More Rain | 20 New Cases | Atmospheric River | Panther JV | Rainy Night | Fabric Sale | 128 Conjecture | Panther Varsity | Help Wanted | Railoween | Ed Notes | Ukiah PO | Redistricting Workshop | Trunk or Treat | Hopkins Debris | Q'a Siil | Rental Housing | Narcan Workshop | Yesterday's Catch | Rome w/Wifi | Blaming Forests | Baboon Cap | 400 Arrested | Extra Digits | Candidate Fiore | Calling BS | BMW Isetta | Election Integrity | Mount Shasta | Haplecrats | GOP Playbook | Voting Rights | Drunk McCoys | Delta Smeltless
A SERIES OF STORMS will bring rain and periods of gusty winds through the weekend. The heaviest rain periods will occur tonight [sic] and Sunday. Wet and unsettled weather will continue on Monday and Tuesday of next week. (NWS)
YESTERDAY'S RAIN: Leggett 4.88", Willits 2.34", Laytonville 2.45", Boonville 2.27", Yorkville 2.24", Hopland 1.46", Ukiah 1.00", Covelo .98"
20 NEW COVID CASES reported in Mendocino County yesterday afternoon.
LEVEL 5 ATMOSPHERIC RIVER to unleash flooding across drought-stricken California
After nearly a year without rain [sic], a series of potent Pacific storms are directed at Northern California this week, potentially bringing as much as a foot of rainfall and up to three feet of snow in the Sierra Nevada. Supercharged by a classic atmospheric river pattern, the storms could lead to flash floods and dangerous debris flows in a wide swath of the region already devastated by recent wildfires. With each successive storm, the moisture potential increases, peaking with possibly a rare category 5 atmospheric river event on Sunday.
"An atmospheric river marked as a category 4 or a 5 is capable of producing remarkable rainfall totals over three or more days, likely to exceed 10-15% of a typical year's precipitation in some locations," said Marty Ralph, director of the Center for Western Weather and Water Extremes at UC San Diego. Atmospheric rivers are a narrow band of concentrated moisture in the atmosphere, cruising more than two miles above the ocean; they can transport as vapor, more than 20 times the water that the Mississippi River does, as a liquid. By the time Monday morning arrives, the parade of storms could drop as much as 8 to 12 inches of rainfall in parts of Northern California and add another 1 to 3 feet of snow to the high Sierra. For an area plagued by drought, a foot of rain is too much, too fast and too soon and will likely lead to run off, flash floods and debris flow in burn scar areas. . . .
RAINY NIGHT IN MENDO
Well this town has closed down way too early
And there's nothin to do
So I'm drivin around in circles
And I'm thinkin about you
Today I heard you got a new last name
Sure didn't know it was gonna hit me this way
And the radio just keeps on playin
All these songs about rain
Rainy night in Boonville, Philo rain
Now there's all kinda songs about babies
And love that goes right
But for some unknown reason
Nobody wants to play them tonight
Hey I hope it's sunny wherever you are
That's sure not the picture tonight in my car
And it sure ain't easin my pain
All these songs, like..
Rainy night in Yorkville, Navarro rain
Well, 'Here Comes That Rainy Day Feelin Again'
'Blue Eyes Cryin in the Early Mornin Rain'
They go on and on, and there's no two the same
Oh it would be easy to blame
All these songs about rain
Well I thought I was over you
But I guess maybe I'm not..
Cause when I let you go
Looks like lonely is all that I got
Guess I'll never know what could have been
Sure ain't helpin this mood that I'm in
If they're gonna keep on playin
These songs, like..
Rainy night in Ukiah, Hopland rain
Well, 'Here Comes That Rainy Day Feelin Again'
'Blue Eyes Cryin in the Early Mornin Rain'
They go on and on, and there's no two the same
Oh it would be easy to blame
All these songs about rain
Rainy night in Covelo, Longvale rain
Here comes that rainy day feelin' again (all these songs about rain)
Blue eyes cryin' in the early mornin' rain
They go on and on
There's no two the same
Rainy night in Calpella, Fort Bragg rain
Here comes that rainy day feelin' again (songs about rain)
Blue eyes cryin' in the early mornin' rain
They go on and on
(Composers: Pat Mclaughlin / Liz Rose)
HIGHWAY 128 CONJECTURE (MCN Chatter)
Nicholas Wilson wrote:
My gauge measured 0.89" as of noon today. Another gauge shows about .25 more since then. This is at 3 mi. inland and 600 ft. elevation in Little River.
