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Mendocino County Today: Wednesday, Jan. 18, 2017

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ANOTHER WEEK OF RAIN. Six to ten inches of rain is expected to fall over the next seven days. By far the largest rain day will be Wednesday, January 18 with over three inches likely in the area. After that another 3-7 inches until Tuesday, then cloudy and wet. Typical rain-dampened winter temps will range from the low 40s at night to the mid-50s during the day.

THE WEDNESDAY downpour will cause the Navarro River level to rise sharply to near flood stage late Wednesday, followed by a drop off over the next few days, but still high as rain continues.

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On Friday, January 13, at approximately 1:10am, Mendocino County Sheriff Deputies were dispatched to a report of an arson that had just occurred inside a residence in the 44000 block of Pacific Woods Road in Gualala.

An adult female reported the fire had been extinguished with the help of friends and fire and medical personnel were not needed.


Sheriff’s Deputies responded to the residence and met with the adult female. Deputies learned the adult female's cousin, Ashaki Satomi Scott, age 20 of Antioch, had been temporarily staying at the adult female's residence.

On Thursday in the evening hours, the adult female caught Scott attempting to make unauthorized purchases with a business client’s credit card. The adult female and Scott engaged in an argument regarding the fraudulent purchase attempts.

Just prior to going to bed for the night, the adult female instructed Scott to burn some cardboard boxes in the wood burning stove before she went to sleep.

On Friday, at approximately 1:00 am, the adult female awoke to a large amount of smoke in her residence and went downstairs discovering a large column of fire.

The adult female found several cardboard boxes had been stacked on top of each other which were on fire, creating flames about six feet in height. There were additional cardboard boxes on the kitchen floor that were also on fire.

The adult female observed Scott walking away from the fire carrying luggage. When confronted about the large fire in the home, Scott said she was told to burn the boxes and then exited the residence.

The adult female and a friend extinguished the fire. Scott returned to the residence a short time later, kicking the front door open, causing damage. Scott began flailing around wildly and screaming in the residence until she was forced to leave the residence and the Sheriff’s Office was contacted for assistance.

Sheriff’s Deputies arrived and investigated the reported arson. Deputies found significant damage caused by the fire and smoke. A search of the area was conducted but Scott was not located.

On Friday, at approximately 4:45 am, Mendocino County Sheriff’s Deputies were dispatched to a reported suspicious person in the 43000 block of Iversen Road in Gualala.

Deputies were advised a female subject was knocking on doors requesting a ride out of the area.

Deputies arrived, contacting Scott and placed her under arrest for violation of 451(b)PC (Arson of inhabited structure).

Scott was subsequently booked into the Mendocino County Jail where she was to be held in lieu of $100,000 bail."

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by Andrew Scully, AVA Special Correspondent

January 13, Mendocino — High School Hoops

Mendocino Cardinals 66, Round Valley Mustangs 69


There was one thing both Head Coaches agreed about prior to the start of Friday's varsity boys Basketball game between league leading Round Valley and second-place Mendocino. It was going to be a dogfight. Mendo Coach Jim Young: “You are going to see the two premier teams in the league play here tonight”. RV Coach Mark Smith: “The best athletes in the league are going to be on the court”. In the event it was an exciting night of basketball between two well matched teams with many fine natural athletes, which the Mustangs won 69-66.

This was a fast-breaking affair, a battle featuring a group of young guns on both teams that were not afraid to fire, and they treated the packed house in the Mendocino gym to a fluid game of transitions that was not decided until the final buzzer.

This game was played not just between the two teams as a whole, but also between individual players in key match-ups. The struggle was particularly intense among the guards and centers, a fact that was underscored by the bruising physical play and the number of fouls called. It is also instructive to look at the scoring by quarters. The first quarter dominated by Round Valley, the second by Mendocino to close the score, and the third in a draw at 20-20. That left the fourth, in which the Mustangs were able to edge the Cards 13-9.

The Mustangs lived into their name on this night, charging out and taking command fast in the first quarter, led by their dynamic duo of point guards Sammo Franco and Georgi Hoaglen. Mendocino countered with point guards Nakai Baker and Evan Cole, who both were sharp last week against Anderson Valley. In that game they ganged up for a devastating combination of outside shooting and defensive intensity that kept the Panthers off-balance most of the night. But is was Mendocino that seemed a bit off in this match, with many shots missing the mark.

While the point guards kept things moving quickly in both directions, the inside game was a bruising battle between Mendo center Cody Call and RV center James Bloom, who gave away a good eight inches to Call but made up for the lack of height (relative to Call) with his sheer physical strength and athletic ability. Mike Ozuna had a very strong game for the Mustangs hitting several key shots and performing well on defense.

Both of these teams represent small schools, but the Mustangs had a bit more depth on their roster, which enabled them to bring a few fresh horses to the court. This made a difference in some of the key match-ups, most tellingly at center, where Call had to go the entire distance for Mendocino, while RV coach Rich was able to rest Ozuna and bring in Jonah Lindsey in the second half. Fresh off the bench, he was within an inch or two of the 6'6” Call, who by that time had to be a bit worn down after duking it out for three quarters with Ozuna. And Lindsey did not shrink back from the challenge of coming in relatively late in the game, hitting a clutch basket in the fourth quarter.

Sean Symonds played well for the Cardinals coming back from an ankle injury. He found his range and put 14 points on the board, but it was not enough as the visiting Mustangs battled fiercely into the fourth. At the final buzzer it was Symonds that launched a three-pointer that would have sent it into OT, but the shot missed the mark, and the Mustangs prevailed 69-66.


Mendocino Cardinals 52, Round Valley Mustangs 33

Though statistics for the girls game were not available at press time, we are able to report that the Cardinals looked strong and handily won the game. Jaycee Hendricks and Emily Symonds combined for 35 of Mendocino's points and in doing so outscored the entire Mustang team as they led the Cards in an impressive 52-33 victory over the visiting Mustangs.

Aimee Gordon also played well for the Mendocino, leading her team in rebounds (10) and assists and putting seven points up, including a nice trey.

The Mustangs were led by point guard Shayleena Britton, who was a force to be reckoned with on both ends of the court.

The Mendocino defense converges as Mustang Lakota Hoaglen drives for the hoop.

Cardinal Sevada Calvino (25) and Mustang Ariana Pinoli are studies in concentration as they prepare to launch for a board.

