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Mendocino County Today: Monday, Oct. 24, 2016

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STORM DOOR OPENS. EVEN MORE RAIN NEXT WEEK. Sunday’s weather forecast shows rain falling on most of Mendocino County essentially every day starting Monday when over an inch is expected just that one day. Lighter rain is expected for Tuesday and Wednesday followed by nearly continuous rain falling well into next week or more with rainfall exceeding three inches. Winds are still expected to be relatively light, below 20mph.

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WHY can't we have simple blue curbing instead of vertical handicap signs everywhere? The wonderfully redone garage now serving as Velma's Farm Stand on Anderson Valley Way is partially marred by the required eyesore handicap designation and parking set-aside.


Our most attractive commercial structures are permanently defaced by unneeded intrusions. "Well, gee Bruce, you want to make it even harder for poor old gran to make her way to the bar?" If poor old gran can't foot it twenty feet I gotta assume she's in a walker or a wheelchair, complete with attendant and, yes, frankly, if the old girl has to crawl into the tasting room or up to the counter of Velma's, I'd say her convenience of access is trumped by aesthetic considerations. Always. William Faulkner famously put the answer to the eternal question this way: “The writer's only responsibility is to his art. He will be completely ruthless if he is a good one. He has a dream. It anguishes him so much he must get rid of it. He has no peace until then. Everything goes by the board: honor, pride, decency, security, happiness, all, to get the book written. If a writer has to rob his mother, he will not hesitate; the ‘Ode on a Grecian Urn’ is worth any number of old ladies.” Of course, Bill's talking about prose here, not Anderson Valley Way, but the principle is the same. You wreck an entire swathe of staggeringly beautiful landscape to accommodate, what? the possibility of an occasional handicapped person stopping by?

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A READER WRITES: Harry Merlo died Sunday at his home in Portland, Ore. from cancer. He was 89.

His son, Harry Jr., lives in Sonoma County.

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STICK A FORK IN IT. Mendo College football is done. Dr. Reyes, college president, is privately telling people that this season is the college’s last kickoff. Football at the school became controversial last month when Westside Ukiah neighbors complained about a ramshackle, barely inhabitable, former nursing home stuffed with imported football players. Being spirited young fellows, the ballplayers, as many as twenty of them, all black, made noise and weren’t committed to housekeeping or yard maintenance. Then it was revealed that the house was owned by a mercenary medico named Gitlin, offices in Redwood Valley, who was charging the young guys $9,000 a month for housing that often  lacked hot water. Gitlin, clearly alarmed that he was unlikely to squeeze nine grand a month out of a property that ought to be bulldozed immediately, charged the neighbors with racism and suggested that some of the kids move out of range of these racists into cabins at Brooktrails, which he also owns. Meanwhile, Ukiah libs had swung into action for the now homeless  ballplayers with donations of backyard zukes and, from one donor, collard greens (!), and a good time was had by all — except slumlord Gitlin and Coach Espy, neither of whom were able to explain how it was that most of the team came from Florida, and when they got here they were majorly ripped off by Gitlin. It has belatedly occurred to the college’s perennially somnolent board of trustees that if Mendo College has to bring athletes all the way from Florida to field a team, maybe the school should re-think football. The school is re-thinking, and football is about to be officially announced as over.

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To the Editor:

Yes on Measures AG and AH — improving mental health services is Mendocino County's number one public safety issue.

As our voter pamphlets arrive in the mail, I hope that we can all take the time to read about the many propositions and ballot measures that we, as voters, will be deciding on. I would like to comment here on measures AG and AH.

Measure AG was placed on the ballot by over 4000 Mendocino citizens who signed the petition stating the importance of improving mental health services in our county.

As your Sheriff I strongly believe that the lack of adequate mental health facilities in our county is our number one public safety issue. Because we do not have adequate facilities, local law enforcement spends literally thousands of hours serving as security in our emergency rooms when the mentally ill patients are acting out.

Additionally, first responders must spend countless hours transporting patients to out-of-town facilities and for supporting patients who are placed in our jails because there is nowhere else for them to go. It is not uncommon when Mendocino citizens are in the midst of a mental health crisis to have those patients transported over 150 miles for treatment.

Measure AG, a temporary tax, will provide funding to develop and maintain a psychiatric health facility (PHF) in our county thus allowing our most fragile patients to recover locally, their families to support them locally, and local mental health professionals to assist them with their recovery.

Measure AG is a temporary half cent sales tax that will end in five years. The funds generated from the sales tax can be used only to develop and maintain mental health facilities right here in Mendocino County. I have been asked several times why these funds won't be used for staffing and my answer is simple: the funds for staffing a mental health facility are reimbursed by state and federal government. Last year alone, almost $27 million was reimbursed to our county for these services, but much of that had to be then paid out to other counties that had provided services to Mendocino County citizens. Imagine how much more we can do if these services are provided locally.

There are some citizens who are stating opposition to these measures for a single reason: any funds raised will not be used for staffing. To those critics I ask you to consider the amount of public funds which are currently being used to fund services for our citizens outside of Mendocino County (in excess of $3 million), and realize the simple fact that those funds would be used for services in our county if these two measures pass. Increasing spending for staffing may or may not be necessary, but until we accomplish the logical step of developing local facilities, these discussions are merely pie in the sky.

Measure AG's accompanying measure, Measure AH, does not add additional taxes, it is simply the enacting legislation that allows the state to collect and then return the funds back to Mendocino County. AH is a very important initiative to support.

Per capita Mendocino County's suicide rate is #11 out of the 58 counties in California. We are lucky enough to live in the most beautiful county in the state, but our suicide rate is an indication of why we need to improve our facilities and services.

Our website,, has additional information on these two very important measures. In addition to the 4000 citizens who signed the petition, the Mendocino County Deputy Sheriffs Association and the Mendocino County Farm Bureau both endorse Measures AG and AH. I am asking for your support as well. Please vote yes on Measures AG and AH. Together, we can make a difference.

"Measure AG, a temporary tax for a permanent solution."

–Tom Allman, Sheriff-Coroner, Mendocino County

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Voters in Mendocino County will have an opportunity in this election to put a local marijuana tax on the books. Not the phony one the supporters of Measure AF say they’ll submit to (limited permanently to 2.5 percent but written in such as a way that it will not be collectible according to our county tax collector).

Measure AI was put on the ballot by the Mendocino County Board of Supervisors and will create a business tax that applies only to marijuana operations including cultivating, manufacturing, dispensing, processing, storing, preparing, donating, testing, selling or distributing marijuana or marijuana products. The measure would apply to all medical marijuana and, if the state voters pass recreational marijuana production, it will apply to that too.

The tax would start at 2.5 percent of gross receipts or a minimum annual tax of $1,250 for cultivation of 2,500 square feet or less, $2,500 for cultivation of 5,000 square feet or less and $5,000 for cultivation of an area greater than 5,000 square feet.

It allows the supervisors to raise the tax yearly by 2.5 percent increments to a maximum of 10 percent, starting in 2020.

Personal medical marijuana grows would be exempt.

The accompanying measure, AJ, would provide instruction from the voters to the county that the money raised through this tax should be spent to fund county services to include mental health, enforcement of marijuana regulations, road repairs and fire and emergency medical services.

We don’t know if the state’s voters will approve recreational marijuana growing. But we know that the money raised in taxes from that industry at the state level will not be coming to local governments for basic services. Instead we have to collect that at the local level. Even if the recreational marijuana measure does not pass, medical marijuana has been made a commercial, agricultural crop by the state legislature and should be taxed to benefit our communities.

There are millions, or probably billions in profits to be made in the marijuana industry in the coming years. Our area will be just one corner of a huge industry but an important and lucrative corner. We need to make sure that as the marijuana industry in our area gets bigger and bigger, we are collecting our fair share of the profits to pay for the impacts on our communities.

— KC Meadows, Ukiah Daily Journal

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FLYING over San Francisco on Saturday afternoon, a little Cessna trailing a banner reading, "Ca Chinese Americans For Trump." Both of them were probably in the plane. Hard to say, though. Immigrant Chinese are very conservative, as are many of their children. But in Frisco, the libs have long deployed Chinese-speaking Chinese to produce a big Chinese vote for Democrats.

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THE AL SMITH "roast" featuring Hillary and Trump was explained as an opportunity for the candidates to "showcase" their sense of humor. Trump has one, harsh as it is, Hillary doesn't. The few minutes I saw were painfully unfunny. That corporate media foists these vulgar affairs off on us is simply more evidence of "showcase" toadyism. And can you even imagine any candidate for president submitting him or herself to this kind of thing before, say, the Bush Gang?

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MAUREEN DOWD best described post-election Trump: “An orange meteor streaking into the sea, never to be seen again.”

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I THINK TRUMP and Hillary have unleashed major bad mojo, ripping the scab off the basic contradictions (and hostilities) of contemporary American life. Trump rightly insisted that the system, including media, is rigged, not that he'd un-rig it. He's as committed to the One Percent as Hillary, but give him credit for publicly confirming what most of us at least suspect, and many of us know in our bones. Hillary says she can make the system work for struggling citizens. She can't, and there's no evidence beyond fuzzy rhetoric she even wants to, and a long history, with her husband, of making everything worse. She represents comfortable people. Period. (Uncomfortable people and millions of deplorables prefer Trump but most of them don't vote.) Trump has no discernible plan beyond The Wall, which is pure fantasy.

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ALWAYS ENJOY announcements of “controlled burns.” There’s one planned for Hopland, and how many of these exercises have gone quickly out of control? Many.

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THE IRONY of frenetic night life in a rural setting began about 1969-70 with the back-to-the-landers, aka the hippies. In this rural county of 90,000 there was suddenly an explosion of dances, festivals, concerts, and every manner of formerly urban group activity.

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AF, THE MARIJUANA INDUSTRY’S in-county ballot initiative, seems doomed. Don’t tell its organizers, but one stoner is seldom a model of efficiency; a committee of stoners… comes up with 60 pages of confusion and unworkability.

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NO on AF

Measure AF could have a huge impact on Mendocino County. Consider the issue of hoop houses, which I assume are greenhouse type grow houses. On page 42 of the 60 page initiative (which you can download from, it says in reference to hoop house total area: "On parcels greater than ten (10) acres size, there is no restriction of square footage area."

In other words, hoop houses could be installed as huge structures or, more likely, as an unlimited number of small plastic covered structures — acre after acre. What an eyesore that would be.

Paul Soderman


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by Malcolm Macdonald

There won't be blood, but there might be equivocation. Come November 8th, I won't be voting for Donald Trump nor will I be choosing to support Hilary Clinton. Keep that in mind when I get to the subject of the saying usually attributed to former Speaker of the House, Tip O'Neill, “All politics are local.”

On the ocean side of this county nothing could be more local than the votes cast for three seats on Mendocino Coast District Hospital's (MCDH) Board of Directors. Seven candidates in all are vying for those three seats. Kaye Handley, Lucas Campos, Steve Lund, and Tom Birdsell are running for two four year terms on the MCDH Board. Tanya Smart, Kevin Miller, and Patty Jauregui-Darland are running for a single two year term.

Potentially, 60% of the Board members could be new faces by the time the calendar rolls into 2017. This is no small matter at a hospital only a year and a half removed from bankruptcy. Its Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Bob Edwards and the Chief Financial Officer (CFO), Wade Sturgeon, came on the job almost immediately after the bankruptcy period.

