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MCT: Monday, July 22, 2019

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WARM AND DRY CONDITIONS will continue for the foreseeable future across the interior. Coastal areas will continue to see overnight and morning marine clouds through at least the first half of the week. (National Weather Service)

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On June 25, 2019, Markee Thomas Biaggi, longtime resident of Manchester, CA, passed away peacefully at the age of 94. She was predeceased by her husband Louis James Biaggi, parents Charles and Elizabeth Thomas, and siblings Jane Stornetta and Peyton Thomas.

Born Margaret Louise Whittle Thomas, on February 16, 1925 in Albany, NY, Markee spent her early years in Mill Valley, CA, where she developed an enduring love of nature through hikes on Mt. Tamalpais and formed bonds with an extensive family in San Francisco and Palo Alto. She attended Berkeley High School and the University of California at Berkeley, where she earned her BS and MBA degrees. During these years, she spent many hours supporting the war effort in hospitals and the entertainment corps.

As a personnel manager for the Continental Can Company, she travelled around the country and overseas, which sparked a lifelong love of travel. Markee enjoyed golfing and hunting, through which she met her husband, Louis James Biaggi, native of Manchester, CA. They married on January 29, 1955 and she joined him on his family’s Jersey dairy ranch, where they raised their six children.

Markee had many hobbies and talents, which she shared with her family, community and beyond.

She used her business acumen to support the Jersey dairy ranch, and the churches of St. Aloysius in Point Arena and the Blessed Sacrament in Elk for over 60 years.

Her creative abilities enhanced school plays at Manchester Elementary, local fundraisers, and the Gualala Arts organization. She made a special effort to expose her children to art and music, and worked with the local schools to support and improve education.

Her insatiable curiosity manifested in gardening, camping, taxidermy and a love of nature which she passed on to her children and grandchildren, to whom she was known as “Grambe.” She shared her love of travel with her family, on trips throughout America, the British Isles, Europe, Australia and New Zealand.

Markee was an avid supporter of the arts and a frequent patron of the Art in the Redwoods, the Mendocino Art Center and the Mendocino Music festival. She believed in philanthropic efforts, volunteering many years with Hospice, the Coast Community Library in Point Arena, and Gualala Arts, and made contributions to organizations like Smile Train and the UC Berkeley Library. Markee’s devout Catholicism was a driving force in her life.

Markee is survived by her children and their spouses: Mary and Dan McEachern; Cindy and Francisco Gonzalez; Kathleen Biaggi and Bob Nelder; Patrice and Chris Keeler; Lou and Marybeth Biaggi; and Mark and Maria Elena Biaggi; and her 12 grandchildren: Danielle and Becky McEachern; Celia Gonzalez; Ryan, Maggie and Katie Keeler; Gia, Jack, Nick and Emi Jin Biaggi; and Camila and Antonio Biaggi.

Services will be held at the Blessed Sacrament Church in Elk, CA, on Saturday, July 27: Rosary at 10:30 a.m., followed by a Memorial Mass at 11:00 a.m. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Markee’s memory to the Blessed Sacrament Church of Elk, the Gualala Arts Center, or the Manchester Elementary School.

The family lovingly thanks the doctors, nurses and staff of Frank R. Howard Memorial Hospital in Willits, Dr. Lois Falk and the in-home caregivers, for their dedicated care, compassion, and support of the family.

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ERNIE PARDINI IS "Still looking for 1-2 bedroom house to rent here in the valley. Will keep or make the place beautiful, willing to take care of any maintenance needed. My phone # is 707-684-0597."

Ed note: You won't find a better tenant. Highly recommended.

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by Christopher Weber and John Rogers

Paul Krassner, the publisher, author and radical political activist on the front lines of 1960s counterculture who helped tie together his loose-knit prankster group by naming them the Yippies, died Sunday in Southern California, his daughter said.

Krassner died at his home in Desert Hot Springs, Holly Krassner Dawson told The Associated Press. He was 87 and had recently transitioned to hospice care after an illness, Dawson said. She didn't say what the illness was.

The Yippies, who included Jerry Rubin and Abbie Hoffman and were otherwise known as the Youth International Party, briefly became notorious for such stunts as running a pig for president and throwing dollar bills onto the trading floor of the New York Stock Exchange. Hoffman and Rubin, but not Krassner, were among the so-called "Chicago 7" charged with inciting riots at 1968's chaotic Democratic National Convention.

By the end of the decade, most of the group's members had faded into obscurity. But not Krassner, who constantly reinvented himself, becoming a public speaker, freelance writer, stand-up comedian, celebrity interviewer and author of nearly a dozen books.

"He doesn't waste time," longtime friend and fellow counterculture personality Wavy Gravy once said of him. "People who waste time get buried in it. He keeps doing one thing after another."

He interviewed such celebrity acquaintances as authors Norman Mailer and Joseph Heller and the late conservative pundit Andrew Breitbart. The latter, like other conservatives, said that although he disagreed with everything Krassner stood for, he admired his sense of humor.

An advocate of unmitigated free speech, recreational drug use and personal pornography, Krassner's books included such titles as "Pot Stories For The Soul" and "Psychedelic Trips for the Mind," and he claimed to have taken LSD with numerous celebrities, including comedian Groucho Marx, LSD guru Timothy Leary and author Ken Kesey.

He also published several books on obscenity, some with names that can't be listed here. Two that can are "In Praise of Indecency: Dispatches From the Valley of Porn" and "Who's to Say What's Obscene: Politics, Culture & Comedy in America Today."

For his autobiography, Krassner chose the title, "Confessions of a Raving, Unconfined Nut: Misadventures in the Counterculture," using a phrase taken from an angry letter to the editor of a magazine that had once published a favorable profile of him.

"To classify Krassner as a social rebel is far too cute," the letter writer said. "He's a nut, a raving, unconfined nut."

What he really was, Krassner told The Associated Press in 2013, was a guy who enjoyed making people laugh, although one who brought a political activist's conscience to the effort.

He noted proudly that in the early 1960s, when abortion was illegal in almost every state, he ran an underground abortion referral service for women.

"That really was a turning point in my life because I had morphed from a satirist into an activist," he said.

His original career choice, however, had been music.

A child prodigy on the violin, he performed at Carnegie Hall at age 6. Later he all but gave up the instrument, only occasionally playing it as a joke during lectures or comedy routines.

"I only had a technique for playing the violin, but I had a real passion for making people laugh," he would say.

After studying journalism at New York's Baruch College, Krassner went to work for Mad Magazine before founding the satirical counterculture magazine The Realist in 1958. He continued to publish it periodically into the 1980s.

For a time in the 1950s, he also appeared on the stand-up comedy circuit. There, he would meet his mentor, Lenny Bruce, the legendary outlaw comic who pushed free speech to its limits with routines filled with obscenities and sexual innuendo that sometimes landed him in jail.

Krassner interviewed Bruce for Playboy Magazine in 1959 and edited the comedian's autobiography, "How To Talk Dirty and Influence People."

When the counterculture arrived in earnest in the '60s, Krassner was working as a comedian, freelance writer, satirist, publisher, celebrity interviewer and occasional creator of soft-core pornography. To mark the death of Walt Disney in 1966, he published a colorful wall poster showing Disney cartoon characters engaging in sex acts.

