MCT: Wednesday, July 29, 2020

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COOL AND CLOUDY CONDITIONS will persist along the coast, with a few hours of afternoon sun expected each day. Warm and dry conditions will continue in interior areas, with patchy smoke expected from local wildfires. (NWS)

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By Jim Shields, District Manager, Laytonville County Water District

Because our monthly Board meeting occurs on Tuesday nights, the same night that’s deadline for the Observer, I can only give you a very brief report on our water shortage emergency. 

I gave our Water Board (Mike Davis, Kary Foltz, Deber Dodd, John McCaffrey, and Tim Henry) a one hour report on the shortage, why it happened, and what the plans are to fix what needs fixing.

Tune into my radio show this Saturday at noon on KPFN 105.1 FM, also streamed streamed live: for the full report I gave the Board. In fact tune in every Saturday and you’ll learn everything that’s happening that’s important locally, at the state, and the nation.

Anyway, here’s what’s going on, the water as always is safe to drink, it’s very good water, our only problem is right now we’re in short supply of it.

On Friday night around  8:30 p.m. a lateral pipe or pipes in one of our two filtration vessels broke, causing filtration media (basically specially milled, fine gravels and sand) to exit the vessel and clog and plug filtration equipment and pipes. The broken lateral meant that non-harmful iron and manganese, that normally is trapped in the filter’s media was pumped out into the distribution system and some customers water was discolored, which is not a health hazard, but it will stain laundry if someone was using their washing machine at the time. Other than that there was no harm done to anybody or anything.

The real harm was done back at the water plant because we had to take the vessel with the broken lateral out of service. Which means since Saturday, we’ve been operating the plant with just a single treatment vessel. That situation means that we can only produce one-half of our normal water output, which has led to the current water shortage.

Laterals are located on the bottom of treatment vessels under 13.25 tons of filtration media. In order to repair and/or replace broken laterals, all 13.25 tons of media have to be removed from the vessel, so the repair can be made, and then new media or the existing media has to be loaded back in to the vessel.

Without going into all the details, this process could take up to a month before the second vessel can be put back on line.

Our problem right now is customers are not complying with the District’s water conservation policy thereby causing this emergency to be worse than it should be. Right now we’re operating below 25 percent of our normal water storage levels. So instead of having nearly a million gallons of capacity, we only have approximately 250,000 gallons. That is not an adequate supply of water in the event that during the peak wildfire season we’re in right now, if a fire breaks out, we’d be in extremely dangerous circumstances.

That has to change immediately.

The District is asking all our customers to drastically reduce the amount of water they are using right now.

Under our current, permanent water conservation policy, no outdoor irrigation/watering can occur during the hours of 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. But too many people are not paying attention to that rule. That non-compliance must stop immediately, otherwise we are going to find ourselves in a very dangerous place.

At the Tuesday, July 28 meeting, the Board unanimously approved a second, more severe water policy that will be implemented if there is no improvement in current conservation. None of us want to see this policy go into effect because it will prohibit outdoor irrigation/watering to just 2 days per week, and violators will be assessed fairly harsh fines.

The District has already prohibited bulk water haulers from taking water 7 days a week during the hours of 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. throughout this emergency. If the crisis deepens, the District may suspend their hauling privileges for the duration.

Speaking for the District, I want to thank our many customers and ratepayers who have been complying with the existing conservation order, we truly appreciate you.

Here’s the new conservation policy that will be implemented if there is no change for the better by those not complying with our current policy. 

Laytonville County Water District

Restriction Limiting Outdoor Irrigation/Watering

Prohibition On Outdoor Irrigation/Watering With LCWD Potable Water

Effective immediately, twice-a-week outdoor watering/irrigation is allowed only on Wednesdays and Saturdays. 

1. Outdoor Irrigation/Watering is not allowed on any other day of the week, without exception.

2. On Wednesdays and Saturdays, outdoor irrigation/watering is prohibited from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

3. Outdoor Irrigation/Watering is allowed on Wednesdays and Saturdays  from 5:01 p.m. to 10:59 a.m.

4. Outdoor Irrigation/Watering is only allowed on these days and during these hours.

5. For purposes of this policy, “outdoor” includes irrigating and watering inside outbuildings, greenhouses, and “hoop” structures.

Violation Procedures:

For violations of the Restrictions On Outdoor Irrigation/Watering, the following progressive steps of warning and fines shall occur:

 • A first violation will result in the customer receiving a verbal warning (confirmed in writing), along with a copy of the Outdoor Irrigation/Watering Policy.

• A second violation will result in a fine of $100.

• A third violation will result in a fine of $500.

• A fourth violation will result in the customer’s water service being shut off for up to 30 days.

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ANDERSON VALLEY EMERGENCY PERSONNEL were dispatched to an initial report of a pedestrian being hit by a vehicle on Highway 128 south of Yorkville early Tuesday afternoon. But after driving all around the area, they couldn’t find evidence of any such incident. However, the Sheriff’s office appeared in several vehicles in the same area, off Highway 128 at Elkhorn Road, and ended up arresting two people, one of whom was a highly intoxicated naked woman, the other an as-yet unidentified “high profile individual.” Sources said neither of the arrestees were local residents. The AV Ambulance ended up taking the intoxicated woman to into their care because of her level of intoxication, then delivering her to the Ukiah hospital separately. The people we spoke to after the incident said they assumed booking log entries and a Sheriff's press release would be forthcoming with, we're hoping, full identification of the "high profile individual." 


UPDATE: THE HIGH PROFILE INDIVIDUAL has subsequently been identified as Casey William Hardison, 49, lately of Santa Cruz, formerly of Wyoming, and formerly a resident of England but an American citizen. 

Hardison was apparently being sought by outside jurisdictions. He has a long history of drug offenses and is considered dangerous by law enforcement. The Sheriff's Department received a tip that Hardison was staying in the Elkhorn area of Yorkville. Both Hardison and the nude woman, still not identified, were placed under arrest. The nude woman was considered medically vulnerable from an apparent overdose and was removed from the Elkhorn Road address by ambulance.


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by William Miller, MD – Chief of Staff at Adventist Health – Mendocino Coast Hospital

Last week, the County Board of Supervisors appointed Andy Coren, MD, as the new Public Health Officer. Dr. Coren is Board Certified in Family and Community Medicine and has been in practice in Ukiah since 1988. He has served on the county’s Public Health Advisory Board. His strengths include strong leadership skills, communication and team building. 

I asked Dr. Coren about his plans for dealing with the outbreak at our local nursing home, Sherwood Oaks. He told me that he has been in touch with Dr. John Cottle, the Medical Director of Sherwood Oaks, and that their biggest challenge right now is finding adequate staffing. “They have lost several of their staff due to being out on leave from turning positive or from simply being afraid to come to work,” he said. “We need to work with the State Health Department to give them the support they need to safely staff their facility.”

Sherwood Oaks continues to take isolation measures designed to slow the spread of the virus. A total of 14 residents have tested positive, with 9 becoming ill. Four have been hospitalized here at Adventist Health – Mendocino Coast, of which one has made a full recovery and returned home to Sherwood Oaks. Three remain in our hospital and an additional four residents have died.

Dr. Coren and I also spoke about the need to expand community surveillance testing on the Coast. He agreed that the main challenge is that nationally there simply isn’t adequate availability of tests and that the laboratories that run them are overwhelmed. “This is a problem not just here, but for the entire nation. It is frustrating that some lesser developed countries have done a better job at this with less technology than we have,” he said. “And with some turn around times stretching out to ten or more days, it doesn’t even become an effective tool for contact tracing. The bottom line is that we cannot rely upon our technology to save us. It is the simple things that every person can do that will make the greatest difference. Of course, I am talking about the importance of wearing masks, washing hands and socially distancing ourselves.”

“I am excited about the chance to start work on the Coast,” Dr. Coren adds. “One of my first priorities will be to come out there and make a site visit to Sherwood Oaks, plus see your hospital. I want to meet with community leaders and make sure that the Health Department is taking an active role in what is going on out there.”

Dr. Coren is replacing Dr. Naomi Doohan who has served as the interim Health Officer. She will stay on as a consultant to provide support for Dr. Coren as he takes on this very important role for our county. His expected start date is the end of August.

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Well, folks, it’s getting to be that time of year again. It’s hot, dry and as soon as it gets windy, PG&E will consider implementing a Public Safety Power Shutoff (also referred to as a PSPS). These events are weather dependent, which means we’re never sure exactly when they’ll occur, but it may affect everyone in the County.

It’s easy to get angry at PG&E for this inconvenience, but with the huge wildfires that have threatened California in the last few years, it’s become a necessity.

A PSPS is an intentional shutdown by PG&E due to the combination of extreme winds and low humidity. By shutting off power, they hope to prevent downed power lines from sparking and igniting dry brush which can quickly spread to our beautiful forests and residential areas. Although power outages are an inconvenience to us, it’s done in an effort to save lives and property.

The best thing we can do is prepare in case of a power outage. Over the next few weeks, we’ll be posting information with the hope the reminders and tips and resources we share will help you and your loved ones get through this year’s potential PSPS easier than before.

