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MCT: Wednesday, September 16, 2020

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AREAS OF SMOKE AND HAZE will continue through the next few days. Low pressure stalled offshore will bring very limited chances for light showers along the Del Norte and northern Humboldt Coast today. Friday will bring better odds at light rainfall north of Mendocino County as the low moves onshore. (NWS)

UP TO HALF AN INCH OF RAIN FORECAST for Portland area later this week which would not only help them a lot but would reduce smoke generation in NorCal. Not as hazy in inland Mendocino County. Highs near 80; lows in the 50s. Chance of rain Friday. 

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On Tuesday, September 8, at approximately 4:46 am, Ukiah Valley Fire Authority and UPD officers were dispatched to the Redwood Tree Service Station, 859 North State St., regarding a fire at the location.

Upon arrival, officers found a wooden gazebo, along with the south side of the building was on fire. Ukiah Valley Fire Authority personnel were able to put out the fire. The building sustained major damage to the south side interior and exterior of the building. Smoke was able to enter the building and caused damage as well.

The owner was contacted and was unable to provide an estimate on the repair at this time, due to the extent of the damage.

UPD detectives assumed the investigation. Later in the day, detectives were able to obtain video surveillance from the business. The video surveillance captured a single subject on the property at the time the fire started.

The subject was last seen walking northbound on North State St. UPD detectives continued investigating the case and obtained additional information and located additional video surveillance from another business in the area.

The additional surveillance showed a subject having similar features and personal items, as the subject seen in the Redwood Tree Service Station surveillance. The information was disseminated to the UPD patrol division, asking them to be on the lookout for a similar subject.

On Thursday, September 10, UPD patrol officers located a subject matching the description walking in the 800 block of North State St.

UPD officers made consensual contact with the subject, later identified as local transient, David Zakedis, age 54. 


UPD detectives were notified and responded. Zakedis was interviewed at the scene and admitted to being the one responsible for the fire. Zakedis was also in possession of items seen on the video surveillance footage as well.

Zakedis was arrested without incident for arson, committing arson during a state of emergency and a violation of probation. Zakedis was lodged at the county jail.

Anyone with any additional information is urged to contact Ukiah PD at 707-463-6262."

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SIX MORE COVID CASES in Mendocino County on Tuesday. Total now at 808 with 63 active in isolation or hospital. No new deaths, total remains at 18.

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Last evening at the Fort Bragg City Council meeting, a Councilmember brought up a letter received from a concerned citizen regarding the Thin Blue Line American Flags on the City of Fort Bragg Police Department patrol vehicles. 

Context and local events should be considered: 

The Thin Blue Line Flag is a memorial originally placed on the Fort Bragg patrol cars to honor fallen Deputy Ricky Del Fiorentino, the first officer killed in the line of duty within the community of Fort Bragg. The Thin Blue Line Flag was created to honor those who protect and serve, not those who abuse their power. 

This honor towards a fallen officer will not take away from the oath we took to Protect and Serve all persons of Fort Bragg and we will continue to do so with the utmost respect for every person we encounter. This Department takes pride in our community and our staff will not break this community’s trust. 

John Naulty, Interim Fort Bragg Police Chief

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BILL KIMBERLIN: My book comes out in paper back tomorrow. If you like my writing, take a look, as it would help me with my publisher. It is a memoir and not about Star Wars. There is a chapter on Boonville and my life in general. Lots of stories. Thank you for any support.

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CHRIS CALDER with a tribute to the indefatigable Paul McCarthy: 

The salami in the Mendocino Coast's media sandwich (Mendocinosportsplus - yes it's only one person). He tortures people, he raises the rabble, he goes over the line sometimes (and he knows it, he's not a monster), he once photoshopped a… No I won't tell that one. He said terrible untrue things about me and my boss. But he always offers me a smoke so, WTF.

Another thing he does is keep the media feed and a very important part of actual freedom* going strong when it's faltering so many other places. Morning to night, local news, emergency news, all kinds of crazy sh*t, scanner gossip - hey: you love it as long as it's not you. Don't lie - seven days a week, and of course he covers local high school sports like they were the 1920s New York Yankees.

Hey Paul McCarthy: Who holds the record for spikes in a season for Mendocino High School volleyball? In a game? Who was the coach in 1997? He knows all that. He bailed my ass out a million times (full disclosure). 

But he is the Fourth Estate (Fifth? Or is that the Fifth Dimension? Diane Bessette? Do you remember? ) around here. Anyway, it means we're like equal to government and can fk with them (and anyone) mercilessly and there are no rules for us. It's against the Constitution. Isn't that what Mrs. Peper taught us, Diane?

You think Second Amendment people are fanatics?

So you're lucky you have him, Mendocino Coast, and not some weird ahole.

*Live Free Or Die! He's from New Hampshire. So are my cousins. They make them tough as sh*t there.

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AV HEALTH CENTER Announces $1 Million Dollar Federal Grant 

Boonville — September 15, 2020 Today the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) announced that they have awarded $79 million in construction and other capital support to 165 health centers in disaster prone areas in the U.S. The awards called the Capital Assistance for Disaster Response and Recovery Efforts (CADRE) aim to ensure access to healthcare and increase health center capacity to serve their communities after disasters. 

Anderson Valley Health Center (AVHC) is proud to have received the maximum award of $1 million dollars to renovate the existing health center to improve disaster readiness and ensure our full range of services remain available through a crisis with a particular emphasis on mental health. 

AVHC is one of a few critical disaster resources during a crisis in Anderson Valley and is a first stop for community members seeking assistance. AVHC has been planning for a larger remodel for over 3 years and has plans to add over 5,000 square feet of new office space, a behavioral health reception area, a new teen clinic, acupuncture and specialty service rooms, telehealth exam rooms, and more. 

