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INLAND TEMPERATURES WILL HEAT BACK UP this weekend and through Tuesday, with sunshine muted by some areas of smoke and haze. Coastal areas will remain cool with areas of morning marine layer clouds. (NWS)
46 NEW COVID CASES reported in Mendocino County yesterday afternoon.
SATURDAY BBQ AT THE YORKVILLE MARKET
Today, Saturday, Chef B is preparing a local Ratatouille with late summer Anderson Valley veggies from Brock and Filigreen Farms. This will be served with a crusty french bread and choice of grilled sausage or crispy spiced chickpeas. We will be serving from 12:30ish to 4:30ish and the price per plate will be $12.
Remember we are hosting an Autumn Feast Dinner with live music on Friday, September 24. This will be a locally sourced, hand made, multi-course meal featuring the bounty of the Anderson Valley and Yorkville Highlands. Reservations required as there will be limited seating for COVID safety. More details on the menu are coming soon, and we will be offering a vegetarian option as well.
We are open Wednesday-Sunday, 11am- 5:00pm through Fall. Stop in for delicious coffee, a sweet treat or a delicious homemade meal.
WHO SAW IT COMING?
by Alexander Cockburn & Jeffrey St. Clair (September 12, 2001)
Tuesday’s onslaughts on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon are being likened to Pearl Harbor and the comparison is just. From the point of view of the assailants the attacks were near miracles of logistical calculation, timing, courage in execution and devastation inflicted upon the targets.
The Pearl Harbor base containing America’s naval might was thought to be invulnerable, yet in half an hour 2,000 were dead, and the cream of the fleet destroyed. This week, within an hour on the morning of September 11, security at three different airports was successfully breached, the crews of four large passenger jets efficiently overpowered, the cockpits commandeered, navigation coordinates reset.
In three of the four missions the assailants attained successes probably far beyond the expectations of the planners. As a feat of suicidal aviation the Pentagon kamikaze assault was particularly audacious, with eyewitness accounts describing the Boeing 767 skimming the Potomac before driving right through the low lying Pentagon perimeter, in a sector housing Planning and Logistics.
The two Trade Center Buildings were struck at what structural engineers say were the points of maximum vulnerability. The strength of the buildings derived entirely from the steel perimeter frame, designed — so its lead architect said only last week — to withstand the impact of a Boeing 707. These buildings were struck full force last Tuesday morning by Boeing 737s, with fuel tanks fully loaded for the long flights to the West Coast. Within an hour of the impacts both buildings collapsed. By evening, a third 46-story Trade Center building had also crumbled.
Not in terms of destructive extent, but in terms of symbolic obliteration the attack is virtually without historic parallel, a trauma at least as great as the San Francisco earthquake or the Chicago fire.
There may be another similarity to Pearl Harbor. The possibility of a Japanese attack in early December of 1941 was known to US Naval Intelligence and to President Roosevelt. Last Tuesday, derision at the failure of US intelligence was widespread. The Washington Post quoted an unnamed top official at the National Security Council as saying, “We don’t know anything here. We’re watching CNN too.” Are we to believe that the $30 billion annual intelligence budget, immense electronic eavesdropping capacity, thousands of agents around the world, produced nothing in the way of a warning? In fact Osama bin Laden, now prime suspect, said in an interview three weeks ago with Abdel-Bari Atwan, the editor of the London-based al-Quds al-Araby newspaper, that he planned “very, very big attacks against American interests.”
Here is bin-Laden, probably the most notorious Islamic foe of America on the planet, originally trained by the CIA, planner of other successful attacks on US installations such as the embassies in East Africa, carrying a $5 million FBI bounty on his head proclaiming the imminence of another assault, and US intelligence was impotent, even though the attacks must have taken months, if not years to plan, and even though CNN has reported that bin-Laden and his coordinating group al-Qa’ida had been using an airstrip in Afghanistan to train pilots to fly 767s.
Back in the 1960s and 1970s, when hijacking was a preoccupation, the possibility of air assaults on buildings such as the Trade Center were a major concern of US security and intelligence agencies. But since the 1980s and particularly during the Clinton-Gore years the focus shifted to more modish fears, such as bio-chemical assault and nuclear weapons launched by so-called rogue states. This latter threat had the allure of justifying the $60 billion investment in Missile Defense aka Star Wars. One of the biggest proponents of that approach was Al Gore’s security advisor, Leon Fuerth, who wailed plaintively amid Tuesday’s rubble that “In effect the country’s at war but we don’t have the coordinates of the enemy.”
But the lust for retaliation traditionally outstrips precision in identifying the actual assailant. By early evening on Tuesday America’s national security establishment were calling for a removal of all impediments on the assassination of foreign leaders. Led by President Bush, they were endorsing the prospect of attacks not just on the perpetrators but on those who might have harbored them. From the nuclear priesthood came the demand that mini-nukes be deployed on a preemptive basis against the enemies of America.
The targets abroad will be all the usual suspects: rogue states, (most of which, like the Taliban or Saddam Hussein, started off as creatures of US intelligence). The target at home will of course be the Bill of Rights. Less than a week ago the FBI raided Infocom, the Texas-based web host for Muslim groups such as the Council on Islamic Relations, the Islamic Society of North America, the Islamic Association for Palestine, and the Holy Land Foundation. Palestinians have been denied visas, and those in this country can, under the terms of the CounterTerrorism Act of the Clinton years, be held and expelled without due process. The explosions of Tuesday were not an hour old before terror pundits like Anthony Cordesman, Wesley Clark, Robert Gates and Lawrence Eagleburger were saying that these attacks had been possible “because America is a democracy,” adding that now some democratic perquisites might have to be abandoned? What might this mean? Increased domestic snooping by US law enforcement and intelligence agencies; ethnic profiling; another drive for a national ID card system.
