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Mendocino County Today: Tuesday, Sep. 25, 2018

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ERNIE BLATTNER. A memorial service for Ernie Blattner will be held in Ukiah on Saturday, September 29th at 11 o’clock at the First Baptist Church, 300 West Smith Street, Ukiah. A lunch reception will follow the service.

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CALLED the coroner twice and wrote him once to find out the name of the man accidentally killed nearly a month ago on Highway 128 when his log truck, stopped for a repair, suddenly rolled over him. No response. We finally discovered a brief obituary for Guadalupe “Lupe” Becerra on the Chapel of the Sea, Fort Bragg, web site, then a full obituary for the poor man in the Fort Bragg Advocate, re-printed in this week’s paper.

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A CELEBRATION OF LIFE for Bonni Davi will be held at River’s Bend (formerly Wellspring) in Philo on Saturday, October 28, 2018 from 2-7pm. For more information call Seasha at 533-5094.


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US Forest Service

The Northern California Team 1 has been managing the suppression repair activities of the Mendocino Complex since Sept. 17. The management of the complex will transition back to the Mendocino National Forest on Monday, Sept. 24 with Jason Kraling serving as the Incident Commander. The Ranch Fire is 100 percent contained and the River Fire is 100 percent contained.

The fireline has been secured to prevent further growth. The remaining resources will continue to extinguish any smoldering vegetation near containment lines and fall trees that pose a hazard to firefighters working in the area. The forest is doing everything possible to reasonably reduce risks to the public and reopen areas. The goal is to reduce erosion and other impacts from suppression activities and there is still a lot of restoration work to do. There are 6.5 miles of fireline to repair.

Fire Closure Area: The Ranch Fire area is closed as described in Forest Order 08-18-15. The purpose of the closure is to provide for public safety and for the firefighters who are engaged in repair efforts within the Ranch Fire closure area. The closure area applies to all public use, including hunting, the use of firearms and off-highway vehicles. The northern half of the forest is open for outdoor activities.

The B-Zone deer hunting season continues until Sunday, Oct. 21, 2018. Forest visitors need to exercise extreme caution near the fire closure since heavy equipment and firefighting vehicles are utilizing area roads. Visitors can contact the ranger station nearest their destination for current information. For a high-resolution closure map, please use the following link:

Updates for this incident will be posted on Inciweb:, Facebook and Twitter. All inquiries related to this incident are directed to the Mendocino National Forest Public Affairs Office at 530-934-1137.

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Norman de Vall <> writes: The ACCESS Program returns to the air on KMEC, + KNYO and the internet at KMEC 105.1 Listen Now 10:30 AM Tuesday. Fast moving we'll cover numerous issues of the day and at 11:00, by conference phone connection, we'll be in open discussion with those supporting the retention of the Albion River Bridge.

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ERIN BROCKOVICH visits Redwood Valley to speak with 2017 fire survivors

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AN INTERESTING ITEM appeared in the minutes of the Anderson Valley Fire Protection Committee’s September 5 meeting concerning the Fire Department’s recent order for a new wildland fire engine. The engine order (for upwards of $300K, paid for via accumulated reserves, strike team reimbursements, and donations) was placed through CalFire’s existing fire vehicle contract with a few minor specifications for Anderson Valley. “Price increased several thousand dollars after signed contract due to steel tariffs. Concerns about future discussions and price advantages with the contractor were discussed. An email about these concerns was to be sent out to the contractor’s sale rep.”

AV FIRE CHIEF Andres Avila added Wednesday evening that negotiations with the sales rep continue. His reading of the engine purchase order allows for a limited set of circumstances for price increases and surcharges, but they do not include tariffs.

TRUMP’S tariff war with China is much more likely to negatively affect the wine industry since California wine is near the top of China’s retaliatory tariff increases. This particular war, like so many others, has kicked off without even an attempt at negotiations.

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LITTLE DOG SAYS, “Rabies shots for us dogs? Really? How about all the rabid people around here? Extremists coming in the window and they say we're the prob?”

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AV FOODSHED’S 13th annual C’mon Home To Eat in October 2018 is about to be in full swing. While the harvest is at its height, C’mon is a month-long celebration centered on eating local food at home and in town. For a preview, there will be a First Friday Farmers’ Market event (10/5/18) at the Boonville Hotel parking lot from 4-7 p.m. replete with music, local food/craft vendors, the apple press and fresh cider, food, and local businesses staying open (including wine tasting). All during October our local eateries will be highlighted, creating a myriad of community celebrations and serving especially local food. At each C’mon event there will be raffle tickets available (when you purchase an item or a meal) for a drawing at the Grange Holiday Dinner. You can also enter a raffle ticket each time you shop at a local farm stand during the month. Raffle prizes will be dinners at the Bewildered Pig and the Boonville Hotel/Table 128 plus gift certificates to local farm stands. There will be “shelf talkers” at the grocery stores — little signs that indicate locally sourced food. And there will be two opportunities to go gleaning for your own consumption or to donate to the Food Bank. If there is time left after the gleaning, the fruit, veggies, nuts, olives, etc. gleaners will preserve it too. AV Feed and Grain will be giving a 20% discount on plants and packaged seeds on Saturdays during October. Our local grain purveyor, Mendocino Grain Project will be featured all month and you will also be able to purchase MGP flour from heritage grains at Boont Berry Store. The real challenge is How Local Can You Go?

FOR THE FIRST WEEK in October C’mon Home To Eat features the KZYX Farm & Garden Show on October 1st with Ruthie; Mosswood a special local soup special on October 3rd; October 4th the Boonville Hotel/Table 128 community night (please make a reservation); on October 5th the First Friday Farmers’ Market; on October 6th Lauren’s community night, on October 8th the KZYX Farm & Garden Show with Gowan; and on the 9th the Senior Center dinner with pineapple pepper chicken (local peppers and mushrooms), local squash, tomatoes, cucumbers, and local apple cobbler for dessert. The Boonville General Store will have daily and weekly local specials all month. On Wednesdays Mosswood will have a special. Throughout October Boont Berry will feature local apple desserts, Paysanne hot apple cider, and the high school cafeteria will have its local salad bar. You can find the whole calendar and more information at

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THE LOCAL ANGLE: Segar's son and heir, Tom Segar, owned a ranch six miles up the Ukiah Road where he operated Soda Creek Press, aka Mysteries By Mail. Segar and his wife Lucinda lived out their final years in Ukiah. Their ranch is now owned by the Miner-Anderson family.

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MENDO’S CHIEF BUILDING DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL, Michael Oliphant, returned our call Tuesday about the availability of pre-approved house plans. Oliphant said the Building Department had indeed prepared the plans — one set for a 2 bed/1 bath home and another for a 3 bed/2 bath home — but they have not been released pending a review by the County Counsel’s office where good ideas go to die. But there’s at least some chance they’ll be available before the end of the year. The unfailingly personable Oliphant (in a department where people skills seem in short supply) said it was the County’s “goal” to provide the plans at no cost to people whose homes were lost in last year’s Redwood Complex fires, adding and that it would be “great” if they could be provided to the general public. Oliphant added that he’d let us know when the plans were ready for distribution. Oliphant’s message did not say, however, whether use of the plans would translate to reduced or no-cost permit fees, which was the context in which Supervisor Gjerde raised the subject of the free plans and specs in the first place. — ms

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Board of Supes Agenda September 25, 2018

Agenda Item 5a) — Discussion and Possible Action Including Acceptance of Informational Presentation Regarding Koff & Associates’ Base Salary Study and Evaluation of the County's Classification and Compensation Plan

(Sponsor: Human Resources)

Recommended Action: Accept Human Resources' informational presentation regarding Koff & Associates' evaluation and study of the County's Classification and Compensation Plan.

From the Presentation:

“Despite point values assigned, market trends require higher level pay to attract and retain staff…”

“Establish/memorialize a practice of measuring the market to attract and retain staff…”

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THE PRESS DEMOCRAT WONDERS, “Is Petaluma the new Healdsburg?” And describes Petaluma as a homespun farm town and pit stop for travelers bound for the coast or the wineries to the north…” Petaluma? Homespun farm town?

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THE 9th U.S. CIRCUIT COURT OF APPEALS has ruled that it's unconstitutional to ban homeless people from sleeping on the streets. “Just as the state may not criminalize the state of being ‘homeless in public places,’ the state may not ‘criminalize conduct that is an unavoidable consequence of being homeless — namely sitting, lying, or sleeping on the streets,’” Judge Marsha Berzon wrote for a three-judge panel. The ruling is a major setback for local municipalities trying to devise their own methods to keep the homeless on the move.

HERE IN “PROGRESSIVE” Mendocino County, despite annual millions shoveled to our helping professionals, who are roughly equivalent in their numbers to the County's total homeless population itself, homelessness, especially the grislier alcohol and drug-addicted casualties that people conflate with homelessness, there are no proposals, and less leadership on the issue to do something about it. (I wonder how many homeless people are sleeping on the streets in Judge Berzon’s neighborhood?)

THE MARBUT REPORT on local homelessness commissioned, paid for and ignored by the Supervisors, basically suggested ramped-up local care for local casualties, a meal or two for the transient sectors of the homeless population before they're refused further assistance and encouraged to move on. Marbut also pointed out that there is no reliable count of the homeless in Mendocino County, which makes it impossible to enact sensible programs to help those with roots in this place.

THE MOST RECENT "point in time" homeless count by self-interested local agencies whose state and federal reimbursements depend on inflated counts of the homeless, found 1179 persons living rough in Mendocino County. Marbut said a more realistic, less self-interested count would have revealed about 200 homeless in Ukiah, 100 in Fort Bragg, 20 in Willits, in other words, a relatively small number of people, many of them irremediably screwed-up, but a manageably small enough number that effective local government could effectively house and maybe even help them to regain themselves. As it stands, the County of Mendocino does nothing for the homeless but ensure they remain unhoused and their pathologies unaddressed.

FROM MIKE JAMISON: The Editor mistakenly characterized Mr. McCowen’s night time activities as a cleaning up the river operation. In fact, the Supervisor does that, often with help, during daylight hours, as documented in UDJ reports over the years. That is fine and legal. At night time he is telling people, at a minimum, that their presence down by the river is illegal per local ordinance. This includes non-homeless folks out walking, who are told they are trespassing (even though his ordinances identify only camping as prohibited behavior). Bruce McEwen’s idea just has too much plain common sense to it for many our local leaders to take up…but elsewhere: The eviction of the clean, pristine encampment at the EDD parking lot has been nixed. Safe ground sites like this are the way to go as we prepare to build and assure shelter for every damn sapien choosing to not sleep “rough”. The courts also ruled that Orange County can NOT restrict night time access to a portion of the river where there is an encampment. And, in Redding, police are pushing back against anti homeless vigilantes who have gone into encampments to aggressively confront the homeless. This can be tested when I get back to town by me resuming walking along the river, which is claimed to be trespassing. I have now read enough news accounts of court actions to know that is a bunch of bull. (Mike Jamison)

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HAS MIKE SWEENEY REALLY LEFT? Former Mendocino County Solid Waste Management Director (and presumed wife-bomber) Mike Sweeney’s highly contorted approach to solid waste systems seems to have infected his young replacement, Mr. Robert Carlson.

CARLSON has proposed garbage rate increases based on a formula that is so convoluted, so beyond comprehension, that it is undecipherable. Rates apparently would go up to a variable degree depending on how much recycle value the waste stream has (which isn’t all that much lately, hence the new higher garbage rates — but hey! with Trump’s tariffs maybe American waste value will go up!). So your guess is better than mine about what it will mean for the average ratepayer.

TRY THIS, garbage rate payers: “The gross market commodity value of Discarded Recyclable Materials collected by Grantee pursuant to this Agreement as mixed Recyclables shall be determined by the current average composite market value per ton for each category multiplied by the market value price including any California Redemption Value, FOB at the Designated Recycling Processing Facility. An increase in rates or a decrease in rates is determined by applying the current Composite Market Value to the Fee/Credit Schedule/Market Value Grid. With tons reported for Discarded Recyclable Materials (single-stream) collected from each area, a fee/credit per ton will be applied against the number of tons divided by revenue to calculate a percentage change in the rate. See Fee/Credit Schedule/Market Value Grid. Two to four months before the end of the Rate Period, beginning with the Rate Period ending December 31, 2017, Grantee shall calculate the average Composite Market Value per ton over the previous 12 months, and apply it to the Fee/Credit Schedule/Market Value Grid to determine a fee or credit. Rates will be adjusted by a fee or credit times the number of tons collected divided by revenue.” Got that?

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THERE’S YET ANOTHER RETROACTIVE ITEM on Tuesday’s Board of Supervisors Consent Calendar. And, again, as is all too common, no explanation for why the County couldn’t have put this $58k-plus item on the regular agenda in advance for possible discussion or approval. How much more of this are the Supes going to tolerate? “Item 4g) Approval of Retroactive Agreement with North Coast Opportunities in the Amount of $58,433 to Provide Child Care Navigation and Trauma-Informed Care Training for the Period of July 1, 2018 through June 30, 2019 Recommended Action: Approve retroactive Agreement with North Coast Opportunities in the amount of $58,433 to provide child care navigation and trauma-informed care training for the period of July 1, 2018 through June 30, 2019; authorize the Health and Human Services Agency Director or designee to sign any future amendments to the Agreement, due to the State increased allocation, that do not cause the Agreement amount to exceed $88,433; and authorize Chair to sign same.”

IF IT WERE POSSIBLE to follow the money, you would find that it goes to the usual suspects for doing what they do best — shoving public money at each other for nebulous purposes. And talking about equally nebulous subjects, on the clock, at endless donut meetings. Any human being, most human beings, know instinctively how to comfort their fellow beings, including distraught and/or traumatized children. If you need $58,000 worth of instruction on how to do it….

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by Fred Gardner

Earlier this month the US Drug Enforcement Administration authorized UC San Diego’s Center for Medicinal Cannabis Research (CMCR) to import cannabis from Tilray — a Canadian corporation — to test its effectiveness in reducing “Essential Tremor,” a condition affecting 10 million US Americans (especially the elderly).

Last week Gov. Jerry Brown vetoed a bill allocating $2 million the CMCR. Brown's statement said the bill would violate California's Adult Use of Marijuana Act, passed by the voters in 2016. Asked which provisions of AUMA were supposedly violated, Dale Gieringer of California NORML forwarded this explanation from the office of Assemblyman Tom Lackey (Republican of Antelope Valley-Santa Clarita, who introduced the vetoed bill):

The Governor was taking a rigid interpretation of language in Prop 64 regarding the CMCR’s mission:

(e) The Controller shall next disburse the sum of two million dollars ($2,000,000) annually to the University of California San Diego Center for Medicinal Cannabis Research to further the objectives of the Center including the enhanced understanding of the efficacy and adverse effects of marijuana as a pharmacological agent.

AB 1996 envisioned a slightly broader mission for CMCR, eg:

(2) The program shall develop and conduct studies intended to ascertain the general medical safety and efficacy of cannabis and, if found valuable, shall develop medical guidelines for the appropriate administration and use of cannabis. The studies may examine the effect of cannabis on motor skills, the health and safety effects of cannabis, and other behavioral and health outcomes.

Gieringer added, "They were surprised by the veto and believe it reflects a misunderstanding by the Governor. In fact, CMCR is already doing such studies. It’s hoped that the misunderstanding can be ironed out in legislation next year. Meanwhile, yet one more year of unnecessary bureaucratic delay and obstruction for MMJ research. Among other things, AB 1996 would have finally authorized the CMCR to cultivate its own marijuana for research purposes."

Jerry Brown Gets Real

Recently Jerry Brown appointed Juan Pedro Gaffney, an old school chum, to the Workers Compensation Board, a $153,000/year job. Willie Brown noted in his SF Chronicle column that Jerry was finally coming out as a pol who does favors for his friends.

Jerry Brown's well-publicized favor to Gaffney was a misdirection play that deflected attention from the $15 billion gift the governor lavished on his friends at PG&E by signing legislation — which his staff helped push through — that will make California taxpayers financially responsible for the 2017 Wine Country fires, every one of which was caused by fallen PG&E power lines or sparking transformers. PG&E's responsibility for starting each of the 11 fires was documented by phone calls to fire departments. There was no ambiguity as to cause.

While the legislators were being lobbied to let PG&E off the hook, a media campaign bombarded the public. Earnest ads emphasized the reality of hotter summers and greater fire danger in the years ahead, which we, the people, have to expect and budget for. No mention was made of exonerating PG&E financially for 2017. The ads were all about the future.

Another arm of the campaign featured a computerized war room from which highly alert PG&E operatives will from now on scan the forests of California while monitoring all the emergency phone lines.

The obvious way to reduce the fire danger in Northern California — bury the power lines — never gets mentioned. It would be labor-intensive and the workers would have to be paid.

PG&E ads are always politically correct in terms of personnel. The recent non-stop campaign (which ended as soon as Brown signed the bill) emphasized that PG&E interacts closely with police and fire departments and should be honored as First Responders.

A Collision in My Memory

News of Jerry Brown rewarding his old friend — plus the Center for Medicinal Cannabis Research (CMCR) not getting $2 million allocation — caused a collision in my memory.

When California passed Prop 215 in November, 1996, I started compiling a chronology of the medical marijuana movement. I was then managing editor of Synapse, the internal weekly at UCSF, staffed mainly by medical students, I was in close contact with Tod Mikuriya, MD, the world's leading authority on cannabis as medicine, and Dennis Peron, who was fighting in court to reopen the San Francisco Cannabis Buyers Club. Their input helped inform the chronology.

Here's the entry for February 6, 1997:

(Click to enlarge)

"Bay Lawmaker Aims to Help Pot Law" —SF Examiner headline. State Sen. John Vasconcellos announces that he will introduce legislation to "help implement" Prop 215. Americans for Medical Rights claims credit for helping to draft the aptly named "enabling legislation." Dennis Peron is suspicious. "Prop 215 doesn't need any help."

Marijuana reform advocates considered Vasconcellos a major ally, but Dennis's suspicions turned out to be well-founded. "One key provision of Vaconcellos' measure," the Examiner story stated, "would be a $6 million grant to the University of California to study possible medical uses of marijuana." Eventually Vasconcellos did get the legislature to grant $8.6 million (paid out over three years) to create the Center for Medicinal Cannabis Research at UC San Diego. It would be co-directed by Igor Grant, MD, and Drew Mattison, a clinical psychologist.

One day from my desk at Synapse I telephoned the CMCR and reached Drew Mattison. As diplomatically as possible I asked why the UC research center was being set up at UC San Diego rather than UC San Francisco, where there were cannabinoid researchers on the faculty — Donald Abrams, Lester Bornheim, Ian Meng, Reese Jones — and a community that would support research projects. San Francisco was the epicenter of the AIDS epidemic and the movement that led to Prop 215. The research center belonged there.

Mattison was astonishingly candid. He said Vasco had steered the Center to San Diego out of friendship for Mattison's life partner, David McWhirter. Almost the first thing he told me was (paraphrase) “I’m a gay man and I’ve been in a monogamous relationship for 20 years with an older man named David McWhirter and we have published a book on the subject of gay relationships. Vasco was David’s very close friend in high school."

California voters intended Prop 215 as a rebuke to the federal government. We revised state law in defiance of the federal prohibition and despite the warnings of the medical establishment. Vasco's CMCR restored compliance, going hat in hand to the National Institute on Drug Abuse and the Drug Enforcement Administration to request cannabis grown at the University of Mississippi. Tod thought the CMCR — created in response to Prop 215 — should study the effects of the cannabis being grown and used legally by Californians. The CMCR applied to NIDA and after a year of bureaucratic stalling and DEA inspections of each researcher's lab to make sure that the Devil Weed would be locked in a safe that was properly embedded in cement, a product from Ol' Miss would be shipped. Six studies were conducted under CMCR auspices and all would confirm that cannabis provides medical benefit.

When Prop 215 passed, Californians knew of only one MD who would readily approve cannabis use for less-than-grave conditions. When the Clinton Administration issued its grand response to Prop 215 —a December 30 press conference at which Drug Czar McCaffrey, Attorney General Reno, Health & Human Services Director Shalala, and Alan Leshner of NIDA — the graphic focus was a chart entitled "Dr. Tod Mikuriya's..." The list had been culled from the internet by an Army officer named DesRoches, one of many aides brought over from the Pentagon by McCaffrey. The federal officials threatened to pull the licenses of any cannabis-approving doctors.

The Soros-funded "professionals" who had taken control of the Prop 215 campaign immediately sought an injunction to prevent the Drug Czar from punishing California doctors who authorized patients to use cannabis. This very good deed was orchestrated by Ethan Nadelman, director of the group now known as the Drug Policy Alliance. It was also a very bad deed because Tod Mikuriya was not asked to join the long list of co-plaintiffs.

Vasconcellos had been in on the decision to exclude Mikuriya from co-plaintiff status. Nadelman regarded Tod as "a loose cannon who couldn't be trusted to stay on message," according to Randy Nathan, a confidante of Vasco's. Marcus Conant, a UCSF professor who had treated Kaposi's Sarcoma patients, was an excellent good choice for lead plaintiff. But there were some 20 co-plaintiffs, and excluding Mikuriya was blacklisting plain and simple, a consolidation of power by Nadelmann's faction. Randy Nathan recalls Vasco chuckling over the choice of Conant: "We knew he'd stay on message because he was trained by the Jesuits."

If Tod Mikuriya had been one of the co-plaintiffs on Conant v. McCaffrey, the Medical Board of California might have thought twice about prosecuting him. His loose-cannon tendencies — meaning his unwillingness to repeat soundbites provided by Ethan Nadelman — would not have kept federal judge Fern Smith (a Reagan appointee) from ruling in favor of Conant on First Amendment grounds. Nor would Tod's name on the list of co-plaintiffs have led to a different constitutional interpretation from Judge William Alsup, who made Smith's temporary junction permanent, forbidding the feds to punish California doctors who discuss cannabis as a treatment option with their patients.

Excluding Tod Mikuriya from the Conant suit was blacklisting. There's no other word for it. Removing him and Dennis from the leadership of the medical marijuana movement were necessary first steps on the road to Legalization.

"Misunderstanding: An attempted rip-off involving parties who have to continue their relationship.” —The AVA 12/5/90

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CATCH OF THE DAY, September 24, 2018

Binder, Brown, Burgess, Lovato

JENNIFER BINDER, Ukiah. Vandalism.

DOUGLAS BROWN, Laytonville. Domestic abuse.

JOELLE BURGESS, Ukiah. Under influence, probation revocation.

RICHARD LOVATO, Ukiah. Probation revocation.

McCall, Otwell, Parker, Sallinen

ROBERT MCCALL, Caspar. Domestic battery.

JONAH OTWELL, Ukiah. Unspecified violation. (Frequent flyer.)

JACOB PARKER, Ukiah. Suspended license, disobeying court order.

AMBER SALLINEN, Albion. Domestic abuse.

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by James Kunstler

The Resistance didn’t quite hit it out of the park with Christine Blasey Ford. After all, how effective for the purpose of character assassination is a claim of “attempted rape” without even a when-and-where piece of the story? So the DC Dem-Progs have gone to their bench and found a real thumper in Deborah Ramirez who steps forward now with the ultimate giant-killer story of Brett Kavanaugh “thrusting his penis in her face and causing her to touch it without her consent” (as reported in The New Yorker Magazine by Ronan Farrow, America’s self-appointed great white penis-hunter, and estranged son of filmmaker Woody Allen, infamous, reputed penis-mishandler).

The charge was obviously crafted to prompt the news media to repeat the word “penis” as many times possible because the word itself has terrifying powers to shock women’s sensibilities. And understandably so. It’s not for nothing that the rakes of merry old England referred to the male generative organ as “the frightful hog.” In our time, a better analog might be the ghastly interloper aboard the space-tug Nostromo in the classic sci-fi shocker Alien. Remember how it burst out of astronaut John Hurt’s chest, all slimy, drippy, and goopy, and sort of water-skied out of the sick bay to hide in the bilges? Dear me! Almost gave me a heart attack at the time and I was barely into my thirties.

Fast forward about seventy minutes to the climactic third reel where Warrant Officer Ripley (Sigourney Weaver) is preparing desperately to escape the wrecked Nostromo in her space lifeboat… and look who’s aboard staring her right in the face: the now full-grown alien beast, all goopy and tumescent, a veritable penis-of-death from another world. The movie came out in 1979, just a few years before the alleged facial penis-thrusting in the Yale freshman dorm. One wonders if Deborah Ramirez had seen the film and was possibly suffering from post-Alien-shock syndrome (PASS).

Here the Resistance has come up with a story so vivid and awful that it almost guarantees conviction without any necessary proof. I’m sure it will do the trick. It’s certainly an improvement over the old Anita Hill tale of Clarence Thomas noticing a pubic hair on his Coke can. A mere hair! The proto-Resistance of 1991 was far too timid in that case, and Mr. Thomas actually landed on the supreme court! Apparently, they learned their lesson on that one: When swinging for the fences, haul out the heavy lumber.

The part that I find interesting in the New Deborah Ramirez accusation is this:

“After six days of carefully assessing her memories and consulting with her attorney, Ramirez said that she felt confident enough of her recollections to say that she remembers Kavanaugh had exposed himself at a drunken dormitory party, thrust his penis in her face, and caused her to touch it without her consent as she pushed him away.”

Six days of meditation, prayer, memory-wracking, attorney-prompting, and — no doubt — earnest and heartfelt coaching by Resistance memory-recovery shamans, overcame the effects of 35 years and, say, seven Jello-shots to retrieve the details of that long-ago encounter. (No one mentioned bong-hits, at least not yet, but how could there not have been, on top of the drinking games?) But the real gold in the story comes in this revelation:

“Ramirez, who was raised a devout Catholic, in Connecticut, said that she was shaken. ‘I wasn’t going to touch a penis until I was married’.”

Really? Maybe she should have gone to the weekly meeting of the Yale Freshman Women’s Math and Physics Circle instead of an apparently mostly male dorm party convened for the purpose of getting shitfaced drunk with the greatest possible efficiency. Did she not know what was going on there? Was she forced to stick around? Did the boys make her down those shots?

Now that all American womanhood has been faced, shall we say, with the image of the looming universal horrifying penis, all bets on the Kavanaugh nomination are off. But the gambit does raise the possibility that it will be answered by some rough justice from the conservative side of the field. It will be interesting to see in the weeks and months ahead how many Democratic house and senate members will be revealed as would-be rapists and sluts. I can’t imagine that none of them have secrets to hide. In fact, I would take the Ramirez accusation as tantamount to a declaration of war by the Resistance. And as the old saying goes, all’s fair in love and war.

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

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THE 49ERS SPENT $137 MILLION LAST YEAR, locking up their quarterback of the future. They just didn’t expect it to be the distant future. The team confirmed Monday that Jimmy Garoppolo will miss the rest of this season, having sustained a major knee injury in Sunday’s ugly loss to the Kansas City Chiefs. So, now what? It may be time to look at their quarterback of the past.

That’s right. Colin Kaepernick is rested and ready, and could stage the most publicized comeback in recent sports history. (With all due respect to Tiger Woods.) Imagine the hype and hope surrounding Kaepernick’s return to Santa Clara? It would break the Internet, but not the bank. A Kaepernick return would largely depend on whether the 49ers would be willing to take such a huge gamble. Since coming on board as the new football brain trust prior to last season, general manager John Lynch and head coach Kyle Shanahan have made it clear that Kaepernick’s not their kind of QB. No. 7 had a shaky end to his career in red and gold. The cloud of controversy surrounding his kneeling anthem protests, conducted to draw attention to police brutality and racial discrimination, overshadowed his play on the field. The one-time phenom ended the 2016 season with decent numbers and a strong finish, throwing 16 TDs and compiling a respectable 90.7 quarterback rating, but there were still questions about his ability to read defenses, his study habits and his long throwing wind-up. All those questions would remain — and Kaep hasn’t played in a season and a half. But his lawyer, Mark Geragos, was quoted just last week saying there may be movement in negotiations with some other teams. The Raiders were among those rumored interested. So, that lends one to believe Kaepernick has kept himself in shape and might be ready to go. If social media is any indicator — of anything but insanity — then the fanbase is ready. The tweets were flying all day Monday, and a betting line was established on whether Kaepernick would come home. (Vegas thinks it’s a long shot.) It’s all more than a bit outlandish, but the 49ers have to face reality. A once-promising season lies in smoldering ruins after three short weeks.

— Al Saracevic, SF Chron

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by Franklin Graham

No matter what side of the Kavanaugh nomination controversy one comes down on; it is clear that reason has taken a back seat to raw politics. Now a second, and possibly a third, woman has come forward with an accusation. Where does this leave us, conservative or progressive?

As background, most of us remember a culture of the time when young Kavanaugh was in high school and college as one that was “boys will be boys.” If you were a young, single, unattached male, it was not the exception that many women found themselves compromised by young men feeling their oats. For many women the threat never materialized beyond an uncomfortable push back. But for too many, the man did not take the hint and pressed on to the point of groping, attempted rape, and beyond. Even in my college days, not being a frat boy, I remember going by frat row on weekends and noticing the raucous behavior of hormone and beer induced behavior. A constant tension existed between the fraternities and the college officials, townies, and students who were not part of the “scene.” Should it surprise us, then, our culture until recently was one strewn with instances of men taking advantage, especially when taught to believe that the world was their oyster?

There is now the claim of Brett Kavanagh of going too far. No allegation of rape has been leveled. The women are not claiming that. What they are exposing is the attitude of too many men who may have believed then, and may still, that women are somehow inferior, even that they can be seduced with impunity. Is this why Kavanaugh is quoted as saying that what happened at his prep school should remain unspoken of? It is an attitude far too common to be ignored, especially when it comes to a man who would have the privacy and personal security rights of all Americans in his hands as a Supreme Court Justice.

One would have hoped that the president would not have been so crass as to nominate to the high court such a partisan advocate of hard, dare I suggest harsh, ideology, one with a long judicial record of restricting the rights of minorities and individuals who do not happen to fall into his conception of the “right kind of people.” Nor would we want to see a radical nominated who believes that anything goes, that there are no limits in the opposite direction. Americans love to say that what is important is that a justice be impartial, fair, and just. A justice with a preconceived ideology is unfit to serve. This is not to suggest that he or she is unfit for any number of responsible roles in society, just that it is not what one wants in a person who has the power over other people’s lives. This is, I believe, at the heart of the concerns of the women who have come forward.

Naturally, Brett Kavanaugh wants to reach the pinnacle of his profession, that of a Supreme Court Justice. In his own mind, he may have forgotten, or half-forgotten, the incidents in question. Perhaps he remembers and simply is trying to blot out as “youthful indiscretions.” People do go through life amending their memories, willingly or not so willingly. What is clear, however, is that what he claims to remember is not the same as that of the women involved. Thus, we are left with the muddied waters of “he said, she said.”

But power being what it is in today’s political climate, winning is EVERYTHING. And in this there is a tale of political life gone off the rails. In the long struggle to achieve a more perfect union, America needs a judiciary that is not built upon preconceived notions. Nor should any American want to view a judiciary that exists solely for the privileged, the wealthy, and those who would restrict the rights and opportunities of others. Could Brett Kavanaugh rise above his own preconceived ideology and become a shining light on the bench? The odds are not good. Nor would there be any way to restrain him.

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I was heartened to read that SMART has received all funding needed to extend operations to Windsor.

However, that good news was tempered by SMART board member Deb Fudge’s statement regarding service to Cloverdale. While it is true that the original proposal was Larkspur to Cloverdale, I believe it is time to take a larger regional approach and seriously discuss service that adequately addresses real needs.

Highway 37 has become increasingly fraught with congestion and, as we saw last winter, closures due to flooding. Traffic to the north of Healdsburg is nominal in comparison, and I believe that larger challenges deserve larger solutions.

Extend SMART to Vallejo, connect to BART and then we can talk about moving north on Highway 101.

Joe Plaugher

Santa Rosa

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I know that Kavanaugh is guilty because he’s been accused. But that’s not why I don’t like him. My gut tells me that he’s more mouse than man. It’s not so much that he’ll be a Trump tool, but that he’s just another shyster dweeb, up there with Sessions and Rosenstein. And then there’s Roe vs. Wade.

“He became visibly uncomfortable when Sen. Kamala Harris attempted to pull out Judge Kavanaugh’s actual views on the legality of abortion, and again cited judicial independence as the reason he could not comment. He then all but burst into flames when she moved on to the question, ‘Can you think of any laws that give government the power to make decisions about the male body?'” This and more can be found here:…

My guess is that he’ll go along with gutting Roe vs. Wade, and I support a woman’s right to choose.

Here’s both barrels comin’ at ya; “If men could get pregnant, abortion would be a sacrament.” Only a hypocrite and a fool would deny this.

The government simply has no place in a woman’s uterus.

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Project Sanctuary will be holding their 8th annual fundraising event, ‘P.S. We Love You!’, on Sunday, October 7th, from 4:30-7:30 pm at ‘The Barn’ at Nelson Family Vineyards. This highly anticipated celebration kicks off October as National Domestic Violence Awareness Month and will feature a live auction emceed by Sheriff Allman and Rachel Britton, an Autumn country dinner by Black Dog Farm, and a piano concert with Spencer Brewer & Wendy DeWitt.

This once a year event will feature a rare performance by local pianist Spencer Brewer playing selections from his 17 records as well as fiery honky-tonk with boogie-woogie queen Wendy De Witt. Hold onto your seats when they both take to the piano together and tear up the golden 88’s! Not to be missed!

Project Sanctuary offers a many services for Mendocino County survivors of sexual assault and domestic violence. Iris Padgett, a Project Sanctuary board member and the ‘PS We Love You!’ Planning Committee Chair, speaks about the work of Project Sanctuary and how the community can become involved. "For over three decades Project Sanctuary has been providing an array of services for victims of domestic violence and sexual assault, all free of charge. We are not a 100% grant-funded endeavor so fundraisers like ‘PS We Love YOU!’ creates an opportunity for community members to have a hand in supporting these survivors, many of whom seek services for their small children too – these are very often entire families in crisis”

This year’s ‘PS We Love YOU!’ sponsors are Adventist Health Ukiah Valley, Nelson Family Vineyards, Community First Credit Union, MCHC Medical Center, District 2 Assembly Member Jim Wood, KWNE Radio, and Savings Bank of Mendocino County. Individual sponsors include Paul Conrado, Kathleen Brigham & James P Lohr, Mathew Alaniz and the Law offices of Sergio Fuentes.

Tickets are $65 and are available at the Mendocino Book Company and Project Sanctuary at 564 S Dora St in Ukiah. For more information contact Project Sanctuary at 462-9196.

Project Sanctuary, Inc is a private, not-for-profit organization with the mission is to prevent domestic violence and sexual assault in Mendocino County through advocacy, crisis response, community collaboration, education, and shelter. Founded in 1977, Project Sanctuary assists over 2,000 clients annually and is supported by state and local funds and contributions from individual donors.

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As generations passed here in affluent America, things got “easier” for each successive generation and the people became unable to deal with any information or turn of events that might require that they work harder, do with less, or make any kind of sacrifices whatsoever. They turned deaf ears to anything that did not sound happy or entertaining and became addicted to any lies or deceit that would allow them to go on dreaming. Marketing works. Lie to them and they will love you, tell them the truth and you will be scorned. Unfortunately, in the end, there is no victory in “I told you so”.

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“This… is a bad sign.”

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Ukiah, CA — On October 7, the South Ukiah Rotary Club invites community members to participate in a candlelight vigil and plaque dedication ceremony at Lion’s Park in Redwood Valley to commemorate the one-year anniversary of the Redwood Complex fire.

The idea for the “memory rock” came from Mendocino County Supervisor Carre Brown at one of the first fire recovery meetings. The idea was carried forward by retired forester and local Rotarian Bob Rogers, who said he wanted to honor the way the community came together during the fire, remember the lives lost, and remind people to be fire-safe.

“I didn’t know where to get a boulder. I thought about the Harris Quarry on the way to Willits, so I went up there and they [Northern Aggregates] offered to donate a big basalt boulder. Then Valley Paving said they’d move the boulder to Lion’s Park for us for free.” Finally, Ukiah Trophies engraved the plaque to be embedded in the boulder at a discounted rate.

This is one of several fire-recovery projects supported by Rotarians in District 5130, which includes 47 Rotary Clubs from Petaluma in the south to Crescent City in the north. When the fire devastated large parts of Mendocino, Lake, Sonoma and Napa Counties, Rotarians immediately began partnering with local organizations to raise money to help individuals, businesses, and communities heal.

In partnership with Redwood Credit Union, North Coast Opportunities, and the Community Foundation of Mendocino County, Rotarians distributed $1 million in small business recovery grants, often assisting people who were underinsured to purchase the tools and equipment they needed to get their businesses up and running again. Rotary also provided 100 general assistance grants to individuals totaling $225,000.

Rotary District 5130 Governor Barb Spangler said, “We helped contractors buy construction tools and hair dressers buy scissors and hair dryers, for example. We had 70 Rotarian volunteers vetting grant applications, so we could be good stewards of the money.”

Spangler noted that some of the funds were distributed immediately to assist in the aftermath of the fire, and some funds were held for long-term recovery projects that are just being distributed now, including assistance for people with post-traumatic stress and helping schools support students with ongoing needs who were displaced by the fire.

In addition to financing and facilitating the commemorative plaque, South Ukiah Rotary has also donated $4,500 to the Arts Council of Mendocino County to create a mural at the Redwood Valley Grange and $2,500 to support a story-telling event on September 19 and October 20 called, “Fire Survivor Ensemble, a Tapestry of Stories from Survivors of the Redwood Complex Fire.”

South Ukiah Rotary President Scott Hegan said, “Bob Rogers deserves a lot of credit. He really keeps projects moving.” Rogers is already working on his next fire-recovery project: helping to reforest the valley. The South Ukiah Rotary Club and Mendocino County Resource Conservation District have teamed up to offer low-cost seedlings local landowners affected by the Redwood Complex fire. Rogers has been sharing his extensive forestry expertise in selecting which trees to purchase and helping to coordinate the effort. Thanks to a $16,000 donation from the South Ukiah Rotary Club and a $10,000 donation from the Crane Family Estate, MCRCD has purchased 45,000 Douglas fir seedlings and 5,000 Ponderosa pine seedlings, to be sold for $0.25/seedling with a minimum order of 220 seedlings. Funds collected will be used to purchase more seedlings next year. For more information about the seedling project, contact Mary Mayeda at (707) 462-3664, extension 107.

(The Rotary Club of South Ukiah is a local chapter of Rotary District 5130, which supports local communities from Petaluma in the south to Crescent City in the north. Rotarians worldwide are committed to promoting peace; fighting disease; providing clean water, sanitation, and hygiene; saving mothers and children; supporting education; and growing local economies.)

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BRUCE McEWEN WRITES: “Dear Craig Stehr: Help me out. I have an injured housefly, with what looks like a broken wing, crawling around in my kitchen, leaving big black spots on everything, and while I’ve told my houseguest he is not to molest the other creatures who live here, it appears this poor fly has been assaulted with a fly-swat and was subsequently reduced to this unacceptably miserable state, a handicapped individual. What am I to do? As your are the Hindu religion go-to parson on this page, I ask you, Sir, in all humility, what am I to do with this poor soul? — Your zealous prostelyte, B. Mc”

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Sheepdog trials

Photos by Bonnie Clark Johnson

Winner: Donna Beebe & Meg

Contestant Nancy Todd & Ace

(Click to enlarge)



  1. Craig Stehr September 25, 2018

    Memo to Bruce McEwen: You make the assumption that the fly is an ordinary insect. If so, then set it outside on a tree limb atop a sugar cube. Radhastami is celebrated on Wednesday September 26th. This is the perfect day to make amends with all sentient beings. Here is a helpful link:

  2. michael turner September 25, 2018

    Kunstler should stick to railing against strip malls. You already have Jerry the Brick writing atavistic editorials and he’s much sharper.

  3. Douglas Coulter September 18, 2020

    Roe vs Wade or wade through some roe?
    In 1927 Buck vs Bell became law via the pens of the Supreme Court. A noble step to improve the human race with Eugenics. Buck vs Bell allows one doctor to determine if people will reproduce morons, (retarded) children and can force sterilize male or female to achieve the master race. Adolph liked it so much he took it past public acceptance but California enjoyed the art into 1972 in State Mental Hospitals. Mostly above average IQ young girls sexually active. Slut was a lock up offense girls, “immoral life” was the crime.
    Buck vs Bell has never been challenged
    Buck vs Bell says exact opposite of Roe Vs Wade, the government owns our body.
    A woman can kill her baby? A veteran cannot even talk about killing himself without being locked up for 72 hours.
    Let women control their own womb, let them live with the result.
    Let people kill themselves, suicide is a god given right.
    Either way other people will often be harmed by our burning bridges.

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