski said at Shaver Lake in Fresno County, fuel moisture is lower than what is normally seen at the end of August.

Some rain, and snow in the Sierra, is expected this weekend, but that precipitation will barely make a dent in drought conditions, Durfee said.

A NWS station in the Tulare Lake Basin recorded its driest accumulated precipitation ever for July through April 1 (about 21 inches below normal), and a station in the Southern Sierra recorded its second-driest ever during that period (nearly 25 inches below normal).

Gov. Gavin Newsom declared a drought emergency Wednesday in Sonoma and Mendocino counties, but stopped short of declaring a statewide drought emergency like his predecessor did six years ago.

Durfee said that declaration "paves the way" for declarations in other California counties.

The U.S. Drought Monitor shows most of California in severe or extreme drought, including the central San Joaquin Valley.

In a statement Thursday, the National Weather Service said there are "extreme drought conditions" in much of Tulare County, the foothills and higher elevations of Fresno County, and the eastern third of Kern County.

"Extreme drought conditions also extended into the higher elevations of Madera County just north of the San Joaquin River and into a portion of Kings County near Corcoran."

"Moderate to severe" drought conditions exist over the remainder of the interior of Central California.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture recently declared 50 of the 58 counties in California as "drought disaster areas," including Mariposa, Madera, Fresno, Tulare, Kings and Kern counties.

Kochanski said Ponderosa Basin, located between Oakhurst and Mariposa, is experiencing its driest fuel moisture levels over five years of available data there. Other Sierra locations with very low fuel moisture include Ash Mountain at Sequoia National Park and the Eastern Sierra, according to weather station data compiled by Kochanski and two of his students, Jack Drucker and Angel Farguell.

Much of the wildfire center's research focuses on the San Francisco Bay Area, but it also extends throughout California. Live fuel moisture in the South Bay Area this April is the lowest the center has recorded since they started work there in 2009.

Fresno County Cal Fire spokesman Dan Urias also talked about "critical fuel moisture" and drought conditions that could result in a bad wildfire season. He shared a few tips to prevent wildfires: Don't mow or cut grass after 10 a.m., when sparks from striking rocks have a greater chance of igniting vegetation, and clear vegetation around homes and structures.

Urias said millions of dollars in aid authorized by Newsom is allowing Cal Fire to hire more firefighters and increase fuel suppression work to prepare for another potentially severe summer fire season.

(Courtesy, the Fresno Bee)

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To the Editor:

I am sharing my thoughts and experience to bring light to the inadequate response and services in Mental Health Crisis in Mendocino County. Yes, I have had a lot of experience in mental health crisis over the last year. And trust me when I say it is the most awful traumatic and anger inducing nightmare! It is my hope that things will change so that other families do not have to experience this level of BS with our mental health system. The services are there they are inadequate to treat the needs of the people, period. It is infuriating to be told by the RCS Crisis Line they cannot help you when you call and they tell you to call police who then say did you call RCS crisis line? Literally this is a complete lack of responsibility in treating people appropriately in a Mental Health Crisis. So, whose responsibility should it be? There are of course a multitude of ways this could be handled so people aren’t traumatized by the system! Thank God the Mobile Crisis Unit is in the making and it needs to be put in place ASAP. With that being said, a Mobile Crisis Unit is a great tool for helping bridge the gap in services in a crisis but there is so much more that needs to be done!

Given the events that occurred on April 1, 2021 with Mr. Magdaleno and UPD I hope that it brings the community at large to understand that we are desperately in need of a transformation in mental health services and crisis response. Families have no help when someone they love is experiencing paranoia, delusions and psychosis; we have to manage it on our own and when it becomes dangerous we only have the police to rely on in a very volatile situation. You pray that the officers coming to help can manage a mental health situation with care and dignity and avoid any sort of conflict. Luckily for me I have experienced numerous positive interactions with Ukiah’s police officers that I am very grateful for. 

When police have to be called they listen to understand what is occurring even if they cannot intervene. Mental Illness Crisis is a life-threatening situation for the people experiencing it and possibly for those responding to help. This sort of crisis requires understanding, compassion with quick and knowledgeable action. If you are lucky you will not be witness to a loved one’s struggle with psychosis and paranoia and the scary behaviors that can cause a threat to their life or your own. 

I had to have four officers come to my house back in September to help my son — they came with one crisis worker, which was a miracle because after 9 months of this crap that was the first-time crisis came into the field to help! However, it was the police officers who shined in their handling of a very intense mental health crisis. The four officers were respectful, calm and managed the situation with understanding and compassion.

It was executed perfectly. My experience with Ukiah Police Department has been very good, I only had one incident that was unacceptable and infuriating. But if you let go of the anger you then see there is more at play than one entity causing the traumatic events that occur. That incident would not have happened if someone from RCS Crisis would have came to my house and done a mental health assessment. But since they were too busy we got jail instead of psychiatric help because officers did not do a mental health evaluation! 

So, it is a complete system failure since mental health does not respond to crisis calls! When we are blaming the entire police department for conduct based on something we witnessed via the internet but have no actual knowledge of, are we helping or making things worse? We really need to stop with our opinions and try to understand the whole picture, things are not always as they seem. Then ask the right questions to the right people, you know the ones making the rules and decisions! 

We have a police department that is really good and the Chief of Police has integrity he does the right thing, he shows up, he stands up and is accountable and transparent! That is a blessing which means we can move forward. If you are bothered by the inadequate response to mental health crisis, then speak up; do not anger or blame. Trust me, I have done my share of that. My point is don’t judge. Let’s work to understand and advocate for change, ask the right questions and fix the system. Families like mine need to speak up and demand adequate treatment! You cannot fight against change you must work with it, understand it, mold it, evolve it into a live working system!

In the case of what occurred with Mr. Magdaleno, I am disturbed more at the system as a whole than what transpired that day. If you are going to speak up against a certain condition or response to something you cannot use the same action that causes the condition. Such as violence. You are not solving violence when you react with violence! The problem is most people do not realize the violent nature of the words they speak, words are the propeller of action! 

Access to medications and proper support from service providers could have prevented the whole ordeal with Mr. Magdaleno’s mental crisis. It is of vital importance to look at and understand the bigger picture. We can all react with anger and opinions but that is not solving the fundamental problems in these mental health crisis situations. We need a direct approach to prevention and intervention that does not require police to be the service providers for mental health crisis issues. 

Prevention begins with building relationships, that should be the goal of the mental health providers, they need to build trust with patients and their families, they leave families out due to HIPAA, but families are the lifeline, if you are lucky enough to have one. The mobile crisis unit is a great concept and I am all for it. Families need to be able to get help, appropriate dignified help. Hopefully we can make that a great resource and not just a band aid to cover the wounds; they are deep. I would love to see the mobile crisis unit provide a family advocate to do the necessary follow up so that connection to services is made and hopefully maintained.

