Possible Thunderstorms | 5.1 Quake | Boonville Piggies | Thirsty Ukiah | Cat Special | Hopland Cafe | Jackson Benefit | RedBeard Curiosity | Water Haulers | Agenda Notes | Navarro Grade | Referenda Review | Bruggeman Missing | Luna Landing | People Everywhere | Phase 3 | Peaceful Transition | Pot Consequences | Little Belly | Wells Failing | Shanachie Pub | Pot Portal | Top Cottage | Ed Notes | Yesterday's Catch | Tricky Totem | Coffee Song | Curious Reys | Short Synopsis | Charlie Anarchist | Good Times | Bourdain Documentary | Holy Crap | Wild Bill | TV Prez | Collective Expression
COASTAL STRATUS IS LESS INTENSE this morning and is expected to scatter out. A seasonable norm for mid summer is expected today. Otherwise, dry thunderstorms are possible for Lake and Mendocino counties late tonight and Monday. (NWS)
5.1 EARTHQUAKE offshore of Petrolia last night (11:46pm): earthquake.usgs.gov/earthquakes/eventpage/nc73594531/executive
PIGS IN BOONVILLE
Brian Wood Writes:
About a week ago a mama pig and five piglets started visiting our backyard next to Anderson Creek in Boonville, just off downtown. First time I’ve seen them here. Anderson Creek is dry and I assume water sources in the hills are all dry too. It’s probably possible for wildlife to find some water in the creek bed by finding low spots or digging. I expect more animals to show up as the dry summer goes on. We’ve tried contacting the County for advice but so far no one answers the phones there, or returns calls when we leave a message. If I recall, the County trapping program which used to employ Gary Johnson is no longer funded, so I’m not sure what to do. It’s not practical for me to shoot them. If pigs are in our yard now they could show up elsewhere in Boonville soon.
CITY OF UKIAH RUNNING OUT OF RECYCLED WATER, looking at ways to increase supply 13 million gallons delivered to users in one week
by Justine Frederiksen
With so many other sources of water drying up, the city of Ukiah is finding its recycled water in high demand. In such high demand, in fact, that it will soon be like those other sources of water: tapped out.
“We distributed 13 million gallons of recycled water, literally four times as much recycled water as surface water, in one week,” Sean White, the city’s director of water and sewer resources, told the Ukiah City Council at its last meeting July 7. “That amount of water is not sustainable, and we’re definitely minding our storage pretty heavily at the recycled water facility.”
Water treated at the Ukiah Valley Wastewater Treatment Plant began being delivered through the city’s Purple Pipe system about two years ago for mostly agricultural uses such as vineyard irrigation, but has become particularly valuable this year as historic drought conditions are drying out the entire state of California and beyond.
“We knew we were going to run out this year, but I think we’re a little bit ahead of that curve, and we want to make sure that everybody makes it through,” White told the City Council of the discussions being had about how to best allocate the water to everyone who needs it. “I think we can do it, (but) it’s gonna take a little informal water mastering and goodwill amongst neighbors.”
White said the city is also looking at ways to increase its supply of recycled water, which he said has been reduced not only by people showering and flushing their toilets a bit less often, but more significantly by recent major improvements to the city’s underground sewer system.
While 1.24 million gallons flowed into the Treatment Plant on a recent day this summer, White said “on a normal summer day, it would be very typical to have 2.5, maybe 2.8 million gallons (flowing in). And that would be a low day. Historically, we’d be hovering right around 3 million gallons.”
White further explained that a lot of the reduction in the amount of “used” water available for the Purple Pipe system is because of recent improvements to the collection system below streets such as Luce, Washington and Observatory avenues, as well as under both North and South State Street.
“With all of those big chunks of main replacement and our new policy of really doing the innerties to the laterals correctly, our French Drain system ain’t what it used to be,” White said. “We’re going to see sustained lower flows … in what shows up at the plant, which is good news for the amount of water we need to treat and get rid of, but it is not great news for making recycled water in a year like this. Which is why we’re going to deplete our storage ahead of schedule.”
“So it seems that one of the tasks before us is to figure out how do we get more water into the system when there is more than abundant water,” said City Council member Doug Crane, to which White responded that city staff have “talked about that previously, and I think it may be time to step that up if we need to.”
When City Council member Mari Rodin asked what the options were for increasing the flow into the treatment plant, such as “annexation or using more water,” White said annexation was not an option, as the city already “treats the wastewater from all of the areas outside of the city, which is how we are able to produce as much water as we do.” Instead, White said the city could look into adding stormwater and “blending inflows.”
“We can’t expand our footprint, because our footprint is already as big as it can be, but we can look at other sources of water, such as stormwater or other things, or blend it after treatment to increase the volume,” he said.
As for providing potable water to its residents, White said the city has “really shifted our operations from surface water to groundwater to the best of our ability at the moment. Right now we’re using 97 percent less surface water than we did in June of 2020, which is a pretty stark reduction. Normally this time of year our split is about 55 percent surface water, 45 percent groundwater, and right now we’re running about 85 percent groundwater and 15 percent surface water.”
(Ukiah Daily Journal)
REMEMBERING THE BLACK CAT
from DA David Eyster
Re: You’re An Old Timer If You Remember This Place ….
