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Mendocino County Today: Wednesday, March 22, 2017

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Betty passed away early Sunday morning, March 19, 2017 at Holy Spirit Residential Care in Ukiah. She was born August 23, 1928 in Klamath Falls, OR. She was raised in Boonville where she met her husband of 61 years Guido. They married April 4, 1948 and had their son Ron in 1950, daughter Janice in 1954 and son Guy in 1957. Betty was a Mom first but worked alongside Guido on their ranch in Yorkville raising sheep, cattle and Christmas trees. She always had a huge vegetable garden every year, canning everything they grew as well as many varieties of fruits and berries they raised. She was famous for her Apple Pies that she took to many Auction Fundraisers and potlucks. Thankfully she taught her Daughter, Daughter-in-laws then Granddaughters to make her pies, so her legacy will continue.

Betty was a founding member of the California Wool Growers Auxiliary "The Bo-Peeps" in Mendocino County. She was a Cub Scout Den Mother, Bluebirds Leader, 4-H Mom and for many years a Room Mother at her children's school.

She is survived by her Children: Ron (Jennifer), Yorkville; Janice, Ukiah and Guy (Sandy), Philo. Grandchildren: Kristopher (Kayla) Pronsolino, Willows; Vanessa (Steven) Spacek, Gualala; Russell Pronsolino, Philo; Marchella (Bobby) Norris, Eureka; and 9 Great Grandchildren: Harrison Norris, August & Jack Spacek, Shawnee Norris, Everett & Stuart Spacek, Hunter Norris, Charlotte & Josephine Pronsolino.

At her request, no services will be held. A private family burial will be held at a later date.

In Memory of Betty, donations may be made to Anderson Valley Senior Center, P O Box 591, Boonville, CA 95415, Anderson Valley Animal Rescue, P O Box 188, Boonville, or Yorkville Fire Department, P O Box 398, Boonville.

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A READER NOTES: Drove to the coast today and noticed that Little River was extremely silty, so much so that the entire Bay at the mouth was a chocolaty brown. The River wasn't very high volume, and the other rivers in the area were more green than brown, so it seems like perhaps a large mudslide may have happened up Little River recently.

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REMINDER (KNYO can be live-streamed at

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AN HBO casting call for “men and woman of all shapes, sizes and ethnicities,” as well as children over the age of 6, is echoing throughout the star-struck sectors of the Mendo population to work as nonunion background extras for an HBO film series. If interested, interviews are scheduled April 8 from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the Ukiah Valley Conference Center on School Street. Filming begins in May.

“This is for those who dreamed of being a part of the movies and are looking for a taste of the Hollywood lifestyle,” Rich King, of Rich King Casting in Los Angeles, says without defining the "Hollywood lifestyle."

THE SERIES is being filmed in Redwood Valley, King said without divulging anything more than it features Amy Adams.

WOULD-BE extras are asked to bring a current 3-by-5-inch photograph, a pen and "a great attitude," King said, adding that an estimated 500 to 1,000 extras will be needed during the filming, which is expected to last about a week

THIS EPIC is clearly well-funded. $84 for eight hours, with overtime pay kicking in after the first eight, meals provided for the expected long hours.

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Georgia Pacific Mill Site - what's happening?

Yesterday my friend Jan and I went on Marie Jones' Mill Tour to learn about the options for creek daylighting, but it was raining, she didn't let the whole group catch up to her to hear what she said or see what she was supposed to be showing us. Jan and I could not keep up with her so we missed most of what was being said, but I caught a few remarks I did not agree with. Marie kept interjecting a negative opinion of the project and kept exaggerating how much it will cost. She also was downplaying the toxins and how much cleanup needs to be done, and I did not hear whether she opined about whether different options would need more cleanup of the Millpond. She went on and on about how difficult it would be to create a saltwater estuary and how costly, but that option is not what the community wants! There was never a saltwater estuary there in the beginning, but the two creeks are there buried under concrete with huge culverts, and a lot of water was rushing through Alder Creek to the pond.

I never got to see Maple Creek, we almost had to run to catch up with Marie and she was finished talking by the time we got to the group, then she would turn her back and rush on. Maybe because it was the second tour of the day and it was raining, but it was totally unsatisfactory. Planning Commissioner Teresa Rodrigues was there and I could not hear everything Marie said to her, but it was a lot of negative opinions about the plans. Did anyone else go on the walk? What was your experience like? Maybe it was just me she was running from, I think she likes Jan. He didn't think it was informative and he wants to know.

Ann Rennacker

Fort Bragg

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If you are interested and would like to know what is happening at the Georgia Pacific mill site in Fort Bragg, and about the very important meeting on March 23rd at 6 PM at Fort Bragg Town Hall, and why you should be there, please listen to Our Town with Ron Ortman and George Reinhardt at the KNYO Podcast page. George explains the past, present, and future of this extremely valuable resource. Our Town airs on Thursdays at Noon on KNYO at 107.7 FM, online at, and on the Tunein app. To hear this very informative interview NOW go to the Podcast page at

–Bob Young

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ED NOTE: We've written to Fort Bragg City Manager, Linda Ruffing, and 4th District supervisor, Dan Gjerde, asking them to tell the world exactly what is going on at the old mill site. Three days, no replies. (Well, gee, Bruce. Why should poor Linda talk to you, of all people, after all the abuse heaped on the poor thing and her martyred boyfriend, Richard Shoemaker. Answer: Because she's paid to answer questions from the public, or refer us to someone who can answer the question. Gjerde is usually responsive, but maybe everyone is just hoping the site can be raffled off and its poisoned soils cordoned off or trucked outtahere before all the busybodies can mobilize. Besides which, our criticism of Ms. R has been over public matters; it hasn't been personal. She seems like a Nice Person, perhaps even a nice person. Frankly, to get personal here, I think like a lot of high ability, smart women, she looked around at her all-male city council and said to herself, Jesu Cristo! either I take charge here or the whole goddam town will fall into the Pacific.)

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LITTLE DOG SAYS, The kid down the street weed-whacked this place the other day. I kept sayin', 'Hey! You're wasting your time. It's still raining. The weeds will be back in a week.' They not only don't listen, they throw out insults like, 'What do you know, Little Dog. Zip it or we'll de-bark your yapper’.”

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THIS MORNING (Tuesday), NPR broadcast a report on something called the "Happiness Index." As the NPR interviewer burbled and gushed suitably idiotic questions for an idiotic subject, an academic drone earnestly explained that America's collective smiley-face quotient had slipped to, I think, 13th place in the world, well behind the hellish single-payer Scandinavian countries and backwards torture chambers like Italy and France. NPR being NPR, we got the usual NPR "balance," brief comments from a wholly happy woman, a medium happy woman, and a man who said he had been happy until Trump was elected but now felt acute anxiety.

