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MORNING CLOUDS will give way to some sunshine today accompanied by a cool northwest breeze. Some sprinkles or a few spotty showers may drift down the Redwood Coast this evening. Friday morning will start off frosty across much of the interior, followed by a seasonably mild and sunny afternoon. Periods of heavier rain, gusty winds, and mountain snow will commence over the weekend and continue into next week. (NWS)
9 NEW COVID CASES reported in Mendocino County yesterday afternoon.
MUSHROOM EXTRAVAGANZA THIS SATURDAY AND UPDATES
Hello Yorkvillians and Yorkvillephiles,
This Saturday we will be having a mushroom extravaganza at the Yorkville Market. Along with preparing a selection of Mushroom focused foods for our Saturday meal, Lisa Bauer and Margot Rawlins will be displaying and identifying Mushrooms collected from the Galbreath Preserve here in the Yorkville Highlands. This will be open for the community and is a great opportunity to learn more about this amazing kingdom and see up close what is growing in our forests and beneath our feet. Our lunch will begin at 12:30ish as usual, and Lisa and Margot will be bringing their findings around 3:30pm.
This Sunday will be our last day open before the Winter Holidays. As many of you may know, the last 2 years have been incredibly challenging running a small business here in Yorkville, and it is with a heavy heart I have decided to close the Market for the foreseeable future. I am not sure what the New Year will bring, but as always I am hopeful that this change will allow for new opportunities both personally and for the community as a whole. I have truly enjoyed the last seven years and am so grateful for the many memories and friendships, meals and adventures we have shared together. Thank you for the enduring support that has made these last years possible.
I will be having a toast this Sunday at 4:00pm to celebrate the Market and thank all those who have helped create the many great moments we have had. All are welcome to join, and for those who cannot make it, know that I appreciate you.
Lisa at Yorkville Market <email@example.com>
GINA RAE BEAN was sentenced to County Jail time, probation and community service Wednesday for leaving the scene of an accident that killed skateboarder Calum Hunnicutt two years ago.
1,291,100 gallons hauled from Ukiah to Fort Bragg. 463,002 gallons hauled from Fort Bragg to Residential use (51% of the hauled water). 176 unique residential addresses have received hauled water. 448,500 gallons hauled from Fort Bragg for commercial use (49% of the hauled water). 47 unique commercial addresses have received hauled water.
AV VILLAGE MONTHLY IN-PERSON GATHERING: FESTIVE BONFIRE GATHERING
This Sunday December 12th, 4 to 5:30 PM, Senior Center, Outside rain or shine
Join friends (old and new) around a warm fire ring under the stars with holiday libations in-hand. Think about any worries, cares, glooms, negative thoughts, etc. from the past year you would like to let go of, as we will write them down and burn them together, as we make room for more joy in our lives. Refreshments provided by the AV Village board members.
Curious about the AV Village, becoming a member or volunteering with us? Come on down and meet us or contact us for more info! Membership is open to individuals who live in the Anderson Valley area and are 50 years of age or older and volunteers interested in supporting our elders must be COVID vaccinated. Please Note: Our gatherings are open to everyone, but COVID Vaccinations are now REQUIRED - please bring your vaccination card (one time) as proof. Masks optional outside but required inside the Senior Center - thank you in advance for your understanding.
Please RSVP with the coordinator — thank you!
Anica Williams, Cell: 707-684-9829, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
A COUPLE OF IDEAS FOR NEXT YEAR — Your Input Needed:
Would you be interested in:
* an in-person Tech Support event where volunteers would be available to help you with your smart phones and tablets at say the Senior Center.
* Coffee with the coordinator once a month at Mosswood’s on a weekday morning at 10 am.
* A Volunteer training (short — only about an hour) in-person on or Zoom — Volunteers must have the COVID vaccine.
* Gardening Circle: Have a gardening project (on the non-strenuous side) that you aren’t motivated to tackle? How about some help from friends? (The idea is people take turns hosting volunteer “work parties” in their gardens, i.e. small groups helping each other with gardening projects, providing a space for sharing knowledge and socializing. Many hands make light work and more fun!)
* A tour of our website for members and volunteers — learn how to put in a service request for volunteer help, look at our list of service providers, accept a volunteer opportunity, etc?
* Zoom jeopardy once a month with Mary O’Brien and Anica.
