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Mendocino County Today: Friday, April 28, 2017

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JUST IN FROM BIG ORANGE (Friday morning)

Caltrans is reporting that Hwy 101 may be open to one-way controlled traffic by sundown today, barring any further slide activity or other unforeseen circumstances.

The contractor’s crews have been working to knock down debris so that it won’t continue to fall. [Photo by Lynn Harrington]
Our contractor was able to resume some work towards the end of the shift yesterday; these photos were taken yesterday evening and show the area above the slope and the road down below. Crews have cleared a path for equipment and vehicles to move back-and-forth between the two staging areas on either side of the slide, but there’s more work to be done before the highway can be opened to traffic.

The roadway is visible again! [Photo from Caltrans]
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Caltrans District 1 release:

US101 CLOSURE UPDATE (4/27, 3:45 pm):

The slide north of Leggett in Mendocino County has been much more active this afternoon. Currently, operations have been suspended at the site and no work will be permitted to take place tonight out of concern for worker safety.

We still hope to reopen the highway to one-way traffic before the weekend, but continued slide activity may further delay a reopening.

Prior to work being suspended, crews snapped this photo of the spider excavator positioned at the top of the slide where it has been working to clear material that could otherwise come down in an uncontrolled manner.

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Although we are still awaiting the "official" press release from the Mendocino County Sheriff regarding the fatal accident north of Fort Bragg Tuesday, we noted the Mendocino Coast Childrens Fund has stepped up (as they always do) and organized a fundraiser.

Annie Liner wrote: "Alex, age 22 was a 2013 FBHS graduate. Alex was killed in a tragic local logging accident on April 25th 2017, just three weeks after he and his beloved Mayari Aguayo became parents to their adored baby daughter, Ezra."

If you don't "do" online transactions, here's an address to mail donations (with the notation: MCCF Misfortune Fund).

MCCF Misfortune Fund c/o
Mendocino Coast Children's Fund
P O Box 1616
Mendocino, CA 95460

Please donate to our Misfortune Fund to help children and families in their time of need. 100% goes to local families in crisis.


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by Rex Gressett

We have had quite a few impressive fires over the years in metropolitan Fort Bragg. It’s all of these little wooden buildings cheek and jowl. Famously, in 1987, in one grand night of arson-for-profit and revenge, the library, the adjacent Ten Mile Justice Court and the Piedmont Hotel went up in flames. Later the Oak Hotel next door.

Still one is not normally waiting for a fire that has not occurred. In Fort Bragg we officially have been. Since 1995, it has been the official policy of the city of Fort Bragg to wait in grim anticipation of the most stunning fire of all, which has not yet actually happened. This yet to be fire is expected to happen in our two largest downtown blocks. These central business blocks are bounded by Highway One to the west and Franklin to the east, Laurel to the north and Redwood to the south.

This is the big commercial block that includes Headlands Coffee House. It is the oldest part of Fort Bragg’s commercial district. The beautiful old buildings have common walls, old wiring, old wood and no sprinklers. In 1995 an ancient City Council, seeing the potential for disaster and being unable politically to simply command business owners to install sprinkler systems, mandated that new tenants doing any serious remodeling in these two central business district blocks would be required to install sprinklers. That was a tad more than twenty years ago. No sprinklers yet.

The development director not too long ago made a glancing mention to the City Council, during the discussion of another matter, that in her recent experience there had been a number of proposals for development in these two blocks which have been killed by this ordinance. Any remodeling that costs more than $75,000 requires the developer to put in sprinklers. At $13 per square foot that was enough to stop all proposed remodels. The estimated cost of outfitting the two blocks is about two million.

In other Fort Bragg news. It is no news but….

The housing crisis in Fort Bragg is crushing us. If you can get a place to live, it becomes possible to work from home, take a second job, bring in family to help make the rent. You can do things. In the flickering economic life of our city, as business after business succumbs to the cash exporting big boxes, families, by pure grit, have still somehow increased household income. Not personal incomes, they ain’t going up. But as households and families we are struggling, innovating and figuring it out. Still it remains a hard fact that you can not play at all in the economic game if you can’t find a place to live.

A while back the Fort Bragg City Council was astonished to learn that there were 29 residential apartments located in commercial or industrial zones which could not be rented because of the damn zoning.

That was a real head scratcher.

After the Council absorbed this information and talked about the irony of this little regulation, they decided to allow ten of them to be rented.

Why ten?, you might be thinking. Why not allow all 29 to be rented? Give 29 families a chance to get a roof instead of ten. Why ten?

No light was cast on that mystery at the Council meeting. Councilman Dave Turner said that they just felt better walking before running.

