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HOT AND DRY weather will persist across the interior through the weekend and into next week. Coastal areas will remain seasonably cool, with nightly stratus intrusions, followed by some afternoon clearing. (NWS)
Monthly figures for the 2020-21 "wet" season (Oct-Oct):
Boonville (16.5" total)
Yorkville (21.3" total)
5 NEW COVID CASES reported in Mendocino County yesterday afternoon.
Cases/Deaths per Month:
229 / 9 (Jul)
392 / 8 (Aug)
260 / 2 (Sep)
210 / 2 (Oct)
420 / 2 (Nov)
964 / 4 (Dec)
876 / 11 (Jan)
382 / 5 (Feb)
131 / 3 (Mar)
82 / 2 (Apr)
194 / 1 (May)
164 / 1 (Jun)
ANDERSON VALLEY HIGH SCHOOL GRADS were well represented in a recent Mendocino County Foundation press release about the many scholarships they awarded around the County this year.
“Many of the Community Foundation scholarship awardees are first generation college students,” the presser says. “Those who receive multi-year scholarships also have the opportunity to develop mentoring relationships with our donors and staff. This mentoring can be helpful as students leave their local high schools for bigger cities and school environments. The transition can be challenging and knowing that they have the support of their home community can make all the difference as students encounter the new adventures university life can offer. Please consider joining with the Foundation to make more opportunities for students available. To donate or to learn more about the Community Foundation Scholarship Program, visit our website, www.communityfound.org, or call 468-9882.”
2021 Anderson Valley Scholarship Recipients:
California Retired Teachers Association Division 55 Bessie Scott Scholarship Fund: David Parra
California Retired Teachers Association Division 55 Hilmer Finne Music Scholarship Fund: Shekina McEwen
Walter Camp STEM Scholarship Fund: Ximena Saucedo
Hammond Trust Emergency Services Scholarship Fund: Alec Alarcon; Sam Douglass-Thomas
Chris P. Lo Pinto Memorial Scholarship Fund: Erik Ocampo
Mendocino Agricultural Families’ Scholarship Fund (Winegrowers’ Scholarship Fund): Pedro Talavera; Alexandre Tovar
Jesse Pittman Memorial Scholarship Fund: Sam Douglass-Thomas
The John Haschak Public Service Scholarship Fund (Willits, Laytonville, Round Valley): Shekina McEwen
M. Cecil and Alice M. Gowan Memorial Scholarship Fund: Alec Alarcon
Pearson Family STEM Scholarship Fund: Ximena Saucedo
(Ximena Saucedo, photo not available)
DISCUSSING the PHF and associated plans at the Measure B Committee meeting on June 23, CEO Carmel Angelo went existential, fairly shrieking, “There will never be enough money! Never! Tell me how we’re going to have enough money. There’s no way. By the time we’re done with the Training Center I don’t know how much that’s going to cost. Should we remodel Whitmore Lane for the PHF? Or should we buy a piece of land and build from the ground up? The cost of an acute pyschiatric facility 24/7? There’s not enough money in the world! In the end, three years from now, five years from now, ten years from now — there’s NEVER going to be enough money.”
THEN the CEO contradicted her own top staffer, Mental Health Director Dr. Jenine Miller, who has said all along that the PHF operations would be funded out of existing Medi-Cal and other insurance funding streams because they only accept reimburseable clients. Angelo implored the committee to do everything they can to “mitigate” the impact of the PHF operations on the General Fund. (At present the entire Health and Human Services budget isn't even listed as a General Fund department on the County's latest budget report.)
THE FORT BRAGG ADVOCATE’s Robin Epley summarized some of the homeless-related issues in Fort Bragg last week. Here are a couple of excerpts:
EPLEY: “A recent $17,000 grant offered by the Mendocino County Continuum of Care has made it possible for the city to buy a Greyhound bus ticket for anyone who needs a ride home.”
The Continuum of [purely rhetorical] Care’s slogan is “A Hand Up Not Hand Out.” Might be more accurate if they added “…And Then A Hand Outtahere.”
THE CONTINUUM of Rhetorical Care got almost $1.9 million from the state for homeless services in 2020. $17k is about 0.9% of that.
MS. EPLEY continues: “Sometimes, hotels will put up someone for the night, and an officer will often buy the person a cup of coffee in the morning before they get on the bus. … City Councilman Bernie Norvell said the city buys at least one bus ticket for someone every few weeks, and they have sent people home to as far away as Alaska and the East Coast.”
“One person” — not one in line for a bus ticket — “in particular, has prompted more than 230 calls in a single month.”
That’s an average of almost eight police calls a day. Our booking log postings show that the most frequent Fort Bragg Frequent Flyer these days is the ubiquitous Mr. Sean Flinton.
MS E:“Just last Monday, there were six calls about different transient issues to the police station, making up 90 percent of the station’s work for the day. Naulty said the police department is currently trying to find a budget to hire an in-house mental health professional who can ride along on calls. The ideal solution, he said, would be a mental health response team that could be deployed to assist those in the middle of a crisis.”
THE CITY OF FORT BRAGG should not have to “find a budget” for a mental health professional. One of the three mobile crisis vans funded by Measure B was supposed to be on the Coast. Is it too much to ask for the Sheriff and Dr. Miller to turn one-third of that money and hiring authority over to Chief Naulty? The City of Fort Bragg could probably get someone hired much faster than the Mental Health Department which has taken months to get one person and doesn't even have any more candidates in the pipeline. Perhaps Mark Myrtle, the Fort Bragg rep on the Measure B committee, and a rare voice of sanity among that august crew, could get the ball rolling on this. The Measure B committee certainly doesn’t have anything else to do these days.
