Press "Enter" to skip to content

MCT: Monday, December 2, 2019

* * *

LIGHT SHOWERS will linger across the region today and Tuesday, followed by drier weather on Wednesday. Wet and unsettled weather will return to northwest California Thursday through Saturday. (National Weather Service)

* * *

MONTHLY PRECIPITATION TOTALS (for the 2019-2020 rain season, thus far)

November 2019

  • 3.12" Yorkville
  • 2.19" Boonville

October 2019

  • 0.04" Yorkville
  • 0.07" Boonville

* * *

Charles Hensley, sober

POOR OLD CHARLES HENSLEY is dead. That's what a reader posted this morning, and why would anybody report him dead if he wasn't? We followed the guy through the Catch of the Day for a number of years, ghoulishly wondering how long he could last before his liver gave out completely. Ms. Davin, who checks in below, knew him best, at least among ava people including Bruce McEwen and James Marmon, who also write feelingly of the late Mr. Hensley. We've complained over the years that the Hensleys of Mendocino County are avoided by the helping professionals, at least partly because he, and they, are not "reimburseable." The helping pros don't get paid to help the Hensleys, so… To be fair, the Hensleys are beyond help short of time outs in county jails. The photo accompanying these comments was taken at the County Jail by Ms. Davin, and you can see from it how good he looked sober, and Ms. Davin's interview with him was surprising in that Hensley thought he was doing well and how optimistic he seemed sober for the first time in months. Used to be the Hensleys got longer time to dry out in state hospital programs, long enough to maybe even reconsider the drop-fall drinking life. Anymore, though, they die alone in the cold and rain in the parking lot at Home Depot.

Charles Hensley, drunk

CAROL CASSIDY WROTE: Charles Hensley died in December 2019 in the parking lot of Home Depot.

LAZARUS: Well…, let his troubled soul rest, and better luck next time out.

BRUCE MCEWEN: I hope he’s in a better place — in fact, since it’s hard to imagine anything worse than a Home Depot parking lot, I’m pretty sure he is; at least his temporal problems are over, and they must have been as onerous as his punishment was egregious, the Universe being so fond of balance. I took him a hot meal one wet night when I found him camping in the alcove of the long-abandoned building next to the Forest Club.

GEORGE HOLLISTER: I am reminded of a GD song written by Hunter and Garcia called “Wharf Rat”. Those themes are ever present with the AV frequent fliers, and transcend human history. Yes, he’s in a better place.

MARILYN DAVIN: If Charlie’s death came up at a public county-government forum, I doubt it would take longer than a minute or two for the blame game to kick off. Law enforcement should have rehabilitated him, social services should have done more when he was an eight-year-old boy, all alone, caring for his dying mother, mental health should have found somewhere for him to live, on and on. This is not that discussion. I only know two things for sure: one of Ukiah’s native sons should not have died in a big-box parking lot on a sub-freezing night over the Thanksgiving weekend while most of the rest of us were chowing down in our warm homes; and every one of us must shoulder some of the blame. We are responsible for one another. Though I don’t know the specifics I suspect that Charlie died alone in that cold parking lot, just as he struggled alone as his dying mother’s caregiver when he was just eight years old.

JAMES MARMON: Charles Hensley, a true hobo (aka Homeward Bound)

If God had a name what would it be?

And would you call it to his face?

If you were faced with Him in all His glory

What would you ask if you had just one question?

And yeah, yeah, God is great

Yeah, yeah, God is good

And yeah, yeah, yeah-yeah-yeah

What if God was one of us?

Just a slob like one of us

Just a stranger on the bus

Tryin’ to make his way home?

If God had a face what would it look like?

And would you want to see if, seeing meant

That you would have to believe in things like heaven

And in Jesus and the saints, and all the prophets?

And yeah, yeah, God is great

Yeah, yeah, God is good

And yeah, yeah, yeah-yeah-yeah

What if God was one of us?

Just a slob like one of us

Just a stranger on the bus

Tryin’ to make his way home?

Just tryin’…

Previously: Charles Hensley, The Back Story

* * *

TED WILLIAMS: Power outages update, Saturday afternoon.

  • 1,529 Albion area (off and on)
  • 409 Manchester
  • 85 East Of Manchester
  • 232 Fish Rock
  • 24 Little River
  • 178 Highway20 @ 1
  • 86 Fort Bragg
  • 96 Hopland 175
  • 18 Little Lake, Mendocino

(Several people reported restorations later in the day Saturday.)

* * *

MISSING MARK BURLEIGH — Do you have any information?

* * *


Anyone interested in meeting up for coffee with other Village members, volunteers and supporters? Let me know and we can help connect people!

Below is a link to the calendar events for the next two weeks that are hosted by The Anderson Valley Village as well as events in our community at large. Plenty to keep you busy! Note: We try to maintain this calendar as events change, especially AV Village events. Other events listed here are subject to change without notice so contact the particular organization/ venue for the latest information.

