Cooling Trend | AVHC Expansion | Water Warning | Pillsbury Elk | Covid Origin | Little River | Vaccine Skepticism | Coast Children | Covelo Shooting | Attention Getting | CDC Inspection | Jackson Coalition | Cannabis Ordinance | Fishing Boat | Body Extricated | Melburne Hall | Ed Notes | Yesterday's Catch | Vile Onslaught | Public Transit | Sixties Book | Grandpa Squirreled | Gun Sales | Hill Folk | Leroy Paige | Cows Home | Pot Water | Superior Jeans | Extreme Drought | Dance Palace | Bless Traitors
A COOLING TREND eases temperatures for the interior regions through the end of the week. Drizzle and patchy fog at the coast are possible this morning with the potential for haze in the afternoon. A slight clearing is possible at the coast. (NWS)
ANDERSON VALLEY HEALTH CENTER BREAKS GROUND ON 5,000 SQUARE FOOT FACILITY EXPANSION
There is exciting news today from Anderson Valley Health Center in Boonville. Cupples Construction has broken ground on a remodel that will nearly double the footprint of the existing health center with a two-story addition. The new expansion will allow for a private separate entrance for behavioral health services and will allow the clinic to increase bilingual mental health, tele-psychiatry, diabetic health coaching and case management. Our teen clinic will have a dedicated entrance allowing for confidential reproductive health visits. Last, we plan to expand complimentary medicine and specialty care and telehealth visits. The expansion project is scheduled to take about 9 months. Stay tuned for updates!
FORT BRAGG: STAGE 2 WATER WARNING MANDATORY RESTRICTIONS IN PLACE
Monday night, the Fort Bragg City Council unanimously passed a Resolution ratifying a Water Warning which implements mandatory Stage 2 water conservation restrictions. The Stage 2 conservation measures target a 10-20% reduction in seasonal water use. The emergency declaration followed a request for voluntary Stage 1 and Stage 2 water conservation measures.
City staff closely monitors the flows in all three of the City’s water sources: Waterfall Gulch, Newman Gulch and the Noyo River. During the winter and spring, pumping of the Noyo River is used only to supplement the Waterfall Gulch and Newman Gulch sources. The two tributary sources generally provide a higher quality of raw water and they gravity-feed to the water treatment plant, whereas water from the City’s Noyo River diversion must be pumped. As summer progresses and the flows in the tributary streams diminish, the Noyo River diversion is used more frequently and in greater quantities. This year the Noyo River flows have hovered at levels equal to or below 1977, which is the worst drought year on record.
Between July 2 and July 7, the Noyo River flows dropped from 2.27 cubic feet per second (cfs) to .41 cfs or by more than 80%, well below the 1977 levels during the same period. The dramatic drop in flows is the result of a seasonal dam put in place by Camp Noyo higher along the Noyo River. City officials have reached out to the Water Quality Board Division of Water Rights, CA Fish and Wildlife, County staff and elected officials to determine if the diversion is legal and supersedes the City’s 1959 3 cfs water right. If flows on the Noyo River are not partially restored, the City will be forced to conserve water for its customers and shut down its out of City sales to the surrounding county.
Stage 2 Water Restrictions include only watering on Tuesdays and Saturdays, no washing of streets, driveways, buildings or other hard surfaces, no free flowing hoses, no wasteful use of water, and water leaks must be repaired within 3 days of notification or discovery. Restaurants shall not serve water except upon request and lodging establishments shall not provide patrons with daily laundered sheets and towels, if their stay is less than three days. For more information on restrictions please check the City’s website: https://city.fortbragg.com/474/Water-Conservation
(Fort Bragg city presser)
IS COVID MANMADE?
by William Miller, MD; Chief of Staff at Adventist Health – Mendocino Coast Hospital
We are into this pandemic by over a year and we have learned an amazing amount about the virus in such a short time. Recall that when AIDS was first described in the early 80’s, it took three years to confirm that it was caused by a virus. The virus that causes COVID, called SARS-CoV-2, was identified in a matter of a couple of months. It took many more years of research to learn how the disease AIDS was caused by HIV. We already have a good understanding of how SARS-CoV-2 causes COVID. Of course, there are still many unanswered questions and much to learn. One unanswered question is exactly where did it come from? Was it engineered in a lab by humans or did it develop naturally? Was this the result of an accidental or intentional release from some viral lab somewhere?
I did biochemical research on the genes involved in brain tumors as my master’s thesis in graduate school before going to medical school. While I am not an expert at biochemical engineering, I do know enough to be able to understand the scientific articles coming out studying the genetics of this virus.
Genetic engineering uses techniques called gene splicing to insert, rearrange, modify, or delete genes from the DNA or RNA of an organism to change its properties. In order to gene splice, the original DNA or RNA strand has to be cut open and the new gene inserted. At each end of the new gene must be a manufactured sequence that sort of acts as “sticky ends” so that the inserted gene will become part of the original DNA or RNA. That “sticky end”, if you will, is very easy to detect and is a clear signature that the DNA or RNA has been altered by humans. SARS-CoV-2 contains no such “sticky ends” that would suggest human manipulation.
Another piece of compelling evidence is how closely related SARS-CoV-2 is to the SARS-CoV-1, the virus responsible for the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) outbreak in 2002 to 2004. SARS and COVID are very similar diseases. The difference between the two viruses is only single nucleotide differences here and there. Nucleotides are the chemical building blocks of DNA and RNA. The order in which they are arranged codes for the genetic information. Human directed genetic engineering changes entire stretches of nucleotides and not single random ones. However, that is how natural mutation works, by random errors in the code when cells or viruses replicate and make new copies of their genes. This is very strong evidence that SARS-CoV-2 naturally evolved from either SARS-CoV-1 or that they both naturally evolved from the same parent virus in the past.
