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Mendocino County Today: Monday, March 1, 2021

Lamblike Start | Rainfall Totals | 5 New Cases | Weed Greed | Noyo Sailors | Antique Shops | Navarro Estuary | Drought 2021 | Cullen Culled | Rockport Ramp | Berkeley Pistol | River Mouth | Ed Notes | Orange Tent | Vaccination Numbers | Bear Sandwiches | Ensuring Homelessness | Yesterday's Catch | Totalitarian State | Camellia | Lyric Life | Your Enemy | California Typewriter

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DRY WEATHER and near-normal temperatures will occur across northwest California through Wednesday. Precipitation chances will then increase Thursday into the weekend. (NWS)

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The heart of this year's rain season has passed. Following a couple paltry months, February drizzle was downright stingy. Unless we get some serious extended downpours this spring, it will be another very dry year for our area, which does not bode well for the more fire-prone months ahead. The monthly figures for the 2020-21 wet season, thus far:

Boonville (12.8" total)

  • 0.1" Oct
  • 1.9" Nov
  • 3.5" Dec
  • 4.8" Jan
  • 2.5" Feb

Yorkville (16.8" total)

  • 0.0" Oct
  • 2.2" Nov
  • 5.4" Dec
  • 5.9" Jan
  • 3.3" Feb

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5 NEW COVID CASES reported in Mendocino County yesterday.

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by Jim Shields

Following last week’s column dealing with the North Coast Regional Water Board’s Investigative Order finding the “North Coast Region is inundated with cannabis cultivation …”, I was somewhat inundated myself with phone calls and emails from folks who mostly asked, “What are the Supervisors thinking when they want to expand growing marijuana in the county?”

I gave them the same answer that was in my column.

The economic model the Supes are pushing is bigger-is-better for pot cultivation and the prospective new tax revenues that will be generated by the large corporate model. And needless to say, the oft-heard commitment from County officials regarding the importance of ensuring small farmers remain a vibrant force in the emerging pot industry are just empty words.

The Supes (with the exception of 3rd Supe John Haschak) have provisionally decided to expand pot cultivation effectively removing all caps on pot and open up rangeland to growing weed, despite opposition from the Sheriff, small cannabis farmers, environmentalists, and ranchers.

The marijuana industry, their lobbyists, and far too many local officials (especially here on the Northcoast) forget, don’t know, or don’t care that state legalization efforts were forged in the midst of California’s record five-year drought that ushered in statewide mandatory water consumption cuts.

They forget that while a majority of state voters favor legalization, they also want it with lots of strings attached. Such as enforcing regulations protecting natural resources and water and watersheds.

Fortunately, those state agencies with primary responsibilities for carrying out the various regulatory frameworks associated with legalized cannabis, have reminded everyone in the last few weeks that legalization comes with all those necessary strings attached.

Three years ago, the State Water Board adopted a new statewide policy establishing strict environmental standards for cannabis cultivation in order to protect water flows and water quality in California’s rivers and streams. The new regulations and programs address the not-so-friendly watershed practices of too many cultivators.

The Water Board understands that it’s all about water: you can’t grow weed without it.

Underpinning Water Board’s regulatory framework is the realization that commercial cannabis cultivation is growing significantly and spreading to new areas of the state following adult use legalization through Proposition 64. In the Regional Water Board’s Order, they specifically cite the inundation of cannabis “in headwaters and main river systems, with active, developed sites in steep and rugged terrain. Cultivation and related activities throughout the North Coast Region have resulted in significant waste discharges and losses of instream flows associated with improper development of rural landscapes on privately-owned parcels, and the diversion of springs and streams, to the cumulative detriment of the Regional Water Board’s designated beneficial uses of water.”

One of the cornerstones of the Water Board’s regulatory package is if left unregulated, cannabis cultivation could pose serious threats to water quality and fish and wildlife by diverting water or releasing fertilizers, pesticides, and sediments into waterways.

Clearly the Water Board understands it was the intent of legislators, to the point of specifically referencing North Coast “environmental damage,” that the state would be paying close attention to all natural resource issues. As I said, this is a fact lost on far too many in the emerging marijuana industry, as well as our local officials who continue to endlessly tinker with the Cannabis Ordinance.

