Press "Enter" to skip to content

Mendocino County Today: Sunday, June 3, 2018

* * *

SUMMER’S HERE and the time is right!… Downtown Boonville got up to 94 (or higher in some places) on Saturday, and Sunday is expected to be almost as hot. Temps cool by Monday.

* * *



Donald R. Hammond, 89, of Ukiah passed away Tuesday, May 29, 2018. Donald was born July 4, 1928 in San Francisco. He had lived in Ukiah for the past 75 years. Donald's family will remember him for his love of hunting, the fishing boat Millie Lou and ranching. A private service will be held at a later date. Arrangements are under the direction of the Eversole Mortuary.

* * *

LITTLE DOG SAYS, “It's hotter than hot out here Saturday, so I ask, ‘Where the hell's my igloo ac?’ Here it is, one of these wise guys says, and he runs some water on my roof, warm water at that. I put in a hurry-up call to my pro bone-o, and if he's not available I'm going to the Sheriff!”

* * *


[Frank R. Howard Foundation Letterhead]

3 Marcella Drive, Suite A., Willits, CA 95490, 459-2777

May 24, 2018

To Mayor Madge Strong, City of Willits, 111 East Commercial Street, Willits CA 95490

Dear Mayor Strong,

After watching the City Council meeting last evening on Channel 3 it occurred to me why there has been so much confusion over the city not be included in the public meetings or measure be.

After the hospital became vacant our board felt that in keeping with our healthcare mission that a sorely needed mental-health facility might be a good use for the old hospital. We spoke with the Mental Health Board and the County of Mendocino about the possibility of using that site and the county requested that we conduct a cost analysis to determine whether it would be financially feasible. It is important to remember that the study was initiated before Measure B and so before there were public funds available for brick and mortar.

Our board committed $50,000 to do the study and to get an estimate of what it would cost to remodel the building. We asked a group of mental health experts along with Carmel Angelo to draw up a plan which they felt would best utilize the building for their purposes. This process took over six months and when it was ready we gave the plan to the design-build contractor that built our medical office building. This firm is from St. Helena, however, they used as many local subcontractors as they could when they constructed our project. They came in on time and on budget and we were happy with their work.

Ms. Angelo met with Kerry Omoregie from the California Department of Health Care Aervices who felt that the proposed facility at the old hospital site would be allowed. She also contacted Karl Magann, Fire Chief for the Little Lake Fire Protection District. Chief Magann contacted the state fire marshal, Chief Ken Vollenwieder, to come and look at the building. This inspection was scheduled for March 10, 2017, but was later canceled because of a landslide on Highway 101. This inspection has not yet been rescheduled.

Previously I had approached Chris Neary, chairman of the board for the Willits Unified School District, asking if the school board would be supportive of a mental health facility at the old hospital site. The board subsequently wrote a letter of support. The feeling was that many of the people who might be committed to the facility are here now and are released from the hospital emergency department after 72 hours with nowhere to go but city streets in some cases. They had never had a problem in the many years that the hospital operated at One Madrone.

Before spending the money for the cost estimate, I felt that it was important to see there was general community support for the project, as Fort Bragg was going through a community uprising over a mental health facility that was going into the middle of their town. Fifty people circulated petitions between February 1, 2017, and May 1, 2017, and obtained 1000 signatures of people who live in our area to support a mental health facility at the old hospital location. These supporters include residents of the 95490 area [sic] code along with people who live in Laytonville and Covelo.

After we gather as much information as we could and determined that the hospital could be used and that it would be much less expensive to remodel rather than to start from scratch, I asked to be put on the Measure B committee agenda in March after giving a short presentation at the February meeting under public comment. We simply wanted the committee to know what work had already been done prior to the passage of Measure B.

I believe that is the reason that there seems to be some confusion. The Howard Foundation was doing their due diligence as to what use the old hospital might have and it had nothing at all to do with the Measure B committee except that I asked to share our findings with the committee. There certainly was never any intent to hide anything or not include the city in the discussion. There just wasn't anything to talk about until the Board of Supervisors makes a decision either for or against using the old hospital as a mental health facility. I do know that I spoke with most, if not all of the city council members when I was circulating a petition, so they would know what we were doing. There were also articles in the paper.

As far as the mental-health board meeting last week, I personally put up six notices around town and I know that there was an article in the newspaper about the meeting.

I served for three years on the behavioral health board and when my term expired in December I decided not to seek reappointment. During the time I served both Supervisor McCowen and Supervisor Hamburg were at the meetings where the old hospital was discussed almost every meeting.

I'm sorry if this has caused any confusion, but the foundation feels obligated to determine if the building can be used for a health care related purpose before listing it for sale or demolishing it.

It has taken almost three years to come to these findings and we wanted to be ahead of the curve so that if the site is ultimately chosen it would be ready to go and could be completed in less than two years as the facility is needed sooner rather than later.

Thank you for your concern and I hope this helps to clear up any misunderstandings that may have occurred.


Margie Handley, chairman

Frank R. Howard Foundation


Mark Scaramella notes: Oddly, Ms. Handley does not address the Willits City Council’s main concern: that any facility in downtown Willits be compliant with Willits City planning and building codes.

* * *

THE LIBRARY PEOPLE have not trusted assurances from the CEO and the Board of Supervisors about keeping library funding separate from the much smaller Museum and Parks budgets, under a proposed “Cultural Services Agency” on Tuesday’s Supervisors agenda, a continuation of a discussion from a couple of months ago. Already the Library stalwarts are again assembling pointed questions for the Supervisors about the proposed consolidation.

Cultural Services Agency-presentation FINAL

AS NOTED in the proposal, “The Library will operate under budget unit 6110. The library receives its funding sources from property tax and Measure A. This funding is only for the library operations.” And, “Library funding must be utilized on Library services. Library funding stream will not be intermingled with General Fund.”

CONTINUING, “Museums & Parks will operate under general fund budget units 7110 & 1610. Staff within each budget unit will work on tasks for both operations.”

BUT, “During the implementation the Director’s time will be distributed according to operational needs.” CEO Angelo says that under the consolidated agency there would be almost a quarter of a million dollars saved by reducing the total number of managers, directors, administrators and assistants.

SINCE THE LAW already says library money must be spent on the Library, as best we can tell the Library brigades object primarily to the idea of sharing the Library Director’s time with the Parks and Museum. They also don’t think the Library Director has the proper qualifications to manage the Museum and Parks operations, certainly distinct operations.

BUT WHEN those objections (and others) were raised a couple months ago when the “Cultural Services Agency” was first considered, the CEO, the Library Director and the Board didn’t think they were much of a problem considering that there is money to be saved.

TUESDAY'S agenda item on the subject can be expected to take much longer than estimated because 1) it’s buried in a much longer overall budget presentation, and 2) a parade of library supporters from all over the county will be on hand to repeat the prior objections and pile on who knows how many more.

AT THE RISK of incurring the wrath of the library advocates, we support the consolidated CSA idea. We don’t see much real impact on library operations and we think it has a good chance of improving the museum and parks operations while saving at least some of the money the CEO says it will save.

* * *


Boaz V. The Untutored & Malicious

by Bruce McEwen (June 17, 2010)


Dennis Boaz is erudite and urbane, a man of varied and laudable experience – teacher, historian, lawyer, writer, civil rights advocate. So when Bryan Barrett, the toadying assistant superintendent of Ukiah Unified School District, wrote a memorandum calling Boaz a racist, Boaz sued for defamation of character.

Boaz, who taught at Ukiah's South Valley High School at the time, had been representing teachers in salary negotiations with the Ukiah Unified School District.

The libel suit arose from the now retired history teacher's use of the word “niggardly” in a memo to the school district about union negotiations.

Boaz's case was heard Friday in Mendocino County Small Claims Court presided over by Judge Leonard LaCasse. Boaz filed a small claims suit last year against district Assistant Superintendent of Personnel and Student Services Bryan Barrett, and another action against Paul Tichinin of the Mendocino County Office of Education and several small district superintendents affiliated with Tichinin.

Boaz said he'd been defamed by these haphazardly educated school administrators, that his reputation had been damaged when Barrett wrote a letter characterizing Boaz's use of the word niggardly in his memo to the district as “racism” or “suggested racism.”

Barrett had written to Ukiah Teachers Association president Sherry Sandoval and other involved officials: “This memo is formal notice to [the Ukiah Teachers Association] that Mr. Boaz's communication is insulting and unacceptable ... (and) racism or suggested racism has absolutely no place in this district.”

Boaz is not a racist, and he wasn’t going to be libeled by group of malicious know-nothings.