Mazie Malone


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AV FIRE CHIEF ANDRES AVILA REPORTED Wednesday night at the Community Services District Board:

The Anderson Valley Fire Department will conduct a multi-agency wildland refresher course on May 1. The training will consist of hose lays, and line construction, fire shelter deployments, pumping, and mop up. The following weekend (weather permitting) will conduct a low intensity training burn on the Vidmar Ranch in Yorkville. The test taker burn will provide the necessary training for all fire personnel to observe fire behavior in different fuel models, changing daytime weather conditions, and topography influences. As we all know we are quickly moving into a very dry year again. Taking the mystery out of fighting wild land fire and providing a calm setting for our troops to reset their skills before fire season is invaluable when provided through these live burn opportunities.

On Wednesday I was informed of three additional in-district home insurance policies that were canceled by their insurance carriers due to their home residing in a high wildfire severity zone. A Yorkville resident who has been with the same carrier for more than 20 years was completely dropped for being in a "high" fire hazard severity zone (FHSZ). This is the second tier of three: moderate, high, and very high. The majority of our fire department response area is rated "high severity" with the valley floor being mostly "moderate severity." "Very high severity" is scattered around the district in a mosaic of areas. Community Services District board members can reference these FHSZ maps online at the Calfire website. In addition, our base CSD insurance premiums are expected to rise as a result of the large losses to capital assets within our insurance pool around the state.

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District Director Francois Christen said that his homeowner’s insurance policy was canceled because the company has decided to get out of the home insurance business. Director Larry Mailliard said that he had been informed by his insurance carrier that their sprawling Yorkville/Mailliard Ranch property insurance carrier will either cancel their insurance also or perhaps significantly increase their rates.

(Mark Scaramella)

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With relief and gratitude, the members of the Anderson Valley Historical Society’s Board of Directors are happy to announce that, assuming there is no sudden change in state Covid directives, the Anderson Valley History Museum will reopen on Saturday, May 1. It’s been a long haul for everyone, of course, and we are very much looking forward to welcoming Valley locals and visitors alike back to the Little Red Schoolhouse, the Tuttle Building and the Rose Room once again. As always, we’ll be open Saturdays and Sundays from 1:00 to 4:00 PM, with admission free of charge (though you’ll not want to skip our irresistible Donation Jar!). 

While it is too early to plan events, we also can’t wait to reschedule our twice postponed Members and Docents Appreciation Party and to plan new fun community gatherings in our buildings and beautiful grounds. 

Maybe you’re a lifelong local who hasn’t made time for a Museum visit in a while. Or perhaps you’ve moved to the Valley more recently and have never been to the Museum. Either way, now’s the time to come see us. What will you find there? Artifacts illustrating life on the farms and in the lumber camps and towns of Anderson Valley dating back to the earliest days of European settlement here: the clothes the settlers wore, the books they read and the guns they hunted with. Toys, lunch boxes, bear traps and harnesses. Artwork and an antique piano. A display on the Farrar Building. Wedding portraits, marriage licenses and maps. Display cases of photographs, detailed histories and genealogies of the Valley’s early families, many of whose descendants are still among our community’s most important and valued members. Photos of logging trains, lumber mills and farmland. A model apple drier. An exhibition saluting our local military veterans, a room dedicated to the Valley’s Native American culture, and much, much more. The Museum represents a decades-long labor of love, filled with artifacts and displays graciously donated by members of many of those early Valley families mentioned above. Come on out and see it all! 

All Covid protocols will be observed, of course. 

Want to help? We are always in need of museum docents. One afternoon a month is all the commitment you’ll need to make. It’s a great way to see friends and to act as Anderson Valley ambassador to the folks who visit the Museum while visiting our wonderful community. For more information on becoming a docent, please call Sandra at 895-9020.

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Deborah Silva writes: 

I went to Ebay and got screen grabs of quite a few old Boonville images.

Anderson Valley, 1936
El Rancho Navarro
Navarro meets the Sea

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Ghilotti Construction (Henry – Mill): Continued work on the west side of State Street between Perkins and Mill Streets, including excavating, forming and pouring new curbs, gutters, and bioretention facilities. 

Monday-Friday: On the west side of State Street, crews will continue demolishing sidewalks, working south to north. Demolition will end at (but not in front of) the Ukiah Brewing Company. Forming and pouring new curb and gutter, electric and irrigation installation will follow demolition, also working south to north. 

Monday: Sidewalk demolition will begin at the Round Table driveway, working north. Work will begin at 7am in an effort to get this driveway and adjacent sidewalks reopened by mid-day. 

Also Monday, West Church will be closed between State and School in order to complete sewer replacements on that street (picture below). While new lines are being connected at the manhole at Church and School, there will be traffic controls on School, one lane at a time. Church is expected to reopen on Tuesday. 

East Church may remain closed during this phase due to grade changes. 

Construction hours: 7am – 5pm 

North State Street between Perkins and Henry: In between their work on other parts of the project, contractors will continue working on North State Street on the decorative brick band and landscaping areas. 

Looking forward: 

Week of May 3: Sidewalk and vault work will begin on the Perkins Street side of the Brewery. 

Week of May 17: Sidewalk construction on the south side of W. Perkins to School Street. 

Rain is projected for Sunday. While we need LOTS more rain, the good news is that this shower won't hold up construction.

Enjoy your weekend!

Shannon Riley, Deputy City Manager, City of Ukiah, w: (707) 467-5793

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With the impending drought upon us, why isn’t there any talk about a desalination (sp?) plant in the area somewhere, I am aware of the fact that it’s expensive and there would be some logistical problems to figure out, but we have a huge chunk of land in fort bragg sitting there where the mill site was, and we need water and jobs, can’t we figure out how to make this happen? Tourist taxes and property taxes and weed taxes ... all that should pay for us to secure water, no?


the plant in Carlsbad cost $1 billion to build, with a rough estimate of $50 million a year for the power to run it. Total property tax revenue is about $37 million, total. The numbers don’t work.

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FROST FANS this morning (Friday) but no frost. Not even close. Sodden thought: The lords of the grape are rousting us in the early hours because they can?

(THANKS to Deb Silva for the photos of old Anderson Valley appearing with tonight's post.)

TO REPEAT Sharon Davis's resignation as CEO of the Coast's Chamber of Commerce is also to hope she reveals the name of the villain whose boorishness forced her out: “It is with mixed feelings that I write this to you. I have come to a decision to resign from the Chamber. This is not a decision that I made lightly and one made only after a great deal of thought. I simply could not continue to endure the constant harassment and discriminatory behavior by the current board chair. This behavior extended to several other female board members as well. I cannot continue to align myself with an organization that allows this type of behavior. Unfortunately, several board members have also resigned as a result. It has been both a privilege and an honor to serve as the CEO over these past six years and I truly appreciate having had the opportunity to give back to this community. Whatever the future holds I hope to have the opportunity to work with you in some capacity… — Sharon Davis, C.E.O. Mendocino Coast Chamber of Commerce"

JIM SNYDER, high school principal, reports that the ninos are being phased back into their classrooms for in-person learning, and seeing the school buses on the road again is one more sign that normalcy, a version thereof, is returning. The high school faculty as follows:

  • Ballantine, Industrial Arts
  • Berrigan, Art
  • Bublitz, Science
  • Bullington, History
  • Campbell, English
  • Cook, Spanish
  • Corey-Moran, History
  • Crisman, Music
  • Ewing, History
  • Farber, English
  • Folz, English
  • Honegger, ELD
  • Jenderseck, Science
  • Page, PE
  • Panttaja, Math
  • Patterson, Special Ed
  • Suarez, Math
  • Swehla, Ag & Science
  • Wise, Resource Specialist

THE LATE ELINOR CLOW told me years ago that Octopus Mountain or Octopus Hill are both wrong. 

