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Mendocino County Today: Friday, Nov. 2, 2018

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RED FLAG WARNING Issued For North Bay Mountains, East Bay Hills Above 1,000 Feet

The National Weather Service has issued a daylong warning of critical fire danger for the North Bay mountains and East Bay hills starting early Saturday morning. Low humidity levels and gusty northeasterly winds prompted the weather service to put the red flag warning in place from 1 a.m. Saturday until 6 a.m. Sunday for elevations above 1,000 feet, including in Sonoma, Napa and Marin counties.

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THE AVA didn't leave Boonville on Wednesday afternoon as it unfailingly has for forty years with Jan the Mail Lady. Jan took a rare day off. Her replacement forgot to pick up the paper-paper. Our bags of papers languished overnight on the landing to the rear of the Boonville Post Office. The paper-paper will be at least a day late reaching subscribers and stores outside the Anderson Valley, and the goddess only knows when it will reach people outside California. Jan the Mail Lady herself called us with the bad news. She was as contrite as if the error were hers, but Jan the Mail Lady doesn't make errors and, as one of those increasingly rare persons in government at all levels who is genuinely troubled when things go awry, especially things she feels responsible for, Jan the Mail Lady called to apologize to us. In a time when undeserved superlatives are heaped on everything from sandwiches to exploding automobiles — "the greatest; amazing; unique; awesome" — Jan the Mail Lady has quietly gotten it done from Cloverdale to Point Arena and back six days a week for 40 years, a truly awesome record.

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Sheriff Allman and Skyhawk in Mendocino Yesterday

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by Mark Scaramella

CEO ANGELO RESPONDED to our request for budget status info on Wednesday. The response was a collection of available budget documents and agendas; no narrative summary or discussion as we had hoped. Most of the CEO’s collection of documents was related to our original request with the exception of one mystery document having something to do with the budget development schedule.

OUR ORIGINAL REQUEST WAS SENT on October 17, 2018. We are reposting the original request below with brief preliminary annotations concerning the CEO’s responses. We are attempting to follow up on the partial responses, such as they are. The fact that there was no simple direct answer to most of these questions implies that they are not being monitored or tracked, even though in prior Supes meetings staff promised to be track them or they should have been put on a specific tracking program based on Board comments.

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Dear CEO Angelo and Supervisors,

In the last few months, several significant budget issues have arisen and have been discussed to some extent in various Board meetings. But most of those discussions produced more questions than answers. Since they were originally raised there has been very little follow-up or reporting on the following problematic issues:

Juvenile budget deficit: The food program has  been streamlined, but the amount saved does not seem enough to bring their budget into alignment.

Comment: No specific juvenile budget info, partial info on overall probation department.

Sheriff’s Department Overtime. After first cutting the budget to $300k even though last year’s allocation was about $1.6 million, the CEO and staff promised to follow the budget closely and report monthly. But there has been only one “report” since then which said that after only a couple of months, 45% of the budget had been expended, much of that for disaster/fire response. We understand that due to increased recruiting, Sheriff’s Office OT has increased on top of that initial spurt associated with the Ranch and River fire responses.

Comment: No specific info on Sheriff’s OT. Partial info on Sheriff/patrol expenses which appear to be overrunning and which presumably includes overtime.

Property values and assessments are down due to the 2017 fires and, reportedly, because cannabis growers are having financial difficulties.

Comment: No info on property values or assessments; partial info on property tax revenues which appears to be dated due to accounting delays.

The cannabis program has several new staffers both in admin and in code enforcement, but the permit program appears to have stalled. Yet the size of the cannabis program budget deficit for 2017/18 has not been reported or estimated.

Comment: The cannabis program budget appears to be at least $1 million in the red for this fiscal year, but no summary info on staff size or how the deficit is being covered.

Cannabis sales, both legal and illegal seem to be way down due to the drop in prices and difficulties getting permits for transportation and sale. This would have a negative impact on overall sales tax revenues which have so far not been estimated or reported.

Comment: Overall sales taxes revenues are predicted to be on budget. No basis for that prediction is provided and we simply don’t believe it.

Many top officials and the Supervisors have received significant pay raises but at no time was the current or out-year budget impact of these raises publicized nor has the cumulative amount been reported or the extent to which the budget in the CEO, Supervisors or Department Head Bargaining Unit has been exceeded.

Comment: A collection and a summary of agenda items related to some recent management and supervisors pay was provided which included salary increase amounts. It did not include management pay increases for last year. Also, there was no accompanying estimate of pension impacts.


Small savings appear to have been accrued with some minor adjustments to the management structure (such as CSA Director/Museum Director combined). The total salary impact for 2018 for the increases listed looks like it totals around $320k per year of “annual increases,” not counting the prior year’s increases for Chief Probation Officer, Human Resources Director, the Planning and Building Director, and the Ag Commissioner, plus several preparatory grade increases which have not yet manifested as salary increases which would put the total management increases in the last year to around half a mil per year. Nor does it include increases for subordinate senior managers in the larger departments, if any.

Accordingly, since no one else seems interested in these looming budget challenges which have already been noted but not addressed in any board meeting, I hereby request an update on the budget status of the following:

Sheriff’s Overtime: Budget and actual to date plus projections for end of Fiscal Year on June 30.

Comment: Not provided.

Cannabis program (including code enforcement) budget and actual, plus projections for end of Fiscal Year on June 30.

Comment: Partial info (see above), but no summary of the overall program budget status.

Juvenile Hall: Budget and actual to date plus projections for end of Fiscal Year on June 30. not reported

Comment: No specific juvenile hall information provided.

Sales tax revenues: budget and actual so far plus projections for end of Fiscal Year on June 30. reported but needs explanation

Comment: Reported but needs explanation.

Property tax revenues: Budget and actual to date plus projections for end of Fiscal Year on June 30.

Comment: Reported but needs explanation.

Pay raise budget impact for Supervisors, CEO and CEO staff, and Department heads in calendar 2018, Plus Budget and actual to date and projections for end of Fiscal Year on June 30. And for this item, budget projections for next fiscal year (July 2019-June 2020.

Comment: Partially reported but no pension info.

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Given that all of these items are matters of ongoing concern to the County and its officials…

Comment: The incomplete nature of the response indicates that they do not appear to be “matters of ongoing concern,” even though they should be.

Further, I would hope that the CEO’s office would report on these (and other departments) items on a monthly basis as promised in the CEO report of August 21, 2018 Budget Report.

Comment: No response.

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On 9/6/2018 around 1600 hours the Mendocino County Sheriff's Detective Unit was contacted by Paradise Police Department in Butte County regarding a case of sexual assault of a child. The victim, a 9 year old juvenile, lives in Butte County and disclosed to a guardian that the assault occurred in Mendocino County on 9/2/2018 while on a camping trip along the Fort Bragg Coast. The victim had been camping with and identified the suspect as Aaron Burrows, 50, of Paradise, California, who also lives in Butte County.

The child's guardian immediately reported the incident to their local law enforcement, Paradise Police Department, who then turned the case over to the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office. Mendocino County Sheriff's Detectives initiated an investigation making numerous trips to Butte County. The case was then submitted to the Mendocino County District Attorney's Office with one felony count of sexual assault being filed against the suspect. A warrant was issued by the Superior Court of the County of Mendocino for the suspect's arrest. On 10/30/2018 Burrows surrendered himself to the Butte County Sheriff's Office and was booked on the active warrant. His bail was set at $250,000. The Mendocino County Sheriff's Office would like to thank Paradise Police Department, the Butte County DA's Office and the Butte County Sheriff's Office for their assistance with this investigation.

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LITTLE DOG SAYS, “Yeah, I've got a girlfriend, German babe. Kinda big for me, but hey! I'm a dawg!”

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TRAFFIC ADVISORY – Salmon Creek Bridge

One-way traffic control at Salmon Creek Bridge on State Route 1 in Mendocino County.

Beginning Monday, November 12 - 7am to 5pm, weekdays.

Motorists should expect no more than a 20 minute delay.

This lane closure on State Route 1 is needed to stage equipment for geotechnical studies on the Salmon Creek Bridge.

Cori Reed
Public Information Officer
for Lake and Mendocino Counties
Caltrans District 1

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Re: Anderson Valley Advertiser letter NEST FEATHERING AT MENDO COLLEGE

“Wouldn’t it be a nice world if those at the top considered those who actually execute the mission?”

Yes, and this applies aptly also to KZYX, where a tiny handful of people in the office suck about $300,000 a year out of the station for themselves and pay the airpeople nothing to beg for all that money for them, not to mention all the local airpeople showing up on time and doing all their shows all year long all put together. If they’re happy to do it and it’s a labor of love, then what kind of labor is it for the bosses who take all the money? I’ve said it before and it still fits: even pimps give a little of the money back to the workers who are out there busting their butts to produce it in the first place.

Just the so-called manager of KZYX, who has no history in radio and knows nothing about radio and does nothing essential, removes the equivalent of 1,200 fifty-dollar yearly memberships from the station for his own personal cushy life. He pays out other people’s money, good tax-derived money, for canned shows from thousands of miles away, so I know he believes radio work is worth paying for; he just must not think local airpeople are worth anything at all. Because a real manager will pay the workers before he pays himself. That’s the manager’s job.

Meanwhile, I’ve been waiting for almost seven years now for my excellent, proven, innovative local show to be scheduled on KZYX. I had built a recording studio and two whole radio stations, where one of them would automatically answer the phone and put callers on the air, and I taught radio production, and staged live radio drama before studio audiences, and I ran well over a hundred two-hour public access variety shows on teevee, and completed several other relevant projects, before the current so-called program director at KZYX was even born. I’ve been doing Memo of the Air: Good Night Radio since 1997, on KMFB and now on KNYO and KMEC, with zero problems generated for any of those stations, and my show always pays off for the station. I have never missed an airdate for either television or radio, and never missed a deadline either writing for or publishing newspapers. I have always got along swimmingly with managers and the other airpeople at every radio station I’ve ever had anything to do with /but/ KZYX. KZYX’s management model was rotten from the beginning, and it has stayed rotten.

I just bring it up now because yet again the bosses at KZYX are running their seasonal unlistenable two-week pledge drive to try desperately to somehow drag in $600,000 by the end of the fiscal year. That’s fifty times the entire yearly budget of KNYO and all of KNYO’s remote studios. And that can only be because the management of KZYX, both on the surface and underneath in the shadows, is corrupt and incompetent. All MCPB Corp’s transmitters and studios and computers and microphones and mixing boards switched on and all pumping at once, no matter how many people shuffle in and out the door, cost less than a dollar an hour to operate. $600,000 is an obscenely inflated amount of money to run a little radio station. The least they can do is give $1000 a year to each of the 60 to 80 regular local airpeople. Make it a Christmas bonus. Clear out the corruption at KZYX and free up some money to pay the right people for a change.

Keep all this in mind over the next two weeks as you hear voices on KZYX lying to you that the station needs your donations and pledges and membership dollars to “keep the great shows on the air.” In the real world, if the current pledge drive brings in $60,000, which is the usual amount, none of that goes to fund the station in any way; every penny of that $60,000 goes into the manager’s personal bank account. He has a program director to direct the programs, an operations manager to manage the operations, a bookkeeper to keep the books, a business underwriting coordinator to coordinate the business underwriting, and if anything breaks there’s a real engineer a phone call away. What is left for a manager to do? What is the point of him? What is he doing for the station that’s worth $60,000 more than all the local airpeople actually putting all the great shows on the air?

If you want to give money to radio stations that really need it and aren’t fully funded nor funded at all by tax money, and that run my eight-hour live show every Friday night week after week after week, consider KMEC-LP in Ukiah and KNYO-LP in Fort Bragg. All of the money they take in goes to pay for rent and electricity and water and phones and internet and equipment and maintenance and music publishers’ fees and streaming fees. None of it goes to pay cynical bosses to pretend to be in charge.


Marco McClean

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In her recent letter, June Sizemore, John Pinches; sister and campaign manager, stated that John Haschak has received large donations from unions. Sizemore got her numbers wrong. Almost sixty percent of the $50,000 raised for his campaign was from small individual contributors like you and me. What Sizemore failed to explain was why her brother receives so few donations, or at least doesn’t report them. It is difficult to understand how the Pinches’ campaign paid for hundreds of large signs and afforded thousands of dollars in print advertisements on such a meager budget.

John Haschak has what it takes to change how Mendocino County is governed. Haschak will bring fresh ideas and energy to the Board of Supervisors, something our county sorely needs.  Yes, John Pinches has more governmental experience, but his ideas and leadership style are old and tired. John Haschak’s has top-notch organizational skills, a keen intellect, and is a problem solver, but more importantly, he thinks outside the box. We need a supervisor who will tackle the complacency of the Board of Supervisors.

In recent weeks, Pinches supporters have made much ado about Haschak’s support from local unions, going so far as to call the working people of this county an “outside special interests.”  John Haschak understands that county workers are not just the “doers” of good government, but important members of our community.  John Pinches slashed county workers pay 7 years ago, even going so far as to directly threaten them with “massive layoffs”, so it is no surprise that county workers have collectively supported John Haschak.

John Pinches’ vision is based on the past.  Just look at some of the things Pinches supported. He defended the Board of Supervisor’s decision to not require an Environmental Review of the Grist Creek Asphalt Plant Project on Outlet Creek which resulted in the County paying hundreds of thousands of taxpayers’ dollars in attorney’s fees to defend their hasty and impulsive action and for the plaintiff’s attorneys.

Pinches is a proponent of pumping water from the Wild and Scenic Middle Fork Eel River. His plan is mere fantasy involving non-existent pumps, pipes, easements, and reservoirs to store the water. He supports “hack and squirt” application on hardwood trees on industrial forest lands, a practice that imperils all of us who live near these highly combustible forests.

We need a leader in the 3rd District who has vision and energy for the future. We live in a rapidly changing time. We need a supervisor who can help jumpstart the Willits economy, can get a Brooktrails second access, and make sure Laytonville and Covelo prosper.  We need a supervisor who can reform our cannabis rules, and make our County government work for all of us.

Oddly, the AVA, who routinely trashes the Board of Supervisors, is supporting the establishment candidate instead of John Haschak, who with Ted Williams will bring some fresh air into the boardroom.

If you are tired of business-as-usual, vote for John Haschak for 3rd District Supervisor.

Marc Komer, Treasurer of the John Haschak for Supervisor campaign


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ED NOTE: Haschak seems like a fine fellow to us, but he's a newbie to County politics who is indeed a captive of the conservative liberals who dominate elected office on the Northcoast. Haschak's campaign spending has in fact, as Ms. Sizemore rightly said, been almost entirely on outside entities, and much of his money comes from outside sources, including Joe Louis Hoffman's SEIU, which Hoffman uses as a slush fund to finance Demo-friendly candidates like Haschak. Pinches, who limits contributions to $49, throws out a lot of ideas, some of them good, some implausible. I don't see creative thinking as a liability, especially when it comes to solving seemingly intractable local problems like water. I do see the conservative liberals who have glommed on to the Haschak campaign as their assumption that Haschak will be one more innocuous "liberal" supervisor like, say, and to take the most egregious example, Dan Hamburg, a great fave of local conservative Democrats, but name one accomplishment by this eternal officeholder who simply occupies the seat, occasionally rousing himself to give himself and his colleagues huge raises with which to also pad their lush retirement checks. Pinches has always had the best interests of Mendocino County at heart, and name another elected local who has ever raised the water issue at all, esp the wildly unfair arrangement with Sonoma County, owner of most of Mendo's water? Pinches knows the County budget inside out, and he will make sure the money goes where it's supposed to go and oppose, as he unfailingly did as a supervisor before, reckless and/or self-interested spending. And, to the people new to the County to whom Pinches is portrayed as some kind of shoot 'em up redneck, even his political enemies who know him will concede that Pinches is unfailingly kind and gracious. And always accessible. Nothing against Haschak, but like Jim Shields of the Mendocino County Observer said, and quoting from memory re the County's hopelessly confused pot policy, "Haschak's 12-point program or Pinches' back of a bar napkin?" Pinches cuts through the bullshit like no supervisor has in years, and he'll do it again.

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MARK SCARAMELLA ADDS: I like Mr. Haschak too. He’s showing up at Supes meetings as a candidate which not many candidates have done previously. But his remarks at those meetings do not distinguish him as “having what it takes to change how Mendocino County is governed.” The only comment I can recall off hand was his mild complaint that the Library/Museum consolidation was not thought through sufficiently. (A comment which echoed Mr. Komer’s remarks as Library Advisory Board Chair which were much more pointed. Maybe Mr. Komer should have run for the Board.) I think Mr. Haschak means well. But I see no evidence at all that he’s studied the budget, that he has any specific ideas on how to change the way Mendo is governed, or that he has any specific reasons for running — not that most of Mendo has ever bothered with such trifling things. PS. If Haschak does not win, will he continue to attend Supes meetings and attempt to change the way Mendo is governed? Or will he go back to teaching Spanish to school children?

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We will kill you, that’s the Proud Boys, in a nutshell. We will kill you. We look nice, seem soft, we have boys in our name, but like Bill the Butcher in the Bowery Boys, we will assassinate you. Fighting solves everything. We need more violence from the Trump people. Trump supporters: Choke a motherfucker. Choke a bitch. Choke a tranny. Get your fingers around the windpipe.
— Gavin McInnes

THE FASCISTI SHOCK TROOPS seem to be on the move, but the kind of twisted young ginks who've shown up in Portland, Berkeley, Charleston, and a few other places are probably the iceberg, not its tip. Which may be too optimistic given the number of websites that cater to the stupid and the vicious, but the influence of groups like the Proud Boys seems to be increasing. Here in Mendo? No signs yet of an organized fascist presence. Friendly fascists? Mendo? Lots and lots.

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THE PASSING of the great Willie McCovey reminds me that I was blessed to have seen the golden age of Bay Area sports — McCovey, Mays and Marichal at Seals Stadium, Y.A. Tittle and Hurryin' Hugh McElhenney at Kezar, Wilt and the Warriors at the Civic Auditorium and the Cow Palace, and never more than five bucks to get in to see any of them.

RECOMMENDED VIEWING, Frontline's two-parter called "The Facebook Dilemma," confirming that Facebook's idealistic beginnings aimed at community and enhanced communications were quickly subverted by commercial cash-ins and the use of Facebook by unsavory political forces to create less community, more chaos, Egypt, Burma and the Ukraine being the bloodiest examples. All-in-all, though, I thought the examples the documentarians produced of Russian interference in American elections was kinda thin and, to reasonably informed citizens, laughable. Hillary barking like a chihuahua? Trump in full Nazi regalia? Most of it was merely the Republican fascisti insulting the Billarys. Speaking as a geezer who would have felt the same as a teen, I wouldn't miss the internet if it went away today at noon, but it and Facebook are here to stay, and from now on it's buyer beware, be very aware.

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I SEE that the UN has declared San Francisco's homelessness equivalent in pure inhumanity the equal of the other global catastrophes the UN tracks. Meanwhile, BART reports its SF escalators are disabled by human feces, a guy with two chainsaws he revved up in transit while muttering threats to kill people, the usual assaults (one sexual), and a bleeding man who left so much of himself in another car that the train had to be stopped for an hour while it was cleaned up. And about one in three riders hopping the turnstiles to avoid paying their fares. How many years has it been since the city that knows how, knew how?

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OF TELEVISION'S political ads I'd say Mark Burling speaking for NO on Prop 8 was the most effective. "If I don't get dialysis, I die." I've probably seen it 30 times and Burling, a dialysis patient, not an actor, gets me every time. The most annoying, and totally untrue, were the ads opposed to rent control (Prop 10), especially the retired female Army colonel who claims passage would hurt homeowners like her particularly. Please. Ever meet a broke retired colonel?

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PAID your credit card bill lately? Interest on most of them is now up to 17%, thanks to the Federal Reserve's increase of the prime rate, which is the rate smaller financial institutions borrow at. The following is presented as a public service from the Boonville weekly: The Federal Reserve is a privately-owned consortium of big banks who own our money. And our government, for that matter. The Fed raises or lowers prime interest rates according to.... ta da... the private welfare of the people who own them. If inflation gets out of hand, meaning the stuff you buy at the grocery store is more and more expensive as it is and has been for years now, the big banks lose money because currency is worth less, hence the Fed's periodic interest hikes, hence the 17% on our credit cards passed on down the line from our owners to you, the citizen of Bank Land.

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"Part of the Anderson Valley wine-growing region, the town’s bucolic-meets-boho-chic vibe extends to the Boonville Hotel and Pennyroyal Farm, a creamery that also makes wine."

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VISITORS ARE DRAWN in part by the area's cultivated mythology as a place apart from the mainstream. The town — along with Mendocino (#7) and Carmel-by-the-Sea (#19) — were included in a ranking of the 50 most beautiful small towns in America. Incidentally, the photo for Boonville was the weakest of the bunch:

Photo: Getty Images

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ANDERSON VALLEY HIGH SCHOOL 2018 Homecoming students, Freshman Kiara Wallace and Senior Makayla Imrie, enjoy a little dinner at the Roadhouse in Philo before heading off to the school homecoming events.

(Photo by Bonnie Clarke Johnson)

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GO NOT FOR EVERY GRIEF to the physician, not for every quarrel to the lawyer, nor for every thirst to the bottle.

— George Herbert

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CATCH OF THE DAY, November 1, 2018

Brown, Burrows, Escamilla

DOUGLAS BROWN, Laytonville. Protective order violation.

AARON BURROWS, Paradise/Ukiah. Oral copulation with victim under ten years of age.

DANIEL ESCAMILLA, Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-alcohol.

Hurtado, Miller, Rogers

RYLER HURTADO, Fort Bragg. Controlled substance for sale, sale of controlled substance, leaded cane or similar, conspiracy.

ANGEL MILLER, Ukiah. Parole violation.

DORTHY ROGERS, Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-alcohol.

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THE NOVEMBER 15, 2018 PLANNING COMMISSION AGENDA has been posted to the department website at the below link:

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Please know that I have paid for another week at Honolulu's Plumeria Alternative Hostel. Am now spending all of my time witnessing the mind's activity, and the body does what it needs to do. Enjoyed walking around the Waikiki area this Halloween night, unable to find anybody venerating the "hallowed" saints and other holy personages from all of the spiritual traditions. However, the streets were filled with children dressed up as every possible imagined identity. The luxurious shopping area was ready with treats in crystal bowls, and the sales representatives were appropriately costumed. And the three floored Ala Moana shopping center really got into the spirit of the evening, with lines of children waiting to get into the jewelry stores to obtain candy, while the parents browsed ultra-expensive new designs. The days of walking around the neighborhood with a paper bag collecting apples and cookies in one's ghoul mask are over. I am NOT going to report that I am available on the earth plane for peace & justice and radical environmental activist activities. And I am NOT going to report that I am able to leave Oahu and show up if I receive solidarity, particularly housing. Lastly, I am NOT going to even suggest that it would be sane for me to get this immediately. Whereas we are all Pure Spirit (realized or not), you are invited to contact me with the understanding that it would be ridiculous for me to spend the autumn season sitting underneath a palm tree gazing out at double rainbows on the horizon, while the Pacific trade winds gently caress my face, awaiting mahasamadhic dematerialization.  ~Mahalo~

Craig Louis Stehr
Honolulu, Hawaii

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The Guardian ran a story recently that explored who these migrants are. What they found is that many of them are people whose small family farms were failing due to climate change. They were forced off their farms because of repeated crop failures. Moving to the cities they fall victim to gang violence and poverty. Many said they are struggling to adequately feed their families. They have made the choice to migrate north. Both the UN and the Pentagon have projected that large scale climate based population displacement is a looming problem as the world's climate changes. The major media outlets focus on gang violence and poverty for the migrant caravans. But the Guardian article digs deeper into the facts behind why poor, small scale farmers are losing their land, along with the ability to feed their families. Welcome to the brave new world.

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SATURDAY - Fungi, Farming, and Fermentation

Coastal Cornucopia THIS Saturday, November 3, 1:00PM to 5:00PM

The Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens is hosting an abundant celebration in the organic demonstration Vegetable Garden and new Education Center located in the restored historic farmhouse.  Join us for an afternoon brimming with knowledge and nourishment focused on mushrooms, fruits, vegetables, fermentation, and all things autumn. Enjoy wine tastings with Bee Hunter Wines, identification walks with local Mycologist Mario Abreu, a guest lecture by Eric Schramm of Mendocino Mushrooms, fresh pressed apple juice straight from our orchard, demonstrations by the Mendocino County Herb Guild, Shroom Snack mushroom jerky samples, and much more. Here is a full list of what to expect:

Bee Hunter Wines - Wine tastings
Local craft brews - Beer tastings
Fresh pressed apple juice tastings
Rhody's Garden Cafe - Mushroom Barley soup tasting
Fall bites by Sugar Coated Catering and others
Seaside String Sisters - American folk music
Mario Abreu - Mushroom ID walks at 1:30 and 4:00PM
Eric Schramm - Lecture at 3:00PM
Mendocino Coast Mushroom Club - Booth and demonstrations
Mendocino County Herb Guild - Hot tea and "toddy" of their Harvest BrewFire Cider
Mycolab Solutions - Create your own grow at home oyster mushroom kit
MCBG Gardener booth - Tastings of edible weeds and seed planting demonstrations for fall cover crops
Jacquelyn Cisper - Handcrafted mushroom cards and artwork
Master Gardeners - Info booth

Cost for adults (age 15 and older) is $25 per person; $15 for Gardens Members. Children are welcome to attend, you can pay their admission on the day of the event at the front entrance ($8 for juniors age 6 to 14; free for children age 5 and under; free for children under MCBG Household Memberships). Gardens admission, educational demonstrations, fall bites, brews, wine, and beer tastings included! SIGN UP in advance
(, at The Garden Store at Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens, or pay at the door.

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ANNUAL NORTH COAST GRAPE HARVEST draws to an abundant close

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According to CalPERS, state and local government pension costs are going to climb from $31 billion in 2018 to $58 billion in 2024, an increase of $96.6 billion for an average annual cost increase of $16.1 billion per year.

At the same time, according to the California Taxpayers Association, under all new tax measures passed by voters statewide in November 2016, June 2018 and assuming all new tax measures on the November ballot pass, the state and local governments would collect an additional $10 billion a year, meaning pensions costs will exceed all new taxes from the last three elections by $6 billion per year.

What is equally disturbing is not a single politician running for elected office in Sonoma County has said a word about what they will do to curb pension costs.

In my opinion, it is time we all stopped passing new tax measures until our politicians fix the real cause of the problem, soaring unsustainable pension costs that are diverting all new tax dollars away from the services they promise the tax receipts will deliver.

So I hope you will join me in voting no on all new taxes and bond measures.

Ken Churhill

Santa Rosa

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WHAT BILLIONAIRES WANT: the secret influence of America’s 100 richest Big Money players

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EXCERPTED INTERVIEW WITH KURT ANDERSEN, AUTHOR OF FANTASYLAND (AVA subtitle: Explaining anti-vaxxers and other of Mendo's many magical thinkers)

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We let a million flowers bloom — it wasn’t just groovy peace and love. “I can believe what I want; science is no better than magic; reason is not superior to faith; it’s all a construction” — different flavors and versions of that existed in the academy, in Haight-Ashbury, in my college dorm room. At the same time, this was the moment when American Protestantism really threw out nuance and reason.

Right, we don’t need your history, we have our own.

We’re going to become as theologically primitive as our Puritan forebears were. And these new things that we decide to call charismatic healing and speaking in tongues, that was also part of the ’60s explosion as well, driven in part by a great Christian awakening — a backlash to free love and all that. But the counter-explosion was just a different part of the same phenomenon: I can believe in magic whether I’m a fundamentalist Christian or taking acid.

Right, why should they be mutually exclusive? Tell us a little about the role played by your generation, the Baby Boom — the biggest and wealthiest generation in the history of the world. How crucial were they to making the fantasy happen?

Though I am technically a Baby Boomer I don’t identify with them. I am slightly younger, for starters.

Nevertheless, through no fault of our own, this generation — because of its size and because of when it came along in the political economy of America — became the avant-garde of Fantasyland. It was a perfect storm of conditions: the United States had won the war, we were determining the global order, and there was this huge number of people — and television.

When I look at the 1960s I’m not saying that civil rights, or feminism, or any of these unquestionably good, virtuous pieces of progress were bad. But there was a blurring of the real and the fictional, and adults trying to be young forever … I don’t want to so much blame the Baby Boomers, but they were, by virtue of their size and their timing, the crucial generational agents of this change. And then we got the internet, and now we’ve all gone to hell.

One of the strange, creepy moments in the book comes when you talk about being a kid in Omaha in the ’50s and how much time you and everybody you knew spent watching TV … There’s a point where technology and the development of the suburbs meant that the reality of physical encounters were replaced by media.

Yeah, television and suburbanization happened so quickly and were such a radical change. Especially in the case of television and its successor media technologies, we sort of quickly lost sight of how disruptive that change was: suddenly, between 1950 and 1960, people are going from not spending any time in a fugue state staring at screens to spending a third of their waking hours doing it.

This new set of conditions blurred the nature between empirical reality and fiction. The news and I Dream of Jeannie came out of the same box.

Right, and this is what Neil Postman or Dwight Macdonald would say: It wasn’t that one was bad or the other is good, it is that they’re in the same magazine or on the same station, so who can tell the difference?

Right. Until I was doing research for this book I hadn’t read this great preface that Aldous Huxley wrote when Brave New World was reissued in the late ’50s, and after he had been a Hollywood screenwriter for 15 or 20 years. He was talking about how this new mass media entertainment-communications system is not trying to put out falsehoods (this was in 1958), but that it was indifferent to the truth. It was simply providing endless distraction.

This was not simply a right-wing movement. Fantasy came from both sides. But at a certain point, it took a right turn.

Yes, in the last 20 years there was much more fantasy on the right than on the left — certainly more so than in the 1950s. Of course, there was this ferocious conspiracy-minded right in the form of McCarthyism and its successor movement, the John Birch Society, but that was marginalized by serious conservatives like William F. Buckley. But after being kept out of the main chambers during the ’60s and the ’70s, in the ’80s, they were no longer kept out. And by the turn of the century the John Birch positions and paradigms of how the world worked — which my Republican parents always disparaged — were orthodoxy.

But I don’t want to make it purely a thing about politics or the right. One of the most counterintuitive and surprising lines I draw is from the counterculture and the academy of the ’60s to the “alternative facts” and the state we’re in now. There’s plenty of culpability to go around. But where it gets consequential is when climate-change denial has become a thing …

Truthers, birthers …

The rationalist, reasonable Republican establishment was playing with fire a lot longer and more cynically than the leaders of the left have done.

You’ve written at least one historical novel, but you’ve never written a nonfiction book with a lot of research and cultural background. I wonder if you had some kind of model for this deeply researched but basically pop social history.

You know, to tell you the truth, I didn’t. I had some books that I remember making people think differently, like Christopher Lasch’s Culture of Narcissism. I certainly relied on Richard Hofstadter’s The Paranoid Style in American Politics, which was shorter and narrower, and the Daniel Boorstin book about pseudo-events …

The other region that seems important to the building of the big fantasy, at least for the last 100 years or so, is Southern California. It has a recurring role in this: Hollywood, Disney, Amy Semple McPherson, and so on. How do Los Angeles and its environs fit into this larger march toward lunacy?

Both Southern and Northern California get repeated shout-outs. Northern California has the Gold Rush, the Beats, Esalen, and all that. And Southern California has Hollywood, created out of a blank slate in a very few decades around the turn of the century. It was this idea of America squared — a new world, we can make it whatever we want, let’s go do it! Hollywood is an industry devoted to the most immersive, persuasive, compelling fictions: all dreams are true and it’s beautiful and perfect and wonderful.

Southern California took these deeply American ideas and exaggerated them: I can remake myself to be whatever I want to be; I can create a stage set; I can live in a Mediterranean villa or a sci-fi future house; the sun shines all day and the living is easy and anything is possible. Ultra-individualism … I’ve lived in Los Angeles, I love Los Angeles, but there’s a reason that Southern California and California more generally do appear in the last act — the last century of this history. They were very fertile grounds for the kinds of wackiness, the merger of the real and the fictional, that this whole book is about. L. Ron Hubbard developed Scientology right there in your city.

We have “liberal Hollywood” and conservative Breitbart and whatever Scientology is — all in the same city.

It was a perfect petri dish for all of these organisms to grow like crazy.

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by Jonah Raskin

Readers of the AVA can’t seem to get enough Jack London. Even the tiniest scraps of information appeals to biographers and fans. Malcolm Macdonald wrote about “Jack London & Helmuth Seefeldt” in a recent AVA, though he had far more to say about Seefeldt than London. That’s odd. During London’s lifetime, a great many individuals capitalized on their connections to him, however slight they may have been. London’s boyhood Oakland friends wrote about him and so did the crew members aboard his yacht, The Snark, which he tried unsuccessfully to sail across the Pacific. London’s daughters wrote about him, and so did his second wife, Charmian, who was an author in her own right. There are at least a dozen books by those who knew the man who wrote The Call of the Wild and fifty or so other works. Enigmatic, problematic, dogmatic and decidedly un-phlegmatic, London enjoyed the company of Helmuth Seefeldt, the world traveler and Sonoma County rancher, William Randolph Hearst, the newspaper tycoon and Emma Goldman, the Russian-born Jewish anarchist. He was all over the map and a misfit, too.

Dan Wichlan, a former business executive at the Bank of America and Charles Schwab & Co., belongs to the London faithful. He is not an academic or a trained scholar, but he has gathered together London’s “Unpublished and Uncollected Articles and Essays” in one volume available at Amazon. Wichlan touts his own horn and claims to have unearthed unknown works by London. His poetic essay, “What Socialism Is,” which was published in The Examiner in 1895, is included in a bibliography by Russ Kingman. Wichlan argues that it is “not listed in any of the published bibliographies.”

Wichlan’s book, which was recently published, has 42 articles and essays by London, an introduction by the editor himself and prefaces to each article and essay. It’s good to have London’s writing about politics, journalism and more between covers.  But Wichlan tends to glorify London, downplay his genuine radicalism and whitewash his belief in white supremacy. If nothing else, London was a walking talking contradiction. Upton Sinclair liked his writing and so did H. L. Mencken, Leon Trotsky and V.L. Lenin. In many ways, he has been all things to all make and manner of men and women.

For much of his life, London considered himself a socialist; he was a member of the American Socialist Party, and, though he didn’t attend meetings, he spoke and wrote for the party to recruit new members and swell its ranks. He ran for mayor of Oakland twice on a liberal-left ticket. Briefly, he urged violent revolution in the U.S. to overthrow the capitalism system and usher in socialism by which he meant the end of the rule by the men who owned the factories and the transfer of power by any means necessary to those who toiled in those same factories. In “What Socialism Is,” London wrote that it “is a phenomenon of this century.” He added, “We have slavery, feudalism, capitalism—and socialism. It is the obvious step.” For much of his life, London thought that socialism was inevitable.

Wichlan writes that London became a socialist because he wanted “labor reform.” That’s neglecting the London who went beyond reform to revolution, defended the Industrial Workers of the World and empathized with anarchists like Alexander Berkman, though he didn’t endorse anarchism of the deed. Wichlan also talks about London’s “discontent” with the Socialist Party and his resignation, but he ignores the two decades when London was a fiery radical and a loyal party member.

Wichlan calls London an “anti-racist,” but in two essays in this book, “The Salt of the Earth” and “Washoe Indians Resolve to Become White Men,” London stands with white men and against men of color. Indeed, he wanted Indians to go to U.S. government schools where they would lose their Indian-ness and be turned into white people. London was a socialist who identified with the British Empire and wanted a kind of pan-Atlantic alliance that would connect the Anglos and the Americans and stand against yellow, brown and black people. For much of his life he was against war, but at the start of World War I, when the Germans threatened the Brits, he urged the U.S. to join with the Brits and make war against “the Huns.”

When one looks deeply into the life and the works of Jack London, the less heroic he appears and the more deeply flawed. The best essay in Wichlan’s anthology is entitled “In the Days of My Youth.” It’s autobiographical and it was published in 1905, the year London identified with the Russian revolutionaries whom he called his comrades. “I am out on a hunt for the boyhood which I never had,” London says. He adds that he was “very lonely.” Indeed, all his life he was surrounded by loneliness, which is why, in part, he joined the Socialist Party. It was a social organization.

On the subject of his own radicalization, London explains “In the Days of My Youth”: “I tramped all through the United States, and the whole tramping experience made me become a socialist.” The writers who influenced him the most, when he reached adulthood, he noted, were Karl Marx, the Communist, and Herbert Spencer who borrowed the Darwinian idea of the survival of the fittest and applied it to human society. In “The Salt of the Earth,” London explained that, “In the struggle for food and shelter, for place and power, the weak and less efficient are crowded back and trampled under, as they always have been.”

Before we indulge in the worship of Jack London, we might remember that he could be a bigot and a chauvinist. In a 1914 essay included in Wichlan’s volume, he insisted that, “woman is the conservative factor of the sexes, whereas man is the radical.” But he also felt that women in primitive (that is in pre-capitalist) societies were healthier than women in modern societies. Even as he believed in progress, he looked back fondly to the past and to all that humanity had sadly lost. Ah, Jack, poor Jack, after all these years, we’ve hardly known who you really were.

(Jonah Raskin is the editor of The Radical Jack London: Writings on War and Revolution.)

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The world’s oceans have been soaking up far more excess heat in recent decades than scientists realized, suggesting that Earth could be set to warm even faster than predicted in the years ahead, according to new research published Wednesday.

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Applications accepted through November 30, 2018

The Mendocino County Air Quality Management District is accepting applications from low-income residents in Mendocino County to replace their old, non-EPA certified wood stove, fireplace insert, or open hearth fireplace, with a newer, cleaner burning device, such as an EPA-certified woodstove, insert, or a natural gas, propane or electric heating device.

Residents must meet all of the following requirements:

Owner-occupied residence is located within the District’s boundaries in designated low-income areas or disadvantaged communities.

Participate in a low-income assistance program (WIC, CARE, LIHEAP), or have a total annual household income of less than $49,454.

Use an old, non-EPA-certified wood stove, fireplace insert, or open hearth fireplace as a primary source of heat in the residence.

All applications must be approved by the District and a voucher issued prior to ordering or purchasing a new EPA-certified woodstove, insert, or a natural gas, propane or electric heating device from a participating retailer, in order to be eligible for funding.

Approved applicants will receive a voucher valued up to $4000 towards the purchase and installation of a new certified device.  New devices must be professionally installed by a licensed contractor in accordance with local fire and building codes.  ‘Do-It-Yourself’ installations are not allowed under this program.

Stoves replaced through this program must be permanently rendered inoperable prior to disposal/recycling.  There is a limit of one voucher per owner-occupied residence.

For more information or to obtain an application, contact the District at 707-463-4354; at the District office at 306 E Gobbi St. Ukiah;  or online at: .

This project is supported by the California Climate Investments (CCI) program, a statewide initiative that puts Cap-and-Trade dollars to work.  This voucher program is subject to state requirements and agreements with the California Air Resources Board (CARB) and the California Air Pollution Control Officer’s Association (CAPCOA).

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GWYNETH MORELAND & MORGAN DANIELS at The Greenwood Community Church 11/8

Come Feast, Taste and Listen!  A benefit for The Greenwood Community Church. Thursday November 8 at the church on Highway 1 in Elk. Dorris open at 5:30pm for temping tastes courtesy of the Inns of Elk and wines from Handley and Husch. Music  begins at 7pm. Tickets $35pp are limited and available by calling 877-3214 (this event sold out last year).

We hope to see you!



  1. George Hollister November 2, 2018

    “But Wichlan tends to glorify London, downplay his genuine radicalism and whitewash his belief in white supremacy. If nothing else, London was a walking talking contradiction.”

    Yes, and aren’t we all.

  2. George Hollister November 2, 2018

    “The Mendocino County Air Quality Management District is accepting applications from low-income residents in Mendocino County to replace their old, non-EPA certified wood stove”

    If you have an old Fisher stove, hang on to it. Your neighbors won’t be complain, either.

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