I brought this matter up at the mayor’s Monday morning meeting with Councilman Will Lee who, as Vice Mayor, was standing in for the absent Mayor. The group of early morning attendees were informally discussing the housing crisis. Will Lee was talking in a confident vein about big bucks projects to put in more subsidized housing. He was as puzzled as anyone about the 29 units assigned to zoning limbo and assured me that very evening at the city council meeting he would bring this to the attention of the council.

The City Council meeting that evening was a free wheeling demonstration of the City Manager’s ability to squeeze big chunks of cash out of the council at her whim without undue discussion or any untoward concern with common sense.

Will Lee had a bit of hard time obtaining the city manager’s attention. She is not used to unsolicited feedback from the council. But Councilman Lee persisted and asked his question. That was bringing it before the council I guess. Our City Manager looked slightly confused for a moment and tossed the question over her shoulder, as it were, to the Development Director Ms. Marie Jones. The Development Director was no more accustomed to being accosted by what they both thought was a tamed and submissive City Council than the City Manager. This little interruption by a councilman that they had put securely in the bag with care, had a suspicious odor (not of confrontation) but perhaps of unwanted autonomous thinking. “Do you mean,” Saith the Development Director, “the Live Work Ordinance?” By which she meant a progressive but wholly unused zoning innovation, legitimately the brainchild of the Development Director, that allows artists or craftsman to live in their own studios.

Of course, Will Lee was referring to no such thing. “It will be ok”, said the Development Director. That answered the question. Councilman Lee accepted that for the moment and the council wandered home having passed all that the City Manager had asked for and gone to sleep.

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LITTLE DOG SAYS, The All-In-One guys were here to take out some old logs. Good dudes. Most people just tell me to shut up and get out of the way. But the one kid stopped to give me a pat on the back and tell me I'm a good dog, which I mos def am. If you need any kind of tree work, these are the people you want. They get in, get it done and get out.”

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& Other Items From Next Tuesday’s Board Of Supervisors Agenda

Board Of Supervisors Agenda — May 02, 2017 — 9:00 AM

Wanna Go Into the Pot Business?

Item 5g: Public Workshop — Discussion and Possible Direction to Staff Regarding a Presentation on Proposed Business License Ordinance and Zoning Regulations for the Processing, Manufacturing, Testing, Dispensing/Retail and Distribution of Medical Cannabis and Adult Use Cannabis Within the Unincorporated Areas of Mendocino County (Sponsor: Planning and Building)


Here’s what the County and the State Require (for starters):

(“While the specific requirements, form and application fees are still under development, section 19322 provides an outline of the required application documents. Prior to application for a State license, a medical cannabis business must obtain a permit from the local jurisdiction. State license applications will, at a minimum, require the following”:

Documentation issued by the local jurisdiction

Evidence of legal right to occupy and use the proposed location

For cultivators and dispensaries, provide evidence that proposed location is at least beyond a 600-foot radius from a school

Provide a statement that the information provided is complete, true and accurate

Provide a seller’s permit number

Provide any other information required by the licensing authority

For applicants seeking a cultivation license, provide a statement declaring the applicant is an ‘agricultural employer’ as defined by the Alatorre-Zenovich-Dunlap-Berman Agricultural Labor Relations Act of 1975

For applicant’s seeking licensure as a testing laboratory, register with the State Department of Public Health and provide any information required by the State Department of Public Health

Pay all applicable fees for licensure required by licensing authority

For applicants seeking licensure to cultivate, distribute or manufacture medical cannabis, the applicant shall also include a detailed description of the applicant’s operating procedures for all of the following:

Cultivation, Extraction and infusion methods, Transportation process, Inventory procedures, Quality control procedures

Home Manufacturing Of Pot Products:

Manufacturing As An Accessory To Permitted CultivationBased on the testimony received from several members of the public, staff was asked to develop language that would allow for non-volatile manufacturing of cannabis as an accessory use to a permitted cultivation operation. Upon further review, there may be concerns about this type of use being allowed as an accessory/home occupation use where cultivation is currently allowed. Staff is working with several community members and staff from Environmental Health in developing a threshold/level of home manufacturing that may be acceptable. It will take more input and study to develop the criteria for allowing any type of home manufacturing or making a determination that it should not be allowed. Staff would request additional time to work towards acceptable criteria and language before any further determination is made on this item.

Accessory Non-volatile Manufacturing

In addition to concerns noted above about the appropriateness of accessory manufacturing in certain zoning districts there are questions about if manufacturing can occur in habitable spaces. Section 20.243.070(D) currently contains the following general limitation:

“The processing, manufacturing, testing, dispensing, retailing, and distributing of medical and adult use cannabis is not permitted within any habitable space (i.e., kitchen, bedroom, bathroom, living room or hallway) of a dwelling unit nor is it permitted within any required parking space.”

However, accessory manufacturing is likely to occur within a kitchen. Staff is seeking direction from the Board to clarify where accessory non-volatile manufacturing may occur with a dwelling unit.

Cannabis Farmers Markets and “Bud and Breakfast” facilities

Staff was asked to consider the feasibility of regulating cannabis farmers markets and “Bud and Breakfast” facilities. The State has not issued guidelines related to such facilities and as such staff recommends delaying any policies related to local regulation of these uses until the State releases more information.

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PS. "The Agriculture Department requests the three vehicles for field inspections in the Cannabis Program. The Vehicles are (3) Toyota Tacoma SR, 4-Wheel Drive, Extended Cab, Standard Bed, Pickup Trucks. The funds are available for transfer due to savings within the Agriculture Department. $30,000 each."

PPS. "The Department of Planning and Building Services requests [a similar] vehicle to conduct field inspections in the cannabis program. The vehicle is a Toyota Tacoma SR, 4-Wheel Drive, Extended Cab, Standard Bed, Pickup Truck. The funds are available for transfer due to savings within the Department of Planning and Building Services."

Full Staff Memo:

BOS SR Memo 5.2

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(from the Proposed Mental Health Month Proclamation proposed and sponsored by Supervisor Dan Hamburg for the May 2, 2017 Board meeting)

“Whereas, the Mendocino County Health and Human Services Agency is committed to transforming the way mental health services are provided to include: evidenced based treatment, support, integration of mental health, substance use disorders and primary care services, early intervention with a help-first rather than fail-first approach and community Wellness and Recovery Centers where clients can find hope, empowerment, personal responsibility, and a meaningful role in life…”

The proclamation provides no specifics or references to specifics about how this vague and unprovable goal can or will be achieved.

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Mendocino County Department of Transportation staff has been performing site reviews with staff from the California Emergency Management Agency (Cal EMA) and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). It will cost approximately $8.3 million to restore the most critical “B” (protective measures) and “C” (permanent repair) list sites this year and will be financed using normal material operating funds. Reimbursement of somewhere in the range of 75% to 93.75% is expected.

Mendocino County’s Federal Highway Administration Agency (FHWA) eligible “on system” roads have approximately nine storm-related damage sites, and the process of notification and application is ongoing. These seven sites (three from 2016) have an estimated repair cost of approximately $3.5 million, which will also be financed using normal material operating funds. Reimbursement of 88.53% is expected.

All nine FHWA-ER 2016-17 sites are listed below:

Main Street, Mendocino

Branscomb Road
(two sites, 3rd priority)

Comptche Ukiah/Orr Springs Road 
(two sites, 1st priority)

Mountain View Road 
(three sites, 2nd priority)

Bell Springs

All thirty-seven Cal EMA/FEMA 2017 sites are listed below:

Peachland Road,
Ridgeway Highway,
Eel River Road,
Shimmins Ridge Road, Albion Little River Road, Laytonville Dos Rios Road, Low Gap Road, Pine Ridge Road, Primrose Drive, Peacock Drive, Mallard Street, Robinson Creek Road, Blue Lake Terrace, Fish Rock Road, Spring Grove Drive, Blackhawk Drive, Nokomis Road, Old Toll Road, University Road, Marina Drive, Briceland Road, Spy Rock Road, Poonkinney Road.

The estimate of total damage to the County Maintained Road System is approximately $11.8 million. MCDoT office staff is working very hard to ensure that Mendocino County receives all the emergency funds that we qualify for.

Due to the good weather MCDoT Road Division personnel are trying to get caught up on small slide cleanup and pothole patching. The spring storms brought heavy rains and more mudslides and slip outs countywide. This produced earth and vegetation debris which will have to be moved to permanent sites. Other temporary repairs will need to be made permanent, so the impact of the storms will affect the Road Division workload for a long time to come. Pothole patching is very severe this year and time spent on normal spring activities like mowing and grading will be impacted negatively.

Roads Closed or Limited:

Mallard Street,

Laytonville Dos Rios Road Limited to small vehicles

Shimmins Ridge Road, Opened — one lane only

Albion Little River Road, Opened — one lane only

Mountain View Road, Opened — one lane only

Peachland Road,
 Limited to small vehicles

Orr Springs Road,
 Opened — one lane only

Eel River Road, One lane local traffic only

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Summary of Request:

The County of Mendocino has received a grant for California Advanced Services Fund (CASF) in the amount of $27,500 for services related to public utilities, such as Broadband. This agreement would also include $30,000 in Economic Development funds from Budget Unit 1810, Line Item 862189 (Professional Services). Planning and Building Services request the Board approve the agreement with Patricia Steel to provide services related to Broadband, including, but not limited to managing the North Bay North Coast Broadband Consortium and functioning as the Chair for the Broadband Alliance of Mendocino County, providing a work plan for the grant, regularly updating the County CEO and Oversight Committee members, submitting quarterly reports, prepare quarterly invoices to Sonoma County Economic Development Board (EDB) and maintaining an awareness of state and national proprieties and legislation.

