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Mendocino County Today: Monday, Aug. 7, 2017

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The scanner announced @ 9:22 pm that the person wanted in connection with the shotgun killing of a Navarro man had been apprehended at the Chapel of the Redwoods Baptist Church in Comptche.

The "alleged" shotgun murder took place at 2790 Seabiscuit Drive in Comptche - 5.93 miles south of the arrest location at 31201 Comptche Ukiah Road (5.93 miles as the crow flies, or 8.91 miles by car). It first came over the scanner @ 6:57 pm.

This was MSP's post when the "suspect" vehicle was first spotted after the murder - prior to the sighting the suspect was last seen walking around with a shotgun near the scene:

"A reporting party (a CalFire unit) said ( 8:19 pm) they saw a minivan matching the description of the wanted vehicle headed toward Comptche at mile marker 4.8 on Flynn Creek Road. It was a green/gray minivan with a busted windshield and missing back window.

At 8:26 pm, a vehicle matching the description of the wanted minivan was reported to have just passed the Comptche Fire Department.

A patrol unit said they were at mile marker 2.84 on Flynn Creek Road @ 8:28 pm headed toward Comptche.

Updated description from dispatch said the vehicle could be a gray or green Toyota Sienna minivan with a "spider-webbed" front windshield, front end damage plus a broken right rear window possibly covered by plastic. It has an Iowa plate similar to CGJ373.

A report @ 8:36 pm from near the Comptche Store said the vehicle went on Comptche-Ukiah Road but it was unknown if it headed to the coast or Ukiah.

Law enforcement units are setting up on both ends of Comptche-Ukiah as well as on Orr Spring Road.

At 8:53 pm, a patrol unit said they were near 21455 Comptche- Ukiah Road with no sighting. Ditto a unit on Orr Springs Road.

At 9:18 pm, units were directed to the church in Comptche - then they switched to another channel (white).

The scanner said, "Suspect detained" @ 9:22 pm at the Comptche Church." The vehicle was parked there.

Reason For The Shooting

While MSP has the names of the individuals involved, we'll let the Mendocino Sheriff Office "officially" name them. We also heard from a credible source the murder should come as no surprise:

"They were roommates...constant threats and fighting. The fact is that they didn't get along and always fought about who owed who money, tweeking, stealing, lying on each other and having screaming matches. The suspect was driving the victim’s vehicle."

As for the suspect arrested at the Comptche Baptist Church: "He is crazy, has mental disabilities, and was a really bad guy. He always started stuff with people and tried to buck up to them and cause trouble in Navarro, this isn't new at all..."

More information as the situation develops.

(Courtesy, MendocinoSportsPlus)

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NEWS RELEASE: Mendocino County Sheriff's Office, August 7, 2017

Incident Number: 2017-22811
Crime/Incident: 187(a) PC  [Murder]
Location: 2700 Block Sea Biscuit Drive, Navarro Ca.
Date of Incident: 08-06-2017
Time: 6:52 PM
Victim(s): Adult Male, 55 years of age, Navarro CA
Suspect(s): Michael Jay Saner, 58 year of age, Navarro CA

Synopsis: On August 6th, at approximately 6:52 PM, Mendocino County Sheriff's Deputies were called to a reported shooting that occurred in the 2700 Block of Sea Biscuit Drive, in the Rancho Navarro sub division of Navarro.

Responding deputies arrived and found medical personnel staging in the area. Deputies entered the scene and found the victim, a 55 year old male, deceased from a possible gunshot wound.

Saner (July 2017 booking photo)

Witnesses at the scene identified 58 year old Michael Saner, of Navarro as the suspect and his description and vehicle information were broadcast county wide. The Sheriff's Office received several tips, including one from local emergency medical personnel who had responded to the call. The tip indicated that a vehicle matching the suspects vehicle had been seen in the area of Flynn Creek Road traveling towards Comptche.

A Mendocino County Sheriff's Detective as well as patrol deputies who were responding to the original scene checked the area of the Redwood Church in the 31200 Block of Comptche Ukiah Road and located the suspect vehicle. The suspect was located inside his vehicle and was taken into custody without incident.

The suspect was subsequently booked in the Mendocino County Jail for homicide. Mendocino County Sheriff's Detectives assisted by an Investigator from the Mendocino County District Attorney's Office conducted the investigation.

The victim and suspect were known associates and may have been involved in a dispute over property ownership.

Any persons with knowledge of this case are encouraged to contact the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office.

Written By: Detective Sergeant Andrew Porter

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LITTLE DOG SAYS, “Me, I sleep inside at night, but Skrag's out there roaming around. I ask him what he does all night, but Skrag says, ‘My personal life is my business, Little Dog. Sorry’.”

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THE SUNFLOWER FIELDS at the Saracina Winery, Hopland, are just coming on, and a more splendid annual sight you will not see in Mendocino County.

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Lion is an adorable 2 year old, male Terrier mix who weighs 12 pounds. At the Shelter, he is timid with new people, but we think once he gets settled in his new home he will be more outgoing and a fun dog to have around. Lion enjoys hanging out with people and sitting on a comfy lap. He will make a great little companion dog.

The Ukiah Animal Shelter is located at 298 Plant Road in Ukiah; adoption hours are Tuesday - Saturday 10 am to 4:30 pm and Wednesday till 6:30 pm. To view photos and bios of our adoptable dogs and cats, please visit online at or visit the shelter. Join us the 2nd Saturday of every month for our "Empty the Shelter" pack walk and help us get every dog out for some exercise! For more information about adoptions please call 707-467-6453.

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RAN STRAIGHT into former Mendo school chief Paul Tichinin at Mosswood Market. He was all smiles. He's always all smiles when he sees me, although I've been insulting him since 1975, at times on a weekly basis. He said, "Hello, Bruce. Great to see you!" I said, "How are you, Paul?" "Life is good," he said, "life is very good." Either the guy's an amnesiac, a holy fool in the Dostoyevskian sense, or he simply doesn't care since he got over for years in Mendocino County's easiest, best-paid job, a job without function or duties, and now lives on a fat pension. Well, heck, good for you, Paul. We should all be so fortunate, and you ought to patent your ability to Zen-out your adversaries, although I think I was the only one.

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ONE OF MENDOCINO COUNTY'S truly gifted artisans is moving on. Ron Black, of Yorkville, says he's outta here by the end of the week. A new love interest in Oregon calls him north. I admire him and his work so thoroughly I'm reprinting and reposting the following:

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by Bruce Anderson

Check that. How about The Omni-Talented Mr. Black? Or The Mysterious Mr. Black? Or The Charismatic Mr. Black?

They all apply.

A tall, fit-looking man who looks like one of the good guy gun slingers at the OK Corral, Ron Black, a man of many parts, works his artist's magic out of an unlikely studio — a pioneer-era barn on an olive ranch near Yorkville. The barn is unheated. It's also un-windowed and somewhat un-walled. Characteristically, my host shrugs off the chill of an early Tuesday morning. "It can get pretty cold in here, but I like the space."

I liked it, too. I also liked my host's crisp tour. He got right to the point, or lots of points, most of which whistled past my uncomprehending ears as he rattled off the techno-functions for an array of complicated machinery, much of which the ingenious Black has constructed out of used and found parts.

Pointing at a barrel-shaped object I'd thought might be a whiskey still, Black laughed and explained that it was a kiln. And also laughed when I broached local rumors that he was "a mystery man" and, Boonville gossip said, maybe even a federal cop of some kind.

"I've heard that one," he confirmed. "I've worked security at Grange events and some of my good friends are cops. At the Grange a guy walked up to me and asked me why I gave him a ticket in the 80s. You are Ron Black, right? I said I am. He said, You gave me a ticket back then and I didn't deserve it. I told him that in the 80s I was living in Texas. There is another Ron Black and he's married to a Sue Black and he used to be a sheriff here. He's in Santa Rosa now. That's the guy who gave you a ticket. But people wonder, I guess. They say it’s suspicious that I'm seasonal. They say I'm always here in pot season. In winter he’s somewhere else, they say. Well, I go where the work is. Period. They have no knowledge of what I am or what I do. I'm quiet, I mind my own business.” The object of all this speculation laughs. “I know all about those rumors. I’ve hung around with cops. I'm not running around as a criminal."

Gossip and idle speculation put to rest, Black moved me quickly through his see-through studio. This is an interesting man who has led an interesting life, much of it supported by skilled but hard physical labor.

On display in the 1860 barn are many beautiful things, all crafted by Black, and ranging from multi-colored plates to inlaid tables to abalone jewelry. The artist's equipment is also neatly arrayed, all of it aimed at the production of these glass and concrete objects of a very high order of rendering, including a headstone-in-progress for the Housley family, stunning in its elegant simplicity, the most striking headstone I've ever seen. And there's a backgammon board inlaid on perfect concrete, and another table top brilliantly inscribed as a chess board, one-of-a-kinder items whose fortunate owners will possess instant heirlooms.

How did the talented Mr. Black find his way to Boonville?

"I came to Boonville from the Bay Area in 1996 and, except for a stay in Oak Run, a wide spot in the road in the hills above Redding, I've been here ever since. My uncle was living in Ukiah. He drove me over Highway 253 and showed me Boonville. I was looking for work. I drove by this house and I put a note on the door saying I was looking for work. The next day I got a call from Burt the original guy who bought this place. He hired me and we started restoring the old house here. Ron Rice, a retired schoolteacher, bought Burt out. We've restored the old ranch house and planted 1600 olive trees in 10 fields, I did all the excavation, all the fencing and whatnot. I've been back here two years from Redding."

The barn Mr. B works out of, and the old ranch house next door, go back to 1860, only a decade after California achieved statehood and Mendocino became a county. Mendocino County was so untamed it was governed out of Santa Rosa. Not far down the road from where we're standing was a large Indian village. If these buildings could talk…

Black has done much of the remodeling of the ranch house. And he's done much of the olive tree planting. And he put the artichokes in the ground. And he fenced it all in. Somehow he's also found the time to become an artisan whose creations are now much sought after. Small wonder he's up at 4:30 every morning.

The artist goes through literal tons of colored glass.

"This glass came from mirror with a 1958 date on the back. I didn't know that until after I broke it. But those are mirror inlays."Gesturing to a large bin of multi-colored glass, he says, "This over here is from a guy in Redding who had a landscape business. He went out of business and gave me 1000 pounds of his colored glass."

I can't help asking Black if he's seen Fort Bragg's famous Glass Beach.

"I could restore it. I could restore Glass Beach!" he says with a laugh, pointing to his barrels of glass fragments.

"I hauled 3500 pounds in a one-ton truck from Weaverville back to Oak Run outside of Redding because I was not going to let it go. It was in cardboard boxes in the dirt, I dug it up, washed it off, and some of it's right here in this barn."

This isn't a man who's comfortable talking about himself. He answers specific questions without much elaboration. I asked him what kind of training he's had, how did he become so proficient with these basic materials, so proficient he's elevated concrete and glass to art?

"I've learned all this by myself within the last three years. A lot of it is Internet study and a lot of different people taught me things. Any design you can think of, I can cut. If I cut the design like I did here," he says, pointing to a meticulously inlaid, multi-colored plate fit for an emperor.

Black's imaginative facility with tools, he suggests, probably came from his father.

"I was born that way," he says of his gifts "at Peninsula Hospital in Burlingame outside of Redwood City. My Dad owned a Shell station and I helped him with that. He passed away in 2010. I'm California all the way except for the 2 1/2 years I spent in Neah Bay with the Indians. They adopted me and gave me a tribal card in 1992. I remodeled their houses and did whatever needed doing. I had a contractor's license up until May when I canceled because I am tired of digging holes and putting up fences."

But before the enterprising Black gave up general contracting, he built an animal refuge in Southern California that now houses 75 exotic animals. Mort Meyerson, a retired graphic artist for Walt Disney "had me do 40 fish ponds and waterfalls and a redwood waterwheel in his backyard." It's clear that these projects required many skills plus a large imaginative gift.

At heart a small town guy, a rural person, Black eventually sold his large pieces of equipment "and I went to a little place near Redding called Oak Run where I had a shop called Second Time Tables," adding, "I made the bench tops for the Sundial Bridge." He said a friend liked his work so much the friend redubbed him, Ron Black Art."

Properly re-christened as the artist he obviously is, Black recalls his first work. "I made many many chess tables and sold them to B&Bs, I made chess pieces out of a bottle tops. These umbrella bases? I made a black one for Mike Hopko [a famous glass artist], I made his name out of his glass and melted it in the kiln, Soul Glass in a black table, with his glass in it and a black base. And that was my gift back to him."

The Yorkville man’s work involves a lot of heavy lifting, but I didn't see so much as a dolly, much less a forklift. I asked him how he moved the heavy stuff.

The artist points to his fit and sinewy self.

"No forklift. I just pick it up," adding that he has occasionally called upon Steve Henderson of Boonville "to help me at times."

Black also crafts smaller items, which he’s arrayed for informal display. They include finely wrought items of abalone shell.

"This is it, my shop" he says. "It's right here. This is me. I haven't even tried to sell the stuff yet. But I have Facebook pages and some things have already sold. The feather earrings were sold to a gal in Boonville. If you can see it I can make it. These will be for my stepmother's grandkids," he says, pointing to figures of animals he's made from abalone.

And where do the ab shells come from?

"Mancher Pardini gave me all of his, 100 of them to start with. A guy who heard I was looking for them came by with 10 shells. Rick Rajeski gave me 30 shells when he visited the shop.”

So you find a lot of things used and secondhand?

“Yes. Except for the tools. Any of this material except for the pallet racks, I bought those. That cart there was given to me and I restored it. I added the steel cross pieces. All the glass is recycled. All the granite is recycled. And of course the abalone is recycled.”

So you know something about olives too now?

“Yes, I do. All five Italian varieties. I know that they are turning purple faster than normal now so that will give it that buttery flavor which I like. And the green will give it that pungent little peppery taste. Until a few years ago I didn't even know the difference, but along with the olive trees we have interspersed peaches, pears, apples, artichokes pomegranates, persimmons."

Black describes an encounter with the late Guido Pronsolino when he first moved onto the ranch to begin the restoration work on it. Guido’s ranch was across the road.

"Guido used the barn a lot for his sheep. We met at the gate and we had our words. He didn't know me. He told me where he lived and I told him where I lived, that we had a lease on this place. We argued at the gate and he threatened to shoot me. And I said, You're too old, too slow, I can get your gun out of your truck before you get there. He says, What's your name? I say, Ron Black. He said he'd take my No Trespassing sign off and stomp on it. I said, You do that and I will do yours at the same time. We will do it together. He shook my hand and that was it. Guido said, Oh okay, all right. We met that way."

How is your body holding up after all these years?

“I could tell you stories," Black says, suggesting the aches and pains that come with pushing sixty after years of physical labor. "But today I feel good. I've had those days. If I bump my head it's a bad day. I supposedly had a stroke four years ago in 2011. I couldn't talk until about four days later. My left side went. I went to the hospital in Redding, stay there overnight, they let me out. I just finished with a neurologist about a month ago. I get a headache if I don't drink coffee. I haven't had any spells since then. Ron Rice has hauled me over there to emergency three times now. I'm 57. I feel great. I'm healthy. I'm in shape. I can run up a hill and back down.”

(Photos of Ron Black’s work can be found at:

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We are disappointed that the Mendocino County Board of Supervisors feels the county needs another year before enforcing new permitting for marijuana growers. We understand that the county may have come up short in its planning for the new changes, but to go a whole year without permitting seems like too long a time.

In 12 months lots of trees can be cut down to clear for pot gardens without reason, lots of growers can get fully set up outside the rules and then claim hardship when the permit kicks in. Lots of local growers are even now getting special treatment by being allowed to continue to grow in residential areas for years to come.

Many growers are already complaining about the new permitting regs, saying they are too strict and burdensome and will make it impossible to make a profit. To some extent we say “Boo hoo hoo” to them. On the other hand, if the county is going to have rules it needs to make them clear and enforceable and make the new system a priority. Goodness knows this county has spent a long time establishing the marijuana cultivation rules. It should have had a parallel effort to staff up the new department it needs to carry the regulations forward. Local growers willing and able to follow the rules should not now have to wait around while the county tries to deal with a backlog of more than 600 permit applications and a permit system that already seems to be lacking some important components.

We agree that the county should have all potential cultivators go through a quick zoning review to make sure that the land they have in hand is actually a legal growing site. We are hearing that some wannabe growers are simply buying up tracts of land and assuming they will be permitted, are cutting down trees and otherwise misusing the land in troubling ways.

Perhaps the county can send a letter out to all local real estate agents giving them a hotline to call for information about specific parcels being looked at by prospective growers.

Again, we understand that the county wasn’t ready for all the activity on the ground as its permitting deadline came and went. But a year seems an awfully long time to put off getting this industry under some kind of control.

K.C. Meadows (Courtesy, the Ukiah Daily Journal)

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Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office press release:

On Sunday, August 6, 2017 at about 1220 hours, an Officer with the California Highway Patrol (CHP) was flagged down by a motorist at the intersection of Briceland Road and China Creek Road, Briceland. The motorist reported that his friend had been shot and he was on his way to seek medical treatment in Garberville.

Humboldt County Sheriff’s Deputies were dispatched and met with the victim at a local hospital. Deputies learned the following: The victim met with three black male adults at the above intersection to conduct a marijuana transaction. The suspects were driving a white mid-sized SUV, possibly a GMC Acadia or similar. At some point during the transaction, one of the suspects inside the vehicle produced a firearm and shot the victim. The suspects then drove off of the roadway, through a wood fence, and crashed down a steep hillside. The victim then ran for help and was picked up by a local citizen.

The suspects were further described as:

Black male adult, 6’2”, gold teeth, wearing a grey shirt

Black male adult, thin build, neck and arm tattoos, goatee, wearing a white shirt

Black male adult, clean cut, wearing a grey and red jacket

The suspect vehicle also had a sticker on the rear window or bumper that may have been a radio station with the frequency starting with “10”.

The victim was subsequently flown to an out of the area hospital for further medical treatment.

Sheriff’s Deputies and CHP Officers, with the assistance of a CHP helicopter, were able to locate the crime scene. The suspect vehicle had since fled the area in an unknown direction of travel. The crime scene was processed and evidence that corroborates the victim’s statement was collected. There was also evidence that a vehicle collision had occurred and it is believed the suspect vehicle likely sustained moderate front end damage.

Anyone with information for the Sheriff’s Office regarding this case or related criminal activity is encouraged to call the Sheriff’s Office at 707-445-7251 or the Sheriff’s Office Garberville Station at 707-923-2761.

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The new mental institutions, by default

Sonoma County has a chronic shortage of psychiatric hospital beds. As a result, a growing number of mentally ill residents are ending up in local emergency rooms and in the jail system.

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Dear Neighbor,

I hope you've had a great week! I wanted to touch base and make sure you'll be able to attend our annual Mendocino County Town Hall next week in Fort Bragg. We’ll be talking about good jobs, stronger public schools, keeping our communities safe, investing in our roads and streets and how we can work together to stop offshore oil drilling. There will be an all-star lineup of local and state leaders providing updates and all will be ready to have a conversation about the issues important to the unique communities that are the heart of the North Coast.

Here are the details:

Thursday, August 10, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.
Dana Gray Elementary School
1179 East Chestnut Street, Fort Bragg

RSVP: or 707-576-2771

Joining us will be:

  • Fort Bragg Mayor Lindy Peters
  • Board of Supervisors Chair John McCowen
  • Mendocino County Sherriff Tom Allman
  • Mendocino County District Attorney David Eyster
  • Fort Bragg Unified School District Superintendent Rebecca Walker
  • Caltrans Deputy District Director Brad Mettam

I will also provide an update about the biggest issues impacting California and the North Coast.

I hope to see you on August 10 - Have a great weekend!

Warmest Regards,

Mike McGuire, State Senator

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CATCH OF THE DAY, August 6, 2017

Armas, Bernal, Christensen, Curtis

JULIAN ARMAS JR., Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-alcohol.

GENARO BERNAL, Ukiah. Domestic abuse, false imprisonment.

RICHARD CHRISTENSEN, Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-alcohol.

HARRY CURTIS, Ukiah. Battery.

Cuthbert, Dowell, Hoaglen

CODY CUTHBERT, Santa Rosa/Ukiah. DUI.

JEANETTE DOWELL, Fort Bragg. Disorderly conduct-intoxicating drug with alcohol.

BRETT HOAGLEN, Covelo. Commuity Supervision violation.

Joaquin, Kidd, Larkin

DAVID JOAQUIN, Covelo. Commuity Supervision violation.

WILLIAM KIDD IV, Kelseyville. Unspecified charges.

LISA LARKIN, Redwood Valley. DUI, willful cruelty to child, suspended license.

Lawrence, Martin, Norton

DEBORAH LAWRENCE, Ukiah. Resisting, (Frequent flyer.)

CODY MARTIN, Ukiah. DUI, probation revocation.

JUSTIN NORTON, Willits. “SA Drive w/priors.”

Roberts, Whipple, Zazueta

SHANE ROBERTS, Ukiah. Suspended license.

KOBEE WHIPPLE, Redwood Valley. Disorderly conduct-alcohol.

GUSTAVO ZAZUETA, Redwood Valley. Suspended license, probation revocation.

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I hate it when someone absent-mindedly pulls a door shut behind them with their hand around the edge of the door. You know, the way the hand, with its slender brittle bird-bones inside, slips out of the crack just before it slices closed like a papercutter. They do it getting out of a car, too, with the frame of the open window; they get out, close their hand around the frame (!), and pull/push the door shut behind them in a backhand-slap motion after they've looked away. I've seen people pinch their fingers in a car door doing that, and both of those people said the same thing (after "Ow! Fuck!"): "I keep doing that." Why? Why do you do that?

I know it's none of my business, but I need everyone to stop doing that and never do it again.

Also: waving a pen or a fork or knife or a chopstick or really anything with an edge or even a blunt point back and forth past the sides of your own head or in my face to gesture for emphasis while you're talking. Stop that.

Another: usually when I'm in a car I'm the one driving so this isn't a problem, but when people in a teevee show or movie are driving a car, and they're on city streets or on the freeway going 70 miles an hour, or wherever they are, and they turn their head completely away from where the car is going, to make lengthy conversational eye-contact with the person in the passenger seat and laugh or complain or have a plot revelation to share with the passenger(s), I'm like, Watch the road! Look at the road! So if you're ever making a movie and you've got your actors doing that, notice it and correct it, of have the passenger say, "Don't look at me, look at the road!" to teach viewers to say that when they're the victim of this idiocy in real life later on. Because if it doesn't happen right away in the finished product it just takes me right out of the story.

Or have them crash and/or kill someone, like in Adaptation or Short Cuts or Resurrection or [fill in blank], movies that got everything, including this, right.

The weird thing is, though, if the looking away goes on long enough, and nobody crashes and nothing goes wrong, I start kind of liking it again. They must know this is crazy-making for people; clearly they're doing it as a goofy prank to piss people off, or as a parody of bad movie tropes, and that's funny because it works on me. It's like, Okay, you got me. Good one. But then move on.

Your turn. What bugs you?

Marco McClean

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The way when you slow down and stop your car to let pedestrians cross they do that little wave and then a silly little half-run in front of you. They should amble, take their sweet time. They owe no deference to cars, not in the great state of California!

When people in movies are running a hot bath, alone in the bathroom, lighting candles, languidly testing the water, steam rising, it's invariably a signal that something really bad is about to happen. That's not the part that bothers me—it's the predictability of it! Fool me, please!

Settling into bed to read, and a goddamned fly appears and buzzes around the light. The way they always land where you can't kill them: on the edge of a delicate piece of glassware or in a tight spot where you can't reach them.

The way people call me up and say: "I know how busy you are…"

— Eleanor Cooney

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When Jesse Ventura ran as an Independent, he discovered he could get matching campaign funds–but only when the election was over.

When a homeless black man filed to run for the Senate, the media questioned where he got the money–but never asked why the filing fee was $30,000 in the first place. How many ordinary people, even with jobs, have that kind of money?

And lest you forget, Ralph Nader was tied to a chair outside so he couldn’t join in the presidential debates (which are controlled by both parties. They also continually refuse to include all third parties).

The entire system is rigged, so the only way to demolish it is from within.

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A Ukiah history photo of North School Street, taken in March 1930: The Bank of Italy anchored the northwest corner of Perkins and School streets, but before the year was out it was to become the Bank of America. Next door was the Republican Press building, where a weekly newspaper was published from 1927 until 1949. Dr. R.D. Withrow, a Ukiah dentist, had his offices upstairs. Next to the Republican Press was the Mendocino Title Co., which had been at this location on the west side of the 100 block of North School Street since 1925. The small brick building also had earlier housed the Savings Bank of Mendocino County. This photo was taken for a special edition of The Redwood Journal, another Ukiah newspaper.

(Photo courtesy of the Robert J. Lee Collection - from the Saunders family)

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Land Reform & Santa Rosa lawyer


I am trying to find the name of a lawyer from Santa Rosa who was involved in the 1960's and 1970's in land reform issues in South America. I believe he was hired directly by one or more nations in Central and South America to advise them on land reform issues. He could have been sent by the U.S. to litigate land reform issues or went there on his own nickel. He was also involved in a back to the land movement in Sonoma County or Mendocino County. I figured you might have a record of this do gooder lawyer or even know him.

Thanks for any information you may have in your head or in the AVA archives.

David Clisham

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Good news! Just received the news that the Albion River Bridge is now officially listed in the National Register of Historic Places as of 7/31/ 2017! Thank you John Johansen for all your great work! And thanks to Carol Clary for this lovely photo!

(Courtesy, MendocinoSportsPlus)

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How should we judge the environmental impact of California Governor Jerry Brown’s latest green “victory,” his cap-and-trade extension? Hint: If Big Oil loves it, how green can it be? 

by Dan Bacher

Catherine Reheis-Boyd, President of the Western States Petroleum Association (WSPA) and former Chair of the Marine Life Protection Act (MLPA) Initiative Blue Ribbon Task Force to create faux “marine protected areas” in Southern California, issued a statement praising Governor Jerry Brown’s controversial cap and trade bill after it passed through the legislature last month.

“The bipartisan cap-and trade package passed this week is the best, most balanced way for California to comply with state law requiring reduction of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions,” said Reheis-Boyd.

She also claimed, “This significantly reformed cap-and-trade program presents the best available path forward for our industry in the toughest regulatory environment in the world.”

However, Reheis-Boyd failed to mention that the “visionary” legislation was based on a WSPA and Chevron wish list that gives loopholes and tax breaks to corporate polluters that could actually result in more, not less, emissions.

She also failed to mention that Big Oil spent over $10.8 million in lobbying in the second quarter of 2017 to ramrod the bill, opposed by over 65 environmental justice, conservation and consumer groups, through the Legislature. The San Ramon-based Chevron and subsidiaries topped all other lobbyists in the state with $6,153,952 spent, followed by the Sacramento-based WSPA with $2,528,751 and the San Antonio-based Tesoro Refining and Marketing Co. LLC with $2,193.489.

For more information, go to…

Here is Reheis-Boyd’s complete statement. Enjoy:

“Last year, when California policymakers established the world’s most stringent 2030 greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions goal, all knew that achieving it would be difficult, technologically challenging, and would require bipartisan leadership.

“The bipartisan cap-and trade package passed this week is the best, most balanced way for California to comply with state law requiring reduction of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

“As lawmakers considered the options, cap-and-trade was not the only proposed mechanism that could have been imposed to ensure California’s compliance with the law. Much more expensive ‘command and control’ programs were also on the table. These draconian programs would have forced businesses to make drastic changes, imposing strict regulations without any flexibility in implementation. The result would have been skyrocketing prices for consumers, a stifled economy, and California jobs lost.

“In fact, without a market-based approach like cap-and-trade in place, studies show meeting 2030 GHG goals would have been at least four times more expensive for every California family and cost the state four times more jobs than control measures that would have been imposed on manufacturing and industry in this state.

“Cap-and-trade’s market-based approach provides regulated facilities, like those of our industry, with more flexibility as they work to meet the new standards. The bipartisan support of AB 398 ensured an improved cap-and-trade program with tax cuts, cost containment measures, and significant bureaucracy reduction that will contain costs for all Californians. Important tax cuts were fought for by legislative leaders in both parties that will ease the burden of businesses working to comply with the law, including an extension of the manufacturer sales and use tax exemption to cover the agriculture and energy industries.

“This significantly reformed cap-and-trade program presents the best available path forward for our industry in the toughest regulatory environment in the world.”

* * *

* * *


The United Nations has ended a campaign featuring Wonder Woman as an ambassador for women and girls, two months after the announcement was met with protests and a petition complaining that the fictional superhero was an inappropriate choice to represent female empowerment.... 'A large-breasted white woman of impossible proportions, scantily clad in a shimmery, thigh-baring body suit with an American flag motif and knee-high boots' is not an appropriate spokeswoman for gender equity at the United Nations, the petition said.

— NYT, December 2016

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(Click to enlarge)

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Republicans and Democrats – along with a complicit mainstream media – are plunging ahead toward war with Russia, a mad groupthink that could end life on the planet.

by John Pilger

The U.S. submarine captain says, “We’ve all got to die one day, some sooner and some later. The trouble always has been that you’re never ready, because you don’t know when it’s coming. Well, now we do know and there’s nothing to be done about it.”

He says he will be dead by September. It will take about a week to die, though no one can be sure. Animals live the longest.

The war was over in a month. The United States, Russia and China were the protagonists. It is not clear if it was started by accident or mistake. There was no victor. The Northern Hemisphere is contaminated and lifeless now.

A curtain of radioactivity is moving south towards Australia and New Zealand, southern Africa and South America. By September, the last cities, towns and villages will succumb. As in the north, most buildings will remain untouched, some illuminated by the last flickers of electric light.

This is the way the world ends

Not with a bang but a whimper

These lines from T.S. Eliot’s poem The Hollow Men appear at the beginning of Nevil Shute’s novel On the Beach, which left me close to tears. The endorsements on the cover said the same.

Published in 1957 at the height of the Cold War when too many writers were silent or cowed, it is a masterpiece. At first the language suggests a genteel relic; yet nothing I have read on nuclear war is as unyielding in its warning. No book is more urgent.

Some readers will remember the black and white Hollywood film starring Gregory Peck as the U.S. Navy commander who takes his submarine to Australia to await the silent, formless specter descending on the last of the living world.

I read On the Beach for the first time the other day, finishing it as the U.S. Congress passed a law to wage economic war on Russia, the world’s second most lethal nuclear power. There was no justification for this insane vote, except the promise of plunder.

Aiming Toward a Hot War

The “sanctions” are aimed at Europe, too, mainly Germany, which depends on Russian natural gas and on European companies that do legitimate business with Russia. In what passed for debate on Capitol Hill, the more garrulous senators left no doubt that the embargo was designed to force Europe to import expensive American gas.

Their main aim seems to be war – real war. No provocation as extreme can suggest anything else. They seem to crave it, even though Americans have little idea what war is. The Civil War of 1861-65 was the last on their mainland. War is what the United States does to others.

The only nation to have used nuclear weapons against human beings, they have since destroyed scores of governments, many of them democracies, and laid to waste whole societies – the million deaths in Iraq were a fraction of the carnage in Indochina, which President Reagan called “a noble cause” and President Obama revised as the tragedy of an “exceptional people.” He was not referring to the Vietnamese.

Filming last year at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, I overheard a National Parks Service guide lecturing a school party of young teenagers. “Listen up,” he said. “We lost 58,000 young soldiers in Vietnam, and they died defending your freedom.”

At a stroke, the truth was inverted. No freedom was defended. Freedom was destroyed. A peasant country was invaded and millions of its people were killed, maimed, dispossessed, poisoned; 60,000 of the invaders took their own lives. Listen up, indeed.

A lobotomy is performed on each generation. Facts are removed. History is excised and replaced by what Time magazine calls “an eternal present.” Harold Pinter described this as “manipulation of power worldwide, while masquerading as a force for universal good, a brilliant, even witty, highly successful act of hypnosis [which meant] that it never happened. Nothing ever happened. Even while it was happening it wasn’t happening. It didn’t matter. It was of no interest.”

Those who call themselves liberals or tendentiously “the left” are eager participants in this manipulation, and its brainwashing, which today revert to one name: Trump.

Trump is mad, a fascist, a dupe of Russia. He is also a gift for “liberal brains pickled in the formaldehyde of identity politics,” wrote Luciana Bohne memorably. The obsession with Trump the man – not Trump as a symptom and caricature of an enduring system – beckons great danger for all of us.

A Narcissistic Media

While they pursue their fossilized anti-Russia agendas, narcissistic media such as the Washington Post, the BBC and the Guardiansuppress the essence of the most important political story of our time as they warmonger on a scale I cannot remember in my lifetime.

On 3 Aug., in contrast to the acreage the Guardian has given to drivel that the Russians conspired with Trump (reminiscent of the far-right smearing of John Kennedy as a “Soviet agent”), the paper buried, on page 16, news that the President of the United States was forced to sign a Congressional bill declaring economic war on Russia.

Unlike every other Trump signing, this was conducted in virtual secrecy and attached with a caveat from Trump himself that it was “clearly unconstitutional.”

A coup against the man in the White House is under way. This is not because he is an odious human being, but because he has consistently made clear he does not want war with Russia.

This glimpse of sanity, or simple pragmatism, is anathema to the “national security” managers who guard a system based on war, surveillance, armaments, threats and extreme capitalism. Martin Luther King called them “the greatest purveyors of violence in the world today.”

They have encircled Russia and China with missiles and a nuclear arsenal. They have used neo-Nazis to install an unstable, aggressive regime on Russia’s “borderland” – the way through which Hitler invaded, causing the deaths of 27 million people. Their goal is to dismember the modern Russian Federation.

In response, “partnership” is a word used incessantly by Vladimir Putin – anything, it seems, that might halt an evangelical drive to war in the United States. Incredulity in Russia may have now turned to fear and perhaps a certain resolution. The Russians almost certainly have war-gamed nuclear counter strikes. Air-raid drills are not uncommon. Their history tells them to get ready.

The threat is simultaneous. Russia is first, China is next. The U.S. has just completed a huge military exercise with Australia known as Talisman Sabre. They rehearsed a blockade of the Malacca Straits and the South China Sea, through which pass China’s economic lifelines.

The admiral commanding the U.S. Pacific fleet said that, “if required,” he would nuke China. That he would say such a thing publicly in the current perfidious atmosphere begins to make fact of Nevil Shute’s fiction.

Silencing Dissenting Journalists

None of this is considered news. No connection is made as the bloodfest of Passchendaele a century ago is remembered. Honest reporting is no longer welcome in much of the media. Windbags, known as pundits, dominate: editors are infotainment or party-line managers. Where there was once sub-editing, there is the liberation of axe-grinding clichés. Those journalists who do not comply are defenestrated.

The urgency has plenty of precedents. In my film, The Coming War on China, John Bordne, a member of a U.S. Air Force missile combat crew based in Okinawa, Japan, describes how in 1962 – during the Cuban missile crisis – he and his colleagues were “told to launch all the missiles” from their silos.

Nuclear armed, the missiles were aimed at both China and Russia. A junior officer questioned this, and the order was eventually rescinded – but only after they were issued with service revolvers and ordered to shoot at others in a missile crew if they did not “stand down.”

At the height of the Cold War, the anti-communist hysteria in the United States was such that U.S. officials who were on official business in China were accused of treason and sacked. In 1957 – the year Shute wrote On the Beach – no official in the State Department could speak the language of the world’s most populous nation. Mandarin speakers were purged under strictures now echoed in the Congressional bill that has just passed, aimed at Russia.

The bill was bipartisan. There is no fundamental difference between Democrats and Republicans. The terms “left” and “right” are meaningless. Most of America’s modern wars were started not by conservatives, but by liberal Democrats.

When Obama left office, he presided over a record seven wars, including America’s longest war and an unprecedented campaign of extrajudicial killings – murder – by drones.

In his last year, according to a Council on Foreign Relations study, Obama, the “reluctant liberal warrior,” dropped 26,171 bombs – three bombs every hour, 24 hours a day. Having pledged to help “rid the world” of nuclear weapons, the Nobel Peace Laureate built more nuclear warheads than any president since the Cold War.

Trump is a wimp by comparison. It was Obama – with his Secretary of State Hillary Clinton at his side – who destroyed Libya as a modern state and launched the human stampede to Europe. At home, immigration groups knew him as the “deporter-in-chief.”

One of Obama’s last acts as president was to sign a bill that handed a record $618 billion to the Pentagon, reflecting the soaring ascendancy of fascist militarism in the governance of the United States. Trump has endorsed this.

Buried in the detail was the establishment of a “Center for Information Analysis and Response.” This is a ministry of truth. It is tasked with providing an “official narrative of facts” that will prepare us for the real possibility of nuclear war – if we allow it.

(John Pilger is an Australian-British journalist based in London. Pilger’s Web site is: His new film, “The Coming War on China,” is available in the U.S. from


  1. Harvey Reading August 7, 2017


    As usual, Pilger is right on target.

    I read On the Beach in my latter years of grade school, about the time I read Boulle’s The Bridge Over the River Kwai. Still have the (falling-apart) paperbacks with my grade-school signature of ownership handwritten near the front covers. Liked the Peck-Gardner movie version of the first, but thought the Assante-Ward year-2000 movie version sucked.

    Pilger’s description of how real events are warped and twisted at will by our rulers–and how we lap it up–reminds me of an event in One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel García Márquez. In one passage, the (Colombian) government slaughters with machine guns 3,000 citizens, gathered in a town square to protest working conditions on the U.S. corporation-owned banana plantation. The dead, save one who is only wounded yet unconscious, are loaded into boxcars and transported to the ocean where they are dumped.

    The survivor revives while in transport on the train and escapes, eventually making it back to the town where the slaughter takes place. No one seems to know what he is talking about when he describes the massacre and train ride: the whole event has been erased by the government. And the people accept, or go along with, the government version…much like we here do.

    • Harvey Reading August 7, 2017

      “…slaughter took place…”

    • LouisBedrock August 7, 2017

      I recently read CIEN AÑO DE SOLEDAD for the 4th time–it had been 30 years since I last read it. I actually read it and listened to it on CDs. Márquez’s prose is as good as that of James Joyce and I say that as a fan of ULYSSES.

      I was struck by the invasion of the Gringo banana company and the destruction it wrought on the inhabitants of the mythical Macondo. It was quite a brutal, realistic description of how colonialism and capitalism function all over the world from the Caribbean to Palestine.

      And of course, the erasure of the event from history recalls current official memory of The Vietnam War, the Kennedy assassination, and so many other events.

      ON THE BEACH was indeed terrifying. But HIROSHIMA remains the most horrifying book I’ve ever read. To drop atomic bombs on civilian populations is one of the most abominable actions in history. John Hersey spares the reader no horrendous detail.

      Even films that show American testing of atomic bombs sicken me. Sheep, goats, chickens, and pigs, were tethered to the target areas to measure the effects of the bombs. The sheep were sheared so the effects of the bomb would not be mitigated by their wool.

      Oh the horror, the horror.

      • Harvey Reading August 7, 2017

        I found the Márquez book, even in translation, a delight. Yes, this country has pretty much always lived in a dream world, preferring fantasy to reality, as the slaughter continues…soon to be our own, and basically at our own hands.

  2. Bill Pilgrim August 7, 2017

    re: How The World May End.

    “No one (overseas) trusts this US Congress. It’s considered a lunatic asylum.”
    -Pepe Escobar, quoting a highly placed German business/political source.

    “The Gods first make mad those They wish to destroy.” – Sophocles

    • LouisBedrock August 7, 2017

      Manuel Vicent did a piece on Trump Sunday.
      I’m translating it now.
      He seems to feel that the government of the United States is in the hands of lunatics.

      Now where would he get that impression?

  3. BB Grace August 7, 2017

    Trump is a winner and MAGA!

    CBS News reports the President tweeted over the weekend that he was “very happy and impressed with the 15-0 United Nations vote on North Korea sanctions.” The tweet came the day after the UN Security Council voted for new sanctions to be imposed on Pyongyang because of its ongoing intercontinental ballistic missile tests.

    Ian Bremmer, the head of the Eurasia Group and a frequent Trump critic, suggested that China wouldn’t have gone along with the vote if not for the current occupant of the White House. He also said the win would be unprecedented — if China actually follows through on implementing the sanctions.

    Trump promised to kill two regulations for every new one enacted, but in his first six months the ratio was 16-to-1.

    In foreign policy news, The Washington Post writes “Under Trump, gains against ISIS have ‘dramatically accelerated.’” The Post reports “nearly a third of territory reclaimed from the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria since 2014 has been won in the past six months, due to new policies adopted by the Trump administration.”

    Domestically, in The Washington Times, economist Stephen Moore writes that with “the Dow at 22,000, solid job gains, confidence high and growth jumping to 2.6 percent in the last quarter under President Trump, the economy clearly has a new bounce in its step.”

    And The Washington Free Beacon writes that according to Gallup polling, “optimism for small-business owners about their business situation is at the highest level seen in a decade.” Over 5 Million Californians have relocated OUT of tax sucking Homeless Deport California for better jobs and business opportunity. Many are stuck because the housing market is flat.

    In Politico, George Borjas explains why President Trump’s “new immigration bill makes sense,” and how the rush to judgement on the plan was “way over the top and largely uninformed,” because the “current immigration system is desperately in need of reform, and a careful examination of the proposal shows that not only will it likely create substantial economic gains for the country,” but it also “eliminates elements of our current policy that are hard to defend.”

    The Washington Post editorial board writes that the FDA’s new public health initiative “may be one of the most important public-health initiatives of this century.” The initiative is a long-term strategy to combat the deathly cylce of tobacco addiction.

    Behind the Sudden Death of a $1 Billion Secret CIA War in Syria
    New York Times· Aug 3, 2017

    Why the Middle East Hated Obama But Loves Trump
    POLITICO Magazine· Jul 31, 2017

    • Harvey Reading August 7, 2017

      Thanks for the laugh, dear. Enjoy your little dream world, even as its walls come tumbling down around you. Who, of right mind at least, gives a good goddamn about the north of Korea? It is even less a threat than was Libya before Hillary and Barack gave the go-ahead to our puppets, the U.K. and France, to destroy it, the most progressive country in northern Africa. Take your Trump, ma’am and, shove it.

      • BB Grace August 7, 2017

        I’m LOVING my USA USA USA!!! Yeaaaaaaa!! USA

        I hear ISIS needs you Mr. Reading, they’re losing, which means you’re losing. I’m LOVING it!@


        • Harvey Reading August 7, 2017

          Spoken like a true Trump supporter.

          • BB Grace August 7, 2017

            Thank you Mr. Reading.

  4. LouisBedrock August 7, 2017

    What we learned from Grace’s missives of Saturday, August 5th, is the following:

    She is incapable of responding to and refuting documented information. Her responses to eloquent comments by Bill and Sohumlily were mere repetitions of the same warped factoids she’s repeated again and again. She addressed none of their arguments.

    She’s a liar and an imposter. She’s not a Jew, has never been anywhere near Israel, and thus has no first-hand idea what life is like there.

    She’s shown her baseness and vulgarity. When unable to confront their arguments, she accuses people of converting to Islam and insults their sexuality. She uses the language of a drunken sailor—not surprising considering her background.
    Read her recent comments–especially those from Saturday.
    Would you want someone like this in your house?

    Grace is like the mess someone’s dog leaves on the sidewalk. It’s best to walk around her and make sure that nothing adheres to the bottom of your shoe.

    • BB Grace August 7, 2017

      Mr. Bedrock knows a lot about what folks leave on their sidewalks. He plants his face in it everyday.

  5. BB Grace August 7, 2017

    Sue Ranochak, Mendocino County Recorder, Voting deserves credit for making Mendocino look GREAT to President Trump!
    Judicial Watch Warns California to Clean Voter Registration Lists or Face Federal Lawsuit

    AUGUST 04, 2017
    Data Show LA, San Diego, San Francisco Have More Registered Voters than Eligible Adult Citizens – LA Voting Rolls Have 144% of the Total Number of Eligible Residents

    (Washington, DC) – Judicial Watch announced it sent a notice-of-violation letter to the state of California and 11 of its counties threatening to sue in federal court if it does not clean its voter registration lists as mandated by the National Voter Registration Act (NVRA). Both the NVRA and the federal Help America Vote Act require states to take reasonable steps to maintain accurate voting rolls. The August 1 letter was sent on behalf of several Judicial Watch California supporters and the Election Integrity Project California, Inc.
    In the letter, Judicial Watch noted that public records obtained on the Election Assistance Commission’s 2016 Election Administration Voting Survey and through verbal accounts from various county agencies show 11 California counties have more registered voters than voting-age citizens: Imperial (102%), Lassen (102%), Los Angeles (112%), Monterey (104%), San Diego (138%), San Francisco (114%), San Mateo (111%), Santa Cruz (109%), Solano (111%), Stanislaus (102%), and Yolo (110%).

  6. Harvey Reading August 7, 2017

    Ho, hum. People die and their relatives don’t notify county clerks to remove their names from the list. People move and don’t re-register in their new area of residence. This is a tempest in a teapot, just another right-wing effort to make it seem as though our screwy elections are dominated by voter fraud. They’re not. Voter fraud is practically nonexistent, for all the bellowing of fools like Trump. Election fraud, however, is a whole ‘nother story, but that is committed by the ruling party and its lackeys, not by voters.

  7. BB Grace August 7, 2017

    “Nader campaigned against the pervasiveness of corporate power and spoke on the need for campaign finance reform. His campaign also addressed problems with the two party system, voter fraud, environmental justice, universal healthcare, affordable housing, free education including college, workers’ rights and increasing the minimum wage to a living wage.”,_2000

    Ralph Nader suggested we become elections officers, which I began 1996. I had about 10K counted ballots of my precinct sealed and locked in the back of my car with an elections clerk (a Republican, I was Indy, has to be two people of other parties to bring the boxes) and drove through torrents of rain to the L.A. County drop station where we queued up behind a few others while watching the vehicles line up behind us while we waited. Tom Brokaw was on the radio announcing election results from the East Coast, Mid West and the West when Brokaw announced Clinton was winner. The clerk and I looked at each other stunned. We knew our ballots weren’t counted, Hawaii polls hadn’t closed.

    Sue Ranochak gets some heat from the AVA from time to time so I thought it was pretty neat to be able to let Mendocino County know Ranochak did Mendocino right according to a system you have no respect for and want to fail so you can feel like a man forcing Western women into burkas.

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