Octopus Hill

The famous Boonville landmark is officially designated on definitive topo maps of Anderson Valley as Tarwater Peak. Elinor said that Tarwater-Octopus isn’t tall enough to qualify as a mountain. A mountain must rise a thousand feet to be called a mountain. Tarwater Peak, aka Octopus Hill, was once part of the Tarwater Ranch. Tarwaters were among the old, old Valley old-timers. Cap Tarwater was proprietor of the Live Oak Garage back in the 1920s. Elinor, recalling a similar dispute from her days as a teacher in Healdsburg, remembered arguments about whether or not Healdsburg’s Fitch Mountain was a mountain or a hill, a dispute which finally provoked the people on the mountain side of the argument to roll a huge boulder up Fitch which irrefutably put its peak a few feet over the 1,000-foot qualifier. 

THERE WAS SOME NICE WINE called Octopus Mountain produced by the Dennison Brothers who lived part-time at the foot of Tarwater Peak where they grew grapes. Their vineyard is now owned by Daryl Sattui, a wine octopus out of Napa County. 

I’M ALWAYS STRUCK by how much history this lightly populated valley has pressed into a mere 150 years, leaving out of course all mention of the original inhabitants who lived here for the ten thousand years prior. Here’s an item from a 1971 Ukiah Daily Journal that reminds us of how quickly things have changed in Anderson Valley: 

“Mendocino’s oldest resident died yesterday in a Ukiah hospital at the age of 102. Had she lived 10 more days, Mrs. Rosa Watson would have celebrated her 103rd birthday. Born to the Rev. and Mrs. John Montgomery in Blunt County, Alabama on August 26, 1869, just four years after the end of the Civil War, Mrs. Watson came to Mendocino County’s Anderson Valley at the age of 13 when her parents migrated west. At the age of 20 she left Boonville and came to Ukiah where she worked as a cook for four years at the county hospital. While in Ukiah, she met and married James Watson, a Boonville farmer-tavern owner. The wedding ceremony was performed in the parlor of the old Hagan Hotel. Watson had come to California with a cattle drive at the age of 15 from the state of Missouri. He and his new wife returned to Boonville until 1910 when they moved back to Ukiah. During the years in Boonville, Mrs. Watson ran a boarding house. In Ukiah, the couple made their home on Ford Street. Mr. Watson passed away in 1926.” And Mrs. Watson went on living in a country about as different from the one she was born in as could be imagined.

WHO DUNNIT? Sometime between 11:30pm Monday night the 21st of July, 1997, when Lydia Espinoza locked all the doors to the Boonville Hotel, and 7:45am the next morning when the men working on a Hotel remodeling project arrived, someone or someones lifted a painting on display in the Hotel’s dining room. The purloined pastel is called “The Journey Home.” It’s fairly large at 20” x 27” — large enough to have prevented someone from simply walking out the door with it while other people were around. There were five rooms of guests on the premises, presumably asleep upstairs; none of them left suspiciously early and none were observed carting bulky packages out to their cars when they left. Val Gowan, the Hotel’s manager, was the first to notice that the painting was missing when she arrived at work Tuesday morning, just after the construction crew had begun work. She also noticed that the kitchen door had been left unlocked, which was an oversight quite unlike the meticulous Mrs. Espinoza who locked up at night. “When I walked back through the dining room toward the kitchen from my office I saw that the painting was gone,” Mrs. Gowan recalls. “I spent a lot of time Tuesday checking with staff to see if someone had bought it or had taken it home to try it out. Nobody knew anything. The painting had been stolen. Also, Lydia was certain she’d locked the door before she went home.” Johnny Schmitt, the Hotel’s owner and chief chef had, in the interim, noticed that the screen over a kitchen window had been torn, leading Schmitt and Gowan to surmise that a single thief had waited until Mrs. Espinoza left the premises, then climbed through the kitchen window to get inside, removed the painting from the wall, detoured to the bar of the Hotel to remove $12.50 in coins from the register, and walked back out through the kitchen door, leaving it unlocked as he departed. (The theft of the petty cash would seem to rule out a hotel guest as the art thief since guests pay upwards of $80 for an overnight stay.) Having to wedge her investigations in around a constantly ringing phone and her many other duties, it wasn’t until Wednesday morning that Mrs. Gowan was certain a theft had occurred and found the time to call the Sheriff’s Department to report it. Deputy Palma seemed surprised that anyone would steal a painting. Deputy Palma took the report and promised he’d put it “in the file.” The painting, by Mendocino artist Julie Higgins, is valued at $450. Ms. Higgins told Mrs. Gowan that she is flattered that someone would steal one of her paintings, but it was the first time she’d been robbed of her art since she was in high school when a fellow student stole a poster of hers he’d coveted. Mrs. Gowan said last week that the theft of the painting was the first time a work of art had been stolen from the Hotel where local artists display their work year-round. “We did have a little spree of coffee mug disappearances last summer,” Mrs. Gowan remembers. “In a three-week period we lost twenty-four mugs at $18 each. People don’t think of it as theft, I guess.” The Hotel has arranged fair compensation for Ms. Higgins. Mrs. Gowan thinks the robber will be haunted by his theft. “Every time he looks at it on the wall it will bother him,” she says, with perhaps an optimism unjustified by the prevailing morality.

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THE PURLOINED PAINTING was returned to the Boonville Hotel by a woman who appeared with it at the Hotel bar the following Sunday, explaining to Hotel staffer Gina Barron that her friend who had taken it hadn’t realized that it had value. Everyone involved seems satisfied to let it all rest at that. But a guy climbs through the kitchen window of the Hotel in the middle of the night, takes a picture off the wall that doesn’t belong to him, sneaks off into the night with it and a few bucks in coins from the bar cash register, but a couple of weeks later sends his girlfriend out to return the painting armed with the excuse that he’s giving the painting back because he didn’t know it had value? 

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LEGENDARY POMO BASKET MAKER ELSIE ALLEN defied tradition to preserve it

by Susan Minichiello

Before Elsie Allen’s mother died, she defied convention and asked that her handwoven baskets not be buried with her so others could learn from them.

“Mother died in 1962, and I have tried to keep my promise,” Allen wrote in her 1972 book “Pomo Basketmaking: A Supreme Art for the Weaver.”

True to her word, Allen continued the ancient Pomo art of basket making and traveled around Northern California to demonstrate her techniques. She gathered willow, bulrush, woolly sedge and California redbud found in marshes, streams or at the foothills of the Sierra. She made coiled baskets from tightly wound knots and formed twine baskets and baby baskets.

