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Mendocino County Today: Saturday, Aug 13, 2016

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DECHTER RESIGNS: General Manager Of Mendocino County Radio Station KZYX Steps Down

After seven months in that role, Lorraine Dechter has stepped down as general manager of Mendocino County Public Broadcasting, also known as the radio stations KZYX&Z.

Dechter said the job she left Monday was unsustainable, as she had been working “15-hour days, seven days a week” since accepting the position in January.

“It’s frankly a job for more than one person with what needs to be done for the station’s success,” she said Friday.

Dechter was first hired as a news reporter, and was working to expand the news coverage after the station recently opened a news bureau in Ukiah.

Dechter said it is still unclear if she will be staying with the station and what her job might be.

“I was promised a different job with the organization to move on the great momentum we have built,” she said, adding that she and her future with the station are “in limbo” right now.

“I only want the best for the station,” she said. “I am pleased with the astounding amount of positive work that was accomplished over the past six months.”

A KZYX board member confirmed earlier this week that Dechter was no longer general manager, but described it as a “mutual decision,” and that Dechter would likely stay on with the station in a role that had yet to be determined.

(by Justine Frederiksen, courtesy Ukiah Daily Journal)

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In May of 2016, Investigators from the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office Investigative Services Bureau were in contact with the New Hampshire State Police regarding a homicide investigation at 23501 Charlie Hurt Highway in Covelo. (Mendocino County Sheriff's Office Case 2016-14667). During the communications, it was learned the New Hampshire State Police Narcotics Investigations Unit had intercepted marijuana being shipped to Katherine Overend, 66, in Francistown, New Hampshire and that the marijuana was being shipped by her son, John Overend, 28, of Covelo, California.

Robert, Katherine, John Overend
Robert, Katherine, John Overend

In an effort to further assist the New Hampshire State Police's marijuana distribution investigation, Detectives with the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office, assisted by the County of Mendocino Marijuana Eradication Team, Mendocino County Major Crimes Task Force, Ukiah Police Department, California Department of Fish and Wildlife and Cal Fire served a Mendocino County Superior Court search warrant at 23501 Charlie Hurt Highway. Upon serving the warrant, 190 growing marijuana plants were located and subsequently eradicated. Detectives also seized five pounds of processed marijuana, which was along side shipping materials. Additional evidence of marijuana sales for profit to include a large sum of US currency was also located. There was no evidence that the marijuana was being grown for medicinal purposes. Further investigations revealed Robert Overend, 67, of Covelo, and Katherine Overend had purchased the property so their son, John Overend could operate a commercial marijuana growing operation. The investigation revealed Robert Overend and Katherine Overend had received financial profits from the commercial growing operation. At least one firearm was located at the location. All three subjects were booked into the Mendocino County Jail for cultivation of marijuana, possession of marijuana for sale and for being armed during the commission of a felony. All three were to be held in lieu of $50,000 bail.

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RANDOM THOUGHTS of a failing mind: One of the many irritations imposed on us by Gizmo dependence is the frustration of losing stuff on one's computer. A single palsied mis-stroke of the liver-spotted paw and there goes a whole day's work. Or, just last week, a letter I really wanted to respond to from a guy writing a book about our Wanda Tinasky adventure some years ago. The poor man had taken the time to introduce himself and explain in detail what he was looking for and who he was. And I wanted to help and encourage him but lost his name and address to cyber-space. Dude! If you happen to see this, please write again.

THE TINASKY interlude still fascinates me. We assembled a book about it but left it to the crude editorial leadership of a cosmically unpleasant woman named Diane Kearney, a perennially aggrieved old battle axe who called herself TR Factor. (Fort Bragg old timers might remember Factor as the bane of then-city manager Gary Milliman's life. She was excellent at that task, but I still regret letting her bull her way into the Tinasky job. The book should have been a lot better and would have been if… well, another lost opportunity.


IF YOU CAME in late, a Fort Bragg man named Tom Hawkins, an erudite old beatnik well known in Frisco lit circles in the days when there were still lit circles — back before the illiterate descendants of the beatniks, those pathetic beasts known as hippies — wrote a series of brilliantly comic letters to us in the guise of a bag lady called Wanda Tinasky who lived under the Pudding Creek Bridge. Tinasky's assessments of Mendo life, especially its poets, were consistently hilarious.

BUT TINASKY-HAWKINS had also assumed the identity of the reclusive novelist, Thomas Pynchon, right down to what appeared, even to expert eyes, the typeface on Pynchon's typewriter and Pynchon's handwriting. Hawkins' project, as you can imagine, was not an easy thing to pull off. I thought Hawkins was as good a writer as Pynchon and even funnier than the master. All this caused quite a stir in national even international lit-crit circles.

AS LATER REVEALED by the famous scholar and ace literary attributionist, Don Foster, Tinasky turned out to be Mr. Hawkins of Beal Lane, Fort Bragg. Hawkins had written to us as Wanda to say he was headed to "a cold, cold place" (as I recall the letter) and we wouldn't be hearing from him again. I'll say. How a guy can be so funny and engaged and then....

HAWKINS had bludgeoned his sculptor wife to death, set his Beal Lane house on fire and driven himself off the Ten Mile bluffs and into the sea. I understand that all that was left of what would have been an invaluable archive had been consumed by fire.


INCIDENTALLY, Foster also identified Mike Sweeney, Mendocino County's trash czar, as the author of the Lord's Avenger Letter written by the person who placed the car bomb in the late Judi Bari's car, one more Sweeney indicator the FBI managed to ignore as it put aside the entire matter. Which leads to only one possible conclusion — the feds found it in their interests to NOT find out Who Bombed Judi Bari, a "mystery" that can still be easily solved by matching the known DNA from the Avenger Letter to Sweeney's.


ONE DOESN'T associate Mendocino County with literary anything, let alone literary mysteries, but there's two really good ones right there.

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Leo, maybe you've noticed a plethora lately of people on this list looking for places to live, some of them long-time residents getting kicked out of their rentals after years and years of responsible tenancy. Like Janie Rezner, for instance, who's 81 (she doesn't mind people knowing her age, which is why I take the liberty of posting it) and must soon leave her little house where she's lived for 15 years, made improvements and paid her rent faithfully. She, too, is kind and comes with excellent references, is known by everyone here, and has been searching in vain for at least eight months now. It should be glaringly obvious that there's an acute affordable-housing shortage hereabouts. You need not dig too deep to discover the causes of this phenomenon. Those of us posting snappy banter from our comfortable perches are pretty much not the ones in control of nice reasonably-priced rental properties for nice kind people. Our wit and wisdom is maybe a little threadbare, but it's all we have to offer, alas.

—Eleanor Cooney

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SELECTED ITEMS from next Tuesday’s (August 16) Board of Supervisors Meeting Agenda:

SUPERVISORS McCOWEN & GJERDE, the Supes who earlier seemed to think that Sheriff Allman’s sales tax initiative would be too expensive to staff (based on an exaggerated County staff wild-guess estimate of what the facility would look like) are expected to assign themselves the task of preparing a ballot statement supporting the Sheriff’s popular and necessary mental health facility proposal.

“Agenda Item 6e) — Summary of Request:

The Board of Supervisors, as the proponents of the “Initiative to Add a Temporary Half-Cent Sales Tax to Fund Facilities in Mendocino County to Assist in the Diagnosis and Treatment of Mental Health and Drug Dependency” Measure AH, has the opportunity to present arguments in favor of the measure to the voters and to submit rebuttals to any arguments that may be submitted against the measure. An enacting clause was inadvertently not included in Measure AG, also known as the Sheriff’s Mental Health Initiative. In order for the State Board of Equalization to enact Measure AG, it is necessary for the voters to also approve Measure AH which contains the enacting clause. Supervisors Gjerde and McCowen seek direction from the Board on the following issues: 1) shall the Board submit official statements in support of the measures? 2) who shall sign the measures?; 3 what suggestions does the Board have for concepts that ought to be included in the ballot statements.

Arguments in favor must be submitted no later than August 22. Rebuttals to arguments against (if any) must be submitted before the Board’s next regularly scheduled meeting. Due to the timelines for submitting ballot statements, Supervisors Gjerde and McCowen are requesting that they be appointed to an ad hoc committee to finalize and submit ballot statements in support of the measure, and to submit rebuttals to arguments against the measure, if any are filed. Up to five signatures may be included on each ballot statement. All Supervisors could sign, or a Supervisor could be authorized to sign on behalf of the Board, which would allow other community members to sign.

Due to deadlines set in state election code, the Board must decide how it wishes to proceed at its August 16 meeting.”

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CHAIN STORE MORATORIUM TO BE EXTENDED: The moratorium on chain stores in the County (Cities have separate rules) is expected to be extended, ordinance draft still not available. Too late for the Dollar General Store in Redwood Valley which kicked off the original moratorium and ordinance preparation.

“Agenda Item 5g — Summary of Request:

County Planning and Building Services is in the process of analyzing and preparing an ordinance amendment to the Mendocino County Zoning Code per the direction of the Board of Supervisors to regulate the location and operation of formula retail and restaurant businesses within the rural communities within the county.

The Urgency Ordinance was extended for a period of 10 months and 15 days on November 3, 2015. Staff has diligently worked to prepare the ordinance and have it presented to the County’s Municipal Advisory Councils (MACs) and the Planning Commission. On June 16, 2016, the Planning Commission reviewed the ordinance and took public comment, but continued the matter to its August 18, 2016, meeting for staff to consider revisions to the ordinance in response to comments made. Members of certain MACs also stated that they were not given adequate time to review the draft ordinance, and the Planning Commission directed staff to ensure that all MACs had an opportunity to review and provide comment.

Because there is no draft formula business ordinance ready for the Board’s review, County Counsel is recommending that the Board take action to extend the moratorium for another year. Government Code section 65858 permits one additional 12 month extension of an urgency ordinance that was initially extended for a 10 month, 15 day period, following a noticed public hearing, and following the approval by a 4/5 or better vote. The legislative findings required by Government Code Section 65858 are included in the ordinance.

This urgency ordinance would extend the provisions of the moratorium for 12 months beyond the current termination date of the moratorium, meaning the moratorium would be in effect until September 19, 2017. The County would not be able to extend the moratorium beyond this time period.

Planning and Building Services will continue to work to bring a final draft ordinance to the Board as soon as possible.”

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COUNTY FINALLY GETTING AROUND TO allocating real money from Prop 172 to local fire districts.

“Agenda Item 6b) Summary of Request:

As a follow-up to the Board’s budget actions, the Fire and Emergency Services Ad Hoc committee has continued to meet with representatives of Fire Departments serving Mendocino County, and the committee is requesting the Board of Supervisors authorize the Executive Office to execute agreements with the fire departments, and then distribute funds to the departments, as identified in the FY 2016-17 County Budget. Each fire department will need to provide an annual signed agreement approved by their board to utilize the funds for the purpose of local fire protection services. The allocation formula provides funding to the 22 departments recognized as providing primary fire service by the Local Agency Formation Commission, unless any of the departments fail to fulfill the terms of the agreements or the County Counsel determines any of the departments are ineligible for these funds. The allocation formula will be subject to an annual review at the time of County Budget considerations.

For funding details to each department, see the attached spreadsheet dated May 19, prepared by the Fire District Association. Additionally, information is attached as requested by the Board, on insurance options for Mendocino County’s fire districts.

Further, the Ad Hoc Committee asks that the full Board assign the ongoing topic of working with the fire departments to one of the Board’s standing committees. The assignment could go to the General Government Committee, the Health and Human Services Committee or to the Criminal Justice Committee, although the board may want to re-name it the Public Safety Committee.”

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SUPES TO CONSIDER POT TAX MEASURE BALLOT STATEMENTS in support of their proposed measure for November Ballot.

“Agenda Item 6d.

Recommended Action/Motion: Authorize the submittal of ballot statements in support of Measure AI; Measure Seeking Voter Approval For Imposing A Business Tax On Commercial Cannabis Businesses, “Shall Chapter 6.32 be added to the Mendocino County Code, placing a business tax on cannabis cultivation and dispensaries (not to exceed 10% of gross receipts) and cannabis distribution, delivery, manufacturing, nurseries, testing laboratories and transportation businesses ($2,500 per year, to be adjusted in accordance with Consumer Price Index increases) of medical and nonmedical cannabis where legalized by state law, potentially generating millions of dollars annually to help fund County services?”, along with Measure AJ; its companion advisory measure, “If Mendocino County adopts business license taxes on cannabis businesses by the adoption of the measure adopting Chapter 6.32, Measure AI, should the County use a majority of that revenue for funding enforcement of marijuana regulations, enhanced mental health services, repair of county roads, and increased fire and emergency medical services?”, appearing on the November 2016 Ballot; and appoint Supervisor Gjerde and Supervisor McCowen to an ad hoc committee to finalize and submit the ballot statements.

Summary of Request:

The Board of Supervisors, as the proponents of the Measure imposing a business tax on commercial cannabis businesses (Measure AI) and its companion advisory measure regarding how the business license tax revenues are used resulting from Measure AI should it be passed by the voters (Measure AJ), has the opportunity to present arguments in favor of the measures to the voters and to submit rebuttals to any arguments that may be submitted against the measures. Supervisors Gjerde and McCowen seek direction from the Board on the following issues: 1) Shall the Board submit official statements in support of the measures? 2) Who shall sign the measures?; and 3) What suggestions does the Board have for concepts that ought to be included in the ballot statements.

Arguments in favor must be submitted no later than August 22, 2016. Rebuttals to arguments against (if any) must be submitted before the Board’s next regularly scheduled meeting. Due to the timelines for submitting ballot statements, Supervisors Gjerde and McCowen are requesting that they be appointed to an ad hoc committee to finalize and submit ballot statements in support of the measures, and to submit rebuttals to arguments against the measures, if any are filed. Up to five signatures may be included on each ballot statement. All Supervisors could sign, or a Supervisor could be authorized to sign on behalf of the Board, which would allow other community members to sign.

Due to deadlines set in state election code, the Board must decide how it wishes to proceed at its August 16, 2016, meeting.

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Berkeley wine shop owner admits bilking customers out of $45 million

Authorities say the owner of a bankrupt Berkeley wine shop has admitted to bilking people out of at least $45 million in a two decades long scheme.

KCBS reports ( 66-year-old John Fox, the owner of the now-closed Premier Cru retailer of rare and expensive wines, admitted that starting in 1994 he purchased false inventories of wine for customers that they never received.

The embezzled funds went to pay a home mortgage, expensive cars, credit card bills, golf club memberships, his daughter's college tuition and "more than $900,000 on women I met online," Fox said in a statement to the court.

Under the plea bargain, prosecutors and Fox's lawyers will both recommend a sentence of six and one-half years in federal prison, plus restitution of at least $45 million to customers and at least $6.5 million to creditors, the station reported.

(Courtesy, the Associated Press)

John Fox (with scissors) & Cru
John Fox (with scissors) & Cru

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On August 10, 2016 at approximately 7:00 P.M., Deputies from the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office were dispatched to a reported subject who was threatening his family members at a residence in the 76700 block of Highway 162 in Covelo, California. The subject was identified by a concerned family member as Adam Gabriel Azbill, 26, of Covelo, who was reportedly intoxicated and threatening his family members. Sheriff’s Deputies responded to the Covelo area and were advised by multiple passing motorists of a male subject walking on Highway 162 who matched Azbill's description. Deputies responded to the 76700 block of Highway 162 where they contacted Azbill walking into oncoming traffic. Azbill was determined to be intoxicated to a state where he was unable to care for his own safety so he was placed under arrest for Public Intoxication. When transporting Azbill to jail, he repeatedly threatened the arresting Deputies and spat on them numerous times. Azbill was also charged with an additional crime of Threatening or Resisting an Officer. Azbill was subsequently booked into the Mendocino County Jail where he was to be held in lieu of $15,000 bail.

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World Key Climate Target May Be Missed

This letter follows several letters I have written on the subject of climate change. The Paris climate negotiations in December set a goal to limit warming to 1.5C as measured in relation to pre-industrial temperatures. The goal of 1.5C is to avoid the melting of polar ice, coral reef destruction and extreme sea level rises among other potential disasters. It is anticipated goals will be set to abandon all coal-burning stations and halt the use of combustion engines possibly within 15 years. This goal would be extremely difficult to meet. Unfortunately, 2016 has been the hottest year on record and now at +1.38C and it appears keeping within the 1.5C limit will be very difficult to meet. Discussions are on going as to how soon as a practical manner we can can achieve zero carbon emission. One factor not discussed is our need to achieve zero population growth. Projections anticipate from now to 2050 a population growth of several billion people will bring the world population to 10 billion. Much of the growth will be in third world countries. The ability of world agriculture to feed these additional people is nil. Certainly, one of the big problems in slowing population growth are religious groups that resist taking meaningful steps to stop population growth.

In peace and Love,

Jim Updegraff


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CATCH OF THE DAY, August 12, 2016

Azbill, Choate, Garcia
Azbill, Choate, Garcia

ADAM AZBILL, Covelo. Drunk in public, resisting.

ERNEST CHOATE, Ukiah. Drunk in public.

ERIC GARCIA, Redwood Valley. Probation revocation.

Jara, Kweh, Lopez
Jara, Kweh, Lopez

ALEJANDRO JARA, Fort Bragg. Under influence, probation revocation.

STEVE KWEH, Sioux Falls, South Dakota/Ukiah. DUI-drugs, no license.

PHILLIP LOPEZ JR., Ukiah. Ex-felon with firearm, failure to appear.

Marin, J.Overend, K.Overend
Marin, J.Overend, K.Overend

JOAQUINA MARIN, Potter Valley. Protective order violation.

JOHN OVEREND, Covelo. Pot cultivation, possession for sale armed with firearm.

KATHERINE OVEREND, Frances Town, New Hampshire/Covelo. Pot cultivation, possession for sale armed with firearm.

R.Overend, Rea, Savov, Wood
R.Overend, Rea, Savov, Wood

ROBERT OVEREND, Covelo. Pot cultivation, possession for sale armed with firearm.

CRUZ REA, Ukiah. Drunk in public. (Frequent flyer.)

KRASIMIR SAVOV, Chicago/Laytonville. Pot sales, drug proceeds, no license.

DONALD WOOD, Visalia/Willits. DUI, ex-felon with firearm, ammo possession by prohibited person.

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ALS Awareness benefit dinner and dance.

Crown Hall, Saturday, Aug. 13., 4pm - 9:30pm

Music by The Mighty T-Bones and local friends.

Raffle prizes and silent auction.

Advance tickets $25 adults; $10 for kids under 12; kids 6 and under eat and dance for free.

Tickets at the door slightly higher. (Tickets include dinner and dessert.)

Doug Nunn will MC the event.

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Mendocino Coast Clinics Invites You to a Progressive Open House to Celebrate National Health Center Week On Saturday, August 13

Join us for a tour of all three clinic sites while enjoying light bites. There will be activities for kids. Get your activities passport stamped to be entered for raffle prizes! Win a FitBit (adults) or an electric toothbrush (children). You can also help us welcome our new Operations Director, Meryl Schlingheyde. The fun begins at 11:00 at 510 D Cypress Street, then moves to 855 Sequoia Circle and wraps up at 205 South Street. For more information, call (707) 964-1251 or check our Facebook page. See you there!

— Matthews/MCN

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September 16 through 18, 2016

The women who present and attend the Mendocino Women’s Retreat are a diverse group who all share the desire to build community in a positive and fun way.

Many know each other from associations in the community, some are circle sisters, some are meeting for the first time. Inclusiveness is our most cherished value. Old friend or new acquaintance, all women are embraced, welcomed and included.

For more information and to register now:

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Miss Mendo wrote:

I have a good suspicion that a rodent has died within my wall and I am desperately looking for a solution. Does anyone know a rodent removal company that services Mendocino or a strategy to stop this horrible odor? Help!!!!!

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Well, the first thing that happens when a rat dies in the wall, besides the smell, is about 4,000 maggots and then 4,000 flies. Depending on how the rat got inside the wall, the house will fill with flies or it won't. If it doesn't, good. If it does, put a shop vac under a bright bare ceiling bulb (at night), turn all the other lights off and go out shopping or go for a walk. Flies assemble in a cloud around the light, you come home, switch on the vacuum and wave the tube through the cloud, suck the stupid flies up. Wait a little while and suck up the slightly cleverer ones. Repeat until even the genius flies are gone.

Eventually — meaning in about a week, maybe ten days — most of the meat and all the moisture in what's left of the rat corpse is also gone, and with it the bad smell. You can pay someone a truckload of money to solve it a little quicker than that, or you can wait a few days and spend the money on rent or car repairs.

I've read stories about a trick workmen play on customers they suspect might stiff them on the bill. A mason, for example, was told he'd be paid the next day. He bricked in a fish. Three days later the customer called him and complained of a terrible smell. He went back, got his money and removed the fish. Or a decorator might put something inside a hollow curtain rod and play the same trick. Probably nothing like this happened to you. Probably it's just an unlucky rat— though a common result of leaving poison out for rats is that they hide somewhere and die. Pets can also be poisoned by eating poisoned pests.

The humane way to remove living rats is with big honking SNAP-style rat traps — also not good if you have pets, but perfect if you don't. (It's likely that if you have a dog or cat you'll never have to worry about rodents.) The rat is happy, exploring, enjoying his life and then SNAP. Tie a short bit of yarn around the trigger and slather on some cheap creamy peanut butter, and be careful when cocking and setting it — a rat trap can break your finger. Also, put it somewhere you'll never absentmindedly reach into or past nor step in socks or slippers.

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Fabreez and time it will dry out…

The non-rigorous method could be a small hole in the suspect wall between each stud, sprayed liberally with Fabreze odor mask.

The rigorous method means drilling a hole between the studs and either getting a trained dog to sniff each one, or blowing a vacuum through another hole and use the nose of someone expendable to sniff which part of the wall it's in. then tear out the section near the bottom or in sections that have fire blocks inside the wall between the studs, pull out the nest, spray it with bleach and more Fabreze, replace the piece if wall. I used this method but I knew where the nest was. Check around the outside wall for entrances so another one doesn't move in.

We had this same problem. It was awful. After the smell, the flies came. Ugh. It finally cleared up. We didn't get anyone to help. Let me know what you find out. Thanks.

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REPUBLICAN PRIMARY VOTERS could have picked Dr Rand Paul, ophthalmologist, freshman senator from Kentucky, and son of über-libertarian Ron Paul. (Contrary to rumor, Rand is not named after Ayn.) Paul is opposed to government “interference” in all matters (gun control, health, aid to the poor, civil rights, environment, etc.) with the exception of abortion. In his first year in the Senate, he introduced a bill to cut $500 billion from the budget and eliminate or drastically diminish most regulatory or welfare agencies. An isolationist opposed to foreign aid and military intervention abroad, he was the only Republican in the debates, besides Trump, to criticize the invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan, and, as a libertarian, the only one to denounce mass government surveillance under the guise of “anti-terrorism.” He has called for a transformation of the Republican Party: “Remember when Domino’s finally admitted that it had bad crust? They got rid of the old crust and made better pizza. I’m all for getting rid of the old crust in the Republican Party.” Dr Paul is also opposed to the mandatory vaccination of children.

— Eliot Weinberger

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THE POPULAR RAGE which gave birth to Trump also gave birth to Sanders, and while they both express widespread social and political discontent, they do it in the opposite sense, the one engaging in Rightist populism and the other opting for the Leftist call for justice. And here comes the trick: the Leftist call for justice tends to be combined with struggles for women’s and gay rights, for multiculturalism and against discrimination including racism. The strategic aim of the Clinton consensus is to dissociate all these struggles from the Leftist call for justice, which is why the living symbol of this consensus is Tim Cook, the CEO of Apple who proudly signed the pro-LGBT letter and who can now easily forget about hundreds of thousands of Foxconn workers in China assembling Apple products in slave conditions — he made his big gesture of solidarity with the underprivileged, demanding the abolition of gender segregation.

