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Mendocino County Today: Saturday, Feb. 27, 2021

Breezy | 4 New Cases | Ag/Logging Vaccinations | Bluff Painting | Flashcinations | Yorkville Sandwiches | Hoophouse | Quarantine Challenges | William Poage | Boonville Forestry | McCowen Rumor | Country Road | Bad Actors | Big Saw | Gun Currency | Wakeup Call | Ed Notes | Bus Bridge | Streetscape Update | Noyo Pier | Pomo Challenge | Yesterday's Catch | That Day | Snorkled | Potatx Head | Tiny House | Testing Guidance | Founding Fathers | To Be | Healthcare Costs | Shawdowland | Mother Africa | Marco Radio | Waxy Cap

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LIGHT SHOWERS will occur over portions of Del Norte and Humboldt counties through this morning. In addition, periods of gusty north winds may develop across exposed ridges and coastal areas through tonight. Otherwise, dry weather is expected on Sunday, followed by light rainfall on Monday. Additional rainfall will be possible late next week. (NWS)

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4 NEW COVID CASES reported for Mendocino County yesterday.

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Dr. Andrew Coren, Mendocino County Public Health Officer announced today that all logging industry personnel are now included in the current Agricultural Workers vaccination tier, making them immediately eligible for vaccination as vaccine events become available.

“We are hoping that all the farmers, ranchers and food producers of Mendocino County will take advantage of the upcoming vaccine events,” notes Darcie Antle, Mendocino County Vaccine Coordinator.

Additionally, a posting on Mendocino County’s Facebook page mistakenly included “Lodging” personnel as part of the current vaccination group.

“We would like to clarify that this group was erroneously included with the individuals currently eligible for vaccination,” says Dr. Coren.

“If there are lodging personnel who are directly involved in the preparation of food and/or food services, those persons are eligible for vaccinations now,” he continues.

Dates and times for vaccination events are being posted as soon as they are scheduled on the county’s website. In the coming week, two “First-Dose” clinics will be held for Phase 1A, Tiers 1 and 2 of Phase 1B, which includes Agricultural, Logging Industry Workers and those over 65 years of age.

The vaccination events are scheduled for Monday and Wednesday, March 1st and March 3rd. Both vaccine events are located at the Redwood Empire Fairgrounds in Ukiah.

To sign up for either of these events, please visit or log on at the County's vaccine portal or . Appointments may also be made by calling the Covid-19 Call Center at (707) 472-2663 or (707) 472-2759.

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Deanna Thomas, Philo, Painting on the Coastal Bluffs

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Not sure how vaccinations work in other communities, and they don't all work like this here, but it's not unusual: a supply of vaccines comes with less than a day's notice, sometimes no notice — come and get ’em! A little bit of a stampede ensues. Luckily the tiny police force here in Fort Bragg has figured out a way to respond. One of the strengths of small communities is their ability to pivot on a dime sometimes, like with “flash” vaccination events. Whatever works.

City of Fort Bragg: This morning our Police Department assisted in our fourth vaccine clinic in the last few weeks. The rapid manner in which these vaccine clinics are forced to be planned makes the Police Department uniquely suited to provide immediate traffic control. We are proud to be able to support our healthcare workers during these critical events.

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PULLED PORK SANDWICHES - Saturday 2/27 at the Yorkville Market

Please join us tomorrow, Saturday 2/27 for our weekly cook off here at the Yorkville Market. This week we will be making pulled pork sandwiches with homemade coleslaw. The price is $12.00 per plate.

The Take and Bake this week is cottage pies, but they will not be available until Sunday.

Thank you and see you soon!



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Philo House

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ARMED GUARDS at the Whitmore Lane Covid Isolation facility?

The consent calendar item was entitled: “4s) Approval of Amendment to BOS Agreement No. 20-118 with American Guard Services, Inc. in the Amount of $200,000 for a New Total of $374,720 to Provide Armed Security Guard Services for Persons Placed in Quarantine Due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, Effective Upon Full Execution of Amendment through August 1, 2021.”

No armed guards, said County administration Tuesday (although they may be paying for higher cost armed guards). The contract for security guards at the County’s recently purchased ($2.2 million) “surge capacity” quarantine-isolation facility on Whitmore Lane just outside the Ukiah city limits says that the 24/7 guard(s) “shall be armed; to include a firearm, chemical spray and impact weapon.”

However, Social Services Manager and Pandemic Coordinator Bekkie Emery told the Supes last Tuesday that the guard is not armed, but does have pepper spray and a taser, and presumably a communications device. 

The guard is supposed to keep quarantined people in their rooms and keep others out and log everything minute by minute. Emery said that so far 94 people have been quarantined at the facility for one reason or another, including recently released inmates, homeless people and others with no place to isolate for up to two weeks because they either have covid or might have it. If someone makes a run for it, the guard is supposed to call law enforcement to return the person before he or she ignites a mini-pandemic. If anybody had been forcefully confined to Whitmore or escaped it was not mentioned in the always nicey-nice context of Mendo business.

The Whitmore Lane facility was purchased last summer from a pair of Pakistani Modesto-based medicos after an initial lease period for just over $2.2 million which seemed suspiciously low, considering that there are 76 bedrooms plus supporting rooms.

(Compare that with the four-room Crisis Residential Treatment facility being built on Orchard Street for $5 million.

