Afternoon Sun | Rainfall Totals | 17 Cases | Covid Monthly | Faulkner Review | Mariann Kinion | Hummingbird | Boon Box | Millsite | Kelley Exhibit | Girl/Cat | Velma's Farmstand | Skunk View | Oil Drippings | Jacy Guilty | Coastline | Undergrounding FB | Archway | Decommissioning PVP | Springboards | Gay Dining | GP Workers | Redbeard Story | Scam Caller | Lighthouse Steps | Holiday Events | Tensegrity | BLM Fires | Mail Theft | Gift Guide | Road Closure | Ed Notes | BHAB Meeting | Yesterday's Catch | Conqueror | 1933 Fellers | Atenolol | Climate Accord | Bad Indians | Street Vendor | Drug Prices | 70s Sweaters | Russian Journalist | Tropicana | Comet Leonard
COASTAL CLOUDS AND FOG WILL LINGER TODAY, while interior valley clouds give way to afternoon sunshine. Daytime highs across the interior will continue to run well above normal, but nighttime lows and coastal temperatures will remain mostly seasonal. Rain will spread across much of the area on Monday. Temperatures are expected to return to near normal by early next week. (NWS)
Monthly figures for the 2021-22 rain season (Oct-Oct) thus far:
Boonville (12.66" total)
Yorkville (16.8" total)
17 NEW COVID CASES reported in Mendocino County yesterday afternoon.
COVID MONTHLY CASES/DEATHS (Mendocino County)
229 / 9 (Jul)
392 / 8 (Aug)
260 / 2 (Sep)
210 / 2 (Oct)
420 / 2 (Nov)
964 / 4 (Dec)
876 / 11 (Jan)
382 / 5 (Feb)
131 / 3 (Mar)
82 / 2 (Apr)
194 / 1 (May)
164 / 1 (Jun)
323 / 2 (Jul)
1365 / 12 (Aug)
1107 / 20 (Sep)
519 / 5 (Oct)
518 / 10 (Nov)
SUPERVISOR WILLIAMS WRITES:
Notice regarding Faulkner Park: PG&E’s Vegetation Department, overseeing our annual routine maintenance program will be conducting a walk through of Faulkner Park scheduled for Friday 12/3/2021 at 10AM with “Friends of Faulkner Park” to review PG&E's identified routine vegetation management. Per PG&E, "the routine scope is not as aggressive as Enhanced Vegetation Management Program, tree are listed for compliance, and any apparent hazard will be mitigated."
Marriann Cecilia Smalley Kinion passed peacefully at home on Nov. 13, 2021. She is now reunited with her husband Carl Gay Kinion. Marriann was born in Dixon CA. on July 6, 1938 to Ben C. Smalley and Roselyn C. Clyma. She was preceded in death by siblings Clifford, Ben Eugene, Donald, Kenneth and Blanche. She is survived by siblings Ted, Darlene, Frank and Shelly.
Carl and Marriann have 3 daughters, Gay, Joy and Merry; 8 grandchildren & 11 greats. Gay and Chuck have 2 children, Danyelle and Joshua. Danyelle & Trevor have Maya, Amelya, Naomi, Heidi and Zyauna. Josh & Ashley have Kaleigh and Paityn. Joy has 2 sons, Jaden and Jacoby. Jacoby & Chelsea have Carter & Reed. Merry and Derek have 4 boys, Jacob, Jackson, Jake and David. Jacob & Valisa have Paisley. Jackson & Shelby have Brycelyn.
Marriann also has honorary children & grandchildren: DeWayne & Dustin Burgess and their families: Kendra, Kyle, Kristin, Macy, Kaysha, Braden, Ashton and Cody. And Jennifer Schlafer, Jeff, Matt, Trevor and Mady.
Carl & Marriann were long-time residents of Anderson Valley. Both were employed by Clear Water Ranch Children’s Home from the time of their marriage, 1956, until its closure. Family and community were the focus of their lives.
Graveside service will be at Evergreen Cemetary Dec.email@example.com. Memorial gathering at Veterans Hall 2-4p.m.
BOONVILLE BARN COLLECTIVE HOLIDAY GIFTS
From chile powders to dry goods to shirts and hats, we’re here to be your one stop shop for friends and family this year. Our 2021 harvest of Piment d'Ville is ready to go and we’re stocked with chile powders, chile salts, dry beans, and popcorn that were all grown using organic growing methods on our farm here in Boonville. We’ve put together new bundles and gift sets on our website that are ready to ship out or be picked up from our barn office on AV Way.
Subscriptions are open until December 5th for our second year of the Boon Box - our 3x a year delivery of curated goods from our farm at a 10% discount! The Boon Box is the best way to enjoy everything we produce here in Boonville from chile powders to dry beans, including trial runs on spices we haven't shared before and small harvests of beans that we don't sell on our website or in stores!
Each box is filled with an average of $50 worth of products from the farm. We also write a zine for each box and include new and favorite recipes so you know how to use each item you receive.