AVHC plans to install an additional solar array that will continue to highlight our commitment to combating climate change and to being the first LEED certified health center in California. 

AVHC is proud to receive this award and grateful to our staff and community for the role they play in supporting AVHC’s services. We will continue to serve you well. 

For a list of award recipients, visit

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TEACUPS ARE A'RATTLIN' in the faculty lounges with the revelation that the University of Chicago's English Department will only accept graduate school applicants interested in “working in and with Black studies” for its 2020-2021 cycle. The academic trendies, sprinting to keep up with the zeitgist but falling on their fatuous faces, announced in July their commitment to the “struggle of Black and indigenous people, and all racialized and dispossessed people, against inequality and brutality.” 

WHEN KAMALA HARRIS blurted out a reference to the “Harris Administration,” who's surprised? Assuming Trump loses to the clearly past it Biden, Harris will be president, probably about ten minutes after Biden is sworn in and rushed back to his basement before he can say anything off teleprompter. I feel for him. It's cruel that the DNC has shoved him out there knowing he's incapacitated. Yesterday, when he approached the cameras in a sort of old guy prostate march to read off the teleprompter, he called Trump a "climate arsonist," and kudos to the speech writer who came up with that one. But this is what it's come to in a time of serial disasters — two old fools insulting each other.

KAMALA'S “Harris administration” slip, if it was inadvertent, came during a virtual roundtable. She quickly clarified: “The Biden-Harris administration will provide access to $100 billion in low-interest loans and investments from minority business owners.” Trump has previously called Biden “a Trojan horse for socialism.” And Pence has said that: “Joe Biden would be nothing more than a Trojan horse for the radical left.” Of which there is not one in this country at this time, unfortunately. Considering Bernie's commonsense stands for single-payer and a big public investment in green jobs were very popular with voters, so popular the DNC had to screw him out of the Demo nomination, who exactly is afraid of socialism, however defined by these lunkhead Republicans? The issue in this election is racism, not socialism. Will Trump scare enough white fraidy cats that Antifa will be running through their suburbs stealing lawn ornaments to get his wacky self re-elected?

LEO BUC, KINGMAKER. New name (to us) wafted into the Boonville bunker the other day in the form of an anon phone call. The caller said that this Leo Buc guy had interviewed both Mo Mulheren and John McCowen for 2nd District supervisor, essentially to see whose campaign he would work for. About that time there was a poll among the middle of the road extremists — active Democrats — with only two people on the ballot as in, Who would you vote for? Mo polled well ahead of the sonorous incumbent and McCowen decided to drop out. That’s when the old guard Dem club folks recruited Rodin to run, although Mulheren is a Democrat and indistinguishable from Rodin on the issues, such as they vaguely are in Mendo politics.

Next thing you know, Leo Buc is working for Rodin as well as Glen McGourty, front runner for supervisor in the 1st District.

Whether Leo Buc is actually in the Dem Club or just hires out to them, I don’t know at this point. The smoke signals only fly by so often. The lighter ash from sky also says that the pro-Mari Rodin letter in AVA on Sept 9, signed by Alex de Grassi, was really written by Allison de Grassi, for whatever that is worth.

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UKIAH, 1940s

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An attachment from the City Council agenda Monday night:

"...Staff is currently projecting an operating surplus of $344k for the General Fund and a June 30, 2021 ending fund balance of $2.7 Million instead of the April, 2020 projection of $1.6 Million. Included in Proposed Budget Amendment No. 2021- 03 is a transfer of $10,000 in the City Council Department’s budget from Election Costs to Professional Services to provide funds for support of the Name Change Citizen Committee and if Council desires, support for the Community Garden, scheduled for discussion earlier in tonight’s agenda.

Also proposed is returning the five remaining furloughed City Hall employees to full-time and a reinstatement of the Police Department premium pays as of October 1, 2020.

Twelve employees were originally furloughed to 50% or 75% of full-time hours. In mid-June, the Senior Planner was reinstated to full time to handle the increase in development permits with the understanding that 20 or more hours would be charged to developer accounts.

When the Public Works Director retired at the end of June, the Assistant Director was promoted to Director and the Assistant City Engineer was promoted to Assistant Director.

The Assistant City Engineer position, which was furloughed to 30 hours a week, was not replaced and the position frozen.

The City Clerk was returned to full-time in July in order to assist with the Tenant-Based Rental Assistance program and the additional hours are reimbursed by the grant.

Three Finance Department staff were transitioned back to full time in August, after the Finance Director, who was also working reduced hours resigned and was not replaced.

Restoring furloughed staff to full time and reinstating the Police Department premium pays will help staff morale..."

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CATCH OF THE DAY, September 15, 2020

Cervantes, Cornejo, Cree

JONATHAN CERVANTES, Ukiah. Manufacture-sale-possesion of undetectable firearm, large capacity magazine, minor with live ammo, minor with concealed weapon with prior, loaded firearm in public, concealed firearm in vehicle with prior.

JOSE CORNEJO, Ukiah. Brandishing, criminal threats.

GEORGE CREE, Disorderly conduct-alcohol, resisting.

Fliinton, Garnica, Halvorsen

SEAN FLINTON, Fort Bragg. Disorderly conduct-alcohol. (Frequent flyer.)

OSVALDO GARNICA, Ukiah. False ID, false personation of another.

NICHOLAS HALVORSEN, Fort Bragg. Criminal threats. (Frequent flyer.)

