Introducing Judge Pekin

When I first saw Patrick Pekin walk out of the Mendocino Volunteer Fire Station as I pulled into the parking lot I didn’t know what he looked like and guessed he was some college kid visiting the station for a term paper or something. Up close with his grayish hair and short straight-across bangs he […]

Who Will Save My Sole?

Walking into Ralph’s Shoe Repair on North State Street took me all the way back through the years to my five-year-old self listening raptly as my mom read Pinocchio to me. I imagined Master Geppetto, working in his cozy shop, whittling the wooden boy who would one day become his living son. The similarity is […]

Your Government, Not at Your Service

Project Sanctuary has never been awash in cash since a handful of locals started it up as a grass-roots domestic violence center in Ukiah in 1976. But over the years the scrappy little non-profit shelter has gotten by, cobbling together grants from the feds, the state, the county, and the fruits of its own fundraising […]

It Sucks To Be Duped

Journalists are drawn to their underappreciated profession for the same reason all artists are—by a compulsion that has to be wrestled to ground in long hours of solitude between the afflicted and a mess of paper and ink. Journalists are individuals, of course, and no cookie-cutter profile uniformly fits us all. But after decades of […]

Local Competency Restoration

As humans we are hardwired to quickly detect when another person’s behavior appears outside the norm. It’s an aspect of human intuition that is instantly recognizable but hard to put into words. But if you are charged with either a misdemeanor or a felony and your defense attorney or, less frequently, a judge, doubts your […]

Dr. Pace Lands in Lake County

Last week former Mendocino County Health Officer Dr. Gary Pace accepted Lake County’s offer to fill its equivalent public health position on an interim basis, beginning September first. Lake County’s current health officer, Dr. Erin Gustafson, is leaving at the end of this month for a position in southern California.  Pace, who resigned in protest […]

Two Mendo Kids Run Off to Join the Circus

The world, filled as it is with war, poverty, corrupt officialdom and all manner of skullduggery, doesn’t often give us reporters the chance to set aside the necessary cynicism of our chosen profession to write about something joyous, and maybe even have a bit of fun in the process. So it was with a light […]

Barbara Howe Speaks

There comes a point in nearly every hot, irrational blow-up when those involved must surely, in a moment of clarity, set aside their rage and wonder how in the world things got so bad.  In the case of Mendocino County’s Public Health Director, recently axed from her post after just 20 months on the job, […]

Inside Laytonville

In 1988, gas was 90¢ a gallon, Ronald Reagan was president, a prototype of the B-2 stealth bomber was revealed, Democrats nominated Michael Dukakis as their party’s presidential candidate, Republicans nominated Vice President George H.W. Bush as their party’s presidential candidate, Pan Am Flight 103 exploded over Lockerbie, Scotland, Golden State Warriors star Stephen Curry […]

Dinosaurs Among Us

In the 1930s Sinclair Oil’s advertising execs and assorted flaks put their heads together to create a company logo. As the story goes, at the time the New York-based corporation’s oils and lubricants were refined from Pennsylvania crude estimated, by the corporation, to be more than 270 million years old. Since the beginning of the […]

Casualties of a 50-Year War

In 1968, five years before the U.S. Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade decision guaranteeing women the right to legal abortions (ironically also the year that Pope Paul VI declared his opposition to birth control pills), I was a high school student living in a dorm at U.C. Riverside, part of a program for juniors about […]

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