Press "Enter" to skip to content

Mendocino County Today: Thursday, Aug. 2, 2018

* * *


A FIRE broke out near Vichy Springs, east of Ukiah, Jack London’s favorite resort, about 1:30pm. It was quickly knocked down an hour later after five acres were burned.

Looking east from North Ukiah to Vichy Springs (Photo by Katelyn Frazer)


The Western Fire broke out late Wednesday afternoon road near Comisky Station Road between Hopland and Cloverdale just off Highway 101. A motorcycle accident ignited the blaze. Cal Fire bombers and helicopters helped firefighters quickly gained control of the blaze. The fire did not close 101 in either direction.

The Mendocino County Sheriff’s office immediately issued an EVACUATION WARNING for the area of mile marker two (2) on S Highway 101 Hopland, East to the Mendocino Lake County Line, South to Mendocino Sonoma County Line, due to a fire in the area. “Residents are advised to be ready to evacuate the area immediately. If residents feel unsafe, move to a safe location. Further alerts and follow-up notifications will be issued once information becomes available. Please avoid the EVACUATION WARNING AREA if possible and be aware of emergency workers.”

Western Fire (courtesy Mendocino Sheriff)

EEL FIRE/Covelo (Aug 1):  A new wildland fire started Tuesday, July 31 on the Covelo district of the Mendocino National Forest approximately 15 miles east of the town of Covelo off County Road M1 and Mendocino Pass Road. It is called the Eel fire and it is estimated at about 1,000 acres.

The Mendocino County Sheriff's Office has issued mandatory evacuations of all residences between Black Butte River, Anthony Peak, Forest Service Rd. M4, and Forest Service Rd. M1 to mile marker 10. Forest Highway 7 remains open at this time, but be aware that the situation could change quickly.

Resources assigned to the incident include six engines, four water tenders and several aircraft including two helicopters and air tankers as needed. The fire is moving east, southeast on the forest.

The cause of the blaze is under investigation. Please call 530-640-1168 for more information.

(US Forest Service)

Eel Fire (photo by Drew Hansen)

MENDOCINO COMPLEX: Tuesday night into Wednesday morning firefighters made good progress on increasing containment on the River and Ranch fires. Wednesday fire personnel continued to work on containment lines, fighting the fire directly when access and conditions permit along with building contignecy lines ahead of the fire front. Low humidity, heat, and wind will continue to challenge firefighters throughout the day.

By Wednesday afternoon the Mendocino Complex fires had increased to 91,000 acres and were 24 percent contained. Wednesday afternoon, the Ranch Fire was up to 59,000 acres with 15% contained, up from more than 51,000 acres and 10% containment on Tuesday. The River Fire has burned 32,000 acres and is now said to be 38% contained, an increase from 28,000 acres and 12% on Tuesday. Some people living in Mendocino and Lake Counties have returned home after being evacuated. Evacuation orders were lifted Tuesday night for Finley and Kelseyville in Lake County.

On Wednesday firefighters worked hard and had some success improving containment lines on the fire while continuing to build and improve contingency lines ahead of the fire. Both fires continue to have rapid growth when aligned with fuels, topography and wind. High temperatures, low humidity and afternoon winds coupled with critically low fuel moistures are contributing to large fire growth. The Northwest portion of the Ranch Fire will progress further into the Mendocino National Forest and continue to establish itself in the drainage's south of Lake Pillsbury.

* * *

THURSDAY MORNING (7am) MENDOCINO COMPLEX UPDATE: 110,168 acres burned; 39% containment; 53 structures damaged or destroyed.

For most of the night both fires remained active in the upper elevations. The ridgetops reached peak relative humidity around midnight and then began to drop. The valleys and drainages remained far less active and the fire was not as active in the unexposed areas. Firing operations on both fires took well and increased containment line. The fire continues to spread into the Mendocino National Forest and crews are scouting for opportunities ahead of the active fires edge. Fire crews are fighting the fire aggressively. Very steep terrain and fire intensity on the fire front make it difficult to insert crews in certain areas of the fire.

(click to enlarge)

* * *

BRUCE MCEWEN CHECKS IN: Keeping an informal log here at the window of the Forest Club, remarking the names on the fire trucks that come and go up and down State Street, and they’ve come from as far away as Portland – not Oregon – Portland, Maine! Cynics will howl that they’ve only come for the Federal $$$, and sure as shooting, as soon as the pumpers and ladder trucks pass, here comes a convoy of SUVs full of Chiefs and Captains. When the Beverley Hills Fire Department passed by we all went out on the sidewalk and saluted.  The truck parked in the shade behind the courthouse (Westside, under a row of boxwood trees in glorious high-summer bloom), and as the crew disembarked we all wondered where they would go for dinner. I was dispatched with my old b&w SLR to go find out and, I’m happy to report, the news is both good and bad. (First I took wagers, you see.) They walked right past Patrona’s, likewise, Greg and Bridget’s offspring, Chop Chop, and turned into what used to be Saucy, but is now called (since they 86’d me), Cultivo’s (which is Boontling for a press-free dining experience).

* * *

SHELTER STAFF STEPPED UP, a reader notes: "Add to the list of county workers who step up to the plate during fire emergencies: Rich Molanari, Sage Mountainfire, and the entire staff of the Animal Shelter. These folks worked their butts off back in October last year, and again now. Also Bliss Siefed who during both emergencies was in charge of large animal displacement and aid. All the shelter staff have been amazing, working tirelessly to ensure that the mendo community’s pets and animals stay safe."

