Missing Ballots

We’ve got four registered voters in our household: one Democrat and three No Party Preference (NPP). The Democrat received his ballot in early February, but by the middle of this month the three NPP voters (who had requested “crossover” ballots to participate in the Democratic primary) had still received nothing. This seemed strange: the same […]

Measure V is Law

On June 7, 2016, Mendocino County voters approved Measure V, declaring intentionally-killed and left-standing trees a public nuisance. At issue was the local timber industry practice of poisoning millions of trees and then leaving them to die in our forests. The Measure’s intent was to address the additional fire (and firefighter) hazard that results from […]

A Tale of Two Donnies

I was a child of the sixties – literally, as those were my elementary school years. I grew up in a lower-middle-class suburb of Los Angeles County. We had a retarded guy in our neighborhood. His name was Donnie. He seemed childlike, because of his condition, but he was probably somewhere in his twenties when […]


In response to last week’s tragedy, CalTrans spokesman Hank Hackysack III announced a new, mandatory program for all employees and contractors. “When I heard that twenty workers had to run off the falseworks while it was collapsing,” he said, “I knew we had to do something. As soon as I got the news, I grabbed my […]

Navarro Breach Photo Essay

We returned four days later (Thursday, Dec 4) at another low tide. Three more inches of rain had fallen the previous couple days. The river was noticeably muddier, and the mouth’s channel was deeper and wider.

The Alaska Railroad

It was a late summer afternoon in Anchorage, Alaska. Dale and I were outside, in the backyard of the small house we rented. We lived in an older section of town called Spenard. A couple “massage parlors” stood guard at the head of our little residential street. The backyard of our home abutted railway easement, […]