He sued.

A libel is a false and malicious published statement that damages somebody’s reputation. Barrett’s memo libeled Boaz by calling Boaz a racist for using the word “niggardly” to describe Ukiah Unified's response to the teacher's union's demands for fair compensation. Barrett called Boaz a racist knowing full-well, as Boaz said in court, that the word had no racist meaning.


Barrett and his shot-callers at Ukiah Unified were not only trying to get rid of the effective Boaz as union negotiator, they were trying to destroy him.

Barrett said Boaz's alleged slur had been aimed at Ukiah Unified School Superintendent Lois Nash, who is black.

“The more I thought about it,” Boaz said, “the angrier I got. My blood pressure went up and I couldn’t sleep.”

When the case was called early last Friday morning, Judge Leonard LaCasse told the parties to attempt a mediation and he would get back to them after he heard some other matters.

Mr. Barrett immediately declined the mediation, so there was nothing to do but wait for the judge to return.

During the break, Mr. Boaz immediately found himself surrounded by the local press corps. With his eyes dancing merrily, he fielded a barrage of questions about himself and his case against Barrett and Ukiah Unified. He was pleasant and patient, his voice soft and his good humor infectious. A couple of reporters had learned that Boaz had been convicted-murderer Gary Gilmore’s lawyer; the  man who pled Gilmore’s case for execution. Gilmore, you may recall, demanded execution by firing squad. Boaz helped him get it. Boaz was extensively interviewed by author Norman Mailer for Mailer’s prize-winning book, “The Executioner’s Song,” and he played himself in the subsequent movie.

Boaz showed the reporters a marvelously written report he'd prepared in which he used an extended metaphor to portray the school board as Draconian. Not only was the report artfully written, it was irrefutably accurate and effective in damning the district’s negotiation tactics as applied to major issues like health benefits, sick leave, vacation, and so on.

Unable or unwilling to address the charges in the report, the school district bureaucrats decided, instead, to besmirch its author’s reputation, and came up with racism: “The tenor of the negotiations have become increasingly negative and niggardly,” Boaz wrote.

They immediately Googled the word, Barrett said.

In recent years efforts to ban niggardly have emerged on the PC agenda, and Barrett and his team of slanderers would have found this news on Google. In 1999 a white aide to the black mayor of Washington, D.C., resigned after a black colleague complained about use of the word; a teacher in North Carolina was reprimanded for teaching the word to her class; and the Dallas Morning News banned the word after readers complained about its appearance in a restaurant review; a Boston reader complained to Britain’s “The Economist” magazine about the word, but the British editors just laughed at the Yank. “Where else in the English-speaking world could this happen?”

Mr. Barrett said, “There are thousands of words he could have used other than niggardly.”

Really. Thousands?

“I was hoping,” Boaz said, “to build some fighting spirit in the union.”

When the commotion over the word broke out, a commotion deliberately begun by Barrett and his fellow intellectuals in Mendocino County school administration, there was speculation that the word was used as a slur aimed at Lois Nash. Boaz immediately wrote a letter to Dr. Nash stating that that was not his intent and apologizing for any inferences that she may have drawn. At the time, Dr. Nash said she hadn’t taken Boaz's choice of words personally nor had she thought he'd intended to insult her.

Boaz is also suing County School Superintendent Paul Tichinin. Tichinin’s letter accusing Boaz of racism was endorsed by all his subordinate superintendents, from one end of the county to the other, marking them forever as either sycophants or dummies or both.

Paul Tichinin is the superintendent of the Mendocino County Office of Education. To put his rank in bureaucratic perspective, consider this: His pay scale and scope of influence is roughly equivalent to a colonel in the military. They command a similar size staff to manage the personnel of a mission that involves roughly comparable numbers of people, whether it be a regiment of US troops, or a domestic school district.

The comparison is essential because the salary and rank was established in order to attract a qualified individual, someone with the leadership abilities and intelligence necessary for such a posting. The job pays $120,000 a year and includes perks most Americans can only dream about.

Colonel Tichinin’s signature appears dependably as clockwork on a great many paychecks in Mendocino County. He has been flattered often by those who are beholden to his mighty and highly lucrative pen, but always in the vaguest terms such as wonderful, great, and, especially, nice. Personally, I would describe him as cute. Especially when he was holding that sign “CUTS HURT KIDS” out in front of the courthouse a couple months ago, essentially using children as human shields to protect his own sweet salary. Exquisitely cute. Despite his many admirers, a constitutionally protected source told this reporter on Friday that a state budget expert has encountered something extraordinary at Col. Tichinin’s office. Apparently, deep in the bowels of the colonel’s bunker, the experts stumbled into a vault full of riches.

Bryan Barrett is the second in command at one of the battalions that make up Col. Tich’s regiment, a mere major, serving directly under Lt. Col. Lois Nash, but also serving as Col. Tich’s personnel officer, known as S-1 in the military command structure.

Col. Tich has presently withdrawn from the battlefield. He’s in retreat, digging in, having got his court action postponed to September. He's on vacation, you see, no doubt deeply engaged in study and prayer. He probably also wants to see how his S-1 officer, Bryan Barrett, does in the present skirmish.

After a couple hours of delay, the skirmish finally began in earnest.

It was a small claims action, with a $7500 limit, and Judge LaCasse conducts these things with a minimal formality. Mr. Boaz, to his credit, didn’t pose as a lawyer — he’s retired from that profession.

Mr. Barrett, on the other hand, immediately made a fuss. He wanted to submit a legal brief prepared by the school district’s general counsel, Margaret Merchat. Boaz chuckled mildly over the pretentiousness of this formality, but Judge LaCasse accepted it, saying Barrett was within his rights.

(We wonder about that. Small claims actions are supposed to be free of lawyers, just the two parties representing themselves as best they can. And where do Barrett and Merchat get off using school money to defend gross stupidity and malice?)

Judge LaCasse told Boaz, “You’re saying this is defamation. I want to know what was said.”

Boaz responded. “I worked as lead negotiator with UUSD. On March 3rd of ’09 I wrote a sarcastic bargaining report, criticizing the board, calling it Draconian. Then in a report written to my boss, Sherry Sandoval, from Bryan Barrett, Mr. Barrett stated that Mr. Boaz was inciting racism or suggested racism.”

Judge: “Is that the statements that are defamatory?”

Boaz: “Yes.”

Judge: “Who’s it addressed to?”

Boaz: “Sherry Sandoval. I was the lead negotiator. As a teacher, I volunteered.”

Judge: “When was the alleged defamatory statement made?”

Boaz: “March 17th, ’09.”

Judge: “Saint Patrick’s Day?”

Boaz: “That’s right.”

Judge: “How were you damaged by the statements?”

Boaz: “Well, economically, I felt I should no longer be the lead negotiator. It didn’t seem appropriate. So I received a reduction of $1,200 — I would have received $2,400. I was shocked, then I became angry. As a teacher I vigorously teach about the importance of civil rights. Racism has no place in my classroom. I am not a racist. My wife and daughter are Jewish. We attended the inauguration of President Obama. But as a writer and a teacher my reputation is important to me, and I was put in this position where teachers were clamoring for my resignation.”

Judge: “How many teachers?”

Boaz: “About 20 teachers, following the memorandum by Mr. Barrett.”

Judge: “How do you attribute that to Mr. Barrett?”

Boaz: “Sorry, your honor,” having shuffled through his papers, he found a page and passed it to the bailiff. “This goes to malice, written against me. Entitled, ‘To All Employees’ wherein I am singled out for criticism by Mr. Barrett. The purpose was to single me out and criticize me. It only goes to the intent of Mr. Barrett.”

Judge: “Okay. Tell me more about your damages.”

Boaz: “I kept waking up at night. My blood pressure was up. The turmoil of discussing this with several teachers. I was very upset with Mr. Barrett — for someone who knew me, to treat me like this.”

Judge: “Anyone else?”

Boaz: “Yes. A teacher came up to me and seemed to suggest that Dr. Nash was upset by all this.”

Judge: “Did you give her a dictionary?”

Boaz : “No. I apologized to Dr. Nash in a letter.”

Judge: “To be defamed implies a loss of, well, support, respect, whatever…”

Boaz: “I got support from teachers who said, ‘We know you’re not a racist’ but this incident was creating a spirit in the union and in the fall of last year I resigned.”

Judge: “Anything else?”

Boaz said he wanted to question Barrett as an adverse witness.

Judge: “What does your other witness have to say?”

Shannon Bradford, the liaison to the executive board took the stand.

