Mike Geniella’s incisive voice and watchful eye have been aimed at Mendocino County for many decades as a long-standing reporter for the Press Democrat and the spokesman for Mendocino County District Attorney’s Office. Now retired, Geniella finds the writing habit hard to shake. We’re excited to host a column from him sharing his thoughts, comments, and concerns about life here in Mendocino County.
My thoughts are scattered on a cool, gray Saturday morning. I meant to stay local and write about the sentencing of the so-called ‘red-headed burglar,’ and offer up remarks on the approval of yet cannabis dispensary in our community. I also planned to share musings about the leadership changes ahead for Mendocino County government, and how District Attorney David Eyster is poised for a fourth term, only the second time in local legal history.
My mind today is scrambled by what is going on in Ukraine, and how the brave people of that nation’s capital of Kyiv are still resisting despite being outmanned and outgunned.
I was deeply moved by the photo of a young Ukrainian couple who hurried up their wedding, and then grabbed their weapons to help defend their homeland.
CNN reported that Ukrainians Yaryna Arieva and Sviatoslav Fursin rushed their wedding and got married to the sounds of sirens blaring the Russian invasion. Straight after their wedding, they both joined the local Territorial Defense Center to help efforts to defend their country.
These ‘patriots’ are taking to the streets to help their fellow citizens repel Putin’s invaders. They are not whining about Covid restrictions, or vaccination requirements at cross border crossings between the U.S. and Canada.
Locally, we bitch about the landscaped bulb outs on Ukiah’s newly completed downtown street improvement project, saying they make the turns onto side streets cramped and rubber marked.
We gawk at low water levels in our reservoirs, but there are folks who continue to leave sprinkler systems on in local orchards and vineyards for winter frost protections.
Those situations pale in comparison to what is going on in Ukraine today, where outmanned forces are holding on to their capital after resisting an overnight onslaught.
Ukrainians woke up Saturday morning to find their city transformed by war, according to the New York Times.
“There were sandbags in the streets, burned-out cars, and lines at sites distributing guns. The metro had stopped running, its stations now used solely as underground bunkers. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said that the fate of the nation is ‘being decided right now.’ He posted a video of himself at daybreak Saturday, unshaven, on the capital’s streets appearing resolved to remain in Kyiv even though Western officials have warned that Russian plans to capture or kill him.”
Hillary Clinton, in some quarters the much-reviled former Secretary of State who won the popular election count but lost the Electoral College vote to Putin sympathizer Donald J. Trump, wrote this week that she believes the fighting in Ukraine is more than just another war halfway around the globe.
It is a democracy vs autocracy battle, Clinton contended.
The Atlantic magazine, which published Clinton’s essay on the subject, used this introduction:
“Ukraine is one flash point in a larger global struggle between democracy and autocracy – one that stretches from the steppes of Eastern Europe to the waters of the Indo-Pacific to the halls of the U.S. Capitol.”
Here is the link:
May the freedom fighters prevail in Ukraine.