When he and other anti-war activists, free-speech advocates and assorted radicals began to plot ways to promote their causes, Krassner said he soon realized they would need a clever name if they wanted to grab the public's attention.

"I knew that we had to have a 'who' for the 'who, what, where, when and why' that would symbolize the radicalization of hippies for the media," Krassner, who co-founded the group, told the AP in 2009. "So I started going through the alphabet: Bippie, Dippie, Ippie, Sippie. I was about to give up when I came to Yippie."

As one of the last surviving Yippies, he continued to write prolifically up until his death, his daughter said.

His newest book, "Zapped by the God of Absurdity," will be released later this year. And he recently wrote the introduction for an upcoming book about his old friend Abbie Hoffman, Dawson said.

Krassner also had hoped to publish his first novel, a mystery whose protagonist is a crime-solving comedian modeled after Lenny Bruce. He got so into the story, Krassner once said, that he began to believe he was channeling Bruce's spirit. That ended, however, when the spirit reminded his old friend one day that Krassner was an atheist.

"He said to me, 'Come on, you don't even believe that (expletive),'" Krassner recalled with a laugh.

He is survived by his wife, Nancy Cain; brother, George; daughter, Holly Krassner Dawson; and one grandchild.


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Accomplices to murder challenging their convictions under new law.

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JAMES MARMON reminds us:

“There are a number of homeless service providers who do open their doors to clients during the day.” — Deputy Ukiah 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 three functioning “day-centers” (e.g., 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 third 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, Mendocino Homeless Assessment

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ENTERING BOONVILLE from the north, visitors are welcomed by the splendid sight of Rod Balson's annual morning glory extravaganza, the likes of which can't be found even in the more temperate areas of the Mendocino Coast where smaller skeins of morning glories are a much more common sight than they are in the summer heat of Anderson Valley. "I'm surprised at how many people stop by when they see me out watering them," Rod says, a task to which he devotes two hours daily all his gardens included.

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HOWARD HERSHIPS of San Francisco on the Kenny Rogers case [see below where we re-post the basics of the Rogers' matter, the only man we know of convicted on zero hard evidence against him]:

“I have been piecing the Kenny Rogers case together, trying to help him out with his case against the County and the state of California. It's really bizarre. Most people don't understand that criminal defense attorneys have a duty to their clients first. The client should come first before himself. In this case Mr. Masuda violated that trust and walked away with all Kenny Rogers’ money, $128,000 in cash and he said, ‘I'm keeping the money, goodbye.’ You can't do that. There is a US Supreme Court decision on that point which came down in 2016. The state doesn't want to do anything because they don't want to admit to liability. So now Kenny Rogers is going to the US Supreme Court on a ‘petition of certiori’ which is basically a Latin term which means to search the record and resolve certain issues. That's the problem they have. We are doing this basically on a shoestring. The cost factor is way out there. I'm trying to help but I need some assistance. I am getting some press coverage because it will be filed next week. The AP is covering it and a US Supreme Court blog is covering it."

AVA Feb. 2009

Westport's Murder For Hire, An Update

by Mark Scaramella

The two motions submitted by Kenny Rogers to reduce his murder-for-hire charge and split off his commercial pot cultivation charges were denied last Friday in Ukiah by Judge Ron Brown. Rogers, you probably recall, is the former Assistant Fire Chief in Westport ousted in 2005 by a Mr. Chuck Simon. Rogers also functioned as chairman of the Mendocino County Republican Party at the time. Rogers and Simon were estranged over controversies stemming from the management of Westport’s water system. Their dislike for each other was, to say the least, intense.

The murder-for-hire charge against Rogers arose when a tough guy named Richard Peacock, who'd worked for Rogers at Rogers' auto-detailing business in Sacramento, fired nine shots into Simon’s front door one evening. Simon was slightly injured in the night time Westport fusilade. Peacock was apprehended when he was observed throwing the gun he'd used to shoot up Simon's front door out his car window. Subsequent Sheriff’s Department investigations surmised that Rogers had hired Peacock to shoot at Simon’s house, hence the “murder for hire” charge. Of course if Peacock had been intent on killing Simon he would have shot Simon, not Simon's front door. Peacock was convicted of the shooting in 2006.

At one point in 2007 DA Meredith Lintott announced a no-jail plea bargain in the case, saying that they had agreed to the plea because there were “proof problems” with the case. But Rogers subsequently withdrew his plea when Judge Ron Brown said that it looked like prison time was called for given what Rogers was pleading to.

Almost four years after the shooting, the case has finally been set for jury trial to begin April 20, 2009. A status conference is set for late March and miscellaneous motions will be considered in early April.


AVA Nov. 2014

Ed note: I've read the entire Rogers oeuvre, including the transcripts referred to here, and I think (1) there was no solid evidence whatsoever that Rogers conspired to shoot up Simon's front door. I think the gunman, a professional criminal, was simply repaying Rogers’ many kindnesses to him. He thought he was doing Rogers a favor. The transcripts, however, even by Mendo standards, are shocking. They reveal the late Judge Ron Brown blandly presided over a series of appointed lawyers who disappeared for no real reason at all other than Brown let them disappear, stripping Rogers of many thousands of dollars his own money, and leaving him unable to defend himself. The case is on appeal and, judging from the transcripts, Rogers should win, but only after spending the past two decades in crime.

PS by ms. Coast Prosecutor Tim Stoen told court observers during the trial that when he called the Peacock brothers out of their prison cells to testify he knew they had no credibility and could probably be made to look like liars on the stand by both sides of the case, but it didn’t matter because Stoen simply wanted the jury to see that Rogers was connected to these two hardened career criminals, one of whom had already been convicted of shooting up Simon’s front door. It worked. The jury came back with guilty verdicts for attempted murder for hire. But if Ron Brown had accepted that original (and reasonable given the lack of evidence) plea bargain (or perhaps modified it a bit) Rogers would be a free man today.

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RANDOM BLIPS flit across a failing mind screen: Every time I've visited CostCo people are buying generators in anticipation of this summer's flaming apocalypse. "They go so fast we can't keep them in stock," a Costco manager told me last week. It occurs to me that a couple thousand people storing gasoline and firing up generators represents a rather significant fire hazard in itself, but we live in hope.

A TOURIST remarked to us that he felt cheated that the Skunk train only carried him and his kids four miles out from Fort Bragg. "Cost me $70 bucks for me and three kids," he complained, "and lasted about an hour." Given the enormous investment required to rehab the entire line — tunnels, trestles and all — four miles out from the Willits end, four miles in from the Fort Bragg end, are the long and short of it forever. Ditto for Senator McGuire's rails to trails fantasy.

REASON TEN THOUSAND why Trump is a shoo-in for re-election: "Berkeley drops gender-specific words. There will be no manholes in Berkeley. City workers will drop into 'maintenance holes.' Nothing will be manmade in Berkeley but 'human-made.' Fraternities and sororities at UC will henceforth become 'collegiate Greek system residences'." And so forth. The city's council voted unanimously last week to retool 40 gender-specific words in the city code with gender-neutral terms.

AT THE RISK of re-igniting the peevish fellow from the Anderson Valley Land Trust, I quote from the AV Land Trust's newsletter: "…In 1980, Congress made the conservation easement deduction provision a permanent part of the Internal Revenue Code. As a result, a landowner donating a qualifying perpetual conservation easement to a government entity or charitable organization (AV Land Trust, for instance) is eligible for a federal charitable income tax deduction generally equal to a proportion of the value of the easement."

