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MCT: Thursday, February 27, 2020

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WARM AND SUNNY conditions can be expected throughout the interior today and Friday, with cool temperatures and marine clouds near the coast. Cooler temperatures can be expected Saturday and Sunday, with a few light showers mainly in Del Norte county. Mild and mostly dry conditions are expected for at least the first half of next week. (NWS)

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January 20, 1923 to February 23, 2020

Alice Van Zandt passed away peacefully in Sacramento, California on Sunday February 23, 2020 at the age of 97 surrounded by her family.

She is survived by her husband of nearly 75 years Benjamin Van Zandt, her son Marty and his partner Veva Stone, daughter Carol, son-in-law Jerry Johns, daughter Bonnie, son-in-law Dave Mercer, 7 grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren. Alice was born on January 20, 1923 to Gustav and Pearl Frevert in Arcata, California, attended school in Smith River, graduated from Del Norte High School and then went to Santa Rosa Junior College where she received her AA degree. There she met her future husband Benjamin. They were married in Ithaca, New York on April 6, 1945 shortly before Benjamin went to war. On his return they settled in Eureka, California where they began to expand their family in the late 1940s and early 1950s. Alice helped to establish a new State Employee Credit Union in Eureka where she worked for many years as well as keeping the books for the Van Zandt family resort located in Philo, California.

She also worked to keep the books for a local nursery in Eureka.

Alice and Benjamin moved from Eureka to Sacramento, California in December 2015 to be closer to family. Alice was an avid bridge player and played almost every Friday over the past few years until about a month ago. Alice was an active and central part of this close-knit family. She was loved by all and will be missed.

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THE PHILO CAFE has gone through many incarnations, and is about to enter another, this time as "The Company Kitchen" featuring Gringo-Mex food. We spotted the justly famous chef, Libby Favela, at the site last week, so it seems to be a safe bet she will be in charge of the Mexican menu. American food could be anything from hamburgers to meat loaf, but whatever's served it's good to see the revival.

LAST YEAR THE COUNTY paid $85,000 for a consultant to assess the county's parks, and the 85k was only for "Phase One." (See note below.) The consultant found the obvious — that without either on-site managers or somebody looking in on them every day, the parks revert to flora, some of whose fauna now include the homeless. Indian Creek Park, back in the day, even featured a large pond created when Dr. Marsh, the owner of the adjacent redwood grove, installed a dam near the mouth of the stream. The pond was a wonderful local amenity from the early 1950's through the early 1970s, popular with families. By '67, the year America lost its way, and as I recall, the dam finally had to be removed because contemporary scumbaggery had not only become a liability hazard for Dr. Marsh, but the idyllic setting had been ruined for everyone, especially children, by the drunks, dope heads, miscellaneous lurks of the menacing type, cho-mo's and, as I recall, the rape of a high school girl who was also molested by one of her teachers. A crusty old fascist subsequently managed Indian Creek's campground in exchange for free space for his trailer and a modest stipend. Say what you will about fascists, they're great ones for order, and managing a park requires a willingness to confront drunken yobbos and other miscreants who think they can do their thing simply because they've rented a weekend campsite. Why the county can't simply revert to an on-site manager will probably cost another $85,000 in Phase 2 to discover. Faulkner Park, by the way, a county property consisting of a couple of picnic tables and about forty feet of trail, lies west of Boonville a couple of miles up Mountain View Road. I have never ever seen anyone enjoying a picnic there but I suppose it's been known to happen. I understand Our Nation's Future buys and sells drugs at the park, but I'm never up late enough to see for myself. Anyway, Faulkner Park also once had on-site, uniquely housed caretakers who lived in the park's restroom, startling more than one tourist who popped in to use the facilities only to discover he'd walked into the family’s living room.

Note: Needs Assessment Phase II

“Upon completion of Phase I [$85k], the Board of Supervisors will receive a presentation outlining the results. In addition, the Board will be presented with the timing and cost associated with initiating Phase II of the assessment. Phase II of the parks assessment includes: prioritizing recommendations for park improvements, identifying funding needs/funding strategies and a Parks Capital Improvements Plan.”

WE’RE NOT SURE what to make of Supervisor Carre Brown’s unprovoked outburst at Tuesday’s Board meeting as the Supervisors were discussing a few minor tweaks of the County’s unworkable pot permit program developed and proposed by Supervisor Haschak (the tweaks, that is, not the program) who has become the one-man ad hoc pot cultivation committee since Supervisor McCowen withdrew a couple of months ago, citing some vague intermingling of committees he’s on as some kind of conflict. McCowen's blundering is a big reason the pot rules are the mess they are today.

SUPERVISOR Ted Williams began by saying, again, what he and others have been saying for months now, that the pot program essentially should be completely overhauled and stripped down, not just tweaked here and there.

WILLIAMS: “I'm looking at this through the lens that Humboldt County has generated more than 10 times as much revenue as Mendocino County during this time. I want as much of the cultivation in the legal market as possible. People of this county deserve better roads, ambulance service, and more deputies — everything that comes from tax revenue. The people who do not like seeing cannabis cultivated commercially in this county at a minimum deserve to get the revenue from it. When I look at all the suggestions being brought forward — and I appreciate them, I think they are good bandaids — I think we are missing the bigger picture. That is that we have an ordinance that is just unworkable. We have a patient with an arterial bleed and we are all huddled around a hang nail on the toe. Somehow, we need to step back and maybe just direct the Planning Director to apply the land-use that's already decided by the board with the state standards and come back with a lightweight ordnance so that we can issue permits to all the cultivators. We are talking about an equity program which I fully support to help people to get through because they need attorneys because it's so difficult. There is something wrong with our process that we are not addressing today. As we go through the rest of these items, I am looking at it through the lens of which changes will allow us to convert illicit market into taxpaying, legal market.”

SUPERVISOR CARRE BROWN then turned to Williams and pointed at him like she was admonishing a child: “My response to that is neither one of you [Supervisors Haschak and Williams] testified, did you? During the whole making of this ordinance. Did you come and go through the process? And I will tell you Supervisor Williams, you can insult me all you want, I'm standing strong on no more changes.”

HUH? Nobody had insulted anybody! (At least not in the Board chambers; who knows what goes on behind closed office doors?) It seems as though Supervisor Brown’s flip out was in stubborn defense of the county's indefensible and failed pot permit program. Supervisors Haschak’s and Williams’ participation in the convoluted process that finds Mendo in this position of nearly impossible to get pot cultivation permits wouldn’t have and doesn’t change what it has become. Supervisor McCowen agreed with Supervisor Brown that he didn’t want to see any more changes to the process he screwed up to where it can't be unscrewed. Then they all preliminarily agreed with most of the minor improvements that Supervisor Haschak had proposed — despite the McCowen/Brown insistence on no more changes — although they didn’t vote on them because they ran out of time.

SEVERAL SPEAKERS during the afternoon-long discussion of Haschak’s proposals said they were opposed to any expansion of pot cultivation permits on grounds that the environmental impact would be significant and hard to quantify — roads, buildings, water, rivers and creeks, fuel, greenhouse gases, toxic chemicals, plastic pipe, land clearing, pavement, etc. and cumulative effects thereof.

THESE arguments are valid to some degree, but they would have more traction if these same enviros ever mentioned the completely unregulated winegrape industry which has expanded and continues to expand without any permit requirements or restrictions and obviously with the same if not worse environmental impacts.

MAYBE THAT’S what stuck in Supervisor Brown’s craw: We’ve got ours (Supervisor Brown and her fellow grape growers) and we don’t want to let these stoner-wannabe-growers into the ag tent. So we won’t brook any loosening of the restrictions for pot.

TUESDAY NIGHT'S DEMO DEBATE was, as Trump characterized it, "a mess." He won. Bloomberg was denounced several times as a "racist," as if he'd appeared at his podium in a pointy-hatted Klan outfit. Elizabeth Warren was positively feral as she whacked away at everyone. Mayor Pete was a virtual study in passive-aggression, deliberately talking over Bernie when Bernie had the mike. Biden is clearly ga-ga and it amounts to elder abuse to keep shoving him out there to babble incoherently. The two times he was coherent Biden said 150 million Americans had been shot to death since 2007, and that he was running for the Senate. The whole mob of them deliberately painted Bernie as a com-symp, a false charge he managed to refute by pointing out that America has traditionally done big business with all kinds of unsavory regimes, implying, correctly, that he at least knows a dictatorship when he sees one.

THROUGHOUT, the candidates shouted over each other, frantically waving at the ineffective moderators for attention like a bunch of third graders with the right answer. (The two female moderators, who looked like they were togged out for a night at a down market disco, even argued with each other at one point.) All-in-all, a dramatically un-presidential display that again worked to the advantage of the Orange Monster.

BERNIE was positively heroic when he said, “Sadly, tragically in Israel, through Bibi Netanyahu, you have a reactionary racist, who is now running that country. What you cannot ignore is the suffering of the Palestinian people.” You won't hear that particular truth from any other Democrat. Ever.

TRUMP summed up his impressions of the debate: "Crazy, chaotic Democrat Debate last night. Fake News said Biden did well, even though he said half of our population was shot to death. Would be OVER for most. Mini Mike was weak and unsteady, but helped greatly by his many commercials (which are not supposed to be allowed during a debate). Pocahontas was mean, & undisciplined, mostly aiming at Crazy Bernie and Mini Mike. They don’t know how to handle her, but I know she is a "chocker." Steyer was a disaster who, along with Mini, are setting records in $'s per vote. Just give me an opponent!"

THE FOUR HORSEMEN OF THE APOCALYPSE have saddled up and are galloping straight at us. War? Check. Pestilence? Check. Famine? Check. Death? On the way. There have already been 281 wildfires in California this year, including 87 in the past week, covering 200 acres, according to CalFire. At the same time last year, the agency had handled 91 fires scorching 78 acres. The average for the period is 246 fires burning 1,546 acres. The U.S. Drought Monitor last week classified 60% of California as “abnormally dry,” including nearly all of Northern California, with a small segment in “moderate drought.”

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QUIZ TONIGHT! Tonight, Thursday, Feb 27th, is the 4th Thursday of the month so that means we shall be presenting The General Knowledge and Trivia Quiz at Lauren’s. First pitch is at 7pm. Hope to see you there. Cheers, Steve Sparks, The Quiz Master

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Dear All,

The March 5th Water Projects Committee meeting is cancelled due to lack of a quorum. If we have a special meeting we will notify you at least 24 hours in advance (likely much more) per the requirements of the Brown Act.


Joy M. Andrews
District General Manager (Office days Tues/Wed/Thurs)
Anderson Valley Community Services District
P.O. Box 398
Boonville, CA 95415
office (707) 895-2075 xt. 103

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A DEAD MAN was in day two of his journey into the next world from where he sat, eternally immobile, on a bench near Johnson Park, Fort Bragg, when someone noticed he appeared to be dead. An on-line commenter opined, "Part of Ft. Bragg's homeless eradication program. Guess he didn't qualify for the get out of our town bus ride. If he'd have been a dog there'd be a GoFundMe account and a thousand concerned citizens up in arms over his plight."

On Wednesday, February 26, 2020 at 8:00a.m. Fort Bragg Police Officers were detailed to a person slumped over on the bench at the end of the 800 Block of East Laurel Street. The caller was a concerned person who works in the area.

Fort Bragg Police Officers responded and found an adult male with obvious signs of death. Officers, in their preliminary investigation, do not suspect foul play concerning this death.

The Mendocino County Sheriff’s-Coroner was requested and responded to the scene. The Sheriff’s Office takes control of the investigation since this does appear to be an unattended death. The Sheriff will notify the next of kin.

Fort Bragg Police Department has no further information about this case and is referring all questions to the Sheriff/Coroner.

(Fort Bragg Police Presser)

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CANDIDATE LINDY ON THE WILDLIFE VOTE: Another important issue to voters in this election is the County’s recent $170,000 contract renewal with Wildlife Services for the continued use of lethal eradication of wildlife predators on County ranches. In this case, County tax dollars are subsidizing the ranchers. The vote was 3-2. Supervisor Gjerde voted Yes. I would have voted No. The issue came up again at Tuesday’s BOS meeting which I attended. The Board wants to look in to the possibility of providing a non-lethal alternative, though it is not clear just who will provide these services. But here is the catch. Should the Board move forward on this, the non-lethal option will cost you. So you have a choice. Pay someone to remove the predator or have the County use the lethal option and come do it for free. Is this proper wildlife management? I prefer non-lethal and here is why. Last week I toured Fortunate Farms in Caspar to better understand how a livestock rancher can protect their animals using non-lethal means. Here is a living example, not a study or a report. My official greeter was a frisky Border collie who led me over to Award-winning farmer Gowan Batist.


