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THE RECORD-SIZED RANCH FIRE, which started back on July 27, 2018, has now been burning for almost a month, expanding a lot every day, and is now over 341,000 acres with containment still at 76% (i.e., the fire expanded as much as the fire lines on Sunday.)
Calfire Sunday night: "The Ranch Fire burned actively in the northeast portion. The fire growth has been moving north/northeast for the past several days. The northwest portion of the fire had backing activity but was holding to the road system. Firing operations were planned for Sunday evening as weather permits. A warming and drying trend continued with near single digit afternoon relative humitity, along with very poor recoveries. Line construction and mop up continue with hand crews and dozers. Helicopters continue to be a vital tool in this firefighting effort. Two helibases and two mobile retardant plants are on the fire lines of the Ranch Fire. The southern portion of the fire remains in patrol status as crews continue with suppression repair and mop up."
US FOREST SERVICE MONDAY MORNING UPDATE
The Mendocino Complex (comprised of the Ranch and River fires) is being managed by the United States Department of Agriculture, Forest Service and CAL FIRE under unified command.
Ranch Fire: The Ranch Fire was under an inversion for most of Sunday. Early in the evening the inversion began to lift and the fire became more active on the eastern side. The fire crossed the dozer line near Sheetiron Mountain and became established east of the fireline. The fire grew approximately 15,000 acres in the last twenty-four hours. Most of the fire’s growth was in the northeast corner of the fire. The fire is now estimated at 349,942 acres and 74 percent contained.
On Sunday, construction of the dozer line from Cold Creek Trailhead to Brushy Camp Ridge was completed but the fire crossed a portion of this line in the afternoon. Crews improved the lines along Brushy Camp and Noel Ridges and from Lake Pillsbury to Cabbage Patch. Crews also improved the dozer line from Davis Flat to the Cold Creek Trailhead. Engines patrolled and looked for hot spots in the Rice Fork Summer Homes and Pillsbury Lake areas. Crews continued preparing to defend the homes in Bonnie View/Happy Camp.
Monday, crews will improve the line from Lake Pillsbury to Little Round Mountain and along Brushy Camp and Noel Ridges. The area where the fire crossed the fireline on the northeast corner of the fire near Sheetiron Mountain will need to be reevaluated. Engines will patrol and look for hot spots in the Rice Fork Summer Homes and Pillsbury Lake areas. This area remains under a mandatory evacuation order. Crews will continue preparing to defend the homes in Bonnie View/Happy Camp.
Air tankers and helicopters will be used to support the firefighters on the ground and slow the fire’s progress as smoke conditions allow.
There are areas that the fire has burned through that are extremely important to many people. Letts Lake is a great example of one of these areas. When it is safe to do so, these areas will be assessed and the information made available to the public.
The northern half of the Mendocino National Forest remains open. The forest areas around Plaskett Meadows and Hammerhorn Lake are open for all normal recreation activities. The Yolla Bolly-Middle Eel Wilderness is also available for recreation. Forest Highway 7 remains open. Hunters are reminded that the fire area is closed to hunting. For a specific closure map, please see the forest’s web page at fs.usda.gov/Internet/FSE_DOCUMENTS/fseprd591718.pdf
River Fire: The River Fire is 48,920 acres and 100 percent contained.
Fire Area Weather: The forecast shows temperatures in the high-90s with light winds. Conditions could change as early as Tuesday with cooler air coming in from the coast.
Smoke: Smoke impacts will continue until early evening in communities near the Ranch Fire. This includes Ukiah, Willits, and Covelo, Potter Valley and Stonyford as well as the communities surrounding Clear Lake. Light late afternoon winds will move the smoke away from these communities and toward areas east of the fire like Willows and Maxwell.
Below is the link to the smoke forecast for today: wildlandfiresmoke.net/outlooks/MendocinoNationalForest-SacramentoValleyArea
CALFIRE'S MENDOCINO COMPLEX UPDATE (Monday 7am): 398,862 acres; 79% containment; 314 structures damaged or destroyed.
"Overnight the Ranch Fire continued to burn actively with increased fire behavior in the north and northeastern portions of the fire area. Evacuation orders were issued for portions of Glenn County last night due to increased fire activity. As westerly winds increase in the day, the fire will increase rate of spread to the east as it enters east/west aligned drainages. The warming and drying trend will continue with near single digit afternoon relative humidity. Firing operations are scheduled for today pending weather conditions. The southern portion of the fire remains in patrol status as crews continue with suppression repair and mop up. The River Fire had no movement. Suppression repair along with patrol will continue on the River Fire."
Ed Note: The northernmost extreme of the Ranch Fire expanded eastward, deeper into Glenn County, yesterday, triggering more evacuations in the area. Officials anticipate the fire making runs to the east today, which will push the total acreage of the Mendocino Complex over the 400,000 mark.
THOMAS BENDINELLI, 30, of Sebastopol was killed Friday night when, for unknown reasons, his Toyota pick-up plunged off Sheperd Lane, a narrow, precipitous dirt road south and west of Ukiah, accessed from the Boonville-Ukiah Road. Bendinelli's truck plummeted some 350 feet down off the road, fatally hurling the young man from his vehicle. Area residents, who include 5th District supervisor Dan Hamburg, were alerted to the accident early Saturday morning by a persistently barking dog. The CHP said the investigation into the terrible episode is ongoing.
BETSY CAWN REPORTS FROM LAKE COUNTY:
The Lucerne Alpine Senior Center, with inexhaustible — and always undaunted — support from County of Lake Departments of Social Services, Administration, Sheriff’s Office, Public Health, Environmental Health, Mental Health, and a multitude of state agencies (coordinated by the ever-ready and invisbly on-it CalOES staff), American Red Cross, plus various faith-based organizations served 2,298 families during the eight days of the Local Assistance Center operations beginning on August 10 (ending at 7 pm on August 17).* The California Highway Patrol also sent a lovely officer for a few days, whose calm and sweet presence added to our ability to preserve the “peace” (although there were precious few breaches of civil comity to which he could respond; I think they finally decided that all was well in hand, and went back to the traffic management they were designed for). Thank you, Officer Scott.
