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Mendocino County Today: Tuesday, Dec. 13, 2016

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Flood watch in effect from 12 pm this evening through 4:00 am Friday morning

The National Weather Service in Eureka has issued a Flood watch for a portion of Northwest California...for all of Del Norte, Humboldt, Trinity & Mendocino County.

From Tuesday afternoon through early Friday morning a series of storm systems will bring periods of heavy rain from Tuesday afternoon through early Friday morning.

The primary impacts from this event will be localized ponding of water on low lying roadways with poor drainage, rapid rises of all area small streams, some river flooding & potentially rock & mud slides on mountain roads.

Precautionary/preparedness actions...

A flood watch means there is a potential for flooding based on current forecasts.

Those living in areas prone to flooding should be prepared to take action should flooding develop.

(National Weather Service, Eureka)

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WEATHER UNDERGROUND predicts 3-4 inches of rain in the area this week starting late Tuesday and continuing until Friday morning with near-freezing temperatures toward the end of the week. Winds are expected to approach 20mph Wednesday and Thursday.

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THE SMALL FARMERS ASSOCIATION (SFA) spat, between past and present board members and employee Julia Carrera, illustrates what seems to be chronic dysfunction among local marijuana advocacy groups. An unsigned letter of resignation, purportedly from the SFA board of directors, accused an unnamed employee (later confirmed to be Ms. Carrera) of various improprieties, including tapping the SFA bank account to pay her mortgage. Ms. Carrera responded that she would not respond (being too busy inspecting marijuana gardens) and sent "healing prayers" to John Mark, the apparent author of the letter of resignation.

THE NEW SFA BOARD chimed in saying they were elected "in direct response to the lack of leadership of the previous board." But in typical passive aggressive Mendo style they accepted the resignation with sadness and voiced respect for the hard work of founding board member John Mark. The online Mendocino Voice then quoted John Mark reciting a litany of complaints against Carrera.

ACCORDING TO MARK, the problems began a few months ago when Carrera and the board split over SFA's endorsement of Measure AF (which was trounced 2-1 at the polls) and Proposition 64, the statewide initiative which legalized adult use of recreational pot. Mark claims Carrera cut off access to the SFA membership rolls and their social media accounts. At some point, several board members resigned. Which means that the recent anonymous mass resignation of the board may only have included Mark.

LEFT UNSAID is the on-going rivalry between SFA and the California Grower's Association (CGA) which was originally known as the Emerald Growers Association. The two organizations, (which both claim to represent the interests of marijuana growers) have always been in direct competition for members. CGA is headed by Hezekiah Allen, a Humboldt County marijuana grower. Allen first came to regional attention when he ran for Assembly but dropped out of the race and went to work for CGA after being terminated for unstated reasons from his position as head of a Mattole watershed group. Carrera got her start as a third party inspector in Mendo’s 9.31 permit program that allowed growers to cultivate up to 99 marijuana plants with a permit from the Sheriff. After the US Attorney ordered the permit program terminated in 2012, Carrera helped found the SFA. The two organizations have competed for members and influence ever since.

TIM BLAKE and a group of Laytonville area growers joined with coastal marijuana advocates to form the Mendocino Cannabis Policy Council (MCPC). Blake and company were put off by the timid approach of both SFA and CGA which focus on lobbying state and local governments. But a split soon developed in the MCPC with the more radical faction forming the Mendocino Heritage Initiative Committee. The 2015 version of the Heritage Initiative (a stoner's wish list of how to write their own rules) failed to get enough signatures to qualify for the ballot.

THE HERITAGE INITIATIVE steering committee next hired Sonoma County marijuana defense attorney Omar Figueroa to write the 2016 version of the Heritage Initiative. This time, with the help of paid signature gatherers, the Heritage Initiative (labeled Measure AF) qualified for the ballot. The decision to endorse Measure AF sparked dissension within SFA and CGA. Many of the members of both groups (who are truly small farmers of the Mom & Pop variety) had trouble seeing the benefit of letting newcomers to the trade buy up land in any zoning district and start growing up to an acre of pot.

TWO SFA board members resigned immediately after voting to endorse Measure AF, leaving the group without a quorum. The local chapter of CGA, heavily influenced by Blake and the Laytonville area weed mafia, also endorsed, despite grumblings from the rank and file. Mark says the SFA board spent months writing a white paper in support of Measure AF but Carrera wanted to rewrite it. Mark never says why the SFA board, if it was functional, did not insist on releasing the pro-AF white paper; terminating the uncooperative contract employee (Carrera); or going to court to ask a judge to force Carrera to turn over control of SFA.

THE HERITAGE INITIATIVE steering committee (which consisted of Blake, Swami Chaitanya, Pebbles Tripett, Noel Manners and Jude Thilman) was also plagued with infighting. With less than an hour to go before the deadline to turn in a ballot argument in favor of Measure AF, the group was still fighting over the wording. Which is why they were only able to have one signer instead of the usual five. Sarah Bodnar, the campaign manager for Measure AF finally issued an ultimatum: either Pebs and Manners had to go or she would. Bodnar, a local food policy activist, is smart, personable, and social media savvy. In other words, she was everything the Heritage Initiative steering committee was not. Which is why they hired her. And why they acceded to her demands and purged Pebs and Manners from the steering committee. Casey O'Neill, local chapter president of CGA joined the Heritage Initiative committee as a replacement but resigned weeks before the election. Was there another falling out? Or did O'Neill want to distance himself from Measure AF which was looking more and more like a lost cause.

THE TOMMY CHONG ENDORSEMENT was as previously reported in this space: It revealed the connections between the local pot growers, venture capitalists, wine growers, and high priced ad agencies. The implications were clear that Measure AF, the so-called Heritage Initiative, was written to benefit the ganja elites, not the “heritage” of small local farmers.

BUT DESPITE the political infighting and dysfunction, the stoners do know how to throw a pot party. The 13th annual Emerald Cup, in its third year at the Sonoma County Fairgrounds, attracted sell-out crowds this last weekend. And thanks to the defeat of Measure AF, review of the County's draft cultivation ordinance will continue on December 15th before the Mendocino County Planning Commission.

AND THE SFA will hold its annual meeting (modestly billed as a "Round Table Extravaganza") at Barra of Mendocino on Wed. Dec. 14th. The only items listed on the event flyer are a workshop titled "Intimate Evening Future Planning (IEFP)" and a Roundtable with the "Speaker of the House of Representatives & Pro Tem of the Senate." Assuming Speaker Paul Ryan of the US House of Representatives is not coming to Mendo to celebrate the love drug, it seems likely the SFA is experiencing some confusion around the titles of state legislative leaders.

CONFUSION ASIDE, it will be something of a coup for the SFA if President pro Tempore of the Senate Kevin de Leon and either Speaker of the Assembly Anthony Rendon or Speaker pro Tempore Kevin Mullin make the trek to the wilds of Mendo County. The meeting is also advertised as including state officials involved in regulating cannabis, a representative from Proposition 64, seed propagators, and banking pilot program representatives. (The federal government is blocking access to banking by cannabis businesses at the same time cannabis is becoming increasingly legal at the state level; which places the feds in the unusual position of hindering efficient documentation and collection of taxes.)

THE INTIMATE EVENING Future Planning workshop (which could either be an intimate evening of future planning or a celebration of the naked human piles of the early back to the land movement) begins at 3:30 and is free to SFA members and $30 for non-members. The Roundtable with state legislative honchos begins at 5:00 and is $10 for SFA members and $25 for non-members.

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RICKY OWENS of Boonville, 49, has been arrested on suspicion of felony child endangerment after a six-year-old child almost drowned in a Ukiah hotel swimming pool.


Owens told police investigators he was teaching a 6-year-old relative how to swim last Monday night (December 5th) when the boy became unconscious. Witnesses at the Fairfield Inn & Suites pool near Highway 101 said Owens had not been negligent, but a hotel video allegedly shows Owens plunging the boy's head under the water until the child went limp.

THE BOY was pulled from the pool to be resuscitated, then flown to Oakland Children’s Hospital for further treatment and observation. He was released from the hospital Wednesday and is expected to make a full recovery.

OWENS was booked Friday into the Mendocino County Jail on suspicion of felony endangering a child or causing or permitting a child to suffer physical pain, mental suffering or injury, police said. Bail was set at $50,000.

I’VE KNOWN Ricky Owens all his life, and I can say that there is not a malicious bone in his body — carelessness, perhaps, but not malice. This episode, as Ricky Owens’ culpability is alleged by careless reporting in the Press Democrat, is totally out of character. The statement by Sgt. Cedric Crook of the Ukiah Police Department to Justine Frederiksen of the Ukiah Daily Journal does in fact indicate that Owens did not deliberately harm the six-year-old: “We just want to rule out the possibility that there was any neglect involved, or whether the incident could have been prevented.”

THE BOY is one of five children by hit and run fathers belonging to one young, very young, overwhelmed mother. She and her children live in a small trailer on the Owens’ compound near the Boonville transfer station in the hills west of Boonville.

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DEPUTY CRAIG WALKER is off duty while he recovers from a knee injury suffered wrestling one of the many tweakers roaming Mendocino County. I still hear people say that the cops are overpaid. If anything, they’re underpaid. Not many people could do the work. I know I couldn’t. I’m continually surprised that the cops don’t shoot a lot more people. I think if the citizen-body was aware of the amount of pure abuse the cops absorb even from so-called law abiding citizens, no fair minded person would say they’re overpaid.

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NOBODY in authority is going to state the obvious: things are breaking down here in Mendocino County, as they are everywhere in the land. The County is perennially short of foster homes for the small army of children growing up feral in sub-Third World conditions. The County Jail is perennially short of space for the even larger army of people who can’t or won’t function more or less normally in modern society. It’s all headed to a very dark place.

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FIRST IT WAS a ranch, then a summer camp, than an “intentional community” called Shenoa, then a billionaire’s “retreat center” owned by Jeffrey Skoll, a young tycoon who made his fortune with eBay. Skoll, perhaps having found more convenient locales to retreat to, sold the property at the Navarro River end of Philo’s Ray’s Road for somewhere around $6 million. The buyers? Orgasmic Meditation. Come again (sic)? Orgasmic Meditation, a business “researching and teaching the practices of orgasmic meditation and slow sex….” Founded in San Francisco (where else?) by orgasmic meditators Robert Kandell and Nicole Daedone, the couple parlayed what used to be known simply as un-monetized whacking off into a fortune.

POOR, BATTERED RAY’S ROAD, little more than a partially paved trail for many years leading to a pair of modest 1920 resorts on the Navarro River, it now serves as access to those still modest resorts plus a few homes strewn along its meandering mile length but, with Blackbird Farm and the orgasmic meditators fully installed at the far end of a one-lane bridge just across the road from the two resorts, Ray’s Road will become nearly as busy as nearby Highway 128. Between Blackbird, a charter school hustle parlaying “underserved youth” into a multi-million dollar annual income for the Hall family of LA, its fully privatized owners, and well-heeled sex maniacs, Ray’s Road will be Mendocino County’s most traveled rural road.

AND OUR OLD FRIEND, Marshall Newman, caught on his once tranquil rural retreat between Blackbird above and Sex Land below will, like all of us, miss Libby’s Restaurant. Marshall comments, “Re: Libby’s Restaurant. Yes, I remember Janie’s Place. However, way, WAY back – the late 1950s – it was the Philo Cafe, which also served American fare. The main room was much the same as today, though I recall booths along the left (north) wall. I mostly remember the milkshakes, which were terrific.” The late Anne Johnston was in the mix at that site, too, with her thriving restaurant just prior to Libby. And before Anne, we had the spirited hippie interlude with four ladies we remember as Kristy, Sherry, Kathy, and Daphne.

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LITTLE DOG SAYS, "Supervisor Hamburg's dog annoys hell outta me. The thing seems wayyyyy too needy. I'm not the clingy type myself, and all this 'therapy dog' stuff? Spare me.”

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Entrants to the Emerald Cup in Santa Rosa (2016). Heather Irwin/PD

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CATCH OF THE DAY, December 12, 2016

Hoaglin, Laiwa, Moores

FARAND HOAGLIN, Ukiah. Ex-felon with firearm, ammo possession by prohibited person, parole violation.

SKIELA LAIWA, Point Arena. Burglary, probation revocation.

RYAN MOORES, Elk. Receiving stolen property.

Oliver, Sanchez, Sermeno, Sienze

LUIS OLIVER, Covelo. County parole violation.

SHERI SANCHEZ, Willits. Drug possession for sale.

MARVIN SERMENO, Vallejo/Ukiah. Failure to appear.

JASON SIENZE, Snelling/Ukiah. Probation revocation.

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“At this time of year, only the hardest, coldest heart can fail to show good will to fellow man.” I was in upstate New York last week and found the upstate people most friendly. Not a cold heart did I meet and I had a great trip. Returning to Seattle by way of JFK I found the skyline of New York City is now ruined by 432 Park Avenue. America’s premier city now has a very ugly tattoo and with Trump, America also has an ugly tattoo on its ass!

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by Clancy Sigal

A 14th century cry during the Black Plague to let people know that the cart for dead bodies was passing by. Anyone with a dead friend or relative would “bring out their dead” and throw the person on top of the pile. Also: see Monty Python and the Holy Grail.

Don’t fret overmuch about Steve Bannon’s cabinet picks announced by his stooge Trump. Of course each new appointment will be worse than the other, from “Burgers in a Bikini” Andy Puzder to a labor secretary who despises labor. But keep your eye on the out-of-sight lower government levels where a loyalty cleanup is already happening.

You may not agree, but government bureaucrats make the best parts work. Admittedly, I’m biased since they sent me free of charge to college and manage Social Security, Medicare and my Veterans Admin doctors. Sometime they stupidly screw up, but so?

The Bannon-Trump plan is to make life so unbearable for decent hardworking (and unionized) government employees that they either quit or shut up. Think Hollywood blacklist but vaster.

The point of a blacklist is to get your own ass kissers in while strong-arming all the others into obedience.

I’ve lived with blacklists all my life. My labor-oriented folks and extended family (cousins Charlie and Davie) saw a blacklist’s derailing their lives as the price of doing business as union organizers. But most govt workers today probably want to keep their jobs by zipping their lips and hunkering down in a trumpstorm.

Here’s how it works even before Jan 20.

Steve Bannon’s “transition team” springs a 74-point questionnaire at the Department of Energy demanding names of all employees and contractors who have attended climate change policy, as well as emails and documents associated with the conferences. Names, names, we gotta have names.

Scott Pruitt, a climate change “denialist” and atty gen of frack-caused earthquake-exploding Oklahoma, who hates the Environmental Protection Agency, is the EPA’s new boss. He will cull the Energy Dept’s disloyalists who want to limit carbon dioxide emissions.

Put yourself in the shoes of a mid- or lower-level EPA or Energy Dept. employee when your new boss asks if you love him you better have the right answer.

The lasting impact of the old Hollywood blacklist, where I have experience, was less in who got fired than the ripple effect of bullying and browbeating. Whole communities dependent on film making were scared into silence or cynicism. History books say Sen. McCarthy fell due to his “excesses”. Untrue. He lives on in these 74 point questionnaires.

The 1930s Germans called it gleichschaltung. Look it up.

(Clancy Sigal is a screenwriter and novelist. His latest book is Black Sunset. Courtesy,

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by James Kunstler

“Markets shrugged off the Brexit vote in a couple of days. They shrugged off Donald Trump’s election in a single day. They shrugged off the Italian referendum result in a couple of hours. Heck, in this mood they would shrug off an alien invasion of planet Earth.”

— Albert Edwards, Société Générale

At this time of year, only the hardest, coldest heart can fail to show good will to fellow man. That said, the silvery orb of Donald Trump’s post-election honeymoon may set sooner than expected as Ms. Yellin prepares to hoist her interest rate petard this week. Even a modest up-bump in the Fed Funds Rate is liable to prang the orgy of corporate share buybacks fueling the eight-year bull market that many formerly sane observers think is a permanent feature of the human condition. The bond market bull also seemed to last a lifetime and that’s gone south now, too.

Poor Trump’s mammoth ego has led him by the snout into a deadfall trap. The Trumpublican voters and cheerleaders expect another Morning in America miracle. Sorry, been there, done that, that was then, this is now. Conditions were quite different in 1981. For one thing, a brutal decade after the 1970 all-time US oil production peak, the Alaska North Slope fields came into full flow, along with the North Sea and Siberian fields.

The Alaska bonanza did not boost US production back to 1970 levels, but it did take the leverage away from OPEC, and it stuffed the elevated price-per-barrel back down to levels that an industrial economy could tolerate. The rest of the Reagan miracle was accomplished with debt. The case was similar for Mrs. Thatcher over in the UK. She was not an economic magician, just the beneficiary of a brief oil boom that made Britain a net energy exporter for two decades, providing an illusion of permanent prosperity and cover for the financialization of the economy. Now, with the North Sea oil playing out, all that’s left is the banking necromancy in Threadneedle Street.

Reagan also came in at the height of Fed Chair Paul Volker’s war on inflation, when the interest rate on the ten-year US treasury bond topped at 15 percent in September of 1981. Imagine paying 18 percent interest rates on your mortgage! How was that a good thing? Well, it wasn’t, not at all, it was a very bad thing for a while — but for Lucky Ronnie Reagan it meant interest rates had nowhere to go but down. And because bond prices correlate opposite to rates, the value of bonds had nowhere to go but up, which they did for 30-odd years until right now. And all that time, the world bond market couldn’t get enough of them — also till now, when big holders like China and Saudi Arabia are puking them back out.

When Reagan stepped in the national debt was only (only!) about half a trillion dollars. It will be over $20 trillion when Trump hangs his golden logo on the White House portico. Oh, by the way, consider that a trillion dollars is a thousand billion dollars and a billion dollars is a thousand million dollars. Just so you know. Reagan had room for plenty of government finance monkey business. Trump has no room. Bush One, Clinton, Bush Two and Obama dug the deadfall debt trap for poor Donald and the election shoved him right into it. He thinks he’s on an upper floor of his enchanted tower; he’s actually down in a pit.

Trump thinks he’s going to rebuild highways and bridges for another century of Happy Motoring — to make America like it was in 1962 forever. Fuggeddabowdit. The bond market is poised for collapse as I write, and Trump’s money people (that is, the Goldman Sachs gang he has assembled) are talking about issuing fifty and 100 year “Build America” bonds. Their nostrils must be rimed with the frost of Medellin.

They’re certainly not going to accomplish this trick by raising taxes. On who? Corporations? Ha! The One Percent? Double-Ha! Everyone else? Pitchforks and torches!

American oil companies can no longer make a buck doing their thing. Exxon-Mobil’s U.S. production business lost $477 million in the third quarter, the seventh straight quarter in the red. Why? Because it costs a lot more to get the stuff out of the ground than it did ten years ago, and that high cost is bankrupting oil companies and industrial economies. That is the stealth action of Peak Oil that so many people pretend is not happening. It will ultimately destroy the banking system.

The disappointment issuing from this dire set of circumstances is apt to be epic as Trump flounders and the furious tweets of futility waft out of the hole he’s trapped in. Christmas will be over, and with it the hopes of a retail reprieve. Gasoline may remain cheap, but the little peoplewon’t be able to buy the cars to run it in. Or buy much of anything else. Not even tattoos. We’ll soon discover the temperamental difference between Donald J. Trump and Franklin Delano Roosevelt.

(Support Kunstler’s writing by visiting his Patreon Page:

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by Manuel Vicent.

(Translated by Louis S. Bedrock)

His maternal grandfather, named Rakin, was the rector of The Episcopal Church of Columbus, when Tennessee Williams was born in that Mississippi city on March 26 in 1911. His paternal grandfather, one Lanier Williams II, a man of accredited lineage, squandered a fortune trying unsuccessfully to become governor. His mother Edwina was capable of managing a man, a beast, or a storm. His father, Cornelius Coffin Williams, was demeaned during his military career as a simple ne'er do well and wound up as a traveling salesman for a shoe company--a job which permitted him to visit the whorehouse of every place he worked.

His sister Rosa spent her life among psychiatrists, was subjected to a lobotomy, and spent her life locked up in a mental hospital. And there was the childhood friend, Hazel, his ambiguous girlfriend of adolescence before our hero became a ravenous crocodile that consumed young men. Hazel would only permit him to kiss her on the mouth twice a year: on Christmas day and on their "anniversary".

It's useful to remember the names of these family members because Tennessee Williams would do no less than pass them through his inspiration and, hidden behind different masks, onto the stages of his theater. But in his work, there is another is another large, invisible character that rambles beneath the rotten perfume of the magnolia trees after a rainstorm, on the wooden porches of mansions, among the sweat, the Bible, and alcohol. It's called The South.

The boy adored his grandfather Rankin whom he always associated with the happiest times of his childhood. Rankin's first gift consisted of taking the boy with him on a trip through Europe with a bunch of other family members while Tennessee was still a teenager. He also paid the two thousand dollars that the young man needed to get into the University of Missouri in the city of Columbia in autumn of 1929. During the tempestuous days of Tennessee's youth, he would help him out whenever he could.

On the other hand, Tennessee respected his father until the day that he bit off the ear of another player during a poker game and scandal ensued.

When he was a child, he had diphtheria and during the long period of convalescence in bed, he began to imagine stories. He was always sure that he wouldn't live very long. The insanity of his sister and the memory of their black Nanny Ossie awakened an unspeakable tenderness in him; but the strength of his mother possessed an attraction that never let him escape from her orbit, where he always felt protected. When he was 11 years old, she gave him his first typewriter.

He was neurotic and sickly. He had heart problems and a cataract that left a cloud in the left pupil; he was shy to the point of mortification: If someone looked him in the eye, his face would burn and he would redden to the ears. Reading his splendid, stark memoirs it's hard to understand how one day he suddenly smashed his timidity and decided to openly display a homosexuality so demanding that it obliged him to devour every night a young *partenaire*, a classmate, or some brute he tracked down in the most dangerous nocturnal regions, always risking public shame or a beating.

When things took an unexpected turn and he had to leave the University of Missouri because of lack of money, his father got him a job in the shoe factory; however, the life of Tennessee was a constant journey from one place to another, with his family or alone. He traveled to St. Louis, Memphis, New Orleans, Mexico, Key West, New York, and Rome; but whether in the outside world or within his own mind, he wandered without ever finding himself.

For a time, he was a doorman and elevator operator in a hotel. Meanwhile he was writing short stories that he would send to the magazine Story. Anton Chekov and D.H. Lawrence were his instructors at that time.

In 1939, he abandoned the university, found work on a poultry farm in the outskirts of Los Angeles as a chicken-plucker. For every chicken he plucked, he would put a feather in a milk bottle with his name on the label, and he would be paid according to the number of feathers in the bottle. One of his fellow workers gave him a small lesson in philosophy:

Take note: If someone spends enough time in any part of California, sooner or later a seagull passing overhead will wind up shitting a pile of gold on top of him.

And so it was. While he was plucking chickens, The Theatrical Group of New York informed him that he had just won a special prize of one hundred dollars for a piece called American Blues. At that time, a hundred dollars was a good bit of money. That's how it all began.

He would repeat that sentence of his fellow worker in one of his plays.

Since the 1950s, I've always associated the name Tennessee Williams with the captivating sound produced by the titles of his works: The Glass Menagerie, The Cat On A Hot Tin Roof, Summer and Smoke, Sweet Bird of Youth, A Streetcar Named Desire, The Roman Spring of Mrs. Stone.

At the time, that sound was all I needed. They were words that passed over the tongue and the palate like fresh coconut and I believed I had penetrated the essence of his passions merely by pronouncing them.

All of his plays were made into movies and in them he again and again turned inside out the obsessions of his misfit characters to escape sordid reality through their dreams. These characters are brutal men who take out their aggressions on frail sensitive women; deranged heroines who inhabit disaster and fantasy at the same time; decadent aristocrats who are lost among alcohol and psalms.

Tennessee Williams was one of his own characters. He never achieved any success that wasn't followed by destruction. It was only during the years he spent with his stable companion Frankie Merlo that he attained a convulsive serenity in his life; but with the early death of his friend, all restraints were broken. Embracing ever changing young bodies that he stalked in the streets, he maneuvered among drugs and alcohol without ever ceasing to be that sickly child whom his mother adored.

Tennessee Williams died at the age of 71 in the room of a hotel having choked to death on the cap of a bottle of pills. His brother Dakin believes he was murdered. He's buried in Calvary Cemetery in St. Louis, Missouri.

"Desire" is the name of a neighborhood in New Orleans. A streetcar that bore the name of its destination under a glass pane in its facade used to go from the center of the city to this neighborhood in the outskirts. One day I boarded this streetcar. Desire was a poor, dangerous neighborhood. I got off at that stop. I traversed streets of wooden houses with small porches accessible by rotting steps that were occupied by drunks with murky expressions who were holding bottles of beer.

I imagined that one of the drunks was Marlon Brando in a sweat-soaked tee shirt and that a woman hanging the clothes was Vivian Leigh draped in silks, buttons, and bows.

Later, in the French Quarter, beneath the porches with cast iron filigrees, I stopped by the houses in which Tennessee Williams had lived. In the backyards of these houses, the Magnolias scaled the walls while the sound of jazz emanated from the nightclubs. It is through these streets that his soul wanders.

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Hi everyone,

I want to keep everyone informed about a rather complicated subject, and that is the proceeding at the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) for which Mendocino County has "party" status.

Here's the very short of it:

* Our landline phones lines are not reliable; we had outages; we wanted to do something about this.

* We got party status in a state-wide proceeding so that our voice could be heard at the CPUC.

* CPUC (led by Commissioner Sandoval) held hearings around the state, including Ukiah

* People showed up and told her their story and that our phone lines are bad and the outage was bad. She listened. This all became evidence for the record.

* She then asked everyone, "What do you think/recommend the CPUC should do about all these issues we heard about?"

* Mendocino submitted our recommendations (along with everyone else)

* She took all these recommendations and developed a "Proposed Decision" (PD) to put before the CPUC for adoption at their Dec. 12th meeting.

* It looks good...many of Mendocino County's recommendations are addressed in her PD to hold the telephone companies accountable and to fix problems.

* BUT - it means nothing unless they are passed by the CPUC (earliest would be in Dec), and there will be strong lobbying against this Proposed Decision by the big cable and telephone.

So, I have an important favor to ask everyone. Commissioner Sandoval's term is up in December, and she has been a very strong advocate for rural broadband. We need her fighting for us, and for this PD. There is a petition going around asking for Governor Brown to re-appoint her. The telephone companies don't want to see her re-appointed, so unless there is a groundswell of support it likely won't happen.

My favor is for everyone to *sign the petition for her re-appointment *so we can create this groundswell of support. We really need to keep the CPUC working for the people (especially since the FCC may have a lobbyist as it's head). You can read the letter that I wrote, and the NBNCBC wrote, in her support as well on the website link at the end of this email.

Here's the petition link:

Again, *PLEASE sign this petition* and *share on an**y social media *that you use. She is so qualified and dedicated to this job, we really don't want to lose her.

And in case you want to read more about this Proposed Decision, the link is below. To make it easy to identify which documents you want, click the link and go to the "July 15th California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) Public Participation Hearing," and under Follow-up articles and Rulings I have posted relevant documents and also changed them to RED so you can find them more easily. Her Proposed Decision is 169 pages long, but the last document is where I did the work and took our Mendocino County's recommendations, then went through the PD and found Sandoval's recommendations, and combined into one document where you can compare what we asked for, and what she proposed. And my document is a lot shorter (10 pages).

And lastly, here is a link to read our letters of support for Commissioner Sandoval:

Thanks again for signing the petition and sharing as much as you can!

Trish Steel



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New developments from CPUC

Hi Everyone,

A bit more update on CPUC happenings that I wrote about in my previous email from November 18th.

We are fighting on 2 fronts - to get Commissioner Sandoval re-appointed to the CPUC when her term expires at the end of this month. If you have not yet already, PLEASE sign the petition <> AND call the governor's comment line at 916-445-2841 and leave a message in support of her re-appointment. If you have connections to Public Safety of any kind (volunteer Fire Dept, for example) be sure to mention that. Or better yet, if you can get your public safety agency to submit a letter of support, that would be awesome. I have templates you can use, just email and ask me. This needs to be done ASAP since a decision will be made any day/minute now. Here's also a letter <> we submitted that you can use for more info when you call (the petition also has a lot of info). Share the petition on Social Media as well.

The 2nd battle is to get her Proposed Decision ("PD") approved by the full commission on Dec. 15th. I'm not sure how much influence individual citizens have here...I am working on getting supervisors and public safety groups to write to the Commission President in support of the PD, but you are welcome to try by contacting the commissioners themselves if you feel inclined (President Picker 415-703-2444, Commr. Randolph at 415-703-3703; Commr. Peterman at 415-703-1407.)

Mendocino County submitted comments in support of the PD <> on 12/5, but the carriers all submitted comments strongly opposed to it for many reasons, including saying that the PD was not based on evidence (even though at our public hearing there was LOTS of evidence provided, which was all dismissed as "anecdotal"), that requiring outage reporting to public safety officials creates unnecessary burden and expense onto carriers, and it would take away resources from actually fixing a fiber break. We think those arguments are ridiculous, and we had a chance to say so in our "reply to comments" that will be submitted today. This evening I'll post these "reply comments" online <> (or as soon as I have the official document), right below our Comments, after they have been officially submitted. You might want to read these :)

Okay, that's my update. The big focus is on getting Commissioner Sandoval re-appointed to the PUC.

PS: Good news: the North Bay-North Coast Broadband Consortium grant application was successful, and so we will continue operating for another 2 years. And, the county Broadband Working Group met for the first time last week to work on a county "Broadband Goals and Strategies" document. There will be more information on this document soon.

Thanks everyone!

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by Pattie Pattie DeMatteo

(Ahem: It’s, Pattie, but whatever. No need to pay attention to such minutia, even if it is for free advertising. — the management)

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Foxglove on January 21

Foxglove will take the stage on Saturday, January 21 at Mendocino Theater Company. Bring your friends along for some great acoustic music with guitar, mandolin, bass and other surprises, accompanied by rich vocal arrangements. Music starts at 7:30PM

Foxglove has its’ own special blend of singer/songwriter music set to a bluegrass-esque ensemble. Sweet brother-sister harmonies, a tasty mix of strong original music and select covers, and outstanding instrumental talent are all part of Foxglove's signature sound. Foxglove is: Gwyneth Moreland, Morgan Daniel, John Bush, and Booi Volk.

Doors open at 7PM with snacks and beverages to benefit MTC. Admission is $20. Tickets will be available at and by calling Pattie at 707- 937-1732.

American Blues Story

Mendocino Theater Company will host a musical multi-media event on Friday and Saturday, January 27 & 28. "American Blues Story" is guaranteed to give you a new appreciation for the genre of American roots music. Showtime is 7:30pm.

From heartaches to hard times, these deep emotions have especially been expressed in the blues. Going back to Robert Johnson and other bluesmen in the deep south, we will follow the Mississippi River through Memphis, St Louis, and Chicago and the variations that evolved in each new area. During the sixties and seventies British rockers brought the blues back to the US via The Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin and Eric Clapton.

Tickets will be available at and at MTC box office day of the show. $25 for reserved seating, $20 for general admission and $25 at the door. Contact Pattie for more information - 707-937-1732.

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Alan haack wrote:

Perhaps they shouldn't have cats. Do cats and dogs really belong/enjoy life in the city? I think not. Most of them look weak and exhibit dementia. This is another assumption of an overly rich selfish life, that we have a RIGHT to have cats and dogs in apartments.

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We're all better off when anyone -- in the first through third world -- has a puppy or kitty instead a baby. Of course city pets should be chosen for happiness in city spaces. Border collies and working breeds that need to run hard all the time don't belong there, but sensibly-chosen pets use up far less of the planet's resources than human babies do and, unlike with humans, you can just take them to the vet without even asking them and shut off that whole pesky reproduction problem. A cat or a little dog keeps mice and rats out of the flour and out from under the house and does its bit to prevent plague.

Marco McClean

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Here’s the Details on ‘Off the Cuff,’ With the Huff!

So we’re doing this thing now!

United States Congressman Jared Huffman — Olympian, attorney, lawmaker, James Taylor megafan — will soon be picking up the mic and strapping on the headphones to become one of the first people in the world to have his own “pod cast.”

It’s called “Off the Cuff With Rep. Huffman.” Here are some of the things it is not called:


The Jared Huffcast


Huff ‘n’ Tuff

You’ve Got a Friend

You can listen to it on your phone! Here’s the promo:

The promo is available on LostCoastOutpost at:

… and below are the details on what it’s all about and how to subscribe. We’re putting it in the LoCO Elsewhere, too.

(Oh, by the way — do you not use iTunes? I sure don’t, because it sucks really hard. If you’re like me, you’re used to podcast creators not knowing or caring what their direct feed URL is. Well, LoCO has done the work for you. Here you go.)

From the Office of Rep. Jared Huffman:

Washington, D.C.- Congressman Jared Huffman (D-San Rafael) is launching a brand-new podcast, “Off the Cuff with Rep. Huffman,” which will go live on Tuesday, December 13th.

The first episode will feature Congressman Huffman’s conversation with legendary political analyst Bill Press, the host of the syndicated radio show “The Bill Press Show,” former Chairman of the California Democratic Party, former Crossfire host, and part-time Marin County resident.

“As the Representative for California’s Second District, I’m launching this podcast to share with you the work I’m doing on your behalf, from the North Coast all the way to Washington D.C,” said Rep. Huffman. “I represent the best and the most beautiful Congressional district- from the Golden Gate Bridge to the Oregon border- and together, with productive discussions and open dialogue, we can make our community an even better place to call home. From addressing California’s drought to fixing our immigration system to curbing global climate change, we’ll tackle some of today’s biggest challenges on this podcast.”

In the coming episodes, Congressman Huffman will provide updates on legislation he’s working on, responses to questions from constituents, and interviews with some incredible people from around California’s second congressional district — and across the country.

Constituents can submit questions for Congressman Huffman to answer on the podcast by emailing them to

Each episode will be available on his medium page:




  1. Rick Weddle December 13, 2016

    re: ‘…banking necromancy on Threadneedle Street…’…
    Now there’s a big little mouthful! Our very late Friend, Jesus, would get quite a chuckle out of that clever string of words, relating as it does so charmingly to the disappearingly slim chance of any Rich Phuq finding Heaven…

  2. james marmon December 13, 2016

    “NOBODY in authority is going to state the obvious: things are breaking down here in Mendocino County, as they are everywhere in the land. The County is perennially short of foster homes for the small army of children growing up feral in sub-Third World conditions. The County Jail is perennially short of space for the even larger army of people who can’t or won’t function more or less normally in modern society. It’s all headed to a very dark place.”

    That’s why I voted for Trump, time for some upstream social work. Enforce federal laws, clear out the drugs, and put our young people to work in real jobs, not the marijuana industry. Like Captain America told Billy in the movie Easy Rider, “we blew it.”

    James Marmon MSW

  3. Randy Burke December 13, 2016

    Love the Little Dog. Great post

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