* * *


  • Heirloom, Early Girl & Cherry Tomatoes
  • Corno di Toro, Gypsy, Bell, Pimiento Peppers
  • Padron, Jalapeno, Anaheim, Ancho Chilis
  • Italian & Asian Eggplant, Zucchini & Patty Pan Squash
  • Kale, Onions, Garlic, Cucumbers, Basil, Parsley
  • Strawberries & Sunflowers
  • Sunflowers & Zinnias
Peppers in the morning

Blue Meadow Farm, 3301 Holmes Ranch Rd, Philo, 707-895-2071

* * *


Sheriff Tom Allman posted the following to social media Tuesday night:

"I want to clarify my statement to the Board of Supervisor’s this morning. 90% of the 60+ employees called did not answer their phones nor did they return the call after a message was left. Not all of the county’s 1,205 employees were called.

Many employees, such as the Dept of Transportation, bust their a on a daily basis and their dedication is clearly visible. Several had been called in to assist with road closures.

My frustration was based on phone calls to employees who either told us that they did not want to come in, or failed to return the message which was left.

In no way would I ever say that 90% of public employees fail to respect you, their employer. I’m frustrated by the lack of response which happened this past weekend.

I give kudos to the dedicated employees who came in and I look forward to providing you a BBQ to show you my appreciation.

To any employees who have changed phone numbers, please make sure that Human Resources has your most current contact information.

We are all in this together."

* * *

LITTLE DOG SAYS, “Skrag was as usual flaked out under the boss's truck when a field mouse ran right past him. Skrag didn't even move. Even a house tabby will chase a mouse. Skrag's gotta be on dope. The only time he stirs all day is meal times, and then he's lightning itself."

* * *


Chaya Mandelbaum will be the keynote speaker at the Commonwealth Club in San Francisco, Wednesday, August 8th 2018 @ 6 pm] A labor attorney born and raised in Boonville, Chaya is the son of Dan Mandelbaum and Benna Kolinsky, also of Boonville. (Commonwealth presentations are often available via KQED Radio, San Francisco.)

* * *

PLEASED TO SEE the "Open" neon lit in the window of the Poleeko Roadhouse, formerly the site of Libby's Restaurant.

* * *

AND RIGHT NEXT DOOR at Lemons Market, a banner announcing "Wild Salmon Fresh." We count our blessings in the Anderson Valley, and they are many. The multi-skilled Tommy Lemons Sr. and sons have remodeled the old Libby’s into the Poleeko Roadhouse, an achievement they managed in between ocean excursions out of Noyo on their fishing boat to bring back to Philo fish as fresh as you can get most places.

* * *

THE MOST STARTLING news on the day, and probably of particular interest to Jeff Blankfort, also a long-time Schwartz Watcher, is that Steve Schwartz is now Lucy Schwartz, having begun adult life as a fully male communist, an anti-communist, a book writer, the Chronicle's obituary writer where he often took final shots at leftists he didn't approve of, a convert to Islam, and now bangles and breasts as Lucy Schwartz.

* * *


Join the City of Fort Bragg and the Noyo Center for Marine Science at the Noyo Headlands Park in Fort Bragg for a grand celebration of the City’s newly completed Coastal Trail on Sunday, August 5th. This is a free family event happening from 12 pm to 5 pm.

For the first time in over a century, the entire length of the coast of Fort Bragg is open to the public. The new Coastal Trail in Fort Bragg has been years in the making.  Featuring seven miles of multi-use trails, beautiful ocean views, habitat restoration, and benches crafted by local artists; the new Noyo Headlands Park is now complete from Glass Beach in the north to the Noyo River in the south.

The grand celebration, to be held on the South Coastal Trail (accessed from Highway 1 via Cypress Street), will bring together many aspects of Fort Bragg’s coastal community. Entertainment includes performances by Circus Mecca and live music by the Steven Bates Band, Wanderlust, Chuck Tourtilott and the Mendocino Women’s Choir.  Attendees can participate in Paul Bunyan logging activities and watch a K-9 demonstration by the Fort Bragg Police K-9 program. The Mendocino Coast Recreation & Park District will have a kids' zone with bounce houses, face painting, and a scavenger hunt with prizes and games for kids. A public safety zone will feature local police and fire department activities and the Humane Society will offer pet adoptions, along with many more activities for the whole family.

Local food vendors will be on hand to feed the hungry public. Delicious food can be purchased from local restaurants and food providers including Cowlick’s, Mara’s Coffeehouse, Piaci’s, Pilon Kitchen, Sweet Affair, Sugar Coated Catering, Tanadem Catering and BoonDogs.

The event includes a full slate of activities sponsored by the Noyo Center for Marine Science. Along with a full BBQ, North Coast Brewing Company will host a beer garden and Frey Vineyards will host wine tasting with all proceeds benefiting the Noyo Center. Local artists will be on hand to display and sell their coastal themed crafts and creations. The Noyo Center’s festivities will include a carnival, marine science demonstration along with many educational and fun activities highlighting our coast’s attributes.

