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Mendocino County Today: Monday, April 16, 2018

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SHOWERS WILL PERSIST across the region today. Isolated thunderstorms and small hail will also be possible, as well as light mountain snow. Another storm system will move south across the area during midweek, followed by drier weather Friday into the weekend. (National Weather Service)

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by Mark Scaramella

My grandfather arrived in Northern California in 1900. He'd left Delebio, his home town in northern Italy, primarily, he said, because he didn't like to be told when to farm by the Pope, who prohibited farming on Sunday. He left his wife and two children in Italy, telling them he'd send for them when he had saved enough money to bring them over.

For several years Carlo Scaramella worked the woods outside Cleone and loaded lumber boats with railroad ties at several north coast towns. Once, while loading lumber off Little River, a storm blew up and the lumber boat captain decided that he better get out of there. The captain put out to sea; he said he didn't have time to put anybody ashore. Carlo was headed to San Francisco on an involuntary trip. But he didn't make it. The captain lent Carlo a rowboat somewhere near Stewart's Point and bid him bon voyage. He walked all the way back to Cleone.

It took him a couple of weeks to get back. He worked his way north, doing odd jobs. On the way he stopped and visited other Italian immigrants, and probably had a few of sips of wine. By 1906 Carlo had finally saved enough money to arrange for his wife and sons, Joe and John, ages 7 and 8, to come to California. (My father, Gene Scaramella, was born on the family homestead near Gualala.) My grandmother wasn't too happy about leaving her extended family in Italy and her hometown but she was a dutiful peasant wife. They took a train from their hometown to Milan, then to Genoa. From Genoa they took a boat through the Mediterranean, the straits of Gibralter and around the Iberian peninsula to Northern France where they embarked on the journey of their lives by steamship — steerage class, sleeping in hammocks, eating from the hampers of food they'd brought with them. The Scaramellas arrived in New York two weeks after they'd left Delebio.

During the voyage they were crowded down in the ship's hold in conditions Carlo’s son Joe later described as "pretty miserable." After arriving at Ellis Island and being processed through the demeaning entry process where they were examined like livestock, they managed to find a friend of Carlo’s who spoke English. (Carlo had written ahead to his friend about his wife and sons' pending arrival.) They then took the transcontinental train to San Francisco, arriving on the 17th of April, 1906.

My grandfather had made arrangements to meet his wife and sons the next day and accompany them back to Mendocino County on the steamer "Pomo," which was scheduled to leave San Francisco at 10am on the 18th.

But Carlo’s plans were memorably disrupted.

A little after 5am on the morning of April 18th, the 1906 earthquake sundered San Francisco from its previous reality.

The ground heaved and buildings shook. The quake lasted for less than a minute, sheering facades off buildings, ripping houses from their foundations, and opening a rift in the ground some 270 miles long and up to 21 feet deep in some places.

There was a fire in the hotel where my grandmother and her two boys had put in the night before. Screaming hotel staffers ordered everybody to get out! Now!

My grandmother lost all her belongings, including her fine laces and other prized family heirlooms she'd brought from Italy and had carefully stored in a shipping chest which she had no time to get out of the building before it was destroyed.

When Anna got into the street she saw utter chaos. People were running everywhere in every direction. She heard hysterical stories of people being crushed by falling masonry, people being burned alive in buildings. The city was burning.

At the turn of the 20th century, San Francisco had roughly the same population as New Orleans did before Katrina. In both cities, news reports had offered eerily prescient warnings of impending disaster. Just as the New Orleans papers foretold of the tragedy that awaited New Orleans should its levees be breached, newspaper reports more than 100 years ago compared San Francisco to a tinderbox awaiting a match.

In both cities it wasn't the actual event, but the series of ensuing catastrophes that caused the greatest physical damage.

In New Orleans it wasn't the hurricane itself, but the rupture of the levees that left 80% of that city under water.

Similarly, in San Francisco, firestorms triggered by broken gas mains reduced more than a third of the City by the Bay to ashes, causing more damage than the earthquake itself. Water main breaks led to water shortages. Desperate to put out the flames, firefighters used dynamite to try to blast firebreaks, often inadvertently setting the city ablaze anew.

San Francisco, April 18, 1906

The fires raged for three days and charred more than 500 square blocks — nearly a quarter of the city. By the time rescuers were able to sift through the cinders, more than 250,000 people were left homeless — the same order of magnitude as the people displaced by Hurricane Katrina.

As the fires gained momentum and the city's water system collapsed, survivors gathered wherever they could find water. All through the night after the earthquake victims huddled together in the open air as flames lit the sky.

A huge relief effort — which would put the pathetic response to Katrina to shame even by today's standards — was begun. Many refugees, including my grandmother and my two uncles, made their way to the East Bay via ferry where they were taken in by Oakland residents whose houses were still standing. Others were living in tent camps.

Then my grandmother faced another problem.

Joe and John got the measles. The family was quarantined in a literal chicken coop in the East Bay harbor area for several days. After they recovered somewhat the boys were taken in by another Oakland family.

