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Mendocino County Today: Tuesday, Sep. 4, 2018

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KELSEYVILLE FIRE contained at about twenty acres.  Massive immediate response to a location that was subject to a similar (pretty obviously deliberate) wildfire in that ag-WUI area.

At around 6 they ordered a hundred sandwiches for the crew on sight. Copters and dozers had it mostly surrounded, if not close to down, around five-ish and the SO issued a mandatory eva notification (I guess because they could — and during the previous similar incident many of the people uphill on Wight Way reacted pretty slowly, if they even got the message).  It's beautiful rural agricultural rolling farms and a strip of roadfrontage "country" homes, interspersed with real homesteads (the infill of pastural gentrification).

Somewhere in between, a calm friend of mine who tunes in to the scanners called to say that a new flareup had "escaped" the containment line.  These fire response agencies are SO on it.

Meanwhile, every new facebook post, Nixle alert, scanner hawk, and idle smart-phone commentator jumps in so there's info aplenty just not coming out of the Office of Emergency Services — oh, yeah, it's a holiday.

(Betsy Cawn)

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Ed Note: The Kelsey Fire (mentioned above) started yesterday (Monday) at 2pm, the day before (Sunday) the Ridge Fire also started at 2pm. Coincidence?

Red dots indicate start locations, a day apart, of Kelsey (left) and Ridge (right) fires. Black dot is where the River Fire started, a little over a month ago.

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I am deeply concerned about the Albion River Bridge “Geotechnical Investigation” proposed by CalTrans, possibly scheduled to begin as soon as September 17, 2018.

This project, described as an “investigation” to see if a replacement could be built on the west side of the current bridge, is conveniently a first step into the work required to complete a replacement of the Albion River Bridge.

This operation requires removal of approximately 120 eucalyptus trees along the steep sloped hills into Albion Cove and placement of 6 drilling platforms on the west side of the Albion River Bridge. Helicopter operations will require bridge closures of up 30 minutes over 4-8 weeks.

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

My question is why are we allowing this? The need to replace the Albion River Bridge has only been stated by CalTrans as a possibility and is not supported by independent technical investigations of the Albion River Bridge. In the past studies have confirmed that the bridge is structually intact and worthy of preservation; and recently timber experts Ben Brungraber and Dick Schmidt (both P.E.’s and Ph.D.’s) conclude in "Albion River Bridge Preliminary Condition Assessment” of 24 August 2018, that Albion River Bridge:

  • does not require replacement,
  • is in remarkably good condition,
  • appears structurally sound and safe for continued use, and,
  • can remain in service indefinitely with a proper retrofit, maintenance and repair program.

The Albion River Bridge is the iconic representation of Albion. Historically, it is unique, perhaps the last trestle bridge in use on a California highway and is listed on both the California Register of Historical Resources and in the National Register of Historic Places.

It is not my intent to put rehabilitation of the Albion River Bridge before public safety, but because of its historic and cultural significance, repair and rehabilitation options of the Albion River Bridge deserve a more thorough and transparent evaluation before proceeding with “investigations” that will permanently alter the appearance of the fragile area surrounding it and allow CalTrans to place a large foot in the door on the way to their preferred option: replacement of the Albion Bridge.

Sincerely, Marilyn Magoffin, Albion Ca

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HEADS UP, ALBION. Coastal Commission: Sept. 12. CalTrans is obviously planning to replace the Albion Bridge. The Coastal Commission will hear their application to remove trees and bore holes into bed rock on both sides of the existing bridge. Please visit the Commission Agenda, read the staff report and be at the meeting at Fort Braggs Town Hall on 9-12-18.

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Caltrans gets its way at a September 12 Coastal Commission meeting in Fort Bragg, dozens of low-altitude helicopter flights will take place over the Albion and Little River areas as part of a multimillion dollar “geotechnical investigation” aimed at replacing the historic Albion River Bridge.

The flights will involve large industrial helicopters dangling drilling equipment destined for the beach at Albion Flats. The flights will begin at the Little River Airport.

— WILL THE CHOPPERS FLY OVER YOUR PLACE? --- Here’s a link to a PDF document that shows the flight plans that Caltrans’ helicopter contractor has filed with the FAA. Is your property in the flight zone?

--- HIGHWAY 1 CLOSURES, TOO --- Because these flights will involve low altitudes and dangling cargo, Highway 1 will have to be completely closed during helicopter operations — for up to 30 minutes at a time, according to Caltrans’ plans.

We all know how fun those complete Highway 1 closures can be.

--- WHAT YOU CAN DO --- If you’re bothered by idea of low-altitude helicopter flights over private property -- and over the Albion River, a federally designated wild and scenic river -- here’s your chance to speak up.

Simply write a short email to the FAA *as soon as possible*, preferably today or tomorrow, Tuesday.

At the bottom of this email, you'll find a template that you can modify.

--- THE BIGGER PICTURE --- The “geotechnical investigation” is just one part of a project that involves spending almost $100 million -- a tenth of a billion dollars! -- of taxpayer money to replace a state and national historic landmark, an engineering masterpiece that two *independent* professional engineers have recently certified is in no need of replacement.

You can probably can think of other parts of Highway 1 that could use a tenth of a billion dollar upgrade. (Did someone say “Dark Gulch”?)

--- WATCH THIS SPACE --- The California Coastal Commission meets at the Town Hall in Fort Bragg on September 12, and Caltrans’ plans will be on the agenda. Watch this space in the days to come for more information on what you can do.


PS Here’s the email template!