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Once again we in California have the opportunity to create a single-payer universal healthcare system through SB 562. If the last month has taught us one thing it’s that our healthcare will continue to be a political tug-of-war in Washington DC. In California, we have the infrastructure and talent to make single-payer a success. We just need the political will to make it happen. Read about it at

Stefanie Kaku, Carmel

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by Annie Waters, Little Lake Grange, Willits

The AVA needs news and loves a good argument, but this set of “Grange War” articles is sending good community people into ever worsening upsets with each other. Is that doing us any good up here in Mendo? AVA — I think you have a responsibility to your community as well as to your barrel of ink. It has done no one any good to hear about one version of the “Grange fight”, much less how we good Grangers feel being stained with lies and propaganda by our neighbors. Beyond pointing fingers and making fault, the current spate of articles and radio shows has done the service work of all our communities and the Grange halls we steward great harm.

We have maintained for years these old Granges. The buildings need constant repair; the community depends on these halls for getting together and entertaining our communities as we do so well in our rural county.

The promise of the California Grange of 2011 was slowed by a small legal problem that was not handled well by either side. It grew. The original reasons do not matter anymore as most do not know or understand. What we are left with is a Community Nightmare that is still unfolding and taking so much of our limited resources — volunteer service time, emotional turmoil, and lots of money to benefit lawyers. Taking away from our true focus.

Where there was such great hope in 2010, the current negative press about the Grange is squarely the fault of some misguided Guild members. I am sorry to have to say this. Some people are going out of their way to build a coalition of hate among community members. Is that in line with the higher values of the Grange that Bob McFarland so clearly expressed a few years ago?

Is it the intention of a few people who do not find the Grange to be a place for them — to attack the Grange for purposes of destroying it? Are they creating negative press to ruin the Grange movement? All the hard work of 150 years of our Grange ancestors to be thrown away to prove some point that everyone has forgotten what it was in the first place? Could 100 years of Grange legacy be thrown away in 5 years?

Grangers want and will continue to maintain their local Grange Hall and continue the traditions of the people who began that Grange and donated or volunteered to build it long ago. Community service. Bringing people together for food and fun. We want everyone to join us, find the joy in being together, working together, building relationships.

The Grange is also continuing the movement that began at the grass roots level 150 years ago with a goal of defending the small farmer who was striving to get products to market in an economically reasonable way.

Complicating this is a widespread untruth by the “Guild” people (who want to take Grange Halls) that there has been a change in the Digest of Laws of the National Grange. This scares communities into fearing that the Grange halls may be taken away by the State Grange, despite having been built and maintained by the communities where the halls are located. There has been no change, & this is not true. This lie is causing people to get upset and go against each other to try and protect halls that need no protection from the State Grange. If you look at the California State Grange Bylaws that were being used under Bob McFarland’s leadership in 2013 you will see the same exact language that is being used today in the National Grange Digest of Laws. Why? Because McFarland took those bylaws almost word for word from the National Digest, which still reads the same as it did. Check it out, I did.

What is true, is that the title to our buildings are listed in the name of the local Grange. For example, the deed to Redwood Valley Grange says the property belongs to “the Redwood Valley Grange”. Period. Not some person or a group of people or the State Grange or any other organization like the newly hatched “Guild”.

The building is supposed to be kept as a Grange. Maintained by Grangers. Used by the community as a Grange Hall. Just like has been done for a hundred years. In fact — we need more people to become Grangers to save, maintain and rebuild these halls, create better local resources and build relationships to help us all survive in these turbulent times. I would add that the individual Grange’s articles of incorporation tie them to the National Grange’s bylaws.

The Grange bylaws at every level are very clear on the relationship of the Grange and properties, including oversight, anti-corruption, and also clearly state what happens if a building reverts to the State Grange in case of a loss of membership. The State Grange has no interest in owning and maintaining the expenses of a large public building for 7 years just so they can sell it and then keep the money in a trust fund for another 7 years, until finally in 14 years the money can be used to help buy another Grange in the area or do improvements on a neighboring Grange Hall, or if nothing else can happen locally...”be used in accordance with the general purposes of the Order”. In 2016 California State Grange took that definition further; “any funds coming from real property will be reinvested back into real property — repairs, building improvement loans, or new Grange Halls”. The State Master wants to stop the past cannibalization and liquidation of property in order to fulfill other budget needs.

Let’s do the math. In 7 years, the insurance on a large public building, maintenance costs, taxes and other fees, including the cost of maintaining an employee just to manage and track these multiple things is enormous and hardly belongs in a category of greed or mischief by any standing President or officer who might benefit personally. (The bylaws also state that no individual can benefit from these sales). 14 years to profit by some sale? Hardly. The State Grange shells out a lot to save these buildings for 7 years in case someone wants to reorganize it!

Because of the original and further legal issues, there are a number of lawsuits at the state level that are working their ways through the court system. Including appeals, it will take many thousands more to finalize the arguments, which are so far all being won by the Grange — because the court agrees that the properties are titled in the name of “Grange”, intended to stay as Granges, as they were intended by those who came before us, our ancestors who gave their money and time to create these halls in the first place. Protected also by the structure of the Grange which includes a set of charters, constitutions and bylaws at every level.

What started as an unfortunate and simple problem years ago could have been mediated, but that didn’t happen, and so here we are now. Mistakes have been on made on both sides. There will be no winner.

I appeal to the “Guild” propaganda machine that is running at full speed trying to blind the community to reality. It is they who are pouring gasoline on this turmoil to ruin our communities. Here in Willits we are lucky to find agreement among ourselves quietly and peacefully, stay working together as a Grange. We are happy we did not join the Guild. Our work is about community, building farmers and growing food systems, not about breaking down doors and sleeping “on watch” in a Grange as in Fort Bragg where the “Guild” has forcibly taken over the building.

If a motorcycle club or any other group wanted to have a place to do their thing they could join a Grange Hall & try to take it over. A few years down the line they might want to sell it and who knows what happens with the money. The Grange system specifically is designed to preserve from one generation to another the contribution that many generations of Grangers have made to their local hall/community. Those Grangers’ efforts were made to pass their good work onto future generations. The beauty of the Grange is that its structure preserves and supports that intention.

Let us repeat that the 12 month old (filed on June 23, 2016) newly minted organization called the “Guild” can of course use Grange halls, just as every other community group does; they just can’t take them away from the 150 year old organization that is the Grange, that has maintained them for so long and well. Remember the Obligation we all made when we joined.

One other comment we hear from the “California Guild”, is that the National Grange and thus the California State Grange are subject to undue influence by Monsanto and other multinational corporations. Is this true? There is no evidence of it. It is an unfounded and unsupported rumor. Please advise me of an actual accounting of such an event or communication or money exchanging hands. I would like to see it for myself.

It is up to us, the grassroots Grange members, to educate our community and fellows — to let everyone know as best we can — what we care about. Perhaps it is about sustainability and climate change and other issues of great importance to us. It is a great opportunity to speak to people with whom we disagree, using the values we have sworn to uphold, with Charity to those who think differently.

Locally — we have the ability to affect & change the policies of the Grange at all levels by the Grange process of Resolutions. Just as we proponents of Local and Organic Food systems are working to help all people we meet to better understand the benefits of sustainable and regenerative farming, of clean and safe foods, we in the Grange are empowered to educate our fellow Grangers across the country in these things. This can’t be done unless you are IN THE GRANGE. Our process empowers us to make change, unlike so many other organizations. That is why it feels good to be a Granger.

Fault for this fight lies with neither Grange nor Guild exclusively, but rather with this lack of trust on the part of some individuals in each group. Unfortunately, this means that the efforts of communities are being spent dealing with this difference of opinion instead of making things happen to benefit their whole community. I honestly hope that we can get past these difficulties so that we may function together, with mutual respect for the opinions of others. I have seen great stride in moving onward in the healing process. Poor reporting & unfounded fake news that is being reported is taking some folks back a step. The California State Grange website has court documents, unfiltered, that explain much of the information and facts in this situation.

Grangers — take heart! You are definitely on the right path. The Grange is what you have been and will be, in these buildings and in your community.

Please believe me, if we continue on with our good works of service, continue to bring people together, who want to make a difference, work as community, this can all be in the past. I hope for that very soon.

Who am I? I am an 11 year long Grange member, have held many offices, including Past President of our local Willits Grange as well as currently serving as Mendocino County Pomona Grange Program Director, and am a past officer of the California State Grange. I am a 7th degree member in the Assembly of Demeter, the highest degree anyone can hold in our National Organization. I am the author of a book called “the Spirit of the Grange”, which reminds us of our core values and how we can create positive relationships with Grange spirit.

With Faith, Hope, Charity and Fidelity,

Annie Waters, Proud to be a Granger

Little Lake Grange, Willits

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RE THE SINKING OF THE SAN JUAN, an old salt writes:

"There's no room in the harbor for a boat of that length unless it's tied along the breakwater wall with no direct access. The late Abernathy who sold it to Gressett was a notoriously cheap boat slum lord. At one time he had hundreds of derelict boats piled up on the land up river, with the idea of selling off all their old salmon and crab permits. The county or state (not sure) made him clean the mess up. Getting rid of the San Juan to some gadfly unsuspecting hippie was a slick move. The San Juan was no longer seaworthy and sooner or later something bad was going to happen. To my knowledge she’s been tied to the dock for almost 40 years and never hauled out for bottom maintenance. Now she’s basically a hazard to navigation."

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by Fred Gardner

Fred Gardner Writes: An expanded version of the following can be found at

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Just arrived in the mailbox is a book called Dangerous Grounds, which recounts how coffeehouses set up near Army bases became hangouts for soldiers during the Vietnam War era. I started the first such enterprise with Donna Mickleson and Devorah Rossman — the UFO coffeehouse in Columbia, South Carolina — in the fall of 1967.

The author, David Parsons, a historian with an NYU affiliation and a contract from the University of North Carolina Press, interviewed me for the book a while back. Now I'm uneasy about opening it. What if he got it wrong? What if he got it right? Of what use can this material be in 2017?

On the front cover I see Donna and Devorah and Sp4 Marty Blumsack, "permanent party" at Fort Jackson, who had attended the trial of Dr. Howard Levy (court-martialed earlier that year for refusing to train Green Berets in the healing arts). Marty became a de facto staffer at the UFO. His tales of Dr. Levy's braveness and integrity encouraged everyone who heard them. Among the frequent patrons were SNCC organizers, including Cleveland Sellers. A University of South Carolina student, Judy Olasov, joined the crew. The UFO was the first integrated hangout in Columbia, not just for whites and blacks, but for GIs and students, and on week-end nights we drew hundreds of people.

Prominent among the posters on the coffeehouse wall is a blow-up of a classic botanical drawing of the Cannabis Sativa plant. I can also make out John Lennon as a soldier in "How I Won the War," a mushroom cloud, WC Fields, Mama Cass (of the Mamas and the Papas), Jackie Gleason as Minnesota Fats, Lyndon Johnson picking up a beagle by the ears, and a Fillmore poster. (Bill Graham had donated several sets of posters as we headed off for the East Coast. And Alan Meyerson of the Committee revealed the secret to running a cabaret: wiring that enables you to control the stage lights while standing at the cash register.)

Back then, ending marijuana prohibition was intertwined with ending the war and ending discrimination of all kinds as a goal of the movement. Oliver Stone's movie "Platoon," set in '67 in a combat zone near the Cambodian border, dramatizes the stoner/juicer divide, with the stoners growing increasingly ambivalent about the mission itself. (Willem Dafoe was great. Forest Whitaker and Johnny Depp had minor roles.) Ron Cobb's cartoon "Pacification," drawn for the LA Free Press and syndicated by Liberation News Service to underground papers, depicted soldiers blowing grass (in broad daylight) as an alternative to combat. Cobb's graphic was an obvious exaggeration with a potent element of truth and a more-than-double-entendre meaning: Who is getting pacified? How is pacification achieved?

Cobb's cartoon found its way into a little broadsheet called "Aboveground," produced by soldiers at Fort Carson, Colorado in 1969. The article it adjoined was called "The Pot Culture." I wonder if the anonymous author went on to become a sociologist.

“The American community in Vietnam is divided into two major sub-cultures which are closely related in their activities. One culture is seeking pot and the other is seeking the Pot Seekers. This gives everybody a chance to play. The 'Wet' Culture is comprised of the officers, senior NCOs and a small number of lower-ranking enlisted men, The Pot Culture on the other hand, encompasses as high as 85 percent of all troops 18-26 years of age, including a number of Officers (mostly Company grade). Mary Jane has won the hearts of and minds of our troops.

"Did pot come from the jungle to the campus or did it travel to the jungle with the student turned soldier? Conjecture would have it that certainly there is more pot growing in the jungles than on the campuses… even of the Agricultural Institutions.

"Young men, who in no other environment than Vietnam would have even considered smoking Pot, are being turned on everyday. When they return from the war many of them place their new influence where it had not hitherto been, which could very well be the cause of the snowball effect in the States. If one already understands the ways of 'Mary Jane,' chances are he will find a suitable source in less than a week from his day of arrival from Vietnam. If one is not yet familiar with this young Lady, it may take a month before he sees the Pot culture all around him."


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The research involved a particular species of a widespread yet little-known type of invertebrate.

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* * *

CATCH OF THE DAY, April 27, 2017

Azmi, Delbridge, Dunsing

SHELLY AZMI, Fort Bragg. Domestic battery.

JAZMINE DELBRIDGE, Ukiah. Drunk in public.

NICKOLAS DUNSING, Fort Bragg. Attempted grand theft, conspiracy, paraphernalia, probation revocation.

Kerl, Keys, Madson

KEITH KERL, Willits. Probation revocation.

RONALD KEYS, Ukiah. Domestic battery, criminal threats, failure to appear, probation revocation.

VANCE MADSON, Boulder, Colorado/Ukiah. Drunk in public, probation revocation.

McNeill, Mitchell, Morris

CHRISTOPHER MCNEILL, Fort Bragg. Statutory rape, rape while victim is unconscioius or asleep, oral copulation by person over 21 and victim under 16.

STEVEN MITCHELL, Ukiah. Probation revocation.

JAMES MORRIS, Willits/Ukiah. False imprisonment, parole violation.

Ocobock, Valador, Williams

CHERALL OCOBOCK, Ukiah. Probation revocation.

MONIQUE VALADOR, Fort Bragg. Attempted grand theft, conspiracy, probation revocation.

DONOVAN WILLIAMS, Ukiah. Failure to appear.

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“One thing that used to occupy the center was public discussion, debate, and argumentation.”

It could again if we convert churches to local ethical debate societies where local, state and national issues and laws were politely debated, and above all, understood in factual terms instead of the fake news sky-is-falling chain email fashion. Debates of ethics could include biblical passages that speak to an issue, along with other perspectives. Voter registration, civics education, League of Women Voters, there’s a long list of needs in our society that could be filled by local gathering places, free of all religious fiction.

Recycled church buildings could host social organizations of many stripes, from kids in scouting, to the Lions Club, to the neighborhood soccer team. On a few trips to Germany over the years I noticed most small towns had its own sports/swim club, a place for locals to actually play as opposed to sitting on our fat American asses, swilling beer and watching mega-million dollar pro athletes on TV. My father’s generation used to work all day in smokestack industries then go play hardball in local industrial leagues. Ever see an obese soccer player?

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A Reader Writes: “Yes, there is life beyond Trump.”

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OR, (yes, that's an "o" and an "r" and a comma!), a neo-Restoration comedy about playwright Aphra Behn, continues this Thursday, Friday, and Saturday at 8pm. Tickets <> are just $25, or $12 for youth 22 and under. Mendocino and Fort Bragg high school students get in FREE this weekend! Just show your student i.d. at the box office (subject to availability).

The opening weekend audience just LOVED it! Here are a few of the comments:

"What a delightful evening! Being a longtime fan of Aphra Behn, I found the play witty (like her), funny, and very well acted!! Five Stars!" — A.J.

"GREAT PLAY!! So fun, witty and fast, I loved it!" — H.B.

"Saw it tonight, and I highly recommend it. Great character switches, and high energy." — D.S.

Purchase your tickets online <> or phone the box office, 707-937-4477.

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One man reported that he had been abducted by a UFO. (Image: Paulo Alegria/flickr/cc)

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) on Wednesday unveiled its controversial immigrant crime office, complete with a hotline for U.S. citizens to report alleged crimes committed by undocumented aliens—which was promptly overwhelmed with calls about extraterrestrials, UFOs, and First Lady Melania Trump.

The Victims of Immigration Crime Engagement Office (VOICE), which was announced in February, has been slammed by critics as a tool to scapegoat and demonize immigrants to serve President Donald Trump's "nativist" rhetoric. DHS chief John Kelly introduced the office at a press conference Wednesday where he refused to take questions from reporters, stating, "There's nothing but goodness in what we're doing here today."

Opponents disagreed. And they seemed to enjoy trolling the hotline after its introduction, with one man, Marine Corps veteran and journalist Alexander McCoy, telling BuzzFeed that he reported being abducted by a UFO.

"I think it's powerful to see the response there's been. I think there are a lot of people who have been searching for something they can do to speak out, and I'm glad that so many people are showing solidarity with the immigrant community," McCoy said.


  1. james marmon April 28, 2017

    Grange Wars.

    “the deed to Redwood Valley Grange says the property belongs to “the Redwood Valley Grange”. Period. Not some person or a group of people or the State Grange or any other organization like the newly hatched “Guild”.”

    I haven’t seen the deed yet because a restraining order inhibits me from contacting any County office but I assure you that it was not my great grandfather’s intent to give that land to the State Grange. At one time the Woolley’s owned a large portion of east side Redwood Valley and were very community minded. Not only did my grandfather donate the Grange land to the community, he also donated the land where the old Redwood Valley School currently sits empty.

    “Formed Feb. 9, 1920, Sequoia school was located in Redwood Valley, its name being a term used for the giant trees which once grew along the Russian River area. The Mendocino County Book of Deeds; May 12, 1921. J. M. Wooley and Florence Wooley, his wife, to the Redwood Valley School District; 4.31 acres to be used for school purposes, for the sum of $10.”

    For years and years a granite monument sat in front of the school recognizing J.M. Woolley’s gift to his community. We have no idea where that is now.

    My half brother Dan Woolley wants me to look into the both the School and Grange situations and make sure that both properties are only used for the specific purpose and only by the people our family meant them to be used by.

    James Marmon aka J.M. Woolley

    • BB Grace April 28, 2017

      The Guild changed the title on the Fort Bragg Grange March 21st to ownership: The Guild, even though there are still enough Grange members. McFarland lost March 27 when the court sided with the State Grange who told the sub ordinate Grange Members in good standing to take back their Grange halls and why they went to put on new locks.

      As long as there are Grange members in good standing, the Grange hall remains serving the community of Grangers as J. M. Woosley intended, as the Grange is built to sustain generations of Grangers in a community.

      I bet J. M. Woosley would have loved it if you were a Granger Mr. Marmon.

      • james marmon April 28, 2017


        • BB Grace April 28, 2017

          My apologies Mr. Marmon.

  2. Alice Chouteau April 28, 2017

    The dire dilemma of downtown Fort Bragg’s vulnerability to a disastrous fire needs to be seriously addressed asap. With the number of unsheltered and unpoliced homeless downtown, able to squat in the vacant wooden structures, the danger of a warming/cooking fire going rogue makes a bad situation even worse. City manager Ruffing boasted last year that the City had garnered “tens of millions” in grant money for pet projects. How about a grant or two to help tenants and owners add sprinkler systems???
    Federal grants might be unobtainable, if the City pursues its intention to allow Marijuana dispensaries and a pot processing plant in city limits–has this glitch been considered, or is the projected cash flow worth this loss?
    There is widespread disappointment that despite an election proving the desire for major change in city gov, unelected officials, Ruffing and Jones, are still running the show. It’s up to the Council to regain their power, and to stop running things under the Turner model. Having a ‘strong city manager’ is just one model of governance, not the rule.

  3. Jim Updegraff April 28, 2017

    MLB: Both the Giants and A’s lost their games despite good pitching by the starter. A’s lost 2-1 despite Graveman going 6 innings and giving up only 2 runs. The hitters were not hitting (only 3 hits).

    The Giant’s bull pen blew the game after Moore went 7 innings and gave up 1 earned run Relief pitchers gave up 4 runs and Giants Lost 5-1. Plus the hitters produced 1 run.

  4. Jeff Costello April 28, 2017

    Don’t anyone complain about the baseball stuff. The Mighty Editor is a big sports fan. Me, I hate football but like the last game of the World Series, and saw a Brooklyn Dodgers game at Ebbets field in 1955. My uncle in Brooklyn had a ball autographed by that whole team. Any serious collector might want to contact Jim Gibbons here. He has a ball signed by Hank Aaron and Satchel Paige.

  5. james marmon April 28, 2017

    My dad John Woolley learned to play baseball from Arky Vaughan when he was a kid. My dad was raised in Potter Valley too.

    ARKY VAUGHAN : The Quiet and Talented Shortstop Was at Long Last Welcomed Into Hall of Fame–37 Years After Retirement and 33 Years After His Death

    The Vaughan family moved from Arkansas to Potter Valley, a small farm town in Mendocino County, when Arky was an infant. When Arky’s father landed a job with Standard Oil, he moved to Fullerton, where Arky began a storied athletic career.

    James Marmon aka Jim Woolley

    • Bruce Anderson April 28, 2017

      I saw Arky Vaughan play in the Pacific Coast League. I think he played at least one season for the SF Seals. Kids could sit in the outfield bleachers for a nickel. We were called the Knot Hole Gang. And while we’re tripping down Memory Lane, I also saw Dave Righetti’s dad, Leo Righetti, play shortstop for the Seals.

    • George Hollister April 28, 2017

      Great story.

      • james marmon April 28, 2017

        After Arky’s parents moved to Fullerton they still spent a lot of time in “the Valley” at his aunt and uncle’s ranch. The Vaughan’s are buried in the Potter Valley Cemetery.

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