Press "Enter" to skip to content

Mendocino County Today: Sunday, April 22, 2018

* * *

HIGH PRESSURE will bring mainly clear skies and dry conditions into early next week. High temperatures will be above normal in the inland areas. Mid to late week an upper level low approaching the area will bring cooler temperatures and the chance for showers. (National Weather Service)

* * *


Thanks to an agreement with the Boonville Hotel, Petit Teton Farm is pleased to announce that we have been permitted to manage a new farmers’ market on its grounds. This will be a certified market unaffiliated with the McFarm Association. Like last year, the market will be every Saturday from 9:30am to noon. If you have interest in vending at the market contact us - not the Hotel - and we will be happy to send you the requirements. The Hotel wants only sellers of agricultural products and food who have all necessary county permits to vend. As in past markets the market managers will select vendors and assign places for them at the market. Should you have any questions about the market, please contact us. We look forward to seeing everyone at the NEW Boonville Farmer's Market and hearing from potential vendors.

Steve and Nikki, Petit Teton Farm

Managers, Boonville Farmers’ Market, 707.684.4146

* * *


Thomas is a big boy with beautiful tabby markings. He's 3 a year old, neutered, medium-hair cat. Thomas likes to cuddle and enjoys attention but isn't needy about it. He's fine spending the day doing his own thing and taking long naps.

If you're looking for a fun, playful, exuberant dog-- Ziggy is your guy! Zig LOVES his tennis balls and would be in doggy heaven if adopted by an active family who took him out for daily runs and activities. He settles nicely in the house and loves to meet new people. Ziggy is looking for a home where he is the only canine getting all the attention!

The Ukiah Animal Shelter is located at 298 Plant Road in Ukiah, and adoption hours are Tuesday, Thursday, Friday & Saturday from 10 am to 4:30 pm and Wednesday from 10 am to 6:30 pm, and lots of wonderful dogs and cats await their new homes here. To view photos and bios of the shelter's adoptable animals, please visit online at: or visit the shelter. Join us the second Saturday of every month for our "Empty the Shelter" pack walk and help us get every dog out for some exercise!

For more information about adoptions please call 707-467-6453.

* * *


Supervisors Tuesday Agenda Item 5g: “Discussion and Possible Action Including Approval of a Joint Exercise of Powers Agreement for the California Cannabis Authority; and Selection of a Mendocino County Representative to Serve on the Board of Directors. (Sponsor: Supervisor Brown)”

The proposed new “authority” includes more burdensome costs and requirements and mostly mythical and vague benefits that are truly unbelievable (as indicated by the bold emphasis below):

California Cannabis Authority

The Need for Data

The data platform will aggregate data from multiple sources including cultivation sites, point of sale, taxation and socioeconomic data. By combining all of these data points, Mendocino County will be provided with targeted and defensible data, ensuring that what is being reported and what is occurring truly coincide.

The data platform can be used to ensure that adequate tax payments are being made; assist County departments with information updated in “real time” which will help the speed of compliance; provide public health officials with product information, including product origin and product flow; and inform community planning efforts by understanding locations, concentrations and potential past or future land use patterns. In addition, as more jurisdictions use this tool and the data platform is populated with data, CCA members will have a broader picture of cannabis activity throughout the state and access to information outside of their jurisdiction.

For Mendocino County, compiling this critical data into one location will not only make it easier to ensure public safety guidelines are being met, but it could serve as a critical link to Cannabis Related Businesses (CRBs) and help the long-term viability of an industry that is linked to Mendocino’s future.

Linking Data and Financial Institutions

In addition to the cannabis and finance tracking aspects of the CCA, the CCA is also intended to help solve another industry problem: Banking. Because of the existing federally prohibited status of cannabis, most banking institutions (chartered at the federal level) are unable or unwilling to open accounts for operators in the cannabis industry, despite its legality in the State of California.

To work with CRBs, financial institutions must comply with the rigorous monitoring and reporting requirements needed to potentially utilize banking functions. Institutions must make sure CRBs are not violating state laws or engaging in activities that the federal government considers law enforcement priorities. For each cannabis customer, financial institutions must complete special money laundering and suspicious activities reports. These are onerous requirements that demand extensive staff time.

The CCA hopes to ease this burden by providing detailed information on each CRB to contracting financial institutions, formatted to fit the institution’s regulatory reporting requirements. Providing financial institutions with comprehensive licensing and regulatory data on CRBs is the single most important step California can take to increase banking among CRBs.

