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Mendocino County Today: Sunday, March 21, 2021

Chilly Day | 2 New Cases | Half Rainfall | Pet Bella | Fiesta Friday | Patisserie Popup | Allegro | Rainbow Trout | Del Fiorentino | Boonville Derek | Springtime | Ed Notes | Round Valley | Willits Basketballers | Two Videos | Rodeo Wagon | Fentanyl Danger | Mr Sparky | Wildfire Risk | Cloverdale Stage | Ukiah Repaving | Police Awards | Yesterday's Catch | U.S. Meddling | Covid Concerns | Ethics Consult | Max & Primo | Wet Fourth | Willits Rodeo | Cancel Backfire | Bad Husband | Curiosity Cabinet | Fave Giants | Baseball Crowd | Crackpot Party | Valentine Pack | Fire Zones | Idyllic Oppression | Corporate Fascism

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AREAS OF FROST AND PATCHES OF LOW CLOUDS through the inland valleys this morning will give way to a mostly sunny afternoon, with a stiff northerly breeze. A cold front will swing through on Monday, but only light rain and a dusting of high mountain snow is forecast. Milder and sunnier conditions will be found on Tuesday and Wednesday, but accompanied by north winds. (NWS)

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2 NEW COVID CASES reported in Mendocino County yesterday afternoon.

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Here is what I recorded as of 3/19/21 for the rainfall total for the year July 1, 2020 to June 30, 2021 or our “rain fall year” for the Mendocino coast as of March 19, 2021: 18.78 inches

Normal average for this time of year should be: 35.53.

Obviously we have a problem here. Unless we get an especially wet next few months (hope, hope, hope) which is unlikely, we are looking at a second consecutive year of severe drought here on the coast. What we will face going into the summer is another severe fire danger period and we need to prepare now. Begin to look at your property and what you can do to minimize the danger of fire. Get your go-packs in order. And pray for rain.

Richard Harris

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Bella is a very sweet dog once she is familiar with you. Right now, she is fearful of new people for a few minutes, before becoming comfortable. Because of this, Bella is currently staying at Casa De Laura with Laura, one of our great volunteers. Laura has fostered many of the shelter's shy or rambunctious dog guests and has made great progress with Bella. The best forever home for this girl will be one with a guardian who has experience with shy dogs. Bella is social and playful with other dogs. She will need a home with older, or no children. Bella is 8 months old, weighs 50 pounds, and is spayed—ready to prance out the door and into your car. 

We have LOTS more info about Bella from Laura at

Visit us at to see all of our canine and feline guests, our services, programs, events, and updates regarding covid-19, as it impacts Mendocino County Animal Shelters in Ukiah and Ft. Bragg. Visit us on Facebook at: 

For information about adoptions, please call 707-467-6453.

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There's a little patisserie pop up happening in Boonville this week!! (oui oui) At the Boonville Barn Collective, 10600 Anderson Valley Way - pick up from 1-4pm 

orders placed by email:

Bon appetite!

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Where I grew up in Northern California we caught four kinds of Trout and these were all Rainbow Trout. Now before you say anything let me tell you what I am talking about. Beginning with (1.) “Native Trout”, they live their entire lives in the smallest of spring fed pools, they are dark purple backs with light purple on the sides mixed with some red, they are small only 6” - 8”. (2.) “Resident Trout”, These live their lives in the headwaters creeks and can grow as big as 16” but most are about 10”. These fish have an interesting story, it has been found that every once in a while one of these fish, after living in the creek for a number of years will all of a sudden head down stream and go out to the ocean for a 1-2 years and then return to the creek where it will live out the rest of its life never getting much bigger then 16” long. (3.) The “Blue Back”, These football shaped sea run rainbows go through the same lifestyle as regular Steelhead with one exception, they only spend 1 year in the ocean before returning to spawn and during that year in the ocean they gorge themselves on food and they usually arrive from March to April. They are smaller in length only 20 - 24” but are thick and fast. (4.) Finally the Steelhead which we all know their story. All of this info comes from 5 generations of Trout fishing and a biologist who worked for the Calif. Dept. of Fish and Game back in the 1970's and '80's who did a report on this very subject. 

Photo of my dad, John Burroughs, on the Navarro River (taken by George Burroughs)

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Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Deputy Sheriff Ricky Paul Del Fiorentino

Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office, California

Deputy Sheriff Ricky Del Fiorentino was shot and killed while searching for a subject who had abducted two people in Oregon earlier in the day and then shot at a store owner near Leggett, California.

Officers from multiple agencies were searching the area when Deputy Del Fiorentino came across the subject’s car on a dirt road in the town of Cleone, near MacKerricher State Park. The subject opened fire on Deputy Del Fiorentino from ambush, firing multiple rounds and fatally wounding him before he had a chance to exit his vehicle.

A Fort Bragg police officer who was nearby and heard the gunfire responded to the scene to discover the subject going through Deputy Del Fiorentino’s patrol car. The officer exchanged shots with the subject and struck him in the leg, causing a fatal wound.

Deputy Del Fiorentino had served with the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office and Fort Bragg Police Department for a total 26 years.


On Saturday I was in Fort Bragg with the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office Coast Sector Deputies, various members from other coast law enforcement agencies, and others where we came together for a short time to remember fallen Mendocino County Sheriff’s Deputy Ricky Del Fiorentino.

Seven years ago today we lost Deputy Sheriff Ricky Del Fiorentino and most of us remember that tragic day on March 19th, 2014. This gathering is nothing about how Ricky died, but to remember how lived.

We all have stories to tell about our interactions with Ricky. Ricky had been a mentor, coach, and/or close friend to many of the deputies and other law enforcement personnel currently on the coast and throughout our county.

Some have even been coached by him while in the school wrestling or other athletic programs. Some met him at a young age as a result of a traffic stop or other police contact. Those stories remind me we were all young once.

Everyone present however shares some special memory of Ricky and each reflects some form of kindness, humor or his mischievous pranks on others.

When I was a teenager and worked at the sawmill and ranches in the Covelo, I met Ricky for the first time. He was just recently hired by Mendocino County as a Deputy Sheriff. Ricky was friends with a deputy who lived in Covelo at the time and both shared a passion for the outdoors. The forests and the river were common playgrounds for all of us back then.

Ricky was eventually assigned to the Coast Sector, and even though I would only see him occasionally over the next few years, we remained friends. Later on, I came to work for the Sheriff’s Office and would see Ricky on occasional trips to the coast. I was always amazed at his physical abilities, he was an incredible athlete, and I would always be impressed with his free diving for Abalone when diving together.

Ricky had an incredible sense of humor. He would deep dive at times, then rapidly come up beneath us, or imitate a rapidly surfacing submarine, or just simply lay on the bottom of the ocean and wait for one of us to swim over him. These all were followed by a quick yank on the diving fin of the unsuspecting swimmer, leading to us making every attempt to walk on water in hope to evade what we believed to be a shark attack.

From fishing clinics, bicycle rodeos, and other Coast Police Activity League events, Ricky served his community to invest in the kids. Ricky was a gentle giant who brought calm to tense situations.

People simply loved Ricky and his actions were clear that he loved them.

Ricky was more than just a Deputy Sheriff. Ricky was a father, a husband, a coach, a protector, and a very good friend who will always be loved and missed. We have to remember what the only truth in life is. It starts from the moment we take our first breath to our last. What we do in between those moments is truly our responsibility.

I will close with Ricky and the laugh he echoed. It was infectious. If you heard his laugh alone, you laughed as well, even not knowing what started it! I hope everyone who knew Ricky will take a few minutes to think of him today and tomorrow. Perhaps we should all strive to make the moments we have as memorable as he has made many of ours.

Thank you,

Sheriff Matt Kendall

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by Jonah Raskin

Boonville, California, the town which provides a home for the Anderson Valley Advertiser — the newspaper you’re reading — has a population of about one thousand people. I know three of Boonville’s citizens: Bruce Anderson, the owner and editor of the AVA; Mark Scaramella, the managing editor and a regular contributor to the paper; and Derek Roseboom, who knows almost everyone in town. Almost everyone knows him. With about 1,000 people that’s not difficult. Derek reads the AVA regularly. “I get the local news I want,” he says. “I like the stories because they’re on a wide variety of subjects by a lot of different writers who have unique styles.” 

This story is about Derek, whom I met for the first time at a big, public cannabis confab in Ukiah. Recently, over tacos, Derek told me, “Boonville is a good place to chill.” After a life of excitement, he might need chilling. Derek has a style all his own: long hair, a tweed cap, glasses, trousers that are neither long nor short, but somewhere in-between. Tourists in Boonville might point at him and say, “Look at the hippie.” Maybe he is a hippie. He was only about five-years-old at the time of Woodstock and didn’t have the worries of the adults of the Sixties. “As a kid I watched Scooby-Doo and other cartoons,” he says.