1. Copy and paste the email text into a new, blank email

2. Tweak the email: Look for the stuff within [brackets] and edit it to be appropriate for you and your location

3. Make this subject of your email:

Caltrans/Kleinfelder/Crux/Mountain Air Congested Area Plan “CAP”: REQUEST FOR FAA NOTICE AND OPPORTUNITY TO COMMENT

4. Address the email to these people:

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THE MENDOCINO COMPLEX REPORT: The Ranch Fire remains 97 percent contained at about 410,000 acres. The last section of uncontained fire line is west of Stonyford near Bonnie View and Happy Camp. On Monday, firefighters will monitor interior burning and patrol fire lines in this area. Around 670 miles of fire line have been identified for suppression repair, though this number is expected to increase as more repair needs are reported.

New rodent holes southwest of High Glade Lookout 9.2.18 (click to enlarge)

Hand crews, dozers and excavators are used to repair fire lines by pulling dirt berms, spreading cut vegetation and building water bars to reduce soil erosion. Suppression repair is complete on the River Fire.

Natural regeneration southwest of High Glade Lookout 9.2.18 (click to enlarge)

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Dear AVA, I had just completed this little essay on Janice Blue for a series I'm doing on North Beach poets, when your Off The Record arrived (at City Lights where I get my AVA weekly). While it's not a direct response to your wondering about her in your August 15 issue, it is, I guess you could say, a psychic response.

Janice Faye Duff is Blue's birth name. I don't think Marlene is/was Blue.

I hope you will at least print this in Letters to the Editor, though it would be great if you printed it in the AVA. Blue deserves it.

Thank you for the AVA. It saves my sanity. Sharon

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My new book of poetry, Naked to the Earth, 348 pages, cloth, $24.95, is now available from Wild Ocean Press,

NEW: My Beard, Memoir Stories, (Spuyten Duvyil, 2018) Available on,

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I have an indelible picture in my mind of a poet dressed all in blue, head to foot, blue flowing long skirt and blue flying sleeves above her blue dyed hair, floating the early morning blue mist around the G Road lake on Albion Ridge. Floating in another world. It’s 1976 and I’m hosting the San Francisco-North Beach poets in readings at Pt. Arena and Mendocino, finding places for them to sleep. During the night in our cabin the poet Eugene Ruggles sleeping on the couch, gasped and screamed, suffering alcoholic delirium tremens. I’d heard of the D.T.s but had never witnessed it. I didn’t know what to do, his life seemed in danger.

In the morning my 15 year old son, Danny, disturbed by the convulsive screams that had kept him awake all night, was departing the door for the school bus coming down Albion Ridge, saw her cavorting in the meadow and gasped in dismay, “Poets! That one’s dressed all in blue!” Then, taking one last look at himself in the mirror, saw that he was dressed in red corduroys and a Mendocino Cardinal red jacket. Characteristic of his lasting honesty, he gasped, “and I’m dressed all in red!” I don’t remember Janice Blue’s poetry that night but I well remember my son’s bafflement. “Poets!”

Thirty-three years later, in 2009, I nominated and won for her the Pen Oakland Josephine Miles Poetry Award. Her book was of beautiful and profound poetry. I don’t think I knew then that she had spent the previous 11 years in prison for killing a well-known North Beach union activist.

Or, maybe I did know.

She told me from the passenger seat of my Valentine van, as we were driving from the Awards ceremony through San Francisco to the Lombard Street bus stop for the 5 hour trip back to Fort Bragg, of those 11 years, what she was in for. Three friends were drinking in one of the three’s North Beach apartment. He, a Union or Something leader/activist, began beating her, his lover. Blue managed to stop him. But in the doorway he turned on his woman again, started beating her again, cursing that he was going to kill her. Blue grabbed the gun the girlfriend kept to fight off the inevitable next beating and after another powerful slug, knocking her to the floor again, shot him. Blue was arrested. The enlightened North Beach community of poets and political activists, in shock, loss and endemic sexism, was enraged that a woman had defended her abused sister of the common practice of wife-beating. When the woman that Blue had defended, typical of abused women, testified in the trial against her on his behalf, Blue was found guilty of murder.

Blue spent all or most of her 11 years of imprisonment in the Chino facility. And wrote magnificent poetry. Maybe she’d always been a magnificent poet, certainly she identified as a poet, floats still in my G Road lake.

Blue was from rural Kentucky, from a violent childhood, but she maintained a love and loyalty to the place. She was a hillbilly, she laughed. We shared Southern roots. The startling, rhythmic, complex language her poems are rooted in poured forth in breathtaking meaning and beauty.

After prison she settled on the Mendocino coast in Fort Bragg. “I can never go back to North Beach,” she sighed in sorrow, homesickness, her poet’s heart and spirit. “I’ll be killed.”

There are two wonderful photos of us at the Pen Oakland awards ceremony. She continued to write extraordinary poems. Extraordinary partly due, for me, to the Southern language root we share — not the stereotypical “accent” mimicked to this day by prejudiced Northern “carpetbaggers.” Janice Blue managed to get intellectual, political and social, symbolic, music-rooted depth onto paper.

On the night she died, Nov 7, 2017, the poet ruth weis, living now on G Road, Albion, called me. Blue had asked her to.

When I moved into my love’s North Beach apartment here in Bob Kaufman Alley I found the 26-by-14 inch lithograph of Kaufman by Kristen Wetterhahn that she gave me at his death in 1986, and also the chapbook Closing Time Till Dawn by Kaufman and Janice Blue with the Wetterhahn replica on the cover. I knew that the long silent poet Kaufman had lived in this apartment complex a half block up from the original City Lights Bookstore on Grant. He’s been on all my rare walls since. Now I’m living in his Alley.