Still awaiting (during the days of 8/17-18) the announcement of FEMA’s engagement (for which the state governor must convince the national president of economic urgency (which finally arrived some time Saturday) the Lucerne Alpine Senior Center served mostly the population whose homes were not destroyed but whose lives were really frighteningly disrupted in the incurably-threadbare Lucerne enclaves and companion communities: Blue Lakes; Saratoga Springs; the northern end of Scotts Valley; Bachelor Valley; Witter Springs; Upper Lake; Nice; and Lucerne (including the two “rivieras.” Pretty spot.
[Note: I’ll have more on this today, on KPFZ, 88.1 FM (www.kpfz.org) during our regular disaster program coverage.]
The town and neighborhood was quiet, people calmly resuming peaceful lives, and the center served its monthly “Saturday Special” breakfast. I arrived to serve in the Thrift Store for my monthly “turn” — which allows the week-long cadre of volunteer workers the whole weekend off — only to find yet another facility problem. No matter, there was no one about looking for anything. After detecting an electrical malfunction, the store was shut down, and there were only 3 of us when the facility closed down at 3 pm; “Open Mic Lucerne” fired us back up for the evening, but news of that community event will be a surprise to me — I crashed early.
In the meantime,
I visited Scotts Valley, Hendricks Road, Scotts Creek Road (at the confluence of the northern and southern arms of Scotts Creek) on Thursday at dawn, August 9 — when the road was opened up but the road was eerily vacant — and drove up Elk Mountain Road to the Middle Creek Camp and back, a few days ago. There must be a word for shared sadness, but I lack it.
On Sunday, August 20, 2018, the population of home-bound older adults served by the Lucerne Alpine Senior Center (on a “good” day) will resume “home-delivered meal” services — with nutrition products provided by the Lakeport Senior Activity Center. The working assumption is that “congregate” meal services will resume this coming week.
The fires move on; my whole go-bag is in the shop, lacking a brake shoe or bearing, which splits my heart between the home I was “repopulated” to on August 11 and the need to “grab-and-go” (for, of course, those with cars, gas, a few bucks and maybe even a credit card).
First responders (and support staff) are beyond belief — which strikes me as the absolutely correct designation for that kind of effort. Thank you one and all.*
Betsy Cawn (Upper Lake)
*Not forgetting that we have several months of “fire season” to go. Stay tuned to http://www.kpzg.org.
DEAF BORDER COLLIE PUPPY NEEDS A GOOD HOME
This beautiful Border collie pup was born on July 4, 2018. She is deaf and needs a family that can devote the time and special attention she will need to prosper, in a safe home with a fenced yard. This dog is smart, attentive, playful, affectionate, and full of energy.
Please email, or even better call me at 707-962-9246, if you or someone you know is interested in sharing your life with this beautiful dog. Feel free to pass this email along to appropriate dog lovers.
Thanks, Frieda Feen <firstname.lastname@example.org>
by Zack Anderson
Movie Capsule: The critics are mostly raving about Spike Lee's latest movie, BlacKkKlansman. And, as usual, the critics are mostly wrong. Based on the autobiographical account of the first African American cop on the Colorado Springs police force, the film opens with the words: "Some fo real, fo real shit." It's the first clue that the film will be almost pure fiction, despite what the PR flackeys and media lackeys profess. And, just as advertised, Lee's fo real narrative resembles the true story as much as a McDonald's FishWich approximates a rock cod fillet.
In BlacKkKlansman, Ron Stallworth is the first African American cop on the Colorado Springs force in the 1970s. At first relegated to monotonous and demeaning file clerk duties (including enduring the requisite racist honky cop shenanigans), Stallworth leaps at the chance to go undercover at a black power talk given by former Black Panther Stokely Carmichael (now calling himself Kwame Ture in honor of two Africans no one has ever heard of). The Colorado Springs police want to see what nefarious subterfuge Carmichael/Ture and his local sponsors, the Colorado College black activist club, are up to.
True to cliché, Carmichael tells the 100% African American audience members to arm themselves for the coming war against the white racist government. All the young men and women are stylish, attractive, have afros, wear neo-African jewelry, and possess the kind of passionate docility one finds in Japanese baseball fans doing the wave. Of course Stallworth manages to meet Patrice, the "fine sistah" who runs the black student club, an attractive lass in an Angela Davis-do who bubble-drones on about empowerment and the man and liberating themselves by seizing the means of production and blah blah blah. It's so superficial and trite that it treads the delicate line between world-class dumb and chicken-coop racist. If Spike Lee is somehow a true artistic voice for the African American struggle, then the movement is in a more precarious position than a Loretta Lynch tarmac meeting.
But nitpicking aside, Stallworth (engagingly played by John David Washington, son of Denzel), soon spots a newspaper recruitment ad for the local Klan chapter. He responds, then receives a phone call from the local Wizard, who invites him to say hello to a few of the local boys. Officer Stallworth, being black, attends the meeting in the form of a veteran white cop named Flip, who just so happens to be a non-practicing Jew. There's mild tension, some cookie-cutter tail-spotted-in-the-rearview mirror type silliness, and a crew of card-carrying white supremacist buffoons bordering on mentally retarded. Lee had a chance to show the Klan as vile and dangerous, but Jackie Gleason's portrayal of redneck sheriff Buford T. Justice in Smokey and the Bandit is Hamlet compared to these flamboyant Kluckers, who drink, tell racist jokes, and shoot guns (and sometimes in reverse order). This is the film's main problem: its clumsy, brutally dumb parody of real people, which diminishes the issue of racism (institutional and otherwise) in America today.
And while Lee's unfunny Klan yahoos are hackneyed and ineffective, Patrice and the hip young black radicals are only marginally less clichéd. For example, Stallworth and Patrice have a long talk about the relative merits of blaxploitation films and b-movie stars like Richard Roundtree of Shaft and Pam Grier whose Black Power/Cold Shower charms lit up the screen in pictures like Women in Cages and Scream Blacula Scream. This kind of lowbrow schlock talk, interspersed with polemics about "pigs" and "killer cops," reveals a script about as sophisticated as a bright ninth grader who idolizes Michelle Obama. If Tarantino's ludicrously violent and absurd Django Unchained reminded you of Richard Wright, then BlacKkKlansman will uncork your flask.