Cardinal Cody Call goes up to defend Mustang Joseph Azbill's charge to the basket. The photo gives some idea of the physical intensity of the game.

Still friends: Elementary school chums Sean Symonds and Joseph Azbill meet after the game.

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My latest article — 'Silicon Valley Poser' — can be found here:

It may be good news for anyone in the Emerald Triangle today. Especially for those who might be thinking about a new career after the passage of Proposition 64.


Scott M. Peterson


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LITTLE DOG SAYS, ‘That poor Covelo guy who got chewed up by the Pits? I hope somebody chews up that punk who owns them.’

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Photos by David Bacon

Facing four years of struggle with a government that represents the 1%, enamored of war and racial oppression, the thoughts of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. speak to us down through the years. Marching in San Francisco to remember his birthday, people celebrated his spirit of struggle. Thanks to Michael Honey for collecting these words and others of Dr. King in "All Labor Has Dignity." Thanks also to Baba Jahahara Amen-Ra Alkebulan-Ma'at for embodying the spirit of this march.

And I have come to see that it must be a massive movement organizing poor people in this country, to demand their rights at the seat of government in Washington DC.

Now, I said poor people, too, and by that I mean all poor people. When we go to Washington, we're going to have black people because black people are poor, but we're going to also have Puerto Ricans because Puerto Ricans are poor in the United States of America. We're going to have Mexican Americans because they are mistreated. We're going to have Indian Americans because they are mistreated. And for those who will not allow their prejudice to cause them to blindly support their oppressors, we're going to have Appalachian whites with us in Washington.

We're going there to engage in powerful nonviolent direct action to demand, to bring into being an attention=getting dramatic movement, which will make it impossible for the nation to overlook these demands. Now, they may not do anything about it. People ask me, "Suppose you go to Washington and you don't get anything?" You ask people and you mobilize and you organize, and you don't get anything. You've been an absolute failure. My only answer is that when you stand up for justice, you can never fail.

The forces that have the power to make a concession to the forces of justice and truth and right, but who refuse to do it and they follow the path of darkness still, are the forces that fail. We, as poor people, going to struggle for justice, can't fail. And if there is no response from the federal government, from the Congress, that's the failure, not those who are struggling for justice.

March 10, 1968, explaining the purpose of the Poor People's March to the members of Local 1199

With all our problems we are optimistic. We are presiding over a dying order, one which has long deserved to die. We operate in stormy seas, but I often remember some beautiful words of Eugene Debs to the court which imprisoned him for his pacifism:

"I can see the dawn of a better humanity. The people are awakening. In due course of time they will come into their own."

October 23, 1962, speaking to members of the National Maritime Union

Full Story with photo essay:

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THE UKIAH ANIMAL SHELTER dog kennel areas will reopen to the public on January 18, 2017, at 10:00am. People looking to add a dog to their family are welcome to meet all of our adoptable canines during our regular hours: Tuesday through Saturday 10-4:30 and Wednesdays till 6:30. Dogs will be allowed/permitted to walk on paved or cement surfaces only. At this time grass, dirt areas & water puddles are not authorized for the shelter dogs during walks. For all of our volunteers: to ensure all the dogs in the kennel areas are getting out, please talk with Amy or Sage before you begin walking dogs. Speaking with shelter staff will help us to coordinate walks, helping guarantee that all the shelter dogs are getting the much needed physical activity they require. The Animal Shelter greatly appreciates your assistance.

Thank you, K. Shearn, shelter volunteer

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"Anderson Valley, California. The Valley’s grapes aren’t exactly underrated—big brands have started gobbling up cooler climate, Pinot-friendly vineyard land the last few years—but visiting the area is still. Located almost three hours north of Sonoma and Napa, getting there requires determination, time and the traversing of a mountain pass. But the reward is a low-key country experience void of luxury hotels and faux-Euro Disneyworld wineries. Boutique tasting rooms sympathetic to the forest landscape line the valley floor, while a spectacular, shadowy tunnel of towering redwoods gives way to the misty coast of Mendocino at the end of 128. November marks the appearance of delicious and rare maple syrup-flavored candy cap mushrooms." Lauren Mowery, Forbes.

Anderson Valley Winegrowers Association

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PG&E to Fly Low in Sonoma and Mendocino Counties to Inspect Trees near Power Lines 1/17 & 1/18

Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) will fly low by helicopter over several communities in Sonoma and Mendocino Counties today and Wednesday (January 17 and 18), to check for trees near power lines that may have been weakened by five consecutive years of drought (2012-2016).

Even with the recent series of storms which brought significant rain to the region, years of drought conditions have affected trees across California. Weakened trees and branches can fall into power lines, leading to outages and even wildland fires.

In Sonoma County, flights will occur over towns along Highway 116 and Valley Ford Road; including, Bodega, Valley Ford, Bloomfield, Two Rock, Southern Sebastopol, Healdsburg, Kenwood and Glen Ellen. Other flights will occur along Skaggs Springs Road and Annapolis Road over the community of Annapolis.

In Mendocino County, helicopters will fly along Highway 128 (Anderson Valley Hwy), Booneville Ukiah Rd. (253) and Flynn Creek Road over the towns of Booneville and Philo and the communities of Ingram, Yorkville, Soda Springs, Hendy Grove, Reilly Heights, Navarro and Comptche.

Residents are advised that the helicopter will fly low — about 200 to 300 feet — along distribution power lines.

PG&E is using a contract helicopter service to fly foresters to check affected trees.

Depending on clear weather conditions, flights will occur between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m.

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The wealthiest 5% will be taken care of. We are asking the incoming administration just how the remaining 95% will benefit during the next four years. Hello. I hear nothing. Ha’penny, the vice president — silence. Not a peep from our national asshole, Mitch McConnell. Suddenly a trembling murmuring was heard. Innasukktur? That was the voice of Johnny Nipple R-Oklahoma. What he is trying to say is "infrastructure."

Now the scene shifts to excuse me! This is Sarah Palin. Listen you dumb jerk. You want benefits? You will get your benefits as soon as we Make America Great Again.

Now the scene shifts to the Huffperson D-Marin. Is that the Marin County of the Sir Francis fantasy? Where one of the streets is named Sir Francis Drake Boulevard? The greatest hoax known until the global warming hoax was exposed by our friend R.Fred Frijol, owner of the Blue Skies Coal Mine? "Blackie" Frijol is expected to be named to an important post in the Environmental Protection Agency.

Now the Huffperson who has served as a decorative symbol long enough. You will now be given something useful to do. You will become an infrastructure reporter with a pork pie hat with a white card tucked into the hatband at a 45° angle that says "press." Huff, as he is known to the news hens, will prepare a monthly report which names the infrastructure projects completed the previous month, those underway this month, and those to be started next month. He will prepare three copies, one for each of the three unremarkables: The Willits Snooze, Fort Bragg Advo-Cat and the lively, fun-filled irreverent Ukiah Daily Journal.

Now it is well-known that Sister Yasmin from over there at Fish Rock (or where ever the hell it is that she lives) likes to do public service. It is also known that she is not a shrinking violet. I’ll bet Sister Yasmin would be delighted to be chosen the county infrastructure czarina.

As the Huffperson dispatches begin appearing in the three unremarkable newspapers it became evident that some free gifts might become available. Proposals were offered such as enough money be transferred from the military budget needed to build 5,000 affordable houses to be sold to the residents of Mendocino County. If you want to buy an affordable house just write a letter to the infrastructure Czarina, Fish Rock, California. Fish Rock became a popular destination. Real estate bandits were there in large numbers to see what they could get their hands on. Prominent Ukiah lawyers were observed trolling for clients. It was like 50 head of cattle fighting over a single bale of hay on a frozen Wyoming range. Charles Peterson set up a hot dog stand.

One popular program is the continuation of the 1862 Homestead Act. Instead of the government opening up vast sections of the country for 160 acre homesteads, the prospective homesteader will look for 160 acres he likes and file a claim at Fish Rock. If it happens to be on Mendocino Redwoods timberland — no problem — the infrastructure czarina will pay the timber company a little something and turn it over to the settler. This program is designed to help the Middle East refugees get off to a good start when they arrive. Realistically, most applicants for homesteads will want to "do agriculture."

The principal venue in this county is Hales Grove which has zero infrastructure, none whatsoever. Hales Grove sits in a large clearing in the middle of a vast forest of many square miles, far from the bright lights and temptations of Leggett to the east and Rockport to the west. Unwanted tanoaks have been removed by hugging and squeezing until they died in a kind of orgasmic throbbing ecstasy.

The first that happens is a large shelter built of logs is constructed. Then the homeless of SoMendoBoldt are scooped up and brought in to begin their vocational training. Each homeless person will learn a useful trade and begin their intellectual development by reading the books of Henry Miller and other literary luminaries. This community will be reminiscent of the collaborative vocational community at Arthurdale, West Virginia, that Eleanor Roosevelt championed, visited often in 1934. Residents learned trades and live together in peace and harmony. Mrs. Roosevelt declared that this was the most wonderful concept she had ever seen or heard of. Republicans said it was pure communism.

Trades learned at Hales Grove consisted of 18th century at occupations such as blacksmithing, horse-shoeing, soap making, learning to play the fiddle, learning to grow the essential vegetables — potatoes, carrots, turnips, and parsnips. While Williamsburg has been restored as an 18th-century colonial Virginia town, Hales Grove will resemble an 18th-century Pennsylvanian village.

It was not long before missionaries started arriving. First the Seventh-day Adventists, then the Latter-Day Saints. They were checking to see whether such activities as buggery were taking place. The missionaries were also looking around to see whether any copies of the AVA were hidden. They found one clipping — "Meth, Mold and Muck Manner, Willits" by J.S. Holts. Someone had written in the margin: "This piece takes first prize for something or other."

A typical day at Hales Grove: General assembly. Everyone listens to the Thom Hartmann program. Next comes C-SPAN2, the Book Channel and a discussion of "Hard Times In Paradise," starring Peggy Bates and Homer Mannix by David Colfax. A guest arrives. He is Hal Wagenet who explains why he is the smartest, best qualified candidate for Third District Supervisor. Cannabis is served but nobody takes any.

Ralph Bostrom, Willits

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by Thomas Cahill

In San Francisco in 1970, Sedonia wasn't the only Hippy queen but she was the grandest. I was never a Hippy king but I was her prince regent so of course I'm biased. If you knew her like some of us knew her, you would agree with us. But, alas, it's too late for anyone else to know her or to ever see her in the flesh. The great beauty was killed in a car accident in Morocco, on the first day of February 2000, eleven days short of her sixty-fourth birthday. She was a year and two days older than me. That makes us both Aquarians with incredibly close astrological charts, according to her cousin, Michael. I always felt she could even read my mind.

Whenever out of the blue she gave me an emotional wallop it would always distract me into forgetting what I was thinking. But I always suspected it must have been treasonous to our marriage. I trusted, respected and loved her more than I did myself and still do. This is why I just asked her to help me write this chapter of my memoir.

She is appalled at what I just wrote. She's sitting here next to me right now. She has never left me. In her later years she was a psychologist and a spiritual leader among mostly women in Sonoma County. She may even have been connected to the Institute of Noetic Sciences founded by astronaut Edgar Mitchell. She's had two books published about indigenous healing circles.

"Tom, you must get over your Catholic guilt. It's anchoring you to this earthly life of futility and madness. You have to love yourself like you do me and God," she just told me, poking me in the ribs. "Forgiveness is the scent of the flower on the heel that crushes it." She was fond of quoting Mark Twain that "forgiveness is the basis of Christianity but you'd never know it by how so many Christians act." But the Buddha perhaps said it best. "Resentment is like swallowing poison yourself and expecting the other person to die."

Today is 18 January 2017. In fifteen days, it will be seventeen years since Sedonia left us. I always get a little quirky this time of year. Je suis desole.

Sedonia's death was the fourth great trauma of my life. The third was a mere 24-hour gang-rape/torture while jailed for civil disobedience in San Antonio in 1968. I'll get back to that some time later. But Sedonia is on my mind right now and while it's painful I always cherish our time and memories together. The author, Phillip Roth was absolutely correct when he said or wrote, "Nothing bad ever happens to a writer. Everything is material." I feel so blessed having been one of Sedonia's lovers.

We met just weeks after I got the royal treatment in jail in November 1968. Sedonia was secretary of the San Antonio Committee to Stop the War in Vietnam. She was married to a good-looking guy who helped her create three beautiful children but then became an anchor to her life. Their marriage had been dead for years.