“Since I felt that the Pomos were one of the greatest basket weavers in the world I resolved in my heart that this wonderful art should not be lost and I would learn it well and teach others,” Allen wrote in her book.

Allen, who was born Elsie Comanche near Santa Rosa in 1899, spent her early years in Cloverdale. Her mother, Annie Burke, used to make her hide in bushes when they saw white people for fear of being kidnapped as their family had witnessed happen to other Native American children, according to Allen’s book.

At age 11, a government agent convinced her mother to send Allen to the Covelo Indian School in Mendocino County, where she wasn’t allowed to speak her Pomo dialect and often cried at night due to homesickness.

At age 13, she went to a different school for Native Americans closer to home and learned English.

She married Arthur Allen, a Northern Pomo, in 1919 and had four children. She spent years working various jobs, including as a laundress, and dedicated her time fully to basket making when she was 62.

Some Pomos who preferred assimilation opposed her basket making and thought the tradition should die, but she felt it was important to honor their heritage.

Elsie Allen

“Basketweaving needs dedication and interest and increasing skill and knowledge; it needs feeling and love and honor for the great weavers of the past who showed us the way,” Allen wrote.

She spent years teaching classes on Pomo basket making at the Mendocino Art Center and her efforts helped sustain the tradition.

Elsie Allen died in 1990 at the age of 91. Elsie Allen High School in Santa Rosa is named after her.

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CATCH OF THE DAY, April 23, 2021

Baglieri, Beacham, Bonson

LOUIS BAGLIERI JR., Los Banos/Ukiah. Failure to appear.


TRAVIS BONSON, Kelseyville/Ukiah. Parole violation.

Franks, Gard, Jenkins

WILLIAM FRANKS, Redwood Valley. Disorderly conduct-alcohol.

DAVID GARD, Clearlake/Ukiah. Suspended license, resisting.

THOMAS JENKINS, Bridgeville/Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-alcohol.

Johnson, Lawson, Loomis

DAKOTA JOHNSON, Willits. Controlled substance, false personation of another.

ZACHARY LAWSON JR., Ukiah. Parole violation.

WENDY LOOMIS, Fort Bragg. Disorderly conduct-alcohol, resisting.

JESUS MACIAS-SILVA, Ukiah. Stolen vehicle, suspended license (for reckless driving), disobeying court order.

MAURO MARTINEZ JR., Ukiah. DUI, reckless driving, reckless evasion.

MYA MARTINEZ, Ukiah. Probation revocation.

Mayfield, Pratt, Roberts, Smith

CHARLES MAYFIELD JR., Ukiah. Controlled substance, paraphernalia, county parole violation.

MINDY PRATT, Ukiah. Mandatory supervision sentencing.

CHERI ROBERTS, Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-alcohol. (Frequent flyer.)

ALWOOD SMITH, Ukiah. Probation revocation.

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by Laurel Krause

April 23, 2021 

Dear Allison,

Even though you’re not with us, I am writing to wish you a Happy 70th Birthday. This is my bittersweet wish from your little sister who still looks up to you. Five decades later, I still want to tag along with you and follow your lead. It has been my honor to grow up with you, and to know and love you every day dear Allison.

I want you to know my greatest surprise has been that ever since forming the Kent State Truth Tribunal and the Allison Center for Peace, I’ve healed a little each day. Who knew that searching for truth and accountability related to your killing at Kent State would help me feel better and find peace in my life? Kent State peace is a double blessing you ignited. ;-)

Allison, even after all these years, you continue to drive me with your peaceful, kind, astute and loving spirit. I especially enjoy the pranks I see with your name written all over them. Please keep ‘em coming.

On the first Earth Day, April 22, 1970, the day before your 19th birthday, you celebrated your commitments to peace, against war, to a planet in harmony and your love for all beings with Buckminster Fuller in a geodesic dome set up on the Kent State University commons. A moment that embodied peace in its sacred geometry, its energies and its presence.

Bucky’s geodesic dome was erected just days before President Nixon destabilized the United States with his Cambodian invasion and then called you a “bum” for reacting to an escalating war in Vietnam. In response, on May 3, 1970 you said, “What’s the matter with peace? Flowers are better than bullets.” 

Thank you for continuing to guide us. For whispering encouragement into the ears of peaceful young persons even today and for driving peace worldwide in thousands of other ways. I am so thankful to have you in my life and have so much gratitude for the strength you give me to fight for truth and accountability at Kent State as I stand with you! 

Wanted you to know in the coming days we are returning to the United Nations for the U.S. 5th periodic review. We’ll join other human rights organizations to demand accountability for excessive and deadly force used by law enforcement, and the military against citizens and protesters. We’re also working to make sure the U.S. government never kills another protester again.

Happy 70th Allison!

Love, peace and healing to the folks, family and Manny,

Laurel xo

Read the blog here 

Allison artwork by Prapat Campbell

Laurel Krause


"Flowers are better than bullets” ~ Allison Krause

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by Paul Theroux

Mexico City had once not long ago been regarded as the City of the Dreadful Night. With a villainous reputation for abductions and muggings, for crime and chaos. (“So this gringo gets into a taxi and thinks he's going to his hotel, but instead he’s driven to a slum and robbed.”) Yet once I settled into the day-to-day of teaching and eating and visiting the sights, the capitol appeared to me prosperous and lively, a great multi-layered city with billionaires on the top layer and poor slum dwellers on the bottom, and the only wickedness I saw was from the bad-tempered policeman. Away from the districts that were acknowledged to be risky, it seemed as safe as any other city of 23 million people.

As time went on I fribbled the days away as a flaneur, became lazy and presumptuous in the manner of a city dweller and developed the big-city vices of procrastination, eating late, sleeping longer, yakking in cafes, and pretending to be busy. My excuse was that I had a teaching job, but even when my workshop ended, I continued socializing with my new friends — wonderful friends — telling myself that it was part of my Mexican journey. Mexicans, so stigmatized and stereotyped, respond with affection — and good people do — when they are perceived as individuals. I loved being in their company. I began to slip into the urban routine, not a traveler anymore but living the life of an idle chilango and telling myself it was travel. It was easy to see how so many foreigners visiting Mexico City decided to spend the rest of their lives here while dishonestly complaining it was a shark tank or Luciferian.

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by Jeffrey St. Clair

I’ve watched all of the footage of George Floyd’s murder. I’ve seen the crime from every angle. From body cameras and cellphones. I’ve looked at hundreds of still photos. I’ve listened to the audio dozens of times. Still, I cringe, horrified by the scene taking place before my eyes, even though I know how it will end, know every twitch of Floyd’s body, hear every desperate plea, each gasp for air.

Rarely have we been confronted with such intimate scenes of our mortality. Of just how long it takes to kill a living being, the pressure needed to crush the life out of someone, the moral indifference required to kneel on a person’s throat and feel the life drain out of them, breath by breath, for 9 minutes and 29 seconds, as the lungs stop working, the heart stops beating, the blood stops flowing. We are used to unexpected death coming suddenly: in a gunshot, a car crash, a drone strike. Even in the most blood-soaked films, we’ve never watched a strangulation that goes on for more than a couple of minutes.

