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Mendocino County Today: Tuesday, April 27, 2021

Sunny Days | 8 New Cases | Missing Persons | Bobby Beach | MendoTown News | Marie Grant | Home Invasion | Richard Drewry | Cannabis Future | Ed Notes | Grass Revelation | Equity Grant | Early Loggers | Cannabis Info | McNabbs | Planning Info | Yesterday's Catch | Crabby Crabber | Oscar Flop | Organic Reaper | Vaxperience | SF ODs | Hangin' Jack | Screamin' Jay | Advanced Stage | Weekly Comments | Not Paused | Taft-Hartley Damage | Safe Smoking | Arizona Audit

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HIGH PRESSURE WILL BUILD ALOFT over the region leading to warmer temperatures across the interior. Coastal areas will see sunny days through mid week...but low clouds and fog are likely late in the week as onshore flow and increased marine influence returns. (NWS)

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8 NEW COVID CASES reported (since last Friday) in Mendocino County yesterday afternoon.

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Missing Persons Investigation - Suspicious Circumstances

20000 block of Timber Road in Willits

Since Sunday the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office has been investigating a suspicious double missing persons case associated with a marijuana/cannabis growing operation in the 20000 block of Timber Road in Willits.

Sheriff's Office personnel have been in the 20000 block of Timber Road since Sunday and are expected to be in the area for several days in connection with the active ongoing investigation.

Further information for public release is not expected for several days because of the complexity of this active ongoing investigation.

When information becomes available for release it will be disseminated by a subsequent Sheriff's Office press release.

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Bobby Beach (Red Hat), Elk

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Mendocino will not be overrun with a patriotic mob this Fourth of July, or if it is, it won't be in the form of a parade July Fourth Parade. Sponsor Fort Bragg-Mendocino Coast Chamber of Commerce confirmed last week that that the COVID situation remains too dicey to invite one and all to Mendocino for the Fourth.

The Chamber had its own fireworks to contend with last week with the departure of longtime director Sharon Fisher Davis. Davis issued a statement that her departure was the result of years of over-the-top harassment by an unnamed Chamber board member. The Chamber board issued a statement wishing Davis well. A local person familiar with Chamber board thinking said the statement was an attempt at “taking the high road” and that no further discussion is anticipated. So we don’t expect to hear the other side of the story.

The Mendocino Music Festical said farewell to Alan Pollack, its founding director, recently, but the festival itself goes on, with eight afternoon performances in July from the 16th to the 25th. Tickets are already flying out the door.

Outdoor dining has been the savior of many a bistro over the past year, and Mendocino has benefited more than most places. A May 1 deadline for tent removal was itself removed a while back by the Board of Supervisors, though many didn't notice. Tents can remain through the pandemic's end.

(Chris Calder)

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Cloverdale White Sox, Marie Grant, 1911

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VICTIM OF FRIDAY HOME INVASION describes being handcuffed and pistol whipped, as well as daring escape

Yesterday morning, officers of the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Department arrested three Humboldt County residents–two men and one woman–in connection with a home invasion and assault on a man at his property west of Garberville.

Armed men chasing a handcuffed victim across his lawn. [Photo provided by the victim]

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Richard G. Drewry

RICHARD GRAYSON DREWRY, a lifelong and 4th generation rancher of Humboldt County passed away suddenly Jan. 26th while checking his livestock on the family ranch on Bell Springs Road. Richard was an Agriculture inspector for 28 years in Humboldt and knew an amazing amount of people from his years of working around the county. In 1990 after retiring he became a full time rancher on the family ranch at Bell Springs. Richard was a part of logging on the ranch as well as the cattle operations. Best of all, he was a great entertainer when friends were visiting. Having lived 84 years I cant tell you all the great things my dad did for people and the great advice/laughs he was so good for.

Richard was preceded in death by his parents, Daniel Richard Drewry, and Barbara Zora Drewry. He is survived by his wife Phyllis Drewry, sons Perry, Patrick (Jennifer) Drewry. Grandchildren Westley, Brenden, and Kai Drewry. A celebration of life will be held at the home of Richard at Bell Springs on Sunday May 30th at 1 p.m. We are having a potluck so any salads, desserts, or deli trays would be welcomed. A folding chair also if you have one.

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by John McCowen

At a Special Meeting today, Tuesday, April 27, the Board of Supervisors will revisit Mendocino County Code Chapter 22.18, a proposed land use permitting system for cannabis cultivation that was the topic of a marathon meeting on April 19. Chapter 22.18, if adopted, would replace the current unworkable ordinance with one that aligns with State law, follows a well defined process and offers real protection for neighbors and the environment. The current ordinance, which is unique to Mendocino County, does not align with State law which has been a major barrier to effective oversight and administration. 

Chapter 22.18 as proposed will also allow applications for new permits in Rangeland and would allow application for cultivation of up to 10% on parcels of 10 acres or more. Cultivation is currently limited to a maximum of 10,000 square feet, less than ¼ of an acre. Following adoption of the local ordinance the State adopted a series of onerous regulations that dramatically raised the cost of compliance. At the same time, the legal market collapsed. As a result, very few, if any, cultivators can survive on ¼ of an acre.

Board discussion on the 19th focused on a memo submitted by Supervisor Glenn McGourty the day before the meeting. The memo emphasized the need to have effective enforcement and to hire sufficient staff to process applications, a commitment the Board made on April 12. The Board also agreed there would be no new cultivation allowed in 2021, in part so the public will know that any new cultivation occurring this year is clearly illegal. 

The Board had a lengthy discussion regarding allowance of hoop houses or green houses with a majority favoring strict limitations. The discussion of hoop houses led into a discussion of whether mixed light or indoor ought to be allowed at all. Discussion went back and forth with the Board requesting that staff return with options. Although final language was not agreed to, it was clear that a majority supported restricting use of hoop houses which have been a major source of complaints.

In line with Supervisor McGourty’s memo, a majority of the Board agreed that new cultivation in Rangeland would only be allowed if the land had been previously cleared with a previous history of crop production and a developed irrigation system. Under those limited conditions, an application for cultivation on up to 10% of the parcel could be considered. The Board also supported up to 10% in the Agricultural zoning district but did not support allowing up to 10% in Upland Residential.

Chapter 22.18, in contrast to the current ordinance, will require approval by both the County and the State BEFORE cultivation may occur. Under the current ordinance anyone who filled out an application and paid a fee was allowed to continue cultivating. Chapter 22.18 will require site specific CEQA and a Use Permit. The Use Permit process requires notification to about two dozen State and local agencies including fire and water districts and the California Department of Fish and Wildlife. It also requires notice to the neighbors and a Public Hearing where anyone may be heard. Following the Public Hearing the application can be approved, denied outright or approved with conditions to mitigate neighborhood and environmental impacts. Anyone not satisfied with the outcome may appeal and anyone not satisfied with the outcome of the appeal may challenge the permit in court. None of these protections exist in the current ordinance.

Adoption of the ordinance itself would not be subject to the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) if it is adopted prior to June 30 but site specific environmental review would still be required for each individual application. During discussion it was clarified that review of potential impacts to wildlife corridors would be considered as part of the site specific environmental review. County Counsel Christian Curtis clarified that cumulative impacts would also be considered as part of the site specific analysis for each application.  