At the same time, I was without doubt the most notorious radical activist in South Texas if not all Texas. There was one other guy at the time pissing on the rich men's parade like me but it would be several years later that I heard what royal treatment he got—a .357 Magnum bullet through the heart and a second in the chest that must have knocked my friend and former classmate, Freddy Logan, on his ass. "Fuck with the bull and you get the horn," Texas rednecks are fond of saying. But Freddy never got the column inches and even headlines in the corporate press that I did until his death by a deputy sheriff. Then he made "Newsweek" and probably other publications, certainly the "Corpus Christi Caller Times." I learned about his death in the "San Francisco Chronicle" at the time of his death in 1970. But the life and death of Dr. Fred E. Logan Jr. is another story for another time.

Her name was Mary Sue back then. She didn't change it to Sedonia till we married in August 1970. But on that cold November evening in that watershed year for so many people, Mary Sue and I were sitting in the little enclosure she made between the couch and wall in her living room. It was her special, magical sort of sanctuary where she kept her Joan Baez albums and a phonograph and a small altar with candles and incense and a carved rosewood box in which she kept her stash. She didn't offer me any of the pot though, probably because of my sister, Teresa, who was in the kitchen helping Don wash the dishes after a sumptuous meal Mary Sue had made for us. Teresa was a Catholic nun on leave from her mountaintop clinic in Guatemala. Don smoked but not enough pot. His drug of choice was alcohol which caused him an early death, before Mary Sue even.

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by Julie Johnson

The Emerald Cup has brought an audience of tens of thousands to the Sonoma County fairgrounds each of the last four years, and the contest’s environmental focus sets it apart from other cannabis competitions.

But this year, pesticides upended many of the winners of the three-day marijuana festival in December known for its focus on organic and sustainable outdoor farming.

About 25 percent of 263 samples in the concentrates categories submitted from producers across the state were disqualified, mostly because they tested positive for pesticides, according to the event’s official laboratory, Santa Cruz-based SC Labs.

The issue wasn’t uncovered until after the Dec. 11-13 contest due to a late crush of entries plus internal miscommunication about deadlines, said Emerald Cup founder Tim Blake. Blake said he was troubled by the discovery and has apologized to contestants.

“We were dumbfounded that we’d see this (pesticide use) at that level,” Blake said. “We’re going to have to be very careful about that in the future.”

Just over 5 percent of cannabis flower samples showed evidence of pesticides — 40 out of 735 samples entered into the contest — according to Alec Dixon, a co-founder of SC Labs, which got its start in 2010 as the official testing laboratory for the Emerald Cup.

Pesticides were far more prevalent among concentrates, which includes several categories, such as CO2, rosin and dry sieve.

The disqualifications bumped up a concentrate by Sonoma County’s Cult Classics Seeds from No. 3 to No. 1 in the dry sieve category — named for the sifting process that separates resin glands from the rest of the plant. That sample was entered by a Sebastopol man who goes by the name Marcus Walker, a breeder of marijuana strains best suited for concentrates. Walker said the contest organizers failed to list his product — called Xenu (Hippy Slayer x R6) — in the No. 3 spot until the two disqualifications boosted him to No. 1.

“They kind of shafted me pretty hard,” Walker said, lamenting the initial lack of recognition his entry received when results were first announced. “For me it’s upsetting; you put so much into doing something.”

Dixon said it’s logical that concentrating what’s in the plant would also concentrate anything else, making it more likely chemicals would be detected.

“Concentrates are where it all comes to life,” Dixon said. “It’s where total truth comes out because you’re also concentrating whatever pesticides are there.”

The Emerald Cup began testing for pesticides last year — and is widely believed to have been the first cannabis contest to do so.

In 2015, Blake vowed from the event stage to publish the names of products caught with evidence of pesticide use. Blake said his aim was not to humiliate people but push for transparency and a cleaner industry. All tests results were published online the day of the event.

Dixon said other events followed the Emerald Cup’s lead, including two San Bernardino County festivals: Chalice California held in July and the Happy Place held around New Year’s Eve.

“It’s had an incredible impact on this vulnerability in this business,” Dixon said. “Up to this point it’s only the most progressive companies that have done pesticide testing — because they haven’t had to.”

Some in the industry say the Emerald Cup stands out among a glut of cannabis contests for its focus on organic farming, and for them, the prevalence of pesticides in concentrates was disappointing.

“There is no reason to use pesticides not specified for food production when there are safe, responsible methods of controlling pests,” said Oakland-based horticulturist and marijuana activist Ed Rosenthal, who has been a speaker at prior Emerald Cups.

Tawnie Logan, executive director of the Sonoma County Growers Association, said the Emerald Cup is one of the few contests that looks beyond potency and taste.

“Emerald Cup is one of the few cups in the nation that holds the entries to both quality and cleanliness standards,” Logan said. “It’s an anomaly we even get to see the reality of how dirty a lot of this product is.”

Marijuana concentrates are made by extracting certain compounds from the cannabis plant to get a condensed amount of cannabinoids, a variety of compounds in marijuana including the most sought after: THC and CBD. Common extraction methods include using solvents like butane or CO2 extraction machines, but methods can also be low-tech like sifting freeze-dried flowers.

High Times magazine, which holds eight to 10 contests a year in various parts of the country, doesn’t test for pesticides, said the publication’s competition director Nico Escondido. Contestant samples are analyzed for mold, synthetic flavors and residual solvencies, like what might be leftover after butane extraction, but not pesticides. He said their contests generally feature products from marijuana grown indoors, where he believes pesticides are used less.

“I would love to be able to do further testing . .. . these labs can get pretty in-depth,” Escondido said. “Logistically, we don’t have the time to give the labs to do those kinds of tests.”

One of the disqualified Emerald Cup products was created by longtime marijuana farmer Joey Burger, whose Mendo Hideout farm is in the Bell Springs area of northern Mendocino County.

Burger responded to his disqualification with a series of good-natured posts on Instagram and Facebook discussing the russet mite problem and parodying his own disappointment, like a December post with a still from the 2000 movie “Dude, Where’s My Car?” The subtitle on Burger’s post: “Dude Where’s My Emerald Cup?”

Burger said he hasn’t yet seen the results, but suspects the testing showed he used a PyGanic product derived from chrysanthemums that’s listed as “allowed with restrictions” by the Oregon-based Organic Materials Review Institute.

He used it last summer when battling russet mites, a persistent pest he hadn’t dealt with before during his decades-long career growing marijuana.

Burger said he didn’t know the PyGanic product he was using wasn’t approved for organic farms in California until his disqualification.

“I’ve been growing for 20 years now and I feel like a complete rookie,” Burger said. “We’re lucky where we’re at such a time where people are sharing information.”

Mendo Hideout is now researching other ways of manging the pest that will likely involve some type of predatory bug.

“We still think we’re putting out a good clean product, and every year we’re striving to do a better job,” Burger said.

(Santa Rosa Press Democrat)

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CATCH OF THE DAY, January 17, 2017

Alvarez, Brown, Heinz, Hunter

JOHN ALVAREZ JR., Clearlake/Willits. Under influence, possession of assault weapon, large capacity magazine, loaded firearm in public, controlled substance.

ANIKA BROWN, Ukiah. Drunk in public.

JEFFREY HEINZ, Fort Bragg. Receipt of stolen property, failure to appear, probation revocation.

GROVER HUNTER, Ukiah. Domestic assault, controlled substance.

Ireland, Kavanaugh, Salsbury, Stutsman

ASHLEY IRELAND, Ukiah. Criminal threats, threat of injury to peace officer.

PETE KAVANAUGH, Hopland. Leaded cane, bill, blackjack, slungshot, sandclub, sap, or sandbag; paraphernalia, community supervision violation.

SUSAN SALSBURY, Redwood Valley. DUI with priors.

DENNIS STUTSMAN, Redwood Valley. Domestic battery.

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by Louis S. Bedrock

It’s all but final now. Last efforts to force Roselle’s City Council to produce a detailed environmental impact statement have failed. The woods across the street are history.

Surveyors have appeared in recent weeks as well as people in hard hats who look at charts and blue prints and then point at the woods. They’re going to build a community center with a swimming pool and gym, and a school. The complex will be called “The Mind and Body Complex” and will take at least 15 years to complete. I’ll probably be dead before its finished, but will be alive to see the destruction of about 200 trees and to experience the noise, dirt, and disorder.

And now residents of the area have learned that we will also have the privilege of housing a segment of the Pilgrim Pipeline which will transport shale oil south and refined products, like kerosine, northward. It's slated to pass by about ten blocks from my house.

A golf course in Roselle has already been replaced by a housing development. People used to ski there when it snowed. I don't like golf or golf courses, but at least it was green and open.

It’s probably too late to sell my house. I don’t know if I have the energy to move.

The real estate people and the extractive industries won’t be happy until they’ve turned the surface of the earth into a moonscape or an oozing sore. All the lakes and rivers where I fished when I was a kid—often from the shore, have been “developed”. The lakes and rivers now need to be “re-stocked” every spring because the leakage from power boats and the destruction of the ecosystem from tearing down woods and building houses have killed the trout, large mouth bass, and pike that lived in lakes like Lake Hopatcong and Greenwood Lake.

When I visited friends in Sunset Beach, California in 1970, I was appalled to see oil rigs protruding from the Pacific Ocean. The sight recalled some lyrics from a song by The Door’s called “When The Music’s Over”:

“What have they done to the earth? What have they done to our fair sister? Ravaged and plundered and ripped her and bit her Stuck her with knives in the side of the dawn And tied her with fences and dragged her down.”

The assault is everywhere: Fracking in beautiful Wyoming (1126 fracking wells), Colorado (18,168 wells), North Dakota (5166 wells); there are 33,753 wells in Texas. Even Montana is blighted by some 264 wells. There are more off shore rigs than ever, and more landscapes ravaged by strip mining.

In South America, cattle ranchers and the extractive industries continue to eliminate the lungs of the planet at the estimated rate of 80,000 acres a day. In California, 96 percent of the original old-growth coast redwoods have been logged.

I could go on and on. No place to run. No place to hide.

I feel the same despair voiced by Philip Larkin in “Going Going”,

…before I snuff it, the whole

Boiling will be bricked in

Except for the tourist parts -

First slum of Europe: a role

It won't be hard to win,

With a cast of crooks and tarts.


And that will be England gone,

The shadows, the meadows, the lanes,

The guildhalls, the carved choirs.

There'll be books; it will linger on

In galleries; but all that remains

For us will be concrete and tyres.


Most things are never meant.

This won't be, most likely; but greeds

And garbage are too thick-strewn

To be swept up now, or invent

Excuses that make them all needs.

I just think it will happen, soon.

Under Trump, things will get worse, as they would have under Hillary.

All is lost, or soon will be.

* * *


by Paul Street

Fellow workers and citizens, how pure is your hatred? It’s easy to hate on openly authoritarian, loathsome, right-wing political personalities and institutions like Ronald Reagan, George W. Bush, Donald Trump, the Koch brothers, Paul Ryan, the Republican Party, the Heritage Foundation, the American Enterprise Institute, Breitbart News, and FOX News. There’s no serious mystery over what those malicious people and entities are about: the ever upward distribution of wealth and power.

The bigger tests are supposedly liberal and progressive personalities and institutions like Barack Obama, the Clintons, Nancy Pelosi, the Democratic Party, George Soros, the Brookings Institution, the Center for American Progress, the “Public” Broadcasting System (“P”BS), theWashington Post, MSNBC, and the New York Times.

These people and organizations are no less committed than the nation’s more transparently right-wing counterparts to the nation’s unelected deep state dictatorships of money, empire, and white-supremacy, but their allegiance and service to the nation’s reigning oppression structures and ideologies is cloaked by outwardly multicultural, liberal, and even progressive concern for the poor and nonwhite.

“What’s the Something Much Better?”

I was reminded of this distinction for the five thousandth time last Thursday while watching Council of Foreign Relations (CFR) member and “P”BS NewsHour host Judy Woodruff interview the longtime Senior Obama Advisor and intimate Obama family mentor and confidant Valerie Jarrett.

Read the following passage from the interview last week and then tell me, please, to quote Alexander Cockburn, “is your hate pure?”

Judy Woodruff, CFR and “P”BS: Just last night, the United States Senate took another step toward repeal of Obamacare, the Affordable Care Act. There was a budget vote, which is going to lead to other steps, which will lead to repeal. Just yesterday, the president-elect called Obamacare a complete and total disaster.

Valerie Jarrett, White House: I think it’s very easy to say repeal and replace, but we have been encouraging the Republicans, since the president first started embarking on this effort, to put in place a plan for affordable care to come up with their best ideas. And they have had, what, 50, 60 votes to repeal, and not a single replacement plan. So…

Woodruff: Well, they say that’s what they’re going to do. They’re going to get rid of what’s there now and replace it with something much better.

Jarrett: Well, what’s the something much better? That’s my question. That’s the question the president has been asking for eight years right now. So, if there is a something better, let’s hear it. What’s the secret?

Obama, 2003: “What I’d Like to See”

After this exchange, Woodruff moved off the health care topic, with no follow up. That was a statement in itself. Surely any reasonably informed “public” media journalist would be aware that national Canadian-style single-payer health insurance — Improved Medicare for All — has long been backed by most Americans. Such a journalist would know that single-payer would provide comprehensive coverage to all the nation’s many millions of uninsured and under-insured while retaining free choice in doctor selection and being the most cost-effective way to go thanks to the elimination of private for-profit insurance corporations’ parasitic control over the system.

A knowledgeable “public” journalist might even know that then state senator Barack Obama endorsed single payer on these very grounds as late as the summer of 2003, when he said the following to the Illinois AFL-CIO:

“I happen to be a proponent of a single payer universal health care program I see no reason why the United States of America, the wealthiest country in the history of the world, spending 14 percent of its Gross National Product on health care cannot provide basic health insurance to everybody. And that’s what Jim is talking about when he says everybody in, nobody out. A single payer health care plan, a universal health care plan. And that’s what I’d like to see.”

Obama would quickly drop those sentiments in the interest of getting campaign backing from the nation’s giant insurance and drug companies and their Wall Street investors on his path to the U.S. Senate and the presidency.

Right after he entered the White House Obama set up a health care reform task force chock full of big insurance company representatives. Not one of the more than 80 U.S. House of Representative members who had endorsed single payer — not even the veteran Black Congressman John Conyers, author of a House single payer bill — was invited to participate.

A Sicko Game

The outcome was the so-called Affordable Care Act (later dubbed “Obamacare”), a complicated and corporatist bill based on a Republican plan drawn up by the right-wing Heritage Foundation. Since it left the price- and premium-gouging and profit-taking power of the big insurance and drug syndicates intact, the ACA condemned a vast swath of the nation to continuing inadequate and unaffordable coverage — this while the right-wing noise machine has absurdly railed against “socialized health care.”

Along the way, the new neoliberal president played a sicko (yes, Michael Moore) game to sell his Heritage Foundation bill, promising citizens that his plan would include a public option while having already traded that policy away to get for-profit hospitals to back the ACA. As Miles Moguiescu reported on Huffington Post and as the New York Times confirmed, “Obama made a backroom deal…with the for-profit hospital lobby that he would make sure there would be no national public option in the final health reform legislation…Even while President Obama was saying that he thought a public option was a good idea and encouraging supporters to believe his healthcare plan would include one,” Moguiescu noted, “he had promised for-profit hospital lobbyists that there would be no public option in the final bill.”

We can be certain that the veteran agent of neoliberal mendacity Valerie Jarrett advised Obama to take this deeply duplicitous path.

The Memory Hole

It’s quite remarkable how completely the dominant “mainstream” media-politics culture manages to throw majority-supported social-democratic policy proposals down George Orwell’s memory hole.

Listening to the Woodruff-Jarrett conversation, you’d think Bernie Sanders had never spoken to giant and enthusiastic crowds on behalf of single payer last year.

You’d think Conyers had never drafted single-payer legislation backed by a considerable number of U.S. Congressman.

You’d think that Canada and most of the industrialized world had never successfully implemented a widely popular nation-wide systems of universal governmental health insurance.

You’d think single-payer didn’t have millions of citizen backers — including many thousands of doctors and National Nurses United — from coast to coast.

You wouldn’t imagine that even Donald Trump has mused that single-payer might be the best way to fund health insurance for all.

“So, if there is a something better, let’s hear it. What’s the secret?”


It reminds me of Hillary Clinton’s response as head of newly elected U.S. President Bill Clinton’s health care task force when Dr. David Himmelstien, the head of Physicians for a National Health Program, told her about the incredible possibilities of a comprehensive, single payer “Canadian style” health plan, supported by more than two-thirds of the U.S. public and certified by the Congressional Budget Office as “the most cost-effective plan on offer.”

“David,” Hillary (Michael Moore’s heart throb) commented with fading patience before sending him away in 1993, “tell me something interesting.”

That’s right: tell me something interesting.

Along with the big insurance companies the Clintons deceptively railed against, the co-presidents Bill and Hill decided from the start to exclude the popular health care alternative — single payer — from the national health care “discussion.” What she advanced instead of the system that bored her was a hopelessly complex and secretly developed program called “managed competition.” Interesting. Obama would have more success with his Heritage Foundation-developed update in 2009 and 2010.

And they wonder why Trump won.

(Paul Street’s latest book is They Rule: The 1% v. Democracy, Paradigm, 2014. Courtesy,

* * *

* * *


by Manuel Vicent

Translated by Louis S. Bedrock

Every day at nine o’clock in the morning, an employee comes out of the rear door of the supermarket with several loaves of stale bread and crumbles them up in the middle of the road for bird food. When I pass by at that time to buy a newspaper, there is a riotous swarm of sparrows and pigeons pecking furiously. There’s always a great commotion in front of the windshield in all directions a second before the birds are crushed by the wheels, but the birds manage to save themselves and return immediately to the food.

Every day at nine o’clock at night, at the same location in the street where the birds eat in the morning, a group of beggars, vagabonds, and other hungry people with suits and ties, swoop down upon boxes of food scraps that the employee carries out through the rear door of the supermarket. The behavior of the birds and the beggars is similar: the same craving, the same desperation. One group in the morning, the other in the evening.

But not all beggars are the same. One of them is tall, red-haired, and elegant. He arrives at the site an hour early and while he waits, he stands beneath a street light and reads the horoscope in some newspaper that he pulled out of the garbage which he spreads out over the hood of a parked car. Every day the horoscope is different, but it always accommodates his dreams.

The stars revolve above. Here below, the employee offers outdated food to the beggars, and while the others rummage through it, the elegant, red headed vagabond merely feeds his dreams. He waits for his sign of the Zodiac to bring him love, health, and wealth from some remote corner of the universe according to the horoscope in the newspaper. He doesn’t blame anyone if his dreams are not fulfilled. The constellations are very far away.

* * *


by Clancy Sigal

‘You stopped talking my language; you don’t care about jobs.’ —Iowa union members quoted by NYT reporter

Trip Gabriel, the New York Times reporter, found many Trump signs in the front yards of loyal union members who had been Democrats.

Don’t waste your time worrying about Russian hacks or FBI sabotage or ‘fake stories’ about Moscow whores.

The reason we lost is in plain view:

“You stopped talking my language; you don’t care about jobs.”

I felt the same way watching Democratic election rallies. So much of the language — about ‘diversity’, LGBT, gun control, abortion, immigrant rights — missed me by a mile. Painfully, so did some of Bernie’s rote-like speeches about “revolution” that thrilled the young and swayed older voters but not by a significant much.

The nail in the coffin was Hillary’s “we’re going to put a lot of (you) coal miners and coal companies out of business, right?”

Way out west in Iowa steelworking union members heard us all too clearly.

The Democratic Party top brass couldn’t have cared less about working people because economically and psychologically they’re in the same mind-class as Trump and his swamp gang. They’ve all been to the same good schools.

So it’s not the language that’s at fault but what Trump’s propaganda mistress, Kellyanne Conway, urges us to pay attention to, not what’s on his lips but in his heart.

Our heart was in “cultural issues” not jobs.

A positive step back from the Trump abyss is to exchange our tin ears used to dead language for a pair sensitive to the situation of what the English call “JAM”. Just about managing. Just about keeping our heads above water.

That’s us, surely.

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

* * *


Speaking as one of those medical people, I feel confident saying on behalf of the profession that interactions with insurance companies are viewed with the same enthusiasm a condemned prisoner receives a ‘final appeal denied’ letter. I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve had to argue that a hysterectomy is not a drive-thru procedure (‘You want fries with that uterus?’). Legitimate billings are routinely denied multiple times before grudgingly approved (all of which requires additional employees to process the papers and keep track of the tortuous appeal process). Care is denied at the whim of a disembodied phone voice in a call center sitting in front of a checklist rather than sitting in front of the patient. None of this advances the cause of health — it merely increases the cost by layering in additional levels of bloat and bureaucracy.

The Affordable Care Act is a dog with fleas precisely because of what Obama gave away before the negotiations even started. Medicare for all or a Single Payer option were taken off the table before negotiations even began. Leave it in the hands of the for-profit industry and this is what you get. Private insurance is beholden more to its shareholders than its subscribers. They make their money by taking in more than they disburse, so denials are essentially revenue enhancing strategies. A third is routinely raked off the top to pay for teakwood paneling in the executive suites and shareholder dividends. You’d be surprised the number of docs that would love to get back to the practice of medicine instead of having to navigate a byzantine and ever-shifting system that is gamed against practitioners and patients.

Don’t get me wrong — I make a good salary at what I do (which I like to think is commensurate with the long hours and risks). But the medical field is overstuffed and inefficient. The World Bank estimates health care in this country comprises 17.1% of the GDP (far and away the highest in the Western World — only the Marshall Islands meets our prodigious levels). This is not sustainable. Call it enlightened self-interest. A system on the precipice of collapse isn’t one that benefits any of us.



  1. LouisBedrock January 18, 2017

    Aphorism for February 14:

    L’amour fait passer le temps et le temps fait passer l’amour.

    Love makes time pass.
    Time makes love pass.

  2. Eric Sunswheat January 18, 2017

    Hopefully the photo op girl is unvaccinated, occasionally plays with peers similarly situated, and attends grand parties that include elders, to convey natural multigenerational herd immunity among participants, to outfox the vaccine manufacturers and their treadmill trap, with hygiene and immune system nutrition paramount.

  3. Harvey Reading January 18, 2017


    Sounds like typical speed freak behavior. Why, oh why, do people these days refer to those volatile monsters by the cutesy name of TWEAKER?

  4. Harvey Reading January 18, 2017

    Re: “Under Trump, things will get worse, as they would have under Hillary.

    All is lost, or soon will be.”

    A sad progression that began when the first Europeans stepped onto this continent.

  5. sohumlily January 18, 2017

    It’s happening everywhere, LB.

    I find myself thinking about how I’m going to die; will it be a slow and painful death (like so many I know and deal with daily) or will it be quick? I’m almost obsessed about it lately.

    Went down to see the river last week; full and muddy, and trucking along, full and fast. Virginia Woolf put rocks in her pockets and launched herself into her local waterway. I just wish the 1% to send out the black pills and be upfront about it. (And no, I do not think I’m anything at all like VW or have a life anything much like hers.)

    I pity the young. And wonder what this latest baby boom is all about…what are they thinking?

    Ah, but time for another cup of tea. Be here now and all that rot.

    • Harvey Reading January 18, 2017

      They’re not thinking, they’re just engaging in one of the few, if momentary, pleasures left to them.

      I know of one mother of three, married, in her mid 30s, who is scared sh*tless (oh, my, revealing my Working Class roots, and, I hope, offending those ‘above’ me) regarding the future that awaits her kids. Poor woman, I have nothing to say that would make her feel better, unless I lied through my teeth.

      • Bruce McEwen January 18, 2017

        You old fogies sound like grandpa did when I was a wee sprout, going on about how it was all over, the game was up, sad to say, poor kids ain’t got a prayer, doom and gloom…

        Every generation must go through the same aging process of condemning youngsters. Everything cycles, round and round — they used to sell us worthless trifles described as groovy by young people in bell-bottoms and love beads; now, the same dross, described as awesome is being sold by young people with tattoos and facial piercings…

        Honest Abe Lincoln was depicted in the newspapers as a baboon, people were appalled that such a freak had been elected, and the Democrats had scores of disgruntled people set on assassinating him on his way to the inauguration.

        And if you can’t cheer up and say something encouraging to young people, maybe you should put rocks in your pockets: It’s not a bad way to go, either. I once crawled out on the thin ice of the North Platte to rescue my dog — she’d fallen through and was about to be swept under the ice by the current — so I spread eagle to better distribute my weight, reached out and hauled her up on the ice and we got off with a dire warning of things to come… she drowned in her bath years later when she was all crippled up, and I tend to think it was intentional.

        • Harvey Reading January 18, 2017

          No one condemned the young. The thread to which you responded was just pointing out that they face a horrid reality, a reality brought on by preceding generations, which includes you and me. If you choose not to accept that, so be it.

          What you wrote is more a response to opinions on how much ‘better’ young people were in the past, opinions that I have read from the management of this paper, and with which I disagree entirely. I see no point in blowing smoke up the a**es of the young in the form of false encouragement. They get enough of that already.

          • Bruce McEwen January 18, 2017

            This is all so much preaching and prophesying, Harvey.

            Be honest.

            You have no more of an idea what’s in the future than JHK, the false prophet you profit so much from condemning.

            Go back and read your Aristotle. Remember the theory of amelioration. Things are always improving, even though the old and wise cannot always see it — because their eyes are misted w/ nostalgia (a clinical condition, like neuralgia).

            Remember too, the unwritten state slogan of Why-oh-Wyoming: Everybody’s living a 100 years in the past!

            The rain’s coming down, the wind kicking up, and I’m off to work w/ a belly-full of bean soup and sour-dough bread; oh, and here’s a bumper of plonk to ya!

            • Harvey Reading January 18, 2017

              Whatever pleases you. My opinion is that the past is best predictor of the future, and that you are full of hot air.

              The unwritten slogan has no importance at all to me. I moved here for the public land, period. I knew in advance the politics would resemble those of California’s Central Valley and other rural areas.

              I have a dog story, too.

              In late 2011 ago my 13-year-old black Lab was diagnosed with lymphoma, terminal. As the cancer progressed to the point that hand feeding Diamond (my third Diamond) was necessary, the vet advised that Diamond was not suffering and that there was no real reason to put him down. I agreed.

              After about a week of hand feeding, Diamond declined further, barely able to stumble around, requiring my assistance when he would go outdoors to relieve himself. Still, he was as loving to me as ever.

              In the end, I was sleeping on the floor next to him, and he would attempt to respond to me, though by then he could hardly move, and his breathing was very ragged. All I could do was to stroke him gently (he still didn’t like me stroking his front leg and would twitch it if I forgot and stroked it) and tell him I loved him. I knew his end was near.

              I got up to email my sister to tell her that Diamond would not be with me much longer. As I walked to the room containing the computer, the thought, “Diamond will be dead when I return,” flitted through my mind.

              I disregarded the thought, composed and sent the email, which took about 10 minutes.

              When I returned to room where Diamond lay on a blanket, I noted the silence from a distance of about 10 feet. He was lying in exactly the position he was in when I left him, but no sound. I knew he was gone, and he was.

              Afterward, I played the game with myself that he had postponed dying until he was alone, that he did not want to die in front of me. Maybe he did. Maybe he didn’t.

              • Harvey Reading January 18, 2017

                Oh, one more thing, the Greeks are ‘way overrated. The west tends to idolize them, primarily, I suspect, because they’re more like ‘us’, which is to say pretty much white and European, much more acceptable than idolizing the even older, equally wise and productive civilizations that existed, in, say–oh horrors–Asia. And, I refuse to waste my time on philosophers or their products.

    • sohumlily January 18, 2017

      *would* send out the black pills

      Gah! I hate typos, especially when I make them


      No generation has faced what is coming at us full throttle before…I’ve read a fair amount of history, and yeah, there’s ‘nothing new under the sun’ but in current times, yup, there *is*.

      The planet is past carrying capacity, not mention we are shitting (sh**ing?) in our own nests. The petri dish is getting crowded and foul. To refuse to see that is denial, which is a great coping mechanism, but frustrating for those who can see the trajectory. I wish it were as simple and historic as you imply.

      I grieve not so much for human life (a failed experiment imnsho) but for all the other life we’re taking with us. We think we’re all that and we so aren’t…the hubris is almost embarrassing.

      Some tribes actually had council meetings who decided if tribal couples should become pregnant, depending on the resources available. It was a group decision, and thought was put into the distant future.

      Around here, having a baby seems to be something akin to buying a new accessory.

      • Bruce McEwen January 18, 2017

        Oh, shut up.

        Do you think for one minute that adolescent wasn’t ready to run w/ the dude who phished her on the internet?

        Do you know that for the last several million aeons human males have raided nearby tribes for wives, whores, and slaves?

        Fifteen-year-old girls and younger have been running off w/ neighboring tribes since the dawn of time…


        Git outta here!

        • sohumlily January 19, 2017

          Have another drink, B.

  6. Michael Slaughter January 18, 2017

    How soon do you suppose POTUS Trump will get the Nobel Peace Prize?

    • Harvey Reading January 18, 2017

      Three and a half months from now.

    • George Hollister January 18, 2017

      Peace Prize, or Piece Prize?

  7. Craig Stehr January 18, 2017

    Just a quick heads up to all of the targeted potential victims in the State of California: I spent yesterday in the office of my tax preparer in Berkeley, and also with Mechanics Bank personnel. Although I have paid in full my 2014 State of California taxes, (and my preparer has the proof in his office filing system), I have nevertheless received six or seven notices from the State of California incorrectly stating that I owe $51, plus accruing interest. Several times the tax preparer has telephoned them in Sacramento and also faxed my proof of payment. Yesterday, we have concluded that the State of California is being negligent, and is certainly accepting “double payment” from those who would idiotically mail in a second check in order to not be bothered any further, or perhaps they are senile, or it may be that they are just too stoned to give a hoot and thus double paid in order to stop receiving the notices, etcetera. Regardless, if I get another bogus notice, the tax preparer along with Mechanics Bank is going to initiate a law suit on my behalf to stop this obviously criminal activity, which the State of California is clearly engaged in! Believe you me, I am close to putting in a formal complaint with the FBI at their San Francisco office. Craig Louis Stehr, Email:, P.O. Box 809, Berkeley, CA 94701-0809

  8. Bruce McEwen January 18, 2017

    I see you’ve all got the back or your wrists glued fatally to your foreheads… so I know better than to argue, howsomeever –!

  9. zeke Krahlin February 20, 2017

    Tom Cahill:

    I will read part two of The Hippy Queen this evening. You are indeed very blessed to have had such a gracious and lovely soul in your life. Looks to me like she showed up in your world at the very right time! I hope this recent anniversary of her passing was more joyful than sad.

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