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Mendocino County Today: January 14, 2021

Partly Cloudy | 58 Cases | Flooding Predicted | Low Tide | 75+ Vaccinations | Takeout Menu | Apparent Contempt | Warren Smith | Shelter Meeting | Jail Outbreak | Seniors First | Glen Blair | Real Disease | Basket Harvesting | NY 1950 | Lambing Time | Harris & Schuetz | Midnight Marcelino | Hold On | FB Petition | Early Elk | Ed Notes | Cuffey's Cove | Similar Vibe | Impeached Again | National Guard | Planning Cancelled | Yesterday's Catch | Forgot Steinbeck | Disappearing Act | Favorite Movies | Donkey Business | Belichick Snub | Not Us | Without Help | Ghastly Future | Country Bend | No Coup | Hate Him | Trump Consequences

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DENSE FOG THIS MORNING should clear out to partly cloudy skies with warmer daytime temperatures. Cooler nights are also to be expected as subsidence settles into the area for the next few days. (NWS)

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25 NEW COVID CASES were reported in Mendocino County for Tuesday, and 33 new cases on Wednesday, bringing the total to 3003.

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In my post yesterday I guessed that there was about a 30% chance of Hwy 128 flooding by Friday.

Today I'm updating that to 60% chance of minor flooding before midnight tonight based on today's observations and the updated NWS river forecast.

Yesterday around 4:30 PM I checked the estuary level at the 0.18 mile marker on 128 and estimated it was 2 to 3 ft. below the highway pavement edge.

Today I found it less than 1 ft. below the pavement edge in the westbound lane. Also the Navarro Beach access road was flooded between the old company house and Capt. Fletcher's Inn (formerly Navarro By The Sea). It wasn't flooded yesterday.

The current National Weather Service forecast chart for the Navarro gauge now shows a mild crest at 3.5 ft. predicted by 9 PM tonight, up from 3.17 ft. observed at 4 PM. While the increase in those two readings is only .23 ft., it doesn't mean the level at the Hwy. 1 bridge will only rise that amount. The gauge is 5 miles upriver, above the estuary. Water slowly flows out through the sand of the bar. When the inflow at the top of the estuary exceeds the outflow through the sandbar, the estuary level rises. 

If the sandbar gives way and lets the estuary drain to the ocean, it would prevent the possible flooding. Due to fog this afternoon I couldn't see the sandbar to check for any signs of an impending breach. However last evening I saw a curved indentation in the estuary side of the bar in the approximate same location as the previous breach late last week. That's a sign of the sandbar being eroded by the water flow through the sand, which would eventually lead to a breach. 

Here's a link to the NWS Navarro gauge forecast chart:

However the chart is an active one that is updated every time you open the page, so it won't look the same later.

So in the end whether 128 floods or not is up to a contest between increased river flow and the sandbar's ability to resist giving way.

Big surf continues to build up the sandbar on the ocean side.

Today's high tide of 7.09 ft. occurred at 10:21 AM, and the lower low tide of -1.1 happened at 5:35 PM. Tidal forces will diminish over the next 7 days.

My rain gauge today showed .94 in. of rain over the previous 24 hours. The NWS weather forecast calls for no more rain in the next 7 days.

— Nicholas Wilson

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(photo by Dick Whetstone)

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Age 75+ Residents: Clinics throughout the county will be providing the vaccine. If you exhaust your clinic options and cannot find an opportunity to be vaccinated, please feel free to contact me privately. Include full name and town: or text 707 937 3500

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We are looking forward to this week's take out menu...orders placed online @ 

1.14.21 Thursday Dinner - Pozole with Liberty Duck made with Tierra Firma Hominy. Served with shaved red cabbage, lime crema, avocado, radishes and cilantro. Served with a spiced rice custard - walnuts, cinnamon, pomegranate and orange zest. $32/meal

1.15.21 Friday Dinner - Meyer Lemon & Rosemary Whole Roasted Heritage Chicken for two. Served with a Classic Little Gem Cesar Salad, and something sweet. $60 (serves 2)

1.17.21 Sunday Dinner - Five Spiced Kurobuta Pork Belly Over Koji Rice - served with a large side of broccolini shoots with golden sesame and pickled mustard greens and a little something sweet. $36/meal

Hope everyone is hanging in there & taking good care.

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Supervisor Williams: “The other providers [Adventist Health and pharmacy chains] have been asked. What we don’t have are the answers. I think it will shake out.”

John McCowen: “Except they're only being asked belatedly. We don't need to debate this further, but it's clear to me the County said they were engaged in a collaborative planning process when in fact they weren't. You're a very decent and forgiving person — I hear what people say, but I watch what they do. If there's a reason things did not or can not go as planned (as is often the case) that should be said — not pretend it never happened. The County has no control of information, directives or vaccines coming from upstream, but the County should be providing the public with current info even if its ‘we don't know’ — instead, right up until Monday evening the public was led to believe a plan would be forthcoming with at least some answers to the basic questions people were asking. The lack of communication and transparency indicates an apparent contempt for the public.”

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SNWMF FOUNDER WARREN SMITH crossed peacefully in the loving arms of his wife Gretchen on January 11, 2021, at his beloved ranch surrounded by love and listening to Bob Marley. May he Rest In Power.

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The Fort Bragg City Council Homelessness Ad Hoc Committee will host a virtual Zoom community meeting on Thursday, January 21, 2021 at 4:30pm. The Ad Hoc Committee is seeking input on the potential impacts to businesses and nearby residences, if the Mendocino Coast Hospitality Center utilizes the Gymnasium located behind City Hall at 213 E. Laurel Street as a temporary location for the Winter Shelter.