If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to contact us:

Anica Williams, 707-684-9829

* * *

THE ANDERSON VALLEY LIBRARY, the very best book deal for miles around, will be open from 11-3 on December 7th, in the Home Arts building, during the Holiday Bazaar being held in the Apple Hall. We will have a sale table at the Bazaar and lots of books for sale at the Library. Come and check us out, see what we have to offer, and become a new member.

* * *

* * *

UNITY CLUB NEWS: Santa Claus is Coming to Town

by Miriam Martinez

Santa Claus will be at the Annual Holiday Bazaar on Saturday the 7th of December. Admission is FREE. The Unity Club hosts the Holiday Bazaar in the Apple Hall from 10 to 4 and Santa's sleigh arrives at 11 for 2 hours of photos with all the good girls and boys. Prints are just $1 donation.

The Parent-Teacher Volunteers will sponsor the Craft Corner in the Dining Room, adjacent to Apple Hall. Children can create holiday decor while parents shop at the various booths.

Getting hungry? Come to the Lunch Box and let the Teen Center youth provide you with a selection of warm & cold lunch choices and beverages. If it is something sweet you desire, the Unity Club bakery booth will have Grandma-made baked goods, candy & preserves. Take some home for that party you're having.

We have gently used books at the Library booth for young and old; $1 for hard-bound and $0.50 for paperbacks. As a special treat the Lending Library will have Bazaar Day hours from 11 to 3. The Library is located in the Home Arts building. There you will find free magazines, books & videos for sale, and if course, those to check out for a few weeks.

The Ag. Institute will again have beautiful wreaths, swags & Table wreaths for sale. The Grand Prize for our Raffle will be one of their wreaths decorated with $50. Raffle tickets are on sale at the door, $1 each or 6 for $5. You may choose which prizes most interest you, by placing your stub in the appropriate cup below each prize. I'm going for the Wreath, Lauren's and Meyers Family. No, wait, and Gowen's Oak Tree, Jack's and the Apple Farm. Hmm, maybe I'll just buy enough tickets to place 1 in each cup. Yes! That'll do it. You do not need to be present to win; we'll call you with the good news.

Find jewelry, hand-made fabric & yarn gifts, soaps and decor; all at the Holiday Bazaar. Coming soon to the Apple Hall, December 7th from 10 to 4. I guarantee you will enjoy yourself.

* * *

LITTLE DOG SAYS: Season's greetings, everyone. I guess seasons greetings are a kind of grab bag of good vibes winging your way, not that the vibes around here are what you'd call positive. O yeah, I had to work Thanksgiving. Skrag strolled by several times with fresh insults each trip. "Can I get you some cranberry sauce, LD, to go with that sale-table dog biscuit?" That kind of thing. I'm used to it from him. But if I ever get off this leash…

* * *


Fluffy and Daisy are missing! Haven't seen them since Thanksgiving eve. They both disappeared around the same time. Fluffy is a few months old male, long hair, gray/black/white tuxedo tabby with white eyeliner and linx-like ears. White stockings on rear legs, and mitten tips on front feet. Daisy, his 2 yr. old mum, is a short white Scottish Fold (ears fold down in half), with a shorter tail with a calico stripe near the end and a couple of other small calico spots here and there. Both cats are shorter in body length. Dawn, at Hedgehog Books, was the last one to see Fluffy when he was found Wednesday evening before Thanksgiving, when he was begging food at Bert's, and some patrons returned him to Dawn's bookstore around 5pm. Nobody's seen him since. Nor his mum, Daisy. These cats are already loved by several people where they live at Boxcar Depot. If you know who took him/them, please call me at 357-3068. We'd been taking care of them at the Boxcar Depot. They belong to a little girl and her family on the property, who've also been feeding these two cats. If you know who (usual suspects?: ??????) took them, please ask them to return Daisy and Fluffy.


Debra Keipp

AbraKaDebra Bodyworks, Boxcar Depot, Boonville, 707/357-3068

* * *

* * *


Gallery Bookshop in Mendocino possesses a supply of my novel, ‘Outlaw Ford.’ It makes a great gift for anyone of reading age. One reader described the book this way, "Outlaw Ford is a rollicking, wind-in-your-hair bareback ride across the country. It's a ripping yarn in the tradition of Larry McMurtry's Lonesome Dove. From No-Knees Kelly to Ol' Death Himself, this novel abounds with characters who are as vividly painted as the open range in springtime. With a new adventure at every bend in the trail – sometimes ribald, sometimes tragic – the pages seem to turn on their own." If you're from Mendocino County you are most likely aware what a wonderful local establishment Gallery Bookshop is. If you're from out of the area, a visit to helps support a splendid independent business. Enjoy the ride through Outlaw Ford! (Malcolm Macdonald)

* * *


* * *


Today we kick off the 2019 Ukiah Daily Journal Holiday Food Bank Fund Drive. We do this drive every year to raise the funds for the Food Bank to keep its doors open, keep the refrigeration going and pay its tiny staff.

The Ukiah Food Bank does amazing work year in and year out to keep food on the table for the working poor, the elderly and the disabled in our city. They do it with lots of generosity from local grocery stores and restaurants and this drive allows them to continue that good work.

The need for the Ukiah Food Bank continues to grow.

In 2018 the Food Bank served an average of 1,355 individuals per month. In 2019 that number rose to 1,665 per month.

That’s a 23 percentage increase.

Those 1,665 people are 25 percent seniors, 21 percent children and 54 percent adults.

In 2018, the 1,355 people served represented 785 households

In 2019, the 1,665 people served per month represent 980 households, a 25 percent increase.

The Food Bank is on track to distribute 552,200 pounds of food this year, which represents 460,416 meals.

The regional Redwood Empire Food Bank provided 232,000 pounds of fresh produce at no cost to the Food Bank (and they deliver twice a week). This is the largest quantity of food the Ukiah Food Bank has ever distributed.

They also distributed 340 Thanksgiving Baskets this year, another record.

The percentages of seniors/children/ and adults served stays consistent year to year, as the numbers of people being served continues to grow.

But, as they are open Tuesday — Saturday for distribution, and encourage folks to come back for more fresh produce on Fridays, they are likely serving more people who are working, but not making enough to make ends meet. And while the Food Bank continues to serve more and more seniors, the local economy, with so many low paying jobs, creates a consistent need to help the working poor.

Our fundraising goal this year will be the same as 2018: $85,000. This is a very lean organization. They increased staffing from 1.5 to 2 full time employees due to expanded distribution days. Ford Street always planned to cover a $1,000- $1,500 a month budget shortfall for the Food Bank but for the last few years that has grown to $2,500 — $3,000. They need to raise more money, and that’s where our generous readers come in. Please give any amount that you can. There is no donation too small.

We are kicking off this year’s campaign with $21,600 from our kickoff donors: Adventist Health — Ukiah Valley, $5,000; Flow Kana, $2,500; Suzie & Bob Hardie, $2,500; Redwood Empire Credit Union, $2,500; George & Ruth Bradford Foundation, $2,000; Mabel Albertson Fund, $2,000; John & Sandy Mayfield, $1,500; Mendocino Community Health Clinics, Inc.,$1,000; Savings Bank of Mendocino County, $1,000; Ted Baker, LTD, $1,000; James & Jacqueline Williams, $500; and Tom & Gail MonPere, $100. A big thank you to all of them for getting us started this year.

Donating to the Food Bank is easy. Just send your check to Ukiah Food Bank, c/o Ukiah Daily Journal, 617 S. State Street, Ukiah 95482, or drop it at our offices and we will pass it along. You can also send your donation directly to the Food Bank at 888 N. State Street, Ukiah 95482.

As we do each year we will print the names of all this year’s donors to share their generosity with the community and as our way of saying thank you to all of you who are so helpful with this drive every year.

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

* * *

* * *


by Jim Shields

I have a Saturday afternoon show on KPFN and recently I was discussing operational and infrastructure improvements PG&E, its lax Public Utilities Commission regulators, and blind watchdogs from the state Legislature should consider implementing prior to the electrical monopoly being let off the hook to resume business as usual.

One of those improvements dealt with undergrounding its overhead wires in high fire risk areas. I wasn’t speaking of PG&E undergrounding its entire 100,000 plus miles of overhead distribution lines, only those in high fire risk areas. By the way, PG&E claims it would take 1,000 years to bury all of its overhead lines, something I don’t believe anyone is demanding they do.

Anyway, a listener sent me the following email:

“My friend, an engineer from the Bay Area, was here last week when we were listening to your show when you were talking about PG&E … He emailed this article from an engineering organization he belongs to. It’s about putting electric lines underground.”

Here are excerpts from “Improving the Grid Could Prevent Fires” published in the Engineering News-Record.

“After the latest distressing round of California wildfires and blackouts, more needs to be done to improve, not just rebuild, the aged power grid now recognized as causing some of the fires. Fixing the fragile system has been on the infrastructure to-do list for years. The rising Western wildfire threat is the newest problem to rise to the top. A system rebuild must avoid simply restoring it to status quo.

“In our view, any upgrades must create ‘cornerstones’ for a system that includes hardened infrastructure, buried lines and distributed generation … Using better materials, such as high-temperature, low-sag conductors—line sag led to the 2003 Northeast blackout—also helps.

“Targeted line undergrounding, based on life-cycle costs, has been applied strategically, most notably by San Diego’s utility, which is converting 15 miles of overhead lines a year, and by Duke Energy in the eastern states it serves. Utility customers are usually all for undergrounding, which has been long studied. But there are trade-offs. When buried lines fail or sustain damage, it takes longer and costs more to detect faults and restore service.