MY ORIGINAL SUSPICION, however, was incorrect. Mr. Miller was right — the easements don't cost the AV School District any money, but the easers can get themselves a nice tax break.

WITH THE LOOMING PROSPECT OF several days long power outages over the next few months, the Community Services District board made an urgency decision last Wednesday night to authorize the fire chief to procure a large propane powered electrical generator to keep the firehouse powered during a "public safety power shut off" by PG&E. The board authorized the expenditure of up to $20,000 for the generator plus installation. If things go as planned, the generator should be in place within a month. Fire Chief Andres Avila told the board that the primary need for electrical power during an outage is to retain emergency communications capability to keep radios and phones working. There a few minor details remaining to be worked out having to do with the adequacy of propane storage and specific generator capacity. Other issues that came up during the discussion included how to refuel diesel fire apparatus during an outage since the local gas station cannot pump diesel fuel without PG&E power. Among other requirements, the district will have to obtain an electrical permit from the county to install the generator, never a straightforward process. More to come on this one in all likelihood.

THE ANNUAL BOONVILLE AIRPORT OPEN HOUSE is set for Saturday, August 10 at the Boonville Airport starting around noon. Snacks and drinks will be served and you might be lucky enough to hitch a ride with a local pilot to take a look at lovely Anderson Valley from the air.

UNDER A RECENT mandate from the California State Fire Marshal, the CSD board adopted the long-postponed state fire code last week. Among other things, code adoption means the Fire Chief is required conduct annual inspections of all but the smallest public facilities in the Valley. Many such facilities have already been inspected annually for years on a courtesy basis without major problem, but now the list of facilities which have to be inspected will be increased and in the unlikely event that a safety requirement is not met, the district will have the authority to force compliance though the courts.

A PLAN to use the fairgrounds back lot as a possible distribution area for treated effluent from the proposed downtown Boonville sewer system will be presented to the fair board on Monday, August 12 at 7 PM. For more information on the current water and sewer system proposals, go to the district website,, call the office at 895-2075. CSD Directors Hanelt and McKenna, who have been working on and refining the project with a Sonoma County civil engineering outfit for several years now, believe that the semi-truck-sized de-odorizating treatment plant and leach field for the of downtown septic system could be installed at the fairgrounds with minimal disruption of ordinary fair activities.

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by Daniel Mintz

A researcher has reported on the North Coast’s shocking degree of deforestation – not on land, but underwater, as 93 percent of the region’s ocean kelp forests have been decimated in a “perfect storm” of adverse conditions.

The loss of most the North Coast’s bull kelp forests was reported during a July 18 webinar lecture by California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) Senior Environmental Scientist Dr. Laura Rogers-Bennett.

“Multiple stressors” converged to effect it. An ocean water warming trend – dubbed “the blob,” which described its broad and amorphous geographical range -- began in 2014 and persisted for two years. A third year of warm water conditions ensued during a so-called “Godzilla” El Niño pattern.

The “press of warm water stress” contributed to what Rogers-Bennett described as a “big switch” in kelp productivity from a healthy “stable state” to an “alternative stable state” of barrenness.

Rogers-Bennett said an initial impact was actually seen in the year prior to the water warming, with the outbreak of sea star wasting disease whose scale was unprecedented.

Sunflower starfish, once “very common in our region,” are now ‘locally extinct in our area,” she continued. That allows the population of their prey, purple sea urchins, to mushroom uncontrollably.

“We saw that the purple sea urchin recruitment event was huge and we got tons and tons of purple sea urchins – 60 times more than we’d seen in previous surveys,” said Rogers-Bennett.

Masses of them swarmed on the kelp forests, devouring them until only bare “urchin barrens” remained.

She displayed a 2012 photograph of a nearshore area in Sonoma County with kelp visible above the water surface, thick enough to make swimming through it difficult. A current photograph of the same area shows open water.

Kelp is an important food source for red abalone, a species whose population has crashed. The economically vibrant red abalone fishery was closed in 2018.

That year, “We started to see worsening of conditions under the water,” said Rogers-Bennett, with urchins swarming over barren rock, resorting to eating calcified algal rock cover and each other.

Most of the North Coast’s bull kelp forests are (or were) in Mendocino and Sonoma counties but the ecological impact affects the entire region. Rogers-Bennett said abalone surveys in 2016 and 2017 included the two counties as well as Humboldt County.

Of 6,000 abalone inspected, 25 percent of them were “shrunken” – a phenomenon that “we’ve never seen before,” she continued. The percentage is usually less than .5 percent.

Rogers-Bennett said that from 2017 to 2018, abalone in the region experienced a 72 percent population decline. Now, the abalone population is reduced to “just being shells that are counted – we’ve been counting huge numbers of shells during our surveys when typically we only count a couple.”

Other affected species include rockfish, which find prey in kelp forests and use them as cover when young.

“We’re going to be seeing, potentially, more impact to some of our important obligate (kelp-dependent) species,” said Rogers-Bennett.

The response to the region’s ecological crisis includes uniting a “huge suite” of stakeholders, scientists and government agencies. The partnership has drafted a “kelp recovery action plan” and launched a “Help the Kelp” campaign.

The recovery plan focuses on restoration, research, monitoring and educational outreach.

An urchin harvesting business, Urchinomics, is interested in culling the purple urchins and “ranching” them, said Rogers-Bennett, cultivating their roe by feeding them an algae-based food it has developed.

An “urchin airlift” – essentially an underwater vacuum cleaner – has been deployed at three restoration sites, with 41 metric tons of sea urchins removed.

Water conditions have moderated but the marine ecosystem remains altered and in a state of transition with destination unknown.

“We don’t know what the system will change into,” said Rogers-Bennett. “We’re in uncharted waters here, this isn’t a phenomenon that we’ve seen in the past on the North Coast so we don’t have a good sense of what’s coming next which makes our continued observations and science very important.”

But funding is limited and Rogers-Bennett said a grant application to monitor kelp recovery “just got turned down.” But she added that new patches of kelp are being observed in atypical places, including Humboldt County.

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Cesare (Conrad Veidt) kidnaps Lil Dagover in a scene from the 1920 German Expressionist horror film "Cabinet of Dr Caligari".

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Most of us love the idea of people working together for a good cause, volunteerism, sharing across generations and making a difference in our community.

We see no better example of that than the Caring Kitchen Project here in inland Mendocino County. The project aims to improve the lives of local cancer patients by providing them with healthy food. It offers three to five meals weekly to these patients, meals grown locally and cooked by local teens.

The Project gets its nutritious ingredients from the organic vegetable gardens at Mendocino College as well as through donations from the community. The meals are then created by teens with the supervision of a local chef at the college commercial culinary kitchen. Teen volunteers are getting valuable experience in nutrition, cooking and general job skills. But more important, through this experience they are learning about empathy and caring for other community members. These teens are out in the garden picking produce and then preparing wholesome meals twice a week working side by side with adult volunteers from the community. These meals are then delivered by even more volunteers to cancer patients in Ukiah, Redwood Valley and Willits areas.

The Project is a wonderful way for young people to get to know their community, while also making themselves useful and getting a chance to do some real good — and that always feels great and builds confidence. The Project also promotes the concept of Food as Medicine to the broader community, a concept that is growing nationwide as we learn more and more about how important nutrition is to general well being but especially to those with health challenges.

