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 […]

“City Notes” Poetry

Fort Bragg City Manager Linda Ruffing’s prepackaged ready to believe biweekly spin sheet just arrived in my email box. Linda writes her “City Notes” to let folks know what is going on in Fort Bragg City Government. It comes out every two weeks. Of course the Advocate prints it without comment. Linda provides this epitome […]

Gagging Hare Creek

It started out as a grouch, a gesture of mild derision directed at an apparently uninterested city council looking the other way as big ugly box store barreled down on a sleepy city. Monday night I again chucked my resolution not to speak during public comments, not because of some surprise indignation. No. This time I […]

Waiting For The Great Fort Bragg Fire — Profiles In Inaction

We have had quite a few impressive fires over the years in metropolitan Fort Bragg. It’s all of these little wooden buildings cheek and jowl. Famously, in 1987, in one grand night of arson-for-profit and revenge, the library, the adjacent Ten Mile Justice Court and the Piedmont Hotel went up in flames. Later the Oak […]

Transparency Anyone?

The much touted openness and transparency in Fort Bragg’s city government that has come out of the last few years of political wrath, general indignation and community opposition, is opened maybe a crack. The City Council and all the committee meetings are online, which we wanted, but somehow it is not a great help to […]

The Sinking Of The San Juan

I went the Harbor Commission meeting last week like a prisoner to his execution. Well, maybe it was not that bad, but it was grim. To briefly recap. On February 13 the noble San Juan, my ship and my home on the Noyo River, a 200-ton 80-footer known to everybody in our small town, was […]