NPR has always been heavy on this kind of fluff, but it got this particular feeb thinking about Mendo happiness, national happiness being far beyond my meager abilities to judge, not that I can offer anything but vague impressions on in-County well-being. Overall, I'd say we mostly seem to be having a fairly good time of it. The unhappy people I know often suffer from what seem to me self-induced miseries, not that they're any less painful to the sufferer than, say, some guy whose ass falls off and rolls down a busy street and forever disappears. We have an awful lot of self-medicators — too often considered a sign of psychic pain by teetotalers especially, but they're a minority, albeit a growing minority, and I don't know anyone pleased with national developments. My happiness bar is set pretty low. Like most people, so long as me and mine are sheltered, eating, healthy, and want the same for everyone else, this is as good as it's going to get.

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THE NEW COUNTY COURTHOUSE, moving inexorably to the day our nine judges, grinning like it's a great day for justice in Mendocino County, each holding a tiny commemorative golden shovel, turn over a teensy spade full of dirt, and an outside construction firm will commence erecting a steel and glass eyesore near the foot of West Perkins, Ukiah.

FEW PEOPLE are aware this huge boondoggle is underway, and if they do know they assume the ENTIRE courthouse operation — the DA and every other court-related office, is moving, too. Nope. The new courthouse consists of courtrooms and, natch, lush "chambers" for each of their majesties and offices for their court staff and operations. Everything else stays where it is.

AND NO EIR. When CostCo announced it wanted to open a big box in Ukiah down by 101 with the other big boxes, the "activists" came pouring out of Mendocino Environment Center demanding, then suing, that CostCo submit to an EIR. The new county courthouse? No EIR. Not a peep from anybody except former Ukiah city councilman Red Phil Baldwin, who has pointed out that moving the courthouse three long blocks to the east will seriously harm what's left of central Ukiah's small businesses. The present Ukiah city council? All systems go.

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Thanks for the two linear yards of KZYX coverage in the last issue, adding to the miles over the years of howling from the Pit on that subject. At least it returns the AVA to its traditional heft of 12 pages instead of the apologetic 10. The problem is, in all the bitter ranting, there’s never a smile. I’ll not be voting Sakowicz back to the Board. His plan for release of the membership email list would only amplify the noise.

Gordon Black


ED NOTE: Gee, I dunno. The mere mention never fails to put me on the floor. However, some of us laugh less as we age, and you're what, 106? Double your helpings of carrot salad and see if that helps.

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WOODY HARRELSON, 55, has given up dope. The actor says he hasn't smoked pot in nearly a year. Harrelson cites "30 solid years" on the pipe for his decision to quit. He also says he felt like the drug was "keeping me from being emotionally available." Still, he has nothing bad to say about marijuana, which he calls "a great drug." He says he still drinks alcohol in moderation.

THE LOCAL ANGLE: For most of the 1990s, Harrelson paid for a subscription to Boonville's beloved weekly for his father. Harrelson Sr. was doing life without in federal prison for assassinating a federal judge.

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Here are two important updates regarding Caltrans’ plans to replace the Salmon Creek and Albion River Bridges, as well as significantly widen Highway 1 from Navarro Ridge Road to Albion Ridge Road. This is a roughly $100 million construction project that could have significant impacts on traffic, businesses, and the environment in the Albion area.

--- Albion River Bridge historic designation --- The Albion River Bridge has been nominated for historic landmark status. On May 10, the nomination will be heard by the state Office of Historic Preservation at a hearing in Pasadena.

The office welcomes comments regarding this nomination. Comments in favor or against should be sent by April 25 to:

State Historic Preservation Officer Office of Historic Preservation 1725 23rd St., Suite 100 Sacramento, CA 95816-7100

To see the historic landmark application, which was prepared by Albion resident and architect John Johansen, visit this page:

Scroll down to “Albion River Bridge,” and then click the link to open the PDF of the application.

The application's summary paragraph is abbreviated below:

The Albion River Bridge is a rare example of a timber deck over combination steel and timber truss bridge. It is the only surviving bridge of its type in the California state highway system. It was constructed during WW II, when strategic material shortages required innovative engineering design. With its historic integrity entirely intact, the Albion River Bridge stands today, exactly as it was built.

--- Caltrans public meeting this Thursday in Mendocino --- This coming Thursday, Caltrans is holding a public meeting to discuss the bridge and highway widening project.

The meeting takes place on Thursday, March 23, 2017 from 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. at Mendocino High School, 10700 Ford Street. Everyone is encouraged to attend and bring questions and concerns.

These updates come to you from the Albion Community Advisory Board (ACAB). ACAB’s mission is to review studies on the Albion River and Salmon Creek Bridges and their Highway 1 approaches, and to summarize and present these to the Mendocino Coast community.

When there are important developments, we hold monthly meetings and make announcements here.

We hope to see you in Mendocino this Thursday.

Jim Heid President,

ACAB Albion

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Dear Editor,

A housing development proposal has been submitted to the Mendocino County Planning Department for a zoning change of 26 acres in the Lovers Lane ag zone by a family of Bio-Dynamic grape farmers. Perhaps you have read about it in the newspapers:

This may be a fairly controversial project coming up, and I know you will be interested in watching it. I have written a letter outlining what I see as some significant issues which is attached.

It is more than a referendum on 26 acres. Other landowners within the Lovers Lane ag zone are waiting on this project to develop, so they may develop their own paradise, and with obvious pressure on the County to prohibit future farming on adjacent acreage it all but assures the entire Lovers Lane Ag land of being converted into single use, low-density, automobile dependent development housing.

Incremental development with no planning runs counter to County Planning principles. To make the findings based on the General Plan necessary to approve this development would be the peak of shortsighted perspective clouding the longer-term priorities and ethics of good community planning. It is inconsistent with the County General Plan, Ukiah Valley Area Plan and the City of Ukiah General Plan.

Here is a link to the project proposal at the County:

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I see you have once again printed the fake news that the Willits Justice Center is vacant. If you will call the Willits Police Department at 707-459-6122, they will verify that their offices are in that “vacant” building. While you are at this new (for you) exercise of fact checking, you could ask the following questions:

  1. Does the roof leak?
  2. Is the building moldy or dilapidated?

Once you have verified that the answers to these questions refute the falsehoods you have been repeating in the AVA, how about quitting your lies? From reading your rag, I realize you won’t admit error by printing a retraction, but how about shutting up?