Public comment opened with several individuals employed by a Laytonville based cannabis company commenting in Spanish with the aid of a translator. Some of the commenters related that they had previously worked for illegal cannabis businesses where they often had to wait long times to be paid if they were paid at all. They had no benefits, including if they got injured and were often working in a dangerous environment with no job stability. They contrasted this with working for a legal cannabis business with good pay, benefits, stable employment, weekends off and a safe working environment. The employees were obviously part of an organized presentation but so were many of the opposition comments with people essentially reading from a script. 

Following the comments needing a translator, the Board took live call in comments from about 50 people who were split about 60%-40% in support of the ordinance. This was followed by about 50 pre-recorded calls in opposition to the ordinance. The public comment obviously reflected organized efforts by supporters and opponents of the proposed ordinance. The Spanish speaking employees were obviously part of an organized presentation but so were many of the opposition comments with people essentially reading from a script. My favorite was the comment, repeated by several people, that the new ordinance would result in 10,000 miles of new fence! Opponents focused on the potential negative impacts to neighborhoods and the environment, describing all the impacts that are occurring now. Proponents primarily emphasized the economic benefits to individuals and the local economy while also maintaining that Chapter 22 protected neighbors and the environment. Among the proponents were several multi-generation residents of the County including several who are engaged in traditional agricultural but would like to diversify into cannabis. 

The Public Hearing was closed on April 19 so the intention of the Board on April 27 is to hear from staff and then to discussion of the ordinance without additional public comment. County Counsel is expected to report on whether or not the ordinance will need to go back to the Planning Commission based on additional changes that the Board may support. 

Support For Enforcement

Monday, April 12 the Board of Supervisors voted 5-0 to support permit denial for non-compliant cannabis cultivators and to switch from “complaint only” to pro-active enforcement aided by satellite imagery. Following four years of false starts that left 1169 applicants in limbo the Board took decisive action to determine who’s really in the program and who’s out. Planning & Building Services and Cannabis Program staff (for reasons too numerous and complicated to go into here) have expressed doubt over the past year about the ability of Phase I applicants to secure State Annual licenses. Supervisors Ted Williams and John Haschak have spent countless hours working with staff, legal counsel and State agencies trying to identify a path forward for Phase 1 applicants but with little to show for it. Staff and Supervisor Williams have openly stated that as few as 10% of Phase 1 applicants will be able to get a State Annual license. Despite the bleak prognosis for Phase 1 applicants, the grim reality of their situation was not brought into sharp focus until Monday’s Special Meeting. 

John Parrot, Director of the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) stated they had issued notices to the holders of 898 Provisional State licenses requesting submittal of specified documents by April 5 with 742 responding. The 156 who have not responded will get a second notice with a response requested by April 30. If there is no response CDFA will move to revoke their Provisional license. CDFA will review the responses received and notify license holders of any questions or need for additional information. Although there is a bill in the State legislature to extend the deadline, as of now all Provisional licenses are set to expire January 1, 2022. 

Kristin Nevedal, recently hired as Mendo’s Cannabis Program Manager reported that there are 1,169 applicants currently in the program. The County has issued 271 permits but 130 have expired for non-renewal. Nevedal also reported that the previous Cannabis Program Manager did an in depth review of 160 applications of which 25% were found to be non-responsive, 60% were incomplete, 10% were flawed to the point of requiring outright denial and 5% were in order and ought to be issued permits. This underscores the assessment of staff that 10% or fewer of all current applicants will be able to obtain a State Annual license.

The Board also heard a report on the Humboldt County use of satellite imagery to assist with cannabis enforcement. According to John Ford, the Humboldt County Director of Planning and Building, the program has been very successful at eradicating large scale illegal grows and has been able to shift focus to smaller illegal grows causing neighborhood quality of life problems. The program uses satellite imagery to identify illegal cannabis cultivation operations. Violators are sent written notice requiring compliance within ten days. Those who fail to comply are subject to heavy fines. According to Ford the program has been challenged in court and has been upheld. Mendocino County Planning Director Nash Gonzales reported they have identified an appropriate source for satellite imagery at a cost of $335,000 annually, well below previous estimates. 

After hearing the above presentations the Board took up an agenda item asking for action to be taken in support of enforcement. The voted unanimously to: 1) Encourage denial of non-compliant Phase 1 cannabis cultivation applications; 2) Approve an increased scope of work for outside legal counsel to assist with Phase 1 application denials; 3) Obtain satellite imagery subscription for the Cannabis Program and Code Enforcement with budget approval to return on the consent calendar; 4) Require Phase 1 cannabis permit and embossed receipt holders to demonstrate a State Provisional license or attest to cultivation within 45 days; 5) Direct Code Enforcement, the Cannabis Program and County Counsel in coordination with the Sheriff to return with an enforcement plan aligned with Humboldt County. Supervisor Haschak argued against use of satellite imagery but after finding he had no support for his position he voted with the other Board members to approve the motion.

Monday’s action by the Board signals a turning point both in terms of permit approvals and enforcement. For the first time the Board has provided detailed direction to staff with the tools to back it up. Denial of permits for people who have been in the process for two to four years will not be well received which is why the Board authorized legal counsel to assist in the denial process. The Board of Supervisors has directed cleaning up the applicant pool in the past, with explicit instructions to deny non-responsive applicants but for a variety of reasons, including political interference, it’s never happened. Likewise, enforcement has been a frequent discussion topic but the Board has never committed the resources to make it happen. 

The commitment to use satellite imagery, although belated, provides the best option of reigning in large scale illegal grows as well as smaller scale gardens creating neighborhood and community problems. The item was first on the Board agenda in October of 2019 with direction to staff to return with more information and options for implementation. Although use of aerial imagery for enforcement was on agenda forecasting at different times in 2020, I believe Supervisor John Haschak abused his position as Chair to block it from coming forward. As a result, illegal cannabis has spun that much farther out of control in Covelo and other places but for the first time County staff will have the resources and political support to proactively address illegal cannabis.

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COLLECTOR’S EDITION. This week’s issue of the Boonville weekly is the first ever to contain a color graphic, or color of any kind other than newsprint gray, and this newspaper goes back to 1950. Special thanks to Joe Vetter of Healdsburg Printing and to Renee Lee, the technical wizard who cyber-organizes this effort every week, for getting it done.

Dr. Wolfgang Schug

WE REPORTED on the hideous episode at the time, assuming that the Adventist medical combine would elude murder charges for the death of 11-month-old Cody Burrows of Lake County. A doctor Wolfgang Schug, the on-duty emergency room doctor at the Adventist-owned Redbud Hospital near Lakeport, on February 23rd, 1996, treated the infant for an ear infection. The baby got worse, suffering from constant diarrhea and vomiting. The Burrows brought their son back to Redbud three times in as many days; each visit saw the child in worse shape. On the final desperate visit to Schug and Redbud, the young parents were handed a road map to what is now called Sutter Medical Center in Santa Rosa, nearly an hour and a half from Lakeport. The dying patient thus dumped by the Adventists, his young parents drove frantically to Santa Rosa where alarmed doctors received the dehydrated child and shipped him immediately off to UCSF for specialized treatment. But it was too late and Cody died in San Francisco. Two years later, and in a rare demonstration that there was some justice left in the administration of Governor Wilson, Dr. Schug was arrested and charged with second degree murder. He posted bail of $75,000 and resumed work at Redbud. 

THE UPSHOT? As reported by Maura Dolan in the LA Times back in the late 1990s: 

Judge Acquits Rural Doctor of Murder of Infant Patient

by Maura Dolan, LA Times Legal Affairs Writer

February 21, 1998 — The unusual prosecution of a Northern California doctor charged with the murder of an infant patient ended abruptly Friday when a judge said authorities failed to show that the physician had acted criminally.

The case against Dr. Wolfgang Schug has outraged the medical community, which contends that doctors should not be prosecuted for medical mistakes.

But prosecutors and the family of 11-month-old Cody Burrows say Schug’s care for the baby was so reckless that the doctor deserved to go to prison.

Cody’s mother burst into tears Friday and ran from the Lakeport courtroom when the judge acquitted Schug of second-degree murder, involuntary manslaughter and child endangerment in the child’s 1996 death.

“I am angry, I am hurt,” said Betty Thomas, the boy’s grandmother. “It is just frustrating.”

Schug, who worked in the emergency room of a tiny, rural hospital 110 miles north of San Francisco, expressed relief at his acquittal but also bitterness over the legal ordeal that tarnished his reputation.

Prosecutors took the unusual step of charging Schug with murder, alleging that the doctor failed to recognize Cody’s lethal condition and, after realizing his errors, sent the child off by private car to another hospital in an attempt to avoid responsibility.

The boy was brain-dead upon arrival at the second hospital after his parents raced 55 miles over twisting mountain roads.

Schug’s case had alarmed state and national medical associations, which oppose the prosecution of doctors for medical judgments. A trustee of the California Medical Assn. said Friday that Schug’s acquittal made him “happy for all physicians.”

Schug, who has been on unpaid leave from Redbud Community Hospital in Clearlake since his arrest in August, said he hopes to return to the job he has held for about 10 years.

The doctor said he tried diligently to help the child. “You go to work and you do the best you can,” said Schug, 45. “If something goes wrong you should not be subject to 15 years in prison. . . . This child was killed by an illness which I was unable to stop.”

Lake County Superior Court Judge Robert Crone acquitted Schug on a defense motion and dismissed the jury after ruling that the prosecution had not presented substantial evidence of criminal conduct to support the charges.

Prosecutors from the state attorney general’s office appeared stunned by the judge’s decision. They had rested their case Thursday after more than two weeks of presenting evidence.

Deputy Atty. Gen. Vernon Pierson said doctors, like other California residents, should bear responsibility for criminal conduct.

“There’s nothing that I’m aware of that says that an MD degree at the end of your name says that somehow, you’re above the law,” Pierson said.

Several spectators in the courtroom had tears in their eyes when Crone made his ruling. Schug’s family cried and hugged him, as Cody’s mother, Rhoda Thomas, ran from the courtroom sobbing.

“I just can’t believe this,” said Betty Thomas, Rhoda’s mother. “I had faith in the jury, and I think they would have come with a good verdict had they had the chance to continue this trial.”

Rhoda Thomas had brought Cody to Redbud’s emergency room three times over 48 hours on a weekend in February 1996 because the child had been vomiting and had diarrhea. Schug saw Cody during the first and third visits.

After keeping the boy in the emergency room for more than eight hours on the third visit, Schug told Cody’s parents to drive the baby to a hospital in Santa Rosa.

The prosecution contended that Schug had acted recklessly with wanton disregard for the baby’s life by transferring Cody without first stabilizing him or calling an ambulance. A medical expert for the prosecution testified that Cody had been severely dehydrated and was too ill to be moved.

Authorities arrested Schug in Redbud’s emergency room in August. He faced 15 years to life if convicted. He said he has borrowed heavily to pay for his defense, which has cost about $140,000.

His lawyers contended that Cody had retrovirus, a type of intestinal infection, and was only mildly dehydrated when Schug decided to transfer him by private car.

The defense had interrupted the prosecution’s presentation to present a medical expert who was unavailable to testify at a later date. The expert, a nationally known expert in pediatric infectious disease, testified that Schug had acted appropriately in caring for Cody.

While Cody was in the emergency room, Schug had ordered a chest X-ray, put the baby in a tepid bath to bring down his temperature of 105.5 degrees and tried unsuccessfully to find a vein for an intravenous line.

“He certainly didn’t look critical or lethargic in the medical sense,” Schug said in a previous interview, “or like he was going downhill so rapidly that he didn’t even have an hour or two.”

Schug said he sent Cody by car to Santa Rosa because he thought it would be faster than by ambulance. During the months before Cody’s death, ambulances for out-of-county transport had been delayed an average of 75 minutes, he said.

But during trial, a paramedic called by the prosecution testified that an ambulance was available that evening. She said the ambulance could have been at the hospital within five minutes.

A San Francisco coroner testified that Cody died of sepsis, a massive infection, but conceded that it was difficult to determine precisely what ailed him because of the massive amount of fluids and antibiotics the baby had been given during a resuscitation effort.

Cody was the only child of Rhoda Thomas and David Burrows. They have filed a medical malpractice lawsuit against Redbud Hospital, Schug and a pediatrician at the Santa Rosa hospital who conferred with Schug by telephone. The state medical board is also attempting to revoke Schug’s medical license.

During the trial, nurses from Redbud hospital testified reluctantly that Cody had appeared lethargic and had not responded to being poked in the groin by needles.

Niles White, one of the Redbud nurses who cared for Cody, said he knew Schug “as my colleague, as my boss.”

“I don’t believe Dr. Schug is guilty of murder,” White testified. “That’s just inconceivable he can be accused of that.”

Michael Sexton, a certified emergency room physician and a trustee of the California Medical Assn., said he was pleased by the judge’s decision.

Medical associations complain that in recent years prosecutors have begun charging physicians criminally for medical errors.

“As more of these cases come to court and a verdict is found of acquittal, I think that will send a message to overly ambitious prosecutors that this is not a proper approach,” said Sexton, whose association represents 35,000 California doctors.

Cody’s family has long complained that Schug never apologized or expressed his sorrow at the baby’s death. But in a courtroom hallway last week, Betty Thomas said, Schug approached the grandmother.

“I would give 15 years of my life if it would bring back your baby,” she said he told her. Thomas, remembering the encounter, said she could not reply. She only cried.

(Maura Dolan is the California-based legal affairs writer for the Los Angeles Times. She covers the California Supreme Court and the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. A California native, she graduated from UC Berkeley and has worked in Washington and Los Angeles for The Times. She is now based in San Francisco.)

(Dr. Schug is still listed as practicing family medicine in Lake County.)

ALTHOUGH ADVENTIST HOSPITALS, and other for-profit medical complexes, of course deny that their ER doctors do steer difficult, i.e., non-reimbursable, patients to public hospitals, the Ukiah, Willits, Fort Bragg, and Redbud emergency rooms have in fact re-routed patients the for-profit Adventists can’t make money off of.

THE PRESS DEMOCRAT ran four pages of canned comment and a bunch of photos when Princess Diana died attempting to elude the paparazzi. No surprise. The paper is heavy on celeb “news,” and I daresay there are many more Northcoasters who follow the Kardashian babes than know who their Congressman is. The PD devotes whole forests of trees to astrology, teen pages, daily listings of celeb birthdays, and long stories about the personal lives of depraved famous people, carefully avoiding mention of the depraved in the paper’s circulation area unless it’s a consensus bad guy like Windsor’s Foppoli, a man still not charged with a crime but publicly humiliated by a boatload of accusations from women who claim he forced himself on them. The argument for fluff that the PD, and finger-to-the-winds publications like it (and NPR, for that matter), is that they’re simply giving people what they want, having dumbed things down in the first place so far that millions of people don’t realize there are adult alternatives to audio, print and visual dreck. Tabloid papers like The Star and The National Inquirer are easily the best-selling newspapers on the Northcoast; they routinely sell out at the supermarkets. The Press Democrat is merely a chaste version of the tabs. Meanwhile, newspapers have become pretty much irrelevant as the world turns to facebook and other on-line sources for their information. (The AVA’s daily on-line morning paper continues to grow, while our paper-paper, to our mystification, has lately picked up a rash of new subscribers but has not grown much in five years.) 