By keeping track of bulletin boards, but having no idea of the fate of his young family, he finally tracked them after a month of desperate searching. He hadn't seen his family for six years. They arranged travel to Point Arena, first by train to Cloverdale, and then by horse-drawn stage to Elk and then another horse-drawn wagon to Point Arena where Carlo, the patriarch, lived at the time.

Downtown Point Arena in the early 1900s

Soon, the reconstruction of San Francisco began. By the time the last tent camp closed in 1909, developers had moved more than 5,000 families out of the camps and into cottages. Remarkably, some of these cottages are still in use today. Perhaps most important, by providing housing for the working class who became the backbone of their own recovery efforts, San Francisco paved the way for its speedy recovery.

As we observe the anniversary of the 1906 San Francisco Earthquake, we can look back on the big 1906 quake as more than an isolated historical event. Since another Northern California earthquake is the only remaining catastrophe (after 911 and Katrina) predicted by the feds which has not (yet) happened this century, the first Big One is more than just history. It is a lesson, particularly about unexpected secondary effects — if this generation is capable of learning any.

Postscript: Marc Reisner's must-read little book, contains both a thorough history of quake country but a chilling account of what is likely to happen in the Bay Area when the next Big One strikes. Reisner makes the ominous point that if earthquakes were again to re-occur at the rate they did five hundred years ago in California, neither LA nor San Francisco would be habitable to the overcrowded extent they are today.

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No matter the subject or points within the whole, there’ll be opinions, bits of misinformation as well as actual facts. There’ll be words with enough information to appeal to your emotions and lead you this way or that way. There’ll be names dropped with their opinions and views written in bold so people will say, “Wow, if THEY say the sky is green then it must be green!”

It is the duty of the Mendocino Coast Healthcare District community to weed through this and understand there’s not a business on earth who’s administration would ever reveal the actual severity of distress they were under. To do so would reveal such dysfunction within that even their brainwashed supporters would protest.

Financial Statements can be manipulated as easily as a dog with a bone.

CEO’s and CFO’s words are taken as gospel despite their unwillingness to get in the trenches, if you will, and fully understand the complaints and issues. And since we live in a world where saving face at all costs has blinded people to true integrity, authenticity and honesty, it is a must that we question everything.

My name is Cindy Richards. I was the Billing Office Manager at MCDH for the past 11 years. I was born and raised in Fort Bragg and am fully invested in my community. I was in the trenches with my long time staff of 12 incredibly hardworking individuals. We not only saw the issues, we reported them and did everything we could to remedy them. And we did so repeatedly for years.

I resigned my position when I accepted the fact that my knowledge, my passion and my integrity could not stand against the seasoned political leaders making four times my salary and doing everything to save face.

Please don’t use my name to support your yes or no vote on a parcel tax. Use my knowledge, my passion and my integrity to get all the information you can to make your informed decision and then vote.

MCDH is in serious trouble and any money would benefit the business in some way or another.

But my decisions are reality-based and the reality is that although even the speculated gain from a parcel tax would plug one hole in the bullet-ridden ship — without a plan, an honest captain or even some sturdy corks, that ship will sink.

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JUST IN TIME for Tuesday’s April 17 Albion community meeting, Caltrans has given the public a glimpse of some of the environmental effects of its — now almost $80 million — project to demolish and replace the historic Albion River Bridge, which cost $350,000 to build. “The newly released documents demonstrate that Caltrans has embarked on a campaign to not only destroy the historic bridge, but also the adjacent fragile coastal environment and terrain”, said Annemarie Weibel of the Albion Bridge Stewards. In a photo-simulation of the proposed “staging area” released last week, Caltrans proposes to clear-cut hundreds of existing trees and shrubs on the environmentally sensitive bluff face and bluff top where Highway 1 intersects with Albion Little River Road. According to Caltrans, the major vegetation removal and mass grading of the steep and fragile bluff are needed for heavy equipment to conduct an investigation of the geology of this eroding area up to 125 feet underground in attempting to relocate the alignment for the new bridge westward of the current bridge alignment. Engineers already evaluated a potential westward alignment when designing the current bridge in the early 1940’s, and rejected it as too geologically unstable. The heavy and noisy equipment includes a bulldozer, drill rigs, a large crane that can lift them and steel drilling platforms part way down the bluff face, numerous support vehicles, and - to access the steep bluff slopes — possibly a helicopter. The Coastal Commission-certified County Local Coastal Program identifies this area as a designated “Area of Special Biological Importance” because of its heron rookery, and therefore a protected Environmentally Sensitive Habitat Area. Under the Coastal Act and County Local Coastal Program, “environmentally sensitive habitat areas shall be protected against any significant disruption of habitat values, and only uses dependent on such resources shall be allowed within such areas.” On Thursday Caltrans announced it will be hosting an Albion “informational” community meeting, scheduled just five days later on Tuesday, April 17, 2018, from 6pm to 7:30pm, at the Albion Elementary School, 30400 Albion Ridge Road in Albion.