Well, I guess that makes me old or at least an old timer. The picture is of what was once the Black Cat Café (1950) / Riverside Auto Court & Cabins (1936), which disappeared after 1989.
As DJ-Ken Steely has written, they were:
Formally located three miles south of Hopland, California at CA State Mile Marker 8.17 on the west side of Highway 101, aka the Redwood Highway.
The Black Cat Café / Riverside Auto Court & Cabins were situated together between the banks of the Russian River and State Highway 101.
Originally, a simple campground was opened here in the very early 1930s and was then known as Riverside Campground. It was built along what had been an early rugged dirt road, then known as McCray’s Road, traveling across private land to McCray’s Resort near Cloverdale, CA.
Also during that time, the original stagecoach route and the original State Highway 101 were located several miles to the west on what is known today as, “Mountain House Road.” It starts and ends at each end today near Cloverdale & Hopland.
The State of California started construction for a new two-way paved Highway 101 alignment on the east side of the Russian River in 1934, on what had been McCray’s Road leading to and from McCray’s Resort near Cloverdale, CA.
The State of California Highway Crew camped in Riverside Campground during this time of building a new Highway 101 over McCray’s Road and three cabins were added to this campground.
A gas station (brand of gasoline is unknown) was planned but there is no evidence it was ever built. The name of Riverside Auto Court and Cabins was established in 1936.
Mr. & Mrs. Lloyd Wright were managing the Riverside Auto Court & Cabins in 1947. However; by 1949 it was operated by D.F. Tibbitts and the name was changed to Riverside Court.
Mr. & Mrs. James F. & Florence Johnson first opened the Black Cat Café, along with partner Asher Harry on this Riverside Court property in 1950 and operated it until 1965 when Florence died. James sold the Black Cat Cafe and retired shortly thereafter. James F. Johnson died on Sunday, January 10, 1971, six years after his wife Florence.
There was a succession of owners of the Black Cat Café & Riverside Cabins in the years following 1965.
One thing that remained to the very end was delicious homemade food! I have NEVER since found homemade pies like the ones you could get at the Black Cat Cafe. The end of the Black Cat Cafe was truly the end of an era.
The Black Cat Café / Riverside Auto Court & Cabins (only three cabins ever built) closed permanently in 1989. The land and buildings were then purchased by the State of California and were torn down in the 1990s for the widening of Highway 101 from two lanes to four.
This had been a very popular place for tourists and truckers to stop. Many of the regular truckers had their name written on a coffee cup and hanging on the rear wall of the café for the next time they stopped by.
Notice the little black kitty cat on top of the wedge-shaped Black Cat café sign that juts out over the top of the building. The black cat itself was outlined in dark blue neon and the Black Cat Café letters were in a red neon script for night viewing.
In 1988, during one of the last meals served by the lady that was the last to own the Black Cat Restaurant, I offered to purchase the Black Cat Café sign from the last owner of the café, but she said, “No.” Many times while I’m driving by this former Black Cat Café, I do wonder if the Black Cat Café sign still exists somewhere. And recently I found out that it does!
A COAST READER WRITES: I know the answers to these questions may not be answered until the man in question is arrested, but: Who is this RedBeard? Why doesn't he move from town to town more? Why is he doing this? Did have have a job? A rap sheet? WTF does his family have to say?
SUPERVISORS AGENDA NOTES
by Mark Scaramella
Monday’s Supervisors Agenda (there are two meetings coming up next week, one on Monday, another on Tuesday) includes an item about possibly forming a Public Safety Advisory Board.
Item 5a) – “Discussion and Possible Action Regarding the Creation of a Public Safety Advisory Board or Alternative; and Adoption or Amendment of Ordinance Adding Chapter 2.39of the County Code Creating a Public Safety Advisory Board”
The draft ordinance accompanying the agenda item is pretty bland with verbs like outreach, examine, review, report, recommend… and this rather specific note at the end: “Nominate a member of the public to the Use of Force Review Board.”
There’s also a stronger list of “limitations” saying the prospective advisory Board would have no authority to change any decisions, make policy, impose discipline, investigate on its own, interfere with the Sheriff’s department, or subpoena documents or witnesses.
In effect, it’s a version of the Measure B oversight committee but without any money, and a grand opportunity for the local Blue Meanie brigades to cop-bash.
* * *
Monday’s agenda also includes a presentation from the Berkeley Cannabis Research Center on pot water use. Buried in the presentation is a comparison of pot water use to wine water use. These particular “experts” say that pot uses less than one quart of water per joint, as against one glass of wine which uses 21 gallons of water. But what would you expect from the Cannabis experts? Nevertheless, combining that water per wine glass estimate with Mendo's much larger acreage in wine grapes and the ratio between total pot water and total wine water becomes even more pronounced in favor of pot — assuming, of course, that a glass of wine is somehow equivalent to one joint. With the drought worsening by the day and wine grapes implicated in the latest Russian River flow reductions, Mendo may have to coin a new catch-phrase: Save Water: Smoke Pot!
* * *
Then on Tuesday, things could get much more interesting when the Board considers a request from Sheriff Kendall to approve an “agreement with the Law Office of Duncan M. James in the Amount of $50,000 to Provide the Sheriff with Legal Assistance Pursuant to Government Code section 31000.6, Effective Upon Execution with No Term End Date.”
We assume this has to do with the simmering dispute between the Sheriff and the CEO about the Sheriff’s budget and how much legal authority the Board/CEO has over the Sheriff’s funding. (Duncan James is a former Mendocino County District Attorney.) Sheriff Kendall is basically asking the Board to finance a legal opinion that the Board and the CEO probably don’t want to hear. Obviously, the Sheriff isn’t interested in the opinion of County Counsel Christian Curtis on the subject.
* * *
And there’s Camille Schraeder’s application to be a member of the Health and Human Services Agency Advisory Board. Since Ms. Schraeder & Co. is the Agency’s largest contractor by far, it’s hard to imagine a more obvious conflict of interest. But since this is Mendocino County, her appointment is assured, no questions asked.
FOG ON THE NAVARRO GRADE
A TALE OF TWO REFERENDUMS
To the Editor:
The Mendocino County Board of Supervisors’ 4 to 1 vote (Supervisor Haschak dissenting) to approve a new cannabis ordinance that establishes the infamous “10 percent rule” (which permits cannabis grows of up to 10 percent on parcels over 10 acres), is a direct slap in the face to every legacy cannabis farmer, small business owner and registered voter in this County.
Imagine: the 10 percent rule permits a cannabis grow of 100 acres on a 1,000 acre parcel. A 100 acre grow is the equivalent of 435 10,000 square feet grows, the previous maximum size. It doesn’t take an economics professor to see that the 10 percent rule is the death knell for the County’s small legacy cannabis farmers, and that the County’s cannabis industry will be dominated by a few large corporate entities mostly headquartered outside the County.
It is clear that the four Supervisors who voted in favor of the 10 percent rule have no problem selling out their constituents for the easy money from deep pocketed, out-of-County, corporate, speculators.
In reaction to the Board’s effrontery, two ad hoc groups of alarmed citizens formed independently to create county wide referendums to rescind the 10 percent rule. Apparently there was an attempt made to merge the two groups, but their differences in approach could not be reconciled, so now there are petitions for two separate referendums to repeal the 10 percent rule being circulated to get on the ballot. Personally, I was not consulted on either of these referendums, so my opinion expressed below is entirely based on the content of the referendums and not on the identities of the petitioners.
I have been following the debate in the newspapers over the two referendum proposals, and from what I can tell, one referendum would completely rescind the new cannabis ordinance and fall back on the failed permitting process of the past five years, and the other referendum would simply strike out the 10 percent rule and leave the rest of the new ordinance intact.
As I see it, with the exception of the 10 percent rule, the new ordinance is not so bad. It includes needed reforms in the permitting process that make it feasible for small cannabis farmers to actually get a permit to grow legally. Under the new ordinance, cannabis farmers would be required to get a use permit from the Building and Planning Department to operate. To qualify for a use permit, the applicant would have to demonstrate compliance with state water and wildlife regulations as well as county land use regulations.
No matter what system the county uses to process permits for legal cannabis cultivation, the success of the program at protecting our environment from destructive farming practices will be determined by enforcement of compliance with these state and county regulations. With its current staffing, the Building and Planning Department is ill-equipped to handle enforcement of these regulations, so if this use permit system is to succeed at protecting our environment, Building and Planning will need to be fully staffed with compliance enforcement officers.
In my opinion, if the 10 percent rule is excised from the new ordinance, it will then be a positive step forward for the legal cannabis industry in Mendocino County, so therefore I support the referendum to that effect. However, I recommend that registered voters sign both petitions to make sure they both qualify for the ballot, and then vote for both on election day to make sure they both pass. I must say, I think it is unfortunate that the citizen activist energy for overturning the 10 percent rule is split in two, and I hope this division doesn’t sink them both.
SEARCH AND RESCUE CONDUCTING OPERATIONS TODAY AFTER POTTER VALLEY MAN GOES MISSING
by Matt LaFever
Potter Valley man, PJ Bruggeman, Jr., was last seen on Thursday, July 15, 2021 near his home, according to his partner, Mindy. He has not been seen since. Considered “at-risk” by the Nixle Alert issued by the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office.
Bruggeman is 5′ 11”, 160 pounds, has blonde dreadlocks and multiple tattoos. One note of particular concern is Bruggeman reportedly left home without his truck, wallet, and phone.
A Nixle Alert issued by the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office early this morning indicates MCSO’s Search and Rescue will be searching in the area of Mid-Mountain Road in the area of Potter Valley with personnel both on foot and using off-road vehicles. The alert states the search operation will run from 8:00 a.m. this morning to sundown.
THE GIRL IN THE HOT PINK SHIRT
In the evening of Thursday, July 16, 2021, at approximately 1914 hours (7:14pm), UPD Officers responded to a report of single vehicle traffic collision in the area of the 100 block of Brush St. It was reported that a vehicle collided with a utility pole and the driver fled the scene on foot. The driver was described as a Hispanic female adult wearing a hot pink shirt, last seen running northbound toward the Fairgrounds.
UPD Officers responded to the scene and located the vehicle, which had major damage consistent with a high-speed collision. Officers located a female matching the description, identified as Luna Magdaleno, in the 900 block of Mazzoni St.
