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MCT: Tuesday, February 5, 2019

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WEAK INSTABILITY may result in some rain and snow showers this afternoon and tonight. Otherwise, mainly dry weather is expected to prevail through Thursday morning. Another storm will bring a chance for rain toward the end of the week. Unsettled weather with widespread showers is expected for this weekend. (National Weather Service)

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THE COUPLE reported missing in the eastern area of the Mendocino National Forest has been found huddled in their jeep by the Glenn County Sheriff's Department.

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SNOW at the upper elevations of the Boonville-Ukiah Road late Monday morning. And Monday afternoon, sleet on the Valley floor followed by fifteen minutes of snow beginning at 2:45. Then sun at 2:50, a rainbow at 2:55 and, all in all, perhaps the most exciting 15 minutes of weather in Boonville history!


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MSP was surprised to find nearly an inch (0.94") in the rain gauge this morning so it comes as no surprise the Navarro River is rising back up - but NOAA backed off that it would crest at 12.0' - which is still well below the 23.0' flood stage that would force the closure of Highway 128.

NOAA is now saying it will crest at 9.8' at 10:00 pm tonight - we think the crest will be higher than that though.

The current conditions of the river (Monday 11:15 am) were 9.05' and rising.

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BE THERE! The Winter Abundance Workshop is this Saturday, February 9th at the Boonville Fairgrounds from 9-4.  Tree and vine propagation presentations and clinics; a seed, scion and cutting exchange; demos on how to collect your own seed; and a talk by Robert Kourik about how to build healthy soil, all free.  Check it out at!

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Dr. Colfax

LOCAL BOY MAKES GOOD San Francisco Mayor London Breed has named Dr. Grant Colfax as the new Director of the San Francisco Department of Public Health. Dr. Colfax was raised in Boonville, attended Harvard College and Medical School and did his residency at UCSF. Dr. Colfax has been working as Marin County’s Director of Public Health. He is the oldest of the four sons of David and Micki Colfax of Boonville, all of them home schooled, three of them Harvard graduates.

* * *

IT’S THAT TIME OF YEAR AGAIN—the Anderson Valley Grange’s 28th annual Variety Show is on Friday March 8th and Saturday March 9th, (these are the actual dates for 2019, not the bogus bit we put out last week) at the Anderson Valley Grange. We need YOU and your acts onstage! Please contact Captain Rainbow at 895-3807, or Robyn at 272-2127 (you can text her, too) if you have a talent, skill, animal, joke, or anything else you'd like to put onstage for all of us to enjoy. We'll discuss what you need for rehearsals and for the night of the show. We have professional calibre lights and sound, and the kindest, most enthusiastic and forgiving audience found anywhere in the world. This is your big chance to show us what you've got! Our rehearsals will be the weekend before the show, and we can give you all of the details when you call. Don't be shy, we really do want to see any zany thing you've got in mind. 

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SUPER BOWL: First half: nothing but two field goals. Half time: tattooed morons hop around shouting unintelligibly accompanied by explosions and strobe lights. Second half: The master, Tom Brady, The Gronk, Edelman, take over. Bob Dylan sings Blowing in the Wind to advertise Budweiser. A cryonic Andy Warhol eats a hamburger to advertise whatever. Post game: hugs, jocks milling around saying, "I love you, bro." Best line goes to J. Kunstler: “Local hero rapper Big Boi’s triumphal entry in a limo, nearly lost inside what looked like the pelt of a giant ground sloth — an eight-year-old’s idea of what it means to be important.”

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THE CHANGING of the guard at the Boonville Hotel has caused quite a stir among local foodies. The new chief chef, as introduced elsewhere on this page, is eliciting raves, as from this local diner: “We ate at the Hotel the other night.  The new chef is not only a great guy with an adorable new baby girl, he is a genius.  We were astonished at the nuanced unique absolutely amazing food.  It was at a high price, but I doubt you would find the most renowned place in the City to provide any more remarkable fare.  He and his wife are expecting another baby soon. You would like this man.  Completely down to earth and real.  He has quite a talent.”  

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(Photo by Judy Valadao)

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Planning Tomorrow, Enjoying Today!

Sunday, February 10 at Lauren’s Restaurant in Boonville. 4-5:30pm. Refreshments provided!

At February’s monthly meeting we are excited to start accepting members – So come celebrate the AV Village launch, sign up to become a member (bring your checkbook), and meet the Teen Tech Squad volunteers.

Refreshments provided!

The Anderson Valley Village: Empowering older adults to remain active, connected and independent in the place they call home while enhancing the quality of life in our community.

The membership fee is $25 a month (or $275 a year) per individual, and $40 a month (or $440 a year) per couple. You can join whenever you like, and the annual fee will be pro-rated. Members pay fees to fund the Village Coordinator position.

The Village concept is catching on all across the United States, as people who are growing older are seeking support to maintain their independence. Anderson Valley is building our own Village for the same purpose. Need a ride to the doctor? Someone to walk your dog when you’re sick? A couple of meals because you’ve twisted an ankle? The Village can help. Social outings, movies, seminars or help maneuvering through system? All of that and more can be available to Village members.

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THAT SCANDAL that began boiling up in Willits a couple of weeks ago was in court last week. It involves the younger son of Willits High School principal, Michael Colvig, 44. The boy allegedly took sexual liberties amounting to sexual assault during a drunken teen "party." When the girl reported the episode to the boy’s father, Michael Colvig, the principal at Willits High School, and legally mandated to investigate child abuse, is said to have replied something like, "I'm responding to this as a parent, not as a principal.”

THE PRINCIPAL'S FAILURE to formally report the allegation has gotten him into serious trouble, so serious he has been criminally charged. Colvig appeared last Wednesday in Superior Court where he entered a Not Guilty plea. Trial has been set for Monday, April 22nd.

THIS ANNOUNCEMENT was issued by the Willits school district: “The Willits Unified School District takes students safety as our highest priority. Principal Colvig has been placed on administrative leave (paid?) based on two pending charges that were filed for failure to report child abuse or neglect. The District is closely monitoring the situation. Marian Lohne has been appointed as the acting principal during his leave.”

