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Mendocino County Today: Wednesday, Nov. 30, 2016

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AV Health Center Announcement to the Community:

After much consideration, Dr. Logan McGhan has decided to resign from his position as Staff Physician at the Anderson Valley Health Center, effective immediately. Dr. McGhan has been at the AVHC for the past 28 months and we appreciate his service to his patients and our community in helping the clinic provide the best health care we can. We all wish the very best for Dr. McGhan, Rocio, Carmelo and Aria in their future endeavors.

We will immediately begin searching for additional medical staff to help Dr. Apfel and Cindy Arbanovella in providing services to all of our patients. We will also begin a search for a permanent medical staff member for the AVHC. There are many resources available to the AVHC through relationships with other medical professionals and programs and all of these will be contacted to help.

We appreciate the community’s patience and understanding as we work towards bringing on a new provider.

Anderson Valley Health Center Board of Directors

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Dear Anderson Valley and the AVHC,

Dr. Logan McGhan
Dr. Logan McGhan

It is with great sadness that I announce my immediate resignation from the Anderson Valley Health Center. After much difficult consideration, Rocio and I have decided to move our children closer to family in Oregon. The past two years have been an incredible experience for me, Rocio, Carmelo, and Aria. We have made life-long connections with many people, and will be forever grateful for the wonderful time and many lessons we have had.

Furthermore, I will be forever grateful to the wonderful AVHC staff, who no doubt will continue to provide the kind, compassionate, supportive care that the AVHC is known for. I would also like to thank Chloe, Mark, Ric, and the AVHC Board for their graciousness and understanding during my tenure in the Valley. I have been treated very well during the past 2 years, and would very much like to continue but the circumstances of life have called us closer to ailing family members. The clinic is in excellent hands, and we ask for the community’s trust, respect, and understanding during this time of transition.

Though we are leaving, our hearts will hold onto this beautiful Valley and its people forever. We will miss everyone.


Logan and Rocio McGhan

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IT IS KNOWN that Dr. McGhan has been unhappy with Health Center management. The dispute between management and him over a loan repayment seemed to be resolved, but when the doctor, who'd at first walked out discovered his return would see his pay docked for the week he was gone, he decided to resign over many accumulated grievances with management.

PERSONS close to the situation describe the Center as "dysfunctional," lacking in procedures to hear employee complaints about management and "no peer review of staff." Our source says that "The board of trustees is kept pretty much in the dark." Additionally, the insider says. "There's a boycott of the clinic by several Mexican families over the past few months as they feel the clinic is releasing medical information to unauthorized persons. This was brought to admin's attention and they have tried to keep it a secret from the board and rest of staff."

THE YOUNG, BILINGUAL DOCTOR'S departure leaves the AV Health Center with the retirement-age, Mark Apfel. His caseload is now double what it was before McGhan left. Historically considered, the Center's board of trustees is not what anyone would describe as "forthcoming." There have been several entirely avoidable personnel controversies over the past several years that the trustees have exacerbated by in-house bumbling.

A READER WRITES: "Such a typical Boonville fiasco. They should be doing everything possible to keep him. What’s wrong with the damn Board? If I were on that Board I would be doing an exhaustive interviewing process with everyone to get down to the reality of exactly how dysfunctional the place is, firing incompetent and crooked staff people, stomping around and making waves and finding more money to keep him here. That Board is breathtakingly incompetent to have this happen so soon after the other fiasco. I am more than sorry to see that wonderful young doctor go. He was absolutely the best, brightest, most engaging and caring doctor I’ve met in the last 30 years."

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ON THE AFTERNOON of Friday, November 11 Deputies were summoned to a a rural parcel approximately five miles west of Highway 101 near Laytonville where Jeffrey Quinn Settler, 35, of Bethel Island, had been beaten to death. Settler had maintained a commercial marijuana growing operation on the property, police said.

MULTIPLE TRIMMERS, all males, who worked for Settler, had returned to the property in the middle of the night to steal processed marijuana. The thieves knew the marijuana was stored in the same structure where Settler slept.

THE THIEVES, having stabbed and bludgeoned Settler to death, fled the property in at least two vehicles with more than 100 pounds of processed marijuana. Mrs. Settler and the Settler's two small children were not harmed.

THE FOLLOWING are accounts of where the matter stands as of this week:

Fitzgerald: Wanted photo (L), and booking photo (R)
Fitzgerald: Wanted photo (L), and booking photo (R)

BRUCE McEWEN WRITES: Gary “Giggles” Fitzgerald of Roanoke, Illinois was arraigned before Judge John Behnke at 11:30 this morning (Tuesday). The judge said Mr. Fitzgerald was charged with murder in count one, along with a special allegation that the murder was committed in the commission of a robbery and that there was a second special allegation that a knife was used.

IN COUNT TWO, Fitzgerald was charged with first degree robbery and, in count three, first degree burglary with a special allegation that the building entered for larcenous purposes was an occupied residence.

JUDGE BEHNKE was about to appoint a lawyer for Fitzgerald when William Conwell, a Lake County lawyer, appeared to say he’d been retained by the defendant to represent him.

CONWELL asked that the matter be put over for further arraignment and an entry of plea on December 19th. This request was granted.


ANOTHER DEFENDANT in the case, Zachary Ryan Wuester, 24, of Haskell, New Jersey, was also in court. Both men, along with several other itinerant agricultural laborers (colloquially known as “trimmigrants”) who remain at large, are suspected of murdering Laytonville pot farmer, Jeffery Settler, and robbing him of over 100 pounds of processed marijuana.

AMONG THE FUGITIVES until recently was Amanda Wiest, 26, of Fairfax, Virginia, traveling with her four-year-old daughter, and in dubious company, has been determined to have been a kidnap victim, not a participant in Settler's murder.