The audience at the big, public Ukiah cannabis confab was mostly made up of rowdy growers who wanted to know what Prop 64, which legalized weed for adults, would mean for them and their cash crop. To the best of my recollection, Mendocino County District Two Supervisor, John McCowen, spoke and like a true politician didn’t say much. 

Then Tony Linegar got up and said more than he should have said. Once the Ag Commissioner in Mendo with an office in Ukiah, Tony moved south many years ago and became the Ag Commissioner in Sonoma, with an office in Santa Rosa. From Tony’s point of view, marijuana is an agricultural crop. Farmers ought to be able to cultivate it, he explained that evening in Ukiah, much as they cultivate other crops, including pears and potatoes. 

That evening, Tony won the respect and applause of the crowd, along with the admiration of Derek and guys like Oaky Joe Munson. Tony also got into trouble with the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors who tried to muzzle him. To a degree, they succeeded. But Tony found a way to say what he wanted to say. On subsequent occasions, he continued to speak out about the county bureaucracy and the hardships suffered by growers. Now, Tony’s retired and living the good life in Hawaii, though he keeps a hand in all things agricultural in Norcal.

For years, Derek Roseboom has been growing cannabis on the outskirts of Boonville. He has won several awards for the best weed at the Emerald Cup, the cannabis country fair, which Tim Blake started in his own living room in Laytonville. Derek has been with the Cup for 13 years and has been a happy camper. After the initial gatherings in Laytonville, Tim moved the Cup to the Fairgrounds in Santa Rosa where it became a big cannabis circus. “I had one of the top three strains five years in a row,” Derek tells me in the downtown office of the AVA, with its booklined walls, posters and buttons and an American flag. 

Derek adds, “Those awards at the Cup have provided me with the truest and most accurate reflection of my achievements as a grower in Anderson Valley.” His weed has had some of the highest terpene profiles in the competition. The terpenes translate into flavorful weed. Sadly, Derek’s awards have not yet led to his fortune. “I’m not dying,” he tells me. “I’m gonna be around for a long time and I’m gonna keep on doing what I’ve been doing. Maybe I’ll get more notoriety and maybe I’ll get a small business going.”

In the beginning, Derek explains, there was no fee to enter the competition for the best weed at the Emerald Cup. Scores of farmers who grew one plant or one hundred, entered the contest, which guaranteed them a free ticket. “I heard that there was a year when they started receiving entrees they felt were put in just to get the free entry,” Derek tells me. “They had to change the rules and add a fee to ensure that only the best weed was entered.” 

Also, in the beginning, the Cup only accepted weed grown in direct sunlight, which is the kind Derek has always cultivated. Indoor growers felt left out. What about us?, they cried. The rules have changed. In 2020, indoor licensed weed was, for the first time, allowed to enter the competition. Fair enough! This year, Derek has entered two strains. The pandemic messed with the usual timetable. He won’t know if he’ll win until early April. 

Like many marijuana growers in Mendo, Derek is not a native son. Born in 1963 in Portage, Michigan, he graduated from high school in 1981 and soon afterwards came to California, where the weather was better than back home. Winters in Portage could be brutal. A cold wind blows from Lake Michigan. For a couple of years, Derek lived in balmy Mill Valley in Marin. 

Also, for a time, he shuttled back and forth from California to Michigan, where the local weed is inferior to the Mendo variety. On one occasion, Derek was busted. Michigan cops found 6.8 grams of cannabis in his possession and ten joints, though when the joints were laboratory tested, the results showed that there was no THC. Apparently the cops thought they had nabbed a bigtime dealer. They had a vivid imagination. Now, Derek can laugh about it.

Back then, he posted bail in Michigan and was released from jail. He returned to Norcal and to pay his bills landed two jobs: one at the Great Gatsby pizza joint and another at a Mill Valley coffee roaster, all the while that he lived in a house on spectacular Mt. Tam (Tamalpais). Every so often he was required by law to appear before a Marin County judge who kept waiting for extradition papers to arrive from Michigan. Finally, they came through. Derek was immediately taken into custody and thrown into the Marin County jail. “A real dump,” he calls it. He languished there for about 30 days. While he was behind bars he was joined by a cocaine dealer who posted bail, got out fast and drove off in his BMW.

“Jail was a risky situation,” Derek says, “A couple of dudes wanted to do something bad to me. I told one of the guards, ‘You better get me outta here before you and I see something we don’t want to see happen to me’.” The guard moved Derek to another cell where he had to sleep on the floor, but at least nothing really bad happened to him. Finally, two retired U.S. marshals showed up, took him into custody, handcuffed him, chained him and tossed him into the back of a van, along with a “crazy man” arrested on kidnapping charges. The marshals didn’t head directly to Michigan. Instead, they drove to the State of Washington, where they took care of more business and then headed East. 

One night, the driver nearly fell asleep at the wheel and Derek imagined the worst. He was allowed to use the bathroom at a pit stop on the highway, and, though he was a vegan, he ate a Quarter Pounder from a McDonald's, and lived to tell the tale. Back in Michigan, he was assigned a public defender. “A real piece of work,” Derek says. “The lawyer didn’t even bother to look at the so-called charges.” Derek was found guilty and sentenced to three years’ probation. 

The judge also imposed a $3,000 fine to cover the expenses of transporting him from California via Washington to Michigan, where he spent about seven more days in jail—all for 6.8 grams of marijuana and 15 joints that were tested in a lab and that came back with zero THC. Some years ago, Derek’s arrest and conviction vanished, or so his lawyer told him. The law moves in mysterious ways. 

Over the last few years, Derek has cultivated THC-rich cannabis and has won prizes galore at the Emerald Cup. If he harbors resentments against the criminal justice system, he doesn’t look or sound like he does. As an independent farmer, he’s happy growing his crowd-pleasing, award-winning cannabis strains, especially one that he calls “In the Pines.” Dennis Peron loved “In the Pines.” A Vietnam Veteran and one of the authors of Prop 215, which provided for and legalized “compassionate care,” Peron presented Derek with “The Green Thumb” Award. “It means more to me than anything,” Derek tells me.

What he doesn’t like are the corporate types who throw their weight around in the cannabis industry. Derek tells me: “They push and shove in places where a little stoner/grower can’t push or shove very much if at all. It goes to show that, with the right people at the right time and right place, you can sell anything, including poorly-grown weed.” Still, he’s ecstatic to be growing primo weed in Boonville. “There’s a unique smell and taste to Boonville weed and the buds are really pretty,” he says. He adds, “I couldn’t have fallen into a better place.” 

When Derek described the saga of his run-ins with the law to legendary cannabis activist, Pebbles Trippet, she told him, “Don't worry and welcome to Mendocino.”

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(photo by James Marmon)

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THAT BIZARRE car crash on 101 at the Boonville turnoff last Wednesday about 5:30am took the life of Orion Torney, 44, of Upper Lake, according to the Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office. Torney was southbound when he lost control of his silver Kia Forte and hit a guardrail, flipping his vehicle, which landed on its wheels but ended up facing northbound traffic with Torney and two male passengers in Torney's vehicle. A Kia Optima then sideswiped the Forte before pulling over to the shoulder. Moments later, authorities believe a Chrysler 200 slammed head-on into the Forte as the three men were getting out of the car. The force of the impact ejected Torney to the pavement, killing him. Both Torney's passengers were taken to Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital. One was treated for moderate injuries and the other for major injuries that authorities said were not life-threatening. Neither of the two other drivers in the accident was seriously injured.

INTERESTING and entirely plausible take on the Caspar dog shooter from a person close to the convicted shooter. It goes like this: she took responsibility for her boyfriend who actually shot the animal because he’s a two-striker and, as they say, “known to law enforcement.” This low-down episode would send him back to prison for a long time. The presumed woman shooter is terrified of Mr. Wonderful, so terrified she won’t even try to free herself from him, won’t go to Project Sanctuary or the police although he brutalizes her, too. It might be that the much-maligned Judge Brennan, aware of this situation, went light on the woman because he knew that she probably hadn’t shot the dog, in which case the judge deserves high praise. From our suspicious perspective, shooting a dog is much more likely the kind of thing a man would do, and a man, presumably, would have finished the poor dog, not merely wounded him as was the case here. 

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MENDO, 1873

The following is an excerpt from Harper's New Monthly Magazine (July 1873) by Charles Nordhoff, who wrote about his travels through Northern California. This image accompanied the text. 

