- Showers Ending
- Reckless Driver
- Old Willys
- Sanitation Offer
- Todd's Point
- Water Prohibition
- Grape Water
- Mossy Rocks
- Prosecutorial Grandstanding
- Judicial Mercy
- Collapse Novel
- Measles Comeback
- PA Business
- Police Reports
- Mendonoma Hearsay
- Handyman Al
- Toad Zone
- Mountain Lions
- MCDH History
- Gated Community
- LakeCo Arrests
- Crisis Intervention
- Yesterday's Catch
- Flat Globe
- Moral Conscience
- Grass Straws
- Tax Returns
- Church Tithing
- Spring Spider
- Venezuelan Crisis
- Progressive Purity
- Rich Teachers
- Prognosis Better
- Electoral College
- Boeing Homicide
- Working Class
- Stewed Tomatoes
- Truck Horror
- Judicial Damage
APRIL SHOWERS MONDAY, mostly afternoon, up to a quarter of an inch overnight. Light winds with gusts up to 20mph. Clearing Tuesday with highs in the 60s, lows in the 40s, followed by mostly sunny conditions with slight chances of rain overnight Thursday and perhaps Saturday.
BOBBY'S BIG RUN
On April 5, 2019 at about 2:10 PM, a Deputy Sheriff with the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office was on routine patrol when he observed the license plate of a Dodge Dakota was associated with a recreational vehicle and not assigned to the Dodge Dakota near the intersection of Airport Boulevard and Talmage Road in Ukiah. The vehicle's sole occupant was later identified as being Robert Joseph Paul, 32, of Eureka.
The Deputy Sheriff attempted to initiated a traffic stop regarding the observed violation near the southbound US Highway 101 on ramp of Talmage Road. Paul failed to yield to the Deputy Sheriff and accelerated to speeds nearing 95 MPH while traveling south on US Highway 101. The vehicle exited Highway 101 at Highway 253 and South State Street. The vehicle then continued west on Highway 253, towards Boonville. The vehicle traveled at high rates of speed and passed several vehicles, crossing over double yellow lines, and into on coming traffic several times. The vehicle then headed west on to Highway 128 in the town of Boonville at speeds of approximately 80 miles an hour. The Deputy Sheriff continued from a distance due to vehicle and pedestrian traffic. As Paul's vehicle continued on Highway 128 towards Philo, he accelerated to approximately 95 miles per hour. After traveling through the town of Philo, the vehicle then headed west on Philo-Greenwood Road. The Deputy Sheriff, along with an officer from Fish and Wildlife Department were able to continue the pursuit to the 26000 block of Philo-Greenwood Rd, where the vehicle came to a stop and Paul exited the vehicle. The Deputy Sheriff and Fish and Wild Life Officer were able to take Paul into custody without incident. During the investigation, it was determined the vehicle Paul was driving was an unreported stolen vehicle out of Humboldt County, California. Inside the vehicle Deputies located suspected Methamphetamine along with a Billy club. Paul was also on parole in the State of California and was found to be in violation of his parole terms per California Department Of Corrections. Based on the listed violations Paul was arrested and transported to the Mendocino County Jail where he was booked on charges of Felony Evading, Possession of Stolen Property, Possession of Billy Club/Sap), Violation of Parole, Possession of Controlled Substance, and Possession of Narcotics Paraphernalia to be held on a No Bail status due to the CA Department of Corrections Rehabilitation issuing a Parole Hold. Anyone with information concerning this investigation is encouraged to contact the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office Tip-Line by calling 707-234-2100 or the WeTip anonymous crime reporting hotline at 800-732-7463 if they have information that would assist this investigation.
NORTH COAST NIGHT LIGHT: Old Willys & the Night Sky
by David Wilson
In our rural [Humboldt] county there are some sights so far in the sticks you may never see them. And there are some sights which, once seen, some folks might say they’ve seen them all. Take the “lone tree” motif for example. It’s hard for a photographer, or other artist, to pass up doing something with a lone tree. Why, I even capitalize Lone Tree in my mind. And almost as iconic as the Lone Tree is the lone old truck. Have we really seen them all? I knew of one old lone truck, and I set out to find out if seeing this one really meant I’d seen them all. I don’t think it did.
Known as the Brute, in its younger days this Willys truck had its original 4-cylinder engine replaced with a V-8 powerful enough to twist its innards if it were pushed too hard. It spent its final active days as a solid ranch vehicle, parking for the last time almost three decades ago. Since that day, the sixty-five year old 1953 Willys pickup has stood watch beside the old private dirt road, a mute observer to the passage of the seasons.
The Brute’s long, lonely vigil attracted me, and finding myself nearby one night, I yielded to the attraction. But how to photograph it? There was no moon, and it was too dark to see the Willys without adding some light of my own. I would have to use a long exposure to bring out the stars, meaning I would leave the camera’s shutter open for an extended period to capture as much light as possible. I could then take advantage of the time that the shutter was open to paint my own light into the scene.
I photographed the Brute from two angles. The first image shows its face peering through the grasses beneath the north end of the Milky Way, while the second photograph shows more of its surroundings with the more prominent part of the Milky Way, the Galactic Core, overhead. The annotated versions of the photos label the more prominent celestial features visible.
The Brute, an old Willys V8 that was once too powerful for its own transmission, keeps the night watch where it has lain retired for nearly three decades in its southern Humboldt resting place of tall grasses. This image was a single exposure.
I wanted to illuminate more of the surrounding area for this image, which would take more time than I had in a single exposure. I illuminated this one with a single flashlight, but in seven different photographs. In each photograph, I painted a different part of the scene in with light. I brought them together in Photoshop. The sky is a single exposure. August, 2018.
In August, when this was photographed, we can see the Galactic Core of our Milky Way galaxy rising from the horizon. While the stars are always in the same places in the sky relative to Earth, the planets, which have their own orbits around our sun, shift their positions gradually throughout the year. I shot this one just before Jupiter set. Saturn is behind the central trees.
To the south at this time of year we see the Galactic Core of our Milky Way galaxy rising from the horizon. While the stars are always in the same places in the sky relative to Earth, the planets, which have their own orbits around our sun, shift their positions gradually throughout the year. I shot this one just before Jupiter set. Saturn is behind the central trees.
(To keep abreast of David Wilson’s most current photography or peer into its past, follow him on Instagram at @david_wilson_mfx or visit his website mindscapefx.com, where you can also contact him.)
UKIAH SANITATION DISTRICT HAS AN EASY CHOICE
On Wednesday the Ukiah Valley Sanitation District will be considering an offer from the city of Ukiah to simplify the relationship between them, save both city and valley ratepayers money and stop the never-ending flow of tax dollars to attorneys.
Even after the ‘settlement’ of the lawsuit between the city and the San District, it seems the District wants to continue its litigious ways and will likely continue going to court – in the name of arbitration – and spending the ratepayers’ money on more legal fees. The San District is also in the midst of hiring a new manager, at a salary of hundreds of thousands a year – someone who may not even live in this area and may not be full time. The San District’s administrative budget for this year – not including legal fees - is about $800,000. That’s ridiculous spending for a tiny organization that doesn’t even operate a single piece of machinery.