We’re standing by to handwrite notes for your gift recipients and get these packages out the door! $5 from each sale of a t-shirt, hat, or tote bag is donated to the Anderson Valley Volunteer Fire Department. If you’d like to pick up your order from the farm, use code ‘ILIVEHERE’ at checkout and you will not be charged shipping. Krissy will coordinate pickup with you via email. Questions? Send a message to firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks so much for supporting us this year!
REDISCOVERING THE KELLEYS – A New Exhibit About An Old Family
The Kelleys were in the town of Mendocino at its founding in 1852. And over these last many years, we thought we had come to know a lot about them.
However, new research has shed more light on the interesting lives of this pioneer family. Using internet search capabilities not available to earlier scholars, coupled with fresh materials recently brought to the Kelley House Museum from family descendants, volunteer Carol Dominy and curator Karen McGrath have assembled information that expands our understanding.
To share these stories, the Museum has redone an entire corner of its Escola Exhibit Room to showcase the family. The new permanent exhibit is anchored by a vintage secretary-desk donated by Eileen Robblee and will feature Kelley photos as well as display personal items and other interesting objects.
Exhibits and program manager Eva Laflamme has brought out from the archives some fine fashions worn by the San Francisco branch of the clan, as well as one of Daisy MacCallum’s Christian Dior hats.
On the large exhibit screen, visitors can enjoy a new slide show of historic family portraits and stories put together by volunteer Kimmie Shuck.
A one-of-a-kind scrapbook, designed and crafted by local artists Leona Walden and Ed O’Brien, invites people to page though the lives of the Kelleys using postcards, clippings, snap shots, and other memorabilia.
Topping it off, Leona’s three-foot wide, hand-embellished family tree (framed by Prentice Galleries) presents all these family players and helps us understand their relationships to each other.
“With this new material and research, the members of the original Kelley family become even more recognizable to us today,” says Museum curator Karen McGrath.
“They were a close group, who loved to travel together all over the world. But Mendocino was home base, the place they returned to visit frequently, even those that lived in San Francisco.”
The new exhibit is a permanent addition to the other educational displays found throughout the two-story, 160-year-old Victorian-era house museum. Special fashion items, such as the Parisian gown worn by cousin Jennie Blair at the Court of Saint James’, will be on view until the end of January.
More information at:
Museum Hours: Thursdays-Sundays 11am-3pm. Research Office: Friday-Sunday, 11am-3pm or by appointment: email@example.com.
VELMA'S FARM STAND AT FILIGREEN FARM
Open Friday 2-5pm and Saturday 11am-3pm (Dec 10-11 will be our last weekend open for the season!)
We are winding down the season but still have some fall goodies to share with you. We are offering a seasonal holiday gift bag filled with the following items from the farm (and pictured below): everlasting bouquet, 500mL olive oil, dried peaches, prunes, raisins, and quince apple butter. The cost of the gift bag is $85. Please email Annie at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information. Order by December 8th and pick up December 10th or 11th from the farm stand during open hours. Holiday wreaths are also available for purchase.
At the farm stand this week: apples, pears, quince, winter squash, potatoes, onions, chard, kale, chicories, celery, parsely, broccolini, cabbage, baby beets, and more. We will also have dried flower bouquets and wreaths, olive oil, and dried fruit for sale as well. All items are certified biodynamic and delicious! Follow us on Instagram for updates @filigreenfarm or email Annie at email@example.com with any questions. We accept cash, credit card, check, and EBT/SNAP (Market Match available too!)
SKUNK REPLIES: On Wednesday afternoon a person claiming to be part of a “Mendocino Crisis Response Team” arrived at Mendocino Railway’s station and parking lot claiming to have been informed of an oil spill. This person did not follow the normal practice of introducing themselves and instead wandered around the railroad yard and parking lot, finally taking a photo of locomotive oil drips between the rails on track six in the railroad yard. The visit was very unusual since this is something routinely managed on any railroad and part of our approved Hazardous Materials Business Plan. Shortly thereafter, there was an overreaction by the City Manager Tabatha Miller who shared a social media announcement of an “oil spill along Pudding Creek”. Pudding Creek is 2,840’ from where the one-man “Crisis Response Team” discovered oil drippings on railroad tracks. It would be more locationally accurate to say the railroad yard oil drippings were at City Hall that is three times closer than the inaccurately reported Pudding Creek.
EX-ROHNERT PARK POLICE SERGEANT WHO LED CITY’S DRUG INTERDICTION TEAM PLEADS GUILTY TO EXTORTION
by Emily Wilder
The former Rohnert Park police sergeant who federal prosecutors say was at the center of a yearslong conspiracy to extort cash and drugs from motorists at traffic stops in Sonoma and Mendocino counties has pleaded guilty to three charges that could land him in prison for years.
Brendan “Jacy” Tatum, who led the Rohnert Park Department of Public Safety’s drug interdiction team for several years between 2014 and his resignation in 2018, pleaded guilty in a San Francisco courtroom Wednesday to extortion in his role as a peace officer, as well as falsifying police reports and tax evasion.
The hearing before Judge Maxine Chesney lasted just 30 minutes, according to court records.
“What compelled him to plead guilty is that he is guilty,” Stuart Hanlon, Tatum’s lawyer, said in an interview with The Press Democrat Thursday. “He didn’t want to go through a trial. He wanted to get this over with and face the consequences of this really bad part of his life.”
