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MCT: Monday, June 8, 2020

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WARMER AND DRIER conditions will return over the next few days. Light showers are possible along the Redwood Coast towards the end of the week, along with a return to below normal temperatures. (NWS)

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by Brad Wiley

Your remarks about the Navarro Ice House in the May 27 AVA Valley People provoked my own reflections about the place and a multitude of memories of the characters and activities inhabiting the Deep End when I first settled here almost fifty years ago.

Navarro's birth, like that of many other rural American towns, was provoked by the new railroad line.  The Albion Branch of the Northwest Pacific began on the river flat under the bridge where the Albion Mill stood.  As the mill logged out the forests upstream, the railroad expanded east via Keene Summit, Bob Dutchman Creek, then the North Fork, arriving in Navarro in, I believe, 1906.

At that instant San Francisco capital in the name of George X. Wendling arrived in Navarro.  Wendling bought up from the Southern Pacific Railroad what became the town from the flat west of today's village all the way to the Guntly Ranch, now Wiley and Rhys vineyards.

Wendling in the 1900s

He also platted and filed with the County dozens of individual quarter acre lots in strips along the railway, the old wagon road, up Russian Hill to Salmela, and Wendling Soda Creek Road, past Counts School and the mill Doctor's grand house almost to the old Navarro Dump.  He even drew up lots and a servicing street, aptly named Laguna, right up to the seasonally flooded headwaters of Perry Gulch Creek east of current Highway 128.

George Wendling was a model of multi-dimensional entrepreneurial capitalism, manufacturing and real estate, that thrived all over America back then.  How many of those platted lots did he sell?  Hard to rediscover, but I was told when I first arrived that 800 people, mostly Italians with a sprinkling of Finns, lived in the town when the mill closed for good in 1927.  I do know, for example, that of the twenty-five or so lots laid out on today's Salmela Road only three existed when I arrived in Navarro in 1971, Osana Pardini's, Danny Gentile, and Cap Salmela the rancher and tree faller.

Among the earliest Wendling residents though were the refugees from Hop Flat, a settlement five miles up the Navarro River and at the end of the logging railroad.  The second Navarro mill at tidewater burned down in 1905 and the employees, including the Hopper, Price and Mabery logging families, moved to Wendling about that time seeking work.  The Bloyd family also moved from their homestead along Flynn Creek to live locally and become woodsmen, surveyors and heavy equipment operators.

Wendling's mill opened in 1907.  And as the working population grew, so did homes, a general store, medical dispensary, dance hall, Post Office, railroad station, small commercial brick kiln using local clay, hotels, a photographer's shop, alleged whorehouses, and your article claims a land office (real estate office?).  Rena Nicolai's house, the stately two story Victorian on the old highway south of the current store, for instance, has been claimed to me a home, whorehouse and hotel.  Maybe it was all of the above at one time or another.

Now the Ice House.  Interesting name.  When I first read your piece, I wondered how and for what purpose would there be an ice house in the village.  I was speculating about the matter with distinguished Boonville historian, Jeff Burroughs the other day.  And he immediately reminded me how cold it can be in Navarro in January on the back side of a storm when the sun clears the surrounding hills around eleven and sets about two.  Frost on the ground for days sometimes.

So that's some of the historic framework underlying today's Navarro, undergoing its Third Renaissance, I claim since George X. Wendling first "saw the light" back in the early twentieth century.  But those stories come in another chapter — maybe next week.

Coda:  When did Wendling become Navarro?  I am told during World War I.  Another round of American jingo zenophobia, all over America German culture, place and family names migrated to an acceptably "Americanized" version or replaced.  Thus Wendling became Navarro, in my view another lyrical name for Our Town in the Deep End.

Some of my reminiscences here come from formal records, much more from stories heard over the decades.  Error creeps in, either from the telling or the listening.  If you have a more accurate, or better version of Navarro's story, don't hesitate to report it.

Brad Wiley

Navarro resident since 1971

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This haying photo at the Hunt ranch is from about 1914-1915. The ranch covered 47 acres that today are under the waters of Lake Mendocino. The people on the wagon are thought to be Gordon and Ellen Hunt, with one of their children standing near the barn. - Photo courtesy of the Robert J. Lee Collection (from the Hunt family)

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by Jim Shields

Let’s take this George Floyd murder and resulting nationwide protests from the top.

In the first version of this column written on Tuesday for this week’s edition of the Mendocino County Observer, I said, “First of all, from all the available information at this time, the Minneapolis cop who cold-bloodedly killed Floyd should be charged with murder in the first degree not third degree. The other three cowardly officers who did nothing to stop their colleague from extinguishing Floyd’s life should be charged as accessories to murder. The on-scene, real time video of the murder, seals all their fates.”

