Cloud Cover | 45 New Cases | Covid Surging | Forest Fest | Water Woes | Emergency Curtailments | Pyrocumulus | Stolen Equipment | Kelp Resurgence | Local Roads | Peashooter | Stupes Problem | Creepy Statue | Undammed | Suspect Arrested | Yesterday's Catch | Attention Deficit | Another Weirdo | National Woes | Emergency Preparedness | Nature Boy | Eiffel Painting | Contrails | Kung-Fu | Comments | Brian Morans | Vaccine Mandates | Unvaccinated Brainwashing | Streamline Cycle | Deadly Silence | Flower Seller | Ubiquitous Plastic | Farriers | Q Anons
MONSOONAL MOISTURE CONTINUES TO MOVE NORTHWARD bringing mid and high cloud cover along with isolated thunderstorms early this morning around coastal Humboldt. Increased clouds across the interior will aid in keeping high temperatures milder. Inland heat will return mid to late week, while coastal areas remain seasonably cool. (NWS)
45 NEW COVID CASES (since last Friday) reported in Mendocino County yesterday afternoon.
COVID-19: “WE’RE SURGING AGAIN pretty seriously” in Mendocino County, health officials report; Delta variant causing cases to triple this month, Dr. Doohan said
by Justine Frederiksen
Describing Covid-19 cases and hospitalizations as surging again in Mendocino County due to the Delta variant, local Public Health officials this week urged anyone who has not yet been vaccinated to get their shots.
“If you are hesitant, now is the time — we are surging,” said Dr. Noemi Doohan, speaking Friday as acting Mendocino County Public Health Officer on behalf of Dr. Andy Coren, whom she said was dealing with family emergencies. “If you are not vaccinated, this disease is not like the flu, it is much more disastrous.”
Mendocino County is offering Covid-19 vaccinations every Friday at the Redwood Empire Fairgrounds (1055 N. State Street) from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., and 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. No appointments are necessary and the shots are free. Call 707-472-2759 for more information.
In recent weeks, the rate of both new Covid-19 cases and hospitalizations in Mendocino County have tripled, officials reported this week, and Doohan said “if it keeps going this way, it could even approach what we saw last winter.” She said the current surge “is definitely due to the Delta variant,” pointing to data from the state of California that has “83 percent of Covid-19 cases in July caused by the Delta variant, and we’re going to assume that 83-percent of our cases are also the Delta variant. The reason this is significant is that the Delta variant is more infectious, and also the incubation time is shorter.”
Based on the rate of cases hospitalizations this month, Doohan estimated that the Delta variant became the dominant strain in Mendocino County about three weeks ago. “Two weeks ago, cases were rising but they were about three a day, four a day, now we’re at 12 a day. And our goal is to protect our hospital system and our healthcare system so that they’re not overwhelmed. So what we’re recommending right now for Mendocino County is that everyone wear a mask indoors.”
“If you are vaccinated, there is a low possibility that you could still get symptomatic Covid,” Doohan said. “It’s about seven times less likely that a vaccinated person will contract Covid (compared to an unvaccinated person), but it’s still possible. And if you are fully vaccinated in Mendocino County, getting Covid will be similar to getting a bad case of the flu. And you may develop a chronic case.”
Anne Molgaard, director of Mendocino County Public Health, said that while the national Centers for Disease Control and the California Department of Public Health are currently not recommending that vaccinated people wear masks indoors, “our Public Health officers, who understand what our local situation is way better than the CDC or the CDPH does, are actually recommending that everyone mask indoors. And there’s a number of reasons why: You don’t want to get Covid, you don’t want to get the long-term effects of Covid, and you don’t want to accidentally transmit it to others. Every time the virus gets into another person, it is a chance to mutate, and keep going and going and going.”
And while Doohan and Coren are both only recommending that everyone wear masks indoors while sharing public spaces, she said individual business owners can require all patrons to wear masks before entering their establishment.
As of Friday afternoon, county officials reported that 12 new cases of Covid-19 had been identified for a total of 4,583. Nine people were listed as being hospitalized with the virus, and five patients were in the Intensive Care Unit.
COAST WATER WOES
by Chris Calder
The Mendocino Coast's water woes made statewide headlines last week with the news that a quarter of the village of Mendocino's wells had run dry just as the City of Fort Bragg, one of the biggest if not the biggest water supplier to the coast, had ended private water sales about six weeks earlier than expected.
Water talks among city and county officials in recent weeks have yielded ideas, but no workable plan yet for supplying the Mendocino Coast's growing number of water-starved households and businesses. For now, the City of Fort Bragg will not be one of the suppliers, City Manager Tabatha Miller said Monday.
“We can't ask our ratepayers to continue to cut back while we keep supplying others” outside city limits, Miller said.
The move comes during, and partly because of, skyrocketing demand for delivered water on the coast as wells fail. Demand was four times what it was last July, Miller said, after trending sharply upward for the past few years.
Fort Bragg's water supply through summer and fall seems pretty secure, according to Miller. The city's Summers Lane reservoir is full and holds 30 days worth of water at Fort Bragg's current use level. A desalination unit to be installed at the water treatment plant in August will produce 200 gallons per minute - enough, Miller said, to cover gaps in supply when high tides and low river levels interrupt the fresh water available at the city's Noyo River intake. Also, the city has a proposed agreement with the Fort Bragg Unified School District — subject to school board approval in early August — to use water from district wells, an expected 50-100 gallon-per-minute source, Miller said, which would add another 5% to the city's supply.
“We feel pretty confident about getting through this year,” Miller said, “To be honest I have no idea what to expect next year. I'm terrified of it,” meaning that another year of drought would likely upset even the best laid plans for the coast's water supply.