For my money anyone on the Board of Directors before and/or during the bankruptcy is disqualified from recommendation in this election. Tom Birdsell is one such figure. He has been a board member since 2006. Patty Jauregui-Darland was on the MCDH Board from 2008 through 2014. Some responsibility for that bankruptcy has to fall on any Directors in place for that long before MCDH's bottom line went belly up.

That eliminates one candidate each from the short and long term seats. What we are left with is the old NBA bonus free throw situation: 2 to make 1 for the two year term and 3 to make 2 for a pair of four year seats on the MCDH Board. (For basketball historians, the bonus, or penalty, free throws were eliminated during the first Reagan administration.).

Many readers may be unaware that the League of Women Voters (LWV) held a candidates forum Friday evening, October 21st at the Fort Bragg Senior Center. I feel fairly confident about the use of the word “unaware,” given that the event was sparsely attended. After subtracting LWV members, two reporters, one nurse, a few doctors and spouses, a scant ten to twelve members of the public remained. In contrast, a similar 2014 candidates night was held at the far more spacious Cotton Auditorium and attended by upwards of 200 voting folk.

The LWV's forum did little to separate the candidates. I am recommending Tanya Smart for the two year seat. She's endorsed by the person she's replacing, Dr. Kate Rohr. Ms. Smart has attended almost all the Board meetings and many committee meetings during 2016. She asks tough questions on the financial matters most important to the hospital's survival. Unlike some of the present MCDH Board members Smart wants to involve a broader spectrum of the voting public in the multi-million dollar decisions MCDH faces in the immediate future.

I will be voting for Kaye Handley for one of the four year MCDH Board seats. Handley has a decades long background in finance. In particular she specialized in assessing the needs of companies in debt crisis.

Here comes the equivocation. It's somewhat of a shame that Dr. Kevin Miller chose to run for the two year seat on the Board. If he were vying for one of the four year positions I'd recommend him ahead of Steve Lund, but, alas fate has dealt the hand. The second choice for the four year term boils down to Mr. Lund or Dr. Lucas Campos. Dr. Campos has been a resident barely long enough to qualify for a shot at the MCDH Board. Mr. Lund gets the nod by virtue of the fact that he was not a long term MCDH Board member before bankruptcy (as Birdsell was) and as a member of the Hospital Foundation he has actually been part of the process of raising money for MCDH, though the Hospital Foundation's total dollar amount raised over a 30-year period has been less than spectacular. Lund ran the Fort Bragg School District as superintendent for a decade or more. While there he spearheaded the passage of two school bonds at the ballot box, something that may be necessary for the continued operation of the Mendocino Coast District Hospital.

Dr. Miller is a member of the hospital's Medical Executive Committee (MEC), so even if he loses out at the voting booth he is still going to have a voice in matters. Dr. Campos needs a little more experience locally before this voter can recommend him.

Long time MCDH registered nurse (R.N.) Louise Mariana has provided the most succinct endorsement of the season, naming just two candidates for her wholehearted support: “Vote smart. Vote Handley, vote Smart!”

(The author's website can be voted up or down at:

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To the Editor:

There have been some articles written lately in the local newspapers both as “Anther Voice” and as letters to the editor by a group of individuals who claim to be looking out for your public money. The fact is that they are trying to destroy the earned pensions of the retirees of Mendocino County.

Their ringleader, John G. Dickerson, goes all over the state of California speaking to groups of people who think like he does. These groups’ missions are to destroy public employee retirements. You can go on YouTube and watch Dickerson speak in Marin County and Contra Costa County.

As for Dickerson's project in Mendocino County, his group consists of a retired lawyer, a financial consultant, a few well-to-do business people, and anyone else who will join his group. I believe these individuals are well off and their retirement is secure. They are the 1%ers of Mendocino County, in my opinion.

Dickerson tries to convince you that his group is looking out for you; that your house is on fire. The facts are that Dickerson and his group are fanning the flames.

They are trying to destroy the retirements of the employees of Mendocino County. They take about 20% fact and mix it with about 80% error. You know the old story: “You can fool some of the people all the time and all of the people some of the time.” Even his lawyer friend wants the County of Mendocino to declare bankruptcy. Shame on these ideas. Not only is that unethical, it’s immoral. Especially when there is over $400 million in Mendocino County’s retirement investments. Well, I and others are not fooled by these ideas.

We all know that the Mendocino County retirement is underfunded. Most of the retirement programs in the United States are underfunded. Dickerson's financial consultant friend says we have had a bull market; the fact is the market has been on life support since 2008. If the market was in such good shape, interest rates in this country would not be so low. That is the real problem that these retirement funds are having, low interest rates.

Now, pay attention to this: Mendocino County must not be having too bad a problem, because they are paying two retirements to employees in middle and upper management. Employees who make $70,000 to $150,000 a year and above. If the problem is so bad, why does the County of Mendocino not stop paying two retirements to employees (middle and upper management) who can afford to fund their own second retirement, and put all of the funds in the main retirement that all county employees are part of?

This would help the main retirement recover. The people of Mendocino County should be mad as hell about this; I know I am. You don't hear Dickerson or his group say anything on this subject. In fact when I asked about this at the joint meeting of the Mendocino County Board of Supervisors and the Mendocino County Retirement Board in January of this year, no one would answer my question. Maybe a few of the editors of the local newspapers should investigate this.

A few months ago the Ukiah Daily Journal listed some names of retirees of Mendocino County that receive fairly high retirements. What the article did not say was that most of the retirees of Mendocino County do not receive a retirement anywhere close to the amount that this handful of retires receive. In fact most of the retires — after paying income tax and now their own medical insurance — are struggling to make it from payday to payday.

The people of Mendocino County might think that the pensions of the retirees of Mendocino County are completely funded by the county. The fact is that the retirees of Mendocino County paid two deductions every payday. One deduction for retirement and one deduction for COLA raises. So when you hear Dickerson's group complain about COLA raises or want to reduce COLA raises, just remember the retirees paid for these raises.

When I went to work for the County of Mendocino, and I received my first check, I could not believe the amount in deductions that was being taken out. I had worked 21 years in the private sector and never had this amount of deductions taken out, but I and my fellow employees endured this because we believed we were going to receive a decent retirement when we retired. Now that I am retired, I and other retirees have to put up with a group of financially well-off individuals (the 1%ers of Mendocino County) who are hell-bent on destroying our retirement. These 1%ers like to say that our retirement will cause the county roads not to get fixed. That is more false error spread by these individuals. The County of Mendocino Department of Transportation gets their funds from federal and state fuel taxes. Sometimes the county adds some funds, and sometimes they don't. I worked for Mendocino County Department of Transportation for 21 years. I know that if MCDOT had to depend on county funds to run their department they would go broke, but they do not. So quit using county road repair for your excuse about my and every Mendocino County retirees’ lack of funding. It’s not true.

Think about this, citizens of Mendocino County: If Dickerson's group is successful in destroying the county's retirement system, they will cause most of the county's retirees to have to go on welfare and food stamps (Social Services). Will that help the county budget? I don't think so. It will be both an economic and emotional hardship on the retirees. It will also hurt the majority of the businesses in Mendocino County. You see, most of the county retirees stay in Mendocino County when they retire, and they spend their money in Mendocino County. While the retirees will probably still shop at Safeway and Food Maxx, they probably won't be able to shop at places like Mendo Mill, Rainbow Ag, Ken Fowler Motors, etc.

This group's financial consultant says that about 50¢ of every tax dollar the county takes in is paid to the county retirement plan. This is not true. If the County of Mendocino's retirement plan did not have any investments and the county funded all of the retirement payments from the general fund, it would cost about 16¢ on the dollar. It’s simple math (no Power Points needed). Take the total yearly retiree payments divided by the total yearly county budget equals the percentage. About 16% if there were no investments. But there are over $400 million dollars invested.

It’s very interesting that when I was called out in the middle of the night by the California Highway Patrol to plow snow, sand roads, or for downed trees (many times with power lines involved), nobody told me they were going to try and steal my retirement. In the New Year’s flood of 05/06 when I risked my life to help the residents of Potter Valley (see Ukiah Daily Journal), nobody said, “Hey, John when you retire, we are going to steal your retirement.” These residents were glad I and my coworkers were there. I laid thousands of tons of asphalt during the years I worked for the County of Mendocino DOT. Not one time did anyone from the public tell me they were going to try and steal my retirement. These people were happy that we were doing this work.

Folks, it’s time to wake up to this sham that these people are trying to steal from the Mendocino County retirees. Now, to the retirees of Mendocino County, it’s time more of you make your voice heard in the newspapers, to the retirement board, and to the Mendocino County Board of Supervisors if you want to keep these 1%ers from stealing your retirement.

John Almida, Mendocino County retiree


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I approach the November ballot with optimism.

Grassroots citizens’ initiatives like Measure AF give real people a chance to cut through the political static and solve problems in our communities from the ground up. 

Yet, opponents will use suspicion to advance their own privilege and special interests, and distract from the fact that Measure AF delivers exactly what the County government has been unable to do.

Dan Hamburg, who recused himself from Board of Supervisors consideration of a cultivation ordinance because of a potential conflict-of-interest put it nicely when he called the County process 'molasses when what we need is greased lightning' in order not to be left in the dust by other producing counties. Hamburg went on to say that what Mendocino County's small farmers need above all else is "regulatory certainty… and they aren't getting it, at least not quickly enough."

 The No on AF committee has set out to blockade yet another attempt to make Mendocino County safer through cannabis regulation. We saw this play out only months ago when Hal Wagenet’s Mendocino Blacktail Deer Association sued the County over the temporary 9.31 Urgency Ordinance, prematurely shutting down the program and further perpetuating black market activity.

And then when Mike Sweeney asked the Board of Supervisors NOT to move forward with their own ordinance in a letter submitted to the Board on July 16, 2016: 

“Why spend the money and time to do CEQA on the proposed ordinance[…]? But if you go ahead and adopt the proposed ordinance, why should concerned citizens like myself go to the trouble of opposing the "Mendocino Heritage Act"? Your proposed ordinance is almost as bad.”

Now we see more of the same with Sweeney’s “fear and loathing” based “No on AF” Campaign. They conveniently now have far more faith in our Board of Supervisors and have stopped suing and complaining about the County’s leadership. Instead they are making egregiously false claims about the “Yes on AF” folks while littering the county with their illegal campaign signs.

What a hoax. AF mirrors the state regs with strict environmental protections, adheres to setbacks defined in state law, and much more. Don’t take Sweeney’s word for it. Read it at

Sweeney & Co. consistently describe the worst possible scenario to trigger fear and suspicion about public safety and fire danger. AF will actually restrict safe, pharmaceutical-grade solvent extraction to permitted facilities in industrial zones — where it belongs — significantly decreasing fire risk in our neighborhoods and forests. Measure AF applies more rigorous environmental standards than exist for any other agricultural product in the state — including wine.

And how about those taxes? Schapmire’s letter is a thin smokescreen to raise suspicion. The County will absolutely be able to collect every dime of the millions in tax revenue from cannabis businesses.

Yes, the Board of Supervisors can amend Measure AF beginning June in 2018, and the likelihood of a lawsuit against AF is way less likely than the CEQA lawsuits that will line up against the Supes’ own draft ordinance, if it ever gets completed.

Luckily, the voters of Mendocino are not so easily fooled by this knee-jerk reaction to progress. Over 4,200 residents signed the petition to get on the ballot, representing thousands more.

AF is not a vote for or against cannabis. It’s a vote on whether or not Mendocino County will rise above prohibition politics to adopt State-compliant regulation, protect local farms and businesses from corporate takeover, and generate millions of dollars in taxes for public safety, roads and mental health services.

Jon Degallier, Ukiah

Voting “Yes on AF”

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AFTER READING "Get The Shotgun" by Flynn Washburne from last week's AVA on KNYO/KMEC radio last Friday night, Marco McClean editorialized, "I probably heard those shots that Flynn fired at that house not too far away from my house, not far away from where Ruth and Paul used to live. I have not seen either of them in a long long time. I thought maybe Ruth died of old age. But maybe not. Maybe they are both still there. [Long pause…] Now I'm thinking about all the things — all the stories — all the things other people have told me about Ruth and Paul. She was a pretty famous poet in the old days. And an interesting person. And it's not a German accent, Mr. Washburne. It's more French than German. She's a little more French than German I think. Maybe French-German. Sort of a French-ish German-ish accent. Maybe something like that.”

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I am the person who invented the Albion Nation in one of my Fables way back in the last century. I've been here a long time and I am privy to information. The information is in reference to our Mendocino marijuana crop. This is the worst or the best year in recent history. There is so much bud available that the price is down to $1200 a pound for the best bud and down to $800 a pound for the not so great bud, but still potent. And shake of course is like almost nothing. This means that almost everybody can smoke.

Small growers are making a little bit less but they also have expanded somewhat. The big winners are the huge grows now that are probably owned by people outside the area — like the Mafia or individual greedheads or whoever. Nonetheless, marijuana will remain a very viable economic crop for the entire Mendocino area.

In reference to this coming election, all I can really say is, Heaven help us all! I don't have an e-mail address because I feel modern electronics are Orwellian and dangerous. My phone number, however, is 357-2994. I predict that Hildegard, or, Hillary will become our next president. What can I say? The only thing good I can say about her is when she was Secretary of State she didn't blow up the entire world.. That's about it. But I think she is better than Trump, Trump really freaks me out.

I'm out now, God bless you all.

Alan 'Captain Fathom' Graham


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CATCH OF THE DAY, October 23, 2016

Collins, Crumrine, Gray
Collins, Crumrine, Gray

PETER COLLINS, Ukiah. Drunk in public.

MARIAH CRUMRINE, Ukiah. Domestic assault, probation revocation.

JAMES GRAY, Willits. Protective order violation.

Harrison, Lusk, Martinez-Morales
Harrison, Lusk, Martinez-Morales

JAMES HARRISON, Willits. Possession of assault weapon, ex-felon with firearm.

JASON LUSK, Gualala. Under influence while in possession of weapon.

MELVIN MARTINEZ-MORALES, Ukiah. Drunk in public, resisting, probation revocation.

Palacios, Pinola, Ruteledge
Palacios, Pinola, Ruteledge

JOHN PALACIOS, Fort Bragg. Dirk-dagger.

BRITTANY PINOLA, Ukiah. Attempted murder.

HERMUNDRE RUTELEDGE, Ukiah. Under influence, probation revocation.

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More than 80 people were arrested in North Dakota on Saturday, as police armed with pepper spray descended on a protest near the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) construction site.

The 83 water protectors were hit with charges ranging from rioting to criminal trespass, according to the Morton County sheriff's department. The Bismarck Tribune reported Kellie Berns, a protester who hung back behind a fence at the scene, said she received reports of people being pepper-sprayed and thrown to the ground and described law enforcement as being more aggressive than in past incidents. She said protesters were encircled by police as they walked onto the site.

"People came back very distressed," she said of those who returned to the fence following the demonstration. "The pipeline is getting a lot closer, so the stakes are getting higher."

Protests against DAPL have been ongoing for months, as the Standing Rock Sioux, along with other tribes and environmental activists, say the $3.8 billion, 1,100-mile pipeline threatens their access to clean water and violates Native American treaty rights.

Last week, riot charges against Democracy Now! host Amy Goodman were dismissed after she turned herself in to North Dakota police. An arrest warrant was issued after Goodman's crew videotaped a private security team hired by the pipeline company assaulting peaceful protesters with attack dogs and pepper spray. Meanwhile, documentary filmmaker Deia Schlosberg faces up to 45 years in prison for reporting on the protests.

"This string of arrests constitutes nothing less than a war on journalism and a victory for fossil fuel interests that have banked on the pipeline," Food and Water Watch executive director Wenonah Hauter said last week.

Saturday's arrests follow reports of escalating police abuse at the protest sites, including beatings and unnecessary strip-searches of those arrested.

On Twitter, Ojibwe activist and attorney Tara Houska wrote:

Journalists, attorneys, indigenous protectors arrested & maced while demonstrating today. Whose interest is North Dakota protecting? Construction on the pipeline is continuing despite a request from the federal government to put a halt on activity so that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers can properly consider objections.


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Doug McKenty wrote: “My solution is to localize. With a county charter armed with community rights language, we could grant ourselves a certain autonomy with which we could solve all kinds of problems!”

Marco McClean: “That's an interesting idea. Every community should have its own language, period. Its own religion and kind of money and its own characteristic eye and nose and derriere shapes and colors. Its own health and medical standards, official records font, rail gauge, gait, fashions, legal code, preferred transmission oil weight. Theater lobby decor, construction guidelines, burial depth, computer operating system, internet protocol, prostitution assumptions, copyright, air force, etc. Essentially, you could walk to two or three different (human-populated) planets in an afternoon. And probably be executed for your tattoo, or made king because you can play the accordion.

