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MCT: Friday, October 2, 2020

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The president has been cavalier throughout the coronavirus pandemic. Now, a month before the election, this changes everything.

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DRY AND UNSEASONABLY WARM CONDITIONS are expected to continue this week across the interior areas as strong high pressure aloft persists. Smoke will finally begin to dissipate and move east today. Marine clouds and fog are expected to linger along the immediate coast for the next few days, pushing onshore each night. Inland temperatures are expected to see a gradual cool down heading into the weekend. (NWS)


  • 99° Boonville (3pm)
  • 96° Yorkville (3pm)
  • 96° Ukiah (6pm)
  • 71° Fort Bragg (noon)

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SMOKY STATE (Friday morning)

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FIRE UPDATES (Friday morning)

Glass Fire: 60,148 acres, 6% contained

It was a very active night for firefighters on the Glass Fire. Temperatures at higher elevations remained above average, and humidity is still low. Downed trees, and dried vegetation made it difficult for firefighters and threatened the fire line. Fuel moisture in all fuels are at critical levels resulting in 100% consumption. These conditions are continuing to challenge control efforts.

Glass Fire (Friday morning)

August Complex: 970,563 acres, 51% contained

North Zone

(Redding, CA) – Firefighting and public safety operations are being challenged by the public remaining in areas under evacuation orders. Evacuation orders are in place for Forest Glen, Hettenshaw Valley, Island Mountain, Kettenpom, Ruth and Ruth Lake, Mad River, Post Mountain/Trinity Pines, Three Forks, Zenia, and all areas south of State Route 36 to the Trinity County line. California Standard Statewide Evacuation Terminology defines an evacuation order as a lawful order to leave the area now due to an immediate threat to life. The area is lawfully closed to public access. Failure to evacuate diverts firefighters and public safety officers from protecting homes to assisting residents who should have evacuated. 

An evacuation warning indicates there is a potential threat to life or property. Residents should be prepared to leave quickly if conditions deteriorate. Those with pets, livestock, or other situations that require additional time to evacuate should leave as soon as possible when the warning is issued. The Trinity County Sheriff issued a new evacuation warning for the Wildwood area on Wednesday, including Peanut and the area south of State Route 299. Evacuation warnings have also been issued for the Bear Wallow and Friend Mountain area, including Rowdy Bear. The Humboldt County Sheriff issued an evacuation warning for areas east of Alderpoint Road to the Trinity County border and south of Showers Pass Road to Mountain Creek. Roadblocks remain in place for firefighter and public safety as well as property protection. 

Many of the firefighters and support staff working on the August Complex are from the local area. They have evacuated their own homes in Ruth and Mad River. Firefighters live in Stonyford, Redding, and other nearby communities. This fire is personal; crews are working hard to support their family, friends, and neighbors. The Mendocino Hotshots are slogging up steep slopes in the 100 degree heat to access areas that dozers and other equipment cannot reach. Crews are scheduled to work in shifts throughout the night, holding containment lines. While Mother Nature continues to hurl challenges of high winds, drought, and unseasonably hot temperatures, the firefighters are doing their best to provide for firefighter and public safety, assess and minimize risks, and implement sound tactical operations. 

Hot and dry conditions will persist today, with temperatures again exceeding 100 degrees at lower elevations. Winds from the northwest are forecast for this morning, shifting to west winds in the afternoon. Dense smoke has settled over much of the fire, providing shade and moderating fire behavior. However, the smoke also limits aircraft operations. Crews are increasing the width of existing containment lines on the east side of the fire and pushing forward constructing new lines on the north and west flanks. They are assessing structure protection needs in Hyampom and other communities to the north. There is still much work ahead, as the fire continues to grow to the north and west. 

For more information on the North Zone, call (530)-628-0039.

August Complex (Friday morning)

West Zone

CAL FIRE’s unified team and the U.S. Forest Service are engaged in a coordinated and collaborative response to take suppressive action on the August Complex, which has been split into three zones to effectively provide a response for the communities at risk. Due to resource draw down throughout the state, CAL FIRE’s Incident Management Team requested the California National Guard to assist with fire suppression efforts and as a result of CAL FIRE’s request, 138 National Guard personnel are assigned to the incident. Additionally, resources from across the state of California as well as Montana, Texas, Washington and New Jersey have been assigned to assist on the August Complex-West Zone. The August Complex-West Zone has burned 123,328 acres, spans approximately 195 miles of fire line and is 55% contained with approximately 1,600 firefighters battling the fire from the air and the ground. Yesterday the fire crossed containment lines north of Zenia and remained very active overnight. Active structure defense is in place in and around the community of Zenia as the fire continues to move east and west. A red flag warning remains in place until tonight, October 2, 2020 at 8:00 p.m. with heavy smoke, north-northwest winds and hot, dry conditions. Afternoon winds will be stronger today than Thursday. Challenging conditions remain with active spot fires within heavy timber and steep and rugged terrain. Firefighters continue to aggressively attack the fire with multiple dozers, engines, and hand crews, while continuing fire operations, building and installing containment lines, and laying hose lines where possible, in addition to assisting the August Complex – North Zone. Incident Commanders continue to monitor the fire burning in the Yolla-Bolly Middle Eel Wilderness, which is part of the August Complex – North Zone. Incident Commanders are constantly monitoring evacuated areas and working with our law enforcement partners to return residents to their homes when it is safe to do so.

