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Mendocino County Today: Thursday, Oct. 11, 2018

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Mr. Gary Blank, the last caught of the seven perps who killed and ripped-off a Laytonville pot grower back in 2016, Blank finally took the offer, after weeks of balking, for the 14 years in State Prison for his part in the killing of the out-of-state [Texas] pot-grower who was killed near Laytonville by his trim crew in an ultimatum one November night [the 11th] from the whole crew, who went up to his grow-site after even tweaker's bedtime, and demanded either a payday... or else. And it was Gary Blank who took point, showed some leadership and told Mr. Settler to pay up, at which point, Mr. Settler, the victim, struck Mr. Blank with his fist; and then one of the perps, in response to this uncharitable act of mischief, a Mr. Michael Kane, who was standing by with a camper’s hatchet, he [Kane] struck Mr. Settler in the head, and the others fell upon him [Settler] clutching bloody knives.


Fortunately, we were spared a jury trial and all the gruesome details — then the trim crew liberated many many pounds of marijuana they had assiduously trimmed themselves, took the booty to a commercial park between Garberville and Redway, and sold it for ready cash, which they split more-or-less evenly, and sped off in separate directions. Of all the killers in this case, only Gary "Cricket" Blank sounded the least bit contrite, choking back a tear when he pled "Guilty, your honor." Like Mr. Kane, Mr. Blank will get 14 years for voluntary manslaughter and robbery in concert, with the special allegation, that while Kane used a hatchet, Blank used a knife. Judgment and sentencing was set for November 2nd, 1:30, department H. (Bruce McEwen)

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THE KZYX AUDIT report has been posted, along with a response (at the end) from Jeffrey Parker:

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John Krieg Writes:

Re: Election picks: Hope you get past your bias against hyphenated names to see Albin-Smith and Morsell-Hayes are the strongest candidates for FB City Council. Just watch the recent candidate forum. Tess was the organizer of the soccer tournaments that brought around 12,000 visitors a year to town. Until the city let the playing fields become too unsafe for her to do them. Jessica is part of the team behind the new life brought to downtown with the revival of the Golden West Saloon, and the newly opened General Store next door.

I'M AS AWARE as the next oinker of my biases and usually manage to see past them. Usually. I'm down to one standard on Mendo electoral politics: Is the candidate likely to put the interests of the wider community before the interests of management? Almost everywhere you look you find the managerial tail wagging the elected dog. The County Board of Supervisors is the most egregious example of five highly paid elected people simply ratifying whatever the highly paid but un-elected CEO puts in front of them, but that craven practice is almost universal in the county. Fort Bragg happens lately to be managed by a truly functioning city council, a blessing almost unique in the county. (cf all school boards, KZYX, Point Arena, Ukiah, and so on.)

THE TWO FORT BRAGG hyphenates' commendable community work doesn't necessarily mean they are capable of functioning as the kind of board members who will put the community's interests ahead of management's when the two collide. But people believe what they believe, or need to believe, and often vote against their true interests, as Trump bears daily witness.  What I think is especially unfair in "progressive" Mendocino County, however, is the tendency to damn candidates on the basis of their perceived political opinions on the much grander issues facing our doomed land. Because a guy is a conservative Catholic does it mean he can't possibly be a responsible Coast Hospital trustee?

A CANDIDATE for the Fort Bragg City Council, Ruben Alcala, thinks an ICE presence to root out Hispanic criminals is a good thing. Alcala's opinion on this particular subject is likely to be more reflective of Fort Bragg's Spanish-speaking population than that of a white liberal. I'd be more concerned about his views on how to sensibly manage Fort Bragg, and whether or not he can look paid staff in the face and oppose them when he thinks it's wise.

AN ALCALA SUPPORTER puts it this way:

"Ruben in my opinion is the best person to sit on the Council because he knows the town needs a lot of work and is willing to work toward getting the infrastructure into shape to last for years to come. Tess and Mary Rose want more Parks…really…after the Coastal Trail was finished the City found out there is no one to care for it. Fort Bragg has Otis Johnson Park, Bainbridge Park, North Trail and the South Trail. Seems like a lot of parks for such a small area. Let's not forget the parks just down the road…MacKerricher, Russian Gulch and Van Damme. I realize all the other candidates said the PD should not assist ICE and Ruben said he believes they should. Isn't it odd that these Caucasian folks think they know what is best for the Hispanic community?  Ruben's reasoning behind his answer is this: (he had to make the statement about why he said "no" later because it was a "yes" or "no" question. They couldn't give their reason.) 'Thank you for inquiring. Statistics from the DOJ on race and violent crimes indicate that Hispanics biggest threat are other Hispanics, by almost double to that of any other race. To suggest that we ignore this fact and say we are protecting them is a deception. This decision could harbor criminals in our community. Immigration-related arrests are not a priority, violent criminals are. To have the FBPD not perform its only duty to the community would jeopardize its integrity.'

Let's not forget the question could only be answered with a "yes" or "no". Ruben was referring to the criminal element, not the working, law abiding people who may happen to be undocumented. I also think Ruben is right on the mark about following the Marbut report/solutions in that we should care for those who are willing to help themselves. Care for our elderly and young families who may need a helping hand should be our helping priority. Ruben isn't an ass kisser who will say one thing and do something else. If he says it he means it and will stick by his words. Ruben isn't campaigning for what is below his belt but instead is campaigning for what is above his shoulders. Let's remember; having a long list of degrees and jobs doesn't mean you have any common sense. That is a learned trait and Ruben, in my opinion has common sense."