At its Aug. 6 meeting, the City Council will likely consider raising the city's water emergency to Stage 3, triggering tighter restrictions, including set days for lawn and garden irrigation and reduction of laundry services at local motels and inns.
Fort Bragg's situation is a stark contrast to the village of Mendocino's, where a quarter of wells have gone dry, according to a Santa Rosa Press Democrat report last week. Along with the household needs of residents, the supply crunch is threatening the town's ability to serve tourists as thousands flock from the superheated, increasingly smoky inland valleys.
The problem is not just Mendocino's. Though there are private sources of water from Westport to Elk, they all report the same dwindling supplies, while the number of failing wells — and new customers for delivered water — continues to rise.
County government started talks on water supply issues in June, and included Fort Bragg officials, but so far the effort has come up with no concrete alternatives for the coast, at least in the short-term.
Among the ideas being discussed are buying water from Willits and transporting it by train or truck. Both transport methods would mean significantly more expensive water for the coast, but Miller said trucking it might actually be cheaper. Both Willits and Fort Bragg charge about three cents a gallon for treated water. The Skunk Train is reportedly asking for seven cents a gallon to transport the water, as well as assurances that the demand for water would pay for the railroad's investment in new tanker cars and whatever other costs would be involved. Water delivered by train would also have to be run through Fort Bragg's water system, for which the city would charge. Given those factors, Miller said, it might be cheaper for water wholesalers to buy from Willits and haul directly to their customers, without Fort Bragg and the Skunk Train taking a cut.
Miller said it is possible Fort Bragg will restart water sales, depending on its own supply, as the summer wears on. If the well agreement with the school district goes through and the desalination unit is up and working, water sales in late summer are a possibility, she said.
Serious Jeopardy in Mendocino
The Town of Mendocino became an emblem of California's intensifying drought last week, with news coverage from San Francisco to LA focusing on the plight of the town's thirsty restaurants and inns, and its cluster of shallow, failing wells.
The Mendocino City Community Services District treats the town's wastewater, and monitors Mendocino's water table and wells. The water table, said MCCSD board president Harold Hauck on Monday, is “dropping precipitously.”
“We're in serious jeopardy,” Hauck continued. “For most of the central part of town, where the wells are not deep… it's worse than anything I've seen in 20-plus years living in Mendocino.”
On Monday, the first six porta-potties were delivered by the county Office of Emergency Services to replace closed bathrooms at Harvest at Mendosa's, Patterson's Pub and Good Life Bakery. Other restaurants and inns may be switching to porta-potties too. The MCCSD relies on reporting from residents about the state of their wells, so knowing exactly how sharply the water shortage is being felt is difficult, said district superintendent Ryan Rhoades. The report of a failed well could be a “black mark” that potentially hurts a property's value, Rhoades noted, so some property owners keep their water situations private.
An estimate in a Santa Rosa Press Democrat article that a quarter of the town's wells have failed is apparently based on a March survey in which about a quarter of those who responded said they had dry wells. But only about a third of property owners in the district answered the survey.
Another survey sent out a couple of weeks ago is starting to yield results, Rhoades said, but it is too early to base estimates on that. He encouraged residents to return the surveys, since state aid can rely on an accurate description of the need.
Rhoades said the district has been talking with state and county governments about the widening gap between water supply and demand on the Mendocino Coast. The situation got more urgent last week when the City of Fort Bragg ended outside water sales.
That leaves not only Mendocino, but all of the unincorporated Mendocino Coast without probably its biggest supplier of delivered water. Water systems in Westport, Elk and Irish Beach are still selling some, Rhoades said, and there are usable springs and ponds up and down the coast, as well as water systems feeding housing developments and trailer parks, that might be able to spare a couple of truckloads a week.
Other than that, the coast's water options are all inland. Since transportation makes up more than 75% of the cost of delivered water, bringing water over the hill, most likely from Willits, would make it a lot more expensive.
Bringing it by rail would be the cheaper option, Rhoades said, but many logistics still need to be worked out. Trucking could drive the cost of a 3500-gallon load well over $1000, he said, as opposed to maybe $750 by rail. A more typical cost of a truckload of water when supplies aren't strapped — depending on where it is delivered — is between $350 and $450 dollars, he said.
Beyond immediate transport, Rhoades said the district is looking at various forms of aid for residents with dry wells, including helping them buy storage tanks, subsidizing hauling costs, and buying a water trailer for the district that could haul a 900-gallon tank to a dry household on short notice.
Longer term, the district is reviving discussion of a town-wide water system and/or developing new wells. An agreement with the Mendocino Unified School District to supply households from its wells is also in the works, Rhoades said.
He added he has been hearing mostly from businesses in water trouble, and that residents so far are not asking for help.
Aid from state government will likely be a factor in whatever the MCCSD does to help residents, and Rhoades said the state requires low-income residents to be helped first, putting local government in the position of selecting who can buy water and screening them for income.
“It gets very complicated,” he said. “They're not just opening their checkbook.”
“We're working really, really hard to find not just immediate solutions, but long term solutions,” Rhoades added.
MCCSD Board President Hauck said Mendocino's water predicament is more urgent than he's ever seen and he expects things to get worse before they get better.
“There are no alternatives for the town. We don't have a water system… I wish I could say we're optimistic.”
Asked what message he would like to send to residents, Hauck said, “Conserve water. Not just residents, but visitors too. It's a dire situation.”
CURTAILMENT ORDERS FOR RUSSIAN RIVER IN THE WORKS AS LAKE MENDOCINO STORAGE DROPS
by Mary Callahan
State regulators will suspend water rights for diverters in the upper and lower Russian River in a desperate, unprecedented effort to preserve a minimal amount of storage in Lake Mendocino, which is falling by as much as 58 million gallons a day.
