For those who Refuse to Wear a Mask.

By Michael G. Stogner

Just something to think about, this is from the LATIMES this morning. Some of you know me and most of you don’t. I am a parent who took my daughter off of life support. I am still traumatized to this day. I was able to be with my daughter as often and as long as I wanted up until she left us. I can not imagine the additional stress and suffering the families and medical staff who are caring for the dying are experiencing.

WEAR A MASK

DISPATCHES FROM THE PANDEMIC
When nothing more can be done
By Fran Chalin
He came into the Orange County hospital because he had trouble breathing.
A week later the sign “caution droplets” hung on his ICU room door.
“Droplets,” code for COVID-19.
He hasn’t been conscious for 36 hours.
Only the ventilator keeps him alive.
Together, the doctor, hospice social worker and I tell the family nothing more can be done.
They nod, they have no fight left.
The doctor hates that he cannot save this man.
But he can allow them to say goodbye.
He tells them they can go in groups of two for 10 minutes.
He leaves us. He has to help someone else.
He cares for two floors of people with COVID-19, 51 people in all.
We tell them this is special, the doctor hasn’t allowed this before.
They mumble thanks. Translation: Isn’t that generous of you.
I stand outside the window into his room. When the 10 minutes are up, I wave.
His family members’ eyes plead, two fingers in the air, two minutes?
They smile and laugh in his room in case he can sense them.
But they sob once they slide shut his door.
The final two are his wife and first-born.
She collapses when she reaches his bed.
Their son barely catches her.
She kisses her husband, whispers in his ear.
I hope he senses her near him.
They don’t look at me when they walk away.
While hospital staffers extract the breathing tube
the social worker and I wait outside his room
because microscopic COVID-19 droplets will release into the air.
Once the tube is removed we prepare to enter his room.
We don’t have to go in, but we do. Mostly for him,
but for the staffers as well. They should have support too.
We sanitize our hands, then don gloves.
Then the N95 mask,
hairnet,
face shield,
then gown.
It’s uncomfortable, but it’s also keeping us alive.
Probably.
The staffers inspect us.
They are the best of humankind.
I ask if co-workers have had the virus.
Sure, they say. They point to the ones who recovered and are back working.
I don’t ask if any co-workers died. They have to focus on now.
Staffers adjust his medications.
He won’t feel the removal of the tube.
His family had asked if they could FaceTime
after the tube is removed.
The social worker holds up the phone.
I hold the patient’s hand. We hear his family:
“We love you, be at peace, go with God.”
The social worker is used to being around the dying, but this is different.
Ten minutes is not long enough to say goodbye.
She’s young, this is her first pandemic.
She was a child when people with AIDS died every day for years.
I was there, I was 25.
There wasn’t enough time then either.
We all watch the monitor, the lines become flatter.
We hear his last breath. Then nothing.
The nurse nods to us.
The social worker tells the family that he’s gone to be with God.
I don’t have her faith.
I don’t know where he’s going except to the morgue.
His relatives are wailing. We try to say how sorry we are, but they’ve hung up.
Does anyone else feel like they’ve just witnessed an execution?
We slide the door open, just enough to get out.
There is a receptacle for the shield and the hairnet.
I put my N95 into a plastic bag to leave out in the sun at home.
There aren’t enough of these masks to have a new one every time, but the nurse says, “It’s OK.
Just put it in the sun, the virus dies in the sun.”
I hope she’s right.
COVID-19 is disproportionately killing Black and brown people.
I’ve heard people speculate: Didn’t they all have lung issues,
or diabetes, or health problems that
made them more likely to get infected and die?
That sounds a lot like: Didn’t gays and IV drug users bring AIDS on themselves?
Disposable populations.
Outside the hospital there is a billboard.
“HEROES WORK HERE.” I want to scream.
Hero is just another word for better you than me.
The social worker calls me the next morning. She couldn’t sleep.
“This was bad,” she says with a sigh, “I’ll see you at the hospital soon.”
And now the memory comes back full force.
The other pandemic, AIDS.
Caring for the next person, and the next one.
I’m worried about myself and feeling guilty for even thinking about myself.
I’m worried I’ll forget that balance is important.
Forty years later, there is still the next one and the next one.
So tell me: Why aren’t you wearing a mask?
Fran Chalin has been a hospice chaplain for more than 10 years.

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San Mateo County 0.0% Positivity Rate.

By Michael G. Stogner

San Mateo County has reported on its Website that July 10, 2020 it TESTED 9 people and 8  were Negative 1 pending for a 0.0% Positivity rate. That’s one way to get your numbers down.

SMC 0.0% COVID-19 Posiytivity Rate.

You will remember the County is supposed to TEST 1500 people per day.

This is a PANDEMIC act like it.

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San Mateo County It’s Time.

By Michael G. Stogner

You know it’s time when you see the Captain of the Ship putting on his life vest and sneaking onto the lifeboat, or the Pilot putting on his parachute.

We all know that we are responsible for our own safety, The Cavalry  is not coming.

The Federal, State, and County Government has Failed to provide Testing, Contact Tracing, PPE to all those who need it.

SACRAMENTO — The California Senate on Wednesday joined the Assembly in deciding not to return from its summer recess next week, citing the continued spread of the coronavirus, which has now infected several staffers and members in the Legislature.

The decision was announced on the same day that a second Assembly member, Republican Tom Lackey of Palmdale, acknowledged through a spokesman that he has tested positive for the novel coronavirus.

San Mateo County is home to San Francisco International Airport with direct flights from Wuhan. San Jose International Airport also has direct flights from Wuhan.

San Mateo County has Finally reached 0.0 Positivity July 10, 2020 Total Tested 9

San Mateo County has had been told to TEST 1500 people per day. July 8th they tested 141. They have only accomplished that 6 days. All Five County Supervisor are satisfied with those results. It’s Time for the Local Leaders the Mayors to protect the Residents in their Community, Provide Testing in their Cities. Enforce the State and County Health Orders.

July 10, 2020 SMC Tested only 9 People

SMC 0.0% COVID-19 Posiytivity Rate.

This is a PANDEMIC start acting like it.

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SamTrans wake the F… up. PANDEMIC

By Michael G. Stogner

NO MASK NO RIDE NO MASK NO DRIVE

Fire who ever approved the SOFT APPROACH to enforcing masks.

Send drivers home who don’t wear masks. Mike Levinson, chair of the San Mateo County Paratransit Coordinating Council, during the meeting said SamTrans bus drivers themselves are not always wearing masks.

Todays SMDJ

A SamTrans board member and others called for stricter enforcement of face coverings aboard buses at a meeting Wednesday.

While masks are currently required when in public, SamTrans has been taking a “soft approach” to enforcing the rule on its buses, said Chief Operating Officer David Olmeda during the meeting.

SamTrans Board Member Charles Stone, also Belmont vice mayor, wants that to change.

“Morally I think we have an obligation to institute a mandatory face covering rule as soon as possible,” Stone said. “I think we have to abandon the soft approach and go with a much stricter approach.

“No one should be getting on our buses without a face covering,” he continued. “It’s not just about the health and safety of other riders. It’s about the health and safety of our operators as well.”

Olmeda said the “soft approach” to enforcement was implemented to avoid altercations between bus drivers and defiant riders.

“One of the things we’ve learned from other transit agencies is when we take a very hard line or depend on the operators to take a hard line we increase the opportunity to get aggression and have problems on board our vehicles,” Olmeda said. “We’ve taken a softer approach because quite frankly at this point in time everyone understands in society that masks are required.”

Instead of having drivers enforce the mask requirement, automatic messages and signs on buses “encourage” the use of face coverings, Olmeda said.

Stone argued that managing insolent riders is part of the bus driver’s job description, adding the agency’s drivers are up to the task.

“I’m certainly sensitive to the fact that we don’t necessarily want our operators to have to deal with the unpleasant situation if someone doesn’t want to wear a face covering, however, I know our operators are really good at dealing with difficult customers already. They’re fantastic about that,” he said. “You have to be able to deal with folks who are not necessarily listening to you when you tell them don’t come over the line or sit down while the bus is in motion. … I think they can handle this.”

Mike Levinson, chair of the San Mateo County Paratransit Coordinating Council, during the meeting said SamTrans bus drivers themselves are not always wearing masks.

“We’ve had a couple of complaints from riders that drivers on Redi-Wheels have not had masks and they’re assisting people with wheelchairs and seat belts,” he said. “I completely agree with [Stone’s] sentiments.”

