- Bellah Ultimatum
- Helen Bartow
- Variety Show
- Patricia Found
- Sheriff Talk
- Tweakers Nabbed
- Health PSA
- Team Schraeder
- Hoffman Returns
- Trail Plan
- Director Colfax
- Abundance Workshop
- Net Man
- 7 Blunders
- Economic Summit
- Navarro Jobs
- Yesterday's Catch
- Presidential Hopefuls
- Halftime Show
- Liberals Stink
- Ag Future
- Super Drunks
- Amended Agenda
- Bocce Ballers
- Fossil Fuelers
- Congressional Hearings
- Shutdown Prevention
- Ignoring Davos
- Reagan Humor
- American Verdict
- Messengers Fired
THE FIRST OF TWO LARGE STORMS is impacting the West Coast this weekend bringing heavy rain, strong winds and heavy mountain snow to California. The heavy rain is heightening the risk for flash flooding near burn scars. Showers and possible thunderstorms Saturday. Highs in the 50s. Windy with 15-25mph winds, gusting to 40. Rain over 80% of the area with up to half an inch on Saturday. Showers will continue Sunday and into Monday with winds decreasing. Up to another half-inch possible. Clearing Tuesday through Friday but colder with overnight lows approaching freezing. (National Weather Service)
ANOTHER ONE BITES THE DUST AT COAST HOSPITAL
by Malcolm Macdonald
At the Thursday, January 31st meeting of the Mendocino Coast District Hospital (MCDH) Board of Directors, orthopedist Jack Bellah offered an ultimatum: reinstate Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Bob Edwards or he (Bellah) would resign. The physician went on to say that he and his wife were making plans to leave the area.
Further inquiry revealed that Bellah had not offered the hospital board an official resignation. Later in the meeting, the hospital board moved, seconded, and approved replacing Bellah with Dr. Barbara Killion on the planning committee.
If I may be permitted commentary so early in a report, there is no chance that the current board of directors is going to reverse field on the dismissal of Edwards. Dr. Bellah apparently chooses to forget the history of Bob Edwards at MCDH.
The now dismissed CEO is a defendant in a federal lawsuit filed by the hospital's former chief human resources officer. Because of Edwards' and former Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Wade Sturgeon's actions the hospital still stands accused of violating the federal False Claims Act. Edwards, individually, stands accused of intentional infliction of emotional distress. Several other accusations relating to Edwards' actions are pending. The core of the allegations revolve around a former chief human resource officer's claim she complained to Edwards about possible Medicare fraud and that she was subsequently retaliated against because of raising such questions.
In the eyes of Edwards, anyone close to that former Chief Human Resource Officer (CHRO) was automatically suspect. He dismissed the CHRO's assistant, apparently because Edwards felt that person might be leaking information to the press. If there was any leak, which seems incredibly unlikely, it wasn't to the AVA. Though much farther down the chronological line (after the dismissal) I had one phone call interchange with the CHRO's assistant, I wouldn't recognize the person if we met on the street.
A few months later Edwards fired a long time Chief Nursing Officer (CNO) for what could only be described as that person being too friendly with the CHRO. As far as that CNO leaking information, the only time I asked her for a minute of her time to answer a question after a board meeting she replied brusquely, “No.” I had one semi-private conversation with her, but the only details forthcoming from that coincidental encounter amounted to information about family matters.
While he was CEO, Edwards conducted himself in a manner best summarized as paranoid tyranny. Further evidence arrived in a November, 2017, newspaper article authored by a former business office manager at MCDH. The opening line of that piece stated, “Last week I received a threatening letter from Bob Edwards.”
The article detailed workplace harassment by both Sturgeon and Edwards directed at the business office manager. Another employee went on multiple stress related medical leaves due to Edwards' behavior. Eventually the employee had enough and left for a similar job out of state.
Those kinds of stories about Edwards go on and on, right up to the last month of Edwards' tenure. At the January 3, 2019, special board of directors (BOD) meeting, new BOD member Amy McColley alleged Edwards deliberately tried to keep her from that very meeting by intentionally lying to her about the date of the meeting. Details of how this occurred are in a January 9, 2019 AVA article. After McColley's allegation in open session, Edwards offered no excuse beyond nonsensical mutterings.
Edwards acted like a bully time and time again in his three years and nine months as MCDH's CEO. His dismissal should have come sooner. The previous BOD, who enabled Edwards, with the exception of Dr. Peter Glusker, are the ones to blame for the hospital having to pay approximately $400,000 to give the old CEO the boot.
If Jack Bellah wants to continue to side with Edwards, so be it. Perhaps Bellah thinks intimidation is the way to run a hospital. Other medical facilities should be forewarned of their like-minded natures.
I believe in forgiveness, so perhaps there's a chance Edwards and/or Bellah could be better folk in a different locale. It is a little too soon to buy that scenario playing out just yet. The negative tenure of Edwards at MCDH proved all too real. At this juncture I am reminded of what a former colleague used to say when politicians of a similar bent were eventually hoisted on their own petard and sent packing, “No loss to society.”
Helen Bartow of Willits was born January 27, 1926 and died on January 14, 2019 in her home with family around her. Helen spent her life working tirelessly beside her husband, William Bartow, on their ranch settled by her ancestors and located just down the road from where she grew up. She and William raised their own meat, fruits and vegetables.
Helen always made time for her own interests and activities. She enjoyed her sheep, cattle, gardening, berry patch and sewing. Throughout her life Helen worked to promote ranching and agriculture by her participation on the Mendocino County Farm Bureau Board of Directors for over 40 years and served on its scholarship committee for many of those years. She was a lifetime member of the Grange of yesteryear for more than 80 years.
Helen was on the Election Board and helped with every election for more than 60 years. She also participated on the Mendocino County Planning Commission. As a child Helen was a 4-H member and when her children were in 4-H she was a project leader and a community leader.
Helen liked to sing while she worked and during the time her children were very small she went on a few trips to sing with a group who call themselves "The Mothers Singers."
Helen was preceded in death by her husband, William Bartow, and is survived by their three children, Emma Thompson (Les) of Williams, Ruth Ford and Robert Bartow (Carol) of Willits. She is also survived by 11 grandchildren and their spouses, 15 great-grandchildren and one great-great-grandchild.
A memorial gathering will be held on Saturday, February 16, 2019 from 1- 4 PM at the Willits Senior Center, 1501 Baechtel Road to share memories of Helen.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Farm Bureau scholarship fund, Howard Memorial Hospital, Willits Senior Center, or your favorite charity.
ANDERSON VALLEY GRANGE’S 28TH ANNUAL VARIETY SHOW is on Friday March 8th and Saturday March 9th, at the Anderson Valley Grange. We're looking for acts. Please come show off your variety! We need YOU and your acts onstage!
Please contact Captain Rainbow at 895-3807, or Robyn at 272-2127 (you can text her, too) if you have a talent, skill, animal, joke, or anything else you'd like to put onstage for all of us to enjoy. We'll discuss what you need for rehearsals and for the night of the show. We have professional caliber lights and sound, and the kindest, most enthusiastic and forgiving audience found anywhere in the world. This is your big chance to show us what you've got!
THE FORT BRAGG GIRL reported missing yesterday has been found safe.
TWEAKERS, THE MIDDLE YEARS
On January 30, 2019 at approximately 11:18 p.m., Mendocino County Sheriff’s Deputies observed and contacted suspect Terry Counterman, 50 of Fort Bragg in the 18500 block of North Highway 1 in Fort Bragg.
Prior to contacting Counterman, Deputies developed information Counterman was in recent contact with suspect Garrick Hornlein, 36, of Fort Bragg. Deputies were actively searching for Hornlein who had an active felony arrest warrant for burglary issued out of the Tracy Police Department. Hornlein also fled from Mendocino County Sheriff’s Deputies twice over the last month and evaded capture. Hornlein was also a person of interest in several theft related investigations that occurred in the Fort Bragg area. During their contact with Counterman, Deputies developed probable cause to arrest him after observing evidence in his possession that showed he was actively aiding Hornlein with the intent to assist him in avoiding or escaping arrest. Deputies subsequently arrested Counterman and he was ultimately transported to the Mendocino County Jail where he was booked for Aiding or Abeting a Principal of Felony and held in lieu of bail set at $15,000.
On January 31, 2019 at approximately 2:40 a.m., Deputies and officers with the Fort Bragg Police Department responded to a residence in the 600 block of North Harrison Street in Fort Bragg after receiving information that Hornlein was at the location. After arriving they made contact with Hornlein and arrested him without incident. After his arrest, Hornlein was found in possession of a glass methamphetamine pipe. Hornlein was transported to the Mendocino County Jail where he was booked on the out of county no bail warrant and an open charge of Possession of Drug Paraphernalia.
AND ANOTHER THING, Kids, Be Sure To Eat Right And Exercise Every Day!