RACE WATCH. The national anthem is based on a four-stanza poem written by Francis Scott Key while he was being held offshore by the Brits as they shelled Baltimore in 1812. A scholarly black Olympian (hammer throw) says the whole song is racist although the disputed third stanza is never sung, only the first stanza, and only a few historians had any idea what Ms. Berry was demonstrating against when she covered her head while the anthem was played as she stood on the winner's dais at the Olympic trials in Eugene.
THE THIRD STANZA SAYS: “And where is that band who so vauntingly swore, That the havoc of war and the battle's confusion. A home and a Country should leave us no more? Their blood has wash'd out their foul footstep's pollution. No refuge could save the hireling and slave. From the terror of flight or the gloom of the grave, And the star-spangled banner in triumph doth wave. O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave.”
FOLLOW ME, ava readers, into a close textual analysis of the offense alleged. In the context of both the times and the tune, the ref to the “hireling and the slave” is to the German mercenaries hired by the Brits to assist them in pounding their former colony in what was basically a trade dispute. The ref to the slave is, in my reading, a contemptuous slam at the many slaves who fought with the Brits on the condition they would be freed in return for their service. The American slavemaster class somehow managed to delude themselves, as the self-interested will do, that these slaves were somehow traitors. Without looking it up, when we'd beaten back the English, the black people who'd fought with them wound up exiled to Nova Scotia.
TO BE SENSIBLE about all this retroactive indignation about our, ahem, sanguinary history we can recall that great and probably representative American, Richard Nixon's concession, “Mistakes were made.” What's amazing about America is that it's held together this long, although that tenuous unity seems to be winding down.
ms notes: My favorite book on this subject is British historian Simon Schama’s ‘Rough Crossing: Britain, the Slaves, and the American Revolution.’ In that book Schama — a very good writer as well as a top historian — chronicles the time when African slaves were offered freedom and some land in Nova Scotia if they fought against their American masters. Thousands of former slaves took them up on the deal, survived the Revolutionary War, escaped with the retreating Brits, and ended up in Nova Scotia. But things weren’t much better there. Then the Brits offered to transport which ever of them wanted to go back to Freetown, Sierra Leone. Finally, at least for those who took that “rough crossing” — oh boy, was it — back to Sierra Leone, things were better. The story is amazing and well worth the read.
PD HEADLINE: Now’s the Time for a Great Gilroy Getaway! Why what a coincidence! I was just thinking of a weekend in a place that might even be hotter than Mojave and up pops Gilroy!
CON CREEK is my personal guide to global warming, and probably upstream criminal diversions, but this morning there was no sign of liquid life in Con Creek just north of Boonville's elementary school. Yesterday a trickle, this morning lifeless.
PRESIDENT BIDEN’S cabinet has an average of $7 million in assets. Orange Man's cabinet contained several multi-millionaires, with a combined worth of $6.2 billion.
BIDEN HIMSELF is worth around $8 million, which isn't bad if not downright amazing for a guy who started out with nothing. People have always just liked him I guess, and every time he turned around the credit card companies were stuffing cash into his pockets during his years of "service." Biden's fortunate son, Hunter, may be worth more than his father, not that we're likely to get a look at the family books.
On Monday, June 28, 2021 at around 2:00 PM, a Mendocino County Deputy Sheriff was flagged down by a citizen while actively patrolling the area of South Harbor Drive and Basin Street in Fort Bragg.
The citizen reported that a male subject may be trespassing on a sailing vessel and may have attempted to steal the sailing vessel.
The Deputy located the sailing vessel on “C” Dock on Basin Street and contacted a male subject aboard the vessel. The subject identified himself with a false name and he was later identified as Timothy Tyrell Combs, 39, from Sweet Home, Oregon.
The owner of the sailing vessel was contacted and he responded to the location. The owner advised the Deputy that he did not know Combs and Combs did not have permission to be aboard his vessel.
The Deputy and the owner determined that Combs had used the berthing area of the vessel to sleep and Combs had also consumed food and alcohol from the galley.
Based on the results of the investigation, Combs was arrested for First Degree Burglary - Vessel and False Identification to a Peace Officer.
Combs was booked into the Mendocino County Jail where he was to be held in lieu of $50,000 bail.
VISITING FROM PLACERVILLE....
On Monday June 28, 2021 at 1:06 A.M. Mendocino County Sheriff's Deputies were on routine patrol in the area of West Road in Redwood Valley.
They observed a Pontiac sedan displaying expired registration tabs. The Deputies conducted a traffic stop on the Pontiac and contacted the driver who was the sole occupant of the vehicle. The Deputies identified the driver as being Saundra Vasquez, 37 of Placerville.
A records check revealed there was an active felony warrant (probation violation) for Vasquez's arrest out of El Dorado County.
Vasquez was arrested without incident and booked into the Mendocino County Jail where she was to be held in lieu of $10,000 bail.
BRASS KNUCKS FOR THE FIGHT I NEVER GET IN
On Tuesday, June 29, 2021 at 12:56 A.M. Mendocino County Sheriff's Deputies were on routine patrol in the 7700 block of North State Street in Redwood Valley.
The Deputies observed a red Pontiac with no license plates being operated on the road. The Deputies performed a traffic stop on the Pontiac and contacted the two occupants.
The driver was identified as being Nathan Ruptak, 39, from McKinleyville. The Deputies conducted a records check of the occupants and learned the passenger was on active CDC parole.
The Deputies had Ruptak and the passenger exit the vehicle in order to safely perform a search of the vehicle.
The Deputies located a bag containing suspected morphine pills. The Deputies continued their search and located a pair of metal knuckles inside the vehicle.