Attendees are encouraged to bring water bottles and beach chairs and ride their bikes which can be parked in the Walk and Bike Mendocino bike valet area. This is a free event open to all, so please join us in celebrating our coast, our community, our city!

Fort Bragg City Mayor Press Release

* * *

CATCH OF THE DAY, August 1, 2018

Aceves-Lizararraga, Biggs, Carrigg

IRVING ACEVES-LIZARRAGA, Willits. Disorderly conduct-alcohol, resisting.

LISA BIGGS, Fort Bragg. Probation revocation.

SONO CARRIGG, Ukiah. Parole violation. (Frequent flyer.)

Critchett, Depree, Gibney

JASSLYNN CRITCHETT, Clearlake/Ukiah. Controlled substance, probation revocation.

JOSHUA DEPREE, Redwood Valley. Disobeying court order, failure to appear, probation revocation.

JUSTIN GIBNEY, Fort Bragg. Probation revocation.

Hammond, Henderson, Martinez

DARIN HAMMOND, Fort Bragg. Trespassing, disobeying court order.

MIRANDA HENDERSON, Surprise, Arizona/Ukiah. DUI, fugitive from justice, resisting.

JORGE MARTINEZ, Willits. Failure to appear, probation revocation.

Pate, Ratliff, Trapper

MICHAEL PATE, Fort Bragg. Disorderly conduct-alcohol, battery on peace officer, probation revocation.

JULIE RATLIFF, Ukiah. Under influence.

MICHAEL TRAPPER, Fort Bragg. Probation revocation.

* * *


To the Editor:

Sometimes change happens in small increments only to dissolve into sameness even the mundane. But there are times when change is so jarring we must erect barriers against it so as not to be deeply affected. But for many of us, the snatching of the children of those seeking asylum should not fade from our consciousness. These people came seeking asylum not knowing they were endangering their children; rather were fleeing from harm to protect them. They found their children were forcibly taken from them amidst a sea of trauma. That was thirty five days ago - June 16, 2018. Now it seems some cannot be immediately returned and there is much confusion in our current efforts to return the children to their parents.

I believe that those of us who have been strongly affected; individuals who use Facebook, tweet or simply use e mail or snail mail, word of mouth - please send this message along - changing the number with each passing day. We can be of benefit to these unfortunate asylum seekers and their children if we do the following: Find a place in your home, on your computer, telephone or at a public place to erect a box containing these words:

Too many days have passed

Since the children were taken.

When will the last to be returned

Come back to their families?

Keep the vigil alive in their behalf

And for our own caring hearts.

Gregory Sims


* * *

BECKY’S NEW CAR, Opening this week...

The Mendocino Theatre Company's production of Steven Dietz's smart and zany comedy BECKY'S NEW CAR, directed by Virginia Reed, opens this Thursday, August 2nd!  Becky Foster is a middle-aged office manager who has been comfortably married to her contractor husband, Joe, for twenty-eight years. When a wealthy widower stumbles into her office one night, she finds herself faced with an unexpected choice, which pulls her in two directions and leads her on a surprising journey.  The production features Pamela W. Allen, Nicholas Barrett, Julia Carson, Raven Deerwater, Steven Jordan, Laurel Livezey, and Steven P. Worthen.  Set design by Diane Larson.  Lighting by Steve Greenwood.  For tickets and information, please see our website,, or phone the box office at 707-937-4477.  "Becky's New Car is crafted like a musical score, with themes and motifs woven together in unexpected, but familiar ways, and [Dietz's] ear for dialogue is amazing. Becky’s scenes play out in tones romantic, jazzy, finger-snappy, or... flat out funny.” —Director Virginia Reed

* * *


by Lawrence Wittner

Whatever happened to the notion that rich people should pay their fair share of the cost for their country’s public programs?

Progressive income taxes―designed to fund government services and facilities—go back centuries, and are based on the idea that taxes should be levied most heavily on people with the ability to pay them.  In the United States, the federal government introduced its first income tax in 1861, to cover the costs of the Civil War. Although new federal income tax legislation in the 1890s was ruled unconstitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court, the resulting public controversy led, in 1913, to passage of the sixteenth amendment to the Constitution, firmly establishing the legality of an income tax.

The progressive income tax―levied, at its inception, only on the wealthiest Americans―was a key demand and political success of the Populist and Progressive reformers of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.  As might be expected, most of the wealthy regarded it with intense hostility, especially as the substantial costs of World War I sent their tax rates soaring.  The development of jobs programs and other public services during the New Deal, capped by the vast costs of World War II and the early Cold War, meant that, by the 1950s, although most Americans paid income taxes at a modest rate, the official tax rate for Americans with the highest incomes stood at about 91 percent.

Of course, the richest Americans didn’t actually pay at that rate, thanks to a variety of deductions, loopholes, and its application to only the highest increment of their income. Even so, like many of the wealthy throughout history, they deeply resented paying a portion of their income to benefit other people―people whom they often regarded as inferior to themselves.  Consequently, cutting taxes for the rich became one of their top political priorities.

Facing a strong backlash from the wealthiest Americans, their corporations, and conservative politicians, the federal government began a retreat. In 1964, the top marginal tax rate was reduced to 70 percent, in 1982 to 50 percent, and, in 1988, to 28 percent. Although it was raised somewhat during the Clinton presidency, it was reduced again during the reign of George W. Bush.