* Propane discounts for Village Members: interested in paying less for propane? What company do you currently have and are you willing to change companies if we are able to secure a discount with a certain company? I (Anica) am a member of the Greenwood Civic Club and we currently have an arrangement with Ferrellgas and we get a good discount (retail price per gallon plus a $1) — I saved .76 cents a gallon on our last fill up — not sure if they also want to give the Village the same deal but we can try other companies.
* Make a suggestion for a gathering, event, group, educational topic, tour, etc.
Let me know your thoughts — I can organize But I need to hear from you!
Anica Williams, Anderson Valley Village Coordinator, Cell: 707-684-9829, Email: email@example.com
by Mark Scaramella
SUPES POWERLESS TO SLOW PG&E’S COASTAL PARKS LOGGING PERMITS
All Mendo is left with is a lot of “hope.”
THIS CONSENT AGENDA ITEM for Tuesday’s meeting alarmed a lot of locals concerned about PG&E apparently proposing to log a bunch of trees in coastal state parks:
“Accept the informational report regarding the issuance of Emergency Coastal Development Permit EM_2021-0008 (PG&E) to remove 389 trees within California Department of Parks and Recreation jurisdiction. … The affected areas include: MacKerricher State Park (70 trees) Jug Handle State Natural Reserve (30 trees) Caspar Headlands State Beach (16 trees) Point Cabrillo Light Station State Historic Preserve (51 trees) Russian Gulch State Park (140 trees) Mendocino Headlands State Park (40 trees) Van Damme State Park (46 trees) Navarro River Redwoods State Park (3 trees) Manchester State Park (16 trees) Schooner Gulch State Beach (9 trees). All trees proposed for management [sic] under this permit are within the Coastal Zone as defined by the California Coastal Act and within Mendocino County’s Local Coastal Plan management area. This project is also within PG&E’s Multi-Region Operations and Maintenance Habitat Conservation Plan area (MRHCP).”
But there was no written “informational report.” Nor were there 389 “trees.” As emergency responders and cops like to say: “Not as reported.”
In addition, the work, whatever it may have involved, was done weeks ago, long before PG&E’s “emergency permit” appeared on the Board’s agenda and a couple of weeks after the permit expired. Only one of the 52 “trees” were described as being more than 11 inches in diameter at breast height; the rest of the 389 original “trees” were described as “brush.” Nor was there any mention of the tree species involved or their condition. If they were older coastal pines, they might indeed be spindly or in poor shape and a possible power line hazard.
Supervisor Haschak asked that the item be pulled from the Consent Calendar, then he asked: “The emergency permit was issued on September 24 and it was void 60 days after, so it was already complete. So after the expiration of the emergency permit the applicant is required to submit a coastal development permit application and work out the proper permit. With the work being authorized to do, the 379 trees or whatever and maybe cut 52 or whatever then has the applicant submitted a coastal development permit for the remaining cutting?”
Chief Planner Julia Acker-Krog: “What is required is filing a standard coastal development permit as a follow-up. Essentially it would authorize the activities that were conducted under the emergency permit but may also require additional mitigations or something like what happened as a result of that coastal development permit process. PG&E, the applicant, has not yet filed the required follow-up coastal development permit for this particular project. But I think that's largely because we have been in discussions with the California Coastal Commission and they've been in discussion with Pacific Gas & Electric about possibly doing a more programmatic approach to their vegetation management activities. So rather than looking at them on these individual management blocks and areas of work, looking at them, the vegetation management activities and providing a permit that essentially covers all of their lines within the coastal zone area of our county and perhaps for other coastal jurisdictions as well."
Haschak: “So it says ‘prior to the expiration of the emergency permit’ they are supposed to file that coastal development permit. They didn't do that. Is there a problem, or what?"
Acker-Krog: “This is not uncommon that we've seen In Mendocino County. What I can do is work with our code enforcement division and all we can do is send letters to Pacific Gas & Electric to request that they please file the required coastal development permit. I believe that these ones have been delayed in being filed because there is this more over-arching conversation about possibly programmatic coastal development permits to authorize this work, including work that has been authorized under emergency by the county. This is not the only emergency permit that has been issued to Pacific Gas & Electric for vegetation management activities. I believe the board has reviewed three other emergency permits under prior agendas since the beginning of the summer time.”
