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MCT: Monday, May 6, 2019

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JUST IN: Steve Mize took his last breath last night surrounded by family and friends. There will be a memorial service.

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Theresa Whitehill and Devreaux Baker read Sharon Doubiago at Mendocino Spring Poetry Celebration 2018

It was 44 years ago that Sharon Doubiago organized a three-day marathon of poetry in Mendocino town, and some continue writing here. Sharon also motivated this Revival of the Mendocino Spring Poetry Celebration, now in its fifteenth year, annually hosting some forty poets from the north counties and beyond.

Sunday, May 12, 2019 * 44th Anniversary

15th consecutive revival

Mendocino Spring Poetry Celebration

at the Hill House in Mendocino town on the coast.

This event draws some 40 poets from northern California and beyond. Two open readings: afternoon and evening.

Noon: sign up and gather; afternoon reading at 1:00.

Break: enjoy the town, the sea and the headlands.

5:00 PM: sign up and gather; evening reading at 6:00.

Choice comestibles. Open book displays. Contribution requested.

All poems considered for broadcast by Dan Roberts on KZYX&Z.

Info: Gordon Black, (707) 937-4107,

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by Nadya Williams

Yesterday I went to the San Francisco Department of Motor Vehicles, armed with all ID, to renew my driver's license. The female robo voice called my number and summoned me to "Window Number 21," staffed by an older Asian man. He opened my passport and stared at the only visa inside, from my March, Veterans For Peace trip to Viet Nam of two years ago.

"So you've been to Viet Nam?" he asked, looking up at me. "Yes, three times," I replied, "for a total of five months." He paused, clearly curious, so I went on to explain that the 2017 trip was an annual delegation of Veterans For Peace where each member of the group must bring at least a thousand dollars to donate to war victims of Agent Orange and unexploded ordinance.

"So this is a company, Veterans For Peace?," he asked.

"No, it's a non-profit organization. We are all volunteers, no one is paid. I am an associate member, not a veteran, but most of the VFP members are Viet Nam war veterans," I explained. "You're from Viet Nam?" I asked.

"Yes, Ha Noi," he said.

Then, for some reason, I threw out the name of the most famous person that I knew of in Ha Noi, the writer Bao Ninh of "The Sorrow of War."

"He's a friend of mine, I'm a writer too," came the reply.

It turns out that this man who works for the San Francisco DMV has written 13 books, five of which have been translated into English. He's been in the U.S. for 20 years, lives in the East Bay, knows Southern California academic and Pulitzer Prize winning author Viet Nguyen of "The Sympathizer" and will be visiting his home country next month "to have a drink with Bao."

I wrote down the name of Chuck Searcy, the president of the Viet Nam chapter of VFP who speaks Viet Namese, lives in Ha Noi for over 20 years, and definitely knows Bao Ninh.

All this conversation took place as I was standing at the counter and he was filling out forms, initialing documents and finalizing my papers so I could proceed to the written test and photo. He also took my thumb print and had me do the vision test.

He asked again about the fact that VFP was a non-profit, and I explained that we've gotten about a quarter of a million dollars to Viet Namese war victims in the last eight years.

"Do the Viet Namese people owe the American people?" I asked finally.

"No! It is we who have the responsibility."

He knew, of course, about the U.S.-funded clean-up of Dioxin from Agent Orange at Da Nang's former American military base, and we both speculated about the unlikely release of funds from the current regime in Washington to clean up the former base in Bien Hoa — three times more contaminated.

When my paperwork was concluded, I looked at him and said — with some anger in my voice — "America's use of Agent Orange was the worst chemical war crime in the history of the world." I then leaned over the counter, and said quietly, but forcefully, "Sometimes I hate this country. Hate it!"

"I understand," he said softly. Then we shook hands and I departed.

Further Reading:

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(Photo by Dick Whetstone)

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To the Editor:

I was unable to attend last week’s BOS meeting, but viewed it online. Regarding the Climate Action Advisory Committee (CAAC), a few points stand out:

By its very name, the group is advisory. This means that while the structure is designed for CAAC members to ADVISE the BOS, there is no specific mechanism to effect change nor to measure CAAC’s performance and outcomes.

The CAAC’s organizers are, by admission, activists. This principally includes Alicia Bales (Littletree is her former CB radio handle.)

Ms. Bales is the self-aggrandizing president of the Mendocino Environmental Center (MEC) which, for the most part, stages demonstrations, i.e., banging pots and pans on the courthouse steps or playing an out-of-tune guitar at Alex Thompson Plaza. The MEC, which has existed for decades, has not organized itself nor raised funds to halt climate change. And yet. It’s exists to protect the environment.

Other CAAC organizers are Pauline Girvin, a former attorney; Naomi Wagner and Ellen Faulkner, current board members of the Mendocino Environment Center (MEC). The MEC was a start up of the late Judi Bari and other hardcore anarchists. These four women (during public comment) unanimously opposed the idea that CAAC operate under the Mendocino County Resource Conservation District (MCRCD) and its staff.

In her formal presentation to the BOS this week, Ms. Bales stated she is “more familiar with throwing herself in front of a bulldozer than having an understanding of how government agencies work.” (See BOS video.)

Supervisor John McCowen is the MEC’s landlord, located at 106 Standley Street, Ukiah. He is also the sponsor of the CAAC initiative and has proposed that it fall under the purview of Mendocino County Resource Conservation District (MCRCD).

Take a look at his proposed budget for the CAAC as a start up:

Under item 6b on the BOS agenda items (April 16, 2019), the first year of operation for CAAC will cost the county $110,512. Of that total, $94,812 is for one person, with $10,000 earmarked for MCRCD Staff Collaboration.

A resolution to accept the CAAC going forward will be on the May 7 BOS meeting agenda. Please, contact your supervisor directly to voice your opposition to this flagrant waste of $110,512 for work currently being done, at least in part, by the MCRCD.

As a footnote, several state agencies work specifically in the area of controlling carbon emissions and fighting global warming through area businesses and schools serving as resources to our counties.

John Sakowicz


ED NOTE: Nothing about the MEC has ever been what it was purported to be, but Supervisor McCowen isn't likely to ever divulge its federal origins, which is my opinion as to its origins. Nor is McCowen likely to reveal his personal associations, plural, with Miss Tree as he uses his position to land her a lushly compensated public position. But, and as we often insist, Mendocino County has no memory, so history starts all over again here every day, and you are whatever you say you are, no questions asked.

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According to Mendo’s latest “Non-Departmental Revenue” chart Mendocino County budgeted $6.1 million in sales tax revenues. Their actuals “thru 3/31/2019” are almost $4 million ($3.974 million). That’s $1.3 million per quarter since July 1, 2018. So at that rate they should get about $5.3 million in sales tax. But what does Auditor Lloyd Weer “project”? $6.4 million. Not one mention that sales taxes are off all over the north coast.

AND, at the bottom of that same chart the total actual “non-departmental revenues” for the first three quarters are about $40 million (or $13.3 million per quarter), but Weer’s revenue “projection” is still $74.5 million, instead of the 4 x 13.3 = $53.2 million which it would be at the quarterly revenue rate. Mendo needs the April property tax receipts to make up more than $20 million to get anywhere near the projected $74.5 million on which Mendo’s general fund budget is based. And no annotations in the budget presentation that maybe Auditor Weer’s “projections” may be off and should be discounted a bit.

THE ONLY OTHER REFERENCES to revenues in Tuesday budget presentation are, first, in a chart entitled: “FY 2019-20 Revenue Options for Unfunded Budget Priorities” which lists only one new revenue source: “Increase [already very high] fees to full cost recovery level.” (The CEO’s mantra implying that the Supes are responsible for the deficit for not allowing the CEO to raise fees to “full cost recovery level.”) And among the possible cost cutting measures we find “hiring freeze,” “No new vehicle purchases,” and “no funding to outside agencies.” (Although the budget also says that the County wants to buy a bunch of new electric vehicles.)

And second, under “additional funding streams” we find the hoped for “cannabis tax” (unquantified, but previous wish-mentions are up to an extremely unlikely $3 million); several unrealistic years-into-the-future taxes, fees and assessments which would require voter approval, hitting up indigent defendants to pay more of the Public Defender costs and, perhaps most ridiculous: “Animal Control Fines/Citations.”

NOTHING about eliminating the $111k being spent (to an “outside agency”) on Alisha “Little Tree” Bales and her silly/corrupt “Climate Change Advisory Committee,” (still listed under “Support Community Partners”), and nothing about scaling back the huge increases in Supervisor and top official pay over the last two years when everyone knew they couldn’t be afforded.

THEY DON’T EVEN present a department by department budget status chart, only a list of the “top ten over-budget departments/programs” which doesn’t even list the grossly overbudget cannabis program or the CEO/Supervisors “department.”

EVEN THE LAST PAGE in the budget presentation is misleading (unless the message is that when it comes to County management and budgeting, nobody’s home):

WHAT ARE THE ODDS that any of the Supervisors ask even a token question about this looming large shortfall? Much less ask about the raises the employees have been promised and are expecting in the eight bargaining units that are in play this year?

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RECOMMENDED VIEWING via NetFlicks: "Alone in Berlin," based on the true story of a 1940 working class couple who urge the overthrow of Hitler via the surreptitious placement of handwritten postcards in central Berlin in full knowledge they are likely to die. Having lost their own soldier son in one of Hitler's blitzkriegs, their two-person campaign against the by-then totalitarian Nazi regime immediately activates Hitler's secret police to find out who dares write things like, "Mothers, Hitler Will Kill Your Son Too." A painful but wonderfully acted film starring the brilliant Emma Thompson, Brendan Gleeson and Daniel Bruhl, "Alone in Berlin" is especially timely when, as the sage put it, "the stench of fascism" is again in the air, although a fascism unlike the originals in Germany, Spain and Italy. Our fascists are generally too fat for the goose step but will manage a torchlight parade here and there while Big Capital does a talent search for someone more generally acceptable than Orange Man.