The city of Ukiah is offering to the San District to fully consolidate the operations of the sewer system they share – as was the intention when it was built – and smooth rates for all customers so that city and San District customers all pay the same rate. The city already operates the sewer plant, so there’s no real reason the San District needs a highly paid manager of its own.
The San District has spent some $7 million on legal fees in the past several years and forced the city to spend $2 million. Keeping this trend going makes no sense. We understand that some San District board members just want to keep sticking it to the city but there comes a time when it makes more sense to work together and let the city do its work and save the district ratepayers money over time. That time is now. The San District board meets Wednesday, April 10 at 6 p.m. at its offices at 151 Laws Avenue. Ratepayers should go and let the board know it’s time to get out of the courtroom and back to the business of providing sewer service to customers.
K.C. Meadows, Editor, Ukiah Daily Journal (Courtesy, the Ukiah Daily Journal)
WATER BOARD ORDERS WATER PROHIBITION FOR CANNABIS GROWS THROUGH OCTOBER
by Jim Shields
On March 29, the State Water Resources Control Board announced that cannabis cultivators with water rights are not allowed to divert surface water for cannabis cultivation activities at any time from April 1 through October 31 of this year unless the water diverted is from storage.
The Board’s action is what is known as a “forbearance order” that is a central provision in state marijuana legalization policy. It’s really just common sense because it prohibits using water from surface sources, such as streams, creeks, and rivers during California’s dry season.
As explained in the State Water Board’s Cannabis Policy: “Absent restrictions on water diversion, the individual and cumulative effects of water diversions for cannabis cultivation during the dry season are likely to significantly decrease instream flow and in some instances, reduce hydrologic connectivity or completely dewater the stream. Minimum flows that provide habitat connectivity are needed to maintain juvenile salmonid passage conditions in late spring and early summer. Instream flows are also needed to maintain habitat conditions necessary for juvenile salmonid viability throughout the dry season, including adequate dissolved oxygen concentrations, low stream temperatures, and high rates of invertebrate drift from riffles to pools. Further, many species depend on spring recession flows as migratory or breeding cues. The State Water Board is requiring a surface water diversion forbearance period to ensure adequate flows are maintained throughout the dry season and protect aquatic species, aquatic habitat, and water quality.”
In an earlier interview with Water Deeply, Erin Ragazzi, an assistant deputy director for the State Water Board’s Division of Water Rights and Water Quality Certification, explained, “There’s a variety of different types of damage that can occur, depending on where the cannabis cultivation activities are taking place, and the measures that are put in place to protect the environment. Our focus here is mainly on surface water and groundwater protection, and the beneficial uses associated with them.”
In late 2017, the State Water Board adopted new environmental policies to regulate pot growing operations that historically have adversely impacted California’s water resources. These new regulations were mandated by the 2015 medical marijuana legalization statute and the 2016 voter-approved Proposition 64 that legalized recreational marijuana.
Summarizing the evolving public policy, Ragazzi said, “I think one of the things that’s important to point out is that the policy creates a comprehensive mechanism to regulate cannabis cultivation, and it includes both those water supply, water rights side and water quality components. Specifically, I think it’s important to note we have a lot of important requirements to address individual and cumulative impacts that can occur in watersheds, and that’s been a big concern for a lot of folks, in terms of not just the site-specific impacts but the broader cumulative impacts in a watershed. To that end, that policy includes requirements establishing maximum diversion rate, a forbearance period when no diversions can occur and instream flow requirements so that even when you’re in the season of diversion, you can always divert when flows are above that instream flow requirement. So there’s a pretty comprehensive look at ensuring that we’re not seeing the impacts associated with diversion and use of water, while at the same time allowing folks a pathway to get a storage water right, which often would take a very long period of time.”
Educating cultivators is also a significant component of the new regulatory environment that elevates the protection of threatened water sources.
Ragazzi stated, “I think that we are cognizant of the need to develop requirements that we think are protective of water quality, but also create an environment in which people want to come in to the regulated community, because they have been in the black market for so long. What will be your carrots and sticks? One key component of that is doing the education outreach to make the folks aware of what we’re requiring, why we’re requiring it, but then also having the enforcement arm necessary to facilitate folks knowing that they can’t hide in the black market, but that we are going to be taking enforcement actions against folks that are not registered and enrolled in our program. I think there are incentives already as part of the legislation that incentivize people to come into the process earlier rather than later. There are those carrots in terms of the early adopters, and the board has an enforcement policy that is very focused on education as one of its first pillars, before you move directly to further enforcement. We don’t directly inform the other agencies for purposes of eradication. Typically, to my knowledge, what occurs is the State Water Board staff will go out with California Department of Fish and Wildlife staff and their warden, and as part of those joint inspections there may be an eradication process that takes place, depending upon the unique circumstances of that specific site.”
As I’ve said many times previously, you don’t get legalization without regulation. In this instance, this is definitely one regulation that pays off for everybody.
(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)
SO (LEGAL) POT GROWERS are prohibited from “divert[ing] surface water for cannabis cultivation activities at any time from April 1 through October 31 of this year unless the water diverted is from storage,” as reported this week by Jim Shields. Grape growers with riparian rights and a registered riparian right are allowed to divert surface water at any time as long as they don’t exceed their permitted use and the instream flow is more than a certain amount. But the water board has never enforced this regulation on grape growers; the one time they tried to (based on a costly slam-dunk formal complaint prepared and funded by Hillary Adams, an archeologist from Elk in the 1990s) the grape grower (Duckhorn/Goldeneye in Philo) simply claimed that the water in the storage ponds that they had filled from Rancheria Creek was “runoff,” not “surface water” (i.e., from the creek). It’s kinda hard to prove that water in a pond came from a particular source, so no enforcement action was taken. However, pot growers have discovered the hard way that when the Water Board threatens water rule enforcement on pot grows the pot grower not only risks losing their permit and their business, but the plants themselves. Imagine, if you will, what would happen if the Water Board even threatened to pull up grapevines if a grape grower violated a diversion restriction.
To the Editor,
On Tuesday, April 2nd , I complied with my jury summons and appeared at 9:00 am for jury duty at the Mendocino County Courthouse in Ukiah. While I was not selected to serve on a jury, I did go through the jury selection process for a pending criminal trial, and I was absolutely appalled at what I witnessed.
District Attorney David Eyster was the prosecutor on the case and his performance during jury selection was a disgrace to his office, and an affront to the American system of justice.
In answer to an earlier question by the Judge if any prospective jurors had ever had a bad experience serving on a jury, one gentleman responded that in a jury he sat on in Mendocino County, he felt the prosecutor grandstanded by going well beyond a factual presentation of the evidence, and that bothered him.
When Eyster’s turn came to question the prospective jurors, he asked the gentleman if he felt his prior bad experience with that prosecutor would prejudice him against Eyster’s prosecution of the pending case. A fair question.
The gentleman, who appeared to be a very intelligent and thoughtful fellow, responded that while he thought he could be impartial, he was now on the alert for prosecutorial misconduct.
Not surprisingly, this answer did not satisfy Eyster, but instead of simply dismissing the gentleman from serving on the jury with a peremptory challenge, he chose to make an example of him by trying to browbeat him into admitting that he was in fact biased against prosecutors.
Eyster’s interrogation of the gentleman dragged on for at least 15 interminable minutes as if it was the juror who was on trial. To his unyielding credit, the gentlemen — clearly Eyster’s intellectual superior — stood his ground never wavering from his original statement, and Eyster finally gave up in a pathetic show of frustration.
I have been through the jury selection process many times, and I have never before witnessed such a relentless badgering of a prospective juror who was simply doing their duty as a citizen.
I have to ask myself: why would the District Attorney of Mendocino County treat a prospective juror with such open contempt? After all, jurors are hard to scrape up here in this County?
The only answer I can figure is that Eyster has serious self-esteem issues, and that he thought he was sending a message to other prospective jurors in the courtroom not to cross him. Well for your information Mr. DA — you failed spectacularly! You, sir, are proof positive of the prosecutorial grandstanding to which the gentlemen so rightly objected.
If I were the Judge in that courtroom, I would have hauled Eyster behind the woodshed (private chambers) and read him the riot act about proper decorum in my courtroom. Eyster’s disgraceful conduct was not only unbecoming of an officer of the court, he committed a grave disservice to the administration of justice in Mendocino County.
AS THE GENTLE RAIN FROM HEAVEN
by Michael Koepf
“The quality of mercy is not strained. It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven Upon the place beneath. It is twice blest: It blesseth him that gives and him that takes. 'Tis mightiest in the mightiest; it becomes The thronèd monarch better than his crown.”
These are the opening lines of Portia’s soliloquy begging Shylock for mercy in William Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice. Forgiveness and mercy are powerful themes that occur throughout Shakespeare’s works. Shakespeare believed that mercy was the greatest quality; the highest accomplishment of the most powerful people.
David Eyster is a powerful man. As District Attorney of Mendocino County, he prosecutes criminals for the sufferings they cause. David Eyster is the law. Many in Mendocino County believe he’s done an exceptional job.
Tai Abreu’s a different deal. Twenty years ago, in Fort Bragg, when Tai Abreu was nineteen years old, Abreu and two other young men, August Stuckey, eighteen, and Aaron Channel, twenty, were responsible for the brutal murder of Donald Perez, thirty-nine. The meager motive for this awful murder was the theft of two hundred dollars plus a cheap assortment of camera gear. Perez was bound to a tree, and his throat was cut, although the wound to his neck was never firmly established in the coroner’s report. It mattered little. Three weeks after the killing, the cops were tipped by a friend of these fools. Abreu and Stuckey confessed.
But, there’s always more to the story. How did Perez come in contact with the creepy trio? Donald Perez knew Stuckey. They had established an internet relationship. Perez had visited Fort Bragg before to have sex with eighteen-year-old Stuckey in a motel. Stuckey easily lured Perez back, this time with robbery and apparently murder in mind. Was there something else involved? Stuckey’s muddled sexuality? Stuckey’s loathing for this older man, who Stuckey may have felt used him for what Stuckey believed really wasn’t himself? Graveyards are filled with innocent gay men who ended their lives this way.
The rest is the history of a legal rocket ride culminating in a one-day trial. Tai Abreu was the first to be tried. Abreu’s public defender advised him to seek a jury trial. Ostensibly, her slender defense centered on Abreu’s Miranda rights, despite the fact that the record clearly indicated that Abreu was read his rights. That was Abreu’s total defense. No juror was challenged. No witness was called. Before trial, the prosecution generously offered Abreu fifteen years to life. Abreu’s attorney turned it down, and before the sun went down, guilty was the verdict. Tai Abreu was sentenced to life without the possibility of parole, mandatory in a case of this kind.
Seeing what happened to their pal, Channel and Stuckey quickly copped a plea. Channel was sentenced to nineteen years. He’s already been released. Stuckey got fifteen years. He’s still in jail undergoing a sexual change, which adds credence to the theory that he was confused and angry when it came to who he was. Stuckey could be out at any time. Blind Justice holds her scale. Was there balance in this case when the sentences were meted out?
Hypothetically, there could be something else. I hope it isn’t so. Donald Perez was gay. He was part of the community of LGBTQs. According to the editor of this paper, Tai Abreu’s public defender was part of that community, too. Adding to the significance of this point, in the past, the editor of this paper, after criticizing Abreu’s attorney, has been called a homophobe by individuals claiming to be the former public defender’s personal friends. Diversity splits us apart. Everyone to their camp without unity to keep us whole. Was Abreu’s attorney biased? Why the speedy trial that sent Abreu to jail for the rest of his life?
Life without the possibility of parole (LWPOP) is California’s alternative death sentence. Last year, Senate Bill 1437 was signed into law by Jerry Brown. The bill stipulates that inmates sentenced to LWPOP’s, who meet certain criteria, may file to have their sentences changed, including the possibility of parole. Tai Abreu has filed to be re-sentenced under this new law. Abreu’s claim is that he was not present at the actual killing of Donald Perez. He maintains he was a lookout while Stuckey and Channel did the dreadful deed. Abreu’s contention may be substantiated by both Stuckey’s confession as well as Abreu’s confession to the lead investigator——the confession, that with the help of his public defender, put Abreu in jail for life while his accomplices got a chance of eventually going free.
Enter David Eyster. He’s doing what he can to ensure that Abreu dies in a cell. Is maliciousness involved? Or is Eyster simply contesting a law with which many District Attorneys in California strongly disagree: notably SB 1437? Publicly, Eyster has noted that this law has already been declared unconstitutional by at least one California superior court. He’s pleased with this result. With SB 1437 in mind, can we fathom Eyster’s efforts to keep Abreu in jail for life? Let me give it a try without a law degree.
Not so long ago, a majority of California voters voted NO to a proposition the would have repealed the death penalty. They also voted YES to hasten executions. In California, there are currently 737 inmates on death row. Recall the Hillside Strangler with many tortured victims under his belt; Scott Peterson, who murdered his pregnant wife; Richard Allen Davis, arrested in Mendocino County, who raped and murdered a twelve-year-old girl. Aside from the criminally insane, if Death Row went silent tomorrow with not one monster in his cell, a majority of Californians (myself included) would never shed a tear.
Unfortunately, Gavin Newsom has recently assured death row inmates that they can continue eating, watching TV, and ogling porno magazines as long as he’s in charge. We live in a one-party state. We’re governed by a Democrat oligarchy and their righteous friends, who tell us how to live: the monied elite whose concept of justice is nothing but themselves preaching virtue while they do whatever they want.