(Cal Fire)

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Days of hard-fought progress and preparation in Sonoma and Napa counties are being tested as fire crews brace for shifting winds that threaten to push the 58,000-acre Glass fire closer to more populated areas. More than 28,000 buildings are at risk. The transition to red-flag conditions, now predicted to last into Saturday morning, already was kicking up flames around the burn zone Thursday afternoon, putting the Napa County communities of Calistoga, Angwin and Pope Valley at immediate risk. According to Cal Fire on Thursday evening, the fire had claimed 153 homes in Napa County and 67 homes in Sonoma County and damaging another 69 homes.

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SEVEN MORE COVID CASES reported in Mendocino on Thursday bringing the total closer to 1,000 at 971 with 124 actives cases in isolation or hospital.

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by Katy Tahja

To historians maps are a time trap—just ask the folks at the Kelley House Museum in Mendocino. A map inspection can turn from a quick glance to an hour or more, often with the assistance of a magnifying lens, of in-depth inspection. And what captures this author is the names on the land. For whom, and what, was a placed named, and what work took place there.

Want a fun suggestion? Plan a Sunday drive with this column clipped out and in hand and go explore the Mendocino Coast. With just over 90 miles to cover there are more than 50 place names recorded, and those names don’t include creeks or mountains. Indigenous peoples, settlers, and physical features have all left names on the land. Also, with a car trip you don’t have to wear a mask or social distance.

Modern day explorers who are REAL adventurous doing this drive have to take Highway 101 up to Garberville and head west towards Briceland and the Sinkyone Wilderness State Park. When you reach the ocean you are at the very northwest corner of Mendocino Coast at a place called Needle Rock. It was named for pointy rocks in the vicinity and there, and at Bear Harbor just to the south, tan oak bark was loaded on ships to go to leather tanneries in the Bay Area. Bears were probably seen at Bear Harbor in the dim distant past.

An area called the Lost Coast and Cape Vizcaino are the next problem because there are NO roads along the coast. Travelers head south on Usal Road in and out of view of the ocean. Usal was a native Pomo word meaning “south”. There was one place name on the land at Jackass Creek and a small lumber mill and town called Wheeler in the midst of the last century.

Landings and shipping points abounded on the coast usually named for the land owner. There was one called Miller, now inaccessible on private land, before Usal Road joins Highway One along Cotteneva Creek. Cotteneva was a Cahto native word meaning “trail-goes-over-hill” and it was used along with the name Rockport. Rockport had a wharf, a mill, and was indeed a rocky port. Hardy, or Hardyville, was a property owners name and south of that was Union Landing, now part of a state park. De Haven was named for John DeHaven, an early settler, who became district attorney, state assemblyman, and senator in the 1870’s.

Before it was Westport it used to be called Beall’s Landing and was named Westport because a lumberman came from Eastport Maine and figured there should be a Westport too. Chadburne Gulch was named for the owner and has a free access road to the beach. South down the road was the town of Kibesillah (a Pomo native word) and beyond that was Newport—the “new” port. A curve in the road had Abalobidah, another Pomo place name.

Another site with a Pomo native name is Cleone, though the point shipping took place from was Laguna Point, a Spanish word. Pudding Creek was either murky like mushy pudding, or a slang version of “Put In” creek where boats were launched. Fort Bragg’s name honors Braxton Bragg, a military officer, but Noyo is again Pomo. Caspar was named for Siegfrid Caspar who settled there before 1860.

A pine tree forest probably existed at the place called Pine Grove and Russian Gulch was supposed to have been settled by a Russian man escaped from Fort Ross in Sonoma County. There were two viceroy of New Spain who sent exploring vessels up the coast in the mid 1500’s and navigators named places in honor of those who financed the expedition. In this case their names were Mendoza. Little River has a little river and Dark Gulch can be a dark spot on the road. Albion honored old England and Salmon Creek had salmon swimming in it.

It’s a LONG drive if done in one day—Tired yet? Crossing the Navarro River in a few miles of southerly travel is Cuffy’s Cove. Two stories here—either sailors saw a cuffey, a baby bear, or settler Nathaniel Smith, a black skinned man referred to as a cuffey. All that’s left now are bluff top cemeteries. South is Greenwood/Elk, the town with two names. The folks there wanted to be named after the settler Greenwood but the name was already assigned by the post office to a Sierra town, also they had to use Elk. Loggers ate a lot of elk meat. A sign for Bridgeport is still attached to a ranch that had a bridge, and a port, or landing.

It is spelled Mal Paso, Mall Pass or Mallo Passo, take your pick. Shows up with different spellings based on the age of the map. It’s an especially steep loop in the highway and the term means “bad passage” in Spanish. Drivers come to Manchester, one of 35 towns in the USA named by expat Brits. Today’s Point Arena used to be the Spanish Punta Arenas—a sandy place. A ship was probably wrecked (or built) at Schooner Gulch. South of here were a dozen places with landing as part of their title —Saunders, Iversen, Stevens, Steen’s, Collins, Bournes and Robinson—all invisible to tourists as they are on private property. Some names like Rough & Ready, Hardscratch, and Nip & Tuck, refer to small dangerous shipping locations. Arriving at the end of the journey is Gualala—a Pomo native word taken from ghawalaali “water-going-down place.”

To learn more about our place names on the land use these references... David Durham wrote “Durham’s Place-Names of California’s North Coast” and Erwin Gudde’s “California Place Names’ available for review at local museums. Or go find your local map fanatic who will have these volumes in their personal libraries.