In his role as superior human masquerading as bigoted idiot, Stallworth even manages to get on the phone with David Duke, the Grand Wizard himself down in Louisiana. Over the course of several conversations, the unlikely pair bond over the black, commie and Jew menace, proof of the Klan's abject cretinism. This isn't beating a dead horse, it's hitting the incinerated corpse with a tactical nuke, then turning ground zero into a Walmart parking lot.
I don't want to ruin the plot for you, but the movie goes on in cloying twists and insipid turns. Stallworth eventually saves Patrice from being blown to smithereens by a C-4 cocktail, which instead kills a carload of evil Klan morons. On a side note, the bad racist honky cop is fired from the police department, but then Stallworth quits and Flip, the non-practicing Jew with spiritual stirrings, storms out when the chief declares the Klan investigation is over, forthwith and post haste.
The film ends with archival footage of Trump trumping it up in his inimitable style, and clashes between Antifa and white power marchers, blood, cars plowing into protesters, and a snapshot of the general mayhem lurking on street corners from South Boston to Santa Fe. Because Spike Lee needed to remind us that what we're watching is, like, hip, brother. Are you down with that, my man?
But in cruel (i.e., non-Hollywood) reality, Stallworth and his fellow cops stopped no bombing of black students or speakers, because none were ever planned. The overwhelming majority of Colorado Springs lefties agitating for racial justice in 1979 were white; the one woman Stallworth met at Stokely Carmichael's speech was in fact a white German (a generally redundant description). The Ku Klux Klan chapter was making noise about targeting not ethnic minorities, but local gay bars, those degenerate minefields of overpriced margaritas and Judy Garland sing-alongs.
Though it might seem ironic, if not pathological, I didn't hate the movie. It went fast and wasn't painful, which is more than can be said for Marie Antoinette's wedding night. My issue is that it's a pure b-movie, a blaxploitation flick masquerading as an important and urbane discussion of racism and America. Last year's Get Out was superior in every way. Which means BlacKkKlansman will probably win several Oscars, which in turn will swell Klan rolls from Barstow to Bend, Oregon.
In the meantime, millions of Americans like me will look forward to the next bit of Tom Cruise super-heroics, an honest and humble spy-vs-spy-vs-Godzilla caper that doesn't pretentiously bill itself as Sophie's Real Choice: Vegan or Gluten-Free? I can see Tom now, working out his eyelid muscles, practicing his smile, drawing us closer, getting us clear: Mission Impossible: Stop Lying! Fo real fo real!
DOING THE RIGHT THING
by Jim Shields
My only comment on Sheriff Tom Allman’s recent denouncement of what apparently was a sizeable number of county employees who no-showed after being contacted and directed to report to work to lend a hand during our ongoing wildfire emergency is:
I believe I’m like most people in that I’ve never needed to be told to do the right thing.
As a former long-time labor relations practitioner in the airline industry, I can tell you that any employee who refused to report for emergency duty would suffer severe consequences, up to and including, termination depending on the circumstances.
According to Mark Scaramella, of the Anderson Valley Advertiser, who writes a weekly column — “County Notes” — Allman addressed the Board of Supervisors on the issue at their July 31 meeting:
After praising the stellar performances of his deputies “in a situation they have unfortunately become familiar with,” the Sheriff said he wanted to give a “shout out to County employees who know that they are emergency services workers and came in to answer the phones and help out.” The Sheriff then denounced “the approximately 90 percent of County employees who either don’t answer their phones or return phone calls. They may not understand they are emergency services workers. That we have people who are avoiding their responsibilities as public servants irritates me.”
More startlingly, CEO Carmel Angelo declared, “We had two department heads who refused to allow their staffs to come in and respond. Any department head who says no, I really take exception with.” The names of the two refuse-nik department heads were unnamed as we went to press, but if they are unelected, at will employees, their heads should say goodbye to their lower anatomies as Angelo ominously concluded, “They will be dealt with.”
Scaramella noted that Allman later clarified his remarks regarding just how many employees were derelict in their duties.
The Sheriff’s statement that some 90 percent of County workers failed to show up to man the County’s Emergency Services Office needs clarification, which the Sheriff later provided. Of the employees called, about ten percent appeared to do their mandated duty. There are 1,205 County employees, and that figure includes deputies and other persons whose work assumes disasters. It remains true, however, that the large majority of County workers were no-shows, many turning off their phones, some promising to appear but not, some legitimately on vacation like Supervisor Hamburg who said he was in “the midwest visiting relatives,” and Supervisor Croskey, also out of state when the fires broke out, who said she would return immediately. We haven’t heard from supervisors McCowen, Gjerde and Brown, but it is a safe bet they reported for emergency service.
It’s astounding and despicable that two department heads had no compunctions about countermanding a direct order for employees to report for emergency work due to wildfires that are now the largest in state history.
I’ve always said that you have to know how to lead yourself before you can ever hope to lead others. Those two un-named department heads hopefully will soon have the adjective “former” attached to their titles.
Clearly, there’s a serious problem permeating county employment policies and practices relative to what’s expected of everybody when emergencies are declared.
As I said, most people don’t need to be told to do the right thing. But this situation proves that there are too many public servants who don’t understand that public service never includes doing the wrong thing. Those people need to be counseled by their bosses and probably required to undergo additional training focused on what’s expected of them anytime there’s a declared emergency.
Without a doubt, I’m convinced that most county employees — and I know quite a few of them — did do the right thing, including report to work voluntarily without being told to do so.
They are the ones we need to put the spotlight on, and thank them for doing their jobs every day, whether it be a routine day or day that’s gone to hell because of some crisis, disaster or emergency.
(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.)
* * *
LAST TUESDAY Mendocino County Human Resources Director Heidi Dunham responded to complaints that many county employees did not respond to phone calls asking them to perform emergency services during the initial days of the Mendocino Complex fires.
