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Mendocino County Today: November 29, 2013

THOMAS E. CROAK (1955-2013)

A community memorial service for Thomas E. Croak will be held on Sunday, Dec. 8, 2013, at 2 p.m. at Town Hall, 363 N. Main St., Fort Bragg. Mr. Croak was Ten Mile Court's long-time Public Defender. A consensus good guy, and a very good attorney, Croak always did his best for the hapless souls he was assigned to represent.



by Tiffany Revelle

PVSculptureJust in time for Thanksgiving, Potter Valley's iconic redwood cowboy statue was back Wednesday in all of its 12-foot glory, greeting visitors on East and Mid Mountain roads after a resident found it near the rodeo arena on Main Street.

Sculptor Noel Hale had last seen the cowboy Sunday afternoon, lying on its side where the gale-force winds that ravaged the valley Nov. 21 had knocked the 400-pound statue from its pedestal. When a family member went back with a backhoe Monday to retrieve the sculpture for repairs, it was gone and only tire tracks remained, according to the sculptor's wife, Carol Hale.

"I just put his head back on, and he's standing up,” she said.

The statue was carved in 1987 in the likeness of Harry Runnings, who was known for riding horses no one else could break and earned the title “tough-string cowboy” from the sculptor. The statue's head was sawed off in the early '90s and shot off in 2000. Its latest head — attached by a metal rod — had become separated from the original redwood log from which the body is fashioned in the fall, according to Carol Hale.

"We got a call at about 2:30 (p.m.) from somebody who lives out by the new rodeo grounds who had gone outside with his child and saw him lying down on the ground,” she said.

The resident found the Hales' phone number, and the couple returned the cowboy to his rightful place, with only a knot that had been in his left elbow out of place. Even that was found on the ground next to the statue, she said. No other damage was found.

"His hat was a little bit tweaked, but he still looks like a good cowboy,” Carol Hale said.

The Mendocino County Sheriff's Office and the Hales have no idea what happened to the cowboy or how he got to the northeast corner of the rodeo grounds, just outside the arena. Hale said the resident who had found the cowboy told her he hadn't noticed anything unusual in the last couple of days.

Having originally stood at the old rodeo grounds near Busch Creek and then moved to the Hales' property two years ago for greater visibility and safekeeping, the cowboy had become known in the community as a beloved landmark.

"When we were picking him up, people were driving by honking and stopping, and a couple of locals were sitting on the base where his feet are,” Hale said.

In a Daily Journal article that ran Tuesday, she had appealed to whoever might have the statue to bring it back, no questions asked.

"What I have to say is, Yahoo! It's back; we got a reason to celebrate,” said Mendocino County 1st District Supervisor Carre Brown, who lives in Potter Valley.

(Courtesy, the Ukiah Daily Journal)


StephenPeaseSTEPHEN CLARK PEASE, 57, the co-owner of a Sammy Hagar-themed restaurant in Roseville that is the centerpiece of a revitalization effort in the Sacramento suburb, was found dead by recreational divers off Gualala earlier this week. Pease was last seen November 3 when he checked out of a hotel in Fort Bragg, more than 50 miles from the spot where his body was recovered by a game warden who swam out into the ocean to bring it ashore, the Mendocino County Sheriff's Department said. Pease was driving a rental car that has not been recovered. Sheriff's Capt. Greg Van Patten said there was no obvious sign of foul play, but investigators hope to learn more from the rental car. The department has asked the US Coast Guard to fly over the coastline in an attempt to spot the vehicle.

PEASE was an owner of Sammy's Rockin' Island Bar & Grill and other businesses in Roseville, 20 miles northeast of Sacramento. The year-old restaurant closed after he disappeared and is more than $9,000 behind on a $1.5 million loan with the Roseville Community Development Corp. It was designed to anchor downtown redevelopment for the city of 124,000. The city declared Sept. 15, 2012, to be “Sammy Hagar Day” to tout the restaurant's opening, with a concert and street party featuring Hagar and his band. The restaurant licensed Hagar's name, but the rocker does not have an ownership stake, city spokesman Brian Jacobson said.

“I'm utterly saddened by the news of the passing of Steve Pease. My family and I send our prayers and deepest condolences to his family and friends throughout the upcoming holidays and beyond,” Hagar said in a statement emailed to the media by his agent.

