Press "Enter" to skip to content

Mendocino County Today: Tuesday, March 27, 2018

* * *

THE CHP REPORTS that a terrible accident north of Westport killed five people Monday when their Ford Explorer left the remote stretch of Highway One, plunging more than a hundred feet over a cliff onto the rocky shoreline below. Initial reports said at least one child was found in the wreckage. The CHP said a motorist spotted the car at 3:39 p.m., launching an hours long recovery that continued past dark. Firefighters rappelled down the cliff to reach the partially submerged car, said CHP Officer Brian Henderson, part of two-man helicopter crew from the agency’s Northern Division Air Operations base in Redding that participated in the recovery.

By late Monday, three of the occupants had been extricated. Two others remained in the car as a tow truck was preparing to winch the vehicle up to land. It was unclear when the crash occurred, and it’s possible the Explorer had been on the shoreline for some time before anyone noticed it, the CHP said.

* * *



Inspector General and a CPB auditor Ms. Helen Mollick contacted Mr. Jeffrey Parker, the general manager of KZYX a couple weeks ago to inform him that she would be visiting Philo – probably in May – to audit the station.

Over the past few months I have been in contact with Ms. Mollick, Esq., Assistant Inspector General for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, 401 – 9th Street, NW, Washington, DC 20004-2129, (202) 879-9600,

Her office is in charge of making sure that KZYX is in strict compliance with rules and statutes governing organizations funded by tax dollars and tax-exempt contributions. She can demand that the gross violations of the current KZYX administration stop their non-compliance or the station can lose the vast majority of its funding, which is supplied by CPB.

Please keep in mind that, even though programming decisions are made secretly, the programmers are not in any jeopardy. We will continue to have great programming. It is the corrupt administration that is being audited. An administration run by a secret cabal of people who treat the budget like their own personal ATM, secretly hire friends and lovers for jobs that are not needed, travel on junkets, and much more. The CPB is most concerned that KZYX operate under complete transparency and in a democratic way. Unfortunately, the station currently refuses to supply the most basic public information to its own Board of Directors, let alone the general public.

I urge all of you kind readers to email General Manager Jeffrey Parker at He is a major player in this cabal, along with Mr. Stuart Campbell and probably others. Please ask him for a complete examination of the station’s books and records and to find out what procedures, if any, are being followed in hiring and firing. You might ask them on what authority do they bypass the board of directors while they commit financial malfeasance and theft of public funds?

Mr. Parker has a long history of not returning emails or phone calls and denying the contact ever happened. He also feels free to ignore EEO laws, and graft, and he acts as though he is the absolute dictator of our public station, so please make sure that you send a copy of your emails or letters or phone calls to Ms. Mollick at her contact information above.

Now is the time to make Mendocino County Public Radio democratic, without throwing vast amount of dollars away on dubious lines of credit, and $15,000 copiers that redefine the meaning of overkill and employee perks. If there is a job opening, wouldn’t you like it to be announced publicly, giving you a chance to apply yourself? Please help throw the bums out and clean up a very important medium that deserves much better.

Larry Minson


* * *

* * *


by James Kunstler

Newsflash: President Donald J. Trump had sex with a whore twelve years ago. Let that sink into your limbic lobes, you poor, opiated, Facebook-addled, morbidly-obese, fly-over nation of lumbering, deplorable, gun-gripping, Jesus-haunted voters. A hoor! Do you hear?

Wait a minute, you say. Stormy Daniels is no such thing, She’s an actress in, and director of, adult films, an auteur, if you like, at least a sex worker, toiling in the rolling mills of eros, sweating and grunting as much as any Mahoning Valley steel worker, or hood ornament buffer on the Tesla assembly line. And anyway, three times over the years she denied having sex with that man, at least once in writing, though last night on CBS’s 60 Minutes she stated that she actually did have sex with the Golden Golem of Greatness. In which case, she may be some kind of a lyin’ hoor… or savior of a nation yearning to cast off the loathsome rule of this odious president-by-mistake.

The 60 Minutes make-up and costume crew knocked themselves out coming up with her on-camera look Sunday night: WalMart Shopper. That reddish blouse, for instance, which did not display Stormy’s… er… assets in the usual way (i.e., an enticing fleshy slot descending into deep milky realms of mystery), but just innocently swimming around in there like a couple of frolicking dolphins confined in an above-the-ground backyard pool. Who wouldn’t want to jump in and swim with them?

Maybe not the undistractible Anderson Cooper, who did ferret out many interesting particulars of that one romantic encounter: Stormy accepted Trump’s invitation for dinner… in his hotel suite. Just the two of them, ahem. They watched a TV show about sharks. It apparently lacked aphrodisiac punch. So he showed her a magazine with his picture on the cover, perhaps to get the point across that he was a really important person in case she didn’t already know. She said she ought to take it and spank him with it. He concurred, dropped trou, and presented the rear of his tighty-whitey small-clothes to facilitate that proposal. After that ice-breaker, he said, “I really like you!” and “You remind me of my daughter” — instantly be-sliming the proceedings with overtones of incest. Stormy went to the bathroom and emerged to find Trump perched on the bed. “Here we go,” the thought popped into her head, she says.

But she didn’t say “no.” After all, was this performance that much different from the… I dunno, just guessing… 1043 previous scenes with co-stars she had enacted amorous relations with on-camera? Surely not all of them were husband-material, or crushes. Oh, she didn’t ask him to wear a condom, and he didn’t gallantly volunteer to do so. (A love-child was not conceived.) At some point in the proceedings, Trump dangled the possibility of a role on his fabulous TV show, Celebrity Apprentice. But I suppose that was just the cherry-on-top of a romantic confection baked in the oven of America’s great dream industry. As it happened, Stormy didn’t get on the show. I suspect she didn’t try hard enough.

And now, as the cartoon Puritans of America’s great judgment industry say, there is hell to pay. Stormy received a large-ish check for $130,000 from an attorney associated with Mr. Trump. It is proposed by legal scholars at Anderson Cooper’s home-base, CNN, that this might have constituted an illegal campaign contribution, and is surely something that must be brought to the attention of Robert Mueller, special prosecutor for the Russia collusion case. That will be an interesting hook-up, all right. I have to say, Mr. Mueller would probably benefit from a spanking with the Penn Law Review, and who knows what side benefits might accrue from the encounter. Perhaps Stormy will wear a pair of Russian army tactical Spetsnaz boots instead of those four-inch heels and a Russian bearskin hat. I’d pay to see a film of that!

(Support Kunstler’s writing by visiting his Patreon Page.)

* * *

LITTLE DOG SAYS, “I think Stormy did great, right Skrag? ‘Only a dawg would care. Where's my dinner?’"

* * *

DESPITE MAJOR OPPOSITION from Library advocates and defenders, County CEO Carmel Angelo is pressing forward with her proposal to combine the much more lushly funded county library with the County Museum and the County’s remnant parks and rec department.

* * *


An open letter to the Board of Supervisors:

The proposal to create a county department, the Cultural Services Agency, out of the Library, the Museum and Parks, combining the administration of all, is a bad idea from many perspectives. It usurps the role of the County Librarian, combines two very different funding sources (dedicated property tax plus restricted sales tax vs. the general fund), two different jurisdictions (only the library includes both the incorporated an unincorporated areas) and greatly diminishes the accountability of county government to its residents. Different professional expertise is needed for each proposed component. Basically, it seems a proposal to skim money from the Library while at the same time weakening all three institutions.

If the County is unwilling to adequately oversee and fund the County Museum, it should close it down and return the artifacts and archives to the donors or organizations that can safeguard them. The building and the collections need an infusion of money. It could be an attraction for tourists, boosting the Willit’s economy and drawing motorists from the bypass, i.e., economic development. Yet, this proposal seems to include putting the this year’s unspent budgeted dollars into the general fund, rather than using it for needed improvements, and cutting next year’s budget. (Maybe you’ll buy more county vehicles if $800,000 last year wasn’t enough.) Nothing now prevents the Library and the Museum from cooperating on mutually beneficial events.