Boaz (Holding up a page): “This is the Welcome to Draconia document that set everything off. Last year in March, you were privy to a memo. We discussed potential fallout and how people might react. Did you discuss the issue with other teachers?”

Bradford: “I did, but I don’t recall exactly who.”

Boaz: “What did they say?”

Bradford: “They were surprised that you would use racist language.”

Barrett had no cross-examination questions. Boaz wanted to ask him some questions.

Judge: “Go ahead.”

Boaz: “Mr. Barrett, you and I have been doing grievance negotiations for how long, now?”

Barrett: “I've been in that position for four years.”

Boaz: “During the year-and-a-half that I've been there did you ever hear me use any racist epithets toward any person?”

Barrett: “No.”

Boaz: “Ever hear me criticize Dr. Nash?”

Barrett: “Yes. Something about top-down management, but nothing recent, if that's where you're going.”

Boaz: “So you never heard me so much as suggest that anyone was inferior to me?”

Barrett: “There was nothing that would make me think you would... well, misuse words.”

Boaz: “But you called off a meeting because of my presence.”

Barrett: “Yes.”

Judge: “Look, I don't want to get into any of that. I want to know if you knew what the word meant. That it meant stingy, miserly, et cetera.”

Barrett: “Yes, I knew what it meant.”

Boaz: “So you must have drawn an inference…”

Barrett: “I'm not arguing that I drew an inference. What I was thinking was that we have the only African American superintendent, so my questioning of the use of the word was the time and place.”

Boaz: “Was Dr. Nash at the negotiating table?”

Barrett: “No. But she's the head of the district, so when you say the district, she is the district. You could have used other words.”

Boaz: “How does that make me a racist?”

Barrett: “I said racism or implied racism. My memo referred to tactics.”

Boaz: “But Dr. Nash was not at that table.”

Barrett: “She was at the table. She gives us our directions on what to do.”

Boaz: “Did you go to my principal and ask if I'd ever used racist language before?”

Barrett: “You admitted that someone might be able to take it the wrong way!”

Judge: “Again, I don't want to get into that.”

Boaz: “Who's idea was it to write that I was a racist?”

Barrett: “That would have come from Dr. Nash, myself, and the attorney, Margaret Merchat, who was very involved in the memo.”

Boaz: “What was your purpose?”

Barrett: “We wanted to have negotiations that were very professional.”

Boaz: “Weren't you trying to get rid of me? You said my integrity was at issue.”

Barrett: “I can't answer that. We had other teachers coming and saying 'We gotta get this guy off the negotiations board.' We took directions from our attorneys before we penned the letter.”

Boaz: “Did you ever think of discussing it with me before calling me a racist?”

Barrett: “There was no reason for me to contact you.”

Boaz: “Don't you think that since you knew what the word meant, you should have contacted me to see what I meant?”

Barrett: “I don't know what your intent was – maybe you could ask yourself that!”

Judge: “Gentlemen. I think I get it. There's only so much time. I've got other cases to hear today.”

Barrett submitted his trial brief and began his testimony: “This is a non-actionable opinion. An opinion is different from a fact–”

Judge: “Okay. You knew what the word meant when you wrote the memorandum?”

Barrett: “Yes, we” –

Judge: “Not we: You! You wrote the memo.”

Barrett: “Like I said, we Googled it and went to the principal.”

Judge: “Anything else?”

Barrett: “When I think about the situational circumstances, the time and place – these words were thrown out there and used! It's how people take them! It was the improper time and place to use that kind of word!”

Judge: “Okay. Well...”

Boaz: “When someone's called a racist, if that's provable it's not a matter of opinion. They jumped to the worst possible conclusion and decided to call me a racist. So I maintain that when you do call someone a racist, especially a teacher, it's going to undermine that teacher's reputation.”

Judge: “Okay, the facts are clear. One thing I'm not clear on was whether any of these are privileged communications. That's an issue I've got to research. And the point of whether it's an opinion. I want to do some further research on that. These things are in a state of revision. Decades ago being called a racist might have been considered an opinion that was not particularly harmful to someone's reputation. Today it can be devastating to a person's career. But the facts are known, the nuances and context are understood. Malice is implied if it's in writing, so I'm going to take it under submission. This is an area where the courts advise us to tread cautiously.”

Mr. Boaz later said this was the first he knew of Dr. Nash's involvement.

* * *

Boaz’s case against Tichinin and all the other school superintendents who also signed the letter calling Boaz a racist was postponed to September 3rd because Tichinin told the court he couldn’t make it to court on Friday.

Tichinin signed that letter, as did Gary Barr of the Potter Valley Unified School District, Mark Iacuaniello of the Point Arena School District, J.R. Collins of the Anderson Valley School District, Don Armstrong of the Fort Bragg Unified School District, John Markatos of the Laytonville School District, Catherine Stone of the Mendocino Unified School District, Dennis Ivey of the Round Valley Unified School District, Cindy Biaggi-Gonzalez of the Manchester School District and Debra Kubin of the Willits Unified School District.

Your children are being educated by these people.

* * *

PS. In his subsequent ruling dated June 28, LaCasse stated that although it appears "the district, knowing the meaning of the word, referred to (Boaz) as a racist (knowing) it would injure him in his occupation ... but referring to someone as a racist is simply a matter of opinion and not actionable as a matter of law." LaCasse added that he did have "sympathy" for Boaz "in view of the school district's alarming response and the personal attack on him ... and the court is also distressed that there appears to be a need for adult supervision at the district office."

* * *


WILLOWS, Calif. - Fire crews worked through the night and reached 50 percent containment on the Open Fire, 25 miles west of Willows on the Grindstone district of the Mendocino National Forest. The fire is located on Open Ridge in grass, oak and mixed timber and is estimated at 100 acres.

Crews are working in steep, rocky terrain to improve firelines and extinguish burning vegetation near the firelines. Approximately 100 resources are assigned to the incident including four engines, three water tenders, and three crews. Aircraft are available as needed. There are no structures immediately threatened. The popular Fouts Springs OHV area, seven miles south of the incident, is open. The Open Fire was reported at 2 p.m. Friday. The cause of the fire is under investigation. The forecast shows very warm and dry conditions through the weekend. The temperature will be in the 90s with north winds up to 10 mph. Please check Facebook, Twitter or Inciweb for further updates. US Forest Service Press Release At 12:23 p.m. a 2.3 quake disturbed the area about 10 miles north of Laytonville and 10 miles northwest of Covelo.

* * *

ANDERSON VALLEY CELEBS showed up for the Silent Musical Movie... stretch limo, hors d'ouerves.

Captain Rainbow & Yvonne
Dan & Benna
The Band

* * *

WE'RE LOSING so many otherwise-worthwhile men in this #TimesUp dragnet, I wonder if anybody's giving any thought to redemption for some of these guys. I don't mean Cosby-and-Weinstein types or the monster sports doctors—men with innumerable offenses, but Louis CK, Kevin Spacey, Garrison Keillor and crowds of others, accused and yet to be accused, are people who have added much to society, and they are products of 1) the sex drive, which is, inevitably, forever and ineradicably, a lunatic obsession that has the power to obliterate reason; 2) the times, extending to the dawn of humanity, when a man forced himself thoughtlessly on his selected female target, before #TimesUp was ready to blast onto the social scene; 3) the birth-control pill and the “sexual revolution” that followed and still lacks any coherent ideology and 4) the equally ancient practice of girls and women to make themselves sexually alluring.

My dog and I passed a couple of young women lounging on a sunny beach a couple of days ago. One glanced at me, and I said, without breaking stride, "Hi, there." My dog won't come within arm's reach of you. He won't stick his nose in your crotch, but he's interested in people and makes a close pass, as he did with these two young women. My greeting (while not oblivious to young women in small bathing suits), was mostly to defang any concerns they had over the dog (as well as to say, collegially, "gorgeous late-spring day, huh?")

Shall I turn myself in? Ain't gonna.

In one of my first days in San Francisco, looking for a place to rent and a job, a black girl came striding down the sidewalk in SF's Financial District, wearing clothes then stylish: a maxi-coat, which was unbuttoned and aflap in the cold, windy autumn drizzle to reveal underneath barely legal hot pants and high leather boots. She was a spectacle! I was tongue-tied, said nothing as we passed, but my eyes surely gave me away, and she did this: locked eyes with me for the tiniest fraction of an instant and flashed a blinding smile. We passed; the moment passed, but I've always loved recalling it — fifty years, now.