The rapidly falling lake levels were on course to cross a threshold that would trigger curtailment orders in the upper river under emergency regulations approved in June.
The drought conditions are so dire that staff at the State Water Resources Control Board decided issue emergency orders for the rest of the watershed at the same time.
The pending orders — foreshadowed for months by warnings — nonetheless have created a climate of uncertainty for cities, community water districts and individual property owners throughout the watershed, particularly in the lower reaches, where the scope of its impact was so unclear.
The number of water right holders in the lower river who will be affected was undetermined Monday.
"We're still fine-tuning those analyses," said Sam Boland-Brien, a supervising engineer with the State Water Board.
The board hopes to have the orders out to rights holders by Aug. 5, Boland-Brien said. They would take effect the following day.
The Sonoma County Water Agency, which provides water to more than 600,000 people in Sonoma County and northern Marin County will not be affected, district officials said.
However Santa Rosa, Rohnert Park, Petaluma, Windsor, Cotati, Sonoma and Novato and Valley of the Moon Water District, which receive water from Sonoma Water, are still bound by an earlier commitment to reduce their use of river water by 20%.
Up to 2,400 other water rights holders — ranchers, grape growers, community water districts and entire cities and towns such as Cloverdale and Healdsburg — are subject to the emergency action.
More than 900 water rights holders in the upper river were notified in May that they had to stop withdrawing water under threat of substantial fines because of insufficient supplies in Lake Mendocino. Some 660 others with more senior water rights were warned that curtailments were possible this year, after two years of critically low rainfall.
Another 800 water rights holders in the lower reaches of the river, between Healdsburg and Jenner, were subsequently included in the emergency order even though lower river flows are fed by more plentiful supplies from Lake Sonoma.
The suspension of water rights in the upper river is tied to specific trigger points in Lake Mendocino designed to ensure it drops no lower than 20,000 acre feet by Oct. 1.
An acre foot is equal to 325,851 gallons, or about the amount of water needed to flood most of a football field one foot deep.
Under the emergency regulations, a lake level of 26,109 acre feet before Aug. 1 prompts curtailments in the upper river. The lake reached 26,270 on Monday morning and had been losing more than 180 acre feet — more than 58 million gallons — per day.
That could mean Lake Mendocino storage will diminish by more than 2,000 additional acre feet before the curtailments even take effect. That would leave just 4,000 acre feet available to meet minimum stream flows for imperiled fish species and basic human health and safety for most of August and September.
The emergency regulation does not mean people will have no water. Allowances are made for basic human health and safety, meaning diverters can petition the state for waivers entitling each resident to 55 gallons per person per day. That level is only slightly lower than the consumption average already reached in highly water-efficient communities, though it's fairly drastic for others.
In addition, the state rule allows for other "health and safety needs" including public health threats, basic energy needs, firefighting and prevention of tree die-off where it would contribute to residential fire risk.
People with special circumstances will be able to petition the board and seek accommodation, Boland-Brien said.
But for those unprepared to have their water use restricted, the new order could prove a rude awakening.
Because their initial usage rate was high, Cloverdale's roughly 9,200 residents would have to substantially increase their water saving efforts even though they are doing fairly well at meeting a mandatory 25% conservation target imposed last spring, City Manager David Kelly said.
"Clearly, we're going to need a much more significant reduction in consumption in order to meet the curtailment order," Kelly said.
Calculating the daily per capita use will be a challenge, because some metered water is used in actually treating the water provided to municipal customers. In addition, city legal advisers are still working to determine exactly which water sources are vulnerable to curtailment.
But Kelly said the city's hotter temperatures, current water use levels and the fact it provides its own water while most local cities rely on the Sonoma County Water Agency present significant challenges up ahead.
"It's a really complicated issue," he said. "It's not easy. I have a team of experts here, and we all trying to figure out exactly how we're going to address this 55 gallon per person per household."
Healdsburg's water supply situation is complicated in other ways. The city of about 11,800 people holds water rights on the Russian River and Dry Creek, and also draws water from Dry Creek through a Sonoma Water-held right, and already has imposed a mandatory 40% conservation level on its citizens.
If it's held to a 55 gallon per person, per day limit, there are questions about how to factor in restaurants, hotels and other businesses, as well as things like athletic fields for children and young people who already have missed a year and more of playing sports due to COVID-19, Utilities Director Terry Crowley said.
"It's a whole other layer of challenge to this that we're trying to figure out internally in anticipation of what the state board might bring down this week or next," Crowley said, "but certainly I think outdoor irrigation would be further restricted if not off the table entirely."
The Sweetwater Springs Water District, which serves about 8,000 people from Rio Nido, Guerneville, Monte Rio, Villa Grande and points in between, is already close to meeting the basic per-person level but may not be forced to at this point, General Manager Ed Fortner said.
Some of its water rights date before the 20th Century, to around 1885 and the early days of logging the lower river, so it's likely to be among the last entities curtailed, Fortner said.
But the district has done everything it can to catch leaks, improve efficiency and raise awareness to the importance of conservation, he said.
Crowley, in Healdsburg, noted the extraordinarily low rainfall over the past two years and the perilously low level in Lake Mendocino. He said some of the claims that would be affected date back before 1914, the year California first regulated water.
"The longtime understanding was that that was the untouchable right," he said.
But he said there was no choice now but to confront the moment and do what was necessary to "come out the other side."
"This is a new metric that we're learning to build against," he said, "and what do we build, what do we do for water security? We're learning a lot this summer, because again, this is a historic event."