Tuesday did not offer a flattering exhibition of America’s leaders. For most of the day the only Bush who looked composed and control in Washington was Laura, who happened to waiting to testify on Capitol Hill. Her husband gave a timid and stilted initial reaction in Sarasota, Florida, then disappeared for an hour before resurfacing in at a base in Barksdale, Louisiana, where he gave another flaccid address with every appearance of being on tranquilizers. He was then flown to a bunker in Nebraska, before someone finally had the wit to suggest that the best place for an American president at time of national emergency is the Oval Office.
Other members of the cabinet were equally elusive. Secretary of State Colin Powell, who has managed to avoid almost every site of crisis or debate, was once again absent from the scene, in Latin America. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld remained invisible most of the day, even though it would have taken him only a few short steps to get to the Pentagon press room and make some encouraging remarks. When he did finally appear the substance of his remarks and his demeanor were even more banal and unprepossessing than those of his commander in chief. At no point did Vice President Cheney appear in public. The presidential contenders did expose themselves. John McCain curdled the air with threats against America’s foes, as did John Kerry, who immediately blamed bin-Laden and who stuck the knife firmly into CIA director George Tenet, citing Tenet as having told him not long ago that the CIA had neutralized an impending attack by bin-Laden.
Absent national political leadership, the burden of rallying the nation fell as usual upon the tv anchors, all of whom seem to have resolved early on to lower the emotional temper, though Tom Brokaw did lisp a declaration of War against Terror.
Tuesday’s eyewitness reports of the collapse of the two Trade Center buildings were not inspired, at least for those who have heard the famous eyewitness radio reportage of the crash of the Hindenberg zeppelin in Lakehurst, New Jersey in 1937 with the anguished cry of the reporter, “Oh the humanity, the humanity.” Radio and tv reporters these days seem incapable of narrating an ongoing event with any sense of vivid language or dramatic emotive power.
The commentators were similarly incapable of explaining with any depth the likely context of the attacks; that these attacks might be the consequence of the recent Israeli rampages in the Occupied Territories that have included assassinations of Palestinian leaders and the slaughter of Palestinian civilians with the use of American aircraft; that these attacks might also stem from the sanctions against Iraq that have seen upward of a million children die; that these attacks might in part be a response to US cruise missile attacks on the Sudanese factories that had been loosely fingered by US intelligence as connected to bin-Laden.
In fact September 11 was the anniversary of George W. Bush’s speech to Congress in 1990, heralding war against Iraq. It was also the anniversary of the Camp David accords, which signaled the US buy-out of Egypt as any countervailing force for Palestinian rights in the Middle East. One certain beneficiary of the attacks is Israel. Polls had been showing popular dislike here for Israel’s recent tactics, which may have been the motivation for Colin Powell’s few bleats of reproof to Israel. We will be hearing no such bleats in the weeks to come, as Israel’s leaders advise America on how exactly to deal with Muslims. The attackers probably bet on that too, as a way of making the US’s support for Israeli intransigence even more explicit, finishing off Arafat in the process.
“Freedom,” said George Bush in Sarasota in the first sentence of his first reaction, “was attacked this morning by a faceless coward.” That properly represents the stupidity and blindness of almost all Tuesday’s mainstream political commentary. By contrast, the commentary on economic consequences was informative and sophisticated. Worst hit: the insurance industry. Likely outfall in the short-term: hiked energy prices, a further drop in global stock markets. George Bush will have no trouble in raiding the famous lock-box, using Social Security Trust Funds to give more money to the Defense Department. That about sums it up. Three planes are successfully steered into three of America’s most conspicuous buildings and America’s response will be to put more money in missile defense as a way of bolstering the economy.
See what anger does
Tears apart everything
Never be angry
— Nate Collins
by Cat Spydell
I am a mom through and through, and not just to my two kids Kodiak and Cassidy, who turned out to be wonderful human adults. I’m also mom to an array of rescued animals. The one on my mind right now is my awkward “pterodactyl son,” Rad the Peacock. Rad is short for Radagast, the brown wizard in the Lord of the Rings.
Rad is an odd duck. I mean peacock. I was sitting home minding my own business in June 2014 in Southern California when he was brought as a feral baby, or peachick, to my doorstep via a friend of a friend. My word-of-mouth animal rescue I created in my backyard has had numerous critters dropped off over the years, even though I never give out my number and I don’t advertise. It’s just a backyard thing. In college during summers I worked for Animal Control in the City of Redondo Beach and learned too much about saving critter lives and rescue, and so hundreds of animals of every type imaginable have come through the gate at our humble little “Pixie Dust Ranch” over the years. The baby peacock was just another dropped-off orphan that needed some help.
The community of Palos Verdes in Los Angeles County is where I was raised, and where I moved back to when my kids were young, to be nearer to family after having Kodiak and Cassidy here in Mendocino County. In Palos Verdes (PV), Indian blue peacocks are numerous, feral, and considered nuisance birds. That’s because they enjoy gazing at and pecking at their own gorgeous reflection in shiny automobiles, and pooping nasty ‘cupcakes’ on the sidewalk. I was the only baby peacock rescuer in PV at the time Rad came to us. And someone figured that out and brought me a peachick in a shoebox (not my first, or last).
I didn’t expect the hatchling to live but he eventually thrived after a couple of near-death moments including an infection and a seizure. He lived at first in my bedroom near our other bird rescues, Luna the white parakeet and Penelope Pigeon (a ring-necked dove). Later when he moved outside, our single rescue chicken named Chicken became Rad’s weird auntie. We built Rad an enclosure outside my bedroom window so he could still hang out with Penelope (Penny) and Luna through the window screen. At night, because of our coyote problem, I carried Rad from his aviary to the garage where we had a “doggy dormitory” for our Colorado Mountain Dog named Drinian, Chicken, and a night perch for Rad. He was tamer than most peacocks because of the daily carrying and holding, and coupled with the unusual fact that because he imprinted on me, I had to travel with him, so he was used to being wherever I was, and soon learned to become a roadtripping peacock. To date Rad has been to five states, traveled hundreds of thousands of miles in about 10 different vehicles, including three skoolies, or schoolbus RVs, and he even lived part time on a boat in San Rafael. Rad knows how to use the luggage rack at Motel 6 as a night perch. He prefers the desert to the city, and recognizes the In ‘n’ Out logo, and says a word we have translated to ‘fries’ when he sees the big In ‘n’ Out golden arrow.