Through their investigation, the Deputies developed probable cause to believe the suspected morphine pills and the metal knuckles were unlawfully possessed by Ruptak.
Ruptak was arrested for Felony - Possession of Metal Knuckles Misdemeanor - Possession of Controlled Substance/Narcotic.
Ruptak was booked into the Mendocino County Jail, to be released after the booking process on zero bail pursuant to COVID-19 bail schedule set forth by the State of California Judicial Council.
YOU THINK MENDO HAS POT PROBS?
Sacramento Bee coverage of Siskiyou County pot farm shooting and context leading up to it from last month (May of 2021):
Last summer, Siskiyou county supervisors tried something new: Attacking the growers’ water supply. They passed an ordinance that prohibited local well owners from selling water to marijuana farms. Violators face fines of up to $5,000 a day. Neighbors said it did little to slow the massive lines of water trucks.
“There were 93 water trucks going past my home, in one direction, between 5:30 in the morning and 12 noon,” said Ginger Sammito, who lives near Griset’s [an alfalfa grower who set up an industrial sized water pumping shed to sell water to illegal pot growers via dozens of water truck] property.
Citing California’s drought emergency and after hearing complaints that local residential wells were going dry, the Siskiyou county Board of Supervisors in May took the ban on pot water even further. They prohibited water trucks on certain roads leading to large grow operations, such as County Road A-12outside Sammito’s and Griset’s properties.
Teams of deputies and California Highway Patrol officers now buzz up and down A-12 and other heavily trafficked cannabis roads looking for violators. On A-12, deputies have stopped at least 75 people since the supervisors passed the ordinance on May 4.
So far, deputies impounded at least four vehicles for ordinance violations, and issued 11 citations, though LaRue said some of the citations were for marijuana possession or traffic violations and weren’t related to the ordinance.
Sammito, the neighbor who counted all the water trucks driving past her Big Springs home, said her well’s water line has dropped by several feet, and it’s increasingly filled with sediment.
She said she’s one of the lucky ones.
“There’s 31 wells that went dry, including our fire department’s. We currently have no fire service in this area,” said Sammito, a retired statistician who worked for the U.S. Forest Service.
The Hmong growers and Griset dispute that their operations are having a substantial impact on the region’s groundwater. They argue that pumping water into trucks for cannabis grows represents just a fraction of the amount pumped by hay and alfalfa farmers in the area.
“They honestly believe that three of these drain the aquifer, and their wells went dry,” Griset said, holding up one of the small pipes that connect his hoses to water trucks. “And they even protested against this.”
The county is in the process of tallying its groundwater resources and pumping amounts to comply with state law enacted in the last drought that seeks to regulate groundwater use for the first time. The state considers the Shasta River valley north of Mount Shasta a “medium priority basin” that isn’t critically over-drafted. Big Springs sits on its eastern boundary.
The sheriff estimates that it would take almost 30 acre-feet per day of water to grow what county officials estimate to be the 2 million marijuana plants being tended across Siskiyou County. An acre-foot is enough to flood an acre of land one foot deep with water — or 325,851 gallons.
At the same time, county officials said that at least 388 agricultural production wells pump around 38,000 to 40,000 acre-feet each year for irrigated agriculture from the Shasta groundwater basin alone, with most of that going to alfalfa. The rate of pumping for traditional agriculture has increased by about 40% since the 1990s.
If pot was consuming 30 acre-feet a day over a year, it would be an additional 10,950-acre-foot strain on the county’s groundwater supplies.
But Griset said those numbers are wildly out of line with the reality on the ground. It would take more than 2,100 water trucks to carry that amount each day, since a truck can typically only haul up to 4,500 gallons at time.
Griset estimates that he only pumped about 50 acre-feet into trucks over the course of an entire year — and he said he was by far the biggest supplier of water to the growers in his area, filling as many as 150 trucks in a day. (He declined to say how much the growers are paying him for water.)
But he said he can see why his neighbors blame the trucks for wells drying up instead of the irrigation sprinklers like his that this time of year are blasting water nonstop on the Shasta Valley’s hay and alfalfa fields.
“The line just kept getting longer and longer,” he said. “Pretty soon there’s like 50 trucks lined up to get water. They have to wait three hours to four hours. Local people look and they go, ‘Oh my God, look at all those water trucks and how much water is going out’.”
JIM SHIELDS WRITES:
Regarding: JOHN MCCOWEN’S June29 comment on Pot Referendums:
Supervisor Mulheren has nailed it with this quote: ‘This isn’t a sound bite topic’.
Please get the facts before signing a misleading referendum to force an expensive special election to repeal something that is already going to be repealed.
The Supervisors have been listening and paying attention. The Supervisors have agreed to a limited amount of expansion without the provision for 10% of parcel size (which was itself a limitation with many restrictions – not an entitlement).
Expansion will be capped at a maximum of 2 acres at least until January 1, 2026 and only with approval of a Major Use Permit and numerous restrictions and conditions.
The only people who are not listening are the referendum proponents.
Just to set the record straight, the 10% Expansion Rule is still in effect, nothing has changed. The cultivation caps and implementation dates McCowen referred to is a “direction” the the four Supes approved (Haschak opposed) near the conclusion of the June 22nd meeting. The phased-in caps of 2, 5, and 10 acres over 3-year increments is a Proposed Amendment to the current Phase 3 Ordinance. Planning and Building Staff was “directed” to draft a proposed amendment to the Phase 3 Ordinance which included those items mention in your letter.