For example, the garroting of Luca Brasi in ‘The Godfather,’ a scene which seems interminable, lasts only 28 seconds. And often, in the movies at least, the strangler will look at their hands in a kind of despair, as if they’d lost control of their body, thinking what have I done?

Not Derek Chauvin. Derek Chauvin never lost control. Not for one moment. He didn’t question himself. He didn’t let his emotions show. If he had, maybe George Floyd would have lived. If he had allowed himself to feel the anguish in Floyd’s voice, the tremors in his body, he might have lost his self-control. He might have let up the pressure on Floyd’s throat for just a moment. He might have responded emotionally, empathetically, man to man, being to being. Surely, most of us would have flinched viscerally at the dying body beneath us. At least it’s comforting to think so. But not Derek Chauvin. He remained implacable, immune to all of the instinctual reflexes that most of us like to believe make up the human psyche.

Derek Chauvin never lost control. He wasn’t the officer who arrested George Floyd on a petty complaint about a fake $20 bill. He wasn’t the officer who pulled his gun and screamed profanities at an obviously frightened, non-threatening man. He didn’t place the cuffs on so tightly they cut into the wrists and slowed the blood flow to Floyd’s hands. Chauvin didn’t shove Floyd into the cramped backseat of the police cruiser, ignoring his anxiety about being trapped in such a confined space. Chauvin didn’t brutally hurl Floyd to the street. Chauvin didn’t lose his cool. He didn’t raise his voice. He remained calm, as he got on top of Floyd, jammed his knee into his throat, and pinned his body to the pavement, pressing it down, squeezing the veins and arteries shut. He didn’t allow himself to be distracted as the crowd shouted at him, as Floyd’s lungs writhed for breath, as the EMT’s searched for a pulse, finding none. As he released his knee from Floyd’s lifeless body, his expression didn’t change. He remained in control.

Isn’t that the scariest part? It is for me. Derek Chauvin didn’t act on impulse. He didn’t act out of fear. He didn’t act out of anger or in response to a threat against his own life. He didn’t make a split-second decision. He didn’t let his emotions get the better of him.

Derek Chauvin was in control. That’s why the other officers didn’t intervene. He wasn’t acting out of line. He wasn’t ranting. He wasn’t verbally taunting Floyd. He wasn’t beating him. He wasn’t letting any of the chaotic circumstances get under his skin. He was steady, just keeping the pressure on, minute after minute, calmly responding to Floyd’s frantic plea that he couldn’t breathe by saying with not even the faintest edge to his voice: “Then stop talking, stop yelling. It takes heck of a lot of oxygen to talk.” That’s what cold-blooded murder looks and sounds like. It’s methodical. It’s clinical. It’s emotionally detached.

So the question is: was Derek Chauvin born this way or was this learned behavior? Was he born to kill or trained to? All of those latter-day eugenicists proclaiming the existent of a “violence” gene would do well to scrutinize his DNA profile. But in a sense it hardly matters. Derek Chauvin was the kind of police officer America wanted. One who didn’t get distracted. One who had a method and followed it. One who didn’t get ruffled. One who wasn’t impetuous or boisterous or overtly racist. One who didn’t lose his cool. One stayed in control.

Now they want to wash their hands of him and his methods. Now they want to say he was a rogue cop, a rule-breaker, a bad officer, a sadist, a vigilante. They can cut him adrift, lock him up, isolate him. But they can’t wipe away the truth. Derek was one of them. He was no rookie. He had roamed the streets for 19 years. He was a known quantity. If the police didn’t create Derek Chauvin, they recruited him, rewarded his methods, admired his calm demeanor, placed him in control.

I return one more time to the fatal footage. I pause the video and scan his face, looking for something, anything that might explain how he could do what he did. But when you gaze into the eyes of Derek Chauvin, as he squeezes the last breath out of a human being under his total control, you see nothing. And that nothingness looks right back at you.

* * *


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Reminder - Town Hall Tomorrow With Huffington, Mcguire & Wood


TOWN HALL, Saturday, April 24, 11 AM

  1. Congressman Jared Huffman
  2. State Senator Mike McGuire
  3. Assemblymember Jim Wood

Join Zoom Meeting:

Meeting ID: 864 8915 8402

Passcode: 95445

One tap mobile: +16699006833,,86489158402# US (San Jose)*

Dial by your location: +1 669 900 6833 US (San Jose)*

* * *

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by Tara Haelle, National Geographic

The latest data show that getting a shot not only protects vaccinated individuals, it reduces the chance they can spread the virus to others.

COVID-19 vaccines have provided an opportunity to slow the spread of the virus and end the pandemic. Now scientists are trying to learn just how much the vaccines can prevent transmission from occurring at all. New data from the CDC shows that COVID-19 infections do occur in vaccinated people, but they appear exceptionally rare.

As of April 14, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention had received reports that 5,814 fully vaccinated people had developed COVID-19 infections. Nearly half of these infections (45 percent) were in people at least 60 years old. Seven percent of people with breakthrough infections—infections that occur after complete vaccination—were hospitalized and one percent died.

With more than 85 million people in the United States fully vaccinated against COVID-19, the CDC has been cautiously expanding guidelines about what those fully vaccinated people can safely do. The expansion has been gradual as experts awaited data on not just how well the COVID-19 vaccines prevent disease, but also whether a fully vaccinated individual could develop an infection—without symptoms—and unknowingly pass the virus along to someone else.

The distinction is important because many people do not realize that vaccines primarily prevent the disease but not necessarily infection. That means not all vaccines block fully vaccinated people from transmitting the pathogen to others.

“The holy grail of vaccine development always is to stop people from ever getting infected, but it is monumentally difficult to get that,” says Jason Kindrachuk, an assistant professor of virology at the University of Manitoba in Winnipeg, Canada. That holy grail is called sterilizing immunity, completely protecting a person from disease as well as stopping the microbe from getting into cells in the first place, he says.

Four months after the Food and Drug Administration authorized the first vaccines against COVID-19, the CDC has enough data to suggest the vaccines substantially reduce infections—and therefore reduce the possibility of a vaccinated person infecting others.

How vaccines protect people

Vaccines work by mimicking an infection in the body to trick the immune system into mounting a defense against it—and then remembering what to do if they see the same pathogen again, explains Juliet Morrison, an assistant professor of microbiology at the University of California, Riverside.

After any infection, “you have white blood cells, specifically T and B cells, that hang around and remember that initial infection so that if you do become infected again, these memory cells respond by immediately multiplying their numbers,” she says. The B cells produce antibodies that bind to circulating viruses and infected cells while T cells “basically punch holes in the infected cell and pump them full of these toxins that tell the infected cell to commit suicide.”

A vaccine induces the same immune memory as an infection so if the real virus comes along, the immune system switches on immediately and produces T cells, B cells, and antibodies.

“That will allow you to clear the infection without you even recognizing that you’ve gotten sick,” Morrison says.

What’s key, however, is that you did actually have an infection. That is, the virus entered cells and began replicating. The immune system simply shut it all down before the virus or the immune system itself began damaging tissue—the disease process, explains Kindrachuk.