The duties and responsibilities of the County Librarian are set forth is state law. He/she “shall , subject to the general rules adopted by the board of supervisors, build up and manage, according to the accepted principled of library management, a library for the use of the people of the county...” (Ed Code sec. 19146) and shall “authorize and approve” “each claim against the county free library fund”. (Ed Code 19176). Sounds like an administrator to me. Wherein lies the authority of the board of supervisors to give those powers to a county agency administrator? Already, a lot the Librarian’s administrative time has been devoted to the Museum; even if reimbursed, it is a significant diversion of time and attention.

Of far greater concern is the accounting and accountability nightmare this proposal will create for supporters of the Museum, the Library and the Parks. The broad brush of the published county budget--”operating transfers in”, “operating transfers out”, “intra fund transfers”, “A-87 charges”--create a fog impenetrable to the average citizen. In two years, the depreciation and overhead charges against the Library (A-87) have increased from 12% of its dedicated property tax revenue to 19%. To whom, for what, and why is unknowable from published information. For good government efficiency is less important than accountability, which in turn rests upon transparency.

Transparency is particularly important in regards to the sales tax authorized by Measure A, crucial to the viability of the Library (twice in the past the County has been willing to completely shut down or eliminate a branch thereof). Measure A has a clause requiring continuation of funding existing in 2012. It has a sunset clause. It is difficult to envisage the support of nearly 75% , or even 63%, if the voters are unsure whether funds are being siphoned off to support other amenities or if the Library has lost its identity.

The board of supervisors will be hearing this proposal Tuesday, March 27. I urge each of you who feel that any or all of the Museum, the Library, the Parks have a positive impact on your life to attend and let your voice be heard. Or write or call your supervisor. I personally care about all three.

In all of the above I am speaking as a private citizen, not as part of any organization to which I may belong.

Linda Bailey


* * *

SUPERVISOR MCCOWEN RESPONDS: "There is no doubt that here in Mendocino County we love our libraries! The 75% yes vote for Measure A, the 1/8 cent sales tax devoted to libraries, is proof of that, as well as the outpouring of support anytime a concern is raised about the libraries or bookmobile. The issue of whether or not it makes sense to form a Cultural Services Agency (CSA) to administer the Library, Museum, and Parks can be argued either way but I hope the argument will be based on facts and logic.

There is no intention to siphon funds away from the Library to prop up the museum. There is an intention to discuss a concept that may provide better oversight of the Museum and Parks without diminishing the Library, something that no one is in favor of. But the Library is only one of many functions that the County must manage. Given that Mendocino County, financially, is a relatively poor rural county, the challenge we face is how best to manage all of the services that people rely on. In the wake of the economic collapse nearly a decade ago, at one time County Museum staff consisted of a full time director and a part time receptionist. That made no sense. The Museum does not need a full time director, but it does need a curator. With ever increasing costs, particularly for personnel, the County must continually seek to be more efficient in everything it does.

I believe County Librarian Karen Horner is a tremendous asset to the County and is doing a fine job. She is also currently devoting 10% of her time to administering the Museum. Accordingly, 10% of her salary and benefits are paid from the General Fund and the other 90% from dedicated Library funds. If the proposal for a CSA is approved, Karen Horner, in addition to being Library Director, would also administer the Museum and Parks. Please remember that each branch of the Library also has a branch manager and dedicated staff. Can Karen take on this new role without diminishing her effectiveness at the Library? I certainly want to hear her answer to that question.

It is unfortunate that so much of the discussion has revolved around false charges that the County is trying to divert money from the Library. That would be totally unacceptable. It would also be illegal. The Library receives a dedicated pro-rata share of the property tax and the Measure A special sales tax funds, both of which can only go to the Library. Several years ago, after the passage of Measure A, the County began charging the Library for building and equipment use charges. These charges were incorrectly applied due to accounting errors which resulted from a convoluted system where no one had a complete understanding of the process or responsibility for its accuracy.

Supervisor Dan Gjerde and I were appointed to an ad hoc committee that investigated the issue and made recommendations which the Board of Supervisors supported. The amount of money involved, a total of less than $100,000, was repaid to the Library with interest and the system was corrected to prevent a recurrence. By contrast, since 1998, the County has transferred over $650,000 in General Fund money to the Library, including approximately $420,000 during the 2007/08 to 2010/11 fiscal years; a time when both the Library and County were at a low fiscal ebb. The County also waived approximately $198,000 in building and equipment use charges that could have been charged to the Library. Does that sound like the County is trying to cheat the Library?

Maybe it's a sign of the times, but it's unfortunate that so many people are quick to jump to negative conclusions without having the facts in hand. At last Wednesday's Library Advisory Board meeting some members of the LAB demanded that members of the Board of Supervisors who were present violate the Brown Act and take a position before we had even seen the agenda item. Now that the item is public it is clear that it is only a concept that is being presented for discussion. There is no done deal. I do not know what the Board will decide, but nothing will happen quickly. If the Board wants to take a serious look at the proposal, the recommendation from staff is that they be directed to return to the Board with a final report, including a fiscal analysis, in 90-120 days. The item is timed for 11:00 in the morning."

* * *


by Jim Shields

One of the first things I learned as an elected official many years ago was that citizen-voters have very modest expectations of officeholders and the bureaucrats who carry out their decisions.

That’s certainly the case here in Mendocino County.

For example, most folks are content if there is adequate police and fire protection, potholes are filled, their garbage is picked up, their kids are receiving a good education, and there is an adequate safety net for people in some sort of distress, such as needing mental health or medical assistance.

The one thing most of us don’t want government officials doing is creating problems, difficulties, or putting us in harm’s way. We want them to do their jobs, which is to solve problems, alleviate difficulties, and keep us out of harm’s way.

All too often officials in this county seemingly go out of their way to find bad ideas, and once they locate that bad idea, they run full-speed ahead with it.

Case in point, very recent developments on the library front.

Up here in Laytonville three years ago folks got together and formed the Friends of Long Valley Public Library. Since then they have been fundraising with the goal of building a brick-and-mortar public library in our town. My daughter Jayma is part of that effort. Their organization is committed to this project because they know if they wait for the county to do it, it’s never going to happen. By way, their fundraising has been very successful as Laytonville area residents trust them and they understand if Laytonville is to have a public library we’ll have to do it ourselves.

Now you would think that the county’s public policy around library issues would be non-controversial and rather routine. Nope, not here in Mendocino County.

According to the Mendocino County Library Advisory Board (LAB) trouble is afoot:

“A Cultural Services Agency, now under consideration by the County, would incorporate three departments/programs: the Library, Museum, and County Parks. Allegedly, these three existing departments/programs incorporate similar vision and purpose, including providing informational, educational and recreational access to Mendocino County communities. Apparently the County believes that through the potential consolidation of these departments/programs under one administrative umbrella, our community will have greater access to resources. By forming an agency, the County believes it will be better positioned to apply for grants and/or funding streams, will increase administrative efficiency by sharing resources for marketing, finance, outreach programs, and provide the potential for Countywide collaboration between the three departments/programs.”

The LAB says the county’s attempt to create a new Department, the so-called Cultural Services Agency (CSA), which is being pushed by CEO Carmel Angelo and supported by 3rd District Supervisor Georgeanne Croskey, is a bad idea.

The Library Advisory Board feels so strongly about this bad idea, they have drafted a position paper informing the Board of Supervisors not to implement it.

Here are a few excerpts from their position paper which explain the issue in very plain, understandable language.

“The Library is self-funded through its pro-rata share of property tax and Measure A sales tax revenue. By law, these funds are dedicated to the Library. The CEO treats the Library as a County Department, believes that the Library can be administered as such, and that the County has the legal authority to fold the Library into the proposed CSA. This may be contrary to California Code if the Grand Jury’s finding are correct. (See GJ Report 2013-14, pages 8-9; Education Code §19146) … Prior to the passage of Measure A, the Board of Supervisors considered closing the Willits Branch and the Bookmobile. The Library had no budget for materials. The branches were open only three days per week. Measure A, approved by 75% of the voters, reversed this dire condition.”

Here are the main arguments against folding the library into the proposed new department:

1. Today we have a thriving library system but the future of the library is contingent on a renewal of Measure A funding in 2027. Any actual or perceived co-mingling, diverting or misuse of the Library’s dedicated funding or library reserve fund will detrimentally affect the passage of voter approved future library funding, thus returning the Library to its pre-2011 crisis condition.

