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Mendocino County Today: Sunday, April 16, 2017

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Writing in the April 13 Willits Weekly, reporter Mike A’Dair attempts to provide an update. Former third District Supervisor Tom Woodhouse resigned almost four months ago now and we still don't know if he will ever be replaced by the governor and his tardy, slo-mo appointments staff. So far the applicants include former Willits City Councilperson (and former Third District Supervisor candidate) Holly Madrigal, Willits schoolteacher and Teachers Association President John Haschak, Willits School District Trustee Georgeanne Croskey and Willits resident Skip Lucier (brother of former Third District Supervisor Tom Lucier (who was a better undertaker than supervisor). A’Dair interviewed some of the applicants who told him that they have now been interviewed two or three times in the last couple of months, most in person in Sacramento. Former Third District Supervisor John Pinches submitted to a couple of phone interviews. Pinches told A’Dair, "Probably the most important thing they asked me was, Had I ever done anything to embarrass the governor?" Another Willits resident and applicant, Mike Horger, also underwent two telephone interviews. Other applicants include Ellen Drell and Clay Romero, "but there could be more," added A’Dair, continuing "Pinches said he had heard there were 14 applicants for the position and Haschak said he understood there were somewhere between 15 and 20."

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Come hear us next Saturday night, the 22nd, at the Mendocino Hotel Garden Room.  45080 Main St Mendocino.  Three sets of jazz played on analog musical instruments and real vocal chords.  Starts 7pm. $15

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THE FOLLOWING LETTER entitled "Not Healthy" appeared in the April 14, 2017 edition of the Independent Coast Observer out of Gualala. The letter was written by Paula Patterson of Avalon, California.

"As former principal of Arena Union Elementary school, I am most disheartened by the current state of affairs within the school district and feel the need to express my concern publicly. School districts should be a collaborative effort between parents, employees and the school board with the same guiding principle: the best interest of the students. It is actually the mandate of the state, not just my opinion. All stakeholders should have the ability to collaborate, listen to conflicting points of view, research empirical data that support decisions, and enhance the well-being of the students. It is definitely not a healthy environment when the staff of both the elementary and high school have expressed discontent with the current superintendent and school board. When teachers are working under an atmosphere of fear and distrust, their ability to do their job is diminished and everyone suffers. They deserve to have their concerns addressed by the administration and the board. This should be the first action to amend [sic] the divisions and a step towards resolve [sic]. You as a citizen and a voter can take action. You can attend board meetings and analyze the work of the board and decide for yourself who is working for the good of all the students and both the schools. You have the power to vote and you have the power to recall. You as a parent have every right to ask for an appointment with the superintendent and discuss with him concerns you may have. Speak with your children's teachers and the elementary principal. Ask them how they feel about working conditions. The most integral component of your community needs your attention and support. Your children are the hope of the future. They deserve the very best your elected officials can provide with the trust you have given them to do what is right for the schools. Signed Paula Patterson, Avalon."

NOTICE that the letter contains no information whatsoever. Ms. Patterson, you might recall, was the lead teacher in bringing down former Point Arena elementary principal Matt Murray back in 2010 when she organized her fellow elementary teachers to go behind Matt Murray’s back to the stupidest school superintendent in Mendocino County history (and I say that advisedly fully aware of the legendary stupidity of the last two County School Superintendents) Mark Iacuaniello. Superintendent Iacuaniello then told his captive school board that Murray was doing a bad job because teachers were complaining that he was holding them accountable for their work. At the same time, Iacuaniello told Murray that Murray was doing a great job and giving him glowing performance reviews — until Murray was sacked unceremoniously leading to a lawsuit by Murray which required Murray to prove malice on the part of superintendent Iacuaniello which was impossible because Iacuaniello is too stupid to generate malice.


NOW we read that Ms. Patterson, who coincidently took Murray's job after Murray was fired by Patterson and her fellow teachers’ connivance, is again unhappy with the administration of Point Arena Unified schools.

NOTICE ALSO that Ms. Patterson says she's concerned about the children, but implies that the problem is that she and her fellow teachers are unhappy. We'll leave it to the reader to discern what Ms. Patterson's true priorities are.

MS. PATTERSON also encourages readers to attend school board meetings and pester the administration, albeit without giving them anything to go on. Funny, back in 2010 or so Manchester resident Susan Rush tried to do just that and was not only ignored, but insulted by the School Board. At PA Unified the message is: unless you are trying to make the Point Arena teachers happy, your input is unwelcome.

(— Mark Scaramella)

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UNREALITY was celebrated across the country Saturday by the hallucinogenic Democrat Party. As Trump dispatches a large segment of America's nuclear fleet for Korea, the loyal opposition demands to see his tax returns! Priorities anyone?

IT WILL BE standing room only at Cotton Auditorium but will include no dissenters because these events are carefully scripted and all dissent, not that there is any at these things, has been edited out by Mendocino County's Appropriate Police as…. "inappropriate." Before he departs for a night at the former Rachel's Inn at Little River, Huffman will demand Trump's tax returns.

LOCALLY, unreality will be ratified this week when Congressman Huffman and, and, and… … Sorry, I got dizzy there for a minute, sleepy-like. The mere mention of his name induces a kind of narcoleptic seizure. I think I'm ok now. Where were we? O yes, Congressman Smiling Cipher. He appears this week for one of his royal visits to Mendocino County. You sign up on-line to see him answer pre-written lob ball questions prepared for him by either his staff or some automaton from the local Democratic Party, they being interchangeable.

HUFF, looking earnest as all heck, will rattle off a series of Party talking points — the Russians cost "us" the election; the mega-bomb dropped on ISIS in Afghanistan was wonderful because it didn't kill any civilians, which we know because our intelligence community is the best in the world; ditto for the Tomahawks on Syria; "I co-sponsored Bernie's phony single-payer bill but, heh heh, we like, you know, hadda modify it to insurance industry specs"; I'm proud to represent the chemically-dependent wine industry of this district and, well, too bad about the fish and the frogs.