Asymptomatic infections can still transmit the virus

If the virus enters cells and begins replicating but never causes disease, that’s an asymptomatic infection. With presymptomatic infections, on the other hand, a person goes on to develop symptoms and is especially contagious in the days before symptoms appear, says Natalie Dean, an assistant professor of biostatistics at the University of Florida in Gainesville.

“We know from contact tracing data unrelated to vaccines that people who never develop symptoms tend to be less infectious,” Dean says.

Morrison adds that asymptomatic people probably have an excellent initial immune response to slow down how quickly the virus can copy itself, “but not enough that viral replication is completely shut off,” she says. “That’s why they could still shed virus but we’re not seeing any disease symptoms.”

Supporting that idea is the fact that the severity of COVID-19 disease tends to correlate with the total number of viruses in the body, called viral load, Kindrachuk says. Early research showed that people with lower viral loads transmit less virus, further suggesting that asymptomatic infections are less contagious than symptomatic ones. But less is not zero: People with asymptomatic infections still have replicating viruses in their system that they can transmit to others.

When the vaccines were authorized, experts did not yet know whether the shots could prevent infections entirely or whether vaccinated people could develop an asymptomatic—but still contagious—infection.

Why didn’t clinical trials track infections?

The clinical trials testing vaccines from Moderna, Pfizer-BioNTech, and Johnson & Johnson measured each vaccine’s ability to prevent serious disease, not its ability to block transmission of the virus.

“Frankly, transmission wasn’t the primary concern at that point of the trials,” Kindrachuk says. “It was to make sure people weren’t getting sick.”

With thousands of people being hospitalized and dying every day, the first priority was to measure whether a vaccine prevented severe disease and death. While researchers recognized that it was important to measure whether vaccines prevented asymptomatic infection, doing that was very difficult and costly, Dean says. So researchers tracked symptomatic infections instead. That left unanswered the question of whether any vaccinated people without symptoms could have an asymptomatic infection.

“There were some questions about whether you could still have virus in your nose and still be infectious,” Dean says.

Even a tiny amount of virus in a vaccinated person might present a risk to others.

“We don’t have a good idea of what the infectious dose is for somebody—how much virus you have to be exposed to to get infected,” Kindrachuk says. “It’s not about the one dose you get in a single moment, but the accumulation over minutes to hours.”

Early data looked promising

Although the vaccine manufacturers did not track infections for all phase three trial participants, they did gather some data. Moderna tested all participants when they received their second dose and reported in December that fewer asymptomatic infections occurred in the vaccinated group than the placebo group after the first dose. Johnson & Johnson also reported data from nearly 3,000 phase three trial participants who were tested two months after vaccination to see if they had antibodies from a new infection since vaccination. That preliminary data suggested a 74 percent reduction in asymptomatic infection.

Those findings hinted that the vaccines had the ability to prevent infections. That development was followed by three preprints—not yet peer-reviewed—that suggested even more good news. One found that people vaccinated with one dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine had viral loads up to 20 times lower than viral loads in unvaccinated, infected people.

Two others, from the Mayo Clinic and the U.K., included more than 85,000 routinely tested healthcare workers who were fully vaccinated with the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine. The vaccine reduced infection by 85 to 89 percent. All this evidence underscores all three vaccines’ ability to prevent infection in the majority of those vaccinated.

A consensus begins to emerge

More evidence accumulated in March with a slew of studies about the mRNA vaccines. One with 9,109 healthcare workers in Israel found infections cut by 75 percent after two doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine. Another revealed that the viral load fell fourfold in those who received one dose and then developed an infection.

Among more than 39,000 people screened for infection at the Mayo Clinic, patients had a 72 percent lower risk of infection 10 days after the first dose of either mRNA vaccine and 80 percent lower after both doses. The New England Journal of Medicine published research letters showing reduced infections in fully vaccinated healthcare workers at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, the Hadassah Hebrew University Medical Center in Jerusalem, and the University of California in Los Angeles and San Diego.

The most persuasive evidence, according to Dean, came from an early April CDC study of 3,950 healthcare workers who were tested weekly for three months after receiving both doses of either mRNA vaccine. Full vaccination reduced infection—regardless of symptoms—by 90 percent, and a single dose reduced infection by 80 percent.

Then there’s the evidence all around us, Kindrachuk says.

“We’ve seen a pretty drastic decrease of transmission in the country,” he says. “That suggests not only are the vaccines protecting against severe disease but it suggests there’s a reduction in transmission.”

Taken together, the evidence shows that full vaccination with either mRNA vaccine cuts risk of infection by at least half after one dose, and by 75 to 90 percent two weeks after the second dose. Though less research is available on the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, the trial data suggest an infection reduction of more than 70 percent is likely. With the vaccines preventing this much infection, they’re also stopping the majority of vaccinated people from passing along the virus.

Along come the variants

The concern now is how much the variants might change the game, Kindrachuk says. Several of the studies from England and Israel with the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine occurred when the B.1.1.7 variant was dominant.

“The vaccines seem to be holding their own against the variants, but we also know that these variants tend to be more transmissible,” Kindrachuk says. One concern is that greater transmissibility could mean it takes a lower dose to get infected, he says.

Since the vaccines don’t block 100 percent of infections, it’s possible that vaccinated people who develop an asymptomatic infection from that variant could be more contagious than they would have been before with the strain dominant since early in the pandemic.

Further, there isn’t as much data for the Moderna or Johnson & Johnson vaccines against B.1.1.7 infections, and virtually no data on infections from the other two variants of concern, B.1.351 from South Africa and P.1 from Brazil, both of which have shown some ability to evade antibodies against other variants of the COVID-19 virus.

Scientists are also studying how well the variants replicate.

“If they’re replicating to higher levels, then there could be more viral shedding and more opportunity for transmission,” Morrison says.

The future still looks bright

Despite the uncertainty posed by the variants, the overall picture right now is reassuring, Dean says.

“These vaccines have really exceeded expectations in so many ways, and it’s just an enormous value that they can keep you from getting sick but also keep you from transmitting to others,” she says. “Nothing is 100 percent, but I think people can understand the big reduction and the value of that. It changes how I think about what I want to do in a big way.”

But that doesn’t mean throwing caution to the wind, Morrison says.

“If you’re vaccinated, you can pretty much assume that you are protected against severe disease and very likely protected against enough infection to transmit, but because we have these variants emerging and the fact that we’re not even close to herd immunity, people should still be taking precautions,” Morrison says.

Interacting with other vaccinated people without masks makes sense, but she also agrees with the CDC recommendation for vaccinated people to visit without masks or social distancing only with low-risk unvaccinated people in a single household. With so many infections still occurring daily, that limitation further reduces the likelihood of vaccinated people picking up and spreading infections from an unvaccinated home.

“The real worry is for the unvaccinated people you come into contact with,” she adds. “Even if the potential for them to pass it on to you is low, it’s not zero.” Similarly, an infected vaccinated person has lower—but not a zero—likelihood of infecting others who aren’t vaccinated or have conditions or medications suppressing their immune systems.

The more vaccinations increase, the more everyone’s risk of infection drops, Dean says.

