The Epstein Episode: Fort Bragg Fights Back

When the temp lawyer Robert The Epstein of Marin County, dived headlong into Fort Bragg city politics to defend Hostility House against a community uprising that included the homeless, almost every merchant in the city and the reformed city council, he hit the bottom of a swimming pool that had already been drained. Ouch. The […]

Headhunters Coming To Fort Bragg (Really)

I barely got to enjoy the rough dismissal of Fort Bragg city manager Linda Ruffing from her three grand a week job when I learned that the city intends to fill the vital office of city manager by engaging a professional City Manager Employment Agency (yes there is such an exotic animal) to scour California […]

Fort Bragg City Manager Canned

The news hit Thursday like a thunder clap rippling through the pond of tense city politics. City Manager Linda Ruffing, the absolute power in Fort Bragg municipal affairs, the final dictator and ultimate author of Fort Bragg civic policy, and the absolute controller of every dime of city spending, had “decided to retire.” She made […]

The Fort Bragg Mill Site

When the fog rolled in at dusk the Safeway parking lot lights turned the gray to a dusky orange and the asphalt was yellow. Highway 1 murmured in the background. On the far side of the highway was the big darkness of the old mill. We have always been separated in our little city from […]

Fort Bragg Notes

The elected government of the City of Fort Bragg is loaded for bear and going after Hostility House. The flagship operation of Mendocino Coast Hospitality Center, a 29 bed shelter and soup kitchen on McPherson street, is the only legitimate claim for the larger organization’s claim to provide any actual social service. The shelter is […]

Fort Bragg Notes

I was reading at the Headlands Café, waiting for six o’clock to roll around as city councilmen started trudging in one by one to get a caffeine booster shot in anticipation of the council meeting. “Aren’t you going to cover the riot?” Councilman Bernie Norvell asked me as he added sugar. Riot? Well, it wasn’t […]

Struggling With The Budget Deficit

At the Monday night Fort Bragg City Council meeting a week ago the tension, worry and angst of the City Council were the principle takeaway. By the end of the meeting it became clear why. As in every council meeting there were several acts, but Monday night the resentment and fear in the council wove […]

Fort Bragg’s Homeless

There were rumors that the City Council’s Planning and Safety Committee’s all-day informational meeting Wednesday morning was going to be important. The esteemed mayor and our comparatively firebrand formerly newbie councilman Bernie Norvel comprise the Public Safety Committee. The meeting was billed as a discussion of a solution to the homeless problem. A problem indeed. […]

Bainbridge Trees Cut

The sixty year old trees in Bainbridge park are gone. In the battle, nay war, against homeless people sitting on the grass, every element of grace or accommodation in the park has been removed. The benches went first, then the grills where generations of families cooked hot dogs. Then the little trees where the kids […]

The Ongoing Saga of the San Juan

Saturday morning early I pulled into the Fort Bragg McDonalds to get a shot of joe. It had been a hard strange week. The boys were sitting around on the concrete sidewalk outside smoking and laughing quietly and amusing themselves with tales of weirdness and outrage completely invisible to the suits and the citizens who were […]

Budget Day in Fort Bragg

The City of Fort Bragg convened at Town Hall for a full day budget workshop bright and early last Wednesday morning. They had coffee but only a modest bowl of grapes to go with it. Since it was a budget meeting they made it lean and mean: no donuts. Long tables had been arranged into […]