DEFENDANT WUESTER was given two more weeks to find a lawyer, as both he and Fitzgerald were ordered held on a no-bail status until their December 19th court date when a bail hearing was set to follow the entries of plea.

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Weist, Gaestel
Weist, Gaestel

THE FIVE REMAINING AT-LARGE SUSPECTS are: Frederick ‘Freddy’ Gaestel, 27 year old white male, Clifton, New Jersey; Gary Blank III, 34 year old white male, Elgin, Illinois; Jesse Wells, 32 year old white male, Binghamton, New York; Michael Kane, 25 year old white male, Pleasantville, New York; “Richie” last name unknown, approx 25 year old black male, possibly from San Diego, California

GAESTAEL was one of 38 people arrested in 2009 as part of a marijuana drug bust in which 53,270 plants were seized, according to the East Bay Times.

WELLS, formerly listed as being from Ithaca, not Binghamtom, was arrested last year in York, New York state, with two other pot dealers, in possession of processed marijuana and several thousand dollars in cash.

WUESTER turned himself in in Willits last week. Fitzgerald turned himself in in Ukiah.

SINCE HE TURNED himself in, one might assume that Wuester is talking to authorities and naming names on the possible prospect of reduced charges. It will be interesting to see how many of these suspects end up plea bargaining and pleading to a lesser charge or if they take their cases to trial because they could all be witnesses in the others’ trials. Each will have his own lawyer and defense depending on the particulars of the murder.

MS. WEIST may also be called as a witness depending on who, if any, are charged with kidnapping her and her daughter.

THE AVAILABLE “be on the lookout” photos of the suspects are probably not how they look today given the difference between the original photo of Fitzgerald and his recent booking photo. He seems to have converted himself into a hipp-ish trimmer since the time his earlier photo was taken.

Wells, Kane, Blank
Wells, Kane, Blank

THE VICTIM, Jeffrey Settler, was the son of Greg and Debbie Settler of Laytonville. Settler leaves a wife and two children. His parents and his Laytonville family buried him in a ceremony at the Laytonville Cemetery last week, according to a facebook post.


SETTLER'S father Greg posted this comment on KymKemp’s website:

He helped many many strangers off the street. He was the nicest, hardest working child I had. I went with him to The Green Door and many other medical dispensaries in San Francisco and know for a fact he sold it for medical use. He was not greedy and would give you the shirt off his back. His brother Bradley says:

“He liked to go around Cali and help people any way he can. He helped people get homes and find work. He was loved by many people and had just started up a family. He thought of himself as a medicine man of sorts. He truly believed in what ever he was doing and he loved music and history.

He loved the stories of the past and tried to learn from them. Yeah, he was very passionate about what he cared about and very energetic in ways. He was probably about to do the same for the people that killed him like he did for many others.”

I, Greg Settler, his dad know first hand he felt he was a medicine man and he was growing medicine. He is of Native American ancestry. Yakima and Nes Perce Indian. He was a wonderful human being and a beautiful soul. May he rest in peace.

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THE FORT BRAGG City Council discussed Sanctuary City status at its Tuesday night meeting and decided it wasn't necessary for the safety of its citizens, all citizens.

COUNTY POLICY is as follows:

Immigration/Detention Policy

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THIS POST from MSP gave us a jolt because it could apply to the editorial suite here at the AVA:

Crab Boat Skipper Fires Crew for Inconsistent Sobriety.

I just fired my crew for insubordination and inconsistent sobriety. I need two guys. I am on the crab now and am earning nicely. I would like to move north for the Bodega opener. 38 by 15 cloudburst with 8v71. 250 pot permit with 250 pots fishing now. She is barebones but is a money maker. I have year round opportunities for good workers. Full share possibilities. Home port is hmb but I will roam anywhere.

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by J.S. Schultz

I've been recuperating from some unidentified type of virus, a flu or something that refuses to exit completely. For close to a month I have felt drained, energyless; it's hard to put one foot in front of another and it feels like my IQ has dropped down to a mongoloid and/or retardative level.

I went to work for my landlord on one of their rental units, a small house that was previously occupied by an unwittingly dysfunctional couple: a husband and wife team of miscreant meth heads, alcohol abusers and constant partiers. My landlords had originally rented a small house right up the street to a nice, responsible retired gentleman who dutifully kept the house and yard in fine shape until his grandson showed up with wifey in two and nowhere to go (plus two babies and three dogs).

Grandpa let them move in for a temporary stay (he thought), but the 20-somethings wouldn't leave and basically took over the two-bedroom house. They were enthusiastic crank imbibers and poly-drug aficionados who would stay up for days/nights at a time creating noisy mayhem for those unfortunate enough to be neighbors.

The rent went unpaid, the "kids" took grandpa's rent money and traded it for crystal meth and beer. Grandpa moved out, the bills were ignored, simple basics such as the trash pickup were soon jettisoned while bags of garbage and piles of beer bottles accumulated freely. The dogs and two toddlers were allowed free reign in the house, the pooches (all pitbulls or pitbull hybrids) happily chewed holes in the walls and orally assaulted the doorframes while both dogs and kids freely pooped and urinated throughout the house, ruining the new carpet. The tenants took to heaving bags of garbage up into the crawlspace above the ceiling which developed cracks and leaked smelly fluids through the plaster, adding to the general miasma and decay of the recently renovated home.

My landlady felt it was then necessary to personally visit the property to collect the tardy rent payments (90 days worth). Betty the landlady observed with dismay the wretched condition of the once attractive house and the heavy, foul odor emanating from the carpet and stained ceiling; cigarette butts were dumped freely on the floor and used diapers strewn about in corners and smelly piles. The one adult tenant at home, "Courtney," a very plump blonde gal with abundant acne, mentioned that her boyfriend "Billy" was out, having gone to the local recycling center to get "mad cash" for a pickup truckbed full of bottles and cans. "We will pay you the rent in a few days! Just be patient!"

Courtney was kind enough however to offer Betty a warm beer out of the rusty, nonfunctioning fridge. Betty also noticed the electricity was off (probably due to nonpayment of bills).

Courtney seemed happy enough, nursing her should-have-been-weaned-by-now toddler openly on the sagging couch while chain-smoking and sipping Coors Light out of a dented can. Betty also noticed a piece of glass on the coffee table with a crusty, white powder arranged in lines and tiny plastic bags accompanied by a short length of plastic straw. "Oh! Care to do a line? We got the best crystal in town!"

Courtney seemed oblivious to why Betty had showed up and Betty's carefully worded refrains about paying the past-due rent or eviction notices would be forthcoming were cheerfully ignored as an abundant supply of house flies buzzed energetically about.

Betty then showed up at my house curious about the decay of their recently renovated rental. "We invested over $10,000 to put in new carpets, replace the old plumbing fixtures, new window and doorframes, etc. — and now look at it!" I nodded along. I previously had painted most of the inside of that house myself and recently, on bike rides past the residence, had noticed the obvious decay of the property. My landlords (very kind people!) have hired me on occasion to do repairs, painting of their rentals, etc. after previous tenants moved out and when, every once in a while, a renter will "go sour" on them and basically destroy the property while accumulating large piles of refuse which requires the rental fees for, say, an industrial sized dumpster or two to haul all that trash from the property to the Willits Dump.

This latest "family" left without paying any back rent and I got dibs on the cleanup/maintenance and was the first one to enter the house after it was abandoned.

When I let myself in the front door it was like someone (olfactorily-wise) punched me in the face. Ammonia fumes and dirty diaper stench mixed liberally with cigarette ashtray funk slammed into my nasal passages with an unbridled vengeance. Doogie doo and used diapers littered the floor, the thrift shop quality furniture was gone but the previous tenants had left cheesy 70s era posters with cliched pronouncements like "Hang in there!” (with a kitten clinging wide-eyed to a towel rack), "If you love someone let them go!," "Love is never having to say you're sorry," "Happiness is a warm puppy!" "Sunrise is God's way of saying good morning!" "Love! Believe! Hope! Succeed!" And even scarier, an old Keene painting of a blond kid with enormous sad eyes wearing clown makeup/costume holding a wilted daisy.

I was supposed to repaint the house interior and replace the doggie shredded doorframes etc. But I had to clean up the house first, a noxious task made somewhat safer by my luck in finding an old person's "grabber” — a four foot long rod with pinchers on one end and a squeeze handle and on the other — in the garage (most probably belonging to the nice old guy who originally rented the house).

I then used the grabber to pick up various forms of unsavory refuse: old dented Coors Lite cans stuffed with cigarette butts leaking a foul, brown liquid, a swollen rotten package of ground hamburger meat from the warm, molded, piles of hubby’s very used socks, very perused porn magazines, etc.

The carpet itself, a veldt of stains, wet areas, tiny plastic bags, cigarette butts and a crushed-in mixture of what appeared to be Cap'n Crunch breakfast cereal, dried dog kibble and Doritos (along with accompanying bags, etc.). The convenient and handy-dandy geriatric grabber broke halfway through my cleanup duty succumbing to the weighty stress of an abundantly laden baby's diaper heavily soaked in an astonishingly aromatic bright yellow muck.

Not only were the walls of the house prominently stippled with various colorful shades of mold, but the carpet also provided a healthy biosystem for other sporulating fungal colonies. I pried the grubby, handprint-smeared and dog nose snot-slimed sliding glass back door open and found a rusty, tine-challenged pitchfork leaning against the side of the house to gather up the remaining offal and fling it into the dumpster the landlord helpfully provided. "I should be wearing a facemask or better yet a hazmat suit to work in this noxious abode," I thought to myself. (But I didn't listen to that little voice of reason deep down inside.) "Heck, I haven't been sick in over a decade, so I'll probably be fine!"

Reality is beyond thought however, and early that evening I began to feel rather unwell, my head buzzed like a telephone dial tone, my energy level dropped to nil, my mental acuity disappeared in a fog of disassociation as everything seemed far away and unimportant. It seemed to take forever to make myself dinner as I dropped utensils, forgot ingredients and shuffled around the kitchen like an Alzheimer's patient. Somehow I managed to make myself a pasta dish: linguine with a nice hearty Romano cheese sauce with wild mushrooms (some chanterelles I had gathered on a previous foray in the hills outside of Willits); some garlic bread rounded out the meal. But the effort exhausted me, I sat down and masticated emptily, my appetite had disappeared and the meal tasted like cardboard as my taste buds crashed and burned. I felt scooped out, empty as a dried husk, my chest cavity felt like a soggy cardboard box someone had taken a few mean kicks to as my lungs filled with a gloomy substance. Going to bed seemed an attractive remedy but I chose to emptilly view a DVD on television, a content free exercise of futility as my brain refused to register picture or dialogue. The TV was on but I was off!

I figured a nice hot shower would ease my general body ache, but I couldn't summon the energy to do so and crawled into bed, my brain buzzing like a hornet's nest. There was no rest for countless hours, just a grim, fuzzy insomnia with no blissful release into unconsciousness, a speeded up state of exhausted tossing and turning that stretched on forever it seemed.

Finally at about 3am a delirious dream state parked itself into my brain involving a seemingly infinite chessboard of black and white one-inch square boxes with some part of my brain (or perhaps a disembodied and very cruel taskmaster?) commanding me to “Play the game!"

The rules were simple: I was given a long pair of forceps or tweezers and an infinite supply of white and black dustballs. I was supposed to place (with great precision) a single white dustball in a small, black square receptacle and this was followed by me having to place a single black dustball into a small, white square receptacle and there were seemingly millions of dustballs and receptacles — a gigantic gridwork of them without end.

I was determined to follow the rules and do my best. It all seemed simple enough. For some reason however, I screwed up by placing a white dustball in a white receptacle which made the Taskmaster quite angry, with my resultant penalty being that I was forced to switch the order of black dustballs which now went back into black receptacles and white dustballs into white receptacles, meaning that I had to go back and change the thousands I had already done. This mind-numbing routine went on forever it seemed. I got even more boggled and made more mistakes. The endlessly repetitive task exhausted my mental capacities completely. My skull felt as if it was filled with hot sand. Black! White! White! Black! Mistakes and resulting penalties piled on without end. There was a great crushing suspension of time itself. The all-encompassing urgency to correct my mistakes and finish this brain scouring task assumed herculean importance. "No rest for the wicked!" The voice shrilled through my skull, my brain itself felt as if it was being squeezed through the black and white gridwork with enormous force. I became a hot grainy ashwork of black and white granules being mashed through a sieve with atomic force.

I finally, mercifully slipped into the velvet void of unconsciousness and awoke at about eight in the morning, totally enervated and feverish. The previous night's game of repetitive infinity was a delirium caused by a high fever and perhaps inflammation of the brain itself caused possibly by inhalation of various sporulating colonies of mold, miasmic nightmare cloud of nasties entering my body and "taking up residence" for almost a month. I was wiped out physically and mentally for most of that period. I lost the much-needed income for that cleanup and repair job and noticed ironically enough a short time later that the previously evicted tenants of "Muck Mold Manor" had their rusted out, primer gray Dodge pickup truck parked in front of another small decaying residence. The pickup sported a bumpersticker bearing the quotation: "Honk if you know the universe luvs you!" A wheelless kid’s tricycle laid on its side in the unmown front yard surrounded by empty "Steel Reserve" malt liquor bottles and it was apparent once again that some trusting rental owner had handed over the house keys to these miscreants and was hoping for the best.

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LONE TREE RIDGE as viewed from Breanna Burns’ house, Upper Peachland, Boonville. Note the small tree which, long after we're gone, will grow to replace the lone pine that once stood there.

(Photo by Dennis Winchester)

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by Rex Gressett

FORT BRAGG'S Community Development Committee met last week to discuss the recent City Council resolution that has made Fort Bragg the first city in California to be a “Bee City”. What a Bee City might mean is what they were there to discuss. Community Development director, Marie Jones was in attendance to “take direction” from the two councilmen on the Development Committee, Scott Dietz and Mike Cimilino. Representing the bees were Dona Worley, Ruth Sparks, and Connie Reynolds of the Food Forest. Nobody else came to the meeting except George Reinhard who goes mostly alone to all kinds of committee meetings and most city council meetings and certainly gets plenty of leverage out of his attendance.

SINCE the committee meetings are now held at Town Hall and are seen by the public on the city tv site they thought it would look friendlier if George sat up on the dais with the officials and the bee ladies.

I SHOWED up a few minutes late, declined to sit at the dais and was just in time to hear Scott Dietz telling Ms Jones that her work on the Coastal Trail was so impressive that it deserved at least a book, possibly a movie. My eyes rolled up so far in my head over this bizarre interpretation of monumental incompetence extending over a decade that I had to sit down. But in a way it was perfect.

MR. DIETZ, in his single term, has brought to the office of councilman an imperturbable civility laid down on a perfect credulity that causes him to like everybody but he likes best of all those in city management who tell him what to think. Now of course he is gone. The hard cases at City Hall used him for one term, ruined him for public office and sent him back to sell houses which happily he can do without compromising the public interest. Everybody is happy.

THE BEE LADIES were grateful for the bee friendly resolution and had proposals for follow up which involved public signs that could be situated in ingenious places to express public concern for the welfare of bees. Other than that the exact nature of being a Bee City seemed a little uncertain. I knew very little about what we might do to attract more bees or take care of the ones that we have, but I had as most of us do a dark worry that we are as a planet losing our bees, along with Monarch butterflies and so very much else that is precious and irreplaceable. I guess we all feel that way.

AS THE DISCUSSION proceeded it came about that the Garden Club and the Food Forest were going to run with the bee ball (the bee-friendly signs). It was then mentioned somewhat perfunctorily, I thought, that Paul Katzoff and the Thanksgiving Coffee team had agreed to devote a percentage of a brand of coffee — “Bee Bold” — to the enterprise and that other sources of funding were also possible. A big old grant for fifty thousand was dangled tantalizingly by Connie Reynolds. Marie Jones jumped on that instantly, seeking assurances that if it were to transpire she and Jennifer Owens would like to get credit for it as well. She was assured she would.

UNSAID, but what I knew, is that the team at Thanksgiving had very much engineered the whole idea. I doubt if they had to make much of an argument to get the Food Forest on board. The Food Forest has distinguished itself as one of the least profitable and most expensive of our small local collection of good ideas run at public expense. No doubt Ms Reynolds has a keen appetite for grant getting and for sure Paul Katzeff and Thanksgiving had given her a great idea. She was on it. The money from Thanksgiving, although it was minimized in the committee meeting discussion, meant that there was a definite budget, which is very rare.

A QUESTION from the audience of one revealed as kind of afterthought that one big reason that bees are in trouble was because of the neonicitoids and secondarily from Roundup, the pesticide at the heart of the Monsanto plot to destroy nature and own what was left of it. Not a problem they said; the local hardware stores (three of them) had already made a commitment to remove both from the shelf — someday, possibly in 2020. No need for activism or any City Council resolution. The bees could wait. Ok.

WELL, what about planting flowers. Perhaps we could plant flowers or encourage their planting. Could this lead to a seed bank like the one recently opened in Willits. We have one already, they declared, sensing in these questions a latent criticism of their plan for signs. Our Fort Bragg seed bank is nomadic, it comes to the farmers market on occasion.