(The Press Democrat)
HELP CHRIS PUGH REPLACE STOLEN GEAR
My name is Carole Brodsky. I am a friend and former co-worker of Chris Pugh. Most of you know Chris as the Chief Photographer for the Ukiah Daily Journal, where he was employed for five years prior to the pandemic. It probably goes without saying, but all the photos in this request were taken by Chris and though the words are mine, the story is his.
Yesterday, Chris was the victim of a burglary, perpetrated in broad daylight behind the Medium Art Gallery, located in Ukiah's Pear Tree Shopping Center. Parked less than 20 feet from the gallery's back door, Chris left his backpack in his unlocked vehicle for less than 30 seconds while unlocking the gallery door. When he returned to the car, his backpack was gone. This is what was stolen:
- 15" Macbook Pro - $2500
- Fuji X-T3 Digital Camera - $1200
- Fuji 23mm lens - $450
- Sekonic Light Meter - $400
- Langly Camera Backpack - $280
- Apple Airpods - $159
- Uniden Police Scanner - $120
- Notebook and other random personal items- $100
Unfortunately, according to the Ukiah Police Department, it is likely the items were stolen by someone living in a homeless encampment located behind the shopping center. It's tragic, because had that person known the depth of compassion Chris has for un-homed people, having covered them extensively during his years at the UDJ, perhaps that person would have had second thoughts.
BACKGROUND BRIEFING ON SEAWEED/KELP HARVESTING Public Comment — Item for 8/3/21 BoS Meeting
by Dr. Jeanine Pfeiffer
Dear Supervisors Gjerde and Williams:
This email provides you with background on an item that will be spoken to by myself and at least one other local business person cc-ed on this email during the upcoming August 3rd public comment.
I am writing this briefing in my capacity as a scientist and practitioner who served the County of Mendocino as a community coordinator during the Marine Life Protection Act Initiative (MLPAI), as a former board member of the Salmon Restoration Association, and the former secretary of the Mendocino County Fish and Game Advisory Commission. I have also provided scientific testimony on behalf of tribes and tribal communities at the request of the California Fish and Game Commission (FGC), and I have close ties with members of over thirty tribes and tribal communities in California. I am currently advising a group of statewide licensed seaweed harvesters during the California Department of Fish and Wildlife's (CDFW) regulatory process to update commercial marine algae harvesting regulations.
As you both are keenly aware, the massive kelp die-off (and prior sea star wasting disease) due to climate change - induced oceanic warming along our coastline has hit Mendocino County hard, devastating both ecological and human communities in countless ways. We have witnessed the closure of our abalone fishery, the loss of a prominent dive shop, Noyo Harbor’s last remaining uni processing plant struggle to survive, and the heroic efforts of dozens of divers from Pt. Arena northward to remove purple urchins in an attempt to spur kelp recovery.
Yet this year we are cautiously celebrating a resurgence of kelp along most of the Mendocino coastline.
Beyond what we are witnessing on the surface (see attached photo), senior urchin divers are reporting kelp populations larger than they’ve seen in the past five years, especially in areas where there is some natural barrier between nascent kelp growth and purple urchins — i.e., sand barriers, and isolated rocky outcroppings. During a minus tide event last Friday I witnessed relatively dense intertidal abalone populations, less then two meters away from a tide pool peppered with purples (see photos). I also observed significant starfish (both Pisaster ochraceus - ochre star and Asterias forbesi - Forbes star), seaweed, and sea grass populations.
While these positive ecological changes are occurring, CDFW has undertaken an enhanced status report for California kelp populations (the report has been completed by staff but undergoing scientific review) in anticipation of a kelp management plan. Yet instead of waiting for recent satellite and drone data documenting the kelp resurgence, or until the status report or kelp management plan are published, or following 2001 Kelp CEQA guidelines written by CDFW staff, or adhering to the standard policy of following the “best available science” in policy and rule making decisions, the CDFW proposed a series of severe kelp harvesting restrictions along the Mendocino, Sonoma, Humboldt, and Del Norte coasts. At the July 2st FGC Marine Resource Committee meeting, two of the FGC Commissioners approved these recommendations for consideration at the upcoming August 18th full Commission meeting.
There is a persistent public perception that any and all commercial harvesting of kelp negatively impacts kelp populations. This “painting with a broad brush” viewpoint, circulated by a number of conservation organizations, one inter-tribal council, and via impassioned comments on Facebook, is scientifically unfounded.
Scientists, including those at a 2020 workshop conducted by CDFW and the Pew Foundation, have clearly stated that limited [artisanal, commercial] harvesting has no detectable impact on kelp populations. The proposed CDFW recommendations would impact a handful of experienced local harvesters, whose current combined harvest represents less than 0.007% of existing populations. In other words, more bull kelp is damaged by boat propellers than by commercial harvestering. (Citations and calculations provided upon request).
During the contentious MLPAI process, letters from the Mendocino County Board of Supervisors to the California Fish and Game Commission played a part in supporting stakeholder engagement that ultimately led to the adoption of a community consensus proposal for creating marine protected areas with tribal access throughout the North Coast Region, a proposal that changed California history in myriad positive ways.
Similar letters of support at this time, relating to the importance of excellent stakeholder engagement and adhering to the best available science (and referring to the points made above), would benefit Mendocino County communities in the following ways:
1. The letter would demonstrate the Board of Supervisors' sophisticated understanding of the ecological and socioeconomic issues underlying the current FGC policy-making process. 2. The letter would support the survival of essential coastal businesses. 3. The letter would help educate the public on the importance of a comprehensive approach to resource conservation, and the need to look beyond simplistic responses to complex issues.
Senior fishermen, divers, and seaweed harvesters collectively represent one of Mendocino County’s most valuable, and irreplaceable sources of human capital. They are our ocean sentinels. Due to a persistent paucity of active academic scientific research along the Mendocino Coast, we rely on our local experts to fill a crucial knowledge gap, especially relating to climate change-induced oceanic conditions. Their expert coastal marine knowledge, obtained via thousands of hours of field observations, is based on a continued ability to do their work.
Thank you for your attention to this letter, and I look forward to speaking to you via Zoom webinar during the August 3rd meeting.
Jeanine Pfeiffer, PhD
CONCERNED ABOUT THE CONDITION OF OUR LOCAL ROADS? Tune into KZYX&Z 90.7 & 91.5fm, Wednesday at 9am Karen Ottoboni will be joined by Howard Dashiell, head of the Mendocino County Dept. of Transportation to talk about our roads. Tune in & Call in.
A 'KNOCKER-UP' was hired to ensure that people would wake up on time for their jobs. Mary Smith earned sixpence a week shooting dried peas at sleeping workers' windows in East London in the 1930s
“I HEARD THAT many people that signed the petition did not fully understand what they were signing.”
Is the writer implying that people aren't smart enough to read and stay informed? Heard from whom? A friend from the park? This is the entire problem, the Stupes don't get what is going on. They are grasping at straws trying to fix something much too complex for them to understand. If they would look around and pay attention they would see everyone wants the same thing. The BOS are actually creating this division, she goes on, “referendums divide our community in only six short weeks.” Look in the mirror and the answer isn't far away.
In the heart of Mendocino high above the rooftop of the Savings Bank, the statue, “Time and the Maiden”, stands as a dark, mysterious beacon - a resting place for seagulls and raven - but what is the message this historic statue is sending out?
I remember when I moved to the Mendocino Coast in ‘87, wondering why the town had chosen a statue of an old bearded man, Father Time - symbol of death - sporting an ominous scythe while hovering behind a young girl - his hands clutching the braids of her long hair as if they were a horses reins and she, an animal to be controlled. This Masonic statue constructed in 1865 was authored by the Masons who own the building and have a side door on the Ukiah St. entrance into the upstairs chamber where Masonic meetings are held. Over the years when this statue has come up in conversation with local women, one by one they all have expressed how “totally creepy” that statue is to them. Even the New York Time’s best-selling author, Paula McLain, has written about the bizarre mystery of this statue in her new book, “When The Stars Go Dark” available at Gallery Bookshop. I for one, would like to see this statue “go dark” and replaced by something that represents the beauty and majesty of the town of Mendocino. As Confederate statues are being removed around the country, I can imagine a new bright and welcoming beacon towering over our beloved village by the sea. Perhaps a statue of Emmy Lou Packard, the artist and Mendocino resident who, in the 1960s championed the preservation of the Mendocino Headlands, would be a fitting replacement. “Time and the Maiden” could be relocated to the Kelly House Museum as a relic of our local history. Time marches on… I’m not talking about “cancel culture” here. I’m talking about evolution and how we as a community can strive to become our better selves. Anyone else have thoughts on this?
— Laurie York, Mendocino
* * *
Time and the Maiden
“Time and the Maiden redwood sculpture above the Masonic Hall Unrelated to the construction and predating it, Albertson also hand-carved the unique sculpture of Time and the Maiden from a single redwood trunk, the finished work measuring over ten feet in height. This took place in a makeshift shelter on the beach at the mouth of Big River he was then living in, with only oil lamps for illumination. Though made only as a personal exercise of craftsmanship, when the hall neared completion an informal agreement among the members was reached that it should be featured on the building and eventually was mounted atop a cupola added specifically for its display. Also known as Father Time and the Weeping Virgin it has become a local landmark, the scene depicted consisting of an hourglass at the foot of a broken column with an open book upon the part still standing, a weeping maiden reading from the book holding an urn in her left hand and a sprig of acacia in her right, and an angel with a scythe standing behind her, braiding her tresses.
The hourglass represents the transience of human life while the urn and scythe foreshadow its inevitable conclusion. The broken column symbolizes a life cut short prematurely and the weeping maiden those who mourn it, with the open book she's reading being the enduring record of all its accomplishments. Acacia was the wood specified in the Book of Exodus from which to build the Ark of the Covenant, in addition to being an evergreen well-known for its resistance to fire and decay, which here serves to signify the immortality of the human spirit. All drawn from history or mythology, they are used in the central allegory of a particular rite of passage within the rituals experienced when joining the fraternity. While the legend itself is held as a secret that should be known only to its members, one Mason summarized the tableau as an homage to the belief that "time, patience and perseverance will accomplish all things.”
Northing creepy about that. History and meaningful symbolism. Also a protected historic landmark building, so....
— Bob Vance
MURDER SUSPECT ARRESTED
Original Press Release
On Friday, July 23, 2021 at 1:30 AM the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office Dispatch Center received a call of a potential shooting at a property located in the 50000 block of Bell Springs Road in Leggett, California.
While Deputies were responding to the location, the caller reported hearing gunshots and subsequently found an adult male with an apparent gunshot wound. It was also reported the adult male was not breathing.
Deputies arrived at the location at approximately 2:54 AM and located a deceased Hispanic adult male who appeared to have a gunshot wound to the leg.
Deputies also noticed the presence of growing marijuana in greenhouses and in outdoor settings on the property.
A protective sweep of the property was conducted in an attempt to locate any additional victim(s) of the shooting. Deputies requested the assistance of air resources from the California Highway Patrol.
At approximately 3:57 AM a Deputy noticed the presence of an individual running downhill on the property which prompted a search for this individual.