Thus, looking at what we know about SARS-CoV-1 can help us understand the origin of SARS-CoV-2 better. SARS-CoV-1 has been traced to horseshoe bats in a cave in China, that is about 1,000 miles southwest of Wuhan. It has been shown that the virus “jumped species” from the horseshoe bat to the Asian civet, a small mammal eaten as a delicacy in the region, and then jumped species to humans.
Species jumping is common, especially among coronaviruses and bats are a particularly significant source of new coronaviruses. It seems very likely that SARS-CoV-2 developed naturally along with its sister virus, SARS-CoV-1. That this occurred in the same region of China and that there was a similar intermediate species, perhaps the civet again, to humans.
So, it seems very unlikely that SARS-CoV-2 is human made. The far more likely explanation is that it naturally evolved.
However, the question remains, could it have been a leak from one of the two viral labs in Wuhan studying coronaviruses? First, it is not a coincidence that these labs were studying coronaviruses from bats. Viral labs are usually located in the area where such viruses exist. For example, a virology lab studying Ebola would be located in the region where Ebola is common. If Ebola then mutated into a new strain in that same region, would that be because that is where Ebola is already or because the lab is there? In other words, the presence of two virology labs studying bat related coronaviruses in the part of the world where most of the bat related coronaviruses are is not evidence that this was a lab leak. You would expect these labs to be there. So, the labs location in proximity to the outbreak is not evidence by itself one way or the other.
In next week’s Miller Report, we will look at virology labs and some of the evidence for and against this having been an accidental release from a viral experiment in one of those two labs in Wuhan.
You can access previous Miller Reports by visiting www.WMillerMD.com.
(The views shared in this weekly column are those of the author, Dr. William Miller, and do not necessarily represent those of the publisher or of Adventist Health.)
COVID VACCINES & FERTILITY
You may have heard Jonathan Swift’s famous quote: A lie can be half-way around the world while the truth is still lacing up its boots. Well, that is the story of how people began believing the lie that the mRNA COVID vaccines (Pfizer and Moderna) affect fertility.
In early December 2020, when the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine was under review in Europe, two vaccine skeptics claimed the vaccine would damage the placenta and potentially cause infertility. The skeptics, a German doctor named Wolfgang Wodarg and a former Pfizer employee, asked the European Union’s counterpart to the Food and Drug Administration to delay the vaccine’s approval. Their claim was based on this: there is a part of the human placenta called syncytin-1, which contains some amino acids (the building blocks of proteins) similar to those found on the spike protein of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. The Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine works by targeting the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein. The skeptics argued that the vaccine would not only attack the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein, but also other human proteins, including those that make up the placenta.
Sounds plausible, right? But it is not. It is pseudo-science, unsupported speculation wrapped in scientific language. However, that didn’t stop this false claim from jumping onto social media where anti-vaxxers took it up and spread it around the world.
The fact is, when you compare any two protein sequences of sufficient length, there is a good chance you’ll find matching strings of amino acids. This doesn’t cause the COVID vaccines to go after the wrong target. The immunologist Andrew Croxford compared the 1,273-amino-acid sequence in the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein to the three most common proteins in the human body: actin, hemoglobin, and collagen. He said, “If these vaccines were to induce autoimmune responses against actin, hemoglobin, and collagen, it would have been seen in the [clinical] trials, and trust me, fertility would be the least of our problems.”
The vaccines do not attack the placenta or other important proteins. This was clear from the clinical trials and it has proven true after millions of doses of the vaccines have been administered to women of child-bearing age.
COVID-vaccinated women have had no more pregnancy problems than non-vaccinated women. Pregnant women were excluded from vaccine trials for safety reasons, but during the Pfizer trial, which included more than 37,000 people, 23 women conceived, 12 of whom received the vaccine and 11 in the placebo group. None miscarried or reported other complications.
To make sure these small numbers were reflected in the larger population, researchers have followed data from V-safe, a smartphone-based tool that checks in with people after they receive the COVID-19 vaccination. Through the V-safe app, users can quickly report any vaccine side effects to the CDC. More than 35,000 people who received the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine identified as pregnant, and they reported the same side effects that non-pregnant women experienced.
To double-check on this reassuring data, the V-safe registry studied almost 4,000 women who had received vaccines at different times, both before and during pregnancy. These women had the usual range of outcomes found in any group of pregnant women. There was no increase in bad outcomes.
Sadly, unvaccinated women who get pregnant and contract COVID do have some bad outcomes. They have an increased risk of severe illness, ICU admissions, mechanical ventilation, and death.
Stick with the science: get vaccinated.
On Wednesday, July 7, 2021 at about 7:30 PM, Mendocino County Sheriff's Deputies and medical personnel were contacted and advised of a reported gun shot victim being transported to the Black Butte Store from Mendocino Pass Road in Covelo.
Prior to Deputies arrival, the victim was transported via air ambulance to an out of county hospital for treatment.
The Mendocino County Sheriff's Office Investigations Bureau was contacted and a Detective responded and met with the reporting party/witness.
The investigation revealed the witness and victim were involved with an illegal marijuana cultivation operation in the 49000 block of Timberridge Trail in Covelo.
The property is in a remote area of Mendocino County along the M1 road system adjacent to the Mendocino National Forest.
Sometime on July 7, 2021 in the late afternoon, the victim and witness were returning to the property where marijuana was being cultivated. Upon arrival, the suspect, another cultivator at the property, discharged a small caliber pistol at both parties striking the victim once.
At this time, the motive for the shooting is unknown.
Following the shooting, both victim and witness left in a vehicle and contacted medical personnel where they eventually met at the Black Butte Store.
At this time, the suspect is not officially identified and only a minimal description has been provided.
The suspect was identified as a Hispanic adult male, between 35 to 45 years-old, about 5 feet 5 inches tall, weighing 165 pounds, with brown hair and brown eyes.
On Friday, July 9, 2021, Mendocino County Sheriff's Office Detectives and Patrol personnel, assisted by the County of Mendocino Marijuana Enforcement Team and Mendocino County Major Crimes Task Force, served a search warrant on the remote property to attempt to locate evidence related to this investigation.
The suspected crime scene where the shooting occurred was discovered along with over 2,900 marijuana plants in multiple stages of growth. The marijuana was being cultivated in multiple non-permitted green houses and structures on the property.
At this time, Mendocino County Sheriff's Office Detectives are attempting to confirm identification of the suspect in this investigation and no further information is available for release at this time.
Anyone with information related to this investigation is asked to contact the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office Tip-Line at (707) 234-2100, the WeTip anonymous crime reporting hotline at (800) 782-7463 or the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office Non-Emergency Dispatch Line at (707) 463-4086.
To the Editor:
Once again the Community Development Commission of Mendocino County shows it’s dislike and disdain for landlords, this time by informing me they will do their yearly inspection at my rental on August 4th, any time between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m.
People pulling oxygen tanks can arrive for their appointment at my Oncologist’s office and be pretty sure their ride won’t wait long before they are rolling the tanks back out the door, up and over the door’s metal threshold, but the CDC needs a window of 8 hours to come in and count the smoke-detectors in a one-bedroom apartment.
I suppose I could start sitting in a lawn chair outside my tenant’s at 8 am, and plan on being there till 4. It isn’t like it will be hot in August.
Once again, I find myself and remind myself that I will NEVER rent to another CDC client, and not because of the CDC clients; because of the CDC.
COLLABORATIVE FUTURE MAKING: The Movement to Save Jackson Demonstration State Forest
By EcoNews Guest Author - Michelle McMillan, Mama Tree Network - June 28, 2021
"The future can be daunting – especially when you’re young, and staring down the barrel of climate instability. A tree sit is simple. It takes a nebulous conversation and distills it to the most minute point: Do not cut this tree. On April 9th, an 18 year old Mendocino High School senior going by the name of “Greasy Pete” climbed onto a plywood platform some 60 feet up a redwood named Mama Tree. By inhabiting this space on the western edge of Jackson Demonstration State Forest (JDSF), he gave the broader public a focal point around which to rally.
Mama Tree is an approximately 200 year old redwood, growing in the Caspar 500 Timber Harvest Plan (THP), a 500 acre portion of the 5 square miles currently approved for cut in JDSF. Comprised of nearly 50,000 acres, Jackson touches many communities and is a significant tourism draw for the county. The tree sit marked a shift in the movement to protect the forest, but it certainly wasn’t the beginning."
The Cannabis Referenda and Where Do We Go Next.
The new Cannabis Ordinance 22.18 isn’t finished and it certainly needs some work, but please understand why it is critical that it does not get overturned or delayed by the referenda. If either of the referenda are successful in gathering the necessary signatures by 7/22, we almost certainly will be stuck where we are now until at least June of next year when the item can be voted on in conjunction with an already-scheduled county wide election. There are many Phase I (10A.17 Ordinance) operators who will be placed in limbo because to get to a state license they need the permit modifications that can only be offered to them through the new ordinance. If we want to support our small legacy cultivators to get state licenses, the new ordinance (22.18) is the path.
I completely understand everyone’s frustration with Mendocino County’s Cannabis Program. First of all, I don’t think of our new 22.18 Cannabis Ordinance as the “Expansion Ordinance”. I call it the “Reset Ordinance”. Expansion has already happened, and unfortunately, most of it is unpermitted and illegal. The new 22.18 Cannabis Ordinance, when implemented, will require that the legal Mendocino County Cannabis Industry to be among the most environmentally regulated agricultural crop production systems in the USA.
If you support the referendum to overturn the new 22.18 Cannabis Ordinance, it will be a major setback for years in creating an orderly legally permitted industry in our county. A new ordinance will have to be written. In the meantime, we will be left with the existing Cannabis Ordinance 10A.17 which has many short comings. Here are just some of the consequences of abandoning the new 22.18 ordinance:
If you like water trucks bringing water to cannabis grows, support the referendum. By contrast, the new ordinance prohibits them.
If you like noisy internal combustion powered generators and pumps, support the referendum. By contrast, the new ordinance prohibits them.
If you like cannabis grows appearing in your neighborhood without you knowing about it or having the opportunity to express your concerns, support the referendum. By contrast, the new ordinance requires public notification as part of the permitting process.
If you like cannabis grows that pave over prime agricultural soils with road base, destroying them forever, support the referendum. By contrast, the new ordinance prohibits that practice.
If you like grow lights causing light pollution into our dark starry nights, support the referendum. By contrast, under the new ordinance mixed light facilities will be limited mostly to industrial areas which already have night lighting and the structures will have to be covered at night with black out shades.
If you like having no control of cannabis facility traffic on your private roads, support the referendum. By contrast, the new ordinance allows road associations to negotiate permissible traffic and increase maintenance fees to cover increased wear and tear to roads as a permit condition.
If you like new wells drilled next to your property for a cannabis grow with no notification or control, support the referendum. By contrast, the new ordinance requires a hydrologic study on the impact to neighboring wells as a condition of the permit.
If you don’t expect cannabis facilities to mitigate their impact on the immediate environment, support the referendum. By contrast, the new ordinance is much more focused on protecting the environment. It is CEQA compliant and also a discretionary permit. It allows and requires mitigation of environmental impacts. The present ordinance (10A.17) doesn’t have that feature since it is a ministerial permit, requiring only a check list. Environmental mitigation conditions can’t be used to meet regulatory requirements and for some applicants, it makes permitting impossible.
In short, the new Cannabis Ordinance 22.18 protects neighborhoods, protects the environment and creates a regulated responsive cannabis industry for Mendocino County.
As I stated before, we are not finished with the new 20.18 ordinance. I am 100% committed to the following amendments and actions:
• Have the county conduct a full programmatic EIR covering all cannabis cultivation in the county and use the information it provides to condition all cannabis permits (if needed) in the program going forward (This should have happened long ago.)
• Initiate hydrological studies of upland areas in watersheds with cannabis cultivation to assess their cumulative impact on these areas
• Initiate groundwater basin studies particularly in Little Lake Valley, Round Valley and Long Valley
• Limit maximum cannabis cultivation areas on a schedule as follows:
o Beginning 1/1/23: 2 acres or 10% of parcel (whichever is less)
o Beginning 1/1/26: 5 acres or 10% of parcel (whichever is less)
o Beginning 1/1/29: 10 acres or 10% of parcel (whichever is less)
o Include an annual public hearing with the Board of Supervisors so that the community can give feed back on how the program is fairing
• Prohibit “permit stacking” so that no permittee can have actual cumulative cultivation area larger than the maximum cultivation areas listed in the timeline above.
• Prohibit hoop houses with the exception of industrially zoned areas
• Prohibit issuing of a permit to anyone who has "jumped the gun" by clearing land, erecting structures and/or cultivating prior to permit
• Require fencing have 50 foot setbacks from roads and neighbors’ property lines that do not obscure existing neighbors' views. No plastic-covered fences.
• Require an annual on-site inspection to be sure that facilities have not been illegally expanded
We have already directed staff to implement an Active Enforcement and approved the budget for it. Our program is being modeled after Humboldt County, which uses satellite imagery to identify illegal grows and places substantial monetary liens on properties that are not compliant until the problem is corrected or abated. We should see that program begin producing results by the end of this growing season. The worst is almost behind us. Please don't give up hope and please don't sign the referenda which will inadvertently do more harm than good.
Thank you, I love this place as much as you. It has been my home for over 30 years and I am now introducing my grandchildren to this lovely land. I am fully committed to correcting the many problems associated with illegal cannabis cultivation. I hope you will work with me and please, don’t sign the referenda petition.
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You prefer the current system where a new grow goes in next door with no notice to the neighbors, no Public Hearing, no right of appeal or right to challenge the outcome in court? The new ordinance has many protections for the neighbors and the environment that do not currently exist while also providing a functional process for permit applicants.
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One of the main problems is the public does not trust the planning and building staff, the planning commission, the Board of Supervisors, or Code Enforcement to protect our water, watersheds, rangelands, or vistas from plastic hoop houses. Their record is not good. Look at the big money along with cartels flowing in that are changing our way of life in Mendocino County. Put both referenda on the ballot and see what happens. The new permitting system requires neighbors to be constantly vigilant and aggressive in seeing growers do not get through the permit process. Neighbor against neighbor just like we have now with code enforcement. We can do better.
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I walked out of Raley’s earlier today where a lady from Glenn’s District was signing the referendum and stated she was signing for the same reason you mention plus, Glenn stated many times during election campaign “No Cannibus expansion”. The voters are tired of being lied to.
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To all of you swallowing Glenn's promises: He had the opportunity to vote for an EIR, plus all the other changes he is AGAIN PROPOSING before the State deadline requiring an EIR expired on June 30, 2021. He did not do that, but went along with Gjerde, Williams, and Mulheren to again create another unenforceable ordinance. How many times has Phase III been amended. Not good. Kate Magruder, this referendum only puts the matter on the ballot for the public to vote on. You did nothing wrong; you didn't vote for anything.
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If you're happy with current conditions support the referendums. If you would like to see increased neighborhood and environmental protections and a fully functional permit system with oversight and enforcement support the new ordinance and do not sign the referendums.
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We have similar problems here in Lake County, regarding trust in elected and appointed officials. Limited water supplies have been sold many times over to permitted operations, once the groundwater basin is compromised (or lost) there is no way to recover it -- and we long ago watched the perversion of CEQA rules under local management systems (Article 64 of our Zoning Ordinance). This is just one issue where Mendocino and Lake County governments are similarly impaired … in spite of earnest citizen participation and community involvement.
DECEASED LAYTONVILLE MAN EXTRICATED FROM RAVINE BY LAW ENFORCEMENT YESTERDAY EVENING
Yesterday evening at approximately 6:00 p.m., scanner traffic indicated that Laytonville Fire Department was dispatched to a rural road west of their town to assist the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office in the extrication of a body from the bottom of a ravine.
FAKE NEWS from the Daily Mail: “Democratic socialist voices including Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York remain silent on the issue of Cuba as protests take place in Miami and the island.”
IN FACT, Bernie correctly pointed out that the increased economic squeeze put on Cuba by the Trump Gang has led to widespread hardship on the island. Obama had opened normal relations to the benefit of both the US and Cuba only to have the ersatz tough guys roll back Obama's long overdue normalization of relations.
CREDIT the rightwing Daily Mail with at least making the socialist distinction between democratic socialism and the Leninist socialism of Cuba which, by the way, from all accounts, still enjoys mass support, especially among older Cubans who remember when their impoverished country was run by American criminals as a combination brothel and gambling center.
THE DISGRACEFUL deluge of racist abuse heaped on England's black soccer stars after England's loss to Italy is further evidence that the best way to stop this kind of psychotic cyber-behavior could be hugely reduced if people had to register under their true names and addresses when they went on-line.
LOCAL NEWS. I wonder if the staff at the AV Health Center know that the contractor, Rick Cupples, who will be building their additional space is a graduate of Anderson Valley High School, and a heckuva basketball player back in the day when Boonville — led by Cupples, Charlie Hiatt, Leroy Perry, Gene Waggoner, and a Summit or two, regularly beat all comers, large schools like Cardinal Newman included.
YOU QUALIFY as an old timer if you remember when Mel ‘Boom-Boom’ Baker was superintendent of the Boonville schools, having succeeded the late Bob Mathias. I was thinking of Boom-Boom this afternoon when Louise Simson, the freshly hired leader of the local schools stopped in for a visit. I got a good hit off her, as the hippies used to summarize first impressions, as being a good fit for the Anderson Valley. She's smart and energetic and enthusiastic about the staff she's inherited which, we agree, is a solid one, not that we pay much attention these days to the local institutions where (irony alert) our nation's future is being academically prepared for the chaos they'll be making their way in. I predict Ms. Simson will do just fine as in-person classes resume in September.
OVER the past fifty years, beginning with Baker, how the heck many superintendents have passed through the Anderson Valley? Lots, a couple of them certifiable, all of them in times past good copy, as we say in what's left of the newspaper business. Baker was certainly memorable. I first encountered him behind the high school gym where I found him ineffectively chucking rocks at the swallow nests under the eaves. Togged out in khakis and a black bow tie I thought the guy was a wacky custodian, not the boss. Baker was a blustery guy who'd retired after years in the military. He still tended to bark when he talked like he was addressing troop formations. A photo of him shaking hands with Eisenhower was the feature exhibit on his office wall. We immediately clashed on the hair issue, length of. Baker, eyeing me suspiciously as probably an incognito hippie that the dominant personalities in the Valley at the time seemed to fear, told me, “We keep it short around here.” Thereupon commenced the first of several arguments, with me pointing out that hair had already been decided by the Supreme Court in favor of, well, hair. And there were several raucous school board meetings where every time I confidently piped up to offer riffs on the latest in pedagogy, there came a chorus of mutters from behind, “Who asked you? Shaddup. Siddown.” And one night I wound up in a fist fight with a guy I'd never seen before who clipped me on the jaw as I left the meeting. Superintendent Baker, like the 'necks comprising the school board at the time, was all bark and no bite, and we soon worked out a peaceful relationship that satisfied both of us.
BAD NEWS for the pot brigades. Emergency Room doctors have seen a surge in young marijuana users having psychotic episodes and vomiting uncontrollably, due to the extremely high levels of THC in the love drug. The medicos call it “scromiting,” a combination of vomiting and screaming. “Stand back everyone. I'm gonna scromit!” The ER at Parkview Medical Center in Pueblo, Colorado has recently reported five “scromiting” cases, but by 2018 — six years after marijuana was legalized in the state — the ER saw 120 cases, an increase of 230 percent in just nine years.
CATCH OF THE DAY, July 13, 2021
JAMES BELDEN III, Ukiah. Domestic abuse, probation revocation.
CURTIS BETTEGA, Covelo. Taking vehicle without owner’s consent, stolen property, metal knuckles, forge/alter vehicle registration, loaded firearm in public, paraphernalia, evasion by reckless driving.
ALEXANDER COAN, Caspar. Unlawful possession or use of tear gas, protective order violation, probation revocation.
DAVIN FORNEY, Clearlake Oaks/Ukiah. Probation revocation.
CODY LADD, Ukiah. Under influence, controlled substance, parole violation.
DENA MORRIS, Ukiah. Parole violation. (Frequent flyer.)
DANNA RENFORT, Willits. Failure to appear, probation revocation.
ROLANDO RUIZ, Ukiah. Controlled substance, paraphernalia, failure to appear, probation revocation.
AARON SIMPSON, Ukiah. Controlled substance, stolen property.
TASHINA TILLMAN, Willits. Disorderly conduct-alcohol. (Frequent Flyer)
BUKAYO SAKA IS A 19-YEAR-OLD ENGLAND FOOTBALL STAR. At the very end of an enthralling final, it fell to him to take the sudden death penalty kick which would decide England's fate. If he missed, we'd lose. And as Saka walked forward to take it, the hopes and prayers of the whole country rested on his young shoulders, an unimaginable pressure for any sportsman. But he did it. He stepped up, showing enormous personal courage given he'd never taken a penalty in a major game before, he kicked the ball, and it was saved by Italy's vastly more experienced goalkeeper. So, England lost. I was standing 40 yards away in the stands, close enough to see the agony etched on Saka's broken tearful face. I couldn't think of anything in that horrible moment that could possibly make him feel worse. I was wrong. It was about to get a lot worse. Within seconds of Saka missing, and England's dream dying, racists hit the social media airwaves to unleash a vile onslaught of disgusting bigoted filth at him.
— Piers Morgan
WHO MADE THE 60s? The People or the Celebs?
by Jonah Raskin
Who built the seven gates of Thebes?
The books are filled with names of kings.
Was it the kings who hauled the craggy blocks of stone?
And Babylon, so many times destroyed.
Who built the city up each time? In which of Lima’s houses,
That city glittering with gold, lived those who built it?– Bertolt Brecht, from “A Worker Reads History”
Bertolt Brecht’s most widely read poem in the 1960s was “A Worker Reads History.” Though Brecht wrote it in German in 1936, and though a great many Sixties folk were not enthusiastic about the working classes, the poem struck a nerve with a generation eager to make history of their own. Decades later, one might ask how much or how little history did the self-styled revolutionaries actually make? They were certainly blamed for many of the ills of society. Near the end of his days as a cultural revolutionary, Abbie Hoffman explained, facetiously, that he was responsible for crime in the streets, kids acting out, drug addiction and the absence of standards to judge works of literature, film and music. Hoffman was reacting to the assaults on the Sixties and the smears on his own personality.
Even before the decade of the 1960s ended, critics of the counterculture and the anti-war movement lambasted radicals, feminists and left wing ideologists for creating anarchy and fomenting chaos.
Over the past five decades, the culture wars—with defenders of the Sixties on one side and detractors on the other—have not abated. “The Sixties” are still scapegoated; the generation that embraced sex, drugs, rock ‘n’roll and rebellion are still held responsible for the decline of the American empire. That’s giving them far more credit than they deserve.
A work of art on exhibit at the Morgan in New York seems to exemplify this state of affairs.
Titled “Hellish Sixties,” it depicts a figure with obscured eyes and the phrase “you are very sleepy,” which suggests a kind of mass hypnosis. The work includes a transcribed letter to the editor of Vogue magazine which explains, “The sixties were not glamorous or innocent as your October issue would have us believe…It was pure hell.”
Hell for some, heaven for others, or hell/heaven for folks like me who felt ambivalent at the time, though less so now. It’s easier to accept the era in hindsight than it was to live through the war, the arrests, jail and confrontations in the streets.
For the most part, By the Light of Burning Dreams (Harper) honors “the triumphs of the Sixties,” though it does not neglect “the tragedies.” The book, which is by David Talbot and Margaret Talbot (a brother and sister team)—with help from Arthur Allen, Margaret’s husband, as well as Camille Peri, David’s wife—is divided into eight chapters, plus an introduction.
I might call By the Light, a work of history as biography and an exploration of the role of celebrities in the making of the era.
The Talbots, who are widely published and widely acclaimed, focus on Sixties figures, such as Tom Hayden and Jane Fonda and John Lennon and Yoko Ono, who made a mark on history.
The Talbots also chronicle the rise and fall of prominent Sixties organizations and groups such as The Black Panthers, the United Farm Workers and the American Indian Movement, though their emphasis is on individuals, not on mass organizations.
By the Light is a pleasure to read. It’s well-researched, consciously crafted and thoughtfully arranged. Much of the material will be eye-opening to Americans who didn’t come of age until the Obama years.
Veterans of the Sixties will probably recognize most of the people and groups that are profiled in these pages, but they will likely be surprised even if they protested in the streets of Chicago in the summer of 1968, gathered at Woodstock the following year and watched the Watergate hearings on TV in 1973. By the Light offers surprises
Heather Booth isn’t an unknown feminist, but the Talbots aim to shine a spotlight on her. Indeed, they give her more attention than she has so far received in the annals of the era, including Todd Gitlin’s classic, The Sixties: Years of Hope, Days of Rage, which covers the history in great detail and that also has political axes to grind. Gitlin argues that the Sixties ended in December 1969. He neglects the large anti-war demonstrations that took place in the early 1970s, and the spread of feminism and the counterculture.
The Talbots are mostly not interested in settling scores, though they make judgments about the efficacy of political gestures like the Panther romance with guns and Cesar Chavez’s drift away from field workers into his own head.
Like Heather Booth, Craig Rodwell, another figure in these pages, isn’t widely known outside the gay liberation movement, though he played a big part in persuading closeted men and women to come out and to demonstrate in the streets. The Talbots accord Rodwell the recognition he deserves.
The authors aim to balance the role of crowds with the role of leaders like Hayden, Bobby Seale, Cesar Chavez and Dennis Banks. But they tend to come down on the side of leaders, or “celebrities” as they call them.
By my count that word celebrities appears more than a dozen times in these pages. Barbara Walters is defined as a “celebrity hound” and New York is described as the “capital of celebrity culture.”
I lived in New York from 1967 to 1974, a time when so-called celebrities were accessible. I did not have to go out of my way to meet Jerry Rubin, Bill Kunstler, Marge Piercy, Bernardine Dohrn and Susan Sontag who mixed with crowds in the streets, at meetings and in courtrooms.
It may be helpful to say that while men like Hayden and Seale were famous in the movements they helped to jump start and fuel, they were largely unknown to Americans who got their news from Walter Cronkite and Barbara Walters. Some leaders had ten minutes of fame before they passed into the pages of obscurity.
Aaron Sorkin’s greatly flawed feature, The Trial of the Chicago Seven, has done more to alert twenty-something year olds about the defendants in Judge Julius Hoffman’s courtroom than any other recent movie or book. And that’s a good thing.
By the Light of Burning Dreams comes along at precisely the right time to deepen and widen the view of the Sixties that’s held by those who have come of age with the Black Lives Matter movement and #Me Too.
This book is written with the events of the last few years in mind, though thankfully it doesn’t try to draw direct lines between then and now. The authors respect the intelligence of their readers.
About two thirds of the way through their book, the Talbots write that “any uprising” is “a call and response between the crowd and individual actors in it.” Indeed, sometimes the crowd anticipates the headliner, and, as sly Sly Stone sang, “Everybody is a star,” “everybody wants to shine.” That was another way of saying what Brecht said in “A Worker Reads History.”
Fom my point of view, the Talbots exaggerate the role of celebrities and don’t give nearly enough credit to the many many people (the crowds) who belonged to SDS, the Panthers, the Yippies, the White Panthers, The Gay Liberation Front, the United Farm Workers, and the women’s movement.
The authors clearly made a conscious decision to emphasize the stars of the Sixties show.
Near the start of By the Light, the authors offer a quotation from Berkeley activist and lawyer Anne Weills who observes that while Tom Hayden “believed that individual agents make history,” she and the women in the Red Family emphasized “collective leadership,”and that “the masses make history.”
By focusing on celebrities, the Talbots add something new and different to our understanding of the Sixties. They also recognize the pitfalls of stardom and know that a celebrity can unfortunately create a cult of his or her own personality and undo some of the work they had done.
By the Light swings the pendulum too far toward what the Talbots call “the politics of stardom” and “celebrity activism.”
Sometimes they also exaggerate for effect. They call the events at Wounded Knee in the early 1970s, “the most courageous and sustained Native American uprising in the twentieth century.” Maybe. What about the occupation of Alcatraz which preceded Wounded Knee?
Why does there have to be a “most”? And why do the authors have to say that Tom and Jane were “one of the most formidable couples in American politics”? Eldridge and Kathleen Cleaver were also a formidable couple and so were Abbie and Jerry.
Couples come in many shapes and sizes. They come from every corner of the North American continent and from every social class and ethnic group. Some are white collar, others blue collar.
I have one story I have to tell. At an Italian restaurant with my pal Tom Hayden, the owner who was Jewish and gay, looked at him and asked, “Where do I know you from?” Tom gazed at the man and said, “I’m Dustin Hoffman.” The owner shook his head. “No you’re not,” Tom replied, “I’m Tom Hayden.”
The owner said, “You’re the guy who was married to Jane Fonda.”
Perhaps that’s how history will remember him, not as the author of the Port Huron Statement and not as a California politico, but as Mr. Jane Fonda. Hollywood fame surpasses movement fame.
By the Light of Burning Dreams accords Hayden the attention he deserves. It honors many largely unsung and unheralded individuals, including Stew Albert, Judy Gumbo. Bill Zimmerman, Dolores Huerta, Madonna Thunder Hawk, Kiyoshi Kuromiya and Shinya Ono, who became a friend and a comrade.
Open the pages of this elegantly written and provocative book and meet the usual and unusual suspects in all their glory and with all their charisma. And don’t forget, “Power to the People!” Power to the celebrities just doesn’t have the same appeal.
(Jonah Raskin is the author of For The Hell of It: The Life and Times of Abbie Hoffman and American Scream: Allen Ginsberg’s ‘Howl’ and the Making of the Beat Generation.)
ON LINE COMMENT OF THE DAY
“Gun sales are booming” Get it! BOOMING. HAHA. Smith & Wesson just had a billion dollar sales year. They’re a couple towns over. I heard my first ever ad on the local radio for a gun company. It was from S&W. Buy American! They’re running 24/7 over there and still can’t keep up with demand.
THE FOLKS WHO LIVE ON THE HILL
Someday we'll build a home on a hilltop high
You and I
Shiny and new a cottage that two can fill
And we'll be pleased to be called
"The folks who live on the hill"
Someday we may be adding a wing or two
A thing or two
We will make changes as any fam'ly will
But we will always be called
"The folks who live on the hill"
Our veranda will command a view of meadows green
The sort of view that seems to want to be seen
And when the kids grow up and leave us
We'll sit and look at the same old view
Just we two
Darby and Joan who used to be Jack and Jill
The folks who like to be called
What they have always been called
"The folks who live on the hill"
— Oscar Greeley Clendenning Hammerstein II
LEROY "SATCHEL" PAIGE was born on July 7, 1906. "The best and fastest pitcher I've ever faced”, according to Joe DiMaggio, Paige’s baseball career spanned over five decades. Pronounced the greatest pitcher in the history of the #NegroLeague, Paige compiled such feats as 64 consecutive scoreless innings, a stretch of 21 straight wins, and a 31-4 record in 1933. For 22 years, Paige mauled the competition in front of record crowds when and wherever he pitched.
In 1948, the #ClevelandIndians were in desperate need of good pitching for their pennant race. Jackie Robinson had already broken the color lines in baseball a year earlier as major league’s first black ball player. Owner and promoter Bill Veeck, knew very well the legend of Paige, but was concerned about his fitness and age. Veeck felt it necessary to test his accuracy before finally offering him a league contract. As the story is told, Veeck placed a cigarette on the ground to be used as a home plate. Paige took aim at the virtually nonexistent target and fired five fastballs, all but one sailing directly over the cigarette. Veeck amazed, hired him immediately, and at age 42 Paige became the oldest major league rookie in history. With Paige’s contributions the Indians won the pennant.
In addition to Cleveland, Paige played for St. Louis and Kansas City. When his Major League career was completed, he compiled a modest 28-31 record with a 3.29 ERA. He also served as coach for the Atlanta Braves in 1968. What made Paige so memorable was his longevity in the game. The main reason his age was so difficult to track was his seemingly endless success. He rarely answered questions about his age, and when he did, he replied with the classic line: "Age is a question of mind over matter. If you don't mind, it doesn't matter.” Paige died of a heart attack after a power failure at his home in Kansas City on June 8, 1982. In 1971, #SatchelPaige joined the very best in history in the #BaseballHallofFame.
POT & WATER
The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW), in conjunction with their state and county partners, are preparing for the 2021 cannabis enforcement season.
As authorized by Fish & Game Code section 12029, CDFW, in coordination with the State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB) and the state licensing authority, established a watershed enforcement program to address environmental violations associated with unlicensed cannabis cultivation.
The environmental impacts associated with illegal cannabis cultivation can have a detrimental effect on fish and wildlife and their habitats, which are held in trust by the state for the benefit of the people.
“CDFW fully supports the regulated cannabis market and those taking steps to be compliant,” said Jeremy Valverde, CDFW’s Cannabis Program Director. “CDFW’s permitting process is designed to reduce environmental impacts, which is more critical than ever, given the drought-like conditions throughout the state.”
County approval and an active state license are required prior to planting, growing, harvesting, drying, curing, grading or trimming of cannabis. An applicant that may have received local approval but has not received an active license from the state licensing authority is not authorized to begin cultivation.
“Now in our fourth year of legalization amid drought conditions, CDFW and our allied agency partners find our mission more urgent than ever,” said David Bess, CDFW Deputy Director and Chief of the Law Enforcement Division. “No one should be engaging in commercial cannabis cultivation and associated construction activities unless they have a state license, otherwise they may face enforcement actions.”
This year, the multiagency task force is focusing on priority watersheds and areas with sensitive habitat and/or threatened or endangered species. Local partners are also playing a pivotal role in ensuring the success of these objectives.
In Humboldt County, CDFW is closely coordinating with the state licensing authority, State and Regional Water Boards, Humboldt County Planning and Building Department, and Sheriff’s Office to address illegal grows and unpermitted construction activity, all of which can have detrimental impacts to the environment.
“A county permit alone does not allow a cultivator to initiate growing commercial cannabis,” said Humboldt County Sheriff Billy Honsal. “A state license is also required, otherwise one is subject to enforcement by the Sheriff’s Office and its state agency partners. Protecting Humboldt County’s fish and wildlife resources from unregulated cannabis cultivation is a priority for all of us, and the drought makes our work all the more vital.”
In Mendocino County where Governor Newsom declared a drought emergency, CDFW is also closely coordinating with state and local authorities to address illegal cannabis grows in and around several priority watersheds with historically low flows, which are highly vulnerable to any added pressures.
“Given the extreme drought conditions in Mendocino County’s watersheds, compliance with state and county laws will be a big priority,” said Kristin Nevedal, County of Mendocino Cannabis Program Manager. “There is a zero-tolerance policy for those not following the laws. Numerous state resources are available to those seeking to enter the regulated market.”
For more information about current regulatory requirements, interested parties can view presentations from a recent online permitting workshop at wildlife.ca.gov/cannabis/permitting.
“We will continue to assist cultivators who want to comply with regulatory requirements, while focusing our enforcement efforts on illegal cultivation activity,” said Yvonne West, Director, Office of Enforcement for the State Water Resources Control Board. “With current drought conditions exacerbating the adverse impacts that can result from unregulated cultivation, the State Water Boards will utilize all available resources and authority to address those impacts.“
To learn more about CDFW’s cannabis program, please visit wildlife.ca.gov/cannabis or email firstname.lastname@example.org. To report environmental crimes, such as water diversions, pollution and poaching, call the CalTIP hotline at (888) 334-2258 or text information to “TIP411” (847411).
View more details on fines, fees and administrative penalties from the state licensing authority, CDFW and SWRCB.
(Press release from CDFW)
HOW BAD IS THIS FIRE SEASON in California really going to be?
by Paul Rogers
It's not quite noon, but it's already getting hot as Alan Huston pushes his way through thickets of dry, prickly brush on a parched hillside overlooking the town of Los Gatos.
"If a fire broke out here, all this stuff is going to burn," said Huston, a researcher in San Jose State University's Fire Weather Research Lab. "There are some healthier-looking big trees over there. But a lot of this?" his voice trailed off as he waved his hand over the water-starved landscape dotted with multimillion-dollar homes. "Not looking good."
It's a refrain being heard increasingly this summer from Silicon Valley to the Sierra, Southern California to Shasta County. California is on edge. Two consecutive record-dry winters, followed by early heat waves that have sent temperatures in some places soaring above 110 degrees, have left vegetation dangerously dry and primed to burn heading into the hottest summer months.
Memories of last year's destructive fires are still fresh.
In 2020, a record 4.3 million acres burned statewide — 1 out of every 24 acres in California. Those fires, some of which began during freak dry lightning storms in August, killed 33 people, destroyed more than 10,000 homes and incinerated the visitor center, campgrounds and other facilities at Big Basin Redwoods State Park, California's oldest, in the Santa Cruz Mountains. In the Southern Sierra, fires wiped out an estimated 10 percent of all the giant sequoias left in the world. They blanketed cities with choking smoke and turned skies over San Francisco, Oakland and San Jose an apocalyptic bright orange.
This year, conditions are drier.
Moisture in chamise, a chaparral plant found across the state, are at the lowest levels recorded for early July since San Jose State's Fire Lab began regular measurements in 2009. Much of the vegetation on Bay Area hillsides, the lab's scientists say, is as dry now as it normally is in September. That means peak fire danger will be around for two months longer this year than in average years.
Across the state, the pace of wildfires already is running ahead of last year. From Jan. 1 to July 6, California had 4,902 wildfires start on state, federal and private land — 720 more than the same time period a year ago, according to records at the National Interagency Fire Center in Boise. Those fires have burned 83,237 acres statewide — more than double the 35,623 acres that had burned in California this time a year ago.
From the Willow Fire in Big Sur to the Lava Fire near Mount Shasta, fire crews have attacked fast-moving blazes so far this year with huge numbers of firefighters, helicopters, engines and planes dropping red fire retardant.
"We're seeing fire activity that we would normally be seeing in September and October already," said Chief Thom Porter, director of Cal Fire, the state's primary firefighting agency. "And we have a very long rest of the peak season to go. It's concerning."
A lot of factors affect fire risk, experts say. Fire is a natural part of western forests, clearing out dead brush and trees. But a century of fire suppression has led to millions of acres of overgrown forests across California and the West. Climate change is making temperatures hotter, drying out vegetation and soils, and melting the Sierra Nevada's snowpack earlier. Utility companies like Pacific Gas & Electric have caused multiple fatal fires in recent years when power lines have fallen during dry, windy days.
But this year, an overriding issue is drought.
In the Northern Sierra, California's most important watershed because it normally fills the state's major reservoirs, the past two years have been the second driest two-year period since records began in 1921, delivering only 52% of normal precipitation. The only time in the past 100 years when it was drier was during the famous drought of 1975-77.
Meanwhile, San Jose experienced its driest year in 128 years of record-keeping, receiving only 5.33 inches of rain from July 1 to June 30. That's about the same amount of rain as Las Vegas or Palm Springs gets in a typical year.
San Francisco saw its third-driest year since the Gold Rush in 1849. Southern California fared somewhat better. The past two years in Los Angeles have brought 73% of normal rainfall. And San Diego saw 93% of its historic average over the last two years.
As a result, 85% of California now is in extreme drought, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor, a weekly report issued by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, NOAA and the University of Nebraska.
"We have forests that are already in bad shape," said Jan Null, a meteorologist with Golden Gate Weather Services in Half Moon Bay. "They have been exacerbated by this dry period now. We are in about as bad a position as I have ever seen. Things are only going to get worse between now and when the rains start in the fall. People should be especially careful this summer."
(San Jose Mercury-News)
BLESS THE TRAITORS
Daniel Hale exposed the widespread and indiscriminate murder of noncombatants in the global US drone war. For his heroism, he faces ten years in prison while those who oversee these war crimes continue their killing spree.