“Most of the time, however, installation costs are the real crusher … Pacific Gas & Electric, the bankrupt utility whose lines are believed to have touched off several recent wildfires, has done some undergrounding conversions via a state public service commission rule that spells out whether ratepayers or developers pick up the costs. Per mile, PG&E reports, its cost to convert overhead to underground distribution lines is $3 million. New overhead lines cost only $800,000 per mile. PG&E faces added problems because it serves urban and rural parts of the state. Of 107,000 miles of distribution line, only 26,000 are underground.

“In the long run, distributed generation makes much more sense. In the event of a disaster, power producers can be switched to local mode and disconnected from the grid, so they would not be affected by an outage. Also, a small local grid would be easier to maintain because it would not have long, high-voltage transmission lines running through areas with a lot of vegetation … We need practical leadership to change course in the midst of the emergencies created by the aged system we now have.”

Some things to note about undergrounding.

PG&E estimates seem inflated. It wasn’t that long ago that PG&E undergrounding cost approximately $1 million per mile, compared to $500,000 overhead. The Edison Electric Institute is an association that represents all U.S. investor-owned electric companies. Its cost estimates vary, based on different voltages, to convert overhead to underground distribution lines—ranging from $158,000 to $1.9 million per mile, about evenly split between labor and materials. So PG&E’s estimate is about $1 million more than the highest estimate of the Institute’s.

It’s generally agreed that repairing underground lines may take 2 to 3 weeks, while overhead repairs take a maximum of 48 hours.

I think the engineers have some good ideas that definitely need to be explored by the PUC, Legislature, and Governor before they make any more hasty decisions burdening PG&E ratepayers with a generational bailout of a bankrupt utility that has proven beyond any doubt that it is not to be trusted.

State Supreme Court Blocks Trump Tax-Disclosure Law

The state Supreme Court, a decidedly liberal institution, unanimously sided with the current White House incumbent and a former governor of California, while paying no mind at all to the Never Trumper current governor, when it deep-sixed a new law that would have required presidential candidates to disclose their tax returns in order to be listed on California’s primary election ballot.

California’s highest court on Nov. 21 ruled that an otherwise legally qualified could not be barred from running “even if that candidate fails to disclose five years worth of federal tax returns.

The High Court ruled that the law, signed by Gov. Gavin Newsom several months ago, violated the California constitution. By the way, Trump and Newsom despise one another, oftentimes trading insults via Twitter.

The President’s position regarding disclosure of tax returns is that neither he — nor any other presidential candidate — is obligated to do so because the U.S. Constitution does not require it. Trump is believed to be the first presidential candidate in 40 years to refuse opening up his tax returns for public review.

This is not the first time such a bill had been passed out of the state Legislature by Democrats who have a vitriolic and manic hatred of Trump.

The first tax return disclosure bill was vetoed several years ago by former Gov. Jerry Brown, who also refused during a long political career to release his tax returns.

In his veto message of the earlier bill, Brown explained his reasoning, which by the way, I agreed with him then, just as I support the state Supreme Court’s ruling now. Here’s what Brown said:

“While I recognize the political attractiveness — even the merits — of getting President Trump’s tax returns, I worry about the political perils of individual states seeking to regulate presidential elections in this manner. First, it may not be constitutional. Second, it sets a ‘slippery slope’ precedent. Today we require tax returns, but what would be next? Five years of health records? A certified birth certificate? High school report cards? And will these requirements vary depending on which political party is in power?”

“It’s quite easy to find the tax returns disclosed by our nation’s Presidents, with only a few exceptions, dating back to 1932 on various news and stand-alone websites, as well as the tax returns disclosed by many of the unsuccessful candidates over the past 40 years.”

In overturning the law, the court said it’s up to the voters to decide, not the state Legislature, whether a candidate’s refusal to disclose tax returns or other financial information, is reason enough not to vote for that person.

The new ruling comes on the heels of litigation surrounding a Congressional committee and the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office attempting to access to Trump’s tax returns.

Trump, who has repeatedly resisted calls to release his tax returns despite having promised to make them public, now is asking the U.S. Supreme Court to block those efforts to get his returns.

(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:

* * *


On November 22, 2019 at about 2:55 AM, a Mendocino County Sheriff's Deputy noticed a Honda sedan pulling out of the Eagle Peak Middle School in Redwood Valley. The Deputy noticed a vehicle code violation on the Honda and conducted a traffic stop on the vehicle as a result. When the Deputy walked up to the vehicle, the Deputy recognized the driver and sole occupant as Daniel Ayala, 18, of Ukiah.

