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MCT: Tuesday, May 21, 2019

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A SPRING STORM will generate widespread showers and high mountain snow above 5500 feet today. Blustery winds are also expected, especially over the exposed higher elevations and mountain peaks. Drier weather and brisk northerly winds are expected for Wednesday and Thursday. (National Weather Service)

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Lively numbers! The 44th Anniversary Mendocino Spring Poetry Celebration, in its 15th annual revival, hosted 48 poets on Sunday, May 12, at The Hill House in Mendocino. It was 44 years ago that Sharon Doubiago organized a seminal three-day marathon of poetry in Mendocino town, and some of those participants continue writing here. The annual revival attracts poets from the north counties and beyond.

Poets reading were David Partch, Theresa Whitehill, Riantee Rand, Lawrence Bullock, Jay Frankston, Priscilla Comen, Peter Nash, Lyle LaFaver, Bill Vartnaw, Kirk Lumpkin, Terri Curtis, Ursula Schlichting, Mick Chalfin, Joe Smith, Janet DeBar, John Dooley, Bill Baker, Janferie Stone, Sondra Sula, Don Gaston, Mark McGovern, jeanine Pfeiffer, Mary Rose Kaczorowski, Lynne the Poetician, Roberta Werdinger, Bill Bruneau, William Bradd, Dan Roberts, Jacquelyn Cisper, Maureen Eppstein, Marylyn Motherbear, Dan Barth, Dan Essman, Gordon Black, Chrissy Sullivan, Michael Riedell, Taylor Bowser, Tara Sufiana, Mitch Clogg, Mitchell Holman, Thallia Bird, Robert Spies, Oasis, Zia Cattalini, Christie Hollliday, Dan Hess.

The readings ran once in the afternoon, with a break for town and headlands, and again in the evening. David Partch and Barry Schrager provided greetings with guitar and vocals. Former Poets Laureate for Ukiah Theresa Whitehill, Dan Barth, and Michael Riedell appeared in support, along with current Poet Laureate Roberta Werdinger. A couple visiting from Germany checked into the Hill House and decided to attend through the afternoon and returned for the evening. Invited to offer poems in German, they declined, saying, "We are not prepared.” Poets themselves? They knew about preparation! However, they were able to hear current performance from the western edge, and it was a delight to host them.

The event producer was Gordon Black. The poems were recorded by Dan Roberts for KZYX&Z FM in coming weeks on Dan’s program of music and poetry, Rhythm Running River, heard from 2:00 to 4:00 PM on alternate Sundays, and broadcast to the world at

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DEPT OF STARVING POETS: “When you live out on the edge, your life goes in cycles and at this particular moment, it's time to look for subscribers for what I do — patrons — if you will.

It's time now to move into reality. I would like to bring internet services into my cabin and, with the help of my web designer, expand my web footprint. Across the board.

If you feel inclined to help in this process, go to, an Internet site that links producer of ideas, to people who are willing to toss in a few bucks each month and receive an exclusive piece from the artist… If you go to under the heading Poets, I am listed . There is also a link from my website.

In my case, for a subscription of $10 a month I will send you frameable broadsides of my work, signed.

The whole financial transaction is done through PayPal. None of your financial information goes beyond PayPal.

On my website I have created a Totem Pole, pictures and stories, bits of bent grass and several found deer skulls with antlers still attached, excavated from the far hills, mountain lion work, I assumed. — Bill Bradd.”

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The revived Boonville Farmers’ Market is up and very successfully running! Check it out for yourself on Fridays from 4-7 p.m. at the Disco Ranch parking lot (formerly Aquarelle), across the highway from the Boonville Hotel. Lama Nasser-Gammett, the new market manager, reports that she was sad when, “I learned that there was not going to be a market last year, but I was in no position to manage at that time, having just launched our new business as mushroom producers (The Forest People). I think that a vibrant farmers' market can really strengthen a community.” In the three Boonville Farmers’ Markets so far this season there have been a lively mix of vendors, activities, music, and camaraderie. The market vendors and musicians are in the parking lot and the outdoor tables are available for eating, conversation, and beverages.