“I still think about how much transmission is ongoing in my community,” Dean says. “We’re starting to see the population level impact of vaccines, but every single person vaccinated adds up to feeling safer about getting together.”


* * *

* * *


by James Kunstler

No need to argue anymore about defunding the police. The police across America have been successfully disarmed and castrated. Why would any cop with a sense of self-preservation interfere in the commission of a crime now? Just assume that the social contract is cancelled. You’re on your own.

Interesting factoids, by the way: rape reports are up 322 percent in New York City over the past year, shootings were up 97 percent and murders up 44 percent — a good start to the new era of all-against-all, where life is solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short. But don’t worry, Benjamin Crump and his legion of super-hero personal injury lawyers stand ready to enforce the suspension of law, seeking multi-million-dollar payouts in civil suits, such as the $27-million recently settled on the family of George Floyd, which is $27-million more than Jesus of Nazareth got for somewhat harsher treatment years back, though, according to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, George Floyd has by far outpaced the old lord-and-savior in sheer saintliness mojo. Looks like George and Jesus will soon be vying for Speaker of Kingdom Come in the new, revised cosmos of American Wokery.

Anyway, New York’s City Council voted last month to end qualified immunity for police officers, which formerly shielded them from personal lawsuits in the performance of their duties. Predictable result: they will no longer perform their duties. This is on top of Mayor Bill de Blasio ending the age-old practice of posting bail for charged felons pending disposition of a criminal case. Meanwhile, the city’s main jail, Rikers Island, is scheduled to be closed down in 2026. Abolish incarceration! Well done, Big Apple!

For the moment, Derek Chauvin is on ice, having served his purpose as sacrificial goat in a trial that had all the fateful velocity of the Chattanooga Choo-choo. No need to rehearse the prejudicial actions of Rep Maxine Waters (D-Calif), oval office occupant Joe Biden, sidekick Kamala Harris, the Minneapolis Star-Tribune newspaper, Minnesota AG Keith Ellison, and other workers on the railroad of justice. The case will surely go on to appeal and by the time it is finally adjudicated the old USA will be on ice, too — in the mortuary of lost civilizations.

Minneapolis police officer Kim Potter is teed-up next in the death of multiple felony suspect Daunte Wright, who was turning his life around when he made the impulsive decision to evade arrest on an outstanding warrant for gun possession. And on deck: Columbus, Ohio, police officer Nicholas Reardon, who (it’s said all over Twitter and cable TV) unfairly interfered in a knife attack between a couple of girls just going about normal teenage girl stuff in, like, their normal, playful way.

Critical Race Theory, and its enforcement arm, Systemic Racism, have got America in a full nelson, having put over the idea that any regulation of behavior among 13 percent of the US population is a crime against humanity — effectively rendering lawlessness a new social entitlement. Waiting to see how that works out as 2021 rolls forward. The weather didn’t cooperate much this week of the aforesaid events, so there was little action in the streets after the Chauvin verdict and all — except in Portland, Oregon, city of masochists, where the nightly riots continued as usual.

Is there a problem with all this? Only that the remaining 87 percent of the folks who live in the USA have so far failed to identify these operations for what they are, an epic hustle — by which I mean the seeking and acquiring of advantage, including large sums of money, by underhanded means. Sorry to tell you: the responsibility for this is on the 87 percent who are craven and feckless enough to allow themselves to be hustled. What’s the payoff for them in this game? A sense of radiant, self-informed moral purity for consenting to be coerced by the hustlers. The endorphin rush must really be something, a little like a snootful of fentanyl-and-meth.

Notice, too, how all this racial psychodrama is an effective smokescreen for other nefarious actions afoot by the Democratic Party. I refer to the various bills moving through Congress now to pack the Supreme Court, turn the District of Columbia into the 51st state (to gain two more senate seats), and to institutionalize voting fraud across all the states (HR-1). Not paying any attention to that? It’s just a gang of power-hungry maniacs trying to destroy your country. That is, unless Joe Biden & Co. manage to start World War Three in Ukraine or Taiwan before that bidness comes to a vote. Oh, and here’s the moral of the story: life is tragic. Sometimes things don’t turn out… they just turn.

(Support Kunstler’s writing by visiting his Patreon Page.)


  1. Brian April 24, 2021

    RE: “Why does anybody need this kind of power to destroy human life?”

    From the photo it looks like they are just trying to destroy the sign. By the given calculations, I think two to three more trigger pulls and it will be mission accomplished. And I hate to say it, but that’s a lot of effort to take out a sign.

    • George Hollister April 24, 2021

      One tigger pull from a shotgun would do the job.

      • Harvey Reading April 24, 2021

        Depending upon how close the shooter was to the sign, and the size of the shot. The picture also depicts quite well the average accuracy of an AR user at close range.

    • Cotdbigun April 24, 2021

      It’s time to make 43 bullet magazines illegal!

  2. Eric Sunswheat April 24, 2021

    RE: Lake Mendocino… What’s next? A Declaration of No Mandates? Joaquin Esquival, Chairman of the California Water Boards, explained the difficulty in managing drought…

    ->. Possibly infrastructure funding from Congress and Biden administration, to raise Coyote Dam and reuse home shower water to flush toilets.

  3. Michael Koepf April 24, 2021

    Interesting post this morning by a woman named Mazie Malone. If she’s of Irish ancestry what a wonderful name is that. Apparently, her topic was mental illness and it’s lack of adequate treatment in Mendocino County, to which all I can say is this: when it comes to mental illness, she couldn’t have picked a better place. I’m no expert, of course, and there are those who have looked askance at me whenever this subject is broached. Additionally, I have never looked into the eyes of Jeffery St. Clair to determine if he is chronically mean, nor have I ever met Mr. Magdaleno, about whom Ms. Malone has chosen to write. However, it’s my unprofessional opinion that Mr. Magdaleno is probably not the best poster child when it comes to the subject of mental illness. Let’s face it. He was stark naked in the streets of Ukiah raving at the peaceful citizens of that place. After he resisted the arresting officers, a meth pipe was discovered in his abandoned pants. In terms of what little I know, he currently resides in the Low Gap jail, without his pipe and meth. Thus, it may be correctly assumed that he must be reasonably sane, or the Sheriff in his wisdom and kindness would have had him removed to a more appropriate place. Using Mr. Magdeleno as an example of mental illness may be big mistake, and grossly unfair to those who are.

  4. David Gurney April 24, 2021

    Derek Chauvin’s Eyes –
    The real question is – why wasn’t Derek Chauvin drug tested after this fatal encounter? George Floyd’s body underwent an extensive autopsy including everything in his system, down to what he’d eaten, etc. Meanwhile, despite an aggravated and unresponsive stare apparent in the photos, we’ll never know what drugs Chauvin might have been on, prescription or otherwise.
    It would be helpful to know what kind of drug, if any, leads to this kind of behavior. This should be part of ongoing police reform – whenever there’s a fatal incident, officers involved should be tested for drugs.

  5. Marmon April 24, 2021


    Kids, your skin is not your sin, no matter what Chuck Dunbar and other aging, dour men here on the AVA are attempting to convince you of.