Herbstritt, Hernandez, Kelly

TABITHA HERBSTRITT, Laytonville. DUI, controlled substance, suspended license (for DUI), probation revocation.


FABER KELLY, Santa Monica/Ukiah. Resisting.

Lewis, Shannon, Tapia

RICKY LEWIS, Richmond/Ukiah. Criminal threats, failure to appear.

AARON SHANNON, Albion. Battery, domestic abuse.

BENJAMIN TAPIA, Wilton/Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-alcohol.

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(Name withheld by request)

I have been reading the heart-breaking events of the mentally suffering in Mendocino County. It has prompted me to tackle my grief-guilt-bewilderment at the death of my own son at age 43.

What could I have done differently? Never, never let any one family member talk you into the job alone. Like it or not your family is your family. It's what mothers do -- yes, but not after raising four children alone while teaching part-time for some 30 years, juggling bills and trying for the betterment of my family moving three times to a better house — all on my own.

Advocating for your mentally ill loved one alone does not work. The mental health complex should cover secure SSI funds for housing and a licensed psychologist who would be paid enough so that he can be reached when needed. Peer groups are necessary as well as family check-in, problem or not. Even a conference call of three is better than one crying out in the desert as I did and giving up to try again later. 

What was I thinking? I was classified as no to meds, but I needed more input. The three rounds my son tried only amplified his response. Maybe my son was right: he claimed he was bipolar with schizotypal qualities. A good doctor would have done wonders. Whenever I tried alone I was told “He does not want help.” “Maybe,” I replied, “last time but now he seems ready.” I was told to have my son wait for a call on a particular day and time but the doctor let us down! Above all I did not want Scott frightened by the police who always appear with crisis intervention. Police could be there but out of sight and unless needed.

I didn't call the ambulance because a policeman was at his door three nights before with his gun drawn. When I asked what he was going to do with that gun, he said, "Well I guess I don't have to break the door down to see why he was running." What if my son took a fright and reared up seeing a policeman with the medics? 

When I took him to the emergency room 30 years ago, I waited for eight hours and nothing else occurred until they put him in a room and jammed his gut in a clumsy ultrasound and then pushed tubes into his nose to his gut even though there was nothing there, his stomach was healing! They kept him to question why a teenager would have an ulcer -- three days of torture and he said he was completely cured and there was no more ulcer. I did not know that a condition persists when one has an ulcer. In the end I felt other advice to just let him rest would have been better and less traumatizing. It was hard to know the truth from fiction.

He was always saying, If I turned off the water or unplugged umpteen plugs I would have died. Once he said he had six hours to get to the park marina or he would die. I was admonished last time I called an ambulance for him I said my son couldn't move from Abbott's Lagoon because of stomach pain. They chastised me, "Make sure before you ever call an ambulance again it’s real and not just in someone's head!" 

I didn't realize he might have wanted to call himself until it was suggested 16 days later. Sometimes you scare me, I told my son, and I just got the phone fixed from the last time you smashed it. He smiled, closed his eyes and lay back. I would have said, Just come in for a bath and see how you feel but he was so quiet with his eyes closed I thought he was going to sleep. When I got up to leave I said at least I can turn off the water, and he yelled, If you do that I will die. His yelling about the water was my clue that he didn't really need an ambulance.

It had been a dismal month. Scott would not go camping as we always did, especially when things were going badly. He was acting erratically, yelling, calling me names, pounding the front door, turning off the main power and pulling out the mailbox and putting it in the street. He had been picked up and sent to John George for evaluation. They told me it was unusual for someone to maintain nearly 8 years and have this relapse happen. Somehow during this time he was powerless when his phone and tablet were taken from him at Indian Rock. They were certain it was "dirty drugs" and to keep an eye on him. I had no idea what they meant. Heroin? Pot was all I ever saw him with. Two different people told me that just a small amount of the drugs out there today could kill you, and not to feel guilty. But I had seen someone frequently coming in his van parked beside the bushes often laughing with the neighbor who liked to tell my son what to do and how to do it. After my son connected with this guy he would go haywire. I hesitated getting into his business for fear he’d suffer more. And then he disappeared.

All the calls, pleas with the mobile crisis van, yielded nothing. I called nearly daily asking them to call back, told them of his haunts, but nothing.

The day my son died it was after a night and morning of terrible storms. My 8 AM medical appointment was canceled, and the communication between my son and me was blurry. He was gagging, and called his brother to get him Emetrol. When I came in with electrolytes he asked for an ambulance, saying only he "ached all over." 

Experiences with bad food and dehydration led me to believe this is what the situation with him was now. In retrospect, I wondered why I was reluctant to examine him. He was naked and I had only recently been grappling with the realization of sexual child abuse suffered at the hands of my mother. I did not want to cross any boundaries. I had no one to refer to but his brother who also believed he didn't need an ambulance. Last year's crisis left me shaking when he complained of a headache and it took me a month to see it was a root canal he needed. So much worry and doubt while he suffered so long not being able to tell me exactly what hurt.

What if I had called an ambulance and he was startled at seeing a policeman and was shot? What if they were rough with him in the ambulance as they had been 30 years ago in the emergency room? 

After eight hours of waiting that long time ago with nothing happening, they put him in a room and jabbed at his gut while doing an ultrasound. After a cry, the nurse said, "Oh, sorry." Tubes were put in his nose that he said hurt like hell, left in for three days with IV. They had a quorum of doctors asking what gives a high school kid an ulcer? In the end I was assured the ulcer was healed, nothing to worry about. I had no idea that once it occurs there is a condition that is ever present.

