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Mendocino County Today: Monday, Dec. 26, 2016

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Story of Robbery, Murder and Intrigue Without Parallel,

RISE OF GEO. E. WHITE. Conditions that have led up to the Mendocino county feud, a paradise for outlaws.

Perjury to Destroy a Woman's Name — Tales Told on a Mountain Top.

(The following story appeared in October, 1895 edition of the San Francisco Call.)

From Ukiah, following the stage road northward from noon till midnight, a traveler will arrive at Laytonville, in Mendocino County. Beginning again early in the morning and traveling eastward into the mountains he will by noon again cross the county bridge of the Eel River. From this level the road will lead him through infinite windings of mountain canyons, upward, on upward, for five toiling miles of rugged, unpeopled magnificence to where Camp Welcome, with cool spring and spreading shade trees, stands upon the summit, and there, stopping to rest, the stage-driver will languidly point with his whip to the east.

Through the trees, from far down at the mountain's foot to its other boundary of other distant mountains, level as a lake, spreads away Round Valley in every blending shade of green and brown and gold that tree and grass and fields of corn and sun and cloud shadow and autumn may lend to landscape.

Seen for the first time it robs one of speech. "Beautiful," says the stage-driver, contemplatively. "Yes, beautiful, but O God!"

Ah, yes; this is not paradise. This is Round Valley. From these splendid heights, with this wonderful picture of peace spreading away to the horizon, one forgets. This is Round Valley — the stolen valley — for every square mile of the fertile green level of which there is a story of crime such as might blacken the sky and poison the air, the dark fame of which has lent the use of its fair name to horrible proverbs.

Those far-off purple hills are dotted with the graves of murdered men — murdered not in the heat of mountain quarrels, but one by one, through years, with cold, slow, deliberate purpose, because they chose to maintain their right to settle there and refused to allow the theft of their stock, the burning of their homes, persecution in the courts or any other circumstance to turn them from that purpose. For that they were murdered.

Every mountain pass that permits an entrance into this paradise has been and still is an avenue for the robbery and pillage of the surrounding country. It is a history of horror from the earliest times, when the children of slaughtered Indians were sold into slavery, to this later day, when brave men, disarmed by authority of law, are, thus defenseless, shot to death from ambush and afterward hanged.

George White

Do you see that group of oaks and the regularly marshaled trees of the orchard there in the very center of the valley, where the sun and cloud-shadows are just now working their wonderful color effects? Among those trees sits the palace of George E. White, the king of Round Valley.

It is as luxurious a place perhaps as may be built or even imagined in these mountains, a beautiful residence of shining white, sitting in an ample green lawn, among the trees, equipped with every modern comfort and luxury, with music and billiard-rooms, and running water throughout, as in the City, with great white barns adjoining, and fruit orchards and fine horses.

The acres of the man who lives there spread over three counties, and comprise an estate equal to a principality. His stock range through all these hills. And yet, when he first stood there, looking down upon this valley — the first white man, it is said, who did so — he was a full-grown man, and as poor as is now the meanest of his vaqueros.

How he became the autocrat of Mendocino County, enabled to boast, as he does, of owning even the Judges upon the bench, forms very much of the terrible story of Round Valley. Ah, the crimes that are said to have been hatched in or about that white palace! Do you see the orchard there? That was the rendezvous not long ago of a company of men night after night to rehearse their elaborate parts in perjury designed to ruin a good woman's life. This is Round Valley. Beautiful, but O God!

Do you see that group of houses a little farther away? That is the town of Covelo. It is the headquarters of the rough riders of these mountains, but the people who live there are not all bad — by no means. Indeed, but a comparative few of these rough riders are so.

If you have good eyes you may see a church spire rising above the trees, and it marks a place where good people gather nightly now, crying "How long, O Lord, how long?" The cowardly murder of brave Jack Littlefield, shot to death in a narrow mountain trail while unarmed and submitting to arrest for a crime it is almost certain he did not commit, following closely as it did upon the equally cowardly murder of Jim Williams, has brought home to these good people the terrible realization that this horrid history is not closed.

There are others and still others, no doubt, who are marked for the relentless vengeance of this side or the other of warring factions, or who stand in the way of ambition or avarice, at whose nod, at the most convenient time or place, will be "done for."

Robbery and murder, arson and perjury interlinked through years, and the accumulation of vast estates and money and power, a colony of people are necessarily implicated. Have you knowledge of any of it? Are you disposed to talk too much? You then become dangerous and are better dead. Or are you merely impatient at the moral desolation of this beautiful valley and disposed to be active in ferreting crime for its punishment? That is embarrassing, too.

So, terrorized, the well-disposed people do not dare to tell each other what they think, but in their church and in their closets on their knees they whisper to Heaven, "How long, O Lord, how long?" Does this seem like exaggeration — trifling with over-serious things?

Jack Littlefield, the man who was shot to death and hanged the other day, was formerly on good terms with Joe Gregory, who was last week tried in Ukiah for attempting to murder him with a knife. Littlefield was charged with stealing a cow and was about to be arrested. "You don't have to be tried for that thing if you don't want to," said Gregory to him. "What do you mean?" "Just what I say. You don't have to be tried if you don't want to. I'll go on the trail and do the Constable when you pass." "Not much," said Littlefield. "Don't you do anything of the kind. I didn't steal the cow and am not afraid to be tried."

But it is thus lightly they value the life of him who bothers them in some degree in Round Valley — as lightly as they estimate a charge of murder. Why should they fear to kill? Should a jury declare a Round Valley murderer guilty it would be repeated at the campfires all through these mountains as the most wonderful thing that had yet happened here.

Judges and juries in this country have been a cowering factor in the lengthening story of crime. They do not dare, perhaps. Even the women consorts of the murderers feel something of the thrill. Think of a woman going across country to see a man "done up," as Mary Casper confessed she did in the case of Ves Palmer, being disappointed because Ves was too well armed to warrant a safe attack.

If Governor Budd's offer of a reward for the conviction of the men who formed the alleged mob that killed Jack Littlefield shall have the effect of hanging the men who did it, the good people of Covelo and Round Valley will bless him, for it will be a lone step for their relief and the ending of this history of lawlessness. Hitherto the only use known for the law in Round Valley has been as a weapon to crush and harass those who came to settle in good faith, and it has served this purpose in instances where would-be murderers, thieves and houseburners have been unsuccessful. It is still serving that purpose. Beautiful, but O God!

The whole story is impossible. All this valley was once designed and set apart as the reservation for the Indians of Northern California. Colonel Thomas J. Henley, brother of Barclay Henley, then Indian Agent (in 1856) and now the next largest property-owner to George E. White, recommended it for such purpose to the Government, and that the few white settlers tore the Indians limb from limb in the presence of their squaws.

A certain settler, overtaken by a storm, came to Jim Wilburn's cabin one night, and under the influence of after-supper pipes and grog, told this story himself, gloating over the details as something clever. When he realized that the fiend was speaking the truth, Jim Wilburn rose up, opened the door and threw him bodily out and down the canyon to spend the night in the storm as he might.

It was by these means that the number of the Indians was reduced from thousands until they now number a few diminishing and corrupted hundreds. The killing of an Indian was scarcely worth speaking of in those days — the form of report, the routine trial and acquittal that accompanies the killing of a white man in these days was not thought of. If a buck had a handsome squaw a white man wanted, that was justification.

Despite the protests of Indian agents, white men continued to come into and take up land in the valley, unresisted by the Government, until their numbers were so great and the numbers of the Indians had grown so small that at last a line was drawn across the north end of the valley over which the Indians were required to retire. Back of this line, however, were 25,000 acres. The same ratio of increase upon the one hand and decrease upon the other continued until these 25,000 acres after were busy in the manufacture of Round Valley history.

Wylackie John Wathan

Wylackie John was of medium height, rather soft spoken and quiet mannered and wore long light hair flowing over his shoulders. He had been captured as a baby and reared among the Indians, but now, grown to manhood, he had become very influential among them. He was a picturesque orator and often harangued the Indians in their councils. On the reservation he soon became of great service as an interpreter. But he met George E. White, who at once recognized qualities that recommended him, and Wylackie John entered the service of White to remain his faithful lieutenant until his death.

Wylackie John was a remarkable man — remarkable in his way as is White in his. He had no small vices; he did not dissipate, he did not smoke or chew tobacco, he dressed well for this mountain country, kept himself neat, was always suave and polite, touching his hat to the passer-by upon the road, inquiring with interest after one's health. With these graces he was wholly without honor, entirely unscrupulous, a robber, a murderer, a poisoner, a perjurer, having an absolute genius for planning evil.

All of his talents he employed with tireless energy in the interest of his master. He located men on land which they were to turn over to White for a song the moment they proved up. (Filed legal title to the land)

Two settlers, one of them named Hembree the other Nowlin, came into the country to take up land. Wylackie shortly after arrested both Hembree and Nowlin for an attack with deadly weapons. They were taken to Weaverville — where all legal matters for Covelo were decided — and detained for months in jail, tried, and despite a fine assortment of perjury against them, acquitted. Both were then set free and returned to their ranch to find their home and fences burned, their flocks dispersed, all their improvements destroyed and White's sheep occupying the range. Nowlin, however, went to work again on the place, and was then told that he would be killed.

One day shortly afterward, Newt Irvin, then employed by the White Brothers, was discovered approaching the Nowlin house. He was one of the two who had driven the White sheep on the land before. Nowlin asked him his business, but Irvin, without reply, continued to approach. It is said he made an attempt to draw a revolver, but it became caught in the lining of his coat, and Nowlin drew his gun and killed him.

Nowlin traveled sixty miles to Weaverville, reported the killing and gave himself up. At the trial George Burgess, who in the previous case had been the friend and counsel for Nowlin, now enlisted with the other side and did what he could to convict him. Perjury was employed against Nowlin again, and he was sent to San Quentin for eight years.

Before the Supreme Court, when the case was taken there, an affidavit was presented from Alexander McPherson to the effect that George White and John Wathan (Wylackie John), had admitted to him miles out of Covelo, that Jim Williams was to have been a witness in a suit against one Perry, who runs the White saloon in Covelo, for selling liquor to Indians. Selling liquor to Indians is a United States offense and there is danger of conviction in such cases, though that fear does not in the least check the traffic in Covelo. Other methods to stop Williams from testifying had to be adopted. Williams knew some other things, too, and he was disposed to be a decent fellow and was altogether objectionable to White.

One night about two months ago Jim Williams was sitting with his wife in his cottage. The lamps were lit, the children had been put to bed. Jim had lit his pipe, and there was a cry outside — someone called his name. He laid down his pipe and went out. His wife heard some one speak from a little distance, as though calling him to come nearer. A moment later two shots were fired, followed by the quick tramp of horses' feet that rapidly became indistinct and died away.

She went to the door and called: "Jim!" Turned from the bright lamplight into the night her eyes could distinguish nothing. With her hands stretched out before her she went groping down the garden calling: "Jim! Jim!" Her foot touched his dead body lying in the path. She stooped, turned it over and felt his face, covered with warm blood.

There is a later murder, and so the killing of Jim Williams is an old story in Round Valley. This widow is struggling alone now for her children and Jim is buried. To be sure, there was some inquiry about the matter. It was discovered that the deadly leaden balls were from a 38-55, and it is known that there are only two weapons of that size in the valley. It was noticed by the tracks that the horses that stood by the fence that night were unshod, and these tracks were followed to the house of one of the two men who owned a 38-55. It is known, also, that this man had his horse shod the morning following this crime. But that is all. With these facts discovered proceedings ceased.

Jim Williams is buried — he did not testify; but his wife beats her breast and weeps alone under the lamplight these autumn evenings. Impossible to believe men would murder on such slight provocation? You do not know the conditions in Round Valley.

Secure against the consequences of doing murder, murder may become fascinating. The names of some men in Round Valley with whom it is so could be printed here. Think of two men standing on the mountain trail for hours whittling sticks while they wait for the Constable to bring Jack Littlefield along — his weapons safely in the Constable's charge. And when he comes, think of one of these men, hidden among the bushes, lifting a rifle, looking along its barrel and driving a ball through I the defenseless man's breast. That is murder born of desire — the pleasure the murderer feels in doing murder — the crack of the rifle, the start, the shudder, the clutch of the breast, the fall, the gush of blood, the glazing eye of the victim, the sense of triumph, the satisfied enmity.

This man who was hated and feared lies dead here — he will never tell. The birds, the silent forest, the still air — they will say no word. The murderer is alone, or if not his companions are equally guilty. They may say what they will in the presence of their victim; they may pull his beard or lift his lids and laugh in his dead eyes; take the once feared hand in their own and swear defiance and spit upon the face. Where the fear of the law is absent, as it is in this murder can be done with impunity.

When Mr. Henley — notoriously corrupt Indian agent — was removed from office he and his successors advised white settlers to take what they wanted.

Mr. Henley himself, as stated, afterward, together with his brothers, took up large tracts of the land. Settlers multiplied in the valley, and the tales of how they slaughtered the Indians in those early days, took their squaws for their own and carried away their children to the south and west and sold them to slavery are appalling to ears not accustomed to Round Valley gossip.

The preacher-missionary at that time is said to have been the principal agent of this slave trade, finding buyers among the ranchers in his frequent trips through the mountains. An employee on the reservation was also an active agent. He devised a false bottom in the big covered wagon with which he made journeys for provisions. In the space thus allowed he would place the little Indians to carry them away. They were sold as chore boys or prospective vaqueros for $50 to $60.

Old Jim Wilburn, whose son it was who was with Jack Littlefield the day it is claimed Littlefield shot Vinton, found a cabin in the mountains some years ago while hunting, where a dozen Indian children were imprisoned, tied hand and foot, awaiting the arrival of the slave-dealing preacher. Wilburn was always sternly opposed to the outrages of every character peculiar to the country, and of course set them free. He is fierce as a fighter, and perhaps this fact is responsible for his lusty old age.

He tells a story of a Danite who fled to this mountain fastness from Mormondom to escape punishment for the part he took in the Mountain Meadow massacre. The Danite kept a pack of fierce bearhounds. Coming home one day he found a party of bucks and squaws being supplied by his wife with some scraps of food from the kitchen, the bucks sitting stolidly on the grass outside waiting for the squaws to bring them some of the food. The Danite went to his corral and released his pack of bloodhounds and turned them loose.

A plan was formed for which the white men of Round Valley give credit to the Henleys. In the last hours of the session of Congress in 1873 a bill was rushed through creating a new reservation consisting of 79,000 acres of grazing mountain lands and but 5000 of the level, throwing the other 20,000 acres open for purchase at $1.25 an acre without even the requirement of a residence. With such a studied plan so well carried out it need not be written that few of those 20,000 acres fell into the hands of honest settlers.

The 79,000 acres of grass land, which now became a Government reserve, was thus made secure from settlement, and perpetuated as an immense grazing tract upon which the land-grabbers of the valley need pay no taxes. It was this fair picture that earned the title of "the stolen valley."

Begun thus with wanton slaughter of bucks, the appropriation of squaws and the enslavement of Indian children, the history of Round Valley passes into its no less horrible second era under which the same rapacious and relentless methods have been and are still applied to the honest white man, who, in good faith, seek to take up land in the neighboring ranges and earn an honest living.

Whether or not George E. White, the Czar of Round Valley, was the first white man to discover the valley — that was in 1853 — he did not settle there until 1867. He took up 160 acres at the point where his mansion now stands. [The mansion, a landmark for years on Highway 162, burned down in the 1970s.]

The Henleys had already begun their accumulation of acres by building little cabins over the Government land and labeling them with the made-up names of claimants in order to keep settlers away. But this could not last, of course. For the live settler insisted and then the trouble began.

For a considerable time George E. White struggled with poverty and lived, like the most ill-conditioned settler, accumulating a little band of cattle, the price of which went up once upon a time to a point that enabled him to sell at an unusual profit, and from that date his prosperity began and with it a consuming ambition. He gathered about him the pick of the freebooters of the country, and by locating men upon land whom he could control, terrorizing those who came in to take up land for their own use, and by other and worse methods, his estate has grown from that original 160 acres to 150,000 acres, reaching through Mendocino, Trinity and Humboldt counties. His cattle are unnumbered, and he at one time employed a constant train of teams over the mountains carrying his wool to market. He is rated as the richest rancher in Northern California.

It is this George E. White who was the plaintiff in the most sensational divorce suit ever tried in California perhaps, the evidence in which suit gave the first glimpse to the outside world of the terrible goings-on of this mountain region — the suit which Judge Wilson, in deciding the case against White, declared was without parallel in the history of California for its evident perjury and the shocking character of its testimony, and that every witness for the plaintiff (George E. White) had apparently received his reward or expected to receive it.

When they brought the Wylackie Indians over from Tehama County to the reservation there came along John D. Wathan, a white man, soon employed by White, who was to ever put another man on the same land with instructions to shoot the other man when he could so safely, and to trust to him (Wylackie John) to prove an alibi or a case of self-defense.

When Wylackie John invaded the surrounding country after other people's sheep or cattle he would station bands of other sheep or cattle at different points along the trail and so cross it with their tracks as to confuse pursuit. If he contracted large debts the creditor died. He imposed obligations to do murder upon the ranchhands upon pain of discharge, and perhaps death, if they refused, and the promise of a reward if they complied, and then when they complied refused to pay the reward, but held the knowledge of the crime over them to enforce subjection. When any of these men became restive and showed signs of giving trouble they died through the workings of the same agency, and the dangers of that sort of thing were soon understood.

In one infamous instance, Wylackie John himself shot his man from ambush after the manner of the recent Littlefield murder. In another he pleaded guilty to a killing that he had nothing to do with (except to plan it), and on the worn plea of self-defense went free as he knew he would. He marshaled a gang of perjurers who blasted the good name of White's first wife, thereby procuring the divorce White sought; he was preparing to do the same in the case of the second wife when the good lady fortunately died, and he was actively engaged in performing the same service in the case of the third wife when her brother put a ball through his dark and busy brain. Wylackie John was a valuable man in his way.

Joseph Le Van and his brother were among the early victims of Wylackie's genius and White's greed. They went into Potter Valley and undertook to raise sheep. Wylackie John soon after led a party over there and made an attack on the house in the disguise of Indians. The Le Van boys made their escape in the darkness, and their house was burned and cattle killed. They left the country. On the way over Wylackie had invited a young man named Nowlin to join the party, but Nowlin so indignantly refused that he became objectionable.

Nowlin and one H. C. Hembree took up some land in Trinity County on which the sheep of George E. White had been grazing. Two men were sent to drive White's flocks upon the pasture. Nowlin and Hembree ordered them off the land, and when they refused to go lifted their rifles and threatened to shoot. White had sent Newt Irvin to the Nowlin place to kill Nowlin; that when they learned that Irvin had, instead, been killed, they sent another man to take the weapons away from the body, so that it would appear Nowlin had killed an unarmed man; that they had also several witnesses to swear falsely at the trial, and that they "owned the Judge up there anyhow, and he would do as they wanted."

Then came McPherson's turn — one of the most pitiable cases of them all. Wylackie John, before he came into the valley, had been engaged in a liaison with McPherson's wife — for he was accomplished in love-making, too. He induced McPherson, who was a decent and industrious man and was well-to-do, to come there with wife and children and invest some $5000 in a stock-range. With the passage of time the liaison with Mrs. McPherson became irksome, however, and threatened to be troublesome as well for Wylackie because engaged to another woman — the Anthony girl, whom he afterward married.

While still carefully shielding himself, it was easy to make trouble in the McPherson family that soon grew to a point where divorce was talked of and Wylackie took a long look ahead, that all things might be made to work together for his good. He now induced Mrs. McPherson to give him a bill of sale and deed for the property as a means of saving it from McPherson in the event of a separation. Another of the gang worked upon McPherson in the same way, while Wylackie played lago, directing McPherson's suspicion against Brady Tuttle, White's hired vaquero. He did this so successfully that McPherson came home one day and discovered such evidence of his wife's guilt with Tuttle that he shot her to death.

Jim Neafus, one of the tools of the White gang, was in the house at the time, and McPherson turned the gun on him, but he pleaded hard and was spared. McPherson threw his gun upon his shoulder and started in search of Tuttle. Neafus arrived at the corral ahead of him, and as Tuttle was about to step out in answer to McPherson's call warned him not to do so. They were shearing sheep at the corral, and seeing McPherson preparing to shoot the men opened fire upon him. Thus, Wylackie's plan was carried safely to its conclusion — the McPhersons were out of the way with deeds for their valuable property in the hands of the gang. Husband and wife were thrown under the ground, the children shipped to the poorhouse and the estate confiscated.

The Packwood brothers came into the valley looking for work. They were not scrupulous and were engaged. They were commissioned to drive away a "settler named Johnson, who had bought an enclosed ranch for $1200 and was industriously at work upon it. They went on the range with cattle, threatened to kill Johnson, and were successful in scaring him away.

Wylackie John appropriated the property and paid the Packwoods $70. They wanted more, and kept asking for it until they became an absolute bother. Wylackie John, Ben Pickett, Bill Cox, George Kindred and three others held a council and decided that somebody "ought to take a shot at the Packwoods," and lots were drawn as to who should do it. The job fell to Pickett, but he said the Packwoods had always treated him right, and he declined in favor of some other.

They tried again, and Kindred drew it. Gus Packwood was induced to accompany the gang into the mountains under pretense of going to Cox's house to get some money Cox owed him. They stopped at a spring to rest, and Packwood threw himself on the ground. Kindred kneeled behind a fallen log, and from there, while the others stood coolly by and looked on, fired a load of buckshot into his back. This was the case that Wylackie John took upon himself, declaring he (Wylackie) had fired the shot in self-defense. Two men who visited the scene the following day found Packwood's gun, the hammer of which was down, but no impression upon the cap appeared. They fired it readily, proving that the cap had not snapped. But with this evidence, and the fact that the man was shot in the back, the Judge gravely decided that the plea of self defense was good.

Robert Greves, who took up a ranch of 150 acres on the Eel River, was shot by Johnny White while he was in the company of Wilson Lloyd. Wylackie paid Lloyd $1000 to leave the country and not appear against White. Lloyd took the money and went away, followed down the trail by Wylackie. Diligent search has been made for Lloyd by his fellow Masons, of which order he was a member, but he has not since been heard of. "Uncle" Johnny White was tried at Weaverville, claimed the shooting was accidental, and was acquitted.

Tom Steele was offered $300 if he would kill an Italian rancher named Ed Bizza. Steele became so indignant, threatening instead to kill Henry Peterson, the man who made the offer. That got him disliked and it became only a matter of time with him that he would pay. Among Steele's cattle was a maverick cow that did not belong to him, but which had never been branded. It remained there for two years and nobody claimed her. The vaqueros advised Steele to brand her and at last he did so. He was promptly arrested on a charge of stealing one of George White's cattle, was tried, the evidence brought forward was overwhelming and Steele was sent to San Quentin for three years and his property was appropriated.

George Ericson, an honest Norwegian, took a place and showed every disposition to be decent. He was a good woodsman and an honest man, besides being a dead shot, brave and able to cope with a crowd of the ambushers in a fair fight and did not fear them. He was subjected to every kind of outrage known to the gang — his stock run off, his fences broken, false charges brought against him in the courts until he was almost ruined financially, but still he stayed and defied them. Then a Dane named Schappe was sent to shoot him. The ball went wide of its mark and Ericson sent seventeen bullets after the fellow that were made to whistle about his ears, throw dust upon him, bark the trees near him and thoroughly frighten him, which was all Ericson desired to do, as he knew Schappe to be merely a weak-witted knave.

But Ericson was arrested upon a charge of assault to murder and held by the subservient magistrates for trial. The District Attorney failed to file an information and the case lapsed. Ericson refused to accept the warning, though, and stayed with his claim, confident that he had daunted the gang.

It was not long afterward that Ericson's riderless horse came out of the woods, the saddle smirched with blood. Ericson had friends in the outer world and Detective Lawson of San Francisco was employed on the case. He secured evidence showing that John Norris, G. F. Trogdon, George Orr, Ben Arthur and Deputy Sheriff George Kuntz had subscribed $125 each to hire a man to kill Ericson. George Orr was selected and the $500 was placed in the hands of Norris, to be paid when earned. A band of sheep had been driven over the trail to obliterate the tracks, but they did not do so wholly. Orr and Kuntz were arrested and Orr subsequently confessed. The two had waited for their man on the trail which Ericson must follow returning from Hettenchow. They tired of waiting and went to the mountain side to fix a fence, but fearing Ericson might pass Kuntz took his gun and returned to the trail. Presently Orr heard four shots and Kuntz returned.

"Well, I got some big game down there," he said. "What was it?" "George Ericson."

"What were the four shots about?"

"To fool any one who might have heard the shooting. They would lay it to some poor shot and never suspect me. I shot him in the back as he rode by on his mule. He threw up his hands and yelled and rode on. But he's fixed."

The sheep men had heard the shots, saw the riderless horse, and found the body, which was unarmed.

Kuntz took a cool part in the gossip about the murder, and offered to furnish the boards for the coffin, for which he charged the family $2.50. When he came to placing the body in the box, however, he quailed so visibly as to provoke comment.

Poison was frequently used to clear the country of men too decent for the gang, or who began to know or talk too much. Quantities of strychnine are used by the woodsmen for the killing of bears, and so it was always obtainable. Newt Irwin, before he was shot by Nowlin, engendered ill will by telling how he had been offered $500 to kill Nowlin. He was presented with a quarter of beef, but on his way home gave a piece of the meat to his dog, who promptly died, and thus saved his master's life.

Nowlin himself, while defying the gang to open warfare, so feared this method of attack that he educated himself to taking large quantities of the poison by a course of graduated doses. He never ate any food without first trying it on his dogs. Among the victims to poison, only one instance need be named. His name was Staggs. He had considerable property, some money, 1200 sheep and rented the Alder Point Range, on Eel River, from White. He was found dead in bed, poisoned, one morning and his property missing.

But of murder this is enough. They are merely sample cases. The following gloomy story illustrates Wylackie John's gift for plain theft.

A settler in the valley owned a valuable colt which would exactly match one of White's. When it disappeared and the settler saw it in White's herd he sued to recover it and the case was heard in Weaverville. The colt was tied outside while the usual hard swearing was going on in the courthouse.

At the noon recess White invited the court, lawyers and jury to the saloon across the street. While there Wylackie John brought White's colt from a neighboring barn, where he had him concealed, tied him up in front of the courthouse, mounted the stolen horse and rode with all speed for Round Valley. When the judge and jury, returning to the courthouse, wiping their whiskers, stopped to inspect the colt they found him wearing the White brand and none other.

It was talent like this that was directed as energetically toward securing evidence against the several Mrs. Whites when his master wished to rid himself of them for one purpose or another. It was Wylackie John who engineered the case against the third wife, Frankie White, the startling sensations of which followed one another in rapid succession. In deciding that case in the wife's favor, Judge Wilson said it was without a parallel as to quantity, variety and the black depth of the perjury perpetrated.

George E. White, the autocrat of Round Valley and all the surrounding country, is not an ordinary man — that need not be said. A giant in stature, of powerful physique, he is as relentless as he is pitiless when once he determines upon the ruin of an enemy. He has had three wives. The first he put upon a horse with her child and sent her away, promising to come to her, but he never did. She got a divorce and he settled with her for $650 — for he was not a rich man then — and never saw her again until she appeared as a witness against him in the third wife's case seventeen years afterward.

He took a trip to Virginia and brought back a beautiful young bride, who subsequently died while White, it is said, was preparing to bring suit for divorce.

Then he met Frankie White, a child, the daughter of a cousin. She was a graceful modest little thing, with large, soft dark eyes, a sweet mouth and winsome manners. He invited her to visit him, sent her to school for a few years and married her. Her folks thought she had made a great match, for White was now rich.

The dream was short lived, however, and what she was to learn of sorrow in the after years her husband's principality multiplied many times could hardly compensate her for White's brutal, cold, selfish nature, once she was his wife. It unfolded itself to her in such swift passes as to amaze and paralyze her.

She discovered that he was dealing in counterfeit money, and this annoyed him. Then her elder sister, a young widow, came to the Round Valley mansion and soon, with a terror that felt like doom in the first shock, and then through the anguish of lagging months stole sleep, bleached her cheek and caused her to forget the comfort of tears, she first suspected and then knew that she had cause for jealousy.

White first put the sister in charge of a roadside inn which he owns on the road between Round Valley and Ukiah. His trips to Ukiah became frequent and long continued, the anxiety of the young wife at home growing intensity during every hour — her sister, husband, both suspected. Then he set up a splendid establishment on Claremont avenue, Alameda, and made the sister its mistress.

The young wife knocked at the door of that mansion one night and created consternation there while changing suspicion into realization. She did not return to Round Valley, but went across the bay and took up her residence at the Russ House in San Francisco.

Had this adultery not been fully sufficient she had other reasons for desiring no more of Round Valley. She had overheard a few days before she left the valley her husband and Wylackie John plotting to kill her.

Then followed the suit for divorce that attracted National attention. White charged his wife with all the sins that, proven, may secure a divorce. He knew he would find it difficult, even with his host of professional perjurers, to prove any of them, and so when her counsel, at her instance, offered to accept a settlement for $10,000, he assented. When the lawyer demanded security however, he refused. Then the wife filed a cross-complaint, making allegations as to what she knew and the plotting against her began. Wylackie John was in his element. Early and late he applied himself to making evidence.

His fertile resources — the resources of Round Valley — were exhausted in this case. He and White would not stake all upon one line of action; if among the men found willing to blacken her character for money they discovered one bold enough to "do" for her that would simplify the matter and save much expense. White was away from Round Valley and his colony of men skilled at shooting defenseless persons in the back, were not available.

White sought the advice of a medium — for was a firm believer in spiritualism. She told him that a red-headed man would prove his savior in this difficulty. He was delighted and told Wylackie to find the man.

"Brick" McPherson was an attache of the Russ House and his hair was red. Did he know Mrs. White? Certainly. Would he undertake to compromise her and furnish proof of it? Certainly. Then he could call upon White for $2000. It was enough. McPherson's ready assent to the dirty business suggested that he might be that bolder man that they were looking for.

He was introduced to White and White suggested a buggy ride to Bolinas — he and Mrs. White — when the horses might be driven over an embankment. If Mrs. White was not killed he could beat her head with a rock and the "accident" would free him from suspicion. White and Wylackie would be driving a little distance behind and come up to his assist.

Horrified at the suggestion, McPherson nevertheless said he would consider it. He sought an interview with Mrs. White whom he had not known before and told her all about it.

She consulted her attorneys, they met McPherson and advised him to keep up a play of assent to White's plans. McPherson saw White and advised him against such radical measures.

"If you do this thing there is $2000 in it for you," exclaimed White impatiently. "Kill her, I don't care how; throw her in the bay, anything, just so you get rid of her."

But McPherson temporized and finally drew White away from this plan. He said there would be no difficulty about securing evidence that would secure a divorce and carry such effect in court that the alimony or any other money award would be nominal. He agreed that White himself should be a witness.

It was planned that he (White) should see Mrs. White in a room with him (McPherson) under all essential criminating conditions. All parties kept the engagement.

McPherson and Mrs. White went over on the 3 o'clock boat, on which was also a detective watching them. Mr. and Mrs. Willis Ostender also went on the same boat as friends of Mrs. White.

McPherson and Mrs. White took a carriage from South Vallejo, while Mr. and Mrs. Ostender walked over. The rendezvous was the Wilson House. White went out by a later train. It was arranged that he with his detectives should come to and break into the room at in o'clock at night where they would find Mrs. White and McPherson.

At that hour White rapped at the door. He heard excited voices within. He summoned the hotel clerk, got a chair and a lamp and endeavored to peer over the transom. While in that attitude the door was suddenly opened by Mrs. White's attorneys and the door of a room across the hall opened at the same time and Mrs. White and Mr. and Mrs. Ostender appeared there.

This plan had failed.

Wylackie John saw he would have to depend upon his Round Valley men after all, and so began to teach them the parts he expected them to play. This, for instance, is the story he required James Neafus to say, but he had seemed to be her friend, would never permit the charge to be made in his name.

Rohrbaugh was in a most unfortunate position for a weak man who was disposed to be decent. He was, or thought he was, in George White's will for a large sum which, to refuse to do White's bidding, was to sacrifice. On the other hand the world must forever hold him as the most despicable of men if he did assent to it, even if what they said were true. Judge Wilson in his decision referred to him, saying that the meanest of the perjured witnesses would scarcely change places with him. For he did not only assent to it, but paid some of the witnesses money and helped them out of town.

When it came to the last test Neafus weakened a little. He balked at the point where they "looked through the window," but said he returned to the well curb while Wathan (Wylackie John) and Armstrong looked through the window. White was good enough not to find fault with him for this, but he got but little more for his services than a cheap suit of clothes and a few odd dollars. Armstrong told the full story as given.

This trial was begun in December, 1887. White claimed to have a great number of witnesses in the vicinity of Covelo who could not come to the City, and during the Christmas adjournment of the court the lawyers and Court Stenographer Riley went to Covelo to take their depositions. Here Wylackie John was perfectly at home. He was very busy bringing men and women forward with corroborative evidence, George E. White being present, a close watcher of every witness.

The proceedings ran on for several days, the little town and surrounding country fairly teeming with perjurers.

"Wylackie John dead!"

That was news indeed In Round Valley, and besides the effect it produced upon the men closest to White, who were Wylackie's lieutenants, it meant chaos for a time in the network of Round-Valley intrigue. For the little pellet of lead had scattered the brains that directed it all. There was talk of lynching, of course, but, perfectly calm, young White stepped across into Henley's store, secured a rifle and ammunition and announced himself as ready. But Wylackie was dead, and it does not take a man long to lose influence once he is dead. It was found now that he had many enemies, and Clarence White had always had many friends. He was simply required to give bonds in $5000, which he readily did.

Clarence White

White versus White had been carried to San Francisco by a change of venue, as stated, and for months it furnished a succession of sensations, among them being White's first wife, whom he had thought dead, coming to testify against him. Frank Salladay, another witness, came nearly all the way from Round Valley on foot, swimming the turbulent Eel River in winter, to tell how offers of money had been made him to testify to improper conduct on the part of Mrs. White. At the end of it all the court awarded Mrs. White the divorce on her cross plea, awarded her also all the community property, of a value of $100,000, besides handsome alimony for months before.

In the scatterment of the witnesses of whose perjury the court was convinced, relate under oath and Frederick Armstrong with him: "On a certain night in September, 1884, I was riding from Covelo to the house of George E. White, and on the way we were overtaken by Frederick Armstrong, who proceeded with us. When we arrived at the house of George E. White we put up our horses and went and sat on the wellcurb and ate some apples which Wathan (Wylackie) had procured. About half an hour after we arrived, it being then about halt-past 8 in the evening, we saw a man crawling down the backstairs without a coat on and his shoes in his hand.

Wathan suggested that we take our boots off and follow him. We did so. He went around the house, through the garden, over the porch and into Mrs. White's room. We looked through the blinds and saw him get in bed and then turn out the light."

For several nights in succession, in order to perfect them in their parts, Wylackie took Neefus and Armstrong over the ground, showing them just how the thing was done. He sat them on the well curb and showed them where the man — who was said to be John Rohrbaugh, Mrs. White's cousin and manager of White's estate — crawled "down with his coat off and shoes in hand," and then he followed the course described around the house and showed them the blinds that they were to peer through into the bedroom.

Wathan — Wylackie John — scoured Covelo for an almanac to discover if the moon was up in the latter part of September; he got a lamp and placed it on the bureau by the bed, showed them how the man was to come down the back stairs and how they wrought to the highest degree of excitement, every resident being summoned to testify on one side or the other.

Mrs. White had for her active champion her brother Clarence, a young man then of but 24 years, but whose courage and prowess had often been tested and had won him the respect of the boldest. He was of medium height and slight build, but had that in his steady brown eye and confident bearing that often made bigger men quail. As a boy of 17 he had joined Sheriff Standley in pursuit of a gang of outlaws and his duel in the woods in which he killed the leader, Billings, was not forgotten history. He had worked for George E. "White and knew him as he knew Wylackie John and what they would do to gain their ends, and were doing.

It was a cold day during the Christmas week, there was a heavy fall of snow in the valley. By sleds and in their winter furs, the witnesses, men and women, were being marshaled for the inquiry in the Gibson House, the one pretentious building in town, now closed, however, and falling into decay. The saloon opposite was crowded with spurred and pistoled cowboys, most of whom, while employed as adherents of White, were secretly disgusted at the assault which they saw being made upon the good name of a woman whom they felt was above reproach. The father as well as the brother of Mrs. White watched the energetic efforts of Wylackie John with growing wrath and a lieutenant warned him to beware.

"I am ready," he answered, showing the outline of a revolver against his overcoat pocket. He was then conducting a woman were to follow him; how the man might enter the room and how the blinds might be turned so that they could see him. Brady Tuttle and old man Kendricks and a battalion of others gathered every night in the orchard or the adjoining fields and practiced their several parts. Some of them had Wylackie to write out their testimony for them. He complained that Brady Tuttle's head was so thick that he could not get anything through it. When they came down for the trial all the witnesses were kept together at the Ahlborn House under Wylackie's careful supervision.

Every night preceding the trial he gathered them together in a room and put them through their lessons, so that they might make no slip, especially the important ones, George Morrison Sr. and Jr. — father and son — Fred Armstrong, Lew Willis. Brady Tuttle, Edward Goggins, J. B. Neafus and old man Kendricks. They were all to be paid according to the value of their performance, some being promised as high as $300.

The Morrisons' story was next in importance to that of Neafus and Armstrong, for they were to say they saw Mrs. White and Rohrbaugh on another occasion together in the brush by the road side. Before the trial Clarence White saw the woman enter the room where the witnesses were gathered, knew her character and what might be expected of her, and immediately crossed the street with the purpose of advising his sister's attorney, McPike, concerning her.

Wylackie John had crossed through the room and come out into the central hallway and there met Clarence. "Where are you going?" Wylackie said.

The slandered woman's brother, Clarence, replied, "To speak to McPike about this lying woman you have just taken in there."

"No, you don’t," Wylackie said.

"Who will prevent me?" Clarence White said.

With an oath Wylackie exclaimed, "I will — I'll just 'do' you right now!"

Young White wore a long ulster overcoat, buttoned, it is said, to his feet. His revolver was not in a case, but stuck loosely in his trousers belt in front. He did not attempt to unbutton his coat, but pulled it up as a woman might an apron.

Wylackie's gun caught in a hole of the pocket, it is supposed, for he was too slow, and the crack of the revolver which startled the lawyers inside was not of his. He fell on the stairs with a hole near the right temple, which extended through his brain. When McPike hurriedly opened the there was terror, recrimination, and in many cases a swift retribution

Clamoring for their pay White gave many of them only enough to get out of town, which in their fear of arrest, of which he took advantage, they were compelled to accept. One of them — old man Kendrick, an overseer on the farm— dropped dead on his way back, and another was drowned while crossing the Eel River.

J.B. Neafus, who was trained to tell the story about eating apples on the well curb and of seeing Johnny Rohrbaugh climb into Mrs. White's room, was subsequently sent to San Quentin for holding up a stage. John Rohrbaugh had given him $5 with which to get out of town, and White had bought a cheap suit of clothes for him. When he demanded more money White gave him a rifle and told him to go and get it. It was for following the suggestion that he was sent to San Quentin, where he afterward made affidavit to all the facts related concerning his testimony.

Clarence White was tried at Ukiah for killing Wylackie John and promptly acquitted.

Such satisfaction was shown over the verdict that even the Judge got drunk and so noisy that the Sheriff attempted to arrest him.

Wylackie John had quite an estate in his own name, and it is said that White, immediately he was dead, attempted to get it away from the widow. Sylvester Palmer, a man who was in his employ, married the widow, and from that day the bitter, relentless enmity of White has worked trouble for him.

He has been required to defend himself against charges of cattle-stealing so often that he confesses himself now almost ruined. Only a few days ago White made charges against him before the United States Grand Jury for stealing a calf from the Indian reservation, and an indictment was found, so that he will no sooner get through with the pending case in Ukiah than he will have to come to this City and defend himself here. He declares himself innocent of all these charges and in every case hitherto juries have declared him to be so.

Jack Littlefield, who was shot to death and hanged a few days ago on Red Mountain, thirty miles north of Round Valley, was Palmer's head vaquero.

J.N. Vinton, who was shot in the breast some days before, but who is recovering, was a vaquero in White's employ. The story of how, two days after the Vinton shooting, seven men went to arrest Littlefield, who was charged with the Vinton shooting; how only two made the arrest, and these two, first disarming him, afterward led him away into the mountains, where he was shot and then hanged by an alleged mob, has been told.

It has been told, also, how it is believed by many that Littlefield did not shoot Vinton and that those who shot Littlefield knew he did not, but took advantage of that shooting to cover their cold-blooded murder of Littlefield with the appearance of justifiable vengeance. If this be found to be true, then the Constable who made the arrest and disarmed Littlefield and led him to where he was shot, will be held with others for the murder, and Ves Palmer will know to a certainty that his murder was also planned and intended at the same time.

Joe Gregory was acquitted in Ukiah on Saturday of the charge of cutting Littlefield almost to death. But he was one of that party of seven who left Tom Hayden's house to arrest Littlefield. He was subsequently on that jury of nine with a Justice of the Peace at its head that declared simply that "Littlefield was shot and came to his death," and who afterward doubled the body up and dumped it in a small hole two feet deep. It was Gregory who scraped the congealed blood from the dead man's neck, pointed to the long, ugly scar there, saying, "See, I did that and I have seen him carry it to his grave. No, we need no box for him: it is easier for me to say God d____ him than God bless him." This is something — from the beginning until now — of the story of Round valley.

* * *

OUR AV SCHOOL DISTRICT will now also have to revise instruction to comply with Proposition 58, the bilingual education mandate passed easily into law in the calamitous recent elections. Fewer than 5% of California public schools now offer multilingual programs, though there are an estimated 1.4 million English learners, roughly 80% of whom speak only Spanish. The students enrolled in the Anderson Valley schools are overwhelmingly from Spanish-speaking homes.

BI-LINGUAL INSTRUCTION is a bad idea considering that more than 80% of all technological information is published in English, and a reasonable mastery of English is necessary to even the hope of well-paid employment. I hope to interview our capable school superintendent, Michelle Hutchins, as to how the local schools will adapt to the bilingual bomb dropped on them.

* * *

THE DECEMBER 16TH meeting of the Anderson Valley School Board "approved a Stipulated Expulsion Agreement for an 8th grade student with placement remaining at AVHS.

I THINK WE KNOW the kid who got the bounce. He does odd jobs for us at the paper. Smart, excellent worker. Does exactly what he's told. No fooling around. Of course we have an advantage over the schools; we can tell him to buzz off if he doesn't do as he's told. The school keeps him vaguely enrolled because, pain in the ass that he is to them, he's worth a nice sum from the state every year in attendance money.

BUT THIS KID is totally unsuited to the one size fits all education system, and is a perfect candidate for an apprentice program where he spent most of his day with one of the many skilled people in the Anderson Valley where he would be taught marketable skills. In fact most kids would benefit from an apprentice program focused on practical instruction which, believe it or not, we used to have in this county, way back before we lost our way.

(HISTORY NOTE: Back in the reign of Superintendent Wobbling Eagle, Wob saw to it that every kid, K-12, was marked present for an entire school year. The state of course immediately noted the improbability and our district had to refund a tidy sum. I believe Rebecca Brendlin at the high school office is the only person left in the district who worked for Superintendent Eagle. He went on to sabotage a couple more school districts, one in Sacramento, the other, as I recall, in Inyo County. Wob's administrative hijinks were so spectacular — he caused an unprecedented student-staff strike in Sacramento — that he was written up in several large-circulation newspapers. The state, belatedly realizing that the guy was not only spectacularly incompetent but probably nuts, finally yanked his credential.)

* * *

ONE HUGE prob with public ed is this: "Board Workshop for Strategic Planning." This kind of vague language is a sure indicator of even more unfocused blah-blah, typically delivered by a vaguely credentialed "expert." Really, what's the diff between strategic planning and plain old planning?

* * *


(Summary of Declaration by Anderson Valley Unified School District Re: sanctuary schools.)

Resolution 2017-008

WHEREAS large immigrant populations are an integral part of community and there are no accurate numbers of how many undocumented children in Anderson Valley's public schools, approximately 75% are Hispanic or Latino Supreme Court prohibited denying children access to education based on their immigration status and 14th amendment President-elect Donald Trump has repeatedly expressed support for a policy of widespread deportation of "undocumented" immigrants from Latin America currently residing in the United States, causing immigrant communities to fear that their families will be separated, that their children's educations will be interrupted, and that their safety will be jeopardized ICE activities in and around schools, early education centers and adult school facilities would be a severe disruption to the learning environment and educational setting

ICE 2011 POLICY states that it will not conduct immigration enforcement activity at any sensitive location which includes schools without special permission by specific federal law enforcement officials unless exigent circumstances exist.

NO LAW REQUIRES School District assistance


Therefore all registered students will receive all school services including free lunch, free breakfast, transportation and education even if they are or their family are "undocumented." No steps will be taken to deny access.

(LONG LIST OF RULES that the district will abide by):

No special treatment based on immigration, no inquiries about immigration, no requirement to enroll in Social Security, no referrals of students or students' families to ICE if they ask about immigration, no permission for ICE to visit school unless approved by Superintendent in conjunction with legal counsel. All school facilities are sanctuaries and school will provide assistance and information and shelter and safety to anyone who fears immigration enforcement.

Superintendent will train district personnel on implementation

APPROVED 4-0, 1 absent

(Undated, but presumably recent.)

* * *

SPECIAL THANKS to Vero Barragan of the school office for passing along the school board doings.

* * *

LITTLE DOG SAYS, “I met these babes, oh, maybe ten years ago, outside the bar at Applebee’s, Ukiah.”

* * *

CATCH OF THE DAY, December 25, 2016

Collins, Dalbalcon, Galindo, Kavanaugh

PETER COLLINS, Ukiah. Drunk in public, resisting.

AUSTIN DALBALCON, Ukiah. Meth sale, possession of meth for sale, paraphernalia, no license, probation revocation.

THOMAS GALINDO, Ukiah. Drunk in public, failure to appear, probation revocation.

PETE KAVANAUGH, Covelo. Parole violatio.

Padilla, Parkin, Rodriguez, Williams

RAYMOND PADILLA, Ukiah. DUI-suspended license.

COLE PARKIN, Ukiah. Domestic battery, battery, probation revocation.

REBECCA RODRIGUEZ, Willits/Ukiah. Carjacking, controlled substance.

DONOVAN WILLIAMS, Suspended license, ammo possession by prohibited person.

* * *



I have a hard time visualizing “deportation forces,” decked out in their finest brown shirts, using military might to storm sanctuary cities, knocking down doors, rounding up people and putting them into cattle cars if they cannot produce a valid driver’s license, with no resistance whatsoever from their “documented” friends, neighbors and local law enforcement officials.

I don’t know about the “Dixie States,” Idaho, Wyoming, Texas, Utah, or the other ultra-red states, but I can say with confidence that this and any other form of alternative-right philosophy will never take hold in California.

Dennis Kostecki, Sausalito

* * *


* * *


Humboldt County. Bank robbers, traveling crews of rippers killing folks, junkies and tweakers stealing everything in sight, protected and properly counted professionally homeless everywhere, cash for idiots to go to dummy college in Arcata (when all other welfare has run out), sky high real estate, critically stoned out-of-state people choking the washed out roads (such as they are) at 15mph, and cops that shoot off 15 round magazines, hitting – nothing? J.K. Rowling couldn’t have made this place up in her craziest fantasy!

* * *


Paris, 1787 — Traveling makes men wiser, but less happy. When men of sober age travel, they gather knowledge, which they may apply usefully for their country, but they are subject ever after to recollections mixed with regret — their affections are weakened by being extended over more objects, and they learn new habits which cannot be gratified when they return home. Young men who travel are exposed to all these inconveniences in a higher degree, to others still more serious, and do not acquire that wisdom for which a previous foundation is requisite, by repeated and just observations at home. The glare of pomp and pleasure is analogous to the motion of the blood — it absorbs all their affection and attention, they are torn from it as from the only good in this world, and return to their home as to a place of exile and condemnation. Their eyes are forever turned back to the object they have lost, and its recollection poisons the residue of their lives. Their first and most delicate passions are hackneyed on unworthy objects here, and they carry home the dregs, insufficient to make themselves or anybody else happy. Add to this that a habit of idleness — an inability to apply themselves to business — is acquired and renders them useless to themselves and their country. These observations are founded in experience. There is no place where your pursuit of knowledge will be so little obstructed by foreign objects, as in your own country, nor any, wherein the virtues of the heart will be less exposed to be weakened. Be good, be learned, and be industrious, and you will not want the aid of traveling, to render you precious to your country, dear to your friends, happy within yourself.

— Thomas Jefferson

* * *

"Please don't leave!"

* * *

THE DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES recently updated the official federal statistics on the percent of state residents ages 12 and older who drink at least once a month.

New England is home to the nation's heaviest drinkers — New Hampshire, where about 64 percent of residents age of 12 or older drink monthly, is tops in the country. Vermont, Maine and Connecticut also come in at drinking rates above 60 percent. Hard-drinking cheeseheads in Wisconsin see to it that their home is the only Midwestern state in the top tier of American drinkers.

The next tier of heavy drinking states are all in the northern part of the country. Some researchers posit that there may be a relationship between heavy drinking and latitude — at the country level, alcohol consumption tends to increase the farther you get away from the equator. This could be a function of the potential for boredom and depression during winter months when the nights are long, the days are short, and baby it's cold outside.

* * *


by William Blake

1. In seed time learn, in harvest teach, in winter enjoy.

2. Drive your cart and your plow over the bones of the dead.

3. The road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom.

4. Prudence is a rich, ugly old maid courted by Incapacity.

5. He who desires but acts not, breeds pestilence.

6. The cut worm forgives the plow.

7. Dip him in the river who loves water.

8. A fool sees not the same tree that a wise man sees.

9. He whose face gives no light, shall never become a star.

10. Eternity is in love with the productions of time.

11. The busy bee has no time for sorrow.

12. The hours of folly are measur’d by the clock; but of wisdom, no clock can measure.

13. All wholesome food is caught without a net or a trap.

14. Bring out number, weight and measure in a year of dearth.

15. No bird soars too high, if he soars with his own wings.

16. A dead body revenges not injuries.

17. The most sublime act is to set another before you.

18. If the fool would persist in his folly he would become wise.

19. Folly is the cloak of knavery.

20. Shame is Pride’s cloke.

21. Prisons are built with stones of law, brothels with bricks of religion.

22. The pride of the peacock is the glory of God.

23. The lust of the goat is the bounty of God.

24. The wrath of the lion is the wisdom of God.

25. The nakedness of woman is the work of God.

26. Excess of sorrow laughs. Excess of joy weeps.

27. The roaring of lions, the howling of wolves, the raging of the stormy sea, and the destructive sword, are portions of eternity, too great for the eye of man.

28. The fox condemns the trap, not himself.

29. Joys impregnate. Sorrows bring forth.

30. Let man wear the fell of the lion, woman the fleece of the sheep.

31. The bird a nest, the spider a web, man friendship.

32. The selfish, smiling fool, and the sullen, frowning fool shall be both thought wise, that they may be a rod.

33. What is now proved was once only imagin’d.

34. The rat, the mouse, the fox, the rabbit watch the roots; the lion, the tyger, the horse, the elephant watch the fruits.

35. The cistern contains: the fountain overflows.

36. One thought fills immensity.

37. Always be ready to speak your mind, and a base man will avoid you.

38. Every thing possible to be believ’d is an image of truth.

39. The eagle never lost so much time as when he submitted to learn of the crow.

40. The fox provides for himself, but God provides for the lion.

41. Think in the morning. Act in the noon. Eat in the evening. Sleep in the night.

42. He who has suffer’d you to impose on him, knows you.

43. As the plow follows words, so God rewards prayers.

44. The tygers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

45. Expect poison from the standing water.

46. You never know what is enough unless you know what is more than enough.

47. Listen to the fool’s reproach! it is a kingly title!

48. The eyes of fire, the nostrils of air, the mouth of water, the beard of earth.

49. The weak in courage is strong in cunning.

50. The apple tree never asks the beech how he shall grow; nor the lion, the horse, how he shall take his prey.

51. The thankful receiver bears a plentiful harvest.

52. If others had not been foolish, we should be so.

53. The soul of sweet delight can never be defil’d.

54. When thou seest an eagle, thou seest a portion of genius; lift up thy head!

55. As the caterpiller chooses the fairest leaves to lay her eggs on, so the priest lays his curse on the fairest joys.

56. To create a little flower is the labour of ages.

57. Damn braces. Bless relaxes.

58. The best wine is the oldest, the best water the newest.

59. Prayers plow not! Praises reap not!

60. Joys laugh not! Sorrows weep not!

61. The head Sublime, the heart Pathos, the genitals Beauty, the hands and feet Proportion.

62. As the air to a bird or the sea to a fish, so is contempt to the contemptible.

63. The crow wish’d every thing was black, the owl that every thing was white.

64. Exuberance is Beauty.

65. If the lion was advised by the fox, he would be cunning.

66. Improvement makes strait roads; but the crooked roads without improvement are roads of genius.

67. Sooner murder an infant in its cradle than nurse unacted desires.

68. Where man is not, nature is barren.

69. Truth can never be told so as to be understood, and not be believ’d.

70. Enough! or too much.

* * *

* * *


Did I read that right? Nearly $200,000,000, that's $200 MILLION to build a suicide net under the Golden Gate bridge? Holy smokes! Did they put this project out to bid?

* * *


by Bob Morris

Wikileaks published emails showing the Clinton campaign deliberately tried to influence the Republican primary so an extreme candidate would be chosen. Presumably they thought Bush or Rubio would be harder to beat than Trump, Cruz, or Carson. That worked out well, didn’t it?

Biden says Hillary never really figured out why she wanted to run, which begs the question, then why did she run?

The campaign was run by a database program called Ada. Ada was right about some things and completely wrong about Rust Belt voters. Computer programmers have a phrase for this, “Garbage In, Garbage Out.”

Her campaign was repeatedly told by her own staffers on the ground in the Midwest and by Sanders’ staffers that Trump was gaining fast. They were told to STFU.

Hillary’s strategy was to separate Trump from the Republican Party and attack him personally. This was so they would not alienate mythical Republicans in the suburbs and made it impossible for Clinton to side with the traditional base of the Democratic Party, the working class, which Trump then grabbed.

The cynical triangulation strategy of ignoring the base to appeal to other voters was devised by the Clintons. It was always a rotten strategy and just blew up in their faces.

Part of her pitch was she would run a super competent campaign. Instead, it was one of the worst in modern history.


* * *

* * *





  1. John Sakowicz December 25, 2016


  2. Eric Sunswheat December 26, 2016

    Liberals are all for social causes, except for when their own toes of financial interest are stepped upon, then they are among the most relentless of conservatives in order to prevail. – urban myth

    BACK TO THE FUTURE. If America’s newspapers weren’t a fading breed, I might quarrel with the current lack of in depth reporting across the spectrum.

    Locally, the Covelo oppressive past instruments of firearms and murder, have been replaced by much of almost same results on a slow simmer, with pen and paper.

    The CDC of Mendocino County, Housing Grinch who stole Christmas?

    The Community Development Commission of Mendocino County opened up its Housing Assistance Program application window for open enrollment that ended on October 18, 2016.

    Those applicants, based upon information provided, were then placed on waiting lists, notified in dated letter November 15 post marked in San Francisco.

    The letter states that you will be notified when you come to the top of the list, and, is not possible to determine how long your wait time.

    Some applicants received at the same time a separate letter, where there was a claim of, Involuntarily Displaced, as defined as:

    “This preference applies to people who have been involuntarily displaced by government action or natural disaster and are not living in standard permanent replacement housing, or will be involuntarily displaced due to no action of your own.”

    Required documentation is due to CDC no later than 10 days from the date of this notice, and if you fail to respond to this letter, your application will be adjusted appropriately.

    Note that Thanksgiving 2016 falls on Thursday November 24, so with the punishing timeline season of holiday celebration of Indian genocide.

    It would be almost impossible for the poor disenfranchised, to receive CDC letter timely if in remote geographic area such as Mendocino County, that they use a post office box, pick up mail to timely respond.

    The criteria with the punishing logistics at hand, might then finally require hand delivery to CDC before the deadline.

    Near the end of the month is when the poor are most vulnerable without resources to travel, yet CDC closed before the holiday for the rest of the week, with a door mail drop available in Ukiah.

    Those who then successfully responded to Housing Voucher Program in time with documentation to, Involuntarily Displaced list, then received a mailed packet from CDC, mailed Dec 09 from Ukiah.

    CDC is currently processing applications from those near top of the Waiting List.

    If you fail to respond to this letter, “due to the CDC no later than December 19, 2016”, “… by the deadline, your application will be removed from ALL Waiting Lists.”

    “CDC will be CLOSED from December 15, 2016- January 3, 2017. You can mail or drop off your application and documents in the CDC mail drop in the front office.”

    Sincerely, Michelle Lether, Office Representative 1
    (707) 463-5462 Ext. 119

    “Persons requiring an accommodation due to a disability may request such an accommodation at any time during this process.”

    The enclosed information and application form contains 17 pieces of paper, mostly printed on two sides, and seemingly random stapled together, which pages are not consequentially numbered, nor marked as a single document in any way.

    The packet contains (White House) Office of Management and Budget (OMB) expired information request form OMB No. 2577-0266 Expires 08/31/2016, and OMB Control #2502-0581, which expired 11/30/2015.

    Among the ‘proof of initial eligibility documents’ required and due (not postmarked but delivered to CDC) within 10 days during Christmas week when US Mail is delayed and many businesses closed or on limited hours, of application mailed from CDC, include the following:

    Needed: Three current consecutive paycheck stubs for ALL working persons in the household. For every member of the household receiving benefit or support income provide verification of the monthly benefit amount. The verification must be directly from the source.

    Also including: Two current, consecutive, complete bank statements. Real Estate currently owned or sold in past three years, including current value of the property or a tax statement, anticipated medical expenses not covered by insurance (elderly, disabled).

    Child Care Expenses, provide verification directly from the child care provider, including amount paid in last six months. For each household member who has paid taxes, provide a complete copy of all tax documents (most current year). Provide social security cards for ALL household members.

    The requested documentation includes 8. Criminal History,

    “A. Has any household member (regardless of age) been involved in, arrested, charged, or convicted for any of the following”:

    “Violent Activity? If yes give details. Domestic Violence, dating violence, or stalking? If yes, name victim. Name of perpetrator. Alcohol related activities? If yes, give details. Manufacture of methamphetamines? If yes, give details. Possession, sale, or distribution of illegal drugs? If yes, list name/date/disposition of case.”

    Note that there is no statute of limitation as to old the requested Criminal Activity is above by CDC of Mendocino County. California law limits employers to criminal conviction information of prospective employees, not more than 10 years prior, and not for arrests nor agency investigations.

    In response for Kamala D. Harris, CA Attorney General, states:
    “Pursuant to California Penal Code section 11121, the purpose of a record review request is to afford an individual with a copy of their record and to refute any erroneous or inaccurate information contained therein. The intent is not to be used for licensing, certification, or employment purposes.”

    “Additionally, California Penal Code sections 11125, 11142, and 11143 does not allow for a person or agency to make a request to another person to provide them with a copy of an individual’s criminal history or notification that a record does not exist;” (continued)

    “does not allow an authorized person to furnish the record to an unauthorized person; nor does it allow an unauthorized person to buy, receive, or possess the record or information. A violation of these sections is a misdemeanor.”

    Referenced: Cindy Santos, Record Review Unit, Applicant Information and Certification Program, Bureau of Criminal Information and Analysis, Sacramento, CA.

    Bah humbug, happy holidays, poor, disenfranchised, without safe housing, grasping for hope at the cruel clutches of CDC.


    • james marmon December 26, 2016

      Excellent post Eric, thanks for providing the public with some real news.


    • Bruce McEwen December 26, 2016

      It’s all very fascinating,I’m sure, Eric. But do you honestly think anybody is going to plow through all that? Like the Dan B. columns, most people have no time for such an avalanche of deadpan depressing information — life’s short, and the lines are long, my friend, so we just, naturally, hit the page-down button and roll our eyes.

      Cut to the chase!

      And do, sir, try, at the very least, to make it the slightest bit interesting!

      • Bruce McEwen December 26, 2016

        Well, of course, I mean besides Jimmy Moron. TBS

      • Eric Sunswheat December 26, 2016

        Mr. McEwen, I know it’s too loosely formatted to be published in your paper except as a summary by an ace reporter such as yourself, but online, I received more compliments today than anything for as long as I can remember.

        A few folks are really interested in modern day oppression of the underclass in civil bureaucratic warfare right now, as a counter point to the historical record of the George White murders of Round Valley, the webpage blog where I placed it.

        Victims of the HUD CDC system for whom I voiced their concerns, appreciated the detail, as irrefutable proof of the injustice.

        It remains to be seen whether the HUD procedural applicant data gathering process, is an illegal action, that may result in civil remedy if Redwood Legal Assistance or similar entity, catches wind of it.

        Hopefully CDC of Mendocino County will see it in a positive light, and handle matter internally with review of checks and balances, and as a last resort, institute organizational shake up to better serve its goals.

        • BB Grace December 27, 2016

          Mr. Sunswheat, I’d like to contribute to your research by introducing you to “Behind the Green Mask – Agenda 21 – Rosa Koire”, who has an excellent YouTube made in 2011 by the same name. She has established a couple of organizations, one being Democrats Against UN Agenda (Mendocino does not have a chapter, though it’s established in Santa Rosa).

          “We are registered Democrats, life-long, who have become aware of the United Nations Agenda 21 negative impacts on our local, state, and national government.

          “We are civil rights advocates, private property rights advocates, pro-choice, and pro-gay marriage, who until recently considered ourselves ‘progressive’ Democrats. We are university educated, middle income professionals who seek to make common cause with others in the United States and the world who share our concerns.”

          Deplorable Democrats of Santa Rosa:

          Koire caught on to CDC/HUD working in real estate. Mendocino desperately needs Democrats against UN Agenda. It’s not a conspiracy theory.

          I would invite Rosa Koire to speak, though what we need are workshops, which would actually help Democrats understand Trump’s agenda.

          • Eric Sunswheat December 27, 2016

            The successor to Agenda 21 is Agenda 2030.

            Whether community development commissions implementing HUD Section 8 nationally, or CDC of Mendocino County specifically, is trying to disqualify and destroy applicants by procedure, or whether it is gross nepotism by staff, trying to shift benefits to their personal cronies, remains to be determined.

            The dereliction of duty, malfeasance, or fraud, if applicable, is exposed by not providing at time of placement on the list, an initial copy of the questions that will be need to be answered later, perhaps with only 3 days effective response window, including weekends when businesses are closed.

            The 10 day clock starts when CDC date stamps the information request packet. CDC puts it into the most seasonally slow time for mail delivery, which has to be filled out with intricate detail with information from others.

            The applicant may have to request from businesses that themselves may not respond to financial dealings from the applicants that fast.

            Then all information returned timely before kill date to CDC, or be removed from ALL LISTS.

            The second ‘foot to drop’, is that CDC is not providing a guideline of what income, assets, and resources, disqualify an applicant, how the matrix is determined, what timeline is available to come into alignment, and how to do it without dodging responsibilities under the HUD program.

            Thus much busy work shifts to CDC staff to disqualify and reject applicants on the list. This appears to be a job works program for CDC staff.

            Also the questionaire process focuses on regular monthly or yearly expenses, typical of applicants who already live in secure housing, not those seeking same.

            The income sources requested, also seems to favor a bias on steady financial support, and does not give substantial hints how to factor in lump sum resource receivership, and dispersal, except for selling real estate within past three years.

            So the process itself could be pushing people out of whatever temporary security they have as their income versus expense ration continues to degrade.

            Result may be in some mistaken belief by becoming totally destitute, while some how managing to maintain a favorable credit rating for a potential HUD landlord, will result in a favorable outcome.

            The information CDC request, is sent out during cold holiday season of notoriously slow mail delivery, when destitute applicants are ill prepared for timely response.

            The webpage blog I reference, (oops!) that Betsy Cawn asks about, is this page we are on.


          • james marmon December 27, 2016

            “Whether community development commissions implementing HUD Section 8 nationally, or CDC of Mendocino County specifically, is trying to disqualify and destroy applicants by procedure, or whether it is gross nepotism by staff, trying to shift benefits to their personal cronies, remains to be determined.”

            I recommend filing a complaint with the Grand Jury Eric, you did a good job. One would think the Board of Supervisors would ask CDC/HUD some questions about all this as well, but mommy (Angelo) would probably get mad at them for them meddling in any official business matters, especially if any of it is of public interest. Camille Schraeder would have to be consulted as well, she works very closely with this Agency and has first dibs on any grant money coming into the County through this Agency. You can bet all her client’s applications made it in time.

            NO PLACE LIKE HUD
            A Report on the Community Development Commission of Mendocino County
            May 22, 2008



            I would file the complaint myself but the current restraining order that the County has against me prevents me from doing so. I could go to jail for contacting them, seriously. And, don’t think Eyster or Allman would lift a hand to save me.

            James Marmon MSW
            Personal Growth Consultant

            “don’t just go through it, grow through it”

          • james marmon December 27, 2016

            The use of the term “cronies” is politically incorrect in Mendocino County, it has been substituted by the term “community partners.”

        • Betsy Cawn December 27, 2016

          Mr. Sunswheat — Thank you for the exceedingly tedious detail regarding the Mendocino County “Community Development Commission” and its discouraging practices. Examining and understanding the “system” of marginally accessible “services” requires entering a maze of technical-legal-bureaucratic lingo and timelines designed to humiliate the humble and glorify the grantors while pretending to improve conditions for everyone.

          Please supply the identity of the “blog” you mention, in your second paragraph above. We need a lot more knowledge of the machinery of our publicly funded social service agencies, and your explanation of the insidious scheduling and documentation production demands is a great example.

          Mr. McEwan — I greatly enjoy your excruciatingly detailed accounts of Mendocino’s criminal justice system and the ever-gorified unravellings of your local miscreants, but I’m mystified as to your criticism of an effort to help us grapple with this reprehensible civil process.

  3. Harvey Reading December 26, 2016

    Re: Really, what’s the diff between strategic planning and plain old planning?

    A week or so in ‘management’ school, where they send CEAs (political appointees who can return to their preceding Civil Service status when they fall out of favor with the guvner’s folks) and the like, who have no management skills whatever, to learn to ‘lead’ rank-and-file workers. They come back with their little minds just stuffed with ridiculous phrases, like ‘strategic planning’, ‘team players’, etc. In other words, a disaster.

  4. Harvey Reading December 26, 2016


    Don’t bet on it. It’s happened ‘there’ before. Read some history.

  5. Kathleen Gagnon December 26, 2016

    Bruce, you really need to get off of your high horse when it comes to education. At least get the facts correct before you go off half-cocked. Per the AV student recently expelled, you say “The school keeps him vaguely enrolled because, pain in the ass that he is to them, he’s worth a nice sum from the state every year in attendance money.”

    Guess what? Anderson Valley is a basic aid district. It gets no additional monies based on enrollment. As public schools are intended to educate *all* children, it takes a lot to get expelled. I refer you to the CA Administrator Recommendation of Expulsion Matrix at — in order to get expelled, you have to be a danger to other students or teachers, or selling drugs on school property. Either your little apprentice is a psychopath or a little too “entrepreneurial” for an educational environment.

    The parents of Mendocino are in general happy with the current reality-based education our children get. Perhaps in the future you should seek to improve your own relationship with reality.

    • james marmon December 26, 2016

      “THE DECEMBER 16TH meeting of the Anderson Valley School Board “approved a Stipulated Expulsion Agreement for an 8th grade student with placement remaining at AVHS.”

      This agreement was made to “save” the district money, not “make” it money. The costs of placing this child in a specialized program could become extremely expensive. Placement at AVHS may not be in the child’s best interest or others around him, but will most likely be a big cost savings for the district, otherwise an agreement would have never been made.

      “the devil is in the details” of the agreement Mr. Anderson. The child’s parents should be assigned a IEP attorney to look into the specifics of this agreement and the district’s responsibilities.


      James Marmon MSW.

      reason for expulsions.

      The child is at risk of causing serious injury to other children or him/herself

      • james marmon December 26, 2016

        Chapter 4
        Information on IEP Process

        49. Should the IEP respond to real, documented needs, or does it accommodate the available funds/resources of the school district?

        While many school districts do have financial burdens, school districts must provide educational services based on the educational needs of your child. School districts cannot use economic issues to deny your child the services he needs. However, a hearing officer can consider costs in choosing between appropriate placements. [Cal. Ed. Code Sec. 56505(h).]

        50. When considering placements, should the child fit the program placement or the program fit the child?

        The program placement should be determined based on your child’s needs as described in his IEP. [34 C.F.R. Secs. 300.39, 300.116(b)(2) & 300.320(a)(4).] The intent of the law is that the program be based on the unique needs of your child, rather than the programs available in the school district. If a program which meets your child’s unique needs does not exist, the school district is required to secure a program (for example, starting a new program, modifying an existing program, providing for an interdistrict transfer or paying for a nonpublic school placement as appropriate).

    • Bruce McEwen December 26, 2016

      Oooh… Nanny has her dander up,

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