Press "Enter" to skip to content

Mendocino County Today: Monday, April 10, 2017

* * *


* * *

THE POTTER VALLEY DIVERSION flows on into Lake Mendocino whose waters are mostly owned by Sonoma County who, in turn, sells much of the accumulated liquid stash.

OVER THE LAST quarter century, with the rise of vineyards from Potter Valley to Healdsburg dependent on the diverted Eel, it is unlikely we'll ever see an end to it, as our elected reps at all levels of government are owned by the wine industry.

IT'S A LARGE IRONY that a tiny power project built at the turn of the twentieth century to electrify Ukiah, with Chinese labor hand-digging the mile-long tunnel that sends a goodly portion of the Eel into the otherwise summer-dry Russian River has become the golden straw for thousands of people downstream.

FORMER SUPERVISOR John Pinches rightly agitated for years that Mendocino County should at least negotiate a new water contract with Sonoma County to get Mendo's fair share of the millions that SoCo enjoys from the water stored at Lake Mendocino. Nobody wanted to hear it.

KOVNER'S stories in the PD slide by the fact of unnaturally cheap water for Potter Valley's noble sons of the soil for a hundred years now; they're always good for quotes promoting the status quo. Ditto for all the vineyard owners downstream with their freebie straws in the Russian River. This entire mob of welfare "ranchers" is overdue to be compelled to pay fair market price for their diverted Eel River water.

ANYBODY who has never seen the diversion close-up and the cockamamie "fish ladder" that allegedly lifts fish past the machinery will get a big laugh at these visuals. Any fish that climbs the ladder, and you can wait all day to see one, probably comes out the other end a duck.

* * *

THIS RATHER STARTLING on-line comment made us paupers here at the AVA green with envy:

"Accidentally attached to a check from the Mendocino Coast Hospital (ambulance maintenance) was an invoice FROM the Advocate News to the hospital for $6100+ for ADVERTISING!!!!! Yes, folks, our local hospital pays a crap-ton of money to advertise in our local paper. No amount of advertising will convince me to go here unless it is my only way to get to Willits, Ukiah— wherever. Just found that little "oops" interesting. I left the invoice on the counter at the PO."

JEEZ, no wonder Coast Hospital is broke, and considering all the paper's profits, and they're still large, fly out of the county to the distant holding company/hedge fund that now owns the Ukiah Daily Journal, what's left of The Willits News and the Beacon/Advocate. It was probably twenty years ago that the three papers together were sending some $600,000 outtahere annually.

* * *


"Here's something people need to remember about privately owned and operated websites, blogs, forums, message boards, etc. While you may have a right to free speech, it is not the responsibility of a website operator to provide you with a soap box. If they don't like what you have to say, they can ban you and they don't even have to tell you why. There is no law that says they have to tell you anything. If they don't like what many people have to say, rather than ban them one at a time, they can just close the site or any part of it that they no longer want to babysit. I've seen forums that have automatic filters to ban people. If you say any of countless key words, that could be anything they want, you get a temporary or permanent ban. It's news to me that Thunderdome [the more raucous of comment choices at LCO] was closed. But I can't say as I am surprised in the least. If it were me, I would not have put up with what I've seen in there either. If it bothers you that they closed it, you are 100% free to get a website of your own, which you can do for anywhere from $5.00 a month on up. You can then set up a blog or whatever and you can say all the stuff that gets you banned from others people's websites any time you like. Assuming of course, nobody turns you in to the hosting company for saying something they don't like, and the host kicks you off of their servers, which I have seen happen a few times. But the bottom line is this: When you are a guest in someone else's house, you either follow their rules (whether they tell you what they are or not) or they can kick your ass right out the door. The same thing applies when you go to someone else's website. If you don't like it, get your own...

* * *

SPEAKING of bad manners, a man frustrated with FB's non-response to the broken down tweaker van parked in front of his house happened to run into several Fort Bragg officials, including city manager Linda Ruffing and city attorney Zutler the other day as they emerged from a restaurant. The frustrated citizen erupted into a screaming tirade, giving diners still inside the restaurant quite a show, as he screamed insults at his local government. Ruffing and Zutler took the brunt of it until the gallant Lindy Peters, Fort Bragg's practiced nut whisperer, talked the guy down.

* * *

THE FOLLOWING is an excerpt from our book Mendocino Noir published in 2009. The original story was published in December 2005. Please read carefully. Tell me if you see anything resembling a libel of a woman called Clarissa Frey:

"The night he was arrested, Aaron [Channel] remembers sitting at Denny’s at about 2 a.m. with Jennifer Wolchik and Clarissa Frey when officer Karen Harris of the Fort Bragg Police Department arrived to talk to Miss Frey about a pending legal matter involving the young woman. The officer, noticing Aaron sitting at the counter, asked, ‘Aren't you Aaron Channel?’

"‘I greeted her amicably,’ Aaron recalled in a letter to his new wife, Galina Trefil, ‘but I noticed she seemed pretty tense, but I thought it was just due to her having a hard night. I didn't think it had anything to do with me’.

"A few minutes later, Aaron remembers in his letter to Galina, 'Three rows of two detectives each, all very large and with hands resting menacingly on their firearms told me to come with them. I said that it was very late and I'd had a long day, and I'd rather not go with them because I was tired. I suggested they try to contact me in the morning.'"

(There are no other references to Ms. Frey anywhere in the story or elsewhere.)

* * *

Ms. Frey called from Alaska on Thursday to complain that:

  1. I "didn't ask her permission to use her name."
  2. Demanded to know "What court document did you get that from?"
  3. Shrieked "That is NOT what happened. AT ALL."
  4. Also demanded to know, "Why did you publish that as if I'm some kind of criminal?"
  5. Said emphatically, "I am NOT happy."
  6. Ended the call with, "I will be contacting a lawyer if you do not respond satisfactorily to this request."

WE ALL HEAR constantly about how the schools are teaching "critical thinking skills." Maybe our educators ought to take a step backwards and just teach thinking.

THIS CLARISSA FREY screwball, is reacting to the briefest mention of her as directly quoted from a letter written by Aaron Channel in a ten-year-old story.

VERSIONS of this happen all the time. And these people vote! Gawd save the Republic.

* * *

LEE RIDER, via MCN, clarifies the Grange dispute as it plays out at Inglenook:

"Hi All:

Many of you have heard of the controversy surrounding the former Fort Bragg Grange in Inglenook. Here are the facts:

The organization formerly known as the Fort Bragg Grange is now the Fort Bragg Guild.

The Fort Bragg Guild has not been associated with the National Grange since 2013 and has never been associated with the new California State Grange chartered in 2014. The National Grange was never authorized to conduct business in California.

The Fort Bragg Guild continues its decades-long association with the California Guild (the original California Grange).

The Fort Bragg Guild is currently addressing issues regarding its assets and their protection.

The Guild’s breakfasts, music events, and community activities will continue. It will be business as usual.

The Guild invites everyone to become a member at any of our regular events

The National Grange has taken positions supporting factory farming and GMO's. The old California Grange took positions against those issues and their charter was revoked by the National Grange, who won't allow the old CA Grange to use the word 'Grange,' hence the name change to 'Guild.'

After revoking the charter of the old Grange, the National Grange created a newly chartered California Grange which is aligned with their support of big agriculture and GMO's. We have never been associated with the newly chartered California Grange.

The Fort Bragg Guild is having a membership Pot Luck on Wednesday, April 12th, from 6:00 - 8:00 pm at the hall in Inglenook, 26500 N. Highway 1, about 5 miles north of Fort Bragg.

We invite everyone to come, bring a dish to share, and become a member of the Guild. Come support local control of our building and our community issues. Membership is $40 for the first year ($35 afterwards) which gets you into our monthly music potlucks for free and other benefits including discounted propane rates."

* * *

LITTLE DOG SAYS, “We've got maybe a full acre here, but when I feel cramped I just look out to the west and Ah Wilderness! (I got an extra biscuit for the literary ref.)”

* * *


Where oh where is the music?

Whitney Williams wrote on MCN-listserve:

Hey y'all! Does anyone know of good live music shows playing near Mendocino or Fort Bragg this week? Or even a comedy show? I'm new and not sure where the best place is to locate this info! If you have any tips I'd appreciate it! Thanks!

* * *

Marco McClean replied: Welcome, Whitney! Here: There's music every night at Headlands Coffeehouse. (Sunday they close early, so the music is in the afternoon.) You'll find the schedule at There's your daily (nightly) music covered. And here's a month of immersive, participatory comedy:

Doug Nunn wrote:

Hit and Run Theater will offer new Improv Classes beginning Wednesday, April 19 and running through Wednesday, May 10! Hit and Run Theater 4 Improvisation workshops begin Wednesday April 19 and run consecutive Wednesday evenings April 26, May 3 & 10, 2017. The workshops take place from 6:30-8:30 p.m. at Doug Nunn's classroom (aka "Mendocino Sunrise High School"), next to the Media and Electronics labs, at the northeast corner of Mendocino High School in Mendocino (Mendo High address is 10700 Ford St).

Hit and Run Theater has been performing improvisation since 1980 and has been leading workshops since the mid 1980s. This series of workshops will be coached by Hit and Runners Doug Nunn, Kathy O'Grady, Steve Weingarten, Jill Jahelka, Christine Samas, and Ken Krauss. Hit and Run's newest workshop series is open to all interested students.

The course will last for four weeks and will include basic improvisational games and acting exercises. No previous theatrical or improvising experience is required and mature teens are welcome as well as adults. A workshop fee of $40 will cover the four Wednesday evenings. What a deal!

To register or for further information, please call 707-937-0360 or 415-613-4416 or email You can also write Doug Nunn on Facebook. We look forward to seeing you there.All the best, (signed) Doug Nunn and Hit & Run Theater

* * *

CATCH OF THE DAY, April 9, 2017

bauer, Brandovysrael, Duman

PATRICK BAUER, Ukiah. Grand theft.

TZADIK BRANDOVYSRAEL, Willits. Drunk in public.

ROCKY DUMAN, Ukiah. Parole violation.

Fes, Franklin, Hernandez

VALERII FES, Santa Monica/Ukiah. DUI.

JOHN FRANKLIN JR., Willits. Failure to appear.

EUFEMIO HERNANDEZ, Ukiah. Battery with serious injury, assault with deadly weapon not a gun, probation revocation.

Howard, Irven, Jacome

STEPHEN HOWARD, Ukiah. Criminal threats.

ZACHARY IRVEN, Fort Bragg. Drunk in public, probation revocation.


Larsen, Leon, Martinez

JONATHAN LARSEN, Ukiah. Domestic battery, under influence, petty theft, vandalism.


JOAQUIN MARTINEZ, Redwood Valley. DUI, suspended license.

Mostovan, O'Donnell, Osorio

JOSE MOSTOVAN, Fort Bragg. Failure to appear.

ERICK O’DONNELL, Ukiah. Drunk in public.

CARLOS OSORIO, Redwood Valley/Calpella. DUI, receiving stolen property.

Pacheco, Padget, Williams

MATEO PACHECO, Ukiah. DUI, controlled substance, county parole violation.

RYAN PADGET, Laytonville. Failure to appear.

FRED WILLIAMS, Ukiah. Failure to appear.

* * *


Dear Friends of the Kent State Truth Tribunal,

This week I received a package from the daughter of a woman who helped Allison as she was dying in the Kent State University parking lot. The package contained a card, an image of Dr. Marion Stroud (Allison’s helper), a letter to the editor at the Akron Beacon Journal that she wrote shortly after May 4, 1970 and a handkerchief with Allison’s blood … a relic from that day.

Please take a look at the items and read Marion’s important words:

To The Editor:

I was with two of the students who were shot and killed by National Guardsmen at Kent Monday and for their sake I want to tell it like it was.

The Guardsmen had marched up the hill after leaving the football practice field. Kids were following them up, some shouting and probably some throwing small stones -- there were no "baseball size" rocks available. Without warning the Guards stopped at the top of the hill and fired a long volley of rifle shots into the crowd below.

Many of the kids dropped to the ground and others ran behind the building. There was discussion as to whether the shots were blanks but in seconds we knew they were not. There were kids gathering around the wounded.

THE BOY who died first was shot in the back of the neck. He lay in a vast puddle of his young blood. His friends tried to stop the flow, but he had no pulse nor breath and we all realized he was dead.

There was a cry from a group trying to help a big, beautiful young girl who was lying in the parking lot, shot in the armpit. We tried to put enough scarves and handkerchiefs into the hole to stop the bleeding. She was breathing a little but as we waited for the ambulance I saw her lips go white and her eyes glaze over, and I realized she wouldn't make it, either.

Five or six victims were picked up on stretchers and those of us who had been fired on stood in small groups trying to figure out why the soldiers had turned and fired without warning. Most of us in that area had been walking away when the shooting started.

THOSE WHO died weren't wild, SDS bearded hippies. They were kids like my sons and daughters. They came to the Commons for a peace rally. They wanted to know how to get the word to our government that the Vietnam war is immoral and its extension into Cambodia intolerable.

After the shooting one young man said, "You think this bloody mess is awful, just imagine what the kids have to do every day in Vietnam -- kill, kill, kill. Plenty of blood in the streets there."

Listen to them. You know in your hearts, they're right.

I'm no kid. I'm over 40 and the mother of seven children.

MARION STROUD, Graduate Student, Kent State University

Sending peace and love,

Laurel Krause


"What's the matter with PEACE? Flowers are better than bullets." —Allison Krause, May 3, 1970

* * *


by Jonah Raskin

I’m in the spiffy Indira Gandhi International Airport. My flight to San Francisco was scheduled for a 1:30 a.m. departure. Now, it’s supposed to take off at 4:30 a.m. I’ve already been up for 23 hours. I don’t want to fall asleep now and miss the plane, so I take out my phone and start to write about my frenetic time here in India. After two weeks on the go, I have never really gotten over jet lag and now I’m sure I’ll have jet lag again when I’m back in California, a place that now seems strange, distant and unreal. To everyone I met I said I was from California. I never said I was from America or the U.S.A.; over and over again I explained that I disliked Trump. No one I met really understood American politics or how Hillary could win more popular votes than Trump and still lose the election.

Indians don’t seem to be anti-American. No one ever uttered an anti-American remark. I know what anti-Americanism sounds like. I heard it in England in the early 1960s and again in the 1980s in Belgium, when I was teaching there and Reagan was in the White House. Educated Indians follow U.S. news closely. Young men pay attention to the NBA and the Golden State Warriors. Even when I couldn’t get online, they could. WIFI in India seems to be closely regulated and maybe even monitored.

On one occasion, when a reporter from a Hindi newspaper interviewed me I offered him a sound bite and said that I thought that while Indian nationalism was good American nationalism was bad. I got into trouble for that remark. An India professor I trust, told me that in South Asia India behaves like an imperial power. With its army and air force the government in Delhi tries to lord it over neighboring states.

The government also seems to lord it over its own citizens, especially the poorest of the poor who have been persuaded that India’s elected officials are on their side and against the rich. Prime Minister Modi, who is a Hindu nationalist—along with his administration and the media—have done a nifty job of deceiving the poor and helping the wealthy. All over Delhi, I’ve seen Modi’s picture. Indeed, he’s represented as the nation’s benevolent father figure: a kind of Hindu Santa Claus who smiles to cover-up what seems to be a thuggish nature. There is an opposition here, or so I’m told, but it’s often underground. When there are mass protests citizens gather around India Gate, a huge monument to the Indian soldiers who died fighting for the British Empire in World War I. These days, the police don’t let anyone get near the building that houses the Indian parliament. In World War I, Indians were paid to fight for the British. They didn’t just volunteer. In many cases they had no idea why they were fighting or who they were fighting for or against. They were just fighting — and dying.

Two university students accompanied me all the way to the airport. That afternoon, I had spoken to them and, in fact, to a large crowd at one of the leading Islamic universities in Delhi. My book, The Mythology of Imperialism—which was originally published in 1971—is required reading in literature classes. That was a big surprise. I don’t know if the Indian publisher bought the rights from Monthly Review Press, which reprinted the book in 2009, or if the Indian edition was pirated. At this point in time, it really doesn’t matter. What does is that Indian students are reading it and thinking about literature and empire, a topic as timely now, I think, as it was when I wrote the book in the 1960s.

On the ride to the airport I sat in the back seat with a young woman who attends the Islamic university in Delhi and who speaks real good English. I’ll call her Tali. She’s young and smart. When I first met her I assumed she came from Burma or Laos. She looks Asian. But she explained that she belongs to an ancient tribal culture in a largely inaccessible mountainous region of India called Nagaland that borders Myanmar (formerly called Burma.) The word “Naga” comes from the Sanskrit and means snake. Tali told me, “The Nagas are like the Native Americans in your country.” I told her she had the most beautiful smile in all of Delhi. “You made my day,” she replied. Nagaland — as the name suggests — is inhabited by the Nagalanders, a loose federation of 16 different tribes each with its own language, culture and dress. Not surprisingly, the Nags want independence and their own country. Nationhood has stormed the whole world.

In the back seat of the car on the way to the airport, I turned to Tali and asked, “So, how’s your sex life.” She just laughed. And then she explained that Indian men were impossible, that a double standard operated, that it was okay for guys to have sex before marriage, but not women. “If I had sex before marriage, I’d be called a ‘slut,’” Tali said. She insisted she couldn’t say she was a feminist (though she is). It was too dangerous to do so. Men would assault her. “When it comes to women’s rights and equality between the sexes, India is really backward,” Tali said. Still, I had met Indian couples in which men and women and husbands and wives treated one another with mutual respect and admiration. I saw no one kiss or hug in public and while I saw no pornography, Indian ads, like American ads, use sex to sell products.

At the airport, the driver stopped at the curb, got out, opened the trunk and pulled out my suitcase. Tali grabbed a cart, placed the suitcase on top and began to push it toward the terminal. “Thanks,” I said. “You don’t have to come along any further.” She replied, “I want to.” She took me as far as she could before a guard stopped her. “See you in Nagaland,” she said. “There’s a big rock concert there that you might like.” I shot back, “Yeah, see you in Nagaland.” Then Tali reached into her purse, pulled out a sheaf of papers and handed them to me. “So you’ll have something to read on the long flight home,” she said. “They’re my short stories.”

I stuffed them in my pocket and then went through customs and immigration. I was searched four times by four different groups of security agents. Everyone on the flight was searched four times. Inside the plane, which was packed with turbaned Sikhs and with Indian grandmothers going to visit their grandchildren, I read Tali’s short stories. They were magical and they were real, and they transported me to Nagaland. Yes, indeed, I would come back to India. Then I would head for the remote mountains and tribes that Tali writes about in her stories and that taught me that India is a land with perhaps more ancient cultures and more diversity than any other place on the face of the earth. Namaste India. You’ve been very good to me.

* * *

* * *

RUSSIAN AND IRANIAN FORCES Saturday night warned Donald Trump they would retaliate with military action if he launched more airstrikes on Syria. In an ominous threat raising the prospect of war, they said the US President had crossed a 'red line' with his surprise missile bombardment on Bashar al-Assad's forces. 'From now on we will respond with force to any breach of red lines and America knows our ability to respond well,' the military chiefs said in a joint statement with Hezbollah. The Russian Embassy in London last night suggested there could be 'real war' if Moscow is presented with an ultimatum over Syria. But Boris Johnson will today lead a push for Russia to face tough new sanctions unless it withdraws its support for Assad. It comes after President Trump ordered airstrikes on a Syrian airbase in the first direct attack by the US against Assad on Friday morning.


* * *


Congressman Huffman,

Re: Progressive Leadership

As I am sure you are aware from the inside out, there is a battle going on right now for the soul of the Democratic Party: will the corporate establishment wing under the sway of the Clintons and Obama remain in control, or will the progressive wing under the sway of Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren and Keith Ellison ascend to the party leadership?

If the Democrats are to retake the Congress and the Presidency from the hateful, fear mongering, white nationalist Republicans, it is essential that the progressive wing of the party win out in this competition.

Corporate establishment Democrats must come to grips with the fact that Clinton lost to Trump not because of the Russians or the FBI Director, but because millions of working class Americans are fed-up with corporate establishment politicians like Hillary Clinton. Trump, as the ultimate corporate insider, was able to win over key voters in swing states with his phony "populist" anti-establishment message.

If Democrats expect to retake power from this Republican wrecking crew, you cannot just depend on voters being repelled by how vulgar the Republicans are, Democrats must actually stand for progressive ideals like establishing a single payer health insurance system, standing up for civil rights, funding free college tuition, taking bold climate action and negotiating peace among nations. Bernie's Democratic primary run proved that these are winning issues with anti-establishment voters, many of whom are now lamenting their vote for Trump.

It is imperative that you, as a member of the Democratic Progressive Caucus, work inside the party to convince your corporate establishment colleagues to cut their ties to the corporate interests that have turned the Democratic Party into Republican lite. As your constituent, I want you to become a force for progressive change in the Democratic Party that will not only lead to Democratic victories, but will ultimately lead to the progressive changes we so desperately need at this most perilous time in human history.

The time is now for you to step up and become a progressive leader in the Democratic Party.


Jon Spitz


* * *

* * *


Off topic on a Saturday night. Recently I have been reading and researching the great antique/reproduction/bespoke picture frame shops of New York City. Many of these businesses were Jewish owned and started from the ground up, on basically nothing but determination, grit and a lot of accumulated knowledge and study. And of course, the occasional buying trip to Europe when the budget would allow.

When times were good, say the fifties, a frame shop owner might walk a couple of blocks with a Renoir, Van Gogh, or Picasso under their arm to drop off to a restorer.

When times were bad, museums would basically discard highly carved period frames in favor of frames that ‘didn’t compete’ with a painting. (Alas, many of Picasso’s cubist works were framed in heavily carved/gilt 17th century Spanish frames, chosen by Picasso himself.)

When times were good again, frames previously discarded for next to nothing in the sixties, might be worth fifty thousand or more in nineties.

Most of these businesses stayed family owned and all of them adapted with the times.

Outstanding artisans/craftsmen and extraordinarily hard working and forward thinking business people who cultivated repeat customer loyalty via extreme competence and expertise.

* * *


“Kathy” writing on MCN-listserve:

Sonoma Clean Power is merely a glorified billing company IMHO. The electrons traveling to your home or work would be the same whether or not you participate. This billing company adds cost to the product, so Sonoma Clean Power is more expensive than staying with PG&E billing system.

Now we have to opt out... or we are included in this new 'green' opportunity. /ironic smirk. The only green I really see is whatever is going into Sonoma Clean Power's profit margin...

(Btw our local power is mostly generated at The Geysers plant, purchased on the ISO by PG&E and then delivered to you via PG&E distribution lines).

Tom Tetzlaff:

I'm kinda with you on this Kathy.

According to the comparison on pricing thing linked below from SCP, the benefits to the average residential consumer are small.

Californian's still pay well above the national average price for electricity. (some rates are well over double or even triple)

Eh, maybe in the long run we will gain benefit by having more power sourced from cleaner sources which may end up being cheaper.

The long history of energy prices aimed at consumers says otherwise though.

I just don't know what to make of this deal and look forward to hearing more views on it.


Here's the opt out link - (which also requires that you provide this company with a daytime telephone and email address?!?)

Read the bottom of their mailed announcement letter. It states you will be automatically enrolled in Sonoma Clean Power (at additional cost) unless you opt out.

The new billing still DOES appear on your regular old PG&E billing statement, however Sonoma Clean Power has a line item 'generation charges' with a smaller electric offset credit.

Bottom line is I think it costs you more to your household or business. California is already requiring all power producers/production to shift over to renewable despite the very recent trump-driven national trend. (That's one reason you see the Tesla solar plant on the Carriso plains).

We hopefully will have a fully renewable energy grid in my lifetime. Sonoma Clean Power has a business model which takes profit from billing shenanigans...

Robert Coppock:

According to the comparison chart, your monthly bill should be a little bit lower if you don't opt out. Yes, this new organization takes a cut, but the generation costs go down. I don't understand why.

Obviously, whatever you choose, the electrons flowing to my house are the same as those flowing to my neighbor's, who has made a different choice. Without doubling (tripling?) the infrastructure, there's no way to segregate what comes to each of us.

* * *


From Calculated Risk:

Total carloads on U.S. railroads in March 2017 were up 7.3% (87,183 carloads) over March 2016; excluding coal, carloads in March were up 2.7% (23,337 carloads). Intermodal containers and trailers were up 3.8% (47,180 units) for the month. Year-to-date total carloads through March were up 5.7% (180,665 carloads), while year-to-date intermodal volume was up 1.4% (47,977 units) over last year.

That's about "carloads" of freight, not passengers. After the advent of the automobile and air travel, passenger rail was no longer profitable 50 years ago. That's why we now have a federally subsidized Amtrak system.

It's also why Warren Buffett invested in freight rail, not passenger rail.

I don't share his libertarian philosophy, but Randal O'Toole is good on the train delusion. See O'Toole on Trump and infrastructure.

Some history on rail in the US here and here. See also Why don't Americans ride trains?

(Rob Anderson, Courtesy, District5Diary)



  1. Judy Valadao April 10, 2017

    It doesn’t take a van parked in front of the bad mannered man’s house to set him off. He has been seen many times going into a screaming tirade, stomping his feet and slamming doors even at public meetings. He’s a comical little character that stepped way over the line this time. After throwing one of his tizzy fits he usually calls anyone who will listen to make sure they hear about his great deed. Of course by the time he makes the calls the story has grown and is even more exciting in his eyes. Liking or not liking Linda Ruffing or Zutler has nothing to do with this. What he did was wrong and shouldn’t have to be tolerated by anyone. He needs a padded cell until he snaps back into reality.

  2. LouisBedrock April 10, 2017

    When I opened my address and phone book to find Mary G.’s phone number, I noticed that four of the eight names on the two pages were of friends who have died in the last few years.

    My oldest friend, Larry, has not returned my last three calls.
    His bone cancer has come back. They’ve stopped chemo and are doing radiation treatments daily.

    Rosa Montero wrote,

    “…to age is among other things, to witness the progressive disappearance of the world. Streets, fountains, movie theaters, bars, gardens begin to vanish–even entire villages, swallowed by a swamp or an earthquake. And people are lost, which is the worst of all. Reality starts to blur and transform itself. You can begin to make the new places your places, and even enjoy them intensely. But the lost places begin to accumulate in your memory like old furniture: A complete parallel geography, covered with the fine dust of memory.”

    I feel a bit lost today.

    There’s another quote on my mind:

    “The thought of suicide is a great consolation: by means of it one gets through many a dark night.”

    I have no intention of killing myself but I understand what he was talking about.

    Hold on to whatever you can: it’s a rough ride.

    • sohumlily April 10, 2017

      This being human thing is tricky, eh?

      Be here now and all that rot.

    • Harvey Reading April 10, 2017

      Louis, just what I needed on a Monday morning …

    • Bruce McEwen April 10, 2017

      My own lament being that by the time I ever got any recognition, all the people I had set out to impress were all dead or senile.

      There’s a quote from Samuel Johnson much to the same effect, but it’s hardly any better than my own; though it may well be more bitter, as it states (my paraphrase) to a noble benefactor that — again, much the same as in my own case — the offer of a sumptuous emolument and sundry encomiums having come so far too late, his lordship could could go stuff ’em &c. for aught he cared.

  3. Laurel Davies April 10, 2017

    I don’t know anything about this particular situation, but it seems unfair to say that someone is insane because they demand that the local law enforcement do their jobs. If someone’s vehicle is parked in front of your home it may be taking up a parking space, that you need for yourself. Parking is very much in high demand in San Francisco. Someone parking in front of you home may cause you to have to park miles away or end up with an expensive ticket due to 7am street cleanings that occur 4 days a week if you park a few blocks away. The only unrestricted parking is normally miles away in a less densely populated neighborhood. There is normally a protocol of time to be waited before a vehicle can be towed. I don’t know how many days the offending vehicle was left in front of this man’s house, but the squeaky wheel gets the grease. I support people who stand up for their rights and don’t allow social conventions or fear of embarrassment dictate their behavior. I myself would do what ever it took to restore my right to park in front of my own house. Many people in San Francisco don’t own a driveway or even a garage. Maybe people in Fort Bragg take such conveniences as parking for granted?

  4. sohumlily April 10, 2017

    Lucky LD.

    O for a patch of dirt…

  5. Laurel Davies April 10, 2017

    I would like to add what is crazy is smashing the car parked in front your house with your own car. I have seen this happen near Clement Street in San Francisco. A friend of mine finding himself parked in and unable to leave his driveway simply drove his car into the car blocking his car. He hit the other car repeatly ignoring the damage to his own car so he could drive away. I have heard of people pushing other cars downhill into other parked cars to clear a space. The illegal parked car hit other cars, which the driver and not the pusher was responsible for paying for damages.

    • Bruce Anderson April 10, 2017

      I call it tug boating when you repeatedly nudge the car blocking yours out of the way so you can exit your space. I’ve never gone for the full freak out, the ramming of the other vehicle, but I can sympathize with it, certainly. My late brother routinely parked wherever was convenient to him. When he’d amassed so many parking tickets that he knew he would be jailed at some inconvenient time, he turned himself in to do the jail time rather than pay the several thousand dollars in fines. He said he always got off with a few weekends in the can which, to him, was the sensible option to forking over out of pocket money he usually didn’t have.

  6. Jim Updegraff April 10, 2017

    Giants: finally got their act together and won a game – we will see if this is for real today.

    A’s:Ugh – a terrible performance.

  7. John Sakowicz April 10, 2017


    • Bruce McEwen April 10, 2017

      Is that last name an acronym?

      MOuSTache OVer A Nose (MOSTOVAN)

      Maybe he was the vic of a new prank: some kind of takeoff on Pin The Tail On The Donkey

      Disappointed he wasn’t in court this morning.

    • Mike Kalantarian April 10, 2017

      Indeed. Now add a real handlebar, under the nose, then cultivate a third on the chin. Call it the Triple Handlebar. Join a barbershop quartet.

      • sohumlily April 10, 2017


        I wondered about his name, too.

  8. Harvey Reading April 10, 2017

    Re: Catch of the Day

    A fine looking gallery. And, to be redundant, thanks to the early risers, I was especially charmed by the fellow with the mustache on his forehead. I could never grow a decent one even below my nose.

  9. Harvey Reading April 10, 2017


    The insanity continues.

  10. Harvey Reading April 10, 2017


    People who expect the democrapic right wing of the ruling party to come to their rescue are dreaming. The Democratic party of Huey Long and Franklin Roosevelt died in 1968, in Chicago, and its replacement, the democrapic party, has become “progressively” fascistic ever since. Just let it melt down into a common pool of sewage shared with the rethuglican right wing and work for a truly progressive replacement for it. The Greens show promise, but they need to refashion themselves from the yuppies they are to a more Working Class foundation. I hold no hope for the likes of Warren or Sanders or Ellison or Huffman, and I hope Clinton dies before 2020.

    • Bruce McEwen April 10, 2017

      Are you suggesting the American eagle has two right wings? Like the fellow with the mustache on his forehead, maybe we should clip off the left wing on the symbol of our country and pin it on the right, next to, or superimposed over, the one already there –!?

    • Stephen Rosenthal April 10, 2017

      Agree completely. Don’t know much about Ellison, but Sanders and Warren endorsed Queen Clinton within a few hours of her official nomination. If Mr. Spitz believes those two sell-outs are the hope and future of the “progressive” wing of the Dems, he needs to be evaluated as a 5150. Tulsi Gabbard is a progressive in the true meaning of the term, but she is already the subject of attack and ridicule by the idiot minions of the establishment Dems and their MSM cohorts simply for expressing skepticism about the Syrian chemical attacks.

      • Harvey Reading April 10, 2017

        Good for Tulsi Gabbard. At least I’m not the only one skeptical about the gassing. I’ve found that I simply cannot bear our “free media” at all these days. I was down to one dose of NPR per day, about 3 minutes worth, but now cannot even stand that much brainwashing. Any story pertinent to Syria begins with the assumption that Assad’s responsibility is simply a given, and proceeds from there.

        I won’t be saddened at all if the clown prince defunds the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. It was a great concept, drowned as a result of a deluge of tax-shelter foundation donations, which completely ruined NPR and PBS by the early 90s.

        • Bruce Anderson April 10, 2017

          One last shot for today: I think Trump is the logical work product of this country at this time. He sums it up in one big fat out of control blowhard. He is truly the American Everyman, circa Now. I also think Putin is right about Syria. Better the mofo we know than the insurgents, who appear to be 57 flavors of terrorists. What’s the option here? Libya? Iraq?

          • Harvey Reading April 10, 2017

            He’s certainly the logical result of the fairly gradual regression of the country since the end of the second world war and Truman’s implementation of the national security state. It’s sad to say, but he is really not that much worse than Clinton, Bush2, or Obama (or Clinton’s wife), but then that’s how a gradual regression works, isn’t it?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *