Press "Enter" to skip to content

MCT: Monday, August 17, 2020

* * *

THUNDERSTORMS are expected today for mostly Lake, Mendocino and Trinity Counties. Otherwise, hot and dry weather is expected to persist in the interior through Tuesday, while coastal areas cool off as the marine layer rebuilds. (NWS)

YESTERDAY'S HIGHS: Boonville 103°, Yorkville 103° — the temp hit 130° in Death Valley on Sunday afternoon, which may be the highest recorded August temperature ever, and may be among the top-three highest temperatures ever reliably measured on the planet at any time.

* * *


* * *


Lake County Portion of Lake/Napa/Sonoma RU-Interior Mendocino-1206 PM PDT Sun Aug 16 2020

The National Weather Service in Eureka has issued a Red Flag Warning, which is in effect from 2 AM to 11 AM PDT Monday.

THUNDERSTORMS...Fast moving dry thunderstorms will pose a threat for fire starts due to lightning.

WINDS...Erratic, gusty outflow winds will be possible in and around thunderstorms. Winds outside of storms will be lighter, but west-northwest breezes will pick up late Monday afternoon and evening.

IMPACTS...Higher potential for wildfire starts in proximity to thunderstorms due to lightning. Any fires that develop may spread rapidly due to the combination of dry fuels and low humidity. Outdoor burning is not recommended.


A Red Flag Warning means that critical fire weather conditions are either occurring now, or will shortly. A combination of strong winds, low relative humidity, and warm temperatures can contribute to extreme fire behavior.

Listen for later forecasts and possible Red Flag Warnings.

* * *


* * *

FIRE CREWS on the Mendocino National Forest are responding to several fires started by lightning after thunderstorms passed over the area early Sunday, Aug. 16. A few fires are reported on the Grindstone Ranger District including one in the Snow Mountain Wilderness. One fire is reported on the Covelo Ranger District northeast of Covelo near Leech Lake. Additional resources have been ordered to assist with initial attack. Our primary wildfire response strategy for 2020 is aggressive initial attack and rapid containment to minimize the number of large wildfires. More information will be provided as it becomes available.

* * *

MENDO COVID, AUGUST 16 (4 new cases)

* * *


Jill came to the shelter as a stray, so her history is a mystery. Jill is adjusting to life at the Shelter and still "searching" for her former life. During her evaluation, Jill was friendly and allowed basic handling, but she was preoccupied with exploring the room. We expect to see changes as Jill becomes more comfortable and acclimates to the shelter environment. This will be the case when she is adopted also, as dogs require adjustment periods when going from a shelter to their new home. We see great potential in this young dog who just needs some TLC and patience from her new family, as she becomes accustomed to her new life. 

More about Jill here:

To see our canine and feline guests, and for information about our services, programs, events, and updates about the county covid-19 closure and the shelter, visit: We're on Facebook at:

For information about adoptions please call 707-467-6453. 

* * *


AV Fire Chief Andres Avila writes: “AV Fire had a call mid-morning (Sunday) for a missing hiker with a dog in the area Clow Ridge Road (behind Handley Cellars, west of Philo). We were provided GPS coordinates that apparently came from an alert device of some sort. Units searched the area until CalStar 4 was able to locate the woman near a vineyard fence. She was in steep, difficult terrain and couldn't get through the tall fences with the large dog nor could she backtrack. AV Fire was able to find her, cut the fence, and get her out of the situation. The patient did not need medical attention and was given a ride home by a sheriff's officer.”

* * *

LOCAL NOTE: What fun these Anderson Valley Grange Drive-In Theater nights are for everyone, including children, who for the first time get to experience outdoor movie showing! 

Rolling snack bar, Covid-busted bathrooms, and social distancing protocols galore! Heard this Grange fundraiser is gonna happen every other week throughout the summer! 

You can even Venmo your donation to @AVgrange!

* * *

NIGHT LIGHT OF THE NORTH COAST: Perseid Meteors 2020: A Comet’s Debris

by David Wilson

Currently speeding out from the sun after its last visit to the Solar System’s inner reaches in 1992, Comet Swift-Tuttle leaves a trail of debris. Comets are made of frozen gasses, dust, and rock; as sun’s energy warms and sublimates the frozen gasses, some of its solids are blown off into space, leaving a trail of particles. 

Every 133 years Swift-Tuttle comes in from out beyond Pluto to swing by Earth’s neighborhood on its path around the Sun, laying down another swath of dust and small particles before heading back out again. Earth passes through the cometary dust cloud every year in early-mid August. As we pass through the trail of dust and small chunks, we collect them in our atmosphere like bugs on a windshield. The particles, or meteoroids, enter the atmosphere at incredibly high speeds (over 100,000 miles per hour), and burn up quickly due to friction with the air. The meteors we see in the sky are their paths burning through the sky. 

Imagine Earth sliding along its orbit in space around the sun, a great blue, white, and brown marble traveling majestically, silently, along a path it’s known for billions of years. Riding atop this great globe, you look ahead, and you see coming up in your path a cloudy stream that reaches and fades to eternity on either side. Earth is going to pass right through the thick of it. It’s Swift-Tuttle’s dust trail.

At the outer fringes of the stream, stray bits begin impacting the atmosphere, burning up in flashes and streaks as their energy turns to heat and flame. Earth glides on, into the densest part of the cometary particle path. Flashes and streaks increase. The stream of particles strikes the earth’s protective skin of gases like water from a hose. In stripes and streaks, the meteoroids stab into the Earth’s layer of air, white hot needles straining to reach the ground.

Standing on the ground, small and human, the meteors shoot across the sky overhead. Adding comet dust to Earth’s mass, the shooting stars radiate in all directions from the point where the stream of cometary motes impacts the atmospheric shield above. For the Perseid meteors, this is a point in the northeast, not high above the horizon, in the constellation Perseus.

