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Mendocino County Today: Saturday, April 17, 2021

Dry Days | 6 New Cases | Fire Weather | Brown Cloud | Drought Signs | Breakthrough Cases | Iris | Vaccines Available | Plant Sale | FirstNet | Virgin Twin | Saving Steelhead | Music Program | About JDSF | Lilies | Sit Show | Fence Fail | Good Laugh | Good Cops | Blame Sacramento | Homeless Camps | Covid Mortality | Ed Notes | Forepaugh Circus | Primrose Pugilists | Blues Beach | Floribunda | Water Warning | 1930 Mendocino | Streetscape Update | Yesterday's Catch | Steep Street | Bad Cop | Good Trouble | Songcrafting | Thriving Wage | Stop It | Pusillanimous Prick | Scientific Method | Richelle Returns | Mass Shootings | Firescaping | More Bull | Demonic Phase

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DRY WEATHER is forecast to occur during the weekend, and possibly beyond through much of next week. Otherwise, temperatures across interior valleys will be warm during the next couple of days, while at the coast, periods of stratus will favor cooler conditions. (NWS)

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6 NEW COVID CASES reported in Mendocino County yesterday afternoon.

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The National Weather Service in Eureka, California has notified the Sheriff's Office of an Elevated Fire Weather Conditions and Warm Temperatures in Mendocino County as follows:

High temperatures across interior valleys will remain in the 70s and 80s through Sunday.  In addition, afternoon highs may locally reach 90 during Sunday in the vicinity of Ukiah and Hopland.  

Otherwise, easterly offshore winds are forecast to develop across the region tonight and persist into part of Sunday.  Gusts across exposed ridges will range from 10 to 30 mph, and minimum humidity values will fall into the teens with poor overnight humidity recoveries expected.  

Those conditions combined with dry vegetation for April will yield an elevated fire weather threat across wind-exposed ridges.

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A DIRTY BROWN CLOUD appeared over the northeast hills Friday afternoon causing several people to ask us if there was a fire out on Low Gap or something.

Then we saw that Calfire had announced a “prescribed burn west of the Community of Ukiah starting on April 12 through Friday April 16, 2021. Burning will be conducted each day between approximately 10am to 5pm. Smoke and aircraft will be visible.” 

We didn’t see any aircraft but we hope that brown cloud was the “burning” being conducted, and not a foreshadowing of this year’s fire season. 

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Philo River Watcher David Severn told us Friday that he’s seeing very disturbing signs of the signiciant drought in Anderson Valley. First, the Navarro River gage, which apparently was malfunctioning and reporting some strange numbers a few weeks ago, has now been fixed and it is showing a record low flow for this time of year of 27 cubic feet per second, significantly below the “median daily statistic” of almost 200 cfs. 

As far as anyone can recall, the previous record low for this time of year was about 34 cfs. In addition, Severn has not seen any young steelhead, aka “reds” this year, and the few adult steelhead he’s seen seem smaller and darker in color than previous years. Severn has also noticed that local fir trees are showing significant signs of dryness stress and branch brittleness and appear to be weak while at the same time their leaves are not green but parched yellow. Severn wondered if any other local outdoors people have seen similar indicators.

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by Ethan Varian

At least 16 Mendocino County residents who were fully vaccinated against the coronavirus later tested positive for COVID-19, health officials said Friday.

The discovery follows Sonoma County officials’ acknowledgment on Tuesday that 39 local residents contracted the virus after being fully inoculated, meaning it had been at least two weeks since they received their final vaccine dose.

Such instances are rare and known as “breakthrough cases,” referring to the virus breaking through the protection of vaccinations.

Still, infectious disease experts say this kind of infection is expected, since existing COVID-19 vaccines don’t give people 100% immunity. The two most widely used vaccines, Pfizer and Moderna, are respectively 95% and 90% effective at preventing infection by the pandemic disease.

Dr. John Swartzberg, a UC Berkeley infectious disease expert, said the 16 infections among fully vaccinated people in Mendocino County appears to mirror the breakthrough case rate across the country.

“What we’re seeing in Mendocino is what we’re seeing in Sonoma and is what we’re seeing nationally,” Swartzberg said.

In Mendocino County, 42% of residents over 16 are fully vaccinated.

When people do contract COVID-19 after full immunization, there is some evidence that the earlier inoculations may make their infections less severe, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Of the 16 people who account for the breakthrough cases in Mendocino County, eight experienced various flu-like symptoms and a handful became severely ill, local officials said. None were hospitalized.

Some of the cases were reported at two assisted care centers, including Mountain View Assisted Living and Memory Care and Ukiah Post Acute Rehabilitation and Skilled Nursing. Officials could not say how many cases were found there.

Mendocino County Public Health Officer Dr. Andy Coren said the county’s contract tracing efforts prevented the breakthrough cases from leading to the broader spread of the virus.

But no virus samples from those involved in the breakthrough cases were analyzed to see if the infections were caused by mutated variants of the original virus strain, which can be more contagious and potentially more resistant to vaccines.

“We didn’t have those results in time to actually send them off (for analysis),” Coren said. “It has to be done while the specimens are very fresh.”

Four different variants, including two more contagious West Coast strains, have previously been detected in Mendocino County. Coren said the county is working with the state health department to bolster its ability to monitor new variants.

(courtesy The Press Democrat)

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THIS SDB (dwarf) iris is called Cat's Eye and it is blooming in our garden now.

Dwarf Iris

— Jan Wax

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AV HEALTH CENTER has a moderate amount of first dose vaccines available this week. Just a reminder, we are now open to everyone so if you have not done so already, sign up on our jotform. We are working with the county and school district to identify the number of 16-18 year olds in our district and hope to hold a Pfizer vaccination clinic in the coming weeks. As you may have seen in the news, vaccine supply is expected to be limited over the next two weeks. We’ll keep you posted!

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THE UNITY CLUB GARDEN SECTION is having a Plant Sale at Disco Ranch in Boonville to raise funds for our college scholarships. The sale will take place the first two Saturdays in May, 11:00 am - 1:00 pm. May 1st and May 8th we will be in the Disco parking lot with a variety of native, veggie, herb and flowering plants for sale.

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SUPERVISOR TED WILLIAMS commented on Bob Abeles recent tech note about high afternoon internet/cell phone usage creating a slowdown/bottleneck in Boonville:

Williams: FirstNet (off the AT&T) tower offers a quality of service for first responders, prioritizing their traffic over the general public's Netflix streams.

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NEIGHBOR PROPERTY MANAGER needed to invite me on a 4 x 4 ride to inspect 3 square miles of redwood forest.  This virgin twin is something to behold!

— Paul Meilleur, Philo

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Our recent drought brings to mind a story I once heard about how some local folks put their heads together to save stranded steelhead trout.

I'm not certain of the year but if I were to guess, it must have been around the 1940s or 1950s. Anyway, the winter that year had been a dry one, so bad that a large number of sea run steelhead had been stranded in the upper reaches of Rancheria Creek and the creek was drying up. The water had stopped running weeks before and all that was keeping these fish from dying were a few shaded pools of water along a stretch of Rancheria Creek near the Ornbaun Valley / Fish Rock Road intersection.

Russell Tolman was the local constable at the time as well as a rancher and sportsman who was keen to recognize the seriousness of the situation with the trapped and dying fish so he enlisted the help of some of Anderson Valley's other concerned citizens to take charge of saving these desperate fish.

The story goes that by the time they headed out for Rancheria Creek they had a flotilla of some 4 or 5 flatbed trucks, 15-20 empty wine barrels, boots, nets, and a group of women from town who prepared a delicious creekside lunch with fried chicken, mason jar pickles, potato salad and all the sweet tea the workers could drink. After hours of hard work netting and wrestling with the steelhead doing their best to not injure them, the last oak barrel was loaded onto the last truck to join the other loaded trucks already headed down the road to meet up at Demmick Park on the Navarro River where there was an ample amount of water for the fish to survive. As the trucks drove through the valley people on the street waved and lifted their hats it was truly a grand event.

Almost every single steelhead survived the journey that day and it has been said that in the following years the steelhead returns were phenomenal with numbers into the thousands. But that's probably just another fish story.

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by Roger Sternberg

I have recently read articles on the proposed Timber Harvest Plans on Jackson Demonstration State Forest (JDSF) and the campaign to set aside 20,000 acres of JDSF as a forest preserve. As a person who has spent 40 years working as both a land conservation professional and forester, I’d like to share my thoughts on the campaign

1)  JDSF’s Mission and Role: The legislative intent in establishing JDSF was to use its 48,000+ acres to demonstrate various approaches to managing a working forest so that this information can be shared with forest landowners and forest managers.

JDSF is a working laboratory that provides important research and demonstrates methods for reducing sediment delivery to creeks, the effect of forest management on subsurface hydrology and the application of various silvicultural methods on forest growth. I know of no other place in the state where this kind of critical applied research is consistently occurring.

JDSF’s role is particularly important given the major fires that have recently destroyed not only working forests, but also old growth redwood preserves. How to protect both resources is a major question, and many forest stewards look to JDSF to help provide the answers.

In my case, I am working with a number of landowners who want to re-establish old growth/Late Seral forests, but we’re finding that leaving them alone fails to respond to the need to reduce fuel loads and build forest resiliency. Ironically, active forest management in preserves, including removing the understory, prescribed burning, and conservative thinnings are now tools that are being applied in the effort to preserve the preserves. We have a lot to learn about forest stewardship in the age of climate change and catastrophic fire, and this is where JDSF can play a critical role in demonstrating what approaches are most effective.

2) JDSF Forest Management Practices: To suggest that JDSF is destroying critical redwood forest is fundamentally inaccurate.  Since its establishment in 1949, JDSF has been transformed from a forest that was overcut and depleted of much of its non-timber forest values to vibrant working forest that most of us in the field envy. This was accomplished not by locking up the resource, but building it back up by cutting less than 50 percent of what the forest is growing annually and in averaging less than 3% of its land base being harvested annually.

Undoubtedly, JDSF could improve its forest management, as could all of us involved in management of complex forest ecosystems.  But JDSF’s approach to forest management demonstrably focuses not just on timber management, but building forest resiliency from wildfire, improving and protecting wildlife habitat, riparian corridors, and recreational opportunities. Simultaneous to the management of its timber resource, JDSF’s non-timber resources have also been restored. Just a few of these resources include:

• 76  Northern Spotted Owl “Activity Centers” (nest and other high-use areas).

• 459 acres of old growth reserves thousands of old growth trees (reserved via a no-cut policy).

• 12,234 acres of forestland managed primarily for non-timber values, including riparian corridors for salmonids, areas set aside for marbled murrelets,  and special treatment areas adjacent to the Woodlands State Park and other State Parks

It is also critically important to understand the extent to which public scrutiny of JDSF’s forest management occurs. Five different agencies, including the California Department of Fish and Wildlife and Regional Water Quality Board, need to approve each THP that is submitted by JDSF, which also entails review of requisite wildlife, plant, and archaeological surveys. Equally important is the input from JDSF’s Advisory Group, which regularly reviews proposed THPs, as well as the JSDF Recreation Task Force. Composition of both of these groups is made of a broad spectrum of community members.

3) Economic Benefits: At the same time that JDSF provides the aforementioned non-economic benefits, it also provides a significant amount of both direct and indirect employment. In the last 10 years, timber harvesting has resulted in the employment of about 1,300 people, and annually JDSF employs 20 full-time and 6-10 part-time staff.

In addition, Mendocino County benefits directly by receiving about a half a million dollars annually from timber taxes.

Unlike our wonderful State Parks in the County, which are funded via tax revenues and have a huge amount of deferred maintenance to address, JDSF is a real bargain for us taxpayers, as it is self-funded via timber sales. These revenues enable JDSF to not only actively maintain its roads to prevent soil erosion and sediment delivery to creeks, but also its recreational trails, which are free for public use.

4) State Parks and National Forests in Mendocino County and in the State: Mendocino County is blessed with about 24,000 acres of State Park lands, including old growth reserves at Montgomery Woods and Hendy Woods. In addition, the Mendocino National Forest contains 913,306 acres of land, including 180,000 acres of the Yolo Bolly Wilderness Area, with the remaining acreage for all intents and purposes not managed for timber production. Stepping outside our county, there are approximately 243,000 acres of coastal redwood State Parks stretching from the Oregon border south to Monterey County. These are fabulous assets that have been set aside for the public, belying the need for further preserves.

Decades ago, conservationist, forester, and author of a “Sand County Almanac,” Aldo Leopold, advocated for treating our natural resources not just as a commodity, but as a community of which humans were only a part. He saw this “land ethic” as a process, not something that can be reached with finality. I believe that JDSF is modeling this approach via its forest stewardship. It could generate much more revenue from timber sales, but it has elected – to our great benefit — to temper commoditization with other human and natural values. I respectfully submit that JDSF is working well, and we not fix what isn’t broken.

(Roger Sternberg served as the Pacific Forest Trust’s Forestland Conservation Director and the Mendocino Land Trust’s Executive Director. He is a Registered Professional Forester and consults with nonprofit organizations, governmental agencies, and forest landowners on land conservation and forestry projects.)

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Lilies Behind Ford House

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Thanks to intrepid KZYX engineer Rich Culbertson Thursday night’s show which featured the tree sit and Jackson Demonstration State Forest logging issues, along with a brief tribute to recently deceased north coast labor leader Joe Louis Wildman is already on the web. Just follow this link and scroll down to April 15, 7pm show and enjoy. 

Just a reminder that there will be a rally at 4pm Friday at the Fort Bragg City Hall, Hwy 1 at the corner with Laurel St. for those who might wish to make an expression of their vision for JDSF.

Chris Skyhawk <>

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The Mexican Wall

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To the Editor,

An interesting item in the Ukiah Daily Journal recently concerning the person who was fighting with law enforcement.  I have seen a video of the event and it appeared to me that the man running about with no clothes on started the whole affair and the police simply put an end to the whole thing.

I did get a good laugh out of a statement made by a person named Gloria Campise who said she was “deeply disturbed by the violent actions of the UPD against a mentally ill man” and that she “no longer feels safe in our town” and that her “fear is of the violence of the UPD.”

Well, you can guess where this is going to go, Madam Campise and the rest of her loony liberal friends will be screaming to defund the UPD, and, in this moronic town it will probably happen.

Thank you,

David Anderson


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I always disliked law enforcement. I still do. However, some deputies have shown me that not all law enforcement are [bleeps] and power abusing [bleeps]. Honestly, I am seeing some deputies here at the Mendocino County Jail go above the norm. Compassion and respect for inmates. 

Chris Brockway

Don't get me wrong, we still have [bleeps] that like to treat us inmates like [bleep] and I will name a couple. Deputy [name withheld] tops my list. Major [bleep]. Don't like him. Never will. A tweaker with a badge. There are many stories of how much of a dirt bag cop he is. He has done some sadistic [bleep] to me. I got two cans of pepper spray dumped on me last year. I'm showering to rinse it off this [bleep] turns off the cold water in my closet so all I got was hot water. You don't rinse pepper spray with hot water. It makes it burn 10 times hotter. [Bleep] him for that one. Sgt. [name withheld] is mean. A real black widow type. No compassion.

Let's get off the negative and talk about the positive. Last year on December 2 I overdosed on fentanyl. I died on the floor of cell number 152. My brother alerted Deputy Lopez and Lopez jumped into action. I was very surprised at the extent he went to bring me back. Lopez was holding my hand kneeling by my side when I came back from death looking me in the eyes, telling me, I got you Brockway. You're going to be okay. I ain't really an emotional guy, but that man, Deputy Lopez, opened my eyes and softened my heart toward some of these guys wearing a badge. I will forever have love and respect for Lopez. His partner that day was Robles. He also has my credit and thanks for saving my life. It sucks because Robles left this jail to work elsewhere. But wherever former deputy and active Army reservist Robles is, thank you, you are the man.

You too, Lopez. You are the man. The two of them went the extra mile on December 2 to save my life. I'm forever in debt to them. 

Those girls who just overdosed in the women's jail were also saved due to the officers on shift that day. Basically when I first got locked up in his jail in 2012 this jail was full of [bleep bleep] deputies. Most of them are gone. The new deputies here are fair and respectful for the most part. 

The way Deputy Dow treats and deals with the mentally ill inmates is touching. The public doesn't know it, but mental health treatment in this jail is trash. Most of these deputies don't know how to deal with a crazy person so they get neglected and act crazier. I've seen deputy Dow cleaning the crazy cells, putting them in the shower and standing there coaching them on how to wash their hair and body. He makes sure they get totally soap up and scrubbed. I mean, guys with human [blank] in their hair and Dow is giving these guys respect and treating them in a way that helps them act more normal.

Dow gives them little incentives and it works. If you ask me, deputy Dow should run the mental health team here and teach everyone else how to deal with the mentally ill. I respect Dow for that.

Then we got deputy [name withheld]. He is the [bleep]. He is respectful. He does his job every day. No BS. When he works I never have to ask for toilet paper or the phone. He is on it. He treats us like humans, not inmates. Everyone respects him because he comes to work like a man. The only time he acts like a cop is when someone is being dumb. If you ask me, all cops can use some lessons from Gunny.

I must add a couple of names of cops here at the jail who are good guys because I don't want them getting jealous asking why their name was let off.

Deputies Alderson, Ford, Souza, Munoz, Sergeant Hardman and Sgt. Bohner are all really good cops. Lt. Spears and Lt. Bednar, you guys are okay too. But it would be a lot cooler if you would kick me and Scotty Faber out of this jail early though.

Chris Brockway # 4680

Mendocino County Jail


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I would like to respond to Doris Meier’s letter critical of the Coast Community Library (CCL) in Point Arena. I need to do this because while she is 100% correct in her facts, she is 100% wrong in her implications.

My name is Larry Riddle. I am a member of the Board of Directors of the Friends of the Coast Community Library. The FOCCL is the public-service group that owns and maintains the physical facilities at CCL. CCL (i.e., the county) is just the occupant of our building. I am also Point Arena’s delegate to the County Library Advisory Board. I have been associated with the library in one form or another for many years. I have known Julia Larke, our head librarian, for that length of time. Doris Meier seems to be confused as to who controls the hours and conditions of operations at CCL. It is not Julia Larke.

CCL is a branch of the county library system.  as such, operating hours and conditions are as specified by the county. And of course the county government is subject to rules and regulations dictated by the state government. So the hours and conditions of operation at CCL are not within our control. They are the result of decisions made in Ukiah in accordance with dictates from Sacramento.

Please direct your vituperations toward Sacramento and be sure that the powers and conditions of operation at CCL will be the most we can provide while we operate within the limitations specified by "higher headquarters."

Larry Riddle

Point Arena

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(Doris Meier’s original letter)



The Point Arena Library, the only one around (on the Coast), has reopened after a year of closure: 25% capacity, three afternoons a week, no magazines, papers, no sitting, i.e., not a real library. However, we are assured that “all returned items will be quarantined for approximately three days before returned to the shelves.” Where, oh where, is the evidence that anyone, anywhere ever got covid off a book?

Meanwhile, during that very year, most Mendocino County residents shopped in grocery stores, touched many items there, returned them to the shelves where they remained for the next person to touch.

They have shopped perhaps in Costco in Santa Rosa, maybe Target, who knows where else? Same policy: Items can be touched, then returned to the shelves. Many have visited doctors offices where they were able to sit and wait, albeit at some sort of distance from others; many will have dined outside and now inside.

However, our library, on which many of our poorer neighbors depend since they cannot just order books from Amazon as I did when I became frustrated with our library, has remained closed, offering no services and now offering pitiful ones despite no recent covid deaths in our county, few new infections and no outbreaks.

During this year, I was even unable to return a borrowed book either in person to the library or to the return box outside of it, which remained stubbornly locked. Why?

How long will we treat our population as imbeciles who do not know yet how the virus is transmitted and the commonsense measures they can take to protect themselves such as handwashing after they return from a shopping/library trip? 

Enough. Open our library which is run by public funds. Insist on masks if you wish; limit the number of people inside if you wish, but stop the other nonsense. Enough is enough. This library belongs to us all.

Doris Meier


ED NOTE: Please. Sacramento has decreed that the return box be locked? Sacramento has decreed that all returned items be quarantined for three days? Sacramento has decreed no sitting? Sacramento has decreed that the number of days the library can be [partially] open? Come on.

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UKIAHAN COMMENTS ON HOMELESS CAMPS: "These kinds of encampments are horrible! The entire creek by Walgreen’s is filled with needles, garbage, electrics, human waste, and more. All left by the homeless and the city does nothing about it. We have had countless encampments close to our house. We have called so many times they just don’t show up anymore unless they start fires. Five years ago this crap wouldn’t fly. You can’t go anywhere in town now without being harassed by groups of them. Something needs to seriously be done. The city does nothing, the cops do nothing. It’s like a pass the buck game and the people who are suffering are the law abiding citizens and taxpayers of this town. All you get from officials is some BS excuses. I’ve been homeless and know this kind of crap never was allowed before. You keep allowing this and we will just keep seeing a rise in the homeless population and crime. There are very few homeless who are not part of the criminal element in this county."

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source: Johns Hopkins University

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AS CATASTROPHES, large and small, accumulate, a small one is 12 (so far) aural frost fan assaults out of the past 14 days on the people of the Anderson Valley, sleep deprived for two weeks now. The larger catastrophe is drought — Lake Mendocino's a puddle — and the consequent combustibility of much of the Northcoast, including Anderson Valley, thus far spared major fire, already has all of us on edge. Everything's dry, stressed trees everywhere one looks.

IT WASN'T that long ago that Supervisor Pinches wanted to at least begin talks to re-negotiate Mendo's one-way water deal with Sonoma County, a contract signed in 1954 that gave more than 80% of Lake Mendo’s water to Sonoma County in perpetuity. SoCo, of course, has made untold millions selling water to their own water districts and as far south as Sausalito. Pinches couldn't even get a second from his cringing colleagues to talk about Mendo's great giveaway of its water. (Ironically, most of the water stored at Lake Sonoma, barely tapped by SoCo, derives from the rains that fall on the forests of southern Mendocino County, meaning Mendo is double-screwed out of its water, although much of Lake Mendo is filled from the diverted Eel and, one could argue, rightly belongs to Humboldt and Lake counties.)

PINCHES also suggested siphoning off and storing some of the Eel's winter flow, and tapping the Boy Scout Lake above Willits and piping it down into town to relieve the always parched Gateway to the Redwoods, suggestions that terrified North County enviros who themselves have never had a single environmentally creative thought.

PICKED UP a seat belt ticket in San Rafael the other Sunday morning. I was on my way north to Boonville where, so far as I'm aware, a seat belt ticket is unknown except for one I got way back a mere thirty feet from the end of my driveway during a time law enforcement seemed more than ordinarily unhappy with me. During that period I also got a ticket for parking in the wrong direction in front of Anderson Valley Market. I'm fairly certain I'm the only person in the Anderson Valley ever to rack up those particular violations of the law while inside the Anderson Valley's hot and cold embrace.

IT WAS 7AM when the young cop from the Central Marin Police Authority pulled me over in front of a Mexican restaurant off The Miracle Mile whose median, by the way, has been beautifully landscaped as a gift to the community by George Lucas who lives in the hills above. If only all our plutocrats were as generously civic-minded.

A MEXICAN emerged from the closed restaurant and stood delightedly beaming at me in full Mexican schadenfreude while the officer went about his business with the old gringo. I rummaged around in my glove department for documents as the cop asked, “What's that on your dashboard?” That, young man, is a government cassette player furnished to the halt and the lame absolutely free by our munificent government. I listen to books while I commute. “You have a cracked windshield and your driver's license is expired.” I explained that I, too, am nearly expired, and my strategy therefore, is to calibrate the final collapse of my ancient vehicle with my exit. In the meantime I have no plans to replace my windshield. I was tempted to add “or renew my license” but the kid seemed to be enjoying our interface, and I decided it would be unwise to push him.

I SAID that when I got my first driver's license at the old Marin DMV in this same neighborhood, the county's population was still under 40,000 people. Drivers made their intentions known by arm and hand signals, not the giant electronic semaphores of today's preposterously over-large vehicles. “This is all very interesting, Mr Anderson, but seat belts save lives, and if you'll sign here…” The Mexican, laughing, pointed at me and, giving me a thumbs up, went back inside his place of business.

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In late May of 1888, residents along the wagon road to Humboldt County were amazed to see three men trekking northwards with a huge elephant and albino camel. Billed as the largest and best trained of circus elephants, and as “a magnificent animal having extraordinary intelligence”, the five ton elephant’s name was Empress, at this time. Purported to be the only trained camel in America, the albino camel was Nebo. They were performers in the Forepaugh Circus, the first large circus to perform in Humboldt County.

Forepaugh Sells Brothers vintage circus poster, 1899

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On Tuesday, April 13, 2021 at about 11:35 AM a Mendocino County Sheriff's Deputy was dispatched to contact a possible assault victim located at Adventist Health Howard Memorial hospital in Willits.

Upon arrival, the Deputy was advised a 19 year old adult female had been in a physical altercation with her boyfriend (Steven White, 21, of Willits) in the 2200 block of Primrose Drive in Willits.

Steven White

The Deputy learned the adult female and White engaged in a mutual argument.  During the argument White grabbed a hold of the adult female's hand and squeezed it causing an injury to her hand.

The adult female feared for her safety so she punched White in the face causing a visible injury to his lip.

White let go of the adult female and shortly thereafter he drove her to the hospital for treatment of her injuries.

The investigating Deputy radioed for another Deputy to check the area for White, when White texted the adult female and stated he had left the hospital campus because the Deputies were looking for him.

Deputies were unable to locate White and a Be-On-The-Lookout (BOLO) was issued for him.

On Wednesday, April 14, 2021 Deputies contacted White in Willits and at the conclusion of the contact he was arrested for Domestic Violence Battery based upon probable cause.

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

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SB231 is legislation that proposes to give to the Native Indians 172 acres on the ocean known as Blues Beach south of Westport. 

If interested please call me. Gary Quinton (707) 357-1040

Below is the petition now cerculating in the Westport, Laytonville areas

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Westport Blues Beach Give Away?

Oppose and Stop CA Senate Bill SB 231

As of April 12, 2021, Senate Bill 231 proposes to:

Have CalTrans give the 172 acres from the south of the Vista parking lot Highway 1, mile marker 74 and all of Blues Beach to a “yet to be formed” Native American Tribe created Non-Profit Organization who currently plans to:

• Close access from sundown to sunup on all the Blue Beach Property; and

• Permanently and forever  close general public access to "yet to be decided" areas for cultural reasons. 

The proposed Blues Beach Property transfer has our community concerned that:

• This proposed legislation is not sufficiently complete for it to be recommend for passing.

• The proposal has determined that CalTrans shall transfer the ownership of 172 acres of ocean front property that is now owned and enjoyed by all Californians to a select group that has yet to be formed. 

• None of the well known land trust have even been notified of this proposal or asked for any input to the proposal.

• No explanation has been provided for the necessity of the proposal. 

• If it was determined in the best interest of the property to be transferred out of CalTrans management, no alternatives to the SB231 proposal have been discussed and considered. 

• The proposed entity to receive this property has not been yet formed. 

• There is no "stated purpose of use" or management plan of the property once it is transferred out of state ownership. 

• The proposal timeline provided by Senator McGuire will not provide sufficient time to notify and discuss the proposal if and when the above information becomes available. If there was strong disagreement in the public after all the above concerns were address at minimum 90 days would be needed to assimilate the information and present their concerns to the legislators.   

Senator McGuire's timeline is to have this proposal which was first made in January to be thru the Senate by late April, to the assembly by late May and on the Governor’s desk by Late August or early September. 

Please kindly sign this Petition if you believe there are too many questions that are unanswered to expedite this Senate Bill 231.

At this time and without more answers and transparency,  I support Caltrans as the continued custodian of the Blues Beach Property. 

I would not support any ownership transfer of the 172 acres Blues Beach Property to anyone without complete transparent general public input that includes proper advance notifications to all stakeholders and consideration offered to other possible qualified recipients interested in such a transfer. This would be designed to allow the general public to be part of a decision that is in the general public’s best interest.

Gary Quinton


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To Mendocino Board of Supervisors, (and whom ever may listen)

I write this letter to you to as a resource of information that addresses our current water crisis before any progress with Phase III should be considered.

For those who don’t know me/us, My family and I have been a residents of Laytonville for 15 yrs and we have a five year old daughter.  We started a small landscaping outfit called From the Ground Up to make ends meet in 2006 and currently maintain a profile of over 100 clients.  As the landscaping took hold I began to shift focus to irrigation, pump systems, wells, interior plumbing, point of use treatment systems, pretty much anything to do with water.  Late 2017 I was hired part time at the Laytonville County Water District and since have obtained both my T2 and D2 CA state licenses. 

I do not want to come to the table with the same arguments, although I do share some of the same concerns regarding our heritage growers, county infrastructure, and land use.  My argument is based on current residential well sounding and recharge rate data.  

In Laytonville, historically we receive on average around 59 inches of rain in a six month period.  To Date 28 inches of rain has fallen.  This is even more concerning if the previous seasons numbers are factored in.  Before this year,  a low rain year would have usually recharged the ground water in our valley, especially at residential well depth (30-100ft).   This is unfortunately no longer true.  I have returned to write this after my third call this week for wells that can’t keep up with the normal household demand.  100-300 gallons a day is not a large ask typically for any well with a depth of 30 or more feet in and around the valley. 

I was already concerned but after seeing the actual data, and being the specialist tracking it, I am truly in disbelief.  I need to mention, I would be looking at the same data, no matter what proposed increase in usage to our counties water supply.  There are a number of clients I serve that would be greatly effected by the increase of water drafted from their depth or deeper. Most are older and have a fixed income, they will not be able to afford a new source and property value will fall. 

In this valley and in most valleys we all share the “cone of influence.”  At this moment, We need to shift how we think of water to one of a non-renewable resource until the time this precipitation trend reverses.  Cannabis Phase III will directly influence the health and well being of every individual in the County.  I ask that we all look at Lake Mendocino,  anywhere on the Eel River,  or any of our seasonal streams that are dry and cracked in April.  Please conserve and preserve the little water we have available in this county,  we already promise too much away.

Sincerely yours,

Jason Augustyniak and family


* * *

Downtown Mendocino, 1930s

* * *

UKIAH Streetscape Project Construction Update - April 16

The majority of the work will continue to be on South State Street in the next couple of weeks, though some exciting “fill-in” work will be occurring on the north side, too.  Next week, we expect to see some of the new lighting fixtures installed. They won’t be connected yet, but will provide a fun glimpse of some of the design features in the final product! 

Lots of new concrete is being poured on the west side of South State Street.  It’s important to note that we can walk on new concrete the next day, but it must “cure” for about five days in order to withstand vehicular traffic.  This unfortunately results in some extended driveway closures after new concrete is poured.  We’ll continue to work with individual business needs as much as possible, and appreciate everyone’s patience through this part! 

Construction Overview, Week of April 19 

Ghilotti  Construction (Henry – Mill):  Continued work on the west side of State Street between Perkins and Mill Streets, including excavating, forming and pouring new curbs, gutters, and bioretention facilities.  

Monday-Friday: On the west side of State Street, crews will continue demolishing sidewalks, working south to north.  Demolition will end at (but not in front of) the Ukiah Brewing Company.  Forming and pouring new curb and gutter, electric and irrigation installation will follow demolition, also working south to north. 

West Church will be closed to vehicular traffic for the week of April 19th between State and School Streets while sewer work is being completed.  Sidewalks will remain open. 

East Church may remain closed during this phase due to grade changes. 

Construction hours: 7am – 5pm 

North State Street between Perkins and Henry: In between their work on other parts of the project, contractors will continue working on North State Street on the decorative brick band and landscaping areas. 

Looking forward: 

Week of May 3: Sidewalk and vault work will begin on the Perkins Street side of the Brewery. 

Week of May 17: Sidewalk construction on the south side of W. Perkins to School Street. 

Best wishes for a wonderful weekend--

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

* * *

CATCH OF THE DAY, April 16, 2021

Bias, Bodjack, Carson, Escamilla

SHAWN BIAS, Fort Bragg. Disorderly conduct-alcohol, probation revocation. (Frequent flyer.)

KEITH BODJACK, Ukiah. Resisting.

KYLE CARSON, Ukiah. Trespassing.

NICOLAS ESCAMILLA-HERNANDEZ, Yuba City/Ukiah. Polluting state waters with petroleum etc., unlawful water flow diversion, cultivation of more than six marijuana plants, armed with fiream in commission of felony, conspiracy.

Hoel, Ridenour, Russell

RONALD HOEL JR., Redwood Valley. Controlled substance without prescription, metal knuckles, parole violation, failure to appear.

DERRICK RIDENOUR, Ukiah. Domestic battery, kidnapping by force, fear, steals, takes, holds, details, or arrests any person, false imprisonment, protective order violation, probation revocation.

MATTHEW RUSSELL, Fort Bragg. Stolen vehicle, disorderly conduct-alcohol, paraphernalia, evasion, resisting, probation revocation.

Smith, Cameron, Waldron

CHAUNCEY SMITH, Santa Rosa/Ukiah. Defrauding in innkeeper, failure to appear.

CAMERON STOUT, Crescent City/Ukiah. Arson of property, false information, resisting, probation revocation.

NEIL WALDRON, Covelo. Probation revocation.

* * *

SF streetcar

* * *


by Paul Theroux

A shakedown: "Now can we resolve this?"

I upped and left San Miguel in a mellow mood early on a Monday morning of blue sky and sunshine, heading to Mexico City. I kept to country roads in order to bypass the big city of Queretaro, but after 50 miles I found myself back on a racetrack toll road, rolling into the outskirts of the city of 23 million. Half of this large number of chilangos -- as the Mexico city dwellers call themselves -- are classified as enduring dire poverty, many enjoying extreme wealth, and an estimated 15,000 children live on the street. Driving from the Periferico into the sprawl -- low hills of houses, dusty air, blur of distant buildings -- the city seemed immense and daunting, visibly ramshackle and overcrowded, an almost unimaginable forrago of the nastiest version of urban life.

The sign “BUENA VISTA” stayed in my memory, not only because the view of tenants and factories was unpleasant, but because it was near there that a policeman on a motorcycle drew up next to me, indicating with the fat finger of a leather gloved hand that I must follow him.

In the heavy traffic -- trucks, buses, speeding cars -- this was a challenge, and what made it particularly difficult was that he led me to an off-ramp of stalled vehicles and then beyond it to a side road and then, bumping in front of me into a series of slummy streets, where he came to rest, waiting for me to park behind him in a barrio of rundown tenements, in an alleyway on a dead end road.

Some startled pedestrians -- poorly dressed, looking seedy -- glanced at me and then at the policeman and hurried away, ducking behind fences and into doorways, and it was clear to me that they had a better idea of what was about to happen than I did.

When the policeman dismounted, swaggering to my car, I could see he was short and bulge-bellied, his face almost level with mine, and I was seated. His helmet framed and seem to squeeze his face, concentrating the fury in his muscly cheeks, the cruel glint in his black eyes. But by then -- even as he approached, pigeon-toed in big boots -- he was shouting at me.

I rolled my window down and said, "Good afternoon, sir."

His screams drowned me out, and at first I had no idea what he was saying. I said, "My Spanish is poor. Please speak slowly."

"The license plates on your car. They are not Mexican plates. And you're driving on our roads!"

"I have the documents. My vehicle importation permit, my insurance, my visa. Would you like to see them?"

They were in my briefcase in the trunk, but I was hesitant to get out of the car. I was much taller than the policeman and he might make my height a cause for provocation. But I also feared his physical proximity and felt safer speaking to him through the car window.

Interrupting me, he shouted, "What I am saying is that your plates are illegal. Do you understand? You are breaking the law by driving on our roads."

"I have a permit," I said.

He had now worked himself into a froth of spitting rage, and as he screamed out of his congested face I saw that he was wrapped in belts, a holster pistol in one, hand-cuffs in another, a truncheon, a phone, chrome-plated chains, and his uniform was tight against his hard, fat body, as though in his fury, his body -- in the way of some panicky animals -- was swelling to add greater menace to his threat posture.

"Do you want to see my papers?"

The hot stink of this decaying part of the city clawed at my nose as he leaned in and put his darkening face closer to me, shouting, "Do you know what I can do to you? I can take you over there" -- he flapped his hand in the direction of the dark end of the alleyway where the slum dwellers had planned. "I can take your car. I can do what I want."

"Sabes que te puedo hacer?" Do you know what I can do to you? Spoken by an enraged policeman in Mexico, that statement seizes your attention, and so does "Puedo hacer lo que quiero" -- I can do what I want. After all, this is a country where police have been responsible for arbitrary killing, kidnapping, subjugation, and torture including electrocution and medieval strappado. In my anxiety, I remembered, because he had mentioned my license plates, how on some days of the week certain cars designated by the numbers on their planes were prohibited. "Hoy no circula" -- no driving today -- to combat Mexico City’s toxic (and visible as a brown cloud) air pollution.

I said, "Is it because I can't drive today with these plates? Hoy no circula?"

But he was too worked up to listen. His eyes were very small -- tiny, dark pebbles, pierced with a wicked glint -- and his nose was an enlarged snout, like a stabbing weapon. His gloved hands were now two leather fists. It seemed that his anger was partly theatrical, that he was amping up his shouts to intimidate me.

It worked. I was afraid. This I can do what I want was the most worrying threat. I have written elsewhere about how I have been frightened in travel, nearly always by someone with a gun -- a boy in Malawi, a shifta bandit in the North Kenya desert, and three boys with rusty spears had accosted me in a lagoon in the Trobriand Islands, threatening to stab me to death. There was also the apprehension bordering on fear that I had felt, paddling on a river heading into Mozambique, when a fellow paddler -- a Malawian, who knew this stretch of the river well -- pointed to a reach in the stream ahead, a bank of mud huts partly hidden by tall reeds, and said, "There are bad people in that place" -- a place we could not avoid passing.

There is a sense of physical weakness, the certain knowledge that you are trapped and helpless and in danger. And what made this sense emphatic was that all this time as the policeman was screaming, local people -- slum dwellers, barefoot children, women with bundles -- were passing by, glancing at me, and moving on. They knew what was happening and so I was also alarmed by their reaction -- their fear was added to mine.

