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Mendocino County Today; Wednesday, April 26, 2017

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HONOLULU RESIDENT DIES in single vehicle crash on Highway 128 near Navarro during classic car tour. Passenger suffers major injuries.

(photo by Paul McCarthy)

CHP Press Release:

On Tuesday, April 25, 2017, at about 2:30pm, an as yet unidentified male Honolulu resident was driving a 1939 classic Jaguar SS-100 going east on Highway 128 just west of mile marker 9.37 near Navarro. The Jaguar was part of the California Mille classic car tour. The driver was traveling at an unknown speed when for unknown reasons he allowed the Jaguar to leave Highway 128 in the southbound direction. The Jaguar proceeded on to the south dirt grass shoulder and continued east directly toward a large tree. The Jaguar continued until the front right section of the Jaguar collided into the tree. The driver was partially ejected from the vehicle and sustained fatal injuries as a result of the collision. Female passenger Ai Origake, also of Honolulu, was transported from the scene by medical personnel with major injuries and taken to Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital. The CHP did not provide ages for either of the people in the Jaguar. The driver was not wearing a seatbelt, but the passenger was. Drugs or alcohol were not considered to be a factor in the collision. It was cloudy and misting at the time of the crash.

The California Mille is an annual car tour showcasing vintage cars made before 1958, inspired by the famed Mille Miglia (Thousand Miles), an open-road race in Italy that ended in 1957. The California Mille runs one thousand miles from San Francisco through the state’s scenic backroads, including Highway 1 along the Northern California coast. Original 1939 Jaguar SS-100s can cost several hundred thousand dollars each depending on condition, but replicas and restorations typically cost about as much as a late model sedan. It is not known whether the car involved in this crash was a classic or a replica/restoration.

(photo by Paul McCarthy)

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Highway 101 Closed Again at Leggett Due to Rock Re-Slide, Caltrans Says

Video (with narration):

Here’s what the Caltrans Quickmap says:

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Grand Opening This Weekend in The New Tasting Room in Philo, CA

April 23, 2017, Philo, CA – After three years of careful planning and three harvests, the Smith Story Wine Cellars tasting room will be open to the public for their Grand Opening on Saturday, April 29 and Sunday April 30. Owners Ali and Eric Story have chosen the Anderson Valley because of their lengthy history of planting grapes and deep appreciation for family owned wineries in the Anderson Valley AVA. Eric and Ali will be pouring their current releases along with small bites on both days of the Grand Opening this weekend. Grand Opening hours are 12pm-4pm on both days.


The tasting room is located inside The Madrones at 9000 CA-128 in Philo, CA – 26 miles SE of the Pacific Ocean and 32 miles NW of Hwy 101 from the 128 exit.


“The Tasting Room reflects Our Story over our combined 30+ years of careers in the wine business, “ explained Co-Founder Alison Smith Story. Philo is where our friendship began over 13 years ago while Eric was planting Riesling up on Nash Mill Road. Since then, our wine journey has taken us all over the world, many of the photographs inside the tasting room and the displayed empty bottles along our “Inspiration Wall” visually tell Our Story. Since day one of announcing Smith Story Wine Cellars on May 14, 2014, we’ve shown folks that our past wine experiences have heavily influenced our style of winemaking and overall philosophy of the winery. We believe The Madrones complex is reminiscent of the historic European villages among the numerous wine regions we deeply admire.

Visitor’s Experience

The Tasting Room Grand Opening will feature *first-time-offerings to the public among five wines: 2015 Sauvignon Blanc, Sonoma County, 2015 Rosé of Pinot Noir, Germany, *2015 Chardonnay, Dutton Ranch, RRV, 2015 Helluva Vineyard, Pinot Noir, Anderson Valley and *Nash Mill Vineyard, Pinot Noir, Anderson Valley. The purpose of the new tasting room is to share Smith Story wines and educate guests about the wine, history and diversity of the Smith Story portfolio. Beginning May 2017, tasting room hours are Friday-Monday 12ish-5pm-ish. Visitors are welcome to schedule an appointment by emailing or calling 707.494.5575. All events and tasting room details can be found on and are updated weekly.

Smith Story Wine Cellars was Founded by husband and wife Eric Story (Born and raised in the Bay Area) and Alison Smith Story (A native of Texas) on May 14, 2014. Sonoma County based Smith Story Wine Cellars produces wines from family-owned vineyard sites among Anderson Valley, Knights Valley, Russian River Valley, Sonoma Coast and Sonoma Mountain AVA’s [American Viticultural Areas] of California and from the Rheingau region of Germany. Smith Story wines are allocated to Storyteller Wine Club members, sold online to mailing list supporters, sold in their tasting room and through national wholesalers. To learn more please visit and follow daily on

Media & Press Inquiries:

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LITTLE DOG SAYS, “Everyone's on my case here today. ‘How did this happen, Little Dog? You're supposed to watching out for things, now this!’ Someone snuck in here last night and planted three marijuana plants in our raised beds out front. Like, big deal, but they're walking around moaning like it's the end of the world. ‘This is a newspaper, Little Dog, not a dope den. Do your job you little hippie!’ ”

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As soon as you get off the pavement in Mendocino County you can find yourself in outlaw country.

A Toyota mini-van was only a few hidden feet from the pavement of Highway 20 near Fort Bragg, not far from the area locals call the "bark dump” on the mild fall afternoon of October 17th, 2013.

The van hadn't moved in a couple of days, a fact noted by residents of the nearby trailer park.

Inside the otherwise spotless vehicle, Sheriff's deputies found two dead Chinese.

Cindy Bao Feng Chen, 38, of San Francisco was dead in the driver's seat, Jim Tat Kong, 51, of San Pablo, was dead in the passenger's seat. They each been shot once in the backs of their heads.

Ms. Chen was a wealthy San Francisco property owner, Kong gang affiliated. Why she was with him is not yet known.

Murders are common enough in Mendocino County, but murders of Chinese aren't.

What could this be about?

It's about a lot of things, but specifically it's about Mendocino County marijuana gardens owned and operated by Chinese gangsters based in San Francisco.


Four years after the executions of Ms. Chen and Mr. Kong outside Fort Bragg, and many hours of inquiries by gang task forces, federal investigators, and Mendocino County officers, Mendocino County police and FBI agents arrested Wing Wo Ma, 50, at his Oakland home three weeks ago. He has been charged with the murders of Chen and Kong, plus drug trafficking charges.

The United States Attorney's Office in San Francisco will be prosecuting Ma for the homicides of Chen and Kong in Mendocino County, but Ma is being held in federal custody in the Bay Area.

Mendocino County, DA Eyster says the case is ”all very simple. Rivalries and suspicions in the tong [gang] spilled over to include their marijuana business here in Mendocino County." "Kong had been running several marijuana growing operations in the county, including an outdoor garden beyond the yellow gate in Redwood Valley, as well a 150-plant garden raided by a narcotics team earlier that year [2013] in the Redwood Valley.”

DA Eyster himself had prosecuted the Redwood Valley dope case -- twice -- but the prosecutions failed because the local court ruled that the law enforcement entry onto the property -- in follow-up to the fire department's entry to put out an illegal garbage fire -- through the unlocked, but closed driveway gate was a search and seizure 4th Amendment violation.

“Kong," Eyster says, "had been spending more time in Mendocino County because he was in bad standing with some very powerful Chinese gangsters in the Bay Area.”

Federal investigators said the apparent hitman, Ma, was acting as a double agent — getting paid to build greenhouses and other infrastructure for illegal cultivators as he tipped off detectives about who he was working for, in which case he’s lucky he didn’t get a bullet in the back of his head.

Ma had told a detective he was heading to Mendocino County with Kong to look at properties to acquire for additional marijuana operations.

The investigator didn’t outline a precise motive in the killing. But Ma, in a statement to investigators, said he’d "followed Kong and Chen in his truck the morning of October 17 because he was concerned Kong was visiting a marijuana farm without him."

