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ISOLATED THUNDERSTORMS will be found adjacent Siskiyou County this afternoon, mainly in northeast Del Norte County. Otherwise, expect dry weather through the upcoming week. It will be seasonably hot and sunny inland, with temperatures cooling slightly through mid to late week. Fairly persistent marine layer clouds and limited afternoon sunshine will continue for the coast. (NWS)
YESTERDAY'S HIGHS: Yorkville 102°, Boonville 98°, Ukiah 98°, Fort Bragg 64°
HIGH CLOUDS WITH SOME EVENING FOG (photo by Dick Whetstone)
COVID MONTHLY CASES/DEATHS (Mendocino County)
229 / 9 (Jul)
392 / 8 (Aug)
260 / 2 (Sep)
210 / 2 (Oct)
420 / 2 (Nov)
964 / 4 (Dec)
876 / 11 (Jan)
382 / 5 (Feb)
131 / 3 (Mar)
82 / 2 (Apr)
194 / 1 (May)
164 / 1 (Jun)
323 / 2 (Jul)
UKIAH SHELTER PET OF THE WEEK
Jasper and two of his canine friends were brought to the shelter because of their living conditions. Jasper will benefit from a patient, experienced dog owner looking for a loyal companion, which we know Jasper will be. Mr. J. craves attention and aims to please. He can be reactive when it comes to food, so Jasper needs a home with no other dogs or young children. We found Jasper to be very attentive with his handler as he sat down next to her and patiently waited for pets. Secure fencing will also be important in his new home. Jasper is a year old and 47 svelte pounds.
For more about Jasper, visit mendoanimalshelter.com. While you’re there, check out all of our canine and feline guests, our services, programs, events, and updates. Visit us on Facebook at: facebook.com/mendoanimalshelter. For information about adoptions, please call 707-467-6453.
ROY ROGERS & THE DELTA RHYTHM KINGS at the BoontFling
Come out and enjoy a great night under the stars at the beautiful Anderson Valley Brewing Company!
$25 — Sat, Aug 14, 2021, 7:00 PM PDT
STAY UP TO DATE on the event by either securing your tickets today or by following Prplei and the Roy Rogers & The Delta Rhythm Kings event on Facebook by clicking here
Roy Rogers is considered one of the world’s preeminent slide guitarists. With over 20 recordings to his credit, Rogers has garnered 8 Grammy nominations for producing, recording, and as a songwriter. Known both as producer and performer for delivering critically acclaimed recordings for John Lee Hooker and Ramblin' Jack Elliott, among others; his career of more than three decades includes collaborations with Ray Manzarek, Bonnie Raitt, Carlos Santana, Linda Ronstadt, and Sammy Hagar. He is known worldwide for his searing performances and continues to tour with his band The Delta Rhythm Kings.
Bring a chair or a blanket and enjoy the show!
Note about Day Of Show Tickets: Day of show tickets will be available at the facility - ticket will increase $5.00 day of show
Doors to the venue will open at 6pm.
Exact event schedule will be released soon.
Venue Information: Anderson Valley Brewing Company, 17700 Boonville Rd, Boonville, CA 95415, www.avbc.com
Parking & Entry Details: Event representatives will be in the driveway of the facility to ensure all attendees have tickets (can be purchased on site pending availability) and to direct vehicles where to park.
THE NEW UKIAH — CELEBRATE IT ON AUGUST 28TH
COWBOY JOHN PINCHES on Water, Roads and Supervisors
(Part 2 of our recent interview with former Third District Supervisor John Pinches.)
Interviewed by Mark Scaramella
AVA: Did you hear about the Law Enforcement Advisory Board the Supervisors recently voted in?
Pinches: “Defunding a police seems to have become a popular thing in some circles in Mendocino County. They don't need a police oversight board. We have an elected Sheriff. The people of Mendocino are the oversight.”
AVA: This Board doesn’t seem to get much done.
Pinches: “Nothing is getting done. Whether it’s roads, or water — nothing is getting done! More studies and more consultants after decades of studies and consultants — what have they done? The Eastside Potter Valley Road…? We voted to do that project in 1995. 1995! Think about that. And it ain't done yet. It's sickening.”
(AVA: That Eastside Potter Valley Road “Reconstruction and Widening” contract is on the Tuesday, August 3, 2021 Supervisors agenda again. After some quick research I found lots of on-line references to earlier progress reports about studies being done and EIRs being processed and conducted going as far back as 2003. But those referred to the project as ongoing from an earlier date.)
Pinches: “These rural roads in the Third District, whether it's Spy Rock or Bell Springs, they are basically the same roads they were 50 years ago. Or longer. I know. They are the same roads. No improvements. But now there are thousands more people living out in those remote areas. Look at the assessed value of those properties and the taxes they have taken in. When I was a kid there were two families on Spy Rock Road. My uncle's family with his three kids and another family that had a blind son. And that was all the traffic there was on Spy Rock Road. Last I counted there are now over 800 parcels serviced off of Spy Rock Road. And it's the same road. Do you realize what the assessed value of those parcels is? In the budget book they talk about how the County's assessed valuation has been going up. They keep being sold and resold to new people and the assessed values go up each time. All those taxes collected and the same road.”
AVA: I read that Willits just voted to not sell any of their water to Fort Bragg and move into the first stage of conservation.
Pinches: “I heard that too. But that could be solved pretty easily by going up to a couple of those ranches above Brooktrails and drilling a couple of deep wells and run that water down the hill and into the existing Brooktrails reservoirs. Sherwood Valley is way up above Brooktrails. Just gravity flow the water down to Brooktrails and then some of that could be piped to Willits.
“Making matters worse is all the people pumping the rivers and creeks dry. Fish & Game doesn't enforce anything. Their only interest is in citing you for killing an old doe. Lots of water flows through North County gulches in the wintertime. Those winter creeks don't affect any fish; they are winter-only creeks. They could be tapped.