I see Janice Blue and Bob Kaufman and Eugene Ruggles still walking these North Beach streets, maybe drunk, but giant characters, great poets. Great accomplishments in this stupid, fowl-mouthed, evil country that tortured them. Tortures all of us.

Sharon Doubiago

September 3, 2018

San Francisco

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My Introduction of Janice Blue for Pen Oakland’s Josephine Miles Poetry Award, 2009

Janice Blue was a poet as a child in country towns of the 40s and 50s in extreme western Kentucky. She was a Bible scholar of her Daddy’s King James,’ and she got poetry too from her mother’s lap in her rocking chair—Stephen Foster’s. She went to St. Louis High School mid to late 50s, danced to Chuck Berry and studied the Appalachian poet, Jesse Stuart. After high school she worked as a secretary and cocktail waitress, and hung out with espresso coffee house folk singers and Bohemians in Gas Light Square. She researched folk music, folk verse, and folktales of all lands. She came to North Beach, singing and playing guitar and autoharp at The Coffee and Confusion on upper Grant, the Shiloh on Fillmore, the Drinking Gourd on Union Street. She began to follow Jazz People. She married two of them. In 1969 she had her poet epiphany, which included her name, Blue, and her clothing ever since. She became the organizer, moderator and fighter for open mic poetry in North Beach. She did The Coffee Gallery on upper Grant first, and then Peta’s on Columbus, The Spoken Spoon series, as she cooked and served and gave away 200 bowls of Cajun food every Sunday there. She fought with the Arts Council for full color posters and flyers. In the 80’s, she achieved land for writers and artists in both the Ozarks of Arkansas and Humboldt County of Northern California. In Eureka Springs she ran a weekly community poetry hour on the radio station KESP. The poet Paul Landry was her partner for nine years, they lived and studied in Japan for a year. She is the first woman to get a dispatch slip from The Inland Boatmen’s Union of the Pacific as an Ordinary Seaman. In significant ways she was close with Bob Kaufman, Jack Micheline, Wayne Miller, and Eugene Ruggles, as the famous posters show. Her books are In Good Old No-Man’s Land, Closing Time Till Dawn, with Bob Kaufman, Footsteps in the Empty, and now Will Have Been.

Sharon Doubiago

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(Click to enlarge)

(Photo by Susie de Castro)

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FIRE PREVENTION. George Hollister Comments:

Michael Toivonen has a good point about tree trimming around power lines. I do the same when PG&E tree trimmers come by, “Don’t trim it. Cut it off, or cut it down”.

Some people I know are confrontational to the tree trimmers, and don’t want trees or branches cut. They like their trees. So the trimmers make compromises. The trimmers follow the path of least resistance. Vegetation that should be cut is left.

If PG&E is to be held responsible for what happened last Fall, then PG&E needs to be allowed to cut any tree that can fall and hit a power line. That means cut trees 100 ft + from the lines. Of course, that’s not going to happen. Undergrounding is a good idea, but too expensive. Remember, the rate payers pay for all this. It seemed to me that insulating wires might work, but that doesn’t seem to be a good idea either. The best Idea I have heard is to shut off the power when there are red flag warnings.

As far as last Fall goes, that should be treated as an “act of God”. The fuel load that fed the fire was to blame. But intense 80 MPH “reverse winds”, at night, when the landscape was still dry is highly unusual, or unheard of. I have never seen anything like that. The ash from the Redwood Valley fire was coming down in Comptche, for heavens sake. We are West of the fire. The prevailing wind should be out of the West. This changed my thinking on what to expect from a wildfire. It did not matter what PG&E tree trimming did. In this case, nothing would have been enough to prevent down lines and fire.

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District Attorney Determines Fatal Officers-Involved Shooting Of Armed Automobile Dealership Robber Was Legally Justified

Dawn Center

The Mendocino County District Attorney has completed his full review of the officers-involved fatal shooting of Dawn Elika Center, age 48, formerly of Redwood Valley. Senior members of the District Attorney’s Office, particularly the District Attorney himself, have carefully reviewed the entire investigation relating to allegations of Center’s criminal misconduct, law enforcement’s response, and Center’s demise on February 13, 2018 in the immediate presence of members of the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office and the Willits Police Department. As mandated by the United States Supreme Court, the standard for an after-the-fact review of law enforcement use of deadly force is that of objective reasonableness.

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On July 27, cannabis farmer Daniel Morford of Heartrock Mountain Farms in Potter Valley nearly lost his home and farm in the Mendocino Complex Fire. And one year ago, farmer Ashley Oldham lost her home and nearly lost her life in the Redwood Valley fire. Both farmers will join host Jane Futcher on the next Cannabis Hour to share how the fires have affected the lives, and they'll offer some tips on how property owners can prepare for fire if and when it comes. That’s at the new time of 11 a.m. on Thursday, Sept. 6, on The Cannabis Hour, on KZYX.

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FROM THE MEDICAL FRONT, a reader writes: I had cancer surgery after a failed colonoscopy. They took out a foot of my lower intestine. Spent four days recovering at Fort Miley, then came home. Started chemo January 2nd, ended mid-June. CHEMO is a bitch; mine was six months, 14 day cycles so that every other Tuesday 9:30 am I'm checked in at Fort Miley. I get out Thursday at six after 48 hours of being hooked up through my (now gone) port. At home for 11 days feeling mainly dead, and every cycle it gets worse. Just about the time you're feeling 1/3 good, back for more. The VA docs and nurses were superb. I'm all good now. Docs said they got it all in that one section. Hey, I stayed over at the Seal Rock Inn on 8/30, so they could run a camera down my throat the next day. After they did that, one of the docs, who had already told me I was going to be fine, comes in and gives me a big grin and a thumbs up, and states firmly "You sparkle inside." Made me laugh. Medical weed, ingested orally, got me through what would have been an even more brutal regimen. Helps you sleep big time. You know how when you're seasick, you just wanna be knocked out, you feel soooo damn bad? Wanna know what chemo’s like? I always wondered. Now I know the answer. Take these three — tiredness, hangover and seasick. Judge each on a one to ten scale and combine. Yes, I said combine and don't be shy to throw up some 8's and 9's on the one to ten scale. There's chemo in all its glory. It's a bitch!"

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FOR THE FIRST TIME in recent memory an article by Mike A’Dair in last week’s Willits Weekly made us laugh out loud.

But it wasn’t funny.

A’Dair interviewed Second District Supervisor John McCowen about the reasons that pot permit applications have “slowed to a trickle” in recent months.

McCowen’s answers were jaw-droppingly delusional:

  • Staff turnover and program management turnover.
  • The rules need to be “streamlined.” (No specifics suggested.) “The Board of Supervisors is actively considering amendments to the cultivation ordinance that will help streamline the process,” said McCowen oxymoronically, adding, “I think it’s organizational. We have to get a more systematic process in place. … We have to be committed to doing whatever it takes to make this program functional.” (It’s not functional now? Who knew?)
  • The rules have changed over time. (McCowen: “It’s understandable that with all the changes going on there would be a lull.”
  • Not enough training and workshops for applicants.
  • No manager for the permit program. “I’m optimistic that we’re going to see dramatic improvement in the unit,” said McCowen. “I think there’s a critical need for an additional position in the unit, that of cannabis manager. That position would be between the program administrator and the ag commissioner. This person would run the unit and would answer to the ag commissioner.”
  • It has taken time for cannabis unit [now back] in the Ag Department to "write policies and procedures affecting how the several county departments involved in processing and regulating cannabis will work together."

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The funny part? The conspicuous avoidance of the fact that McCowen’s pot permit rules are ridiculously complicated, unworkable, contradictory, hopelessly muddled and even if you get a permit “issued” or “approved” (yer basic distinction without a difference but apparently there is one depending) you’re still liable to get busted.

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PROBABLY in the minority here, but in times like these we're all in one kind of minority or other anyway. But when Kissinger tottered to the podium to extol John McCain at last week’s interminable McCain send off, I thought, "Well, Satan must have been unavailable." Then, as the camera panned an audience that included Bush, Cheney, Joe Lieberman, Bill and Hillary, and Christ only knows how many other long distance killers and corporate bagmen, it was obvious that Beelzebub himself had clearly organized the service. Another McCain affair narrowly missed being flat out vulgar, with the casket exiting the cathedral as Sinatra belted out My Way. Nobody does it solo, least of all a Navy prince like McCain. I admired McCain's courage while a captive, but that's all I admired about him.

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MEANWHILE, at the Navarro Store, where the hits keep on coming, the enterprising Evans Family is producing and marketing “R&T’s Homemade Lip Smackin’ Jerky,” and darned if the modest package of “special venison” that Dave Evans laid on me didn’t get lips promptly smackin’. This is great stuff, and Dave has a whole rack of it in the always happening Navarro Store.

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COACH JOHN TOOHEY of the Anderson Valley Panthers writes: “Last Friday (24 August), in front of a fantastic turnout, our young AV Panther football team was met with a challenging introduction to the game from the much improved Cornerstone Cougars. Only 2 of the young players on this team have any high school football experience. Of the 13 suited up, we have 5 seniors, 4 of which have never played, and 2 of which are a couple of brave young women. The rest are a green group of 15 and 14 year olds. The Junior class at AV, despite having some key players from last season, have no representation on the team.

“With our scrimmage cancelled last week, our inexperience showed on Friday night as the Cougars went largely unchallenged all evening. There were however some bright spots. Irlen Perez, a first year QB, was borderline marvelous at times with the ball. Josue Angulo, who has never played high school football, was the team's leading rusher, Lucas Kiehl and Braulio Echevarria both played very well, and team captain Caleb Devine-Gomes scored our team's lone touchdown.

“The landscape of football is changing. Our small school league is barely recognizable from 10 years ago. Mendocino, Laytonville and Potter Valley have dropped their football programs. Point Arena is week to week. Round Valley has managed a team, and so have we. That’s what remains of the original NCL 3. The traditionally rural small town Mendocino County league switched to the 8 man format in 2011. For a time it was great. An epic clash soon ensued between our Panthers and the Point Arena Pirates, followed by a rise and fall of Mendocino, and a 2 year run of complete dominance from Anderson Valley.

“Those traditional NCL 3 rivalries are now just a memory. With programs folding, and bigger schools participation waning, our 8 man football league began adopting bigger schools in 2014. Tomales, Calistoga, Upper Lake and South Fork have all dropped into our 8 man league. Private schools Rincon Valley, Branson, Stuart Hall and Roseland prep are also 8 man squads.

“While this creates a competitive 8 man league, it also means that our young Boonville squad is going to have a tough road to travel as they work to improve, and as the private schools in our league are not required to follow rules regarding recruiting and influence, we are put at a distinct disadvantage now inside our division.

“We hope everyone continues to come out and support these young athletes' efforts. Our next home game will be on the 7th. Point Arena is scheduled, and we will wait to hear if they will be fielding a team that week.”

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LITTLE DOG SAYS, “I hope football doesn't die. Used to play some ball myself. Of course I was a three-sport dawg — running back, point guard, shortstop. Kept me outta trouble as a kid. Skrag? Hah! Juvenile Hall all the way!”

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FAIR NEWS. Time is moving fast and the fair is just around the corner!

Some important information:

This is your big opportunity to dress up or not, and have some fun in the Parade! Get your kids, friends, grandkids, club or neighbors and make a float, get out your bikes, wagons or be a pooper scooper and come on down to the parade. You have until Thursday September 13 to sign up for the parade on Sunday 9/16, either online at or bring/mail the form from the website to the fair office. The theme is A-Love-A-FAIR! Just think of all the great parade entries you can come up with about that!

Ted Williams, running for the 5th district supervisor, will be at the fair and would like to speak to constituents. Come find him around the Ag Building by the Apple Tasting booth.

And now ladies and gentlemen, the newest addition to the fair activities is the FREAKY FRUIT and THE ONE THAT GOT AWAY!

You can bring your extraordinary produce in (without having had to register back in August!) from Thursday 9/13 until Sunday 9/16 by noon to enter and possibly win a $100 prize for each category. The Judging will be done by the audience present so even if you don't enter, be sure to come to the rear of the Ag building at 1:30 on Sunday to clap and holler for your favorite fruits and veggies! Don't forget Fair Time is Fun Time, but only if you show up and make it so!

(Donna Pierson-Pugh)

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CATCH OF THE DAY, September 3, 2018

Chaney, Combs, Ruelas

LILLIAN CHANEY, Ukiah. Under influence, willful cruelty to child, probation revocation.

ROBERT COMBS, Lakeport/Ukiah. Smuggling controlled substance or liquor into jail.

FRANCISCO RUELAS, Santa Clara/Hopland. Pot for sale, pot sale, false ID.

Schick, Simpson, Tinajero

REECE SCHICK, Lakeport/Willits. Battery.

STEVEN SIMPSON, Ukiah. Community supervision violation.

MICHAEL TINAJERO, Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-alcohol, failure to appear.

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Dear Garlon Brain,

For purposes of clarity I will use the now meaningless words; republican and democrat, liberal and conservative, as they were used well before America was hijacked by venal greedy plutocrats.

Jerry Philbrick is a raging example of the remarkable success of the propaganda system and the republican led destruction of our educational institutions. It’s also the conservatives who destroyed any and all meaningful social programs in their hysterical hatred of anything social that doesn’t pertain to the twisted kind of socialism that steals the wealth of the republic and gives it to private interest. America has been gutted by these antisocial inverted socialist bastards!

We all know by now that in terms of ass kissing to power and greed, the distinction between right and left is nothing but word games and hype.

Any 4th grader educated in Korea, or Finland, or Cuba would be able to understand the acute brainwashing that Jerry is clearly a victim of.

“Environmentalists ruined the logging industry.” This is right up there with the twisted kind of illogic that says our mass murdering military saved Indochina by destroying it.

Obviously, the logging industry ruined itself by blindly treating a limited resource as though there were no tomorrow. Exactly the same for the sardine industry in Monterey and the fishing industry in general. Greed and overpaid visionless CEO’s also ruined our auto industry and most of our manufacturing industries.

Scapegoating is a common practice for people who have no interest in self education and the finer points of what is actually true or false.

Blaming enviromentalists for the logging industries suicide makes about as much sense as blaming children for the failed education systems, or Italians for the destroyed sardine industry, or workers and unions and Japan for the self destruction or our auto industry. It’s this kind of bigoted emotionalism that blames women for being raped and foreigners for our unemployment rates. Self delusion is not a family value or a civic quality.

Thanks to our country’s addiction to gross consumerism and the marketing strategies of the mind managers, the average American has been turned into a fool. Those who’ve not guarded their minds from the nonstop brainwashing are left to the plunder of words and thought and sanity. Being informed as apposed to deformed is a full time job in this sick society. The daily news is rife with the kind of meltdown this militarized greedy, arrogant, belligerent empire is well into. Not a good time in history for mental cowards. Being a reactionary fool only makes the world uglier. Rage and homicidal phantasies are not family values and have no place in civil society.

Don’t forget folks:




Ross Dendy


PS: Happy Labor Day in this labor hating job-off-shoring deformed economy spawned by conservative greed addicts and power junkies!

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When fire season ends, there is still action necessary. What about the inmates who fought those fires? While I spent 30 years in California law enforcement, and probably put some of them in jail, I believe these men and women deserve more than we are giving them.

Even conservative media such as the Wall Street Journal have been posting opinions supporting change.

Inmates selected for firefighting duty have been screened to pose little or no risk to the public. They place themselves at risk for the same injuries as any other firefighter, and for what? A dollar a day.

From a purely practical aspect, what would happen if all the inmate firefighting crews went on strike? Far less manpower and much higher costs to fight fires. From a societal view, we owe these men and women more. We owe them a decent wage and, after proving themselves on the fire line, at least a chance to put those skills to work once they have served their time.

Excessive restrictions on former inmates becoming firefighters need to be relaxed before the next fire season hits us. Legislators in fire-ravaged areas should be the first to step forward to right this wrong.

Tom Combs

Bend, Oregon

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The new MGM casino opened up in Springfield last week, almost $1 billion invested; it looks like after nearly 4 centuries New England’s destiny was all along to be a center for casino gambling, who could have predicted it? Then again, farming began to be played out here by 1840, and what real heavy industry there was lasted from 1870 to about 1970. Textile was the first industry in New England, and the capital from the region was poured into it after the Southseas trade began to decline during the war of 1812. Textile eventually moved on to the Carolinas and then Asia. Even tho I believe in free trade and free markets and all that, this progression into gambling as the economic bedrock of New England seems short sighted and doomed to failure. It seems to me (as a non economist) in the long run wealth is created by hard work, making things of value, and prudent investments in industries like mining, farming, fishing and manufacturing. Casino gambling has none of this.

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About 15 years ago Polly Klass was kidnapped by a man who’s still on Death Row being fed by the taxpayers as he watches tv all day. I think people remember that name. How do you think she felt in the back of that van, bound and gagged, driving around on back roads, all alone. How do you think she felt? And then being stopped by two deputy sheriffs and they could not search the van because they didn't have probable cause. Political correctness, again. Polly Klaas was in the back of that van. He later killed her and raped her and did everything he could do to her and then threw her body out on the highway south of Cloverdale. How do you people think about that? Why don't you Republicans stand up and say something about this? Why don't you? And you liberal Democrats sit there and sneer. Yeah, we want political correctness. We want open borders, rotten bastards. Another thing, what about Molly Tibbetts, a girl who grew up in Iowa and then being run down and killed and stabbed to death by an illegal immigrant. How do you think she felt? All alone. Scared. Look around. Look around your room at your kids! How you think they'd like that? You rotten liberals. Stand up and say something! Come on! Come back to me about this! I hope Donald Trump buries all of you people.

God bless Donald Trump

Jerry Philbrick


PS. The man who killed and raped and did everything possible to Polly Klaas, is still in jail. He will never get put away. He's eating the best food, three nice meals a day, shower, TV, probably gets to see his girlfriend, medical, nobody can touch him. Political correctness is to blame for that. They have a lawyer watching him all the time. He will never have any harm coming to in. And then that guy who just killed Molly Tibbetts. Nothing will happen to him. He will get cared for and groomed and put in jail and he'll have a liberal lawyer working with him and then a rotten liberal court judge will probably do nothing, I mean nothing! Isn't that something? Liberal judges let killers live. Come on people! Wake up! Get rid of the liberals!

PPS. Any liberal who wants to confront me face to face about this letter I would welcome it! Come on! You want to get your face slapped? Come on! If you dare. But you don't. You have no balls. None of you people do. You are just ugly rotten people.

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by James Kunstler

And so the sun seems to stand still this last day before the resumption of business-as-usual, and whatever remains of labor in this sclerotic republic takes its ease in the ominous late summer heat, and the people across this land marinate in anxious uncertainty. What can be done?

Some kind of epic national restructuring is in the works. It will either happen consciously and deliberately or it will be forced on us by circumstance. One side wants to magically reenact the 1950s; the other wants a Gnostic transhuman utopia. Neither of these is a plausible outcome. Most of the arguments ranging around them are what Jordan Peterson calls “pseudo issues.” Let’s try to take stock of what the real issues might be.

Energy: The shale oil “miracle” was a stunt enabled by supernaturally low interest rates, i.e. Federal Reserve policy. Even The New York Times said so yesterday (The Next Financial Crisis Lurks Underground). For all that, the shale oil producers still couldn’t make money at it. If interest rates go up, the industry will choke on the debt it has already accumulated and lose access to new loans. If the Fed reverses its current course — say, to rescue the stock and bond markets — then the shale oil industry has perhaps three more years before it collapses on a geological basis, maybe less. After that, we’re out of tricks. It will affect everything.

The perceived solution is to run all our stuff on electricity, with the electricity produced by other means than fossil fuels, so-called alt energy. This will only happen on the most limited basis and perhaps not at all. (And it is apart from the question of the decrepit electric grid itself.) What’s required is a political conversation about how we inhabit the landscape, how we do business, and what kind of business we do. The prospect of dismantling suburbia — or at least moving out of it — is evidently unthinkable. But it’s going to happen whether we make plans and policies, or we’re dragged kicking and screaming away from it.

Corporate tyranny: The nation is groaning under despotic corporate rule. The fragility of these operations is moving toward criticality. As with shale oil, they depend largely on dishonest financial legerdemain. They are also threatened by the crack-up of globalism, and its 12,000-mile supply lines, now well underway. Get ready for business at a much smaller scale.

Hard as this sounds, it presents great opportunities for making Americans useful again, that is, giving them something to do, a meaningful place in society, and livelihoods. The implosion of national chain retail is already underway. Amazon is not the answer, because each Amazon sales item requires a separate truck trip to its destination, and that just doesn’t square with our energy predicament. We’ve got to rebuild main street economies and the layers of local and regional distribution that support them. That’s where many jobs and careers are.

Climate change is most immediately affecting farming. 2018 will be a year of bad harvests in many parts of the world. Agri-biz style farming, based on oil-and-gas plus bank loans is a ruinous practice, and will not continue in any case. Can we make choices and policies to promote a return to smaller scale farming with intelligent methods rather than just brute industrial force plus debt? If we don’t, a lot of people will starve to death. By the way, here is the useful work for a large number of citizens currently regarded as unemployable for one reason or another.

Pervasive racketeering rules because we allow it to, especially in education and medicine. Both are self-destructing under the weight of their own money-grubbing schemes. Both are destined to be severely downscaled. A lot of colleges will go out of business. Most college loans will never be paid back (and the derivatives based on them will blow up). We need millions of small farmers more than we need millions of communications majors with a public relations minor. It may be too late for a single-payer medical system. A collapsing oil-based industrial economy means a lack of capital, and fiscal hocus-pocus is just another form of racketeering. Medicine will have to get smaller and less complex and that means local clinic-based health care. Lots of careers there, and that is where things are going, so get ready.

Government over-reach: the leviathan state is too large, too reckless, and too corrupt. Insolvency will eventually reduce its scope and scale. Most immediately, the giant matrix of domestic spying agencies has turned on American citizens. It will resist at all costs being dismantled or even reined in. One task at hand is to prosecute the people in the Department of Justice and the FBI who ran illegal political operations in and around the 2016 election. These are agencies which use their considerable power to destroy the lives of individual citizens. Their officers must answer to grand juries.

As with everything else on the table for debate, the reach and scope of US imperial arrangements has to be reduced. It’s happening already, whether we like it or not, as geopolitical relations shift drastically and the other nations on the planet scramble for survival in a post-industrial world that will be a good deal harsher than the robotic paradise of digitally “creative” economies that the credulous expect. This country has enough to do within its own boundaries to prepare for survival without making extra trouble for itself and other people around the world. As a practical matter, this means close as many overseas bases as possible, as soon as possible.

As we get back to business tomorrow, ask yourself where you stand in the blather-storm of false issues and foolish ideas, in contrast to the things that actually matter.

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

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Harvest/Home Invasion season again? Like moths to a light, these illegal unpermitted large grows attract their predators, they go hand in hand, remember last summer’s crime spree around Labor Day? Armed robberies and invasions? There will probably be more until it slowly fades. If you are old enough and have seen the before and now the evolving after of what is happening with the Green Rush, you can only hope the north coast can somehow return to tourism, small businesses, and safer family friendly communities. The problem is the area has become a magnet for those that are the unemployable zombie masses all in the last couple of decades and they are now trying to figure out what to do and where to go and what to steal. This is what happens when anarchy arrives and the criminal laws have been unenforced for so long and now the criminal laws are changed to the point of being a joke so the best way for the county is to use administrative law and liens and foreclosure which makes sense, and which should have started about 20 years ago, but it’s a start at least. Most law abiding legit people support the crackdown and whatever it takes to get the bad element out. The law is now 6 plants for personal use and this seems reasonable and armed thieves probably aren’t interested in a home invasion for it. Way past time for a clean-up and return to some level of sanity and small town life the area used to have.

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Indigenous photography panel discusses past and future

On Sunday, September 16, from 2 to 3 p.m., the Grace Hudson Museum will host a conversation on Indigenous photography. Artist and C.N. Gorman Museum director Hulleah Tsinhnahjinnie, and C.N. Gorman curator Veronica Passalacqua, discuss the genesis of "Our People, Our Land, Our Images," as well as exhibition themes focusing on representation, colonialism, cultural continuity, sovereignty, and the future of indigenous photography. The event is free with Museum admission.

Created by the C.N. Gorman Museum at UC Davis in 2006, "Our People, Our Land, Our Images" has traveled to museums and institutions large and small in the last 12 years. The Grace Hudson Museum will be the last venue to show the exhibit, on view until Sept. 30.

The Grace Hudson Museum is at 431 S. Main St. in Ukiah. The Museum is open Wednesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., and Sunday from noon to 4:30 p.m. General admission is $4; $10 per family; $3 for students and seniors; free to all on the first Friday of the month; and always free to members. For more information please go to or call (707) 467-2836.

Roberta Werdinger, Writer, Publicist

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Okay everybody. It’s Time For The First Annual AVA Logo Coloring Contest

In answer to all those bores who cry and bemoan the lack of fun in the AVA we are pleased to inaugurate the first ever and hopefully annual children’s coloring contest of the front page logo in the print edition – so bring a set of colored pens, pencils, crayons, watercolors, acrylics, oils, air brushes, felt tips, China bristle, camel hair, spray guns, aerosol cans, paint trowels, gold leaf knives and let’s see whose kids are the most artistic, eh?

We propose to our readers that they carrying old AVA copies wherever they go with their kids, if they have any, and if not, so they can provide entertainment in the form of a monetary challenge, to practice up for the contest, so they can set to work on repeated trials at coloring the logo, to keep them occupied while mommy and daddy are lost in their smart phone screens while driving and don’t wish to be distracted, and the poor kid is bored to tears, wailing at the top of his or her lungs, and needs something to do with their hands, rather than sit mesmerized in a the hand-held electronic device trance.

We will have to impose at least three separate age categories: Toddlers & Scribblers, 2-5; New Age Kids, 6-9; Magical Marvels, 10-13; Gifted Geniuses, 14 – 106…

Prizes, while worth every effort purely for the proof of the winner’s merit, will be liberally garnished with scads of cash money, to be determined by the Editorial Board, and the Awards may not be limited to an advertisement to sell limited edition lithograph prints, for readers to buy and frame and hang on their walls.

Are we ready for this…?

Okay, on your mark, get set – GO PAINT THAT LOGO!

(Bruce McEwen)



  1. Brian Wood September 4, 2018

    There is another way to look at the illegal immigrant crime problem. One report from Texas in 2015 could be interpreted as showing that you were safer around illegal immigrants than you were around native born Americans.

    “In 2015 Texas police made 815,689 arrests of native-born Americans, 37,776 arrests of immigrants in the country illegally and 20,323 arrests of legal immigrants. Given the relative populations for each group, he wrote, “The arrest rate for illegal immigrants was 40 percent below that of native-born Americans.”

    Any violent crime is a tragedy to the victims. Every criminal who commits a violent crime can be tagged with an infinite number of labels, of which citizenship status is but one. Causes of crime probably have far more to do with other social circumstances than that. Blaming illegals for crime is a gut reaction, not a logical conclusion.

  2. mr. wendal September 4, 2018

    re: BLUE!

    Nice essay.

