A STRONG ATMOSPHERIC RIVER is bringing heavy rain to southern Mendocino county and this will continue through much of the day. 2 to 5 inches of rain are forecast to fall today for coastal and valley locations, with 5 to 8 inches possible along southwest facing ridges. Heavy rain, combined with saturated soil from recent rains, will contribute to possible flooding.
RAINFALL (past 24 hours): Willits 2.16", Yorkville 2.12", Laytonville 1.90", Hopland 1.68", Leggett 1.56", Boonville 1.32", Ukiah 1.14", Covelo 1.05"
WIND: Winds will ramp up across the area tonight, becoming quite gusty by early tomorrow morning. A Wind Advisory is in place for portions of the interior above 2,000 feet and for the Del Norte Coast. Winds will ease a bit late this morning, but some periodic strong gusts will still be possible. The image in the graphic shows peak wind gusts from 11 p.m. this evening through tomorrow afternoon.
WATER: An atmospheric river event early Sunday will bring heavy rain throughout the area along with strong winds at upper elevation. Everyone should be prepared for rapid water rise is previously dry streambeds along with increased debris on roadways.
WAVES: This week will bring large tidal swings due to the phase and orbit of the moon. This means the highest tide of the day will be higher than normal and the lowest tide of the day will expose more beach areas than normal. Although this can be a fun time to visit the beach, remember, a rising tide can cut off your access to safety. Use the tide predictions to plan your visit to the coast this week. Tide predictions are available at https://tidesandcurrents.noaa.gov. High Surf Warning from Cape Mendocino to the California/Oregon state border. High Surf Advisory from Cape Mendocino to Point Arena.
AVHC would like to announce MODERNA drive thru booster vaccine clinic on Wednesday the 27th at 3:00 at the High School. Those who are elegible and received their second dose vaccines from February-April, please bring your vaccine card.
FIRE CHIEF’S REPORT
by Anderson Valley Fire Chief Andres Avila
Strike Team Assignemnts
Wildland Engine 7471 was deployed to the Fawn Fire on September 23rd. The engine was then redeployed after a few days to the Windy Incident near Fresno and remained on the line there until October 5. They were on assignment for a total of 12 days. With the recent rains and substantial rain in the forecast, we are likely seeing a season ending precipitation event. At this point, I do not see any further deployments this fire season. We end the year with no injuries, no accidents, multiple deployments and several task book certifications completed.
Reserve Ambulance Deployments
Over the last several weeks we have deployed our second ambulance (A7421) multiple times. In a small district like ours, we sometimes receive multiple calls at one time but it is fairly rare. Circumstances would have it that we had six back-to-back calls recently where our primary ambulance was already committed on a different call and could not respond to the second call. In each situation our reserve ambulance was immediately covered by AVFD EMS volunteers that responded in a manner that avoided any medical transport delays. This extra apparatus and our EMS crews have done exceptionally well in this area.
Long Rang Plan (Lrp)
AVFD is currently evaluating and redrafting the LRP for the Fire and EMS Branches of the Fire Department. The LRP shows the purpose and direction of the department, the current status of each function within the department, progress made over the last few years, and areas that should be targeted for improvement. This draft LRP has been already been presented to the Officers and the ES Committee. We will be reviewing it again during November with a goal of coming back to the Board next month with a recommendation for approval. Please take some time read the document and see if this is where the CSD Board wants the Fire Department to be headed in the next few years. Input from the Board would be appreciated during the draft phase of the LRP.
As we move out of fire season, AVFD will be leading and participating in several prescribed burns throughout the Anderson Valley area. At this time, we have an excess of over 200 acres of RX burn plans to participate in as weather allows. We had to turn down a few RX burn requests due to our capacity to participate while maintaining our mission of emergency response. Having our residents actively, efficiently, and safely reintroduce low intensity fire into the wildland through RX Burns is a goal that I strongly support. RX burn benefits include; fire fuels reduction, invasive species control, contributing to a diverse ecological system, removing anxiety involved with fire after several intense fire seasons, community and fire fighter training, etc.
AV PANTHER SPORTS: The high school volleyball team killed it in Laytonville on Thursday. In their last game of the season, both junior varsity and varsity teams swept Laytonville, never allowing the Warriors to score over ten points in any set. Play-offs are just around the corner for the Panthers.
The high school boys soccer team had another loss this Friday in Rohnert Park against Credo High School. It was a hard-fought game with some controversial calls against us by the officials, but we ended at a 2-3 loss. Junior Stephen Torales scored both of our goals, one with a header.
The boys soccer team will play at home on Monday against Sonoma Academy and they will end their regular season on Wednesday at Calistoga. (Arthur Folz reporting)
DR. DREW COLFAX, a Ukiah ER doctor and son of former Fifth District Supervisor David Colfax, has signed on as a regular KZYX show co-host.