At approximately 6:00 AM, CHP Helicopter H14 from Redding (CA) was able to arrive on scene and assist with the search efforts. During this time H14 was able to locate two individuals who then were detained by Deputies on the ground.
During this search effort a Deputy sustained a leg injury from a fall and had to be evacuated by ambulance to a local hospital for medical evaluation/treatment for a significant but non-life threatening injury.
Sheriff's Detectives were summoned to the scene and are conducting follow-up investigations into the incident.
Personnel from the County of Mendocino Marijuana Enforcement Team (COMMET) and Mendocino Major Crimes Task Force (MMCTF) were also summoned to the scene to investigation the legality of the marijuana growing operation found on the property.
No additional information is available at this time due to the active ongoing investigations.
* * *
Updated Press Release 07-26-2021 @ 1:30 PM
On Friday, July 23, 2021 Sheriff's Detectives established probable cause to arrest Oscar Alvarez Ruiz, 23, of Rohnert Park, for the death of the adult male associated with this reported incident.
Alvarez Ruiz was one of two individuals detained on the property several hours after the Deputies arrival in respond to the reported shooting incident.
Alvarez Ruiz was booked into the Mendocino County Jail where he was to be held on a No Bail status.
The motive and circumstances of incident are still under investigation by Sheriff's Detectives.
The identity of the deceased adult male is not being released, pending positive identification and notification to the next of kin.
A forensic autopsy on the deceased adult male is scheduled for 07-28-2021.
CATCH OF THE DAY, July 26, 2021
JAMEDEAN ALLEN, Willits. Battery with injury.
AUSTIN BAXTER, Tallulah/Ukiah. DUI-alcohol&drugs.
JENNY BENNETT, Laytonville. Domestic battery, failure to appear.
DUSTIN BROWN, Chico/Ukiah. Failure to appear.
JOSEPH BUCKINGHAM, Ukiah. Vandalism, drinking in public.
BRITTANY DAVIS, Ukiah. Failure to appear, probation revocation.
SHARINA FARNSWORTH, Ukiah. Firearm theft.
KELLY GOODWIN, Laytonville. Community supervision violation.
JOSEPH GRANT, Ukiah. Failure to appear.
JESSE JONES, Covelo. DUI, failure to appear, probation revocation.
COURTNEY MILLER, Gualala. Resisting, probation revocation.
MICHAEL MONTANO, Ukiah. Probation revocation.
MICHAEL SORRELL, Clearlake/Ukiah. Controlled substance where prisoners are kept.
KHALID THOMAS, Tinton Falls, New Jersey/Ukiah. No license, transportation of pot over 18.
HEATHER WAY, Potter Valley. Controlled substance.
It's all about attention: we all want it, we all need it, so how we gonna get it?
There is a finite amount and social media is sucking up most of it. Thousands of engineers are working on ways to get more. Hundreds of millions of photos and videos come into Facebook data centers every day.
With selfies taking priority problems like climate change aren't getting enough attention and smart phones disrupt the pleasure of reading a really good book.
Sometimes I want to walk into a coffeeshop and announce “People! Look around! Get off your phones! Talk to me! Listen to my stories.”
It's an epidemic of loneliness. If you don't have good friends, lovers, or family then latching on to the electronic nipple is a hollow palliative, a solution which gets you by like eating greasy cans of Rosarita refried beans and Bien Padre cardboard tortillas everyday.
If you have few or no visitors, phone calls, emails, or “likes” then the emptiness endemic to modern life is crushing.
Too much attention can also be a problem if you are stuck in a bad situation with vampires: delinquent kids, annoying spouses, and other unfortunate creatures.
So get out there to the social bonfire and take a risk, bust a move, and don't be afraid to make a fool of yourself. Game?
It's all about attention.
ON LINE COMMENT OF THE DAY
You better remember that this strife over Covid-19 is but one part of a much bigger picture of evolving national woe. Looming beyond this mere skirmish over public health is an economy that has sunk into uniform racketeering, the disgraceful mismanagement of government spending, the specter of a dying currency, the developing quandaries for our food supply, the probability of a market blowup that will bring down the pension system and destroy the notional wealth of millions, and the growing antagonism of foreign polities who resent our badly-discharged power around the world and sense our growing weakness.
There was a boy
A very strange enchanted boy
They say he wandered very far, very far
Over land and sea
A little shy and sad of eye
But very wise was he
And then one day
A magic day he passed my way
And while we spoke of many things
Fools and kings
This he said to me
The greatest thing you'll ever learn
Is just to love and be loved in return
The greatest thing you'll ever learn
Is just to love and be loved in return
— Eden Ahbez
ON LINE COMMENT OF THE DAY (2)
The weather comments here are testimony to the power of propaganda and the utter failure of our educational system. Contrails are visible in the flight levels (over 18,000 ft.) when there’s sufficient moisture to form ice crystals after they’ve been sucked into the engine, boiled to steam and ejected as exhaust. As a rule the cirrus clouds herald a change in the weather and their presence ensures sufficient moisture for contrails to form. Contrails have been around since man first figured out how to fly that high and survive to tell the story.
I could go on about the Air Traffic Control system and how flights are routed, but I’m sure the conspiracy theorists here have a plethora of Youtube videos that are far more accurate than anything NOAA, NASA of the FAA have ever come up in over a century of research and documentation.
ON LINE COMMENTS OF THE WEEK
 MENDO HOUSING
People who work in Mendo, Napa, Sonoma and beyond have bought every available home in, you guessed it, Lake County, driving up the cost of housing there for all the honest, hard working citizens…
Ukiah is the damnedest thing, people living permanently in 250 square ft old-motel rooms on State Street, homeless lying around everywhere while screaming at themselves, restaurants and coffee-places teeming with folks who don’t seem to have much to do at 10AM, and not much to draw folks into town besides Wal-Mart, Costco and Home-Depot…
There’s no homes for sale where 5 years ago there were plenty and they were cheap. Now it’s $600,000 plus.