Photo: The protected coastal bluff face and bluff top, with trees and shrubs by Rita Crane Photography (click to enlarge).

–Annemarie Weibel, Albion

For questions call 707-937-5575

(Press Release from the Albion Bridge Stewards)

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(Click to enlarge)

(Photo by Susie de Castro)

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Did anyone pay attention to the article posted here the other day from the Sacramento Bee about the “seismic shift” in pot supply moving from the Emerald Triangle to the Central Coast?

Salinas issued more than a thousand permits this year.

How many has Mendo issued? A few dozen? They are killing the goose that lays golden eggs.

I have it from several long time cultivators that the ‘industry’ up here is on life support, barely surviving. The expensive, bureaucratic labyrinth that even granny growers with a few plants must pass through is suffocating.

I think supervisor candidate Ted Williams has the right approach to this problem. At the candidates forum in Philo last Monday night he said that until a clearer picture of the marketplace emerges the permit process should be pared down to a single page application with a twenty-five dollar flat fee. After some time, a better assessment of how much money the county can vacuum from the industry can be made.

Every agency wants a big bite of the lucrative pie. Only one problem: there’s just a small piece left.

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LITTLE DOG SAYS, “Just asking, but all of a sudden there's like twenty roosters next door. I told Skrag to beware because those suckers can fight. ‘There's not a feathered creature in all God's creation that scares me,’ he says, and why I try to be a friend to that ingrate beats me.”

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Esther Mobley’s article (“Napa Valley split over land’s future,” SF Chronicle, April 9) brought up many important points. But two essential pieces were left out. The reality in Napa these days is that much of the winery and vineyard expansion is fueled by international conglomerates whose primary focus is short-term profit. This is not the Napa of yesteryear, with independent vintners who saw winemaking as an art.

Today the Napa Valley is often peddled as a commodity rather than a community where vintners and growers hope their children will take over the family business. However, most long-term Napa vintners — luminaries like Randy Dunn, Warren Winiarski and Andy Beckstoffer among them — emphatically support initiatives like Measure C that protect community resources such as water. The article also didn’t mention that Napa County changed the definition of agriculture in 2008 to include “wine marketing and sales,” creating a de facto zoning change from agricultural to commercial use. In other words, throwing a wedding party for 200 people now qualifies as farming in Napa County. With these dramatic changes pushed through local government by the increasingly corporatized wine industry, it’s no wonder locals are fighting back with initiatives like Measure C.

Steve Kuhler


ED NOTE: The text of Napa County's Measure C:

“Shall Napa County Ordinance No. 2018-01 be adopted? (Amending the Napa County General Plan and zoning code creating water quality buffer zones within the Agricultural Watershed (AW) zoning district and restricting tree removal within those zones; strengthening oak removal remediation standards and establishing a permit program for oak tree removal once 795 acres of oak woodland have been removed.)”


Mark Scaramella notes: Of course, Wine Inc. claims that preserving some of Napa’s remaining oak woodlands would “hurt agriculture.” So typical.

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5TH DISTRICT SUPE'S candidate, Dave Roderick, brings a refreshingly vivid rhetoric to the blandly nicey-nice race. Here's Roderick in an ICO profile by W.W. Keller: "…the county has been run for 40 years by people from Albion and Mendocino, who have done absolutely nothing to build the local economy…" Earlier, Roderick refers to "The fantasy that marijuana is going to fix all our problems has collapsed."

CANDIDATE RODERICK has a point, via which he implies that Coastlib has elected its own to the Fifth District seat for a long time, merely passing the bong from one pro-pot person to the next, all the while touting marijuana as our economic life raft.

VERILY, VERILY. And now that the local pot industry is in free fall collapse as a small army of savvy corporate bulletheads sets up industrial grows in the flatlands to the south, it's time to grab the bull by the tail and look reality dead in the face. The future, assuming there is one in any predictable sense, says tourism is Mendo's tried and true ticket but, as the candidate also implies, there's a small army of young people who can't find employment because they have no skills, and even if they were blue collar equipped in the traditional sense, there's no work for them.

THE CANDIDATE shifts into rhetorical high gear with another shot at Coastlib: "There's a dark undercurrent that is poisoning this race. There is a group of aging political jihadists still fighting for control of a Mendocino that no longer exists, a failed caliphate. This claque is allowed to spew a hate-based ideology of class and geographic division..."

WELL, COASTLIB does tend heavily to intolerance for anyone outside the NPR consensus, and like all communities of like-minded people they do tend to think of themselves as the world, certainly a grisly prospect if the world were to suddenly become the fabled Albion Nation.

RODERICK'S overall point that the Fifth District Supe's seat has been held for a long time by people who don't act as if there's much of a world beyond the conservative liberalism of the Mendocino Coast seems beyond dispute.