“We have heard that many of our employees failed to respond. I would like to clarify that almost all of the employees that we actually spoke to were willing to respond. We had a lot of difficulty contacting employees during the initial period of the emergency. Between late Friday night and Sunday afternoon [the fire started in the early afternoon of Friday, July 27, 2018] approximately 175 phone calls were made to county employees to fill 32 spots initially. Many of the calls were to disconnected phone numbers and many of the calls were not answered. I would like to clarify that those calls were made in the middle of the night and very early in the morning from cell phones that did not reflect that it was from the County of Mendocino. That could have had a lot to do with it. We were able to contact staff who were willing to cover shifts and we continue to get calls and e-mails from staff. … When work resumed on Monday it made it much easier for us to contact staff. We could call people at their desk. We could use the county's email system. We could use the instant messaging system. And almost everybody was willing to help. There were a handful of people who did not want to cover a shift without a really good reason. We know about that. We did talk to two departments who declined to send one person from each of those departments. The first was the Retirement office and they had two employees covering their office that day and they did have another priority because they were short staffed. So they were not able to send anybody. In the case of the Assessor Clerk-Recorder's office, the communication was between my staff and a manager. We did not actually speak to the department head. The Assessor Clerk-Recorder's office has provided five staff to cover five shifts during the emergency. We have identified areas for improvement to our emergency response during the October 2017 fires and in this new emergency we continue to learn how to better respond to emergencies. Our practice has been to send out all employee emails to people to remember to update their contact information with their departments when there is a change. Obviously that is still not happening. We will concentrate our efforts to contact county employees so that we can make sure our records up to date and that we have information we need in the future. We also realize that using cellphones to make calls in the middle of the night which do not identify it as coming from the County of Mendocino is not a best practice. So we will look at getting cellphones that identify us as the County of Mendocino or simply coming into the office and using a county phone. We will also be working with the county's emergency services staff to review the technologies and protocols during an emergency response and make improvements to our emergency response. We also acknowledge and thank the 133 staff who were assigned disaster worker shifts in the emergency call center and the four county staff who were assigned to disaster service worker shifts at the animal shelter and to all the disaster service workers at the evacuation shelters and the emergency operations center. We appreciate our staff, they do good work.”
MSP REMINDS US:
Jere Melo Community Service Award Dinner Saturday
From the Jere Melo Foundation:
"At 5:00pm on August 25th, we will be hosting the 4th Annual Jere Melo Community Service Awards dinner and silent auction at Fort Bragg Senior Center located at 490 North Harold Street, Fort Bragg. Information about the awards, dinner menu and tickets can found on our website. (Social hour at 5:00 pm, Dinner at 6:00 pm).
Guest Speaker – Ed Shemelya, Coordinator, National Marijuana Initiative, White House Office of National Drug Control Policy
GARNISH GETTING A BYPASS
Garnish Daly Update
Garnish is resting comfortably in hospital in Santa Rosa. He's scheduled for bypass surgery on Monday and asks that you keep him in your prayers.
Jade Tippett, Fort Bragg
FRANK HARTZELL WRITES:
Journalism has died and nobody seems to notice (even sadder). Highest praise to Mendocino TV, AVA, Malcolm the Advocate, ICO, MendoSports Plus, Mendocino Voice and those over the hill. This is MUCH MORE coverage than many much bigger areas have. It truly hurts to be in the position Marianne McGee at MendocinoTV is in, along with many others, laboring on the edge, trying to stay as legitimate reporters not mouthpieces. There is SO MUCH GOING ON nobody is covering and not 10 cents to pay anybody to reveal life changing matters beyond what the above group and a few others perhaps can do (small percentage). Society remains weirdly angry at 'the media" and seems to love crooked politicians who bash it and networks set up to sell the public on what they already know. Research and facts have become dirty. Until people get worried about this we are moving quick to a feudal-fascist society at all levels. Information is that important. Every local government should do what it can to insure that banking, media and food are local, needless to say we bank with Wall Street here and those other issues have never made the radar. There were several local initiatives, such as an Obama administration proposal to fund university trained investigative reporting and provide stimulus to the media at all levels. It was panned by Dems, GOP and most journalists. WTF. Facebook is now the nation's newspaper and it has zero ethics, prints a billion tons of libel every day and takes no responsibilty for its content. People have to care and the system has to provide a way to pay for facts and research for local news again...
INTERESTING POST ON WOODS ‘BOILER’
A Piece of History on the Mendocino Coast is SAVED! The Boiler Lives again!
by Roo Harris
The Old Boiler is SAVED! Many of you have ridden down the fast and furious Boiler trail after screaming down Endo, ONo and Fury III! At the bottom is an old skid boiler relic that was listing 30° to starboard. Another wet winter and it would have fallen over never to be raised again. Today, four of us armed with various tools righted the old gal.
Now, for the history part:
It was originally theorized that the old boiler belonged to what was known as a "Steam Donkey". But, a Steam Donkey is a self contained units with its own boiler. It was not a jettisoned boiler from a small logging train engine as this boiler has legs on it.
I then thought it could possibly be a boiler to a 19th century steam tractor. But the huge fly wheel attachment was never in evidence. Also, on very close inspection there appeared to be an axle under the width of the firebox. No front axle attachment existed. Plus, the rear axle was too small in diameter to support the huge rear wheels for a steam tractor. There were bolts on all four legs running parallel to the boiler which probably attached to something like wooden skids. So, this unit appears to be a skid boiler manufactured around the turn of the 20th century. These were pulled around the woods by oxen or even a steam tractor. Then the boiler was harnessed to a small logging mill or some other device that needed to be steam driven. One has to wonder who the small guy (or kid) was who had to brace the inside rivet heads. Lost hearing was a way of life!
So, after a successful 3 hour effort on our part*, the old boiler stands plumb and level to live another millennium for bikers and hikers to enjoy a piece of coastal logging history located near the Mendocino Woodlands State Park!
A special thanks to Gene Barnes, Myke Berna and Harris Devore for their help, expertise and available muscle to level the old icon before falling over onto the Boiler Trail. Using jacks and two come-a-longs, we leveled it up and onto two 4"X10"X48" old growth redwood planks provided by Tom Charters. In the process, the front of the boiler was then rotated approximately 25° to the left, putting it more parallel to the trail.
*Disclaimer: no workers were harmed while filming this event.
PETIT TETON MONTHLY FARM REPORT - JULY 2018
We are prestidigitators. Every Friday at 11am, we arrive in Mendocino in our old Toyota truck for the 12 to 2pm farmers' market and proceed to pull from the filled to the roof camper shell: boxes, tables, a canopy, coolers, flats of fruits and vegetables, the carry-all of tablecloths and baskets, a water jug, our scale and money box, and the two large, heavy bins full of "value added products" (VAPs) aka the canned goods, set all these parts on the street and wave our hands. Abracadabra! And presto, everything pops into place and an eye-catching display of our wares magically appears. Or so we imagine our customers believe and so we would like to believe.
We may be conjurors but the magic is hard work. Preparing for, getting to, and setting up at market is mental and physical labor. On Wednesday we restock the large bins with the VAPs we sold the previous week and anything new produced during the week. Then we print a "Market List" which includes everything we sell - fresh, canned, dried, and meats - and the quantities and prices. This is our accounting sheet for the week.
On Thursday, the ripe fresh produce is picked, washed, trimmed, bundled, boxed, bagged or rubber banded, weighed or counted and recorded on the "List" then packed in a cooler in the commercial kitchen walk-in. Room temp food is boxed and left on a table. After dinner the money box is reloaded with change and the "List" is checked for anything forgotten. The next morning we back the truck to the garage to load in the wooden display boxes, canopy, signs, and tables kept there then drive up to the kitchen door to load the foodstuffs. The meats are packed into their own coolers and ice is added to them and to the cooler of fresh jars we bring such as krauts and kimchi. Packing the truck is juggling magic all of its own. On good days, it takes us an hour to drive to Mendocino.
There is no voodoo to unpacking at market; it’s simply labor, the hardest part being setting up the canopy and tables and carrying boxes of jars to the display shelves. After many years of doing this, we have a sort of system and a sort of set-up and a sort of division of labor. The market has gorgeous views of the ocean, moist cool air and crowds of tourists - more than ever now due to the inland heat and fires. The often big winds and fog and drizzle can cause consternation and sometimes havoc but we are happy to escape to the coast for the few hours every week. We hang the CPC, WIC and EBT signs and put out the price labels, then look over the set-up to make sure all is in order. It’s good! We take our positions behind the tables and await the customers, for whom the whole performance is designed.
The smoke has been bad lately. It's affecting our eyes and mental acuity - what's left of it - making us want to sleep a lot. We hope all is well with you.
Nikki Auschnitt & Steve Krieg, Petit Teton Farms, Yorkville
LITTLE DOG SAYS, “As my many fans know, I wear my learning lightly but try to help out with free advice whenever I can, not that these characters ever seem to appreciate my input. Insomnia, for instance: Start with the number 300 and subtract backwards by three. You'll be back in Dreamland by 291.”
FOG BELT LIBEL!
Editor ICO, Gualala:
Sister Yazzle Dazzle has drawn my attention to an item in your edition of 17 August called 'Yesteryear in the ICO — 1988' where I am described as having "decked the Mendocino County Superintendent of Schools." Well, harrumph and double harrumph, and please allow me to clarify: If I'd "decked" the fellow I daresay I would have been charged with assault not merely disturbing the peace, wouldn't you agree? Anyway, I can tell you that the 35 days I subsequently spent in the Mendo county jail was not my first trip inside, but I assure you all but one of those were for noble purpose, mostly in San Francisco, Oakland and Berkeley, the exception being a barroom scuffle in, of all places, Pismo Beach circa 1962. In the Mendo episode, the first of three incarcerations in this odd jurisdiction, I can tell you I put the down time to productive purpose, catching up on my reading and exploring what was left of my sexuality. (Hah!)
KAREN OTTOBONI, a long-time member of the Anderson Valley Elderhome Board of Directors, and a pioneer Back-to-the-Lander, attended last Wednesday night's Community Services District board meeting to address a complaint about the community garden at the Elderhome filed by Jeff and Donna Pugh of Boonville. The Pughs are worried that the gardens at the Elderhome’s Community Garden — rented by locals to grow their own produce — are too close to the Elderhome’s leachfield, and pose a possible threat to the health of the people who might consume the vegetables grown in the planters and small gardens adjacent to the leachfield.
The Community Services District has nothing to do with the operation of the Elderhome or the community garden project, but the CSD provides basic liability insurance under the district's insurance umbrella, saving the garden project about $275 a year in insurance fees.
The Community Garden has 20 raised beds for gardeners “with low mobility” and 10 in-ground beds for local, primarily low-income families with limited garden space of their own.
Ms. Ottoboni took the Pughs’ complaint seriously and looked into the issue at length, doing extensive research and speaking to several local former environmental health officials, all of whom said there was no cause for concern. Even so, the Elderhome has arranged to have the gardens tested and inspected by the consultant who designed the gardens and annual tests will continue to be conducted by the county to make sure that their septic system is functioning properly and does not contaminate the vegetables being grown in the planter boxes.
Apparently the Pughs — Mr. Pugh is a retired local water and pump system installer; Ms. Pugh is the retired elementary school principal — have been working with semi-retired Philo attorney Bill Sterling who wrote what Ms, Ottobonni described as “a lawyer letter” to the Elderhome expressing similar concerns about the garden project’s proximity to the leachfield.
According to a memo written by Ms. Ottoboni for the Elderhome in response to the Pughs, "We have been able to find no scientific evidence that plants uptake pathogens through the root systems. The studies indicate that plants do not update pathogens through their roots. Standing black water is what poses a threat of contamination. The Elderhome septic system is functioning well as designed. Therefore one can conclude that there is no potential contamination. We have and will continue to inform the community gardeners of our findings if any new information may arise. And we will address all the recommendations and continue with regular inspections.”