Officials did not indicate whether the SamTrans’ mask enforcement policy will change in the near future, but Olmeda said the agency is currently exploring whether to store masks on buses so they can be given to riders who don’t have them.

During the meeting, officials said a blend of local and school service will be restored by August. Certain bus lines including the Route ECR that services El Camino Real as well as 23 community routes in low-income areas will return to preCOVID-19 service levels, though other routes will be suspended. Suspended routes include the SFO, which services the airport, and FCX, which travels between Foster City and San Francisco, as well as 15 community routes.

Officials also noted average weekday ridership on SamTrans has been increasing 6% to 8% week over week over the past three weeks.

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Greg Conlon BOS Public Comment.

By Michael G. Stogner

July 7, 2020 Board of Supervisor Meeting, Greg Conlon recommended Warren Slocum, Don Horsley, Carole Groom, Dave Pine and David Canepa contact the County’s Federal Level representatives to extend the $600 per week unemployment benefits to the appropriate 40,000 San Mateo County Residents who are currently unemployed. That benefit expires in two days.

$600 per week equals $2,400 per month to 40,000 residents equals $96,000,000

Did any of the Five Supervisors make that call, send an e-mail, or tweet about it?

It’s been my experience the Public Comment in San Mateo County by citizens who take the time and effort to inform Elected Leaders of Important and Impending Issues is a Very Important part of the Meeting.

If you think this is an important issue contact the Supervisors and let them know.

Also if you are unemployed at this time, you might say Thank You to Greg Conlon

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Ray Mueller “Lets Talk about Racism.”

By Michael G. Stogner

This is how do it. You have a Conversation.

“Let’s talk about RacismWhen Neighbors Racially Profile Neighbors”, this Thursday night at 7:00pm.

Our panelists, Menlo Park Mayor Cecilia Taylor, East Palo Alto City Councilmember Larry Moody, San Mateo County Assistant District Attorney James Wade, and Menlo Park resident Michelle Smedley, will share powerful personal experiences and their inspiring resilient responses. We also will discuss community and public policy action. I hope you can join us.

For some background on this event:

On June 30th, my neighbor Michelle Smedley shared the following on Nextdoor.

“My son is now 15. He is transitioning from a cute kid body, into that of man. I conceded in December and gave in that he is officially taller than me, a milestone he has been trying to achieve for quite some time. This, and the fact that he is biracial and not white, now seems to make him a threat. And his friend base, those great and wonderful kids who just happen to come from a diverse range of cultures, even more so.

Since February, the police have been called on my son and friends twice, sadly once while at the the duck pond just down the street from our home. He and his friend encountered expletives from a middle aged male who told them that “they did not belong” in the park and proceeded to call the police on them. I am very happy to say, the MP Police dealt with it very professionally. Dog walking on the trails off of Valparaiso, they have encountered people videoing them and threatening to call the police because “they didn’t belong” up there. He had a run in with a teen at the grocery store in RWC who actually called him the N word. The mother of the teen called the police on my son and friends when my son told him that wasn’t really an appropriate word to use. Happy to say the RWC Police acted very professionally too. Last evening, a car decided to record them as he was driving down the Santa Cruz Ave quite to detriment of the cars behind him.”

Michelle’s Nextdoor post called on neighbors to please stop racially profiling her son.

It seems to me it’s past time for a larger community discussion on this topic.

I hope you will join us.

Join Zoom Meeting
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/83933282566

Meeting ID: 839 3328 2566
One tap mobile
+16699006833,,83933282566# US (San Jose

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Kevin Mullin didn’t say a word about Chinedu Okobi’s Homicide by 6 SMC Employees.

By Michael G. Stogner

Kevin Mullin did not attend or make a public comment at any of the many meetings the Board of Supervisors made available to the public to discuss, Excessive Use of Tasers, Excessive Use of Force, Failure to provide Medical Aid after killing Chinedu Okobi. He did not attend any of the many Concerned Citizens gatherings at the killing site in Millbrae/San Bruno.

Chinedu V. Okobi and George Floyd were both killed by Law Enforcement. Both of the Deaths were ruled a Homicide by the local Coroner. The Four Officers responsible for George Floyd’s Homicide were fired and Criminally Charged. The Six San Mateo County Sheriff Employees who are responsible for Chinedu Okobi’s Homicide are all working and None of them have been criminally charged with anything.

