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Mendocino County Today: Sunday, Sept. 11, 2016

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Who Saw It Coming?

by Alexander Cockburn & Jeffrey St. Clair

Tuesday’s onslaughts on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon are being likened to Pearl Harbor and the comparison is just. From the point of view of the assailants the attacks were near miracles of logistical calculation, timing, courage in execution and devastation inflicted upon the targets.

The Pearl Harbor base containing America’s naval might was thought to be invulnerable, yet in half an hour 2000 were dead, and the cream of the fleet destroyed. This week, within an hour on the morning of September 11, security at three different airports was successfully breached, the crews of four large passenger jets efficiently overpowered, the cockpits commandeered, navigation coordinates reset.

In three of the four missions the assailants attained successes probably far beyond the expectations of the planners. As a feat of suicidal aviation the Pentagon kamikaze assault was particularly audacious, with eyewitness accounts describing the Boeing 767 skimming the Potomac before driving right through the low lying Pentagon perimeter, in a sector housing Planning and Logistics.

The two Trade Center Buildings were struck at what structural engineers say were the points of maximum vulnerability. The strength of the buildings derived entirely from the steel perimeter frame, designed — so its lead architect said only last week — to withstand the impact of a Boeing 707. These buildings were struck full force last Tuesday morning by Boeing 737s, with fuel tanks fully loaded for the long flights to the West Coast. Within an hour of the impacts both buildings collapsed. By evening, a third 46-story Trade Center building had also crumbled.

Not in terms of destructive extent, but in terms of symbolic obliteration the attack is virtually without historic parallel, a trauma at least as great as the San Francisco earthquake or the Chicago fire.

There may be another similarity to Pearl Harbor. The possibility of a Japanese attack in early December of 1941 was known to US Naval Intelligence and to President Roosevelt. Last Tuesday, derision at the failure of US intelligence was widespread. The Washington Post quoted an unnamed top official at the National Security Council as saying, “We don’t know anything here. We’re watching CNN too.” Are we to believe that the $30 billion annual intelligence budget, immense electronic eavesdropping capacity, thousands of agents around the world, produced nothing in the way of a warning?

In fact Osama bin Laden, now prime suspect, said in an interview three weeks ago with Abdel-Bari Atwan, the editor of the London-based al-Quds al-Araby newspaper, that he planned “very, very big attacks against American interests.”

Here is bin-Laden, probably the most notorious Islamic foe of America on the planet, originally trained by the CIA, planner of other successful attacks on US installations such as the embassies in East Africa, carrying a $5 million FBI bounty on his head proclaiming the imminence of another assault, and US intelligence was impotent, even though the attacks must have taken months, if not years to plan, and even though CNN has reported that bin-Laden and his coordinating group al-Qaeda had been using an airstrip in Afghanistan to train pilots to fly 767s.

Back in the 1960s and 1970s, when hijacking was a preoccupation, the possibility of air assaults on buildings such as the Trade Center were a major concern of US security and intelligence agencies. But since the 1980s and particularly during the Clinton-Gore years the focus shifted to more modish fears, such as bio-chemical assault and nuclear weapons launched by so-called rogue states. This latter threat had the allure of justifying the $60 billion investment in Missile Defense aka Star Wars. One of the biggest proponents of that approach was Al Gore’s security advisor, Leon Fuerth, who wailed plaintively amid Tuesday’s rubble that “In effect the country’s at war but we don’t have the coordinates of the enemy.”

But the lust for retaliation traditionally outstrips precision in identifying the actual assailant. By early evening on Tuesday America’s national security establishment was calling for a removal of all impediments on the assassination of foreign leaders. Led by President Bush, they were endorsing the prospect of attacks not just on the perpetrators but on those who might have harbored them. From the nuclear priesthood is coming the demand that mini-nukes be deployed on a preemptive basis against the enemies of America.

The targets abroad will be all the usual suspects: rogue states, (most of which, like the Taliban or Saddam Hussein, started off as creatures of US intelligence). The target at home will of course be the Bill of Rights. Less than a week ago the FBI raided Infocom, the Texas-based web host for Muslim groups such as the Council on Islamic Relations, the Islamic Society of North America, the Islamic Association for Palestine, and the Holy Land Foundation. Palestinians have been denied visas, and those in this country can, under the terms of the CounterTerrorism Act of the Clinton years, be held and expelled without due process. The explosions of Tuesday were not an hour old before terror pundits like Anthony Cordesman, Wesley Clark, Robert Gates and Lawrence Eagleburger were saying that these attacks had been possible “because America is a democracy,” adding that now some democratic perquisites might have to be abandoned? What might this mean? Increased domestic snooping by US law enforcement and intelligence agencies; ethnic profiling; another drive for a national ID card system.

Tuesday did not offer a flattering exhibition of America’s leaders. For most of the day the only Bush who looked composed and control in Washington was Laura, who happened to waiting to testify on Capitol Hill. Her husband gave a timid and stilted initial reaction in Sarasota, Florida, then disappeared for an hour before resurfacing at a base in Barksdale, Louisiana, where he gave another flaccid address with every appearance of bring on tranquilizers. He was then flown to a bunker in Nebraska, before someone finally had the wit to suggest that the best place for an American president at time of national emergency is the Oval Office.

Other members of the cabinet were equally elusive. Secretary of State Colin Powell, who has managed to avoid almost every site of crisis or debate, was once again absent from the scene, in Latin America. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld remained invisible most of the day, even though it would have taken him only a few short steps to get to the Pentagon press room and make some encouraging remarks. When he did finally appear the substance of his remarks and his demeanor were even more banal and unprepossessing than those of his commander in chief. At no point did Vice President Cheney appear in public.

The presidential contenders did expose themselves. John McCain curdled the air with threats against America’s foes, as did John Kerry, who immediately blamed bin-Laden and who stuck the knife firmly into CIA director George Tenet, citing Tenet as having told him not long ago that the CIA had neutralized an impending attack by bin-Laden.

Absent national political leadership, the burden of rallying the nation fell as usual upon the tv anchors, all of whom seem to have resolved early on to lower the emotional temper, though Tom Brokaw did lisp a declaration of War against Terror. Tuesday’s eyewitness reports of the collapse of the two Trade Center buildings were not inspired, at least for those who have heard the famous eyewitness radio reportage of the crash of the Hindenberg zeppelin in Lakehurst, New Jersey in 1937 with the anguished cry of the reporter, “Oh the humanity, the humanity.” Radio and tv reporters these days seem incapable of narrating an ongoing event with any sense of vivid language or dramatic emotive power.

The commentators were similarly incapable of explaining with any depth the likely context of the attacks; that these attacks might be the consequence of the recent Israeli rampages in the Occupied Territories that have included assassinations of Palestinian leaders and the slaughter of Palestinian civilians with the use of American aircraft; that these attacks might also stem from the sanctions against Iraq that have seen upward of a million children die; that these attacks might in part be a response to US cruise missile attacks on the Sudanese factories that had been loosely fingered by US intelligence as connected to bin-Laden.