2. The Library deserves the time and attention of a fulltime Library Director. Additional ad/min staff should be hired on as needed basis. Library staffing is not contingent on a proposed CSA. There is no reason the Museum facilities could not be used now by the Library for office space without being part of a CSA. Agencies often rent space to each other. The best intentions of the County to safeguard proper use of Library funds in the proposed agency budget would be impossible to track and would lead to public mistrust.

3. It is likely that what the CEO means by [the agency] will have “greater access [to] shared resources” is that the Museum and Parks will have the potential to utilize Library funds through ambiguous accounting and unspecified co-mingled costs of ad/min and A-87 expenditures. The County’s opaque accounting practices, past attempts to inaccurately assess A-87 charges and refusal to consider following state law regarding the proper source of the Director’s salary are reasons to doubt the intentions of the County in its attempt to combine the Library with the Museum and Parks into an agency. The Library, Museum and Parks have disparate missions and volume of public use. The Library had a door count of approximately 417,000 in 2017, while the Museum had approximately 8,000-10,000 visitors in 2017, including special events.  The Library is free while the Museum requests an admission fee. The Library and Museum provide educational opportunities but have differing use of resources. Their appeal is not congruent. Libraries are dynamic. They strive to adapt to changing community needs and serve as vibrant community centers. The Museum’s mission is the preservation of historical artifacts. It is a tourist destination and a resource for County residents. Our Parks are mainly gifted properties to the County and have more in common with the Museum as historic sites with limited use as recreational facilities. Both the Museum and Parks clearly need attention and deserve dedicated leadership to improve, maintain and promote the use of their assets and properties.

4. It is dubious logic that says that combining the Museum with the Library and Parks will serve the public any better than they are now. It is feasible for any of the three to work on joint grants and programs now. We believe the Library, Museum and Parks are and have been capable of applying for grants independently and have no need for affiliation. For example, the Bookmobile was procured in part by a Department of Agriculture grant with the strong support of Supervisor Brown. Outreach can be accomplished collaboratively between agencies. There does not need to be a combined agency or budget. There is no evidence that demonstrates that combining departments/programs is a more effective management system in providing services to communities. The proposed CSA is contingent on a convenient and reductionist approach rather than being a forward thinking structural change that takes into account the best interests of the Library, Museum and Parks.

The LAB concludes that the “Cultural Services Agency will harm the Library for the following reasons:

  • Jeopardize future library funding.
  • Reduce the director and ad/min staff to part-time with diminished focus on library services and programs.
  • Loss of control of the library budget and library reserve fund through the potential for co-mingling and improper use of dedicated library funds.
  • Prop up the Museum and Parks at the Library's expense.
  • Less effective administration and loss of services.

We Advise The Board Of Supervisors To Reject The Proposed Cultural Services Agency.

I agree with the Library Advisory Board’s recommendation to the Supes.

This is a bad idea that needs to be deep-sixed.

The BOS will be taking action on this proposed new department on Tuesday, March 27.

(Jim Shields is the Mendocino County Observer’s editor and publisher, and is also the long-time district manager of the Laytonville County Water District. Listen to his radio program “This and That” every Saturday at 12 noon on KPFN 105.1 FM, also streamed live:

* * *


(Click to enlarge)

(Photo by Judy Valadao)

* * *


Not at sunrise, but at 8 AM.

There will be a Community Christian Easter Church Service and all are invited

Time: 8 AM Date: Easter morning, 4-1-2018

Place: In front of the Boonville Methodist Church, 13850 Highway 128, Boonville. Valley Bible Fellowship is hosting this for the entire Valley.

Come join us for a time of celebrating the resurrection of Jesus Christ. There will be hymns, prayer, fellowship, refreshments, and reading of the Bible (the resurrection account). No admission and no offering will be taken.

For information call Pastor Dave Kooyers at (707) 895-2325

(Click to enlarge)

* * *


JOHN SCHARFFENBERGER is about to become the owner of Jim Dean’s property on Blattner Road, Philo, and look for major aesthetic upgrades, pronto, which will be practical as well as beautiful. The long-time local said Monday that he expects to create four reasonably-priced rentals plus, tentatively, a pair of one-acre plots for landless farmers to cultivate. All this is in its first stages, but that large parcel nearly in the center of town could not be in better, more creative hands.

* * *

THE BEDS of red tulips at the Bewildered Pig restaurant at Navarro are worth a trip to the Deepend all by themselves. Closer to home, the Brewery also has a nice scattering of tulips, and here’s a tulip tip for you: To keep your bouquet-ed tulips upright, drop a penny in their vase. A street person told me that one day when I emerged from Safeway with a fistful of Holland’s famous export. “Ya know what you gotta do to keep ‘em standing?” I didn’t, and thought at first he was referring to me and my advancing decrepitude. I’ve been grateful to him every Spring since.

* * *

THE SOCO Sheriff’s Office and the Santa Rosa Police Department will let cameras into their cruisers for the reality TV show ‘Cops.’ Can Mendo be far behind? Probably far behind. I once asked former Sheriff Tony Craver if he would approve COPS riding around with his deputies. “Hell no,” Craver said. “I can’t believe some of the stuff I see these guys doing on that show, and doing it on tv!” SoCo is basically urban-suburban. That policing is interchangeable with lots of places, but Mendo? Driving up a dirt road in the middle of the night anywhere in our vast outback to who knows what? You won’t see that on tv very often.

* * *


Mendocino Cannabis Industry Association is sponsoring a candidate forum. I hope everyone can join us for the forum, as we want to include the entire community for this event. Perhaps for the first time in Mendocino County electoral history, there will be a ‘cannabis inclusive’ candidates' forum. Comptche will host all five candidates for the 5th District Supervisor's seat, and they will be on hand to answer questions that will cover a broad range of topics, including cannabis issues facing our community, and how these issues affect the future of Mendocino County. March 31st at the Comptche Community Hall, 30672 Comptche-Ukiah Road. 3pm for food and mixing, with the forum slated for 4-6pm.

* * *

APRIL 22 for MENDOCINO SPRING POETRY 2018 at the Hill House in Mendocino town on the coast.

This event draws some 40 poets from northern California and beyond. Two open readings: afternoon and evening.

  • Noon: sign-up and mixer; afternoon reading at 1:00.
  • Break: enjoy the town, the sea and the headlands.
  • 5:00 PM: sign-up and mixer; evening reading at 6:00.

Choice comestibles. Open book displays. Contributions welcome. All poems considered for broadcast by Dan Roberts on KZYX&Z.

Prepare up to four minutes for either of the two sessions or both.

Info: Gordon Black, (707) 937-4107,

* * *

UKIAH, Monday, March 26. -- With jurors assembled downstairs and the prosecutor announcing ready for trial, three robbers who attempted to steal marijuana and money in November of last year decided to throw in the towel and plead guilty Monday morning in the Mendocino County Superior Court.

Porter-Walker, Richardson, Walker

D'wan Raysean Porter-Walker, age 20, of Oakland (pictured on the left in the photo), plead guilty to attempted robbery in the 1st degree in concert with others, (commonly referred to as a home invasion robbery) and burglary in the first degree while one or more persons were home. He also admitted personally using a firearm in the commission of the attempted robbery. Defendant Porter-Walker will be sentenced to 16 years in the state prison on April 20, 2018.

Johnny Lee Walker III, age 40, of Oakland (pictured on the right in the photo), plead guilty to attempted robbery in the 1st degree in concert with others and burglary in the first degree while one or more persons were home. He also admitted a prior Strike conviction for robbery in the first degree suffered in the Alameda County Superior Court in 2006. He also admitted a "nickel" prior for robbery in the 2nd degree in the Alameda County Superior Court in 1997. Defendant Walker will be sentenced to state prison for 15 years, 4 months also on April 20th. The April 20th sentencing hearings will be held at 9 o'clock in the morning in Department H at the Ukiah courthouse.

James Jesse Richardson, age 49, of Discovery Bay (pictured in the middle in the photo), plead guilty to attempted robbery in the 1st degree in concert with others. He admitted that one of the group of robbers (Porter-Walker) was armed with a firearm during the commission of the attempted robbery. He also admitted having served a prior state prison term in 2015 out of the San Joaquin County Superior Court. Defendant Richardson will be sentenced to six years, 6 months in state prison on May 23rd at 9 o'clock in the morning in Department H at the Ukiah courthouse.

The trial attorney who was to present the People's evidence to the jury and, instead, negotiated today's plea and sentence bargains was District Attorney David Eyster. The investigating law enforcement agencies were the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office, the Cahto Rancheria Tribal Police Department, the Willits Police Department, CalFire Law Enforcement, the California Highway Patrol, and the District Attorney's own investigators. The judge who was to preside over the jury trial and now will be the sentencing judge is Mendocino County Superior Court Judge John Behnke.

(District Attorney Press Release)

* * *


On March 25, 2018 Deputies were dispatched to the 24000 block of Birch Street, in the Brooktrails community, regarding criminal threats.  Upon arrival Deputies contacted the adult male victim who reported that he was walking to a community garden located near his residence, when he heard a male voice yell racial slurs directed at him. At first the adult male victim ignored the racial slurs, but then the same person yelled out "...I'm going to bury you in that garden!" Fearful for his safety, the adult male victim returned to his residence and called the Sheriff's Office.  Deputies then contacted a male subject at a residence located on Birch Street at which time they spoke to a person who identified himself as Robert Wayne Spicer, 31, of Willits.

Spicer denied that he had made any racial slurs or made any criminal threats. Deputies contacted a witness to the incident who confirmed that Spicer had been yelling the racial slurs and made the criminal threats, and that they were directed at the adult male victim.  Robert Wayne Spicer was arrested for making criminal threats and transported to the Mendocino County jail, where is being held on $20,000 bail.

* * *


On March 25, 2018, at approximately 2:15 P.M., a MCSO Deputy conducted a traffic enforcement stop in the 76000 block of Highway 162, in Covelo. The Deputy contacted the occupants of the vehicle at which time he noted a hunting rifle located within the vehicle. The Deputy was later able to determine that the passenger of the vehicle, John Parnell Nelson, 53, of Covelo, was an ex-felon.


Nelson was then placed under arrest for an ex-felon being in possession, or control, of a firearm. During a search, following the arrest, Nelson was found to be in possession of drug paraphernalia and over TWO (2) grams of methamphetamine. It was also determined that Nelson was under the influence of a controlled substance at the time of the arrest. Nelson was transported to the Mendocino County jail where he is being held on $25,000 bail.

* * *


On March 15, 2018 at approximately 1:10 P.M., deputies from the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office were dispatched to a residence in the 1500 block of Fitch Rd. in Laytonville for a reported in-progress residential burglary. MCSO dispatch advised the responding deputies that the homeowner returned to his residence and found an unknown male subject inside his home. The resident confronted the suspect, who ultimately fled from the scene. Deputies and officers from the California Highway Patrol searched the area for the suspect with negative results. The investigating deputy learned that the suspect and possibly another subject were living in the victim's residence for an unknown period of time. Deputies located evidence of forced entry into the home during the investigation. There was evidence at the home that the suspects consumed food goods and took other items in the residence that did not belong to them. During this continuing investigation, Richard Sullivan, 42, of no fixed address was identified as a potential suspect. The investigating deputy met with the homeowner who positively identified Sullivan from a photograph lineup as the subject he confronted in his home during the burglary on 03-15-2018.


On March 21, 2018, Deputies were patrolling the Laytonville area searching for Sullivan and located him near the Red Fox Casino on the Cahto Reservation. Deputies attempted to perform a vehicle stop on the truck being driven by Sullivan and a pursuit ensued. Sullivan fled from the Cahto Reservation and evaded officers onto Branscomb Rd. Sullivan was traveling eastbound towards downtown Laytonville when he lost control of the pickup he was driving and struck a utility pole and two large boulders on Branscomb Rd. The pickup being driven by Sullivan during the pursuit became disabled during the collision. Sullivan immediately exited the pickup and fled over a tall fence onto an adjoining property. Deputies and officers from the California Highway Patrol searched the surrounding area for Sullivan with negative results. The investigating deputy subsequently authored arrest warrants for Sullivan, which were reviewed and signed by a judge. The warrants for Sullivan's arrest were for the charges of Residential Burglary and Evading a Peace Officer - Reckless Driving.

At approximately 09:45 hours on 03-21-2018, an unidentified citizen in Laytonville observed Sullivan at Fosters Ranch Market, 44980 N. Highway 101 in Laytonville. The citizen called MCSO dispatch to report that Sullivan was at that store. An officer from the California Highway Patrol responded and detained Sullivan while waiting for deputies to arrive at the scene. Sullivan was subsequently arrested on the aforementioned arrest warrants and booked into the Mendocino County Jail where he was to be held in lieu of $290,000 bail.

* * *

THE CHP REPORTS that Bob S. Ford, 65, of Ukiah, ran into two horses in his 2003 BMW coupe while driving southbound on Highway 101 north of Nelson Ranch Road at around 2:40am Monday morning. Mr. Ford reportedly saw the animals appear directly in front of him and was unable to stop or avoid them. Mr. Ford suffered moderate injuries and was taken to UVMC. No word on the condition of the horses.

* * *


Betsy Cawn writes:

The published video recording stopped at the moment when Marbut opened up the “Q&A” period — as TWK says, earlier promised to last as long as the audience wanted, “all night” if necessary.

Send him over the Cow (mountain) and show him how Lake County does it — Momma don’t allow no homeless people ’round here, nuh uh!

The “official” homeless are “counted” and reports of their situational data are submitted to HUD, wowie, to add to the previously long-established reasons for funding North Coast Opportunities to provide us with free food distributions and community “gardens,” rather than the intended technical assistance services for which the State Department of Housing & Community Development has been funding that non-profit, Mendocino-based helping corporation to provide us as the County’s Community Action Agency.

The Lake County Board of Supervisors doesn’t even inform the public of its surrogate representatives chosen to fulfill the County’s legal oversight role in participation in the Community Action Agency’s Board of Directors — which doesn’t separately meet but concurrently operates the federally-supported, state-administered agency as the private non-profit corporation under its corporate board of directors.

Adventist Health Corporation (national) invested in simulation of the Camden Coalition model [] for reducing “health care costs” by focusing on “super-utilizers” of emergency medical services in five cities across the country. The City of Clearlake is one of them, for which the local hospital’s board of directors and administration have supported their own “Hope Rising” version, supporting the “Continuum of Care” closet into which the needs of local homeless and dysfunctional residents have been shoved by the County of Lake’s responsible agencies.

To be fair, the lack of “affordable” housing has been the subject of decades of discussion with little to show for it, and post-wildfire disaster housing stock depletions resulted in greater barriers for very-low-income displaced renters after three major local catastrophes. That the evaluation of human needs has been suppressed by bureaucratic preference is evidenced in the unwillingness to acknowledge the McKinney-Vento definition of homeless that identifies THOUSANDS of underage family members enrolled in Lake County’s school system.

Dr. Marbut pointed out the difference in the two measurement systems, and the benefit of McKinney-Vento for defining useful data points which can be effectively used to separate the wheat from the chaff, as it were.

None of these issues are under discussion here, in the realm of local governmental “leadership” — what energy is not spent on covering their asses from liability for neglecting state-required disaster preparedness capacities is spent on back-filling lost revenues resulting from terrible management decisions made internally by the County’s administration and Board of Supervisors over the last 10-15 years.

Locally, Adventist Health programs and highly supportive municipal agencies within the jurisdictional boundaries of the City of Clearlake are tackling the rudiments of human degradation plaguing the least able and most-greatly tormented denizens in our communities on the east side of the Clear Lake watershed, but the rest of the game goes on much like it plays (and pays) in Mendocino County. Thanks to Tommy Wayne’s report, we have some sense of the feudal agency responses to the plain truths offered by Marbut’s comprehensive and uncompromising report. Thanks again, AVA.

* * *


Kelseyville, Calif. – At approximately 3:07 p.m. on Wednesday, March 21, what for some people in Lake County will be remembered as a historic moment occurred: The sale of Konocti Harbor Resort and Spa was recorded in the Lake County Recorder’s Office.

* * *

CATCH OF THE DAY, March 26, 2018

Adams, Espinosa, Nelson

LAURA ADAMS, Ukiah. Controlled substance, paraphernalia, suspended license, probation revocation.

NATHAN ESPINOSA, South Gate/Willits. DUI.

JOHN NELSON, Covelo. Controlled substance, under influence, felon/addict with firearm, paraphernalia, evidence tampering.

Nunez, Pratt, Spicer

ELIANA NUNEZ, Ukiah. Domestic battery.

MINDY PRATT, Ukiah. Petty theft, failure to appear, probation revocation.

ROBERT SPICER, Willits. Criminal threats.

* * *


The whole gun control issue is ludicrous. If America was totally disarmed, a smart nutcase would just construct a home made bomb. It could be a nail bomb, a chemical bomb or a biological bomb. It wouldn’t have to be very big, just big enough to place just outside a classroom. Boom! More than 17 killed at once. One could almost say that guns being legal actually cuts down the number of deaths because it’s far easier and safer to get and load an assault rifle or handgun than painstakingly putting together a bomb which would probably be a more effective killing weapon. Columbine was actually planned out as a bomb attack. Klebold and Harris made about 200 small grenades they called “crickets,” and a half dozen large bombs using acetyline welding tanks packed with black powder, which they placed around the school. The guns they had were relatively simple sawed off double barrel shotguns, which they deployed when many of the bombs failed to detonate. In the school massacre in Bath, Michigan on May 15, 1927, a board of ed member wired the whole school with dynamite and set it off with school in session. Many were killed in the blast, and he shot survivors as they ran out of the destroyed building with a .38 revolver. 48 dead. If there’s a will there’s a way.

* * *

WHEN I FIRST HIT THE ROAD, a bum in Colton, California, had told me that a man should always have a destination of some kind in his mind, even though he had no real plan and knew in his heart that he was going nowhere. There were literally thousands of new bums riding the freight trains in 1933, and very few of them had actual destinations. When they were asked where they were going, the standard answer was that they were looking for work. This answer, the professional bums told me, was much too indefinite for anyone in authority because authorities everywhere knew that there was no work anywhere. Not only, he said, did a man need a final destination, he had to add that he already had a job waiting for him when he got there. And somehow, he concluded, it was best for a man to actually believe that he had a destination, and to head for it. He, he said, was going to New York, and knew that he would make it, too, because he had been there before. When he got there, he planned to leave immediately, of course, and go to New Orleans, because he hated New York. But at least having a destination in mind kept a man from thinking he was merely on an aimless journey to nowhere. What he said made a lot of sense to me.

— Charles Willeford, I Was Looking for a Street

* * *


Nowadays, every time you venture out the cabin door and step into the public conversation about politics, you’re forced to compete in a daily Olympics of competitive loathing. On websites, on social media, even sometimes in talking to friends, it’s this non-stop decathlon of ugliness, “libtards” versus “rethuglicans,” “treason-weasels” clawing at the “sheeple,” the stupidity of the terms themselves symptomatic of the whole dumb battle, with the corporate media all too eager to broadcast every sucker-punch and ear-bite in slow-motion. But somehow it all seems fake. It’s always directed at individuals, not at these lethal institutions.

Just as Chomsky has written about “the manufacture of consent,” we can now see how — and why – the American political establishment works around the clock to “manufacture rage:” because the powers-that-be know that fostering this endless anger is a perfect way to keep their critics tangled up in the ropes and snares of their own hateful rhetoric. As long as Americans are training their anger at each other, they won’t do any damage to those actual powers-that-be.

…And no people, the truth will not be revealed in an atmosphere of mutual and complete mistrust, now the job is consigned to persecution and pain. Henceforth, your name-tag will read, “Hello, I’m an infidel”, because there is no one left who is not complicit in the hate that fuels the rage.

Yer best bud sez: “Cool story bro’, but the game is on pretty soon and I’ve gotta run down to the packie and grab a brick of Bud Lite. Chill, I’ll brb.”

* * *


by Jonah Raskin

“Students need to understand the gravity of the current local and global situation, but only talking about doom and gloom is disempowering for youth. Asking them to have hope isn’t enough, either. It’s necessary to give them skills, information and knowledge so that they can have active hope and actually do stuff.” — Marika Ramsden

Revolutions don’t move in straight lines, but rather zigzag, bounce up and down and circle around. They also often skip a generation or two. Indeed, some generations are “angry,” others “silent.” Some are about “me” others about “we.”

Donald Trump, his tweets, speeches, policies and outrageous behaviors have co-joined to mobilized the current generation of teens, twenty- and thirty-year-olds.

When Obama was in the White House, members of Generation Z and many of the Millennials, who preceded them, insisted that they didn’t have to act. The president would take care of their issues and resolve their problems. That’s what they now say. Today, no one who cares about the future of the Earth wants to leave it to Trump. In fact, that’s the last thing a socially aware citizen wants to do.

In Sonoma County California, which has never been a seedbed of revolt, students are protesting against guns and violence in schools. They’re protesting against a lot more though it doesn’t make the national news

Though it’s only a short drive from Berkeley and San Francisco, where rebellion is often a way of life, Sonoma reflects many of the values of Middle America.

People like to say “please” and “thank you.” Churches are big, class divisions are rife and Mexicans, who do most of the hard physical labor, are often treated as aliens, even when they’re born and raised here.

In Sonoma County, which was recently decimated by fires, the big issue is the environment, though there isn’t one single thing that has provided a tipping point and persuaded the current generation to leave their phones and their laptops behind and rally, demonstrate, speak-out and reach out to their peers.

Indeed, it’s not one issue, but everything from climate change and rising ocean levels to loss of farmland and the expansion of suburbia. They all play out in Sonoma County.

One clear sign of the generational storm that’s brewing beneath the surface is the summit that’s coming in April, right before tax day. No, it’s not a summit with government officials. There will be no presidents, prime ministers and plutocrats in attendance, but rather students and teachers who care about sustainability and resilience, not just in the classroom as an academic exercise, but also in “real life,” as educators like to call it.

The all-day “One Planet Youth Summit” takes place on Saturday, April 14, at an experimental school called Credo in Rohnert Park, the ticky-tacky town known to kids as “Rodent Park.” Jake Mackenzie, Rohnert Park’s 78-year-old, Scottish-born mayor, and the feisty chair of the Metropolitan Transportation Commission will speak at the summit, and so will representatives of groups and organizations that care about a green future.

But for the most part, the speakers and presenters will be students and teachers, not politicians, public office holders and entrepreneurs.

Marika Ramsden, an instructor at Credo, is one of the primary movers and shakers behind the summit, which aims to increase awareness about the need for recycling, restoration of the natural world and the creation of green schools, green towns and green communities.

Born in California and educated in England from age two to age 16, Ramsden attended the Summerfield Waldorf School in Santa Rosa where non-conformist ways are valued. She has a degree in sustainable development from St. Andrews in Scotland.

“Students need to understand the gravity of the current local and global situation, but only talking about doom and gloom is disempowering for youth,” Ramsden told me. “Asking them to have hope isn’t enough, either. It’s necessary to give them skills, information and knowledge so that they can have active hope and actually do stuff.”

At Credo High School, seventh-to-twelfth graders learn about composting, recycling and landfill. They also collect and analyze their own trash, and then do research about alternatives to the current ways humans handle tons and tons of garbage.

At Credo, “zero waste” is a guiding principle and a part of the curriculum.

Ramdsen calls the movement that she is in the process of creating, “One Planet.” She hopes to spread it around the world. If anyone can do it, she can, with the help of others, of course. Not long ago, she bicycled from one end of California to the other and brought her environmental message to 30 schools.

She also bicycled from Land’s End, at the southern-most tip of England, to John o’ Groats, at the northern-most tip of Scotland. She gave workshops along the way, provided students with video cameras and asked them to tell the story of sustainability in their own schools.

All that experience on the road has made her eminently suited to encourage a major paradigm shift. Indeed, what she’d like most of all would be for humans to work close to where they live and shop. She also wants to help create communities in which everyone knows his and her neighbors.

If that sounds utopian, it is. The future has to be utopian or there isn’t one at all.

Meanwhile, the One Planet Youth Summit is at the top of Ramsden’s list of things to do. Local organizations, such as the Sonoma Ecology Center, an environmental powerhouse, Recology, a waste hauler and recycler, and The Switch Lab—a company that plans to make and sell electric vehicles—will take part in the daylong event. There’s even a break for lunch. Utopians have to eat.

The Switch Lab’s website says, “We are striving to build and market useful, sporty, safe, affordable electric vehicles while advancing electric vehicle education to create green employment locally and globally.”

Sponsors of the summit include Sustainable North Bay, the California International Studies Project, and BioRegional, an international environmental organization created by Pooran Desai and Sue Riddlestone, a husband and wife, team who inspired Marika Ramsden to create the “One Planet” movement.”

“We’re sending out an SOS,” Ramsden told me, and added that “The Earth is our ship and we all have to save it.”

Caitlyn Thomasson will attend the summit. A 21-year-old- environmental-studies major at Santa Rosa Junior College, she said that not long ago she looked at the world and saw one big mess: species decline, deforestation, glaciers melting, oceans rising, loss of land mass, people multiplying everywhere and over consumption.

Not surprisingly, Thomasson felt depressed. Then, out of curiosity, she took a class on environmental science that she says transformed her life. Indeed, she bought an airline ticket, jumped on a plane, traveled to Australia and New Zealand, where she learned about Maori culture and values, then returned to Sonoma County, created the Eco Leaders Club at her college, and recruited members of her own generation.

“I used to go to events about the environment where I was the only young person,” she said. “I felt like an outlier and wondered ‘where are my people?’ Now there are many more who are my age.”

Teachers who are involved with the One Planet Youth Summit aim to help empower students.

“We don’t want to be sages on the stage, but guides on the side,” Ramsden explained. “It’s essential for student voices to be heard.”

At the summit, those voices will be loud and clear and inspiring.

Revolutions almost always require revolutions in the revolutionary movement itself. Each new rebellious generation has to jettison much old thinking and create new paradigms, new organizations and new slogans and phrases. That’s happening now in normally quiet Sonoma County and in much noisier and more rambunctious places from Florida to Nevada, New Mexico to New York.

(Jonah Raskin is the author of For the Hell of It; The Life and Times of Abbie Hoffman.)

* * *

ROOSTER TALKED ALL NIGHT. I would doze off and wake up and he would still be talking. Some of his stories had too many people in them and were hard to follow but they helped to pass the hours and took my mind off the cold. I did not give credence to everything he said. He said he knew a woman in Sedalia, Missouri who had stepped on a needle as a girl and nine years later the needle worked out of a thigh of her third child. He said it puzzled the doctors.

— Charles Portis, True Grit

* * *


* * *


Once you had to go downtown in a big city to a run down theater to watch porn. Men evenly spaced in every sixth seat once your eyes adjusted to the pitch black. The only illumination was the screen. No sconced lights to illuminate walkways as in normal theaters. You feared what might be on the seats.

Now all you have to do is type in something in Google by mistake and you get it without even wanting it. Yes, today’s teenage horndogs have no idea how good they have it!

* * *


Governor Anwar Choudhury, 58, is due to arrive in the Cayman Islands, today, late Monday morning, March 26, to take up his post as the British Overseas Territory’s 14th governor since the position was established.

The official swearing-in ceremony for Monday at the Legislative Assembly is set for 3 p.m.

My team and I have been invited to a public reception that will be held Monday night at Pedro St. James between 6 p.m. and 9 p.m.

We've been down in the Caribbean investigating the closing of the Panama Papers law firm, Mossack Fonseca.

-- John at

* * *

SWITZERLAND has a stunningly high rate of gun ownership — here's why it doesn't have mass shootings - SFGate

* * *

I THINK LIFE has gotten much more brutish. As religion's sanction for selflessness fades, I think people are hard-pressed to think of reasons to be selfless, and the sense of life as a struggle permeates. It's something I've noticed in my own children and stepchildren, as opposed to my own generation. It was fairly easy in the 1950s to buy a house and a car, and one spent time with one's family, one had a job and one went home. Now no one seems able to afford anything and yet they work all the time.

— John Updike

* * *


Auditions for Fun Home are April 7th! Gloriana Musical Theatre is holding auditions for the Tony-award winning musical Fun Home on April 7. Directed by Jenni Windsor. Based on the graphic novel by Alison Bechdel. Book by Lisa Kron. Music by Jeanine Tesori.

The Story: Fun Home weaves together a family's story into a heart-wrenching, innovative and charmingly honest musical sure to relate to every person in the audience. When her father dies unexpectedly, graphic novelist Alison dives deep into her past to tell the story of the volatile, brilliant, one-of-a-kind man whose temperament and secrets defined her family and her life. Moving between past and present, Alison relives her unique childhood playing at the family’s Bechdel Funeral Home, her growing understanding of her own sexuality, and the looming, unanswerable questions about her father’s hidden desires.

How To Sign Up: Please fill out a form at:

Auditions: Auditions will be held on April 7th from 10am – 2pm at Eagles Hall, 210 N Corry, Fort Bragg. You will be assigned a 15 minute audition slot when you sign up. You may choose a preferred time, but they will be given on a first come, first serve basis.  If you are out of town, away at college or can otherwise not attend auditions on this date please let us know and we can arrange a Skype or video audition, or an alternate date and time.

Casting: Alison Female, 35-50; Medium Alison Female, 18-22; Small Alison Female, 8-14; Bruce Bechdel Male, 40-52; Helen Female, 35-50; Christian Bechdel Male, 10-15; John Bechdel Male, 8-12; Joan Female, 18-22; Roy/Pete/Mark/ Bobby/Jeremy Male, 20-30.

More info and character breakdown at

* * *

* * *

TURKEY VULTURE WRITES: I am aware that some readers don’t like the occasional reminders of various disturbing events in the real world beyond the Anderson Valley bubble in which they live. Well, folks, 'cloud cuckoo land' does not exist and we actually do live on the planet Earth, so even here, sequestered as we are in this idyllic rural valley, a dose of reality is sometimes needed. We are adults after all.

With that in mind, growing concerns about a possible nuclear war and other global threats have pushed forward the symbolic Doomsday Clock by 30 seconds to just two minutes before midnight. What is the Doomsday Clock? Well it was originally created by the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists (BAS) journal in 1947, and the minute hand on the Clock is a metaphor for how vulnerable to catastrophe the world is deemed to be, and how close mankind is to destroying the Earth.

They have recently reassessed the timing because the world was becoming “more dangerous” and it is now the closest to the apocalypse it has been since 1953. That was the year when the US and the Soviet Union tested hydrogen bombs.

What was behind the decision? Announcing the move in Washington DC a couple of weeks ago, the BAS said the decision “wasn't easy” and said it was not based on a single factor. However BAS President and CEO Rachel Bronson said that “in this year's discussions, nuclear issues took center stage once again.” The team of scientists singled out a series of nuclear tests by North Korea. They dramatically escalated tensions on the Korean peninsula and led to a war of words between North Korea and the US. The BAS also referred to a new US nuclear strategy that was expected to call for more funding to expand the role of the country's nuclear arsenal. Rising tension between Russia and the West was also a contributing factor.

The “weakening of institutions” around the world in dealing with major global threats, including climate change, was another major concern, the scientists said. Surely to nobody’s surprise, they also mentioned US President Donald Trump's “unpredictability,” pointing to his often controversial tweets and statements, not to mention his massive ego and delusional narcissism.

Have a relaxing and thoughtful day.

* * *

WHEN YOU HEAR nightly on CNN and MSNBC about Putin’s “attack on our democracy,” let’s not forget that — whatever impact Russia had on the 2016 election (evidence so far suggests it was small) — “our democracy” has been under attack for decades by internal enemies: big money control of both major parties, corporate media dominance, Democratic subservience to Wall Street, Republican suppression of voters of color and youth, an archaic election system protected by both parties, etc.

— Jeff Cohen

* * *


* * *


by Spec MacQuayde

They call me "Mack." Mack Dog, Mack Truck, Big Mack. Mack, they call me.

I guess they always want my attention. That's probably because they're staying in my house, these humans. I've met a bunch of them in the four years since Ma gave birth to me and ten other pups here at my farm. All my brothers and sisters found primates in need of direction, but since this place is mine I stayed. Pa is proud Newfoundland and lives up the road. Ma is Rabbit Hound. She went blind, unfortunately, while raising us pups. She contracted an eye infection and the guy who feeds my chickens and rabbits waited too long before calling the vet.

I see to it that the guy who feeds my chickens keeps Ma's water dish full. He's slow but eventually catches on. About noon most days he returns from his labors in the herbivore fields to slap some butter in the skillet and crack four eggs. Roswell the grey tabby cat predictably jumps on the kitchen table, whining and demanding a raw egg in her special little bowl as if she owned the place. She thinks she does. I don't care if she is deluded about the way things are. I guess over the years at this farm so many people have come and gone that in her feeble feline mind just because SHE was here before Ma or me it all belongs to HER. You should see the way she demands attention. It used to get on my nerves but eventually I realized after all Roswell is a cat and can't help it. Her son, Tom, grew up with me back in the day. She had a litter of kittens the same spring Ma went blind.

Tom was always a cool cat, used to let me pick him up, carry him across the driveway to that sunny spot in front of the barn where I like to keep bones, chicken feet, and stuffed animals to chew on. He fit just right in my jaws. We slept together every night until his hormones kicked in and unfortunately created problems with my people when he started tagging my furniture. He didn't mean no harm, and it didn't bother me none if he marked my territory because I am part Rabbit Hound and can smell a tom from a mile in a blizzard, and, anyway, if it isn't one Tom it's another. That's the nature of how it works, so last winter in order to restore peace with my people I was forced to kick him outside. Now he lives in the hay stack in the barn loft and watches the chickens and bunnies run around as if they belonged to him. On cold nights he calls to me from outside the bedroom window.

"Mack! Mack!"

That wakes Ma. I shouldn't laugh at my own mother but she is blind as a bat. Good thing she's full blooded Rabbit Hound because by the time she lost her sight she had memorized the farm and the fields and woods surrounding it by scent. Except for feeling the warmth of sun rays Ma can't tell if it's night or day. She don't like Tom no more than the people do, and sets in with her bellowing.

Of course Tom's got a scratchy, whiny voice like these adolescent boys you hear on the radio. Tom knows full well what he's doing. Lives in the barn loft, still thinks HE runs the place just because he can wake us all.

By now the humans are hollering, too. "Okay! Mack! Enough!"

Of course I'm trying to tell them to shut up so I can go back to sleep, but when they're all yelling at each other none of them listen to me, and the next thing you know the roosters are crowing, the guinea hens doing that insane cackle, and you can hear the goats screaming bloody murder out in the elm grove. You can hear the German Shepherd bitch lives halfway between here and Pa's, one territory I steer far clear of. She's twice as big as me, and Pa's the Newfoundland trying to tell us all to clam it from half a mile away. Pa ain't small, but between the two of us we know better than mess with the German Shepherd. She's barking but remaining on her terrain, which she thankfully always does.

By now there's so much commotion that I know if anybody's gonna get to the bottom of the situation, it's me. I'm at that age. This is my farm, my responsibility. If the chickens get out of line, it's up to me. Same with the rabbits, the cows, the cats, and the humans.

"DAMMIT! Let me out!" I scream over the cacophony of voices.

"Oh, Jeezus." My guy acts like it's a big deal to climb out of bed, open the door so Ma and me can go see what's shaking in the yard. He spouts off a bunch of pointless babble that I can't discern over the critters, staggers blindly with his damn nose five feet off the ground, fumbles for the light switch. It takes forever. Just to open a door--well, a series of them. You have no idea how it tries my patience at times like this, the farm animals out there acting like kids when the teacher leaves the classroom. It's up to me to restore order, and I'm now at the back door counting down the lumbering biped steps across my kitchen linoleum. That door opens in, so I always hang back, ready to leap at whatever's got the whole yard shook up.

On the porch there's Tom who by now knows better than to attempt a sneak-in, though that tactic worked for some time. He's gloating. I already have put together the likely scenario. Cold night. Tom's bored. But you never know. Could be more serious. Things are calmer now than they once were, but that could change.

Ma and this real nice castrated fellow, Jake--God rest his soul, they was both hounds and rid the home place of coons, possums, skunks, weasels, and groundhogs before I was born and she went blind. Old Jake raised me on account of Ma's condition and Pa's preoccupation with his people up the road. Jake taught me to hunt in the woods, acted like a real dad to me. He loved hunting, Jake did. Told me stories about the nocturnal rampages he and Ma embarked on back in the day, but I never shared his enthusiasm for sport. Me, I'd rather stay around the home place, keep an eye on the chickens, more like Pa in that way. That's what I was doing the night Jake run into a mountain lion.

Thanks to Ma and Jake's legacy, menacing critters steer clear of the farm. The coyotes still howl from the woods to the east or river bottoms to the west, always down for a good time, but only when the moon is right. Some adolescent humans attempted to kick the front door in one night last winter, and thanks to their vain efforts I got a taste of hand--not too bad, I have to say. Almost like chicken--raw and warm, a little salty due to the sweaty palm.

Out in the dark I run around for a minute, barking at all the various creatures, telling them it's cool. I'm in control of the situation. They needn't tax their minds with anything but eating and growing fat, and you have to remind them all the time. They simply don't have the capacity to deal with things the way I do, so they worry about every little threat to their stability. That's why I'm Mack. That's who I am. That's what I do. I run out past the barn to the field and holler at Pa, let him know everything's cool at the farm, I got it. Same shit as always--one creature gets flustered and they all have a come-apart.

"You tell them goats shut the hell up," he barks back with that gruff Newfoundland accent. "My people are trying to sleep."

"Got it."

He and Ma exchange a few rounds of cold communication. Sometimes it's hard to believe they ever got together, but I look just like Pa, a little smaller. Supposedly there's another Newfoundland over in the Holler, other side of the River, but I ain't seen him. Besides I know Pa is Pa because I know everything. Pa has heard it all from Ma before, and signs off, but Ma still bellows at the distant coons, mountain lions, and possums that lurk in the forests across the barren winter fields, reminding them that she's still here. Nobody answers.

The night is quiet again. My job is done.

At the back door my guy has already finished taking a leak. He's gone inside and thoughtlessly shut it behind him.

No problem for me, though. I have a brain. I can use the laws of physics to push it open.

The bastard is at the kitchen sink, filling a coffee mug with water. "You're a punk, Mack. A punk!"

I ignore him and push the bedroom door open, reclaim my spot beside the baseboard heater. It always takes Ma a few extra minutes to return to the house, and my guy always seems to forget her until she's scratching at the back door. Sometimes he tries to ignore her. Then he complains again when he gets out of bed to let her in from the cold, as if it isn't his fault she went blind in the first place. If his nose had been a little closer to the ground maybe he'd have noticed the infection sooner. Anyway, what the hell does he think he's doing in my house if he can't get out of bed to let my blind mother in on a cold night? I could get somebody else do a better job. I've HAD people served me better than he does, and I don't know about that female he's let come around lately. The other night she made fried chicken and sent me outside with the drumstick. Sent ME outside! I was incredulous, but the drumstick was worthwhile, so I let her get away with it that time. She's a country girl knows how to fry chicken, but I was like, do you have any idea who you are talking to? You're a human. You're confused about money and jobs and putting gas in your damn cars that are only good for hitting rabbits and chickens and possums, far as I can see. I hate tires. I learned about them real quick as a youth. Fortunately my legs were limber and healed rapidly.

One thing I've discovered about humans is they just complain about everything. In that way they aren't much different from cats, chickens, cows, goats, sheep--I won't necessarily put pigs in that category. They're more like us. Pigs grunt but they don't really complain. They might squeal but they don't whine like goats, or my guy.

"You're a punk, Mack," he says, following Ma into the bedroom. "You know what time it is? You don't. Daylight Savings screws everything up for country folk. School bus comes an hour early in the morning. You don't care, do ya? No. You sleep twenty hours a day!"

"If you had to do what I do, you'd sleep more, too," I say, but being a human he doesn't listen.

Instead he babbles on. "I can't even go back to sleep, Mack. I've got a greenhouse full of plants and the smart phone says it's one degree out. Freaked me out until I realized it had switched to celsius. No more Fahrenheit. You know what that means in the big picture, Mack? People from the rest of the world are invading North America. Germans, French, Russians, Koreans, Chinese, Australians, Brazilians, South Africans--they all use the decimal system. This is the end of pounds, ounces. It's the end of miles per gallon. That's what the Trump people are afraid of. They're afraid of kilometers per liter. They're afraid, but it's already happening, Mack. It's too late. Just look at this smart phone, buddy. Just look at it. One degree, or is that degrees? Wind speed 2 kilometers. Kilometers! Three-thirty two in the damn morning! Well, only two-thirty-two if you ask a Hoosier but hey, Daylight Savings is another subject. Google it. Originally known as War Time. Invented by the Germans, 1917."

"Interesting," I sigh, just to shut him up. That's humans for you. Always complaining. After a while you get used to it.

"You're a punk, Mack. A PUNK."

That's me. Mack Dog. Mack Truck. Big Mack.


* * *

A SCHOOL TODAY which teaches twelve-year-olds Latin and Greek would be picketed by parents, teachers and that swarm of aggressive special agenda organizations whose goals are peculiar inculcations, sensitivity training and empowering the inner, creative you. But in the mid-1890s, particularly in Highland Scotland, where the fruits of industrial abundance had yet to fall from the skies, school was a place where one mastered the tools of work and learning, without which poverty was certain. This was poor poverty, not color TV poverty or food stamp poverty. When B.C. Forbes was a lad people remembered how, only fifty years before, near famine conditions had prevailed in Scotland and a million Highland Scots' brother Celts had died of starvation in Ireland. There were no discussions about poverty lines, safety nets and falling through the cracks. For millions the cracks were volcanic craters.

— Nicholas von Hoffman, Capitalist Fools

* * *


[1.] Consider this: This fire was the kiss of death for most of these insurance companies. Many will close up and shut down getting out of the business. The future appears to be more of these mystery fires all over the state. One thing is for sure, everyone will pay a lot more for their coverage, IF they can even get coverage. God help us if the state government has to get into the insurance business, which is probably what will happen if these companies just leave.

[2.] Welcome to the United Corporations of America, where our elected politicians are totally owned by corporations and do their bidding, not ours. Seems insurance companies are in the business of taking our money and if not denying our claims, offering low-ball settlements — in other words they take our money but give back zip, regardless what the contract states.

[3.] Actually, you can read your policy. But getting past the first couple of pages of legalese is what stops most normal people from going into it. It’s like section 2.c. or something, says you have to itemize. Of course, when you have lost absolutely everything you ever had (except your spouse, kids, and a pet or two), it’s really a moot point for them to argue. It’s all bullshit on their part and they’re just trying to wear people down so that they can keep your premium dollars. If they were fair, they’d at least admit they’re trying to screw us out of our money.

[4.] Next big worry is most people who have insurance to rebuild have up to two years of rent paid then it's on them and with this much damage and limited construction supplies and labor it could be longer and the banks expect you to continue to make mortgage payments while rebuilding or payoff the loan and get a new one at higher interest afterward.

* * *

“Stay out of trouble, unless it’s good trouble.”

* * *


Planning Commission meeting Agenda for April 5, 2018, is posted on the department website at:

Victoria Davis
Commission Services Supervisor



  1. Dan Raymann March 27, 2018

    Actually ‘Cloud Cuckoo Land’ does exist and we are in the heart of it. Keep in mind that this comes from a guy that thinks he’s a bird! On the other hand, he does not know who our President,you know, the 45th, is! But bird man is a ‘Quizmaster’


    May the God of your choice Bless Jerry and Boobies

  2. james marmon March 27, 2018

    Hey! All this Library and Measure A talk just gave me a great idea.

    Now that we have the privatized mental health system and Measure B money, why not pull back Realignment dollars from the ASO contract and use Measure B money to fill in for the cost of RQMC? We could then distribute the Realignment dollars throughout all the other Super Agency’s (HHSA) departments, share the wealth if you will.

    Where’s the money Camille?

    James Marmon MSW

  3. Jim Updegraff March 27, 2018

    Spring training is wrapping up with a couple of games between the A’sand the Giants. Last night the game played in S F was tied 2- 2 going in to the 10th inning. In the top of the l0th the A’s scored 7 runs and won the game 9 – 2. It is going to be a long season for the giants.

    The fat slob Trump has unprotected sex with Stormy. No concern about getting clap or some other VD which would be passed on to his wife. Nice guy.

  4. Stephen Rosenthal March 27, 2018

    The current Library funding issue is a perfect example of why I never, under any circumstances and regardless of cause (and I do think money for Libraries is a good cause) vote for any tax increase. Frankly I don’t understand why anyone votes to impose more taxes upon themselves. As soon as a tax measure is passed, the political and administrative connivers will figure out a way to divert it to their own pet projects and personal agendas.

  5. Rick Weddle March 27, 2018

    re: ‘Trees On Pudding Creek Bluff’ by Judy Valadao… One of the five Best Paintings, Ever, thank you very much.

    • Jeff Costello March 27, 2018

      Yes, Judy Valadao is a real artist with a camera.

  6. james marmon March 27, 2018

    I see that the Behavioral Health Advisory Board (BHAB) Chairperson JAN MCGOURTY has copped an attitude about the “Stepping Up Initiative” and Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) training, a community policing model for our local law enforcement agencies that has not been implemented as promised. She wanted to know why the $150,000.00 set aside for the program 3 years ago is just sitting somewhere and not been used for its purpose. (most likely it was spent for something else) Chair McGourty sarcastically informed the BOS that they didn’t need to wait to build a brick and mortar facility to make the program happen (paraphrased).

    Local Officers Stepping Up to Prevent People with Mental Illnesses Entering Jails

    “CIT is one of many strategies to divert low-level offenders from jail. CIT officers have undergone training, usually through community mental health agencies, to de-escalate without force, properly restrain individuals and make initial assessments on how to handle the situation. Ideally, once a Crisis Intervention Team officer responds to a call, they can help de-escalate the situation, keeping the subject and bystanders safe, and then put those involved in contact with the mental health resources that are needed.”

    I also noticed that one of the questions the BHAB had for the county at last week’s BHAB meeting was in regards to the whereabouts of the RFP for Adult Services required for the upcoming fiscal year. Tick Tock

    Where’s the money Camille?

  7. Jim Updegraff March 27, 2018

    Feds to audit KZYX. CPB to do an audit in May. Plus complaint letters are being filed with the state Registry of Charitable Trusts.
    Will be interesting to see how the insides at the station try to hoodwink the regulators.

    • james marmon March 27, 2018

      That’s Medical MJ only Eric, recreational is another story.

  8. Eric Sunswheat March 27, 2018

    San Diego pays homeless people to pick up trash in new program
    February 27, 2018, Fox News

    San Diego officials are putting homeless people back on the street – but this time to pay them to pick up trash as part of a new program that launched Monday. The homeless people, who are staying at the city’s tented shelters, will be cleaning up trash and clearing brush in downtown San Diego for five hours a day. The program, called Alpha’s Project’s “Wheels of Change,” will pay participants $11.50 an hour. [They are] expected to hold cleaning shifts three days a week. “This is all about creating more opportunities for homeless individuals to lift themselves out of extreme poverty,” Mayor Kevin Faulconer said. “‘Wheels for Change’ will help restore dignity by allowing people to earn a paycheck and begin to get back on their feet. For many, this may be just the chance they need to begin turning their lives around.” Program participants will also receive access to housing resources. Homeless people [said] they liked the work. “It’s better than sitting in a tent all day,” Edwin Fisk … said. “It gives us something to do, you know? And you make money. Who wouldn’t want to do that?” Nichole Hill, who has been homeless for 18 months, also said: “I get to give back to the community and have some extra money to get around.” The new program follows similar ones that were launched in Chicago, Denver and Albuquerque, New Mexico, where it was first implemented.

  9. Debra Keipp March 28, 2018

    Ahhhhh, Trillium!!!!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *