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MCT: Friday, October 30, 2020

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DRY WEATHER is expected through early next week, with chilly mornings and warm afternoons. Skies will generally remain clear except for occasional coastal clouds and patches of fog. (NWS)

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TWO NEW COVID CASES were reported in Mendocino County on Thursday, bringing the total to 1146, 76% of which were/are in the Ukiah Valley. The total number of cases in the rest of Mendocino County is then 278 since March. According to the latest census the Ukiah area (zipcode) has about 31,800 people of about 87,000 in Mendocino County, or about 37% of the population. In other words, the Ukiah area is the County’s main hotspot and restrictions in the rest of the County should be reduced.

ELSEWHERE IN THE USA cases and outbreaks are on the rise:

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by Tommy Wayne Kramer (July 16, 1986)

I can remember standing in our new house in Cleveland, so new the walls were painted and the yard was still there, looking at the big, chocolate colored Zenith radio sitting on the dining room table.

It is the first memory I have of being in our new house and is the first memory I have of listening to a radio. It was also the first time (and among the last) that I ever heard my father, along with Mr. Jensen and Mr. Gustin, swear.

What the radio is broadcasting and what my dad and his friends are clinching their fists in ever-whitening death grips around the necks of their bottles of beer at, is the 1954 World Series. The Cleveland Indians are getting flattened, four games straight, by the New York Giants. It is not a pretty sound.

If the Cleveland Indians, the best team in the history of the game (you can look it up) could fail so utterly, fall so apart completely, against an opponent so mediocre -- well, what are the gods and Abner Doubleday trying to tell us?

There are those, however who were even more intimately connected than me to the fabulous glory and subsequent humiliation of the Cleveland Indians, and at least one of them appears to have gone on to lead a happy, normal life.

I drove out to Talmage the other day to look up a guy named Don Mossi, who is a middle-aged fellow with a great garden, a swarm of happy, yapping dogs, grandkids zooming about the lot on BMX bikes, and a big old comfy house. He works in coating operations out at Masonite.

But there was a time — starting in 1954, as a matter of baseball card record — that Don Mossi was employed by the Tribe as your basic hard throwing southpaw. In 1954, and for several years more, Mossi was a vital member of what may have been the best pitching staff in the game's history.

Don Mossi Tiger, Older with daughter

Today, sitting in his living room while dogs nudge and grin at him and the morning TV unreels a nonstop array of happy face game show winners, Don Mossi leans back and lets his mind roll to all those years ago.

He was a skinny kid with five years of minor league experience under his belt, trying to make a club that had names like Bob Feller, Bob Lemon, Mike Garcia and Early Wynn penciled into the rotation.

"I thought it was bad luck, trying to make a staff like that," he said. "You don't just walk out and make a club with pitchers like those guys, but I had a real good spring where everything just seemed to come together for me."

That was spring. When the season dust had settled and 154 games had been played, the Indians had won 111 of them and Don Mossi had a 6-1, 1.43 ERA kind of year. Cleveland's record slipped a bit over the next few years of course, but Mossi’s really didn't. He stayed at the top of his game and coincidently helped carve out a place on every team roster for a relief pitcher.

There are guys in the big leagues today, and they have names like Rollie Fingers and Bruce Sutter, who owe a big debt to Mr. Mossi and his Cleveland teammate, Ray Narleski. Because Mossi and Narlesky (when I was a kid the names Mossi and Narleski went together like salt and pepper or rock and roll) were the originators of a fundamental change in the 20th century pitching strategy: have your starter throw five or six or seven strong innings, then bring in a fresh gun from the bullpen.

The Indians started with Don Mossi and Ray Narleski.

"Yeah, Al Lopez (Cleveland's manager) began that kind of platooning, and from there it just took off," said Mossi. "It was the first step in that direction.

"With the pitchers we had on that Cleveland staff there was no problem with any of them going six or seven innings. If any of them got in trouble, Lopez wouldn't hesitate; he'd bring either me or Ray into the ballgame right now."

Don Mossi played with and against some of the greatest players ever, and he seemed to be enjoying himself there on the couch among the rioting dogs talking about Larry Doby, Vic Wertz, Al Smith, Dale Mitchell, Hal Newhouser, Art Houtemann, Jim Hegan and Bobby Avila. He had a warm and heartfelt sentence or two for all of them and others.

Casey Stengel once said, "In every man's life there comes a time and I've had plenty of them." For Don Mossi those times included these career highlights:

"Once I struck out Ted Williams on three straight pitches. He took all three which if you know anything about Ted Williams was something he didn't do."

"I pitched a no-hitter -- well it was in relief and it took me five or six times out, but I wound up throwing nine innings of no-hit ball."

"In 1962 I beat the Yankees six straight times. I was always a power pitcher and I liked pitching against a team like they were. It was clubs like Chicago with those Punch and Judy hitters like Aparicio and Fox that gave me trouble."

In 1960 with his career at its peak, Mossi was traded to Detroit for Billy Martin. Ironically, Narleski was included in the deal so the dynamic duo stayed together.

Mossi was converted to a starter and had a good deal of success at it before winding up with Chicago and finally the old Kansas City Athletics in 1965. And that was it.

His career stats were impressive (101-80, a 3.43 ERA, 932 strikeouts against 385 walks). The most money he ever made was for a season was $27,000 which came on the heels of his winning 17 games for the Indians in 1958.

Today, people still remember the face and the name. A shopper stops in at Safeway and says, "Say, aren't you --?" And a clerk at Long’s Drugs asks for an autograph and the kids at Little League gape and buzz when a coach informs them that Mr. Mossi here used to play with the Tigers.

"Sometimes I get a call from someone asking me for some general advice for kids," said Mossi. "Aw, I never turn anybody down. If you ask me, I'll find the time to show a kid something. Nobody at Little League has asked me lately which is okay too because I hardly have enough time in the day to do the other things I like to do."

And mostly what he likes to do is fish and hunt and camp and garden. He grows all kinds of vegetables, has about 20 fruit trees in the yard, smokes fish and cuts firewood.

When the 1986 baseball season plunges on through the summer for instance, Don Mossi will be out in his garden chasing weeds. He doesn't go to baseball games -- he's never been to Candlestick Park or Oakland Stadium in his life -- and he doesn't follow the major league season at all.

"If you were to put together a list of priorities, the things that are important in my life to me, I'm afraid baseball would be way down toward the bottom," he said. "I've never been a fan at all.

"I've never watched a baseball game except when I was wearing a uniform. Oh, maybe once or twice when I was a kid growing up in Daly City, I might have gone out to Seals Stadium.

"But I find another kid, a baseball and a vacant lot, and that's where I'd like to be."

Me too. Nothing I loved better than playing a little two on two (no fair hitting to the right!) in Danny DeSantos' backyard and maybe after playing 35 or 40 innings on a Sunday afternoon going home to see how the Tribe was doing against the Senators.

"It's tied in the eighth. Washington's got the bases loaded," my dad would say, relaying the information from Jimmy Dudley on WERE radio. "Oh, don't worry, Lopez's got Mossi warming up and Doby, Colavito and Wertz are due up in the ninth." And my nine year old heart was calmed once again.

I wish someone could reassure me today. The Indians will stink up the league again in 1987 and it's very distressing. It's clear to me watching Don Mossi putter about in his yard that he doesn't exactly carry a lot of scars from the blows inflicted by the Giants on the Indians in 1954. Maybe he's a Zen master, or maybe there is a difference in the way things affect 24-year-olds and seven-year-olds. Or maybe I should ignore the sports pages and put in a garden this year.

(Ed note: Don Mossi died in Idaho in 2019 at the age of 90.)

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THE STUDEBAKER/SHIELDS CEMETERY, Philo, October 29th, Endless Summer 2020

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Welcome to Northern California, Land of Fruits and Nuts, Where the Streets Are Paved With Weed and No One Ever Has to Work

by Paul Modic

I first heard that word “scamming” when I wandered out to the hills of Northern California as a hitchhiking teenager. I learned it meant to do or get something by sometimes sneaky and probably illegal means to survive outside the system by scamming the system. (It turned out I already had been a scammer-in-training. The previous year I had hitchhiked on the Pennsylvania Turnpike with a friend after first hopping a freight train. We pretended to lose money in cigaret machines at Howard Johnson tourist plazas, then got the “refund” from an employee or manager. Later in Bloomington, Indiana one afternoon I did that scam for an hour, netted fifteen bucks, and bought a lid of weed.)

Food stamps was the basic scam when us dirty hippies first got to the Garberville area and were camping out at Needle Rock or Nooning Creek. The word spread that if you got a campfire permit from the BLM office near Whitethorn Junction you could take it up to Eureka as proof of residence, with mail at General Delivery, and Humboldt County gave you $42 a month in food stamps. (Little Stevie Doyle went up to the food stamps office in Eureka and told them he had five dependents. When they caught up with his fraud he got six months in jail.)

Later living in nearby Mendocino they didn't hand out food stamps, only commodities, nasty yellow cheese and dismal white flour products. I borrowed my sister's cabin for the afternoon across the county line for my home visit with my Humboldt food stamp outreach worker, a requirement for the scam. She was quite a sight: a pretty hippy lady with long blond hair and a home-made blue jeans skirt. (Forty-five years later I'm still friends with her. In fact yesterday she called and I told her I was featuring her in this story. She asked to edit it and I told her I had already edited out the part where I fantasized about her for years after that. She said I probably wasn't the only one.)

Food stamps was just the beginning. If you had a baby or a kid or two you could apply for AFDC, Aid to Families with Dependent Children, as long as the father was absent. He was probably an able-bodied man who made himself scarce on home visit day. Many hippie mamas netted two to three hundred a month on that scam, commonly known as welfare.

Another big scam was ATD, Aid to the Totally Disabled, later called SSI. You went into Social Security, told them about your mental or physical disability (it was better to have both), and usually you would be denied your claim at first. It was called Crazy Money in the community. (Joke: Did you hear that Bill Wallace took his monkey in to try to get AFDC? Instead they gave him ATD.) 

For awhile there the hills were littered with these ATD/SSI victims getting $200 to $300 a month which was a lot of cash back then. Social Security would get you an appointment with a shrink and you told him your sad story. Once turned down you could appeal and the appeal process would take months or even years. The benevolent government almost always approved you in the end and you were issued a big first check with back pay all the way to the day you first applied. Hippies, scammers, were getting initial checks for thousands of dollars. 

And every month another check came, pretty much forever. It was pretty funny seeing these healthy hippies in their twenties deemed officially totally disabled. (I hear it's a lot harder to pull this scam today.) If you had it somewhat together you could come up with a good story, navigate the system, make all your appointments, and convince the social workers and shrinks that you were crazy. (You might say that to actually attempt this scam you probably were at least a little crazy.) 

The ones who were really mentally disturbed, who really needed help, were probably too fucked up to even make it to the first appointment. (The scammy stories were legion and colorful. One woman for example, who in real life had a radio show, went into her shrink appointment and pretended to be mute, only able to vocalize a few unintelligible syllables. She got paid. Another local woman famously got her check for having diarrhea.) 

The handful of people who were on crazy money in my neighborhood stayed on it for a few years then all got off when they bought land. They didn't want that legal complication, or maybe they just got a dose of self-respect? Most back-to-the-landers in that era only got food stamps, and for a family of four that was almost $200 a month, a great help in the early days. (Richard and Nonie Geinger refused any government assistance so we called them “hard core hippies.”)

Then in the mid-seventies came the Royal Scam: Marijuana growing…

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by Bob Dempel

Many years ago, I was very involved in the 4-H program. A highlight of the year was 4-H camp. This was held at beautiful Mendocino Woodlands east of the town of Mendocino. I had attended camp for as long as I had been a 4-H member. The last year I attended camp was when I was Junior going to be a Senior in high school. Over the many years I had looked upon favor of the older 4-H members. Now this year I was an older member and I enjoyed meeting all of the camp members, especially the ones who I had made friends with during the previous 8 or 9 years. I intermingled with my own age at not only camp but the local fairs and other 4-H events. 

Camp was overseen by the University of California 4-H Farm Advisor. This last year it was a man named Frank Thomlison. We all called correctly by him Mr. Thomlison. One of the things that attracted me to him was Mr. Thomlinson’s belt and buckle. The leather belt was narrow, and the buckle was sized appropriately narrow. The face of the front of the buckle read, “CALIFORNIA AGGIES “which referred to UC Davis. I always planned on attending UC Davis. I just had to have the belt and the buckle. I had to devise a way of getting the belt and buckle off Mr. Thomlison. Looking back this was a gusty thing to attempt especially for a 15-year-old. I needed some help from some of my 4-H Camp friends. The first person I could think of was Bobbie Bishop. Bobbie belonged to the Mendocino Spartan 4-H club. Bobbie and I were the same age and mentality. Let’s plan on a fun wrestling match between Mr. Thomlison and a few of the guys. Bobbie‘s father was the postmaster of the Mendocino Post Office and if we got into serious trouble he just might bail us out. The second guy was someone named Leonard from Point Arena. The 4-H leader from Point Arena was Dorothy Halliday. Dorothy carried a lot of weight at camp and might just stick up for some unruly teenagers. Next was Jimmy Babcock from the Fort Bragg Club. This was really iffy, because Jimmy’s mother was a chaperon at camp and would not think well of our plan to steal a belt and buckle from the 4-H Advisor. The last of our motley crew was Bobbie Portlock from the Coyote Valley Club. He was a slight bit younger but would go along with us.

So, one afternoon we started horsing around with Mr. Thomlison, and sure enough with all four of us we got the belt and California Aggie belt end buckle off of Mr. Thomlison. I immediately put on the belt and buckle. I look back and wonder just what was going thru my head. I wore that belt and buckle all thru the rest of high school and my college years at UC Davis. When the belt wore out, I had another belt custom made to fit the narrow buckle. After another 30 or 40 years the belt again wore out and I put the buckle in my jewelry box on my dresser for safe keeping.

In 2017 we lost our home to the terrible firestorm. As we sorted thru almost no remains, I found a scared belt buckle. The front of it I could still identify it as California Aggies. No longer wearable the buckle now sits atop of a new chest of drawers in our new house. I think of Mr. Thomlison and the terrible thing I did to get the belt and buckle away from him. It’s too late to try to return it to him. I can only apologize for the actions of a couple of unruly 15-year olds. 

To pay my penance for my action every year I donate to the Doctor Russell Preston 4-H Fund now held by the Regents of the University of California. As I have previously written Doctor Preston left a building in Mendocino to the Spartan 4-H club. Ultimately the money from the sale of that building still supports the 4-H program in Mendocino County.

I would gladly appreciate any other contributions from 4-H club supporters to donate to the Russell Preston Fund Regents of the University of California at 1111 Webster Street, 10th Floor Oakland, Calif. 94607.

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(As Told to Jonah Raskin)

I don’t have a college degree or a Ph.D., but I’m savvy enough to know that a lot of what passes for “political correctness”—as they call it in the academic world and elsewhere—is bull shit. All the above is by way of saying that I don’t think that my notorious calendars, which featured marijuana plants and young, gorgeous, intelligent women, known as “The Grape Ape Girls,” wasn't anywhere near politically incorrect. But the calendars weren’t “Little House on the Prairie,” either. I produced them for three years: 2013, 2014 and 2015 with a total of ten women: Liberty, Stephanie, Alma, D’Arcy, Deedee, Martha, Linda, Taylor, Tiffany, Shoko and my wife, Ako, who is shy and didn’t want to be photographed and included with the others. She agreed under great protest. 

I selected all the women, individually, except for Deedee who brought in Linda. I took one look at her, opened my wallet and said, “Okay. Linda’s in.” You can’t break up a friendship. The eight women made up a kind of cross section of females in the Emerald Triangle. Liberty was the daughter of a vet. She was sexually assaulted at 16 and rescued by her grandfather. She went into the U.S. Air Force, retired and now lives with her kids and husband in Texas. Tiffany worked in a Ukiah coffee shop and had fantastic tattoos all over her body. She was like a leprechaun. D’Arcy posed biting the bud of a 12-foot high plant. Deedee, who is six-feet tall, posed next to the same pot plant which towered above her. I first saw Taylor in Ukiah, walking across the Natural Foods Co-op parking lot. I noticed she had a great belly button tattoo and insisted that she join the team. Shoko, who was Japanese, the same as my wife, worked at a local restaurant. Alma, a Latina, had a job at Big Daddy Garden Supply in Ukiah. Martha would not take any money.

I did the calendars because I wanted to promote myself and my brand, Grape Ape, the best cannabis strain ever, in my opinion, and to raise awareness about the fact that vets weren’t supposed to smoke weed. They could die for our county, but they were not permitted, by government rules and regulations, to puff on a joint, either medically or recreationally. That sucked. The calendars were also meant to be a spoof. It was good, clean fun. The women all kept their clothes on. There was nothing lewd, obscene or pornographic about the images, not even by the standards of the U.S. Supreme Court, though with the Trump appointees that might change. My sales pitch to each and every woman: “Hey, you’re beautiful! Wanna make a couple hundred bucks?” They all asked, “Doin’ what?” I said, “Hug a big pot plant, smile for the camera and keep your clothes on.” They had to show ID so I knew they were 18 or older. Every year, we gathered right before harvest, so the plants were big and sticky and spicy. 

I don’t especially like the Emerald Triangle’s pot princesses—the young, gorgeous women who hook up with rich, older growers—but if the people involved are consenting adults and practise safe sex then it’s okay with me. I just don’t like sneaking around. People should be honest with one another. If a couple has an agreement that they can have a so-called “open relationship,” more power to them. No sexually transmitted diseases please. Also, I like that old folk saying: “What’s good for the goose is good for the gander.”

Back to the calendars. Hippie Ron Greystar from Willits took the photos and did the brilliant design. His wife, Angela, was part of the team. I got to know Ron and Angela and their kids, River, Sky and Reed, pretty well, especially when my wife and I and our kids stayed with them after I was raided one year, exiled from our house and wanted to lie low. Ron took the photos in Lucerne in Lake County and in Forestville in Sonoma County. The women got to pick what they wanted to wear when they posed. Most chose jeans and work boots. They were encouraged to bring a boyfriend, girlfriend or a chaperone. They all wore my purple “Grape Ape” T-shirts. 

The calendars were printed in Texas. I paid Ron $1,000. The women received $250 each, plus a quarter-pound of buds and money for gas. To print one hundred calendars set me back $900 dollars. When friends saw them, they asked, “Where’s mine?” I gave most of them away. I hardly have any left. Someone said, “You should have made a calendar with older women wearing more clothes.” A San Francisco gay friend asked, “What about a guy calendar.” I said, “I haven’t progressed that far, not yet.” Somebody else said, “Oh, Oaky Joe is corrupting and objectifying women.” I don’t think so. I know objectifying when I see it. 

I don’t mind Playboy centerfolds. I have never read the articles. I just look at the pictures. I don’t object to gigolos, either. They perform a useful service and as for women in the sex industry, otherwise known as whores, prostitues and hookers, let's not demonize them, especially if and when they practice safe sex, use condoms and take care of their bodies. Sex workers are some of the most honest and real people I have ever met. What is it they say about whores? The world’s oldest profession! The world’s second oldest profession? Marijuana growers! Good clean pot and beautiful, sexy women go hand in hand, naturally.

(Joe Munson and Jonah Raskin are the authors of “Oaky Joe Munson’s Marijuana Adventures and Misadventures.”)

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Boonville Matchbooks

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AMERICAN PICKERS to Film in California

Mike Wolfe, Frank Fritz, and their team are excited to return to California! They plan to film episodes of the hit series American Pickers throughout your area in December.

We understand that with the proliferation of COVID-19, we are all facing very uncertain times. We at American Pickers are taking the pandemic very seriously and will be following all guidelines and protocols for safe filming as outlined by the state and CDC. While we plan to be in California this December, we will continue to re-schedule if conditions change for the worse. Regardless, we are excited to continue to reach the many collectors in the area to discuss their years of picking! American Pickers is a documentary series that explores the fascinating world of antique “picking” on History. The hit show follows Mike and Frank, two of the most skilled pickers in the business, as they hunt for America’s most valuable antiques. They are always excited to find sizeable, unique collections and learn the interesting stories behind them. 

As they hit the back roads from coast to coast, Mike and Frank are on a mission to recycle and rescue forgotten relics. Along the way, the Pickers want to meet characters with remarkable and exceptional items. The pair hopes to give historically significant objects a new lease on life, while learning a thing or two about America’s past along the way. 

Mike and Frank have seen a lot of rusty gold over the years and are always looking to discover something they’ve never seen before. They are ready to find extraordinary items and hear fascinating tales about them. American Pickers is looking for leads and would love to explore your hidden treasure. If you or someone you know has a large, private collection or accumulation of antiques that the Pickers can spend the better part of the day looking through, send us your name, phone number, location and description of the collection with photos to: or call 855-OLD-RUST.

facebook: @GotAPick

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Message from Sheriff Matthew C. Kendall - New Hire Announcements

Mendocino County Sheriff's Office Correction Deputies Sworn-In To Begin Their Careers In The Field Services Division

On Monday, October 26, 2020 Mendocino County Sheriff Matthew C. Kendall held a new hire ceremony to swear-in Deputy Thomas Kelly and Deputy Carli Mitchell.

In a socially distanced outside ceremony and via Zoom, members of the Sheriff’s Office congratulated Deputy Kelly and Deputy Mitchell.

Deputies Kelly & Mitchell

Both were Mendocino County Sheriff's Office Corrections Deputies who recently graduated from the Basic Law Enforcement Academy in Windsor, California.

Their attendance in the academy was sponsored by the Sheriff's Office after having participated in an internal selection process of Corrections Division staff.

Deputy Kelly and Deputy Mitchell’s career paths mark an effort by Sheriff Kendall to bring valuable skill sets learned in working in the Corrections Division to the Field Services Division.

New patrol deputies undergo an extensive and vigorous training period once they graduate from the police academy prior to being allowed to work in a solo capacity.

Sheriff Kendall also introduced Stephanie Elledge as the newest volunteer member of the Sheriff’s Office Search & Rescue team (SAR). Elledge is currently employed as an Animal Control Officer with the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office.

View biography information on each newly hired/volunteer public safety professional by visiting the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office Facebook page at the following link:

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ABSOLVED. Go in peace, my son: Eddie Alvarez is a candidate for the Santa Rosa City Council. His opponents, feigning shock and sputtering inappropriates, went to the Press Democrat with comments Alvarez had made the mistake of posting, apparently unaware that cyber-comment, like God, is eternal. 

THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY, guardian of all matters good and true, had endorsed Alvarez, and was now being asked to un-endorse him for, among other sins, "transphobia," and for denouncing the party itself when Alvarez was so unhappy with Hillary's candidacy that he went on Facebook with an image of a middle finger featuring, in block letters: “This lifelong Democrat says bye bye Democratic Party," adding, “Fuck-Democrats and the horse they rode in on." 

A SECOND POST from February 2018 criticized the MeToo movement. "I'm calling bullshit because you’re walking the same path as every other disenfranchised group,” claiming that the Me Too activists were “falling for the tired trick of getting you to invest your energy in protests” instead of more effective strategies. 

THE BRIEF federal government shutdown of January 2018 inspired Alvarez to compare support for Trump like “buying a hooker that’s walking around with his thing hanging out ... yes, somebody is gonna get screwed, but you might be surprised on whose (sic) doing the screwing, and most importantly who is getting screwed.” 

DOUBLE, TRIPLE HARRUMPH. But SoCo's eternally flexible Democrats have both absolved their incorrect candidate and persuaded him to apologize, which he has: “It was pretty much the frustration of being ignored,” Alvarez said of his post from four years ago, calling it "a poor choice of words. Thankfully, we moved beyond them.” 

A NOT PARTICULARLY strict deconstruction of Alvarez-think reveals a man of limited imagination except for his unconsciously revelatory sexual imagery. 

WE UNDERSTAND that David Norfleet is seriously ill and is being cared for in his Signal Ridge home by hospice. 

David Norfleet

A long-time resident of the Anderson Valley, Norfleet was co-founder of the Anderson Valley Brewing Company, a former Marine, a father, a gifted designer/builder, principal of the revived Anderson Valley Grange, and all-round pillar of the Valley community. We're pulling for you, Dave.

THE TERM "entitled" is most often applied to the haughty privileged, but in this place, Mendocino County, it applies perfectly to the wine industry. And there I was arguing the other day with some visitors who objected to my "totally unreasonable hostility for the wine industry." I said Socrates himself could not find fault with my reasoning, but contented myself with a single defense: "The bastards killed all the frogs!" The couple looked askance. I'm sure they were thinking, "Jeez, maybe this guy's nuts." I'd just met them, although they were way back subscribers. "We read every word." (Uh oh.) But the only words they complained about were those thousands related to the in-county booze biz. "But," I said, going for conciliation, "if the frog killers grew potatoes and produced vodka who could possibly complain? The potato, unlike the grape, is so infinitely elastic you can live on it and get loaded on it, too! Wine grapes? Please." I wouldn't say they beat a hasty retreat, but they certainly didn't linger. I jotted down the couple's names to see if they renew their sub.

YOU KNOW the end is near when lawyers are advertising their dubious services on television. “We have legal professionals standing by!” proclaim a couple togged out in power suits against a backdrop of a dozen actors pretending to answer all the incoming business. My fave, and undoubtedly the fave of most male viewers, is the voluptuous attorney, Ms. Phoong, who promises "to answer all your questions" and can be reached at 916 GOT PAIN 

OVER THE TRANSOM, or calls we've tried to follow up on but for one reason or another have been unable to. A lady called from Yorkville with retroactive (back two years) complaints about the school, the elementary school particularly where, she said, her white children were bullied by Mexican children. This one comes up now and then from white parents but without specifics like names, dates and times it's impossible to verify them. I'm confident that the school people don't tolerate bullying no matter who's doing it, and the fact that the complaints reaching us are so infrequent it doesn't happen very often.

YEARS AGO, when we made our headquarters on AV Way, among my neighbors was Shawn Kibler who, when I first met him he was about 7 or 8 and in a "special class" down the street at the school. He'd pop in to ask for a loan. "Bruce, you got a bleeping dollar I could bleeping borrow?" He was, as the Appropriate Police will second, a wildly inappropriate child. I got a kick out of the lad but my wife was much less amused. "Don't encourage him." Etc. So, one day he comes staggering in under a backpack almost as big as him. What do you have in there, Shawn? You can hardly walk. "Rocks," he said. Rocks? "Yeah, rocks for the bleeping spics across the street. They attack me every bleeping day!" I asked the kids across the street about it. "He starts it every day. He calls us names, he swears at us and he throws stuff at us." Shawn got bigger and went to high school. I didn't see him very often, but his special ed teacher at the high school, a man of infinite patience perfectly suited to his work, said Shawn was his old self. "One afternoon I asked him to do something," this teacher told me, and Shawn says, "Bleep you, Schreiner. Didn't you hear the bell? School's over." The last time I saw him, Shawn was seriously strung out. He was huddled in the rain with an equivalently strung out girl in front of Pic 'N Pay. "Bruce, you loan me five?" 

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WALMART HAS REMOVED GUN AND AMMUNITION FROM DISPLAY in thousands of its stores in the United States, citing concerns of "civil unrest".

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When your pet is seriously injured and your vet is out of town, how do you get medical help? Answer: you drive to Santa Rosa to the emergency animal hospital. Our dog was gored by a buck in our yard. Since our vet was unavailable, I started calling vets in the area. Village Veterinary was not taking new clients. Detrick Veterinary was closed. Covington Creek said to leave a message. I also called vets in Willits and Ukiah seeking help. No one would see us. Closest help was in Santa Rosa.

On our way out of town, we pulled into Covington Creek Veterinary. The vet was outside speaking with a client when we arrived. I asked if he could help us. He said since we were not a regular client that he was too busy and we needed to leave. This vet’s behavior is unconscionable. The client he was speaking with told us to go to the Humane Society. Unfortunately, the vet had already left when we arrived. However, the staff rushed out to see how they could help. Sadly, our dog passed away at that moment. There are not enough words to thank these kind people for their personal attention and support.

How is it that in ALL of Mendocino County, there are not emergency services for animals? There are no “on call” vets for after business hours and weekends. As coastal residents, we are expected to drive two and one-half hours to get emergency care for our injured pet. Depending of the severity of the injury, most of us will watch our pet die.

So, be prepared, The Humane Society will do their best to help, but they are not equipped to deal with serious emergencies. However, they will give you advice and support. Something you will not get from anyone else in this area.

Dede & Paul Raisanen

Fort Bragg

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To Supervisor Ted Williams

Ted, justify your vote on this‼ Have you not listened to the endless accounts of the problems of uncontrolled cannabis: the violence, murders, environmental degradation?

Have you not listened to Sheriff Kendall? By your vote on this you are basically telling the people who want careful, thoughtful cannabis regulations to F-off.

Excerpt of a letter by John Haschak:

"At the Oct. 13 BOS meeting which was dedicated to cannabis policy, a major shift happened. Staff recommended that there be no expansion and no new grows in rangeland in Phase 3 (the phase for new cultivators) and Sheriff Kendall, ranchers, environmentalists, community members, the Farm Bureau were all opposed to expansion especially in resource lands. In spite of this opposition, the BOS on a 4-1 vote gave direction to staff to create an ordinance that will allow lands designated ag, rangeland, or upland residential to cultivate 10% of their property as cannabis. This was a shocking proposal! As you can tell, I voted no.

The next day I got a call from a businessman in Iowa who has 144 acres. He was planning on growing an acre but now, if this passes, will grow 14 acres. So while the County cannabis department flounders in getting the legacy growers their County permits and State annuals, the floodgates will be open to new cultivators from all over. 

If you have an opinion on this change in direction, you can do something. There are still two steps for this direction to be changed. The Planning Commission needs to hear this proposal and then the ordinance has to come back to the Board for approval. 

Several groups are helping sponsor a 3rd District Town Hall meeting on Nov. 15. More information will be sent out.

Wishing you all the best and feel free to contact me at or 707-972-4214."

Stay well,

John Haschak”

(Posted by Ron Stark)

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Supervisor Ted Williams: 

Where did the legal opinions originate from which you are premising concerns and policy decision regarding the County's legal vulnerabilities: 1. "conspiring to support legacy farmers through controlling supply," and 2. equal protection provisions being asserted in support of new Phase 3 cultivation before completing phase 1?

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The current approach has failed.

I see "the violence, murders, environmental degradation" as aspects of an unregulated and unenforceable model. Bring all cultivation into regulation and eradicating cartel-style grows with an enforceable ordinance.

Tax all current cultivation (by bringing it into regulation) and there will be enough generated to double the size of the Sheriff's staffing while improving county infrastructure.

I don't believe allowing "legacy" to cultivate while shutting the doors to new cultivation will stand up in court.

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I don’t want to downplay the concerns Ron references. I believe greater regulation can better address these problems, all of which are grave concerns, especially near Covelo.

The existing ordinance is simply incompatible with state law. The state built its licensing model around site specific analysis. Our ministerial model has not resulted in state licenses. This has created a murky quasi-legal market. Some cultivators are responsible land stewards and good neighbors. Others are not. How is law enforcement to differentiate when both have paperwork pending, indefinitely?

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The new ordinance by design is discretionary. Every single site will have individual environmental review. Not all rangeland parcels are appropriate for cultivation or cultivation at maximum scale. Steep hillsides above watersheds need not be carved.

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MISDEMEANOR DUI: GUILTY — pot, then booze.

A Mendocino County Superior Court jury returned from its deliberations after 5 o’clock Wednesday afternoon to announce it had found the defendant guilty as charged.

Defendant Bruce Branscomb McKee, age 37, of Ukiah, was found guilty of driving a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol, a misdemeanor. 


The jury also heard testimony that the defendant admitted to having ingested marijuana before he was involved in the July 2020 collision.

The defendant was ordered back to court on November 12, 2020 at 9 o’clock in the morning in Department B at the Ukiah courthouse for formal sentencing.

Any person interested in the outcome of this case is welcome to attend the sentencing hearing. All attendees will be required to wear a facial covering and honor the Court’s social distancing mandates.

The law enforcement agencies that developed the evidence underlying today’s conviction were the California Highway Patrol and the Department of Justice forensic laboratory.

The attorney who presented the People’s evidence and argued the case to the jury was Deputy District Attorney Joshua D. Raines.

This was DDA Raines first-ever jury trial. Thank you for all of your preparation work and congratulations, Josh, for a job well-done.

Mendocino County Superior Court Judge Victoria Shanahan presided over the three-day trial.

(District Attorney Presser)

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CATCH OF THE DAY, October 29, 2020

Bochman, Ceja, Franks, Garibay

TYLER BOCHMAN, Ukiah. Battery, disorderly conduct-alcohol.

RODOLFO CEJA III, Ukiah. Burglary.

SCOTT FRANKS, Ukiah. Probation revocation.

JESSICA GARIBAY, Ukiah. Controlled substance, petty theft, driving without license, suspended license for DUI, probation revocation.

Jimenez, Kavanaugh, Rodriguez

BRYAN JIMENEZ, Ukiah. Controlled substance for sale, pot for sale, cultivation of more than six pot plants, assault weapon, armed with firearm in commission of felony, controlled substance while armed with loaded firearm.

PETE KAVANAUGH, Hopland. Ammo possession by prohibited person, paraphernalia, county parole violation.

JOSE RODRIGUEZ, Ukiah. Suspended license, failure to appear, probation revocation.

Skinner, Smith, St. Laurent, Vargas

JEREMY SKINNER, Ukiah. Failure to appear, probation revocaiton.

COLTON SMITH, Ukiah. Failure to appear.

LARRY ST. LAURENT, Willits. Probation revocation.

VICTOR VARGAS, Ukiah. DUI-alcohol&drugs.

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by Tom Scocca

We all could have ignored the Westboro Baptist Church, theoretically, but the opportunity to be party to a morality play seemed unusual and interesting, back then. It was a sunny day in 2014, just before the anniversary of the September 11 attacks, and protesters from the church had come all the way from Topeka, Kansas, to demonstrate on a street corner near my office in Manhattan. They had stopped there to protest my then employer, Gawker, as part of a swing through New York City designed to antagonize the media so that the media would pay attention to Westboro.

Everyone understood how the manipulation worked. Westboro was in decline then. Its founder, Fred Phelps, had died that spring, and the shock value of its mission—waving “GOD HATES FAGS” signs or taunting mourners at military funerals—had long since worn off. We might have kept working at our desks, but some sense that reporting or life required the witnessing of things led a few colleagues and me down the stairs and out to the street. The Westboro people brandished offensive signs and yelled, and counterprotesters tried to countershock them. A man in skivvies proudly made noise.

All of this was what Westboro wanted, although in truth it was a little sparse and desultory up close. I snapped a picture, juxtaposing a Westboro picket sign reading “THANK GOD 4 9/11” with a lamppost flier reading “Beautiful Nolita 1 BR Mott @ Prince $3200 for 10/1” and posted it to Gawker with no headline.

Many things would happen in the five and a half years after that. Gawker Media would be bankrupted, not for provoking the wrath of the Topekans’ angry God, but for having published rude things about the vindictive and very secular billionaire Peter Thiel. Self-referential publicity stunts and stupid, fleetingly apocalyptic online conflict—the Internet counterpart of Westboro’s pointless brawls—would become the substance of politics, shaping the application of real power in the real world. The punchline to decades of jokes about the worst imaginable president would become president. From inside the content-making machinery of 2014, perched on the ledge of the ring at the Twitter arena, it was possible to feel a new future coming, shapeless and terrible, yet it all seemed too dumb to be real.

"Everything is the Internet now," the New Yorker reporter Andrew Marantz told a colleague in 2016 in a conversation he recounts in ‘Antisocial: online extremists, techno-utopians, and the hijacking of the American conversation.’

He was trying to explain to people within his normal, ostensibly enlightened social and professional circle -- people who didn't believe Donald Trump could possibly get elected -- that the existence of "awful stuff" on the Internet, from the pickup artist misogyny of lonely men to the scientific racism of organized xenophobes, could no longer be downplayed as a separate and irrelevant reality. "The awful stuff," he went on, "might be winning."

What does it mean for everything to be the Internet? "The natural state of the world is not connected," the Facebook executive Andrew Bosworth wrote in a company memo in June of that same year. Bosworth was telling the people who worked under him why their company would not waver from its program of worldwide expansion and infiltration, even if it meant people could be harmed.

"The ugly truth," Bosworth wrote, "is that we believe in connecting people so deeply that anything that allows us to connect more people more often is de facto good." This was before the world would read reports of Facebook’s part in pushing misinformation and fomenting artificial conflict in American elections or in giving Myanmar’s military a platform to promote genocide, but already it was clear that Facebook had much to answer for, or to try to avoid answering for. The word "ugly" here only seemed pejorative; it was really chosen to position Facebook under the conceptual scheme of the title of Sergio Leone’s most famous spaghetti western outside the realm of "the good" and "the bad" alike.

Bosworth’s memo did not try to argue that the company’s unnatural focus on connection was demonstrably beneficial to humanity. It simply told the faithful employees that it was beneficial to Facebook – that Facebook‘s success as a business was the result of growth and market dominance: "Nothing makes Facebook as valuable as having your friends on it, and no product decisions have gotten as many friends as the ones made in growth." But good and bad still existed. Within a few months of Bosworth’s memo and Marantz’s warning, things got much uglier, but also clearly much worse.

Under Trump, the online mode of endless conflict for conflict’s sake became the daily mode of governance, as ever more wishful pundits kept waiting in vain for Trump to claim, even rhetorically, to be leading a united country. The White House filled up with an absurd collection of sideshow characters: the British Hungarian blowhard Sebastian Gorka, with phony credentials and a real fascist medal on his chest; the Secretary of State Mike Pompeo who dared a reporter to find Ukraine on the map as if it were impossible; the genuinely paranoid trade adviser Peter Navarro. Tucker Carlson, a frozen food heir who warned his viewers that condescending elites were scheming with foreign invaders to take their country away, became the top rated cable news host in the country. A shifting conspiracy theory driven by an online poster known only as Q -- claiming that Trump was about to take down a global ruling class crime network -- led some of its believers to commit real world acts of violence and others to win congressional primaries. Two mass shooters, one each in New Zealand and California, not only wrote manifestos citing the same xenophobic theories but also name checked the controversial Youtube star Pewdiepie. The awful stuff -- the unnatural stuff, by Marantz's estimation -- won. Was there a moral to be extracted from this? Or even an explanation?

(New York Review of Books)

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Ab Divers

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I’m not a fan of binary thinking, e.g. ‘Trump is evil’ or ‘Biden is a communist’…

The trouble with Biden is that he is exactly what the US doesn’t need at the moment: a staid, incompetent, wholly underwhelming, life long politician who certainly will not be able to effectively manage entropic decline that the nation will continue to experience and only accelerate as streams of energy production become a bigger concern. 

The Left wants to shut down fossil fuel production. This isn’t going to happen. In an odd way, the corrupt democrat party will continue to support Big Oil, if simply out of practical necessity. There just is no other real methods to fuel Disneyworld, Walmart & the movement of peoples across the US. 

So, Biden will not turn the US communist, or anything like that. The democrats are fascists. They will do the bidding of multi-national corporations. 

There will be some economic recovery under the first part of a Biden Presidency. I think the US will be waging at least one or more wars in the next 2 years with a Biden President. War can have the ability to give the US economy a little boost, especially to the democrat west coast, where a lot of US bomb makers live and work. Weapons manufacturing is one of the last industries in the US...however, entropic decline & the management of that decline, will prove too much particularly for Biden (or really anybody for that matter). 

Another part of an economic upturn will be government largesse & payoffs to racial & classes that supported Biden. More welfare/social service programs. Government contracts to particular unions, etc. 

That’s how the sausage is made in the US!

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Honduras Thursday became the 50th country to ratify the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW). The treaty will enter into force 90 days from today, on 22 January 2021.

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MCOE OPENS ENROLLMENT for Phlebotomy and Dental Assisting Vocational Training Programs

The Mendocino County Office of Education (MCOE) is currently enrolling students for two vocational training programs: Phlebotomy and Dental Assisting. Applications are due November 30 and forms are available online at or by calling 707-467-5123. Classes begin the second week in January. 

Both programs offer paths to rewarding careers in health care. Applicants must possess a high school diploma or the equivalent, complete a medical screening, and submit a letter of recommendation, among other requirements. 

A phlebotomist is someone trained to draw blood with a needle from a vein. Phlebotomists typically work in hospitals, laboratories, and blood bank settings. Phlebotomy is an excellent introduction to the medical field, and many phlebotomists later choose to become nurses and medical technicians. 

Upon successful completion of the 99-hour course, phlebotomy students will be given an application to apply for the state phlebotomy certification. California requires that all phlebotomists be certified to be eligible for employment. The enrollment fee for the course is $2,800 and the course runs from January 11 through May 19, 2021. 

Dental assistants are in high demand, locally and nationwide. Dental assistants often work in dental clinics or dental and specialty dental offices performing both administrative and clinical duties. They prepare patients for treatments and teeth cleanings, process x-rays, and work with patients on billing issues, among other responsibilities. For some, becoming a dental assistant is the first step on the road to becoming a more highly trained registered dental assistant. Students who successfully complete the MCOE Dental Assistant Program and subsequently 11 months of employment are eligible to challenge the State Dental Board exam to become registered dental assistants. The enrollment fee for the course is $4,000 and is limited to eight students. 

MCOE’s Dental Assisting Program runs from January 12 through May 27 with evening classes to allow those with day jobs to participate. The 18-week course prepares students for all aspects of front- and back-office dental assisting, including chairside assisting. At the conclusion of the classroom training, students must complete a 120-hour externship with a dental practice. 

For more information about MCOE’s workforce development programs, call 707-467-5123.

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TODAY, OCTOBER 28, MARKS THE 117TH ANNIVERSARY of the birth of one of the most brilliant satirical authors of his time. 

The depth, poise, wit, and elegance of Evelyn Waugh's writing - as evidenced in his novels, "A Handful of Dust", "Decline and Fall", "Vile Bodies", "Brideshead Revisited", the "Sword of Honor" trilogy, and "The Loved One", still amaze and delight readers today. His books will always be found on our shelves at Walden Pond Books in Oakland.

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by Ralph Nader

In an electoral season replete with unpredicted events, five developing situations are intertwined in ways certain to make for a combustible November 3rd.

First, the Republicans’ detailed criminogenic voter suppression strategy that creates delay, confusion, and discord in the handling of voters and their votes is proceeding with increasing intensity.

Second, the number of election volunteers is likely to be seriously diminished because of Covid-19. Many elderly volunteers who staff voting precincts justifiably fear the potential for exposure to the Covid-19 virus. This problem could lead to closing precinct locations and a reduction in voter turnout.

Third, making matters worse is Senate Majority Leader “Moscow Mitch” McConnell’s opposition to a House-passed four-billion-dollar state-aid package. This grant is to help states with resources needed for accurate and secure processing of the votes.

Fourth, state election officials expect tens of millions of mail ballots by voters avoiding exposure to Covid-19. Some states, such as New York and Kentucky, have already forecast that election results may take a week to be completed after Election Day. States that allow mail ballots to be counted, so long as they are postmarked by Tuesday, Election Day, guarantee that, given the volume, totaling the vote will spill over beyond November 3rd.

Fifth, Donald J. Trump is blaring constantly that the 2020 election will be rigged. Trump has tweeted: “The Democrats are trying to Rig the 2020 Election, plain and simple!” “Because of MAIL-IN BALLOTS, 2020 will be the most RIGGED Election in our nation’s history – unless that stupidity is ended”. Lies galore, but he likes to repeat them.

Trump will announce victory on election night no matter how many votes he and Biden have. Trump will likely incite street agitations and launch judicial challenges based on wild conspiratorial fantasies even without any evidence of voter fraud by the Democrats.

The way out of this toxic scenario is to build on a large majority of Americans averse to such planned Trumpian chaos and political instability by proposing a two-week grace period after November 3rd. People want every voter to be respected, which means every vote should be counted even if this process requires additional time.

A demand for a grace period needs to start now to build up powerful support from a multi-partisan combination of national, state, and local candidates for public office. Candidates should pledge not to announce their victory or concede defeat until November 17, 2020. Support for this prudent proposal position can be strengthened by retired political leaders, “good government” groups, such as the League of Women Voters, and all varieties of columnists, editorial writers, academic experts, and other opinion leaders.

It is now an undeniable fact that substantial millions of mail-in ballots will not be counted in time. People understand overloaded situations from their own occupations and professions. President Trump is making things worse by generating lawless provocations, with tweets and disruptive actions, and by manipulating the U.S. Postal Service, including sending misleading information about mail balloting to voters. The Washington Post reported: “President Trump … “does not want to fund the U.S. Postal Service, because Democrats are seeking to expand mail-in voting during the coronavirus pandemic, making explicit the reason he has declined to approve $25 billion in emergency funding for that cash-strapped agency.” After all, he did bugle a boastful outlawry no previous president ever dared to utter. “I have an Article II, where I have the right to do whatever I want as president.”

The mass media should continue the policy of not projecting winners before the polls close. Premature vote projections can depress voter turnout in states where polls haven’t closed.

A fourteen-day grace period movement will isolate Donald Trump. His bellowings will bounce inside the disbelieved echo chamber of his fabrications. Also, a two-week hiatus will provide time for passions to be cooled and for a restored public confidence that our public servants and volunteers can achieve optimal accuracy for electoral legitimacy.

Candidate Biden should not tarry in declaring that he will not ask for a concession from candidate Trump until at least November 17th. Mr. Trump will not make a reciprocal pledge so long as his documented campaign strategy is to sow doubt from all directions – domestic and abroad – on the integrity of the electoral process. Trump’s unwillingness to play fair and square, against a deep consensus behind a grace period, will further increase the futility of his destructive contrivances.

With such large stakes for our fragile democracy, we cannot afford to bypass such a course of action that will assure a peaceful transition in accord with the rule of law. Providing a decent interval for a full count of all the votes is a critical step for our democracy.

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