After a short walk past the barn and up through the trees, the property opens up into a beautiful plotted produce farm that remains hidden from nearby Highway 1. Most of this property is bordered by native wildlife habitat, including an active wildlife corridor with a water source in nearby Jackson State Forest. One gets the feeling you are out in nature, not standing on a working farm. We continued to walk through the fields and soon arrived at a small fenced-in area where I was introduced to a herd of goats. These animals are fenced in an area with an old horse trailer. By day they roam the pen and graze. By night they are fed in that old horse trailer where they are locked in and housed for the evening to protect them from wildlife predators. These goats remain safe. Gowan explained that almost all incidents involving mountain lions and coyotes killing livestock have resulted from not keeping the animals inside overnight. Any type of framed structure works, even this old horse trailer. On we went to where the sheep are kept. Here, the Border Collie is in full work mode. He instinctively surrounds the sheep and keeps them loosely together. They are joined by two other valuable “ranch hands.” A pair of pure white Great Pyrenees stay within a portable, solar-powered electric fence to ward off predators at night. A second smaller enclosure, also fortified with a solar electric fence, is where the Border Collie herds the sheep so the other dogs can easier protect them at nightfall. The small herd is safe. Instead of traps and deadly force, all that is needed here are 3 dogs and some portable solar powered fencing. In case you’re wondering, Gowan does keep a gun. I asked if she’d ever had to use it. She reached into her coat pocket and pulled out a marine air horn. “One blast from this and the critters immediately run off. I have used it and it works!” So you can ranch in harmony with wildlife. It’s not easy but the rewards far outweigh the risk of disturbing our fragile ecosystem. It involves hard work, dedication and commitment. Truly a labor of love. Next time you need some farm fresh produce, support a local business and an important cause as well. The 4th District is fortunate, in fact, to have Fortunate Farms.

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by Justine Frederiksen

The Ukiah Planning Commission tonight will hear the first report on operations at the Homeless Services Day Center on South State Street, an update required to be presented by city staff every six months for at least the first two years as part of the permit granted to Redwood Community Services.

According to the staff report prepared for the Feb. 26 meeting, between Aug. 6, 2019 (when the shelter received its official Certificate of Occupancy from the city) and Feb. 6, 2020, “the Community Development Department recorded no complaints received from the public or shelter occupants.” Due to the lack of complaints, staff did not recommend changes to the center’s operations plan at 1045 S. State St., where both an overnight shelter and a day-time community center is located.

According to the data RCS provided, in December the center had an average of 89 guests per day, with visitations steadily increasing the first four months of operation. In August staff there reported 1,551 visits, in September the number was 2,127, in October 2,543, and in November the number of visits was 2,961.

In December, there was a dip to “2,774 total visits,” with 1,148 showers provided (average of 37 a day) and 1,013 loads of laundry (average of 33 a day) washed. As for the overnight shelter, staff report that “96 individuals were given shelter” in December.

Also in December, staff at the shelter report that there were “41 exits,” with five of those being people who found permanent housing, two who found “short-term stable” places to stay and 34 who “exited to the street/unknown situations.”

Since the shelter opened, staff report that “167 people have been screened,” and an average of “seven people turned away per night.” Sixty-one percent of the guests were male, and nearly 60 percent were over 41 years of age. Fourteen percent of those were over 61.

In November of 2019, staff at the shelter report that 95 individuals were assessed, and “39 percent of those are currently, or were previously, engaged in mental health services.”

This report was to be discussed at the next Planning Commission meeting, which was to begin at 6 p.m. Wednesday in the City Council chambers at 300 Seminary Ave. Also on the agenda is an overview of the presentation planning department staff gave to the Ukiah City Council “regarding Long-term Land Use Planning and Annexation.”

(Courtesy, the Ukiah Daily Journal)

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With all the talk of the deadly "Coronovirus" being a case of "when," not "if," MSP went to the county website to see any update - there was ONE - issued February 4th.

This reassuring county statement flies in the face of what was posted by the Center For Disease Control Tuesday: "Currently, the immediate health risk from the novel coronavirus to the general public in California is very low."


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Executives with the bankrupt Pacific Gas & Electric Company today told Humboldt County Supervisor Rex Bohn that the vast majority of local residents likely won’t have to endure any more of the multi-day public safety power shutoffs (PSPS) we experienced last year.

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CATCH OF THE DAY, February 26, 2020

Allen, Burns, Fallis

LORNA ALLEN, Willits. Tear gas, paraphernalia, suspended license.

DAVID BURNS, Fort Bragg. Petty theft.

NEGIE FALLIS IV, Covelo. County parole violation.

Garcia, Lucas, Maki

ERIC GARCIA, Redwood Valley. Petty theft with priors, probation revocation.

JESSE LUCAS, Laytonville. Controlled substance, paraphernalia, suspended license, county parole violation.

BOBBI MAKI, Willits. Controlled substance, failure to appear, probation revocation.

Martinez-Flores, Miller, D.Whipple, F.Whipple

CLEMENCIO MARTINEZ-FLORES, Redwood Valley. Concentrated cannabis, failure to appear.

JASON MILLER, Fort Bragg. Paraphernalia, community supervision violation.

DOUGLAS WHIPPLE III, Redwood Valley. No license, probation revocation. (Frequent Flyer)

FRANKLIN WHIPPLE, Covelo. Ammo possession by prohibited person, county parole violation.

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by Richard Tootreese Jeske

You might find this story unbelievable. Surprising. Even shocking. Yet what I am about to tell you was a common practice in Chicago in the 1960’s, nine months a year, 5 days a week, with no fuss or fanfare. If this was found to be practiced now somewhere in the country, it would be all over the news. You would read about it on the internet, on Facebook, on Instagram, none of which existed at the time. Might go viral. Our president might even find some reason to tweet about it. Times sure have changed. I know I’m not supposed to tell you how to react to a story, so I will leave the rest up to you.

In the early 60’s I was a student at a public high school in the Chicago area. One of the requirements at our school was that students take 2 years of swimming class. Boys and girls had separate classes. No surprises yet? Well, here we go — the boys had to swim in the nude. Buck naked. Au naturel. Naked as the day you were born, stark naked, in your birthday suit, in the buff, naked as a jaybird.

The hardware store was open and the tools were on display. I think you get the point.

What was up with that? In 1926, the American Public Health Association recommended, “At indoor pools used exclusively by men, nude bathing should be required. At indoor pools used exclusively by women bathing suits should be of the simplest type. Suits when used should be of wool or cotton of simple design and of undyed material or tested for fastness of color.” Many Chicago area high schools picked up on this practice. The issue then was related to sanitation and filtration. Neither of those was perfected at the time. The cotton or wool swimsuits shed lint that challenged the filters. (You just can’t seem to find a good wool swimsuit anymore). And chlorination of the water was not perfected to kill all the germs and bacteria and other nasty things that were on boys’ bodies.

And why just boys, why didn’t girls have to swim nude, too? It has been suggested that women were more modest. Or smarter. At some schools, though, girls had their own form of humiliation. Swimsuits were color coded by breast size. If that was my school, I’d be looking for the girls who were bringing home blue swimsuits.

I could stop here with your mouth open and your head shaking side to side, but my personal story makes this even more bizarre.

My swimming coach the first year was, by all accounts and observations, an alcoholic. His name was Coach H. For reasons unknown, we will not disclose his full name. Like he was going to find out about this paper I wrote for instructor Steve H., (last name also withheld). Note: too many people in the story have a last name that starts with H., but that’s further proof that this is either a true story or the writer severely lacks imagination.

My swimming class was first period, early in the morning. Coach H would start the class by calling role, then sending for the hot towels for him to sleep on for the rest of the period. Forget about instruction. It was a free swim free-for-all for 50-60 adolescent boys. Lord help the wimps and nerds who were tormented by the bullies in class, ’cause nobody else was gonna. I did not learn to swim that year.

My teacher the second year was another Coach H. We can call him Coach H2. Or, better yet, given the subject, Coach H2O.

Here’s the best worst part.

Coach H2O was an ex-Marine. He called his classes H’s Commandos. For one of our exercises, the coach would sit at the end of the pool and pretend that he had a machine gun. We were instructed to lie on the tile floor on the side of the pool, and, one by one, slither across the tiles, slink into the water, swim underwater the width of the pool, and slip out the other side, without making a sound or a splash. If you made too much of a ripple, Coach would pretend to shoot you with his machine gun and you had to spend the rest of the class lying dead on the cold, cold tiles. I died several times that year.

Another of coach H20’s punishments was that students who misbehaved were made to bend over at the waist and grab their ankles for an extended period of time. I avoided this consequence as I stayed out of trouble and tried my best to be invisible. A classmate from that era recently reflected to me that this punishment was perhaps perverted. We just did what we were told.

The practice of nude swimming was common in many high schools in the country, but especially in the Chicago area. The recommendation was dropped in 1962, but many schools continued this practice until around 1980. By that time, Title IX of Federal law prohibited the assignment to physical education classes by sex. That would have made this a whole different story. The nude boys would probably avoid doing the backstroke if the class was coed. Up periscope.

Although I died many times, I lived through it and didn’t drown. Sadly, I did not learn to swim. Still can’t swim for shit. When I do go to the river or lake, I jump in the water, sometimes naked even, and flail around, splashing carelessly. I get out of the water and lie dead-like on a hot towel in the sand. True dat.

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Farewell concert March 22 at Ukiah United Methodist Church

Hello friends,

As some of you know, Jaye and I are moving to Massachusetts because of family health issues. However, we will stay connected to the community; Jaye is working on part 2 (the Future is NOW!) of the From the Ashes film, and Bill has been submitting his music locally and will keep doing so. After we get settled in the East we will visit.

We are offering a farewell concert on Sunday March 22nd with a number of wonderful musicians. From duets and songs to larger ensembles, the concert will feature Grammy award winning reed player Paul McCandless, jazz flautist George Husaruk, oboist Beth Aiken, violinist and Ukiah Symphony concertmaster Margie Salcedo Rice, violist Paul Yarbrough of the Alexander Quartet, cellist Joel Cohen, bassist Yanahay Hooper, guitarist Michael Oberg, Bill Taylor on piano joined by Barney McClure on several two piano pieces. Singers include Jaye Alison Moscariello, Brenna Raugewitz, Josh Small, and others. The music will be by Bill Taylor, with pieces/songs by George Husaruk, Paul McCandless, Natalie Merchant, Ralph Towner, and Bill's mom Priscilla Rowe. Doors to the sanctuary will open on Sunday March 22nd at 12:15 and the concert will begin at 12:30. You may come for an early potluck brunch/lunch in the social hall at 11:15 and there will be snacks and refreshments during intermission. Donations are welcome to support the musicians, and CD's will be for sale. All this is happening at Ukiah United Methodist Church, 205 Bush St. or Smith and N. Pine in Ukiah. We look forward to seeing you there!

Bill Taylor 707-272-1688,

Jaye Alison Moscariello 310-970-4517,

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“My name is Rachel, and it’s been twelve days since I engaged in political discourse online.”

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Following an early morning cold shower and a bagel 'n coffee, proceeded to prepare guest rooms and do some hostel laundry to defray basic living expenses. Early afternoon, took a bus ride to the huge Ala Moana Shopping Center for a bowl of wakame and ramen noodles. Later, got a matcha green tea with soy milk and non-fat yogurt smoothie. Sunny, lightly cool ideal weather at the end of February in Hawaii. "No worries" is the conventional response to just about everything. Identify with the pure spiritual and not the body nor the mind, witnessing thoughts whenever they might arise, and then they dissipate. Indeed, where do they go? Beyond what the zen and yoga schools teach as "non-attachment"; even better, not identified with anything material nor mental at all! Period. Everything just happens. The #18 bus arrives, and eventually makes a stop near the Plumeria Hostel Alternative. Walking past the boisterous 8 Fat Fat 8 sports bar, and then to the corner of Pi'ikoi Street and Young Street near the big Kaiser Permanente center, another awesome Polynesian sunset is followed by the moon's appearance, with the dove birds still coo cooing and the flowers blossoming everywhere and the big ficus lyrata tree shades the hostel's BBQ area, and the Hookah Club across the street's sports screens are aglow, and the soft trade winds caress it all. "No worries". That's what everybody always says in Hawaii. ~Mahalo~

Craig Louis Stehr

February 25, 2020


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Ukiah ArtWalk March 6th

The Trillium Herb Shop in Downtown Ukiah would like to welcome you to our next ArtWalk event on March 6th 2020, featuring local abstract artist Elias Laughton! Elias has been experimenting with the relatively new art form known as “acrylic pouring,” which has attracted quite a large following on the internet, with different artists developing new methods and techniques almost daily. Elias will also have his epoxy resin sculpture art on display, including a large selection of “resin geodes,” which pay homage to the natural rock formations. Elias describes his art as being “free from any constraints of genre or aesthetic, as the paint is allowed to express its own unique chemical nature on the canvas as organic shapes and designs form themselves in an almost cosmic manner.” Sounds groovy, dude. We will make sure to check out Trillium Herb Shops natural remedies and unique gifts. Good Luck!

Elias Laughton

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Planning Commission - March 5, 2020

Dear Interested Parties,

The March 5, 2020 Planning Commission agenda has been posted to the department website at the below link:

Please contact staff if you have any questions.

Caitlin Schafer, Staff Assistant III
Mendocino County Planning & Building Services
860 North Bush Street, Ukiah, CA 95482

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The California lottery skimped on giving $36 million in revenue to fund public education and spent $720,000 on food and travel expenses without considering cheaper options, the state auditor said in a report made public Tuesday.

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Right now, the greater measure of my contempt goes to the Democrat side in part for what our esteemed host rightly deems sedition, but more than that, for the laughably incompetent job they’ve done of it.

True-believing Republicans do still exist, it’s just that their party apparatus got taken over by Trump. And what a joke that is. So I can imagine Paul Ryan and Mitt commiserating, Mitt still incandescent that it’s Trump in the big chair, otherwise, why the vote to convict? It sure as hell wasn’t on the merits of the case, no, it was green-eyed envy, poisonous over his own loss. Yep, there’s Mitt and Paul seething that there’s still so much left to do, so many pension funds left to plunder, so many small cash deposits to scoff from the undeserving.

So it’s true, there are hold-outs, but other than those guys like Paul and Mitt and maybe Jeff Flake, I picture Republicanism as a senile old man, ticking down the clock, sitting, farting, drooling, lost in the 1955 of the mind.

As for robbing every buck left in every widow’s and orphan’s bank account, that’s now for the Establishment Democrats, the Party of the Billionaire.

But there’s another Democratic Party, one with a fair bit of energy and malice, one that you hope calves off from the Establishment Party. It’s a party of the young after all, you know, all those Bernie Bros, notwithstanding the fact of its ideological piss and vinegar coming from an old man that probably has trouble taking a leak.

Bernie has two parties to fight, one “Republican” at least in name, and the other – Democrat – that can’t abide his very existence. Do you think that the Iowa vote wasn’t bent? I think that when they saw that Bernie was winning, the software suddenly developed “problems”. They sand-bagged him once and, the liberal leopard not easily changing its institutional spots, will try again. What remains to be seen is whether women, and Hispanics and non-Whites and Blacks especially, wake up to the con.

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It’s important that we don’t confuse the low unemployment rate of 3.5% with a great economy. Why? Gig workers for Uber, Lyft, etc. are private contractors. Their low income is taxable, and therefore they don’t stand in the unemployment line. Uber and Lyft drivers net between $8.55 and $11.77 per hour after app fees and expenses.

Gig work has doubled since Donald Trump has become president, creating a future of have and have-nots. A gig for a bigwig.

Forty-three percent of working Americans — 67 million people — have gig jobs. While 11% of gig workers make in excess of $70,000 gross per year as professionals, more than 80% net far less than minimum wage usually with more than one gig job and sometimes several. Seniors do it when they feel up to it, and students do it around school hours. Gig work is flexible, therefore viable and often necessary.

If millennials and seniors aren’t worried about college debt and health care, you have a recipe where gig work works, even if underpaid.

To my point, unemployment numbers appear down and the average reportable income appears up, but it is a consequence of working people taking on lower-paying contractual gig work only reported at tax time.

Scott Duncan

Santa Rosa

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Want a guaranteed seat at the Democratic debate in Charleston? It’ll cost a lot of cash.


A candidate who’s not even running in South Carolina had a passionate rooting section in Charleston.

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Dear California Voter,

Tuesday, March 3, 2020, is the Presidential Primary Election in California. Polls will be open from 7:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. on Election Day. This email includes important and official voter resources from the California Secretary of State to prepare you to cast your ballot this election. is the one stop page with all the tools you need, including links to check your voter registration status, the Voter Information Guide, the Voter Bill of Rights, and more.

Early Voting Locations

With record voter registration and excitement around the 2020 elections, wait times may be longer than normal on Election Day. Californians are encouraged to vote early if possible. To find early voting or ballot drop-off locations in your county, visit:

Voting by Mail

If you still have your vote-by-mail ballot, make a plan to return it. All vote-by-mail ballots come with prepaid postage return envelopes. Vote-by-mail ballots can also be dropped off at any polling location in the state. Watch our vote-by-mail ballot return video for more information:

Voting for U.S President.

Your political party determines which presidential candidates you can vote for in a presidential primary election. For a step-by-step guide on your options, visit:

Find Your Polling Place or Vote Center on Election Day

Registered voters can look up their polling place or vote center at

(CA Sec. of State Presser)

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Dear Editor,

Having moved to Ukiah in 1968, I’ve lived here continuously except for 11 years on Capitol Hill in DC working nationally. I mention this as I have experienced both viewing the “big picture” and addressing the many challenging details to work effectively. Over the past 52 years of being a Ukiah property owner, I have observed and worked with many individuals who have served on the Ukiah City Council and the Mendocino Board of Supervisors, and I am honored to support and vote for Maureen ‘Mo’ Mulheren to represent me to Mendocino County’s 2nd District. Mo brings a particular freshness and vitality, a “can-do” attitude to everything she does. And, I think it is important to recognize Mo’s successful collaborations with her regional approach when considering common concerns with Mendocino County’s relationship to our bordering counties.

Beyond the elected officials and other prominent civic leaders, I have noticed how approachable Mo is with people of all ages and walks of life. Mo really listens and she hears the varied concerns of everyone. She continues to reach out to underrepresented groups such as her plan to establish cultural liaisons with the Native American and Latino communities to have direct and ongoing representation. Mo also recognizes seniors’ concerns as needing more representation. Surprisingly to me I’m now in this category, and the baby boomers continue to add to this very large demographic in Mendocino County. Though we may have gained wisdom and experiences, we are transitioning into the foreign land of facing diifferent needs around housing, medical, transportation, and supportive services and needing to learn how to navigate this unforeseen terrain. These senior issues need to be addressed by the BOS, and I have faith in Mo, that she will carry these concerns forward.

As a lifelong resident of Ukiah with two children, Mo is deeply invested in Mendocino County, and she is committed to community wellness that involves the delicate balance of providing human services with the myriad problems facing homeless people including mental health and drug problems as well as the need for housing at all levels; of encouraging economic development, especially small business opportunities; and maintaining the natural beauty of Mendocino County while promoting careful stewardship of our agriculture land; and securing disaster preparedness. Mo has exhibited leadership, communication skills, and partnerships to set goals and guidelines, and I feel confident that she will bring these abilities to the BOS level, where she will be able to effect change beyond the constraints of the Ukiah City Council.

Since announcing her candidacy in January of 2019, Mo has been attending an enormous array of community events (most often as a volunteer), and it is impressive to note her broad and diverse coalition of supporters and endorsements including: Mendocino Women’s Political Coalition (MWPC), Sierra Club, SEIU Local 1021, North Bay Labor Council of Teamsters Local 856, North Bay Realtors, and a long list of individuals including retired Sheriff Tom Allman. In addition to her service on the Ukiah City Council including mayor, a few of her other leadership positions include: Past President of the Redwood Empire Division, Vice-Chair of the Russian River Watershed Association, City Selection Committee, Disaster Council, Mendocino Transit Authority Board of Directors, Ukiah Unified School District Committee.

After many hours of discussing 2nd District issues and bringing up other points of view with Mo, I am convinced that she is capable and dedicated to deal constructively with the many complicated issues that will come before her on the BOS. From Mo’s 12 years of operating her own insurance business coupled with her six years on the Ukiah City Council, she has the experience of researching an enormous range of technical information; she knows how to ask the right questions and to explain her step-by-step decisions. I think that it is important to remember that Mo serves on the present Ukiah City Council and attends the BOS meetings, and this means that she will be ready to move seamlessly and “hit the road running” with her current knowledge and leadership from the Ukiah City Council to the Mendocino BOS. Remember that every vote counts, so I urge you to join me in voting for Maureen ‘Mo’ Mulheren for 2nd District to the Mendocino County Board of Supervisors.

Katarzyna Rolzinski, PhD


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Dear Partners & Stakeholders,

We are writing you today to let you know that Alison de Grassi is no longer with Mendocino County Tourism Commission. I want to assure you that the team at Visit Mendocino County is very capable and we are jumping into play. We very much appreciate your support of VMC and our beautiful county over the years. We look forward to continuing our collaborative efforts in marketing Mendocino County as a world class destination. Moving forward Alison's duties will be carried on by Ramon ( and myself (

Again, we thank you for your continued support.

Thank you,

Travis Scott
Executive Director

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CHRIS HEDGES: The New Rules Of The Game

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by David Taxis

Ten mile winner, Alexander Kramer, North Coast Strider President, Travis Brakeman, #2 in ten mile- Noah Taxis

“The community was very vocal in their support: sheepdogs woofed after me, cows chewed their cud with gusto, and horses sputtered in disbelief as I rolled on by.” poem by Noah Taxis, 10 mile finisher.

But, there were no Thirsty Boys This Year, no metal toting Kenyans, no Bruce Anderson sightings, the herds of cattle stayed penned up, no floods came storming in, and no records were broken. But, 100 competitors ventured to the Willits - “Heart of Mendocino County” on a clear, warm February morning to experience the 40th running of the Willits’ Classic, hosted by the North Coast Striders and sponsored by Adventist Howard Memorial Hospital.

Shane Topolinski of Willits, 34 won the 5K in 21:01 minutes; his wife, Lindy, 32 finished as the third overall female in 29.56 minutes. Very competitive in the short race was Jed Swearengin, 8 years old in 27:51. Jim O’Haver, 74 (eldest male in the race) of Grass Valley ran a respectable 33.08 minutes. He had been attending a conference in SF and planning to run the “Bay Breeze” race, but it conflicted with business. Instead, he went to the web to find the Willits’ Classic race.

Angela DeWitt, 40, was the first lady finishing in 28:41. She is the Battalion Chief of the Volunteer Fire Department in Anderson Valley. Her partner, Andy Watson, 46, ran the 10 mile in 1 hour, 19.40 minutes. He is with the US Geological Survey in Willits. The eldest female completing the 5 k was 72 year old Christine Larson in 49:20.

First family to complete the 5 K was Ernie and Vanessa Burton (Bruce’s son) and their two children in strollers (Bennet and Hattie).

Priscilla Ronco waited in her Cadillac Esplanade, (at the finish line) for the family to finish: husband-Joseph; Joseph’s mom Rebecca and Viviana Aquilar, their 15 year old UHS daughter. Joseph and Rebecca are experienced pickleball players. They were joyful celebrants post-race.

5K Overall winners Male

(1) Shane Topolinski, 34 21:03, (2) Victor Cano, 23 21:46, (3) Andy Allen, 37 23:23

5K Overall Winners Female

(1) Angela Dewitt, 40, 28:41, 2) Melinda Campero, 34 29:20, (3) Lindy Topolinski, 32 29:56

Age Group Male 9 and under

(1) Jed Swearengin 8 27:51, 2) Jarett Nelson 9 28:34, 3) Asher Mello 7 46:06, 4) Bronach Bowles 8 51:58, 5) Giayson Logan 2 55:03, 6) Jack Mulholland 4 1:28:49

Age Group Male 10-13

(1) Gavin Mello 11 26:25, 2) Ruan Hardin 13 32:31, 3) Manny Vedder 13 35:56, 4) Tommy Vedder 10 37:41, 5) Nikolai Ritchley 10 41:02, 6) Donald Glenn 12 46:00, 7) Sam Bowles 12 52:17

Age Group Male 14-17

(1) Aidan Robertson 17 31:42, 2) Alex Castro 15 31:03

Age Group Male 18-29

(1) Victor Cano 23 21:46, 2) Josiah Meineckle 21 55:06, 3) Gabriel Clark 29 58:04

Age Group Male 30-39

(1) Shane Topolinski 34 21:03, 2) Andy Allen 37 23:23, 3) Steven Espinoza 34 23:48, 4) Casey Platte 37 26:44, 5) Jacob Bainbridge 35 30:49, 6) Andy Vedder 39 34:36, 7) Joseph Ranco 33 36:36, 8) Samuel Logan 33 54:55, 9) TJ Mooney 33 58:09

Age Group Male 40-49

(1) Kevin Tahrir 46 33:22, 2) Steven Campbell 48 33:34, 3) Ernie Burton 42 42:57, 4) Davey Bowles 42 52:18

Age Group Male 50-59

(1) Ronnie DeSoto 50 24:53

Age Group Male 60-69

(1) Michael Kimmer 62 29:44, 2) Fred Canillo 69 31:17, 3) Joe Bratt 65 47:29

Age Group Male 70-79

(1) Mike Bienenberg 73 28:12, 2) Jim Lonuith 74 30:30, 3) Bob Denes 72 30:34, 4) Michael O’Haver 74 33:08, 5) David Marks 70 54:54

Age Group Female 9 and under

(1) Greta Rosenthal 8 45:15, 2) Emilia Mulholland 6 53:08, 3) Abby Logan 4 53:31

Age Group Female 14-17

(1) Viviana Aguilar 15 36:25

Age Group Female 18-29

(1) Libby Edgar 25 53:31, 2) Shaylin Hill 23 57:48

Age Group Female 30-39

(1) Melinda Campero 34 29:20, 2) Lindy Topolinski 32 29:56, 3) Amanda Logan 39 35:57, 4) Tabitha Glenn 36 39:07, 5) Vanessa Burton 34 42:46, 6) Elizabeth Logan 30 46:17, 7) Sarah Coon 34 53:33, 8) April Hill 39 57:48, 9) Kerri Hill 35 58:09

Age Group Female 40-49

(1) Angela Dewitt 40 28:41, 2) Alexis England 48 36:20, 3) Yulia Ritchlen 43 41:10, 4) Iryna Hnatyuk 42 42:11, 5) Alison Uuereb 46 45:14, 6) Mollie Berg 47 48:22

Age Group Female 50-59

(1) Becki Armstrong 52 31:26, 2) Terri Boudreaux 53 35:12, 3) Elizabeth Norman 59 ???, 4) Jackie Matson 56 36:34, 5) JoAnn Holliday 55 47:23, 6) Becky Ronco 58 47:54, 7) Crystal Bowles 40 52:15, 8) Maureen Phillips 55 58:17, 9) Denise Kindopp 50 58:18

Age Group Female 60-69

(1) Susan Craig 64 36:52, 2) Lynn Webb-Camillo 63 37:07, 3) Gretchen WebbKummer 61 44:51, 4) Norma Marks 64 45:50

Age Group Female 70-79

(1) Nancy Smith 70 44:05, 2) Christine Larsen 72 49:20, 3) Ginny Cholez 71 50:11

Alexander Kramer, 40, of Ukiah won the 10 mile in his best time ever after at least 7 Classics in 58:28 minutes (less than 6 minute miles). Not far behind was Noah Taxis in 61.58 running his first Classic at 25 years old. Kramer’s last big race was the 100 km (62 mile) Strawberry Trail in Tahoe. He won that one also in just over 11 hours. He was also Number one at the Bay Ridge (SF) 100 km race. Taxis ran three marathons in 2019 and plans to compete in May at the Ave. of the Giants marathon.

Vicky Vedder, 38 of Ukiah was the first female 10 miler to finish in 1:20.53. Her entire family, except dad (Andy) ran in the races Sunday. Notably, Randy Esson, 63, finished 3rd overall in 1:17.04.

For perspective, Reebok Racing Team’s Tom Borschel led a field of 50 runners in 1985 to the all-time record of 50:47 minutes for the 10 mile; a 5:05 minute pace. He was 27 years old.

That record has stood for 35 years, and may last another 35. Tom passed away from ALS at 54 years old, his sister Sylvia reported. He also held the Mt. Tam hill climb record “back in the day.”

Bob Deines, of Willits at 72, ran 30.34 minutes. He has an incredible running past. His best marathon is 2:20 hours, and he held the American Record for the 50 mile (run that year in Rocklin-1969) in 5:15.19 hours. He also has run 8 Boston Marathons.

Legendary Willits High School Coach (26 years worth) ran with one of his grandsons. Wife, Lindy mentioned that they don’t compete much anymore. Dave’s son, Kenny ran for WHS and is currently the cross country coach/math teacher at Visalia High School. Son Teddy also competed for the Wolverines.

10 mile overall Winners-Male

(1) Alexander Kramer 40 58:29, 2) Noah Taxis 25 60:02, 3) Randy Esson 63 1:17:04

10 mile Overall Winners Female

(1) Vicky Vedder 38 1:20:53, 2) Jessica Howlett 43 1:22:39, 3) Heather Johnson 35 1:41:34

Age Group Male 18-29

(1) Noah Taxis 25 60:02, 2) Daniel Barrios 26 1:39:46, 3) Luis Mckinstry 29 1:44:09

Age Group Male 40-49

(1) Alexander Kramer 40 58:29, 2) Andrew Watson 46 1:19:40

Age Group Male 50-59

(1) Anthony Villasana 56 1:21:33

Age Group Male 60-69

(1) Randy Esson 63 1:17:04

Age Group Female 30-39

(1) Vicky Vedder 38 1:20:53, 2) Heather Johnson 35 1:41:34, 3) Heidi Mcgehee 37 1:44:12, 4) Griselda Sanchez 31 1:44:16, 5) Cassandra Huntley 30 1:44:25, 6) Holly Smith 34 1:46:42

Age Group Female 40-49

(1) Jessica Howlett 43 1:22:39, 2) Jen Collins 48 1:44:47, 3) Sarah Lewis 43 1:50:59

Age Group Female 50-59

(1) Bernadette Villsana 55 1:47:07

Age Group Female 60-69

(1) Jeanine Burnett 60 1:53:16, 2) Beth Cabral 63 1:59:30

*For comments or corrections, e mail Taxis at

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  1. Dick Whetstone February 27, 2020

    Swam naked at the YMCA in the ’50’s in Philadelphia. Still have the picture in my mind of a couple hundred naked men and boys of all ages in a huge pool.

  2. Lazarus February 27, 2020


    I hope the artist got paid…

    As always,

  3. Randy Burke February 27, 2020

    FOUND OBJECT: Next up, lipstick on a pig

  4. Marshall Newman February 27, 2020

    Condolences to the entire Van Zandt family on the passing of Alice Van Zandt.She will be missed.

  5. James Marmon February 27, 2020


    The day center does nothing to end homelessness, it just makes homelessness more comfortable. A cup of coffee, television, showers, laundry, and some hand outs (sleeping bags, tents, clothing). No mention of tying these services to treatment. No quid pro quo.

    “According to the data RCS provided, in December the center had an average of 89 guests per day, with visitations steadily increasing the first four months of operation. In August staff there reported 1,551 visits, in September the number was 2,127, in October 2,543, and in November the number of visits was 2,961.

    In December, there was a dip to “2,774 total visits,” with 1,148 showers provided (average of 37 a day) and 1,013 loads of laundry (average of 33 a day) washed.”

    James Marmon MSW

  6. George Hollister February 27, 2020

    The economically powerful always determine the course of history. Always. What is distinctive about America is people with humble beginnings are at the core of who are the economically powerful. At the heart of the distinction is opportunity. America strives to give everyone a chance to set their own path. For better and worse, it is engrained in the American spirit.

    • Harvey Reading February 27, 2020

      George you do like to make the most ridiculous statements seem like great truths from beyond our solar system. When you read those books (or searched the Internet) you should have reflected and thought (assuming you can) instead of swallowing the sh-t whole. I will be very happy when the last conservative (fascist) passes from existence.

      • George Hollister February 27, 2020

        For better and worse it is a great truth about America. Look at history, read biographies, talk to people. We just need to remind ourselves how far we have come in such a short period of time. Corporate power today, would have been royal power, or aristocratic power in the past, or sovereign wealth. In all cases, economic power is what sets the course. What we see today is better, and unmatched in human history. People like Steve Jobs, and Robert Friedland did more to set the course for trade with China than Trump will ever do. Silicon Valley is heavily populated with people just like Jobs who have defined the path for America. It is the way it has always been, as America has seen wave after wave of innovation coming from people with humble beginnings. As the new innovators enter the stage, the old ones fade away.

        So, fan the flames of discontent, it serves some purpose, God only knows. But recognize, and appreciate, we live in an incredible time in world history.

        • Harvey Reading February 27, 2020

          Nixon, set the stage for trade with China. If he hadn’t, it would have fallen to Carter or Reagan. The tech johnny-come-latelies are no more than flash-in-the-pan nobodies, exceptionally greedy yuppies; here today, gone tomorrow.

          The only thing thing that could be considered “incredible” is that we we are using and burning finite resources at an ever-accelerating pace and population is exploding. We know it, know we live within a system of finite resources but we continue as if those resources will last forever. I don’t know if I will live long enough to see the final outcome, but it is increasingly likely that I will (surprisingly, I have lived to join the ranks of the septugenarians). I suspect the quantum physicists will come up with too little to late to “save” us. That will be a good thing. We should become extinct before we can affect other worlds. Any attempts to “coloninze” beyond earth should be quashed, and I suspect they will be, by beings advanced far beyond our wildest dreams. Beings perhaps capable of imagining and experiencing in more than than three dimensions.

          I do not accept your notion that we are living “in an incredible time in world history”. The same could be said for any other period of world history from the perspectives of those who were experiencing events at those times. Think of how fire must have appeared to primitive humans. Or “horseless carriages” in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

          Today I started my old Mazda 4WD pickup and drove for the first time in three months. December 4, 2019 was my last wheeled excursion. I don’t like driving in winter conditions, not because I am an incompetent driver, but because far too many others are. So, I wait until the roads and streets are clear of ice and snow before venturing out. I really needed to stock up on perishables and cigarettes, neither of which are legally, or reasonably (at my income level) available on line. Three months is the longest period of time by far that has passed without me being behind the wheel of some vehicle since I learned to drive as what is now called a tweener.

          I shopped and then did something very stupid, but very typical of humans. I followed a casual circuitous route home, with my dog strapped in next to me. I drove to places that I hadn’t seen for years. I stopped at a cafe that once served the best bacon cheeseburger around. Sadly it had become a tasteless, greasy mess, the bacon, which I had always requested be set to the side of the plate rather than on the burger, so that I could relish its wonderful taste separately, was overcooked and had a different, much weaker flavor. Plus, it was overcooked. Nevertheless, I ate the whole mess and was filled by it. It gave me the energy to turn a 21-mile trip home into one of nearly 70 miles. By the way, the place had undergone a remodeling a few years back. So now the surroundings resemble those of a French whore house, or at least what my imagination conceives a French whore house might look like.

          Now that resource-consuming side trip I took is an example of stupidity and greed. And, it is typical of our very flawed species. Humans are by nature followers or leaders. By nature they admire the powerful, worship flags or other “national” symbols, celebrate “their” tribe, “their” god(s), become willing to experience death or maiming in “defense” of their “own kind”. The greed of humans forces them always to want more, more, more. A species like that deserves no more than extinction for it will never amount to anything, no matter how much it pats itself on the back for its great “intelligence”.

          • George Hollister February 28, 2020

            Harv, in your late state of discontent, paint us a perfect picture of how humans are supposed to be, and who the angels on Earth are that will keep it keep us that way.

          • Harvey Reading February 28, 2020


  7. Harvey Reading February 27, 2020

    Wildlife Services should be abolished. If livestock farmers are too lazy and cheap to go out and properly tend–or hire others to do so, at a living wage, with benefits–their stock, then too bad. I’d rather see coyotes or wolves than sheep any other livestock any day. I lost any sympathy for welfare livestock farmers as a kid growing up in Calaveras County, where their small minority called the shots for everyone.

  8. Harvey Reading February 27, 2020

    TUESDAY NIGHT’S DEMO DEBATE was, as Trump characterized it, “a mess.”

    As DNC intended it to be. As all the other so-called debates have been, for decades. DNC won’t rest until Trump has destroyed every last, lingering element of the New Deal. Neoliberals are fascists, too, ya know.

  9. Craig Stehr February 27, 2020

    ~Swami Chidananda on Samadhi~
    The word “Samadhi” is used to mean trance as a practice, as a technique, being one of the eight Angas of the Ashtanga Yoga of Patanjali. It is a Sadhana; it is something that is practised. But, quite often, the same word “Samadhi” is also used in the sense of the culmination of Yoga or the ultimate objective or goal of Yoga; then it denotes a state of superconsciousness, a state transcending all mind-activity. Therefore, it will not be wrong to say that in the Yoga Shastra the term as such is used to mean both a practice as well as a state of superconsciousness. As a practice or a technique, it is referred to by various names as Asmita Samadhi, Savitarka Samadhi, Savichara Samadhi and so on. In English sometimes, writers have been in the practice of alluding to these as the lower Samadhis. When the Arurukshu Yogi—a Yogi who has already climbed sufficiently well up on the ladder of Yoga and has reached a very high state—goes on practising Samadhi, diligently and with great exertion, without giving up, without tiring, with sustained zeal, with Vairagya and great regularity, with great tenacity of purpose, for months and years, then he ascends into higher and higher states of Samadhi. The Samadhi in such a high state is referred to as Nirbija Samadhi or Nirvikalpa Samadhi or Asamprajnata Samadhi. When the word “Samadhi” is used in this way to refer to the Nirbija Samadhi or Asamprajnata Samadhi, then it means the superconscious state. They even go so far as to say that it is a state of non-dual consciousness. That is a matter of opinion. When the term “Samadhi” is used to indicate the Savitarka Samadhi or the Savikalpa Samadhi or other lower Samadhis, then it means trance which is a technique and a practice. When one reaches the level of the Asamprajnata Samadhi or the Nirvikalpa or Nirbija Samadhi, sometimes the Yogi goes on practising such a state until he becomes so much established in that state of consciousness that even when he comes back into the waking state, down from the deep inward state, where he is not aware of the body or the time or the surroundings, even when he comes back into the normal state, his awareness continues to be qualified by the same state of non-duality. In other words, he is so much established in that state of spiritual consciousness or awareness that even while he is moving and acting, he still remains in that state of inner awareness, and they call this the state of Sahaja Samadhi. Sahaja means natural. So, in Sahaja Samadhi, the state of non-dual consciousness becomes to the Yogi his natural state, and not a state which he tries hard to reach and then reaches only to come back to the waking state after a while. Rather, the state of non-dual consciousness becomes normal to him. The Yogi thus gets established in Sahaja Avastha. But, the Sahaja Avastha is a rare phenomenon and is itself the fruit of intense practice of the other stages and gradations of Samadhi. It is only after intense practice of Savitarka Samadhi, Savichara Samadhi and Asmita Samadhi and the continued practice of being in a state of Nirvikalpa Samadhi that the Nirvikalpa Samadhi becomes natural to the Yogi, that it becomes continued and unbroken in all the three states, namely, waking, dream and deep sleep. Thus, in the Sahaja Avastha, even in the waking state, even in the midst of activity, the Yogi rests in non-dual consciousness.

    Source: THE PHILOSOPHY, PSYCHOLOGY AND PRACTICE OF YOGA, Chapter 16, Swami Chidananda

    • Bruce Anderson February 27, 2020

      Relevance, your honor?

      • Craig Stehr February 27, 2020

        ~Paramahansa Yogananda on the “relevance” of Samadhi~
        “The deeper the Self-realization of a man, the more he influences the whole universe by his subtle spiritual vibrations, and the less he himself is affected by the phenomenal flux.”
        ― Paramahansa Yogananda, Autobiography of a Yogi

        • Bruce Anderson February 27, 2020

          Parmesan and salami? On pizza, I guess.

        • Stephen Rosenthal February 27, 2020

          Is that autobiography about Yogi Bear or Yogi Berra?

          • Craig Stehr February 27, 2020

            It ain’t over until it’s over!! ;-)))

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