From the Redwood Community Services website:
- Timothy Schraeder, Chief Executive Officer
- Camille Schraeder, Chief Financial Officer
- Daniel Anderson, Chief Operations Officer
- Dr. Rebecca Timme, Chief Psychiatric Consultant
- Alicia Logan, Business and HR Administrator
- Lynn Sallee, Financial Specialist
- Mary Yovino, Program Administrator
- Sue Ruddick, In-Patient Utilization Specialist
- Sarah Walsh, Data & Contract Analyst
- Lois LaDelle-Daly, Compliance and QA/QI Coordinator
- Danielle Lower, Electronic Health Record Manager
- Leandra Corpuz, Medical Assistant
- Amanda Hiatt, Records Analyst
- Celene Mendoza, Records Analyst
- Rebecca Wilson, Care Coordination Specialist
- Tanya Thurman, Medical Assistant
- Michael Capistrano, Data Analyst
- Nancy Riggs, Billing Coordinator
- Joey Mertle, IT Specialist
- Noelani Borecky, Intake Analyst
- Nicole Dunaway, Medical Assistant
- Mylee Borecky, Program Analyst
- Julia Eagles, Medical Assistant
- Sandra Lopez, Registered Nurse
- John Garratt, Medical Doctor
- Olga Seagal, Medical Doctor
- Larry Aguirre, Physicians Assistant
Rebecca Wilson. That’s Becky Wilson, former HHSA deputy director, now “retired” from the County and presumably drawing a nice pension on top of whatever she’s paid as part of Team Schraeder.
Joey Mertle? Any relation to Mark Mertle on the Measure B committee?
Dr. John Garratt is a psychiatrist with a practice listed for Coast Hospital who lives in Comptche. An internet post says he’s been in practice for 49 years. Until recently Dr. John Garratt was Chief Psychiatrist of Mendocino County before he went to work for RCS.
Dr. Olga Seagal [misspelled, actually it’s Segal) lives in Mill Valley and specializes in telepsychiatry.
According to the Kemper report, Garratt and Segal were paid $211k via RCS for whatever they did in FY 2018. (Last fiscal year.)
AFTER SHED, PERRY HOFFMAN IS TAKING OVER HIS FAMILY’S BOONVILLE HOTEL RESTAURANT
by Tara Duggan
Perry Hoffman, who earned critical acclaim while chef at Shed in Healdsburg and Domaine Chandon’s former restaurant Etoile, is back to work at the very place he started out cooking 20 years ago.
Hoffman has returned to his uncle Johnny Schmitt’s Boonville Hotel in the Anderson Valley wine region. The hotel is where he spent a lot of time during summer breaks and holidays while growing up, as well as at his grandparents’ Apple Farm in nearby Philo. The hotel is where he had his first kitchen job right out of high school, working with his grandmother Sally Schmitt — the French Laundry’s original chef-owner — who has since retired.
When the Boonville Hotel’s longtime chef Brennon Moore recently left, Schmitt asked Hoffman to help him find a new chef to run the restaurant inside the 15-room hotel.
At some point, Hoffman realized he wanted to be that chef.
“I have history. I understand it. It’s so special,” he says of the family business. “I kind of looked at my life and I was like, ‘I don’t know how I could say no to this.’”
Hoffman began working at the hotel earlier this month and plans to institute changes to the menu when its main season starts in April, when the restaurant will be open to the public from at least Wednesday to Sunday. During the winter season, when tourism is down, the restaurant is open only on Friday and Saturday for dinner and Sunday for lunch.
“I’ll change as much and as little as possible,” says Hoffman, who says he is excited about the kitchen garden right outside the hotel restaurant’s door and its proximity to farms — including his family’s Piment d’Ville chile pepper farm down the highway in Boonville — as well as ranches, wineries and wild seafood from the Mendocino coast.
Hoffman and his family currently live in Healdsburg, and he is commuting back and forth for now. He and his wife, Kristen, just bought a 4-acre parcel at the Apple Farm, where they plan to build a house. They have a 1-year-old daughter and are expecting a son in April.
“It just tickles me to my core that I’ll be able to raise my little girl and boy on that same 40 acres that I grew up running around,” he says.
Even though the kitchen is fully equipped and renovated, with “gorgeous” charcoal grills and wood-fired ovens, Hoffman is surprised at how little has changed since he first started out there.
“The oil’s in the same place, the salt’s in the same place,” he says. “It feels like the timer’s about to go off for the focaccia I made 20 years ago.”
Boonville Hotel, 14050 CA-128, Boonville. www.boonvillehotel.com. 707-895-2210. Dinner Friday and Sunday, lunch Sunday until April 3.
(Courtesy, the San Francisco Chronicle)
TRAIL ADVOCATES from across #NorCal came together yesterday to start the conversation about creating the Great #Redwood #Trail. Later this spring and into the summer, we’ll be hosting town hall meetings with the community. The master plan is coming soon!
LOCAL BOY MAKES GOOD…
San Francisco Marin Medical Society Member Named to Lead S. F. Department of Public Health
San Francisco Mayor London Breed has named San Francisco Marin Medical Society (SFMMS) member and current Director of Marin Health and Human Services, Dr. Grant Colfax, as the new Director of the San Francisco Department of Public Health (SFDPH).
Dr. Colfax was raised in Northern California, attended Harvard College and Medical School and did his residency at UCSF. He previously worked at SFDPH as Director of HIV Prevention and Research before leaving to join the Obama White House as the Director of National AIDS Policy. He will become the San Francisco Public Health Director in mid-February.
Upon the announcement of Dr. Colfax’s appointment, Dr. Kimberly Newell Green, President of SFMMS, commented,
“We applaud Mayor Breed’s selection of such a distinguished and accomplished physician and SFMMS member as the new Director of the San Francisco Department of Public Health. We have enjoyed working with Dr. Colfax during his tenure in Marin on public health issues, including his leadership on the Marin flavored tobacco ban, and look forward to continued collaboration. SFMMS has long been a champion of HIV prevention and research and will continue our work in this area in conjunction with Director Colfax.”
INDEPENDENCE WITH ABUNDANCE, SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 9
If you want to get prepared to walk out your door to enjoy your favorite fruits, vegetables, and herbs, put the 36th annual Winter Abundance Workshop on February 9th at the Boonville Fairgrounds on your calendar. Start plants with locally tested seeds from the exchange, add a graft to an existing tree, shrub, or vine, or for a few dollars buy a fruit tree rootstock and build the perfect tree styled to your own taste from your choice of hundreds of scions (a small branch of a fruiting tree that is grafted to another tree or rootstock). There will classes in beginning and advanced grafting; hands-on grafting workshops; classes on how to build healthy soil; and saving your own seeds. Except for the rootstock, all are offered as a free public service by Mendocino Permaculture, Anderson Valley Adult School, and Anderson Valley Foodshed. This year’s featured speaker will be author Robert Kourik talking about how to build healthy soil.
9:00 – 4:00 Open tables – Scions, seeds, cutting exchange with selection advice from experienced locals. A Farmers’ Market, plant/tree vendors, craft sales, Donna D’Terra/Motherland Herb School and Botanical Sanctuary, and the Ukiah Seed Library will be set up. AV Lending Library will be open for its regular hours.
9:00 — 11:30 Hot and cold Beverages and snacks for sale from AV 4-H.
10:00 — 2:00 Hands-on Grafting Clinics Sign up for a 45-minute class at the registration table when you come in.
9:30 – 10:30 Class – Mark Albert: Scionology – The crash course on making your own trees & vines from scions, rootstocks, cuttings, seeds. Basics of scion selection, grafting & budding, and rootstocks.
10:30-12:00 Class – Robert Kourick: Good Fungi, Healthy Roots, Bountiful Trees
12–1:00 Lunch for sale – organic, mostly local by the Fair Boosters & chef Jay Newcomber
1:00 – 2:15 Class – Seed Saving Basics by Gina Covina of Open Circle Seeds
2:15 – 3:30 Class – Patrick Schafer: Advanced Grafting, Budding, Topworking Tricks, and Q & A.
Please bring your favorite seeds, scions, cuttings, and plants to share. For much more information go to www.mendolocalfood.org/events or email email@example.com.
Employment Opportunity In Washington, D.C., For…
- Carries with him at all times a great big net, government-issue;
- Follows the President around, observing him closely everywhere he goes;
- Remains always on the alert, ready to deploy the net quickly, effectively, and as often as necessary; and
- Provides secure transport to appropriate locked medical facilities as required.
Required Education: One semester of Psychology 101.
Required Experience: Several years as an adult living in the real world. Prior experience working with mentally ill patients helpful, but not required.
Compensation: Your Nation’s gratitude.
Position Available: Immediately.
Apply to: Send application and any references to:
- Office of the Vice-President
- Eisenhower Executive Office Building
- Washington, D.C. 20501
- Attn: 25th Amendment Working Group
(submitted by James Luther)
CAMP NAVARRO is beginning to hire staff (lead housekeeper, maintenance and event sales manager) for the 2019 season. A current listing of jobs can be found at our website under the careers section. This page will be constantly updated with new positions in the next couple of weeks/months including kitchen, server, event support, bartender, housekeeper and other positions. We look forward to an exciting year ahead welcome you to be a part of our future.
CATCH OF THE DAY, February 1, 2019
YVONNE CHAPMAN, Laytonville. DUI.
TERRY COUNTERMAN, Fort Bragg. Harboring a wanted felon.