Haschak: “I hope that PG&E follows the rules like other people have to. When is the ad hoc committee [Supervisors Glenn McGourty and Ted Williams are on a PG&E tree-cutting practices ad hoc committee] coming back with some kind of recommendation on this subject? Because each day goes by that PG&E is doing these cuts it seems like with winter coming at some point that there is not the mitigations put in place or anything to help the environment, it's a free-for-all out there for them. So I hope that there is a report coming back soon with a recommendation.”
Supervisor McGourty: “I think we are still gathering information. It's really hard to figure out how to take this on because what we are finding is that PG&E has extraordinary powers to do what they are doing. They seem to be exempt under emergency status to flaunt the law that everybody else has to follow. So I am going to RCRC [Rural County Representatives of California] and having a conversation with Diane Dillon who is a supervisor from Napa County that has been deeply involved in this and see what's happening on the statewide level to address this. So hopefully soon.”
Supervisor Dan Gjerde: “We haven't seen this report. We've heard it certainly. [No they haven’t. PG&E was in the meeting and they didn’t “report” anything.] Are we required to vote to accept it? Some people might interpret it as voting to endorse this when that's not the case. Versus simply receiving and filing the other correspondence that has been received by the board.”
County Counsel Christian Curtis: “No action is required.”
Gjerde: “So we will not take action, it is received and filed and the public was aware of this permit issued back in September.”
* * *
The only thing we could find on the county’s website about the PG&E permit was this notice:
So we have no idea what Supervisor Gjerde meant by “the public was aware of this permit back in September.” Apparently the “emergency permit” was approved by the Coastal Commission and the County’s “coastal permit administrator” without public notice.
* * *
DURING HIS SUPERVISOR REPORT, Supervisor Haschack “reported”:
“Some of us attended the California State Association of Counties last week and our very own CEO Carmel Angelo received the President's Award for Excellence for county staff. She was the one person that was recognized out of the whole state, 58 counties, so that's a great honor for what CEO Angelo does for Mendocino County at the state levels and activities. Our very own Director of Transportation, Howard Dashiell was elected president of the California Employees Engineers Association which is an honor for him and certainly some of us participated in that ceremony and that was very good to see. … There was a broader discussion about updating the Brown Act and the Bagley-Keene Open Meetings Act and a discussion of hybrid approaches which are very popular and so there was also some talk in that forum about decorum, civility, and safety while prompting greater participation in meetings and people's right to free speech. I think we're all concerned about that. We are trying to find the path forward in this time of covid and pandemic and open up the process and make sure people have their free speech opportunities and keep the democratic process going.”
* * *
THE GRUELING WORK OF A MENDO SUPERVISOR (from Supervisor Mo Mulheren’s December 7 Supervisors Update Page):
Over the weekend my daughter and I did some basic holiday stuff we went to get a Christmas Tree from the Redwood Valley/Calpella Fire Department and visited the new Axe throwing business in Downtown Ukiah. I've posted some photos on my Mo4Mendo Facebook page just for fun.
My first day at the CSAC meeting was spent attending the Women's Leadership Business Meeting and Forum Workshop.
I thought it would be helpful to know which meetings I attended during the week that I was in Monterey for the CSAC Cconference. On Tuesday I attended the CSAC Policy Committee on Agriculture, Environment and Natural Resources before I needed to leave to join the BOS Special Closed Session. In the afternoon I attended the Opening Session; Jackie Freiberg delivered a key note address on inspiring a culture of innovation and change. She is a Certified Dare to Lead Facilitator. I am going to continue to push Mendocino County to get out of comfort zone to try new things. I know this is challenging when people have done things one way for decades. We can't fear making changes that can benefit our team and our community. I also attended the CSAC Health and Human Services Policy Committee to hear an update about how Federal and State dollars are being used. After the policy meetings and workshops there was an Exhibit Hall open. I went to look at some vendors that the County could possibly partner with.