HE'S RIGHT, though, that consensus-lib is, or soon will be, working against him, and they don't fight fair, as Wendy Roberts found when she ran against Hamburg. Coastlib, which includes Anderson Valley, even declared Hamburg an honorary woman so the local branch of the National Women's Political Caucus (a two-person organization consisting of Val Muchowski and Joe Wildman) could endorse him over an actual woman, Roberts of Mendocino, a liberal the Democrat Party libs didn't approve of. Right now they — the Wildman Democrats — are split between Skyhawk and Williams, having dismissed Rodier and Juhl out of hand. Our sense of the race is that Roderick, Skyhawk and Williams are running strong, with the more conservative parts of the 5th's electorate massing behind Roderick.

AS A LIB LAB myself, I understand how infuriatingly, insufferably smug my fellow flabbos can be, especially the insensate clusters who think the Democrats are the way forward, and that's who Roderick will be up against at the Mendo level. Their hate is pure, Dave — pure I tell you! Hunker down, dude, and remember, always wear your body armor backwards.

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PROJECT CENSORED says it reveals concealed stories of the important type. I guess, but I've never seen anything on their list that was straight-up censored except…entropy, in that the big problems seem, and probably are, intractable. Seriously, I doubt any real steps toward reducing global warming will be taken until several million people keel over in the streets. And, fast forwarding through the accumulated, unaddressed catastrophes most of us are already aware of to the ongoing disaster of public education. Pure entropy. Impossible to reform, as anybody can read for themselves every time a school bureaucrat rolls out in print.

ACCORDING to US News and World Report, California ranks 44th out of 50 states. "California has the largest network of public schools in the country — and also one of the worst performing. Only 29.2 percent of fourth graders in the state are proficient in math, and only 27.8 percent are proficient in reading — each the third lowest share of any state." Time to change? But there it is, the immovable blob, the entropy.

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(via MSP)


Cathy Wood wrote: I have decided to step aside as Admin of this group. In the spirit of transparency, I will tell you why.

Right after the Comptche Candidates Forum, one of the candidates happened to follow me home and saw me put up campaign signs in my driveway. Later this same candidate, claimed in a post to the group that because I was Admin and already supported a candidate, the group couldn't be fair to everyone else who is running. Since that time, most of the candidates appear to have boycotted the group.

I think it is ludicrous to believe that because I know who I am going to vote for, that I can't be neutral in the way I handle this group. I have deleted posts that I thought unfair to other candidates, as well as liked posts from all of the candidates. I have shared candidate events, no matter who's event it is. Just because I have made my choice, doesn't mean that I think that everyone should share that same view. I think the most important thing is for everyone to make an informed vote.

While I don't believe I have been unfair to any of the candidates or that I have favored the one I am going to vote for, I think stepping aside is the only way to get this group going again. Having all of the candidates share their ideas is what is important.

I have bumped up Christie Olson Day to Admin. Christie has been moderator of this group for several weeks now. Since Christie lives in Fort Bragg, she is not voting in this race, so hopefully she will be seen as an unbiased choice.

So, thank you everyone for participating. It is great that so many are here. Please David Roderick, Alan Rodier, Chris Skyhawk and Ted Williams share your visions of how you would like to represent the 5th District of Mendocino County.

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Joe Louis Wildman immediately replied to the news of fellow Democrat Wood's resignation with, aaargh,  "Your ‘interests’ don’t matter to me as much as your ‘principles.’ You’re good."

ED NOTE: I wonder who followed her? Whose sign was in her yard?

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…He hopes to continue serving as Municipal Court judge in Port Orford, a part-time role he assumed in August. He plans to teach political science at Southwestern Oregon Community College beginning this fall.

This week, Milliman was named a Senior Fellow at the Hatfield School of Government, Center for Public Service at Portland State University, where he will work on special projects.

“There are also some non-government opportunities that I plan to explore,” he said. “Carolyn and I plan to stay in Brookings. When we relocated here, it really was for the long term.”

Milliman holds both bachelor and associate degrees in journalism, a master’s degree in public administration from the University of Southern California, completed the senior executive program in state and local government at Harvard University and a municipal court judges program at the National Judicial College. Throughout his work life, he worked as a newspaper reporter and editor, city council member and railroad president.

Milliman and his wife Carolyn are natives of the Los Angeles area and both graduated from Bell High School. They have two adult children and two grandchildren.

In 2003, Milliman took on the city manager position in South Gate, California, following a period of political corruption and mismanagement that ravaged that city.

“This was probably the most challenging period of my career,” Milliman recounted. “The city was on the brink of bankruptcy and had just gone through a nasty recall election, and there was heavy influence within the community from organized crime.

“We were successful in restoring citizen faith in their local government, moving on a path toward fiscal recovery and resolving a number of crime-related issues.”

Milliman also worked with the U.S. Department of Justice to secure convictions of former city officials and their associates.

“We also unraveled several very complex schemes that had been employed to divert millions of dollars of city funds to unscrupulous contractors and developers,” Milliman said.

Milliman had earlier picked up a challenge in 1996 to organize a group of 17 investors to purchase the historic California Western Railroad also known as “The Skunk Train,” which was being abandoned.