In fact September 11 was the anniversary of George W. Bush’s speech to Congress in 1990, heralding war against Iraq. It was also the anniversary of the Camp David accords, which signaled the US buy-out of Egypt as any countervailing force for Palestinian rights in the Middle East. One certain beneficiary of the attacks is Israel. Polls had been showing popular dislike here for Israel’s recent tactics, which may have been the motivation for Colin Powell’s few bleats of reproof to Israel. We will be hearing no such bleats in the weeks to come, as Israel’s leaders advise America on how exactly to deal with Muslims. The attackers probably bet on that too, as a way of making the US’s support for Israeli intransigence even more explicit, finishing off Arafat in the process.

“Freedom,” said George Bush in Sarasota in the first sentence of his first reaction, “was attacked this morning by a faceless coward.” That properly represents the stupidity and blindness of almost all Tuesday’s mainstream political commentary. By contrast, the commentary on economic consequences was informative and sophisticated. Worst hit: the insurance industry. Likely outfall in the short-term: hiked energy prices, a further drop in global stock markets. George Bush will have no trouble in raiding the famous lock-box, using Social Security Trust Funds to give more money to the Defense Department. That about sums it up. Three planes are successfully steered into three of America’s most conspicuous buildings and America’s response will be to put more money in missile defense as a way of bolstering the economy.

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YES, YES! Boonville's beloved community newspaper is throwing its annual open house Fair weekend, which is next weekend, which would be the weekend that begins Friday the 16th of September. Stop by our new office in the middle of town. Can't miss it. A very cool industrial trailer set in a set of old fashioned macadam. Stop in and say Hello. Bob Dempel of Hopland was a recent visitor. Bob walked through the door and exclaimed, "By the goddess I think I've died and gone to heaven." Coming from Hopland, the old guy is easily impressed, but we're anxious to know what you think. Not really, but do stop in. We'll be laying out the Cheese Whiz and crackers on Saturday, but you're welcome any time the lights are on all weekend.

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Digital Camera
Velma's (Tebbutt) Farm Stand on AV Way in Boonville

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WE JUST GOT a nice refund check from the County via our local school district. You might be due some money back, too, if you've recently paid "developer fees" to get your building permit. The fee is calculated on an assumption that housing units mean more children enrolled in the local schools. But the local school population has not grown. Families are not moving into the Anderson Valley because there's no land at anything like affordable prices to build on. No new families, no new students, no developer fee.

BUT TO GET a building permit, though, Planning and Building checks the paid box for developer fees. It's one of many boxes that must be checked or no permit. But, and this is a big but, school districts have been collecting the fees, and Planning Building has been dutifully checking the developer fees box, although school populations everywhere in Mendocino County have either been static or have lost students.

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Green Pickup Truck Wrecked On Hwy 128 @ 6:41 pm

The scanner & the CHP Traffic "incident" page are reporting (6:41 pm) a "green pickup truck went off the roadway into a fence" in the westbound lane near mile marker 21.68 just west of Whipple Ridge Road in Philo. The Anderson Valley Fire department & ambulance are on their way. They also requested air ambulance CalStar 4 but were told by the chopper crew the bird was "out of service" due to an inter-facility transfer @ 5:37 pm. A first responder on the scene said @ 6:54 pm, "There is one walking wounded. Reduce response to Code 2 (no lights/siren). Cancel any air ambulance." The first responder also asked for a CHP "Code 3" (lights/siren) response as the driver was being "obnoxious" and possibly impaired by alcohol.

(Courtesy, MendocinoSportsPlus)

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On Saturday afternoon, September 24, from 2 to 4pm, the San Francisco-based Freedom Archives, the California Coalition for Women Prisoners and the Little Lake Grange, 291 School Street, Willits, will host an informal discussion with four members of a 19 person delegation of anti-prison, labor, and scholar-activists who visited the occupied Palestinian West Bank this past March.

It was the first U.S. delegation to Palestine to focus specifically on political imprisonment and designed to strengthen the solidarity between Palestinian and US prisoners.

According to a statement issued by the delegation, during the ten day trip, “we were empowered and humbled by stories of the many ways Palestinians maintain their culture and dignity” while maintaining resistance to Israel’s ongoing military occupation and that will be the main subject of the planned discussion. Free. Donations accepted.

For information, please call 707-467-0518

Jeff Blankfort


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In 2015, the Jail Garden Project produced over 14,000 pounds of fruits and vegetables for the meals inside our correctional facility. These fruits and veggies were grown within the confines of our jail, under the coordination of John, a part time employee who is very dedicated to produce fruits and veggies without chemicals. A team of hard working inmates enjoy being part of the garden crew.

This is the time of year that I am always so impressed. Do you have any idea how many tomatoes are required when you give 304 people 2 good slices?

Here are some photos of Thursdays harvest. Our kitchen staff uses everything (and I mean everything) they possibly can to produce healthy meals.


As we know, healthy food helps people think clearer and feel better. While our jail keeps people incarcerated, we should never forget that our revolving door should slow down. Reducing criminal recidivism is important, but let's not forget to reduce mental illness recidivism also.

Sorry for the long segway, but this type of action helps mentally ill inmates improve. The fact that allowing mentally ill inmates to socialize with other mentally ill inmates allows or staff to help with the necessary stabilization of some of societies most fragile citizens. Gardens are very good places to socialize and see how your work is rewarded with produce.

Please support Measures AG and AH in this upcoming election. It will allow families to have closer resources and local services. It will allow our courts to get some of our non-violent inmates some improved mental health services.

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Woodlands Wildlife has received reports of 3 different adult raccoons (located in 3 places that are far apart) that are each missing its tail. All within 3 miles of the town of Mendocino. I'm trying to determine if this is a genetic defect that we have here, or if we have a person who is mutilating them, or maybe it's just a bizarre coincidence and perhaps the tails were lost in accidents or possibly traps. If you have seen a raccoon without a tail, please let me know where (no addresses, just "3 miles up Navarro Ridge" or "a mile out Mitchell Creek" will do). Email to I'll create a 'cluster map' and then post my results when I have them. Please respond only once.

Ronnie James, Mendocino

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The Comptche Community Organization presents the 12th Wine Tasting, Art Show and Sale, Saturday, September 24 from 2-6. Come, enjoy local arts, food and wines, both indoor and outdoor for your autumnal pleasure.

The Hall is 1/4 mile east of the Comptche Store on Comptche/Ukiah Road

Any questions? Call Lynne at 937-3362

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DONATE AGAIN, local author shelf, a corporation's line-crew, poetic dailiness.

The Clayton Fire. It was smaller in area, but in terms of concentrated destruction, as bad or worse than last year's disaster. Yet the level of donations is way down. Disaster fatigue, I suppose, but suck it up & do the best you can: Donations received at the Mendo-Lake Credit Union, Savings Bank of Mendocino County, or online (that's North Coast Opportunities).

“Thanks to the hard work of Sierra Chapman, all of the mystery and fiction books have moved to make space for a local author shelf near the copy machine. This was a long time coming sorry for the delay. Anyway, we're ready for our locals to fill the shelves.” That's an e-mail from Anne Shirako, County District Librarian, referring to her Ukiah branch. William J. Russell was major change agent. I hope the other branches follow this lead. Locally, this means You!: Dan Barth, Armand Brint, Tom Hine, Bill Churchill, Mike Riedell, Kate Marianchild, Darca Nicholson, Theresa Whitehill, David Smith-Ferry, Mark McGovern & so many more.

Like many other Americans, I greatly dislike much corporate behavior: “Cupertino-based” Apple off-shoring itself to Ireland & gaining essentially tax-free status in the U.S. in Ireland; PG&E, blowing up a chunk of San Bruno, through shoddy site records and cost-cutting maintenance. Those are corporate HQ matters. Maximize short-term profit. Grabbit & Run ethos. It's the suits. PG&E's line staff tend toward good-guy, skilled labor. The other night, with ample notice that they planned to replace 9 poles, PG&E shut off power to my part of BBTrail from 10 p.m. to 7 a.m. They marshaled equipment at the head of my driveway before dusk, including a vehicle even brawnier than CalFire off-road machinery or Natl Guard armored dump trucks. PG&E's vehicle had a huge earth auger and a pole lifter. Given 5 years of drought, rock & clay soil up here, I told Nick not to expect much sleep. In due course (I was in bed, Nick was barking at the door) the work began. Remarkably quiet. Even the chainsaw. The worklights were focused on the job at hand, not flooding the hillside or my bedroom. Nick barked for a few minutes, fell asleep. Next morning, power came on well before 7 & there were new power poles on the easement. Thanks, guys, though next time please use your trailered porta potty: As I was looking up at the old poles, neatly lopped to leave AT&T's lines as they had been (cockamamie), Nick sniffed down & delighted in fresh feces-bedaubed paper towel, PG&E blue.

Ted Kooser. One of the pleasures of accessing his is his graceful introduction of other poets' work. Here's one (#598): “I'd guess that many of us like old toys. As a boy I had a wind-up tin submarine that dove and surfaced, and a few years ago I saw one just like it in the window of an antique store, making me, of course, an antique. Here's a poem by Elise Hempel."

Poetry is often everyday words or phrases taking us from mere dailiness to the richness of dailiness. Here's some poetry from lovely Isis: “Dora Sibley, 1876-1956// She brought Cracklin' Cornbread recipe from Gallipolis, Ohio,/ to summertime Sunday, Lost Island Lake picnics/ and to wintertime Farm Christmas.// 1/2 cup sugar/ 2 eggs, no straw clinging to shells/ 1/2 cup butter/ 1 cup flour/ 1 teaspoon soda/ 1/2 teaspoon salt/ (Rains & Pouring little girl with umbrella)/ 1 cup coarse ground cornmeal from the farm/ 1 cup buttermilk, watery liquid left from churning butter// In oven, cast iron skillet/ bacon lard dollop/ blend & bubble.” Isis is from the heartland, where her people know that Lost Island Lake is the Lake in Ruthven, Iowa. They also know at what temperature to blend and bubble, how much to use of the watery liquid left from churning butter.

(Jonathan Middlebrook lives on that frontier where past and future contemplate each other, in the moment, astonished.

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by Eugene L. Scaramella

My father Carlo Scaramella left his family in the tiny town of Delebio, in Northern Italy, to come to Northern California in 1900. He felt that the Catholic Church demanded too much of him in Italy, restricting his ability to work, get ahead, expand and improve his life as an Italian peasant farmer. He left my mother Anna and my two older brothers, Joe and John, behind until he could save enough money for them to join him in America.

For several years he worked the woods in Cleone and loaded lumber boats and saved what he could.

One weekend he went down to load a boat at Little River. It was getting stormy and the captain decided he better get out of there quick so he put out to sea in a hurry without putting anybody ashore. The ship headed down toward San Francisco. The captain finally put my father ashore in a rowboat somewhere near Stewart’s Point. Dad had to walk all the way back to Cleone. It took him a couple of weeks, but part of that time he spent stopping and visiting Italian people along the way, and he probably had a couple of sips of wine.

By 1906 Father had finally saved enough money to arrange for my mother and brothers Joe and John (ages 8 and 7 at the time) to come to California. They took the train from Delebio to Genoa, then a boat to Northern France, and then by ship to New York — steerage all the way across, down in the hold. The conditions were pretty miserable.

They arrived at Ellis Island and hooked up with a friend who spoke English and helped them through the immigration process. They took a train to San Francisco, arriving the night of 17th of April, 1906. That was the day before the big San Francisco earthquake on the 18th. Father had arranged to travel to Point Arena by the steamer Pomo. It was supposed to leave at 10 o’clock the morning after they arrived.

The earthquake hit a little after 5 o’clock in the morning. There was a fire in the hotel where my mother and brothers were staying and everybody had to get out. Mother lost all her belongings, including her laces and other prized family items she brought from Delebio.

Joe and John got the measles and the family was quarantined in a chicken coop in the harbor area for several days. After that Joe and John and my mother were taken in by an Oakland family and in a matter of weeks.

Father stayed in the area making contact with charitable organizations and keeping track of bulletin boards where earthquake refugees posted notices. He finally found his wife and two children after a few weeks and they arranged travel to Point Arena. They took a train to Cloverdale, a horse-drawn stage to Elk and a horse-drawn wagon to Point Arena. My mother was never thrilled about the idea of moving to the United States and after the earthquake experience she hardened in her views and never even tried to learn English.

The family stayed with my mother’s sister (Mrs. Ceceliani) in Point Arena until they found a place to stay. It wasn’t long before Father bought a hotel on credit. It had a saloon at the bottom of a hill on the south end of town.


Dad was having problems making payments and he didn’t get along with his saloon partner, but then a big slide destroyed the building the following winter.

My brother Charley was born on April 25, 1907, and I was born on May 30, 1908.

My earliest personal recollections start at Brush Creek near Point Arena, our first home after we moved from the hotel. Father became a tie contractor. He had a contract at Carruther’s Camp on the Garcia River. Our house was a small one-room log cabin with no floor. My mother cooked and did all the washing and cleaning for us and the three or four Italian immigrants Dad hired.

The owner of the lumber company would assign a section of the woods to a tie contractor who would be responsible for cutting down the trees, cutting them into eight foot lengths and splitting them into railroad ties of various sizes, 7x8 or 6x8, or 6x10. They were trimmed by hand with a broad-ax, and hauled to the railroad siding where they were counted and paid for based on the number and quality of ties delivered.

Access to that house was very precarious. There wasn’t any road. You could only get to the house by going up the streambed. It was inaccessible in the winter when it flooded.

Once in 1912 the hired men were teasing me about drinking wine. They offered me 25¢ if I could drink the remainder of the wine in the bottom of a bottle. I thought it was one of those bottles with a fake, push-up bottom. So I drank it all. It turned out to be two or three inches of wine. I promptly walked off the porch and fell into some bushes. All the hired men had a big laugh at that.

Later in 1912 we moved to another tie job in the Twin Bridges area outside of Valley Crossing east of where Sea Ranch headquarters is now.

We lived right on the Gualala River, about a half a mile downstream from Twin Bridges. We had a house and a few acres with horses, chickens, cows, and a garden. My mother and father made cheese and sausage, and butter and they made our soap from the various parts of pigs we killed and butchered. Mother cooked for the family and the hired help.

One of the first things my father did when we moved to a new location was to make a brick oven. He made a floor out of bricks we made out of some kind of clay which we collected. We assembled a dome-shaped oven over the top of the floor out of the bricks. It had a little dent in the back for wood. After eight or ten hours the bricks would heat up enough for baking. Bread was made by working the dough by hand and forming it into loaves and putting it into the oven, usually overnight. That made enough bread to last maybe a week or so. Some of it got pretty hard. It was probably nourishing but it wasn’t very tasty.

My father used to make home-made cheese. We salted it, put it on racks and turned it. My mother washed clothes in a boiler on the stove. It was a lot of work. Of course we didn’t have running water at any of these locations nor did we have an indoor toilet. We used either a “shit pail” or we’d have to go out in the woods wherever we happened to be.

On Sunday afternoons, my brother Charley and I liked to commandeer the handcar on the narrow-gage railroad that was used to haul logs and ties to and from the area where we worked. We’d get it going as fast as we could then jump off just before a sharp turn where we’d bet on whether or not it would jump off the tracks. It didn’t go off that much, but when it did the railmen had to drag it back onto the tracks on Monday morning.

My father had a tendency to make deals after he had a few glasses of wine. The family was expected to make good on those deals and we had to work very hard to get done on time. My father used to say, “Mangiare polenta non parole.” My brother Joe resented that and after about year there, he left home and went to work in North Beach in San Francisco where he later met his beautiful wife Geneva.

John and Charley and I went to school at the Del Mar School. All eight grades were in one room. John graduated there. Charley and I went through the fourth grade. I was five when I started school. They needed me to be the one extra kid to have enough pupils to qualify as a school. We had difficulty with English at that time and our lunches weren’t like the other kids’. All we usually had was some dry bread, dry cheese and salami. Once in a while we had a small bottle of wine. Because of the language problem, we’d eat our lunch in the woods and wouldn’t fraternize with the other students.

In the wintertime when the Gualala River was in flood stage we sometimes would have to take a boat to cross it to go to school and then cross it again when we came back. Each time we had to put the boat in several hundred yards upstream because as we rowed it across it would float down. If we wanted to land at point A we’d set the boat in about 200 yards upstream on the opposite bank and row and then finally get across to Point A. In the evening on the way home we’d reverse the procedure.

In late 1914 the work in the woods dried up and we had no cash income. We had animals, lots of game and fish, and the garden. Of course we needed salt and spices and sugar and things like that which we had to buy on credit at the company store. I don’t know how Father ever paid it off, but he finally did. We did quite a bit of hard work to keep things going.

In 1918 we moved north to Alder Creek near Manchester. It took two days to get up there from Valley Crossing. We had all our belongings in the farm wagon driven by a four-horse team. We put two bales of hay in the back of the wagon and the cattle followed the wagon. We got along fine without getting too many strays. Our loose collection of animals, wagons, horses and people went over the hill, down to where Sea Ranch is now, and on to Highway 1 and on up to Gualala. We stayed there with the owner of what is now the Milano Hotel. An Italian fellow by the name of “Big Burt” Lucanetti lived there. He was friendly with Dad and put us up overnight. We put the cattle in his corral.

The next day we started up the coast and got to my mother’s sister’s small ranch near the intersection of Highway 1 and Mountain View Road. From there we went on to the Alder Creek ranch that we rented for the next five years.

It was another old clapboard house with three rooms, no indoor toilet or running water — as usual. We used cans to get our water from a well a half a mile from the house. There was a separate place with a small spring where we got water for the animals.

“In the fall of 1918 the big flu-influenza epidemic hit the coast. Every day I saw a hearse go by taking people to the cemetery. Fortunately, out of the five of us in the family, Dad was the only one who caught it. He was quite sick but he recovered. It was a very, very serious epidemic.

At the ranch we started out with about 20 cows and eventually built the herd to about 40 head. We’d milk the cows and put what we didn’t drink into a tank. It had a hand-cranked separator. We sold the cream that came out of the top spigot and fed the skim milk that came out of the lower spigot to our pigs. People who drank skim milk in those days were very, very poor. There was kind of a stigma to drinking skim milk. Now it’s all in vogue.

By the winter of 1919 my brother Joe had married Geneva and they came to live with us. That was a big treat because mother was a notoriously poor baker. She hardly ever baked anything except an occasional Italian panatoni at Christmas time. But when Geneva came, she started making cakes and pies and boy, she was really a hero around our place — particularly for Charley and me. We liked the sweet stuff.

Charley and I started Grammar School at Manchester. From the ranch there on Alder Creek we would walk about two or three miles every morning and return in the evening. At that time Manchester Grammar School had two teachers, one for grades 1-4 and one for 5-8 where Charley and I were in the fifth grade. We completed all four grades there. Our first year we had a teacher who wasn’t particularly effective, as I recall. But she was succeeded by Mrs. Morse who was an excellent teacher. This wonderful elderly lady drove a Model T Ford and was responsible for my interest in history and in getting me to write and spell accurately.

We participated in a lot of escapades there. At Halloween we’d take down gates. One night we took a buggy apart and re-assembled it on the roof. The next day people couldn’t figure out how that buggy got up there. We had informal rodeos on the school grounds. One of the students used to ride an old horse that we somehow induced to buck. Then the other kids would take turns to see who could stay on the longest. Fortunately none of us ever got injured.

Sometimes we’d sneak out during the noon hour to go skinny dipping down in Brush Creek. Several times we got back late and were told to assume the angle. The teacher applied the ruler to our butts. It didn’t affect us much, but it did sting a little.

We didn’t have much money in those days, so I started trapping. I had a trap line along the banks of Alder Creek. I caught a number of skunks, raccoons and a fox or two. I would skin them and send the skins to H. Liebs & Co. in St. Louis. They’d send me checks based on what I sent them. I got enough money to buy several baseball bats, a first-baseman’s mitt, a fielder’s mitt and two or three baseballs, which cost about $3 each, a lot of money in those days. Whenever it rained or looked like it was going to rain Charley and I didn’t have to work in the fields. We’d go up behind the barn and take turns pitching and catching. We had a lot of fun. Charley was a left-hander. He could throw a pretty good curve ball. I was a right-hander but I wasn’t very athletic then; I was kind of awkward. When I got to high school I got a little better coordinated and got on the basketball team as a freshman and played every year. It was the same in baseball. Of course the competition wasn’t very strong — we only had about 12 or 13 boys go out for baseball, so almost everybody who went out made the team. We played all the coast teams and Anderson Valley within our league.

We also made our own wine. We had a tank that held 200-300 gallons. My father took the horse-drawn wagon to Cloverdale and bought zinfandel grapes. We dumped the boxes into the big milk tank and the family would get down in there and traipse around crushing the grapes. Later we finally got a hand-cranked crusher. That was quite sophisticated. After the wine was fermented the pomace was drawn off. We dumped the pomace into a makeshift still made out of a ten-gallon milk can rigged up so we could put it on the stove. The lid was tapped with a lead coil which took the steam off and condensed it. That was what Italians called grappa. It was pretty strong stuff. We weren’t aware that by using a lead pipe we were endangering our health. Of course a person didn’t want to drink too much of that stuff, anyway, because it was mighty, mighty strong.

I started high school while we were at the Janigan Ranch in 1924. I got up about five o’clock in the morning, milked seven or eight cows, had breakfast, and walked down to the road and took the bus to high school. I’d leave school about four and get home by about five and then out to the barn again to do the chores and the milking, then dinner and whatever homework we had, which wasn’t very much.

Nearly every town on the Coast had a town baseball team — Point Arena, Albion, Elk, Fort Bragg, Caspar, Navarro — that played every Sunday. Charley and I liked to go see those ball games. We had a buggy and a good trotting horse named Topsy. Many times the games would end late and we’d tap Topsy on the rump and boy — she would take off down Windy Hollow Road with her tail blowing in the wind! We were trying to get home in time to do the milking and not get scolded.

Charley and I both graduated in 1922. We did a little graduation play, and I was the valedictorian. I gave a speech, but I don’t remember what I talked about. Mrs. Morse said I should do it.

By the time our lease was up at the Alder Creek ranch in 1924 Dad had bought what was then known as the Janigen Ranch. John and a hired man took some of the cattle and went out there for a couple of years. I stayed home and worked on the ranch with Charley. Neither Charley nor I were supposed to go to high school, but sometime after graduating from grammar school I contracted severe tonsillitis and some other disease. I was quite ill for three or four months. I wound up in Lane Hospital in San Francisco, Stanford University’s medical school, for several weeks. They treated me and I recovered unusually well.

I wasn’t too strong in those days so Father decided that I should go to school and try to take on a life that wasn’t quite so hard. Mr. Foote, the farm advisor, talked to me about UC Davis. He was instrumental in getting agriculture into the curriculum at Point Arena High School. The first ag teacher there was named George Stanley. He and Ted Liefrink, the second ag teacher, also interested me in going to UC Davis.

I graduated from high school in 1928 and went to UC Davis majoring in Dairy Industry that fall.

While I was at Davis I met a fellow student named Herb Sprague. He lived in Fulton and had a Model T Ford. When we went home for Thanksgiving and Christmas he let me drive it on up to Point Arena and I certainly appreciated that. It was an older Model T, and the lights were provided with electricity from the magneto. That was before cars had storage batteries. By 1930 those magneto lights were being phased out and you couldn’t buy bulbs anymore for magneto lights.

There was another student by the name of George Haliday from the Coast who came home with me sometimes. One night the bulbs in Herb’s Model T went out and we couldn’t get new ones. We had to take turns — one driving, one out front with a flashlight, all the way from Jenner to Point Arena. It was kind of scary sometimes in those steep ravines where there was no moonlight. But we made it and there was no big problem with that.

One summer when I came home I worked at the local creamery in Manchester and I got $25 a week for six days work, eight to twelve hours a day making cheese and butter. I drove the truck to deliver the butter to the ship in Point Arena. The old Seafoam came in there every Friday night and unloaded. Then Saturday morning it would load up with passengers, local produce, etc., and go back to San Francisco. At that time they would take eight or ten passengers and you could go overnight to San Francisco and back for $5.

My father, my brother Charley, a hired man and I spent most of our time plowing, planting hay and getting it in, making firewood, clearing brush, feeding and caring for the cows and horses… It was work, work, work all the time. On my 19th birthday I remember being out in the field all by myself with a big hoe chopping down thistles and I started feeling pretty miserable. I thought, Gee, what a lousy way to celebrate my birthday. But that’s the way it was in those days. Birthdays came and went and it was just another day of work. It wasn’t a lot of excitement.

But we did have some excitement. We’d go to the movies on Saturday night. Every week Father and Mother went to the Druids Lodge. That was a festive occasion. We’d get bundled up and get in the horse and buggy wagon. My brother John would drive and we’d go to Point Arena and go to the movie. It cost 5¢. They had popcorn and peanuts and a player piano. At that time the movies were run one reel at a time. Between reels they would turn the lights on and put a new reel in. Usually there were four reels, and most of them were kind of a cliffhanger. We would be invited back the next week to see if the train was really going to run over the little girl on the railroad track.

After I started at UC Davis, I came back to the coast every summer during college to help on the ranch. The last year I lived on the Coast was 1928. In 1985 we moved back to Irish Beach, only a couple miles north of Alder Creek, after more than 50 years in the Dairy business (with four years in the Navy during World War II).

(Eugene Scaramella died on December 31, 1999. Excerpted from audio tapes recorded in 1997.)

* * *

CATCH OF THE DAY, September 10, 2016

Asfour, Ceja-Ceja, Dellossantos
Asfour, Ceja-Ceja, Dellossantos



DANIEL DELOSSANTOS, Talmage. Resisting, probation revocation. (Frequent flyer.)

English, Fackrell, Gayski
English, Fackrell, Gayski

CORY ENGLISH, Philo. Domestic assault.

BOBBY FACKRELL, Hopland. Under influence and in possession of weapon, possession of drugs while armed, controlled substance, leaded cane-billyclub.

BENJAMIN GAYSKI JR., Fort Bragg. Domestic battery, county parole violation.

Green, Hernandez, Lindsay
Green, Hernandez, Lindsay

STEVEN GREEN, Ukiah. Court order violation.

PEDRO HERNANDEZ JR., Redwood Valley. DUI, suspended license.

KYLE LINDSAY, Fort Bragg. DUI, vandalism.

Martinez, McEntee, Merrill
Martinez, McEntee, Merrill

LEONARDO MARTINEZ, Kelseyville/Talmage. DUI.

LAUREN MCENTEE, Ukiah. Drunk in public.

MICHAEL MERRILL, Lakeport/Ukiah. Burglary.

Plascentia, Ruoff, Williams
Plascentia, Ruoff, Williams

MIGUEL PLASCENTIA, Ukiah. Drunk in public, failure to appear.

JOSHUA RUOFF, Covelo. Assault with deadly weapon not a gun.

SHANNON WILLIAMS, Laytonville. Suspended license.

* * *


Sitting on a sofa

On a Sunday afternoon.

Going to the candidates' debate.

Laugh about it,

Shout about it,

When you get to choose,

Every way you look at it you lose.

— Paul Simon

* * *

It's light out though the sun has yet to pop through the horizon. The nuthatches and chickadees greet me as they visit the two birdfeeders a few feet from one of the kitchen windows. There are a few cardinals feeding on the ground underneath the feeders, their speech a reproach: tch, tch, tch.

I'm enjoying the peace and quiet. It won't last.

The frequency of flights to and from nearby EWR has increased and the altitude of the planes decreased. Often the house shakes from their thunder.

And my new neighbor has decided to cut down the three huge trees on his property.

I've tried to dissuade him by explaining that each tree absorbs and stores a hundred gallons of water and provides a day's supply of oxygen for four people; and they provide housing for chickadees, nuthatches, titmice, and woodpeckers. But Carlos wants space for his family--an ample back yard for barbecues and soccer games with his kids, and a nice lawn in front of the house.

For the last eight days the chainsaws have been shrieking from 9:00 a.m. until 6 p.m.. It's horrendous and perhaps a microcosm of what is to come in March.

Roselle's vile, corrupt town council has voted to level the woods across from my house to build a community center, swimming pool, and a new school complex. The woods are three blocks long, one block deep, and contain about 200 trees. I have nightmares about the noise of tractors, bulldozers, trucks, pneumatic drills, chain saws, and wood pulverizers as well as the concomitant fumes, and dust, the destruction of a habitat for birds, squirrels, chipmunks, skunks, raccoons, possums, deer, and at least one family of foxes.

Their decision is being resisted, but things do not look good.

There's been no environmental impact report although one had been promised; there are no plans for modernizing infrastructure, so there's the worry about flooding.

Roselle's sewage system was built by the Etruscans. A few years ago, my basement flooded repeatedly during extended heavy rainstorms because the sewers were backed up. I had to spend thousands of dollars to clean and disinfect the cellar and to install a large sump pump as well as a stop valve. I still need to buy a generator because if there's an extended power outage, I'm screwed.

I have some savings and a move to someplace else is possible. But I'm seventy-one and starting over would not be as easy as it was when I moved to Philadelphia at the ages of 25, or to Spain when I was 30.

I don't believe in gods, but often recite the serenity prayer:

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,

The courage to change the things I can,

And the wisdom to know the difference.

The problem is that category 1 is increasing.

— Louis Bedrock

* * *



It seems to me that with all of the propositions requesting tax increases by various and sundry government entities, we need to stop and really look at them. Before we do that, every taxpayer deserves to see where the last taxes approved by us have gone.

We deserve to know whether those spending our money have been prudent and judicious when signing those checks. We as taxpayers should be demanding an audit of every entity that has requested money via a tax increase. Until we get that information, we should vote against every one of those proposals.

Until we get that information, I, for one, will be voting against every tax increase proposal. If enough of us do that, maybe Sacramento and Washington, D.C., will get a clue.

Lucretia Marcus, Alamo

* * *


by Jeffrey St. Clair

When they turn the attack dogs on you, you know that you’ve won…morally. Of course, moral victories aren’t worth much in the short term. All too often the price of a moral victory is to lose what you’ve put your life on the line fighting for, if not your life itself.

Such was the appalling scene this week on the plains of North Dakota, when security goons for the Dakota Access pipeline attacked defenseless protesters, many of them members of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, with dogs, clubs and pepper spray.


The local police stood by and watched, egging on the mercenaries. A few days later, the local sheriff, a big oil automaton, would issue warrants for the arrest of Jill Stein and Ajamu Baraka for vandalizing a bulldozer with spray paint. That’s what passes for justice in the Bakken oil fields.

The sheriff has been peddling outrageous and racist slurs about the protesters “carrying hatchets and knives,” in order to justify his orders to seal off the protest site, conduct warrantless raids and searches at the Sacred Stone Camp and dress up his rent-a-cops with shields, riot gear and high-powered weapons. These tactics seemed to be motivated by a desire to provoke the tribal protesters into a violent defense of their camp. It failed. The war zone is his own creation.

As Sarah Manning reported in chilling detail for Indian Country Today, the pipeline company’s Praetorian (or one should say, Petroleum) Guard was used to shield bulldozers and trenchers as the machines chewed into burial grounds and sites long sacred to the Sioux. This brazenly illegal act was a preemptive strike against claims filed by the Sioux and others in federal court challenging the pipeline route. “Portions and possibly complete sites have been taken out entirely,” Tim Mentz, the Tribal Historical Preservation Officer, told Manning.

The obvious comparison is to Bull Connor and his thugs, when they brutalized civil rights marchers in Birmingham, Alabama. But the assault in North Dakota seems somehow more grotesque, sadistic and, ultimately, pointless. What, after all, are the oil goons defending? No demented principle, no deranged “way of life,” as with the deluded bigots of the Old South. The pipeline itself is like some steel artery implanted in the dermis of the Earth to carry poison, a black death, threatening the water supply for 28 million people.

The biggest hypocrite of them all, naturally, is Barack Obama, who only this week gave an interview with the New York Times where he said the signature issue of his presidency was the fierce battle he waged to confront runaway climate change, which he called “terrifying.” This shameless bit of malarky comes from the man who enabled the fracking boom, oversaw the near death of the Gulf of Mexico (Deepwater Horizon) and whose agencies gave the green light for the Dakota Access fracked oil pipeline and dozens like it.

(As I write this, word has come down that the federal court in DC denied the tribe’s request for an injunction against the pipeline based on the threat it poses to tribal burial grounds and sacred sites, which constitute violations of the Antiquities and Historic Preservation Acts. This is a bad ruling which needs to be appealed. A few minutes later the Department of the Interior and the Justice Department issued a joint letter “requesting” that the pipeline company “pause” its construction before tunneling under an undammed stretch of the Missouri River. Gang Green is, of course, heralding this as a “major victory.” But it is yet to be seen whether this letter has any “legal force,” whether the pipeline company will heed the “request,” how long the project will be “paused” and what happens to sacred sites on either side of the river crossing in the interim. One theory is that the “pause” is intended to quell the protests and that the destruction will resume after the masses of people have left the site. By the way, James E. Boasberg, the Federal judge who denied the Standing Rock Sioux injunction, was a member of the (Geronimo’s) Skull and Bones Society. You really couldn’t make this shit up.)

The Sioux have been winning moral victories for more than 200 years. But their land keeps shrinking, their lives and way of living more and more under threat. The Standing Rock Sioux are, in effect, defending the quality of life of those who are mindlessly attacking them. They are, and have been for centuries, the true defenders of the homeland. Their fight is ours. Let us join them.

(Of course, there has been a little progress in the last 40 years. Some of the dog-wielding goons were female. Yes, you’ve come a long way, baby.)

(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,

* * *


by Dan Bacher

The U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia ruled against the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe Friday in a long-awaited decision, but in a “stunning move,” three federal agencies have blocked the pipeline at Lake Oahe “pending a thorough review and reconsideration of the process,” the Tribe announced Friday afternoon.

In a joint press release, the Department of Justice, Department of the Army, and the Department of the Interior said that they will not allow the oil pipeline to be built on U.S. Army Corps land bordering or under Lake Oahe.

Thousands of people from more than 200 Native Tribes have joined the Standing Rock Sioux’s efforts to protect their lands, waters and sacred sites from harm during construction of the 1,200-mile pipeline. The Yurok, Hoopa Valley, Winnemem Wintu and other Tribes from California and the Klamath Tribes of Oregon have passed resolutions in solidarity with the Standing Rock Sioux while tribal members have traveled to the camp to join the defenders. Throughout cities and reservations across the country, many thousands of people have rallied against the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline over the past several weeks.

“The agencies requested that Dakota Access voluntarily pause all construction activity within 20 miles east or west of the lake,” according to a statement from the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe. “They also set the stage for a nationwide reform, establishing consultation with tribes regarding the need for meaningful tribal input for all pipeline projects in the future.”

“This federal statement is a game changer for the Tribe and we are acting immediately on our legal options, including filing an appeal and a temporary injunction to force DAPL to stop construction,” the Tribe stated.

“Our hearts are full, on this historic day for the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and for tribes across the nation," said David Archambault II, chairman of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe. “Native peoples have suffered generations of broken promises and today the federal government said that national reform is needed to better ensure that tribes have a voice on infrastructure projects like this pipeline.”

Before the court decision and federal agency announcement were issued, Chairman Archambault II said, “Regardless of the court's decision today, we are winning the spiritual battle. We must continue to have faith and believe in the strength of our prayers and not do anything in violence. We must believe in the creator and good things will come. We will continue to stand united and peaceful in our opposition to the pipeline."

The Department of Justice, the Department of the Army and the Department of the Interior issued the following statement regarding Standing Rock Sioux Tribe v. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers:

“We appreciate the District Court’s opinion on the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ compliance with the National Historic Preservation Act. However, important issues raised by the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and other tribal nations and their members regarding the Dakota Access pipeline specifically, and pipeline-related decision-making generally, remain. Therefore, the Department of the Army, the Department of Justice, and the Department of the Interior will take the following steps.

The Army will not authorize constructing the Dakota Access pipeline on Corps land bordering or under Lake Oahe until it can determine whether it will need to reconsider any of its previous decisions regarding the Lake Oahe site under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) or other federal laws. Therefore, construction of the pipeline on Army Corps land bordering or under Lake Oahe will not go forward at this time. The Army will move expeditiously to make this determination, as everyone involved — including the pipeline company and its workers — deserves a clear and timely resolution. In the interim, we request that the pipeline company voluntarily pause all construction activity within 20 miles east or west of Lake Oahe.

“Furthermore, this case has highlighted the need for a serious discussion on whether there should be nationwide reform with respect to considering tribes’ views on these types of infrastructure projects. Therefore, this fall, we will invite tribes to formal, government-to-government consultations on two questions: (1) within the existing statutory framework, what should the federal government do to better ensure meaningful tribal input into infrastructure-related reviews and decisions and the protection of tribal lands, resources, and treaty rights; and (2) should new legislation be proposed to Congress to alter that statutory framework and promote those goals.

“Finally, we fully support the rights of all Americans to assemble and speak freely. We urge everyone involved in protest or pipeline activities to adhere to the principles of nonviolence. Of course, anyone who commits violent or destructive acts may face criminal sanctions from federal, tribal, state, or local authorities. The Departments of Justice and the Interior will continue to deploy resources to North Dakota to help state, local, and tribal authorities, and the communities they serve, better communicate, defuse tensions, support peaceful protest, and maintain public safety.

“In recent days, we have seen thousands of demonstrators come together peacefully, with support from scores of sovereign tribal governments, to exercise their First Amendment rights and to voice heartfelt concerns about the environment and historic, sacred sites. It is now incumbent on all of us to develop a path forward that serves the broadest public interest.”

For details on the Standing Rock litigation, go to the Earthjustice facebook page:…

Vien Truong, Director of Green For All, issued a statement in solidarity with the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe Friday. Green For All “works to build an inclusive green economy strong enough to lift people out of poverty, and to make sure people of color have a place and a voice in the climate movement.”

"We applaud the Obama Administration for taking a stand and halting construction on the pipeline and promising to change the way Tribes will be affected during future projects. This is a big step forward to stop the ongoing cycle of ignoring the human rights and value of Native Americans.”

“However, President Obama needs to prove his commitment to Native American rights and fighting climate change by rejecting the pipeline completely, like he did with Keystone XL.”

"We continue to stand with the Standing Rock Sioux Nation against the Dakota Access Pipeline. Fossil fuels belong in the ground, and we cannot afford to ignore the realities of climate change any longer. No one should face violence from attack dogs and the National Guard for simply standing up for their right to water. Water is life.”

Around 100 people Friday demonstrated in front of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in Sacramento in solidarity with the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe after the group marched over from an earlier protest at the U.S. Courthouse.

The organizers for both protests, Kelly Nixon (Courthouse action) and Caressa Nguyen (US Army Corps of Engineers action), said, "This is a gathering for ALL peoples who want to peacefully stand in solidarity with the Standing Rock Sioux and their fight against the Dakota Access Pipeline ... and also send all the water and land protectors at Standing Rock a message of unified strength.”

Also on Friday, around 150 people rallied in Klamath along Highway 101 on Friday afternoon in solidarity with the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe’s peaceful resistance to the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline.

“Citizens from throughout the region, Yurok Tribe and Bear River Band leaders, True North Organizing Network leaders, and other allies gathered near the Klamath River with signs, speeches, chants, songs, and prayers,” according to the Eureka Times-Standard.

On Wednesday, two dozen people showed their solidarity with the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe’s struggle against the DAPL by holding a demonstration outside of Citibank on Alhambra Boulevard in Sacramento from noon to 1 pm. The protesters targeted Citibank because it is one of the financial institutions whose loans have funded the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline. For the article and photos on the protest, go to:

* * *


The NBC Candidates Forum continued the shameful corporate coverage of the Great American Meltdown that is our election season. That season has given us a Faux Cable News that runs clips of only one side and pays out hush money to cover up how its blonde anchors were not so much hired as trafficked; a CNN that has hired a paid employee of the candidate as a consultant and analyst; and networks that won’t mention climate change or carbon emissions the same way they won’t mention labor unions. They aren’t even trying to do journalism any more – cable “news” is mostly infotainment as a placeholder between ads for toilet paper. I can’t bear to watch it most of the time and just read the news on the Web. If I have to watch t.v. I turn on local news (often does a better job on national stories too) or Alarabiya and Aljazeera, which for all their faults do actually have real news (and their faults cancel out one another). I can always get the transcript for the cable news shows; reading it is faster and less painful than having to watch it.

— Juan Cole

* * *


* * *


* * *


Dear Editor:

In my letter of September 2nd I deferred commenting on what climate change is doing to the coffee growing areas of the world about which I now will comment. In addition, several more studies on climate change have been reported and I will comment on a couple of these. First, it needs to be understood that most coffee growers are poor small landholders and have very limited ability to adapt to climate change. A new report by the Climate Institute, commissioned by Fairtrade Australia & New Zealand published in The Guardian stated climate change will halve the coffee growing growing area that supports 120 million people. The largest coffee producers like Starbucks have said climate change is posing a severe risk to the industry. Rising temperatures and high altitude rains have caused pests and diseases which affected half the coffee crop in Central America. In 2012-2013 the damage amounted to about US$500m and put 350,000 people out of work. Other coffee growing areas around are also affected. The solution is to relocate to higher ground or move away from the equator. The reality is that would be too costly and I doubt if it will happen. Other climate change issues are that Asian typhoons have grown 50% stronger in the last 40 years; the study by the World Bank that air pollution costs trillions of dollars and takes a heavy toll on poor countries; the NASA warning that the earth is warming at a rapid pace; humans have destroyed a tenth of Earth's wilderness in 25 years; and the flooding on the east coast and the gulf.

Far too many issues to discuss today and I will defer discussion to later letters. We truly live in a fool's paradise as we continue to deny what we are doing to the earth. In peace and love,

Jim Updegraff


* * *


Man, introverted man, having crossed

In passage and but a little with the nature of things this latter century

Has begot giants; but being taken up

Like a maniac with self-love and inward conflicts cannot manage his hybrids.

Being used to deal with edgeless dreams,

Now he’s bred knives on nature turns them also inward: they have thirsty points though.

His mind forebodes his own destruction;

Action who saw the goddess naked among leaves and his hounds tore him.

A little knowledge, a pebble from the shingle,

A drop from the oceans: who would have dreamed this infinitely little too much?

— Robinson Jeffers

* * *


"She got no bellybutton, too, no high-heel shoe." — Don McLean

The recording of last night's (2016-09-09) KNYO and KMEC Memo of the Air: Good Night Radio show is available to download and keep and skip around in via

An unusually crowded night. Notty Bumbo (his real name) came and read a story and some poetry. Molly B brought pie and a doggerel paean to a redwood's capacity to wreck your septic line. Stuart Cohen played guitar until his hand hurt. He sang his song about the big deal on 9/11, which was 15 years ago tomorrow; in three years the trillion-dollar war(s) we started in response to that, on all the wrong people, will be old enough to join the Army. Scott Peterson called to talk about fracking under the sea off the coast of California. Much later on, an excited young man wandered in to inform me that /the door was open/; he sat at the guest mic and delivered a short fast poem about, um, kegs (I think) (possibly cakes), the bitches, and somebody's grandmother, between whom he couldn't decide which one to do, or to "do". He must have resolved it, because a couple of hours later he stopped by again, this time to shout out, as they say, to all the bitches (see above), or possible from them, hard to tell. The radio station is next to the Tip Top bar, which also explains the occasional distant ejaculation of laughter or dismay, the giant motorcycles that sound like a string of M-80s going off, and the metronomically barking dog.

A busy show with a lot to recommend it. Also a lot of technical mistakes on my part that at the time made me cringe, but afterward, skimming the aircheck, I just find funny. Volume problems, mostly. And forgetting to turn a mic on (or off). Several people talking at once, sounding like the visual of the ocean liner stateroom scene in A Night at the Opera. ("And two more hard-boiled eggs.") But mostly it's just a great deal of useful information, including an essay on why not to stop a suicide, a story about the interpersonal vicissitudes of stripping for a living (how not to get shanked for showing up the Queen of Pain), convict yoga (and medicinal ice cream, for meth hangover), the discovery of surprisingly complex space dust, the new dented-can store they're going to plop on the scenic corner of Highways 1 and 20, a few thoughtful angles on racism and bigotry, Kurt Vonnegut on kindness, George Carlin and Tom Waits on advertising, the 1960s Soviet Eureka (a science town), "clean eating" debunked, etc. It’s a seven-and-a-half-hour show.

Also at you'll find links to a chaotic Rolodex of things to read and play with and learn about, that wouldn't necessarily work via radio but that are nonetheless worthwhile, that I found while putting radio shows together. Heaps of superlative brain candy, going back years, and all of it free. Items such as:

An educational comic strip to explain Friday's (Sept. 9) unfortunately literally impossibly ambitious massive prison labor strike.

A sweet little act of an old magician that shows he's still got it.

Pop Haydn in the Parlor. (20 min.)

A remarkable dance. This is supposed to be about all those young people who were shot in that nightclub in Orlando.

And Deaf King Kong. A signed joke.

Marco McClean


  1. Lazarus September 11, 2016

    Call me a sissy if you want but, every anniversary of 9-11 when I see those pictures and hear those stories of what happened that day, I get an awful feeling in my gut, my eyes fill with water and I say to someone…the video of those planes flying into The World Trade Center and the carnage that followed should be shown more often.
    Let us never forget what those savages did.
    Call me a sissy if you want…
    As always,

  2. LouisBedrock September 11, 2016

    When i see the havoc wreaked upon the rest of the world by the U.S. military, I wish the Pentagon had been hit by an atomic bomb.

    • Lazarus September 11, 2016

      I would have expect no less from you…
      As always,

  3. Michael Slaughter September 11, 2016

    You know, 9/11 to me means the U.S. murder of Dr. Allende. I am “anti-American” because I am sane.

    • Lazarus September 11, 2016

      Why are you here?

      • LouisBedrock September 11, 2016

        If I might answer for both Mr. Slaughter and myself, we are here because we don’t want to become victims of American foreign policy.

        • Lazarus September 11, 2016

          Nothing like having it both ways…HAHAHAHAHA!
          I expected better of you.
          As always,

  4. LouisBedrock September 11, 2016

    Congratulations to Cheney, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz and the other coupsters of PNAC for pulling off the most successful false flag operation of all time and facilitating massive and oppressive surveillance domestically, interminable wars internationally, and a vertiginous transfer of wealth from the working class to the rentier class.

  5. sohumlily September 11, 2016

    Right on, LB

    Your tale of development woes was amusing, sad and a reflection of a similar situation going on in my town.

    O woe is us.

    • LouisBedrock September 11, 2016

      Thank you, sohumlily.
      Woe is us indeed.

  6. BB Grace September 11, 2016

    Being I’m not a MSM consumer, what struck me about 9/11 was the music on TVs and the shock on faces. That music played what seems like for days, and neighbors invited me to watch the replays on TV. I think everyone was thinking the same, “Why?”

    I had never been to New York and it occured to me that it was unamerican on my part to not go to The City most people in the world associate with America. I made up my mind to go to New York one day, when I could afford it, and pay my respects.

    Then I saw the most amazing thing: all of a sudden everyone was flying an American flag. Kids were flying flags from the back of trucks, every car had a flag, and I felt very encouraged and proud of Americans, because at the time, Bush was so hard to take, and he was dissappointing, the Federal government was dissappointing, but the American people, now here we have some love, and it was great, because everyone, no matter what race, language, they were ALL flying American flags.

    I went to New York in 2005. I love New York. I had a wonderful time and saw so many amazing places and events, people. I cried more than once. I cried in theatres swooned by very talented people. I cried in Museums overwhelmed by human talent, and I cried standing in front of the most perfect made food in restaurants. Silly I know, but I didn’t cry because I was sad rather, just loving New Yorkers and what they do and how they do things, like E ticket cab rides. Who needs Disney?

    I Love America, and I love Americans. I’m not a fan of the UN. I don’t like everything America does, but then I don’t like the things many other nations do even less. Returning from the Mendocino County Historical Society meeting, where Bob Canclini’s cacciatore stands a winner against any New Yorker’s, Bob’s is so good.. I passed the Fort Bragg Fire Department. They had the American flag waving from the ladder extended from a fire truck, and it was totally cool. I saluted them and appreciate Fort Bragg Fire Department, our very own first responders, for keeping that spirit of America alive and well. Good people doing good things.

    That’s the America I know and love.

  7. John Sakowicz September 11, 2016

    Love your show, Marco.

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