Act 1: Supervisor Baugh Directs the Scene – Act 2: Sheriff, Protesters, Play Their Parts

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Protesters rally to re-open Shasta County outside Shasta County Board of Supervisor meeting Tuesday. Source. Redding Patriots Facebook page.

By now you’ve heard of Tuesday’s tumultuous dust-up at the Shasta County Board of Supervisors meeting in Redding. There, in the hallway outside the chambers, a few dozen protesters raised a wild ruckus, complete with horns, bells, a full-on regulation-sounding siren, and of course, there was the bullhorn. Meanwhile, inside the Board of Supervisors chambers, supervisors – two in particular, chair Mary Rickert and Les Baugh – engaged in heated exchanges.

What happened Tuesday is a tale of two groups, a wall of windows apart, well-documented by two different video perspectives: The Shasta County Board of Supervisors inside the county chambers, and the protesters outside the board chambers.

Prominent rally organizer, “Rally” Sally Rapoza, captured the morning’s events via video, and offered play-by-play commentary of all the key moments, including the most dramatic images: dozens of protesters, lots of American flags, a few people with duct-taped mouths, and most of all, the star of the show, a bullhorn-wielding Elissa McEuen, who, when denied permission to speak inside the chambers, would later shout her 3-minute speech at the doors from which she’d been denied entry because of COVID-19 restrictions.

Meanwhile, inside the chambers, Rickert did her best to carry on with the meeting as if it was just another board of supervisors meeting in the middle of a pandemic protest.

Eventually, though, as McEuen hollered her amplified message and the noise escalated from the lobby, Rickert would call for a recess, upon which time she and Supervisor Moty would leave the room, prompting protesters’ exclamations from the lobby that Moty and Rickert were walking out. The remaining supervisors Joe Chimenti, Steve Morgan and Les Baugh would remain behind, hearing McEuen’s demands, which, when summarized, were: Open Shasta County now. Take an emergency vote now. We the people declare Shasta County open now.

Protesters rallied outside the door that displayed this note. Source: Screen shot from “Rally” Sally Rapoza video posted on Facebook.

A sign taped to the chamber door that faced the lobby, inches from where McEuen delivered her speech, explained the COVID-era new meeting rules: “The Board of Supervisors Chambers is Closed. Participate remotely by watching the live stream+ submitting comments electronically.” It included a website for more information.

Inside the chambers, upside-down flags — a signal of dire distress — and rally signs faced the supervisors.

Protesters taped signs to windows at the back of the Shasta County Board of Supervisors chamber Tuesday, facing the supervisors. Source: Redding Patriots Facebook page

It all started with a blessing and a pledge . . .

In retrospect, inside the chambers that morning, despite the rowdy rally in the lobby, the meeting had begun civilized enough, with a Zen Buddhist blessing that mentioned peace and compassion, offered remotely via speaker phone by Reverend Helen Cummings. The blessing was followed by the Pledge of Allegiance, led by Supervisor Moty, recited in a welcome moment of unity by everyone inside and outside the chambers.

The final words had barely escaped Moty’s lips before all hell broke loose in the lobby.

” . . . liberty and justice for all.”

With that, a cacophony of shouts, hoots, whoops, and even a siren’s wail ripped through the lingering moments of the prayer and pledge. The sound rocketed from the lobby to the supervisor chambers, where the seats held only those permitted to be there because of an official county capacity, such as the clerk, county counsel, the supervisors and various department heads, all spaced well apart.

In the lobby where the protesters gathered, no social distancing was observed; not a single mask in sight. Source: Redding Patriots Facebook page.

Inside the chambers, it wasn’t long before there was open dissension, primarily between Rickert and Baugh.

Baugh, renowned throughout the north state for publicizing his haircut stunt in a non-essential Cottonwood barber shop to protest the COVID-19 restrictions and then posting it on Facebook earlier this month, seemed especially jovial and confident during Tuesday’s meeting, despite the chaos beyond the chamber doors.

District 5 Supervisor Les Baugh hams it up for his wife, Anderson vice mayor Susie Baugh, taking a photo of the haircut at a designated non-essential barber shop. Source: Les Baugh Facebook page.

The heated exchange was sparked by Baugh, who’d arranged over the weekend for protester Elissa McEuen to appear before the board without consulting Rickert, the board chair, during a time of COVID-19 restrictions when the public isn’t allowed to present comments in person. The dialogue between Baugh and Rickert rolled from a slow simmer to a full boil soon after clerk Mary Williams had finished reading aloud all the emailed comments that had been submitted in time for the meeting. We’ll get to that in a minute.

Regarding the public comments, the majority of which were about the shut-down, as one email after another implored the board to open Shasta County ASAP, as if it weren’t a state decision.

Some emails were written by individuals. Others were petitions, signed by many people. A few emails asked the supervisors to do something to allow young people to show their 4-H animals at live auctions, and others asked that students be allowed to enjoy graduation. A couple of comments had to do with PG&E. But by far, the greatest number of comments expressed extreme disdain for the shut-down, and the request that the supervisors re-open Shasta County. Many of the messages were scolding and critical. Some specifically asked for — by name — the firing or forced resignations of top Shasta County Health and Human Services Agency staff.

Commenters spoke of flawed data and models, of an incompetent CDC, and the need for an accurate and objective public health department. One person hinted at dire outcomes.

“People are going to get hostile if this does not change ASAP,” warned one emailer.

“Those that aren’t comfortable can stay home,” said another. “Please open all of Shasta County.”

One emailer, who identified herself as a registered nurse who’d been part of Mercy Medical Center’s COVID unit, said the shut-down was irresponsible, and that it was time to “swing back to normal”.

It was after the reading of all the public comments for that part of the meeting when the conflict ignited in earnest – both inside and outside the chambers.

After Supervisor Baugh complimented clerk Mary Williams for doing a fine job of reading emails, he chuckled as he told Supervisor Rickert that as she was probably aware, there was a request from someone else who wanted to address the board

Supervisor Rickert: “No, I’m not aware.”

Supervisor Baugh (laughs): “OK, I’ll make you aware.”

He pointed to the back of the room through the glass of the closed doors to Elissa McEuen, a familiar participant at Redding protests that rally against the pandemic shutdown.

“That’s the young lady out there that’s waving at us,” he said.

Baugh described McEuen as someone who represented “a ton of people out there” – and made the case that it would be more efficient to have McEuen speak for all those people, rather than have all those people send messages. He rationalized having McEuen come inside and speak, because after all, the board had invited Greater Redding Chamber of Commerce director Jake Mangas to speak before the supervisors during the shut-down, so why couldn’t the same invitation be extended to this one woman?

Moty and Rickert both interrupted with corrections to Baugh’s rationale, such as the fact that Mangas was part of a north state COVID-19 committee, adding that some of the communication between Mangas and the board had been via phone call.

Baugh asked to be allowed to continue speaking, said he wasn’t done, and that the other supervisors would have their turn. He continued.

Baugh explained to Rickert that McEuen had contacted Baugh at home Sunday with a request to address the board. Baugh said he’d passed along McEuen’s request to staff. Rickert said Baugh should have directed McEuen to her.

Baugh said he was aware that county counsel would have something to say about the request, but still, Baugh said he thought the presentation was appropriate.

County counsel Rubin E. Cruse Jr. explained why the supervisors could not allow McEuen to come inside and speak, as it would break the rules set in place during the shut-down; rules intended for all citizens. He said the county had provided ways for the public to participate and communicate with the board and its meetings.

Baugh was undaunted by the legal opinion.

“We all know we have the ability to say yes,” Baugh said. “We don’t have to ask the governor of the state of California.”

Outside the chambers, the lobby exploded into cheers of approval.

“We can say, ‘We can hear you today,’ ” Baugh said. “And there’s nothing wrong with hearing our citizens.”

Joyful cheers blasted from the lobby.

“Her request was simply to represent them (a ‘ton of people’) in a single, 3-minute presentation that she has requested in advance,” Baugh said. “I’m led to understand that’s been turned down.”

Outside the chambers, upon hearing Baugh say that McEuen wouldn’t be allowed inside to deliver her speech in person, the group erupted into angry shouts.

In the lobby, a woman told protesters to put duct tape over their mouths, to provide a “powerful visual” if she was not allowed inside.

Inside the chambers, Baugh defended himself using a method that looked an awful lot like Gaslighting 101.

“Mary, this is not my orchestration,” Baugh said with a chuckle. “Folks, did I contact you to do this?”

Outside the chambers, the protesters, who could hear everything happening inside the chambers through speakers, responded loudly to Rickert’s assessment of Baugh’s involvement with, “No!”

Inside the chambers, Mary Rickert addressed Baugh again.

“Mr. Baugh, I’ve seen emails with your name on them; that you are part of this, so …,” Rickert said.

“It’s just not true,” Baugh said.

“I’m sorry, I’ve seen the emails,” Rickert said. “This is ridiculous.”

From the lobby a protester shouted to Rickert, “YOU’RE ridiculous!”

Inside the chambers, Baugh replied, “This has nothing to do with me.”

“Oh, Mr. Baugh, this has everything to do with you,” Rickert said.

Supervisor Moty asked Baugh, “Is your grandstand play over now?”

Supervisor Steve Morgan asked Ricket if it were possible for McEuen to read the presentation via a cell-phone call from the lobby. Rickert countered with a suggestion, that if McEuen’s speech was in writing, she could slip it under the chamber doors so the clerk could read it aloud to the supervisors.

Outside the chambers, a number of protesters yelled, “Noooo!”

With that, McEuen in the lobby picked up the bullhorn and proceeded to shout her entire 3-minute presentation toward the chamber doors.

After Elissa McEuen was banned from coming inside to give a presentation, she uses a bullhorn to broadcast her speech through the closed supervisor chamber doors, directly in front of the county sign that explains the new state mandated COVID-19 meeting rules. Source: Screen grab video from Redding Patriots Facebook page.

McEuen yelled good morning, and went on to say that “we the people” had gathered in peaceful assembly that morning to appeal to the board to defend the people’s constitutional rights provided by the Bill of Rights.

” … The time has come! This is your opportunity to fulfill your duty to represent your constituents — us —  and defy the governor’s illegal, unenforceable order. You are not the first county to take this step, and you certainly won’t be the last, but by God you ought to repeal the stages and return Shasta County to its full function …”

McEuen said the board members had failed the people, but they could make things right, and that the situation could be remedied immediately.

“We the people affirm that Shasta County is open!”

In the lobby, hearing that McEuen had proclaimed that Shasta County was open, her fellow protesters cheered, applauded and enthusiastically utilized their noise-makers.

“Board of Supervisors, now is your turn,” McEuen said. “Take a vote – an emergency vote – and open Shasta County now!”

Inside board chambers, an exasperated looking Rickert said the board must move onto the consent calendar, and that she’d “deal with this” later. She looked across the room and spoke to someone out of camera range.

“Sheriff Magrini, can you please ask the group to maintain silence so we can conduct our meeting?”

Supervisor Moty suggested a break, to which Rickert agreed, and called for a recess.

In the lobby, Rapoza, with the camera, announced to the protesters that Moty and Rickert had left the room, but that the other supervisors had remained behind.

In the lobby, some protesters chanted, “Open Shasta County! Open Shasta County!”

A few local media folks were waiting to speak with McEuen, but she said she was waiting to see what happened after the board returned from recess, whether they would allow her speak.

Rapoza, still videotaping, said, “Here comes Sheriff Magrini.”

The sheriff stopped before the glass door, flashed a smile, and gave a little closed-finger wave before he opened the door enough to step through.

Magrini stopped in front of McEuen and asked how she was doing, to which she said, “Good.”

“Good,” Magrini said, before he leaned in toward McGuen and quietly asked something about her speech. She answered, “Yes sir.”

Magrini said he’d call her later.

Sheriff Eric Magrini and protester Elissa McEuen chat during the meeting break. Source: Redding Patriots Facebook page video screen grab.

Back in the chambers, Rickert spoke. “I just wanted to say that if I have someone from my district and they contact me, I will respond to them personally, and that is unequivocal. I have worked in District 3 as hard as possible and I will represent all of my constituents, if they will just contact me.”

She apologized for her lack of decorum, and for losing her temper.

Then the meeting carried on with other important matters, all equally deserving of coverage. Another day.

Diagnosis? Gaslighting

Since Tuesday’s meeting, if you look at Facebook pages like Redding Patriots and the variations of local re-open pages, there’s mounting criticism toward Mary Rickert, calls for her removal, or for her to step down. Some people are getting all apoplectic about how Rickert was shaking her finger at Baugh, which I can’t confirm myself, since the video didn’t show a close-up of those exchanges between Baugh and Rickert. However, even if she had pointed her finger at Baugh, or even shook it, I’d say that’s a relatively mild reaction, considering the stakes, and considering Baugh’s involvement. This perfectly positioned Rickert to look like the unreasonable meanie, while Laughing Les comes out smelling like a rose; the only guy in the room who believes in free speech.

How convenient.

To those who want to dump Rickert, I say if anyone needs to hand in their supervisor’s cape and walk into the sunset, it’s Les. First, for the barbershop stunt as a protest against the pandemic shut-down orders, and now, for the way he appeared to manipulate a scenario in such a way to further enrage protesters, but also putting the chair in a no-win situation during the supervisors meeting.

When Elected Leaders Behave as if Leadership is Elective

Baugh, like his buddy Sheriff Magrini, makes no bones about his unwillingness to enforce and support COVID-19 restrictions and shut-downs.

Such a weird situation for north-staters, to openly acknowledge the facts of Shasta County life, that rules don’t apply to some of our most powerful community leaders.

Despite knowing about the new rules, Baugh communicated with McEuen the weekend before the meeting, and rather than pass on the message of McEuen’s request to do a 3-minute presentation – something Baugh knew was impossible – he did an end run around Rickert and instead sent the message to the BOS staff. Had he shared that message with Rickert over the weekend, she wouldn’t have approved it. Raise your hands if you think Baugh knew that.

That was the point of contention during the heated exchange between Rickert and Baugh.

The portion of the board meeting that looked like a train wreck felt scripted, with Baugh as the director, helped along by the other actors, such as Sheriff Eric Magrini, who openly refuses to enforce public health COVID-19 restrictions, and of course, Elissa McEuen, aka, “the woman with the bullhorn.”

Funny that Baugh at one point claimed that he’d not orchestrated what happened Tuesday, because it absolutely had an orchestrated ring to it, with Baugh looking very much like the conductor.

And what about McEuen? Did she truly believe she should be the lone exception out of a county of 180,000 people, that she should be allowed to have all the rules that the rest of us follow broken for her? During the KRCR interview she talks about the limitations of expressing a message in just 250 words, and that it just isn’t the same having someone read her speech, because the reader (probably the board clerk) wouldn’t deliver it with the same passion.

I’ll bet the hundreds of citizens who emailed their comments to the board clerk to be read aloud would have liked to make their own presentations, too, with all the passion they feel.

And seriously, if her primary goal was to bring her message before the board, why didn’t she accept Rickert’s unorthodox invitation to slip the hard copy of the speech through the door, and allow the clerk to read it? Or, if it was, as McEuen said in her KRCR interview, about word count limitations, why didn’t she just break up her 3-minute speech into smaller bites, for her rally friends to email to the clerk?

What About Baugh?

Once again, Baugh has managed to turn his bad behavior into a win-win situation for him-him. If, by some miracle during that meeting, his fellow supervisors had taken a leave of their senses and agreed with Baugh to allow McEuen to be the one exception allowed to enter the chambers and speak, then it would have been county counsel Cruse’s duty to step in and forbid it, on legal grounds.

Baugh is smart enough to have known that, despite playing his part with wide-eyed shock and disappointment, delivering Rickert’s decision (clearly broadcast into the lobby), that he’d heard McEuen wouldn’t be permitted to speak. With that, in the lobby chaos broke out and shouts erupted from the outraged protesters, who stood inches from the sign taped to the chamber doors that explained clearly, in black and white, the pandemic-era new rules.

Baugh’s request was wrong on so many levels. For starters, Baugh knew very well that making such a request was inappropriate, because he was well aware that during the COVID-19 shutdown, in an attempt to avoid large gatherings, the county could no longer allow the public to attend the meetings in person. However, the county mitigated that by offering all kinds of options for both viewing and communicating.

Ironically, one of Supervisor Rickert’s first requests of the day was for the clerk to review what options the county had implemented so the public could comment and participate in the board meetings in lieu of the pre-COVID-19 open meetings.

What Baugh should have done, when McEuen had – as Baugh said – contacted him at home over the weekend to discuss her desire to give a 3-minute presentation before the board: First, Baugh should have brought Rickert into the loop, and told her about McEuen. Second, Baugh should have told McEuen that she and her fellow patriots were welcome to participate in a peaceful protest outside the chambers, but she would not be allowed inside to speak. Why? Because it would have been unfair for the board to ignore the rules for one person, especially given that hundreds of Shasta County citizens have sent emails to the clerk to read aloud. He should have impressed upon McEuen that the rules apply to everyone, including her.  He should have told McEuen that she would not be the exception to the rules.

But no, that’s not Baugh’s way. Instead, he did nothing to dissuade McEuen from showing up with her 3-minute typed speech in hand, backed by dozens of fellow protesters who’d come armed with noise-makers, signs and duct tape.

Meanwhile, there’s the Redding Patriots Facebook page, where it promoted the protest like this: “RALLY TO RE-OPEN SHASTA TUES. 9AM 1450 COURT St”, and now, after the fact, it’s couching what happened Tuesday like so: “Patriots on May 19 are locked out of the Board of Supervisors meeting but still demand that Shasta County be opened back up!”

Give. Me. A. Break.

The Patriots weren’t locked out of the Board of Supervisors meeting. Patriots, it’s not personal. Right now, with the exception of essential county employees, everyone’s locked out of the meetings during this novel coronavirus crisis. Baugh knows that, the Redding Patriots know that, and our sheriff knows that.

Speaking of the sheriff, I’ve saved the best for last. (Which reminds me, I hope you’ve read Annelise Pierce’s piece about Sheriff Magrini and selective enforcement.)

One of the most subtle but telling parts of watching both videos, each several times, was the sheriff’s part in Baugh’s play. He first enters the picture when Supervisor Rickert finally has had it with the pandemonium, and she looks out across the chambers and asks Sheriff Magrini if he would please ask the crowd to be quiet, so the supervisors could continue their work.

I’ll bet what Rickert imagined Magrini would do was he’d walk out to that lobby, look over the crowd and say something like, “Hey folks, I know you’re frustrated, and I respect that these are hard times for us all, but I need to ask you to please keep the noise down so the supervisors can finish their meeting. Thank you.”

Something like that; understanding, diplomatic but firm. I’m just making this up. I’m sure in the sheriff’s handbook there’s a template for getting protesters to please shut up without causing a riot.

But unless there’s a lapse in Rapoza’s video between the time when she says, “Here comes Sheriff Magrini,” and the time he walks through the door and turns into a cool cat purring hello’s at McEuen, it turns out he never did as Rickert asked. He never addressed the crowd. He never asked them to be quiet, as Supervisor Rickert asked. Instead, he just chats up the lady with the bullhorn, someone he clearly knows, whose phone number he already has, and he whispers something about her speech, and he tells her he’ll call later.

Fox. Hen house.

Interestingly enough, for a little background, McEuen was also the leader at the small May 1 rally outside the Sheriff Department off Park Marina Drive.

Elissa McEuen holds a sign outside the sheriff’s office on May 1. Photo by Steve DuBois

Later, at that protest, she read a statement.

Elissa McEuen reads a statement in front of the Shasta County Sheriff’s office on May 1.

Here’s the statement she read:

There are many reasons to protest, and emotions run high, but we have
come together today with a specific purpose …

We are gathered here today in a peaceful assembly to encourage our Shasta
County law enforcement, and Sheriff Magrini to defend our constitutional
rights as reserved to us, the people, by our Bill of Rights. Our *unalienable
rights* to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

Sheriff Magrini is able to do this by the authority granted to him when he
took his oath of office to “support and defend the constitution of the
United States and of California, against all enemies, foreign and domestic”.
By that oath, we ask that he take no action against businesses re-opening.
We ask that he not investigate any call regarding social distancing or open
businesses. We ask that he spend no resources to close or keep closed
public places.

As our sheriff, he has been granted the power to secure our rights.
Sometimes the best course of action is no action at all.

Therefore, we are here to announce that persons in Shasta County may
safely reopen according to the authority granted to us by the constitution.
We ask you, our law enforcement officials to defend us by spending no
resources that would delay us or close us down.

Note: At this point Elissa invited everyone into prayer.

We pray for wisdom for Sheriff Magrini. We ask that he fulfill his oath to
protect Shasta County and its people by securing our rights to live, work,
and play in this beautiful land. We pray for safety for all our family in blue.
And we pray that freedom rings across our great country once more.


This excerpt pretty much says it all:

“We ask that he not investigate any call regarding social distancing or open
businesses. We ask that he spend no resources to close or keep closed
public places.

As our sheriff, he has been granted the power to secure our rights.
Sometimes the best course of action is no action at all.”

So, there we have it. We have executive-order protesters who are working in conjunction with a Shasta County supervisor. And the protesters and sheriff are aligned, to the point where the protesters are asking that Magrini not enforce the COVID-19 health and safety restrictions. Guess what? He doesn’t.

We have a sheriff who not only allows a rodeo to carry on in the middle of a pandemic, but he did so despite public health officials’ request that the show not go on. Finally, we have a sheriff who refuses to even obey the simplest request to keep the peace during a local government meeting, made by Mary Rickert, the chair of the Shasta County Board of Supervisors. What’s even more embarrassing (for him), is that he had to be asked in the first place. You’d think, if you’re not just a sheriff in that meeting, but The Sheriff, that when the decibel level reached a certain point, you would voluntarily haul your keester off the cushy bench and ask the crowd to keep it down. (I’m trying to imagine RPD allowing that kind of a disturbance during a Redding City Council meeting, and I just can’t.)

Obviously, since Magrini and these anti shut-down protesters (not all protesters, of course) are such pals, it would have been so easy for him to ask them to be quiet, and they would have complied. I am certain that a single finger to his lips would have done the trick, without ever saying a peep. If anything, like Baugh on Tuesday, Magrini looked pretty happy about how things were going inside those chambers.

Maybe I’ve watched those videos – especially “Rally” Sally’s – too many times. If you think I’m reading it wrong, I’m open to a difference of opinion here.

There’s one thing I am sure of, and that’s the fact that within Shasta County we have some elected officials who do not represent all of our best interests; rather, they’ve got the backs of their folks, their followers, the anti-maskers, the pandemic deniers, their like-minded believers.

And what about the mask-wearers, those who believe in science, those who follow public health guidelines and who believe COVID-19 is a real threat? What about us? What about all of us?

(Editor’s note: This post was revised on 5/23/2020 for clarification.)

Related videos

Video source Redding Patriots Facebook page, videographer, “Rally” Sally Rapoza, a member of the Redding Patriots.

Click here to watch streaming video of the Shasta County Board of Supervisors meeting. 

Click here to see the KRCR video interview by Mike Mangas.

Doni Chamberlain
Independent online journalist Doni Chamberlain founded what’s now known as in 2007 with her son, Joe Domke. Chamberlain is an award-winning newspaper opinion columnist, feature and food writer recognized by the Associated Press, the California Newspaper Publishers Association and E.W. Scripps. She lives in Redding, California.
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144 Responses

  1. Avatar Bill Vercammen says:

    Little fish in a big pond syndrome. They’ll mess around till somebody gets their eye poked out, forcing Newsom to initiate martial law. Enter the Ca National Guard with a mandate to enforce the standing executive order. Everybody looks bad – Baugh, Sheriff Magrini, and the entire administrative YeeHaw population of Shasta County – a population begging for exemplary discipline. Let the egos clash, there are no winners in a pandemic… Baugh deserves to join the jobless…

    • It’s a sad situation that makes me sometimes wonder about my home town.