There’s no one-size-fits-all approach to this. Females, though, need to be aware of their own malice. A million years of victimization can make you mean, and while that’s totally understandable, it doesn’t make “mean” acceptable. “Payback’s a bitch,” said machine gunners in the open doors of American helicopters as they killed peasants and cattle indiscriminately in Vietnam. Payback has its place (like sex). I’ll enjoy watching Trump get his, but it’s something that needs tight control.

Females like to interest males. From that hoary and indisputable fact flows a vigorous species. Men who abuse the whole game must be stopped and — what? — punished, castrated? Sometimes, yes. At other times, reparations, re-education and rehabilitation are a better idea.

Mitch Clogg

* * *


Letter to the Editor,

My name is Joshua Ruoff. I am an inmate at the Mendocino County Jail. I have been housed here since September 8, 2016. I am still awaiting trial. Shortly after my arrival I changed my diet to vegetarian mainly for religious reasons. I identify by myself now as a Christian Buddhist. Romans 1421: “It is good neither to eat meat nor drink wine or do anything by which your brother stumbles.”

As most people know Buddhism is a life practice of self-awareness and against the harm of other living beings. I don't want to get sidetracked by my beliefs. Today, May 29, 2018, I was told I would no longer be receiving a vegetarian diet. Some of the Ramen noodle soup seasoning packets contain meat products that I purchased on commissary. I primarily eat beans and peanuts off Commissary. I order other things to trade other inmates for their eggs, cheese, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches or vegetables. Our diet provided by the jail consists primarily of bread and noodles. Most of the time the meager portions of greens we get our hours away from becoming excellent compost. Which they drown in salad dressing to hide its condition.

I try to stay as active as possible and work out. Not only for my physical well-being but for my mental well-being. I need more protein to replenish my muscles than the jail provides. They claim they meet minimum standards provided by Title 15. But I highly doubt that to be true. This is why I try to acquire as much protein and healthy food as possible. I am not the only inmate here with difficulties with their diet. I have talked to numerous people who have tried to change their diet for various reasons, mainly religious or allergies. They have been given no remedy to their situation, forcing inmates to barter their food to receive things they can eat. Several other inmates have also been denied vegetarian diets and are in the same situation as myself. At least four of us are taking the only action we can: we are going on a peaceful hunger strike until this problem is solved.

Thank you for your time and God bless.

Joshua Ruoff #68096

Mendocino County Jail, 951 Low Gap Road, Ukiah CA 95482

* * *

CATCH OF THE DAY, June 2, 2018

Alvarez, Boulerice, Cost

TRAVIS ALVAREZ, Ukiah. Failure to appear, probation revocation.

JESSE BOULERICE, Ukiah. Probation revocation.

JOSEPH COST, Santa Rosa/Ukiah. Probation revocation.

Gibson, Hodges, Hoffman

JESSE GIBSON, Probation revocation.

JODI HODGES, Ukiah. Assault, petty theft, resisting, probation revocation.

JAMES HOFFMAN, Ukiah. Probation revocation.

Hollinger, Maynard, Olvera

GUNNAR HOLLINGER, Boonville. DUI, breathalyzer refusal, stolen vehicle.

ANDREW MAYNARD, Fort Bragg. Disorderly conduct-alcohol, probation revocation. (Frequent flyer)

FRANSISCO OLVERA, Chula Vista/Ukiah. Controlled substance in jail, second felony/no probation.

Parenteau, Prather, Rios

ANTHONY PARENTEAU, Clearlake Oaks/Ukiah. Probation revocation.


URIAH RIOS, Lakeport/Calpella. Evasion, resisting.

Tucker, Waldron, Williams

RODNEY TUCKER, Fort Bragg. Trespassing.

NEIL WALDRON, Covelo. Protective order violation, disobeying court order, resisting, probation revocation.

MICHAEL WILLIAMS, Fort Bragg. DUI, probation revocation.

* * *



My heart breaks for all the innocent people on the “Roseanne” show who have had their dreams and incomes stripped from them. Where is the moral correctness in responding to one person’s repugnant behavior by inflicting a mass layoff of an entire cast and crew?

Why can’t ABC do what CBS did when Charlie Sheen left “Two and a Half Men?” CBS continued with its successful TV series by casting a different kind of appealing actor who wasn’t Charlie but who was equally as engaging.

When Michael Jackson died while rehearsing for his concert tour, I not only grieved for the loss of the most charismatic human to have graced this planet, but I grieved for all those who would never get to experience a well-earned once-in-a-lifetime dream come true.

No studio executive can replace Michael Jackson. But Roseanne Barr is no Michael Jackson. So, ABC, please just replace her, and let the rest of the team members, the fans of the show and ABC itself continue to reap the benefits of a promising TV show. Simply stated: Lose the bad apple and save the bunch.

Virginia Hamilton


* * *


Begins June 4, Complete ?

One of the final pieces to the relinquishment agreement between Caltrans and the City of Willits is scheduled to begin on Monday, June 4. The Sherwood Road Realignment Project will improve the function of this high traffic volume intersection.

The first order of work will be vegetation removal on the hillside next to Sherwood Road. The tree removal will occur at night between 8 p.m. and 6 a.m. in order to reduce impacts to traffic. One-way traffic control will be in effect with short delays.

(Caltrans Press Release)

* * *


"Over Memorial Day Weekend 2018, about 30,000 people descended upon Lake San Antonio in the central California town of Bradley for Lightning in a Bottle. The massive expanse of dusty rolling hills proved a formidable obstacle to those attempting to experience everything the festival had to offer. Luckily every nook and cranny of the humongous venue was strategically curated with mind-bending art installations and world-class musical acts, making any part of the festival you were at feel like the place to be." — LA Weekly

Olivia Allen, of Philo, now living in L.A.

* * *


[1] “The drug and healthcare titans are intent on making it about ability to pay…” 
The predatory healthcare system, and all the predators involved, is designed to wring out every last dollar of net worth from individuals. 
A 40 year old patient with no ability to pay – “Sorry, we can’t help you.” 
A 90 year old patient with ability to pay – “How can we help you?” 
Economically perverse, in that, I am 56 years old, perfectly healthy, don’t see a doctor, and don’t take any medications, therefore, I’m not nearly as economically “valuable” as someone on dialysis.
 Regardless, we are all meant to die poor, it just depends, as you say, on when “ability to pay” runs out. That’s the end game. Go figure.

* * *

[2] Yup, athletically healthy is the way to stay. And – Well – Never say ‘never,’ old buddy.

The drug and healthcare systems may be large, but they are also very fragile in that they depend on a very complex network of very specialized industries and materials to continue to provide their products.

The pharmacy where I work has, at best, two days of meds for its current patients, and gets a delivery every day but Sundays. Any moderate disaster that takes out the roads or stops electricity for 5 days or more will put us completely out of business. You can figure on most folks who have taken xanax for years to go into seizures in a day or two, as will all those on seizure meds. All the methadone clients will be in withdrawal. The hypertensives and cardiac patients will pop off soon after their meds run out.

And if lots of people need to walk somewhere that’s more than about 5 miles away, fuhgeddaboudit.

IMHO, we won’t need another global war to reduce the population. A single pandemic (such as ebola) and/or no gas and electric for 6 months will do the job nicely.


PS–This is not to say that we won’t also get another global war.

* * *


“Libraries Rock!”

Summer Reading Kickoff

June 16th from 1-3pm @ Alex Thomas Plaza

On Saturday, June 16th from 1-3pm, Mendocino County Library, Ukiah Branch is hosting its annual Summer Reading Program Kickoff at Alex Thomas Plaza. Are you ready to ROCK? Join us for two hours of music and fun in the sun. Food and crafts will be available for all ages, with special music performances from rock bands Weird Year and Lightning Amen! Sign up for summer reading and grab a reading/log to earn prizes throughout the summer.

(*PLEASE NOTE: The Ukiah Library will close at 12pm for the day to host this off-site event. The after-hours dropbox will be open for item returns.*)

This event is free, family-friendly, and sponsored by the Ukiah Library, Ukiah Valley Friends of the Library, and Mendocino College Recording Arts & Technology Department.

All Mendocino County Library branches will have a Summer Reading Kickoff in mid-June to begin a summer full of stories and fun events for everyone. Stop by any Mendocino County Library branch or the Bookmobile to sign up. Grab a reading log and start tracking for the chance to win prizes!

In addition to reading, all Mendocino County Library branches will host performances by Andy Z, Dinosaurs Rock, and the Fratello Marionettes. Please check with your local library or visit for dates and times, as well as info on more upcoming events.