The NWS Navarro River Gauge page includes a forecast chart of the river level. https://water.weather.gov/ahps2/hydrograph.php?wfo=eka&gage=nvrc1
As of 3:18 PM Oct. 21 the chart showed a forecast crest at 7 ft. at 2 PM Monday. The lesser crest forecast for 3-6 PM Friday at 2.7 ft. will probably not be enough to cause flooding or closure of Hwy. 128.
If the predicted crest of 7 ft. occurs, it will be enough to breach the sandbar blocking the river mouth in short order, and any backup flooding would be brief; maybe as short as two or three hours.
Based on a few years of watching out for Navarro flooding and possible closures of 128, shallow flooding of the highway usually hasn't happened before the level passes about 3.5 ft., and the sandbar is likely to breach at about the 4 to 5 ft. level, followed by a rapid drop in level.
So based on the current forecast I expect 128 just east of the Hwy 1 bridge to flood briefly beginning late Sunday night about midnight to 1 AM Monday, lasting until about 5 to 7 AM after the sandbar breaches and lets the backed up water flow into the sea.
Of course that's a prediction that relies on the current NWS river forecast, and that forecast will be revised as new data comes in. The timing and peak levels have often been off by a few feet and hours in the past.
Here are some interesting facts about atmospheric rivers copied from a news story in the Mercury-News: https://www.mercurynews.com/2021/10/19/atmospheric-river-storms-to-soak-bay-area-northern-california-biggest-in-9-months/
"Atmospheric rivers are the biggest “rivers” on Earth. They flow through the sky up to 2 miles above the ocean and carry twice the volume of water per second as the Amazon River and 25 times the volume of the Mississippi where it flows into the ocean.
"When high-pressure ridges block the rivers, California can enter a drought. That happened in the last major drought, from 2012-16. Major atmospheric river storms in 2017 broke that drought, filling reservoirs, causing major flooding in downtown San Jose and wrecking the spillway at Oroville Dam.
"The last major atmospheric river storm in the greater Bay Area came on Jan. 28, when 15 inches of rain fell over Big Sur, 7 feet of snow fell in the Lake Tahoe area and thousands of people in the Santa Cruz Mountains were evacuated due to mudslide risk after last summer’s CZU Lightning Complex Fire."
JD Streeter wrote:
At my house (2 mi. east of Noyo headlands and under 200 ft. above sea level) at 1:30 PM between cloudbursts, my gauge read .8 inch bringing the total since Jul 1st to 4.5 inches. The NWS predicts over 2 inches overnight tonight. That could close 128 at the Navarro River bridge.
If interested, please go for a full job description, salary and benefits and to apply at: https://lnkd.in/grAdAE4. #opportunity #administration #deputycityclerk #publicsector #publicrecords #publicadministration. Filing deadline is 5 p.m. Friday October 22, 2021.
THE FED'S ECONOMISTS keep telling US “inflation is under control.” Tell that to anybody who shops for groceries, or runs a small store like Dave Evans does in Navarro. The wholesale price he pays for bacon has doubled in a month.
FOR the first time in my memory Lemons Market, Philo, has a “Now Hiring” sign out front. There's a terrible squeeze underway with plenty of jobs available but not at wages people can afford to work for. Jose Garcia, Boonville's unofficial mayor and official greeter, silently turned his pockets inside out this morning as he asked me, “WTF is going on?”
LIKE EVERYONE ELSE, I've been following the odd deaths of John Gerrish, 45, Ellen Chung, 30, and their 1-year-old daughter Miju — as well as their family dog Oski — who were found dead August 17th in the Devil's Gulch area in the south fork of the Merced River in the Sierra National Forest. This afternoon, Mariposa County Sheriff Jeremy Briese told media that the deaths of the young family were caused by hyperthermia and “probable” dehydration. “Heat-related deaths are extremely difficult to investigate, and we want to thank you all for being patient with us,” Briese said during a press conference. It may be cruel to ask, but why would a young couple with an infant undertake a long-ish hike on a hundred degree day?
THE GOOD NEWS. Fall color has never been more vivid in the Anderson Valley as the full Fall palette spreads out before us, from the vivid yellows of the poplars to the reds of the maples.
THE AVA being a big tent operation, I'm not surprised that our comment line included a discussion of John Brown, once described by Rap Brown as the only trustworthy white man who ever lived in America, or words to that effect, I dimly remember reading a biography of Brown some years ago from which only his impressively stoic hanging has remained more or less with me. Not trusting myself to quote from memory, I looked it up and found this eyewitness account: “Brown had his arms tied behind him, & ascended the scaffold with apparent cheerfulness. After reaching the top of the platform, he shook hands with several who were standing around him. The sheriff placed the rope around his neck, then threw a white cap over his head & asked him if he wished a signal when all should be ready — to which he replied that it made no difference, provided he was not kept waiting too long.”
