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MCT: Monday, August 12, 2019

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SHERIFF ALLMAN on Friday’s freak rain/thunderstorm:

In 2008, our county was rocked with 134 fires overnight with a lightning storm. Last night (Friday, 8/9/19), another lightning system came from the southwest corner of Mendocino County and left over the northeastern corner. Another system came over Laytonville and traveled to the northeast also.

At this point [Saturday evening], there are 7 known fires in Mendocino County. Trinity County is also experiencing fires from the same system. Because lightning doesn’t usually strike near roads, emergency access to these fires is limited but Calfire and local fire departments are gaining access. These experts are excelling, and I have a great deal of faith in their abilities.

Some places in our county received almost 1/2” of rain, which has greatly helped in slowing the spread.

If you know of a fire which may not be reported, please call Calfire (707-459-7404). This is the time of year to be vigilant, prepared and not overreactive.

We’ve all been through this before, I know we can do it again.

Education and Preparation are the keys to success.

Please, use common sense. Even though it rained, no burn piles or fireworks. We are smarter than that.


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by Marilyn Davin

Last week former Mendocino County Health Officer Dr. Gary Pace accepted Lake County’s offer to fill its equivalent public health position on an interim basis, beginning September first. Lake County’s current health officer, Dr. Erin Gustafson, is leaving at the end of this month for a position in southern California.

Pace, who resigned in protest the day after Mendocino County Public Health Director Barbara Howe was fired, worked in Mendo through the end of June.

Pace told me in a phone interview that he’s worked in various capacities in the Mendocino/Lake county region, and that the two counties share many of the same problems, among them mitigation before the next major fires instead of focusing on the usual adaptation measures after the fact. “Mitigation is prevention,” he explained. “The federal government spends the money but after a disaster. Do you put money into your car before the car wreck?”

Fires in the past few years have grown in both frequency and intensity, he noted, and responses after the fact have laid bare the fact that underserved communities, in both counties, suffer disproportionately for emergency housing and physical and mental health services. “It’s an equity issue,” Pace said. “We have to plan for something better.”

Ukiah nurse practitioner and civic activist Medie A. Jesena Parrott, who has written to this paper about her health concerns for the county absent a health officer, continues to speak out. “The county is stretched, the non-profits are stretched, and people are falling through the cracks: children, the homeless, the mentally ill,” she said. “Nobody is filling in for the health officer, which hampers our emergency response system.” She added that it’s the health officer who requests emergency funds and fulfills other legally mandated roles that affect public health, things like outreach for vaccinations and reporting county health statistics to the state. She said she also worries that upheaval in the Health and Human Services Agency, including Barbara Howe’s abrupt firing after just 20 months on the job, could act as a deterrent to attracting other medical doctors to the state-mandated job.

Pace told me that the Lake County Board of Supervisors is actively working on how best to fulfill its state-mandated public health duties and responsibilities into the future. In Mendocino County there is no such board oversight. Mendocino County Board of Supervisors Chair Carre Brown said to me that the supervisors are directly over such human resources deliberations and decisions in only half a dozen, mostly smaller county agencies ─ among them the Air Quality Management District, the CEO, and the Cultural Services Agency director ─ and that HHSA handles such issues internally with no oversight or approvals by the board.

The California Conference of Local Health Officers was established by state statute in 1947 to, according to its stated online purpose, “…consider technical and policy issues in communicable disease and control and prevention, chronic disease and injury prevention; environmental health; health equity; and maternal, child and adolescent health.” It’s an organization that meets semi-annually with the “61 legally appointed physician Health Officers in California, one from each of the 58 counties and the three cities of Berkeley, Long Beach, and Pasadena. It provides a state-local forum for the discussion of significant health issues in order to develop recommendations for appropriate health policy, including legislative and regulatory review.” In other words, county health officers provide much of the information that goes into an overall picture of the state of public health in California, information that in turn drives public policy and regulations.

I sent an email to HHSA requesting a brief interview with a member of its leadership team to provide an update on how the county’s public health officer duties are being handled, and what is being done to fill the health officer position, now vacant since June. That failing, I asked that someone from leadership email me a summary of the agency’s efforts to fill the state-mandated position. I promptly received a chirpy and cheery reply from the HHSA communication coordinator that read “Hi Ms. Davin, Thank you so much for reaching out. Mendocino HHSA is declining your request for an interview. Thank you,” A four-panel graphic following her electronic signature entitled “A Safe summer is a Fun summer!” advised me to keep water on hand at all times, watch kids at the pool, and remind myself to check the backseat for children.

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GET YOUR YCBA KLEEN KANTEEN Water bottle at the Yorkville Ice Cream Social, Sept. 2, 2019 $18. This is our small effort to reduce single use plastic waste. This highly functional water bottle is even Sierra tested.

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Last Tuesday, after listening to various back-up generator options the County is considering for when PG&E shuts everyone off, Supervisor Ted Williams, after agreeing with sending a letter to PG&E asking them to appear before the Supes as soon as possible to answer several Mendo-related questions.

However Williams had a few other items he wanted addressed:

"I think we should come up with a total for what this will cost us for PG&E's voluntary shutoffs. We should include in that letter a request for financial assistance for the actual cost.”

Supervisor McCowen: This is of course a problem created by PG&E and it has many ramifications and we are looking at another one [backup generators and electrical system modifications). Given that PG&E is in bankruptcy and that it would be a planned outage rather than an emergency, I don't think we will get a very positive response to any letter we send them requesting that they pay for the cost that not only the county and every individual and business is in line to have additional cost based on this misnamed public safety power shut off. It really has nothing to do with public safety -- it endangers public safety. I am reluctant to start throwing a lot of money at this. We do have emergency generators for some of our most critical operations. The $46,000 that is being discussed for five generators is a rental for three months only. I don't know if that includes the cost of the cables and so forth that would be necessary. I understand it is included in the $46,000. But then we would have to have presumably county staff or other qualified people connect them and reconnect them each business day so we could shut the doors. We would have cables running through the hallways. Most offices would only be accessible by people stepping over these cables. I'm not sure if going through all of this is worth it when we don't yet know how many of these events we are going to have or what the duration will be. There have been very few declared in the state so far.”

Board Chair Carre Brown: "I do support Supervisor Williams wanting to include an estimated cost for this county. For any PSPS that will occur. I think it is important to include it. And yes PG&E is in bankruptcy court but I think it's important to identify the cost to counties and other businesses throughout the state and within their territory what it's going to cost. So we have two supervisors who are going to be bringing forward an agenda item. We have to think out of the box with what's going on. PG&E cannot tell us where the blackouts are going to be because we have no information on their grid. It could be at a place three hours away that you have no electricity from so to speak. That's very poor planning on their part. But it's something we need to work on. I'm also concerned about water supplies and restrooms as we go into this and I hope to hear information back at some point in time.”

Supervisor John Haschak: “I agree with Chair Brown and Supervisor Williams in including this in a letter to PG&E even though they are in bankruptcy of their own making. It's just very unfortunate that we have to spend over $100,000 to be to deal with this mess. But at the same time when you think about all the people who don't have $100,000 or $1,000 to buy generators and keep their business going or keep their home safe, that's the real outrage here. Just looking at the $100,000-plus that we are going to have to spend for this, if we don't have it, like you are saying, with the extreme use of technology at this point, if we don't have this then we would see lots of people who are just not able to do their jobs. So just as a functioning entity of the county we need to proceed with this — unfortunately.”

Brown: “I want to look at other county facilities and vulnerable populations. And at our veterans facilities and locations. This is something we need to think out of the box about and be very serious and have estimates and information.

County staffer Steve Dunnicliff said that the generators would not be hooked up with wires running through the halls and that county staff would not be walking around the wires but would have to deal with the switching.

The board decided to bring an item back on an upcoming agenda to deal with the additional questions for PG&E.

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NORTHERN FLICKER (Colaptes auratus), the yellow shafted subspecies in New York state by Lee Hunter.

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AUGUST 8, 1969 — “Memories of Mendocino Coast,” a book written by David Warren Ryder and illustrated by Dan Adair, and printed in a limited edition in 1948, is now available through the Mendocino County Historical Society. Since its first printing, the company received over 1500 requests for copies. (Ukiah Daily Journal history summary)

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“It’s always, ‘Sit,’ ‘Stay,’ ‘Heel’ — never ‘Think,’ ‘Innovate,’ ‘Be yourself’.”

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by Sarah Nathe

When the dancers start busting their moves at the upcoming Woodstock 50th Anniversary Dance Party at Crown Hall in Mendocino on Aug. 17, they will not only be celebrating the golden jubilee of that iconic rock festival, but also taking their places in a long line of hoofers who have dipped and twirled in many Mendocino halls and ballrooms for over 150 years. From the waltzes of the Victorian era and the foxtrots of the Twenties, to the boogies of the 1970s and the tangos and Zumbas of today, this has been a town that loves to dance.