Jacobson said it is up to the restaurant's other owners to decide how to proceed, but the city remains bullish on efforts to revive the historic downtown, which has been overshadowed by a regional mall on the outskirts of the city.

Pease paid the first loan installment in September, said Roseville Community Development Corp. president Howard Rudd. But he missed the second payment days before he disappeared.

The corporation is not expecting Pease's company, Innova Restaurant Concepts LLC, to make the payment due this month and its attorneys have filed to hold the firm in default.

Another company operated by Pease is the rental agent for three other downtown properties, Rudd said, and its tenants are making their monthly payments. Foot traffic has been good and other merchants are happy, Rudd said, partly due to the risk Pease took in developing the Hagar-themed restaurant.


TRAVEL ADVISORY: Kudos to CalTrans for Big Orange's work this year on Highway 20 linking Willits and Fort Bragg. The radical increase in the number of turnouts on the Fort Bragg end is most welcome and should cut down on the accidents caused by impatient drivers stuck behind slow-moving vehicles.



Language lingers near experience like

a teenager waiting for a parent to leave

the house so that they can really live.

It’s almost poignant. It makes you grieve


for youth, actually. If I then tell you, for

instance that I once, in Alaska, killed

a bear, the animal moment is gone.

Experience empties us only to be filled.


I live in a house of words that scream

bloody murder if they don’t get their way.

I speak for them because the absurd

has a syllabic system that we use to pray.


In all talk there is a grain of contempt

says Nietzsche. Language is a mediocre

medium. Well la de da. Mister, you and I

should meet sometime inside a game of poker.

— Lawrence Bullock



by Marshall Newman

Country living requires many things, but one essential is a dog. With plenty of room to roam and the isolation of Anderson Valley during my years — the late 1950s to the late 1980s — there, a dog provided many things: among them help, security and companionship. We had a few dogs during my Anderson Valley years, but only one that mattered: Tinkerbelle.

TinkerbelleWe got Tinkerbelle late in the summer of 1960, approximately a year after we moved to El Rancho Navarro, my parents’ summer camp near Philo, full-time. Soon after moving to the valley, my mother became friends with Marguerite Gowan, who together with her husband Art owned Art’s Apples, northwest of Philo. Marguerite suggested my mother needed a dog, both for herself and for the summer camp.

In addition to growing apples, the Gowans ran sheep. Earlier that summer, they had the pick of two litters and brought home two female puppies, a McNab and a Border Collie, one of which would become their sheep dog. After observing the two, the Gowans decided to keep the McNab, thinking she showed more natural ability. They gave my mother the Border Collie.

Carol and my brother Aaron picked up our new puppy from the Gowans and drove her home. At some point along the way, they named her Tinkerbelle. Marguerite Gowan detested the name. As she told us frequently, “That’s no name for a sheep dog!” But Tinkerbelle it remained.

I understand why the Gowans chose the McNab over Tinkerbelle; it was an assertive, hyperactive and barky dog. In contrast, Tinkerbelle — when she came to us — was reserved, almost withdrawn. Only after a few weeks did she come out of her shell to show her true personality and talent.

Within a year it became clear the Gowans had picked wrong. Tinkerbelle may not have been aggressive, but she was energetic, had impressive endurance and was a natural herder. During camp she would circle the swimming pool, urging children into the water by running close but never touching them. She was — as Border Collies often are — very smart and a quick learner. In retrospect, we should not have been surprised; Tinkerbelle showed classic Border Collie conformation and appearance, including a black, medium length coat, white markings and a white blaze on her face with a black dot in the middle of her forehead.

She also loved children. She wasn’t hugely demonstrative, save for a bit of tail wagging when petted, but she enjoyed joining us Newmans for chores and camp cabin groups for activities. She even hiked from Philo to the ocean with one group, despite its best efforts early in the backpacking trip to shoo her home. She rarely barked, except to let us know that strangers were approaching: when camp wasn’t in session, she often told us we had visitors as they cleared the front gate, a good 200 yards from the house.

Not everything was smooth sailing. As a puppy, she fell into the camp swimming pool. She swam to the cement stairs, but could not get out. When discovered, she had been scrambling on the stairs so long her front paws were bloody. There was the night she ate liver laced with arsenic put out to kill yellow jackets: she survived, but only barely. Then there was the day we tried to remove a tick and lit her on fire, as recounted in my “Creatures Great and Not So Great” article that appeared in the September 25, 2013 Anderson Valley Advertiser.

About a year after we got her, Tinkerbelle delivered a litter of ten puppies, six of which survived. While I have no memory of the male parent, the puppies looked like Border Collies through and through. We gave two of them to local homes. My mother had the bright idea to take the remaining pups to the Ukiah auction yard, where she had a word with the auctioneer. One of his helpers carried the four into the auction ring and the auctioneer announced, “We have four Border Collie puppies — free.” The puppies went to new homes almost instantly. After the litter was weaned, Tinkerbelle visited veterinarian Doc Poulus in Ukiah and returned spayed.

Like all dogs, Tinkerbelle had a few quirks. One was men in cowboy hats. She hated them, barking furiously whenever one approached. We surmised she may have been beaten by someone in a cowboy hat as a very young puppy, but whatever happened, she never forgot. Another was “fetch,” which she didn’t. She would chase a stick or a ball, pick it up and then look at the thrower with an expression that said, “This is a dumb game and I will not dignify it by participating.” She would then drop the object and find something more interesting to do.

The last was travel. She loved to hop into the back of the car or the bed of the pickup to go somewhere, anywhere. Wave at the pickup or slap the tailgate, and she would hop in. For several years, she could clear even a closed tailgate with ease. When she got older, we opened the tailgate to make the jump easier and in her last years helped her in.

In the mid-1960s, we Newmans again became part-time Anderson Valley residents, spending summers and most weekends working at El Rancho Navarro and spending the rest of our time in Petaluma. Tinkerbelle happily went back and forth with us. Where we lived in Petaluma was next to a grammar school, and Tinkerbelle began spending time with kids on the playground during recess. Eventually she found her way into the school, exploring the halls until she found a classroom of children she could join. One day a school administrator showed up at my parent’s door with her and — before leaving — suggested they keep her at home during school hours!

Tinkerbelle lived a long life, but no dog lives forever. She moved more slowly in her later years and slept next to the wood heater in winter. During the summer of her 16th year, she simply stopped eating and passed quietly two or three days later.

While she was technically my mother’s dog and in a broader sense our family dog, Tinkerbelle was really El Rancho Navarro’s dog, loved and adored by the more than 200 children who came to camp each summer. I know a former camper who has owned a series of pit bull rescues and she tells me the reason she loves dogs is Tinkerbelle. Her influence was that strong.

When the time comes for me to go to the great beyond (do an internet search for “rainbow bridge” to read some nice writing on the unbreakable bond between owners and their pets), I know Tinkerbelle will be waiting for me, but she will not be alone. My parents will be there with her, along with scores of former campers for whom Tinkerbelle was their dog. We will have our reunion, but I know many more will follow me to that place where Tinkerbelle waits to welcome them, and none of them will be wearing cowboy hats. ¥¥



by W.S. Merwin


with the night falling we are saying thank you

we are stopping on the bridges to bow from the railings

we are running out of the glass rooms

with our mouths full of food to look at the sky

and say thank you

we are standing by the water thanking it

smiling by the windows looking out

in our directions


back from a series of hospitals back from a mugging

after funerals we are saying thank you

after the news of the dead

whether or not we knew them we are saying thank you


over telephones we are saying thank you

in doorways and in the backs of cars and in elevators

remembering wars and the police at the door

and the beatings on stairs we are saying thank you

in the banks we are saying thank you

in the faces of the officials and the rich

and of all who will never change

we go on saying thank you thank you


with the animals dying around us

our lost feelings we are saying thank you

with the forests falling faster than the minutes

of our lives we are saying thank you

with the words going out like cells of a brain

with the cities growing over us

we are saying thank you faster and faster

with nobody listening we are saying thank you

we are saying thank you and waving

dark though it is

* * *

JOHN SAKOWICS ADDS: W.S. Merwin, a former U.S. Poet Laureate, wrote this poem a few years ago on Thanksgiving Day for a world in deep, deep trouble, i.e. nuclear proliferation, global warming, overpopulation, famine, epidemic, war, the deepening divide between the very rich and the rest of us, etc.


CINDY WILDER WRITES: There is a Boonville Winter Market this Saturday, but because of Thanksgiving I didn't get the input of who and what. Come and be surprised! Saturday in front of the Boonville General Store, 11:00-1:00, rain or shine.

For the Holiday Dinner at the Philo Grange on Sun Dec 8, we still need 1 turkey baker, 1 meat carver, 1 server, 1 greeter, and some dining room cleanup about 7:30. Thanks!



For the first time in its ten year history, the Emerald Cup is honoring two remarkable people with Lifetime Achievement Awards: Debby Goldsberry & Dennis Peron. Debby & Dennis have in common decades of experience dedicated to ending marijuana prohibition, as well as spearheading a new culture that welcomes people associated with cannabis as equals, neither criminalized nor marginalized. These two cultural icons have helped move the margins so significantly, that the message is now embraced by the “marijuana majority.” How can you marginalize the majority?

Debby founded CAN/Cannabis Action Network that toured the country in the '80s as an advocacy group, setting up literature tables on campuses and in cities, recruiting musicians and other activists, supplying people starved for information with what was needed to break down stereotypes & see a common cause. Debby has always had a cool coalescing capacity which was key in CAN before it was legal. She co-founded ASA/Americans for Safe Access in the '90s, followed by the Berkeley Patients Group which took it a step further, distributing cannabis under 215/420 guidelines. She also hosts a weekly radio show.

Dennis returned to the states after serving in Vietnam with a quantity of weed which launched him on his dealing career, unlike most other “dealers” since he incorporated a vision of unity & equality. He did his share to unite the gay & marijuana communities in San Francisco which were coalescing around Harvey Milk, Mayor Moscone and Dennis Peron at Island Restaurant. Harvey & Moscone were killed in 1978 three weeks after passing Dennis's no penalties SF pot initiative by 58%. Dennis believes the decisive marijuana victory at the SF ballot was connected to the motivation for the assassination.

Instead of letting the AIDS epidemic immobilize them, the gay community with Dennis as a skilled spokesperson, mobilized themselves, opened the first dispensary in the early 90s with access to marijuana as their answer to AIDS & cancer. Brownie Mary was the cherished Mother Theresa who baked tens of thousands of hash brownies from donated leaf and trim for thousands of AIDS & cancer patients, who in turn helped the rest of the world understand the truth of cannabis as a life-giving vital medicine.

There are many levels on which we owe Debby & Dennis a debt of gratitude on this day of giving thanks to people who've influenced the course of history and made a difference in our everyday lives. These are our elders. Let's cherish them & thank them personally at the Emerald Cup Dec 14-15, Santa Rosa Fairgrounds.

This is your time to come to the Cup & thank Dennis personally for putting his life on the line for four decades to make medical marijuana a reality in California & across the country. He dared to ask the voters, who said yes in 1996 — marijuana for medical purposes is a “right,” no longer a crime. All the national polls from Gallup to Pew record voter approval at 80%. Now, we can all agree — that is the accomplishment of a lifetime!

Viva Peron! Tony Serra has now offered to do the marriage honors. Tony has been friends with Dennis for 35 years, ever since he first came to the rescue of the Castro 44, who were busted at Peron's house in '74, four years before the assassination of Harvey Milk.



The reclusive author's three rarely seen stories were previously only available for academic study at UT Austin and Princeton. Now they can be read by anyone online. One of the stories, titled ‘The Ocean Full of Bowling Balls,’ deals with characters from the writer's classic ‘The Catcher in the Rye.’


After years of remaining unseen by nearly all his fans, three stories by reclusive author J.D. Salinger leaked online Wednesday.

The unpublished stories were once only available for academics to read while under guard in libraries at the University of Texas and at Princeton.

One of the stories — titled ‘The Ocean Full of Bowling Balls’ — is a precursor to the Salinger classic ‘The Catcher in the Rye.’

Also leaked were ‘Birthday Boy,’ about a young man in rehab for alcoholism, and ‘Paula,’ which recounts the tale of a woman whose pregnancy drives her to insanity then ruins her marriage.

As per Salinger’s will, the stories weren’t to be published until 2051.

None of them have ever been published, but ‘The Ocean Full of Bowling Balls’ was written for publication in Harper’s Bazaar before the author withdrew it.

The story details the death of Kenneth Caulfield, the character Salinger would later turn into Holden Caulfield’s brother Allie.

Princeton’s was once the only manuscript of ‘The Ocean Full of Bowling Balls’ available to be read.

Buzzfeed spoke to a gentleman named PJ Vogt who’s read both the Princeton copy and the online version.

He verified the story’s authenticity.

“I definitely remember that first line,” Vogt said. “‘His shoes turned up’.” And I remember the detail about the India ink on the catcher’s mitt. And that Holden has a cameo from camp.”

But Vogt's revelation also further deepened the mystery.

“My memory is that Princeton’s copy looked like a submission — typed out pages, maybe even double-spaced. These seem too laid out to be from that collection,” he said.

The author of ‘J.D. Salinger: A Life’ confirmed the authenticity of all three manuscripts.

“While I do quibble with the ethics (or lack of ethics) in posting the Salinger stories,” Kenneth Slawenski told Buzzfeed, “they look to be true transcripts of the originals and match my own copies.”

The PDF first sprung up on the invite-only bit torrent site what.CD.

The source was allegedly an eBay auction of a book, complete with cover, titled ‘Three Stories.’

A Reddit contributor then told the whole world about the find and the rest will go down into the history annals of Salinger’s mysterious life.

The PDF of Salinger's lost stories can be read here.

(Courtesy, the London Daily Mail)



Shake ‘Em Up at Harvard Law School Day

by Ralph Nader

Those of us who worked with an energetic corps of Harvard Law students thought October 24, 2013 would be a galvanizing, historic day at that training ground for corporate law firms.

The students left no stone unturned in promoting a full day of presentations by leading, experienced justice fighters sharing the urgency to act in their respective fields. The goal was to encourage a new generation of law graduates to do likewise. Every type of media was used to advance the event–e-mails, posters, telephone calls, word-of-mouth, the revived Harvard Law School Record newspaper on every first year student’s desk, handouts, mentions in some classrooms and even a salsa band to provide sound with the light.

The venerable Ames courtroom was the venue for the speakers who delivered summaries of a lifetime of breakthroughs for justice in twenty minute presentations, followed by ten minutes of discussion. In a nod to Pavlov, free pizza was offered at lunchtime.

It seemed reasonable that of the 2,000 students and faculty, the 300 seats in the Ames Courtroom would be filled–with students going in and out to attend classes. Edgar Cahn, the first presenter alone should have drawn such an audience with “Legal Education: Unasked Questions, Unwelcome Answers. Where Next?” Right out of Yale Law School in the Sixties, Edgar and his late wife Jean drafted and got Congress to pass a law creating the Legal Services Corporation which provides low-income people with 4,000 attorneys around the country.

The Cahns started Antioch Law School based on the philosophy that law should mean justice and that students should experience their clients’ plights firsthand in marginalized neighborhoods.

Professor/advocate Cahn also devised the Time Dollar currency–spreading in numerous countries–whereby people use their hours of time as a currency to exchange for services.

Then came Professor Michael Rustad on the topic “Tort Law Under Siege,” warning how the law of wrongful injury was being weakened and further cannibalized by fine-print standard form contracts, those consumer servitudes we all sign regularly, that take away our right to go to court against wrongdoers.

Worker pension reformer, attorney and alumnae Karen Ferguson, director of the Pension Rights Center, delved into the subject “Combating Retirement Insecurity,” and enticed students to consider practicing in this vast area of jeopardized pensions.

By this time, however, many of the 100 or so law students who showed up, having consumed their pizza, had already left the courtroom, to the dismay of a couple dozen attendees from the Cambridge community.

Too bad, because they and their absent friends, missed the nation’s leading investigator of corporate tax avoidance/evasion–“Teaching Tax: Morality and Consequences”–Pulitzer Prize winner, David Cay Johnston. Followed by the rousing challenger of lawless foreign, military and prosecutorial policies by the Presidency–Bruce Fein, a Harvard Law grad, who spoke on “One-Branch Tyranny: Lawyers, Law Professors and Law Students Fiddle While the Constitution is Vandalized.”

About this time, a lone Law School Professor was sighted–Lani Guinier who has broken some smug paradigms in her day, as has the next speaker–former Attorney General (under President Johnson), Ramsey Clark. He urged the application of laws to stop wars or to hold war criminals accountable to their victims.

Arguably the nation’s leading critic of science and ethics, Prof. Sheldon Krimsky of Tufts University, threw down a gauntlet of specifics with his topic, “Facing Up to It: Science Without Law is Immoral and Law Without Science is Blindsighted.”

My Harvard Law School class of 1958 started the Appleseed Foundation which has launched sixteen Centers for Law and Justice in as many states over the last 25 years. Quite a model for older law school alumni classes at the nation’s 203 law schools. Lawyer and Appleseed executive director, Betsy Cavendish, spoke of “A Theory of Change”– that brings the law closer to serve the people.

The necessity of that objective was poignantly described by Harvard sociologist, Bruce Western, who narrated in “Reform, Redemption and Mass Incarceration” personal stories how the poverty economy and mass imprisonment of the impoverished and marginalized relate to recidivism.

By this time, most afternoon classes were over and I expected a stream of students and, perchance, some faculty, to arrive. After all, there were clear areas of actionable injustice being described by superstars of the legal profession. Other than Prof. Jon Hanson, no such luck.

Arthur Miller, known to many for his television programs and commentary while teaching at Harvard, came from NYU Law School and delivered a masterpiece, “Are They Closing the Courthouse Doors?” on how expanding procedural hurdles block access to justice. He is the nation’s leading scholar on procedural rules as well as an appellate attorney.

Want to know about whistleblowing protections and notorious persecutions by people who bring their conscience to work? No one is more experienced than Tom Devine, legal director of the Government Accountability Project (GAP). He proved it with his topic “Whistleblowing and the Power of Truth.”

Completing this unprecedented day was Jeffrey Clements, author of the clear-eyed book Corporations are Not People, speaking on “The Corporate Capture of the Constitution and the Courts.” He is leading a nationwide effort to constitutionally overturn the Supreme Court decision–Citizens United–which allows corporations and unions to give unlimited money in independent expenditures against or for candidates for public office (See

Although much of the day’s content is not taught at the Law School, or only tangentially touched on, the student attendance had dwindled to fewer than fifty–notwithstanding another Pavlovian entreaty of a tasty buffet.

Harvard Law School is full of the best and brightest professors and law students. If you doubt this, just ask them. Of course a few are quite active. But, moving the rest from satisfaction to significance–at least, in Bruce Fein’s words, so that more become the Paul Reveres sounding the alarms when the law is subjugated by raw power, is a formidable task.

At Harvard Law, with a massive endowment of $1.7 billion and the most diverse offerings in courses and clinics of any law school, the excuses are few for the overall training of students as rigorous legal technicians slated to sustain and enlarge the rule of power–especially that of the corporate supremacists–over the rule of law.

Were Harvard Law to arouse, it might prod similar levitations at other law schools who, admit or not, see Harvard as groundbreaking. Maybe Harvard is too entrenched in its storied traditions and abstract pretensions. Maybe the grip of corporatist environments is so internalized as not to be seen as ravaging the school’s potential.

The kinds of law school graduates–their sense of horizons and self-significance–affects many millions of people for whom the law is unusable, repressive and devoid of adequate lawyer representation.

Stay tuned. Visit There is more to come in shaking up law schools by small numbers of law students, teachers and alumni.

(Ralph Nader is a consumer advocate, lawyer and author of Only the Super-Rich Can Save Us! He is a contributor to Hopeless: Barack Obama and the Politics of Illusion, published by AK Press. Hopeless is also available in a Kindle edition.)


  1. Michael November 29, 2013

    How do you marginalize a majority? Ask any woman.

  2. November 29, 2013

    Is anyone else uneasy reading Salinger’s newly “published” work?
    He could have burned it, but left it extant with the promise we wouldn’t look at it until 2051.
    At least that gives me until I am 110 to make up my mind.
    For now I don’t think so.
    Jim Armstrong

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