Here is Kevin’s PR piece on voting. You will notice he can’t even mention George Floyd’s Name. “most recently the murder of an unarmed black man by law enforcement.” That could be Hundreds of young Black/Brown Men around America.

I can say this as a Private Victim’s Advocate in San Mateo County for the last 22 years Kevin Mullin is the norm for Elected Officials in SMC.

I know of only one San Mateo County Elected Official that Publicly Questioned, was Chinedu V. Okobi Murdered. That should have been the Obvious question every single elected official should want the answer to.

Sabrina Brennan was that Elected Official. She attended meetings and gatherings.

 

America is confronting an unprecedented “trifecta” that is dominating our daily headlines: A COVID-19 pandemic, a deep recession and most recently the murder of an unarmed black man by law enforcement, illustrative of systemic racism and injustice that has spawned a season of multiracial protests and calls for needed social change. Yet, while the nation is reeling from these crises, duplicitous messaging is being deployed by the occupant of the Oval Office to actively undermine the results of this November’s election: that voting by mail can’t be trusted, that widespread voter fraud exists, and that mail balloting is designed specifically to elect his opponent: FALSE.

Since 2000, more than 250 million votes have been cast via mailed ballots, in all 50 states, according to the Vote at Home Institute with only a handful of fraudulent votes cast. Election law expert and U.C. Irvine professor Richard L. Hasen notes, it is still more likely for an American to be struck by lightning than to commit mail-voting fraud. In addition, there is no evidence to suggest that voting by mail benefits any particular political party.

San Mateo County has shown that voting-by-mail works. My legislation to make San Mateo County an all-mail ballot pilot county demonstrated that the participating electorate more closely resembles the public at large in terms of its diversity and representation, with young people, and voters of color in particular more likely to cast ballots. Thanks to my colleague, Assemblyman Marc Berman’s legislation recently signed into law, this November’s election in California will be an all-mailed-ballot election. Every voter automatically will receive a ballot, postage paid, with community-level “vote centers” as back-up. Voting by mail is the most efficient and effective way to conduct an inclusive and participatory election.

So-called “red and blue” states alike have employed voting-by-mail, but the way states have approached elections administration varies greatly. Elections are fundamentally state and locally administered, and recent examples of mismanagement during primary elections in Wisconsin and Georgia remind us of the challenges facing election administrators across the country. This is a highly charged political atmosphere with huge stakes on the line.

There is a growing recognition that the pandemic must force changes in how elections work, and better ensure more participation moving forward. Attempts to help fund elections with federal dollars have fallen woefully short of what is needed to ensure free and fair elections across America. Since the Bush-Gore contested election in 2000, the efficacy of voting mechanisms and machinery have taken center stage. More recently, we are seeing a coordinated misinformation campaign to attack the integrity of, and undermine the public’s faith in, our elections. False narratives abound, and voter suppression, which disproportionally disenfranchises communities of color, is real and we all suffer the consequences as a result.

While voting-by-mail works, it is not perfect. Signature-matching issues have led to ballots not being counted, a concern that is actively being addressed in California. One other legitimate drawback to voting at home is the time it takes local elections’ officials to count waves of mail ballots and certify the election. The current administration is preemptively trying to undermine faith in the eventual vote count and may try to exploit delays in vote tabulation to question the legitimacy of results, triggering a constitutional crisis. While the long wait for vote-by-mail results is not ideal, it’s in the interest of every vote being counted, which is fundamental to our democracy.

During this tense time when we need leaders who can calm, heal, and build faith, the president has used this period to further divide people and incite violence, all while callously attacking the basic underpinnings of our democracy, like faith in and respect for the work of journalists — essentially a broadside on the First Amendment. The work of journalists and the social media platforms themselves have never been more important in fact checking false claims and advertisements with false information.

Vote as if democracy itself, and its pillars like a free press, the rule of law, and free and fair elections, including the right of every citizen to vote, is on the ballot. Because it is.

 

Kevin Mullin, D-South San Francisco, is speaker pro tempore of the California Assembly and represents San Mateo County’s 22nd Assembly District.

I asked San Mateo County Citizen Advocate Brent Turner for comment on Kevin Mullin Opinion Piece.

Brent Turner

The VOTE BY MAIL  act  is  innocuous to the degree that it reiterates voting by mail procedures. We have used absentee ballots for many years. What is NOT innocuous is the removal of polling places from communities of color. Though Mindy Romero and other experts have declined to state it clearly,  the added travel distance to some of these community residents results in a veritable “poll tax ” and leads to further disenfranchisement, . Subjective signature disqualification also creates opportunity for disenfranchisement and was predicted by election experts

The bill originally emanated from the ” Colorado Model ”  of elections and was  promulgated by Colorado based vendor DOMINION  The act is notorious not for what it mandates but what it ignores. The fact there is ZERO mention of the software used to tabulate the votes creates a severe point of misdirection to the layperson voter.  This is unfortunate as the authors of the bill positioned it as a security measure when this  is not the case. The authors were briefed extensively but chose to omit the work of the open source software security experts.

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Justice for Chinedu is looking for a Candidate for District Attorney 2022

By Michael G. Stogner

This might just be a First in San Mateo County History. They are Fundraising to find the right Candidate to replace SMC District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe in 2022.

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Chinedu Valentine Okobi

As some of you know on October 3, 2018, Chinedu V. Okobi was killed by Six Sheriff Employees, One Sergeant, 4 Deputies and a Civilian CSO. December 31, 2018 Deputy Coroner Heather Diaz ruled the Manner of Death was a Homicide. There was No 911 call because Chinedu hadn’t committed ANY crime. He was simply walking on a sidewalk while Black.

March 1, 2019 Steve Wagstaffe notified the public that he would Not be filing any Criminal Charges against the Sergeant and four Deputies. He never investigated the sixth Sheriff Employee who was involved in the Homicide.

Justice for Chinedu Fundraising

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State Health Care Workers COVID-19 15,844 Cases 94 Deaths.

By Michael G. Stogner

When you are thinking about should I wear a mask, should I go out, is it a hoax? etc Think about all the people who’s lives are on the line for your Health.

Remember, Very little testing has taken place, even if you test positive there is No Treatment, No Cure, No Vaccine. This is a Pandemic (of a disease) prevalent over a whole country or the world. Not just San Mateo County.

You are responsible for your Health & Safety.

Health Care Worker Infection Rates As of July 3, local health departments have reported 15,844 confirmed positive cases in health care workers and 94 deaths statewide.

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ALL Half Moon Bay Beaches Closed

By Michael G. Stogner

BEACHES CLOSED Stay Home, Wear Masks, Saves Lives 

Half Moon Bay Beaches will open 9:00 AM July 6, 2020

July 2 UPDATE – City and State Beaches & Parking Lots in HMB to be Closed for 4th of July Weekend

This updates the previous news release on beach closures. All beaches within the City will be closed Friday – Sunday due to COVID-19 risk. This now includes Half Moon Bay State Beach. These are complete closures and apply to all residents and visitors.

July 2, 2020 – As a temporary public health safety measure to reduce the density of visitors over the 4th of July holiday weekend, all beaches and their parking areas in Half Moon Bay will be closed to everyone, for the weekend. Additionally, a portion of the Coastal Trail between Seymour Bridge and Kelly Avenue will be closed for that same period.

This update of the City’s previous notice of beach closures (below) now includes that beach access for Half Moon Bay State Beach (Francis Campground/Kelly Avenue, Venice Boulevard, and Young Avenue) will be closed as well. Yesterday, we announced the State Beach parking areas will be closed and that all access points to City beaches and their parking lots will also be closed. With today’s addition of access points to the State Beach, these are now full and complete closures of the beaches, and a section of the Coastal Trail, to all residents and visitors. 

The closure begins at sunrise on Friday, July 3, and ends at 9:00 AM on Monday, July 6.

The order to close City beaches, parking lots, and a portion of the Coastal Trail was signed by the City Manager under his authority based on the City’s emergency declaration. 

This action is being taken to help prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus. Spread of the virus is greatly intensified when large crowds gather, especially if face covering and social distancing regulations are not followed.

San Mateo County Sheriff’s Deputies will be present at closed beaches and coastal trail sections to enforce applicable local ordinances and state laws. City staff will be at beach entrance points to advise visitors of the closures. Changeable electronic message boards will be placed on various roadways to notify motorists of the closures.

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