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MCT: Sunday, August 23, 2020

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WARM TO LOCALLY HOT temperatures will occur across interior valleys during much of the next seven days. Otherwise, isolated thunderstorms will be possible across the region today, with a greater chance for scattered thunderstorm development tonight through Monday evening. (NWS)

YESTERDAY'S HIGHS: Boonville 96°, Yorkville 92°

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The LNU Complex fires have claimed four fatalities, four injuries, 231 structures damaged, and 845 structures destroyed.

The August Complex fires, up in Mendocino National Forest, have now burned 160,005 acres.

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National Weather Service, Saturday night: 

Warm to locally hot temperatures will occur across interior valleys during much of the next seven days. Otherwise, isolated to scattered thunderstorms will be possible across the region Sunday morning through Tuesday morning. 

The primary concern over the next few days will be the potential for more thunderstorms beginning as early as Sunday morning, but most likely Monday morning through Tuesday morning. A decayed tropical system off the southern California coast will spread moisture north over the region beginning on Sunday in conjunction with a passing weakening vorticity maximum. There may be just enough instability to get some elevated convection started during this time in Mendocino and Lake counties, but overall these chances seem very low with the best moisture remaining south of the area through Sunday evening. 

Better chances for storms begin late Sunday night into Monday, potentially over much of the fire warning area, except maybe coastal Del Norte. 

The best moisture will be within a mid level plume forecast to move into coastal Mendocino/Humboldt and spread north-northeast toward Siskiyou County. This moisture plume may be the focus of upper motion and convective development resulting in isolated to scattered thunderstorms. Though the most likely chances will be in southeastern Humboldt and farther east and south, there is the small possibility of storms all the way to the northern Humboldt and Del Norte coastlines. 

Storm activity could last into Monday afternoon and then increase again Monday night into early Tuesday morning across northern areas before moving out of the area by midday Tuesday. 

With that said, there remain a great deal of uncertainty in all of this and there remains the very distinct possibility that storms remain extremely isolated and the vast majority of the activity remains virga "showers" across the region. Other other hand, storms could be scattered, producing numerous dry lightning strikes across much of the region. 

Highs on Sunday and Monday will likely exceed 100 degrees in valley locations. The heat risk is indicating small areas of advisory level conditions. At this point it doesn`t seem widespread or impactful enough to justify a heat advisory. 

The last concern this weekend will be smoke being a bit more impactful the remainder of this weekend through at least Tuesday. Mid level flow will be rather persistent out of the south-southeast and surface flow will be offshore overnight. This should push smoke from fires east and south of the area into most interior locations. Smoke may be dense at times which will impact visibility. Health concerns from the smoke are dealt with by the air quality management districts. 

Beyond Tuesday the weather becomes much more tranquil with temperatures running a few degrees above normal and very little thunderstorm potential. 

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COVID-19 DAILY UPDATE – 8/22/2020

19 additional cases of COVID-19 have been identified in Mendocino County, bringing the total to 624

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CALIFORNIA’S ‘LIGHTNING SIEGE’ has connections to climate change.

A state fire official described it as a ‘historic lightning siege’ — the nearly 11,000 bolts of lightning that struck California over 72 hours this week and ignited 367 wildfires.

Such a flurry of strikes is unusual in California, where it normally takes a full year to tally up 85,000 or so lightning flashes, said Joseph Dwyer, a physicist and lightning researcher at the University of New Hampshire. That is far fewer than Florida, one of the most lightning-prone states, which averages about 1.2 million flashes a year.

Lightning occurs during storms with strong updrafts. During these storms, charged ice particles in clouds collide, generating an electric field. If the field is strong enough, electricity can arc to the ground as lightning, which can ignite dry vegetation: Nationwide, about 15 percent of wildfires start this way.

Strikes across the United States are expected to increase with climate change, as warmer air carries more water vapor, which provides the fuel for strong updraft conditions. A 2014 study estimated that strikes could increase by about 12 percent per 1.8 degree Fahrenheit (1 degree Celsius) of warming, or by about 50 percent by 2100.

(New York Times)

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RECENTLY I watched in awe as the Meyers Fire (11-16 fire) burned from the top of Meyers Grade down to the Pacific Ocean making for a hauntingly beautiful light show, the likes of which I’ve never seen, and hope to never see again. 

There were five different lightning fires visible on the horizon from the storms of 8/16/2020. Travelers were stranded as the fire crossed and closed Highway 1. 

(It was hard to believe but as it got late I could see bioluminescence from the red tide shimmering in the surf below the light of the smoke column. It’s barely visible in the last photo in this set.)

(Jerry Dodd Photography)

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PG&E SAYS, "No Public Safety Power Shutoff (PSPS) events are expected for the next week. Fair and mostly dry weather will continue today under hazy and smoky skies with temperatures running around 5-10 degrees above-normal.

Waves of subtropical moisture from the remnants of Hurricane Genevieve will increase the threat for isolated thunderstorms across the South today followed by a better chance for scattered thunderstorm development across the territory Sunday into Monday.

Apart from the risk for isolated thunderstorm activity late Monday into Tuesday, fair and drier weather returns through the remainder of the week with temperatures trending slightly warmer heading into next weekend.

The potential for dry lightning has led the National Weather Service to issue a Fire Weather Watch across a wide swath of the territory Sunday morning through Tuesday morning with a chance the watches could be upgraded to Red Flag Warnings. While thunderstorms will promote critical fire weather risk, no offshore wind events are expected; therefore, PSPS will not be implemented.

The recent heat has further advanced the drying of live fuels which are already near critical levels in the lower elevations and dead fuel moisture values have reached typical seasonal minimums.

The latest National Interagency Fire Center wildland fire potential outlook continues to favor above-normal significant wildland fire potential for most of Northern CA through October. "

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ANDERSON VALLEY FIRE has sent two wildland engines with crews out of the Valley to help fight the many fires in the area. One of the engines is staffed with two volunteer firefighters from the Coast. Chief Avila said Wednesday night that he thinks the department can still handle most fires in the Valley should they spark, but resources will be thin until those out-of-valley units return. He and an extensive roster of volunteer fire-watchers are particularly conscious of the possibility of “sleeper” fires which might still be smoldering from the lightning storm last weekend which, among other things, started four small fires in the valley but which were extinguished quickly.