“Up here at my ranch we got 28 inches of rain this year. That's a block of water 28 inches deep. A lot of water. And we haven't been able to store enough of it to take care of the needs of 90,000 people?
“Lake Mendocino has a storage capacity of 120,000 acre-feet. That storage alone is more than one acre foot of water per person. It's a combination of a lack of planning and a lack of doing anything. They can't use the ‘no money’ argument anymore. There's plenty of money available. By the way, the Department of Transportation can’t use the ‘no money’ argument either. There are millions in the road fund going unspent.”
AVA: You mentioned the Board getting nothing done. It seems like they’re content to hire consultants and lawyers and hold more meetings and talk about the problems, but not much else.
Pinches: “You’d think that at least one of the five supervisors would have a little energy to do something. They don't realize that if you don't pay attention to your infrastructure, pretty soon you become a third world country. It's very frustrating. There's not much we can do about the world, but we can still try to affect the future of Mendocino County. If Supervisor Haschak invited me I would be happy to give the Supervisors the benefit of my experience and knowledge. I told Haschak that I have no intention of running for Supervisor again. I'll be 70 years old this month. I just want to make things better for this county. But I think Haschak still has in the back of his mind that he doesn't want to give Pinches an opportunity to reenter the race. That's how people think. When you're a politician, most of what you think about is politics.
“There have been a lot of Supervisors that have come and gone in our lifetime and what have most of them done? Basically nothing. Not only that, but then they disappeared. Very few have stayed involved in County activities. I have no idea why they even ran.”
DOZENS OF CALIFORNIA COMMUNITIES ARE AT RISK of running out of water
by Paul Rogers
In Fort Bragg on the Mendocino Coast, city leaders are rushing to install an emergency desalination system. In Healdsburg, lawn watering is banned with fines of up to $1,000. In Hornbrook, a small town in Siskiyou County, faucets have gone completely dry, and the chairman of the water district is driving 15 miles each way to take showers and wash clothes.
So far, California's worsening drought has been an inconvenience in big cities. But it's already imperiling an alarming number of communities, especially between the Bay Area and the Oregon border, threatening the water supplies for more than 130,000 people.
The severe shortages are not just in small towns and rural hamlets that rely on one or two wells or streams that have run dry. Larger towns, with their own reservoirs and water departments, are in trouble too.
As the state struggles with its worst drought since at least 1977, no one has a complete list of which of the state's 7,500 public water systems are facing the most severe shortages.
But in May, officials at the State Water Resources Control Board in Sacramento set out to create one. They called it: "Public water systems likely to have critical water supply issues by the end of August." It currently includes 81 water systems that serve 132,559 people — from tiny Mammoth Pool Mobile Home Park in the Sierra foothills near Yosemite National Park, to well-known Northern California towns like Ukiah, Lakeport, Bolinas, Healdsburg, Cloverdale and Fort Bragg.
"This is going to be a long, hot dry summer," said Dan Newton, assistant deputy director of the board's Division of Drinking Water. "Throw fires in on top of that with stressed water systems, and it is going to be really difficult for some systems to survive."
Their list, Newton and his colleagues stress, is not an inventory of communities certain to run out of water. Rather, it is a roster of areas that have told the state they are in danger of running out or are facing extreme shortages. It also includes communities about which the water board's staff has serious concerns and wants more information.
Once a community is put on the list, water board officials order weekly reports showing water use, conservation rules and plans to avoid running out of water. State water board officials can also order building moratoriums or tougher conservation rules. That hasn't happened yet. But Newton said he expects the board to take some stronger measures in August.
When towns run dangerously low on water, typical fixes include drilling emergency wells, trucking in water and connecting small water systems to larger systems. But the state water board has only $10 million in its budget to help. The bulk of the costs must be borne by local counties and ratepayers, Newton said.
In many cases, visitors and even local residents often don't realize how severe the problems are.
In Fort Bragg, an oceanfront town 165 miles north of San Francisco known for its logging history, fishing port and scenic coastline, tourists are checking into hotels and visiting beaches just like in past summers.
But this year is different. Last month, the city council voted to buy an emergency desalination system to keep the town of 7,500 people from running out of water. The main water supply is the Noyo River, which flows from redwood forests to the ocean. The river is just two inches deep in some places now, the lowest flows recorded since measurements began in the 1950s. When tides come in, salt water is pushed up river near intake pipes, putting the city's water supply at risk.
"It's extremely serious," said Fort Bragg Mayor Bernie Norvell. "I've lived here all my life, 51 years, and I haven't seen anything like this."
The city has a three-week water supply in a small reservoir and tanks. City officials have had no luck drilling wells. They've considered bringing in water by train or truck. On June 21, they agreed to spend $335,000 to buy a reverse osmosis plant from a company in San Diego to purify salty water. The equipment, about the size of a one-car garage, can provide about 30% of the city's water supply, allowing pumping from the river during high tide, Norvell said. The plan is to have it installed by October.
"We're hoping we can limp along until this thing gets here," Norvell said.
Last week, Fort Bragg cut off all water sales to water haulers — companies that fill trucks and sell water to smaller towns like Mendocino — which has put the areas they serve in severe shortages. Some residents want the city, which still allows lawn watering two days a week, to do more.
"Restaurants need to be using paper plates," said Megan Caron, who owns a vintage shop in town. "Hotels should not be allowing people to run spas and baths. People shouldn't be watering lawns. It's alarming."
Two hours' drive to the southeast, Healdsburg — a Sonoma County city of 12,000 where rainfall was just 35% of normal this year and Lake Mendocino is at risk of going dry this fall — ordered residents on June 7 to cut water use 40%. City officials banned all lawn watering seven days a week, filling swimming pools, and even planting new plants, flowers or fruit trees. Violators face fines of up to $1,000.
More than 650 Healdsburg residents have purchased large backyard storage tanks. A city truck carrying treated wastewater from the town's sewage treatment plant fills them once a week. The water cannot be drunk, but keeps trees and other landscaping alive.