Every business is staffed by folks commuting in from Santa Rosa or there are “Help Wanted” signs…
In Lake County, houses last 2-3 weeks on the market, and have shot up 40% in a year. Highway 20 has ruts from the commuters flying up to Ukiah and Willits.
Practically no new construction of homes in the area, but plenty of new “greenhouses”…
Newest housing in Lake County: Farmworker apartments in Kelseyville, and Senior/Disabled Apartments in Lakeport… Get them now!
 New Zealand Olympic Weight Lifter Laurel Hubbard was born a male, but has reputedly “transitioned.” Some kill-joys still scream foul because she/he developed muscles as a man and is now using those very same muscles as a woman. That has to be some kind of fraud?! Bait and switch, maybe? Meanwhile, American transgender athlete Chelsea Wolfe is on the US Olympic Women’s BMX bike team. I didn’t even know those silly little bicycles were an Olympic event. Even skateboarding has been approved as an Olympic event and frisbee is not far behind. The Olympics are becoming too absurd for words. Anyone into cat juggling?
 WATER — Well, legal or illegal grows, the fact is the Round Valley aquifer is rapidly being sucked dry. Water trucks are delivering to both legal and illegal grows to the detriment of local wells. Residents in Covelo area are watching their wells run dry. It seems to me if a legal grow is permitted then it ought to prove sustainability with on-sight water. No importing of valley water, period. When a 400 foot valley well has run dry it’s a no brainer something must be done. Expansion of legal cannabis grows during a massive 10 year drought is the height of Mendocino County stupidity. And the fact is that most legal residents do not want any further expansion of the legal grows. If the valley aquifer is not allowed to replenish, this area will likely see the valley floor subside. Not only are the great oaks deprived of needed moisture, but the aquifer too will never recover once it sinks.
 I don’t understand why cannabis growers think they need so much water. Cannabis is naturally a dry climate plant. Drowning it isn’t going to make it bigger or more potent. Back in the day, I grew cannabis in small batches in the Nevada desert, relying on a tiny spring to provide water. Drip irrigation was efficient and I grew high quality weed that I had no trouble selling to friends. I wasn’t greedy… a good crop was six to eight plants.
Law enforcement needs to crack down hard on these illegal grows. Find them and take ‘em down. In the desert, grows such as those described in the [CalMatters] article could be torched, including vehicles. In our mountains, rip everything out and I mean everything. Plants, water lines, dams and stream diversions, structures, and vehicles. If someone is found at the grow, arrest their ass. Find out where the money is and confiscate it. That’s the only thing that’s going to stop this bullshit… strict enforcement and consequences.
Illegal growers aren’t selling their crops legally. What they grow is transported to states where cannabis is still illegal. Sellers and their customers are murdered on a daily basis over it and the only ones benefiting are the cartels and street gangs. Legal cannabis is fine, I enjoy edibles myself, but illegal stuff hurts society. And before some idiot here says “Well it should be legalized everywhere,” the fact is that it’s not and probably won’t be for a long time, if ever. If you’re growing illegally, then you have blood on your hands; unfortunately, I doubt you care.
 California and other "stricter and earlier lockdown" states suffered less economic decline and better health outcomes than states like Texas with looser rules. Unchecked disease is apparently worse for the economy than lockdowns.
I didn't vote for Newsom in the primary, but the pandemic in America would be all but over if not for widespread Republican irresponsibility and disinformation on everything from the seriousness of COVID to the efficacy of masks and vaccines. If the GOP does about 30 years of soul searching they might become worthy of being elected as dog catcher for a small town with few dogs.
 I’ve been smoking weed for about 25 years. Never once have I tried coke, meth, heroin, fentanyl or any other drug stronger than magic mushrooms. Well I did try LSD a couple times, I’ll never do that s*** again.. blaming drugs for violence is like blaming soda pop for diabetes, salt for high blood pressure or firearms for murder. It’s lack of personal responsibility that is responsible for all of those issues. And the complacency of a society that rewards the lack of personal responsibility..
 The worst effect of the Green Rush IMO was the rapid shift in values here. New everything, plastic boobs and plastic butts, designer clothes and baller bullshit lifestyle came on here hard. Sure some of it was here but most people and growers loved the land, loved the critters. Many rookies just saw $$$ and never questioned their actions just figured “That’s how ya do it. That’s how ya get the stacks of cash!!” It was such an overwhelming push of greed and selfishness that it changed our community forever…even today I see 30 year olds arriving with no sense of country living, little desire to learn country ways or compromise and they just want to blow up a dep scene and grab that cash. And they do it while wearing Grateful Dead t-shirts and espousing their spirituality and yoga devotions. It’s really fucking weird! Guys like the one you described are socially rewarded as being “successful”. We used to pride ourselves on patching together old trucks and living anti-consumption lives off-grid…knowing that the natural world was suffering from our human death spiral. Now we are few and they are many. It’s like LA North around here now with the values…Where is Eco-Dexter when we need him?
CALIFORNIA ORDERS VACCINE OR TESTING FOR HEALTH CARE WORKERS, STATE EMPLOYEES
Amid an uptick in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations, California Gov. Gavin Newsom today announced that health care workers and state employees must be vaccinated or undergo weekly testing and wear masks.
Employees of hospitals, nursing homes, dentists’ and doctors’ offices and other health care settings will have to comply with the requirements by Aug. 23. In addition, all employees of state agencies will be subjected to a verification process that will be mostly in place by Aug. 2, according to state officials.
AMERICA HAS HIT A ROADBLOCK in the coronavirus pandemic. Put bluntly, a lot of deluded, ill-informed, shamefully scare-mongered, or simply complacent Americans have got it into their heads that either the covid vaccines are somehow more dangerous than covid itself, or the virus isn't serious enough to warrant protection from it. Some of these sceptics believe the insane conspiracy-theory that the US Government is using vaccines to plant microchips in their heads to control their minds. Many more are hesitant to get jabbed for all manner of other reasons ranging from doubts about the vaccine's efficacy, to a fear they impair fertility, damage pregnancy, alter DNA, magnetize you, or even actively help transmit the virus. These unsubstantiated theories have been fuelled by anti-vaxxer whack-jobs online, and especially on social media. America is in a much stronger position to withstand the Delta surge because 80% of the most vulnerable adult population, the over-65s, are now fully vaccinated. But the total number of vaccinated Americans remains under half (49%), with many young people being brainwashed into rejecting it. Fewer than one in ten Americans who reject the vaccines trust the nation's top infectious disease expert Dr Anthony Fauci, and only 20% trust the Centers for Disease Control and Protection (CDC). This is largely down to a lengthy concerted effort by many anti-vaxxers on social media, and some in the mainstream media, to denigrate both Fauci and the CDC. The result is clear to see: the Delta variant is now almost exclusively targeting the country's unvaccinated population because they don't have the shots to stop it. To win the war on covid, we need to go to war on the anti-vaxxers - shut them down, get them off the airwaves, ban them from social media, and urgently re-educate their brainwashed followers about the incontrovertible truth around vaccines.
— Piers Morgan
DEADLY SILENCE From the Guardians of Public Health During the Covid-19 Pandemic!
by Dr. Nayvin Gordon
The failure of the guardians of public health during the Covid-19 pandemic in the US is a catastrophe. Physicians and Public Health workers have a duty to protect the health of the people.
Why is there silence from the medical community as politicians of every stripe remove protective Public Health measures, leaving us all “free” to be infected, as Covid-19 spreads across the nation, leaving sickness, disability and death in its wake, a deliberate policy, rationalized by a non-scientific, dark ages, “herd immunity” fiction. In the UK, scientists and doctors are not afraid to shout out publically, that ending all Covid-19 restrictions is “dangerous and premature”.
Which US physicians and public health organizations have taken a public stand to protect the people? Have medical schools, State Medical Boards, The American Medical Association, and the American Public Health Association taken a public stand to condemn the governments abandoning all public health measures? Have they issued statements, made press releases, held demonstrations, or job actions? The silence is deafening!
Who— Will stand up for the people’s health? Vaccines alone, without public health measures, cannot effectively contain or eliminate Covid-19. The Science of Public Health can rapidly reduce transmission and spread of the virus, through social distance, masking, testing, tracing, and isolation.
Who— Will fight against the 24 states that are actively trying to draft laws to dismantle or weaken the powers of public health?
Who— Is organizing to immediately replace the more than 180 state and local public health officials in 38 states who have resigned, retired, or been fired?
Who— Will struggle to demand the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), keep workers safe on the job with compulsory and enforceable regulations?
Who— Will demand an immediate reversal of the cuts to OSHA inspectors, now at the lowest number since 1975?
Who— Will speak out, and take action to confront the destruction of public health, the rejection of science, and the resulting risk of disease and death for millions?
The population has been abandoned by the guardians of public health. We the people, the vast majority, the working people, are on our own. We must rely on ourselves to insist that the government protect us. Trillions of dollars have gone to Wall Street and the military, while pennies go to protecting our health. The health of millions depends upon our organizing independently to demand our social needs be met.
(Dr. Nayvin Gordon, firstname.lastname@example.org lives in Oakland and writes about health and politics)
THE CURSE OF PLASTICS
For the month of July, Recology, the region’s primary trash collection company, sent out a challenge to the public to not include plastics in our disposal cans. I would gladly oblige except for the fact that almost everything we buy has some plastic wrapping. Prior to COVID, I was able to use the bulk section in markets and bring my own containers. Now the bulk section has plastic packaging.
The emphasis needs to shift from the consumer to the manufacturer. Putting pressure on distributors and companies to seek recyclable materials will help consumers decrease their plastic use. If the only option is plastic, we have no recourse but to use it.
Despite our efforts to grow our own food and reuse plastic bags and containers, we inevitably wind up using some products that have the ubiquitous plastic. Time for a serious change.
“In the wake of Donald Trump’s 2020 election defeat…many people who spout QAnon’s false claims have hatched a new plan: run for school board or local office, spread the gospel of Q, but don’t call it QAnon.” — NBC News’ Ben Collins (July 7, 2021)
You may ask yourself, why would a group of hateful homicidal hillbillies like these crazy QAnon crackpots waste their time on local school boards, when these White supremacist whack jobs can better display their disgusting delusions by running for Congress instead?
Skip running for the local school board, conservative cross-burning anti-Semites, and run for Congress as your fascist fuhrer Orange Hitler commands! (Traitor Trump now reportedly wants to become Speaker of the House, since Putin’s puppet Trump would of course be a sure loser again attempting to take on the popular President Biden in 2024.)
Kool-Aid drinking QAnon cult members are dumb-as-dirt dysfunctional dolts, no doubt, but even with a borderline IQ of 73 like dimwitted Donald Trump, Y’all Qaeda should be woke enough by now to realize following the foolish, pathetic political paths of Marjorie Traitor Greene and Matt “The Molester” Gaetz is pure folly from which the Rapepublican Party will never recover.