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Mendocino County Today: Sunday, Nov. 25, 2018

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KZYX MARKS THE 50TH ANNIVERSARY of the Back to the Land Movement with “Promise of Paradise: Back to the Land Oral Histories of Mendocino County.”

In the 1970s, young journeyers from urban and suburban America seeking to reinvent themselves in rural environs began moving to Mendocino County digging in and working to gain the skills they would need to thrive in this new home. They built lives and raised families. Eventually, of course, this phenomenon became known as the Back to the Land Movement. Roughly speaking we are now at the 50th anniversary of the beginning of that wave.

In celebration and acknowledgement of the people who fired this watershed movement in local history a half-century ago, KZYX, Mendocino County Public Broadcasting, is now airing “Promise of Paradise: Back to the Land Oral Histories of Mendocino County.” The locally produced weekly program showcases the first-hand stories of dozens of the Mendocino County residents who came to the area with that storied wave of dreamers and builders.

The half-hour show airs at 3:30 pm every Thursday, and is archived on the station’s Jukebox feature, found online via Now coming up on its 30th anniversary, listener supported KZYX broadcasts music, news, and public affairs programming across the length and breadth of Mendocino County, and into Lake County. The station is the region’s primary NPR affiliate.

“Promise of Paradise” is the result of a labor of love by producers Kate Magruder, a well-known local historian, actor and director, and radio/print journalist Sarah Reith, a KZYX regular who also produced station’s recent series on homelessness, “A Place to Call Home.” Over the past several months, Magruder and Reith, along with KZYX program director Alice Woelfle, conducted interview sessions in locations around the county, including the Elk Community Center and the Grace Hudson Museum in Ukiah. Together, they recorded the stories of approximately 75 back-to-the-landers.

Speaking about the genesis of the project, Magruder says, “I blame it on Laura Fogg, a beautiful local quilter. She had done a giant portrait quilt that I believe was based on a photo of her family that was hanging in the Corner Gallery in Ukiah. Laura told me, ‘I came here in 1970, so in 2020, it’s going to be 50 years.’ She wanted to do a quilting project, portraits of people who had been here then and are still here. And, the moment she said that, I knew I was going to do an oral history project with these people. Because, stories, and especially local stories, have been my line of work for many years.”

Magruder says that as she thought about the idea, it began to resonate more strongly.

“I thought that it was time to get these stories, down, to capture them, because we were going be losing people. It was a significant cultural experience that changed the people who came and changed this place. So I wanted to dig around, to get archival stories that people can refer to years from now. I wasn’t even thinking of it as a radio project. And then, as I was beginning to consider the idea further, and talk about it more, (KZYX Board of Directors president) John Azzaro approached me, and said, ‘Could you come and talk with us about what you want to do? Your idea might make a really good collaborative project with our radio station.’ And it did, of course. It was perfect.”

In the meantime, Reith was looking for a new endeavor to take on. She, too, thought of an oral history project. Through contacts in the arts community, Reith and Magruder, as they put it, “found each other.” Once they had the partnership with KZYX in place, the pair, along with Woelfle, began writing grants, eventually receiving support from the National Endowment for the Humanities, California Humanities, the Arts Council of Mendocino County, the Judy Pruden Historical Preservation Fund of the Community Foundation of Mendocino County, the Mendocino Institute and the Grace Hudson Museum. Local author/historian Cal Winslow has been an important advisor on the project.

Finally, it was time to stop planning the project and to start interviewing. A professional radio documentary maker advised them to create highly produced, themed segments with several people interviewed together. The pair discarded that idea, however, in favor of a more informal approach, interviewing people one at a time, and letting each session, each experience, stand on its own.

“I’d have a list of questions prepared,” Reith says, “but sometimes one question would spark a long, interesting story, and I would think, never mind the list. Let’s just follow this thread.”

Magruder says, “Our great joy was sitting down and talking to the people who there and being given a glimpse into this wild, wonderful world, hearing details about that time that would never occur to you. The people I talked to, almost to a person, expressed a sense of, ‘I'm so lucky, that we came here.’”

There is a strong awareness, says Reith, that the movement was very much a product of its time, that the generation caught lightning in a bottle. “There’s a sadness among many,” she says, “that, especially because the economics have changed so dramatically, it is an experience that their children could never have.”

There are dark edges to some of the stories, and of course not all long-time residents were happy to see the newcomers showing up. But mostly, Magruder says, it’s a story of resilience and forward thinking. “I have been surprised by how buoyant people are,” she says. “People talk about how the experience shaped them in ways they’d never imagined. The overlapping nature of the stories, and the connection to the social issues of the day, add depth to the narrative. Something was allowed to happen here because the conditions were right for it.”