Brigette Mansell, a retired high school English teacher, spent $740 to buy a 550-gallon tank from a farm equipment dealer in Sebastopol. She uses the treated wastewater to keep her Japanese maple tree, Chinese pistachio and blueberry bushes alive. Inside, she has 11 buckets to capture water from sinks and showers.
"It's an emergency," said Mansell, a former mayor of Healdsburg. "I'm so concerned about my town. We are not in good shape."
Mansell wants a moratorium on building new hotels in the area, and better planning by city officials as climate change worsens.
"Our four seasons now are fire, flood, earthquake and drought," Mansell said. "We are not learning. We can no longer run our town on systems and procedures that are decades old."
Some communities already have run dry. Hornbrook, population 300, near the Oregon border in Siskiyou County, is one of them. The town's water tank is empty. Its wells aren't working properly. Some homes have a trickle when they turn on faucets. Others have none.
One in the latter category belongs to Robert Puckett, chairman of the town's water district. A retired ranch worker and Walmart cashier, Puckett and his wife have been driving 15 miles each way to the town of Yreka to take showers and wash clothes at their church since their home's taps ran dry July 17. An emergency well is bring drilled in a few weeks that he hopes will bring the town more water.
"We didn't get the rain this year," Puckett said. "We didn't get snowpack on Mount Shasta. And I've never seen the Klamath River running this low. It's bad. We're doing what we can to try to stay afloat."
(San Jose Mercury-News)
THE PURPLE URCHIN FEST WILL DEBUT ON THE MENDOCINO COAST
In an effort to aid kelp forests, and help the under-the-waves ecosystem, purple urchins will pop up on plates aplenty in November 2021.
Purple Urchin Festival will flower around Fort Bragg as fall unfolds, giving seafoodies a chance to not only snack upon this spike-tastic, under-the-water echinoderm but also understand how it impacts the larger ecosystem. Urchinomics, "... a company dedicated to restoring kelp forests by removing overgrazing barren sea urchins, feeding them on land, and selling them on to distributors and restaurants," will play a part in the event, as well as a number of local chefs. Both demonstrations and chances for urchin aficionados to try their hand at urchin prep are on the calendar, and there are a number of local stay-over specials at the charming inns in the area. Oh yes, and plenty of dishes, from house-made noodles to hearty scrambles, featuring the purple urchins in all sorts of ways.
The tasty to-do is "the first-ever" urchin-themed festival in the United States, a notable billing given the fact that so many of our favorite foodstuffs boast multiple happenings in several locations around the nation. If you're eager to know more about sustainability, what it means to work in "restorative seafood," and everything to do with the purple urchin, consider making for the Mendocino Coast in early November.
UN-VAXXED AT ADVENTIST
To the Editor:
I am a patient at the Adventist Heart Institute in Ukiah, California. On July 19, 2021, I was given a Ultra Sound Exam by a pleasant young woman. The procedure required that she be within three feet of me for 20 minutes in a small room. During the conversation I asked her if she had been vaccinated as I assumed all health workers would be. Her answer was no she had not been vaccinated but had been tested two weeks before. I was shocked that someone who I trusted to guard my health and perhaps improve it could be the cause of my becoming sick with Covid. I am especially concerned now with the new and far more dangerous variant that is taking off in the United States. I am 87 years old and in a high risk age group. I have followed strict protocols to protect myself from the virus.
This letter urges the Adventist Hospital to require vaccinations for all its employees. If I am going to be treated by any medical personnel, I require that they be vaccinated. If by some way I become ill from this encounter, I will hold Adventist Hospital responsible and take the appropriate action.
A MODEST PROPOSAL
To the Editor:
I am writing you out of great frustration and dismay regarding what I can only characterize as our local government’s discrimination against and mistreatment of my businesses. More globally, I am also acting as a voice for members of Mendocino County’s legal cannabis industry.
My name is Russell Green. I am the founder, CEO and single shareholder of Kure Wellness, Inc. I grew up in Willits, lived here my entire life and raise two children in my hometown.
My Mendocino County roots are deep. My grandfather, Richard Gravier owned and operated the Chevron Station in Laytonville for 33 years. My maternal great-grandfather Chet Merrill owned Merrill’s Variety and created the Red Buck Lodge in Laytonville back in the ‘40’s. My other maternal great-grandfather, Mervin Gravier was the co-owner of Gravier Brothers Mercantile in Covelo, and my paternal great-grandfather Cummins was one of the lead engineers who designed the Cedar Creek double-arched bridge in Leggett. I owe a profound debt of gratitude to my ancestors, who paved the way for the entrepreneurial accomplishments I enjoy today.
I was the fortunate recipient of the first Cannabis Facilities Business License in Mendocino County. I hold the distinction of being the only “Mendocino County son” who owns and operates dispensaries in our region. In just five years, I have expanded my retail footprint from one to three licensed dispensaries and additional cultivation sites, all located on this land I love - working for and serving the community I love even more.
I am requesting an email sent to me on July 13 by the Cannabis Division be rescinded. I am requesting a joint meeting with the Building and Planning Department and the Cannabis Division to resolve questions regarding my cultivation site’s license renewal application. I request an acceptable path forward on the month-to-month temporary approval status of my drive-through dispensary window, with consideration of my attorney’s opinion that planning can approve it if they would like. And finally, I ask you to mandate that the above agencies adopt a timelier, more customer-focused public communications policy, and that threats to revoke or actual revocations of cannabis licenses be strictly limited to criminal, non-responsive, or grossly non-compliant applicants.
Like my colleagues, the majority of my time is spent attempting to comply with local and state regulations. My efforts often become more complex, in part because of a years-long pattern of untimely and sometimes incomplete responses by county staff.
Despite clearly documented efforts to communicate with licensing agencies, I recently received a threat of license revocation for my permitted greenhouse operation — replete with arbitrary deadlines and “threats” that I am in danger of losing my license.