He will cohost a bi-weekly corona virus update show with KZYX Program Manager Alicia Bales at 9am on alternate Tuesdays starting next week. We remember back in the 90s when Colfax pere used his a KZYX show as a platform for running for Supervisor. Hmmm… Could Dr. Drew be thinking of…? Nah. He’s making more money as a medico.
UKIAH PROMOTES Captain Waidelich to Police Chief
Ukiah City Manager Sage Sangiacomo on Thursday announced that Ukiah Police Department Capt. Noble Waidelich has been promoted to police chief, following the retirement of former UPD Chief Justin Wyatt and after serving in an interim capacity since Sept. 19.
“We are proud to announce Noble Waidelich as our new police chief for the City of Ukiah,” Sangiacomo said. “Over the last 15 years of his service with the Ukiah Police Department, Chief Waidelich has embodied the best characteristics and core values that are essential for a trusted, effective community police department. It was clear that there is no better individual to lead the Ukiah Police Department forward than Chief Waidelich. He is well respected by the community and by the department, and will bring new ideas as to how Ukiah PD can best serve our community and uphold Ukiah’s safety and good quality of life.”
Waidelich began his law enforcement career with the Lake County Sheriff's Office in 2002. He joined the City of Ukiah Police Department as an officer in 2005 and quickly rose through the ranks, serving as a sergeant, lieutenant and captain.
“It is an honor to have the opportunity to serve our community from this position of leadership,” Waidelich said. “I am committed to advancing our organizational principles of safety, professionalism and community service. I look forward to continued collaboration with our community partners, city staff, our tireless volunteers and our residents to keep Ukiah safe, pleasant and prosperous.”
In a press release, the city stated that “Following Chief Wyatt’s retirement announcement last year, the City of Ukiah sought out and vetted a number of qualified candidates to fill the position, including Waidelich. Following the extensive recruitment process, the City determined that Waidelich exceeded all other candidates in qualifications, knowledge, and commitment to the City of Ukiah and its residents. His local experience and connections will help guide the department in further enhancing its relationships with the Ukiah community and the citizens it serves.”
“Law enforcement is evolving and complex,” Waidelich said. “I am focused on fostering greater inclusion of our community into our policing efforts, which leads to better communication and strengthens trust. That is essential not just for a crisis or serious crime, but for more effective interactions during the array of day-to-day engagements to help promote the best quality of life possible.”
A native of Mendocino County, Waidelich graduated from Potter Valley High School and went on to graduate from California State University, Chico in 2002 with a Bachelor of Science in business administration and management.
Waidelich lives in Ukiah with his wife, Laura, and his 4-year-old daughter Olivia and 4-month-old baby, Evelyn. In addition to his service within the UPD, Waidelich serves as secretary on the board of the Oak Hill Community Pool and as a board member of the Mendocino County Youth Project. He currently also serves on the Board of Directors for the Ford Street Project and the Mendocino County Homeless Services Continuum of Care.
(Courtesy, the Ukiah Daily Journal)
SUPES NOTES, Part 2: The Dismal Science, Mendo Branch
by Mark Scaramella
Mendo has no real economy besides wine, the shrinking pot business, the battered tourism business, and its ever expanding government (including the schools). So there’s never been much point to “economic development” — but, like the ever expanding cannabis permit bureaucracy slowly strangling Mendo’s non-corporate cannabis industry, the economic development staff itself is getting bigger.
Despite this depressing stagnation, the Supervisors talked for a couple of hours last Tuesday about “economic development” and a proposal to hand over around $175k to the “West Company” to do “economic development.” But the only “development” on the horizon is more money for local government and its ineffective auxilliaries like the West Company as they try to snag some of the giant pools of state and federal funding flowing westward to pay for non-existent economic development with public money to hand a few palsy-walsy local businesses at some distant if not imaginary time while the economic development people enhance their own economic development.
After the self-inflicted demise of the local timber industry, there hasn’t been much private business in Mendocino County to develop. As the Supes agenda itself, in a rare moment of clarity, says, Mendo’s two biggest private businesses are “health care and social services,” a not-so veiled reference to Mendo’s two large monopolies: the Adventist’s hospital monopoly and Camille Schraeder’s widespread Redwood Community Services Octopus, neither of which are “businesses” in any normal sense of the word since they don’t sell anything and the “customers” they have, have no choice.
Supervisors Mulheren and Williams went to some length to insist that, like ther colleagues, they were big cheerleaders for “economic development,” but they thought the West Company’s workplan lacked specificity, as if specificity like which pots of other government money they might apply for would make any difference.
It didn’t matter anyway, because the three more reliable rubberstamps — Supervisors Haschak, McGourty and Gjerde — didn’t much care what the West Company did or didn’t do, as long as they called it “economic development.”
