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MCT: Friday, May 31, 2019

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THURSDAY’S FORECAST "showers with possible thundershowers" fizzled as whatever remained of the storm drifted to the east with no rain to speak of in Mendocino County. The weather service says there’s another “chance” of sprinkles on Saturday, but don’t bet on it. Otherwise clear and mild for the next few days with highs into the upper 80s.

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THE TORONTO RAPTORS played an almost flawless game to defeat the Warriors in the first game of the NBA championship. They can't keep it up. Some of their shots were….well, they went in. The Warriors will eat the Raptors in six. You read it here first.

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JUST IN: Ukiah Woman Killed In Frog Woman Rock Crash Identified

The Mendocino County Coroner on Thursday identified a woman found dead Tuesday in a single-vehicle accident at Frog Woman Rock. The woman was identified as Suzanne Bentley, 69, of Ukiah, according to Sheriff’s Capt. Gregory Van Patten. A passing motorist Tuesday spotted her vehicle overturned at the bottom of a 250-foot embankment off the south side of Highway 101 near Frog Woman Rock, the Hopland Volunteer Fire Protection District reported.

It was unclear when the accident happened. Bentley was the only occupant of the vehicle. The CHP reported Wednesday that it was investigating the cause of the crash. No further updates were available Thursday, and attempts to reach relatives of Bentley were unsuccessful.

The crash was at least the third major crash in as many years at the same location. In 2016, a 7-year-old Stockton girl was killed and her mother injured when they flew off the highway. Last year, two went off the side and landed in the river, suffering minor injuries.


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WINDOWS ON THE WORLD — big local opening/showing this Sunday, June 2, at 2 pm at the AV Grange in Philo. Screenplay by former locals, Robert Mailer Anderson and Zack Anderson. Starring Edward James Olmos, Ryan Guzman, Chelsea Gilligan with René Auberjonois to name a few. There will be refreshments, raffles and guest appearances. $5 donation. All proceeds to benefit AV Senior Center. See you at the show Windows on the World!


by Herbert Paine (Broadway World)

Edward James Olmos has distinguished himself as a versatile actor and humanitarian who, in the full scope of his work, has elevated the imagery of Latinos beyond noxious stereotypes. In his latest film, WINDOWS ON THE WORLD, directed by his son, Michael D. Olmos, he plays the role of Balthazar Reynoso, the proud patriarch of a Mexican family who leaves home for New York and the promise of better wages. He finds employment at Windows on the World, the restaurant on the top floor of the World Trade Center's North Tower.

The movie revolves around the quest of his son, Fernando (Ryan Guzman), to find Balthazar in the wake of the September 11th attack that brought the towers down.

In the course of a journey that overcomes the ordeal of the desert and border crossing, that transports him across America to the city that never sleeps, and that deposits him in the center of its devastation, Fernando remains resolute.

A stranger in a strange land, he adapts to his circumstances. He searches without success for his father, frustrated by the magnitude of grief over countless missing persons, and encountering dead-end clues to his whereabouts. He receives a reality-check about the status of undocumented immigrants that is a searing reminder of their dilemma: An official at a 9/11 Family Assistance Center matter-of-factly declares that, if Balthazar didn't officially work at the restaurant, then he's not officially missing!

Fernando is nevertheless the beneficiary as well of fortune's smile. He is graced by the friendship of a Nigerian immigrant (beautifully portrayed by Glynn Turman), who offers him room and board and employment as a window cleaner. He finds support that blooms into romance in the supportive embrace of Lia (Chelsea Gilligan), a candle store proprietor.

His quest also exposes him, however, to the contradictions and complexities of a place and its habitues whose spirits have been momentarily crushed but who are determined to emerge from the ashes whole. He is witness to the cruelty of the alleyways, the vulnerability of the homeless, and the seamy underbelly of the sex club scene.

Fernando is audience to two versions of a New Yorker's perspective on the "Big Apple." And, in this regard, we the audience are treated to two marvelous and engaging cameos by two great performers. Abiodun Oyewole delivers a terrific riff, as a street poet, of The Last Poets' acerbic, if not scathing, ode, New York, New York. In contrast, Rene Auberjonois shines in a karaoke moment of weeping solemnity as he breaks down singing Kander & Ebb's New York, New York, only to have the guys at the bar join in and melt the "little town blues" away.

WINDOWS ON THE WORLD is a film that plays well on the multiple and nuanced meanings of its title (the famed restaurant on the World Trade Center's 107th floor where Balthazar worked; the 43,600 windows of the Twin Towers, behind each pane of which stories were unfolding only to perish; the window cleaning job that was a portal for the next phase of Fernando's journey). In doing so, it manages remarkably well to span a number of relevant social themes with candor and sensitivity, enhanced by Olmos's and Guzman's captivating performances and a stellar supporting cast.

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by Marilyn Davin

In 1988, gas was 90¢ a gallon, Ronald Reagan was president, a prototype of the B-2 stealth bomber was revealed, Democrats nominated Michael Dukakis as their party’s presidential candidate, Republicans nominated Vice President George H.W. Bush as their party’s presidential candidate, Pan Am Flight 103 exploded over Lockerbie, Scotland, Golden State Warriors star Stephen Curry was born, and drag queen Divine died…

And Mendocino County Observer publisher and Laytonville Water District manager Jim Shields moved to Laytonville.

“I’m a farm boy,” Shields said recently from Laytonville’s cavernous community auditorium, where fanciful white sails hanging from the high ceiling made it look a little bit like the roof line of the Denver airport. “When we moved here I got back into agriculture, bought some cows and sheep. You couldn’t drive either north or south along this corridor without seeing cattle and sheep all along 101. Timber was still king. There was no unemployment in the area.”

“I tell people all the time there was a period of time when we seemed to have all the answers,” Shields said. “It’s criminal what’s happened now.” His political awakening began with his early work in the labor movement. “I got involved in the mid-70s [and] our primary objective was to move working people into the middle class,” he said. “If you actually listen to working people, that’s what they wanted to do. That dream was attainable, and we did a pretty good job of it.” Shields was an officer with the airline clerks’ union, which he said was the largest airline union in the country at the time. He said however, that he ultimately became disillusioned with its politics. “After years with them, because of political differences, I made the decision to leave the Brotherhood,” he said. “We ended up spending most of our time fighting the organization that was ostensibly supposed to be standing for things.”

Shields’s split with the greater labor movement did, however, indirectly steer him to communications and the power of the press. “I’m not a journalist, but the labor movement in general was doing a lousy job communicating with its members,” he said. “They were afraid of what workers and union people would do if they had too much access to information.” As an example, he said that during contract negotiations status and progress updates to the membership were general and did not include litigation and issues like corruption.” He added that unions were also illegally spending members’ dues for political activities, a prohibition that was largely swept away with the 2010 U.S. Supreme Court’s 2010 Citizens United v. Federal Election Communications decision, which in part ruled that corporations and unions had the right to free speech and could spend as much money as they wanted to on political campaigns without creating a PAC. The flood gates opened and unlimited cash has swamped political campaigns ever since.

Shields said that for the past 40 years his motivation and purpose have never changed, whether in his work with the labor movement, his work in the community, or in the tone and content of his paper: to fight political and economic injustice.

And he lays the blame for its current absence squarely at the feet of elected and appointed officialdom tasked with building and maintaining the basic systems that make communities possible. “Mendocino County is really an aberration when it comes to government – government here has always been dysfunctional,” he said. “It’s embarrassing to admit we have such jackasses running things. They [the board of supervisors] can’t handle simple things like transportation. Marijuana is a chaotic mess.”

A hot button with him is that supervisors don’t understand the importance of marijuana to the local economy, and that when Big Timber decamped and moved offshore the reason the economy didn’t tank was because of marijuana cultivation.