The particular property in question is not some stereotypical, treeless “grow site.” It is our family homestead — originally my father’s property, sold to me. As this is my children’s legacy, I care greatly about development and doing it properly. Application renewal submittals were emailed on Nov. 18, 2020. They were not responded to until mid-April of this year.
On Thursday, June 10, 2021, I emailed the B and P Department for parcel number clarification I needed to complete the property’s cultivation renewal package. We specifically asked the department to respond in the modality easiest for them — email, appointment or phone. Perhaps my mistake was assuming I would receive a timely response - or any response whatsoever. Instead, I received a letter from the Cannabis Division on July 13th, stating my cultivation permit had expired, and that “failure to renew your permit in the 30 days provided will result in your permit being ineligible for renewal.”
We re-forwarded my original email to the Planning Department informing them we had now received an expiration notification from the Cannabis Division. For the sake of transparency, I cc’d both emails to the Cannabis Division. I received a terse and infuriating response from them with no one acting as signatory, stating, “This is not a matter that the Cannabis Program can assist you with. I have blind copied the planner that issued the Kure Wellness cannabis permit.”
Shortly thereafter, Mr. Vandy Vandewater from B and P responded to our original request for information. I am aghast that despite my years of full cooperation with the county, I did not receive a shred of acknowledgement from the Cannabis Division that a communication failure originating just a few doors away from their office resulted in my missing this arbitrary deadline.
I utilize “temporary shade cloth structures” at my cultivation site. Despite extensive research, I am still unsure they require permits. These structures are “old technology” and have deprecated as the path toward auto-dep greenhouses has become clearer. I have had numerous questions requiring responses from the county before I could confidently move forward with permanent building placement - the definition of “contiguous,” questions regarding grading the property or cutting down trees. I haven’t yet funded permanent greenhouses because in part, I feared the county would revoke licenses or change rules - and that’s exactly what’s happened, despite the fact that this currently zoned RR-5 parcel has a lengthy, unambiguous history as an Ag property and was once zoned as such. Would any businessperson in any industry pour concrete for permanent structures without knowing if their parcel was about to get stricken from a “table?”
Years ago, our family ran a large-scale ostrich livestock operation on the parcel, where we raised, slaughtered and sold ostrich meat, eggs and hides- replete with clean rooms and incubators. The prior owner of our land, Ms. Bertha Cook operated a commercial flower farm on the site - complete with greenhouses. This property has an LSAA, on-stream pond storage permission, SIUR and pre-1914 water rights. If there ever was a bona-fide Ag property, I can’t imagine one more perfectly suited to grow hay, flowers or legal cannabis. Yet come permit time, I continue to be treated as someone who is trying to thwart the system or am simply ignored.
How did we get to this impasse? The Black Tail Deer lawsuit. The sudden “retirement” of Ag Commissioner Diane Curry. Vacancies left by former Supervisors Hamburg and Woodhouse- resulting in empty Third and Fifth District seats during key policy votes. Big money lobbying from the shadows. What other challenges do we live with?
Continued fallout from recovery from several of the largest fires in the history of California and the ongoing threat of PSPS and evacuations - both of which may result in total crop loss in the space of 24 hours.
Continuing to work through the pandemic with minimal support from regulatory agencies.
No “right to farm” clause. In this case, there is a preponderance of documentation demonstrating my cultivation site has been used for commercial agricultural enterprises for a minimum of 70 years.
A shortage of architects due to post-fire rebuilds, thereby slowing the completion of cannabis projects.
No access to banking.
The closing of employee accounts merely for being employed by a cannabis business.
No way to remit taxes except cash
Temporary permits (embossed receipts… really?)
The cannabis permitting and licensing process is a daunting, expensive enterprise that continues to hamstring an industry that worked thanklessly through the pandemic - continuing to feed county coffers while employing hundreds of folks and providing recreational and medicinal products to tens of thousands of people - many who travel significant distances to shop at Mendocino County dispensaries.
My travails are shared by scores of taxpaying businesspeople. Despite reams of evidence pointing to the safety and economic benefits of legalization, the growing and selling of cannabis continues to be the most improperly, wrongly regulated and overtaxed industry in American business history.
At a 2018 gaveled-in California State Cannabis Hearing, Mendocino County’s former Agricultural Commissioner Tony Linegar stated, “If the overall goal of this program was to create a regulatory scheme to favor corporate, big-dollar industry, we’ve succeeded. If the goal was to create a regulatory pathway for existing cultivators to become legal, I think we’ve failed.” Mr. Linegar - an unrivalled expert on Ag regulations, water, ranching, forestry and viticulture called out CEQA and other environmental regulations as “over the top,” and declared, “Any other Ag industry would be run out of business,” if they were required to comply with current cannabis regulations. He saw no compelling reason to regulate cannabis differently than other crops, while characterizing the regulatory and taxation burden that cannabis farmers carry as “exponentially disproportionate” in comparison to other parts of the agriculture community.
Did lawmakers heed Mr. Linegar’s admonishments? It appears his cautionary statements had no impact whatsoever on our policies.
We continue to be taxed into oblivion.
Local cannabis taxes are paid atop state excise taxes. Is this not double-taxation? During the pandemic, Mendocino County operated in lockstep with the state, casting doubt on the local governments sovereignty from state government - possibly nullifying the argument that, “It’s not double-taxation because we are separate governments.” Which is a bad justification given to me by county staff anyway.
Kure drops approximately $80,000 in taxes per year into the county’s revenue stream. Between myself and my family, we pay another $100,000 annually in property taxes. We are the lucky ones, because we have sufficient assets to provide for our employees, grow our businesses and support our children. What of the small farmers, hanging on by a broken thread - hoping against hope that per-pound prices will miraculously increase, or that the mind-numbing miasma of regulations will somehow work to their advantage?
When Mendocino County grants what are essentially vested property rights, and then, as in my case - denies that said property exists, I become a victim of taxation without representation. Please explain how the cannabis industry is represented when law-abiding businesses are subject to:
A seemingly endless parade of cannabis departmental shifts (from Sheriff to Ag to B and P to the current cannabis program), with no continuity provided during departmental transitions.
Astronomical levels of staff turnover.
Documented promises and assurances provided by county staff regarding the approval of my drive-through window that were later reneged upon.
The shuttering of public access to government buildings, with lack of access further compounded by non-response when phone or in-person appointments are requested.
County staff not responding to urgent emails, while simultaneously decreeing strict adherence to deadlines.
Departmental buck-passing (i.e., three separate departments “blaming” each other for lack of communication or lack of knowledge - ostensibly to skirt accountability)
Lost documents which were duly submitted to the county.
A less-than-scientific focus on drought-driven cannabis water restrictions (read the findings of UC Davis researchers on how little water is really used by legal cannabis farms) with limited or non-equivalent restrictions required of other agricultural enterprises.
A newly minted Code Enforcement division which thus far seems focused more on mitigating low-hanging dozens or hundred-or-so plants, as opposed to eradicating environmentally disastrous, patently illegal multi-thousand-plant mega-grows in remote localities.
Everyone deserves equal protection under the law. No single industry should be subject to discrimination or abuse. Embossed receipt holders awaiting the launch of the cannabis portal received a 90-day grace period to file paperwork. The fact that I already have a permit apparently means nothing. I am provided only 30 days to comply, despite months of non-communication from your side of the net. This seems like an arbitrary edict designed to harass, not to assist.
What other industries require their own county department? Is there a Winery Department? A Tire Shop Department? The fact that a “Cannabis Division” exists is direct evidence that this industry is being singled out and treated exceptionally and unequally under the law. Wine and beer are psychoactive, lucrative county industries. The entire acreage of legally cultivated cannabis could tuck into a couple of vineyards between Ukiah and Hopland. As Mr. Linegar opined, could the wine industry survive under cannabis regulations? It’s doubtful.
More voters and legislators continue to voice their desire to end Prohibition, locally and nationally. Instead of being at the vanguard of clean, craft cannabis, celebrating our heritage and the culture that surrounds it, Mendocino County cannabis licensees live in “Prohibition 2.0.”
Cannabis is our livelihood - expressed through the will of the voters and sanctioned by the passage of state and local laws. Once livelihoods are codified, citizens rely upon that industry’s continued existence. We have only to look to history to see the consequences of threatened livelihoods.
The amount of psychological distress and PTSD in our industry is no joke. Like Sheriff Allman recently stated, mental health - not cannabis - is our county’s biggest challenge. Cannabis entrepreneurs and their loved ones are being disproportionately affected and destroyed, not just financially, but emotionally - in part because for years, we have been forced to live and work within a topsy-turvy regulatory nightmare. Does anyone wonder why more farmers aren’t joining the program?
Imagine if Mendocino County had found farm subsidy funding for cannabis industry fire victims, or if aggressive county pressure helped to secure local banking. In my case, imagine if the county offered unambiguous support for our drive-through window at our flagship store, instead of contradictory pushback. Many of our drive-through customers are disabled. Some are seniors. Some wish to socially distance or don’t want to leave their pet in a hot car. We have a minimum of 5 drive-through businesses within 5 miles of my dispensary, including a bank and a pharmacy. Please provide one cogent reason why a drive-through cannabis window - staffed by professional dispensary operators, located on property that has historical “in-and-out” traffic patterns can possibly pose a community detriment.
What is the status of the $18 million in “Newsom cannabis funding” the county is slated to receive to help push provisional licenses to the finish line? Where are we in this process? Why has there been no communication to licensees?
I implore each of you to step back and consider the futures of those you took a sworn oath to serve. If “courtesy” letters threatening my livelihood are routinely sent to cooperative, compliant businesspeople like myself, the system is broken. This is not about regulations. No amount of regulation will replace the basic tenets of good management: an expectation of courtesy towards the public, timely communications response and the decency of putting a human face or a name to any and all correspondence. When cannabis is removed from the Federal Controlled Substance list, it will likely be illegal to harass taxpaying citizens in this fashion. More to the point, it’s just not right, and I can no longer be silent.
Please instruct the Cannabis Department to rescind the 30-day cancellation letter and instruct them to renegotiate a reasonable cancellation date after the following:
I request a face-to-face or other appropriate meeting with both the B and P and Cannabis Division to discuss any lingering questions regarding the submittal of my renewal application for cultivation site AG_2017-0272.
Please bring resolution to the current “month-to-month” status of Kure’s drive-through location at Lake Mendocino Drive. We have committed in writing to any and all improvements or modifications recommended by the Building and Planning Department.
Require that both departments commit to a 72-hour maximum response to emails and phone calls - a response which includes a staffer’s name and direct contact information, an inclusion of dates and times that staffer is available for appointments, and the creation of a few “emergency” time slots weekly - specifically allotted for those who are in danger of license suspension or cancellation.
Please only resort to the use of threatening language or actual revocation of cannabis licenses as a method of last resort - to be utilized in extreme situations such as gross environmental destruction, commission of serious crimes or a licensee’s documented lack of response to the Cannabis Division.
Thank you very much for listening. I appreciate the time taken to address these issues and hope that we can come to an outcome that will positively benefit everyone in our community.
Russell Green, CEO, Kure Wellness Inc.
CATCH OF THE DAY, July 31, 2021
JAMES ANDEREGG, Ukiah. Probation revocation.
RONALD CRANE, Santa Rosa/Ukiah. DUI, suspended license for DUI.
DONNA DERESKERICIUS, Mendocino. Disorderly conduct-alcohol.
CRAY HALL, Lakeport/Ukiah. Loaded firearm in public, concealed firearm in public with prior, ammo possession by prohibited person, felon-addict with firearm.