The purpose of summer reading programs is to promote literacy skills, provide continued access to books and learning tools, and encourage reading as an enjoyable activity. Children who don’t read during the summer can lose up to two months of learning by the time they return to school; families from low-economic backgrounds are especially at risk. Those who continue to read at least six books when school is out also perform better in reading and math when they return in the fall. Every novel, picture book, comic book, and audiobook counts!

* * *

The “It’ll be Fine” Read-a-Thon!

Got fines on your library account? Let’s fix that! On Thursday, June 14th from 10am-8pm, Mendocino County Library, Ukiah Branch is hosting the “It’ll-be-Fine” all-ages Read-a-Thon. Start off your summer reading with a clean slate. Participants who read at the library on June 14th will receive a $1 fine waiver for every hour read. These fine waivers are great for wiping out late fees, but are not valid on lost or damaged item charges.

* * *

Saturday Summertime Storytimes @ Ukiah Library

From June 23rd to August 4th at 11am, Saturday storytimes will return to the Ukiah Library for the summer! After visiting the storyteller at the Farmer’s Market from 10-11, swing by the library for an hour of stories and crafts indoors. This event is free, family-friendly, and sponsored by the Ukiah Valley Friends of the Library.

* * *

BUILDING INSPECTOR CHARGED WITH BRIBERY AND THEFT Told Some Victims He Could Sell Their Legal Pounds Through His Cannabis Collective

by Kym Kemp


On Tuesday, a Humboldt County Planning and Building inspector, Patrick Mctigue, was arrested and charged with defrauding multiple victims. Two of the victims (they both wish to remain anonymous) spoke to us about their experiences.

Both men had known Mctigue before he was hired in September of 2015 by the Humboldt County Planning Department. They said they both trusted him at first because he was a Humboldt County native, a former kids’ football coach, and he seemed willing to work with them. He also told them he was opening a cannabis collective in Sacramento, Simply Humboldt Grown.

One of the victims, a businessman/farmer born in Southern Humboldt, explained that Mctigue seemed like “he was the cool guy…He was on our side.” The man explained that Mctigue seemed willing to cut through red tape and be helpful though money didn’t change hands at first.

Both men said that people trying to enter the legal cannabis world are struggling and trying to find a way to survive. “We are all so vulnerable trying to get our permits,” said the other victim, a Humboldt County legal cannabis farmer.

“He [said he] would move all my legal product [through his cannabis collective],” the farmer explained. “He said he could fast-track building permits.”

The other victim told us that he and his wife thought, “This could be our future. He opened the door…He tickled and we bit on his story.”

They both didn’t want the details of their actual transactions with Mctigue published. They said they worried he would know which of his victims were cooperating with law enforcement.

According to Humboldt County’s Planning and Building Director John Ford who said he was outraged to learn of the allegations against Mctigue, “This is a violation of the public trust.”

He said that Mctigue was not directly involved with issuing cannabis permits. However, he explained, “Mctigue was responsible for providing site inspections of cannabis permits and inspections related to Building Permits associated with cannabis sites in addition to Building Permits not related to cannabis. He was not responsible for issuance of any permits or the manner in which permits were processed.”

One of the victims explained that he knew that Mctigue couldn’t help with the actual cannabis permits but, he said, “If we were going to need electricity and water [in greenhouses], we needed building permits.”

According to one of the victims, Mctigue “stated that he could push them through and John Ford would listen to his approval of those permits filed.”

However, after several months, both began to suspect that Mctigue was neither moving their permits through the process more quickly nor was Simply Humboldt Grown, Mctigue’s collective, actually doing business.

They both decided not to rock the boat and hope that something would work out. “I took the risk,” one explained. “I got ripped off but let’s leave it.”

One of the victims eventually learned that Mctigue was no longer actively working at the Planning Department. “Patrick was on medical leave,” the victim said he learned. “He got in a car wreck with a county vehicle while he was working and is on medical leave.”

Director Ford said that he couldn’t confirm that Mctigue had been on medical leave for legal reasons but he did confirm that Mctigue was in an accident in early November of 2017. Mctigue hasn’t been working actively at the Planning Department for some time, Ford explained, Mctigue “has been out for undisclosed reasons.”

At some point in November, after the accident, Ford said that he had learned there was an investigation into Mctigue’s actions at work.

A couple months after the accident, one of the victims we spoke to spotted Mctigue’s vehicle at a friend’s property. He said that one Sunday he was driving. “I noticed that Pat’s truck is parked at my buddy’s house.”

He said he called the friend and asked why he had a building inspector at his place on a Sunday. We have not been able to confirm this but the victim we spoke to said his buddy told him that Mctigue had offered to inspect the place for cash. But the victim said he knew that Mctigue couldn’t be inspecting for the Planning Department because he was out on leave.

The victim then contacted his District’s Supervisor and explained that he believed Mctigue was acting unethically. Eventually, the victim spoke to the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office with his concerns. He said he was told then that an investigation had already begun based on other complaints that law enforcement had received earlier.

“Everything he promised…he didn’t do…,” explained one victim. Beyond that, Mctigue didn’t even complete some of the basic jobs of an inspector, charged one of the victims who said that normal paperwork which should have been signed and then entered with the main office wasn’t filed by Mctigue. And now it has to be redone.

According to Director Ford of the Humboldt County Planning Department, they have not yet learned how many permits may have been improperly influenced by Mctigue. He stressed that the department takes responsibility. “If a member of this department was inappropriate, we are going to work in a manner to make [any problems] whole…My basic approach is that we are…responsible for mistakes.”

He said that his department was prepared to help victims come into compliance. “If there is anything awry with anybody’s inspections, we will work with them to make things right,” he explained.

Ford said that his department has already learned of one person who needed to make changes to his property when it was re-looked at in the wake of the Mctigue investigation. He explained, “We had to work with a homeowner builder to address the way some of the things were done. They did not end up negatively affected.”

Unfortunately, Ford said, “We will probably be uncovering things [improperly inspected] for a while.”

Now that Mctigue’s actions have been reported in the news, Samantha Karges, spokesperson for the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Department explained, “[W]e are expecting more people to come forward.”

She suggested, “Any victims who may also be involved in illegal activities should contact the DA’s office or get an attorney to represent them. The DA’s office has the power to negotiate immunity in exchange for a testimony. I cannot promise or say for sure that the DA’s office will do that, but they are the only agency who has the power to do such a thing.”

Meanwhile, the victims are trying to recover from their losses. One of the victims estimates he lost about $10,000 and the other estimates he lost about $15,000 to Mctigue. Almost more than the loss of money though, they are groping to understand how this could have happened with a respected local man in a position of authority.

Both explained that they felt that because Mctigue was local and they were local, that he would be safe to do business with. “We were all born and raised here and we’re all in this together,” one of the victims said explaining why they trusted Mctigue. “Everybody knew him…We knew his wife. We knew his daughter…Everyone knows him…and he still did this.”

* * *

NO SOONER were Liberace and I in his bed without our clothes than I realized how stupid I had been. At this distance I can naturally not remember every little detail, but if there is one musical form that I hate more than any other, it is the medley. One minute the musician, or more likely aged band, is playing an over-orchestrated version of the Impossible Dream; all of a sudden, mid-verse, for no reason, there's a stomach-turning swerve into another key and you're in the middle of Over the Rainbow, swerve, Climb Every Mountain, swerve, Ain't No Mountain High Enough, swerve, swerve, swerve. Well then, you have only to imagine Liberace, hands, mouth, penis now here, now there, no sooner here than there, no sooner there than here again, starting something only to stop and start something else instead, and you will have a pretty accurate picture of the Drunken Medley. The Medley came at last to an end and Liberace fell into a deep sleep.

— Helen DeWitt, The Last Samurai

* * *


by Ron Jacobs

The hallmark of any great country song is tragedy. In other words, when a calamity (or series of calamities) leads to the downfall of one or more of the song’s protagonists. Usually, the tragedy is presented as a series of events out of the singer’s control. In large part, the lack of control is related to an unwritten but well-understood code that lays out rules of honor, love and death. It is ultimately the struggle between that code and the protagonist’s attempts to adhere to it that send him or her to drink, jail, or death. Steve Goodman made note of this in his song made famous by David Allan Coe, “You Don’t Have to Call Me Darlin,’ Darlin” when he wrote the final lyric that brought the entire song together with his grandma dying in a pickup truck at a railroad crossing on the way home from prison.

Quite often, the tragedy depicted in a particular song is drawn from remorse so deep it renders the storyteller immobile, even blubbering like a child who saw its pet die. One such song that comes to mind is George Jones’ “He Stopped Loving Her Today.” This tale of a lover who ran away and a man who never got over her departure is enough to make a dead man cry, as Mick Jagger might say. The assumptions of fidelity and eternal vows this song depends on are as ancient as the American patriarchy. George Jones, whose vocal delivery could make a joyful song of Christmas into a Good Friday requiem, takes lyrics describing failed love and leaps with them into a bottomless pit of despair. The final verse of this song, which takes place at the unrequited lover’s funeral, describes the dead man’s ex-lover coming to the funeral and the singer noting, “He’s finally over her for good.”

Willie Nelson’s catalog is full of songs of loneliness, joy, and failed love. However, it is his Red Headed Stranger suite that takes the stuff of tragedy to a previously unreached level. Although Nelson did not compose the entire work, he created his tale of a preacher whose wife left him by mixing songs he composed with classics like the title song by Arthur Boogie Smith and the Fred Rose classic “Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain.” The result is the tragic story of a man who hunts down his wife and her lover, ultimately killing them in a fit of despair and revenge. Along the way, he murders a woman who attempted to ride the Stranger’s wife’s horse and gets away with it since it is written in the code that “you can’t kill a man for killing a woman who’s trying to steal your horse.” Although such a tale seems not just ridiculous but absurd to those who do not understand, much less live by, the Stranger’s code, it is no less so than the predicament of Prince Hamlet in what many consider Shakespeare’s greatest tragedy.

Much of today’s country music is different. Although I don’t listen too closely to much of it, I hear it enough to recognize its essential content. Its manifestation in what is called “bro country” comes off as unwitting satire, with repetitive songs concerning two-dimensional women, pickup trucks and alcohol. Fortunately, there are exceptions to sub-genre. Steve Earle’s work comes first to mind, especially his album Copperhead Road, which details moonshiners, pot growers, killers and such. Overtly leftwing in his political views, Earle is not played much if at all on most pop country stations. That in itself might point to his faithfulness to the tradition by artists like George Jones, Willie Nelson, Merle Haggard, and Johnny Cash. Sturgill Simpson is another artist who masters the musical genre while singing lyrics that transcend the common content.

Women country artists have always had a tougher time, it seems. Those who did make it big and composed much of their own work—Dolly Parton, Loretta Lynn, Tammi Wynette—have written about their hardscrabble upbringings and their struggle against a culture that has historically been defined by patriarchal zealotry. Although the trio noted here are certainly not all of the artists one could list, it seems fair to state that their biographies in the music business are representative of most other women country artists of their generation. From Parton and Lynn’s descriptions of their rural upbringing in songs like Parton’s “My Tennessee Mountain Home” and Lynn’s “Coal Miner’s Daughter,” one is reminded of the tragedy of everyday lives in the USA. Wynette’s songs nominally about her relationship with George Jones describe the lives of many women then and now. Perhaps a common element found amongst the defiance implicit in their struggle to become recognized artists is that they still existed in a world not just dominated by but ruled by men.

This is arguably no longer the case. Although it is clear that patriarchal paradigms continue to exist, their domination is less complete and constantly under challenge in US popular culture. Even the trappings of patriarchy are questioned in most corners of US society, although the resistance to change remains strong in several of those corners. Country music is arguably one of those corners. That is why Sarah Shook and the Disarmers are so welcome. This North Carolina band (which began as Sarah Shook and the Devil) features a sound rooted in the woods of the Smokies and developed in the southern grit of North Carolina’s Piedmont cities. Although Shook, who write most of the songs, plays rhythm guitar and sings lead, was born in upstate New York, she has lived in North Carolina since she was nine years old. Homeschooled and raised as a fundamentalist Christian, Shook understands the patriarchy. Her band includes a drummer, lap steel player, lead guitarist and bassist. Somewhere between country and rock, the tunes are mostly hard driving tunes with short leads shared by lead guitarist Eric Peterson and the steel player Adam Kurtz. Driving the unit are the drums of Kevin McClain and Aaron Oliva’s upright bass.

The songs they play undermine the patriarchy. Shook’s protagonists spit in the face of tradition as defined by the code mentioned at the beginning of this piece. Sometimes they do so by satirizing the preferred scenario of woman as victim. Other times, Shook’s characters just don’t give a fuck. They drink hard and do what they want, consequences be damned. In other songs, Shook and her Disarmers relate a common country song of the loser, yet even then that lament is tinged with an attitude of disdain for that which is expected. In a song from her latest work, Years, Shook and her band turn Merle Haggard’s “Tonight the Bottle Let Me Down” sideways, with Shook singing the part of the man in Haggard’s song happy that he’s got the bottle for a friend. In a tune titled “Fuck Up” from the album Sidelong, Shook sings “God don’t make mistakes. He just makes fuck-ups/Well I guess I’m too much of a fuck up.” It doesn’t sound like an apology, just a statement. It’s a tragedy but it’s badass.

(Ron Jacobs is the author of Daydream Sunset: Sixties Counterculture in the Seventies published by CounterPunch Books. His latest offering is a pamphlet titled Capitalism: Is the Problem. He lives in Vermont. He can be reached at:

* * *


The meaning of life is that it stops. Especially in his later years, Philip Roth often quoted this remark attributed to Kafka, and it was hard not to think of it when the news came that his heart had given out. He lived to be eighty-five, but he had little expectation of making it much past seventy.

Over the years, there had been stretches of depression, surgeries on his back and spine, a quintuple bypass, and sixteen cardiac stents, which must be some kind of American League record. By the time Roth was in his seventies, he would open his eyes in the morning and experience a moment of ecstatic surprise: he had pulled it off again, stolen another taste of being alive, a self, conscious of the beautiful and chaotic world...

— David Remnick

* * *


For 46 years the Salmon Restoration Association has put on the biggest summer community party on the Mendocino coast. It draws over 3,000 people, from California and locations all over the country. Each year, the motels, B&Bs, and campgrounds are sold out months in advance. There are some families who have come to every single SRA Barbecue and have a complete commemorative T-shirt collection to prove it!

On July 7 this year, the 47th great Coho salmon Party will take place with the help of many local organizations, businesses and hundreds of individuals who give of their time, talents, and goods. All of the net proceeds from the Salmon Barbecue are used to fund habitat restoration projects, assessments of fish health and numbers, and environmental education

The wild caught salmon is prepared with a special “secret” marinade and barbecued to perfection. A generous plate of salmon, corn on the cob, salad and garlic bread is served. A vegetarian option and hot dogs ensure that everyone will be well fed. And to drink, a selection of award-winning microbrews from North Coast Brewing, Fair Trade coffee from Thanksgiving Coffee and Barefoot wines, as well as soft drinks. Local Cowlicks ice cream can top off the meal.

Music is another good reason to come to this party. Great local musical groups Earl Oliver, the Coastal Rangers, Highway One, Steven Bates and Friends and surprise celebrity musicians entertain all day, and the dancing by revelers from 9 months to 90 years old is very lively. Dance with your family and friends, and maybe with some you have never met.

Tickets are $33 for adults and $10 for children 12 and under. Advance adult tickets can be purchased before 5 PM on July 6 at Harvest Market in Fort Bragg and through our Website

Why do we eat salmon to save salmon?

There was a time when some say you could “walk across streams on the backs” of the spawning local Coho salmon they were so numerous. Even in the last ten years the salmon fishing was so good that this barbecue was supplied entirely by fish donated by local fishermen and the fishing party boats. But the Coho species of salmon were not on the menu. Their population had declined alarmingly.

In the past few years the salmon served at the BBQ have come from Washington and Alaska, where several species are still plentiful. Often they have been caught by local Fort Bragg fishermen and women who had to take their boats north to make a living.

What happens to the money that SRA makes from the BBQ proceeds?

Since at least as far back as 1971, SRA has been a non-profit business dedicated to restoring the salmon population in our local streams and rivers. The ideas about saving fish have changed over the years, as science has guided restoration efforts. Where once there was a fish hatchery and many dams, there are now many waterways open to the salmon’s need to travel upstream to reproduce, and stream beds restored to the conditions that preceded the heavy logging practices of the past.

Habitat Restoration Projects

Here are a few of the restoration projects that the Salmon Restoration Association has approved and helped facilitate and fund in recent years.

- $30,000 as part of a $150,000 Noyo Watershed Alliance effort to replace a blocked salmon passage from the Noyo River into Kass Creek. A film of the Kass Creek restoration was done by Campbell Timberlands, paid for by the SRA and produced through the Noyo Watershed Alliance.