Lama feels the open-air market, “… provides economic opportunity to small farmers in our immediate area while establishing food security for our valley. It also provides a place for the community to get locally produced food, which is fresher, healthier, tastes better, is mostly organic, and didn't travel 200+ miles to get to your plate. Plus, you have a direct link to the person that grew the food that is nourishing you!”

Why a certified Farmers’ Market? Lama responds, “There are a number of benefits in having a certified market. To clarify, a certified market means that the market is certified, or approved by the county and that all vendors are in compliance with county regulation regarding agriculture and prepared food. It's a common misconception that a certified market means that everything being sold is certified organic; that is not always the case. The Mendocino County Farmers' Market Association sponsors the Boonville Farmers' Market (along with several other markets throughout the county) by providing financial support, insurance, manager training, promotional materials, and (soon) the ability to accept EBT/food stamps.

Why change the day/time? Our new manager explains that, “Historically the Boonville market has been held on Saturday mornings. It's hard to say for sure why, but in recent years not as many people were coming and eventually the vendors stopped coming because it was not financially viable. This year we're trying something new: A Boonville Friday Night! It's a great time to relax at the end of the week, have a glass of wine with friends and enjoy some live music. While you're there you can pick-up a wide variety of freshly-picked locally grown produce, meat, berries, mushrooms, plant starts, baked goods, kombucha, eggs, and more!”

What new ideas does Lama have? “I have lots of ideas but you'll have to come and see them for yourself! And, I have a team of passionate, experienced and dedicated local food activists ready to help me create a vibrant market!”

This Friday will feature all-time favorites Leslie and Michael Hubbert playing music, a children’s play area, and a parking lot full of vendors. Come join us!

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Homer W. Mannix, 44, Boonville newspaper publisher, announced that he will be a candidate for supervisor of the First District, Mendocino County. Mr. Mannix has lived in Boonville for the past 16 years. Mr. Mannix graduated from Ornbaun School, Ornbaun Valley, in 1927 and attended Anderson Valley High School and Cogswell Polytechnic College. He started his own electrical business in San Francisco and in the late 1930s sold this business and returned to Anderson Valley, where with his brother William as partner, he formed a wholesale lumber company which manufactured and sold redwood products. In 1945 Mr. Mannix opened an appliance and hardware store in Boonville and in 1954 he aided in founding the Anderson Valley Advertiser, a weekly newspaper. He became sole owner and publisher the following year. He is a past grand of the Boonville Odd Fellows Lodge, charter president of the Lions Club, president of the Press Club of Mendocino County, vice president of the Publishers’ Unit for Mendocino County of the Redwood Empire Association, and he is a member of the Anderson Valley Grange and Redwood Rebekah Lodge. Mr. Mannix, a native Californian, resides in Boonville with his wife, Beatrice, a son, Jack, a daughter, Frances, and a foster daughter, Kathleen.

(Geyserville Press, February 26, 1960)


Roy Orr, driver of the south coast stage, and well-known all along the coast here, had a narrow escape from painful burns and possible death Monday while working at Scaramella’s Garage in Point Arena. Mr. Orr was in a pit under his stage working on it when he dropped a wrench, which fell on the electric light bulb and broke it, igniting the gasoline which flared up instantly and the stage caught fire. Mr. Orr’s hands were badly burned in crawling out of the pit from under the burning stage, but he and Mr. Scaramella managed to push the machine from the garage and outside the building where it was practically destroyed. Mr. Scaramella had both his hands painfully burned while moving the stage outside. The garage had a cement floor and therefore no damage was done to the building.

(Healdsburg Tribune, June 13, 1925)

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David Severn:

This information is courtesy of Katy Tahja, one of Mendocino's leading book nuts. Anyone in the Philo area who has vision problems or is having difficulty reading standard print is eligible to receive "talking books" from the Library of Congress collection of hundreds of thousands of titles. In this area "talking books" are distributed through the California State Library in Sacramento. Write the authors and titles of your request and send it to talking books in Sacramento. You must return them within five weeks. They will start sending books right away and they will also send a digital machine to play them with plus earphones. Everything is free. No cost whatsoever. To learn what is available use the Internet. A catalog is sent every two months listing new titles.

