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Mendocino County Today: Sunday, May 9, 2021

Increasing Heat | Pet Chip | Sattui Hill | Plane Removal | Great Country | Exercise Classes | Homeless Chico | Trailer Trash | KKK Mendo | Chief Geyser | Ed Notes | Blah Blah Blah | Practice Protest | Book Donations | SoHum Busts | Hop Pickers | Planning Cannabis | Mom Aid | Doesn't Matter | NYRB Office | Looking Back | Yesterday's Catch | Sour Recall | True Anarchy | Survive & Thrive | Prince Woking | Anti-Copishness | Majority Rules | Seriously Wrong | UFO Enigma

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TODAY INTO NEXT WEEK INCREASING HEAT is expected to occur across interior valleys while coastal areas remain seasonable but a little warmer than the last few days. Gusty north winds are expected for many areas, but especially at the coast through Monday. (NWS)

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Entering the shelter as a stray dog, we do not know Chip’s history. We want Chip’s new guardian to have experience with the Belgian Malinois breed, and plenty of time to spend with this handsome guy. Chip will do best in an active, structured environment. Chip is reactive to other dogs when he is on leash, and will need work in that area as well. Malinois's are extremely intelligent and focused dogs, employed in police and search & rescue. Dogs this smart need lots of physical activity, and also mental stimulation. Chip is a year old and 71 pounds. 

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

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

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A Reader Submits: “We obviously need more grapes?”

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by Justine Frederiksen

A sophisticated piece of equipment called a forehead was used to find the plane that crashed into Lake Mendocino and sank last week.

“The diver found it by banging into it with his head,” said Kenny Purcell, a Redwood Valley resident hired by the owner of an Ultralight aircraft who landed in the lake when the plane lost power shortly after taking off from the Ukiah Municipal Airport on April 29. “There was zero visibility underwater, so the diver couldn’t see the bright red color of the plane even when he was standing on it.”

Reportedly facing a deadline of Monday to remove the plane or face a hefty fine, Purcell said the owner, identified by the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office as Harvey Flinn, 71, of Potter Valley, began searching for people to hire. Purcell said he had never pulled a plane out of a lake before, but was contacted about the job because he had extensive experience pulling off-road vehicles out of jams.

Purcell began the plane retrieval by hiring another man with extensive diving experience, Napa resident Mike Myers, who at first struggled to find the plane because “it was not where the pilot thought it was.” Based on where he swam out and initial searches involving a magnet, Purcell said the pilot thought the plane was in a certain section of the lake under about 30 feet of water. However, Myers eventually found the plane in another section of the lake under what they estimate to be at least 60 feet of water.

“Mike attached a ski rope, which is 75 feet long, to the plane, and it barely reached the surface of the lake once tied to the plane,” said Purcell, explaining that after subtracting a few feet for the rope’s handle and other calculations, he estimates that the plane was lying “wheels up” at the bottom of the reservoir under “at least 60 feet, maybe even 70 feet” of water.

Purcell said Myers got a decent-sized gash on his head after hitting the plane but was fine to continue diving, though he was joined on the job by his wife, Niki, also a very experienced diver.

Once they located the plane, Purcell said the group began the complicated process of pulling the plane up while simultaneously flipping it over so its wings were on top when it reached the surface. To accomplish that, Purcell said Myers attached heavy-duty inner tubes (more like truck tires than the inner tubes people float down rivers on) to the plane, then Purcell filled them with air using a compressor.

As the plane began to float up, Purcell said Myers moved the tubes while he inflated and deflated them strategically to maneuver the plane to the top of the lake. Once it was floating, Purcell said the plane was pulled to the edge of the water with the help of two men in a small motorboat.

“Once all the water emptied out, I’d say the plane only weighed about 500 pounds,” he said, explaining that it took about 10 people, mostly volunteers, to push the plane across the dry lake bottom to a boat ramp where it could be disassembled and driven away Sunday evening.

When asked how much he would be billing Flinn for the removal of the plane, Purcell said he was still calculating his charges, but that it would likely be “significantly less than $10,000.”

When asked Tuesday about the pilot being ordered to remove the plane or face a fine, representatives from both the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which operates the Coyote Valley Dam that creates the reservoir, and the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office, which was first investigating the crash-landing, said they had no knowledge of the pilot facing either a deadline or a hefty fine regarding the plane’s removal.

When asked if the plane had leaked any fuel or other liquids and if the lake’s water had been tested for contaminants after the crash, Supervising Ranger Poppy Lozoff said she could not speak to any additional water quality tests that had been performed, but added that the lake’s water is tested regularly. She said California Department of Fish and Wildlife personnel had responded, but she could not speak to any tests they might have completed.

Both the Army Corps and the Sheriff’s Office reported having neither the equipment nor the personnel available to remove the plane from the lake.

(Courtesy, the Ukiah Daily Journal)

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FREE EXERCISE CLASSES and activities offered at AVHS from May 16 to June 13, 6-7pm, M-F. The various activities include par course, dance, yoga, Qigong, weight lifting, Pilates and sports. Mayra Mendoza, Elizabeth Jensen, Linda MacElwee, Kira Brennan, Irlen Perez, and more will instruct.

Come to the Kick Off Event in the Community Park by the AV Health Center Sunday May 16, 12-2 for information, demonstrations, raffle and prizes!

Call 707 684-0335 for more information.