“The Skunk was an important element of the community economy in both Fort Bragg and Willits,” Milliman said. “We couldn’t let it go.”

Milliman left his 17-year position as Fort Bragg city manager to become president of the railroad corporation.

“The experience gave me new respect for small business owners who deal with challenges like making payroll,” Milliman said.

He retired in California after having served as a city manager in five cities and as Southern California director for the League of California Cities, and hit a milestone in January of having served 45 years in local government.

Milliman admits that, while many achievements have been made during his tenure in Brookings, there are many challenges and opportunities ahead.

When asked to name his greatest accomplishments as city manager here, Milliman immediately responded: “Ten consecutive years of balanced budgets and clean audits. We have been fortunate to be able to provide a quality level of service while keeping costs comparatively low.

“We have undertaken a series of major infrastructure improvements, too, many of which relate to public safety,” Milliman added. “Public safety is not just police and fire, but also includes safe streets and a sound water system. We have made substantial improvements in all of these areas.”

The city’s Emergency Operations Center, which the city council named in Milliman’s honor, was a project with which he is particularly pleased.While this facility is standing by for use during a disaster emergency, it is also used regularly as a training facility for volunteer firefighters, other public service providers and a venue for public meetings. It was used as the Chetco Bar Fire command center for several months.

Milliman currently serves as chair of the South West Area Commission on Transportation and on the board of the South Coast Development Council. He was instrumental in expanding membership of the Border Coast Airport Authority, on which he serves as an alternate, to include Brookings and Curry County.

He also serves on the Pelican Bay State Prison Citizens Advisory Committee and the Oregon South Coast Tourism Network board, served as a governor’s appointee to the Oregon Seismic Safety Policy Advisory Commission, which developed a seismic retrofit grant program for schools and public safety buildings.

“I’ve had a career-long interest in disaster preparedness and response,” Milliman said.

He served as a reservist for the Federal Emergency Management Agency for 18 years, responding to federally-declared disasters nationwide, as a governor’s appointee on the California Emergency Council and chaired the Emergency Preparedness Commission for the city and county of Los Angeles.

He said being prepared stems from his long history of involvement with the Boy Scouts of America, where he currently serves on the National Advisory Board.

Milliman received the 2012 Career Excellence Award from the 9,000-member International City/County Management Association in addition to that organization’s Management Innovation Award in 1992. He is a credentialed member of ICMA and has joined their program to promote professional city management in China.

He is the first-ever recipient of the USC Certificate in Disaster Preparedness and completed several programs at the FEMA Emergency Management Institute.

“Gary has brought a great sense of stability to the organization,” Pieper said. “He is a strong leader and manager. The city council has great confidence in him. He will be missed.”


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CATCH OF THE DAY, April 15, 2018

Azbill, Beck, Couthren, France

LEONARD AZBILL JR., Covelo. Disorderly conduct-alcohol, county parole violation, resisting.

DYLAN BECK, Ukiah. Stolen vehicle, paraphernalia, probation revocation. (Frequent Flyer)

STEVE COUTHREN, Ukiah. Parole violation. (Frequent Flyer)

ERIC FRANCE, Willits. Community supervision violation.

Kummer, Paniagua-Hernandez, Phillips, Powell

KATE KUMMER, Ukiah. Failure to appear, probation revocation.

RENE PANIAGUA-HERNANDEZ, Willits. Failure to appear.

KEVIN PHILLIPS, Antioch/Redwood Valley. Failure to appear, offenses while on bail.

JUSTIN POWELL, Gainville, Florida/Ukiah. Harboring wanted felon.

Simonson, Welsh, Wolfe

DAVID SIMONSON, Willits. Under influence, probation revocation.

YVONNE WELSH, Ukiah. Under influence.

KENNETH WOLFE, Fort Bragg. Disorderly conduct-alcohol, probation revocation.

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The United States is back on its feet again. President Trump is doing a great job. President Trump is doing everything I predicted that he would do two years ago. He won the election. He is making America great again. He is pissing off the liberals. He is getting everything back the way it should be. I like what he did in Syria except he should have done more. He is standing up to people.

Take San Francisco. It has been declared the filthiest city in the world. It's unbelievable what that city has turned into. It has been called a beautiful city. But I don't see anything beautiful about it. It's built mostly on man-made land. Every time a turtle farts in an estuary the whole city shakes. It's nothing but a large collection of criminals, child molesters, dope dealers, heroin users — you name it. I could go on at length about what San Francisco has become. And guess what? It's being run by liberals! And it has been run by liberals for over 20 years. Dianne Feinstein right now. Nancy Pelosi. Maxine Waters. Ms. Jackson. The list of liberals running San Francisco is endless. And it's the filthiest city in the world.

The problems in San Francisco began when the liberals brought in all those people 25 years ago. Free this, free that, welfare, free medical, come to California, soak the taxpayers. That's the way they do. That's why we are in terrible shape. So much regulation you can't move. High taxes you cannot afford to pay. Infrastructure turned into crap. It's ugly. We have to get the liberals out of office.

My son works for Uber in San Francisco. His own car. Drives people around in San Francisco. He said it’s such a slime pit you can’t believe it, makes him want to puke. Mendocino has become just a small San Francisco. Thanks to liberals and Democrat leaders like Governor Moonbeam Brown. These liberals live in their high-rise mansions and don’t give a damn about the regular public. They couldn’t care less. They come out of their towers with their security guards and get in their limos and don’t even look at the people who need help. Sickening.

Mendocino has become just a small San Francisco. I graduated from there, my kids graduated, my mom and dad graduated, and my grandmother and grandfather graduated. It used to be a great little town. Everyone knew each other. The stores would close down during football games so people could watch them. They had a great school presence in the town. Everybody loved America. Now I don't think they say the Pledge of Allegiance. I don't think they salute the flag unless they have to. No Star Spangled Banner. No no more football. The town is full of prostitutes and drug dealers. It's a shame. I will not even go into that town anymore.

I like the idea of dividing the state into two or three parts. I think that idea is moving forward. We have to get rid of these sanctuary dens of iniquity.

God bless Donald Trump

Jerry Philbrick


PS. Nancy Pelosi said recently that she didn’t want to send the military to Syria or anywhere else because that would put them in harm’s way. What do we have a military for if they can’t confront danger? She’s completely cracked!

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STUDENTS in the AVHS Music Production class are having their original compositions performed by a world-class quartet from San Francisco. The Del Sol String Quartet will perform 17 original compositions on April 30 at 7pm in the AVHS Cafeteria.

The AVHS Companthers (Panther Composers) and The Gabriela Lena-Frank Creative Academy Of Music Present AVHS Artists In Residence Delsol String Quartet AVHS Student Composition World Premieres April 30, 2018 7pm Anderson Valley High School Cafeteria. Free Admission

James R. Snyder, Principal, Anderson Valley Jr./Sr. High School

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Watching the Mark Zuckerberg inquisition reminded me of the Salem witch trials and the McCarthy era. What a bunch of hypocrites. All of those senators use Facebook every day. Didn’t they read the fine print or go by the old adage, let the buyer beware?

I thought most of those hot shots in the Senate were lawyers. I guess they couldn’t make it as attorneys so they decided to make our lives miserable and run for political office.

Sorry to my fellow readers, I just needed to vent. I’d like to see all of these lawmakers meet in the middle and pass some meaningful legislation instead of the partisan bickering.

Disclaimer: I’m not a big fan of social media or a Facebook user, but what the Senate did to Zuckerberg is another witch hunt, which they all seem to be real good at.

Jim Hickey

Santa Rosa

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ALEXANDER COCKBURN: “People on the left spend a lot more time than they should complaining about the mainstream papers, most particularly the New York Times. They fume at the breakfast table, and often in print, or on the airwaves, bitterly decrying falsities in the ‘paper of record.’ What do they expect? In fact, they should rejoice when the Times gets things wrong, which it mostly does, and take it as a singular event when it blunders into accuracy.”

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by Patrick Cockburn

“Big noise on the stairs, but nobody comes into the room,” runs an old Chinese saying. This is an apt description of the very limited airstrikes on Syria launched by the US, Britain and France overnight, which came after apocalyptic tweets from President Trump and threats of military retaliation by Russian diplomats.

In the event, the fears of a “Russian-American clash” and runaway confrontation leading to a “third world war” have turned out to be overblown. They did not look quite so exaggerated earlier in the week when Trump tweeted about US missiles: “Get ready Russia, because they will be coming, nice and new and ‘smart’.”

The Russians hinted that their retaliation might include American targets.

Of all the options available, the US-led coalition chose the one involving minimal action and geared not to provoke Russia or Iran. This was a one-off attack on three suspected Syrian chemical weapons facilities, one in Damascus and two west of Homs. It was more of a gesture of disapproval than an attempt to damage President Bashar al-Assad’s military machine. Hours after the missiles had struck, his supporters were understandably demonstrating their defiance in the centre of Damascus.

Trump, reportedly under pressure from his military chiefs, may have chosen the most cautious option, but in fact there were no good options. Assad has all but won the civil war. Even if it was possible to weaken him, this might present opportunities to Isis and al-Qaeda, which are battered but not entirely out of business.

The attacks may or may not deter Assad from using poison gas in the future, but they will not change the balance of power against him. Chemical weapons are only a small part of his arsenal and have played only a minor military role in the war. Out of the half million Syrians who have died in the conflict over the last seven years, just 1,900 are estimated to have been killed by chemical weapons.

Yet the military balance of power really has changed in Syria over the last week, although the reason for this has largely passed unnoticed internationally because of the focus on the gas attack in Douma and its consequences. The big development is that Douma, the last armed opposition stronghold in Eastern Ghouta, surrendered to the Syrian armed forces on 8 April. The remaining Jaysh al-Islam fighters have been taken by bus to Turkish-held territory in northern Syria during the course of the week. This is Assad’s greatest victory of the war, surpassing in importance even the recapture of East Aleppo at the end of 2016.

The Syrian army began its so-called Rif Dimashq offensive against the towns and villages of Eastern Ghouta on 20 February. For seven years, the survival of this opposition enclave in east Damascus had been a sign that Assad did not control all of his own country. There were rebels within mortar range of the heart of his own capital who regularly bombarded the Old City. In the past there were other such opposition enclaves, but they have fallen one by one.

Eastern Ghouta had a population of 400,000 and was partly agricultural so could feed itself to some degree. It was at first blockaded rather than besieged, with supplies coming in through a vast tunnel network and permissive or corrupt government checkpoints.

But in the last year the government has closed entry and exit through its checkpoints and has blocked the tunnels. Inhabitants started to suffer from an acute shortage of food, fuel and medical supplies. The scarcity got worse when the government began its offensive in February. Much of the population took refuge in basements where they could only see in the dark by using small torches. Those who lived there complained of the lack of fresh water and food, the stench because of broken sewage pipes and the presence of venomous scorpions.

Possibly it was the Syrian government’s frustration at the continued resistance of part of Jaysh al-Islam, the Saudi-backed jihadi movement in Douma, that led it to use chlorine gas. It had done so before without provoking an international reaction, but this time authentic-looking video was broadcast around the world showing dying children gasping for breath. The pictures provoked a wave of international fury which culminated in the US-led airstrikes on 14 April.

If the Syrian government’s purpose in launching a chemical weapons attack was to force the final surrender of the Douma rebels, then it succeeded. Within hours of it happening, Russian military police moved into Douma to supervise the departure of rebel fighters and to suppress looting by government forces. On 12 April, the Syrian national flag was finally raised over a building in central Douma and the long siege was over.

Patrick Cockburn is the author of The Rise of Islamic State: ISIS and the New Sunni Revolution.

* * *

THE PROBLEM WITH REVENGE is that it never evens the score. It ties both the injured and the injurer to an escalator of pain. Both are stuck on the escalator as long as parity is demanded, and the escalator never stops.

— Lewis Smedes

* * *

THE DIXIE DEVILS JAZZ BAND is playing at the Mendocino Hotel, Sat., April 21-7 pm. Hot New Orleans music for listening and dancing. Fine eats and great dance floor. See you there! 45080 Main Street Mendocino; Phone 937-0511 for information.

* * *

APRIL 15, 1918: Five hundred and seventy-one men, found roaming the streets, have been rounded up by the police in the past seven days, following the determination of the authorities to make a cleanup of idle men while the Government and private enterprises are calling for workers. Of this number about 250 went to grading and lumber camps in the interior of the State. The others furnished various excuses and Police Judges gave them a chance to find work. Of the men who are found roaming Third Street and the cross streets of Howard and Folsom, many are professional “bums,” according to Captain of Police Marcus Anderson. “They don’t want work,” he explained. “Most of these men are looking for a job of pitching hay in the winter and shoveling snow in the summer time.” The police say there are hundreds of idle men in San Francisco today. “But we will keep arresting them,” said Detective Joyce of the southern station. “When a man is arrested more than once and pleads he is looking for work and can’t find it, the Police Judge will send him to jail. ‘Jail or Work’ will be the motto henceforth.”

(SF Chronicle)

* * *


When I was taking a Modern Greek class in college, I once asked the teacher where the Turks got the name “Istanbul”? She explained that they heard the Greeks talking about going “ees ton poli” which meant “into the city.” So the Turks thought that was the name of the place (which they then pronounced as “Istanbuli”).



  1. George Hollister April 16, 2018

    “there’s a small army of young people who can’t find employment because they have no skills, and even if they were blue collar equipped in the traditional sense, there’s no work for them.”

    There is work. The problem is finding a place to live. Get a class A license, there is a shortage of truck drivers. There is a shortage of construction workers of every kind. There is a shortage of nurses. CalFire needs people. Loggers are in short supply, and have been for a while. There are more opportunities now in Mendocino County than there have been in my life. These jobs pay well.

    For some there might be the need for an attitude adjustment. Show up to work, on time, every day, and do your best. Passing a drug test might be a requirement. Jobs in the trades offer great opportunities and careers. We have the jobs, and need the people to fill them.

    • james marmon April 16, 2018

      My cousin owns a fairly good sized landscaping business in Cloverdale and she can’t find anyone to work for her. My brother Dan drives for Matthew’s Logging and Cecil has a terrible time finding loggers, can barely keep a crew together. A lady I know in Lake County who buys and flips houses can’t find a carpenter or maintenance man, yet Sheriff Allman is screaming for more jail space. The World has gone to pot that’s the problem. Now days everybody, even immigrants, are going for the easy money, nobody wants to work for a living anymore.

      James Marmon
      Social Worker

  2. Craig Stehr April 16, 2018

    Reporting from Watkins Nature Ctr. campsite #26, Mitchellville, MD: Have been car-camping (since arriving from Hawaii on March 29th) with anarchist-IWW member Jesse Schultz, and two others. Got through the constantly changing spring weather by utilising additional tarps. Went into Washington D.C. for a climate justice group protest at city hall; they are advocating for a carbon tax in the district. Introduced myself to Mike Tidwell, director of Chesapeake Climate Action. The decades long Proposition One anti-nuclear vigil goes on 24/7 across the street from the White House in Lafayette Park. Bottom liner Phillipo said to me: “Nixon couldn’t get rid of us…we are staying!!!” Meanwhile, am in contact with everybody in the region who were involved with Occupy D.C., both at Freedom Plaza and at McPherson Square, and also am daily exchanging emails with Beyond Extreme Energy participants. The Earth First! collective is cheering us on from their compound in Lake Worth, FL. [The legendary Ron Huber (who set up the first tree sits in the pacific northwest with Briceland resident Mike Jakubal) just came through.] Am apparently here ahead of the proverbial curve…am being assured that I have not left paradise in vain. Enjoying the intermittent sunny days ambling on down to the beaver pond with my essential Upanishads paperback, chanting “I am not the body, I am not the mind, immortal self I am.” Ignoring the morning news which is focused on the Trump reality show. Who cares? Contact me at or on Facebook. CHEERS Y’ALL!

  3. Gary Smith April 16, 2018

    Milliman’s obviously not that proud of his 17 year tenure in Fort Bragg. All we hear of it here is that he “left”.

  4. Bruce Anderson April 16, 2018

    Considering that he ran errands for some very bad people and his city council was getting no pay back loans from a major developer….

  5. Betsy Cawn April 16, 2018

    Fascinating dialogue/debate posted to the facebook page for Joe Louis Wildman, on April 3 — including link to “Mendocino County 5th District Supervisor Race” — erudite and knowledgeable, politically savvy observers from both Mendo and Lake Counties (not just partisan lobbying, although there is some of that).

    Our very own, east of the Cow, local Dems’ die-hard, Rebecca Curry! Upper Lake’s IOOF benefactress, Tamar Kaye! There are undoubtedly more, and most importantly to us is the example of in-depth consideration of positions and platforms, not just personalities and star turns.

    We have a couple of election doozies coming up too, so I’m hoping to see Mr. Marmon’s fine hand in dissecting the bedazzlement on our Board of Supervisors’ agenda for tomorrow: “Re-Imagining Lake County”! And not a moment too soon, right?

  6. Eric Sunswheat April 16, 2018

    RE: Seriously, I doubt any real steps toward reducing global warming will be taken until several million people keel over in the streets.

    RESPONSE: Millions are already dying each year worldwide because of the effects of global warming climate disruption. These souls just didn’t think it would take the real steps, that is to die in the streets, in order for the count to be tabulated as, keeled over.

  7. Kathy April 16, 2018

    Supervisor Gjerde reported last week that 150 pot permits have been issued by Mendocino county, to date”

    • Mark Scaramella April 16, 2018

      OK. Did the Supervisor report how long it took for those 150 to get approved? Did he report how complex those 150 were compared to the others? (We suspect they’ve approved the oldest and easiest so far.) Did he include the number that were “approved”? Did he explain why the several hundred others are not “issued”? Or when the applicants might expect them to be issued? Did he say how many of those that Mendo issued have been licensed by the State? These pot permit numbers don’t mean much unless they have some context. Context, which so far, has been woefully absent.

  8. Eric Sunswheat April 16, 2018

    Mendocino mental crisis drug treatment professionals protocol hits brick wall.

    “Should we really be putting so many people on antidepressants long-term when we don’t know if it’s good for them, or whether they’ll be able to come off?” he said.

    Antidepressants were originally considered a short-term treatment for episodic mood problems, to be taken for six to nine months: enough to get through a crisis, and no more.

    Later studies suggested that “maintenance therapy” — longer-term and often open-ended use — could prevent a return of depression in some patients, but those trials very rarely lasted more than two years.

    Once a drug is approved, physicians in the United States have wide latitude to prescribe it as they see fit. The lack of long-term data did not prevent doctors from placing tens of millions of Americans on antidepressants indefinitely.

  9. George Hollister April 16, 2018

    Delebio, a small town in Northern Italy. The Scaramellas came from there to Mendocino County in the early 20th century. There were so many that came here from Northern Italy. So many families. There must be hundreds of Italian family names here, all from Northern Italy. I have wondered, why did they leave Italy? Not because it was a great place at the time. I did some googling a while back, and could not find a definitive answer. There is a lot of history there that has not been recorded.

  10. Mike April 20, 2018

    That Facebook group administrator mistakenly thought she should resign.

    She put up signs for Ted Williams.

    I think it was the other coast frontrunner who noticed that.

    This is the 2nd coast based Facebook group that I know of that has exhibited extreme thin skinned behavior in trying to micro manage discussions.

    They don’t think so, but the group size has lost 500 members … was 1094 now 534.

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