The accompanying timelapse sequence shows a lot of activity in the sky, but by far most of it is human-made, either satellites or airplanes. Here on California’s rural north coast, we see many more satellites that planes in the sky. Meteors are difficult to spot in the timelapse, as they appear only as brief flashes, short streaks that don’t reach across the frame. Airplane and satellites travel across the entire field of view. Satellites tend to be a uniform brightness — though that can vary as they revolve and their varied surfaces catch the sun’s glare, and will they dim or brighten as they pass into or out of the earth’s shadow — while airplanes appear as dashed lines due to their blinking light

Self Portrait with Perseid Meteors. The lights of Eureka shine on the Pacific coast beneath a pair of Perseid meteors in this composite of two images from a timelapse sequence taken during the Perseid meteor shower of 2020 from the hills of Humboldt County, California. August 12, 2020.

Still from a timelapse sequence of the Perseid meteors from Fickle Hill Road, Humboldt County, California. August 11, 2020.

(To keep abreast of David Wilson’s most current photography or purchase a print, visit or contact him at his website or follow him on Instagram at @david_wilson_mfx , or follow me on Instagram at @david_wilson_mfx and on Twitter @davidwilson_mfx.)

* * *


The School: 

In the early 1960s, eleven Pedro Pan boys and girls were relocated to the Dominican Sisters-operated orphanage named The Albertinum Orphan Asylum, located at 915 West Church Street in the city of Ukiah, in Mendocino County. 

The Albertinum was first constructed as a convent in 1883. In 1903, the nuns of the Sacred Heart Convent started a day school for Catholic children: El Rosario School. 

The following year in 1904 they opened an orphanage, The Albertinum, for boys and in 1932 it was expanded to include girls. In the 1950’s, The Albertinum was described as a program providing care, education and training for dependent and neglected children. By the 1960’s, the children needing placement often had serious emotional problems, requiring more specialized care and treatment, which the facility began providing. It operated until 1969, when it was closed due to a lack of funding, and the fact that they no longer had enough nuns to keep it going. Subsequently, it was sold to the Greek Orthodox Church, which used it to set up the Trinity School, a boarding school for children with emotional problems. Currently, it is owned by a Buddhist University. The existing dormitory and nun’s quarter’s structure are considered a building of local historic significance. According to the City of Ukiah Architectural and Historical Resources Inventory Report, the dormitory structure was constructed in 1929, although County Assessor’s records indicate that it was constructed in 1925. 

* * *



I noticed in the August 1 Ukiah Daily Journal in the classified section under legal notices, that someone named My Nga Thi Vo has applied for a permit to construct a minor subdivision at 589 North School Street in Ukiah. Apparently this subdivision was approved by the city engineer, but then City Councilman Jim Brown filed to appeal the city engineer’s approval.

This piece of property (APN-002-146-01) is located directly across the street from Jim Brown’s place of residence, and, I guess good old nimby Jim just doesn’t want any more neighbors near him, but, I’m willing to bet that if this project was located anywhere else in Ukiah, that Councilman Brown would be behind it 100 percent.

This parcel is zoned for single family residential. It is just too bad that it isn’t zoned for apartments. That would make nimby Jim’s life just so much more interesting.

David Anderson


* * *

photo by Skip Taube

* * *


by Tommy Wayne Kramer

You needn’t be a curmudgeon nor a palsied elder pining for the good old days to realize everything from this to that and from up to down has been getting worse for as long as you can remember.

We’re talking of both small, personal changes (“Shall I wear my trousers rolled?” or “What about a red Miata when I retire?”) and also the macro changes that sometimes sweep a land.

Small changes bring silly hairdos, bad sitcoms and astrologists. Big changes bring disease, pestilence and ugly buildings. Major changes to society always work out for the worse. In art, literature, music, architecture, politics and any other category we can shake a fist at, the new is inferior to the old.

There is not a city in America today as beautiful and livable as it was 100 years ago. Look at Cleveland and weep. Look at Detroit—-no, don’t. Detroit has been dealt an especially harsh series of improvements since the riots in the 1960s. San Francisco, once the prettiest city in the USA, now belongs in a sci-fi movie about a dystopian future. It’s an open toilet and a 24-hour shooting gallery and yet, ha ha, comically expensive.

Just wait ’til we get newly destroyed versions of Portland and Minneapolis, currently under siege by criminals and “community activists.”

ARCHITECTURE: A big contributor to urban uglification. To comprehend the collapse of once-beautiful cities is to monitor the trend from Victorian, Beaux Arts, Greco-Roman and Art Deco buildings to today’s relentlessly brutal collection of aluminum boxes strewn through cityscapes across the land, each uglier than what it replaced.

SMALL CHANGES (also worse):

CLOTHING: People once dressed up to go to a wedding or a funeral or a ballgame or to work. The first time I rode in an airplane (1965) I wore a tie. Only guy on a plane now wearing a tie is the pilot, while everyone else looks like Walmart.

People mope around Ukiah in pajamas and underwear. Our streets look as if escapees from a mental institution are on the loose. Folks dress for weddings and funerals today the same way they dress for lawn mowing and television watching.

CARS: Automobiles were once works of art, yet ready to roll at a miraculous 100 miles an hour.

A 1958 Mercury Turnpike Cruiser looked as if it were carved from wedding cake. Today a Toyota looks like a potato and a Cadillac looks like a Hyundai. Yeah I know they go a million miles without breaking but I want a newer, cooler car every three years anyway, with bigger fins and more horsepower.

TATTOOS: Permanently disfiguring one’s body used to be the rare and exclusive province of bikers, felons, social deviants and the occasional Navy kid who got drunk in San Diego.