PG&E has assured us they have improved their notification plans and, depending on the weather and other factors, will make several attempts to send alerts to customers through automatic calls, text messages and emails at 48 before and again at 24 hours before, and one more time, just before the power shut off.

In addition, we’ll be in contact with PG&E representatives and share information we receive from them to you.

As I mentioned earlier, we will be posting resources and reminders so we can all be better prepared this year, but one thing you should absolutely do right now if you use medical equipment that requires power is to contact PG&E immediately to notify them at 1-800-743-5000. 

Make plans with your health care provider and loved ones so they know how they can help you as well. Check with your provider and see if they have devices that are battery operated that you could purchase ahead of time.

We’re happy to answer as many of your questions as we can, but you should also follow PG&E online on whichever platform you feel most comfortable using and feel free to speak to them directly.

Be sure to visit PG&E at and make sure you’re signed up for their PSPS alerts.

Remember, we’re #StrongerTogether.

Thank you.

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BOURN'S LANDING [north of Gualala]

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As I am sure you know, the Legal Notice for the AVCSD election was published in the July 8 edition of the Beloved Advertiser. The Legal Notice from the County Clerk-Recorder's Office however, was published one time only. So…

Will there be some kind of announcement forthcoming in the web edition? Quite a few readers subscribe to the web site, but do not receive the paper edition.

Because Anderson Valley is not incorporated the definition of the AVCSD is "quasi-corporation." Meaning they are not incorporated and cannot take actions or make decisions similar to a corporation. California CSD law strongly encourages the turnover of new members every four years thereby the representative community will eventually be heard, and also to avoid self-interests and ingrained clan-like decisions. 

The deadline for interested members of Anderson Valley to sign up for the election is August 7th (5 PM). Three openings are available - this is probably one of the most critical elections regarding the AV district in many, many years. Some members of the board have been continually appointed by the Board of Supervisors in lieu of an election because no one signed up to run in an unknown election. No election in years - some appointed positions go back before 2011 according to Mendocino LAFCo. Basically, Anderson Valley Community Service District directors have been reappointing themselves or like-minded members year after year after year! 

If no one applies by August 7 for the election then another 4 years will be added to current members' appointed term; that could possibly total over 13 years or more!! No mention who is up for reelection or appointment as the case may be from the local service district. In the Legal Notice it states three directors - Long Term (meaning four years).

Three members equals a quorum, future critical decisions are in jeopardy if no new members are seated. The pending Developer fees up for consideration August 5 will substantially cripple new development in the Valley. Available housing is a huge issue - developer fees impact all new building in addition to the mandatory sewer/water plan that charges new development $10,000 for hook up to mandatory sewer/water. 

Candidates wishing to file for board membership may contact the Office of the County Clerk, located at 501 Low Gap Rd, Room #1020, Ukiah 95482. Phone 234-6819.

The only qualifications are the candidate must be a registered elector (voter) residing in the district. The district encompasses Yorkville, Boonville, Philo and Navarro.

This board is long overdue for some new input, experienced ideas, intelligent foresight, and at the very least capable of respect, honesty and dignity when dealing with the public over the mandatory municipal sewer and water issue. 

The associated CSD services are in excellent hands; they provide life saving, fire and other important services to the community, their integrity is beyond question and very much appreciated. 

However, we desperately need new representation on the Anderson Valley Community District Board of Directors. Now is the time to step up and fill out the paperwork. August 7 is only a few working days away! Please!!!

Joan Burroughs


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FOR SOME REASON, WE WERE NOT ON THE DISTRIBUTION LIST for the Mendocino County Climate Action Advisory Committee’s recent press release announcing: “Board of Supervisors recognizes climate change.”

“At their regular meeting on July 21, Mendocino County’s Board of Supervisors unanimously adopted a Climate Emergency Resolution proposed by their appointed Climate Action Advisory Committee (MCCAAC),” the Presser proudly declares.

Committee Chair Marie Jones noted “This is an important first step as the board has formally recognized the importance of both climate change and climate adaptation for our community. This action sets the stage for Mendocino County to become a leader in climate change policy in Northern California. The Advisory Committee looks forward to assisting the board as it seeks to incorporate climate into its decision-making process in order to move the county onto a more climate friendly path.”

We had missed Board’s big Climate Action decision last week because it so important that the Board approved it on the consent calendar after a few minor wording tweaks from Supervisor McCowen. Nobody made any formal announcement about how wonderful the resolution was or how great it was that the Board “recognized climate change.”

