- Coast Shooting
- Inland Stabbing
- Ruffing's Replacement
- Beggars Moving
- Nut Class
- Little Dog
- Local Flu
- Thistle Party
- Principal St Jeor
- Food Mag
- Tone Sentenced
- Swing Band
- Parched Socal
- Yesterday's Catch
- Moby Donald
- Stock Plunge
- Young Stoners
- Wine Event
- Net Neutrality
- Public Lying
- Gender Fluid
- Un-American Dems
- Pure BS
- Football Dilemma
- Tanoak Talk
THE AUTUMN SMITH TRAGEDY
On 02/04/2018 around 9:10 AM the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office responded to a report of a shooting in the 6000 block of North Highway 1 in Little River. The reporting party, Victim Daniel Alonso, 35, of Fort Bragg, reported that he and his friend, Victim Autumn Smith (aka Johnson), 22, of Fort Bragg, were traveling southbound on North Highway 1 from Fort Bragg. As they passed the area of Caspar they observed Suspect Andrew Crowningshield, 27, of Little River in his vehicle.
According to Alonso, Crowningshield followed their vehicle as they drove south. Crowningshield and Smith had a previous relationship together and they shared a child in common, a three year old boy. Their relationship had ended over a year prior to this incident and they shared custody of the child. In the 6000 Block of North Highway 1 Smith pulled to the side of the road to talk to Crowningshield about their child and when she could pick up the child. She approached Crowningshield's vehicle and for reasons unknown at this time, Crowningshield fired numerous rounds at Smith, who fell to the ground.
According to Alonso, he believed Crowningshield also fired numerous rounds at him while he was seated in the other vehicle. Alonso used Smith's vehicle to drive to a nearby business to report the shooting to the Sheriff's Office. Crowningshield fled the area in a large 4 wheel drive Ford pickup. Initially MCSO Deputies were concerned the three-year old boy might have been taken by Crowningshield but it was later learned to not be the case. Deputies later found the child safe, with relatives, and learned he was not at the scene nor was he involved in the incident in any way. Responding Deputies and members of the Albion Litter River Fire Department arrived on scene and found Smith deceased at the scene. MCSO Detectives were called to conduct the investigation while Deputies, Officers from the California Highway Patrol (patrol and helicopter), Officers from the Ukiah Police Department, and Officers from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife combed the area looking for the suspect. Several reports came in the suspect may have been seen on the Comptche-Ukiah Road but Deputies were unable to locate him. Additional reports came in the suspect vehicle might have been seen on the Eel River Road leading to Lake Pillsbury. A be on the lookout (BOLO) was issued to all allied agencies to stop and arrest the suspect.
On 2/5/2018 just before 7:00 AM the suspect vehicle was spotted in Glenn County in the Town of Elk Creek. Responding Glenn County Deputies observed Crowningshield near the vehicle and took him into custody without incident. Crowningshield will be transported and booked into the Mendocino County Jail on an open charge of homicide and an open charge of attempted homicide. This is a no bail status. The Mendocino County Sheriff's Office would like to thank all allied agencies who assisted and all citizens who called in information about possible sightings.
(Sheriff’s Press Release)
* * *
A READER WRITES: Interesting to look at Autumn Smith’s facebook pages. There’s one from 8 years ago, with her pix as a cute All American girl. Then a newer page, with her new look, heavy make up, endless selfies, dolled up. A few pix of baby. A pal of mine whose daughter knows the killer, went to school with him, said there have been problems over custody since baby arrived, and Andrew’s mom, a Fort Bragg schoolteacher, took care of baby mostly. I suspect meth, because he spent so much time in Lake County. But maybe he was just showing off his truck.
SUNDAY AT MCKERRICHER STATE PARK
FROM THE UKIAH POLICE DEPARTMENT: On Saturday, February 3, at approximately 2:20 am, officers were dispatched to the 700 block of South Oak St. regarding an injured subject lying in a driveway. Upon arrival, officers found the victim lying down in a pool of blood and unconscious. The victim had suffered multiple stab wounds to his body as well as blunt force trauma to his head. The victim was transported via ambulance to UVMC, and then transported to an out of county hospital due to the nature of his injuries. UPD officers are continuing their investigation. Anyone with any additional information regarding this incident is urged to contact UPD at 707-463-6262.
FORT BRAGG ANNOUNCES NEW CITY MANAGER from Arizona:
THE QUALITY OF MERCY
Ms. Patricia Boesel's letter last week is not a new idea — in fact George Orwell described this in "Down and Out in London and Paris" in 1933 as a way to keep the beggars moving with a full belly in a circular pattern between half-way houses every few days around the outskirts of London by bus.
Ms. Boesel suggests those signing in every day for a meal no longer remain more than two days in Our Town: Not long enough to find a job or a place to stay here but not long enough to be a burden on our precious community. She and Traci Boyl, Excutive Director of Plowshares, also want to reinforce this by cutting out the small evening meal now provided, usually soup or pasta and a piece of bread. This currently serves 50 to 60 a night, probably those who have a day job earlier.
The justification seems to be that we must eliminate duplication of charity and cut back on the donations. We who have worked at Plowshares for ten or more years find numbers increasing in most cases. We are told that donations have increased but we have no confirmation of this.
"The Quality of Mercy is Not Strained, It Dropeth like the Gentle Rain from Heaven." —Wm. Shakespeare.
Let us encourage charity and mercy.
James F. Houle
Darshan Mayginnes is now growing native hardshell nut cultivars (Eastern Black Walnuts and the Pecan-Hickory clan) in Mendocino County. In the big picture, this may be the most important class Mendocino Permaculture has ever presented, by the man who loves trees. Establishing nut trees is a many year process, starting with planting the right nuts for your own rootstock. He will cover the seed planting, cultivars, harvesting, processing, cracking, and storing. There will be some nuts for tasting and some scions. The class is from 10:30-12:00 in the Dining Hall at the Fairgrounds in Boonville on Saturday, February 10th during the 35th annual Winter Abundance Workshop.
From 9:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m. there will be classes on beginning and intermediate vine and fruit tree grafting; hands-on grafting clinics; seed, scion, and cutting exchanges; fruit tree rootstock sales, and much more. No admission charge or class fees. Please go to www.avfoodshed.com for more information.
LITTLE DOG SAYS, “Being on duty all night, and sleeping with one eye open all day, I can tell you that these summer-in-February days have disoriented the wild things. They're already crawling up out of the creek looking for water and something to eat.”
ASKED if the dread flu has affected local school attendance, Superintendent Michelle Hutchins replied, “Yes the flu is affecting attendance at both schools as absences are higher this month than they were this time last year. Specifically for the month of January, AVES went from 94.4% average attendance last year to 91.65% average attendance this year, and AVHS went from 94.43% last year to 93.87% this year. Schools generally average 96% attendance when everyone is healthy.”
THE ANDERSON VALLEY Health Center’s Chloe Guazzone-Rugebregt on the dreary subject of the flu said, “We’re not seeing it here; locally it’s not appearing as it is in the larger hospitals in larger populations.”
NOYO TRAIL TREE
(Photo by Judy Valadao)
THISTLE PARTY! You are invited to join us as we remove thistles at Navarro Point this Wednesday, Feb 7th, from 10am until noon. You can find us in the parking lot on the west side of Highway 1 a half mile south of the Navarro Ridge Road turn-off at 10am. No tools or previous experience are necessary, altho gloves and clippers would be helpful. (Tom Wodetzki)
PERSONNEL FILES: Former AVHS principal, Keri St Jeor, is now assistant principal at the high school in Delhi, which is near Merced, not the equator.
TORREY DOUGLAS dropped off recent editions of the nicely produced, Word of Mouth, a quarterly magazine devoted to local farms and restaurants. Published by Holly Madrigal of Willits and designed by the talented Ms. Douglas out of Boonville. Lots of interesting stuff, brilliant photography. And free! You can find Word of Mouth most public places around The Valley.
COURT BEAT: Anthony Gonzalez of Ukiah, known throughout the County, as ‘Tone Dogg,’ has been sentenced by Judge Moorman to eight months in state prison. Tone entered a guilty plea to a felony charge of making criminal threat.
THE SWINGIN’ BOONVILLE BIG BAND RIDES AGAIN
The Swingin’ Boonville Big Band, formed in the year 2000 as an AV Adult Ed. class, will return to Lauren’s Cafe in Boonville on Saturday February 17th. This is the 18th annual show at Lauren’s, and the band considers it sort of home base since its first public appearance was given there. The band currently is 20 musicians strong. It features outstanding musicians from all parts of the county. Among the local musicians we have Bob Day tenor sax; Joe Petelle trombone; Mary Aigner piano; Nadia Berrigan piano; Dave Martin trombone; Kevin Burke drums; and Alice Woefle trumpet. Susan Archuleta, who for many years was a regular feature piano soloist at the Boonville Hotel, returns after a long hiatus to play alto sax. The band plays mostly classic hits from the Great American Song Book: The show starts at 9:00 PM and runs to 11:00 PM. Admiussion is $10 and all proceeds for Benefit of AV Adult Ed. Music. Singin’ sensation Sharon Garner will headline the show. Break out your dancin’ shoes and join in the fun.
REPRIEVE FROM DROUGHT MAY BE OVER
by Jim Shields
My original long-range forecast at the end of summer was we’d experience a fairly mild winter temperature-wise, with below average rainfall this year. I keyed the weather prediction on an apparent absence of either an El Nino or La Nina event this year.
This winter, in contrast to last year’s statewide record-setting rain season that ended the state’s mandatory water cuts, is now looking more and more like an encore of the historic five-year drought.
Meteorologists believe a La Nina weather pattern is developing in the Pacific, which typically brings drier weather.
A seemingly never-ending ridge of high pressure in the Pacific, the exact same phenomena occurring during the drought, has been stalling and blocking rain storms from reaching California, especially Southern California. Since two-thirds of the state’s population reside there, red flag alerts have been hoisted in Sacramento.
The ridge of high-pressure air, which is nearly 4 miles high and stretches from the Gulf of Alaska to the California-Mexico border, has been strengthening in the past few weeks.
State water officials, are already spooked by December’s dry winds and parched vegetation that were largely responsible for the state's biggest wildfires in SoCal history and the even deadlier wildfires on the Northcoast in October.
As I write this, the state Department of Water Resources (DWR) is performing the second of its monthly manual snowpack reading in the Sierras. Things are not looking good.
According to the DWR, the Sierra Nevada snowpack is only a paltry 30 percent of normal. They say the last time there was so little snow at the end of January was in 2015, when it was 25 percent of its historic average.
The last time there was so little Sierra snow at the end of January was in 2015, when it was 25 percent of its historic average. Two months later, Gov. Jerry Brown declared a drought emergency that ushered in the state’s first mandatory statewide water restrictions.
The first snowpack survey on January 3, found virtually no snow due to the exceptionally dry December. DWR uses measurements of the snowpack’s water content to help them anticipate runoff from the mountains during the spring snowmelt.
The survey on Jan. 3 was “a disappointing start of the year, but it’s far too early to draw conclusions about what kind of a wet season we’ll have this year,” said Frank Gehrke, chief of the California Cooperative Snow Surveys Program who conducted the survey. “There’s plenty of time left in the traditional wet season to reverse the dry trend we’ve been experiencing.”
However, in the month since that survey was conducted, DWR officials are now very concerned that we may be on threshold of another drought.
According to a DWR statement, “California traditionally receives about half of its annual precipitation during December, January, and February, with the bulk of this precipitation coming from atmospheric rivers (ARs). So far this winter, an atmospheric high-pressure zone spanning the western United States has persistently blocked ARs from reaching the state.”
“The figures don’t lie,” said Doug Carlson, a spokesman for the state Department of Water Resources. “We’re at 30 percent snowpack right now, and last year at this time we were at 182 percent.”
“February is the peak season for snow accumulation,” said Daniel Swain, a climate scientist at UCLA who studies Western weather patterns. “Every week that we don’t reverse this trend from here forward, it’s going to be that much harder to get to where we want to be by the end of the season.”
As is almost always the case, Northern California is in better shape rain-wise than our neighbors to the south.
The NorCal region is experiencing rainfall in a range of 60 percent to 70 percent of historical average totals. Here in the Laytonville area we are at 71 percent of average rainfall (27.41 inches vs. 38.16 inches), and there is nary a sign rain for the next two weeks.
But Southern California is another story. Los Angeles has had only 27 percent of its average rainfall (1.89 inches), and other areas are even drier.
According to DWR, most of California reservoirs are nearly full after last year’s season-long deluge. But that would be the equivalent of a family having a savings account with enough money in it to last them a year. What happens if your income takes a drastic hit. You’re in trouble.
It’s the same case with water. We’re living on borrowed time, as we experienced during the five-year drought.
The question is, did we learn anything?
We’re past the point of debating the water storage issue. We need to do a much better and smarter job of capturing winter water. Stored water is our savings account.
In its role as a primary regulator on cannabis legalization, the State Water Resources Control Board, is requiring growers to capture and store winter water for summer cultivation. This is a significant piece of the Water Board’s regulatory framework to restore and rehabilitate watersheds damaged by, among other things, marijuana cultivation and both legal and illegal water diversions.
It’s a model that should be implemented on a statewide scale and not restricted to just the marijuana industry.
In 2014, more than 67-percent of California voters approved Proposition 1, a $7.5 billion water bond to fund water quality, supply, treatment and water storage projects.
Since then not a single water storage project has been approved.
But one thing is certain, California must develop additional storage, basically catchment reservoirs, to capture rain runoff, at least in years with normal or above average rainfall.
The reprieve from the historic drought may be coming to an end.
(Jim Shields is the Mendocino County Observer’s editor and publisher, and is also the long-time district manager of the Laytonville County Water District. Listen to his radio program “This and That” every Saturday at 12 noon on KPFN 105.1 FM, also streamed live: http://www.kpfn.org)
CATCH OF THE DAY, February 5, 2018
ANDREW CROWNINGSHIELD, Little River. Murder, attempted murder.
RANDALL GENSAW, Ukiah. Paraphernalia, evidence destruction, resisting, probation revocation.
DEVLEN GENTRY-MCCULLAR, Lakeport/Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-alcohol.
MATTHEW JOHNSON, Ukiah. Under influence, resisting, probation revocation.
MOLLY KATZEFF, Mendocino. Controlled substance, narcotics purchase, suspended license.
SCOTT MAINGI, Ukiah. Domestic abuse, vandalism, offenses while on bail.
ODESSA ONEIL, Ukiah. Under influence.
JEFFREY WEEHUNT, Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-alcohol.
BRIAN WILLIAMS, Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-alcohol.
by James Kunstler
It is the super-duper quandary of the moment: choose between the oafish, charmless, and possibly not-so-stable-genius Leader-of-the-Free-World… and a security state that will do whatever it takes to get rid of him, for instance, engineering a nationwide hysteria over Russia.
Has anyone else noticed how odd it is that the so-called “Resistance” has all along included the state security apparatus in its every sordid iteration — the CIA, the NSA, the FBI, and God knows how many others among the touted “seventeen security agencies” who supposedly ginned up the Russian Meddling story on behalf of the Democratic National Committee. Movements that affect to be revolutionary don’t usually turn to the secret police and their equivalents for aid and comfort.
The Resistance pulled out all the stops last week in its shrieking denunciation of the Nunes Memo, and the various complaints had one thing in common: a complete lack of interest in the facts of the matter, in particular the shenanigans in the upper ranks of the FBI. Give a listen, for instance, to last Thursday’s Slate’s Political Gabfest with David Plotz, John Dickerson, and Emily Bazelon, the three honey-badgers of Resistance Radio (like the fabled honey-badgers of the veldt, they don’t give a shit about any obstacles in pursuit of their quarry: Trump). They’ve even been able to one-up Nassim Taleb’s defined category of “intellectuals-yet-idiots” to intellectuals-yet-useful-idiots.
The New York Times, with its termite-mound of casuistry artists, managed to concoct a completely inside-out “story” alleging that the disclosure in the Nunes memo of official impropriety at the FBI was in itself an “obstruction of justice,” since making the FBI look bad might impede their ability to give Trump the much wished-for bum’s rush from the White House.
There was already enough dishonesty in our national life before the Left side of the political transect decided to ally itself with the worst instincts of the permanent Washington bureaucracy: the faction devoted to ass-covering. The misconduct at the FBI and DOJ around the 2016 election is really quite startling. How is it not disturbing that Associate Deputy Attorney General Bruce Ohr brokered the Steele Dossier between the Fusion GPS psy-ops company and the FBI, when Fusion GPS was employed by the Clinton campaign, and Ohr’s wife worked for Fusion GPS? How is it okay that this janky dossier was put over on a FISA court judge to get warrants to surveil US citizens in an election campaign? How was it okay for Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe’s wife to accept $700,000 from the Clinton family’s long-time bag-man, Terry McAuliffe, when she ran for a Virginia State Senate seat, a few months before McCabe assumed command of the Hillary email investigation? How was it not fishy that FBI Deputy Assistant Director of the Counterintelligence Division, Peter Strock, and his workplace girlfriend, FBI lawyer (for Andrew McCabe), Lisa Page appeared to plot against Trump in their many cell-phone text exchanges?
These allegations look really bad, and it should be no surprise that they’ve prompted a massive ass-covering campaign by the FBI and especially their allies at the official Resistance news outlets. And, of course, lastly and most perplexingly there is the unappetizing figure at the center of this circus, President Trump himself, the avatar of wished-for return to American greatness, who is looking more and more like Melville’s awful and enigmatic White Whale pursued by single-minded mad men — and, remember, despite all the bloody ire, abuse, and harrassment heaped upon him by the vengeful Ahab, Moby Dick ended up smashing the whaling ship Pequod, and swimming away to legend.
As I have suggested previously, this whole tiresome shootin’ match of counter-allegation and propaganda about Russian Meddling will probably be superseded by upsets in the financial markets. Last week’s market action was a downer for sure. The melodrama of imploding valuations and counterparty obligations has just begun. It’s going to continue through the year, and the nation will face some truly existential dilemmas that may actually require some attention.
Hope you all enjoyed the giant Zumba class led by Justin Timberlake in last night’s Superbowl halftime show. It made me nostalgic for Janet Jackson’s wardrobe malfunction of yesteryear.
(Support Kunstler’s writing by visiting his Patreon Page: https://www.patreon.com/JamesHowardKunstler)
NOW FOR THE INEVITABLE: The Dow Jones Industrial average dropped 1,500 points Monday afternoon, wiping out stock-market gains for 2018 thus far. It recovered slightly by the end of the day, closing at 1,100 points down. The plunge saw the Dow fall below 24,000 in one of its biggest drops to date. The 5.6% slide began Friday, and accelerated Monday afternoon. Various pundits are calling the big plunge "a correction."
NOT GOOD FOR YOUNG PEOPLE
From the Smart Approaches to Marijuana website:
“Marijuana also users are three times more likely than non-users to become addicted to heroin, and a 2017 National Academy of Sciences report found a statistical association between marijuana use and the development of substance dependence for other drugs like opioids and heroin.”
Also: “The average potency of marijuana has skyrocketed since the 1970s, and research demonstrates it is associated with substance use disorders, drugged driving crashes, lower IQ and other negative consequences. Today, more young people are voluntarily seeking treatment for marijuana addiction than for all other drugs combined, including alcohol.”
The younger people are when they use marijuana, the more likely they are to become addicted and the greater possibility there is for negative psychological outcomes as a direct result of the use of marijuana.
A SWEET START TO VALENTINE'S WEEKEND
Parducci Wine Cellars invites you to attend “Love Uncorked” Friday, February 9th, 5-9 p.m. at the Parducci Tasting Room in Ukiah. This fun Valentine’s Day-themed event features sensuous wine, chocolate pairings, and special Valentine's Day sales, along with music by D.J. Larry Thompson. Wine Club Members, please sign in to www.parducci.com and redeem your 2 complimentary tickets. 100% discount will be applied at online checkout. The general public may purchase tickets for $10 per person, online or at the event. For directions or more information, please email email@example.com or call (707) 467-3480. Ages 21 & up.
Get ready for corks to pop and wine to flow! Admission includes six tasting tickets, which guests may redeem at stations each featuring a unique wine and chocolate pairing. We'll be pairing our award-winning True Grit Petite Sirah with chocolate covered bacon from the Parducci Farm, and our sparkling Brut with chocolated dipped strawberries along with much more. Wines by the glass will be available for $5 and don't forget about our fantastic wine sales all evening. During the Love Uncorked event, music will serenade the party as each guest is invited to select a mystery gift or special discount. "Love Uncorked is a great way to start your Valentine's Day weekend," said Rochelle Loren-Enzler, Director of Events at Parducci, "It's a perfect event for either a romantic date or a fun-filled evening with friends."
Parducci Wine Cellars is located at 501 Parducci Road just off of the Lake Mendocino Exit in Ukiah. For tickets and more information visit us online at www.parducci.com or call (707) 467-3480.
THE HUFF ON NET NEUTRALITY
I am a strong proponent of net neutrality, the principle that the internet must remain open and that Internet Service Providers (ISPs) should treat all internet users, websites, applications, and types of communication fairly and equally. In May 2014, I joined many of my colleagues in writing to FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler, appointed by President Barack Obama, in support of strong and enforceable open internet rules. Specifically, we urged the FCC to use its authority under Title II of the Communications Act to reclassify ISPs as common carriers, in order to provide strong consumer protections to prevent anti-competitive behavior. As we noted in the letter: “Without strong protections, the Internet could devolve into a closed platform in which those who pay the most can overwhelm other views and ideas.” In February 2015, I was pleased that the FCC adopted strong, sustainable rules to protect the open internet. This was the right decision for consumers, and the right way to protect continued innovation and expression. Unfortunately, President Trump is supporting a rollback of these open internet protections. In May 2017, the FCC under new Chairman Ajit Pai began a new review of net neutrality rules, with the goal of eroding these open internet safeguards and ending the classification of ISPs as common carriers. This could have very serious repercussions for all internet users by letting ISPs treat customers and businesses differently, increasing costs and allowing for the uneven treatment of services and content. In November 2017, the FCC concluded its review and in December 2017, it voted to roll back the 2015 open internet regulations entirely. I have written to Chairman Pai, urging him to leave net neutrality protections intact and to ensure equal and universal access. I will explore possibilities for overturning the FCC's decision, and I will continue to work with my colleagues to protect the open internet from these FCC rollbacks. Thank you again for sharing your views on this issue. The people of California’s 2nd District are the most important voices I listen to while serving in Congress. Please do not hesitate to contact my office if I can be of assistance to you in the future.
Jared Huffman, Member of Congress
“THIS TRUMP THING,” or as it had been known previously for nearly 250 years up until now, The US Presidency. The concept of truth is under assault in this country. This results in history also being in the crosshairs. A somewhat persistent problem in America, but in this Age of Shamelessness, even Martin Luther King is fair game. That's how, for some among us yesterday, King became a staunch capitalist with unrelenting faith in the power of four-wheel drive. Yes, Ram Trucks used his voice to sell their vehicles during Sunday’s Super Bowl as we sank to new levels. On a related issue, it's unlikely former White House press secretary Sean Spicer will ever (or can ever) fully account for the role he played, alongside Kellyanne Conway and of course Trump himself, in undermining the concept of truth in the American public discourse. In the months since Spicer left the White House, that national dialogue has only continued to deteriorate at an accelerating pace. Public officials no longer see any reason to stick to things they've previously said and done. They feel like they can lie with impunity. It’s become almost impossible to shock anyone with the news that yet another person in government public service has been lying to the public. As Abraham Lincoln, no doubt turning in his grave at this point, once very famously said, “You can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you cannot fool all of the people all of the time.”
— Steve Sparks
ON LINE COMMENT OF THE DAY
My niece, who goes to college in Portland, told me she gets annoyed when some of the people she knows tell her that their gender changes depending on what kind of music they are listening to. I am not making this up.
TRUMP said today that congressional Democrats are "un-American" and perhaps even treasonous for refusing to cheer his positive news during his State of the Union address. He didn't mention that the Dow had fallen more than 1,150 points as he was denouncing Democrats, its largest single-day point drop ever. Trump singled out Nancy Pelosi for describing as "crumbs" the bonuses of $1,000 or more that some companies, including the one where he was speaking, are giving their workers as a result of the tax cuts. "She's a rich woman who lives in a big beautiful house," going on to describe Pelosi as the Republicans' "secret weapon," implying that the Demo leader is held in such low national esteem, most people will vote against anybody she supports. Pelosi responded on Twitter, writing: "Every American should be alarmed by how @realDonaldTrump is working to make loyalty to him synonymous with loyalty to our country. That is not how democracy works."
ON LINE COMMENT OF THE WEEK
Yet another Middle School drama breaking out in Washington, yawn. At this point I don’t care what is disclosed. The whole place has become irrelevant to adults and anyone with a triple digit IQ. At this point can we expect anything even close to the truth to come out of DC? Can we trust any mainstream media outlet to present it? Lies, spin, propaganda and marketing have infused every aspect of our lives these days, thus coating any truths in a crunchy coating of dried bullshit that is nearly impossible to penetrate anyway. After so many years of just figuring the latest government stats, reasons for war, and explanation of events are pure bullshit concocted to advance an agenda, all of the sudden we are supposed to take “The Memo” at face value? It’s all part of the spectacle to keep us engrossed while the owners pick our pockets.
“No. Calling first is a sign of weakness.”
WHY DO WE WATCH FOOTBALL?
I am a Catholic. He is a priest. It seemed natural to ask the Rev. James Martin if it was morally wrong to enjoy watching professional football, namely the Super Bowl, on Sunday.
Martin is a Jesuit, which is the order that produced Pope Francis and provided the foundation (for better or worse) of my education. He is a writer, a thinker and an acknowledged public intellectual. But Martin, a Philadelphian, is also an unabashed Eagles fan...
“I don’t think it’s a stretch to ask that question, but I’m not sure what the answer is,” Martin said. “I have watched with interest the progression of medical research. Are we using their bodies for profit? Are we using their bodies for our enjoyment?”
C.T.E. has been found in the brain of one dead N.F.L. player after another. Published studies have found a correlation between the total number of years one plays tackle football and the likelihood of one’s developing brain disease later in life.
Still, we shrug. Last year, 111.3 million people tuned in to CBS’s Super Bowl broadcast, according to Nielsen. Even with NFL regular-season ratings down 12 percent this season, Eagles-Patriots on Sunday will almost certainly be the most-watched television event of the year — as the previous year’s Super Bowl was...
Even a football lifer like Eagles defensive end Chris Long is troubled by the danger of his chosen profession.
His father is the NFL Hall of Famer Howie Long, who now is a football analyst for Fox Sports. His brother Kyle is an offensive lineman for the Chicago Bears. Chris Long, however, sounds like parents everywhere when he says that he doesn’t want his 2-year-old son, Waylon, to play tackle football before high school. He hopes that Waylon doesn’t play the game at all...
Debbie Staab understands this better than most.
We grew up together in the Midwest and I watched as her three sons excelled in the sport, each of them on a high school program that plays all comers nationally and perennially reaches national prominence. She has watched hundreds, probably thousands, of games over the years and appreciates the athleticism of the sport.
Now, she watches with an increasing amount of dread.
“When someone gets hit and they replay it in slow motion, I can see why these guys at 55 are rattled,” she said. “Nobody should get hit like that. Knowing what I do now, I would have steered my boys away from football.”
…Soon my wife and I, like millions of other parents, will have to make a similar decision about our own football-crazy 13-year-old. We know the long-term risks now, and that makes what used to be a simple decision far more harrowing. No priest will be able to help us. The N.F.L. should be as worried about that as I am (Why Do We Still Watch Football?).
A VITAL SPECIES: Talk, book signing kicks off exhibit on climate change in California
On February 11, from 2 to 3:30 p.m. at the Grace Hudson Museum, botany professor Frederica Bowcutt, Ph.D. will give an illustrated talk on her new book, "The Tanoak Tree: An Environmental History of a Pacific Coast Hardwood." This event will share information on a vital species in our Pacific Coastal region and some contemporary challenges to its well-being. Copies of the book will be available for sale and author signing. The presentation is free with Museum admission.
This is the inaugural event for the Museum's new exhibit, "Beauty and the Beast: California Wildflowers and Climate Change," a series of exquisite photos spotlighting the state's immense and diverse botanic beauty, while raising awareness of the expanding impact of human activity on wild spaces. "Beauty and the Beast" runs from February 10 to June 3, 2018.
Dr. Bowcutt's talk is co-sponsored by Grace Hudson Museum and the Sanhedrin Chapter of the California Native Plant Society. Other upcoming events include wildflower walks, the first one on Feb. 24; an illustrated talk with exhibit photographers Rob Badger and Nita Winter on April 22; and a presentation on citizen science in relation to environmental threats on May 12.
The Grace Hudson Museum is at 431 S. Main St. in Ukiah and is open Wed. through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., and Sunday from noon to 4:30 p.m. General admission is $4; $10 per family; $3 for students and seniors; free to all on the first Friday of the month; and always free to members. For more information please visit http://www.gracehudsonmuseum.org/ or call 467-2836.