"I can take your car to the corralon."

I did not know this word which he kept repeating. I should have figured it out -- corral is clear enough, implying an enclosure. I later found out that corralon is a car pound or tow yard. But you do not simply pay a fine and pick up your car. You must first prove that you own the car and this requires notarized documents, a lawyer, visits to various offices, and a fine of up to $500 for inconveniencing the Police Department and the car pound. Being berated by an infuriated cop on a side street of a slum, I did not know how serious the threat of corralon could be.

But I was still alarmed. The accepted way to broach the subject of a bribe in Mexico it to say, "How can we resolve this?" ("Como podemos resolver esto?"), but I was too numb to remember this delicate proposal so I said bluntly in Spanish, "What do you want?"

"Give me 50."

"50 pesos?"


"I don't have $50." I took out my wallet. I had a twenty, some smaller bills and a thickness of pesos. "Here," I said and offered him a $20 bill.

Flicking it with his leather fingers, he said, "I want 300."

"You said 50."

"It's now 300." His teeth were square and stained, his fat face pitted and crusted with badly healed acne scars.

"What's your name, sir?" I had found that sometimes that works to lower the temperature in a confrontation.

He screamed, "Antonio! $300!"

"Thank you, Antonio. I'm Paul." He had not seen any of my papers, nor asked to examine my license. "I am visiting Mexico. I have a visa and a vehicle permit. I am a pensioner. I don't have a job. I'm an old gringo -- a gabacho. I'm not rich. I don't have $300 to give you."

"You have a card in your wallet" -- silly me for opening the thing. "Use the ATM machine."

"Not possible."

He was breathing hard. "Go to a bank!"

"I can't do that." And the very idea of finding a bank in this squalid corner of Mexico City seemed laughable.

This provoked him to shouting, untranslatable fury, and I thought: he has the gun, the cuffs, the truncheon. He is the law. He can arrest me on any charge or invent one. He can plant drugs on me. I can be locked up and lose my car.

"Excuse me." I got out of the car.

He did not back away, he hovered, and now the bystanders who had lingered to gape hurried off a little distance and eavesdrop on the scene from behind piles of rubbish and the tenement fence.

I went to the trunk of my car and, concealing my movements, slipped a $50 bill out of an envelope in my briefcase. I locked the trunk and handed him the 50, the 20, and some smaller bills.

"I said 300!"

"I don't have it."

"Get it! Go to a bank!"

It was past four o'clock on a hot afternoon in a Mexico City slum, and although I was being browbeaten by a cop on a side road, the roar of traffic on the overpass beyond the ruined buildings was unnerving -- the beeping, the banging. And the number of bystanders had grown, the poor people fascinated to see a gringo offering a cop the equivalent (in Mexico City, at the lowest level, which this neighborhood was) of an average workers’ three months salary -- and the cop slapping it away. I was fascinated but anxious, because this crooked cop was someone to fear, the embodiment of what all Mexicans fear: corrupt authority.

* * *


Last Call for the Good Trouble Training

Greetings Coast Democratic Club!

LAST CALL for registrations for the upcoming April 24 *Good Trouble! Hear Us Roar!* training and day of essential conversations. Please forward to the club list if possible. Attached is the agenda for the day.  Please email Susan Savage at to secure your spot to receive the Zoom links to all the sessions.  If you have any questions, do not hesitate to call or email.  Looking forward to seeing you on the 24th!

Susan Savage

(707) 962-7026*

Coast Democrats <>

* * *


You Can Write A Song About That!

Learn to make up songs with Holly Tannen

Sunday, April 18th, 3:00 Pm

Making up songs is easier than you think. Kids do it spontaneously, before they’re led to believe that only special “talented” people can write songs.

We’ll look at rhythm, melody, and rhyme. The four-line verse gives you structure. The tunes you already know  give you melodies. The alphabet song in your head and Rhymezone online will teach you how to rhyme.

I’ll sing a couple of my songs and show you how I made them up.

We’ll make up verses to a tune you already know. Then you’ll choose a subject that intrigues you and begin to make up a song about it. All you need is a pen and paper.

Please share this with anyone who might be interested.

Presented by the Mendocino Jewish Community.

Holly Tannen is a folklorist specializing in songs people sing for their own enjoyment.

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 894 5206 3566

Passcode: Holly

One tap mobile +16699009128,,89452063566#,,,,*014560# US (San Jose)

Dial by your location +1 669 900 9128 US (San Jose)

* * *



Too many people are looking through the wrong end of the telescope, as it were. The problem isn’t the affordability of housing; building costs are determined by market forces, and there’s not much government can do except streamline the process and provide subsidies and tax breaks.

No, the problem isn’t affordable housing, it’s affordable living. Lower-middle-income and minimum-wage earners are not paid enough to live here, let alone strive ascend the ladder of our social hierarchies.

Companies need to understand that they need to sacrifice large profits, and begin paying a bit more in wages and taxes. The only way to maintain a vibrant, growing economy that is as inclusive as possible is for the minimum wage to become a thriving wage and not just a living wage.

I’m not suggesting we make an immediate leap to $25 an hour, but that should be the target to be met within 5 years. The wages should be indexed to inflation. Where will this money come from?

Well, in a nation that has invested almost $2 trillion in a fighter jet that has yet to prove itself usable, we can begin clipping away at that and various other ways our money is being wasted on the wrong priorities.

Dennis Cole

Santa Rosa

* * *


If you insist that men can be women, you’re a liar. You’re lying to yourself, and you’re lying to everyone around you, and everyone knows it. You’re the person in the story who fawns over the naked emperor’s non-existent clothes just so you can feel accepted. Meanwhile everyone knows you’re lying. Knock it off. 

If you insist on forcing everyone else to participate in your lie, you’re a bully and a member of the thought police. (Hint: the thought police were villains in the story, not heroes.) Stop it.

If you’re a male who forces yourself into women’s private spaces without our consent, you’re behaving like a predator and will be treated as such, regardless of what you’re wearing or how you feel about yourself. You possess male bodied privilege whose physical power advantage is not neutralized by the addition of a dress or synthetic estrogen. 

If you’re a teenage girl suffering from dysphoria who desperately wants to eliminate the parts of yourself that make you vulnerable to men, welcome to womanhood. Your body is not the enemy; the way the world engages your body is to blame. Removing your breasts will not make you a man. Growing a stubbly beard will not magically erase your vulnerability or awkwardness. Shunning your parents when they tell you the truth about this will not eliminate your struggle. It is hard to be a woman. It takes a type of strength you can’t find in a set of hormonally altered biceps.

But women have been doing it for centuries, and you can, too. If you’re a member of the media writing headlines convincing people that trans identified people are being “banned from sports” or “denied healthcare,” STOP LYING. No one is being banned from sports; they’re being required to play on the team of their sex. No one is being denied healthcare; they’re preventing butchers from sterilizing children. Again with the lies.

I am sick to death of talking about this issue. I’m sick of being told to “educate myself” by people who haven’t studied the matter even a tiny fraction as thoroughly as I have. I’m sick of watching women fawn all over themselves to center men in feminism because it makes them feel like good people, and I’m sick of watching men stand idly by while primarily females are harmed because it just doesn’t affect them that much on a personal level. 

All I can say is that it’s high past time for people to start telling the truth. That’s all. It’s not that hard. You just have to care

* * *

LUCIAN TRUSCOTT, IV on Tucker Carlson: “He gives new meaning to the words, self-satisfied asshole. That’s a face that never missed a meal, never bounced a check, was never late with the rent, never picked up a fucking check. It’s the face of a putrescent, pusillanimous prick who hasn’t entertained a genuinely new thought in twenty years. The words pig-headed frat-boy don’t do him justice.”

* * *

* * *


MCHC Welcomes the Return of Medical Provider Richelle Gaiter, PA-C

Ukiah, CA — MCHC Health Centers is pleased to announce the return of Richelle Gaiter, PA-C, an experienced medical provider who has joined the team at Lakeview Health Center in Lakeport. After working at MCHC as a traveling physician assistant, called a locum tenens, Gaiter has now chosen to make MCHC her permanent professional home.

After a 30-year career in the U.S. Air Force and several experiences working in the private sector, Gaiter knew what she was looking for, and she found it at MCHC. “At MCHC, people are real. They’re down to earth. The organization is small enough that it feels personal, not corporate, and everyone works together to put patients first. I like that,” she said.

Richelle Gaiter

At MCHC, Gaiter feels she can focus on what matters most: helping patients to achieve a healthy mind, body, and spirit. She uses humor, hugs, and common sense to engage patients, often asking them how they want to feel and what they are willing to do to get there. Although many patients are initially drawn to a quick fix in the form of medication or other interventions, when she explains the reasons for her recommendations — especially about lifestyle changes — some are willing to give those a try.

“I told one young woman, ‘I can give you a pill to make you feel a little better, but if you always choose a pill, by the time you’re my age, you’ll be taking a lot of pills, and you might not feel much better. If instead, you change what you eat and how you move, you could change your life. Do you want to try? I will help you’,” she said.

She loves caring for people of all ages, but admits she has a soft spot for older adults. She enjoys the mutual sharing of life experiences and the challenge of helping people who carry strong opinions. She is realistic with patients about their circumstances but also encourages them to reach for the fullest life possible, sometimes helping them overcome self-imposed limitations. Part of how she does this is by providing her patients with as much information as she can. Gaiter believes that to make the best decisions for themselves and their families, patients need all the relevant facts, and she lets them know that if she does not have an answer to one of their questions in the moment, she will find the answer for them.

“I let my patients know I am human and don’t know everything, but that together, we can figure things out. Also, I have had a lot of life experiences and can relate to some of the hardships my patients face — the loss of a child, an abusive relationship. I think it helps to know that I have been through similar challenges and I will not judge them,” she said. “I bring empathy and compassion, and that, along with my medical training, allows for healing.”

When Gaiter is not helping patients, she enjoys learning new things, spending time on the water, and traveling — all of which she does with her miniature Shih Tzu, Ponyo.

Gaiter is pleased to be part of a team that provides primary medical care, pediatrics, women’s health, dentistry, obstetrical care, counseling, psychiatry, and specialty care, and one that seeks to meet the ever-expanding needs of the communities it serves.

“I am thrilled that Richelle Gaiter has come back to work with our patients and provide excellent care,” said Jerry Douglas MD, CMO.

MCHC Health Centers includes Hillside Health Center and Dora Street Health Center in Ukiah, Little Lake Health Center in Willits and Lakeview Health Center in Lakeport. Learn more at

* * *

* * *


The public is invited to join land managers, scientists and fire behavior experts for a two-day virtual workshop to discuss perspectives and strategies for achieving fire-adapted landscapes. “Our Future in a Fire-adapted Landscape” will be conducted from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Wednesday, April 28, and from 9 a.m. to noon Thursday, April 29, via Zoom. 

The workshop is being presented by FireScape Mendocino, a collaborative of private citizens and public organizations focused on creating more fire-resilient landscapes in and around the Mendocino National Forest. This is the 12th workshop hosted by the organization. 

Participants will be guided through discussions to solicit their input pertaining to wildfires, land management and achieving fire-resilient landscapes. Different topics and discussions are planned for each day of the workshop. Topics include: 

• Post-fire observations and experiences from the Ranch and August Complex wildfires. 

• Factors influencing future forests and landscapes. 

• Upcoming land management projects being proposed by the Mendocino National Forest in response to the August Complex. 

The workshop is free. To register, go to Additional information about FireScape Mendocino can be found at

* * *

* * *


by James Kunstler

Joe Biden’s party must be thinking — if you call it thinking — that being psychotic isn’t enough… it’s time to go demonic! How else to explain the supernatural doings of the folks in charge of things in our nation’s capital. The casual observer might suppose that these things are spinning out of control, but you also have to wonder how much Joe Biden & Company are spinning them that way. Are they looking to start a war, for instance?

Three weeks ago, Ol’ White Joe called Vladimir Putin “a killer.”  This week, Ol’ Joe called Vlad on the phone and suggested a friendly in-person meet-up in some “third country.” In the meantime, Ol’ Joe essayed to send a couple of US warships into the Black Sea to assert America’s interest in Ukraine, the failed state whose American-sponsored failure was engineered in 2014 by Barack Obama’s State Department. Turkey, which controls the narrow entrance to the Black Sea, was notified that two US destroyers would be steaming through its territory. Hours after the announcement, the US called off the ships. Then, hours after Ol’ Joe proffered that summit meeting, his State Department imposed new economic sanctions on Russia and tossed out a dozen or so Russian embassy staff. How’s that for a coherent foreign policy?

What’s going on in Ukraine, anyway? The US and NATO have prompted Ukraine to move troops and tanks toward the ethnically-Russian breakaway Donbass region. Russia countered by massing 100,000 troops on Ukraine’s border. Though supplied with Western armaments, Ukraine’s ragtag and incompetent army has no ability to control the Donbass, nor do either NATO and the US have any real will to interfere there with their own troops — the logistics are insane. Mr. Putin’s elegant solution: evacuate the three-plus million Russians stuck in Donbass into Russia — which needs labor — ceding the empty territory to foundering Ukraine — soon to be an ungovernable post-industrial frontier between East and West. For a rich rundown on these matters, read Dmitry Orlov’s mordant disquisition on the subject: Putin’s Ukrainian Judo.

The lesson there is that the US has absolutely nothing to gain from continuing to antagonize Russia, and that the mentally weak Joe Biden is merely projecting the picture of a weakened and confused USA by keeping it up. Of course, a closer read might be that these hijinks are meant to distract from the more serious and consequential breakdown in relations between the US and China, currently engineered by the blundering team of Sec’y of State Antony Blinken and National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan, who went to Alaska recently to tell the Chinese delegation that they were morally unworthy of conducting trade negotiations, thereby torpedoing the trade negotiations that they went to Alaska to conduct. Smooth move fellas.

Unlike Russia, with its eleven time zones, which actually does not want or need any more territory, China is surely making hegemonic moves all over the place, not just around Hong Kong and Taiwan but in Africa and South America, while it strives to build the world’s largest navy, exports gain-of-function viruses, replaces the US in space exploration, and excels at weaponizing computer science. China’s weaknesses are a lack of sufficient domestic oil supply and food, which its current moves aim to correct. It was on its way to turning the US into a raw materials and food-crop colony when Mr. Trump came along and tried to put a stop to that. And now Ol’ Joe has cancelled that remedial action — after being on the receiving end of Chinese financial largesse in four years out-of-office. Nothing to see there, folks, says Merrick Garland’s Department of Justice, while in possession of Hunter Biden’s laptop, with its trove of incriminating memoranda.

On the domestic front, Joe Biden’s government only seeks to turn American life inside-out and upside-down, with the move to make the politics-neutral District of Columbia into a state, strictly to furnish two more senators for the DNC, and to pack the Supreme Court strictly to advantage the same DNC. Those Bills are being rushed through the House committees but something tells me they will die in the Senate. One also must wonder what exactly the rush is all about. I’ll tell you: something is up in the shadows. Something is lurking out there that is going to bring down Ol’ Joe Biden as an illegitimate chief executive. Could be some new non-ignorable evidence of his China grifting activities, or new non-ignorable evidence about the dubious ballot-tally in last November’s election. Could be something else.

Contrary to just about everybody I communicate with, I remain convinced that former US Attorney for Connecticut, now Special Prosecutor John Durham is still putting real cases together, and I suspect that his cases exceed the narrow spotlight of the origin of the Steele dossier, and I expect that indictments will be announced soon in a way that will shock the nation. Just sayin’… though nobody else is….

Meanwhile, the Wokester branch of Joe Biden’s party makes hay with the ambiguous killings of two more criminal suspects-of-color: first, Daunte Wright of Minneapolis, busy ignoring the open warrant out for him in failing to answer a previous warrant for his role in the 2019 aggravated burglary (that is, with a firearm) of a woman. He was out on $100,000 bail, but it was revoked in July 2020 when he got caught in possession of another gun. In the commotion of his resisting arrest, he got shot, tragically for officer Kim Potter, who somehow mistook her handgun for a taser. She is now teed up on a manslaughter case, while the Wright family is teed up for an $XX-million personal injury lawsuit settlement courtesy of ambulance-chaser Ben Crump. The city of Minneapolis is teed up for a municipal auto-da-fé of lootin-burnin-and-riotin in the name of “justice” — and the Derek Chauvin trial has not even concluded.

Secondarily, out comes the chest-cam video of Chicago police officer Eric Stillman shooting thirteen-year-old junior gang-banger Adam Toledo, in possession of a handgun, in a 3 a.m. chase down a West Side alleyway. So, Officer Stillman is teed up for some sort of career-ending action and Chicago is teed up for another round of lootin-burnin-and-riotin — sure to spread to other cities all over the country as the Woke vengeance campaign moves into its Satanic phase.

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


  1. Pam Partee April 17, 2021

    If I am not mistaken, I read in the AVA that Emil Rossi was charged with a seat belt violation when moving his vehicle a small distance in front of his store. The memory has stayed with me all these years for its outrageousness.

    • Bruce Anderson April 17, 2021

      You’re right. Emil got seat belted driving from the Redwood Drive-In to his store a quarter mile south. And he effectively fought it, as I recall, getting the bail part of the ticket refunded. He also got business license taxes removed for veterans, which has saved me a few bucks over the years. Emil was a great guy, a rare man of iron principle.

  2. Kathy Janes April 17, 2021

    Regarding returning library items, I believe the locked book drops and limited return times are dictated by County public health guidance. When those rules loosen up the libraries can unlock the book drops again. It takes several days for your returned items to be taken off your account but they aren’t charging fines right now so it doesn’t matter much.

  3. chuck dunbar April 17, 2021


    “ ‘This is all very interesting, Mr Anderson, but seat belts save lives, and if you’ll sign here…’ The Mexican, laughing, pointed at me and, giving me a thumbs up, went back inside his place of business.”

    Good little story, Bruce–you probably gave that young Marin cop a good laugh. Bet he went back to the station at end of shift and told his cop buddies a tale about his first stop of the day– an old codger with a beat-up car, cracked windshield, no seat belt, expired license and rambling, odd comments….”Just the facts, Mr. Anderson, just give me the facts.”

    I hope that ticket doesn’t cost you an arm and a leg.

    • Stephen Rosenthal April 17, 2021

      He’s lucky he only got a ticket. If he was black he would have likely been shot while rummaging around in the glove compartment.

      • Harvey Reading April 17, 2021

        Sad, but true.

  4. chuck dunbar April 17, 2021


    “Bad Cop” indeed. Just finished this fine book last week, and this passage was one of the most striking. And, of all the possible dangers of traveling in Mexico, the danger of encountering corrupt cops was the most serious one the author faced. He kept it together better in later such “meetings,” just handing over the cash early on and moving on…He’d learned his lesson.

    Paul Theroux’s love for the Mexican people–their strength and soul amidst hard lives–and their old culture, shines throughout the book. Thanks, AVA, for the occasional snippets of this work of art.

    • George Hollister April 17, 2021

      My Hollister great grandparents went to Mexico by train from Kansas for their honeymoon in the late 1880s. They came home with a piece of Mexican feather art, which I have. How many newly weds living in the USA would consider doing the same today?

      • Harvey Reading April 17, 2021

        Today, most would probably travel in uncomfortable commercial jets, featuring cramped seats and recycled air to breathe. Is there even passenger train service to Mexico from the US these days? Or, have the trucking, oil, and tire lobbies killed that, too.

      • Lazarus April 17, 2021

        In the late 60’s we would drive to TJ (Tijuana) have a few drinks. Head out to Ensenada, hang out at Hussong’s Cantina, then head to Rosarita beach for the night. I never had an issue with anyone, the locals, the cops, nobody.
        In those days, many Americans went to the bullfights in that region. The great El Cordobés even appeared there.
        Currently, I hear Mexican’s who grew up in Mexico and now live here are fearful of driving down there.
        But come to think of it, Covelo sounds a lot like ole Mexico these days…maybe worse.
        Be safe,

        • Marmon April 17, 2021

          I’m probably a little younger than you Laz so I wasn’t allowed to have a few drinks, but I remember going to Tijuana and Ensenada in the 60’s too, with my aunt and uncle. At night we stayed in a motel on the beach in Rosarita, the moon shinning on the waves left me with a memory I will never forget. I also remember eating turtle soup there, my first and only time ever. It was relativity safe there as I remember.


          • Marmon April 17, 2021

            I couldn’t buy alcohol, but I bought a shitload of fireworks, snuck them into my uncle’s car without his knowledge. Had to sweat it out at the border crossing.


            P.S. The Turtle soup was delicious, just never had the opportunity to taste it again.

          • Lazarus April 17, 2021

            It was safe, as long as you realized you were in a foreign country. The place we stayed a few times at Rosarita had a wall completely around the hotel. At the top of the really high wall were broken shards of glass embedded into the concrete. To me, that was a reminder of where I was. But, most times, we slept in the van on the beach. Good times…
            I’m 73, by the way.
            Be well,

          • chuck dunbar April 17, 2021

            Aw, those hidden fireworks, a budding criminal you were, Mr. James….I remember going to Tijauna several times, to the bars, as a young and fairly innocent guy. We once had to drag a buddy who was really drunk off the stage, where he was crawling after a naked dancer. He was a good guy who later became a deputy sheriff in San Diego County. We saved him from getting into trouble and maybe ending up in the Tijuana jail, rumored not to be the place to go after a night of too much fun…

        • Bruce McEwen April 17, 2021

          A reporter from the Los Angeles Times, recently deceased, once got stopped by a cop in TJ and was given a ticket, for which he shelled $5.00, thinking he was paying a bribe, circa 1968. When he got it translated into English, he found out he’d bought a ticket for the Tijuana Policeman’s Ball.

  5. Eric Sunswheat April 17, 2021

    RE: In Mendocino County, 42% of residents over 16 are fully vaccinated.

    ->. If there is legitimate concern with quelling vaccine hesitancy and authoritarian double speak, the powers that be, ought to stop using oxymoronic terms with unintended consequences such as: fully vaccinated instead of currently vaccinated, social distancing instead of physical distancing, All Lives don’t matter, and the spectacle of gawking at George Lucas’s San Anselmo roadway rain infiltration largesse, buttressed by a weak income tax code, while a spewing exhaust choked intersection quagmire, called the Hub is exploited by traffic planners with billable hours, to design a roundabout replacement to accommodate that mess and battery assisted bicycles.

  6. Annemarie Weibel April 18, 2021

    In response to Ted William’s comments about FirstNet:

    FirstNet will include military applications, 5G, and Internet of Things (IoT)). It is the military’s new deadly toy implemented under the guise of “necessary for emergency services.” That way the public would willingly accept 24/7 surveillance, have every move including meta and granular data tracked, harvested and sold, be experimented on, and become actual targets of the latest high powered, low latency, weaponized communications systems.
    AT&T has a contract with FirstNet. Wherever there is a new application for a wireless communication facility, AT&T wants to install FirstNet.

    • Stephen Rosenthal April 18, 2021

      What style tin foil hat are you wearing today?

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