On Wednesday, prosecutors mostly agreed with me by expanding their case against the police who were at the scene of Floyd’s death, charging three of the officers with aiding and abetting a murder. They also upgraded the charges against Derek Chauvin, the officer who pressed his knee on Floyd’s neck, to second-degree murder. The three other officers — Thomas Lane, J. Kueng and Tou Thao — were charged with aiding and abetting second-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter.

What I call straight-jacket political correctness is confusing and distorting what’s actually been occuring at protests across the country. Here’s what you need to know:

• I estimate that approximately 90 percent of the folks at protests are there to exercise their constitutional rights and express their thoughts on this tragedy. They are not doing anything criminal, enough said on that subject.

• However, there are two classes of individuals who are criminals who have hijacked the protests by engaging in general scumbaggery, looting, assault, arson, and vandalism.

• The first group of scumbags call themselves “Antifa”, an acronym standing for anti-fascist. In fact, they are Hitlerian Brownshirts, the very embodiment of fascism. They are autonomous groups of anarchists, an amorphous movement, not an organization in any sense of the word. From bases in Seattle, WA, Eugene, OR (largest base), and California’s Central Valley (living in safe houses provided by cartels who they courier drugs for), they travel around the country, and the world, in fact, hijacking legitimate protests and demonstrations, inciting mayhem through violence which they believe is the only way to achieve their political objective which is to destroy governments and capitalism. In reality, they are anarchists. They are largely responsible for creating most of the mayhem at the larger California protests. They don’t give a damn about what happened to George Floyd. These clowns are the proverbial “outside agitators. “

• The other group is not organized either, rather it’s comprised of organic, local folks of all stripes who are taking advantage of the breakdown in law at protests. They show up to break into stores and shops, loot them and often set them afire. As I said they’re opportunists, but also criminals.

The vast majority of businesses they loot and burn are operated by small business owners, and many are owned by minorities and immigrants. Most of these businesses have been shut down by Pandemic Orders and a lot of them will now never open their doors again because of the criminals using the protests as cover for their craven, gutless crimes.

Both groups, scumbags all, need to be arrested, tried, and sent to prison. Case closed.

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot summed everything up very eloquently and succinctly over the weekend when peaceful protests in Chicago over the death of George Floyd escalated into chaos in some cases, with groups of protesters breaking downtown storefront windows, setting fires and damaging cars. Lightfoot responded with a 9 p.m. curfew for the city and a strong message for those “who came to today’s protest armed for all-out battle.”

Lightfoot took the podium during a Monday morning news conference to blast looters who broke windows and stole from small businesses. Here’s what she said:

A normal start to this discussion would be to say, “good evening,” but it’s not a good evening in our city right now. Over these last couple days, I have spoken at length about the pain the killing of George Floyd has ignited, not only here in Chicago, but really across the country. It’s a pain wrapped in righteous anger. And that pain is anger, is rightfully expressed, but only ever peacefully. Peacefully. I’ve been engaged for the last six-plus hours watching a tragedy unfold in our city.

What started out as a peaceful protest has now devolved into criminal conduct. I have watched as protesters hurled, not just words or projectiles at our police department. Bottles of water, urine and Lord knows what else. I saw protesters armed with shovels, bats, hammers and metal pipes. Now to be clear, I’ve marched in a few protests in my day. But neither I nor anyone that I was ever with saw the need to bring weapons in order to lift up our voices and express our First Amendment rights. Now I want to give praise to those here in Chicago and across the nation who have come together peacefully to express their righteous anger and their grief and to make their voices heard, as is their First Amendment right.

But I want to express my disappointment and really my total disgust at the number of others who came to today’s protest armed for all-out battle. You don’t come to a peaceful protest with a bowling ball or a hammer or a shovel or a baseball bat. You don’t come to a peaceful protest with bottles of urine to throw at police officers.

I applaud the vast majority of the individuals who came here to make true and lasting change peacefully. But to the rest of you, I’m here to call you out for your recklessness and for your obscene disrespect to the righteous cause that you are trying to hijack. When you or anyone behaves in this way, we all lose by giving the very same forces of oppression we are fighting against the false validation that they crave.

I want to announce that effective at 9 p.m. tonight we will be imposing and enforcing a curfew from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m. until further notice.

I believe that Lori Lightfoot would be a great Vice Presidential selection by Democrats to invigorate and pump some life into the morbid campaign so far of Joe Biden.

She fills the bill: She’s a woman, she’s black, and she’s smart.”

(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:

We would like to express our heartfelt gratitude to County health officer Noemi Doohan, Adventist emergency physician Dr. Drew Colfax, KZYX assistant Manager Alicia Bales, and reporter, Sara Reith; County CEO Carmel Angelo, and fifth District Supervisor Ted Williams.

We appreciate the hours of work that you have put in on the Covid 19 issue and we do mean hours! Your excellent clear speaking voices and common-sense, articulate remarks have helped to guide those of us who are without Internet and rely on the voice of KZYX to give us accurate and up-to-date news on the virus situation. It may not be enough to say that you might have saved our lives.

Thank you also to the owners and staff at the AV Market and Lemons’ Market. Your very cheerful courage in support of your community is the stuff that makes for a caring community.

We must also thank Bruce Anderson and Mark Scaramella for staying alert to the nuances and sharing them with such humor and grace.

Lastly, we thank all the local citizens from Yorkville through Boonville and Philo to Navarro for following the necessary mitigations and for especially wearing facial coverings. We have saved each other's lives and may need to do it again this coming winter. Mask up -- we protect you and you protect us.

Go to the Ukiah Fairgrounds for a Covid 19 test. The phone number is 1-888-634-1123!

Beverly & Marvin Dutra


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by Tommy Wayne Kramer

Our pandemic problem grows worse when county leadership is unable to mesh state guidelines with what’s needed on the ground.

Our strategy seems backward. It’s as if our absentee health officer is holding her State Coronavirus Guideline playbook upside-down.

If Dr. Noemi Doohan has a clear, thought-out approach she’s keeping it a secret. More likely she’s distracted by her new job and home, is paying scant attention from her perch in San Diego, and simply parrots the directives of other health officers.

There’s hardly another explanation. From 500 miles away she can only guess at the impact her commands have in Mendocino County. So far her guesses have been wrong, and they are about to get wronger.

In the earliest weeks of the Cornoavirus outbreak, when our remote and sparsely populated county had few infected patients, she clamped down on everything. She wouldn’t allow a solo fisherman to row his boat out on Lake Mendocino, and she shut down the golf course when golf is, almost by definition, a socially distant activity.

She locked up Village Books and the Mendocino Book Company, but allowed Walgreen’s and Walmart to sell books and greeting cards. She never bothered to explain her order closing every restaurant from Gualala to Leggett, then carving out an exception for Plowshares’ dining facility.

You and I couldn’t walk across Todd Grove Park but encampments at the south side of town had people mixing, mingling and setting fire to structures and dumpsters.

Things have changed. We’ve been jolted by a flurry of new flu cases, as noted in a recent Ukiah Daily Journal front pager: “Pandemic arrives in county” read the headline, and quoted Dr. Doohen: “The pandemic has arrived in Mendocino County when I said it would, in late May,” she said modestly. “It will get worse before it gets better because we are opening up. We are as open as any county in the state.” 

She may think this illustrates her resolve in battling the crisis but it does the opposite. Events have taken a turn for the worse and she does what she always does, which is follow what other health officers do.

But other county health officers aren’t in charge of Mendocino County. She is.

If golf courses had to be closed when there were almost no Coronavirus patients, why are they being opened when there’s a spike in cases? It makes no sense to keep barber shops and beauty parlors shuttered for weeks, then open them when, in her own words, “It’s going to get worse before it gets better.”

And why fling wide the doors of churches when the only virus hot spot we’ve experienced was the one that popped out of a Redwood Valley church?

What’s next? If people start keeling over on sidewalks will Dr. D wave her magic tongue depressor and open the movie theater, then announce Ukiah Unified Schools will hold mandatory K-12 wrestling tournaments?

New victim, same riot…

Ukiah folk rallied ‘round the courthouse last Sunday to protest the grotesqueries visited upon the late George Floyd, victim of brutal and borderline insane police misconduct. No one needs me to give a sermon on any of it because these pages will soon fill with columnists regurgitating what they’ve seen on TV and pulled off the internet, as if any of them has an original idea in their head, or in a paragraph.

In Ukiah they protested, as well they should. Locals behaved much better than in other cities where rioting mobs broke things, stole things and did what mobs do. But burning down a neighborhood as a way to make a point about social problems is a leftist specialty practiced ‘round the world.

It’s camouflage for stealing phones, TVs, clothing and liquor while faking concern for the plight of Mr. Floyd. It’s social justice warriorism distilled to its essence. Rioters are violent, ignorant people and the left never has a shortage of either.

At bottom a riot is a form of popular entertainment inflicted on a city by criminals wearing masks, knowing their odious conduct could never be explained to neighbors who might recognize them.

A point that ought to be repeated is that a white cop killing a black man is rare. The real problem is that a young black guy is about 1000 times more likely to be killed by another black guy. It’s a reality leftists ignore because it spoils the opportunity to run around the streets chanting slogans and breaking things while pretending to be indignant at this month’s perceived injustice.

There was no weeping, wailing or rioting in 2015 when just three cities (Detroit, Chicago, Baltimore) hosted more than 1100 killings. Indeed most people, including Obama and Biden, seemed not to notice.

So two cheers for Ukiah and our restrained demonstrators. Yell all we want, shake our fists at the clouds, then go home to resume our real lives.

(Tom Hine was once a foolish leftwing hippie protester; give him credit for growth and evolution into a clear-thinking adult. His pal TWK notes that many demonstrators setting fires and busting windows on TV were failing to practice social distancing orders, which is illegal.)