George J. Dorner


ED NOTE: You're right. The Willits PD is housed in the county's ugliest building which, you may recall, was built as a courthouse, a badly needed, hurry-up courthouse, not a police station. I'm happy the roof isn't leaking. An error, a partial one at that, isn't a lie, George, but suit yourself.

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ON MARCH 19 at about 1:52pm Robert Davidson, 69, of Lucerne, was driving a tan Honda on Highway 144 towards Highway 20 while a white Ford Ranger driven by Kim Boehm of McKinleyville was approaching Highway 144. For an unknown reason Mr. Davidson entered Hwy 20 putting his Honda directly in the path of the Ford Ranger. Neither party was able to avoid a collision. The front end of the Ford collided with the left front end of the Honda. The Ford was deflected east by the force of the impact and flipped over several times before coming to rest on its right (passenger) side blocking westbound traffic on Hwy 20. Mr. Davidson was not injured. Mr. Boehm suffered major injuries requiring treatment but no information about his location or condition was provided. Under investigation. (CHP press release)

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On March 19, 2017 at about 10:21 PM Mendocino County Sheriff's Deputies were dispatched to a reported domestic fight in the 4400 block of Daisy Drive in Willits. While Deputies were en-route they were advised a female adult had run to a neighbor’s house and was being treated for injuries by Brooktrails Fire Department. When Deputies arrived they were advised by Brooktrails Fire personnel that the female adult had been transported to Howard Memorial Hospital emergency room for a traumatic injury to her head. Deputies were further advised the male adult suspect was located across the street and had been yelling at medical and fire personnel.


Deputies responded to the location and immediately contacted the male adult suspect, Fidel Rene Arreguin, 43, of Willits, walking down the driveway with his hands in the air. During the investigation Deputies learned Arreguin and the female adult had been in a dating relationship since 2014. Arreguin and the female adult had been drinking and engaged in a verbal argument. The argument turned into a physical altercation where the female adult suffered a traumatic injury to the left side of her head. Arreguin was placed under arrest without incident for domestic violence battery. Arreguin was booked into the Mendocino County Jail and was to be held in lieu of $25,000 bail.

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On 03/21/2017 around 10:20 AM the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office received a report from the Round Valley Indian Tribes, Tribal Police that they had responded to a report of an unwanted and armed subject in the 22500 Block of Refuse Road in Covelo. The report to their agency was phoned in by a home owner, living on the Reservation, who advised the suspect, 22 year old Jeffery Joaquin, was armed and Tribal Police were requested to remove him.


Around 10:00 AM two Tribal Police Officers responded, one at the front of the residence and one in the rear of the residence. The Officer in the front of the house observed the suspect in the driveway as he approached and saw that he was armed with a shotgun. The Tribal Officer exited the vehicle with his duty issued shotgun and demanded Joaquin "drop his gun." According to the Officer, Joaquin fired one round at the Officer with what appeared to be "birdshot." The Officer returned fire, shooting two times at the suspect who had hidden behind a vehicle. Witnesses yelled at Joaquin to drop the firearm at which time he did. He removed his shirt and placed his hands into the air, as if to surrender before fleeing in a west bound direction on foot. He was last seen westbound when the Tribal Officers lost sight of him. The Tribal Officer appeared to have been struck with at least one pellet in the face but it did not break the skin as the distance between the two was approximately 50 feet and the energy of the birdshot appeared to have dissipated. It is unknown if Joaquin was struck or injured by rounds fired by the Tribal Officer. The Mendocino County Sheriff's Detective Unit responded to investigate the case. Joaquin is currently being sought for questioning related to this case. Joaquin is described as being 5'08" tall, weighing approximately 175 pounds, having black hair and brown eyes. He was last seen wearing dark colored jeans with no shirt. If anyone has information about the whereabouts of Joaquin please contact the Sheriff's Office Dispatch Center at 707-463-4086.

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On 03-17-2017, at about 5:20 PM, Mendocino County Sheriff's Deputies were called to a suspicious circumstance at a residence in the 16000 block of Mitchell Creek Drive in Fort Bragg, California. Upon their arrival the Deputies contacted the reporting party who told them that earlier in the day they heard a neighbor, Thomas Anderson, 61, of Fort Bragg, yelling at barking dogs and then heard a gun shot from the area of his residence. The caller fled their residence and returned later to find potted plants overturned, the door knocker torn from the door, the water hose left on, the gate to the back yard broken, and various items thrown about. Deputies subsequently contacted Anderson at his nearby residence. As they were leaving Deputies heard Anderson yelling several statements to a neighbor that he will do harm to them and their family. Deputies contacted Anderson again and he was arrested without incident for Criminal threats, a felony, and violation of the terms of his felony probation. Deputies learned Anderson was currently on felony probation for an incident in September 2016 when he was previously arrested by Sheriff's Office Deputies for negligently discharging a firearm from his residence. Anderson was booked into the Mendocino County Jail for the listed charges where he was to be held without bail.

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CATCH OF THE DAY, March 21, 2017

Barajas, Bittner, Bradshaw

LUCILLE BARAJAS, Redwood Valley. Under influence, controlled substance.

PAUL BITTNER, Fresno/Ukiah. Domestic battery, resisting, parole violation.

LANDEN BRADSHAW, Hidden Valley/Redwood Valley. DUI-drugs, controlled substance.

Dowd, Flinton, Frank

SARAH DOWD, Ukiah. Domestic assault, probation revocation.

SEAN FLINTON, Fort Bragg. Petty theft. (Frequent flyer.)

BRIDGETTE FRANK, Covelo. Probation revocation.

Inez, Martinez

MARTIN INEZ, Ukiah. Domestic assault.

ANDREW MARTINEZ, Ukiah. Parole violation.

Mejia, Rodgers, Torres

JOSE MEJIA, Covelo. Meth possession for sale, ex-felon with firearm, community supervision violation.

JESSE RODGERS, Ukiah. Domestic battery, parole violation, probation revocation.

VINCENT TORRES, Willits. Failure to appear.

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Little Dog 2 contemplates the view of Boonville.

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Look, in the last century we were blessed by having a land which had lots of raw materials – minerals, wood, good farmland – and not too many natural disasters and relatively decent climate. Also, because of the distances involved, we avoided the disaster of WWII within our borders. What a big advantage! So, to a large extent, the US was favored by the gods. Only to a lesser degree was the country’s superior performance based upon prowess of brawn or brain. So what have we done in this century? We effectively rewrote history by creating a meme. That meme is that our success is because we have a cadre of “geniuses” who are so ineffably smart they can turn lead into gold. No wonder we are so successful – that’s the tacit logic. Basically, we created a fantasy to explain our former superior situation. This is an easy sell to the masses. That’s in the nature of fantasies. The consequence to this is the emergence of a plethora of rackets that use the aforementioned meme as a justification. For example, Education has morphed into credentialing. The “anointed experts/geniuses” get to parcel out the credentials and, not incidentally, collect huge “fees” for this. Finance has morphed into a collection of schemes (devised by yet more “geniuses”) sufficiently complex to cloak their nefarious underpinnings. Health care, which peddles imaginary “cures” which simply require the patients’ participation in a never-never land of shiny, expensive equipment (“state-of-the-art”, of course) and no self-discipline from the patient (note: 80% of our ills are the result of lifestyle choices.) – all this carefully orchestrated by the “Doctors”, the inscrutable gods of medicine (gods are also “geniuses, in case you’re wondering). So instead of using our largely undeserved largess to create a sustainable, better world for ourselves and others, we’ve gradually devolved into chicanery and charlatanism.

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The Mendocino County Art Academy Board of Directors invites prospective students and parents to an informational meeting at the Sudhana Center on Hope Street in Ukiah (formerly the Trinity School) on April 22, 2017 from 4-6 pm. The curriculum, list of potential classes, and daily schedules will be presented. Pre-registration packets will be available. The new Art Academy will expand the educational landscape of Mendocino County and impact the lives of generations of students, artists, and creative thinkers far into the future. Director Gary Wallaert will answer questions from potential students and parents and is interested to hear about how the academy can best meet your needs. All are welcome. Please RSVP to by April 18.

For more information visit

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Re: KZYX Board Recruitment / MCPB has no interest in Board directors

From: "Meg Courtney" <>

To: "John Sakowicz" <>


To answer your question: You seem to forget that among the many things you did that were harmful to the station, plus being of no help as a board member, was that you went to the FCC to try to rescind our license. That cost the station upwards of $15,000 in legal fees to deal with your spurious claim.


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John Sakowicz wrote:


I was marginalized as a Board director from 2013-2016. Ignored. The GM never initiated a telephone call to me nor returned a phone call. Not one single time in three years. Every attempt at "reasonable inquiry" made on my part, as required by law, was met with indifference. Silence. A stonewall. Hence, my informal complaint to the FCC.

In truth, most of the issues contained in my informal FCC complaint should have been brought before the CPB, as they relate to policy, not operations.

Because I don't want to file that complaint now with the CPB -- it will hurt the station during these uncertain times of Trump threatening to defund the CPB-- I''m running for the Board. I hope to create change from within the station.

A partial list of issues I raised when I was a Board director were as follows:

1.) inaccurate, inconsistent, and incomplete financials (annual report, audit, and tax returns); 2) the misappropriation of $10,000 raised by members and stipulated for opening a Ukiah studio; 3.) the inappropriate and excessive 10 per cent raise that the GM gave himself, even as membership and underwriting revenues were falling; 4.) the frequent failure of aging broadcast equipment and cheap replacement parts (dead air, fuzz outs, and irritating, scratchy signals); 5.) the wrongful termination of respected newswoman, Christina Aanestad; 6.) the wrongful termination of popular radio show host and former Board director, Doug McKenty; 7.) the illegal absence of staff in the studio or office during business hours (the microphone was left unattended); 9.) the lack of a meaningful Program Advisory Committee and Community Advisory Board (as required, and not stacked with friends and family of the Board); 10.) the secret and off list communications between the Board and station management; 11.) the opposition by both the Board and management to a list serv that would allow members to organize and communicate with one another.

This is a partial list, Meg. And all of the issues I raised are crucial to our ongoing viability as a truly public, community radio station.

Regarding the station legal fees, all the station had to do was be compliant with the law and its own policies.

Regarding the the severance checks paid out to John Coate and Mary Aigner, how much exactly did we pay out? I understand that both checks were five figures.

And why did we pay severance? Why didn't we have a policy on staff accruing unlimited vacation and sick time?


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From: "Cur Mudgeon"

To: "John Sakowicz"

Dear John: (heh heh - couldn't resist)

I am very surprised and dishearted [sic] by your response. In item 10, listed above, you wrote, 'the secret and off list communications…' I will no longer support you if you continue with such outrageous , accusatory and subsersive [sic] writing. I am certain that should read, ''. That gaffe could cost the station a ton of money. It's because of this type of lax punctuation that KZYX is in the position it now is.

AND it's all YOUR fault !

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FLOODGATE FARM AND THE GARDENS PROJECT Of North Coast Opportunities, With Motherland Botanical Sanctuary, Are Co-Hosting A Weekend Workshop, Wild Food, Medicine, And Movement, April 1St And 2Nd.

Highly nutritious plants are springing up all around us, and most people do not know their value but instead use chemical and manual means to eradicate them. This workshop sheds light on the plants and offers hands-on experience identifying, harvesting, and preparing these plants for food and health-giving properties. It will take place in Ukiah and Redwood Valley. Author Katrina Blair and Master of Traditional Oriental Medicine will give an introductory talk to Wild Food, Medicine, and Movement with slide show, tasting, and Qi Gong movement will take place at The Center, 205 N. Bush St, Ukiah on Friday March 31st from 6:45 PM-8:15 PM. Friday evening is free with donation welcome. Contact: Bill Taylor or Jaye Alison Moscariello, 707-272-1688, Wild Food, Medicine, and Movement Workshop, April 1st and 2nd. Four instructors: Katrina Blair, Health Educator, author of The Wild Wisdom of Weeds, founder of Turtle Lake Refuge, Tyler VanGemert, LAc, Environmental Biologist, Acupuncturist, and Master of Traditional Oriental Medicine, Bill Taylor, Farmer, Salad University Instructor, Pianist, Composer, and Jaye Alison Moscariello, Painter, Farmer, Salad Univ. Instructor, Self-Taught Raw Foods Chef. The workshop starts Saturday morning at 8:30 AM at a Gardens Project garden on Gobbi St. and moving to a mountain farm above Redwood Valley on Saturday afternoon. Sunday will be 9 AM-5 PM at that same Floodgate Farm. There is a suggested donation for the workshop, with various options for either or both days. Saturday morning is free for community gardeners. For registration or other information, please call Bill or Jaye at 707-272-1688, email, or visit for information on the workshop site.

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Wild Food, Medicine, and Movement
Introductory talk Mar. 31, 2017, 7PM
The Center, 205 N. Bush St., Ukiah

Preview of Weekend workshop Apr 1-2

Katrina Blair, Health Educator, author of The Wild Wisdom of Weeds, founder of Turtle Lake Refuge

Tyler VanGemert, LAc, Environmental Biologist, Acupuncturist, and Master of Traditional Oriental Medicine

Slide show of 13 common plants that provide nutritious food, medicine, and body care.>

Taste some of these plants.

Experience a movement exercise

By donation, all welcome.


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APRIL 5 & 6, 2017

On Wednesday, April 5, 2017 and Thursday, April 6, 2017, the County of Mendocino, the City of Ukiah, and the North Coast Builders Exchange will be co-sponsoring workshops that will cover competitive bidding-requirements and compliance for contractors, local government and special districts, as well as regulations and responsibilities pertaining to Department of Industrial Relations mandates. The workshops will be presented by Sally Riley, owner to Riley’s Compliance Consulting. Ms. Riley is a long-time advocate of the construction industry. She has worked in construction field management for a number of years before becoming a public works investigator. Her focus is now on providing education, facilitation, resource services, and assisting contractors and local government with regulatory compliance.

The workshops will be held at the Ukiah Conference Center, 200 South School Street, in Ukiah. Additional information regarding the workshops can be found in the attached flyer, and as stated below:

Competitive Bidding-Requirements and Compliance for Contractors, Local Government and Special Districts

Wednesday, April 5th, 2017 – 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. -OR-
Thursday, April 6th, 2017 – 8 a.m. to 10 a.m.

Regulations and Responsibilities for Contractors, Local Government and Special Districts –Department Of Industrial Relations

Wednesday, April 5th, 2017 – 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. -OR-
Thursday, April 6th, 2017 – 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.

For more information, or to reserve a spot, please send an email to the North Coast Builders Exchange at Any questions, please call (707) 542-9502.

Carmel J. Angelo

Mendocino County Chief Executive Officer

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by Manuel Vicent

Translated by Louis S. Bedrock

It’s possible that Borges learned from Oscar Wilde, or perhaps from Bernard Shaw, that to achieve fame, one ingenious, malevolent, surprising, paradoxical, polemical sentence that angers the official representatives of culture is sufficient.

—Throughout my life, I have been learning to be Borges —he said near the end of his life. But it’s not clear what he was referring to because he was two people: Borges the writer and Borges the speaker. It was the second incarnation, with his loose and unpredictable tongue, that made him popular, a phenomenon that occurred when he was already an old man, already deified by his adoring readers, who were captivated by the prodigious universal short story “El Aleph”, written with indisputable mastery, or by with other labyrinthine stories forged slowly, letter by letter, as if carved into ebony.

But all the fiction--books of sand, gardens of diverging paths, the gold of tigers--universal stories of infamy with their knives, shadows and mirrors, are obscured by some of the startling, cantankerous remarks by the loquacious Borges. For example, when commenting on a line by Fray Luis de León, Borges said:

—“I’ll lie my heart upon your wound” --What a strange line; it suggests a roast, doesn’t it?”

To go down in history, one sentence that is repeated later in literary circles or tertulias is enough.


Although he was antagonistic to modern technology, Borges would have been even more successful in the perverse world of Twitter with its curse of 140 characters in which his excessive praise of mediocre writers would fit—written merely to demean the more acclaimed writers that could overshadow him; his contempt for his own language—Castilian Spanish, whose spirit he dominated with absolute perfection, to the point of preferring the Quixote read in English; his sarcasm when he ridiculed Garcia Lorca, labeling him as an Andalusian poet, the one who writes of civil guards and gypsies. And so on, until he turned everything upside down.

We already knew everything about his life when suddenly Borges became the paradigm of the writer you love and hate at the same time. There have been other contradictory men and women of letters of this style, but Borges was the first among us to split the soul of his loyal readers; the one who most enthusiastically scandalized his progressive devotees with reactionary paradox.

We knew everything about his childhood in Buenos Aires, with his first trip with his family to Geneva as an adolescent in 1914; with his visit to a whorehouse, impelled by his father as a rite of initiation; of his arrival in Spain between the two world wars; of his one year stay in Mallorca; and of his first encounter in Madrid with more or less recognized writers that flirted with the avant-garde. Then he formed a friendship with Cansinos-Assens, a second-rate writer and a creature of the night; a Talmudic man devoted to the Cabala; and a man whom Borges considered his guru from the first moment.

—One of his perversities —said Borges—, consists in writing articles--and even books, in which he lavishes praise on minor authors. At that time, Ortega y Gasset was at the height of his fame but Cansinos didn’t take him seriously and spoke badly about him: he would say that he was a bad philosopher and a terrible writer. I owe many things to him, among which is his capacity to transmit his love for literature to me.


It also appears that Cansino-Assens transmitted to Borges the art of scandal. Cansino-Assens served as the dictator of the nightly tertulia at the café Comericial and passed himself off as an expert in ten languages which enabled him to translate A Thousand and One Nights directly from Arabic, Dostoevsky from Russian, Goethe from German, Marco Aurelio from Greek and Latin, and De Quincey from English.

But some would claim that actually he only knew French from which he exploited his skills as a translator of Barbusse to attack other languages. By the same token, some skeptics also doubt Borges’ extensive reading. Might not such a stockpile of arcane wisdom from impossible books that he never read be due to the prodigious imagination of a blind man?


The Borges family returned to Buenos Aires with the young writer imbued with ultraísmo—a revolutionary poetic movement of the 1920s (imagists, surrealists, etc): an avant-garde that went nowhere.

Over time, Borges was maturing to the point of becoming the writer who was the guardian of all the labyrinths and the poet of verses of mathematical exactness; who watched as before his eyes the universe acquired the amber color of blindness.

Later, he was that gentleman of double-breasted suits who was repelled by the popular vulgarity of Peronism; who was the friend of writer Bioy Casares and who was tutored by Victoria Ocampo; who would sit in the restaurant La Biela or in lounge of the Hotel Alvear, where ranchers gathered decked out in ties.


In his final years, when he had already written admirable and almost secret short stories, he transformed into Borges the speaker, who arrived in Spain in the sixties with the intention of breaking as much china as possible:

—A dictatorship doesn’t appear reprehensible to me. To the naked eye, it appears that limiting freedom is bad; but freedom lends itself to so many abuses. There are freedoms that constitute a kind of abuse. I always thought that democracy was a form of chaos filled with ballot boxes—a curious abuse of statistics.

These were hurtful opinions spoken at a time when his progressive readers were fighting for freedom in that country; and these, in turn, contrasted with lavish judgements, sentences that were always paradoxical and full of nonsense; however, this game lost its charm when his refined readers discovered that he supported through his silence the coup by the Argentinian military and the regime of Pinochet.

—How do we deal with this man? Do we admire him or hate him? —his bewildered readers asked themselves—. Is he a genius or an imposter?


—Not awarding me the Nobel Prize has become a Swedish custom; since I was born (24 August 1899) they have not awarded it to me.

Those who loved him believed the same thing. Not awarding him the Nobel meant conceding it to him every year by omission. But beyond good or evil, where great literature mixes with cynicism, there will forever reign Borges. Even those condemned to hate him believe this.

* * *


(From The Magic Christian, by Terry Southern, Chapter XV)

It was along towards the end though that Grand achieved, in terms of public outrage, his success d’estime, as some chose to call it, when he put out to sea in his big ship, the S.S. Magic Christian ... the ship sometimes later referred to as “The Terrible Trick Ship of Captain Klaus.” Actually it was the old Griffin, a passenger liner which Grand bought and had reconditioned for about fifty million. A vessel of 30,000 tons, the Christian had formerly carried some eleven-hundred-odd passengers. Grand converted it into a one-class ship, outfitted to accommodate four hundred passengers, in a style and comfort perhaps unknown theretofore outside princely domains of the East. Each cabin on the Christian was a palace in miniature; the appointments were so lavish and so exquisitely detailed that they might better be imagined than described. All the cabins were of course above deck and outside, each with a twenty-foot picture window and French doors to a private patio commanding a magnificent expanse of sea and sky. There were fine deep rugs throughout each suite and period-furnishings of first account, private bars, chaise longues, log-burning fireplaces, king-sized beds (canopy optional), an adjoining library-den (with a set of the Britannica and the best in smart fiction), tape recorders, powder rooms, small Roman bath and steam cabinet, Walls were generally in a quiet tone of suede with certain paneling of teak and rosewood.

Ship’s dining room was styled after Maxim’s in Paris whose staff had been engaged to prepare the meals and to serve them with inconspicuous grace against a background of soft music provided by the Juilliard String Quartette. The balance of ship’s appointments were in harmonious key—there was, for example, a veritable jewel box of a theatre, seating just four hundred, fashioned in replica of the one in the Monte Carlo Casino; and the versatile repertory group, Old Vic Players, were on stand-by for two shows a day.

Ship’s doctor, aside from being an able physician, was also a topflight mental specialist, so that Problem-Counseling was available to the passengers at all hours.

But perhaps the most carefully thought-out nicety of the Christian was its principal lounge, the Marine Room—a large room, deep below decks, its wall (that which was part of ship’s hull) glassed so that the passengers sat looking out into the very heart of the sea. An ocean-floor effect was maintained by the regular release of deep-sea creatures from a water-line station near the bow, and through the use of powerful daylight kliegs there was afforded a breathtaking panorama—with giant octopi, huge rainbow-colored ray, serpents, great snowy angelfish, and fantastic schools of luminous tetra constantly gliding by or writhing in silent majestic combat a few feet from the relaxed passengers.

Though the Magic Christian received its share of prevoyage hullabaloo (Life magazine devoted an issue to photographs, enthusiastically captioned), its only form of paid advertisement was a simple announcement of its sailing date, which appeared in The Times and in the National Geographic. The fare was not mentioned (though Life had said it was “about $250,000”) and the announcement was set in small heavy type, boxed with a very black border. “For the Gracious Few ...” it opened, and went on to state in a brief, restrained apology, that not everyone could be accepted, that applications for passage on the Christian were necessarily carefully screened, and that those who were refused should not take offense. “Our criteria,” it closed, “may not be yours.”

Ship’s quarters were not shown until the applicant had been accepted, and then were shown by appointment.

The ship was christened by the Queen of England.

All of this had a certain appeal and the applications poured in. More than a few people, in fact, were demanding passage on the Christian’s first voyage. Those just back from holiday were suddenly planning to go abroad again; scores rushed home simply to qualify and make the trip. For many, the maiden voyage of the Magic Christian became a must. Meanwhile Guy Grand, well in the background, was personally screening the applications according to some obscure criteria of his own, and apparently he had himself a few laughs in this connection. In the case of one application, for example, from a venerable scioness of Roman society, he simply scrawled moronically across it in blunt pencil: “Are you kidding?!? No wops!” The woman was said to have had a nervous breakdown and did later file for a million on defamation. It cost Grand a pretty to clear it.

On the other hand, he accepted—or rather, engaged—as passengers, a group from a fairly sordid freak show, most of whom could not be left untended, along with a few gypsies, Broadway types, and the like, of offensive appearance and doubtful character. These, however, were to be kept below decks for the first few days out, and, even so, numbered only about forty in all, so that a good nine-tenths of the passenger list, those on deck when the Christian set sail in such tasteful fanfare that Easter morn, were top-drawer gentry and no mistake.

Unique among features of the Christian was its video communication system from the bridge to other parts of the ship. Above the fireplace in each cabin was a small TV screen and this provided direct visual communication with the Captain at the wheel and with whatever other activity was going on there, giving as it did a view of almost the entire bridge. These sets could be switched on or off, but the first day they were left on before the passengers arrived, in order to spare anyone the embarrassment of not knowing what the new gimmick was. So that when passengers entered their cabins now they saw at once, there on the screen above the fireplace: the Captain at the wheel. Captain Klaus. And for this person, Guy Grand had engaged a professional actor, a distinguished silver-haired man whose every gesture inspired the deepest confidence. He wore a double row of service ribbons on his dark breast and deported himself in a manner both authoritative and pleasingly genial—as the passengers saw when he turned to face the screen, and this he did just as soon as they were all settled and under way.

He was filling his pipe when he turned to camera, but he paused from this to smile and touch his cap in easy salute.

“Cap’n Klaus,” he said, introducing himself with warm informality, though certainly at no sacrifice to his considerable bearing. “Glad to have you aboard.”

He casually picked up a pointer stick and indicated a chart on the nearby wall.

“Here’s our course,” he said, “nor’ by nor’east, forty-seven degrees.”

Then he went on to explain the mechanics and layout of the bridge, the weather and tide conditions at present, their prospects, and so on, using just enough technical jargon throughout all this to show that he knew what he was about. He said that the automatic-pilot would be used from time to time, but that he personally preferred handling the wheel himself, adding good-humoredly that in his opinion “a ship favored men to machines.”

“It may be an old-fashioned notion,” he said, with a wise twinkle, “… but to me, a ship is a woman.”

At last he gave a final welcome-salute, saying again: “Glad to haveyou aboard,” and turned back to his great wheel.

This contact with the bridge and the fatherly Captain seemed to give the passengers an added sense of participation and security; and, indeed, things couldn’t have gone more smoothly for the first few hours.

It was in the very early morning that something untoward occurred, at about three A.M.—and of course almost everyone was asleep. They had watched their screens for a while: the Captain in the cozy bridge house, standing alone, pipe glowing, his strong eyes sweeping the black water ahead—then they had switched off their sets. There were a few people though who were still up and who had their sets on; and, of these few, there were perhaps three who happened to be watching the screen at a certain moment—when in the corner of the bridge house, near the door, there was a shadow, an odd movement ... then suddenly the appearance of a sinister-looking person, who crept up behind the Captain, hit him on the head, and seized the wheel as the screen blacked out.

The people who had seen this were disturbed and, in fact, were soon rushing about, rousing others, wanting to go to the bridge and so on. And they did actually get up a party and went to the bridge—only to be met at the top of the ladder by the Captain himself, unruffled, glossing it over, blandly assuring them that nothing was wrong, nothing at all, just a minor occurrence. And, of course, back in the cabins, there he was on the screen again, Captain Klaus, steady at the helm.

Those three who had seen the outrage, being in such a hopeless minority, were thought to have been drunk or in some way out of their minds, and were gently referred to ship’s doctor, the mental specialist, so the incident passed without too much notice.

And things went smoothly once more, until the next evening—when, in the exquisite gaming rooms just off the Marine Lounge, one of the roulette croupiers was seen, by several people, to be cheating ... darting his eyes about in a furtive manner and then interfering with the bets, snatching them up and stuffing them in his pocket, that sort of thing.

It was such an unheard-of outrage that one old duke fainted dead away. The croupier was hustled out of the gaming room by Captain Klaus himself, who deplored the incident profusely and declared that the next dozen spins were on the house, losing bets to remain untouched for that time—gracious recompense, in the eyes of a sporting crowd, and applauded as such; still, the incident was not one easily forgotten.

Another curious thing occurred when some of the ladies went, individually, to visit the ship’s doctor. For the most part they had simply dropped around to pick up a few aspirin, sea-sickness pills—or merely to have a reassuring chat with the amiable physician. Several of these ladies, however, were informed that they looked “rather queer” and that an examination might be in order.

“Better safe than sorry,” the doctor said, and then, during the examination, he invariably seemed to discover what he termed “a latent abrasion”—on the waist, side, hip, or shoulder of the woman—and though the abrasion could not be seen, the doctor deemed it required a compress.

“Nothing serious,” he explained, “still it’s always wise to take precautions.” And so saying he would apply a huge compress to the area, a sort of gigantic Band-Aid about a foot wide and several inches thick, with big adhesive flaps that went halfway around the body. The tremendous bulk of these compresses was a nuisance, causing as they did, great deforming bulges beneath the women’s smart frocks. They were almost impossible to remove. One woman was seen running about with one on her head, like a big white hat.

First lifeboat drill was scheduled for the following morning. Shortly before it, Captain Klaus came on the screen and smilingly apologized for the inconvenience and gave a leisurely and pleasantly informative talk about the drill and its necessity.

“Better safe than sorry,” he said in a genial close to his little talk.

When the drill signal sounded, they all got into life jackets—which were the latest thing and quite unlike standard passenger-ship equipment—and then, grumbling good-naturedly, they started for their boat stations; but an extraordinary thing happened: two minutes after they had put them on, the life jackets began inflating in a colossal way. Apparently the very act of donning the jacket set off some device which inflated it. The extraordinary thing was that each one blew up so big that it simply obscured the person wearing it, ballooning out about them, above their heads, below their feet, and to a diameter of perhaps twelve feet—so that if they were in an open space, such as their cabins, the lounge, or on deck, they simply rolled or lolled about on the floor, quite hidden from view, whereas if they were in a corridor, they were hopelessly stuck.

In any event, almost no one escaped the effects of the faulty life jacket; so it was—after they deflated—with a good deal of annoyance that they came back to the cabins, quite ready to hear Captain Klaus’ explanation of what had gone amiss.

Unfortunately though, the foghorn, which had been put to practice during the drill, was now evidently jammed. At any rate, it continued steadily during the Captain’s after-drill talk and completely shut out his voice, so that it was like looking at someone talk behind several layers of glass. The Captain himself didn’t seem to realize that he wasn’t coming through, and he went on talking for quite a while, punctuating his remarks with various little facial gestures to indicate a whole gamut of fairly intense feelings about whatever it was he was saying.

The business with the foghorn was more serious than at first imagined; it continued, blasting without let-up, for the rest of the voyage.

Quite incidental to what was happening during the drill, fifty crew members took advantage of the occasion to go around to the cabins, lounges, and dining rooms, and to substitute a thin length of balsa wood for one leg of every chair, table, and dresser on ship.

When the Captain finished his lengthy and voiceless discourse, he smiled, gave an easy salute and left the bridge house. It was about this time that all the furniture began to collapse—in half an hour’s time there wasn’t one standing stick of it aboard the Christian.

Strange and unnatural persons began to appear—in the drawing rooms, salons, at the pool. During the afternoon tea dance, a gigantic bearded-woman, stark naked, rushed wildly about over the floor, interfering with the couples, and had to be forcibly removed by ship’s doctor.

The plumbing went bad, too; and finally one of the Christian’s big stacks toppled—in such a way as to give directly on to ship’s dining room, sending oily smoke billowing through. And, in fact, from about this point on, the voyage was a veritable nightmare.

Large curious posters were to be seen in various parts of the ship:



as well as rude slogans, vaguely political, scrawled in huge misshapen letters across walls and decks alike:



Due to the strain of untoward events, more than one passenger sought solace and reassurance from the problem-counselor, the ship’s distinguished doctor.

“Doctor, what in the name of God is going on here!” the frenzied passenger would demand.

The doctor would answer with a quizzical smile, arching his brows, only mildly censorious. “Fair-weather sailor?” he would gently chide, “... Hmm? Cross and irritable the moment things aren’t going exactly to suit you? Now just what seems to be the trouble?”

“‘Trouble’!?!” exclaimed the outraged passenger. “Good Lord, Doctor, surely you don’t think my complaint is an ... an unreasonable one?”

The doctor would turn his gaze out to sea, thin fingers pressed beneath his chin in a delicate pyramid of contemplation, wistfully abstract for a moment before turning back to address the patient frankly.

“Deep-rooted and unreasonable fears,” he would begin in a grand, rich voice, “are most often behind our anxieties ...” and he would continue in this vein until the passenger fairly exploded with impatience.

“Great Scott, Doctor! I didn’t come here for a lecture on psychology—I came to find out what in the name of Heaven is going on aboard this ship!”

In the face of these outbursts however, the doctor almost invariably retained his calm, regarding the patient coolly, searchingly, making a few careful notes on his pad.

“Now, you say that ‘the life jacket over inflated,’ and that you were ‘stuck in the corridor’—that was your expression, I believe, ‘stuck in the corridor’—and at that moment you felt a certain malaise, so to speak.

Now, let me ask you this ...” Or again, on other occasions, he might behave eccentrically, his head craned far to one side, regarding the patient out of the corners of his eyes, a sly, mad smile on his lips which moved in an inaudible whisper, almost a hiss.

Finally, the patient, at the end of his tether, would leap to his feet. “Well, in the name of God, Doctor, the least you can do is let me have some tranquillizers!”

But the doctor, as it turned out, was not one given to prescribing drugs promiscuously.

“Escape into drugs?” he would ask, wagging his head slowly. “Mask our fears in an artificial fog?” And there was always a trace of sadness in his smile, as he continued, “No, I’m afraid the trouble is in ourselves, you see.” Then he would settle back expansively and speak with benign countenance. “Running away from problems is scarcely the solution to them. I believe you’ll thank me in years to come.” And at last he would lean forward in quiet confidence. “Do you mind if I ask you a few questions about your ... your early childhood?”

When Captain Klaus next appeared on the screen, he looked as though he had been sleeping in two feet of water. Completely disheveled, his ribbons dangling in unsightly strands, his open coat flapping, his unknotted tie strung loosely around his collar, he seemed somewhat drunk as well. With a rude wave of his hand he dismissed bridge personnel and lurched toward the video screen, actually crashing into it, and remaining so close that his image was all distorted.

“We’ll get the old tub through!” he was shouting at deafening volume, and at that moment he was attacked from behind by a ruffian type who was carrying a huge hypodermic and appeared to overpower the Captain and inject something into the top of his head, then to seize the wheel, wrenching it violently, before the screen went black.

Also, it was learned about this time that because of fantastic miscalculation on the part of the ship’s-stores officer, the only food left aboard now was potatoes.

Thus did the Christian roar over the sea, through fair weather and foul.

Guy Grand was aboard of course, as a passenger, complaining bitterly, and in fact kept leading assault parties in an effort to find out, as he put it, “What the devil’s going on on the bridge!”

But they were always driven back by a number of odd-looking men with guns and knives near the ladder.

“Who the deuce are those chaps?” Grand would demand as he and the others beat a hasty retreat along the deck. “I don’t like the looks of this!”

Occasionally the communications screen in each of the cabins would light up to reveal momentarily what was taking place on the bridge, and it was fairly incredible. The bridge house itself now was a swaying rubble heap and the Captain was seen intermittently, struggling with various assailants, and finally with what actually appeared to be a gorilla—the beast at last overpowering him and flinging him bodily out of the bridge house and, or so it seemed, into the sea itself, before seizing the wheel, which he seemed then to be trying to tear from its hub.

It was about this time that the ship, which, as it developed, had turned completely around in the middle of the ocean, came back into New York harbor under full steam, and with horns and whistles screaming, ploughed headlong into the big Forty-Seventh Street pier.

Fortunately no one was injured on the cruise; but, even so, it went far from easy with Grand—he had already sunk plenty into the project, and just how much it cost him to keep clear in the end, is practically anyone’s guess.



  1. Lazarus March 22, 2017

    ” I’m happy the roof isn’t leaking. An error, a partial one at that, isn’t a lie, George, but suit yourself.”

    That may or may not be true, but I tell you what is for sure leaking, THE WALLS….and have been for decades, they weep…
    Ask anyone who’s worked on the thing, the roof is and has always been a mess, similar to what rumor has that the new Adventist Health Hospital is experiencing. (more to come) Low bids, no accountability equals bad work. George sounds like an angry, old, you know what…smoke a join or drink a beer, drive a truck in second gear…dude…
    As always,

  2. Jim Updegraff March 22, 2017

    “Of all forms of inequality, injustice in healthcare is the most shocking and inhumane.”—Martin Luther King, Jr.

  3. Harvey Reading March 22, 2017

    Re: THIS EPIC is clearly well-funded. $84 for eight hours, with overtime pay kicking in after the first eight, meals provided for the expected long hours.

    Good money in the 70s, but no longer … typical nonunion tactic.

  4. Harvey Reading March 22, 2017

    Re: He says he still drinks alcohol in moderation.

    Prepping for a fifth Hunger Games movie? But there were only three books …

  5. Harvey Reading March 22, 2017


    Good summation.

  6. Bill Pilgrim March 22, 2017

    RE: Happiness Index. Don’t be so quick to cynically dismiss this international survey. Despite it’s sappy title it’s meant to indicate a population’s state of mental and emotional well-being.
    The US is the richest, most powerful nation among all the developed world. But numerous studies have shown we are the most miserable – more depression, more mental health medications, more drug addiction, etc., per capita than the others.
    Broadly speaking, we have material abundance…but spiritual poverty, while others have material poverty…but spiritual abundance.
    So the issue is really a question of priorities: do we want to be a society characterized by ceaseless toil competing for all the goodies we can accrue (while spiraling deeper into disillusionment and misery) or characterized by a more simple material lifestyle rich with creative stimuli.
    I choose the latter, and more people than ever before are gradually coming to the same conclusion.

    • George Hollister March 22, 2017

      America was founded, and built by the unhappy. If they were happy, they never would have left where they came from, and come here. I think this is true going back to the first humans who came here. So it is no wonder we have so much unhappiness. It might be that a lot of that American unhappiness is with people who are happy being unhappy. Then look at the countries that are happy. They represent those who stayed behind, because they were happy.

      • Harvey Reading March 22, 2017

        From that sort of reasoning, one would conclude that Africans are the happiest people on the planet …

      • LouisBedrock March 23, 2017

        America was built by people who were kidnapped from their homes in Africa and brought here as slaves. To say they were “unhappy” is imbecilic. Given the source of the comment this is not surprising.

  7. Harvey Reading March 22, 2017

    RE: The Magic Christian

    Quite appropriate in my opinion as an allegory of the current state of the U.S.

  8. Rick Weddle March 22, 2017

    re: the price of tea in China…
    I think I have this right, that the price of anything at all is of concern ONLY to poor People? Weaponized pricing — a ‘free’ (unregulated predatory) market — like charging People their very homes in exchange for some dubious diagnoses and 2,000% price-gouged pills (with four times more lethal side effects than benefits), actively disadvantages People, subdues and controls populations of Humans. There’s also the famous Greatness of letting a corporation or two steal your only safe water, then sell it back to you, per bottle, at twice the rate of premium gasoline. Another exploding sideshow in the biggest, most successful scam for war criminals yet selected, armed, and aimed AT us People INSTEAD OF FOR US. How many successful organisms do you count, ever, that attacked their own very foundations to destruction? Look ma, you can count ’em with NO hands!!

  9. LouisBedrock March 22, 2017

    Good to see Todd Walton back.

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