SPEAK, MEMORY. The steady rain of Thursday afternoon and all the excited talk about rivers of it barrelling our way from the Pacific, somehow reminded me of 1957 when, at the too tender age of 17, I found myself at a place called Camp Mathews just north, I believe, of San Diego, “snapping in” as the Marine Corps called live fire training with the M-1 rifle. Camp Mathews, I've been told, is now buried beneath a ghastly suburb of SoCal's ghastly suburbs called Del Mar. We lived in tents at Mathews, and it was raining much of the time we “snapped in,” finally going to the rifle range to “qualify” with the now antiquated rifle. You had to fire from different positions mastered during the “snapping in” process — all day standing, sitting, prone with the M-I sling-fastened to your arm. I was terrified I wouldn't be able to shoot well enough to qualify with the passing score of 190 out of 300. I was terrified throughout the entire 15 weeks of boot camp, but not qualifying was more terrifying because you had to stay at Camp Mathews until you passed, and all I wanted, like everyone else there, was to get out of boot camp in one piece. I shot a mediocre but passing 195, the same score, I believe, racked up by Lee Harvey Oswald who'd passed through Mathews about the same time and would later be dubbed an ace Marine Corps marksman, which he was not, and I definitely was not. Some of the country boys raised with guns shot 300's and were tapped for Sniper School, I was declared fit to carry a mortar base plate, the military equivalent of the guy who stands on the road outside a store holding a sale sign. Preceding live fire, our lead drill instructor, a 6'5" psychopath by the name of J. N. Wells, laughed at us to say, “I know one of you California queers would shoot me when you get live rounds so I'll see you in a few days.”
Wells had a chest full of medals from Korea where he'd fought as a sixteen-year-old, lying about his age to enlist. He was said to have fought at the Chosin Reservoir where, out of ammo and his weapon frozen in the 30 below weather, he'd beaten on-rushing Chinese soldiers to death using his rifle as a club. The experience hadn't liberal-ized him. On the rainy Camp Mathews days, Wells would stand outside our tents at reveille and announce in a barely audible voice, “199 on the road,” rush through our door and shove over our three-high racks (metal beds), plunging us through the tent flaps into the cold wet. The experience was, I guess, my Purple Rain.
UKIAH’S downtown post office 1937, at 224 North Oak St. Ukiah as it looks shortly after construction was completed. It was opened January 30, 1937 and was Ukiah‘s post office for the next 75 years, until January 14, 2012, when it was closed by the Postal Service.
COMMUNITY-BASED ADVISORY REDISTRICTING COMMISSION TO HOLD ADDITIONAL PUBLIC WORKSHOP OCTOBER 27, 2021
The five member Community-based Advisory Redistricting Commission (ARC) has been working diligently over the past several months to spread information and awareness about the redistricting process. Redistricting is the process of redrawing district boundaries. It affects who represents us in government, where we go to school, and more. The County undergoes this process based on census data every ten years. In addition to facilitating and seeking public input from the residents of Mendocino County, the ARC will advise and assist the Board of Supervisors with redrawing the supervisorial district boundaries.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the County received the census data about five months late. In spite of these unusual delays in final census data, Elections Code still requires that the boundaries of the supervisorial districts shall be adopted by the Board of Supervisors no later than December 15, 2021, causing an extraordinary time crunch.
Public comment on communities of interest for redistricting is important because it determines which neighborhoods and communities will be grouped together for the purposes of electing member of the Board of Supervisors by district. Residents have the opportunity to provide input on what kind of boundaries should be drawn to best represent their community.
The public may submit testimony in the following ways:
Online: Go to https://www.mendocinocounty.org/government/executive-office/redistricting and click on “Submit General Public Comment” or “Submit Community of Interest Public Comments and Maps”
In person during the public hearing: Go to https://www.mendocinocounty.org/government/executive-office/redistricting for information on how to participate
Mail: County Executive Office, 501 Low Gap Rd., Room 1010, Ukiah, CA 95482 Attn: Redistricting
Phone: Call 707-463-4441
For more information on this process, dates of future hearings, and how you can participate and provide input visit: https://www.mendocinocounty.org/government/executive-office/redistricting.
HOPKINS FIRE DEBRIS POSES THREAT TO RIVER - County staff scrambling to protect watershed
by Justine Frederiksen
The Mendocino County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday approved an emergency plan to protect the Russian River from hazardous Hopkins Fire debris after a staff member expressed grave concerns about the “public health and safety threat” to the watershed posed by an expected dousing of rain this week.