Part of the reason for the low price tag may have been that the roof is in bad shape.

From last week’s CEO Report:

”Emergency Projects — On February 14, 2021, additional water damages [our emphasis, we hadn’t heard of the initial water damage] were reported at the County's Whitmore Lane facility. This significant water damage/intrusion was located in a different area as was previously remediated. Facilities staff have been working with an Architect to perform an in depth observation and review of the facility. However, due to the extent of the damage, and despite the work performed to try to mitigate the roof leaking, the roof/mechanical equipment replacement project was declared an emergency so that work could begin as quickly as possible. Additional information will be presented to the Board of Supervisors during the Mid-Year Budget report, including project creation and funding estimates.”

Exactly what the water damage entailed wasn’t mentioned nor was an assessment of whether there was more damage to come or as yet unidentified.

The Whitmore Lane facility, a former medical rehab stalag, is one of five new buildings being added to the County’s facilities roster. Using ill-defined funding sources, the County, which is you and me brothers and sisters, also bought the Best Western Inn on Orchard Avenue for conversion to homeless housing. The County is also in the process of constructing the $5 million Crisis Residential Treatment Center on Orchard Avenue in Ukiah. In addition, plans are being made to buy two more motels for additional homeless housing using pandemic/emergency funding.

The accounting and budgeting for all of this, including maintenance, staffing, management, etc. is far from transparent and has never been itemized, nor has the reduction in property taxes and the loss of bed taxes. We’re supposed to believe that somebody’s keeping track of these expenses and revenue decreases and that some glorious day it may be covered by federal and state reimbursements.

The Supervisors have yet to receive a financial plan for the much less complicated Measure B facilities and services. But nobody’s even asked for an accounting of the much more complicated homeless facilities and services and how they’re going to somehow avoid being a significant hit to the General Fund.

All the CEO has said so far is, “Additional information will be presented to the Board of Supervisors during the Mid-Year Budget report, including project creation and funding estimates.” 

The mid-year Budget Report is probably going to appear in March, but with the usual ridiculous time-delay it will only cover through December 2020. As usual, the CEO keeps the Supervisors and the public in the dark — until it’s late or after the fact, leaving the Supes in their usual position of having to rubberstamp whatever the CEO has spent the money on or covering whatever funding gaps may have accumulated with whatever “found money” or reserves or PG&E settlement money that the Auditor seems to magically find every June. 

Meanwhile CEO Angelo has announced that she “intends to depart the CEO position in the Fall of 2022” when her current four year contract expires.

Whoever replaces her, er, picks up the admin pieces, whether it’s as Chief Executive Officer or a reduced position of some kind, the new board will inherit a lot of expensive plates spinning in the air and will have a lot of accumulated, unestimated costs and revenue shortfalls to deal with.

(Mark Scaramella)

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(Mendocino County District Attorney History Series Part II. Compiled by DA Dave Eyster)

UKIAH - At the end of the 19th century WILLIAM GUSTAVUS "W. G." POAGE (-1953) started his service as Mendocino County's 14th elected District Attorney. 

DA Poage

The terms in office at that time were two years and Poage served two terms (1899-1900, and 1901-1902). 

Poague’s biographical sketch is taken from the “HISTORY OF THE BENCH AND BAR OF CALIFORNIA: Being Biographies of Many Remarkable Men, a Store of Humorous and Pathetic Recollections, Accounts of Important Legislation and Extraordinary Cases, Comprehending the Judicial History of the State.” The book was edited by Oscar Tully Shuck. Los Angeles: The Commercial Printing House, 1152 pp. [1901], page 1062:

“W. G. Poage, District Attorney of Mendocino County, was born in Bates County, Missouri, March 21, 1869. 

His father, S. C. [Simeon Crow] Poage, who was also a lawyer, was a Confederate soldier, having enlisted as a boy of sixteen, and served during the four years of the Civil War. He was twice wounded and for some time a prisoner in a Northern prison during the latter part of the war. 

When the great conflict was over [the father] returned to Missouri and commenced the study of law. In 1870 he was admitted to the bar and began practice in Butler, the capital of the county. 

In 1876 [the father] came to California and practiced for several years in Fresno, and then in San Luis Obispo, then going to Idaho, where he remained three years. He was elected a member of the upper house of the Territorial legislature and went to Boise City and took a prominent part in the deliberations of that body. 

[The father] returned to California to find better educational facilities for his children. In 1884 he located in Ukiah and there followed his profession until the time of his death in 1894. He was for several years city attorney of Ukiah and was regarded as one of the best-informed men at the bar.

His son, the subject of this sketch, was educated in the public schools of California, and by his own efforts in private, and at the age of nineteen became a teacher at a district school in Mendocino county. He taught in various places until in 1891, when he entered the State University with the class of ’95. 

He remained here two years taking a course in History and Political Science, and after reading law in his father’s office, and a year’s study at Hastings College of Law, he was admitted to practice in the Supreme Court in January 1894. 

In February following he was appointed city attorney of Ukiah. From the start he enjoyed a lucrative practice. 

In 1898 he was nominated by the Democratic party for district attorney, and after a warmly contested campaign during which he spoke from the stump in every precinct in the county, he was elected by a majority of 565 votes. 