“I’ve read,” Magruder concludes, “that when the whole thing began, nobody thought of it as a movement. It was just a gut reaction to what was going on in the world. People needed to get somewhere, and it was a collective feeling.”

Greenfield Ranch. Easter, 1977
Photo by Jana Rose Chase.
"The photo lacks resolution but is loaded with resonance." — Kate McGruder

“Promise of Paradise,” now airing Thursdays at 3:30 pm on KZYX, offers a detailed look into a storied time in Mendocino County history through the first-hand perspectives of the people who lived through it.

For more information about “Promise of Paradise,” please contact Kate Magruder at For more information about KZYX, please contact Alice Woelfle, at

(Jerry Karp)

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LITTLE DOG SAYS, “I wrote a poem once about the clear morning air after a rain, but my memory ain't what it was. You know the feeling though, right?”

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DRY WEATHER is expected through daytime on Monday with some periods of sunshine. Wet and breezy weather will return Monday night and Tuesday, with periods of rain through the end of the week. (National Weather Service)

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A READER COMMENTS on Mark Scaramella’s recent item which began: "Reading about the whine industry’s recent request for the feds to bail them out from alleged losses caused by “smoke taint” affecting their precious wine grapes is really galling. It made me think back about my father’s career-long work to maintain price supports for milk.”

COMMENT: "Smoke taint” can be politely called dubious, and is more likely bogus. After listening to vineyard, and wine making people it became apparent that there is no way to chemically quantify what “smoke taint” is. And wine snobs have no idea what “smoke taint” is, either. In fact with the wine snob crowd, “smoke taint” is no more than a figment of their imaginations. What is more likely the case for “smoke taint” this year is an oversupply of grapes. Not much different than with milk in Gene Scaramella’s time. Because of this, it is highly unlikely any fed bailout will materialize. Silly to even ask for one. What is more likely is verbiage in future grape contracts that puts a shared burden for “smoke taint” on both the grower and the winery. That should fix the problem, and the “smoke taint” issue will likely become mostly a distant memory.”

MARK SCARAMELLA REPLIES: Maybe, but how does the commenter explain all the previous federal wine industry favors and subsidies and special legislation with similarly bogus justifications?

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photo by Tyler Florence (click to enlarge)

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CAMP FIRE UPDATES (Sunday morning): 100% containment; 85 fatalities; 19,357 structures damaged or destroyed.

"The fireline that remained uncontained has now been contained, bringing containment to 100%. Fire suppression repair personnel continue conduct rehab where possible. Search and Rescue Crews, US&R Teams, and engine companies continue with search efforts." (Calfire)

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UNFAIR TO MCCOWEN? We received a couple of calls recently saying that our focus on Supervisor John McCowen in our discussion of the county budget deficit was misplaced. The callers argue that McCowen at least tries to dig into the details of the budget and focus on its many information gaps and should get more credit for it. The problem is with the budget, not with McCowen, they insist.

The callers are certainly correct in the sense that McCowen, alone among his colleagues, does at least take a serious interest in the budget and the serious problems it presents.

Our complaint has more to do with McCowen’s unsupported optimism, his failure to dig into the problems the budget is based on, the inconsistency regarding certain departments that don’t get examined, and the lack of follow-up.

For example, McCowen didn't ask any questions about the Ag Department’s budget deficit presumably because it includes the cannabis program which he takes personally. He also didn't ask any questions about the CEO and Supervisor budget units which were somehow left off the CEO’s list of budget units "projected to be significantly over budget."

Our other complaint was that in spite of McCowen’s interest in the budget numbers, and his own observation that there was insufficient data offered to know what the true condition of the county’s fiscal situation is, McCowen declared, "So we are not operating at a deficit is my belief."

McCowen also noted that there was a "current 12% vacancy factor," which he seems to think will save money and somehow balance the budget in the end. But as McCowen himself noted, the County doesn't know what the revenues are more than four months into the year — Humboldt County does have revenue numbers at this point — and the “vacancy rate” was not quantified and therefore there is no basis to claim that "we are not operating at a deficit." (And nobody asked about the vacancy rate’s implications regarding workload, backlog, key positions, etc.)

McCowen also said that he thought the auditor’s "projections," based on nothing but last year's numbers, were "on the conservative side" and declared that such (non-)projections were "prudent."

If Mendo wanted to use “prudent” or “conservative” revenue numbers they would look at the neighboring counties who already have some first quarter data and make some adjustments to the Auditor’s simplistic “projections.” (Property and sales tax revenues are probably going to be less than what the Auditor “projects”)

At one point McCowen concluded, "even though we don't have a lot of hard data I would be optimistic that when we do get some additional information we will probably see that there is additional unanticipated revenue."

How could anyone with a serious interest in the budget make such a claim?

During the first-quarter budget presentation a couple of weeks ago, both McCowen and Supervisor Dan Gjerde asked the County's budget staff to present a complete summary of the departments and their individual budget status, not just a careful selection of budget units which are over or under. The county's general fund is more than half law enforcement and, since the sheriff's department is substantially over budget already in the first quarter, it's disputable to suggest that a few other departments being under budget will somehow offset the departments which are significantly over budget.

We also don't see how McCowen, not to mention his even less interested and silent colleagues, can get a list of departments which are "significantly over budget" and not ask why or what's being done about it.

The County is also playing fast and loose with its capital facility expenditures, some of which are long overdue and very necessary and yet they are not specifically funded (leaky roofs, obsolute computers and software, local match funds for the jail expansion, etc.). How long can the County continue to pretend that these things can be postponed?

So yes, Supervisor McCowen gets credit for looking into the budget, but we stand by our overall complaint that the budget is seriously out of balance, significant cost overruns are being ignored, there are huge info gaps even after four months, and the McCowen’s "optimism" is misplaced.

Supposedly, the next budget presentation is scheduled for the first couple of months of 2019 when the second quarter report is assembled. (The CEO had promised monthly budget reports in July, but those never materialized either.)

If Mendo’s budget balancing act is dependent on McCowen alone, that update is not likely to be positive.

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We still have kittens!! Fritter is a 2 month old, neutered male kitten who is friendly and playful. He is one of the youngest kittens currently available for adoption at the Shelter. There are lots of adorable kittens and cats waiting for their new homes. Come to the shelter to meet our guests and get some feline cuddle and play time. Meow!

Drake is a mixed breed, 5 year old, strong, active dog. He enjoys playing with stuffed toys and loves an invigorating game of tennis ball catch—he will drop the ball at your feet and do a happy dance. Drake will need an active home where he will get lots of attention and exercise, and he would benefit from a basic canine training class. Drake’s past guardian told us Drake loved everyone! Drake is neutered and ready to roll right out the shelter’s front door!

For more about Drake, visit his webpage at The Ukiah Animal Shelter is located at 298 Plant Road in Ukiah, and adoption hours are Tuesday, Thursday, Friday & Saturday from 10 am to 4:30 pm and Wednesday from 10 am to 6:30 pm. To see photos and bios of the shelter's adoptable animals, please visit us online at: For more information about adoptions please call 707-467-6453.

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RETECH ANNOUNCED THIS WEEK that it will shut down the manufacturing arm of its Ukiah facility and move “much of the manufacturing and assembly previously done” there to facilities located in Poland.

Last week, employees at the company, which manufactures vacuum melting systems, received an email notifying them that layoffs were pending, as the company would be shutting down manufacturing at the Ukiah location within 60 days, but that sales and engineering employees would be retained.

When reached last week for comment, Retech President Earl Good said changes were coming, but that there were “still a lot of uncertainties and we are still working out all the details.” He asked that the company’s privacy be respected, and said he would be willing to provide more details next month.

According to information released by the company this week, “the Ukiah office will be downsized and will retain our experienced engineers, leading technical directors, technologists, and service staff. Key leadership roles will continue to be filled and Retech’s unique R&D Center will continue to be built up. Ultimately, the company will then maintain a west coast office along with the recently opened east coast office in Buffalo, NY.”

Good is quoted as saying, “This is an effort to both strengthen our organization and to satisfy our customer’s expectations. Ultimately, we are confident that the new organizational structure and footprint will enable Retech to be much closer to our global customers while improving our competitiveness in the industrial markets we serve.”

The company describes itself as “the world’s leading supplier of Electron Beam (EB) and Plasma (PAM) Cold Hearth furnaces for melting and refining titanium and titanium alloys. Retech advanced vacuum metallurgical systems also include Vacuum Arc Remelt (VAR), VAR Consumable (Skull) Casting, EB and PAM Consolidation furnaces, Plasma Welders, Vacuum Induction melting (VIM), Precision Investment Casting (DS/SC/EQ), Cold Wall Induction melting and casting, Vacuum Heat Treating, and Gas Atomization for metal powder production.”

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Al Gore said President Trump was trying to "bury" the apocalyptic federal report saying climate change could cost the U.S. hundreds of millions in damages by 2100. Gore also pointed out that the report was deliberately timed for release the day after Thanksgiving when Americans are even more distracted than they usually are rather than in December as planned. “Unbelievably deadly and tragic wildfires rage in the west," Gore said, "hurricanes batter our coasts— and the Trump administration chooses the Friday after Thanksgiving to try and bury this critical US assessment of the climate crisis. The President may try to hide the truth, but his own scientists and experts have made it as stark and clear as possible. Mr. President, the majority of Americans are deeply concerned about the climate crisis and demand action." Trump was busy giving thanks for himself and twittering that “Brutal and Extended Cold Blast could shatter ALL RECORDS–Whatever happened to Global Warming?”