    A correction. Her birth name was Janice Faye Adams and she was married to William Duff, taking his name.

    The story of the murder of Willie Dyble, while he was in his bed where he was found, had more versions. One includes the attempted murder of Ruth but there were no more bullets left after she emptied the gun on Willie. We’ll never know how it really happened. Alcohol is a mighty powerful substance.

  3. Harvey Reading September 4, 2018


    Almost as dismal as new Ukiah.

    • Mark Scaramella September 4, 2018

      Oh no, new Ukiah is much more dismal. Have you been to new Ukiah lately? I remember driving through old Ukiah with my father on one of his famous (to us) creamery tours in the 50s on old 101. All those dusty old towns at least had some character, some individuality of a sort. We lived for several years in Willows and someone had shot the giant SHELL station neon sign way up above the town in huge neon yellow letters so that at night it said “Welcome to your neighbornood HELL station.” A true landmark.

      • Harvey Reading September 4, 2018

        Last time I was there was probably 2000-01 for a work meeting. The area possessed no attraction for me then. I suppose I shouldn’t be so biassed toward a place, but there you have it.

        While living south of Sonoma during the 70s, hearing all the tales of “organic” flower children alighting in Menodo (plus the firing of the Ag Commissioner for telling the truth that everyone outside Mendocino County already knew) completely turned me off concerning the place as a possible abode, something I have yet to overcome, nor at this stage, do I even plan to try. I quite fully expect to die here in the land of the broomstick cowboy … a whole state which contains only about 6 times as many people as Mendocino County, assuming I’ve calculated properly.

        • Mark Scaramella September 5, 2018

          My brother started coming to Ukiah (and other Norcal county seats) in the early 70s as a Welfare Administrative Hearing officer (hearing benefits appeals from applicants who were denied benefits by county eligibility staffers). He told me that he reversed more than 90% of the denials by county officials in the dozen or so rural counties which were on his beat. His impression of this area even back then was that Mendo was a “cow county” like all the rest of them, with penny-pinching nitpicking welfare officials who prided themselves on keeping a lid on benefits, meager as they have always been. But, again even back then, Mendo was different rhetorically, with lots of “liberal” talk about how “progressive” they were while beneath the rhetoric they were just like all the other “cow counties.” As John Pinches once said (I think) Mendo has a lot of “Pickup truck cowboys” who have never seen a cow or a horse. The thing that makes Ukiah so dismal now is the sickly sweet syrup of fake liberalism poured over the same dry pancakes — still a cow town in a cow county — but with more retirees, more wine, more pot and more pretense. The Supes meetings are good metaphors for this dismal state of affairs. Not once since the “flower children” moved in and produced this lib-lab overlay have these new arrivals proposed a single liberal thing, as they vote for the hack Democrats 2 to 1 year after year. We get KZYX, personal use pot initiatives, hippie shack building code exemptions, no spray on me and my body-temple, no clearcuts or gravel plants in my viewshed, no GMOs, and other essentially libertarian me-first and NIMBY proposals — but never do we see childcare vouchers, living wage for local contracts, local preference, sunshine and open government proposals, oversight over helping agencies, etc. which would benefit the general public. So your “land of the broomstick cowboy” doesn’t sound so different after all…

          • Harvey Reading September 5, 2018

            No, Mark, it isn’t different at all, except for fewer trees, colder winters and lots of public land that some cow or sheep farmer or extractive corporation can’t force me leave … so far (not to mention people who have their headlights adjusted far too high … on purpose I suspect, perhaps thinking that illuminating the sky rather than the roadway is beneficial while driving at night).

            Public lands and small population are the ONLY things that attracted me here to the Midwest (they even have a town north of Casper named just that). The fear of martial law and overpopulation are what drove me from the state of my birth out West after 52 years.

            I would take slight issue with your brother’s assessment of cow counties. Calaveras County was kind of an exception in terms of its welfare department during my years there (1955-1968). It was headed in those years by a Miss Florence (Flossie) de Veggio (sp? it’s been a while), and she insisted on the form of address unless you knew her well. She was a strong believer in the rights of her clients and ensured that her staff did everything they could to provide services to them, including legal advice regarding the various welfare statutes. She was a strong woman who could back down the county supervisors, too, most of whom reflected the cow-(and sheep-)farmer mentality your brother described. My mom, a socialist cum New-Deal democrat, loved working for her. I shudder to think how things may be there now.

  4. chuck dunbar September 4, 2018

    Nice post, Brian Wood, on crime issues. Concise, clear and rational.

  5. Harvey Reading September 4, 2018

    The real criminals are those who rule us. We are their willing accomplices by letting them do so.

    Incidentally, Ron Unz (a conservative) had a very interesting piece on immigrants and low crime rates in border towns a few years back, too.

    The whole immigration “issue” is nothing more than one more way to keep us divided, thus more easily exploited and ruled. “Americans” love it that way, lapping it up and begging for more, while crying, “God bless America” and waving Chinese-made U.S. flags.

  6. Steve Heilig September 4, 2018

    Four numbers might now apply to the ranting and raving Mr. Philbrick: “5150”

    • Jeff Costello September 4, 2018

      I’ve wondering whether Philbrick is a real person or someone’s deadly accurate version of what the Trump phenomenon has wrought, brought out the worst of the worst. Reminds me of the letter I sent to the Seattle Times long ago, in support of a local Indian who was busted for catching salmon using a traditional and difficult way of catching them using a hand-thrown net from a rickety platform built over a heavy current. A pre-Trump fascist type responded by saying I had shown myself to be “unAmerican.” I knew they were out there, but with Trump it’s gone past the point of being just plain ridiculous.

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