On March 21st, 1899, on his 30th birthday Mr. Poage was married to Miss Ella Laughlin, then one of the teachers at the Ukiah public school. He has a pleasant home in the suburbs of Ukiah. Mr. Poage is also interested in fruit culture and has one of the prettiest prune orchards in the valley situated near his home.”

[According to Mrs. Poage’s obituary, published in the Sacramento Bee on Monday, September 9, 1940, Mr., and Mrs. Poage were living by that late date in Princeton in Colusa County. Mrs. Poage's obituary refers to her husband as a “prune grower and a director of the California Prune and Apricot Growers Association.” Their three daughters were listed as: “Mrs. Frances Harding, Sacramento schoolteacher; Mrs. Russell Carter of Seattle and Mrs. Crede McArthur of Delano.”]

W. G. Poage and his wife [1872-1940] were laid to rest in the Colusa Community Cemetery in the town and county of Colusa. W. G. was born in Missouri and passed away in Sutter County on December 11, 1953.

Finally, W. G.'s parents, Simeon Crow Poage [1845-1894] and Amanda (Brockman) Poage [1845-1922], are both buried in the Russian River Cemetery in Ukiah.

Additional historical information regarding the Office of the Mendocino County District Attorney can be viewed at

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Boonville Forestry Station, 1960s

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A READER WRITES: I have it from a credible source that the reason why former 2nd District Supervisor John McCowen will not return his county-issued electronics -- cell phone, tablet, and laptop -- is because there are records of texts, emails, and records of calls that would implicate McCowen in a crime. McCowen may be able to erase digital evidence from the electronic devices themselves, but McCowen may not know how to erase documents and data from the cloud. In any case case, wiping your devices in connection with a crime -- even a remote wipe -- is regarded as destroying evidence, which is a felony offense. 

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John Haschak and I have been actively engaged in fixing the failed cannabis cultivation program. We both believe in ending the stigma and facilitating a responsible, regulated cannabis agricultural industry. Part of the existing state regulation places restrictions on water. Water hauling can only be performed by a licensed water hauler and the cultivator is responsible for maintaining a log of deliveries over the trailing five year period. I’m receiving too many complaints about unlicensed water haulers, water trucks filling at creeks and even water trucks without plates. This type of activity is not part of a responsible industry, is environmentally destructive and creates a nuisance for residential communities. Unauthorized drafting and hauling water is subject to prosecution and fines by the State Water Board and the Department of Fish & Wildlife, but more than that, it’s a slap in the face to the folks who have come out of the shadow of prohibition to engage above board. Bad actors cast a shadow of doubt over legitimate farms. John and I will be taking a closer look and engaging with impacted communities.

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Logger On Nash Mill Road, Philo

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Guns in Covelo are basically drug currency. Sure there may be some people who actually properly own their registered legal weapons. But the gross population of the tweaker meth slinging heroin smoking crew that live there are swapping their steel all the time. The solid normal people are tired of it, get sick and tired of complaining cuz nothing comes of it, and you’re made a Target by all of the Dismal jerks in the valley. Constant rip offs of unregistered weapons and every time some other idiot goes over to a house all the guns get taken by the next person and they shift over to a house two properties down. If they went door-to-door and did registration checks in Covelo they would need a dump truck for all the weapons. Meanwhile everybody’s on housing, federal programs, food stamps, getting all the assistance they can. Get to lay around all day not being responsible. If you had to hustle to get housing, keep a roof over your head, or food on your table you wouldn’t have so much time to use drugs, party 24/7 and shoot up the valley all night. It is a huge issue and it’s way bigger than this article can express.

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RANDOM BLIPS across a dimming mind screen. Asked to describe the man he was calling to complain about, the caller explained, “A douchebag kinda guy, a lame ass dude.” I asked him to be a little more specific. “Tall, dumb looking.” I said I got the picture.

DOGNAPPING. No surprise with the economy being as it is that street crime is on the upswing, and if a purebred dog can be converted to instant cash, you better keep Rover on a short leash. On the one hand it's hard to feel a whole lotta sympathy for Lady GaGa, on the other, it's awfully cruel to steal a pet, even hers. People who don't have the time or inclination to walk their own dogs probably shouldn't have a dog, on the other hand, I suppose a big time celeb like GaGa can't walk her own dog any time day or night without being mobbed. Who would shoot the poor shlub walking those dogs? Lots of people, like the four dawgs who stole that same French bulldog breed from a young woman walking one on Russian Hill in SF in the broad light of late afternoon. Two heroes held her while a third punched her in the face until she let go of her leash. The fourth drove the getaway car.

I MET a meta-dog walker in San Francisco I'd see mornings when I shuffled aerobically through the Mountain Lake neighborhood and on up the hill to gaze at the Golden Gate, the best walk in the whole wide world from a purely aesthetic perspective. He looked like ZZ Top, a big, friendly non-douchebag type of guy. He told me he walked about fifty dogs in batches of ten to a dozen every day, including Sundays, and made around $80 grand a year doing it. “In real life I'm a musician,” he said, which is a very NorCal thing to say for sure.

OFFICER KEVIN MURRAY, fired by the Ukiah Police Department, has elicited a lot of jubilant comment on a couple of local websites, mostly of the "This is what cops do" variety. These bad cop assumptions are buttressed with unverifiable episodes of cops behaving badly, with nary a context that includes the writer's end of the interface. The cop bashers don't bother to square the fact that Murray was summarily fired by the Ukiah PD prior to even being arraigned on the first set of charges against him, but his firing puts the lie to the claim that police departments in this area don't take officer misconduct seriously. 