So the Board voted 3-2 to allocate the $175k for the West Company to “provide services related to Microenterprise support for Community Development Block Grant Program, as well as an Annual Economic Development Strategy contract…” (The AVA being both a geriatric and a microenterprise, throw us some cash and we’ll hire some young blood.)
“…At this time, West BDC proposes a three year contract to fill the need for an economic development agency and serve as an information clearinghouse, helping stakeholders work collectively to secure funds and streamline the governmental process, as well as oversee the economic resiliency plan.” Translation. A hundred or so government donut meetings from which only vague economic development reports willl emerge.
* * *
ANOTHER ONE BITES THE DUST
Next Tuesday the Board plans to discuss how to replace their Human Resources Director, Mr. William Schurtz, who has apparently quit or resigned or been fired or whatever. In the present Stalinist management style, people frequently just disappear.
“Agenda Item 5b: Discussion and Possible Action Including Creation of Ad Hoc Committee for Recruitment and Selection of a Human Resources Director.”
As usual, these senior departures are unexplained and unannounced. All the public gets is notice that a vacancy is being filled (if that). But we never really know. When we saw one of these kinds of agenda items a couple of weeks ago it turned out to be a promotion, pay raise and title change, not a departure. Also done in pointless secrecy, of course. So for all we know Mr. Schurtz has not left but is being rehired or reappointed or transferred or, in his jargon, maybe he’s being “reclassified.” Or stuffed in garbage bags underneath the CEO’s desk. There’s no mention of anyone being designated as “acting” HR director either. We had assumed the HR Director worked for the CEO who usually does her own (capricious) hiring and firing. So this may be an early indication that the Board is looking ahead to the post-CEO Angelo era when department heads might be hired and fired directly by the Supervisors as the CEO becomes more of a coordinator/administrator. (The lib-lab crowd is big on the “CAO” or Chief Administrative Officer model because even they realize that CEO Angelo has usurped too much control over whatever the County does. But in the present enviroment, without any improvement in management staff and systems, the “model” doesn’t matter.)
* * *
Speaking of the CEO, Item 9e on the Board’s closed session agenda is: “Public Employee Performance Evaluation - Chief Executive Officer.”
That should not take long because CEO Angelo’s contract is up in a year and she has already begun missing Board meetings without explanation and letting her staff answer most of the Board’s questions. Why would she care much about what the Supervisors think of her performance, anyway? She’s made it clear she’s outtahere not later than her contract expiration date in October of next year.
* * *
AMAZINGLY, although nothing should amaze us anymore about Mendocino County’s mysterious management maneuverings, next Tuesday’s CONSENT calendar includes an item to “Approve Fifth Amendment to BOS Agreement 17-131 with NaphCare Inc. in the Amount of $3,484,847.76 for a New Agreement Total of $19,105,009.38 for Medical Health Services for the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office (MCSO) Jail with a New Term End Date of December 31, 2022.”
Nothing against NaphCare and their overworked jail staff, but shouldn’t the award of almost $3.5 million at least be on the board’s regular agenda and include a discussion of their performance and cost? Shouldn’t somebody at least ask Camille Schraeder (or anyone else, for that matter) if she wants to bid the work? After all, she has pretty much everything else and lots of inmates overlap with her mental health clientele.
Hey, they could hand the money over to the Schraeders and call it economic development.
MICHAEL MORELAND WRITES:
I have recently looked into the county redistricting plan, and I have learned the following:
Redistricting occurs every ten years, and it is based on a recent census.
Population shifts in Mendocino County in the last ten years have resulted in District 3 being overweight while District 4 is under. The remaining districts are reasonably balanced with regard to population.
The major overhaul of all the districts may have a political component while the entire requirement to maintain a balance should be entirely non-partisan.
A simple solution, in my view, would be to adjust the boundary between Districts 3 and 4 to equalize the populations and leave the remaining districts alone. That would be a simple solution, would meet the requirements of achieving balance, and it would cause the least amount of unnecessary change.
Anyone can express a view in writing to the following email address:
A citizens committee will review all comments. I have written my comment above to that committee. I am posting this to encourage others to express their own views on the matter.
Michael Moreland, District 5
MY FAVE UKIAH RESTAURANT is Windmills on South State. I had a strange experience there last summer, strange because it was a repeat of the same experience I once had on Clement in SF about 15 years ago where my wife and I, seated by the window, enjoyed (she not so much) a grinning street guy, his tongue hanging out and making yum-yum sounds, pressed his face flat on the window pane inches from our plates. And stayed there long enough for me to wonder if he was going to move on, which he did when I finally gave him a merry thumbs up for his performance. Almost the same thing happened to me on a July Wednesday at Windmills. Seated in that enclosed patio abutting the sidewalk, a laughing street guy pressed his face to the glass separating my food from his face, and made yum-yum sounds. And I gave him a merry thumbs up and he shuffled off, chuckling. If it happens a third time, I will begin to think I'm being singled out.
CON CREEK LIVES! The little stream near the elementary school burbled back to life with Thursday night's rain, and it was flowing nicely by early Friday morning when I walked past. For years, Con Creek has been my personal eco-gauge. In rain healthy-years it flows year-round, drought years it goes dry. This year it was dry in August.
I REMEMBER forty or so years back when after the first couple of rains thousands of tiny frogs were on their mysterious frog errands, so many of them on the back roads you were reluctant to drive through them. Then they were gone. Permanently. I suspect a combination of increased temperatures and chemical run-off from industrial vineyards has finished them off on the Valley floor. Deep in the hills, away from vineyards, there are still frogs, not as many in the places I look for them, but they live on.
I'VE ALWAYS STAYED AWAY from the medical profession unless I thought for sure I needed their intervention if I hoped to go on watching ball games. Only once have I had to summon an ambulance for myself, and that was a close call, closer than it should have been because I didn't go to the ER when I should have. Old age is especially harrowing for lots of geezers because people generally and doctors especially tend not to pay close attention to what this geezer is telling them. And, modern medicine being the racket it is, the medicos run up the charges by making you take a lot of unnecessary tests if you show up with some simple complaint like you think your ass might be falling off. For example, an ortho-doc tried to talk me into new knees ten years ago. I opted for periodic cortisone shots before it occurred to me that the shots lasted about three days and knee jocks — tight elastic sleeves, basically, worked just fine, removing most of the pain from every day locomotion which, in my case, includes walking a fast two or three miles every morning. The following prompted the foregoing. It's by Judith Graham of Kaiser Health News:
“Joanne Whitney, 84, a retired associate clinical professor of pharmacy at the University of California-San Francisco, often feels devalued when interacting with health care providers.
“There was the time several years ago when she told an emergency room doctor that the antibiotic he wanted to prescribe wouldn’t counteract the kind of urinary tract infection she had.
“He wouldn’t listen, even when she mentioned her professional credentials. She asked to see someone else, to no avail. ‘I was ignored and finally I gave up,’ said Whitney, who has survived lung cancer and cancer of the urethra and depends on a special catheter to drain urine from her bladder. (An outpatient renal service later changed the prescription.)
“Then, earlier this year, Whitney landed in the same emergency room, screaming in pain, with another urinary tract infection and a severe anal fissure. When she asked for Dilaudid, a powerful narcotic that had helped her before, a young physician told her, ‘We don’t give out opioids to people who seek them. Let’s just see what Tylenol does’.”
LIKE this 84-year-old woman is going to be out there trying to score opioids on the street, but I'll bet this kind of medical malpractice is quite common.
THE ONLY CONSPIRACY I even come close to believing is the likely conspiracy to assassinate JFK, and I believe it because Oswald's blurted that he was only a patsy seemed true, especially after seeing he himself assassinated on national television in the basement of the Dallas Police Department. Second, the fact that lots of the files on the case are still sequestered. And the real deal stuff will remain sequestered for at least another year. The White House said Friday it would delay the release of long-classified documents related to the assassination of US President John F. Kennedy, citing the 'significant impact' of the COVID-19 pandemic as cause for the holdup. Scholars have been lined up for years to read these files. Covid is just one more excuse for delaying release. All the villains would have to be dead, or nearly dead, sixty years after the event.
I'M GOING to assume the release of the files is being held up because Biden's handlers don't want another disastrous revelation on top of the daily deluge of disasters blamed on the Biden Administration, many of them set in motion long before Biden was elected, and he was elected solely because he wasn't Trump. I think the files will prove what many people have long assumed, that the murder of JFK was an inside job pulled off by fascist elements in the CIA, an agency JFK wanted to disband. But, but, but.... our own government would kill the president? In the context of those times, yes, and in these times betcha elements of our own government were at least thinking about offing Trump, the federal police agencies these days being staffed by “liberals.”
A READER WRITES: This house is for rent for $9,400 a month. Anybody know if any of the board of supervisors or any other influential people who care about housing issues are concerned? And as usual the term “artist” is used to describe it as desirable. As an artist I can 100% tell you that we artists could never afford this.
Ed note: This can't be true, even for Mendocino, “village” of.
UNCERTAINTY OVER POTTER VALLEY POWER PLANT, EEL RIVER DIVERSIONS CONTINUES TO GROW
by Mary Callahan
An equipment failure has shut down PG&E’s 1908 Potter Valley power plant indefinitely, adding uncertainty to the future of Eel River diversions that have augmented the Russian River for more than a century.
The transformer failure means that, even if the next few winters are rainy and wet, it still may not be possible to refill Lake Mendocino, which is at critically low levels, because supplemental water would be needed from the Eel River to do so.