“Of particular concern are 10 residential properties on Eastside Calpella Road, near where the fire began,” said Travis Killmer, the county’s Disaster Recovery Field Operations Coordinator, who had to call in during the time allotted to Public Expression in order to alert the board because the item was not on the agenda for the Oct. 19 meeting.
“These properties directly abutting the Russian River present a public health and safety threat that cannot be ignored. Currently, no work has been done on any of these properties to mitigate hazardous materials, contaminants or debris flows (and) safeguard the watershed and the hundreds of thousands of domestic water users who rely on water drawn from the river in Mendocino, Sonoma and Marin counties.”
After the Hopkins Fire (started Sept. 12 by a suspected arsonist) destroyed dozens of homes in Calpella, Killmer said the county hired the surveying firm LACO Associates to perform a “geologic analysis” on the burn scar, and the 10 destroyed properties “directly abutting the Russian River” were identified as an immediate concern.
“So for today we’d like to present a cost estimate for the most critically urgent area of the burn scar; which is being called Phase 1 of the Hopkins Fire Watershed Protection Project,” Killmer told the board Tuesday afternoon once it voted to add the item to that day’s agenda due to the “need for immediate action.” He described the proposed project as “the acquisition and installation of 1,300 feet of straw waddle, and 965 feet of silk socks” that staff wanted to hire a local California Conservation Corps crew to install while being supervised by LACO Associates.
Killmer said the expected cost for Phase 1 was $48,000, which included buying materials, paying the 14-person CCC crew $28 an hour per person, and paying LACO another $12,300 for “technical expertise and oversight.” Killmer added that the Ukiah-based CCC crew “would be available to do the installation Thursday and Friday, and could probably get that done in 15 hours.”
When asked how the project would be funded, Killmer said his department had been working with state agencies such as Cal OES (California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services) and DWR (the California Department of Water Resources) “to try and find a solution to safeguard the Russian River watershed and the hundreds of thousands of domestic water users who rely on water drawn from the river in Mendocino, Sonoma and Marin counties. We held an emergency meeting Monday, but no solution was forthcoming, and after the meeting Cal OES informed us that without a decision from the state Proclamation Office, they cannot assist us.
“Unfortunately, we don’t have the luxury of operating on Sacramento’s timeline for this,” Killmer continued, and Deputy Chief Executive Officer Darcie Antle explained that the funding for the project “would come out of (the county’s) Disaster Recovery funds,” because there were no state or federal funds currently committed to the project.
The board then voted unanimously to approve staff implementing Phase 1 of the project.
(Courtesy, the Ukiah Daily Journal)
WHERE IS THE RENTAL HOUSING, an on-line exchange:
(1) The primary reason someone owns property they don’t live in is because they are wealthy enough to do so. All the responsibility and costs of renting are certainly covered by the high rents collected here. Let’s not let ourselves off the hook of acting sanely and ethically about housing in our community. It is a right - not a privilege - ocean or no. Think about the cost to us all of living in a community without teachers, first responders, adequately housed elders, young families, artists. Everybody really. That is what a community is.
(2) Thank you for your voice of reason. People who own homes that they cannot live in for some reason (and there are many reasons) must choose: either let it sit empty, rent it to a local and take on the responsibility and expenses of a landlord with lower income monthly and no option to use it themselves, or rent it as a vacation rental and incur the costs of ownership, pay the extra occupancy taxes, create some local employment opportunities, and keep it available for their personal use when they want to use their own house. If you are a renter, you are not paying property taxes or school bond fees that support the schools and local public services that you benefit from - your landlord is paying those. If something breaks or leaks, your landlord is the one who has to repair or replace it. Because home prices in the area have increased (although not to the level of other California coastal areas) many new owners are paying property taxes that are more than the rent they could collect from a long-term tenant.
There is no question homeownership is the most desirable scenario for many people, but for those who rent it is unfortunate that they find it necessary to criticize and vilify those who own - until they own a home of their own. Not very many California coastal communities have either long-term or vacation rentals that are affordable for everyone who wants to live in that community. For some reason, this always seems to be shocking information for some Fort Bragg residents. No matter how you look at it - it is not cheap to live by the beach in California. It is a privilege not a right.
CATCH OF THE DAY, October 21, 2021
JAMES DODD JR., Willits. Probation revocation.
ISAAC GONZALES, Kerman/Ukiah. Failure to appear.
RICHARD HALL, Modesto/Ukiah. DUI causing bodily injury.
EUGENE HARRIS, Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-alcohol.
VINCENT HERNANDEZ, Ukiah. County parole violation.
JESSIE LUCAS, Laytonville. Controlled substance, suspended license, false ID, failure to appear.