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Life on the Mendocino Coast was a different affair as the year 1962 began. Montgomery Ward had a store on the corner of 200 East Redwood in Fort Bragg. One could walk almost effortlessly north from there to the corner of Laurel and Franklin for groceries. How many people remember the Golden Rule Market at that location? You could purchase a T-Bone steak then, cut to suit you, for 98 cents per pound. To call ahead to that business a phone had to be dialed. The prefix of that number was not listed as 964, but Yorktown -4. At that Montgomery Ward store a clothes washer and dryer set could be had for under $400 and they'd throw in a beauty salon style hair dryer for free. The major financial institution in Fort Bragg, the Coast National Bank, resided north of the Company Store.

My parents had an account there. In 1962, my family's day to day lives were split. My father worked in the woods falling trees in good weather. My mother had returned to the University of California at Berkeley to work toward a masters degree in psychiatric social work. On weekends we all returned to the family ranch along the Albion River. 

A year and a half later, my mother would take up employment at the state hospital in Talmage, back in those halcyon days when the state of California possessed a goodly number of such institutions, and said mental hospitals were coming out of the dark ages of psychiatric care.

Much of this is preface to a letter, dated February, 1962, I found a few weeks ago while sorting through things to straighten out the area around the desktop where these manuscripts are produced. Mostly I discovered dust. Perhaps I should say it discovered me to the extent that for awhile I wondered if I'd contracted Covid-19. Dry cough and so on was diminished to nothing once the vacuuming and dusting subsided. 

Hidden amid the dust was a letter my mother had tucked away more than a dozen years ago. It was addressed to a person she would work with at Mendocino State Hospital, a fellow psychiatric social worker. The letter was postmarked February 27, 1962, approximately a year and a half before the two social workers met.

It may be disappointing to know that the letter does not unearth any dastardly crimes from six decades ago. The correspondence was authored by Don Burleson, then the postmaster for the town of Mendocino. He had served in that position since 1956, presiding over the opening of the community's new post office on Main Street in 1958. The previous post office had been in place since 1889. Only a baker's dozen postmasters served in Mendocino in the seventy-eight years that office existed before Don Burleson took over. Previous to his postal duties, Mr. Burleson and his wife owned and operated the Remedy Store. 

Postmaster Burleson's letter to the young social worker in Talmage made it clear that he responded because the social worker had written to the Chamber of Commerce, Mendocino, California (no zip codes at that time and the state name was written out in full on envelopes). Apparently, the original communication requested information about overnight accommodations in Mendocino. Mr. Burleson's reply indicated Valentine's Motel, “about a mile north of town, which is new and has a nice view. Morning coffee is provided.”

The social worker had asked about places to eat. Burleson replied, “The hotel has a coffee shop. Grace West's Music Box serves lunch, dinner and snacks in between — no breakfast, closed on Wednesdays and on 2nd and 4th Mondays when they have a service club's dinner they close at 6 P.M. Casa Mendocino will doubtless be operating in the near future. They have been closed for the winter and for alterations. At the moment that is our entire list of eating places.”

If there had been a Covid outbreak in 1962, locals would have had almost no worries about tourists bringing the virus to town. Burleson's letter did point to places beyond the town limits of Mendocino. He mentioned the “Cabrillo Cottages” near the lighthouse. “The buildings are older, but have been nicely refurnished with very comfortable beds.”

Mendocino's postmaster did not leave out the Littleriver landmarks, Heritage House and the Little River Inn. Readers may find interest in the economics of the time. “[H]eritage House (American Plan, starts about $16, serves no lunches, reservation very necessary), Little River Inn (about $8 bottom, very good food served all hours, bar, only golf course on the coast, reservations also advisable)....”

The one thing that hasn't changed from that time. The Little River Inn's golf course remains the only one on the Mendocino County coast.

Though Burleson credits the former high school teacher, Bill Zacha, with sparking an artist's movement, the postmaster also notes that he himself inaugurated art galleries in Mendocino with his “Little Gallery” in the lobby of the post office.

The letter points to the Packard-Randall Gallery across from the Presbyterian Church on Main Street as the most exciting of art venues in Mendocino. “Emmy Lou Packard and her husband, Byron Randall, are hard working professionals in every sense of the word and their works are vivid, varied and stimulating.”

In 1962, according to Burleson, The Art Center on Little Lake Street contained “no gallery as far as steady exhibit goes. In time it will have, but the present buildings are not suitable for leaving pictures on display for any length of time.”

Another thing that hasn't changed much since 1962: Postmaster Burleson cites Racines store in Fort Bragg as a connection to the art world. Other than there being a few handfuls of people left who can remember these details first hand, so much has gone by the wayside on the Mendocino Coast.

Mr. Burleson died in 1993 at the age of eighty-eight. The social worker he wrote to in 1962 is still among us, somewhere in Northern California.

(Other communiques from past centuries at

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"Johnny Belinda" was filmed there. Jane Wyman is in it, Ronald Reagan's first and nicer wife. Warning: "Johnny Belinda" sounds like some B-grade Mary Poppins. It's more like an A-grade "Psycho" with much better manners. It's great but some people might get upset. Kids naturally run from black and white-TV radiation, so no danger of them seeing or hearing anything bad.

No sign of moviemaking there anymore, just flowers and beaches and a mysterious pond. And minimansions (not pictured) owned by law firms from LA (at least one is). So the answer to the question: wow! how does somebody get a house like that? Is: become a law firm from LA. Then the humans who actually stay there (about two weeks a year) don't have to pay as much in taxes. While tons of people sleep on the sidewalk outside the State Capitol. Isn't nature grand?

(Chris Calder)

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MAYOR’S CHOICE AWARD!! Fort Bragg Gardens to BRAGG About! Most beautiful garden at 445 Winifred St with 1st Place winner directly across the street (both on corners of Winifred and Perkins Way). This yard has a mature Redwood tree (in town!) callalillies, fuschias; rockroses, wisteria and lilacs, oh my!  Drive by and check them out. This was a difficult choice! So many beautiful gardens during this shelter in place era. Saw Victory Gardens; Bee Friendly gardens; many native plants and everything from Azaleas to Zinneas!

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TELEVISION COVERAGE of the demonstrations is often so heavy on the mawk it's embarrassing to watch. This morning on Good Morning America one of the happy faces broke down completely as he described how he explained the upheaval to his two small children. The same ABC affiliate featured a long news segment on children lecturing on race relations. As of Monday morning still no signs of specific reform suggestions other than the demand to disband police departments as suggested by several Minneapolis hysterics, and vaguely seconded by, of all people, the mayor of Los Angeles. Police departments, though, like most bureaucracies, could stand severe audits to de-fat them.

JUST IN: THE MINNEAPOLIS CITY COUNCIL has voted to abolish the city's police force. The city council voted with a veto-proof three-quarters majority to begin the process of dismantling the 'toxic' police department on Sunday - overruling the objections of mayor Jacob Frey. While the exact next steps are unclear, plans put forward by community activists in past years call for: funds to be taken from the police department and moved into community services aimed at preventing crime, money would instead go to mental health services, social services, jobs programs, and arts groups, jobs such as traffic stops, overdose call-outs and mental health calls would be taken away from officers. A smaller, more-specialized force of 'public servants' would deal with solving violent crimes. County sheriffs, whose jurisdiction includes Minneapolis, could be used as a stop-gap police force. Council President Lisa Bender told CNN on Sunday that having no police department will not happen 'in the short term', but said city leaders are committed 'to dismantling policing as we know it in the city of Minneapolis and to rebuild with our community a new model of public safety that actually keeps our community safe.' 

THE TRUMP ADMINISTRATION'S identification of Antifa as a major subversive force is laughable, and much like the identification of Earth First! was as a major threat to extractive capitalism. Of course there are young people breaking stuff as "left" expressions, just as there were young people inspired by Earth First! to decommission logging equipment, in both cases isolated instances, and in neither case of any tangible significance.

INFAMOUS CLIP of the 75-year-old man hitting the deck, hard, after being shoved by a Buffalo cop? Yeah, so? So a smart aleck asked me if that shove would have downed me. "Son," I said, "it would take more than a push to take this old boy to the ground, but that senior comrade in Buffalo just sweetened his retirement pot considerably, didn't he?"

GIMMEE SHELTER: "Respectful artist couple looking for a home to rent near Mendocino village. Not smokers and no pets. Excellent references and good credit. In search of a place with a garage or outdoor building for a shop. Can pay up to $1500/mo. Looking to move by the first week of July, but can be flexible."

NOT QUITE PLAINTIVE, but there are so many quests like it in Mendocino County, especially in the banana belt and doubly especially for ground zero domicile heaven, Mendocino Village. Old timers, and not so old Old Timers, will remember when a good part of Mendocino Village was vacant and Fort Bragg was practically paying people to move in. Now? Young people just starting out on life's adventure (sic) are already damned every which way unless they come from families able to help them, and most young people don't enjoy hereditary good luck. 

THE GOLDEN GATE BRIDGE is singing. As the wind passes through the new slats recently installed on the sidewalk railings it has so pleased the old structure it breaks into song. 

A READER explains that random gunfire so familiar as part of the rural sound track: "There is always that group of illegal growers who think that regularly firing guns lets the neighbors know they are armed and not to be trifled with. It does not work out that way, it always has the effect of worrying neighbors about stray bullets to the point that they call the cops."