Keep in mind that the “direction” first given by the four Supes did not include any reference to the 10% Rule. When Supe Ted Williams realized the 10% Rule was not included, he raised that fact and said it should be included. His colleagues agreed with him and it was added in. One must assume there’s a reason why the 10% language was restored to the “direction.” Staff speculated they thought the proposed amendment could be ready for a meeting in August. Also keep in mind the four Supes’ “directive” did not include a direction to conduct an EIR. But in any event McCowen’s comments deal with a proposed amendment, not an approved action taken by the Board amending the Ordinance.
The BOS is planning to take up that Proposed Amendment for consideration later this summer, perhaps in August, but it has not been approved yet. Who knows it may never come before the BOS for consideration and approval. If you read the Phase 3 Ordinance just approved on June 22, you’ll find that the 10% Expansion Rule is still in effect. Here’s the actual language: “Appendix A, footnote *6 – Parcels in the AG or RL zoning district that have a minimum parcel size of ten (10) acres or larger may cultivate up to 10 percent of the parcel area with the issuance of a Major Use Permit.” That provision is the major reason there are two Referendums being circulated now, and it is certainly still in effect. There’s enough confusion at this point in the process underway. McCowen is confusing a proposal with an approved action or decision made by the BOS.
* * *
The cannabis regulation system was never intended nor designed to admit all of the “small mom-and-pops” of Mendo into the fold. And how could it? The state won’t give a variance to folks who try to farm on hillslopes over 30% and truck in water even in wet years. Mendo County will never be able to herd all the cats. Most of these cats (aka Argentinian carpet baggers) have their “legal” areas in plain sight but got a few hundred stashed in the bushes or in some indoor scene in Point Arena. Same shuffle all over the Emerald Triangle. The dance continues.
If you want to give a break to the real mom-and-pops, then don’t do code enforcement on anyone over 60 who’s been in the business for decades. Give them a tax break. The rest can grow between their tomatoes like their parents used to.
* * *
To Jim Shields: No confusion here. I’m very aware deletion of the 10% of parcel size rule and addition of a 2 acre cap are proposed amendments that have not yet been adopted. But you have confused the 10% of parcel size rule with the much more modest point raised by Supervisor Williams. The change suggested by Williams (and agreed to by the Board) caps cultivation for parcels over 10 acres in size at “10% of parcel size or 2 acres whichever is less.” Which means the owner of a 15 acre parcel could apply to cultivate 1.5 acres. the owner of a 20 acre parcel could apply to cultivate 2 acres, but the owner of a 640 acre parcel would still be capped at 2 acres. And then only with a Major Use Permit and a bunch of other requirements. And while the original 10% of parcel size rule may have been the major reason behind the referendum you support, the other group seeks to repeal Chapter 22.18 in its entirety, which will mean we are stuck with Phase 3 of the current ordinance which does not align with State law, does not protect neighbors and does not result in State Annual Licenses. Many of the growers (legal and illegal) who support repeal of Chapter 22.18 fear the accountability and enforcement that will come with a functional ordinance.
* * *
If the proponents of the proposed cannabis referendums are to be believed, enacting the new ordinance will result in untold environmental devastation. In truth, the dysfunctional system of little to no regulation is the cause of actual environmental damage.
The new ordinance actually provides greater protections to the environment and is a huge step to reducing the environmental impact of cannabis cultivation in our county. The County has spent countless hours hearing from the broad spectrum of stakeholders and has crafted an ordinance that creates a path forward for compliance, while enacting strict environmental protections and water use regulation. In addition, enacting the new ordinance will create a clear distinction between those in compliance and those flaunting oversight, enabling effective enforcement against bad actors.
Should either of the referendums qualify, we’ll be stuck with the current dysfunctional system for months, and should they pass, for years. It is time for us to begin to repair our broken cannabis system and allow the process of thoughtful representative democracy to move ahead.
I urge voters to decline signing either referendum.
Mendocino County 1st District Planning Commissioner
A READER WRITES: I listened to Karen Ottoboni’s KZYX show Wednesday morning with Supervisor Ted Williams. Ottoboni asked Williams about the status of the Water Agency, which was discussed at the Water meeting at the Boonville Firehouse Tuesday morning. After Ottoboni’s confused introduction, Supervisor Williams quipped that the Water Agency “dried up.” I was at that meeting in the firehouse that Williams was referring to and it was Mark Scaramella who rudely interrupted Mr. Metz’s explanation of the water agency with his remark, “It dried up.” I’m no fan of the AVA or Mark Scaramella’s constant complaining, but I think Ottoboni or Williams should have called out Scaramella for his interruption. Then again, it was KZYX and they’re not allowed to mention the AVA on the air, so maybe that’s why.
The full story on Mr. Castleman and Fiddleheads
Quoted statement from the new owners of the "Shell Building" on Lansing St. at Albion St. where F*heads is located:
The landlords, for their part, said they do not have any issues with Castleman's ideology. In an emailed statement to SFGATE they wrote, in part:
”We respect and are accepting of all our Tenants' political and personal beliefs. However, if a Tenant's behavior impacts the business of other Tenants (driving away customers to the building) or creates a potential liability (e.g., large fines the building owner is ultimately responsible for or conflict in the community that could translate into physical altercations), then it becomes a business decision as to whether or not to continue the Tenancy. ... Hours were spent discussing Chris Castleman with members of the Mendocino community and it became clear from the feedback that it was in our best interest for him to leave. Out of respect for Chris, we will not repeat the intense negative feedback we have heard from the community and strong advice that he needed to leave ASAP.
"During our evaluation, Chris Castleman created a false narrative that we ended his month-to-month lease due to a disagreement with his ideology. We received multiple messages — many threatening — from his supporters that expressed dismay we would not renew his lease based on a difference in ideology. This narrative is patently false. This is a business and since we will be losing money with the decision to end his lease, its just indicative of the magnitude to which Mr. Castleman's beliefs have interfered and added risk to the overall business. We have heard from people in the community that continue to steer clear of the building as a result of Mr. Castleman, and some have expressed fear.”