MIGUEL PANIAGUA-HERNANDEZ, Ukiah. Marijuana for sale, concentrated cannabis, obstruction of justice, probation revocation.
IZAAK SMITH, Ukiah. Vandalism, under influence.
EDWARD STEELE, Ukiah. County parole violation.
CARLOS TAYLOR-LOPEZ, Willits. Grossly negligent discharge of firearm.
MICHAEL VARELA JR., Covelo. DUI alcohol&drugs.
FRANKLIN WHIPPLE, Covelo. DUI-drugs with priors, felon-addict with firearm, machine gun, controlled substance, paraphernalia, probation revocation.
PG&E’S TREE CUTTING FRENZY: Blaming Forests for Climate Change (& Its Own Negligence)
by Ellen Taylor
One more sorry event in California’s fire calamities is the insane reaction of PG&E to the changing climate. It’s almost as if the punishments they’ve had to endure this century - a long list of felonies, criminal convictions, endless litigation, San Bruno explosion, bankruptcies - has driven them to madness. I got my first shock of this last April, driving by Redwood Acres, in Eureka, where, without any permit, they’d sawed down a stately grove of giant redwoods. It was the act of a marauder, a defacer, right in the public eye, almost vengeful, executed, preposterously, as making “defensible space” around its substation (!). By no stretch of the imagination were these trees a fire hazard. Indeed, as well as being active fire fighters, through their critical role in carbon sequestration, these trees were an elegant reminder of Eureka’s noble antecedent as a mighty forest, of which only fragments remain.
This fall, PG&E has has taken to Humboldt County’s roads and forests in a similar mood. KMUD news documented their demented rampage last week, when they visited a protest staged in Humboldt Redwoods State Park. As you listen to the KMUD interviews, you can hear trees crashing in the background. The protesters fume as they watch this slaughter of large, healthy beautiful carbon-sequestering, oxygen-manufacturing and water-retaining engines. They are agitated by the destruction of a critical wildlife corridor, connecting the Park with Rainbow Ridge and the wild, foggy refugia of the Mattole North Forks. A tree sitter who has been sleeping in an old growth douglas fir to protect it, described the red tree voles, a listed species, also a favorite food of the endangered Northern Spotted Owls, living around her perch.
There has been no permit, no environmental impact statement. All done, absurdly, in the name of fire safety.
The rampage is occurring all over the County. Last week trucks full of arborists, tree markers and traffic directors invaded the Lost Coast. We counted 43 trucks, just on the tiny road from Highway 101 to Petrolia. On Lighthouse Road, leading to the beach, they have painted yellow Xes on the trees they will cut, and a dot on the ones they will top or trim.
This is a tree-lined road. It passes the old growth Mill Creek Forest, saved in the eighties from Eel River Saw Mills by community action and fund-raising, now managed by BLM.
Large bay trees have Xes, as do broad- domed maples, under which generations of schoolchildren have passed, as they call out to the bus driver to watch out for squirrels.
PG&E cuts wherever it likes, whatever it likes, even in a State Park, as “enhanced vegetation management.” They can cut down trees before which which women in the early 20th century lay down in their long skirts and bonnets to protect from caterpillar tractors. As one protester at the Park remarked “It makes you question, is anything ever really saved?”
There are regulations which determine how far from the power lines PG&E is permitted to cut. One amiable and apologetic arborist said they could go 90 feet if there were a dead tree or other hazard which warranted cutting. According to PRC 4292, clearance is dependent on voltage. Ten-foot minimum clearance is required for high voltages: 110,000 volts or above.
But these are extremely low voltage wires along little country roads, and you can see Xes on large trees 50 feet or so upslope.
PG&E is a rogue corporation. The malfeasance dates back to the ‘80’s, with the revelations of Erin Brockovitch and the hexavalent chromium spill in Hinckley. Here is a partial list:
+ 1994: the Traumer fire, where P G & E was found guilty of 739 counts of criminal negligence.
+ Also 1994: criminal convictions on the Campbell fire, in Tehama County, and the Nevada County fire.
+ Pendola Fire, 1999, heavy fines for poor vegetation management.
+ 2008 Rancho Cordova pipe explosion which killed one person and severely burned another.
+ 2010 San Bruno gas pipeline explosion which killed 8 people and wounded 54. P G & E was convicted of 3,798 violations of state and federal laws. The lengthy proceedings revealed corporate documents listing profit as PG & E’s top priority, with safety coming in 5th.PG & E was given 5 years of probation and 200,000 hours of community service.
+ Butte Fire of 2016, which killed 2 people.
+ Camp Fire of 2016 which caused almost 100 deaths. The financial repercussions impelled P G & E to declare bankruptcy for the second time this century.