Magdaleno was bleeding and appeared to have serious injuries. As Officers spoke with Magdaleno they observed her displaying symptoms of alcohol intoxication. Magdaleno admitted to being the driver of the vehicle and to consuming alcohol prior to the collision. It was determined no one else was involved or injured in the collision.
Officers had medical respond to treat Magdaleno and she was transported to a local hospital via ambulance. Magdaleno was found to be on probation for a prior DUI conviction and to have a suspended driver’s license.
Due to Magdaleno requiring medical treatment an arrest was not made at that time. Officers took a DUI traffic collision report with charges of DUI, hit and run, violation of probation and driving on suspended license, to be submitted for prosecution to the District Attorney’s Office.
To the Editor:
What would be accomplished by a successful Phase 3 referendum? And how would that benefit the County of Mendocino and its residents? Yes we all would love to revert to the days gone by of simpler compassionate use regulation and zip ties if it were not for the well documented environmental destruction that resulted from weak and unorganized oversight that will be mitigated under Phase 3.
What is at stake today is the livelihood of residents who pay taxes and have the same right to participate in legal cultivation, processing and manufacturing, and distribution of cannabis in the Proposition 64 cannabis industry who qualify under Phase 3. Those residents who could not prove prior cultivation under Phase 1 regulation because they chose to obey the law and not cultivate illegally will be hurt and many of them likely your neighbor who if isn’t a cultivator may be an employee of a cannabis cultivator or producer.
And what would an EIR gain over and above the CEQA process? The environmental data gathered over a long multi-year EIR will certainly highlight the wide proportionality gap that exists between the acreage of proposed Phase 3 cannabis cultivation versus vineyards or cattle herds. What impact would an EIR have on the owners of the 17,000 thousand acres of Mendocino vineyards or the 15,000 head of cattle? In Hopland vineyard operators are planting hundreds of acres without the same burdens placed on cannabis cultivators who are assessed fees by the local fire department for approvals on a 10,000 sq ft greenhouse.
All residents of Mendocino desire performance based leadership that addresses the myriad of issues. Phase 3 is a positive step in that direction that the residents of Mendocino deserve.
Reply to Clifford Paulin…
“Allow the process of thoughtful representative democracy to move ahead.” These are your own words. But your meaning is “opposition is not democratic” and the people who oppose cannabis expansion should just shut up and go away. You are correct in “it is time for us to begin to repair our broken cannabis system.” The whole process has been a complete failure since pot was legalized in California. And now with larger grows being allowed it will be hard to breathe in Mendocino County without the smell of pot in the air. I thought we might have learned something after breathing fire smoke the last five years. We could not control the illegal pot grows before legalization and now it has only gotten worse.
We have hundreds of “pot” articles in the paper trying to get a handle on the new laws concerning the licensing of pot growers but we have not progressed down that road have we?
Just look at what is going on in Covelo. Why are we allowing this to happen right under our noses? Oh yeah because it is pot, we allow violence, environmental destruction, and rural neighborhoods to be transformed into pot “farms,” and consider the amount of water that goes into the growing of weed without much oversight, the smell that can be a nuisance to your neighbors not to mention the seedy types that have moved into the county. Smoke all the pot you want but consider that these actions have consequences and somewhere or somehow we will all be affected.
RE: VINEYARDS, POT & DRY WELLS (LAKE CO.)
“After 21 years on my beloved property in High Valley in Clearlake Oaks California, my well has gone dry. Other wells have dried up and several more are experiencing problems. We are in extreme drought and the county of Lake is considering allowing an 80 acre marijuana grow to be established in my valley – directly across the street from another large water user, Brassfield Estate Winery! This is unconscionable and must be stopped! Stand with the residents and tell Lake County Planning Commission to put county property owners above these out-of-county companies with deep pockets who are using our resources and selling their product elsewhere. They are being short-sighted and aren’t considering what will happen to our beautiful county when all the water dries up on the pot grows, their projects abandoned, and their precious tax revenues cease to be paid. What the hell are our representatives thinking?? Please help us stop this travesty!”
— Maria Kann, Lake County
MUSIC IS BACK AT SHANACHIE PUB!
Christopher Hawley, Mitchell Holman, William Scott Forbes Band, Ketracell and The Meta!
Shanachie Pub Craft Brew & Cider House Your All Original Music Venue
- Christopher Hawley Duo!-Monday, July 19th-7 pm
- Tuesday, July 20th-8pm Mitchell Holman, formerly of the San Francisco iconic band It's A Beautiful Day (famous for the song "Whitebird") will be presenting this event every 1st & 3rd Tuesday of the month!
- William Scott Forbes Band-Thursday, July 22nd-7 pm
- Ketracell!-Saturday, July 24th-8 pm Harmonically enhanced from a musical maturation chamber based in remote hillsides of Northern California.
Shanachie Pub-50 B S. Main St. in Willits
CHAPTER 10A.17, PHASE ONE REAPPLICATION PORTAL Opening on August 2, 2021, Expiring on October 30, 2021
On August 2, 2021, at 12:00 am Pacific Time, the County of Mendocino Cannabis Program will open the Phase One Cultivation Reapplication Portal. The Portal is for commercial cannabis cultivators with applications under review pursuant to Chapter 10A.17 and will be available for 90 calendar days. If you are a Phase One applicant, pursuant to Chapter 10A.17, and have NOT been notified that you are “In Good Standing”, or your application number appears on the Portal List with a “Portal” recommendation status, you will need to submit a completed Phase One application through this portal.
Phase One permit holders do NOT need to resubmit application materials through the portal and permit renewals will not be accepted through the Portal. Issued permits and applications that have been denied, withdrawn, or canceled, for any reason, are NOT eligible for resubmittal through this portal.
Failure to provide a complete application resubmittal during the 90-day Portal period will result in denial of your application.
Please note that even if your application is determined to be complete by Program staff, there may still be site-specific aspects of the project that staff will follow-up with you on after the 90-day period that the portal system is available. For example, if your application requires an Administrative Permit or Use Permit for any reason, please be sure to reference this on the Phase One Application and Program staff will follow up with you during the application review process to request this additional information.
In preparation for the Portal launch, the Cannabis Program will be hosting two Portal Information Sessions. Both Portal Information Sessions will be accessible via Zoom, provide a walk-through of the Portal, and time for Q&A. Portal Information Sessions will be held from 3:30 * 5:00 pm Pacific Time, on July 21 and July 28. Registration is required.
For more information or to register for a session, please visit the Cannabis Application Portal System Page:
For questions, please contact:
Mendocino County Cannabis Program
579 Low Gap Road
Ukiah, CA 95482
Phone: (707) 234-6680
Caitlin Schafer, Administrative Assistant County of Mendocino Cannabis Program 579 Low Gap Rd., Ukiah, CA 95482
MENDOCINO AIR BNB RATED #1 in all of California!
They say you aren't a true son or daughter of Mendocino County unless you've driven Fish Rock Road near Yorkville to Gualala and the Mina Road to Alderpoint. I've never heard anybody but me say that, truth to tell, but driving both or, better yet biking them if you're able, you'll get what I get, an emotional feeling for this place unavailable at any other of the county's back-county sites. At the top of Fish Rock, before you drop down into the Gualala watershed, you can feel like a topographical Argus, seeing Mendocino County whole, us in the middle of the Coast Range in all undulating directions with human settlements tucked away in its seemingly infinite folds.
The Mina Road runs north out of Covelo up into the hills past what was once the settlement of Mina itself, complete with a post office. Before LP's decade-long cash-in of the county's forests, there was a hand-printed sign a few miles out of town by a descendant of the proud pioneer family that owned the ranch. It listed the family members and the middle 19th century date their ranch was founded, and then LP got it and the sign disappeared with all the trees and even the old ranch house. All along the Mina Road you're traversing the Eel River watershed, imagining the old days east of Mina where Wylacki John Wathen bushwhacked designated enemies of his padrone, George White, occasionally disguising himself as an Indian to do it. Men testifying against the ruthless White, cattle king of Round Valley, would set out from the Covelo area for court in Weaverville not to be heard from again. Traffic out of Round Valley was north-south to Weaverville because Covelo, in the winter, was cut off from Ukiah and official business. White's dream was his own inland county. Historically considered, Round Valley north to Southern Humboldt, has got to be, per capita, one of the most violent areas of the United States. And still is, as the Mina Road north to the dusty hamlet of Alderpoint, once a thriving railroad stop, presently houses more outlaws than it did when Wylacki John and George White ruled supreme.
I always get these history flashbacks in the back country out of Covelo as do, I bet, many Mendo people who know the history of our place. Wylacki John, incidentally, got the Wylacki handle because, allegedly, he was adopted by Wylackis as a child. Whatever his origins, from all accounts, Wylacki John was a gifted natural linguist, at home with all the tribes from Ukiah to the Sacramento Valley. He was himself finally killed by the uncle of a woman libeled by Wylacki John on behalf of George White, a man nationally infamous for murdering inconvenient women.
FRIDAY, tipping my hat to the Zenis of the Zeni Ranch as I drove out Fish Rock Road in silent tribute to the original Zeni, an old country Italian immigrant, whose immigrant bride he met at the railroad stop in Cloverdale, and then the two of them walked west to the homestead the groom had carved out of the Mendocino County wilderness where they and their descendants have thrived ever since. Dropping down out of the hills into Gualala, I stopped in at the Independent Coast Observer for a courtesy call on my journalo-colleagues. The ICO seems to be one of your more security-oriented rural newspapers. A sign on the locked door said, “Ring.” I rang, and soon a cautious woman peered out from maybe a foot of open space between me and her. “Yes?” was her tentative question perhaps thinking I looked like the kinda guy who might bullrush the Gualala weekly for its secrets, I said merely that I wanted to say hello to the publisher if he was available. He wasn't. “Let me get a note pad,” the guardian said, “and I'll leave a message for him.” I dictated: “The Beast of Boonville says hello.” She wrote it down without the slightest reaction, and closed the door. You'd have thought I was Sister Yasmin.
On down the Coast, noting that Gualala looks more than ever like a down-market Monterey, on past the gray geometric sameness of Sea Ranch and, eventually, after passing innumerable salt water taffy markets, heading east into burgeoning Petaluma. I stopped once outside of Bodega Bay at a roadside plant sale presided over by a clutch of old ladies. I thought of them as old, forgetting that I'm probably older, when one granny recommended, “Lots of great succulents, sir.” Hell, call me Mister, I thought. “I'm more of a Shasta daisy kinda guy, ma'am,” I said, finally settling for the only plant I can't seem to kill, a geranium. Overall impression of what turned out to be a five hour jaunt from Boonville — What used to be rural is now semi-rural except for Fish Rock Road. And Mina.
CATCH OF THE DAY, July 17, 2021
JULIAN CARRILLO-PALOMAR, Fort Bragg. DUI.
NATHANIEL CHIM, Fort Bragg. Arson of property, arson during emergency.
JEFFREY DRANEY, Oakland/Ukiah. DUI.
AGUSTIN ESTRADA, Santa Rosa/Ukiah. DUI, no license.
THOMAS GALINDO JR., Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-alcohol, probation revocation. (Frequent Flyer)
VICENTE GONZALEZ, Redwood Valley. Failure to appear.
EUGENE HARRIS, Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-alcohol.
SHAWN JOHNSON, Ukiah. Tampering with vehicle, burglary tools, petty theft, contempt of court.
ANTHONY MCCOY, Ukiah. No license, failure to appear, probation revocation.
ULISES RODRIGUEZ-GARCIA, Santa Rosa/Ukiah. DUI, suspended license for DUI.
JAI SILCOTT, Ukiah. DUI-alcohol&drugs, controlled substance.
ANTHONY STUTSMAN, Ukiah. DUI.
CHRISTINA TORRES, Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-alcohol, controlled substance, pedestrian on roadway, failure to appear, probation revocation.
SCOTTY WILLIS, Ukiah. Battery. (Frequent flyer.)
JONATHAN YOUNG, Willits. Failure to appear.
THE COFFEE SONG
Way down among Brazilians
Coffee beans grow by the billions
So they've got to find those extra cups to fill
They've got an awful lot of coffee in Brazil
You can't get cherry soda
'cause they've got to fill that quota
And the way things are I'll bet they never will
They've got a zillion tons of coffee in Brazil
No tea or tomato juice
You'll see no potato juice
'cause the planters down in Santos all say "No, no, no"
The politician's daughter
Was accused of drinkin' water
And was fined a great big fifty dollar bill
They've got an awful lot of coffee in Brazil
You date a girl and find out later
She smells just like a percolator
Her perfume was made right on the grill
Why, they could percolate the ocean in Brazil
And when their ham and eggs need savor
Coffee ketchup gives 'em flavor
Coffee pickles way outsell the dill
Why, they put coffee in the coffee in Brazil
No tea, no tomato juice
You'll see no potato juice
The planters down in Santos all say "No, no, no"
So you'll add to the local color
Serving coffee with a cruller
Dunkin' doesn't take a lot of skill
They've got an awful lot of coffee
An awful lot of coffee
Man, they got a gang of coffee in Brazil!
— Bob Hilliard, Dick Miles
ON LINE COMMENT OF THE DAY
A short synopsis: He has to allow things to get as bad as they can be, where humanity is at the point of annihilating itself, before He acts. And when that happens, humanity will fight Him, sort of like people are thinking “Who are YOU to come here and try to stop us from doing what we want to do? It’s not your business if we want to kill each other off.” Then humanity has its collective ass kicked, the Milennium takes place (and will be a lot different than just enjoying Heaven on Earth, as many pastors say it will be — Jesus is to rule with a rod of iron, plus it’ll probably take all of a thousand years to fix up the mess humans have made of the Earth) and humanity unsuccessfully rebels again before the judgment.
Our rights — ALL of our rights — will be lost. God will not intervene to save them from themselves because we have to learn from our mistakes, and because hardly anyone is asking for His forgiveness and that He will restore our country; we’re too busy being “right” to do what’s right. People in America are used to autonomy, but that’s fast disappearing because so many of us are terrified and want our national daddy to handle everything for us so that we can basically just fuck off 24/7. In the future, we’ll be able to think, but that doesn’t mean we’ll think clearly, or that we’ll be able to succeed in what we purpose to do because trading freedom for alleged security (brought to you by obtrusive government) really means trading freedom for slavery. The majority of people will embrace their slavery, while anyone who doesn’t accept it will be ostracized and/or murdered.
AMERICAN BILLIONAIRES had a very good pandemic. Total billionaire wealth when the pandemic began was $2.9 trillion. It now stands at $4.7 trillion. The pandemic accounts for one-third of all billionaire wealth gains since 1990.
Musk: up $134 billion
Bezos: up $99B
Zuckerberg: up $72B
Page/Brin: up $57B each
Ellison: up $54B
Buffett: up $34B
Gates: up $31B
Ballmer/Knight: up $29B each
Waltons: up $28B
Average US billionaire: up 60%
(Jeffrey St. Clair)
BILL KIMBERLIN: The media is making a big deal out of the use of AI in this new documentary of Anthony Bourdain.
It was all over the news today. So what's it about? The film's director, Morgan Neville, revealed that he created a voice over of an email written by Bourdain. In addition to using clips of Bourdain’s voice from various media appearances, the filmmaker says he had an “A.I. model” of Bourdain’s voice created in order to complete the effect of Bourdain ‘reading’ from his own email in the film.
I see zero problem with this and I have made quite a few documentaries. The emails were written by Bourdain, they just didn't have a recording of them, so they synthesized them from hours of his voice recordings.
I'd do it in a heartbeat. What does anyone else think? One thing is for sure, this media todo has given the film exposure you can't buy and will add $$$ to the boxoffice take.
TODAY IN OLD-WEST HISTORY -- On today’s date 151 years ago, July 17, 1870, the Drum’s Saloon Gunfight occurred at the town of Hayes City in Ellis County, Kansas.
Legendary Old-West frontier scout, gunfighter, & lawman James Butler “Wild Bill” Hickok (1837-1876) had been drinking at Drum’s Saloon when seven intoxicated soldiers from the 7th Cavalry stationed at nearby Fort Hays who were also at the bar began to exchange words with Wild Bill. A brawl broke out, and the soldiers threw Hickok to the floor & held him down. One of the soldiers held a six-gun to Wild Bill’s ear & pulled the trigger, but the gun misfired. Hickok managed to regain his feet, pulled his own pistols, and shot Private Jerry Lanihan through the wrist & knee and another trooper, John Kile, in the stomach. The rest of the soldiers backed off as Hickok retreated from the saloon & immediately left town. Lanihan survived but Kile died the next day.
The Drum’s Saloon gunfight was a clear-cut case of self-defense and Wild Bill was cleared of any wrongdoing. He spent the next six years working in law enforcement and gambling, and appearing in Wild West shows.
In 1876, six years after the Drum’s Saloon gunfight, Wild Bill Hickok met his unfortunate and untimely earthly demise at the age of 39 when he was murdered — shot in the back of his head during a poker game at the town of Deadwood Gulch in the Black Hills of Dakota Territory.
MEET THE CENSORED: MATT ORFALEA
by Matt Taibbi
America’s burgeoning censorship movement had a great week. The White House jumped on board, with a matter-of-fact announcement that it was now helping Facebook flag “problematic posts”: In another ominous development, Politico reported that “Biden-allied groups, including the Democratic National Committee,” were planning to:
Engage fact-checkers more aggressively and work with SMS carriers to dispel misinformation about vaccines that is sent over social media and text messages. The goal is to ensure that people who may have difficulty getting a vaccination because of issues like transportation see those barriers lessened or removed entirely.
For those who may find such developments concerning, there was solace: at least no one is policing our private thoughts. Those are still our own, correct?
Not quite, learned satirical filmmaker, YouTuber, and journalist Matt Orfalea. He’s been involved in several different slapstick-dystopian stories just in the last month or so, none more absurd than a series of YouTube warnings and strikes he received from YouTube for content not one person ever saw, or could see.
Orfalea was working on a video involving a story covered in this space, YouTube’s demonetization of podcaster Bret Weinstein and its removal of Senate testimony by Dr. Pierre Kory. He uploaded a series of rough cuts to his YouTube channel, but kept them locked and private, as part of his normal routine. Like many YouTube content creators, Orfalea uploads videos but keeps them locked while he applies for monetization. In other words, he’s keeping material private because he’s essentially checking with YouTube to see if there are problems with the content before he makes it public.
At 728 p.m. on June 14th, Orfalea received a warning from YouTube for three of those rough cuts:
Freaked out, and not wanting to further incur the wrath of YouTube — Orfalea makes a good part of his living via the channel — he deleted a long list of other rough cuts archived in non-public fashion. The next morning, at at 5:42 AM, he received an official strike from the channel, which resulted in a one-week ban and left him two strikes away from removal under YouTube’s three-strikes system. The catch? The strike was for one of the cuts he’d already deleted.
“I mean, it’s like a thought crime,” Orfalea says now, laughing in amazement. “How could I possibly be sending striking misinformation or any kind of information with a video that was never public. And then I had already deleted on my own accord?” YouTube was now going back in time to issue punishments for having once considered publishing transgressive video, in this case clips of things like Kory’s Senate testimony.
A few weeks after that, Orfalea got word from YouTube that they were demonetizing his channel and threatening him with another strike over seven year-old material. The reason? The content violated YouTube’s “violent criminal organizations” policy!
The video in question was a spoof commercial made using a clip of infamous spree killer Elliot Rodger, who murdered six people and injured fourteen others near the University of California at Santa Barbara campus in 2014. After the attacks, video came out of Rodger talking about “enjoying a nice Vanilla latte” from Starbucks. You can still find this video all over YouTube.
Orfalea, back then, made a joke commercial called “Starbucks Makes You Evil.” It’s just the Rodger video with a banner at the end, reading: Starbucks. Insanely overpriced beverages, for psychopaths. Why YouTube took a sudden interest in a clearly satirical video was not explained, but Orfalea appealed the decision. YouTube then admitted it made an error, but left hundreds of his other videos un-monetized. “It’s a seven year old video. Why would this happen now? he asks. “You can see it’s a simple commercial parody.”
Subsequently, Orfalea did a livestream with former KING reporter Alison Morrow, in which they discussed the absurdity of the platforms’ moderation policies. Among other things, they cited two older clips from mainstream organizations that seemingly violate YouTube policies. One showed NBC host Lester Holt saying, “Experts caution, masks are not always the answer,” while reporter Tom Costello added that masks are useful if you’re sick or someone in your family is sick, but “in a public place, not so much.” This seemed to conflict with Google’s rule against “claims that masks do not play a role in preventing the contraction or transmission of COVID-19.”
The other video showed CNN’s Sanjay Gupta saying much,” and “the vast majority of people aren’t going to get sick.” Gupta also made the same observation Trump did, comparing Covid-19 to influenza: “This has reminded people of flu a little bit.” This would seem to be a violation of YouTube’s rule against “Claims that the symptoms, death rates, or contagiousness of COVID-19 are less severe or equally as severe as the common cold or seasonal flu.”
They were old clips, but as YouTube demonstrated with the Elliot Rodger episode, oldness is no defense. YouTube moved swiftly, banning/removing Morrow’s video on the grounds that it constituted “misinformation.”
Again, the question revolved around a pair of videos from CNN and NBC that YouTube had not removed elsewhere on its channel, yet in the context of the lesser-known Morrow’s livestream, the same clips of Holt and Gupta talking were now punishable as medical misinformation. The double-standard was undisguised. Under some public pressure, YouTube reversed its decision on Morrow, only to turn around and delete Orfalea’s own video on the same subject.
Orfalea is no stranger to issues with YouTube. Five years ago, PBS selectively edited an interview Judy Woodruff conducted with Green Party candidate Jill Stein before it uploaded what viewers thought was the “full” version to YouTube. In fact, the PBS/YouTube upload had edited out a long section of a Stein answer railing against Hillary Clinton’s advocacy for the Trans-Pacific Partnership. Orfalea made a video comparing the two versions that you can see here.
More recently, he made the video seen at the top of this page, noting that Facebook suppressed the hashtag #Revolution at the same time Mark Zuckerberg was releasing his famed cornball video of himself riding an electric hydrofoil surfboard on the Fourth of July, to the dulcet tunes of John Denver.
Orfalea has a sense of humor, and tries to create content with a light tone, but there’s a serious angle to all of these episodes. This is especially true in light of the Biden administration’s moves this week, which show an increasing determination to have Internet platforms crack down on speech even between individuals — even pre-publication material.
I asked him to elaborate:
Matt Taibbi: How did you violate the “violent criminal organizations” rule?
Orfalea: It’s crazy. It’s just a 13-second video, a clip of Elliot Rodger, the Santa Barbara shooter. I saw a clip of him bragging about his Starbucks, drinking a latte in a car. And I just thought that was darkly hilarious that you have this terrible person and he’s promoting Starbucks. And of course, it’s the last person anybody would ever want in a commercial for their product.
They’re saying it’s associated or involved with violent criminals in some way. Violent criminal organizations — which is weird because the only organization in that video is Starbucks.
Taibbi: Do you make your living on YouTube? Does this affect your ability to support yourself?
Orfalea: On so many levels. Not 100% of my income is from YouTube — some comes from Patreon, some comes from freelance work I get as a result of YouTube. But if I can’t upload any of my livestream videos, I’m screwed.
Taibbi: What went through your mind when you saw the White House announcement about working with Facebook?
Orfalea: You have all these people who’ve been complaining about fascism since Trump, and then this is actual, by-definition, fascism. According to the classic definition, it includes the merging of corporate and state power.
Look, I’ve done a lot of videos that are very critical of Biden. So the thought does go through my head, “Is this why my channel was targeted?” Now that Jen Psaki admitted that the government does have this direct relationship with the social media companies, picking targets, telling them who needs to be [flagged], it’s hard not to think about it.
Taibbi: Why should anyone care if a hashtag is suppressed on Facebook?
Orfalea: It’s funny. I’d just been looking into how China censors their internet when that #revolution censorship on Facebook happened. And there are just so many similarities. There’s Harvard research from 2013 that says about China: they actually let a lot of criticism of the government go through. That’s not their main concern. Their main concern is to stop anything that will lead to “collective expression.” And that’s what hashtags are. They’re a collective expression. And they lead to real-world collective action. It just seems like we’re really mimicking Chinese censorship to a “T” now.
Taibbi: The “American Political Science Review” article you refer to says, “Some of the most highly censored events are not criticisms or even discussions of national policies, but rather highly localized collective expressions that represent or threaten group formation.” So their idea is that the Chinese are trying to prevent “group formation.” Isn’t that a fanciful read of the situation, to compare it to us? We’re not China.
Orfalea: People in the U.S. seem able to recognize that China’s censorship of the internet is bad. They say: “It’s so authoritarian, tyrannical, terrible, a human rights violation.” Everyone sees that, but then when it happens to us, here, we say, “Oh, but it’s a private company doing it.” What people don’t realize is the majority of censorship in China is being carried out by private companies.
Rebecca MacKinnon, former CNN Bureau chief for Beijing and Tokyo, wrote a book called Consent of the Network that lays all this out. She says, “This is one of the features of Chinese internet censorship and surveillance—that it's actually carried out primarily by private sector companies, by the tech platforms and services, not by the police. And that the companies that run China's internet services and platforms are acting as an extension of state power.”
The people who make that argument don’t realize how close we are to the same model. There are two layers. Everyone’s familiar with “The Great Firewall of China,” where they’re blocking out foreign websites. Well, the US does that too.
We just shut down Press TV, which is Iran’s PBS, for instance. We mimic that first layer as well, and now there’s also the second layer, internally, that involves private companies doing most of the censorship.