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TAI ABREU will be in Judge Cindee Mayfield's court (Courtroom B) on Wednesday, February 6th, 9am (today). In the most grotesque miscarriage of justice I've seen in the Mendocino County courts, Abreu's, by far, is the most egregious. To be fair to the local courts, with only a couple of exceptions, and those occurring among the judges who never should have been elevated to the bench, most convicted persons have had it coming. Abreu had it coming, too, for his role in the death of Donald Perez, lured to Fort Bragg for what Perez thought would be another round of sex with August Stuckey but became the victim of a stoner plot to rob him. (Interested persons can read the whole story at the links at the foot of this paragraph.) Perez wound up duct taped to a tree on the north bank of the Noyo less than a mile from the Fort Bragg Police Department. Three young men — Stuckey, Abreu and Aaron Channel — were subsequently charged with his murder, although Perez's remains were so badly decomposed the county coroner could not establish a certain cause of death. Stuckey and Channel pled out and received versions of second degree murder convictions at 20 years to life. Abreu's public defender, Linda Thompson, talked Abreu, then 19, into taking his non-case to a jury where, after a one-day "trial" where public defender Thompson did nothing but strenuously argue for her client's guilt, Abreu was sentenced to life without the possibility of parole. So, what we had was an alleged murder committed by three very young men one of whom, Channel, is already out, Stuckey, the most murderous of the three who claimed Perez had raped him, will eventually get out, while Abreu, who functioned as lookout man up on the road while Channel and Stuckey did whatever they did down by the river, never getting out. Until now. Maybe. Which is why Abreu is back in Mendocino County for his case to be heard again under the new revision of the California Murder Rule. That law has been amended to permit persons only tangentially involved in deliberate killings to get their sentences proportionately adjusted. If Abreu's two confederates were eligible for parole, simple justice should require that Abreu's sentence should also be proportionately adjusted. Abreu has admitted robbing Perez but denies having any part in killing him. (Persons close to the case think it is almost certain that Stuckey plunged a knife into Perez's throat. Stuckey is presently in the process of a state-paid prison sex change, but at the time of this sad event he was still ambiguous about his homosexuality, hence the likelihood that it was he who did the murder.) How all this plays out Wednesday in the County Courthouse, Ukiah, is going to be interesting, certainly. A fair disposition would see the judge sustain the robbery part Abreu played in the Perez crime, vacate the murder charge against him and set him free. Abreu's done 18 hard years in state prison and, off a nearly flawless record inside, and given his considerable natural intelligence, he is unlikely to ever get in trouble again. So far as I'm aware, Abreu is only the second person in the state to test the new law. The first guy to test it has been released from San Quentin.


Here is the link for the whole story:

A shorter version:

And here is a link to another shorter version (scroll down for the items on Tai Abreu):

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THE CURRENT NEW YORKER presents a depressing piece called "The Widening Gyre, a Young Entrepreneur takes on Ocean Pollution" by Carolyn Korrman. He won't remember, but some thirty years ago, former 5th District Supervisor, Norman deVall told me that he'd sailed from Mendo to Hawaii and all the way across he saw trash in the water. At the time Norman laid this bad news on me, it hadn't occurred to me that the ocean was already as damaged as much of terra no longer so firma. Well, it is, as Ms. Korrman's story confirms:

"…The Great Pacific Garbage Patch is midway between California and Hawaii… The patch is not, as is often believed, a solid island of trash, but a gyre, twice the size of Texas, where winds and currents draw diffuse floating debris onto a vast carousel that never stops… contains nearly two trillion pieces of plastic, weighing nearly eighty thousand metric tons." 

AND there are four more gyres in other areas of the globe just as large.

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CASEY JONES QUINNAN, 41, was arrested last Christmas in Fort Bragg. We're writing about him because we suspect lots of people arrested in Mendocino County are not from here. Some of them, such as Mr. Quinnan, arrive with rather ominous legal histories.

Mr. Q is from Texas where his first felony arrest occurred. He picked up another one in Mobile, Alabama, and he came to the attention of law enforcement in Florida. In Michigan he did five years for assault. Upon release the prison noted, "Discharged without improvement." As he drifts around the USA getting arrested for this and that, his address is "homeless."

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To The Editor,

Well, well, I see in the Jan. 30 Off the Record Column of the AVA, that one of our deadbeat city council members, Maureen Mulheren has announced she will run for Second District Supervisor. Now I realize that as 2nd District Supe she will represent mainly the City of Ukiah, but in my opinion, I feel she can do a little less damage to Ukiah as a supervisor than she could as a city council person.

In order to celebrate Mulheren’s hopefully leaving the city council, I would like to paraphrase a little item once written by Herb Caen about President Truman and say the following in regard to the city council, all the trees will be dying in Ukiah, the sap is not running.

Thank you,

David Anderson


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Trump’s fake charity foundation was a FRAUD, the judge ruled, so Trump again was shown to be a FRAUD like last year when a judge ruled that Trump had to pay a $25 million dollar fine for his FRAUD university scam.

Trump has been working with shady Russians for over 20 years, and everything he does seems to be dividing and harming the USA while enriching himself and the billionaire class and RUSSIA. Absolutely True!

Domestic terrorist Jerry Philbrick, who wants to murder US citizens for being "liberals"… is just like a cancerous anal wort on this paper, and he has all the charm of one!

Best Regards,

Rob Mahon


* * *


by David Wilson

I opened the camera’s shutter and waited.

It was already high tide, and I didn’t expect any waves to reach me. When I had arrived half an hour earlier I’d set up where the small waves coming in across Trinidad Harbor lapped nearly at my feet. I’d taken a few photographs from there, but the incoming tide periodically sent the odd wave farther than the rest and had pushed me back up the beach.

It must have been a message to me that I needed something more interesting in the foreground, for I found myself guided to a heavy wave-sculpted piece of driftwood I hadn’t noticed before in the darkness. Its contours would help bring the foreground to life.

Now as I waited through the long exposure I thought about the light falling around me. Most of the light on the beach came in from the boat launch area some distance to the right of me. It lay across the sand and surf in interesting patterns of shade made by various forms near the boat launch.

I was excited by the way the light skimmed gently across the upper surfaces of the driftwood, accentuating its contours and illuminating a mound of sand around it. Some of the light also struck the camera, so I stood and waited where my body could shade the bulbous face of the wide angle lens. I wasn’t sure I had to, but it couldn’t hurt. It was a long exposure and I didn’t want any slight lens flare to build up during the course of it.

It was too dark for my eyes to make out much detail in the sand, but I could tell that people had been there before me, both by a vehicle’s tire tracks and by the foot prints of a person near what I took to be the paw prints of a four-legged companion. Would it have been cheating, I wondered, if I’d had a bucket of water to pour over those tracks to smooth them out? Don’t photographers always want that pristine beach shot? Or else to control the tracks in the photograph themselves? There is the classic shot of tracks walking away in the sand that seems compelling to photographers. I regretted the random evidence of humanity in my image at first, but there is also something to be said for capturing the essence of a place, and those marks in the sand and the people who made them had been part of it that day.

I was still standing where I could shade my lens. I looked at my phone’s clock. It had only been a few minutes. I wasn’t sure how long I was going to wait, but a few minutes was certainly not enough time. I was patient, though. I wanted to allow the stars enough time to travel across the sky far enough to make trails that would show the pathways of their travel.

The sky was full of stars, with the constellation Orion prominent over Little Head. I didn’t know how long I could leave the shutter open before the surface lights became too bright in the image, but if I left it open long enough the crowded star field would make great star trails. I was using a wider angle lens than I had before for star trails, and I wasn’t sure how far across its field of view the stars would travel in a given length of time. I had a good idea, though, and I knew that in the direction my lens faced the stars would travel the furthest during any given exposure time.

In a long exposure, stars move a shorter distance closer to one of Earth’s axes, but where I was looking was directly between the northern and southern polar axes where the stars would leave their longest trails. The length of the star trails is also governed by the lens focal length: with a wide angle such as I was using the stars would move a shorter distance across the frame than they would if I were more zoomed in.

I was still standing and shading my camera’s lens…Ten minutes so far. Suddenly far down the coast a car’s headlights appeared on Scenic Drive, probably at the Houda Point parking area I estimated, or Luffenholtz. As the car lingered there, the brightest spot in the image, I wondered if it would be too bright for the picture.

There is a bit of seat-of-the-pants guestimation in these nighttime images. It’s easy to overexpose a bright source of light like that car, and it’s easy to underexpose elsewhere in a scene and end up with a dark image. Those headlights were worrying me. The bright glow in the distance behind Little Head was also a concern the longer I waited, but I was situated so that most of it was behind the rock. The car moved a little and the headlights lost some of their intensity, but they were still bright. They had been on for over two minutes. At some point soon I knew they’d become an uncontrollably bright blotch on the image. I didn’t want that. I was done.

I closed the camera’s shutter.

The stars arc across the sky in their nightly parade in this view looking south from Boat Launch Beach, or Indian Beach, beneath the town of Trinidad, California. January 30, 2019.

(To keep abreast of David Wilson’s most current photography or peer into its past, follow him on Instagram at @david_wilson_mfx or his website, where you can also contact him, but which Wilson says he updates less frequently.)

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CATCH OF THE DAY, February 4, 2019

Bailey, Carr, Cristerna

JENNARAE BAILEY, Willits. Vandalism.

MICHELLE CARR, Ukiah. Petty theft, disobeying court order, probation revocation.

ANTJUAN CRISTERNA, Berkeley/Ukiah Failure to appear.

Crouch, Delisle, Dillenbeck, Doyle

ERIC CROUCH, Ukiah. Parole violation.


BHAKTI DILLENBECK, Albion. Trespassing, refusing to leave private property. (Frequent flyer.)

JOHN DOYLE, Ukiah. Petty theft bicycle, damage/destroy communication device, protective order violation.

Ersland, Gardner, Hilderbrand, Lane

DREW ERSLAND, Ukiah. Petty theft, stolen property, probation revocation. (Frequent flyer.)

AARON GARDNER, Redwood Valley. Disorderly conduct-alcohol.

MICHAEL HILDERBRAND, Piercy/Willits. Domestic battery, controlled substance.

SHAWN LANE, Ukiah. Protective order violation, probation revocation.

Oresco, Pedroza, Pike

AARON ORESCO, Ukiah. Burglary, probation revocation.

SALVADOR PEDROZA, Willits. Annoying/obscene phone calls.

AMEILIA PIKE, Hopland. Petty theft.

Rivera, Vega-Ayala, Yeomans

ANGELA RIVERA, Willits. Burglary, stolen property, conspiracy, probation revocation.

CYNTHIA VEGA-AYALA, Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-alcohol.

DANIEL YEOMANS, Fort Bragg. Disorderly conduct-alcohol, probation revocation. (Frequent flyer.)

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We all have our morning routines. Mine has me reading, or at least scanning, the AVA on the internet, every day. So I start my day in the dark, accompanied by the faces of those who, for a fruit salad of reasons, spent the night in jail for their own special crime.

Most of these folks are unlikely to find themselves on the cover of GQ or Elle. As a group, they look nothing like the folks claiming to lead us, but they, like us, are their constituents. They demand our attention, for there but for fortune . . . The call letters of a radio station appear at exactly the right moment: WERU.

Evidently, society, the way we make do, is not working for them. As a group, they remind me of my continuation school students, people who only imperfectly contrive to get by. People living in their car or down at the park. They need mainly our attention, for they (like we fortunates), are not being served by our 'leaders'.

They remind us that all are included, whether smoothly or not. And the power of those left out of the party might sooner than later ruin the fun of those at the punchbowl. WE are, in fact, U.

(Bruce Brady)

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by James Kunstler

It’s conceivable, in a nation that absolutely can’t make sense of itself, that Mr. Trump’s annual report to congress will be as incomprehensible as this year’s Superbowl halftime show. Even the weather in Atlanta was a complete mystery with Maroon 5’s front man, Adam Levine, capering half-naked in tattoo drag amid artificial fires-of-hell, and then local hero rapper Big Boi’s triumphal entry in a limo, nearly lost inside what looked like the pelt of a giant ground sloth — an eight-year-old’s idea of what it means to be important. Or maybe it was just all code for two sides of the climate change debate.

You can be sure the atmosphere will be frosty to the max when the Golden Golem of Greatness lumbers down the aisle of congress’s house on Tuesday night. I wouldn’t be surprised if the Democratic majority turns its backs on him during the always excruciating preliminaries and then just walks out of the chamber. Don’t expect the usual excessive rounds of applause from the president’s own party this time, either, in the big, half-empty room. They don’t know what to do about him at this point… or what to do with themselves, for that matter.

The running theme for State of the Union (SOTU) messages going back to Ronald Reagan is American Wonderfulness, so expect at least forty minutes of national self-esteem therapy, which nobody will believe. Throw in another ten minutes of elevating sob stories about “special guests” up in the galleries. But leave a little time for Mr. Trump to roll a few cherry bombs down the aisles. He must be good and goddam sick of all the guff shoveled at him for two years.

The hinge of the whole story will be how fabulous the US economy is. Mr. Trump performed miracles like unto Moses in Egyptland. The manufacturing economy that made America great in the 1950s is back (not). Unemployment has been vanquished (not). We are “energy independent” (not). The once-again rising stock market is proof-of-life for US business prospects (not). We have the best medical care and higher ed in the world (cough cough). It would all come as a surprise to the people dining on dog food with ketchup out in the flyover precincts — but they are not exactly the types to sit around and listen to Don Lemon and Jeffrey Toobin dissect the speech post-game.


Following the new-ish tradition of a designated opposition respondent to the SOTU, Democratic sore loser Stacy Abrams (Georgia Governor’s race, 2018), will virtue-signal her party’s dedication to identity politics, concealing its dark connection to the Wall Street / K Street grift machine, and to the Neocon war hawks so eager to manufacture failed states in parts of the world that are too bothersome to try to get along with. I suppose she will try to revive the Russian collusion angle, too, with a spin on how the Georgia election of 2018 was rigged by malign forces to prevent her victory.

Mostly though, Ms. Abrams will extol the wonders and marvels of free health care and free college for all under the coming 2020 Democratic Party landslide, a comfy-cozy future of women-led caring-and-sharing, plus the promise of punishing taxes-to-come on super-rich toffs like Mr. Trump. The media will eat it up. Ms. Abrams will then be promoted as the next vice-president. The party’s strategy is to get every female voter in America on-board along with its supplemental People-of-Color-and-LBGTQ army for a surefire electoral victory. I can see that possibly working, but is it a good fate for the country to be literally divvied up between a women’s party and a men’s party? It sounds like a recipe for Greek tragedy to me.

Anyway, both sides are marinated in delusion these days. Whatever Mr. Trump trumpets about the economy on Tuesday night will unwind stupendously in the months ahead. In private, he probably knows this, and I’m sure that he’s preparing to preside over some form of a national bankruptcy work-out. But even that won’t stop the roaring choo-choo train of the “democratic socialist” nirvana to come. The new religion of Modern Monetary Theory (MMT) they subscribe to says that the government can spend as much money as it feels like spending because, one way or another, they create the money. Of course, this is Karl Marx with all the humor removed. And when it comes rolling down the tracks, it won’t be much of a joke.

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

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Like a too-often-fatal addiction to narcotics or alcohol, our government shutdowns are, like the one we just had, very harmful. The British don’t allow them to happen since a “no confidence” vote in Parliament leads to a new general election. There have been two other countries besides our own that have had them: Ireland in 1982 and Belgium in 2010 and 2011.

Uncle Sam has the dubious distinction of shutting down our federal government for both the most number of times and for the longest time in international history, 35 days. The record includes:

— Three short shutdowns during the Reagan administration in the 1980s.

— One shutdown under President Clinton for 21 days.

— One shutdown under President Obama for 16 days.

— This most recent one was, by far, the longest at 35 days.

This latest shutdown cost us all a lot more than the $5.7 billion that was requested to build the wall. It cost more than $9 billion, not even counting all the stress and indecision it took out of our collective soul.

Given that President Trump said that after three weeks of negotiations, there may be another shutdown, is there much hope? Congress should prohibit this self-imposed misery. We need a law, even if Trump vetoes.

Frank Baumgardner

Santa Rosa

* * *


If you’ve done nothing wrong you’ve got nothing to worry about, that’s what the surveillors say. The problem of course is that the definition of “wrong” changes over time, and given that on-line utterances can be stored over the long-term, what you say now that looks just fine and dandy may not look so in ten years, particularly to a regime determined to quash its enemies. Or do round ups of people guilty of speech crimes. Or thought crimes. 

Can’t happen? Oh, yes it can, the world has seen totalitarian regimes that covered large sections of the globe. Can’t happen here? Oh yes it can, just look at what’s festering on campuses. We have elections? Sure we do but remember that good ole Adolf was also elected, by what was at the time a liberal democracy. A regime that approves of you and what you say today can be replaced by one that takes a dim view. 

Bad ideas travel fast. The Chinese are putting in place what they call a Social Credit System that analyses on-line posts and public behavior by all of its citizens and then, by means of algorithms, awards a score out of 800 as to the citizens “trustworthiness”. This score will be used of course and can affect the individual’s life chances. 

On the one hand it can be used to penalize unruly behavior, for example, of someone who takes someone’s assigned seat on a train or plane or who acts obnoxiously in a hospital. 

Alternatively, it can be used against people who speak out of turn, who annoy people in high places, who get too strident, for example, about defending the interests of rural folk against connected property developers. 

“Blacklists” anyone? The little Miss Bossy-Boots undergrad who castigates people for what she deems unacceptably “unwoke”, may one day find herself in a policy-making position when she’s older, and may find this Chinese Social Credit System just a wonder of hands-off automation for regulation of personal behavior. 

Young uns currently scoff at the idea of privacy, but when the surveillance state becomes really buttinsky and starts to put limits on them for what they’ve said on-line, they may once again find the benefits of NOT having been spied on and judged. People don’t learn from history. Well, they get to re-learn the lessons, the hard way.

* * *


(or: Catastrophic Climate Change-Induced Starvation Will Lower Your Standards)

What’s it mean to dream of roly polies?

You may know them well

as woodlice — pill bugs to some —

Armadillidíum are crustaceans

that inhabit wood

and taste like shrimp for all I know

do you know, though, it’s likely we’ll be searching soon for these within the walls

and floors of freezing rooms

and feasting on the heaps of slate-grey peas

we’ll spoon up gratefully — see

why else would I dream that one,

the volume of my tongue,

was crawling along on the bowl of the lamp

on the ceiling

of the kitchen


— Elliot Sperber

* * *

SAN FRANCISCO HAS MORE DRUG ADDICTS than it has students enrolled in its public high schools, the city Health Department’s latest estimates conclude.

There are about 24,500 injection drug users in San Francisco—that’s about 8,500 more people than the nearly 16,000 students enrolled in San Francisco Unified School District’s 15 high schools. . . .

In an effort to reduce infections and disease transmission among injection drug users, the city . . . handed out a record 5.8 million free syringes last year. . . . While City Hall solidly supports the free syringe program, the proliferation of needles on city sidewalks and parks was a major issue in Mayor London Breed’s mayoral election last year—one she promised to clean up.

The first step was spending an extra $1.8 million last year to retrieve needles. That resulted in 500,000 more syringes being dropped off in new kiosks or picked up by special cleanup crews compared to 2017. . . .

Attendants cleaning the restrooms at Victoria Manalo Draves Park near Folsom and Sixth streets found 123 needles in 2018. The good news is that needle count was down 27 from 150 in 2017. . . . The city’s 311 call center received 9,659 calls complaining about needles citywide in 2018—up about a third from 2017.

Nonetheless, the Health Department says things are improving.

(Phil Matier writing for the San Francisco Chronicle, Jan. 30)

* * *

THE WARMING of the Arctic reached wider public awareness as it has begun destabilizing winds in the higher atmosphere, specifically the jet stream and the northern polar vortex, leading to extreme movements of warmer air north in to the Arctic and cold air to the south. At one point in early 2018, temperature recordings from the Arctic were 20 degrees Celsius above the average for that date. The warming Arctic has led to dramatic loss in sea ice, the average September extent of which has been decreasing at a rate of 13.2% per decade since 1980, so that over two thirds of the ice cover has gone. This data is made more concerning by changes in sea ice volume, which is an indicator of resilience of the ice sheet to future warming and storms. It was at the lowest it has ever been in 2017, continuing a consistent downward trend.

Given a reduction in the reflection of the Sun’s rays from the surface of white ice, an ice-free Arctic is predicted to increase warming globally by a substantial degree. Writing in 2014, scientists calculated this change is already equivalent to 25% of the direct forcing of temperature increase from CO2 during the past 30 years. That means we could remove a quarter of the cumulative CO2 emissions of the last three decades and it would already be outweighed by the loss of the reflective power of Arctic sea ice. One of the most eminent climate scientists in the world, Peter Wadhams, believes an ice-free Arctic will occur one summer in the next few years and that it will likely increase by 50% the warming caused by the CO2 produced by human activity.

—Jem Bendell

* * *


By Dave Zirin 

The tension was remarkable. The emotion was undeniable. The culmination was exceptional. And it was watched by millions. No, I’m not talking about the Super Bowl, which was a dreary dud of an affair. This is all about the 60-second ad for The Washington Post, aired during the big game, that ends with the tagline, Democracy Dies in Darkness. In one minute, by juxtaposing images of war, protest, triumph, and tragedy, the ad makers wrung more sentiment out of their audience than either the New England Patriots or the Los Angeles Rams did. The last shot was a photograph of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi, who was tortured and killed in the Saudi Arabian consulate in Istanbul, Turkey. The image sent shivers down the spines of anyone who is not an avowed apologist for Saudi Arabia or the Trump administration. True to form, Donald Trump Jr. responded to the ad with an embarrassingly infantile Twitter tantrum.

For those who missed the game, you truly did not miss much. It ended with the dynastic Patriots winning their sixth Super Bowl in nine appearances since 2002. The final tally was 13-3, the lowest-scoring Super Bowl in NFL history. Even that score belies just how boring a contest the big game was. It was not a battle of dominant defenses making heroic plays. It was instead an exercise in uncreative play calling, short incomplete passes, and a tedious absence of action. Patriots coach Bill Belichick turned the game into a stultifying slog, with both teams playing, in the words of comedy writer Jess Dwyck, “like they know whoever wins goes to the White House.”

If anything, there was far more anticipation during the broadcast of the halftime show, where people wondered if the artists Maroon 5, Travis Scott, or Big Boi would acknowledge the long shadow of Colin Kaepernick, and the fact that a ream of top performers refused to play the halftime festivities in protest of how the league has colluded against the quarterback. (Maroon 5 and company didn’t do anything political, instead settling for playing music so formulaic, Atlantic sportswriter Jemele Hill wondered if the performances had been gentrified.)

Beyond the game and the clunker of a halftime show, there was far greater drama in the suspicious vandalism of a mural of Colin Kaepernick which was located in the shadow of Atlanta’s Super Bowl stadium. Today, according to David Dennis Jr., seven new murals of Kaepernick will be painted across the city in protest.

There was also much more drama in seeing the athletes and artists who posed on social media wearing Kaepernick jerseys in an anti-–Super Bowl showing of dissent, including LeBron James, Steph Curry, Kevin Durant, Dr. John Carlos and Angela Davis. This movement to not watch the Super Bowl in solidarity with Kaepernick was accompanied by a short video from director Ava DuVernay about why she was boycotting the big game. The video, which has been watched by over 2 million people, is set to a two-minute slam poem that eviscerates the racial hypocrisy of a league that wants black athletes to be seen and not heard.

Those who made this choice to boycott the game really did not lose out on much. They missed seeing an alleged offensive guru, Los Angeles Rams head coach Sean McVay, execute his game plan like a deer in the proverbial headlights, his team held to a mere field goal. We saw his young quarterback Jared Goff look even more bewildered than his coach. We saw 41-year-old Tom Brady of the Patriots look his age, but at least he was calm enough to help his team eke out a victory that was about as entertaining as watching soup cool.

Democracy may die in darkness, but this is a Super Bowl that perished under the blaring hot lights. It was an eminently forgettable experience that it all likelihood will be remembered more for that one Washington Post commercial as well as for the people who publicly and proudly decided that in the name of racial justice, they were just going to turn the channel.

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[1] Imagine you are at the pearly gates. You get led into the big room where a door leads out to paradise and an elevator goes down but before you go out the door or down the elivator you stand to hear the verdict. Or being a soul your feet float inches above polished marble. You listen. Years I waited for you to do something and you did nothing. I waited for something, anything with a dust mote of meaning from you. Something to show you had found the joyous treasure map I put in your head when I sent you down. Something to show you were not just another brick in the worthless spectre wall. No you don’t get another chance. You were an American. Do you know how many chances an American gets compared to everyone else! You don’t want to go there. I know you did not do anything wrong, I get that. But you did not do any good either and that is what you were supposed to do. Next !

[2] Elizabeth Warren said it best “I’m tired of billionaires freeloading.” Amen to that baby. Trump brags about paying no taxes as “smart.” Freeloader extraordinaire. When income inequality reaches the levels it has, the government has to step in and redistribute. Yes I know you righties seem to think the mere mention of that word makes your eardrums melt into little pools of goo. Take heart. It won’t. All that will happen is that Gates, Bezos and company will have a smaller number next to their name in Forbes. That’s it. That’s the extent of the damage. Hold back your crocodile tears and cry not for Argentina. Taking money from the rich and giving it to the poor is a good thing when income inequality has surpassed the days of kings and queens.

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THE TRAFFIC is unbelievable! There’s a flood of American saloon cars [brit for sedan], all looking new, all almost alike, and most of them with only one or two people in them. There is a car to every two-and-a-half people in the city. No one walks a yard. Cars lie parked everywhere, and no one bothers about having a garage. You simply leave the car on the side of the nearest street, if you can find a spare hole. The whole effect is as of an ant-heap, or a swarm of beetles.

— British Army Colonel Ian Jacob, to his wife in England, upon arriving in Washington DC for war planning talks in late December of 1941.

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GLORIANA'S ANNUAL CABARET DINNER and Auction will be held on Saturday, February 16 from 6:00 to 8:00. The event, which will be held at Eagles Hall in Fort Bragg, will feature performances of your favorite love songs by Gloriana performers and a silent auction. All proceeds will go towards our Scholarship program.

Dinner is your choice of either meat, veggie or vegan lasagna, garden salad with a selection of dressings, garlic bread, non-alcoholic drink and a dessert bar. Beer and wine for sale separately. Meat and Veggie lasagna catered by D'Aurelio's. Tickets are $25 per person or $40 per couple. Tickets available online at or at the door.

E-mail or call 707-964-SHOW for questions

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The Nursery at Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens has a great selection of dahlia tubers divided from our own stunning collection. Each dahlia variety is bagged separately and marked with a color photo of the flower to help you better plan the aesthetics of your garden. We will also have some bags of assorted tubers.

  • We will be offering more than 40 varieties
  • Flowers ranging from 2 inches to 7 inches across
  • An array of forms: pompons, cactus, waterlily, “dinner plate,” and others.

The tubers will be available for purchase in bags containing 3-5 tubers (depending on size). Come early for the best selection… we still have a great selection of different dahlia varieties at prices that beat the mail order suppliers. Questions: Call the Nursery at 964-4352 x 12

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Quake Rattle and Roll

Another busy couple of days up at the Triple Junction of the Gorda, North American, and Pacific plates. Numerous quakes from barely there to 4.0s felt over the Ferndale/Eureka area. They are charting the most activity in some time, even for an area that gets at least a few baby-shakes every day. Always a good reminder to get prepared and trained on how to respond when a big one finally hits - maybe sooner than later.

Notty Bumbo

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San Francisco, 1927

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by Michelle Hutchins, County Superintendent of Schools

Under “No Child Left Behind,” an educational initiative championed in the early 2000s, education changed. The federal law threatened school districts with a loss of funding if they could not demonstrate that all their students had attained grade-level proficiency in math and reading by 2014. Initially, it was only math and reading, but by 2007, science assessments were required, too. Students were required to take competency tests at least once during grades 3-5, 6-9, and 10-12.

Sounds reasonable, right? No one wants to leave children behind. Unfortunately, as is often the case with good intentions, there were unintended consequences. Teachers were told their students needed to do well on these assessments or their schools could lose funding, so teachers  were rewarded when they produced good test takers. This reinforced what’s called a “fixed mindset,” rather than the healthier “growth mindset.”

A fixed mindset believes either you’re good at something or you’re not. It’s fixed. You have a certain amount of intelligence or talent. It’s inherent. You were born with it and you’ll die with it. No matter how hard you work, you won’t get any smarter or more talented.

A growth mindset, on the other hand, believes that people can achieve anything they put their minds to. They can get better at things. They can grow and evolve. As a lifelong educator and lifelong learner, I cannot stress enough the importance of helping children develop a growth mindset. Here’s why:

With a fixed mindset flaws are permanent, so people do their best to hide them to avoid being judged or labeled a failure. With a growth mindset flaws are temporary, something you can improve upon and overcome. With a fixed mindset, people put all their energy into their strengths and avoid new things to keep up their confidence. With a growth mindset, you explore all the possibilities and build confidence by gaining new skills and experience. With a fixed mindset, failures represent the end of the road. With a growth mindset, failures are just speed bumps.

No Child Left Behind put America behind compared to other developed nations. While other countries pursued a growth mindset, our fixed mindset kept us back. Eventually, our education leaders and legislators recognized the error of their ways and they implemented the Common Core standards to address the problem. Common Core may not be perfect, but it has the right goals in mind. It focuses on the 4Cs: Critcal thinking, Creativity, Collaboration, and Communication.

As with any new initiative, there are growing pains. Teaching old dogs new tricks is never fun. Although I’d argue that most teachers have a growth mindset, it’s hard to completely revamp the way you’ve taught for the last 20 years. Even those who embrace the change will need some time to become experts. Sometimes teachers implement one or two of the 4Cs, but the real power of Common Core is a blend of all four.

Teaching students how to learn, and giving them the confidence to keep trying, is the most important thing we can do in our schools. Teaching students to overcome challenges and figure things out for themselves will allow them to be successful in all sorts of endeavors.

I recently attended a conference where the keynote speaker made some really provocative statements. He said, “In decades past when we asked students to figure out who the fifteenth president was, finding the answer took some doing. Kids had to find a book with that information, maybe go to the library and figure out how to use the Dewey Decimal system, or ask someone for assistance. Now, kids pull out their phones and ask Google and they have the answer in ten seconds.”

We have to re-think education. We have to ask questions that Google cannot answer. By having students attempt to solve real-life problems, we can introduce the complexity and nuance that comes with deep thinking. By teaching them to collaborate, we can show them the power of working together and using everyone’s knowledge to find solutions. Is this easy? No. Can it be frustrating? Certainly. Will it give students the skills they need to be successful? I sure think so.

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Allegations of the "deliberate suppression of voters, shenanigans by party officials and even the removal of an unsecured ballot box" mark this little known but important local election.

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On Wednesday, Feb. 13, at 6 p.m., the Grace Hudson Museum presents "Poetry of Love, Friendship, and Creativity." Ukiah poets Armand Brint and Theresa Whitehill and Bay Area poet Judy Halebsky will explore the emotions and passions found in the Museum's current exhibit, "Artful Liaisons: Connecting Painters Grace Carpenter, Edward Espey and Grafton Tyler Brown," through individual and collaborative readings of their own work and the poems of others. The event is free; donations are welcome. The Grace Hudson Museum is at 431 S. Main St. in Ukiah. For more information please go to or call (707) 467-2836.

Early sketch by Edward Espey, with pressed flower, in Grace Carpenter's autograph book, circa 1880.

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Vacancy Notice

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Politically neither the Democrats nor the Republicans get it. It’s big money, cancerous growth, self-interest capitalism that stresses the Earth and stresses the psyche of humankind itself - both now close to the breaking point. Though he stands as a symbol of a national and global emergency Trump alone is not the problem - rather it is the contemporary social order of money over propriety, priority and precaution.

More and more perceptive, scholarly thinkers are coming to realize that if we are not yet past the point of no return we are very close to it and that point represents not just the flooding of coastal cities  and more fires but it  forbodes of a sixth extinction which could include all of humanity.

“I don’t want you to be hopeful. I want you to panic.” is a plea included in a presentation by a 16 year old Swedish girl given to world economic leaders at their recent forum in Davos that begins, “Our house is on fire. According to the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change), we are less than 12 years away from not being able to undo our mistakes. ”

If you haven’t heard this speech or read it please do so at:

It is now time to prepare to hit the streets. To prepare to vote for radicals and progressives that do get it. Wear a yellow vest, hat, arm band or bandana. Write letters and speak out. Don’t let the greed stay in control. Jump up and down for life. Dance and sing for a future and a life for our children.

  • Yellow vests from River City Garments $3.19  a dollar more to silkscreen an anti Trump logo
  • Cotton yellow bandanas from Tansclub $8.88 a dozen
  • Cotton yellow hats 3 styles by the dozen $2 to $3 each also at Transclub.

One morning laying in bed thinking about things before rising I envisioned what at first appeared to be a boat full of happy children rollocking and having a good time. Above them hovered what at first appeared to be a cloud but then a whole row of coffin nails above that with Trump heads revealed the scene to be a coffin lid poised to close upon the coffin full of our unsuspecting and happy kids below.

So get off your butts a take a stand against the imbeciles running the show so that it will not be our progenies last stand.

David Severn


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NOT 'LEFT-WING FANTASY' But 'Mainstream and Really Popular': Poll Shows Enormous Public Support for Higher Taxes on Rich

According to a new Politico/Morning Consult poll, 76 percent of registered voters believe that the wealthiest Americans should pay more in taxes, and 61 percent back Sen. Elizabeth Warren's (D-Mass.) new proposal for an annual tax of two percent on assets over $50 million—which she dubbed the "Ultra-Millionaire Tax." The poll found that even 50 percent of Republican voters support Warren's plan

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Enjoyed a Goose Island IPA at the California Pizza Kitchen (Ala Moana shopping ctr. in Honolulu) at the end of the Super Bowl first half. Watched an incoherent half time show complete with a brief appearance by Sponge Bob. Didn't relate to the hip hop at all. Sat through the second half wondering how both teams made it to the Super Bowl. Finished the beer and walked back to the Plumeria alternative hostel where I am staying this winter. Support the green antifa movement and say goodbye to postmodernism.

(Craig Stehr, Hawaii)

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Disclaimer: I graduated from UC Berkeley w/a degree in Political Science in 1965, a tumultuous year. Now I am hearing the drums beat for the elimination of the Electoral College. I disagree: the first thing to go should be the Senate, I mean after all, North Dakota or Wyoming have the same voting power as New York or California or Florida. This is certainly a violation of the one (hu)man, one vote concept. Think about what would happen should the Electoral College be eliminated: the country would be totally controlled by the major metropolitan areas, New York, Boston, Chicago, Atlanta, Miami, Dallas-Ft. Worth, Houston, San Diego, Los Angeles. What part would small places like Denver, the Bay Area, Seattle, Philadelphia, Portland, Cleveland, Madison, Kansas City etc. have? Virtually none. A small number of "mega-cities/metropolises" would rule the United States. Animal welfare based upon PETA, hunting regulations established by inner city majorities, regulations in all areas based upon instant 24/7 internet/smart phone access, totally electricity dependent. Medical care, road systems, water; all tilted to the metropolitan. It is, I believe, still up to the individual states how their votes are counted, most have opted for winner-take-all. How did that happen?

Am I a paranoid conspiracy buff to think that perhaps the two major political parties agreed to do it that way to protect their turf from 3rd parties? To me, it would be a nightmare to eliminate the Electoral College, one of the last remaining defenses against the tyranny of the majority, of the rural against the urban, of the country as a whole versus the major mega-cities.

Peter Lit


PS. I got curious; unless I misplaced a zero, President Trump's proposed border wall, has a price tag of $5400 per foot. Hmmm, interesting…. What do you think Mr. Philbrick? Is this on the up and up?

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by Dan Bacher

San Francisco — Less than two weeks after they filed a lawsuit against the California Department of Water Resources over its Delta Tunnels proposal, a coalition of fishing, Native American and environmental groups led by the Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermen’s Associations (PCFFA) filed suit in Sacramento Superior Court against the State Water Resources Control Board in an effort to protect imperiled runs of San Joaquin River salmon.

The plaintiffs, represented by the Law Offices of Stephen P. Volker, demand that the State Water Board “use its own recommendations based on science and environmental law to enact a Water Quality Control Plan protects fish in the Stanislaus, Tuolumne, and Merced rivers and in the main stem San Joaquin River below their confluence,” according to a PCFFA press release.

The North Coast Rivers Alliance and the Winnemem Wintu Tribe joined the PCFFA and Institute for Fisheries Resources in the lawsuit filed on Friday, January 25. The groups and Tribe argue that unless historic flows are restored immediately after decades of water diversions, the survival of the Delta’s salmon fishery is in jeopardy.

The litigation alleges that the State Water Board’s failure to restore adequate flows in these rivers violates the federal Clean Water Act and California’s Porter Cologne Water Quality Act that require protection of historic fish runs, along with the Public Trust Doctrine that forbids the Board from allowing excessive diversions of water needed for the survival of the Delta’s salmon.

“The Clean Water Act, Porter-Cologne Act, and Public Trust Doctrine require the Board to identify beneficial uses of navigable waters, including those dependent on public trust resources, and to establish and achieve the water quality standards necessary to protect them,” the lawsuit states. “The Board improperly approved the Project without adequately examining the environmental impacts of doing so, without studying a reasonable range of alternatives, without adequately protecting public trust resources and uses, and without compliance with state and federal laws protecting the San Joaquin River, the South Delta, and their tributaries, including their public trus resources and uses.”

The Stanislaus, Tuolumne and Merced rivers historically supported robust runs of tens of thousands of Chinook salmon annually, but the runs have declined dramatically in recent years, due to diversions of water by agribusiness and the City of San Francisco and massive water exports from the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta.

“Diversions of their waters by municipal water agencies, including San Francisco, and local irrigation districts over the past five decades have severely impacted those salmon runs, pushing them to the brink of extinction. The Water Quality Control Plan approved last month codifies what has heretofore only been a tacit approval of such diversions by the State Water Board,” said Noah Oppenheim, PCFFA Executive Director.

In 2009, the State Legislature adopted the Delta Reform Act as part of the water policy/water bond package to compel the State Water Board to take prompt action to save historic salmon runs.

In 2010, the Board adopted the recommendations of a staff report that determined that, to save this public trust fishery, the San Joaquin River’s flows should be increased to a minimum of 60% of their historic (“unimpaired”) flows during the critical migration period of February through June, according to PCFFA.

“On Dec. 12, 2018, the Board adopted minimum flow standards of just 40% of unimpaired levels on average, rather than the 60% average that its scientists showed was required to restore salmon runs,” Oppenheim said.

Oppenheim called Friday’s lawsuit, “a long overdue wake-up call that the State Water Board must now do its job to prevent the imminent extinction of this irreplaceable fishery. For decades this regulatory process has been captured by water agencies with no compunctions about hastening the end of salmon fisheries. Today salmon fishermen and fishing communities are raising their voice.”

“Unless the Board is ordered to comply with the law and these flows are restored at the scientifically recommended levels, California’s salmon will never recover and the fishing families that bring the ocean’s bounty to the public will continue to suffer unjustly,” said Oppenheim. 

A copy of the verified petition and complaint is here.

On January 16, the same organizations — the PCFFA, Institute for Fishery Resources, North Coast Rivers Alliance and Winnemem Wintu — filed suit against the California Department of Water Resources (DWR) to overturn its latest attempt to force former Governor Jerry Brown’s Delta Tunnels (California WaterFix) proposal upon California taxpayers.

The suit, also filed in Sacramento Superior Court by the Law Offices of Stephan C. Volker, challenges DWR’s attempt to revamp its 30-year-old Coordinated Operations Agreement (COA) with the federal Bureau of Reclamation to export more water from the Delta through the Twin Tunnels while evading scrutiny under California’s environmental laws, including the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), the Delta Reform Act and the Public Trust Doctrine.

The Winnemem, led by Chief Caleen Sisk, are currently waging a campaign to bring the original winter run of Chinook salmon, now thriving on the Rakaira River in New Zealand after eggs were shipped there over a hundred years ago, back to the McCloud River above Shasta Dam. The Tribe is also fighting a plan by the Bureau of Reclamation and the Wetlands Water District to raise Shasta Dam, a proposal that will destroy salmon runs and inundate many of the Tribe’s sacred sites not inundated by the dam.

For more information about the Winnemem’s fight to bring the winter-run Chinook salmon back to the McCloud, go to:…


  1. Stanley Kelley February 5, 2019

    De Gnuurs taste like urine according to an entomologist who couldn’t resist a bit bit of research. Perhaps deep frying would help

    • Harvey Reading February 5, 2019

      Wonder how the entomologist came to know the taste of urine …

      • Lazarus February 5, 2019

        In modern medicines infancy, urine tasting was an accepted method of diagnosing disease, whether it was akin to bloodletting? I’ll let the medical community respond… if we have any.
        As always,

        • james marmon February 5, 2019

          Laz did you watch today’s BoS morning session regarding the Measure B fiasco. I think the County should request a risk assessment on Allman. I expect him to just pull out his gun and start shooting. He thinks that the ole howard is a shovel ready project and he has had enough of spinning in circles. Anyway, it’s going to take 2 or 3 months just to hire a program manager for the Measure B committee to even get started. Angelo says her staff are already overwhelmed with the 27 million dollar mental health wing at the jail, and can’t take on 3 new projects at the same time. It’s going to take an outside project manager and outside lawyers. Allman thinks the committee and Board should just focus on one, the ole howard. If he doesn’t get his shooting range he’s most likely to use them as targets.


          ‘will it go round in circles’

  2. Harvey Reading February 5, 2019


    Down with the electoral college, and the senate, and gerrymandered electoral districts. I’ll take democracy any day over rule by backward authoritarians from second-rate states.

    • james marmon February 5, 2019

      Once again Harv, we’re a Republic not a Democracy, thank God

      Democracy vs. Republic. … In a republic, a constitution or charter of rights protects certain inalienable rights that cannot be taken away by the government, even if it has been elected by a majority of voters. In a “pure democracy,” the majority is not restrained in this way and can impose its will on the minority.

      James Marmon
      Born July 4, 1954

      “I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”

      In 1954, in response to the Communist threat of the times, President Eisenhower encouraged Congress to add the words “under God,”

      • Harvey Reading February 6, 2019

        You are a gullible fool, James. The supreme law document was intended to protect the ruling class and keep their kind, a minority of wealth, in power. It has done exactly that. You demonstrate how easily the unthinking masses can be deceived.

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