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SEASONABLE TEMPERATURES return to the region through Saturday with a warming trend soon to follow over the interior. Dryer conditions for the next several days are likely with a possible threat of thunderstorms looming for Monday. (NWS)
21 NEW COVID CASES reported in Mendocino County yesterday afternoon.
Thursday's (7/15) Navarro River flow reading was approximately half the minimum flow recorded in 1977. It is the worst for this date since 1951.
PROGRESS ON STAGE 2 WATER CONSERVATION
On Monday night, the City Council unanimously passed a Resolution ratifying a Water Warning which implements mandatory Stage 2 water conservation restrictions targeting a 10-20% reduction in seasonal water use. The declaration of the Stage 2 Water Warning followed a significant decrease in the Noyo River flows, which provides a good portion of the City’s water during late summer and early fall.
We would like to acknowledge the efforts of our residents, businesses and public partners, who since Tuesday have reduced water usage to the lowest level the City has recorded in several months. Please continue to support our community with your ongoing conservation efforts. A full list of Stage 2 Water Restrictions is available on the City’s website along with additional ways to conserve water.
We would also like to thank the Fort Bragg Unified School District for turning off landscape irrigation and for collaborating with the City to potentially provide access to its well water, adding to the City’s water sources. The well water has the potential to supplement an estimated 5% to the daily water supply needs of the City.
To further subsidize the City’s surface water sources, in June, the City ordered a Reverse Osmosis Treatment System from Aquaclear that will allow it to continue to pump water from the Noyo River during high tides when salinity reaches levels which cannot be processed by the City’s Water Treatment Plant. The water with higher salinity levels will be placed in one of the two raw water holding ponds at the City’s Water Treatment Plant to be processed through the Desalination-Reverse Osmosis Treatment System prior to entering the City’s Water Treatment Plant. The Desalination-Reverse Osmosis Treatment System is expected to be delivered and online in early September. The City is also exploring the possibility of purchasing water from the City of Willits and transporting it to the City water system by rail on the Skunk Train.
Representatives from Camp Noyo, working with California Fish and Wildlife, have reached out to the City Manager and Mayor Bernie Norvell, offering to work with the City to put the Camp Noyo diverted water to its best use during this drought. Mr. Hemphill, an owner and longtime operator of the facility committed to assisting with water releases consistent with their California Fish and Wildlife permit requirements.
AS FORT BRAGG STRUGGLES FOR WATER…
Re: Hemphill Camp Noyo Seasonal Dam (Lake or Streambed Alteration Agreement No. 1600-2018-0185-R1): https://ceqanet.opr.ca.gov/2010122062/2
The following response is to unfounded allegations by the City of Fort Bragg that current low flows in the Noyo River are a result of the permitted seasonal impound at Camp Noyo.
On July 13th, 2021 The City of Fort Bragg published a news release in which they claimed that the historically low stream flows in the Noyo River are the result of the seasonal dam at Camp Noyo. These statements are misleading and factually incorrect.
Camp Noyo has a permit with The California Department Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) to install a seasonal dam between June 15th and September 15th. The dam has been in continual operation every summer since 1951 providing water activities for youth groups and private campers. Camp Noyo’s agreement with CDFW restricts the amount of stream flow that can be diverted to fill the impound during the summer months. Due to low flows in the river this year, the diversion of water into the impound was carefully monitored and controlled to avoid dramatic fluctuations in downstream flow. The impounded area took 20 days to fill. The filling of the impound began on June 15th and became full on July 5th. In previous years, with normal rainfall and stream flows, the impound can fill in as little as 5 days. Since July 5th, all water entering the impound area at Camp Noyo has flowed through the impound and has had no effect on downstream flows. Current flows recorded at the USGS gauge downstream of Camp Noyo are reflective of a historical drought and are not impacted by the water impounded at Camp Noyo.
Brian Hemphill, a Managing Member of Camp Noyo has been in contact with both the Mayor and City Manager for the City of Fort Bragg and they have all committed to working collaboratively with the appropriate regulatory agencies to see how the stored water at Camp Noyo can best benefit Fort Bragg and surrounding communities.
— Brian Hemphill, managing member of Camp Noyo
THE SKUNK SAYS THEY CAN DO IT
“We’ve been seeing a lot of misinformation going around about the proposed plan to haul water to service the City of Fort Bragg via the Skunk Train route.
The assertion has been made – including in some newspapers – that the plan is currently unfeasible because of the closure of Tunnel #1. We want to clarify that Tunnel #1 does not impact the plan at all – Fort Bragg’s pumping station (where the water would be delivered) is located just east of Tunnel #1.
In 2015 when the city of Fort Bragg was experiencing a water shortage, we learned that they might be trucking water in from a newly dug high producing well. We reached out to the City of Fort Bragg about the possibility of hauling water from Willits via rail to the City’s pumping station on the Noyo River which is east of Tunnel #1.
The idea, assuming the City of Willits grants the City of Fort Bragg water via a sale is to transport water from Willits to the city of Fort Bragg’s pumping station on the Noyo River. Most water trucks carry an average of about 3,500 gallons whereas a tank car can range from 15,000 to 30,000 or more gallons, so the efficiencies are huge. The tank cars we have tracers on are in the neighborhood of 30,000 gallons – that’s about an 8x efficiency.
We hope that clears up any misconceptions! We’re ready and willing to lend a hand as needed.”
ED NOTE: So the Skunk track, switchbacks, uphill stretches, old trestles from Willits to just east of Tunnel One, Fort Bragg, are freight ready, and can carry large amounts of weight? At 15,000 gallons per container-car, for example, at the low end of Skunk's claim, at 8 pounds per gallon equals sixty tons of water. Uh, count the ava as first among disbelievers. (Skunk's typical passenger load, maybe forty people, even with the usual numbers of, ahem, large individuals, is five tons at a low estimate of 220 pounds per passenger.) We don't think you can get water weight up the Willits Grade. And btw, has anybody checked with Willits to see if they're interested in selling water? And water rail cars would come from where? Everyone is looking for them.
YOU'RE AN OLD TIMER IF YOU REMEMBER THIS PLACE
THE BROILER FIRE
I wanted to reach out to the public and discuss the recent Broiler Fire incident, which occurred in Redwood Valley.
I was very happy with the response to this incident. Our personnel worked with state and local fire agencies and with the public to serve the community.
We did lose some homes and structures, however we suffered no loss of life. This incident was a tragedy due to the loss of homes and property and I truly feel for those folks that suffered a loss.
Please understand with several fire events in the recent past where we have seen loss of life and devastation of entire neighborhoods this could have been much worse.
Deputies arrived on scene within one minute of being called, allied agencies including the Highway Patrol, Ukiah and Willits Police Departments also responded along with a detail of Mendocino County Probation Officers who responded the moment they were called upon.
We all worked together to meet the needs of the communities.
The residents in this area carried the load along with the fire and law enforcement personnel during a very stressful time. Residents headed the warnings, and immediately went into action moving out of the affected areas.
The response by our residents was outstanding and it is clear we have all been empowered through education. This is what happens when we partner with each other and our communities.
Upon arrival we worked with the state and local fire agencies to develop alerts and messaging. Officers and deputies went door to door using Hi-Lo sirens, making notifications and assisting residents in leaving the affected areas.
We were able to assist with gathering pets and livestock, and assisted with hitching up trailers to help with the evacuations.
This being said we always have to look at what we did well and what we can do better.
Our alert and warnings prompted a lot of discussion following this incident. I was asked along with the Mendocino County Office of Emergency Services Coordinator to speak during public comment regarding the messaging which accompanied response.
During this discussion it appeared there were two areas of concern. Persons who didn’t receive the alert within the area affected and persons who didn’t receive alerts outside of the affected areas.
I would like to address these issues.
As we investigated the we found several people who didn’t receive the notifications weren’t properly registered with the alert and warning systems. Persons who had previously registered in other locations in the county however hadn’t changed their registration to the current address.
The second area of concern which was the size of the area which was alerted.
The alert and warnings were directed at residents that could immediately be effected by the fire.