FREE MINDFUL YOGA
Healthcare Worker & Teacher Appreciation, July 11
Delphine Davidson and the Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens appreciate our healthcare workers and teachers and the critical role they play in keeping our community connected and cared for. We would like to honor the extra hard work you have put in over this past year. Please join us for a complimentary session of Mindful Yoga encircled by towering cypress and the melodies of nature... birds, bees, and the mighty ocean to celebrate your hard work and dedication.
Advanced registration is required. Healthcare workers and teachers can reserve tickets online using THIS LINK: https://gardenbythesea.ticketspice.com/essentialyoga to receive free admission to the Gardens and a complimentary yoga class on Sunday, July 11, 2021.
Roxanne Perkins, Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens, <firstname.lastname@example.org>
WATER TALK (Facebook)
Supervisor Williams: Supervisor Glenn McGourty and drought consultant Josh Metz toured the 5th district today to discuss drought mitigation ideas. It’s going to be tough. I’m hopeful the coordination between agencies will assist in short term mitigation and long term planning. They will be in Fort Bragg tomorrow. I've enjoyed seeing the Supervisors cross district lines in tighter collaboration on county concerns.
Comment: As local wells start to go dry can the public access the Cal Fire Woodlands station up Little Lake Road for essential water rations at no or minimal cost from their deep well and storage capacity?
Williams: I’ll relay. We have a long list of ideas from today.
Comment: Thank you. It's going to be a tough year. I think I heard that Ft Bragg has purchased a desalinization system. Not sure other places on the Coast can afford but seems that may be the solution for Gualala, Mendocino Village, etc. I know those take a lot of energy to operate but it may be the only way. these dry conditions may not be going away soon. I'm sure many wells are drying up and there's not many sources to fill tanks.
Comment: Fort Bragg lets a culvert full of good water run into the upper end of the marina. For years they have been told this. The city council only cares about looking good and creating more water users.
Comment: Glenn should be a good resource for this. He was an extension agent and probably know Mendocino ag and water needs better than most.
Williams: Yes, exactly.
Comment: He helped me immeasurably when I first bought our place here. He helped reduce erosion through weirs and helped out with a sick goat (he was formerly the animal expert over at Lake County). However he kind of blew it when I asked if grapes could grow near the coast. He told me: "maybe if I gave each plant a down jacket." I still laugh over that.
Comment: Yeah like 10% grows?
Comment: In India and places where they have water problems in Peru on the coast off all places and in the Atlas Mountains in Marocco they put up dew sails, that’s like a black shading net stretched out, it collects the morning dew then it runs down as water into a tank, they are doing it successfully
Comment: In Saudi Arabia, they have desalination plants as big as Fort Bragg about every 40 miles.
Comment: Yes but think about the carbon footprint it’s like carrying water to the river
Comment: How would I get in touch with Josh?
Williams: Through Glenn.
Comment: I’m not worried about this drought. Please focus on the one 30 years from now.
Comment: Wonderful! Frankie’s is delicious and I’m happy to see supervisors there enjoying a meal + meeting.
Comment: Drink beer not water?
Camille Schraeder: Thank you all for all the information.
Comment: I suggest you begin by reviewing the efforts of the previous drought response committee. It may save you from having to repeat some of the same discussions and actions.
CATCH OF THE DAY, June 30, 2021
AGUSTIN AMADOR, Willits. Metal knuckles, controlled substance.
CHRISTA BRODSKY, Ukiah. Honey oil extraction, possession of assault weapon.
ARTHUR CLEMONS, Fort Bragg. Intimate touching against the will of the victim.
CODY LADD, Ukiah. Parole violation.
MICHAEL LANGLEY, Ukiah. Probation revocation.
WILLIAM VAUGHAN III, Ukiah. Controlled substance, probation revocation.
CONSTRUCTION OF THE OWENS RIVER AQUEDUCT began in 1908, and five years later, on November 5, 1913, the first Owens River water poured into the San Fernando Valley. Mulholland had completed the project on time and within budget - a remarkable accomplishment for any era.
Present for the ceremonies celebrating the event were bands playing bright airs, a soprano whose high notes bounced off the nearby hills, and 30,000 cheering onlookers who wildly applauded as the valves were turned and water cascaded down the spillway. “There it is,” Mulholland proudly proclaimed. “Take it.”
— “The Great Thirst: Californians and Water, A History,” by Norris Hundley, Jr., 2001.
(via Chris Calder)
OUR ENDLESS DINNER WITH ROBIN DiANGELO
by Matt Taibbi
Suburban America's self-proclaimed racial oracle returns with a monumentally oblivious sequel to “White Fragility”
“The ideology of individualism is dependent on a denial of the past as relevant to the present… Individualism denies the significance of race.”
— Robin DiAngelo
“Individualism is for f*gs.”
— Richard Spencer
Nice Racism,the booklike product released this week by the “Vanilla Ice of Antiracism,” Robin DiAngelo, begins with an anecdote from the author’s past. She’s in college, gone out to a dinner party with her partner, where she discovers the other couple is, gasp, black. “I was excited and felt an immediate need to let them know I was not racist,” she explains, adding: “I proceeded to spend the evening telling them how racist my family was. I shared every racist joke, story, and comment I could remember my family ever making…”
Predictably, her behavior makes the couple uncomfortable, but, “I obliviously plowed ahead, ignoring their signals. I was having a great time regaling them with these anecdotes—the proverbial life of the party!” She goes on:
“My progressive credentials were impeccable: I was a minority myself—a woman in a committed relationship with another woman…I knew how to talk about patriarchy and heterosexism. I was a cool white progressive, not an ignorant racist. Of course, what I was actually demonstrating was how completely oblivious I was.”
