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Mendocino County Today, Wednesday, May 10, 2017

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GEORGEANN CROSKEY has been appointed by Governor Brown to fill the 3rd District Supervisor's seat vacated by Tom Woodhouse. Woodhouse was forced to resign when he became mentally ill. His seat has been vacant for nearly a year. Mrs. Croskey is a veterinarian and has served on the Willits School Board. (Boonville people will know Mrs. Croskey from her work as veterinarian for the Boonville Fair.)

PS. The last Governor-appointed Supervisor was the late Marilyn Butcher, the first woman appointed as Mendocino County Supervisor. Butcher was appointed by Governor George Deukmejian back in 1983 to fill a slot vacated by Potter Valley Supervisor Tom Crofoot, who had been appointed to the state’s  Adminstration of Justice Committee of the County Supervisors Association.

A WILLITS READER comments on the Croskey appointment:

Such a slap in the face. One young woman is as good as another, apparently.

Doctor’s daughter (Dr. Tedd Dawson is her father) gets appointed again. Appointed to school board at the end of 2015, now appointed again. No experience running for office at all. Talk about privilege.

Changed voter reg from (what?) to “no party affiliation” in mid-October, as per voter database. She was already looking to get appointed as a supervisor; why would she change her voter registration from Democratic to “no party affiliation” when she was looking to get appointed by a Democratic governor? Pinches was a real independent.

She must be capable and intelligent: served as an officer in the Air Force, a horse vet.

Mother of three young children. Has lived much of her adult life outside of Mendocino County, family returned a few years ago, so it would be hard to believe she’s up to speed on recent issues.

Is she going to try to be a horse doctor, a mom and Third District Supervisor all at once? Seems like that might scant the taxpayers some.

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STAFFERS at Mendocino College are understandably unhappy that college president Arturo Reyes apparently wants to build himself a "presidential suite" in the college library. Appalled faculty point out that if the voters who approved the bond to build the library had known construction would include a pasha-like retreat for the lavishly compensated college leader, it is unlikely that they would have approved it.

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THE SAGA of the San Juan continues. It's owner, Rex Gressett, has promised the Noyo Harbor Commission that the legendary, multi-purpose boat will soon be re-floated. (Only two of the unique vessels were built in the 1920s, the other was recently sold for $80,000.) Rex had lived on the San Juan for 15 years when it sank the stormy night of February 16th. For years, the boat has been tied to a dock owned by Paul Katzeff, the entrepreneurial wizard who grew Thanksgiving Coffee from its modest beginnings in the early 1970s as a mom and pop, to a significant Fort Bragg employer and widely distributed quality coffee company. Katzeff and Gressett are presently at loggerheads, which is particularly unhappy for Katzeff who, by all accounts, has been unusually generous to the prickly Gressett over the years. Everyone monitoring the San Juan situation is hoping that somehow the boat can not only be retrieved from the Noyo, but that Gressett will resume amicable relations with his long-time padrone, Katzeff.

We have appended links to our/Gressett’s San Juan story and a Harbor backgrounder from the PD from a while back.

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We hope the City of Ukiah has no plans to ask its citizens for any more taxes or fees for the foreseeable future, after approving a $39,000 raise for one employee along with a new job title.

City Manager Sage Sangiacomo, who earns a package of salary and benefits worth $246,000, now has an assistant with a package worth $167,000 (and this is just Step 1 of the assistant’s salary range, we’re confident it will go up quickly). That assistant was already employed at the city making a package of $128,000. No doubt that person’s duties will change, and responsibilities will increase. And we certainly don’t blame the newly promoted employee for taking what was offered. But $39,000 worth?

Sangiacomo’s memo to the city council made sure to remind them that they budgeted for an assistant for him, that his salary level when he was assistant city manager was $202,500, and that this was all part of an overall reorganization of jobs and duties in the city administration. (And it should be pointed out that these numbers are the total package with benefits, not just take home salary – take home for the assistant city manager is around $120,000 and take home for the city manager is $188,665 - but still, the taxpayers are shelling out for all of it, whether it’s take home or not.)

Reorganizing is all well and good, but why, when the opportunity arises, don’t we lower salaries rather than just stick with what we couldn’t afford before anyway? The city manager demanded about $20,000 more than former city manager Jane Chambers was earning when he was appointed, and the city council gave it to him without blinking.

We have heard over and over that you can’t get “good people” unless we pay these salaries. The city has done a good job lately of bringing up its own from within and we applaud that. But would that senior analyst who has been promoted have turned down the assistant city manager job at, say, $145,000 total package? That would have been a $17,000 raise. Would the city manager, born and raised here, really left town if he had been offered a little less two years ago?

We just feel that in a city where the median income for an individual is $23,443 at last report, and about $44,000 for a family, these kinds of salaries are almost insulting. It’s no wonder people can’t make heads or tails of the fact that the city can’t afford to fix the streets, or struggles to keep parks and services going. And what does a line staffer making $30,000 a year think when one person is handed a $39,000 raise? It just promotes the concept that the city has plenty of money to give out in salaries when it’s time to negotiate at all levels.

City officials should not be surprised that people who struggle to make house payments or who will never afford a home here, who can’t find work, or work at the low income retail and tourism jobs the politicians seem to think are just great, are outraged when they see salaries like these thrown around as if they are a perfectly reasonable burden for the taxpayers to assume.

The City Council missed a golden opportunity to make a solid statement about expenses when it allowed this promotion to go through without even attempting to bring the salary down when it had the chance.

KC Meadows, Editor, The Ukiah Daily Journal

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by Glenda Anderson

The influential Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association on Tuesday dropped its legal challenge to a new Ukiah sales tax, freeing up an estimated $600,000 already collected for city roads and other infrastructure improvements but which was being held in an escrow account pending resolution of the lawsuit.

The lawsuit, filed in January, was dismissed by Mendocino County Superior Court Judge Jeanine Nadel on April 28. The taxpayers group decided this week not to file an appeal.

City officials said they are looking forward to the imminent release of the money.

“The funds generated from the general tax measure are critical for the repair and improvement of Ukiah’s infrastructure,” said City Manager Sage Sangiacomo.

In filing the lawsuit, the Howard Jarvis group contended the half-cent sales tax, approved by a majority of voters in November, was an illegal attempt to circumvent election laws.

It claimed Measure Y was a special tax posing as a general tax in order to make it easier to gain approval. A special tax requires a two-thirds vote while a general tax requires a simple majority. The tax measure received just under 52 percent of the vote.

The city last November placed two companion measures on the ballot: a general tax aimed at raising an estimated $2.5 million annually for the city and an unenforceable advisory measure asking city officials to spend the money primarily on roads.

Howard Jarvis officials said they launched the lawsuit because they wanted to stop the growing use of such double ballot measures, which they view as skirting the law.

City officials said the measures were legal because the advisory measure is non-binding.

(Santa Rosa Press Democrat)

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Giants and the Hum of the Infinite

NOTTY B. wrote:

Someone told me there were giants on the radio, but when I looked, I only found an ant. Maybe it's techno-suit malfunctioned? I did carefully carry it outside. I hope no one steps on it, just in case.

Marco McClean:

At one of my jobs a few years ago there were computers running in buildings that were unoccupied most of the time. One of the computers stopped doing what it was supposed to do. Its backup power supply had failed. There was one giant ant on the metal box, a sentry, it turned out, because when I turned the screws and opened the case a million ants boiled up out of it like orcs out of a mountain.

They liked the heat of its malfunctioning and the vibration of the big transformer inside. In the 1930s (or '40s-- it's an apocryphal story) a Brit brought a radio set as a present for the Dalai Lama. Later on he discovered the Lama listening to static and generator noise, smiling, with his eyes closed. He offered to adjust it for him, but the Lama said leave it alone, that it was working perfectly. He called it the Hum of the Infinite.

Claude Hooten, the Trumplike piece of shit (eerie, in retrospect) who bought KMFB in 2011, immediately killed it, fired everybody, kicked out all the quirky little shows, changed it to KUNK, went to nearly 24-hour automation (that's where it sounds like there's somebody there, but there's not), affiliated  with Fox News, then CBS, then MSNBC -- just anything, rather than a local human being. (The first person he fired was Ed Kowas.) Claude kept the baseball games, of course, because money, and he used an appliance repairman to deal with transmitter-shack problems. The washing-machine guy called me on the phone once, in 2012, to explain to him how to set up the satellite gizmo and make the baseball games work right (you have to re-setup and re-authorize everything every year). I said, "No, thank you." He said, "Don't you want to help out the radio station?" I said, "What radio station?"

At KMFB under Bob Woelfel the baseball games always ran. When the satellite system failed, as it sometimes did, Bob would telephone the special backup Giants phone feed and put that on the air, just like putting a caller on the air. It sounded like a telephone but it worked fine. Actually it sounded exactly like all my dreams and memories of baseball on my grandfather's transistor radio. But Claude fired Bob, so.

Claude Hooten couldn't make a go of his KUNK, of course. He dumped it on someone new, someone with Silicon Valley money, I hear. If the baseball game problems bug you, you might call the guy and suggest he use the phone trick.

I love KNYO because I have as much freedom there as I did at KMFB -- much more freedom than anyone has ever had, or will ever have, at KZYX, but my lottery-win fantasy is to walk in to KUNK, go all money-is-no-object, buy it, turn it back to KMFB and just give it to Bob Woelfel. I don't care about baseball at all, but I understand that some people do, so why not put it on? And pay a clever high school kid to man the board, the way Bob used to do. He always made sure we were all paid before he paid himself.

Jim Bazil:

...if you like to listen to the Giants on the radio, but are sick & tired of the SKUNK (KUNK 92.7 FM) dropping the ball - yet again - (like right now)...then you might want to try 101.5 FM KEKA...100,000 watts from Eureka...a suitable alternative and they never seem to drop the ball...   ...I wonder if the KUNK Giants advertisers realize how often the SKUNK screws up the Giants broadcasts...

Cur Mudgeon:

Glad to see you publicize this. I haven't listened to KUNK for one full minute since the assholes who bought it took over. When Lindy first did the KUNK station I.D. I thought it was a joke, like many of the comedic bits he used to do. Then I realized he was being serious! Jesus! Hoorah! - another mainstream shit-for-music station. Since then the only times I have tuned them in is for Giants games. Now I won't ever have to listen to that crap again. KEKA has a pretty good signal. Go Giants!

Frank Hartzell:

I listened on the radio last year and the year before all the time. Both 101 and Skunk screwed up at times. And going back and forth from Cleone to Franklin Street, I struggled to get reception on either consistently. I had to go back and forth. I was amazed how hard it was to get KUNK and KZYX at 900 N. Franklin Street in Fort Bragg.

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LITTLE DOG SAYS, “I'm in trouble. Yesterday, I killed a chicken. Hell, the thing came running straight at me and instantly I went into  auto-dog mode. Next thing I knew the thing was dead. Now everyone's on my case, including some busybody who walked up and said, ‘What you gotta do with this mutt is tie the dead chicken around his neck for a couple days. That'll cure him.’ Anybody even tries that— well…”

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DEGRANGED: a recent viewpoint of the Grange/Guild issue

by Scott Peterson

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by Jonah Raskin

Some folks are already in church and at prayer in their Sunday best. Others have strapped on holsters and guns and are patrolling neighborhoods in new squad cars, looking for trouble. Then there are the sunbaked, red-necked farmers who have climbed aboard their sturdy John Deere’s and their durable New Holland’s and who are at work in fields, though the sun is still low on the horizon and there’s a cool breeze in the trees. It’s a near-perfect day to make hay in the hay makin’ time of the year in northern California, a time that will go on and on for weeks and even months. There’s a lot of hay to make in a lot of fields; too many fields to count, too many to see in one day because they stretch from Anderson Valley to Sonoma Valley and beyond.

In my eyes, the men who make hay are a strange, though not an unfriendly, lot. They seem more solitary than most other ranchers and farmers I know, perhaps because they sit by themselves atop their tractors. They can be a quiet lot, except when they get together with fellow haymakers. Then they’re all chatter about the wet, wet winter that’s now just ended, the condition of their fields—it’s rank because of the heavy rains—and about the hay-makin’ machinery that they sometimes share because it’s expensive.

There’s something about laboring men and their machines that seems so very American to me, uplifting and emotional gratifying. That might be pure romanticism on my part. In fact, I am sure it is. Still, I find inspiration in the very idea that farmers wake up early in the morning, even on Sundays, put on boots, jeans and T-shirts and tromp through thick, green pastures. “Pastures of plenty” I call them. The haymakers I know are men who are eager to work and who enjoy laboring in the outdoors, without a roof overhead, except the sky, and without walls to close them in. The act of makin’ hay seems to get them high. Usually they don’t have anyone standing over them, clocking them in or clocking them out. They’re their own taskmasters.

The haymakers do honest work and they do it without asking for applause or recognition. Doug Mosel is one of them. The founder of the Mendocino Grain Project, he’s been busy makin’ hay in Anderson Valley and workin’ round the clock. The other day, he was too busy to talk to me, except briefly and then he turned the subject to the Mendocino Grain Project, his pride and joy. “See me again in July,” Mosel said. “I’ll have time to talk then.” And then he was gone.

But Mosel’s friend, partner, and fellow haymaker, Stuart Schroeder was in the mood to chat. So we chatted about hay and horses on a Sunday morning when bombs were no doubt exploding in distant lands and when refugees were no doubt running from drones and soldiers in and out of uniforms. It seems a miracle that a small corner of the world is at peace, that Schroeder doesn’t have to worry about snipers and explosive devices, though on the Sunday I visited his farm he did have to move the irrigation pipe in his field before he could get on his tractor and make hay. But that was no big deal, and I helped him do it. Schroeder irrigates his fields after he cuts down the hay; another farmer uses it to graze his cattle. So that field works doubly hard.

“Because of the rains this year there will be a lot of hay on the market,” Schroeder told me. “Some of it will be crummy and some of it will be top notch and really good for horses.” Schroeder added, “Horses have sensitive stomachs. Some of them pig out and get fat and that’s not good. You have to keep an eye on your horses.”

Schroeder grows some of the best hay in northern California. Maybe that’s because he knows when to cut it. “I time it,” he told me. “I cut it when it’s in bloom and has peak energy. That’s before it goes to seed.” Schroeder hopes to sell a bail of hay that will weigh between fifty and sixty pounds for $5. When I asked him how many bales he expected to have at the end of the hay makin’ season, he said, “I don’t think that way.” That seems like a good idea. The pot farmer who thinks about the total weight at harvest is probably too focused on profit to pay attention to the process of growing. It’s the same for the grape grower who adds up the tonnage before the first grapes are picked. Better to be in tune with the seasons and to go with the flow than to be driven by the dollar and the weight on the scale. That’s how I feel about it. That’s how it has worked best for me.

Schroeder has horses that eat the hay that he makes. He uses the horses to plow the fields in which he grows vegetables and melons and that he sells to loyal customers. Using the tractor to cut hay saves a lot of time and energy.

When I first arrived in northern California forty-two years ago, I thought that fields dotted with bales of hay were some of the most beautiful sights to behold. I still feel that way. Now I know the stories behind the bales of hay, and now I know the lives of some of the men who make hay when the sun shines and when spring is in the air, and red-winged birds tart overhead and the whole earth comes to life again. Hay markers may not think of themselves as artists but I do. Their fields are their canvases. Looking at those fields is an aesthetic experience for me. See if you don’t agreed. Next time you pass a field filled with bales why not pull over to the side of the road and take in the spectacle. You might have a new appreciation for the art of makin’ hay.

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To the Editor:

The following letter has seen sent to the Ukiah Planning Commission regarding the Costco Wholesale Project, Recirculated Partial Draft EIR

These comments are offered to the Recirculated Partial Draft EIR prepared by your consultants DUDEK in February 2017: They only pertain to the potential energy impacts of the Costco facility proposed for Ukiah. It is this section that has been revised by DUDEK as Section 3.15 to the DEIR.

The Need for a Refueling Station at the Costco Site: 16 vehicle fueling positions are proposed with capacity to expand to 20 positions in the future. There is no need for more vehicle fueling stations in Ukiah:

Currently, Ukiah has 14 operating gasoline and diesel fueling stations with 100 fueling positions located between Talmage Road on the south side of town and the north Ukiah on-ramp to the Freeway. Seldom, if ever, is there a waiting line for fuel at any of these 14 stations.

Locating another 16 fueling positions at a remote site almost one-half mile from the nearest freeway off-ramp will have two outcomes for our community: (1) force more conveniently located gasoline stations to go out of business, and (2) increase Costco profits. There is no requirement that Costco stores must have a gasoline station — their stores in San Francisco and in Novato seem to do quite well without selling fuel. Furthermore, the fuel consumed in making this one mile round trip to the gasoline pumps more than equals the saving in fuel costs at Costco discount fuel pricing.

At the Costco stores in Santa Rosa and Rohnert Park, roughly half of all traffic into Costco is for gasoline only. If this pattern of use is similar in Ukiah, then we can expect a major increase in traffic on Airport Boulevard. No provision for expansion of the road’s handling capacity is being considered. At the very least, a traffic analysis is warranted.

Energy Savings With New High — Efficient Solar Panels has not been investigated: It is over six years since the first draft EIR was prepared. The efficiency of solar panels to convert the sun’s energy to electric power has increased 50 percent over those years. The impacts upon energy use in this 148,000 square foot wholesale store would be considerable and should be examined rather than dismissed out of hand as was done in this DEIR.

Beyond these two comments, many other concerns with the Costco proposed warehouse are still unanswered: These must be addressed by the City Council.

Firstly: Cal Trans has not approved the design for the Highway 101 off-ramp. Without their approval, work cannot go forward.

Secondly: Expansion of the Walmart operation to Superstore status, which was defeated over four years ago for lack of a plan to handle the additional traffic from Highway 101, will most likely be revived once the Costco project is approved. No allowance for such an eventuality has been addressed. Therefore another traffic study will be required and additional provisions for the greatly increased traffic demands must be considered.

Jim Houle

Redwood Valley

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BEN SHAPIRO is in the process of funding a research grant for The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) in memory of his father Mike Shapiro, who we lost to a rare and aggressive form of leukemia, AML. Ben has decided to fund a research grant by fundraising for LLS, and in doing so was nominated for LLS’s SF Bay Area Man of the Year. Please help Ben reach his goal of $150,000 fundraised for research. His deadline to do so is May 30th so please donate today:

You can also mail a check to The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, 101 Montgomery Street, Suite 750, San Francisco, CA 94104 (Please put Ben’s name in the notes section). If you are willing, please share this with our community through your networks. Every donation helps. Thank you for your help supporting Ben and his family during this difficult time.

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CATCH OF THE DAY, May 9, 2017

Battle, Daniels, Davey, DeWolf

HERBERT BATTLE JR., Sacramento/Ukiah. Ammo possession by prohibited person.

DAVID DANIELS, Willits. Refusing to leave.

COREY DAVEY, Ukiah. Failure to appear.

HEATHER DEWOLF, Fort Bragg. Drunk in public, probation revocation. (Frequent flyer.)

McCain, Mendez, Sterling

DIAMANTE MCCAIN, Willits. Drunk in public.

MICHAEL MENDEZ, Ukiah. Domestic battery, drunk in public, resisting.

JORDAN STERLING, Fortuna/Ukiah. Parole violation.

Tupper, VanWormer, Wilson

KRISTINE TUPPER, Ukiah. Controlled substance, paraphernalia, probation revocation.

ELEA VANWORMER, Fort Bragg. Domestic battery, resisting.

SEAN WILSON, Willits. Failure to appear, probation revocation.

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Emergency declared at Hanford nuclear reservation in state’s south-east

No one injured and officials detect no release of radiation

A portion of a storage tunnel that contains rail cars full of radioactive waste collapsed Tuesday morning, forcing an emergency declaration at the Hanford nuclear reservation in south-eastern Washington state.

Officials detected no release of radiation and no workers were injured, said Randy Bradbury, a spokesman for the Washington state department of ecology.

There were no workers inside the tunnel when it collapsed. But nearby Hanford workers were evacuated and others who were farther away were told to remain indoors, the US Department of Energy said.

The accident occurred at a facility known as Purex, located in the middle of the sprawling Hanford site, which is half the size of Rhode Island, Bradbury said.

Hanford is located near Richland, about 200 miles south-east of Seattle.

The closed Purex plant was part of the nation’s nuclear weapons production complex.

Hanford for decades made plutonium for nuclear weapons and is now the largest depository of radioactive defense waste that must be cleaned.

It contains about 56m gallons of radioactive waste, most of it in 177 underground tanks.

Bradbury said the collapse occurred at one of two rail tunnels under the Purex site.

In the past, rail cars full of radioactive waste were driven into the tunnels and then buried there, he said.

Hanford has more than 9,000 employees.

The site was built during the second world war and produced the plutonium for most of the US nuclear arsenal, including the bomb dropped on Nagasaki, Japan, at the end of the war.

(—Associated Press)

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BREAKING NEWS: Tunnel Collapse At Hanford Nuclear Site, emergency declared, hundreds of workers evacuate

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President Trump has fired FBI Director Comey, according to a statement issued by the Thrill-A-Day White House Tuesday afternoon.

“Today, President Donald J. Trump informed FBI Director James Comey that he has been terminated and removed from office. President Trump acted based on the clear recommendations of both Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and Attorney General Jeff Sessions," whose opinions are of course identical to Trump's.

“The FBI is one of our Nation’s most cherished and respected institutions and today will mark a new beginning for our crown jewel of law enforcement.” Cherished by whom? A politicized national spy agency founded by a paranoid cross dresser and blackmailer?

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"How did all this happen? In many respects, globalisation has turned out to be more destructive to the status quo than communism ever was. In its name, nationalism was discarded and derided by ruling elites who had an economically respectable reason to distance themselves from the rest of society and did not see that they were cutting through the branch on which they were sitting. The left never much liked nationalism, suspecting it of being a mask for racism and a diversion from more important social and economic issues. Populist nationalists came to power in country after country as others retreated from nationalism and they filled the vacuum."

— Patrick Cockburn

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I CAN ONLY SPEAK for my little corner of the world, but here in New Jersey’s wealthiest county (#3 in the nation) it is all coming apart slowly. Those with school age children awake at the ass-crack of dawn. They enter their SUV’s in the heated garage, and the doors close magically behind them so they never have to actually set foot in the real, outside world. Once they have shuttled little Johnny and Janie off to Pre-Care, Pre-School or real schools they crawl down the interstate to their Corporate Masters. Afterward they crawl back home late in the afternoon to pick up and rush their spawn off to sports practices and events before rushing them back to their heated garages and bed. Weekends are sporting events and entertainment and feeble attempts to “relax” and maintain homes that they cannot afford to pay the mortgages on.

Our senior population spends most of it’s time in front of the television and eating meals. Meals and what they eat are very important events for the elderly here, and since they are mostly too tired and or too infirm to do any work anymore, entertainment is about all they can handle.

I do not know what those younger folks who do not have children spend their time at, but there are not many of them here, that is for sure. They cannot afford it. Those whose children have grown and are off on their own (or living in the basement) spend most of their time working as many jobs as they can trying to pay off Johnny and Janie’s college debts because the jobs that they have, if any, are minimum wage and part time at best.

People just do not have the time to care, at least around here, and our Township is not doing all that well. Abandoned houses are slowly increasing, foreclosures are growing every week, and our tax base is under assault from Tax Appeals on McMansions that are now considered worthless and unsellable. And it all stays below the radar. It is all hidden from view to those SUV rat racers who cannot allow themselves to see the true light of day. I see this all from a frightening prospective being in the local government and having to deal with the financial issue of the entire Township. My calls take me all over this community and I am developing the picture that none but a few care and none will deal with problems until it is too late to do so.

I hope things are better off in many other places across this once Great Nation, because from where I see things, they are not only NOT GOOD, there is NO HOPE of correction.

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by Clancy Sigal

“Bliss was it in that dawn to be alive but to be young was very Heaven.”

– William Wordsworth on the French revolution before he changed his mind.

For a long time I lived among educated middle class English who had a passion, verging on sickness, for Panhellenism, a nostalgic look back to classical Greece (without the slaves and bad drainage) as a “second home”.  This longing for a mythical, happier Greece swept Victorian England (and Germany)  when people were shaken up by convulsive social change.  New railroads, new women, new politics.  Too much too soon in what Thomas Hardy called a “precipice of time”.

Nobody laughed when the poet Shelley announced, “We are all Greeks now.”

Today we live on the edge of just such a precipice.

Nostalgia cuts both ways.  Longing for an idealized past can help us map out a dangerous but possible future.

It can also handicap our desire for change by miring us in a fantastical historically distorted “good old days”.  I’m terribly guilty of this because in my ceaseless search for “ancestors” I sometimes idealize the worst parts of the Great Depression, even the war years, their violence and poverty and racism, as well as the good stuff like the three-cent stamp and mass strikes and factory-occupy movements that grew the  New Deal-era labor movement and thus our middle class.

Other people’s nostalgia takes different forms, like an inspiring look back to the Vietnam antiwar protests or feminist marches or blaming Russia or the Electoral College for a mismanaged liberal campaign.   Or, more historically, enshrining the Abolitionist movement as peaceful Quakers rather than armed militants.

Since I’m impossibly drawn to the past, to my own antiquity, for comfort as well as instruction, a question is how to use our own experiences, including our parents and their parents – and their dreams – to turn back the death wave coming out of Mar-a-Lago.

In his campaign Donald Trump and his trolls successfully exploited nostalgia as a political tool by painting a fake picture of a 1950s Rinso-all-white America without all these irksome African Americans, border crossing Latinos and defiant women – without What Makes America Really Great.  His Oz had a mighty appeal for voters who were hungry for something they weren’t quite sure what  except to trust a compulsive liar’s promise that whatever is wrong “I can fix it.”

Our side never learned to use nostalgia as effectively and emotionally as he did and does.

Democrats and liberals are often accused of being poor at “the vision thing”.  Probably true, since we tend to believe poll numbers more than our creative memories.

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

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“UNTIL ROUGHLY THE OUTBREAK OF WORLD WAR II, the overwhelming majority of nonfarm working-age American men fell into one of two employment categories: working a paid job or unemployed. There was no “third way” for healthy, able-bodied males. Life then was much closer to the bone than today. There were few social guarantees of any sort. The prospect of being without regular employment filled most men with dread. To be jobless was to court financial disaster, and the specter of long-term joblessness was terrifying to anyone responsible for supporting a family. In today’s America, by contrast, the taxonomy of employment is no longer so black-and-white. There are now not two but three possible work categories for civilian, noninstitutionalized working-age men: (1) employed, (2) unemployed but seeking work, and (3) neither working nor seeking work (i.e., living outside the labor force altogether). This “third way” was previously unthinkable as a voluntary option (at least for the self-respecting, and for those without independent wealth). Today’s no-work life is hardly a pathway to economic success, as we shall see. On the other hand, neither does it consign the growing numbers of no-work men to a life sentence of destitution and ruin. The United States today is evidently rich enough to carry, after a fashion, a growing contingent of working-age men who subsist without either engaging engaging in or seeking paid employment. In short, a life without work (or the search for work) has become a viable option for today’s prime-age male—and ever-greater numbers of them seem to be choosing this option.”

— “Men Without Work”, Nicholas Eberstadt

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Hello friends, collectors, seekers of beauty, connoisseurs of fine art, back road treasure hunters, fog eaters and Valley locals,  I invite you to visit my studio on Memorial Weekend.  My work has a contemporary point of view yet conveys the unique feel of rural open space.  This year NEW YORK MAGAZINE AND FORBES both suggest, when in Northern California, my studio is the place to visit. If you are curious come and see, if you have already visited please come again. There is always something NEW.

Hope to see you soon,

Rebecca Johnson

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by Dan Bacher

On April 28, President Donald Trump announced his intent to nominate David Bernhardt of Virginia, who has served as a lobbyist for the politically powerful Westlands Water District, for Deputy Secretary of the Interior.

Interior is the agency in charge of managing and conserving public land and natural resources, including rivers and lakes, in the U.S. Bernhardt will serve under Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke, who recently came to Sacramento to meet with California Governor Jerry Brown to discuss water infrastructure, the Delta Tunnels, public lands and other issues.

The appointment drew condemnation from fishing and environmental groups, but praise from Ducks Unlimited.

Bernhardt, born in Rifle, Colorado, is “an avid hunter and fisherman," according to an announcement from the White House.

"I am excited to announce the President and I have selected Dave Bernhardt to help me lead the Interior Department," said Secretary Zinke. "Bernhardt's extensive experience serving under former Interior Secretaries Norton and Kempthorne and his esteemed legal career is exactly what is needed to help streamline government and make the Interior and our public lands work for the American economy."

Bernhardt recently served on the Board of Game and Inland Fisheries for the Commonwealth of Virginia. He has previously served as the United States Commissioner to the International Boundary Commission, U.S. and Canada, according to the White house.

“From 2001 and 2009, he held several positions within the Department of the Interior, including, after unanimous confirmation, serving as Solicitor, which is the Interior’s third ranking official and chief legal officer,” the White House said.

Bernhardt currently chairs the natural resource law practice at Brownstein, Hyatt Farber and Schreck, LLP.

John McManus, Executive Director of the Golden Gate Salmon Association (GGSA), an organization representing sport and commercial salmon fishermen and women and related businesses along California’s coast and rivers, issued a statement strongly opposing Bernhardt’s nomination.

Bernhardt has for many years served as a lobbyist and litigator for the Westlands Water District, the largest federal water contractor in the nation and a strong advocate of the construction of the Delta Tunnels and the weakening of environmental laws protecting Sacramento River salmon, Central Valley steelhead, Trinity and Klamath River salmon and other imperiled fish populations.

“Mr. Bernhardt and Westlands have spent the past decade attacking salmon protections and, by extension, the tens of thousands of California fishing jobs tied to salmon,” said McManus.  “It strains credibility to suggest that Mr. Bernhardt, were he to be appointed, would refrain from occupying himself with key departmental decisions that he has spent the last decade working to influence.  In fact, those seeking his appointment are almost certainly counting on him to weigh in on their behalf.”

McManus emphasized, “Fishermen saw a pattern during the George W. Bush Administration, including suppressing science and damaging salmon runs.  We should learn from that history, not repeat it.”

On the other hand, Ducks Unlimited (DU), a wetlands and waterfowl conservation organization, said it “looks forward to working with” Bernhardt.

"I have known and worked with David Bernhardt for more than 10 years and could not be more pleased with his nomination for Deputy Secretary of the Interior,” said Ducks Unlimited CEO Dale Hall. “He is a man with personal and professional integrity that is beyond reproach and has always advocated for the proper implementation of the law. We urge the Senate to quickly confirm Mr. Bernhardt for this extremely important position to the Department's expansive conservation responsibilities."

Prior to serving as solicitor, the controversial Bernhardt held several high-level positions with the DOI including Deputy Solicitor, Deputy Chief of Staff, Counselor to the Secretary of the Interior and Director of the Office of Congressional and Legislative Affairs.

In contrast with Hall’s claim that Bernhardt has “always advocated for the proper implementation of the law,” McManus pointed out, “The appointment of Mr. Bernhardt would raise multiple conflicts. On behalf of Westlands, Mr. Bernhardt was deeply involved in drafting legislation, which passed at the end of 2016, that weakened federal protections for salmon.”

“In coming years, federal agencies, particularly the Department of the Interior where he wants to work, will make decisions regarding implementing that bill.  Westlands will, no doubt, lobby Interior to use that legislation to increase water diversions from the San Francisco Bay-Delta which will further weaken salmon protections.  An even more dramatic legislative assault on salmon (H.R. 23), which Bernhardt helped craft, was introduced by Congressman Valadao in January.  The Westlands Water District is pushing this bill and, if it moves forward, Interior will be asked to take a position,” said McManus.

Bernhardt also represented Westlands in courtroom attacks on federal Endangered Species Act protections for winter-run Chinook salmon and other imperiled native fish species. “Had he succeeded, some salmon runs might now be extinct,” said McManus.

Bernhardt briefly led Trump’s transition team after the November election until he was replaced by Doug Domenech, a Big Oil think tank director, on November 26, 2016. ( )

To read GGSA’s statement’s on Bernhart’s potential appointment to the DOI, go to:

For a report on Bernhardt’s many conflicts of interest, go to:

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Join us to experience a simple form of meditation that helps the planet and builds a stronger connection with your own spiritual nature.   Transmission Meditation is a non-denominational group meditation that does not conflict with other meditations or spiritual practices, but can actually enhance them.   Transmission Meditation is a potent form of world service that anyone, even those with busy lives, can easily do. It can be a mode of service for life, if you so choose.   Do you want to help the world and strengthen the connection to your Higher Self?   Transmission Meditation is the simplest way to do both.

FRIDAY, MAY 12, 7:00 PM, at the Center for Spiritual Living Gathering Place, Fort Bragg Company Store, Main & Redwood Streets, Fort Bragg, Information:  895-3134 or 964-4506

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HONORING MOMS, Protecting Your Privacy, and a CONTEST!

(Ukiah Library)

Calling all artists and designers!

From Tuesday, May 9th until May 30th 2017, Mendocino County Library, Ukiah Branch is hosting an All-Ages Bookmark Contest.

The county-wide Summer Reading Program is rapidly approaching and to get everyone ready, the Ukiah Branch invites everyone to put their artistic hats (or your...shall we say..."Inking Caps"? HAHA...okay, maybe it was only funny to us) on and submit bookmark designs relating to this year's theme, “Reading By Design.”

Categories are available for all ages. Entries will be judged for originality, creativity, neatness, printability, and use of Summer Reading theme. All bookmarks will be displayed at the Ukiah Library, and winning entries will be duplicated and given out at the library and outreach events during the 2017 Summer Reading Program. Winners will be announced at the 2017 Summer Reading Program Kickoff on June 17th.

Entry forms with official rules can be picked up from the Ukiah Library. This contest is family-friendly and open to the public.

The Mendocino County Library, Ukiah Branch is hosting: How to Protect Your Privacy Online & Elsewhere Friday, May 12^th 5:30-7:30 pm

Privacy is integral to intellectual freedom - we do not live in a post-privacy era. Join us for a presentation & hands-on tech help with navigating the murky waters of online privacy. Learn “best practices” & helpful tools for how to best protect your privacy online — from managing location-based services on your mobile to installing special plug-ins & virtual private networks (VPN). Guests are invited to bring their own devices for hands-on tech help.

Refreshments will be provided, though outside food and drinks will be allowed at that time. This class will be co-facilitated by Justin Rhinehart.

Space is limited. Please call 463-4490 to sign-up. For more information — please contact Melissa at the Ukiah Library: 467-6434.

On Saturday, May 13^th from 10-11:30am the Mendocino County Library, Ukiah Branch is hosting a Family Storytime Honoring Mothers.


The program includes a puppet play, circle games, Mother’s Day card creations, story time, and a treat. Coffee and tea will be available for parents and caregivers, who are requested to stay with their children. All are welcome. This is a free event sponsored by the Ukiah Valley Friends of the Library and River Oak Charter School.

The Ukiah Library presents: Gentle Yoga for Teens & Adults taught by Amelia Bernard, Trained & Certified Yoga Instructor May 13^th 11:30 am

Finals Week is coming up, but there’s no need to stress — the Library’s got you. Come learn a few Gentle Yoga techniques from local yoga instructor, Amelia Bernard, to “keep calm & de-stress on.” This is a series of free yoga classes offered at the Ukiah Library c/o the Summer Learning Program. Space is limited and advance sign-ups are required. Please call 463-4490 to sign-up. For more information —please contact Melissa at the Ukiah Library: 467-6434 or

Sponsored by the Ukiah Valley Friends of the Library.

Exciting New Screenings from PBS, Lincoln Center & Independent Filmmakers coming to Ukiah Library on Sunday Afternoons

Ukiah Library is introducing a new series of film screenings beginning on May 7th at 2 pm. The series, Sunday Movies at Your Library will include a weekly rotation of PBS documentaries, Indie films, Lincoln Center performances, and, beginning in June, kids’ movies newly released on DVD.

This week's film: May 14th — The Fits,--”While training at the gym 11-year-old tomboy Toni becomes entranced with a dance troupe. As she struggles to fit in she finds herself caught up in (Indie)

Major Support for Lincoln Center Local: Free Screenings is provided by the Oak Foundation. Additional support is provided by the Booth Ferris Foundation and the Altman Foundation.

For more information, call 463-4490.

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Indicative that suns go down;

The notice to the startled grass

That darkness is about to pass.

— Emily Dickinson



  1. Marco McClean May 10, 2017

    Again, I’m appreciating, not the least bit complaining, but the paragraph:

    MARCO ON COAST RADIOGiants and the Hum of the InfiniteNOTTY B. Wrote: Someone told me there were giants on the radio, but when I looked, I only found an ant. Maybe it’s techno-suit malfunctioned? I did carefully carry it outside. I hope no one steps on it, just in case.Marco McClean:

    –would look a little better like this:

    Re: Giants and the Hum of the Infinite

    NOTTY B. wrote: Someone told me there were giants on the radio, but when I looked, I only found an ant. Maybe it’s techno-suit malfunctioned? I did carefully carry it outside. I hope no one steps on it, just in case.

    Marco McClean wrote:

    –and then go forward from there.

  2. Lazarus May 10, 2017

    “GEORGEANN CROSKEY has been appointed by Governor Brown to fill the 3rd District Supervisor’s seat vacated by Tom Woodhouse.”

    The dead wood has been cut…No Jolly Holly, no Johnny P…a calculated, safe choice.

  3. Bruce McEwen May 10, 2017

    Tell Little Dog the dead chicken tied to the dog collar doesn’t work. A Boonville kid tried it a few years back and it was a complete failure. The only thing that worked was for the dog to kill off more of the chickens until the free-range proponents learned their lesson and locked the stinking survivors up, and kept ’em locked up. As Grandpa McEwen used to say, “Yardbirds eat everything in front of ’em, and crap on everything behind ’em: lock ’em up or loose ’em.”

  4. BB Grace May 10, 2017

    GRANGE WARSA recent viewpoint of the Grange/Guild issue by Scott P.:

    I appreciate AVA providing me an inside perspective to the guild’s thoughts as they confirm feelings I didn’t want being ugly, rather I wanted to think guilders are victims of McFarland, not cheating, lying, thieves who relish insulting their victims.

    Why not interview the local seniors who were born and raised in the Grange and ask them what they think? Peterson doesn’t know any local senior Grangers?

    Why not meet without attorneys? Because this is a serious issue for Grangers being the ones who’ve been defrauded by those who joined the Grange to steal the halls in the name of the guild.

  5. james marmon May 10, 2017


    I was a democrat until a year ago, people change. I do feel somewhat optimistic that I might be able to strike up a conversation with Ms. Croskey however, she and my oldest daughter Rachel were Air Force Intelligence Officers at the same time. My daughter was stationed at Misawa Air Force Base in Northern Japan guarding us from North Korea, it will be interesting to find out where Ms. Croskey served and what her politics actually are. More will be revealed I’m sure.

    James Marmon MSW

    • Lazarus May 10, 2017

      She has strong family roots in the community, educated, served her Nation, is a professional, attractive…and of most import…no political baggage…yet.
      Although, I wonder who…close to her, might have “Sacratomato” connections…the skeptic in me says….
      As always,

      • james marmon May 10, 2017

        Her husband’s profile states that he may still be a USAF Officer and that he lived in Wheatland which means that he and Georgeann both may have been stationed at the top secret Beale Air Base.

        When I was in Junior High I lived just a few miles from Beale in Grass Valley and I always wanted to go there, very mysterious place. In 2000 my daughter took me on Beale when she was here in Ukiah visiting me, she fulfilled that dream for her poor old dad.

        • Bruce McEwen May 10, 2017

          Matt Croskey is the Deputy Sheriff who was lead investigator on the Charles Reynolds case, which just ended in a six year prison sentence for Mr. Reynolds. We’ll have a full report later, but Deputy Croskey congratulated me personally on my writing in the DUI case against Deputy Public Defender Lindsay Peak — Matt said his wife just loved it and thought it was beautifully written, so we know she reads the AVA and therefore can’t be all bad!

  6. Jim Updegraff May 10, 2017

    Giants lose another game. Angels 6 Giants 1. Another “stellar” performance by Samardziga – pitched 7 innings, 6 earned runs, record now 0-5. More bad news for Giants – closer Melancon went on 10 day DL. Interesting interview with Evans in the San Jose Mercury – Evans “- – feels for fans- -” about the Giants lousy performance.
    A’s lost 7-3 – so what’s new. Cotton the loser. Gave up 7 ER over 5 innings.

  7. Eric Sunswheat May 10, 2017

    Someone with horse sense… it’s time for a change. Protect herd immunity with living wage and nutrition optimization of crop yield. Conversion of McMansions into AirBnB McCommunes… carpool on WAZE. It’s all here now. Welcome Supervisor.

    • Lazarus May 10, 2017

      Yea, I was wondering about this one, I imagine if what James is getting to is correct…perhaps an influential officer at Beale dropped a dime to the Gov. That kind of recommendation would make all the others look very vanilla…It helps to have friends in high places, as they say…
      As always,

      • Bruce McEwen May 10, 2017

        Yes, I see what you mean, Laz.

        I was setting next to a Detective from the Sheriff’s Office and I mentioned there was a job opening for a good investigator — which I’d just heard about during breakfast at Maple Cafe (watching CNN).

        Det. Porter’s ears perked up and he said, “Oh where’s that?”

        “The FBI needs a new director, I hear.”

        “Porter smiled ruefully and replied he’d take it, ordinarily, but since the Human Resource Officer in Charge [Trump] was so well known for saying, “You’re fired,” on the most idiotic whim, he thought he’d just pass on the opportunity and keep the job he had.

        But, Laz, I find it amazing that a nut like Marmon can get a reasonable man like you sucked into such a silly conspiracy theory.

        Have you entirely lost your sense of humor?

        • Lazarus May 10, 2017

          Well Bruce, the street says, she piloted drones from Beale, the military takes care of their own.
          And really, there has, or had to be a hook of some kind…You think she got the job cause daddy a doctor, and she’s pretty? Or…I know, she wrote the best essay, “Why I want to be Supervisor”. Think about it…you guys are the smart ones, I’m just a casual observer, a “primary witness”…more or less?
          As always,

          • Bruce McEwen May 10, 2017

            Ooooo… spooky!

            The terminology is Primary Source, incidentally.

            • BB Grace May 10, 2017

              I LOVE Conspiracy theory! “Spooky”, is fiction, so if the conspiracy you indulge is spooky, it’s not conspiracy. Conspiracy is a compilation of disjointed facts and the theory is the ideas that fill the vacuum from missing facts, or information.

              Robert Anton Wilson claimed conspiracy theory is the ultimate “mind fuck”. I agree with him. If it’s spooky or triggers anger, fear, it’s bad conspiracy, like a poison, “ultimate bad mind fuck”. But good conspiracy theory, enlightens, educates, entertains and provides today, protection against fake news triggers, political and religious bigotry and contentment dealing with the secular world on MSM.

          • james marmon May 10, 2017

            Her daddy is affiliated with Howard Memorial Hospital however and she could push through the RCS conquest of downtown Willits. That could be a conspiracy theory in the making.


  8. Lazarus May 10, 2017

    No Bubba, I got it right…you’re wrong again, but I like you anyway.
    As always,

  9. Bruce McEwen May 10, 2017

    You made a comment about military service which gave me the idea you had served. And then you come on w/ this notion that anybody can go on line, you or me or Jms. M, and discover were the drones are being directed from…. so, to put it bluntly, you get NATO’s Napoleon Award, that Top Secret Medal they pin on anybody who can crack their codes-!

    I don’t particularly like or dislike you, Boo-Boo, but I respect your convictions and brevity of lip.

  10. Lazarus May 10, 2017

    I don’t research anything for this place. I say what I believe, suspect, or have heard/read from what, In my limited capacity, seems to be creditable, I live in a small community, people talk about the kids from The Willits.
    I see significant bloviating/bullshit here, and that is OK, but I, try to not be seen that way. I’m not here to make stuff up.
    And as far as Jim being nuts…we all got that go’n on, admitted or not. Life has a way of making us nuts…and Bruce, sarcasm is a slippery pig..
    Sorry this bothers you, I have said the Govs choice was OK, but seeing a few things go down around the Mendo, I’m often curious of why it went that way, and sometimes, it’s very interesting…I’m startling to ramble…
    As always,

  11. Bruce McEwen May 10, 2017

    “…the sanity of society is the balance of thousands of insanities…”

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