The Community Services District board was satisfied with Ms. Ottoboni’s presentation and unanimously agreed to continue covering the garden project under the district's insurance policy.
AT LAST REPORT, the long-delayed request for proposals (RFP) for the Exclusive Operating Area (EOA) for ambulance services in the Highway 101 corridor and Anderson Valley has been reviewed and approved by state emergency services and has been returned to the Sonoma County-based semi-private emergency services outfit (Coastal Valley Emergency Medical Services).
Local fire officials remain skeptical that the RFP will be issued anytime soon. Even though County officials — who decided last year to discontinue their arrangement with Coastal Valley EMS because of their unavailability during last fall’s devastating wildfires in Redwood and Potter Valley (and perhaps other unstated reasons) — seem to think that the RFP will be issued soon and the potential bidders for the ambulance services in the Ukiah Valley area can begin to prepare their bids.
So far we know of only two companies expressing interest in bidding. MedStar (formerly Ukiah) Ambulance Service, the longtime service provider in the Ukiah area, and Verihealth Ambulance Service, a subsidiary of the huge Falck conglomerate out of Denmark, which began competing for ambulance calls in the Ukiah area a few years ago, precipitating the need for the exclusive operating area contract.
No one outside the preparers of the RFP at Coastal Valley EMS and the state authorities who reviewed it has seen the RFP. So no one knows the degree to which it might affect the Anderson Valley ambulance. It will probably depend upon how the RFP is structured, what relationship is called for with Anderson Valley, and who wins the exclusive contract. The AV Ambulance has had a long-standing good relationship with MedStar and their staff, but not with Verihealth.
BLACKkKlansman is a bad movie, insulting and cliche-ridden with a script that reads like it was written by the Democratic National Committee. It's deftly reviewed elsewhere in this week's paper, but what is already evident in the reviews is how queasy it makes the libs. So far they're either raving about it or most egregiously in The New Yorker, spinelessly non-committal, and to think this is the mag where the great Pauline Kael never feared calling a bad movie a bad movie. See it for yourself and judge. Smart friends raved about it to me prior to my ticket purchase. I sat through it because the thing is minimally watchable, unlike a lot of highly praised junk movies out there which, within minutes of seating yourself you're muttering, "I'm just going to write off the price of my ticket and get the hell out before I start throwing stuff at the screen." By minimally watchable I mean enough happens, just barely, to keep you kinda interested, and some of the acting is ok but the whole way you're hit over the head with serial statements of the obvious. A much better film that forthrightly makes an honest and at the same time artful statement about white racism is "Get Out," by the same guy who funded BlacKkKlansman. But watching the seemingly endless clips from "coming attractions" — all five aimed at the moron market — it's clear that movies are so extremely dumbed down anymore it's as if unless someone on-screen is telling you what to think you might miss the point.
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MY FAVE HEALDSBURG RESTAURANT is Carl's Jr., the only place downtown where there's always parking in the tourist-clogged little gem of a town, and the coffee is quite good without your suffering behind some fool ordering a triple decaf latte. Yeah, yeah, I know there are a lot of entitled people around these days, people who behave like they're the very cynosure of all the world's attention, but Healdsburg being a kind of rural headquarters of the nouveau accumulating classes, there's more of them there than Mendocino, even. I do my halfway to and from the city at Carl's in Healdsburg where the counter people are also Senior Citizens whose citizenship has bought them post-retirement employment with big bills to pay raising the grandkids because the parents are on dope. One old girl, at least my age, shuffles around so painfully she makes my feet hurt.
THE SEA OF MACADAM in which Carl Jr. and his ancient staff float stretches from Jr. north about a quarter mile to include some forty businesses, anchored by a mammoth Safeway. Pulling in, I spot a bumpersticker that makes me laugh. "Fuckin' kids," it says. I remember that one being yelled at me and my friends when, during various teen hijinks, some spoil sport of a male adult (women didn't swear in those days) would invariably lay it on us. One night, piling over the fence of a midnight motel to go for a swim, the night clerk comes hustling out. "Outtahere now or I'm calling the cops!" One of my comrades leaped from the pool, ran right up to the guy and screamed in his face, "Weren't you ever a kid, you prick?"
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MY OLDEST FRIEND all the way back to kindergarden and I happened to touch on the Catholics we went to school with, priestly predation being much in the news. None of the young Papists in my memory were given to piety, but every Friday they were dismissed early for "catechism," instruction in the faith theoretically, but viewed by them simply as an unsupervised few minutes to dick off as they slowly made their way down the street to the church. "I wonder if any of those guys were molested by the priests?" I mused. My friend replied, Those guys? If anything, they molested them!"
CATCH OF THE DAY, August 19, 2018
INGRID ANGERMEYER, Aliso Viejo/Piercy. DUI.
JOSE AYALA-MARTINEZ, Redwood Valley. Domestic battery.
TONYA CLARK, Fort Bragg. Disorderly conduct-loitering-private property, willful cruelty to child with possible injury or death.
MATTHEW FEIGEL, Willits. Disorderly conduct-alcohol.
CHARLES GIELOW, Willits. Narcotics for sale, controlled substance for sale, paraphernalia, community supervision violation.
HECTOR JIMENEZ, Boonville. DUI.
JOHN KNIGHT JR., Ukiah. Possession of teargas/weapon.
THOMAS MADDOX, Willits. DUI, suspended license (for DUI)
JOSHUA MOORE, Willits. Paraphernalia, community supervision violation.
CHRISTOPHER O’BRYAN, Lucerne/Willits. DUI.
JASON SANDERS, Ukiah. False personation of another, disobeying court order, failure to appear.
VICTOR SANTOYO-CONTRERAS, Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-alcohol.
JIMMY SAUSEDO, Covelo. DUI.
WESLEY SIMMONS, Fort Bragg. Disorderly conduct-alcohol.
CHRISTOPHER THOMAS, Ukiah. Failure to appear.
When people are comforted by government lies, trafficking the truth becomes hellishly difficult. Disclosing damning facts is especially tricky when editors en masse lose their spines. These are some of the takeaways from legendary Seymour Hersh’s riveting new memoir, Reporter.