- $12,000 to Jughandle Farm for a Fort Bragg middle school project to restore native plants and stabilize stream banks in Fort Bragg’s Otis Johnson Park.

- $15,000 to Big River/Noyo Watershed coalition for stream restoration on Upper Noyo and Big River stream restoration projects.

- $3,000 for the James Creek Sediment Assessment and Fish Passage Planning Project.

- $5,000 for a salmon survey on Anderson Creek, a tributary to the Eel River.

- $39,486 for Big River Watershed Program of Mendocino Land Trust to remove two dams from the Little North Fork of Big River and Water Gulch, and to address a barrier to adult migration on lower James Creek. These dams prevented juvenile Coho salmon from accessing 9.5 and 2.6 miles of suitable upstream habitat respectively.

- $15,000 to Mendocino Land Trust for stream restoration on the upper Noyo River

- Several projects by Eel River Recover Project to assess fish health and numbers on the upper tributaries of the Eel River.

- This year we will be teaming with Trout Unlimited on stream restoration projects on more branches of the upper Noyo River.

The second mission of SRA is to provide environmental education.

- SRA helps fund the SONAR (School of Natural Resources) program at Mendocino High School. These students study not only the biology and ecology of our local river and stream systems, but they also use the scientific protocols for actual field research so their data can be used by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (DFW) and National Oceanographic and Aeronautical Administration (NOAA) for their studies of marine and estuarial ecology. Many SONAR students go on into careers in science.

- SRA Salmon Film Festivals provided fascinating information for the public with two days of long and short format films and introductory talks.

- $5,000 to provide forums to help local people understand the Marine Life Protection Act Initiative.

- SRA has also sponsored several other public forums to provide accurate and non-political information about issues critical to marine fisheries in our region.

Learn More

Learn more about the past and current projects SRA supports, and lots more information at our website

And stop by the booths of our restoration partners and colleagues as you enter the event.

You Will Help!

Your purchase of a ticket to this grand party can help SRA continue to fund salmon restoration projects and provide environmental education. All the net proceeds from the ticket, T-shirt and food sales, and purchase of Mendocino Eco Artist’s raffle tickets goes directly to fund these projects.

Tickets are $33 for adults and $10? for children 12 and under.

Advance tickets are available before 5 PM on July 6 at Harvest Market in Fort Bragg and through our Website

Free Parking and Shuttle Service

Free parking and shuttle service are provided from the Mendocino College parking lot to South Noyo Harbor from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

* * *

* * *


For now — and this must change — “the [U.S.] left” is still far too scattered, excessively siloed, overdependent on corporate foundations, overly identity-politicized, excessively episodic, excessively metropolitan and bicoastal, excessively professional and middle-class, insufficiently radical, insufficiently working-class, insufficiently anti-capitalist and insufficiently distanced from the dismal, demobilizing, depressing and dollar-drenched Democratic Party.

* * *

* * *

AN INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATION has recognized the Bureau of Land Management, Mattole Restoration Council and the Mattole Salmon Group for their restoration achievements in the Mattole River estuary in southern Humboldt County.

The American Fisheries Society Western Chapter presented their 2018 Riparian Challenge Award to the partners who have been working since 2013 along the lower three miles of the Mattole River within the BLM-managed King Range National Conservation Area.

“Restoring this estuary is extremely important,” said Zane Ruddy, a fisheries biologist with the BLM in Arcata. “This improved habitat will benefit the fish as they feed, grow and gain strength before they head out to sea.”

During a five-year project, the partners improved habitat for chinook and Coho salmon and steelhead, all species listed as threatened under the federal Endangered Species Act. Project workers excavated new slough habitat and planted more than 60 acres with riparian vegetation. They increased the number of estuary pools, important for the health and survival of these species, from seven to 20. The partners are now planning additional projects.

“Our partnership with BLM, the local community, ranchers, and local contractors, has produced measurable improvements in fish habitat, while also enhancing native grasslands,” said Steve Madrone, executive director of the Mattole Salmon Group. “This win-win approach for the environment and local ranching and fishing industries is the solution to many of our environmental and economic issues.”

The BLM manages more than 245 million acres of public land located primarily in 12 Western states, including Alaska. The BLM also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. The agency’s mission is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of America’s public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations. Diverse activities authorized on these lands generated $75 billion in sales of goods and services throughout the American economy in fiscal year 2016—more than any other agency in the Department of the Interior. These activities supported more than 372,000 jobs.

(BLM Press release)

* * *

HOMELESSNESS: The national numbers are scandalous. On any given night, more than half a million homeless men, women, and children sleep on the streets or in shelters. In 2016 alone, according to research by the scholar Matthew Desmond, roughly 900,000 households were subject to eviction judgments. The same year, more than 11 million households spent at least 50 percent of their income, and another 9.8 million spent more than 30 percent, on rent. Nearly half of the nation’s 43 million renting households, then, live with the crushing weight of excessive housing costs. (The Nation)

* * *


"Ah, well, I tried to start a revolution but didn't print enough pamphlets. Hardly anyone turned up, except for my mum and her boyfriend, who I hate, so. As punishment I was forced to, uh, be in here and become a gladiator. A bit of a promotional disaster, that one, but! I'm actually organizing another revolution. I don't know if you'd be interested in something like that. Do you reckon you'd be interested?" -Korg

The recording of last night's (2018-06-01) 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:

And besides that, here are links to a few not necessarily radio-useful but worthwhile items that I set aside for you at while gathering the show together, such as:

The dancing movies. Whenever Mary Poppins appears I become inexplicably ecstatic. See if it happens to you. You know, Julie Andrews is alive and well even into these weird times, and she still looks (and sounds) like a million bucks.

Africa by looping-machine-expert pianist.

News from a world just like ours but where people aren’t complete idiots.

And a fascinating trick of the nose. If a human person could do this, he'd be king of any world in two weeks.

Marco McClean



  1. Eric Sunswheat June 3, 2018

    Re: SUMMER’S HERE and the time is right!…

    Marin County, Fairfax Eco-Fair, June 9 – 10, 2018

  2. Lazarus June 3, 2018


    And the spin goes on…This so called petition that was circulated was a one liner.


    No mention of a PHF unit, no mention of 5150, no mention of 32 patients, no mention of out of County mental people, no mention of taxpayers money…talk about dummy’n down…

    This Handley letter is a letter of entitlement, she just can’t help herself… there’s nothing above board at all about it.
    If… and it’s a big if… the Howard bunch did spend 50K on consultants boy did they get they got screwed… The local Building Inspector said publicly at a City Council meeting that one of the Howard Foundations hired guns/consultants tried to con him into getting them around the proper building permits.

    And isn’t it interesting how the Measure B players in this game keep testifying that, “ There’s no back room deals”, this is all on the up and up…wink, wink…?

    All you have to do is watch the March 28, 2018 Measure B Committee meeting on YouTube, to get the picture of what was being planned. The fix was in, they did not see any resistance coming from Willits. They figured nobody was watching or cared with the exception of a few nimby neighbors, and who gives a **** about them…

    Handley’s letter is political spin straight up, I imagine most readers would have trouble getting through the second paragraph because of all her BS…then again, was this letter ever intended for the publics eyes…? regardless, good catch AVA…
    As always,

    • BB Grace June 3, 2018

      Seems to me that Handley has an obligation to the Howard Foundation to sustain the building and make the best use until there is no way possible. Why doesn’t Willits red tag it if it’s so bad Laz? You can’t fight city hall eh? I don’t have a problem reading her letter. I didn’t see any political spin. Is the GOP profiting off the Howard Foundation?

      • Lazarus June 3, 2018

        All politics is local, and Red Tagging is a very difficult thing to do politically in Willits, but more to the point is the use and location it is being purposed for, it’s in the middle of town… and the money they’re talking about spending, our tax money.

        Sure, use it for seniors or low income. Regardless though an earthquake fault still runs through the ninety something year old structure…not good; And you can’t talk that away…
        Willits has buildings that should have been torn down years ago, but because of who owns them and because of the politics of that…there they set.

        “Is the GOP profiting off the Howard Foundation?” Don’t know for sure, but I have my suspicions…
        As always,

        • Bruce McEwen June 3, 2018

          As per usual, Laz, you put it in a context even eejits like Her Grace and I cannot fail to grasp; and by your good graces I finally grasp that it’s the same issue the Coasties have with the Hospitality House in Fort Bragg turning the Old Coast Hotel into a chefs school for meth cooks.

          I apologize, but for all this time, I thought you were so overly-familiar with Sheriff Allman that anything he proposed was wrong, right out of the chute, and you’d oppose it on principle to the end.