A federal grand jury indicted Tatum and his former partner, ex-Rohnert Park Officer Joseph Huffaker, in September for their involvement in alleged illegal drug and cash seizures targeting motorists far beyond Rohnert Park city limits.
Federal prosecutors said that in 2016 and 2017, the two officers and others shook down drivers on Highway 101 for their cash, pot and property, and at times pretended to be agents with the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. They would then allow motorists to go if they did not contest the seizures, and did not report the contraband to their department.
According to the complaint against them filed in court in March, the two Rohnert Park officers allegedly conspired to extort a total of at least $3,700 in cash and 60 pounds of marijuana with a value of at least $85,000.
The department reported taking in more than $2.4 million between 2015 and 2017 through asset forfeitures, more than any other local law enforcement agency.
In 2015, the same year Tatum was promoted to sergeant, he was awarded “Officer of the Year” for his work on drug interdiction cases. Then-Rohnert Park Councilman Amy Ahanotu, who was mayor at the time, complimented Tatum for his passion for combating illegal drug activity during a March 2015 council meeting.
Following the conspiracy allegations first reported in 2018 by North Coast journalist Kym Kemp and KQED and broadened in an investigation by The Press Democrat, the Rohnert Park agency was thrown into tumult. Tatum resigned amid an internal investigation and then-Public Safety Director Brian Masterson abruptly retired. Huffaker was paid $75,000 to resign in 2019 after an internal investigation found he had engaged in misconduct. He has pleaded not guilty to the federal charges.
In early 2020, Rohnert Park paid $1.5 million to settle federal civil rights lawsuits from eight drivers who said Tatum and Huffaker, among other unnamed officers, robbed them of money and marijuana after they were pulled over on Highway 101 near the Mendocino County line.
The city ended its drug interdiction program targeting motorists in early 2017, according to city officials, though records reviewed by The Press Democrat for its investigation showed nearly $800,000 in asset seizures reported by the city that year, more than every other Sonoma County agency, including the California Highway Patrol, combined.
Masterson before he retired refused to answer questions from The Press Democrat about the allegations surrounding Tatum and Rohnert Park’s drug interdiction program.
Rohnert Park Mayor Gerard Giudice said he was pleased Tatum accepted responsibility for his crimes.
“It’s great that he pleaded guilty and that he is willing to pay the price of incarceration,” he said, “and that he understands that.”
Giudice said the former officers and their misdeeds are in the city’s rear-view mirror. The public safety department is now led by Tim Mattos, who was appointed in 2018 and has instituted new accountability and transparency standards to restore public trust and prevent future rogue actors on the police force, Giudice said.
“If you take a look at our program for accountability in law enforcement, you go right on down the list, whether it’s the audit or the … diversity equity and inclusion training, our SAFE team not sending cops with guns to crisis calls,” he said. “I think the city has really made an outstanding effort.”
Tatum’s sentencing hearing is scheduled for March 9. He initially faced a maximum sentence of 65 years in prison. Hanlon says his client’s prison time will likely be shorter.
“I don’t think he is looking at what we call double-digit years in prison. He could get five, six, seven years. He could also get less than that,” Hanlon said.
Tatum in interviews with The Press Democrat in 2018 rejected allegations from motorists that he had extorted money and drugs or otherwise illegally profited from his police work.
“That is their opinion, but I disagree with their opinion,” Tatum said at the time. “I served and protected my community and made a positive impact and changed people’s lives for the positive, the best I could.”
But Hanlon emphasized Thursday that Tatum was now willing and ready to own up to his crimes and the shadow they cast on his 15-year career as a Rohnert Park officer.
“I know Jacy is devastated and humiliated by what has occurred. He wants to make no excuses for what he did,” Hanlon said.
Tatum also will face fines for the more than $400,000 in income he did not report on his taxes and will be required to forfeit any money he gained from the marijuana he illegally seized and sold. The court will determine whether victims will be paid restitution and how much that restitution will be.
(Santa Rosa Press Democrat)
UNDERGROUNDING FORT BRAGG
The City Council of the City of Fort Bragg will conduct a public hearing at a regular meeting to be held at 6:00 p.m., or as soon thereafter as the matter may be heard, on Monday, December 13, 2021. Due to state and county health orders and to minimize the spread of COVID-19, City Councilmembers and staff will be participating in the public hearing by video conference. A link to the meeting will be listed on the first page of the agenda.
The City Council will solicit citizen input regarding the following:
Receive Report, Conduct Public Hearing, and Consider Adoption of City Council Resolution Approving an Underground District for properties located on Chestnut Street between South Main Street and Ebbing Way to remove poles, overhead wires, and associated overhead structures and replace with underground wires and facilities for supplying electric, communication, and other similar associated services.
The hearing will be opened for public participation. All interested persons are invited to appear at that time to present their comments. The public comment period runs from the date this notice is published and mailed until the date of the hearing to allow sufficient time for submission of comments by mail. Written communications must be directed to the City Clerk, 416 N. Franklin Street, Fort Bragg, CA 95437, or emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org, and received no later than the meeting date.
The Agenda Item Summary and supporting documents that will be considered by the Councilmembers will be available for review at Fort Bragg City Hall and on the City’s website: https://city.fortbragg.com/ on or after December 8, 2021. At the conclusion of the public hearing, the City Council will consider a decision on the matter.
PAYING FOR THE DIVERTED EEL
Scott Dam and Lake Pillsbury, Cape Horn Dam and Van Arsdale Reservoir are past their expiration dates and are major financial and safety liabilities. Over a century old, they are no longer reliable structures, and future water storage and transfers to the Russian River are becoming geometrically more expensive.
Scott Dam suffers from high risks of failure due to seismic vulnerabilities, landslide movement and potential clogging of discharge structures, all of which would be extremely expensive to repair and replace. Due to its height and fluctuating reservoir levels, there is no practicable fish ladder possible, leaving salmon and steelhead deprived of access to their ancient headwaters habitats.
Cape Horn Dam’s fish ladder is outdated, frequently shut down and damaging to threatened fish.
None of the beneficiaries of water on the Russian River side, nor PG&E, have stepped up to pay the hundreds of millions of dollars to improve the Potter Valley Project or to assume the risks of ownership.
Getting PG&E out of the picture, having them pay for decommissioning and dam removals and finding Russian River interests willing to pay for upgrading and managing wintertime water transfers that protect Eel River fisheries and stakeholders are the next steps. Let’s get this done.
Bay Area director, Friends of the Eel River
I'm Not Sorry
I have told this story before so please forgive me for repeating.
Years ago, my late husband and I owned Cultured Affair Cafe in Mendocino. We always had bumper stickers on the fridge that customers could see. One of the bumper stickers supported gay marriage.
One day a party of six came in, saw the bumper sticker, and very loudly said, “We're not eating anywhere that supports gay marriage.” As they walked out, my husband Arthur wondered if they might go next door to The Moose Cafe. They did in fact go there. As many of you know, the restaurant at the time was owned by our friends who are a lesbian couple.
So to the person who will never eat at Meridith's restaurant again, good riddance and good luck. Their experiences on this earth will be limited if they refuse to allow differing opinions. Our community proudly waves their political opinions and know that they will be supported locally.
Laura A. Evans
Re: Redbeard article by Marilyn Davin
Contrary to the opinion of the letter writer critical of your decision to feature Redbeard on the front page of the November 17 edition, I thought the story written by Marilyn Davin was very even-handed.
Mister Beard appears to be a very charming and resourceful fellow, and he makes those of us still living outside of the asylum seem a little less maladjusted. Good job!
The Fort Bragg Police Dispatch center has received multiple calls from concerned citizens this morning of a Scam Caller. The caller advised they are representing the Fort Bragg Police Department and asking for Christmas donations in the form of gift cards. This is a SCAM. Please do not give the caller any of your information and hang up immediately. Dispatch can be reached at 707-964-0200 for any other questions or concerns.
MAGICAL MENDO HOLIDAYS IN!
Explore the magic of Mendocino during the holidays! This year, the Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens celebrates the 11th annual Festival of Lights with some incredible light displays. Open every Friday through Sunday now through December 19th, it's a lovely setting for holiday fun!
Candlelit Shopping in Mendocino Village
Experience the charm of Mendocino Village during the 7th annual Candlelit Shopping Night on December 11th. With festivities beginning at 4 pm, shops and galleries will stay open until 7 pm or later, and many shops will offer special promotions and treats! Follow the flickering mason jar candles that dot the sidewalks in front of participating businesses!
Ukiah on Ice
Once again, the City of Ukiah and the Greater Ukiah Business and Tourism Alliance partner to bring Ukiah on Ice to historic downtown Ukiah. This Holiday Ice Skating Rink is open daily beginning December 4th through January 9th, 2022. Call ahead for reservations, including private parties.
Holiday Arts & Crafts Fairs
Several communities around Mendocino County are holding art and crafts fairs - from the Coast Highway Art Collective in Point Arena to the Willits Holiday Craft Fair and many other locales in between! Check out our calendar of events for all of the Holiday Arts and Craft Fairs and Festivals.
Lights Lights and More Lights
Mendocino County hosts several lighted parades. In Fort Bragg, check out the Lighted Truck Parade on Main Street and the Noyo Harbor Lighted Boat Parade. Ukiah boasts the Parade of Lights and a host of tree lighting ceremonies are slated around the County!
All Aboard the Magical Christmas Train
Enjoy holiday music, a Christmastime reading and a visit from Santa on your sojourn aboard the historic Skunk Train's Magical Christmas Train, where dreams do come true and every little one receives a goodie bag to take home!
750,000 POUND CLOUD OF TENSION
We have just completed the conservation and reconstruction of a Sculpture dear to the hearts in Kansas City, named Triple Crown.
The work was created by Kenneth Snelson and ultimately was his largest sculpture and the largest example of the lightest weight to strength ratio structure known as Tensegrity which Snelson is credited with inventing.
I want to thank my wonderful Willits team for ensuring this work will stand proud into the future.
PS. It is 90' x 70' x 50' in dimension, made of Stainless steel and floats in a cloud of tension, a number so large it's hard to digest (730,000 lbs.) while only weighing 7500 lbs.
THE BUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT is seeking public comment on a plan to expedite fuels reduction treatments and fire protection efforts near high fire-risk areas on public lands in California and northwest Nevada. The statewide Wildland-Urban Interface (WUI) fuels treatments programmatic Environmental Assessment (SWFT pEA) aims to complete projects on approximately 900,000 acres of public land over the next ten years.
“Wildfires have had catastrophic effects on communities and surrounding public land resources,” said BLM California State Director Karen Mouritsen. “This initiative is designed to reduce the intensity, severity, and spread of wildfire in and around communities, supporting community infrastructure and surrounding lands by reducing hazardous fuels.”
Large-scale wildfires are increasing exponentially throughout the western states with California experiencing more than 8,000 wildfires in 2021, burning nearly 2.5 million acres, according to the National Interagency Fire Center. For fiscal year 2021, the BLM in California funded 55 fuels projects and 62 community assistance activities. The BLM treated nearly 26,000 acres across the state to reduce hazardous fuels, modify wildfire behavior, create fire resilient landscapes, and protect communities and critical infrastructure.
The BLM will work with local governments, Native American Tribes, and other partners to develop the plan. Public comments that will assist in the development of the environmental analysis, include locations of priority emergency access routes, utility corridors and infrastructure protection and local economic values at risk.
Public comments will be accepted through December 29, 2021 and may be submitted via the project website: https://eplanning.blm.gov/eplanning-ui/project/2016583/510 or by email: email@example.com. For additional project information, contact the BLM at the email address above.
TWEAKER CRIME, a resident of Road 409 (Caspar) reports: "Mail theft - Rd 409 - BEWARE!
Starting 11/5, someone started stealing our outgoing mail. They used what they stole (payments by check for credit cards and monthly bills, etc.)
Due to a fractured femur, I have been running my business from home & mailing business checks to pay bills for my business. We discovered yesterday that the thief or thieves stole and altered business and personal checks and negotiated them.
One of the checks that was altered was for over $30k for my business’s new forklift. It cleared our account for the full & correct amount. Sadly, the check was altered & the funds went to the thief, not the forklift company. I have spent 2 full days being sickened by the amount of money that has been diverted. Trying to cancel credit cards, opening new accounts & calling the original payees to tell them we are sending them the funds to cover the stolen payments.
The thefts occurred on several days between 11/5 (started) and apparently continued through 11/19 and maybe even later."
FOGGY WINTER VIBES at Point Cabrillo
It's starting to feel like December on the coast. Reminder that we officially kick things off in Fort Bragg with our annual tree lighting and Lighted Truck Parade downtown this Saturday, starting at 6pm. And because it's the season of giving, shop the Fort Bragg Holiday Gift Guide to support our local merchants #ILoveFortBragg
ATTN FOG EATERS, Road Closure (Point Arena)
From Granite Construction:
The second phase of the Mill Street Improvement Project is set to begin Wednesday December 8th and will include installing a new storm drain system down the middle of the street.
This will impact our ability to maintain through traffic and we will need to close the road from 7:00am-3:30pm Monday-Friday for approximately 2 weeks.
Some traffic will be allowable on an emergency basis, but we would like to urge residents to make arrangements not to drive on the street during this time.
During construction working hours, it will be necessary to close parking areas in the work area; but sidewalks will remain open at all times for access to businesses and residences.
A Granite Construction Foreman will be on site during work hours; so if you have any problems contact Ben Gayski 831-750-0461. If he cannot be reached, please call the Project Engineer, Robert Garbocci (707) 513-7651, to report any problems associated with street construction.
These improvements may cause some temporary inconvenience because of the nature of work. We appreciate your patience during this period and will attempt to minimize the inconvenience.
SCHOOL BOARD VACANCY, Boonville. Kristin San Miguel is stepping down after the December meeting with 11 months remaining on the elected term. Interested persons can call 895-3774 for an application.
IN NO PARTICULAR ORDER, an impertinent Boonville person asks, “When are you going to do something with your eyesore property where your trailer office was? What happened to the trailer anyway? You complain about the Ricard slum at the other end of Boonville, how about you?”
THE TRAILER CROOKS, er, lessors, suddenly began charging me $70 a month more for invisible “services,” so I told them to come and get it. Now they want a shifting amount for hauling and alleged damages. That's under negotiation. At the moment we're crammed into house number one, the same house you've previously sneered at as a “manufactured home, hah hah.”
THE MASTER PLAN for this place includes a paint job on the two manufactured dwellings which, btw, are quite spacious and comfortable, easily accommodating both the incredible shrinking ava and live-in space for its two-man staff.
OUT FRONT, I'll probably revert to my long time Mendo building strategy, i.e., bypass the county's Department of Obfuscation, aka Planning and Building, get myself red tagged, get my property tax bumped upwards. It's simpler to avoid P&B, believe me. A friend of mine down the street took 4 (count 'em) years negotiating with Planning and Building to build a simple small home for himself and his wife, a structure of modest beauty complete with a rose garden.
Going the red tag route is much less stressful than dealing with P&B. My property taxes, as yours, are already too high but its easier to get them raised than to spend a year of sleepless nights plotting how to murder the Planning and Building bastards without getting caught. (Re property taxes; it galls me to be funding… Well, if you think the Supervisors should make $84 grand a year, ask the Assessor to double your property tax.)
I'M TEMPTED to erect a tower out front, building it higher and higher until the County pops in to ask, “What's this, Mr. Anderson?” Vertical storage, I'll say. I heard storage buildings don't need permits…
SCHOOL SHOOTINGS having become so frequent they're just one more sign of an imploding society, along with the exciting smash and grab shopping sprees we see breaking out across the land, but a high school with 1800 hormone cases in one place is a bad idea, especially a factory school with weapon detectors at the door and armed police in the halls. One might think this edu-model would be re-thought but, like all our institutions, the factory schools can't be reformed because the people running and staffing them are cool with the way they are. Entropy, is the word we want here, perfect pitch of.
FORTUNATELY in Mendo, unfortunately for the young people confined to it, windowless, re-circulated air, high security Ukiah High School is the only factory school in the county. Compare it, and most schools, with the graceful, humane school architecture prior to World War Two to today's medium-security school architecture, and… Well, form follows function, as they say.
HEADLINE from the SF Chron: “Wall Street executives beg JPMorgan to CANCEL in-person conference in San Francisco due to out-of-control crime.”
Glad they've cancelled. Suffering SF doesn't need more crooks.
MENDOCINO COUNTY BEHAVIORAL HEALTH ADVISORY BOARD (BHAB) MEETING - WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 15, 2021
The BHAB regular monthly meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, December 15, 2021, by video conferencing via Zoom from 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM; any interested community members are welcome to join by going to https://mendocinocounty.zoom.us/j/98557737710 or calling: 1(669) 900-9128 or 1(346) 248-7799, with webinar ID: 985 5773 7710.
This meeting is intended for members of the public who are interested in supporting their local behavioral health services. Community members are encouraged to attend the meeting to ask questions, obtain information, and to provide feedback.
BHAB meeting agendas are published at: https://www.mendocinocounty.org/BHAB
For more information about BHAB meetings, please contact Behavioral Health & Recovery Services Administration at (707) 472-2355 or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
CATCH OF THE DAY, December 2, 2021
JASON BIENVENU, Covelo. Unlawful possession of tear gas weapon by ex-felon.
KATHERINE FOSTER, Albion. DUI.
DAKOTA GIMPLE, Willits. Disorderly conduct-alcohol.
JESSE HENDERSON, Ukiah. DUI, prior DUI within ten years, suspended license for DUI, no license, probation revocation.
RICHARD JOHNSON, Ukiah. DUI w/priors.
MARIA LITZIN, Covelo. Concealed dirk-dagger, possession of deadly weapon by person confied, conveyed or in custody, probation revocation.
MICHAEL LOCKETT SR, Ukiah. County parole violation.
JORGE MARTINEZ, Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-alcohol.
TIMOTHY MCCOSKER, Ukiah. Grand theft, controlled substance.
MICHAEL MONAHAN JR., Covelo. Parole violation.
JUAN VALDESPINO-CRUZ, Elk. Failure to appear, probation revocation.
DREVEN VALENCIA, Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-alcohol.
DANIEL ZALDIVAR-MORENO, Fort Bragg. Domestic battery, criminal threats.
(THIS POEM, FROM THE PARIS REVIEW, IS RATHER TO THE POINT):
When they start to wear your clothes
do their dreams become more like yours
who do they look like
when they start to use your language
do they say what you say
who are they in your words
when they start to use your money
do they need the same things you need
or do the things change
when they are converted to your gods
do you know who they are praying to
do you know who is praying
for you not to be there
— W. S. Merwin
WE HAVE REACHED the decidedly bizarre point in health care in which pharmaceutical companies are producing drugs that do exactly what they are designed to do, but without necessarily doing any good. A case in point is the drug Atenolol, a beta-blocker designed to lower blood pressure, which has been widely prescribed since 1976. A study in 2004, involving a total of 24,000 patients, found that Atenolol did indeed reduce blood pressure but did not reduce heart attacks or fatalities compared with giving no treatment at all. People on Atenolol expired at the same rate as everyone else, but as one observer put it, “they just had better blood pressure numbers when they died.”
— Bill Bryson, 2019; from ‘The Body’
NEWS OF NATIVE AMERICANS
A Review of Deborah Miranda’s Book, Bad Indians
by Jonah Raskin
American Indians are rebounding in California and all across the U.S.A., and they're popularizing words like “indigeneity,” which is defined as originating in a specific place. White folks are also rebounding. Hasting Law School is planning to drop the name “Hastings,” its founder, from the institution because old Serranus initiated the massacre of Indians in Round Valley more than one hundred years ago. (Just in case you’re interested, the AVA was founded by an Indian in 1955. After he sold the paper he became a roving printer.)
If you want to know what some Indians are thinking and how they're feeling today read Deborah Miranda, who is big on indigeneity. She believes in origins, lineage and genealogy the way some Americans believe in God and country. “If you know where you’re from, you know who you are,” she writes in Bad Indians: A Tribal Memoir, (Heyday; $20) the November/December selection in the San Francisco Reads Program at the Public Library. The book has been in print since 2013, but it’s just now finding loyal readers and an appreciative audience.
Some books take longer than others to catch on. This is one of them. Indians never go away, nor does their history and their on-going efforts for recognition, land and justice, though the protests at Standing Rock in 2016 and 2017 renewed interest in the people that JFK called “the oldest Americans.”
Miranda’s adage about roots and origins, applies not only to herself and her tribe, but to citizens whose ancestors came to the U.S. as immigrants, slaves and indentured servants. At the back of Bad Indians, Miranda lays out a three-page family tree that begins in 1773, goes all the way through the nineteenth-century, and ends with her own birth in Los Angeles in 1961, as the daughter of Madgel Eleanor Yeoman and Alfred Edward Miranda.
“Colonizer and Indian,” she writes of her parents. “European and Indigenous; nominal Christian and lapsed Catholic; once-good girl and twice-bad boy. Heaven on earth, and hell, too.” Miranda’s lineage is especially remarkable given the traumatic upheavals and tragic dislocations that have afflicted American Indians ever since the arrival of the Spanish in the sixteenth century and the English beginning in the seventeenth-century.
An enrolled member of the Ohlone-Costanoan-Esselen, who were the original inhabitants of the greater San Francisco Bay Area—and once on the verge of extinction—Miranda is the Thomas H. Broadus Professor of English at Washington and Lee University where she teaches creative writing and as “many books by Bad Indians as possible,” she explains with a characteristic sense of irony bordering on deep-seated sarcasm.
At recent events held at the SF library someone from the staff has reminded the audience, "We are on unceded Ohlone land." That's useful information.
The title of Miranda's book comes from an August 3, 1909 news story in the Los Angeles Times which is reproduced in full on page 96. The headline reads, “Bad Indian Goes on Rampage at Santa Ynez.” There are no “bad Indians” in Bad Indians, though there are Indians who do great harm to themselves and to other Indians, including Miranda’s father who served time in San Quentin. “We carry the violence we were given,” the author writes. For more than 200 sobering pages, she describes the violence that has been visited on California Indians from the colonial era to the present day.
Her book, which is a kind of collage or mosaic made up of stories, photos, letters, newspaper clippings and more, belongs to the second Renaissance of American Indian writing that began in 1984 with the publication of Louise Erdrich’s Love Medicine and that’s still going strong. The first Renaissance began with N. Scott Momaday’s novel House Made of Dawn that was published in 1968, a year before the start of the occupation of Alcatraz and that won the Pulitzer Prize. For a long time, Momaday’s book was the only one by an Indian to receive a Pulitzer. It was long overdue. Then, in 2021 two Indian authors, Erdrich and Natalie Diaz, were awarded the prize.
Miranda isn’t hateful or vindictive about the violence that has been visited on Indians. “I’m not a Political Correction Officer,” she says in the Introduction and lives up to her word. Still, she doesn’t let Europeans, white settlers, soldiers and emissaries of the Catholic Church off the hook, including the early Spanish priests who operated the missions as though they were factories meant to “civilize” the “savages”and eliminate their whole way of life.
In “Genealogy of Violence, Part I,” the author outlines the history and the institutions of colonialism and the long-term impacts on the indigenous inhabitants, including suicide rates, incarceration, alcoholism, poverty and clinical depression. In “Genealogy of Violence, Part II,” Miranda describes the “chasm” between her father, “Big Al,” and her brother, “Little Al,” who was beaten mercilessly with a belt buckle. “Flogging. Whipping. Belt,” she writes. “Whatever you want to call it, this beating, this punishment, is as much a part of our inheritance, our legacy, our culture as any bowl of acorn mush, any wild salmon.”
Miranda does not demonize her father, though some readers might think of him as evil incarnate. When she was still a young woman, Big Al confessed to his daughter, “I was in prison for rape.” Years later, her sister Louise told her the full story: “you know what that bastard did? he waited out in the parking lot…He attacked her [a waitress he wanted]…and he beat her…Then he raped her. And just left her.”
Bad Indians isn’t only about the genealogy of violence. It can often be playful and entertaining, especially in the longish story, “Coyote Takes a Trip,” in which Miranda reinvents the adventures of the legendary trickster and locates him in contemporary U.S.A.
This book might touch Indians more than any other group of Americans, but it is not just or only for Indians. Indeed, it is for anyone and everyone who likes to listen to and tell stories and who believes in the liberating power of story. “Culture is lost when we neglect to tell our stories,” Miranda writes. “Story is the most powerful force in the world.”Bad Indians invites readers to tell their own stories of oppression and liberation, suffering and resistance.
(Jonah Raskin is the author of Beat Blues, San Francisco, 1955, a novel.)
PATENT MONOPOLIES & HIGH DRUG PRICES: Not necessary for new drugs.
by Dean Baker
The New York Times had an interesting piece about how a medical researcher may have found a cure for Type 1 diabetes after three decades of research following his son being diagnosed with the illness. While the drug he developed may potentially be a great breakthrough, the piece included this discouraging comment:
“The company [Vertex, which bought up the rights to the drug] will not announce a price for its diabetes treatment until it is approved. But it is likely to be expensive. Like other companies, Vertex has enraged patients with high prices for drugs that are difficult and expensive to make.”
There are two important points here. First, the high prices are not the result of drugs being “difficult and expensive to make.” It is unlikely that the drug referred to in the linked piece, Orkambi, a treatment for cystic fibrosis, costs Vertex even one-tenth the $270,000 sale price. The price is due to the fact that the drug is ostensibly a cure for a debilitating disease, and Vertex owns a government-granted patent monopoly on it, and then is allowed to charge what it wants.
The other point is that we don’t need to grant patent monopolies as a way to pay for expensive clinical trials, as this piece implies. The government can pay for the trials directly, as it just did in the case of Moderna’s Covid vaccine. (I describe a mechanism for doing this in chapter 5 of Rigged [it’s free].) High drug prices are a policy choice, not an inevitable outcome of the drug development process.
(This article first appeared on Dean Baker’s Beat the Press blog. Dean Baker is the senior economist at the Center for Economic and Policy Research in Washington, DC.)
DMITRY MURATOV: winner of 2021 Nobel Peace Prize on who should have gotten it, the role of fear in Russian life and why media freedom matters (Time Magazine Questionnaire)…
Q: What changed in your life after the Nobel?
DM: It feels like getting a magic wand that you don't quite know how to use. In the first few days after the Nobel committee made the announcement, we got bundles of letters asking for asking us for help. Help for people with disabilities. Help for people unjustly imprisoned. In our country, many people have started to see us as a place to turn.
Q: What is the mood now among independent journalists in Russia?
DM: We see that a war is being waged against us. And as long as we are at war, competition gives way to solidarity. That doesn't mean we have stopped chasing scoops. But we don't see each other as competitors anymore. We have banded together.
Q: Keeping your newspaper alive has often forced you to negotiate with the state. How will the Nobel change those negotiations?
DM: My take on that question is pessimistic. My country likes to show that it couldn't care less about the world’s judgments. The state's position is, “We've got oil and gas. We've got rockets -- so here's the deal. We live the way we want and you mind your business. Or else we will hit back.” Given that lack of respect for the world's institutions, why would they respect an institution like the Nobel Prize? I don't see why. If anything, I see how it could become a liability for us.
Q: You have said that if it had been your choice, you would have given the prize to Alexei Navalny, the imprisoned leader of the opposition movement. Why?
DM: He has faced his imprisonment stoically and courageously. He has shown us all how to have a backbone, and have a sense of irony and humor, to be brave. These are qualities I hold in the highest regard.
Q: What are the prospects for the opposition movement now in Russia?
DM: Thirty years ago we were all enamored with democracy. Today it seems to me that many people are enamored with dictatorship. In that sense, the context has changed a great deal. In 1989, millions of people marched through Moscow to end the Communist party monopoly on power. What happened to all those people? The answer is clear. Fear has returned.
Q: You have said media freedom is the antidote to dictatorship. Is it also an antidote to fear?
DM: It's a very strange paradox. We call on people to be brave. Yet we publish truths that terrify them. We show them the machinery of the state, and we are obligated to show them how this machinery works. But the more honest and penetrating our investigations, the more people are afraid.
Q: Since you founded Novaya Gazeta, several of its reporters have been killed. How does your newsroom deal with that level of danger?
DM: After enough time on this job, some dangers fade like sirens in the background. It's like we're used to living with a certain level of radiation in the air. We push it to the side. It becomes a part of life.
Q: What do you see as the future of journalism?
DM: The Washington Post once had a source called Deep Throat. That era is gone. There are no more government insiders. They are too afraid of the state, the security services. Now we have journalists who know computer programming, who write code, who can extract what we need from the data. Huge collectives of journalists can do that work from anywhere. That is the future.
LEONARD IS THE BRIGHTEST COMET ALL YEAR
Less than a year ago, when Comet Leonard was first discovered, it was still an incredibly dim and obscure chunk of rock traveling out near the orbit of Jupiter. Now it's reached our neighborhood of the solar system on its journey toward the sun and it's being billed as the brightest comet of the year.
Here's how to see it: "The comet is in the early morning sky right at the moment, and that means getting up very early, probably around 5:00 a.m. or so and looking more or less to the northeast," Ed Krupp, an astronomer and the director of the Griffith Observatory in Los Angeles, tells NPR. For people in North America, the best time will probably be Monday morning — weather permitting — when the comet will be near Arcturus, low on the horizon. The star is in the constellation Boötes (the Herdsman). There's an easy way to find it: Follow the curve of the Big Dipper (in Ursa Major) out past the end of the handle. The next bright star you see will be Arcturus. A good memory aid is to remember that from the Dipper handle, you "arc to Arcturus." "The comet will just be about half the width of a clenched fist to the left" of Arcturus, Krupp says. "You might spot it with the unaided eye, but more likely, you're going to need binoculars [or] a telescope."...