The Deputy had prior knowledge that Ayala was known to carry weapons and is a known gang member. The Deputy further knew Ayala had been recently placed on formal probation for a prior weapons charge. Sheriff's Office dispatch confirmed the probation, which included a condition of "no firearms." During the contact, the Deputy observed the grip of a handgun under the front driver's seat. The gun was found to be a loaded Smith and Wesson semi-automatic 9mm handgun. Ayala was arrested for Criminal Street Gang Member Carrying a Loaded Firearm, Concealed Weapon in Vehicle, Loaded Handgun not the Registered Owner, and Violation of Probation without incident. Ayala was booked into the Mendocino County Jail where he was to be held in lieu of $55,000 bail.

* * *


LIKE LOTS of people around here I've been following the Hunnicutt tragedy, and like a couple of the comments here have been surprised at the vehemence of the denunciations of both the cops and the alleged perp. Early on, people were saying a cover-up was underway, that because Gina Bean (one of her many aka's) is related to the late murdered deputy, Ricky Delfiorentino, a widely admired Sheriff's deputy and native of Fort Bragg, the CHP would not pursue the case. The police of course havepursued the case, but we won't see their findings until Gina Bean, who's on the run, is arrested and brought to court. Mean time, and it's a very mean time when the keyboard legions of the righteous sit down at their computers to write about this tragedy, and Gina is routinely denounced as "scum." I'm with the guy who says we should wait for the report to be public. Of course Gina should have stopped, turned herself in, faced what is already very sad music. And maybe the kid did come flying down the hill, unlighted on a dark night, blowing through the intersection. Maybe it was just one of those happenstance lethalities. We will see, but for now I think it's fair to wait.

MCN COMMENT 1: I too commute down Little Lake Road and have done so for way more than 40 years. I cannot tell you how many times I have been sitting at the signal waiting my turn for the green light. When the light changes green on many an occasion I can tell you bicyclists and skateboarders pass me and are already in the middle of the intersection before I can even get started. It seems to be a game to those who participate in this dangerous venture. I do not mean to take sides in this discussion as I was not present at the particular incident that started this, but the pattern is there and has been for a long time. I will add however that since this incident there has been a remarkable reduction and awareness at the present time. It is a shame that something like this must occur to point out the obvious.

MCN COMMENT 2: Not to dishonor the profound loss of Calum’s life, I too have had to avoid a skateboarder flying down Little Lake Road at the same traffic light area. That small individual was wearing dark clothes and if it were not for luck, my happen chance to see him (it was a he since I saw him clearly as he whizzed by) and my quick reflexes I too may have been in a situation that could have been tragic. This I am sure will not be the last time for I see skateboarders are still coming down this hill day and night. That is the reality!

MCN COMMENT 3: You know what. I'm taking a bunch of flack for just offering another point of view other than “she's scum” and I was very clear that I considered it a scenario that was a possibility. You self righteous people always making negative assumptions make me sick!

MCN COMMENT 4: I would hope that this supposition doesn't get repeated as truth. Wait for the report.

SUNDAY BEGINS with its usual loss. Not a single correct number on my MegaMil picks, and the usual tiresome reminder from a person better not named: "You know the odds are even worse than getting hit by lightening?" I knew a kid once, way back in Borneo, who got hit by lightning twice in one week while playing soccer, the second strike killing him. No, I didn't know him but I read about it. Or heard about it. But equatorial lightning strikes? I know them. God hurls those babies straight down to the ground and sometimes they seem aimed right at you. Later, on tape so I can speed through the commercials, I watch the valiant 49er's lose to Baltimore on a field goal in the last seconds. Then a good short story in The New Yorker by Roddy Doyle called "The Curfew," thinking that if I were his editor I would have talked him out of the ending or tried to. The poem stuck in the middle of Doyle's story is also good, and also a learning experience in that at the bottom it says it's "Translated, from the Portunol" by two persons, each with three names. I wonder if there's anybody at The New Yorker with only two names, or without a hyphenated three-parter. The NPR people all seem have three names, as do lots of libs around here. When did that start? Do they think you'll be unable to tell Joe Blow from Joe Kokomo-Blow? I looked up Portunol to discover that it's an "unsystematic mix of Portuguese and Spanish." I guess there's a systematic mix of the two languages but who could possibly care when the poem's good? Typical New Yorker pretentiousness. Scrolling through the e-mail deluge, a notice begins, " KZYX"… I slumped over my computer. It got me again, that instant, narcoleptic-like blackout my doctor says is probably tangential tedium syndrome (TTS or, informally "tits up"), i.e., immediate loss of consciousness induced by certain capital letters arranged sequentially. There's so many of us we're thinking of forming a therapy group. The bulletin says the radio station is having a board election, a piece of information in interest quotient akin to birds fly.

* * *

Extremely rare atmospheric phenomenon called rainbow bridge or circumhorizontal arc: when the sun is at least 58 degrees above horizon and ice crystals in clouds form rainbows.