THE THEME of Michael Lewis's new book, "The Fifth Risk" is that Trump, by deliberately sabbing federal bureaucracies by placing flagrantly unqualified people at the head of them, is hastening catastrophe.

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NOBODY WANTS TO KNOW that contemporary history has created a new kind of human being — the kind that are put into concentration camps by their foes and internment camps by their friends. — Hannah Arendt.

(Nearly eighty years later, the world has come no closer to ensuring the rights of a human without a country . Mostly, governments propose quarantine. Internment camps grow in Tornillo, Texas, in Lesbos, in Zaatari, Bangladesh. It won't work. Each year, the world grows warmer. The oceans rise. Wars are fought for ever-scarcer resources. If the wealthy West worries about one million Syrians, what will it do with millions of climate refugees? (Molly Crabapple)

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The 1,600-plus page document—produced by the National Climate Assessment, a consortium of 13 federal agencies overseen by the US Global Change Research Program—is congressionally mandated and the first of its kind issued under the Trump administration. It’s the fourth volume produced by the group since 2000; the last report was issued in 2014.

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RECOMMENDED VIEWING: "The Ballad of Buster Scruggs," a Coen Bros production based on tales from the Wild West, which includes the wildly funny and the wildly violent.

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CATCH OF THE DAY, November 24, 2018

Beltram, Cook, Dawson-Valencia, Rouse

TIMOTHY BELTRAM, Fort Bragg. DUI causing bodily injury, gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated and operating a vehicle.

CHRISTINE COOK, Ukiah. Petty theft-bicycle, probation revocation.

DREVEN DAWSON-VALENCIA, Talmage. Probation revocation.

SANDRA ROUSE, Willits. Domestic battery.

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During the holidays, a lot of people think about donating to food banks or volunteering time in the community. Charity efforts are critical, but to end hunger in our community, we have to also attack the root causes of poverty.

That’s why federal anti-poverty programs like SNAP (formerly food stamps) are so important. SNAP helps more than 40 million people put food on the table, but it’s been under near constant political threat. Right now, there’s even a proposed rule that would punish legally residing immigrants for receiving SNAP or other basic assistance. This is just wrong.

While we support our local communities through charity during the holidays, we must also speak out to support policies that help millions of families put food on the table. Join me in telling our policymakers to protect SNAP and other food assistance programs for all families in our community.

Nicholas Lenchner

Santa Rosa

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Democrats ramp up pressure to act in wake of most sobering government analysis yet: climate change ‘will inflict substantial damages’

by Oliver Milman

The Trump administration attempted to downplay the stark findings of its own climate change assessment, as Democrats sought to pressure the White House to avert looming economic and public health disaster.

The US National Climate change assessment, the work of 300 scientists and 13 federal agencies, was released on Friday afternoon. It found that wildfires, storms and heatwaves are already taking a major toll on Americans’ wellbeing, with climate change set to “disrupt many areas of life” in the future.

The voluminous report, which warns of hundreds of billions of dollars lost, crop failures, expanding wildfires, altered coastlines and multiplying health problems, represents the most comprehensive and sobering analysis yet of the dangers posed to the US by rising temperatures.

Climate change could slash up to a tenth of US GDP by the end of the century, the report found, with $1tn in coastal real estate threatened by rising sea levels and storms. Heatwaves are set to cause thousands of extra deaths and worsen conditions such as asthma and pulmonary disease through increased air pollution.

A White House spokeswoman, however, said the assessment was “largely based on the most extreme scenario, which contradicts long-established trends by assuming that, despite strong economic growth that would increase greenhouse gas emissions, there would be limited technology and innovation, and a rapidly expanding population.”

The spokeswoman added the next report, due in four years’ time, will “provide for a more transparent and data-driven process”.

Katharine Hayhoe, a climate scientist at Texas Tech University and a report co-author, said the White House’s statement was “demonstrably false”.

She added on Twitter: “I wrote the climate scenarios chapter myself so I can confirm it considers ALL scenarios, from those where we go carbon negative before end of century to those where carbon emissions continue to rise.”

The climate assessment galvanized Democrats, who will control the House of Representatives next year.

“The days of denial and inaction in the House are over,” said Frank Pallone, a New Jersey congressman set to chair the energy and commerce committee. “House Democrats plan to aggressively address climate change and hold the administration accountable for its backward policies that only make it worse.”

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a newly-elected representative from New York City who has become a standard-bearer for the left, tweeted: “People are going to die if we don’t start addressing climate change ASAP. It’s not enough to think it’s ‘important’. We must make it urgent.”

Authors of the report, which is mandated by Congress, echoed the sense of urgency and lamented the timing of its release on the day after Thanksgiving, which is usually the most busy shopping day of the year.

“This report makes it clear that climate change is not some problem in the distant future – it’s happening right now in every part of the country,” said Brenda Ekwurzel, a co-author and director of climate science at the Union of Concerned Scientists, in a statement.

“When people say the wildfires, hurricanes and heat waves they’re experiencing are unlike anything they’ve seen before, there’s a reason for that and it’s called climate change.”

Ekwurzel added that the report “makes a convincing case the White House should stop rolling back climate policies and recognize that a much larger scale response is required to keep people safe”.

Donald Trump did not immediately comment on the report, although on Wednesday he responded to a cold snap on the east coast by tweeting: “Brutal and Extended Cold Blast could shatter ALL RECORDS – Whatever happened to Global Warming?”

The president took a trip last week to see the aftermath of California’s deadliest ever wildfires, a phenomenon experts say is worsened by warming temperatures. During a visit to the town of Paradise, which was wiped out by the so-called Camp fire, Trump said he wanted “a great climate”. But he has largely blamed forest management for the blaze.

He has repeatedly disparaged or dismissed climate science in the past.

In a statement in response to the release of the climate assessment, the former vice-president and environmental campaigner Al Gore said: “The president may try to hide the truth, but his own scientists and experts have made it as stark and clear as possible.”


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I would never claim the appellation “middle class”, let alone “upper middle class”, but I did, almost singlehandedly, pull off a sit-down supper for 16, including dessert.

Nothing frozen, except ice cream, nothing pre-peeled, and fresh fruit in the pies.

Just me in the kitchen, with my knife kit, friends and family passing through, and a bottle of Yellow Spot.

After supper, too much night at the end of the whiskey.

Dishes were subbed out.

I am thinking that Friday would be a better day to cook such a meal.

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GILLY HALL FEATURED ARTIST at Edgewater Gallery for December First Friday

Gilly will do a brief presentation about her art at 6pm. Light refreshments. Admission is free. In her own words:

I was born in San Francisco and grew up in Novato with a sheet metal working father and an artist, clown, comedian, entrepreneur as a mother. I have always been creative and producing art in a variety of mediums. In high school, I was active in the stained glass department and, as a senior, began cosmetology school. I was a licensed cosmetologist by the time I was 18. I now live here in Fort Bragg, raising my son and creating art. My husband is also an artist. We are a family of creators. Last year, I began making hoops and am now a guest member of Edgewater Gallery, beginning my professional career. My hoops represent the power of positivity. The trees bring me joy and life purpose when I make them. They are magical pieces of joy, passion and, most importantly, love.

Edgewater Gallery, 356 N. Main St., Fort Bragg. Friday, December 7, from 5 to 8pm.

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POOR HEALTH is not distributed randomly about the social structure, but is concentrated in the lower class. Social Security thus becomes a huge transfer system, using monies contributed by all Americans to pay benefits disproportionately to longer-lived, more healthy, more affluent Americans.

— James Loewen

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The Mexican people who come to the United States do work. White people draw welfare thanks to liberal Democrats and they just sit back and let the Mexican people do the work. That's the way it really is.

Earthquakes. Infrastructure. Levies. Dams. Bridges. All old and not safe. No work on infrastructure for years. 500,000 people will die just in Sacramento Valley. They will be washed to the Bay Area along with horses, dogs, cats and sheep and the water loving animals with them. Catastrophic. Not if but when.

The Endangered Species Act. Spotted owl, anti-logging, conservation, environmental, enviros have cost American people hundreds of millions of dollars in the last 30 years. Clinton got $275 million of taxpayer money when he went out of office. He hired a bunch of left wing radicals to govern and then they infiltrated all the agencies especially California.

In California it cost $50,000 for a timber harvest plan. In Oregon it’s $250 and you get approval in one day. It is sickening to see what California's enviros are getting away with.

Representative Swallwell, a Democrat, on gun control, says that the government has a right to nuke gun owners. He should be hung by his testicles from a lamppost in his hometown.

Southern California, have you had enough yet? You have voted more Democrats for the state. You have too many Hollywood liberals who are lucky to be alive. Next time they might not be so lucky.

Thanks to enviros, corrupt officials, and liberal politicians for the fires in Paradise. You are responsible for about 1500 human lives and unthinkable mass destruction.

No wonder we lost the house in the election. Teachers all over the United States have brainwashed students, our kids, from first grade through college.

There has never been a time in the history of the United States when there has been so much corruption at every level, federal, state, county and even churches. It is so bad that our country has turned into such a foul thing after all the heroes and heroic wars we have won and lives lost. Keep it up you liberal bastards, you are doing a great job of trying to ruin our country.

Eight more years of Gavin Newsom, think about it. It will only get worse from here on.

Just try to impose your radical stupid hypocrisy on more gun controls on Californians and see what happens. You have gone too far, assholes. You have a sick and demented representative named Swallwell who said the government would nuke gun owners. Try it boys and see if the Capitol building doesn't just disappear and you rotten liberals with it.

Tom Steyer the billionaire, dandruff on his shoulders, liquor on his breath, a rotten, horrible human being. George Soros the billionaire, too rich for his own good, runs around with his fly open, so rich he is trying to ruin the United States with the help of Tom Steyer. Both are foaming at the mouth, rabid, hydrophobic liberals, anti-Americans. They should be tied back to back in rope, put in a rowboat, pushed out to sea and when they get to the shark infested waters, sink the boat.

God bless Donald Trump and happy holidays.

Jerry Philbrick


Ed note:

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An Open Letter:

In Tornillo, Texas, in rows of pale yellow tents, some 1,600 children who were forcefully taken from their families sleep in lined-up bunks, boys separated from the girls. The children, who are between the ages of thirteen and seventeen, have limited access to legal services. They are not schooled. They are given workbooks but they are not obliged to complete them. The tent city in Tornillo is unregulated, except for guidelines from the Department of Health and Human Services. Physical conditions seem humane. The children at Tornillo spend most of the day in air-conditioned tents, where they receive their meals and are offered recreational activities. There are three workers for every group of 20 children. The children are permitted to make two phone calls per week to their family members or sponsors, and are made to wear belts with their emergency contacts written on them.

However, the children’s psychological conditions are anything but humane. At least two dozen of the children who arrived in Tornillo were given just a few hours’ notice in their previous detention center before they were taken away—any longer than that, according to one of the workers at Tornillo, and the children may have panicked and tried to escape. Because of these circumstances, the children of Tornillo are inevitably subjected to emotional trauma. After their release (the date of which has not yet been settled), they will certainly be left with emotional scars, and it’s hard to imagine they could have any but the harshest feelings about a country that condemned them to this unjust imprisonment.

The workers at the Tornillo camp, which was expanded in September to a capacity of 3,800, say that the longer a child remains in custody, the more likely he or she is to become traumatized or enter a state of depression. There are strict rules at such facilities: “Do not misbehave. Do not sit on the floor. Do not share your food. Do not use nicknames. Do not touch another child, even if that child is your hermanito or hermanita [younger sibling]. Also, it is best not to cry. Doing so might hurt your case.” Can we imagine our own children being forced to go without hugging or being hugged, or even touching or sharing with their little brothers or sisters?

Federal officials will not let reporters interview the children and have tightly controlled access to the camp, but almost daily reports have filtered through to the press. Tornillo is part of a general atmosphere of repression and persecution that threatens to get worse. The US government is detaining more than 13,000 migrant children, the highest number ever; as of last month, some 250 “tender age” children aged twelve or under had not yet been reunited with their parents. Recently, the president has vowed to “put tents up all over the place” for migrants.

This generation will be remembered for having allowed concentration camps for children to be built in “the land of the free and the home of the brave.” This is happening here and now, but not in our names.


Rabih Alameddine; Jon Lee Anderson; Margaret Atwood; Paul Auster; Andrea Bajani; Alessandro Baricco; Elif Batuman; Neil Bissoondath; José Burucúa; Giovanna Calvino; Emmanuel Carrère; Javier Cercas; Christopher Cerf; Roger Chartier; Michael Cunningham; William Dalrymple; Robert Darnton; Deborah Eisenberg; Mona Eltahawy; Álvaro Enrigue; Richard Ford; Edwin Frank; Garth Greenwell; Andrew Sean Greer; Linda Gregerson; Ethel Groffier; Helon Habila; Rawi Hage; Aleksandar Hemon; Edward Hirsch; Siri Hustvedt; Tahar Ben Jalloun; Arthur Japin; Daniel Kehlmann; Etgar Keret; Peter Kimani; Binnie Kirshenbaum; Khaled Al Khamissi; Dany Laferrière; Jhumpa Lahiri; Laila Lalami; Herb Leibowitz; Barry Lopez; Valeria Luiselli; Norman Manea; Alberto Manguel; Yann Martel; Guillermo Martínez; Diana Matar; Hisham Matar; Maaza Mengiste; Rohinton Mistry; Benjamin Moser; José Luis Moure; Azar Nafisi; Guadalupe Nettel; Mukoma Wa Ngugi; Ruth Padel; Rajesh Parameswaran; Dawit L. Petros; Caryl Phillips; Nelida Piñon; Francine Prose; Sergio Ramírez; David Rieff; Salman Rushdie; Alberto Ruy Sánchez; Aurora Juana Schreiber; Wallace Shawn; Sjón; Patti Smith; Susan Swan; Santiago Sylvester; Madeleine Thien; Colm Tóibín; Kirmen Uribe; Juan Gabriel Vásquez; Juan Villoro; Susan Yankowitz.

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PATHOLOGICAL CONSUMPTION Has Become So Normalised That We Scarcely Notice It

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MEMO OF THE AIR, Thorgellen 2018 People's Temple Choir Special.

The recording of the special Thorgellen (2018-11-23) KNYO Fort Bragg and KMEC Ukiah Memo of the Air: Good Night Radio show is available by one or two clicks, depending on whether you want to listen to it now or download it and keep it for later and, speaking of which, it's right here:

Also at you can find a fresh batch of dozens of links to not necessarily radio-useful but nonetheless worthwhile educational items I set aside for you while gathering the show together. Such as:

Holly has a very hairy lower back for a second grader. Unless those are veins, in which case the same thing but veiny instead of hairy. Also, it's too bad about the murder and paranoia and so on, but it's probably not a bad idea for children to have /some/ practice quietly hiding from danger and/or work in case they ever need to if they survive to adulthood. You kids don’t know, but in my day we used to hide under our little desks from worldwide atomic annihilation. Similar concept.

A massive archive of Golden Age comic books in the public domain. Millions of pages up for remixing. Dig in.

And a Soyuz rocket launch as seen from the ISS. Not CGI. Real footage, though sped up a bit. Watch for the lower stages falling.

--Marco McClean,,

* * *

FOUND OBJECT [you provide the caption]


  1. George Hollister November 25, 2018

    “Promise of Paradise” and no mention of black market pot? Really?

  2. George Hollister November 25, 2018

    FOUND OBJECT: The “Promise of Paradise” fully revealed.

    • Lazarus November 25, 2018

      Socks with sandals seems strange..?
      As always,

  3. james marmon November 25, 2018

    cattle grazing reduces wildfire risk

    “While environmentalists would prefer our nation’s expansive grasslands remain untouched, cattlemen know that responsible grazing is a critical tool to proper land management that reaps many benefits for a healthy landscape and wildlife habitat.”

    “Livestock grazing can be used as a tool to lower wildfire risk, as well as reduce the ultimate impact of the fire, by slowing down how fast the flames spread and how hot the fire burns. They do this by grazing down the annual and perennial grasses, promoting new growth and leaving far less dead underbrush that acts as kindling to a fire.”

    If only Cow Mountain still had cows?

    James Marmon

    ‘log it, graze it, or watch it burn’

    • james marmon November 25, 2018

      Organic Consumers Association
      May 24, 2018

      Do You Know Where Your Meat Comes From?

      “”Harris, who estimates at least 75 percent of the grassfed beef consumed in America comes from Australia, New Zealand or Uruguay, says American consumers are being intentionally misled. Millions of pounds of beef, imported from other countries, are being wrongly labeled as “Product of the USA,” Harris said.”

    • Lazarus November 25, 2018

      The millions of buffalo once clear the grasslands of North America, but the settlers and others with their greed for adventure and trophy nearly hunted them to extinction…Perhaps something is coming our way, similar to the buffalo.
      As always,

      • james marmon November 25, 2018


        • james marmon November 25, 2018

          Uses of targeted grazing

          “Targeted grazing is another tool in the land manager’s toolbox for constructing desirable ecosystems and landscapes. Targeted grazing is often used in combination with other technologies such as burning, herbicide applications or land clearing. However, in many areas such as large roadless areas or areas where prescribed burning is a major constraint, targeted grazing might be the best and/or only viable alternative. Research and on-the-ground experience have shown that targeted grazing can rival traditional herbicide and mechanical control methods for many invasive plants and has been used to reduce fine fuels in fire prone areas.”

        • Lazarus November 25, 2018

          No James…extinction.
          As always,

  4. Harvey Reading November 25, 2018

    Re: Zappa:

    He must have had a different “civics” class than the one I was forced to take. The one I attended, taught by an athletics coach, was nothing but lies. The class was taught with the notion of conditioning students to conclude that the country was a democratic republic, one that never did wrong, and that unquestioning respect must be shown to authority, no matter what.

    At the time, I pretty much swallowed it all whole, though for me it portrayed a dystopian, “just do as you’re told” way of life that was not appealing at all. The reality of the 70s made me see things quite differently, made me aware that I had been taught little but lies in high school — and not just in civics class. And then that period was followed by Reagan, etc. …

    I’ve also never had much interest in the political views of rock stars or movie stars.

      • Harvey Reading November 25, 2018

        Good book.

    • james marmon November 25, 2018

      Since the communist takeover of our schools in the 60’s our teachers are telling new lies to our children, boy has the pendulum slung, from far right to far left, I missed the days of moderation, and I’m not just talking about my comments.

      James Marmon MSW
      Trump Democrat

      ‘let’s meet somewhere in the middle’


      the avoidance of excess or extremes, especially in one’s behavior or political opinions.

      • james marmon November 25, 2018

        “America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves.”

        – Abraham Lincoln

      • Harvey Reading November 25, 2018

        LOL, Mr. Expert on everything and genius of geniuses. Got a job yet?

        • james marmon November 25, 2018

          Harv, I’m not looking for a job. As for being a expert on everything, I remember back about 20 years ago I was manager of a senior mobile home park and one day I was walking up to the rec room and I heard one of them say “here comes Mr. know it all”. I’ve never been prouder than I was at that moment. Talk about respect.


  5. Eric Sunswheat November 25, 2018

    RE: This generation will be remembered for having allowed concentration camps for children to be built in “the land of the free and the home of the brave.”

    NOTE: Waldorf education is ‘Steiner schools’.

    —->. McInerney states that “some Steiner schools also don’t offer vaccinations to their pupils and that their first-aid kits include homeopathic remedies”. Steiner schools do not take an anti-vaccination stance: they just acknowledge an obvious truth – that all medical issues are a matter of parental choice.

    She points out that “Steiner schools do not like children to be taught writing prior to the ‘second dentition'”. It’s true that Steiner himself related the introduction of reading to second dentition – the time when adult teeth come through. But starting formal learning at rising-seventh works: children seem to flourish in a situation in which they can develop aural literacy and social skills before moving on to formal written literacy teaching. In Finland and other European countries, reading and writing are taught at a similar age…

    Steiner schools are not faith schools and are far from being “extremist”. Students are encouraged to explore, question and challenge a wide range of ideas and beliefs, with the aim of respecting and understanding the beliefs of others while developing their own understanding of the world. Tolerance is deeply embedded in the ethos and values around citizenship and respect for others are central to the curriculum…

    The educational practices in our schools may have been created as a result of the personal insights of Rudolf Steiner, but they have endured because their effectiveness has been shown over nearly 100 years.

  6. Bruce McEwen November 25, 2018


    Traditionally, it’s called a “cutline” in newspapers; and a “caption” in magazines. Cutlines are generally specific, naming the persons and objects depicted with some relevant comment where necessary — that is, if it’s left out of the text of the news report; captions, on the other hand, are typically more literary, alluding cleverly to the theme of the article.

    As the AVA is hardly strictly a newspaper, in the usual sense of your humorlessly rigid mainstream media broadsheet, we may safely call the AVA a periodical, and interchange between cutlines and captions; or, as is sometimes the case, leave it blank, on the theory that a picture is worth a thousand words, and brevity is the soul of wit.

    In this photo we see two alleged victims in a clever, but failed, pot rip off. The couple pictured had fronted to them about a hundred pounds of bud from a neighbor to sell to a Mule who had contacts in Chicago and could get top-dollar; but the Mule, the defendant in the case, when he saw it was just a bunch of run-of-the-mill Mendo Purple instead of the Old Gangsta’ and Sour Diesel his clients wanted, he (the Mule) decided to pass on it.

    The couple above badly needed the money, so they sold the Mendo Purple cheap, locally, kept all the money for themselves, and told the guy they got it from, the neighbor, that the Mule ripped it off — then they called the sheriff, and told him they’d been ripped off.

    Fearing they’d get caught, they sold their Laytonville home and moved to some hell-hole in North or South Carolina (I forget which), and are probably swimming in pigshit to this day, after the recent mega hurricanes. That is if the guy they ripped off (a Mr. Slaughter, who went by the moniker, “Razor”) didn’t come after them and settle the score.

    The Mule was duly arrested and brought to trial, but the jury in Ukiah failed to believe the crafty story the couple told from the witness stand, and these tie-dyed Deadheads — really scared, now — cut their hair, changed into conservative attire, and went scuttling back to their hidy-hole in the redneck South.

    Keeping all this in mind, try again at writing a caption, George.

    • George Hollister November 25, 2018

      Bruce, thanks for the remembrance. My caption now seems to fit better than before.

      Getting back to the “Promise of Paradise” history project; there needs to be a writing of as many of the black market pot stories as can be found. Names and places included. There are some good ones that I fear will be lost to history, or converted to myth. Those stories need to be written down by and before the principles are deceased.

  7. John Sakowicz November 25, 2018

    Caption for Found Object.

    “Hey Honey, I just found grandma’s hula skirt!”

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