On Wednesday morning we had a New Supervisors Reunion breakfast. Earlier in the year we had meetings via Zoom so it was great to see everyone in person, the networking that we are able to do at conferences is really invaluable. I checked with Supervisors Haschak and Williams to see which meetings they were going to so we could divide and conquer if you will, and I ended up attending the Workshop on Navigating Opportunities for Counties to Support Children and Families. They spoke a lot about the struggle of kids in Foster Care and how we can work to improve parental and familial relationships. The CSAC County Round Table was very valuable. Each County got up and announced their most challenging topic and then you were invited to move to that table to discuss the issue. I went to the Humboldt County table as they are having some interesting things happening with their Auditor. There were several Auditors and CPAs that joined the table as well as other neighboring counties. It’s always valuable to hear what other counties have going on. There was a great workshop in the afternoon called “Drama in the Board Room- Tips and Techniques to Foster better Communication and Encourage Civility in the Board Room.” This was a fun role playing and brainstorming session. After that I went to the Rural Caucus meeting.
I got up bright and early on Thursday morning to start a 3 mile "Fun Run" on the Coastal trail in Monterey. Assistant CEO Antle and Supervisor Haschak also made the run. It was so beautiful I wanted to stop and take a picture every 50 feet, I had a great time. After the run there was a CSAC Awards breakfast and it was great to hear about the work that electeds and their teams are doing across the State. After breakfast I went to the Administration of Justice Policy Committee to discuss a successful shifting intimate partner violence programming as well as the struggles with Felony Incompetent to Stand Trial across the State. After that meeting I attended the luncheon and the Election of the new CSAC Officers, look forward to sharing the photo of the Supervisors soon. I did attend the CSAC Board of Directors Meeting before the installation of the CSAC Officers.
On Friday morning I got up so I could try and head home to beat traffic. Over the weekend we had the Ukiah Parade of Lights which I have been helping organize for the last five years. I needed to make sure I was back on time to hang no parking signs for the parade route.
In case you missed it we had an awesome Ukiah Parade of Lights this year. The businesses, non-profits and families are all stars for entering and making it a great show for the community. I will attach a video I have from the Ukiah Valley Networking Agency Facebook that my youngest daughter took, I hope you enjoy and if you are reading this I really need help with volunteers next year!!
Sunday I got to walk with my daughter and grand-daughter to go and remove the no parking signs. I love that my whole family gets involved in volunteer work.
We had a regularly scheduled meeting with LAFCO - Ukiah Valley Fire District Annexation complete and the Board of Equalization has provided confirmation that they are completing the project. In the afternoon I had a debrief of the Ukiah Parade of Lights and tree lighting ceremony at Alex Thomas Plaza and how to improve for next year. We got a little bit of rain but I did interviews for the Adventist Health Blue Zones project. I will share that video when it comes out.
(Ed note: The rest of Supervisor Mulheren’s report was a lengthy repost of the Board Agenda indicating acceptance and approval of every single item on the agenda.)
CYMBRE THOMAS-SWETT TAKES THE REINS AT AV ELEMENTARY
AVA: Born and raised in Boonville?
Cymbre Thomas-Swett: Yes, technically I was born in Fort Bragg and grew up in Boonville. My family still lives behind the High School. I attended Anderson Valley Elementary from Kindergarten through 5th grade. Both of my parents taught here.
Thomas-Swett: I attended Whitman College in Walla Walla, WA where I studied Geology. After college, I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do and I had the opportunity to intern as a teacher and coach at a private high school in Southern California. I taught Geology, tutored in English and Math, coached Volleyball, Soccer and Lacrosse and was a part time cook! One of my talents is the ability (with the right kitchen) to make dinner for 100 people!
After this experience, I attended UC Davis’s School of Education where I earned my Multiple Subject Teaching Credential and my Masters in Education. I had so many science units from my undergraduate studies that I was able to earn an authorization to teach single subject Science as well.
After 8 years of teaching, I decided to go back to school to Sonoma State University to earn an Administrative Services Credential - which allows you to become a school administrator.
Teaching experience? Where?
Thomas-Swett: As I mentioned, I first taught high school at a private school. After getting my teaching credential, I was able to get a job in Ukiah at Pomolita Middle School as a 7th grade Science teacher. I also taught 8th graders. I quickly realized that I wanted to teach younger students. I moved down to teach 6th grade for the following 4 years at the middle school. After those 5 years in the classroom, I took a step out of the classroom to become a Teacher on Special Assignment (TOSA) as a Student Success Coordinator. That position was a part-time instructional coach - working with teachers to improve their practice and student learning and allowed me to see the job of an administrator and be involved in the inner workings of running a school. I stayed in that position for 4 years, and I learned so much about working with teachers and families and realized that I wanted to become a school administrator. So, I went back to school at Sonoma State University (SSU). After earning my Admin Credential, I wanted to gain experience at an elementary school, because my ultimate goal was to become an elementary school principal. So I left Pomolita and worked the following two years at two different elementary schools to see how they worked and learn from different leaders.
First admin job?
Thomas-Swett: Yes, this is my first admin job!
Thomas-Swett: I am not bilingual, it is something I continue to work on. I worked in bilingual schools for 5 years being the English teacher/half of students day and my receptive Spanish is pretty high. This is an area I continue to push myself.
Live in the Valley?
Thomas-Swett: I live in Ukiah with my family. I love the 253 drive every morning as I think about the day and marvel at the fog patterns.
Off duty pursuits?
Thomas-Swett: My family is my main pursuit. My husband and I live in Ukiah with three children, three dogs and five cats — beyond being a new principal they keep me pretty busy!
THE KID CAN TALK. Robert Pinoli Jr. was Karen Ottoboni's guest this morning (Wednesday) on KZYX. Pinoli's the on-site boss and front man for the Skunk, Fort Bragg's premier tourist draw. An hour goes fast, especially with the usual laying-in-wait chronophages chipping in long-winded comments and cosmic questions during call-ins, so Karen never got around to the basic question, to wit, How did the Skunk get 270 acres of primo FB real estate for $1.2 million when GP originally wanted more than $50 million from Fort Bragg for the same parcels?
PINOLI sounded like he was in full candor mode and might have explained that perhaps national deal of the century in at least arguable detail if he'd been asked. I thought most of what he said was interesting, especially that the tunnel on the FB end is nearly ready to go again, meaning the Skunk can again traverse the full 40-some miles of its track between FB and Willits. I was also surprised that the line, even in its partially-functioning state, employs 50 people. Pinoli and his Skunk colleagues have pulled off quite a coup in their purchase at that price. GP obviously wanted to finally rid itself of whatever toxic liability remains at the old mill site.
KZYX doesn't do debate, unfortunately, but this is one that begs for much more discussion of the type best illuminated by the debate format. George Reinhardt and Bruce Broderick are articulate opponents of the proposed Skunk development and fully capable of raising the obvious questions. Get them on with Pinoli.
PINOLI himself conceded that the basic infrastructure — water, sewage — for a development of the size proposed was “up in the air.” Fort Bragg is perennially thirsty and the drought shows no signs of abating. But the Skunk thinks big and confident, and they now own the real estate while all us doubters and naysayers are left sputtering on the outside.
OLD TIMERS will recall the days when civic Fort Bragg was basically a criminal enterprise, complete with arsons of public buildings, suspicious deaths, no-payback loans from a developer to city councilmen, free infrastructure for the developer's Glass Beach neighborhood, and the town awash in cocaine. Pinoli, however, has stepped right up to the plate and seems prepared to keep stepping up to take on the hostiles, and there are lots of them.
MCN CHAT LINE comments on Skunk Train President on KZYX:
1. Ask for a debate … What a softball joke that was. It only served Mendocino Railways interests. The softball questions afterwards weren't any better. I guess we can't expect any better from KZYX when the interviewee is also the show sponsor. Reminds me of a Fox news bit.
2. Hearing all sides of an issue empowers the pushback, IMHO. If the show host did a disclaimer re Skunk Train underwriting early in the program, I missed it — tuned in late. For sure the matter deserves more airtime.
3. George Reinhardt did an excellent presentation that wasn't advertised, 15 minutes before Pinoli was allowed to take over the airwaves. At the top of the hour, just before the show Skunk train was listed as a KZYX sponsor, but no, there wasn't a disclaimer at the beginning of the show.
4. According to the station’s program logs, the underwriters for the 7 to 9 am time window were:
- 7:06 am: Ignacio Health Insurance Services
- 7:43 am: The Waldorf School of Mendocino County
- 7:43 am: The Bewildered Pig restaurant
- 7:59 am: North Coast Brewing Company
The Skunk train isn’t listed as an underwriter for any of today’s programming.
(All of that said, George Reinhardt’s interview was excellent and is worth listening to.)