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Doug McKenty wrote: “O! Why don't we all just sit around and make fun of each other's solutions then. Because that's so productive.”

Marco McClean: “Doug, I just thought it was funny that you proposed solving the waste represented by millions of violent deaths and wasted lives and wasted talent, and vast treasure -- the concentrated product of all even more wasted lives -- pissed away into the black hole of war, by suggesting that Mendocino County, and by extension little towns everywhere, essentially become sovereign states with unique rules and laws. And I thought it was funny because, in much of the most credible, well-thought-out science-fiction, that very micro-Balkanization is the result of the overwhelming destruction of war: a spotty patchwork of feudal societies, each ruled by a tribal strongman or rather a gang boss, and all at constantly at war with each other anyway using rocks and sticks, because that's all that's left when there's no cooperation across resource zones. Very few people would have a pencil and a pad of paper, much less a refrigerator, hot running water, a varied diet, real medical help, social security, durable and comfortable clothes, the miracle of smooth roads, or access to any sort of worldwide library of knowledge. I don't believe in things like the rest of yez claim to, but it really resonated with me when David Brin's Postman said, "I believe in the United States of America." I guess I kind of do.

* * *


by Denis Rouse

The phone rings. Rarely a good thing. It’s Zuckerman calling, the wannabe auteur of Monte Nido. He has a notion he wants to take a rock climbing lesson and he wants Weinstein to partner up with him.

“C’mon, don’t be chicken shit”, he says, “The first lesson is knots, just knots, no climbing”.

Weinstein, not yet fully aware that whatever Zuckerman says is pure Hollywood vacuity, agrees to go. It’s a monstrous decision because Weinstein’s fear of heights is redline and he is putting his trust in Zuckerman’s assurance. Just knots, no climbing.

The drive together to the base of a soaring cliff face in the San Gabriel Mountains where they meet up with a group of climbing students, including three attractive girls, and two instructors from the climbing school, a couple of wiry young men whose body fat appears to be about zero.

A half hour is spent upon knots. While Weinstein works assiduously on a half hitch it does not escape his attention that the three girls are more than attractive; they are hot, they are in fact lithe sun-bronzed muscle toned beauties, members of a then burgeoning breed of proto females who frankly intimidate Weinstein down to his socks. It is also becoming clear to Weinstein that Zuckerman’s words were pure crap. A long nylon line is being prepared, a belaying line, and the taut male instructors are issuing instructions that are clear and unambiguous. Use your feet, test your footholds, don’t rely on arm strength. Your feet are the key. We’re only going up a hundred feet or so but remember that a ten foot fall can be just as fatal.

Oh sweet Jesus, Weinstein, can you run and hide? No, you can’t run and hide. The proto femmes aren’t scared. Look at their expressions. The bitches look like they’re going fucking shopping. They’re happy, elevated, energized and you are a quaking two hundred pound piece of shit.

“Zuckerman, you asshole, get me out of this”.

“C’mon Weinstein. It’s nothing. Look at the size of my ass. You’re in much better shape than I am”.

Fear has a color. Fear is purple. Weinstein’s face is magenta but there’s no escape within the bounds of any human dignity here. The line is cinched to Weinstein’s waist and three lead climbers including big ass Zuckerman and two of the khaki clad uber femmes have already begun to make their way up the cliff face. Weinstein is climber four. The line is tugging. Get up there Weinstein. Test your footholds and for God sakes don’t look down. This is no time for an anxiety attack. Remember, the purple is only a message. Think, you schmuck, your father once told you fear can be either your foe or your friend. Make her your friend.

Weinstein is thinking way beyond, “What the fuck am I doing here?” Weinstein is thinking “I can’t believe I’m doing this”. But Weinstein is busy. He’s busy testing footholds and despite the instructors’ admonition he’s also relying on arm strength to keep ascending the cliff face and get this goddamn lesson over with as quickly as possible. Fear has a smell too. Fear smells like wet rock. Think of fear as having a bell curve. Weinstein’s fear hits the top of the bell curve when he reaches a narrow ledge in the cliff that is the terminus of the climb, nothing more than a niche in the cliff, a niche that is ten stories high, a niche that has barely enough room for the climbers to gather together and chat. Everyone chats. Zuckerman chats. The uber chicks chat. Weinstein can’t chat because he can barely breathe; he is in the midst of a deeply personal private crisis, a struggle to control panic that is quickly going from magenta to black. If fear also has a taste Weinstein can’t taste it because his mouth is as dry and desiccated as the Atacama Desert. His foci problem is that he and his fellow climbers have been temporarily disconnected from the security of the belaying line so it can be reconfigured into a rappelling line for the trip back down. Allow panic to overbear you now Weinstein and the coroner will be called to pick you up with a spoon. The instructor is giving a talk about rappelling. Weinstein hears not a word he is saying. He just wants to get buckled again to the security of any fucking line in the house and get back to Mother Earth who he now knows he dearly loves. After interminable minutes, minutes that seem like millennia, Weinstein is rappelling downward, not well, awkwardly, but downward at last, and when his size twelves finally clomp down on terra firma, his body, his mind, his spirit is at once suffused with a kind of relief he has heretofore never known. He believes he has met his worst enemy, he who lives within his own self, and survived to tell the tale.

“Weinstein”, Zuckerman says when the group gathers at the base of the cliff to chat some more, “Let’s sign up for another lesson, a more advanced climb, what do you say?”

“Zuckerman, you know your pal Paparian, your Armenian buddy who carries a loaded Uzi in the trunk of his car in case the Turks show up again, he who drinks Jack Daniels right out of the bottle, he who does pull ups from your ceiling beams? Let’s give him a buzz when we get home, I need a quiet evening.”

* * *


* * *


by Dan Bacher

Governor Jerry Brown and other state officials have constantly claimed the Delta Tunnels project will “restore” the Delta ecosystem, but they revealed their real plans on October 7 when the administration applied for a permit to kill winter-run Chinook salmon, Central Valley steelhead, Delta and longfin smelt and other endangered species with the project.

The California Department of Water Resources (DWR) submitted an “incidental intake” application for the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) in alleged “compliance” with the California Endangered Species Act (CESA) in order to build the Delta Tunnels, also known as the California WaterFix. In other words, they are applying for a permit to kill endangered species in the construction and operation of the three new water intakes on the Sacramento River and other facilities planned as part of the multi-billion dollar project.

The state and federal water export pumps on the South Delta that deliver subsidized water to corporate agribusiness interests on the west side of the San Joaquin Valley have killed hundreds of millions of fish over the past several decades. These fish include Sacramento splittail, a native minnow; endangered species such as winter-run Chinook, spring-run Chinook, Central Valley steelhead and Delta and longfin smelt; and introduced fish including striped bass, threadfin shad, American shad, black bass and white catfish.

The California WaterFix website announced, “Consistent with the federal Endangered Species Act process where DWR and U.S. Bureau of Reclamation recently submitted the California WaterFix biological assessment addressing incidental take of federally-listed species, DWR has submitted this application to DFW in compliance with Section 2081(b) of CESA to address incidental take of state-listed species for the California WaterFix.”

“As identified in CESA, projects that may cause ‘take’ (translate: killing) of a state-listed species must obtain authorization from DFW prior to implementing the action,” California WaterFix officials stated. “Because California WaterFix would potentially cause incidental take associated with its construction and operation, DWR is required to apply for an incidental take permit (also known as a 2081(b) permit.”

Key elements in the 2081(b) application include “documentation that the impacts of the incidental take are minimized and fully mitigated; funding is available for the minimization and mitigation measures; and incidental take authorized by the permit would not jeopardize the continued existence of a CESA-listed species,” the officials declared.

The California Code of Regulations (Title 14, Sections 783.0 — 783.8) provide details on the application and review requirements related to the 2081(b) permit.

For the complete incidental take permit, appendices and figures, go here:…

Responding to DWR’s application for an incidental take permit, Barbara Barrigan-Parrilla, Executive Director of Restore the Delta (RTD), noted, “The California WaterFix , aka the Delta tunnels, was sold as protecting fish. All the years of propaganda about how Delta Smelt would do better were laid out month after month for Californians. Well, the WaterFix has applied for a take permit to kill DeltaSmelt with the tunnels.”

As DWR submitted it’s application, Delta and longfin smelt, winter-run Chinook, and other fish species continued to move closer and closer to the abyss of extinction.

The population of Delta Smelt plummeted to a new low in the annual spring survey conducted by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife. The 2016 Spring Kodiak Trawl (SKT) index, a relative measure of abundance, is 1.8, a decrease from the 2015 index (13.8) and is the lowest index on record.

Only thirteen adult Delta Smelt, an indicator species that demonstrates the health of the San Francisco Bay-Delta, were collected at 8 stations contributing to the index in 2016. “This is the lowest catch in SKT history, and a steep decline from the 2015 then-record-low catch of 88,” said Scott Wilson, Regional Manager of the CDFW Bay Delta Region, in a memo.

“Once the most abundant species in the estuary, we can now name smelt rather than count them," said Bill Jennings, Executive Director of the California Sportfishing Protection Alliance (CSPA).

On October 7, Tom Cannon on the California Fisheries Blog responded to the Sacramento Bee’s report on August 31 citing claims by Dr. Ted Sommer of the California Department of Water Resources that Delta smelt are starving.

Dr. Sommer related recent success in stimulating the north Delta food web by increasing flow through the Yolo Bypass in July as part of the state’s new strategy to help Delta smelt,” said Cannon. “I had reported earlier on the experiment and the strategy. While Dr. Sommer was not implying that just adding some fertilizer to the north Delta would save the smelt, he was deflecting discussion and treatment away from the overriding cause of the collapse of Delta smelt: lack of spring-through-fall outflow to the Bay.”

“During August of this year, the normal heavy hand of Delta exports again reached out to degrade the critical habitat of what few smelt are left,” Cannon said.

To read the complete article, “Are Delta Smelt Starving,” go to:…

The Delta smelt collapse is part of an overall ecosystem decline driven by water diversions by the federal and state water projects. The CDFW's 2015 Fall Midwater Trawl demonstrates that, since 1967, populations of striped bass, Delta smelt, longfin smelt, American shad, splittail and threadfin shad have declined by 99.7, 98.3, 99.9, 97.7, 98.5 and 93.7 percent, respectively, according to Jennings.

Background on the Delta Tunnels

The Delta Tunnels plan, Governor Jerry Brown’s “legacy project,” is based on the absurd premise that diverting more water out of the Sacramento River before it flows into the Delta would somehow “restore" its fish populations and ecosystems.

In reality, the construction of the two 35-mile long tunnels under the Delta would hasten the extinction of Central Valley steelhead, Sacramento River winter-run Chinook salmon, Delta and longfin smelt, green sturgeon and other fish species. The project would also imperil the salmon and steelhead populations on the Trinity and Klamath rivers, a fishery that for thousands of years has played an integral part in the culture, religion and food supply of the Yurok, Karuk and Hoopa Valley Tribes.

To read a transcript of my testimony before the State Water Resources Board regarding the petition by the Department of Water Resources and the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation to add three new points of diversion from the Sacramento River for the Delta Tunnels, go to:

* * *


Hello Editor,

I personally have been watching this SRM [solar radiation management] for the last 20 years. I became aware of something amiss while living in Santa Cruz county, and now in Elk for the last 15 years.

This all from Greenwood Ridge. These photos began on Thursday or Friday and go through this morning (Saturday). There have been no less than 100 tanker plane flyovers in this period going and returning from the Pacific Ocean regions. I noticed the skips in the “contrail” on the 6th photo. We are expected to believe these plumes are correlative to jet engine exhaust and thermal dynamic conditions in the troposphere. This is a lie as is evident by the gaps that often appear when spraying devices are turned off and on. But according to NASA and other experts, these on-off trails would indicate engines turning on and off, a highly unlikely situation. In the 11th photo you can see this shit they spray on us beginning to fall out as it spreads.

The photos after the chemtrail sunrise Saturday show what passes for “clouds” and “weather” after these fools have been blitzing us with gusto! Recently I invited an Earth Sciences Department from the UofPenn to set up an observation site on this farm pointing out that the gross amount of disturbing data collected would undoubtedly pull the plug on their funding, no response of course. Next I’ll try the folks at SF State.

I realize the website I got the previous NASA images from is a bit odd and annoying but at least they are trying to expose this madness that is so blatant and huge it remains unseen.


Marvin Blake, Elk

* * *


Your media business will not be saved.

I think this nails it. Speciality magazines figured this out long ago: fans will buy Swimmers Today. But they will not go looking in Sports Illustrated for swimming articles. Legacy news sites haven't figured this out, nor has network TV. It's why Slate and Salon are wobbling. You have to be precise, picky, even narrow about your subjects, and fabulous in your selection and editing. If you want to make something really great, you can’t think about making it great for everyone. You have to make it great for someone. A lot of people, but not every person.

* * *


Jivanmukta Jamba

The key to resolving seemingly insoluble Problems hinges on precisely where the Individual is situated. Victory's assured When one rises above the body idea, thence Established upon the spiritual platform. Everything is doable for the one who is Alive and kickin' in the fourth dimension.

Craig Louis Stehr

Honolulu, Hawaii

* * *


The burn permit suspension in Mendocino County has been lifted. Cal Fire Mendocino Unit Chief Christopher P. Rowney formally canceled the burn permit suspension on Saturday, and advises that those possessing current and valid agriculture and residential burn permits can now resume burning on permissive burn days.

While cooler temperatures have helped to diminish the threat of wildfire, we are still in our fifth year of drought. Property owners and residents are asked to use caution while conducting debris or agriculture burns, follow all guidelines provided, and maintain control of the fire at all times. Individuals can be held civilly and/or criminally liable for allowing a fire to escape their control and/or burn onto neighboring property.

Cal Fire burn permits will be required until the end of fire season. Residents wishing to burn must verify it is a permissive burn day prior to burning. Recorded Burn Day status is available 24/7 on the Burn Information Line at (707) 463-4391.

The 2016 Fire Season has not yet been declared closed, so burn permits are still required. Residents who obtained a Cal Fire burn permit last spring are advised to check the date on their permit to ensure it is still valid.

Burn permits can be obtained at Cal Fire’s Howard Forest Headquarters (707-459-7414) 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday or at your local Cal Fire facility.

* * *

THE STANFORD ALUMNI ASSOCIATION, Mendocino County: Tim Stoen; Mike Sweeney; Dan Hamburg; Dr. Peter Keegan: Judge David Nelson. Which one would probably not want to be included?



  1. Mark Johnson October 24, 2016

    Stanford Alum Deadwood?
    You overlooked Mayor Dave “Social Thought and Institutions” Turner.

  2. mr. wendal October 24, 2016

    Poor Little Dog – I highly suspect that today’s image has been photoshopped to trick you readers into thinking that an outdoor on-the-grass life is being experienced. Or someone is floating in ecstasy while out on a date.

    On the subject of faking things, tonight’s Fort Bragg city council meeting includes considering a “vacancy tax” on empty buildings in Fort Bragg’s downtown. But since a tax requires a citizen vote, they’re also considering the same result but couched as a “registration fee”. The fake bit is that part of the report is cribbed from an old Berkeley agenda item report, word-for-word. And the statement that Vancouver, BC has a vacancy tax is’t correct. They don’t yet. They’re still gathering information and if they put it into action, it won’t take effect until 2018 (originally scheduled to be 2017). Vancouver’s will be on vacant second homes, not commercial buildings. It’s about housing and isn’t relevant to what Fort Bragg is considering – something that would be known by the author of the report if they took the time to research instead of skimming online newspaper articles. I don’t know if copy-paste is an approved practice in other municipalities, but it sure does’t make a person look good. I am not in favor of the registration fee. I know that other cities are implementing them. There may be many complicated reasons that a building isn’t rented out, including a faltering economy. Punishing the owner isn’t going to fill the storefronts in those cases.

  3. chuck dunbar October 24, 2016

    Maybe I’ve missed it elsewhere in the AVA, but want to make sure Coast folks know that Sheriff Allman will be speaking tomorrow night, Tuesday, 10-25, in support of the Mental Health Initiative-AG, at the Caspar Community Center. Sponsored by the League of Women Voters, this meeting is from 6:00 to 7:30 pm. Would be great to have a good turnout for this important issue.

  4. Greg November 3, 2016

    Hey Bruce, America’s Last Newspaper needs a fact-checker. Peter’s not a Stanford alumnus. He’s a Harvard grad, class of ’74 with honors. He came west to go to medical school at UCSF and did his residency at St. Mary’s Hospital in San Francisco (your favorite). No Stanford anywhere in his past. Do you know how to do an internet search? This is all easily verifiable online.
    Peter really appreciates you, and your compatriots Oni and Karyn, for your slings and arrows of outrageous reporting. You guys allowed him to retire years ago with a megabucks disability pension. Keep up the good work.

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