HEADLINE over a Chron story Friday morning: “The Big Sur we all dream about: Why some residents are delighted that Highway 1 collapsed.” I was absolutely delighted years ago when a section of Anderson Valley Way collapsed near the elementary school, forcing through traffic onto Highway 128, diverting it from speeding past my then-driveway as it did at all hours. My late neighbor, Mike Langley, and I spent a few late-night hours trying to divert the powerfully turbulent stream to ensure that more of the roadway would collapse, envisioning a permanently detoured street and the freedom from vehicular menace a permanently collapsed road would give us. Not to be. It took a while, but the County did the repairs, and the flood-inducing rains seemed to have since disappeared. The first days of Covid house arrest last year were heavenly in the way everything seemed to stop for an interim of rare peace, but of course objectively hellish for the millions of people whose lives have been made nearly unbearable.


…starting next week, we’re going to have a column that’s printed solely in Spanish.

After all, Fort Bragg and the surrounding area along the coast is more than one-third Latinx. It’s frankly irresponsible of a community newspaper to ignore such a large part of the community. Out of the hundreds of inches in the paper every month, we are very excited to devote a few dozen inches of column space to this endeavor.

The new column will be written just once monthly by various members of the Latino Coalition of the Mendocino Coast, and we would like to thank them publicly for their willingness to work with the paper on this special project. We’re all very excited about this opportunity and the information we can bring forward to the Latinx community of the coast. In the future, we may be able to make it a weekly column, but we’re starting slow.

The new column will focus on news of importance to the Latinx community, such as the services the Coalition offers, features on scholarship graduates, information on English language courses and local citizenship courses — and much, much more.

And, for those of us who are not Spanish-speakers, the English language version will be available online.

We expect, that for some, the sudden appearance of a Spanish-language column in the town’s nearly-150-year-old newspaper will be jarring. We expect to hear some complaints.

We also expect that it won’t stop us.

Put simply, a newspaper’s job is not to appeal to every reader at every time. A newspaper’s job is to bring forth the local news in a clear and understandable way for the community, and we are not doing our job properly if we are ignoring fully one-third of that community by printing every word of the paper in a language they don’t speak.

A community is made all the stronger for its diversity, and we weaken ourselves by enforced homogenization. There is no official language of the United States, and now, no official language of the Advocate-News and The Beacon.

ED NOTE: I hope Ms. Bipoc reports back on how many Spanish-language readers even notice. One measly col of received opinion? What's the point? The Advocate-Beacon ought to pick up something that might actually get read by the immigrant community. I suggest Gustavo Arellano's wonderful, "Ask A Mexican." Everyone would enjoy that one, and learn something.

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The final stages of the underground utility work are underway. This part of the project has been tough, we know, with lots of traffic modifications, noise and mess, trenches and pits in the street, and temporary patches on the concrete and asphalt. The end result of this part of the project isn’t necessarily a beautiful downtown, but it’s just as important. By replacing water, sewer, and electric infrastructure that is up to 50 years old, we’re 1) helping ensure that there will be fewer business interruptions due to plumbing problems, 2) increasing the reliability of utility service, 3) increasing property values, and 4) decreasing the amount of storm water that ends up having to be treated by the wastewater treatment plant. And MORE good news—it won’t have to be redone again in our lifetimes! 

Construction Overview 

Wahlund Construction (Clay – Mill): 

Saturday, February 27: Work Cancelled--A prior email and the construction flyer indicated that work would occur on Saturday. Crews worked through Friday and got ahead of schedule, so this will no longer be necessary.

Saturday-Monday: The 100 blocks of East and West Mill will be closed to through traffic; State Street will be fully open. 

Monday-Tuesday: Electric undergrounding on the east side of State Street between Clay and Mill Streets; State will will be fully open.

Wednesday-Friday: Sewer work on West Clay Street between State and School Streets. Access to driveways on this block may be restricted at times. Businesses and their guests may use the Civic Center parking lot during these times. 

Construction hours: 7am – 5pm 

Looking ahead one-two weeks—businesses/residents will be contacted individually by the construction team regarding the electric changeover, which will result in short power outages. At least 72 hours advance notice will be provided. 

Ghilotti Construction (Perkins – Clay; plus possible work on North State): 

March 1-5th: Continued work on the east side of State Street between Perkins and Mill Streets, including demolition of existing sidewalks to Mill Street, excavating, and beginning to form new curbs and gutters. 

East Stephensen Street will be closed to through traffic for the next few weeks – Community Care and The Maple will have access to their parking lots from Main Street. 

East Church will be closed intermittently during this phase. 

Construction hours: 7am – 5pm 

North State Street between Perkins and Henry: Contractors will likely be working on North State Street installing the decorative brick band on the outside of the sidewalks, as well as installing liners and filling with planting soil the tree wells and bioswales (triangular-shaped areas at the intersections, designed to be filled with landscaping and to filter storm water. 

State Street between Perkins and Mill Streets: Contractors will be removing streetlights along the west side of State Street between Perkins and Mill Streets in preparation for the installation of new ones. Lights on the east side will remain up and operational. This work involves some noise (like jack-hammering) when the base of these lights is being dug out.

Have a great weekend!

Shannon Riley, Deputy City Manager, City of Ukiah, (707) 467-5793

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Noyo Pier

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It's a mystery to me since the advent of Native American casinos that there was a sect or cult called Pomo at one time that ruled all of Northern California. After living 70 years mostly on the Mendocino Coast with my Crow and Yuki native ancestry stretching a few more centuries back it is very odd I've never heard of a Pomo war chief or any famous Pomo chief from the Mendocino Coast. I never read in recorded California history about any battles or wars between the US Cavalry versus Pomo nation. My documented genealogy dates back at least 200 years from both the Kibahsellah-Shelter Cove areas of the Northern Mendocino Coast south to the Cuffy’s Cove-Gualala area. Nowhere in written or verbal family history (handed down by elders) has my family or other tribal members heard of these Pomos being indigenous to the Mendocino Coast.

Maybe many people are so starved today that they would sell their own dignity claiming to be a basket weaving Pomo to collect a free casino check. Most of these people have never worked a day in their lives. I was raised in a free Crow Yuki working man's world and get by half the year since retirement residing and gambling in Nevada. One of my daughters was born in Nevada and at age 18 was given a little grocery market of her own by our rich cowboy uncle who helped raise her. He had discovered gold in a creek on his small ranch in the Sierras and being a sharp gambler (and tightlipped) he parlayed that into millions. My daughter is now 28 and has bought and opened two nightclubs in the thriving Nevada area. She probably is a millionairess already and being over half native (mostly Crow) she doesn't allow gambling in her “joints” like her wannabe Pomo mom. She doesn't sing the California Casino blues. Three more of my girls live in Montana. One is partners with Clint Eastwood in a restaurant (yes, Clint is a restauranteur freak), the other is chauffeur-bodyguard to a Supreme Court of Montana Justice (my niece) and one is a lawyer in Great Falls.

Me and mine don't need to pretend to be anything to get by. All my kids were born in Nevada or on the Mendocino Coast and our native blood is Crow-Yuki. I would just hope in the future that people quit saying Pomo discovered Northern California. It's just not true. For you Pomo casino managers, you can say what you want in lost dignity but please leave the real Mendocino coast natives out of your charade.


David Giusti, Youngcault clan of River Crow

Mendocino County Jail, Ukiah

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CATCH OF THE DAY, February 26, 2021

Bermudez, Brown, Carrillo


YOLANDA BROWN, Santa Rosa/Ukiah. Probation revocation.

JAVIER CARRILLO-LOPEZ, Ukiah. Failure to appear.

Chim, Flores, Galarza

NATHANIEL CHIM, Fort Bragg. Under influence.

JUAN FLORES, Covelo. Stolen property, loaded handgun not registered owner.

CAIN GALARZA, Ukiah. Attempted burglary, stolen vehicle, conspiracy.

Graham, Huerta, Morales

CULLEN GRAHAM, Fort Bragg. Disobeying court order, failure to appear.

JOSE HUERTA, Willows/Ukiah. Vehicle theft, stolen vehicle, evasion, failure to appear.

ISABELLA MORALES, Ukiah. Attempted burglary, taking vehicle without owner’s consent, obstruction of justice.

Nielsen, Williamson, Yarger

MARK NIELSEN, Nice/Ukiah. Stolen vehicle, controlled substance, paraphernalia, suspended license, probation revocation.

JUSTIN WILLIAMSON, Fort Bragg. Burglary, trespassing.

STANLEY YARGER, Ukiah. Pot for sale, ammo possession by prohibited person, felon-addict with firearm.

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by Lawrence Ferlinghetti

In Golden Gate Park that day
               a man and his wife were coming along  
      thru the enormous meadow
               which was the meadow of the world  
 He was wearing green suspenders
                and carrying an old beat-up flute
                                     in one hand  
    while his wife had a bunch of grapes
                  which she kept handing out
                            to various squirrels
                                       as if each  
                                were a little joke
 And then the two of them came on
                         thru the enormous meadow  
 which was the meadow of the world
                          and then
       at a very still spot where the trees dreamed
      and seemed to have been waiting thru all time
                                       for them  
        they sat down together on the grass
                        without looking at each other  
         and ate oranges
                   without looking at each other
                               and put the peels  
        in a basket which they seemed
                     to have brought for that purpose  
          without looking at each other
 And then
          he took his shirt and undershirt off  
     but kept his hat on
                         and without saying anything  
        fell asleep under it
                       And his wife just sat there looking  
 at the birds which flew about
   calling to each other
               in the stilly air
    as if they were questioning existence
           or trying to recall something forgotten
 But then finally
           she too lay down flat
                         and just lay there looking up  
                                         at nothing  
             yet fingering the old flute
                                 which nobody played
               and finally looking over
                                 at him
          without any particular expression
                                 except a certain awful look  
             of terrible depression

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Toy giant Hasbro has announced that Mr. Potato Head will become gender neutral ‘Potato Head’ in order to encourage kids to create “same sex families.” 

The change will help children “create same-sex families or single-parent families” as Hasbro seeks to lean away from representing the “traditional family structure.” 

“Culture has evolved,” said Kimberly Boyd, an SVP and GM at Hasbro. 

“Kids want to be able to represent their own experiences. 

“This means the toys don’t impose a fixed notion of gender identity or expression, freeing kids to do whatever feels most natural to them: A girl potato might want to wear pants and a boy potato might wear earrings. Hasbro will also sell boxed sets that don’t present a normative family structure. This approach is clever because it allows kids to project their own ideas about gender, sexuality, and family onto the toy, without necessarily offending parents that have more conservative notions about family.” 

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Philo Cabin

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Am I missing something on the more testing “crisis.” We are only supposed to get tested if we show symptoms or think we have been exposed. The number of COVID-19 cases is falling, the number of people who are sick with the normal flu appear to be less this year due to the social distancing protocols. Why would you expect the testing to remain the same when you have fewer sick people and request that only sick people get tested? 

There are fewer sick people so there are fewer people getting testing — seems blatantly obvious. If you want more testing, then you have to test people who are not sick or not exposed to sick people. We want to help our public health officials, but give us some clearer guidance and information on this. Please. 

Charles Kennemore


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STANDING IN THE SUN and chilling wind, waiting for Covid 2 shot the other day, there was this moment: west of the baseball field are tall cypresses, probably planted to be windbreaks, which they are. Cypresses are knocked-out trees. They can look like pokers—so straight—or pretzels, so bent. Depends mostly on the wind. 

They need fire to grow. Their funny little “cones” don’t open unless exposed to intense heat. What doesn’t consume you animates you. 

They are philosophers, cedars and cypresses. Their wood resists rot and moths and smells like sex should, hence cedar chests. Here, their high, oceanside groves are faves for memorials and marriages. 

Standing in the sun and wind, I am predisposed to notice the cedars. These are probably Monterey cypresses—to be that big—and their needles are dark-dark green, just beautiful against the Mendocino-blue sky. 

Wow! It’s enough to make you forget the cold, those dark green, vibrant trees, that unreal sky. “Br-r-r” doesn’t suit. It’s definitely wow.

It sounds like I was a little intoxicated, as if someone had passed around a joint (that would have been nice) or a St. Bernard had shown up with a little barrel of brandy on its collar. I’ve dodged the bullet so many times, and here I am, dodging it again—FUCK YOU, PLAGUE!—with a bunch of likewise neighbors I don’t know but like because they live HERE—and people mostly don’t do that by accident.

And in that moment of—clarity?—the mystery turns clear, like something your chemistry teacher showed you in lab class, a million years ago, where the cloudy fluid or the colored fluid instantly clears or goes colorless when you do X. I have my beakers on.

The Point Of It All is that there is no point, none. Living is the point. Ask the cypresses. This eager, exciting, often-fun series of accidents we call “life” is indeed a fabulous thing. 

Forget dying. That’s the period at the end of a grand sentence (if you make it grand). That’s all dying is: a little dot. Also forget heaven and hell. That, I’m telling you, is rank nonsense, balderdash, poop. It’s not “dust to dust.” That’s a brief intermediary stage. It’s atom to atom. 

The more I imagine it, the more comfortable I am imagining myself as a bunch of atoms out there, drifting around in space for an eternity or two, then joining up with some other atoms, with some other task. Eventually, in the great fullness of time, some of those, of ME, will even be aware of themselves. That’s what life is. And—life or no life—that’s the point of it all, just to be.

(Mitch Clogg)

* * *

* * *


by James Kunstler

The State of the Union speech is a somewhat squishy national ritual. Since Franklin Roosevelt, presidents have delivered it early each year in-person to a joint session of congress, with every other dignitary in government on hand — except for one cabinet officer designated the “lone survivior,” who sits it out elsewhere in case, say, the Capitol gets blown up. Before Woodrow Wilson, presidents customarily sent over a written message. Article II, Section 3, Clause 1 of the constitution only stipulates that a president “from time to time” shall report to Congress on how the nation is doing.

Lately, it’s mostly just a made-for-TV special, like the Oscars, allowing a lot of familiar faces to preen before the cameras for the home-folks. Ronald Reagan introduced the gimmick of showboating heroes or victims of this-and-that seated up in the galleries, which has naturally devolved into a maudlin, cringeworthy feature of the show. But often presidents use the occasion to drop a ripe phrase on the big audience that captures the spirit of the moment: “The era of big government is over” (Bill Clinton); “the axis of evil” (G. W. Bush); FDR’s “four freedoms.” In 2020, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi introduced an instant op-ed closer feature to the proceedings, ripping up Mr. Trump’s speech behind his back in a striking display of pique, much applauded by the avatars of rising Wokesterdom, who had only days earlier seen their half-assed impeachment attempt flop.

Kinda looks like our current president, Joe Biden, will skip the grand show this year. Too busy playing “Mario Kart” with the grandkids, or something like that. The Washington press corps has given him a pass on it, apparently. There’s no chatter, no buzz on the cable channels or in The New York Times, though a few newsies have begun to whine about Mr. Biden’s general unwillingness to hold a routine press conference with freely-pitched questions — not hand-picked, vetted ones, as the president’s handlers have insisted.

How long will it be before the public realizes that Mr. Biden is being strictly concealed from view by his managers? And how long can they keep it up? A few more weeks, maybe, I’d guess. What did they think they were doing when they engineered the election of this empty suit, this blank cartridge, this political mannequin, this man-who-isn’t-there? Of all the hundred-million-odd adults over 35-years-of-age in this country, they picked this empty vessel to lead in a year of obvious crisis?

