Mainstream Media Madness

The mainstream media is to “progressive” Mendocino County what liberal bias is to Fox News—a favorite punching bag, an omnipresent boogie man who manipulates, digests and excretes a pile of propaganda. It’s a critique that makes my brain hurt. Not because I necessarily disagree with it (though I often do), but because it’s lazy. “MSM” […]

The Exhilaration of Being Shot At Unsuccessfully

The famous and also infamous director Werner Herzog is giving seminars for aspiring filmmakers (which the Rand Corp. pegs at 75% of the U.S. popu lation). Included in the curriculum is: “…the art of lockpicking. Traveling on foot. The exhilaration of being shot at unsuccessfully. The athletic side of filmmaking. The creation of your own […]

The Wine Industry’s Mendo Gofers

  Glen McGourty, UC Extension Farm Advisor, Mendocino County branch, is paid out of tax money to give free technical advice to grape growers about how to nurture their thirsty grapes. McGourty’s advice is water-intensive. The growers plant shallow rooted rootstock so growth can be con­trolled and pesticides delivered via drip irrigation lines. Shallow- rooted […]

Looking For Captain Fathom

Katheryn and I never did connect with Soren, or Alan Graham. I did deliver the IWW tee-shirt he’d sent me years ago he’d asked me to bring so that he could reproduce it. But I didn’t deliver it to him per­sonally. We dropped it off at a place on his driveway, to an old hippie […]

Weed Whackers Win One

The whisper came from behind me. “How might one have an opinion on the facts witout having heard the facts?” I looked up from jotting down Judge Henderson’s opinion to see the defense lawyer smiling. Henderson’s opinion had been to the effect that “I find it hard to believe [defendant] wasn’t involved, even though there […]

Saving Mendo’s Throne

You might call it an institution — a haven of freedom and liberty in that bourgeois airy-fairyland known as Mendocino Village. Or maybe you call it the place to take a leak after a long night of guzzling Pabst draft and stomping your soil-clogged boots to Waylon Jennings at Dick’s Place. Whatever your preference, Mendo’s […]

Investigating the Disappearance of Kathy LaMadrid

The rumors aren’t pretty. Like pornography, they’re crass. As with any small town police investigation, they can be all-consuming. But after all the sightings and psychic readings, after the cadaver dog searches and the dozens of bizarre connect-the-dot interviews, after a desperate family member tried hiring a contract killer to murder those he thought responsible, […]

Potter Valley Pomos Buy Fort Bragg’s White Ranch

Here we go again. After sitting on the market for a year, the White Ranch property has sold. This time the buyer is not a predatory, out-of-town developer with his heart set on ticky-tacky boxes and a subdivision of half-acre parcels. Instead, the new owners—a small band of the Pomo nation—are local: the Potter Valley […]

Guns, Germs & Steel

James Stephens, felon, up on charges that he was in possession of a .22 rifle and a 12 gauge shotgun, nar­rowly missed four more years in state prison because, apparently, he’s a non-violent felon and he wasn’t in actual possession of what the DA characterized as “weapons.” A .22 and a shotgun were merely in […]

Waterboarded: The Kenny Rogers Saga

The village of Westport is the last outpost before Mendocino County’s northern coast disappears into a roadless swath of rugged shoreline and redwood-carpeted hills. It is spread across roughly one mile by one-half mile of coast, and has one store, two gas pumps and 47 registered voters. Retirees are Westport’s dominant demographic, and 15 miles of coiling coastal highway separate it from the closest town.