ED NOTE: “Reporter” is a highly recommended personal account of Hersh’s life by a truly great reporter. Should be required reading in journalism schools.
AUGUST 20, 1943: The Daily Californian, University of California’s student publication, in a blunt editorial, yesterday charged the American Legion with fascism, bigotry and intolerance. Under the heading “They Actually Said It,” the editorial quoted excerpts of speeches delivered during the course of the recent American Legion convention here by Governor Warren, National Commander Roane Waring, State Commander Leon Happel and others. Specifically the paper took issue with Waring for having declared, “The vice-president of the United States made this statement: ‘The social revolution is on its way and the devil and all his angels cannot stop it.’ Well, Mr. Wallace, the devil and all his angels might not be able to stop it, but by the eternal God, the American Legion will!” Then under a subhead “Here’s What We Say,” the editorial declared: “The intolerant bigotry and emotionalism of these statements by prominent American Legion officials are fair warning to all who believe in American principles that the American Legion is a potentially dangerous organization. It has been often said that if Fascism comes to the United States it will be called Americanism … Newspaper reports of the San Francisco convention reveal that this militant, well organized politically and economically influential and purportedly 100% American organization contains the seeds of fascism. The group in control has laid down a policy which is rampantly nationalistic; intolerant of other nations and other people; intolerant of minorities within the United States; lacking in regard for the rights of citizens and strongly emotional in its approach to social problems.”
GOING FUNDAMENTAL ELUDES CONGRESSIONAL PROGRESSIVES
by Ralph Nader
I’ve recently received fundraising letters from Senator Elizabeth Warren and Senator Chuck Schumer on behalf of their Democratic Party’s campaign committees. Mostly, all they ask for is money, though Schumer’s letter includes a short tough letter to President Trump for us to sign which they promise to deliver to the White House.
Although politicians review and sign fundraising letters, rarely do they write them. That lucrative task is left to political consulting firms that also profitably consult for corporations. That’s why the letters are so formulaic.
Over the years I have urged incumbents and candidates for elected office to do more than ask people for money. Why not ask them for their time, their minds, and their dedication by having “time-raisers,” not just “fund-raisers”? Great idea they uniformly say. This never gets done. Their consultants think asking for anything other than money diminishes donations. So the dreary letters continue to arrive with grand promises and few specifics. For example, both letters mentioned the need for higher minimum wages. Wages have been stagnant for many years while corporate profits and executive bonuses have skyrocketed on the backs of millions of American workers. But there is no mention of how high a minimum wage (gutted by inflation since the 1970s) these Democrats are committed to supporting. Similarly, there are no specifics that address protecting health care, social security, reversing huge tax cuts to big business, debloating military budgets and stopping costly, reckless wars. If politicians don’t give you specifics and timetables, they’re creating their own loopholes should they be elected.
Now comes the spanking new “People’s Budget” released by the House of Representatives Progressive Caucus of the Democratic Party (see “The People’s Budget”). It is 40 pages with charts that rebuke and reject the cruel and vicious agenda of the corporatist, war-mongering, deficit-booming Republican toadies of Wall Street, and the fossil fuel and nuclear industries. The organized lobbies against the modest necessities of workers, consumers, and defenseless communities dominate the federal budget process.
But the CPC’s “People’s Budget” has its own infirmities. It doesn’t address very weak corporate crime enforcement, to repealing specific anti-labor laws, like the Taft-Hartley Act, to being number-specific in cutting the bloated, corporate crime-ridden military budget, or even giving a number to a higher minimum wage.
Showing both large expenditures for restoring social safety net programs and large savings by reducing corporate welfare, restoring corporate taxes, and adding some new ones such as a speculation tax on Wall Street transactions, the “People’s Budget” still comes off as a blizzard of funding for old programs with their welfare industries.
For example, the Progressive Caucus Budget does not recommend a universal basic income (UBI)—historically supported by liberal and conservative thinkers and politicians. UBI, in an age of rapid automation, would reduce the need for some of those welfare programs and bureaucracies.
The “People’s Budget” goes into details explaining its health care policies, without even mentioning what it proposes to do about $350 billion in annual billing fraud and abuse by the health care vendors. Not a word about 5,000 or more lives lost every week in our country from preventable problems in hospitals, according to a recent Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine study. These are gigantic tragedies destroying peoples’ lives, regardless of how important it is to provide affordable and accessible healthcare.
Although the “People’s Budget” covers a myriad of needs, it is strangely minimalist on strengthening democracy besides stopping voter repression. Can you have a “People’s Budget” without people power?
These Progressives should have included a section on “Shift of Power” from the few to the many, arguing for a fuller system of electoral reform, experiential civic skills training in schools, fundamental corporate reform (from corporate charters to corporate personhood), and giving people usable tools for democratic engagement.
A full-blown assault on the corporate destruction of freedom of contract (one-sided fine print) and the (tort) law of wrongful injuries should have come naturally to these Progressives. But it did not.
Timid on taking on corporate-induced deficits, quagmires of boomeranging Empire (though “People’s Budget” advocates for auditing the Pentagon) and the massive waste and loss of life from health care commercialism (that far less expensive single payer has avoided in Canada, with better outcomes), the Progressive Caucus report reads too much like a revised New Deal laundry list.
Its wonky style does not lend itself to on the ground campaigning before voters hungry for regaining control over their lives and looking for changes that restore self-reliant economies detached from the speculative risks and greed of the global corporate disorder.
People are essentially looking for fair play, empowerment, respect, voice, and reduction of the overall rat race that provokes so much anxiety, dread, and fear. They want time, yes time, for their families and other pursuits than sinking into deeper debts from distant forces way beyond their accountability. This “People’s Budget,” to gain traction, cannot be about “bread” alone. Thomas Jefferson understood the political economy, but he also knew the importance of non-material goals that connected the economy to “the pursuit of happiness.”
Let’s hope candidates for the November election remember those finer intangibles that move more people to become better informed voters.
(Ralph Nader is a consumer advocate, lawyer and author of Only the Super-Rich Can Save Us!)
The 'Blue Wave'
ON LINE COMMENT OF THE DAY
It’s funny how the same people keep underestimating Trump and they never learn from their mistakes. I’ll bet you were one of those who swore he could never win the nomination, then that he could never win the election. Now, after 19 months (and a dozen hushed up coup and assassination attempts) you’re absolutely sure he will “trip over his own wanker soon enough”.
Here’s two thoughts.
1) He trips over his own wanker every day and it doesn’t seem to matter.
2) When you’re wrong so many times, lose the arrogance and re-examine your assumptions. Maybe he resonates with some Americans (certainly not with you). And maybe you’re the one out of touch with white working class America.
PHILBRICK & THE NOTSEES
There are none as blind as those who do not see. Those who deliberately do not see, I call them notsees. They are the true enemies of the people.
Most of Trumps base fit into this category. They do not see that a U.S. Federal Judge has ruled that Trumps policies of separating children from their parents is illegal and unconstitutional.
These Trump notsees are so blind, that they see no problem in treating refugees like the enemy, but then say "God bless trump".. Bad notsees!
God was very clear about this, we are to treat the less fortunate with respect and kindness. Trumps demonizing of refugees is immoral and his policies are illegal and unconstitutional.
This is not a liberal vs. conservative issue, but rather a clear moral one, good vs. evil.
The Trump degeneracy is so evil that it's shifted the war on terror to the war on the poor refugees. Those who bless this evil behavior are they themselves cursed and damned by the very God they claim to believe in.
God also told me to mention that Trump has now made 4,229 false, misleading or outright lies in his statements over the past 558 days, according to the fact checker at The Washington Post. Evil!
PS. Philbrick is completely wrong about the homeless problem being caused by "liberals". He does not see that it was Reagan who closed the mental hospitals with the help of the so called conservatives, and their decades of cuts to funding for rehabilitation services. It's a national problem and so S.F. is a destination for the U.S. homeless, and now looks horrible. Scapegoating of liberals is an old lame trick.
YOUR TAX DOLLAR AT WORK
Out The Door: Gov. Jerry Brown, who leaves office in January, has just appointed his 29-year-old deputy legal affairs secretary, Katherine Williams Dodd, to the seven-member California Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board at an annual salary of $153,689. Dodd is the daughter-in-law of state Sen. Bill Dodd, D-Napa — co-chairman of the Senate-Assembly conference committee hearing a series of bills dealing with the utility companies’ wildfire liabilities, including one backed by the governor. Might there be a quid pro quo involved in Dodd’s appointment? “That’s an absolutely absurd premise and question,” says Evan Westrup, the governor’s press secretary. “Absolutely not.” California Gov. Jerry Brown, who leaves office in January, has appointed staff members to state jobs. In June, Brown appointed an old high school classmate, 80-year-old Juan Pedro Gaffney, to the same workers’ comp board, at the same salary. Brown also just named his deputy press secretary, Gareth Lacy, 36, to the California Gambling Control Commission, also at $153,689 a year. Likewise, the governor named his longtime scheduling secretary, Kathy Baldree, 54, and Shawnda Westly, 48, a longtime strategist for the state Democratic Party, to the state Personnel Board. The board meets once a month, and its members are paid $48,789 a year. “We look far and wide for top talent, and that certainly includes considering — and recruiting — smart, experienced staff who have served the state in various capacities over the years for new roles,” Westrup said.
(Matier and Ross, SF Chronicle)
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ED NOTE: According to Brown’s appointment notice, “Katherine Williams Dodd, 29, of Napa, has been appointed to the California Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board. Dodd has served as deputy legal affairs secretary in the Office of Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. since 2017. She was assistant general manager and corporate secretary at Frog’s Leap Winery from 2016 to 2017. Dodd was a legislative advocate at the American Civil Liberties Union of California Center for Advocacy and Policy from 2013 to 2016, where she was a legislative assistant from 2010 to 2013. She earned a Juris Doctor degree from the University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law. Dodd is president of the Puertas Abiertas Community Resource Center Board of Directors. This position requires Senate confirmation and the compensation is $153,689. Dodd is a Democrat. The daughter in law of State Senator Bill Dodd (D-Napa), she previously worked for the ACLU as a legislative advocate after graduating from McGeorge School of Law in Sacramento. Ms. Dodd comes from a prominent Napa Valley family, as her father, State Senator Bill Dodd, started and owns Frog’s Leap Winery.”
TRANSLATION: The clearly unqualified Ms. Dodd’s only “qualification” is that she is the daughter-in-law of a big Napa County donor to the Brown California Democratic Party campaign coffers.
THIS LITTLE PIGGY
This little piggy went to his twitter account
So he could declare what the world is about
It mattered not what truth might be
He cared little for that or of history
He clamored and yelled, he spat out his venom
At those that he chose, we'll kick 'em and skin 'em!
They've rigged the game, they're all hunting witches
Let's lock 'em up tight, the dirty sons of bitches
Everyone knows and they know without doubt
He's done nothing wrong his entire life throughout
So why investigate him, an innocent lamb
It's an outrage, a witch hunt, an unholy scam!
So listen and watch, this will be fun
He'll hire a tongue to spin what he's done
He'll twist and he'll posit, he might land on his fanny
He's a practiced deceiver, his name is Giuliani
He'll distort the stories for which the piggy is known
Proclaim his innocence, build him a throne
They'll bend truth to their will, facts won't endure
They'll build a great wall to keep the race pure
They embrace our enemies and turn on our friends
They trample the press and make no amends
They lie, cheat and conspire democracy's end
Convince the naive it's what the framers intend
The gullible, the blind, those who condone
Bow down to the piggy in his tower of stone
They don't know, they're all so confused
Not the slightest notion that they're being used
By a conman, a cheat, a thief in the night
A feral retard who urges them to fight
Our guardians, his opponents, whatever the case
These are the unfortunates known as his base
They see him on stage and think he's for real
But it's just TV, to mesmerize and steal
Their hearts and minds for use as his bludgeon
They know not the truth of this wicked curmudgeon
This little piggy…
—Jake Rohrer, Hawaii, August, 2018