+ 2021 Dixie Fire, which burned over a million acres, due to PG&E equipment malfunction, and the Zogg Fire, which caused 1 death.
If any individual had been convicted of as many felony arsons, manslaughters and criminal negligences as this corporation, they would be in prison for life. Instead, it is permitted, indeed, subsidized, to execute stupefyingly expensive, impossible and counterproductive projects like this savage trimming over their 18,000 miles of power lines, in order to reduce the risk of another lawsuit.
But it is “too big to fail,” as they say. Sixteen million people, and the economy of a large part of the Pacific northwest, depend on it. Of course, it could not survive without successful lobbying at all levels( in 2018 alone it spent $10 million), including bribery and campaign contributions. However, the concept that one corporation can have such vast responsibilities, and also be guaranteed a profit for a stable of wealthy stockholders, is suicidal. Electricity is the economy’s life blood. PG&E cuts cost as it pleases, turns the power on and off as it pleases, and outsources the costs as its responsibilities to stockholders dictates.
Earth First!, some of whose members were at the Park protest, is dismissed by mainstream media, as a radical fringe organization. Nothing could be further from the truth. Earth First! together with other conservatives ( in the true, original sense of that word) merely takes direct nonviolent action when nothing else has worked. With the climate catastrophe, nothing else has worked. Since its origins, EF! has taken a long view, like many of the rest of us, and what it foresaw and feared decades ago has truly come to pass. Drought. Climate catastrophe. Disappearance of millions of species, which had been the joy and beauty of our lives only a couple of decades ago.
Direct action is just a finger in a dike pounded by giant waves of economic power, and crested, as it were, by a class of people who, at least so far, though aware of the risk, have been able to personally benefit from the destructive forces of these waves. Their long view contains a vision of their own individual salvation. They think they are going to get away with it, whether out into space, or nested in a New Zealand enclave, or a climate-controlled dome somewhere. The media, ably controlled by this class, which for years ignored evidence of the consequences of this profit-seeking assault on life, is now full of terrifying fire and flood narratives. Communities are demoralized, through fear of fire, or punitive hardships which corporations like PG&E can impose. They are afraid to interfere with these destructive corporate activities.
The power lines should be underground, as are most utility wires in Europe. PG&E may say it’s too expensive, but in this dismissal you hear the stockholders’ voices again. The real problem is the climate, which has changed. It is hotter. High winds caused by monster fires can hurl trees and flaming materials for long distances. We cannot fix a problem we as humans have created, with an expedient that only makes it worse. What we need to address, and quickly, is the climate crisis. By trimming trees, PG&E is treating its insurance risks, not the real problem.
(Ellen Taylor can be reached at email@example.com.)
400 ARRESTED AS ENVIRONMENTALISTS TARGET BIDEN
While press flocked to a different protest in Hollywood, a five-day protest of Joe Biden's environmental policies got ugly
by Matt Taibbi and Ford Fischer
In the latest installment of Activism, Uncensored, partner videographer Ford Fischer and the News2Share crew document five days of “People Versus Fossil Fuels” protests outside the White House. Over 400 were arrested over the course of the five days, during which environmentalists expressed disappointment over what the Washington Post described euphemistically as having “not delivered on climate-related campaign promises.”
Ford also documents how a credentialed journalist Karla Cote was arrested and ticketed for standing in the same area as a dozen other media members. More on this, and the discrepancy in coverage between these protests and some others...
These California Area Codes Will Require 10-Digit Dialing Starting Sunday. Here’s why
Beginning Sunday, residents who use nine California area codes . . . will be required to dial using 10 digits to make phone calls due to a change in federal rules aimed at providing easier access to crisis resources nationwide. . . .
With the weekend change, thousands more California residents will have to dial the area code of a desired phone number first, followed by the remaining seven digits. Most cellphones already automatically add a 1 in front of dialed area codes, which is necessary to complete calls and which adds up to a total of 11 digits, but some affected residents may have to manually add a 1 before the area code as well.
Calls attempted without the necessary three-digit area code — with a 1 ahead of it — will not be completed, and callers will be informed that they must hang up and try again.
Where are the changes happening?
The affected California area codes are:
▪ 209 — covers Stockton, Modesto and surrounding areas
▪ 530 — covers most of the north state east of Del Norte County and north of Roseville. Includes most of Yolo, Placer and El Dorado counties
▪ 562 — covers Long Beach and part of Orange County
▪ 626 — covers most of the San Gabriel Valley, including Pasadena
▪ 650 — covers most of San Mateo County and some parts of Santa Clara County, including Palo Alto
▪ 707 — covers the north coast of California including Napa, Vacaville and Fairfield
▪ 925 — covers parts of the East Bay, including parts of Alameda and Contra Costa counties
▪ 949 — covers southern Orange County
▪ 951 — covers western Riverside County
If your phone number begins with any of these area codes, you will have to add a few extra digits when you want to make a local, in-area call.
