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MCT: Sunday, July 21, 2019

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SHERIFF’S COASTAL COMMANDER GREG STEFANI RETIRES after nearly three decades on the Mendocino Coast.

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Calling all Calico lovers! Pisces is a 2 month old female with beautiful markings. She is a dainty, inquisitive little kitten, and as cute as a bug's ear. We still have LOTS of kitties waiting to find forever homes, so come on in and meet Pisces and all her feline friends.

Tinkerbell is an 11 year old, spayed female Chihuahua mix who weighs a hefty 8 pounds. She is very sweet and wants to spend as much time as possible on her new person's lap. This little sweetheart is guaranteed to bring joy into your life and love into your heart. Tinkerbell is a fan of cuddling, and seems to know all about couches. Tinker is eligible for the shelter's SENIOR DOG DISCOUNT!

The Ukiah Animal Shelter is located at 298 Plant Road in Ukiah; adoption hours are Tuesday, Thursday, Friday & Saturday from 10 am to 4:30 pm and Wednesday from 10 am to 6:30 pm. To see photos and bios of the shelter's adoptable animals, and the shelter's programs, services and events, please visit us online at For more information about adoptions please call 707-467-6453.

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by Justine Frederiksen

A date of Thursday, Aug. 1, has been set by Redwood Community Services as when its long-anticipated homeless resource center will open.

Sage Wolf, the program manager for housing and homelessness at RCS, said the organization is confident it can open its doors Aug. 1 — provided, of course, it receives an official “occupancy permit certificate” from the city of Ukiah in order to do so.

The center at 1045 S. State St. is called “Building Bridges,” and will be open seven days a week from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., offering people access to showers, bathrooms, laundry facilities, as well as behavioral health services, workshops and clinics, peer support, and other supportive services.

“This year-round resource center will be a hub for people experiencing homelessness and those whose housing is in jeopardy, aiding them with building resiliency and breaking barriers to housing,” RCS officials noted in a press release announcing the expected opening date. “(Once open), the center will be an access point for Coordinated Entry. Participants will be screened for county-wide housing resources through the Mendocino County Homeless Services Continuum of Care’s Coordinated Entry system.”

RCS describes the center as “a collaborative project with services provided by RCS, Adventist Health, MCAVHN, Manzanita, Project Sanctuary, Redwood Quality Management Company, Mendocino County Health and Human Services Agency, and other partnering organizations.”

Prior to the opening of the center, RCS is hosting an Open House on Tuesday, July 30, from 3 to 6 p.m.

All members of the community are invited to get “a sneak peek at the newly renovated space before we open (what is designed to be) a safe place for Mendocino County folks experiencing a housing crisis.”

When asked at the Ukiah City Council meeting this week where people could go in the meantime, Deputy City Manager Shannon Riley said, “there are a number of homeless service providers who do open their doors to clients during the day.”

For more information about RCS and the center, contact their administrative offices at 707-467-2010.

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HERE’S A CRAZY PARAGRAPH about homelessness in Mendocino County, one of many, from Tuesday’s planned Homelessness presentation to the Supes next Tuesday:

Homelessness In Mendocino County

Mendocino County’s 2017 Point-in-Time Count identified 1,238 homeless individuals, 20% more than were counted in 2015. Assuming that the homeless population renews itself at least two times every year, with two additional people becoming homeless for every homeless person counted at a point in time, HHSA estimates that 3,714 Mendocino County residents (4% of the county population) are experiencing one or more episodes of homelessness annually. Note that the annual count relies largely on service providers and focuses on people who are in shelters or on the streets. Since not all people experiencing homelessness utilize service providers, the actual numbers of people experiencing homelessness are likely higher.

CRAZY, that is, until you realize that pretending that the numbers are much higher than they are means more money for the people who are paid to do nothing about the problem. (Last year’s Marbut Report said that there were only a few hundred homeless and that the “point in time” county was wildly inflated. The Homeless Helpers ignore Marbut’s numbers.)

YOU CAN LOOK through Tuesday’s entire 22-page small print homeless presentation (available on the Supes agenda website) with pages of charts and process diagrams and categories and resource lists and funding sources and on and on and you won’t find a single NUMBER of people actually helped and in what way. Instead you see sentences like this “recommendation”:

“in order to maximize agency use of HMIS, a system-wide all-agency information release-form should be developed and utilized by all agencies. Simply put, HMIS data entry needs to be in ‘real-time,’ it needs to be universal and it needs to extend well beyond HUD-funded programs in order to facilitate coordination of care across the entire service Continuum of Care (CoC).”

GET IT? What’s important is data entry, not helping anybody.

Under “Solutions To Homelessness,” we find:

“HHSA will use NPLH funding to develop permanent supportive housing for people who are homeless who also have serious mental illness. Working with community partners will ensure that clients have access to a range of services, such as peer support, drop-in centers, vocational training, etc. Project activities will be guided by the following principles: Housing first, followed by integrated care management to address non-housing barriers; No wrong door; Trauma-informed and recovery-focused practices; Client choice, respect, and empowerment; Crisis resolution and removal of barriers; and Use of best practices for integrated treatment of co-occurring disorders.”

IF YOU ARE LEGITIMATELY HOMELESS in Mendocino County, and are seriously interested in being re-housed, don’t expect any help from these people.

THEN THERE’S the “retroactive” non-competitive gift of $19 million to Redwood Quality Management Co. (RQMC) for Mental Health Services:

”Agenda Item 5d) Discussion and Possible Action Including Acceptance of Presentation Regarding Redwood Quality Management Company and Approval of Retroactive Agreement with Redwood Quality Management Company, Inc. in the Amount of $18,976,773 to Arrange and Pay for Medically Necessary Specialty Mental Health Services and Mental Health Service Act Programs to Medi-Cal Beneficiaries and the Indigent Population, Effective July 1, 2019 through June 30, 2020. (Sponsor: Health and Human Services Agency)”

RQMC’S $19 MILLION DOLLAR GIFT PACKAGE comes with the latest “data dashboard” from RQMC which says that they have “served” about 3000 people from July 2018 through May 2019, about half of whom were adults over 24 years of age. The heart of the “dashboard” is this “services provided” chart:

BUT IF YOU WANT TO KNOW, for example, how many of their clients have successfully returned to society without relapse, you’ll be disappointed.

SOME OF THE NUMBERS in their “services provided” chart are hard to believe. Almost 6,000 “individual rehabs” for youth? Almost 8,500 “individual therapies” for youth, and almost 3,900 “individual therapies” for adults? Over 3100 “psychiatric services” provided?

YIKES! Mendo’s crazier than we ever imagined! (Either that or you need a lot of people categorized as needing “therapy” to spend that whopping $19 mil — plus the many supplements that are handed over to RQMC as the year progresses.)

PS. Assuming their 3,000 served number is correct, at a contract value of $19 mil, RQMC is getting about $6300 per client to do whatever they do “for” them. Not counting the contract add-ons and supplemental grants that come in every year.

(Mark Scaramella)

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(Photo by MendocinoSportsPlus)

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The Mendocino County Farm Bureau invites the public to attend an informational meeting about how our local water may be in jeopardy, on July 24 from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Ukiah Valley Conference Center.

The dependable nature of the county’s year-round water supply is the Potter Valley Project, a diversion of water from the Eel River to the Russian River with an accompanying power station that provides water and hydropower downstream. It is a system of dams, rivers, reservoirs, lakes, and power stations that has been in place for decades.

The name is deceiving. It could more appropriately be called the Northern California Water Project because it affects approximately 500,000 people from Mendocino County through Marin County.

The Potter Valley Project has provided year-round water and enough power to create thriving communities in Mendocino County and beyond since 1922. That water supply may be threatened because of PG&E’s recent decision to give up the project.

In January, PG&E abandoned its intent to relicense the power station. If no one licenses the project, it will be decommissioned, which means there would be no diversion from the Eel River, putting our year-round water supply in jeopardy.

Currently, a coalition of local governments and private enterprises are working together to figure out how to safeguard our water supply for the future. Issues include:

Maintaining and upgrading the infrastructure

Meeting regulatory requirements, including strict environmental safeguards

To learn more, attend the public meeting on July 24 from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Ukiah Valley Conference Center or visit

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by Bruce Anderson

It was 1971 and we had just moved from the city to the Mathias Ranch six miles south of Boonville with an overwhelming load of juvenile delinquents, and on the wholly deluded assumption that delinquents would be less delinquent under the redwoods than they were under the street lights. The ranch, which came with a small herd of wild horses forever breaking out onto Highway 128, was then owned by Bible Bob Mathias, a former superintendent of the Boonville schools. It has since evolved into, of all things, a gay retreat center.

Somewhere, Bible Bob is writhing.

It was always a relief to get away from Rancho Loco for an evening of fast pitch softball and beer drinking in Cloverdale. Because we were still young enough to want to play ball games and were unaware Boonville had a team of its own, and also unaware there was a Boonville, we hooked up with some softball-playing long hairs who unhesitatingly put three of us straights on their team.

We were the worst nine in town; not for lack of trying, but lack of a whizbang pitcher. With a good pitcher, a squad of paraplegics can dominate in fast pitch softball, but our two hurlers, hard as they worked, got ripped good every time they went out there.

But we had the best post game fun of anyone in the league. Hippies were still fun in '71. A few years later they were scrambling for respectability, pretending it hadn't happened, and hippies, like fast pitch softball, were over.

Those dusty, hot Cloverdale summer nights were made even more memorable by Blindman, aka Bob Wright, an umpire who became a Cloverdale legend. He was a chunkier version of Popeye. A man in his middle 60s, he had Popeye's jut jaw and he sure as hell had Popeye's tenacity.

Not that Blindman at all saw himself as a comic figure. He saw himself as authority, the authority when it came to baseball and all sub-species thereof, from Little League to fast pitch softball to American Legion baseball.

Blindman was Cloverdale’s umpire.

There were summer days when Blindman would be behind the plate all day and well into the night, calling balls and strikes for Little Leaguers in the morning, Pony Leaguers in the afternoon, men's softball games in the evening. And the guy was no kid. Try umpiring baseball games all day from about nine in the morning until nine at night in a Cloverdale summer. Who would want to do it for maybe 10 bucks for two hours in 100-degree heat? Blindman, whatever his deficiencies as home plate arbiter, was there, omni-available.

The man had absolute confidence in his judgment, and never hesitated to stick his authoritative jaw into the faces of incredulous ballplayers denouncing him in the most vile terms. And he looked like an umpire, complete with whisk broom, shin guards, chest protector, face mask, even a rulebook he would condescend to consult from time to time, invariably interpreting a dispute in ways not remotely implied by the actual rule.

Blindman wasn't off on every call, of course; if he’d been consistently off even his round-the-clock availability wouldn't have saved him. Most of the time he was at least acceptably bad behind the plate. You could count on him to miss about one in every 10 pitches, but when he missed one he missed it big time, head-slappingly big.

"Jesus, Blindman, where was that one? Are you kidding?" Blindman would blandly reply, "It caught the corner, for Chrisssakes. You never seen a breaking ball? Quit bellyaching and get back in the box."

Blindman could make a preposterously bad call against a family man’s Little Leaguer in the morning, an astoundingly bad call against the guy’s Pony Leaguer in the afternoon, and here he was the same night calling some real doozies against the guy himself in a fast pitch game.

Around town, Blindman was Blindman, not Mr. Wright as his age might entitle him to be addressed — certainly entitled him to be addressed by children if they knew him by his right name. And even Blindman's wife, a silent, wraithlike presence in a corner of the grandstand was often observed silently laughing as the love of her life was deluged with insults. She was known as Mrs. Blindman. Mr. Blindman was Blindman to everyone from little kids to gaffers in walkers. You'd hear a kid who looked like he was about eight sing out a merry, "Hi Blindman!” to which Blindman would distractedly but instantly reply, "How ya doin’, sonny?"

Blindman umpired two generations of Cloverdale ballgames. There were grandfathers telling Blindman stories from their ballplaying days as their grandchildren walked dejectedly back to the dugout on a Blindman called third strike that the kid couldn't have hit if he'd swung at it from the top rung of a stepladder. And if the kid so much as glanced quizzically back at Blindman as he made his puzzled way back to the dugout, Blindman would say something like, "If you're going to play this game, kiddo, you'd better get used to risers." Blindman had somehow seen the pitch in the strike zone before it had taken a sudden, Blue Angel like 100-degree climb so steep that it had eluded the leaping catcher’s glove. That was the old riser ball, by God, and Blindman knew it when he saw it.

There were days when Blindman had to be the most verbally abused senior citizen in all of California. Americans have never been shy about denouncing umpires regardless of their age or physical condition, and abusing the ump in the most vulgar ways. "For Christ sakes, Blindman, you're the first guy I’ve ever seen to get his head all the way up his ass and suck his thumb at the same time!" To which Blindman, as always serenely confident, would blandly reply, "I call ‘em like I see ‘em." And that would evoke, "That's the goddamn problem, Blindman, you can't see ’em!"

In three contentious minutes, Blindman might absorb more verbal abuse than most people suffer in a lifetime. But he loved baseball, he was always available and, you could say, he had the perfect judicial temperament. So far as Blindman was concerned, he was Solomon himself in shin guards and chest protector. Nothing anybody said ever seemed to bother him.

Blindman worked all the games by himself, too, meaning that his most famous bad calls weren’t over balls and strikes, which come and go almost subliminally. No, Blindman's most memorable calls were like the one he famously made one hot summer night during an otherwise forgettable game.

Now, those of you who have played or watched fast pitch softball know the ball gets up to the plate real fast, typically going from the pitcher to home plate at between 90 and 100 mph. At night, under weak lights like Cloverdale's, the ball seemed to get to home plate even faster.

That night, a man of about 40, a little too old and more than a little physically past it for a game this fast, squared around to bunt, and here came the pitch at a good 95-per, a hard, round projectile coming straight at his crotch where it struck the man squarely in his unprotected pills. The guy went down like he'd been shot. Everyone froze for an "Oh no!" moment. The downed man's wife came flying out of the stands, crying and terrified.

We surrounded the wounded ballplayer in a worried clump. The guy didn't move for many seconds. He looked like he was dead, but finally stuck both hands protectively into his groin and rolled into a fetal cringe, groaning, his face gray, pain tears running through the home plate dust on his agonized face.

Blindman had been standing nonchalantly off to the side, seemingly unconcerned. Someone said, "We better call an ambulance." Someone else said, "It's on the way," and sure enough we could hear a siren. Just then, Blindman, jostling his way roughly through the crowd, leaned way down between the injured man’s grieving wife and directly into the injured man's face and yelled, "Yer outta there! Out! You! Are! Out!"

There was a stunned silence. We all stared at Blindman. It wasn't computing. It couldn't be that Blindman was telling the injured man that he'd somehow made an out. This was an injury accident scene, no longer a ballgame. This guy might be crippled for life! Maybe totally impotent! Someone asked in a weak, shocked voice, like someone who had just overheard his father making a pass at the widow at a funeral. "Wha—, what- what are you doing, Blindman?"

The Blindman, unperturbed — the wronger he was the calmer he got — replied, "The batter is out because he didn't try to get out of the way of the pitch. That's the rule. If you get hit on purpose, you're out. He's out."

And then Blindman, just as the ambulance crew hustled up to the downed man, shouted, "Play ball!"

We were shocked speechless. But Blindman's bizarre ruling had miraculously brought the dead man back to life. He was rolling around in the dirt of home plate moaning, "No, no, no, Blindman," as if fearing the heartless ump might pounce on him again. Somebody laughed a disbelieving laugh as everyone else commenced a barrage of insults, the kindest of which was, "You're nuts, Blindman."

Months later, I happened to stop in at the Cloverdale Bakery, a known Blindman haunt. Blindman was lecturing another old guy on, of all things, the danger of the International Communist Conspiracy. If a platoon of heavily armed Viet Cong had at that moment come jogging through the door, Blindman probably wouldn't have noticed, and if he had noticed he probably would have thought they were an American Legion team from Chinatown. But I liked the idea of Blindman as global strategist; I was happy he had a life away from the ballpark.

Blindman's second most memorable move came later that night during an extra inning game that didn't start until 9:30 because the previous game had also gone into extra innings. A heavy fog had rolled in. It was cold and damp and the fog was so thick the outfielders were barely discernible from the stands. They looked like ghosts out there. Blindman was calling his third game of the day when we kicked off. The ensuing contest was replete with arguments, walks, minor injuries, and other time gobblers. We were still playing at midnight. We wouldn’t be able to drink beer after the game because the bars would be closed by the time Blindman had made his last bad call and we'd called it an exhausted night.

The score was something like 17-16 with our team on the short end, as usual, when we came up for our last at-bat. It was a quarter past the witching hour. We had started playing on Wednesday night and now it was Thursday.

We loaded the bases with two outs when our guy hit a long fly ball that was barely visible in the thick mists of left center field, but a dim form appeared to be circling beneath it, an easy catch, a can of corn as they say, when suddenly the lights, never particularly illuminating even without the fog, went out. The night had gone black. Everyone was suddenly invisible. There were yelps, thuds and curses as guys careened sightless around the base paths, running into each other.

The lights magically snapped back on. All eyes went to the power box behind home plate, and there was Blindman, a huge grin on his face. "You know," he explained, "I have played ball all my life, and I have umpired thousands of games, and I always wanted to do that."

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"BRIDGE OVER TROUBLED WATERS--Wind River Below Boysen Dam"

Photo by Harvey Reading

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James Foster Houle, age 85, died on June 24, 2019, at the home he loved in Redwood Valley, California. I just learned of his passing.

In his career, Jim was one of the top chemical engineers in the world, and worked for Aramco in Saudi Arabia. Later, he joined Bechtel Corporation, a major defense contractor for the United States and allied governments.

Bechtel handles many classified projects, including disassembling and destroying some of the world's most dangerous chemical weapons, building and maintaining mission-critical sites for the US Armed Forces, safely restoring and developing locations and critical infrastructure, and designing and delivering complete operational systems and infrastructure. Jim was a senior project manager, and although he never talked about it, I'm sure he had a top secret security clearance.

Given that Jim was a political progressive and pacifist, I like to think that Jim "infiltrated" Bechtel. In truth, Jim did no military work for Bechtel. Jim was a project manager who oversaw civil engineering projects, such as building dams and power plants, and planning cities, primarily in the Middle East and Africa. He worked on State Department and USAID contracts, not Department of Defense contracts.

I first met Jim Houle years ago when we served on the Mendocino County Grand Jury together. The foreperson of our grand jury hated Jim because she couldn’t bully him, and because he was a lot smarter than she was. Jim also wanted to investigate the really dark places in county government, while the foreperson wanted to play it safe.

“A grand jury’s first order is to do no harm,” she would extoll, and Jim would derisively snort back in disgust.

She eventually got the presiding judge to remove Jim from the grand jury. Jim took it as a badge of honor.

Jim and I stayed friends over the years. He was often critical of my own foolishness. Time and again, he pointed out my ignorance. But that was a good thing. Jim was a fan of my public affairs radio show, "Heroes and Patriots" on KZYX, KMEC, and now, KMUD. And Jim made my show better. Audiences comprised of listeners like Jim keep me doing what I do. My show's focus is national security, intelligence, and foreign policy, and feedback from informed listeners like Jim is so important to the show's success.

I miss Jim Houle, already. Jim was brilliant, quirky, difficult, and highly opinionated…like almost every other person I respect and love.

Good-bye, Jim. I’ll miss you, brother.

John Sakowicz, Ukiah

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Flores-Roman, Galindo, Hensley

MARIBEL FLORES-ROMAN, Santa Rosa/Ukiah. DUI, child endangerment.

THOMAS GALINDO JR., Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-alcohol. (Frequent flyer.)

CHARLES HENSLEY, Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-alcohol, resisting, probation revocation. (Frequent flyer.)

Jensen, Ladd, Linker

JEREMY JENSEN, Ukiah. Concealed dirk-dagger, mandatory supervision sentencing.

CODY LADD, Ukiah. Parole violation.

SUZANNE LINKER, Branscomb. Under influence, probation revocation.

Maddox, Maingi, Nelson

THOMAS MADDOX, Willits. DUI, renting to person with interlock device restriction, probation revocation.

SCOTT MAINGI, Ukiah. Controlled substance, failure to appear, disobeying court order, probation revocation.

KINDRA NELSON, Covelo. Probation revocation.

Piceno, Plazola, Schwindt, Shields

MARCIANO PICENO, Ukiah. Criminal threats.

ALEXIS PLAZOLA, Ukiah. DUI-drugs&alcohol.

STIAN SCHWINDT, Willits. Controlled substance, paraphernalia, resisting, probation revocation.

JOHNNY SHIELDS, Ukiah. Disobeying court order.

Smith, Thomas, Vanderploeg, Wecker

ALWOOD SMITH, Ukiah. Assault with deadly weapon not a gun, criminal threats.

ANTONIO THOMAS, Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-alcohol, under influence.

CHRISTOPHER VANDERPLOEG, Flint, Michigan/Fort Bragg. DUI, failure to appear.

NATHAN WECKER, Fort Bragg. Fugitive from justice, security assessment.

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It will be interesting to see how this all plays out in the Democratic Primaries and the election in 2020. Will America say, “enough is enough, you’re outta here” or will the dimwits prevail by thinning election rolls and other hard right tactics designed to re-install landowner voting. (BTW, it doesn’t take smarts to accomplish this. Just yell and intimidate minority voters. Works like a charm.)

If Trump loses will he be arrested on his way out the White House kitchen door? Maybe Bill Barr too? Or, maybe, he won’t leave. Maybe he claim fraud and refuse to vacate the Presidency.

Then again, if he is re-elected, maybe ICE will become the American Gestapo. Let’s round up all those critics and purveyors of fake news. Maybe they will shut up if we put THEM in cages.

There you have it folks. The last days of the American Empire. The choice is go down ugly by installing a malignant narcissist as Emperor who will turn neighbor against neighbor; or, to go down gently and with a chance to make ourselves better as we remake America and relegate the hard right to the margins of history.

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There’s many abiding mysteries of life, some trivial, others of great import.

Such as how did the foreign affairs community (aka The Blob) manage to accrete so many intellectually sub-standard, group-thinking non-thinkers and, given the foregoing, how is it that so many of these group-thinking-non-thinkers reach positions of influence? Given their inability to do anything but regurgitate shop-worn templates that don’t work anymore (if they ever did) why do they even get the time of day never mind get to occupy the Everests of academe and government?

Is it a lack of will on their part to re-examine and re-think or is it a lack of ability? In the end, does it matter? The fact that they’ve been stinking up universities and government offices for so long is a discredit to the rest of us that should’ve rousted out these incompetents and cranks a long, long time ago.

There’s a lot of propositions that might sound common sensical and practical on their face that would mark you by the Blob as “unserious” were you to mouth them. The Iran nuclear deal is making the news a lot nowadays. Maybe Trump is right in that it needs a re-think but maybe it needs a re-think in ways he’s not thinking about. First, look at the countries at the negotiating table in the original deal: the US, the UK, Russia, France, China, Germany and the EU. But - ahem – what about the countries a nuclear armed Iran would most affect? Like those countries in its vicinity, like Turkey, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Israel … you get the drill. Far be it from me to suggest that maybe these close neighbors have the greatest stake and should have been the chief negotiators and not the US, the UK etc. See, THAT would mark you as “unserious”.

Should NATO be disbanded? To raise the question is “unserious”. But it’s an abiding mystery as to why incompetent, bone-heads who created so much calamity are the shot-callers. Why can’t we get rid of them, get some fresh thinkers, people with views that accord with reality?

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IN FRANCE, during the period from 1789 to 1799, hundreds of thousands of men and women were arrested and tens of thousands executed in the name of the French Revolution. One prominent episode concerns Thomas de Mahy, Marquis de Favras, a high-profile nobleman who was hanged in 1790 for plotting to rescue King Louis XVI and his wife, Marie Antoinette.

The Marquis de Favras was born in 1745 and was distinguished for his service in the army. His hanging marked an important turning point as he was the first nobleman for whom there was no class distinction in his mode of execution. By tradition, nobles were spared from a drawn-out public humiliation — those sentenced to death would receive a swift beheading by axe or sword.

Thomas de Mahy, Marquis de Favras, was sentenced to death by hanging on February 18, 1790, for the charge of treason.

The most intriguing part? When he read through the order for his execution, the Marquis de Favras muttered: “I see that you have made three spelling mistakes.”

With or without mistakes, the warrant was placed in order. His death took place the following day. The quote has become famous because the Marquis kept his sangfroid in the face of a painful and humiliating death, and he is revered by those who uphold the importance of correct grammar and spelling.

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I GOT A DREADFUL UPDATE last night on the health of our pal Paul Krassner from Michael Simmons. Paul is very ill and has been moved to hospice care. I just talked with Paul a few days ago. He was bitching at me in his customary way (and with reason) about when his latest story was going to appear in CounterPunch magazine–we’re a little behind. But he was otherwise jovial and didn’t at all let slip just how sick he is. Krassner made life in this country a lot more bearable for people like me…and you too probably, whether you realize it or not. More personally, Paul helped free me to say & write exactly what I thought without giving a damn about those who might take offense.

— Jeffrey St. Clair

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FROM THE NOVEMBER 5, 1975 edition of the San Francisco Chronicle

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by Bernie Sanders

Last night, I was at dinner with Ilhan Omar, her daughter, and some other members of Congress when we heard the news that thousands of people at a Donald Trump rally were chanting "send her back."

To my surprise, Ilhan was pretty unfazed. Sadly, as she told me, she has been dealing with this kind of hatred and racism for a long time.

And she knows, as we do, that Trump is a demagogue doing what he does best: dividing and conquering through hate.

No. Trump won't talk about trying to throw 32 million Americans off their health care. He won't talk about his massive tax breaks for billionaires. He won't talk about his budget which called for huge cuts to Medicaid and Medicare. And he certainly won't talk about how climate change is destroying the planet.

But he will try to divide the country up based on the color of our skin, our religion, where we were born or our sexual orientation.

Brothers and sisters: Now is the time, more than at any other moment in our lifetimes, to say NO to racism, NO to divisiveness, NO to the hatred that Trump is trying to foment.

Ilhan Omar is a leader with strength and courage. She won't back down to Trump's racism and hate, and neither will we.

Ilhan and I have worked together on a number of important issues since she was elected — most recently our effort to cancel all student debt in this country.

She is a critical voice in our fight for justice in America, and I am excited to work with her and other progressives when we are in the White House.

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This year’s Redwood Empire Fair is designed for visitors to enjoy four full days of fun, even for those on a budget.

Every year, the fair offers attendees an opportunity to save $5 on carnival wristbands. The unlimited one-day-use wristbands may be used for the entire weekend. Wristbands are available in Ukiah at Raley’s, Taco Bell, Chavez Market, Creative Workshop, and at the Fair Office. In Willits, purchase wristbands at JD Redhouse. In Fort Bragg, get your tickets at Harvest Market. For the first time, Covelo residents may pick up wristbands at Uptown Mercantile.

Wristbands must be purchased by 2:00 pm on Thursday, August 1st, prior to the opening of the Fair.

Start out the weekend with free admission for kids and seniors on the Fair’s opening day, Thursday, August 1st. Admission is free until 6:00 pm for kids aged 6-12 and seniors 65 and older. Children under five are always admitted free of charge. Admission to the fair provides an all-inclusive experience, with music, Speedway activities and entertainment included in the admission price.

This year’s “Goin’ Hog Wild” theme exemplifies the focus on fun for the whole family. Each day, contests take place at the Willow Tree Stage. Get sticky on Thursday at the Watermelon Eating Contest, beginning at 5:00. Save the funnel cakes for later and enter the Pie Eating Contest on Friday at 4:30. How many corn dogs can you eat? Try your luck on Saturday at 5:00, and see if you have the “chops” to eat as many hot dogs as you can on Sunday at 4:30.

For your aspiring bakers, “When Pigs Fly” cupcake decorating takes place on Saturday, August 3nd. “Hog Wild Cookie” decorating will take place on Sunday from noon to 3:00. Both events take place in the Home Arts Building.

Once again, Pardini Appliance is sponsoring the crowd-pleasing Diaper Dash on Saturday, August 3nd at 2:30, located at the Willow Tree Stage. The lucky winner will receive a washing machine.

Be sure to take the kids to the show rings and the swine, sheep, beef and small animal buildings. Visit 4-H members and Future Farmers who have spent months preparing themselves and their animals for showing. The young people are eager to educate the public about their animals and agriculture, and enjoy educating children and adults about all aspects of raising and showing their animals.

This year marks the return of the very popular Brad’s World Reptiles exhibit, which will be located in Carl Purdy Hall. Expect to view a wide array of reptiles, amphibians, birds and insects, with opportunities for photographs and plenty of educational material and hands-on displays.

(photo by Carole Brodsky)

It’s not just the hogs that are going wild at this year’s fair. Visit the Fair Circle all weekend where “Walk on the Wild Side” will offer an interactive animal experience with a variety of endangered and rescued wild animals, who make their home in a rural wildlife sanctuary.

Jeremy the Juggler is returning to the fair, and can be found all weekend bringing fun to the fairgrounds. Jeremy is a celebrated bilingual juggler, unicyclist, hand-whistler, beat-boxer and origami maker, who has performed at fairs up and down the state, as well as at corporate events for Motorola, Industrial Light and Magic, Pixar and Red Bull.

(photo by Chris Pugh)

Balloons are not just for parties. Totally Twisted Balloons will amaze the family with all the fun ways balloons can be used to dazzle and entertain.

For years, the Ukiah Idol competition has provided the community with a venue for aspiring performers to get on stage and entertain supportive audiences. The “Little Idol and Junior Idol” finals on Friday, August 2nd at 5:00 pm. The Grand Finals take place at 2:00 pm on Sunday, August 4th. Both events take place on the Willow Tree Stage.

The exhibits in the Fine Arts Building, Junior Building, Flower Building and Home Arts Building offer a welcome respite from the heat and the crowds. Take a look at the creative offerings of kids and adults, who submit the best of what they do for a chance at cash prizes. From fresh veggies to flower arrangements, Lego collections to world-class quilts, cakes to canned goods, the community entries are one of the most iconic Fair activities.

The fun doesn’t stop when the sun goes down. Families call the Speedway entertainment the capstone of their fair experience. Every night offers a new and different level of racing fun, starting at 6:30 on Thursday and Friday nights nights and 6:00 on Saturday and Sunday evenings.

Close out the busy day with live music on the Willow Tree Stage, with Warehouse 21 at 6:00 and 9:00 pm on Thursday, The Funky Dozen at 7:00 and 9:00 pm on Friday, Kingsborough at 6:00 and 9:00 pm on Saturday and Luis Perez y la Nueva Ilusion & Banda Pacifica, with a 5:00 pm show on Sunday evening.

The Fair opens at 3:00 on Thursday, August 1st and Friday, August 2nd and at noon on Saturday and Sunday, August 3rd and 4th. For more information, visit the Fair’s Facebook Page, the Redwood Empire Fair website at or phone (707) 462-3884.

(Carole Brodsky)

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a celebration of local, organic food and wine

at Dark Horse Ranch, Ukiah

Saturday, August 24, 2019

5 to 10 p.m.

purchase tickets online through Eventbrite

Or phone: 707-937-3833 (M-F)

Your ticket includes Wine tasting and appetizer reception in the meadow Gourmet, multi-course organic meal served family style Dancing under the stars to The Back Porch Project.

This event is an annual tradition and the major fundraiser for the Cancer Resource Centers of Mendocino County.

For more information go to

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Renovation update!

The process of renovating some of our lodging units has been taking longer than anticipated (as these things often do!) but we are moving along. The Keeper's Room will still be getting some finishing touches and new furniture, but the flooring was re-done and looks great, and we are back up and running for rentals in our most popular room! The Keeper's Apartment is on track to be completed by the end of the month, and Head Keeper's House #1 by the end of August. It's been a fun process watching everything get torn up and then put back together! We're excited to have everything fresh and new for our guests when the renovations are all completed. Stay tuned! If you'd like to reserve one of these renovated rooms, don't forget that our seasonal special begins in October - stay two nights and get the third night free!


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by Ralph Nader

In 1956, then Senator John F. Kennedy authored a best-selling book titled Profiles in Courage, in which he told the stories of Senators in American history who, on principle, bucked the tides of power. Today, some Republican writer or conservative syndicated columnist – George Will or Max Boot – should write a book called Profiles in Cowardliness. It should cover Republican leadership’s near total cowardliness in the face of Donald Trump, whom they despise on many fronts. Many in Republican leadership believe he has hijacked their Grand Old Party (GOP).

Clearly the Republicans – except for Rep. Justin Amash, who recently quit the Party after accusing Trump of impeachable crimes – are intimidated by this foul-mouthed president. Republican politicians are cowed by Trump’s bellicose personal rhetoric. We have seen this cycle repeat itself countless times, with the media boosting their ratings by recklessly repeating Trump’s insults.

Republicans remember what Trump did to Jeb Bush, Ted Cruz, and Marco Rubio during the 2016 Republican primary. They observe how loud-mouthed Donald spews toxic falsehoods at Democrats and gets away with it. Why, Republicans ask themselves, should they take any chances provoking this unstable Twitter Emperor and his ditto-heads on social media whom he deliberately incites? The answer: because patriotism demands action.

Donald Trump acts as if he is above the law – coming off his career as a corporate criminal, he has become a government outlaw. He has always cheated justice. Trump flouts the Constitution, refuses to faithfully execute the laws preventing corporate crimes, and obstructs justice. Just as bad are Trump’s ethical and personal failings; he has brought disgraceful personal behavior, serious daily lies, expensive nepotism, denials of grave realities facing the country, bigotry, violent incitement, and disrepute to the White House. All of these failings are why the Founding Fathers gave impeachment authority to the House of Representatives and the authority of open trial to the Senate.

There are many more indictable and impeachable offenses, but the focus here is on why the entire GOP has completely fallen in line. Only former Republican Governor of Massachusetts William Weld has dared to officially challenge Trump in the upcoming Republican primary. This week, former Republican Congressman and Governor of South Carolina Mark Sanford announced he is testing the waters for a run against President Trump, emphasizing Trump’s huge expanding deficits. It is shocking that so few opponents have emerged considering Trump lost the popular vote in 2016 and remains more consistently unfavorable in the polls than any president in modern times.

Republicans must think “crooked Donald” is invincible. So why try? Plenty of Republican politicians consider Trump to be a clear and present danger to Party and country. They include Former Senators Flake and Corker; current Senator Mitt Romney; former Governor of Ohio John Kasich; former New Jersey Governor and EPA head, under Reagan, Christine Todd Whitman; and former House Speaker Paul Ryan. All have spoken out about Trump’s dangerous ignorance and loutishness. All believe him to be unqualified and fear his reckless actions. On trade, immigration, climate crisis, and his open admiration of brutal dictators, they find him appalling.

Yet there are few signs of a serious challenge. In the 1990s, John Kasich was the Chairman of the powerful House Budget Committee. At the time he was critical of the wasteful, unauditable Pentagon budget then (imagine now). Asked about 2020, Kasich told The Washington Post that he’s “never gotten involved in a race that [he] didn’t think [he] could win,” adding, “things are very volatile in this business and you just cannot predict what might change.” Such words hardly signal anything beyond extreme caution.

One would think, these persons and others who could take on Trump (for example, the very popular former Governor of New Jersey Thomas Kean) would want to stand up for traditional Republican principles and positions (think about Senator Robert Taft, Presidents Dwight Eisenhower, Theodore Roosevelt, and of course, Abraham Lincoln). In sharp contrast, current Republican leaders almost never criticize Trump publically apart from a mild op-ed (Romney) or the occasional public comments (Whitman).

It gets worse. Apart from William Kristol, Trump’s arch-critic, there doesn’t seem to be any activity among Republican kingmakers to find a challenger or even consider mounting a third party accountability challenge from the political right.

There is someone, were he younger, who would take on Trump. He is former Republican Senator from Connecticut, Lowell Weicker. He was known in the Senate as a ferocious defender of the Constitution and was prominent during the Watergate hearings that exposed Richard Nixon.

Apart from elected officials, what about those cabinet secretaries and White House chief of staff, whom Trump praised to the skies, before he drove them out with a frenzy of ruthless epithets (“dumb as a rock,” etc.)? They know the insides of mad Trump’s White House, which would receive media attention.

At the least, Republicans who challenged Trump in the primaries would put Trump on the defensive and hold him more accountable.

Time is passing on the road to November 2020. There are countless Republicans who deeply believe that Trump is a disgrace to his office and a threat to the Republic, as well as to the future of the Republican Party. Who amongst them will stand up and be counted?

Is their moral courage totally AWOL?

(Ralph Nader is a consumer advocate, lawyer and author of Only the Super-Rich Can Save Us!)

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I'm ready! Anybody want to do anything? Hello America, Are You There?

Warmest spiritual greetings from Garberville, California.

Earth First! videographer and climate justice activist and former congressional candidate Andy Caffrey picked me up at the Ukiah, CA motel that I was staying at, and thus I am now at his apartment "on the couch". He is busy archiving 1980s and 90s Earth First! material, particularly from the Round River Rendezvous summer gatherings. This includes a whole lotta foot stompin' radical environmental musical entertainment. This is important archival material, and needs to be preserved. Secondly, he is planning a cross country road show in which he will interview past RRR participants, on his way to Washington, D.C. to interact with the New Green Deal proponents on Capitol Hill. He continues to be supportive of the Bernie Sanders presidential candidacy. Feel free to telephone him at (707) 923-2114 and offer your suggestions and encouragement. Feel free to send money to: Andy Caffrey, P.O. Box 324, Redway, CA 95560. He's on Facebook. Email:

Speaking for myself alone, I am mobile and have sufficient money to relocate at this time. I am looking for spiritual direct action, and in particular to be with others who identify with the Divine Absolute, (as opposed to the mental and physical only). In other words, I am ready to leave Garberville, CA and go to where you are and be active with the Divine Absolute, God, the Goddess, the Dao, Christ Consciousness, Buddha Nature, Krishna Consciousness, and anything else which is the highest, deepest, radiantly glowing spiritual reality, utilizing us as its willing instruments. Please contact me immediately, and offer me a situation which will accommodate this. Thank you very much!

Craig Louis Stehr


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ON TUESDAY, an Arctic heatwave hit the settlement of Alert, Canada causing temperatures to reach 70 degrees (21 degrees Celsius) for the very first time.

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Celebrate legendary poet ruth weiss's 91st private birthday party for friends, family, and fans.

Private party on Saturday, July 27th, 2019 at the Delancey Street Screening Room, 600 The Embarcadero, San Francisco, CA 94107. Doors will open at 6:30 pm. Connect with artists, poets, musicians, and filmmakers, watch a private preview of the documentary about her saga, eat birthday cake, take silly pictures on a red carpet, have an exclusive book signing opportunity with the legend herself, and most importantly have FUN!



  1. Harvey Reading July 21, 2019

    The trouble with the French is that they stopped killing the nobility far too soon (borrowed from Mark Twain!). They should have killed every last member of the ruling class (including clergy), a class that had been killing and starving them and keeping them in servitude for generations. I hope we don’t make the same mistake here, but suspect we will, since we love our oligarchs and are too stupid to change.

    Did you know that there are lots of people here who pretend at least not to know that the civil war was about slavery? They actually peddle that ignorance publicly. And the very stupid and very ignorant lap it up and beg for more!

  2. James Marmon July 21, 2019



    So the crooks found a way to get around putting Adult Mental Health Services out to bid (RFP). It appears that they’re lumping the Adult and Children’s contract into one.


    “there are a number of homeless service providers who do open their doors to clients during the day.”

    -Deputy City Manager Shannon Riley

    “Considering the size of the community and the number of individuals experiencing homelessness, it was very surprising to this researcher to identify many areas of service duplication. For example:

    * Currently, within Ukiah, there are 3 functioning “day-centers” (eg locations that provide a variety of day-time services). Two are formal operations, the 1st is at MCAVHN (Mendocino County AIDS/Viral Hepatitis Network) and the 2nd is at Manzanita Services, Inc’s Wellness Center. The Ukiah Library also operates as an informal defacto 3rd daycenter. Looking to the future, a 4th day-center is planned to be opened by RCS adjacent to the Ukiah Winter Shelter. Additionally, Nor Cal Christian Ministries has submitted an application to the City of Ukiah to operate a would be 5th day-center in South Ukiah. In addition to general services, most of these service centers provide specialized niche services to specific groups. As a practice, in most cases, individuals beyond the targeted service groups have also utilized these service centers. The current situation has not been strategically coordinated.”

    -Robert Marbut

    James Marmon MSW

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