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RECOMMENDED VIEWING: "Get Out," a kind of liberal litmus test. If you don't think it's funny, or true, you flunk. It's a good one, so good I'm surprised it got made.

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(Photo by Susie de Castro)

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LITTLE DOG SAYS, “A glass of Boont Amber at the end of a long day? Heavenly! I'd invite the Pits over for a drink but they're the kinda guys who go off after half a glass, challenging everyone to fight and generally bring obnoxious. One more thing: The wineries get all the attention but they're interchangeable. The only standout booze coming out of Mendo is brewed right here in Boonville at our AV Brewery and Germain-Robin over the hill. Any drinkin' dog will tell you that.”

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A Fort Bragg Reader Writes: "Most residents are in the dark about this item. And with the public grumbling so much about how awful the Chestnut Street remodel is, they could use a reminder of what resulted from the previous bungled effort, Howard Street. After all, they foot the bills. Glad I live outside town. All thanks to Dave Turner."

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Ukiah Native Meets UFC Newcomer Today

by Lori A. Carter

Ashlee Evans-Smith was the kind of girl who, when told she couldn’t do something, went out and did it.

The Ukiah native — and state wrestling champion her sophomore year at Ukiah High School — has parlayed that confidence and athletic ability into a career as a professional mixed martial arts athlete.

She fights on the undercard of today’s UFC Fight Night, which features a marquee title bout between flyweight champ Demetrious Johnson and Wilson Reis.

Evans-Smith, 29, ranked 13th in the women’s UFC bantamweight division, brings a 5-1 record into the fight against Brazilian Ketlen Vieira, undefeated in seven bouts. Her bold streak came out again in discussing the fight this week.

“I’m going to knock this girl out in the first or second round,” Evans-Smith said from Kansas City, where she was preparing this week.

Vieira has one other UFC fight on her record, a split decision in October against Kelly Faszholz, who trains out of Santa Rosa’s NorCal Fighting Alliance and now fights with Invicta FC.

The 25-year-old Vieira comes from a judo background and uses jiu-jitsu moves as well.

Evans-Smith expects to counter that with her grappling and striking.

“She’s a big strong girl,” she said. “We’ve worked on a lot of striking. We know she’ll try to do throws. But she’s not that great of a fighter.”

Both women are 5-foot-8 and 135 pounds.

Evans-Smith is riding a twofight winning streak in the UFC, which includes a win against No. 12 Marion Reneau in February 2016 and a third-round knockout of previously unbeaten Veronica Macedo in September. She has three knockouts in her five wins.

Her only loss was to No. 4 Raquel Pennington by submission in December 2014.

Vieira, a former law student in Brazil, has two knockouts and three wins by submission among her seven wins, with three of those wins coming in the first round.

UFC bios of the two contenders say Vieira is also an aggressive grappler, while Evans- Smith’s biggest strength is her “ground and pound.”

Their bout is scheduled early in today’s event, airing at 1 p.m. on Fox Sports.

Evans-Smith said she didn’t play many sports growing up in Ukiah, but was a pretty tough kid in general.

“My brother’s friend said girls can’t wrestle. I was like 15 years old, ‘Woman power — I can do anything you can do,’” she said. “So I joined the wrestling team at 16.”

She practiced with the boys for three years and advanced to girls state competition three years in a row, winning the state championship in the 146-pound class as a sophomore.

She won a wrestling scholarship to Menlo College, where she was an All-American all four years.

Admittedly a little lost after college and unable to find a job in Silicon Valley with her mass communications degree, Evans- Smith started playing on a club rugby team to keep her athletic juices flowing.

She soon met former UFC fighter Eugene Jackson, who was developing an MMA gym in East Palo Alto, and said “the dots just connected.”

She fought seven times in five months and fell in love with the idea of being a “combat sport athlete.”

“I loved wrestling and anything that was physically aggressive and intense,” she said. “I played rugby, but it wasn’t the same.

“There’s something about the fighting aspect of it, enforcing your will onto somebody else. It’s not really ladylike, but we’re all primal.”

A typical storyline of MMA fighters is that they come from a rough childhood, and that’s not too far off for Evans-Smith, she acknowledged.

“Some people have a fiery side to them. Some people will say with a rougher upbringing or family problems, MMA is a way to channel it,” she said. “I didn’t have the best upbringing, but not the worst.

“I was definitely an angry child. Some girls like to fight; some like to paint their nails. I like both, actually. I’ve always been a nonconformist.”

Evans-Smith eventually moved to Southern California and turned pro in 2013 after her first nine amateur fights.

She currently trains in Laguna Hills.

The year she turned pro, the UFC had no women’s division. Now there are two weight classes and Evans-Smith said they are building a third.

She acknowledged that mixed martial arts walks the line between entertainment and sports, and said she is finding her way among her fellow female pioneers in an overwhelmingly macho and testosterone-driven industry.

She’s not immune to the drama and trash-talking that accompanies professional fighting.

Her second pro bout was against Fallon Fox, a transgender MMA athlete.

Evans-Smith said before the bout she thought Fox shouldn’t be allowed to fight women because of potential physical advantages, but won in a third-round TKO.

And she knows men aren’t necessarily fans because they appreciate women’s fighting skills.

She’s been called a “siren of scuffle.” A website featuring women MMA fighters is called

“I probably get more male supporters because they enjoy the aesthetics of watching women fight,” she said. “But I have women contact me saying I’m inspirational or whatever. I don’t care why you watch — just watch.”

After entering the sport for enjoyment, she said she’ll take her fighting career as far as it will go.

Then she may work in sports management.

“I just wanted to do it because it’s fun and I thought maybe I’ll find a real job later. I got lucky and it turned into a real job,” she said. “Women are headlining cards all over the world. UFC is a household name.

“As I grow as a professional athlete, my name is growing. People recognize me. In Germany, I was walking down the street and people recognized me. I can’t think of any other word than ‘surreal’ for a little girl from Ukiah.”

“I was definitely an angry child. Some girls like to fight; some like to paint their nails. I like both, actually.”

Ashlee Evans-Smith, on becoming an MMA fighter

(The Santa Rosa Press Democrat)

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Butler, Chadwick, Gibney, Johnson

JANE BUTLER, San Rafael/Ukiah. Drunk in public.

CLAYTON CHADWICK, Hopland. Probation revocation.

SAMUEL GIBNEY, Fort Bragg. Drunk in public, probation revocation.

BRIAN JOHNSON, Willits. Resisting.

Larkin, Paul, Sales-Garcia, Steele


TONY PAUL, Ukiah. Trespassing/Probation revocation.

ROSA SALES-GARCIA, Richmond/Ukiah. Unspecified offense.

CASEY STEELE, Fort Bragg. DUI-drugs, suspended license.

Verastegui, Vickery, Wright

CASSIE VERASTEGUI, Spokane/Fort Bragg. Fugitive from justice.

JAMES VICKERY, Mendocino. Drunk in public.

ANDREA WRIGHT, Ukiah. Trespassing, probation revocation.

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Filings showed that Mr. Trump’s campaign and the Republican Party together brought in over $30 million in the first three months of the year.

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James Baldwin's Letters to his Brother

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by Jonah Raskin

Now that The New York Times has said so in print it must be true. The headline in the April 14, 2017 edition of the paper read, “Wine Industry Finds a Companion in a Competitor: Marijuana.” A few paragraphs down one reads, “Despite occasional efforts to pit wine and weed against each other, people in the wine business exude an air of mellow acceptance that the two substances can coexist in harmony.”

Can coexist? As almost anyone who has lived in northern California knows, weed and wine have been coexisting for decades. It’s really no big secret among us out here, far away from Manhattan. But when The New York Times runs a story that shows a grape grower like Sonoma’s Phil Coturri in his greenhouse with his baby pot plants it’s big news.

I’ve been writing about Coturri and his marijuana crop for years. If you’ve read my book Marijuanaland: Dispatches from an American War, then you’ve read about Coturri, only you didn’t know it. I’ve been writing about Phil and haven’t outed him. He has asked me to conceal his identity. He thought that it was too dangerous for him to go public.

But we’re now in a new era. It’s the era of legal recreational weed. These are the times when grapes need cannabis and cannabis needs grapes. There’s no better place for a marriage between the two crops than in northern California, where some of the best marijuana and some of the best grapes have been grown for decades, often by some of the same people, including Phil Coturri.

Will others who grow grapes and weed come out of the closet? That remains to be seen. My guess is that many others will be cautious and not risk their stake in the grapes and wine business. After all, there is still a great deal of hostility toward weed and a lot of prejudice, too, sometimes from folks who get intoxicated on wine every night and who also think that marijuana is a dangerous drug.

Now that The New York Times has scooped me and many other local reporters, I suppose I have the taste of sour grapes in my mouth. I’m a reporter. I have the instincts of a reporter. I don’t like to be scooped, not in my own backyard and not on my beat.

When I first saw the story I wondered why Coturri came out of the closet with The Times and not with me for, say, The AVA. The answer isn’t hard to find. You make a bigger splash in The Times. You get more bangs for the buck!

The grapes and ganga story is on-going. Indeed, it has no clear ending. So stay tuned, pour yourself a glass of pinot, roll a joint and watch the follies as they unfold.

(Jonah Raskin is the author of Marijuanaland: Dispatches from an American War.)

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by Rick Weddle

6-12-16 — I’m a white guy. No applause, please. No autographs or pictures. Guys like me, that look an awful lot like me, have been accustomed to having our way every-damned-where for at least 150 years. We expect it. It’s only right. Look at how far we’ve come with us at the wheel. And we have not yet begun to develop! Sure, it’s a son of a bitch, but it’s OUR son of a bitch, and it’s insanely rewarding for one or two of us. We’ve pretty much successfully convinced legions of those of ‘our color’ that they’re actually in on running things (don’t laugh), being the ‘right color’ and all, and that their turn at being zillionaires is mere days away. I know!! More or less naturally, all this rewarding comes at the expense of People other than white, mostly. Poor, at least. Lucky there’s plenty.

So. You’d think this black/white deal would be definite as, say, black and white. But no. My own personal hide, for instance, is not precisely white. My base hues go from ivory-pale through pink, red, shades of brown and that ain’t all. I’m kinda patchy with mottled spots and speckles sprinkled about that range to real, live Black. The overall effect is sort of a mix of Dalmation and Gila Monster. On a good day. Nonetheless, we ‘whites’ distinguish between this, our ‘color,’ and all others, which we term ‘colored’ as a matter of course. And who’s the ‘Pure’ bunch? That would be us. And NOT the rest of y’all, by very definition. Who says so? We do, of course, we’re the ones with the superior intelligence skills. Who says so?! Come on, now,... All shades but ‘ours’ are automatically categorized as ‘other’ and inferior. Get over it or get shot at more frequently.

This goofy color-code division, its focus hazy at best, suits us to a T, but visits Bad Juju on anybody else. Once classified as ‘other,’ you’re in a world of crap, where you belong and we most emphatically and naturally do not, through No Fault Of Our Own.

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Take the Women, for instance… Please! Ever since the Original Goddam Apple we’ve blamed Women for all the Worst. I guess we’ve showed them, and show them yet, there are consequences for leading us astray and getting us kicked out of fucking Paradise! Equal pay?! Listen, Missy! You’ll be needing to re-read The Deal, where the Eternity Clause is. You’re gonna be deep in the Red for at least the foreseeable future. Women’s health care?! Take off your clothes! Brace yourself!

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No, we do not see this long stretch of our dominion as a racist deal, nor in any way sexist...please! It’s more a Gravity kind of thing, like a Force of Nature...that and a lot of abuse, the Slavery, Protection, Drugs, Corruption, Religion, War...still, we feel pretty damn good about ourselves and our inherent leadership skills. Our immaculate, heroic examples are offered in a boxed set of cd’s narrated by Leona Helmsley, with an inspiring soundtrack by John Phillip Fucking Souza. Hey!