Apparently so — an act so collectively insane it makes you shudder to think about it. Like, the Democratic Party really thought this was a good idea? And who’s calling the shots behind this false front? Some committee chaired by Susan Rice? With directives coming into the Oval Office by messenger from Barack Obama’s Kalorama fortress, with, say, Eric Holder, Rahm Emmanuel, David Axelrod, John Brennan, and a few others charting the daily play-by-play?

So, you suspect that something weird like that is going on? I sure do. And I also suspect that when the truth comes out, the Democratic Party will have to face some pretty harsh music. Just the other day the public learned that 30 House Democrats are seeking to limit Mr. Biden’s sole authority over the launch codes for our nuclear missile arsenal. That doesn’t sound like a vote of confidence. Does White House Press Secretary look like a cornered animal going about her daily briefings? The ongoing spectacle of the missing head-of-state is inching beyond embarrassing.

And then, what do the people of this country think when it becomes necessary to throw the switch on the 25th Amendment and remove poor Ol’ Joe from office on account of being simply unfit to continue serving? I’ll tell you what they’ll think: that the Democrats knowingly put an unfit man in high office. They’ll understand that they got played, scammed, hustled. They’ll be mighty pissed off. They may seek to learn a bit more about exactly how this happened, especially the sketchy mechanics of the November 3rd vote that put Ol’ Joe in the White House. Even some Democrats may demand answers. Of course, the cruelest scene in this scenario will be the big manufactured hoo-hah celebrating Kamala Harris as the first female president — which in itself may be difficult to pull off, since so many Democrats have declared there’s no such thing as two sexes.

Meanwhile, you better pray for the bond market and, in turn, the equities markets, and, in turn, the whole shootin’ match of the economy (whatever remains of it, that is). Yesterday the benchmark ten-year US Treasury peeked above the dangerous 1.5 percent mark. What this tells you is that world is expecting the dollar to go down substantially and with that, the value of US Bonds, which foreign holders will seek to dump on a market not eager to buy them up, meaning the Federal Reserve will have to step in and buy them, meaning they will have to create a shitload of new dollars out of thin air to do that, which will drive down the purchasing power of each dollar, which will further inflame the world’s urge to dump devaluing US bonds — a vicious feedback that could crash the banking system just as Covid 19 begins fading away to nothing.

Oh, and note: rising interest rates on US Treasuries will force the government to pay much more to service our massive debts. That will negate any of the fiscal ambitions of Kamala Harris’s shadow government — unless the committee running America decides to utterly destroy the US Dollar. The bait-and-switch game playing out in the White House is just an overture to all that.

(Support Kunstler’s writing by visiting his Patreon Page.)

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* * *


Deadline to email your writing for tonight's (Friday night's) MOTA show is a little earlier than usual, around 6pm. After that, send it whenever it's ready, up to 6pm Friday next week, and I'll take care of it then. There's always another time. There's no pressure.

I'll be in KNYO's Franklin Street studio for tonight's show. The phone works great there. If you want to call and read your work in your own voice, the number is (707) 962-3022.

Memo of the Air: Good Night Radio is every Friday, 9pm to 5am on 107.7fm, KNYO-LP Fort Bragg as well as anywhere else via (That's the regular link to hear what's on KNYO in real time, any time.)

And any time of any day or night you can go to and hear last week's MOTA show. By Saturday night the recording of tonight's show will also be there, in the latest post, right on top.

As if that weren't enough, also at there's a warehouse of boxes of visual and auditory metaphorical chocolates you can nibble the corners off until showtime, not to mention between shows, such as:

The Vogon poetry circle.

A playlist of 1970s-through-1990s teevee ads for feminine hygeine products.

And the fabulous Baronton Sisters. Hooray!

Marco McClean,

* * *

Scarlet Waxy Cap (photo by Annie Kalantarian)


  1. Craig Stehr February 27, 2021

    ~In a Nutshell~

    and then, having realized Brahman as the ultimate doer, and the body and mind as its instruments, endeavor to destroy the demonic, and return this world to righteousness.

    Am prepared to leave The Magic Ranch and take enlightened action against the insanity and stupidity in this world which imperils all. If this is your dharma (, please contact me at once. It is time to organize and strike, before the 130 degree summer days arrive. Let me know.

    Craig Louis Stehr
    No phone

    February 26, 2021 A.D.
    Redwood Valley, CA

    • Bruce Anderson February 27, 2021

      What exactly is the Happy Ranch, Craig? Is it anything like the Funny Farm?

      • Craig Stehr February 27, 2021

        Seriously Bruce, you know that social relationships are so complex nowadays, that anything that I might say would miss the point. Besides, I am resting comfortably in my own Svarupa, or “heart chakra”. Everybody else here at The Magic Ranch (which features an ever changing mixture of unique global citizens) is responsible for themselves. I just fry the tofu. ~Om Namah Shivaya~

  2. Kathy February 27, 2021

    Show me on the potato where dropping the gender hurt you

    • Judy February 27, 2021

      Show me on the potato where not dropping the gender hurt you

      • Marmon February 27, 2021

        Potatoes, of course, are tubers—the part of the plant that we eat forms a part of its roots, while above-ground the plant consists of a stem, leaves and flowers. They are self-pollinators, meaning that every individual potato plant possesses both male and female flowers for reproduction.


        • Marmon February 27, 2021

          Hasbro should sell Mr. and Mrs. Potato Heads together and make their body parts interchangeable.


          • Marmon February 27, 2021

            “Hasbro” should also change their company name to something a little more gender neutral, maybe to “Hasno”


          • Harvey Reading February 27, 2021

            You seem a very insecure sort, afraid of anything that ventures beyond the status-quo. I (sort of) pity you.

  3. Kathy Janes February 27, 2021

    Logging or lodging? Could Dr. Coren have made a typo?

    • Marmon February 27, 2021

      Loggers Lives Matter too


  4. Kathy February 27, 2021

    If HASBRO had dropped the Mr./Mrs. from the potato toy, how would we have known which one got paid less for doing the same work?

  5. George Hollister February 27, 2021

    “After living 70 years mostly on the Mendocino Coast with my Crow and Yuki native ancestry stretching a few more centuries back it is very odd I’ve never heard of a Pomo war chief or any famous Pomo chief from the Mendocino Coast.”

    Comptche was named after a Pomo chief. What appears to have happened to the Pomo presence on the Mendocino Coast, like with Indians everywhere Europeans went, was many died or left due to disease. Nigger Nat married a Pomo woman from Elk, and they had children. I personally know one of the descendants of that marriage, and he says his ancestors were Pomo. Another person to ask about the Pomo presence here is Dave Gowan, now living in Oregon.

    • Lazarus February 27, 2021

      I found Mr. Giusti’s letter interesting, but a bit self promoting. But if I was in the slams I might work that angle too.
      Two questions though.
      With all his connections to money, how come he’s in the clink?
      And then there’s, what did he do to get there?
      Be Swell,
      Update, I just search the logs at the jail, nothing…

    • Jeff Fox February 27, 2021

      He wrote a similarly delusional rant a couple of months ago, where he states “they probably fished a lot in Lake Sonoma”. His rants are completely bogus. My mother was married to a Yokayo Pomo, so as a kid I heard firsthand stories from folks that were there at the time, many of whom were born before 1900.

      His letters are obviously the ramblings of a doddering brain that’s been subject to way too many intoxicants.

  6. Harvey Reading February 27, 2021

    “Reality of My Surroundings”


  7. Eric Sunswheat February 27, 2021

    RE: Unauthorized drafting and hauling water is subject to prosecution and fines by the State Water Board and the Department of Fish & Wildlife, but more than that, it’s a slap in the face to the folks who have come out of the shadow of prohibition to engage above board. (Supervisor Williams)

    ->. Stealing any amount of water is a petty theft misdemeanor under Mendocino County Code, which penalizes the guilty party, from paid employment with in home care, including that of the elderly and disabled, is one interpretation of the statute that Sheriff Tom Allman advocated for.

    Transporting any amount of water pipe and water hose, on rural access roads, whether new or to be recycled or to be disposed as trash, subjects the driver to stoppage by Sheriff deputies under Mendocino County Code. The transporting vehicle may be seized until the hauler can prove legal documentation of no crime in progress, is one interpretation of the statute that Sheriff Tom Allman advocated for.

  8. Marmon February 27, 2021


    Not only are positive cases going down but so are the isolation and quarantine numbers. President Trump will go down in history for saving millions and millions of lives all over the world. Getting these vaccines out in about one sixth of the time that it would normally take was due to having a great business mind in charge. Biden would have never cut through regulations and bureaucracy like Trump did. He most likely would have been dogged down by creating a new Agency first, maybe several. Meetings, meetings, meetings.


    • Paul Andersen February 27, 2021

      Too bad about there’s hundreds of thousands of unnecessary deaths in our own country because of a bunch of self-centered fucks who don’t give a shit about the community outside their door. So yeah, thanks for the speedy vaccine, maybe focus more on prevention next time.

      • Marmon February 27, 2021

        Trump should be praised for his actions that eventually created “natural immunity” to go along with vaccines. By doing so experts now believe we are going to reach herd immunity and put an end of this crisis by the end April. He knew that the majority of folks who caught the virus were asymptomatic or only experienced mild symptoms. Had we waited for just the vaccines we would be no where near to where we are today.


        • Paul Andersen February 27, 2021


        • Harvey Reading February 27, 2021

          You are a riot, James. A true believer ’til the bitter end…

        • chuck dunbar February 27, 2021

          He twists and turns to spin the truth–
          It just turns out to be uncouth.

          • Bruce McEwen February 27, 2021

            I say, Chuck, that was really rather quite poetic, I dare say. I was just out taking a leisurely protracted gander at the full moon (along w/ a wee dram o’ grog, on such a chill night), and to come in after such a lovely interlude and read such a beautifully crafted line …well, I just have to say, ah, my good man, that’s really cool.

      • Marmon February 27, 2021

        Andersen, had Trump locked us down before Covid spread, we would have seen riots all over the country from democrats, republicans, libertarians, nut case progressives, and anarchists combined. Your prevention argument is just more hate filled garbage. No one would have ever believed it was as deadly as Trump might have thought it was. Did you go to the same school as Bruce Anderson or what?


      • peter boudoures February 27, 2021

        California was the most compliant state but was hit the hardest.

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