DAVIS HIGHTOWER, Fort Bragg. Failure to appear.
SIRSAMUEL JACKSON, Bakersfield/Ukiah. Contact with minor with intent to commit lewd act, harmful matter of minor sent with sexual intent.
KEVIN KINCAID, Laytonville. DUI-alcohol&drugs, controlled substance, concentrated cannabis, paraphernalia.
JORGE LABRADOR-ARRAGON, Ukiah. Controlled substance for sale, loaded firearm in public, concealed firearm in vehicle, controlled substance while armed with loaded firearm, felon-addict with firearm, ammo possession by prohibited person.
CODY LADD, Ukiah. Parole violation.
EFRAIN LOPEZ-LOPEZ, Ukiah. DUI, no license.
BUFFY LYONS, Ukiah. DUI, resisting.
CODY MENDEZ, Ukiah. Domestic battery.
ALEX MORA-WHITEHURST, Willits. Domestic battery, false personation of another, failure to appear.
AARON ORESCO, Redwood Valley, Grand theft-auto, grand theft from building, controlled substance, conspiracy, probation revocation.
SALVADOR PEDROZA, Ukiah. Battery, convict with firearm, concealed firearm in vehicle with prior, loaded firearm in public, restraining order violation-firearm purchase, contempt of court, failure to appear, probation revocation.
JASON PICKETT, Willits. Domestic battery, criminal threats.
SEAN SHANNON, Willits. DUI, child endangerment, resisting, probation revocation.
JEREMY SONGY, Ukiah. Battery.
JOSE VELAZQUEZ-RODRIGUEZ, Kelseyville/Ukiah. DUI.
At last someone (Katha Pollitt, The Nation, July 12, 2019) has noticed the naked emperor petting the elephant in the room. The elephant is a growing human population which is responsible for almost all environmental problems (natural disasters excepted). If you started reading this a minute ago there are approximately now 150 more people on earth. That's 276,000 people a day. (That's not a typo). On this day next year there will be 80 million more people on earth. Most will be born into countries that have already met or exceeded their carrying capacity for humans -- sub-Saharan Africa, Asia, parts of South and Central America.
What can be done to help Mother Earth?
First of all, don't vote Republican. They cause an decrease in abortions and an increase of unintended and unwanted children every time they get into power by cutting aid to international family planning clinics. President Biden has restored the severe cuts by the Trump administration, but population stability cannot be achieved until every woman can control her own body via access to modern forms of contraception.
So help the earth by supporting organizations that promote international education and family planning. Tomorrow there will be another 226,000 people joining us.
STOP GERRYMANDERING, JOE
I sent an e-mail to Senator Joe Manchin about how if he doesn't get with it for the People's Act (or the ending of gerrymandering) along with lots of protecting of the people’s right to vote that he would end up being one of two people whose legacy will be in the history books as refusing to save our democracy before it died. That is the legacy he wants to be remembered for? I asked for is a reply but I doubt I'll get one since I live in California, not Virginia. I just wanted him to know what his legacy will be if he doesn't stop trying to give the Republicans what they want.
It is perfectly clear to all of us that the People's Act is needed or our democracy will be an autocracy after just one more election. The Republicans in the Senate have proven themselves to be completely uninterested in any fair dealing. They had four years with Trump and McConnell did only two things: a tax cut for the rich and a half done prison reform plan that Trumped only signed to have a photo op with the Kardashians.
They are doing everything they can, unconstitutionally, to rig the vote for real. In fact, that was Trump's plan, to steal the election while saying that the Democrats were.
Joe Biden received eight million more votes in a great and honest election and Trump and his cult have been ruining it ever since.
The folks who believed Trump and attacked our capitol should have known better, even military folks know not to follow an illegal command!
So these folks were not well educated. Too many of them were racist. It said so on their clothes. These folks call themselves white supremacists yet still don’t even realize that "Nazis" were "white supremacists." Maybe some folks wouldn't hang out with them if they realize how close to Nazis they are. They might think twice if we were Nazis instead of white supremecists. A lot of them might change their minds about thinking that any group is superior to any other group. Under our skin we are all the same, human!
Thank you for listening.
PS. Too many congresspeople have gerrymandered districts. If they were drawn fairly they would not hold their seats. Did you know that in many Republican states Democrats get more votes but the gerrymandering of districts keeps them from winning? It's been this way for a long time, too long! That's why Republicans feel free to do nothing!
ON LINE COMMENT OF THE DAY
I have gardened for decades. Used to be that the only concern for the season was the first freeze.
In Phoenix, there are two seasons, January to June and Sept to Jan. The temp extremes stop plant growth in the winter and for four months of the summer. Last year the temp was in the 110 to 118 range for most of August. August is normally much cooler, 100 -105 in August, but there was no monsoon to cool us down.
Everything, even cactus and other desert plants suffered, sun burned, died, citrus trees dropped 2/3 of their leaves, Roses dried up, everything stopped growing and died back.
I found through the years here that Tomatoes stop flowering above 95 deg.
Squash of all types stop flowering above 105 degrees.
Corn is stunted above 110 degrees. Peppers are okay up to 110, then they stop growing.
The only thing I have found that consistently grows here is okra. We had a few seasons of jambalaya around here.
The low humidity, 0-15% does not help.
When the soil is above 105 consistently, nothing germinates.
END THE EMBARGO
In the wake of protests across Cuba, the Biden administration is being pressured from the left and the right, reminding us that Cuba is a domestic political issue, not just a foreign policy one.
Although our 60-year-old embargo of Cuba has failed to dislodge the government, some on the right want to support the opposition, even with arms or troops, tighten the embargo or impose new sanctions. These options would perpetuate the hardships and suffering of Cubans and provoke more repression, bloodshed and possible civil war.
An alternative would be to lift the embargo, allow Cuban Americans to send money to their families, remove restrictions on travel and allow Americans to invest and trade in Cuba.
Lifting the embargo would relieve acute shortages in food and medicine; removing restrictions on remittances would help Cuban families with relatives abroad; allowing travel would spark tourism, the major source of foreign exchange; and lifting restrictions on investment and trade would spark economic growth in the private sector.
Instead of isolating Cuba, the embargo has isolated the United States and failed to remove the Cuban regime. To convince our friends “America is back,” President Joe Biden should lift the embargo and close Guantánamo.
Vaccine skepticism isn’t our only problem. We need to recognize that so-called breakthrough infections are almost certainly more widespread than we are willing to let people believe. We talk about reaching herd immunity, and vaccination is the more ideal way (rather than letting everyone get infected).
But part of that theory assumes to a great degree that people who are vaccinated serve as a blockade in the spread of the infection. In other words, the more people who are vaccinated, the less likely it is for an unvaccinated person to come into contact with a source of infection.
However, breakthrough infections — if common — throw that theory out the window.
The fact that we are finding breakthrough infections largely by circumstantial testing strongly suggests we would find far more if we were aggressively testing, which we are no longer doing, particularly in the vaccinated.
So — and most don’t want to hear this — short of the vaccine hesitant getting vaccinated (which they should), the best way to limit the potential breakthrough infections that could threaten them remains universal masking. It’s that simple.
Craig H. Kliger
‘BRAVES NEXT TO GO’
Hello Cleveland! Thanks for finally doing the right thing by grudgingly ditching your city’s Major League Baseball franchise name “The Indians” at the end of the 2021 MLB season.
Yes, the name “The Indians” was racist as all get-out, and Cleveland’s recently retired team logo “Chief Wahoo” was even more ridiculously reprehensible than the team’s soon-to-be former moniker. But who doesn’t love the possibility of redemption for long-time losers and ultimate underdogs, like Cleveland itself.
If there is one thing that Cleveland’s MLB franchise has been consistent at since the era of World War II - back when all Americans could openly and unapologetically agree that “the only good Nazi is a dead Nazi” - it’s that Cleveland couldn’t win the World Series (except for in 1948). Maybe a new team name is just what Cleveland baseball needs.
Cleveland’s new MLB team name “The Guardians” will debut in 2022. Perhaps Atlanta will follow suit and drop their MLB franchise’s name “The Braves” before next season? “The Bandits” would be a much more appropriate choice for the city of Atlanta. (I’m pretty sure Burt Reynolds, Sally Field, Jerry Reed, and Jackie Gleason would all agree with that.)
East Bound and Down,
WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO LOSE YOUR MIND?
by Nick Pemberton
Once leprosy had gone, and the figure of the leper was no more than a distant memory, these structures still remained. The game of exclusion would be played again, often in these same places, in an oddly similar fashion two or three centuries later. The role of the leper was to be played by the poor and by the vagrant, by prisoners and by the “alienated,” and the sort of salvation at stake for both parties in this game of exclusion is the matter of this study.— Michel Foucault, Madness and Civilization
What does it mean to lose one’s mind? Immediately we have to interrogate this statement because it relies on a relativity. Yes, we lose our minds, but in relation to what? In relation to a definition of a sane mind by the power structure. Simple enough, let’s go further.
If the sane mind is defined by its submission to the powers that be, then this sane mind is a suffering mind, an unfree mind. Does this make an insane mind revolutionary? Not necessarily, for reordering society through revolution also implies some form of organization, even if it is dynamic and non-hierarchical.
I am more interested in how insanity develops as a defense against the assumptions of society. Modern society is controlled by invisible market forces. These infect our socials relations, our relation to nature, and our material survival. In order to exist with sanity in such a society one must accept these rules, learn to master them, and be lucky enough to be able to apply these rules in some form that determines your destiny.
However if one, for whatever reason, has enough free will to want anything else besides the arbitrary rules thrown upon her, then she either most consciously defeat her real self or risk being diagnosed as insane. The purpose of this diagnosis is to reinforce the invisible laws that no one knows why they are following.
The diagnosis itself has a disciplinary function, but I’m more interested in the behavior. Recall in the TV series Breaking Bad, Walter White, the chemistry teacher, turned meth cooker, pretends to be insane, as he strips off his clothes in a grocery store. It turns out this was all an elaborate way of avoiding people finding about his true behavior (cooking meth). The insanity of walking into the grocery store naked in this context would be treated as something that wasn’t the “real Walter” while Walter would be held socially responsible for his meth cooking because he did this without losing his mind, so to speak.
The lines are more blurry here though. We have to assume that many people cannot help their actions of walking into grocery stores naked, and the degree that society would choose to reform this behavior would only be in the context of it not making the person money, or even more broadly, that this person was doing it against their own will, although the further capitalism develops, the more these two things become indistinguishable. So everyone should have the right to have free health care.
This is not the question we are addressing here. We are asking, following Michel Foucault, what is the basis for the discipline upon the person. The basis for the discipline is creating a norm and punishing anything outside of this behavior. The question of free will determines the degree to which this person can be reformed back into the norm.
From the viewpoint of the structure, it hardly matters if an individual person can be reformed. For the person on the outside, any hope of life relies upon being seen in the light of someone who can be reformed. For those on the inside, it’s all politics. If they like the person or think they can control them, this person will be accepted back into the fold, on a shorter leash.
It becomes hard to tell what is genuine behavior. The idea today is that we are free to be whoever we want to be. If this is not good enough, you almost have to be insane in the eyes of the system. The loneliness of rebellion is that while you are doing it, you are judged as insane because there is seen to be many rebels within the system. If such symbolic rebellion rings hallow to you, you are an outsider, robbed out of the agency of rebellion.
You are told that you are evil if you rebel. It is an attack on the way of life. Rebellion is always seen as irrational and as selfish. They wonder: how could a person not want to be accepted by society? But what is society being led by? What forces, alienated from any particular authentic human desire, are driving us?
The most lonely place in society often is right in the middle of it. When the world is most accepting of you, you are the most lost. Are we left to fluctuate, without direction, between two states of loneliness, one in which we are alone within an alienated society and one in which we are alone outside of it?
How else can we be heard within society besides articulating something other than the motives baked into it? If we are simply machines, doing the bidding of our masters, how will anyone ever know who we are, including ourselves? Truth leaks out of the margins of the system, for a moment, before it is banished from sight. Eventually what is left on the inside? Only lies? Could such a system sustain itself, or are we eating ourselves from the inside?
Foucault writes: “Madness is the false punishment of a false solution, but by its own virtue it brings to light the real problem, which can then be truly resolved.” Many of us are going mad now. Many days I am. I see it with friends and family too. The coming climate apocalypse leaves us with anxiety about the future. Each passing day is merely another day we haven’t died yet, and someone else has.
Madness on its own is not liberating. It overtakes us, it makes us paranoid, we can’t tell friends from foe, we can’t organize our own minds structurally, let alone organize others in a meaningful way. We become wrapped up in a specific tortuous problem in a world filled with countless treasures and limited time.
And yet in our madness we find truth. We realize the life we have to submit to is a lie. We realize, when we go mad, how few friends we have. In many ways our paranoia is confirmed. We realize the cost of a coercive society, the limitations of bourgeois freedom, the horrors of a society withering away. We are left with a piece of truth. In spite of how they spat on us on the way out, we wonder if others have other pieces. We hope they do.
(Nick Pemberton writes and works from Saint Paul, Minnesota. He loves to receive feedback at firstname.lastname@example.org)
A READER WRITES: That Miracle Surgery Photo included in Jeffrey St. Clair’s item yesterday is based on a real photo. Here’s the photo the painting (with obvious embellishment) is doubtless based on.
A doctor from Nicaragua came to the United States to study. He prayed to Jesus for help with his final exam — on surgery. A photograph was taken in the operating theatre, and when developed showed the figure of Jesus in the centre, between the doctor on the right and the anaesthetist on the left. Notice His hand on the doctor’s shoulder.
Look a here
And it's smooth and it goes down really nice
Costs two hundred dollars a bottle
And that's a damn good bargain price
Talkin' 'bout Cognac
Liquid gold in every sip
Let's play some blues while we all take a little nip
Now reefer make me mellow
And whiskey make me wild
Get a couple of glasses and let's get drunk in style
I'm talkin' about Cognac
Careful now, it sneaks up on you strong, yeah
If the late Muddy Waters was here drinkin' with us
That bottle would be ten times gone
Can't drink with me no more Muddy, but I, I got Keith Richards
How 'bout you, Beck? Come on in here now
Good and smooth, good and smooth, good and smooth
It goes good with the blues
Come on Keith, help yourself
Remy Martin XO
I'm only playin' what I know
Come on in here, Beck
Stretch you neck and drink this XO with me
Let me tell you 'bout this woman
When she'd get tight
Give her a double shot of Remy Martin XO
It'll launch your rocket rise
Talkin' 'bout Cognac
XO Cognac that is
And it goes right to your head
Yes, it do
How well do I know
You know it won't kill the living
It'll damn sure raise the dead
Let me say that again
You know it won't kill the living
And it'll damn sure raise the dead
Oh yes, it will
— Buddy Guy
EARTH'S ENERGY IMBALANCE REMOVES ALMOST ALL DOUBT FROM HUMAN-MADE CLIMATE CHANGE
Researchers studying Earth's absorption of the sun's energy found a less than 1 percent probability that the recent changes occurred naturally.
SELF-HARMERS IN VBS.
"If you read the bible in reverse, it’s about the world’s population killing each other until there’s only two people left, and then the woman pukes an apple and they both get naked." —Macaulay Culkin, D.D.
The recording of last night's (2021-07-30) Memo of the Air: Good Night Radio show on 107.7fm KNYO-LP Fort Bragg (CA) is right here: https://tinyurl.com/KNYO-MOTA-0447
Besides all that, at https://MemoOfTheAir.wordpress.com you'll find a fresh batch of dozens of links to not necessarily radio-useful but nonetheless worthwhile items I set aside for you while gathering that show together. Such as, for instance:
The church of God the Giant Chicken. (via Everlasting Blort)
"I have now officially heard a song in the key of Q-Flat Minor." This reminds me of an incident in the novella The Ugly Sea by R.A. Lafferty, where an out-of-place young Jew in a salty waterfront bar incurs the wrath of the whole barful of rough seamen by speaking harshly to their beloved crippled pretty twelve-year-old daughter of the barkeep as she persists in playing the piano badly. He says, “Stop, miss, I beg you. Stop playing. It is acutely painful.” They toss him out on his ear.
Further classic paintings animated.
And, regarding the MCN Announce listserv discussion of renaming Fort Bragg (CA) after someone besides Braxton Bragg, here's a song about a fictional character somewhat modeled on him: Jubilation T. Cornpone. “He weren’t nobody’s dunce.” JTC and Braxton Bragg both seem to have been a sort of hapless Southern cracker version of Harry Flashman, though without Harry's great luck, nor his luminous wife who he unjustly thought of as his "lovely brainless Elspeth." (Until the flight by night from psychopathic Queen Ranavalona of Madagascar, when he discovers, decades into his forced marriage to Elspeth, how talented she is, and what a rock she can be in adversity, and how unfair he has been, though it doesn't interfere with his continued compulsive sexual infidelity in further stories. He knows throughout his life what a pathetic piece of work he is. That seems to be the running gag of the series: everyone who finds out what a moral and physical coward Harry Flashman really is, is soon removed from the picture almost comically by death or worse, and Flashman can go on receiving awards and medals and praise --and a statue of him on a horse-- and escaping consequences. I think Elspeth might have known all along, too, from the very beginning.)
Marco McClean, email@example.com, https://MemoOfTheAir.wordpress.com