* * *


On November 21, 2019 at about 9:55 PM, Mendocino County Sheriff's Deputies were dispatched to a domestic violence incident in the 6000 block of Horseshoe Circle in Potter Valley, California. When Deputies arrived they found two subjects suffering from minor injuries and numerous witnesses of the incident. A 37 year old female adult had numerous injuries which Deputies were told were caused by her boyfriend, Alfred Husary, 44, of Potter Valley.

Husary also had sustained minor injuries to his face during the incident and both did not require medical attention at the scene for their injuries. Deputies determined Husary was the primary aggressor during the incident and he was arrested for Domestic Violence Battery. Husary was booked into the Mendocino County Jail where he was to be held in lieu of $25,000 bail.

* * *

CATCH OF THE DAY, December 1, 2019

Braziel, Brown, Essex, Feliz

DEANDRE BRAZIEL, Ukiah. Controlled substance, defrauding innkeeper, false ID, resisting, probation revocation.

CHARLES BROWN, Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-alcohol.

LANCE ESSEX, Laytonville. Taking vehicle without owner’s consent.

COLE FELIZ, Lakeport/Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-alcohol.

Jack, Lee, Malone

NOVAN JACK, Ukiah. Domestic abuse.                               

PATRICK LEE, Fort Bragg. Shoplifting, trespassing, secretly recording an identifiable person without consent or knowledg to arouse, etc., probation revocation.

KRYSTAL MALONE, Fort Bragg. Disorderly conduct-alcohol, probation revocation.

McKee, Obaid, Pinola, Renfort

ROBERT MCKEE, Redwood Valley. Disorderly conduct-alcohol.

MOHAMMAD OBAID, Fortg Bragg/Domestic abuse.

TYSON PINOLA, Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-alcohol.

JONAH RENFORT, Willits. Taking vehicle without owner’s consent.

Retzloff, Soria, Squires

WILLIAM RETZLOFF, Redwood Valley. Disorderly conduct-alcohol.

ALEXANDER SORIA, Calpella. Disorderly conduct-alcohol.

COREY SQUIRES, Ukiah. Under influence, controlled substance, resisting.

Thao, Waldrep, Williams

KEECHA THAO, Sacramento/Leggett. DUI, suspended license (for DUI), probation revocation.

ISAAC WALDREP, Ukiah. Probation revocation.

CHELSEA WILLIAMS, Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-alcohol.

* * *


I can see why yuletide happened, and Christmas and decking the halls, wassails and Wenceslas--the whole shivaree. These constantly shortening days & this crummy weather--the whole, cold chill of it all--is dispiriting, to put it kindly.

But be of good cheer: the end of this shrinkage is near. Hang that holly, and don't forget the mistletoe! In the odd way we declare things, winter begins at the instant it also begins, with roaring ferocity, to go away. These puny little days start getting longer on the solstice--winter up here, summer down there.

From the tropics to the bottom points of the great continents, it's SUMMER! While you're waxing your skis, they're adjusting their air conditioners from Mogadishu in Somalia and Principp in Gabon; from Recife in Brazil across South America to Peru, from the Galapagos to the Sandwich Islands across the Pacific--on and on and on, tank tops and G-strings. You want ice in your drink? Go to, say, Mt. Kenya. At more than 17,000 feet, it's taller than anything in our lower forty-eight and almost everything in Alaska. Being on the equator it ascends from warm at the foot to cold at its several spiked summits. Up top, there's ice enough for your mint julep all year. Being, to be absolutely truthful about it, a few miles away from that momentous imaginary line, the longest day on Mt. Kenya differs from the shortest by a minute.

Meanwhile the polar bears are celebrating a bit more ice here and there, because there's virtually no land in that big Arctic Sea. Ice is what you stand on if you're a polar bear. Once you get above Peary Land in Greenland, it's pretty much anchors aweigh. The cold that, even mild as Mendocino's, aches my bones, is welcome to the creatures who depend, like polar bears and fur seals and the whole family of cold-weather land animals, amphibs and fish, but they're not me. The ancient, lizardy corners in my brain remember Africa.

Before there were Caucasians there were Africans, so I'm both, and I'm attracted to warmth. (Ellie, unfortunately, is a tundra girl. She's from midwestern Connecticut, cool enough to inoculate her against cold weather. She works away at her writing and managing out in her she-shed, typically in a bundle of drapings starting with her PJs and robe. She's happy that way. I put a stove out there and bring her firewood, but the air seldom shimmers over her chimney, and the red front door stands open. I shudder just looking in her direction out the window. Her ears are deafer than mine to my groans of longing for the tropics.)

So, enough of this "what's on your mind" stuff. It's damn near dark outside already, and I am neglecting. For the record: 2019 solstice happens (at the same instant, everywhere on earth) at 8:19 p.m. on Saturday, December 21, Pacific Standard Time. The sun will rise that morning (fat chance!) at 7:31 and set and 4:54, for a total of nine hours, twenty-three minutes and six seconds (compared to 5:48 a.m. to 8:45 p.m. this coming June 20).