In making its new rules, the Water Board relied on numerous reports and studies regarding the impacts of cultivation on watersheds.

So what are the plans of the State Water Board to address the impacts of cannabis cultivation?

It appears the State Water Board is taking a watershed-by-watershed approach to determining how many permits and licenses will be issued to cultivators. It’s all about the cumulative effects of pot farming, basically the same environmental standard theoretically applied in logging, land use planning, capital construction projects, and the like.

Several years back, Erin Ragazzi, an assistant deputy director for the State Water Board’s Division of Water Rights, explained her agency’s plan surrounding the issue of “cumulative effects” of cannabis cultivation.

“Well, I think that we are cognizant of the need to develop requirements that we think are protective of water quality, but also create an environment in which people want to come in to the regulated community, because they have been in the black market for so long. What will be your carrots and sticks?

“One key component of that is doing the education outreach to make the folks aware of what we’re requiring, why we’re requiring it, but then also having the enforcement arm necessary to facilitate folks knowing that they can’t hide in the black market, but that we are going to be taking enforcement actions against folks that are not registered and enrolled in our program.

“I think there are incentives already as part of the legislation that incentivize people to come into the process earlier rather than later. There’s the potential to have a limited number of plant identifiers and licenses issued by the various entities, and so those folks that come forward earlier are going to be in a better position than folks that may stand on the sidelines and wait for a while.

“There are those carrots in terms of the early adopters, and the board has an enforcement policy that is very focused on education as one of its first pillars, before you move directly to further enforcement.”

It’s worth noting the remark by Ms. Ragazzi about limiting the “number of plant identifiers and licenses issued by the various entities …”

She’s talking about the state’s plan to calculate on a plant-by-plant basis how many pot plants can be sustainably grown in each watershed.

And at the very time when the Regional Water Board has just issued an Investigative Order finding our region is “inundated” with cannabis, the Mendocino County Board of Supervisors think it’s a good idea to take the caps off of cultivation and introduce weed into rangeland?

The only answer is follow the money trail, it starts with greed and it dead ends with greed.

(Jim Shields is the Mendocino County Observer’s editor and publisher,, and is also the long-time district manager of the Laytonville County Water District. Listen to his radio program “This and That” every Saturday at noon on KPFN 105.1 FM, also streamed live:

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by Tommy Wayne Kramer

And then one day you wake up, look around and say “Where did all the antique stores go?” 

Followup questions: 1) So, what’s everybody doing, furnishing their homes from Ikea? and 2) Did I miss the Simple Living Workshop where we all learned how to make desks, sofas and steamer trunks from dried hemp stems? 

No, and No. 

But for whatever reasons Ukiah’s antiques stores have disappeared, and it’s a worrisome trend. Couple it with the fact local bars, taverns, saloons and other venues of social camaraderie have vanished in the past 20 years, and it’s beyond troubling. 

What’s next? The bowling alley? The skating rink? 

Why didn’t anyone notify me shops selling old stuff were disappearing? Now there’s nowhere to get back copies of Life Magazine, flashy sets of cufflinks or a nice purple and gold Ukiah High jacket with cream-colored leather sleeves and “Biff” embroidered on the chest. 

Where can I find an old wooden tennis racket or a neon ‘Lucky Lager’ sign? How about an oil painting of Mount Rushmore done by an amateur Yorkville artist who died in 1950? A penny Gumball Machine? Not Costco. 

There are approximately zero antique stores in the Ukiah Valley, and a few weeks ago there were a dozen. Well, five anyway. 

Antique shops are musty and dusty and smell like grandma’s attic. A great antique store, and Hopland once had a pair of ‘em side-by-side, is one in which you don’t know precisely what you’re looking for and the owner can’t say for sure she’s got one anyway. If she does, it’ll be under that old mink coat in the corner. 

And then you find it and you’re not sure you really want an old waffle iron / catcher’s mask / collection of Pez dispensers. 