An inoperable plant would also add substantial complexity to efforts by regional stakeholders to carve out a future for the project that would ensure continued water transfers critical to sustaining water supplies for well over 600,000 people in Sonoma and Mendocino counties.
“It’s going to be a huge problem,” said Beth Salomone, general manager of the Mendocino County Russian River Flood Control & Water Conservation Improvement District, which sells wholesale water to small municipal suppliers and agricultural users in the upper Russian River.
Turbines in the 1908 plant must be running for maximum water transfers through the milelong pipeline that connects the Eel River and the Russian River’s East Fork on either side of a mountain.
Though some water can be sent past the plant through a bypass channel, the capacity is only half the volume that could otherwise flow through, officials said. Pacific Gas & Electric is talking about diverting far less water even than that, according to Potter Valley rancher Janet Pauli, chairwoman of the Mendocino County Inland Water and Power Commission.
In addition, PG&E could decide not to invest in costly, time-consuming repairs at all, since it’s preparing to give up its license for the small, aged plant anyway. Spokesman Paul Moreno said it’s likely to be months before an evaluation is complete.
The power plant had been offline for months because too little water was available to draw from the Eel River to operate it, Moreno said. Diversions from the Eel River are down to about 10 cubic feet per second, compared to closer to 270 cfs when the power plant is generating electricity.
But replacing the transformer bank comes with a cost of $5 million to $10 million and would take 18-to-24 months, according to early estimates, Moreno said.
That means the plant would remain offline through the next two winters even if PG&E were to invest in replacing the damaged equipment.
And if it doesn’t, the plant — the very reason the Russian River doesn’t run dry most summers — becomes just another hunk of junk and the diversions that power it a big question mark.
“There’s not a lot of answers right now,” said Don Seymour, principle engineer with the Sonoma County Water Agency.
Revelations about the damaged transformer bank are just the latest setback for coalition partners committed to what’s called a “two-basin solution” once PG&E relinquishes the plant.
The Two-Basin Solution Partnership — the Sonoma County Water Agency, the Mendocino County Inland Water and Power Commission, the Round Valley Indian Tribes, Humboldt County and Cal Trout — notified federal energy regulators it wanted to license the plant itself in January 2019, days after PG&E said it no longer wanted to.
The coalition’s motive is to ensure wintertime water deliveries through Potter Valley to the East Branch of the Russian River and on into Lake Mendocino. It also seeks to enhance Eel River fisheries by improving access to the river’s upper reaches, which are currently blocked off by Scott Dam, which impounds Lake Pillsbury.
The dam was built in 1922 to store high, wintertime flows and has allowed for more regular, even releases of Eel River water downstream. But anglers and conservationists have long called for it to come down because of its impact on fish spawning and habitat.
Regional stakeholders have struggled to identify funding to cover what North Coast Congressman Jared Huffman said was an estimated $18 million in studies and evaluations needed to put together a plan to submit to federal regulators to take the process further.
A September request for postponement of due dates and revisions to the application schedule was denied, throwing stakeholders up against an April 14 deadline that most agree would be almost impossible to meet.
In the meantime, disclosures that PG&E may no longer have a functional plant could render the re-licensing issue moot, officials said.
“If that were to occur it would be absolutely new territory for us,” Pauli told the Mendocino County Drought Task Force at a recent meeting.
Huffman, D-San Rafael, spearheaded the Two-Basin Solution and said recent developments could show the partners a cleaner, faster way to reach their goals without having to acquire a license for a power plant that is operating at a $9-million-dollar-a-year loss — the very reason PG&E wants rid of it.
Allowing PG&E to pursue license surrender and decommissioning of the power plant adds risk to downstream users but may mean corporate funding picks up the cost of advance studies otherwise would be borne by coalition partners.
“They wanted to take over the FERC (Federal Energy Regulatory Commission) license, and they wanted to run this as a hydroelectric project. But I will tell you I’m really encouraged by the way the stakeholders have held together around this set of principles and this concept of a two-basin solution and, in a strange way, this may be a faster and easier way to get there.”
(Santa Rosa Press Democrat)
CATCH OF THE DAY, October 23, 2021
IRVING ACEVES-LIZARRAGA, Willits. Battery, resisting, probation revocation.
TIMOTHY CHACON, Fort Bragg. DUI.
GENE HOLDER, Fort Bragg. DUI, controlled substance, probation revocation.
ALISIA JOAQUIN, Covelo. Obtaining money by false pretenses.
MICHAEL LOCKETT SR., Ukiah. County parole violation.
CHARLES MAXFIELD JR., Willits. Suspended license, defrauding/acquiring a person’s identifying info, conspiracy, county parole violation.
DIAMANTE MCCAIN, Willits. Disorderly conduct-alcohol, probation revocation.
JEREMIAH MCOSKER, Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-alcohol, county parole violation. (Frequent flyer.)
ARYLIS PETERS JR., Covelo. Forging vehicle registration, reckless evasion, probation revocation.
ANTONIO PICCIRELLA, Willits. DUI.
JOSHAU RICOTTONE, Ukiah. DUI, vandalism, probation revocation.
SHAWN ROGERS, Willits. Burglary.
JUAN TERENZI, Willits. DUI-alcohol&drugs, controlled substance.
To the Editor:
Little scares me about Halloween or trick-or-treating. Ghosts, zombies, skeletons and witches have nothing on all the milk ingredients in candy and the frightening truth about the dairy industry.
This is the industry that has spent billions convincing humans that drinking the milk of another species is okay.
This is the industry that feeds millions of dairy cows in favor of feeding starving humans.
This is the industry that creates pastures for dairy cows which accounts for a substantial reduction of forestland and other wildlife habitats. Add to this that the digestive system of cows discharges large amounts of methane, and their waste discharges nitrous oxide, both contributors to global warming.
This is the industry that perpetually impregnates cows in order to keep them lactating to produce milk meant for their offspring and then kills them off after they are “spent.”
The dairy industry is more frightening than any Halloween nightmare.
But, we’re lucky. Our local supermarkets offer a selection of plant-based milks, cheeses, and ice creams, as well as a colorful display of fresh fruits and veggies. And the dairy industry reporting slumping sales is just the treat we need this holiday season.
USED TO BE…
Along with 99% of the Bay Area’s population, I am angry about the way Major League Baseball runs the playoffs. When I was young, we had two leagues, National and American. Teams in those leagues did not play one another, except for exhibition games. Thus, the best teams in each league qualified to play in the World Series.
The best teams in the National League this season were the Dodgers and Giants. These teams should have played one another in a best-of-seven series to determine which team deserved to win the National League pennant (a series now called the NLCS, ugh).
It seems to me that MLB and the players’ union are intent on destroying the game that was once called America’s pastime.
I’m also furious that a bad call that ended the last game of the Dodgers-Giants series was allowed to stand. MLB is doing the game and its fans a great disservice.
THE BRIEF HISTORY OF SAN FRANCISCO'S MOST DANGEROUS (and absurd) SECRET SOCIETY
by Andrew Chamings
In 1977, anarchy was in the air. The Sex Pistols went to number one in the UK charts despite “God Save The Queen” being banned from the airwaves for “gross bad taste,” in New York, the Ramones released “Sheena is a Punk Rocker” and safety pins were hanging from ears and noses as a fashion statement.
That spirit of punk also made its way to San Francisco, where, at the end of the Golden Gate Bridge during one of the biggest storms to hit the city in years, the Suicide Club was born.
San Francisco saw a deluge of over three inches of rain on the second day of January that year, and at midnight, as intersections flooded and power failures spread across the city, four friends went to the foot of the bridge and took turns holding the sea wall chain tight as twenty-foot waves from the angry Pacific crashed over them.
“The waves would shoot up … and they would fall down on top of you. If you weren’t hanging on it would suck you up, pull you out and you would die,” early member John Law would later recall. “They looked at it, figured it out, and took the risk.”
Despite the provocative name, the club was never about suicide. The moniker, like everything the secret society did in the next few years, was a joke. Born of the ideals of Dadaism – humor, absurdity and anything that opposed harmony, was the goal – that joke grew and grew and eventually birthed two corporatized mainstream events that now feel a million miles away from the spirit of punk: SantaCon and Burning Man.
The society started as an experimental class at San Francisco State University named Communiversity. Their shtick included Pie of the Month Club, where students interested in a touch of anarchy could sign up for an allotted time period wherein they could be hit in the face with pies without warning. After a student was pied during lunch with their parents and a game professor got hit while teaching a class, the university put an end to the merriment.
Shortly after they left the school, on that fateful night in the storm at Fort Point, the four founding members, Adrienne Burk, David Warren, Nancy Prussia and leader Gary Warne decided that they should rebirth the shuttered college club across the entire city. They wanted to recreate the exhilaration of staring death in the face in the storm more often, with more people.
They named their secret society after the Robert Louis Stevenson story of three bored urbanites who would gamble their life at midnight. Warne initiated it by leaving a cryptic sign-up sheet in a bookstore where he worked.
“Have you ever explored a subterranean sewer at night with forty other people; climbed three stories on a swinging rope ladder to dine on the roof of a condemned building?” The invite opened, before stating its purpose, or lack thereof. “Events generally fall into three categories: Adventures, infiltrations, and stunts ... no WHY or PHILOSOPHY is attached.”
The society’s exploits were not publicized anywhere, but through word of mouth — and later recollections — it was revealed over the years that the hijinks included busting into the Oakland sewer system and walking two miles in Victorian garb, turning corporate billboards into anarchist art installations, and scaling the Golden Gate Bridge and rappelling down the towers.
A video shared by Law during a presentation in Croatia in 2015 shows old footage of the club members sitting atop a Bay Bridge tower at night taking in the view. The club was also responsible for creating the now-gone iconic “defenestration building” on Howard and 6th in SoMa, recognizable for the furniture stuck to its exterior walls. “These pieces of furniture have taken it upon themselves to rid themselves of the slavery of their human captors,” the video’s narrator states.
While these pranks highlighted the “urban exploration” goal of the club, other less exploratory adventures included entering a grown man into a most beautiful baby contest.
There was no internet in the ‘80s, but if there was, the group would have likely gone viral every week. Or, if they had been interested in the mainstream they were attempting to subvert, they would have maybe created “Jackass” for MTV a decade before Johnny Knoxville and his pals started smashing each others’ genitals and snorting wasabi.
Many of the club’s escapades haven’t dated well, like the time they rode a cable car pretending to be “mental health patients.” Club members were instructed in the club’s “nooseletter” to “be as insane as they know how,” and that their costumes should “coincide with the diagnosis you choose.”
And while there was deliberately no political manifesto beyond mayhem, the club did infiltrate the American Nazi Party, long before Sacha Baron Cohen sang for the far-right militia.
Like safety pin nose rings and Sex Pistols’ creative output, the secret society didn’t last long. After five years of pranks, the Suicide Club fractured and quietly dissolved in 1982, due in part to “everyone sleeping with everyone else,” Law once said.
Founder Gary Warne died in 1983, and the surviving members would go on to form the Cacophony Society, which had similar ideals of Dadaist cultural subversion, but were less secretive in their endeavors.
Their most known exploits include dressing as salmon and running “upstream” the wrong way during Bay to Breakers, and bringing the Burning Man festival to Nevada. Author Chuck Palahniuk was a member of the Portland arm of the Cacophony Society and based much of "Fight Club" on their exploits.
The club was also responsible for creating the drunken San Francisco festivity that is SantaCon, originally named Santarchy. And while it may have intended to be an underground cultural moment, that Christmas pub crawl has spread across America and become about as subversive as St Paddy’s Day. As John Oliver put it, "it's not a magical occasion, it's a terrifying combination of binge drinking, public urination and trauma to small children." Now that’s real mayhem.
THE D.C. MARIJUANA LOBBYIST WHO HASN’T BEEN BOUGHT OR SOLD
by Jonah Raskin
Recently, my friend Tijan M. Sallah, a poet from Gambia in Africa who lives in Maryland, observed that in Washington, D.C. if you can find a man who is not a lobbyist or a lawyer “you are blessed.”
By Sallah’s terms, Randal John Meyer is doubly cursed. Indeed, you might say that he has two big strikes against him. Not only is he an attorney with a degree from Brooklyn Law School. He is also a lobbyist who has long plied his trade in the nation’s capital. From 2015 to 2019, he served as a legislative counsel to U.S. Senator Rand Paul (R-Ky.), who has long been an advocate for the legalization of marijuana. These days, Meyer is the Executive Director of the Global Alliance for Cannabis Commerce (GACC), a trade organization based in D.C. that aims to educate policymakers and legislators about marijuana. The organization lobbies for the legalization of both medical and adult use around the world. In a recent press release, GACC stated emphatically that medical marijuana must be “available immediately” and ought not to be “restricted by unnecessary bureaucratic processes that come between patient and doctor.”
Meyer is out in the open about his own use of marijuana. Given the business he’s in, he had better be out of the cannabis closet.
“I’m old school,” he told me during a recent phone conversation. “I’m a smoker, though I’m terrible at rolling joints.” Meyer is also a dedicated journalist, and, though he’s not a native of the Emerald Triangle—he has visited the region— he has written insightfully about weed for the AVA and for other newspapers where he has displayed his keen intelligence.
“Cannabis is an endlessly fascinating story,” he told me. “There’s always a new iteration.” He’s impressed with the ingenuity of pot growers who have adapted to each and every new policy, each and every wrinkle from law enforcement.
From his perch as executive director at the GACC, Meyer sees far and wide. “The perception is that California cannabis is the best in the world,” he told me. “California is the largest cannabis market in the U.S. In Amsterdam, California product is the most expensive.” He added, “West Coast consumers tend to be better informed about cannabis than consumers elsewhere. They know more about THC and CBD.”
In Washington, D.C., where he lives and works, medical cannabis has been decriminalized since 2014, adult use since 2015. Dispensaries sell both adult-use weed and medical marijuana, which requires a doctor’s recommendation, though it’s illegal to sell marijuana under federal law.
Meyer thinks that the end of marijuana prohibition is near. “The situation we're in now is similar to the situation with alcohol in the mid-1930s,” he says. “Back then, people saw that Al Capone was winning and the policy wasn’t working, much as it’s apparent that the pot prohibition isn’t working today.” Meyer talks to both Democrats and Republicans and finds that members of both parties are more receptive to the idea of legal marijuana on the federal level than they were, say, five years ago. Blessed be lobbyists and lawyers like Randal John Meyer.
TO KEEP CLOSE to my honesty is my supreme ambition. There is a sublime egotism in talking of honesty. I, however, do not say that I am honest. I merely say that I am as nearly honest as weak mental machinery will allow. This aim in life struck me as being the only thing worthwhile. A man is sure to fail at it, but there is something in the failure.
— Stephen Crane
MARX'S FAMOUS SAYING that “religion is the opium of the people” is habitually wrenched out of its context and given a meaning subtly but appreciably different from the one he gave it. Marx did not say, at any rate in that place, that religion is merely a dope handed out from above; he said that it is something the people create for themselves, to supply a need that he recognized to be a real one. “Religion is the sigh of the soul in a soulless world. Religion is the opium of the people.” What is he saying except that man does not live by bread alone, that hatred is not enough, that a world worth living in cannot be founded on “realism” and machine guns? If he had foreseen how great his intellectual influence would be, perhaps he would have said it more often and more loudly.
— George Orwell
IT WAS NO LONGER ALONE the boom of the batteries, but a rattle of musketry--at first like pattering drops upon a roof; then a roll, crash, roar, and rush, like a mighty ocean billow upon the shore, chafing the pebbles, wave on wave, with deep and heavy explosions of the batteries, like the crashing of the thunderbolts.
– Charles Carleton Coffin, Army Correspondent
NAMASTE, WITCHES, WEREWOLVES, AND SPIDER, BAT AND IRONPERSONS.
”This is the excellent foppery of the world, that, when we are sick in fortune, often the surfeit of our own behavior, we make guilty of our disasters the sun, the moon, and the stars: as if we were villains by necessity; fools by heavenly compulsion; knaves, thieves, and treachers, by spherical predominance; drunkards, liars, and adulterers, by an enforced obedience of planetary influence; and all that we are evil in, by a divine thrusting on: an admirable evasion of whoremaster man, to lay his goatish disposition to the charge of a star.”
The recording of last night's (2021-10-22) Memo of the Air: Good Night Radio show on KNYO-LP Fort Bragg (CA) is right here: https://tinyurl.com/KNYO-MOTA-0459
Email me your writing on any subject and I'll read it on the radio next week. That's what I'm here for. If it's more than plain text, please provide a link to the media you want me to see or hear, rather than attach it.
BESIDES ALL THAT, at https://MemoOfTheAir.wordpress.com you'll find a fresh batch of dozens of links to not necessarily radio-useful but nonetheless worthwhile items I set aside for you while gathering that show together. Such as, for instance:
Best Ruben Bolling Tom The Dancing Bug Super-Fun-Pak Comix page ever, so far.
The topiary cat.
An ad for coats that is a dream of flying. They're a leaf on the wind; watch how they soar.
And a video slideshow of children's playground equipment before the spoilsport insurance companies ruined it for everyone.
— Marco McClean, firstname.lastname@example.org, https://MemoOfTheAir.wordpress.com
HELP YOUR KIDS LEARN HOW TO SPOT SOCIALISM AND HOW TO STOP IT!
Socialists are trying to take over America and give even more power to the government, leaving hardworking familes [sic] like yours suffering the consequences and paying the bill for generations to come! It has never been more important to help educate our children—the future of America—on the dangers of Socialism and the risks to our great nation.
That's why we're giving away this *FREE* Gift Bundle which features "The Kids Guide to Fighting Socialsim [sic]" and the latest issue of the brand-new EverBright Kids magazine. You get them both for just $1 s&p each!
The Kids Guide to fighting Socialism will help your kids understand the differences between a socialist and capitalist econony [sic], why socialism just doesn't work, and how they can be a force against socialism now and in the future. As an added bonus, we're giving you unlimted [sic] access to the "God Bless America" streaming video lesson and digital workbook from Learn Our History!
What's more, the special issue of EverBright Kids magazine will help your kids celebrate America and enjoy oodles of great content and activities that will keep them entertained for hours!
As part of this special offer, your kids can look forward to a new Kids Guide covering an important topic for kids about once a month, including an accompanying streaming video lesson and digital workbook, all for just $20.90 per set. Plus, we'll send your kids a new issue of EverBright Kids magazine each month for only $5.75. You can cancel at any time. And, if you're not 100% satisfied, let us know within 90 days to receive a full refund of your purchase price.
This special offer is only available while supplies last, so why not give your kids a gift they're bound to enjoy? Order this exclusive Free Gift Bundle now!