CHRIS SKYHAWK: Today I was riding home on my tiny scooter along Franklin St near Safeway, out of the corner of my eye I could see a man with a sign, obviously hoping that drivers would put some cash in his hat. With him was a little girl, about maybe 7ish years old. My paternal heart was VERY touched by their dynamic, they were very loving and playful with each other. I stopped and found my wallet and pulled a $5 bill, rode back across Franklin and approached him, and I asked if not would be ok with him, if I helped him, we had a very nice exchange of blessings for each other, his daughter was very pleased. When I got close enough to read his sign it said “Family of 5 in need; anything helps.” I handed him the $ and continued up Franklin. There is a tiny maybe 1-bedroom house for sale for $400K. When I got back to my trailer I broke down and cried, how can it be that we have constructed a world where an obviously good and loving father has to beg for $ in the Safeway parking lot for his family, while a tiny home not even big enough for a family lists for $400K? My god/dess what have we done? And how can our hearts bear it?
PARTNERS GALLERY is presenting a Holiday Show opening December 9th and running through January 3rd. Small works and gift items from gallery artists are featured along with a curated Partners exhibit. We are also highlighting the work of our current jewelers: Annette Jarvie, Colleen Schenck, Suzanne Otwell Negre and Margaret Dorfman. Joining us for this holiday show are three more wonderful jewelers from our local community: Lia Vincenza, Mickie McCormic, and Charlotte Healy.
Please come and help us celebrate the holiday season in our new location at 45062 Ukiah Street in Mendocino.
Second Saturday Meet the Artists Dec. 11th, 4:30 to 7pm
Winter Hours Thursday through Monday, 11 – 4:30pm
CATCH OF THE DAY, December 8, 2021
MARIA ACEVEDO-PARDO, Ukiah. DUI, evasion.
AUSTIN ANDERSON, Ukiah. Controlled substance, paraphernalia, evidence destruction, parole violation, probation revocation.
ETHAN BECKER, Laytonville. Saps or similar weapons, controlled substance, paraphernalia, probation revocation.
CHRISTOPHER BROCKWAY, Albion. Attempt to steal property, forgery, felon-addict with firearm, ammo possession by prohibited person, conspiracy.
DOROTHY GREEN, Willits. Probation revocation.
VINSON HILL, Ukiah. Failure to appear, probation revocation.
JORDAN LYONS, Stockton/Ukiah. Mandatory supervision sentencing.
CHARLENE MARTINEZ, Ukiah. Probation revocation.
TYLER MAZZANTI, Cloverdale/Ukiah. Domestic battery, probation revocation.
JOSE MENDOZA, Corning/Ukiah. Sexual penetration with force, etc.; victim under 14 years old.
ROBERT NUTT III, Ukiah. Burglary.
AVERY PARSONS, Fort Bragg. Assault with deadly weapon not a gun, vandalism, stalking, criminal threats, resisting.
SHEVELLE PERKINS, Fort Bragg. Attempt to steal property, obtaining personal ID without authorization, forgery/false checks, killing-maiming or abusing animals, conspiracy, probation revocation.
CLINTON SALLEE, Fort Bragg. Petty theft with priors, county parole violation.
SEAN SHANNON, Willits. Domestic abuse, child endangerment, criminal threats, protective order violation, probation revocation.
DON'T DIVERT THE DIVERSION
The Friends of the Eel River continually rant about the Potter Valley Project and dam safety, ignoring the level of monitoring of Scott Dam that is regularly conducted by multiple agencies.
The upper mainstem Eel River above Scott Dam was dry as recently as Oct. 29. How would removal of Scott Dam help assure water supply reliability for humans or endangered fish?
The Two Basin Partnership has yet to receive funding to complete the required environmental studies and form a regional entity to take over the Potter Valley Project, and they face deadlines. PG&E appears unlikely to repair its broken hydropower facility, reducing water diversion capacity into the East Branch of the Russian River and significantly limiting water to fill Lake Mendocino. It's likely that PG&E will file an application to surrender/decommission the Potter Valley Project. This can mean anything from removing the hydropower equipment to removal of all infrastructure, including Lake Pillsbury.
But this isn’t a done deal. Everyone acknowledges that those diversions are necessary for our water future. It is time for the public to speak up to about saving the Potter Valley Project and Lake Pillsbury as critical resources for water, fire suppression, ecosystems and recreation for Humboldt, Sonoma, Mendocino and Lake counties.
President, Palomino Lakes Mutual Water Company
ON LINE COMMENT OF THE DAY
One of the abiding mysteries is why Putin would entertain any discussions with Crazy Joe about this issue aside maybe from encouraging yet another American military misadventure in a place far from American shores, in a place Americans don’t understand (but think they do), that would require yet another massive sealift and airlift, with the attendant squander of miltary and financial resources.
Does the US have any real national interest in such a border dispute between the two aforementioned countries? Someone please explain to simple little ole me just what it could be because, strain as I might, I just can’t see it.
Let’s play along with Establishment thinking for just a bit and pretend that American and Russian interests are in conflict in some way or other (which anybody living in the real world knows they are not). Let’s pretend that it’s in America’s national interest to hobble Russia, to bring it down a notch or two, or to upend the current ruling regime. Let’s also pretend that the Russians really are massing troops as the Lie-its-Ass-Off news media insists. Let’s just pretend.
So, let’s first look at the nature of the two countries at issue, Ukraine and Russia, the first a Second-World country (at best) with no oil, the second country the same as its neighbor but with oil, both heinously misruled, both oligarch-infested and both corrupt to the gills, Ukraine arguably by these measures worse than Russia.
If the US had any real interest in bringing Russia down, wouldn’t the US encourage the Russians to not only grab some land but grab the whole damn thing, the acquisition of which would prove to be a monumental headache to Putin and a massive financial millstone? If America’s foreign policy elite were innovative (hah!) and creative (lord help us) they’d give their blessing, wish Putin godspeed, and send as a gift the best bourbon the US has, and otherwise hand Ukraine over wrapped in a bow.
But America’s strategic thinking is every bit as doddering as their boss, the Dodderer in Chief, whose job it is to direct the relevant government departments whose guillotine date is long expired.
Assuming somebody outside the two parties in question has some interest in which Slav potentate rules Ukraine, wouldn’t it be countries like Poland and Germany or the Czechs or Slovaks or Romanians? You know, the locals. And wouldn’t they have the necessary economic and military and diplomatic means to intervene?
So why the fuck is Joe sticking his nose in this?
CHAMBER MUSIC CONCERT THIS SUNDAY!
Opus Chamber Music Series presents Angelica Duo
Enjoy an evening of elegance with Anita Felix on Violin and Beverly Wesner-Hoehn on Concert Harp performing works such by Camille Saint-Saens, Andres Zerbina, and others. Sharing the best of repertoire for harp and violin, the duo surprises audiences with the warmth and depth of truly virtuoso music; descriptive vignettes of the harp and violin will also be highlighted in this enchanting concert. A touch of holiday spirit will end the program and something sweet will be provided after the concert.
This concert will be held in Cotton Auditorium, Sunday Dec. 12th at 3 PM. Social distancing, facemask and Covid card will be required.
For tickets and additional information please visit symphonyoftheredwoods.org
See you all on Sunday!
Eva von Bahr
WHY ETHAN CRUMBLEY’S PARENTS SHOULD BE CHARGED WITH MURDER
On Guns, Attack Dogs, and Lethal Schoolkids…
by Lee Hall
On the 6th of January 2001, two Presa Canario dogs got loose in a hallway of a San Francisco highrise apartment building. The dogs, owned by Cornfed Schneider of the Aryan Brotherhood prison gang, had been abused and were known to be extremely aggressive. On that January day, they attacked another resident of the building. Diane Whipple died from 77 bite wounds.
Lawyers Robert Noel and Marjorie Knoller were keeping the dogs for Schneider. Knoller, who lost control of them, was convicted of second-degree murder. The jury agreed with the prosecutors, who described the dogs as ticking time bombs and said Knoller’s conduct transcended negligence and rose to the level of implied malice. The second-chair prosecutor, it might be remembered, was Kimberly Guilfoyle.
The judge rejected the murder conviction, and the couple was imprisoned for involuntary manslaughter. But in 2008 Judge Charlotte Woolard in San Francisco reinstated Marjorie Knoller’s earlier murder conviction. Ruling on the case, the California Supreme Court said implied-malice murder hinged on proof of the defendant’s “conscious disregard” for the risk to human life. Knoller returned to prison for second-degree murder and will be eligible to submit a second parole application in 2022.
Knoller didn’t plan the killing of Diane Whipple, but could have foreseen the risk of a deadly incident. In a parallel manner, Jennifer Crumbley and James Crumbley, shooting suspect Ethan Crumbley’s parents, had reason to know their teen could kill imminently.
Children can’t buy guns, but James went into a gun shop as a straw buyer, and 15-year-old Ethan got one. Many weeks earlier, one tabloid reports, James Crumbley apparently wrote on social media: “Trump will protect our 2nd amendment! I want my child to get a gun.” Jennifer Crumbley’s vows to vote for Trump in homage to the Second Amendment have circulated widely.
James and Jennifer used their child in furtherance of their pro-gun ideology. Noel and Knoller weaponized the dogs they kept. Neither the dogs nor Ethan had an escape route. “Thoughts won’t stop, help me,” Ethan wrote beside a sketch of a gun and a gunned-down body, before allegedly going on a killing spree and potentially being imprisoned forever.
The Presa Canarios were both killed.
Under the Head of Malice
“WTF?” wrote Jeffrey St. Clair of CounterPunch on social media, outlining a reported chronology of events leading up to the shooting at Oxford High School:
The day after Thanksgiving [26 Nov.], he and his father had gone together to a Michigan gun shop to buy it.
He and his mother spent a day [27 Nov.] testing out the gun…
On Monday [29 Dec.], when a teacher reported seeing their son searching online for ammunition, his mother did not seem alarmed. “LOL I’m not mad at you,” Jennifer Crumbley texted her son. “You have to learn not to get caught.”
During school [30 Nov.], Ethan drew a picture of his gun along with the words “help me” and “blood everywhere.” He was sent to the office but was sent back to class. The shooting happened about 3 hours later…
Reportedly, the parents resisted removing their child from the school. They never told the staff about the gun, and apparently never checked for it. WTF indeed. In Michigan, the crime of second-degree murder encompasses death caused by reckless disregard for human life. The mental state of “a wanton and wilful disregard of a harmful consequence known to be likely to result…goes beyond negligence and comes under the head of malice.” People v. Mendoza, 468 Mich. 527, 541 (Mich. 2003).
Ethan went into the school restroom with a backpack, and came out holding a 9 mm Sig Sauer SP 2022. Jennifer texted “Ethan, don’t do it” after 15 people were shot. James called 911 to report the gun missing and to say Ethan might be the shooter.
Subsequently, Ethan’s parents ran off and hid in a Detroit building, leaving their egregiously misparented teen sitting in a suicide prevention vest in the county jail. The teen was charged as an adult with murder and terrorism.
The parents were later found and deposited in the same county jail as Ethan. They’re charged with involuntary manslaughter. Each parent could get up to 15 years for each of the four students killed. The charges for the parents (who weren’t at the school during the shooting) are raising eyebrows, but what of those slapped on Ethan—terrorism and murder for this grotesquely manipulated 15-year-old?
Granted, charging people who weren’t on the scene is a slippery slope that supports the carceral state. Indeed, Washington state already makes failure to lock up guns a felony if it leads to someone else’s injury or death. Further, as Jeffrey St. Clair notes, one of the vilest sections of the Clinton/Biden crime bill authorizes the federal death penalty for crimes other than murder.
That an estimated 5 million kids live in homes with unsecured guns is an issue. But so is legislation that expands the U.S. cycle of mass incarceration. So, I’m no fan of the carceral state. My question about the immediate charges in front of us? While their kid is accused of terrorism, the parents’ charge is defined by the absence of malice. So again, WTF. Because if anyone has ever had “a wanton and willful disregard of a harmful consequence” these two people sure AF did, through the moment they walked away while their desperate child asked for help, when other people’s lives depended on that help being given. The involuntary manslaughter charges they face would not be unprecedented—arguably, second-degree murder charges wouldn’t be, either.
As for the broader issue, we live in a nation that now produces situations in which millions of schoolkids, disproportionately Black schoolkids, face guns in schools every year. The imperative to create a culture that stops fetishizing guns is desperately obvious. Caging the fetishists’ children won’t do that.
(Lee Hall holds an LL.M. in environmental law with a focus on climate change, and has taught law as an adjunct at Rutgers–Newark and at Widener–Delaware Law. Lee is an author, public speaker, and creator of the Studio for the Art of Animal Liberation on Patreon.)