THEN there’s Mendocino County’s legal establishment. Ordinarily, marriage records are available to the public, but when we tried to have a look at Judge Lechowick’s divorce papers back in the 1990s, Lechowick, in an hilariously unhinged performance in Superior Court, argued that the AVA’s gaining access to records of his decade-long battle with his ex-wife would harm his teenage children! Through a series of conveniently closed hearings, the judge fought against attempts by his former wife to get her fair share of their mutual marital bounty. The AVA finally managed to get Lechowick in front of a visiting judge who listened to our argument that the law requires periodic reviews of sealed court transcripts to see if there’s ongoing reason to keep them sealed. As our 9 local judges took a powder, their pliant judicial admin (dependent on the judges who hire them) had brought in a visiting hack who decided for Lechowick on the spurious grounds that the Lechowicks’ two teenaged sons could be psychologically harmed if the transcripts of the closed hearings became public. All the people who go weak at the knees at maudlin mention of “the kids” will of course agree with the sealing, but if sixteen and seventeen-year-olds don’t have a clear fix on their parents by that age they’re probably already heavily medicated. Or stoned beyond caring. Lechowick once made the mistake of trying to pick up my niece at a party near Santa Rosa, recoiling as if she’d turned to kryptonite when she mentioned her relationship to me, presents a Queeg-like affect in court at the slightest threat to his authority, eyes darting around the room, sweat pouring down his face, his jaw tetanus-tight. Lechowick’s idea of justice is to automatically take the side of law enforcement and the DA as he maxes out working people for offenses most other judges would either throw out or fine at affordable levels. He also cost the County a big hunk of money when he falsely accused his clerk at the time, Cathy Scaramella, of dipping into the Arena Justice Court’s petty cash fund. Judges Henry Nelson and Ron Combest also exhibited crackpot tendencies but they usually managed to control themselves while they were on the job. Lechowick is all the way bananas but his pals on the bench keep doing him the favor of keeping the news from the public. And he’s still out there, one of…I dunno, twenty (?) retired Mendo judges sweetening their lush retirements by filling in around the state. (Mendo has more judges per our scant population than any county in the state, and as we meet here this morning the present consignment is conspiring to build themselves a brand new County Courthouse three long blocks south of the present, perfectly serviceable County Courthouse. And get this — the new County Courthouse consists entirely of courtrooms and ancillary office for only them! Everyone else, including the DA and the Public Defender, will have to foot it down Perkins in all kinds of weather and traffic, their paperwork blowing in the wind.) 

I ALWAYS THOUGHT John Pinches was a good supervisor because he put the welfare of all Mendocino County first. He was certainly a much better supervisor than any of his “liberal” colleagues. The prevailing myth among the County’s libs is that anybody who says he or she is a liberal is on our side, anybody in a cowboy hat is on the other side whether or not their behavior, personal and political, is liberal in any traditional sense of the term. So here comes the cowboy through the door who says right out loud that the Sheriff is a liar, that dope policies are self-defeating, that the Supes don’t need another layer of computers, who rightly complains that so-called in-services are a waste of tax money, that certain logging rules harm small holders to the advantage of outside timber corporations, that a lot of in-County spending is indefensible, and who generally holds the bureaucrats’ feet to the fire. Besides which Pinches was always a decent person, not at all one of these pinched-faced Republican hippie haters prevalent in the county at the time, and anyone who wasn’t them was a hippie. That grisly Republican crew has passed on, and were swept away anyway in the faux-lib tsunami that swept over Mendocino County in the 1970s when the hippies came down out of the hills to take over all the county’s public bureaucracies, from the schools to the courts. Yes, my fellow lib-labs, it once came to this: A libertarian cowboy Republican who announces rodeos, eats big slabs of red meat and cuts down trees was a better liberal than what we’ve endured since, although four of the five supervisors we’ve just elected are a major improvement over the boards of the past forty years. If Gjerde recovers from his self-induced coma of recent years this board may be capable of picking up the pieces of the managerial wreckage wrought by the years of incompetent drift.

A FRIEND SENDS along part of a three-page ad from a recent New York Times. The ad reads in the sentence frags now preferred by ad copywriters, “Let’s see now. What’s a simple way for business people to understand the difference between the two companies Monsanto is becoming? For 96 years, Monsanto has been known as one of the world’s leading chemical companies. But now we’re spinning off our chemical businesses. To focus on the business of life sciences. Our commitment is to provide better food, better nutrition, and better health for all people. We’re dedicated to developing breakthrough products that link the fields of agriculture, food, and medicine. Like insect-resistant crops. And innovative treatments for life-threatening diseases. At Monsanto, our future is about fulfilling people’s hopes. Hope for environmentally sustainable solutions. Hope for a healthier planet. That’s how we’ll be growing in the century to come.” Translation as provided by an AVA reader: “One company, Monsanto, will make herbicide (Round Up) and the other will spray it on GE crops. Absent some reliable testing service, we will all be eating more glyphosate.”

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If you missed the last Cannabis Equity Grant Program Workshop this is your chance to get your questions answered. The workshop will be held on April 28, 2021 from 2:30 to 4:00 p.m. If you would like to attend our upcoming workshop please register at the following link:

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

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Early Loggers

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The County of Mendocino Cannabis Program (MCP) will hold an informational session for the public on April 29, 2021 from 3:30 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. We will be covering the following topics:

  • Communications with MCP
  • Application Resubmittals
  • Appendix G Checklist
  • Sensitive Species Habitat Review & Contiguous Expansion Affidavit
  • Compliance & Correction Notices.

If you have questions related to the topics listed, please email them to by 5:00 p.m. on April 27, 2021.

To join via Zoom please use the following link:

To join via Telephone please use one of the following numbers (based on your location):

  • 1-669-900-9128 (San Jose)
  • 1-346-248-7799 (Houston)
  • 1-253-215-8782 (Tacoma)
  • 1-301-715-8592 (Washington DC)
  • 1-312-626-6799 (Chicago)
  • 1-646-558-8656 (New York)

Webinar ID: 812 6787 7932


MCP Staff

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The McNabbs, Fort Bragg

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The Staff Report(s) and Agenda for May 6, 2021 Mendo Planning Commission meeting are posted on the department website at:

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CATCH OF THE DAY, April 26, 2021

Cunnan, Gamble, Idica, Jackson

JOHN CUNNAN, Covelo. Probation revocation.

CHRISTOPHER GAMBLE, Potter Valley. Disobeying court order, failure to appear.

DOMINIK IDICA, Redwood Valley. Disorderly conduct-alcohol.

ERREON JACKSON, Ukiah. Domestic battery, probation revocation.

Kenyon, Lewis, Warner, Whitlow

JEREMY KENYON, Fort Bragg. Controlled substance for sale.

SHALOM LEWIS, Fort Bragg. Paraphernalia, offenses while on bail, parole violation.