MS JONES, that practised apostle of civic inertia, noted that there were bees and bees. There are natural wild bees and commercial ones. We must tread carefully lest we help the commercial bees at the cost of the natural wild bees. Ms Reynolds agreed, noting that there were 2000 kinds of wild bees and that the exploitation of commercial bees for making honey and (mostly) for agricultural pollination was often productive of disease, one of the major problems that bees are having.

THE SOLE MEMBER of the audience had exhausted his bee inquiries so the bee people went back to the signs. Marie Jones muttered that Roundup was crucial to the City's fight against Pampas grass. Jones told us that the chemical fight against this persistent infestation of the monster plant was most intense at Glass Beech. You learn things at these meetings.

I LEFT TOWN HALL with a familiar sense that a gesture had been made at the cost of genuine engagement. Paul Katzeff and Thanksgiving Coffee meant business when they set this in motion. I know it. The allocation of money to righteous causes that also sells coffee is crucial to Katzeff's business model, but after decades of supporting fighters and fighting fights he has come to a visceral understanding that authenticity of intention is where the power is. He does not in my experience hype his causes. He does not have to. He owns a life time of activism and sees clearly there is no need for hype when there are things that are crying out to be done. He does best for himself and for the world when he aims truly and honestly at real results — the opposite of the Fort Bragg City Council.

I REFLECTED on the way home that there has been since the election a near unprecedented upsurge in contributions to environmental causes. A panic reaction to The Donald. I don't think much of the Food Forest model, but they and the esteemed and always useful Garden Club, the Audubon society and a very few other reputable groups are the only organized environmental community in our historically and proudly extractive community. But they are not fighters. They have no sense of it. If they had been fighters, Fort Bragg's lame duck mayor and his controllers at City Hall would not have jumped on the bee bandwagon. However, sensing safety and seeing no evident need for responsibility or action the City Council did clamber unanimously on board, confident that they could rely on the misconception that the good hearted in our town hold dear that getting along with City Hall is the way to get things done.

IT BECAME CLEAR in a few moments of public meetings that if we are to be a bee city in any meaningful sense we must ban the City's use of bee-harmful pesticides and also ban the use of them in our town, not in 2020 and provisionally but right now.

IF WE ARE A BEE CITY we must, at the very least, stop using Roundup. There will be a glaring admission by implication that being a Bee City is quite meaningless if we do not act decisively. If we make signs and put them up while the City is spraying our largest park with quantities of Roundup we are kidding ourselves that we are doing anything for the bees. Bee City indeed.

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CATCH OF THE DAY, Nov 28-29, 2016

Aguilar-Martinez, Alford, Alvarado-Valencia
Aguilar-Martinez, Alford, Alvarado-Valencia

GABRIEL AGUILAR-MARTINEZ, Gualala. Receiving stolen property.

DELBERT ALFORD, Ukiah. Parole resentencing.

LAUREANO ALVARADO-VALENCIA, Fort Bragg. Pot possession for sale, ex-felon with firearm, suspended license.

Bengston, Blackwell, Borgna
Bengston, Blackwell, Borgna

BRET BENGSTON, Fort Bragg. Domestic battery, brandishing, criminal threats.

ERIN BLACKWELL, Drunk in public. (Frequent flyer.)

SIERRA BORGNA, Willits. Witness intimidation, “battery-punishment.”

Isenhart, Kluth, McIntyre
Isenhart, Kluth, McIntyre

JIMMIE ISENHART JR., Ukiah. Drunk in public.


NOAH MCINTYRE, Redwood Valley. DUI, evasion, resisting.

Parsons, Smeal, Sprewer, Taylor
Parsons, Smeal, Sprewer, Taylor

ZACHARY PARSONS, Little River. Protective order violation.

BRIAN SMEAL, Redwood Valley. DUI-drugs.

CHRISTOPHER SPREWER, Tempe/Laytonville. Dirk-dagger, probation revocation.

PATRICK TAYLOR, Ukiah. Vandalism, probation revocation.

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Fitch Ratings Affirms County Of Mendocino’s “A+” Credit Rating – Outlook Stable

Fitch Ratings recently conducted a customary review of Mendocino County’s credit rating and stability. Today, November 29, 2016, the County received the attached Press Release from Fitch outlining their findings. In summary, Fitch Ratings has affirmed an “A+” rating on the County’s general obligation debt and an “A” rating on its pension obligation bonds. The ratings reflect the “…county’s solid spending flexibility and moderate long-term liability burden in the face of a limited revenue framework.” Fitch assesses the local economic environment as, “The county continues to face challenges associated with a long-term economic contraction. Wealth and income levels remain well below state and national averages.” However, “Total general fund revenues have performed in line with to slightly above inflation and modestly below U.S. economic growth.” According to Fitch’s assessment, reserve levels are the primary factor in the County’s credit rating sensitivity and resilience in the event of an economic downturn. While Fitch acknowledges the County’s progress in incrementally increasing reserve levels they state, “…the county’s gap-closing capacity as only adequate. Future revenue volatility can be mitigated by the accumulation of larger reserves.” Fitch acknowledges that, “Based on historical performance Fitch believes that the county, although challenged due to prior spending reductions, would make the necessary budgetary changes to maintain an adequate safety margin in a moderate economic decline scenario.” For more information, please contact the Mendocino County Executive Office at (707) 463- 4441.

Carmel J. Angelo, Mendocino County Chief Executive Officer

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Farmer Tim has both Fuyu and Hachiya persimmons. For those of you in Fort Bragg, you can also buy persimmons and walnuts at Safe Passage between 2:30-4 PM tomorrow (Wednesday). Farmer Tim is coming back to Little River to sell persimmons and walnuts this Wednesday 5-7 PM in Little River 2.5 miles up Little River Airport Road. Both are not sprayed. Persimmons are $1.75 per pound and $1.50 per pound if you buy 10 or more pounds. Walnuts are unshelled $4/lb and shelled $8/lb. For more info call 937-4704 tonight (Tuesday).

Petra Cruser, Mendocino

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LITTLE DOG SAYS, "Cold these last coupla nights. Every time I run outside, the galumph pit bulls next door yell, 'Come over here, you little wimp. We'll warm you up.' They're jealous. I have a nice, warm house; they've got chains and bare ground. If they weren't such jerks, I'd report their situation to Monika."


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And while liberals smugly report that Clinton won the popular vote (winning 1.7 million more than Trump) even if Trump won the election, a slightly less complacent response to these results is to point out that Trump’s supporters were much more evenly distributed across the country, whereas Clinton voters were crammed together in metropolitan enclaves of cultural studies departments, naval-gazing live TV “satire” and egomaniacal talk show hosts. This close alignment between genuinely progressive cultural values and the mechanisms of finance and politics allowed many Trump supporters to associate neoliberalism with a range of metropolitan cultural platforms (sometimes accurately, but usually not).

When Clinton supporters chose to rally almost solely around a general anti-Trump message, rather than a message which actually proposed something new and distinct, they paved the way for disillusionment and demoralisation. Even feminism was little use in the end. An astonishing 53% of white women voted for a man whose respect for women barely reaches Henry VIII levels. Yet in an establishment culture which promotes and celebrates Bono as “Woman of the Year” (as Glamourmagazine recently and absurdly did) as a way to desperately and aggressively promote the ultimate fluidity of gender identities, it should hardly be a surprise if millions of women have become tired of Clinton’s ultimately pathetic “vote for me because of my gender” rhetoric.

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MAKE A PICTURE FRAME & WORD ART – a Holiday Gift-Making Event for Teens

Wednesdays, 12/7 & 12/14: 2 - 5 pm (picture frames)

Saturdays, 12/3 & 12/10 (word art)

Looking for that special gift for your friend or relative? Teens are invited to make a Picture Frame & Word Art at the Library’s free holiday gift-making events. Snacks are provided, along with art & craft supplies. Pre-registration is required & space is limited! Please call us at 463-4490 to sign up. For more information, please contact Melissa at the Ukiah Library: 467-6434 or Sponsored by the Ukiah Valley Friends of the Library.

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The Healthy Mendocino Steering Committee is pleased to welcome Thaïs Mazur, Ph.D., as Project Manager of the Mendocino County Community Health Improvement Plan (CHIP). Thaïs Mazur is a leader in the field of social change and building healthy communities. A resident of the Mendocino coast for 17 years, she co-founded Mind Body Medicine Mendocino as well as North Coast Action, a citizens group dedicated to the clean-up of toxic soil on the former Georgia Pacific mill site in Fort Bragg. She holds a Ph.D. in Human Science and Integrative Medicine, and for the past two decades has directed social and environmental justice projects locally, nationally, and internationally. Dr. Mazur has worked in both clinical and community settings as an Integrative Health specialist. She is co-founder and director of The Karuna Center for Mindful Engagement and co-author of the recently published book Do No Harm: Mindful Engagement for a World in Crisis, and she teaches Human Service courses at Mendocino College. “I am delighted to join the CHIP team and support the vision of Healthy Mendocino,” Dr. Mazur says. “This is a crucial time to localize our efforts to build an effective interdisciplinary network to support the health of individuals and communities county-wide.” A coalition of organizations launched the CHIP Project in June 2016 at a large community meeting in Ukiah. After hearing the findings of the recent Community Health Needs Assessment (CHNA), the participants formed Action Teams around five priorities for improving health and well-being in Mendocino County ― poverty, housing, mental health, childhood obesity and family wellness, and childhood trauma. All five teams welcome new members. Dr. Mazur and the Planning Group expect to hold CHIP events in communities around the County in the coming year. New sponsors are joining the original five organizations in funding and coordinating this project, which is under the auspices of Healthy Mendocino. Follow news on the CHIP project, read the CHNA report, learn about the sponsoring organizations, and find ways to get involved on

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RootsAction is a new online initiative dedicated to galvanizing millions of Americans who are committed to economic fairness, equal rights, civil liberties, environmental protection — and defunding endless wars. RootsAction is supported by independent-minded progressives like Jim Hightower, Barbara Ehrenreich, Cornel West, Daniel Ellsberg, Glenn Greenwald, Naomi Klein, Bill Fletcher Jr., Laura Flanders, former Sen. James Abourezk, Coleen Rowley, and me! Join RootsAction now:

Judith Vidaver

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A big part of the Rasputin myth, rumor had it that, apart from being 14 inches long, his member had three warts strategically placed along its shaft that enhanced its potency. In 2009 a large penis floating in a jar of formaldehyde was the main exhibit at the newly opened Museum of Erotica in St. Petersburg. According to the Museum, the grotesque object had been found detached from Rasputin's body at the scene of his murder, sold to a group of Russian women emigres, who had worshiped it as a relic, and was purchased by its director for $8000 from an antiquarian dealer in Paris. But other facts cast doubt on its provenance. In 1914, Rasputin was examined after being stabbed in an earlier attempt on his life: according to the medical report, his genitals were so small and shriveled that the doctor doubted whether he was capable of the sexual act at all.

— Orlando Figes

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* * *


by Valeria Luiselli.

Translated by Louis S. Bedrock

The flight attendant announced our imminent descent, we adjusted the back of seats to the vertical position, and the airplane penetrated the thick layer of clouds. The shorelines of Long island and its identical suburban houses appeared below, the urban layout a symmetrical imposition badly suited to the chaotic fragmentation of the bays and sand bars. Seen from this height, the land on which we were about to land looked foreign, even inhospitable. We had spent several days in Mexico and, for the first time, we were landing in New York without wanting to.

Once on the ground, we lined up with heavy hearts and swollen feet headed toward the door of the airplane. The face of Fidel Castro was printed on the front pages of all the different newspapers, missing half of their pages and left on the seats by passengers. The image of the empty airplane we left behind, with the face of the recently deceased Fidel displayed everywhere, seemed an obvious metaphor for the merciless passage of time: the arrow of history always pointing to a world worse than the current one.

We felt tense as we joined the migrants' line. We were anticipating the premature beginning of the era of abuse with impunity. We took out our Mexican passports and green cards defensively. But the official that greeted us immediately said, "Welcome home."

He joked with our daughter about the urgent matter of importing more Mexican candy. Later, he commented to us that the President elect had bitten off more than he could chew.

Then, in the taxi, the driver--a Sikh gentleman with a serene voice and an enormous moustache, asked us if we had heard the recent speech of New York City's Mayor, Bill de Blasio. When we answered that we had not, he took advantage of the slow traffic to find the speech on his telephone, which he then extended to us through the window. Sprawled out in the rear seat, the three of us watched the pixeled figure of De Blasio on the phone.

The Mayor promised to confront the Trump Era: to not comply with any discriminating policies of the President-elect in New York.

When de Blasio said, "We will not comply!" the driver repeated the sentence loudly, guffawed wickedly, and topped it off by beeping his horn twice.


  1. Bruce McEwen November 30, 2016

    Here’s a little ditty I composed some years ago when the honey bees first started disappearing in Montana, and I’d like to offer it to street musicians in Ft. B to sing at the little park next to Town Hall in hopes of luring back the bees:


    By B. McQ&

    Key of C Maj.

    {Starts out adagio, accelerando (slow, gradually speeding up)}

    Come gather ‘round children, and listen to me
    And I’ll tell you what happened to the sweet honey bee…

    There was an old beekeeper, his name Gordon Coe,
    And he took the bees with him when it was his time to go.

    CHORUS {allegro (quickly, brightly)}

    Yes Gordon took the honey bees, Gordon took the honey bees,
    Old Gordon took the honey bees away –

    {Presto (very fast)}

    Nobody knows how he did it or why
    But he took those bees and said he good-bye

    Yes {adagio} Gordon took the honey bees away.

    {Allegro accelerando (fast, brightly speeding up)}

    Now all you little children just sit there a-smirkin’
    While your Mommies and Daddies are both out a-workin’

    And eat up your biscuits with plain butter and jam,
    ‘Cause {adagio} you’ll never taste honey-smoked almonds or ham…


    Now the baby’s a crying, she just fusses and sasses,
    She don’t like maple syrup, much less molasses

    I’ve given her candy and offered her money.
    But she don’t want nothing that ain’t dipped in honey


    Now {adagio stringendo (mornfully slowing down)}the sugar bowl’s full and so is the moon
    But the honey’s all gone, and I’m still lickin’ the spoon.


    • BB Grace November 30, 2016

      Aw shucks!

      Away went Gordon from the children and babe
      Away from the smirkin and cryin that day
      He put all the bees in a big paper sack
      While flyin west he said, “we ain’t comin” back”.


      Those bees carried Gordon as far as the shore
      To Fort Bragg California to the Town Hall Floor
      Where Garden Club Ladies dared to BEE BOLD
      And the City worried of the poisons they sold
      To the people who lived in them everyday
      But the bees couldn’t handle it
      So the poisons going away. (yea!)


      The City is buzzing in more than one way
      Besides what the Mayor and Ms. Ruffing say
      The Bees saved the City and gave people hope
      That the future of Fort Bragg was more than manufacturing dope.

      Well, that’s about as much for this dit
      By the talented McEwen when he gave a shit
      about something other than Bedrock and glenlivet
      Like when Gordon took the Honey Bees away

      • Bruce McEwen November 30, 2016

        “The highest of compliments*
        never comes from a friend,
        but out of green envy, malice & gin.”

        Grandpa McQ&’s Book of Epigrams, No. dlvii

        *(Imitation is the highest compliment, according to the urban proverb.)

        • BB Grace November 30, 2016


          deplorables aren’t what a liberal calls “friend”.
          They would rather insult them again and again.
          With names so rotten they’d wish they were dead
          With Gordon Coe in Montana.

          • Bruce McEwen November 30, 2016

            I’m so sorry, BB — I reckless mistook your jealousy for envy — I’m getting color-blind in my advanced years and can’t tell creme d’menthe from a banana daiquiri — lemme buy a round of cocktails, my dear, but please put your heart back under your blouse, love, it’s soaking through your sleeve!

            • BB Grace November 30, 2016

              I liked your song Mr. McEwen as it gave me a lift when I needed it. Breaking News!!!

              Deplorables just had another HUGE win:

              UN Rejects UK Appeal on Favorable Julian Assange Ruling

              Obama’s parting gift to deplorables was to blow up our nets. Google, Yahoo, Twitter, Facebook have us labeled, censored and banned as fake news. Breitbart’s apt was banned today. So you’re song was a nice pick me up. Thank you. I figure I owe you the drink.

              • Bruce McEwen November 30, 2016

                Well! How welcome! Meet me at the FOrest Club in a hour!

              • BB Grace December 1, 2016

                What happened Mr. McEwen? I waited hours for you. Hey, I really like the FOrest Club. I was amazed how homey the place felt. They have big a chalkboard behind the bar with allot of names I recognized. I asked the bartender why the names were on the board and he said those folks had drinks waiting for them. I asked if I could buy you a drink and he told me for $10.00 he’d be happy to add your name to the list. (Honestly, I was surprised your name wasn’t there). So I gave him $10.

                Here’s where it got interesting. He took that $10 and went over to a black box and waved it three times. A skeleton hand reached up and took the $10 pulling it down into the box and alarm bells started ringing. I imagine it was an original copy of Hells Bells. The patrons of the FOrest Club were applauding when the bartender asked me who the drink was for. I gave them your name. Mr. McEwen. I have to tell you, I had no idea how popular your Gordon Coe song was until last night when the patrons of the FOrest Club saw the bartender write your name. Everyone had a verse or more. We sang your song all night long. Some verses were so funny folks were spitting their ales and wetting their boxers.

                I’m really sorry you couldn’t make it. I had a great time, and I think a few folks also bought you drinks. I bought a PUFL membership. Maybe I’ll see you there sometime.

                Thank you Mr. McEwen.

  2. George Hollister November 30, 2016

    “Most people do not realize that there were no honey bees in America before European settlers brought hives from Europe. These resourceful animals promptly managed to escape from domestication. As they had done for millennia in Europe and Asia, honey bees formed swarms and set up nests in hollow trees. Native pollinators, especially bees other than honey bees, have been pollinating the continent’s flowering plants since long before the arrival of honey bees. Even in today’s vastly altered landscapes, they continue to do the yeomen’s share of pollination, especially when it comes to native plants.”

  3. Alice Chouteau November 30, 2016

    A lifelong gardener, I am all for saving bees and other pollinators, but have grave doubts that the Bee Friendly City concept being promoted by the city gov will be effective, except for a self-serving PR opportuniity. Both herbicides and pesticides kill bees–is the town prepared to establish regulations for our police to enforce when someone in town uses Roundup?? The plan to ban retail sales of noxious products here won’t go into affect until 2020, and determined users can buy them elsewhere or order online. Then there’s Cal Trans…does the City have control over chemicals they use in town?
    Having lived in the area for forty -plus years, I can recall when Fort Bragg had flouishing residential gardens, but years of drought conditions, official municipal water crises, and high water rates imposed by the City have changed the picture to a dustier, weedier town. During the years I worked at a local nursery, I witnessed the despair of avid town gardeners forces to curtail their efforts due to burdensome water bills.
    The City also has a dismal track record of making expensive blunders on popular, tax-funded projects, like the Coastal Trail ‘stairs’ and native plants installation, the CV Starr center and many more projects, with taxpayers forced to finance the needed repairs. So, sorry to say this, but this just looks like another excuse for shiny new signage placed around town to impress visitors…

    • Bruce McEwen November 30, 2016

      Alice, what a foolish remark — first that herbicides kill bees – My goodness, m dear, do you think a bee is a herb? Herbicides, by definition, kills herbs! Are ye that vapid? Supposing you had, like I did, read paperback novels by Edgar Rice Burroughs when you should have been studying junior high biology, and didn’t know the diff ‘tween plants and insects, I would forgive you for such an oversight, but then y’all ought to at least know a bee ain’t much of a pest, unless y’all have allergic reaction like my Republican Aunt Molly who flips out over cavils like fire ants, kudzu and chiggers — oh, Please, Alice accept my sincerest apology! — I meant to say “chigroes”– and even li’l ol’ honey bees, too! (Crazy Old Gal voted for Trumps!)

      • Bruce McEwen November 30, 2016

        A pesticide would bounce off a bee like the bullets of US Cavalry carbines bounced off Chief Crazy Horse at Standing Rock, 1872 &c.

  4. LouisBedrock November 30, 2016

    As of yesterday, the scumbags at Google have begun blocking access to my e-mail accounts unless I turn off Ad-blocker. I plan to retaliate by calling any company whose ad I see and informing them I will never do business with them because Google has obliged me to look at their repulsive advertisements.

    I’m curious: Has anyone else experienced the same problem?
    And if so, does anyone know a phone number or e-mail link to Google’s Customer Service so we can bombard the company with complaints?

    • Bruce McEwen November 30, 2016

      “Valeria Luiselli”?

      Is this your granddaughter or you psuedonymn?

      I’ve noticed in the MSM all the recently disillusioned newspeople starting to infect the courthouses with their presumptuous swagger, seeking examples of their preconceived notions about deportation.

      These jurnos built their reps on the model of a poet called Gary Snider back in the day, bro, and his wisdom was to stay home and cover yer own scene — yet he zoomed all around the world dispensing his wisdom.

      So they come down to court, after posing fro an elite perspective for so long, but only looking for an example to bolster a preconceived notion …goodness, I even saw KZYX”s star reporter at the courthouse this week (but she’s reputedly expecting and may have bee seeking a paternity suit on a lawyer at the Office of the Public Defender.

      • LouisBedrock December 2, 2016

        Neither granddaughter nor nom de plum.
        I wish I were younger and she were my lover:

        She was born in Mexico, grew up in South Africa, Korea, and other places. Speaks English well, but writes in Spanish. She’s smart and she writes well.

        I inadvertently cut off the last paragraph of the piece.
        Maybe Super Mike Kalantarian can fix it in the archives if he’s not playing shortstop in the Puerto Rican league, writing another piece, or maintaining technological order at the paper.

        Last paragraph of “Return”:

        Home at last, my daughter and I focused on putting all our moribund plants in the shower while her father went to the Arab deli on the corner–the only place open, for ingredients with which we could improvise a meal. When he got back, he told us that the salesperson had said goodbye by quoting one of the neighborhood heroes, Kendrick Lamar: “We gon be alright”.

  5. Rick Weddle November 30, 2016

    re: Google…

    Have had other, equally annoying experiences with Google. I’d love to get their phone number or email, too. But. Odd how one of The Big Information Technology companies, with the best brains money can buy, doesn’t seem to have a handle on it anywhere with which a mere user can get a grip on the attention-impaired ‘Google experience.’

    • LouisBedrock December 2, 2016

      Rick, I appreciate your response, but it is not odd at all.

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