TRACY ESLINGER, Fort Bragg. Disorderly conduct-alcohol, probation revocation.
EDWARD ESQUIVEL SR., Willits. Community Supervision violation.
TODD FUTRAL, Yreka/Ukiah. Controlled substance, failure to appear.
LARIZA GONZALEZ, Ukiah. Battery, suspended license, resisting, probation revocation.
CRAIG HASSENZAHL, Ukiah. Controlled substance, paraphernalia.
DOUGLAS HILL, Eureka/ Ukiah. Suspended license, probation revocation.
CLANCY HURT, Willits. DUI, cruelty to child with possible injury or death.
KYLE JONES, Willits. Domestic abuse.
DONALD MCCLOUD, Ukiah. Parole violation.
PAUL OREY, Fort Bragg. Failure to appear.
ARMANDO PINOLA, Chico/Ukiah. Disobeying court order.
JUSTIN SCHAEFER, Lakeport/Ukiah. Failure to appear, probation revocation.
PETER SILVER, Ukiah. DUI.
KELLY STANTON, Ukiah. Probation revocation.
MICHAEL TINAJERO, Ukiah. Petty theft less than $950, controlled substance, burglary tools.
SHAWN WOLFE, Cloverdale/Ukiah. Probation revocation.
ENTER, STAGE CENTER
by James Kunstler
Howard Schultz seemed like a nice enough fellow on CBS’s 60 Minutes show last week. The coffee maestro from the Brooklyn public housing projects is no Golden Golem of Greatness but, alas, he does happen to be a white man, meaning he’s a walking microaggression. And he informed the viewing audience that he is of the Hebrew persuasion, which must have induced a fugue of hysteria among those who believe that the Jews have put the global economy on layaway for some future apocalyptic Hanukkah celebration.
In a way, he’s calling the Political Identitarians’ bluff. The Democrats who, for the moment, remain a major political party, are absolutely determined to put a woman in the White House because men have made the world a failed planet that can only be fixed with a regime of caring-and-sharing. The Democrats would like to drive a wooden stake through Mr. Schultz’s offensive gonads. How dare he! Does he not know that his independent ticket in the 2020 election will crib votes from whomever the “It’s Her Turn” candidate proves to be — and result in the re-election of that Diet Coke guzzling shit-magnet in the oval office? (!)
Senator Kamala Harris of California is the big locomotive on the track for now. I suspect her cowcatcher will shove Elizabeth Warren, Kirsten Gillibrand, and honorary feminist Cory Booker into the weeds before the first debates are over. Ms. Harris is a formidable personality. You could see it in her hectoring interrogations during senate committee hearings the past few years. She likes to chew up these equivocating pissants sitting below at the witness table and spit them out. She comes from a family of scientists and economists and has had a distinguished career of her own, dealing with a lot of dicey legal questions in the political hall of mirrors called California. I don’t have any doubt that she’s intelligent and qualified.
But I do have doubts that anyone will want to take the oath of office on January 20, 2021. The problem-of-problems (and there are many) is that America has shot its wad borrowing money to keep things going — things like the consumer economy, suburbia, generous pensions, agribusiness, health care, higher education… stuff like that. The reason we’ve shot our wad: the collateral for our loans is gone. Oh? What was that collateral? It was the promise of future economic growth, rather specifically of the industrial type that produced real stuff and real wealth. We put that on a slow boat to China some years ago and replaced it with financialization, which is a colossal Three-Card-Monte game that produces a lot of “money” without producing wealth. Even worse, financialization destroyed the indexes that accounted for the measurement of real wealth, or capital, and replaced it with accounting fraud, so it’s very hard to see the damage.
What it boils down to is that the USA is no longer a credit-worthy borrower. If the USA was looking for a car, it would have to settle for a 14-year-old Jeep Cherokee on somebody’s lawn with a sign taped to the windshield that says “Runs Gud!” Of course, America will still manage a kind of hocus-pocus to give itself loans — which is what happens when the Federal Reserve buys bonds from the US Treasury — but with the collateral of future real growth gone, the catch is that the money itself will increasingly be gone as the dollar loses value. That’s nature’s way of seeking equilibrium.
The final two years of the Golden Golem’s reign will be the workout of these dynamics. Poor Mr. Trump will be left groaning and bellowing in that tar pit of fiscal ruin like a doomed mastodon while the saber-toothed cats prowl the sagebrush flats around him. Let’s face it: he served his purpose. He stirred the pot. He gave the right people some wedgies. He revealed all the fissures in our disintegrating national life. More consequentially, perhaps, he changed the composition of the federal courts. So that when Kamala Harris does take her turn, and discovers the horrifying financial state of the union, the courts will obstruct her most ambitious schemes to strip the remaining assets from the land to keep America’s beater government running at all costs. That is, to turn the USA into a paradise of free everything.
But Howard Schultz kind of mucks things up. Think of him as a sort of Bizarro Golden Golem of Greatness. He will appeal to a lot of voters who are looking for a reassuring Daddy. He fulfills the fantasy of what an outsider businessman-type might bring to the scene without all the reeking baggage on Mr. Trump’s careening choo-choo. It’s also possible that he doesn’t scare easy, and that the show of claws and fangs he’s been treated to so far on the “Progressive” side of things are an interesting sign of weakness in his adversaries.
(Support Kunstler’s writing by visiting his Patreon Page.)
We are having the coldest winter on record. 60 below. Where is Al Gore? Where is global warming? Where is climate change? Where are these idiots now? They're hiding, aren't they?
People were netting butterflies down on the Mendocino Headlands. All of a sudden, Parks and Beaches showed up, along with Calfire, Fish and Game, Caltrans, Highway Patrol, Sheriff's office, ACLU, EPA, Mendocino County Transportation Department, Homeland Security, and Animal Control. There were 15 liberals dancing and playing music. Yeah! They handcuffed and arrested the people for cruel and unusual torture. A $1,000 fine and two weeks in jail for netting some butterflies so they could look at them. How do you like that? The liberals were shouting with glee.
What has happened to the red-blooded Americans? Is it all blue now? Do they all bleed blue? Nobody got any balls to stand up to these ghoulish people?
Officers are being shot in the line of duty so they have to change their policy. They should approach every situation with weapon drawn and ready to fire. Don't get caught in an ambush by some innocent looking person. Be ready to blast.
The liberal politicians who make up the rules for the police make it unsafe for officers to do their job. They are not out there in the middle of the night in the middle of the road stopping drunks and felons and stuff. They sit behind their desks doing nothing but making up cockeyed rules. The officers have to be ready to shoot in a matter of a second. When they approach a car full of people they should stay in their car and use their loudspeaker and make everybody get out of the car and put their hands on the roof before they get out of their car. When they approach anybody, whether it's in a barroom, a restaurant, a home, or on the sidewalk, if they have to approach anybody they should have their guns out down by their leg. Not only that, but out and ready to go and it doesn't matter what these god damn liberals think about that. Let these guys do their job. They go through pure hell just trying to get their job done and they are hated by the liberals and the environmentalists. They do a hell of a good job considering what they have to face every day and every night. And we should respect them a little bit for all they do.
God bless Donald Trump
THE CURRENT DATA on temperature rise at the poles and impacts on weather patterns around the world suggests we are already in the midst of dramatic changes that will impact massively and negatively on agriculture within the next twenty years.
CHP TO ‘TACKLE’ DUI ON SUPER BOWL SUNDAY
On Sunday, February 3, football fans will join with friends and family to watch Super Bowl LIII. The California Highway Patrol (CHP) is teaming up with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to remind motorists to designate a sober driver or use a rideshare service if their plans include alcohol.
“Impaired driving is not only irresponsible, but it can also destroy lives,” CHP Commissioner Warren Stanley said. “Choosing to get behind the wheel while under the influence can result in arrest, injury, or death. If you drink or use other impairing substances, do not drive.”
According to preliminary data from the CHP’s Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System, last year on Super Bowl Sunday, seven people were killed in alcohol-involved collisions and 134 others were injured on California’s roadways. The same day, there were 352 arrests made by the CHP for driving under the influence (DUI). Consequences of a DUI arrest are jail time, the loss of a driver license, higher insurance rates, court fees, car towing and repair, and lost wages from time off work.
“Have a plan in place before the game,” Commissioner Stanley added. “If you will be consuming alcoholic beverages or using other substances that may affect your ability to safely operate a vehicle, make the smart choice to use public transportation, a designated driver, or a rideshare service to get home.”
If you are hosting a Super Bowl party, be a team player and help keep impaired drivers from getting behind the wheel. Have non-alcoholic choices for the designated drivers and ask guests to make proper arrangements and designate a sober driver before the big game begins.
The public can help by calling 9-1-1 if they suspect an impaired driver. Callers should be prepared to give the vehicle’s description, location, license plate number, and direction of travel.
THE CITY SELECTION COMMITTEE MEETING AGENDA for the February 4, 2019, meeting has been amended is now available on the County website:
OLD NORTH BEACH
Every now and then, it just hits, from out of nowhere, it seems, and it is nearly always welcome. I'll be reading a book or, since I do that on my Kindle and Facebook lives right next door, I'll take a break for a few moments and spend some time with the clickbait. Maybe a child greeting a parent just home from some war, sometimes a cat feeding fish, or a mother and child, and there they will be: the tears marking joy.
In common with other ways of gushing, the act nearly always feels good. It reminds us that regardless of how stern our lives need to look otherwise in the day-to-day, we still need to feel. Because whatever else may push us, being driven gets it done.
In my own life, I don't get to feel this emotion often anymore, and it feels rapturous, even orgasmic to feel it, like that special caress on the neck, a reward for being here and being welcoming to it all. Feeling it is to feel an unexpected charge from the cosmos. It is, to employ the word of the day, collusion.
To feel this charge is to swell like a peacock seeking a mate, to show that one will be equal to the task. And it will be lovely, doing one's part to bring them down, to watch them struggle and drown in that gush.
WE DID IT
We’ve always had California fires, but they’ve grown much worse with climate change. Our legal system can collect from responsible companies or persons, but it’ll surely turn out that the Calistoga property owner can’t pay the Tubbs fire damages. It may be that even soon-to-be bankrupt PG&E can’t pay the 2018 Camp fire damages.
That Calistoga owner didn’t cause climate change that parched the landscape and blew winds over Fountaingrove. Who did? Actually, I did, and so did all of us who’ve been burning fossil fuels.
Guilt doesn’t help fire-damaged victims, but a potential mechanism to pay damages can also help arrest climate change. State Sen. Bill Dodd’s recently enacted SB 901 allows PG&E to assess its customers “nonbypassable fixed recovery charges.”
That makes all 5 million customers equally liable, hardly fair in my view. Better would be to charge just fossil fuel burners with a modified SB 901 that authorizes the state Air Resources Board to tack those charges onto the cap-and-trade amounts we already pay. With higher fossil fuel costs, we’ll justify more solar panels and electric cars.
DEMAND CRITICAL CONGRESSIONAL HEARINGS — LONG OVERDUE, AVOIDED OR BLOCKED
by Ralph Nader
Earlier this month I wrote a column listing twelve major redirections or reforms that most people want for our country (see: “It’s Your Congress, People!” Make it work for you!). All of which require action by Congress—the gate-keeper. Now Congress must hold informative and investigative public hearings to inform the media and to alert and empower the people.
The U.S. Government Publishing Office (GPO) explains a Congressional Hearing as follows:
“A hearing is a meeting or session of a Senate, House, joint, or special committee of Congress, usually open to the public, to obtain information and opinions on proposed legislation, conduct an investigation, or evaluate/oversee the activities of a government department or the implementation of a Federal law. In addition, hearings may also be purely exploratory in nature, providing testimony and data about topics of current interest.
“Here are my suggestions for a dozen long-overdue hearings in the House of Representatives, now run by the Democrats:
- Hearings on the corporate crime wave, which is often reported by the mass media. Yet Congress, marinated in corporate campaign cash, has ignored, if not aided and abetted, corporate criminals for many years. Hearings on corporate crime, fraud, and abuse must be a top priority (see more at corporatecrimereporter.com).
- Hearings on the causes of poverty – e.g. the frozen minimum wage, tens of millions uninsured or underinsured for health care, unaffordable housing, criminal justice reform, and low utilization of tort law. These hearings will address public outrage about how our rich country treats the poor among us.
- Hearings on the need to fund the small Congressional Office of Technology Assessment (OTA) to provide in-house advice to Congress about big technological/scientific decisions – whether the boondoggle ballistic missile defense, electromagnetic or cyber-attacks, driverless car hype, runaway artificial intelligence, nanotech, biotech (see: Why The Future Doesn’t Need Us) and many other unassessed innovations— are key.
- Hearings on the overwhelming tilt into speculation, rather than investment, by the financial markets (e.g. Wall Street). The focus on speculation can cause grossly unproductive investments in the form of stock buybacks and off-the-charts executive compensation, which weaken the economy and keep shareholders (who are not allowed to vote on such decisions by their own overpaid hired managers) powerless. These matters need Congressional Review.
- Hearings on consumer protection – the myriad of recent controls and manipulation of consumers and their spending, savings and credit, along with the first real investigation of contract fine-print servitude or peonage. All topics neglected by Congressional Committees.
- Hearings on fundamental reform of our tax laws. Aggressively examining our tax laws’ perverse incentives, unjust escapes, privileges and immunities, and estimated (by the IRS) $400 billion a year of uncollected tax revenue will enlighten taxpayers and members of Congress. A hearing on this is long overdue.
- Hearings reviewing and evaluating our failed military and foreign policies – their costs, their boomerangs, and their unlawful violent impact on innocent peoples and communities abroad are vital.
- Hearings on the planet’s environmental disruptions from the climate crisis to water usage, to soil erosion, deforestation, and the oceans’ pollution and deoxygenation could increase grassroots action.
- Hearings on electoral reforms – dealing with campaign finance corruption to gerrymandering, to voter repression, ballot access obstruction, unequal treatments, and more might really help to “drain the swamp.”
- Hearings on needed and unneeded government-funded and operated projects, including varieties of infrastructure or public works and how to make them more efficient and clean will make the case for rebuilding our communities.
- Hearings on shifts of power from the few to the many, so long denied and abused will help empower the people to more easily band together as workers, consumers, small taxpayers, voters, litigants and as audiences of the public airwaves and cable channels.
- Hearings on the benefits of opening up an increasingly closed Congress, with concentrated power in the four leaders of the House and Senate at the expense of committee and subcommittee chairs as well as individual members. Doing so will help make Congress more accountable for the people. When Congress cuts budgets for Committees and advisory institutions, such as the Congressional Research Service and the GAO, it becomes more reliant on corporate lobbyists. These lobbyists work as Congressional staffers before they return to their corrupt influence peddling (the so-called K Street crowd). See: “Why is Congress so dumb?” by Congressman Bill Pascrell in the Washington Post). It also needs to be emphasized that routine Appropriations hearings in both House and Senate must step up mightily to exercise far bolder their supervision of Executive branch departments and agencies. (The Senate’s confirmation hearings on nominated judges and high officials must also be far more rigorous and open to more witnesses to testify).
There you have it – people, citizens, voters, students and teachers. We need these and other such Congressional hearings to make up for the years of deliberate inaction and avoidance. Send your Senators and Representative your suggestions and the above list. Demand more production from their $5 billion a year Congressional budget.
United States Capitol switchboard: 202-224-3121.
(Ralph Nader is a consumer advocate, lawyer and author of Only the Super-Rich Can Save Us!)
THE FAILURE of the World Economic Forum in Davos to crystalize the anger of protesters may be a sign of the erosion of its credibility. There was a time when peace accords could be negotiated on the sidelines of the summit (Yasser Arafat and Shimon Peres shook hands in Davos in 1994); in 2019, several major political players are absent – Trump, Macron and May all busy at home with the government shutdown, the Gilets Jaunes and Brexit. Protesters aren’t the only ones turning away from globalization.
HOVERING outside was a habit of [vice president] Bush's. Zbigniew Brzezinski, who had been Carter's National Security adviser, told me he had been invited to brief the president early in his first term on the Soviet threat. When he had finished his summary, he said, he asked Reagan if he had any questions.
Reagan responded: "Do you know the one about the newly elected black judge in Mississippi?" Brzezinski said no. Reagan explained that the judge, after being told by his clerk that the case involved a charge of rape, said: "Well then bring in the fuckee and the fucker." That was it.
Brzezinski was ushered out of the Oval Office and found Bush waiting outside, eager to learn of Reagan's response to the briefing. "I said he told me a joke," Brzezinski recalled. The vice president replied: "Oh no. Not the one about the Mississippi judge."
ON LINE COMMENT OF THE DAY
Imagine you are at the pearly gates.
You get led into the big room where a door leads out to paradise and an elevator goes down but before you go out the door or down the elevator you stand to hear the verdict. Being a soul your feet float inches above polished marble. You listen.
"Years I waited for you to do something and you did nothing. I waited for something, anything with a dust mote of meaning from you. Something to show you had found the joyous treasure map I put in your head when I sent you down. Something to show you were not just another brick in the worthless spectre wall.
"No you don’t get another chance. You were an American. Do you know how many chances an American gets compared to everyone else! You don’t want to go there.
"I know you did not do anything wrong, I get that. But you did not do any good either and that is what you were supposed to do.
[IN HIS BOOK "MAPHEAD," KEN] JENNINGS relates the story of an assistant professor at the University of Miami named David Helgren, who in 1983 had given freshmen students a blank map of the world and asked them to locate thirty well-known places. He expected mixed results, but what he found was that the students mostly couldn't do any of it. Eleven who were from Miami couldn't even locate Miami. The "Miami Herald" picked up the story and then it became national news. Helgren was interviewed by lots of newspapers and film crews. And how did the University of Miami respond to this? It fired Helgren. When a colleague spoke up on Helgren's behalf, it fired him, too. Other findings have shown that about 10 percent of university students can't find California or Texas on a map and about a fifth of Americans overall can't even find the United States on a map. How can you not find your own country on a map?
— Bill Bryson, 2015; from "The Road to Little Dribbling"