The State Treasurer’s Office has also worked with CSAC regarding these banking issues for CRBs, and the Mendocino County Treasurer-Tax Collector, Shari Shapmire, has participated with the Tax Collector’s association to help identify solutions to solve the cannabis cash banking problem that Mendocino County and other jurisdictions continue to face.


The data platform will be developed and managed by the JPA, which is a contract between two or more public agencies to exercise, jointly, all power(s) common to each of them, for the purpose of accomplishing specific shared goals. As set forth in the JPA agreement – as drafted and proposed by CSAC dated January 12, 2018 – member counties will comprise the governing body of the organization. Cities and other public entities will be allowed to participate in the JPA and access data, but will not be part of its governance structure. Financial institutions will have access to CCA data by contract. Non-member, public entity participants will be allowed to join CCA by contract as well.

The Board must execute the Agreement to join the JPA. It should be noted that jurisdictions desiring CCA data access must require cannabis businesses operating within their jurisdiction to provide specific information to the JPA. By agreeing to join the CCA, and pursuant to the terms of the JPA agreement, the county may need to adopt new ordinances and/or change or conform existing ordinances in order to implement the JPA agreement. For example, the CCA would like all CRBs within a jurisdiction to participate in sharing their data with the CCA, and Mendocino County may need to alter its current ordinances to ensure compliance from CRBs.

As of the date of this report to your Board, Humboldt, Monterey and San Luis Obispo counties have already execute [sic] the JPA agreement and join the CCA. The first meeting of the CCA Board of Directors is being planned for March 22, 2018.

It is recommended that Mendocino County Board of Supervisors executive [sic] the Agreement to join the CCA at this time, so that Mendocino County may benefit from being an “early adopter” by having a seat at the table as the JPA gets underway, particularly in discussion of financing parameters (e.g., approving costs of operation and membership fees) and other issues typically taken up when an organization is first formed (e.g., the development and approval of Bylaws).


Each member county must have at least one individual designated to serve on the CCA Board of Directors. Monterey and San Luis Obispo counties recently passed resolutions to join the CCA and assigned their respective Treasurer-Tax Collectors to serve on the Board. Monterey County appointed two of its supervisors to serve as alternates. Humboldt County appointed Supervisor Estelle Fennel as the member and the Treasurer-Tax Collector as the alternate. Shari Schapmire, Mendocino County Treasurer-Tax Collector, has expressed her willingness to serve on this board.

It is recommended that the Board designate one official, as well as an alternative [sic], concurrent with your approval of the execution of the JPA Agreement so that the designated Mendocino County official may begin participating in the CCA Board of Directors meetings.


Start-up funding will be provided by CSAC, but the desired model recommended by CSAC for ongoing funding is fee-based. Currently, CSAC has recommended that membership fees be paid by each city or county, and will be dependent upon the total sales within the jurisdiction. The current recommendation by CSAC would have each member agency pay a fee equal to 0.35 percent of sales (or $3,500 for every $1 million in retail and cultivation sales) within their jurisdiction. While this is the current proposed model, it should be noted that the CCA Board of Directors must eventually decide how it will fund itself and this revenue model could be rejected. In addition, please note that there may be changes to the amount of membership fees that will be paid by Mendocino County as the CCA becomes more established and as more members join the CCA. This item recommends the county’s membership fees be paid using revenues derived from the Cannabis Business Tax; however, the Board may also consider alternative funding sources to pay the CCA-associated membership fees.

* * *

ALSO ON TUESDAY’S AGENDA there’s a “Budget Workshop” which, among many other things, includes an item called “Planning for Emerging Expenses.” In other words, without mentioning where the money will come from, Mendo is planning to spend a lot more money on:

  • Fire Recovery (estimated at $13.5 million) for Non Reimbursable Costs for Staff and Materials; Local Cost Share for Debris Clean Up; and Tax Loss. But some of that may be offset by FEMA reimbursements (when?) and grants.
  • IT Master Plan, which includes a “business process improvement initiative” for the cannabis program and the “budget development process” itself. This computerization fantasy is estimated to cost almost $1.3 million, and up to $17.5 million in the next five years.

Under “Cannabis” the budget workshop presentation tells us that the current budget expected $1.7 million in cannabis business tax revenue, but actuals were almost $1 million short of that. The “cannabis cultivation program fee revenue” expected $1.1 million in revenue but so far has only received about $325k. So that’s a cannabis program deficit of almost $1.8 million which is not discussed or addressed in the workshop package. Nevertheless the County continues with its full permit and program staffing (admin, inspectors, code enforcement, etc.) with no estimate of how much in the hole they are or will be at the end of this fiscal year (June 30).