This state of affairs is a problem for most DA’s. They must deal with reality: the actual victims of a crime along with their grieving families and everyone else who’s hurt. Simultaneously, they must contend with the pastel unicorn crowd, those social-justice elves believing that justice is always unjust. If Jack the Ripper was arrested in Ukiah, the DA would naturally seek life without the possibility of parole. If the Ripper was tried for death, the do-gooders would emerge from the weeds, and Jack might walk if the death sentence was in play.
In California, if a LWPOP is the sentence, juries will convict. DA’s count on this. On the other hand, what member to a jury, what District Attorney wants to deal with the social justice mob that will call them murderers for condemning a murderer to death? Life without the possibility of parole—it’s easy to see how a DA would fight for this alternate death penalty.
To date, the Golden State Killer has not entered a plea—thirteen murders, fifty rapes. The DA in his case has not indicated if a sentence of death will be sought, but death is what most Californians would applaud. Why the hesitation? They say the case could take ten years at twenty million bucks. If a DA asks for death, they always take a chance that a single juror might secretly oppose the sentence of death. A hung jury could ensure the case would start all over again, provided people like the Golden State Killer hadn’t passed away in jail. If the DA goes with a LWPOP the death sentence doesn’t arise. If fact, with an LWPOP on the table, this monster will undoubtedly cop a plea. And, save the state a lot of dough.
But Tai Abreu is not the Golden State Killer. In fact, he may have never killed anyone at all. He was a helper. He was a lookout. He was a liar and accomplice before he chose to confess. But should Abreu spend the rest of his life in jail to contest a change in the law——a law the district attorney doesn’t like?
I’ve encountered District Attorney David Eyster two times in my life. The first was long ago at a trial for the editor of this paper after he slugged the county’s superintendent of schools. An insult led to a smack. Eyster prosecuted the case. At that time, David Eyster was young. He was a new hire in a buttoned-down suit, unsmiling, serious, and slim. The editor’s friends had stacked the courtroom: a bubbling mob of righteous, radical jerks, which included myself. Unintimidated, skillfully, Eyster easily won the case. The editor got thirty days, and a mini-riot ensued with a future supervisor of Mendocino County hand-cuffed in a Sheriff’s van.
Recently, I encountered Eyster in a bar — Bobby Beacon’s Cocktail Lounge where the louche and semi-normal meet because the view is quite spectacular, Beacon has charming opinions, and the drinks are always cheap. This was shortly before the last election, which was only days away. Eyster appeared with friends. Eyster had changed. (Haven’t we all?) A bit heavier now, he was attired in casual clothes. Smiling beneath his pork-pie hat he resembled Gene Hackman in the role of Popeye Doyle. (recall The French Connection. Did you pick your feet in Poughkeepsie?) That night Eyster was loquacious and out for fun, chatting with everyone at the bar. Such a change I thought, from the reserved young man I saw so many years ago.
Eyster has acquired a public persona, effervescent with a common touch for the common man. It’s doubtful he remembers me, but we exchanged a word or two. It came out that I occasionally wrote for this paper. He said he admired the AVA, which takes on issues that other papers won’t touch, or words to that effect. I thought this a decent admission from a stand-up guy who once put the editor of this paper in jail, and still has occasional jousts with the editor in print. In parting, I wished him “good luck” in his coming election. He assumed a puzzled look. He said he was “running unopposed,” which exactly was my point, but, alas, another joke flat on its face. Nonetheless, Eyster got my vote.
Tai Abreu is no joke. His situation is serious. The rest of his life’s at stake. Tai Abreu was once a screwed up kid who participated in a heinous crime when he nineteen years old. He’s been in jail going on to twenty years. His jail record is spotless, save for one mistake: possession of a law book he hadn’t signed for. One accomplice is already out of prison and the other will soon be too––the actual culprits that wielded the knife.
I understand Eyster's beef with SB 1437. Life without the possibility of parole is an important tool in the DA's arsenal as he seeks justice for the dead. But is Abreu your best case to challenge this senate bill? Might you back away a bit? Is there a better way forward in your fight, perhaps a different case where leniency should unequivocally be denied? Place compassion above the law, for compassion is what the law is truly all about. Sir, I beg your kindness and leave with you with these antique words: Mercy blesseth him that gives and him that takes. 'Tis mightiest in the mightiest; it becomes The thronèd monarch better than his crown.
District Attorney Eyster, you’re the king of Mendocino County law. Please grant mercy to this man; wear it as your shining crown.
THE COMPTCHE WORD SCRIBE sent along a battered paperback called "The Great Bay — Chronicles of the Collapse" by Dale Pendell. Ms. Scribe said she liked the first third of the book better than the rest of it, which applies to me, too, when the narrative veers off into Game of Thrones territory. I get asked if I'm a Doomer, and it seems Ms. Scribe assumes I'm one. Not exactly, but I certainly don't see things getting better any time soon, if ever. But the novel begins with a total, global collapse that reduces America's population to 4 million people arrayed over the sea-to-sea ruins of what were the United States in self-selecting and mutually suspicious bands of resourceful survivors. Looking back a couple of hundred years later at what's called "Pre-Col Society" (pre-collapse), one of the novel's quoted scholars writes: "It was called democracy but it wasn't at all what we mean by that: it was really an oligarchy. Representatives weren't even required to do what people wanted them to do. The whole society was based on accumulating money, but the money wasn't really money, it was more like a scorecard in a big game run by the corporations, but an utterly ruthless game, impoverishing the majority of the population, and most of the world." Survivors look back incredulous at Pre-Col America's disastrous organization: "How stupid could they have been?" The global destruction, however, was wrought by lethal pandemic, perhaps ignited by Mendocino County's anti-vaxxers. (My personal preference as villains.) Most interesting, however, is the imagined ecological changes wrought by the simultaneous catastrophe of climate change as the author ties those changes to California geography as the Sacramento Valley becomes a great inland sea. "By 2023 the population of Bakersfield and the outlying areas was down to ten thousand…." And people were raising dogs for protein, much as Indian tribes once did.
Nineteen years after it was thought to be eradicated in this country, measles is making a comeback. Last week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released a bombshell: The number of confirmed measles cases in the first three months of 2019 — 387 — exceeded by 15 the total number of cases nationwide the previous year.
IN POINT ARENA, Tor, of the Point Arena General Store, touted the World's Greatest Sandwich. The owners of the family business, the Holdberg-Olsens, were as Norwegian as lutefisk. Their father had been an actual sea captain in Norway. Their mother, a well-respected teacher in San Francisco. They had two boys who grew up in Point Arena: Lars and Tor, the younger of the two, who died just a few years ago.
Tor's brother, Lars, returned from Hawaii to run the family business for his mother who was also in failing health, having reached nearly 100 years in age at the time of her death a year or two after Tor's passing.
I had lived in Point Arena since 1993, and had never met Lars Holberg-Olsen. However, there were two things you could depend on in Point Arena: Whenever I would complain about Tor Holberg-Olsen, locals in Point Arena would incredulously say to me, "Yah, but, have you met Lars?" Always that same response asking me if I'd ever met Lars.
(Similarly with Sister Yasmin. If I would call her by her newer identity, "Sister Yasmin", the locals mock her and correct you with their collective response, "You mean Judy Jackson?". The entire town who knew her, refused to call her anything but "Judy Jackson".)
Granted, there were alot of folks in town who did not care for the likes of Lars Holberg-Olsen. For instance, at the time of the death of Mrs. Holdberg-Olsen, who attended St. Aloysius Catholic Church in Point Arena, Lars held a BBQ-like reception in the parking lot of the general store. Not even a funeral service for his devoutly Catholic mother. Back to business as usual.
There were running beefs with the employees at the Liquor Store and the Whale Bar across the street, both owned by the Suddith family. Lars Holberg-Olsen, vying for a similar customer base, wasn't easily welcomed in town.
Finally, this last week there was a sign on the door of the Point Arena General Store that said " Closed, thank you for your patronage".
Steve Suddith, of the Point Arena Liquor Store and Hotel, said that Lars sold the store to the people who bought the old severely deteriorated Seashell Inn, which is still under renovation after several years work thus far.
"Hopefully there will be a quicker turn around on the re-opening of the Point Arena General Store than there has been for the Mormon couple who are still renovating the motel. …The new owners really can't run the store any worse than it was after Tor died", griped an old local.
As far as old families go, the Gilmore family is also liquidating their Point Arena properties: Two remaining homes on Port Road and 215 Main, a former bar in the heart of Point Arena's historic main Street business district.
CLOSE SUPERVISION MEANS…
On April 6, 2019 at approximately 9:50 a.m., Mendocino County Sheriff’s Deputies contacted Robert Brockway, 32, of Albion, at a residence in the 31000 block of North Mitchell Creek Drive in Fort Bragg.
Deputies knew Brockway was on active Post Release Community Supervision for a prior felony conviction with terms that he must submit his person and property to search without a warrant. Deputies subsequently conducted a search of Brockway and his vehicle. During that search, Deputies located a loaded short barreled shotgun concealed in the passenger compartment of his vehicle. Brockway was ultimately arrested and booked into the Mendocino County Jail on charges of Possession of Firearm by Convicted Felon, Carrying Concealed Firearm in Vehicle, Possession of a Short Barreled Rifle, and Violation of Community Supervision where he was to be held without bail.
ALBION WOMAN BEATER
On April 5, 2019 at approximately 10:30 p.m., Mendocino County Sheriff’s Deputies received a call for service of a domestic related battery at a residence in the 27000 block of Albion Ridge Road in Albion. Deputies arrived at approximately 10:45 p.m. and contacted an adult female. Deputies learned the female and Jesse Germaine, 32, of Albion, were engaged in a verbal argument that escalated when the he struck her in the head with a blunt object and forced her to the ground.
Germaine then took possession of the adult female's phone when she attempted to call 9-1-1. Deputies observed the adult female had minor visible injuries consistent with the reported assault. Deputies determined the adult female and Germaine were involved in an intimate relationship and that he was on active formal probation for a previous domestic violence case. Deputies arrested Germaine and booked him into the Mendocino County Jail on charges of Felony Domestic Battery, Preventing Victim from Notifying Law Enforcement, and Violation of Probation where he was to be held in lieu of $25,000 bail.
WELCOME HERE, BOB
To the Editor of the Independent Coast Observer:
My husband and I moved here to beautiful, quiet, and serene Gualala three years ago from the crowded, noisy, polluted, and overpopulated Bay Area. We had been visiting Gualala for many years enjoying all its gifts.
We also assumed that those who reside here, many of whom are also transplants, would, for the most part, be tolerant, friendly, non-threatening people. Perhaps we were too naive. Although we have met many people here who matched our hopes, it seems not all do, and hate and divisiveness and just plain intolerance and dogmatism is alive and well here.
I was confirmed in this opinion by an editorial in the Independent Coast Observer which mentioned the possibility that Robert Mueller might have acquired property here. What, according to that editorial, was the reaction of some to that possibility? "He better watch out. People here are mad at him." Is that just some childish grousing, sulking, or is that a threat?
At any rate, I'm not mad at Mueller, and even if I were, I would not challenge his right to live here. Who are these wonderful people who live among us who presume that only those who agree with them, those who toe the line, according to their credo, those who presumably are liberals, have the right to live here?
Mr. Mueller did his job and I'm glad he found no collusion between Trump and the Russians. To have found otherwise would have been very destructive for this country. Why would anyone deny him a choice of where to buy a home? I am appalled.
The Independent Coast Observer replies: "The editorial labeled these statements as things one hears, that is, hearsay or gossip. There is a lot of hearsay and gossip in Mendonoma. Some of it turns out to be true and much of it turns out to be false."
AL'S A USEFUL GUY TO HAVE AROUND
Caretaker Handyman looking for a place to stay…
Here I am in Fort Bragg living here now 1-year and 4-months. I'm living on someone's property that I didn't realize till after moving there that the spot I'm on turns all mushy and swampy during winter. I have hobby work that I do when not out working my handyman gig and since I been living there I have not been able to do my hobby work at all. I pay rent for a swamp. I can be of great help to someone that's really helping me, my heart gives back automatically when that's happening. I don't know how much longer I can take this if I don't find a more useful place. If I had solid ground in my immediate area I would be at home right now working on my future work truck, instead of me searching for another place here and there. I get so depressed about it that I can't stand being there not being able to do. Please help me, so I can be of help to you and myself. My work consists of carpentry interior exterior, mechanic, heavy duty weed whacking and field grass cutting, chain sawing trees and log splitting firewood, welding, painting, fabricating out of wood and metal and plastic, fence building out of wood or wire, deck building, and much more. I have the tools and skills to do the work mentioned here. At the moment I live in a motor home, I also have a couple of trucks, daily driver and a step van that holds most of my tools securely for now.
My phone number is 707-409-4147
Mountain lion information
Mendocinosportsplus passed this along, and I'm passing it on to all of you. It's very good information about mountain lions done by a researcher at UC Davis. There aren't a lot of do's and don'ts in it, just a lot of information and you can make your own conclusions and decisions.
Ronnie James, email@example.com
RE COAST HOSPITAL, Jeff Fox notes: "Since I’ve seen this written in two different news articles, I’ve decided to correct the record. Wayne Allen’s history at MCDH is incorrect as stated in the article. I’m retired from MCDH, I reported to Wayne for his entire tenure there. He was never CEO during 2006-2008. He was initially brought in as interim CFO to replace Jacob Lewis, who resigned shortly after his boss, CEO Bryan Ballard was fired. When Ray Hino was hired, Wayne agreed to become a permanent CFO and served under Ray until 2008 when he left for another position in Hawaii. Wayne later returned in early 2012 to again work as a permanent CFO under Ray Hino. It was only when Ray was fired in October of 2012 did Wayne assume the CEO role until his departure in 2014."
LAKE COUNTY HAS HIGHEST ARREST RATE IN CALIFORNIA, REPORT FINDS
Small, Rural Counties Have Higher Rates Than Urban Counties
by Aiden Freeman
Lake County had the highest arrest rate of all 58 counties in the state in 2016, according to a report released last week by the nonprofit Public Policy Institute of California.
With just under 7,906 arrests per 100,000 people, Lake County’s arrest rate was about 13 percent higher than Siskiyou County’s, which had the next highest rate of 6,862 per 100,000. Shasta, Trinity, Butte and Tuolumne counties followed. The PPIC report calculated its findings based on the latest available data from the state.
Not to be confused with crime rates, arrest rates divide the total population of an area by the number of arrests made in that area in a given time period.
Arrest rates tend to be higher in smaller, rural counties and lower in urban counties with bigger populations, the report found. San Francisco, Sacramento and Los Angeles had the third, fourth and fifth lowest arrest rates. By contrast, the highest 11 arrest rates were all held by largely rural counties.
Asked why this is the case, Justin Goss, a coauthor of the report, said Thursday that one hypothesis he has seen is that the familiarity of rural law enforcement with the populace it polices may mean arrests are easier to make.
PPIC researchers have been told by law enforcement officers that “in rural counties because the population is smaller, law enforcement has a better idea of who committed the crime and is better able make an arrest,” Goss said.
Kings County Sheriff David Robinson agreed, states a recent report from Sacramento-based Capital Public Radio.
But Lake County Sheriff Brian Martin said Thursday he felt the reason small, rural counties have more arrests per capita has more to do with a lack of other available services to handle sensitive but not necessarily criminal situations.
“The arrest rates are higher in small communities not because we know people,” Martin said, but because law enforcement is the “go-to resource in small communities because of a lack of resources.” Whereas big cities like Sacramento have ways of dealing with mental health and drug situations, like “crisis response teams” and more available social services personnel, counties like Lake do not. This makes citizens here more likely to call on sheriff’s deputies or police officers for help.
“In rural communities, the universally available resource is law enforcement,” Martin said.
This is not an ideal circumstance, he stressed. “Effective law enforcement doesn’t just arrest their way out of problems,” he said, also noting that “we don’t have the resources available to try to solve those problems,” like behavioral health issues and drug addiction, “in another way.”
Lakeport Police Chief Brad Rasmussen agreed in part with Martin. “If we had better resources,” he said, “we might choose not to arrest someone” for a behavioral health issue. But Rasmussen said it’s not just small, rural counties that lack sufficient behavioral health and drug addiction services.
“There’s a nationwide mental health crisis,” Rasmussen noted. “And it’s left up to law enforcement.”
“I think a lot of that happens in bigger cities, too,” he added.
Rasmussen also agreed with Goss and Robinson that with a small population, identification of suspects and subsequent arrests is easier.
“In my department, we operate on a community-based policing model” that culls information from local organizations and businesses to identify suspects, he said. “That leads to arresting more subjects on suspected crimes.”
(Lake County Record-Bee)
MENTAL HEALTH CRISIS INTERVENTION ISSUES:
Routinely, mentally ill patients in crisis from all parts of Mendocino County are transported to local hospital emergency rooms, most often to Ukiah Valley Medical Center. When these patients are taken to the hospital, they are considered a danger to themselves or others – that’s why they are being taken for treatment.
The problem comes when our police officers are forced to either wait for limited crisis intervention workers or use physical force to restrain these patients. While police officers are managing mental health crises, the departments’ ability to respond to other calls for police service drops significantly. And, while our officers are trained to handle mental health crises and to keep people safe, they are not mental health workers.
To improve the situation, Mendocino County Health and Human Services Administration (HHSA) is currently evaluating proposals from organizations that are interested in providing mental health, crisis intervention, and counseling services for people in Mendocino County.
I hope by contracting with organizations that are already setup to care for the mentally ill, HHSA will be able to obtain better services for those who need crisis intervention.
Regardless of whether the County contracts for mental health services or provides these services through their Mental Health Department, the need for additional crisis intervention resources and secure supervision of mental health patients is urgent and significant if we want to prevent these patients from hurting themselves or others while being detained at the hospital.
(From an undated posting called “Ukiah’s Crime Rates” — Ukiah Police Department Report)
CATCH OF THE DAY, April 7, 2019
SARAH ADCOCK, Santa Fe, New Mexico/Fort Bragg. Disorderly conduct-alcohol.
KEA ANGEL-SCHMITZ, Ukiah. DUI, child endangerment.
JESSICA BENTEL, Laytonville. DUI with priors, probation revocation.
ADRIEL BIGGIE, Albion. Battery.
HUNTER CASEY, Fort Bragg. Controlled substance, child endangerment, evasion, resisting, failure to appear.
CHRISTOPHER KEYSER, Ukiah. Probation revocation.
CALVIN MAGPIE JR., Sacramento/Willits. Probation revocation.
IRA REYES, Willits. Community Supervision violation.
NATHANIEL SECKER, Santa Rosa/Fort Bragg. Probation revocation.
THE MORAL CONSCIENCE that so many thoughtless people have rejected, is something that exists and has always existed, it was not an invention of the philosophers of the Quarternary, when the soul was little more than a muddled proposition. With the passing of time, as well as the social evolution and genetic exchange, we ended up putting our conscience in the color of blood and in the salt of tears, and, as if that were not enough, we made our eyes into a kind of mirror turned inwards, with the result that they often show without reserve what we are verbally trying to deny. Add to this the general observation, the particular circumstances that in simple spirits, the remorse caused by committing some evil act often becomes confused with ancestral fears of every kind, and the result will be that the punishment of the prevaricator ends up being, without mercy or pity, twice what he deserved.
Jose Saramago, ‘Blindness’
VIETNAMESE MAN MAKES BIODEGRADABLE STRAWS FROM WILD GRASS TO SOLVE WORLD’S PLASTIC PROBLEM
ON LINE COMMENT OF THE DAY
I was chatting with my Township attorney this past Thursday evening about the Trump tax return issue. Neither one of us could figure out why so many people think that it is such a big deal since tax returns really do not show you shit about an individual’s financial reality. The only answer that we could come up with was that since 90% of Americans pay somebody else to do their own tax returns, they haven’t a clue as to what is on tax returns in the first place.
Warren Buffet takes a $100K annual salary. Do you really think his tax returns tells us a dammed thing about how much he really makes? Seriously Doc, check out a 1040 for yourself.
SPRING HAS SPRUNG, the grass has riz. I wonder where the boidies is.
Spring’s not in any damn hurry around here, global warming or not! I’m sick, SICK of the rain. This has been America's rainiest winter on record. Now, Mediterranean climate that we have, the Pacific High (which refers to weather, not rapture) will be settling in, the firewood I no longer need will finally dry out, and we will commence using up all the water we’ve stored as snow in the mountains and groundwater in the valleys. The forests will be lush, what with all this rain, and they will gradually dry out to make nice fuel for the fall fires. More water = more fire. Contradiction, eh? I hope so. Tell it to Paradise, that paradise of ash & bone.
We shouldn’t have to worry about forest fires. If we devoted more of our public wealth to forest management and fire suppression and less to the universe’s most bloated military establishment, a fire in Idaho, Alaska or California would hardly get started before we’d blow it out like a birthday candle with the technology, manpower and hardware we’ve learned that do the job. Instead, we try to save lives and structures as much as possible and politely let the fires burn until rain and terrain stop them (the sand dunes north of Fort Bragg, California are not at risk), assisted by the extraordinary efforts of too few men and women.
But, heck, the calendar date calls for a word about spring.
Back in November I wrote about spiders. I said there is a particular grumly-looking girl who still stirs my arachnophobia. I saw one of those sisters during yesterday’s spectacular break in the rain.
I touched a thing out front, just a light touch, but it had a spider’s web attached, and out from her concealment came sisty ugler. She came out and stopped cold, seemingly glaring at me. It was a moment.
Even with this fat-bodied spider at eye-level, mere inches away, in full sun, I can’t say if she’s gray or brown. She has a muted, unremarkable pattern, and, like her sisters, eight eyes.
They come in different sizes, spiders’ eyes, with different jobs. The ones most like ours in form and function are the biggest pair, and it was one big, beady black eye that stared at me, up close. And I stared back.
She held her place. This was more than a moment. We stared at each other. I spoke to her, but I can’t remember what I said. It helped break her out of her reverie (probably calculating how many bazillions of spiderlings she could make if she could bite me and wrap me up in a mile of spun silk).
She suddenly noticed that it was broad daylight and the sun was warming her carapace up to the danger level—a bug can’t be too careful—and it was time to break off the encounter with the monster (me). She hurried along her suspension web and vanished into a too-small place, drawing her legs in until she was no bigger than a dot and then walking on her tiptoes, I suppose, into the deep, cool shadow.
Venom toxicity - the bite of Orb-Weaving Spiders is of low risk (not toxic) to humans. They are a non-aggressive group of spiders. Seldom bite. Be careful not to walk into their webs at night - the fright of this spider crawling over one's face can be terrifying and may cause a heart attack, particularly to the susceptible over 40 year olds. Spider Identification - an adult is about 2/3 to more than 1 inch in body length - has a bulbous abdomen - often colorful - dark to light brown pattern. The common Golden Orb-Weaver Spider has a purplish bulbous abdomen with fine hairs. Habitat - often found in summer in garden areas around the home - they spin a large circular web of 6 feet or more, often between buildings and shrubs, to snare flying insects, such as, flies and mosquitoes.
Happy spring, y’all. May it be Trump’s last.
Eyes seven & eight are on top, where you'd look for ears.
In response to a recent letter in the Santa Rosa Press Democrat headlined “Trump and Maduro,” I want to first clarify that Venezuela isn’t a true “socialist” country; it´s a corrupt and inept dictatorship backed financially by China, Russia, narco traffickers and a Goldman Sachs loan.
The Organization of American States’ declaration, and the many countries around the world condemning Nicolás Maduro’s illegitimate government, have already demanded fair elections and respect for the constitution and human rights. But peaceful options have been ineffective. The Venezuelan people are desperate, and the region has been destabilized by their massive exodus. But Maduro refuses to allow a democratic election that would most likely depose him. He is determined to remain in power at all costs.
My father was Venezuelan, and everybody I know has been deeply affected by the conflict and hoped for a peaceful solution but are now convinced that Maduro will only leave by force.
I recommend searching Latin American news sources because they cover the Venezuelan crisis with more depth and understanding. Or ask Venezuelans what action they are willing to take to end their predicament, regardless of what Americans or any other foreign observers feel is the best course for that nation.
FORMER PRESIDENT OBAMA, a left-progressive before he became President and a multi-millionaire, says he’s worried about progressives in the Democratic Party becoming too focused on “purity.” “One of the things I do worry about sometimes among progressives in the United States, maybe it's true here as well, is a certain kind of rigidity where we say, ‘Uh, I’m sorry, this is how it’s going to be,’ and then we start sometimes creating what’s called a ‘circular firing squad,’ where you start shooting at your allies because one of them is straying from purity on the issues. You have to recognize that the way we’ve structured democracy requires you to take into account people who don’t agree with you, and that by definition means you’re not going to get 100 percent of what you want,” Obama said.
Raise high the roofbeams, eh? I've decided to throw a party. I needn't go into the details here. I keep in touch with the world through Facebook, but I have been amusing myself for a few days by randomly phoning folks whose numbers or e-mails I have to invite them. I have reached folks I haven't talked to in years. Most of them won't, probably, he able to make it. But some will. Probably.
The best news of all is that I think my congestive heart failure is gone, or at least in remission. I fully expect that the doc will tell me Thursday to go home and start playing semi-pro baseball. And then go home and smoke a joint.
I just talked to a line-up Mendo friend who now lives maybe five miles from where I grew up in Garden Home, near Portland. We will definitely be seeing each other over lunch or dinner unless she decides to visit Tehran with her best friend, a doctor.
I was fully intending, for some reason, to stop writing for awhile. But I am so happy I didn't. Time for a ballgame. Oakland at Houston. Raise high the roofbeams. Indeed.
BOEING’S HOMICIDE WILL GIVE WAY TO SAFETY IF FLYERS ORGANIZE
by Ralph Nader
To understand the enormity of the Boeing 737 Max 8 crashes (Lion Air 610 and Ethiopian Airlines 302) that took a combined total of 346 lives, it is useful to look at past events and anticipate future possible problems.
In 2011, Boeing executives wanted to start a “clean sheet” new narrow body air passenger plane to replace its old 737 design from the nineteen sixties. Shortly thereafter, Boeing’s bosses panicked when American Airlines put in a large order for the competitive Airbus A320neo. Boeing shelved the new design and rushed to put out the 737 Max that, in Business Week’s words, was “pushing an ageing design past its limits.” The company raised the 737 Max landing gear and attached larger, slightly more fuel efficient engines angled higher and more forward on the wings. Such a configuration changed the aerodynamics and made the plane more prone to stall (see attached article: https://www.aviationcv.com/aviation-blog/2019/boeing-canceling-737-max).
This put Boeing’s management in a quandary. Their sales pitch to the airlines was that the 737 Max only received an “amended” certification from the FAA. That it did not have to be included in more pilot training, simulators, and detailed in the flight manuals. The airlines could save money and would be more likely to buy the Boeing 737 Max.
Boeing engineers were worried. They knew better. But the managers ordered software to address the stall problem without even telling the pilots or most of the airlines. Using only one operating sensor (Airbus A320neo has three sensors), an optional warning light and indicator, Boeing set the stage for misfiring sensors that overcame pilot efforts to control the planes from their nose-down death dive.
These fixes or patches would not have been used were the new 737’s aerodynamics the same as the previous 737 models. Step by step, Boeing’s criminal negligence, driven by a race to make profits, worsened. Before and after the fatal crashes, Boeing did not reveal, did not warn, did not train, and did not address the basic defective aerodynamic design. It gagged everyone that it could. Boeing still insists that the 737 Max is safe and is building two a day, while pushing to end the grounding.
Reacting to all these documented derelictions, a flurry of investigations is underway. The Department of Transportation’s Inspector General, Calvin L. Scovel III, is investigating the hapless, captive FAA that has delegated to Boeing important FAA statutory and regulatory duties. The Justice Department and FBI have opened a criminal probe, with an active grand jury. The National Transportation Safety Board, long the hair shirt of the FAA, is investigating. As are two Senate and House Committees. Foreign governments are investigating, as surely are the giant insurance companies who are on the hook. This all sounds encouraging, but we’ve seen such initiatives pull back before.
This time, however, the outrageous corner-cutting and suppression of engineering dissent, within both Boeing and the FAA (there were reported “heated discussions”) produced a worst case scenario. So, Boeing is working overtime with its legions of Washington lobbyists, its New York P.R. firm, its continued campaign contributions to some 330 Members of Congress. The airlines and pilots’ union chiefs (but not some angry pilots) are staying mum, scared into silence due to contracts and jobs, waiting for the Boeing 737 Max planes to fly again.
BUT THE BOEING 737 MAX MUST NOT BE ALLOWED TO FLY AGAIN. Pushing new software that will allow Boeing to blame the pilots is a dangerous maneuver. Saying that U.S. pilots, many of whom are ex-Air Force, are more experienced in reacting to a sudden wildly gyrating aircraft (consider the F-16 diving and swooping) than many foreign airline pilots only trained by civil aviation, opens a can of worms from cancellation of 737 Max orders to indignation from foreign airlines and pilots. It also displays an aversion to human-factors engineering with a vast number of avoidable failure modes not properly envisioned by Boeing’s software patches.
The overriding problem is the basic unstable design of the 737 Max. An aircraft has to be stall proof not stall prone. An aircraft manufacturer like Boeing, notwithstanding its past safety record, is not entitled to more aircraft disasters that are preventable by following long-established aeronautical engineering practices and standards.
With 5,000 Max orders at stake, the unfolding criminal investigation may move the case from criminal negligence to evidence of knowing and willful behavior amounting to corporate homicide involving Boeing officials. Boeing better cut its losses by going back to the drawing boards. That would mean scrapping the 737 Max 8 designs, with its risk of more software time bombs, safely upgrading the existing 737-800 with amenities and discounts for its airline carrier customers and moving ahead with its early decision to design a new plane to compete with Airbus’s model, which does not have the 737 Max’s design problem.
Meanwhile, airline passengers should pay attention to Senator Richard Blumenthal’s interest in forthcoming legislation to bring the regulatory power back into the FAA. Senator Blumenthal also intends to reintroduce his legislation to criminalize business concealment of imminent risks that their products and services pose to innocent consumers and workers (the “Hide No Harm Act”).
What of the near future? Airline passengers should organize a consumer boycott of the Boeing 737 Max 8 to avoid having to fly on these planes in the coming decade. Once Boeing realizes that this brand has a deep marketing stigma, it may move more quickly to the drawing boards, so as to not alienate airline carriers.
Much more information will come out in the coming months. Much more. The NASA Aviation Safety Reporting System (ASRS), which receives incident reports from pilots, air traffic controllers, dispatchers, cabin crew, maintenance technicians, and others, is buzzing, as is the FlyersRights.org website. Other countries, such as France, have tougher criminal statutes for such corporate crime than the U.S. does. The increasing emergence of whistle-blowers from Boeing, the FAA and, other institutions is inevitable.
Not to mention, the information that will come out of the civil litigation against this killer mass tort disaster. And of course the relentless reporting of newspapers such as the Seattle Times, the Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, the Washington Post, and AP, among others will continue to shed light on Boeings misdeeds and the FAA’s deficiencies.
Boeing executives should reject the advice from the reassuring, monetized minds of Wall Street stock analysts saying you can easily absorb the $2 billion cost and move on. Boeing, let your engineers and scientists be free to exert their “professional options for revisions” to save your company from the ruinous road you are presently upon.
Respect those who perished at your hand and their grieving families.
(Ralph Nader is a consumer advocate, lawyer and author of Only the Super-Rich Can Save Us!)
REP. OCASIO-CORTEZ: "I'm proud to be a bartender. Ain't nothing wrong that. There's nothing wrong with working retail…There is nothing wrong with preparing what your neighbors will eat. … "There is nothing wrong with being a working person in the United States of America."
YOSSARIAN ripped open the snaps of Snowden’s flak suit and heard himself scream wildly as Snowden’s insides slithered down to the floor in a soggy pile and just kept dripping out. A chunk of flak more than three inches big had shot into his other side just underneath the arm and blasted all the way through, drawing whole mottled quarts of Snowden along with it through the gigantic hole in his ribs it made as it blasted out. Yossarian screamed a second time … Here was God’s plenty, all right, he thought bitterly as he stared – liver, lungs, kidneys, ribs, stomach and bits of the stewed tomatoes Snowden had eaten that day for lunch. Yossarian hated stewed tomatoes and turned away dizzily and began to vomit, clutching his burning throat.
— Joseph Heller, Catch-22
THE BIBLE SAYS…
It says in the Bible in Ecclesiastics, Chapter 10, Verse 2, A wise man's heart goes to the right and a foolish man's heart goes to the left. The left! That is why the liberal, radical, rotten, Democrat liberals hate Christianity. And that's why they are trying to get rid of it. It says that right in our Bible, exactly the truth.
California's Air Resources Board now says you have to purchase a truck that's 2010 or newer. You will have to scrap trucks older than that. Hundreds of thousands of people will lose their jobs. Three million people will have to buy new. That's a minimum of $100,000 if people have to buy trucks that's $300 billion for the State of California to tax. But what about all those thousands of people outside the cities who have nothing to do with air pollution? They will have to go out and spend a lot of money for new trucks. A guy works a long time to buy a truck and get it paid for now he has to scrap it or buy a new one!
This new California Democratic Party law was started by Schwarzenegger's wife, the most liberal woman that ever existed. She started this thing and turned it over to Mary Nichols who was worse than her! They want the money. It's all going to go on because Democrats control the state. We live in a one-party state, a dictatorship.
Right now, gruesome Newsom's down in El Salvador to see why people want to come here. I hope he never comes back.
God bless Donald Trump.
THE DAMAGE OF TRUMP’S JUDICIAL APPOINTMENTS IS ALREADY DONE
“In just under two years on the bench, these narrow-minded elitist judges have already harmed workers, consumers, voters, immigrants, reproductive rights, and many more,” wrote the group in its report, “Confirmed Judges, Confirmed Fears.”