Because Rad is tamer than most peacocks but had some health issues from his early traumas and couldn’t be returned to the wild, he became an education bird. I took him to schools and Boys and Girls Clubs and many public events where he represented as “The Peacock Ambassador of Palos Verdes,” a title given to him by the local botanic garden powers-that-be. Rad had an ongoing gig with a PV author, Mary Jo Hazard, who wrote a book called The Peacocks of Palos Verdes. I’d take Rad to classrooms when she was there sharing her book with the students. Rad was a dazzling show-and-tell icon. We built a “RadMobile” out of a red wagon with an aviary and perch added on top to get him and his 6-foot-tail, or train, from the car to the classroom and back. It’s amazing what weird stuff you come up with when you have to reinvent transport for a huge colorful bird.
Speaking of Rad’s train, that’s the point I’m getting at. Rad is living here in Philo now, retired from his active school tours and roadtrips. Every year like clockwork since we moved back to Mendocino County, Rad sheds his tail on August 1st. This year, that date came and went, and his tail is still intact. I have been like a nervous mother hen (sorry) hovering over him lately. He seems fine in every other way, except that stubborn tail is still trailing defiantly behind him.
Rad’s life is different here in Mendocino. He quit traveling with me after our failed attempt to make a cross country trip in Soulshine Bus, a.k.a. The Flaming Green Pickle Bus, our current schoolbus RV. (There’s a 2019 AVA essay about that bus and how it was stolen for 10 days by a crazed bus mechanic. What wasn’t elaborated on in that article, because that story was odd enough on its own, is that I bought the bus to travel in with Rad to accommodate his long tail during summer). If you are curious, and you read that article, mentally add a peacock to the bus and all the other mentioned vehicles, because Rad was right there with us in the passenger seat.
But I digress. Every day when I have gone out to check on Rad lately, chat with him, and feed him, I grow more uptight because every day his tail is stubbornly there, still attached to his body. Peacocks lose their long tails then grow them back annually, usually in late Spring after mating season. Since poor Rad has never mated and in fact has barely met any female peacocks, he is not really growing his tail for any reason except … Darwinism.
Now that we live in Philo and away from other birds of his kind, he has no cues about mating season or other timelines. Not that he is the only Philo peacock. We saw one in our front yard one day just walking through, checking out the competition. You could have knocked me over with a peacock feather upon seeing that feral one strut on by, walk up the hill toward the ridge, and disappear after checking out Rad and apparently deciding, since he lives in an enclosed area, Rad is not a threat. I was gobsmacked. We learned later that rogue peacock lives up the hill at the temple, but visits many of our Philo neighbors. That peacock was obviously unimpressed by our shenanigans and his tame brother bird, so on he went, and has never returned.
I’m only concerned about Rad’s health, even though Rad’s tail feathers are a hot commodity. I was selling stuff at the Boonville and Fort Bragg flea markets for a while, and Rad’s tail feathers were my best seller. I sold out! But this year is as dry as the local streams and rivers. And no one can tell me what to do if the tail doesn’t naturally come out on its own. I guess that just doesn’t happen. It’s nature. Peacocks lose their tails annually and that’s that. The whole tail takes about a week to fall out, and then the big blue pheasants are compact and can travel in the van instead of needing the 35 foot long skoolie. (Most people don’t know this first hand, but that’s a fact.)
I have tried to not be overly concerned about Rad’s tail the past few weeks, even though I can’t find many answers to this problem other than” add more protein to his diet.” (He’s a fussy eater, except for In ‘n’ Out fries). It makes sense that peacock in Spanish is “el pavo real,” which I have been told, translates to “royal turkey.” And that sounds about right, since Rad certainly views himself as royalty and is rather a demanding and impatient being. I do my best to wait on him and cater to his unusual needs. I used to say “I’m Rad’s driver,” instead of calling myself his mom back when he had numerous public appearances. Rad being “almost famous” means he occasionally does “interviews” for things like books (Why Peacocks? by Sean Flynn most recently), and articles, like the time he was featured in a Los Angeles Magazine expose called “Who is Killing the Feral Peacocks of Palos Verdes?” by Mike Kessler. Because Rad has become well known (for a peacock), the pressure is huge to make sure Rad is always, well, rad.
Update: Finally, after waiting and waiting, it happened this morning. There were about five long tail feathers on the ground, gleaming teal and blue and green in the morning sunlight. I breathed a huge sigh of relief when I saw the beautiful mess. One less thing to worry about. I realize my problems are often unusual because of my Pixie Dust Ranch rescues, which over the years have ranged from pygmy hedgehogs to hermit crabs, even an Asian walking catfish named Loch: I’ve seen it all and also, have allowed it into my home if it needed me. Now I’m no longer bringing in rescue animals, and the elderly ones that moved here with me that have been a staple of our rescue for many years are starting to gently fade away due to old age. They are all winding down, and Pixie Dust Ranch will be just a memory within a few short years, but dear Rad, at age 7, likely has a decade or more of life left in him. I can see clearly in my future that I will still be caring for him, continuing to create his social media posts (#radthepeacock), and sometimes still become overly protective and worried about my awkward peacock son.
THE LAST THREE MENDO COVID FATALITIES had something in common:
A 36 year old Ukiah woman has been confirmed as Mendocino County's 65th death. The individual in question was not vaccinated.
A 47 year old Ukiah man has been confirmed as Mendocino County's 66th death. The individual in question was not vaccinated.
A 43 year old Covelo man has been confirmed as Mendocino County's 67th death. The individual in question was not vaccinated.
CAN MENDO DO ANYTHING?
by Mark Scaramella
Short answer: Not much besides spend money.
Over the recent months, Mendocino County, like the rest of the entire country it seems, is funding lots of things they just can’t do. Whenever you hear the word “we” in any political context such as “We have to …” Or “We will…” etc., that’s usually code for “never happen.” When an individual proposes that “we” ought to do something, that means “somebody else, not me.” It also assumes that there’s a “we” who even cares or has some theoretical ability to do the thing that “we” are asked to do.
