Oh Willie, Where Art Thou?

To think that in this America a man like Willie Nelson has the right, yes, the right, to choose who he supports in an election! How dare he assert his right as an American to choose who he backs as a candidate and then to appear on stage with him. Beto O’Rourke is Willie’s choice […]

The Daraprim Drug Scandal

How can a life-saving drug (Daraprim) that has been widely available since the 1940s for $1 suddenly cost $740? Is this what the FDA’s mission is when it says it exists “to promote and protect the public health”? Before a Wall Street wolf lands on your doorstep, should you face a life-threatening disease, consider the […]

‘Take Me Back To The Quarries!’

At present, we find ourselves in Sicily, but not the Sicily so popularized by the movie, The Godfather. One is cautioned, to be sure, never to speak of “those who have no name.” Rather, we are here to glimpse the interplay of over four thousand years of “invasions” of one kind or another. Sicily has […]

The Fire Next Time

Ted R. Williams has written an inspired letter to the Board of Supervisors concerning the danger posed by dead tanoaks on Mendocino Redwood Company’s timberlands in the county. As a result, it is reported that the Mendocino County Board of Supervisors has set aside 90 minutes to discuss, as an agenda item, the concerns Mr. […]

Tanoaks, Fire Dangers & MRC

The use of an herbicide (imazapyr) to kill tanoaks on timberlands was the immediate issue that brought out 120 Mendocino citizens to the March 5th meeting at the Comptche Community Center. Who wants to live with toxic substances in the immediate environment? As the meeting proceeded the issue of most concern that stood out became […]

Facing Imazapyr Head-On

On Thursday evening, March 5th, 120 Mendocino residents met at the Comptche Community Center to discuss Imazapyr (a broad spectrum persistent herbicide) used to control/eliminate tanoaks on Mendocino Redwood Company timberlands. The concerns most people have about toxic substances in the environment are immediate and visceral. “Stop it.” “Don’t poison us.” “Find a nontoxic solution.” […]


Margaret and I are planning a trip to Sicily. It is an itch that just would not go away. It is not out of curiosity about the Mafia or Sicilian cuisine. Nor is it from reading Homer or Cicero, arcane though that may sound. As archeologists (retired), you can understand the source of the itch. […]

Florence Under The Influence

Each day in Florence begins simply enough. After the breakfast dishes and setting out washing to dry on the terrace (dryers are still not in common use by most Florentine citizens), we walk down to a local cafe in the Santo Spirito neighborhood for a cappuccino and an hour spent reading the morning paper. Italians […]

Cathedrals & Redwoods

Florence, Italy, a city of about 370,000 residents, hosts more than two million visitors a year, and that figure must be a conservative one. Even in October, when it is supposed to rain at least 12 days during the month, the streets of the central core of the city are jammed with tourists. They come […]

Italy Observed

When traveling, one can’t help but make comparisons between what one knows and what one sees for the first time. The experience can be disorienting, especially if travel includes a foreign country. In my case, Italy continues to surprise, even though I’ve been here over half a dozen times. Since 2001, just before 9/11, my […]

Valley Trails: What Is Feasible?

When is it reasonable to spend precious moneys to confirm the obvious? Phillip Dow, the head of the Mendocino Council of Governments (MCOG), insists that any initiative, such as the Valley Trails Initiative, must put every idea on the table and see where it leads. So it was that Caltrans encouraged the Valley Trails group […]

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