The Caring Kitchen Project partners, besides the college include North Coast Opportunities, Cancer Resource Centers of Mendocino County, Mendocino County Health and Human Services Agency (HHSA), and Adventist Health Ukiah Valley.

If you’re a home gardener you can get involved with the Grow a Row Campaign. Join in the campaign by donating organic produce, herbs, berries, and tree fruits for the Caring Kitchen’s meals. Donations are accepted on Mondays between 8:30am and 4:30pm in Ukiah at 413 N. State Street. Please call first to make sure that your organic produce donation is something that will be useful for client meals. Contact April Cunningham 707-467-3212 or to check in, or to make arrangements to drop off produce at the Ukiah kitchen.

(K.C. Meadows, Editor, Ukiah Daily Journal. Courtesy, the Ukiah Daily Journal.)

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by Jim Shields

Sheriff Tom Allman announced at last week’s Board of Supervisors meeting that on Monday the Sheriff’s Office, along with state enforcers from the Department of Food and Agriculture’s CalCannabis Licensing, Department of Fish and Wildlife, State Water Resource Board, Cal Fire and the California Army National Guard, had begun “Operation Clean Sweep.”

According to a Sheriff’s Office statement, Clean Sweep’s focus will is, “All the sites of non-permitted cannabis cultivation sites that are believed to be involved in water diversion and other situations of environmental degradation that impacts several watersheds in the greater Eel River area of Northern Mendocino County. The collaboration includes pre-identified sites that do not have cannabis permits, state water permits for cannabis or permits from Cal Fire for deforestation and legal tree removal. Cannabis farms that are licensed through the California Department of Food and Agriculture’s CalCannabis Cultivation Licensing Division will not be the focus of this operation. CalCannabis Licensing Inspectors will be participating in Operation Clean Sweep and have been an essential resource in the Operation’s pre-identification process of the sites to be investigated.”

It’s encouraging that this county has finally decided — hopefully — it’s time to begin coordinated enforcement with state agencies of marijuana laws. In a county where only approximately 10 percent of cultivators have made application for permits under the local cannabis ordinance, it means by definition that 90 percent are not in compliance, and far too many of those scofflaws have been ravaging our watersheds and fragile rangelands.

A similar operation is also occurring in Humboldt County, where it has been “clean sweeping” for the past 2 years. Humboldt County since day one of legalization has been partnering, coordinating, and working with state enforcement agencies to stop the criminals who have been degrading lands with their outlaw grows and practices.

For example, just last week, the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office Drug Enforcement Unit (DEU) served one search warrant to investigate illegal cannabis cultivation in southern Humboldt County. They were assisted by Department of Fish and Wildlife, State Water Board, Humboldt County Environmental Health and HAZMAT Unit and Humboldt County Planning and Building Department.

Deputies eradicated approximately 600 growing cannabis plants.

Here are the violations they found:

• Four water pollution violations (up to $20,000 fine per day, per violation)

• Failure to establish a Hazardous Materials Business Plan ($5,000 fine per day, per violation)

• Failure to report a hazardous materials release (up to $5,000 fine per day, per violation)

• Above-ground storage tank in operation with no Spill Prevention Countermeasure and Control (SPCC) plan ($5,00 fine per day, per violation)

• Failure to provide secondary containment for aboveground tanks ($5,000 fine per day, per violation)

• Failure to prevent a hazardous waste release (up to $70,000 fine per day, per violation)

• Failure to make a hazardous waste determination ($70,000 fine per day, per violation)

• Unauthorized waste storage ($70,000 fine per day, per violation)

• No EPA ID number ($70,000 fine per day, per violation)

• Failure to label hazardous waste (up to $70,000 fine per day, per violation)

• Hazardous waste accumulation storage time limit exceeded ($70,000 fine per day, per violation)

• Failure to close hazardous waste containers (up to $70,000 fine per day, per violation)

• Improper storage and removal of solid waste (up to $25,000 fine per day, per violation)

• Commercial cannabis ordinance violations (up to $10,000 fine per day)

• Grading without a permit violations (up to $10,000 fine per day, per violation)

• Building code violations

• Streamside management violations

• Unapproved sewage disposal system violations

• Junk cars violations

According to Humboldt authorities, additional violations with civil fines are expected to be filed by the assisting agencies.

Anyway, although Mendocino County is off to a very late start in enforcing its Cannabis Ordinance, they appear to have figured out that ignoring what is a big problem caused by a small number of people has not worked out well for anybody.

Meanwhile, Gov. Gavin Newsom has let everybody know that he is not going to stand for what he considers ongoing theft of public revenues by outlaw growers.

It’s Newsom’s theory that non-compliant growers who sell weed on the black market, are escaping their obligation in paying taxes and fees, thus depriving the state of its money. And he says he’s not going to stand for that.

After nearly three years marijuana being legal in California, Newsom has declared war against unlicensed pot shops and ramping up efforts to stamp out illegal marijuana farms, using National Guard troops, as well as State Water Board and Fish and Wildlife enforcers.

The National Guard also conducts aerial observation over public lands with local and state law enforcement to find illegal marijuana farms.

According to Newsom, National Guard troops will also be “redeploying up north to go after illegal cannabis farms, many of which are run by cartels, are devastating our pristine forests and are increasingly becoming fire hazards themselves.”

(Jim Shields is the Mendocino County Observer’s editor and publisher, and is also the long-time district manager of the Laytonville County Water District. Listen to his radio program “This and That” every Saturday at 12 noon on KPFN 105.1 FM, also streamed live:

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To the Editor:

I have worked for Mendocino County for thirteen years and I am proud of the work my colleagues and I do. But substandard wages paid by the county have created problems in recruitment and retention leading to a decline in services. This is holding our county back. The county is in crisis and the Board of Supervisors must act. The supervisors have an opportunity to make transformational changes in Mendocino County by taking bold action to address the large wage disparities for employees who work for the County.

Since the recession and double-digit wage cuts that were imposed at that time, county employees have fallen further and further behind what other comparable rural counties are paying. In the recent report submitted by Koff & Associates to the county, employees were on average 23 percent below market. This has led to serious problems with recruitment and retention. Many departments are seriously short staffed. In some instances, the county is in danger of state sanctions because it cannot meet its basic mandates. It’s an open secret that Mendocino is a ‘train and trot’ county. Once an employee gets a little experience under their belt, they transfer to another county for a 20 percent plus raise. This is not sustainable and is doing serious harm to the county. It manifests itself in so many ways from child abuse allegations not being investigated in a timely manner to roads crumbling because there aren’t enough employees to maintain them. We can do better.

The county is one of the largest employers in Mendocino. Nearly half of the employees who work for the County are paid through State and Federal funds. The county could provide increases to these employees at little or no cost to the county. In fact, it would be a huge windfall for the county, bringing millions of new dollars into Mendocino to be spent at local stores and restaurants.

We’ve been meeting with the county’s negotiating team for months but they have yet to make a wage proposal. Our contract expired weeks ago. Every week we are losing more employees. We must stop the hemorrhaging.

Tell the Supervisors that it is time to raise up Mendocino by paying county employees at the market average with other rural northern California counties. This has the potential to spark transformational change in the county-an immediate economic boost to our local economies, better county services, quicker access to benefits provided through county and retention of experienced and seasoned staff.

