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Mendocino County Today: April 11, 2012

ACCORDING to the Sacramento Bee, California's deer population is down by half over the past twelve years. “Deer require a particular type of forest habitat called 'early seral.' This means they prefer to eat the tender, nutritious, young vegetation that surges for several years after a forest fire or other land disturbance. The problem for rural residents, these days, is that deer primarily find this kind of food in the vigorous growth of gardens and landscaping that tend to go with rural housing development. According to the article, in an ironic twist, the suppression of forest fires, often presented to the public as a way of protecting wildlife, has prevented much of 'early seral' habitat from forming…”

HAH! And you thought we were dead! The Peace and Freedom Party is currently in US District Court in Sacramento, asking that Peta Lindsay be restored to the party’s presidential primary ballot. The primary is June 5. Both sides in the lawsuit, Peace & Freedom Party v. Bowen, have agreed to expedite the lawsuit. Assuming the judge agrees, all the briefs will be in by April 20. Oral argument is somewhat likely to be on April 24. The issue is whether the Secretary of State is exceeding her authority by telling the Peace & Freedom Party that it may not list one of its four desired presidential candidates on the party primary ballot. The other three candidates, who will be on that ballot for certain, are Stephen Durham, Rocky Anderson, and Stewart Alexander. The Secretary of State originally wouldn’t accept Stephen Durham either, but she changed her mind about him and decided to accept him. The Peace & Freedom Party has been having presidential primaries starting in 1976, and never before has any California Secretary of State attempted to tell the party that its list of presidential primary candidates should be altered.

30 UKIAH HAIKUS — by Cody Hoover

1. Shopping carts in a field,

“Free HBO” signs

on motels beneath the mountains

2. partner waits in a pickup

as skinny teenage boy sells dream catchers

by the gas pumps

3. airplanes put out fires

on the mountains,

in the world’s largest redwood tree service station

dust falls through sunbeams

4. at courthouse square

suits, uniforms, and judge pleaser sweaters

hang uneasily before the hearing

5. Safeway security guard

follows a trimmer

near the generic cheese case

6. wordless ice cream cone

mounted on a pole in blacktop,

ice cream shop survived by its sign

7. cardboard “Santa Rosa” sign

lays on the median

off the southbound freeway ramp

8. pear trees, grape vines,

frost protection fans

fill the flatness

a new car turns right

out of the Starbucks parking lot

9. Toyo Wagons and Westfalias

zig zag State Street

gathering provisions,

head back to the hills

10. summer by the library bus stop,

a tattooed Indian

plans a BBQ

for the “Pomo side of the Lake”

11. Two Hundred dollar car

from Willits stuck in a parking lot,

“I hope it's out of gas.”

12. plywood screwed to tops of fences

fail to contain the view

of late summer colas

13. certified psychic medium

pins a flyer

to a crowded bulletin board

14. country music

in a dry cracked interior,

diesel pickup idles at the light

15. black DEA helicopter

waits in a hanger

for season to arrive

16. chainsaws fixed under warranty

tagged in a row

outside the maintenance office

17. handful of red zip ties—

a woman pays cash

on Low Gap Road

18. on the other side of the freeway

from Home Depot,

the Russian River flows

19. final lap,

a graveyard of boats

rots by the Ukiah Speedway

20. old woman in pink nightgown

walks East on Perkins

to see the pink sun

set behind the mountain

21. studded vest skater,

punk playing in headphones

past a brown palm

22. Fiskars at the counters,

turkey bag billboards on the freeway,

possession charges arraigned downtown

23. a distant figure walks

along the retired railroad tracks

thinking of where to go next

24. suburban homes in the hills

look over

permanent motel rooms

25. a drunken man

without a home

poses for pictures again

26. stomachs filled with food

and tanks filled with gas

pass through without braking.

27. on the curb near the gas station,

there are scribbled tattoos

on a traveling girl's

young weathered face

28. Indian tow truck driver,

forgets how to make the baskets

his grandmother showed him

29. tattooed mothers

buy organic food,

filling Subarus

30. frame backpacks, dogs,

worn boot leather,

the travelers are forming a circle

in the trees by Walmart.

QUOTE OF THE DAY: “One of the things I don't like to do at my tender age is to be portrayed as a beached whale lying on the ground, and that's exactly what I do in this new movie, ‘Something's Gotta Give.’ Lying there — vulnerable, exposed, helpless — represents everything dropping away, and it's terrifying. Nothing is more pulverizing in life than a brush with the grim reaper. I wouldn't call myself a hypochondriac, but I'm kind of a fraidy cat that way. When people of my generational group begin to appear in obituaries, I begin to sweat. On the other hand, it's just another part of the rogue's gallery of characters. I can keep my distance from it that way. It's a job. It's another role, another character — like the devil itself. And people have a certain affection for the guy who played the devil.” — Jack Nicholson

JUST IN FROM UKIAH: “The city has installed a bench at School and Standley, which is bolted to the sidewalk facing an empty store for a nice view of a window that's been papered over from the inside and the massage parlor next door. The bench is one of those million dollar powder coated ones with the cutout of a tree in the back; it's about a foot off the School Street curb, but of course facing 180 degrees in the wrong direction. Also: Two garbage cans are three feet to the immediate north of the bench. A supreme feat of engineering, planning, design and accountability!"

THE GOLDILOCKS REPORT: A caller says, “I saw her last week in Mendocino. She was with some scumbag but didn't look as drunk as she usually looks.” Later in the week Goldie, aka “Pixie,” was cited for drunk in public.

A LIMERICK can’t touch a haiku

When it comes to capturing the who

and the where

and the feelings that are there

But humor? The haikuists will never compare!

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