    Don’t drink the “Woke-A-Cola”!


    • Harvey Reading April 24, 2021

      As I recall, you are one of those “…aging, dour men…”. And there SHOULD BE white guilt. We’ve effen earned it with our discriminatory “society”.

      Cops do arrest (and prosecutors do prosecute and judges do incarcerate) and murder–dark-skinned people at a rate far higher than their proportion of the overall population.

      So, folks, beware of overbearing fascists and their bits of “wisdom”. They’re just echoing their great leader, the orange hog. They mostly have never had an original thought in their sorry lives.

      Don’t drink the fascist rotgut, either.

      • Cotdbigun April 24, 2021

        Dark-skinned people commit crimes at a rate far higher than their proportion of the overall population, but that not only has no bearing on anything it’s also frowned upon when mentioned. Unarmed blacks getting killed by police in 2019……9, unarmed whites 19.
        While in the mood for committing sins, let me add that I like being white and I like Mr. Trump and I love Candace Owen and I don’t feel guilty about anything.
        Peace Bro

    • chuck dunbar April 24, 2021

      Thank you, James, and here’s a little poem for you–justly earned–that speaks with your singular voice:


      I just don’t want
      To be so fully A-Woke.
      I’d rather just keep right on
      Blowing some smoke!

      And for those who’ve risen
      And seen the clear light—
      I’ve got no real love—
      ‘Cause they’re just a blight!

      So no Woke for me—
      I’m just fine as I be.
      And for those who regret it
      That’s my last decree!

      • Cotdbigun April 24, 2021

        That’s the first time that I understood and liked a poem, thank you Chuck.

  6. Chuck Wilcher April 24, 2021

    “FROST FANS this morning (Friday) but no frost. Not even close. Sodden thought: The lords of the grape are rousting us in the early hours because they can?”

    I’ll trade your seasonal frost fan inconvenience for my daily 18 hour aural assault from my neighbor’s generator.

    Do they do this because they can or is county code enforcement just lip service?

  7. Marmon April 24, 2021


    President Trump calls on @dougducey to protect AZ patriots during audit:

    “State police or National Guard must be immediately sent out for protection. The Democrats do not want to have this information revealed & they will do anything to stop it. Governor Ducey must finally act!”


    • Harvey Reading April 24, 2021

      So now you’re you’re back to your post-election whine. You make Wyoming seem positively early 20th Century. I’d considered it late 19th until now.

      • Bruce McEwen April 24, 2021

        The Wyoming state slogan used to be a Latin phrase that meant “Let The Civil Authority Rule, Not The Martial” — it has been changed, and I can’t find out how and when the change came about –except that it was recent — the new motto being quite bland…

        There was a problem with Fort Laramie, the military HQ in the West, and Statehood in Wyoming meant, or was supposed to mean, that now the civilians would then be in charge of law and order.

        This, of course, is what all civil law is based on. But once again, the military has infiltrated our civil law
        and commandeered it with military police and this will probably be the end of anything resembling peace.

        Memoirs of our era will undoubtedly begin with the plaintive line, “In those halcyon days of plenty we had no idea what was about to come down…”

        • Harvey Reading April 24, 2021

          The only official motto I’ve heard of is “Equal Rights”. I’ve heard it called the Equality State, too, also in honor of women’s suffrage, in its first constitution after admission to statehood, in 1890. Kinda ironic, since the state is full of far-right conservatives (fascists) who tend to treat women with condescension, or as objects of desire for their pleasure.

          Your version may have gone back to the days when the scum livestock speculator/rancher crowd down in Cheyenne, many of them eurotrash, ran the place, in conjunction with the army, with an iron fist and hired murderers to try to to keep settlers out…not that different from the present, though the cow and sheep farmers keep a lower profile nowadays…well, sort of, anyway.

          Back then the invading rancher crowd and their paid murderers were saved by the army in Johnson County, just before they would have been obliterated by settlers. Actually Cimino’s Heaven’s Gate is not a bad depiction of the battle. Not perfect, but not bad either. It was far better than his imaginary The Deer Hunter which I never did like.

          What memoirs? People, if any survive, will certainly not want to claim us, or use us for anything other than an example of how to screw up, from start to finish. We should, right now, have a perfect idea of what is happening, but again, if there are survivors, the rethug types among them will undoubtedly play act as you describe.

  8. Stephen Rosenthal April 24, 2021

    Re Newsom’s Drought Photo-Op: “ We wonder how bad it will have to get for Newsom and his timid local politician pals to actually institute the various water reduction stages that normally happen in a drought?”

    I’ll tell you exactly when Newsom and his timid locals will act – the day after the recall. I’ve never been impressed or respected Newsom; always thought he was nothing more than an elitist pretty boy spewing empty promises. But he’s a hell of a lot better than Bruce Jenner or whatever it’s calling itself these days.

    • Michael Koepf April 24, 2021

      Transphobic mockery. First, the so-called, enlightened progressives applaud anybody who’s different, but the moment a transgender conservative shows up, the hate comes spewing out.

      • Bruce McEwen April 24, 2021


        Mike… are you seriously considering a sex-change?

        Or are you a log-cabin Republican, legislating against gay rights and practicing hypocrisy secretly –?

        You sound like that fellow in the Kingston Trio song, “It Takes A Worried Man To Sing A Worried Song.”

        Come out of the closet, Mike, nobody will spew on you even half the vile hate, envy, gall you exude in polite conversation on a regular basis — let alone in a fit of partisan spleen!

        • Michael Koepf April 25, 2021

          Dear Little Bruce,
          Once more, another head scratcher. First, I’m gay in defense of gays, then I’, attacked (by you) in an anti-gay bigoted way. Did you wake up late with a hangover, or were drunk all day? Effective communication requires logic, no matter how hard you resist. Sober up solider.

    • Harvey Reading April 24, 2021

      Far better than Pete Wilson, too, or George Deukmejian or Ronald Reagan.

      • Stephen Rosenthal April 24, 2021

        Definitely, but only because he’s relatively harmless. Those you cited were heartless and dangerous.

  9. Marmon April 24, 2021

    Did you see how the “Mo we know” dressed for the photo op? Looked like she was dressed for working her shift as bartender at the Pub. This event could energize her political career. She is pretty hot. Could end up being the next AOC.


  10. Marmon April 24, 2021

    The AVA just ripped me off today of another $25.00, I wonder how may emails they get a week requesting that my comments not be published?


    • Harvey Reading April 25, 2021

      And, my boy, just how did they rip you off? Or was it that your Paypal annual subscription simply came due?

  11. Rye N Flint April 26, 2021

    RE: Woke

    Why try to be “woke”, aka think about how your own actions affect others? When you could just remain a FreeDumb Merican! What do you mean white people stole this land, enslaved an entire group of people from other continents, and created a racist control system to keep it that way? I didn’t personally do that. I refuse to even look at the possibility that I bear any fault, because I know deep down I’m really a good person, despite the fact that I benefit from this system as a White 42 year old male. Yeah, stupid woke libtards don’t even know what they are talking about.

    With deep sarcasm,
    Rye N Flint

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