The first ballroom was established in 1857 in the City Hotel by J.E. Carlson, a Swede who had worked at the mill for a few years and decided he wanted different work. On land he purchased from William Kelley at the west end of Main Street, he built a three-story hotel that had “an elegant dining room, superior fare, a custom-made billiard table,” and a ballroom on the third floor. People worked hard for six days, but on the eve of the seventh, they danced.

After the devastating fire of 1870 wiped out more than 20 buildings on Main Street, J.D. Murray rebuilt his drugstore near where Sol de Mendocino is now. The social hall on the second-floor hosted parties and dances, and also served as the Odd Fellows meeting place until they built their own hall in 1879 on the southwest corner of Kasten and Ukiah streets, where it still stands. There, too, evening and afternoon dances were popular well into the 20th century.

A couple of years before that, in 1877, William Kelley got into the hall business himself when he built a skating rink on the corner of Lansing and Kasten (currently Rainsong Clothing). Such a large space was also perfect for dances, as well as basketball games and boxing matches. His daughter, Daisy MacCallum, completely remodeled it as Kellieowen Hall in the 1950s and the dancing stopped there in favor of more sedate meeting rooms and a public library.

Two of Mendocino’s more splendid dance venues were unceremoniously demolished in the 1940s and early 1950s, after the mill closed and the town fell into its slumber. The second Odd Fellows Hall, built in 1894 kitty-corner from the first one on Ukiah Street, was universally praised for its superior second-story dance floor. The timber flexed with a large group moving across it, providing the kind of bounce dancers loved. Just to the north, where the Baptist Church is now located on the corner of Little Lake and Kasten, the Apple Hall was constructed in 1912 to hold the annual Apple Fair, but frequently served as display hall, convention space, dance emporium and basketball court.

When the large local Portuguese community wanted a place for its social activities and religious festivities, it raised the funds to put up Crown Hall in 1902 on the west end of Ukiah Street. In the Kelley House archives, we found a 1905 notice for a social dance at the hall that invited men to attend for 50¢ and women to enter at no cost. With its large open floorplan, stage, bar and kitchen, Crown Hall has accommodated many celebrations in its day and is the only space in Mendocino — from any era—still in the dance business.

Two of the legendary venues of the 70s and 80s — Toad Hall and the Caspar Inn — are, alas, no longer in the boogie business, but they live on in our memories and on Super 8 film (now digitized at the Kelley House). Originally a roadhouse on the Comptche-Ukiah Road called the Pine Ridge Lodge, it became Toad Hall in the early ’70s as a venue for big-name musicians and groups and for colossal boogies in its meadow. At a time when hippie music could be heard only in small cafes, and dances had to be held in friendly pastures, Lee Larsen White joined Donna and Patsy Brown in making the place what White recalls was a “nightclub of sorts,” where “a regular night was loud, raucous, smoky, and dusty, with lots of folks drinking a bit too much.”

Nights were similar at the Caspar Inn, another roadhouse from 1906, which Peter Lit and a partner resuscitated in the late 70s and turned into a place to enjoy great music “up close and loud” while “dancing your booties off.” For 30 years, it was a rocking music scene, but on a sad day in February of 2013 it closed.

However, it’s best not to dwell on past glories and mourn lost wonderlands; it’s better to get up, go out and bop til you drop at the Woodstock 50th Anniversary Dance Party at the venerable Crown Hall on Saturday, Aug. 17. Tickets are on sale at Harvest Market in Fort Bragg, and at Out of This World and the Kelley House in Mendocino. All proceeds benefit the Kelley House Museum and its programs. Call 707-937-5791 or email us at Be sure to wear your bell bottoms!

(Courtesy, the Kelley House Museum.

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We are satisfied with the Ukiah City council’s slow roll on permitting marijuana events in the city where cannabis might be bought, sold and consumed.

The council is still willing to look at such events but is hesitant for now to allow them in public parks and facilities. The council indicated it was most willing to look at having these events at existing cannabis businesses. That makes sense to us as well.

Take Emerald Sun, a cannabis business now operating out of the old Mendocino Brewing Company brewery, a huge building on lots of acreage. In fact, the brewery itself when it was still in operation, held blues concerts on its grounds with no problems. We could easily see Emerald Sun hosting a cannabis event in its large facility, where people could be checked in and where the general public would not be simply passing by.

We’re not sure we understand the legal advice the city got from its assistant city attorney about using city facilities, and would not want cannabis events in city parks, but we would be open to considering allowing cannabis events in the large event room at the Ukiah Valley Conference Center, as long as there are not any other events going on in the building at the same time.