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COYOTE VALLEY (now Lake Mendo)

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I read that the tunnel bore in Squaw Rock had been enlarged in 1931 to accommodate “mogul” type engines that were then in use. There were a lot of track closures in those early years from the instability of the blue clay in that area. Here's an 85 year old report on the blue slides that have vexed road engineers in that stretch of highway 101 forever.

Sotoyome Scimitar 1/31/1935


Squaw Rock, which the late Julius Myron Alexander immortalized in romantic fiction, years ago a stubborn problem in engineering for a railroad company, has again discarded its romantic features and become a stumbling stone to progress. The Ukiah Press tells the newest story of the landmark and its sector antics, which are presenting problems to the state highway engineers. "Three steam shovels have been employed part of the time on the newly relocated section of Redwood highway between Hopland and Cloverdale in an effort to keep traffic flowing. As was expected, the worst of the trouble cropped out near Squaw Rock where what is probably the largest blue slide fault at any point along Redwood highway is located. At the time the railroad was built railroad engineers were doubtful of getting a route for the rails through the canyon and it was blue slides fear that made the many tunnels necessary on the line. However, highway engineers insisted that, while they would for the first few years likely have trouble in holding the blue slides, they were certain they could contrive means by which the moving earth could be held in check. A general road report issued last week covering this section had the following outline of what happened to the roads hereabouts: “Many of the slides occurred on the new Cloverdale/Hopland link of the Redwood highway, making travel over the route dangerous although passable.” Three steam shovels and an extra maintenance crew worked on the damaged portions of the road. The most severe slide was in the vicinity of Squaw Rock." While there are still minor disturbances in the nature of movement of great masses of earth, the crews have been cut down and the strenuous part of the work is over, but the advice to drive carefully between Hopland and Cloverdale still holds good.

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MENTAL HEALTH ‘TSUNAMI’ LOOMS: Can California prevent a surge in suicides?

“…Humboldt’s high suicide rate can be traced to a combination of factors: gun ownership, low median incomes and the precipitous decline of work in the logging, construction, fisheries and manufacturing sectors, mental health leaders there say. Heavy opioid and prescription drug use is also a key element — the county’s overdose death rate is often more than triple the statewide average, according to a county report, and is especially high in the Native American community. …”

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Money & Marijuana Seized during Ukiah Police Department Traffic Stop; Stolen/Recovered Property

Updated Press Release

During the evening of Monday, September 29, 2020, Mendocino County Sheriff's Office Deputies learned the Ukiah Police Department had conducted a traffic stop on a vehicle because of an observed traffic violation.

During the traffic stop, Jamie Rodriguez, 24, of Ukiah, was contacted inside the vehicle (passenger) and was determined to be on active Parole. Rodriguez was found in possession of a large amount of US currency and approximately 8 pounds of processed/packaged marijuana.


Rodriguez was subsequently arrested by the Ukiah Police Department and booked into the Mendocino County Jail for a Parole violation.

On Tuesday, September 30, 2020 Deputies conducted follow up investigations and determined the US currency was directly connected to the reported burglary on Elledge Ranch Road. Deputies also believed the approximately 8 pounds of processed/packaged marijuana was also stolen during the burglary.

Deputies had booking charges of burglary, possession of stolen property and criminal conspiracy added to Rodriguez, who is remaining in custody at the Mendocino County Jail on a No Bail status.

Deputies are continuing ongoing investigations in an attempt to identify the second suspect.

Anyone with information that can assist Deputies in this investigation are urged to call the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office Tip-Line at 707-234-2100 or the WeTip anonymous crime reporting hotline at 800-782-7463.

Original Press Release

On 09-29-2020 at 5:07 PM the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office received a telephone call from a homeowner who resides in the 6000 block of Elledge Ranch Road in Ukiah, California.

The homeowner reported they had remotely witnessed, from a home security camera system, two suspects force entry into their home.

The homeowner also reported there was a 13 year-old male inside the home alone. This juvenile male immediately hid inside the residence as a result.

Deputies arrived at the residence approximately 12 minutes later and contacted the homeowner who had arrived at the home just prior to their arrival. A search of the home and property was unsuccessful in locating the suspects.

During a scene investigation it was determined the suspects stole over $50,000 in US currency and an undetermined amount of processed/packaged marijuana.

The suspects were described as wearing dark clothing, facial masks and fled on foot after the burglary. The suspects were believed to have later left the area in a blue or green Toyota Corolla sedan.

Deputies are conducting ongoing investigations into the reported burglary at this time.

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FROM SUPERVISOR WILLIAMS: Responding to the “uptick.”

Mendocino County BOS, Oct 6, item 6a

Discussion and Possible Action Including Direction to Staff Regarding Analyzing the Need for Increased Law Enforcement Support to Address Organized Crime

(Sponsors: Supervisors Haschak and Williams)

Recommended Action/Motion:

Direct Staff in regard to Sheriff's request for support, including the following: 

* preparing historical review of staffing trends

* overview of current Sheriff staffing allocations, by rank/title/type of position

* preparing an operation, staffing and fiscal plan associated with the Sheriff's operations

* report on current criminal activities and areas associated (including detailed long term crime trend chart from the Sheriff)

* preparing a declaration of local emergency, and 

* affirm commitment to affected communities and law enforcement officers.

Public Safety Budget

Summary Of Request:

On September 28, Sheriff Kendall published a statement to social media urging the public to contact County Supervisors stating, "I know our Board of Supervisors agrees with me that all Mendocino County residents deserve a better quality of life. I'm asking each of you to contact your Supervisor by reaching out to them on social media or just tag them in a comment below. Let them know you stand with us in wanting all of us to live in a safer community." 

In response to our Sheriff's plea and in light of his report of uptick in inland organized crime, it is imperative that the Board of Supervisors invite the Sheriff to explain his specific needs. What on-going dollar amount is necessary for the Sheriff to solve the problem at hand? How will the resources be utilized to prevent out of area criminals (who will likely target illicit and legal farms alike)? The board should carefully contemplate the Sheriff's proposal, balancing competing general fund obligations. Based on data-backed crime trends presented by the Sheriff, if the projected needs exceed county capacity, a local emergency declaration and request for mutual aid from the state should be considered.

The affected communities and our brave public servants deserve affirmation of our intent to support and protect. In balancing competing priorities, our decisions should result from solid data, and a long term strategic plan. In a time of mounting dilemmas, our execution demands precision and unambiguous specificity. For these reasons, it is imperative that the Sheriff's Office present a plan to the Board of Supervisors that supports and substantiates any action related to the social media statement.

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Subject: Fall Into Mendocino

From: Visit Mendocino County

California travelers know fall is the ripe time to pack the corkscrew and hiking boots for an adventure in Northern California’s Mendocino County. As the barometer slides, the fog pulls away, corks pop and nature hits its seasonal migration stride. The annual grape harvest, mushroom haul and artisan array is nothing short of nirvana for visitors. Come and stay in some of the most unique lodging properties in Northern California. Add in 24 state and local parks, numerous trails, lakes, vineyards and a powerful perch along 90 miles of Pacific Coastline. This makes the concept of social distancing nothing short of seamless. 


The Coast Is Clear!

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WE GOT a surprise visit from the federal government the other day in the form of a jolly woman who introduced herself as Abby and said she was a Census rep and that she was a Nigerian immigrant and naturalized American. My colleague, The Major, said, "Welcome to America," at which Abby laughed heartily and replied in her perfect, charmingly accented English, "It is good to be here." She explained that she'd come to the Anderson Valley from her home in Los Angeles with a platoon of Census workers to do "follow-up." They were staying in Santa Rosa. "It is so beautiful here!" Abby exclaimed several times, once declaring, "I think I will move here." The Major, pointing at the editor, said he wished she would "because we need more upbeat people around here." Apparently the big Census computer back in D.C. had questioned the accuracy of our Census replies, hence Abby's confirmation mission. "Oh, I can see now you are you," she said, holding up her phone where our data had appeared. Abby said she'd been well received everywhere she went. "That's us," The Major agreed. "We're not much for looks but we're nice." Big laugh from Abby at that one. I asked our Census verifier if she would sit down for a visit while I ran next door to the Drive-In to get her a couple of the nationally famous Boonville donuts. "Oh, no," she said. "I want to but there is too much more to do today." In lieu of presenting our visitor with our renowned local delicacy, we foisted off recent editions of the paper on her, she thanked us and, last seen, appeared deeply engrossed in a front page article as she walked down our driveway.

THIEVES have again hit the Holmes Ranch mail boxes, strewing the area with discarded NetFlix movie jackets and junk catalogs, before scurrying back to their tweeker den to rip through the envelopes for identities and credit cards to steal. 

A LIFE RESIDENT of inland Mendocino called to report how delighted he was with Point Arena. "I'd never been there before," he began. Hold it right there. Forty years old, entire life spent in the Ukiah Valley and never been to PA? That confession can get your Mendo cred revoked. "It's beautiful," he enthused. "Great place, friendly people. Sad to see so many stores boarded up, but I really, really liked their little bakery, and I want you to say something nice about the Cup and Saucer. Wonderful pastries, excellent coffee." I came away from that conversation feeling slightly hypocritical because I haven't visited Mendocino County's smallest and most heavily governed incorporated town in many a day myself, but when I do, by jiminey, I'm heading straight for the Cup and Saucer!

SPOTTED IN SAN ANSELMO, spiffy SUV with a dog inside and this sign in the driver's side window: "Please don't break the glass. The A/C is on. He has water and is listening to Steely Dan."

ASK MR. WIZARD. Why are there bad cops, Mr. Wizard? Well, son, I'm hardly an expert on policing, but I know what the experts say, which is that a minority of cops are damn near saintly, a few cops are criminals themselves, and the rest are somewhere in between depending on their leadership. Officer Chauvin of the Minneapolis PD, for instance, practically leered into the cameras of the civilians filming him as he murdered George Floyd, the takeaway being that Chauvin obviously felt he had a literal license to kill, that his wink and a nod or merely incompetent boss wouldn't say anything. If this sad, shocking crime had occurred prior to cell phone cameras, Chauvin would still be out there, as would untold hundreds of cops like him. Reputable policing depends on leadership. If the leadership is poor, tolerating whatever their people do, the bad cops veer out of control. If the leadership is ethical and strong, George Floyd episodes don't happen. Mendo cops? I think they're very good, and I think their leadership is sound. How can I say that with such confidence? Because we would know immediately if cops were misbehaving, the ava being the defendant community's go-to media, and we'd tell you just as immediately, dear reader. 

MARV DUTRA is a retired firefighter who lives in Philo. I asked him if it were true that able bodied men used to be conscripted to fight fires? "Oh yeah," Marv said. "I think it happened up through the middle 1960s, but not anymore. They used to take a guy's driver's license and shove him out there as long as they needed him. Everything's changed in firefighting now. Strictly professionals." I'd asked because a ballplayer teammate I knew disappeared for a week back in '60 or so, saying he was going to see his girlfriend. When he re-appeared he said he'd been driving east of San Luis Obispo when he was stopped at a roadblock and forced to join a fire crew doing the shovel work.

I SYMPATHIZE with Sheriff Kendall's lament that it's been difficult for local law enforcement to keep up with the rapid increase in the volume of calls for help of one kind or another. He cites Covelo as an area where, as the poet put it, "mere anarchy is loosed." Not to be tooooooooooo pessimistic, but given the givens of our imploding society, especially its economic sectors, crime is already our most dependable growth industry. And Covelo has been… well, the biggest prob with Covelo is that it suffers a criminal population out of all proportion to its non-criminal population, that the dope industry has attracted even more criminals of the unreconstructed ex-con variety who, if you have the number of them Covelo has, they are going to set the tone, the vibe for the whole place. I can't imagine the Covelo scumdog who kidnapped Khadijah Britton at gunpoint in broad daylight in front of several witnesses and taking her off to murder her, and the people who know what happened to her being so afraid of saying anything for fear of scumdog retaliating, happening in, say, Ukiah, or any place else in Mendocino County. 

UNTIL THE "DEBATE" Tuesday I was pretty sure Trump would either win re-election outright or come close enough that he could plausibly convince the yobbos who support him that he actually won and somehow keep himself in the White House. But he cooked himself with that one. Either he's nuts in the clinically delusional sense or he seriously miscalculated the public reaction to his amazingly boorish performance. He's so inured, apparently, to the effect he has on the non-fascist majority of Americans that he clearly thinks his bullying makes him look strong, powerful even. For the first time ever, I felt sorry for old, doddering Joe, so out of it himself he reacted to Trump's every interruption with mostly incoherent riffs of his own. And Joe was rude and semi-outta control himself. At this time in our collapsing country we get this as the leadership alternatives?

AND HERE COMES the alleged moderator, Chris Wimp Wuss Wallace, saying post-debate, "I never dreamed it would go off tracks the way it did." Huh? This is what Trump does, and has done his whole life and you're surprised? Shoulda given Orange Man one warning then cut his mike off and gone back to regular programming. 

THE PHONY NON-PROFIT Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD) is, natch, jointly sponsored by the Democrats and Republicans, which is why third party candidates are excluded. It's funded by the same corporations that fund the candidates and both parties.

WHAT WITH THE TRUMPERS whining about Zinn-tinged political correctness allegedly being force fed to students by purple com-symps, I thought back to my student days in the halcyon 1950s where I dimly recall American history as something like this: Some English people arrived on the East Coast in a big sail boat and sat down to Thanksgiving dinner hosted by Indians who were happy as hell at meeting the new people. Then, the smartest, nicest white men in the history of the world liberated us from England, Abe Lincoln freed the slaves (although a lot of them liked working for free and singing outdoors), we beat back a German lunatic to win World War Two, and the next thing I knew I was in the Marine Corps supposedly training to fend off Russians. The American curriculum has since been updated. 

CURIOUS about what exactly Our Nation's Future were getting in the way of history, I asked Boonville High School principal, Jim Snyder, who promptly replied: 

"Students take history in both years of Junior High. In 7th grade they study World History, and in 8th grade it's US History. In high school, students take a history or social science class for three years, and typically it is World History in 10th grade, US History in 11th grade, and Government/Economics (1 semester each) in 12th grade. Although students don't necessarily have to take them in that order. 

"Although the High School classes cover some of the same content as Junior High, they go into much more depth. In terms of the standards that the courses follow, they are based on the following standards:"

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CATCH OF THE DAY, October 1, 2020

Aceves, Belden, Bengston, Chan

IRVING ACEVES-LIZARRAGA, Willits. Petty theft-retail, probation revocation.

JAMES BELDEN, III, Ukiah. Suspended license (for DUI), vandalism, contempt of court, probation revocation.

BRET BENGSTON, Ukiah. County parole violation, probation violation.

LILY CHAN, Fort Bragg. Domestic battery.

Cook, Elias, Stafford, Work

THOMAS COOK, Ukiah. Probation revoation. (Frequent flyer.)

BRYAN ELIAS, Vallejo/Willits. Burglary, vandalism.

CHRISTOPHER STAFFORD, Fort Bragg. Disorderly conduct-alcohol, under influence, failure to appear.

MARK WOLK, Ukiah. Saps or similar weapons, probation revocation.

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BURNING THOUGHTS ON THE SONOMA FIRES: Trump as Ahab, the world as his captive, doomed crew.

by Manuel Garcia

The map shows the fires in Sonoma County, California, USA, during 2017-2020. These were/are all big. My mother had to evacuate in 2017, and stayed with us for 10 days. On 28 September 2020 as I write this), I went to get her and bring her here again.

I monitor the internet to follow the progress of the fire (the Glass-Shady fire of 2020 – now – is 0% contained; it started about 2 days ago – see the red blotch). This year I know of 8 people – 5 directly and personally – who have had to evacuate from fires: in Sonoma and Solano Counties, and in Oregon. Many fires in Western America right now, and they occur from earlier in the year, and more frequently, and last longer, and are bigger, with each succeeding year.

Other regions and nations have their own increasing environmental degradation trials and tribulations: droughts, heat waves, crop failures, locusts, storms, hurricanes, floods. My thoughts about all this are rather dark, as reflected in my recent writing.

The gems to be found in all these hard events are the generous and kind actions individuals can take on behalf of others, very often strangers, to help them get through the difficulties and losses. I was fortunate to have two such people help my mother (who is 95) in the first rush to evacuate yesterday. The fact that people, as individuals, can be so decent is what keeps me from condemning all of humanity (being a total misanthrope) because human society has been so adamant to continue failing miserably when it comes to seriously addressing global warming climate change.

In this, my attitude is similar to that of Jonathan Swift, who said he cared not for human society, but appreciated John and Tom and Dick (I paraphrase) because of the very thing I just described: stellar individuals (even if just occasionally so) live among a society we curmudgeons find morally bankrupt, and their good actions are momentary redemptions of that reprehensible mass.

This outlook makes it basically impossible for me to find any interest (or waste any time) on the many frivolous concerns of others, and which are often most on display on that frivolity of social media: Facebook. Sorry about that.

My appreciation for the beauty and organic complexity of Nature remains undimmed, but my interest in the minutia of the daily drama, or the silly entertainments of the last 15 minutes (with shelf lives of 10 seconds), is zero. I can’t help looking at American society as reenacting the fate of Captain Ahab and his crew, so obsessed with their delusions that they could not wake up from them even as they were being drowned by them.

The Romantic in me wants the Next Generation to float free from the doom we’ve programmed ourselves for, like Ishmael floating free atop Queequegs’s coffin; and refashion the World aright. The Realist in me is not so optimistic. But I don’t feel it is fair for me to criticize the Next Generation, whose elders – as American Society – have so basely used and poorly provided for. I had a decent shot at life, and did what I did with it; now it’s their turn, and they should be free to make their own choices, and learn (hopefully) from their mistakes (preferably enjoyable ones) just as I and my predecessors did (well, some of us did).

The Romantic Engineer and Artist in me knows that tackling Climate Change – which means entirely transforming human society worldwide – would be the greatest adventure, and moral and social uplift, that our species could ever have in its history as part of Life-On-Earth, if we “all” had the Zen-like satori (awakening, AHA!) to motivate a joyful coming together to achieve that purpose in all of its many dimensions: personal, political, social, economic, technical, moral, intellectual; the fullest expansion of human potential for everyone.

The Realist in me scoffs at this flight of fancy by the Sappy Curmudgeon, but the Romantic in me still wishes it were not entirely a hopeless dream. Others, I know, have particular and detailed wishful fantasies for our Future, and I have few quarrels with most of them. But I think the simplest life of fulfilling work (self-assigned), safety, security, health, happiness and freedom for artistic and intellectual pursuits; with Nature secure in all its beauty – on this Planet! – is my ideal.

My mother is now afraid that she will be threatened by fires every year. This should not be so, she should be able to live tranquilly tending her roses without such concern. That our governments and societies will not do anything — as we should for the rest of human history — to eliminate such fear (which many people now have) has led me to cancel any sense of allegiance to them, or respect for “the institutions.” Like Jonathan Swift.

(Manuel Garcia Jr, once a physicist, is now a lazy househusband who writes out his analyses of physical or societal problems or interactions. He can be reached at

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To the Editor:

Dear Chair Haschak and Board members,

Speaking on behalf of friends and neighbors, we are seeking transparency and accountability in Cannabis Code Enforcement reporting. The Cannabis Enforcement webpage shows seven complaints for 2018, one complaint for 2019 and an annual summary for 2018. We request that the website be updated and relevant information posted on-line, so a complainant can follow the status of their complaint.

Humboldt growers are moving to Mendocino County because Mendocino County does not adequately enforce it's Cannabis Ordinance. Humboldt County uses active enforcement based on evaluation of satellite images, followed up with field inspection. Humboldt County cannabis enforcement brought in $4,707,086* in under three years, to the County from enforcement actions. This amount paid the enforcement costs, injected money into the general fund, benefitted the environment, and aides legal growers.

The contrast with Mendocino County's weak enforcement of a complaint-based system is striking and fiscally irresponsible. Many citizens decline to complain about a cannabis neighbor due to fear of retaliation. Many others report no action taken on their filed complaint. A majority of these complaints could be identified by active enforcement. It should not be the citizens obligation to enforce the law. Adopting Humbolt county's active enforcement model, protects citizens from grower retaliation, adds protection to valuable environmental resources and promotes legal growers.

Having Mendocino County serve as a magnet and haven for lawbreaking growers from enforcement counties will further diminish our natural resources and continue to degrade the quality of life for residents. Clearly this County is in no position to increase the number of growers until the active enforcement model is adopted and initiated.

My personal experience with the Cannabis Code Enforcement Office is that I left 3 telephone messages over a period of 3 weeks before I received a call back. I requested to see the Cannabis Enforcement data for 2019 and 2020. As of this writing, it's been over a month since my first request and still no data. What kind of public service is this?

The PBS report to the BOS in the 9/22 BOS Agenda lists the PBS priorities for the Planning Department for fiscal year 2020/2021. PBS priority #3 is to dramatically expand Cannabis into Phase III, despite the on-going disasters of Phase 1 and II. Priority #11 is to "study" Code Enforcement staffing, use of satellite imagery and increase administrative fines for violations to cover costs.

Please contact the CEO office, your District Supervisor and supervisorial candidates if you agree these priorities should be reversed. No Cannabis expansion until Active Enforcement can cope with current conditions.

Dennis Slota


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Presenting 17-year-olds as too immature or inexperienced to vote on bonds and taxes is a poor argument for recommending voting against Proposition 18.

High school graduates, like our granddaughter, are intelligent and concerned. They can read and think and evaluate pros and cons, as most of us do when voting in special elections. Or they can abstain, if they are not prepared, as any registered voter should.

The future of our young people's well-being and their ultimate survival are at stake in this sick world. School shootings, fires, COVID-19 and contentious social issues have upended their lives and forced them to be aware and involved.

If 17-year-olds can enlist, work and pay taxes, and if they'll be 18 by the time of general elections, they should be able to vote in the full election cycle. They deserve to have a voice in selecting our leaders and lawmakers. Your bias is akin to suppressing women's and minorities' voting rights.

Cindy Young

Santa Rosa

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My housemate sat and watched Biden and Trump, showed no signs that she understood, but that wasn't surprising since at 85 she suffers from dementia, while her daughter watched in silence and departed before the end, and while her son-in-law couldn't keep his cool, talked all though the debate so it was difficult to know what was said, though that might not have mattered because the body language and facial expressions communicated the crucial information I needed and that the nation needed, at least half of it, while the other half, the Trumpers, only saw their hero vindicated, heard him stir them up, so they'll go to polling places, try to sabotage the voting process, steal the election, which the Republicans have done before, know what they're doing now, while the Democrats say what's obvious, but don't seem to have a game plan and I don't either, no place to hide except maybe on the farm where I'm living, where I'm growing my own vegetables, picking apples from the apple tree, making baked apples with raisins and walnuts that might get me through the worst autumn of my life, when it feels like it's all falling down, falling apart with a madman in the White House tearing the country to shreds, no one in Moscow, Beijing or Havana to rescue us, no rocket ship to take me and you to the moon or Venus.

PS. Very Smoky Sky Thursday. Very poor air quality. Gives me a headache. This is the sun over my neighbors's house at about 5:30 p.m. October 1, 2020:

— Jonah Raskin, 30 September 2020

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“Firefighting and public safety operations are being challenged by the public remaining in areas under evacuation orders. Evacuation orders are in place for Forest Glen, Hettenshaw Valley, Island Mountain, Kettenpom, Ruth and Ruth Lake, Mad River, Post Mountain/Trinity Pines, Three Forks, Zenia, and all areas south of State Route 36 to the Trinity County line. California Standard Statewide Evacuation Terminology defines an evacuation order as a lawful order to leave the area now due to an immediate threat to life. The area is lawfully closed to public access. Failure to evacuate diverts firefighters and public safety officers from protecting homes to assisting residents who should have evacuated.”

They go on to argue, "Many of the firefighters and support staff working on the August Complex are from the local area. They have evacuated their own homes in Ruth and Mad River."

On the other side, residents and several Forest Service contract workers, speaking off the record for fear of retaliation, are charging they are frequently having to save homes themselves when the Forest Service management pulls back "at the first sign of red."

"They won't engage the fire," another alleged.

One seasonal fire worker who says he saved his own home with the help of a family member and helped save others claimed, "The fire was bad, but I've seen bad fire before. But I've never seen a fire this badly managed."

Today, the Operations Section Chief Karen Scholl of the management team in charge of the North Zone said that firefighters are having to stretch scant resources and they are facing a serious shortage of middle management across the nation. (See minute 9ish in the video in the North Zone plan section below.)

Efforts to get people to evacuate continue, but as one person posted in a comment to the Forest Service on Facebook, "People won't evacuate when they don't trust what they're being told and have a [different] impression from what they see with their own eyes on the ground. Trust needs to be earned. We've watched our forests "managed" in ways that begs for disaster for far too long. That being said we admire and have the utmost respect for all the people putting their lives in harm's way."

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It's understandable that Trump is fed up and angry and correctly feels that the injustice over the fictitious Russiagate will be swept under the rug if Biden is elected. And it will be — Biden isn’t the only one with “memory” problems. James Comey just can’t remember anything important about it no matter how hard he tries. It’s amazing but no one told him anything — as far as he can remember. 

Trump should have realized never interrupting and using his full time to advantage would have served him best but that’s not his personality. He could have brought up Hunter Biden’s cash stream effectively but it turned on him when Biden went on a tirade about his dead son Beau who honorably served. 

Chris Wallace was pretty obviously pro-Biden but to give him credit he did ask him one very compelling question: did you ever pick up the phone and call the mayor of Portland or the governor of Oregon about the on-going riots? Biden slithered out of it by saying “he’s not in government now” but the question was pointedly about his moral authority as head of the Democratic party. 

We are in big trouble as a country (no surprise to anyone who can read) as both parties are preparing to accuse the other of voter fraud and not accept the outcome.

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Judge finds that sugar content of US chain’s sandwiches exceeds stipulated limit and they should thus be classified as confectionery.

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  1. John Robert October 2, 2020

    The fires could be put out within hours of starting. The land could be soaked with millions of gallons of water, dropped from safe altitudes, creating a constant rain effect. This idea is not fantasy. It is an idea that is known to be effective and had been studied during the early 2000’s
    There is no economic benefit for CalFire to change the way they manage fire. We need to demand change.

  2. Kirk Vodopals October 2, 2020

    RE: Cannabis enforcement…Most folks in Mendo never wanted any rules or a pot permit program, seems to me. Now with the permit program floundering it seems that the no rules approach is backfiring since no rules means less enforcement of any cannabis-related activities. It’s still a profitable business and the black market seems to be thriving this year. Not sure what the Sheriff plans to do but his team is obviously outnumbered and spread too thin. I get weary every time I see a water truck drive through my neighborhood (and I see LOTS of them). Just yesterday I saw a truck full of youngsters driving in with a bed load full of CO2 containers. Great

  3. Joe October 2, 2020

    For those struggling with the debate outcome they should realize that it was just one skirmish in a war that started when the Americans elected an outsider to a government that has been captured by the banking cabal long ago.

    • Harvey Reading October 2, 2020

      You mean Trump, Josephine?

      • Joe October 2, 2020

        Lost stranger?

        • Harvey Reading October 2, 2020

          No, but you obviously are. Plus, you failed to answer my question, little gal.

          • Joe October 2, 2020

            Your mommy must be proud of you for being a troll on a small town tabloid 1000 miles away for 16 years. Maybe Bruce has a merit badge for you that you can hang in your shack.

          • Harvey Reading October 3, 2020

            You still failed to answer the question, Josephine. Oh, by the way, sweetie, my mom died decades ago.

          • Joe October 3, 2020

            Maybe you can go back to troll school and learn something better than calling people names. That is so grade school.

          • Harvey Reading October 3, 2020

            Still no answer, Josie.

  4. Lazarus October 2, 2020

    “Not sure what the Sheriff plans to do but his team is obviously outnumbered and spread too thin”

    The new Sheriff has resources. When the Oak Fire erupted within 5 miles of Willits, the Sheriff ordered up the 747 Super Tanker… and got it.

    If he wants to clean up, let’s say Covelo, I wonder if he has access to the National Guard or to get the Feds involved? Because he’s going to need all the help he can get.

    Covelo has been left to fend for itself for a while. Back in 2015, there was a resident Deputy, in name only. The rub was he left for Low Gap at 7 AM and returned to Covelo after dark. It was a show, ask around, the locals knew what was going on.

    And when that menajahtwa thing involving the resident Deputies blew up years ago, and then a cop involved ended up dead, law enforcement’s interest in the place seemed to end. And then there was shot out that killed a Deputy up there…

    After all that, it never appeared Lawmen wanted any part of the place, the idea of being assigned to live and work there could have been construed as showing a Deputy the door.

    Some say it’s a two hour wait to get the cops there now. By that time the deal may have already been resolved, one way or the other.
    I think it’s a good thing the sheriff wants to clean things up.
    Be Safe,

  5. Kirk Vodopals October 2, 2020

    it’s a 2 hour wait to get cops to my neighborhood, too (Navarro), but Covelo is way scarier than my neck of the woods. like I said, more enforcement is probably just going to end up in better black market prices. The only think that will solve it is ending prohibition and prices bottoming out. I don’t see that happening anytime soon. There’s too much money to be made

    • Joe October 2, 2020

      As my buddy who lives in a dangerous part of Mexico says- “Don’t step on the dragons tail and you will be O.K.”

  6. Randy Burke October 2, 2020

    When will people be fially educated on the religiousity facts of the Bible? I have a transcript of a vicar from Hook Norton, Oxfordsjire, wherein the Vicar meets William Shakespear preaching to Rollright stones. Upon inquiry bt the Vicar, Shakespear reveals that he and King James are rewriting the Bible. I did not make this up, but then again look at pope Bonifacio, third century, a d who ran the female populace out of cardinalships and put them in hobbles with a red lens candle light (hence redlight districts), or when that pope decided what was going into a new testament had to be apostalic, and cut alot of followers of the assumed Christ out of the mix. So, when i see ass crack, trump wearing tee shirt evangelicals, i just think, poor fools, you did not get to go to Saint Marys college taught to me by Jesuits at $250 a quarter back in the early 70’s to know that you are fools, not by your design, but by current circumstances.

  7. Eric Wilcox October 2, 2020

    Trump will do anything to get out of another debate, and come back cured by the miracle hydroxychloroquine sulfate.

  8. Eric Wilcox October 2, 2020

    You know he’s lying, he’s always lying…

    • Bruce McEwen October 2, 2020

      I imagine our trusty cartoonist (and you know who you are) could do a quick one of RBG stepping onto the clouds at St. Peter’s Gate, then suddenly remembering, to turn around and send the elevator back down (for a certain someone we all know)… allow me to tender my condolences for your president…

  9. Eric Wilcox October 2, 2020

    I just want my roll of the dice documented .. snake eyes

  10. Joe October 2, 2020

    If you go to the southwest desert and catch 100 red fire ants as well as 100 large black ants and put them in a jar, at first, nothing will happen

    However, if you violently shake the jar and dump them back on the ground the ants will fight until they eventually kill each other

    The thing is, the red ants think the black ants are the enemy and vice versa, when in reality, the real enemy is the person who shook the jar

    This is exactly what’s happening in society today:

    Liberal vs Conservative

    Black vs White

    Pro Mask vs Anti Mask

    The real question we need to be asking ourselves is who is shaking the jar and why??

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