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Mendocino County Today: Tuesday, Aug. 8, 2017

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SCANNERS throughout the county crackled to life Sunday about 7pm with reports of a shooting in the Rancho Navarro sub-division. It was soon confirmed that William “Willie” Martinez, 55, was dead, and Michael Saner, 58, the suspected assailant, had fled.

Michael Saner

SANER hadn’t fled far. He was arrested at Comptche’s Chapel of the Redwood Baptist Church, not ten miles away, a little more than two hours later.

MARTINEZ was shot to death on the property of long-time Navarro resident, Fritz Ohm. Ohm and Martinez had been eating when Saner appeared, complaining that Martinez had taken property belonging to him. Martinez was shot from close range by a single round fired from a twelve-gage shotgun.

SANER and Martinez had been sharing a rental not far from Ohm’s place. Saner had recently been arrested when, driving drunk, he piled into a tree near Navarro. Earlier in his brief life in the Anderson Valley, Saner had lived in the teepee house near Jack’s Valley Store. He is universally described as truculent and generally unpleasant, while Martinez, who is said to be from Oakland, enjoyed a reputation for amiability.

PERSONALITIES ASIDE, Saner and Martinez can be said to represent the downside of the liberalization of the drug laws. They hadn’t come to Mendocino County for the beauty of the place.

OVER THE PAST MONTH, the ordinarily tranquil precincts of Rancho Navarro, have seen a multi-agency drug raid, with half the perps sprinting off into the woods before they could be arrested, and a bloodied man waving a machete as he stood in the middle of one of the Rancho’s main roads. Now a murder.

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Coupla weeks ago super-drunk dude crashes car at Highway 128 and Masonite Road resulting in fire. Dude arrested then released. Returns to Rancho Navarro neighborhood and kills an associate Sunday night in Rancho Navarro. One week ago a 911 call was made due to a bloody, machete wielding man seen standing on Appaloosa Way in Rancho Navarro. Both incidents were within a quarter mile of each other. No reverse 911 calls were made even though both assailants were reported to be roaming the neighborhood.

Dear Sheriff Allman and Trent Taylor [Mendocino County Marijuana Code Enforcement Officer]: This is not acceptable. This is a RESIDENTIAL neighborhood. The situation seems to be out of control. We don't need drunk transients and commercial drug farms destroying our neighborhood and scaring the crap out of us. I've got two young kids and want them to feel safe here. Please help.

Kirk Vodopals, The Deep End


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THE ANDERSON VALLEY is holding its collective breath as our friend and neighbor, Gloria Ross, recovers from worrisome cardio-irregularities at St. Helena. The first of twin ordeals for Gloria began Friday afternoon about four as she drove home to Boonville from Ukiah when her vehicle was found turned over in the middle of 253 about two miles from Boonville. Gloria was pinned in the wreckage, suspended upside down by her seatbelt when a Philo man, with help from two younger, stronger passersby, was able to free the popular former teacher and Mendocino County native. Mrs. Ross was miraculously uninjured in her harrowing accident, cause not known, but transported to Ukiah by ambulance for observation. Released from the hospital, and back at home on Anderson Valley Way, Gloria then began experiencing chest pain and, as we go to press, is undergoing tests at the hospital in St. Helena specializing in heart repair.

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WE’RE REMINDED that Fair entry forms have got to be in this week (the actual entries are not due until later, it's just the paperwork that needs to be submitted by this Friday), and also reminded that our big annual event is also trying to get people to look up from their handheld devices long enough to participate in both exhibiting and this year’s parade. (Fresh off a blue ribbon from last year’s art exhibit, Boonville’s beloved weekly will again enter two items, both of which are guaranteed to inspire slack-jawed awe.)

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RECOMMENDED VIEWING. Tom Killion’s woodcut prints of the California coast called "California's Wild Edge: The Coast in Poetry, Prints, and History,” currently at the Grace Hudson. The woodcuts are accompanied by really good poems by Californians including Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Gary Snyder, Robinson Jeffers, the whole of it nicely arranged for exhibit.

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KATHERINE REDDICK has settled with the Anderson Valley School District and has resigned her position as Elementary School principal. High school principal, Keri St. Jeor, has also left the district, and both have also left the Anderson Valley. The hapless St. Jeor received no cash incentive to leave; Ms. Reddick’s departure was eased by a cash settlement, whose amount I have requested. Superintendent Michelle Hutchins herself is apparently under fire from at least two members of the now-four person school board because her contract will be re-negotiated in February, mid-school term. Both she and her family are committed to the Anderson Valley and want to stay, although they are still unable to find permanent housing and are looking in Ukiah. (AirBnB and other on-line vacation rental sites have taken a large number of rentals off the local market.) There are three seats up for election to the school board, although which of the four present trustees is leaving has not been revealed. Jim Snyder, formerly a teacher at the high school, has been appointed high school principal. The Elementary School may be led by an interim principal when classes resume in the fall.

IT SEEMS from here that in-house promotions are the only way to run contemporary school districts, especially ours in Anderson Valley where you have a largely tenured staff in place for many years. An outside person hired for an administrative position, especially one who demands some changes, is likely to run directly into a brick wall, which has happened with Superintendent Hutchins. She compounded resistance from entrenched staff by hiring St. Jeor and Reddick, neither of whom, as it turned out, she could work with, but both were her mistakes.

IS IT A STRETCH to say that the previous regime of JR Collins made it impossible for any outsider to step in? JR’s management plan was simple, but inimitable for anyone from the great world outside the Anderson Valley — hire all your friends and relatives and their sons and daughters, preference going to the ground floor Valley hippies of 1970. As back-up, vote as an edu-bloc for a school board that automatically votes yes on any proposition put in front of them. (JR’s school boards probably set the American school board record for consecutive Yes votes.) An amiable, not unintelligent person, JR was securely in place for years by simply sticking to the Nepo [nepotism] Plan, stringing out nice pay days for himself nearly as long as that Chauncey-like figure at the County Office of Education, Paul Tichinin. All you have to do in school admin is smile a lot and agree with everyone, since few people are paying attention anyway, and occasionally announce, “I really, really love these kids.” My advice to Ms. Hutchins is, “Agree with everyone and smile a lot.” Most teachers, like most people, try to do well the jobs they’re paid to do. It doesn’t matter all that much in the Boonville schools who’s sitting in the Superintendent’s chair. Education, loosely defined (very loosely) rumbles on.

