Jim Chellberg’s Bogus Arrest

If your name is Jim Chellberg and the FBI pounds on your door at 7 am, here’s what you can look forward to for the rest of the day. And the next two years. And, likely as not, the rest of your life. The FBI came pounding on Mr. Chellberg’s door in Noyo Harbor, Fort […]

Seniors Set Record Time for Sinkyone

Alexander Cockburn and Bruce Anderson, legitimate recipients of mailings from the American Association of Retired People, hiked the arduously magnificent Sinkyone Wilderness Trail last weekend in record time. The sprightly seniors got from Bear Harbor at the northwest tip of Mendocino County down the rugged coast trail to Usal in 25 hours, a mere 11 […]

My Birthday

JULY 22ND is my birthday, and if any of you say, “I knew you were a Cancer!” you are permanently prohibited from reading this newspaper. I’m way, way too old to care about birthdays. They seem to come faster and faster as the abyss grows closer and closer, so I’m just pleased as heck to […]

Deputy Gander’s Halloween Party

The two attractive, forty-something women had looked forward to the annual Halloween party at the Gualala Hotel that Saturday night, but when they arrived at the hotel a little after 8pm, the merrymakers who would pack the place an hour later hadn’t arrived. Gina Jimenez, and her good friend Deborah “Debbie” Hicks, long-time residents of […]

Lindy Peters Answers His Critics

Lindy Peters is the former mayor of Fort Bragg and a current member of the Fort Bragg City Council. A large, affable man in his mid-forties, Mr. Peters resembles the action movie star, Steven Seagal. Mr. Peters is a former college football player also familiar to many Coast residents and sports fans as “The Voice” […]

The Mother of All Dog Fights

Occasional newcomers to the North Coast (more often than not city people) will settle in San Francisco’s northern most boutique, Mendocino, not as if they’re neighbors but as if they’re occupiers. Yes, these folks from New York, San Francisco and more recently Sacramento, love the outdoors, but it’s their outdoors: it’s their freedom, and their […]

The Day I Met Mike on the Street

I’d just encountered Glenda Anderson, journalist and prisoner of love when, only minutes later, just around the corner on West Church, Ukiah, there was the dungeon master himself — Mike Sweeney, Mendocino County’s trash czar, a wholly reinvented person of the uniquely Mendo type from his days as a Maoist hit man and, presumably, recycler […]

Off the Record (Jan. 15, 2003)

COURT ORDERS, if not strictly enforced by the judge who issues them, can be more dangerous to the parties involved than no court order. In Mendocino County, restraining orders and custody orders are often violated because they’re not enforced by the judges who issue them. For instance, a young father I know has faithfully appeared […]

The Great Fort Bragg Witch Hunt

Isn’t it just like Lucifer to plunk his evil self down in a pretty little Mendocino County mill town of forested hillsides, ocean bluffs, and rivers running to the sea? Life was good in Fort Bragg, population 7,000 when Beezlebub set up shop out on Airport Road. It was 1983. The town’s largest employer, Georgia-Pacific, […]

Steve Ahl vs. Ukiah

Just after noon on a slow, sunny Sunday afternoon last March, the famous Ukiah policeman, Peter Hoyle, was sitting in his patrol car at 1040 North State Street. Officer Hoyle was monitoring passing traffic with a handheld radar device.  The 1000 block of North State Street generates a lot of speeding ticket money for Ukiah. […]

The Dogs Ate the House

Houses get old. Their roofs leak, foundations shift, pipes rust, but her dogs ate a Willits’ woman’s house. “My house was already quite damaged when I bought it,” Lydia Dittmeier, 45, begins, “but I don’t want to tear it down. The dogs tore the sheetrock to pieces in fact, but that can be fixed. Dogs […]