Tattoos were once small and discrete. I remember seeing lightning bolts tattooed on a guy’s neck! at the Redwood Valley Store in 1978 and thinking he might be a Nazi. Today, tattoos are ubiquitous and boring.

It’s hard to find a woman in her 20s without a square yard of butterflies, flowers and obscure hieroglyphics coating her once-perfect skin. Oh well. She’ll get her money’s worth because her tattoo will double in size when she gets old and gains 50 lbs.

ART: The horror. No one could claim the sloppy splashes and drippings of Jackson Pollack compare with the most modest of Norman Rockwell’s mid-century depictions of Americans in America. And Norman Rockwell looks like Charles Schulz next to Michelangelo and Rembrandt.

LITERATURE hardly exists. Books today are meager, bloodless affairs that shrink in comparison with what came before. No weighty themes or heroic stories are on display in bestsellers. Books are now imitative assembly line products, as if stories about experiences with dogs can bear repetition, while mystery novels with girls, gone accumulate so quickly in the bookstores one can hardly keep track, and why try?

POETRY: Other than journalism, poetry’s the most debased practice around. Faux emotions, deficient language skills and the laughable notion a laundry list of adjectives makes it sort of poem-y dooms each as it dribbles off the lips.

If someone says he’s a poet you know he’s A) Lazy, B) Lives on government grants, and C) Gets drunk at parties and recites “Howl.”

JOURNALISM: I’d rather tell someone I’m a poet. Journalists, once fiercely independent and both proud and devoted to giving both sides of a story, now serve as cheap shills for the political party that owns them. Troubling and bizarre to see the depths to which the New York Times has tumbled.

AIRLINE TRAVEL: You don’t need me to explain the unpleasantries, and no, it has nothing to do with neckties. Comfort yourself with the notion you can land at SFO an hour before you depart Detroit, and then consider what your ancestors endured, on foot.

(Tom Hine and his imaginary inflatable doll friend, TWK, have filled this space in the Daily Journal 52 Sundays a year since 2006.)

* * *

(photo via Susie de Castro)

* * *


MSP Nailed it.

Don’t like the rules? Then try to change them! These tactics are straight from the National Republican playbook but on a local level. Move the election date. This subversion of local democracy starts with cut and paste emails originated by the 2016 Fort Bragg City Council failed candidate Scott Menzies. Dude. You lost! Move on. So his political group doesn’t think the only 2 (incumbent) candidates for City Council appointments deserve the required 4 year appointment, so they attempt to change the elections code and allow the candidates to have only a 2 year appointment only to allow them to identify a candidate of their choice. They had 48 months to put forward a viable candidate. Can’t find one? Run again then. But the people of Fort Bragg see through these feeble attempts to discredit the duly elected Council members. We have hard work to do on behalf of the good people of Fort Bragg and these attempts to change the rules are a waste of time and energy.

* * *



You gotta hand it to the small group of activists in Fort Bragg for persistently trying to change city government according to THEIR whims.

MSP received a copy of an email from a viewer that has been circulating. It’s from Scott Menzies – a failed city council candidate that SWEARS (to this day) he would be a city councilor if there was ranked-choice voting.

Here’s the email:

“Regarding the appointments of Mr. Lee and Mr. Norvell:

1. The Council should move forward with the appointments, but only for a maximum of TWO YEARS, not the full term.

2. At the latest, the election should be wrapped into the next City Council election in 2022, electing all five Council seats together.

It is certainly reasonable to want to save the $10,000 to hold the unopposed election. It is also reasonable that, being unopposed, voters be allowed to focus their energy on other races this November.

However, it must be understood that the absence of challengers during a world-wide pandemic and the throes of a national racial justice reckoning cannot, and must not, be taken as an affirmation of Mr. Lee and Mr. Norvell’s work as Council members or as a mandate of the people.

It is merely a testament to the fatigue, fear, and distraction by the people of Fort Bragg, especially BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and Other People of Color), who have the work of ongoing racial justice efforts weighing extra heavily right now.

The people of Fort Bragg still have a right to an election, even if it is delayed. Two years is enough time for our world to stabilize to its new normal, and places the next election with the three other Council seats.

Thank you, Scott Menzies

Scott Menzies, M.A. (Environment & Community) Instructor/Proprietor, Perfect Circle T’ai Chi Martial Arts

P.O. Box 1243 / 330 N. Franklin St, Fort Bragg.”

A similar letter was circulated by Linda Jupiter.

* * *


The “absence of challengers” IS an affirmation of the fine job done by Mayor Will Lee and Vice Mayor Bernie Norvell. You’ll note Mr. Menzies says his cult, we mean followers, have experienced “fatigue, fear, and distraction” – but what of those who had to GOVERN THE CITY, not just stand in the street, while experiencing those very same conditions?

The BIPOC – (that has a Facebook page with 384 members, but not many from the City of Fort Bragg) was formed in the wake of the horrific death of George Floyd in Minneapolis.

From what we’ve seen – the BIPOC talks a big game – they’re so “busy” one member, who claimed she was “the main lead for the MendoCoast BIPOC …working around the clock working as an activist and organizing protests in Fort Bragg” didn’t even make the selection for the city ad hoc committee.

She did, however, collect $2,143 of the $5,000 she asked from gullible people in a Gofundme page to hire an administrative assistant to “provide administrative support so I have the capacity to continue to focus my time on developing our ad hoc committee.”

The truth is – had the BIPOC run a candidate – even though they are “busy” organizing ever-shrinking “protests” in the streets, the candidate would have been VERY disappointed in the results – much, much worse than Scott Menzies loss in 2016 when he came in third in a five-person race (971 votes -21.4 %).

Looking back on that election – Will Lee topped the ballot with 1,623 votes (35.77%) with Bernie Norvell close behind at 1,527 votes (33.66%).

This is just another attempt at an “end-around” of city code on the part of a few disgruntled “waanabe’s.” And, as with previous attempts, it will go nowhere.

MSP will be attending tonight’s City Council “special meeting” – and we’re going to recommend Mayor Lee & Vice Mayor Norvell have their terms extended for TEN years.

* * *

From Hilary White (Menzies’ 2016 Campaign Manager:

“To the members of the Fort Bragg City Council,

I am writing in support of the Council moving forward with the appointments of Councilmembers Lee and Norvell, but only for an interim term of, at most, two years, not four. Appointments, while cost effective and logical under the circumstances, eliminate two choices for the voters of this community: the possibility of a write-in candidate and most importantly, the ability to make our voices heard by casting or withholding our votes for the candidates.

If the Council does move ahead with the appointments, as I agree is warranted at this time, I would like to see the term extended until 2022, so that all five Council seats are elected at the same time, with the ultimate goal of reforming our electoral system to a more representational one.

The past two elections have been very competitive with many candidates running and I imagine that this election would have been too, if not for the coronavirus and the resultant economic crisis. Our community deserves to have robust electoral dialogue, and full representation of the community. In order to have this, we must be very careful not to fall into a cycle of full-term appointments.

I appreciate all of you for continuing to serve our community during this incredibly difficult time.

Thank you for your consideration,

Hilary White, Resident, City of Fort Bragg”

* * *

And Linda Jupiter:

Greetings, all,

I want to thank you for the great work you’re doing for our town. So glad you, Will and Bernie, are willing to keep working and thinking well for our town.

I understand that since no one else submitted papers to run for City Council (other than Will and Bernie), the Council is holding a special meeting tomorrow to appoint them to their seats rather than hold a $10,000 election for unopposed candidates. I think that’s a smart idea.

Since we’re in the midst of a pandemic and people are fighting just to pay the rent and stay safe, it’s not surprising that no one has stepped up. However, the absence of challengers during this pandemic cannot be taken as a mandate of the people. It may be merely a testament to the overwhelm felt by almost all of the people of Fort Bragg.

With that in mind, and because I and others have been actively seeking out BIPOC candidates to run for City Council, I ask that these appointments be for two years, rather than four.

Combining all five seats provides an opportunity to organize toward the implementation of Proportional Representation to elect those five seats, all at once. If all five seats are up at the same time, we can again save thousands of dollars for additional elections.

Hoping to attend tomorrow’s meeting.


Linda Jupiter

Fort Bragg”

* * *

Wait! There’s more!

“Hello Fort Bragg City Council,

I do not live in the City limits, I am not a Fort Bragg voter, but I do live up Pudding Creek Road and feel like I live in Fort Bragg, it is my town. I do support you making the decision to skip an election this year, it makes a lot of sense. I also think it makes a lot of sense to hold one in 2 years and elect the whole council together at that time since you will already be having an election so it won’t cost any more money.

I think things are too chaotic right now for people to start many things, including political campaigns. Please give folks a chance to run, and voters to vote, in 2 years instead of 4 when things are hopefully stabilized. As I understand things, you are not required to appoint for full 4 year terms, and I think it will show a good faith effort to support democracy if you have 2 year appointments.


Andy Wellspring”

REGARDING WILL LEE’S AND PAUL MCCARTHY’S POST about the lack of candidates to replace Lee and fellow Councilman Bernie Norvell… We have no complaints about Fort Bragg’s political leadership. Seems like they, along with their impressive city manager, are certainly doing more to address looming major financial problems than any other local governing body. But another possible reason for the lack of new candidates is the level of difficulty an elected but unpaid official would face these days if they try to do their job. Why run if all you’re going to do is rubberstamp cutbacks recommended by non-elected officials? If you take your elected position seriously, you’ll be up against budget cuts and entrenched, overpaid bureaucrats who at best see elected officials as a necessary evil and at worst see them as an annoyance to their own self-serving plans. We see no evidence, for example, that the four candidates for the two ($84k plus benefits) positions on the Board of Supervisors have the slightest idea what they’re in for as the rolling disasters unfold. And unpaid school trustees? We can’t even imagine! We can only wish them luck.

(Mark Scaramella)

* * *

SOME ON-LINE COMMENTERS noted that we missed a few local news outlets in yesterday’s round up/commentary.

• ICO Editor Chris McManus writes: “No mention of the Independent Coast Observer in Gualala or either of our two radio stations, all of which are independent. Nothing new about the south coast being ignored by the rest of Mendocino Co.”

• Joe Wagner at KNYO: “Anybody see KNYO on the front page of the Advocate? I read the tag line under the picture and left it alone. Looked like a puff piece about media with nothing critical in it. I imagine the writer was not really in tune with how radio and media actually operate. Oh well.”

• Paul McCarthy at MendocinoSportsPlus: “And we note there was not one mention of what passes for weekly newspapers in Mendocino & Fort Bragg.”

WE ALSO OVERLOOKED the AVA’s own coast correspondent Malcolm Macdonald who certainly does a lot of local history and local reporting and consistently digs into stories behind the stories.

(Mark Scaramella)

* * *


* * *


UNSETTLED WEATHER seems to go nicely with the unsettled times, he said, drifting into vague anecdotes hinting at apocalypse. I noticed some twenty years ago that my rose buds were frying on the stem, that the air felt thinner somehow, that hot days seemed hotter. Confirmation that global weather shifts of the ominous type were underway began to appear in the science journals, and then in the mass media, and now everywhere as most of us begin to feel like the proverbial frog on simmer. Even if industrial civ were capable of adjusting to cool the globe the science says the damage is irreversible, that from now on it's rolling weather catastrophes on top of the civil ones we've got going, the globally-warmed weather exacerbating all of them.

SAW A REPORT yesterday from a Fort Bragg weather alarmist who said it was a hundred degrees on the town's east side. Cooler heads (sic) immediately weighed in to say it was about 80, which is still hot by Coast standards. Here in Boonville where the ava bunker sits in a sea of macadam left over from a drive-thru coffee stand, which raises the temp higher than it naturally is, our hyperbolic thermometer read 112 in the shade, again. It was a hundred though, and we were walking slow and drinking a lot of water.

TRUMP claimed Sunday morning that Kamala Harris "is the most liberal” lawmaker in Congress, even more of a liberal than Bernie Sanders. Gulp and Gosh! Any other place in the world, and even here in the U.S. in the population pockets where words still have meaning, Sanders is most accurately pegged as a social democrat. He calls himself a socialist but like social democrats everywhere he believes in reforming capitalism, not ending it. Kamala? More a mainstream Demo-lib from her votes and occasional statements, a kind of go with the Big Lib Flow person rather than an aggressive reformer like Bernie or, say, AOC ,whose reforms, if miraculously enacted given the reverse pull of Biden and the DNC, would benefit the average American no end. But painting any of these people as radical leftists — opposed to capitalism — is simply a perversion of language. Which is why people like me are un-enthusiastic about Biden and Harris. Trump has exacerbated all the social/political faultlines for sure, but they pre-dated him. He's speeded them up but the Democrats need to offer more than just saying they're not him. 

THE GOOD NEWS. I assumed the Animal Shelter would be stuffed with unadopted dogs because of the coronavirus shutting things down, but when I asked Kathy Shearn, she said there were only four dogs presently without permanent homes. "The community has been amazing--adopting," Kathy said, "fostering and stepping up to help the cats and dogs. Amy, the Adoption Coordinator, also told me that several shelters in the Bay Area are closed due to covid, so people are coming to Ukiah. Also, I believe there are fewer Animal Control officers scouting the hills and dales, so fewer dogs being nabbed. And, people are home more, and (hopefully) watching over and taking care of their pets, so not nearly as many loose dogs out and about. The average before for many years was about 40 dogs available and 20 or so in isolation. When I first started volunteering, there could be 90+ dogs for adoption, and available kennels, which number 46, would be doubled up."

LIKE everyone else in these parts I've enjoyed Brad Wiley’s reminiscences of Navarro, and laughed when he mentioned Masonite’s plan to develop an 800-lot subdivision along the Navarro between Hendy Woods and Lazy Creek. As I recall that ghastly and hugely destructive scheme, it was 800 condos piled onto five acres on a commons of forest and meadow, which struck me in its disproportionate size a lot like that failed lunatic development at Shelter Cove in Southern Humboldt County.

THEN-AVA PUBLISHER Homer Mannix was for it, perhaps because… Well, all expenses-paid weekend trips to the developer's headquarters in San Diego may have helped persuade Homer that 800 condos were just what the Anderson Valley needed. But tensions ran high between the fors and the againsts until the project was finally abandoned mostly, as I recall, because even the retro county authorities in Ukiah questioned its viability.

BUT IN THE ANDERSON VALLEY, the controversy played out as Hippies vs Old Timers, and the lines were firmly drawn, and one memorable night a public meeting was convened in the high school gym with "hippies" arrayed on one side of the basketball court, old timers on the other. The developer was represented by the usual forked-tongue lawyer who passed out slickly-produced brochures showing handsome white people riding horses, playing tennis and gazing at each other over glasses of wine. To us hippies, that vision represented everything we'd fled, a suburban nightmare plunked down in our freshly discovered rural paradise, an urban architectural curse following us north from the city. (I wasn't a hippie, by the way, but for political purposes, and as a newcomer, I always got lumped in with the shaggy beasts.)

EVERYTHING the developer's rep said was cheered by the old timers, groaned at by the counterculture troops arrayed opposite them, until order nearly broke down altogether when Lovella Sand, an old timer, took the speaker's lectern and fairly shouted, "What do we want in this community, nice homes for nice people or teepees for hippies?" The hippies began to chant, "Teepees! Teepees!" as the old timers yelled back, "Nice homes! Nice People!"

BUT THE NIGHT was won by ancient Cecil Gowan of the famous pioneer Gowans who tottered forward to present an environmental history of the area proposed for the monstrosity, how it wouldn't produce enough water for a development of the size envisioned, how generally wrong-headed it was. Old Cecil could hardly be described as a hippie, or one more impertinent newcomer telling old timers how to run their affairs. Nope, Cecil wasn't one of these dope-headed communists or whatever the hell they were. Cecil went all the way back to Indians and hop fields. He was older than the old timers! And Cecil prevailed, and that was that, and the hippies married into the old timers to produce hippie-rednecks, and these little hipnecks grew up and married Mexicans, each iteration smarter and better looking than the last.

* * *

CATCH OF THE DAY, August 16, 2020

Lopez, Ortega, Simone

JAMES LOPEZ, Ukiah. Resisting.

DAVID ORTEGA, Cloverdale/Ukiah. Under influence false ID.

JASMINE SIMONE, Sunnyvale/Ukiah. DUI-alcohol&drugs.

Smith, Ullrich, Vannote

DANIEL SMITH, Ukiah. Domestic battery.

DENISE ULLRICH, La Mesa/Ukiah. Domestic abuse, resisting.

JOHN VANNOTE, Ukiah. Protective order violation. (Frequent flyer.)

* * *



Riots. Looting. Shooting. Anarchy. Attacking police. Throwing balls of urine at the police and bottles of feces. Nasty as you can get. But it's happening in Democratic led cities. The more they do, the more it will help the people of the United States say to the Democrats: Who are you people? How can you be so disgusting? They are the only ones having any trouble. I hope it gets worse in the Democratic led cities. A lot of people think like me. It proves what a rotten bunch of scum the Democratic party really is.

Kamala, Camel?, Harris? Who is she? She couldn't even lead a Girl Scout team in San Francisco. The only reason she’s a senator is because she had money. Come on, give me a break. She and Biden couldn't be president of a Boy Scout team.

God bless Donald Trump.

Jerry Philbrick


* * *


Full HazMat suits with respirators will be all the rage in 2021. And who knows, after the novelty of the virus wears off, perhaps we’ll go in for a radiological scare of some kind as we well? We’ll need dosimeters to measure day to day exposures along with some regularly scheduled internal biometric lab work. All payed for by the individual, of course. Available for low monthly payments now at your friendly neighborhood HazMart! Gonna be a lot of people begging for a bolt stunner to the head before this is all over with. No country for old men INDEED!

* * *

* * *


Cotati, Sunday morning. Great rattling sheet-metal style thunder. All the windows are open, and the puffs of wind are the perfect cool temperature and smell of wet pavement, that's not petrichor but sweeter than that, more like beach sand than like soil, like the wet alley in L.A. when I was little. I went outside to watch the lightning and rain and found a couple of Juanita's little tree plants fallen over on the porch. Someone in the place downstairs, or downstairs to the left, makes a sad whimpering sound in her sleep -- there it is again -- or maybe she's talking on the phone. Juanita's gone off to work. It's getting light out. In my dream, a man like my step-brother Mark had to remind me about the government radio safety announcement not to rummage through garbage, because of the special danger of sharp things and disease, because I was trying to find a bowl. We all needed a bowl because the bossy Japanese girl would be taking us in her car to get soup, on the way to evacuate the city, some strange city on an island. The lightning didn't wake me up but Juanita's nearly inaudible alarm clock did. And I have a strange cut on my hip; I have no idea how that got there. I hope there isn't something sharp in the bed. My head hurts. I'm taking an ibuprofen and going back to sleep. And there go the sirens.

— Marco McClean

* * *

ON THE ONE HAND the Press Democrat lauds the rich and hyper affluent with frequent puff pieces. And on the other hand they fuel anger and angst against the homeless with stories of fires and other politically incorrect problems. The refusal to acknowledge the housing crises in Sonoma County with property prices ever climbing higher and out of reach is apparently not worth any journalism. Between fluff pieces about real estate and the endless spiel of trendy, exclusive eateries and boutiques the elite demographic target of the Press Democrat gains ever more clarity. Marie Antoinette would be most impressed. 

— Harry Martin

* * *

* * *


(Unbylined, via New York Times)

A Black Marxist Scholar Wanted to Talk About Race. It Ignited a Fury.

The cancellation of a speech reflects an intense debate on the left: Is racism the primary problem in America today, or the outgrowth of a system that oppresses all poor people?

By Aug. 14, 2020 Adolph Reed is a son of the segregated South, a native of New Orleans who organized poor Black people and antiwar soldiers in the late 1960s and became a leading Socialist scholar at a trio of top universities.

Along the way, he acquired the conviction, controversial today, that the left is too focused on race and not enough on class. Lasting victories were achieved, he believed, when working class and poor people of all races fought shoulder to shoulder for their rights.

In late May, Professor Reed, now 73 and a professor emeritus at the University of Pennsylvania, was invited to speak to the Democratic Socialists of America’s New York City chapter. The match seemed a natural. Possessed of a barbed wit, the man who campaigned for Senator Bernie Sanders and skewered President Barack Obama as a man of “vacuous to repressive neoliberal politics” would address the D.S.A.’s largest chapter, the crucible that gave rise to Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and a new generation of leftist activism.

His chosen topic was unsparing: He planned to argue that the left’s intense focus on the disproportionate impact of the coronavirus on Black people undermined multiracial organizing, which he sees as key to health and economic justice.

Notices went up. Anger built. How could we invite a man to speak, members asked, who downplays racism in a time of plague and protest? To let him talk, the organization’s Afrosocialists and Socialists of Color Caucus stated, was “reactionary, class reductionist and at best, tone deaf.”

“We cannot be afraid to discuss race and racism because it could get mishandled by racists,” the caucus stated. “That’s cowardly and cedes power to the racial capitalists.”

Amid murmurs that opponents might crash his Zoom talk, Professor Reed and D.S.A. leaders agreed to cancel it, a striking moment as perhaps the nation’s most powerful Socialist organization rejected a Black Marxist professor’s talk because of his views on race.

“God have mercy, Adolph is the greatest democratic theorist of his generation,” said Cornel West, a Harvard professor of philosophy and a Socialist. “He has taken some very unpopular stands on identity politics, but he has a track record of a half-century. If you give up discussion, your movement moves toward narrowness.”

The decision to silence Professor Reed came as Americans debate the role of race and racism in policing, health care, media and corporations. Often pushed aside in that discourse are those leftists and liberals who have argued there is too much focus on race and not enough on class in a deeply unequal society. Professor Reed is part of the class of historians, political scientists and intellectuals who argue that race as a construct is overstated.

This debate is particularly potent as activists sense a once-in-a-generation opportunity to make progress on issues ranging from police violence to mass incarceration to health and inequality. And it comes as Socialism in America — long a predominantly white movement — attracts younger and more diverse adherents.

Many leftist and liberal scholars argue that current disparities in health, police brutality and wealth inequality are due primarily to the nation’s history of racism and white supremacy. Race is America’s primal wound, they say, and Black people, after centuries of slavery and Jim Crow segregation, should take the lead in a multiracial fight to dismantle it. To set that battle aside in pursuit of ephemeral class solidarity is preposterous, they argue.

“Adolph Reed and his ilk believe that if we talk about race too much we will alienate too many, and that will keep us from building a movement,” said Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor, a Princeton professor of African-American studies and a D.S.A. member. “We don’t want that — we want to win white people to an understanding of how their racism has fundamentally distorted the lives of Black people.”

A contrary view is offered by Professor Reed and some prominent scholars and activists, many of whom are Black. They see the current emphasis in the culture on race-based politics as a dead-end. They include Dr. West; the historians Barbara Fields of Columbia University and Toure Reed — Adolph’s son — of Illinois State; and Bhaskar Sunkara, founder of Jacobin, a Socialist magazine.

They readily accept the brute reality of America’s racial history and of racism’s toll. They argue, however, that the problems now bedeviling America — such as wealth inequality, police brutality and mass incarceration — affect Black and brown Americans, but also large numbers of working class and poor white Americans.

The most powerful progressive movements, they say, take root in the fight for universal programs. That was true of the laws that empowered labor organizing and established mass jobs programs during the New Deal, and it’s true of the current struggles for free public college tuition, a higher minimum wage, reworked police forces and single-payer health care.

Those programs would disproportionately help Black, Latino and Native American people, who on average have less family wealth and suffer ill health at rates exceeding that of white Americans, Professor Reed and his allies argue. To fixate on race risks dividing a potentially powerful coalition and playing into the hands of conservatives.

“An obsession with disparities of race has colonized the thinking of left and liberal types,” Professor Reed told me. “There’s this insistence that race and racism are fundamental determinants of all Black people’s existence.”

These battles are not new: In the late 19th century, Socialists wrestled with their own racism and debated the extent to which they should try to build a multiracial organization. Eugene Debs, who ran for president five times, was muscular in his insistence that his party advocate racial equality. <> Similar questions roiled the civil rights and Black power movements of the 1960s.

But the debate has been reignited by the spread of the deadly virus and the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis. And it has taken on a generational tone, as Socialism — in the 1980s largely the redoubt of aging leftists — now attracts many younger people eager to reshape organizations like the Democratic Socialists of America, which has existed in various permutations since the 1920s. (A Gallup poll late last year found that Socialism is now as popular as capitalism among people aged 18 to 39.)

The D.S.A. now has more than 70,000 members nationally and 5,800 in New York — and their average age now hovers in the early 30s. While the party is much smaller than, say, Democrats and Republicans, it has become an unlikely kingmaker, helping fuel the victories of Democratic Party candidates such as Ms. Ocasio-Cortez and Jamaal Bowman, who beat a longtime Democratic incumbent in a June primary.

In years past, the D.S.A. had welcomed Professor Reed as a speaker. But younger members, chafing at their Covid-19 isolation and throwing themselves into “Defund the Police” and anti-Trump protests, were angered to learn of the invitation extended to him.

“People have very strong concerns,” Chi Anunwa, co-chair of D.S.A.’s New York chapter, said on a Zoom call. They said “the talk was too dismissive of racial disparities at a very tense point in American life.”

Professor Taylor of Princeton said Professor Reed should have known his planned talk on Covid-19 and the dangers of obsessing about racial disparities would register as “a provocation. It was quite incendiary.”

None of this surprised Professor Reed, who sardonically described it as a “tempest in a demitasse.” Some on the left, he said, have a “militant objection to thinking analytically.”

Professor Reed is an intellectual duelist, who especially enjoys lancing liberals he sees as too cozy with corporate interests. He wrote that President Bill Clinton and his liberal followers showed a “willingness to sacrifice the poor and to tout it as tough-minded compassion” and described former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. as a man whose “tender mercies have been reserved for the banking and credit card industries.”

He finds a certain humor in being attacked over race.

“I’ve never led with my biography, as that’s become an authenticity-claiming gesture,” he said. “But when my opponents say that I don’t accept that racism is real, I think to myself, ‘OK, we’ve arrived at a strange place.’”

Professor Reed and his compatriots believe the left too often ensnares itself in battles over racial symbols, from statues to language, rather than keeping its eye on fundamental economic change.

“If I said to you, ‘You’re laid off, but we’ve managed to rename Yale to the name of another white person’, you would look at me like I’m crazy,” said Mr. Sunkara, the editor of Jacobin.

Better, they argue, to talk of commonalities. While there is a vast wealth gap between Black and white Americans, poor and working-class white people are remarkably similar to poor and working-class Black people when it comes to income and wealth, <>which is to say they possess very little of either. Democratic Party politicians, Professor Reed and his allies say, wield race as a dodge to avoid grappling with big economic issues that cut deeper, such as wealth redistribution, as that would upset their base of rich donors.

“Liberals use identity politics and race as a way to counter calls for redistributive polices,” noted Toure Reed, whose book “Toward Freedom: The Case Against Race Reductionism” tackles these subjects.

Some on the left counter that Professor Reed and his allies ignore that a strong emphasis on race is not only good politics but also common sense organizing.

“Not only do Black people suffer class oppression,” said Professor Taylor of Princeton, “they also suffer racial oppression. They are fundamentally more marginalized than white people.

“How do we get in the door without talking race and racism?”

I put that question to Professor Reed. The son of itinerant, radical academics, he passed much of his boyhood in New Orleans. “I came back and forth into the Jim Crow South and developed a special hatred for that system,” he said.

Yet even as he has taken pleasure of late as New Orleans removed memorials to the old Confederacy, he preferred a different symbolism. He recalled, as a boy, traveling to small New England towns and walking through cemeteries and seeing moss-covered tombstones marking the graves of young white men who had died in service of the Union.

“I got this warm feeling reading those tombstones, ‘So-and-so died so that all men could be free’,” he said. “There was something so damned moving about that.”

* * *



  1. Bernie Norvell August 17, 2020

    Does anyone else see the irony in this particular group asking the City Council to postpone the election?

    • mr. wendal August 17, 2020

      Yes! And Mr. Menzie’s second letter was a “demand” for the City Council to take that illegal action.

    • Judy August 17, 2020

      I see on this particular groups page an article headlined “Trump Derangement syndrome” referring to Trump and Barr perhaps trying to canceling the Presidential election.
      One member writes:
      “If Donald Trump and Attorney General William Barr try to cancel the presidential election or interfere with it in any other way, Americans must take to the streets and engage in corporeal politics — including a national strike and other plans to disrupt day-to-day life and “business as usual” — on a scale so large that they make the George Floyd people’s uprising look like a PTA meeting.”
      Then the group has a cut and paste party demanding the very thing they apparently feel is a characteristic of being deranged. Ironic? Sure. Hilarious? Absolutely.

    • Jacob Patterson August 17, 2020

      Normally I respect Bernie for getting his facts right when he says something but I read those emails as a suggestion, albeit one that the City Council couldn’t legally enact, that the City of Fort Bragg have an election for the two seats sooner rather than postponing and election. The Council action was to cancel the election and not have one for four years and those particular email comments were asking for an election in two years. I believe the Council took the best course of action in this situation but I think the spin about these email comments is a bit off the mark. I didn’t read any comments where the writer suggested the election be postponed, only that the appointed terms be shorter than what the law requires (absent a local change to a charter with additional electoral options).

      • mr. wendal August 18, 2020

        Maybe you missed the comment supporting holding an election for all five members in 2022 that included “I see this as a postponement of an election. But not more than that!”

        And Mr. Menzies wrote “The people of Fort Bragg still have a right to an election, even if it is delayed.”

        Postponing/delaying elections is not a good idea, no matter who is suggesting/demanding them.

        There will be three city council people, a majority, to elect in 2022 without “delaying” the November election. Suppose the coronavirus is still with us and the economy has not recovered by 2022. It is likely to be the case and what will the letter writers say then?

  2. James Marmon August 17, 2020


    My 88 year old mother calls her Camel too, she says she even looks like one. Mom got mad at me for pronouncing Camel’s name ‘comma-la’ two days ago, “don’t pronounce her name the way she wants you to, it’s Camel.” My mom a life long democrat became a Trump supporter in 2016, she claims the party left her, not the other way around.

    James Marmon MSW

    • Bruce McEwen August 17, 2020

      Your mother, James, she seems about as xenophobic as you are, by this account. To pronounce Ms. Harris’s name as though it were Pamela with a K — after she’s made it plain the proper pronouncement is otherwise — amounts to petty, nasty name-calling, a childish behavior more suited to an eight-year-old than an octogenarian.

      You might have done her a better service by keeping her bigotry a family secret, old boy.

      • Bruce McEwen August 17, 2020

        I wrote pronouncement when I meant pronunciation — so please disregard the entire comment.

  3. George Hollister August 17, 2020

    Trump is an ongoing political train wreck instigated purely by his undisciplined mouth. I don’t see any plan by Trump, or anyone else to postpone the general election, but I do see an election catastrophe in the making whether the USPS gets a $trillion or nothing.

    There are rules as important as wearing face masks, 1)Don’t take anything Trump says at face value, and 2)Understand media has descended to the level of “The National Inquirer” of 50 years ago. Only suckers take any of what is called news as some version of our current reality.

  4. H. H. Heller August 17, 2020

    Politics Aside

    We’re all learning more about Camel-ah

    Kamala Harris’s Father, Donald J. Harris, Is an Award-Winning Emeritus Professor (1972-1998) of Economics at Stanford University in California

    Her grandfather, P.V. Gopalan, served for decades in the Indian government, and in terms of India’s caste system, the family was at the top of the heap. They were Tamil Brahmins, an elite subculture known as TamBrahms.

    Kamala’s mother was a doctor who specialized in breast cancer research

  5. Marshall Newman August 17, 2020

    Jerry Philbrick is back with the Trump playbook: deflection, outright lies and name calling. To quote a classic movie, “You just keep thinking, Butch. That’s what you’re good at.”

  6. John August 17, 2020

    Thank you for publishing the account of Adolph Reed. I’d love to compare notes with him, though he is younger than us. As a Freedom Rider and a Peace Corps Volunteer I explored racism (and sexism and homophobia and capitalism and religion) in Alabama and Asia before settling on the Mendocino coast where I lamented the lack of black faces. Those who lived hereabouts attended some of the celebrations of Dr. King that I helped organize. Anyway, I’d like to suggest to Dr. Reed that race and class are but two of the bulwarks of crony capitalism. Sexual oppression and gender shaming, among other evils can be overcome with education. Attitudes can be adjusted with training in empathy. Anyway, if you know Dr. Reed, convey my appreciation (and email address). Stay healthy.

  7. Lazarus August 17, 2020


    Hey H.

    It’s that Ghost ship, it’s been lost for 9 years…
    Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman.

    Stay Swell,

  8. James Marmon August 17, 2020


    Michelle O Pleads with Voters in Gloomy Address

    Republicans Take Center Stage at Democrat Event

    Snooze Fest: Ultra Low Energy

    America, the Bigoted: Dems Obsessed with Race

    George Floyd Family Kicks It Off

    Covid: All Trump’s Fault!

    Cuomo Slams ’European Virus,’ Absolves China

    • Marshall Newman August 18, 2020

      Your opinion – mostly not substantiated by other sources.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *