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Mendocino County Today: Tuesday, Dec. 11, 2018

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THEIR MANY friends in the Anderson Valley are saddened at the news of Dave Papke’s passing. Dave and Helen Papke have been long-time residents at the Cheesecake collective on the Navarro near Philo.

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Gloria Elizabeth Walter, 74, Philo, died early morning November 13, 2018. She was born May 2, 1944 to Gloria and Ashley Kroterfield in Puerto Rico.

Gloria graduated from San Francisco State University in 1966 where she met her husband Gerald “Jerry” Walter. She became a dedicated bilingual elementary school teacher and taught in San Francisco until retiring in 1999. Upon retirement Gloria and Jerry fulfilled their lifelong dream of living in the woods and moved full-time from San Francisco to Philo.

Gloria was an avid reader who enjoyed computers, gardening and spending time with her family. She was a member of the Anderson Valley Horticulture Club Gloria is survived by her loving spouse Jerry, her two children, Jill Guerrero (Ricardo) and Ansel Walter (Wendy). She is also survived by her granddaughters Raquel (Noel), Jacqueline, and Sabrina and her grandsons Jimmy, Wyatt and Enrique.

In lieu of flowers, the family is requesting that donations be made to: Hospice of Ukiah, 620 South Dora, Ste 101, Ukiah, CA 95482

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by Fred Gardner

Dennis Peron died in January of this year at the VA Hospital in San Francisco. He was 71.

We had met earlier but really became friends in the summer of 1977 when Dennis was laid up in St. Vincent’s Hospital (now very expensive condos across from Duboce Park), where he underwent surgery. His right thigh had been splintered by an SFPD narcotics officer’s bullet during a raid on his Castro Street flat, known to some as “The Big Top.” He was facing serious prison time.

I took down his story when the room wasn’t full of friends or nurses or orderlies — all of whom Dennis chatted with and got to know a little.

In 1967 Dennis had received a draft notice from the Army and chose to join the Air Force, which meant a three- instead of a two-year hitch but guaranteed a non-combat specialty. He was trained as a radio operator and would be employed as a clerk.

Dennis had smoked marijuana back home in New York but didn’t use it steadily until he was in training in the Air Force. He chose to spend his 30-day leave before shipping out to Vietnam in San Francisco (after a quick trip to see the family in New York).

Dennis recalled:

“I rented a room at the Texas Star Hotel, right next to the bus station. From the first time I walked down Haight Street I realized my life would never be the same. I was so happy. Before I left I got into a communal scene, living with about 20 people in this beautiful old house. A lot of people were trying to talk me into deserting — a lot of people — but I’m just not the kind of person who runs away from anything.

“I wasn’t really anti-war until the Tet offensive began. I was stationed at Tan Sen Hut [Air Force Base] working as a clerk in the mail terminal. All the mail from the States would come through there and be shipped to all those bases. I made sergeant there. At night we’d go to this house in downtown Saigon that a bunch of us rented for $100 a month—10 GIs. We used to go there and smoke, that was our big thing. And we’d stay the night, no problem getting back on base.

“We were there playing Scrabble when all of a sudden, at midnight, all hell broke loose, shooting everywhere. Right down the street. Helicopter gunships all over the place, shooting from buildings. I shit in my pants. Couple of us had guns, none of us knew how to use them. They tried to teach me in basic training but I just couldn’t do it. I always just closed my eyes. I had to qualify four times.

“There’s no combat in the Air Force. The only combat we saw was that night, the night of the Tet offensive. [February 1, 1968] The only reason we got back to base was because they had helicopters flying overhead instructing Americans what to do. You had to run down the street. People were shooting at you. Bullets were flying by me, whole strings of them, a few feet away. Very scarey! Ducking into alleys to get away from the shooting. There were convoys to the base. They were getting shot at. We all go to a convoy. Couple of busses were being towed by tanks and tractors. Gunships guarding us.

“But even when we made it back, it wasn’t over. There were snipers inside the compound. One on the water tower that was holding down the whole compound, picking off people here and there. The shooting lasted four or five days.

“It seemed like they had half a million North Vietnamese troops in Saigon. People had been hiding them — actually hiding and cooperating with them. And you can’t say it was through fear or intimidation, that’s too far-fetched.

“So I got radicalized during the Tet offensive. I got real anti-war and that’s when the bureaucracy started getting pissed at me. I was kinda refusing to cut my hair at the time, down-rapping the war all the time, trying to get my friends to down-rap it. Before Tet we were kind of complacent about it. We were stoned, not too involved. But when that happened I said, ‘What the hell are we doing to these people?’ I saw our own gunships killing innocent people. I got so shaken that from then on I was really one of the major agitators at Tan Sen Hut… In many ways I’d had that rightwing attitude that we were helping these people, that we were doing a good thing, never really realizing that it was a civil war.”

It was during Tet that Dennis came out as a gay man. One of his duties had been to stack the body bags that would be flown back to the U.S. He started wearing a black armband and let his hair grow. He was transferred to a base in Thailand.

“Right on the border to Laos. The mission at the base was to bomb the Ho Chi Minh Trail. You could see the B52s bombing the trail, through the mountains, and you could feel it. You could feel it as much as seeing it. It would light up the sky. The Ho Chi Minh trail was about 30 miles away from us. I was a major’s clerk.”

Dennis was exposed to Agent Orange and always suspected it had damaged his lungs.

“I learned a lot of phrases and made a lot of friends. I had a beautiful time with the Thai people. I rented a house that had no door, no windows. I got around on a bicycle. I really went native.

“Sometimes I would have to act as interpreter. My company commander appreciated the community-relations job I was doing. ‘Right on, Sgt. Peron.’

“Many of my GI friends went native, too. I was trying to radicalize as many people as I could. I said, ‘Hey, come on, we can make these people our friends. These people can be our friends for life! I was trying to get as many GIs as possible away from that bar-prostitute scene that was really just set up for them.

“Before I left I went to a beautiful city in the northeast, Chang Mai. I rented a jeep and went up these mountain roads — another half inch and you’re off the mountain. You come into these little villages with the Meo tribespeople all dressed up in their beautiful colorful garb, with their long pipes, just like out of a movie. I saw fields of marijuana that looked as big as all San Francisco, and so high up you were like in the clouds. Fields of Thai weed, the best weed in the world.”

“The people welcomed me, they figured I was a big buyer or something. Who knows what they thought I was? And I did buy five or six pounds.”

He started mailing marijuana to friends in the Haight in tape cassette containers. He said he spent more on the tapes than on the weed. He came back with several pounds hidden inside speakers in his Air Force duffel bag.

“I gave away four pounds — gave it to friends and friends of friends, Johnny Appleseed, free grass, free love, free everything. I was still an idealistic hippie. It was the start of 1970 but I thought everything was still like 1967. What a bummer to find out!”

“When I came out of the service I decided to dedicate my life to world peace,” he said all those years ago from his hospital bed. “Marijuana makes people peaceful. Alcohol makes people violent.”

A middle-aged nurse had come into the room and Dennis pressed a joint on her: “Oh, come on,” he bantered, “I know you want to try it. Just out of curiosity. Here, take it home. Wait till your husband is out somewhere. Open the windows and light up. No one’ll ever know.”

The nurse looked suspiciously at the joint and asked where it was from. “Colombia,” Dennis said. “Where are you from?”

“Nicaragua.” She patted Dennis on the arm and didn’t take the joint. On the way out she turned back to him. “I hear it’s very good from Thailand.”

Dennis beamed. “You want Thai, huh? All right, come back this afternoon around five and I’ll have some for you.”

(From the Winter 2018/19 issue of O'Shaughnessy's (online at

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Glad to be alive…

After six months of training and testing, I have recently passed my National Registration as an EMT. Started using within the scope of hospice and some volunteer fire department service. But about two weeks ago, I went to the Oral Surgeon to experience a tooth root implant which required sedation. On the way home, my lovely bride headed to a Costco gas station in the area. While coming "down" from sedation we both noticed a lady pumping gas into her vehicle, and either the gas tank had a rupture or she was filling the bypass which led to us witnessing gallons of fuel spilling beneath the car and onto the service area. My wife got out of the car to locate the attendant, I (still fairly sedated) got out of the car and warned all other vehicles not to start their cars, after which I sauntered over to the subject vehicle and occupants. In the passenger side was a female who was in contractions and in painful labor. While all of the customers got together to move the vehicle to a safer place, I assisted the laboring mother and ascertained the husband was on his way to get her to the hospital immediately.

Patient off and headed to the hospital, after filling up with gas we headed home up Highway one to Mendo County. On the way just out of Jenner we approached a curve and lo and behold, a two car accident hidden just around the curve. A witness handed my wife a traffic flag, I made phone contact with Redcom and called in resources. About that time, the adrenaline was in command, and the tooth pain and anesthesia departed. I applied required first aid on a patient, assisted with a helicopter lift and two ambulance loads.

Got home and sat down, looked at the wife who inquired "how's your tooth?" I answered, "What tooth?", and "Gads, that was a strange day."

Reflecting upon it I just have to say I am very happy to have received the great training of a firefighter and an EMT from our local resources, and I gotta thank the resources of both Mendocino County, and Sonoma County for being such good resources in our rural clime. Also, the folks at both incidents are to be commended for assisting and treating those in need. Just thought this might brighten someone's day. So, if you're feeling down and out with all the national and state news, and you really want to do something to feel good about, join the volunteer fire departments, or local health services...There ain't nothing like having your own in-house firefighter/EMT. Please withhold name due to any HIPPA considerations.

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I've been trying to find support for my view of fairness here, but the issue seems too obscure for politicians or nonprofits to care about. For local dam owners who are faced with crippling new fees, a bit of help now could save valuable natural resources and historical landmarks from an unknown fate and possible destruction. I'm submitting a public comment, and would like others to. But success would probably require a much more organized effort. Can you help me connect with someone who knows how to create that?

Thank You,

Loren Amelang, Philo

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The California Division of Safety of Dams is proposing to adopt a new fee structure that is disastrously unfair to small but high rural dams. Owners of small dams that are invaluable to wildlife and firefighting helicopters may be forced to abandon or destroy them if they can't get relief from the new fees and flood preparedness requirements.

It is understandable that in the wake of the Oroville scare, the government is anxious to protect the public from floodwater. And it is reasonable that they demand 5% of their operating budget as equal administrative fees from each dam. But billing 95% of their budget according to the height of each dam ignores two important factors:

1. Height of a dam is not the threat, volume of potential flood water is the threat.

2. Dams in narrow upland canyons tend to be high, but narrow, and contain comparatively little water, while a low height dam in a broad flat valley can easily contain 100,000 times as much water.

For the smaller third of all jurisdictional dams, height is inversely related to capacity. Unfortunately for them, the largest one-fourth of dams include some very powerful entities who are paying as little as $0.03 per acre-foot of capacity instead of up to $3000.00 per acre-foot. I'm sure they know how to play the politics of this better than small and private rural dams.

I've illustrated this in the attached chart, which shows 1243 dams sorted by capacity, and the distributions of height, crest length, and proposed fee per acre-foot for each one.

The current law requires the fee to be based "in part" on height. But DSOD has full discretion to decide what part... We need to request that they allocate the fees more fairly, basing a much larger share on capacity - the real threat to public safety. And perhaps we need legislation to force them to bill by capacity.

Annual Fees Regulations - Regular Rulemaking

Currently Open for Public Comment before January 7, 2019

Hearing January 8, 2019, 10 AM, Sacramento

Details at:


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Mendocino CountyBoard of Supervisors to discuss changes to cannabis ordinances

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by David Wilson

The tower once stood silent sentinel in the quiet fields near the Marsh in Arcata, lonely and abandoned when I discovered it. Long disused, it rose above the tall grasses and blackberry brambles covering the broken concrete rubble of the bygone structures once surrounding it. Its floor was piled deep with broken chunks and slabs, sloughed like skin from the walls of its own insides.

The Tower standing at the end of V Street in Arcata, near the Marsh. Photographed in 1991. (click to enlarge)

I think what it once was must be apparent to many people, but I have never been sure, and I’ve avoided certainty. I have relished the mystery, for it allowed my imagination to run free when I photographed it, and in my thoughts of it since. It is The Tower, and inside it lives the Guardian. It’s no longer there for you to see, but for me it will always be available, one of my Avalons in the mists.

“The Tower” was the first of this pair of images that I photographed. I don’t recall how many nights elapsed between the two photographs. I had noticed in the The Tower that I had captured the Celestial Equator, which is the division between the northern area of the sky in which the stars appear to revolve around the northern polar axis (which was above and behind me), and the southern part of the sky where the stars are revolving around the southern polar axis, which lies beneath our horizon. Upon observation one can clearly see that the arc of the stars is upward near the top of the photograph, and downward in the lower portion of the image. Capturing the Celestial Equator was purely unintentional, and it fascinated me. In fact, the idea of it had never occurred to me, and the phenomenon puzzled me at first. But after finding it through my photography and thinking about the processes behind it, I understood how it came about. Now I can reliably find the Celestial Equator in other parts of the sky.

Guardian. Photographed in 1991. (click to enlarge)

The Celestial Equator is not something one can pick out with the naked eye. Our eyes see the stars as static points, but because of Earth’s rotation, they rise in the eastern skies and slowly make their way across the sky to toward the western region. Mostly they do that. Since we’re north of the Equator, we can see the north star, called Polaris, which sits very near the northern polar axis. Stars near the north star travel in a circle about it, never meeting the horizon. Far enough away from Polaris, they travel in larger circles, and the largest circles are so great that we only see the part of their paths between where they rise in the east and set in the west. The stars travel circular paths in the southern skies, of course, but because we are north of the equator we cannot see the southern polar axis. In “Guardian,” I aimed higher in the sky to accentuate the tighter circular paths of the northern stars.

Exposure notes for negative #15, “The Tower”, written in 1991. In those days one couldn’t see the photograph until the film was processed. Neither did the camera record the exposure information, so keeping a record was crucial in building my understanding. That 24mm lens from the notes was my favorite then, and I still occasionally use it on my current Nikon.

The exposures for both photographs were each about 30 minutes long. The star trails you see show the distance that the stars moved during the 30 minutes that the camera shutter remained open. In photographing The Tower, I climbed inside to pop my flash toward the windows to give them their highlights, while the outside was softly illuminated by the lights of the city of Arcata. Eureka’s lights are brightly washed out in the distance at the lower right.

In the image called Guardian I was more experimental. My friend Klaus kindly volunteered to become the Guardian inside, and I painted him in with my flashlight,which was the source of nearly all of the light in the photograph. While the shutterwas open for the thirty minutes, I had plenty of time to add light here and there.I had brought three filters with me for putting over the flashlight’s lens, eachin one of light’s primary colors of red, blue, or green. I would paint with onecolor at a time, changing filters periodically as I went to continue with a newcolor. Overlapping the colors would blend them in those areas of the image; thusI made the yellow window sills by painting green over areas where I had alreadypainted red, and I made other areas a little more magenta by painting blue ontosurfaces where I had added the red. I went fairly heavy on the red for a hot overallfeeling.

What stories do you find in these photographs?

I made these images while a Photography student at Humboldt State University in 1991. I shot on film then, and printed and processed my images in the dark room.These were shot on Ektar 1000 color negative film. Now I do the processing digitally.I’m glad I got the experience in the dark room, but I would not go back. Many harbora bias against digital adjustments, but if the same people appreciate Ansel Adams’beautiful work, then they are appreciating a stylized image produced with a lotof dark room post-processing in the developing and printing to make it look thespecific way he wanted — a process with which I find nothing wrong. Any creativephotographer may carry his or her image-making beyond the camera, whether s/he usesspecial chemicals, papers or techniques in the darkroom, or utilizes special skillsacquired through years of study and practice with digital tools. To criticize onecreative process while supporting another seems odd to me. I recognize and supportthe creativity in both.

(To see previous entries of “Night Light of the North Coast,” click on my name above the article. If you’d like to keep abreast of my most current photography or peer into its past, you can follow me on Instagram at @david_wilson_mfx . I update my website less frequently, but you can contact me there.)

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Netflix has picked up “Murder Mountain,” a true-crime murder-mystery documentary series from the team behind “Man on Wire” and “LA 92.” The six-part series examines a series of murders that took place in a remote California community.

The Lightbox-produced series bowed on U.S. cable net Fusion earlier this year. Netflix will launch it globally, including the U.S., as an original on Dec. 28.

The series is set in Humboldt County, California, where marijuana is the dominant local industry, and dozens of people have gone missing in the last few years – more than any other county in California.

“Murder Mountain” focuses on the disappearance of 29-year-old Garret Rodriguez in 2013. The investigation into his whereabouts, the producers said, exposes “a wild, lawless place.” The series shows Humboldt’s marijuana farms, both legal and illegal, and the farmers and dealers associated with the industry.

“’Murder Mountain’ is a riveting tale about vigilante justice and outlaw culture in a lawless community that resembles America’s Wild West past,” said Jonathan and Simon Chinn, series exec producers and co-founders of Lightbox.

The series is a co-production by Netflix and Fusion. Stephen Neely and Matt Testa are also exec producing. Joshua Zeman directs. “The series pulls back the curtain on a secret world few of us know anything about, with a cast of real-life isolationists, outlaws, vigilantes and other unforgettable characters,” the Chinns added.


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But if you're from out of town you'll only be allowed one night shelter - then it's back on the streets. Mercy & compassion for those less fortunate come with conditions in Fort Bragg...

(click to enlarge)

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HANK BIRNBAUM will present “Fort Ross: Then & Now” as part of the Lighthouse Lecture Series. Our North Coast’s Fort Ross served and continues to serve as a very unique crossroads between our native Pomo, the Russians with Alaska Native hunters, and the Spanish/Mexican empire to the south. Learn about the hidden stories, enduring legacy and ongoing activities of Metini-Fort Ross and Fort Ross Conservancy.

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THE BOONVILLE General Knowledge and Trivia Quiz is at Lauren’s Restaurant for two more evenings in 2018 – December 13th and 27th. That’s this Thursday at 7pm. Bring friends, family, any somewhat informed folks that you know, and enjoy delicious food, fine wine, excellent beer, and fun banter. Steve Sparks, Quiz Master.

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WITH THE ANNOUNCED DEPARTURE of Jeffrey Parker, the invisible manager at KZYX reminiscent in his phantom-like movements of Major-Major in Catch-22, Parker's in when he's out, out when he's in, there’s an opportunity to save the club-like radio station a few bucks by combining the gm's redundant position with the program manager's redundant position into one grand redundancy. Kidding aside, neither job is a full-time position, obviously, since the on-air line-up is virtually unchanged over thirty-plus years, so what's to manage and what's to program? Here we go, off for another of Mendocino County's patented "national searches for excellence" for a new manager… when whaddaya know, his excellency has been sitting right next to us all this time! KZYX has had what? Forty managers since its dubious founding by a transient hustler named Donovan? And an enemies list that goes back to the station's founder,and arguably the only legacy enemy's list in the County.

GIVEN the givens of the enterprise it's probably impossible to finally install a smart, personable, accessible human-type person in the top KZYX job, although the task is easy for the money at roughly 60 grand a year. And right there’s one-sixth of the annual $600,000 budget.

I'VE ONLY HEARD ONE of KZYX's Back to the Land interviews conducted by Kate Magruder and Sarah Reith, and that was the one with David Raitt. I thought it was interesting and hope to hear more interviews with the back-to-the-landers. Raitt told some amusing stories about his early adventures on Greenfield Ranch and, in his way, is probably fairly typical of the city people who fled the urbs for the outback in the late 1960s - early 1970s, in that he came from a well-to-do family. Most of the hippies I knew got regular cash support from their home fronts, and most of them reverted to conventional upper middle class public jobs as lawyers, helping professionals and so on when the hippie interlude went out of fashion. But there was definitely a dark side to the counterculture. If I have one enduring memory of that time it was of a totally stoned young woman, so stoned she was unaware that her under-dressed child, a boy of about three she'd named 'Further,' was whimpering from the cold of the frigid winter air. I'll bet that kid grew up to become a hedge fund manager and a registered Republican. A lot of hippie children did a 180 from their, uh, scattered, parents.

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LAST WEEK SHERIFF ALLMAN updated the Board on the status of his office’s compliance with ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) rules and California law. Allman first read the County/Sheriff’s Office policy that they do not enforce federal immigration laws and they do not arrest people solely for immigration violations (although we’ve seen a couple of bookings where “illegal entry” is the only charge). Allman then ran some federally required statistics that must be reported to the local “governing body” (i.e., the Supervisors). In 2017 there were 4700 bookings. Of those, there were 31 requests from ICE to detain arrestees. Of those 31, 15 were arrested by ICE. Four were still in custody on Dec. 31. Seven were released to other agencies. And two requests were withdrawn. Allman gave a copy of the report to the Clerk of the Board. Allman noted that the stats overall show that ICE showed an interest in very few people arrested with immigration violations, less than 1% of the 4700. The Board had no questions.

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HERE HE COMES: Former Vice President Joe Biden hinted at how seriously he was considering a presidential run, calling himself “the most qualified” person for the job during a stop on his book tour. If Biden’s the candidate, Trump gets another four years.

Wasserman-Schultz, VP Biden

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SURPRISING DEVELOPMENT on some of America's Catholic college campuses. 80 male students at Notre Dame have demanded a porn filter on campus WiFi. There isn’t much evidence that the radical increase in the pure numbers of predatory pervs criminality is linked to on-line pornography, but there are lots of anecdotal evidence where the pervs themselves make the link. The anti-porn movement, once the focus of women’s groups, is spreading among college students, at least at Catholic universities. It seems from here obvious that hours spent gazing at the ritual humiliation of half the world’s population would inevitably lead to crimes against women, but every time we wish porn was again banned here come the accusations of censorship and prudery. Lots of unhealthy imagery is rightfully banned with no complaints from anybody, and pornography is definitely unhealthy so why not at least try to make it difficult to see? Better a prude than a voyeur, I say.

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WHILE WE'RE TALKING SEX, I was surprised to see a segment on KGO Television the other night that featured a 7-year-old boy talking about his life as a transgender, talking about his transformation in celebratory adult language as he has obviously learned from his dingbat mother who beamed back at the camera as her son talked about going “binary.” A double ding proprietor of a camp for child changelings praised the "safeplace for transgender children" she is allegedly providing. This was all presented without challenge, and was all more evidence that this country has totally lost its way. Really, how many 7-year-olds do you know who even think about their sex, let alone want to change it? Mom should be locked up, the kid, before he’s turned into a total nut case, placed with normal people.

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OUR TWO NEW SUPERVISORS might, if they're serious, and if they have anything like a grasp of how local government might be wielded in a way of much more real use to Mendocino County residents, consider a public bank, or at least a public fund out of which public housing could be built. Otherwise, all we're going to get out of Official Mendo is endless virtue signaling along the lines of, "I sure do think we should house the houseless," as shmoo-like smiles from people who have no idea and less willingness how to do it light up the room. I think lots of Mendo people would go for a public bank, the desirability of which has often been locally discussed and, believe it or not, has been successfully done in the great world outside!

MENDO'S money is presently stashed in several banks and the stock market where, we're constantly told, it makes mucho interest. Uh, for whom? And, uh, what kind of evil is lots of our money invested in? Why not keep Mendo money, or a portion thereof, at home where it could be put to work for the benefit of Mendo people? Over the long haul, an investment in local housing would not make spectacular interest but it would be a lot sounder investment than the stock market or commercial banks, both of which are likely to go south any time now.

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CATCH OF THE DAY, December 10, 2018

Barry, DelosSantos, Donahe, Donatone

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

ANTONIO DELOSSANTOS, Ukiah. Sale of gun converted to machine gun, manufacture or import short-barreled rifle, leaded cane or similar, multi-burst trigger activator, concentrated pot, controlled substance.

MICHAEL DONAHE SR., Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-alcohol. (Frequent flyer.)

KARI DONATONE, Redwood Valley. False imprisonment.

Evans, Gill, Gonzalez

TIMOTHY EVANS, Ukiah. DUI-alcohol&drugs.

JOSEPH GILL, Likewood, South Carolina/Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-alcohol.

SELENE GONZALEZ, Middletown/Ukiah. Failure to appear.

Hopkins, Torres, Weilert

RAY HOPKINS, Willits. Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-alcohol.

BRIAN TORRES, Calpella. Disorderly conduct-alcohol.

BRANDON WEILERT, Lakeport/Redwood Valley. Felon with firearm, offenses while on bail.

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I was excited when SMART announced they had funding to extend our local commuter train route north from Airport Boulevard to Windsor, a distance of 3 miles. I was stunned when I read that they hoped to have this extension completed and operating by 2022.

To put this in perspective, I checked the dates on the construction of the Transcontinental Railroad line from Sacramento to Council Bluff, Iowa, in the late 1860s. The Central Pacific laid 690 miles of track over the Sierra and across northern Nevada into Utah in 2,312 days. The Union Pacific put down 1,086 miles of track across Nebraska and Wyoming into Utah in 1,290 days.

Assuming SMART starts construction on Jan. 1, 2019, and completes the project on the first day of 2022 (the best we can hope for, apparently), they will average 14 feet of track per day. This compares to an average of 1,584 feet per day by the Central Pacific and 4,435 feet per day by the Union Pacific. It is a mystery why SMART, following a straight, level, existing right-of-way and using already fully tested traffic control systems and rail cars, will take more than 100 times as long, per foot, to complete this 3-mile extension.

Roderick McAulay


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by Bruce McEwen

The idea of a national identification card, was rejected by popular sentiment when suggested 17 years ago by Oracle CEO Larry Ellison in the wake of the September 11th attacks, appears to be going forward without the consent of the voters, as can be seen by some recent comments by AVA readers Harvey Reading, Izzy, and Jim Armstrong recounting the difficulties they encountered in renewing their driver’s licenses, especially with the rejection of birth certificates they already had, and the bureaucratic shenanigans of making the applicants go all the way back to the beginning, to prove yet again, after all these years, they were really Americans.

Keep in mind that the people in question are of a certain age, senior citizens, which they may resent, or elders – which they may equally resent – but in any case, since Armstrong and Reading are not drinkers they will not have noticed that a program of “carding” people who are obviously well over-the age, as store “policy” in order to make old people take out their identification cards and scan them in order to buy a jug of wine or six-pack of beer at the local Walgreen’s or RiteAid drugstores, where older folks generally like to pick a few food and drink items while they’re getting their prescriptions filled.

This is a way of forcing people to renew ID cards that may have expired, having not been used for so long. The oldsters are profusely apologized to by the young clerks, who have been selling beer and wine to these very same old fogies for years, but “it’s the law,” they say – which is not quite true, but causing a scene with people waiting in line, would be futile because store policy is as supreme as any law, for all practical purposes; and, anyhow, it’s only one more baby-step in the erosion of all our civil liberties and civil rights.

It can only mean that the National ID Card is going into effect, one way or another, like it or not. And what’s not to like? In fact, the call for such a document had been issued several times over the course of the 1990s. The proposal was generally put forth under the guise of being necessary to gun control or health care reform, and to help with immigration policy.

After September 11th, 2001, and CEO Ellison’s offer to provide the software for it, the time was ripe and the idea was very nearly “sold” to the public, had not the ACLU come out against it and provided some insight into what was really afoot with the implementation of a National ID Card; how it offered only a false sense of security and would pose serious threats to our civil liberties and civil rights, enhancing an already ubiquitous and nearly omniscient national surveillance system for monitoring citizens.

The ACLU noted how the National ID Card would be used to create and maintain a National Database of all Americans, providing continually updated information on everyone, eliminating what few modicums of privacy we still enjoy, and gradually increase the control that the government and big business already wields over the everyday citizen.

In the words of the American Civil Liberties Union, “Once the database is created its use would certainly be expanded. Law enforcement and other government agencies would link to it, while employers, landlords, credit agencies, mortgage brokers, direct mailers, private investigators, civil litigants, and a long list of other parties would seek access, further eroding the privacy we have long enjoyed in our personal lives.”

The anecdotes provided by AVA readers on this subject are alarming to the degree that we can see the wishes of the voters have been ignored or, more likely, simply dismissed, and that the advantages to government and big business outweigh the Voice of Democracy, and we will certainly have a National ID Card, and that’s that!

Discrimination, the ACLU pointed out all those years ago, was also one of the ultimate uses of the National ID Card, as failure to carry one would result in a reason to search, detain and deport any and all “troublemakers.”

“The stigma and humiliation of constantly having to prove they are American would weigh heavily on such groups as Latinos, Asians, Caribbeans, and other minorities.

PS. The National ID Card idea was generally lampooned in the '90s by people old enough to mimic the classic Gestapo line: "Vere are your papers? Let me zee your papers!" from all the WWII movies, and there were even immigrants old enough to remember escaping from Nazi-held Europe, when one's national, not to mention ethnic, identity was a matter of life or death. But after Nine-Eleven, the oldsters were hushed by fearful youngsters, and cowed by the severity of the attack into a quiet submission, and so Larry Ellison's magnanimous and patriotic offer to provide the software for the project, absolutely free of charge, nearly brought it off. The National DataBase already exists in some form, somewhere, and these record tracking devices, such as demanding ID to buy beer for senior citizens, and requiring them to go renew their birth certificates ever four years is quite obviously the latest upgrade in the National ID Data Base System, a system forced on us against our express will. Hold on everyone, the ride is about to get fun!

* * *


CAL FIRE Jackson Demonstration State Forest, located in Mendocino County, spent time cleaning up a popular shooting spot within the boundaries of its largest State Forest. On Wednesday, November 28, 2018, the large majority of the State Forest’s staff, took the time away from their usual duties to participate in the cleanup of a popular recreational shooting location known as the “Rock Pit” on County Road 408 east of Mendocino, CA.

The cleanup involved removing considerable amounts of debris left in the Forest most of which had been brought and used as targets by recreational shooters. Debris left included targets, metal scraps, wood pallets, ammunition casings, cardboard, household appliances, and mattresses. Approximately 10 cubic yards of waste was collected and transported 4.5 miles down the road to the Caspar Transfer Station.

Cal Fire and Jackson Demonstration State Forest would like to emphasize to recreational shooters who use the forest to be courteous, safe, and respectful by remembering the following:

Recreational shooters must remember that Jackson Demonstration State Forest is a working Forest and that there are workers and recreational users who are present.

It is the responsibility of the shooter to know and follow all applicable firearm laws and safety precautions.

Shooting targets and debris left behind is a large problem on Jackson Demonstration State Forest. This debris is harmful to the environment and is unsightly to others enjoying the Forest.

Lack of respect for safety and debris being left behind jeopardizes the allowance of recreational shooting on Jackson Demonstration State Forest.

Other things to keep in mind when recreationally shooting on Jackson Demonstration State Forest include:

Always place targets on dirt or gravel in areas free of dry vegetation.

Avoid shooting on windy days.

Do not shoot metal targets during dry conditions.

Have a fire extinguisher and shovel nearby.

Always be sure of your target and what is beyond by having a safe backstop.

Never combine recreational shooting with alcohol or other drugs.

Failure to adhere to California State Forest Regulations and California State Law may result in citation or arrest.

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Take pride in our Forest. Please help CALFIRE Jackson Demonstration State Forest achieve their goal of providing, protecting and understanding the valuable resources the Forest provides.

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You can legitimately say that the Democrat rank and file are all about the right things. I heard talk in the party hierarchy about compassion and being the party of the little guy. Not much in the way of action though. As I said in a past comment, a lot of blab about trannies, gays and migrants whereas the crying needs are for breakfast, lunch and dinner. And, for that matter, paying the rent.

At both the federal level and the state level, for example California, Democrat governing elites do a lot of posturing about being the contras to the Republicans. Yet, where it matters, the Democrats are all talk. A nod to this grievance or that grievance, which is nice I suppose for those being acknowledged as worthy human beings. But people need help, they need good paying work, more than a shout-out. And California has got armies of homeless and addicted that they aren’t taking of and yet the Democrats there want more people via the conduits from south of the border, people that will have no hope in hell either when they arrive.

IMO the trouble plaguing the US is that the government, regardless of the party in power, is government of, by and for a handful of billionaires. A relatively small proportion of the American people also benefit as the clerisy that assists and enables. But everyone else is progressively getting screwed, Blacks and Hispanics, first and worst, and the economic and financial gangrene is moving up the societal pyramid.

There’s a lot of talk about declining life expectancy and diseases of despair. If where things are at is tens of thousands of dead every year from opioids, maybe it’s time to stop and take stock. For those that aren’t in the 1% or .1 % but are currently fat and happy, I would say don`t get too comfy and complacent. If you think your monied masters aren’t thinking about offshoring your work, you`d be dead wrong. You’re just one job loss from severe difficulty, and then one car accident or heart attack from disaster. And any amount of money in your bank account is seen by Wall Street as a gross injustice that needs to be remedied by taking, by hook or by crook, what you’ve got. Just ask tens of millions of Americans. They’ll tell you.

* * *


Fort Bragg Selects Mayor Tonight At Council Meeting

The City Manager, Tabatha Miller, wrote a fond farewell to departing city council members in her blog last friday:

"On December 10, 2018, we will say goodbye to Councilmembers Dave Turner and Michael Cimolino and welcome new Councilmembers Tess Albin-Smith and Jessica Morsell-Haye. Current Mayor Lindy Peters won reelection and will remain on the City Council for another four years.

One of the obvious changes that has gotten quite a bit of attention, is that two women will replace two men on the City Council. Having spent the spring and summer discussing district election systems and preferred candidates, it is nice to see a more diverse City Council.

All that said, I want to voice my gratitude to the current City Council. These are the five men who hired me and have supported me over the last nine months. Each of these gentlemen works hard (both at their normal jobs and the City), cares deeply about their community and have given a lot.

They are paid little - $300 per month and an additional $100 per month when Fort Bragg Municipal Improvement District No. 1 business is transacted, plus health insurance. The Agenda Packet for a single City Council meeting can exceed 450 pages, which means Council members spend a good portion of every other weekend preparing for the Monday night meeting. Additionally, each Council member is assigned to committees, appointments and other official duties.

In particular, both Councilmembers Turner and Cimolino deserve special recognition for their service.

Dave Turner has served the City for eighteen (18) years. Two (2) as a Planning Commissioner and sixteen (16) as a City Council member.

I am new to the City but can see the work (the Coastal Trail, Dry Sheds, Noyo Center, Summers Lane Reservoir and Sister City program just to start) that has been accomplished with Dave serving on the Council and with his leadership as Mayor. Thanks Dave!

Michael Cimolino worked for the City for eighteen (18) years, then served as City Council member for four (4). 'Q-Ball' knows where everything is, why it is there and who to call if you need it fixed. After he leaves town, I am not sure who we will call in an emergency (actually we will still call him). Thank you Q.

At Town Hall on December 10th at 5:30 pm, the City will have a reception thanking Dave Turner and Michael Cimolino for their service and welcoming Tess Albin-Smith and Jessica Morsell-Haye to the City Council. Please join us for light refreshments.

Following the reception, during the regularly scheduled City Council meeting, the new Council members will be sworn in and the City Council members themselves will select a Mayor.

* * *


by James Kunstler

The media branch of “the Resistance” wet its pantsuits last Friday when Robert Mueller released sentencing memos on Paul Manafort and Michael Cohen, the human keys to the dungeon they would like to toss Mr. Trump into. Over in the House of Representatives, incoming Judiciary Committee chair Jerrold Nadler spooged himself into a rapture as visions of impeachment lap-danced in his head. Their victory orgasms may prove premature.

The memos themselves were not all they were cracked up to be. Despite Mr. Mueller turning the screws of federal prosecution on them for months on end, neither Manafort or Cohen has composed the narrative the Special Counsel wants, so the memos were, in effect, an attempt to run some high voltage through the screws, to goose out a last-minute change-of-heart in the two patsies. Manafort has been stuffed into solitary confinement and Cohen threatened with forty years of jail time. Their stoicism so far suggests this is not the triumphal climax that the spinners of RussiaGate seek.

Mr. Trump’s response to all this has seemed, at best, retiring and ineffectual. He’s actually done next to nothing to fight back, besides some juvenile tweets, issued perhaps to alert his antagonists that he’s paying attention. Given the lack of evidence for the basic predicate of RussiaGate — that the Trump election campaign “colluded” with Russia — and the abundant evidence of crimes against Mr. Trump by his adversaries in prosecuting this fraud, and the legal machinery silently in motion backstage of RussiaGate — there’s a lot of room for the story to flip upside down.

For instance: the matter of General Flynn, the sacked National Security Advisor, who got his charging memo the week before last. The terms were surprisingly lenient: no jail time. The public, egged-on by the Resistance media, is led to believe that Gen. Flynn handed Mr. Mueller a wooden stake to drive through the Golden Golem’s wicked heart and was aptly rewarded. Gen. Flynn has said almost nothing for more than year and the impression of him in the media is of a completely beaten-down, broken man. I’m sure the ordeal has been grotesque for this once-powerful warrior. But his breakers forget that Gen. Flynn himself was an experienced spook who ran the Defense Intelligence Agency, an outfit possibly more secretive and potent than the CIA and the FBI. We might assume that he still has friends and supporters there, and that Gen. Flynn may be sitting on interesting intel of his own on his inquisitors, ranging from the election misdeeds of the FBI and DOJ in 2016 all the way back to the Chief Inquisitor’s (RM’s) actions in the Uranium One scheme that funneled over $150 million into the Clinton Foundation, and also to manifold irregularities in the Obama White House around these matters.

Gen. Flynn may actually have the goods on the fraud behind his own prosecution — namely, proof of exactly how he was set up by Mr. Obama, in particular his own tapes of conversations with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak that would show something different than the transcripts Mr. Mueller used to entrap him on a Lying-to-Federal-Prosecutors rap. That theory raises the question: why did he not use it in his own defense? The answer may simply be that he didn’t want to rack up $2.5 million in billable hours for defense attorneys and chose instead to tough it out for nearly two years until he could use the information he has. And that means he must wait until final sentencing when his case is complete.

That appears in the offing, perhaps even before Mr. Mueller releases his much panted-over final report. Of course, Mr. Mueller may have absolutely no idea what Gen. Flynn has got on him — hence the speculation about why the charging memo was so lenient. But that line of reasoning suggests that Gen. Flynn will just forget about the disgrace Mr. Mueller put him through and let bygones be bygones. That’s not how warriors roll. More likely, Gen. Flynn has something more severe in mind. For all of his horse-faced gravitas in the photos of his fleeting sightings, Mr. Mueller does not look to me like a man in a comfortable situation.

Mr. Comey will be making a return visit to the House committee where, last week, he weaseled his way through seven hours of forgetfulness, and former Attorney General Loretta Lynch will make her long-overdue first appearance to do some ‘splainin’ about the fishy confab she held with Bill Clinton on the Tarmac in Phoenix around the time that Mr. Comey was preparing to drop the “matter” involving Mrs. Clinton in July of 2016.

Backstage for the moment, there are two other vectors in motion: whatever Mr. Huber is up to in his mission to examine all those FBI / DOJ / CIA operations against Mr. Trump, and the parallel inquiry of Mr. Horowitz, the DOJ Inspector general. Mr. Huber will be heard from for the first time this week, and Mr. Horowitz’s report is expected soon, too. Finally, there is the Trump card, so to speak: the president’s power to declassify reams of documents that will shed light in all of the dark chambers of this fairy-tale castle. Wait for it….

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

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* * *

RESISTANCE POTLUCK & HUDDLE at Gallery Bookshop in Mendocino

Tuesday December 11

Potluck at 5:30, Meeting 6:00 to 7:00

Our final meeting of 2018 is coming up soon. We'll meet Tuesday December 11th at Gallery Bookshop in Mendocino. Potluck at 5:30, meeting from 6:00 to 7:00.

As we did at our first meeting almost two years ago, we'll take some time to imagine a world in which we've succeeded, visualize the paths that will take us there, and choose our goals and priorities for the upcoming year.

The Huddle is a monthly political work group, affiliated with Indivisible. We influence our public officials, work on local issues, create opportunities for fed-up citizens to connect with each other, and help elect progressives around the country. Meetings are open to anyone interested in supporting these activities.

For more information contact

* * *


The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) [recently] announced the selection of 41 projects that will receive funding for the restoration, enhancement and protection of anadromous salmonid habitat in California watersheds, as well as forest legacy restoration.

The grants, which total $13.2 million, are distributed through CDFW’s Fisheries RestorationGrant Program (FRGP). They include $994,421 allocated for timber legacy restorationprojects and approximately $12.2 million for anadromous salmonid restoration projects.FRGP monies come from a combination of state sources and the federal Pacific CoastalSalmon Recovery Fund.

“We are excited to fund this round of projects, and to support the restoration and protection ofhabitat critical to our salmon and steelhead.” CDFW Director Charlton H. Bonham said. “This year’s devastating wildfires and looming drought continue to put ourfisheries at risk, making the work of our stakeholders that much more important.”

In response to the 2018 Fisheries Habitat Restoration Grant Solicitation, CDFW received 89 proposalsrequesting more than $37 million in funding. All proposals underwent an initialadministrative review. Those that passed were then evaluated through a technicalreview process that included reviews by CDFW and National Oceanic and AtmosphericAdministration scientists.

The 41 approved projects will further the objectives of state and federal fisheries recovery plans,including removing barriers to fish migration, restoring riparian habitat, monitoringof listed populations and creating a more resilient and sustainably managed waterresources system (e.g., water supply, water quality and habitat) that can betterwithstand drought conditions. These projects further the goals of California’s WaterAction Plan and CDFW’s State Wildlife Action Plan, as well as addressing limitingfactors specified in state and federal recovery plans.

The list of approved projects is available on the FRGP website.

* * *


* * *


'It's a sad reality': a troubling trend sees a 97% decline in monarch butterflies

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* * *


 (1) I don’t think that it’s WalMart and Happy Motoring that causes the problem as much as it is deeper stuff, like the breakup of families, the wholesale export of women into the workforce, gazillion of cheap illegal laborers, and the elite, who care more about themselves and their portfolio than they do anything else. Where I live, in a mobile home park, I see several young men (20-40) in my neighborhood who are allergic to work. Several of them have skills, and could easily be working. But, they have no families to support, so they drink, and drug, and screw most of the time. They panic the last week of the month knowing that rent will be due in a few days, and set out looking for some sort of minimal work to make the rent. I see the same types passing thru the law office where I work part-time. Shiftless, worthless people, men and women. The safety net keeps them from starving. Sooo, I don’t blame cars and WalMarts. I blame people.

 (2) It’s true. In this time of fake news, craziness abounds. If you don’t have reliable sources of information to depend on, you are whirled around in a maelstrom of innuendo, misinformation, and downright lies. None of which is helped by access to the internet. All you need is a keyboard, and the world of craziness is yours for the wanting. Whatever it was that passed for stability in the old days appears to have vanished along with any feeling of normalcy. I guess this is how the great unraveling begins.

* * *

* * *


Navarro Point thistle-removing THIS WEDNESDAY, 10am-noon

Hello. You are invited to join us as we remove thistles at Navarro Point this Wednesday, Dec 12th, from 10am until noon.

You can find us in the parking lot on the west side of Highway 1 a half mile south of the Navarro Ridge Road turn-off at 10am. No tools or previous experience are necessary, altho gloves and clippers would be helpful.

We hope to see you there this Wednesday at 10am. Contact me if you have questions.

Tom Wodetzki, 937-1113,


  1. Mike December 11, 2018

    Reading Kunstler is a study in Magooism, very prevalent today among missionary ideologues from the right and left.

    In any event, Trump has only one option left: negotiate for reduced prison time using resignation from office as leverage.

    The only mystery will be if Pence goes first so the GOP can get Trump to quickly nominate a replacement who will then become potus after trump resigns.

    Otherwise, the band will be striking up that catchy Hail to the Chief tune when Nancy Pelosi walks into the room.

    • Bruce Anderson December 11, 2018

      Democrats are a lateral move, not a step forward.

      • james marmon December 11, 2018

        The republican working class party (Trump Train) is the way to go.

        • Harvey Reading December 12, 2018

          There is no such thing as a republican working class party, and there never has been such a thing, James. You need some help from a REAL mental health professional, and I mean soon.

      • Mike December 11, 2018

        Socialistic vehicles to restore order and sanity to our society will rapidly be the natural outcome pretty soon. Rapidly:

        Power or energy
        Shelter for everyone
        Assured base income
        Health care
        Education thru college or post high school vocational training

        Advances in technology and continued pain via the maladaptive ways in the above areas will drive these changes more than any party acting a a vanguard for action.

        • Bruce Anderson December 11, 2018

          Which will never happen with Democrats as presently constituted

          • Mike December 11, 2018

            Reconstruction of that party should take about 10 years as moderates feel the pain more acutely and thus recognizing the naturalness of imagining an order like listed above. People will see it is completely pragmatic based on actual available resources and not on available capital investment resources applied on a fractured personal interest basis.

        • George Hollister December 12, 2018

          The plantation. Don’t forget the work requirement that goes with the assured base income.

          • Harvey Reading December 12, 2018

            Ah, George, I always suspected you were a proponent of slavery, or was it just by chance that you used the word, plantation … I know you and your think tank heroes want another Dark Ages, but, it seems, you would go even farther than imposing serfdom on us poor commoners. Got nooze fer ya, old boy. You are NOT going to be among the landed gentry. You’ll be forced into the trash heap, right along with the rest of us.

            • George Hollister December 12, 2018

              “Power or energy
              Shelter for everyone
              Assured base income
              Health care
              Education thru college or post high school vocational training”

              That is slavery in it’s most basic form. Freedom, the opposite, means taking responsibility for yourself. I know, you don’t get it. But maybe at some point, it will finally sink in.

              • Harvey Reading December 12, 2018

                Give me a break. I don’t buy that baloney for a second. I’ve been hearing that sort of gasbagging all my life … and it will NEVER “sink in” as you put it. Ever since we commoners became able to afford college, elitists, and would-be elitists like you, have been trying to force us back into serfdom, by lowering real wages, by peddling tripe similar to what you wrote, and by making sure that costs once again became beyond our reach. The sad part is it works for many, since humans are authoritarian good followers by nature.

                But it doesn’t work on all of us, certainly not on me. Your bellowing about “taking responsibility” simply sickens me, coming from a child of privilege like you, much as you try to make it seem as though you were from a Working Class background.

                You know, you come off just like a typical babbling Wyoming (or California) “libertaryan”, welfare-queen livestock farmer, even as they rake in public subsidies, including property tax breaks. They’re big on “taking responsibility”, too, even as they overgraze the land and knock down stream banks, even as they expect the rest of us to foot the bill for predator control and habitat restoration. The timber industry is just as bad. That bunch should be paying for the fire damage.

                You might also consider reciting your wisdom to your think-tank gods … which is probably where you heard it or read it to begin with. They’ll maybe give you a nice pat on the head, or at least give you a condescending smile. As I’ve told you before, George, save it for the gullible suckers.

                And, while you’re at it, look up the definition of anarchy, and use the dictionary this time, not the thesaurus!

  2. George Hollister December 11, 2018

    ON LINE COMMENTS OF THE WEEK suggests we spend too much time consuming media, and not enough time getting out and seeing the world for ourselves.

  3. Harvey Reading December 11, 2018


    Excellent. I see the national ID card concept as an already-done deal. The kids coming out of the so-called educational system will be conditioned to it, and, since this is the only world they have known, most will accept it unquestioningly.

    I’d like to see people rise up, but am increasingly aware that it isn’t likely. The state of the pathetic democratic party is a perfect example of why I feel that way. People put up with increasingly low real wages, that started declining in the 70s. Many believe the lie, coming from “both” parties, that Social Security is totally broke, that Medicare should be abolished. They accept without a murmur increasingly low quality and low volume (read the square footage labels over the years) toilet paper — with no corresponding drop in price — and have done so for years.

    People that stupid deserve to return to the feudal system of the Dark Ages that right-wingers admire so deeply … though many of them pretend to deny it. Fortunately, anthropogenic global warming and overpopulation will remove the species from existence, and much sooner than most of us expect, thus giving evolution another chance. Face it, the species was a loser from the start. Good riddance!

    • George Hollister December 11, 2018

      There are some conflicts in the vision here, Harv. Socialism requires compliance. National ID fits right in. With socialism, there is no room to be independent minded, doing things on your own, and thinking for yourself(God forbid). FA Hayek called it “serfdom”, in direct reference to the feudal state, and he was what most would call a right-winger. Hayek influenced Milton Friedman, and was influenced by Ludwig von Mises.

      BTW, being an anarchist is inconsistent with all that socialism is, which includes embracing SS, national healthcare, national education, EPA(anthropogenic global warming), national group think, etc.

      • Harvey Reading December 11, 2018

        Your vision, I believe.

        • Harvey Reading December 11, 2018

          My vision is just fine and my license is unrestricted.

          Just what is your definition of an anarchist anyway? Apparently, from what you write, it differs substantially from mine. Are you stealing quotes from the Heritage Foundation, perhaps?

    • Betsy Cawn December 12, 2018

      At age 3 days, I was enrolled in the federal identification system by my matriarch, wife of an enlisted US Army soldier. Footprinted, addressed, sexed, aged, and forever linked to parental lineage in a record that long preceded my first W2 form (at 15.5 YO), temporary driver’s permit (ditto), and up to my last DMV renewal which expires in 2020.

      Have heard I must anticipate (anxiously, one assumes) the transition to some new magically databased Social Security ID, I still have the flimsy paper one I was issued a decade ago. Newfangled money machinery reads everything from a quarter inch square on a piece of plastic, tells me instantly what’s left (no more waiting for the monthly record to arrive in the snail mail — which I pay for so that I retain copies of all my paper checks). Have two passports from the past, and no intention of getting a third, but official document from the city of my birth has been a public record in this state since I filed in a county superior court for the judicially authorized change of my name, which the state recognizes in both its forms on driving records available to all law enforcement agencies.

      I’ve been recently finger-printed and background-checked for the privilege of volunteering my services under the divine supervision of the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS), which provides both AmeriCorps and Senior Corps, and was photographed and screened for volunteer service to the County of Lake back in 2011, by their “Human Resources” department.

      And, of course, I have multiple on-line registrations (hundreds, actually, since I receive emails, newsletters, and “alerts” daily, and “publish” a number of Facebook sites which themselves proliferate through reader actions. After all these years of commenting on the Anderson Valley Advertiser, describing your home and personal preferences on the world wide web, you have time to worry about your personal privacy?

      Armchair activists seem to have the greatest concern about the government’s “intrusion” into their privacy, but there never was any to begin with, once the military-industrial-“complex” and institutions of “learning” in this country decided on a standard curricula designed to benumb and bewilder helpless children, only worsened by the hypnotic fantasy existence delivered individually to hand-held “devices” people seem to feel they cannot live without.

      The anarchists are in the White House, Harvey. Thanks for all your stories and thoughtful criticism of this contradictory world we live in.

      • Betsy Cawn December 12, 2018

        Forgot to mention, two top-secret clearances from the Department of Defense (while employed by an international corporation with manufacturing contracts), requiring completion of a “personal security questionnaire” and reporting of a miniscule FBI inquiry conducted during a period of radio audacity — back in the 60s when Pacifica Radio was broadcasting a 15-minute segment of monthly news from the American Communist Party, and I was the youngest (know-nothing) volunteer at KPFK, in Los Angeles, assigned responsibility to pick up and return home the program producer, an elderly lady whose name I have long forgotten. Ten years of public protest and affiliation with what were then called “underground” newspapers — the last of which is heralded every morning by the mighty Anderson Valley Advertiser — render my fear feelers immune to the notion that we have anything in common with the modern “mainstream” media, whose aberrant distractions are adequate to keep most of the population in confusion and angst, too befuddled to focus on the clear signals of social desperation and willingly “hoping” that everything will be “all right.”

        SPEAK UP or forever hold your peace, people.

  4. Harvey Reading December 11, 2018

    The union bosses sold out to corporations and the members got lazy.

  5. Bruce McEwen December 11, 2018

    Thanx, Susie!

    This calls for celebration — I’m cutting the Dinkel’s fruitcake and decanting the V.S.O.P. brandy for lunch; From all us low-level news hacks, to all you high-profile Journalists, “Happy Chanuka, everybody, especially the Editorial Board at Time!”

  6. james marmon December 11, 2018

    Nancy Pelosi will not agree on a bipartisan deal for border security (The Wall) because she won’t be able to get enough votes from her membership, the far left (socialist caucus) will go crazy. Trump should offer her enough republican votes to assure that she wins her seat back. Screw both the socialist caucus (far left) and the freedon caucus (far right), America needs to come together.

    Let’s meet in the middle

    James Marmon MSW (former Democrat)

    God Bless America, and God Bless Donald J. Trump (former Democrat)

  7. Bruce McEwen December 11, 2018

    “We need a Year of the Journalist, as bad as we need a Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children.”

    — Dorothy Parker

  8. james marmon December 11, 2018

    CATCH OF THE DAY’S KARI DONATONE looks interesting.

    James Marmon

  9. Eric Sunswheat December 11, 2018

    Posted Nov 27, 2018 at 5:03 AM

    Can a lack of vitamin D protect against infection? You would expect to get this answer from an infectious disease expert, not a psychiatrist. But Dr. John Campbell, a U.S. psychiatrist, noted that when the 2005 flu epidemic struck the Hospital for the Criminally Insane, the infection spared those patients who were taking vitamin D!

    Another researcher, Dr. Mitsuyoshi Urasima, Professor of Epidemiology, in Japan, reports in the American Journal of Nutrition, that patients given 1,200 IU of D were less likely to develop influenza than those not receiving it…

    Years ago I reported that Dr. Catharine Gordon, a professor of pediatrics at The Harvard Medical School, tested the vitamin D levels of teenagers 11 to 18 years of age. She found that 14 percent of these adolescents were deficient in vitamin D. Today about 30 percent of adults are low in D.

    Dr. Glenn Braunstein, Professor of Medicine at the University of California, said her research was a wake-up call. It showed it’s not only the house bound, or the elderly in nursing homes, who are getting insufficient sunlight.

    • Eric Sunswheat December 11, 2018

      Date: December 6, 2018

      The study, led by Professor John McGrath from The University of Queensland (UQ) in Australia and Aarhus University in Denmark, found newborns with vitamin D deficiency had a 44 per cent increased risk of being diagnosed with schizophrenia as adults compared to those with normal vitamin D levels.

      “Schizophrenia is a group of poorly understood brain disorders characterised by symptoms such as hallucinations, delusions and cognitive impairment,” he said.

      “As the developing fetus is totally reliant on the mother’s vitamin D stores, our findings suggest that ensuring pregnant women have adequate levels of vitamin D may result in the prevention of some schizophrenia cases, in a manner comparable to the role folate supplementation has played in the prevention of spina bifida.”

  10. George Hollister December 13, 2018

    Harv, ask some of your “welfare-queen livestock farmer(s)” how much welfare they get. Ask them. Then get back to me.

    • Harvey Reading December 13, 2018

      Your point being? Naturally, they would deny it, then stick their noses back into the public feed trough.

  11. Pat Kittle December 13, 2018


    Just curious…

    Are you the kind of SJW who denies anti-White racism exists or even can exist?

    I’m guessing you are.

    I’m also guessing you wouldn’t dare answer this question.

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