In Northern California travelers “may see an Indian reservation—one of the most curious examples of mismanaged philanthropy which our government can show.

There are a number of such valleys on the way which I took from the coast at Mendocino City to the Nome Cult Indian Reservation in Round Valley. A good many Missourians and other Southern people have settled in this part of the State. The better class of these make good farmers; but the person called “Pike” in this State has here bloomed out until, at times, he becomes, as a Californian said about an earthquake, “a little monotonous.” The Pike in Mendocino County regards himself as a laboring-man, and in that capacity he has undertaken to drive out the Indians, just as a still lower class in San Francisco has undertaken to drive out the laboring Chinese. These Little Lake and Potter Valley Pikes were ruined by Indian cheap labor; so they got up a mob and expelled the Indians, and the result is that the work which these poor people formerly perform is now left undone. As for the Indians, they are gathered at the Round Valley Reservation to the number of about twelve hundred, where they stand an excellent chance to lose such habits of industry and thrift as they had learned while supporting themselves. At least half the men on the reservation, the Superintendent told me, are competent farmers, and many of the women are excellent and competent house-servants. No one disputes that while they supported themselves by useful industry in the valleys where were their homes they were peaceable and harmless, and that the whites stood in no danger from them. Why, then, should the United States government forcibly make paupers of them? Why should this class of Indians be compelled to live on reservations? Under the best management which we have ever had in the Indian Bureau — let us say under its present management — a reservation containing tame or peaceable Indians is only a pauper asylum and prison combined, a nuisance to the respectable farmers, whom it deprives of useful and necessary laborers, an injury to the morals of the community in whose midst it is placed, an injury to the Indian, whom it demoralizes, and a benefit only to the members of the Indian ring.”

The following in a very abbreviated history of the reservation up to the date of Nordhoff’s visit:

In 1856, the Nome Cult Farm was established in Round Valley as an administrative extension of the Nome Lackee Reservation located near present day Red Bluff. It was established the same year as the Mendocino Reservation in present day Fort Bragg.

Round Valley was the ancestral homeland and territory of the Yuki and they were suddenly forced to into the difficult situation of having to share their home with tribes from all over the Northern California area that were forced from their land and “driven” (a word that was commonly used to describe the act) to the valley. They spoke different languages, had different beliefs, and some were enemies of the Yuki. 

In 1859, a band of rangers led by Walter S. Jarboe, called the Eel River Rangers, raided the area in an effort to remove any remaining indigenous people and move them onto the Nome Cult Farm. By the time the Eel River Rangers were disbanded in 1860, Jarboe claimed his men had “men killed 283 warriors, captured 292 prisoners, while only sustaining 5 casualties themselves”, however, a number of historians have estimated the number of indigenous people killed by Jarboe’s men at well over 400. 

At this same time, the Mendocino Reservation and the Nome Lackee Reservation were collapsing. The true conditions on the Mendocino reservation had come to light. Privation, disease, exploitation, and sexual abuse were rife and Thomas Henley (superintendent of Indian Affairs in California) was removed from his post after being accused of misappropriating government funds. He was never charged for his crimes and retired to his cattle ranch in Round Valley.

In December 1862, Fort Wright was established on the western edge of Round Valley. The following year, 461 indigenous people from a number of tribes, were forcefully marched, under guard, from Chico to Round Valley. Only 277 survived the march. And by 1867, everyone at the Mendocino Reservation had been moved to Round Valley when the Reservation was officially dissolved. Three years later, the Round Valley Indian Reservation was formally established by Executive Order.

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Willits High Girls Basketball, 1917

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I recently finished Tom Ammiano's great memoir, “Kiss My Gay Ass,” which I highly recommend if you haven't already read it. His chapter on his role in reintroducing District Elections to San Francisco in 2000-2001, which for a period ejected a supermajority of Willie Brown's corporate Democrats on the Board of Supervisors and replaced them with neighborhood activists, brought back memories of my own political activism at the time and inspired me to belatedly put online the documentary film I made arising from those efforts.

The film is called “Bad Reception: The Wireless Revolution in San Francisco” and it received a positive review from the AVA’s own Mark Scaramella when it first came out in 2003 (for a period, I quoted it in promoting the movie, which was broadcast nationwide on Free Speech TV: ”Compelling, professionally done.... Highly recommended”). It is now available to view online for the first time in its entirety for free at the link provided below.

The film follows the response of San Francisco residents to the proliferation of cell phone antennas in their communities and the attendant issues raised by this then-relatively novel technology.

On a lighter note, also now available online is my 3-minute parody of Soviet director Sergei Eisenstein's classic film “Potemkin” that was filmed over the course of 5 hours in a room on the top floor of the English-Philosophy Building at the University of Iowa in 1989 while I was a graduate film student. The Russian words in the main title, mistranslated as “Eisenstein's Mother...,” actually read “Closed for a Break,” a sign in the window of many a Moscow shop that year on the eve of the dissolution of the Soviet Union.

Glad to read you're now fully vaxed. I got my first shot at Kaiser on Thursday.


Doug Loranger

San Francisco

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Willits Rodeo Armenian Wagon, 1949

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OVER THE LAST FEW YEARS, we have seen several reports of overdoses linked to methamphetamine pills that have been laced with Fentanyl in Northern California.

Fentanyl is an opiate painkiller that is 50 to 100 times more powerful than morphine, and can easily cause overdose when not under close doctor’s supervision. Fentanyl can take many forms, such as pill form, powder form and liquid form. In recent years, this drug has started to be misappropriated by non-patients.

“This drug is highly addictive, and a small dose can easily be fatal,” warns County Health Officer Dr. Andy Coren. “Even touching this substance can cause harm to ones’ health.”

Fentanyl can cause respiratory distress and death when taken in high doses, or when combined with other substances, especially alcohol.

Mendocino County Public Health and Mendocino County Behavioral Health & Recovery Services (BHRS), Substance Use Disorders Treatment (SUDT), is united in the resolve to educate county residents on the dangers of substance use and disorder, and to help residents who need it.

“We want individuals who are struggling with substance use disorder to know that they are not alone, and we have a variety of resources available,” explains BHRS Director Dr. Jenine Miller. “Please call 707-472-2624 — if you need assistance, we have help waiting for you.”

If you suspect that you have ingested this substance, please reach out immediately to your local emergency room, or call 911. If you suspect that you have this dangerous substance in your possession, avoid all physical contact with the substance and please contact your local law enforcement.

(Mendocino County Public Health presser)

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SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — California’s Attorney General is challenging some of the state’s largest suburban development projects as local officials weigh the risk of increasingly devastating wildfires against the state’s dire need for more housing.

Attorney General Xavier Becerra on Wednesday backed lawsuits opposing San Diego County’s approval of environmental reviews for two projects in a very high wildfire hazard zone southeast of San Diego.

Last month Becerra backed Northern California court challenges alleging that Lake County officials failed to properly take into account the increased wildfire risk from approving 1,400 homes, 850 hotel rooms and resort apartments and other resort amenities on the 16,000-acre Guenoc Valley Ranch property.

A wildfire mitigation expert said it’s past time for the state’s top law enforcement official to step in, while the president of the state’s building association said Becerra is overstepping by questioning local officials’ safety precautions. 

The Southern California projects are part of a 36 square miles (93 square kilometers) Otay Ranch residential development — the largest in San Diego County’s history and nearly the size of San Francisco — that would cover highly flammable grassland, chaparral and sage with thousands of homes, parks and other amenities.

“The intervention of the attorney general is a fascinating escalation of power, effectively to force counties to do what they’ve rarely done — which is to rethink their greenlighting of any development at any place,” said Char Miller, a professor of environmental analysis at Pomona College who has written extensively about wildfires. 

Becerra’s intervention in the Lake County lawsuits was the first time Miller knows of anywhere in the nation where the state has stepped in to argue that its interests in preventing wildfires trumps the county’s interest in building more housing. That project neighboring Napa County encompasses 25 square miles (65 square kilometers) in a high wildfire risk zone that has burned repeatedly in recent years as California endured its worst wildfire seasons in history.

Becerra is acting under a 2018 update to the expansive California Environmental Quality Act. The state’s Natural Resources Agency, at the Legislature’s direction, created new standards for officials to analyze whether development projects will increase wildfire risks. A bill now pending in the state Legislature would bar new development in very high fire hazard severity zones.

“Devastating wildfires have become the norm in recent years, with dozens of deaths and whole towns forced to evacuate,” Becerra said in a statement. “That’s why local governments must address the wildfire risks associated with new developments at the front end.” He is awaiting Senate confirmation for secretary of Health and Human Services in the Biden Administration.