“It was sociologically and politically fascinating,” Shields said, of the truce between loggers and growers. “They hated each other – hippie dope growers, loggers are clear cutting, fucking things up… Two years later they got their arms around each other.” He said, “This is why I love working people. They saw the industry was in its death throes, and while they were still employed they started cultivating marijuana at night when they got off work.” Shields said that timber workers and hippie growers began to settle a lot of their differences in the schools. “You had loggers’ kids and growers’ kids on the same teams. They were able to come together because of what their kids were doing.” He said that’s how loggers began to cultivate marijuana. “They were taught by some of the growers who used to be their enemies.”

Shields says that the county’s overly complex, time-consuming and inefficient marijuana cultivation certification process is a particularly bitter pill for the county’s small growers, who are squeezed by high taxes and fees on one end while losing money as prices fall on the other end as corporate agri-business takes up the charge and buys up huge tracts of land throughout the state for commercial mega-grows. Of the small growers, he said, “They’re the ones who are getting sucked up into unemployment, losing their homes, losing their lifestyles. There’s not much anybody can do about that,” he said. “It’s too late to save local legalization here. Small growers will end up as employees for the big guys.” He added that, unsurprisingly, the black market is making a comeback.

A quick look at the online list of what growers have to go through in Mendo to certify their grows is daunting to say the least. There are 18 overall steps requiring19 detailed applications, photographs, lists, plans (no hand-drawn site plans allowed), forms, business documents, permits, agreements and several other kinds of reports. Oh, and it all has to be submitted in an 8 ½ by 11 inch manila envelope labeled with the date of submission, applicant name, phone number, mailing address and cultivation address. And the documents have to be lined up in the order listed. In a few short years marijuana has moved from the least regulated to the most regulated crop in the county – with no other industry waiting in the wings to jump in to save jobs like marijuana cultivation did for loggers.

Over the next few years the realities of water availability for small growers will put even more pressure on the local market. As manager of Laytonville’s water district, Shields has a front-row seat on what’s coming.

Jim Shields (right) receives award for his water district in Laytonville.

“A lot of people who own property think they have water rights when they don’t just because they have a deed to the land,” he said. “There’s never been any cohesive public policy on water, it’s always been a catch-as-catch-can system. It’s always been broken.” He said that while squabbling and inaction over water use continue to reign on the county level, the state is quietly moving forward with its 10-year water plan. “The adults in the room are the State,” he said. “They’re collecting data from the watersheds and …setting up funding accounts. They’re gonna get this really down to a science and they’re gonna come up with a number.” As a theoretical example, he said that there could be 3,000 plants on a watershed that can only sustain a third of that number. “They’re locking the system down,” he explained, “but it will take another 6 or 7 years.”

On another topic entirely, how big an issue is crime in Laytonville? “You have people making their livings by doing rip-offs,” Shields said. Otherwise, “…depending upon the nature of the crime, people do what they have to do to protect themselves and their families. That hasn’t changed much.” He sees the root of Laytonville’s problems, much as he sees the country’s problems, as political and economic.

Lieutenant Kirk Mason of the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Department’s Northern Operations, gives the Laytonville area a mixed review.

Lt. Kirk Mason

Mason has worked in the Sheriff’s department for 31 years in different locations and capacities, the last six in his current operation, which he runs out of the Willits office on East Valley Street right off the town’s main drag. He has 12 people working for him, including his sergeants, and the northern territory covers 1,200 square miles, roughly a third of the county that encompasses Willits, Covelo, Laytonville, Piercy, Leggett, Branscomb, and all unincorporated areas in between. Laytonville itself hasn’t grown much population-wise over the years, with 2,347 residents recorded in the 1990 census and 2,556 in 2010.

“I wouldn’t characterize Laytonville as the Wild West,” Mason said, although, “There tend to be more marijuana gardens in the general area, both legal and illegal.” He added that they didn’t get a lot of calls when marijuana was illegal. “Who wants to call in to report on themselves?” he asked, rhetorically.

In fact, with less population, more calls for service come in from Covelo than from Laytonville. Mason picked up a report he’d printed out with stats showing calls for service. He explained that calls for service include every call that comes into the office (excluding 911 calls, which go into a central call dispatch center in Ukiah), including transfers (for example, somebody calling in to report a fire, transferred to the fire department) or someone calling in to report a drunk driver (transferred to the Highway Patrol), as examples. Mason estimates that transfers make up “way less than half” of the incoming calls.

So, from January 2018 to January 2019, the Sheriff’s northern operations office received 3,248 calls for service out of Covelo, compared with 2,447 out of the Laytonville area for the same period. Fifty-one calls were for domestic disturbances and 55 people reported that they had been assaulted. “There’s no more drug usage in Covelo than in Laytonville,” he said. “I just know that traditionally we get more calls and they tend to be more serious in Covelo.”

But statistics alone rarely tell the whole story. Mason said they only know about crimes if they hear about them, a significant caveat in a rural area where, for both better and for worse, “everybody knows everybody else.”

Mason said he does see some worrying trends coming out of the northern area generally. One is firearms, which he said have become deadlier and more numerous over the past 15 or 20 years. “Usually the ones we’re worried about are rifles, especially rifles that are fully automatic or can be simply changed to automatic,” he said. “It’s not uncommon now that many times those in the armed criminal element are just as well if not more armed than we are.”

Another is the sheer geography of the area when officers need back-up. If back-up is requested in Covelo, for example, and an officer needs to drive there from Laytonville, it might show on a map that it’s 39.2 miles, but in reality it takes an hour to get there.

Turnover in the department is another problem, which Mason said plagues other departments as well. “What we’re finding out in the last five years is that people are leaving but still living here. I can drive an hour to Santa Rosa and make $20,000 [more] a year, with better benefits,” he said.

And of course drugs are a growing problem, particularly the so-called “powder” drugs. He said that drugs are typically consumed locally but distributed by dealers outside the county or even outside the state. “I’d estimate that 75 percent of marijuana-related robberies and thefts are not local,” he said.

So, back to the Mendocino County Observer, how do all of these issues – political, economic, and criminal - show up every Thursday in the pages of the paper? “Newspapers should do a couple of things: provide history, report on what the government is doing, and attempt to educate their leaders on what should be done,” Shields said, adding that papers should not hide behind an illusion of objectivity.

Converted from its original form as a sort of community billboard, the Laytonville Ledger, established in 1977, morphed into the Mendocino County Observer when Shields bought it “at the end of ’87, beginning of ’88.” He said he originally had a large paid staff but overexpanded and got into an advertising war with the Ukiah Daily Journal, which was independent at the time, and the Willits News. “It was a mistake,” he said. “We’re still making money but the margins are dropping and are real thin. The loss of advertising is mind-blowing.” He said that at its peak in the late 1990s, the paper’s circulation was about 2,500, and is now about half that.

Shields said he’s resisted going “the way of the digital divide, e-editions and all that stuff, though there is a PDF for subscribers. What I saw with other weeklies is that it destroyed them,” he said. Like every other newspaper person I know, Shields is puzzled that all the communication going on in social media with young people hasn’t boosted social participation. “Quite frankly, with education and the digital divide you’d think people would be smarter,” he said. “People are much more interested [in] taking selfies of themselves, Facebook, sharing personal, intimate information. I mean who does that?”

Shields said local papers in the county support each other, and that he has a semi-regular, long-standing relationship with the AVA. “The real Bruce Anderson is sort of old-worldly, a guy who doesn’t take to changes well but is able to smell a rat real quick,” he laughed. “I’m the AVA’s resident conservative.”

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BOONVILLE'S FERAL CAT problem is one more tiny piece of evidence that there is no consensus anymore on much of anything. Fifty years ago, before the anthromorphs had quite the influence they do now, and before the contemporary phenomenom of ferocious Cat Ladies, feral cat feeding stations were unknown.

THE MENDOCINO COUNTY Animal Shelter long ago became a No Kill facility, the result being a shelter teeming with feral cats and feral dogs, especially pit bulls, all of them unadoptable, all of them spending their institutional lives in small cages. Used to be that wild cats and dogs were put down failing adoption.

THANK the dope community for the over-large pitbull population. Myself, I've never known a pitbull owner who wasn't at least half a psycho. I better add before somebody — cat ladies are especially unreasonable — accuses me of hating four-footers, I still miss my dog, Roscoe, and I'm the devoted part owner of a cat, Alice. Roscoe, incidentally, was half pit and occasionally took a nip at me, which I considered the very height of ingratitude given the attention I lavished on him, but the breed's reputation for unpredictability is deserved.

SO HERE IN BOONVILLE, feline fanatics are feeding feral cats. Both cat feeding stations are in neighborhoods, one of them on uninhabited property owned by an elderly woman who has asked the cat feeders to cease and desist. They haven't, which I think is typical of the times — that otherwise law-abiding people ignore the welfare of the wider community and simply do whatever they want to do. In a more heavily populated area, a neighborhood in Ukiah for instance, maintaining a feral cat population would not be tolerated. Any argument there?

A FRIEND OF MINE tries to maintain the feline-fouled Anderson Valley Way property owned by the elderly woman who wants the cats gone. He says cutting the grass is a task he dreads for obvious reasons. He has confirmed my drive-by number of "somewhere between twenty and thirty cats."

ONE RECENT DAY, I did see two women in uniform jumpsuits doing something having to do with cats at the Anderson Valley Way property. (The other feeding center is on Haehl Street in central Boonville, a heavily populated neighborhood.) I don't know what the two jumpsuits were doing, but they may have been attempting to trap the cats to neuter them, but here's the rub; after neutering the cats they are returned to the property they came from, which does nothing to relieve the total population of accumulated wild creatures at an address whose owner does not want them there.

MENDOCINO COUNTY'S POLICY? "Feral cats brought to the Ukiah Animal Shelter MUST come into the shelter in an approved cat trap, like the one shown below. …

…This policy is for the safety of shelter staff who must transfer the feral cat into a cat cage. The shelter offers FREE spay & neuter for feral cats who will be returned to their area. Please call the Clinic at 463- 4782 to find our surgery dates. If you wish to bring in a feral cat to the shelter please call 463-6453 in advance to be sure we have room in our feral cat room."

TRANSLATION: By the time you set your trap, and after you've imprisoned a series of skunks, raccoons, foxes, and maybe even a bobcat, and finally catch a feral cat in your Cat Lady-correct trap, you call the Shelter to see if there's room for your prisoner! This process is not particularly viable, or viable at all for the average person conscientiously trying to do the right thing by his wild cats. And inhumane because most rural dwellers will simply dispatch the unwanted animal themselves. Or dump it somewhere, as happens all the time in Anderson Valley.

I CALLED Rich Molinari, the director of the County's shelter. He was helpful and, better yet, clarified the county's ordinance-driven feral cat policy. "We want the permission and blessing of the property owners where there are cat colonies. They can be moved without being euthanized," Molinari assured me. He said he definitely did not want to create a public nuisance and emphasized that he would call the persons involved to seek an amicable resolution.

NPR offered a segment this morning featuring Nancy Pelosi lamenting Facebook's refusal to remove a slowed-down visual that made it appear she was drunk. I laughed when I saw it, but I also knew that it was a joke because, I think, like most reasonably informed people, I know it's highly unlikely that Mrs. Pelosi would ever appear drunk for a press conference, and I doubt she ever gets drunk anyway. But, sure, millions of people probably thought the video was true. But here it is, the truth! Ready? People believe what they need to believe. Diogenes may have spent his life looking for an honest man, but he was a one-off.

I THINK the cruel fact that a gink like Zuckerberg controls what millions of people all over the globe see or don't see is simply one more sign of the looming apocalypses. Plural. I think any effort to control what people can see or read is always a step towards the mandatory goose step. Of course some things obviously ought to be prohibited, and there is an international consensus on that — snuff films, child porn, animal torture, etc. But Russian meddling or Pelosi portrayed as loaded, and almost everything else, true or untrue, should be green-lighted. (The Rooskies can't fool me!) Anyway, if you can't more or less accurately decode the world around you, well, look what's happened. As the sage said, We're in a race between education and catastrophe, and catastrophe probably has an insurmountable lead.

ALSO THIS MORNING I learned that KZYX is celebrating its 30th birthday. I don't expect to be breaking out a bottle of champagne but, as a grudging member most of that time, when the girl-ish voice asked listeners for "favorite" memories I thought immediately to the time Judi Bari, having mobilized every, uh, screwball in the county, and took over the mike. A veteran of many demos over the years, that one was totally hilarious and great fun.

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(photo by Jesse Cabral)

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Defendant Antonia Dulce Bautista Dalson, age 21, of Covelo, a felon already serving a Realignment County Prison sentence for being an accessory to a felony gun charge committed by defendant Negie Fallis, was convicted Wednesday afternoon by plea of felony welfare fraud.


On the day set for her preliminary hearing, the defendant admitted criminal culpability and accepted the DA's proposal to add an additional 8 months in jail consecutive to the 18 months jail sentence she began serving in January. The eight-month stipulated sentence was the maximum allowed by law for a subordinate felony conviction.

Due to ongoing changes in the law, the defendant is eligible for day-for-day credit against her jail time, meaning -- once the 8 months is added in -- she must overall serve 13 actual months of incarceration. Upon completion of that time, the defendant will be subject to 18 additional months of mandatory supervision, a form of parole.

Two alternative counts of perjury and one special allegation were dismissed on motion of the DA in acknowledgement of the defendant's early plea.

According to crime reports, the defendant continued to receive welfare benefits for her two children from February 2018 through October 2018 even after she had relinquished their custody and control to others and the children were no longer living with the defendant. As required by law, the defendant failed to affirmatively notify the HHSA of this change in household composition which made her ineligible for the aid she continued to receive.

The stipulated sentence will be formally imposed on June 6, 2019 at 9 o'clock in the Ukiah courthouse.

The attorney handling this matter is District Attorney David Eyster. The investigating law enforcement agency was the Investigation Unit of the Mendocino County Health and Human Services Agency.

Mendocino County Superior Court Judge John Behnke accepted the defendant's change of plea today.

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Mendocino County Library Presents Great Lit At The Lighthouse A Reading at Point Cabrillo Lighthouse

Join Friends of the Fort Bragg Library and Point Cabrillo Lightkeepers Association at Cabrillo Lighthouse for a free evening event on Friday, June 7th, 2019 from 6pm to 7pm. Local performing artist, Linda Pack, will perform selections from To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf.

Parking is available along Point Cabrillo Drive at the top of the hill. Enjoy the stroll along the half mile paved road down to the Lighthouse, and take some extra time to peek into the Assistant Lightkeepers House Museum before joining us at 6pm. The museum gift shop will be open until 8pm. Parking is available at the bottom of the driveway for vehicles with a Handicapped Parking Pass only.

Fort Bragg Library's adult book club is reading To the Lighthouse in advance of the lighthouse performance. All are invited to come to the discussion on Thursday, May 30 at 2 pm. Library Meeting room at 499 Laurel St. in Fort Bragg.

For more information, please contact the Fort Bragg Library at 707-964-2020.

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Organic pastured eggs available in Boonville for $6/dozen by emailing or calling Cindy at 895-2949.

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The Board of Supervisors Meeting Agendas for the June 4-5, 2019, budget hearing are now available on the County website:

Please contact the Executive Office at (707) 463-4441 if you have any questions regarding this message.

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Free entrance to some Mendocino Film Festival movies this Friday, Saturday and Sunday for those willing to usher. They need more volunteer ushers. If interested call the Film Festival office at 937-0171.

(Tom Wodetzki)

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Avants, Beard, Britt

JAMES AVANTS, Albion. Disorderly conduct-alcohol. (Frequent flyer.)

NOAH BEARD, Fort Bragg. Protective order violation.

MELVON BRITT, Chesapeake, Virginia/Redwood Valley. Pot sales, pot possession for sale, conspiracy.

Chorley, Lachman-Singh, Macarthur

SHALEEN CHORLEY, Fort Bragg. Probation revocation.

KAMAL LACHMAN-SINGH, Suffolk, Virginia/Ukiah. Pot sales, pot possession for sale, conspiracy.

CALEB MACARTHUR, Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-alcohol. (Frequent flyer.)

Nunez, Proctor, Seigler

RUBEN NUNEZ JR., Laytonville. Disobeying court order.

RODNEY PROCTOR, Fort Bragg. Disorderly conduct-alcohol, probation revocation.

CHRISTINE SEIGLER, Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-alcohol. (Frequent flyer.)

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On Memorial Day, I chose to fly our flag upside down. I refuse to allow our flag to be coopted by right-wing maniacs, so I fly it upside down, which is an officially recognized sign of distress.

The Flag Code allows the flag to be flown with the union down “as a signal of dire distress in instances of extreme danger to life or property.”

I believe our country and society are in extreme danger from the policies and actions of the current administration. I encourage others to proudly fly their flags upside down until the current administration is gone or has amended its ways.

Jim Bray

Santa Rosa

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ALEXANDRIA OCASIO-CORTEZ Reveals Chilling Morning Ritual In Face Of Death Threats

“I've had mornings where I wake up & the 1st thing I do w/ my coffee is review photos of the men (it’s always men) who want to kill me,” Ocasio-Cortez tweeted.

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The Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens is extending evening hours this June through August. Come and experience the magic of our 47 acre garden by the sea in the warm filtered evening light. The Garden will be open until 7:00pm each Friday and Saturday from June 1 through August 31. Regular Gardens admissions

The Gardens, Nursery, Store, and Cafe are open daily this summer with the exception of September 8 for Winesong Charity Auction & Tasting. Special event tickets are required on August 3 for Art in the Gardens

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AMERICANS SHOULD BE VERY CONCERNED about Bernie Sanders' record of opposing mass murder

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My small apartment is filled to a state of relative stuffedness with boxes of books and boxes of kitchen stuff and rolls of bags. It is not, however, filled with memories. There exist a few, but they have mostly been made over just the past few months since I moved in. This has all taken place immediately followinging my last couple of hospital stays, the most recent seeing me released just two or so three weeks ago.

I have been diagnosed, after much expensive testing, with congestive heart failure. I am the survivor of many small strokes. I have high blood pressure. Advancing blindness in both eyes has only been stopped by six surgeries involving the insertion of needles deep into each eye. I am no longer going blind. The surgery that stopped the advance of my particular disease was invented in Germany in the mid nineties. Before the development of the surgery, I would have gone finally and irretrievably blind.

So, with all of this packed into my back pocket, I may (I hope) be forgiven a little interest as I look down at the opening of what is likely to be the final last chapter begun nearly seventy-six years ago. And you know what? I can't wait to turn the page. Not only that, but I am unlikely to have to.


Spent the afternoon reminiscing about (mostly) the last fifty years with my best friend from high school, eating sushi all the while. Our lives. Met his wife, who looks as though she is a stunt-double for my mother. Similar build and posture. Practically identical grey hair, carefully done. Looks like eighty percent of similar folks in Eugene. My friends from the coast both remarked at how her friendly vibe seemed typical of much of the resident population of downtown Eugene.

The homeless are here, too. Around three-thousand in Lane County, which stretches from Eugene to Florence, on the coast. Geographically, many miles separate its west end from the ocean. It is my home place. My children are here, as are all of my grandchildren and great/great grandchildren. Multiplying complexities, one might call them.

These people, my people, will probably survive well in the near term. Respect the young people. Revering them might be a bit much. But their lives are likely to be challenging in the extreme. You, me, each and every one is us will be of no use in the slightest. We cannot know their demons. Hey, we have barely glimpsed our own.

(Bruce Brady)

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Spiritually Based Affinity Group

Warmest spiritual greetings at the end of May, I am looking to leave Redwood Valley, California where I've been staying with friends since the Spring Equinox (except for two weeks with Earth First!ers in Garberville).

The original intention to form a spiritually based affinity group is unchanged. However, this is not happening with anyone whom I know on the north coast at this time. Therefore, I am interested in going to the San Francisco bay area, and am seeking a place to stay.

If you agree with me that we must use our own power collectively to intervene in history, then I ask you to make contact. We are not limited to what we can do and where we can go. If you agree with my spiritual assessment of the situation in these challenging times on earth, I invite you to join with me.

Craig Louis Stehr


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League Of Women Voters Funds Project

MENDOCINO COUNTY, CA — In collaboration with the Mendocino County Elections Department, the Mendocino County Office of Education (MCOE) supported a countywide youth voter registration project funded by the League of Women Voters of Mendocino County (LWVMC). Twenty-two volunteers compiled 1,000 voter information packets and distributed them in high school civics classrooms and at public events.

LWVMC Co-President Cindy Plank said, “Our experiences have been varied, but all of them have been wonderful. We visited 14 high schools, representing 7 of the 10 Mendocino County school districts, as well as Mendocino College, helping hundreds of students register to vote.”

For classroom presentations, volunteers were allowed between 15 and 50 minutes, during which time they answered questions, informed students about how to register to vote and tried to inspire them to engage in the process. Plank said, “We encouraged students to use the power of their vote, and to use their own eyes, ears and excellent brains to make wise choices. They seemed to like the challenge of becoming the highest voting population, and not letting old people do all of the voting!”

Depending on how much time the volunteers had with students, they either shared information about registering to vote, or they helped interested students complete the process. In California, 16- and 17-year-olds can pre-register to vote. Then, once they turn 18, they are automatically registered. It takes approximately 5-10 minutes to register to vote at Teens can pre-register or register online or via paper registration forms.

The LWVMC Youth Voter Registration Project was a non-partisan, grant-funded project that did not include support for any political campaigns or specific legislation. Its sole purpose was to encourage students’ civic engagement, initially by increasing voter registration. This year’s efforts focused on high school seniors, but Plank hopes to expand in the years to come. She thanked the many volunteers who helped make the project so successful.

“Several Fort Bragg High School students helped assemble approximately 200 voter registration packets. We also received help from Ukiah Mayor Mo Mulheren and Mendocino County Board of Education Member Tarney Sheldon, who organized several others in the area to join in with the packet assembly,” she said.

County Superintendent of Schools Michelle Hutchins said, “We wanted to reach as many students as possible and to help mitigate the widespread disparities in youth voting among Latinos, African Americans and young people with no college experience. We’re proud to have participated in this wonderful project.”

California’s Presidential Primary Election is scheduled for March 3, 2020, approximately nine months from now. Plank encourages students (and adults) to confirm that their voter registration is up-to-date so they can participate. She also invited people to learn more about the accomplishments of the League of Women Voters locally, statewide and nationally at

She implored, “Use the power of your vote. Every vote does count. Pledge to vote in every election for what matters to you, your family, and your community!”

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