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Mendocino County Today: Thursday, Sept. 9, 2021

Interior Thunderstorms | 28 New Cases | 3 More Deaths | Medical Aid | Fair Tip | Salsa Time | Colorful Succulents | Westport Water | Greenwood 1909 | Recycling Plastics | Steam Schooner | Internet Survey | Water Hauling | Old Palace | Danny's Vacuum | Glass Repair | Ed Notes | Doll Factory | Police Reports | Antivax Graveyard | Water Ruling | Yesterday's Catch | Heartbreaking | Close Calls | Lotus Bridge | Code Enforcement | Parallel Earth | Planning Canceled | Dental Display | CA Housing | Ghandi 1938 | Rain Today | Security Questions | Unimaginable Diversity | I Quit

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SCATTERED SHOWERS AND ISOLATED THUNDERSTORMS will be possible across the interior later today and tonight. Inland temperatures will cool off somewhat through the end of the week, before some heat returns this weekend. Coastal areas will remain typically cool with quite a bit of marine layer clouds. (NWS)

YESTERDAY'S HIGHS: Ukiah 104°, Yorkville 100°, Boonville 97°, Fort Bragg 62°

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28 NEW COVID CASES and three more deaths reported in Mendocino County yesterday afternoon.

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Mendocino County health officials reported Wednesday that three more residents have died from Covid-19, describing them all as people who were under 50 years of age and not vaccinated.

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LAST WEEK AV FIRE RESPONDED to a medical aid in Hendy Woods State Park.

Our first-in firefighter left his grocery basket at Lemon's, came to scene in his own vehicle, and located the patient on the trail in the care of an off-duty paramedic. They were able to guide the rest of the responders to the patient, who we then carried out to AV Ambulance.

Thanks to Cal Fire for assistance. 

(AV FirePresser)

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If you’re going to the Fair, please look for my window at the Home Arts Bldg, to the right outside the side entrance, opposite the Ag Bldg, “Cooking With Friends.” You’ll see my miniature 1970’s “Hippie Kitchen” and my 1940’s/’50’s “Mexican Bohemian Kitchen,” plus part of my doll collection. 

— Nancy MacLeod

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It's tomato and pepper season, which means it's time to make salsa! 

Just a friendly reminder that the Secrets of Salsa cookbook is available and contains many ingredients for fresh and delicious salsas written by fellow community members, friends, and neighbors here in Anderson Valley! 

You can pick up a copy at local businesses like Boontberry, The General Store, AV Market, The Boonville Hotel, or contact the Adult School 895-2953 or 

Proceeds from sales of this book go toward adult education in Anderson Valley via Anderson Valley Adult School/Escuela de Adultos de Anderson Valley such as GED/Hiset test fees, a fund to help folks apply for their citizenship, scholarships for Spanish and other community classes, and more. 

They make a great gift, too!

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Amalia’s Succulents (photo by Dick Whetstone)

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WESTPORT WATER 50 YEARS AGO – Lyle Standley’s Water System

by Bill Brazill

One of the first people we met in coming to Westport almost fifty years ago was Lyle Standley. He had heard we had bought the old Kruger Place (then the only house on the west side of Omega Drive) and came to introduce himself and ask if we would like the house reconnected to his water system, explaining that we had a well but no pump as the house had not been lived in for many years. The monthly water fee was $6.50. We said sure and from then on we saw Lyle the last day of each month when he came to the house and presented his hand written water bill. We were expected to pay on the spot as everyone did. He would then write “paid” and sign the bill and this was our receipt.

Lyle was probably in his late sixties then, and he and his wife Clare lived in a small house up at Wages Creek Campground. Dutch, his son, lived to the south of us in a tiny cabin that I think eventually slid into the ocean. Turns out we were all cousins as my dad’s mom was a Standley from Westport.

Lyle’s system had two sources for water. There was a spring up behind town in a gulch, and as I learned from Marjorie Zakula, a well out in Buster Standley's field that we now call The Headlands. Water from both places went to an old redwood tank above town at the end of Abalone Street and from there gravity fed the town. Lyle was fortunate as Dave Morgan helped him with the system and also helped him with his flock of goats that resided where the church is now. For this Dave got free water.

In the winter and spring months the system worked well. The tank over flowed and every one had water night and day. Other times we were mostly in short supply, especially in the fall. That time of year, around dusk Lyle would come into town in his Ford Falcon pick-up and shut the water off at the tank so it could refill overnight and then he returned around dawn and turned it back on. No treatment of water in those days.

We did just fine as we used little water. Our house only had one kitchen cold-water faucet. That’s it! No hot water, no toilet had ever been installed, just the outhouse on the bluff. No bathtub or shower and no outside faucets. I don’t believe we used more than 500 gallons a month. In those days there were fewer houses and more full time residents in town. A few houses had their own wells and used them and most everyone had a septic tank of sorts. We didn’t, the kitchen sink water drained to the garden area.

Somehow we all got along and got by. Occasionally in the fall Lyle’s tank valve mysteriously would get turned back on at night but that was a rare occasion. If I remember correctly, Westport in the mid-1970s was noticed by heath officials because some of the town’s sewerage was making its way to the ocean through the gully out on Buster’s field. This made the town eligible for a grant not only for a sewer system but also for a new water system to operate it and at the same time supply water to all the residents. The new systems were installed and I think we all connected before 1980. Those were the days…

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OLD POSTCARD, CIRCA 1909, GREENWOOD (now Elk), California

(via Marshall Newman)

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TOM WODETSKI: Contrary to many stories saying plastic recycling is useless since it’s all being burned, I was just informed that locally the recyclable plastic with numbers 1 thru 7 in the triangle recycling symbol ARE being sorted and then shipped to companies that do convert it into useful products. So don’t believe the negative stories that denigrate peoples’ and governments' recycling efforts. Recycling your plastic waste DOES HELP.

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Broadband / high speed Internet expansion, speed survey help requested.

This year, Governor Newsom signed a bill to allocate $6 billion to expand broadband infrastructure and enhance high speed Internet access for unserved and underserved communities. Instead of subsidizing the existing for-profit providers who have skipped over much of Mendocino County, our state's investment will remain state-owned, providing an open access middle mile. The county will receive millions to fund last mile. We will likely join a new joint powers authority led by thirty-seven county member county Rural County Representatives of California to pull off implementation. It's the most promising effort I've seen to bridge the digital divide and I believe it'll improve our economy, education, healthcare and quality of life. 

We've surveyed over the years, but I'm here to ask your help on updating our maps. Please engage in the following speed test. By crowdsourcing current Internet speeds across our county, we'll be able to better ensure deployment reaches the underserved areas.

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SUPERVISOR WILLIAMS announces the beginning of water hauling to the Coast:

“I'm hopeful that the first two water loads totaling 10,000 gallons will move from Ukiah to Fort Bragg today, enabling the drought-stricken to once again buy water. Capacity will grow as additional trucking firms sign agreements.”

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SUPERVISOR HASCHAK on PG&E funding allocations to fire departments:

“With this funding, Long Valley Fire Dept. will acquire a new ambulance, Little Lake and Brooktrails Fire Depts. will purchase new Polaris UTV side by side rescue vehicles. All fire departments will receive an additional $20,000 for emergency medical supplies.”

ALSO: The referendum to rescind the new cannabis ordinance had more than 800 signatures over the required number. The Board has two options: either rescind the ordinance or put it to a ballot for the people to decide. A ballot would be costly, divisive, and probably not happen until June of next year. My hope is that the Board rescinds the ordinance and that we get to work on implementing the favorable components of the ordinance such as no water hauling, preservation of agricultural soils, and limiting hoop houses while supporting the small growers so that they can get state licensure.

AND: Water issues continue as we pray for early and abundant rains. The County will ship water from Ukiah to the Coast since the situation on the Coast is dire. The aquifers in Ukiah and the 3rd District are still producing. The Board discussed options on restricting water hauling since that is an ongoing concern for many people who rely on wells. We are looking at limiting water hauling to daylight hours, requiring detailed manifests of where water is delivered, quantity, etc., and regulating the sale of water from one’s well. 

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Old Palace Hotel, Ukiah

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To all my loyal customers. The rumors of me being forced out of business or made to retire are not true. The vacuum shop will be moving to 307 N. State St. Just about 50ft. North of our location now. In regards to my landlord, the fact of the matter is that he is helping me move. Please give him a chance to succeed in his new adventure. Friends, customers and local businesses, I can’t thank you enough for your support and allegiance. 

Danny Murphy 

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A TENTATIVE KNOCK on my office door interrupted my vigil over the bird bath outside my window, where a blue jay had just driven off a pair of woodpeckers. It was my colleague, The Major. “I hate to do this to you, but…” 

County Museum - County Museum Sets Up Car Bombing Exhibit

by Jaclyn Luna

Mendocino County Museum staff and volunteers have been busy setting up the pop-up exhibit ‘The Car Bombing of Judi Bari: A Community Remembers’, which is set to open September 18.

Earth First! Activists Judi Bari was driving a car with Darryl Cherney as passenger in Oakland May 24, 1990 when it exploded. The pair was in the midst of organizing Redwood Summer, a non-violent civil protest intended to protect old growth redwood trees from logging in Mendocino County.

Museum Curator Karen Mattson explained the public has been requesting an exhibit on Bari for some time and they intended to have the exhibit on the 30-year anniversary of the bombing (May 2020), but Covid pushed the plans back. To make the exhibit happen, staff and volunteers have been organizing the collections area of the museum for years to make the car Bari and Cherney were bombed in accessible and be able to bring it into the museum. Mattson said, “It was a long process to get it from the back. So, we have been working really hard, all these volunteers have been working hard to organize our collections area so that we can actually physically get the car to the front. This represents a three-year achievement to be able to share all of our collections.”

Aside from the bombed car, photographs will be on display as well as evidence from the trial (on loan from Cherney) including parts of the bomb. A quilt that was made a fundraiser for Bari, to create a trust to support her and her daughters after the bombing left her severely injured will also be on display. When entering the museum, a giant puppet from event “Fiddle Down the FBI” introduces patrons to the story of the Car Bombing of Judi Bari.

Mattson said being able to share the collection related to Bari’s car bombing is an achievement for the museum. She explained, “People have seen a lot of these things, but the experience of seeing these things is definitely different from the photograph, and I think that is what the museum has to offer to the story. There has been movies and books, but coming and seeing these things in person is really different.”

Mattson said, “It’s a huge story, and we are just sharing the collection we have that supports it.” To accompany the exhibit, Cherney and Alicia Littletree are planning several weeks of programing including panel discussions, a live concert and firsthand accounts.

Mattson explained through organizing the collections area, the museum hopes to make the collection more accessible to the public by offering tours in the fall. The vast storage space is meticulously clean and impressively organized with a variety of artifacts showcasing the County’s rich and diverse history. Mattson said, “our volunteers have been at the heart of everything and making it possible.”

Museum Volunteers include; Scott Ferleman, Brent Walker, Steve Prochter, Claudia Prochter, Gail Yde, Karen Bishop, Carol Cox and Dean Durbin. Mattson said, “The museum has the most amazing volunteers. They are each uniquely talented and all are dedicated to the mission of our museum. We are proud to be able to make our collection accessible.”

The Judi Bari exhibit will open September 18. Mendocino County Museum is located on 400 East Commercial Street in Willits and is open Wednesday-Friday 10 a.m.-5p.m., Saturday and Sunday from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. Visit for more information.

O YEAH. Want to get a rise out of me? Mention the criminals who have made literal millions promoting the deliberately false view of the Bari Bombing. The Major handed me a letter from Mendocino County's Cultural Services (sic) announcing an exhibit featuring the bombed Subaru belonging to the late Judi Bari. 

THE LETTER, as you can see, says “the community” wanted to see the scene of the crime, which I recall seeing in the Museum twenty years ago when Russ and Sylvia Bartley were responsible for archiving the Museum's neglected archives. The “community” referred to in the exhibit announcement consists of Naomi Wagner, a seethingly violent woman who, Mendo being Mendo, teaches classes in non-violence. And Darryl Cherney, gifted with nearly a million tax dollars for allegedly being libeled by the FBI and the Oakland Police Department, taking the money and retiring from saving the redwoods to a dope farm he bought near Garberville with his federal proceeds.

THE EXHIBIT is unlikely to allow dissenting views of the Bari interlude, which I am eternally prepared to present. (Have obsession, will travel!) But Mendo doesn't do dissent, doesn't approve of it, fears it. So what local taxpayers will get via Mendocino County's Cultural Services — pause here for hollow laughter — is a hagiographic version of Bari-related events which will vaguely identify the perp as a dream list of villains — the FBI, Big Timber, heterosexual white men, Christian fanatics, or all of the above. Bari always aggressively squashed any mention of her ex-husband as her assassin, but privately confessed that he surely did it. The entire dissenting case can be found on the ava's website.

 I COULD GO ON, as long time, long-suffering readers know and fear, but I also know I live in Mendocino County, where every day history starts all over again, and you are whatever you say you are, a perfect place to commit a nearly perfect crime, the fanciest case of domestic violence, I daresay, in the history of the Northcoast. See you in Willits on opening day! 


The AVA Archive (beginning with a link to KQED’s Steve Talbot video and his update in 2002): Who Bombed Judi Bari?

And particularly Steve Talbot’s account of his experience with Bari when she told Talbot that her ex-husband had bombed her: The Mysterious Death of Judi Bari

FRED GARDNER on the revived Giants: "All my references are ancient — Bryant looks like Dave Kingman at the plate, a lanky kid named Rogers throws exactly like Ewell Blackwell, who I saw pitch at Ebbets Field in 1947. It was Jackie Robinson's rookie season. I remember seeing your local hero Arky Vaughn because he was in the outfield with Dixie Walker, and my dad explained the odd nicknames to me. Either Arky or Dixie got beaned that day, which was also memorable. The third baseman was Spider Jorgenson. Billy Cox would come over in '48 (with Preacher Roe in a trade with Pittsburgh for Dixie Walker. Greatest trade Branch Rickey ever made). This is in my mind instead of music theory and the periodic table."

IN THAT ERA Bay Area baseball fans were into the San Francisco Seals and the Oakland Oaks, where Billy Martin got going and Tony Ponce once pitched both ends of a doubleheader. The Oaks also had a starting pitcher called Allan Two Gun Gettle. No idea what the gun ref was to. But I was a Seals fan when Arky Vaughan was a Seal. He owned property in Potter Valley, I believe, dying prematurely in a fishing accident. And there was Ferris Fain, busted in the 70's for growing dope in the Sierra foothills, Dario Lodigani, Roy Nicely who played semi-pro ball in Coos Bay into his sixties, Bobo Belinsky, Leo Righetti (Dave's father), Pumpsie Green. Even the names of the players were exciting and memorable. Bleacher seats went for a nickel for kids. I was sitting out there at about age 9 or so when Carlos Bernier of the Hollywood Stars went into the stands after a fan who'd insulted him. My other primary memory is Luke Easter, later of the Cleveland Indians, hitting ball after prodigious ball over the rightfield wall into the park across 16th Street. Seals Stadium, hardly a stadium with seating for maybe 20,000 at 16th and Bryant, as it occurs to me I'm now one of only a few people who can say they've seen ballgames at Seals Stadium, Candlestick and AT&T or whatever corporate logo fouls the new stadium on the Embarcadero.

BOONVILLE, eyes only. A poster notes: "AV Way - The old nursery’s water has been leaking aggressively for two weeks! I’ve talked to the men managing the property about it twice and nothing has been done. Anyone else who can put pressure on this situation? Massive waste of water." I'm surprised there's massive amounts of water at that site, but Ms. Cakebread will want to know about this before her pump burns up.

THE PRESSER from, presumably, the Ukiah School District, begins: "At Thursday’s board meeting, the Ukiah Unified School District Board of Trustees will consider entering into an exchange agreement for the former Redwood Valley Elementary School property with GMB Realty, a limited liability corporation based in Oakland...."

IT RESUMES after this Ed Note: I thought school properties were deeded in perpetuity for educational purposes only, as was the Redwood Valley school site by a relative of James Marmon who may be able to fill us in.

…Benefits of exchanging the property include the district would no longer need to pay to maintain the property, the property can be redeveloped, potentially adding new housing and other opportunities for this area, and the district can acquire another property that will help them better meet the educational goals of the board. If the Ukiah Unified Trustees move forward with the exchange agreement, the surplus Redwood Valley Elementary School property would be exchanged for an income-producing property or a property that addresses other district needs either for anticipated enrollment growth or operational uses. The exchange agreement would open an exclusive 270-day window for the potential buyer to continue their analysis, which could include rezoning and other matters on the property, and for the district to locate a property for exchange.

The Redwood Valley Elementary School property consists of approximately 35,231 square feet of buildings situated on approximately 12.44 acres of land. The Exchange Agreement is conditioned on GMB Realty’s acknowledgment and express consent to restrict and prohibit any and all commercial cannabis-related activities on the property.

Property exchanges can help resolve facility, financial, and development-related issues for school districts and other public entities. The Redwood Valley Elementary property has been declared as surplus by Ukiah Unified Trustees. And now, by working toward an exchange agreement, Ukiah Unified can potentially save resources and money.

The district has been maintaining the property since it closed in 2010 but has not had the resources to do more than the minimum. It will be beneficial to shift resources to our other campuses,” said Steve Barekman, chief business official at Ukiah Unified.

The school district is responsible for identifying the exchange property and determining whether the fair market value of the proposed exchange property is of equal value to the Redwood Valley property. Ukiah Unified Trustees must make final approval and acceptance of any exchange agreement or property.

Ukiah Unified Trustee Bea Arkin commented, “It’s been a long process, but we are excited to have finally found someone who will come in and revitalize this property for our community.”

Previously, Ukiah Unified formed a “7-11” Committee to determine the best use of the Redwood Valley property. The purpose of a 7-11 Committee is to advise a governing board, based on community input, regarding the use or disposition of school buildings, space, or property that is not needed for school purposes. The individuals on the committees included teachers, neighbors, and city officials. The committee held multiple meetings and received community input.

The 7-11 Committee made recommendations to the board about how to handle the properties based on community input, declining student enrollment, and financial needs. In 2018, the board voted to declare the site as surplus. Declaring a school site as surplus means Ukiah Unified does not anticipate needing this property for school-related uses.

The Ukiah Unified Trustees meet in person. However, in-person attendance by the public is not allowed at this time. Members of the public can view meetings live or at any time after a meeting on the district’s YouTube Channel by following this link.

The meeting will begin at 6:30 p.m. Sept. 9. Public comments at Ukiah Unified board meetings are made by phone and are limited to three minutes per speaker. Follow this link to sign up for public comment before the meeting start.

Visit for more Ukiah Unified information and news or contact UUSD Communications and Community Engagement Officer Doug Shald at or 707.472.5005 with questions.

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Doll Factory, UK, 1947

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 On 08-25-2021 Mendocino County Sheriff's Office Deputies were dispatched to contact the reporting party of a suspected sexual abuse of a 12 year-old minor female from Hidden Valley Lake. Upon learning the circumstances of the investigation, Mendocino County Sheriff's Office Detectives were dispatched to conduct further investigations.

Through the investigation, it was learned that near the end of July 2021, Lexie Thompson, 21, of Chico, engaged in multiple sexual acts with a 12 year-old minor at a residence in the area of the 14000 block of North Busch Road in Potter Valley.

The investigation revealed Thompson engaged in the sexual acts with the 12 year-old minor, who was known to Thompson, over at least the course of a single day.

On 08-27-2021, Thompson was contacted and interviewed.

Thompson was subsequently arrested for the following charges: Lewd Sexual Acts with a Minor Under 14 Years Old, Oral Copulation of a Minor Under 14 Years Old, and Sexual Penetration with a Foreign Object of a Minor Under 14 Years Old.

Thompson was also identified as being on summary probation and arrested for violation of probation.

Following her arrest, Thompson was booked into the Mendocino County Jail.

Lexie Thompson

A Mendocino Superior Court Judge was contacted and a bail enhancement was requested which resulted in Thompson being held on a No Bail Status.

This investigation remains ongoing and anyone with information related to Lexie Thompson is asked to contact the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office Investigations Bureau Tip-Line at 707-234-2100 or contact Mendocino County Sheriff's Office Dispatch Center at 707-463-4086.


3:55AM AND…

On Monday, August 30, 2021 at 3:55 A.M., a Mendocino County Deputy Sheriff was on routine patrol in the area of Highway 101 near the Lake Mendocino Drive on-ramp in Ukiah.

While driving on Highway 101, the Deputy observed a vehicle traveling in front of him. The Deputy observed a vehicle code violation and conducted a traffic stop. The Deputy contacted the driver, who was identified as Lily Simili. The Deputy also contacted the male passenger, who provided them with a false name.

A second Deputy arrived on scene and they began their investigation. The Deputies observed an item shaped like a methamphetamine pipe near the center console of the vehicle. The Deputies confronted the male passenger about the item and subsequently confirmed the item was a methamphetamine pipe.

The Deputies then developed probable cause to search the male passenger's person and during their search they located a personal use amount of methamphetamine in one of his pockets. The Deputies also located a wallet in the male passenger's pocket. The wallet contained identification for Hunter Casey, 23, of Fort Bragg, and the photograph on the identification matched the male passenger. It was determined Casey had provided the name of another actual person in order to evade charges.

Hunter Casey

The Deputies performed a records check on Casey and learned he had an active felony warrant for his arrest. Casey was also found to be on active Post Release Community Service (PRCS).

The Deputies arrested Casey for Felony Violation PRCS, Felony False Impersonation of Another, Misdemeanor Possession of a Controlled Substance, Misdemeanor Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, and the Felony Arrest Warrant.

The Deputies continued their investigation and observed Simili was in possession of an over the shoulder bag; which she claimed belonged to Casey. The Deputes searched the bag and located a second methamphetamine pipe. Other items in the bag provided the Deputies with probable cause to believe the methamphetamine pipe belonged to Simili.

Simili was cited to appear in the Ukiah Superior Court for a violation of Misdemeanor Possession of Drug Paraphernalia.

Casey was booked into the Mendocino County Jail where he was to be held in lieu of $30,000 bail.



On Sunday, August 29, 2021 at approximately 10:22 A.M. the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office Communications Center received a 911 call regarding a disturbance in the 3900 block of Seiji Way in Ukiah. The caller stated that someone had been stabbed.

Deputies arrived at the location within minutes and were advised by witnesses that a male subject, later identified as Diego Pulido, 26, of Ukiah, had stabbed the family dog, and possibly stabbed another family member.

Diego Pulido

The family member was preparing to leave the area with the family dog in order to obtain veterinary treatment upon the Deputy's arrival.

Deputies summoned medical assistance for the family member and the dog.

Deputies were advised Pulido was currently inside of the residence.

Utilizing a patrol vehicle public address system (PA), Deputies were able to get Pulido to exit the residence. When Pulido exited the residence, Deputies noticed Pulido had what appeared to be blood on his hands, arms, and clothing.

Deputies learned during the investigation that for unknown reasons, Pulido obtained a kitchen knife and stabbed the small family Chihuahua two times in the abdomen.

The family member also had blood on him, which initially led witnesses to believe he had been stabbed as well. It was determined that the family dog had bitten the family member in the hand while trying to provide aid.

The family member took the dog to an out of county emergency veterinarian hospital where the dog received treatment and is expected to survive.

Pulido was ultimately placed under arrest for felony animal cruelty. Pulido was subsequently booked into the Mendocino County Jail where he was to be held in lieu of $15,000 bail.

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by Jim Shields

In a case that may have implications for Mendocino County’s proposed prohibition on water hauling, Courthouse News Service reported that a federal judge on Friday, Sept. 3, temporarily ordered Siskiyou County to cease enforcing a trucked-in water ban on illegal marijuana farms.

In recent BOS discussions on proposed water hauling bans, County Counsel has cited the Siskiyou prohibition as an illustration or approach for this County to look at.

Here’s the CNS story.

Responding to concerns about violent crime and environmental harm associated with illegal marijuana grows, Siskiyou County passed two ordinances in May 2021 requiring permits to extract and move groundwater off site and to transport water by truck. The water-truck permit law applies to a limited number of streets and highways, including those in an area called Shasta Vista, which is home to a large number of Hmong immigrants from south China and Southeast Asia.

The county argued the restrictions were necessary to help preserve groundwater, prevent illegal cannabis grows, reduce violent crime related to illegal marijuana cultivation and to enforce laws against unpermitted dwellings.

Chief U.S. District Judge Kimberly Mueller of the Eastern District of California found the permit process, which requires applicants to list parcel numbers and zoning categories, created unreasonable barriers for non-English speakers.

“It is difficult to understand what purpose these requirements might serve other than to deter lay people from applying for permits,” Judge Mueller wrote in a 28-page opinion.

The county won't allow water deliveries to unapproved dwellings or to people living on unimproved land — parcels it deems “campsites” — even if the people there have camping permits. As a result, Mueller wrote that the county would likely reject permit applications from people in Shasta Vista, where most people live in unapproved structures.

The ACLU of Northern California filed an amicus brief in the case, arguing the county’s decision to effectively cut off the Hmong community’s water supply was based on "anti-Asian sentiment.”

County officials denied that the laws were intended to discriminate against Asian people.

Plaintiff Der Lee, a Laos-born immigrant and member of the Shasta Vista Hmong community, testified that he and other Hmong immigrants experienced “a great deal of racial prejudice” when he moved to Shasta Vista, a rural area north of Mount Shasta, in 2015. Since the ordinances took effect, Lee said his vegetables and two chickens, which his family depend on for sustenance, have died due to a lack of water.

Mueller found that without an injunction, Shasta Vista residents would “likely go without water for their basic needs and will likely lose more plants and livestock.”

In her ruling, Mueller noted that the county rejected attempts to reach a compromise that might have prevented members of the Hmong community from being deprived of water during the hottest time of the year.

“It is difficult to square the County’s claims of concern about the health and well-being of people in Shasta Vista with its decision to cut off their water supply completely,” Mueller wrote. “This evidence supports the plaintiffs’ claims that the County intends its permitting ordinances to have the effect of forcing people in Shasta Vista out of their homes.”

Mueller found that without an injunction, Shasta Vista residents would “likely go without water for their basic needs and will likely lose more plants and livestock.”

In her ruling, Mueller noted that the county rejected attempts to reach a compromise that might have prevented members of the Hmong community from being deprived of water during the hottest time of the year.

“It is difficult to square the County’s claims of concern about the health and well-being of people in Shasta Vista with its decision to cut off their water supply completely,” Mueller wrote. “This evidence supports the plaintiffs’ claims that the County intends its permitting ordinances to have the effect of forcing people in Shasta Vista out of their homes.”

Mueller rejected the plaintiffs’ request to block a separate August 2020 ordinance that restricts groundwater use for illegal marijuana grows. She found that because no plaintiffs said they planned to use water for growing cannabis, the ordinance would not affect them.

The judge also found the plaintiffs were unlikely to succeed on claims that the ordinances violated civil rights laws, due process rights and their right to freely assemble. Mueller further refused to accept claims that the ordinances were unconstitutionally overbroad.

But the judge found the plaintiffs raised “serious questions” about claims that the permit requirements violated their rights to equal protection under the law, and that they adequately showed they would suffer irreparable harm without a court order barring enforcement of the ordinances.

“Without an injunction, more animals will likely die, people will suffer from a lack of water, and some will likely be forced to leave their homes behind,” Mueller wrote. “These are irreparable harms.”

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While no one as far as I know is arguing that customers of trucked-in water are being racially targeted by Mendocino County’s proposed water-hauling ban, Judge Mueller’s opinion resonates with what’s occurring here: “It is difficult to square the County’s claims of concern about the health and well-being of people in Shasta Vista with its decision to cut off their water supply completely. This evidence supports the plaintiffs’ claims that the County intends its permitting ordinances to have the effect of forcing people in Shasta Vista out of their homes,” may apply to what’s occurring in our County currently.

Nearly all folks whose water is delivered by truck have multiple uses for that water besides pot cultivation: Water for indoor use (shower, bath, toilet, dishwasher, kitchen & bathroom faucets, laundry, etc.), agricultural crops (excluding Cannabis), orchards, vegetable gardens, landscaping/lawn, livestock, other farm/ranch animals, pets, swimming pools, and water storage for firefighting.

I’ve never had a problem with cutting off water for unpermitted grows but the reality is many pot farmers will get their water somehow, some way, i.e., most likely from illegal water diversions further impacting already stressed-to-the-max watersheds and water sources. 

Also keep in mind, for decades Mendocino County has allowed people to occupy rural parcels and erect homes and other buildings without any proof of water test. Now they want to cut off water to those same people on those same tax-paying properties, yet the County is planning on spending several millions of dollars to truck water to coastal communities to prevent loss of tourist dollars, sustain small businesses, and provide water for those with failing or already failed wells.

I’m not opposed to that plan at all, but why doesn’t the County have the same concern for inland residents who are suffering from the same drought as Coastal dwellers? 

When it suits their needs, the County is quick to implement a process — trucked-in water — that is verboten otherwise.

For years I’ve warned the County that there is no cohesive water policy on the books. Their response always was, “We have enough checks and balances on water.” When I would ask, “What are these checks and balances?” there was never a response.

The Supes and their staff finally were forced to admit three months ago during final hearings on the proposed new Pot Ordinance that their water policy is nearly non-existent, a factor that while it did not cause this current drought, certainly has exacerbated it. 

I recently recommended that the Board implement three new regulatory policies regarding this issue:

1. Continue to allow Public Water Utility Agencies to determine the scope of water hauling operations, including any prohibitions on water hauling.

2. Prepare an ordinance that would address a private well permitting process for the commercial sale of water for truck deliveries. This permitting process should include required hydrological testing for impacts on nearby water sources and wells.

3. Prepare an ordinance addressing rules and regulations governing Private Party water haulers who do not obtain their water from a Public Water Utility Agency.

When it comes to a County water policy these recommendations are but just one small part. There’s a lot more to get accomplished.

(Jim Shields is the Mendocino County Observer’s editor and publisher,, the long-time district manager of the Laytonville County Water District, and is also chairman of the Laytonville Area Municipal Advisory Council. Listen to his radio program “This and That” every Saturday at 12 noon on KPFN 105.1 FM, also streamed live:

* * *

CATCH OF THE DAY, September 8, 2021

Herrera, Kirk, Mathushenko

JESUS HERRERA, Ukiah. Under influence, probation revocation.

CHARLES KIRK, Piercy. Arson of structure or forestland.


Montero, Neuroth, Rogers

ARTHUR MONTERO JR.*, Hayfork/Fort Bragg. Robbery, burglary, taking vehicle without owner’s consent stolen property, criminal threats.

AUSTIN NEUROTH, Potter Valley. Failure to appear.

CURTIS ROGERS, Lucerne/Ukiah. Failure to appear.

Scott, Service, Thomas, Vancuren

ALBERT SCOTT, Laytonville. Disobeying court order, probation revocation.

KEITH SERVICE, Ukiah. Criminal threats.

ANTONIO THOMAS, Ukiah. Probation revocation.


* Reposted from yesterday to clarify which booking was which.

* * *

* * *


by Philip Murphy

There are certain people society has taught us to trust and respect, like doctors, judges and the police. In my life I have found out the painful truth about these people one catastrophe at a time, and today am no longer able to just give them the benefit of the doubt-its now verify first, then trust. Also on the list of verify-then-trust for me are airline pilots and air traffic controllers, people at one time I had blind faith in, but after a half dozen near-death experiences with them they have joined the doctors, judges and cops on the suspect roster.

It was January 30th, 1982 and I was about to go on the fourth airplane flight of my life and my third lesson as a student pilot. Beside me was my instructor, a young man named Scott Kingman, a Tom Cruise look-a-like and natural-born pilot if there ever was one. I received a clearance for a standard departure from the tower and swung our two-seat Cessna 152 onto San Jose International airport’s runway three-zero right as I shoved the throttle in, and was soon climbing into the winter sky. 

My attention was focused on the nose of the airplane and the instrument panel, but suddenly something caught my attention in the the corner of my eye as I simultaneously heard a high pitched whine coming from the same direction. When I glanced to my left I was horrified at what a saw-a big silver blur headed right for us! Reflexes took over and I tugged on the control yoke as hard as I could as I screamed “SHIT!” At the top of my lungs. The little Cessna stood on it’s tail as Scott yelled “I got it!” and pushed the nose back down hard as I looked over my shoulder just in time to see the face of an American Airlines 727 Pilot as he passed right behind us.

Scott and I watched as the three-engined Boeing headed to the south after it’s wingtip had missed our tail by a scant 30 feet, just as we were passing over busy highway 101. Scott called the tower and told them we had just had a near-miss with an airliner, and in a very rare departure from normal decorum the controller shouted at him “WHY DID YOU DEVIATE FROM A STANDARD DEPARTURE?” Scott calmly replied, “We didn’t,” and the tower told him to report to them on our return.

The 727 pilot had made his turn two and half miles too early and 3,000 feet too low, and two other pilots called the tower to report that an airliner had nearly collided with a Cessna in the traffic pattern. A formal report was filed and the airline pilot who claimed he was trying to save fuel was reprimanded by the FAA, but in spite of both planes having a mode C transponder that made our location and altitude clear to the controller and us being only about a half mile from it, no one in the tower was aware of any of this. 

Strike 2 was also in San Jose, this time departing Reid Hillveiw airport. I was headed back to my home base in Sacramento, and was just south east of Mission peak when the controller said “Piper two-one Bravo frequency change approved”, which I had no intention of doing as I wanted stay on the tower frequency to know if there was inbound traffic in this busy piece of airspace. Sure enough, a couple of minutes later a Mooney pilot called-in to announce his intention to land at Reid Hillview, and immediately the red flags began to wave. The first problem was he was in front of me and descending in a very fast aircraft directly towards me, the second problem being it was clear from his radio work he was unfamiliar with the area. 

Knowing our planes were headed towards each other at nearly 300 miles per hour I franticly scanned the sky for my traffic, when suddenly a black dot appeared directly in front of me! I banked hard and turned to the right and then back to level as the Mooney passed 150 feet from my left wingtip at the same exact altitude. The Mooney pilot had his forward vision completely obscured by an unfolded sectional chart, and probably never even saw me. I was utterly livid and wanted to scream at the controller, but between not being able to control my anger and shaking uncontrollably I wisely decided not to ask why the hell he didn’t warn the Mooney pilot I was headed his way and why he didn’t see we were on a collision course on his radar screen.

Strike three took place at Sacramento’s Executive airport, where I had just landed on one of the shorter runways after a brief pleasure flight with a pilot friend. We had to cross the main runway to return to my parking space, and reported to the tower where I was and where I wanted to go, and that I was “holding short” of the main runway. A 19 passenger Beechcraft King Air was starting his take-off roll on the main runway just then, and a few seconds later the tower called to say I was cleared to cross that runway-and then a couple seconds later he said “EXPEDITE” in a frantic tone. My pilot passenger and I looked at each other with our mouths open in a state of shock as the big Beechcraft roared past us, if we had not ignored the taxi clearance we would have certainly been broadsided by the twin engined mini-airliner. Its the only time I ignored a controller, and it saved multiple lives that day.

Then there was the time I was on a DC-10 departing SFO, after rolling a few hundred feet down the runway the pilot idled the engines and slowed to turn off at the next taxiway. As I looked out the window I could see the wing’s leading edge slats slowly extend, he had tried to take-off with them retracted-a certain disaster! Another time I was aboard a DC-9 leaving Reno, and couldn’t believe the captain was trying to do it ahead of another airliner on a short final approach. At the last second he changed his mind and slammed-on the brakes, causing the airliner to shake violently and make a variety of strange loud noises. Every passenger was mightily alarmed and some were crying as others demanded someone inspect the jetliner before attempting to leave, but the captain who shouldn’t have even considered taking the runway ahead of the other plane departed with no look-see first.

Now I know better than to trust any of these people just because of some mythology that has been pounded into our heads about their competence and professionalism, my trust has a price tag these days.

* * *

* * *


Willits & Laytonville - Months of July and August 2021 - Multiple non-permitted commercial cannabis locations identified; plants abated after Code Enforcement engagement.

Post Date: 09/08/2021 3:30 PM

Action Dates: 07/27/21 - 08/23/21

In addition to what was previously reported in our last News Release, in the months of July and August 2021 the Mendocino County Code Enforcement Division conducted investigations regarding non-permitted commercial cannabis cultivation at the listed locations below in the Willits/Laytonville areas. Any cannabis cultivation over the Medical or Adult Use exemption limit (as defined in Mendocino County Code Section 10A.17.030) is considered to be commercial cultivation. Please see the Mendocino County Code (MCC) Section 10A.17 for additional information.

Code Enforcement investigations confirmed that commercial cannabis cultivation was taking place at these locations without either a County Cultivation Permit or a State Cultivation License, and/or cultivation was taking place in violation of MCC Sec. 10A.17 requirements. It was determined that there were significant community quality of life concerns in these neighborhoods. The responsible parties abated the cannabis plants after Code Enforcement engagement.

7/27/21 – 26000 Block of Maize Drive – 69 Cannabis plants abated

8/12/21 – 6000 Block of Big John Road – 90 Cannabis plants abated

8/17/21 – 4000 Block of Branscomb Road – 20 Cannabis plants abated

8/17/21 – 54000 Block of Wildwood Drive – 33 Cannabis plants abated

8/17/21 – 41000 Block of North Highway 101 – 49 Cannabis plants abated

8/23/21 – 3900 Block of Second Gate Road – 331 Cannabis plants abated

8/23/21 – 3700 Block of Ridgewood Road – 84 Cannabis plants abated

(County Presser)

* * *

* * *


Dear Interested Parties,

The Planning Commission meeting cancellation notice for September 16, 2021 is posted on the department website at:

Please contact staff with any questions.

James F.Feenan

Commission Services Supervisor

Mendocino County Planning & Building Services

My Direct Line: (707) 234-6664

Main Line: (707) 234-6650

* * *

French Horse Dentist Display, 1890s

* * *


by Dan Walters

For more than a half-century, California has been trying to nudge county and city governments into generating enough new housing to handle an ever-increasing demand.

The state’s chief tool has been a legal requirement that local government “general plans” include an adequate “housing element.” Every eight years, the state Department of Housing and Community Development issues regional quotas of housing needs which then are divvied up into specific city-by-city goals for zoning enough land to meet projected needs.

The allocations are very controversial, especially in suburban communities, because they run counter to the not-in-my-backyard sentiments of local residents. As housing production falls chronically short of the state’s goals, the cyclic quotas steadily increase and in recent years the state has added penalties for failure.

Obviously, the quota system hasn’t been working very well and researchers at UCLA’s Lewis Center for Regional Policy Studies have concluded that it has a “fundamental flaw” because vacant land being zoned for housing to meet the quotas is only rarely used for housing. Rather, the housing being built — which is still too little — tends to go on other property, including some previously being used for other purposes.

The study focused on what has happened in the San Francisco Bay Area vis-à-vis the housing quotas issued in the last decade for the eight-year period that will end next year.

“The median Bay Area city is on track to approve housing projects on less than 10% of the sites listed in its housing plan,” the study found. “On average, however, cities are achieving a substantial portion of their (too low) housing targets — nearly 60% for the median city — just not on the sites they had selected and presented to the state as likely or apt for development. Across the Bay Area as whole, nearly 70% of housing built during this period was on sites not listed in housing plans.”

While cities zone specific sites to meet quotas, “housing development occurs in a way that is hard to anticipate. In spite of planners’ efforts to select imminently viable sites, they do not.”

The solution, they say, is to create a more realistic set of requirements that identifies all potential sites for housing, a “change (that) may require cities to include many more sites in their housing plan.”

While a more realistic inventory might require more work — and possibly increase local angst — the UCLA team also proposes that “cities receive preemptive credit for housing they expect to be built on sites not listed in their plan.

“The credit would be tied to production on non-inventory sites during the previous period, giving cities an incentive to accommodate much-needed development when it is proposed, even if they can’t anticipate exactly where or what developers will want to build.”

“The Legislature should stop proliferating ever more detailed requirements for a site to be included in the inventory, and instead require cities to consider every parcel on which residential use is allowed,” the UCLA team suggests. “Since cities aren’t very good at picking the sites where developers want to build, the focus should shift to estimating how much housing is likely to be built during the planning period on the entire stock of residentially zoned land in a city.

This is wonky stuff, but important because of the state’s worsening housing shortage. The proposals would shift the housing quotas from an exercise in paper-shuffling into something more likely to produce real results. But implementing it would require an official admission that the current system isn’t working and a willingness to correct its “fundamental flaw.”


* * *


by Mahatma Gandhi

Originally Published in the Harijan, 26-11-1938.

Several letters have been received by me, asking me to declare my views about the Arab-Jew question in Palestine and the persecution of the Jews in Germany. It is not without hesitation that I venture to offer my views on this very difficult question.

My sympathies are all with the Jews. I have known them intimately in South Africa. Some of them became lifelong companions. Through these friends I came to learn much of their age long persecution. They have been the untouchables of Christianity. The parallel between their treatment by Christians and the treatment of untouchables by Hindus is very close. Religious sanction has been invoked in both cases for the justification of the inhuman treatment meted out to them. Apart from the friendships, therefore, there is the more common universal reason for my sympathy for the Jews. But my sympathy does not blind me to the requirements of justice.

The cry for the national home for the Jews does not make much appeal to me. The sanction for it is sought in the Bible and the tenacity with which the Jews have hankered after return to Palestine.

Why should they not, like other peoples of the earth, make that country their home where they are born and where they earn their livelihood? Palestine belongs to the Arabs in the same sense that England belongs to the English or France to the French. It is wrong and inhuman to impose the Jews on the Arabs. What is going on in Palestine today cannot be justified by any moral code of conduct. The mandates have no sanction but that of the last war. Surely it would be a crime against humanity to reduce the proud Arabs so that Palestine can be restored to the Jews partly or wholly as their national home. The nobler course would be to insist on a just treatment of the Jews wherever they are born and bred. The Jews born in France are French in precisely the same sense that Christians born in France are French. 

If the Jews have no home but Palestine, will they relish the idea of being forced to leave the other parts of the world in which they are settled? Or do they want a double home where they can remain at will? This cry for the national home affords a colorable justification for the German expulsion of the Jews. But the German persecution of the Jews seems to have no parallel in history. The tyrants of old never went so mad as Hitler seems to have gone. And he is doing it with religious zeal. For, he is propounding a new religion of exclusive and militant nationalism in the name of which any inhumanity becomes an act of humanity to be rewarded here and hereafter.

The crime of an obviously mad but intrepid youth is being visited upon his whole race with unbelievable ferocity. If there ever could be a justifiable war in the name of and for humanity, a war against Germany to prevent the wanton persecution of a whole race, would be completely justified. But I do not believe in any war. A discussion of the pros and cons of such a war is, therefore, outside my horizon or province.

But if there can be no war against Germany, even for such a crime as is being committed against the Jews, surely there can be no alliance with Germany. How can there be alliance between a nation, which claims to stand for justice and democracy and one, which is the declared enemy of both? Or is England drifting towards armed dictatorship and all it means? Germany is showing to the world how efficiently violence can be worked when it is not hampered by any hypocrisy or weakness masquerading as humanitarianism. It is also showing how hideous, terrible and terrifying it looks in its nakedness. Can the Jews resist this organized and shameless persecution? Is there a way to preserve their self-respect, and not to feel helpless, neglected and forlorn? I submit there is. No person who has faith in a living God need feel helpless or forlorn. Jehovah of the Jews is a God more personal than the God of the Christians, the Mussalmans or the Hindus, though as a matter of fact, in essence, He is common to all and one without a second and beyond description. But as the Jews attribute personality to God and believe that He rules every action of theirs, they ought not to feel helpless. If I were a Jew and were born in Germany and earned my livelihood there, I would claim Germany as my home even as the tallest gentile German might, and challenge him to shoot me or cast me in the dungeon; I would refuse to be expelled or to submit to discriminating treatment. And for doing this I should not wait for the fellow Jews to join me in civil resistance, but would have confidence that in the end the rest were bound to follow my example.... ...

And now a word to the Jews in Palestine. I have no doubt that they are going about it in the wrong way. The Palestine of the Biblical conception is not a geographical tract. It is in their hearts. But if they must look to the Palestine of geography as their national home, it is wrong to enter it under the shadow of the British gun. A religious act cannot be performed with the aid of the bayonet or the bomb. They can settle in Palestine only by the goodwill of the Arabs. They should seek to convert the Arab heart. The same God rules the Arab heart who rules the Jewish heart... They will find the world opinion in their favor in their religious aspiration. There are hundreds of ways of reasoning with the Arabs, if they will only discard the help of the British bayonet. As it is, they are co-sharers with the British in despoiling a people who have done no wrong to them. I am not defending the Arab excesses. I wish they had chosen the way of non-violence in resisting what they rightly regarded as an unwarrantable encroachment upon their country. But according to the accepted canons of right and wrong, nothing can be said against the Arab resistance in the face of overwhelming odds. 

Let the Jews who claim to be the chosen race prove their title by choosing the way of non-violence for vindicating their position on earth. Every country is their home, including Palestine, not by aggression but by loving service. A Jewish friend has sent me a book called The Jewish Contribution to Civilization by Cecil Roth. It gives a record of what the Jews have done to enrich the world's literature, art, music, drama, science, medicine, agriculture, etc. Given the will, the Jew can refuse to be treated as the outcast of the West, to be despised or patronized. He can command the attention and respect of the world by being the chosen creation of God, instead of sinking to the brute who is forsaken by God. They can add to their many contributions the surpassing contribution of non-violent action.

* * *


Broken windows and empty hallways
A pale dead moon in the sky streaked with gray
Human kindness is overflowing
And I think it's going to rain today

Scarecrows dressed in the latest styles
With frozen smiles to chase love away
Human kindness is overflowing
And I think it's going to rain today

Lonely, lonely
Tin can at my feet
Think I'll kick it down the street
That's the way to treat a friend

Bright before me the signs implore me
To help the needy and show them the way
Human kindness is overflowing
And I think it's going to rain today

— Randy Newman

* * *

* * *


Despite what you may read, practically every month, in the pages of our most illustrious newspapers and magazines.

* * *


by Professor Peter Boghossian 

My University Sacrificed Ideas for Ideology. So Today I Quit. My resignation letter:

Dear Provost Susan Jeffords,

​​I’m writing to you today to resign as assistant professor of philosophy at Portland State University.

Over the last decade, it has been my privilege to teach at the university. My specialties are critical thinking, ethics and the Socratic method, and I teach classes like Science and Pseudoscience and The Philosophy of Education. But in addition to exploring classic philosophers and traditional texts, I’ve invited a wide range of guest lecturers to address my classes, from Flat-Earthers to Christian apologists to global climate skeptics to Occupy Wall Street advocates. I’m proud of my work.

I invited those speakers not because I agreed with their worldviews, but primarily because I didn’t. From those messy and difficult conversations, I’ve seen the best of what our students can achieve: questioning beliefs while respecting believers; staying even-tempered in challenging circumstances; and even changing their minds. 

I never once believed —  nor do I now —  that the purpose of instruction was to lead my students to a particular conclusion. Rather, I sought to create the conditions for rigorous thought; to help them gain the tools to hunt and furrow for their own conclusions. This is why I became a teacher and why I love teaching.

But brick by brick, the university has made this kind of intellectual exploration impossible. It has transformed a bastion of free inquiry into a Social Justice factory whose only inputs were race, gender, and victimhood and whose only outputs were grievance and division.

Students at Portland State are not being taught to think. Rather, they are being trained to mimic the moral certainty of ideologues. Faculty and administrators have abdicated the university’s truth-seeking mission and instead drive intolerance of divergent beliefs and opinions. This has created a culture of offense where students are now afraid to speak openly and honestly. 

I noticed signs of the illiberalism that has now fully swallowed the academy quite early during my time at Portland State. I witnessed students refusing to engage with different points of view.  Questions from faculty at diversity trainings that challenged approved narratives were instantly dismissed. Those who asked for evidence to justify new institutional policies were accused of microaggressions. And professors were accused of bigotry for assigning canonical texts written by philosophers who happened to have been European and male.  

At first, I didn’t realize how systemic this was and I believed I could question this new culture. So I began asking questions. What is the evidence that trigger warnings and safe spaces contribute to student learning? Why should racial consciousness be thelens through which we view our role as educators? How did we decide that “cultural appropriation” is immoral?

Unlike my colleagues, I asked these questions out loud and in public. 

I decided to study the new values that were engulfing Portland State and so many other educational institutions — values that sound wonderful, like diversity, equity, and inclusion, but might actually be just the opposite. The more I read the primary source material produced by critical theorists, the more I suspected that their conclusions reflected the postulates of an ideology, not insights based on evidence.

I began networking with student groups who had similar concerns and brought in speakers to explore these subjects from a critical perspective. And it became increasingly clear to me that the incidents of illiberalism I had witnessed over the years were not just isolated events, but part of an institution-wide problem.

The more I spoke out about these issues, the more retaliation I faced. 

Early in the 2016-17 academic year, a former student complained about me and the university initiated a Title IX investigation.  (Title IX investigations are a part of federal law designed to protect “people from discrimination based on sex in education programs or activities that receive federal financial assistance.”) My accuser, a white male, made a slew of baseless accusations against me, which university confidentiality rules unfortunately prohibit me from discussing further. What I can share is that students of mine who were interviewed during the process told me the Title IX investigator asked them if they knew anything about me beating my wife and children. This horrifying accusation soon became a widespread rumor. 

With Title IX investigations there is no due process, so I didn’t have access to the particular accusations, the ability to confront my accuser, and I had no opportunity to defend myself. Finally, the results of the investigation were revealed in December 2017. Here are the last two sentences of the report: “Global Diversity & Inclusion finds there is insufficient evidence that Boghossian violated PSU’s Prohibited Discrimination & Harassment policy. GDI recommends Boghossian receive coaching.”

Not only was there no apology for the false accusations, but the investigator also told me that in the future I was not allowed to render my opinion about “protected classes” or teach in such a way that my opinion about protected classes could be known — a bizarre conclusion to absurd charges. Universities can enforce ideological conformity just through the threat of these investigations.

I eventually became convinced that corrupted bodies of scholarship were responsible for justifying radical departures from the traditional role of liberal arts schools and basic civility on campus. There was an urgent need to demonstrate that morally fashionable papers — no matter how absurd — could be published. I believed then that if I exposed the theoretical flaws of this body of literature, I could help the university community avoid building edifices on such shaky ground.

So, in 2017, I co-published an intentionally garbled peer-reviewed paper that took aim at the new orthodoxy. Its title: “The Conceptual Penis as a Social Construct.” This example of pseudo-scholarship, which was published in Cogent Social Sciences, argued that penises were products of the human mind and responsible for climate change. Immediately thereafter, I revealed the article as a hoax designed to shed light on the flaws of the peer-review and academic publishing systems.

Shortly thereafter, swastikas in the bathroom with my name under them began appearing in two bathrooms near the philosophy department. They also occasionally showed up on my office door, in one instance accompanied by bags of feces. Our university remained silent. When it acted, it was against me, not the perpetrators.

I continued to believe, perhaps naively, that if I exposed the flawed thinking on which Portland State’s new values were based, I could shake the university from its madness. In 2018 I co-published a series of absurd or morally repugnant peer-reviewed articles in journals that focused on issues of race and gender. In one of them we argued that there was an epidemic of dog rape at dog parks and proposed that we leash men the way we leash dogs. Our purpose was to show that certain kinds of “scholarship” are based not on finding truth but on advancing social grievances. This worldview is not scientific, and it is not rigorous. 

Administrators and faculty were so angered by the papers that they published an anonymous piece in the student paper and Portland State filed formal charges against me. Their accusation? “Research misconduct” based on the absurd premise that the journal editors who accepted our intentionally deranged articles were “human subjects.” I was found guilty of not receiving approval to experiment on human subjects. 

Meanwhile, ideological intolerance continued to grow at Portland State. In March 2018, a tenured professor disrupted a public discussion I was holding with author Christina Hoff Sommers and evolutionary biologists Bret Weinstein and Heather Heying. In June 2018, someone triggered the fire alarm during my conversation with popular cultural critic Carl Benjamin. In October 2018, an activist pulled out the speaker wires to interrupt a panel with former Google engineer James Damore. The university did nothing to stop or address this behavior. No one was punished or disciplined. 

For me, the years that followed were marked by continued harassment. I’d find flyers around campus of me with a Pinocchio nose. I was spit on and threatened by passersby while walking to class. I was informed by students that my colleagues were telling them to avoid my classes. And, of course, I was subjected to more investigation.

I wish I could say that what I am describing hasn’t taken a personal toll. But it has taken exactly the toll it was intended to: an increasingly intolerable working life and without the protection of tenure.

This isn’t about me. This is about the kind of institutions we want and the values we choose. Every idea that has advanced human freedom has always, and without fail, been initially condemned. As individuals, we often seem incapable of remembering this lesson, but that is exactly what our institutions are for: to remind us that the freedom to question is our fundamental right. Educational institutions should remind us that that right is also our duty.  

Portland State University has failed in fulfilling this duty. In doing so it has failed not only its students but the public that supports it. While I am grateful for the opportunity to have taught at Portland State for over a decade, it has become clear to me that this institution is no place for people who intend to think freely and explore ideas. 

This is not the outcome I wanted. But I feel morally obligated to make this choice. For ten years, I have taught my students the importance of living by your principles. One of mine is to defend our system of liberal education from those who seek to destroy it. Who would I be if I didn’t?


Peter Boghossian


  1. Douglas Coulter September 9, 2021

    In 1981 Ronald Reagan fired all the experienced air traffic controllers busting up the union. They were replaced by poorly experienced people. It is amazing that air disasters did not become common in the early 80’s

  2. George Hollister September 9, 2021

    In reference to Professor Peter Boghossian essay on Portland State University I have one question. Why do people pay, often with debt, to go to schools like this to get worthless degrees? Facebook is free.

    • Harvey Reading September 9, 2021

      Because they believe it will help them to get a satisfying job in the field of their choice. Not everyone believes your backwoods “wisdom” and lunatic-fringe “think tank” hokum, George. Not everyone buys everything that was in the letter, either. Your goal is NO higher education for us common folk. Then, we’d be easier for those, like you, who consider themselves part of the ruling class, to control. Why not just be honest about it?

  3. Rye N Flint September 9, 2021

    To Jim Shields,

    First off, thank you. Thank you for diving deeper into the water issues of this county instead of letting things fester at the surface.

    From your comment to the Board.
    “”Prepare an ordinance that would address a private well permitting process
    for the commercial sale of water for truck deliveries. This permitting
    process should include required hydrological testing for impacts on nearby
    water sources and wells.”

    The State North Coast Regional Water board controls the hydrologic studies for wells. I honestly don’t think there is much the BOS can do about the issue, because well drilling falls under state laws. Anyone can drill a “Commercial” well.

    The BOS could make it a requirement for the water hauler business license to be tied to a “Certified Commercial source”, which could include a waterboard certified well or the recycled water from the Ukiah wastewater treatment plant (Purple pipe). All of these new rules or regulations will require more staffing… which the county doesn’t seem to be able to attain. Even if they could find a qualified person, look at how the existing Environmental Health Department is treated. Yes, it should be regulated, but who at the County has the will to hire or create new positions?

  4. Rye N Flint September 9, 2021


    Two thumbs up Danny! I hear there may be a snazzy new restaurant in Ukiah soon. I am very happy the Vacuum store is moving, not closing. I need a new belt, so I’ll come by soon to see you!

  5. Rye N Flint September 9, 2021

    RE: GMB Realty

    Redwood Valley Carwash?

    Quick internet search turned this up:

    GMB Realty Partners is a commercial real estate services firm that acquires and develops real estate opportunities for our company, partners and outside investors. We are an “active” developer who invests equity in all projects we develop, ensuring a focused, disciplined approach to each project. Many firms offer fee development services and are not equity investors in their projects. We believe that approach does not align the participants in a real estate investment. Our investment and development focus is:

    Historic Rehabilitation
    Industrial & Office (Small Business Units)
    RV Park Development
    Storage Facility Development
    Resort Development
    Car Wash Development

    Our development and investment strategy is to purchase and develop high quality well-located real estate assets that provide current cash flow and long-term appreciation. Our strategy is to develop, lease and manage for the long term–we avoid the develop and sell strategy.

  6. Rye N Flint September 9, 2021

    RE: The source of the problem

    “Also keep in mind, for decades Mendocino County has allowed people to occupy rural parcels and erect homes and other buildings without any proof of water test.”

    Yes, and those overvalued properties are a huge source of tax revenue. Why else would the county continue it’s Not-so-smart growth policy?

    • Betsy Cawn September 10, 2021

      The County of Lake has done the same thing, of course, allowing major use permits that ultimately make claims to finite water service resources (i.e., groundwater basin contents), even though the local Department of Water Resources is one of the many agencies on the distribution list for any MUP “Initial Study,” for CEQA evaluation purposes.

      Occupying that political fine line separating “developers” from “agriculture” — while serving the primary purpose of always increasing property tax revenues through costly permitting systems by “planning” pirates and their contorted Planning Commission appointees (talk about political cqpital!), none of the important indicators of basin health (soil moisture, vegetation health, disease resistance and productivity) are considered, only minimal twice-a-year “monitoring” of reference wells. Yet another example of in-house incompetence hiding behind pro forma obeisance to glorified legal handwaving and too little, too late “urgency” ordinances for CYA rules. Somebody’s making money in all these machinations, not protecting the environment and natural resources we all rely on.

  7. Harvey Reading September 9, 2021


    Amen! My lack of faith extends to medicos and, especially, kaputalist drug companies (not to mention politicians of all stripes)!

  8. Rye N Flint September 9, 2021

    RE: “So what local taxpayers will get via Mendocino County’s Cultural Services — pause here for hollow laughter — is a hagiographic version of Bari-related events which will vaguely identify the perp as a dream list of villains — the FBI, Big Timber, heterosexual white men, Christian fanatics, or all of the above.”

    Of that list I can only think of one entity capable of creating and planting a car bomb… And it’s only 3 letters long…

    • Bruce Anderson September 9, 2021

      They’ve stood aside and they’ve gotten other people to murder but as an agency? No, so far as known, and why a minor rural irritant even if they were indifferent to her fate. How about the ex as their snitch all the way back to his left cult days at Stanford?

      • Rye N Flint September 9, 2021

        Minor rural irritant? I don’t think she was all that minor. She was powerful because she was speaking directly to the loggers about the Corporation that was screwing their futures. That is what scares the Corporate state. When hippies and rednecks work together against them.

        Keep up the divide and conquer tactics Bruce. Hope that works out for you.

        • Bruce Anderson September 9, 2021

          Pure fantasy that manages to insult the protesters and woodsworkers. Judi reached out, as they say, but the counter-culture overlay turned off conventional people. There was only one meeting that I know of between loggers and JB, and that was in Willits with her and gyppo contractors the night before her ex put the bomb in her car.

          • Rye N Flint September 9, 2021

            Oh, you seem oh so certain that the whole article is “pure fantasy”. Hard to believe someone that talks in absolutes to discredit something. Funny thing is, I’ve seen footage of her talking to loggers and protesters, saying exactly what the article claims. She is adamant about getting them to understand the role of Hurwitz in the stripping of the future logging jobs here. Interesting that she was correct, in the end.

            “In 1986, Houston millionaire Charles Hurwitz had acquired Pacific Lumber Company and doubled its rate of timber harvesting as a means of paying off the acquisition cost. This enraged environmentalists and drew attention from government agencies because of the use of junk bonds.[7] Protests against old-growth timber harvesting by Pacific Lumber would become the focus of Earth First! protests in the following years.”

            There are many theories, but what do detectives say? The evidence points to itself?

            • Bruce Anderson September 9, 2021

              Of course the loggers were too stupid to figure out for themselves that they were at the mercy of cut and run outside corporations. Why not have at least a minimum of integrity to read up on the Bari Bombing case for yourself, which can be found on the ava website. PS. Bari and Cherney signed off on the Hurwitz deal. Dan Hamburg saw it for the gift of public funds it was and opposed it. You’re like the guy who came in on the first para of a mystery spouting off on how it came out. And dividing who for conquering what? Jesus H. Christ.

  9. Marmon September 9, 2021

    The tyrant Joe Biden just announced that his government will increase the availability of free Monoclonal therapy by 50 percent, claiming the treatment saves lives. What took him so long? Trump started pushing Regeneron use over a year ago. People didn’t need to die just because they weren’t vaccinated. The media needs to take responsibility for most the deaths as well, there was and is a cure.


    • Bruce Anderson September 9, 2021

      The enfeebled Joe Biden as tyrant? Please.

      • Lazarus September 9, 2021

        Biden is not aware enough to be anything except a parrot. As he has said many times, they said I can’t. They’re telling me who to call on. I don’t want to get into trouble. I have to go now.
        Comatose Joe is not running the show.
        Some say Valerie Jarrett is the go-between to and from Obama. One thing is for sure it’s not the VP. She can’t get through a sentence without giggling. Commonly known among gamblers as a tell.

        • Harvey Reading September 9, 2021

          He might be getting a little assist from an AI chip implant, one that apparently isn’t very effective. Probably supplied by CIA or the War Dept. Then again, the chip might be fine, with the problem lying in Biden’s loss of too much mental capacity, though he didn’t have much even in his heyday of serving bankers as their guy in the senate. As he is now, he’s a perfect example of the state to which democraps have regressed, after their brief period of glory during the Great Depression.

    • Marmon September 9, 2021

      RE: THE CURE

      The FDA approved Monoclonal Antibody Treatment last November. Biden’s government, the Main Street Media, Social Media, and the Medical profession (all the same) all downplayed it because they wanted people to get vaccinated. They lied and people died.

      Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update: FDA Authorizes Monoclonal Antibodies for Treatment of COVID-19

      “Monoclonal antibodies are laboratory-made proteins that mimic the immune system’s ability to fight off harmful pathogens such as viruses. Casirivimab and imdevimab are monoclonal antibodies that are specifically directed against the spike protein of SARS-CoV-2, designed to block the virus’ attachment and entry into human cells.”

      “Casirivimab/imdevimab, sold under the brand name REGEN-COV among others, is a medicine developed by the American biotechnology company Regeneron Pharmaceuticals. It is an artificial “antibody cocktail” designed to produce resistance against the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus responsible for the COVID-19 pandemic.”



      • chuck dunbar September 9, 2021

        Our local replacement for the expertise of MD’s and PhD.’s and Dr. Fauci and all the epidemiologists….: James Marmon, MSW, website “investigator/researcher,” “prophet,” biker, and Trump supporter without peer.

      • Harvey Reading September 9, 2021

        Wikipedia? How the mighty have fallen…

      • Stephen Rosenthal September 9, 2021

        I’m going to piggyback on Chuck, Harvey and Lee. Get the vaccine for $20, paid for by the Feds, and reduce your chances of getting Covid by 95-98%. Or don’t get vaccinated, get Covid and sponge off the Feds to pay out many thousands of dollars for treatment and, in the meantime, possibly infect many others and strain our already overloaded health care system and workers.

        Stick to motorcycles moron, er, Marmon.

        • chuck dunbar September 9, 2021

          A perfect summary comparison, Stephen–nicely done.

  10. Lee Edmundson September 9, 2021

    Marmon: There is no “cure” for covid, only treatment. What took Biden so long? Ya think he has more than this one thing on his plate?
    Government works best when it works deliberatively The means slowly.
    Instant gratification is an expectation of infants. In adults it is insufferable.

    And Bruce, Biden is no more enfeebled than you or I. As he would say, give the man a break.

    • Bruce Anderson September 9, 2021

      Speak for yourself, Lee.

  11. Jim Armstrong September 9, 2021

    Would-be tyrants Bruce and James meet the Feebles:

    The whole thing is available free.

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