The people I work with are proud of the work that they do and want to keep doing it. County employees want to be able to support themselves and their families and provide effective and efficient services to their neighbors throughout the county. Unfortunately I have seen far too many who could not afford to stay with Mendocino County. So I call on the Supervisors to be bold, do what’s right for the county and its employees because Mendocino rises with Mendocino raises.

Troyle Tognoli, Mendocino County Chapter President


* * *

* * *


“Goin’ Hog Wild” is the theme for this years’ Redwood Empire Fair, and this year, fair organizer are bringing a stellar lineup of music that will raise your blood pressure and your fun level.

On Thursday, August 1st, the fair celebrates opening day with Warehouse 21. The popular local band will perform at 6:00 and 9:00 pm. The band is celebrated for their take on ‘60’s and ‘70’s classic rock, focusing on music that gets crowds on the dance floor. The band performs regularly at Ukiah-area venues, fundraisers and community events. Bob "Hudson, the band’s lead singer and rhythm guitarist has been a musician and vocalist since he was in high school. Bryon Ough, guitarist brings his training as a classical pianist to the band. Ken Ingels​, drummer extraordinaire, known for his beloved band II Big has been playing with the band for several years. Bassist Gino Moretta, along with Hudson and Ingels are also members of Fair Wind, a classic folk-rock band.

On Friday, August 2, get ready to shake your booty with The Funky Dozen. The twelve master musicians and vocalists combine classic rock guitar, keys and percussion with a horn section, creating a “dance ‘til you drop” sound with influences spanning 50 years of Motown and Uptown Funk: Stevie Wonder, Earth Wind and Fire, Aretha Franklin, KC and the Sunshine Band, Sly and the Family Stone, James Brown, The Isley Bros, Patty Labelle, Bruno Mars, and Meghan Trainor. Led by Larry Thompson, the Funky Dozen has been performing regionally for about ten years, with roots that go back to the early 1980’s, when vocalist Eric Peterson and guitarist Thompson played in separate bands on the Mendocino Coast. The band will perform two sets at 7:00 and 9:00 pm.

From Bottle Rock to Belgium, Santa Rosa-based Kingsborough will be gracing the stage on Saturday, August 3rd at 6:00 and 9:00 pm. The four-piece band is known for their interpretation on rock and blues-based music, with strong, compelling lyrics and a compelling live performance, with critics comparing their music and energy to the likes of Joe Cocker and Bruce Springsteen. The band has opened for Joan Jett and ZZ Top, and garnered a 6-week spot on college radio’s top 200 songs, and is currently featured on Spotify’s “Blues and Roots Rock” playlist. The band is currently working with a Grammy-nominated producer- be sure to see Kingsborough before they’ start selling out stadium venues.

Lovers of Latin music will enjoy the final performance of the weekend, when Luis Perez y La Nueva Ilusion and Banda Pacifica take the Willow Tree Stage for one performance, beginning at 5:00 pm.

All performances are included with your Fair admission ticket.

The Fair opens at 3:00 on Thursday and Friday and at noon on Saturday and Sunday. Kids under 5 are always admitted free. For more information, visit the Fair’s Facebook page, the Redwood Empire Fair’s website at or phone (707) 462-3884.

(Text by Carole Brodsky; photo Courtesy of Funky Dozen.)

* * *


Anliker, Barron


EFRAIN BARRON, Ukiah. DUI, misdemeanor hit&run, paraphernalia, probation revocation.

Bray, Casteneda, Deaquino

JAMES BRAY JR., Fort Bragg. Disorderly conduct-alcohol, probation revocation. (Frequent Flyer)

THERRESSA CASTENEDA, Hopland. DUI, probation revocation.

JUAN DEAQUINO, Clearlake/Ukiah. DUI, suspended license (for DUI).

Fenk, Graham, Heath

CHRISTOPHER FENK, Calpella. Disobeying court order.

JOHN GRAHAM, Willits. Paraphernalia, probation revocation.

JACOB HEATH, Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-alcohol. (Frequent flyer.)

Hutchins, Malgoza, Pierce

HARMONY HUTCHINS, Redwood Valley. Under influence.

REUBEN MALGOZA, Covelo. Battery.

KELSEY PIERCE, Ukiah. Domestic battery.

Rodriguez-Torres, Roston, Sanderson

CARLOS RODRIGUEZ-TORRES, Santa Rosa/Covelo. Disorderly conduct-alcohol.

BOBBY ROSTON, Ukiah. Parole violation.

JACOB SANDERSON, Laytonville. Contempt of court, probation revocation.

* * *


by Alan Freberg

I first went to New Orleans in 1968 as a runaway. The police spotted me and sent me back to Minnesota. I returned to New Orleans a couple years later after graduating from high school. There I met and became friends with Roy Templeton. Roy was a junkie. Being fresh off the farm, my defenses were not alerted by that fact.

Roy was wanted by the police in Baltimore, Maryland. The New Orleans police busted him and he was put in parish prison to await extradition. Maryland didn't extradite, so after 30 days Roy was free again.

During that time Roy was in parish, Allen Ginsberg and Lawrence Ferlinghetti were both in town for two weeks to give readings of their poetry. I was vaguely familiar with Ginsburg from having read a couple articles by him in national news outlets. His articles were about what would now be called the drug war. I knew what he looked like from the pictures that accompanied the articles. I liked his articles but had no idea that he was a poet as well. I had never heard of Ferlinghetti and had no interest in hearing either of them read their poetry.

The Saturday after Roy got out of jail we went to Audubon Park where a Free University class called "The Philosophy of Anarchism" was held. I had been to a couple of classes while Roy was in jail and he was interested in going to one. We didn't have enough money to take the St. Charles streetcar to the bar, so we stuck out our thumbs on Canal Street to hitch-hike out there. A bright yellow VW convertible with the top down stopped for us. There was a young collegiate looking fellow driving and an older man with long hair and beard in the passenger seat. The passenger asked where we were going. "We're going to the Philosophy of Anarchism Free University class in Audubon Park." The passenger nodded sagely as the driver pulled back into traffic and headed out to St. Charles Street. Roy and I had no further conversation with them during the ride.

When we got out Roy said to me, "You know who that was, don't you?" I said, "No." He said, "That was Ginsberg." He was right. I felt kind of stupid for not recognizing him, but then again, I had never had a good look at him as he was directly in front of me. Ah, well.

That afternoon we parted company and I went home to get some sleep. Around midnight I got up and went to the Seven Seas Bar on St. Philip where we had been regulars. Someone told me that Roy had died from an overdose at his girlfriend's apartment on Burgundy Street. It dazed me. He was finally no longer wanted by the law and was free to get on with his life when it ended.

The next Sunday the Allman Brothers gave a free concert in Audubon Park. I didn't go to the concert as I was depressed by Roy's death. Instead, I went to the Sphinx coffee shop on Decatur Street. David, the proprietor, was doing his opening work around five o'clock while I sat and moped on a rope swing that David and his partner Bill had hung from the ceiling. Another regular, Jack Burnside, was sitting at a table. He was the only customer besides me.

After a short while a man walked in and introduced himself to David as Lawrence Ferlinghetti. David almost fell over. "Ferlinghetti! In my coffee shop!?" I didn’t know who Ferlinghetti was other than the guy was reading poetry with Ginsberg.

David served Ferlinghetti and sat down with him and Jack at Jack's table. They talked about people who were all unknown to me.

An hour or so later people started coming in after the concert in the park ended. Everyone who came in who David knew got the treatment. He would go up to them and point to Ferlinghetti who was sitting with Jack. In a very excited stage whisper he told them, "Do you know who that is? That's Ferlinghetti!" This happened a few times until his partner Bill came in. Bill was tripping on LSD and really didn't give a shit about much even when he was straight. David went up to him and said, "Do you know who that is? Do you know who that is?" Bill looked over and loudly said, "No." David was beside himself and said, "That's Ferlinghetti!" Bill responded (much too loudly), "So, who's Ferlinghetti?"

David's bubble burst. I didn't laugh out loud, but there was a huge guffaw inside. I had the feeling that Jack and Ferlinghetti may have felt the same.

* * *

LATE STAGE CAPITALISM is slavery with better marketing.

* * *



The Democratic Party is the biggest danger to the United States that there is and no foreign country even comes close. They want to take over the United States and change it to their liberal ways. They've had 24 years from Clinton to the weak George W. Bush and then of course the lame duck Obama. That's 24 years to get their foot in the door.

The liberal teachers union is programming and brainwashing our little kids to be like them. If Hillary Clinton had won we were doomed. But President Trump is doing everything he can to get us back on the right track. In four more years he will probably succeed. Then after him it will be Mike Pence or Donald Trump Jr. and then maybe we will get 24 years to get our country all the way back.

You rotten liberals and you socialist bastards are not going to win. Why isn't there any resistance in California? Why doesn't anybody stand up to these rotten scumbags? 20 years ago almost all the male boys were castrated at birth. That's why there's no reaction to some of the bad stuff going on. That's why the Liberals have the upper hand in everything. The conservative boys don't have any balls. That's it right there. If we don't stand up it will be socialism and they’ll screw America up so bad that it will never be able to be fixed. Look at those four people they call the squad raving around. They must be on drugs to say the things they do and act like they do.

Donald Trump is doing his best to make America great again and these people, especially the liberal media who chopped up the fact that he was honoring the 50th year of the moon landing, because President Trump gave it some recognition, they start mouthing off.

God Bless Donald Trump

Jerry Philbrick


PS. God bless the first responders, the people who give their entire lives trying to help other people. It's amazing how good some people can be.

PPS. In my little article last week I had something to say about that man in Elk, I don't know his name, Ross Medley or Meldy or something. He wrote some very anti-American stuff in your paper. It was missed I guess. That man should get out of America and not be here using the freedom and all the stuff he can do here. He should go to another country like Siberia, that's where he belongs.

PPPS. How long do you liberal Democrats out there wish to live in California or the United States? The rest of your life? If you're in your 40s or 50s or 60s? If you do, you better change your ways because we are not going to give up the United States. We are not going to give up the constitution, or our Second Amendment rights or the First Amendment rights. We won't put up with socialism or communism and if you keep trying people are going to die! This is my prediction. Something has to change because we are not going to give up. Get that through your socialist heads!

* * *

* * *



There are those today who believe liberal democracy is obsolete and are promoting the complete mobilization of society to prepare the nation to respond effectively to economic difficulties.

They espouse a form of radication authoritarianism and ultra-nationalism characterized by dictatorial power, forcible suppression of the opposition and strong regimentation of society and the economy. They support unprecedented authority to intervene in the lives of citizens and reject assertions that violence is automatically negative in nature and view political violence, war and imperialism as the means to achieve national rejuvenation. They advocate a mixed economy with the princial goal of achieving national economic self-sufficiency through protectionist and interventionist economic policies.

Since the end of World War II, this group never describes itself as fascist, but a neo-fascist ideology is clearly transparent and utterly contemptible.

Dennis Kostecki


* * *

FROM A BOOK CALLED DISORDER IN THE COURTS and are things people actually said in court, word for word, taken down and published by court reporters that had the torment of staying calm while the exchanges were taking place.

Attorney: What was the first thing your husband said to you that morning?

Witness: He said, 'Where am I, Cathy?'

Attorney: And why did that upset you?

Witness: My name is Susan!

Attorney: What gear were you in at the moment of the impact?

Witness: Gucci sweats and Reeboks.

Attorney: Are you sexually active?

Witness: No, I just lie there.

Attorney: What is your date of birth?

Witness: July 18th.

Attorney: What year?

Witness: Every year.

Attorney: How old is your son, the one living with you?

Witness: Thirty-eight or thirty-five, I can't remember which.

Attorney: How long has he lived with you?

Witness: Forty-five years.

Attorney: This myasthenia gravis, does it affect your memory at all?

Witness: Yes.

Attorney: And in what ways does it affect your memory?

Witness: I forget.

Attorney: You forget? Can you give us an example of something you forgot?

Attorney: Now doctor, isn't it true that when a person dies in his sleep, he doesn't know about it until the next morning?

Witness: Did you actually pass the bar exam?

Attorney: The youngest son, the 20-year-old, how old is he?

Witness: He's 20, much like your IQ.

Attorney: Were you present when your picture was taken?

Witness: Are you shitting me?

Attorney: So the date of conception (of the baby) was August 8th?

Witness: Yes.

Attorney: And what were you doing at that time?

Witness: Getting laid.

Attorney: She had three children , right?

Witness: Yes.

Attorney: How many were boys?

Witness: None.

Attorney: Were there any girls?

Witness: Your Honor, I think I need a different attorney. Can I get a new attorney?

Attorney: How was your first marriage terminated?

Witness: By death.

Attorney: And by whose death was it terminated?

Witness: Take a guess.

Attorney: Can you describe the individual?

Witness: He was about medium height and had a beard.

Attorney: Was this a male or a female?

Witness: Unless the Circus was in town I'm going with male.

Attorney: Is your appearance here this morning pursuant to a deposition notice which I sent to your attorney?

Witness: No, this is how I dress when I go to work.

Attorney: Doctor, how many of your autopsies have you performed on dead people?

Witness: All of them. The live ones put up too much of a fight.

Attorney: ALL your responses MUST be oral, OK? What school did you go to?

Witness: Oral.

Attorney: Do you recall the time that you examined the body?

Witness: The autopsy started around 8:30 PM

Attorney: And Mr. Denton was dead at the time?

Witness: If not, he was by the time I finished.

Attorney: Are you qualified to give a urine sample?

Witness: Are you qualified to ask that question?

And last:

Attorney: Doctor, before you performed the autopsy, did you check for a pulse?

Witness: No.

Attorney: Did you check for blood pressure?

Witness: No.

Attorney: Did you check for breathing?

Witness: No..

Attorney: So, then it is possible that the patient was alive when you began the autopsy?

Witness: No.

Attorney: How can you be so sure, Doctor?

Witness: Because his brain was sitting on my desk in a jar.

Attorney: I see, but could the patient have still been alive, nevertheless?

Witness: Yes, it is possible that he could have been alive and practicing law.

* * *


* * *


by Bret Stephens

When I was in high school I read Willa Cather’s “My Ántonia” and loved it for the love story it told. This week, I borrowed my daughter’s copy and read it again. It turns out to be a book for our times — and the perfect antidote to our president.

The novel, set mostly in late 19th-century Nebraska, tells the story of Ántonia Shimerda — the first name is pronounced An’-ton-ee-ah — the eldest daughter of a family from Bohemia, in what would now be the Czech Republic. The Shimerdas are immigrants who know very little about farming. And Nebraska isn’t yet the global breadbasket it would later become.

“There was nothing but land,” Cather writes. “Not a country at all, but the material out of which countries are made.”

Ántonia’s family sets out to make the country, alongside immigrants named Pavel and Peter, Otto and Ole, Lena and Yulka. In 1888, the Nebraska State Journal noted that “the great west has received the largest share of the immigration which has poured into this country since the last census was taken,” roughly doubling populations in the Western states.

These were the people who made the Midwest great. Their English, on arrival, was generally poor or nonexistent. Their skills were often ill-suited to the needs of the places to which they came. Their religious beliefs were not those of their American neighbors. They were accused of being clannish, and they were not always grateful to be here.

“He not want to come, nev-er!” Ántonia says of her father, after the young American narrator in the story opines, “People who don’t like this country ought to stay at home.” That sounds familiar.

The immigrants came, for the most part, because they were fleeing hard circumstances, much as immigrants from Central America do today. But they also came because our borders were practically open until 1882, when the Chinese Exclusion Act was shamefully passed.

Otherwise, the American dream was available to anyone who could pay a 50-cent tax (about $12 in current dollars) and was not a “convict, lunatic, idiot or any person unable to take care of himself or herself without becoming a public charge.” The Immigration Act of 1891 slightly expanded the list of proscribed persons, but not by much, and went out of its way to welcome political asylees.

To fourth- or fifth-generation Americans who now say their ancestors came here legally, unlike today’s undocumented workers, that’s largely because the getting in was easy. Today, the average wait-time for an immigrant visa is about six years and can stretch past a decade, according to the Cato Institute’s David Bier — time desperate people usually don’t have.

What hasn’t changed is that immigrants, on the whole, succeed. “Foreign farmers in our county were the first to become prosperous,” Cather’s (grown-up) narrator notes. “After the fathers were out of debt, the daughters married the sons of neighbors — usually of like nationality — and the girls who once worked in… kitchens are to-day managing big farms and fine families of their own.” Yet many of the locals saw them as “ignorant people who couldn’t speak English.” That sounds familiar, too.

To read “My Ántonia” more than a century after its publication is a reminder of the timelessness of America’s bigotries, whose loudest and most dangerous champion sits in the White House.

But, more powerfully, Cather’s novel is a story of a country that can overcome prejudice. The narrator’s grandfather offers succor to the destitute Shimerdas, forgives them their debts, puts petty quarrels aside, and consoles them in their grief. After Ántonia’s father commits suicide, he prays “that if any man there had been remiss toward the stranger come to a far country, God would forgive him and soften his heart.”

It’s in such moments that “My Ántonia” becomes an education in what it means to be American: to have come from elsewhere, with very little; to be mindful, amid every trapping of prosperity, of how little we once had, and were; to protect and nurture those newly arrived, wherever from, as if they were our own immigrant ancestors — equally scared, equally humble, and equally determined.

That’s the “real America” that today’s immigrant-bashers, starting with the president, pretend to venerate and constantly traduce. You don’t have to favor sanctuary cities and the abolition of ICE to be on the right side of this debate. But you do have to recognize that the newest immigrants have as much claim to the country and its lawful freedoms as any other American. That would certainly include Minnesota’s Representative Ilhan Omar, whose rights must be defended every bit as vigorously as many of her views should be opposed.

That we have a president who doesn’t believe this, and a party bending constantly to his prejudices, is a stain on the United States. We can erase it by recalling what we’re really about, starting by re-reading “My Ántonia.”

* * *

* * *


I spent most of my life working for multi-national companies which put me in frequent contact with foreign colleagues and counterparts not to mention foreign expats working in my own office (plus I have family in Europe).

Anyway, it won’t surprise you that the working language of these businesses was and still is English, but outside the US and the UK people conversed in the local lingo. I found that the best spoken and written English anywhere was from the Dutch. In my own line of work you can’t be sloppy in the use of language and especially in the usage of technical terms and in this my Dutch colleagues excelled. I never had any doubts as to their meaning in either verbal or written forms. One thing is for sure, their English is far better than the Brits.

Second prize goes to Hong Kong Chinese whose spoken English wasn’t as good as the Dutch but whose written English was excellent.

This may or may not surprise you, but I found that Germans were absolute shit in both. Someone really needed to tell them that if they wanted to stay employed with the company they really needed to shape up, especially given Germany’s importance business-wise, and in our particular function.

My own European relatives have some knowledge of English but not enough for a professional environment.

I never met one person in all my years of working that was multi-lingual. I know exactly one person who is really, truly multi-lingual but that’s from outside work.

* * *

* * *


You are an older senior citizen and you can no longer take care of yourself and need Long Term Care, but the government says there is no Nursing Home care available for you, what do you do?

You may now opt for Medicare Part G.

The plan gives anyone 75 or older a gun (Part G for Gun) and one bullet. You may then shoot one worthless politician of your choice.

This means you will be sent to prison for the rest of your life where you will receive three meals a day, a roof over your head, central heating and air conditioning, cable TV, a library, and all the health care you need.

Need new teeth? No problem. Need glasses? That’s great. Need a hearing aid, new hip, knees, kidney, lungs, sex change, or heart? They are all covered! And as a bonus, your kids can come and visit you at least as often as they do now!

And, who is paying for all of this? The same government that just told you they couldn’t afford for you to go into a nursing home. And you will get rid of a useless politician while you are at it. And now, because you are a prisoner, you don’t have to pay taxes. Is this a great country or what?

Now that you have solved your senior Long-Term Care problem, enjoy the rest of the week!

* * *

* * *

COASTAL STORYTELLERS--Thursday, July 25 from 6:30 to 8:30 at Community Center of Mendocino Coastal Storytellers will be back at the Community Center of Mendocino for “Mother Nature” and related stories on Thursday, July 25 from 6:30-8:30pm. Our favorite Circus Girl, Nicole Laumb is on the road on a flying trapeze with the Flynn Creek Circus (hope you can catch a show!) so I(Doug Nunn) will be her substitute host. We will miss the fabulous Ms. Laumb, but she wants us to go forward and let the stories fly. Anything relating to Mother Nature and Planet Earth is welcome—from backpacking to surfing to gardening to mountain climbing and beyond. Let’s tell some lovely stories that would make Nicole proud.

Our lineup so far -- Bill Lemos, Jim Jennings, Zeniduah Metta Way, Notty Bumbo, Dan Sullivan, Gisele Reaney and possibly Jay Frankston.

If you have a piece you would like to share please send me an email at We might have a few slots open.

* * *

* * *

"WE LIVE IN A NEW WORLD, remade by many forces: the disruptive technological revolution, brought about by the computer and the Internet; the globalization of trade, migration and communication; a fast-growing worldwide demand running up against the limits imposed by a shrinking pool of natural resources and saturation of our atmosphere; the dislocation of traditional protective institutions, from family to labor unions, state monopolies and welfare states; and the explosive interactions of these various trends. — Philippe Van Parjis and Yannick Vanderbought, "Basic Income: A Radical Proposal for a Free Society and Sane Economy"

The danger is clear, they argue: we risk "igniting sharp conflicts and breeding new forms of slavery."

The question is what to do about it. In response to the right’s bad old ideas -- more nationalism, more borders, blame the immigrants, culture wars, trade wars and war wars -- the left needs some good new ideas. And that is where Universal Basic Income comes in, because the UBI has the potential to be the frame changing, game changing solution to a whole set of economic and political problems. The fundamental idea is simple, and is summed up in the title of Annie Lowrey’s excellent primer, "Give People Money." A guaranteed regular cash payment for every citizen, unconditionally and for life. The money would be enough to provide psychological and practical security, and enough to prevent destitution, but not enough to be a disincentive to work; if you wanted to live on it, you would be safe but not comfortable. (I'm paraphrasing, and there is no consensus about the exact amount of money we're talking about.)

— John Lanchester


  1. John Sakowicz July 22, 2019

    Is Monday, July 22, Bruce Anderson’s birthday?

    • Lazarus July 22, 2019

      If true, Best Wishes Mr. Anderson, if not, same…
      As always,

    • Bruce Anderson July 22, 2019

      Yup. Me and Alex Trebek, both 80.

      • Marshall Newman July 22, 2019

        Happy Birthday! I hope the party lasts the entire week.

      • mendoblather July 22, 2019

        Many more, Bruce.

  2. James Marmon July 22, 2019


    The data included in the presentation set for tomorrow’s BoS meeting is for services being provided by the non-profits and other bottom feeders. There is absolutely nothing about what the for-profit RQMC is doing and for what cost. I guess as long as non-profit Camille is doing great, we don’t care what for-profit Camille is hauling in.

    Where’s the money Camille?

    James Marmon MSW

    • James Marmon July 22, 2019


      They did put in an Average Cost Per Beneficiary but failed to indicate whether it was out of Camille’s pocket or Medi-Cal’s.



  3. Stephen Rosenthal July 22, 2019

    Happy Birthday, Bruce. Let the party never stop!

  4. chuck dunbar July 22, 2019

    The great Ruthie Foster sang to a packed tent at the Mendocino Music Festival Sunday night. What a huge voice–what a huge heart–she has.

    And what a performance it was.! Early on, she did a slow, rather subdued version of “Ring of Fire,” that made this old codger cry.

    She closed with her own song, “Death Came A-Knockin,’ “a mighty performance that brought the crowd to its feet:

    “You know that death came a-knockin’ on my mother’s door
    Singin’ ‘Come on, mother, ain’t ya ready to go?’
    And my mother stooped down, buckled up her shoes
    And she moved on down by the Jordan stream.
    And then she shout
    ‘Hallelujah! Done, done my duty!
    Got on my travelin’ shoes’. “

    I’d thought this one was a traditional gospel song, but, not so, it’s her own. No one sings a “Hallelujah” like Ruthie Foster!

    If you haven’t ever seen her, and you get a chance, don’t miss her–she’s a thrill!

    Oh yes, Happy Birthday, Bruce.

  5. Harvey Reading July 22, 2019

    ” It occurs to me that a couple thousand people storing gasoline and firing up generators represents a rather significant fire hazard in itself, but we live in hope.”

    Y’all may put San Bruno to shame.

  6. John Sakowicz July 22, 2019


    Karma. Karma. Karma.

    Besides Alex Trebek, you share a birthday with the following: American poet Emma Lazarus, American matriarch Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy, U.S. Sen. Bob Dole, American sculptor Alexander Calder, “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” actress Louise Fletcher, NY Yankees relief pitcher Sparky Lyle, rock drummer Don Henley, American Disney composer Alan Menken, “Platoon” actor Willem Dafoe, TV actor David Spade, Indigo Girls singer Emily Saliers, Columbian-American performance artist John Leguizamo (a personal favorite), and Baby Prince George of Cambridge, son of Prince William and Catherine (he’s six-years old, I think).

    And on your birthday, July 22, in 1864, the Battle of Atlanta was fought. General Sherman’s Union side defeated Confederate troops under General Hood, with 8,449 Confederate and 3,641 US casualties.

    Also on your birthday, in 1934, outside Chicago’s Biograph Theatre, “Public Enemy No. 1” John Dillinger was mortally wounded by FBI agents.

    On July 22, 1937, the U.S. Senate rejected FDR’s proposal to enlarge Supreme Court.

    In 1942, on July 22, over 300,000 Warsaw Ghetto Jews were sent to the Treblinka Extermination Camp.

    In 1943, on July 22, U.S. forces led by General George Patton liberated Palermo, Sicily.

    On July 22,1975, the U.S. House of Representatives voted to restore citizenship to General Robert E. Lee.

    Members of 101st Airborne of the United States, aided by Special Forces, attacked a compound in Iraq, killing Saddam Hussein’s sons Uday and Qusay, along with Mustapha Hussein, Qusay’s 14-year old son, and a bodyguard, on July 22, 2003.

    And last year, 2018, on this day, U.S. President Donald Trump threatened Iran in an all-caps tweet of “consequences” in response to speech by Iranian President Hassan Rouhani.

    Finally, Carl Sandburg, poet (Abraham Lincoln: Prairie Years), died at 89-years old, on your birthday in 1967.

    Incidentally, great piece about you by Tom Hine in yesterday’s Ukiah Daily Journal.

    I hope everyone reads it:

    Happy 80th Birthday, Bruce!

    — John Sakowicz

  7. Harvey Reading July 22, 2019

    Is the guy on the left in the Lugosi photo a young Joe Biden? He’d have been perfect for horror films.

  8. Harvey Reading July 22, 2019


    Sounds like the agenda of both wings of the wealth party since the end of the 60s, and they’ve nearly gotten us there.

  9. John July 22, 2019

    Happy Birthday, Bruce. It’s not happy for the family of Paul Krassner who just died. My youth was spent with Paul and other activists. Not many of our generation are left, Bruce. Be well.

  10. Bruce McEwen July 22, 2019

    Birthday Testimonial No. 7

    I met Bruce Anderson on the anniversary of his 70th birthday, having hitchhiked from Fort Bragg to Boonville for the occasion. I had worked for him for six months and never made his acquaintance. I got into Boonville about four in the afternoon, the traffic being tolerable, and motorists in a mood to tarry along with a man traveling by thumb; when I got there I went to the AVA Nerve Center, high above the Rickertt Building in downtown Boonville. Here I found the Major, who I’d met before and the Major gave me directions to the old Alice Day property, where I came upon the larger-than-life Bruce Anderson on the deck in a padded wing chair that had been in the weather so long it was a wonder it held his reputable bulk. Here was a big white-haired and bearded man in khaki slacks and a white shirt – the uniform of the journalist, as any ex-Marine knows – and he very graciously closed his book to give me good day and how do you do. There was a body-bag, the kind boxers train on, hanging from the rafters. A rusty old double-barreled fowling piece leaned against the door casing. He announced his impending birthday and before we had a chance to get to know each other, some of his family members started arriving for the forthcoming celebration. I went about pitching my tent in a corner of the property, and excused myself from such an intimate party, to visit the Boonville Lodge, where I spent the greater part of my life after that day. Anyhow, it’s hard to believe it’s been ten years since that fateful day! Happy birthday, Bruce; you, Sir, are the staunchest, the stoutest, the most stentorious and without a doubt, the toughest, the most tenacious Editor-in-Chief since Perry White of the Daily Planet – Great Cesar’s Ghost! – and all I can say is what a honor it is to be the Jimmy Olsen on your masthead (just below The Major – Oops, I meant Clark Kent!)

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