Along with the huge pot budget deficit we also find the latest pot permit report (which as usual conveniently fails to mention progress, instead providing only a meaningless snapshot of permit processing statistics).

So again. Let’s go back to March 13 right after Mendo’s new Pot Czar Kelly Overton took office. At that time there were 112 permits “issued or approved” out of 876 applied for. As of April 20, about five weeks later, there are now 173 permits “issued or approved,” or, about 12 a week since March 13. There are still 478 “under review,” and 179 “in queue” for a total of almost 660 to go. At 12 a week that will only take about a year (probably more since the easiest applications have probably already been approved).

Ever the optimist (but without data to back it up), Mr. Overton is still hacking away with his “working groups,” “outreach and events,” and the seemingly endless “program improvements.” Since Overton and CEO Angelo are both including some kind of fancy and expensive computerized pot permit processing system in their budget projections, we expect that if that ever happens, the pot program will have collapsed of its own overweight by the time the “process improvements” kick in and there are no more permits to process.

Which reminds me of one of my favorite workplace cartoons:

MENDO also has plans to spend millions more on:

  • Facilities Improvements
  • Fleet Replacement
  • Jail Expansion Project
  • Property Acquisition

Which we will describe in detail in an upcoming post.

(Mark Scaramella)

* * *


I WOULD OPPOSE a shopping center at Hare Creek if I had a vote, but short of buying the parcel from the Pattons, it's going to be tough to stop, especially by viewshed arguments. As a friend points out, "We have the most beautiful view available from Noyo to Ten Mile and it's all open to the public. So I don't buy that argument, or this argument: the further deterioration of the historic downtown district argument. How on earth will it cause deterioration of the downtown historic district when no one wants to rent the buildings because of the deterioration that has all ready happened? With or without the Hare Creek Project those downtown buildings won't be rented. I think it's about time something may happen for those who live here and not just the tourists."

AND ISN'T water at the Hare Creek site problematical?

SOUTH FORT BRAGG already suffers the unsightly urban-like fast food sprawl that has terminally blighted Willits and Ukiah, so the best we can probably hope for at Hare Creek is minimized unsightliness of the Boatyard type.

* * *

I'D ALSO CAST a conditional Yes on C vote for Coast Hospital, the condition being responsible management as Louise Mariana's forceful letter on the subject demanded. But being for good management and getting it? The twain hasn't met at Coast for years.

* * *

A REAL BAD IDEA being circulated by the Fort Bragg Appropriate Police is breaking it into political districts. Fort Bragg is too small for electoral districts, try as the AP would to gerrymander the town so they can be assured of city council dominance.

* * *

MAJOR EXCITEMENT for me today on a visit to the Kaiser Hospital maze at Terra Linda. I can remember when people prayed to join the "socialistic" Kaiser Plan, a group insurance scheme first deployed by Henry Kaiser to cover all his shipyard workers, and stoutly resisted by the AMA and mossbacks generally. My drop-fall alcoholic uncle did a stint at the Kaiser in San Francisco. I remember asking him when he would get out. "Whenever the half-ass hippie so-called doctor says I can get out, I guess," Unc said, him never one to take the rosy view. My daughter was born at SF Kaiser a few years later, and damned if it wasn't a long-haired, barefoot medico who delivered her. As the world turns.

THE KAISER at Terra Linda is a confusing ad hoc collection of poorly marked 5-story structures arrayed on a hill above the single most desolate school complex I've ever seen. That thing makes Ukiah High School look like The Tuileries. The Terra Linda medium-security prison-like campus features a large banner out front that says, "CAN DO." Can do what? Permanently desensitize every kid forced into its classrooms?

AT THE HOSPITAL COMPLEX, I wandered through two vast structures before I finally found the one confining my friend. He was at the end of a long hall behind one of the un-numbered doors. He said he'd been awake most of the night because someone had popped in and out to do whatever mysterious processes they have to do to make sure they don't get sued, and as I departed a trio of Asian female medical doctors had surrounded friend's bed to perform further mystery procedures probably equivalent in healing power, finally, to the rattling of chicken bones and speaking in tongues.

THE EXCITEMENT? My first "All Genders" restroom. Before I dared enter, I wondered how many genders there are now. I lost count at five. Was I still one of them? Was I not seeing a take-a-number gender dispenser? But inside there was the single commode and basin I remember from the quaint days when there were only two genders, strictly defined by the repro gear you were born with.