He was smiling, calm and laid-back upon the pillow after I told him I was afraid of him sometimes and I just got the phone replaced last night. When I turned my head to say, Go in for a bath and see how you feel. But he seemed so still, about to sleep. I often wonder if he was starting to cry and closed off the tears. I will never know. I am so angry with myself for not having better intuition in this devastating mistake I made.

It was another mistake I made to go to an AA meeting and say it was the same as hitting someone with a car while drinking. I will never be able to retract that statement, even though it certainly was not intentional. I did not grasp the severity of the situation. I have not had a drink in over a dozen years. But I lost credibility, so be it! I continue to love my son and connected with him daily even though there was one who asked, "Did you even love him?" When I found my son he looked so beautiful, like a praying statue on his side, smiling, and I believed he was finding an alternative universe to explore and would be back! He did not look dead. It was as if wings were beginning to sprout. I was in awe. Being stunned, some say in shock, my emotions were pushed back to try to understand. To this day I check in with my son praying that he see Jesus, Einstein and Tesla and find a safe route back for a redo! I say to him, I cannot make this choice for you but if you want an ambulance I will call for you. To this day every time I send these words to him, he says, "Thank you, mom."

PS. I tried to get my son a therapist but something always happened: wrong time, wrong address, change of venue, brother dropping him off at the wrong site and then the doctor gave up on us!

Trying to make my son responsible to get his appointments, I now realize was too much for him. As I write this I wish there could have been an overseer to check in with us to ensure appointments were kept. The saddest thing is that with structural intervention we all could have helped make it work. Mental illness treatment is not just giving a person an appointment time to be there. My hindsight might help you and others. The point I am making is that half measures either with the family, the critical care unit, housing or appointments, etc., won't work without coordination. I realize the addition of another person sounds tough, etc., but I believe it is instrumental to the process.

What I tried: I went to NAMI meetings. I went to the 12 week course. I wrote a six-page letter to the Amen Clinic in Walnut Creek that does brain imaging to take him as a patient, but no response. I took my son camping, hiking in Tilden, cleaned with him and did late afternoon swims until two cars were vandalized beyond repair and Geico told me in no uncertain terms: none of the damage was random, it took a consolidated effort to destroy your cars. "You need to know you have enemies."

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CMA President Peter N. Bretan, Jr., M.D., issued the following statement in response to recent county public health offer resignations:

The California Medical Association (CMA) is severely troubled by the recent resignations of county public health officers in Placer and Humboldt counties.

Earlier this month, Teresa Frankovich, M.D., announced her resignation as Humboldt County Health Officer, citing stress and fallout from COVID-19 as her reasons for leaving her post.

In Placer County, Aimee Sisson, M.D., announced she will be leaving her post later this month after the Placer County board of Supervisors ignored her advice and opted to end the county's COVID-19 state of emergency.

The nearly 50,000 members of the California Medical Association want to offer our thanks to Drs. Frankovich and Sisson for their public service. Their departures now bring to 10 the number of county health officers who have resigned or left their positions since COVID-19 erupted on the scene in March. These physicians, and dozens of others who serve as county health officers around the state, have been on the frontlines of the worst pandemic in recent history, and have come under intense political and sometimes personal pressure and attacks.

Dr. Sisson's resignation is a reminder that too often, politics continues to trump science in our policymaking. CMA is alarmed that basic science has become politicized in so many parts of our state, and our country. Public health officers are public servants who seek to do what their job description states - to protect public health. They use science and medical expertise to make their decisions. CMA wants to commend public health officers around the state for the bold and courageous work they do every day to keep their communities safe, often in the face of political pressure and personal attacks. These important roles will become increasingly difficult to fill if the recommendations of public health officers are ignored, and those who serve continue to be subject to personal attack.

We are all tired and weary after months of dealing with COVID-19. We understand that millions of Californians are struggling economically, and that mental health concerns from shelter-in-place orders are very real. But if we are to get through this pandemic together, we must listen to what the science tells us and continue to rely on the wisdom and guidance of those who have the expertise to best protect the public health."

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There is one scientific fact regarding the coronavirus that has remained consistent over the past six months with all the information and misinformation: seniors and those with underlying health conditions are the real people at risk, and they should be protected.

How can major league sports teams provide rapid testing for their players and staff with results in 15 minutes but senior care homes can’t get that same type of support for both their workers and patients? If sports teams want to really be proactive and supportive of their communities, they might want to rethink how they could be supportive of Gray Lives Matter.

Sonoma County’s health director was more interested in keeping the parks, malls, nail salons and restaurants closed than protecting those who are really in need. Why can’t senior facilities and hospitals, whose numbers are minimal, get real support, such as rapid testing?

Those in power can take time and money to shut down the county. Why can’t they provide something as simple as testing for these sites? Remember it was the experts who said testing, testing and testing.

Truth and transparency have never been part of this pandemic. I think we should ask ourselves why.

Donna Gomes

Santa Rosa

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Former mechanic Shawn Shriver bought a storefront about an hour outside Pittsburgh years ago. He created a 400-square-foot gun shop that he runs with his wife. They sell guns, ammo, and holsters to their neighbors. They normally carry about 150 pistols on a regular day. But there haven’t been many regular days since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic in March, as well as the public unrest that emerged in June. “I’ve got like three pistols in this store,” he said on Wednesday. “That’s it.” A similar story has played out in many gun stores across the country in recent months. Shriver’s experience may be more relevant to understanding the electoral implications of the recent riot-inspired gun-sales spike because of where it’s happening: a small town at the southwest tip of a swing state that could play a key role in electing the next president of the United States. “After COVID hit we sold out of ammo,” Shriver said. “And then they started with the protesting, and a lot more guns started going off the shelves.” Pennsylvania is not the only bellwether state where this is happening. A broader look at monthly sales data, as measured by FBI background checks, confirms swing state voters’ eagerness to arm themselves in 2020. The nine states at the epicenter of the presidential race between President Donald Trump and former vice president Joe Biden each saw historic seasonally adjusted gun sales in June—larger in all cases than the record-setting sales of March—a sign of surging demand for firearms in the wake of rioting and protests that have turned violent.

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by Bruce McEwen

With apologies to the reader I will disclose some unhappy developments concerning Homer, the DIY Homebody, and our ongoing adventures in house painting. When I came to the job site, Homer’s house, last week, I found him all togged out in camo cargo pants and shirt with a boonie-rat hat, curled up on one side, Aussie-fashion. His tool belt had been replaced with a WWII web belt, from which hung a canteen, ammo pouches and a rusty old bayonet. To top it all, he was wearing a paint-sprayer’s full-face respirator (for the smoke, one surmises, or perhaps tear gas).

As usual, Homer was loquacious (if not under the influence of some central nervous system stimulant like Gold Coast’s Humboldt Dark) and he explained that he and his friends and neighbors were practicing to form a kind of militia, as they are guaranteed by the Constitution, in case they have to do, “Like whatever, dude.” 

“Homer,” said I, “you are going in over your head, you have no military training, only movies and novels for study, and you are going to get slaughtered.”

“Bullpucky,” Homer hotly retorted, leveling the muzzle of his paint gun at my kisser.

“Listen, Homer,” I said in my sincerest imitation of a man who knows the efficacy of squirming out of a dicey situation. “Listen to the voice of experience. My father was a tank commander under Patton at the Battle of the Bulge; two of my older uncles landed on Guadalcanal and Iwo Jima, respectively; my stepfather bombed the Burma Road; two of my younger uncles fought, one as a machine gunner, the other as a fighter pilot, in the Korean War; my big brother was in the Navy, in the Tonkin Gulf, during the so-called “incident,” my kid brother joined the Army and, as for me, I joined the Marines, in 1969. 

“So what?” Homer responded somewhat contemptuously.

“In short, Homer, I’ve been around combat veterans all my life and the majority opinion is that a militia operating in its own country will lack the discipline to not break ranks and flee when faced with armed opposition.”

“Screw you, McEwen. We’ve got some combat vets with us, too.”

“Homer, those guys, bless ‘em, have never faced superior firepower for a sustained interaction with the enemy. No American soldier has since the Korean War. Within a few minutes the artillery and air support were there to overpower anything of the kind. And on foreign soil American troops are loath to run, for the simple reason there’s nowhere to go but into the hands of the enemy. At home, in their own country, they’ll have many avenues of retreat. Even though the vets, as you say, will have some notion of discipline when the rest of you guys break ranks and run – and run they will when confronted with an Apache gunship and only their sporting arms (commercial assault weapons, which are only effective against unarmed civilians) to repel it.”

“Screw you, McEwen, we’ll get you, you’ll see.”

“You’re right, Homer, I do see… you’ll get me and many others, if the military declines to suppress you and your buddies. The same want of discipline that would make you peckerwoods run if a platoon of Marines came down on you, that same lack of training would lead to the kinds of atrocities you and your friends are already daydreaming about as you play your paint-ball war games.”

“Screw you, McEwen.”

“That will depend, Homer, on whether the military backs Trump’s bid to seize power – and his earlier attempts to tamper with the troop deployments have not set well with the generals. Joe Biden, on the other hand, has never sassed the top brass, and one senses, as an old military scion, that Trump’s Troops are in for a huge disappointment on that issue.”

“Bullpucky – you’ll see!”

“Okay, Homer, so let’s put home improvements on hold until you get back from the paint-ball front.”

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HOPLAND, 1930s

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Warmest Spiritual Greetings,

Please know that my social sitaution on Oahu is hopeless. The stupidity of the politically elected shut down the tourist economy in response to the Covid-19 virus. This ended any possibility of my earning money, killed the AirBNB business which kept Plumeria Hostel Altnernative at full capacity (now at 60% occupancy), resulting in my being $2,000 behind in rent. 

I am awaiting the next government stimulus check to pay a month’s back rent, get an airplane ticket and get the hell out of Hawaii. I am welcome to return to the Magic Ranch in Redwood Valley.

I need to get an airplane ticket soon. I need cooperation from the rest of the failed “American experiment in freedom and democracy.” I need social cooperation from others to get the hell out of Hawaii and return to the mainland where my ongoing commitment to “smash the demons” remains firm. For the record, I chilled out, I relaxed, I went on “island time,” I became a zen master, I’m self-realized, and I’m ready to leave AlohaLand! 

Thank you,

Craig Stehr

Honolulu, Hawaii

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GRIEF TURNS OUT to be a place none of us know until we reach it. We anticipate (we know) that someone close to us could die, but we do not look beyond the few days or weeks that immediately follow such an imagined death. We misconstrue the nature of even those few days or weeks. We might expect if the death is sudden to feel shock. We do not expect the shock to be obliterative, dislocating to both body and mind. We might expect that we will be prostrate, inconsolable, crazy with loss. We do not expect to be literally crazy, cool customers who believe that their husband is about to return and need his shoes. In the version of grief we imagine, the model will be "healing." A certain forward movement will prevail. The worst days will be the earliest days. We imagine that the moment to most severely test us will be the funeral, after which this hypothetical healing will take place. When we anticipate the funeral we wonder about failing to "get through it," rise to the occasion, exhibit the "strength" that invariably gets mentioned as the correct response to death. We anticipate needing to steel ourselves for the moment: will I be able to greet people, will I be able to leave the scene, will I be able even to get dressed that day? We have no way of knowing that this will not be the issue. We have no way of knowing that the funeral itself will be anodyne, a kind of narcotic regression in which we are wrapped in the care of others and the gravity and meaning of the occasion. Nor can we know ahead of the fact (and here lies the heart of the difference between grief was we imagine it and grief as it is) the unending absence that follows, the void, the very opposite of meaning, the relentless succession of moments during which we will confront the experience of meaninglessness itself. 

― Joan Didion, The Year of Magical Thinking

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This year the Point Arena City Council has three seats open for election. However, only two candidates filed to run - Scott Ignacio and Olivia Ford. 

Since the City only had two candidates for three seats, there is still an opportunity for interested residents to run as a "Write-In" candidate, which provides a way for voters to support a candidate not officially on the printed ballot. 

Those seeking to run as a Write-In candidate need to file nomination papers in order to have their have their names counted toward possible election. 

Those requirements include obtaining at least five signatures from registered voters in the City and filing a Declaration of Write-In candidacy. 

Write-In candidates who do not file by October 20 will not have their names counted towards election. 

Write-In nomination information can be obtained in the Office of the City Clerk, 451 School Street; Point Arena, CA between the hours of 9:00 a.m. and 4 p.m. Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays and 9am to noon on Fridays. Please note that City Hall offices are closed on Wednesdays. 

For more information, contact City Hall at 882-2122.

Stay safe,

Paul Andersen

Admin Assistant/Deputy City Clerk

City of Point Arena

707-882-2122 | 

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by Megan Cassidy and Mallory Moench

Davenport, Santa Cruz County — As fire roared over his house, Michael Matison answered what would be the final call he'd receive at his home on Last Chance Road: an automated reverse 911 message telling him to evacuate.

The house was already in flames as he grabbed his partner, Mikaela Smith, his three dogs, his cockatoo, Kazar — and a pistol.

"There was a good chance we weren't going to make it," Matison said in an interview. "I was going to shoot everybody and myself, so we didn't have to go through the pain of burning up. That's how bad it was."

The residents of Last Chance Road last month became one of the latest rural communities to be caught tragically off-guard by the state's monstrous and deadly wildfires.

Their stories from inside the CZU Lightning Complex's Aug. 18 onslaught echoed those of Wine Country and Paradise, and those emerging from new fires exploding across Northern California: neighbors driving through seas of orange, taking refuge overnight in pools of water, or hiking for miles after the only exit road was swallowed by flames.

One Last Chance resident and Matison's tenant, Tad Jones, a monk-like man with a replaced hip and walking canes, never made it out.

Wildfire warning systems by text, email, cell phone alert or reverse 911 call can't always reach everyone in remote areas where coverage isn't available, or when power or service cuts out. And sometimes, as happened in this season's lightning-sparked blazes, the system can't keep up with the speed and unpredictability of wildfires.

Officials with Cal Fire confirmed that there was no evacuation warning for Last Chance, and that the evacuation order came just after 10 p.m. Sheriff's deputies had no time to go door to door.

Ryan Coonerty, the Santa Cruz County supervisor for the area, said the county would review what happened in Last Chance.

"We absolutely have to look at both the evacuation communication system, as well as the allocation of resources," he said.

As of Friday, the CZU Complex had charred 86,509 acres and destroyed 1,490 structures, becoming the 10th most destructive wildfire in state history. More than 70,000 people were evacuated, and one person died.

Neighbors here knew the risks of living in the off-the-grid community in the Santa Cruz Mountains, amid a lush tapestry of redwoods, oaks and firs that hadn't burned like this in 70 years. With an ambulance ride taking 45 minutes and no cell service, residents rely heavily on their neighbors, and themselves, in the event of an emergency.

Still, after years of wildfire preparations with Cal Fire and a two-day head start from when the fires ignited, residents of Last Chance say there should have been more of a warning, more attention, before they were sent running for their lives.

"Everyone ... is like, we didn't get any evacuation notice," said Jason Hickey, a contractor and musician who lived in Last Chance. "The only evacuation notice we got was a wall of fire."

'We would have died'

Last Chance is both a community and a road, with about 100 homes and dozens of residents scattered along a winding, 6-mile dirt drive. It takes about 30 minutes to get from the entrance gate to the road's dead end near Big Basin Redwoods State Park. The only way in or out is from Highway 1. Many residents moved here because of the isolation.

They worked with Cal Fire a few years before this blaze, marking roads on the map, clearing vegetation and adding hydrants and tanks at homes. The community established its own phone tree, enlisting neighbors to call and warn one another in emergencies.

Cal Fire's plan in case of a fire, residents said, was for evacuees to meet at the old mill site, a clearing larger than a football field with a barn that hosted an annual dance. From there, firefighters would escort people out.

"We would have died if we did that," one resident, Morning Star, said.

As day turned to night on Aug. 18, residents of Last Chance Road kept their eyes trained on the weather — and their Twitter feeds — with mounting concern.

Residences just to the north in San Mateo County were being warned, and then ordered, to evacuate in a span of 90 minutes.

In Last Chance, charred oak leaves were raining on properties. The binoculars that had helped resident Forest Martinez-McKinney call in earlier spot fires to 911 were rendered useless by late afternoon, the smoke obscuring his vantage point.

Throughout the evening, the message from Cal Fire and local officials remained the same: The CZU Lightning Complex posed no immediate threat to Last Chance, residents were told. No evacuation orders or warnings were necessary.

"SANTA CRUZ COUNTY: These are the ONLY areas under an EVACUATION ORDER," Cal Fire CZU's official Twitter page posted at 9:06 p.m., listing communities to the northeast but not Last Chance itself.

Meanwhile, worried neighbors began messaging each other and pressing local officials for information.

"Fire is raging but they don't feel structures are at risk," Coonerty texted around the same time to a community member, who forwarded the message to others. "They are aware of last chance."

Martinez-McKinney was on a grocery run at about 9:20 p.m. when he ran into a Cal Fire battalion chief at the gate on the way out. The chief told Martinez-McKinney he was responding to a call about a spot fire near Last Chance, Martinez-McKinney recalled. The chief said he needed to see the fire before calling in an evacuation order.

Martinez-McKinney led the chief to a viewpoint and found flames roaring up into a short road southwest of Last Chance, near the gate.

The chief told Martinez-McKinney he probably had about 45 minutes before the road out would become impassible. Martinez-McKinney drove his pickup back to the community where he grew up, honking his horn and screaming at neighbors to flee.

By the time the first evacuation order came, about a half hour later, houses were on fire.

"They say that they were spread thin," Martinez-McKinney said of fire officials, whose crews were battling hundreds of lightning-sparked blazes at once. "But we never had a fire truck come up here."

Cal Fire typically notifies county officials of the areas most at risk when fires close in on communities. The sheriff's office then uses a contracted dispatch center to relay evacuation warnings and orders through texts, emails, Amber Alert-style messages or reverse 911 calls, and sends deputies to knock on doors if possible.

Ian Larkin, Cal Fire's unit chief for San Mateo and Santa Cruz counties, confirmed that the evacuation orders for Last Chance began at 10:06 p.m. Agency officials now believe the blaze that leveled the community was a spot fire that ignited ahead of the main conflagration.

"We had this northeast wind surface and just push that fire down like a freight train," Larkin said.

Larkin said officials had no idea at the time that the fire had moved so far, so quickly. With crews spread critically thin, battling other blazes, a fire that could have drawn 4,000 to 6,000 firefighters was assigned fewer than 600.

"In hindsight, if we had to repeat this and we knew what we knew today, we probably would have put those evacuation orders out (with) much more advance notice," Larkin said.

Santa Cruz County Sheriff's Office spokeswoman Ashley Keehn said the fire moved so quickly that there was no time for an evacuation warning.

"I believe we tried to get deputies up to that area," she said. "But by the time we were notified to go up there, the fire was burning heavily in that area."

'We were in hell'

In a cabin at the end of the road, surrounded by redwoods, Ruth Anne Frase was on the phone with her daughter, watching "America's Got Talent," when her neighbor called telling her she needed to leave.

"I had 10 minutes to get out," Frase said. "It was a fire-nado all around me."

Frase began frantically looking for her animals when Martinez-McKinney came screeching up in his truck, urging her to leave. Martinez-McKinney helped her jump-start her car with a generator before she left, barefoot and without her dentures, with the one dog she could find.

With Last Chance Road impassible, Jason Hickey and Tad Jones doubled back to the mill site. It would be the last time Hickey saw Jones alive.

Hickey said that he told Jones he was going to ride out the fire in the field, but that Jones instead steered his rented minivan toward the river, to a horse trail that led into Big Basin Redwoods State Park. Hickey spent the night dashing around the field to avoid flames, encircled by trees on fire and dizzying smoke.

Another resident, Pat Kelly, survived in a 6-foot-deep pond, at one point submerged and breathing through a plastic pipe as the heat burned his lungs.

Matison and Smith, after helping an elderly neighbor flee in one of the last cars that left, didn't even try to go down Last Chance Road that night. Instead, they took their all-terrain vehicle straight to the horse trail. For about two hours, the couple and their animals hiked with a single flashlight along a rocky trail, the forest in flames on both sides.

"We were in hell," Smith said.

The family emerged from the flames to Big Basin Redwoods State Park headquarters, where fire trucks had parked in the middle of the inferno.

"There was no reason for us making it except divine providence," Matison said.

He couldn't save his horses.

"The fire department did the best they could," he said. "They had never experienced anything like this."

'We need to figure out what went wrong'

A search party of perhaps a dozen Last Chance residents, including Kyli Tanner and Martinez-McKinney, set out on Aug. 22., in search of Jones' remains.

The crew hiked through the ashen moonscape that used to be their community. All but a handful of buildings were leveled.

They found the van first. Martinez-McKinney and a few of the others continued on to a nearby creek, hoping beyond reason that Jones would be sitting there with his feet in the water.

"I knew I didn't need to go out with them," Tanner said. "So I was just looking around the car, around the van, and sure enough."

Jones' bones were found about 100 feet from his van, in a rock crevice, his canes by his side.

Revisiting the area recently, Tanner and Martinez-McKinney said they didn't fault the fire crews or local officials for their losses. But both said more should have been done, and done sooner, to warn residents to the danger rushing toward them. The two also believe residents should have been given a message to take it upon themselves to evacuate if they saw fire nearby.

"A simple warning like that would have relayed the reality of the situation," Kyli Tanner said.

If government and fire officials don't drastically reform the way they handle the new breed of wildfires, especially in remote areas, "we're just going to make the same mistakes again," Martinez-McKinney said. "We need to figure out what went wrong and move forward."

(Courtesy, SF Chronicle)

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(photo by Harvey Reading)

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GREENLAND’S ICE SHEET Has Melted Beyond the Point of No Return

Greenland’s ice sheet has melted past the point of no return, according to climatologists at Ohio State University’s Byrd Polar and Climate Research Center: “Glacier retreat has knocked the dynamics of the whole ice sheet into a constant state of loss. Even if the climate were to stay the same or even get a little colder, the ice sheet would still be losing mass.” 

According to the report, “Nearly 40 years of satellite data from Greenland shows that glaciers on the island have shrunk so much that even if global warming were to stop today, the ice sheet would continue shrinking. … The researchers found that, throughout the 1980s and 90s, snow gained through accumulation and ice melted or calved from glaciers were mostly in balance, keeping the ice sheet intact. Through those decades, the researchers found, the ice sheets generally lost about 450 gigatons (about 450 billion tons) of ice each year from flowing outlet glaciers, which was replaced with snowfall. … The researchers’ analysis found that the baseline of that pulse—the amount of ice being lost each year—started increasing steadily around 2000, so that the glaciers were losing about 500 gigatons each year. Snowfall did not increase at the same time, and over the last decade, the rate of ice loss from glaciers has stayed about the same—meaning the ice sheet has been losing ice more rapidly than it’s being replenished.”

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HUGE WESTERN FIRES IN 1910 CHANGED US WILDFIRE POLICY. Will Today’s Conflagrations Do the Same?

As vast and fast wildfires continue to spread almost unprecedented destruction across America's three Pacific states, fire scientists, meteorologists and journalists have begun comparing the conflagrations to one firestorm 110 years ago.

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  1. George Hollister September 16, 2020


    Doctors are in the business of issuing dictates. It is what they do. Science vs. politics isn’t the issue here. There has been push back to the dictator model when it comes to shutting down the economy, and specifically shutting down small businesses due to Covid-19. A collaborative approach with business is needed. This includes Mendocino County.

    • Harvey Reading September 16, 2020

      More of your charlatanry, George? Sort reminds me of your attempt to justify racism a coupla days ago. Are you and Joseph competing for some sort of conservathug stupidity prize?

    • Joe September 16, 2020

      In Pennsylvania a federal judge has ruled closing businesses unconstitutional. Until people challenge it in court it will continue here in California.

      • Harvey Reading September 16, 2020

        A Trump appointee?

  2. Lazarus September 16, 2020


    De Blasio’s New York…

    Be Safe……

  3. James Marmon September 16, 2020


    My mom said that she lived there for a short time when she first came to the area in the late 40’s. A lot of families started out there.


  4. Joe September 16, 2020

    How the middle class is being robbed of trillions right now by the federal reserve.

  5. Douglas Coulter September 16, 2020

    Neil Young does not allow Trump to use his songs.
    David Bowie owed the Donald a favor and wrote him a quick campaign tune….
    Space Odities

    Donald Trump to Puertorico Donald Trump to Puerto Rico
    Air Force One has landed I’m here for the show
    And here are some Bounty paper towels
    Quick pick up that spill
    Planet Earth is large but I am so in charge

    Donald Trump to Covid 19 Donlad Trump to Covid 19
    A measly virus your too tiny to be seen
    Now you have been hogging all my air time
    Eclipse my face and hair
    Planet Earth is true but I don’t have a clue

    Donald Trump to fire storms Donald Trump to fire storm
    Rake your forests well soon everything be norm
    Climate change is just the talk of crazy
    I only say what’s true
    Sodom needs to burn the religious vote I earn

    make our nation great again make our nation great again
    We throw some lynching partys post card picnic grin
    Then we can massacre the natives
    White man needs to rule
    Bring back the good old days when we owned all 50 states

    Donald Trump to empeachment team Donald Trump to empeachment team
    Barr and Muller make our holy Trinity
    Laws were never meant to stop a leader
    And I don’t need to follows rules
    The Bill of Rights is small and I will build the wall

  6. Douglas Coulter September 17, 2020

    Blue line flags are fine but “protect and serve” has not been the case in Mendocino County for years. Protect our tax base!
    If you are poor, if you are homeless, if you are accused of crime, you treated as guilty until proven innocent. If you choose a public pretender you will plead to lesser charge, few not guilty cases go to trial.
    Police bundle extreme charges, felonies, to frighten suspects.
    Jail uses isolation and sleep deprivation, often keeping suspect away from arraignment up to 80 hours.
    Da does not read cases but looks at police charges, Public pretender does that and the revolving door of poor into orange jump suit begins. P boy has 100 cases on his desk at a time, as a diesel mechanic, 100 trucks would all see shity work unless one happened to be a 1948 Diamond T
    Five floors of court house with all those court rooms packed like ERs after a tornado in a trailer park. Five to ten State, County, City employes sit in or stand each court room drawing full time wages? Ukiah makes lots of cash putting dirtbags into orange suits.

    We have a Walmart a theme park and a prison
    Our town provides all that we need
    I work as a guard I mow my front yard
    At night I watch prisoners bleed

    I spend most my wages at Walmart buying junk that is made overseas
    The I ride in the park through tunnels so dark
    Just to swing upside down in the breeze

    Work at the prison is easy close my eyes at things too hard to see
    Near the end of my shift my mind starts to drift
    To that brand new ride beconing me

    Tonight the laundry was empty on advise from the head graveyard screw
    The new kids rear ended but I ain’t offended
    That’s just the stuff prisoners do

    A shanking went down in the day yard but no one saw anything strange
    I’m off to the mall to ingrave bowling balls
    And pick up a glass cooktop range

    Dogma is delusion in a tuxedo and normal folks make some real fine Nazi
    Don’t question this system of order
    And never piss into breeze

    I wrote this song while I was drinking liquid courage to strengthen my plans
    Truth I must speak though my sound weak
    I dread the virtue of a self righteous man

    A country western tune I wrote

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