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Off the Record (May 10, 2017)

WRITING MENDOCINO COUNTY’S HISTORY… Considering that it hasn’t been done in over 100 years it’s about time someone wrote a history of Mendocino County and your trusty historian here is going to do it. One hundred fifty years from 1852-2002 will be covered and I’m putting the word out to readers…”What Should I Include?”

Obviously all the standard stuff you’d expect will be in it…Exploration, early settlements, natural features, industry, health & education, transportation, agriculture & mining…but where it will get interesting is in the human interest part of the history. Like famous people…do we include criminals? Black Bart and Jim Jones were both criminals but they were imports, not county natives, so do we include them? I’m fascinated by Carl Purdy and Edith Van Allen Murphy, both botanists who worked in the county but were not natives? How about the horse Seabiscuit who lived at Ridgewood Ranch? He’s not human but he was famous and a prize winner. Does he qualify for the book? Will people want to know about the hot springs and mineral springs of the county? And the herds of white fallow deer around the county…Do you want to know how they came to be here?

My research is just starting. For example I was looking at mineral resources of Mendocino County on the internet and found about 200 places that had for claims for specific minerals filed. And lo and behold…an answer to a question rose some months ago in the AVA about Little Penny, a location out Fish Rock Road. Seems there was a Redwood Copper Queen Mine near Fish Rock and Zeni Roads 25 miles west of Cloverdale and I’d bet that was where Little Penny was. Copper…pennies…see the connection?

How about a shootout in Willits early years that killed more people in a few minutes than the gunfight at OK Corral that was made into a movie? Then there is the drama around Redwood Summer and the Whale Wars that both happened here. And the whole long story of going from a logging economy to a cannabis economy, that needs to be addressed. And when did wine grapes become the major agriculture product of the county?

Then there are our ethnic communities throughout the county…lots of Chinese, Finns, Portuguese and other groups…they’ll be there. Could the back-to-the-land hippies of the 1970’s be considered an intentional community? Was the Mendocino State Hospital outside Ukiah an industry? It employed hundreds of people for decades, or was it just a hospital? Did you even know the county grew great crops of tobacco during the Civil War because tobacco was unavailable from the South?

I am not planning on writing a tome of statistics that will cost a fortune; I’m projecting a fact filled paperback full of interesting history that will cost around $20 and be about 250 pages (and it may take me a few years to get it done). I promise lots of photographs will be included too. So the question to readers is: What do you want to read about? 

And remember, it will stop at 2002. I am inviting folks to contact me by e-mail ( or snail mail (K. Tahja P.O. Box 194 Comptche CA 95427) and let me know what you think is worthy of inclusion.

NOTHING AGAINST OBAMA, but why would he get JFK’s “Profile In Courage” award? I can’t think of anything he did that could remotely be construed as courageous. In fact, looking back at our presidents you’d have to go all the way back to Lincoln to find one who performed courageously in office. Some of them, like JFK and Bush One were brave under fire during World War Two, but few of them were courageous either politically or in the usual sense.

A READER WRITES: re The Day I Met The Peoples Temple:

"An old friend, now gone, wrote a series about Jones for The Willits News, Rena Lynn Moore, maybe you remember her, she was a prolific writer too. Rena like many in the area figured him out almost instantly, and told the readers about it.

I remember her being threatened by Jones because of the unflattering news coverage. She claimed, and I believed that she was on a “hit list” and was to be executed, when the Jones end game came…Scared her enough to get the cops involved on several occasions… Like many in the county I had an acquaintance or two who lost friends and family to the madness of Jim Jones. I moved here with a guy who made Jones look like a punk kid, he ended up in jail and alone though…after going through that when Jones came along… he, for me, was an easy read. I never got how all those folks bought into it…? Nice read, thanks for sharing."

ED NOTE: I'd always heard there was ONE local reporter who took Jones on, but I never knew her name or which paper she wrote for. In those days, Mendo was still print-oriented, but here in Boonville we got the five city tv stations, more or less from a ridgetop translator service we all subscribed to. I only read the Press Democrat and the Chron, the PD by subscription; the Chron I drove into town every day to pick up. I barely knew there was media in Mendo. I only knew about Jones tangentially, you might say.

THE VERSION I dimly recall of Ms. Moore's heroic stand against the charlatan, was that both she and the paper she worked for got themselves threatened by Jones. I was vaguely aware that Jones was said to maintain a thug squad he’d send around at odd hours to intimidate his critics and people who'd dropped out of the Peoples Temple. I find it hard to believe Jones would try stuff like this without the police interfering, assuming the people threatened called them. Yeah, yeah, someone will now say Jones owned the cops, too. He was certainly politically influential in inland Mendocino but I doubt the Ukiah PD or the Sheriff's Department would look the other way from goon squads. Anyway, Ms. Moore oughta get a plaque somewhere as one more example of how tenuous, how vulnerable free speech and a free press really are. I hope someone out there can tell us something about her.

A READER fleshes out the rest of the story:

"Rena Lynn Moore moved to Willits in the early seventies with one of her three daughters. She had a son also who later joined her after being released from a federal prison for stocks and bonds fraud. The story was he took a fall for the mob, who knows…? He’s dead now. Rena’s husband had recently died and she sold her house in what is now Silicon Valley and went back to the land. She bought property east of Willits.

"I met her while a communal group I had just left was negotiating to build her a house. One of the guys had hooked up with Rena’s daughter, thus the in for the job.

"She eventually hired these guys led by a Jim Jones type character; he did not work, did not pay his workers and fleeced her for thousands. A lawsuit followed which she won but the money was gone. The guy eventually ended up in jail for another bogus deal, rumors were when released he relocated out of the area.

"With a significant sum of money gone she spliced together a crew, which included me and finished up her house. Soon after she went to work for The Willits News.

"While at TWN she met and married Ed Moore who was the brother of one of the owners. He was well off so all her financial issues were soon over, hence her new name, Rena Lynn Moore.

"She wrote primarily personal interest stuff but when Jim Jones came along she seemed to lock on to his scam, maybe because of what she had gone through earlier with the house. At first she seemed to admire Jones, but that changed quickly. The influence he seemed to hold with County officials and people in general gave her concern, as did the fanatical followers at the Redwood Valley facility. She only wrote a few stories about the guy, but clearly he was not pleased by the coverage.

"Someone did visit or call The Willits News with seemingly threatening innuendos. I remember her saying she was concerned for her safety. Jones moved, the stories stopped, and Rena moved on.

"She wrote the history of several founding families of Little Lake Valley, and I think she published a book about it also. The Chronicle picked up a few of her historical pieces for Sunday publication, too. Like I said, lots of local color.

"She was a mover and shaker for that time; I loved her like a mother. She was always kind, generous and encouraging. For an emotionally lost orphan kid like me she came along at exactly the right time. A year or two after marrying Ed Moore she left the paper and traveled the world with her husband. After a decade of marriage Ed died, Rena sold the property east of Willits and moved to a luxury condo in San Francisco where she died a few years later. I don’t know if this is what you wanted, but it’s what I got…"

MOORE, Rena Lynn (Jowers) - July 13, 1917 - December 16, 2004

Rena passed away on Dec. 16, 2004 in Walnut Creek, CA. Born in Texas she moved to California in 1950. She lived in Palo Alto until 1973 where she raised her children. She moved to Willits in 1973 and was the assistant editor of the Willits News until she retired to Rossmoor in Walnut Creek. She was active in the Camera Club and the Hiking Club. After moving to Kensington in 1997 she continued her hobby with the Berkeley Camera Club until a stroke in 1999. She is lovingly survived by three of her four children; Rodney Blackmore of Seattle, Lory Stevenson(Jim) of Kensington, and Hunter Noble (John) of Alamo. Her eldest daughter Bridget pre-deceased her in 1992. She outlived her three husbands. She is also survived by eight grandchildren and six great grandchildren. She will be remembered for her brilliant mind, her humor and her devotion to her family and the great Cosmos. A Memorial service will be held January 22, 2005 at the SRV Methodist Church in Alamo, CA at 2:00 PM. For further info please call 510/558-8676. (The San Francisco Chronicle)

GRAB & GO. Javier Martinez Pena pled to grand theft for grabbing, along with others (unnamed) armfuls of Levis at JC Penny's in Ukiah and racing out the door. Other shoppers helped to subdue the Levis thief and the clothing was recovered, but the store manager said they were not able to sell the Levis now because they were "too greasy." Mr. Martinez was placed on probation, ordered to pay restitution, and when the probation and the cost of the Levis repaid, the theft would be reduced to a misdemeanor. (— Bruce McEwen)

WE RECEIVED a press release last week that said “several new Green County Councils have joined up or have been reactivated. The next General Assembly of the Green Party of California will be June 17-18 and Mendocino County could send voting delegates.

Green voters in Mendocino County are invited to a meeting to discuss and take action on reactivating the Green Party of Mendocino County. Sunday, May 21 from 2-5 in the afternoon, Willits Center for the Arts, 71 East Commercial St., Willits.

David Cobb, past Green Party presidential candidate and Jill Stein campaign manager and Erik Rydberg, Jill Stein campaign outreach coordinator for California will join us.

Questions: , 459-5970 or Cynthia Raiser Jeavons at 650-888-9781.”

THE MENDO GREENS always functioned, before they went missing altogether, as an adjunct to the County’s pathetic Democratic Party, a branch of the equally pathetic national Democratic Party. The local active Democrats — Joe Not So Wildman, the eternal Rachel Binah, Val Muchowski, Lee Edmundson, Supervisor Hamburg, and assorted other middle of the road extremists — have done an excellent job over the years ensuring that there’s no political energy allowed to the left of them. The old Green Party of Mendocino County was immediately sabbed by nutballs led by the late free range parasite, Richard Johnson, who made the meetings so awful that the handful of regular people who showed up only showed up once. For Mendo, it’s either Hillary Democrats or silence, cunning and internal exile. Taken as a political whole, the Mendo Democrats serve nicely as the reason why Trump is president.

JEFF BLANKFORT’S PHOTO EXHIBIT at Italian Cultural Center, May 10

The Children of Rome, Photographs by Jeffrey Blankfort

In January 1966, San Francisco-based photojournalist Jeffrey Blankfort, arrived in Rome on the first of his many trips to Italy, where he stayed for six months, learning the language, enjoying the food and the city's remarkable beauty but most of all its people and, in particular, its children.

Following his return from Italy, Blankfort began photographing the emerging political struggles of the time, among them the protests against the war in Vietnam and the Black Panthers. His photographs have been published in TIME, Newsweek, Rolling Stone, Saturday Evening Post, New York Times, Ramparts, San Francisco Chronicle and major publications in Europe, including L'Espresso and Panorama.

More of Blankfort's photographs can be viewed on his website:

Wednesday, May 10 - 6:30pm

Opening and Artist Reception

On view: May 11 - June 9

Italian Cultural Institute

601 Van Ness Avenue, San Francisco

LAST FRIDAY NIGHT, ABC 7 NEWS ran an interesting documentary piece on the unhappy experiences of many women working in Humboldt County's marijuana industry. I can't recall reports of sexual violence against women laboring in the dope harvests out of Mendocino County, but given our immediate proximity to HumCo I'm sure there have been plenty of episodes similar to the horror stories from our neighbors to the north.

BUT THE DIFFERENCE between the industry in Mendo and HumCo seems to be that the Green Rush is less rushed here, and Mendo is zoned into larger parcels and our population more settled than in HumCo.

TO ME, Southern Humboldt County borders on grotesque, with large numbers of stoned lurks hanging around Garberville and Redway, all of them cautionary tales in the flesh. Central Ukiah's permanent population of street people is positively Parisian compared to Garberville's.

UP IN THE HILLS of Southern Humboldt, west to Petrolia and east to I-5, there are grows everywhere, the whole of it comprising a kind of eco-disaster area. Not to be too Victorian about it, but remote pot gardens are not safe milieus for unaccompanied young women.

THE FOLLOWING COMMENTS from Kym Kemp's essential Redheaded Blackbelt website tell the tale. There were lots of them on the themes discussed in the following:

(1) I don’t like blaming victims, but just maybe you shouldn’t be working in an illegal industry full of assholes of various forms? Especially if you’re 14?

(2) Not only that, but women have basically cornered the market in the trim game. One of the last places you can make an easy 500 to 1000 bucks per day, without robbing someone, if you’re on your shit… This has happened out of sexual motivation, which growers know, and exploit, but some women are surprised there are bad eggs out there taking advantage of them in return. This is a sad truth to the grow scene, remember Kaelin Meserve from Petrolia? Prime example!

(3) I don’t know that it’s happened entirely out of sexual motivation — the hiring primarily of females — if that’s what you were suggesting. I was around the grow/trim scene for a couple of decades and never saw it. I only saw women being hired because they are the fastest trimmers around… just like they’re the fastest typists. Also, women traditionally don’t stir up trouble the way men do; are tidier, more likely to be on time, will often bring their own food or offer to make something, drink less beer, etc. Less likely to come back and murder you later for money or bud, too. Sorry about the stereotypes, dudes, but yes, women in general make easier employees. I don’t mean “easy” in the sexual way. It’s all who you’re working for and with. I know there are some exploitative jerks out there, but I don’t think the very nature of women trimming is based on the opportunity for sex.

SELECTED REMARKS from Pubic Expression at Tuesday’s Board of Supervisors meeting:

SHERIFF TOM ALLMAN: “Thank you for recognizing May as mental health month. I challenge you for the second time to put on the ballot this fall another mental health initiative. I challenge you. 66.23% of our County supports increasing funding for mental health. And I certainly want to see something done in this county. And you have the power. Three of you have the power to put it into the form of an initiative this fall. I would welcome the opportunity to work with you to improve the mental health services for all the citizens of our county, reducing the burden on other services such as emergency rooms and ambulances and of course law enforcement and fire departments -- improving the quality of life for our citizens and families of our county who definitely need it. So I thank you for recognizing Mental Health month and in advance for all four of you in advance for putting together a proposal to go on the ballot this fall.”

(Applause from the audience.)

BOARD CHAIR John McCowen: Thank you Sheriff. You and I have actually had a bit of that discussion and part of the discussion I believe was that whatever might go on the ballot would need to be somewhat different from what was on the ballot last time. I don't know that the board should simply sit down and write that. We can only do it in open session. There would need to be some sort of discussion about what this new item should be so — I see a thumbs up from the sheriff. So there might be a discussion and we'll see where that leads.

ANA LUCAS: Thank you board members for your time. With the county about to enter into negotiations with SEIU, I came here not to convince you. I want more money — everybody does! But I want to give you a little insight into what the world looks like from my particular perspective. I live in Fort Bragg. I supervise people in Fort Bragg and Willits. A year ago December I lost my two workers in Fort Bragg. It took one year to replace those positions. The cost of housing is so expensive that people cannot relocate to Fort Bragg. The people who ended up working for me, for you, happen to be from Fort Bragg. It took a while for that to happen. The cost of housing is such that it's just impossible for people to relocate to Fort Bragg. There are people who have bounced back to Willits or Ukiah because they moved to Fort Bragg, they accepted a position there, and they were unable to find affordable housing. It's really a problem. I'm a supervisor. I have to rent out two rooms in my house. I also have a second job and I'm not alone. So what do I do for the county? Employment and training was supposed to be the answer to welfare reform, to limited time on aid. So we have a limited time to take people from being dependent on what we used to call welfare, cash aid, to self-sufficiency. We do that in two years and we do it very well. This is not “them,” this is not “those people out there,” these are our neighbors who have just as much of a hard time affording housing as we do. And we get them to be self-sufficient. I go around Fort Bragg and see people who I helped when I was in the eligibility support unit. So I just want to let you know that in this situation this year that we did not have workers in Fort Bragg, the only alternative we had was to import people from Willits and have them commute and alternate to carry the caseload in Fort Bragg. It was very awkward. It was time intensive. It places a huge extra burden on my workers and it was costly! I just want to give you that perspective and I can't say what exactly the solution is but this is the situation as it exists now. Thank you very much.

ED NOTE: According to Transparent California Ana Lucas is an Employment and Training Supervisor for Mendocino County who earned about $44k per year gross plus union benefits in 2016. This translates to around $28k per year take-home. We attempted to look up home rental costs for Fort Bragg and discovered that most of them are “vacation rentals” for short durations at tourist-level rents. There were a few Fort Bragg rentals on Craig’s list but only one that would be suitable for a family and it was $2200 per month, which translates to about the same as Ms. Lucas’s take-home pay.

I'VE NEVER UNDERSTOOD the appeal of these alleged funny guys like Jon Stewart, Colbert, Bill Maher, Letterman, and so on. Their smirking self-regard, smug little ironies, safe shots at big shots, and repulsive deadpan mugging I find repulsive. Colbert, of all these people, at least had the nerve to go so far over the line with the following remark on live tv that it might finish him off. If we're lucky.

HERE'S ERASER HEAD talking about Trump: "Sir, you attract more skinheads than free Rogaine." Thud. "You have more people marching against you than cancer." Groan. "You talk like a sign-language gorilla who got hit in the head." Ugh.

THE GUY'S gag writers are, what, fourth graders? Then the closer, the one that ought to get this appallingly unfunny character out of our public viewsheds forever — "In fact, the only thing your mouth is good for is being Vladimir Putin's c--k holster."

YEARS AGO, Barry Bonds, a great baseball player before steroids but a chemical freak of no interest to this fan after steroids, was asked who made him laugh. Barry was stumped. He just stared until the guy started rattling off tv programs. No reaction until the guy got to "Seinfeld," and Bonds said, "I thought you meant funny?" Bonds went way up in my estimation with that one.

ON THE OFF CHANCE you're wondering if painfully un-funny Colbert, and instant chloroform Bill Maher should be penalized for their stupid and vulgar Trump "jokes," here's the FCC standard: "It must appeal to an average person's prurient interest; depict or describe sexual conduct in a ‘patently offensive’ way; and, taken as a whole, lack serious literary, artistic, political or scientific value." Both these guys for sure meet the ‘patently offensive’ stipulation.

SO, who do you think is funny? Off the top, I think Dave Chappelle and Chris Rock are very funny. George Carlin was funny. Farther back, the great Lenny Bruce, early Eddie Murphy, Richard Pryor were funny. I think Trump, looked at purely from a comic perspective, is hilarious.

OF COURSE there are people who think our on-line Catch-of-the-Day feature is unfair to the bustees who are, after all, merely accused of breaking the law, not convicted of it, or have been picked up for not paying a fine. Yes, well, I don’t agree. I think catch of the day is riveting, as do a clear majority of our readers. Those faces of our friends and neighbors are so brilliantly photographed the guy who takes them is Mendocino County's supreme practicing artist. BTW, we remove the photos of most people who ask. The requests we refuse are those of persons later convicted.

WE GOT a lot of flak for Man Beater of the Week, which we will soon revive. There were people, women especially, who didn't think it was funny. But more women who did think it was funny. But we were trying to make the point that the unlikely perps were guilty of what? A slap in the face of some boor who had it coming, that a few years ago a cop, if he was even called, would simply warn the combatant not to do it again and drive on?

YEAH, YEAH domestic violence is no joke, and "men" who do it ought to be severely punished. But the way these phony busts are "adjudicated" is an exorbitant find and a sentence to the County's even phonier (and mandated), "anger management classes" taught by… Well, the last time I checked, the costly classes were presided over by the kind of seething "liberals" who are so angry themselves you expect any time to read about them shooting up a Starbucks.

I'VE SUSPECTED the County's racket-like justice system forces people into these phony anger management classes simply as one more revenue source to fund the already lushly funded court system, along with inflated fines, outrageously expensive traffic tickets, unreasonably costly parking tickets, and all the rest of the fees and fines set by people with plenty of money to pay them.

EVERYONE’S happy about this one: The Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office announced Friday it had solved one of the Bay Area’s most enduring mysteries, accusing a Forestville survivalist with a history of violence of committing the August 2004 slayings of a young engaged couple as they lay in sleeping bags on a beach in Jenner.

Shaun Michael Gallon, now 38, shot Lindsay Cutshall, 22, of Fresno, Ohio, and her fiance, Jason Allen, 26, of Zeeland, Mich., with a .45-caliber Marlin rifle at close range as they slept on secluded Fish Head Beach near the mouth of the Russian River. The couple had been working that summer at a Christian youth camp along the American River in El Dorado County, and had gone on a three-day sightseeing trip up the coast which would have taken them through Forestville. Investigators say Cutshall and Allen didn’t know Gallon, and it’s unclear whether they might have had an earlier interaction with him.


To Rex Gresset

Re: City meetings on line—

It is true that over the years your writing skills have improved. But not getting facts correct is something you need to work on, unless like some people in our national government, you prefer to stick with “alternative” facts.

The latest information you twisted to fit your argument against Linda Ruffing, et al, is that city meetings were not seen on-line until recently. That is just not true, here is a little history: The city council and planning and many other meetings were recorded and played on channel 3 beginning in the 1990’s — before on-line was available. Starting in about 2005 the meetings began to be on line and in fact they are still available on line in a few different places. What is relatively new in the last 5 years is that the meetings can been seen on-line live, which began in 2013. If you are interested is seeing any of the city meetings before MCTV was destroyed by The Footlighters in 2013, go to and under category type in "Mendocino Coast." I haven’t checked recently, let me know if there is a problem.

While it is true the city council meetings were poorly attended for many many years except when certain issues came up — historically that was often around land use, just as today. Some say the poor attendance was because people could sit at home and watch the meeting. Indeed some people would watch the meeting and come down to town hall in their slippers to comment on something they just noticed on tv of city council. Almost all the city council meetings MCTV recorded up to June 2013 were watched on line by hundreds of people according to the stats that were available from

Elizabeth Swenson

Fort Bragg


My dear Elizabeth,

Sure the meetings were on line from the advent of the internet if you knew where to look. You just had to dig a little. I am sorry if you thought I implied otherwise. I really thought there had been continuous improvement in internet access to the council and committee meetings and a correspondingly increased interest in the affairs of the city.

I am distressed to have upset you. I realize having read your amazingly clarifying remarks that after all nothing has changed in the city council. How could I have failed to understand there is not a whit more interest or involvement or concern than ever there was.

I used to wonder if the citizens that watched at home in their slippers were so enormously contented with the political theater provided to them, that they stayed home eating peanuts or so disgusted with contrivance and crude manipulation that they declined to be a part of the farce. Your incisive analysis got right to the heart of it. All the happy campers that used to watch the meetings in their slippers have now simply decided to show up in person. Thank you for making that clear to me.

I notice that you do not dispute that Linda Ruffing routinely manipulates the council, stacks the deck, makes her agenda the city agenda. Or that the city council provides nothing in the way of direction, declines to lead, and has no plan other than what the city manager spoon feeds them.

That is the substance of my contention. Deal with that if you want to have a discussion. A resort to pettiness is not a discussion.

ED NOTE: Before there was on-line, or maybe it was in the early stages of on-line but not many people were adept at negotiating cyber-space, Fort Bragg City Council meetings were televised by the local non-profit that then did the revelatory grunt work. One night, when Dominic Affinito appeared before the Council, Fort Bragg got a good look at him live, and was so appalled at what they saw, Affinito, who'd had his way with the town via the totally city-underwritten infrastructure at his Glass Beach development, among other City gifts he received from an utterly corrupt city council, Affinito was finished. TV was his downfall. He came off as the thug he was. His fatal televised appearance was soon after Affinito had physically attacked Dan Gjerde in City Hall, and the City itself was run by Affinito errand boy, Gary Milliman. How corrupt was the City Council? Old fashioned corrupt, no interest loans from Affinito to the City Council etc. Gjerde led the reform charge at great peril to himself. There was never a definitive link between Affinito and the Fort Bragg Fires of '87, but then-DA Susan Massini let the statute of limitations run on prosecuting the prominent Fort Braggers responsible, and when she left office and retired to Oregon, the twenty boxes of evidence in the case, which included the results of both the FBI and ATF investigations, disappeared. Some of you Fort Bragg old timers may remember Kenny Ricks, dead of an acrobatic suicide the Sunday before he was to appear in San Francisco to address a federal grand jury. It was an acrobatic suicide Ricks is alleged to have achieved by placing a shotgun between his legs and pulling the trigger with his toe. He was one of the '87 arsonists paid by the responsible persons to set the fires. The entire saga and its cast of characters was more diverse, more interesting than Twin Peaks, and the people involved one way or another are still terrified by those events, still assume that bad things could happen to them if they talk about them.

GRETA VAN SUSTEREN asks the only relevant question we've heard re the alleged roll back of ObamaCare: "What is the celebration? It can't pass in the Senate. It hasn't even gone to the Senate. It's like claiming victory in a football game at the end of the first quarter or the half or something. For the life of me, I don't know why they put themselves in a position where they're clapping each other on the back for getting something halfway done. The American people want a product. We're not even there and it's not even likely to be there. Now we have this picture, this bus ride, this big hoopla."


We’re pleased to present new paintings by Mary Robertson

May 13 - June 10, 2017

Opening Reception: Saturday, May 13, from 5 to 7 p.m.

For more than 30 years, Mary Robertson has been capturing the reflected light of the Russian River, which flows by her Guerneville studio. Her intimate paintings explore the beaches, umbrellas, floats and canoes that surround her —and always the light. Said artist Wayne Thiebaud of Robertson's work: “These joyous and meditative paintings are colorful simulations of contentment and sacred play."

Preview The Exhibition

Video: “Shut Up and Paint!

Thomas Reynolds Gallery

1906 Fillmore Street

San Francisco, CA 94115


NO OFFICIAL WORD yet on what it all means, but the City of Fort Bragg may be cracking down on the Hospitality Center and/or Hospitality House for violation of HC's use permit. And/or the Hospitality Center may be preparing to sue Fort Bragg for cracking down on them. City of Fort Bragg - File #: 17-252 “Conference With Legal Counsel - Anticipated Litigation: Significant exposure to litigation pursuant to Paragraph (2) of Subdivision (d) of Section 54956.9: One (1) Potential Case”

JAMES MARMON quoting, I believe, from the Willits Weekly: “Supervisors on Tuesday allocated money to two local agencies that will assist the county in implementing its new “differential response” policy. Differential response is a family-and child welfare practice in which families judged to have a relatively low potential for dysfunction, but who still need counseling, will be directed to non-county personnel for counseling. To that end, supervisors approved a contract with First 5 Mendocino for $162,000 for services from May of this year to June 30 of next year. A second contract was approved with Redwood Community Services for $292,246 for the same term.”

THIS, in a nutshell, is how Mendocino County works. The Supervisors shovel public money to their friends and political allies in the helping professions, the seemingly endless non-profits allegedly doing good things for dependent people, especially children. Imagine someone from the County knocking on your door and saying, "We think your family has the potential for dysfunction and we're here to see that you don't topple all the way into…"

THIS IS JUST straight-up racketeering, gifts of public funds to create more dependence not less. And no follow-up or even a mild inquiry if the half-million dollars is doing any good. You can count on that.

OUR ALL-TIME man beater was the young woman at the center of this domestic drama: A young logger was confined to his couch with a broken leg. The woman he thought was his girlfriend appears to tell him she's pregnant with his best friend's baby. He tells her to leave. She picks up his bedpan and dumps its contents on him. Then, as he tries to get up to defend himself, she grabs his crutch and swings it repeatedly into his broken leg. Family members finally separate them. He calls the cops, she's arrested for a felony-level domestic assault. Looking at her booking photo, you see a small, attractive young woman and say to yourself, "No way. This woman did all that?"


Sunday, May 14, 2017

The 42nd Anniversary Mendocino Spring Poetry Celebration takes place Sunday, May 14 at the Hill House in Mendocino. There will be two open readings. Sign up at noon for the reading at 1:00 PM. Sign up at 5:00 PM for the reading at 6:00. Readers should prepare four minutes per session, of their own work or of favorites by others. This annual event draws 30-40 poets from the north counties and beyond. Open book displays, choice comestibles, fellowship. Contributions welcome. All poems will be considered for broadcast by Dan Roberts on KZYX&Z Walt Whitman said, “Great poetry requires great audiences.” Celebrate the word! For information: Gordon Black at gblack@mcn, or (707) 937-4107.

A WILLITS READER NOTES: "I watched a situation the other day with an obviously mentally ill young woman. She was in a neighborhood in Willits, standing on a corner, screaming obscenities to nonexistent people, this went on for 30 minutes or more. The police were called by several neighbors. The police showed up, spoke to her for maybe 5 minutes, got into their cruiser and drove away. The woman continued on with the rant for another 10 minutes. Finally… she stumbled down the street, screaming, flailing hands and arms, occasionally stopping to address a telephone pole or pot hole… I could hear her on Main St. 30 minutes later. The point is, the police are either powerless to do anything, or this kind of issue has become so commonplace they have elected to just go through the motions to semi-placate the public…Something is very wrong, the public deserves better. “Lock her up…!” I can hear the bleeding hearts crowd already…"

THE BLEEDING HEARTS I know correctly voted for Sheriff Allman's proposed County psych unit, which is where this lady would have been sequestered until she regained herself if we had one. At the moment, the County Jail is so crowded the "quality of life" offenses that normally get people locked up are merely cited and, as in this case, the police drive off, having determined that shouting obscenities at invisible antagonists, although unpleasant for the people who have to listen to it, isn't an arrestable offense given the present givens.

MILLIONS are annually frittered away just in Mendocino County on programs that allegedly help the tormented and the helpless. But they're really just jobs programs for people with vague college degrees. The help rendered is monitored and reported on by the people rendering it. The 9 to 5 doers of good occasionally appear before the Supervisors where they say, "We're doing wonders for — insert one or all of the following: homeless, dependent children, drug and alcohol addicts, single mothers, and those latest cash and carry reimbursables, families "who may become dysfunctional."

EVERYONE in the room is smiling at all the good that's getting done. The Supervisors rain down superlatives on their helping pros — "Great work. Keep it up." Meanwhile, the Willits crazy woman is still screaming on Main Street.

AT SOME POINT, the county's (and the country's) highly paid leadership is going to have to talk seriously about what to do with the growing armies of walking wounded. To date, the only in-county person to offer at least a partial solution to the most troubling sector of the dependent population — street crazies — is Sheriff Allman, and his proposal to establish an in-county psych unit was narrowly defeated in the last election by a combination of wealthy people who believe they shouldn't be taxed at all for anything except weapons systems and "liberals" led by Supervisor Hamburg, many of them helping pros.

THE GIANTS could use this kid. Ukiah High School's Karter Koch pitched a perfect game against Rancho Cotati last week. Koch threw a total of 80 pitches — in seven innings, mowing down 21 consecutive hitters, striking out seven at Ukiah's Anton Stadium on a recent Friday night. When he isn't pitching, Koch is at shortstop for the Wildcats.

Karter Koch, photo by Jeff Weston

LAST MONTH in Minneapolis, the first cases of measles appeared among immigrant Somalis. Soon there was a full-blown outbreak, one of the starkest consequences of an intensifying anti-vaccine movement in the United States and around the world that has gained traction in part by targeting specific communities.

IN MENDOCINO COUNTY, the targeted population is, and right here we'll have to go to euphemism — neo-hippies, anti-corporate hysterics, the learning impaired, and random citizens immunized at birth against sequential thought processes.

ALTHOUGH extensive research has disproved any relationship between vaccines and autism, the fear has become entrenched in many communities across the country.

ANTI-VACC activists defend their role in exposing children to death from diseases long assumed extinct by inoculation, by saying they merely provide information to parents. A defrocked Brit medical doctor named Wakefield wrote an anti-vaccination tract that has been hugely influential among the educationally unprotected, but Wakefield's study was tardily revealed as fraudulent and was retracted by the medical journal that published it, and Wakefield's medical license was revoked.

MEASLES, which remains endemic in many parts of the world, was eliminated in the United States at the start of this century. It reappeared several years ago as more parents from the privileged sectors of society began refusing to vaccinate their children.

THE RAMIFICATIONS already have been significant. A 2014-2015 measles outbreak infected 147 people in seven states and spread to Mexico and Canada. In California, high school students were sent home because of infected classmates. One patient who was unknowingly infectious visited a hospital and exposed dozens of pregnant women and babies, including those in the neonatal intensive care unit. Another adult patient was hospitalized and on a breathing machine for three weeks.

FEDERAL guidelines typically recommend that children get the first vaccine dose at 12 to 15 months of age and the second when they are 4 to 6 years old. The combination is 97 percent effective in preventing the viral disease, which can cause pneumonia, brain swelling, deafness and, in rare instances, death. State health officials are now recommending doses for babies as young as 6 months if there is concern for ongoing measles exposure.

IN CALIFORNIA, children must provide proof of immunization before they are admitted to public schools. Unfortunately, there are legal exemptions to this commonsense requirement. We've got a call in to Public Health for the stats, but we know going in there are too many un-vaccinated children in Mendocino County.

From California’s Public Health statistics we found that:

State average for vaccinated and conditionally vaccinated kindergartners is about 92%

Lake County: 95%.

Mendo: 94%.

Sonoma: 94%

Marin: 91%

HumCo: 89%.

Nevada county (the worst): 78%.

According to public health standards “coverage rates must remain in the 92-94% range to ensure ‘herd immunity’ against measles, which involves maintaining a threshold level of vaccination across a community that protects even the unvaccinated.”


(1) Trump may yet prove to be the worst President ever. But it won’t be for reversing course, but rather for carrying forward the Bush-Obama (Neo-Con) agenda. To point out only a few points:

More foreign wars, regime change, nation building, and pre-emptive strikes;

More antagonizing Russia and China rather than working together;

More surveillance on Americans and curtailment of free speech by calling it “hate speech”

More suppression of the non-corporate, non-globalist alt media;

More trampling on every Constitutional right by invoking the war on terrorism;

More militarizing the police, brutalizing society, and permitting an Orwellian deep state of unaccountable Black Ops Agencies;

More financial skullduggery to hide an economically declining system of scams, frauds, and rackets using phony, Potemkin statistics;

More blind eyes for Globalist criminal activity on Wall Street.

We elected Trump to drain the swamp, but he appears to be morphing into a swamp creature. You Trump haters may prove to be ultimately justified in reviling the man, but ironically because he turned into one of you.

(2) Economics as we know it is racketeering. None of what goes on in that criminal syndicate makes any logical sense because it is basically theft, fraud, and illusion. Somehow the criminals have got all of us using their terminology to explain “economic” events: bubbles, crashes, etc. To me, bubbles are the gathering of suckers into the illusion of making money from investment, and crashes are paydays for the rich, when they orchestrate the quick removal of money from the suckers. The rich get their paydays every ten years or whenever there are these crashes. In the meantime, they do their stealing on daily basis, continuing their grooming of the new crop of suckers, destroying countries and stealing their gold and resources. Their theft is getting to be more in the open, stealing pensions, passing legislation so that banks can seize depositors’ funds for their next payday, calling it a bail-in rather than bail-out. Whatever it’s called, it’s the rich simply fucking taking the money that belongs to the suckers. The suckers let them do all this, because, well, they are suckers, stupid beyond belief. It’s not economics, it’s crime.

(3) Where Have All The Flowers And Old Cars Gone?

In my state, new cars are almost all I see.

Or new or newer looking cars.

And why are the new cars so ugly?

With new cars the manufacturers don’t have enough length to produce graceful lines and curves but they try to do it anyway and it ends up making the cars look like they have body damage; especially at night time.

The mid-sized SUVs look like they’ve been rear ended.

For the first time in the history of automobiles, dirty cars look better than clean shiny ones.

(4) In my state, new cars are almost all I see.

Or new or newer looking cars.

And why are the new cars so ugly?

With new cars the manufacturers don’t have enough length to produce graceful lines and curves but they try to do it anyway and it ends up making the cars look like they have body damage; especially at night time.

The mid sized SUVs look like they’ve been rear ended.

For the first time in the history of automobiles, dirty cars look better than clean shiny ones.

(5) It’s interesting to see the reaction of republicans when socialized medicine is brought up. I remember back after “W” was reelected, he went on a campaign to have social security privatized. He appeared in front of many adoring audiences who, even though they loved him, did not want their social security privatized. His efforts went for naught. Social security is socialism plain & simple, and even though people don’t want to give it up, they can’t make the leap and see that socialized medicine would benefit them as much as SS. They get sold that same line from the Republicans that it’s a death trap. If the Republicans are to be believed, you can always spot a Canadian health care clinic by looking for the pile of bodies stacked outside which consists of people who died waiting for health care. It’s pure propaganda. It would be just as beneficial for people as Social Security is. When I have told Canadians how much I pay for health insurance and prescriptions, they have laughed right in my face. Every month when I go to pick up my prescriptions I have to prepare to get screwed. I’ve heard all the bullshit lines the Republicans spew on the subject, and all I can say is I guess if you’re stupid enough to believe them, maybe you deserve to be screwed.

(6) Get big money out of politics and a lot of this goes away. The people who ostensibly represent us in Washington cannot get elected without wiping the boots of the medical, insurance, finance, and defense industry.

A few minutes ago I watched a video about the launch of the USS Tripoli. It is one of the largest ships in the world called an “amphibious assault vessel. One is already in service and another will be built. The article says the cost was originally 2.38 billion but will be 3.1 billion when it is outfitted.

Who are we planning to assault amphibiously?

How long would it take to blow this thing out of the water with a cruise missile from 1500 miles away.

We waste money on crap we “might” need, but probably will not, and then deny the basic necessities of life to people who need it “now” in order to live.

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