Machiavelli-and-Jesus (the Macaroni-and-Cheesey Civilization)

The coat of arms of the royal family of Monaco includes the figure of a cowled monk, and Latin script expressing gratitude for God’s favors. There are few more-direct graphic expressions of the manufactured concept of Divine Right. How did a humble friar come to figure in the family fortunes in the first place? How did that particular family become the royals of Monaco? What were the Blessings of Providence manifest there, of which the family’s crest is a mere logo giving respect and thanks? Did Grace Kelly know all about this before she went off with her Prince and left us out here in the colonies? Is it possible this was and is a blatant pretender’s claim to some Holy Kinship totally unfounded in practice or fact, and further, a ruse hawked as criminal cover to hide acts of slaughter and mayhem for more, and not a goddamned bit less? It would be extremely difficult to find an instance of greater vanity in cynically taking the Name for cash and prizes. Unless you nominate ‘In God We Trust’... [Stand back. You won’t want to get any of this on you.]

(…to be continued)

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The correct link is:

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There appears to be a vast bulk of Americans that while never bothering to ever serve in the armed forces themselves are more than willing to babble on about how “we” should bomb some backwater crap hole “into the Stone Age”, or turn some Middle Eastern sandpit into “a parking lot”, all the while neither they nor theirs lift a finger to do any of the dirty work. Why, even at last week’s church service, two of the very few “men” that attend were thumping (or should I say Trumping) their chests at the show of “not going to take it anymore” that they feel resulted from another useless expenditure of ordinance in Syria. I guess I missed the part where war for profit was slipped into Christian Doctrine. IMHO, as the state of decay quickly encroaches upon the Americans lifestyle, there are far too many Mindless Minions that will support any war or any death dealt upon anyone other them in order to keep the Fat & Happy motoring, cellphoning and partying into oblivion. It has become Us or Them in the vilest sense of the word and it simply cannot end well, though end it must.

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Sunday, April 23rd 2:00-3:30pm

Keep the spirit of Earth Day alive the following day with an Earth Day Maker Space at the Library - make a terrarium! A terrarium is “a sealed transparent globe or similar container in which plants are grown.” Help build a new habitat for live moss and lichen we’ve gathered from the wilds of Ukiah to take home. Feel free to bring any special embellishments you’d like to add to your terrarium. All other materials & supplies will be provided. Please call 463-4490 to sign up. This workshop will be facilitated by Kevin Carr, Mendocino College Agriculture Department. Sponsored by the Ukiah Valley Friends of the Library.

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The recording of last night's (2017-04-14) pretty good KNYO Memo of the Air: Good Night Radio show is ready to download for free and enjoy, via

Besides that, also at this time you'll find way greater than even the usual weighty bouquet of links to oddball material to fill in the gaps in even the most comprehensive education and worldview and "round the corners of your head" the way the Old Testament warned you against doing, as it is an abomination unto the Most High, whatever that’s supposed to mean. Things such as:

Beethoven, Moonlight Sonata (3rd Movement) played by a little girl guitar prodigy. Tears of awe and admiration will squirt out of your eyes like a cartoon, whether you play a musical instrument or not.

Our secret fantasies.

Probably where they got the idea for Donnie Darko.

Creation myths.

And There Are No Forests On Earth Wake Up. The latest branch of the Flat Earth canon.

Marco McClean

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'IT'S A PERFECT STORM': homeless spike in rural California linked to Silicon Valley

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(An MCN Listserve exchange)

Zeke Krahlin wrote: Pffft! I wouldn't drag the most famous radio broadcaster in the world, into this...his clout reaches far and wide. Why, Mr. McClean can even summon the illuminated bladderbrains of Altair! I think a cleaning product is named after him, too!

Marco McClean:

Don't even get me started about those bloody Altairian  bladderbrains! They are the worst houseguests. They fuck up your  entire place. They were here for three days --just three days, for their  [series of click sounds] team-building festival-- and they left the  kitchen unusable and clogged the toilet and left big holes in the  sheetrock from hanging their conference whiteboards, and they spilled  bong water and other things -- I don't even know what else -- just  different-colored smelly crap -- on the rugs and the couch and even in  the closets -- ugh! I had to throw everything porous out next to the  dumpster and wipe the entire place down with bleach, in gloves and a  mask. God. I'd rather have the weasels and stoats in.

But they fixed the problem with my Comcast modem/router. The  secret, apparently, is to get into the configuration and disable the  lower band of the two-band wireless. Only use the 5GHz band

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The Eel River Recovery Project (ERRP) will be making a presentation at the Willits Branch of the Mendocino County Library on Earth Day, April 22, from noon to 3 PM on the Secret Lives of Eel River Fishes. The afternoon will include a presentation and videos on Eel River fish, the Native American perspective on fish, and an opportunity for the public to share their knowledge and observations.

Residents of Willits nearby areas within the Eel River watershed who have photos to share showing fish or historic stream conditions should come to the library at 11:30 AM to scan their photos. Anyone unable to attend the April 22 event can contact ERRP and arrange to meet at their new office at the Willits Hub.

At noon, ERRP Managing Director and fish biologist Pat Higgins will present slides and short videos about Eel River fish. The ERRP has been studying fall Chinook salmon trends for several years. The 2016-2017 run was estimated to be 15,000-30,000 fish, which is equivalent to population levels in the 1950s.  Water temperature and flow studies conducted by citizen monitors all over the Eel River basin allow ERRP to identify perennial cold water streams essential for salmon and steelhead survival.  These “refugia” are essential to rebuilding salmon populations because they provide a source of colonists for restored streams.  Coho salmon are not rebounding like Chinook salmon are, and Pat will share ideas on how to maintain and restore coho salmon habitat. The upper South Fork Eel has one of the most important remaining coho salmon populations in the region, but Outlet Creek coho are at very low levels.

Most focus on the Eel River has been on its salmon runs, but the river is also home to other fish that are anadromous. These fish are born in freshwater, spend their adult lives in the ocean and then return to the river to spawn.  The largest is the green sturgeon that can grow up to seven feet and live as long as 70 years. They run upstream in spring to spawn in main Eel River channels from Dos Rios downstream.  Some adults do not get back downstream in time and can be seen holding in the deepest pools all summer long.

The Pacific lamprey is a cartilaginous, jawless fish, commonly called an eel, for which the Eel River was named.  ERRP fish observers have seen Sturgeon regularly since 2012, and the lamprey are experiencing a major resurgence with thousands distributed throughout the watershed.

Resident native fishes, such as the Sacramento sucker and sculpin, are rare in some reaches of the Eel River because of heavy predation by the non-native Sacramento pikeminnow.  ERRP conducts pikeminnow surveys and plans to assist with managing the population so native fishes can fully recover.

Round Valley Tribal elder Ernie Merrifield will talk about the relationship of the Eel River native peoples to the fish and the environment before their cultural traditions were disrupted.  Northern California Indians shared a Harmony-based culture and believed that everything was imbued with a spirit and that all creatures had a right to exist. Fish harvest was embedded in their culture and religion, and the timing and level of harvest was typically controlled by the tribe’s shaman. Ernie will talk about the rhythm of Nature and the importance of coming into Harmony with Nature.

Time will be allotted for folks to share their experiences of fishing the Eel River, their observations of fish runs, habitat conditions and trends, both recent and historic.

The Earth Day event is co-sponsored by ERRP and the Mendocino County Library.  There is no charge for admission. For more information, please see the ERRP Facebook page, their website at or call 707 223-7200.  The ERRP Board of Directors will meet on Sunday, April 23, from 9:30 AM to 12:30 PM at the Willits Hub at 630 S Main Street, and the public is welcome.

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by Jake Rohrer

The scream echoed through the house like a fire alarm and caused the paniolo (Hawaiian  cowboy) to bolt from his seated comfort in the anteroom. Following the sound he arrived in the kitchen on the run and spotted the problem right away, dispatching it with a swift slap of his hand. He bundled the mangled remains in a paper napkin and tossed it into a wastebasket then looked at the startled woman standing in a backward lean against the counter, the back of one hand held to her mouth.

“Wh-what on God's earth was that?” she implored, trembling slightly.

“Bull 'racha, Ma'am,” he said, washing his hands under the faucet. “Big devil, too.”

“ ... 'racha?” she wondered, lowering her hand and composing herself with a tug at the hem of her loosely worn blouse, “What's a 'racha?”

“Well, Ma'am, the Mes'cans call 'em cucarachas. Then one day, down at the corrals, Alejandro said 'racha' and it just sorta caught on. Some folks call 'em cockroaches,” he explained while giving her an appraising once over, noting her dimpled cheeks and lovely dark eyes that seemed to flash in the excitement of the moment, a petite hourglass figure that fit his vision of womanhood.

Not half bad, he thought to himself.

“Do they always jump out at you?” she wondered.

“Only when you surprise 'em, Ma'am. It's usually a good idea to turn on a light for a spell before you go pokin' around in a cupboard.”

“Are they dangerous?  Do they have teeth?” she asked, then added, “How could you use your bare hand like that?”

“Can't say they're dangerous, Ma'am. You learn to use your bare hand because they are so quick. If you want to get 'em, you have to go right at 'em.” Then, sizing her up once again, noting the graceful sway of dark hair falling across her forehead, he ventured, “You might want to have your husband give your room a goin' over, though … I've heard it said that they can be attracted to the prettier gals,” a smile crossing his face.

“I don't have a husband,” she said, feeling a little flustered. “This will be my first night as a guest of the ranch and my first night on Maui as well. I wouldn't know how to do it, or where to look. Why didn't they tell me I'd have to put up with a horde of hideous primeval bugs before I came here?  We don't have anything like that where I came from.”  She had left her home in the Eastern US a few months earlier, seeking adventure and a global point of view. The circumstances surrounding her arrival on Maui are as farfetched as winning a lottery and she chooses not to talk about it, fearing people would think she was either bragging or fibbing.

“Oh, well, Ma'am,” he said, a note of apology in his voice, “Folks here are used to 'em—they just come with the territory, like the Ocean. I don't suppose no one thought much about it, no way.” He could have told her that management refuses to use poisons to control pests, but thought she might not understand their reasoning.

“Oh, I don't mean to complain,” she said, noting his sun-weathered complexion, a lean physique and a touch of gray at the temples. “I'll be okay; it was just such an unwelcome surprise. Bugs give me the creeps.”

She wasn't familiar enough with Hawaii to wonder about his lack of local pidgin dialect and the western accent. The paniolo had come to the ranch from Wyoming three years earlier, sought out and  hired by one of the owners for his knowledge of cattle and skills in the saddle. It was just an adventurous impulse at the time, but he became enamored with the beauty of Maui and would readily admit that he didn't miss the Wyoming winters and sub-freezing temperatures that came with them.

* * *

The following morning she went out to the stables to see the stock of horses. The Upcountry pasture-land was absolutely dazzling, a gently rolling landscape that carried up the slopes of Haleakala with stands of exotic eucalyptus and koa dividing the pastures. She had never before encountered such  brilliant and remarkable hues of green. The whole vista was accented by the most colorful flowering tree she had ever seen, all thirty feet of it covered with vivid purple blossoms. There were several mares with their foals in a nearby section of pasture enclosed by a crisp white rail fence, giving the entire panorama a storybook quality.

Then, as she reached to tighten a lace on her riding boot, her temporary serenity was replaced by another reality: a tropical centipede, appearing as though a holdover from the Jurassic and fully eight or nine inches in length, had managed to attach itself to her boot, encircling the ankle. It was armored with broad semi-circular body sections of dark iridescent colors that bled into brighter shades of red, indicative of its toxic bite. It had uncountable legs and fierce mandibles that looked capable of piercing leather. A cry escaped her throat as she recoiled, throwing her arms skyward and backing up as though to escape, but the centipede held to her boot and came right with her. She caught a glimpse of the paniolo, close-by, wheeling his horse and riding hard in her direction. She felt darkness closing in on her as she went into a faint.

His dismount was a single effortless motion, executed while reining his horse from a gallop.  He caught her in the arc of her swoon, halfway to the ground.

She came to consciousness looking into the dancing light of his azure eyes, crystal pools reflecting kindness and concern. She heard him speaking to her as though from a distance, his voice reaching her with a reassuring warmth and confidence.

“It's all right, Ma'am. It'll not bother you again. It's these Kona winds, you know, that sometimes brings them out.”

“…Kona?” she questioned, consciousness returning in gentle waves.

“Yes, Ma'am. Winds that blow from the south and southwest. The prevailing winds here are trade winds that come out of the east and northeast. But this is a south wind, a Kona wind.  It fools the insects, Ma'am. They think the season has changed when it blows Kona. They crawl out of their homes and start building anew to protect themselves from the south wind. Most of the big storms, Ma'am, are blown in with the Konas.” He looked off at the horizon with a studied glance. “Could be that we're fixin' to have some weather.”

The realization that he was still holding her slowly seeped into her awareness, a taut muscular arm across her back, his hand cupping her shoulder, holding her up off the ground. She again noted the clean, rugged lines of his visage, brown from the sun. The brim of his hat threw a shadow across a broad forehead, his face clean-shaven but for a trim mustache lightly speckled with gray. And he had those smile lines at the corner of each eye she called “crow's feet.” She had come to think that a man with crow's feet in his smile suggested an attitude that would make him an ideal shopping partner: “Go ahead, dear…buy all of them if they please you.”  A brief shudder rocked her shoulders as he effortlessly lifted her to standing.

Not half bad, she thought to herself.

* * *

Two nights later a furious Kona storm was battering the island. Power was out at the ranch and  lines were down from Lahaina all the way to Hana. A hundred year-old table lamp that had once burned whale oil was at her bedside. She found the soft warm light soothing and enjoyed the comfort it provided. She trimmed the wick and was mildly amazed by the generous illumination it gave off through the blown glass chimney, providing enough light to comfortably read her book. She reflected on the history of such lighting, taking certain solace in the fact that whales were no longer slaughtered in order to light our homes.

Preparing for bed, she noticed from across the room some dark spindle-like fingers protruding from the side of a slightly open closet door. Startled, she calmed herself with an inner laugh. No bug has legs that big. It's just the edging on a wool blanket, a fringe of yarn … something like that. Confidently opening the closet door to investigate, she watched in stunned horror as a tarantula-like cane spider the size of a tea saucer nimbly bolted from the closet and across the wall to her bed where it came to rest on a throw-pillow. She stood stock-still, frozen in shock, unable to move or summon a call for help. When her scream was finally liberated, the spider made a hasty retreat over the side of the bed, exhibiting surprising speed.

She heard running footsteps in the hallway and a brief pounding on the door before it opened, the paniolo appearing in the threshold. He followed her trembling fingers, pointing in the direction of the spider's retreat.

Kneeling at the bedside he removed his hat and, with gentle practiced moves, ushered the spider down the length of the bed and out of the room into the hallway where it scampered off into the dim light of the corridor.

“Don't want to kill 'em, Ma'am,” he said. “They eat the 'rachas.”

* * *

The relationship was cemented. She wouldn't sleep alone for the remainder of her stay. The paniolo was happy with this turn of events, although he had questions of his own. Was it just her fear of those puny bugs or was it something more than that? Well, he thought, never-the-matter. Whatever it was that got us to here is just alright with me. A warm embracing glow settled over him as he listened to her  breathing softly beside him and sleep began to overtake his rambling thoughts … maybe tomorrow I'll show her the ruins at Halehaku Bay on the Haiku coast, the place where Kamehameha the Great landed his war canoes to start his conquest of Maui … if the 'skeeters don't eat her alive … we could always jump in the ocean if she's bothered … wonder if she's afraid of  fish? … I've seen barracuda and a reef shark in that bay ... dolphins, turtle and a manta ray, too … maybe she'll begin to understand that it's all just a part of the beauty that comes with Hawaii ... maybe she'd like to go dancing Saturday night in Makawao … she might even stick around for a while.

* * *


by Michael Steinberg, Black Rain Press

US Navy warships based in San Diego are moving towards North Korean waters as tensions rise across the region. Led by the USS aircraft carrier Carl Vinson, whose homeport is North Island Naval Air Station in San Diego harbor, this "strike group" had been heading towards Australia after taking part in "routine" military exercises off the Korean peninsula when it was suddenly ordered back following the US cruise missile attack in Syria recently.

The Vinson is powered by two nuclear reactors, and armed with anti-aircraft and anti-missile missiles. The US has raised concerns that North Korea may fire off a missile soon as a rationale for sending the strike force back. For its part North Korea  Vice Minister Hong Song Ryal told the Associated Press on April 14 that Trump's hostile tweets and the strike force's return have put his country on a war footing. "We will go to war if we choose." he said.

The Vinson also carries about 100 fighter jets and helicopters. Most of these consist of F18 Super Hornet attack jets that "can carry a wide array of bombs and jets," according to Wikipedia.

The Vinson has been accompanied by the guided missile destroyers Meyer and Murphy, and the guided missile cruiser Lake Champlain. These warships are also based in San Diego, and they all carry multiple cruise missiles.

On April 13 the US military publication Stars and Stripes reported that two more guided missile destroyers, the Sterett and Dewey, were being sent from Hawaii to join the Vinson force, carrying more cruise missiles to add this array of weapons of mass destruction. These warships are home-ported in San Diego as well.

And on April 12 The Guardian UK reported that "Japan is preparing to send several destroyers to join the US aircraft carrier group heading for the Korean peninsula." The report mentioned that a "submarine is expected to join the group" too. San Diego is headquarters for US Pacific attack submarines, also armed with cruise missiles. Japan formerly militarily occupied Korea and made it its colony.

Navy Times,;
Stars and Stripes,;
Associated Press;

* * *



Random notes—

Had the best St. Patrick's celebration at Fort Bragg's newest and best music bar, Tucker's place. Staff friendly. Owner-manager present and helpful. Drinkers joyful. Great music and corned beef. Will be here next year, God willing.

We wish Eleanor Roosevelt was Empress. The ramifications of the demise of the seaweed is hard to fathom (no pun intended). For us it's the signal of the end of life as we have known it. If we were not already "stoned," I’d pick up the pipe again. As a former shellfish harvester we probably took more than we needed. We need God to send us another Kelly McGuire (McGuire sold Jackson State Forest to California). McGuire was the manager of the Casper Mill who in 1946 could see into the future. The giant chainsaws which needed a Shandel or Neil Miller to pick up would be replaced the "light" faller saws now being used with a shortened bar for firewood. He was worth a dozen Judi Baris, Will Eugene V. Debs come back?

Alan ‘Captain Fathom’ Graham


* * *


by Dan Bacher

As California Governor Jerry Brown prepares to meet with Secretary of Interior Ryan Zinke in Sacramento today to discuss water and other issues, the Brown administration is denying the Sacramento Bee access to State of California public records regarding the Oroville Dam crisis.

According to a news release from Restore the Delta (RTD), Delta farmers, fishermen, and residents are asking: “What is the actual financial situation at the State Water Project, and why is this information being hidden from California taxpayers?”

On the denial of public records, The Bee reports: “Gov. Jerry Brown’s administration is using federal security regulations written to thwart terrorism to deny public access to records that experts say could guide repairs to the Oroville Dam and provide insight into what led to the near catastrophic failure of its emergency spillway.

“The administration also is blocking public review of records that would show how Brown’s office handled the February crisis at Oroville Dam that led to the two-day evacuation of nearly 200,000 Northern Californians.”

Barbara Barrigan-Parrilla, Executive Director of Restore the Delta, slammed the blocking of public access to records by the Jerry Brown administration. This is an administration that has become known for its penchant for secrecry and its lack of openness and transparency in an array of environmental processes, ranging from the California WaterFix to the privately funded Marine Life Protection Act (MLPA) Initiative.

“Restricting access to public records about the Oroville Dam is just another reason why Californians no longer trust Governor Brown’s leadership on water and infrastructure,” said Barrigan-Parrilla. “Not only will the public be forbidden to know what the California Department of Water Resources knew before the crisis, we will not know who is going to pay for repairs.”

“This type of cloak and dagger has also become standard with regard to planning for the proposed Delta Tunnels. We filed a public records act request in October 2016 to better understand the DWR’s history regarding the sale of revenue bonds and the tunnels. We still have not received the documents we requested,” she stated.

“Why is Jerry Brown keeping the public in the dark about the costs and real problems with the State Water Project? Is it because he wants Californians to believe there's enough money for all the needed repairs AND his $17 billion tunnels proposal?” she asked.

Brown will meet with Secretary Zinke over water, fire and public lands today

Many Delta Tunnels opponents fear that that one of the major points of discussion of the meeting today with the Trump administration official, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, will be the controversial Delta Tunnels project.

In an an email to me on Tuesday, April 11, Heather Swift, Department of Interior spokesperson said, “The Secretary plans to discuss water, fire and public lands priorities” during his meeting with Brown.

The meeting will take place before Zinke travels to Yosemite, Sequoia and Kings Canyon national parks today and Friday.

The State Department of Water Resources (DWR) and the Department of Interior’s Bureau of Reclamation are the lead agencies pushing the construction of the two 35-mile long tunnels under the Delta through the California WaterFix Project.

One of the least discussed issues in California environmental politics – and one of the most crucial to understanding Governor Jerry Brown’s Delta Tunnels Plan – is the clear connection between the Marine Life Protection Act (MLPA) Initiative and the California WaterFix, formerly called the Bay Delta Conservation Plan (BDCP).

At a time when local, national and international mainstream media are focusing on the Oroville Dam crisis, it’s important for reporters to dig deeper and understand the context that the emergency, which spurred the evacuation of over 188,000 people in Butte, Yuba and Sutter counties, occurs within.

It’s crucial to understand that these two neo-liberal processes, the MLPA Initiative and the California Water Fix, are the environmental “legacy” that two Governors, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Jerry Brown, have devoted their energy, staff and money to, rather than doing the mundane but necessary process of maintaining and repairing the state’s water infrastructure, including Oroville Dam.

The privately-funded MLPA Initiative and the California WaterFix at first may appear to be entirely different processes.

The MLPA Initiative, a process begun in 2004 under the Schwarzenegger administration, purported to create a network of “marine protected areas” along the California coast. The network was supposedly completed on December 19, 2012 with the imposition of contested “marine protected areas” along the North Coast under the Jerry Brown administration.

On the other hand, the Bay Delta Conservation Plan process began under the Bush and Schwarzenegger administrations to achieve the so-called “co-equal goals” of water supply reliability and Delta ecosystem restoration. In 2015, the state and federal governments divided the BDCP into two projects, the California WaterFix, the conveyance component and the California EcoRestore, the habitat “restoration” component.

But in spite of some superficial differences, the two processes are united by their (1) leadership, (2) funding, (3) greenwashing goals, (4) racism, environmental injustice and denial of tribal rights, (5) junk science and (6) numerous conflicts of interest. When people educate themselves on the links between the two processes, I believe they can more effectively wage a successful campaign against the Delta Tunnels and to restore our imperiled salmon and San Francisco Bay-Delta fisheries.

For more information about the links between the Delta Tunnels and MLPA Initiative processes, go to:

In other Delta Tunnels news, the Delta Stewardship Council has changed their meeting date on the Delta Tunnels and the Delta Plan amendment from April 27th, 2017 to April 28th, 2017. Please adjust your plans according! More information at this link.

* * *


Why is postmodern America such a stupid aggravating place? Just finished listening to the perfect performance of "Lush Life" recorded in 1957 on Prestige Records, featuring John Coltrane on tenor sax., Red Garland on the piano, Paul Chambers on bass, the incredible Donald Byrd on trumpet, and Louis Hayes on drums.

So why is postmodern America in 2017 filled with extreme spiritual jackasses, (all of whom are light years from being established "prior to consciousness"), who are presently attempting to control the entire world with their politically visionless allies?

Send your answers to:

Craig Louis Stehr

San Francisco



  1. Alice Chouteau April 16, 2017

    Thanks for reminding me why I am no longer registered as a Democrat.
    Watching excellent Danish series, Borgen, a second time, still wishing we had more political parties; the Danes have eight!

    • Harvey Reading April 16, 2017

      Citizens here can’t count beyond two, actually one, since there is little difference between the two right wings of the single party. The best candidate, one whose party actually had a platform that served the interests of most of us, got hardly any votes, though her name was on the ballot of almost every state.

      • George Hollister April 16, 2017

        A parliamentary form of government is more conducive to having more political parties. For the US to have a parliamentary form of government a major change in the Constitution would be required, and that is not going to happen any time soon.

        • Harvey Reading April 16, 2017

          Agree, it’s unlikely, because it would also require a whole new constitution, since the current one was written to make it almost impossible to do away with the current apportionment, by state, of the senate and replace it with apportionment by population, a major change that is badly needed. I do prefer a bicameral legislature to a unicameral one, though, as long as both are apportioned by population.

  2. Lazarus April 16, 2017


    The line should be…,
    “Who cares how the Third District appointment process is going”.

    It’s been months since the seat went wanting, now apparently between 15 and 20 folks feel they are capable, or just need the money and perks, or just want to be big shot… I find it fascinating that many people want a job that made another man crazy…
    Nevertheless reality may be, there ain’t gonna be no Supervisor for the 3rd till 2018…them folks on Low Gap like’n things the way they are. Think about it, they only have to divide up what little there is… four ways…?
    As always,

  3. malcolmlorne April 16, 2017

    The incident referred to in “Fort Bragg Sued” happened on Harold Street. Howard Street is in the town of Mendocino.
    Malcolm Macdonald

  4. james marmon April 16, 2017

    Replacing Woodhouse

    Someone needs to be put in there that will do something about Family and Children’s Services (CPS). They are in a downfall. Since the May 2015 Grand Jury report “Children at Risk” they have fallen from 49% Referrals by Time to Investigation – Completed Contacts (10-Day Response Type) to 24%. Our children are really, really, really at risk now.

    The State average is consistently 70%

    James Marmon MSW
    Former Social Worker V
    Mendocino Co. Family and Children’s Services.

    • james marmon April 16, 2017

      Mendo’s Immediate Response time is much better but very deceiving. Mendo Social Workers are going out on just phone calls and without a referral first being generated in the State’s CWS/CMS database . When they do that they later classify it as a Immediate to cover-up their very unlawful actions.

      Children are being interviewed and/or removed without referrals. Referrals are being generated days later as are the Structured Decision Making (SDM) Hotline Tools. The tools are being manipulated to match the decisions that were made by management not the social worker in the field.

      That is how they end up with stupid social workers. They are not required to think. In fact, thinking is prohibited.

      Its unbelievable how much money the County spends on making their social workers not think. That was my fight from day one.

      James Marmon MSW
      Personal Growth Consultant

      ‘don’t just go through it, grow through it’

      God gave us tools, use them

  5. Jim Updegraff April 16, 2017

    For baseball lovers only – Giants won big with Colorado playing like a bunch of school kids. The win was costly with Parker breaking his collar bone.
    A’s – I prefer not to discuss their fiasco. The whole team deserves to be banished to a baseball purgatory.

    • Stephen Rosenthal April 16, 2017

      Well at least The A’s didn’t lose today. Samardzija stunk it up again, but ERA actually dropped to 6.16. It’s almost guaranteed that he’ll have at least one disastrous inning. To bad it was the first today. He did settle in after that, but the offense was MIA. I don’t think the Giants will be competing for the post season with Samardjiza and Cain as 4-5 starters and Span and Belt hitting 1-2.

  6. Jim Updegraff April 16, 2017

    Re: the planned executions in Arkansas ( home of those GOOD Christians) McKesson,the drug supplier,is suing the state because they lied about how the drugs would be used. Oh my goodness, the state employees actually lied when they didn’t tell the drug company their drugs would be used for state sanctioned killings! For shame!

  7. John Fremont April 16, 2017

    Glad to learn Captain Fathom is alive and well. I trust he’ll join us on May Day (Mon, 5/1) at 3 pm in Bainbridge Park, across from the FB library, to celebrate the workers of the world.

  8. Randy Burke April 16, 2017

    So sorry to be so late, but with the Point Arena School thing:
    1. Susan Rush was right about all things.
    2. Matt Murray was a real person; what you saw was what you got.
    3. Jim Dewilder as to head of the board was, and remains someone who needs some serious therapy (definitely away from Langley, Virginia), and
    4. Matt could have really made a change that would have lasted through all paradigm shifts. He was a really personable good guy, and unless the school district does something good like making people responsible/ accountable for their actions with the gentle minds of the precious students, then the students are on their own, and they should be allowed the courtesy of knowing that those who hold them for 6+ hours are only baby sitters. We have a real chance to grow in this rural enclave, but after another resignation of a school principal, in as many years, the only ones who will suffer are the little trusting minds. I gotta add that there are some great parents who are bolstering up the students, but with much (as usual in PA ) resistance. Come on folks, it ain’t that difficult to teach the children..!

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