SODDEN THOUGHTS from a failing mind: Cyber-world's removal of racists and nut cases from circulation is unlikely to slow down circulation of evil opinions, but censoring them is your basic double-edged sword because us correct-thinking people could be next. If President Trump-Biden decides that left-speech is roiling the masses… Anyway, who's Zuckerburg to decide who we can read and listen to?

SODDEN THOUGHT DOS: Am I missing something in the deluge of bullshit emanating from Congress? What "crime" has AG Barr committed? If Congress is unhappy with Barr's précis of Mueller's report, why aren't they complaining about Mueller's wishy-washy prose? Why is a supposedly objective report on his findings open to interpretation? Did Orange Man collude with the Russkies or didn't he? If he did, I should think Mueller's Rorschach-like report would have been much more emphatic. Now we have all these photo-op Congress-ciphers, every single one of them on the corporate dole, hauling in rubber chickens to denounce the fat man for reading the Mueller Report Trump's way. (The Democrat lame brains seemed to think the rubber chicken was coruscatingly boffo.) Meanwhile, the globe warms, the desperate mass at the border, children are strafed in Yemen and Syria, Americans die for lack of affordable medical care…

SODDEN THOUGHT TRES: Cinco de Mayo isn't celebrated in Mexico. It was conjured here in Gringolandia by liquor salesmen hoping to boost sales of tequila. It appears to have worked.

ADAM SCHIFF seems to be on tv round the clock. Is he the best the Democrats can do? Probably, without going to the Bern, or Omar or Cortez, the only Democrats this Democrat can even bear looking at. Schiff looks like the guy back in grade school who took names when the teacher was out of the room. "And Bobby mooned us, Miss Brown, and Billy wrote those bad words on the blackboard, and Betsy encouraged them by laughing at them. Here's all the names, Miss Brown."


HEADLINE in Sunday's Press Democrat: "PD wins 23 awards in state journalism contest."


  1. Most front page stories on our wine advertisers
  2. Most photographs of dogs and children running through sprinklers
  3. Most cover-ups of rails to trails scam
  4. Most moving tributes to "small town charm" of Santa Rosa
  5. Most maudlin human interest stories
  6. Best photographs of degenerate rich people drinking wine
  7. Slickest evasion of Bosco-related businesses and clients
  8. Highest subscription price for least content
  9. Most stories on wine without mention of Mexicans
  10. Most restaurant reviews as "news"
  11. Best press release re-writes
  12. Best paper in California for promoting machine Democrats
  13. Most fatuous editorials (Pete Golis, perennial winner)
  14. Best photographs of crooked real estate sales people
  15. Most photos of unappetizing restaurant food
  16. Best evasion of SMART failure
  17. Most tributes to Napa and Sonoma as desirable tourist destinations
  18. Most tributes to itself
  19. Most lame stories on fire disasters
  20. Best front page as TV Screen
  21. Dumbest comment line
  22. Dumbest readers
  23. Most stories about the awards the PD has won.

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by Paul Modic

If you think you were raped or feel you were raped or say you were raped does that mean you were raped? A woman told me this story:

“I met this guy who said he could get me a volunteer gig at the dance. We texted some and I decided to go. I got in free, did my job and it was fun. I was drinking and smoking and dancing and hungry. I looked in the kitchen and there was only a pastry or two, no real food was left. He came up to me toward the end and, with a knowing glance at his friend across the room, offered me a juicy fig. It was delicious. We danced some and he put his arm around me and told me he'd like to take me home.

“I have a boyfriend,” I said. “Then where is he?” he asked. That gave me pause and I stopped to think about that. “Well, at least could you drive me to my truck?” he asked.

I drove him a few blocks to his truck and turned off my car, I'm not sure why I did that. We sat there for a few moments and then he pulled up my blouse and licked and kissed my belly. I felt like I didn't want this to be happening. Then he went down on me and even though I had not wanted to get involved with him he was turning me on. I was aroused but part of me, half of me, maybe more than half of me didn't want this to be happening.

He started telling me what to do and I did what he asked. “Take off your blouse,” he said and I did.

“Take off your pants,” he said as he took off his. “Here, climb on me,” and I rode him in my little car. He asked me to finish the job and I did.

When it was over we just sat there for a few moments and then he got into his truck and drove away. “I'll text you,” he said. I drove the three miles home and in the morning I thought 'What have I done?' I went to the police and tried to charge him with rape, but I didn't know his full name so nothing came of that.”

I didn't say anything but thought, “That does not sound like rape. That sounds like a dehydrated, hungry, slightly inebriated woman who made some decisions she regretted later and then blamed someone else for her mistakes.”

The next week she brought it up again and this time I couldn't stay quiet, I probably should have. “That just doesn't sound like rape,” I said. “You have to take responsibility for your actions.”

We had a huge argument. According to her I had no right to even have an opinion that differed from what she believed. There was no compromise. I offered mediation but she outright rejected the idea of a third party. She sent me many angry texts.

After a few months of estrangement we became friends again but whenever we had an argument about something else it always came back to, “You didn't believe me when I was assaulted!” Over time the assault became date-rape, then rape, then a violent rape.

What she didn't realize was that I did believe what she told me, but what she told me didn't sound like rape. Really, I would have believed anything she said. If she had said he dragged her out of there, stripped her clothes off, and threw her down amidst a chorus of “No! No! Stop!,” I would have believed her, why not? But that's not the story she told me. (It is possible she didn't tell me the whole story at the time but I have no control over that.)

Was I crazy here? Just not getting it? I ran the story by a couple of very intelligent women, coincidentally both local journalists in their forties, and this is what they said:

1 “NOPE. I'm afraid I can't give you any advice here, because in my opinion both parties bear equal responsibility for what happened. He sounds like a pushy asshole, but had already clearly indicated interest in her when she drove him to his truck. At that point she was already sending mixed signals, and when she turned her own vehicle off she sent a clear signal. If she a) never said no to anything he did or b) never physically pushed him away, he had no clear indication that she wasn't interested. In addition, it sounds like she did everything he asked her to do. (He ASKED her! WTF?) So, again: He sounds like a pushy asshole, but it doesn't sound like rape. Sorry, but I won't be the one to try to prove you wrong.”

2 “Well, under the Affirmative Consent Standard, silence is NOT a 'yes.' So some might say that she was raped but I am pretty sure that currently there would be no way to get a conviction. And, that said, I personally think that she had the responsibility to indicate that she wasn't interested. It wasn't as if she were incapacitated. She was able to drive. And she indicated by her actions that she was consenting, in my opinion.”

Even today, four years later, I would like mediation. I should have never said anything but when a friend says something that doesn't ring true I challenge it every time. I should have just shut up but I guess I thought I could help her by pointing out that I thought she was believing an illusion. But if someone wants to believe they're a victim what can you say?

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CATCH OF THE DAY, May 5, 2019

Andrade-Ayala, Awbrey, Chavez

CRISTIAN ANDRADE-AYALA, Ukiah. DUI-drugs&alcohol.

MICHAEL AWBREY, Santa Rosa/Ukiah. Parole violation.

FERNANDO CHAVEZ, Ukiah. Open display of imitation firearm, no license, pot possession while driving, loud stereo.

Gomez, Gottsimmons, Hernandez

ROMERO GOMEZ, Upper Lake/Redwood Valley. DUI-alcohol&drugs.

CHADLEY GOTTSIMMONS, Redwood Valley. Probation revocation.

EUFEMIO HERNANDEZ, Ukiah. Controlled substance, failure to appear, probation revocation.

Hill, Kizer, Maiers

TARA HILL, Willits. Burglary, domestic abuse, tear gas.

KASEY KIZER, Ukiah. Probation revocation.

JOHN MAIERS, Whittier/Willits. Disorderly conduct-alcohol.

Malone, Martinez, McWhinney

KRYSTAL MALONE, Fort Bragg. Disorderly conduct-alcohol, probation revocation.

LORENZO MARTINEZ, Willits. Domestic battery, controlled substance for sale, contempt of court/disorderly behavior.

ADRIAN MCWHINNEY, Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-alcohol.

Perez-Magana, Ross, Skinner

CESAR PEREZ-MAGANA, Ukiah. Domestic abuse, false imprisonment.

LACEE ROSS, Clearlake/Talmage. Under influence, parole violation.

JEREMIAH SKINNER, Laytonville. Assault with deadly weapon not a gun, controlled substance.

Townsend, Vicente-Garcia, Wilke

GENE TOWNSEND, Potter Valley. DUI.

LUCIANA VICENTE-GARCIA, Clearlake/Ukiah. Trespassing, false ID, failure to obey peace officer.

ROBERT WILKE, Ukiah. Robbery, vandalism, controlled substance, protective order violation.

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TEACHER RETIRES FROM 'TOXIC' PROFESSION IN FACEBOOK POST: 'I will not miss what education has become'

A Florida teacher’s list of “Things I did not sign up for” inspired him to leave his once-beloved profession.

Jonathan Carroll, a social studies teacher at South Lake High School in Groveland, Florida has worked at both private and public schools during his 20-year career. “When I started teaching, I was excited to make an impact on children. I loved every minute of my job,” Carroll, 46, a married father-of-two tells Yahoo Lifestyle.

However, in March, feeling disillusioned by the state of his profession — teachers across the country have been striking against overcrowded classrooms and low wages — he started recording his grievances: Overly-digitalized classrooms, high-stakes test scores, burnt-out students, and a yearly salary of $48K.

Last week, Carroll’s list helped him reach a decision: He’ll retire from teaching on May 28. “So I guess this is it. I am leaving the field of education. I have had so many wonderful memories. But it has become a toxic profession,” Carroll wrote on Facebook.

Once believing he would spend his days “Opening minds, debating history, inspiring the next generation to reach higher and learn from the past,” Carroll wrote, “I think of all the things I did not sign up for — like micromanaging administrators, mental health counseling, blueprints with no freedom or flexibility (even though you cannot enforce planning), not being considered an expert in my chosen field even though I have a graduate degree. Students overdosing on drugs and collapsing in my classroom when they get back from the bathroom. Active shooter drills. Teachers being armed. Knowing where it is safe to hide in my classroom. Feeding and clothing my students. Buying my own supplies. Being told I should be thankful I have a job and to get over myself. I am tired of the constant testing, tired of everyone else knowing better and being chastised if I dare ask questions or challenge leadership. So this May, I am walking away…”

On Wednesday, the Florida House of Representatives passed a bill to arm teachers in their classrooms. According to the Miami Herald, each district that chooses to participate enrolls their staff in a “Guardian Program” carried out by local police departments.

But teaching, says Carroll, is not law enforcement. Still, in the case of an active shooter, educators are trained to designate areas in their classroom to sequester children, practice running drills, and follow a ‘Run, hide, and fight’ model that at last resort, has students fighting back with objects at their disposal. “It’s a direct response to Stoneman Douglas High School,” Carroll tells Yahoo Lifestyle. In 2018, a mass shooting at the Parkland, Florida school claimed the lives of 17 people.

School supplies are also underfunded — in his district, says Carroll, teachers are given anywhere from $200 to $300 to stock their rooms with pens, paper, and other materials. “We burn through those pretty quickly so I use my salary to buy extras at the dollar store,” he tells Yahoo Lifestyle. “One time the air conditioner in my teaching trailer broke so I spent $300 of my own money on a replacement A.C. until it was fixed. I store it in my garage for emergencies.”

According to Carroll, intense standardized testing makes children burn out and teachers anxious over whether their classroom scores will impact their employment. Those tests, he says, don’t measure much. “Lots of districts only care about school-wide growth. So children are pressured to succeed without factoring in their personal development.”

Only since making his decision, has Carroll been able to enjoy teaching for the first time in ages. “The pressure is off, so I can teach history my own way,” he tells Yahoo Lifestyle. “We’re doing cool projects and having fun.”

Until he makes his next move, Carroll will be a stay-at-home father to his 13-year-old daughter and 7-year-old son. Dana, his wife of 21 years, will support the family on her salary as a nurse practitioner.

“I am going to stay home for awhile (thank you Dana) and start a new chapter,” Carroll wrote on Facebook. “Honestly, I’ll break even if I become a bank teller with no experience. But the truth is I will not miss what education has become. A soulless industrial education complex where admin cares more about the test scores than their faculty or students. I have loved teaching many of you. But it is time to ride into the sunset. Start enjoying life. And find happiness again.”


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To save people from fire, CalFire and Governor Gruesome Newsom plan to go house to house and tell them to do certain things and if they don't comply then they will lose their insurance. That's fine. But what about the state and county highways? Grass is growing to the edge of the so-called pavement up to the windows in your car, and brush on county roads is so bad it will scrape your car antenna off. Are they above the law? What about their insurance? That's the biggest fire hazard in the state. A spark could become a raging inferno.

These requirements are trying to blame the public for fires and take pressure off themselves like they blame PG&E, those poor bastards. Moonbeam Brown vetoed the proposal to require them to clear their lines.

All fires should be bombed with big planeloads of retardant right away no matter how small.

This state is also taking away our perfectly good old trucks and letting death row prisoners out. Corruption. Scams. On and on. People better wake up.

There are lots of children who need medical care and can't get it. Thank God we have St. Jude's supported by donations including from myself.

This crap has to change.

God bless Donald Trump.

Jerry Philbrick


PS. Local law enforcement does a great job keeping us safe, putting in long, gruesome hours. I know some of them personally, I know what they go through. Respect them. Support them. Thanks to local law enforcement.

PPS. When I drive to the office and go past Pudding Creek I see the sign for Ricky Del Fiorentino who was a good friend of mine. He went to Montana to see my daughter get married. A good guy and a terrible loss. Let's keep our chins up and move forward and hope for the best. God bless Ricky Del Fiorentino too.

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Every attorney has his own criteria for picking a jury. Clarence Darrow developed rules of thumb that he recorded for the benefit of lesser practitioners. If one represents the underdog, as Darrow invariably did, one should always take the Irishman. He is "emotional, kindly and sympathetic," and "his imagination will place him in the dock." An Englishman isn't as good, but he has a tradition of "individual rights" and isn't afraid to stand alone. The German is worse still, but if he loves music and art he is emotional and will want to help you.

As for pious men, Darrow had little use for most of them. Worst of all is the Baptist for he thinks all outsiders are doomed to perdition. The Presbyterian is almost as bad, if he "enters the jury box and carefully rolls up his umbrella," let him go, "he is cold as the grave." The Methodists are "nearer the soil," not as bad, although they won't take a drink. "If chance sets you down between a Methodist and a Baptist you'll move toward the Methodist to keep warm." Lutherans, especially Scandinavians, are "almost sure to convict." But if you draw a Unitarian, a Universalist, a Congregationalist, a Jew, or an agnostic, "don't ask them too many questions," let them stay.

The defense lawyer should never take a wealthy man; he will convict "unless the defendant is accused of violating the antitrust law, selling worthless stocks or bonds or something of that kind." After the Board of Trade, for him the prison is the most important public building. And "do not, please, except a prohibitionist because he is too solemn and holy and dyspeptic. He assumes your client would not have been indicted unless he were a drinking man, and anyone who drinks is guilty of something."

— J. Anthony Lukas, "Big Trouble"

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Facebook will (apparently) be fined $3 billion to $5 billion for failing to protect its subscribers’ privacy, the equivalent of sitting on a dunce chair for half an hour in second grade. With annual revenues exceeding $50 billion (and the fine is tax deductible), it will have the impact of a gnat.

The government cannot solve the real problem — that is, the management of Facebook is incompetent. Neither Mark Zuckerberg (a Harvard dropout) nor Sheryl Sandberg (Cabinet aide and philanthropic manager) had any training in how to run a multibillion-dollar enterprise. For reference, see Howard Schultz, Jack Welch, Lee Iacocca, Bob Iger, Larry Ellison and Oprah Winfrey.

User privacy has been an issue since Zuckerberg was at Harvard, and it has been an increasingly important issue ever since. Yet the company has, in essence, done nothing more substantive than saying “tsk tsk.”

In 400-plus pages, Robert Mueller described in excruciating detail how the Russians were able to take advantage of social media by having unfettered access to Facebook subscribers. Anyone who thinks that a $5 billion fine is going to fix that problem is smoking something that used to be illegal.

Michael Burwen


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The Redwood Community Chorus warmly invites you to their Spring Concerts this coming weekend.

Friday evening, May 10, 7:00 pm

Saturday afternoon, May 11, 2:00 pm

Mendocino Presbyterian Church, Main St., Mendocino

Admission is free; donations to help cover costs are appreciated.

The all-local forty-member chorus will sing a variety of songs, including Mozart's "Te Deum" and Haydn's "Gloria." The program features "All of Us" from the oratorio "Considering Matthew Shepard."

Please come enjoy delightful music and community warmth with the Redwood Chorus, directed by Jenni Windsor.

For further information, please call 964-1722 or 937-4084.

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But Airbnb’s extraordinary success has not been welcomed unreservedly. Some residents in areas with a big Airbnb presence claim the business is hollowing out communities by forcing up rents and limiting availability for people seeking long-term lets, and importing large numbers of tourists who display scant interest in courtesy to their temporary neighbours.

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TELEGRAPH AVENUE, back in the days before the hippies roamed the earth.

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The Fix We Are In—

The GOP puts out blizzards of lies, while the Dems can't seem to find the courage to do much about it, causing me to throw up my hands in despair and remind me of what was impressed on me years ago: Ordinary people will not be able to come together to force positive change until we get a lot closer to the abolition of human labor. Robots are going to have to take away so many more jobs that when people cry out to the government for help, the GOP will respond with their usual "Don't complain to us. You know what it says in the Bible, 'He who does not work shall not eat.' So go out and find yourself a good job." When that is no longer a good enough answer for ordinary people and they organize to implement more substantive solutions, then positive change will arrive, but not until then.

Ken Ellis

New Bedford, Massachusetts

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Sakina Bush: Redworms vs earthworms - attn: worm bin enthusiasts: Recently people have asked me where I purchased my red wigglers for my worm bin and I couldn’t remember. This is the company that sent perfectly healthy worms (no other invertebrates mixed in) in perfect packaging and my bin is working great. So if you are looking to purchase worms I would recommend this brand:

Laurie York: Years ago I also purchased a large quantity of “red wigglers” after reading that they consume compost faster than other worms. They did a good job, but as a test, three years ago I started another compost bin and put a dozen or so ordinary earthworms from the garden in the bin without red wigglers and to my surprise they have multiplied even faster than the red wigglers and they are consuming our compost so fast I have to be creative to find enough to feed them! I bet there are several thousand big earthworms in our composter now because they are thriving and multiplying so quickly. I’m beginning to think the red wigglers are a bit of marketing hype. I have so many earthworms in our compost bin that when I open the top I can literally hear them crawling through the damp compost. Maybe I’ll make a video and post it.

Jima Abbott: When I first started setting up compost barrels I drilled holes in the bottom for drainage in case too much moisture got inside. I layer kitchen scraps, horse manure, dried leaves and green cuttings and pulled weeds (without seeds) and so forth in the barrels, started with one and now have five. I wasn't thinking of worms when I first started but I was amazed after a while when I reached in and pulled up a handful to see how it was doing and it was absolutely full of worms that had migrated in through the bottom holes. This was probably in about 2003 or so. Last year, out of curiosity I pulled out a double handful of compost in the works from one of the barrels and carefully counted over 150 worms doing their thing. What a wonderful gift. Jima Abbott

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Now, given the economic distress and obvious discontent that’s festering, the talk is that we have to make some changes or the alternative is still this dreaded bogeyman “nationalism” or, heaven forfend, “fascism”. Americans will supposedly get all stiff-armed and goose-steppy and start sieg heiling.

Apparently the intelligentsia, in this case Atlantic magazine, isn’t too bright thinking we’d fall for this baloney. Because anyone with tenth grade history would know that fascism has had its day, its roots in 19th century and early 20th century European politics and economics and warfare. It’s a nasty thing to say, purely for the shock value.

Americans are not turning fascist. But they can turn ugly and violent, which isn’t particular to fascism, and they may overturn current ways of governing, which wouldn’t be a surprise given the antics going on in Washington, and they may reconfigure national boundaries if they figure that the current federal regime isn’t serving their interests, ie a movement for secession here and there.

Like you I hope that European leaders get a sudden surge of realism, not for their own sake, but for the sake of ordinary folk like my relatives, a fair number of which are still over yonder. They are having hard time, decent paying work in short supply, the young having the worst time, the cant being that inflation is moribund, not that you’d know it from food prices and rent.

As you say the gang supporting the idea of the EU is “absurdly tone deaf”, and while I have some hope, I don’t have much of that either given Europe’s past history. The steps towards the EU and the Euro made no sense to me, and I fear that the move away won’t be any more rational. But if they do nothing, as you say, the anger will out at some point.

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To Whom It May Concern:

I feel it is necessary to inform people living in our county that I am no longer connected to Steven D. Aikin, and am not responsible for any of his actions. I don’t want any misunderstandings now or in the future.

Best Wishes,

Alise Thomas, Mendocino

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CA Governor Gavin Newsom has officially killed the Twin Tunnels plan to sluice enormous amounts of water from the Sacramento Delta to the Central Valley and Southern California. Good. The plan was always an expensive boondoggle that would have put even more stress on the Sacramento Delta and its fish.

The plan never treated the Delta fairly. It was always a ploy to grab water from the north and send it south. Previous governor Jerry Brown was all for the twin tunnels. Newsom withdrew permit applications, which stops the project.

Instead, California will focus on a much more modest one tunnel plan, recharging groundwater, building local water reserves statewide, and, yes, protecting the Delta, which is something Jerry Brown had no interest in doing.

Such a scaled-back project could cost roughly $10 billion, according to estimates done by the state and water agencies last year. The decision was largely a victory for environmental groups and Delta political leaders, and a setback for Los Angeles water officials who had supported the plan and promised to pay for most of it.

“It’s great to hear the destructive Delta twin tunnels project has been abandoned,” said Jeff Miller, a senior conservation advocate with the Center for Biological Diversity. “California should focus on restoring the vital Delta ecosystem and its native fish instead of diverting more water.”

Los Angeles water officials, who were unhappy with Newsom’s move, were stoic Thursday.

“The status quo in the Delta is simply not an option,” said Jeff Kightlinger, general manager of the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, which has 19 million customers. “New conveyance is essential. The current system is already outdated and vulnerable; climate change will further stress it with a future of sea level rise and increasingly intense floods and droughts.”

(Bob Morris, Politics in the Zeros,

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Our pond has almost no mosquitoes thanks to the bats, swallows and mosquito fish. But there is standing water still here all over. The bushes make it hard for the diving air warriors to get all the mosquitoes. i still havent had a mosquito bite but Sandra has and I just like to keep them down. I did an experiment with a natural, recycling cure---used coffee grounds. I put fresh coffee grounds in one tub, nothing in another and used grounds in the third. The fresh grounds had NO effect on the skeeters but there were none in the used grounds water. There is science behind this, unlike other cures like vinegar and garlic. Those dont work for me. Also veggie oil makes a bacteria slime. Turns out the MORE you BURN the coffee grounds the better they work. Some people in the homesteading group put them in the oven then bag them and share them.

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MALE CRESTED KINGFISHER (Megaceryle lugubris) in Hokkaido, Japan by Tokumi.

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Long, it seemed, in coming, stealthy and predicted for decades like climate change which only began to spell the end of polyester and our adulthoods, each and all of the parties having interest in the ongoing development of the patient's diagnosed compounding strokes, well, it just continues to be there disseminating to.

Anyone but the truly perverse should breathe deeply of the bottomless lake of forgiveness at the inability of the author to get his hands a little dirty here and BE DONE! My most recent brush with western medicine's many muscular tentacles did not increase the brand's attractiveness. These are the pillars of our communities. These people seem to have nothing else to do with their lives than go to meeting. And then they have the sheer, brass-balled audacity to think they know more by reading the numbers on the computer monitors than I know, by reading me.

It is certainly unnecessary to go on here in lengthy thunderous rhapsody. [Insert thunder effect here] But I truly hate to be the subject of discussions I was not aware of irrelevant of my state of health and treatment. I am putting you on legal notice that if I go any further here, the consequences will be many and expensively. So let's not go there eh?

I-We will continue to listen when the same people talk. But I hold the innate human right to speak my truth. After all, I am right at the heart of the subject.

(Bruce Brady)


  1. James Marmon May 6, 2019

    Harv, you really need to get out of the echo chamber every now and again, you’ll be surprised as to what’s really going on in America.

    Someone Just Noticed The Middle-Class Revival Going On Under Trump

    “The vibrant economy, juiced further by the Trump-led tax cuts and federal spending increases, has lifted employment and wages for workers at all levels, including the middle class.”

    Shocking news to anyone who gets their news from the mainstream press (or the AVA). But the story goes on to note that:

    “Median U.S. household income … rose 1.8% to an all-time high of $61,372 in 2017.”

    “Employers added an average 223,000 jobs a month last year, up from 179,000 in 2017. And unemployment sank to a near 50-year low.”

    “Average U.S. wages climbed 3.3% in 2018, after being stuck at 2.5% to 2.7% (growth) for several years.”

    “Industries that employ middle-class workers in particular are benefiting. Manufacturers have added about 450,000 jobs since Trump took office, the largest two-year total in decades.”

    “The number of factory jobs ‘reshored,’ or shifted to the U.S. from overseas … hit a record 170,00 in 2017.” (Emphases added.)

    James Marmon MSW

    • Harvey Reading May 7, 2019

      Dream on, James.

      What you peddled is pure propaganda. How many workers are getting $42/hour these days? That’s about the equivalent of what union warehousmen were making in the mid 70s. Of course, they, along with most other workers, are making far less than that now. Save your conservative lies and other nonsense for stupid people. I’m sure they lap it up and beg for more.

  2. Craig Stehr May 6, 2019

    Many thanks to all for responding to my “Abandoning the American Dream”. Although it did not appear on the AVA online, I appreciate Marco for reading submissions over the radio in Mendocino County, and to all who have sent it out to their entire listserves. I mean, what else could I sanely do but free myself from any further obligation to this lost national journey? Consider me to be universally independent! I don’t want to be attached to anybody else’s confused, crazy trip in the USA. I know what I am, which is all that matters. ~OM Shanthi~

  3. Harvey Reading May 6, 2019


    More rambling wishful thinking. Where do you find this stuff?

    Gravestone snapshot (apparently photoshopped):

    It died long before Trump, and never was really much, ever, except for the wealthy and slave owners and ruling-class thugs who wanted to rule the world. There’s a reason it was called “the Amercan dream“…

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    Dream on. The peripheral canal will die only after humans are extinct. One tunnel is one too many.

  4. Harvey Reading May 6, 2019


    Pretty seedy then, too.

  5. Harvey Reading May 6, 2019


    Just another sign of a country in rapid decline.

  6. Jim Armstrong May 6, 2019

    I forgot to comment on the Mendocino County salary link the other day.
    I can’t argue how good or bad the service the Sheriff’ Department gives us is, but we certainly pay enough to have perfection.

    As is common in the AVA it is not clear who chose and wrote caption for the Adam Schiff photo above, but I don’t see that it is much different than Trump’s “skinny neck” insult.

  7. Eric Sunswheat May 6, 2019

    RE: The MEC was a start up of the late Judi Bari and other hardcore anarchists.

    ——->. The AVA continues to slide on this canard knowingly false chronology, as if to shake a response from long term grant recipient organizer Betty Ball, now in Colorado. Why no mention of the international Cloud Forest Institute, which holds the funds and administers non profit cover for the MEC/ KMEC, while seeming perpetually in arrears for back rent payment to County Supervisor landlord John McCowen, who probably writes it off debt as a charitable deduction, when not lying in wait under the 101 overpass at Factory Pipe, to seize unattended camping equipment from hapless refugees.

  8. John Sakowicz May 6, 2019

    To the Editor:

    Make no mistake, the Mendocino Environmental Center (MEC), and its president, Alicia Little Tree Bales, will hijack the Climate Action Advisory Committee (CAAC).

    Readers take note: The history of the MEC is weirder than weird, and nothing is as it appears to be. Its leader, Judi Bari, was a committed anarchist. Bari’s husband, Mike Sweeney, was a committed Maoist.

    For background, start with the United States Circuit Eighth Circuit’s ruling, in January, 1994, on the Section 1983 conspiracy claim:

    You’ll know less after reading the ruling than you knew before you read it.

    To borrow a phrase from novelist John Barth, the story of the MEC and Judi Bari is like being “lost in the funhouse.”

    Trying to sort through the lies, secrets, and conspiracies associated with the MEC and Judi Bari — and a supporting cast of undercover federal agents, informants, and domestic terrorists — is like trying to make sense of the infinite regression, confusion, and distortion of standing in the middle of a series of mirrors reflecting one another — the kinds of reflecting mirrors one finds in the funhouses of old amusement parks.

    Alicia Little Tree Bales purports to be Judi Bari’s protégé. And she is. I know. I served on the MEC Board for two years as did Mary Massey.

    The bottom line? Hiring Ms. Little Tree Bales to head up the CAAC will be a huge mistake. It will be nothing short of disastrous.

    The first problem: There will be Bales’ narcissism to contend with — just like Judi Bari.

    The second problem: There will be Bales’ bullying and totalitarian need for control to contend with — just like Judi Bari.

    The third problem: Conflict. And chaos. Bales will create nothing but conflict and chaos at the CAAC — just like Judi Bari did at the MEC.

    Shame on John McCowan for promising this job to Bales. She is unemployed. And unemployable.

    Bales purports to be an actress and voice coach. (Not a huge market for either in Mendocino County.)

    And the job at the CAAC is not a Civil Service job. Bales will be a contractor, not a county employee, meaning there will not be a formal hiring process.

    If the Mendocino County Board of Supervisors really wants to fight climate change, it should support the agencies already in place — the Mendocino County Resource Conservation District, the Mendocino County Air Quality Management District, and the State of California’s initiatives and agencies created with the passage of AB 32, the California Global Warming Solutions Act.

    For more, see:

    — John Sakowicz, Ukiah

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