Please join us by Zoom using the link:

If you are unable to attend the Zoom meeting, please feel free to forward your concerns and suggestions to City Manager Tabatha Miller,

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On December 23, 2020, the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office announced COVID-19 had breached the county jail’s walls, and outbreak measures were put into practice. As of now, Mendocino County Sheriff Matt Kendall said approximately 120 have tested positive for COVID-19 including 10-12 staff members.

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We must simplify the COVID vaccine distribution plan. Endless lobbying by interest groups and confusion will reign otherwise. UCSF and other health experts are suggesting that we acknowledge who is dying in our hospitals, and vaccinate accordingly, following this current phase of vaccinating health care workers.

Since more than 80% of the deaths are seniors, counties should make plans to start vaccinating all residents over the age of 55, oldest first. While few people carry papers stating why their medical conditions or jobs should place them first, most every adult has identification indicating their age.

We simply don’t have the luxury of time to haggle over the importance of job categories.

This is wildfire management in the middle of the century’s worst conflagration. It’s imperative that we find a way to keep our hospitals available for all emergencies, lower the death rate and get our economy back.

For those arguing that younger essential workers receive the vaccine first, it isn’t yet proven that vaccines eliminate transmission; in other words, a vaccinated essential worker could still spread the disease asymptomatically. The emphasis therefore should be on preventing preventable deaths — and those are overwhelmingly occurring in our senior population.

Terry Leach


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Glen Blair Mill

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ED OBERWEISER: In the United States, there have been 22,322,956 confirmed cases of COVID-19 detected through U.S. public health surveillance systems in 50 states and the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam, the Northern Marianas Islands, and U.S. Virgin Islands. From the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. All you idiots who refuse to wear masks are interfering with my right to good health. COVID-19 is real obviously (more than 22 million cases we know about in the U.S.).

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WILLOW AND DOGWOOD FOR BASKETS: Harvesting in the Wild Gardens

On Saturday, January 16, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., the public is invited to drop by the Wild Gardens outside Grace Hudson Museum to learn from renowned basketmaker Corine Pearce of the Redwood Valley Rancheria. Visitors can learn about the process of cultivating, harvesting, and weaving with willow and dogwood from start to finish. They can also take a walk around to see what plants are blooming, fruiting, or dormant for the winter.

Please note that masks must be worn and social distancing maintained. The number of visitors will be limited to 45 at a time in the gardens.

The Grace Hudson Museum is at 431 S. Main St. in Ukiah. For more information please visit the website at

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New York, 1950

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As the need for access to COVID safe hiking and outdoor activities continues, The UC Hopland Research and Extension Center (HREC) has released new opportunities for small social pod groups at the 5,358-acre site. HREC is offering both self-guided hiking opportunities and family friendly visits to the lamb barn every Saturday through January, and likely into February.

Lambing time tours include a guided “find the lost sheep” walk to the barn, followed by the chance to visit the lambs and bottle feed an orphan lamb. “During the tour we’ll share information about the production of sustainable fibers, fire fuel reduction, animal husbandry, and how we take care of the lambs. It’s a great visit for all ages from toddlers to adults,” said Madrona Quinn, GrizzlyCorps member at HREC. Participants will leave with a sheep wool craft project to enjoy at home. Lambing time tours will be offered at 10am, 11am and 12pm time slots.

Self-guided hikes will follow a set circular hike route, allowing hikers to turn back in the early stages of the trail if they prefer not to hike the entire loop. Hikers begin walking through madrone woodland quickly moving into oak savannah and through rangeland. At its highest elevation the route is 1,260 ft. allowing great views across Hopland and the Sanel valley to Duncan's Peak. A cell tower at this point marks the trail peak. The entire route is 4.3 miles long, with some steep sections and an overall elevation change of 546ft. Hikes must begin between 9-10am and all hikers must have left the route by 2pm.

Group sizes for these events are restricted to 9 people who must be in the same social pod, and must follow all Mendocino County Health Orders and HREC safety rules. No dogs allowed, due to the use of guardian dogs to protect the sheep on the property. Pre-registration online is required. Both activities offer a sliding scale of payment, with suggested pricing of $100 per group for the one-hour long lambing time visits and $10 per person for the self-guided hikes. Further details and online registration at: Contact Hannah Bird at or call (707) 744 1424 ext. 105 for further information or questions.

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On Monday, January 11, 2021 at approximately 5:21 PM, a Deputy from the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office was dispatched to a reported vehicle burglary in progress at an address in the 3500 block of North State Street in Ukiah.

Upon arrival, the Deputy contacted the reporting party who advised he owns a truck repair business at the location. The business owner reported seeing two subjects inside of a pickup that had been dropped off for repairs. The business owner contacted the vehicle owner to confirm he had not sent anyone to get items out of his vehicle, and he stated no one should be inside of his vehicle.

The business owner provided descriptions of the two male subjects. The Deputy, with the assistance of officers from the Ukiah Police Department, located two male subjects matching the description in the area.

An in-field lineup was conducted, which positively identified the two males as the same subjects who were seen inside of the pickup.

Further investigation was conducted, which revealed the locked vehicle had been broken into, and it appeared the subjects were attempting to “hot wire” the pickup. The dashboard had been damaged and loose wires had been cut in the area of the pickup's ignition. There were various tools and other items left in the pickup which did not belong to the owner.

The first subject was identified as Mason Harris. Harris was found to be on pretrial court ordered release for second degree burglary with search terms.

Harris, Schuetz

The second subject was identified as Patrick Schuetz. Schuetz was found to be on Post Release Community Supervision (PRCS-County Parole) with search terms. A search of Schuetz's belongings revealed several tools commonly used in the commission of burglaries.

Harris was ultimately placed under arrest for Attempted Vehicle Theft, Second Degree Burglary, and Conspiracy.

Schuetz was ultimately placed under arrest for Violation of County Parole, Second Degree Burglary, Conspiracy, and Possession of Burglary Tools.

Both subjects were transported and booked into the Mendocino County Jail.

In accordance with the COVID-19 emergency order issued by the State of California Judicial Council, bail was set at zero dollars for both subjects and they were released after the jail booking process.

The Mendocino County Sheriff's Office would like to thank the officers from the Ukiah Police Department for their assistance with this case.

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On Sunday, January 3, 2021 at approximately 11:29 P.M. Deputies were dispatched to a reported vandalism in the 100 block of Tedford Avenue in Ukiah.

Deputies were told by the reporting party that Marcelino Anguiano, 41, of Ukiah, had left the area on foot and was no longer at the residence.


Deputies checked the area and located Anguiano in the 1700 block of South Dora Street.

Deputies had knowledge Anguiano had an active Mendocino County Superior Court Arrest Warrant issued for him on 12-21-2020 for Evading A Peace Officer: Reckless Driving. The warrant was confirmed with the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office Dispatch and Anguiano was arrested without incident.

Anguiano was subsequently booked into the Mendocino County Jail where he was to be held in lieu of $25,000 bail.

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Petition to Fort Bragg, CA Local Elected Officials to Immediately Denounce and Take Action Regarding 121 Right-Wing Insurrectionists, Their Supporters, and President Donald Trump

Prepared by the Mendocino Coast Progressive Action Network (1/10/21)

”Progressive leadership anywhere benefits everyone and everything... everywhere.”

We, the people of Fort Bragg, CA, have had enough. Conspiracy theories like QAnon, right-wing/racist extremists such as the Proud Boys, extremist factions of the Republican Party and the high-ranking GOP support and/or inaction against those factions, and President Donald J. Trump are tearing apart our country, our political discourse, and our Democracy. The unconscionable 121 Right-Wing Insurrection didn’t arise out of nowhere. It is the unsurprising result of years of increasing fanaticism and extremism in the Republican party and on the Right. 

Our local elected officials can no longer remain silent. Silence has done nothing to stem the growth of this extremism. Instead, it enables it. The 121 Right-Wing Insurrectionists were not from DC. We need to acknowledge how easily they could have come from Fort Bragg(1).

Therefore, we are calling upon our local elected bodies to take a stand and declare that this sort of behavior will not be tolerated, locally or anywhere.

We respectfully demand that the Fort Bragg City Council, FBUSD Board of Trustees, and Mendocino County Board of Supervisors, as well as any and all other elected bodies in Mendocino County, in votes, resolutions, and letters:

1. Condemn and denounce President Trump, call for his immediate removal, and insist charges are brought against him for inciting an attack on the seat of our Democracy. 

2. Condemn and denounce QAnon, conspiracy theories, and fanaticism in any and all its forms, including baseless claims that Trump won the election and/or that the election was "rigged" or subject to widespread and outcome-altering fraud. Commit to demanding a culture of evidence, truth, and honesty locally.

3. Condemn and denounce the Republican Party for its inaction against and tacit/active support for extremism and call for the removal of the high-ranking members of the Republican Party who have enabled this to come to an insurrection on America’s own Capitol. Call for the removal of members of Congress who actively supported this insurrection.

4. Open inquiries into any Mendocino law enforcement, government employees, and elected officials who express support for the insurrectionists or their extremist views (including baseless claims of widespread fraud and a Trump win). Assess whether they are fit to fulfill their duties to the community in a rational, ethical, and safe manner.

5. Acknowledge and condemn the disparate reaction of law enforcement at the Capitol to peaceful Black Lives Matter protesters versus the armed, mostly white, right-wing extremist DC Insurrectionists, resulting in the unconscionable placement of our highest-level elected officials in harm’s way.

6. Demand the firing and arrest of any and all Capitol Police who enabled the insurrectionists to breach the Capitol and/or to walk away after doing so. Prosecute them to the fullest extent of the law.

7. Demand the arrest of all the DC insurrectionists and their punishment to the fullest extent of the law.

We also respectfully demand that these resolutions be sent, as letters, to our State and Federal representatives, as well as other Counties in California, representing us to our country as well as demanding that they, too, take a similar stand against this assault on our democracy. 


(1) A CHP officer residing in Fort Bragg, captured 1/6/21 on Facebook: “It’s about time they fight back..! it’s [sic] shameful this election fraud is allowed to stand! I’ll be fighting with these people….”

NOTE: By signing this petition you agree to future announcements, action-alerts, and other communications from the Mendocino Coast Progressive Action Network. For more information write: scott.m.menzies, at Gmail

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Early Elk

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FOR PURE DELUSION, arrogance division, it's hard to beat that small group of Fort Bragg illiberals calling themselves MC-BIPOC (Mendocino Coast Black Indigenous and Other People of Color) but now revived as the “Mendocino Coast Progressive Action Network.” Fresh off their failed Winter campaign to vilify Sheriff Kendall, the sanctimonious seaside secret society is circulating a fresh petition “respectfully demanding” that the Fort City Council, Fort Bragg School Board, the County Supervisors “as well as any other and all other elected bodies…” denounce Trump, Trumpians, latent Trumpians, suspected Trumpians, closet Trumpians or… Or what? Or else we'll stamp our little feet!

WHAT'S CREEPY about these people is that they don't step up to argue publicly while they make wild claims implying that Mendocino County, and its police authorities especially, is teeming with racists. They, whoever they are who wrote the Respectfully Demanding petition, close the petition with, “A CHP officer residing in Fort Bragg, captured 1/6/21 on Facebook: "It's about time they fight back...! it's shameful this election fraud is allowed to stand! I'll be fighting with these people…”

THIS GUY, assuming there is a “this guy,” has an absolute right to his opinion, no matter how offensive it is to the Coast illiberals. Millions of dummies have bought Trump's Big Lie that the election was rigged, but anonymously dooming people on the basis of their opinions is, well, awfully Trumpian, isn't it BIPOC?

SANDRA SAWYER, apparently a Coast Bipocian, writing on Facebook today (Wednesday): “I would appreciate hearing from the Sheriff that bigotry will not be tolerated in practice or in hiring of local law enforcement. There are white supremacists in our county. That’s why sensitivity and clearly stated policy about racism and bigotry are so important.”

NAMES, SANDRA, NAMES! To reasonable people, it is already evident everywhere in the land that racism and bigotry aren't tolerated in police forces. Are there racists and bigots in police forces? Of course. Are they encouraged, tolerated? Mostly No and No. Here in Mendo? No. Are there reverse bigots among your friends, Sandra? By that I mean intolerance for people unlike yourselves? 

AS I'VE said before, and please excuse me for quoting my pollyannish self, race relations have never been better in this country. Everywhere you look in our imploding nation, even in Redding (that's a joke; one can't ever be clear enough), there are millions of loyal, affectionate, color blind relationships where sixty years ago there were virtually none. Race relations is one area of American life where we've made real progress.

 (THE EDITOR of Boonville's beloved weekly is available any time, any place to debate the Coast illiberals. Hey! How about on Free Speech Public Radio, Mendocino County? I almost forgot that just down the road from my office there's a tax-supported fm radio station dedicated to the unimpeded audio exchange of opinion, an entire apparatus that would go to the wall, the wall I tell you! to protect your right, my right, everybody's right, to be heard on the public airwaves! No, you're not telling me… Do you mean? Are you saying… Me? Unwelcome? But… Well, you just wait 'til Bob and Meg hear about this!)

YIKES! Philo has 9 active cases of Covid, Boonville has 0-5, and Hopland has 0-5. Mask up, stay home, and get tested please!

THE ONSET of decrepitude, combined with even more social distance than I experience ordinarily, causes me to forget to mask-up in public places. Just today I strode into a Ukiah store to buy a coupla megamil tickets only to be reminded by the clerk, “Sir, your mask?” Sorry, kid, I said, scurrying out to my car to fetch the thing, slap it over my intake valves, stumble back inside to present my two bucks for a negative mathematical chance to win enough money to, ah, uh, buy my wife fresh flowers every day.

IT COULD HAPPEN HERE! In Portland this week, iconic Powell’s Bookstore, which prides itself on offering “banned books” has caved into pressure from Antifa mobs and has agreed not to carry Andy Ngo’s new book on Antifa/BLM riots in Portland and Seattle. Ngo lives in Portland, and you would think Powell’s would back a book by a local author, but no go. The store did say the book would be listed in its online catalogue, but for this assurance Ngo's book would be available online, an Antifa mob showed up at the store and shut it down, and it has remained shut down for a couple of days now.

MORE GOOD ADVICE, on-line type: “Be careful not to mistakenly discard your stimulus payment envelope. I initially thought it was a piece of junk mail. This time you will receive a $600 debit card that can also be deposited into a bank account."

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Cuffey’s Cove
Cuffey's Cove Cemetery

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Here on the North Coast three decades ago we got an up close look at this emerging phenomenon.

The Redwood Region, and the Pacific Northwest, were at war over logging practices, especially on publicly owned lands. From Ukiah to Eureka, we witnessed then what happens when deep divisions turn violent and confrontational. 

The region flirted with danger.

Judi Bari, the inflammatory Earth First organizer, was the target of a still unsolved car bombing. An extreme anti-abortion activist on the Christian right was among the first suspects.

Tree spiking was a serious threat to mill workers until radicals like Bari during a ‘Redwood Summer’ of protests called for an end to the practice. Loggers and their supporters sometimes challenged activists with their fists at remote logging sites. Corporate timber equipment was trashed, and once booming mill operations were stymied. 

The ‘Wise Use’ movement that promoted more aggressive use of publicly owned lands sprang up to counter the growing environmental movement. It was eagerly embraced by corporate timber bosses.

Protesters locked themselves together in metal sleeves to block logging roads, and create chaos in the offices of timber companies, state regulatory agencies, and congressional field offices. There was political chaos from Sacramento to Seattle.

An added twist was uncertainty about law enforcement's role in the culture clash. For example, it was learned that an FBI agent who was first on the Oakland scene of the Bari car bombing in late May, 1990, just happened several weeks before to have conducted car bombing demonstrations on corporate timberland near Eureka. And so on. 

As a region, we survived the tensions. But timber-dependent communities and environmental movements were forever changed. The blame game lingers. It is disturbing to feel similar vibes today.

GENIELLA was the main media man in Mendo during Redwood Summer when newspapers were still THE media. I didn't envy him his impossible task of writing honestly about events and personalities during that fraught period, but he managed it. Imagine yourself as the Northcoast correspondent for the Press Democrat with timber execs calling you up all the time to whine about your coverage, and the formidable Judi Bari marching into your Ukiah office to demand you print something by her or about her. Additionally, if you're Geniella, you had to get your work approved by a cadre of cringing so-called editors hunkered down in their Santa Rosa bunker, far, far from the timber wars. As violent as Redwood Summer sometimes got, violence was certainly in the air, but this fascist uprising that seems to have jumped off last week menaces all of us.

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THE HOUSE voted Wednesday 232-197 to impeach President Donald Trump for a second time for 'incitement of insurrection,' exactly a week after the MAGA mob stormed Capitol Hill.   The Democratic majority was joined by 10 Republicans, making the House's move bipartisan - unlike Trump's first impeachment less than 13 months ago. But Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said that he will not begin a trial before Trump leaves office - meaning it will begin just after Joe Biden is sworn in. The 10 Republicans to vote to impeach were Liz Cheney; Adam Kinzinger; John Katko (New York); Fred Upton; Jaime Herrera Beutler; Dan Newhouse; Peter Meijer; Tom Rice; Anthony Gonzalez; and David Valadao.

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National Guard at the Capitol

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Dear Interested Parties,

The Planning Commission meeting cancellation notice for January 21, 2021 is posted on the department website at:

Please contact staff with any questions.

James F.Feenan, Commission Services Supervisor, Mendocino County Planning & Building Services,

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CATCH OF THE DAY, January 13, 2021

Dabney, Hernandez, Kirbo, Norton

LEVI DABNEY, Redwood Valley. Assault with deadly weapon not a gun, person use of firearm, criminal threats, prior in other state.


ROBERT KIRBO, Ukiah. Protective order violation, damage to communications device, probation revocation.

JESSICA NORTON, Ukiah. Disobeying court order, failure to appear, probation revocation.

Partridge, Pena, Rose, Verges

KENNEITH PARTRIDGE, Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-alcohol, under influence, controlled substance, failure to appear.

GENO PENA, Redwood Valley. Domestic battery.

JOSHUA ROSE, Redwood Valley. Disorderly conduct-alcohol, contempt of court, resisting.

ENA VERGES-MENDEZ, Ukiah. Resisting.

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Do you think that Marques, the local director of the Friends of the Joe Biden administration has inexhaustible patience? This is not Carmelville. It's the big time. He wants to see some movement. District Of Columbia and Puerto Rico are packing their bags ready to join Hawley and Cruz. Hola a todos que paso, si, nosotros tenemos. Pero en estados unios es mucho mas grande. Legislation to get around Citizens United. Identify your enemy. It's the white trash. Send some money for Jerry Brown’s train. It's possible for national elections to be decided by popular vote. Let's get started on it. See to it that all Negro schoolchildren are ready for college which will solve several problems. Identify the major players in the bad boys of climate change and shut them down. No more coal in the Christmas stocking. No more F-150s. I guess the Republicans can take their kneepads off now. They were lucky they didn't have to drink the kool-aid. Maybe some money will be sent to develop Hale’s Grove. A great future if they can attract the county seat. Then in about five years the state capitol. Give the Biden boosters six months to act like they are alive or we’ll have to switch over to a monarchy for a while and I have just the right dude for King: Michael Bloomberg! Mike will get ’er done. We will need a Queen. Mike walked into a bar. He asked four women if they wanted to do the sexual intercourse thing with him. Three said no, but one said yes! We have a queen!

When I sent you a list of authors I forgot to list John Steinbeck and David McCullough. How in hell could I forget Steinbeck? How could I forget Susy getting off the bus, asking if she could leave her suitcase in a restaurant and then walk down the hill to the Bear Flag Whorehouse and ask if she could join the staff? Eventually Susy moved into an abandoned boiler left in a vacant lot (Sweet Thursday.). How could I forget the three bums who discovered an abandoned shack and moved in? Any money they could get their hands on was spent on a gallon jug of red wine. One bum got up early in the morning and cut kindling wood and sold it for a quarter. As he didn't seem to be spending any quarters, the other two bums figured he must be hiding it. They were determined to find it. (Tortilla flat.) A man was trying to buy is two little boys some candy at a roadside diner in Arizona but was one cent short. Two families in one boxcar was the limit. (Grapes of Wrath.) Anybody who hasn't read Steinbeck has missed an American writer without peer, just as Mozart's slow movement in the piano concerto is lovely music without fear.

If it weren't for David McCullough I would never have learned about the Johnstown flood. The building of the Brooklyn Bridge and the "Path Between the Seas," the Panama Canal. There must have been a reason I sent you a list of authors. I thought some AVA readers might see the list and send you their own lists of favorite authors. No, no. I have also pimped for book readers in the past and failed to find anyone interested. I have an idea that AVA readers must be a combination of aging hippies and old women. Now that statement might stir up some feathers.

Ralph Bostrom


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Radio Days, and John Carter.

I don't have just one favorite Woody Allen movie. Annie Hall, of course, and Small Time Crooks, and Bananas, and Bullets Over Broadway, and so on, they're all great, but there's one that I can watch again and again and I'll never get tired of it: Radio Days. Woody Allen isn't even in it. He's the narrator and his character in the show is a twelve-year-old version of himself. It's about radio when Woody Allen was a little boy. Mia Farrow has a big part in it, and Dianne Wiest. I just watched it tonight when I got home from work and it's the same joy it ever was.

Several thumbs up. Three, say. (For the Martian tripods, and the scene with War of the Worlds on the car radio when Mia Farrow is out on a date, out of gas in the middle of nowhere, in the fog.)

Speaking of which, last night I watched the Disney film John Carter (of Mars). They spent a fortune making it, and it's uneven and it got terrible reviews, and even the science fiction community panned it. But it's got a lot going for it and it's surprisingly faithful to the original paper version. The ideas and the concept and the imagined technology and invented world were written in a time when airplanes were flimsy canvas kites with a lawnmower engine on it and, except in the big cities, no-one had electric lights and hardly anyone even had a phone, much less a radio. I don't understand why science fiction readers didn't go for this film in a big way, but I can see how people unfamiliar with the background might see it and think, oh, another boring superhero movie, and the main character is flawed, damaged -- he's not playing a charismatic character, he's just the proverbial ordinary man in an extraordinary situation -- but he rises to the occasion and you can see why Dejah Thoris and the others would pin their hopes to him. (Dejah Thoris is completely magnificent. I think they had to have her stand in a hole next to the John Carter actor; I think she's actually taller than he is.) Also Woola, the six-legged Martian lizard-bulldog thing. And other CGI people: Tars Tarkas, Sola, etc. I like them. I like it. The villains are unassailably powerful because of their nearly magical jewelry that lets them blast people and things with blue energy and shapeshift to look like anybody they want to and control people at a distance, but they're jaded and lazy in their plots and evil, having never been crossed before, so it's an acceptable fight, it's not hopeless.

— Marco McClean

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by Dave Zirin

Donald Trump has always viewed sports as central to his authoritarian political project. His attacks on Colin Kaepernick and LeBron James, his call to fire players for protesting police violence, and his bragging that he “saved” college football from those concerned that the sport would lead to super-spreading the coronavirus (it did) are all examples of the ways he has used our games as his own poisonous platform.

Trump has also delighted in the sycophancy of athletes, coaches, and franchise owners who are willing to bend the knee before him and pledge their allegiance. Yet there is no category of sportsman more appealing to Trump than the ones that mirror his own toxic masculinity. He has no regard for women’s sports at all. He loves the Ultimate Fighting Championship and their fake, macho tough guy president Dana White. He preens with joy when hearing that golfers like Tiger Woods or Jack Nicklaus show him affection. Trump is not a lover of sports. He is a lover of a noxious goulash of alpha male horseshit that represents the worst of sports.

No one exemplifies this quite like Bill Belichick. The New England Patriots coach with the six Super Bowl rings, a demeanor that redefines gruff, and a belief that his own workers should have “no days off” is everything Trump loves: a winner who loves him back. In 2016, the night before the election, Trump read a letter written to him by Belichick effusive in its praise. It included the lines, “You have dealt with an unbelievable slanted and negative media, and have come out beautifully – beautifully. You’ve proved to be the ultimate competitor and fighter. Your leadership is amazing. I have always had tremendous respect for you, but the toughness and perseverance you have displayed over the past year is remarkable. Hopefully tomorrow’s election results will give the opportunity to make America great again.”

That’s why it came as no surprise in the aftermath of the fascist riot on Capitol Hill when it was announced that Trump would bestowing of the Presidential Medal of Freedom later this week upon Bill Belichick. And that’s also why it came as an even greater surprise when Belichick turned it down. Here is the at times tortured, at times sincere, statement that Belichick released, announcing his refusal:

“Recently I was offered the opportunity to receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom, which I was flattered by out of respect for what the honor represents and admiration for prior recipients. Subsequently, the tragic events of last week occurred and the decision has been made not to move forward with the award. Above all, I am an American citizen with great reverence for our nation’s values, freedom and democracy. I know I also represent my family and the New England Patriots team. One of the most rewarding things in my professional career took place in 2020 when, through the great leadership within our team, conversations about social justice, equality and human rights moved to the forefront and became actions. Continuing those efforts while remaining true to the people, team and country I love outweigh the benefits of any individual award.”

Before anyone gives Belichick a cookie, we should be clear that if he had accepted this award, it would have been a scar on his reputation; an indelible mark that no number of Super Bowl rings would have been able to cover up. To be used as a prop by this President while Capitol Hill police officers were still having their funerals planned was beyond the pale, even for Belichick. In addition, it is difficult to imagine any “social justice” initiative taken up by the Patriots to ever be taken seriously by anyone again.

Then there is the issue of the Patriots players themselves. Belichick depends upon his mystique as a “leader of men.” If players don’t want to come to New England, then Belichick’s plan of rebuilding and proving that he can win without former quarterback Tom Brady goes by the wayside. And imagine if current players took to social media to express their disgust or disdain. His mystique would quickly become a depreciating asset.

Make no mistake, Belichick did the right thing. Whether he did it for the wrong reasons is something worth pondering, especially as Trump allies begin disembark from his sinking, rat infested ship. Trump’s presidency is coming to an end. His exploitation of sports has now been mortally wounded as well, and by someone he assumed would never brandish the blade.

* * *

“This is not who we are.”

* * *


IF MEN were to see the state of the world as We, the Masters, see, they would be amazed, dumbfounded and afraid, all at the same time. So far from the reality is man’s view of conditions on Earth, and so lacking in judgment is he about future possibilities, that, without help, man would watch his planetary home languish and die. As it is, planet Earth is in a sad and perilous condition while each day brings it nearer to the critical. Many voices have sounded warnings on global warming, and many views have been expressed, but even the most dire prophecy falls short of the calamity facing the world today. 

— “The Master” (Share International magazine, June 2006)

* * *


Sobering new report says world is failing to grasp the extent of threats posed by biodiversity loss and the climate crisis.

* * *

* * *


by Jonah Raskin

On January 6, 2021, my housemate took a break from watching TV and told me “There’s a revolution in the nation’s capital.” I knew not to trust her words. She’s 85, has memory loss and also suffers from dementia. Some of the pundits who called the dramatic events in Washington, D.C. that day “a coup” could not be excused for lapses in judgement on the grounds of dementia. Other pundits have been so angry that they’re eager to tar and feather the demonstrators as wanna-be “coupists,” if there is such a word.

Spoken word artist, Gil Scot-Heron, famously observed, “the revolution will not be televised.” In Washington D.C. on January 6, the uncouth uncoup was televised. We got to see the faces and the costumes of the rioters. We saw right-wing Americans in action.

Language matters greatly to me. I like to be precise about the words I use, though at times I’ve wanted to show off my verbal pyrotechnical skills and have exaggerated and embellished. The word “coup” doesn’t seem to accurately fit the events of January 6, 2021. To learn more, I emailed my Chilean pal, Cristobal Dahm in Santiago and asked him what he thought. He knows about coups in his own country and elsewhere. Cristobal emailed back, “It wasn’t a coup attempt.” He added that in Latin America coups have usually been engineered “via military forces of a country.”

The U.S. military did not intervene on January 6. Surprisingly, nor did the police until after the protesters were inside the capitol. Some have suggested collusion between cops and the rioters. That’s possible, but we will have to wait and see what’s revealed.

Professor Eric Foner reminded me that “two strands of the American experience” were apparent on January 6, 2021. One was the pro-Trump rioters who aimed to prevent the counting of electoral votes for U.S. president. The other was the fact that in Georgia, a state with a long history of racism, anti-Semitism and lynching, an African American and a Jew were elected to the U.S. senate.

Foner also pointed out that there’s a history of bloody coups in the U.S. In fact, in Louisiana in 1873 armed whites murdered scores of Blacks who belonged to a militia and also deposed the legally elected Black officials. In North Carolina in 1898 armed whites ousted members of the biracial local government. If the past is a guide, it seems likely that there will be more armed whites who will aim to overturn democracy, suppress the vote and create a white supremacist state.

Cristobal spoke directly to this last point. “It’s highly possible that incidents like yesterday are going to scale and the white supremacist fascist are going to continue the effort to create chaos, so that they can justify putting military in the streets,” he wrote. He added, “If Trump doesn’t have the support of the military there is not going to be a coup.”

The problem with calling the events of January 6 a coup is that when there is a coup for real and pundits sound the alarm, segments of the population won’t believe them. One ought not to cry wolf when the wolf isn’t actually at the door.

The value of the events of January 6 is this: they surfaced a partially submerged movement, showed what its members are capable of and educated the rest of us. We know in large part more about what we’re up against than we did a short while ago. If it was a coup, the rioters wouldn’t have gone home, peacefully for the most part.

Forty years ago, I took part in an attempted coup in Washington, D.C. Tens of thousands of us showed up in the nation’s capital. Many camped along the Potomac River. Our slogan: “if the government doesn’t stop the war, we’ll stop the government.” We rioted in the streets and overturned vehicles. (I didn’t, but many of my friends did. I had been there and done that, often). Police helicopters dropped teargas on demonstrators. More than 12,000 people were arrested, many of them placed behind a chain-link fence at RFK Stadium. That was closer to a coup than what happened January 6.

(Jonah Raskin is the author of For The Hell of It: The Life and Times of Abbie Hoffman and American Scream: Allen Ginsberg’s ‘Howl’ and the Making of the Beat Generation.)

* * *

* * *


by Ralph Nader

Despite the many crimes Donald Trump regularly committed over four years, it took his blatant incitement of the mob that stormed the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021, to put him on the road to prison. What transpired on Wednesday in the shadows of the Washington Monument was a pure violent street crime that resulted in five fatalities, property smashed and damaged, and many assaults by hundreds of rioters who broke into or were allowed into the Capitol.

The current prosecutor is Acting United States Attorney for the District of Columbia, Michael R. Sherwin. USA TODAY reported that Mr. Sherwin said: “‘We’re looking at all actors here and anyone that had a role and, if the evidence fits the elements of the crime, they’re going to be charged,’ Sherwin said these words after he was asked by a reporter if investigators are looking at the role the president played.”

From Day One in 2017, several people foresaw the signs of an emerging sociopath, using violent rhetoric to encourage illegal behavior. It wasn’t only professional psychologists who declared Trump to be severely unstable. Each day he created and disseminated dangerous fantasies. This egomaniacal wannabee monarch could not stop lying in a dangerous manner, making false accusations or delusionally bragging.

Reporters, commentators, litigants, and elected representatives who were documenting Trump’s trail of political and public insanity were overwhelmed by his doubling down on his flailing and wrongdoing in plain sight. But they mostly declined to draw the enforcement conclusions arising from their convictions, further enabling Trump’s use of the power of the bully pulpit to intimidate or threaten his critics.

Remember, Trump, said, “I have an Article II, where I have the right to do whatever I want as president.” He recklessly kept doing just that. The Republicans supported him and covered for him, while the Democrats huffed and puffed in place. The Democrats refused to file eleven well-documented articles of impeachment and instead only went with the Ukraine matter. (See: December 18, 2019, Congressional Record, H-12197)

Meanwhile, in dozens of ways, Trump emboldened the most extreme of his supporters. Recall his outcry “liberate Wisconsin.” Trump’s support for the armed invasion of the Michigan state capitol with impunity, and his many signals, and inactions showed the white supremacists in the streets that the President and William Barr’s Justice Department would overlook hateful racist mischief and mayhem. He even encouraged one of these groups by repeating their militant mantra verbatim.

Published warnings about Trump’s interest in insurrection were largely unheeded by the mass media and even by the independent progressive media. They were too satisfied with reporting on his outrageous behavior and tweets, and too pleased with how easy a subject Trump was for derision. We and others would invoke specific criminal statutes he violated frequently, such as the Hatch Act (using federal property and personnel for political campaign objectives) or the Anti-Deficiency Acts (spending much money strictly not appropriated by Congress) and other grave flouting of statutory and regulatory, mandates, scores of congressional subpoenas and major constitutional provisions. The news media did not regard Trump’s deep lawlessness as worthy of much reporting or editorializing. The excuse was “Trump is just being Trump.” Both the media and members of Congress, without paying attention to legal penalties, allowed Trump to keep pushing the envelope on lawbreaking until his invasion of the very Congress that let him get away with so much. It took lawmakers scrambling for their lives through Congressional tunnels to wake them up beyond their rhetoric or perfidy. There are severe consequences for ignoring the law’s non-enforcement and when the media and elected officials become too jaded to challenge a president who doesn’t respect the rule of law or constitutional restraints.

This assault may not be Trump’s last act before January 20th. For sure he will increase the presidential pardons for his friends, family, and quite possibly the rioters and himself. Nobody knows what this “Mad Dog” Trump will try to do on his way out. However, it is reassuring that neither the courts nor the military have met his expectations of supporting and shielding him from his adversaries. These two institutions affirmatively refused to sanction dictatorial rule.

The mounting calls for Trump’s resignation, or prosecution, or removal by impeachment conviction or the exercise of the 25th Amendment are coming from all sides – Democrats, Republicans, bi-partisan declarations of retired military and civilian officials from past Administrations, and even business groups such as the National Association of Manufacturers. Their immediate urging would be to stop further mayhem and upheavals by a cornered, rampaging commander-in-chief who knows that, in one of his favorite phrases, “this is our last chance.”

Maybe merely advancing these acts of enforcement and evictions, rooted in our constitution and law, will be a deterrence and persuade Trump to quietly go right away to Mar-a-Largo, as suggested Tuesday on NPR by Jeh Johnson, former Secretary of Homeland Security.

That kind of finale has not been his MO, whether as a failed gambling czar, choosing corporate bankruptcy as an exit strategy, or as a president who doesn’t show remorse, admit mistakes, or that he ever “did anything wrong.”

If there is anything Trump dislikes more than being a loser (the election), it is being a two-time loser. Perhaps he will back down, play the victim again, and with the help of a stable of defense attorneys, hope that he can wear a pin-striped suit instead of an orange jumpsuit while wistfully watching Fox News behind bars.


  1. Marco McClean January 14, 2021

    Correction about /Radio Days/: It was Dianne Wiest, not Mia Farrow, out on the comic-terrible beer-and-oysters date during the Martian invasion. Sorry.

    But while I’m here: Jeff Daniels was also in /Radio Days/. I’d seen /Looper/ again, last week, and the contrast between Jeff Daniels in /Radio Days/ and Jeff Daniels in /Looper/ is profound. You’ll never see a hammer in a toolbox again without flinching, let alone a hammer on a legitimate businessman’s desk.

  2. Judy January 14, 2021

    First, let me say:
    In my opinion what happened at our Capitol building was a disgrace and an embarrassment. I also believe all involved should be arrested and punished to the fullest extent the law allows. I believe the same should apply to those rioters who burned and vandalized private property and caused the deaths of individuals during the earlier riots this year.
    I also believe that soon to be former President Trump was instrumental in creating the situation with his hate filled name calling speeches. (adding fuel to the fire)
    I also believe each and every person involved in the destruction of Government property/private property and the deaths within the Capitol or elsewhere should be held to answer for their actions.
    I also believe the always divisive Scott Menzies is at it again. In my opinion, he is taking a situation that should be bringing people together and using it to cause more division in our City and County. It is his and his follower’s right to express their opinions. I will support them in their freedom to speak out and be heard.
    Our local elected officials are representatives of all the people. Even those people who don’t believe as Mr. Menzies and his followers believe. Our elected officials are seated to look after the health and welfare of our City/County. Like it or not: They are not there to “condemn and denounce” any political party, because Mr. Menzies is demanding they do so. Being prepared and equipped to handle any unrest in our City and County is and should be very high on the list of priorities of local Government. I find it odd when the Police Department announced they had added helmets and shields to their inventory of available gear it was these very same people speaking out and condemning them for it.
    Mr. Menzies wants to open inquiries to any Mendocino law enforcement, government employees, and elected officials who “express support” for the insurrectionists on their extremist views and assess whether they are fit to fulfill their duties. Again, these people who we may agree or disagree with have the same right to “express themselves” as you or me as long as they are not doing so at public meetings while sitting in the seat of their elected position. After all they are citizens and currently have the right to their opinion and their right to express that opinion.
    It is also my opinion Mr. Menzies is using this format for his own agenda.
    I would suggest that people write to their State and Federal representatives and make your point and be heard loud and clear. Everyone and anyone can do that without someone “demanding” you do it.
    Causing division is not a solution to any problem. We have seen that over and over again. This petition in my opinion is further proof that division is the goal.
    My guess is, Mr. Menzies has probably applied for the vacant seat on Fort Bragg City Council and sees this as a stepping stone to fill that seat that he couldn’t win during an election.

    • Elizabeth January 14, 2021

      Totally agree.

  3. Deborah Silva January 14, 2021

    Re: More Good Advice, about the stimulus payment being issued as a debit card. I almost threw mine away thinking it was a credit card offer! I believe they are doling the money out with a debit card because they can track where you’ve spent your money that way. I’ve put mine in the bank so I wouldn’t have my purchases tracked.

  4. Marmon January 14, 2021


    Trump was not our leader, he was our mouthpiece, our Trumpet.

    Good luck and God Bless you.


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