Throw another log on the fire, and pass the eggnog.

(Mitch Clogg)

* * *


by Dan Bacher

The Gavin Newsom Administration today announced two separate but related actions that will have a big impact on protections for Delta smelt, Sacramento River winter-run Chinook salmon and other endangered fish species.

First, the California Department of Water Resources (DWR) issued a controversial draft Environmental Impact Report on the long term operations of the State Water Project (SWP).

Second, the Newsom Administration also announced that it intends to sue the federal government over the Trump Administration’s recent biological opinion that would increase water flows from federal water projects to corporate agribusiness interests in the San Joaquin Valley and away from the San Francisco Bay-Delta, imperiling endangered fish like the Delta smelt.

The Department of Water Resources said the first action, the draft EIS, “enables California’s water project operations to avoid relying on proposed federal biological opinions announced last month to achieve environmental approval to operate consistent with state law.”

Instead, DWR said it will seek approval from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) to operate the SWP in a way that supposedly “improves” protections for fish and complies with the California Endangered Species Act (CESA).

“This draft points to a more sophisticated and nimble way to manage the State Water Project to improve our ability to protect species and operate more flexibly. This is essential in order to capture water when it’s available and leave more water when and where fish need it,” said DWR Director Karla A. Nemeth.

Nemeth claims that DWR’s draft proposal differs from the federal Biological Opinions in several key ways:

* “It improves species protection by vesting authority in CDFW to stop operational changes if it determines they will violate CESA standards.

* It includes multiple alternatives that provide a block of environmental water that can be used to offset pumping impacts in the Delta, with adjustments made over time as new information is learned.

* It provides clear direction on when Delta pumping can be increased during storm events and caps the amount that exports can be increased in those events.

* It includes updated modeling and quantitative analyses to support habitat actions in summer and fall to benefit Delta smelt.

* It includes specific protections for longfin smelt, a protected species under CESA, and a commitment to implementing a longfin smelt science plan.

* It does not seek to increase SWP exports.”

The state also announced that it intends to file litigation against federal agencies to “ensure adequate protection of endangered species, shared responsibility of state and federal water project operations to protect those species and to protect the state’s interests.”

“When California has the opportunity to tackle a longstanding challenge with innovative, collaborative solutions, we take it,” said Governor Gavin Newsom. “We are once again marshaling our collective resources — and building on our record of strong, science-based environmental policies — to chart a new path forward for water policy in California. As stewards of this state’s remarkable natural resources, we must do everything in our power to protect them. The next generations of Californians deserve nothing less.”

Brenda Burman, Commissioner of the Bureau of Reclamation, said today’s announcement by the State of California to sue the Trump administration over the biological opinion is “disappointing.”

”From the beginning, we’ve been focused on cooperative solutions with the State of California to bring reliable water supplies to farms, families, communities and the environment,” said Burman in a statement. “Today’s announcement by Governor Newsom is disappointing in his preference to have judges dictate these important projects instead of the career professionals at the federal and state levels who have developed a plan based on the best science and significant input from the public. If that’s their choice, we’ll see them in court.”

Fishing and environmental groups applauded the lawsuit, but are currently reviewing the documents of the E.I.S. They said they have concerns about how the Delta pumps are to be operated and how managers will monitor and know when excessive pumping is damaging salmon and other fish species.

“We’re heartened to see the state announce its challenge to the Trump/Bernhardt/Westlands salmon extinction plan,” said John McManus, President of the Golden State Salmon Association. “The grab-all-you-can Trump/Bernhardt/Westlands approach to seizing northern California’s waters is so egregious that the state really had no choice but to challenge it.”

“The federal government has already admitted that their planned raid on northern California water would rob the delta of an additional 600,000 acre feet of desperately needed water. The State Water Board’s highly detailed and up to date scientific studies have made clear the Delta needs more, not less water, to support the salmon runs and other wildlife we’ve sent into a tailspin. Against this backdrop, the state had no credible option but to challenge Bernhardt’s raid on northern water,” he stated.

However, McManus noted that some of the biggest of the State Water Project contractors have said they hoped the state would follow the lead of the Trump/Bernhardt/Westlands team and relax environmental protections for them also. He said further study of the state’s new proposal for operation of the State Water Project “will demonstrate to what degree they may get what they want.”

“We look forward to further studying the state’s new State Water Project proposal, but at first glance we have concerns about how the Delta pumps are to be operated and how managers will monitor and know when excessive pumping is damaging salmon runs,” concluded McManus.

Barbara Barrigan-Parrilla, executive director of Restore the Delta, said she is “happy to hear” that the California Natural Resources Agency has determined that operating rules for the Federal water project are not scientifically adequate and that the state will be pursuing litigation against the Trump administration.