The resolution drones on at great length with boilerplate climate change statements having nothing to do with Mendo in particular and with no proposals that might make a dent in official Mendo’s microscopic contribution to global warming. 

If you’re having trouble sleeping you can find the full “emergency” resolution (which took almost a year to prepare) on the Supervisors agenda webpage at the County’s website. 

The declaration concludes with this meaningless paragraph: “BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Board of Supervisors commits to addressing the climate implications of all policies and actions that come before the Board that have the potential to impact greenhouse gas emissions, carbon sequestration, and disaster preparedness within the County; and the Board of Supervisors commits to drawing on the deliberative work, research, and public outreach of the Mendocino County Climate Action Advisory Committee when considering such policies and actions.”

Oh really? “…commits to addressing the climate implications of all policies and actions that come before the Board that have the potential to impact greenhouse gas emissions, carbon sequestration, and disaster preparedness within the County…”

That sounds a lot like the much ballyhooed (at the time) Precautionary Principle which the Supes also unanimously approved years ago with a grand “commitment” to apply the PP to all County decisions. Guess how many times they actually have? (Hint, it’s less than 1.)

According to the presser, Climate Action Committee member Susan Sher, who guided the preparation of the resolution, noted “We are gratified that our county government is on record in support of taking fast and effective action to reverse the effects of climate change. We now join over 1,700 other jurisdictions in 30 countries that have made climate emergency declarations.”

After the consent calendar was approved the Board continued with business as usual and nobody asked about the “climate implications” of anything. 

However, the presser also notes that, “In their July 14 meeting, the Board of Supervisors took a major step toward a decarbonized future by choosing a more expensive to install but cheaper to run all-electric heat pump alternative to the natural gas system originally proposed by the architects and engineers. Again, the reasoning for adopting the more expensive alternative was provided by MCCAAC, whose members consulted with local experts to determine the most carbon neutral and cost-effective technology for the 30-year life of the project. MCCAAC’s Jail Expansion Energy Brief cited the expected rise and scarcity of natural gas that contrasts with expected improvements in the carbon-free sourcing of the City of Ukiah’s electricity.”

Never mind that the Board would have made this decision regardless of what the Climate Change Committee did or said, and there’s nothing in the months worth of Committee’s minutes about the all-electric heat pump at the jail.

(Mark Scaramella)

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FORT BRAGG has extended its eviction moratorium until September 30th on a 4-1 vote, Bernie Norvell dissenting. It's probably not safe to assume the county will also extend its moratorium on evictions but, given the grim economic news, many more Mendo people will not be able to pay rent and the supervisors should act to avert as much local suffering as is within their power to avert. Congress's delay in enacting additional national bailout assistance adds another layer of anxiety to that millions are already feeling, as they watch the ship of state heading for the rocks, its captain crazy, his crew drunk 

IF CONGRESS doesn’t act to extend an extra $600 in weekly benefits for unemployed Californians, state legislators say they’re ready to jump in to help. The expanded federal unemployment benefits, which began in April, are set to expire Friday. That will reduce the average jobless payment in California to about $338 a week. (Mendo rent averaging $1200 a month…) The House passed a coronavirus relief bill in May that would extend the $600 weekly checks through Jan. 31, but the Republicans propose to cut the aid to $200 a week.


MORE AND MORE TALK about Trump not leaving office. And more and more looking like even an unfit character like Biden poised for a landslide victory in November because even hardcore Trumpers are deserting their orange hero. 

TODAY, Attorney General Barr refused to answer a House Judiciary Committee question about the authority of a sitting president to move the election date. Barr replied, “I haven’t looked into that question, under the Constitution.” Asked if he believed the election will be “rigged,” Barr said he had “no reason to think it will be” but claimed there is a high-risk that mail-in voting will lead to voter fraud.

WHICH IT WON'T. Think about the mail ballot process then try to figure out a way to corrupt it. It might be possible to swindle a Mendo school board election where a hundred votes can determine an election outcome by applying for ballots in the names of non-voters or even non-existent voters. You've got the ballots. Then what? Think about the logistics of even minor voter fraud with all its hassle of collecting the ballots, forging signatures to them and sending them in. Imagine doing that several million times for Trump. Not possible. In the recent history of elections in this country there has been almost no detectable mail-in fraud. What there has been is a few individuals voting for deceased relatives on the basis of, "It was his dying wish." 

THIS ISN'T TO SAY there won't be trouble. There's a shortage of poll workers, which means lots of people probably won't be able to vote in person, and a big covid-caused mail-in vote will take time to count, with that delay resulting in the Trumpers jumping up and down with their pre-programmed suspicions that Orange Man is being jobbed.

ACCORDING to federal law (and Wikipedia), Trump can’t cancel, postpone, or move the November election—even by executive order stating a national emergency or martial law. It’s a decision only Congress culd make by altering the federal statute passed in 1845 that agreed states should appoint their electors in the first week of November. In the most extreme scenario in which the electoral college doesn’t vote in November, Trump’s term would still expire on Jan. 20, 2021 at noon—and the control of the presidency would go down the line of succession. 

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by Fred Gardner

In my SFDA ACT-UP SF file is a July 2000 letter from Drs. Donald Abrams and Paul Volberding, leading AIDS specialists at SF General Hospital, to colleagues treating patients in the Bay Area: 

As many of you know and have experienced, the local group calling itself ACT UP San Francisco has long been engaged in a campaign of disruption and denial. You have probably heard how they have disrupted educational forums whether presented by community groups or by your peers in the medical community. You've heard of how they have repeatedly disrupted meetings of the Public Health Department and how they poured urine and feces-laden cat litter in the hair and face of Pat Christen of the San Francisco AIDS Foundation. And more recently, you've probably had to spend time with some of your patients who have been caught up in their “AIDS is over, the drugs are poison” polemics.

After a period of relative quiet brought on by the AIDS Foundation's restraining order against them, they recently renewed their disruptive tactics at a meeting sponsored by Survive Aids and Project Inform where Steven Deeks was the lead speaker. This event resulted in the injury of a woman on the staff of Project Inform. Project Inform responded quickly and has already secured a temporary restraining order, while the DA’s office has filed battery and trespassing charges against them. 

You may have heard through the local community papers that they are currently taking in roughly one and a half million dollars per year from the sale of medical marijuana. It seems strange indeed for them to sell medical marijuana to help with the disease they claim does not exist. 

We are writing for two reasons. One is to provide you with the attached set of materials you might find helpful in dealing with patients who question whether HIV causes AIDS or whether the treatments are “poisons.” You are free to copy and distribute these however you wish.

Secondly, we are writing to make a suggestion as to what you can do about this situation, other than show your support for people and groups who are attacked. You have complete discretion over whom you wish to refer patients seeking medical marijuana. While ACT UP SF is indeed one such source, there are several others in the city, none of whom use their sales to foment denial and violence against and among your patience.

In March 2001 the DA’s office prosecuted the three men who disrupted the Project Inform / Survive AIDS meeting (which focused on how to best use protease inhibitors). Pasquarelli was one of the three men charged. He was found guilty of riot and disturbing the peace and given a one-year sentence. He appealed and was out on bail when he took part in the actions with Petrelis that led to the arrest in November with bail set at $600,000. As Reg Smith of the DA’s office told the LA Times, “They have been jailed before. They’ve been released. They’ve been admonished not to do anything. And they’ve done it again.”

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LANE’S FLAT [Piercy]

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Dear Editor: 

Re: Cannabis Cultivation Ordinance

Some on our Mendocino County Board of Supervisors, like most of the elected officials in the United States, seem to make their decisions based only on money. Who will make how much and what’s in it for me?

Never mind that this single-minded policy has brought our planet to the brink of disaster, with our forests on fire and microplastics in our children’s blood, let’s just pay lip service to all that nonsense about environmental catastrophes and get on with business.

Right now a significant and growing portion of the business in our county is governed by Chapter 10A.17 of the Mendocino County Code, the Cannabis Cultivation Ordinance. And Supervisor John McCowen (District 2), apparently joined by Supervisor Ted Williams (District 5), wants to throw out the environmental protections provided by that ordinance and, as Supervisor McCowen stated in his proposal on the Board’s June 10 agenda, focus on where marijuana is grown and not on how it is grown.

And, if Supervisor McCowen has his way, it could be grown in any amount anywhere in the vast rolling hills of Mendocino County zoned as rangeland. Pesticides and fertilizers in our streams and rivers? Never mind. Increased fire threat on our tinder-dry hillsides? No problem.

Mendocino County voters considered just such an unregulated approach to cannabis cultivation in 2016 when Measure AF was placed on our ballots; we voted it down by substantial majorities in every supervisorial district. Now Supervisors McCowen and Williams are running interference for their big-time grower buddies and trying an end run around our 2016 vote.

The county spent about a year crafting our present Cannabis Cultivation Ordinance that provides for legalized cultivation with strong environmental protections. About 300 small, “legacy” operators have complied with the ordinance, received their permits, and paid their fees and taxes. Under the proposed unregulated plan, their future would be uncertain in the gold-rush atmosphere Supervisor McCowen would create.

Granted, the present version of the Cannabis Cultivation Ordinance is far from perfect, but it would be a serious mistake to throw out this baby with the bathwater. County staff is overburdened and the resources for enforcing the ordinance are inadequate. To remedy this, the county needs to put the folks who labored to write the present ordinance back to work to revise and fine-tune it rather than replace with the wide-open gold-rush approach proposed by Supervisor McCowen and the big-time growers eager to invade our rangelands.

If you agree with me, you need to let the Board of Supervisors know. As near as I have been able to determine, Supervisor McCowen’s proposal will come back before the Board at its meeting on August 4. Unfortunately, I cannot be sure of that date. When I called the phone number listed on the Board’s website and asked when the item would be back on the agenda, I was told that I could not find out until the Friday before the Tuesday meeting when it would be discussed. Squawk as I might, that was the best answer I could get.

It seems the Board prefers to go about its business without us looking.

But I will be looking, and I hope you will too. Our Cannabis Cultivation Ordinance may seem insignificant compared to the monumental problems facing our planet, but preserving it is something we can do right here to protect our little corner of the Earth. Let’s do it. You can email the supervisors at

Josef Knight, Willits

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CATCH OF THE DAY, July 28, 2020

Balandran, Britton, Hernandez, Lawson


HAROLD BRITTON III, Covelo. Negligent discharge of firearm.

JORDY HERNANDEZ, Ukiah. DUI, no license.

JEREMY LAWSON, Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-alcohol.

Moon, Morales, Weatherly, Wright

MEGAN MOON, Fort Bragg. Failure to appear.

JOSEPH MORALES JR., Reno/Ukiah. Failure to appear.

TRAVIS WEATHERLY, Arbuckle/Fort Bragg. Suspended license (for DUI0, no license, failure to appear, probation revocation.

JEFFREY WRIGHT, Fort Bragg. Use of tear gas for other than self-defense.

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AH, THE OLD QUESTIONS, the old answers, there's nothing like them!

— Samuel Beckett

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America used to have a healthy and robust hobo culture. If you can’t get a job or find a way to get by in one place, you just hopped a freight and went somewhere else. Along the way you met lots of other nice folks just like you hoping to get by. Get a meal here or there. Sleep in a barn. Swing a broom a bit. Then move on.

Today, the rail lines have been decimated and the freights that do run carry what’s left of that cheap labor crap from that Land of the East. Today’s freight trains have been militarized and they run too fast to catch up to when you’re running on foot. That destroyed an entire successfully-working American culture.

If we’re really going to Make American Great Again, we’ve got to bring back the rail lines and hobo culture. Soon, we’ll ALL be hobos without jobs and places to live. Millions of us will need a way to beg a meal somewhere and to move about after our homes have been foreclosed on, our cars repossessed, our bank accounts seized, our credit cards cancelled, and our smartphone battery goes dead and we throw the damn thing into the ditch along the tracks.

Hobo Culture is America’s 21st Century Future. Get out those old hobo and railroad songs. Find your old harmonica and brush up. Tear some holes in your shirt and pants and socks if they don’t yet have any. Who says we don’t have a future?! We are Woke And We Are Broke™! Happy days are here again!

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RED LINE FOR A HUMANE SOCIETY: 360+ DNC Delegates Vow to Oppose Democratic Platform If It Doesn't Support Medicare for All

Democrats who understand the profound need for Medicare for All don't want a pat on the head. We want a genuine political commitment to healthcare as a human right.

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Regarding Louis Bedrock’s surprisingly naive assertion that transexuals are “essentially homosexuals in dresses,” the situation on the ground is more nuanced. Many born as biological men transexuals are heterosexually oriented and take or keep women as partners and wives after their gender transitions. Furthermore, Mr. Bedrock overlooks the many biological women who transition to men. Not all of them are lesbians. In the 1990’s, there was a bearded and handsome woman to man transexual bartender at San Francisco’s Lone Star Saloon who was popular, shall we say, with some of the queer men clientele. It is unlikely that anybody would undergo the demanding regimen of a sex change procedure to have access to a “homosexual” partner considering that same-sex relations have been legal in the USA for many years.

Gender has been viable as a choice and not as destiny at least since Shakespeare allowed Rosalind to choose to be a boy in the Forest of Arden in As You Like It. Virginia Woolf’s Orlando transitions from man to woman in the 19th Century. As usual, James Baldwin said it best, “There is a man in every woman and a woman in every man. Sometimes this is reorganized only when the chips are, brutally, down — when there is no longer any way to avoid this recognition. But love between a man and a woman, or love between any two human beings, would not be possible did we not have available to us the spiritual resources of both sexes.”

If old hippies want to reduce gender fluidity among the younger generation, they should keep quiet about it. Objectively speaking, long hair looks awful on most men. How many of you old dudes would have kept your hair long if it didn’t make your parents’ generation angry?

On the other hand, consider supporting gender fluidity among the younger generation if you want to be taken seriously as an Anti-Fa Elder. Trump’s exclusion of transexuals in the military and escalating hate crimes against transexuals are wedge issues among liberal and leftist Millennials. Check out Taylor Swift’s “You Need to Calm Down” video on YouTube and Ryan Murphy’s Pose on Netflix to appreciate that for many idealistic 21st Century Youth, drag queens and transexuals are almost the new Sidney Poitier.

Richard Russell

San Jose

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Please get this... there is no "Antifa" as a distinct thing...

Like there is no "Millennial Snowflakes" or "Religious Snowflakes" or "Gravy Sucking Bankers" as a thing.

It's an attribute, the nature of a group of people with certain elements in common. Antifa doesn't have a clubhouse, or a handshake, or a special decoder rings... It's just all those folks who are against fascism. Some have been active since the 1930s and get their passion from fighting fascism in Europe in the 1920s and 1930s. These are older and more respectable organizations. Some are loud and crazy (most not). In the same way that 99.9% of environmental organizations are responsible and have consistent respect for all life including humans (most even put human life at the top of the list, though not all.) That said there's a tiny fringe of environmental whackaloons who feel the extinction of humanity will save life on the planet, not understanding that sentience is important, and with it, we could actually prevent the planet from becoming a dead cinder in the face of a violent and indifferent universe. Doh!

So blaming the Simon Wiesenthal Center for violent protests simply because they're antifascist would be a bit of a stretch, yes? Enough with "Antifa"... try this, come up with your own Acronym for these violent asshats. Here's a chance to get creative. DHORKS, Destructive, Hypocritical, Onerous, Retarded, Kooks, Shouting... this is a poor example, but you hopefully get my drift.

We fought WWII to end fascism, it's a good fight, these knuckleheads don't deserve to share in the good karma. 

— Maria Tobias

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Dear Community,

Just heard that Peter Wells has passed away. So sad, so very sad. Just wanted folks to know. 

Peter, one of the greats of our coast. A truly brilliant and welcoming host at Albion River Inn, raconteur and spiritual adventurer, bold and happy theatrical creator, musical explorer and family man.

Love to his family and all who knew and worked with him and loved him.

Marco McClean:

Peter Wells wrote a play called Blue Dove, about the life of Krishnamurti, and put it on in the metal building Gloriana moved to for awhile on North Franklin when Cotton Auditorium was being renovated.

That was 2002. He didn't haggle about paying the various techies and support people; he offered decent money, promptly paid what he promised to pay, and he was relaxed and patient about the whole process, his first play, which involved a lot of people, and the play came off without a hitch, was educational, interesting, and moving, and filled the seats for the whole run. None of that is usual for a self-production.

He put it on again in other places later on, I heard. I don't remember whether it ever got recorded on video but it probably did. That would be a great thing to show on Vimeo or YouTube. If you know anything about that and have a connection with the family, please suggest it.

Speaking of family: condolences to Peter's kids about his death.

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I was finally prompted to write about this because I’ve had a higher than usual engagement with the health care system over the past few weeks. It’s gone the way it always goes: it’s massively inefficient and prone to errors, most of which end up falling on patients to fix. 

There’s the hours spent on hold making appointments. There’s the constant checking for medication errors. There’s the endless arguing with insurance companies. There’s the back-and-forth process of telling doctors what some other doctor said because they never talk to each other. There’s the miscommunications caused by the fact that doctors typically know nothing about the actual operation of their own industry, etc.

These are all things we’re familiar with, and they’re basically elements of the health care system that are outsourced to patients themselves. It never gets accounted for, but for all practical purposes the health care system relies on the unpaid labor of patients to keep itself in operation. It’s a real cost, but it’s hard to measure...

Kevin Drum, Mother Jones

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How did you like your four-day baseball season? Was it lovely and distracting and oh so much fun? It shouldn’t continue much longer because the concept of an unquarantined sports season in the middle of a raging pandemic has been dangerously flawed from the start.

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by Jim Gibbons

Ed was a stocky 150-pounder I used to train with back in 1979-80. He figured the reason I ran faster than him was because I was skinnier. I tried to tell him that 150 or perhaps 145 might be just the right weight for him, but then I'd beat him in another foot race, and he'd get even more bound and determined to run more miles and lose more weight.

He kept building up his mileage ... 60, 70, and in too short of time got up to 80 miles a week, but only dropped five pounds -- and worse yet, still couldn't beat me.

"If I could just lose fifteen more pounds ... " Ed would say.

We did the 1980 Boston Marathon together. Well, not exactly together, as Ed was 40, making his 2:45 qualifying time good enough to be "seeded" up front in the "masters" division, while my 2:37 was just a middle-of-the-pack time for a 35-year-old "submaster." Marathon officials wouldn't let me past the rope that separated the seeded runners from the mid-pack folks, so Ed got a head start on me.

I had realized from the 96-degree, 12 noon start that it was too hot for any personal records, so I took it easy. My goal was just to finish. I finished. Ed didn't.

Ed said later that he "flamed out at about 17 miles doing a 5:45 pace.” That's a 2:30 marathon pace, which would have been a 15-minute PR!

Not realistic, considering the heat, but he told me that at least he "went for it," which seemed to suggest that I chickened out by pacing myself. To make matters worse for Ed, since our photo was in the Willits News just before we left, everyone kept asking the same question: "Did you finish?"

Then I didn't run with Ed for a while. I like to take time off after marathons. I've found that you come back faster over the long haul if you lay low for a few weeks after a 26-miler, but Ed kept running. He wanted to break the national master’s marathon record, which was a 2:22 held by Santa Rosa runner Jim Bowers. I did not think that was realistic, but kept my mouth shut.

Then one day Ed invited me over for breakfast and a long run afterward. His wife made pancakes without oil or butter. They had eliminated fats from their diet, including all dairy products, all meat, white flour, sugar, and alcohol. 

My first reaction was, "Just what the hell do you eat?" But of course, the answer was mostly fruits and vegetables.

He said he lost five more pounds, but still had ten to go. Losing ten more pounds would put him in at 130. I weighed 130. According to his logic, he then would be able to beat me.

We went for a run, and I started talking as usual, but he kept pushing the pace, making it difficult to converse. After ten miles I knew he wanted to see who would drop first. I didn't really plan on this to be a competition. I just wanted to suggest we turn back, but he seemed to take that as a sign of weakness. He knew he had me now, and kept pushing, while I dropped a step back, observing his effort. Indeed, he was intense, which made me think of my own intensity, or lack of it. I loved racing, but my daily runs were my meditation, my daily dose of endorphins. I preferred to save that intensity for races. What was he trying to prove?

Let’s just have an enjoyable run and talk about stuff like we used to do. 

I finally let up and told him I was going to take it easy the last few miles. I hadn't been doing my long runs and didn't want to overdo it. He reluctantly slowed with me, and we talked. He said someone accused him of being a fanatic, and his reply was, "If that's what it takes to be the best, so be it!"

Then a few weeks later Ed showed up at my place with his camper full of his belongings. He wanted to show me something before he left town. He took an unsteady step into his camper and fell to one knee. He was shaking. He seemed weak. I asked him what was wrong?

He said he was fine but had run twenty miles that morning so he could get in his third straight 100-mile week and felt a little tired. His cheeks seemed badly sunken, emphasizing the tight skin around his facial bones, giving his eyes a deeper, more intense look. His shirt hung on his once-burly shoulders as if on a hanger. His arms looked skinnier than mine. He took occasional deep breaths, as if he couldn't get enough oxygen just breathing normally. 

When we finally got inside, he pulled out an old bathroom scale. He got on and told me to look for myself. He was 130 fully clothed. I got on and weighed 131. He smiled and shook my hand, as if to say, "I guess I won this round, but don't feel bad, I've worked harder than you."

He said he was going to run the national masters 25K in San Francisco the next weekend, and then follow the racing circuit in his camper. He was leaving his photography business to follow his dream of winning his age division at Boston. He felt the locals didn't appreciate him anyway, and told me if I stayed in Willits, I would never reach my true running potential. And then he drove away.

Jim Bowers won that 25K in a national master’s record. Ed was nearly ten minutes back. 

A few months later I read in the National Masters News that Ed ran another 2:45 in the Phoenix Marathon. And that was it. I never saw Ed's name again in any race results. And to this day I have no idea where Ed is or what happened to him. 

Author’s Note: This article was published in the October 1990 issue of Running Times, and they paid me $150. They changed my title, “Skinnier Isn’t Always Faster,” which was first published in the Willits News and the Anderson Valley Advertiser, to “How Skinny Is Too Skinny?” It was accompanied by a photo of a skeleton with a bib number on his chest. 

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