These were the residents that we were asking to take immediate action. These were the residents we were concerned could be injured.
The reason the alerts weren’t sent to all of the Ukiah and Redwood Valley area was because we have to strike a balance notifying those affected and not over running our dispatch centers.
We have seen in the past, our dispatch center completely over run with calls from concerned citizens, if we receive calls from folks miles away who are not affected it takes our time and energy away from those who are affected.
There has to be a balance.
We all have concerns any time a fire breaks in Mendocino County. In the future we hope to be sending out messaging to a broader area and we are working to find the balance in our messaging.
The messaging has to be for those affected in the footprint of the event as well as messaging for situational awareness to those who are outside of the event, however are concerned. In order to effectively complete this, I ask those who receive messaging for situational awareness to read the entire message and use it as intended.
Let’s be careful not to inundate our dispatch center with calls for clarity if your area isn’t affected.
I would also encourage everyone to follow our twitter, facebook, and mendoready.org accounts for information as it is coming in. Please take the time to review and update your registration with the alerting platforms.
If you move please remember these are often dependent on the location or zip code you are registered in. This is a tool which helps us to help you.
Lastly let’s always work together to find the common areas in which we can support each other. Let’s take our successes and continue to build from them as we move forward in Mendocino County.
We are in unprecedented times where we all need to look out for each other. Every problem is also an opportunity to learn and move forward with better communication and resiliency.
Sheriff Matt Kendall
UKIAH VALLEY BASIN GROUNDWATER SUSTAINABILITY AGENCY MEETING
Date: 07/15/2021 5:30 PM - 7:30 PM
Location: Redwood Valley Lions Park, 8920 East Road, Redwood Valley, California 95470
UVBGSA In-Person Public Meeting
- The droughts effect on groundwater
- What to do about dry wells
- The responsibilities of the GSA
Sandwiches and cookies will be provided.
FORT BRAGG: WHAT TO DO ABOUT CHAIN STORES?
The Fort Bragg City Council will conduct a public hearing at a regularly scheduled meeting to be held at 6:00 PM, or as soon thereafter as the matter may be heard, on MONDAY, JULY 26, 2021 at Town Hall, 363 North Main Street, Fort Bragg, California. The public hearing will concern the following item:
Receive Report, Conduct Public Hearing, Receive Planning Commission Recommendation, and Consider Introducing by Title Only and Waiving the First Reading of Ordinance No. 970-2021 Amending Article 2 (Zoning Districts and Allowable Land Uses), Article 4 (Standards for Specific Land Uses) and Article 10 (Definitions) of Title 18 (Inland Land Use and Development Code) of the Fort Bragg Municipal Code Relating to Regulation of Formula Business
WHADDYA KNOW, IT'S MR. LADD
On Tuesday, July 13, 2021 at 2:38 A.M., Mendocino County Sheriff's Deputies were on routine patrol in the area of South State Street and Lewis Lane in Ukiah.
As the Deputies approached Lewis Lane they observed an adult male talking to himself. The Deputies contacted the subject and identified him as Cody Ladd, 29, of Ukiah.
A records check revealed Ladd was on active parole. As the Deputies spoke to Ladd they observed objective signs indicating he was under the influence of a controlled substance (central nervous system stimulant).
The Deputies performed field sobriety tests on Ladd. The results of those tests provided the Deputies with probable cause to believe Ladd was under the influence of a controlled substance.
Ladd was arrested for 11550(A) HS (under the influence of controlled substance). During a search incident to arrest, the Deputies located a clear plastic bag containing a white, crystalline substance.
Through their training and experience, the Deputies identified the substance as suspected methamphetamine; which was a violation of 11377(A) HS (Possession of Controlled Substance).
The Deputies contacted Ladd's Parole Officer. Ladd's Parole Office placed a parole hold on Ladd for violation of parole. Ladd was arrested for Violation of Parole, Possession of Controlled Substance, and Under the Influence of Controlled Substance and booked into the Mendocino County Jail where he was to be held on a No Bail status.
CATCH & RELEASE CONNOLLY
On Sunday, July 11, 2021 at 11:08 P.M., Mendocino County Sheriff's Deputies were on routine patrol in the area of Pinecrest Drive and East School Way in Redwood Valley.
During this time they observed a black Audi sedan with expired registration. The Deputies conducted a traffic stop and contacted the driver and sole occupant of the vehicle identified as being Jesse Connolly, 34, of Redwood Valley.
A records check revealed there was an outstanding felony warrant for Connolly's arrest for a failure to appear in court.
Connolly was booked into the Mendocino County Jail where he was to be held in lieu of $15,000 bail.
GET OFF THAT HORSE, LADY
On Monday, July 12, 2021 at about 6:25 PM Mendocino County Deputies were dispatched to a trespassing and possible theft of a horse in the 5400 block of Canyon Road in Willits.
The Deputies arrived in the area and contacted the reporting party and numerous witnesses, who told the Deputies the following in summary.
An adult female with no shoes, later identified as Makayla McGrew, 20, of Willits, came to the location and was told it was private property and she needed to leave. McGrew began walking off the property but returned a short time later.
McGrew was observed putting a halter on a saddled horse at the location and getting on the horse. She was confronted by one of the responsible parties but rode past him without stopping.
Another person noticed McGrew appeared to be trying to the leave the area with the horse so the person went and grabbed the equipment on the horse and confronted McGrew.
McGrew got into a verbal confrontation, but did get off the horse eventually and walked away from the location.
Deputies searched the area and located McGrew walking on Eastside Road in Willits.
The victim/responsible signed a private persons arrest form wanting charges pressed against McGrew.
McGrew was placed under arrest for grand theft and trespassing.
McGrew 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.
1200 SOUTH STATE, 2:40AM
On Monday, July 12, 2021 at 2:40 A.M., Mendocino County Deputy Sheriff's were on routine patrol when they observed an adult male riding a bicycle in the 1200 block of South State Street in Ukiah.
The Deputies observed a lighting violation on the bicycle. The Deputies performed a traffic stop and contacted the adult male subject, who they identified as Jose Ayala, 32, of Ukiah.
As the Deputies were talking to Ayala, they developed probable cause to believe he was under the influence of a controlled substance.
The Deputies attempted to administer field sobriety tests; however Ayala refused to cooperate with their investigation.
The Deputies developed probable cause to search Ayala's person and they located a clear plastic bag containing a white crystalline substance. Through their training and experience, the Deputies believed the white crystalline substance to be methamphetamine.
Ayala was detained in handcuffs and the Deputies completed the search of Ayala's person and backpack. The Deputies located a loaded, semiautomatic handgun in Ayala's possession.
A Ukiah Police Department officer arrived on scene and assisted with the search. Another clear plastic bag was located on Ayala's person. This plastic bag contained a commercial quantity of suspected methamphetamine.
Ayala was arrested for Felony Possession of Controlled Substance While Armed With Loaded Firearm, Felony Possession Of Controlled Substance For Sale, Felony Transportation Of Controlled Substance For Sale, Felony Armed While In Commission Of Felony and Felony Carry Loaded Firearm In Public Under Specific Circumstances.
Ayala was transported to the Mendocino County Jail where he was to be booked on the listed charges.
During the reception process, Corrections Deputies located a commercial quantity of prescription or counterfeit prescription pills on Ayala's person.
Ayala was to be booked on the additional charges of Felony Smuggle Controlled Substance Into Jail, Felony Possession Of Controlled Substance/Narcotic For Sale), Felony Transportation Of Controlled Substance/Narcotic For Sale.
Ayala was subsequently cited and released by Corrections staff as a Pre-Trial condition after the jail booking process was completed.
TAIL LIGHTS OUT ON PAPER HANGER'S CAR
On Monday, July 12, 2021 at 11:22 P.M., Mendocino County Sheriff's Office Deputies were on routine patrol in the area of Highway 101 and the Perkins Street off ramp when they observed a vehicle traveling southbound on Highway 101 in Ukiah.
The Deputies observed inoperable tail lights on the vehicle in violation of the California Vehicle Code. The Deputies effected a traffic stop on the vehicle and contacted the occupants.