No kidding. Instead of trying to amp down her racial anxiety out of basic decency, this author fed hers steroids and protein shakes, growing it to brontosaurus size before dressing it in neon diapers and parading it across America for years in a juggernaut of cringe that’s already secured a place as one of the great carnival grifts of all time. Nice Racism, the rare book that’s unreadable and morally disgusting but somehow also important, is the latest stop on the tour.
DiAngelo is a unique writer, being dishonest, dangerous, and moronic in magnificent quantities, probably in that order. If you’re trying, which she clearly isn’t, a good trade rule is, “If you’ve already written a book once, don’t write it again.” Nice Racism is the same book as the 2018 bestseller White Fragility, and by “the same” I don’t mean generally, but word-for-word, line-by-line, chapter-by-chapter the same, a thunderous, admirably brazen exercise in self-plagiarism.
Can you guess which of these passages is from Nice Racism, and which from White Fragility?
a) Individualism… allows white people to exempt ourselves personally from race-based advantage.
b) Individualism… allows us to position ourselves as morally superior to other white people who “don’t get it.”
c) To challenge the ideologies of racism such as individualism and color blindness, we as white people must suspend our perception of ourselves as unique and/or outside race.
d) Exploring our collective racial identity interrupts a key privilege of dominance—the ability to see oneself only as an individual.
e) We need to discuss white people as a group—even if doing so jars us—in order to disrupt our unracialized identities… Talking about race and racism in general terms such as white people is constructive for whites because it interrupts individualism.
The first two are from Nice Racism, the rest from White Fragility. The last three actually comprise a paragraph that moves in full circle: “To challenge individualism, we must suspend individual perceptions by exploring our collective racial identity, which is good because by disrupting individual identities, we challenge individualism.” A rhetorical palindrome! This isn’t writing, but vomiting up mounds of sentences that mean the same thing and mopping them on the page. Because this author only has two or three ideas — I was going to make a list but I think it stops after “denying racism is evidence of racism” — the effect is disorienting across one book, let alone two.
Reading DiAngelo is like being strapped to an ice floe in a vast ocean while someone applies metronome hammer-strikes to the the same spot on your temporal bone over and over. You hear ideas repeated ten, twenty, a hundred times, losing track of which story is which. Are we at the workshop where Eva denies she’s a racist because she grew up in Germany, or the one where Bob and Sue deny they’re racist by claiming they think of themselves as individuals, or the one where the owning-class white woman erupts because no one will validate her claim that she’s not racist, because she’s from Canada?
You read a story in Chapter 1 of Nice Racism about people who approach DiAngelo after anti-racism workshops to say, “I sure wish so-and-so were here—they really need this!” One chapter later, you’re reading, “While we enjoy attending workshops and anti-racism lectures, when it comes time to ask questions, the first will invariably be ‘How do I tell so-and-so about their racism?’” You wonder: Am I high? Didn’t I just read that? And didn’t I read that in the last book also?
You did, because the rule, “If you wrote it, don’t write it again,” has an exception: “Unless it makes money, in which case write it as many times as the market will bear.” Telling affluent white progressives they’re racists and explaining they can buy absolution for $24.95 is fishing for cash with dynamite. DiAngelo is monetizing white guilt on a grand scale, and there’s an extraordinary irony in the fact that she’s got a home-field advantage in this game over someone like, say, Ibram Kendi, because she’s more accessible to people like herself, the same phenomenon she decries.
Normally I’d salute the capitalist ingenuity. Unfortunately, like Donald Trump, DiAngelo is both too dim-witted and too terrific an entrepreneur to stop herself from upselling a truly psychotic movement into existence.
Nice Racism’s central message is that it’s a necessity to stop white people from seeing themselves as distinct people. “Insisting that each white person is different from every other white person,” DiAngelo writes, “enables us to distance ourselves from the actions of other white people.” She doesn’t see, or maybe she does, where this logic leads. If you tell people to abandon their individual identities and think of themselves as a group, they sooner or later will start to behave as a group. Short of something like selling anthrax spores or encouraging people to explore sexual feelings toward nine year-olds, is there a worse idea than suggesting — demanding—that people get in touch with their white identity?
If DiAngelo’s insistence that “I don’t feel guilty about racism,” reveling in scenes of making people experience and re-experience racial discomfort, and weird puffery in introducing herself by saying things like, “I am Robin and I am white” feel familiar, it’s because she’s hitting all the themes favored by Klansmen and identitarian loons of yore. Read a book like David Duke’s My Awakening (if you can stand it, you can find excerpts here) and you’ll encounter the same types of passages present in Nice Racism.
There’s the constant rejoicing in discomfiting people with clarity of racial insight (“Even though she taught biology… she became very uncomfortable equating differences in human races as compared with breeds of horses,” Duke notes), tirades against “We’re all just people” homilies (Duke decries “racial egalitarianism” while DiAngelo goes after individualism and universalism), and endless ruminations on various stereotypes (DiAngelo seems obsessed with black hair, while Duke’s giveaway line is about “prominent secondary sexual characteristics”). DiAngelo even borrows the revolting indentitarian concept of race traitors, including on a checklist of antiracist “skills”:
“I use my position as a white “insider” to share information with BIPOC people.”