Ralph Bostrom


PS. Website: Select "catalog search," arranged by author. They have almost a million titles now. Mention the name of the author you want and all books by the author will be listed.

Write to: "talking books" P.O. Box 942837, Sacramento CA 94237 and request an application.

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FROM THE 13 MAY edition of the San Rafael Independent Journal: "Talk. Fighting the law. Darryl Cherney discusses 'Who Bombed Judi Bari’ at 7 tonight at the Mill Valley Public Library. Free. Registration recommended."

AN EQUIVALENT presentation from this character could be called, How Not To Find Out Who Bombed Judi Bari While Making Myself a Millionaire. Sorry I missed it, but I can't imagine who would turn out this many years later in a place like Mill Valley to listen to Cherney talk about an event that was almost subliminally in the news thirty years ago only a few days before the big war in the Middle East blew it off the front pages. If that war hadn't pushed the Bari bombing into virtual media oblivion only hours after the Oakland explosion, odds are that the mass circulation Bay Area media would have made an effort to find out what really happened.

HERE on the Northcoast, the Press Democrat did everything it could to ignore the story from the Who Dunnit perspective. If the paper's Northcoast reporter, the excellent Mike Geniella, had been assigned to it with an investigator or two, I'm sure we would have known the truth. But the Press Democrat, true to its spine-free traditions, didn't seem to want to find out, and has been determinedly disinterested ever since. It took Steve Talbot, formerly of PBS, then of KQED Television, to do the only systematic investigation of the event that's been done. Talbot's fine film revealed Judi Bari's ex-husband as the likely perp. Then, years later, with Bari dead, Talbot revealed that Bari herself had told him she was certain her ex, Mike Sweeney, had done it. Even though Bari had denounced Talbot as a liar, Talbot had honored his promise to her that he would not reveal her as the source pointing at Sweeney.

BOONVILLE’S AMERICAN LEGION POST #385 will observe Memorial Day with a service on Monday, May 27, 2019, 11am, at Evergreen Cemetery, just north of Boonville on Anderson Valley Way. Among the souvenirs to be displayed will be the three purple heart medals awarded to the late Boonville resident and Korean War vet Bob Nimmons.

THE ANDERSON VALLEY VILLAGE is a kind of mutual aid society aimed at helping older people living alone stay in their homes. The AV Village has been enthusiastically received, with a healthy number of older folks enrolled along with a roster of volunteers to help them with whatever they need help doing, from errands to household repairs. Our local Village has recently established a website, strikingly accompanied by what appears to be a Charlie Hochberg panoramic photo of The Valley. Have a look for your ownself at

BIG BAND! The Swingin’ Boonville Big Band will perform at Lauren’s Cafe in Boonville on Saturday June 1st from 9 – 11PM. Tickets are $15. This performance is a benefit for the Adult Education Department of the Anderson Valley Unified School District. Lauren’s beer and wine bar open late, last dinner order 8PM, band starts promptly at 9.

MARSHALL NEWMAN informs us that there has been more than enough rain this May to…. “Record setting Navarro River flow for this date":

THESE MID-MAY RAINSTORMS have been surprisingly wet. Over the past five days as of Monday the 20th Yorkville received 5.9 inches and Boonville 4.8 inches. Respective totals (since October) are 70.3 inches (Yorkville) and 52.5 inches (Boonville). A third storm is expected Monday evening.

SENIOR CENTER BENEFIT! Sunday, June 2nd, 2pm at the Anderson Valley Grange. Fresh from the Mendo Film Festival, the critically acclaimed, Windows on the World! Screenplay by former Valley residents, Robert Mailer Anderson and Zack Anderson. Live appearance by leading actress. $5 donation. All proceeds benefit the Anderson Valley Senior Center!

