How to Parlay PC Slogans into Government Millions

A built-to-kill pipe bomb exploded beneath the driver’s seat of Judi Bari’s car in the noon-hour traffic of downtown Oakland on Friday, May 24th 1990. That there was an explosion in Judi Bari’s Subaru wagon while she was driving it and Darryl Cherney sat in the passenger’s seat is the only undisputed fact of that […]


I mentioned to a friend that I’d tried to get the Mateel Community Center to rent me space to present the Who Bombed Judi Bari Road Show, now in its third month of growing audiences but mixed reviews. He laughed. “You have about as much chance of getting into the Taj Mateel as a liberal […]

The Night of the Apocalypse

I set out from Haight Street for a night’s walkabout anticipating end-of-the-world spectacles. It was New Year’s Eve, end of an even thousand years if you calculate things by Anglo ways of reckoning, the last night of high tech dot com bliss and the prosperity American ingenuity brings about two thirds of its citizens. Up […]

Headwaters Forest, I Was There

Not many people have hiked into Headwaters Forest, and not many people are likely to because the trek in is a grueler. The old logging road up (yes, I said “up”) to Headwaters western perimeter is much more difficult than is suggested in the uniquely vague Bureau of Land Management’s handout. What the BLM variously […]

Should Jim Colyer Go to State Prison?

The afternoon of February 12th, a Willits man named Tom Brown placed a rusty old rifle in the corner of his son-in-law’s trailer home only a few steps from the Brown family home on Willits’ Railroad Avenue. Five local cops appeared at the door of Tom and Monica Brown’s house at 7:30pm that night. They […]

The Week that Was

Five years ago this Christmas, an elderly aunt of mine from a little town in Illinois came out to Boonville for a visit. Like lots of Americans of her generation, my aunt’s political views were shaped by the Great Depression. Her side of the family lived for days at a time “on milk and potatoes.” […]

Will Affinito Get Away With It?

Dominic Affinito says he didn’t punch Fort Bragg City Councilman-elect Dan Gjerde repeatedly in the back and threaten to kill him Thursday, November 12th in the Fort Bragg City Hall at 1:30 in the afternoon. He says his encounter with Gjerde has been exaggerated, misunderstood. Besides which Gjerde started it.  Six eyewitnesses and the Fort […]

Jim Jones

Didn’t know the man myself, but by the time I arrived in Mendocino County in 1970, the Rev was already a local big shot. He was throwing big ecumenical dinners with everyone from the heavy hitters of Ukiah’s John Birch Society to disco libs swearing eternal brotherhood.   Looking back on it, I realize Jones […]

Bully Boy Developer’s Fort Bragg Rampage

Last Thursday wasn’t the first time Dominic Affinito had physically attacked Dan Gjerde, the just-elected Fort Bragg City councilman. The blustery Fort Bragg developer laid a big lick on the slightly-built Gjerde last September at a meeting of the Fort Bragg City Council where Affinito’s one-story-too-tall North Cliff motel was the council’s primary agenda item. […]

Roederer Adopts Gallo Strategy

Roederer, Inc., as predicted, has now made it clear it will attempt to slowly strangle its vineyard workers’ union. The French-owned winery — the oldest family-owned winery in the world, and certainly among the most prosperous wineries in the world — has apparently adopted what is known in the industry as the “Gallo Strategy.” The […]

The Night of the Long Knives (July 29, 1998)

“Well,” I heard a male voice behind me say, “looks like the passive-aggressives are out in force tonight,” as we arrived at the Philo headquarters of KZYX, Mendocino County’s more or less public radio station to lobby for reinstatement of Sister Yasmin, the station’s long-time reggae DJ. KZYX has always inspired more than its share […]