Ukiah once had shops stuffed with vintage goods but if there’s one left it must be in somebody’s garage. Redwood Valley had that nice spread near the ramp to Highway 20 behind Taylor’s Tavern. It specialized in appliances, many refurbished, and it’s where we bought our 1930s double-oven O’Keefe & Merritt gas range. Now I think they’re selling boats. 

At The Forks the immortal Red’s Antiques was a couple hundred feet past the Market and famous for doors. Red’s had scores of doors, maybe hundreds, lined up like dominoes inside and outside the shop. 

Then there was Blacklock’s on Highway 101. Blacklock’s was the Empress, the two-story Disneyland quonset hut filled with jewelry in glass cases, Oriental rugs, matching sets of old, well-made furniture, clothing, clocks, guns and toys. 

Is that stuff all on eBay now? I weep. 

The only places left in existence that might qualify as antique stores is the tidy clean and well-lit consignment shop in the old Ace hardware building at the north end of Hopland, and Fabulous Finds, a small shop just past Blacklock’s. Fabulous Finds is full of home furnishings that belong in a Sunset Magazine spread; it’s the antithesis of fusty, musty and dilapidated. You’ll want to wipe your feet and comb your hair before going inside. 

Our loss of antique shops is a particularly devastating blow to Baby Boomers, who are old and have spent their lives collecting valuable stuff nobody wants. Not even their children, nieces or nephews will take their scrapbooks, framed Peter Maxx prints, National Geographics, hundreds of old science fiction paperbacks or a daughter’s Cabbage Patch doll hidden in the garage 40 years ago. 

You could put a FREE sign in your front yard offering boxes of VHS tapes, lovely China teacups and dessert plates, genuine sterling silverware, handmade quilts, electric trains and Barbie Doll collections. All would sit, untouched, come the rains next November. 

No one wants your grandfather clock and no one wants your high school yearbook. Nobody wants a ’58 Chevy Delray except Alex Tsarnas, but unfortunately his old wrecking yard disappeared around the time the Samoa Club shut down. 

Items your children might be willing to take would be your stamp collection, coin collection, and your set of Topps baseball cards, 1951 through 1980. Mostly that’s because it’s the junk easiest to carry home in the trunk of a car, and will sell fastest online. 

You don’t have many other options. You can try depositing vinyl record albums into the grave along with the casket but the Eversoles probably won’t be tricked. They’ve seen it before. 

Or stuff everything into your garage and set fire to the whole mess. It’s pretty much foolproof, but don’t tell the cops you got the idea from me, and don’t tell Jared Hull, my insurance guy, either. 

I’m planning on burning down my own garage filled with valuable collectibles and I want to surprise him. 

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Old Navarro by the Sea

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California is bracing for drought in 2021. Marin Water adopted drought conservation actions and the City of Healdsburg is calling for voluntary conservation. Supervisor Glenn McGourty is a stellar resource on farm and water issues. 

Lake Mendocino is a key drinking water source for the cities of Ukiah, Healdsburg, Cloverdale and Hopland, and also provides water to Sonoma Water’s Russian River water supply system.

Lake Mendocino: 32,365 on 2/26/21, up from 31,298 af on 2/19/21

Lake Pillsbury: 36,670 on 2/25/21, up from 33,765 af on 2/19/21

Lake Sonoma: 156,420 on 2/26/21, down from 157,026 af on 2/19/21

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On Thursday, February 25, 2021, Mendocino County Sheriff's Deputies served an arrest warrant on Cullen Graham, 54, of Fort Bragg at a location in the 29700 block of Highway 20 in Fort Bragg.

Cullen Graham

Deputies made contact with Graham and arrested him without incident on two active warrants for felony failure to appear, felony terrorist threats, battery, and disobeying a court order.

Graham was transported to the Mendocino County Jail where he was to be held in lieu of $30,000 bail.

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Elliptical Log, Rockport, 1939

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On Friday, February 26, 2021 at about 2:42 AM, Mendocino County Sheriff's Deputies conducted a traffic enforcement stop on a vehicle being driven by Juan Flores, 39, of Covelo.

Juan Flores

During a consensual search of Flores's vehicle and person, Deputies located a loaded .45 caliber pistol under the front passenger seat.

Deputies conducted a records check on the pistol and learned it had been reported stolen in Berkeley.

Flores was arrested and transported to the Mendocino County Jail where he was booked for Carrying Loaded Firearm in Public and Possession of Stolen Property.

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

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River Mouth (photo by Chris Calder)

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FROM the Press Democrat: “Mendocino County is allowing those who work in the logging industry to receive a coronavirus vaccine, clarifying that those employees are eligible after earlier mistakenly posting to its Facebook page that people in the ‘lodging’ sector could receive such shots. “We would like to clarify that this group (lodging) was erroneously included with the individuals currently eligible for vaccination,” said Mendocino County Public Health Officer Andrew Cohen [sic] in a news release.”

UH, EXCUSE ME, but is Dr. Coren, not known for his irony, being deliberately provocative? Loggers work far apart in the woods; the “lodger” sector, and lots of other local businesses, are going broke.

WHAT'S THIS? It's a newspaper, madam. Where's the news? Throughout, madam, some of it ancient but relevant today, some of it current, as you will see if you make it past the front page. Awful lot of gray. Doesn't deter the serious person, madam. How would you describe this thing, this newspaper? Your disdain is rude, madam, but I'd describe its political bias as progressive without the oppressive PC overlay you get with most proggy publications. Are you a communist? No, madam, but some of my friends are. What are you, politically? Call me libertarian-socialist, madam. Do you print opinions you don't like? Every week, madam. Do you like literature, the arts? I yield to no one in my commitment, madam. So you believe in free speech? It's the only thing I believe in, madam. Why isn't your paper free? It would be if I were wealthy enough to do philanthropy, madam. What do you think of the young reporters around here? Younger than Jennifer Poole, madam? Yes, younger than Jennifer Poole. They're looking for love in all the wrong places, madam. Do newspapers have a future? No, madam, they're done. Are you done? Personally, madam? No, your newspaper. Not quite, madam. You? Way past my pull date, madam, so any time now. Will you give me a hug? No, madam. Why? I don't do hugs, madam. Hand shake? If you've had your shots, madam.

IF YOU'RE ENFEEBLED, or old enough to pass, you can get free books on tape from the state's Braille & Talking Book Library. Sign-up forms are available at any public library. You take the form to your doctor who, assuming he's not an uptight prick of the type who says, “I'm not signing because there's nothing wrong with you” will affix his doctor's scrawl, and very soon you'll get an indestructible government tape player and several taped books in blue bomb-proof plastic containers, Once in a while, a great while in my experience with the service, you'll get something you want to listen to. O yes, there are catalogs with order forms, but they may as well not exist. Some bored prole in a Sacramento basement just sends whatever's handy. 

I OFTEN receive three or four cassettes at a time, and just as often l immediately turn them around to Sacramento. I got one a week ago that I almost sent back without giving it a go, “Consent: A Memoir of Unwanted Attention” by Donna Freitas. It starts off with a lot of girlish gush-gush about the author's early years, all about wanting to be a cheerleader and grappling with teenage boys, causing me to fear that I'd wandered into the prose equivalent of a chick flick. But it got suddenly interesting, very interesting as Ms. Frietas describes in detail being stalked by a memorably creepy college professor who is also a Jesuit priest. El Creepo is a big shot in his area of expertise — philosophy — and is necessary to Ms. Freitas getting the PhD she's spent her academic life yearning after. He's an intimidating figure, especially to a young woman who admires his scholarship. Georgetown, the famous Catholic university, is the setting, and it's the university, including its Title 9 enforcer, a treacherous woman described by Freitas as a Tootsie look-alike, protects the stalker while Ms. Freitas is damn near driven crazy by the creep's constant, apparently compulsive, attentions. It all takes place as the Catholic Church is revealed everywhere as the perv apparatus it is, protecting chomo priests as they're moved from one unsuspecting parish to the next without losing their priestly collars. Not all the Georgetown academics are unsympathetic to Ms. Freitas' plight, one of them finally advising Ms. Freitas to get a lawyer and sue for relief. All of this is endured by the aspiring academic when she's very young, a fact her sinister academic advisor takes full advantage of: 

“Then it went bad—escalating into increasingly inappropriate, even sinister, behavior. Eventually, he was sending her numerous letters daily; regularly calling her at home and work; and showing up uninvited at her apartment, where she found him peeking in her window. He pressed her to attend plays and weekend retreats. Father L.—to this day, she won't say his name—repeatedly asked her for feedback about an article he wrote about a priest who had an affair with a much younger woman, tried to kiss her and even started corresponding with Freitas' dying mother.” 

MS. FREITAS had her family and protective friends, but many women, obviously, are undefended and forced to deal with male predators however they can. There have been some ugly cases here in Mendo, not that ugly cases don't occur everywhere, but this book would be useful to any young woman, as it's written in accessible (non-academic) prose, but especially useful to a young woman setting out for “higher learning,” as post-high school studies are called, because the higher up the academic ladder the young woman travels, the more resourceful grow the predators.

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26,700 vaccine doses administered to Mendocino County residents, including 17,500 unique individuals

Nothing like publishing data to get necessary corrections. Above numbers exclude vaccinations to out of county residents received in county. 

CVS, Consolidated, LTCFs, VA unknown counts.

I believe these numbers are lagging behind application, but this is the most reliable snapshot, perhaps a week delayed.

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MENDOCINO COUNTY HOMELESS SERVICES CONTINUUM OF CARE (MCHSCoC) Full Membership and Board Meeting to eat government donuts and ensure homelessness everywhere in Mendocino County.

The Mendocino County Homeless Services Continuum of Care monthly public meeting will be held on Monday, March 15, 2021 at 1:30 pm via Zoom where none of our homeless funding units are likely to intrude. This meeting with be both a Full CoC Membership and CoC Board Meeting. There will be a special presentation by Elizabeth Elliott, Executive Director of Northern Circle Indian Housing Authority, on their newly awarded $5,400,000 to implement the California State Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP) with six of their seven Tribes. Don't ask about the 7th.

The MCHSCoC is a collaboration of individuals, and agencies committed to the goal of profiting from homelessness in our community. This group is instrumental in bringing federal Housing and Urban Development (HUD) funding into the county to assist families and individuals experiencing, or at risk of homelessness, to gain access to stable housing. This group focuses on developing solutions to homelessness that also positively impacts the larger community. Community members and agency staff interested in understanding some of the issues of homelessness in Mendocino County, and working on capitalist solutions that cause homelessness in the first place, are welcome to attend the public meetings.

Members of the public who wish to provide written or verbal public comment during the agendized public comment time or on any agendized item must contact Veronica Wilson, Secretary for the Mendocino County Homeless Services Continuum of Care Governing Board at or (707) 468-7071 no later than Monday, March 15, 2021 at 8 am. Public comments are limited to a maximum of 3 minutes per speaker and 12 minutes per topic. No criticism of us will be tolerated.


Mendocino County Homeless Services of Continuum of Care—Strategic Planning Committee 

Shannon Riley, City of Ukiah

Lisa Judd, Community Development Commission of Mendocino Co. Legal Services of Northern California

Angelica Millan, Manzanita Services

Wynd Novotny, Mendocino Coast Hospitality Center

Carla Harris/Lynelle Johnson, Mendocino County Health and Human Services (non-voting) 

Veronica Wilson/Megan Van Sant/Heather Criss Blythe Post/Brady Nord, Mendocino County Office of Education

Que B. Anthnoy, Individual—formerly unsheltered

Judy Albert, Project Sanctuary

Sage Wolf, Redwood Community Services

Dan McIntire/Ryan LaRue, Rural Communities Housing Development Corporation 

Mendocino County Board of Supervisors Ad Hoc Committee on Homelessness 

Dan Gjerde, Maureen Mulheren

Technical Assistance Collaborative 

Lisa Sloan, Jenna Espinosa 

Mendocino County Homeless Services Continuum of Care Governing Board 

Dan McIntire, RCHDC (Co-Chair)

Jacque Williams, Ford Street Project (Co-Chair)

Veronica Wilson, HHSA (CoC Secretary, non-voting)

Lisa Judd, Community Development Commission

Diana Clarke, Ukiah Senior Center

Judy Albert, Project Sanctuary

Grace Peeler-Stankiewicz, MCAVHN

Zenia Leyva Chou, Mendocino Community Health Clinics Wynd Novotny, Manzanita Services

Karen Lovato, HHSA

Amanda Archer, Mendocino County Youth Project

Carla Harris, Mendocino Coast Hospitality Center

Sean Kaeser, Ukiah Police Department

Sandra Stolfi, Veterans Administration

Que B. Anthnoy, Individual

Lindsey Spencer, Adventist Health

Sage Wolf, Redwood Community Services

Blythe Post, Mendocino County Office of Education 

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CATCH OF THE DAY, February 28, 2021

Bruce, Cooper, Couthren, Griffin

CAROL BRUCE, Laytonville. Controlled substance for sale/transportation, vehicle registration tampering.

SANDY COOPER, Willits. Taking vehicle without owner’s consent, stolen property.

STEVE COUTHREN, Ukiah. Failure to appear. 

JENNY GRIFFIN-STEVENS, DUI with blood-alcohol over 0.15%.

Jackson, McCain, Molina, Smith

JAY JACKSON, Ukiah. Controlled substance, false ID, county parole violation.

DIAMANTE MCCAIN, Willits. Disorderly conduct-alcohol, probation revocation.

DANIEL MOLINA, Vallejo/Ukiah. Paraphernalia, failure to apepar.

ERYCKA SMITH, Willits. Vehicle theft, probation revocation.

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JOE BIDEN AND WHOEVER is pulling his strings have assembled a group of establishment warmongers and aspirant social justice engineers that is second to none. Those who expected something different than the usual Democratic Party template have definitely been disappointed. Hostility towards China continues with warships being sent to the South China Sea and the president is seeking to create a new Trans-Atlantic alliance directed against both Beijing and Moscow. The Europeans are reportedly not enthusiastic about remaining under Washington’s thumb and would like some breathing room. ...So, Biden has been a major disappointment for those who expected that he might change course regarding America’s pathological involvement in overseas conflicts while also having the good sense and courage to make relations with countries like Iran and Israel responsive to actual U.S. interests. Finally, it would be a good sign if Assange were to be released from the threat of trial and prison, if only to recognize that free speech and a free press benefit everyone, but that is perhaps a bridge too far as the United States moves inexorably towards a totalitarian state intolerant of dissent. 

— Philip Giraldi

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Camellia (photo by Annie Kalantarian)

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When I moved to the Bay Area in Northern California in 1962, I settled in Santa Clara where I was to go to school. San Francisco was a Mecca to me back then. The whole Beat headspace had been calling my name for years. Santa Clara was a backwater, but San Francisco was less than fifty miles away. As soon as I was able to find a like-minded spirit with a car, we saddled up and headed north up the 101. 

North Beach had been calling my name for a long time. Coming back from the Philippines some months before, a stop at an English-speaking bookstore in Tokyo had outfitted me with some Henry Miller books… hard if not impossible to find in the States back then. At City Lights Bookstore there on Columbus Avenue in North Beach, all things were possible from The Rosy Crucifixion to Black Spring. That was 59 years ago, and at that callow age all things were still possible.

A couple or so years later in 1966, Jefferson Airplane would play a show at the Fillmore Auditorium. That in itself would not be that interesting. In some respects, the Airplane was almost like a band in residence. I lived up the street from the Fillmore in the Western Addition and the other band members did not live far away. 

Anyway, the ‘opening’ act that night was Lawrence Ferlinghetti and the young Russian poet Andrei Voznesensky. Lawrence read, then Andrei read… then Lawrence read the English translations of the work that Andrei had just manifested. Hard to imagine an unformatted ‘rock’ show like that today. Bill Graham wasn’t into cookie cutter shows, that’s for sure! Bill would die in 1991, Andrei in 2010 and Lawrence in 2021. 

As Lawrence said, ‘The greatest poem is lyric life itself.'