* * *



As an old friend of several now deceased people you knew, such as Barbara Champion (whose trailer I met you in once) and Dan Tower, I write (from Myanmar) to ask you about the railroaded prisoner “Bongo Bill.” Is he still incarcerated? The Mendocino Businessmen’s Association vis a vis the cops and fascist fire department there “got rid” of him long ago now. Can you provide his address in Corcoran Prison, if he is still there? Knowing the story and as a fellow human being I am interested.

Thank you,

Tim Deppe

ms notes: According to the CDCR Inmate Locator William Joseph Newport, K14307, age 52, is currently incarcerated at the Substance Abuse Treatment Facility, 900 Quebec Ave. Corcoran CA 93212. He was incarcerated in 1996. He is eligible for parole in November of 2025. The last we heard from him was back in 2013:

* * *

LITTLE DOG SAYS, “Skrag's gone again. I hear him carrying on with the senoritas next door, but he hasn't shown up for meals for three days. He's like a dope fiend that way. Rest for a month, go wild for a week. Do I miss him? I'd rather not answer that.”

* * *


The Branscomb Retreat House will be hosting an afternoon of Lieder on Saturday, April 28 at 4 p.m. and Friday, May 4 at 7 p.m. at the Branscombe Retreat House (just north of Fort Bragg.) Lieder are piano accompanied songs that take poetry as the inspiration of creating musical vignettes of human experience. This concert features songs by some of the giants among classical German composers such as Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, Brahms, and Schubert. Ruth Hoffecker will be singing Mezzo-Soprano and Jack Leung will be on the piano. Ruth Hoffecker is a singer and teacher of Uncovering the Voice who moved to Fort Bragg two years ago with her husband and young children. She studied singing in Germany and is delighted to offer this Lieder concert accompanied by Jack who shares her deep love of music. Jack Leung has been accompanying singers for over 30 years — in musicals, operas, and revues. Tickets are $15. For more information or to reserve, email or call 964-5814

* * *

THIS WEEK’S BATCH OF “LIBRARY” EVENTS includes such obvious “library” activities as wine, yoga, anime, felt flower leis, artwalk, and “LOBA” with Cindy Rinne, which of course everybody knows has something to do with libraries. For more info on these “library” activities and more go to their website:

And if you’re talking to any Library people, make sure you remind them to defend the funding for their wine, yoga, anime, felt flower leis, artwalk and LOBA stuff so that those damn Museum people don’t detract from the “library.” (PS. We have yet to see a library press release having anything even remotely to do with books, despite the Library Advisory Board rep’s promise a few months ago that such press releases would be forthcoming.) (Mark Scaramella)

* * *


by Malcolm Macdonald

Many readers have heard of H.H. (Harold Howard) Wonacott, the photographer who maintained studios in both Willits and Fort Bragg in the 1910s and on into the 1920s. In 1922 he sold the Willits studio and moved to Fort Bragg full time where he had a large commission waiting to visually document the Union Lumber Company's reforestation project.

Many Mendocino County families possess Wonacott photographic portraits of relatives or his school photographs. Other treasures tucked in shoe boxes or albums may include a Wonacott photo in postcard form. He specialized in postcards of some of the earliest automobile models. The automobile H.H. drove back and forth between Willits and Fort Bragg, circa 1917-1922, had a spare tire on the back with a printed advertisement for his services.

Older coast residents may have visited his Laurel Street business in Fort Bragg which he operated into the 1940s. It stood where the Headlands Coffeehouse is today. Besides portraits and school pictures, customers could purchase larger prints of coastal or redwood scenery as well as buy film processed by him at local drug stores.

However, this is not the story of H.H. Wonacott. We need to drop our seemingly main character as abruptly as Alfred Hitchcock dispensed with Janet Leigh's character at the Bates Motel in Psycho.

This is the tale of H.H. Wonacott's grand niece, Edna May Wonacott. Edna May was born in Willits at the height of the Great Depression (1932). She had a brother, Armond, eight years her senior. Her parents were Amy and Eley Wonacott. Her father ran a grocery store in Willits until the early 1940s when the family moved to Santa Rosa. Therein, Edna May's life turned Hitchcockian.

In July, 1942, Edna May was busy showing her new hometown and its stores to two cousins, Beverly and Shirley Wonacott from Bakersfield. While they waited on a street corner for a bus to take them home on a Saturday afternoon a round bellied man with chubby cheeks and another fellow stood nearby discussing the merits of the intersection.

Edna described what happened next. “I was kind of wondering what they were doing, and all of a sudden they started looking at me. My older cousin wasn’t too happy about it and made me move away, and they still continued looking at me, and finally walked over to us and introduced themselves, and said they were going to make a movie in town and wanted to know if I would like to be in it! Of course I said yes, and they said they would come out to our house and talk to my parents. Then the bus came and we went home. That afternoon they came out to the house and talked to my parents.”

The portly man turned out to be the acclaimed film director Alfred Hitchcock. He was accompanied by producer Jack Skirball. Also in town was assistant director William Tummel. He had won an Academy Award as Best Assistant Director in 1933. That short lived Oscar category was discontinued after 1937.

Hitchcock, Tummel, and Skirball were in Santa Rosa scouting for location shoots, looking at houses that might suit the family at the center of the upcoming movie as well as banks and potential street scenes. Hitchcock also had in mind a girl with freckles, pigtails and spectacles for casting purposes. Edna May possessed all the qualities he was looking for in a youngster to play the little sister to Teresa Wright in his drama Shadow of a Doubt. Ms. Wright was coming off what proved to be an Academy Award performance in Mrs. Miniver.

Chaperoned by her mother, Edna May journeyed to Hollywood, where her screen test proved successful. She got the part, appearing along with Ms. Wright and Joseph Cotten in Hitchcock's account of an ideal Santa Rosa family paid a visit by a mysterious uncle (Cotten) who may or may not be a serial killer.

Four weeks of the filming of Shadow of a Doubt took place in Santa Rosa, a place much different than today. In those days Mendocino Avenue served as the north-south highway through town and the city of Santa Rosa, even in the midst of World War II, was almost as idyllic as Hitchcock portrayed it to be.

Edna signed a seven year motion picture contract, with a clause that she appear in no more than two per year so she could continue her schooling. Edna May's performance in Shadow of a Doubt has been acclaimed as the finest by a child actor in the long history of Hitchcock films.

She was in six more movies over the ensuing decade though she received screen credit for only one, 1945's Under Western Skies. Her last appearance was in The Model and the Marriage Broker during 1951. That year she married Robert Green and retired from film acting. Her 21st Century home is in Arizona.

Perhaps this is more an inside out story line, closer to Tarantino than Hitch. Readers may judge. There's death at the end, but no bloody shootout.

H.H.Wonacott sold his film and camera shop in 1947, semi-retiring to his farm off Simpson Lane. He operated a trout farm there. He advertised it as “U-Catch-em.” He ran a much a smaller studio nearby in which he developed photos of smiling fishermen with their trout caught from his pond. Harlan Howard Wonacott died in May of 1960.

*Beware: Plot twists and turns abound at

* * *

OLD GUY ASSERTS HIS LEGAL RIGHTS (You Wanna Work In My Apartment? Here's What You Have To Do, Management)

‎Monday‎, ‎March‎ ‎26‎, ‎2018‎:

TO: FPI Management

All Vintage at Bennett Valley tenants need and are entitled to written notice of a date certain for the upcoming moves. It is required that management provide such notice, something that no one I have talked to has gotten. Tenants have this right in order to arrange among other things: for packing, for arranging for deliveries, switching over certain utilities, arranging for medical appointments, caregivers, etc. I believe the written notice must go out a week before each individual apartment is moved.

Also we were told in the preliminary meetings that tenants should keep paying their electrical bills and these payments would be credited against a future rent payment. For those of us on the California Alternate Rates for Energy (CARE) program this does not work. Our utility discount is only to be used for our own personal usage, not for your corporate mandated major reconstruction renovations. Should the electric usage during the retrofitting in a particular apartment exceed a certain level, that tenant loses the right to have this CARE discount in the future. This would have a drastic impact on the low income, disabled and seniors - three catagories which I am included. Essentially FPI is getting the electric use done at a low rate what appears to be fraudulent means, when work is done through the renters' individual discounted rates. Not to mention that reimbursement to the tenant is delayed to a future rental payment meaning FPI is using the tenants finances without compensation for weeks if not months.

Therefore I will be forced to suspend my CARE electric power account on the day I am moved to a "hospitality" apartment and then reactivate it on the day I move back in to my apartment. There has been no offer of indemnification made to the tenants in this matter by management..

Management should and must of course provide free utilities, cable, and WiFi as promised in the temporary hospitality apartments but management must also open its own commercial account for each apartment being renovated and then the tenant can resume paying the utilities when they are returned to their original unit. For the apartments already completed, you need to go back to the electrical providers such as P.G. and E. and Sonoma Clean Energy and pay the difference between the tenants rate and the commercial rate.

Also because a number of us are very careful and frugal with our personal electric use we are extended credits on our electric bills which will be taken away by heavy usage by the contractors.

* * *

Monday, April 2, 2018:

TO: Jenifer Johnson, FPI Management,

As you requested this email serves as an answer to the written notice left at the entrance to my apartment on 29 March 2018 around 2:00 PM informing me that my move to a "hospitality" apartment is scheduled for the morning of Monday, 30 April 2018.

Your notice of 29 March also indicated that you do not have a current phone number for me. That is correct, you do not. Email which is a written record with date and time stamp is the way to go. Time for you and staff to stop pretending you don't receive my emails.

Glad you have responded to my email on this subject in a such a timely fashion. This will allow me to schedule medical and dental appointments in the meantime. I will make sure to keep 30 April 2018 clear of other commitments.

* * *

Sat, Apr 21, 2018:

TO: J.Johnson, FPI Management

While I am scheduled for the relocation move on the morning of Monday, 30 April 2018, there are several other items still to be addressed. Some of them follow: I need a time certain no earlier than 10:00 AM as I have personal needs including medical to take care of before that time. Also if it is raining, I must insist that the moving company have waterproof coverings for my furniture and other possessions. I have observed four moves of other tenants which took place in pouring rain and these tenants' items were not protected by cover. Please notify the moving company so we don't delay the move.

NB: if it is raining on my move day and waterproof covers are not provided, I reserve the right to cancel the move that day and will further require another seven day advance notice resetting my move to at least a week later.

Also I require that I am able to do a walk though inspection of the "hospitality unit" at least three business days before the move. This could take place on either Tuesday 24 April 2018 or Wednesday 25 April 2018. I will be checking for condition, wifi and cable access, space which must be at least a one bedroom unit, a studio unit is not acceptable as I have paid for a one bedroom unit since my initial move in 2001. I would accept a larger unit but only at the one bedroom price. Please notify me as to date and time for this inspection as to when I should meet FPI staff at the hospitality unit. I will need the building number and apartment number. And again not before 10:00 AM

Prior to moving on 30 April 2018, I will also need to have a written statement from you certifying as to whether any person has died in the hospitality unit as per statute.

* * *

Sat, Apr 21, 2018

I have not been evicted but am facing a mandatory relocation to another apartment while a massive number of code violations and structural defects are being repaired throughout the almost 200 units. The management company has quite successfully bullied a number of other tenants into giving up their rights and being forced into a long term (several months at least) relocation without compensation or proper written notice.

I on the other hand insist that I and others be treated under provisions of the law. Should you cover this, I'd appreciate not being personally identified but rather as "long term tenant" or "former tenant union organizer" or "senile trouble maker" or "AVA subscriber". Have to be as Radical as Reality in these times. I'll try calling you tomorrow but will entertain questions by email today

Irv Sutley, Glen Ellen

* * *



Congratulations to the Press Democrat for their Pulitzer Prize for coverage of the fires. However, as an up-close-and-personal observer of the Tubbs fire, I suggest that the PD gave inadequate attention to the questionable performance of Santa Rosa emergency personnel during the fire and Sonoma County administration in the days after the fire.

Living on Skyfarm Drive, we were awakened around 2:30 a.m. by falling branches to find our house already on fire. There had been no sirens or loudspeakers that could (and should) have been driving the streets hours earlier. We fled in nightclothes from a burning house and drove over flaming logs before we found refuge with friends. Only ash remained on Skyfarm.

A few days later, after submitting a 10-page application for a debris removal right-of-entry permit, we were told that seven additional documents were required. Of course we had none. The alternative of a one-page comprehensive permit and liability disclaimer was, apparently, never considered by the bureaucracy. Less than stellar civic governance. That story deserved telling. It still does.

Hans Mattes


* * *

CATCH OF THE DAY, April 20-21, 2018

(Still unavailable due to “Server Error in '/NewWorld.Aegis.WebPortal' Application.”

* * *


Out here in the middle earth of flyover country, central Iowa, the economy perks along nicely, feeding mostly on what could be called an outdoor factory. That factory employs lots of workers operating heavy construction machinery, and consumes as its raw material some of the best land on earth. That land is converted to junk development at a rate so fast that it seems there must be a deadline to meet. The cheerleaders in the media take delight in all this destruction.

Also big in the central Iowa economy is finance and banking. Wells Fargo has a massive presence here. They are the gang of thieves recently fined a billion dollars for cheating people.

The other outdoor factory in Iowa, of course, is the farming enterprise: a toxic chemical-applying, fossil fuel-consuming, GMO-planting fiasco.

Such is our economy now.

* * *

* * *


Congressman Thompson, Gun Violence & Credo Students

by Jonah Raskin

It was 4/20, unofficial national marijuana day, but none of the 350 students at Credo High School were smoking weed and getting high. Weed isn’t their cause.