The Trump-GOP tax cut of $1.5 trillion in December 2017 provided the latest payoff to the wealthy. It lowered the top tax rate, slashed the corporate tax rate from 35 to 21 percent, and doubled exemptions from the federal inheritance tax to $22 million per married couple. Although not all of the tax benefits went to the richest Americans, the vast bulk of them did.  An estimated 83 percent of the households among America’s wealthiest one-tenth of one percent will receive a tax break, with an average benefit of $193,380 per year.

Why did Americans support this new raid upon the federal treasury that enriches the nation’s millionaires and billionaires?

Actually, they didn’t. A Gallup poll of April 2017 found that 63 percent of Americans believed that upper income people paid too little in taxes.  That same month, the Pew Research Center reported that 60 percent of Americans were bothered “a lot” by the fact that “some wealthy people don’t pay their fair share” of taxes. In October 2017, a Reuters/Ipsos poll discovered that three-quarters of Americans thought that the wealthiest Americans should pay more in taxes.  Furthermore, surveys taken at the time by U.S. polling agencies consistently found that public support for the regressive Trump-GOP tax legislation languished in the mid-20s.

A key reason why most Americans favor taxing the rich is the traditional one: the wealthiest have the greatest ability to shoulder the nation’s tax burden.  After all, America’s richest one percent now possess nearly 40 percent of the nation’s wealth―almost twice the wealth held by 90 percent of the public.  Indeed, it’s hard to imagine why they need to add anything to the enormous wealth they have already amassed.  For example, Charles and David Koch, heirs to a vast fortune and, currently, the leading champions of tax-cutting and other rightwing schemes, have a combined net wealth of $120 billion.  If they simply stopped raking in additional income and, instead, each spent $1 million per day, they could continue doing that for over 164 years.

Conversely, nearly half of all American households cannot afford the basics of existence like food, housing, and medical care.  Why should they be taxed heavily―or at all―to fund public facilities and services that the richest Americans, with their unprecedented wealth, can easily afford to cover?

Another reason to raise taxes on the rich is that it’s good for the economy.  Of course, this contradicts the unverified contention of their cheerleaders that such taxation leads to job loss and economic collapse. But, in fact, as even some leading businessmen have pointed out, taxing the rich to fund public programs increases investment, boosts productivity, and creates more and better jobs.  Following World War II, when the wealthiest Americans had a 91 percent tax rate and top federal tax rates on stock dividends ran between 70 and 90 percent, America experienced an enormous economic boom.  Another surge of rapid economic growth occurred in the late 1990s, following federal tax hikes on wealthy investors.  Only after President George W. Bush pushed through sharp cuts in taxes for the wealthy did the American economy slow and, then, collapse in the Great Recession.

Much the same pattern has emerged in the states.  In 2012, Kansas slashed its tax rates, while California raised taxes on its wealthiest residents.  Five years later, the Kansas economy was on life support, while California was undergoing the strongest economic growth in the nation.

Not surprisingly, states are turning increasingly to enacting a “millionaires tax,”and the Trump-GOP tax cuts for the rich have become a potential political liability for the Republicans in the 2018 congressional elections.

(Dr. Lawrence Wittner is Professor of History emeritus at SUNY/Albany and the author of Confronting the Bomb. Stanford University Press.)

* * *

ROBERT JORDAN, wiping out the stew bowl with bread, explained how the income tax and inheritance tax worked. “But the big estates remain. Also, there are taxes on the land,” he said.

“But surely the big proprietors and the rich will make a revolution against such taxes. Such taxes appear to me to be revolutionary. They will revolt against the government when they see that they are threatened, exactly as the fascists have done here in Spain,” Primitivo said.

“It is possible.”

“Then you will have to fight in your country as we fight here.”

“Yes, we will have to fight.”

“But are there not many fascists in your country?”

“There are many who do not know they are fascists but will find it out when the time comes.”

“But you cannot destroy them until they rebel?”

“No,” Robert Jordan said. “We cannot destroy them. But we can educate the people so that they will fear fascism and recognize it as it appears and combat it.”

— Hemingway, “For Whom The Bell Tolls” (1940)

* * *


by Dan Bacher

The Delta Counties Coalition (DCC), an alliance of the counties of Contra Costa, Sacramento, San Joaquin, Solano and Yolo, on July 23 issued a statement opposing the Delta Conveyance Finance Authority’s (DCFA) request for a $1.6 billion loan from the Trump Administration through an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) program for the construction of Governor Jerry Brown’s Delta Tunnels project.

The coalition described the controversial project as the “State of California’s ill-conceived proposal to build twin tunnels in the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta known as ‘WaterFix’”.

Opponents say the project to divert Sacramento River from the North Delta by building two massive 35 mile long tunnels would destroy the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta ecosystem and West Coast fisheries.

“The Metropolitan Water District and other tunnel proponents that make up the DCFA, haven’t even started the project and they are already seeking a federal deal,” said Sacramento County Supervisor and DCC Chair Don Nottoli.

Nottoli noted that the U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI), the lead federal agency responsible for the environmental review of California WaterFix, is on record signaling that it does not expect to participate in the funding or construction of the tunnels.

Last October, Russell Newell, a spokesman for DOI, said: “While the Department of the Interior shares the goals of the state of California to deliver water with more certainty, eliminating risks to the California water supply, and improving the environment, at this time, the Department under the current state proposal does not expect to participate in the construction or funding of the CA WaterFix.”

“WaterFix has always been a water grab and, to top it off, they want taxpayers to underwrite a mega low-interest loan that will irreparably harm the Delta” continued Nottoli. “We hope EPA, like DOI, will oppose providing funding or financing for the project.”

“If the JPA gains access to $1.6 billion in financing, it will crowd out funding that could otherwise be used by other California agencies throughout the State. This essentially slams the door on critical projects that, unlike WaterFix, could actually increase the State’s water supply for many California communities,” Nottoli concluded.

The DCC advocates for protecting the interests of the Delta and California’s water supply and has produced a set of approaches that will achieve balance for the economic and environmental health of the Delta while also improving water supply stability. For more information regarding the DCC and its ideas for fixing California’s water issues, please visit

The construction of the Delta Tunnels would hasten the extinction of Sacramento River winter run and spring run Chinook salmon, Central Valley steelhead, Delta and long fin smelt, green sturgeon and other species, as well as imperil the salmon and steelhead populations of the Trinity and Klamath rivers.

While Governor Jerry Brown has posed as the “Resistance” to Trump, he has actually collaborated with the Trump administration on a number of issues, including the Delta Tunnels.

In February 2017, Brown successfully pressured Trump administration regulators to exempt three major California oil fields in Kern County from protection under the Safe Drinking Water Act:…

Brown is currently backing a bill, SB 813, that would hand over control of California’s power system from the California Independent System Operator (CAISO) to a Western regional electricity market under the control of the Trump administration’s Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC):…

And while Brown says he is “against” the Trump administration’s proposal to open new federal leases for offshore drilling off the West Coast, he has presided over an expansion of offshore drilling off the Southern California coast, including the approval of 238 new offshore wells under existing leases in state waters in Los Angeles and Ventura counties from 2012 to 2016 alone:…

The request from the Delta Conveyance Finance Authority (DCFA) for a $1.6 billion loan from the Trump Administration through the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is only the latest in Brown’s efforts to collaborate with Trump on the Governor’s legacy project, the Delta Tunnels.

(Dan Bacher is an environmental journalist in Sacramento. He can be reached at: Dan Bacher

* * *

* * *

DO YOU PLAY TRUMPET? Do you know anyone who does?

The Swingin' Boonville Big Band is looking for a some talent to fill in the trumpet section. We need someone with some big band experience who can commit to at least two Wednesday night rehearsals a month.  We rehearse in Mendocino and Boonville on alternating weeks.  Our gigs are on Saturday nights except for the annual 4th of July gig.

Contact Bob Ayres: 937 0059

* * *


No one can really plan for the worst case, nor should they, for it is impossible and a waste of time. Planning for a rainy day or a change in the system that will impact we consumers negatively is simply good planning. I have spent going on seven decades heeding my Father’s good advice of “get a job, pay your debts as quickly as possible, spend less than you make, put whatever you can aside for a rainy day.” Dad did not do much in the way of advice, but this was all of the lesson I needed and it allowed me to do what I now do in comfort. I understand that it’s not for everyone, but it really does work well if you can manage it.

* * *



I’m still reeling from the Israeli government’s official designation of Israel as a nation state for Jews only (“New law deepens divide,” July 20). What about the 20 percent of its Palestinian population, supposedly Israeli citizens? Or the more than 200,000 Palestinians in East Jerusalem, annexed by Israel in 1967. And the 5 million Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza?

What will happen to these indigenous non-Jews, Muslims and Christian Palestinians? What will happen to their ancestral lands and homes, which under this law no longer belong to them but to Israeli settlers?

My grandfather had olive groves near Ramallah, the best of which are lost to us. Other family members had many acres of beautiful orange groves in Jaffa, which they lost, too. Are Palestinians not human beings with basic human rights? How long before we are brave and honest enough to admit that Zionism is racism and that a Jewish state cannot be democratic?

Better than supporting the self-destructive state Israel has become, we should be encouraging it to do the work of healing from its past, rather than inflicting its festering pain on the Palestinians.

I have a bumper sticker that reads “All lands are holy, every people is sacred.” This I believe and practice. What about you?

Therese Mughannam-Walrath

Santa Rosa

* * *

* * *



In the billowing smoke of the Mendocino Fire Complex, a sudden ray of sunlight appeared -- great and golden. It were as if God had appeared somewhere in the long line of dark clouds and ash. God was there maybe for a moment. Or was it for years? I have never been much of a believer, so I'm the wrong person to ask. And yet, there it was -- sunlight! -- a bright surprise, as I came into possession of my new provisional self. This is my prayer today: "God, let this faith last. I never want it to end. I never want you to end. I never want this wanting to end. Amen."

John Sakowicz


* * *

* * *


Gloriana Musical Theatre presents the Tony Award-winning musical, FUN HOME with music by Jeanine Tesori, book and lyrics by Lisa Kron and based on the graphic novel by Alison Bechdel. Running July 26 - August 12, FUN HOME tells an enthralling and complex coming of age story from the pages of Bechdel's tragicomic memoir, woven together with Tesori's beautiful, remarkable score. With stage and vocal direction by Jenni Windsor, and musical direction by Jack Leung, FUN HOME is a refreshingly honest, wholly original musical about seeing your parents through grown-up eyes.  After her father dies unexpectedly, lesbian graphic novelist Alison dives deep into her past to tell the story of the volatile, brilliant, one-of-a-kind man whose temperament and secrets defined her family and her life. When memories of her 1970s childhood in a funeral home merge with her burgeoning college love life they help her discover she had more in common with her father than she ever knew.  Running at Eagles Hall from July 26 through August 12 with performances at 7:30 p.m on Thursday-Saturday and Sunday matinees beginning at 3 p.m. Admission is $22 for the general public, $20 for Seniors and $12 for youth (17 and under). Fun Home is recommended for ages 13 and up.  Tickets may be purchased online at, at Harvest Market in Fort Bragg or at the door of Eagles Hall Theatre prior to each performance.

For more information, visit


  1. Eric Sunswheat August 2, 2018

    Did you EVER meet scores of multi millionaires, who didn’t get significant federal tax benefit for giving away significant charitable sums of money. Guess not, what chums, so I rest my case.

  2. Harvey Reading August 2, 2018


    Again, I ask, did you, Mr. Allman, issue a GENERAL call for volunteers or did you simply pick on county employees? They may be called public servants, but that does not make them slaves to your whims. It seems as though your definition of the “all” in “all in this together” is quite restricted. California is NOT the south.

    • Stephen Rosenthal August 2, 2018

      I’m sure Sheriff Allman is too busy at the moment to respond. I was employed by a County and understood and accepted my responsibility, but just to make it perfectly clear to you:

      California Government Code
Section 3100-3109 states in part:
      It is hereby declared that the protection of the health and safety and preservation of the lives and property of the people of the state from the effects of natural, manmade, or war-caused emergencies which result in conditions of disaster or extreme peril to life, property, and resources is of paramount state importance…in protection of its citizens and resources, all public employees are hereby declared to be disaster service workers.

      Before entering upon the duties of employment, all public employees take and subscribe to an oath or affirmation set forth in the California Constitution, declaring them to be Disaster Service Workers in time of need.
      The oath or affirmation reaffirms an employee’s willingness to support and defend the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of the State of California.

      Pursuant to the California Emergency Services Act, any person employed by a county, city, state agency or public district in California is a public employee and considered a Disaster Service Worker.

      As a Disaster Service Worker you may be asked to carry on with your work as usual, or you may be asked to do something completely different than your everyday job. There are many different ways to assist during a disaster because each situation is unique. You may be assigned and trained to do a specific disaster response job such as working in a Department Operations Center or Emergency Operations Center; you may be called upon to assist your Department or other Departments with their response efforts; or you may be assisting nonprofit disaster response agencies such as the American Red Cross and Salvation Army.

      • Harvey Reading August 2, 2018

        From Section 3100 of the Government Code section extract you partially cited:

        ” …all public employees are hereby declared to be disaster service workers subject to such disaster service activities as may be assigned to them by their superiors or by law.”

        1. Did the sheriff contact the superiors of those he called in advance of calling employees directly?

        2. If not, what law gave him the authority to bypass involvement of the direct superiors of the employees so contacted?

        No one has yet answered my question regarding whether the private sector received a similar request from the sheriff.

        I also will mention parenthetically that this is legislation enacted during 1946 as I recall, and during the early 1950s, the latter in particular being a time when McCarthyism and the “red scare” were major driving forces in California and the country as a whole. In fact, the “oath” referred to in the code sections is the loyalty oath (Article XX, Section 3), which itself says nothing at all about disaster work. In short, it is legislation that should have been repealed decades ago. Though I signed that oath several times, not once was I informed that it made me a “disaster service worker”.

        • Harvey Reading August 2, 2018

          Article XX, Section 3 of the CA Constitution, that is.

  3. james marmon August 2, 2018

    Poor Hippie Joe, 85% of his ranch has burned, he probably lost all his marijuana gardens too. He might have to go into the gas station business now, oh wait, he’s already done that.

    Federal search warrant served at Upper Lake ranch; marijuana plants eradicated

    “UPPER LAKE, Calif. – Federal and local officials participated in an operation this week in Upper Lake that resulted in the eradication of hundreds of marijuana plants.

    The daylong operation was carried out at the Vann Ranch, located off Elk Mountain Road, beginning early Tuesday morning.

    The ranch is owned by Jose Fernandez, 57, known locally as “Hippy Joe.””

    Julia Carrera posted this on facebook last night.

    “HIPPIE JOE HELP NEEDED FOR HIS HEAD OF CATTLE IN UPPER LAKE!! 85% of his ranch burned and he has nothing to feed his cattle. We need two semi’s of hay, any kind! He can meet you at the Elk Mountain Forestry Station and drive you into the ranch for unloading. Squish shoot is needed! Please help! You can reach Hippie Joe directly at 707-349-5430. He authorized this message and the printing of his phone number. Please help! His grazing land is destroyed and he can’t loose his cattle too! His house and barn stand. ANYONE? Please share this message!”

    Julia Carrera – Cultivation Compliance Specialists

    Small Farmers Association board alleges improprieties, resigns en masse

    “MENDOCINO Co., 12/09/16 — The entire Board of Directors of the Small Farmers Association (SFA), a cannabis farmer advocacy group, resigned last month over allegations that an employee, Julia Carrera, was “abusing the responsibility and power vested in her.””

  4. james marmon August 2, 2018

    Jerry Brown: Fire-Fueling Heat Worst ‘Since Civilization Emerged 10,000 Years Ago’

    “Jerry ‘Moonbeam’ Brown blames California’s wildfires on global warming, trying to deflect attention on his record for the past 8 years of cutting firefighting resources, levying an illegal, unconstitutional tax on fire-prone areas as an act of revenge against mostly rural, Republican-leaning areas for the defeat of his ‘temporary’ sales tax increase back in 2011.

    Read the quotes below, and understand that what’s going on has nothing to do with the global climate, which anyone with a brain knows is controlled by God, not mankind. What’s going on is the sleight of hand at which Democrats are expert, laying the foundation for an ’emergency’ that must be solved by gov’t, and therefore taxes must be raised.

    Brown added that “since civilization emerged 10,000 years ago, we haven’t had this kind of heat condition, and it’s going to continue getting worse and that’s the way it is.”

    “Some people don’t want to accept that, some just outright deny it,” Brown continued.

    [NOTE: he is talking about those of us who understand that the whole ‘global warming/climate change’ hysteria is a hoax used by fascists like Jerry Brown to increase gov’t control and make the case for confiscating even more of our wealth]

    “I don’t say it with any great joy here – we’re in for a very rough ride. It’s going to get expensive. It’s going to get dangerous, and we have to apply all our creativity to make the best of what is going to be an increasingly bad situation, not just for California, but for people all over America and all over the world.”

    Brown said the state’s budget would also have to figure in the cost of increased fire fury in the upcoming years.

    [This from the guy that wants to spend upwards of $100 Billion on a stupid train to nowhere??? And tens of billions every year on freebies to illegal aliens, pay increases to gov’t union workers???]

    “So far, this fire activity is a small part of our very large budget, but it is growing and it will continue to grow as we adapt to the changing weather,” he said.

    The governor said that steps to combat global warming can still, eventually, “shift the weather back to where it historically was.”

    [How arrogant to believe that you as a Governor, who couldn’t balance the budget without stealing more of our earnings every year, can somehow change the global climate and the temperature of the earth? Wow, I want what he’s smoking!]

    Your thoughts???”

    -Tim Donnelly

    • George Hollister August 2, 2018

      JB is being true to his faith. He needs to be forgiven. When you see someone who is smart saying and doing stupid things, it is almost always a result of their faith. The founders never imagined the faith of living in harmony with nature. It is now the religion of State.

      It also doesn’t help that JB is an urbanite, and doesn’t know any better. He needs to be forgiven for that, too. Anyone growing up in rural California should and would know better.

      • Bruce McEwen August 2, 2018

        And you, George, need to be forgiven, too. First for having so much faith in forgiveness; and again you need to be forgiven for the audacious presumption of knowing what “The Founders” imagined, or in your words, “never imagined” — It’s not a Cardinal sin, George, not one of the Seven Deadly Sins, but it’s getting wayyyy up there, when you start reading the minds of Saints, right up there with seances, parapsychology, metaphysics and bending concepts (or forks, for kids) with your mind; all of witch is right out of Alister Crowley, and would result in getting you tortured to death or excommunicated, if we were not so splendidly advanced in our modern society, however, you need to cease, desist and repent before you can be fully and finally forgiven.

        Bless you, George; and I don’t think you even noticed your new convert’s post today, by that confirmed and damned old atheist, by none other than our own, George, our very own — “Saco”…did you?

        The fires inspired him, they did, and it just goes to show there’s no atherists in foxholes, dudn’t, George?

  5. Harvey Reading August 2, 2018

    LOL, James. It’s so nonsensical that it’s hysterically funny.

  6. Bruce McEwen August 2, 2018

    The old women forced to stand on the bus while the youngsters sit sullenly studying their text messages is not as foreign as all that — I see it every day as I sit and sip my coffee at Schat’s each morn — I watch the same kind of behavior across the street as people enter the courthouse and so far from opening the heavy glass doors for elderly women, I’ve seen young guys with sagging pants actually close it in their faces, as they stroll through oblivious to all but their own sweet selves — and the young damsels that accompany these stylish gents, with their babes in bassinets on their arms, struggling to keep up w/ their gallant cavaliers, will get the door shut in their faces, too. The younger women take it with the same stoical equanimity as the old ones do. All very commonplace and accepted, as far as I can see. The New Equality.

    • Eric Sunswheat August 2, 2018

      Notice that McEwen isn’t standing up for the old women either, as he sits…

      —-> County hopes longer psychiatric hold will stem conservatorships
      The Marin County Board of Supervisors unanimously passed a resolution last week to allow for an additional 30-day involuntary psychiatric hold, resulting in a total of 47 days of possible treatment for those deemed a danger to themselves or others. The additional hold will give clinicians more time to assess…

      • james marmon August 2, 2018

        That option “Section 5270” has been available to counties for several years now Eric, getting past the first 72 hours is the hard part, with due process and all.

        14-Day Mental Health Involuntary Hold and Certification Hearing (aka 5250)

        “If a person is detained for 72 hours under the provisions of Section 5150 of the Welfare and Institutions Code and has received an evaluation, he or she may be certified for not more than 14 days [in some counties an additional 30 days] of extended intensive treatment related to a mental disorder under the following conditions:

        The professional staff of the facility that provides evaluation services has analyzed the person’s condition and has found that the person is a danger to himself/herself or others or is gravely disabled.
        The person has been advised of the need for, but has not been willing or able to accept, treatment on a voluntary basis days of the end of your 72-hour hold.

        Within four days after the patient is placed on a 14-day involuntary hold (5250), there must be a certification review hearing (a “probable-cause hearing”). The hospital must present evidence as to why the patient needs further treatment. The patient, assisted by a patients’ rights advocate, can explain why he/she believes there is no need for further hospital stay. A hearing officer, court-appointed commissioner or referee will decide whether or not there is probable cause to keep the patient in the hospital against his/her will for a period not to exceed 14 days.

        If the hearing officer decides there is not probable cause to hold the patient, the patient may request to remain in the hospital on a voluntary basis. If the hearing officer decides there is probable cause and the patient disagrees with the decision, he/she has the right to request a Writ of Habeas Corpus and have a hearing in the Superior Court of the county where the patient is being held.”

        James Marmon MSW
        Former LPS Conservatorship Case Manager
        Lake County Mental Health

        • Eric Sunswheat August 3, 2018

          County hopes longer psychiatric hold will stem conservatorships
          By Sasha Landauer
          The Marin County Board of Supervisors unanimously passed a resolution last week to allow for an additional 30-day involuntary psychiatric hold, resulting in a total of 47 days of possible treatment for those deemed a danger to themselves or others. The additional hold will give clinicians more time to assess and stabilize clients, who are admitted to Marin General Hospital in Kentfield. “The legislative intent of [the resolution] is to really reduce the number of gravely disabled persons who we conserve,” said Dr. Jei Africa, director of the Behavioral Health and Recovery Services division of Marin Health and Human Services. He was referring to conservatorships, in which a judge appoints a legal guardian responsible for managing an individual’s financial affairs, health care and living arrangements, significantly curtailing that person’s civil rights. People placed under the extended holds are still entitled to due process through a review hearing after the initial 72-hour evaluation, or by filing for habeas corpus. In 2015, the latest year for which data is publicly available, 1,248 people in Marin were held for an initial 72-hour psychiatric evaluation. Out of those, 82 were assigned to permanent conservatorships. Similar resolutions extending the psychiatric hold have passed in Los Angeles, San Francisco and Solano, resulting in fewer permanent conservatorships—only 38 in San Francisco in 2015. In Marin, the resolution was originally proposed in May, but was put on hold to allow for more community feedback. Several members of the public spoke up at last Tuesday’s meeting in support of the resolution (no one spoke against it). The executive director of the National Alliance on Mental Illness, Kelli Finley, offered strong support for the resolution as an additional resource, and said she’s had discussions with over 300 family members and consumers dealing with mental illness. Alyssa Bradley, a lifetime Marin resident who said she was held—she believes wrongly—at Saint Helena Hospital for six days under an involuntary psychiatric hold, also spoke in support. “I do think this is a very, very, very good idea to have these 30-day holds…to fully assess [a client’s] situation before they are forced into a conservatorship,” she said.

          • james marmon August 3, 2018

            Yeah its the real deal, 47 days is much better than a full conservatorship. Mendo should look into it.

        • Betsy Cawn August 3, 2018

          As far as I can tell, Lake County no longer employs a “Patients Rights Advocate” (since the departure of the last one, some time last year). The Mental Health Advisory Board is so dysfunctional that reports from the Behavioral Health Director are nearly meaningless. Perhaps you could give them a hand?

  7. Bruce McEwen August 2, 2018

    If you don’t believe me, about the dearth of atheists in foxholes, just you jump up in the middle of a mortar barrage and shout, “All you atheists, on your feet! Fall in, front and center!”

    (Supposing you get any takers, calmly continue):

    “You, my fine fellows are about to be set aside, while the Lord God Almighty has his way with these other poor devils, so fall in along the line my sword point is drawing in the sand, and stand at ease, nothing you can say or do will change your fate, not your faith, your breeding, not even your highly vaunted social clout will have any impetus on the outcome, and I suggest you save the breath you may be tempted to expire in prayer, to take instead a good long last toke of some really good weed… you could be blown to bits or maimed for life, as we speak, it’s out of your hands, so let the guys with the saint medals and crosses around their necks have their little ceremony of piety, and long may they live or die as they may, but you my fine fellows will be going nowhere…”

  8. Bruce McEwen August 2, 2018

    Theological Survey of AVA Readership:

    Please take the time and expense to fill out this questionnaire – it’s not really a quiz, just looks that way, but check one box here and there as you feel inclined (our staff pschy docs will go thru it w/ a small toothed terrier, rest assured,

    So relieved to see our own great big beautifulkund, and sanctifried, our own prophet, John Sack O’ Wits… that he has, um uh, you know, what I believe he had something, they say, and opinions vary on waht it was he had, but they are variously called:

    1. an epiphany – ?
    2. an awakening –?
    3. a sobering-up –
    4. same-o-same-o

    This is not True or False; it is rather, did the subject Enjoy or Suffer
    The ensuing choices, 1., 2. Et.cetera

    • Eric Sunswheat August 3, 2018

      For a moment mate, perhaps put down that pint, with sky rocket insights, shrooming afternoon delight.

Leave a Reply

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