MALISSA WARNER, Ukiah. Assault with deadly weapon not a gun, criminal threats, parole violation.

WYATT WHITLOW, McKinleyville/Ukiah. Stolen property, paraphernalia, false ID, conspiracy.

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Crab Boat, Elk

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IF THERE WAS AN OSCAR for Worst Horror Story, it would go to whoever decided it would be a good idea to hold this year's event in a train station. Though ironically, that turned out to be the most perfectly appropriate venue for a grim, soulless three-hour ordeal that was the complete opposite of what Hollywood's biggest night is supposed to be about. The Oscars had one job after the whole world had endured a year of hell with the coronavirus pandemic: make us feel better. Everything about it stank. But nothing quite prepared me for the opening of the show itself, or rather lack of opening. Regina King tripped as she reached the podium and then announced: “I know a lot of you people at home want to reach for your remote when you feel like Hollywood is preaching to you.” Yes, we do, which is why Oscars' ratings have collapsed in recent years as the woke lectures have increased in both volume and scale of sanctimony. The Best Picture winner Nomadland grossed just $2.5 million, meaning pretty much nobody watched it. It's a beautifully made film, and Frances McDormand gives a typically superb performance. But the scene where she literally sh*ts into a bucket could have been a metaphor for its box office popularity. To complete a host of crazy decisions, producers decided to ditch Best Picture from its usual place as the thrilling finale and replace it with Best Actor. Cynics believed they did this to exploit feverish anticipation that the late Chadwick Boseman had posthumously won the coveted Actor gong which would provide a highly emotional denouement to the show. But in the eventuality, it went to Sir Anthony Hopkins. The problem was that Hopkins wasn't there and didn't appear by video-link either. It was a comically unexciting conclusion to a mind-numbingly tedious night. 

— Piers Morgan

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I’ve driven a few people to these drive-through “vaccination” events, and it’s really disturbing. For one thing, it feels like we’re going to a rock concert, with the car lanes set up, the endless cars being ushered oh-so-slowly through the traffic comes by people in colored vests waving directions at us, herding is into the parking garages where we are screened for our proper winning lottery tickets to allow us admission. 

Then we ascend, slowly and en masse, skyward, toward the top levels of the building, where our salvation awaits, mysterious and unseen until we finally arrive. The people I’m driving there are so happy and excited to be the privileged, the chosen ones for that day and time – this last one told me “my daughter is going to be so jealous when I tell her” – and when we finally arrive at the apex of our climb, and the appendage is happily offered, and the magic elixir injected, their sense of relief is palpable.

Then the wait. Like smoking a cigarette after sex, the come-down, the just-in-case-there’s-a-bad-reaction, so the rest of their life, their new safe life, can commence. And we descend, round and round the mountain of the parking garage, until we are ejected back into the regular world of the dirty and the sick. 

It truly reminds me of a religious pilgrimage. With a baptism at the top. The epiphany. 

There is no way anyone can fight this, or change the tidal wave of this mass religious ceremony. 

I’ve seen a lot of strange things in my 59 years of life, but this might take the cake. 

Talk about “manufacturing consent”. It’s a man-made hysteria, with a man-made cure. And the floodgates are open and there’s no stopping it. 

It is the most successful marketing campaign in the history of humanity. So successful that they’re going to copy it again and again and again. Clever variations of this technique will clobber humankind again and again and again. 

Although … the wizards behind this success might be surprised when the people who took the blood and body of the virus are told that they will never get back to their former lives. These people are gonna be PISSED OFF. To them, the injection is the end-all. It’s supposed to be over now.

* * *


In today's NY Times: San Francisco Contends With a Different Sort of Epidemic: Drug Deaths.

The drugs killed them in plain view — in front of the public library, at the spot on Powell Street where the cable car used to turn around. Others died alone in single-room apartments or in camping tents pitched on the pavement, each death adding to an overdose crisis that is one of the worst in the nation. Drug overdoses rose across the country during the coronavirus pandemic. 

But in San Francisco, they skyrocketed, claiming 713 lives last year, more than double the 257 people here who died of the virus in 2020. San Francisco’s overdose death rate is higher than West Virginia, the state with the most severe crisis, and three times the rates of New York and Los Angeles. 

Although overdose data from the past year is incomplete, one researcher found that San Francisco — where overdoses have more than tripled since 2017 — has more overdoses per capita than any major city on the West Coast. 

The drug deaths in San Francisco — about two a day — stem from a confluence of despair. Fentanyl, an opioid that was not a severe problem for the city just a few years ago, has fully permeated its illicit drug market and was a factor in most overdoses last year. 

A culture of relative tolerance toward drug use has allowed it to spread quickly. And fentanyl, much more powerful than heroin, has found fertile ground among the city’s thousands of homeless residents, who have died of overdoses in large numbers…

(Rob Anderson, District5Diary)

* * *


Today in Old-West History -- On today’s date 120 years ago, Friday, April 26, 1901, notorious Old-West cowboy, train robber & outlaw-gang leader Thomas “Tom” Ketchum (1863-1901), better-known as “Black Jack” Ketchum met his earthly demise at the age of 37 in the town of Clayton in Union County, New Mexico Territory when he was hanged for train robbery.

Ketchum, along with members of his Hole-In-The-Wall Gang, had robbed a Colorado & Southern Railroad train near the town of Folsom in New Mexico Territory, on August 16, 1899. After taking a few hundred dollars in cash from the baggage-car safe, Ketchum leapt from the car & began running towards his horse when conductor Frank Harrington jumped down from a passenger car & fired a shotgun at Ketchum. Ketchum turned & faced Harrington & both men advanced upon each other -- blazing away. Ketchum shot Harrington as the conductor unloaded a blast of buckshot into Ketchum, who escaped under cover of darkness. 

Ketchum was found by a posse on the following day propped up against a tree & picking buckshot out of his chest. Taken to Santa Fe, Ketchum was tried & convicted of train robbery & was sentenced to death, as train robbery was a capital offense in western states.

On the day of his execution, Ketchum reportedly said to witnesses standing at the foot of the gallows: “I’ll be in Hell before you start breakfast, boys!” The noose was affixed around Ketchum’s neck & a black hood was placed over his head. At this point in the story, there are conflicting reports as to Ketchum’s “famous last words.” According to one report, he simply said “Let ‘er rip!” The San Francisco Chronicle reported Ketchum’s last words as: “Good-bye. Please dig my grave very deep. All right; hurry up.”

Whatever his last words were, his death was gruesome. The inexperienced hangman had miscalculated the required length of rope, & when the lever was pulled & the fatal drop occurred Ketchum was decapitated by the noose -- the gore from his headless torso soaking the front ranks of the spectators at the foot of the scaffold.

After the hanging, Ketchum’s decapitated body was photographed, & the resulting image was later made into a popular souvenir postcard with the following caption: “Body of “Black Jack” after the Hanging Showing Head snapped off.”

Ketchum’s head was sewn back onto his body for viewing, after which he was interred at the Clayton Cemetery.

It is curiously interesting that Black Jack Ketchum was the only person ever executed in New Mexico Territory for the criminal offense of “felonious assault upon a railway train” -- a law that was later determined to be unconstitutional.

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SCREAMIN' JAY HAWKINS: The producer says, “How do you act in nightclubs?” “Like any other entertainer.” “Do you drink?” “Yes, I drink.” “Do you get drunk? ” “Yeah. ” “Do you go onstage when you’re drunk? ” “Yeah. ” “How do you sound when you’re drunk? ” “How the hell do I know?, I’m drunk, I can’t remember.” 

So he went out and got a case of whisky and got me drunk, the whole band got drunk and then we recorded I Put a Spell on You.

I don't even remember making the record. Before, I was just a normal blues singer. I was just Jay Hawkins. It all sort of just fell in place. I found out I could do more destroying a song and screaming it to death.

Screamin’ Jay Hawkins

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[1] One thing about us human beings. We are obsessed with our own self-interest. If we feel something will pay off for us, we’re all over it. If not – we seek something else and fast.

Whether members of any race in America want to join in to a common culture will depend – as always – on whether they can get what they want out of it. Which leads to the next question: What does anyone want today? 

That’s a tough one. Nobody seems to want the same things, except for more magic conjured digits to mystically appear in our empty bank accounts, to not have to go in to the office any more, to not get along with others, to promote our grievances, and to waste much of our lives on needless drama to no good end. Hey, that’s it! THAT’s now our common culture. And good luck building a future on THAT.

And, let’s go back to the beginning. Were Native Americans given an opportunity to join with other ethnic groups in a common American culture? Or… were they the first victims of the Cancel Culture that seeks to erase all things that differ from one’s own chosen elevated group of people or ways of thinking? And if the Natives did want to join such a culture — what would they get out of it? Or if they preferred to keep their own culture and live with a respectful coexistence… would they have been allowed to? I think we know the answer to that one.

Americans en masse seem to have collectively rejected the idea of a Common American Culture for our future. Conflict is encouraged instead of cooperation. Getting Over and Getting Yours seems to be the default operating system of our times. Ethics and morals are seen as silly notions from the Leave It To Beaver era. Get with the times, man. Old is bad. Different is good. Common culture? What do I get out of THAT? Sucka!

What a sad ending to an American story that began with wide open spaces and big dreams. Nowadays, we are packed in together seething with frustration with others just as testy and our collective dream is to get through another day.

[2] In some ways, what happened in Columbus is more troubling than some other incidents that led to officer shootings. How do?

The altercation happened in a nice middle class neighborhood with well kept homes and newer cars. One of those homes was fostering the girl who was killed. Couples with a stable loving home life are generally the people chosen to foster kids.

Certainly the girl had experienced a troubled life, and had even less emotional control than the usual 16 year old. But the cop rolling up does not have the backstory. He has been dispatched due to a 911 asking for help due to an assault. He arrives and sees one female pin another girl half her size against a car and start to swing her right hand holding a knife at the pinned car. The cop fires immediately. I don’t see that he had any other options.

None of us know what set off this fight, or why the adults were unable to diffuse it. Why was the kid in foster care, given she had a mother and an aunt quite capable of talking to the media? Will we ever know? I doubt it. It seems too many just want to blame it all on the cop.

[3] Help is on the way. Fear not, friends. A race of higher beings all made of pure light are coming to Earth. (They’ve been busy visiting countless other races in our galaxy who are sunk in the mire of darkness like us, hence their delay.) Once they arrive they will open our collective inner eye and enable us finally to realize and hence to leave behind the folly of our present way of life. This will release vast reserves of spiritual energy hitherto locked away deep within our inner being, and the energy will bring about a great cleansing and healing on this planet. All will be restored to the original condition in which it was meant to exist: as an expression, a manifestation, a vessel of the Light of Pure Spirit. All the terrible things we face today will fade away like a bad dream; love and peace will finally prevail. Om Shanthi. (P.S. Please don’t tell me all that I’ve said above is rubbish. I don’t want to know, what with the sorry state of affairs in which we all now find ourselves. It’s all I’ve got going for it now. Okay?)

[4] If these high and mighty Whites have taken away from non-whites then Whites in privileged positions [ … ] must necessarily give up these posts as a matter of elementary justice.

There is no doubt that White Males (mostly heterosexual) are hugely over-represented in every desirable activity that offers power, status, money, perks, and often, access to the nicest women.

Just look around you – at every parliament, ivy-league academic faculty, Fortune 500 boardroom, government agency, military command, courtroom, legal firm, country club, and expensive suburb or prestige apartment block on the Upper East Side … it’s completely and totally obvious.

How to change the mix … that is the question.

Make it a bigger pie, divide the pie different, smash the pie? These aren’t just issues and challenges for squishy liberals and other bleeding hearts – it is at the core of American society.

A few privileged Whites have done huge amounts to change the diversity of their respective orbits, but I wouldn’t count on a majority of White Males doing it voluntarily. There is an argument that if the elites gave a bit more, then they might retain the rest for another century or so.

But then Moscow Mitch gives the super-wealthy tax breaks that they absolutely do not need. It borders on the truly outrageous. If they makes me a crazy liberal, then I’ll wear the badge with honor…

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by Ralph Nader

President Joe Biden likes to say, “I’m a union guy.” Unfortunately, as Vice President from 2009 to 2017, his boss, Barack Obama wouldn’t let him be a “union guy.” Even with large Democratic majorities in Congress and control of the White House, worker needs went unmet.

Setting records for raising Wall Street campaign cash, Obama reneged on his 2008 promise to raise the federal minimum wage from $7.25 to $9.50 per hour by 2011. He reneged on a promise to the AFL-CIO to push for “card check” to facilitate workers wanting to form a union. He did nothing to preserve traditional earned worker pensions provided by corporations while bailing out Wall Street crooks whom he refused to prosecute.

Obama stubbornly blocked an eager Biden from going to speak at a massive workers’ rally in Madison, Wisconsin at the critical time when Democrats were challenging corporatist Governor Scott Walker’s anti-union “budget repair bill.”

One would think after eight years of biding his time, a liberated Joe Biden would be the most pro-union labor president since Franklin Delano Roosevelt. He probably is by default, due to the cowardliness of his predecessors who would have lost some of their own elections without union support.

The question now is: Given the entrenched deprivations of workers and abandonment of labor to serf-labor countries abroad, is President Biden pro-union-labor enough, apart from the temporary Covid-19 relief? The answer has to be a qualified, NO.

He has dropped into limbo the long-overdue $15 federal minimum wage from his legislative priorities. He did give strong verbal support to the Amazon workers union-organizing drive at a warehouse in Bessemer, Alabama. However, when the workers lost, Biden did not assail the extreme union busting tactics by Amazon that exploited weak labor protection laws. He has finally nominated the new head of OSHA – the under-funded, Trump-wrecked job safety agency that is in shambles.

What he has done is come out strongly for the Congressional Democrat’s latest version of labor law reform – the Protecting the Right to Organize Act (PRO Act) that passed the House on March 9, 2021, with a 225-206 vote.

The problem with the PRO Act, like its legislative predecessors over the past 60 years, is its faint-hearted attempt to chip away at the unmentioned, gigantic, anti-union TAFT-HARTLEY ACT OF 1947 – a devastating anti-organizing and union representation law.

The Taft-Hartley law was so extreme that its principal author, Senator Robert Taft (R-OH), offered to amend some of its sharpest claws in the late 1940s. His offer was rejected by outraged unions who wanted a more significant repeal. That, astonishingly, was the last major bellow by the large unions and the AFL-CIO against this stifling chokehold over the union movement. Union membership in the corporate sector is at 6.3 percent. Overall union membership regularly hits new lows.

Even mentioning the repeal of Taft-Hartley by unions and Democratic candidates has become taboo. When campaigning for president in Detroit at a labor hall in 2004, a retired UAW worker came up to me with tears in his eyes. He said, “I never thought I would hear getting rid of Taft-Hartley from a presidential candidate.”

On the 50th and 60th anniversaries of Taft-Hartley’s passage by a Republican Congress – that is 1997 and 2007 – I strenuously urged the AFL-CIO and the largest unions to hold public demonstrations of protest. (Does anybody think big business would have allowed such handcuffs without battling year after year for repeal?)

The union leaders wouldn’t inform the public of this pernicious law with a national event against this tragic curtailing of worker’s freedoms to band together and bargain together in major workplaces such as Amazon, Walmart, and McDonald’s. No other western country allows such draconian anti-labor restrictions.

Unions are waiting on the Democratic Party to lead while the Democrats are waiting upon big business. Biden should make ending the anti-worker, anti-union, and pro-employer union-busting, Taft-Hartley Act the battle cry for the Republic. The PRO Act doesn’t come close to this objective.

Taft-Hartley is a wide-ranging, intricate paradise for union-busting law firms, corporatist legislators, and atavistic judges. It authorized states to enact so-called “right to work” laws or more properly named “right to shirk” laws, allowing workers to keep benefits of union contracts but not pay union dues. This provision vastly decreases union membership and increases employer leverage to resist union organizing.

Taft-Hartley gives employers all kinds of ways to block union certification elections, harass workers with demands for obstructionist hearings on what is an “appropriate bargaining unit,” permits aggressive anti-union organizing, and outlaws the “closed shop” for union solidarity.

One of the most damaging provisions defines “employees” so as to exclude supervisors and independent contractors. This greatly diminished the pool of workers eligible to be unionized. For example, years ago AT&T widely expanded the number of “supervisors” to both deplete the union membership numbers and use their “supervisors” as management control tools.

Taft-Hartley has other pro-management provisions, including controls over pensions, disclosure of information, and workplace time for union purposes.

Once Taft-Hartley was on the books, its restrictions were strengthened by the courts and the National Labor Relations Board (whose last pro-corporate general counsel was just fired by Biden). With the expansion of the “gig economy,” by Uber, Lyft, Airbnb, and other companies whose business model is built on having no employees, the challenge for American workers is nothing less than displacing anti-labor dictates with a comprehensive worker’s human rights law.

The PRO Act is decidedly not anywhere near Biden’s recent recognition that “Nearly 60 million Americans would join a union if they get a chance …. They know that without unions, they can run the table on workers – union and non-union alike.” (Statement by President Joe Biden on the House Taking Up the PRO Act, March 9, 2021).

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Safe Smoking

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by James Kunstler

There was Joe Biden, all masked-up at the Virtual Climate Summit Meeting, the only world leader with his face covered, like he was fixing to rob the joint. In reality — if such a place in space-time still exists — Joe was sitting all by himself in an otherwise empty room in front of a video camera, all vaxed-up, too, as is everybody else who comes and goes in the White House. So, what was the mask all about? Surely not the virus. Does Ol’ White Joe bethink himself some kind of international Lone Ranger?

This was only one of countless mysteries orbiting around the dimming star that is Joe Biden. The biggest one, the planet Jupiter of all puzzlements, is how the guy managed to get elected occupant of the oval office. Or, more to the point, how did others manage to get him elected? I mean, considering those few embarrassing campaign forays from the basement to a bunch of empty parking lots back in the fall of 2020, not to mention the supernatural victory on Super Tuesday that rescued his pitiful old ass from the glue factory of broken-down political war-horses.

We may be about to find out as Arizona’s State Senate finally got around to approving a full audit of the November 3rd vote in Maricopa County, comprising Phoenix and its asteroid belt of suburbs, which amounts to more than two-thirds of the state’s population. The Democratic Party tried pretty hard to stop the durned thing, sending its gnarliest Lawfare warrior, one Marc Elias from the Clinton-indentured DC firm of Perkins Coie, and a posse of 70 other attorneys, to bury the proceedings in court orders. But all they got was a weekend pause from an Arizona judge who imposed a $1-million-dollar bond payment on the Democrats to cover expenses for the interruption — which would then be forfeited if the audit went forward. The Dems declined to pay up, so the pause was lifted and the audit goes forward today.

The usual suspects in the mainstream media attempted to bury the Arizona vote audit story or denigrate it — for instance the The New York Times, which characterized the inquiry in its Saturday lede as “false claims of a stolen election,” and then “a snipe hunt for skullduggery,” before asserting the boilerplate “baseless theories of election theft” to seal the deal with its avidly credulous readership. Rachel Maddow of MSNBC practically jumped up and down going woo-woo-woo to discredit the audit. What do you suppose they’re afraid of?

I’ll tell you: For one thing, if the vote turns out to have been compromised by fraud, Arizona is liable to lose a Democratic senator elected on Mr. Biden’s (possibly) phantom coattails — Mark Kelly (D) who defeated incumbent Martha McSally (R) — which would cancel the Democrats’ current one-vote majority grip on the body. The result of that would be the end of the party’s effort to jam various new laws down America’s craw: DC statehood, the HR-1 voter fraud act, the Supreme Court-packing bill, and, actually, anything else on the party’s Satanic wish-list for disassembling the republic.

Then, of course, there’s the tally for president. One thing probably for sure: if the audit uncovers any serious systematic mischief that would alter the November 3rd outcome, revealing that Mr. Biden did not win Arizona’s electoral college votes after all, then there would be tremendous pressure to look into the results of other swing states likewise under suspicion of gross balloting irregularities. The local authorities in Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin, and Georgia will, no doubt, attempt to demur. But you may be sure these matters will be back in the courts, perhaps even the US Supreme Court, and this time they might not be able to duck the issue. At the very least, proof of a reversal in Arizona will cast Joe Biden as an illegitimate president in even more minds than the current half of the nation.

Another outcome should be the end of efforts to block real reform of the voting process in the United States. That should mean no more janky-ass computer voting machines, like the Dominion and Smartmatic system that lobbyists sold to twenty-eight states, often lavishly dispensing grift to git’r’done. Also, no more voting without ID (as in most other civilized nations) to prove that you are, at least, a bonafide citizen, no more promiscuous mail-in vote hijinks that forego chain-of-custody rules, and nix expanded voting periods beyond the constitutionally-mandated election day (the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November). Of course, the details would have to be left to the fifty states themselves, since the constitution also mandates that they are in charge of election law. None of that will determine whether only schmucks and rogues run for high office in this land, but at least they might be elected fairly.

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


  1. Craig Stehr April 27, 2021

    4AM-Brahma Muhurta-The Hour of Brahman
    Following a rousing morning quietly chanting Om Namah Shivaya in my room at The Magic Ranch, read the news today (oh boy) and quickly concluded that it is hopeless, insofar as saving anything at all. Therefore, my networking effort to realize a spiritually focused direct action team is the only possibility. Encouragement from near and far has been received, notably as Washington, D.C. sinks slowly into oblivion, the invitation to be there is continuous, (although actual on the ground cooperation is scant). In other words, am remaining calm as my bank account slowly fattens due to legal direct deposits from what is left of the American government. I might well be on the road in May. Let’s hope so. As Paul Harvey would conclude: “GOOD DAY!” ;-)

    • Michael Koepf April 27, 2021

      Craig of Magic Ranch,
      Keep your mind on the Brahman. Leave politics to Lord Shiva. It’s really not your thing.

      • Craig Stehr April 27, 2021

        Ultimately, I agree with you! ;-)

  2. Michael Koepf April 27, 2021

    “Reform LA Jails, a group based in Los Angeles run by Black Lives Matter co-founder Patrisse Cullors, shelled out $26,000 for “meetings” in 2019 at a lavish resort in Malibu, California, The Daily Caller News Foundation reported Monday.

    Cullors has made headlines in the past few weeks after reports that she spent $3.2 million on four homes in mostly white neighborhoods. The BLM co-founder claimed in 2015 that she and her colleagues are “trained Marxists,” but this could not be more contradicting.”
    From the Federalist.

    Onward Progressive Marxists, Malibu is our goal.

  3. George Hollister April 27, 2021

    John McCowen: “Following adoption of the local ordinance the State adopted a series of onerous regulations that dramatically raised the cost of compliance. At the same time, the legal market collapsed.” So what does that say about Mendocino County’s current expanding cannabis economy?

    • Michael Koepf April 27, 2021

      What a lovely county this would be, if cannabis wasn’t here.

    • John McCowen April 27, 2021

      George, The cost of State regulation, the decline in price on the legal market and a cultivation cap locally of less than 1/4 acre says that few if any cultivators can succeed in the legal market. If the County moves forward to clean up the current applicant pool (as it should) and shut down the totally illegal non-applicants (as it should) and does not allow a reasonable level of economy of scale, it means there will be virtually no legal cannabis in Mendocino County. That does seem to be the goal of the thousands of existing growers who can’t or won’t ever get legal. It also seems to be the goal of Supervisor Haschak and the Drells/Willits Environmental Center who don’t seem to mind existing illegal growers but seem determined to prevent anyone from succeeding in the legal market. BTW, how well does it sit with you that the Farm Bureau appears to be taking a stand in favor of telling farmers and ranchers what type of legal crop they are allowed to grow, how much they can grow and where they can grow it?

      • Eric Sunswheat April 27, 2021

        RE: BTW, how well does it sit with you that the Farm Bureau appears to be taking a stand in favor of telling farmers and ranchers what type of legal crop they are allowed to grow, how much they can grow and where they can grow it? (John McCowen)

        ->. John McCowen, while you were perhaps glad handing with the Mendocino Farm Bureau Executive Committee, and providing security for the homeless indigents along the River front, the local Farm Bureau published a wonderful monthly newsletter magazine of varied local talent green thumbed farmers.

        What gutted that literary grassroots endeavor, was the filing of intent to gather signatures to place a ballot initiative to County voters to ban the cultivation of Genetically Modified Organism plants, outside of the city limits in the County of Mendocino.

        Monsanto and chemical agriculture protection companies, possibly in collaboration with the Farm Bureau national organization, spent nearly half a million dollars in a futile inflammatory attempt to defeat the citizen’s initiative.

        Since that time, gene sequencing has become a less sloppy affair, and unintended consequences on a more even terrain of evaluation and detection, one might possibly suggest with candor, is not completely off base.

      • George Hollister April 27, 2021

        John, the black market is not farming, and most/almost all of what we see is black market, as you suggest. This is a direct result of a failure of government. No one I know has confidence the county is capable of implementing what they are proposing for phase 3. No one has confidence the county can do much of anything except collect money, and waste it. Farm Bureau would not be taking the position it is if cannabis was federally legal, the black market was substantially diminished, and the county could treat cannabis like everything else.

        • John McCowen April 27, 2021

          George, I agree 100% that federal prohibition, which guarantees there will be an illegal export market, is a major stumbling block to normalization of the cannabis industry. As you know, the County is not able to “treat cannabis like everything else” because the State, in it’s wisdom, has said cannabis is a commercial activity, not an agricultural activity. This considerably ups the regulatory ante which is another reason small operations who lack economy of scale cannot succeed in the legal market. You may doubt the ability of the County to implement the land use permit process called for in Chapter 22.18, but there are some significant differences that are worth considering. The current unworkable ordinance allowed anyone who could fill out an application and pay a fee to keep cultivating. The proposed Chapter 22.18 will require applicants to obtain Local AND State approval prior to cultivating. Out of 1,100+ applicants in the current program only a literal handful have both a State and local permit. As stated in the above article the proposed ordinance has many safeguards that don’t exist with the current ordinance. We can either stay stuck in limbo for the next several years or shift to a functional ordinance. As Supervisor Glenn McGourty said today, the current situation is intolerable. The only people who don’t agree are the illegal growers who benefit from the current state of limbo. A functional ordinance with a defined process is needed to draw a bright line between legal and illegal cannabis.

          • George Hollister April 28, 2021

            “You may doubt the ability of the County to implement the land use permit process called for in Chapter 22.18, but there are some significant differences that are worth considering.”
            If the county does not fund, and fill the positions needed to implement their program, then there is no program. That includes code enforcement. The county has brought in over $5 million a year in fees from cannabis growers. An unbelievable number. Where has that money gone? The number one priority for that money is to fund the program, and to make sure planning positions are being filled. This is not what we see. Funding isn’t the only problem, either. It appears Mendocino County has gotten itself a reputation as a bad place to work. This is an issue that has nothing to do with money, and also needs to be fixed.

  4. Michael Koepf April 27, 2021

    “Bobby Beach red hat Elk.” There is no “Bobby Beach” in Elk.

  5. George Dorner April 27, 2021

    Vincent Lechowick heard my child support case in Lake County. My lawyer didn’t show up with any of my legal papers and evidence. Ignoring my protests, Lechowick proceeded to rubber stamp an assessment based on my prior job, even though I had retired. Then he blamed me for the 13 month delay in hearing the case, which was caused by paperwork being held at the courthouse, and charged me with a fat retroactive sum. Twenty years later, half my social security still goes to pay that judgement.

  6. chuck dunbar April 27, 2021

    Man, that’s a a tough story of a clear injustice, George. No one should be treated like that.

  7. Jeff Fox April 27, 2021

    The story of the unfortunate 11-month-old and Dr. Schug is sad, but not really surprising. Adventist doctors are under tremendous pressure to avoid referring patients outside the Adventist system, lest they have some ‘splainin to do with their admins. I personally experienced a situation where I was not informed all possible options because some of those options could only come from non-Adventist facilities.

    Jason Wells, formerly president of the Mendocino County Adventist hospital chain, was himself caught up in a fraudulent billings and kickback payments scheme that ended up costing Adventist $115 million in fines. The scandal included Adventist doctors having to fill out an “exception report” when referring patients outside.

  8. Chuck Wilcher April 27, 2021

    Kunstler said: “None of that will determine whether only schmucks and rogues run for high office in this land, but at least they might be elected fairly.”

    If handing over election outcomes to a self-selected, partisan lot of Q-idiots is Kunstler’s idea of a “fair” election, we’re in for a hard ride.

  9. Rye N Flint April 27, 2021

    RE: Cannabis program

    “25% were found to be non-responsive”…

    Because we know how good the government is a updating contact info….

  10. Marmon April 27, 2021

    Lake County BOS says farewell to Dr. Gary Pace

    “Pace said previously that he would be returning to practicing medicine as the county made it through the worst of the pandemic and decision making became more up to the state than counties themselves. The county is currently looking to recruit someone to fill the public health officer position, and Dr. Evan Bloom, who previously spoke in Pace’s absence while on vacation, is aiding in the transition.”


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