MARSHALL NEWMAN NOTES: "Regarding the Boyce/Graves archive. I recently ran into something similar, but for an old-line Anderson Valley family. How nearly 100 years of family photos and other ephemera ended up for sale on-line from a dealer in Humboldt County is a sad mystery… The upshot is, after buying the Sanders’ brothers Peachland photograph – the one you printed – a couple of weeks ago, I asked the dealer if she had anything else. I ended up purchasing  50 photographs and other ephemera  that appear to be most (she sold a few pieces previously) of Leo Sander’s family archive. I will be donating the lot to the Anderson Valley Historical Society."

LAZ OF WILLITS COMMENTS: An undertaker I once knew told me, “Your most treasured possessions, in less than a generation, will be somebody else’s yard sale”.

RURAL JUNKYARDS. Residents of the Gschwend Road area of Philo/Navarro complained long and loud that George “Dirty George” Gowan had fouled his property along Floodgate Creek so thoroughly that it ought to be designated a Super Fund site. The county is still hauling junk outta there. We all thought George's random piles of wrecked vehicles and miscellaneous junk was about as comprehensively eco-destructive an assault on those idyllic acres as could be achieved. 

OH YEAH? Move over, George. Take a drive up Deer Meadows. I hadn't been up that road in a few years, not since my old friend White Man Frank Lewis died, but long before White Man's passing a packrat named Jim had begun hauling wrecked vehicles up into the hills east of Boonville. Jim's place was an eyesore for sure, but Jim, try as he might, still hadn't achieved Dirty George status when he turned in his rusted carburators for angel's wings. 

JIM'S heirs and assignees have overtaken Dirty George and, by now, must be the absolute champs among Mendo land abusers. I believe the bank foreclosed on Jim after he died and, given the shocking state of the place — wrecked industrial detritus piled on top of piles punctuated with uninhabitable house trailers — whole acres of it — whichever bank has title to the place won't be able to give it away. 

A RELATED irony is that this hilltop mess is just down hill from the home of noted enviros Connie Best and Laurie Wayburn in a neighborhood of conservation easements. Someone or someones still lives on Jim's place, managing to carry on Jim's life work of eco-cide. Whoever is there now has continued to haul stuff up the hill and pile it on top of Jim's legacy-treasures. Any other place but Mendocino County, i.e., a place still more or less governed, would have abated Jim while he was still among us. Never happened, and I know there have been complaints because I made one twenty years ago. But this Deer Meadow's atrocity has at last got to go. 

FRIDAY MORNING about 11 there was suddenly a lot of thumping tumult right at the door of Boonville's beloved weekly. I thought a fight had broken out on our front porch. It had. A young couple was wrestling two huge dogs, a fight that had begun next door at the Redwood Drive-In when the dogs broke loose from the couple's van and sprinted next door to our place, probably having spotted a cat. One dog was way too much dog for the Missus, and the Mister could barely subdue the dog he was wrestling. Their teenage daughter, rather than help with the family pacification effort, stood by laughing, not that I could blame her. When the couple finally had their beasts more or less under control — the things were a good 70 pounds each and appeared to me to be laughing — they apologized to me for the disturbance, the most excitement at the office since Colonel Von Umlaut of Greenwood Road had dragged his purple neon booze nose inside for a passive-aggressive visit. Finally, fighting the dogs for control all the way, the dog wrestlers dragged their animals back to their vehicle next door and drove off. I'm still wondering how many times a day they repeat this folly.

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(photo by Larry Wagner)

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When Time Stands Still is a catalogue of my new work you can view it on my website:

Dear Friend,

Hello, from my studio in Anderson Valley, Mendocino County, California. I hope you are well and safe during these extraordinary times.  Many of us are looking for methods to process and accept the monumental changes to our lives and the unknown of our future.  

My method is to continue to make art.  In March, when ordered to shelter in place I was already well into creating a new series of barn paintings.  Aptly barns are shelters in a place hence the new paintings took on a heightened perspective. Each new barn painting offers a quiet refuge.  

Please let me know if you have any questions or insights, I would enjoy hearing from you.  

Also see

For prices and studio appointments contact me by email: 

Rebecca Johnson

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CATCH OF THE DAY, June 7, 2020

Acosta, Andes, Bodwin

RICO ACOSTA, Rio Linda/Ukiah. Suspended license (for DUI), smuggling controlled substances or liquor into jail.

WILLIAM ANDES, Cloverdale/Ukiah. DUI causing bodily injury, prior within last ten years, habitual offender, suspended license (for causing accident with injury), unlawful operation of vehicle without driver’s license.

IVY BODWIN, Willits. Stolen vehicle. (Frequent flyer.)

Cohn, Currier, Flores

KYLE COHN, Willits. Domestic abuse, false imprisonment, resisting. 

EMMETT CURRIER, Willits. Protective order violation.

RICHARD FLORES, Redwood Valley. Robbery, ammo possession by prohibited person, controlled substance for sale, felon-addict with firearm, parole violation.

Floyd, Gauntt, Gutierrez

FAITH FLOYD, Upper Lake. DUI-alcohol&drugs, controlled substance, burgary tools, controlled substance without prescription, paraphernalia.

WILLIAM GAUNTT, Ukiah. Domestic abuse, resisting.

JOSEPH GUTIERREZ, Redwood Valley. Switchblade in vehicle. 

Heppe, Legendre, Norton

PATRICK HEPPE, Fort Bragg. DUI, community supervision violation.

JULIE LEGENDRE, Ukiah. Assault with deadly weapon not a gun.

MICHAEL NORTON, Mascott, Tennessee/Willits. Fugitive from justice, failure to appear.

Romero, Sharp, Sierra, Trueba

SALVADOR ROMERO, Hopland. Assault with deadly weapon not a gun, use of firearm.

MONTE SHARP, Ukiah. Domestic battery.

SAMUEL SIERRA, Ukiah. Stolen property, controlled substance, paraphernalia, conspiracy, probation revocation.

RYAN TRUEBA, Ukiah. Unauthorized removal or alteration of shopping cart, resisting/threatening officer.

* * *


I expected an all out mob assault on the White House tonite [Sat] but so far it hasn’t happened. I think with the right leadership they could pull it off because if they could breach the fence I doubt if the Secret Service or the Marines would fire into the crowd with live .223 rounds. Security details could be overrun. I wouldn’t compare it to the British assault on the White House in 1814. Oh the Brits burned the White House and the rabble in DC tonite would burn the White House to the ground if they could. More like in 403 AD when Barbarians from the east breached the walls of Rome, which was essentially the end of the Roman empire. The city was stripped clean, and it was the beginning of the end for the City of Rome itself as the imperial city. I don’t see any leadership emerging here, no Spartacus, Rospierre, or Trotsky, just a lot of cardboard signs, stupid slogans, looting of luxury goods, senseless destruction and unfocused rage. ‘We are marching for change’, WTF does that mean?

* * *


* * *



Donald Trump is the Antichrist.

If Jesus Christ came back today,

This is what Jesus would say:

”Vote for Joe Biden, folks!”

Trump is a monster, a neo-Nazi.

And his spoiled brat children

Are stupid, dimwitted dolts.

Time’s up for the racist GOP,

Who won’t like the election results!

A big Blue tidal wave is on the way.

Run for the hills, Republicans!

Or go to Moscow!  Just fly away.

Trump is a traitor and a puppet.

Trump is a fool, and Putin loves it!

Donald Trump is a clueless idiot.

And so are you, if you voted for him.

Trump is truly sick, a disgusting pig.

His latest Slavic streetwalker wife

Melania “Red Sparrow” Trump

Won’t even hold Donald’s hand!

(She knows where it’s been.)

Fake Billionaire, Fake Christian,

Fake President Donald Trump,

Just go resign now and shut up!

The American military will not

Give Trump his Tiananmen Square.

So don’t even try going there!

Back to the bunker, big boy.

That’s where Trump belongs.

Just like Trump’s hero Adolf,

Ranting between the bombs.

Resign Donald, you Russian toy.

We’ll build a prison that allows golf.


Jake Pickering


* * *

* * *

SOME PEOPLE WONDER, what has Mississippi got to do with Harlem? It isn’t actually Mississippi; it’s America. America is Mississippi. There’s no such thing as a Mason-Dixon Line — it’s America. There’s no such thing as the South — it’s America. If one room in your house is dirty, you’ve got a dirty house. If the closet is dirty, you’ve got a dirty house. Don’t say that that room is dirty but the rest of my house is clean. You’re over the whole house. You have authority over the whole house; the entire house is under your jurisdiction. And the mistake you and I make is letting those Northern crackers shift the weight to the Southern crackers.

— Malcolm X

* * *

* * *


Here's a very straightforward study demonstrating white privilege beyond any reasonable doubt:

"Job applicants with white names needed to send about 10 resumes to get one callback; those with African-American names needed to send around 15 resumes to get one callback."

White privilege does not mean that every white person has had it easier than every black person. It does not mean that a white person has not had to work hard to get everything they have. It means that, in our society, people with white skin are not handicapped by their skin color in the same way that black people are handicapped by their skin color.”

* * *



  1. Eric Sunswheat June 8, 2020

    RE: No one needs me to give a sermon on any of it because these pages will soon fill with columnists regurgitating what they’ve seen on TV and pulled off the internet, as if any of them has an original idea in their head, or in a paragraph.

    —>. 20 May 2020
    It should be clear to all by now that the claim that SARS-CoV-2 is not genetically engineered is an unproven assumption resting on other unproven assumptions, and does not constitute scientific proof.

    By analogy, we can equate Andersen and colleagues’ “investigation” into the origins of SARS-CoV-2 to a police investigation into a suspicious death that might be a murder or due to natural causes.

    [Note: observe contested letter: ]

    What Andersen and colleagues did was equivalent to looking at the corpse and death scene, drawing up a computer modelling profile of what the murderer (in the event that it was a murder) should look like, but then dismissing a prime suspect because he doesn’t match the profile, and concluding that the death was from natural causes.

    • Craig Stehr June 8, 2020

      Can you coax your mind from its wandering
      and keep to the original oneness?
      Can you let your body become
      supple as a newborn child’s?
      Can you cleanse your inner vision
      until you see nothing but the light?
      Can you love people and lead them
      without imposing your will?
      Can you deal with the most vital matters
      by letting events take their course?
      Can you step back from your own mind
      and thus understand all things?

      Giving birth and nourishing,
      having without possessing,
      acting with no expectations,
      leading and not trying to control:
      this is the supreme virtue. displays a new chapter of the Tao Te Ching everyday, for your enjoyment and enlightenment.

      Translation by Stephen Mitchell, used with permission. © Copyright 2003-2020 Glen D Sanford. All Rights Reserved.

  2. George Hollister June 8, 2020

    Brad Wiley does some good writing on the history of Wendling/Navarro. It is always good to see him in print. A minor detail; Bob Henry Creek is actually Dutch Henry Creek.

  3. James Marmon June 8, 2020


    It’s nice to see that law enforcement is up and running again. However, moving forward, I suspect that their budgets will be decreased with funding being shifted to the Schraeders. Instead of calling 911 people will be advised to call 311. Allman’s mental health training center will be of paramount importance moving forward. The Neuroth wrongful death lawsuit settlement is why he wanted it in the first place. It’s part of the deal.

    James Marmon MSW

    “badges? we don’t need no stinking badges”

  4. Marshall Newman June 8, 2020

    My understanding is that Wendling was renamed Navarro because there already was a Wendling in Oregon, which caused postal service confusion.

  5. James Marmon June 8, 2020

    If qualified immunity is taken from away police officers then it should be taken away from CPS social workers as well.

    Qualified immunity is a legal doctrine in United States federal law that shields government officials from being held personally liable for discretionary actions performed within their official capacity, unless their actions violated “clearly established” federal law or constitutional rights.

    James Marmon MSW
    Former Social Worker V
    Mendocino County Family and Children’s Services (CPS)

    • James Marmon June 8, 2020

      Generally, only judges, prosecutors, legislators, and the highest executive officials of all governments are absolutely immune from liability when acting within their authority. Medical peer review participants may also receive absolute immunity. Ostrzenski v. Seigel, 177 F.

  6. Malcolm Macdonald June 8, 2020

    Another minor quibble with the Navarro history piece: The Albion River railroad did not begin at the mill in Albion. It was constructed eastward from the boom on the Albion River, a couple of miles east of the town and mill. Several years later, construction connected the rail line back to the west to the mill at Albion.

  7. James Marmon June 8, 2020

    The foundational principles of restorative justice have been summarized as follows:

    -Crime causes harm and justice should focus on repairing that harm.

    -The people most affected by the crime should be able to participate in its resolution.

    Now how does that make everyone feel?


    Feelings, nothing more than feelings,
    Trying to forget my feelings of love.
    Tears drops rolling down on my face,
    Trying to forget my feelings of love.
    Feelings, for all my life I’ll feel it.
    I wish I’ve never met you, girl;
    You’ll never come again.
    Feelings, wo-o-o feelings,
    Wo-o-o, feel you again in my arms.
    Feelings, feelings like I’ve never lost you
    And feelings like I’ll never have you
    Again in my heart.
    Feelings, for all my life I’ll feel it.
    I wish I’ve never met you, girl;
    You’ll never come again.
    Feelings, feelings like I’ve never lost you
    And feelings like I’ve never have
    You again in my life.
    Feelings, wo-o-o feelings

  8. Harvey Reading June 8, 2020


    No way am I going to vote for either POS. “Both” fascist parties be damned!

  9. Tim McClure June 8, 2020

    Pictures of world wide protest do stir the soul. Perhaps the daily BS has reached critical mass at home and abroad. Today Caltrans was putting up miles of orange plastic mesh fencing to “protect the environment “ along the highway north of Fort Bragg. Apparently a big repave is in the works.
    Will there be bike lanes to accommodate the non motorized traffic, I inquired of the fellow holding the flag? He looked at me as if I were a time traveler from a forgotten future and assured me that there would be no such accommodation for the non motorized. So as I sat there waiting for the pilot car to return it became clear to me that Caltrans’s idea of saving the environment is to place miles of orange plastic mesh (Which will later end up in the landfill) instead of creating a few extra feet of pavement to make the road safe for cyclists.
    Now take this inane scenario and multiply it by the daily assaults on common sense and you quickly understand the protests of the masses.
    Word to the wise, traveling north out of town it’s shaping up to be a long dry summer of empty idling engines and no bike lanes.

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