The Deputies identified the front passenger as Aaron Simpson, 45, of Ukiah. Simpson consented to a search of his person and backpack.
During the consent search, Deputies located blank checks with the account holder being listed as Express Mart in Ukiah. Through their investigation the Deputies determined Simpson was not associated with Express Mart and had no lawful reason to possess the checks.
A California Highway Patrol Officer arrived on scene to assist and located a clear plastic bag containing a white, crystalline substance near the passenger side of the vehicle.
Through their training and experience, the Deputies identified the white, crystalline substance as suspected methamphetamine.
Simpson was arrested for Felony Possession of Check With Intent To Forge, Felony Possession of Stolen Property, Misdemeanor Possession of Controlled Substance.
Simpson 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.
WAVES & TUNES -- DJ DANCE PARTY with DJ SISTER YASMIN
DATE: Friday, August 6, 2021
TIME: 3:00pm - 8:00pm
PLACE: POINT ARENA PIZZA, 790 Point Road, Point Arena, CA 95468 at the historic Point Arena Cove
Join the fun and DANCE to incredible music, all styles for a Funky, Soulful Dance Party. From Ray Charles to Ray Barretto, Bob Marley to Bob Dylan, and all styles to get you up on the dance floor!
Enjoy the waves, tunes, and delicious food and drink, and the amazing vibes at the Pt. Arena Pier!
All ages welcome. No cover charge. This will be an outside, covid-safe event.
Point Arena Pizza serves brick oven Pizzas, local, organic salads, and beer and wine. Truly Pizza for The People.
For more information: 707-884-4703
ALBION'S VIRTUAL MARKET
This is the weekly announcement for the “virtual” Albion Farmers’ Market. We are no longer staging a weekly market in Albion Village. Instead, some of the vendors who formerly sold in Albion Village (and possibly a few newcomers) are making their products available in other ways, and we will circulate information about these on a weekly basis. Each vendor will provide info on how to order and pick up goods, this will vary from seller to seller.
Here’s what we have for this week:
This Sunday I will have;
- FRESH RASPBERRIES
- FRESH BLUEBERRIES
- CUCUMBERS (Persian Baby Fingerling)
- GARLIC BRAIDS
- Fresh BASIL & TARRAGON Tops
All Vegetable Starts are Free
For Sunday July 18th, 3551 'G’ Rd. North
From 1 pm to 4 pm
To purchase any of the items listed below, please order by email, firstname.lastname@example.org. Order by Friday evening and please include the word “order” in the subject line of your email to help me spot it the ocean of email many of us deal with every day! I’ll respond to confirm that I can fill your order and also send directions to my house. Pickup is Sunday afternoon 2-4 pm. Bags of nice BASIL this week, $2 each. Like last year, I carefully harvest growth tops only so it’s 100% tender, usable basil. My plants are coming into their prime now! I also have my hand crafted Albion Natural Soap for sale. If you’re not ready to order this week, you can find me at the Mendocino Farmers’ Market a week from tomorrow, July 16.
- Bar soap $5 and $7
- Shaving soap $10
- Gift assortments of guest size soap $15 for 6 bars
- Shampoo $8 for 8 oz.
- Bath and shower gel $8 for 8 oz., $12 for 16 oz.
- Foaming pump liquid hand soap $10 for 10 oz.
I do refills of my liquid soap products so you can reuse bottles you have already and avoid having to dispose of plastic! — just bring your bottle back to me with a tag with your name on it, and I’ll have the refill ready the following week.
I have the following flavors of mushroom teas available for $10 for a 1 1/2 oz bag or $25 for 4 oz. bag: Candy Cap Camomile Delight, Candy Cap Chai, Candy Cap Mint, Candy Cap Thai tea, Chaga Rootbeer tea, Gamboni Chai, Herbal Candy Cap and Chaga Chai, Lion’s Brain tea, Mango Mushroom, Mushroom Rose tea, Porcini Pu-Ehr, Triple Reishi tea, Tummy Tonic, and Turkey Tail Chai.
I also have Jacques Cartier rose plants; started cuttings in 4" pots for $10, or gallon for $25.
I have some scions for grafting from a 20-ounce pippin apple. These came from an old orchard east of Willits, that was planted in the 1880's. Free to good homes.
E-mail me at email@example.com to make an order by noon Sat., or if you would like a descriptive list of the teas or if you have allergy concerns and would like the list of ingredients for a particular tea. have your order ready for you Sun. afternoon, in a bag, on E rd in Albion.
L&R FARM (DAVE and ROSA):
THANKS to everyone for your continued support of our farm stand.
This week L&R Farm will have the following:
- Swiss Chard
- GERMAN BUTTER BALL POTATOES
- Red Norland Potatoes
- Large Onions
- Green Bunching Onions
- Flower Bouquets
WOW, that’s a list. There are always some surprises too.
Come and visit our farm stand located at the 2.25 mile marker on Middle Ridge Rd. Albion. We are OPEN: Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays from 10 to 4 every week.
Thank you for driving slowly. The dust is bad on our narrow street.
Please, keep dogs on a leash.
GREENLEAF GARDENS (firstname.lastname@example.org):
Big Plant Sale at Greenleaf Gardens in Little River!! Red Raspberry plants ready to fruit, $5 each / 5 for $20
Purple Oriental Poppies purple, $3 for 4 inch Pot-plus many smaller and larger sizes.
Many large, mature perennials, some shade loving and deer resistant:Wild Iris, Golden Day Lilies, purple Lilies of the Nile
Some organic veggie starts, succulents, and more plants than I can list.
Our plants are never root bound! We grow them in flats or dig them up!!
Please call to make an appointment. 937-0430 Thanks, Judith
I’ll be away from my workstation for a couple of months. More bat roosts will be available before the Spring return of our favorite bug eating bats: the little browns, the free tails, and the long ears.
HALF VAXXED. Mendo seems stalled at roughly 50% of us getting our covid shot or shots. One reason for this rather ominous Mendo stat, particularly ominous because the obese are at double risk from covid sayanora and we have lots of them, is the large numbers of anti-vaxxers in our small population. Speaking, as always, only for myself but as a guy who remembers kids on his street in iron lungs prior to the polio vaccine, I'm continually amazed that the stupid and the misinformed are allowed to place their fellow citizens at risk. But, I understand that the refusal to accept informed medical opinion is one more sign of social implosion, and one more crime committed by the internet where our local anti-vaxxers go for their source material.
$68.33 is the estimated hourly wage you need to rent shelter in San Francisco. Mendo? —
Using the standard 1/3 of after tax earnings for housing that would be:
Rent of $1,000 per month = after tax earnings of $3,000 per month, or $36k per year which, assuming 25% tax rate, would be $45k per year gross. Not counting utilities etc. (And not counting having to haul water). However, if there were two equal earners for the $1,000/mo unit, everything would be half of that.
$1500 per month rent using same formulas would need $54k per year net / $67k per year gross earnings. Half if split between two equal earners.
$2000 per month rent would need $72k per year net / $90k per year gross. Half if split between two earners.
A FORT BRAGGER WRITES: I think everyone in charge of anything has gone off their rockers. Talk about a comedy show. So far we still have water. My guess is, it won't last long. Apparently the Noyo is drying up because Camp Noyo put their dam in, and here's the kicker: the Skunk Train has a new trip. Railbikes on the Noyo. Shoot, for a mere $500 (actually $495) you can rent a railbike and drive out Sherwood road (Fort Bragg side of course) take a stroll to the river, hop on your bike and peddle your behind out to Camp Noyo for swimming and drinks and I think a lunch. So, Camp Noyo installed their dam even during this drought and even knowing that Fort Bragg needs it to survive and that Fort Bragg was using that water to supply people up and down the coast with dry wells. Now the City may not be able to supply anyone with water if the Noyo keeps going down (it certainly isn't going to go up). And how many days will that little rinky dink reservoir out Hwy. 20 last Fort Bragg? 16 days maybe?"
THE COUNTY is going to have to put some seriously big teeth in its drought emergency rhetoric. We are in an emergency, and entities like Camp Noyo catering to a private business, the Skunk, can't be allowed to choke off water, a public resource derived from a public stream, for everyone downstream. What kind of business would even consider choking the Noyo in the first place?
ON THE SUBJECT of water, as Marshal Newman confirms, the battered Navarro is in its worst summer condition in many years. Public Health should be monitoring the safety of its seriously occluded waters, presently in isolated pools and thick with algae of dubious provenance. There are families at the Greenwood Bridge's stagnant pools every weekend splashing around in dead water that may not be safe.
ON LINE COMMENT OF THE DAY
In Humboldt you can steal a 90k car, put 5lbs of heroin in it and get caught high speeding with a stolen, loaded firearm and be home in time for bong hits and family guy.
THE CANNABIS REFERENDA AND WHERE DO WE GO NEXT?
Dear Anderson Valley Advertiser,
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 commited to correcting the many problems associated with illegal cannabis cultivation. I hope you will work with me and please, don't sign the referenda petitions. We need unity, not division to fix this.
Supervisor Glenn McGourty
MASKS WILL BE REQUIRED IN SCHOOL THIS FALL
In early July, the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) announced that masks would still be required in public school classrooms this fall, at least through November 1. Superintendent of Mendocino County Schools Michelle Hutchins explained that while this may be disappointing to some, the alternative COVID-prevention practices would force students back into a hybrid of in-person and virtual learning.
“Basically, CDPH was given two options: either to have schools maintain at least three feet of physical distance between students at all times or to have them require masks. Because school facilities were not designed for three feet of space between students, the only way to do so would be to reduce the number of students in the classroom—forcing everyone to return to a hybrid model,” she said. “Masks are a small price to pay to have all students back in the classroom, engaging with their teachers and peers.”
As such, Mendocino County K-12 schools will require universal masking indoors for students and staff. Hutchins believes the pandemic will continue to decline as more people get vaccinated, and eventually, students and educators will be able to discard their masks, but with reports of new COVID diagnoses popping up all over the county, it would be premature to return to schools without masks. “In mid-July, about half of Mendocino County residents were vaccinated, leaving us vulnerable to outbreaks,” she said.
California Health & Human Services Agency Secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly said, “Masking is a simple and effective intervention that does not interfere with offering full in-person instruction. At the outset of the new [school] year, students should be able to walk into school without worrying about whether they will feel different or singled out for being vaccinated or unvaccinated — treating all kids the same will support a calm and supportive school environment.”
According to Mendocino County Public Health Officer Dr. Andy Coren, mask enforcement will be up to school policy. He recommends that schools have extra masks on hand for those who forget them and that schools be prepared to comply with California State Assembly Bill 130, that requires schools to offer alternative educational opportunities such as independent study for students who are excluded from campus because they will not wear a face covering.
The CDPH guidance seeks to ensure that all students have access to as much instructional time as possible and that it be safe, full in-person instruction whenever possible. A CDPH spokesperson said, “In California, the surest path to safe and full in-person instruction at the outset of the school year, as well as minimizing missed school days on an ongoing basis, is a strong emphasis on the following: vaccination for all eligible individuals to get COVID-19 rates down throughout the community; universal masking in schools, which enables no minimum physical distancing, allowing all students access to full in-person learning, and more targeted quarantine practices, keeping students in school; and access to a robust COVID-19 testing program as an available additional safety layer. Recent evidence indicates that in-person instruction can occur safely without minimum physical distancing requirements when other mitigation strategies (e.g., masking) are fully implemented.”
Hutchins noted that masking may help reduce the spread of the virus, especially the more contagious Delta Variant, and that by requiring everyone to wear a mask, schools will not be burdened with tracking vaccination status to monitor and enforce mask wearing. She also agrees with the CDPH position that requiring everyone to wear a mask could prevent some students from being called out for wearing or not wearing masks, depending on the culture and attitudes in the school or surrounding community.
According to the CDPH website, CDPH will continue to assess conditions on an ongoing basis and will determine no later than November 1 whether to update mask requirements or recommendations. “Indicators, conditions, and science review will include vaccination coverage status, in consideration of whether vaccines are available for children under 12, community case and hospitalization rates, outbreaks, and ongoing vaccine effectiveness against circulating variants of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19 in alignment with the CDC-recommended indicators to guide K-12 school operations.”
(Mendocino County Office of Education Presser)
SUPERVISOR WILLIAMS: Historic! State Assembly just passed the $6B Broadband Package in an overwhelming bipartisan 71-0 vote (and more adding on) This is the boldest action ever taken to close the digital divide in California! It now goes to the Senate for a Floor vote today!!
RAISE THE DAM
To the Editor:
Re: Jared Huffman, 2nd Congressional District of California
Mendocino County Board of Supervisors
Ukiah City Council
We have just finished reading Sunday’s Press Democrat focusing on the local drought conditions. Isn’t it time that local and state elected officials acted specifically on improving water storage at Lake Mendocino?
According to what we have read, the Corps of Engineers began studying raising Coyote Dam in 2014, with no resulting action. Positive action such as moving the first shovel of dirt would be a step forward.
We encourage Ukiah City Council to take the lead in putting pressure on the Federal Government to move forward on this project.
According to published statistics for June 25, 2021, the Ukiah rainfall year-to-date was 13.48 inches and our 30-year annual average is 35 inches. Lake Mendocino is at 36.6 percent of the target water supply curve.
Please take any appropriate action to facilitate this project.
Carole and Ted Hester
MARK LAZLO ON THE PALACE HOTEL
Eight years ago, Norm Hudson got Big Brother and the Holding Company a gig at UBC to fundraise, to make the historic Palace Hotel a Western History museum. Eladia Laines had bought it for that idealistic cause. Norm Hudson led the physical restoration. I’m one of the people who supported the Palace project.
Our community has a great success in the Sun House Museum, to connect everyone to our significant history in the Sun House. It is a cultural crown jewel of our area. I wish we had another crown jewel in the Palace.
It is a crown jewel, but not taken care of. It would enhance our quality of life here, by connecting us to our past. It would draw people here and be very pleasant to look at, if restoration is completed. Imagine all the characters who stayed there when it was a hotel. It is a focal point of local history, an entertaining and engrossing subject as outlaw tales in the AVA, but with physical proof of it to view as well as visualize.
Insufficient funding was not the only challenge to our project. Norm Hudson told me there was organized looting. The Palace’s bar was stolen and sold to the UBC. He found the “Palace Hotel” sign that was on its roof at a yard sale. He couldn’t come often enough because he had to earn a living and much of the interior was looted, although he many times worked in the Palace waiting to be paid for it. Eladia, Norm and others were idealistically motivated to grace our community with a Western history museum where so much of it happened. He planned to fill it with his own collection of artifacts.
Not so, the looters, no idealists, but thieves. I read letters in the UDJ from someone rhetorically condemning the Palace as if a geyser of asbestos and 1908 rolled into one. W/O naming anyone, Norm said there was an “asbestos activist” greatly exaggerating asbestos and seismic issues. I wonder how a letter writer would make such claims unless he knew the interior well, in person?
The “asbestos activist” complaints required a professional asbestos removal service to search the Palace for it, for renovation to proceed, i paid for or it. I watched two big, EMPTY, tractor-trailer dump trucks leave. They had found only a miniscule trace.
I don’t know what it would cost to reinforce the Palace against a “decent” earthquake. I have not read any letters about it claiming professional expertise, but the Palace has withstood all quakes, including 1908, since 1891.
I don’t know who looted the Palace. I can only guess from such letters about it’s purported hazards. All such letters seem totally negative in an alarmist way. No sign of a positive community spirit. They always urge the Palace be demolished. Why, to destroy evidence?
PS. I’d just like to add, there are 9 businesses and one non-profit operating on the same block as the Palace, “Tarbaby”s complaint notwithstanding. And the hate seems beyond care for our community. But i do not know who looted our crown jewel.
CATCH OF THE DAY, July 15, 2021
EDUARDO ALVAREZ, Ukiah. Parole violation.
SUJEY CARDENAS, Calabasas/Ukiah. Domestic battery. [You know why I don't look contrite? Because I'm not, that's why. Long story short, Mr. Wuss, my former boyfriend, starts insulting me so I smack him one, open handed btw, and he calls the cops! My only regret is not....well, he's sooooooo yesterday I won't bother thinking about what I should have done to the punk.]
WILLIAM CLIFTON, Healdsburg/Ukiah. DUI.
JAMES DODD JR., Willits. Probation revocation.
RACHEL HUNT, Fort Bragg. Failure to appear, probation revocation.
ANDREA JUAREZ-FERREIRA, Petrolia/Ukiah. DUI.
CRYSTAL LOCKHART, Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-alcohol.
KEEGAN KNIGHT, Ukiah. Probation violation.
TONY PAUL, Ukiah. Protective order violation.
ALEXANDER RAMIREZ, Fort Bragg. Battery, elder abuse resulting in great bodily harm or death, criminal threats, county parole violation.
DARBI RICCI, Ukiah. Probation revocation.
JON RICKEL, Ukiah. Evasion by reckless and wrong-way driving.
MARIA RUBIOLO, Ukiah. Domestic battery.
MELODY SCROGGINS, Willits. Failure to appear, probation revocation.
JUSTIN SETTLES, Fort Bragg. Concealed dirk-dagger.
DEREK SILVA, Fort Bragg. Getting credit with someone else’s ID, mandatory supervision sentencing.
SON, let me tell you something. Do you know when you can tell a revival meeting is over? Do you know when God’s saying to move on to the next town? When you can turn people on their head and shake them and no money falls out, then you know God’s saying “Move on, son.”
CALLING OUT BERKELEY'S BARBARA LEE
One of the ironies of today's political mishmash is that while Rep. Jared Huffmann who represents Mendocino and the California coast counties north of San Francisco, has signed on as a co-sponsor of Minnesota's Betty McCollum's bill (HR 2590)--only one of two California congressmembers to do so--that would preclude Israel from using US military aid to continue its maltreatment of Palestinian children and the demolition of Palestinian homes, and illegal seizures of Palestinian land while the darling of the Berkeley and Oakland liberals and left, Rep. Barbara Lee, has not despite calls on her office to do so.
Nor, apparently is that a problem for the those in Sebastopol who plans to honor Lee this September 11, the 20th anniversary of the attack on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon by placing her name on Sebastopol's Peace Wall on the basis of her having cast the sole vote in Congress against giving George W Bush unlimited funds to wage the US war on "terrorism" that continues to this day. But that apparently, for Lee, was less risky than taking a stand against Israel, even after its latest bloody assault on Gaza.
The following press release was written by Sonoma county resident, Lois Pearlman, who was one of the group, which included myself, which met with the wall's founder and benefactor last week in what turned out to be an unsuccessful effort to get him to reconsider his decision or even contact Lee to get her to explain her refusal to sign HR 2590.
Pro-Israel Rep. Barbara Lee to be honored as “peacemaker”;
A northern California peace organization plans to inscribe pro-Israel Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA) on its "peacemaker" wall despite objections by Palestinian activists.
The Sebastopol Living Peace Wall will honor Lee at a ceremony September 11. But pro-Palestinian activists are opposing Representative Barbara Lee's (D-CA) inclusion on the wall, saying she does not support justice for people in Palestine.
The activists, who come from both Sonoma and Mendocino counties, met with a director for the peace wall last week, but the director refused to honor their concerns, contending you can't expect anyone to be 100 percent pure. The activists countered that they don't require purity. They just want consistency. A person who is being honored as "peacemaker" should not have a history of picking and choosing whose peace and whose justice they want to support.
The Sebastopol Living Peace Wall committee honors four "peacemakers" each year and inscribes their names on the concrete wall, which stands at the southeast entrance to the city of some 8,000 residents. A selection committee chooses three activists from the local community and one from outside the area.
Lee has served as representative for California's 13th congressional district since 1988. The district includes the cities of Alameda, Albany, Berkeley, Emeryville, Oakland, Piedmont and San Leandro, and is considered a bastion of progressive politics.
While in Congress she has been a staunch supporter of many progressive issues, such as Medicare for All, immigrant rights, LGBTQ rights, reducing the military, among others. But she is best known for her lone vote against giving then President George Bush carte blanche to wage war against Iraq following the 2001 bombing of the World Trade Center. In recognition of that vote her biography is titled "Renegade for Justice."
But Palestine activists say she has failed to be a renegade for justice in Palestine, siding instead with the mainstream of the Democratic Party, which has staunchly supported Israel with $146 billion (not adjusted for inflation) since World War II. They call her a PEP, which means Progressive Except for Palestine.
For example, at the 2016 Democratic National Convention Lee stood with the Bernie Sanders delegates on several issues, including a $15 minimum wage, climate change proposals, Medicare for All, and a fracking moratorium. But she refused to support those delegates' attempt to bring a more balanced approach to the Palestine/Israel issue. It included a call for the end to Israel's military occupation of the West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem, and to Israel's creation of illegal settlements within those territories. They also wanted the platform to include a neutral stance toward the nonviolent Palestinian Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement against Israel.
Currently Lee is declining to co-sponsor Betty McCollum's (D-Minnesota) bill 2590, which would prohibit Israel from using U.S. taxpayer dollars on the military detention, abuse, and ill-treatment of Palestinian children. It would also prohibit Israel from using our military aid to support the seizure and destruction of Palestinian property and homes in violation of international law. The bill is called "The Defending the rights of Children and Families Living Under Israeli Military Occupation Act."
The Palestine activists believe it is time for Lee to join the newest crop of Black congressional leaders, like Cori Bush and Jamaal Bowman, who recognize that Israel's treatment of the Palestinians is similar to the oppression of Black people in America. This time she would not have to stand alone.
HE [HERBERT W. ARMSTRONG] WAS PLAGUED by Pentecostals interrupting his services, turning one meeting into a bedlam of din and confusion created by women “who wailed and shrieked like a fire siren, audible for three or four blocks,” huge fat women who jerked in staccato steps, or danced a jig, arms floundering wildly overhead, “fat hips waddling and shimmying.”
— James Morris, The Preachers
INTERVIEW WITH PROFESSOR ADOLPH REED
by Matt Taibbi
Last May, the Democratic Socialists of America invited the longtime Yale, Northwestern, and University of Pennsylvania professor Adolph Reed was invited to speak to the New York City chapter of the Democratic Socialists of America.
As the New York Times later pointed out, it seemed a natural fit. Reed is a Marxist who campaigned for Bernie Sanders and throughout his career advocated for Democrats to move leftward. He once said of Barack Obama that his brand represented “vacuous to repressive neoliberal politics.” The DSA should have been his home base.
The New York chapter didn’t see it that way. Reed was planning to argue that it was an error to focus on the disproportionate impact of Covid-19 on black Americans. He believed the focus on race overshadowed class disparities, made multiracial organizing problematic, and undermined the effort to counter problems like wealth inequality.
This, some D.S.A. members said, was a provocation. A coalition within the D.S.A. The group’s “Afrosocialists and Socialists of Color Caucus” said allowing Reed to speak was “reactionary, class reductionist and at best, tone deaf.” In conjunction with D.S.A. leaders and Reed himself, the event was canceled, in an absurd episode the quick-witted Reed dismissed as a “tempest in a demitasse.”
In the year since, Reed has become an involuntary casualty to an argument that has bizarrely come to dominate both the Democratic Party and the American left in general, the question of whether “class-not-race” politics is outdated and needs leaving behind. The debate itself is something of a red herring, especially with regard to Reed, who’s always been a “class and race” thinker — the “the greatest democratic theorist of his generation,” as Cornel West called him. However, he’s deeply at odds with “antiracist” thinkers like Robin DiAngelo and Ibram Kendi, which has put him on the outs with current intellectual fashion in some segments of the political left.
In an interview with Katie Halper and me on Useful Idiots, Reed gives his take on DiAngelo’s White Fragility and Nice Racism. “I flirted with going to the seminary for about six or eight months when I was like 12, and I didn’t,” he says. “So I don’t need to hear her confession. I’m not interested in her confession.”
Reed, who will be starting a podcast called ‘Class Matters’ in the fall, went on to riff on a range of subjects, from antiracism to the future of the Democratic Party to academic freedom to Wesley Snipes movies and the agony of watching Billy Graham revivals. A partial transcript, edited for length:
Katie Halper: How do you define racism?
Reed: Well, that’s a question! One of the interesting things I think that we’ve experienced over the last half century or so, and our reasons for this too and get into maybe, or maybe not maybe later, that racism as a category has expanded. The currency of what counts as racism has inflated like the Dutch market in the late 1920s. So anything can be racist, and racism becomes the sole explanation, or sole explanatory category, for making sense of any inequality or seemingly inappropriate or unjustifiable inequality that involves black people or other non whites in any way. So, for instance, there was an advisee of mine, who in her first year, in the PhD program, was in my grad seminar on Black American political thought.She was leading discussions around readings between the mid thirties and end of the forties. And it was all new stuff to her, but her first comment was that she was surprised genuinely to see that nobody that she read talked about struggling against racism. Everybody talked about much more concrete stuff, programs that they were for programs that were against policies, they were for positive they were against. And I said, “Yeah, well that didn’t happen until after the victories of the social movements of the sixties.”
Lord knows, this is what post-war racial liberalism in the U.S. was all about. So you struggle against racism, which is part of the struggle against prejudice, part of the struggle against intolerance, bigotry and so forth and so on. What recedes from view is essential problems of economic inequality like employment inequality, housing inequality, et cetera.
Matt Taibbi: In Robin DiAngelo’s new book, Nice Racism, she specifically talks about that, and seems to suggest that people who are focusing on economic justice are avoiding talking about racism, that the two ideas must be understood separately. Is this a new thing, or something old with a new name?
Reed: No, it’s not new. Combating racism becomes a convenient alternative to attacking inequality and even those inequalities that appear or the manifest themselves as racial disparities.
Because the struggle against racism is exactly parallel to the struggle against terrorism… It can go on forever, because the enemy is an abstraction that you can define however you want to define it, at the moment that you wanted to find it. DiAngelo’s not the first person to do this. There was a woman named Peggy McIntosh who going back to the eighties had the “knapsack of privilege,” or some shit like that. I know people who have had careers at racial sensitivity trainings, and the people that I know, in my world — the people who came out of the movement actually came out of anti-Klan politics, or rather left politics in the seventies, and they started doing this stuff. It makes sense in the same way that people who were graduate students in the late sixties and early seventies who were left theory-inclined people got into the Frankfurt School. That became the cornerstone of their academic careers.
Well, that’s what’s happened in the anti-racism or the racial sensitivity training world. And one of the things that’s happened over time is that the material incentives — and it’s funny, pardon this aside, but it’s funny how many political-economy-oriented leftists we encounter who apply critical political economic thinking to every domain in the world — outside the movement that they’re operating in. So the material incentives evolved, and changed over time. And some of my friends who have done this work have said to me that they used to do it for community groups, used to do it for unions and so forth and so on. Then, as the material incentives change, they want to build and do more for corporations, or for local governments who were under consent decrees.So this becomes part of the thing. You’re under a consent decree for actual discrimination. One of the remedies that’s likely to be imposed as part of the decree is that you submit to this training. And we see it all the time now. Even the insurgencies within NGOs, right? Where the staff or whatever is going batshit crazy about how the leadership of the organization is all racist, sexist, whatever. And one of the first calls is to bring in some minor-league version of Robin DiAngelo to do the racial sensitivity training. So in that sense, it’s taken hold as part of what I’ve often described as the broader political economy of race relations.
Matt Taibbi: There’s a line in her book that I missed originally: “I believe that white progressives caused the most daily damage to people of color.” Clearly the book is aimed at that audience. Is that just about trying to play on the emotions of those readers or does she really believe that? What is she trying say with that line?
Reed: My father used to describe ideology as, in one sense, being the mechanism that harmonizes the principles that you want to believe you hold, with what advances your material interests. So in that sense, your question misses the point. When I heard her then, what I imagined was like J.K. Rowling, explaining how she felt after the first Harry Potter book was a success, and it’s like, I’m onto something. I made a lot of money here, and I think I can keep this thing going for about 12 other iterations.
But the other thing I thought was just in listening to her was that an image that came to my mind was Viola Liuzzo, right? The wife of a postal worker, from Detroit, who went down to Selma in 1965 to participate in the voting rights March and to participate in organizing the voting rights March. And she got herself killed by the Klan. In the context of that, with DiAngelo, I thought, “Oh, so that’s what she was doing, she was just trying to out-woke the black people.” I don’t even know what to say to shit like that, I really don’t. It’s pretty repugnant.
Matt Taibbi: Her point seems to be that open racism is one thing, but the submerged version in the liberal suburbs does more to keep the system of oppression in place. Is that valid?
Reed: It reminds me of people — I don’t hear much of this anymore, but it’s still here — who would say, “Well, I prefer the upfront, out in the open racism of the Jim Crow South, to the genteel submerged racism of the Suburban North.”
I have a forthcoming book The South: Jim Crow and Its Afterlives. It’s a non-memoir or an anti-memoir. It will illuminate… As someone who has experienced ample quantities of both forms, the view that the out-front is better to deal with, or one of the prefer to deal with it, strikes me as a view that can be held only by people who haven’t ever had to deal with the out-front on a regular basis.
I’ll go to Lyndon Johnson on this. As he pointed out, the point of the Civil Rights Bill of 1964 was not to change people’s attitudes, it was to change their public behavior.
And you’ve got a right to have whatever fucked-up attitude you have. This is one of the perverse ways that the conflation of the notion of racism and discrimination and injustice has hurt us. In the early nineties, there was a brouhaha centered in Georgetown in DC, about boutique operators who had a buzzing system for their small ateliers, right. Who wouldn’t buzz in Black men or young Black men or Black people… Richard Cohen in the Washington Post wrote about this.
Matt Taibbi: One of the great mediocrities of all time.
Reed: I don’t know if that makes him better as a reactionary or, worse, but he’s definitely mediocre! The middle of the middle of the middle of the middle. He did a column that was, that drew a lot of buzz. He was contending that the shop owners were within their rights to do this. And this was in the early moments of the right-wing, Democrat-driven crime hysteria, on the verge of the Clinton Administration. But because statistically speaking, young Black men were more likely to commit crimes than other people. And the thing was outrageous, of course, the argument was outrageous, but I participated in a faculty seminar with a bunch of these kinds of moose heads, some on the Law School Faculty at Yale. And a line that came from several of my colleagues was that, “Well, he’s kind of got a point there.” And I said, “No, the only person who is violating any law here is the shop owners who were violating the 1964 Civil Rights law. So unless you want to argue that anti-discrimination law is less real than real law, then it’s a problem.” But people could feel comfortable making that argument.
Partly because of the extent to which something called racism is disconnected from the substance of actual practices. And, look, I’m prepared to grant that the DiAngelo’s heart is in the right place — at least, on the left side of her chest. She’s probably earnest, but you know what? And I apologize for mentioning my dad again, but I remember once we were watching, when I was around nine or ten, we were watching the Billy Graham crusade on TV, because there was nothing else on TV. We watched for a few minutes and I learned two things. The first thing I learned was that when they announced that one of the guests and performers was going to be the singer and actress, Ethel Waters.
What came out of my dad’s mouth involuntarily was, “God, I didn’t know she was broke.” So I learned that there’s a connection between when popular entertainers find Jesus, and when they run out of money.
But the other thing that I learned was more telling. Listening to Billy’s sermon, he said, “God has really been so good to Billy since the Hearst family picked him up off the street corner after World War Two.” I’ll bet he probably even believes in him. And that’s kind of the way that it works. So I’m convinced that Robin DiAngelo is sincere, but unsurprisingly, as my dad often also said, “Sincerity is very much an overrated virtue.”
Katie Halper: Can you speak to the question of whether or not DiAngelo’s thinking undermines class-based programs that would actually disproportionately benefit people of color, like Medicare-for-all?
Reed: Regarding the whole COVID disparity stuff that I’ve been writing about from the very beginning: if you start out demanding that we all understand that there’s some special disposition that people of color have to getting sick and then dying, that has to do with their being people of color, then that distracts you away from what eventually came out — that it turns out that the racial disparity breaks down to what kind of jobs you work, what are the conditions you work under, what kind of conditions do you live in, how dependent you are on public transportation and so forth and so on. So it’s back to the political economy.The totality of post World War II racial liberalism has been articulated toward separating race as a discourse of injustice — separating not just from something called class, but from political economy, and shifting it to psychology. That is what it comes down to. Or worse, like what the Afro-pessimists have done now is take 19th-century race theory and the ideas of people like Madison Grant, and repackaged that as progressive black ideology. It’s crazy. I mean, they’re in bed with the worst of 19th-century racists.
Matt Taibbi: Almost like a crypto-eugenics type of concept in some cases.
Reed: Right… And I figured something else out too. This is actually a chapter of a book that I’m working on now, a book that my colleague and friend, Kenneth Warren and I are doing. But I’ve been puzzling with addressing the question of why so much anti-racist discourse now depends on analogy with slavery and Jim Crow. And that’s ultimately because... Well, to be honest, because the political as well as the intellectual concern of the people making these arguments is exactly the same as the political and intellectual concerns of the defeated Confederates who established and propagated lost-cause ideology, the myth of the Solid South, and put all those Confederate monuments up because they were committed to a racialist understanding of the world for the purpose of undermining any possibility of a political-economic challenge coming from the lower class, basically.
That’s the same reason that people making the race-reductionist arguments today can’t really move without drawing links between this moment and slavery and Jim Crow. Just as the 19th century former Confederates were committed to a white supremacist narrative, these people are also committed to a white supremacist/anti-white-supremacist narrative for the same reasons: to keep political economy off the table, and to advance their particular class program, just as the planter class was in the 19th century.
Matt Taibbi: Aren’t there some parallels in the antiracist movement to the reaction to Martin Luther King’s Riverside Church speech, when he came out against war in Vietnam? The pundits all railed against him and essentially said, “You’ve gone outside your lane.” Race is race, everything else is everything else, don’t mix.
Reed: I think there’s a parallel there, and an irony, too. Substantively, the reaction that King got was that, “No, no, no. There’s a civil rights thing over here, and it’s just about that stuff. But shit like war and the economy and poverty, uh-uh, that’s not a civil rights issue.”
What we’re hearing now is similar, but now it’s coming in from black voices, and from people who understand themselves to be followers of Malcolm X, or the Black Panthers, or whatever, like CORE, or operating in that same tradition. They are now doing the silencing. It’s so insidious.It’s the kind of thing that makes me, at least once a week, want to put on, I mean, Mahalia Jackson singing, “Soon, I will be done with the trouble of the world.”
It’s so insidious, that it’s coming out of the labor movement now. Black workers can’t just be workers. They got to have some special black thing about them. But I’m not denying that black workers are black, as much as workers. To keep with my prior illustration, black is the adjunctive, worker is the noun.But the thing is always: how do we try to build the solidarities that we need to have, to change the society in the ways that make it better for everybody who lives in it, except Bezos, and those people? The practice of this performative race-first politics is completely disconnected from any sort of pragmatic questions like that. It’s not only disconnected from such questions, it tends to be so essentially antagonistic to pursuit of such questions. Look, I mean, I remember COINTELPRO. I was a victim of it myself, far enough ago in the past. So I wonder, “God, are these people getting paid?”
Matt Taibbi: I read DiAngelo talking about how we need to eliminate universalism, and people need to get in touch with their white identity, and I think, “Wow, isn’t that dangerous?” Am I crazy? Or is this just a fad that will pass?
Reed: One thing I have found over the last decade or so, and I think this is partly because of the emergence of the sort of race-not-class first crowd, that my tank is just about full of “white familiars” as I call them because of my affinity for the Blade movies.
Matt Taibbi: Those are excellent movies.
Reed: Totally. But my favorite scene, the scene that comes to mind, at least once a week, was where in one of them, I forget which one, Blade asked the police chief, who is the familiar just before he kills him, “Do you really think those bloodsuckers are going to let you live after they win?” Which is what I feel like asking all these white race-first people, laughter aside. But, so my tank is basically full now from white people in particular telling me that I don’t understand the depth and intensity of racism, and its effects and this and the other, not because they’re violating a normative or an epistemic principle of mine, but because they’re violating theirs, by the shit that they argue. They technically don’t have the right to say shit to me. So why is it I’m the only POC that you can tell that he’s got it wrong?
I’ve taken, to calling that out, right, lately. The best way to call it out, is that just the simple, “All right go fuck yourself.” And I just make a stamp on it. But it’s a really interesting question, it’s really, and I think it’s really important to try to sort through how all this has come to happen — because we’re faced with such a perilous moment in the society now.
THE CLIMATE PROB
by John Arteaga
Wow, things are not looking that rosy for the survival of homo sapiens, along with many other species these days, eh? This summer is making clear that all the projections about the imminent onset of undesirable effects of climate change on weather and climate have proven to be WAY too optimistic.
From 120° heat in British Columbia, (where wildfires in the dense forests have wiped out at least one whole town) at a time of year when it should be cool and mild, to the WAY too early onset of the Southeast's hurricane season, while here in California, where fire conditions are already what we would expect to see in late August, we are all hoping and praying for mercy from this year's fire gods. As I write this, I'm waiting for updates on a brand-new fire out in Redwood Valley.
One would think that times of adversity like this would bring people together; just as the whole world came together to defeat fascism during World War II (even though we had been allowing our plutocrats to nurture it for many years), but instead we find quite the opposite.
There are two ways to react to worldwide threats to any hope of preserving some kind of decent human existence; people can either reach out to their fellow human beings and formulate a united plan of attack on the problem, or come up with some simplistic explanation of their challenges that blames one particular group for one’s problems. Then one no longer has to think through the complex details of addressing whatever the issue is, and can instead focus on hating the bogeyman that one has created.
In the wake of Trump’s four years of criminal collection of emoluments, inexplicably never brought before any kind of bar of justice, it seems as if our country has been bifurcated by this evil Pied Piper into two warring camps. The smaller of those camps has lied its gullible followers into disregarding all the evidence that their eyes and intellects might provide and to blindly follow whatever nonsense is being spewed that day by their Dear Leader.
Even though this bizarre cult following of a laughable combed-over clown is a distinct minority of the country, they have the tactical advantage of being utterly without scruples; they are right out front about the fact that the only way that they can hope to win elections is with massive targeted disenfranchisement of their fellow citizens. Frighteningly, since the GOP stole what should have been a routine appointment of a Supreme Court justice by Obama, the Orange Man was allowed to appoint 3! of the most fervent boot-licking lackeys of the super wealthy and corporations to the court, all of them relatively young, so we can look forward (if that’s the right term) to decades of their devotion to the unfettered rights of the powerful to work their will over the rest of us.
More and more, the situation in this country is beginning to remind me of Rwanda, during the genocide. Instead of Fox News’s 24/7 drumming of right-wing nonsense into their listeners, they had some kind of similar hate medium that appealed to every hot button; do your public duty, stand up for your community, kill the “insects”, or your neighbors will look down on you. Of course the whole problem was created by the country’s colonial past, where the colonizers patronized the smaller Tutsi ethnic group, empowering them to manage the colonizer’s exploitation of the much more populous Hutus.
Perhaps it will not come to quite as ugly a situation as occurred there, where exhausted Hutus would chop the Achilles’ tendons of the captives they were too exhausted to slaughter with their machetes, so they can get back to that business in the morning, and they will not be able to get far overnight, but I continue to be shocked by the madness of 70% or so of Republicans (a misnomer at this point, as the Republican Party has disappeared along with all of its traditional values, supplanted by the personality cult that is the Trumpublican party), who believe, without a shred of evidence, that he actually won the last election. We have insane Congress people like Marjorie Taylor Green and that woman Bobert, who believe that these huge wildfires were started by Jewish space lasers (?), and who subscribe to the Q-anon belief that the Democratic Party and administration is run by an international ring of cannibalistic sex trafficking pedophiles. You can’t make this stuff up!
These Maga Hatters are the same people who fly the American flag and blather endlessly about their patriotism, while at the same time crafting laws designed to undo American democracy entirely, turning it from a democracy into some kind of half-assed despotism, where Republican judges in those cracker red states can simply declare that even though the Democrats may have won a particular race, they will now be able to simply declare that they noticed some irregularities in the vote and therefore they can just give victory to their fellow Republican. Democracy? I don’t think so. And don’t look to this Supreme Court to find any problem with this blatant affront to (small-d) democracy.
Our only hope at this point is for Biden to add members to the court. Let’s hope he has the guts to do it!
BERNIE SANDERS HAS BONDED WITH PRESIDENT BIDEN. IS THAT GOOD?
by Norman Solomon
So far, most of the Biden presidency has been predictable. Its foreign policy includes bloated Pentagon spending and timeworn declarations that the United States should again “lead the world” and “sit at the head of the table.” Many corporate influence peddlers have settled into jobs in upper reaches of the executive branch. The new administration has taken only baby steps toward student debt relief or progressive taxation. On health care, the White House keeps protecting the interests of insurance companies while rebuffing public opinion that favors Medicare for All.
And yet — Joe Biden is no longer on the narrow corporate road that he traveled during five decades in politics.
President Biden’s recent moves to curtail monopolies have stunned many observers who — extrapolating from his 36-year record in the Senate — logically assumed he would do little to challenge corporate power. Overall, Biden has moved leftward on economic policies, while Sen. Bernie Sanders — who says that “the Biden of today is not what I or others would have expected” decades ago — has gained major clout that extends into the Oval Office.
This month has seen a spate of news stories about Sanders’ new political leverage, not only as chair of the Senate Budget Committee but also due to his close working relationship with Biden. Under the headline “Vermont’s Longtime Outsider Has Become a Trusted Voice in the Biden White House,” CNN summed up: “The Biden-Sanders connection is not a love story; it’s more a marriage of convenience. But as Biden pushes an unprecedented progressive White House agenda, it’s crucial.” Sanders told the network that Biden “wants to be a champion of working families, and I admire that and respect that.”
But if Biden is pushing “an unprecedented progressive White House agenda,” it’s a high jump over a low bar. Leaving aside President Lyndon Johnson’s short-lived Great Society program that was smothered by Vietnam War spending, no White House agendas since the 1940s really merit the term “progressive.” And the current president hardly passes as “a champion of working families” unless he’s graded on an unduly lenient curve.
One danger of Bernie’s tight political embrace of Biden is that “progressive” standards will be redefined downward. Another danger is that Biden’s international policies and conformity to militarism will be further swept off the table of public debate.
For instance, targeting Venezuela, Iran, Cuba and other disfavored nations, Biden continues to impose sanctions that are killing many thousands of people each month, with children especially vulnerable. A truly progressive president would not do such a thing.
Meanwhile — despite strong efforts by Sanders, some other lawmakers and many human-rights activists — Biden is still abetting Saudi Arabia’s warfare in Yemen that continues to cause the world’s worst humanitarian disaster. “While he is a welcome change from the incompetence, venality, and cruelty of the Trump administration,” epidemiologist Aisha Jumaan and attorney Charles Pierson wrote days ago, “Biden has continued the Obama and Trump administrations’ support for the Saudi-led war on Yemen.” A truly progressive president would not do such a thing.
And then there’s the enormous U.S. military budget, already bloated during the Trump years, which Biden has opted to raise. A truly progressive president would not do such a thing.
There is political and moral peril ahead to the extent that Bernie Sanders — or others who oppose such policies — feel compelled to tamp down denunciations of them in hopes of reaping progressive results by bonding, and not polarizing, with Biden.
In the aftermath of his two presidential campaigns that achieved huge political paradigm shifts, Sanders is now in a unique position. “Sanders already influenced a leftward shift in the Democratic Party through his time on the campaign trail in 2016 and 2020,” Bloomberg News reported last week. “Biden has embraced a series of progressive priorities, including an expanded child tax credit and subsidies for clean energy, and made an attempt at increasing the national minimum wage earlier this year.”
Sanders routinely combines his zeal for the art of the morally imperative with the art of the possible. So, four months ago, he helped push the American Rescue Plan through the Senate and onto Biden’s desk for signing. It resulted in upwards of 160 million direct cash payments to individuals, but did not boost the minimum wage. Sanders commented: “Was it everything we wanted? No. Was it a major step for the working class of this country? You bet it was.”
His approach has been similar this week in the midst of negotiations for a multi trillion-dollar budget plan. After a private White House meeting with Biden that Sanders called a “very good discussion,” the senator told reporters: “He knows and I know that we’re seeing an economy where the very, very rich are getting richer while working families are struggling.”
For genuine progressives, the Sanders-Biden bond is positive to the extent that it helps sway the president’s policies leftward — but negative to the extent that it restrains Sanders, and others in his extended orbit, from publicly confronting Biden about policies that are antithetical to the values that the Bernie 2020 presidential campaign embodied. Today, Sanders’ role is appreciably and necessarily different than the needed roles of grassroots movements that have inspired and been inspired by him.
Progressives cannot and should not be satisfied with the policies of the Biden presidency. Yet breakthrough achievements should not be denied.
At the end of last week, Public Citizen’s president Robert Weissman sent out a mass email hailing big news about Biden’s executive order on monopolies. Noting that Biden “tasked agencies throughout his administration with helping to level the playing field for consumers, workers, and small businesses,” Weissman declared: “Joe Biden just took the most significant action any president has taken in generations to confront the menace of corporate monopolies.”
An exaggeration? Hyperbolic? I wondered. So, I asked a leading progressive economist, Dean Baker.
“I think the enthusiasm is warranted,” Baker replied. “Biden laid out pretty much everything that he could do in terms of executive action. In many cases, everything will depend on the implementation, and also what the courts will buy.” The executive order’s provisions will be legally contested. “But some of these items are a really big deal. In the case of imported prescription drugs, you could easily be talking about [saving] $100 billion a year and if they push hard, possibly as much as $200 billion a year. That comes to more than $600 per person every year.”
Baker added that Biden’s recent appointment of Lina Kahn to be the chair of the Federal Trade Commission “was a really big deal — she is probably the foremost progressive antitrust scholar in the country.”
Overall, what the Biden administration is doing runs the gamut from very good to very awful. Meanwhile, Bernie Sanders — an extraordinary politician who has always worked in tandem with progressive movements — has landed in an exceptional position to shape history. He recently told an interviewer, “As somebody who wrote a book called ‘Outsider in the House,’ yes, it is a strange experience to be having that kind of influence that we have now.”
As Bernie Sanders continues to navigate that “strange experience,” one of the realms where he excels is public communication. It was aptly summarized a few days ago by Nathan J. Robinson, who wrote that Sanders “is always on message, always trying to make sure the press has to talk about what he wants them to talk about…. Bernie has his flaws and made serious mistakes in both of his presidential campaigns, but he is very good at politics despite his marginal position. If he goes on a talk show, he will be discussing wealth inequality or the future of democracy… Staying relentlessly on message — and thinking about what topics we want to spend our finite resources and time talking about — is critical to having an effective, persuasive left.”
An effective, persuasive left cannot be sustained by any leader, no matter how inspiring or brilliant. With the future at stake, what’s ultimately possible — as the Bernie 2020 motto insisted — is not about him, it’s about us.
(Norman Solomon is the national director of RootsAction.org and the author of many books including War Made Easy: How Presidents and Pundits Keep Spinning Us to Death. He was a Bernie Sanders delegate from California to the 2016 and 2020 Democratic National Conventions. Solomon is the founder and executive director of the Institute for Public Accuracy.)