“We thank Governor Newsom, Secretary Crowfoot and Secretary Blumenfield for taking our concerns seriously. As always we will read newly released documents by the state for the State Water project with a critical eye on behalf of the estuary and Delta communities. We will see if they meet protective standards. We will then turn our critical eye towards future evaluation of the voluntary agreements as well. We will share our future findings,” she said.

In a tweet after issuing the press release, Barrigan-Parrilla asked, “If Delta exports are increasing with the State’s pumping operation plan, which they are (see page pdf page 665–66) how does this match the Delta Reform Act’s requirement of reduced Delta reliance on water exports? “

Regina Chichizola, co-director of Save California Salmon, pointed out this is the first time California has decided to do a separate environmental analysis than the federal government on state and federal water operations in the Central Valley.

“It is time for California has to get serious about protecting our water,” said Chichizola. “We applaud the fact that the Governor plans to sue the Trump administration on the doctored Biological Opinion for operations of the Central Valley federal and state water projects, but we also need him to understand that California’s salmon and drinking water in a state of crisis and to direct state agencies to take appropriate action.”

While she noted that she hasn’t read the entire DEIR yet, she said she has “serious concerns” that the operations are enough to save California’s salmon or protect water quality, and the plan could be overshadowed by the non-protective voluntary agreements that Newsom has held up as an “alternative” to enforcing state law and state plans to restore salmon.

“We hope when making decisions on water that the governor will take into account all of the people that rely on California’s clean water and fish for their income, drinking water, and way of life. We need him to take on big water users like Westlands Water District, and demand flows that will restore our salmon and drinking water quality, while respecting the rights of California’s native people,” explained Chichizola.

On November 18, Save California Salmon’s Morning Star Gali, a member of the Pit River Tribe, asked the governor in a Guest Opinion in the Sacramento Bee to honor California’s native people by restoring salmon and ending efforts to hold up critical salmon restoration:

“Last month, Gov. Gavin Newsom issued a proclamation declaring October 14, 2019 “Indigenous Peoples’ Day” in California. In this proclamation, he acknowledged that native people were stewards of the land before the conquest of California.

I thank the governor for the proclamation. However, last month — on California Native American Day — the governor also vetoed legislation, Senate Bill 1, that could have helped the state protect our salmon from Trump’s environmental rollbacks. This is unacceptable.

We need more than lip service from the governor. We need action.”

Read more here:

It is no surprise that Governor Newsom received a total of $755,198 from agribusiness in 2018, based on the latest data from That figure includes $579,998 in the agriculture donations category, combined with another $116,800 from Beverly Hills agribusiness tycoons Stewart and Lynda Resnick, owners of the Wonderful Company and the largest orchard fruit growers in the world, and $58,400 from E.J. Gallo.

By vetoing SB 1, supporting the voluntary water agreements (that he reaffirmed today in a press release) backing the Delta Tunnel and hiring grower William Lyons as a special “agriculture liaison” to the Governor’s Office, Newsom is apparently bending to the will of his agribusiness donors.

(Dan Bacher is an environmental journalist in Sacramento. He can be reached at: Dan Bacher

* * *

* * *


Barn Dance in Mendocino, December 4, 2019 with local band "the BARNSTORMERS"

Featuring Old-Time Squares, Circles, & Contras

Dances taught and prompted by Lea Smith

Fun Dances, Friendly People!

Wednesday, December 4, 2019, 7:00 - 9:00 PM.

Preston Hall, 44831 Main St., Mendocino

$5 adults, 17 & under FREE!

No partner or previous experience necessary.

Please wear smooth-soled shoes to protect our floor.

Volunteer helpers needed before and after the dance, come early or stay late to help.

Info at 964-7525

* * *



  1. Lee Edmundson December 2, 2019

    Calum’s death was needless and senseless. I recollect it took many years and several deaths at the Little lake- Highway 1 intersection before CalTrans would (even) install a traffic light (Thank you now retired 5th District Mendocino County Supervisor Norman deVall for your persistent efforts in (finally) getting this done).

    In my daily drives down Little Lake Road from my home to Town, I have occasionally encountered skateboarders wending their way across the north side bike lane to the south side pedestrian crossing heading west. Never seen one at night though.

    I don’t know for certain what happened there that night, but from what I’ve been told, I have garnered a fair idea.

    It took Norman years to get that light there. It’s meant to be obeyed by everyone: automobiles, motorcycles, bicycles, skateboards, wheelchairs and baby strollers.

    Obey the signals. Save a life. Perhaps your own.

  2. James Marmon December 2, 2019


    I suppose he didn’t qualify for admittance in Schraeder’s winter shelter. The last week of his life must have been horrific, bomb cyclone and all.


  3. Lazarus December 2, 2019

    Found Object

    Best of luck kids…

    As always,

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *