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 […]


My mom was trained as a registered nurse during the Second World War. She spoke often of the miracle of penicillin, at that time only available to the troops, and a new future where so many who would have been doomed to death by infection could now heal and live. She felt the same way […]

David Hope & Son

Fort Bragg resident David Hope, Sr., is 96 years old and has spent nearly the whole of his professional life in the timber business, almost all of it in Mendocino County after he moved to Willits with his wife and three kids in 1953. Today he lives in a house just north of downtown Fort […]

Rating Mendo Schools

U.S. educational policy has been in freefall for the past two decades. There was the wildly unpopular No Child Left Behind Act of 2001, which required states to regularly measure and report student performance against certain standards. If states didn’t do it they risked the hammer of losing their federal school funds. Then came the […]

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