          Now, I belatedly have come to understand that you are merely mistaken, and not being bullheaded about it, at all.

          What a relief to your sincere well-wisher,

          B. Mc

          • Lazarus June 3, 2018

            As always,

          • BB Grace June 4, 2018

            I don’t see Willits’ issue with Old Howard Hospital the same as Fort Bragg’s issue with Old Coast Hotel.

            Old Coast Hotel was a privately owned upscale restaurant and sports bar that went on the market for over $3 Million, plus it needed big investments to comply with new building codes and environmental laws. Old Coast was sold to the City of Fort Bragg for less than half the advertised sale. It seemed the Old Coast had been purposely over priced to be on hold to when the City could purchase it, which was a shame because the City has a long strong record of slum lordership, and now what was a high paying taxed building was a business completely tax dependent. Besides, Affinito’s former Social Security and social services building across the street from the Fort Bragg police/Sheriff, 10 Mile court/DA, and just yards from Mendocino Coast Clinics and Mendocino Coast Hospital, restaurants and hotels. Affinito had offered to remodel to suit Hospitality House and it seems this offer was ignored because those who wanted the Hospitality House Empire to expand made it clear they had personal issues (grudges) against Affinito. Furthermore, an army of self righteous professional and crony elitists from the 5th district publicly accused the people of Fort Bragg as NIMBY’s and full of stigma and poured money into defeating Measure U. But what got me, being one who has a passion for old California, was that Old Coast Hotel was one of the only places left one could get that vibe in Fort Bragg. If you want that vibe now you need to go to the Fifth District, like Preservation Mendocino Town. And I’ll be brutally honest, Fort Bragg is worse off than many small “shithole” counties I’ve been recently, and I think everyone who travels knows that for a fact. It is absolutely shameful how Fort Bragg (Mendocino/CA for that matter) is being destroyed from the inside.

            Not that Willits doesn’t get challenges that undermine it’s rural charm and community unity, but Old Howard Hospital is owned by a foundation, a non profit. The protest against Old Howard Hospital doesn’t bash Howard Foundation but one women, Margie Handley, who is blamed for a past that she didn’t create, and resented because those who don’t understand trusts fault her for being a “beneficiary”. I believe that no matter what Margie Handley does or did, there are those who are going to project their grievances (not that they were personally victims) against the past on Handley no matter what. Plenty of folks who received the “benefit” Handley received would have cashed out and moved to one of the lovely, fun, clean ex pat communities in shit hole countries. She didn’t. She really deserves more credit than she gets because she, like those who hate her, loves Willits and works to make Willits what is the best they can with what they have. Handley has Old Hoard Hospital Foundation. It seems proper to offer the old building to the Sheriff/County. If they can’t use it, it goes on the block or will be demolished. I have no doubt if it is demolished it will be a shame that the people of Willits, with all the technology of today, could not save Old Howard Hospital, another innocent victim of misplaced resentment and hatred for a past none of them experienced.

            Willits being centrally located in Mendocino is a geographic advantage to everyone North of Willits. At this point of Fort Bragg’s demise I have no problem with the Sheriff’s jail for the mentally ill to be in Affinito’s building across from 10 Mile Court. It’s still vacant social services building, (Maybe Affinito will remodel to suit), though it’s a long ride to the coast, it’s still a shorter ride than out of county.

            • james marmon June 4, 2018

              “Not that Willits doesn’t get challenges that undermine it’s rural charm and community unity, but Old Howard Hospital is owned by a foundation, a non profit. The protest against Old Howard Hospital doesn’t bash Howard Foundation but one women, Margie Handley, who is blamed for a past that she didn’t create, and resented because those who don’t understand trusts fault her for being a “beneficiary””

              Ms. Grace, your logic sounds like it comes straight out of the Clinton Foundation’s playbook.

              Cheating With a Charitable Foundation is a Serious Crime

              “Some rich people accomplish their charitable goals by setting up a “private foundation.” Such a foundation is defined and regulated by a series of laws that can get rather complex. The idea, though, is straightforward enough. These wealthy folks are, essentially, creating their own charity. They can give to their foundation, get a tax deduction for the gift, and yet retain a fair amount of control as to what charitable efforts and organizations receive the money.

              What they cannot do under the law, however, is direct money from the foundation to “non-charitable” purposes. And, needless to say, they certainly cannot use money from their foundation to enrich themselves directly or indirectly. It violates the letter and the spirit of the law to funnel foundation money away from charitable endeavors and toward self-interest or personal reward.”


              Margie Handley’s Neighborhood

              “Five hundred yards of suspiciously expensive road leading to Mrs. Handley’s and Dr. Bodensteiner’s Haehl Creek neighborhood has upset Dr. Bodensteiner. The new road runs south off East Hill into the Haehl Creek Subdivision. It will also serve Howard Memorial Hospital when the hospital is built.

              Marge Handley donated the land for the new hospital. As you turn south off East Hill Road, you drive down a grand five hundred yards of commodious new road to the Haehl Creek Subdivision. If you kept south through the subdivision you would drive into rolling hills still owned by the Harrah-Handley clan.

              One, two, three, four – spiffy new access road, bare hospital land, Mitchell’s subdivision, Handley’s ancestral acres.

              Two years ago, Doctor Bodensteiner began to suspect that some large portion of the $742,908 paid by the Howard Hospital Foundation for its share of the new access road disappeared into either Marge Handley’s copious purse or into a certain contractor’s bank account.

              That contractor is James Mitchell, also of Willits.

              Mitchell’s share of the cost of building what became a public road to his private subdivision is not known. What is known, however, is that Mitchell billed the Howard Hospital Foundation for $742,908 for its share of the road, and the Foundation paid Mitchell $742,908, that amount apparently based on a City of Willits-commissioned traffic study which was used to apportion the road’s cost.”


              James Marmon

              • BB Grace June 4, 2018

                As a proclaimed Trump voter Mr. Marmon you are aware that the Clinton Foundation is what changed the deplorable’s chant from, “Lock her up!” to “Lock them up!”.

                Being a local boy you are aware that this is Clinton Country (confirmed to me in 2007 by a staff member at Press Democrat explaining why they refused to publish any letter I wrote to the editor and why they never would). IOWs I think we all know Clinton cronyism is what’s killing Mendocino County where even the Republican Central Committee is occupied by RINOs assuring that no republican will ever be on a Mendocino County ballot for their part (and if a republican is openly on the ballot it’s at their own expense and they get no help, but undermined), while the left covers for the democrats by generally blaming republicans if they have money, or own a business like Affinito, or a foundation like Handley, they become the face, the enemy, the target for character assassination, as if that’s accountability. It’s not, and why your “Where’s the money Camille” only works for those who have no idea that her money is a contract, like the Howard Foundation, made with the local government, which escapes accountability.

                Where’s the protests with signs and speeches against the rip off at Mendocino Coast District Hospital for one? If republicans were in control, we’d see big protests for sure, and this is why Mendocino needs to stop the political bigotry and character assassination of individuals who by all government accounts, have done no wrong.

                Housing is a problem. Handley gives land, has the foundation pay local business to build a road for housing, and you use that as evidence she’s a criminal? It all looks like not understanding business, and envy of her money which isn’t much compared to others that own much more property here and contribute NOTHING.

                • james marmon June 4, 2018

                  Ms. Grace, don’t forget the May 20th Mendocino County Republican Party Committee Meeting, cult leader Allman is the guest speaker this month, maybe you can sit next to Margie at the event.

                  I’m sure the Harrah family, in which Margie is a heir, got a pretty healthy tax write-off on that land, not to mention the free road paid for by the foundation.

                  New hospital welcomes community

                  “Her mother also donated the 33 acres of land the hospital is on today.”


                  James Marmon
                  Trump Party


                  • BB Grace June 4, 2018

                    I’d rather go to a meeting with genuine Trump supporters Mr. Marmon.

            • Lazarus June 4, 2018

              Thank you for your thoughtful reply.
              As always,

  3. james marmon June 3, 2018


    “There just wasn’t anything to talk about until the Board of Supervisors makes a decision either for or against using the old hospital as a mental health facility.”

    -Margie Handley

    Must I say anything more?

    • Lazarus June 3, 2018

      ” listing it for sale or demolishing it.”
      Marge Handley

      That’s the only part of this mess I can relate to…yea, sell it right and improve the community, or tear the thing down…!
      As always,

  4. Jim Updegraff June 3, 2018

    Interesting comments about Trump by Willie Brown in the S. F. Chronicle today

Leave a Reply

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