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Talking Shop and Taking Stock with Sheriff Kendall— Highlights from our Exclusive Interview 

by Andrew Scully, AVA Special Correspondent

Mendocino County Sheriff Matt Kendall said that he is seeing “a massive increase in abnormal behaviors” among citizens, attributable to pandemic fatigue and shelter in place orders. These human behaviors play out in small ways – at first – like shorter fuses on anger, and substance abuse. When these issues are not addressed effectively, Kendall said, they grow into problems that his deputies have to face every day, like domestic violence, road rage, assault, and murder. 

In an exclusive interview with the AVA, Sheriff Kendall said that on the positive side, he and his deputies are noticing far greater compliance with masking requirements ordered by state and local public health officials to limit the surge in Covid cases. He feels this is a “great example”of a policy that can be effectively enforced and regulated by social and peer pressure. 

On moral issues like face coverings, the Sheriff said gentle persuasion by “kindly grandparent-types” works far better, it turns out, than regulatory intervention by uniformed and armed law officers. 

Other Highlights

  • Three Multiple-count Arsonists Arrested in Mendocino County Wildfire Storm “Copy-Cat” fire attacks
  • Lucas Still In Custody
  • County Jails Morphing into “Private Prisons”
  • Progress on Measure B and Mental Health Crisis-response Capabilities

Full reporting on our interview with the Sheriff, including police blotter updates, will appear in next week’s edition of the AVA.

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(photo by Kathy Gagnon)

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by Katy Tahja

One of the problems an historian faces is starting with a simple thought—I would like to know more about the log rafts pulled along the Mendocino Coast a century ago—and pretty soon the researcher has notes, print outs, photos and the realization that the simple idea had a complex but interesting history.

Almost one of my first questions was—If tying logs together with chains into a raft and pulling the raft to southern California was such a good idea what did they pull that raft with?

My knowledge of shipping was based on a childhood alongside the San Diego Harbor watching tugboats move vessels too big to maneuver themselves along crowded waterfront piers. So, simplistically, I thought “Oh, log rafts must have been moved by tugboats too!” Only one problem with this idea…there weren’t any tug boats on the Mendocino Coast.

San Francisco Bay had them, Humboldt Bay, the Columbia River, Puget Sound, and even small ports like Bandon Oregon had them, but there was never enough demand to have one stationed near here.

So to step in and take on log raft towing when it came time to move the locally produced rafts what was used to pull them? Steam schooners it seems. Not being a mariner I find the idea of a small steam schooner with a chain pulling a raft hundreds of miles to be mind boggling. To the folks in the shipping industry it was just another day”s work.

Back to tugboats…This researcher been a fan of tugboats since reading the Little Golden Book called “Scuffy the Tugboat.”

As a form of transportation they’ve been around since the early 1800’s.

If a vessel was disabled at sea a tug could pull it to port. If a difficult river bar had to be crossed, like the one at the mouth of the Columbia River, a tug could pull a sailing vessel across it to open waters. Barges of coal, grain, or oil could be towed along the coast. A famous towboat along the Pacific Coast was the “Hercules” which was built in 1907 with a steam engine and resides in the San Francisco Maritime Museum where it is still fully operational.

But searching museum archives there was infrequent mention of tugboats locally. Occasionally they would be sent by a salvage company in the city to pull a ship to be saved off the rocks at high tide but none were stationed locally. The Mendocino Beacon accounts of tugs would mention in September 1898”…the tug “Rescue” passed Point Arena pulling a big log raft” and in July 1938 “…the tug “Hercules” succeeded in towing an immense log raft— but reports did not say where the tugs came from.

Let’s look at the steam schooners that were adapted to do the towing.

Excuse me, but this is NOT the vessel this historian would expect to do that job. These vessels were small, carried deck loads of lumber, general merchandise for stores, and a few passengers and were NOT work horses, but they were here and available. Starting in the 1880’s and for the next 35 years they were busy hauling log rafts south.

Know how hard and unmanageable it is to pull a car behind a vehicle with a chain?. It is slip and slide with little control. Yet steam schooners were busy pulling 1,000 foot long log rafts with a chain thrown over their sterns. From Beacon archives it was noted in September of 1889 “…steamers “Emily” and “Noyo” tried to pull a raft of logs from Noyo Harbor but it went to pieces.” It was noted the chain itself cost more than $500. In September 1890 the steamer “Noyo” did make it to San Francisco in three days and did not lose a log. In 1938 the steamer “Benito Juarez” helped the tugboat “Hercules” pull the remains of a broken log raft into San Francisco Bay.

Interestingly when faced with a maritime disaster the Beacon never named the tugboats involved. The story about another broken log raft in 1938 stated “…the tug continued south and another tug was dispatched,” but no names were given.

To get back to this researchers question about log rafts let’s start with a simple question. Why assemble a raft of logs and pull it 1,000 miles to a lumber mill in Southern California? If there are perfectly good sawmills from Mendocino Country north to Canada. Why not just turn logs to lumber near shipping points and send it off to market? The simple answer is SUNSHINE! Fresh cut lumber is wet and heavy. Heavy things are expensive to ship. In some manner, like stacking fresh lumber in sunshine, or placing it in a dry kiln indoors, the boards need to season and dry out. Lighter boards are easier to ship and are ready to use. The Mendocino Headlands on the south side of Main Street, from the bridge to the shipping point was stacked high with drying lumber for decades.

Rolling logs into a river and letting the current carry the log to the sawmill saved time, energy and money and loggers had figured this out long ago. All over the world there are traditions of river drives if terrain allows. Finland, southwest Germany, Spanish Catalonia, the Netherlands, and Canada all did this, as did Michigan, Connecticut, Oregon, Maine, Idaho and areas along the Mississippi River. Here on the coast Big River log drives were famous for careful planning, removable dams, and high water to float logs 30 miles from the back country timberlands to the mill.