This same stance was brought to the extreme with the U.S.’s first female secretary of state Madeleine Albright, a big Clinton supporter who served in her husband’s administration from 1997 to 2001. On CBS's 60 Minutes (May 12, 1996), Albright was asked about that year’s cruise missile strikes on Iraq known as Operation Desert Strike: “We have heard that half a million children have died. I mean, that's more children than died in Hiroshima. And, you know, is the price worth it?" Albright calmly replied: “I think this is a very hard choice, but the price — we think the price is worth it.” Let’s ignore all the questions that this reply raises and focus on one aspect: can we imagine all the hell that would break out if the same answer would be given by somebody like Putin or the Chinese President Xi? Would they not be immediately denounced in western newspapers as cold and ruthless barbarians? Campaigning for Hillary, Albright said: “There’s a special place in hell for women who don’t help each other!” (Meaning: who will vote for Sanders instead of Clinton.) Maybe we should amend this statement: there is a special place in hell for women (and men) who think half a million dead children is an affordable price for a military intervention that ruins a country, while wholeheartedly supporting women’s and gay rights at home.

— Slavoj Zizek

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AUGUST 17, 2016 RETIREMENT BOARD MEETING AGENDA for the meeting agenda and supporting documents.

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KOSTA BROWNE VENTURES OUTSIDE SONOMA COUNTY with Anderson Valley vineyard purchase

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When despair for the world grows in me

and I wake in the night at the least sound

in fear of what my life and my children’s lives may be,

I go and lie down where the wood drake

rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.

I come into the peace of wild things

who do not tax their lives with forethought

of grief. I come into the presence of still water.

And I feel above me the day-blind stars

waiting with their light. For a time

I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.

— Wendell Berry

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by Jeffrey St. Clair

After Trump stumbled his way through a torpid speech on the economy in Detroit earlier this week I thought it was safe to finally turn off the TV. The wild man had been tamed and domesticated by his handlers. His Twitter account had been blocked and his Android locked away in Paul Manafort’s vault, along with the contact sheets from a few of Melania’s raciest photoshoots and her first green card.

Alas, it was not to be. My brief cable detox was interrupted when Trump went rogue again, upping the ante with a Henry II moment.

Henry was the Trump of his time, a tempestuous, bombastic and brutal English monarch who demanded absolute loyalty from his subjects, friends and family. When his former whoring partner, Thomas Becket, who Henry had elevated to Archbishop of Canterbury, defied Henry’s secular authority, the King, in the words of the French playwright Jean Anouilh, whispered to his courtiers, “Who will rid me of this troublesome priest?”

A few weeks later, on December 29, 1170, the body of Becket lay slain on the floor of Canterbury Cathedral, murdered by four of Henry’s goons. Henry, of course, feigned remorse, saying the assassins had taken him out of context.

So it was that Trump, speaking in Wilmington, North Carolina, archly soliloquized: “Hillary wants to abolish — essentially abolish the Second Amendment. By the way, if she gets to pick, if she gets to pick her judges, nothing you can do, folks. Although the Second Amendment people, maybe there is, I don’t know. But I tell you what, that will be a horrible day.” He said this with a rather unambiguous shrug of his shoulders and a devilish wink. Trump being Trump.

Of course, Hillary being Hillary had already said something even creepier during the waning days of the 2008 campaign against Barack Obama. By March the primary campaign seemed to be over. Obama had all but secured the nomination, yet Clinton continued to contest each primary, winning many of them, weakening Obama and deepening fissions in the party. During an interview with Richard Stengel, managing editor of TIME magazine, Hillary was asked why she was staying in the race. “I think people have short memories. Primary contests used to last a lot longer,” Hillary said. “We all remember the great tragedy of Bobby Kennedy being assassinated in June in L.A.”

I find the iciness of Hillary’s pronouncement much more ominous than Trump’s ad lib. Trump was obviously joking, tastelessly as usual. Hillary obviously wasn’t.

Of course, you never know what is going to set someone off. The recently released John Hinkley, Jr. was fueled by an all-consuming obsession with Jodi Foster to go gunning at Ronald Reagan and his entourage in 1981.

More to the point, in the spring of 1968 a Palestinian Christian named Sirhan Sirhan read a piece in the New York Review of Books by the great journalist Andrew Kopkind describing Robert Kennedy’s courtship of American Jewish voters and donors. Kennedy had disparaged his opponent Eugene McCarthy for being too indulgent toward the aspirations of the Palestinians. Kopkind also reported that Kennedy had pledged to push through the sale of US F-4 Phantom jets to the Israeli Defense Forces. After reading Kopkind’s piece, Sirhan inscribed “RFK must die!” in his diary. On the night of June 5th, Sirhan took his Iver-Cadet 22 calibre pistol to the kitchen of the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles and shot Kennedy three times as the senator was talking to a dishwasher. Sirhan later told David Frost: “My only connection with Robert Kennedy was his sole support of Israel and his deliberate attempt to send those 50 bombers to Israel to obviously do harm to the Palestinians.”

Sanders Buys His Dream House

On Tuesday afternoon, my friend Michael Colby, the fearless environmental activist in Vermont, sent me news that Bernie Sanders had just purchased a new waterfront house on in North Hero, Vermont. I linked to the story on my Facebook page, quipping that Bernie had cashed in on the Revolution that he had betrayed, citing as evidence the purchase of a third house for the Sanders family, a lakefront summer dacha for $600,000. This ignited a firestorm on Zuckerburg’s internet playpen. People noted that Bernie and Jane lived a penurious existence, surviving on coupons and the kindness of strangers, and the house was just a cramped four-bedroom fishing shack on a cold icy lake with hardly any heat–a place so forsaken even the Iroquois of old wouldn’t camp there–which they were only able to afford because Jane sold her dead parents’ house. I said there might be more to the story, like the fact that Bernie had signed a book deal (ala the Clintons) where he would tell the story of his Glorious Revolution (which ended up with him dumping his foot soldiers into the vaults of the very machine they were warring against.) And guess what? I was right. Coming in November to a bookstore near you….Our Revolution by Thomas Dunne Books.

The love for Bernie is truly blind. It’s also touching. I’ve never seen Leftists defend the purchase of $600,000 lakefront summer homes with such tenacity!

Speaking of books, I just finished scribbling an introduction to a little collection of our reporting on the Sanders Revolution. (St. Bernard and the Sandernistas: Field Notes From a Failed Revolution, available soon from CounterPunch Books). I wrote that: the important thing to understand about the Bernie supporters is that few of them are part of the underclass. They aren’t the losers and outsiders in American society. They aren’t the homeless or the street urchins. Bernie was not our political Dickens. He preached a socialism for the Middle Class. The Sandernistas are largely young adults who have enough status in the culture to have a credit score and to have accumulated towering mounds of debt.

Perhaps that’s one reason the Sandernistas are so sensitivity to the plight of Bernie and Jane being able to handle paying off three big mortgages in their dotage….

Arguing rationally with some of the most devoted Sandernista deader-enders is like debating the merits of the Theory of Punctuated Equilibrium with a docent at the Creation Museum. All of this is yet more proof for Alexander Cockburn’s old adage that “when prophecy fails, it only draws many of the adherents even closer to the prophet.” If Bernie Sanders asked his followers to join him for a weekend retreat on Lake Champlain and then demanded that they put on black sweat suits (with $27 stuffed in their pockets) and Nikes and drink a mixture of apple juice, phenobaritol and Vodka, I’m pretty sure about 38 percent of them would follow him all the way down. (See the Heaven’s Gate Cult).

One of Sanders’ most ardent defenders Jon Nelson, unleashed my favorite non sequitur of the week, asking indignantly about the Green Party (I think): “What does making artisanal tofu and selling it at farmer’s markets have to do with revolution?”

Jon, is there an Artisanal Tofu Revolutionary Cadre that I’ve somehow missed? If they stick to their principles and don’t surrender to the Twice-Cooked Pork Coalition, then I’m all for them….

By the way, the median cost of homes sold in North Hero, Vermont so far this year is $189,000.

Khizr Khan and the Big Tent

In his latest interview with Chris Hayes, Khizr Khan reveals that he was close friends with Lee Atwater, the racist GOP strategist. It looks like all of the old Reaganites are now snugly inside of Hillary’s Big Tent. For those of you too young to recall Atwater’s demonic brand of politics. He’s the guy who taught the Republicans how to court the vote of white supremacists without “appearing” racists themselves. (Hayes, of course, being “All In With Her,” didn’t pause to ask Khan about the nature of his relationship to the architect of Reagan’s “Southern Strategy.”)

Here is Atwater unfiltered, bragging to Alexander Lamis, a political scientist at Case Western Reserve University. At the time, Atwater was working in the Reagan White House:

You start out in 1954 by saying, “Nigger, nigger, nigger.” By 1968 you can’t say “nigger”—that hurts you, backfires. So you say stuff like, uh, forced busing, states’ rights, and all that stuff, and you’re getting so abstract. Now, you’re talking about cutting taxes, and all these things you’re talking about are totally economic things and a byproduct of them is, blacks get hurt worse than whites.… “We want to cut this,” is much more abstract than even the busing thing, uh, and a hell of a lot more abstract than “Nigger, nigger.”

Lamis taped the interview. You can listen to the racist rant of Khan’s pal, the man who constructed the Big Tent theory of politics here.

Out Damned Emails!

A new cache of emails has emerged courtesy of the Clintons’ old nemesis Judicial Watch, showing how quickly Clinton Foundation flacks circled the State Department seeking favors and contracts for their noxious clients, none more malign than Gilbert Chagoury, the Lebanese-Nigerian developer and big Clinton donor who was seeking access to Jeffrey Feltman, the former ambassador to Lebanon. These malign emails showing how access was auctioned off at Foggy Bottom were largely submerge by the wall-to-wall coverage of Trump’s self-inflicted wounds.

Remember when Bernie gallantly leapt to Hill’s defense and declared in the very first debate that the American people (did he poll you?) don’t care about “those damned emails”? That was the moment the “Revolution” died…

Speaking of assassination, Julian Assange had better take cover. One of Hillary’s longtime advisors, Bob Beckle, has called for Assange to be killed before he leaks more embarrassing documents. “There’s only one way to do it: illegally shoot the son of a bitch,” Beckle fumed live on FoxNews.

Not a Sheepdog, After All

Fulfilling his pledge to Hillary, Bernie Sanders took to the pages of the Los Angeles Times to plead with his followers to get behind Clinton as the one person who could “unite the country” against Trump.

In the wake of this pathetic capitulation to the Queen of Chaos, our Australian Shepard, Boomer, drafted an Open Letter on behalf of all sheepdogs renouncing any association with Bernie Sanders. One of the signatories (a Blue Healer from Brentwood) swore, however, that she saw Sander’s head popping out of Paris Hilton’s handbag…

A friend lamented the fact that all of the fun and spirit had gone out of the election campaign since Sanders was “neutralized.” Was Bernie neutralized? I thought that Bernie neutralized himself. And it was hard to watch. Like an x-rated episode of Nip/Tuck.

Pence’s Global Fence

Mike Pence is sounding more militant than Trump these days. He’s also sounding like he means it. In an interview with Wisconsin talk radio host Charlie Sykes, Pence suggested that Trump’s plan to ban Muslims from entering the United States might not have been a muscular enough policy to protect the homeland.

“I think what you heard in the convention speech from Donald Trump, what we’ve talked about out on the stump, is that we would temporarily suspend from countries, or territories if you will — the caliphate of ISIS obviously expands beyond one country,” Pence said. “But to say that individuals that come from regions or countries that have been compromised by terrorism would, that we would suspend that immigration, I think that’s appropriate until we develop a new vetting system.”

So other suspect religious sects should be cautious. Among those likely to be turned away at the border by a Trump/Pence administration: Zoroastrians, Hare Krishnas, Buddhists (self-immolating, sub-sect), Sikhs, Catholics (Workers, Div.,) Wiccans, Quakers, and, of course, the greatest threat of all, the Unitarian Universalists….

The African Plant

A recent NBC news poll shows that 72 percent of registered Republicans still aren’t sure whether Barack Obama was born in the United States. It wasn’t clear from the poll data how many Republicans consider Hawai’i part of the US. Let’s cut them a break and assume that most of them recognize the legitimacy of the Islands of Aloha.

I’m a little sympathetic to their theory. In fact, I’m “all in” for a US President who was secretly born on the African continent. But don’t you think the Kenyans could have come up with a better plant than Obama?

Sign Patrol

Last night Boomer the Aussie and I walked by the Clackamas County, Oregon Republican Headquarters on our evening constitutional. There wasn’t a single Trump sign or sticker in any window. There is, however, one Trump yard sign on our block, which has been repeatedly pelted with tomatoes and eggs, perhaps by the Ukrainians in the neighborhood unamused by Trump’s views on Crimea. The man, who claims to be a former Air Force pilot who bombed villages in Vietnam, keeps it upright, battered but still standing, sort of like Trump Tower after scarred but still standing after the assault by that climber from Great Falls.

Smog Alert

Bruce Levine is one of the country’s most acclaimed psychotherapists. A few years ago, I was honored to blurb his great book, Get Up, Stand Up. In his new essay for CounterPunch, Levine, who has a deep understanding of both Jung and Freud, pierces through the smog of psychological mystification being pumped out by the Lesser Evil Voting claque. Required reading to calm the nerves of recent defectors from the Democratic Party .

Myths We Create in Order to Sleep at Night

This week we also published a terrific piece by John LaForge, which demolishes once and for one of America’s most cherished myths: that the US simply had to drop two nuclear bombs on Japanese cities to end the war and save hundreds of thousands of US and Japanese lies. Even Curtis “Mad Bomber” LeMay knew this was bullshit. So did Ike, who sent word to Truman that he thought the plan was insane. You can see why the myth took root. What nation that sees itself a force of goodness and virtue and humanity could live with itself after incinerating two cities and unleashing nuclear terror upon the world?

To the Tumbrils!

The Obama administration continues to recklessly ramp up its Cold War-era rhetoric against Russia. This week Secretary of the Air Force, Deborah Lee James, told FoxNews that Russia is America’s most dangerous adversary. “Russia is,” James warned, “an existential threat to the United States.”

Apologies to my hero Jean-Paul Sartre (and the Mekons, see below), but it’s far past time to toss the word “existential” into the tumbril toward the Guillotine. It has lost all meaning…Knit on, Madame DeFarge.

Spooks in the Grindhouse

It seems like I’ve known Nicholas Schou forever, though we just pressed flesh for the first time last year in the LBC. His ground-breaking reporting on the Contra-Cocaine network in southern California was crucial source material for a book that Cockburn and I wrote called Whiteout. Nick’s own book on Gary Webb is excellent and it was turned into a fine movie, Kill the Messenger. Now Nick has published a new book, Spooked, a terrific and timely history of how the CIA manipulates the media and Hollywood (both useful idiots of the Agency). And, speaking of the devil, here Nick is telling us all about it in the latest installment of CounterPunch Radio with the indefatigable Eric Draitser.

Restored Trash

Multiple Maniacs and Mondo Trasho are my favorite movie directed by the great John Waters. Multiple Maniacs has just been re-released in a glorious new print from Criterion Films. No American actors ever surpassed the magnificent performances of Mink Stole and Divine. These films weren’t “camp”, they were a dark, vicious hysterical form of satire, all the more immediate for being shot in 16 millimeter. “Multiple Maniacs” contains one of the wildest scenes in American cinema, a scene worthy of Buñuel, involving Divine and a Lobster. If you watch Waters’ early films and The Wire you’ll have a pretty good feel for what it was like to live in Baltimore, one of the America’s weirdest cities, in the 70s and 80s. I almost miss it every now and then…

The Last Band That Matters

The Mekons have been one of the seminal bands of my life, never static, always forging new ground, keeping just ahead of the times, like the great existentialist rockers & artists they are. I’m really proud to have gotten to know Sally Timms and Jon Langford over the years, both of whom have contributed to CounterPunch. It should, thus, come as no surprise to any connoisseurs of their music that they would finally release a project called Existentialism, which is both a book and a CD, each playing off of the other. Does the Beat proceed the Word or the Word the Beat? (Only Sartre or Lu Edmonds would know for sure.) The book is enlivened by a Joycean ramble by my pal Martin Billheimer. The project has only one potential flaw: my own bewildering contribution. But that shouldn’t discourage you from picking up a copy from Bloodshot Records when the CD/Book is released on, save that date, One September. (Or pre-order here.)

We Few, We Happy Few, We Happy Militants

“Do not think that one has to be sad in order to be militant, even though the thing one is fighting is abominable.” —Michel Foucault

(Jeffrey St. Clair is editor of CounterPunch. His new book is Killing Trayvons: an Anthology of American Violence (with JoAnn Wypijewski and Kevin Alexander Gray). He can be reached at: Courtesy,

* * *


It’s interesting how social, and labor, norms vary by country today. America has nothing to teach the world.

While visiting France, it was initially puzzling to see clerks and cashiers in stores all sitting on stools doing their jobs. Then it was explained: workers have the right to sit on jobs like that because it’s good for their physical and mental well being. It’s written into French labor laws. How civilized!

By the way, for those that still prefer, ignorantly, to call the French names like cowards and “cheese-eating surrender monkeys”, the only workers today that seem to have the guts to actually stand up, fight back and strike for their hard-won labor rights are the French. In many respects (let’s leave “the Muslim Question” out of this, because frankly, it’s grossly overblown), the French have a much more civilized way of life than anything we have in North America. Example: businesses close for two hours between noon and two p.m. so that workers can have their major mid-day meals at home with their families. Walking town streets at mid-day, one can hear family dinners underway through many open windows.

In America, labor, in contrast to the French, has rolled over and played dead – or should I say, have bent over and let themselves be screwed – without a peep. And family meals? What’s that? So tell me, who are the “Big Mac-eating” surrender monkeys?

* * *


by Dan Bacher

As hearings before the State Water Resources Control Board regarding permits required to build Jerry Brown’s Delta Tunnels continue in Sacramento, lawyers for opponents of the tunnels project filed a motion with the Board on August 11 requesting that the deadline for Part 1B documents to be moved to 30 days after close of Part 1A hearings.

Attorneys John Herrick and S. Dean Ruiz of Stockton filed the motion on behalf of the Central Delta Water Agency, South Delta Water Agency, Lafayette Ranch, Heritage Lands, Mark Bachetti Farms, and Rudy Mussi Investments L.P. requesting the extension of time to submit exhibits and written summaries of testimony for Part 1B.

The current deadline for submission of documents for Part 1B of the process is September 1, but the current hearings underway for Part 1A are currently scheduled to continue past that date. The attorneys cited “fundamental fairness” as the basis for their request for a 30-day extension.

“As a matter of fundamental fairness and efficiency the hearing team should extend the deadline for the submittal of protestants’ cases-in-chief for Part 1B of the proceeding until thirty days after completion of the petitioners cases-in-chief in Part 1A,” the motion states.

The motion notes that the over 1300 pages-long Biological Assessment (BA) for the California WaterFix was issued in late July, so the protestants haven’t had adequate time to review it, even though the BA contains “critical information” pertaining to Part 1 issues.

The motion states, “While Part 1A has proceeded, the conditions under which the proposed changes in water rights would occur has continued to evolve. For instance, the CWF Draft Biological Assessment was issued the last week in July while the CWF hearing was underway. The BA is over 1,300 pages and contains critical information that pertains to Part 1 issues. Protestants have not had an adequate opportunity to review the BA with the necessary technical experts, and will not have time for this to occur prior to September 1st.”

Other protestants are soon expected to join their request for the time extension.

The Central Delta Parties said they “are informed that the motion will be joined by several other Protestants including but likely not limited to: California Sportfishing Protection Alliance, California Water Impact Network, AquaAlliance, Restore the Delta, County of San Joaquin, San Joaquin County Flood Control and Water Conservation District, Mokelumne River Water and Power Authority, Save the California Delta Alliance, Janet and Michael McCleary, Frank Morgan, Captain Morgan’s Delta Adventures, LLC, Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermen’s Associations and Institute for Fisheries Resources and Local Agencies of the North Delta, Stillwater Orchards, Bogle Vineyards, Delta Watershed Landowner Coalition, et. al.”

The hearing is being conducted in two parts so that the hearing can proceed while DWR and Reclamation complete necessary state and federal environmental documents required by the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) and the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), and obtain approvals required by the federal Endangered Species Act (ESA), and the California Endangered Species Act (CESA) for the WaterFix Project, according to the State Water Resources Control Board.

Part 1 will address the effects of the project on agricultural and municipal uses and associated legal users of water and is further subdivided into Parts 1A and 1B. Part 1A addresses the petitioners’ case-in-chief and Part 1B addresses other parties’ cases-in-chief and rebuttal for Part 1 of the hearing.

Part 2 will address the effects of the project on fish and wildlife, including what appropriate Delta flow criteria should be included in any approval of the change petition. Part 2 will also address inclusion of the final CEQA document in the hearing record.

However, the fact that these hearings are even being held is testimony to Governor Jerry Brown's drive to create a “legacy project” before he leaves office, in spite of the lack of any basis in science or economics for the construction of the tunnels.

As I said in my testimony before the Board in late July, the California WaterFix is based on the absurd contention that taking up to 9,000 cubic feet per second of water from the Sacramento River at the new points of diversion, as requested in the petition by the Department of Water Resources (DWR) and the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation to the State Water Resources Control Board, will somehow “restore” the Delta ecosystem.

I am not aware of a single project in US or world history where the construction of a project that takes more water out of a river or estuary has resulted in the restoration of that river or estuary.

You can read my testimony before the Water Board at:

Click here on Maven’s notebook to read the motion: Protestants CDWA SDWA Lafayette Ranch Heritage Lands Mark Bachetti Farms and Rudy Mussi Investments L.P. Request for an Extension of Time

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I Believe that I Am Being Misunderstood..I Wish to Change that Now!

I continually feel as though my experience in postmodern America is aggravatingly stupid, not just because of the insanity of the current 2016 American presidential election, but in general socio-politically. I think that living here is basically spiritually pointless. I am interested in being contacted for the expressed purpose of forming a "nomadic action group", which will go on the road and expose the inherent craziness of this presidential election, and furthermore announce the stupidity which will ensue if we do not shut down this unfortunate spectacle. We can do a lot more than just "accept the situation". I am advocating that we cut the monster's throat and burn its heart! If this resonates with you, please contact me at:

Craig Louis Stehr

August 12, 2016, 1:08 A.M.

San Francisco



  1. Bruce McEwen August 13, 2016

    To: Ms. Cooney
    Re: Affordable rent for Elderly person
    Do: Check out Space No. 20 at the Senior Park
    At: 316 North Main, Ukiah

  2. Rick Weddle August 13, 2016

    re: accepting the situation…

    The common notion seems to be that Real Action comes with that state of mind we call, ‘Fighting Mad.’ Nobody gets anywhere without fighting for it. Maybe fighting itself is misleading. What about the territory of available options BEYOND fighting mad? Past where the dust settles and the blood soaks into the ground? That’s the place we should be STARTING from. If war is the Problem, it won’t be any solution. How convinced are you that some kind of ‘war’ is the Best We Humans Can Do, with what we got? Where in Hell did that idea come from?

  3. Jim Updegraff August 13, 2016

    Giants: with Cain pitching the game with Baltimore was lost – no surprise since Cain is part of the over the hill gang. Bumgarner (10-7) goes against Baltimore today. If he blows the game it will be the start of a down hill spiral.

    Good article by Andrew Cockburn in the current issue of Harper’s “Acceptable Losses-Aiding and abetting the Saudi Slaughter in Yemen”.

    Also, a must read article in the current issue of The Atlantic by Steven Brill: “In the 15 years since 9/ll, the United States has spent $1 trillion to protect the homeland. The security state is vast-and growing – ARE WE ANY SAFER?”

  4. […] County Planning and Building Services is in the process of analyzing and preparing an ordinance amendment to the Mendocino County Zoning Code per the direction of the Board of Supervisors to regulate the location and operation of formula retail and restaurant businesses within the   read more here […]

  5. John Sakowicz August 13, 2016

    Lorraine Dechter’s resignation almost certainly means that Stewie Campbell — the protege of EST con man, Jack Rosenberg, a.k,a. Werner Erhard — will be KZYX’s next General Manager.

    I’m going to puke.

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