RECOMMENDED READING: If anybody is better qualified than Jonah Raskin to capture the NorCal zeitgeist, I can't think of him or her. From his youth as a left radical to his present life as the most prolific writer on life in Northern California from its vineyards to its marijuana gardens, Raskin's remarkably diverse oeuvre reflects his unusually diverse experience. Assuming someone will be writing a history of this unique place in this uniquely tumultuous time, it will all be right there in Raskin's many books from "Field Days: A Year of Farming, Eating and Drinking Wine in California" to a wonderful biography of Jack London to the best book I know of about the grass roots experience of growing marijuana prior to quasi-legalization. In between, the prolific professor has produced a steady stream of journalism on everything from Healdsburg bread to the vivid adventures of Oaky Joe Munson, a legendary pot grower, Raskin has now managed to produce "Dark Day, Dark Night, A Marijuana Murder Mystery" that grabbed me from its opening line: "Two helicopters, salvaged Black Hawks, came out of the sky, hovered over the field and landed together, the wind from the propellers bending but not breaking the bright green marijuana plants…" to its last, which I won't relay here for obvious reasons of genre. Along the way, the finely attuned author gives us a kind of wild side tour of wine country. A fun read that tells it like it is, from the hilarious to the mayhem synonymous with the love drug.

BTW, Oaky Joe Munson’s "Marijuana Adventures & Misadventures As Told to Jonah Raskin” is available for $10 from Jonah Raskin, 4903 Petaluma Hill Road, Santa Rosa, CA. 95404. Autographed copies upon request.

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WHIRLWIND. Southern Cheyenne man. 1877.

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A READER WRITES: “Over several of the past years, concern has grown regarding the herbicides/pesticides that flow through the South Fork of the Gualala River which consists of two feeder branches; the Wheatfield Fork, and the South Fork. As a locally known fact, there are pot plantations and grape vineyards along the land abutting these waterways. And there are drinking water wells along the way also; Kashaya Reservation, and the Sea Ranch Water Company, to name two systems that serve their populations on a regular basis. So, it would not be an aberration to think that the water serving these wells associated with these waterways may come under the influence of constituents of runoff from the farming sites of profit. Pushed by some friends, I did some investigating to see if there was a glyphosate or other chemical threat to the populations served within this particular watershed.

“My first approach while sitting in my chair at home was to visit the Sonoma County Permit Resource Department (PRMD) website. There is a dropdown menu within the website that allows the user to go into what is termed “Active Map,” and even with all of its disclosures regarding non-county liability for the use of the contents, it is a very resourceful site. So, I coursed through the map and as I expanded and contracted the size of the map, I noticed the geographical features of the River coursing its way to two headwater locations, one near Las Lomas (Wheatfield) near Sonoma County Reservoir (Warm Springs Dam) and the second near Plantation (Near Timber Cove).

“Pretty interesting stuff to learn about the area, and as a portion of the map is enlarged, guess what appears? The Assessor’s Parcel Numbers (APN’s). I performed several print screens of the maps due to scale of a printed image, and then went to search on the PRMD website and typed in a Public Records request. I received a response from the SoCo Ag department that day by email with directions on how to complete the request for chemical information, the timing of response, etc. On the request, I listed the APNs deemed as part of a possibly affected watershed area, and emailed the request for information to the Ag department listing. Expecting a 10 day response to quite a few APN’s, I found that on the 11th day I needed to call and remind them of the request. Apologetically, the response from the County was made within three days. And no, the information was not “real time” but was two years old by the time I received it; a stipulation that I was informed about and expected.

‘I understand that the constituents listed were laboratory tested for in the River water supplies and found to be non-existent. One other caveat by the County Ag department: “There are land owners that do not report,” and “we are not monitoring cannabis farms as they are not as prolific as timber operations and vineyards in Sonoma County.’

“My point is: Why is Mendocino not using this web type of technology to relieve the staff from becoming “burdened” with each public records request while providing an information medium of service? I mean, I was able to do the research on my nature of request in about 3-4 hours, and spent about an hour communicating by email with the Ag County staff, over an issue that bore environmental public health importance. And though the information had aged two years, a follow up on a yearly basis remains possible for those of a vigilant nature to protect a vital resource. Ted Williams is to be commended for just asking for a spreadsheet. We gotta start somewhere. “

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BOB ABELES NOTES: Re: Pesticide use: Perhaps this is the same information that our county is hoarding:

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Avants, Bradbury, Campbell, Grunwald

JAMES AVANTS, Albion. Disorderly conduct-alcohol, probation revocation.

DAMON BRADBURY, Ukiah. DUI, suspended license (for DUI), no license, probation revocation.

ANDRU CAMPBELL, Ukiah. Controlled substance, false personation of another, resisting, probation revocation.

MICHAEL GRUNWALD, Ukiah. Controlled substance, paraphernalia, failure to obey lawful order of police officer.

Guzman, Laflin, Lopez-Fernandez, Melgoza


ADAM LAFLIN, Willits. Disorderly conduct-alcohol, probataion revocation.

JUAN LOPEZ-FERNANDEZ, Fort Bragg. Failure to appear.

REUBEN MELGOZA, Carmichael/Ukiah. Domestic battery.

Pierce, Valadez, Venters

KELSEY PIERCE, Ukiah. Assault with deadly weapon not a gun, domestic abuse.

ROBERT VALADEZ, Ukiah. Protective order violation, probation revocation.

GOLDEN VENTERS IV, Pittsburg (CA)/Hopland. Probation revocation.

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"THERE WERE 900 COMMERCIAL CASINOS in the U.S., in 2017, according to the American Gaming Association. Casinos make more than $37 billion annually. This is more profit than the music industry ($6.8 billion) and movie industry ($10.7 billion) combined. It is more than the $17.8 billion earned by the four major U.S. sports leagues."

— Chris Hedges, "America: The Farewell Tour"

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by James Kunstler

A mental health assessment of the Democratic Party suggests that identity politics has lately turned into an identity crisis. Years of staying woke finally produced hallucinations and violent outbursts. It was time to medicate the patient. Enter, stage right, the Tranquilizer, smiling Uncle Joe Biden, the perfect agent to quell an acute case of adolescent rebellion.

Mostly, the rank-and-file don’t seem to know what to make of Uncle Joe’s arrival on the scene. It’s as if they popped 0.5 milligrams of Xanax a half an hour ago and all the intersectional strife that seemed so urgent last month just up and flew out of the room, like so many leaf-nosed bats from a frightful cave of winds. The chemical rush Uncle Joe provides is reflected in his impressive polling numbers, lately cresting near 40 percent against his closest pursuer, Bernie Sanders — the reincarnation of my 10th grade math teacher, and hence a figure of horror and loathing — at about 18 percent in the polls. The rest of the presidential pack just slogs down-low through the sucking muck of single digits. Many of these are women candidates in a party determined to produce the first president of the female persuasion. What’s up with that?

The salient psychodramatic feature of the Democrats’ relationship with Mr. Trump is that he represents Daddy’s in da house, a situation so alarming as to provoke a nearly three-year-long fugue of patricidal fury among his detractors. In fact, he’s an order of magnitude worse than Daddy… he’s more like Ole Massa… living in that big White House… lumbering out the south portico in that terrible capitalist business suit… the very cutting edge of oppression and misogyny. Of the Democratic women running for president, so far only Elizabeth Warren has gone after Mr. Trump with any real passion — and then, like some stereotypical housewife trying to brain him with a frying pan. It just bounces off his thick skull, and he moves on.

I call Mr. Trump the Golden Golem of Greatness for a reason (several really) but mainly for his seemingly implacable demeanor. He’s exactly like that folkloric figure from the mists beyond the Pale of Settlement, an animate hunk of impassive clay communing with spirits of the dead, blundering blindly about the land, scaring little children and turning the peasants’ blood to ice-water. You might even say he was conjured up by the very deacons of Wokesterism who now tremble at his every thundering footstep.

Uncle Joe Biden is surely the antidote to all that. He served eight years under the Wokester Deacon-in-Chief, Mr. Obama, and cheerfully endured his ritual castration, rendering him harmless to all who must-be-believed, and other sub-categories of the aggrieved and oppressed. At 76, he is way older than anyone (anyone serious, that is) who ever ran for President before, perhaps bordering even on feeble, and that’s another plus: he couldn’t hurt a fly. At least not here in the States. He has no plans, apparently, to try to make America great again — but he still has a hearty appetite for international adventuring that might redound to the benefit of the US War industry and its handmaidens on K Street and Capitol Hill.

And, of course, Uncle Joe goes through these palliative motions of bringing tranquility to the Democratic scramble, his smile fixed, teeth gleaming, hair perfect, hand a’pumping, as ever more information emerges about the spectacular effrontery of his international money-grubbing while vice-president. He did what in Ukraine in 2014? And Uncle Joe’s son, Hunter, walked away with how many millions of dollars after being appointed to the board of Ukrainian gas company Burisma Holdings? Uncle Joe even bragged to the Council on Foreign Relations about how he browbeat Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko into firing their equivalent of Attorney General, who was about to look into this fishy Burisma deal. And then there was the even bigger windfall after Uncle Joe paid a call on China and Hunter’s shadowy company, Rosemont Seneca, landed a billion dollar private equity deal (whatever that means) from an equally shadowy company fronting for the Chinese government.

All of which means that Uncle Joe Biden’s career as the Democratic tranquilizer may have about the half-life of that Xanax tablet. The four pillars of the legacy media — The New York Times, The WashPo, CNN, and NBC — don’t want to touch these stories, but they are already out there, and nobody can stuff them back under the carpet, not even the mighty censors of Twitter and Facebook.

(Support Kunstler’s writing by visiting his Patreon Page.)

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FRANK HARTZELL WRITES: "Enjoying the 60 Minutes story on the world's biggest money laundering scheme involving Russian billions going into companies in every country. A single whistleblower at an Estonian bank uncovered it. How? He went to public records, the kind of public records any reporter used to look through, but nobody does anymore. Good on the banker! He was stunned that nobody else had looked into public records, but I'm not. People aren't interested in the real stuff anymore and are more likely to believe the banks than the reporters. Corporate owners won't pay people to spend the time looking through records like newspapers used to. Cable news wouldn't know where to find the SEC files or even the courthouse most of the time. I remember getting the third degree from a fellow reporter in Marysville because I had missed some relevant drainage district records. What the heck is a drainage district? I learned. Now nobody even looks at global records and major federal agencies, let alone irrigation districts, lol. We had some of this Russian money come here to Mendo Coast about 10 years ago, probably more but I followed that one."

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JOHN STUART MILL'S READING LIST, as a 3 to 7 year old:

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Well it turns out those ‘stunning poll numbers’ for Joe Biden were gamed a bit, via the arrangement that most of the Democrats polled were over age 50 … the ones who still have fixed-line telephones

Polls in general are masking the increasing tilt of populations toward the right wing, hence the ‘continual surprises’ when votes are counted … just like these last few days with the ‘surprise win’ of the more right-wing guy in Australia

This goes back at least to the ‘surprise big victory’ of Ronald Reagan in 1980 in the USA, who was nearly even to Jimmy Carter in polling, but won by a landslide … people shy of telling the pollsters they were gonna pull that lever for the ‘stupid movie actor’ slammed by the media

Are people afraid to tell polsters how they feel, given the predominance of ‘Left’-tilted media, and the current framing where it is considered ‘racist, bigoted, backward’ etc to favour the Right, with its anti-immigration etc positioning?

Left and Right have somewhat reversed places … a common perception now is that it is today’s ‘Right’ which is more pro-worker-income, pro-local-jobs, pro-family-support

Whereas ‘Left’ now more means minority identity politics, immigrants, LGBT, and aggressive online censorship of ‘racism and bigotry and causing offence’ … the Right seeming to stand for what is left of ‘freedom’

Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders are both a bit long in the tooth, set to turn age 80 in their first term if they should be elected

Andrew Yang and Tulsi Gabbard, the real Dem candidates it seems … perhaps not to be permitted as the USA hurtles into collapse.

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FIREFIGHTER SUICIDES RISE in the Wake of Deadly Wildland Blazes

The death toll from extreme fires in California is rising from an unexpected source: Firefighters are committing suicide.

The stress of fighting repeated blazes and seeing bodies of those killed is taxing firefighters’ mental health, fire officials said yesterday at a joint California Senate and Assembly hearing.

It’s “an invisible cost that’s rarely discussed,” Capt. Mike Feyh of the Sacramento Fire Department told state lawmakers.

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On Sunday, May 26, from 2 to 3 p.m., the Grace Hudson Museum will host a gallery tour with artists Roger Franklin and Aryan Chappell. Franklin and Chappell will give a personal introduction to their work, part of the exhibit “Gathering Light: The Photographic Visions of Aryan Chappell, Roger Franklin, Amy Melious, and Robert Taylor.” May 26 is the last day of this exhibit. The event is free with Museum admission: $4 general; $10 per family; $3 for students and seniors; free to all on the first Friday of the month; and always free to members. Reservations are requested by calling (707) 467-2836. For more information please go to

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HOW LEGALIZATION IS CHANGING HUMBOLDT COUNTY: A story in this week’s New Yorker by Emily Witt

For more than forty years, the epicenter of cannabis farming in the United States was a region of northwestern California called the Emerald Triangle, at the intersection of Humboldt, Mendocino, and Trinity Counties. Of these, Humboldt County is the most famous. It was here, in hills surrounding a small town called Garberville, that hippies landed in the nineteen-sixties, after fleeing the squalor of Berkeley and Haight-Ashbury. They arrived in the aftermath of a timber bust, and clear-cut land was selling for as little as a few hundred dollars an acre. In their pursuit of self-sufficiency, the young idealists homesteaded, gardened naked, and planted seeds from the Mexican cannabis they had grown to love. They learned the practice known as sinsemilla, in which female cannabis plants are isolated from the pollen of their male counterparts, which causes the females to produce high levels of THC. The cultivators smuggled in strains of Cannabis indica from South Asia and bred hybrids with sativas from Mexico. They learned to use light deprivation to encourage premature flowering, and they practiced selective breeding to isolate for the most desirable potency, scent, and appearance.

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by Juan José Millás (translated & edited by Louis S. Bedrock)

In general, the photograph of the black hole was disappointing.

—It was more interesting to listen to what they told you about it —said a patron of the bar while we watched the news on the bar’s television.

I was reading my own newspaper, on whose first page was seen the ring of gases surrounding the crater, The theme (or the issue—I’m not sure) occupied the front pages of the press. It had taken an immense amount of work to obtain the image of this singularity 55 million light years from the Earth. Those in charge of dozens of telescopes all over the planet had to work together. All the money employed was swallowed up by this mouth without lips that absorbs everything that is near it, including light, like some cosmic drainpipe.

When we talk about black holes, we always mention the oddity that they are capable of swallowing light while continuing to be dark. If someone could swallow the radiance of a firefly trapped in a glass bottle, that person’s trachea and stomach would light up and the phosphorescence would descend through both intestines.

—I’d rather hear them talk about black holes than see black holes —insisted the bar patron mentioned above—. Do you know what they call the edges of the ring?

—I have no idea —responded the person he was speaking to.

—Event Horizon: Don’t forget it. Event Horizon.

—Sounds like the title of a novel.

Or even better, I thought to myself, the title of a poem.

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“I guess we’ll have to start talking to each other on Sunday nights.”

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I have undertaken to chronicle the steps of my dying. Others -- near-contemporaries -- have responded with their own (similar) reflections. Verily, we are all in this together.

Perhaps the most difficult to attain part of this is the surprising element of joyousness in all the musing. Food tastes better. Color is more intense. Music is chewy. Ancient of days, life is fresh. I am moving into an elder-care facility in a very few days. Doubtless, this will bring new (I hope) relationships. At the very least, it should bring hours of conversation, of sharing the journey. Kids. Marriages. Death and travail.

Those of us who are able to manifest proper attention to this find, surprisingly, that this final chapter, like any real drama, holds not only resolution but a glittering crescendo of shimmering sunsets, but also those in a nice touch of paisley and a soaring guitar solo good enough for that cosmic playlist in heaven. And not only that: Buddha just can't help laughing.

(Bruce Brady)


  1. George Hollister May 21, 2019

    For those interested in Glassy Wing Sharpshooter, and Pierce’s disease, here is a map of where the GWSS is in California, where it isn’t, and who is considered at risk:

    The GWSS is an exotic pest insect in the leafhopper family that can be detrimental to plants and is a vector for Pierce’s Disease in grapes. There are examples of effective biological controls being implemented internationally to control it.

  2. Michael Koepf May 21, 2019

    Ref: Cherney’s big night out in San Rafael

    Got it! Talbot fingers Sweeny.
    Bari tells Talbot her husband did it.
    Bari denounces Talbot as a liar.
    Therefore: Talbot believes Bari is telling the truth.
    Is everybody, or anybody, clear on this?

    And…let us not forget that Judi’s husband wrote the Lord’s Avenger Letter and asked the lady at the Chinese restaurant to lick the stamp. Or was it the girl at the falafel shop who migrated from the Middle East?

    • Bruce Anderson May 21, 2019

      Not bad, Mike. Getting warmer.

      • Michael Koepf May 21, 2019

        Yes,Bruce, this cold case is always hot here.

      • Michael Koepf May 21, 2019

        Yes, Bruce, this cold case is always on fire in the AVA.

  3. Jim Armstrong May 21, 2019

    Over many years, a neighbor of mine and I (Marine and Army Vietnam vets) complained to each other about how, on Veterans Day, talk shouldn’t be of death but of honoring those still living.
    We agreed that Memorial Day was for “the last great measure of devotion.”
    He died Saturday, a Dow and Monsanto victim, and now next Monday will be for him.
    RIP, Carlos.

    • Michael Koepf May 21, 2019

      Duty done; honor served. A final salute to Carlos.
      signed: old Vet

  4. James Marmon May 21, 2019

    I posted some pictures of Carlos though out the years on my Facebook page yesterday. I knew him for about 40 years. ThanKS giving Christmas will never be the same at my mon’s house. I first met him when he worked at the pallet mill in Potter Valley.

  5. James Marmon May 21, 2019

    Carlos always believed Memorial day was a big day. He never missed the services.

  6. Stephen Rosenthal May 21, 2019

    “If that war hadn’t pushed the Bari bombing into virtual media oblivion only hours after the Oakland explosion, odds are that the mass circulation Bay Area media would have made an effort to find out what really happened.”

    You mean like they’re doing with the mysterious circumstances surrounding the death of Jeff Adachi? The Bay Area media is soft, perhaps the softest in the country. Always have been, always will be. The long defunct Bay Guardian was the occasional exception, but they had to give the paper away to get any registrable circulation figures.

    • Bruce Anderson May 21, 2019

      Similar media blackout on Adachi. The FBI, currently beloved by Libs as the last word in integrity, announced around ’95 that the bombing case was closed “because no one will talk to us.” The feds know exactly what happened, but exactly what happened probably involved them, so…..

      • Harvey Reading May 21, 2019

        Huh? As far as I am concerned, and I am liberal, the FBI is a POS. I’ve believed that since the early 70s. They should stick to investigating bank robberies and interstate kidnappings.

        • Harvey Reading May 21, 2019

          I almost wish there was such a place as hell. Then I could enjoy seeing J. Edgar and his successors burning in it after I die.

      • Stephen Rosenthal May 21, 2019

        I’m not disagreeing with you about your theory. Simply stating that the next time the Bay Area media – print, broadcast or otherwise – conducts an in-depth investigation into anything remotely controversial will be the first time it does so. Even their sports coverage is nothing but silly softball questions that a nine year old would ask.

        • Bruce Anderson May 21, 2019

          Lots of people disagree without knowing even the most basic facts of the event and its ensuing fog of obfuscation, which is always annoying. We’ve got the whole argument on this website. I can honestly say none of us skeptics has ever been plausibly refuted. The FBI has always been a political police force since its founding by that cross-dressing freak, J. Edgar. That the Democrats are holding Mueller up as some kind of last ethical word is laughable, but then so are the Democrats, the Republicans being simply unspeakable. When the Orange Monster gets re-elected, well, the fun really starts.

  7. Harvey Reading May 21, 2019

    All the nooze that’s fit to print? (As if they’d suddenly changed from what they were to begin with: liars and propagandists.

    Don’t worry. Be happy!

    Soon the earth will be at peace, freed at last from the human monkey.

    Welcome to the FSA (Fascist States of America). Been practicing up on your goose stepping? Remember, don’t bend those knees … ever, not even if you’re overweight.

    We are ruled by brain-dead conservatives. Apparently that’s what the yuppies want.

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