A READER was kind enough to send me link to the FB candidate's forum. I haven't watched it yet, and still don't know who the mighty ava will finally roll for, but so far I like Alcala's forthright willingness to break from the herd on key issues.

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IAN BURUMA the editor of The New York Review of Books, left his position on Wednesday amid an uproar over the magazine’s publication of an essay by a disgraced Canadian radio broadcaster who had been accused of sexually assaulting women. “Ian Buruma is no longer the editor of The New York Review of Books,” Nicholas During, a publicist for the magazine, wrote in an email.

EYES ONLY, HIGHBROWS. (If you can pronounce “paradigm” and know what it means, you qualify.) Anyway, a famous Canadian talk show guy called Jian Ghomeshi made himself infamous when he was charged with sexual assault in 2016. He was acquitted, but more than twenty women came forward to report that Ghomeshi, of Iranian descent, had attacked them, making it clear the guy is a fairly major creep. He was fired by the Canadian broadcast network where his show had featured lots of famous people. Recently, the neo-pariah wrote an essay for the New York Review of Books describing his fall from grace and how he is “constantly competing with a villainous version of myself online.” The essay, which we've linked, caused the largest controversy since the late sixties when a how-to illustration of a Molotov Cocktail appeared on the cover. Publication of Ghoimeshi's essay got an eminent writer and author, Ian Buruma, fired, which seems to me and lots of other of the mag's subscribers as unfair. I thought the essay was quite interesting but clearly self-serving, and was startled that the milquetoasts at NYRB fired Buruma over it. I forwarded the essay to Eleanor Cooney for her opinion:

Eleanor Cooney:

So I went and read an article about the firing of Buruma. This quote from it (by a woman) kind of sums it up:

"Letting people in Mr. Ghomeshi’s position have a platform did not exonerate them,” she said. “It’s hearing what somebody has to say in the position of suddenly being exiled from social life, and sentenced to a nonexistence.”

I think Ghomeshi's piece was very damned interesting. I mean, isn't that why we read? To experience the interior of another person's head? I've never committed murder (that I know of), but I've read True Crime and fictional accounts that put me eerily close to getting a "taste" of what it's like. I want to know everything there is to know about the human race, sickening, terrifying or disgusting though the facts may be. I want to know about the species I'm a member of.

Ghomeshi hardly committed murder, and I think what he wrote is valuable on a lot of levels--he's seriously engaging in self-reflection, making a real effort to peel back the layers, but also defending himself where he needs to--like where he says: "I cannot confess to the accusations that are inaccurate." He speaks for all of us when he says that.

Would Trump or Brett Kavanaugh or Bill O'Reilly or (shudder) Bill Cosby ever make the effort Ghomeshi is making? I think not. None of them would ever even murmur the slightest acknowledgement of their crude deeds, let alone write a confessional piece. So, even if we deplore Ghomeshi's behavior, we should laud him for a good faith serious try at "owning" his behavior, for at least attempting some humility, analysis and forthright truth. Compared to bully-crybabies like Trump and Brett, who sneer, lash out, deny and lie, Ghomeshi's pretty damned "evolved." And what he tells us about the behavior of other people is highly educational, too. I see no reason at all why he should be censored.

As for what he did, once we venture into the murky, tangled world of sexual fetishes and shifty, chimera-like "consent," all bets are off. No "rule book" yet written is going to be remotely adequate. "Consent" can happen on a pheremonal level, No really can mean Yes, and here we are trying to put the wild beast of human sexuality into captivity. In some cases, that's good (rape, etc.), in some cases, bad--criminalizing what many of us have tiptoed close to, crave, toy with ourselves. St. Augustine (that prig) correctly observed that our sexual selves are quite separate and alien from our everyday selves.

There's a broad-stroke backlash, a lot of stored-up female pain erupting. That's valid, too, but each and every case MUST be considered on its own merit, because no two are exactly alike. To equate Louis C.K. with Bill Cosby, for example, is just wrong, stupid and destructive. I'm glad Louis C.K. is making a comeback. And losing Kevin Spacey was a major bummer. Cosby, of course, belongs in the slammer. Too bad it didn't happen years ago.

BTW, I sure wish Dr. Christine Ford hadn't sounded so squeaky and pathetic. How I wish she'd spoken in a voice like, say, Hillary Clinton's. However much we dislike Hillary, she has a good strong well-modulated fearless vocal delivery. I'd like to have seen Ford testify in a voice like that. I believe everything she said, but cringed at her weepy, quavery, little-girl tone. I think Kav would still have wound up on the Supreme Rethuglican Court, but Ford would have made a much better impression.


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QUIZ TONIGHT! 7pm, Thursday, 11th October. Lauren's Restaurant, Boonville.

It would seem like the perfect time and day to sit around with friends, relaxing over a splendid meal and libations, while you band together to come up with some answers to a few mentally stimulating queries… You can do all of this at Lauren’s Restaurant in Boonville where the General Knowledge and Trivia Quiz will take place at the aforementioned time and day… Cheers, Steve / The Quiz Master

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LITTLE DOG SAYS, “A wild thing got clear into the house yesterday, probably a raccoon. I was on my break, not that I'd tangle with the thing anyway. Not in my job description. These guys musta left a door open. I keep telling them we live on the edge of a serious wilderness, but do they listen? All kinds of wild things come out of the creek late at night."

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In recent months, there had been an uptick in gang graffiti in town, coinciding with the release from prison of a couple of known and established gang members. In response to this, and our No Tolerance stance on gang activity, we reached out to our partners in the Multi-Agency Gang Suppression Unit (MAGSU) for assistance in conducting a Parole and Probation compliance check on several individuals residing in and around our town.

On Friday, October 5, 2018 members of the Mendocino County D.A. and Sheriff’s Offices, Agents from State Parole and County Probation teamed up with the Fort Bragg Police Department to conduct these compliance checks. The MAGSU team conducted searches at 8 locations within the City or immediate area of Fort Bragg, resulting in the arrest of 5 people. One of those was a juvenile with an arrest warrant, and an adult female was arrested and cited out. MCSO Deputy Moore was the lead Investigator on the gang operation. The following is a list of contacts resulting in arrests:

(Click to enlarge)

At about 7:00pm, Alejandro Grijalba and his girlfriend, Stefani Smith, were detained per a Parole Search at their residence in the 200 block of South Franklin Street in Fort Bragg. A subsequent search of the location per parole revealed methamphetamine and paraphernalia at a hidden location. Grijalba was arrested for 11377(a) HS (Possession of Controlled Substance), 11364 HS (Paraphernalia) and 3056 PC, violation of Parole. Smith was arrested for 11377(a) HS and 11364 HS and was cited and released.

At about 3:00pm, MAGSU was on patrol in the 600 block of South Franklin Street, when Alfredo Chi was observed walking southbound on the street, wearing gang clothing, in violation of his parole terms. A pedestrian stop was conducted and Chi was not cooperative with law enforcement. Chi was placed under arrest for violation of parole.

While MAGSU was placing Chi into a patrol vehicle, a Parole Agent observed Harry Mila drive by as a passenger in a vehicle. The parole agent directed the driver to stop and he complied. Mila was searched and a subsequent investigation determined Mila was in the presence of a documented criminal street gang member, in violation of the terms of his parole. Mila was placed under arrest for violation of parole.

A probation search was conducted in the 31000 block of Highway 20 in Fort Bragg, where a juvenile probationer was located and found to have an outstanding warrant for his arrest. He was taken into custody.

Probation and Parole searches were conducted at several other residences and the probationers and parolees were found to be in compliance with their terms.

The Fort Bragg Police Department is committed to the safety of those within the City of Fort Bragg and will conduct future operations to deter criminal gang activity within our community. We have maintained a partnership with allied agencies through the Multi- Agency Gang Suppression Unit of Mendocino County to assist with future gang issues that may arise.

(Fort Bragg Police Chief Fabian Lizarraga)

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A SOHUM MAN TOOK 9TH PLACE at the Safeway World Championship Pumpkin Weigh-Off in Half Moon Bay yesterday for his 1,456-pound orange whopper.

The largest pumpkin in Emerald Triangle history? Photos provided by Ian Sigman.

Honeydew farmer Ian Sigman said the pumpkin is not only the largest he’s ever grown, but that it’s likely the largest pumpkin ever to be grown in the Emerald Triangle.

“Feels good [to possibly have grown the Emerald Triangle’s largest pumpkin],” Sigman said. “Feels like there should be more big ones from Humboldt.”

The weigh-off in Half Moon Bay.

The Mattole River Organic Farms owner took home a $500 prize after going to the trouble of loading his damn-near 1,500-pound gourd onto a ‘54 Chevy tractor-trailer combo and hauling it almost 300 miles down Northern California’s winding coast.

The largest pumpkin at the contest was grown by four-time winner Steve Daletas out of Pleasant Hill, Oregon with a 2,170-pounder. Sigman said the prize for first place increases significantly as the winner receives $7 per pound — giving Daletas a grand prize of $15,190.

Now that the weigh-off is over, SoHum will have plenty of pumpkin pie to go around, as Sigman said he’ll be sharing the bounty with his neighbors.

“Pie and pumpkin soup everyday,” Sigman said. “I will give it to friends with pigs, it should turn into ham and bacon.”

One of Sigman’s smaller pumpkins is currently on display at the Root 101 Nursery in Garberville, where customers can compete to guess the pumpkin’s weight in hopes of winning their own cash prize.


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Local Motion in Progress

Gardens, farms, cooks, chefs, and musicians were all performing for the first week of C’mon Home To Eat in October. Mosswood served a slightly picante, creamy, local tomato soup and salad; the Boonville Hotel/Table 128 featured a mixed chicory salad, roasted pork loin, and pear/chocolate tart with ingredients from Brock Farm, Petit Teton, The Apple Farm, Lantern Farm, Bucket Ranch, Pennyroyal Farmstead, Rookyto Chocolate, and the Boonville Hotel garden; and Lauren brought back her delicate squash from Gowans and stuffed it with Lundberg rice, veggies, and cheese alongside an array of tender roasted fresh veggies. The First Friday Farmers’ Market was bursting with vendors, happy customers of all ages, musicians, and camaraderie. Many local businesses stayed open, including the Seebass tasting room offering Susan Robinson’s bread made with Mendocino Grain Project’s Sonora wheat and fermented overnight with the aid of local Boonville beer. Aquarelle was open for wine and tapas and the Hotel for small plates. Both Paysanne and the Boonville Mercantile were open late for the First Friday event.

The second week of C’mon Home To Eat will feature:

  • 10/10 Mosswood lunch--local soup and salad special;
  • 10/12 Seebass--Bucket Ranch bean soup with Susan’s bread made with MPG Khorasan wheat 5-7:00 p.m.;
  • 10/12 Gleaning with Jen Burnstad (895-3243) and Tom Shaver (972-3096) Figs on Ray’s Road, apples, and maybe chestnuts;
  • 10/13 and each Saturday in October-- 20% off all plants and seed packets at AV Farm Supply;
  • 10/13 Farm to Table Dinner at Poleeko Roadhouse with beef and lamb pork, or lamb sliders, hand-dipped onion rings, and salad;
  • 10/14 AV Grange Pancake Breakfast 8-11with local Sonora wheat, eggs, and bacon;
  • 10/14 Community Dinner at the Bewildered Pig, best to make a reservation;
  • 10/15 AV Food Bank—bring your extra produce to the Methodist Church;
  • 10/15 Farm & Garden Show on KZYX 11-12 with Bill & Jaye interviewing Dr. Elaine Ingham, an American microbiologist and soil biology researcher;
  • 10/16 Holistic Health Perspectives on KZYX 11-12 Mary Pat will interview Lydia who produces raw, local food into special dishes;
  • 10/16 Ag & Ecology Hour on KZYX 7-8 p.m. with Doug Mosel interviewing Steve and Gloria Decater of Live Power Farm—the first of three interviews on the present and future of farming in Mendocino County;
  • All month local specials at the Boonville General Store, hot apple cider at Paysanne, the salad bar at the high school for students and teachers, and apple desserts at Boont Berry—pies, galettes, crepes, etc.

To see the whole C’mon calendar, please go to The festivities are being highlighted in October with the challenge of extending the local food emphasis throughout the year. You can stock up on the last of the summer produce at our local farm stands. And remember to fill out a raffle ticket when you purchase local food or attend a C’mon event to win prizes of local dinners or gift certificates to farm stands.

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Poleeko Roadhouse Special Local Dinner:

Saturday, October 13th –

Braised leg of lamb and mashed potatoes:

Anderson Valley Community Farm leg of lamb braised in local wines and herbs, carrots and pearl onions, over locally grown potato mash

Korean BBQ sliders and onion rings:

Mendocino Heritage Pork co. Ground pork and Anderson Valley Community Farm grass fed beef sliders with Korean bbq sauce and sesame slaw. Served with local walawala onion rings

And as always, we will have our regular farm to table menu, always revolving around local meat, fish, and produce!

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Pre-Order Thanksgiving Turkeys from Mendocino Meats

Celebrate the holidays this year with local wholesome food! To reserve your Thanksgiving turkey, make a $40 deposit and ensure you'll have the best local turkey to share with family and friends for the holiday.

Cost: $6/lb Hens will be 9-12 lb, and Toms will be +15 lb. Let us know if you want a Hen or Tom, as well as the weight you prefer, and we'll strive to accommodate your needs. We may not be able to give you the exact weight requested, but we'll get it as close as possible to what you want. The balance on your turkey is due at pick-up. Pick-up will be at Heart Arrow Ranch near Redwood Valley on Saturday and Sunday, November 17 & 18.

Visit to download an order form and mail us a check. Or use the PayPal link to send us your $40 deposit, and note whether you want a Hen or Tom.

We have been raising pastured poultry for over 15 years. Our white broad-breasted turkeys enjoy only certified organic and non-GMO feed, have ample space to roam, and are protected from predators by our livestock guardian dog. Thank you for supporting our farm!

Questions? (707) 272-5477

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Good Farm Fund Grants & Events

Reminder the deadline for Good Farm Fund grant application is less than 1 week away. Get on it.

Speaking of the Good Farm Fund, check out today’s Ukiah Daily Journal for information about our 11/3 benefit Homebrew Festival. As those of you who made it last year know, it is a ripping good time. You will want to get tickets early, and alert your friends to do the same. GFF events are all selling out these days. Tickets at Spread the word. Also, if you brew it is not too late to get involved.

And, make sure you also have the evening of 12/4 blocked off for the Winter Feast (where this year’s grant winners will be announced). Tickets at

That event will include a holiday silent auction. So you might also think about (and let me know) if you have any cool items that would work well at auction ... a meal on the farm? A tour? A farm preserve basket? 10% off whatever someone buys at your farmers market table next July?

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Canning/Fermentation Workshop

Have been checking out local producers to see what we will be canning and fermenting for our last workshop. Pears and apples are on top of the fruit list..I just got a half box of Bartlett pears to test out two new recipes for me.. This Monday there were still some more Roma tomatoes which pulls me toward making Caponata which is a wonderful Italian/Eggplant tomato sauce., Am considering different soup recipes and also a possible surprise which I will write more about when I see what is possible.. We will explore a Norwegian way of making apple juice which also makes possible applesauce. The end of the year fruits allow for interesting salsas and condiments.

So mark October 14th on your calendar. The workshop is held at the Caspar Community Center from 10:30 am to 2:30 pm. You need to bring a good knife, cutting board, apron and something to share with the group for lunch. (Usual best part of the group experience.) Cost is $30. If you have any questions contact Marty Johnson at 964-6164.

Join us for a 6 week class, the final session of which will be the annual Myco-Blitz at the Galbreath Preserve in Yorkville.

We will study macro-characteristics of some of the most common families of mushrooms found locally; Boletes, Agaricus, Amanitas, Chanterelles, Russulas and other shelf and simple fungi. Opportunities to bring in mushrooms you have found will be at first part of class. You should expect to finish class with a good beginning knowledge of mushrooms and how to identify what you find.

No experience needed, just curiosity and a willingness to learn. Classes meet at Yorkville Community Center (next to post office) Saturday early afternoons, starting October 20 (except Thanksgiving weekend). Class cost for 6 sessions is $75. Cash or check only. All proceeds go to the Yorkville Fire Station to help purchase vitally needed fire fighting equipment. Class size limited so sign up soon.

Go to… to register.

(AV Foodshed Press Release)

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CATCH OF THE DAY, October 10, 2018

Barry, Brunk, Cannon, Commesso

WILLIAM BARRY, Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-alcohol. (Frequent flyer.)

JOHN BRUNK, Fort Bragg. Petty theft, controlled substance, contempt of court, failure to appear.

MICHAEL CANNON, Waverly Ohio/Ukiah. Grand theft-firearm, controlled substance while armed with loaded firearm, armed with firearm in commission of felony or attempt of felony, sale/transportation of organic drug, narcotic possession for sale, transportation of controlled substance, controlled substance for sale, conspiracy.

MICHAEL COMMESSO JR., Arcata/Ukiah. DUI, suspended license (for reckless driving).

Dozier, Gage, Hammond

JAMES DOZIER, Livermore/Ukiah. Probation revocation.

KARL GAGE, Ukiah. Probation revocation.

DARIN HAMMOND, Fort Bragg. Disorderly conduct-alcohol, probation revocation.

Holm, Ward, Williams

ELIZABETH HOLM, Ukiah. Paraphernalia, probation revocation.

MICHAEL WARD SR., Ukiah. Parole violation.

CLARENCE WILLIAMS, Shreveport, Louisiana/Ukiah. Fugitive from justice.

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OPEN LETTER TO LEAGUE BOWLERS, from Mike Schutz – Owner of, Yokayo Bowling Center, Ukiah, CA.

May I have all of your attention…

I need to make a very important announcement. The present lease for this building and land ends December 31, 2018.

February of this year a new lease was presented to me to look over and return to the owner, Erickson Brothers Properties. I returned the lease back in April. I did not hear anything until July where I was informed by Erickson Brothers Properties, that someone else gave a higher lease option for the property. After talking with Erickson Brothers Properties they stated that they were more interested in selling than leasing the property. So, I spoke with the Erickson Brothers Properties real estate agent from Coldwell Banker, John Lazaro and asked him what he thought a fair price would be for the property. He gave me a number and I said fine I will make that offer.

Two weeks went by and I received a voicemail from John Lazaro stating that the Erickson Brothers and the other interested party are getting closer to sign. I decided then to retain my own real estate agent Todd Schapmire and he sent the original offer to John Lazaro.

Another two weeks had gone by and John Lazaro informs my agent that the offer would not work but this offer will. I agreed to the new offer and as of last week, John Lazaro informed my agent that the Erickson Brothers Family are not responding to my offer and John Lazaro feels it’s because the lease amount from the interested party is too good.

Bowling has existed for 60 years in this building. I took the business over 10 years ago and poured my heart and soul into this business. I am proud to say it has exceeded my expectations. I am also proud of my staff who continue to strive to provide excellent service for our customers.

The Yokayo Bowling Center has been a major player for community events. Special Olympics is just one of our favorite events each year where the bowlers are able to bowl with the pros.

I believe that the Erickson Brothers Properties and Coldwell Banker have not looked at the bigger picture of just how much it will affect Ukiah and the surrounding Lake and Mendocino County communities.

I will continue to be vigilant and fight for The Yokayo Bowling Center but realistically speaking we are running out of time. If the Erickson Brothers Properties does not accept my offer I will have no choice but to close my doors on the first week of December and bowling in our community will cease to exist.

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Note from "News: Local Lake & Mendocino County, CA," Page Admin, DJ-Ken Steely...

Whether you "bowl" or not, Yokayo Bowl in Ukiah is used for so many different events & purposes in Ukiah, that if we lose Yokayo Bowling Center, there will be a HUGE HOLE LEFT IN UKIAH, CA... Without a doubt!

Yokayo Bowling Bowling Center in Ukiah is a time treasured "Family Event Center" that we can't afford to lose!

In the ten years that Mike Schutz has owned it, he has beautifully remodeled it into a family event center showplace. Heck... In my opinion... It has the nicest restrooms in town!

Yokayo Bowling Center owner & operator, Mike Schutz is 100% willing and able to buy the property & building at either of the two offers he was presented, from John Lazaro @ Coldwell Banker Realty of Ukiah.

Both offers were made by John Lazaro @ Coldwell Banker on behalf of Erickson Brothers Properties, Mike accepted both times and then the offers were surprisingly rescinded, both times.

Some people say there is never anything to do in Ukiah... Well, thanks to Erickson Brothers Properties & John Lazaro @ Coldwell Banker, there might just be a whole heck of a lot less to do in Ukiah!

When In-N-Out Burger came to Ukiah, they improved the area by replacing a derelict fjord's Smorg-ette building that had been empty for 27-years.

But in this case, it's much different, because the Yokayo Bowling Center is in a beautifully remodeled and restored building that still houses a viable business.

I have never felt so strongly about anything in Ukiah in my lifetime. Please... We Need Your Help.

There are petitions available to sign @ Ukiah Grocery Outlet & Yokayo Bowling Center.

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"The film is an even-handed and entertaining dive into the sinister bowels of American politics at a time of unprecedented crisis, confusion and imperial decline. It will make you angry; it will horrify you; it might even bring you to tears. And most importantly, it will inspire you to act, to try to stop the cancerous growth of neofascism before it is too late."

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by Ted Conover

The worst job for a Corrections Officer in the mess hall at Sing Sing Prison in New York — and the one I was usually assigned because I was new — was overseeing the steam table.

At this post — one of the several spots in Sing Sing where sheer boredom and the potential for sudden mayhem existed side by side — your feet got tired and your authority was questioned constantly. Standing at the steam table, watching as the population of B-block shuffled by, each inmate receiving his plate from the servers, I always thought of an assembly line in a poorly run explosives factory. Tedium, tedium, tedium, then — bang! — you'd be missing your hands. And never did the stakes seem higher than on Waffle Day.

Waffle Day! The news was passed to the knot of officers outside the mess hall by one who worked in the kitchen. It was a morning in October. Alcantara, the mess-hall OIC, got on the phone with the B-block OIC downstairs.

“Chilmark?” he said. “It's Waffle Day. You got any extras to send me?” Extra officers, he meant, because waffle day presented an enforcement challenge on the food line. The inmates loved waffles and sometimes went to great lengths to acquire more than their share. It was not as bad as the situation on Fried Chicken Day, but still it was bad — a little worse than, say, Fish Stick Day. Chilmark said he'd see what he could find but that in the meantime Alcantara had better get started. Running the ten galleries of B-block through the 226-seat mess hall sometimes took nearly two hours.

“Okay, send me Q-and-V,” said Alcantara. There was a pause of a few seconds and then we heard, echoing through the cavern of B-block, the voice of Chilmark bellowing over the PA system.

“Q-and-V galleries, on the chow!” he cried. “X on standby!”

In a minute or two the inmates from the flats would be streaming up the stairs, over the third-floor bridge, and into the mess hall. It was important for us to assume our posts first.

Alcantara made the assignments. “Ruane, you got the north-end gates? Bailey on the split. Baker, Smith, Singleton on the pat-frisk.” He paused to see who remained. “Conover, steam table. Goldman, you take the other steam table.”

Security precautions in the big mess hall are fairly elaborate. The two heavy gates that block the route between the B-block shell and the mess hall proper, for example, are locked whenever a gallery has passed in or out; every officer inside knows that if rioting erupts, the gate officers are instructed to lock us in with all the inmates so that the riot is contained. (During the hostage crisis of 1983, inmates broke down the single gate that then separated the mess hall from B-block and might have spread the riot to the rest of Sing Sing if they hadn't been stopped at the central area known as Times Square.) Newer maximums and mediums and many older ones have ceiling-mounted chemical agent dispensers in case of riot, and often an officer in an observation booth who can activate them. Sing Sing, for reasons no one could ever explain to me, has never been retrofitted with gas.

The tunnel between the two gates is the pat-frisk area. If an inmate misbehaves in the mess hall, every newjack learns, you don't take him to task in the mess hall itself: That could inflame his friends and start a riot. Instead, you notify the officers in the tunnel. They’ll pull the inmate aside when his gallery leaves and talk to him when his friends are far beyond the locked gates.

Waffle Day. I said hello to the two inmate servers behind the steam table, as usual; one nodded in response. I thought the best position for me was four or five feet behind them and slightly to the side. This gave me a view of their area, where they passed out the three allotted toaster-size waffles, syrup, butter, and bacon, as well as of the juice dispenser, where inmates were supposed to help themselves to one small plastic cupful. The server who hadn't acknowledged me had a round, shaved head and, like many food workers, had grown a bit pudgy from the practically unlimited opportunity he had to filch food.

I watched as he gave four waffles apiece to two inmates in a row. My first test.

“Excuse me,” I said. “It's three, right?”

He turned and glared at me before placing three waffles on the next plate. It seemed only a few minutes later that he passed a large fistful of sugar packets to another friend of his, instead of the prescribed six.

“Hey,” I said, this time stepping up next to him. “Are we going to have trouble today?”

He took a step away from my disagreeable presence. “What? You gay, right, CO? That's why you paying so much attention to me?”

“You flatter yourself,” I said. “Just do the job you're supposed to.”

He muttered as he went back to serving. “Motherfucker's gay,” I heard him say to the next inmate in line. It was an unfortunate way to start the day, since sometimes one inmate's hostility seemed to spread, through a form of osmosis, to those who hadn't even witnessed any altercation.

And on a Waffle Day, of all things. Like pieces of fried chicken, waffles found ways to fly out of the serving pan and into the hands and pockets of inmates. Only the most obsessive surveillance could prevent this. During the exit frisks, we'd find waffles stuffed inside pants and shirts. Servers would sometimes tuck a couple into the loose disposable serving gloves they wore and slide them around the edge of the steam table to friends on the other side. If the servers lined up just so — which my two occasionally did — they would obstruct my view so I couldn't see their hands. Once, when I saw this alignment about to occur again, I shifted suddenly to the side and caught the servers in the act of waffle-gloving. I grabbed the glove and lofted it into the trash without comment.

Cueball gave me a look of pure hatred. “Anyone ever tell you you look like Mark Fuhrman?” he asked. “No,” I said.

An hour or so later, when I made an inmate return an extra helping of bacon that Cueball had bestowed, he glared at me anew and pointed at the inmate I had stopped.

“On the street, you probably wouldn't even look at that brother,” he charged. “You probably afraid he gonna rob you or something.” So now I was a racist homosexual who feared all young black men. In this case, though, the fear would have been justified — the man, after all, was a violent con.

I smiled, then grinned. “He probably would be about to rob me,” I said. The more I thought about that, the funnier it seemed.

“Shut up, man!” he said. “You look better when you ain't talking.”

I had worked my first steam tables acting as rigid as that server was hostile. Letting inmates get away with things struck me as letting leaks spring in a dike — the other inmates would notice, and would be encouraged the next time I was on the steam table to try for extras. The massive pilferage that ensued would make me look powerless, ridiculous.

“Juice cup!” I would insist to an inmate who'd given himself the larger, milk-size cup of juice, as though he had shorted me ten dollars in change for a twenty.

“But I already poured it, CO!” the man might protest.

“So pour it out,” I would say.

“Pour it out?”

“Pour it out.”

Or I'd demand to count the sugar packets of an inmate who, I was sure, had taken too many. Or I'd say an inmate couldn't have an extra plate for his salad, that he had to fit everything on one plate. It was petty stuff in a transaction that was already law enforcement at its most utterly trivial level. The inmates' protests, though they had a patina of moral force, only hardened my resolve.

“Why, CO? It come outta your paycheck?”

“You denying a man his food? That's low, CO, that's as low as it gets.”

“You gonna think back on this in twenty years, CO, and you gonna be ashamed of yourself.”

I looked at it this way: If there was only a set amount of food available at a given meal, we had to control the portions. And the inmates were not badly fed — only slightly worse than we had been at the Corrections Academy. Of most entrees, whether spaghetti and meatballs or chili or chicken fricassee, they were allowed larger portions than most people could eat. They just couldn't get as much of certain things as they wanted — waffles, fish sticks, cups of juice, or cookies. This is when they tried to make us feel like the bastards who ran the workhouse in Oliver Twist.

“I’ll say a prayer for you, Officer,” said one pious Muslim whom I had stopped from taking extra coffee cake early that summer. Right behind the Muslim was an inmate I knew a little bit. He looked at me sort of pityingly, and I wondered if he was about to join the prayer campaign for my soul. “In a few days, CO,” he advised me, “you won't give a fuck anymore.”

He wasn't completely right, but I did realize I was wearing myself out with zeal. Other officers, though they would uniformly deny it, let the servers give away much more food than was allowed. Who really gave a damn about two extra cookies? I looked again at Officer Smith and liked what I saw.

Smith had a certain presence as he stood there near the tiny packets of ketchup, arms crossed in front of him. You could tell he cared, but you could also tell it wasn't a personal thing for him. We were there to enforce the rules, that was all. He looked bemused, not angry, when he saw an infraction, and his look said to the inmate, “Did you really think you were going to get away with that?”

I tried to relax. To an inmate with the extra juice, I began to say, “Drink it here.”


“Just don't leave the steam table with it.”

That way, we could both win. No sergeant or other inmates would observe him with a big cup of juice on his tray, but I could show I didn't mind if he drank it, that it was appearances that mattered to me. I nodded at the servers to allow porters I had worked with an extra helping — that was a traditional consideration. And at the end of the day, when the last house was being served the last portions, I basically told the servers they could divide the food up equally, because we all knew that what wasn't eaten would be tossed into the trash.

Still, there were some transgressions I just couldn't abide. One day I worked the steam table at breakfast. My counterpart on the neighboring steam table was Thurston Gaines, an Ossining local who had been in my training class. An hour or so into the serving there was a commotion at Gaines's table, and the mess hall grew silent. Gaines, a black officer so big that he seldom seemed to have to raise his voice, had traded words with an inmate who tried to cadge extra juice from under his nose. The inmate then tossed all the juice at Gaines, drenching his uniform. He was relieved by another officer so that he could change into a clean shirt and wipe off his glasses.

On my side of the room, two inmates caught the spirit of this incident and utterly ignored my warnings to take only the allowed amount of juice. They just pretended not to hear me. One I had had trouble with before, and I advised the officer at the gate to get his ID card on the way out. Then, with the meal finished, I wrote up my first mess-hall ticket. A stolen cup of juice was good for: 106.10, direct order; 124.16, mess-hall procedure; and 116.10, theft of state property.

To my surprise, however, the sergeant who signed the ticket did not have the inmate keeplocked pending his hearing. Later, I would learn that the disciplinary committee, inundated with more serious offenses, had essentially thrown this one into the circular file. That really made me feel like Barney Fife, a name I was frequently called.

I was sitting in the gym with Thurston Gaines later that day, and he was philosophical about our respective humiliations. He had known some of Sing Sing's officers and white-shirts his whole life. “They say it's a lot different upstate,” he said wistfully. “COs don't have the kind of power here that they do up north — we're too close to the media, to their [inmates'] families, to lawyers.”

“Like, what goes on upstate that we don't do here?” I asked.

“If the tiniest thing goes down in the mess hall in Attica?” he said. “They march them outside.” In the winter. Literally to chill. At Attica and Clinton, he said, inmates didn't even talk to female officers. It was flat-out forbidden.

“And if they do?” I asked, knowing that every jailhouse rule was eventually violated.

Gaines paused and smiled. He was a soft-spoken, gentle-tempered man.

“They get the fucking shit beat out of them,” he said.

The possibility no longer bothered me as it once had.

(From “Newjack: Guarding Sing Sing” by Ted Conover, 2000)

* * *


My liberal friends’ heads explode when I assert that the worst thing that could happen next month is for a “Blue Wave” to convince the DNC that it has been right all along and should just stay in bed with Corporate America. I hate Trump and the Republican Party – two very different entities – as much as they do, but I keep insisting that if Liberals want to defeat the Conservatives they need to be better than they are. Surely recommitting to defend the working class constituency that it has betrayed for over a generation now would be easier than all of these machinations, but the Democratic Party will have none of it. Consorting with those grubby lower-class folks might keep them out of the right country clubs.

* * *

“I’ll also need you to clean up the environment after I’m done with it.”

* * *


Hellfire: this is what our future looks like under climate change

* * *

HOWEVER [political parties] may now and then answer popular ends, they are likely in the course of time and things, to become potent engines, by which cunning, ambitious, and unprincipled men will be enabled to subvert the power of the people and to usurp for themselves the reins of government, destroying afterwards the very engines which have lifted them to unjust dominion.

George Washington, Farewell Address, Saturday, September 17, 1796

* * *



In 1994, I drove a car around 15,000 miles and got about 11 miles per gallon. In 2017, I drove a car around 15,000 miles, but my mileage had improved to 20 mpg. Doing the math, in 1994 I bought 1,363 gallons of gas, and in 2017, I bought 750 gallons of gas. Since fuel taxes didn’t change from 1994 to 2017, I was paying less in fuel taxes by a lot.

Costs of maintenance of our roads and bridges have gone up a lot since 1994. In 2017, California Senate Bill 1 raised fuel taxes enough to keep pace with my better gas mileage car, so now I pay about the same in fuel tax that I paid in 1994.

I know the one thing you should not cut corners on is safety. Those who are trying to pass Proposition 6 would be cutting corners on road and bridge safety. We need to defeat Proposition 6 so we have those fuel tax dollars to make sure our parents, ourselves, our families and our friends can safely travel on our roads and over our bridges.

Don’t cut corners on safe roads and bridges. Vote no on Proposition 6.

Mary Kennedy Cabrera


* * *

* * *


I'm one of the featured artists in the upcoming Caspar Curiosities exhibit Masquerade (and Costume Party). I'm showing a major painting, Satan Sowing, based on a lithograph by the Belgian artist Felician Rops, best known for his erotic and satanic themes. The other participating artists are Notty Bumbo, Patrice Moriarity Crawford, Victoria Ridenour, Billy Sprague, Sondra Sula and Reality Thornewood. Be sure to dress your 'best' (I am!) for the Opening Night Gala's Costume Party, this Friday, October 12, from 5-9 PM. The gallery show will continue from Friday until Sunday, November 4th. 15160 Caspar Road, Caspar, CA 95420. Hope to see you there....Best, Robert Ross <>

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Click on the online tool and check out Mendocino County. Some interesting demographics.



  1. Randy Burke October 11, 2018

    And if you “saunter” down in Martinez, California to the John Muir house….a national park feature, the folks there will give you quite a memorable tour, and if in the mood will provide you information on the location of his reverted grave site against the Alhambra Creek.

  2. George Hollister October 11, 2018

    From George Will in today’s 10/11/18 Press Democrat:

    “Ominously, in the most important of these, the colleges and universities, serious scholars “are not the dominant voices.” Trump, bellowing “fake news” and “sham” this and “rigged” that, is on all fours with his leftist, often academic and equally fact-free despisers who, hollering “racist” and “fascist,” are his collaborators in the attack on the constitution of knowledge.”

    I have to add, the academics have been at it much longer than Trump has.

  3. Paul McCarthy October 11, 2018

    FYI: The City of Fort Bragg has NOTHING to do with the maintenance of the athletic fields – the schools (or Fort Bragg Unified School District) are responsible for their upkeep. Also a private group has been formed to help address the field conditions.

  4. John Kriege October 11, 2018

    Paul, maybe the city should have stepped up to keep the fields in shape and those players and their families coming to Fort Bragg. They’ve been gone for years. That private group you mention is now getting some of the money from the new motel/hotel bed taxes.

  5. Jim Armstrong October 11, 2018

    From just above: Who is dying from opioid ods?

    Well the graphic is for 2012 to 2106.
    How the f*** did they get THAT data?

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