His filing Wednesday contends the environmental reviews for the San Diego County projects violated state law by not adequately evaluating the increased wildfire risk and by not taking proper steps to avoid or adjust for those risks.

“Not only would this project put new and existing residents at risk, it would destroy the habitat of the county’s most sensitive species and worsen the climate crisis” by increasing greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to global warming, said Peter Broderick, an attorney with the Center for Biological Diversity that filed the suits. 

Wildfires completely burned one of the two project sites in 2003, and a fire in 2007 burned most of both sites. Sixty-eight fires have been sparked within five miles of one of the projects. Becerra cited an analysis that found one of the projects is in the worst 1% of California zip codes in number of evacuation routes for the size of the population.

The proposed Otay Ranch Village 13 and Otay Ranch Village 14 projects would together develop nearly 2,000 acres with 3,000 homes — none set aside for affordable housing — along with 57 multifamily units, a resort with 200 guest rooms, plus commercial and office space, parks and open space, and two fire stations. 

“We think (Becerra) is stepping over the line, primarily because you can’t build in these areas without putting together a very sophisticated plan fully approved by the local fire chief, fully approved by all the fire officials,” said California Building Industry Association president and CEO Dan Dunmoyer.

Aside from California’s strict building codes in wildfire areas, “we are building parks, we’re building entire infrastructure systems that don’t burn and can protect these communities from fires,” he said. 

It’s often unrealistic to rebuild in urban areas, as Miller and advocates including Gov. Gavin Newsom suggest, because of community opposition and the high costs compared to rural single family homes, particularly once structures climb above three stories, Dunmoyer said.

The state’s Department of Housing and Community Development estimated that California needs to build another 100,000 housing units per year above its recent annual averages of 80,000 units to meet the projected housing need. 

But Endangered Habitats League executive director Dan Silver opposed the upscale San Diego County developments that he said are far from jobs and transit and won’t help with the state’s deficit in low- to moderate-income housing.

“In truth what they’re really saying is let’s put houses in places we know will burn because we need to solve a housing problem,” said Miller. “That’s not really good public policy.”

Becerra said his goal is to make sure San Diego County does all it can to ease the wildfire risks before building more homes in a dangerous area.

County Supervisor Jim Desmond, one of four supervisors who supported the project, declined comment.

“California is a gorgeous state, but it has mudslides, it has fire, it has flooding, it has earthquakes,” said Dunmoyer. “You plan accordingly. And you mitigate it, you protect it, you use tough codes, and that’s what we’ve done.”

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Cloverdale Stage

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by Justine Frederiksen

The Ukiah City Council Wednesday approved spending another three-quarters of a million dollars on the Downtown Streetscape Project, funds that will be spent to repave and rebuild several side streets connected to the main work on South State Street.

“We’re having a lot of issues on the side streets where we’re tying (the Streetscape improvements) into the older sidewalks and the older ADA ramps,” Public Works Director and City Engineer Tim Eriksen told the City Council during its March 17 virtual meeting. “We were envisioning repaving all those streets with Measure Y money, and that is what this item is: to repave those streets as part of this project.”

The change order the City Council was asked to approve will use $757,481.63 of Measure Y Funds to complete paving and add intersection curb ramps to side streets such as Clay, Church, Perkins, Standley and Smith streets.

“We feel the project will look more complete if we do this as a change order and have Ghilotti do all the paving there,” Eriksen said, explaining that “the new ADA curb ramps are required whenever you do paving. We’d like to do this as one project to not disrupt the downtown (and) have to come back later and redo all the side streets. A couple of them we’ll have to dig out and reconstruct, but most of them we are just repaving.”

“By using Measure Y money, this means that some of our streets that are in dire need of being fixed are going to be out on hold a little longer, correct?” asked Vice-Mayor Jim Brown.

“Yes, there’s only so much Measure Y money,” Eriksen said.

“But if you look at these streets, these are definitely ones that were in horrible condition, and the construction has done a bit of a number on them. But these streets are all in desperate need of this, so prioritizing Measure Y money for this seems appropriate.”

According to the staff report prepared for the March 17 meeting, the city hired Ghilotti Construction in February of 2020 to complete the Downtown Streetscape and Road Diet Project with a contract for $6,448,215.95. There were four earlier change orders totaling $339,996.64 “for revised and additional construction services that were not included in the original contract, but found to be necessary during the course of the project work.”

With the latest change order, which was approved by the City Council Wednesday, the “total revised contract amount including all change orders will be $7,545,694.22.” The project is scheduled to be completed in August of 2021.

* * *


Please join us in congratulating the following members of our department for their outstanding achievements in 2020:

- Officer of the Year - Officer Chase Rigby

- Dispatcher of the Year - Dispatcher Christopher Pittman

* * *

- “11550 H&S” Drug Award - Officer Patrick Infante

- “23152 CVC” DUI Award - Officer Alex Cowan

- Life Saving Award - Officer Patrick Infante and Officer Alex Cowan

Our annual awards dinner was canceled due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, so these awards were presented to the recipients with appropriate social distancing measures in place.

In addition to our annual awards, our department was recognized by the Lexipol Connect program for achieving Gold level for consistently and effectively disseminating policies to officers, issuing timely policy updates as laws change, and ensuring officers are trained on policies.

(Ukiah Police Chief Justin Wyatt)

* * *

CATCH OF THE DAY, March 20, 2021

Briggs, Campos, Crabtree, Harris

MARTIN BRIGGS, Ukiah. Vehicle theft, evasion by reckless driving.

JOSE CAMPOS-GONZALEZ, Covelo. DUI, misdemeanor hit&run, vehicle theft, taking vehicle without owner’s consent, no license.

EZRA CRABTREE SR., Willits. Criminal threats.

KEVIN FORD, Ukiah. Controlled substance, suspended licesne, county parole violation. (Booking photo not available.)

MASON HARRIS, Ukiah. Burglary, suspended license, failure to appear.

Hernandez, Hock, Lucientes, Morris

URIEL HERNANDEZ, Willits. Assault with deadly weapon not a gun, domestic battery, child endangerment, probation revocation.

CALEB HOCK, Fort Bragg. DUI, misdemeanor hit&run, child endangerment.

RICHARD LUCIENTES II, Ukiah. Forging/altering vehicle registration.


Nunez, Silva, Xie


HALEY SILVA, Willits. DUI, misdemeanor hit&run.

LI XIE, Ukiah. Trespassing-refusing to leave.

* * *


I watched “Acts of Valor” last night. It’s about special operations in other countries involving the CIA and Navy SEALS. I know that it was intended to make the viewer proud of the job the military was doing, but the one thing I took away from it was that America has been so damn busy sticking its nose into every other country’s business it has totally ignored America herself. I was a child when Eisenhower was in office but it seems to me that after that time America sort of lost her virginity and became the world’s whore. Declining moral and family values, declining infrastructure, welfare states….America should have been looking after own. Think of the billions, no trillions of dollars that have been spent worldwide in an effort to eradicate “communism” and bring “democracy” to other countries. And now America’s chickens have come home to roost. I used to think I would not be alive to see the end of America but now I am not so sure.

* * *

* * *

ETHICS CONSULT: Liver Transplant for Alcoholic Baseball Legend?

— You make the call

by Jacob M. Appel MD, JD 

Welcome to Ethics Consult -- an opportunity to discuss, debate (respectfully), and learn together. We select an ethical dilemma from a true patient care case. You vote on your decision in the case and, next week, we'll reveal how you all made the call. Bioethicist Jacob M. Appel, MD, JD, will also weigh in with an ethical framework to help you learn and prepare.

The following case is adapted from Appel's 2019 book, Who Says You're Dead? Medical & Ethical Dilemmas for the Curious & Concerned:

Roy was a star Major League Baseball player. After his retirement, he developed a severe alcohol problem that leads to advanced liver cirrhosis. Without a liver transplant, he will die. He is currently a patient at Legends Hospital.

It is a long-standing policy at Legends, and at most (but not all) hospitals across the country, that patients must demonstrate 6 months of sobriety before receiving a liver transplant; active alcoholics are widely believed to be at excessive risk for poor outcomes from their continued drinking.

Roy, unfortunately, arrived at the hospital drunk and in partial liver failure 3 days earlier; he cannot wait 6 months.

Dan Diver, MD, the senior transplant surgeon, tells the team to list Roy as a candidate for a liver transplant. “He's an alcoholic, and he'll likely lose the liver,” Diver acknowledges. “But there's always some possibility that he'll turn himself around. And if he does, do you realize what a successful transplant for a famous patient like Roy will do for organ donation? Consider how many more people will agree to be organ donors! In the long run, we'll save thousands of lives!”

Is it ethical to put Roy on the transplant waiting list for these reasons?



- Medpage Today, March 19, 2021

* * *

Max Baer & Primo Carnera

* * *



President Joe Biden says he thinks everyone will be able to gather by the Fourth of July this year. Which brings to mind fireworks in a time of great danger for wildfires, as we have seen in recent years. My recommendation is that all the clubs that sold fireworks as fundraisers switch to super soakers, water balloons and squirt guns. The kids could have a lot of fun getting each other wet as the weather in July is usually very hot. I see this as a win-win in a time of such fire danger.

Louise Fredson


* * *

Willits Rodeo Fourth of July

* * *


by Matt Taibbi

The media business keeps trying to ruin Jesse Singal and Katie Herzog, and they keep prospering. The paradox of moral panic in media

On almost a daily basis now, a high-profile figure in the media business is fired or resigns under pressure, often after falling afoul of staff for behavioral or political reasons. The most recent episode involved 27-year-old Alexi McCammond, who this week resigned as editor of Teen Vogue over tweets written as a 19-year-old. Donald McNeil and Andy Mills of the New York Times were dropped just before that, while before that noted cancel culture critic Nathan Robinson was booted from the Guardian, and figures like Matt Yglesias, Andrew Sullivan, and even Glenn Greenwald were squeezed out of mainstream organizations to varying degrees. 

Reporters tagged with “reputations” are typically unhirable, barred from freelancing and public speaking, dropped as guests on radio and TV programs, and shut out of book publishing. Those who didn’t leave the business often ended up doing things like ghost-writing or writing for foreign publications. People who were once among the biggest names in American journalism and commentary (think about it) have for years now been publishing almost exclusively overseas. 

In the last few years, that began to change, as subscriber-based platforms like Patreon and Substack allowed for some cast-offs to build new careers as independents. For a long time, this was a small enough group that few noticed or cared.

Now, however, these second acts are prompting a backlash. What’s the point of canceling someone, if they don’t stay canceled? Why consign someone to purgatory if they can make a living there? 

Hence the crazy controversy of the last two weeks, when numerous writers — many of them Substack contributors themselves — decided to make an issue over the presence of “problematic” writers on this platform, including Greenwald, Sullivan, and especially Jesse Singal, a journalist and podcast host known for controversial writing on trans issues in outlets like The Atlantic.

CNN’s Reliable Sources blog ran a quote decrying Substack writers who “attack journalists, and stoke fears in transgender people,” while Adweek ran another saying, “to be associated with those names by having a Substack feels dirty.”

Vox’s “Recode” newsletter went with, “Substack writers are mad at Substack. The problem is money and who’s making it,” noting that some contributors were upset that Substack is [emphasis mine] “funding authors they don’t like — either directly via advance payments… or just by letting them keep a share of subscription revenue they sell.”

In a repeat of the Harper’s Letter scandal of last summer, which triggered a series of newsroom controversies at places like Vox because some of the letter’s mainstream signatories signed a document also signed by the likes of Singal and his co-host Katie Herzog, the Internet frenzy soon snowballed into demands that Substack drop its “problematic” writers. A major complaint was that Substack gave undisclosed advances to certain writers through a program called “Substack Pro,” resulting in an influx of a certain kind of writer — I’m often listed here — whose politics clash with other contributors. 

Specifically, a trans writer named Jude Ellison Sady Doyle wrote a pair of articles focused, among others, on Singal. One accused him, without evidence, of being “a high-profile supporter of anti-trans conversion therapy who is also widely known to fixate on and stalk trans women in and around the media industry,” and another essentially demanded that Substack remove Singal and other writers as a pre-condition for remaining on Substack. 

When Substack refused, Doyle and others bailed, triggering headlines like “Substack Pro Leads to Departures From Platform.” Facebook immediately issued a post clearly intended to welcome in defectors from Substack, announcing that they will be “partnering with a small subset of independent writers,” presumably of a much different ilk than the writers Substack attracted with its “Pro” program.

Once, it was enough that unpopular writers could be pushed out of jobs at places like The Intercept, Vox, the New York Times, and New York Magazine. The next demand will be that such writers not be allowed to publish anywhere, not even to audiences choosing to pay for their services. Singal might be a canary in a coal mine: the first person to be targeted for removal from a self-publishing platform. 

Substack didn’t budge, however, and Singal survived, but as he told me and Katie Halper on this week’s Useful Idiots, the episode revealed a lot about a mentality gaining traction in the media business. 

“People like [Jude Ellison Sady Doyle],” he says, “are expressing a point of view that is really common, that even Jesse Singal-center-left-shit-lib-ism is too far to the right for them.”

The “stalking” accusations mostly ended up being things like: contacting someone for comment for an article and not using the quote, linking to the critics’ own works (Julia Serano said Singal’s link to her article about “The Struggle To Find Trans Love In San Francisco“ was “slut-shaming,”), or simply asking for proof of an accusation.

“I would quote-retweet someone criticizing me and say, ‘This is a lie, this is not true,’” Singal says. “At some point disagreement becomes harassment, and harassment becomes stalking.” 

His co-host Herzog is even blunter, noting that none of the many critics co-signing the idea that Singal is a stalker could actually mention an incident of real stalking. 

“Nobody can name a victim,” Herzog says. “It’s fucking QAnon.”

Herzog and Singal’s careers collectively read like an oral history of a moral panic. Both ran into trouble for writing articles deemed unorthodox and offensive by a small but vocal group of critics. 

Their offending pieces were written using a traditional, down-the-middle, advocacy-free style, once standard in long-form journalism, which ironically appears to have been the problem. Herzog’s story in particular is amazing, given the extreme care she took to avoid eliciting the exact reaction she received. 

“I was canceled first,” Herzog says, half-laughing. 

Her professional trajectory changed in 2017, when she wrote an article called “The Detransitioners: They Were Transgender, Until They Weren't“ for the famed Seattle alt-paper, The Stranger. This was a profile of a handful of people who had “transitioned to a different gender and then later transitioned back.”

Herzog’s piece was filled with “some say A, but others say B” constructions that were once commonplace in feature writing. She took pains to warn readers that the true stories of the handful of detransitioners profiled should not be used as fodder to make broader political points, including whole paragraphs on that score that read like Surgeon General’s warnings:

Right-wing groups and media outlets use detrans people to further a transphobic agenda, arguing that their existence invalidates all trans people… Cass's story has also been repurposed by the alt-right site Breitbart, which likens transitioning to being “mutilated by sex-change surgery.” There are real-life consequences to this kind of press, especially now, when the rights of trans people have become a political flash point.

She went on to note that signatures were being gathered for a “bathroom bill” in Washington State, adding that such bills “fundamentally demonize transgender people by perpetuating the myth they are somehow predatory or violent, when in reality, trans people are far more likely to be the victims of crime than its perpetrators… Rates [of violent victimization] are even higher for trans women of color.”

Herzog didn’t just warn against conservative propaganda tropes. “It's not just the right-wing that uses detransitioners for its own ends,” she wrote. “Parts of the self-described feminist community do it, too.” Herzog explained that such “radfems” — in 2017 it was still necessary for her to introduce the term TERF, or “trans-exclusionary radical feminist,” to Stranger readers — often aligned with conservatives on trans issues.

Such women, she wrote, “allege that the modern trans movement is fueled by the pharmaceutical and biotech industries, which have fooled gender-nonconforming people—especially gays and lesbians—into seeking costly medical interventions for no reason.” She then mentioned that neither of these points of view was supported by her detrans profile subjects. 

Herzog in her piece mentioned hot-button issues, but gave immediate space to critics in each case. When quoting a statistic suggesting that 80% of trans children “eventually identified as their sex at birth” — the now-infamous “desistance” topic — she immediately quoted a trans activist who said, “It's time for the 80 percent desistance figure to be relegated to the same junk science bin as the utterly discredited link between vaccines and autism.”

When noting that parents and a few researchers had begun arguing the existence of “rapid onset gender dysphoria” in adolescents, she quoted from an essay by Serano, asserting that the rise in people coming out as trans was due to a positive change away from an old “gatekeeping” model of health care. Herzog also cited greater awareness and acceptability of trans lifestyles, saying “more people are aware of it as an option now.”

Non-denunciatory mention of the “Rapid Onset Gender Dysphoria” theory of peer-influenced transitions appeared exactly twice in Herzog’s piece. The first was in the form of a quote by Lara Hayden of the Seattle Children’s hospital, who said: “The question of peer pressure comes up a lot… but always by parents.”

The second was in this passage:

Jesse, a 16-year-old in Portland who prefers the pronoun “they,” told me that five kids in their eighth-grade class came out as trans that year.

Still, Herzog’s piece was received as anti-trans propaganda — a “trans = social contagion piece,” as Serano put it, adding that Herzog’s mention of the social contagion theory was “reckless.” It was, Serano said, “akin to giving equal time in an article to scientists who don't believe in climate change or who think that smoking-causes-lung-cancer is still up for debate.”

Herzog adds that the article was “threaded through” with what she calls, “Don’t yell at me, I’m a good one, I’m a good one!” passages. “I tried,” she says, “to make crystal clear that the existence of detransitioners does not in any way invalidate the trans experience.” 

She also thought she might have leeway based on who she was. “I thought that because I’m a gay woman and had lots of trans friends, and always had lots of trans friends, that that might insulate me. That wasn’t true at all. In fact, it might have made it worse, because I was viewed as a traitor.”

The first consequence of writing the piece was personal. “For me, there were a lot more social consequences.” Around Seattle, she began to see fliers and stickers describing her as everything from a transphobe to a Nazi to a Jordan Peterson sympathizer (“That was the worst,” she quips).

“I would walk into a coffee shop and see a flier calling me transphobic,” she says. She even saw a photo of her face plastered in a urinal.

“It was really unsettling,” she recalls. “Every time I used to get carded, I’d worry that people would figure out who I was.” 

She ended up being shut out almost entirely by former friends. “At the time I lived in Seattle in sort of a queer scene,” she says. “My friends were cool leftist queers who now think I’m a literal Nazi.”

Singal, living in Brooklyn, didn’t suffer the same social consequences, but the approach he took to writing an Atlantic piece called “How the Fight Over Transgender Kids Got a Leading Sex Researcher Fired“ was similar to Herzog’s.

He wrote a cover story called “When Children Say They’re Trans“ for the Atlantic that earned him permanent enmity among trans activists for doing the same thing Herzog had done: showing multiple sides of an issue. Although it’s frequently cited as evidence that he favors “conversion therapy,” the piece is full of passages like this:

For gender-dysphoric people, physical transition can be life enhancing, even lifesaving. While representative long-term data on the well-being of trans adults have yet to emerge, the evidence that does exist—as well as the sheer heft of personal accounts from trans people and from the clinicians who help them transition—is overwhelming.

Where Singal got in trouble was in mentioning the existence of other outcomes. Note that he does the same thing Herzog did, making sure to wrap controversial factoids or assertions in reassurances that he’s not saying something broader:

For many of the young people in the early studies, transitioning—socially for children, physically for adolescents and young adults—appears to have greatly alleviated their dysphoria. But it’s not the answer for everyone. Some kids are dysphoric from a very young age, but in time become comfortable with their body. Some develop dysphoria around the same time they enter puberty, but their suffering is temporary. Others end up identifying as nonbinary—that is, neither male nor female.

He tried to present the article as covering all possible bases. “The Atlantic cover story was focused on the 12- or 13-year-old who wants to go on puberty blockers and hormones. The idea was, what should that process look like?” adding that “It included a 750-word section early in the article about how trans people have been cut off from medical care historically and how wrong that is.”

Neither Herzog nor Singal could have imagined that those articles would come to define their careers. Certainly, neither intended to focus exclusively on the topic (Singal, in fact, has a new book out called The Quick Fix, about the dangers of psychological fads, that doesn’t touch on the trans subject at all).

But both ended up incurring so much opprobrium for going near an issue deemed to be taboo that new professional identities were essentially assigned to them by critics. Increasingly cast out of mainstream journalism, both found success as independents, which ironically proved an even more annoying outcome to detractors.

“I’ve had crazy shit written about me, I’ve had people lie about me,” says Singal, “and by any reasonable metric, it’s enhanced my platform.”

“Like Jesse, this has been nothing but completely great for my career, which is the irony,” says Herzog. Her critics, she says, “have been doing my PR for free for years. And they’re quite good at it.”

The heat has attracted thousands of listeners to their popular Blocked and Reported podcast, which has 4,570 paying subscribers and earns upwards of $24,000 per month. Singal also writes for Substack. Even the recent controversy involving Doyle and Substack ended up being a boon to both of them.

“Even this controversy led to a big surge of both Patreon and Substack subscribers,” Singal says, fixating on the paradox of being an outcast in modern media. As he’s been denounced, seemingly libelously, as a bigot and transphobe, and kicked out of one world, he’s been welcomed in another, in a process he describes with a mixture of horror and amazement.

“I can not in any sense claim to have been canceled,” he says, pointing out that he’s “fine” professionally, even though, like Herzog, he’s gone through a miserable personal ordeal. “It eats your soul,” he says.

Both would like to still work in the mainstream press, but how? “Even an editor who wants to support someone like Jesse as a free-lancer,” says Herzog, “why would you? You could go with someone else, who won’t result in you getting complaints from your staffers.”

“Katie was told by an editor at a national publication she writes for, that she just can’t write there that often,” says Jesse, “because the staffers get mad every time they do.” 

This gets to the core of what’s happening in newsrooms. “It’s 25-year-old staffers and web producers who basically decide what gets aired,” Singal says, pointing to episodes like last summer’s firing of New York Times editor James Bennett (for running an editorial by Republican Tom Cotton) and the more recent firing of McNeil.

In this atmosphere, reporters are disincentivized to go anywhere near controversial topics, for fear of evoking the displeasure of co-workers. “Just think about the incentives,” says Singal. “If you were a 25-year-old journalist now, why would you possibly touch one of these hot-button issues, when it could overnight ruin your reputation forever? I’m much more worried about those people than myself.”

All of this has resulted in a media landscape where political homogeneity is the norm. “It’s not an accident that all the institutions where these people work and write for have become unreadable,” says Singal. “Because you know exactly what their opinion is going to be on every issue.”

This is tough for those organizations, many of which are seeing drastic drops in readership, resulting in mass layoffs in some cases. That should be bad enough. Now they want to export the same problem to self-publishing platforms? Let’s hope this is one media trend that doesn’t spread.


* * *

GRAHAM GREENE TO HIS WIFE: The fact that has to be faced, dear, is that by my nature, my selfishness, even in some degree my profession, I should always, & with anyone, have been a bad husband. I think, you see, my restlessness, moods, melancholia, even my outside relationships, are symptoms of a disease & not the disease itself & the disease, which has been going on ever since my childhood & was only temporarily alleviated by psychoanalysis, lies in a character profoundly antagonistic to ordinary domestic life.

* * *

Curiosity Cabinet

* * *


Dear Malcolm Macdonald,

Your Giants lineup inspired me to send my version. Shorting it to 25 greatest overall, not by position. Number one: Juan Marichal (partially because I know Juan personally and want to stay here he is the nicest, humblest, most gentlemanly and funniest person I've ever met in life!) 2: Willie Mays. 3: Willie McCovey. 4: Barry bonds (still clouded by the ’roids). 5: Darrell Evans (obviously most underrated) 6. Will The Thrill Clark. 7. Orlando Zepeda. 8. Gangling Gaylord Perry. 9. Bobby Bonds (martini anyone?), 10. Matt Williams. 11. Jack Clark. 12. Jim Davenport (most combined years as Giant att 20, 1958-1977). 13. Tom Haller (caught many Marichal and Perry shutouts). 14. Chris Speier (Willits ties) 15. Bengie Molina. 16. Robb Nenn. 17. Chili Davis. 18. Robby Thompson. 19. Buster Posey (he'll move up every year). 20. Tito Fuentes. 21. Matt Cain. 22. Sergio Romo. 23. John Montefusco. 24. Dave Kingman. 25. Jim Ray Hart. Runners up: the Alou Brothers, Randy Moffitt (Billie Jean King’s brother). Kevin Mitchell and Jose Uribe, like Kobe Bryant are wasted ink: Too many arrests or rape! Top five managers or coaches: Alvin Dark, Charlie Fox, Bruce Bochy, Roger Craig and Dave “Rags” Ragetti. Top announcers: Russ Hodges, Lon Simmons, Kruk & Kuip.

Would like to share one sad note with the AVA. It's been a lonely personal memory for 50 years now. In the summer of 1971 my pal Randy Randy Silveira and I met Russ Hodges at the hotdog stand at Ccandlestick Park. Randy was another Fort Bragg High All-League in 3 sports. Russ was a cool old boy and we shot the breeze awhile. He said he was dying of cancer and in three months he was gone. Three months after that my pal Randy died in a hunting accident! I've get that memory in my heart all these years.

I would like to challenge you, Malcolm Macdonald, or any other baseball brainiacs to a “stat quiz.” Let's examine four Hall of Fame pitchers famous in the 60s for the Giants and Dodgers. We know from 1962-1966 the Dodger duo of Sandy Koufax and Don Drysdale were arguably the greatest one-two pitching punch in baseball “ever.” In those five years they won over 200 games between them (Koufax won the ERA title all five years), and shattered strikeout totals for teammates. They also finished the last four of those years winning two World Series. In 1962 they tied the Giants. 

But hey, let's look at two other Hall of Famers of Giants 60s glory – Juan Marichal “the Dominican Dandy” and Gaylord “Spitball” Perry. Take their best five years of the 60s. Stat fans, please look this up: add Perry's number of shutouts from 65-69 and Marichal’s shut outs from 63-66 plus 68. Juan was out a half a year in 67 with a broken leg. Perry was younger and didn't have his spitball in tow until 1965. So total both our Giants stars number of complete game shutouts and compare them to Koufax and Drysdale total from 1962-66 when they were both very healthy and in their ultimate prime. Remember, just use these five-year totals for shut outs for all four and combine the total and watch Marichal and Perry come out on top! Then go an extra yard and add up Giants and Dodgers total victories from the years 1961-68 (an eight-year period) and my bet is the Giants come closer to 800 wins than the Dodgers! Go ahead fans, research up!


David Giusti #3979

951 Low Gap Road, Ukiah, CA 95482.

PS. If anyone out there can help a Giants fan that can't even watch a game please mail me at baseball stat book. It has to be sent from the publisher.

ED NOTE: How about shortstops Omar Vizquel and the great Brandon Crawford? I always liked LeMaster, too, but the poor guy couldn't hit a lick. Russ and Lon, the best announcers ever, along with Bill King across the Bay.

* * *

Willits Baseball, 1920

* * *

TRUMP WAS VACCINATED in January, which he didn't make public until recently. That's how much he cares about the people in his political base. A recent poll found that nearly 50% of Republican men are still reluctant to get vaccinated.

We already knew the Republican Party is the crackpot party, full of right-wing Christians and Q-Anon supporters. That makes it the anti-science party that vilified Dr. Fauci when he contradicted Trump about the pandemic.

Since Trump's political base is anti-science, they probably don't understand Darwinism and natural selection, which means many Republicans are in effect selecting themselves out of that relentless evolutionary process.

Of course we liberals are very sad that some Republican men will die as a result. They should know that dying is an unskillful way “to own the libs.” 

Alas, we libs will be particularly sad when we are compelled to benefit politically after conservatives in effect volunteer to winnow their own political herd. 

(Rob Anderson, District 5 Diary)

* * *

* * *


Regarding “California’s dangerous sprawl will continue until its cities grow” (, Editorial, March 11): It’s true that potential residents of the proposed 1,400-home Guenoc Valley development would need a flame-retardant suit. But so will every resident of Lake County and surrounding areas who would be in harm’s way when the next wildfire strikes.

Not only does the luxury resort fail to ease the state’s housing shortage, it increases the risk of ignitions in a historic fire zone. That’s why California Attorney General Xavier Becerra and the Center for Biological Diversity are challenging this ill-conceived development in court.

But it’s not enough to fight one dangerous development. From San Diego to Napa, cities and counties are rubber-stamping one fire-prone sprawl project after another at a time when wildfires are deadlier, more destructive and costlier than ever.

There is a better way.

Proposed legislation that will soon have its first state Senate committee hearing would ban new construction in dangerous fire zones. SB55 is the type of bold legislation we need to protect residents of Lake County and beyond.

The Chronicle’s editorial board understands the need to avoid sprawl development on fire-prone land. Let’s hope our legislators understand that, too.

Tiffany Yap


* * *

* * *


The consumer advocate, author and former presidential candidate refuses to mince words about Democrats and their corporate bedfellows in a new interview with Robert Scheer.

With Joe Biden in the White House and Democrats controlling Congress and the Senate, Ralph Nader, the lifelong good-government crusader and consumer advocate, issues a stark warning to progressives: The Democratic Party is still not on the side of working Americans, no matter what politicians, media pundits and their corporate donors will have us think. The former Green Party presidential candidate has dedicated his life to putting pressure on America’s most powerful corporate and political leaders, and while some activists are ready to let the Biden administration get away with ecocide, expanded drone wars, and other forms of murder, Nader is prepared to do no such thing. His thorough and well-researched critiques, such as his recent piece on the Democrat-assisted corporate takeover of Medicare, are needed now more than ever as American media undergoes what Matt Taibbi calls a mass “sovietization” during the Biden honeymoon.

On this week’s installment of “Scheer Intelligence,” host Robert Scheer asks Nader, “What have you learned in these 60 years of being a consumer advocate and public intellectual?”

“One thing I’ve learned is that Democrats are on an infinite journey towards cowardliness,” responds Nader, “because now they’re getting credit for their $1.9 trillion stimulus bill, 100% financed on the shoulders of our children and grandchildren, without a single effort to [rescind] the Trump tax cuts that are at least $2 trillion over the ten years since they were passed in 2017.”

Nader points to the many “institutional taboos” that Democrats won’t speak of let alone challenge, such as tax cuts for corporations and the super-rich, as well as an outrageously bloated Pentagon budget. While the “Scheer Intelligence” guest says that Democrats may look better compared to “the cruelest, most vicious” Republicans, but they don’t address any of the significant problems impacting Americans every day and, at the same time, stifle dissent from the progressive wing of the party. He argues that all of this is part of the system that we now live in, thanks to both political parties selling out to corporate interests.

“Corporate capitalism is not capitalism,” argues Nader. “Capitalism is your ma-and-pa store on Main Street; corporate capitalism is basically corporate socialism because without socialism in Washington bailing out capitalism, capitalism would have collapsed a long time ago.”

But Nader goes even further from calling our current system corporate capitalism or socialism and labels it “corporate fascism” due to the fact that moneyed interests have strategic power over everything from our diets to our public lands. Scheer and Nader have a lively discussion about whether or not it is possible to challenge the powers that be in an age of corporate fascism. Scheer argues that it is impossible to truly effect change under the conditions of life in today’s America, in which the traditional proletariat is no longer able to organize due to the gigification of the economy at the same time powerful corporations such as Google and Facebook disguise their obscene profit-seeking under the cloaks of anti-racism, women’s rights and other worthy social issues. Nader, however, is more hopeful than Scheer about a power that people still have the opportunity to harness.

“Here’s the rub,” explains Nader. “It has never taken more than 1% active citizens scattered throughout the country representing [or building] the majority public opinion to change Congress on any number of agendas throughout history.”

The former presidential candidate calls for civic movements to take on the legislative branch, which to him is the most powerful part of the federal government, with a laser focus. Listen to the full conversation between Nader and Scheer as they discuss the many ways Democrats, such as Nancy Pelosi, along with Republicans, have willingly placed American democracy in corporate claws and time and again betrayed the interests of the very people who elected them. You can also check out Nader’s most recent book, “The Ralph Nader and Family Cookbook“ here.

Full Interview:


  1. Eric Sunswheat March 21, 2021

    RE: at most (but not all) hospitals across the country, that patients must demonstrate 6 months of sobriety before receiving a liver transplant;

    ->. March 16, 2021
    Women have also borne the brunt of many new pressures of pandemic life, from virtual school and increased responsibilities at home, even as ads and pop culture have continued to validate the idea of drinking to cope: Mommy Juice, Rosé All Day, Wine Down Wednesdays.

    On top of that, eating disorders and underlying trauma from physical or sexual violence often add fuel to the fire, fanned by social isolation…

    A patient discharged from the hospital with alcoholic liver disease is often motivated to get psychological help but frequently can’t find outpatient care until weeks or months later, he says.

    “The cultures of hepatology and the cultures of psychology and psychiatry are very disparate; we see patients very differently,” so physicians aren’t coordinating care, even when they should, he says…

    “Unfortunately, transplantation is finite,” says Dr. Haripriya Maddur, a hepatologist at Northwestern University. “There aren’t enough organs to go around. What it unfortunately means is that many of these young people may not survive, and die very young — in their 20s and 30s. It’s horrific.”

  2. George Hollister March 21, 2021

    “A recent poll found that nearly 50% of Republican men are still reluctant to get vaccinated.”

    Reflecting on the deteriorated integrity of mass media these days, anytime I see the reporting of “a recent poll” I assume it’s bogus.

    • Marmon March 21, 2021

      I think the poll correlates with where a person gets their news from. Most demoncrats and peegressives watch left leaning news networks and/or read left leaning newspapers. Most Republicans choose not to live in fear and are more likely to search out facts rather than rely on fiction.


      • Stephen Rosenthal March 21, 2021

        “Most Republicans choose not to live in fear and are more likely to search out facts rather than rely on fiction.”

        Then why were you in such a panic to get your 90+yo mother vaccinated?

        • Marmon March 21, 2021

          I got two doses of vaccine as well and so did President Trump and First Lady Melania Trump. Just last week POTUS recommended that people get vaccinated like they did too. It was democrats who pushed the story that Trump’s vaccines were dangerous because of “operation warp speed” and his cutting corners to get it to the American public.

          I went to a outside party last week and most the people I talked to said that they did not trust the vaccines because they were still in the experimental phase, which is true. The FDA has yet to fully approve them for anything more than Emergency Use. Yes we are all just part of a grand experiment at this point.

          It’s disgusting that folks like you are blaming Trump for people’s reluctance to be vaccinated after you guys like you created the fear in the first place. If you want to continue spouting out your stupidity in public I wont try to stop you.


          • Stephen Rosenthal March 21, 2021

            “Just last week POTUS recommended that people get vaccinated like they did too.”

            Yeah, 2 months after they secretly got it without revealing it to the public.

            Guys like me? I have no fear of the vaccine and neither do any of my non-Trump cultist friends. I am due for my 2nd Pfizer dose on Wednesday.

          • Stephen Rosenthal March 21, 2021

            And by the way, just so we’re clear on the facts that you claim to search out, Trump is no longer the POTUS. And I’m quite confident he will never be POTUS again.

            Oh one other fact: according to the latest polls more than 85% of Democrats and Independents say will take the vaccine, while less than 45% of Republicans say they will.

          • Marmon March 21, 2021

            If Trump isn’t POTUS, then who is? It certainly isn’t Jobiden.


          • Marshall Newman March 21, 2021

            The number will be small, but I wonder how many of those Republicans, during their last days before dying of Covid-19, will think to themselves “I should have taken the virus seriously and gotten vaccinated.”

          • chuck dunbar March 21, 2021

            James, you are losing your grip on reality. Though maybe you just say this stuff to annoy others and get attention, but, if so, it is kind of pathetic. In a democracy, we count the votes and those who lose feel their grief and move on and get used to the tough new reality. Trump is gone in disgrace, a mentally ill person who took you all on a grandiose ride. It. Is. Over.

          • sam kircher March 21, 2021

            So, if I’m reading correctly, James is a minority of a minority? God bless us, every one

    • Michael Koepf March 21, 2021

      It is, as is Rob Anderson who hails from District make-it-up.

  3. Nathan Duffy March 21, 2021

    “They should know that dying is an unskillful way to ‘own the libs’ ”
    Good Lord thats the funniest shit I’ve heard in a looooong time, thanks Rob!!!!
    AND maybe I’m wrong but I thought the word was “idyllic”. Is “idealic” the Jamaican spelling? JK.

  4. Chuck Artigues March 21, 2021

    You left off Cy Young winner Mike McCormick and solid manager Dusty Baker

  5. Kathy March 21, 2021

    2 things:
    LOVE Rob’s “dying is an unskillful way to ‘own the libs’” sentiment.
    And no, Roy doesn’t get the liver transplant

  6. Betsy Cawn March 21, 2021

    Regarding Lake County’s flammability, flagrant neglect of long-standing precautionary principles in land-use and zoning decisions, and Ms. Yap’s comments on the State’s schizophrenic environmental resource management mentality:

    “It’s true that potential residents of the proposed 1,400-home Guenoc Valley development would need a flame-retardant suit. But so will every resident of Lake County and surrounding areas who would be in harm’s way when the next wildfire strikes.”

    Local proponents of the project consider the features of new development to be vast improvements in the survivability of mega-fire “events” and hold up the Guenoc Valley’s 25-square-mile “city” as an example of wise use of fragile and finite environmental resources. Be that as it may, the project being described as an answer to state, regional, and local “housing” needs is disingenuous at best.

    Details of the proposed project were reviewed by the Lake County Board of Supervisors on July 7, 2020, including the proponent’s declaration of intent to develop additional water rights for creation of new water wells in close proximity to the town of Middletown — itself dependent on the finite groundwater resources of the Coyote Valley County Water District. Then-Supervisor Rob Brown cautioned the rest of the Board of Supervisors (and the minions they oversee in the departments of Community Development, Water Resources, and Public Works/Engineering) against “giving away too much” in their haste to increase property tax revenues promised by the bedazzling array of expert consultants providing “input” to support the proposals. [The number of attachments to the July 7 presentation is 84, at this webpage:

    Meanwhile, over 50% of the “housing stock” in the county is pre-1975 construction (a lot of it in legal non-conforming subdivisions that now present major wildfire hazards, the individual homeowners of which are trapped in mismanaged HOA-operated areas with inadequate escape routes, fire suppression flows, communication gaps, warning systems, and insupportable insurance rates, as in the Clear Lake Rivieras — which also manages to add to impaired water quality in the “receiving water body” [Clear Lake] that supplies their household “drinking water”).

    The general population that sustains the necessary public works (for health and safety, in accordance with Winchester House-like state regulations) struggles with well-known socio-economic deficits that should be the highest priority for county governance — but ends up being the last or least consideration of the “lawmakers” in their popularly elected seats “representing” constituents with few options for improving the conditions in which they live.

    Insisting that homeowners focus first on “home hardening” (and “defensible space”) in areas with dense overgrowth of “hazardous vegetation” — areas of long-standing neglect by PG&E and county road maintenance crews — the residents with adequate financial means expect that all local dwellers will somehow manifest their ex-urban ideals of bug-free country living. Meanwhile, the dedicated first responders — in medical service institutions as well as utility-operation systems (private and public) — keep scraping bodies off the highways and out of homeless encampments, squelching individual fires as quickly as possible, and funneling business to the local hospitals. Welcome to Hard Times, U.S.A.*


  7. Nathan Duffy March 21, 2021

    Anecdotally the repubs and born again Christians that I know are more skeptical of the vaccine and “western medicine” than anyone I know (still a bit strange but entirely explainable) AND many of them have said if vaccination is required for work they will get the Johnson & Johnson vaccine because it is only one shot and reportedly weaker. Seems like a good compromise to me; give the repubs the Johnson & Johnson and Astrazeneca vaccines and give the rest of us the Moderna and Pfizer vaccine, problem solved!

    • Bruce McEwen March 21, 2021

      My Republican, Mormon brother, he just laughs at all these inoculations. He says he had Covid-19 back before if became popular. He says he had it in January, 2020.

      There’s some evidence to support this. A story on NPR some months ago corroborates it, in theory.

      In fact, I personally had a very strange illness in December, 2019. Strange in contrast to what had gone before; it was certainly no common cold or run of the mill flu.

      Like those poor ignorant devils who thought the plague was transmitted by interpersonal contact — how foolish do you suppose they felt when it was learned that it was transmitted by fleas,?

  8. Bruce McEwen March 21, 2021

    A salute from me to Officer Patrick Infante in recognition of his silver 11550 lapel pin for busting 150 tweakers. Keep up the good work, Officer Infante, you’ll soon earn the gold pin.

    • Bruce McEwen March 21, 2021

      OH, YES, AND THANK YOU, Officer Alex Cowen, for keeping those drunk drivers off the road (yes, I realize you keep the stoners from driving, too.) and you are to be decorated for it, along w/ saving lives, and your medals are justly deserved.
      Again, Thank you for your service.

  9. Brian March 21, 2021

    You don’t give the liver transplant to the basketball star or anyone without the showing of sobriety. This is not to punish somebody for their addiction. This is for the better outcome. Somebody who is unable to remain sober directly prior to their liver operation is unlikely to remain sober afterward. And then all of the money, all of the hard work, all of the emotion and all of the tragedy that likely preceded the removal of the liver from the donor giving it to this person, all of that goes to waste. Without that show of sobriety at the beginning, without that conviction on the part of the person needing the liver, the Gift of Life just becomes another pie in the face to those around from a drunk who can’t control his addiction.

  10. Jim Armstrong March 21, 2021

    The photo of Jessi (sic) Morris you have in Catch of the Day doesn’t match his booking pic on the MCSD site.
    What am I missing??
    Edit: Ah. The one on Catch is from 2013.
    And that raises a different question.

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