We’re not surprised that Councilman Steve Scalmanini, citing the Emerald Cup held at the Sonoma County Fairgrounds, is automatically going into ‘let anyone do anything’ mode, but we think that if our fairgrounds chooses to stick to family friendly events, that’s fine. Having large cannabis events involve lots of security and other planning that Sonoma County has far more resources to handle than Ukiah does.

Our county will also be faced with decisions about large cannabis events, and some more remote rural private ranches where music festivals are routinely held may also offer plenty of opportunity for these kinds of events to flourish.

(K.C. Meadows, Editor, Ukiah Daily Journal. Courtesy, the Ukiah Daily Journal.)

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“Who are you kidding? You’re all about small government — until you get stuck in a tree.”

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FLYNN WASHBURNE posted the following note on his Facebook page late last month: “A little O'Henrian twist at the ol' 6 today. [Washburne works at the Motel 6 in Ukiah]. Three of the cleaning crew called in sick so they could go see El Yaki, not knowing they would be staying here. The maid shortage resulted in their rooms not being ready so now there's a bunch of tired, angry banda musicians milling around the lobby. D'oh!”

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A micro earthquake occurred at 7:02:19 AM (PDT) on Saturday, August 10, 2019. The magnitude 2.5 event occurred 17 km (10 miles) SE of Boonville, CA. The hypocentral depth is 2 km ( 1 mile).

(Via Marshall Newman)

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Dear Editor,

I am writing to voice the shared concern about the PG&E usage of herbicides for vegetation management under the powerlines that span across the entire Greenwood Ridge of the Elk area. The herbicide they are using is commonly known as Roundup and glyphosate is the main ingredient.

Glyphosate was patented by the Monsanto Company (now owned by Bayer AG) as an herbicidal agent in 1974. Glyphosate-based herbicides are now the most commonly used herbicides in the world.

Glyphosate tolerant genetically modified (GM) crops were commercialized in the mid 1990's and were assumed to be safe for health and the environment. This assumption perpetuated by Monsanto continues to be promoted today despite scientific evidence that glyphosate harms human health and the environment.

In a research study compilation entitled The Unintended Consequences of Using Glyphosate there is a demonstrated correlation between glyphosate and serious health and environmental hazards including the disruption of hormonal systems and beneficial gut bacteria, damage to DNA, developmental and reproductive toxicity, birth defects, cancer and neurotoxicity. Glyphosate can harm all facets of an ecosystem including soil biology and composition, water, aquatic organisms, amphibians, reptiles, invertebrates, non-target plants, animals and humans.

Glyphosate and its metabolites can be highly active and mobile and persist for many years in the environment, depending on the conditions. Using toxic glyphosate could not only harm beneficial vegetation and wildlife but could also jeopardize public health and safety. Glyphosate use could foster herbicide resistant super weeds and as glyphosate is a patented desiccant (drying agent) and could greatly increase the risk of fire.

The company line is that glyphosate or Roundup is safe but there are now countries all over the world not buying that company line that are banning the use of Roundup, due to concerns about links to cancer and chronic kidney disease. There are communities and neighborhoods now throughout California who are saying “No” to the use of herbicides like glyphosate in areas alongside their homes and in their watersheds. In regard to PG&E’s herbicide application, there are communities that are “opting out” and instead choosing the option of mechanical removal for vegetation management. Many landowners on Greenwood Ridge have chosen this option and the results are stark in contrast to those who chose herbicides.

The landowners who choose not to apply herbicides get licensed arborists to selectively cut the targeted species, the crew then chips and cleans up the entire area leaving it free from potential fire danger. The landowners who choose herbicides get a contracted crew hired by PG&E to manually apply (often spraying) the herbicide which leaves behind a mess (and eyesore) of dead and dying fuel for potential fire danger. PG&E advocates that this type of herbicide application is the best method for vegetation removal and fire prevention. For those of us who live here and are witnessing and living with the outcome of the two different methodologies, there are many who beg to differ.

We, on Greenwood Ridge who oppose the use of herbicides, hope other landowners will come on board and opt out of future herbicide usage. This does not just affect those who live near the PG&E powerlines, this affects all of us and our entire ecosystem. All landowners have a choice and from what we have seen, the negative impacts of herbicide usage on our environment, fire prevention, worker health (who are applying the toxins) and health and safety of all in our community, far outweigh the economic incentive that motivates PG&E.

Kira Brennan


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An extremely rare white whale off the coast of Australia.

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THE SEEMINGLY ineradicable star thistle continues its inexorable westward march from Ukiah to Boonville. Seems to me that there's more than ever on the Ukiah Road. Knowledgeable people say burning will kill it dead, but burning along 253 is unlikely because property owners would have to do it and CalTrans is not known to have focused on the king of pest plants. I've pulled it up by the roots with some success where it appeared in small patches, but just the other day I noticed another growth in another area of the ava's crowded acre.

THOUGHT presidential hopeful Andrew Yang did pretty well in the first round of debates among Democratic candidates, but then he revealed himself over this weekend as, uh, not quite fully wrapped when he suddenly was awash in tears at, he said, the thought of his young son being gunned down in a mass shooting. On the subject of child murder, Yang and his fellow hopefuls have yet to broach the subject of our role in the starvation and bombing of Yemeni children, not to mention the much longer-running oppression of Palestinians by the neo-fascist Israeli government. That subject is also unlikely to be mentioned by our prospective leaders, unless it's to pump for even more billions to the Netanyahu Gang.

MILLIONS of annual words pass into the ethers having to do with food and exercise as Americans grow fatter and fatter via the fatal combination of gluttony and sloth. I was hugely amused the other day when this diet advice from Coast blue collar guy, Al Nunez, popped up on the MCN chatline: "Stop eating meat or fish or birds, skip a few dinners, work till you sweat or not, and if not then also skip lunch and always have a good breakfast and drink plenty of water. Just seeing how long I can go without fresh kill, three-months now and the water tastes good." Al does lots of hard physical work, so he probably doesn't need a motorized cart to shop at Safeway.

A FRIEND, also of ancient vintage, were reminiscing about our early years. "I don't remember any fat kids, do you?" he asked. I didn't. And neither of us could remember fat people of any age until around 1980. Mass media scenes from the 1970s rarely include the portly, and never the super-abundant poor creatures so plentiful today, so terribly obese that any movement at all for them is a painfully major effort. But it was in the mid-70's that bad food became the primary fuel for millions of us and movement became trips back and forth to the refrigerator during television commercials. Today, despite all the advice about what to eat and how to exercise, the obese are everywhere.

I'M IN A SEDENTARY line of work which, if I didn't exercise, would also make me a balloon man which, at a couple of intervals in my odd life, did indeed threaten to convert my relatively svelte form to energy-depleting bulk.

AND THE POINT, you garrulous old coot? Nothing in particular, but some of you might find my daily regimen helpful if not positively inspirational!

LIKE MOST GEEZERS, my hours correspond to those of the chicken coop, 9pm to 5am. Or a little earlier. Two cups of coffee and out the door for forty-five minutes of brisk walking with a cheapo Walkman-like radio for company. Listening to the highly annoying spin on the latest catastrophes from National Government Radio, via our local public radio station, quickens my pace over an average of three miles a day. A couple days a week I walk up steep hills. I used to jog every day until the habit ruined my knees. These days, my only investment in new apparel is in shoes, Hoka brand, the best I’ve ever owned.

BACK AT HEADQUARTERS, I do a hundred push-ups in two sets of 50 each. At night, I do a hundred more fifty at a time. I've done push-ups for years, ever since I was a kid in the Marines. During the day, mostly spent seated before the magic screen, to wake myself up I do a few minutes of the Chinese Thinker, also a Marine Corp legacy, which consists of the prone position balanced on toes and elbows. I've never had back probs, which I attribute to the push-ups and The Thinker. That's it. Total workout time one hour, if that. Anybody can walk, and anybody can do push-ups, even starting from zero upper-body strength. The more you do, the more you can do.

FROM what I can gather, most people straining to keep their proportions as God intended them, go wrong by dieting, or trying to diet, without exercise. Or they do both but with an obsessive focus on calorie counting and all the rest of the Lean Cuisine strategies out there. My experience, however, recommends that you eat whatever you want but faithfully do the hour of exercise and you'll stay reasonably slim and reasonably fit.

WHY just last week I downed an apple fritter from Sunny's Donuts, my fave Ukiah pit stop, and a cream puff the size of a catcher's mitt from Schatt's Bakery. At Sunny's, they throw in a half-dozen donut holes with the deep fried fritter, for a total dining experience consisting entirely of negative food value items. I don't eat bread, don't drink much anymore, seldom eat candy, sleep the sleep of the true and the just, and I yam what I yam, your basic exercise compulsive who the gods of hubris will soon destroy for bragging about it.

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COMMENT: DUMB SMART, TAKE TWO: There will be major slashing of operating expenses, jobs and service hours. Well, let’s cut SMART General Manager Farhad Mansourian’s wages, dump the police chief’s position (how many officers are working for SMART anyway, and why is a chief needed?), get rid of the bike trail and any position not deemed critical to the operation of the train. When 70% is funded by the current sales tax, it is obvious the riders aren’t paying their fair (fare) share. And maybe the people sitting on the SMART board can take a cut somewhere.

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Frey, Furia, Galindo

AARON FREY, Willits. DUI, assault weapon, large capacity magazine, reckless driving, attempted escape, suspended license.

ANGEL FURIA, Covelo. Domestic abuse, assault with deadly weapon not a gun, resisting.

THOMAS GALINDO JR., Disorderly conduct-alcohol, failure to appear. (Frequent flyer.)

Gonzales, Hall, Heath

EDUARDO GONZALES, Seaside/Piercy. Taking vehicle without owner’s consent, vehicle theft, DUI-alcohol&drugs.


DANIEL HEATH, Ukiah. ID theft, publishing an access card with intent to defraud, controlled substance, probation revocation.

Lockhart, Lopez-Vasquez, Rodriguez


JUAN LOPEZ-VASQUEZ, Ukiah. Resisting.

JESSE RODRIGUEZ, Redwood Valley. Domestic battery.

Rosas, Solano-Diaz, Yanez

RUBEN ROSAS, Cloverdale. DUI.

RAUL SOLANO-DIAZ, Talmage. Disobeying court order, failure to appear.

SALVADOR YANEZ, Ukiah. Paraphenalia, contempt of court.

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The USA has two founding peoples. This ain’t news and neither is the Civil War that followed and neither is the 150 year Cold War between those two dominant American ethnicities that you see playing out even today.

Just to the north you see preening delusionists calling themselves “multicultural” when all indications are that they can’t even manage a bi-lingual, bi-cultural country. The Brits can barely handle that multi-century Protestant-Catholic squabble in Ireland, nor the Scots-English divide. Belgian Flems cordially detest their Walloon countrymen, Yugoslavs went to the mattresses and so did Sri Lankans and the Burmese are still busy cleaning out their Muslim minority.

You can go on and on. The list of civil wars between contending and incompatible societies goes to the moon and back.

The question is why oh why, given the plethora of examples, and even the history on one’s own soil, do some Americans of a “progressive” bent go advocating for what most manifestly does not work? The people that tell us they’re about facts and evidence seem to be most averse to those very things.

As to history, it sticks America with those very facts to which so many are opposed. Slavery happened and there’s no getting around a large racial minority descended from those slaves. Amerindians got screwed out of a continent. The wars of 1848 happened too and there’s no getting around the descendants of those people that were conquered. These are simple facts. You’re going to have to share space with people you may not want to share with. This goes not only for Whites but also for Blacks and Indians and Hispanics. In my view, there’s no percentage in exacerbating divisions because the alternatives are hideous as history shows us, just as there’s no percentage in ignoring injustices that came in the aftermath. These things have to be lived with fairly and reasonably. I suppose what I’m saying is don’t bloody go looking for trouble, because if you look for it, you will find it.

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Judge rejects bid by Making a Murderer's Steven Avery for new trial in the 2005 killing and sexual assault of photographer Teresa Halbach

Judge Angela Sutkiewicz denied Steven Avery's new trial request on Thursday. In 2005, he was convicted of killing photographer Teresa Halbach after her remains were found in Avery's salvage yard.

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“Mass Shooting” A strange way to describe mass murder. Unless attention is to be on the tool instead of its operator. Better to focus on the symptoms rather than the core causes of the disease.

Where do lone nuts come from. In the highly over rated information age, how can one be lonely! At least Charles Manson put some thought into a class of target. Somehow the amount of bullets fired per second clouds the issue of human intention. Who pulls the trigger and why?

All weapons are assault weapons when used to assault. From pens to knives, from bare hands to Zyclon-B, it’s human action that weaponizes a situation.

At least Ron Reagan's Central American death squads had a logical reason for their mass killing, though the logic was highly flawed. Compared to the brutal type of regimes supported by the US these shooting events here are small change and self inflicted. You could say that our self destruct society is the logical result of US foreign policy and domestic obsessions with violence as a form of entertainment.

Anyone surprised by the meltdown of civil society in America doesn’t know modern history. Our sick society is a direct result of 130 years of Imperialism of which 70 years have been extremely brutal in pursuit of global domination.

The republic pays for the empire. What goes out comes back. It’s called “blowback”, a term coined by the CIA for unpleasant outcomes from close relations with all manner of reprobate, barbarian, mobster, dictator, drug lord and mass murdering tyrant. All to feed a hysterical hatred of Communism and Socialism.

America straddles the world with military bases and rude military culture but can’t educate its people. Can’t keep them well in body and mind. Can’t keep its cities clean or bridges repaired or its artist supported. When all the eggs are in the military basket there’s not anything left to feed the family.

Call it karma, retribution, judgement, or whatever. Belief has nothing to do with the path of self destruction America is well along. It’s mathematics, even physics and cosmic cycles of cause and effect. America has killed too many. Has created and blown up all too much poison dust. America has left a waste land in it’s wake and the screaming curses of the multitudes in its ears.

So it’s really no wonder that our society is so spectacularly ill and loud and vulgar and rude and arrogant and belligerent. Perhaps it’s trying to drown out the cries of the millions who went hungry or uprooted or missing or blown to bits, all so we could consume gluttonous amounts of the earths resources in our delusions of gashog Hollywood dystopian manifest destiny.

Time will produce justice where human hubris and vanity are concerned. And when that’s too slow there are endless victims of Pax Americana who rise up from time to time to bring down towers of this Babylon.

Remember that the Cold War never ended and that there is certainly a direct connection to its massive generation of pollution and the runaway increasing of global temperatures. We didn’t win it either, no one did, we all lost and America lost it’s soul in the fallout.

Ross Dendy


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This is a letter I have sent to the DOJ, my congressman, and my senators.

Anyone that wishes to use parts or the entire letter is welcome to do so:

“Dear Sir or Madam:

I am a 74 year old citizen of the United States.

I am no longer proud of being a citizen of this country.

The United States’ persecution of Julian Assange is scandalous.

It is immoral.

And it is a violation of and a threat to the First Amendment.

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

What part of this does my government not understand?

Stop persecuting Julian Assange and concentrate instead on prosecuting the war criminals that are running and ruining this country.


Louis S. Bedrock

Roselle, New Jersey

PS. This is a letter I’ve sent to Julian at HMP Belmarsh:

Dear Julian:

I won’t waste time praying for you because it’s obvious that the gods don’t exist.

However, attached is a copy of a letter I’ve sent to my senators, congressman, and the Department of Justice.

Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz wrote (about the cells in her convent).

—The soul is locked in no prison /

Nor confined by iron gates, /

*The only bonds that restrain it ,/ *

*those it itself creates. *

I would say “mind” instead of “soul”.

But Juana was a very smart sister.

There are many of us.

We are doing what we can.

Stay strong, good brother.

Thank you for all you have done.

Louis S. Bedrock


  1. Louis Bedrock August 12, 2019

    To protest persecution of Julian Assange, you may send letters to the following:

    U.S. Department of Justice 950 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW Washington, DC 20530-0001

    Office of Congressman (Name) House of Representatives, Washington D.C, 20515

    Office of Senator (Name) United States Senate, Washington, D.C. 20510

    It probably won’t change anything but is better than doing nothing.
    After seeing the blatant “arkanside”* of Epstein, I fear we will never see or hear from Julian again.


  2. Louis Bedrock August 12, 2019

    The soul is locked in no prison
    Nor confined by iron gates,
    The only bonds that restrain it ,
    Are those it itself creates.


    Para el alma no hay encierro,
    Ni prisión que la impida,
    Por que solo la aprisiona
    La que forma ella misma.

    My translation.


  3. Louis Bedrock August 12, 2019

    Allusions to Kafka, Orwell, and The Third Reich are still cliches.
    However, they are no longer hyperbolic.
    This country has gone batshit crazy.

  4. Harvey Reading August 12, 2019

    Steiner Dog Cartoon

    Diamond asked me to thank you for publishing the cartoon. He agrees wholeheartedly but has difficulty manipulating a keyboard. He also liked the cartoon with the dog and cat.

  5. Harvey Reading August 12, 2019

    “A FRIEND, also of ancient vintage, were reminiscing about our early years. “I don’t remember any fat kids, do you?””

    I grew up in the 50s and 60s and there were plenty of fat kids in Calaveras County. They just didn’t attract very much attention, especially not attention from the nooze media.

    • Harvey Reading August 12, 2019

      I also presently see groups of kids waiting for school busses or walking to school, sometimes outside at recess. The mix of fat and slim looks about the same as when I was a kid. From that perhaps small sample, I am led to conclude that not all statistics should be believed without question.

    • Harvey Reading August 12, 2019

      Dear Susie, our systems are not out-of-whack because of overeating. At best, if one was to analyze the situation it more likely would be found that overeating is a result, not a cause. If everyone became skinny overnight, not much else would change, except that sales of belts and smaller-sized clothes might increase slightly, for a short period of time, along with some car-seat and rear-view mirror adjustments.

      • Harvey Reading August 12, 2019

        You might consider reading The Bell Curve, by Murray and Herrnstein, for an example of how statistics can be manipulated for political purposes.

      • Harvey Reading August 12, 2019

        During the past, during that “golden age” you dream of, people were less healthy and lived shorter lives than they do now. That “awful” supermarket food aint all bad (and “home grown” aint all that great).

        You wouldn’t have heard terms like “70 is the new 60” and such in those days. When I was young, people 70 years of age were considered very, very old. Similar to Mr. Bedrock, I have been mistaken for someone in his late 40s at 69. I’ll take the present and retain a forelorn hope for a better future any day over going back to those Dark Ages, where small-business peddlers reigned. It’s all moot, though, since global warming will soon do us in. And no god is gonna come flying down to save the believers, either. As a species that is capable of little more than fouling its own nest and overbreeding, our demise will be a boon to the universe.

        • Harvey Reading August 12, 2019

          Ya know, I went to Walmart on Friday (first time in 2 months) since I needed some food items that they don’t ship to my doorstep. On a whim, I bought a big box of Ritz Crackers, something I haven’t eaten since I was still in grade school, so long I’d even forgotten what they taste like.

          And, guess what? They’re great! They’re full of plenty of preservatives and flavoring, too, not to mention high-fructose corn syrup, so I’ll be able to preserve my youthful appearance. Who knows, maybe they will bolster my sex drive, too, and make me look even younger.

          You have a fine day, too, kiddo.

        • Harvey Reading August 12, 2019

          “Systems in place, right now, are NOT working for US.”

          You mean you’re just now awakening to that fact? What does that have to do with “discovering” your fountain of youth? Nothing I can see. And only a revolution will effect any real change. Yuppies aint up to that kind of work.

          By the way, the T’s is very cute.

          • Harvey Reading August 12, 2019

            Somebody’s gotta do it, you poor, unhappy, exhausted kiddo, else the reactionary conservatives will have to take over. From what I’ve seen them write here, they aint up to the task.

            • Harvey Reading August 12, 2019

              “What are WE the people to do?”

              Your question confirms all my conclusions about the human species.

  6. Harvey Reading August 12, 2019


    The important thing is, he’s gone now. Good riddance.

  7. Harvey Reading August 12, 2019


    Just more reactionary conservative gasbagging, to justify racism and xenophobia and domination of the “lower orders” of of society by the wealthy sector, whose wealth was built on the backs of low-paid commoners. Death to the rulers!

  8. Louis Bedrock August 12, 2019

    I couldn’t agree more strongly with you and Mr. Anderson.
    And with the ancient Greeks, who stressed the relationship between a strong body and a strong mind.
    My favorite forms: push-ups (like Mr. A–but about half what he does), chin-ups, dips, pull-ups; 2 mile walks; 3 hour bike rides; yoga.
    I disagree with Mr. A on diet. I’ve been a vegetarian for several years and this has made me feel better ethically and physically.
    I’m 74, am often mistaken for someone in his 50s, and I agree with Mr. A–I’m just begging the gods to zap me by saying all this.

  9. Jim Armstrong August 12, 2019

    During the 2017 Potter Valley/Redwood Valley fire, Potter Valley got the “public safety power cutoff” treatment.
    That time it was a joint effort of Tom Allman, CalFire and PG&E, each of which blamed the others.
    There were freezer and refrigerator losses, but we pretty much dodged the worst bullet.
    Everyone and every home in Potter Valley depends on electricity for water, pumping it from wells or water courses.
    Without it, fire prevention and suppression are impossible.
    They cut us off then and intend to do it even sooner next time, an outrageous plan.
    Expensive generators can save refrigeration, medical and communications problems, but it takes a much more expensive set up for 220 and 440 volt pumps.
    That is if they don’t mandatorily evacuate everyone.
    In the guise of planning, public officials are dithering.

    • Harvey Reading August 12, 2019

      When y’all have the next big fire, could you get PG&E to do something about the smoke? It’s really annoying to have it blow clear to Wyoming only to ruin our views, though I’ll grant it does provide some spectacular sunsets. Maybe they could set up a few giant fans pointed to the west? Or maybe a giant shop vacuum?

    • Lazarus August 12, 2019

      If you think the government is going to save you in a crisis, think again. All the principals have said as much, PG&E, BOS, CEO, CalFire, and the Sheriff department.
      As they say, we, the public should make arrangements in the event of outages.
      Happy end of summer…
      As always,

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