Log drives were handled by River Pigs. It was the term given to the trained teams of men who worked a river drive. The experienced men formed the Jam Crew that broke up log jams and kept everything moving downstream and the newcomers formed the Rear Crew that pushed straggling logs back into the flow of water.

Oregon timber baron Simon Benson hired a raft building specialist to pursue the concept and it was an idea that had been experimented with for a while. Let’s transport large quantities of timber from the Pacific Northwest and Canada to Southern California through open ocean. Hundreds of logs would be tied together in a wooden cradle-like skeleton (think of a sailing ship hull) and float it behind a tug boat to the sunny southland 1,000 miles away. The lumber was milled at a San Diego sawmill on the waterfront, a location just south of the current convention center, and dried quickly in the sunshine.

Logs in big rafts contributed to the building boom in that area in the early years of the 20th Century. Construction was said to have doubled with the arrival of cheaper lumber as a big log raft had enough lumber in it to build 450 homes and Benson sent several rafts down every summer. He also sent 100’ long logs for pilings for waterfront development.

Launched in 1906 the first Benson Raft was built on the Columbia River near Astoria and was to be pulled by a steam tugboat, and took a month to assemble. Seven hundred to 1,000’ long, 55’ wide and 35’ top to bottom it was like floating an acre of land downstream. Just the chains alone weighed 125 tons as they held the cigar-shaped raft together. Often the rafts were deck-loaded with fence posts, telephone poles and shingles atop the logs. The whole goal was saving transportation coast. Benson sent 120 rafts south over 35 years.

The Fort Bragg Lumber Company had started experimenting with the idea as far back as 1892. The first raft, with thousands of board feet of potential lumber, held together with chains as thick as a man’s wrist, was pulled out of Noyo Harbor, hit a rock, and broke in half. Clean-up followed as loose logs hindered maritime traffic.

The next attempt later that year was a new raft that was 326’ long, 34’ wide and 24’ deep was launched and made it to its destination of San Francisco, but the next raft broke up at sea. Log rafting ceased here but the lumber companies watched what Benson was doing. In 1914 Humboldt Bay timber baron A.B. Hammond decided he was going to build the biggest raft ever produced by volume. With 60’ width, 835’ long and 11 million board feet of potential lumber the raft had wood for 1,000 homes. It took six days to make the trip to San Francisco.

Log rafts were awkward to move if seas were not calm. Fort Bragg Lumber Company tried the idea in 1892 but didn’t have a lot of luck and lost more than one raft under tow, rafts would break up in rough waters, cause marine transportations disruptions and litter the shore in logs. Big timber mill operators like Hammond in Humboldt and Benson on the Columbia River perfected the design of log rafts and their shipping, but even they experienced occasional disasters.

In 1938 the lumber industries were not experiencing the brightest of times. Deep into the Great Depression the Mendocino sawmill, then owned by Union Lumber Company, had been shuttered but not dis-assembled yet to be sold as salvage. A log raft accident gave the mill one last moment of glory.

In mid-August a huge Benson log raft broke in half in rough seas at Needle Rock on the Lost Coast of northern Mendocino County. The tug operator needed a deep water harbor easy to enter with maneuvering room to try and salvage what they could save. The tug operator did not want to see a valuable log load lost or have it broken up on offshore rocks. So the tug in charge pulled half the load toward Mendocino while a second tug sent from San Francisco came to get a line on the other half of the raft.

Benson Lumber Company log raft in Mendocino Bay, 1938. $100,000 Log Raft in Mendocino Harbor. The raft of over 1,200 logs broke loose at sea and drifted into the bay. It allowed the Mendocino Lumber Company to reopen the mill and saw 3,500,000 board feet of lumber that fall. The mill ran for eight weeks on raft logs.

Into the mouth of Big River the tug pulled the broken half raft in and then an eight inch thick manila rope connected it to the shore. The second half of the load arrived a day later as two miles per hour was as fast as the tug could pull the damaged raft. Safely moored, the Benson Lumber Company began negotiations with the local mill to see if the logs could be turned to lumber in the closed Mendocino sawmill.

Two months of work was what the broken raft represented at the mill and sawmill workers would be happy to return to work. The raft had five million board feet of lumber in it being nearly 1,000’ long and 55’ wide. Wallowing in Mendocino Bay the headlands were lined with locals and tourists looking down in the disarray. The raft had been valued at $100,000 when (and if) it arrived in San Diego and was the 110th log raft Benson had assembled and shipped. It was composed of fir, red cedar and spruce logs.

The floating mass of logs had a boom barrier assembled around it and work began to break up the load and remove chains, valued themselves at $10,000 from the raft. The logs were pulled by motor launch over the river bar and up the river to the mill. Rough seas in September broke everything up and the beach was reported by old-timers to be six feet deep in logs and there were logs scattered up and down the coast that had escaped the boom.

Lumber was sawn from 1,200 logs that went to the mill and produced 150,000 board feet of lumber and by November the steamer “Noyo” was hauling deck loads of that lumber to San Francisco. The job was done, the Mendocino mill closed, and it was scrapped.

Now for the strange end to log raft traffic. Flaming log rafts? How does something already floating in the Pacific Ocean catch fire? Some true events in maritime shipping will always remain a mystery. From the Mendocino Beacon newspaper comes this history tidbit from the August 9, 1941.

“Radio on Friday morning announced a log raft en route from Puget Sound to San Diego to be burning off the Sonoma County coast about 75 miles north of San Francisco. Vessels were warned to look out for floating logs breaking away from the raft. Fire is about the last thing one would expect to destroy a log raft at sea”

The newspaper statement went on to say “Tugs hunting for the raft were unable to locate it due to heavy fog. The raft contained about eight million board feet of lumber. About three years ago a similar raft broke in two off this port and was towed into Mendocino harbor, and a good portion of the logs were run into the river and sawed into lumber at the local mill.”