In Mendo, just off-hand, we know of several projects that “we” (being the Supervisors and/or County staff as “our” representatives) are supposed to be doing or have stated their intent to do.
• Water Hauling To The Coast for drought relief. Last week this project began with two trucks hauling an estimated 10,000 gallons per day. Initially, the Board said they needed to haul 70,000 gallons per day, but then downsized it to 40,000 gallons per day. More haulers are being sought. There have been no reports of whether any of the Ukiah water that has gone to Fort Bragg has been delivered to any retail customers on the Coast.
• Bring at least three Mobile Crisis Response units into existence both inland and on the Coast. One psych tech has been fielded and doing useful but limited work. The other two funded tech positions have been unfilled for more than a year now and nobody has any idea when the two additional recruits will start work. An additional $1 million was approved by the Board last week for some kind Crisis response to help offset the lack of ER beds for mental health cases (due to the covid surge) and the Sheriff’s very short staffed patrol division which recently declared they will no longer respond to non-life threatening mental health calls.
• Provide Monthly Budget Reporting for each department. Supervisor Mulheren said last month that CEO Angelo now expects to start monthly budget reporting around the time her employment contract is up and she retires in the fall of 2022.
• Apply Dust Suppression on County Roads.
(From the June CEO report: “The typical annual ‘Dust Off’ application is made to some most traveled 19 miles of the Counties total 344 miles of gravel roads (5.5%) at a cost of about $100k. The dust off program consists the application of a magnesium chloride (MgCl2) based formula mixed with water and applied by water truck. This year water sources are scarce and additional cost to haul water combined with a deficit in County Road Fund has caused MCDoT to suspend County Road Dust Suppression Program for 2021.” But according to Laytonville Water District manager Jim Shields, he’s got water to sell at regular prices which could be used for the important dust-off proejct, and the roads will further deteriorate if they are not treated with the MagClor “dust off.”)
• The East Side Potter Valley Road rehab project, started in the last century and still in the planning stages.
• Raise Coyote Dam (talked about for years but never moves forward at all.)
• Install Meters on Ukiah Valley Irrigation Pumps. (Recommended by the Grand Jury years ago, and agreed to by the then-Supervisors, but never pursued.)
• Connect Scout Lake to the Willits water system so that Willits has extra water capacity for itself and neighboring communities. (All but set up by then-Supervisor John Pinches, but dropped when he retired from the Board.)
• Build any significant new housing, “affordable” or not. (The Lovers Lane project has been sitting in permit limbo at the County Planning Department for more than two years now and its status has never come up. This was market-rate housing, not “affordable housing,” and was brought forward by a well-financed Chico based developer. But, like all other such projects, has been on hold for so long that the developer may have given up.)
* * *
Then we have the long-ignored “Board Directives.”
(The list of “directives” does not include status, responsible party, or estimated completion date, making it essentially useless.)
Here’s a small sample from last month’s CEO report:
• Formation Of An Ad Hoc Committee comprised of Supervisors Mulheren and Williams to develop criteria for greater data collection regarding mental health services outcomes. (The ad hoc was formed but we still await the “criteria.”)
• Formation Of An Ad Hoc Committee comprised of Supervisors Mulheren and Williams to look at funding for unfunded county road repairs. (They can’t even do the funded ones like the important “dust off” program that the CEO mentioned in June but nobody showed any interest in fixing.)
General Consensus Of The Board to direct the Chief Executive Officer to reinstitute regular recurring meetings with the Sheriff in order to ensure effective communications regarding Board Policy and Sheriff's Office Operations. (Of course that never happened; in fact the Sheriff is still suing the Board/CEO for threatening a take over of his computer system, and charging him for over $1 million of predictable overruns.)
• General Consensus Of The Board to direct the Executive Office to present an updated Vehicle Replacement Plan/program, including timelines for implementation. (This one’s never come up again.)
• General Consensus Of The Board to Direct staff to review the Boonville Fairgrounds as a potential site for Community Resource Center/public use during outage. (Although the Anderson Valley CSD proposed a much more cost effective modest upgrade of the AV Senior Center for this purpose, the Board ignored them and instead issued this much less likely proposal to “review” the Fairgrounds. There’s no evidence that the Fair Board, which would be unlikely to be receptive to this idea, has ever even been approached on the subject.)
• It Is Ordered that the Board of Supervisors approves creation of an Ad Hoc Committee comprised of Supervisors Mulheren and Gjerde to work on the Tax Sharing Agreement between the City of Ukiah and the County of Mendocino. (Tax sharing agreements are proposed every so often and never go anywhere. Ukiah is not interested in sharing any big box taxes and Mendo has not offered anything in return.)
• General Consensus Of The Board to direct the Executive Office to work with Department Heads in developing suggestions for one time expenses that will reduce ongoing expenses. (This one doesn’t even make any sense.)
• General Consensus Of The Board to Direct Staff to have all County-Wide Public Facing services/Permit Applications be made available online by the end of calendar year 2021, starting with PBS and Cannabis as a priority; further, that staff is directed to work with the IT Ad Hoc to prioritize the remaining public facing services/permit applications. (Wow! A deadline! End of 2021! Some of the simpler permits are indeed available on line. But the rest? That December 31 date will come and go with no report, much less completion of the rather straightforward project.)
• General Consensus Of The Board to direct staff to come back with a plan to curtail water hauling under phase one and a plan for enforcement regarding water hauling restrictions going forward. (“Staff” took a stab at this one but it’s moving so slowly that the winter rains will be here before anybody actually implements any new rules.)
• General Consensus Of The Board to direct oak woodlands Ad Hoc to provide a status report on the oak woodlands ordinance to the full board within 60 days. No such status report, much less an “oak woodlands ordinance” has been forthcoming.)
• General Consensus Of The Board direct staff to bring back a future agenda item regarding hydrological studies and groundwater requirements for agricultural sites exceeding 1500 gallons of pumped water per day by water well. (Glenn McGourty will personally make sure this one never gets off the ground.)
• General Consensus Of The Board: Conduct an annual independent audit of Measure B Funds. (The language of Measure B already requires this and nobody’s done one. The Board adding it to the Directives list will not change that.)
• General Consensus Of The Board direct staff to look at both the Ranch and Whitmore Lane as possible locations for the Psychiatric Health Facility, and bring proposals back to the Board, including costs and feasibility of operating a PHF unit. (What kind of idiot would even phrase a “directive” to “look at” something? At last report, CEO Angelo estimated that tearing down the old Whitmore Lane Nursing Home and building a PHF to state standards could take five years or more. Need we even comment on this one?)
• It Is Ordered that the Board of Supervisors 1) directs Mendocino County Director of Health and Human Services to request existing aggregate patient outcome data from Redwood Quality Management Company and subcontractors, with referral to Behavioral Health Advisory Board for analysis; 2) directs staff to consult with Behavioral Health Advisory Board and return with for request for proposal process for Adult Mental Health Services; and 3) directs CEO to return with estimate of Mental Health funds available for repurpose to meet Measure B promises. (Har de har.)
* * *
What does this list of gross inaction mean? 1. Mendo can’t do much of what it says it’s going to do. Nor do the Supervisors care if anything is done because they never ask questions about their own directives and they let the list of directives languish month after month without even due dates or status reports. And all those “good ideas” that the public occasionally suggests, or an idea from the moribund “Climate Action Committee”? Even if Mendo were to agree to fund them or implement them, the odds of them ever happening are essentially zero.
What have they done?
The County has managed to do a few things in the last few years, but it took years and nobody has ever reported on whether they work, whether they were on time or within budget.
For example, the new property tax computer system is now in place. Some facilities have been repaired and upgraded. But we have not seen any reports of anything else.
In July the Supervisors contracted with a SoCo consultant for a Strategic Plan which of course will be a giant waste of $75,000 and a lot of blather time. But even if they were to “plan” anything, there’s no indication that anything will be done.
We did find one “directive” that appears to have been implemented: “General Consensus Of The Board to limit the amount of staff time requested by any individual Board member, to one hour per week, cumulative for all Countywide staff that are functioning in their role as disaster service workers, or in direct response to a state of emergency.”
But that was a “directive” to themselves not to the CEO or staff, and even if it somehow lead to more time available for staff to do whatever they do, what did they actually do with all that burdensome time the Board had been requesting before the one-hour limit was imposed?
* * *
MORE SUPERVISORS AGENDA NOTES
Closed session Item 9b: “Pursuant to Government Code Section 54956.8 - Conference with Real Property Negotiator - Property: APN 002-080-39; Physical Address - 195 Low Gap Road, Ukiah CA 95482. Agency Negotiators: Carmel J. Angelo, Janelle Rau, and Darcie Antle. Under negotiation: Property Acquisition, Price and Terms.”
THE COUNTY never announces why it’s looking for the new buildings it hides in closed session, even though the purpose or reason for wanting a building is hardly a closed session subject, only the property negotiations. The address mentioned is a (former?) church a few blocks from the County admin center on Low Gap Road and is described by its owner as:
“We are a local church here in Ukiah. We have a passion to REACH the lost, REFRESH the weary and RESTORE the broken of our community and surrounding communities. Join us for a weekend at The River full great music, age appropriate ministries for RiverKids and a practical message from God's word that will inspire and impact your life. The Ukiah Foursquare church was established in 1939 in Ukiah. There has been a rich history of spreading the truth of Jesus and seeing lives transformed through this ministry. Owners Mike and Jen Dyer have been in full time ministry together for 16 years. They have been the Senior Pastors here at the River since July of 2013. They both have a passion to see people come to understand God's love and grow into a fully devoted follower of Jesus. Mike's innovative teaching style is sure to connect with a wide crowd of people, and Jen loves to use her gifts in administration and the arts to impact peoples lives. Both of them are gifted communicators and love to share the truth of Jesus in creative, practical ways.”
Mendo has not given a reason for purchasing the (apparently former) Foursquare church (which is still apparently active nearby around the corner on Bush Street in Ukiah.
* * *
And another mystery acquisition: Item 9c: “Pursuant to Government Code Section 54956.8 - Conference with Real Property Negotiator - Property: APN 003-130-46; Physical Address – 1101 So. Dora St., Ukiah CA 95482. Agency Negotiators: Carmel J. Angelo, Janelle Rau, and Darcie Antle. Under negotiation: Property Acquisition, Price and Terms.”
From Re/Max: “Rarely available office building featuring a large welcoming lobby, updated flooring, and spacious 4,128 Square Feet. Property has always been used as a medical office with a waiting area, exam rooms, lab, front and back offices, and multiple bathrooms. Ideal for medical office or professional service. Highly visible corner location with ample onsite parking on a large 0.4 acre lot. (Formerly the NorCal Dermatology Medical Surgical Cosmetic Center.)”
MY COLLEAGUE reported yesterday that the County is spending, via the Supe's consent calendar, an additional $250,000 on top of the $50,000 previously allocated, on an outside law firm to defend the County of Mendo against two marijuana suits. The hurry-up allocation of more cash means the County is probably losing both matters. “Pay us more, quick! Or these people will take title to the County Courthouse!” (And watch the outside fast talkers settle after milking us outback rubes for as much as they can before the rubes even wake up.)
YOU'RE EXCUSED if you wonder why the CEO and her five rubber stamps spend so much money on distant lawyers when we already pay for an office full of lawyers just down the hall from the CEO, none of whom, apparently, can be trusted to take on a pair of basically uncomplicated allegations from two persons: (1) Mr. Flatten alleges Mendo law enforcement was involved in hijacking him and others as they drove down 101 with loads of marijuana. (2) The other, a married couple by the name of Gurr-Borges, registered with the County to grow marijuana on property they owned on the Boonville Road, allege that a neighbor, a County employee, unhappy with the Borges grow, arranged via then-Supervisors McCowen and Brown, and an employee with Fish and Wildlife, to raid the Borges property.
NEITHER of these cases is a brain surgery dispute where you'd have highly trained doctors debating the wisdom of an operation that killed the patient. These are cases of Did the County commit the crimes alleged or didn't they? If they did, how much can we pay the wronged parties to go away?
I'VE READ both suits. I'd say Flatten's suit lacks the specifics needed to implicate Mendo law enforcement in the documented robberies committed by the two Rohnert Park cops operating in Mendocino County, typically near Frog Woman rock. But I can't believe that the Rohnert Park cops operated in plain view on Highway 101 in Mendocino County without Mendocino County law enforcement knowing about it. If the two badged Rohnert Park bandits name names, dates and times.... Well, Flatten may have a case against Mendo, too, after beating Rohnert Park out of more money than he could make growing the love drug.
THE GURR-BORGES CASE seems like a slam dunk for Borges. Prediction: The outside lawyers will recommend an expensive settlement with Borges and, as per ancient Mendo custom, the County will pay up after paying the outside lawyers a half-mil or so.
MARK SCARAMELLA NOTES: According to the Mendocino County Counsel’s webpage, Mendo employs nine (9) attorneys in the office overseen by County Counsel Christian Curtis. Besides Curtis there’s Assistant County Counsel Charlotte Scott, plus Brina Blanton, Shannon Cox, Matthew Kiedrowski, Danika McClelland, Michael Makdisi, Jeremy Meltzer, and Nathaniel Raff. There are two other non-attorneys in Mr. Curtis’s office. For FY 2020-2021 the County Counsel’s office cost Mendo taxpayers almost $1.5 million.
BY COMPARISON, the District Attorney’s office has 15 attorneys including DA Eyster. The DA’s office cost Mendo taxpayers a little over $5 million in 2020-2021.
SPECULATION about Biden's fitness upsets the middle-of-the-road extremists no end, which is always deeply gratifying whatever the subject. But I have to say I agree with Biden's crackdown on unvaccinated public employees, and I think he's more the fall guy of the pell mell Afghanistan departure than the architect. The orange beast made the deal with the Taliban to leave, but it was Biden, Magoo-like in all matters, who happened to be nominally in charge as the Pentagon's and the CIA's masterminds specifically and totally screwed things up, right down to notifying the Taliban of the departure date.
MY MEMORIES of 911 Day are too banal to foist off on the ava's muy sophistico readers, but my wife had rousted me from Dreamland with the excited alarm that “an airplane had hit a big building in New York.” So what? I assumed it was just another of the daily disasters that come with industrial civ, and a neighborhood disaster at that, so remote from Boonville as to be a non-event. I wanted to resume my habitual sleep of the true and the just but roused myself for that crucial first cup just as the second plane flew into another big building. I heard a black kid say to a reporter, “They ain't playin'!” It was the latest in the seemingly accelerating volume and velocity of major jolts to the collective central nervous system of us Americanos that began with the Kennedy Assassination and just last January featured the Maga mob attack on Congress, along with an Old Testament-quality plague, huge fires, drought, the usual mass shootings and, of course, the daily civil disasters of everyday life in the United States. How fast have things unraveled since 911, probably the last nationally unifying event we're likely to see.
TWICE CONVICTED NEW YORKER SENTENCED TO STATE PRISON
UKIAH - A New York man twice prosecuted and convicted of victimizing local citizens was sentenced Thursday to state prison.
John Louis Cea, 24, of Long Island earlier was convicted by plea on July 1 of felony grand theft of an amount of money over $950, as well as convicted of a separate crime of robbery in the second degree, also a felony.
Mendocino County Superior Court Judge Keith Faulder on Thursday sentenced defendant Cea to 68 months in state prison, the maximum sentence allowed under California law for the two convictions when sentenced together. Robbery is defined under California law as a violent felony so any work or other credits the defendant may earn towards early prison release will be limited to no more than 15 percent of the sentence.
Cea came to Ukiah in October 2020 and stole $32,000 from an elderly businessman who was fixing a private ATM he had set up in a local cannabis business. Cea watched as the 85-year-old man went back and forth between his Prius and the cannabis store. When the man was not looking, Cea opened the hatchback and stole a spare money machine cartridge loaded with $32,000 in cash.
About six weeks later Cea and another New York man returned to Mendocino County, this time with the intent to steal marijuana. Cea met a young couple and convinced them to meet him and his partner at the Burger King parking lot in Willits with two pounds of marijuana. When the couple arrived at Burger King, Cea and the other man forcibly took the marijuana from the couple their marijuana without paying for it.
The two men jumped into a rental car and recklessly fled north on Highway 101 while pursued by law enforcement. The vehicle eventually crashed into a building in Laytonville. Cea’s partner was arrested near the crash scene, but Cea was able to elude capture and escape back to New York. He was tracked down, arrested, and extradited to California.
District Attorney David Eyster prosecuted the case, with the assistance of Ukiah Police Department, the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office, the Willits Police Department, New York law enforcement investigators, and the District Attorney’s own Bureau of Investigations. Special thanks to private citizen witnesses who called for law enforcement help and provided valuable information. Those witnesses included a retired Sonoma County Sheriff’s deputy and the Lake County District Attorney’s Chief Investigator.
INAUGURAL MENDOCINO COUNTY WATER AGENCY NEWSLETTER
The Mendocino County Water Agency is working collaboratively with partners from the Mendocino Resource Conservation District, Russian River Flood Control District, and local water districts and jurisdictions to bring you the latest water and drought related news, information, and resources.
For the latest water and drought related news, information and resources please view and subscribe to the Mendocino County Water Agency newsletter. The newsletter is starting on a bi-weekly schedule, and will include regular water condition status updates, reservoir storage levels, regional updates, and more!
For additional resources please visit the Mendocino County Drought and Water Conservation Resources Page.
Feedback and input from the community is welcome. If you have information that you think would be valuable to share please send to firstname.lastname@example.org.
A READER NOTES:
Coast real estate
Random, but kind of interesting, I was looking at loop.net commercial property for sale on the coast and multiple inns are for sale. I don't look at that site very often, so I'm not sure if this is normal or not.
Inn At Schoolhouse Creek
Two unnamed inns in Little River
Glass Beach Inn
Brewery Gulch Inn
BE THERE OR GET PARKING-LOTTED
Subject: Special City Council Meeting - September 14, 2021
Attached and below is the agenda for this Tuesday’s special City Council meeting
It can also be viewed at: pointarena.ca.gov/notices/2021-09-14-special-city-council-meeting/
The full agenda summary packet is available here: https://bit.ly/3nhao8W
Paul Andersen, City Manager, Phone: 707-882-2122, Email: email@example.com, Web: pointarena.ca.gov
A LOCAL ASKS:
Who’s this asshole?
This Tesla passed me on a blind corner at the top of 253. Did the same thing to three other cars without giving any of us the chance to pull over to safely pass. The KZYX stickers implies they are local…
HONEY OIL OP BLOWS UP UKIAH HOUSE & FAMILY
In the evening of Wednesday, September 9, 2021, at approximately 6:55pm, UPD Officers and UVFA fire personnel responded to a report of a fire and explosion of a trailer at the overnight trailer park located at 700 E. Gobbi St.
On arrival UPD Officers and Firefighters observed that a large explosion appeared to have taken place inside one of the trailers while three occupants were still inside. The occupants were one adult male and two young children. The occupants were assisted out of the trailer by bystanders as personnel arrived. The children and the adult male were observed to have significant burns over much of their body.
All injured parties were transported to Ukiah Hospital and ultimately taken by air ambulance to out-of-area treatment centers.
Officers observed numerous items at the scene that were consistent with materials used in the extraction and manufacture of concentrated cannabis, commonly referred to as butane honey oil (BHO).
Investigators with the UPD, Mendocino Major Crimes Task Force and UVFA responded to assist in this investigation. At this time the investigation is ongoing and as a result the names and potential criminal charges are being withheld.
(Ukiah Police Presser)
CATCH OF THE DAY, September 10, 2021
GLENN BARRETT, Willits. DUI.
CHRISTOPHER CARTER, Covelo. Probation revocation.
JOSE CORNEJO, Covelo. Probation revocation.
SONYA GALE, Willits. Probation revocation.
WYATT HURT, Covelo. Burglary, assault weapon, disobeying court order, conspiracy, escape, failure to appear.
LAROY MADDEN-STEPHENS, Willits. Domestic battery, protective order violation, probation revocation.
BRIAN MANNING, Redwood Valley. DUI.
JOSE MORENO, Lucerne/Ukiah. DUI with priors.
LAWSUITS TARGETING GOVERNMENTS who are failing to slow climate change fast enough
Governments have failed to slow climate change quickly enough, so activists are using courts to compel countries and companies to act, increasingly with help from forefront science.
Friederike Otto hadn’t really thought much about the legal world when she answered the phone one day in 2018. On the other end of the line was Petra Minnerop, a scholar of international law at the University of Durham, UK, who was exploring how the legal system might help to save the planet.
Minnerop had developed an interest in climate litigation — efforts to hold governments and companies legally responsible for contributing to global warming. Following the success of several climate lawsuits, she was seeking to get involved and thought Otto’s research might help. Otto, a climate modeller at the University of Oxford, UK, is one of the world’s leaders in attribution science — a field that has developed tools to assess how much human activities drive extreme weather events, including the heatwaves, fires and floods that have ravaged parts of the globe this year. In their telephone call, the pair realized that they had similar aims and they set about thinking how science and environmental law might trigger more action to limit climate change.
Minnerop and Otto are in the vanguard of scientists and legal scholars who are assisting in lawsuits to force governments and companies to take action against climate change. Over the past few decades, environmental groups and citizens around the world have filed more than 1,800 climate suits. Science has been central to supporting the arguments in these cases, but the vast majority have relied on the most basic conclusions of climate research. Now, Otto, Minnerop and others are seeking to bring in the latest science to improve lawsuits’ chances of driving substantial reductions in greenhouse-gas pollution.
Full article: nature.com/articles/d41586-021-02424-7
COVID ADVANCES WIN BREAKTHROUGH PRIZES
Pioneers of mRNA vaccines and next-generation sequencing techniques are among the winners of science’s most lucrative awards.
Techniques that have armed scientists in the battle against COVID-19 have scooped two out of five US$3-million Breakthrough prizes — the most lucrative awards in science and mathematics. One award went to the biochemists who discovered how to smuggle genetic material called messenger RNA into cells, leading to the development of a new class of vaccine. Another was scooped by the chemists who developed the next-generation sequencing technique that has been used to rapidly track variants of the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus. The prize were announced on 9 September.
“These two awards are for research that has had such an impact on the world that they elevate the stature of the Breakthrough Prize,” says Yamuna Krishnan, a chemical biologist at the University of Chicago in Illinois. “They have been saving lives by the millions.”
“This is a fantastic and incredibly timely award for work that began it all,” says Nobel laureate chemical biologist Jack Szostak at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts, who is a scientific adviser to Moderna. “It’s particularly inspiring because, early on, nobody believed it would be useful.”
Full article: nature.com/articles/d41586-021-02449-y
FALL ANTITRUST FORECAST: BIDEN RAISES HAMMER ON BIG TECH
The antitrust scrutiny of tech giants that began during the Trump era will only intensify this fall as Big Tech critics Lina Khan, Tim Wu and Jonathan Kanter take the lead on competition policy and enforcement in the Biden administration.
Why it matters: Facebook, Google, Amazon and Apple face threats from federal regulators, Congress, state attorneys general and European Union authorities.
The big picture: That's four companies each being challenged from four directions: No wonder the antitrust arena can feel like three-dimensional chess.
As the fall season looms, here's what the game board looks like:
The Federal Trade Commission, now led by Khan, renewed its legal effort challenging Facebook's acquisitions of Instagram and WhatsApp in August. The FTC accuses Facebook of buying rivals or using anticompetitive tactics to stymie them in order to squelch competition.