Why are 10 digits required?
In July 2020, the Federal Communications Commission adopted new rules that established 988 as a quick way to dial the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, similar to 911 for emergency calls.
In the United States, 82 area codes that currently operate with seven-digit calling — including the nine California area codes soon to be affected — use 988 as a central office exchange code, allowing for easier dialing.
To ensure that all callers trying to reach the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline successfully complete their calls, these 82 area codes needed to switch to 10-digit calling.
Starting on July 16, callers who dial 988 will be automatically routed to the lifeline. Until then, callers will have to dial the full number to receive crisis assistance.
Sacramento-area callers were required to punch in 1 plus 10 more digits starting in 2018, but it was not related to this change. A new area code, 279, was added for Sacramento County and other adjacent areas as numbers using the older 916 area code began to run out, which required the switch to 10-digit dialing.
MICHELE FIORE, a former New Yorker who’s running for Nevada Governor, has released a campaign video showing herself getting out of a pick-up truck with a Trump 2024 bumper sticker, and touting her gun and status as a Washington outsider who was an early supporter of former President Donald Trump and opponent of current President Joe Biden.
She then talks about her “Three Shot Plan” and fires a gun at beer bottles labeled vaccine mandates, critical race theory and election fraud, vowing to put an end to them.
ON LINE COMMENT OF THE DAY
Most of you in the comment section will have a really tough time going back to real conversation. You all get to finish your statements without someone breaking in to stop you in your tracks. The internet has trained millions to be intolerant of real conversation. This is how fascism grows; everything becomes “important statements“ and nobody is called on their BS mid sentence. This one statement followed by another proclamation reminds me of a Theodore Adorno book…. One “ truth” after another, no discussion necessary.
NOT SERIOUSLY ENOUGH
I worry that Democrats aren’t taking Republicans’ efforts to end our democracy seriously enough. Texas Republicans now want an audit of their 2020 election results (joining dubious audits in Arizona, Georgia, Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin). But Texas? Which Donald Trump won handily?
Why would Republicans want an audit in Texas? There can be only one explanation: This is an ongoing campaign to keep the words “election fraud” on the front pages and in the public’s mind, a purposeful drip, drip, drip to erode confidence in America’s election integrity.
Why? Republicans are writing legislation in swing states to allow overruling of the popular vote by giving their legislatures and governors the ability to claim fraud and appoint different (Republican) Electoral College delegates. A major part of pulling this off is convincing the public that fraud readily happens (as, unfortunately, 66% of Republicans already believe).
Thus, the groundwork is getting laid for a real election steal — an electorate misled, confused and duped into accepting fraud, and therefore numbingly docile when Donald Trump (or a Trump wannabe) claims fraud and exploits the many inanities in our archaic Electoral College laws to turn an election defeat into a chicanery-rigged capturing of the presidency.
Democrats need a serious battle plan — now.
MOUNT SHASTA YESTERDAY
SAW A CNN INTERVIEW with James Carville and Michael Steele...
So there you have the quintessential Democratic and Republican pure blood talking about the need to take America back from the insanity that has become the Party of Trump.
I loved the comment that Steele made about what's wrong with Democrats... you didn't come to a gunfight with a knife, you came with a quiche... you want to sing Kumbaya as the Republican cuts your liver out then stabs you repeatedly in the heart... Watching the Build back America plan die the death of a thousand cuts, and by your own, is a perfect example of why you keep getting hammered. You want to make people happy, to cooperate, to create consensus. You do that as your opponent is driving their Humvee over your head... he isn't interested in your opinion, only on whether your splatter will require extra cleaning on the bottom of his SUV.
You best get your game face on, and screw up a little backbone, because these guys don't play fair, they aren't nice, they don't care if they hurt your feelings, and they're perfectly good with making lawn furniture out of your bleached bones. Get a clue. That the ex-head of the Republican Party... you should probably listen.
— Marie Tobias
THE RIGHT TO VOTE IN AMERICA
Once again, as the GOP has successfully done so many times during the past thirty-five years, united Republican senators in Congress pulled another fast one on the American people’s Constitutional right to the pursuit of democracy here in America. Today the Senate’s ten Republicans, with the aid of a pseudoDemocratic US senator traitor to his party, namely Sen. Joe Manchin, thwarted the will of the people by stopping consideration of the national Civil Right to Vote Law.
One has to be blind not to notice how state legislatures in states like Georgia, Texas, and elsewhere have passed laws abridging citizens’ rights to vote. This will adversely affect voters in future local, state and national elections across the nation.
If you don’t think this is a big deal, think again. Manchin successfully made some naive Democrats believe that he would convince one or two Republican Senators to vote in favor of the bill.
Frank H. Baumgardner, III
IT WAS NO SURPRISE the McCoys weren’t out here on New Year’s Day. They’d have drunk themselves stupid seeing 1887 out and 1888 in and wouldn’t be watching the river or anything else.
Stopping just short of the fort’s door, Cap sucked in a breath so fast the cold air hurt his throat, surprised he hadn’t realized before this moment that New Year’s could be his lucky day. He could take advantage of this emptiness, cross the river into Kentucky and ride on through the woods to catch Randall McCoy and his boys at home, celebrating. He could put Nancy’s fears to rest forever, as well as his mother’s. This could be the opportunity of a lifetime.
Not that death was a punishment Cap wanted to inflict on anybody. Sadly, death meant not only the end of the victim, but a never-to-be-forgotten loss to his family. Still, it would be worth the sorrow if he ended all the warfare on both sides of the river forever. Even Randall McCoy’s kin deserved to live in peace, and they couldn’t with that old son of a packsaddle always stirring up trouble.
— Ann Black Gray, excerpt from the award-winning book, The Devil's Son; Woodland Press, published by permission
EXTINCTION’S EDGE: biologists continue to find zero Delta smelt in Sacramento-San Joaquin waterways
by Dan Bacher
For the fifth September in a row, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife has caught zero Delta smelt in its Fall Midwater Trawl Survey of Northern California’s Delta.
Once the most abundant fish on the entire estuary, the species is now near extinction in the wild, although U.C. Davis continues to raise the fish in a captive breeding program.
The Delta smelt population has plummeted over the decades since the State Water Project began exporting Delta water to San Joaquin Valley growers in 1967.
While there are several factors that scientists pinpoint for the ecosystem collapse, including toxic chemicals, decreasing water quality and invasive species, no factor reportedly figures greater in the collapse than the export of massive quantities of state and federal project water from the Delta to San Joaquin Valley agribusiness interests like the Resnick family and the Westlands Water District.
The last year when Delta smelt were recorded in September was in 2015, when 5 were caught by state Fish and Wildlife biologists. The last year when any Delta smelt were caught during the four-month survey was in 2016, when a total of 8 Delta smelt were reported.
The Delta smelt is an indicator species that demonstrates the health of the Delta, the largest estuary on the West Coast of the Americas.
“All signs point to the Delta smelt as disappearing from the wild this year, or, perhaps, 2022,” according to a California Water Blog analysis by Peter Moyle, Karrigan Börk, John Durand, T-C Hung and Andrew L. Rypel on January 10, 2021. “In case you had forgotten, the Delta smelt is an attractive, translucent little fish that eats plankton, has a one-year life cycle, and smells like cucumbers.”
”Delta Smelt are the thread that ties the Delta together with the river system,” said Caleen Sisk, Chief of the Winnemem Wintu Tribe. “We all should understand how that affects all the water systems in the state. They are the irreplaceable thread that holds the Delta system together with Chinook salmon.”
State Fish and Wildlife also found only one longfin smelt, another native fish species, in its surveying stations throughout the Delta. The survey didn’t find any longfin smelt last September.
For the tenth September in a row, state scientists caught zero Sacramento splittail, a native member of the minnow family. The last time that any splittail were reported in the survey was in 2017, when 1 splittail was reported in December.
Striped bass, a gamefish from the Eastern Seaboard introduced to the Delta over 130 years, fared poorly also. Fire and Wildlife caught only 1 young-of-the-year striped bass this September, compared with 11 last September.
The catch of American shad, another introduced species, did poorly this September also. Biologists found only 24 of this member of the herring family, compared with 202 in September 2020.
Finally, Fish and Wildlife officials caught just 11 threadfin shad, an introduced forage fish, this September. That compares to 43 fish last September.
Between 1967 and 2020, the state’s Fall Midwater Trawl abundance indices for striped bass, Delta smelt, longfin smelt, American shad, splittail and threadfin shad have declined by 99.7, 100, 99.96, 67.9, 100, and 95 percent, respectively, according to Bill Jennings, Executive Director of the California Sportfishing Protection Alliance (CSPA).
“Taken as five-year averages, the declines for striped bass, Delta smelt, longfin smelt, American shad, splittail and threadfin shad are 98.1, 99.8, 99.8, 26.2, 99.3 and 94.3 percent, respectively,” said Jennings.