In 1941 what caused this raft valued at $150,000 to catch on fire? Insurance investigators were sent to determine a cause, but were perplexed. One guess was sabotage by another lumber company. The rafts assemblers, Benson Lumber, had inspected it before departure and found no problems. The fire started in the center of the raft and it was suspected chemicals were dropped in the load sometime and were ignited by hot sun or water. The rafts had acetylene tanks and navigational running lights on board and perhaps somehow one caught on fire, but these lights were on the ends of the rafts. The inspectors declared “fire of unknown origin” and that raft was the last one ever to pass the Mendocino Coast.

The Kelley House Museum in Mendocino has a photo collection with many images of their construction and movement along the coast if readers want to see more. Contact curator Karen McGrath if readers want to see those photos on-line and she’ll provide instructions.

Big River bridge and beach in 1938 littered with broken up Benson Log Raft.

(PHOTO CREDITS: Kelley House Museum. Katy Rolyn)

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A READER COMPLAINS: "…I am surprised that you continue to countenance the extreme ignorance of writers and thinkers who are unable to separate out their clinging to a set of ideas, beliefs and entitled preferences which cloud seeing reality and prevent the common good. The common good in this country is at stake here. Truth is at stake here. Goodness and collective protection is at stake here. I wish you would stake your claim on that side during this historic time in our history and constantly reinforce it in your paper with the many brilliant thinkers and writers who have delved deep into this phenomena that has hijacked our government and culture and is turning it toward totalitarianism. I’ve never seen the likes of such corruption in plain sight. Nixon looked pretty bad…. But this one? We’re about to lose big time if he gets his way. Don't you care who's president?"

I COUNTENANCE a variety of opinion because I think countenancing countenance, particularly in this time when so much is uncountenanced is worth countenancing. Yes, I care who's president but I, and millions of other registered Democrats, don't have a candidate who represents anything but more of the same — unaddressed rolling catastrophes from global warming to mass unemployment and pure hopelessness for millions. Why should I or anyone else vote for a conservative pseudo-liberal like Biden who has signed off on every disaster since his revelatory performance during the Clarence Thomas hearing whom, of course, Biden voted to confirm. Fresh off a disgusting four days of choreographed manipulation during which not a single specific plan to make things better was expressed, not one, the DNC didn't give me a single reason to vote for Biden. Yes, Trump is taking the country to what's shaping up as a kind of low intensity civil war, but he's president because the Democrats are as wed to the same evil forces that drive the Republicans, and the Democrats have again nominated the only person in their party who could possibly lose to him. 

MY FIRST VOTE as a more or less cognizant citizen went to Kennedy. In fact I worked for his election out of his San Luis Obispo headquarters, calling up registered Democrats to get out the vote, and even driving a few who needed rides to the polls. From there on, with the exception of McGovern in '72 I've gone third party. (My Boonville house was a McGovern headquarters for that one, as Mendo went 80 percent for Nixon.) I'll go third party again this time around. 

VOTE FOR BIDEN because he isn't Trump? No, and if people will review George W. Bush's record (and Clinton's) they will find that those two did more lasting damage to the country than Trump has. So far. Biden will beat the orange monster, I'm sure, and us third party pwoggies, in California anyway, won't be a factor because California is in the bag for Biden anyway. If I voted in Michigan or one of the other swing states I'd probably hold my nose — nay, I'd hold my nose and put a bag over my head — and vote for Biden on the off chance the "great people around him" might make life a little more bearable for the millions of Americans whose lives have been upended because of the plague-induced economic disasters that have befallen them and, by extension, the whole country. But I don't see anything good ahead, and if these two clown shows masquerading as political parties are our option, Boonville is going to be a good place to be in the days ahead.

PURSUING TODAY'S theme of jolly negativity, according to a Brookings Institution study — the inevitable Brookings study; they seem to be everywhere on every subject — "almost three million more firearms have been sold since March than would have ordinarily been sold." That stat is a measure of the national political optimism, and was revealed, to me anyway, in an article called, "Nothing to Lose but Your Masks" by Luke Mogelson in the current New Yorker. Mogelson's revelatory story, to me anyway, takes us on a frontline tour of what in ordinary times would be considered the lunatic fringe, the lunatic rightwing fringe in this case, there being no leftwing in this country to the left of Bernie except for a few provocateurs acting like fascists who call themselves anti-fa or anti-fascist. But the right's lunatic fringe is now so large, if Mogelson is correct, it is too large to be accurately described as fringe. There are millions of them and their fuhrer is Trump, for whom we should be grateful because if he was smarter he'd be a lot more dangerous.

I'D HEARD of some of these armed nut groups, but I hadn't realized there were so many of them swirling around Trump — the Michigan Home Guard; the Michigan Freedom Fund, funded by the Koch Brothers (who also own all of Fort Bragg's oceanfront); the American Patriot Council; the Boogaloo Boiz; the Constitutional Sheriffs and Peace Officers Association; and a bunch more apart from traditional fascist groups like the Klan, neo-Nazis, and Christian Identity militias who don't seem to have fully grasped the Prince of Peace's message. And there are black militias picking up membership who, out of their historical experience, are at least reality-based. 

THE RIGHTWING GROUPS believe the libs are an organized conspiracy against THEM, that the libs are cho-mo's and devil worshippers who, with Bill Gates driving the bus, concocted covid as a grand hoax to seize permanent power. In other words, there's no reasoning with them and, at some point, us lib labs will have to crush their dumb asses. Will it come to that? The special ed boiz seem to have a head start, at least in arms accumulation, but it's going to get rough out there, for shore.

EXCUSE ME, but what happened to the second round of bailout money? Last I heard the leadership was negotiating, stuck between $1 and $3 trillion, then they all went home on vacation. Meanwhile, a million people a week are losing their jobs, millions more face the loss of their homes, covid is carrying off a thousand of US a day, and these people go on vacation? (Our supervisors also work a tough schedule of two meetings a month from their homes, drawing a cool $84 grand a year plus perks for steering the Good Ship Mendo.)

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WHEN I POSTED THIS BOOK in 2017 I wrote, "Here is a book we might want to pay a little more attention to." It somehow still seems relevant. 

I don't hear anyone talking much about prevention. Lightning Rods were invented by Ben Franklin a long time ago. Does PG&E and ATT use at least the Rod's principals on their poles? I haven't seen it.

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After having forcibly expelled all but a very few Chinese and their associated opium dens from Humboldt County by 1890, addictive drugs, of course, remained and there were still “those who are cursed by the devil-born habits of liquor, morphine, opium, tobacco and cigarettes” (and cocaine). Of these, morphine proved to be the most dangerous. Considered a new-fangled wonder drug by physicians of the 19th century, its injection was said to cure insomnia, asthma, headaches, alcoholics’ delirium tremens, gastrointestinal diseases and menstrual cramps. …

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ON SATURDAY, August 22, at approximately 8:20 am, a white RAM 3500 driven by Dylan Pullins (age 18 of Ukiah) was traveling in the southbound traffic lanes of US-101 approaching Perkins St. at a high rate of speed.

As the RAM 3500 approached Perkins St., Pullins made a sharp right turn in the direction of the Perkins St. off-ramp. Pullins was unable to maintain control of the RAM 3500 as it entered the gore point and the front end of the vehicle collided with a tree. 

The right-front passenger of the RAM 3500, identified as Garrett Taylor (age 26 of Redwood Valley), was trapped inside the vehicle by engine compartment intrusion into the passenger compartment and a damaged right-front passenger door.

The RAM 3500 subsequently caught fire and despite the efforts of Good Samaritans who arrived on scene, Taylor was unable to be extricated before succumbing to the heat and smoke. 

Pullins was subsequently contacted at the scene and transported to Ukiah Valley Medical Center (UVMC), where he was treated for minor injuries.

Pullins was arrested by the California Highway Patrol at UVMC for Felony DUI, Gross Vehicle Manslaughter, False Information to a Peace Officer and False Impersonation. Pullins was medically cleared at UVMC and booked at the Mendocino County Jail.

The California Highway Patrol (CHP), Ukiah Police Department (UPD), Mendocino County Sheriffs' Office (MCSO), Caltrans, UVFA Fire and Medstar responded to the scene.

US-101 southbound to Perkins St. was shut down until approximately 1:45 a to accommodate the collision investigation. 

Anyone with information regarding this collision is encouraged to contact the Ukiah Area CHP office.

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CATCH OF THE DAY, August 22, 2020

Arnold,Escobedo, Espaillat

SHANNON ARNOLD, Fort Bragg. Disorderly conduct-alcohol. (Frequent flyer.)


MARIA ESPAILLAT, Jacksonville, Florida/Ukiah. Under influence, resisting.

Folger, Hernandez, Mora

SUMALEE FOLGER, Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-alcohol.

JORGE HERNANDEZ, Madera/Potter Valley. DUI, false information, suspended license.

ALEX MORA-WHITEHURST, Willits. Disorderly conduct-alcohol.

Overhold, Phillips, Williams

JUSTIN OVERHOLT, Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-alcohol, probation revocation.

JODY PHILLIPS, Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-alcohol.

WILLIE WILLIAMS, Santa Rosa/Ukiah. Controlled substance, suspended license (for reckless driving), failure to appear.

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(From 2020 Mugshots)

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by William J. Hughes

Trucks, trucks and more trucks. Unfortunately, that's the initial reaction of my recent trip north from Sacramento to Dunsmuir.

Apparently the covid hasn't kept the big wheelers from truckin’ on — maybe more of them just more obvious because of the lack of regular pre-covid traffic.

Interstate 5 is always trucks anyway, heading north in the early weekday morning, hazy with an overlay of sick orange air pollution. I thought the covid keeping folks indoors had helped to clear the air. But no. Summer Valley heat, Summer Valley skies, polluted air.

Goin’ up, I hope, where the air is better and the valley heat has softened.

Up through the salad and vegetable bowl of California, boring, I-5 meant for going, farm fields and farm equipment — how much asparagus can the world eat? No migrant workers in the fields. The border wall of covid?

But slowly and surely another California starts to grow. Trees, Ponderosa pines? Starting to climb up to Redding with its hints of Lassen and Shasta Mountains.

Went on into Redding looking for a breakfast cafe patio but finding nada, the Sundial Bridge stickin’ up its white egret beak but I've already been — "curious" it is, as a friend once said.

Going up, passing Shasta Lake — with its low-level almost adobe-like exposed shoreline showing it looks more like a gigantic puddle than a lake.

High forested hills, logging trucks with their peeling bark corpses, almost a throwback to another time, smelling smoke in the air from nearby spot fires.

And there is Mount Shasta, a big, gray hump with streaks of washed out snow, looking more like something out of Conan the Barbarian or a pissed off aboriginal than my past image of Buddha-like.

Right on time for the Dunsmuir exit, home to Tim Holt, Editor General of the no longer existing Suttertown News in Sacramento and current editor of the Northwest Review in Dunsmuir. Why I've come up this way, our relationship as editor and contributor and our friendship, long time knowing each other.

It's my first time in Dunsmuir. I've been to nearby Burney and succulent Berney Falls and two friends who have a home on the Fall River — a deep, sumptuous river, Mount Shasta still snowy then up there like a Buddha.

Into Dunsmuir past the Sleepy Hollow like Dunsmuir cemetery and look for Hill Street.

Tim Holt and his wife Sandra have a home that can best be described as "lived in," a wild and naturally hairy lawn/garden, the house most comfortable in the way an antique shop, a library, or any open air market can be.

We've known each other for so long we ease in easy, not too long a time between our last meeting in Sacramento, Tim having just read a short story of mine concerning a meeting between John Muir (who Tim portrays for various audiences) and a Buffalo Soldier in Sequoia National Park.

Let's walk, let's talk. Very, very hot. Mount Shasta looming, my cooling off mission not accomplished.

Dunsmuir doesn't surprise me. It pleases me, having lived in small-town Montana, Dunsmuir is an old railroad town that time has remembered. Flyfishing and weekenders, summer renters and full timers far from the madding crowd, human sized neighborhoods tucked together on the hills among the trees. Tim Holt's parents are from here. Tim points out his mother's original house — originals.

Main Street in Dunsmuir retains a lot of its original self, hopefully to remain so, you know, local, nothing overdone, simple pleasures.

It's our pleasure to sit on the covid patio of the Dunsmuir Brewery Works (what else?) and share some time.

Good tales to tell and talk before we walk back. We are well met.

I'm off to Mount Shasta city, McCloud and Weed. Did you think I wasn't going to smoke some now-legal weed in Weed? Come on.

Mount Shasta city too gas-stationed. McCloud just right, stagecoach and locomotive historically with a real-life shake shingle frosty shack for a milkshake in the shade, gray Shasta glowering. And Weed. Well, all I have to say is their all-Weed souvenir shop of which I'm not immune. And their somewhat covid shuttered western logging style Main Street with its legal pot shop. Thanks, but I brought my own.

Then an evening with friends there in their home on, in fact almost in, the thick Fall River. No more description required.

With that in the morning I'm off to Eureka on the coast by way of Route 299 out of Redding along through the burnt over woods of the Merlin’ landscape, slowly, slowly, easing, twisting, turning, the scent of the ocean eventually, gray and cloudy. Eureka, the Pacific Ocean, gray and gnarly, some sand in my shoes, breathing in the fresh destination.

Now it's 101 all the way to Highway 1 at Fort Bragg. 

But let's not get ahead of ourselves. I hope you know the Humboldt Redwoods. If you don't know them you must. You must go — towering trees, those dinosaur weeds. I did, and yet didn't know. Yet here I am in the eclipse-like shade of what seems like some other planet that I've come across, so humbling that the word, the words, have no meaning among them. I'd kneel, but they wouldn't even notice. Woody Guthrie's "This Land" could end with just "redwood forests."

The very end of of the continent. After some more twisting and turning hills and woods on Highway 1 and voila! A real Eureka! The rugged Pacific coastline, rocks and crags in the aqua blue ocean like so many Captain Nemo’s nautiluses on the surface.

The Fort Bragg I see could use a facelift, fast food crap and all the assorted imported/US junk that ridicules the redwoods. But it eventually comes to an end and you are left with the ocean and Mendocino County — gray and windy and almost wilderness. Easy does it down to Highway 128, heading east for I-80 over there through more groves of redwoods, time standing totally tall and still. Through well-known Boonville, sun setting and on into wine country. Country is the right word. How can there be so much wine, so many vineyards? Most are covid closed. Calistoga, Yountville, Napa… Then out of the vines on to hustling I-80, home to Sacramento.

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To the Editor:

At a time when we are seeing record high temperatures, record low rainfall, worsening dead zones off our coastline and killer toxic algae in our rivers, a proposal is afoot to expand cannabis cultivation into our rangelands. This will demand a lot of water that we can’t spare, and it will deposit a lot more fertilizer into our rivers and streams that we don’t need. This is exactly the wrong proposal at this time of worsening droughts. It will likely sabotage decades of restoration efforts which we’ve already invested in to save our struggling salmon fisheries from being pushed into extinction. We must not let our rich heritage of salmon fisheries be jeopardized by the lure of short term profits.

Some Supervisors are proposing abandoning our cannabis ordinance, which has strict requirements and limitations, replacing it with the Use Permits process which will give the Planning and Building staff a lot more “flexibility.” Replacing our ordinance with Use Permits, which are at the “discretion” of the planning staff, will also provide few, if any, remedies for complaints from the public. This is a bad deal.

You may have noticed recently the proliferation of large clusters of 14 or more white plastic hoop houses. This has occurred because the 10,000 sq. ft. of cannabis canopy allowed in the ordinance was then changed to 10,000 sq. ft. of white plastic eyesore at the “discretion” of the Planning and Building Dept. Surprises like this that destroy our views and devalue our properties are exactly what we don’t want. We should, instead, abide by the promises made in the ordinance and work to make it even better.

Instead of the proposal to expand cannabis into our last remaining open space, our rangelands, we could, instead, expand into our industrial and commercial zones where infrastructure and water resources are already developed. Cannabis growers truck in much of their soil and even at times their water, so having these activities in an industrial setting would be a much better fit than in our neighborhoods, or in our open spaces, and it would help reduce their carbon footprint. Electricity instead of generators would also greatly reduce the risk of fire

Lured by the promise of big money, Ted Williams and John McCowen are working hand in hand with the cannabis industry to promote this expansion plan into our rangeland, largely for the benefit of the corporate grower. The small grower is not likely to afford these bigger parcels and all the permits and infrastructure that will be needed, so this will likely benefit the better capitalized crew that is flooding in from out of the area.

We’ve already seen so much plundering and pillaging and now this proposal for bigger grows on steep, highly erodible land, will deliver just more of the same – a lot more fish choking sediment in our rivers, water diversions, garbage, code enforcement complaints, crime and threat of fire.

Code Enforcement complaints are up by 31 percent, with only 2 officers on the cannibis beat. Policing is stretched thin, too, and the Covelo cartel problem is spreading. Why expand cannabis to our rangelands where enforcement is much more difficult?

Measure AF went down to defeat by a large margin in every district in 2016 because it proposed cannabis for every zone. We’ve already voted this idea down, but they are determined to ignore the wishes of the public.

If we hope to have a future on this fragile earth, protecting our fisheries, our wild life and wild lands, enforcing the laws already on the books should matter to all of us.

If you don’t wish to see our cannabis ordinance abandoned, or are sick of non-enforcement, then let your Supervisors know by mail or by phone. Their upcoming meeting is the 4th of August. Urge them to take a cautionary approach by staying with our existing cannabis ordinance and our existing cannabis zones. I urge you to write or call to make sure that your voice is heard.

Sheila Jenkins


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Give me back my broken night
My mirrored room, my secret life
It's lonely here
There's no one left to torture

Give me absolute control
Over every living soul
And lie beside me, baby
That's an order

Give me crack and anal sex
Take the only tree that's left
And stuff it up the hole
In your culture

Give me back the Berlin wall
Give me Stalin and St. Paul
I've seen the future, brother
It is murder

Things are going to slide, slide in all directions
Won't be nothing
Nothing you can measure anymore
The blizzard, the blizzard of the world
Has crossed the threshold and it has overturned
The order of the soul

When they said repent repent
I wonder what they meant
When they said repent repent
I wonder what they meant
When they said repent repent
I wonder what they meant

You don't know me from the wind
You never will, you never did
I'm the little Jew
Who wrote the Bible

I've seen the nations rise and fall
I've heard their stories, heard them all
But love's the only engine of survival

Your servant here, he has been told
To say it clear, to say it cold
It's over, it ain't going
Any further

And now the wheels of heaven stop
You feel the devil's riding crop
Get ready for the future
It is murder

Things are going to slide, slide in all directions
Won't be nothing
Nothing you can measure anymore
The blizzard, the blizzard of the world
Has crossed the threshold and it has overturned
The order of the soul

When they said repent repent
I wonder what they meant
When they said repent repent
I wonder what they meant
When they said repent repent
I wonder what they meant

There'll be the breaking of the ancient western code
Your private life will suddenly explode
There'll be phantoms
There'll be fires on the road
And the white man dancing

You'll see a woman hanging upside down
Her features covered by her fallen gown
And all the lousy little poets coming round
Tryin' to sound like Charlie Manson
And the white man dancin'

Give me back the Berlin wall
Give me Stalin and St. Paul
Give me Christ
Or give me Hiroshima

Destroy another fetus now
We don't like children anyhow
I've seen the future, baby
It is murder

Things are going to slide, slide in all directions
Won't be nothing
Nothing you can measure anymore
The blizzard, the blizzard of the world
Has crossed the threshold and it has overturned
The order of the soul

When they said repent repent
I wonder what they meant
When they said repent repent
I wonder what they meant
When they said repent repent
I wonder what they meant
When they said repent repent

— Leonard Cohen from his 1992 album The Future

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Q. Why do you always take two Mormons fishing with you?

A. Because if you just take one, they'll drink all your beer.

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In 1971 at age 21, I registered to vote as a Democrat. Soon after that, the voting age was changed to 18. (I had become a political junkie when I watched the Kennedy and Nixon debates on TV.) I enjoyed a long career teaching U.S. History and government.

Walter Cronkite was the guy who delivered the news in the 60s and 70s. Although he had his own personal opinions, he delivered the news objectively. Journalism was a noble profession tasked with informing the American public about what was going on locally, in the country and in the world.

That has changed dramatically. My old favorite, CNN, no longer gives me the full story. CNN, NBC, and others seem to believe that they are now tasked with shaping my opinions, rather than informing me. Even their straight news shows are obviously biased.

I have looked for better TV news sources, and I found a good one to add to my news mix. It’s the straight NEWS on Fox. Don’t cringe! I am not talking about pundits Carlson, Hannity or Ingram. I am talking about the latest news delivered by professional journalists. My favorites are Bret Baier (3 p.m. weekdays) and Chris Wallace (Sunday, 11 a.m.). When these guys have panel discussions, it sometimes gets hot because they include partisan liberals in the discussion, unlike the others who may include a tepid Republican. These Fox guys ask tough questions of Republican guests as well as Democrats.

To become better informed, I ask that you watch one of the journalists I have suggested. You will get a better sense of the truth.

Marilyn Wood


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“Modern Architecture is a soul killing invention of the devil”

Modern architecture is a reflection of the way we produce and communicate.

Soulless, mechanical mostly with limited skill sets, strapped in a production system solely aiming to produce for the profits of the few, atomized individualism that actually denies the existence of “society”.

What does one expect from artistic expressions in such a social environment? From an approach to an integrated architecture providing spaces that are a pleasure to live in, to meet and communicate instead of encountering automatons hacking away at their various “I-phone” iterations?

Luckily in Europe there are still such places….

* * *


Dear Editor,

I think the article regarding the Joe Biden political campaign completely missed the mark regarding the upcoming elections. First of all why are there “Battleground States” at all and what does this tell us about our system of government where the wishes of the most populous state and the main driver of the economic engine for the whole country is repeatedly ignored by the nation as a whole. Secondly the real issues are currently on vivid display to anyone with eyes to see. The world is on fire, literally, and global warming is the culprit, why is this not the number one issue being addressed? Perhaps the bloated Pentagon budget could somehow be justified If the mission could be reassigned to creating alternative energy, food sustainability, and other humanitarian endeavors worldwide instead of the profiteering perpetual war machine that currently exists. In short "No planet = No people”. I have not heard the Biden campaign detail their response to these issues. Next in line is the “Cost of thriving index”. In 1980 it took workers approximately 30 weeks of work to cover the basic costs of living expenses, today the number of weeks is 53 this is according to a study by The Bank of America and as you can plainly see we only have 52 weeks at hand, no day off for you Mr and Miss wage slave! Where is the quest for universal health care on the Biden platform? Oh, that might adversely affect the Health Insurance juggernaut. In today’s health care system more heads in beds is what creates profits for the system whereas optimum health for the general population does not. Does Biden support universal health care, no he does not. Yes I too want Mr. Trump gone but what is Biden and the Democrats willing to do to confront these and many other issues in a substantive and lasting way. 


Tim McClure

Fort Bragg

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The recording of last night's (2020-08-21) Memo of the Air: Good Night Radio show on KNYO-LP Fort Bragg is right here:

I blew it about playing Episode No. 4 of the San Francisco Mime Troupe's summer radio drama series. Due to personal vicissitudes and the continual universal bitch-slap of life anymore I used /all/ the shortcuts in getting ready, and one of those is to dump all the recorded work that I might like to use (assortment of topical break music, Futility Closet podcast, illustrative audio for particular stories, Mime Troupe show, etc.) into the player folder without renaming or flagging anything. So the most important thing wasn't at the top of the list in all caps but rather somewhere in the lower middle with the Laotian hip-hop, and it didn't stand out, so I just forgot. 

They’re providing new shows every two weeks; I’ll play the missed one 9:30pm this coming week, Oct. 28, and then Episode 5 on Sept. 4, and we're back on schedule. 

Furthermore, at you'll find a fresh batch of dozens of links to not necessarily radio-useful but nonetheless worthwhile educational items I set aside for you while gathering the show together. Such as:

Electrochemically speaking, and way oversimplified, this is happiness, magnified and slowed way down. "That filament is inside a cell though.

So, the dragging is happening not from one part of the brain to another, but one part of a cell to another." So just one cell's worth of happiness, then. Better than nothing.

Manners in church. (via Everlasting Blort)

A fresh variety of the robot dance.

"And just where in the galaxy do you think you’re going dressed like that, young lady? You trot your little bio-fanny back inside the ship and put on something decent." "Oh, pish! Remember how we were at that age? Go on, sweetie, have fun at Xeno-Orgy. Just be back before third moon. And call if you get too intoxicated to fly; I’m happy to come get you."

— Marco McClean,,

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  1. George Hollister August 23, 2020

    Truth revealed: “If I voted in Michigan or one of the other swing states I’d probably hold my nose — nay, I’d hold my nose and put a bag over my head — and vote for Biden on the off chance the “great people around him””

  2. James Marmon August 23, 2020

    RE: Newsom and Inmate Firefighters

    Newsom really screwed the fire season up again and should be held accountable come the next election for governor. Trump told him to clean up the forest floors and he ignored good sense. When prison fire fighters are not fighting fires they spend their time cleaning up the brush for fire breaks. It’s time to get some common sense back in California leadership, vote Republican next time.

    California loses manpower to fight wildfires after more than 800 inmates in controversial firefighting program were released due to pandemic – as the prison population makes up 43% of all responders

    “Cal Fire’s union leadership spoke out about a loss of inmate firefighters back in April, warning that they make up two-thirds of its force.

    As the state now buckles under the weight of some of the biggest fires in its history, its reliance on prison labor for the critical service has been thrown into the spotlight.

    Inmates are tasked with carrying out some of the most difficult and dangerous work of fire crews, under a scheme critics slam as exploitative and have long called for abolition.

    Incarcerated firefighters are paid just $1 an hour when working on the front lines in the dangerous jobs battling wildfires that regularly strike the state.”

    James Marmon
    Former Inmate Firefighter (1985-86)
    Nevada Department of Forestry/Nevada Department of Corrections.

    • James Marmon August 23, 2020

      You never hear Inmates complaining about being sent to a fire camp, it’s the easiest time you can do, they treat you like kings and it beats a 8×10 cell by a long shot. If you don’t want to be there, they don’t you there. No one is placed in a Prison Fire Camp against their will.


  3. H. H. Heller August 23, 2020

    Current administration fails in one regard, people are not corporations.

  4. Lazarus August 23, 2020


    I roam the streets with a 5-gallon bucket and a picker occasionally. Facial coverings are the new street trash, gloves also.
    Be Swell,

    • James Marmon August 23, 2020

      It’s the disposable ones huh Laz? I see people rip them off and throw them in the store parking lot just because they’re so angry that they have to wear one in order to get in. Masks shouldn’t be mandatory by law, but what if God is watching and you will be judged by this simple inconvenience that might save somebody else’s life? God always gives you options in the end. Yes you are free to choose your own path if you want, but there may be unintended consequences in doing so.

      The Reverend James Marmon
      A man of the cloth masks

      • chuck dunbar August 23, 2020

        That part about God was Very Cool–Made me laugh in earnest–thanks, James

      • Lazarus August 23, 2020

        Yes, mostly the disposable ones. Although, I have seen a few cotton types.
        At first, it surprised me, now nothing surprises me.
        Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman…

  5. Randy Burke August 23, 2020

    Odd Bodkins (O’Neill), Really Glad to see you are still with us.

  6. Marshall Newman August 23, 2020

    RE:”A Disturbing Trend? (from 2020 mugshots).” If you are cutting your hair close and growing a beard because of a receding hairline, you are too old to be committing crimes. Grow up!

    • Lazarus August 23, 2020

      At least one of the mugs seem to be the same person. Regardless, most have the look that they’ve been there before.

      Be safe,

  7. Eric Sunswheat August 23, 2020

    RE: Covid-19. Update. False flag? Forbes posts, then deletes within two hours.

    -> Aug 23, 2020,12:02pm EDT
    Leronlimab has the coolest sounding function: it calms the cytokine storm. As you probably know, the Covid-19 virus is not as bad for you as your body’s immune response to it. It sets off a reaction that gets out of control, especially in the lungs. The virus invades the body infecting, injuring and killing cells. This causes infection. The injured cells scream “help” by releasing cytokines. Cytokines summon chemokines which rush to fight the infection but this causes more infection in a vicious cycle. In severe Covid disease, a “cytokine storm” takes place in the lungs causing acute respiratory distress syndrome. Leronlimab calms the cytokine storm and it does so in three days. It has proven to be a life saver. If approved, it will also save the economy.

  8. Elizabeth August 23, 2020

    I’ve heard that the Internet has caused people to overvalue their own opinion (as opposed to listening to others in addition to relying on their own sense of things). Just a thought…

  9. Bruce McEwen August 23, 2020


    “Hello, Mr. Human, I believe this is yours… You cast it off after you survived Covid-19, but perhaps you’d like it back now, for the smoke?”

  10. Nate Collins August 27, 2020

    Re; “A Disturbing Trend”. Life imitates prison.

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