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by Terry Ryder

In a world that seems to be spinning wildly out of control it is wonderful to step into a world where beauty, care and intelligence rule. This weekend the Unity Club Garden Section Wildflower Show provided that world for free to anyone choosing to step through the doors of June Hall at our Fairgrounds.

The women of the Unity Club are filled with the energy that good works bring and they never rest on their laurels. This year they added a program of speakers to their Wildflower Show for the first time. Although the acoustics in the all-concrete hall made it hard to hear the resilient speakers eventually relocated themselves outside into the glorious sunshine in front of the building. Mary Pat Palmer spoke on medicinal plants, Jade Paget-Seekins on native bees/pollination and plant identification of eight common families, Kate Marianchild on Oak Woodlands, and Linda MacElwee on invasive plant removal and native restoration.

Attending Jade’s presentation on bees and pollinators I learned a lot including the fact that there are over 4000 different types of bees in North America alone and that native bees are largely solitary, live mostly underground, do not have hives and do not produce honey. What we commonly think of, as “bees” and their typical communal behavior are European honeybees. Live and learn. The natural world is so chock full of surprises available to amaze and amuse for the price of simply paying attention. I know Jade and Mary Pat are attention-payers and I’m sure the other speakers are too. It is encouraging to be reminded that everyone isn’t running at warp speed roughshod over the wonder that is our world.

Meanwhile at the tea-room/snack bar the same delicious egg salad and chicken salad sandwiches with homemade potato salad were offered along with cookies etc. Paired with a cup of hot coffee these “old school” favorites really hit the spot after an hour of carefully studying tiny wildflower gems.

At the Wildflower show you really get a chance to get up close and personal with the flowers which have been painstakingly gathered by those in Anderson Valley who know what to look for and where to find it. Arranged in simple bottles and arranged with labels the specimens are easy to get up close to or even right on top of. Because of this easy access many bring their cameras or use phones to zoom in and photograph the flowers and foliage. Local experts in the Unity Club and beyond are on hand to answer questions. There are microscopes and magnifying glasses and even binoculars available to get a closer view. The Oak Woodlands table used an ingenious method of display. Each little fragment of woodland plant matter was embedded in damp clean sand with an eighth of an inch of water above the sand line keeping everything moist while neatly separating and setting them off artfully. Kate Marianchild said she had just thought this idea up the day before. She is really onto something here.

In other areas of the hall there was a book sale table where inspired attendees were purchasing items to expand their knowledge back home. Very popular was the raffle table, which this year was literally overflowing with things mostly to do with plants and gardening. Alice Bonner was a major shaker and mover of the raffle undertaking. Barbara Scott donated a large ceramic frog filled with tiny succulent plants that clearly was a big favorite of the crowd. Every item had its own individual ticket cup so you could choose what item you wanted thus increasing your odds of getting it instead of something you would have to “regift” at a later time.

In the corner closest to the door was the plant sale area and it was packed with more plants than ever before it seemed, perhaps an outgrowth of this year’s heavy rain. Again knowledgeable people were on hard to advise and recommend. Valerie Hanelt flitted from flower to flower. Christine Clark calmly gathered money at the cash desk. There were many, many volunteers helping throughout the hall. I think next year they could place decorative butterflies on some of the butterfly loving plants to steer butterfly lovers in the right direction. There were lots of bulbs for spectacular bearded irises for a reasonable $1 each. There was something for everyone.

Mary Darling stationed herself at the front door as greeter to get everyone to sign-in. This is not a mere formality. As members of the United Women’s Club of America the Unity Club activities are closely monitored and recorded for posterity. Sue Davies had a small table with information about Lyme Disease where she did her part to educate the public based partially on her personal experience and partly on her research. There were plenty of California native plants and naturalized plants. People are always invited to bring plants from their yards or the surrounding countryside for identification. Let’s face it we live in a plant rich wonderland of amazing abundance (especially this year).

And if all this wasn’t enough to ring your bell, all you had to do was step outside to find a number of other delights literally a stone’s throw away. Saturday the Fairgrounds was also host to the third annual goat festival organized by Jim Devine and the Anderson Valley Foodshed group. There was a goat parade MC’ed by the infamous Captain Rainbow. Well-known musician Joe Craven was on hand beating the drum like a goat pied piper. Local band Joe Blow led by Steve Derwinski kept the vibe cool and danceable. Goat Fest T-shirts were on sale with a brand new design this year: a sleek silk screen print of three wily looking goats in black ink on gray shirts that any hipster would gladly die for. Many vendors added spice including a lady with gorgeous abalone jewelry, one with goat milk soap and our own Jennifer Schmitt with her wooden box creations.

The AV Unity Club library was open with the usual carefully chosen selection of books to check out but also many books to buy. When you can buy a like-new trade paperback for 50¢ what’s not to like?! Janet Lombard was behind the desk with her usual radiant smile and sly wit.

The grace and hard work of the Unity Club women cannot be overstated. These self-effacing women provide substance to our community — they are definitely part of our backbone. If you want something done and you can get a Unity Club woman involved your odds of reaching the finish line are enormously increased. Thank you also to Jim Devine and the Foodshed group for another great Goat Fest. This time of year in Anderson Valley there are indeed an embarrassment of riches to choose from if you want to be entertained, educated and informed. Lucky us.

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Dear Editor,

The insanity of using water, especially clean water, to move humanure and urine is clear when reading the Water and Sewer In Boonville article in the April 19, 2017 AVA. In one instance, leach fields are implicated in pollution of existing wells, and in another the proposal is for the typical industrial method of resource destruction, said leach fields on a massive scale (yes, the nutrients in humanure are a valuable resource if composted properly, and mixing it and water with household chemicals so the whole mess can infiltrate our soil is crazy and destructive). The Chinese, Koreans, and Japanese have used it as a resource for 40 centuries or more, not always in the best way, but science has shown that thermophilic compost is effective in destroying pathogens. The Humanure Handbook by Joe Jenkins outlines how to do this in detail, with a collection system separate from the compost system so these can be done on a home or municipal scale. While health department regulations are not savvy enough yet, it is time to start the push.

Bill Taylor, Redwood Valley

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(Mary Moore, long-time SoCo activist, founded the annual demonstrations aimed at discomfiting the ruling class gatherings at Bohemian Grove.)

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The Devil and Mr. Jones (Alex Jones & Boho Grove two decades earlier)

I actually resent having to give up one of my three daily emails for this guy so won’t do it again. But there is a connection between our community and Alex Jones and not everyone is aware of it. Back around the turn of the century Alex contacted me re: Boho Grove and asked me to be on his national radio program. I should have been more vigilant but I’d never heard of him before and was open at that time to any opportunity to get the concepts out to a national audience. So the only thing I have in common with Trump is that we’ve both appeared on Alex’s radio show. In doing that interview it quickly became clear that he was a nut case but he called later and asked for my help getting inside the Grove. He was successful at getting inside and filming the Creation of Care but his analysis of it all was somewhat different than those of us who had been holding demos there since 1980. And much of the media that I was trying to work with jumped to the conclusion that he and I were on the same page re: analysis of why to protest there. So I’ve done my best to keep my distance from him and a couple of times I’ve just had to ignore him — long story. Anyway he’s now in the big time re: national coverage although I don’t see any serious people taking him seriously. But apparently he and the Donald have a special relationship now and I’m not going to waste my time trying to explain that. So it’s good that real journalists like Matt Lewis are taking him on.

— Mary Moore

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The Devil & Mr. Jones

by Matt Lewis

I’ve met Alex Jones exactly once: during the Republican National Convention in Cleveland last summer. Forget the boring speeches―the only reason you go to political conventions is to experience the surreal milieu. In that regard, I got my money’s worth.

We were joined by my colleague Jamie Weinstein and the equally intriguing Roger Stone. Admittedly, my memories of that night are hazy, and good taste prevents me from disclosing the details of our conversation. But my general takeaway was that, in this environment, Jones was much more rational and reserved than his InfoWars persona might suggest.

What is more, at one point, he seemed to imply that he wanted to be more careful going forward with conspiracy theories—because he knew that his increased notoriety bestowed upon him a greater responsibility.

I’m not saying he came across as completely normal, but the general impression I got from that one evening was that Alex Jones, the man, is different from Alex Jones, the brand. This was months before the Pizzagate conspiracy theory he helped perpetuate led an armed man to “self-investigate” whether a child sex ring was really taking place in the basement of a DC pizzeria. This was not exactly an example of restraint (Jones later apologized).

This, of course, is relevant in the wake of Jones’s child custody case―his lawyer has argued that Jones is a “performance artist” who is “playing a character.” His lawyer went so far as to say that judging Jones for his outlandish commentary “would be like judging Jack Nicholson in a custody dispute based on his performance as the Joker in Batman.”

On the witness stand, Jones appeared to contradict some of his attorney’s arguments. He may be torn between keeping his kids and keeping his lucrative career. They may be mutually exclusive. It is unclear what this revelation might do to the legions of fans who credulously tune in to hear his paranoid political rants.

Back in the 1980s, before it was renamed World Wrestling Entertainment, two stars of the World Wrestling Federation were arrested for drug possession. Both Hacksaw Jim Duggan (a good guy) and The Iron Sheik (a heel) were promptly fired by boss Vince McMahon. The interesting thing is that the arrest doesn’t appear to be what cost them their jobs. They had also committed an unpardonable sin: They had broken the fourth wall. They were supposed to be bitter enemies in persona, and here they were toking up together.

The conservative entertainment world now is probably where professional wrestling was then. Sophisticated viewers realize that (to paraphrase Duke from the movie Rocky) it’s a damn show, not a damn fight. But a lot of regular Americans are still hoodwinked.

And therein lies the problem. If someone in the sports world or the movie industry views themselves primarily as a moneymaking brand, there’s really not much harm caused by their antics. If a football player sets a bad example, you can still always say, “It’s just a game.” If an actor does something inappropriate, you can dismiss it by saying, “It’s just ‘la la land’ where people make pretend movies.” But politics is inherently different. The stakes are higher. And since ideas have consequences, our words can have grave consequences—even if the reason is tied to profit motive.

What is more, starting or spreading conspiracy theories—warning of false flags and ginning up the worries and fears of people who might already be struggling with reality—could result in horrific repercussions.

It’s one thing to sincerely believe the theories you spout out for public consumption (some people do), but it’s even worse to do it solely for fawning attention and a fat paycheck.

One particularly despicable example of this phenomenon occurred in the wake of the Sandy Hook shooting in 2012, when Jones advanced the theory that the shooting was a “false flag” hoax. Parents who had lost a child were already experiencing unimaginable pain, and Jones compounded that pain by spreading this false and emotionally damaging rumor.

In a way, Jones is just the logical conclusion of something that started around the same time Hacksaw Jim Duggan was battling it out with The Iron Sheik. The Eric Hoffer line about something starting off as a movement, turning into a business, and ending up as a racket rings true. But Jones didn’t invent this game―he just took it to the next level.

Who could forget 1980s talk show host Morton Downey, Jr., who gained fame by playing a sort of caricature of a politically incorrect right-wing host—except, unlike Steven Colbert’s show, much of Downey’s audience wasn’t in on the joke. These things don’t tend to end well; Downey’s act eventually came crashing down when he pretended that he had been attacked in an airport bathroom by three neo-Nazis. His attempt to gain publicity was foiled when it was revealed that the swastika scrawled on his face was backwards—the product of him having drawn it in a mirror. Downey’s story serves as a warning that a poseur’s 15 minutes of fame eventually expires.

Interestingly, the revelation that Downey was a fraud ushered in his replacement, Rush Limbaugh, who assumed Downey’s radio show in Sacramento. Although he, too, has become primarily an entertainer, Limbaugh’s role was originally designed to be provocative and (unlike Downey) authentic. “They brought me out, they said, ‘Look, we want controversy. We’ll back you up, but not if you make it up. If you’re going to say things just to incite riots, just to make people mad, if you’re going to say things just to rile ’em up but you don’t really believe it, we’re not going to back you up. But if you’re honest about it, and you stay sane, we’ll back you up,’ and they were true, they were honest about that,” Limbaugh explained in 2010.

To be sure, the most popular conservative commentators—even the ones who really do believe what they say and take their responsibility seriously—have to know how to garner attention. You can’t be 100 percent Edmund Burke without mixing in at least a healthy splash of P.T. Barnum. Salesmanship is a key part of the job. But there is a line that is crossed at some point—where someone ceases to be a political commentator who is entertaining and instead starts being an entertainer who exploits politics. Just like pornography, you know it when you see it.

And boy have we seen it. Jones’s custody case seems to hinge on his mental stability. But if he’s perfectly sane, that means he is guilty of saying inexcusably careless things that could possibly get someone killed—and definitely break the heart of a grieving parent.

His lawyer’s defense boils down to this: He’s not crazy—just evil. Having shared a drink with him, I’m inclined to believe his attorney.

(Courtesy, the Daily Beast)

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CATCH OF THE DAY, April 25, 2017

Apodaca, Bailey, Blair

ANTHONLY APODACA, Oakland/Ukiah. Suspended license.

SKYLER BAILEY, Willits. Under influence, probation revocation. (Frequent Flyer)

ASHLEY BLAIR, Ukiah. Drunk in public.

Bowersox, Caradine, Cuadra

MOLLY BOWERSOX, Brighton, Michigan/Willits. DUI.

DARREL CARADINE, Fort Bragg. Controlled substance, paraphernalia, probation revocation.

GREGORY CUADRA, Ukiah. County parole violation.

Davis, Hanover, Herrera

DEREK DAVIS, Covelo. False imprisonment.

THOMAS HANOVER, Ukiah. Under influence, failure to pay.

LAURA HERRERA, Talmage. Drunk in public.

Martinez, Morse, Neal, Paul

JORGE MARTINEZ, Willits. Domestic assault, parole violation.

JOHN MORSE, Ukiah. Embezzlement/theft by non-caretaker.

ERIK NEAL, Ukiah. Under influence, false ID.

TONY PAUL, Ukiah. Domestic battery.

Pedigo, Rojas, Smith

RONALD PEDIGO, Ukiah. Trespassing, parole violation.

ANTHONY ROJAS, Ukiah. Controlled substance, failure to appear, probation revocation.

BRANDON SMITH, Ukiah. Vandalism.

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by Jonah Raskin

In a land in which food has become a secular religion I have chosen to become a heretic and a non-believer. Once upon a time, I lived to eat. Now I eat to live. Not eating or even eating modestly feels like a subversive activity when all around me in northern California I’m almost constantly urged to eat three meals a day, enjoined to go to restaurants, buy lunch and dinner to go, shop and cook and then sit down to a meal. Just thinking about food makes me feel exhausted.

Once upon a time, eating was a labor of love, whether it was eating fish and chips with vinegar in England, or mussels and French fries with mayonnaise in Belgium. Now, eating feels like a labor-intensive activity, and, while I try my best to eat healthy I have come to believe that almost everything I put into my body, including alcohol, does my body little if any good. Of course, it’s all about dosage, portions and servings. I read the labels. I notice the junk that’s in much of the food I buy and it makes me sick just to think about it. As often as possible, I eat organic fruits and vegetables, very little if any red meat, some grains, no pasta, no rice, and no white bread, except on the rare occasion when I don’t want to offend a host. That’s as good an excuse as any to have a slice from a baguette.

Eating is one of my occupational hazards. I write about food, farming and eating, which Wendell Berry calls “an agricultural act.” The trouble is that people eat as though it’s a clear blow for the environment and agricultural workers.

I also review restaurants for publication, and I belong to the local chapter of an international organization called Slow Food, which was founded in Italy by Carlo Petrini, an ex-Communist Party member. Only a left-wing ideologue could have created an international food organization that was meant to help the downtrodden of the developing world and to defend the rights of the peasantry in Asia, South America and Africa.

In a country like the U.S.A., where there is no longer a peasantry it is difficult if not impossible to live up to the letter if not the spirit of the organization that Petrini founded in large part to halt the spread of fast food globally. Petrini had a good idea, much as “Peace, Bread and Land” was a good idea, as is the slogan “Love People and Feed them” which was coined by a Hindu guru and mystic named Neem Karoli Baba Maharajii. Fast food is right now unstoppable. Just look at China, Russia, India, France and Italy and notice the spread of fast food chains.

My own parents, who were long-time Communist Party members, would no doubt join Slow Food U.S.A. provided they were still alive. And if they were still alive they would no doubt still argue about food. My father was pro-Soviet. My mother was pro-Chinese in the days of the Sino-Soviet split which rocked the Communist world, and that was indeed all over the world. My parents battled about Mao, Stalin and the Chinese Cultural Revolution, but food was the real issue that divided them.

My father craved meat and the organic potatoes, which he grew with his own hands on a small farm in western Sonoma County, along with the marijuana that was his cash crop. When I was a boy, my mother gave my father what he wanted, but in her 60s she converted to brown rice, tofu, yogurt and leafy greens. My father rebelled against her regimen and I helped him rebel by smuggling pizza home that he devoured as fast as possible behind my mother’s back. On the communes all around us, food was also an issue, with the vegetarians at odds with the meat eaters and with communards occasionally coming to blows about sprouts.

Food has always been a political issue now perhaps more than ever before. A friend who is constantly organizing events and urging citizens to march, rally and protest, told me recently that in order to motivate people you have to give them either sex or food. Once upon a time you could provide sex, or at least create situations in which sex was likely. I can remember events in say 1969 and 1970 when I’d be perfectly happy to have a peanut butter and jelly sandwich on white bread and to be in bed with a young woman. Now, the sex or food option seems to be expanding with new alternatives. Maybe now you have to give citizens marijuana, especially if you want to rally citizens around the cause of cannabis.

There is always food at events sponsored by Slow Food, U.S.A. Indeed, eating is the primary activity at Slow Food events. Carlo Perini’s slogan, “buono, pulito e giusto”—which has been translated into English as “good, clean and fair”—has gotten lost in the sheer abundance of food on the table in the homes of Slow Food members.

If you want to be part of a crowd, to belong to an organization, and to join movements, you are obliged to sit and break bread with your fellows. That is, unless you’re on a hunger strike to protest prison conditions or torture. There, too, food is a weapon. If you’re a prisoner and you don’t eat, you will likely be force-fed. You will not even be allowed the freedom not to eat. "I am human, I eat" might be my clarion call.

Those of us on the outside of state and federal prisons usually have the choice of what to eat, where and when and how. I do. I think about what I’m going to eat everyday and everyday I make decisions. I don’t see what other path there is unless it’s the path not to eat all and to end one’s life. Sooner or later that’s how it ends for many of us, though to the end my father wanted to eat pizza and my mother wanted to feed him tofu.

I used to travel to destinations near and far to eat. Indeed, eating was the paramount reason for traveling, whether it was to the town of Mendocino where I enjoyed meals at Café Beaujolais, or to New York where I made a beeline for the Gramercy Tavern on East 20th Street and where I sometimes had to fight for a seat at the bar. Competition was fierce. The last time I was there I sat next to a woman from Chicago who had come to New York to be interviewed for a job in an architecture firm. She had hours to kill before her flight back home. There she was at the bar of the Gramercy Tavern picking at her food and sipping her Manhattan while I sipped a Prosecco and tried to enjoy the entrée that didn’t taste nearly as good as I wanted it to taste.

The Gramercy isn’t what it was years ago—a kind of sacred place where my older brother always paid and never complained about paying. I knew he loved me because he took me to the Gramercy. Still, the next time I’m in New York, I’ll probably go back if only to see if the menu is the same, or if it has changed, if the bartenders are new, and if the dining room is still packed with gentlemen in ties and jackets and women with furs and jewelry. Eating at the Gramercy is a way of spying on the rich. I’ll never be able to join their elite company, but at least I can pretend to be part of their world for a couple of hours. I suffer the food and enjoy bourgeois life as an interloper.

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(Compiled by Tom Wodetski)

Below is my "PG&E costs doubled last year; Did yours?” followed by 12 responses, which you might find helpful.

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"My PG&E costs went up from $762 in 2015 to $1773 in 2016. That’s a 133% increase! And I have solar panels and no new electrical additions that would explain this huge jump. Is this usual for our area? Can I do anything about it? Like complain to Huffman or the PUC or ??? What was your % increase last year? Tom Wodetzki, Albion"

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From: Virginia Reed <>

My year’s total of P G & E also doubled in 2016, over 2015. Don’t know if it was rate hikes, more usage, or — Thanks for asking the question

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From: Ron Hock <>

Did you ask PG&E for an audit? I'd start there before going for the big guns. PG&E didn't raise rates much, or at all, last year, I don't think. Certainly not that much. They did change their billing categories but even that shouldn't have that much impact. Did you notice the increase on the monthly bills? Was there a sudden jump? We have solar panels, too, and some years ago the inverter cooked an internal component. I just happened to walk by the inverter one day and noticed the error message. You might want to check that, too.

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From: Tom Tetzlaff <>

Holy crap Tom! Is that per month?! Unless you have a bunch of grow lights and fans and/or are using electricity for heat, your consumption is astounding. Especially considering your solar panel assist. Maybe the rate plan you are on is the problem. Or maybe you have some kind of a sinister electrical draw somewhere. Maybe your well/pressure pump is not shutting off or something like that maybe? Crikey, that’s a LOT to pay for power. Good luck, Tom

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From: Eric Stromberger <>

Hi Moonlight. Not sure how the math works out, but a few months ago they got rid of tier 4, which raised the rate on tier 3. But, you must have a solar rate — guessing they took away the old E7 net metering rate ? Best, Eric

* * *

From: Marilyn Boese <>

Tom; yikes. we have grid tied solar, no increase whatsoever. I would buy a Kill-a-Watt and check every electrical connection in the kingdom, and request that PG&E audit. Your inverter is OK, or can a solar tech verify that part of your system? good luck, Marilyn

* * *

From: kathy silva <>

Hi Tom~ Did your usage increase, according to your bills? I don't see any mention of your usage, just the dollar amount, in your announcement. If the usage increased, perhaps you have a short or something gone awry there. That's the most typical cause and that's what I'd check out with PG&E first. Our usage and costs have stayed pretty flat here in Fort Bragg. Please share with the list what you discover. Good luck. ~Kathy

* * *

From: Frank Hartzell <>

Mine doubled too. We had 1100 bill for one month. Mom has an 24/7 oxygen machine and PGE offers a pitiful medical discount. In reality they put you in tier 3 and your rates go through the roof when you have medical machine. Everyone I know has seen their rates skyrocket, and most did not have big changes.

* * *

From: Margaret Paul <>

I've had 300% and more increases in 2017 as well. The PUC forced PG&E to establish a consumer complaint board to address just such issues. They are useless and only add to the confusion. Twice, I went to the FB PG&E office for an explanation and was told conflicting things. What I think it all boils down to is the customers are footing the bill for the San Bruno disaster. We need to get Huffman on this.

* * *

From: Mark Slafkes <>

How did your consumption change. PG&E has various methods for calculating costs. Did you change from time of use to levels of consumption, for example? In our house, my wife decided she was too cold in her office. Our bill doubled because of the one electric heater she decided to us. It isn't always the boogie man. On the other hand, if your consumption stayed the same, was the billing method different.

It's always to lay the details out there rather than just complain. Or that's the way I see it. I happen to be disgusted with PG&E because of personal experiences with them. I also happen to think this new electricity provider is scamming us.

As a business person, I know that if someone can make money on building a renewable electric generator, they will do it. If they can't, they won't. And choosing to buy partial or all renewable really isn't the way it's done, sorry to say.

But, most people believe what they want to believe. No changing that.

* * *

From: "John Redding" <>

According to the industry newsletters I read, there were a handful of things that happened at the end of 2016, early 2017 that caused rates for some PG&E customers to "increase dramatically" in Dec, Jan, and Feb.: Year over year rate hikes (30% on the average in 2016), Higher natural gas prices (which PG&E can pass through to customers on a regular basis), and Colder weather...and— Bi-monthly meter reading for those customers who don't have or opted out of having a smart meter. I'd be interested to know if those folks who had big PG&E bill increases saw a spike in Dec., Jan, and March but subsequently saw the bills come back to earth. Regards, John

* * *

From: Jaen Treesinger <>

Our PGE bill has increased about 50-60 %. Its running between $275 and $390. I heard on the news that their rates were going to increase again this May (I think it was May?) They are probably trying to make consumers pay for the pipe repair, due to the San Bruno explosion and the punishment ruled by the court case against PGE.

I don’t know much about this, but I think it is possible we could build a case for our coastal area being deserving of a greater Tier One amount of KW hours, because we have to pay for electric pumps operating to deliver our water. If you look at PGE's regional map, most of the our region that we are lumped in with has city supplied water. The larger percentage of your billed KWH that are in Tier One as opposed to higher tiers, the lower the bill.

Re: Sonoma Power? I spoke w/ their office last week or the week before and they told me that if one switches to them from PGE, you could expect 1% lower pricing for each bill than what you are currently paying PGE.

* * *

From: Notty Bumpkin <>

I just got off the phone with Arcadia Power. I am a solar/grid-intertied customer now. They told me I would actually be paying more than I already do to PG&E during the winter months when I generate less power. So that is a non-starter. On the other hand, Sonoma Clean Energy has told me they break the billing differently than Arcadia, and the total amounts paid should not change, but any credits I generate selling back to the grid are carried forward, and if I generate more than $100.00 at the end of the year, they will give me the choice between rolling all the credit over or cut me a check. So, at this point, I will likely go with SCE.

* * *


by Clancy Sigal

Don’t go down in the mine, Dad,
Dreams very often come true;
Daddy, you know it would break my heart
If anything happened to you…

— in honor of 1907 South Wales mining disaster

I’ve never been down an American coal mine, among the least safest in the world, though have plunged thousands of feet into the dark bowels of British pits in Yorkshire, Wales and Scotland, the world’s safest until they were closed by politicians and bean counters.

I have a selfish interest in coal mining since it was English pit men who first opened up their world to me and encouraged my first writing.

Deep down in the hard-to-breath darkness at 2000 feet below the surface miners educated me how they’re a separate culture, with its own taboos and permissions. At the coal face, hand-getting or machine-cutting, I saw them as skilled surgeons, or code breakers using logic to solve life and death problems underground, with super-sensitive ears for the faint early warning crack of a wall collapse or groan in a roof support.

Miners are a special, ancient breed whether in China, Poland or Appalachia; at their union’s strongest, which it’s not now, militant solidarity is bred in their bones. (See the Battle of Blair Mountain where massed miners shot it out with federal troops and even the US air corps for the right to unionize.)

Gradually I climbed into a social class where “coal” became a dirty word because the getting of the decayed vegetation with its high carbon content became synonymous with earth’s destruction and our asthmatic lungs.

You know, shaved mountain tops, poisoned rivers, massive health costs to miners (black lung, silicosis, injuries) and any of us who has to breathe in the fossil-fuel fumes. Not to mention the harm to climate change.

Gas powered electricity (fracking) is allegedly cheaper. Cleaner, more modern, more accessible. Anyway Appalachian coal is giving out, and privately owned coal companies – whose safety records are an obscenity – daily go bankrupt abandoning their workers’ health benefits. Right now Wyoming with its open cast strip mining produces more coal than traditional deep pit mines in the eastern mountains.

So what happens to the aging coal miners who voted for Trump on his promise to bring back jobs and restore coal which none of them believed but had hopes he would care for them in a declining industry?

One of the thousands of reasons Hillary lost was going to coal-mining West Virginia which she won in 2008 and telling them, “We’re going to put a lot of coal miners and coal companies out of business” in the drive for clean energy. The voting miners preferred Trump’s hopeful lie to Clinton’s blunt death sentence. Who wouldn’t?

The gods of coal are vengeful. Today, the 80,000 or so remaining miners, out of a 1970 high of 140,000 and a 1920s high of 700,000, are getting royally screwed by Trump’s rich Republicans. In a word they’re being sent on a fast ride to the cemetery by the people they voted for in such big numbers.

The Republican congress is twisting miners and their families in the wind by refusing, until the very last moment and maybe not then, to honor promised federal health benefits that are used to beef up the much used Medicare and Medicaid. The loss of this government money is literally the difference between life and death for men on oxygen or suffering other coal-related injuries.

A double kick in the face: Trump is also defunding the Appalachian Regional Commission and U.S Economic Development Commission set up specifically to cushion coal’s collapse.

An amazing number of people, still traumatized by Hillary’s defeat, say Trump’s betrayals are only what the miners deserve. Or as one NYT reader wrote from W. Virginia, “I have run out of patience and empathy for these people…They’re…ignorant… and generally not interested in anything but being a coal miner, shooting wild animals and each other, getting drunk or high, and qualifying for disability.”

Oh, have I run into such soured Democrats! They can’t forgive coal miners for voting the wrong way but above all for being the stubborn rednecks they are. Why can’t they be more like us, and vote the right way and stop being so damn poor?

The Republican agenda is clear. One by one knock off the most vulnerable then the least unionized then the rest of us, all in good time. The Appalachian miners are not our past but our future.

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

* * *


I think that if US.Gov.Inc goes into shutdown for any extended period of time over wrangling about funding for Trump’s Great Wall, he’ll find his support among even his base vanishing like the pleasant days of spring. And no, Mexico is never going to pay for such stupidity. Why would they, other than possibly as a means to keep the gringos out? But we all know those fat-assed wily gringos would never resort to something as humbling as walking.

* * *


From La carne by Rosa Montero

Translated by Louis S. Bedrock

—Do you have children, Soledad? —asked Marita.

Oh, no. And now this. It had to be Marita who brought up the topic.
She hated when she was asked this question, because when she answered no, that no which was so irreversible by now at her age, that no not only meant that she didn’t have children but also that she would never have children and therefore she would never have grandchildren either; that no identified her as a woman who was not a mother and tossed her upon the beach of the dispossessed like the grimy flotsam of an ocean storm because social prejudices on this matter were set in stone and any female without children continued to be seen as an oddity, a tragedy, an incomplete woman, half a person; when she said no, in short, Soledad knew that this monosyllable would land in the middle of the group like a neutron bomb and change the tone of the conversation: everything would stop and everyone present would remain in suspense demanding an acceptable explanation of the cause of such an appalling anomaly; that Soledad explain “I couldn’t have children”, or perhaps “I have a genetic disease that I didn’t want to pass on”, or even “Actually I’m a transsexual and I was born as a man”; in short, they would accept any explanation but would certainly oblige her to justify herself. And once again, Soledad promised herself that she would resist the pressure and would not add a single word to the monosyllable.


Boom. The bomb went off. The critics, the gallery owner, the expert from The Prado Museum, the languid young man, Diana, Marita: everyone became silent and looked at her with round eyes, penetrating eyes, eyes that were eager to learn more. Soledad resisted as the atmosphere chilled and awkwardness floated like a pernicious gas around them.

—I never wanted to have children. From the time I was a little girl —she finally blurted out, yielding once more to social blackmail and feeling like a coward.

—Of course. It’s not necessary to have children in order to be happy —the gallery owner hastened to say.

Those were the worst ones, the kind women who tried to play down the deficiency, who loudly proclaimed their sympathy but who believed in their hearts that not having children was a tragedy, an incapacity. Why say anything at all if it all seemed so natural.

—Absolutely! I adore my children but have wanted to kill them on occasions —smiled Marita, bloated with maternal supremacy.

—How many do you have?

—Two; a thirteen year old and a fifteen year old, imagine...

And yes, Soledad imagined. On top of everything else, this vermin had had the time and the opportunity to be a mother. Around her were erupting giggles of complicity.

—Ugh, the height of adolescence, like mine... —said one of the critics.

—You never know what’s coming next! I now have a granddaughter but still remember with horror the fifteenth year of my daughter —added Diana.

Everyone began exchanging comments about their kids as if they were swapping trading cards. Everyone had descendants. Soledad looked hopefully at the languid young man: he was the youngest, probably gay; perhaps he had escaped. The young man must have interpreted her glance as question, because he said:

—My husband and I have adopted a little girl. She’s our pride and joy. — And he displayed the dazzling smile of one smitten with paternal love.

That’s what I get for asking, Soledad said to herself. I’m tired of attending events like this one. I’m tired of talking to people. I’m tired of going out. Of getting out of bed. Of being alive. Or perhaps of not being alive enough.

* * *


DEA National Take Back Initiative Event

Saturday, April 29, 2017
10:00a.m. ~ 2:00p.m
Fort Bragg Police Department
250 Cypress Street, Fort Bragg

Bragg Police Department, the Coalition for Gang Awareness and Prevention (CGAP), Waste Management and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) is giving the public its thirteenth opportunity in seven years to prevent abuse and theft of medications, by ridding their homes of potentially dangerous expired, unused, and unwanted prescription and over the counter drugs. Bring your medications for disposal to the Fort Bragg Police Department at 250 Cypress Street in Fort Bragg. The service is free and anonymous, with no questions asked.

Last October, Americans turned in 366 tons (over 730,000 pounds) of prescription drugs at almost 5,200 sites operated by the DEA and more than 4,000 of its state and local law enforcement partners. Overall, in its 12 previous Take Back events, DEA and its partners have taken in over 7.1 million pounds—more than 3,500 tons—of pills.

This initiative addresses a vital public safety and public health concern. Medicines that languish in home cabinets are highly susceptible to diversion, misuse, and abuse. Rates of prescription drug abuse in the U.S. are alarmingly high, as are the number of accidental poisonings and overdoses due to these drugs. Studies show that a majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including from the home medicine cabinet. In addition, Americans are now advised that their usual methods for disposing of unused medicines—flushing them down the toilet or throwing them in the trash—both pose potential safety and health hazards.

Prescription and over the counter medications will be accepted during the event. Participants may dispose of medication in its original container or by removing the medication from its container and disposing of it directly into the disposal box. If an original container is submitted, the individual should remove any identifying information from the prescription label. Liquid products, such as cough syrup, should remain sealed in the original container.

Although it is not normal protocol for collection locations to accept sharps during the Take Back event, due to the overwhelming need for this service in our community, the Fort Bragg Police Department will be accepting sharps/syringes at their location only. We would ask the public to keep the caps on the syringes for the safety of all.

We will also have canvas medication lock bags available at no charge for anyone who needs one.

As a reminder, the Police Department always has available it’s “Red Box” collection receptacle in front of the station at 250 Cypress Street, where citizens can drop off used/expired medication 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. This receptacle does not accept sharps.

So please join the effort to remove potentially dangerous substances from our community. Clean out your medicine cabinets and come by the Police Department on Saturday, April 29th between the hours of 10:00a.m. and 2:00p.m.

–Fabian Lizarraga, Chief of Police, Fort Bragg, CA

* * *


by Dan Bacher

The California Sportfishing Protection Alliance (CSPA) joined Friends of the River (FOR) and three other environmental organizations in submitting a clarification and public process request to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) on April 19 regarding repairs of the damaged spillway facilities at Oroville Reservoir.

The massive erosion of the main spillway at Oroville Dam, followed by the evacuation of over 188,000 people in Butte, Yuba and Sutter counties after state and federal officials feared a failure of the auxiliary spillway, has focused state, national and international media attention on the California Department of Water Resources and its federal partners.

The letter asks FERC to release as much information to the public about damage, plans and repairs as is “reasonably possible,” according to Chris Shutes of CSPA. (

It also asks FERC and DWR to “allow discussion of this information in a public process that allows meaningful public input and response to the design and repair of dam’s facilities.” In addition, the letter asks FERC to clarify the process by which parties to the relicensing of the dam can engage in the reconstruction process.

The three other organizations signing the letter are the South Yuba River Citizens League, Sierra Club, and American Whitewater.

Shutes noted that the letter in particular advocates for construction of a complete second (“auxiliary”) spillway at the dam, in addition to reconstruction of the main spillway that failed in early February.

“The very limited use of the auxiliary spillway on February 12 and 13, 2017 revealed its flawed design and caused the evacuation of 188,000 people from Oroville and downstream communities,” according to Shutes. “DWR has not announced whether it plans to construct a concrete-lined auxiliary spillway parallel to new concrete main spillway, or whether DWR plans to build a concrete apron on the auxiliary spillway from which water would spill onto the dirt dam below.”

The request concludes: “The February, 2017 Oroville Dam spillway incident was extraordinary event that touched the lives of hundreds of thousands of people. It demands an extraordinary effort by the Commission and its licensees to create a response that is equally extraordinary and something to be proud of. Let’s do that.”

A recent Associated Press examination of state and federal documents, emails obtained under public records requests and numerous interviews reveal “a sequence of questionable decisions and missteps, some of them made years ago, some of them in the middle of the crisis” at Oroville Dam.

“Among other things, the dam's federal and state overseers overestimated the durability of the two spillways. And in public statements during the emergency, they failed to acknowledge — or perhaps recognize — that while they were busy dealing with one crisis, they were creating a possible new one," the AP investigative piece by Ellen Knickmeyer and Michael R. Blood stated.

On April 20, DWR announced it will be hosting seven public meetings in multiple locations to update communities in the region about the ongoing Oroville spillway recovery effort.

“The meetings will be opportunities for members of the public to hear from DWR leadership and experts about the status of the Oroville spillway and to ask questions and provide comments about the recovery process. The meetings will have a similar agenda, format and content,” according to DWR.

For the times and locations of the meetings and other details, go to:

The Big Picture: In all of the intense media coverage of Oroville Dam spillway crisis over the past couple of months, the mainstream media haven’t yet discussed the real issue behind the disaster: corporate control of California water politics and the capture of the regulators by the regulated. For more information, go to:

* * *


SAN FRANCISCO, Calif.- Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) is paying property taxes and franchise fees of more than $337 million this spring to the 50 counties and 243 cities where the energy company owns and operates gas and electric infrastructure that serves 16 million Californians.

"Property tax and franchise fee payments are one of the important ways PG&E helps drive local economies and supports essential public services like education and public safety. This year's higher payments reflect the substantial local investments we are making in our gas and electric infrastructure to create one of the safest and most reliable energy companies in the nation," said Jason Wells, senior vice president and chief financial officer for PG&E.

PG&E pays franchise fees to cities and counties for the use of public streets for its gas and electric facilities. The energy company submitted the fees to counties by March 31 and to cities by April 15.

PG&E's franchise fee payments totaled nearly $132 million - almost $31 million for natural gas and $101 million for electric service. This sum is over $6 million more than the previous year's total. In addition, PG&E also collected and remitted to cities and counties over $25 million in statutory franchise fee surcharges.

PG&E also increased its payment of property taxes sharply this year as the energy company continued to make significant investments in its gas and electric system to improve safety and reliability.

On April 10, PG&E paid property taxes of over $205 million to the 50 counties in which it owns property. The payment covers the period from January 1 to June 30, 2017. Total payments for the tax year of July 1, 2016 to June 30, 2017 are more than $411 million-an increase of $25 million over, or 7 percent more than, the prior fiscal year.

PG&E invested about $5.7 billion last year and expects to invest about $6 billion this year to enhance and upgrade its gas and electrical infrastructure across Northern and Central California. One example is PG&E constructing a $75 million-gas operations technical training center in Winters.

PG&E supports the communities it serves in a variety of ways. Last year PG&E provided more than $28 million in community grants and investments< to enrich local educational opportunities, preserve the environment, and support economic vitality and emergency preparedness. PG&E employees provide thousands of hours of volunteer service in their local communities. The company also offers a broad spectrum of economic development services< to help local businesses grow.

(Mendocino County: $1.45 million.)

* * *


Rommel Drives On Deep into Egypt — San Francisco Chronicle Headline, June 26, 1942

Rommel is dead.

His army has joined the quicksand legions

of history where the battle is always

a metal echo saluting a rusty shadow.

His tanks are gone.

How's your ass?

— Richard Brautigan

* * *

ALL BRANCHES of the Mendocino County Library will be closed on Wednesday, April 26th for a staff training day. We apologize for the inconvenience, and will re-open on Thursday, April 27th. No late fines will accrue as a result of this closure. The digital library is always open:

Adults 21 & over are invited to join our monthly book club Wines & Spines. We meet at Ukiah Brewing Co. (102 S. State St) on the last Wednesday evening of each month. Join us in April for In The Country We Love by Diane Guerrero: April 26th at 6:30 pm. To sign up for the book club email list or for more information — please contact Melissa at the Ukiah Library: 467-6434 or

Young designers ages 7-11 can join us to learn how to make seed bombs. Plant them in your garden and watch them grow into beautiful habitats for wildlife! Children must be accompanied by parent or guardian. Sponsored by the Ukiah Valley Friends of the Library.

Into the Wild Poem: Guided Poetry Walk Saturday, April 29th 11am-12pm Open to both teens and adults, this will be a guided poetry walk through downtown Ukiah. Using various creative writing exercises and methods, we will make poems based on visual & aural observations of our surroundings, chance operations, & play with metrics, rhythm, & cadence to discover where the line breaks take us. Into the Wild Poem will be facilitated by Melissa Eleftherion Carr (MLIS, MFA), author of field guide to autobiography, huminsect, Pigtail Duty, and others. Registration is required — please call/email Melissa to sign up: 467- 6434/

We'll be recognizing Autism Awareness Month at this Saturday's Family Storytime with guests from the Redwood Coast Regional Center. Join us on April 29th at 11am for a special Inclusivity Storytime where we will read stories celebrating differences, with a craft to follow.

Join us for a reading with Amy Berkowitz, author of Tender Points! Teens & adults are invited to share poems in any form or style. Amy Berkowitz is the author of Tender Points, the editor of Mondo Bummer Books, the co-organizer of Sick Fest, and the host of the Amy's Kitchen Organics reading series. Light refreshments will be served. For more information —please contact Melissa at the Ukiah Library: 467-6434 or

* * *


Zakarias Grafilo, violin
Frederick Lifsitz, violin
Paul Yarbrough, viola
Sandy Wilson, cello

“An unusually fine group- musically, technically, in just about any way one wants to view it.” — THE NEW YORK TIMES

UKIAH, Calif. (April 17, 2017) - Half way into their 36th Season the Alexander String Quartet is among the world’s premier ensembles. They will be performing at Mendocino College, Center Theater on Saturday May 13, 2017 at 7:30 pm. The ASQ was formed in New York City in 1981 and was the first string quartet to win the Concert Artists Guild competition. By 1985 they had captured international attention as the first American string quartet to win the London International String Quartet Competition. Since 1989 the quartet has been Ensemble in Residence of San Francisco Performances and Directors of the Morrison Chamber Music Center at San Francisco State University. They will perform Mozart’s Quartet No. 22 K589, Shostakovich’s Quartet No. 7, Op. 108 and Walton’s Quartet in A minor (1947). The Quartet has previously been presented in Ukiah by Deep Valley Chamber Music Series performing Haydn, Ravel and Schumann as well as Mozart, Dvorak and Bartok. The Alexander String Quartet is widely admired for its interpretations and recordings of Mozart, Brahms and Shostakovich quartets as well as all the Beethoven quartets. Their recordings have won international critical acclaim and they are currently in the process of recording the complete cycle of Mozart quartets. Ukiah Community Concert Association has been presenting nationally acclaimed talent since 1947. This all-volunteer nonprofit’s mission is to build and maintain a permanent concert audience and cultivate an interest in fine music among the citizens of the community and surrounding area. It is also their goal to encourage music appreciation in the schools of the community.

Advance tickets are available at Mendocino Book Company, and online. Single tickets for this concert are $30 (adult) and $10 (youth). For more information call 707-463-2738, or visit us on Facebook and our website at

* * *

MAY DAY 2017 IN FORT BRAGG Join us in a march for workers, for the rights of women and the LGBT community, for a livable minimum wage and against racism and the unfair treatment of immigrants. We'll meet in Bainbridge Park (Laurel and Harrison Streets) at 3 P.M. on Monday, May 1, to hear Raul Guardoia of the Service Employees International Union. Then we'll march downtown with signs (yours or ours). When we return, musical entertainment and treats await. Sponsored by Occupy Mendocino and People Power Information: 937-0334

* * *


Memo from Berkeley's Graduate Theological Union Library

Just finished reading the New York Times article in regard to the Trump administration's first 100 days. A mentally absurd presidency, constantly contradictory, ignorant, and lost, seriously lost! Am now going downstairs to dip into Sri Aurobindo's "The Life Divine". Amidst the nauseating, crazily spinning Trumpocalypse, we all must continue making intelligent, crucial choices for ourselves. Having no future worth shit in materialism, I am choosing the DIVINE ABSOLUTE. Why not join me? ;-)

Craig Louis Stehr
April 25, 2017

* * *

by Elizabeth Archer

The Economic Development and Financing Corporation (EDFC) is a financial and economic development driver for Lake and Mendocino Counties, and now more than ever is a household name with a positive reputation in the community. The increased impact generated over the past several years is the result of a strong Governing Board and an effective staff. EDFC has created several significant programs over the past few years, and has positioned itself to expand its economic impact projects in the years to come. With EDFC on firm ground, Executive Director John Kuhry took the opportunity to accept an offer from the Mendocino Redwood Company (MRC). He announced his resignation at the April 13th Board meeting.

Kuhry will be working as the MRC Asset Manager in charge of everything from Sonoma to Humboldt. “I have loved working for EDFC and this was an incredibly hard decision,” says Kuhry. “However, this is a dream job for me.” His last day with EDFC will be Friday, April 28, and he will hit the ground running on Monday with MRC. The Board of Directors is working hard on a transition plan, and EDFC is currently accepting applications for the Executive Director position. In the meantime, Administrative Coordinator Diann Simmons will run the show. EDFC has come a long way in the 10 years since Kuhry joined the Board, later becoming Executive Director. With just two full-time staff, EDFC does a lot with a little.

EDFC is a non-profit that was founded in 1995 through a partnership among Mendocino’s four incorporated cities and the county, with a goal of coordinating and supporting economic development. Funding is provided through local, state, and federal government sources. EDFC focuses on economic development projects and provides access to capital for small businesses that are unable to get loans from traditional banks. Loans are the bread and butter of EDFC, providing over half of the revenue for the organization. As of December 2016, EDFC had disbursed 98 loans totaling more than $6 million, resulting in the creation of more than 310 jobs.

According to Simmons, “The relationship we have with our loan clients is personal and supportive. If people are late with a payment, we check in about the reason why and, if appropriate, make temporary adjustments.” For example, if a business experiences a winter slow-down, they may be able to make interest-only payments during that time. This is not the kind of relationship a small business owner would be able to develop with a bank, and having more flexible terms means a business is more likely to succeed.

EDFC works closely with other local organizations to maximize its impact. One of its partners is West Company, which also supports the development of small businesses and is equally invested in Mendocino County being an economically viable place to live and work. EDFC often refers loan applicants to West Company so they can prepare the business owner to get the loan. That assistance can range from the development of a business plan to financial planning to managerial training. In Lake County, similar assistance is provided through Community Development Services.

West Company Executive Director Mary Anne Petrillo is on the EDFC Board, and she is very excited for the opportunities that lie ahead for entrepreneurs in our community. Says Petrillo, “As long as EDFC can provide alternatives to traditional banks, our small businesses will have opportunities to grow and thrive.”

The three loan programs EDFC operates have to be balanced with the higher-cost, higher-labor economic development projects that aren’t always funded. For example, EDFC changed locations to become an anchor tenant at “The Center” on Bush Street in Ukiah, and raised $7,000 to launch the co-working Ukiah ShareSpace at the same location. “Our vision is for the ShareSpace to help build community by increasing networking and collaboration among small businesses,” says Simmons. “We also plan to apply for funds that will help us develop it as a small business incubator.” This may include subsidizing ShareSpace rent for entrepreneurs and providing technical assistance for low-income people starting up a new business.

Another new project was the creation of a Direct Public Offering (DPO), the first of its kind in California. Initiated in April 2015, the DPO is an innovative way for people to invest in their community, rather than a faceless and distant stock or bond. It also provides the opportunity to invest a relatively small amount, and enables people to feel good about their investment while also yielding a return: 2% per year for the six-year term. People were excited about the opportunity to invest their dollars into something they could see and wanted to support, and the DPO’s initial activity raised $354,000 from nearly 100 individual and organizational investors, far outpacing its $250,000 goal. “The DPO is the crown jewel of what we’ve done, in terms of the impact it will have in the community,” says Kuhry. The funds raised through the first DPO were put toward funding a local start-up: the Mendocino Wool & Fiber Mill, located in Ukiah. Matthew Gilbert has been shearing sheep almost his entire life, and is proud to be developing the only wool mill in Mendocino County.

Mendocino County Supervisor John McCowen has been on the EDFC Board for eight years, and has watched EDFC expand its purview under Kuhry’s leadership. “[Kuhry] put the ‘ED’ [economic development] into EDFC,” says McCowen. “Before that, we just did loans. He was very determined and very creative in finding new ways to access capital.” According to McCowen, “The DPO was John’s brainchild, and he put a lot of effort into other projects like biomass development and the co-working space. It’s hard to see how any of these efforts would have moved forward as far as they did without his involvement.”

Kuhry is proud of the work EDFC has done since he joined the Board and went on to become Executive Director. “Over the past 10 years, we’ve greatly improved EDFC’s reputation,” says Kuhry. “People didn’t know what we did, and we used to have empty board seats. Now, we have more interested applicants than seats.” He also cites the network that EDFC has built as one of its most important and impactful contributions to the area. “The community network across Lake and Mendocino Counties and even into Sonoma is an invaluable intangible asset,” he says. “The connections we’ve made will pay dividends for generations to come.” Kuhry has been the nexus of that network, but he’s confident that EDFC will continue the work he started and pursue new economic development projects.

“We’re going to miss him, but it’s a great opportunity for him and obviously we wish him well,” says McCowen. Kuhry is staying on with EDFC as a Board member, and is excited to see what the future holds. He’s particularly enthusiastic about the new Executive Director, whoever it may be. “We’re ready for some new blood to come in with fresh eyes and take it to the next level,” says Kuhry. “This is a tremendous opportunity for the right individual, and for the community as a whole.”

For more information about the job opening, call 707.234.5705 or email



  1. Randy Burke April 26, 2017

    RE Little dog….New regs 6 plants in a 10×10 space. Looks ok to me

  2. Lazarus April 26, 2017

    “RE: Vintage car crash fatality.
    Not wearing a seatbelt in an open cockpit sports car on a winding road in poor visibility and slick road conditions?
    Probably in a hurry to get to Smith Story’s grand opening.”
    Shane on you dude…I doubt you know shit about what really happened…!

    • Bill Pilgrim April 26, 2017

      You’re right. No commenter is completely free of an occasional gaffe.

      • Lazarus April 26, 2017

        Thank you. I’ve had my share of gaffes too.

  3. Bill Pilgrim April 26, 2017

    RE: Smith Story tasting room grand opening.
    blah, blah, blah…we’re more special!
    blah, blah, blah…deep appreciation of FAMILY OWNED blah blahs
    experienced, refined, sophisticated dispensers of pesticides & herbicides throughout several counties.
    Long time local tasting room serfs, um…employees, have hinted that if the venue is not within eyesight of a vineyard…visits and sales will be meager.
    8 months.

    RE: Vintage car crash fatality.
    Not wearing a seatbelt in an open cockpit sports car on a winding road in poor visibility and slick road conditions?
    Probably in a hurry to get to Smith Story’s grand opening.

  4. Jim Updegraff April 26, 2017

    A bad day for the A’s and Giants. Giants: Lost 2-1. Blach gave up 2 runs during his 4 innings and Kershaw for the Dodgers 1. That was it and the Giants lost another game.
    A’s lost in a 11 innings game 2 to 1. Score was 0 – 0 at the end of 9 innings. Hahn for Oakland went 8 innings and had 1 hit. Ramirez for the Angels went 7 innings with 2 hits. A’s scored 1 run and Casila then blew the lead and Madson loss the game. Another excellent game by Hahn but the bull pen couldn’t do their job.

    • Stephen Rosenthal April 26, 2017

      They’re slow afoot and can’t hit. Bochy manages the hand he’s been dealt, but playing for a 3 run homer with Punch and Judy (minus the punch) hitters is akin to going all in while hoping to fill an inside straight. The Giants philosophy has been pitching, pitching and more pitching, which is fine if you get into the playoffs but makes the road to the playoffs very difficult, especially if your ace is done for a long time. Keep in mind that when the Giants have made the playoffs in recent years it’s been as a Wild Card entrant, not a Division winner. Unless they do the unlikely and pull off a blockbuster trade, I don’t see a turnaround anytime soon.

      • George Hollister April 26, 2017

        Yea, and Bumgarner is supposed to be out for 2 months. That means until the second half of the season. Not good. From what we have seen up to now, the Dodgers are not the Giants real competition, either. Barring injuries, the Rockies and Diamond Backs look like they are for real.

  5. MarshallNewman April 26, 2017

    A big thank you and salute to the Anderson Valley Unity Club for its hard work in putting on the Wildflower Show. It is a truly unique and special event.

  6. BB Grace April 26, 2017

    Bohemian Grove Vs Evil Deplorables:

    Last September conspiracy had BG uniting against Trump, which created a “basket of deplorables”.

    Alex Jones is evil only to those that conspire with BG. Why is MSM interested in AJ all of a sudden when the hologram of Obama is more fun?

  7. Paul McCarthy April 26, 2017

    Those fatal accident photos really show the damage suffered by the vehicle. How about giving credit to the person who took the time to drive to the scene and TAKE them – me. Oh yeah, they are also copyighted. I’m sure it’s an oversight, but please give credit where credit is due.

    • Bruce Anderson April 26, 2017

      Yeah. Sorry, Paul. Meant to but credit seems to have disappeared in the ethers.

    • Lazarus April 26, 2017

      Any idea what happened? Oldies like that could and have had catastrophic steering problems, tie rods breaking or coming lose, king pin issues, and I’ve seen wheels coming off…hub nut failures, etc…terrible, you go out for a ride and get offed.

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