Gun violence is and understandably so. Kids in schools are practically sitting targets in a gun-crazy nation.

More than 438 people in 239 schools nation-wide have been shot since December 14, 2012. That’s when 20-year-old Adam Lanza killed 20 children between the ages of six and seven years, as well as six adult staff members at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut.

Lanza also killed his mother while she was sleeping. Then he killed himself.

“How can anyone be against kids not dying from guns?” Credo High School student Esmé Kaplan-Kinsey asked at a rally that took place outside city hall in Cotati, California.

Vice Mayor Mark Landman told the students who had marched 2.5 miles from their school, “We’re not happy with the world we’re leaving you. It’s not what we intended. You can fix the things we didn’t fix.”

Earlier in the day, California Congressman Mike Thompson who represents the fifth congressional district, told the Credo students, “stand up, make noise, get involved, and change things.”

Thompson’s district covers Napa County plus portions of Lake, Sonoma, Solano and Contra Costa counties.

The chairman of the Gun Violence Prevention Task force, and a firm believer in the Second Amendment, Thompson insisted that, “The right to be safe takes precedence over shooting guns.”

A Vietnam veteran who was wounded and who received a Purple Heart, Thompson is currently a gun owner and a hunter.

He has drafted legislation that would require background checks on anyone and everyone who wants to buy a gun anywhere in the U.S.

Republicans in Congress won’t even allow a hearing on the bill.

According to the Center to Prevent Gun Violence, “federal law requires licensed firearms dealers to perform background checks on prospective purchasers, but it does not require unlicensed sellers to do so.” A 2017 study estimated that 42% of U.S. gun owners acquired their firearms without a background check.

That’s a big loophole that unlikely to be closed anytime soon, though the statistics ought to persuade politicians and citizens to act immediately.

Thompson told the Credo students that there were 600 shootings in the week prior to his appearance at the school and that 96 people a day are killed in the U.S. by guns.

When a teacher at Credo asked, “Why do so many Americans feel the need to hurt one another,” Thompson offered a list of suggestions for social change.

“We should have more jobs, more protection for the environment and more health care, especially mental health,” he said. “Mental health is critical. It affects drug abuse, homelessness and domestic violence.”

Like Thompson, the Credo students think that everything is connected: from climate change and global warming, to homelessness and violence in schools.

Jonah Gottlieb, the 17-year old organizer for “Gun Violence Awareness Week” at Credo, argued that there was a need for more activism and better legalization on the major issues, especially homelessness.

“Elected officials aren’t doing anything,” he said. “There’s an epidemic of homelessness around the world.

He added, “Homeless people are often treated as less than human. They once lived the kind of lives that we live. Now they’re on the street.”

Gottlieb hopes that millions of young Americans who aren’t yet registered to vote will register and then cast their ballots in the midterm election this November.

“18-25-year-olds are the worst at voting,” he said. “But that will change. We will vote.”

They will also take to the streets and make their voices hear. One Credo High school student carried a sign above her head that said, “Excuse the disturbance, we’re trying to change the world.”

Not since the Vietnam War Era, have so many students around the country expressed a desire to change the world. No wonder that Landman, Cotati’s Vice Mayor, told the Credo students, “We’ve been waiting for a long time for your generation to show up, stand up and make your voices heard.”

At 64 and a baby boomer, Landman embraced the cause of civil rights and peace during the Vietnam War.

“It gives me great pleasure to see a generation of committed kids,” he said. “The world out there is listening to them.”

(Jonah Raskin is the author of For the Hell of It: The Life and Times and Abbie Hoffman and the editor of The Radical Jack London.)

* * *

* * *


Please know that I have received a notice of my subscription ending with the Boontling Greeley Sheet. Whereas I have travelled from Honolulu to Washington D.C. recently, I am NOT near the bank I am a customer at, in order to secure a proper payment instrument. Obviously, I could either attempt to locate a starter check somewhere in the bowels of my luggage, or else go to a bank in the District of Columbia and purchase a cashier's check, or visit a postal office for the purchase of a money order. I believe that the AVA doesn't have a bank debit card payment option. If you do, then please send me the appropriate link to make use of. Regardless, I understand that I have until May 13th to resolve this.

Meanwhile, the mood in Washington D.C. is somewhere between exasperated and seriously revolutionary, depending upon which neighborhood you are in. The front area of the White House is closed and guarded much of the time, except in mid-afternoons when the tourists are permitted to walk up to the iron fencing to take photographs. The Proposition One antinuclear vigil goes on across the street in Lafayette Park. Black Lives Matter is protesting everywhere. And then there are the anarchists, charged with felonies for J20 anti-inauguration direct actions. Crimethinc has issued a statement to expect total chaos on May Day. The Black Cat bar/club in the fashionably hip Adams Morgan area is an unofficial meeting place for a variety of dissenters, particularly the IWW and associated radical environmentalists.

Unless you are a total moron living here, you have given up on liberalism (students excepted). For most district residents, the map ends at the Virginia-North Carolina state line to the south, Boston to the north, and Pittsburgh to the west. Therefore, aside from out of town academics, the name Bernie Sanders is meaningless presently. Nobody whom I have chatted it up with here is certain who Jill Stein is. It is unknown whom anybody here really wants to be the future President of the USA, but I can report that the word "motherfucker" comes up a lot when describing who the people don't want!

As a serious alternative to the depressing situation hereabout, I've been eating well. Have also continued my Vedic based yoga sadhana, (not intentionally) confusing the Metropolitan Police by quietly chanting the Hare Krishna Mahamantram on public transportation and everywhere else, including The Yard bar/restaurant in mid-town, which offers more beer taps than anywhere else around. The rule in D.C. now is "mind your own business and respect others who are minding theirs". The frill is gone, but it's all still doable in Chocolate City. Haven't been to the Smithsonian Mall yet. I'm busy making sure that I don't become a museum piece.

Craig Louis Stehr

Washington, D.C.

* * *

“I FELT LIKE LYING DOWN by the side of the trail and remembering it all. The woods do that to you, they always look familiar, long lost, like the face of a long-dead relative, like an old dream, like a piece of forgotten song drifting across the water, most of all like golden eternities of past childhood or past manhood and all the living and the dying and the heartbreak that went on a million years ago and the clouds as they pass overhead seem to testify (by their own lonesome familiarity) to this feeling.”

Jack Kerouac, “The Dharma Bums”

* * *


(Photo by Susie de Castro)

* * *


* * *

RAPTURE MONDAY. Make sure you turned the stove off.

"I can't get involved; I've got work to do. It's not that I like the Empire -I hate it- but there's nothing I can do about it right now, and that's a long way from here." -Luke Skywalker, pre-motorcycle accident.

The recording of last night's (2018-04-20) KNYO Fort Bragg and KMEC Ukiah Memo of the Air: Good Night Radio show is available by one or two clicks, depending on whether you want to listen to it now or download it and keep it for later and, speaking of which, it's right here:

A surprising number of people wandered in over the course of this show, and from all over the world –Transylvania (!), Sweden, Guatemala, Ireland, Kansas, Yorkville, not to mention from the art gallery across the street– to talk about all sorts of things, including genetically modified crops, toxic cosmetic products, the peat-preserved Bog People, third-world economies, universal health care, website management tricks, etc. And I still managed to read 40,000 words of everything I brought to read, so if in fact the world ends on Monday as the godbothering numerological apocalypticians are saying, at least that much got accomplished. I’ve noticed how often I say it ain’t the end of the world about something, and it interests me that now that it is, it still isn’t, to me. I truly don’t care. And now I’m off to record the Mendocino Women’s Choir at Eagles Hall. What a good life. How lucky I am and have been. That’s probably the cheap chocolate talking, though. We'll see how I feel when that wears off.

In other news, while you’ve still got a couple of days to play with, as usual at you'll find a fresh batch of links to educational activities and amusements and sources of wonderment, such as:

The so-called leadership of America looks and sounds more and more to me like that famous old video of a sabotaged clothes washing machine pathetically banging itself apart.

Stop-motion tricks.

Man will conquer space soon! Be-tunicked and mini-skirted men and women will colonize Mars by 1980. But no. Of course alientologists can tapdance.

And meanwhile: animals use the log.

Marco McClean


  1. Jim Updegraff April 22, 2018

    Nice win yesterday by A’s First no hitter in several years.

  2. Debra Keipp April 25, 2018

    Quit bitchin about that Tomcat and eat his cat food like a good dog!!!

  3. Debra Keipp April 25, 2018

    Iowa’s economy? Monsanto owns that state! Des Moines was a huge insurance center too. I worked at a 700 bed hospital there. Each year there were insurance broker conventions. Each year, working in Pathology, we’d find ourselves examining odd items that were removed from the anal canals of men attending these conventions, thru surgical intervention… One I’ll never forget, an intact… Lightbulb!

    I maintain, insurance and lawyers have ruined the world!

Leave a Reply

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