      • Avatar Bill Vercammen says:

        “It’s a sad situation…”
        On the upside…
        Has a precedent been set that enables any participant at a future BOS meeting to produce a bullhorn, be a nuisance, create a disruption, and be immune from rebuke and prosecution? Bullhorns are cheap, and two or three of them in use simultaneously each time Baugh speaks might have a permanent impact on his quest to manipulate Ms Rickert and the BOS. Food for thought…

  2. Avatar Beverly Stafford says:

    Baugh Baugh black sheep. And like Trump, he’ll be re-elected. As I said before, Baugh Humbug.

  3. Avatar Linda Cooper says:

    Oh, well done, Ms. Chamberlain. Thank you! For sticking “it’ out there.

    I’m not into Schadenfreude, however, your article reminds me of sitting in the FEMA center in Redding, after the Carr Fire. I wrote to a friend about all the government bashing I was listening to, and how awful that seemed. She replied, “yeah, well, those same people are lined up to take what they can get from FEMA.” Also known as “the government.”

    I guess some of my point is this, are these same people prepared for hospitals being jammed, children and others getting sick? It’s so easy to say no to something, instead of developing a “yes plan,” for something else.

    A couple of those women’s faces look familiar to me. I’m guessing it wasn’t at the library book group. (Sorry for the snicker.) And I would write that this makes me feel a little better for no longer living in Redding. However, this mind-set is all over the place. In small numbers, as Bill Vercammen noted , with little fish in a big pond. But still, they know how to be loud.

    May good journalism continue to be louder. Once again, thank you.

    • I think that’s what’s distressing to me, is the mindset, and sometimes I’m surprised to find out that people who I assumed one thing of – like we shared the same values, like I could count on them to protect and represent everyone – turn out to be someone entirely different.

  4. Avatar Matt Grigsby says:

    I’m sick to death of this phony outrage. It reminds me 100% of all the Tea Party baloney during the Obama years (which we know was baloney because *none* of those Tea Party folks said a word about deficits during the latest round of tax cuts, tripling our deficit overnight and putting us immediately on the path to financial ruin).

    The smug smirking by our taxpayer-funded public servants is infuriating. I guess the message Les is sending is…what exactly? Can I call him at home and demand to speak my mind about the pandemic rules and he’ll fight just as hard for me? Will he cause a big dustup on my behalf if I want to speak about something he doesn’t agree with? We all know the answer to that.

    These rules are to help keep us alive. NO ONE wants people to lose their jobs or their businesses, but I also don’t want them to lose their lives. This isn’t some kind of a game, but Baugh and the Sheriff seem to think this is hilarious. Stir up all the hornets and then stand back and wonder why everyone is getting stung.

    It makes Les Baugh and Sheriff Magrini look like small town amateurs straight out of Mayberry. Which they are.

    • You hit the nail on the head, Matt, and I should have pointed this out in my summary:The rules are in place to keep us alive, and no one wants to stay home any longer, or lose jobs or businesses. It’d be nice of all the people in charge sang from the same hymnal – very far apart.

  5. Avatar Gail says:

    I feel the same way Doni. But, most critical is that Baugh and Magrini both took oaths to uphold the laws. They are not doing that and also encouraging others to be unlawful. Their behavior is reprehensible.

    • Avatar Doug Cook says:

      Gail, as I showed in my comment below this. Opening up is NOT being unlawful. Reopening would be following the directives that Gov Newsom put in place this week. Apparently some of the Supervisor need to be reminded of the rules. Why if after looking at the rules, and seeing where Shasta is, can anyone not agree that reopening should be given the go ahead.

    • Yes, Annelise goes more into your point in her piece. But yes, at the heart of the matter it’s about upholding laws leaders swore to uphold. And you’re right, and I should have pointed that out, too, that when we have elected leaders who display such disregard for the rules in place to protect us all, then those leaders will have followers who rightfully feel they can also disregard the rules with impunity. “He’s doing it! Why can’t I?”

      • Avatar Mary Madden says:

        Excellent article. Thank you. Correct me if I am wrong, but if I recall, Magrini was not even elected. He was “appointed”in a shady way, which from my perspective makes his behavior even less tolerable/more outrageous.

        • Avatar Rob says:

          Matt, I’m thinking more along the lines or Boss Hogg and Sheriff What’sHisName.

        • Mary, Sheriff Tom Bosenko stepped down before his term was over, and when he did, he suggested Magrini to the board, and they followed Bosenko’s recommendation. This is an elected position, but because Bosenko stepped down early, Magrini was able to leap over that process – for now, until the election.

  6. Avatar Doug Cook says:

    Let’s look at the rules California has put in place for reopening. The new rules adopted Monday state that “…counties will be able to move toward a more expansive reopening if they can show fewer than 25 coronavirus cases per 100,000 residents in the last 14 days. Shasta has had one new case in the past month. Counties also must show that the number of hospitalizations for COVID-19 patients have stabilized, we currently have no Covid-19 patients hospitalized. Counties show that fewer than 8% of residents tested for the virus over a seven-day period were positive. We have had one positice test in the past month.

    Gov Newsom said, “… The bottom line is people can go at their own pace and we are empowering our local health directors and county officials that understand their local communities and conditions better than any of us.”

    California’s new directives, and Newsom’s decision to put the decision making in the hands of local officials gives credence to the protesters position and why they should have been given a platform to speak. Limiting speakers to a 250 word Email does not in my view met the requirement for public comments.

    • Avatar Larry Winter says:

      Doug, you seem to mix and match decision making powers. First you say the State gave locals the power to make decisions and then you say the locals decision does not meet the requirement for public comments put forth by the State.

      That’s like saying, I wear a mask. On the back of my head.

      It just doesn’t make sense.

      • Avatar Doug Cook says:

        Larry, California has statutes that govern public comments at board meeting. I do not believe that the current rules satisfy those statutes. There are comments on here about how the Board should enforce the standing executive order. well, the standing executive order states that Shasta can move forward with reopening the County. Newsom finally came to the realization that one size doesn’t fit all. The state can’t treat LA County and Shasta County the same. So if we meet the requirements to reopen, as the California rules state…why the hell aren’t we doing that?
        So yes, Larry..I believe I do in fact make sense.

        • Avatar Larry Winter says:

          Doug, Gov Code 54954.3.(b) (1) “The legislative body of a local agency may adopt reasonable regulations to ensure that the intent of subdivision (a) is carried out, including, but not limited to, regulations limiting the total amount of time allocated for public testimony on particular issues and for each individual speaker.”

          The BOS has every right to limit public comment time and for the protester using a bull horn to speak was thumbing her nose at local government, but speaks as if she knows what the Constitution means.

          But look, I’m all for people coming to board meetings and expressing themselves passionately if they so desire. The signs put up in the window as shown in the pictures above are a great example of this. Baugh was unprofessional in his actions and words and the bullhorn lady went past the line of civility, which we all should demand at “we the people” meetings. The Sheriff neglected his duty to keep order for political reasons, and with Baugh, became another misfiring cylinder of the Shasta County government engine.

  7. Avatar Candace says:

    Doni, After reading this I guess my “Back The Blue” comment from the other day turns out to be fairly prescient after all. If I lived somewhere else and saw all of this I’d think I was watching an old/time melodrama complete with evil mustache twirling villain (Baugh) ,crooked sheriff (Magrini), angry mob and heroine (Rickert); which I suppose I am. Also, to the gentleman who pretty much said I don’t “belong” in Redding because I’m not part of our “best heritage”? I’m 63 yrs old, born and raised here in Redding. My Grandfather was the business manager for the Anderson lumber mill for years and my father worked for years as a crane operator at that very same mill (changed owners) until the day he retired. He was a Democrat; so am I. My heritage is just as “best” as the next person living here and I am very much a “part” of it.

    • Yeah, I specifically chose the back the blue picture (by Steve DuBois, thank you 😉

      I’ve lived in Redding since I was 5, and more and more, I don’t feel I belong here. But I have a love/dislike relationship with this place, and I’ve got deep roots, so I’ll do the best I can to fit in, despite feeling increasingly as if this isn’t my town any longer.

  8. Avatar Candace says:

    Doug, I read that Shasta County had three new positive cases in May. One person in their 50’s , one person in their 30’s and one person in their 70’s. Am I wrong?

    • Avatar Doug Cook says:

      I checked the Health and Human services FB page, they post the confirmed cases daily. You are correct. There were 3 case in May, two of them in the first couple days of May, and the last confirmed last Saturday. None of them symptomatic, none of them requiring hospitalization.

      So thank you, I stand corrected. Nevertheless, those numbers still support reopening. We would have had to have over 25 new cases in the last 2 weeks to be required to remain shutdown.

      • Avatar Candace says:

        Doug, the part about none of the three cases being symptomatic isn’t a “positive”. I’m not going to explain my point because regardless of how you spin it, I know you’re quite capable of knowing what I’m talking about. So too are Sheriff Magrini and Les Baugh. If they don’t understand, that’s a whole different thing. I’d have been much more receptive to seeing a group of “open up now” protestors wearing face masks than a group yelling “rights” while blatantly disregarding the rights of others. Since that didn’t happen it smacks of age old good ol boy LE in bed with a local politician in bed with a few churches. The virus is the only new thing here.

      • Avatar Candace says:

        Doug, two more positive cases today just reported.

        • Avatar Doug Cook says:

          Still way, way below the guidelines directed by the governor, Candacer. We cannot stay closed until there are zero cases reported, or do you think we should? What cut-off would you like to see? That is 36 cases so far in Shasta County, with a population of 180,000. With our population, according to the governors guidelines, we can have a little more than 25 positive cases in a two week period and still start the reopening. So…let’s reopen. If you don’t feel comfortable with it, you have the choice to shelter in place. Nobody is going to rush out in the streets and start hugging and french kissing someone, we all know enough to be cautious now days.

          I read an interesting study the other day that compared the states that shutdown early, and those did not shut down, like N. Dakota. or that shutdown much later. The conclusion was that there is not much evidence that shutting down, or at least shutting down faster, has had a significant impact on total deaths. I think the key takeaway may be that it is reasonable to challenge the conventional wisdom that shut downs are the leading contributor to saving lives when compared to other measures such as washing hands, cancelling large events, measuring one’s temperature, and staying home when exposed to somebody who was sick. There are now 35 million people unemployed, tens of millions of children receiving little to no education, not to mention the unknown mental health damage that we may be unwinding for years. Mammogram screening and colonoscopies are down 80% in this country, how many women will will not get timely breast cancer diagnosis? Many thousands, I’m sure.

          We should all rely a little more on data, and less on fear, when considering the next steps for our country. and I’m afraid that is not happening. It’s not a binary choice. Stay closed, or die. There is plenty of room in the middle.

          • Avatar Doug Cook says:

            Sorry, Candace…”Candacer” was a typo, not a new nickname for ya’

          • Avatar Ed Marek says:

            Even for an accomplished fabulist klike Mr. Cook, a most impressive effort.

            “I read an interesting study the other day that compared the states that shutdown early, and those did not shut down, like N. Dakota. or that shutdown much later. The conclusion was that there is not much evidence that shutting down, or at least shutting down faster, has had a significant impact on total deaths. I think the key takeaway may be that it is reasonable to challenge the conventional wisdom that shut downs are the leading contributor to saving lives when compared to other measures…”

            I’m sure you can provide the link to this peer-reviewed study?

          • Avatar Candace says:

            Doug, we have started re-opening. The wearing of a mask does not prevent one from working. There’s your middle ground. Also, data shows that the more people who wear masks around others, the more protected we all are from virus spread. Possessing a healthy fear of a deadly new virus of which we still know very little, has already killed so many and which to date we have no working vaccine is a rational fear to have and respect. The reality is that many are indeed not practicing common sense precautions and as we’re seeing in real time in Shasta County are actually railing against doing so. Seems that using that model of social distancing behavior coupled with “Open everything up now!” is exactly the thing that does erase any sort of middle ground for anyone other than themselves. In fact it accomplishes quite the opposite, it’s the perfect illustration of saying “stay home or (maybe) die”; I’m going to do whatever the hell I want and screw you while I’m doing it, YOU can just stay home”. I’m not hunkered down in a closet cowering in fear but I sure would appreciate people not behaving like selfish assholes when they’re around me in public. Why should I be expected to duck and dodge these people while they scream “My rights!” ? Or is that your idea of middle ground?
            On a lighter note, some in my family call me “Can”, “Cander” and “Candy” and some of my RS co-workers called me “Candace”, “Can-Dance ” and “Candlewood”. That said, your typo of “Candacer” is not that far off; however since you and I have not reached BFF status (sorry, Doni) probably best to stick with “Candace”.

          • Avatar Hal Johnson says:

            “I think the key takeaway may be that it is reasonable to challenge the conventional wisdom that shut downs are the leading contributor to saving lives when compared to other measures such as washing hands, cancelling large events, measuring one’s temperature, and staying home when exposed to somebody who was sick.”

            I noticed that you omitted masks from your list of measures. You’ve admitted that you think that wearing masks is a good idea. I’m disappointed.

          • Avatar Doug Cook says:

            Darn…here I thought we were heading towards becoming BFF’s. When it comes right down to it, Candace, I believe we agree with each other more than you think. I am in favor of safe, responsible re-opening. If I get called back to work soon, I will be wearing a mask. I will take the necessary precautions. If I go out to dinner, I will expect the restaurant to also be responsible and safe, I will abide by that until I feel safe.

            My concern, and I may be a bit paranoid…is that there are many government leaders and pundits out there that have the desire to drag the crisis out as long as possible for the simple purpose of damaging the president. You can see it on these very pages from the Trump haters that will never mention the good news about the crisis, just always bringing up worst case scenarios. There is a lot of good news coming out. I recently mentioned about the CDC saying that it looks like there is low risk from surface contacts. That should be good news for us, instead I was castigated for even bringing it up by the Trump haters.

            I’m just afraid that common sense will be thrown out the window because it is an election year. Prolonging the crisis will benefit Biden, no doubt about that. I’m also paranoid about certain governors love of power. We have been lucky that Gov Newsom has done a pretty dang good job handling the pandemic compared to many of them. Gov Whitmer has lost any chance to be VP because of her incompetence. But we have seen too many examples of our leaders ignoring science and abusing their power. After 9/11 we lost quite a few rights, I don’t want to see a repeat of that.

          • Avatar Ed Marek says:

            Doug Cook:

            “…My concern, and I may be a bit paranoid…is that there are many government leaders and pundits out there that have the desire to drag the crisis out as long as possible for the simple purpose of damaging the president. You can see it on these very pages from the Trump haters that will never mention the good news about the crisis, just always bringing up worst case scenarios. There is a lot of good news coming out. I recently mentioned about the CDC saying that it looks like there is low risk from surface contacts. That should be good news for us, instead I was castigated for even bringing it up by the Trump haters…”

            Actually, I mentioned the new CDC guidelines with appropriate citation and the correct implications, here:

            “Ed Marek May 21, 2020 at 9:42 am

            CDC update below makes clear that direct contact with airborne droplets is now believed to be the primary means of infection for COVID-19.

            So it’s even more idiotic to refuse to wear a mask, than was previously believed…

            “How Flu Spreads

            …People with flu can spread it to others up to about 6 feet away. Most experts think that flu viruses spread mainly by droplets made when people with flu cough, sneeze or talk. These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs. Less often, a person might get flu by touching a surface or object that has flu virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes…

            you may be able to pass on the flu to someone else before you know you are sick, as well as while you are sick. Some people can be infected with the flu virus but have no symptoms. During this time, those people may still spread the virus to others…”


            Later, Mr. Cook misrepresented the same new CDC guidelines.

            Here is his entire comment, with his insightful lesson-not-learned conclusion.

            “Doug Cook May 22, 2020 at 9:56 am

            There are a number of recent studies coming to light that should be good news, but has not been widely reported for some reason. The CDC downgraded the threat of catching the virus from surfaces, saying it does not spread easily from contaminated surfaces. Other information is coming out about casual contact. That it is the prolonged contact with an infected person that is the danger, not walking past people in a grocery store. There is not much evidence that walking past an infected person is a great danger. That should be good news…but it doesn’t get much air. My guess is that the goal is to avoid good news to try and damage the president as much as possible. As far as Shasta County…we haven’t had a new case in a month. I’m done worrying about this virus. My concern now is when can I go back to work.”

            No one “castigated” Mr. cook for bringing up the new CDC guidelines, as he claims. That is just another lie, among the multitude he has posted.

            Mr Cook does deserve to be castigated for misrepresenting the CDC guidelines that make clear that wearing masks in public is the most essential behavior required to slow the pandemic, now that we know surface contact is a less common method of infection.

            And Mr. Cook should not only be castigated, but reviled, for the frequent misrepresentations of facts he makes in virtually every comment he makes.

          • Avatar Randy says:

            “And Mr. Cook should not only be castigated, but reviled, for the frequent misrepresentations of facts he makes in virtually every comment he makes.”

            Agreed, misrepresenting facts and producing completely false information is Doug Cook’s speciality and when he gets confronted he runs directly to victim hood. It is common a strategy that works on a surprising number of lazy minded people. .

          • Avatar Ed Marek says:

            Still no reply, Mr. Cook?

            Not even a scholarly study out of a “trump university” to misrepresent?

            Just a reminder to all that Mr. Cook is always willing to put his name behind the most putrid falsehoods to support a deranged view of reality.

            “Ed Marek May 22, 2020 at 9:42 pm

            Even for an accomplished fabulist like Mr. Cook, a most impressive effort.

            “I read an interesting study the other day that compared the states that shutdown early, and those did not shut down, like N. Dakota. or that shutdown much later. The conclusion was that there is not much evidence that shutting down, or at least shutting down faster, has had a significant impact on total deaths. I think the key takeaway may be that it is reasonable to challenge the conventional wisdom that shut downs are the leading contributor to saving lives when compared to other measures…”

            I’m sure you can provide the link to this peer-reviewed study?”

  9. Avatar Larry Winter says:

    Excellent journalism Doni! I’m glad you’re taking this on.

    • Avatar Semi-Retired says:

      The reality is that many are indeed not practicing common sense precautions and as we’re seeing in real time in Shasta County are actually railing against doing so. Seems that using that model of social distancing behavior coupled with “Open everything up now!” is exactly the thing that does erase any sort of middle ground for anyone other than themselves. In fact it accomplishes quite the opposite, it’s the perfect illustration of saying “stay home or (maybe) die”; I’m going to do whatever the hell I want and screw you while I’m doing it, YOU can just stay home”. I’m not hunkered down in a closet cowering in fear but I sure would appreciate people not behaving like selfish assholes when they’re around me in public. Why should I be expected to duck and dodge these people while they scream “My rights!”

      Thank you for that. Just the other day I went to a big box store to purchase some materials for maintenance and repairs I was planning. I could not believe how many people were there unmasked! All these people flaunting the affront to their “god given constitutional rights” to engage in unhealthy behavior that affects all those around them. “selfish assholes”, indeed!

  10. Avatar Bill Vercammen says:

    Doug…I am FOR everyone in this, and truly believe that the issues surrounding the pandemic, it’s effect on social infrastructure, mental health, and its impact on the economy transcend partisanship. The virus knows no left nor right, and the behavior of those most bold is the behavior that gets heard – the grease and the squeaky wheel. Should contact tracing reveal that the permissive intrusions of these past weeks have manifest infections of citizens not in attendance, and definitively traced to the rodeo, the haircut, or the blatant grandstanding at the BOS – I would consider that a crime has been committed – perhaps a series of crimes. Ignoring social distancing, not wearing a mask, and blatantly violating shelter-in-place orders can easily be construed as high crimes against the social order, if they lead to compromise of health, hospitalization costs, duress, pain, suffering and death. These cutesy hayseeds are not just fecklessly inconsiderate – they are a potential danger to public well-being…irresponsible, reckless, perhaps even murderous. Les Baugh deserves a public spanking for his malfeasant lack of concern for his constituency, his overall lack of grace, and his appallingly festive attitude displayed in these contrived, grandstanding civil disobediences. The guy’s displayed nothing other than contemptibly foolish behavior in the midst of what most regard as a human tragedy, a costly burden, a grievous loss of human endeavor.
    Sorry, ain’t nothing right about it…

    • Avatar Doug Cook says:

      “…irresponsible, reckless, perhaps even murderous. ”

      Come on Bill, hyperbolic comments like that don’t help your argument. Please put it in perspective. Shasta County has been cleared to start reopening because we are well below the criteria that the governor instituted to qualify for reopening.

  11. Avatar Anita Brady says:

    Sadly, I heard that Mary Rickert has apologized. WHAT THE HECK? Baugh and Magrini should be the ones doing that.

    • Well, she’s a class act, so of course she’d apologize. See, that’s part of the difference between these leaders. I’ve yet to hear an apology from Les for the barbershop stunt, from Magrini for the rodeo mess or from the Butte County pastor whose Mother’s Day service yielded a positive COVID-19 case the next day. In fact, if anything, they’ve doubled down and are emboldened by the last of consequences.

      I hope Mary Rickert doesn’t beat herself up too badly. I think, if anything, she showed impressive restraint. As I watched the videos, I kept thinking about Supervisor Leonard Moty to Mary’s right) a former RPD chief, and what must have been going through his mind during that messy Tuesday morning.

      I need an attitude adjustment. I should focus more on the supervisors who are doing a good job, and who represent everyone, like Mary, and for supervisors like Leonard Moty, who was the only other supervisor to stand up to Les during that meeting.

      Duly noted for me are those leaders who remain silent in the face of wrongdoing, who don’t stand up to the bullies and the rule-breakers.

      • Avatar Candace says:

        Doni, I was thinking along the same lines regarding Mary Rickert apologizing, it’s called having integrity.

  12. Avatar Judith King says:

    What a nightmare. Ugh! Mayhem. Rebellion Reigns! NO RULES, NO RESPECT.

  13. Avatar Lita ViCo says:

    Paying for a subscription today Doni! Keep Dragging This Crap out into the Light!! We need to Blue the North State…

  14. Steve Towers Steve Towers says:

    We in Shasta County often fall prey to a version of the anthropic principle, writ small: We’re the center of everything. I fell for it myself, when the rodeo happened days before the state was poised to grant us “accelerated Stage 2” opening-up status. I thought we’d blown it and that the governor’s office might slap us down. As it turned out, there was zero response from the state, just as there’s been zero enforcement by the state of any of the state mandates up here.

    In other words, we think we matter WAY more than we matter. Newsom is governing with an eye on the state’s overall economy. He’s governing the epidemic with an eye on constraining outbreaks in the Bay Area and the El Lay Basin. We’re one-half of one percent of the state’s population up here in NorCal, and far less than that percentage of the state’s economy. We can strut around and posture and flip the bird at Sacramento all day long, because they don’t give a good goddamn. Newsom isn’t going to rush in with California National Guard enforcers.

    Here’s Newsom’s take on all of our righteous resistance of his oppression: “MAN I don’t care.”

    • Avatar Candace says:

      Steve, Envisioning folks strutting around and flipping the bird Sacramento’s way is pretty comical; sounds very Eddie Izzard-ish. If they planted a flag while doing so it would be spot on.

  15. Chilling, Steve. I never saw a breakdown of where the north state fits in the state’s big picture: 1/2 of 1 percent of the state’s population. Wow. That’s sobering. Talk about feeling insignificant; just a drop in California’s bucket. The governor has bigger fist to fry.

    And with every leader’s blatant action of inaction, with every incident that goes without consequences, the line gets moved further into the deep end.

    What’s left is for the good people to do the right thing, despite living in an area where some of our leaders do otherwise.

    You’re right about there being no real consequences. Now, if I build a shed too close to my neighbor’s property line … if I have a rooster in the city limits … woe is me.

  16. Meanwhile, Trump has declared that he’s bucking governors’ rules about churches, and he’s giving permission for them to open as soon as this weekend.

    Here in Shasta County, we have about 400 faith-based organizations, and of course, they’re all wanting to open.

    Who do you think churches will listen to? Governors, who’re saying no, or the president, who’s saying go for it?

    God help us.

    • Avatar Candace says:

      Doni, I think there are a few churches in Shasta County who wont follow Trump’s lead; I can think of several off the top of my head. That said, I could be mistaken as I don’t know how much pressure they’re getting from their congregations or superiors to open back up. I’m thinking that the largest one here may indeed follow Trump’s lead. Hope not, time will tell. I’m not religious so I wont look to a god to save us but I sure hope whoever opens up in-person services practices social distancing and wears masks. Silly of me, I know. Hope springs eternal?

      • Avatar Doug Cook says:

        What makes you think these churches won’t practice social distancing? I saw an interview with a priest, he said that he will be conducting 6 masses on Sundays instead of 2 to help with social distancing and keep the crowd limited, and require masks.
        I was in an nonessential business yesterday that just got approval to reopen, and they were very cautious, kept customers away from each other, had lines on the floor directing where people should stand…just because we have approval to open some businesses, doesn’t mean they are all going back to normal.

    • I should have said “most churches” – because I, like Candace, believe that there are churches who will listen to the governor and will wait to re-open.

    • Avatar Gary Tull says:

      Trump declares churches ‘essential,’ calls on them to reopen.

      White evangelical Christians have been among the president’s most loyal supporters.

      Based on my own observations while living in Redding for a while, I fear Shasta County could rapidly become a coronavirus hot spot.

      Stay vigilant and prepared, my friends.

  17. Avatar Ken says:

    There once was a boorish buffoon,
    Whose voice filled all of the room.
    When others did speak,
    One heard not a tweet,
    So dense was the sound of his boom.

    Outside the rabble did rail,
    And shouted their truth should prevail.
    Despite posting the law,
    Which everyone saw,
    The Sheriff just watched the travail.

    The garish clown exhorts his foils,
    While their bullhorns and noisemakers loudly toil.
    No semblance of reason,
    Could temper their season,
    As their temperatures reached their full boil.

    “It wasn’t me!” yelled the clown undaunted,
    His pre-pasty grin and plan now flaunted.
    “They called me at home,
    And came on their own!”
    Decorum be damned and unwanted.

    Event’lly at some point the din slowly ended,
    With ration and reason offended.
    The boist’rous buffoon,
    Remained in the room,
    His hair coiffed after previously rended.

    A sad pall hangs over the North State,
    As the magistrate leaves by the back gate.
    And the cost of the loss,
    Is like a toy carelessly tossed,
    And Columbia hangs her head, unsated.

  18. Avatar David Ledger says:

    The actions (or inaction in enforcing the law he had sworn to respect) of Sheriff Magrini seem fitting for a Grand Jury investigation. Sheriff Bosenko was a conservative Sheriff, but he enforced the law. Sheriff Magrini seems to feel he doesn’t have to enforce laws he doesn’t agree with when his political allies are breaking the law, disturbing the peace at a minimum and keeping the public order when it comes to Supervisors meetings.

    • Avatar Kathryn McDonald says:

      A grand Jury investigation sounds like a great idea. Doug Cook might be able to explain how The investigations are initiated.

      • Avatar Doug Cook says:

        Investigations can be initiated by a citizen complaint or the GJ can decide on their own to look into a matter. They are reaching the end of the term so it would be the new jurors that can take it up. I’m not sure this rises to a level of investigation, though. what law do you think was broken?. As I said earlier, while on the GJ, I spent a lot of time attending board meetings. There were a number of times meetings were interrupted by protests. There was never any repurcissions and the events barely warranted notice. I’m afraid this is much ado about nothing. Rickert screwed up. They could have easily accommodated a three minute comment. The sups made it a much bigger deal than it should have been

        • Avatar Larry Winter says:

          25o words, 3 minutes, what’s the difference? The rules of the board going in were known by even the bullhorn lady. It’s not everyday that someone brings a bullhorn to a supes meeting.

          The County could have been sued for letting her speak and no one else, hence the county council’s advice was correct.

          And here’s the law that bullhorn lady could be charged with.

          Penal Code 403 PC Disturbing a Public Meeting

          The California Jury Instruction lays out what the three things the prosecution must prove if a case goes to trial:
          The defendant is charged [in Count ] with (disturbing/ [or] breaking up) a public meeting.
          To prove that the defendant is guilty of this crime, the People must prove that:

          1 The defendant intentionally committed acts that violated (implicit customs or usages of/ [or] explicit rules for governing) a public meeting;

          2 The defendant knew or reasonably should have known that (his/her) acts violated those (customs[,]/ [or] usages[,]/ [or] rules);


          3 The defendant’s acts substantially [and unlawfully] interfered with the conduct of the meeting.

          • Avatar Doug Cook says:

            Larry, I can’t help to think that all this pearl clutching outrage over this case of civil disobedience has more to do with the political leanings of the participants, rather than the act itself. As I said before, I spent a few years going to every BOS meeting and Redding City Council meetings while on the Grand Jury. I can recall at least 3 times that a meeting was interrupted by loud protests inside the chambers. Once by ‘Occupy Redding’ and the other 2 times by the pro-pot crowd back when the City Council was debating the issue. LE never stepped in to quell the protests, they were allowed to say their piece and the meeting continued. Those events barely warranted a news report.

            It is common to feign outrage when a conservative group protests, isn’t it? Look no further than the Tea Party rallies. Or more recently the 2nd Amendment rally in Virginia Rremember CNN and MSNBC reporting to expect violence from extremist groups? Well, the rally was as peaceful as they come. Meanwhile Antifa violent protests go unnoticed.

            Again, this is much ado about nothing. The meeting was disturbed for a couple of minutes, life went on..yawn. I am not a fan of people disturbing meetings, I wish this group had a different tactic, but I feel their frustrations. This country has a long tradition of civil disobedience when our representatives ignore us. If it was a left leaning group, there wouldn’t be 65 comments about an insignificant act of civil disobedience. I could just imagine the comments on here if a left wing group protested and I suggested they be charged with a crime. I would be run off of ANC. (for the record, I would never suggest that) Continue to clutch your pearls.

          • Avatar Doug Cook says:

            In addition, Larry…a Grand Jury investigation would only be allowed to look into the County leaders, not a private citizen. So the limit of the investigation would be the Sheriff’s actions and the Sups actions. It is my educated guess when voted on by the 19 members of the GJ whether to investigate or not…it would not pass. Again, much ado about nothing.

          • Avatar Patrecia Barrett says:

            Doug Cook,

            Once again – have you seen any left-wing groups out in public, mask-less, screaming in each other’s faces since life-saving safety measures were implemented?

            And of course right-wing Trump-supporting white supremacist groups have been responsible for far more violence and death than anti-fascists and other left-wing groups. In fact, there’s no comparison at all.

  19. Barbara Rice Barbara Rice says:

    Appalled but sadly not surprised. Baugh’s actions were reprehensible enough but with Magrini’s apparent collaboration, it appears the good ol’ boys network is front and center in Shasta County now.

    I’m a bit unclear on how the economy is going to rebound when people have astronomical hospital bills or are left unable to work after being disabled due to COVID-19, or what will become of children likewise permanently disabled from the many related illnesses. But apparently it’s really important that people be able to go to Red Robin or get their nails done and damn the consequences.

    • Avatar Ed Marek says:


      The saddest part of this is that the popular belief that opening all the businesses will in some way allow the economy to recover has no foundation in fact.

      Had no “social distancing’ regulations been issued for North California, the economy would be just about as dead in the water as it is now, the main difference being it would be from people practicing “social distancing” out of the fear engendered by the thousands of infections and hundreds of deaths of our friends and neighbors we would have already experienced.

      There is simply no way for the economy to have a sustained recovery in North California, or anywhere in the USA, until the pandemic is contained at a very low level of infections, nation-wide.

  20. Joanne Snyder Joanne Snyder says:

    Excellent article Doni. This reminded me of when one of my ex-students went to court and received 7 “contempt of court” charges in probably 10 minutes. He didn’t understand that he couldn’t just “run off at the mouth” in a court of law. The reason that “Robert’s Rules of Order” and rules for conducting business in an orderly way exist is so government and business and courts can get business done and not get stalled or highjacked by anyone. A judge or a board chair have a responsibility to carry out their job and they are typically afforded the respect for their position. I applaud Mark Rickert for holding her ground against low-class, bullying intimidation tactics. She is the hero of this story. Thank you for this coverage.

  21. Avatar Chad Magnuson says:

    A month or so ago we were talking about the exodus of young people from our area.
    This is a great example of why I always recommend young people move on from Shasta county.

    I’m beginning to believe the axiom that you can’t fight city hall.
    Especially when city hall, is full of despicable and putrid civil servants like Baugh and the sheriff.

    While the conspiracy and good old boy fraternity can snub their collective noses at a pandemic mitigation that is good for the society as a whole, it is repulsive, it is embarrassing, it is shameful.

    There should be a law!

    • Avatar Randy says:

      I have a different theory, either grooming responsible, informed leaders here at home or importing them from elsewhere. It just seems like there would be many bright, creative and capable young people ready to come to this wonderful area of natural resources and begin building for the future. Come on Megan, bring in some friends.

  22. Avatar Patrecia Barrett says:

    On the subject of the response by local churches to reopening:

    The following statement appears on the social media pages of Beni Johnson (wife of Bethel Church’s head pastor, Bill Johnson):

    “BREAKING: President Trump has just deemed houses of worship/churches essential! Governors must allow services, or he will override them. This is a HUGE win! Thank you, President Trump!”

    In addition, Kris Vallotton (Bethel’s second-in-command) described COVID-19 restrictions as “political”.

    Any guesses as to where this eleven thousand member local mega-church is heading?

  23. Avatar Randy says:

    This is the same crowd that demands AGW is a hoax also and if we do not want to be guided by herd ignorance we better support the efforts of people like Mary Rickert to maintain strategic planning according to factual information. Offering her support is important.

  24. Avatar Amelia says:

    Great article but a few missing facts. The Sheriff actually said, “is that your speech you read me yesterday?” Its obvious he knows Ms McEuen seeing that her husband is a Redding CHP Officer. BTW that was a CHP t-shirt she was wearing. Its also obvious the “appointed” sheriff is going to try and play politics. He handled this situation like a rookie and encouraged Ms McEuen to come down and make a spectacle out of herself maybe so he could create a crisis and pretend to solve it? I want to see shasta open but the childish behaviour and political stunts of these leaders is appalling. I hate to say this but I think Sheriff Tom would have handled this better.

    • Avatar Doug Cook says:

      How should have the sheriff handled this Amelia? Should have he arrested them all for a simple act of civil disobedience? Is that how you wish our First Amendment rights to be enforced? My guess is if this was an Anti-Trump re-opening rally, you wouldn’t be calling this ‘childish behaviour (sic)’.

      • Avatar Amelia says:

        Well Doug you have me all wrong. I just pointed out that it was obvious the sheriff knows her, and if he wanted he could have made advanced arrangements with the board to have her message heard. Instead he chose to make sure her message was stifled outside and hung the board out to dry knowing a group was coming and going to get frustrated when she couldn’t address them. His fake grins and comments speaks volumes. To set the record straight I support our president 100% and support Ms McEuens position and want shasta open. I just don’t like to see people taken advantage of for a political purpose which to me looked very obvious here.

        • Avatar Doug Cook says:

          Sorry about that Amelia, I shouldn’t have made that assumption. That was wrong of me. I try to be careful and not put everyone under the same blanket. Thanks for clarifying your position.

      • Doug, I know you were addressing Amelia, but I want to answer your question regarding what Sheriff Magrini could have done.

        Peacefully keep the peace. As I mentioned, this could have been so easy since he’s obviously friendly with McEuen, and it’s obvious that this crowd “backs the blue”, which means they respect the blue.

        No need for extreme measures. No arrests were necessary. No harsh words. After Supervisor Mary Rickert asked Magrini to ask protesters to please quiet down, all Magrini had to do was enter the lobby and put an index finger to his lips. That would have done the trick. But he had no motivation to keeping the peace, and I contend that he and Baugh rather enjoyed the circus and chaos, and I’d even go as far to say that they played some ringleader duties.

        That’s my take on it.

        • Avatar Doug Cook says:

          Doni, I guess we are coming at this differently. My contention is that if the Sups didn’t want to accommodate the speaker…let them have their little moment of civil disobedience and move on with the meeting. It took 3 minutes out of a long boring meeting. Not that big of a deal.

          I gave some examples of other instances of interruption of meetings that have occurred here in Redding that I have witnessed, that didn’t get the notoriety that this has. This morning I did an internet search, looking at different cities that have had protests like this. There was one in Vallejo where protesters interrupted a meeting over a unarmed black kid shot by police, and others not as polarizing. In the vast majority of them I looked at, LE allowed them to have their say. Some were arrested if the situation became out of control, but generally a short protest was not confronted by LE.

          What I am saying is that the reaction of the sheriff in this situation is not out of the ordinary. Yes, of course Les Baugh took advantage of it to politicize it and try to embarrass Rickert. Welcome to politics.

          I don’t think the sheriff had to ‘keep the peace’ The sups could have sat quietly while the protesters said what they came to say and then move on with the meeting. Civil disobedience is in the grand tradition of our country. I’m not a fan of them, I rather this group did not protest like this, but I understand their frustration and respect their right to protest. Representatives still work for the citizens, not visa versa.

          • Avatar Candace says:

            Doug, the protests you endured back in the day were not protests happening during a Pandemic. Different times, different health protection guidelines in place. Pretty stark difference.

          • Avatar Doug Cook says:

            Candace, the issue that people on here have about the incident really has nothing to do with social was the response of the Sheriff and Baugh that they took offense to. That has nothing to do with the pandemic, other than it being the subject matter.

        • Avatar Bill Vercammen says:

          “But he had no motivation to keeping the peace, and I contend that he and Baugh rather enjoyed the circus and chaos, and I’d even go as far to say that they played some ringleader duties.”

          As an appointee of the BOS, it might easily be inferred that the two are in cahoots, and also that the sheriff may feel some measure of indebtedness to Baugh for his appointment. It’s no great stretch of the imagination from there to infer that there may exist some conflict of interest in which enforcement in line with Baugh’s best interests take precedence over the best interests of the general public, eh? An inquiring eye for detail just might capture a bit of the old Quid pro quo in the works. You scratch my back today, and I’ll guarantee you 30k votes in 2022. After all, this is America, and backdoor politics are a discretionary tool of those in power…it’s simply the way the game is played. No hyperbole, just observation and inference.

          • Avatar Doug Cook says:

            With all due respect, Bill…I believe you are reading way too much into this rather innocuous incident.

          • Avatar Bill Vercammen says:

            “I believe you are reading way too much into this rather innocuous incident.”
            Maybe so, Doug, but I’ve enough life experience to have long ago realized that most civil servants strive and connive into pay grades that are magnitudes beyond their competency. They spend so much time covering their collective ass, nothing gets accomplished. Chaos ensues. That’s all we’re really seeing here, nothing more.

          • Avatar Candace says:

            Doug, I was addressing your past comparative experiences of those being allowed to speak inside chambers. You mentioned it several times which brought it into the arena of the original subject matter.

          • Avatar Doug Cook says:

            No Candace, my comparative experiences was not of those being allowed to speak in chambers, it was an experience of protesters disrupting a meeting by standing up and shouting their protests during the meeting. Similar to what happened the other day. The only difference is there was little to no backlash afterwards back then.

          • Avatar Larry Winter says:

            The difference, I can only assume Doug, is that the Board President asked the County Sheriff to intervene at this meeting and he didn’t.
            It’s not us on ANC that are clutching our pearls, but the friggin Board President asked for help and didn’t get it. That’s unheard of, even i would think in your experience.

      • Avatar Patrecia Barrett says:

        Doug Cook,

        I haven’t heard of any anti-Trump rallies in Shasta County in recent months, and I doubt we will – if for no other reason than out of respect for the well-being of the community. And should such a rally take place I have no doubt the participants would wear masks and observe other safety measures, unlike the crowd featured above, who are simply screaming in each other’s faces with no protection.

        I also doubt that people on the other side of political fence would be demanding to have the County just thrown open. The Left is much more likely to bow to the expertise of the medical community, and to science in general. For them life isn’t all about me, me, me.

        • Avatar Candace says:

          Doug, so they were not in chambers when they stood up and disrupted a meeting during a time of “no pandemic” and you didn’t bring their time of protesting up as part of your comparison. I stand corrected, my mistake. I assumed it was relative in the context that the protesters were indeed protesting during a pandemic and the sheriff, and supervisors were reacting in turn; which was the original subject.

          • Avatar Doug Cook says:

            Candace, Let me try to clarify. The protests that I was a witness to all happened in 2010-12 when I was a regular attendee of BOS and city council meetings. It was one of our duties as a Grand Jury member. The protests and disruptions occurred in the chambers by audience members. By standing and shouting their chants. As I recall, once by Occupy Redding group and at least twice by a pro-pot growing organization.

            My only point being, there was very little press or backlash from these protests, I understand that in this recent incident there is the added layer of the animosity between the two supervisors. I guess I’m just a bit surprised that a rather mild form of civil disobedience is garnering this much attention. It was hardly a ‘mob’ as someone characterized it as…and this coming from someone that hates these type of outbursts. It’s just wasn’t that big of a deal.

          • Avatar Doug Cook says:

            LOL…my wife just walked by and said, “Are you still online arguing with people?

          • Steve Towers Steve Towers says:

            Does anyone believe this guy’s descriptions of past events at this point? His description of the County providing no means by which the public could address the BOS—allegedly violating the state’s Bagley-Keene Open Meeting Act and the 1st Amendment—was it for me.

            “There was that one time, when Occupy Redding….”

            Occupy Redding? Yeah, sure.

    • Thanks for the clarification what Magrini said to McEuen. I couldn’t make out the words …

      I stand corrected on the T-shirt. I’ll revise that.

  25. Avatar Michael Roady says:

    I enjoy your writing and found your perspective here different than my own. Although elected and appiunted leaders must be beyond reproach…

    The prices paid here to the comunuity, the citizens beboming even more divided, the confirmarion we cant trust our leadership, the economically crippled homes and businesses was much too high.

    You’re with science, we all are. But I’m with math too. The 30 something sick and the few fatalities WITH Covid19 dont justify the costs.

    And the costs need to stop now since they include giving up our rights, goverment in our homes, rush job vaccines without safey verified.

    Science evolves, math endures, but Politicians corrupt.

    • Michael, thanks for your balanced response. I think you and I would have some overlap areas in which we agree, such as elected and appointed leaders must be above reproach.

      And this part: “The prices paid here to the community, the citizens becoming even more divided, the confirmation we cant trust our leadership, the economically crippled homes and businesses was much too high,” I agree with that, too.

      The question is, how do we live with a pandemic and keep people safe, without gutting the economy? I seriously don’t know the answer, but I think it lies somewhere in a middle area where we re-open, with the caveat to implement lots of precautions.

      My worry, and what I’m seeing here in Shasta County, is that many people equate re-opening with “life as we used to know it” – without adopting social distancing, masks, and other means of protection.

      In a way, the Mother’s Day Cottonwood Rodeo was a test, and it does look as if so far, we’ve not seen a huge uptick in new positive cases. (Although Shasta County did have two new cases yesterday.) Of course, I wonder how many of the rodeo attendees did as public health suggested, and were tested? My gut says that those who went against public health guidelines to attend a mass gathering most likely to ignore public health recommendations to get tested. So it’s possible that if the virus was there, and if it was spread, perhaps it was passed by and to asymptomatic people, or perhaps there are those who did have it, but they had mild symptoms that felt more like allergies. Who knows. It’s all kind of maddening to deal with an invisible virus, that manifests itself differently across humanity around the world: from no symptoms, to some symptoms, to severe cases in everyone from healthy people of every age, to the immune compromised, and cases that lead to irreparable organ damage, and even death.

      It’s a puzzle. I ask this sincerely: What would be the best way to keep people safe without tanking the economy? Is it possible?

      • Avatar Chad Magnuson says:

        Protecting people without tanking the economy may not be possible especially if the lives of people are considered more important than the bottom line.
        You do not need to be an economist to understand that capitalism has perhaps run its course in our democracy.
        I find it repulsive that one man can become so wealthy that he could never spend his wealth in a hundred life times in the case of Jeff Besos.
        Our democracy is still in its infant stage of development.
        In terms of an equal society, we see examples everywhere that our democracy is not about equality. We are not close to a democracy that ensures equality to everyone.
        But we are an example of capitalism gone awry. A form of capitalism that is eating away at the fundamentals of democracy.
        For a country established on equality for all we have not reached that goal.
        We still base our decisions on monetary value over human value.

        If a business tanks I am less concerned about that business survival than I am concerned about lives being terminated over a rush to get back to work.
        Restaurants, clothing stores, trinket stores and so many others business are not essential business. I do not want these businesses to fail but I do not want them to contribute to deaths.

        • Avatar Candace says:

          Chad M.,
          “We have an economy structured such that we’re seriously discussing whether it might save more lives to let a pandemic run through the population basically unchecked rather than to have people stay home for a little while (with enough food, water, etc. for everyone.
          Maybe the pandemic isn’t really the root problem here.”
          (my son, currently living and working in Astoria, New York)
          I believe you and he (and I, and many others) may think somewhat along the same lines.

      • Avatar Ed Marek says:

        “..It’s a puzzle. I ask this sincerely: What would be the best way to keep people safe without tanking the economy? Is it possible?”


        Sorry to yell, Doni, but the best possible answer is not actually a mystery, and many nations are well on their way to reaching this goal.

        First understand that it is the pandemic that has tanked the economy, NOT the only effective weapon we have to fight it, “social distancing”. Had we not changed our behavior over the last few months, we would probably have just as feeble a national economy, just with millions of more more sick and hundreds of thousands of more dead. Does anyone actually believe that North California could have remained an island of health and prosperity, as the Nation collapsed around us?

        Every sensible epidemiologist and economist will give you the same advice:

        Defeat the COVID-19 virus nationwide…FIRST!

        Once a period of effective nationwide “social distancing” has largely eliminated the virus, the national economy can be safely opened up, and the virus can be contained by isolation and tracing of the few infections that remain.

        Then, AND ONLY THEN, can you allow people to resume their (near) normal behavior, and restore the economy to anywhere near pre-pandemic levels of performance.

        The nations that resisted these sensible policies (such as Sweden) now have had BOTH collapsing economies, AND much higher current infection and death rates. And America will only accelerate BOTH our economic collapse and our pandemic if trump’s insane plans are instituted.

        Click the link, scroll down the list of nations to the left and select, and then look at “daily cases” on the graph at the lower right, and you will see dozens of winners in the struggle against the pandemic, those Countries that have reduced new cases to a small fraction of what they were just weeks ago.

        But when you look at America’s record of new cases, you see why we arguably top the list as the Worlds biggest loser.


        Because the half measures America took never amounted to a coordinated and effective National effort. The Cottonwood rodeo was an example of, not an isolated incident in our national failure.

        We can learn from our past mistakes and take the necessary actions, or we can make a much worse mistake, and continue to follow trump’s lead ever further into a national death spiral.

        Repost on this subject, below:

        Ed Marek May 20, 2020 at 12:26 pm

        There are some simple-minded commentators on ANC who demand we sacrifice hundreds of thousands of American lives to restore prosperity by ending all “social distancing” public health measures.

        What they do not understand is that in this pandemic “..most of the economic contraction is caused by the virus itself and occurs regardless of whether governments mandate social distancing or not…”

        The paper below analysis the example of two neighboring nations:

        “Pandemic, Shutdown and Consumer Spending: Lessons
        from Scandinavian Policy Responses to COVID-19?

        …This paper uses transaction data from a large bank in Scandinavia to estimate the effect
        of social distancing laws on consumer spending in the COVID-19 pandemic. The analysis
        exploits a natural experiment to disentangle the effects of the virus and the laws aiming
        to contain it: Denmark and Sweden were similarly exposed to the pandemic but only
        Denmark imposed significant restrictions on social and economic activities. We estimate
        that aggregate spending dropped by around 25 percent in Sweden and, as a result of
        the shutdown, by 4 additional percentage points in Denmark. This implies that most of
        the economic contraction is caused by the virus itself and occurs regardless of whether
        governments mandate social distancing or not. The age gradient in the estimates suggest
        that social distancing reinforces the virus-induced drop in spending for individuals with
        low health risk but attenuates it for individuals with high health risk by lowering the
        overall prevalence of the virus in the society.

        …Our analysis period ends on 5 April 2020. At the time of writing, excess deaths in Denmark
        have fallen to almost zero and the Danish government has eased social distancing laws. In
        contrast, Sweden has continued to experience excess mortality…”

        Denmark, having concentrated on defeating the virus using social distancing, now appears to be likely to far outstrip Sweden in future economic performance.”

        On the other hand, Sweden’s death toll is one of the highest in the world, exceeding even that of the USA, and just like in the USA, the slaughter continues:

        Sweden 3,743 deaths, 367.57 deaths per million population.

        Denmark 551 deaths, 95.04 deaths per million population.

        Denmark avoided most of the pandemic’s infections and deaths, and will likely soon re-emerge from depression, While Sweden is now in much the same miserable situation as the USA, economic depression AND a huge continuing pandemic death toll, with no real improvement visible on the horizon for the self-inflicted disaster.

        Is America really too stupid to learn from the successes and failures of other nations?

  26. Avatar Shelly Shively says:

    Outstanding journalism, Doni. Thanks for being eyes and ears to those who weren’t at the disrupted Supervisor meeting. I’m alarmed and appalled by the apparent cronyism, influence and abuse of power of some in leadership roles in Redding. I’m alarmed, but not shocked, by the rude mob. Sadly, it’s an ever-increasing and pervasive attitude in our county and across the nation.

    • Thanks, Shelly.

      The good thing about public meeting videos is we can all watch them. And I was especially happy for the Patriots’ video, for access to what was happening in the lobby.

  27. Avatar Bill Vercammen says:

    Identify the most “at-risk” populations, and create the infrastructure to support their efforts in a country-wide shelter-in-place effort. This could be accomplished as voluntary outreach, but would be best to actually create jobs at the community level. The nation has already thrown trillions at general support amidst many instances of fraud, so government subsidy is virtually a shoe-in.
    Educate. Turn the volume up on the science. It is self-apparent that science is being denied, and representative voices are being quieted amidst political grandstanding. It has often been said “ When in doubt, it is best to remain silent than to speak up and remove all doubt.” People will step up to the plate on their own behalf, once they are educated as to what to expect going forward.
    Pandemics of this magnitude come along but seldom, and those that specialize in pandemic management have willfully been left out of the management equation. Organize those that know to share what they know with the rest of us. If egos are bruised, so be it.
    Prepare for the next wave. It shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone that despite a reopening in the near-term, we may have to enter another phase of containment and mitigation. Stay ready.
    Take the country back. What’s a bright gal like yourself doing running a backwoods newsletter? I barely know you at all, and you’ve already earned my vote. You lacking in political ambition? – because I’ve already gathered a notion that you’d make a great campaigner. You know the area, the issues, the problems, and the players. You have a lot of built-in support solely from your readership. How can I help?

    • Ed, uh, thank you?

      I appreciate the endorsement, but I would make a lousy politician.

      I’m in my lucky thirteenth year of doing this “backwoods newsletter” and so far, so good. (You’re here, aren’t you? 😉

  28. Avatar Diane Hawthorne says:

    Good comments. I did email all the supervisors. What I witness looked more like a mob than a peaceful demonstration. And what’s with the sheriff and Les Baugh? As representatives of all the people, not just those they perceive as their base, aren’t they supposed to uphold the law? Very depressing.

  29. Avatar Doug Cook says:

    “…What I witness looked more like a mob than a peaceful demonstration. ”

    You have got to be kidding me. Are we looking at the same event? Look at the pictures Doni added to this article. Does that look like a mob? I re-watched the video, what I saw was maybe 2 dozen citizens milling around the lobby, and allowing one person to speak. Hardly a mob, it looked rather peaceful to me.

  30. Avatar Seth McNeil says:

    So much for news without a bias.
    It is sad that most are okay with the Covid-19 Narrative without looking at the facts. Hospitals are not overwhelmed but are cutting staff hours. There is no major breakouts after the rodeo and yet most are glad to forgo freedom in the name of safety.
    You gullible people have obeyed well the words of your master.

  31. Avatar Michael Roady says:

    Doni, you replied to my post how do we get through this without tanking the economy?
    I’ll tell you my thought but its just brainstorming.

    What if we took the people at great risk out of the equasion? People over 65 are at 4x more risk. In the US, thats only 16% of our population. Many of our 65 year olds are out of the workforce.

    My outside the box thinking is to take the shuttered Cruise ship fleets asking for bailouts, scrub and sanitize them. For the price of their Social Security and Stimulus, a clean bill of health and a Negitive Covid-19 test , All Aboard.
    Install tempeature scanners in every hallway. No interaction with land. No crew that has anything to do with services ashore has contact with passengers.
    They can stay aboard until the virus has been resolved or therapy or vaccine developed.

    The younger population at less than 1% risk are able to go about their businesses. No shutdown at all. Only hypervigilant contaminiation protocols.

    Perhaps the same could be accomplished at some hotels. Completely cut off the at-risk population from contamination by removing their exposure while the rest of the world carries on.

    Many will think this absurd. Again, its just unfiltered brainstorming. But to those who think this is ridiculous … how ridiculous is our plan now? No plan. 100% reactionary.

    • Steve Towers Steve Towers says:

      My take: Prison, with a chance of drowning.

      “Only 16% of the population” is 53 million people, and that’s where your unfiltered brainstorming hits the first filter. The total capacity of the world’s large cruise ships is approximately 250,000 people, and that’s with 2 people per berth. That leaves you about 52.75 million short.

      Hell, you could depopulate the entire state Hawaii and send old folks there to live out the pandemic, and you’d be 51 million short. Only 1.5 million people live in Hawaii, and there are about 80,000 hotel units.

    • Avatar Chad Magnuson says:

      ……”how ridiculous is our plan now?”

      Do mean to say that our responses to this pandemic have been ridiculous?

      I think our response has been effective. Certainly 100,000 deaths is unacceptable, imagine what it could have been?
      The simple Stay At Home mitigation has proven effective.

      We’ll need to wait and see if the reopening response is just as effective.

      • Avatar Bill Vercammen says:

        “I think our response has been effective.”

        Chad, the US has been painfully behind the power curve in testing, and we can’t possibly know how deeply seated…how deeply penetrated…how permeated with COVID-19 our population really is – until testing reveals to us just how effective our response has been. In the meanwhile, we most certainly have a virtual walking army of past and current infected to carefully identify, monitor, and isolate (as necessary). Any overlooked asymptomatic getaways are a new cluster waiting to happen. JMO, but it’ll be the purest, sheerest, dumb luck if this virus runs it’s course and disappears – as some feel it might. Trump’s suggestion that we have prevailed is nonsensically premature, as a rebound of spiking case numbers is inevitable – the impact of which will provide a proving ground for what we have learned up till now. Welcome to experimental Pandemic Crisis Management 101. If Round 2 is anything like Round 1, we’d be best to carry a presumption of administrative incompetence going forward. The current climate of over promise and under deliver can only lead to further crisis.

        • Avatar Bill Vercammen says:

          “I think our response has been effective.”

          Many would disagree. Not only have we lagged behind in COVID testing, we waffled about masks, argued about ventilators, got sidetracked with unapproved trial drugs, use of household disinfectants for personal hygiene, and enraptured by wishful, serendipitous babbling suggesting the virus would just “go away” by itself. No one can agree on the science, so we deny it. The Trump administration insists the death toll is erroneously high. The CDC claims the numbers are erroneously low. Yessir, many would disagree – and suggest the response has been haphazard, chaotic, slow, inept, and sadly compromised by politics as usual. History will not be kind to the Trump administration, the CDC, or the effectiveness of the overall US COVID pandemic response

          • Avatar Doug Cook says:

            I agree with Chad that our response has been effective. There were plenty of predictions early on that put the death toll in the millions for the US. Sure, there were plenty of mistakes made. Not just here, but just about every country in the world affected by the virus. Our bloated. sluggish federal bureaucracies suck at handling a crisis like this, they always have…doesn’t matter who is in the White House.

            If you look at the data, the number of deaths per capita. The US is doing better than most western countries, currently sitting at 301 deaths per million population, compared to UK with 542, Spain with 615, France with 435…you get my point.

            We could look at our health care system…we never did overwhelm our hospitals, did we? In March, model after model predicted severe hospital bed and ICU shortages, even with social distancing. Thankfully, these models were wrong. The predicted shortages never manifested. We had beds. We had ICU capacity. We had ventilators. The system was not overwhelmed. Epidemiologists are reporting an infectious fatality rate closer to 0.1 to 0.2%, a risk appreciably lower than previous WHO estimates 20 to 30 times higher.

            I disagree with you, Bill…I think history will be kind to the president in handling of the pandemic. I mean, data is showing that, despite plenty of mistakes made, we mitigated the outbreak about as well as can be expected. Politics as usual certainly played a roll in this. Primarily from those on the left that as Rahm Emmanuel famously said…”Never let a crisis go to waste”. This was an opportune time for the left to try and take down Trump, which is why many on the left want to continue the shutdown as long as possible. If the economy starts recovering before the election…well, we can’t have that, can we?

      • Avatar Bill Vercammen says:

        “…we mitigated the outbreak about as well as can be expected. Politics as usual certainly played a roll in this. Primarily from those on the left…”

        The “missing six weeks” was an omission of prudent response that will forever taint any favorable historic review of Trump’s COVID response. By the November election, Trump will have tried to bamboozle the public with his version of “mission accomplished” in an attempt to rationalize 150,000 COVID-related deaths. He’ll spew enough verbal chaff and subterfuge to obfuscate perceptions of the pandemic, continue to insist that he carries no responsibility, continue to point the finger of blame at his adversaries, and continue to deny the science, the death toll, and the opinion of experts. He may even attempt to convince us that – in hindsight – the pandemic was no big deal, and perhaps that he can’t wait to prevail over the next one. He’ll say just about anything to get elected, and that should be a red flag worth acknowledging.

        • Avatar Doug Cook says:

          Explain to me the “missing 6 weeks”. When was that? What were the experts saying early on? , what did you want the president to do? And please avoid 20-20 hindsight and Monday morning quarterbacking. Go back and show me, with what we knew back then…not what we know now, what the president should have done differently.

          • Avatar Bill Vercammen says:

            Apparently those “missing six weeks” have been so well hidden, that you haven’t even been able ntroduced to the concept. This article defines the timeline of events pretty good. Essentially – the six weeks following the first case in WA state being reported. Look at the comparisons drawn between the response of S Korea vs that of the US. In a nutshell, Trump sidelined Nancy Messonier and the CDC…and put his son-in-law Jared Kushner in charge of the pandemic response – while he told America “it’s only one guy coming from China – we’ve got it under control” . Look for yourself. This isn’t the only location you’ll find it:


          • Avatar Bill Vercammen says:

            Here’s some expert epidemiological commentary on the comparative COVID responses of S Korea and the US. Both countries anno7nced first cases on the same day, January 19,2020. Testing, lockdowns, school closures, quarantines were initiated almost immediately in SK. Trump did not declare national emergency till March 13:

          • Avatar Bill Vercammen says:

            All that said, I nominate Zippy the Pinhead to lead the next pandemic response…
            He, too, is a rude, clumsy, incapable misogynist…
            But at least he’s good for a laugh…

          • Avatar Doug Cook says:

            Bill, it doesn’t make sense to compare us to S Korea. So what would have been your reaction if in mid February, when we had no deaths and very few confirmed cases, President Trump shut down the economy? My guess you would have called him a fascist. In mid Feb, S. Korea had a spike in confirmed cases…that is why they shut down.

            Back in mid February, the experts were saying the virus was low risk to the US. That is why I asked you to not use your 20-20 hindsight. The end of February…there was little concern for the virus in the US. The Democrat candidates weren’t talking about it. At the same time, the administration lifted all federal restrictions on testing for the coronavirus and restricted travel from infected countries. And again, his health advisors and the CDC was advising against a lockdown.

            Once again, Bill…it doesn’t make sense to submit that the US should have locked down the same time as S Korea, when at the time they locked down, we had a total of one death and 35 confirmed cases, compared to S Korea that had 3000 cases by the end of Feb.

          • Avatar Bill Vercammen says:

            “What would have been your response…”
            If I were in charge, I would have done then, what Trump is doing tomorrow – regulate the social media. This deception will prevent easy link-enabled fact checking by his Twitter feed regulars, so he can wag the dog in a new direction. I’da done it earlier, faster…
            Stay ready for a whole new rendition of verbal chaff and smokescreen.

    • Ok, Steve applied the math filter and found why the cruise ship idea would fall short, but I think yours is a good idea, for at least some people. Maybe not just cruise ships? but, as you say, hotels. Heck maybe nature retreats. Send grandma and grandpato summer camp!
      It would be like a leper colony for the vulnerable.

      • Avatar Ed Marek says:

        Imprisonment of the old…potentially for life?

        And do the same with the rest of the USA population with one or more co-morbidities, well over 100 million people?

        “…The younger population at less than 1% risk are able to go about their businesses…”

        …of getting sick and dying, in huge numbers?

        Say 200 million Americans in this “lucky” group.

        ~140 million of them (~70%) expected to be infected before “herd immunity” slows (but not stops) the pandemic. Expect what, death rate in this group, between 1% and 0.1%?

        Between 140,000 and 1.4 million dead…acceptable? And millions more how seriously ill, and for how long?

        We really have no idea what the lifetime risk of infection is for even young and healthy individuals. COVID-19 infects multiple organ systems, it just happens to be the pulmonary symptoms that initially kill the most. Already unknown illness’s and syndromes are being detected among children who survived COVID-19.

        What will be the effects over the lifetime of every COVID-19 survivor?

        We do not need most of us to get this virus, any more than we need most of us to get smallpox or polio.

        There is every likelihood that an effective treatment or a vaccine for COVID-19 can be developed within the next few years.

        We can live healthy and free lives until that time arrives, BUT ONLY IF we are willing to make the temporary sacrifices of effective “social distancing” for a couple of months, to reduce the national infection rate to a manageable level, BEFORE we “open up”.

        Every day we delay taking this action, just extends the suffering, increases the total deaths, and permanently damages to our economy.

        There will be no miracle, no magically cure as trump has repeatedly promised, if we just pretend the pandemic no longer exists, and try to return to our pre-pandemic lifestyles.

        Just millions of more sick and dead Americans, and the accelerated collapse of the national economy.

      • Steve Towers Steve Towers says:

        Oh my God, I hope they don’t keep all of the National Parks closed and force me to rotate between those magnificent old lodges for a year. Especially if they include Canada. :::shudder:::

        Skin me alive, but please don’t throw me in that briar patch, Br’er Fox!

  32. Avatar Ed Marek says:

    If you still think getting this virus is a good idea…

    “Shocking before-and-after photo shows what the coronavirus did to an otherwise healthy man in just 6 weeks

    “…Schultz told Buzzfeed that he had no underlying health conditions. So before getting sick, he didn’t think that COVID-19 was a serious risk for him, in line with early, erroneous beliefs that the novel coronavirus was sickening the elderly and those with underlying conditions, and sparing younger, healthier persons. Indeed, we know now that even young children are being afflicted by the virus and a puzzling multisystem inflammatory syndrome that appears related to the virus…”

    “I thought I was young enough for it not to affect me, and I know a lot of people think that…”

  33. Avatar Patrecia Barrett says:

    According to the latest figures, 1 in 5 hospitalizations involve young adults in the 20 to 44 age group – many of whom didn’t have any underlying conditions. And although the actual death rate in this group is 1 percent (NOT an insignificant number), it often takes weeks beyond hospitalization to recover.

    Young children are also now becoming seriously ill – and some are dying – of new complications from this disease, and we don’t know what other deadly mutations may appear down the road.

    I’d like to ask the right-wingers on this thread (who are suggesting just locking away elderly people and those with underlying conditions, while everyone else goes about their business) what exactly is an “acceptable” number of deaths, in their opinions? Or an acceptable number of lengthy, severe illnesses?

    • Avatar Doug Cook says:

      What does it have to do with being a ‘right-winger’, Patrecia? The Democrat governor of California is moving ahead with reopening. What would you have us do? Keep shut down until the risk is zero? In Shasta county we have zero people hospitalized with Covid 19.

      Nobody is suggesting ‘locking away’ the elderly. What I suggest, is that those with risk factors or pre -existing conditions to continue to shelter in place. That is prudent, isn’t it? Why do you want to keep low risk individuals locked up, unable to make a living? Acceptable number of deaths? I think having a total of 4 deaths in Shasta is about as acceptable as you can get.

      Sorry, Patrecia, we can’t mitigate the risk to zero. GOP governors and Democrat governors alike are starting to reopen. I know it is always your goal to make the president look as bad as possible, but what do you believe we should be doing? How long do you think we should shut down the economy for? Until there are no deaths and no cases?

      • Avatar Patrecia Barrett says:

        I’m not against reopening, as long as it’s done with care, and according to the advice of medical experts. I believe health organizations have made their case that this disease is ten times more deadly than any form of the flu we’ve seen in recent history.

        It’s also my understanding that Shasta County and points north were exposed to this virus later than other parts of California, so it may not have reached its local peak yet. On top of which leaders of the local mega-church urge their eleven thousand followers to avoid medical treatment, and to instead rely solely on the so-called “Great Physician”. Do we know how many local people are actually positive for this illness?

        I have no doubt that many of the people in the protest above believe this is all a hoax to make Trump look bad (not that he needs any help in that department), and apparently want to see everything immediately thrown wide open. However, I think Governor Newsom has a fairly decent plan, which is moving right along.

  34. Avatar carl bott says:

    The BOS have the technology (wireless mics) to listen to their constituents from outside the chambers I am told. Why not have the people that want to address the BOS be able to from outside the chamber? Also, singling out Sheriff Magrini as the only LEO that is not enforcing the rules is not correct. How many citations have been issued in Redding and Anderson? None. Law enforcement does not want to shut down any local businesses (i.e. Rice Brothers Jui Jitsu Studio). Final thought is that if BOS and City Council do not push for enforcement that means that it is no longer fair to those businesses that adhere to the rules the BOS have passed and are suffering for it ( i.e. barber shops, limited seating in restaurants, etc). In any case, it should be fair and that is what the BOS need to do-level the playing field one way or another.

    • Carl, you know I often describe you as one of my favorite conservatives, so it’s an honor to have you here today. Thank you!

      I agree with you that there is the technology in place for the public to speak into mics from outside the chambers. I was even thinking people could be outside on the lawn, speaking into a microphone that could be heard inside. But I’m imaging that the reason that hasn’t been suggested, is there’s no way to know whether hundreds of people would show up, and if they did, then there goes the ban on mass gatherings, out the window. But maybe there could be a phone line for the public to call in their messages and leave recordings, which could be played for the BOS, since one of the big issues for Elissa McEuen was wanting the opportunity to read her statement with all the passion she felt, which she didn’t think would be accurately reflected in an email read by the clerk. And then, there would still be the option of sending emails, for the bashful folks who’d just as soon have someone else read their comments.

      Either way, I do think that with this current situation, there are myriad opportunities to get creative and think outside the box. (I’m actually working on a column about it.)

      Re Sheriff Magrini, I’m sorry, but he doesn’t get a pass in my book. The buck stops at his feet as the lead Shasta County LE, a position for which he is handsomely compensated. The way he mishandled the rodeo was an abomination. All he had to do was back up public health’s decision, which was no rodeo, and then there’d be no citations to worry about. I believe that if Magrini had told the rodeo organizer no, then that would have been that.

      Finally, regarding the lack of enforcement leading to the question about an unfair playing field, I agree with you 100 percent. It puts everyone in a tricky position if there are rules without enforcement, which makes it look as if the rules are optional. So, some people obey the rules, while others do not. I cannot imagine how difficult it is for the struggling law-abiding businesses slipping into the brink of ruin, while they see other businesses that have ignored the rules and are open before the official green light, bringing in money and customers again. Churches, too.

      In a perfect world, everyone would do the right thing, for the sake of everyone’s sake.

      Carl, I’m curious, if you were in charge of LE, how would you handle things? Dead serious question because I respect your answers.

      The good news is things are loosening up, as reported today by Shasta County HHSA:

      “• Effective today, places of worship are now allowed to open for in-person services (with modifications). This guidance is at; click on “Roadmap to Recovery – Reopening Toolkit” and scroll to “What can open now?”

      • The state is expected to announce tomorrow that hair salons and barber shops will be allowed to open (with modifications) for haircuts in counties with variances, including Shasta County. Guidance will be posted on when it becomes available.

      • The state has also allowed opening of retail malls throughout California, but this was already allowed in Shasta County because of its variance.”

      See full press release here:

      Thanks for stopping by, Carl. Any time!

  35. Avatar Diane Blaylock says:

    “Peace, peace, when there is no peace”.
    Q: Did the supervisors really have the power to invite her in?
    P.S. Thank you for posting the video.

    • To answer your question, I guess technically, the BOS COULD have overruled the state guidelines, and even overruled clear and explicit county counsel direction for the moment. But I can only imagine the potential legal fallout that would follow as it became apparent that they’d broken a rule for one individual to enjoy a privilege not extended or granted to the rest of the nearly 180,000 citizens. Talk about precedent-setting.

      And that’s what I found most preposterous about Ms. McEuen’s demands; that she actually believed she was entitled to special treatment not afforded to everyone else. I blame her ignorance on Baugh not educating her about the rules, and for Baugh giving her hope for something he had no legal ability to authorize.

      And so like Sheriff Magrini, who chose to give a green light to the Mother’s Day Cottonwood Rodeo (in a TV interview the day before the event was to happen), who had a chance to head of the rodeo before it happened, likewise, Supervisor Les Baugh had the obligation and opportunity the Sunday before that Tuesday BOS meeting to hear Elissa McEuen’s idea, and respond, “Hey, I hear what you want to do, Ms. McEuen, to speak for 3 minutes inside the board chambers, but it’s not allowed during these COVID-19 executive orders, and in fact, it would be illegal, so unfortunately I cannot pass along your request to the board at the meeting, because the BOS will rightfully refuse your request. However, what I WILL do is pass along your request to BOS chair Supervisor Mary Rickert, so she’s up to speed, but know that she will tell you the same thing.”

      (And for what it’s worth, I’ve heard that McEuen lives in Baugh’s district.)

      But instead, Baugh bypassed chair Rickert, and sent McEuen’s request to staff, as if it were a pre-COVID-19 simple request, and then, naturally, all hell broke loose at the meeting when it looked as if the protesters were being “banned” from the meeting. Oh, the injustice of it all!!!

      Baugh was well-versed in the COVID-19 rules regarding public participation and communication with the BOS. (After all, the rules have been read aloud by the clerk at every meeting since March.) And if Baugh truly lacks the mental capacity to understand the most simple rules of engagement, then he should step down as being incompetent.

      So, assuming Baugh did know the rules, but chose to ignore them, he also knew very well that the rest of the supervisors would have no choice except to uphold the rules, and not allow McEuen in. Even so, Baugh went on to make this impassioned, dramatic speech (Supervisor Moty was correct in defining it as “grandstanding”), imploring the BOS to make this bizarre exception, and when he made that speech, he pulled the pin on the grenade and tossed it into the meeting, seemingly unconcerned about the ensuing collateral damage it would cause and the outrage displayed by the protesters who seemed to sincerely believe that McEuen would be allowed entrance.

      Baugh may as well have yelled “fire” in a crowded theater. Such unnecessary pandemonium in the middle of a public health crisis when the public needs now more than ever level-headed leadership by people who are truly looking out for and concerned for everyone, not just their political favorites.

      Sorry for the long answer to a short question. 🙂

  36. Avatar Diane Blaylock says:

    Wow, ok. Thank you, I get it, Doni, I really do. However, I’m beginning to think that “We the People ” are willing to do end runs, cronyism be damned.
    I want to be fair but I don’t want to stifle creative social disobedience. And again, we’re in that tiny fishbowl compared to the rest of the state.
    I went shopping today at Costco for my grandbaby. I was thankful for the precautions. We must respect each other’s ideas about how to deal with this. I will not stumble anyone if at all possible. Now that we are starting to open up, it’s critical that we tread gently. God Bless our beautiful Northstate, and thank you again Doni for your dialogue. It’s truly freedom for me.

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