• What to watch: Facebook has until Oct. 4 to respond. The European Commission launched an antitrust investigation of Facebook Marketplace in June over concerns that Facebook's collection of data from advertisers gives it an unfair advantage.
• What to watch: The United Kingdom announced a similar investigation in June that also focuses on Facebook's online dating service. In Congress, the House Judiciary Committee narrowly approved a slate of tech antitrust bills, including one that would force more interoperability and another that would bar big companies from snapping up rivals through acquisitions.
• What to watch: Bipartisan companion legislation in the Senate would give these bills some momentum. Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) said in July he intends to introduce a bill that would curb mergers among big tech companies.
The FTC has been investigating Amazon's business practices since the Trump administration and is also digging into the e-commerce giant's plan to buy Hollywood studio MGM.
• What to watch: Amazon wants Khan to recuse herself from FTC's Amazon cases, given her previous advocacy of action against the company. The European Commission accused Amazon last November of violating antitrust rules by harnessing data it collects from third-party sellers to shape the products it offers that compete with those merchants.
• What to watch: The commission also opened a separate investigation into how Amazon selects which products get the coveted "Buy Box" label. But a Financial Times story in March suggested that case has been an uphill climb. In Congress, Amazon faces the potential for drastic changes to its business model through the House antitrust bills that would bar it from both operating its online marketplaces and selling goods on them.
• What to watch: Amazon is warning sellers that they could bear the brunt of the cost if such legislation is enacted — and hoping those sellers will call their representatives.
The Justice Department and several state attorneys general filed multiple antitrust lawsuits against Google last year, with the DOJ accusing Google of an illegal monopoly in online search and search advertising.
• What to watch: The judge in DOJ's case indicated it likely won't go to trial until 2023. President Joe Biden nominated Jonathan Kanter, an antitrust attorney who has battled Google on behalf of its tech foes, to lead the antitrust division of the DOJ, though he has not yet been confirmed by the Senate. In Congress, Google faces multiple legislative threats, from the House antitrust bills as well as legislation in both the House and the Senate that would curb its power over its Google Play Store.
• What to watch: State attorneys general also sued Google over how it operates its app store. The European Commission opened its own investigation in June into Google's power in the online advertising ecosystem.
• What to watch: Previous European antitrust investigations into Google have led to billions of dollars in fines.
In Congress, Apple is facing proposed laws in both House and Senate that would limit its control over how it runs its App Store.
• What to watch: Apple recently offered some concessions on its App Store policies to settle a class-action lawsuit — but not enough to satisfy those who back these bills. The European Commission, acting on a complaint by Spotify, accused Apple in April of violating antitrust laws by requiring rival music streamers to use its in-app payment system and follow other rules.
• What to watch: The commission opened a separate investigation in June to more broadly review Apple's rules for app developers. The Justice Department is reportedly also investigating Apple for anticompetitive practices, although that probe has led to no charges so far.
THE STRANGE DEMEANOR of CNN’s news readers is telling us something: check out Erin Burnett in the seven o’clock time slot. No affect, like she is on drugs, in a kind of trance… or just going through the motions against her will. Same thing with Kate Bolduan, a sort of permanent half-scowl, as if she’s been told to carry out a detested chore, like cleaning the carpet where hubbie’s old dog had another “accident.” Is it, perhaps, that they just don’t believe the bullshit they are serving up to anxious viewers anymore? Or is it something even darker? That would be my guess. Next thing you know, their heads will start rotating 360 degrees, projectile vomiting pea soup at the cameras.
I surf through all the major cable news channels, of course, to detect the textures, flavors, and odors of the American zeitgeist — the spirit of the times. It’s a harsh, sour thing these days, with overtones of dead skunk wrapped in a used diaper and dipped in vinegar, almost impossible to choke down and process, like being trapped in a room where evil dwells in a bad dream. It’s gotten so that some of us are beginning to wonder about actually living in the presence of true evil. As embodied, say, by “Joe Biden,” the ghostly figure said to be chief executive of the US government — but apparently in the service of forces and entities outside these fifty states.
— James Kunstler
ON LINE COMMENT OF THE DAY
The newsreaders demeanor and delivery has become more stilted and serious with an earnestness that borders on farce. The all seem to be convinced of their intelligence and virtue.
The overriding message I get from watching the news is — “Listen to US!!! We have the inside story!” And most importantly, “we tell you everything you need to know so do not think for yourself.”
On Inauguration Day last year I had it tuned to ABC and the newsreader said over and over as the Trumps were leaving — “this feels like an exorcism”. There was no moderating commentary from the other two mediocrities sharing the desk.
Everyone knows there are millions of people with cruel and selfish agendas who would harm America if they could. The 9/11 attacks succeeded not because al-Qaida was brilliant but because American air carriers hired security staff on the cheap. For many of them, jobs at McDonald’s would have been a promotion.
After the disaster, the federal government was tasked with footing the security bill via the Transportation Security Administration. National standards are good, but TSA training for new hires is eight days. Really?
Our preparations aren’t responsive to threat levels or Israel’s gold-standard examples. We spend billions on “intelligence” and missed guys training to fly airliners without learning to land. We are drowning in intelligence but dying because we’re too cheap to train and hire sufficiently.
It would be expensive to interview each passenger like the Israelis do, but while considering cost, remember the true cost of 9/11 was the $2.26 trillion we spent in Afghanistan. It would be smarter to stop distant wars and spend the money at home creating jobs, training and technology to ensure our safety.
Just a thought.
OUR CURRENT GOVERNOR IS A DISASTER
He's just trying to climb his way up to the White House, he is not interested in anything other than himself, anybody would be better than what we have now, even Mickey Mouse or Smokey bear, we need to unload professional politicians, we need to look at all our elected officials in Sacramento and most of them need to go, self-sustaining politicians we do not need, the state and we need to encourage people to come here, not leave, our current government is chasing people out and leaving any way they can, California's broken, somebody needs to repair it, our current administration is not doing any maintenance or repairs and Jerry Brown was the same way. I don't believe all Democrats are bad but a lot of them are.
R.D. Beacon, Elk