THE AVA NOMINATES Sid Frazer as Elementary School principal, and we think Ms. Hutchins, battered by her critics as she is, should stay on as Superintendent because, presumably, she’s learned from her first two years that this operation pretty much runs itself. And three years in The Valley gives her tenure.

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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. The guy left for Texas once and came back. We all come back to this place. It gets it hooks in deep. We’ll miss Ron. Photos of Ron Black’s work can be found at:

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AND SPEAKING of gifted artisans, AD Jones is another one. You can find him and his custom-made jewelry at the Caboose Complex, central Boonville. AD showed me, a non-jewelry guy, a pair of earrings he’d crafted that made me take a closer look. A little outta my price range, but the lady in your life would do cartwheels to own them. Beautifully done.

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ALL ABOARD! AVA contributor Katy Tahja is on her way to Burning Man soon and can take one passenger, with a ticket, along with her. If anyone from the "Boonville Cabaret" camp needs a ride, or another Burner, give her a call at 937-5854. Ride-sharing is the way to go.

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THE NEW SWEENEY. A young man named Robert Carlson has been offered the General Manager of the Mendocino County Solid Waste Management Authority. Carlson is expected to accept the offer to replace Louisa Morris who recently resigned without giving a reason. (Ms. Morris replaced Mike Sweeney, Mendocino County’s most interesting man.)


Mr. Carlson was chosen by the Mendocino Solid Waste Management Authority Board last week. Apparently he is an “enviromental scientist” who previously worked for the California Office of Resource Recycling and Recovery (aka CalRecycle, formerly the Integrated Waste Management Board) in Sacramento. Our advice to the kid is play nice with Sweeney and, just to be on the safe side, he should also get a ten foot bamboo pole, affix a mirror at one end of it, and have a look at the under carriage of his vehicle every morning. A quick look under the driver’s seat is also recommended.

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AS IT HAPPENS, a book writer just asked asked me for a paragraph on the Sweeney-Judi Bari interlude: Here goes: Judi Bari was a regionally prominent Earth First!er who was nearly killed by a 1990 car bomb. Bari herself, and her partisans, blamed a leftwing checklist of preferred villains — timber corporations; the FBI; Christian fanatics; heterosexual white men generally. This revolving cast of preferred suspects always excluded Bari's ex-husband, Mike Sweeney, a man with a long association with the bomb-throwing wing of the 60's left. Post-bombing, Bari became something of a cult figure among lockstep "progressives" and their megaphones at KPFA, Democracy Now, and public "free speech" radio stations in Mendocino and Humboldt counties, where dissenting views on the case were not allowed. Bari soon parlayed her alleged martyrdom at the hands of the mentioned forces into a winning federal lawsuit. The suit claimed she'd been libeled by the FBI and Oakland Police Department, whose representatives had prematurely claimed Bari had been knowingly carrying the bomb that nearly killed her. Several million dollars won by Bari and Darryl Cherney in their lawsuit, which was co-edited to exclude any mention of who did it by Bari's "movement" attorneys and the FBI's federal attorneys, enriched Bari and Sweeney's already wealthy daughters. Cherney invested his share of the bogus suit’s winnings in a Humboldt County pot farm. The FBI had much earlier announced that they'd closed their investigation into the bombing "because no one will talk to us." The case remains unsolved, and is referred to now as a "mystery," while the only mystery is why the biggest elephant in the smallest room ever, the ex-husband, got a free pass from law enforcement to try to kill his ex-wife. The only honest investigation of the Bari case was done by Steve Talbot, formerly the producer of PBS's Frontline series. Talbot's documentary for KQED is called "Who Bombed Judi Bari." An idiot's version, also called "Who Bombed Judi Bari," was produced by Darryl Cherney and the Bari Cult. Talbot, speaking live on KQED's "This Week In Northern California" news show, said that Bari had told him she was certain her ex-husband was responsible for the injuries she suffered in the 1990 bombing that finally killed her in 1997. By the time of the ’90 bombing, Sweeney, for years prior a cult Maoist, had reinvented himself as a grant funded (via the Democratic Party) recycler, parlaying that work into a sinecure for himself as a highly paid Mendocino County trash bureaucrat, and life goes on and on in Mendocino County where history starts all over again every day and you are whatever you say you are.

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Harvest kicks off on North Coast

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LITTLE DOG SAYS, “Skrag apologized this morning for telling me to mind my own business about his night time rambles. "Sorry, Little Dog, but I have several romantic interests in this neighborhood, and I'll leave it at that. Yes, I'm very busy at night, but I'm not the kind of low life who brags about his love life. I like the ladies, and they like me, and that's where we'll leave it."

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LAST THURSDAY NIGHT, the “Boonville Planners” got their first look at the initial approach the Sonoma County engineers are taking to plan for a possible municipal sewer system for Boonville. The preliminary “service area” runs from the Highway 253 intersection of Highway 128 over to the Airport with a possible leach or spray field either on the Airport property or on neighboring property owned by Eva Johnson and her son Gary.

THE SYSTEM would have to accommodate over 100 hookups, both residential and commercial in the service area. The engineers have complied a list of the “units” that would potentially be served and are considering either a gravity flow system (from southeast to northwest along Highway 128) or a pumped system. As with the water system, there is no determination yet on whether people would be required to hook up. Nor is there any information on the possible cost which will depend on which methods of collection, treatment and disposal are ultimately recommended.

SOCO ENGINEER Dave Coleman of Brelje & Race Engineering handed out photos of a pre-fab sewage treatment facility about the size of a large semi-truck which could be installed at the south end of Boonville, the effluent of which would then be piped over to the Airport area for dispersal or leaching. Coleman insisted that the treated sewage would have very little odor, and if run into a leach field would have no above ground odor at all.

THE MOST SIGNIFICANT OPTION involves whether to include a septic tank on the “lateral” pipe from the building to the sewer main which would pre-process the sewage solids and reduce the amount of solids going into the main system.

EITHER WAY, the solids would have to be periodically pumped out of either the on-site pre-septic tank or the collection/treatment tank on the south end of town and taken to an as yet unspecified "elsewhere."

A NEW ISSUE arose concerning the Fairgrounds which could be hooked up to the municipal system: how to handle a “surge” in sewage volume during large events such as the County Fair on the Music Festival. Dave Coleman said that so far he thinks that the Fairground’s existing facilities might be sufficient to handle such events which would mean that the municipal system would not have to be sized to accommodate that larger load.

COLEMAN said the first full report on the sewage system layout and alternatives (with cost estimates) would probably be available sometime this fall.

ONCE THE PRELIMINARY PLANNING AND SIZING IS DONE, the planners will also prepare an Environmental Impact Report.

(Mark Scaramella)

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A Review by Marylyn Motherbear Scott

The following review of Gloriana’s CHICAGO is something your readers will want to see.There are actors from your area, and they deliver great performances — acting, singing, and dancing. A 7 piece orchestra. Great set.It is a fabulous show all around! It not only entertains but it has social and political significance.Problem is that the final performances are this coming weekend (only a 3 week run).

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presented by GLORIANA MUSICAL THEATRE July 27- August 13

David Strock — Director
Music Direction: Marie Claire Dizin
Choreography: Tara Ford and Assistant: Melany Katz

Book by Fred Ebb and Bob Fosse / Music by John Kander / Lyrics by Fred Ebb

Based on the play by Maurine Dallas Watkins / Script Adaptation by David Thompson

The play opened on Broadway in 1926. The musical opened on Broadway in 1975. Each time CHICAGO was re-created ran to great success. In 2002 a film version of the musical won an Oscar for Best Picture.

EXTRA! EXTRA! READ ALL ABOUT IT! A couple of good looking dames killed their boyfriends. Their stories, made up by the best lawyer money can buy, are sad and sexy. Once they are freed, these gals are sure to become music hall favorites. You read it right here, in your favorite newspaper.

Gloriana’s Chicago bursts through the proscenium with choreography that is fresh and wow! Jazz style dance, inspired by original Fosse, mixed with Tara and and Melany’s contemporary circus, taking the audience into the music halls of old. The seven piece Orchestra, upstage and center, is seen in the form of a silhouette. The music sounded better than ever in Fort Bragg’s beloved Eagle’s Hall. Performers dance downstage, onto a thrust stage, down steps, into the audience where they engage. A tuxedo’d cabaret style Master of Ceremonies, charmingly played by Mark Hetherington, introduces scenes vaudevillian-style with a Weimar twist. The proscenium is open; but still the curtains open and close. Beautiful reflective mylar strips lifting in the sweet rush of sound. It is a simply elegant set by Patrick Gomes.

Chicago is a great musical that has an impressive ability to entertain. The story line, though set in Chicago’s 1920’s, is uncannily familiar. A satirical drama that reveals the corruption of the justice system. It seems that not much has changed between then and now. The edge of the sordid and corrupt lifestyle of the times, those and these, is overlooked in the light of the entertainment that it provides. Sound familiar? Chicago is a satire that brings the “Celebrity Criminal” into focus, along with a press that thrives off of sensationalism.

Chicago was written as a play, in 1926, by a newspaper reporter who had covered two high profile murder cases perpetrated by women. The somewhat commonly held notion that women would not be subjected to capital punishment seems to have led to a bevy of beauties who had murdered the men that used them, all languishing on death row or being released. And thus we have Matron Mama Morton, played to a deliciously hardened air by Ui Wesley. Her keynote song was, "When You're Good to Mama” — “I love them all and all of them love me -Because the system works; the system called reciprocity!

There were two women around which the story deliberated. Roxy Hart, played so sweetly innocent and darling, by Blare Elliot, that we turn blind eyes on the crime she did. But then, that’s Justice! and Velma Kelly played so sexy, dark and daring by Alixis Eich. we want a certain fairness in the balancing act of these two true partners-in-crime. There endgame is as good as their starting one.

Roxy has a husband, Amos Hart. He loves Roxie despite his doubts. He is pure and selfless, the one character whose exit music does not lead him to a brighter future. Played so humbly in his vulnerability, by Chuck Mordock, he is a Charlie Chaplin with hat and cane, one who gives and ultimately gets the shuffle, right out the door.

The play overall is about love. Just ask the lawyer, the persuasive Billy Flynn, played to perfection by Jeff Grant. Billy is the writer of scripts, the one who can play on the imagination of the court and jury, who loves offering freedom to the jailhouse women. For a price.

Mary Sunshine is played to comedic heights by Will Schlosser. Pertinent to issues of today, Mary ultimately delivers a powerful speech. I suspect the Sunshine revelation might be one of a few rumored ad libs-become-script.

The truth of Gloriana’s Chicago matter is that Director David Strok has brilliantly brought a class act together, of devotees, practitioners and collaborators from the many reaches of the county. All of the Cast, the Ensemble, the Orchestra, could be singled out for their unique and collaborative performances.

Chicago is a helluva great show. It takes the political dramas in which we engage each day, up a notch. To our hearts.


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CATCH OF THE DAY, August 7, 2017

Arnold, Bailey, Escalera

SHANNON ARNOLD, Goleta/Fort Bragg. Disorderly conduct-alcohol.

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

JAVIER ESCALERA, Talmage. Failure to appear.

Fillion, Galindo, Hallhashi

HAZEL FILLION, Chico/Ukiah. Burglary, County parole violation.

THOMAS GALINDO, Ukiah. Vandalism, disorderly conduct-alcohol, probation revocation.

JUDITH HALLHASHI, Willits. Domestic abuse.

Henry, Hoaglen, Kepler

TAWANA HENRY, Ukiah. Burglary, receiving stolen property, controlled substance, paraphernalia, conspiracy, probation revocation.

ALFONZO HOAGLEN, Covelo. Grant theft, offenses while on bail.

RYAN KEPLER, Ukiah. Failure to appear.

Labelle, Lech, Lucas

NICOLE LABELLE, Ukiah. Controlled substance, paraphernalia, probation revocation.

JONATHAN LECH, Willits. Contributing to delinquency of minor.

VICTOR LUCAS, Ukiah. Battery on peace officer.

McCoy, McOsker, Page

ROBERT MCCOY, Ukiah. Domestic battery, probation revocation.

REMO MCOSKER, Ukiah. Probation revocation. (Frequent flyer.)

RICHARD PAGE, Ukiah. Probation revocation.

Paul, Ritter, Saner

TONY PAUL, Ukiah. Protective order violation, probation revocation.

GEOFFREY RITTER, Ukiah. Second degree robbery, probation revocation.

MICHAEL SANER, Navarro. Murder.

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One of the hallmarks that I see of the approaching end of our techno-industrial age are cellphones. Every 6 months one company or another comes out with the latest and most advanced cellphone with faster processors and more memory – along with a higher price tag. The apple iPhone 8 is rumored to cost over $1,000. Talk about unsustainable. Real wages are not increasing so to afford the latest cellphone, or anything for that matter, greatest requires consumers to make sacrifices elsewhere – but where? The pace of the consumer arms race appears to me to be more frenetic than ever. Cars, and car repairs, cost more and so do things like groceries, clothes, kitchen appliances (which no longer last 10+ years), education and all our extra-curricular activities like tickets to sporting events. If wages were keeping up then it could keep going. Convincing people to go back to the days of hand me downs, and companies to return to the days of better and longer lasting won’t happen until it has to. That day is approaching soon.

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(1) We won’t change. History has proven over and over again that societies in the midst of catastrophic collapse foolishly double down on the lunacy that got them there in the first place rather than come to grips with the painful change that might possibly save them, or at least minimize their collapse. But at this point, that ship has sailed as well. We’re committed to our current course of (in)action now, no matter what the consequences. Frantic, red-hot money-printing by the world’s big central banks have made it possible for very many people to ignore the unfolding reality. This “solution” is highly flawed because the imbalance such an excess creates will at some point be a whole new problem in and of itself, or some “Black Swan” event will throw the system into disarray. I think this will actually happen quite sooner than most folks here realize.

(2) The reckoning is indeed upon us. The real monkey hammering will happen in a few years when the fuel pumps run dry. The average person will freak, ask why the government isn’t helping them, and generally blame others for their situation. Failing to prepare is preparing to fail. I thought we might be there already but demand destruction has helped to forestall the inevitable. More time to get gardens growing and cultivate plants and malleable minds is a welcome thing. I never thought I would think this way but given the current state of lack of accountability and moral decay in everything that this country once stood for, I will welcome this final decline into chaos.

(3) Bottom line is people elected a dick. They elected a dick because they thought a good strong dick could come in and kick ass. They elected a dick because when they were kids there were numerous big dicks in positions of power, and things were better then. Now that they have a dick in the White House, they can count on the president doing the “dick” thing whenever confronted with a problem. “What would a dick do?” That’s the only question that need ever be answered. “What would a dick do?”

(4) This liberal vs conservative thing, or to put it another way, the educated and enlightened vs the uneducated and unenlightened, or to put it another way, the diseased, cum-spattered Hollywood degenerate vs the wholesome, clean-living, pious church goer, or to put it another way, the America haters vs the proud American patriot, proved its utility as a diversion for the few decades it took a relative handful of super-wealthy and connected thieves to loot the vaults and demolish the American economy. But, as you said a while back, Kansas isn’t buying that bullshit anymore. They’re seeing thorough the smokescreens. Maybe Americans are liberal on the issues. Groovy. But how the fuck does that help make the rent? Surgically altered men in dresses and hormonally ravaged women with beards are a miniscule percentage of the population. A woman might need an abortion once in her life. Maybe. But she needs to eat everyday, preferably more than once a day. Michael Moore may be a smart guy but he needs to refocus his attention.

(5) One of the mags had a front page title blaring “Intersex”. What do we make of it? It’s in keeping with “elite” narrative don’t you think, about fluidity of gender identity and sexual preference. This sex and gender stuff is part of a passel of idiocies stridently promoted by elite opinion makers like the NYT. Now, to us bozos who only know what our eyes tell us, naval ships are crowded, high-stress environments, packed with high explosives, highly inflammable fuel and complex technology. So, given all that, I guess it’s perfectly ok to have a couple hundred hormonal twenty-something men cooped up with women crewmates. Right? Nothing will happen, right? Tell me, what dick-heads cooked this up? And yes, yes, yes, of course, women fuck like men, see, because Cosmopolitan sez so. And so I’ve read that the next James Bond should be a woman. And why not? Women can do what men do, right? And besides, what about gender equity?

Don’t be fooled, this shit is all diversion, they distract with mirage so as to not deal with reality. The writers of crap are in the upper echelons of peckers in a social and economic pecking order that has no hope in hell so disastrous are the economic and political contradictions built into it. But they enjoy their status and power and they’ll do what they must to hang onto it. Naysayers beware. So, a female James Bond. Is there a problem? There might be. Will the idea sell? See, a movie isn’t reality, they require a lot of money to create, movie goers can’t be compelled to watch, and if movie makers want to make money, they’ll require a willing suspension of disbelief on the part of the paying movie-goer. Bondian death-defying adventures require bones and muscle and connective tissue typically found in men. In the interests of financial self-preservation, they might want to think about that. The military establishment might want to think about the concept too.

And, in the interest of societal and individual self-preservation, we might want to think about what our betters require us to think. Does it comport with reality? Because reality doesn’t bend.

(6) 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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by James Kunstler

The trouble, of course, is that even after the Deep State (a.k.a. “The Swamp”) succeeds in quicksanding President Trump, America will be left with itself — adrift among the cypress stumps, drained of purpose, spirit, hope, credibility, and, worst of all, a collective grasp on reality, lost in the fog of collapse.

Here’s what you need to know about what’s going on and where we’re headed.

The United States is comprehensively bankrupt. The government is broke and the citizenry is trapped under inescapable debt burdens. We are never again going to generate the kinds and volumes of “growth” associated with techno-industrial expansion. That growth came out of energy flows, mainly fossil fuels, that paid for themselves and furnished a surplus for doing other useful things. It’s over. Shale oil, for instance, doesn’t pay for itself and the companies engaged in it will eventually run out of accounting hocus-pocus for pretending that it does, and they will go out of business.

The self-evident absence of growth means the end of borrowing money at all levels. When you can’t pay back old loans, it’s unlikely that you will be able to arrange new loans. The nation could pretend to be able to borrow more, since it can supposedly “create” money (loan it into existence, print it, add keystrokes to computer records), but eventually those tricks fail, too. Either the “non-performing” loans (loans not being paid off) cause money to disappear, or the authorities “create” so much new money from thin air (money not associated with real things of value like land, food, manufactured goods) that the “money” loses its mojo as a medium of exchange (for real things), as a store of value (over time), and as a reliable index of pricing — which is to say all the functions of money.

In other words, there are two ways of going broke in this situation: money can become scarce as it disappears so that few people have any; or everybody can have plenty of money that has no value and no credibility. I mention these monetary matters because the system of finance is the unifying link between all the systems we depend on for modern life, and none of them can run without it. So that’s where the real trouble is apt to start. That’s why I write about markets and banks on this blog.

The authorities in this nation, including government, business, and academia, routinely lie about our national financial operations for a couple of reasons. One is that they know the situation is hopeless but the consequences are so awful to contemplate that resorting to accounting fraud and pretense is preferable to facing reality. Secondarily, they do it to protect their jobs and reputations — which they will lose anyway as collapse proceeds and their record of feckless dishonesty reveals itself naturally.

The underlying issue is the scale of human activity in our time. It has exceeded its limits and we have to tune back a lot of what we do. Anything organized at the giant scale is headed for failure, so it comes down to a choice between outright collapse or severe re-scaling, which you might think of as managed contraction. That goes for government programs, military adventures, corporate enterprise, education, transportation, health care, agriculture, urban design, basically everything. There is an unfortunate human inclination to not reform, revise, or re-scale familiar activities. We’ll use every kind of duct tape and baling wire we can find to keep the current systems operating, and we have, but we’re close to the point where that sort of cob-job maintenance won’t work anymore, especially where money is concerned.

Why this is so has been attributed to intrinsic human brain programming that supposedly evolved optimally for short-term planning. But obviously many people and institutions dedicate themselves to long-term thinking. So there must be a big emotional over-ride represented by the fear of letting go of what used to work that tends to disable long-term thinking. It’s hard to accept that our set-up is about to stop working — especially something as marvelous as techno-industrial society.

But that’s exactly what’s happening. If you want a chance at keeping on keeping on, you’ll have to get with reality’s program. Start by choosing a place to live that has some prospect of remaining civilized. This probably doesn’t include our big cities. But there are plenty of small cities and small towns out in America that are scaled for the resource realities of the future, waiting to be reinhabited and reactivated. A lot of these lie along the country’s inland waterways — the Ohio, Mississippi, Missouri river system, the Great Lakes, the Hudson and St. Lawrence corridors — and they also exist in regions of the country were food can be grown.

You’ll have to shift your energies into a trade or vocation that makes you useful to other people. This probably precludes jobs like developing phone apps, day-trading, and teaching gender studies. Think: carpentry, blacksmithing, basic medicine, mule-breeding, simplified small retail, and especially farming, along with the value-added activities entailed in farm production. The entire digital economy is going to fade away like a drug-induced hallucination, so beware the current narcissistic blandishments of computer technology. Keep in mind that being in this world actually entitles you to nothing. One way or another, you’ll have to earn everything worth having, including self-respect and your next meal.

Now, just wait a little while.

(Support Kunstler’s writing by visiting his Patreon Page:

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(Photo by Susie de Castro)

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Save the date, Whitesboro Grange is doing a Spaghetti Dinner fundraising for the Ft. Bragg Grange, this Saturday August 12th from 4-7 at the Whitesboro Grange, 1.5 miles east on Navarro Ridge Road. $8 for adults, half price for children 6-12, and under 6 eat FREE. Dinner includes Spaghetti with Bob Canclini's famous sauce (meat and vegi), salad, garlic bread, beverage of your choice, and home-made pie or cake for dessert. Bring your friends, join your neighbors and community.

(Ronnie James)

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Landscapes of Wonder

The Grace Hudson Museum will host a talk by artist and Point Reyes Station resident Tom Killion on Saturday, August 12, from 2 to 4 p.m. Killion's woodcut prints of the California coast are the subject of the Museum's current exhibit, "California's Wild Edge: The Coast in Poetry, Prints, and History." Killion will also be signing copies of the Heyday Books publication of the same name, which he wrote with the help of poet Gary Snyder, and talking about his work and how the exhibit developed. The event is free with Museum admission.

The Grace Hudson Museum is at 431 S. Main St. in Ukiah and is open Wed. through Sat. from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., and Sunday from noon to 4:30 p.m. Admission to the Museum is $4; $10 per family; $3 for students and seniors; and free to members and to all on the first Friday of the month. For more information please go to or call 467-2836.

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Dear Interested Parties,

The Planning Commission Cancellation Notice for the August 17, 2017 meeting, is posted on the department website at:

Please contact staff with question

Victoria Davis
Commission Services Supervisor

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by Manuel Vicent

Translated by Louis S. Bedrock

Quite simply, Donald Trump happens to be an incompetent because he doesn’t know the most elementary thing about politics and must practice power as a primary and expeditious emotion. He’s not a professional: he doesn’t know the trade. In his hands the government of the United States has converted into a high risk sport—a kind of canyoneering within the White House that has the world on edge.

As a candidate at political rallies, Trump at times resembled one of the clownish musicians in a comedic band who plays the violin with a handsaw and messes up the musical score, who is then applauded by the audience, and who waves back, satisfied with his own imbecility.

Donald Trump believes that to have authority, one must be very angry. Like a furious baby whose pacifier has been taken from him, he exercises authority through a series of coded signals emitted by his super-sized body as if it were agitated by an internal wind.

Everything about this politician is original, unpredictable, and theatrical. Before signing a decree, he may beat his chest or some silver-plated back to excite the thymus, that gland of bravery located behind the sternum, which we share with other advanced simians.

And afterwards, to demonstrate that he has gotten his way, he often raises his jaw, wrinkles his nose, and exhibits the document with a flourish in a defiant display that’s somewhere between infantile and thuggish. Lastly, he offers his hand, but not in an open or friendly way, but rather to the contrary: he uses his hand to take control of someone’s entire body which he can retain or release when he feels like it.

You’ll see him getting off a plane and pummeling the air with his pink fist from which his thumb is sticking out like the tail of a scorpion; or forming with his fingers the “V” for victory for no reason at all; or pinching the thumb with the index finger like a Pantocrator when he emits a threat or warning from a lectern. They are authoritarian gestures that merely indicate doubt and insecurity about the territory he treads.

Tired of voting for univocal Presidents, professional politicians always minted by the establishment for service to the system, the middle class voters of North America, underwater because of the crisis, attempted to try something new, unpredictable, and avenging: out of this desperate, angry, loutish vote has emerged this strange pumpkin colored creature because democracy has these risks, and the nobility of the collective ideal may produce the consequent burden of civil ordure that can produce a monster when it ferments.

Perched under his own volcano, every day during breakfast, while he’s seated before his huevos rancheros or surrounded by his family, Trump will send out a ballistic thought composed of 140 characters which turn his own politics upside down. He’ll fire another Chief of Staff; another Secretary will flee from his side; he’ll crush another Attorney General; he’ll defy or insult some foreign leader; he’ll appoint an accomplice in crime as an advisor and later fire him; he’ll threaten the Press; he’ll have a hard time with the Director of the FBI; and he will babble sweet nothings to Putin, who perhaps has him by the testicles.

The Kingdom of Trump is Chaos because he doesn’t know what he’s doing and he lacks character: in fact, what appears to be his spinal column is merely his tie.

Thus rides this horseman: the corrupt Trump gallops across the former splendor of the world’s number one power which is now riddled with fear and paranoia. What is fear other than surrounding one’s country with a wall; with an iron control over passports; with a barrier of racist hatred?

From among the hundreds of extraordinary minds that fill a great and powerful nation like the United States of America, what has emerged from the voting urns is the mind of a bilious and ignorant millionaire that only knows how to line his pockets. Leaving history to the mercy of the basic instincts of Donald Trump may be a way of avoiding boredom; however, it will not be pleasant to wake up one day and find that all the ideals of Western Civilization have been thrown off a cliff by a lout.

illustration by Fernando Vicent

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Pollution from illegal California pot farms is forming toxic waste dumps that span thousands of acres.

by Jessica Schroeder

Illegal marijuana farms are taking over thousands of acres of land as toxic wastes continue to corrupt ecosystems on the West Coast. According to a new report accessed by Reuters, the state of California, which is responsible for more than '90 percent of illegal U.S. marijuana farming,' has shown a drastic increase in the use of nationally restricted fertilizers and pesticides like carbofuran and zinc phosphide, ecologists say. 'Increasingly, dangerous, unregistered pesticides are being encountered by law enforcement officers who investigate illegal marijuana grows,' Special Agent-in-Charge of the Environmental Protection Agency criminal enforcement program, Jay M. Green, announced in a public release.

'Through their indiscriminate application, these unregistered pesticides pollute our lands and waters, create a significant safety risk to humans and animals, and present a mounting cleanup expense for taxpayers.'

Expert ecologist Mourad Gabriel, who reports over the issue for the U.S. Forest Service, said California is utilizing '41 times more solid fertilizers and 80 times more liquid pesticides' than the state's initial reported cited in 2013.

Chemicals of these kind have been linked to health defects and death in both animals and humans.

The agency cited 'a single swallow can be fatal to a small child, and carbofuran to be 'highly toxic to vertebrates and birds. In granular form, a single grain will kill a bird; for humans, one quarter of a teaspoon is a sufficient dose to be fatal.'

The Environmental Protection Agency announced in 2011 the department would ban the inorganic chemical compound zinc phosphide.

Included in the unpublished data accessed by Reuters, Gabriel said federal land in California currently holds '731,000 pounds of solid fertilizer, 491,000 ounces of concentrated liquid fertilizer and 200,000 ounces of toxic pesticides.'

Illegal pot growers could face jail time and numerous charges for growing illegally, while taxpayers could expect to be left with hefty bills to aid in the sterilization of the toxic waste sites.

Since marijuana was legalized in the state of California, officials have been pushing to properly license growers and carefully supervise the production, testing and distribution of hemp.

Supervisor of Trinity County Keith Groves said there are roughly 4,000 illegal growers in the region currently.

'I'll be happy if we can get 500 of them to become licensed,' he told Reuters.

The expense and danger of cleanup has created a backlog of 639 illegal marijuana farms awaiting restoration in California, according to U.S. Forest Service data compiled for Reuters. Each farm covers up to 50 acres.

'We're getting contamination over and over again at those locations,' said Gabriel, as toxins move from unsafe containers into the soil and water.

At sites that state officials said they had cleaned up completely, his team found 30-50 percent of the chemicals were still there.

'They are like superfund sites,' said Assistant U.S. Attorney Karen Escobar,

Thousands of used butane cans used to process concentrated marijuana dumped in the forest in Humboldt County.

(Daily Mail on line)



  1. Jeff Costello August 8, 2017

    Louis – best Trump article ever, period.

    • LouisBedrock August 8, 2017

      Thank you, Jeff.
      Vicent has the knack.

      I love Fernando Vicente’s drawing and thank Mike Kalantarian
      for placing it below the article.

      • sohumlily August 8, 2017

        re Manuel Vincent

        “Democracy”??? What democracy?

        “Putin”??? Is there proof of this anywhere?

        Sounds like MV has been listening to too much NPR, maybe?

        • sohumlily August 8, 2017


          I skimmed too quickly and jumped to conclusions.

          Bad brain!

          The mention of Putin still bothers me, however.

          Good work, LB

          ps can you give me some backround on Manuel Vincent? Who is he? Wikipedia doesn’t say much…

          • Jeff Costello August 8, 2017

            Vicent – no N.

          • sohumlily August 8, 2017

            Oopsy:/ *Vicent*

            Still don’t see much about him that isn’t in Spanish.

            Curious minds (and damaged brains) want to know…

          • LouisBedrock August 8, 2017

            Fair SHL:

            Manuel Vicent:

            Born in 1936.
            Majored in philosophy and law at University of Valencia.
            Studied journalism at The Official School of Journalism in Madrid.
            Has had a column in EL PAÍS for more than 30 years.
            Has written more than 40 books. (I’ve read 10 of them.)

            Trump piece is his most recent column.
            Most of the miniature biographies I’ve translated
            and hope to publish are from two books:

            FOUR ACES which features biographies of 31 American and European writers.

            MYTHOLOGIES offers 28 more biographies but includes, along with biographies of Neruda, Pound, and Salinger, the life stories of singers, actors, artists, and even a spy—Anthony Blunt.

            Re Trump piece. I think the point about Putin is not connected with the “Russia meddled in U.S. elections” nonsense but rather a contrast between Trump, who is a fool, and Putin who at least manifests some characteristics, like charisma and competence, that people would expect from a real leader.

          • sohumlily August 8, 2017

            Thanks, Louis, for filling in some of the blanks~

      • Bill Pilgrim August 8, 2017

        Well done, Louis.
        Most critical point (to me): “From among the hundreds of extraordinary minds that fill a great and powerful nation…What has emerged from the voting urns…etc.”
        Make that thousands of extraordinary minds (and hearts). But the establishment is so incestuous, so despotic and corrupted it only permits the vomiting out of regurgitated cyphers of itself, more contaminated each time.
        “Change,” the promise of nearly every vetted candidate, is now code for more of the same.

        • LouisBedrock August 8, 2017

          Thanks Bill.

          As usual, I agree with your own observations.
          Sometimes it seems that you and Harvey read my mind and write what I’m thinking—except that you and Harvey often say it better.

          Agree with you about hope. I recall Sarah Palin’s insolent and smart question: “How’s that hopey, changey thing working out for ya?”

          Obama is a nasty piece of work. I despise him even more than Trump.

          Have your read THE MENDACITY OF HOPE by Roger Hodge?

          Enumerates the Nobel Prize winning war criminal’s lies, misrepresentations, sponsors, misdemeanors, and felonies.

          • Bill Pilgrim August 8, 2017

            No, Louis. I have not read it, and likely will not.
            My neurological pathways can only store a finite amount of deplorable and nauseating truths.
            I look forward to more Vicent.

      • LouisBedrock August 11, 2017

        Just discovered that I omitted a sentence between the 3rd and 4th paragraphs:

        Donald Trump believes that to have authority, one must be very angry. Like a furious baby whose pacifier has been taken from him, he exercises authority through a series of coded signals emitted by his super-sized body as if it were agitated by an internal wind.

        —Most people see him as a joke, but the destiny of the planet is at the mercy of the whims of this braindead comic book emperor.

  2. George Hollister August 8, 2017

    Kunstler does not specifically mention that our largest debt is our federal one, which is about $60,000 per person, $80,000 per tax payer. It is more than that per tax payer that actually pays taxes. There is also more incentive to make this debt larger, rather than smaller. Kunstler is right about where this leads.

    But Americans will get through this. Leadership will come from fly-over country, not the urban centers on our coasts.

    • Bruce Anderson August 8, 2017

      A fair system of taxation would eliminate the national debt, George.

    • Harvey Reading August 8, 2017

      Well, George, compare the national debt with the Gross Domestic Product. And then read an economics textbook. The sad tale you’re peddling is old one, created by the right wing, to justify cutting services that benefit all of us.


      • sohumlily August 8, 2017

        Some cuts to the MIC would help out, too.

        • Harvey Reading August 8, 2017

          Agree, cut MIC back to a totally defensive force rather than the monster that panics over missiles on the northern Korean peninsula, taunts Russia, and inflicts murder and mayhem around the planet in its undying effort to rule everyone.

    • George Hollister August 8, 2017

      Let me know about a fair system of taxation.

      The only good government program is one I benefit from, and the only good tax is one someone else pays. This is what defines fair.

      • Mike Kalantarian August 8, 2017

        That defines selfish.

        • Harvey Reading August 8, 2017

          Praise Allah for your perceptiveness.

        • George Hollister August 8, 2017

          That is where we are these days. Call it whatever you want. Everyone wants something for nothing.

          • Harvey Reading August 8, 2017

            Just another wingnut talking point, George, completely vacuous, as usual. I’ve been hearing that one a lot, usually spoken by the well-to-do who pay their employees next to nothing. They’re the ones actually getting something for nothing, more and more so, from the 70s onward. I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that you got plenty for nothing during your lifetime.

          • BB Grace August 8, 2017

            While your points are just nuts sans wings because they don’t fly to anyone but old commie jihadi losers whose only talent is flatulating and regurgitating tripe in type, Mr. Reading.

          • Mike Kalantarian August 8, 2017

            Everyone? nah, not even close, and way too cynical and general. In my experience, that selfish “something for nothing” mentality you describe tends to display more often and get more intense as you rise up the income ladder. Some of the stingiest people I’ve ever encountered were also the wealthiest I’ve ever known. And many of the most generous and giving people I’ve met didn’t have so much, in terms of monetary wealth.

            It’s sort of how the wealthy get wealthy in the first place, by having that extreme dog-eat-dog attitude. And that’s one good reason we should tax such behavior. Psychopaths should not be encouraged and rewarded.

            I blame the b-actor Ronald Reagan for popularizing this kind of thinking, and we’re still suffering the results. But I think the young people are catching on to this scam.

          • George Hollister August 9, 2017

            Ask anybody about what they think a fair government tax is, and then ask what a good government program is.

            Taxes the general population does favor, and are considered fair, are local and specific as to what they will fund.

          • Harvey Reading August 9, 2017

            More generalized, nonsensical wingnut babbling, George. Have you ever had an original thought in your entire life?

      • Harvey Reading August 8, 2017

        One that taxes, to the hilt, the wealthy scum (and their ignorant apologists), who got their wealth only by inheritance or off the backs of others who did the work, generally at low wages, with few or no benefits. That’s plenty fair in a kaputalist, dog-eat-dog society that your kind loves.

        By the way, where’s the documentation to back up your slurs against the Canadian health system?

        • George Hollister August 8, 2017

          Harv, you can make the case that you are poor, but you can not make the case that you aren’t monied. I have not met an American who was not monied. I think every Latin American who is trying to sneak into this country would agree. We are a bunch of monied spoiled brats that would like someone else to pay for our excessive indulgences, while we sit on our lazy behinds and complain about how disadvantaged we are.

          • Harvey Reading August 8, 2017

            You haven’t even looked, have you? Enjoy your dream world, George. You and Ms. Grace should keep each other company. You two speak the same lingo. Oh, I do agree with you on one point: you do come across to me as a spoiled brat. Save your pious pontificating for the suckers, George.

            Oh, one more thing: are you ever gonna show some proof to substantiate your wild story about the Canadian health service and your family? After all, it’s been over three months since you peddled the sad tale.

  3. james marmon August 8, 2017

    We will most likely see an increase in the number of homeless in Mendo with both Eureka and now Santa Rosa clamping down on their homeless problem.

    Santa Rosa police plan could jail homeless

    “The City Council today will consider whether to allow police to crack down on certain quality-of-life offenses by upgrading the offenses from infractions to misdemeanors.”

    James Marmon
    The Prophet

  4. BB Grace August 8, 2017


    Ohhhh give me a home, where the Black tailed deer roam, and the osprey hang over the fog
    High above Navarro Ridge, just South Albion bridge is our Whitesboro Grange Hall

    Home, home on our Grange, where 4th Sunday breakfasts are made with fresh home grown eggs our organic chickens have laid, and cooked better than anyone anywhere on the Coast (that’s the truth not a boast)

    Our pancakes are fluffy, all you can eat for the money, not to mention our home made berry syrup, it puts a grin on the face, so delicious it tastes, served with a big fat slab of juicy ham.

    Home, home on our Grange, where Bob Canclini’s Spaghetti Dinners are made, with absolute pure love, for community and folk, we don’t treat like a joke, but respect and want to help.

    There’s a group called the Guild and the Granges they’ve killed turning halls into bars with lousy bands, they’re desperados who sell out their own for some ink to make a stink in the AVA. (I hope Scott Peterson is being paid to write the lies the AVA publishes, that would be respectable, otherwise Peterson is insanely malicious).

    Escoffier claimed that to be a Master Chef one has to make a dish a thousand times.. Bob Canclini is a Master Chef of spaghetti by Escoffier standards. I’m so happy we’re going to help the great Grangers from Fort Bragg. I think I’ll make a huckleberry cheesecake, a slice is worth the entire cost of all you can eat, $8.00

  5. Harvey Reading August 8, 2017

    Re: “…go back to the days of hand me downs…”

    Hope you don’t mean clothing. The crap that’s peddled now starts falling apart in no time, so there’s nothing left to “hand down”. No more Big Mac heavy duty flannel shirts. No more jeans or cords that last for several years without holes in the knees or crotch. Etc.

  6. Harvey Reading August 8, 2017


    Very well stated by Mr. Vicent (I, too, being essentially lazy, thought it was “Vincent”, but will exercise more care in the future…maybe, hopefully). But, we’ve known that since the 70s when the bullying clown first appeared, courtesy of our noble corporate nooze media, whose freedom (to lie and misinform) we are directed to defend to the death. Nevertheless he was “elected” by our nondemocratic, abysmal electoral college, which, once again, “trumped” the popular vote.

    Through it all, I continue to strongly believe that he was a better choice than horrid Hillary. I will again not vote for her in 2020, should the failed democraps still exist to run her again, that is if blood still flows in my arteries and veins and my mind still functions in a manner normal for me. I suspect that most of us would be dead or dying of radiation poisoning by now if she had been crowned queen. If religious, I would be praying daily for her to have another, final stroke that would take her out of the running and out of existence.

    I also continue to look on the bright side. Both right wings of the wealth party are melting down nicely, into a common puddle of sewage, meaning that little of consequence has yet been accomplished under the reign of the clown prince. May it continue to be so.

    Down with Chuck Schumer!

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