Fair winds and following seas brother! – Jorma Kaukonen, Feb. 23, 2021

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by Tim Winterstein –

A couple years ago at the Newport Beach Film Festival, when my brother said I needed to watch a film called California Typewriter, I laughed. I didn’t care about typewriters; I certainly didn’t want to watch a whole movie about them. Maybe you would share that reaction. What could possibly be so interesting about an obsolete machine that would appeal to more than a few collectors and those who feed off nostalgia for obscurities? And that nostalgia itself might be limited, since those who grew up learning to type on typewriters might have been happy to move on to word processors and computers, happy to leave behind correction fluid and replacement ink ribbons.

If you are like me in my hesitation to watch a movie about typewriters, do not trust that instinct. California Typewriter (streaming on Amazon Video) is in—at least—my top three favorite documentaries ever. (Part of the evidence is the five typewriters I’ve gathered in the last two years.) The editing, music, and pacing, to my mind, are seamless. The very first scene is not at all what you might expect, and it’s the perfect introduction. The multiple stories, centered around the film’s eponymous typewriter store, never feel like they are going to pull the documentary apart into unconnected strands. This is a single and skillfully woven narrative.


  1. mr. wendal March 1, 2021


    “ The only answer is follow the money trail, it starts with greed and it dead ends with greed.” It’s the same greed that has the coast inundated with vacation rental homes while the workers cannot find housing. The County saw a funding stream for our top-heavy government and chose to allow vacation rentals galore, residents be damned.

    The submission from Supervisor Williams begins with “California is bracing for drought in 2021.” Yet major expansion of another crop that is water dependent and feeds no one is in the works. Wine and weed with very little food production happening locally will not sustain this county.

    The Continuum of Care meeting notice includes “Carla Harris/Lynelle Johnson, Mendocino County Health and Human Services (non-voting)“ as signees of the notice and “Carla Harris, Mendocino Coast Hospitality Center” as a member of the board. That’s either shocking (or an AVA edit?) or outdated. As outdated as the Mendocino County’s Continuum or Care webpage. It has no meeting information posted since 2020.

  2. George Hollister March 1, 2021

    “Loggers work far apart in the woods; the “lodger” sector, and lots of other local businesses, are going broke.”

    I have little idea how the state, or county, sets priorities for vaccines. But in the case of loggers, it wasn’t due to a lobbying effort. It should be noted, though, loggers are mostly latinos, and latinos have been where the highest percentage of Covid-19 cases have been. The spread of the virus isn’t at work. It appears to be happening at home. So working far apart doesn’t matter, if living at home is crowded, with visitors coming and going, and partying. This is the same situation that exists for agriculture in general.

    I have learned to never assume government is doing the right thing, or even going in the right direction, but there might be some logic here.

    • Marmon March 1, 2021

      The most successful states in administering the vaccines took as simple of an approach as possible, age first, and telephone access. Old Lives Matter.


      • George Hollister March 1, 2021

        Simple is something California government knows nothing about. Accountability is another.

  3. chuck dunbar March 1, 2021

    Trump’s little whining speech yesterday–“Do you miss me yet?” he asked. The answer, best put in Russian: “NYET!!!”

    • Marmon March 1, 2021

      It was better than your little whining comment this morning. I knew it was going to be great when I heard the song “Macho Macho Man” just before he took the stage. I knew the feminazis like you would go absolutely nuts when he started talking.


      • chuck dunbar March 1, 2021

        Aw James, you’re being uncouth again….Get a grip….

        • Marmon March 1, 2021

          “Too much truth is uncouth.”

          “Elections are won by men and women chiefly because most people vote against somebody rather than for somebody.”

          -Franklin Pierce Adams


      • Harvey Reading March 1, 2021

        “Feminazis”? I think you’re projecting yourself onto others again.

    • Jim Armstrong March 1, 2021

      To watch any part of that “conference,” especially Trump’s part, with anything but disbelief and disgust is mental illness.

  4. Harvey Reading March 1, 2021

    “Those who expected something different than the usual Democratic Party template have definitely been disappointed.”

    They were foolish, or simply not very bright, to have expected anything else from the senator from citibank.

  5. Kirk Vodopals March 1, 2021

    Re: Pot’s Money Trail…
    Here come the water trucks all over the county buzzing around to supply the thirsty plants. The County can’t make money off the small farmers, so consolidation is the goal. That’s how the system works. It’s easier to regulate a few large entities than a lot of little ones. And nobody really cares about how many plants are grown anyways. The “small” grows keep going and the water trucks keep rolling. Technically, you’re not supposed to truck water between planning watersheds due to sudden oak death issues, but nobody pays attention to that. The County and the State regulators only care about the dollars flowing in. Nobody gets busted (unless you’re a real ding dong). The game continues until the prices change.

  6. Harvey Reading March 1, 2021

    Meanwhile the rest of the country gets all the dope it wants, from places outside the clearcut triangle, which continues its spiral toward oblivion.

  7. Marmon March 1, 2021


    Did anyone notice that “Plowshares” is not at the table. There lies the problem.


    • Marmon March 1, 2021

      Letter: Marbut has the wrong attitude

      To the Editor:

      An Open Letter to Dr. Robert Marbut

      Dear Dr. Marbut:

      “I’m writing about your 2018 Homeless Needs Assessment Report for Mendocino County. Part of the report’s intent was to categorize homeless types, in order to prioritize allocation of limited resources to serve the needs of the homeless more effectively. I appreciate that intent. Unfortunately, it seems your report has also contributed to polarizing and inflaming public sentiment against the homeless in general.

      Our local newspaper has twice recently reported a 25 percent spike in police calls regarding the homeless since last year. This, however, indicates an increase not so much in homeless numbers or behaviors but in the public’s readiness to call the police about them. The reality is that criminal cases are significantly down since long before the recent spike in calls, for police cases of robbery (down 62 percent since 2016), assaults (down 21 percent), and property crimes (down 28 percent) – this should be treated as the real news!

      Some calls for police help are of course essential (and in my experience generally very well handled by police), but unnecessary calls just increase police workload. This increase in calling seems to indicate an atmosphere of fear and hostility toward “outsiders” that mirrors (and feeds) a similar recent nationwide trend.

      The same newspaper printed a front-page article quoting draft language from the County that included the term “criminal behavior” in attempting to delineate the “traveler” division of homeless—an inaccurate, heartless, and unhelpful base assumption. However you feel about the media (and although that wording has since been deleted), this kind of coverage strongly influences public attitudes; and Marbut-report interpretations are still contributing to those attitudes even now.

      This letter is an appeal to human decency and compassion. When history turns toward hate, it results in ugly consequences for all involved. But we don’t have to choose that path!

      Plowshares’ mission statement tells us to treat every person with respect and dignity. Our Community Dining Room offers a free hot meal and other assistance to all who are hungry or in need, homeless or not. The Plowshares staff recognizes most of the homeless here as longtime local residents—almost all are part of this community, not just traveling strangers. Some have mental health and other challenges that government services may never be able to fully address; some may never be able to benefit from a “hand up.” But these people need extra attention and support, not blame and scorn. Even if the homeless include some “travelers,” not all of those are in the category of “trimmigrants” (who have jobs and don’t need services). In cultures throughout the world, hospitality is considered a sacred duty to strangers even if—especially if—they’re in distress.

      Whatever causes a person’s homelessness, we all need good food and safe shelter. Plowshares’ work to feed the hungry may be “only a bandaid” but (in the words of late homeless advocate Judy Judd) bandaids are good! We don’t throw them out just because we have emergency rooms.

      Dr. Marbut, I hope that you will consider writing an addendum to your report, or perhaps just a letter to the editor, reminding all of us about sensitivity and caution in judgment – even compassion and generosity of spirit – toward our fellow humans, homeless and otherwise. I am hoping that community attitudes can begin to shift away from fear and hostility and toward helping Plowshares help those most in need of our empathy and assistance.”

      Thank you.

      -Mary Buckley, Plowshares Interim Executive Director


      • Marmon March 1, 2021

        No one will touch “Plowshares” because of County CEO Angelo, whose deceased love of her life was the director of plowshares before she died.

        “She absolutely loved Plowshares. It wasn’t a job, it was a vocation,” said Carmel Angelo, Mahoney’s partner and Mendocino County’s chief executive officer. “Her heart was there. She wanted to help everyone there.”


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