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Homeless Camp, Chico

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I emailed my county supervisor about this eyesore parked along the Philo-Greenwood road on into the fourth month now. He said: “I’ll get somebody on it.” I do not doubt his word, because he’s a can-do kind of guy. However, I fear, Ted is working 24 hours a day—even dreaming green in his sleep—trying to get tax cash for the county from people forever growing dope. These days, it seems like that's all our supervisors do. My fear is that Williams, acting with good intention, contacted the guy who oversees the country roads, and he in turn replied “I’ll get somebody on it” too. That would probably be the guy sitting on the bumper of a county truck checking emails and God knows what?

TED WILLIAMS: "409 trailer update: Code Enforcement submitted the tow authorization on April 16th. However, the tow company had some logistical issues with the equipment needed to remove this trailer. I confirmed that removal is scheduled for Wednesday."

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by Katy Tahja

What? Ku Klux Klan in Mendocino County? You bet! Unfortunately our county was no different than the rest of the USA in having a KKK presence over the last century.

First, thanks to the Fort Bragg Mendocino Coast Historical Society Spring 2018 story in “Voices of the Past” about Klan origins. The group originated in the South after the Civil War during Reconstruction. It appealed to whites who feared new laws giving equality to former slaves. Klansman wore masks with pointed hoods and long robes to hide their identities as they created terror, kidnapping, flogging and murdering “undesirables.”

Activities subsided until after WWI when economic, political and social turmoil caused KKK membership to explode. Jews and Roman Catholics were targeted along with blacks. Mendocino County had been settled after the Civil War by many southerners bringing their memories of Klan activities with them.

Old newspaper reports give readers what little information is available starting with an April 14, 1900 Mendocino Beacon clipping stating Caspar residents were greatly alarmed by burning crosses to the south. At first folks thought electric light poles had caught fire but someone stated it was the KKK making themselves known.

In a Ukiah Republican October 15, 1924 story. “Ku Klux Klan Sent Warning to Rancher—Has Shotguns Waiting—Farmer Wants Nothing But Peace—Prepares for Real War,” the headline stated. The jist of the story was an indignant rancher marching into the editor’s office waving the piece of mail he’d received. On salmon colored paper with a Klansman in full dress printed on it, the text said, “Justice: Be an American. Join the Klan!” There were more printed engravings on the back of the letter encouraging patriotism. The man who got the letter did not take it seriously and had no idea why it was sent to him but had his shotgun ready if Klansman showed up on his property.

The Ukiah Daily Journal reported a KKK branch organizing in a December 12, 1924 issue. “Those present were sworn to secrecy—50 or 60 in attendance—initiation for 25 to 30 in a few days—” Then the same newspaper reported on January 28, 1925 “The Ukiah KKK staged a spectacular demonstration with a large cross erected on a hill near the head of Clay Street and lighted after dark—it is presumed an initiation took place—” The Ukiah Republican on January 28, 1925 said “—nor is it certain who are the leaders in the movement—”

The Fort Bragg Advocate on March 4 of 1925 reported a demonstration on the streets of Fort Bragg with a fiery cross set ablaze on the north end of Franklin Street—a large crowd was attracted—then a mammoth cross was ablaze on Bald Hill near the summit. Using field glasses spectators said 200 people surrounded the cross in full regalia. The April 11, 1925 Mendocino Beacon said “…a fiery cross, symbol of the KKK was lighted and burned on the Little River road south of town plainly visible from this place—it was the first one seen in this section and created quite a bit of excitement—there are 100 KKK members in this vicinity…”

In a July 8, 1925 issue the Advocate stated, “a beautiful ceremony under the full moon took place in Anderson Valley near Boonville. Solemn and impressive white robed Klansman moved about in the glare of a fiery cross with 200 autos present. Women of the KKK, Knights of the KKK and American Krusaders were all initiated. In August the KKK had an advertisement in this newspaper stating they were protecting Protestant Christian religion, white supremacy, pure womanhood, laboring men, public schools, and that they had organized in Marin, Sonoma, Mendocino and Lake counties.”

“Open-Air Initiation of Klansman Held,” the October 14, 1925 headline of the Fort Bragg Advocate trumpeted! “A monster ceremony of the KKK held in Willits. From almost any vantage point could be seen a huge fiery cross looking down from the top of a high mountain north of Willits. The ceremony took place in the ballpark with almost a thousand spectators. A special train had been run from the Fort Bragg area.”

The Ukiah Dispatch Democrat reported in March 12, 1926 a 90-foot long blazing cross laid out on the hillside over Ukiah and a KKK representative said that had significance to KKK members and carried a message. In July of that year the Fort Bragg Advocate noted in a July 7 1926 issue, “Sunday flag raising exercises were held at City Hall. A new silk flag was donated by the American Legion and was raised on the large flagpole donated by the Knights of the KKK.”

So all the newspaper accounts this reporter could find featured installations and fiery crosses but there were no accounts of what, if anything, Klansman ever did in the county—other than donate a flagpole.

For decades there were very few people of color in this county who were not Native Americans. If the KKK were harassing people it was not reported to newspapers.

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‘CHIEF GEYSER,’ famous Indian Marathoner, Running near the Geysers in the 1920s

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RECOMMENDED VIEWING, especially for us residents of the Emerald Triangle — “Sasquatch.” I confess that when that title first flitted across my brainpan I exiled it to the Don't Watch file, assuming it was another credulous account of a non-existent phenomena, right up there with UFO's, the hazards of chemtrails, Building 7, and stolen presidential elections. 

BUT “SASQUATCH” is a murder mystery brilliantly resolved, to my satisfaction anyway, by the filmmaker, David Holthouse, a guy with a strong background in investigative reporting who has now made a strong documentary film about our neighborhood, a neighborhood with a national reputation as a place where an extraordinary number of people, especially young people, simply disappear.

HOLTHOUSE got onto this story while he was working “undercover” in the late 1990s to write about marijuana on a pot farm in the famously dangerous neighborhood of Spy Rock northeast of Laytonville. A frantic tweaker had appeared who said three Mexicans had been ripped to shreds in a nearby marijuana plantation, not just murdered but literally dismembered, their body parts strewn over a large field of marijuana, which was also ripped up as if by a very angry being of superhuman strength. Enter Sasquatch as the rumored monster responsible for the mayhem; Sas became an all-purpose boogeyman especially feared, it is alleged, by Mexicans. 

HAD THIS ALLEGED Big Foot rampage really happened? Who were the victims? And what's the deal with Mendocino County, otherwise known for $300 rooms with ocean views and portly tourists shuffling around Mendocino Village slurping five dollar ice cream cones? All this is the subject of this fascinating three-part film.

THE VASTNESS EAST of the ice cream cones, circa the late 1960s, was re-settled by the back-to-the-landers, an influx of idealistic young people fleeing the violent Bay Area for new/old ways of living off the land, among them some brilliant, untrained botanists who developed a lucrative new cash crop — marijuana. 

BUT EVEN THE FIRST WAVE of peaceful hippie growers had to arm up to defend their crops from city thugs and local thieves, and from there came an influx of career criminals that continues to this day.

AND HERE WE ARE with a documentary film that nicely serves as a kind of visual metaphor for the Mendocino County branch of the dope business, a business that too often murders its labor rather than pay it, and too often conceals murders that occur related to the love drug business. The local joke is that if all the unreported corpses suddenly rose and marched south on 101, they'd stretch from Arcata to the Golden Gate Bridge.

LOCALS will recognize many of the people and sites featured in “Sasquatch,” and recognize others by name or reputation, including Spy Rock pioneer grower Lawrence Livermore, former Mendo Sheriff Tom Allman, Sheriff's detective Luis Espinoza (of the Anderson Valley), and HumCo attorney Ron Sinoway and Mrs. Sinoway. ‘Murder Mountain’ was an interesting film, “Sasquatch” is more interesting, and a lot more specific.

IF YOU HAVEN'T read the HumCo history pieces by David Heller writing for the essential Redheaded Blackbelt, you've been missing some fascinating anecdotes, such as this one from Ernie Branscomb: 

“It is a whole lot easier to pull a vehicle up a hill with a horse than it is the shovel through a slide, saw away a windfall tree, or ford a raging creek. Ridgetops have stable rocky ground. Large rivers are easier to cross on a ferry than a creek is to cross in the winter. If you had to build and maintain a road, you would soon figure out why the old roads followed the ridge tops and avoided slides and creeks. My grandfather, Roy Branscomb, helped build the new Highway 101 down the Rattlesnake canyon back in the 1920s. They knew the futility of building a road in such terrible terrain, it was still being talked about when I was a child. My father was an equipment operator. He logged in the summer and worked for his uncle Ed Downing with the California Division of Highways in the winter. Removing slides and replacing culverts kept him busy all winter. I remember the conversations about how great it was to build a highway down an unstable canyon and providing out of work loggers with something to do in the winter. Mr. Howard, who owned the Buick dealership in San Francisco sold the truck that came over Bell Springs ridge. Mr. Howard also joined with Doctor Babcock to build The Howard Memorial Hospital in Willits. In winter of 1923 Doctor Babcock drove from Willits to Laytonville to deliver my mother as a baby. I assume that he came through Sherwood Valley, down The Strong Mountain Road into Laytonville, because the Longvale Canyon was not passable. As a side note, I was also delivered by Dr. Babcock, as was my sister, both in the Howard Memorial Hospital. I just condensed a couple of hypothetical books into the above comments. I am so glad that David Heller chose to do these history stories. Our history is so important to humanity. I find it somewhat uncomfortable to see so much of history being destroyed and removed. How will our young people ever learn about the things that we have done wrong if we keep erasing our history. It would be nice to get back to raising our children and feeding their hungry young minds with the truth instead of destroying what we don’t want them to know.”

THERE'S VICIOUS and then there's whoever it was who crossed over a double yellow line on Sherwood Road to deliberately run down and kill 41-year-old Paul Brown of Fort Bragg as he walked on Sherwood a little before 1:30am Friday. The suspect vehicle was described as a late model silver Hyundai Accent, strongly resembling the one impounded on Lilac Road off Sherwood on Saturday. No arrests have yet been announced but confiscation of the suspect vehicle has been confirmed by both the Sheriff's Department and the CHP.


“I don’t know anything about the Brooktrails area but I’m gonna go out on a limb here and assume it’s not someplace you can abandon a car then call an Uber or hop on the bus at 1:20am to get the hell out of there. If the person simply parked in their driveway or in front of their house after driving home drunk or tired and dozed off at the wheel, possibly might not have seen or known what they hit. So unless it’s common for people to be walking down that road at 1:20am, assumed it was a deer. People hit deer all the time, don’t go back to check on them. I don’t know, I’d just like to believe this was not malicious or intentional to leave this poor guy dying on the side of the road. (Like someone did to my brother in law…) My condolences to the family and friends of this young man. May you find strength to heal your broken hearts. And to the person driving I hope you make atonement for what you have done!”

DOUG JOHNSON of Navarro confirms that Harvey "Chris" Isbell, felled by a stroke two months ago at his home in Navarro, is a patient at the Oakhurst Healthcare & Wellness Center near Fresno. Doug reports that Chris, although paralyzed on his right side, is able to talk a little and make his way unaided to the bathroom. Chris hopes to eventually move in with his brother in Lake County. Friends are invited to write:

Harvey Isbell
40131 Highway 49
Oakhurst, CA 93644

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After the non-violence training that occurred on the coast in preparation for the imminent logging that is slated for Jackson Demonstration State Forest we gathered in the early morning hours near the tree sit just in case logging was to commence today, and for a good dry run in case it did.

But no loggers showed so we got to rehearse different possible scenarios with the community that is building around this issue. I am so honored to stand with these people. Thank you Naomi Wagner, Gowan Batiste, Ui Wesley, and so many others for helping the community to prepare to stand with its trees.

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The Friends of the Fort Bragg Library are taking donations the first Saturday of the month from 12-3 pm behind the library.

If you can't make it the first Saturday, email them at to see if they can arrange another time that works for you both.

Thanks and see you at the library!

Fort Bragg Library

499 E Laurel St

Fort Bragg, CA 95437


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Thousands of Cannabis Plants Eradicated, Numerous Environmental Violations Observed at Unpermitted SoHum Grows, Says Humboldt Sheriff

ON MAY 6, 2021, deputies with the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office Marijuana Enforcement Team (MET) served multiple search warrants to investigate illegal cannabis cultivation in the Rancho Sequoia and Dobbyn Creek areas. The California Department of Fish and Wildlife, Humboldt County Department of Health and Human Services Environmental Health - HazMat Unit and Humboldt County Code Enforcement assisted in the service of the warrants.

Six parcels were investigated during the service of the warrants. The parcels did not possess the required county permit and state license to cultivate cannabis commercially.

During the service of the warrant in the Dobbyn Creek area, deputies eradicated approximately 1,200 growing cannabis plants. Deputies seized and destroyed over 171.5 pounds of cannabis bud, approximately 123 pounds of processed cannabis and approximately 454 pounds of cannabis shake.

Assisting agencies found the following violations:

Five water diversion violations (up to $8,000 fine per day, per violation), three of which were substantial instances of water diversion.

Two water pollution violations (up to $20,000 fine per day, per violation)

During the service of the warrants in the Rancho Sequoia area, deputies eradicated approximately 4,334 growing cannabis plants.

Assisting agencies found five environmental violations including water diversion violations (up to $8,000 fine per day, per violation) and depositing trash in or near a waterway violations (up to $20,000 fine per day, per violation).

Additional violations with civil fines are expected to be filed by the assisting agencies.

No arrests were made during the service of the warrant. The case will be forwarded to the DA’s Office for review.

Anyone with information about this case or related criminal activity is encouraged to call the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office at (707) 445-7251 or the Sheriff’s Office Crime Tip line at (707) 268-2539.

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Hop Pickers, Hopland, 1900s

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To the Editor:

Mendocino County Planning Commissioners,

Thank you for your time and attention to this urgent matter our community faces together. I am a private citizen, a small business owner, a landowner in Redwood Valley, a member of the Redwood Valley Municipal Advisory Council, and a board member at the Economic Development & Financing Corporation of Mendocino County (our county’s nonprofit economic development agency). I do not cultivate cannabis or plan to in the future. I have taken it upon myself to listen carefully to the meetings of the Board of Supervisors and the Planning Commission on this matter. I have studied the matter closely. I have spoken with many community members and leaders, and listened to hours and hours of arguments on all sides of the issues involved. This statement reflects only my own point of view.

The Board of Supervisors has (re)engaged you, the Planning Commission, to advise them on this very contentious policy decision of how (and whether) our county should create its own cannabis land use ordinance before the state’s deadline of June 30, 2021. If we do not, the state’s more rigorous environmental standards will prevail. If we do, we must wend a narrow path between our desire for economic opportunity and our responsibility to protect the environment for ourselves and future generations.

I watched the meetings of the Board of Supervisors and the last Planning Commission hearing on the topic. I felt I was “up to speed” on the issues. However, when I reviewed the redlined Draft Ordinance and Redlined Appendix A posted with the agenda for this hearing, I was surprised. I do not feel that they reflect the content or outcome of the last Board of Supervisors meeting on the topic. Concerned, I reached out to District 1 Supervisor, Glenn McGourty. I do not claim to speak for him, but I clearly felt that he was also surprised by the way staff had summarized the thoughts of the supervisors. I believe the information you have received does not reflect the opinions of the supervisors nor the conflicts that brought the Board to an impasse. I will note these perceived discrepancies as follows:

The “Draft Appendix A (Redline from BOS)” which is attached to your agenda for this meeting shows the following discrepancies from what I understood to be the outcome of the Board of Supervisors meeting on April 27, 2021:

No hoop houses, period. Hoop houses made of soft plastic are an environmental travesty. They should not be allowed anywhere. No “grandfathering” of hoop houses. Those that exist should be retired as they are already breaking down into microplastics that will exist in the environment and our wildlife and our bodies forever. The majority of supervisors agreed to this.

If we are to allow greenhouses, they should be engineered, highly durable structures made of glass and metal. They should only be allowed on Industrial land or for seedling cultivation with a maximum area to be recommended by staff after research but possibly 1 percent of maximum grow area.

Cultivation is energy intensive and it is a holdover from when the industry had to hide from law enforcement. There is no reason to allow it in our county with our tremendous solar resources. 10 percent is too much too soon. Keep it at 10,000sf or 22,000sf for now. We can easily expand later.

The problem with Administrative Permits is that neighbors are not notified. However, it is my understanding that you could recommend that neighbor notification be required for all permit types including Administrative.

The “Draft Ordinance redline” which is attached to your agenda for this meeting shows these discrepancies from what I understood to be the outcome/impasse of the Board of Supervisors meeting on April 27, 2021:

Section 22.18.050, paragraph B3: Water trucking should not be allowed except in emergencies. An emergency shall not include a drought or water shortage. Allowing water trucking until December 31, 2022 was discussed but not agreed to. It is environmentally egregious and should not be allowed at all.

Section 22.18.050, paragraph C1: Indoor growing should not be allowed. Mixed light cultivation types should be required to use 100% renewable power—either on-site solar with batteries or 100 percent reneable power from Sonoma Clean Power.

Section 22.18.050, paragraph C2: The language regarding allowed water sources is vague and problematic. Asking applicants how much water they are “intending” or “projecting” to use is not likely to get accurate responses knowing that if they say 1500 gallons per day or more they will have to pay for a hydrological study. The rules also lack clarity about the specific conditions under which a permit would be denied.

Section 22.18.070, paragraph D: Drought or water shortage shall not be considered an emergency for the purpose of trucking water.

Section 22.18.070, paragraph K: It was agreed that NO cultivation site should involve the coverage of the native soil with base rock or similar medium that makes future cultivation of the site infeasible, not only Medium Mixed-Light.

I request that you consider the following which are my own opinions based on intensive study of the issues:

Please recommend that the county do an EIR regardless of whether it is required by the state.

No grow bags or imported soil should be allowed. Even in greenhouses, cultivation should be in the ground using native soils.

Fences should only be around outdoor cultivation areas and should be wire “field fencing,” not opaque fencing of any type nor chainlink.

Finally, I also wish to speak to the destructive nature of this controversy on our communities. People are already planning referendums to overturn the decisions made. People care deeply about the issues to the point that they are willing to spend their money and their time to challenge the will of their elected officials. I’m sure you understand the imperative that you consider carefully and make your recommends with great wisdom and courage. Whether you are new to the Planning Commission or you have served for years, this moment is certainly one that you and the citizens watching you today will remember for decades. The future of our county passes fleetingly through your hands today. What we need from you is not compromise but rather strength, wisdom and courage.

With great respect and gratitude,

Sattie Clark


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“THE COUNTY PLANNING COMMISSION has come up with a sensible compromise.”

I’ve spoken with legit and illegit growers. What they say is who cares at this point what anyone from the county says. Why should we believe anything that comes out of that place? And now, with a heavy drought in full swing, they want to expand the program to bring in the heavy hitters.

Meanwhile, they don’t want or are incapable of processing all the applications. The applications that have lingered who knows where for months, if not years. But oh yeah, and the county took our money and gave us nothing in return. And now they are setting up another scam to get more money from the growers. Many of the legit growers wonder why they even bothered to get legal. Since 80% of the weed that moves out of the county is the so-called illegal stuff and sells for more money and less hassle.

Then Covelo and others are left to organized and unorganized crime and are lawless and hopeless. A third of Covelo is in ruin, and criminals heavily armed run the show. Yet the county wants half a mil for generators for libraries. The State and County need leadership that’s got the guts to send in the military, state police, whoever, to flush the toilet that Covelo has become.

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To the Editor:

Today is my 69th birthday, and while readers have not asked for some reflections in so many words, I am sure they are out there, the requests, coming soon, like starlight.

I shall head them off, and have these few paragraphs waiting for when they come in, ready to turn them around in moments, assuming my email is working.

I was born quite early in May, (today being the first) on a Thursday, I think about 9 o’clock P M, a time I have kept as my bedtime all my life, even in my twenties in college. My drinking and staying up all night started about 4 in the afternoon, and I was pretty much leaving the bar or the frat house or a friend’s room on a Friday or Saturday night by about 9 or so, so that I was not too far off schedule by the next morning.

I have always been a bit – just a bit – precocious. Meaning advanced. Ahead of the game. If I was a carpenter I might have had my tools at the door the night before, the address of the new front door I was going to hang or the porch to be replaced in my wallet in my pocket with my lunch made and in the bag in the frig.

I entered high school when I was only fourteen years old; college at 18.

And yes, I drank – began drinking – for three of my college years at 4 in the afternoon, illegally, as it were, the drinking age there and then back East being 21.

(Just being clear, it was illegal to drink at my age, regardless what time one started.)

Looking back, I would have chosen my parents differently.

Wait. Let me start that again.

Looking back, I chose wonderfully the country of my birth, but not so much my parentage. Meaning I would have chosen a mother who lived longer past my second birthday, and a father who thought to learn how to cook so we didn’t have to wait on him all his life.

My father lived all his life self-absorbed.

Wait. I could say that differently.

My father was pampered from birth, and railed against the dying of my mother’s light by entitling himself to no less pampering, despite the change in circumstances, an attitude he justified and expressed in exasperated moments of adult responsibility as “everything happens to me.”

I take after my mother. Meaning, that eleven months ago I got her cancer, or a cancer, rather, but one they could and did treat with chemo and stem cells transplanted like root-ball trees into new bone marrow loam.

So……with the starlight on the way, the Earth thumb-sized from the moon, with Natron found on Mars like the Natron Egyptians used in mummies like the Natron deposits in Africa and France, where water was once……my reflection is….we’re doing OK. Not counting micro-plastics.

Also, that it’s good to be self-absorbed.

I don’t happen to be self-absorbed, having been far too busy in my life with personal projects and passions. But if I were going to start being so, this would be the day. Why put off till you are 70 what you can do when you are alive and well and only 69.

William Walls


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CATCH OF THE DAY, May 8, 2021

Alvarez, Ayala, Brown, Chambers

JACK ALVAREZ, Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-alcohol, paraphernalia.

LUIS AYALA-ORTIZ, Ukiah. Probation revocation.

DUSTIN BROWN, Chico/Willits. Burglary, damaging conmunications lines, controlled substance. 

JACOB CHAMBERS, Wilits. Disorderly conduct-alcohol.

Harper, Kelly, Miller

CONNIE HARPER, Fort Bragg. Disorderly conduct-alcohol, trespassing-refusing to leave.

MICHAEL KELLY, Ukiah. DUI, reckless driving.

CORT MILLER, Covelo. Felon-addict with firearm, ammo possession by prohibited person, protective order violation.

Rhodes, Rodriguez, Smith, Steele

RAYMOND RHODES, Fort Bragg. Controlled substance.

ANTONIO RODRIGUEZ, Laytonville. Failure to appear.

LEVI SMITH, Forestville/Ukiah. Resisting.

EDWARD STEELE, Ukiah. County Parole violation. (Frequent Flyer)

Supnet, Tillman, Vaughan

RAMONA SUPNET, Antioch/Ukiah. Burglary, obtaining money by false pretenses.

TASHINA TILLMAN, Willits. Disorderly conduct-alcohol, resisting.

WILLIAM VAUGHAN III, Ukiah. Vehicle theft, burglary tools, paraphernalia, resisting, probation revocation.

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So, help me understand this equation. We have a $15 billion surplus and the best COVID-19 response in the nation, and some people want to recall this governor. Maybe I’m missing something here, or am I sensing sour grapes from disappointed Republicans? In this case, the grass will not be greener on the other side. My vote is to keep Gov. Gavin Newsom in office and congratulate him for a job well done.

Kenneth Shaw

Rohnert Park

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I’m not sure how anthropologists, archeologists or some other kind of scientist figured this out (or if in fact, it’s correct since I have no way of checking their work) but the breeding population on earth at one time was down to 5,000 couples. Looks like we bounced back at 7+ billion so, even though we came close to extinction, humans appear to be difficult to entirely kill off, even though Chick-fil-A and McDonalds are doing their best. People can endure if they face deprivation with creativity and reestablishing a community. Clinging to a sense of humor helps and avoiding at all costs, magical thinking — “solutions will appear if I believe and visualize them.” The zeitgeist will pass to China and they’ll face irrelevance in their turn. Who knows how long that will take and what it will look like? It seems we all agree that the world is choking on its own technology and trash.

* * *

* * *


by James Gagliano

A line in Waylon Jennings and Willie Nelson’s “Mammas, Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Cowboys,” warns: “Them that don’t know him won’t like him.” As a retired law-enforcement professional, it deeply saddens me to witness how my former profession suddenly finds itself in similar straits — reviled, the object of scorn and derision.

Dangerous tropes abound. False narratives proliferate. Bigotry and intolerance are suddenly acceptable, so long as the target wears a blue uniform.

I am also a father. I will not encourage my children to grow up to be cops.

As the nation braces for the one-year anniversary of George Floyd’s death, I sense nothing that gives me any hope that we will break the anti-cop fever any time soon.

Due process for police? Passé. Presumption of innocence? Police are guilty before they can be tried — guilty even before the clips of body-cam footage are posted.

Just ask LeBron James, who boasts almost 50 million Twitter followers: Even when a cop rightly used deadly force to prevent one 16-year-old girl, Ma’Khia Bryant, from stabbing another, he tweets that the officer should be held “accountable” and even the threat “You’re next.”

We have lost our collective capacity to view fatal police shootings through an objective prism. They all get lumped together, justified or not. The Floyd case put the entire nation on trial as indelibly racist. Yet the reckoning is itself based on a biased narrative.

Activists and armchair quarterbacks confidently assert what an officer’s actions should have been — long after the dust has settled and based merely on a sometimes misleading video clip.

Dermot Shea blasts some protesters as ‘criminal groups’ amid anti-cop rhetoric

Why would I want my children to join the ranks of a profession whose members continue to be spat upon, disrespected, taunted and baited by “reformers”? Where police brass are rendered impotent by politicians who have long since caved to the mobs, instructing officers to “de-escalate” in the face of violent rioters and agitators?

Even now, as I pursue a doctoral degree focused on police use of force, my research informs me that fatal shootings of unarmed black men are an anomaly. Yet you’d never know this from the amount of coverage these incidents receive.

Breathless reporting often begins with incomplete information. Once a correction, update or retraction arrives, it’s too late — the social-media mob has already framed the incident. Online anger then fuels take-to-the-streets hostilities.

It’s estimated that police have some 76 million interactions with civilians over the age of 16 annually. On average, police fatally shoot around 1,000 civilians per year, about one in every 76,000 interactions. The vast majority of those shot are armed with a weapon — placing a police officer in a position to kill or be killed.

Yes, a small handful of these shootings are of someone unarmed. In 2020, The Washington Post database “Fatal Encounters” identified 55 unarmed people who were killed by police. (Keep in mind that violently struggling with or attempting to disarm an arresting officer counts as “unarmed” if the suspect doesn’t actually possess a weapon of his own.)

Of those 55 deaths, 24 were white, 18 black and 8 Hispanic. Arguing that this shows fatal police shootings involve minorities at disproportionate rates based on their percentages in the population ignores the fact that groups do not offend at the same rates. When a group is responsible for a higher percentage of criminality, especially violent crime (as the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting indicates year after year), this forces more police-civilian interactions for that group and results in more fatalities.

But none of this matters to critics like LeBron James or even a supposed expert like former Labor Secretary Robert Reich, who last month cited the number of year-to-date fatal police shootings in a tweet, while adding: “The system is still getting away with murder.”

No, it’s the critics who are getting away with unfair, naïve or disingenuous attacks on police. And there’s no end in sight.

Encourage my children — or anyone else’s, for that matter — to take up a dangerous and thankless profession amid today’s anti-cop environment?

No, thanks. I’ll pass.

(James A. Gagliano is a retired FBI supervisory special agent and doctoral candidate at St. John’s University.)

* * *

BALLOT, n. A simple device by which a majority proves to a minority the folly of resistance. Many worthy persons of imperfect thinking apparatus believe that majorities govern through some inherent right; and minorities submit, not because they must, but because they ought.

— Ambrose Bierce, “The Devil’s Dictionary”

* * *

* * *


by Gideon Lewis-Kraus

Virtually all astrobiologists suspect that we are not alone. Seth Shostak, the senior astronomer at the seti Institute, has wagered that we will find incontrovertible proof of intelligent life by 2036. Astronomers have determined that there may be hundreds of millions of potentially habitable exoplanets in just our galaxy. Interstellar travel by living beings still seems like a wildly remote possibility, but physicists have known since the early 1990s that faster-than-light travel is possible in theory, and new research has brought this marginally closer to being achievable in practice. These advances—along with the further inference that ours is a mediocre or even inferior civilization, one that could well be millions or billions of years behind our distant neighbors—have lent a bare-bones plausibility to the idea that UFOs have extraterrestrial origins.

Such a prospect, as Hynek wrote in the mid-1980s, “overheats the human mental circuits and blows the fuses in a protective mechanism for the mind.” Its destabilizing influence was clear. I would begin interviews with sources who seemed lucid and prudent and who insisted, like Kean, that they were interested only in vetted data, and that they used the term “UFO” in the strictly literal sense—whether the objects were spaceships or drones or clouds, we just didn’t know. An hour later, they would reveal to me that the aliens had been living in secret bases under the ocean for millions of years, had genetically altered primates to become our ancestors, and had taught accounting to the Sumerians.

The government may or may not care about the resolution of the UFO enigma. But, in throwing up its hands and granting that there are things it simply cannot figure out, it has relaxed its grip on the taboo. For many, this has been a comfort. In March, I spoke with a lieutenant colonel in the Air Force who said that about a decade ago, during combat, he had an extended encounter with a UFO, one that registered on two of his plane’s sensors. For all the usual reasons, he had never officially reported the sighting, but every once in a while he’d bring a close friend into his confidence over a beer. He did not want to be named. “Why am I telling you this story?” he asked. “I guess I just want this data out there—hopefully this helps somebody else somehow.”

The object he’d encountered was about forty feet long, disobeyed the principles of aerodynamics as he understood them, and looked exactly like a giant Tic Tac. “When Commander Fravor’s story came out in the New York Times, all my buddies had a jaw-drop moment. Even my old boss called me up and said, ‘I read about the Nimitz, and I wanted to say I’m so sorry I called you an idiot’.” 

(The New Yorker)


  1. Craig Stehr May 9, 2021

    Another read through of the AVA online edition leaves one with the only logical question: “So what?” This, followed by viewing the NBC nightly news, which leaves one with the only rational question: “Who cares?” It is understood that this world is chaotic, that the global political leadership has no vision at all, and that the “American experiment in freedom and democracy” is lately more crazy than usual. As far as local issues are concerned…trying to somehow manage marijuana is ridiculous, because the money incentive overrides all else. The cannabis industry is NEVER going to stop growing marijuana. (Consider Covelo to be an economic sacrifice zone.) And, there is NEVER going to be a brand new county mental hospital, because the so-called mentally ill are irrelevant to the financial enrichment of the residents of Mendocino county. And most obvious of all, there is nothing that anybody can do about water scarcity. Stop being stupid, organize with your friends to ensure a stable living situation, get some wine and beer, invest in a better BBQ, center the mind at its Source, and go back to Godhead. You’ve just won the lottery!! ;-))

    • Stephen Rosenthal May 9, 2021


      This is the most cogent comment you’ve ever posted.

      • Lazarus May 9, 2021

        I was going to say that.
        I like the line, (Consider Covelo to be an economic sacrifice zone.) Never were truer words spoken.
        Be Swell,

  2. Douglas Coulter May 9, 2021

    Don’t let your baby’s grow up to be police!
    Police have a tough job yet the treatment of the poor remains the easy bust. Almost every arrest of poor people is violent and traumatic. The practice of crime stacking is common, charging felonies when only misdemeanors are provable. Add the body cam and these unlawful bully tactics should end but a public defender rarely shows this footage, only offering a plea bargain. Our prisons fill with poor people who cannot afford a lawyer.
    The number of arrests of those on probation in the days catch shows lazy cops aiming for easy busts with little paperwork. When America has the worlds highest incarceration rate and the public is OK with that something is wrong. Race is the media issue but poverty has always been the problem. Police are the Brown Shirts that carry out this dirty work as more poor people enter the American Prison Industry. Petty crime is not a national problem but predatory criminals are being released to make room for some drug offenders because our court rooms need to keep busy.
    When a bad cop kills an unarmed person the Blue Code should end. Protecting bad cops hurts the good cops. “To protect and serve” cannot take place when conviction rates drive the police and court system.
    The DOJ is the Department of Errors and the largest employer in America when you add all the law enforcement agencies, courts, prisons, and probation. Also millions of orphans handed over to CPS.

    • chuck dunbar May 9, 2021

      A lot of truth here and also, echoing others, in Craig’s post. Thank you Craig and Douglas, a strong start for the day in the Comments section.

  3. George Dorner May 9, 2021

    If police culture included the policing of their own ranks, they would not be facing today’s social backlash. It has taken national furor for local police forces to pay attention to their problem officers–which is pretty bizarre if one stops to think about it.

    Please note I respect professional officers who do their damnedest to live their oath of service. They deserve better than to be tarnished by corrupt and violent contemporaries.

    • chuck dunbar May 9, 2021

      Your second paragraph is absolutely true, George, and always needs to be said in these conversations. Thank you.

  4. Professor Cosmos May 9, 2021

    Re: The UFO Papers article

    Alot of that focused on the coverup issue, which unfortunately has been a disempowering fixation by ufologists for decades (most today even still ignoring close encounters of the 3rd kind, though the Ariel case alone will end that in a big way soon). Also, conspiracy theories and wild imaginings mushroomed in the 1980s and are today deeply ingrained and fused with far right and left sentiments (ie scapegoated evil global cabals, anti globalist, paranoid of all things governmental).

    The rise in encounters with the military may enhance awareness of this as a serious matter to address or even stir a growing realization that there is an alien presence here, longstanding and from multiple civilizations. But, I wouldn’t hold my breath for an official disclosure. Instead, developing events may continue to exhibit a pattern that has been evident since world war 2, a growing emergence by “them”.

  5. Harvey Reading May 9, 2021

    I suspect there is a strong correlation between ET sightings and stressful times for backward monkey societies like ours. Funny, though, no concrete evidence…and my guess is that such is unlikely in the future.

    Again, who with advanced technology would waste time on war-loving primitives, whose major achievement so far has been to gut the planet of its resources and let the likes of the robber baron, Leon Skum, clutter up our sky with junk, junk that is bound to crash back to earth eventually?

    • Brian Wood May 9, 2021

      There’s no concrete evidence after many decades. Like other fringe beliefs in unexplainable things like psychic powers, Bigfoot. etc. no evidence probably means it doesn’t exist. The “unidentified” part of UFO only means it’s not identified.

      Until there’s a shred of evidence of it, Harvey’s faith-based notion of advanced god-like civilizations that wouldn’t stoop to interact with humans is equally a fantasy.

      • Professor Cosmos May 9, 2021

        You actually are very incorrect about no concrete evidence as radar scope readings, flir images, military pilot video, trace evidence etc are in the public domain.
        I don’t take anyone’s opinion as a sign of anything but a psychological reaction if they have not done a very significant study of this.
        Now, anecdotal evidence is actually concrete also. As an experiment, I would urge debunkers to address the 1994 Ariel event. Give it a shot!!

        • Brian Wood May 9, 2021

          I’m not against it or trying to win a point. But I’m generally interested in distinguishing between actual facts and the spectrum of possibilities from unknown but likely, to the absurdly impossible. I am actually interested in extraterrestrial life, life after death, ESP, and any number of those kinds of things. Generally, the more I’ve looked into these things the less I found. So I’m a debunker only in the sense of my sincere desire to not be fooled, and to not fool myself. Spacemen might exist. But there isn’t any evidence (yet) of any life forms in the Universe other than terrestrial ones. The likelihood that other life-forms exists can’t be established with only our one example. I think it’s easy for personal beliefs and predilections to influence what a person believes to be true, and I try to be evidence based.

          I’ll look up the 1994 Ariel event. Thanks.

          • Harvey Reading May 9, 2021

            And, I’ll masturbate. Our conclusions will be equally valid.

          • Professor Cosmos May 9, 2021

            I can only be satisfied with evidence. I don’t imagine anything. My hops to a conclusion are very short. For example, by 1965 I had seen enough ce3 cases that had been vetted by military, police and newspapers to see that a variety of observed beings associated with landed craft were focused on examining and collecting animals and plants and soil, etc. So, I concluded then that they were focused on planetary resources. (This, again, should partially help address Harvey’s “why would they come to this shit hole” question).

            Ufology has been a factory for wild imaginings and a disregard for scientific, academic and journalistic practice standards.

            I simply again put the 1994 Ariel case up. It literally can’t be debunked. It happened. There are reasons that case will hit home when people become aware of it: the messaging imagery experienced by 2 of the girls is what will be heard.

          • Harvey Reading May 9, 2021

            LOL, again. Thanks for that!

        • Harvey Reading May 9, 2021

          LOL. A blip on a screen is a blip on a screen. Besides, next to politicians, the US military is the biggest bunch of liars on the planet.

          • Brian Wood May 9, 2021

            The 1994 Ariel case is a story that raises a bunch of questions but answers none of them. As told by someone else it might be quite different. A lot of those. Whatever. Harvey’s masturbating. Awaiting his report.

          • Harvey Reading May 9, 2021

            No ET, Brian!

  6. Marmon May 9, 2021


    The pilot is a good friend of my and should not be treated like a criminal, he did nothing wrong. Had he not hit the water he would be dead. Harvey is one of the nicest people you could ever meet. I think we should open a GoFundMe page and help him out with the fines. My God, he could have died.


    • chuck dunbar May 9, 2021

      I’m happy to say that for once, Mr. James, I totally agree with you! I’m glad Harvey made it out of this all alive.

      • Marmon May 9, 2021

        If Harvey said he was given a deadline, then he was given a deadline, I’m sure he would have preferred the time to find other bidders.


  7. Rye N Flint May 10, 2021


    “HAD THIS ALLEGED Big Foot rampage really happened? Who were the victims?”

    On 06-19-2013 Sheriff’s Detectives were able to identify the victim as being Hugo Olea-Lopez a 23-year-old adult male from Upper Lake, California.

    The same day a forensic autopsy was conducted and the preliminary findings showed Olea-Lopez appeared to have died as the result of a single gunshot wound to the torso.

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