Is this because DiAngelo is a demented racist, a Spencer of the suburbs, or because she’s a dunce? It feels like both. Her books are chock full of overt threats, using the language of the inquisitor. When she goes through the list of arguments people make in favor of the idea that they can or should exist beyond race, she concludes ominously, “None of these factors provides immunity.” The idea that “continually” availing oneself of DiAngeloid antiracist training is a requirement to remain above suspicion is an explicit warning. No other strategy is admissible; as she puts it, “Niceness is not antiracism.” Don’t be fooled by her Westminster Kennel Club show-Barbet hair. She writes like a cult leader or an NKVD Commissar, and if mass beheadings are in our future, expect her to hold a clipboard somewhere.
On the other hand, if obliviousness were a boat, this person would be a nuclear aircraft carrier. Head-slapping passages in Nice Racism range from, “82 percent of the activists of color they interviewed identified white racial justice activists as a major source of their burnout,” to deadpan denunciation of “fleeting, hollow, performative” thinking, to my personal favorite, a quote from writer Anika Nailah saying, “Being with white progressives is like being a driving instructor and having someone who does not know how to drive but thinks that they do get in the car with you.” There’s no hint that any of this registers with DiAngelo as ironic. Even her long hypothetical about stepping over an indigenous homeless person with a smile and forgetting about him once surrounded by the “delicious” products in Whole Foods feels more like involuntary confession than argument. She doesn’t know how to stop giving herself away.
Both her books are filled with scenes of people recoiling from her teaching, which despite voluminous passages decrying the lack of “humility” of people who think they have the “answers” on race, she never takes as a hint. Instead, she demands to know, “WHY CAN’T SUE AND BOB HEAR ME?” Dude: they do hear you, they just don’t want to. Because they think you’re insane, and repellent. Have you considered this?
No: DiAngelo’s brand of bourgeois Spencerism is ascendant, tipsy with itself and encouraged now by a Republican backlash. At this point there’s nothing we can do but hang on and wait for the dinner to be over, and God knows how long that will take.
WILLIAM BARR ON ELECTION FRAUD: "IT WAS ALL BULLSHIT"
From Jonathan Karl's article in The Atlantic (‘Inside William Barr’s Breakup With Trump’):
…Barr’s betrayal [of Trump] came on December 1, over lunch in the attorney general’s private dining room with Michael Balsamo, a Justice Department beat reporter at the Associated Press. Also in attendance were the DOJ chief of staff, Will Levi, and spokesperson Kerri Kupec.
Balsamo was not told the reason for the invitation. When Barr dropped his bombshell between bites of salad, he mumbled, and Balsamo wasn’t sure that he had caught what the attorney general had said.
“Just to be crystal clear,” Balsamo asked, “are you saying—”
“Sir, I think you better repeat what you just said,” Kupec interjected.
“To date, we have not seen fraud on a scale that could have effected a different outcome in the election,” Barr repeated. This time Balsamo heard him.
…The story blew a hole in the president’s claims. Nobody seriously questioned Barr’s conservative credentials or whether he had been among Trump’s most loyal cabinet secretaries. His conclusion sent a definitive message that the effort to overturn the election was without merit…
“My attitude was: It was put-up or shut-up time,” Barr told me. “If there was evidence of fraud, I had no motive to suppress it. But my suspicion all the way along was that there was nothing there. It was all bullshit.”
…As proof of fraud, Trump’s allies had pointed to videos showing boxes filled with ballots arriving at the TCF Center, in Detroit, to be counted after the 8 p.m. deadline for votes to be cast.
But Barr quickly found that there was a logical explanation. It had to do with how the 662 precincts in Wayne County, home to Detroit, tabulate their votes. “In every other county, they count the ballots at the precinct, but in Wayne County, they bring them into one central counting place. So the boxes are coming in all night. The fact that boxes are coming in—well, that’s what they do.”
…Barr also looked into allegations that voting machines across the country were rigged to switch Trump votes to Biden votes. He received two briefings from cybersecurity experts at the Department of Homeland Security and the FBI.
“We realized from the beginning it was just bullshit,” Barr told me, noting that even if the machines somehow changed the count, it would show up when they were recounted by hand. “It’s a counting machine, and they save everything that was counted. So you just reconcile the two. There had been no discrepancy reported anywhere, and I’m still not aware of any discrepancy.”
After the lunch with Balsamo, Barr and Levi went to the White House for a previously scheduled meeting with Chief of Staff Mark Meadows…As they were conferring, one of the counsel’s aides knocked on the door and told [White House Counsel Pat] Cipollone that the president wanted to see him and then, pointing to Barr, the aide said, “And he is looking for you.”
Barr, Levi, and Cipollone walked to the president’s personal dining room near the Oval Office. Trump was sitting at the table. Meadows was sitting next to him with his arms crossed; the White House adviser Eric Herschmann stood off to the side.
The details of this meeting were described to me by several people present. One told me that Trump had “the eyes and mannerism of a madman.”
He went off on Barr.
“I think you’ve noticed I haven’t been talking to you much,” Trump said to him. “I’ve been leaving you alone.”
…Trump brought up Barr’s AP interview.
“Did you say that?”
“Yes,” Barr responded.
“How the fuck could you do this to me? Why did you say it?”
“Because it’s true.”
The president, livid, responded by referring to himself in the third person: “You must hate Trump. You must hate Trump.”
…“They saw the boxes going in!” Trump yelled, referring to the stories about boxes of illegal ballots being counted.
“You know, Mr. President, there are 662 precincts in Wayne County,” Barr said. Trump seemed taken aback that he knew the exact number. “It’s the only county with all the boxes going to a central place, and you actually did better there this time around than you did last time. You keep on saying that the Department of Justice is not looking at this stuff, and we are looking at it in a responsible way. But your people keep on shoveling this shit out.”
As Trump ranted about other examples of fraud, Meadows continued to sit silently with his arms crossed, his posture suggesting that he, too, was upset by what Barr had done.
“You know, you only have five weeks, Mr. President, after an election to make legal challenges,” Barr said. “This would have taken a crackerjack team with a really coherent and disciplined strategy. Instead, you have a clown show. No self-respecting lawyer is going anywhere near it. It’s just a joke. That’s why you are where you are.”
…After going through his litany of claims—stolen ballots, fake ballots, dead people voting, rigged voting machines—Trump switched to other grievances, shouting at Barr for failing to prosecute Biden’s son Hunter. “If that had been one of my kids, they would have been all over him!” Trump said.
By the end of the meeting, Trump was doing almost all of the talking. Why hadn’t Barr released John Durham’s report on the origins of the Russia investigation before the election? Why hadn’t he prosecuted former FBI Director James Comey? Trump was banging on the table. He said that Barr had been worthless…
The next morning, Barr received a call from Meadows. “I think there’s a way through this,” Meadows told him. He could prevent Trump from firing him, but he wanted an assurance from Barr that he wouldn’t resign. “Are you willing to stay?” Meadows asked…
Barr almost immediately began to regret his decision to stay. His statement on election fraud did nothing to deter Trump, who was now listening, almost exclusively, to Giuliani and others outside his administration. They were telling him that he was still going to win the election…
"HEROES AND PATRIOTS" RETURNS TO KMUD on Thursday, July 1, at 9 am, Pacific Time, with guest Sascha Meinrath.
Sascha Meinrath is Internet freedom activist. He holds the Palmer Chair in Telecommunications at Penn State University. He is the founder of X-Lab, a future-focused technology policy and innovation think tank, and promotes the "Internet in a Suitcase" "effort to create ad hocmesh wireless technologies.
Meinrath founded the Pen Technology Institute in 2008 and directed the Institute while also serving as Vice President of the New America Foundation.
He is also the co-founder and executive director of the CUWiN Foundation, a non-profit launched in 2000 that aims to develop "decentralized, community-owned networks that foster democratic cultures and local content," and in 2007 founded the Open Source Wireless Coalition, "a global partnership of open source wireless integrators, researchers, implementers and companies dedicated to the development of open source, interoperable, low-cost wireless network technologies.
In 2012 he was elected as an Ashoka Global Fellow for leading support for Internet freedom in the United States and around the globe, as well as named to Newsweek's Digital Power Index Top 100 influencers among other “public servants defining digital regulatory boundaries” for his efforts to develop open-source, low-cost community wireless networks and his role in fighting the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and the Protect IP Act (PIPA) .
In 2013 Time Magazine named Meinrath to the TIME Tech 40: The Most Influential Minds in Tech for his work to protect Internet freedom.
KMUD simulcasts its programming on two full power FM stations: KMUE 88.1 in Eureka and KLAI 90.3 in Laytonville. It also maintains a translator at 99.5 FM in Shelter Cove, California. We also broadcast live to a national audience at https://kmud.org.
Speak with our guest live on-the-air at: KMUD Studio (707) 923-3911
Wherever you live, KMUD is your community radio station. We are a true community of kind, loving, informed, progressive people. Please join us by becoming a member or underwriter.
John Sakowicz at "Heroes and Patriots" at KMUD https://heroespatriots.org
ON LINE COMMENT OF THE DAY
Truth of the matter is that we really don’t know very much about anything. Can’t trust the MSM, can’t trust what websites say. What sources can we trust? So it’s very difficult to come to the truth. All we can do is hope we’ve found answers to the best of our ability.
I’ve come to know about covid through people I’m acquainted with who’ve had the virus. I can tell you it’s not just a bad cold. It is much more severe and longer lasting. This I have seen with my own eyes.
I’m familiar with long-lasting effects of a disease: 50 years ago I came down with mononucleosis. My doctor ran a blood test and confirmed it. For 3 weeks I was so tired I slept about 16-18 hours every day. After that, I wasn’t up to par for a whole year.
I was bummed out because I had planned to go backpacking through Europe for a year. I never did. The year before I camped out across America with 2 women. At that time I didn’t realize that would be my final wild and crazy trip.
Yes, images can be edited to make them look better. Probably that virus photo was. So what? Doesn’t mean the photo didn’t show the virus, it just looked better.
The world is changing. Overcrowding has remade civilization. Such overcrowding breeds diseases. I fully expect newer and more virulent diseases from now on. The so-called elite may be taking advantage of the covid situation, but extreme change will occur with or without them. The slope of the exponential graph of change is now at the point where it is very noticeable.
I focus on living for today because there’s an inevitability to what life will be like in the future, so why worry about something I have no power to affect?
EVERYBODY KNOWS THIS IS NOWHERE
I think I'd like to go
And take it easy
There's a woman that
I'd like to get to know
Everybody seems to wonder
What it's like down here
I gotta get away
from this day-to-day
this is nowhere.
Everybody, everybody knows
Every time I think about
It's cool and breezy
I wish that I could be there
Just passing time.
Everybody seems to wonder
What it's like down here
I gotta get away
from this day-to-day
this is nowhere.
Everybody, everybody knows
— Neil Young
CHRIS HEDGES SPEAKS ON ‘AMERICAN SADISM’
Sadism defines nearly every cultural, social, and political experience in the United States. It is expressed in the unchecked greed of an oligarchic elite that has seen its wealth increase during the pandemic by $1.1 trillion while the country has suffered the sharpest rise in its poverty rate in more than 50 years. It is expressed in the wanton killings by police of unarmed citizens in cities such as Minneapolis. It is expressed in the “enhanced interrogation techniques” used by the CIA at secret black sites, Guantánamo Bay, and our prisons at home. It is expressed in the separation of children from their undocumented parents, where they are held as if they were dogs in a kennel.