Jailhouse Blues

A second incoming arrestee has tested positive for COVID-19 at the Mendocino County jail on Low Gap Road in Ukiah. Both infected individuals were asymptomatic and identified during the jail’s intake process. Both were also transfers from outside the county, the first from Tennessee and the more recent from Glenn County. Transfers typically come through […]

Back to School

I have a six-year-old grandson, a newly minted kindergartner. The trajectory of his recently launched educational life is a cautionary tale. My daughter and her husband live nearby, in an affluent East Bay suburb where parents literally over-mortgage their souls so their kids can go to the local public schools. (“Suburban schools are best” is […]

Essential Programs

If you’re into politics you’ve probably experienced a moment after reading something that really resonated with you and you thought to yourself “That is so right, it’s exactly how I see things.” I had such a moment after reading a New York Times piecefeaturing University of Pennsylvania political science professor emeritus Dr. Adolph Leonard Reed, […]

Commercializing Childbirth

If you were born in the early 1950s like I was and lived in one of California’s cities or in one of its newly flourishing suburbs, you were probably born in a hospital. Like food additives (“Better Living Through Chemistry”), baby formula (Isn’t breastfeeding just a bit, er… animalistic?), Gerber’s jarred baby food (I got […]

Slip-Sliding Away

During all the long years of my fulltime corporate employment I had a skewed view of the world. Not because of boardroom policies or existential questions about who or what benefitted from my 50 or so hours of labor each week; not because of the empty futility of what seemed at the time to be […]

Post-Deadline Child Abuse News

Ever wonder why you don’t hear about child abuse until the kid’s dead? After looking into a child-abuse tip that came into the AVA I decided to pass on writing about it for all the usual reasons, not the least of which is that I quote anonymous sources only under a narrow set of circumstances. […]

Anybody’s Story

I hadn’t seen Natalie for a couple of years before her death. More and more, she was a no-show at family gatherings, and in any case avoided my then-husband’s harsh judgments and preachy, unwelcome advice – disguised as concern – about her slip-sliding life (“You have a son now, what are you thinking? Have you […]

On Racism

When I was a general assignment reporter just starting out in Charleston, West Virginia, in the mid-1970s, one of my first news directors advised me to steer clear of debating either abortion or capital punishment with anyone who either opposed the first or supported the second. “Save your breath,” he said. “Almost nobody changes their […]

Policing the Police

Ukiah isn’t Detroit. Or Chicago, where two years ago the city spent more than $113 million on lawsuits involving police misconduct. But neither is Mendo an island, as shown by residents who, in spite of the fact that blacks make up a scant .07 percent of the county’s population, recently turned out to peacefully protest […]

A Conversation with Al Kubanis

Ukiah attorney Al Kubanis has a really cool office. Smack dab across from the county courthouse’s Perkins Street entrance, you can’t miss it from the street; just head for the building with the unapologetic Trump poster in the east second-floor corner window. Once you walk through the glass doors take a deep breath and trudge […]

AV High Copes with Virus

Friday, March 13, was the last day that Anderson Valley Junior/Senior High School’s 213 students physically went to class. Social distancing regulations were tightening as the corona virus spread, and Principal Jim Snyder said that he spent a lot of time that weekend talking with county school superintendent Michelle Hutchins and other school principals about […]

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