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MCT: Saturday, July 25, 2020

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INLAND TEMPERATURES WILL HEAT UP for this weekend as an upper level ridge builds over the West Coast. Coastal areas will remain seasonably cool, with a mostly sunny day today followed by increasing marine layer clouds on Sunday. Persistent dry weather may give way to isolated thunderstorms for some of the interior mountains on Sunday afternoon or Monday. (NWS)

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How regions are defined:

Region Towns
North Coast Caspar, Fort Bragg, Cleone, Newport, Westport, Rockport
South Coast Mendocino, Little River, Albion, Elk, Manchester, Point Arena, Anchor Bay, Gualala
South County Philo, Boonville, Yorkville, Hopland
Ukiah Valley Ukiah, Talmage, Calpella, Redwood Valley, Potter Valley
North County Willits, Brooktrails, Laytonville, Covelo, Dos Rios, Leggett, Piercy

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by Jim Shields

At Tuesday’s (July 21) Board of Supervisors’ meeting, a memo from Planning and Building Director Brent Schultz caught my eye.

It was included in the CEO’s report and it outlined what Schultz characterized as a licensing process now required by the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) “never anticipated when the Cannabis Ordinance was adopted by the County in 2017.”

Schultz goes on to say that, “County staff estimates that one completed CEQA Checklist, as required by CDFA, with a detailed project description will take County staff 16-40 hours to complete per application. This includes research, writing and review, prior to providing the checklist to the applicant so they can attach it to their Annual State Cannabis Cultivation License application. Mendocino County has issued approximately 275 permits. Staff estimates, writing and issuing 275 CEQA Checklists could require 11,000+ staff hours at a cost of hundreds of thousands of dollars, without a mechanism for cost recovery nor would it guarantee approval for an Annual State Cannabis Cultivation License. This particular level of review was never contemplated when the original ordinance was adopted.”

Schultz gloomily concludes, “These processes will also be difficult for our permittees and applicants to navigate, with no guarantee that their cultivation sites will ultimately pass site specific environmental review. Furthermore, because Provisional State Licenses expire January 1, 2022. PBS staff has no confidence that sufficient time remains for active permittees and applicants in the County’s Cannabis Cultivation Permitting Program to obtain all necessary approvals for an Annual State Cannabis Cultivation License to be issued.”

Therefore, it’s possible that untold numbers of County residents may have no way forward to obtain the required state cannabis license.

I disagree with Schultz’s characterization of this development as being “never contemplated when the original ordinance was adopted.”

Here’s why none of these developments should have caught County officials flat-footed and bewildered.

Back on July 18, 2017, just a couple of months after Supervisors approved the new Cannabis Ordinance, the representatives of two state resource agencies, on their own motion, addressed County officials on potential problems with their pot rules.

The two agencies were CalFire and the Department of Fish and Wildlife (DFW).

From the outset of their remarks, the state resource agencies’ reps pointedly but politely bared their fangs on the County’s problematical environmental review process and the enforcement issue.

CalFire’s Unit Resource Manager Craig Pederson spoke on the lack of enforcement regarding tree removal associated with marijuana cultivation.

“CalFire was satisfied with the final ordinance language which clearly prohibited tree removal” for grow sites, Pederson said.

But, he stated, “In practice we find that not to be the case as conversion of timberland to cultivate marijuana has continued.”

He pointed out that “the number of issues and potential CalFire law enforcement cases are escalating …”

He told the Supes, “CalFire encourages the county to promptly and consistently enforce the cultivation ordinance. The ordinance must be enforced by the county, as lead agency, to ensure responsible agencies’ (such as CalFire) written and verbal concerns are addressed.”

He reminded the Supes that the ordinance created a “zero tolerance for tree removal. It doesn’t allow a single (commercial) tree to be removed for cultivation purposes.”

The bottom line for CalFire is they were not happy that they were being forced by the “escalating” tree removal activities of growers to do the enforcement duties that are actually the county’s responsibilities.

Angela Liebenberg, a DFW Sr. Environmental Scientist Specialist, made a series of succinct but no-nonsense recommendations and observations to the Board. I’ve put her comments in quotation marks with bullets.

• “The Department of Fish and Wildlife believes the County should develop and implement a robust enforcement program, with substantial fines for violations of cannabis cultivation rules. The County should also consider hiring additional code enforcement staff as it rolls out its cultivation program.”

Three years following this recommendation, the County’s enforcement mechanism is essentially non existent. As one letter-to-the-editor writer pithily summarized the current situation: “This cannabis season in Covelo has been an explosion of illegal cannabis cultivation in Covelo because: 1) Humboldt does a great job of enforcement and drives all the illegal grows to Covelo because Mendocino has no enforcement infrastructure like Humboldt (sophisticated satellite imaging and active pursuit of enforcement) to perform enforcement; 2) Mendocino County has no coherent cannabis permitting process.”

• “Mitigation measures that were outlined in the County’s CEQA (California Environmental Quality Act) document must be complied with on proposed or existing cultivation sites, or the CEQA document should be revised and recirculated.”

This is one of the issues that PBS Director Schultz says “there is no quick solution for,” even though Ms Leibenberg put the County on notice three years ago that there could be potential problems if there was not internal compliance with the County’s own CEQA document. Who’s responsible for that failure? It’s not some state agency that wrote and approved the County’s CEQA document, it was Mendocino County.

• “The County’s choice to prepare a Mitigated Negative Declaration and rely primarily on avoidance of impacts, means that expansion beyond the baseline (of the approved CEQA document) that the County identified, would require review and according to the (Cannabis) Ordinance, that expansion would not be allowed to impact sensitive resources. Our concerns are with the expansion of cultivation footprints that include potential impacts to natural resources, particularly any that were conducted after the baseline period, including tree removal, and vegetation removal, grading and earthwork, and also increases in the amount of water diversions. Cultivators that violated the Ordinance before applying, for example, by removing trees, as we were discussing, should not be eligible to obtain a County permit. ”

Again, this is another issue clouding the status of the County’s current application program, and it leads to the probable difficulty of a County applicant being approved for a state license. Once again, Ms. Liebenberg placed the County on advance notice with lots of specific detail that there may be a big problem with its cannabis program because its CEQA process may be flawed, and they needed to be monitoring the “expansion of cultivation footprints.” In a nutshell, the County has not, to any serious degree, been monitoring or enforcing its Cannabis Ordinance for the three-plus years it’s been on the books.

• “Lastly, the Department (of Fish and Wildlife) may not be able to rely on the County’s CEQA document for permitting projects under the Lake or Streambed Alteration Agreement Program if the Department determines that projects are not conisistent with the environmental document because those are substantial unmitigated impacts to sensitive fish and wildlife populations or their habitat. So additional CEQA review may be required in order to go through our process if it’s not covered under the County’s (environmental) document. That’s all I have. Thank you.”

It should be noted that following Ms. Liebenberg’s cautionary and detailed prsentation, not a single County official at that 2017 meeting said nary a word with the exception of Board Chairman John McCowen who thanked her.

Recently I wrote once again that by any process of program evaluation or measure of a program’s effectiveness, the Mendocino County cannabis ordinance is an abysmal failure. I said that there’s really only one viable option left to the County, and it appears there may be a couple of Supervisors who see it that way also, with McCowen and Ted Williams perhaps favoring a change in direction. 

What needs to be done is repeal in most parts, the existing non-workable cultivation ordinance, thereby deferring to the state’s regulatory framework, rules and regulations. Don’t waste any more time unloading responsibility and accountability on the state when Mendocino County rules and regulations aren’t working. Get rid of convoluted and redundant local regulations, adopt the state’s basic framework, bring the county into line with the state on many levels, from code definitions to licensing types, and the result will be an exceptionally lean and streamlined process that focuses locally on land use rules setting out where and how much pot can be grown in Mendocino County (most likely just on Ag Land with a one-half to one-acre cap, and Range Land with legacy growers grandfathered in with transferability rights, and a smaller cap than Ag Land’s).

Equally important is for the County to begin enforcing its ordinance, whether it be the current one or a new streamlined version. They don’t need to hire additional employees to do it. For years, the Treasurer-Tax Collector has used aerial and now GPS imaging to adjust property tax rolls. It’s a simple before-and-after photographic process. If a new structure is found on a property that wasn’t there before, a notice is sent to the property owner to come in and discuss the situation and get legal.

The original aerial reconnaissance program implemented by the Treasurer-Tax Collector was the idea of John Pinches when he was on the BOS back in the 1990s, when the county was going through one of its perpetual flirtations with bankruptcy. He saw it as a way for the tax department to get what it was owed without having to send inspectors out into the field, a time-consuming and employee-intensive effort.

The same thing can be done with cannabis. In fact, Humboldt County has that system in place right now; it’s the main enforcement tool they utilized under their pot ordinance. Mendocino County should be doing the same thing. 

(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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A LITTLE FURTHER INTO GLEN BLAIR. This is what a mill town that doesn't go in for tourism looks like when it retires. Glen Blair produced a lot of lumber and several hundred amazing childhoods over the years. 

The mill closed in the 1930s and everybody moved away. The new pictures are about where a row of houses and the one-room schoolhouse were. There's some old lumber by the side of the road, but I think it's from something later. You'd never guess a town used to be there, except for the funny, narrow roads and the ivy everywhere (ivy doesn't usually grow in the redwoods). Also, old roses and daisies here and there. The flowers last longer than anything else.

— Chris Calder (Glen Blair, near Fort Bragg)

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THE UKIAH DAILY JOURNAL DOES A GREAT JOB covering this huge project presenting the history of our county in pictures (and sometimes words, in inscriptions, painted documents and even newspapers.) I would add that in addition to the great historical series published by the Journal, the staff and volunteers at the Mendocino County Historical Society have been fantastic sources sources for me. (Lauren Sinnott)

Artist adds Mendocino County wine pioneers to historical mural in downtown Ukiah

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Construction crews are expected to complete the main water lines this week and begin testing and tie-ins between Church Street and Henry Street--this is where we get connected to the new water lines! The crews are also expected to begin the final section of the sewer line between Smith and Henry. This work is expected to begin the week of August 3rd, but may begin as early as Friday, July 31st. Once this work begins, through traffic on State Street will shift from the northbound lanes to the southbound lanes. This phase of the project is expected to be complete within the next three-four weeks; then the crews will shift to the south end of the project between Mill and Church. 

Pedestrian access to businesses will be maintained at all times. Please note that, while we make our best effort to forecast construction impacts, this is inherently messy work that is subject to change based on conditions in “the field.”

Where will the work occur? 

Replacement of water lines and sewer lines will occur on State Street between Church and Henry Streets.

What are the construction days/hours? 

Next week’s construction days/hours are scheduled for Monday-Friday, 6:00 a.m. - 6 p.m. 

Will there be night work? 

No. There is no night work scheduled this week.

Will there be dust and noise? 

Yes.There will be ongoing dust and noise due to trenching and truck and equipment activity in the construction area. 

Will there be any disruptions to parking access or streets? 

Yes. Through traffic will be maintained on State Street, but will be reduced to two lanes with limitations to parking on South State Street between Church and Henry Streets. 

There will be intermittent short-term (several hours up to full-day) closures on the following streets: Church, Perkins, Standley, and Smith. We will post updates on these closures on our Facebook page at

Portions of State Street between Church and Henry Streets will be closed this week in the early morning from 6:00 a.m. – 7:30 a.m.

Henry Street will be closed this week

More information can be found online on the City’s website at, or follow our Facebook page for updates and photos at 

As always, please feel free to contact me directly if you have questions or concerns. Stay well, Everyone!


Shannon Riley, Deputy City Manager
City of Ukiah
300 Seminary Avenue
Ukiah, California 95482
(707) 467-5793

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CHICAGO'S finger-to-the-political-winds mayor has removed Christopher Columbus from the city’s Grant Park in the middle of the night to avoid, she said, "a confrontation between police and protesters." Mayor Lightfoot had previously disagreed with removing the statue as “erasing history.” There had been street battles between police and history cancellers earlier in the week when protesters tried to pull the statue down. Columbus opened the New World gates to Europeans. and immediately commenced slaughtering the welcoming committee. 

Bartoleme de Las Casas, 1542: “The Spanish explorers forced their way into native settlements, slaughtering everyone they found there, including small children, old men, pregnant women, and even women who had just given birth. They hacked them to pieces, slicing open their bellies with their swords as though they were so many sheep herded into a pen. They even laid wagers on whether they could slice a man in two at a stroke, or cut an individual’s head from his body, or disembowel him with a single blow of their axes. They grabbed suckling infants by the feet and, ripping them from their mothers’ breasts, dashed them headlong against the rocks. Others, laughing and joking all the while, threw them over their shoulders, shouting, ‘Wriggle, you little perisher’.” 

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COVID-19: schools, watch list

Mendocino County Public Health Officer Dr Noemi Doohan presented details about school waivers relative to the state watchlist. Please support schools. They are in an impossible situation, sandwiched between state policy, limited resources, surging cases and polarized positions. They recognize the flaws of distance programs, but also the health needs of students, staff and community at large. It's a no-win situation subject to abrupt changes. All levels of school staff and trustees deserve our support. 

To the extent in-person school learning is allowed by the state and possible under current pandemic conditions, the decision will be left to local districts. Consensus guidelines by the RANCHO (Rural Association of Northern California Health Officers) have not yet gained endorsement from the State, but we are continuing to advocate for approval of these guidelines. 

CDPH says as soon as the States data tracking system shows that we have 100 cases in 14 days, we will be placed on the official watchlist (actual number 100 cases per 100K population). It is taking us 2 weeks to get test results and it is taking the state 2 weeks to reflect our data. The States data is about 4 weeks behind our real time reality. The State shows we have 84 cases in last 14 days whereas we know we have had closer to 140 (we are seeing 10 new cases per day now). There is 100% probability we will be going on the watchlist, because our data already qualifies us. 

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STEPHEN ROSENTHAL raises an old Mendo question: With all the money the county shovels at Mr. and Mrs. Schraeder: roughly twenty annual millions — to provide "services" to people badly in need of rescue, how is it that people like Andrew Maynard are ignored, allowed to commit public suicide via alcohol?

"Andrew Maynard is the next Charles Hensley. Book it, Danno. Instead of Marmon’s mantra “Where’s the money, Camille”, why isn’t the County asking “Where’s Camille”?"

MR. MAYNARD can't be converted to cash. He's not reimbursable, thus a dead man walking until he dies somewhere on a Ukiah. He is not "severely mentally ill," if you assume perpetual inebriation is sane.

EDEN VALLEY. Never made the trip myself, but Willits friends have said they'd hiked to Eden Valley off Hearst Road east of town. I bring it up because I noticed the appended item from that master of eclectic information, Paul McCarthy of the essential Mendocino Sports Plus. Hidden away in the mountainous vastness east of Willits, not far from Covelo, Eden Valley is infamous though virtually unknown as the site where a decade of genocidal attacks began against the Native Americans of inland Mendocino County and much of Humboldt County, the attempt at wholesale human erasure beginning when Judge Serranus Hastings lost a prize stallion to the Indians whose Eden he'd appropriated for himself as a horse-breeding ranch. (Hastings made his permanent home in Benicia.) Hastings' foreman, a 6'7" psychopath called Texas Boy Hall had promised a dozen Eden men canvas shirts they coveted if they'd hump Hastings sea-shipped furniture from Mendocino, where it had been offloaded, to Eden Valley via the ancient trail along what is now Branscomb Road, through Long Valley (Laytonville) and on to Eden. When the Indians arrived with the goods, Hall stiffed them for the shirts. In retaliation, the Indians killed Hastings' stallion. And In retaliation for the death of the horse, Hall and a posse of recreational Indian kiillers, wiped out the Indians of Eden Valley while Hastings, California's first chief justice, demanded that California pay Indian killers per scalp to eliminate all the Indians of inland Mendocino County. Upon his death in 1893, Hastings left a million dollars to the University of California and a grateful university named its law school after him. If ever an historical figure deserved cancellation, it's this man.

FROM MSP: "An MSP inland "pilot pal" sent along a few views of an airstrip we NEVER knew existed. Our friend said, "Hi Paul! We pilots over here are curious about Eden Valley airstrip south of Covelo. It’s odd because it shows up as a 'U' on our sectional... Anyways, it’s big money tucked away in the middle of nowhere lol! 

I guess we pilots are nosey as we fly over lol!"

MSP did a little research - and found the name of the airport in question is the Albert Seeno Jr. Airstrip.

A little more research found the airstrip is: "Part of Eden Valley Ranch, California Private Land Management land in Mendocino County, belonging to Mr. Albert Seeno, Jr. of Peppermill Casinos - approximately 20,789 acres.

We saw a comment from 2014 saying, "Beautiful ranch, my husband and I were ranch managers for them a few years back. Great people to work for and with! 6 years ago."

Someone else commented, "I don't even think you can get here by car. I'm wrong about that. It's just very inconvenient to do so."

And the Peppermill Casino? It's in Reno: (From Wikipedia: "Before Peppermill Reno grew into the resort, spa, and casino that it is today, the Peppermill Coffee Shop and Lounge was opened on April 23, 1971 by lifelong friends Nat Carasali and Bill Paganetti.[2] The Peppermill expanded into gambling in 1979, and a small casino and motor lodge was opened in 1980. In 1986, the casino underwent a major expansion adding a convention center and hotel tower."

"Peppermill Reno Resort Spa Casino

Experience the eco-conscious Peppermill Resort Spa Casino, Reno’s Premier AAA Four Diamond resort, boasting 1,621 luxurious guest rooms including the 600-room all-suite Tuscany Tower. Embark on a pampered journey at the remarkable three-story, 33,000-square-foot Spa & Salon Toscana featuring 24 treatment rooms, Northern Nevada’s only Caldarium with indoor pool, sun deck and full-service salon.

Enjoy slots, table games and poker in the 82,000-square-foot casino and race & sports book. Resort amenities include a posh 9,900-square-foot fitness center; two beautiful pools and three outdoor jetted spas, heated with on-site geothermal energy; designer boutique shopping, free WiFi Internet access for all guests; An exciting assortment of bars and lounges, including the iconic Fireside Lounge; and 9 award-winning restaurants offering authentic Chinese, inspired Italian, steaks and chops, seafood, deli and café dining."

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Meeting Minutes

Mendocino County Climate Action Advisory Committee May 15th 1:00 - 4:00pm PT

Present: Jennifer Mayne, Tess Albin-Smith, Susan Sher, Shai Larsen, Marie Jones, Ellen Drell, Michael Potts, Cathy Monroe, John Nickerson, Patrick Hentschel, Raul Gardea. 

Absent: Walter Smith, Javier Silva, Jade Swor (resigned), Mac Lojowsky 

Public Comment on Non-Agenda Items 

Comment from Alicia Littletree: Thank you for continuing to prioritize climate. 

Other members of the public who announced themselves: Alicia Littletree, Neil Davis, Elisha Hardy, Richard Hubacek. 

Climate Action Committee Introductions, Review of Agenda, and Consider Approval of Minutes from the March 16th MCCAC. (See Attachment Item 3). 

 On the agenda order, John Nickerson noted that baseline analysis in Agenda item 5 should be considered an Agenda item 6, Ad Hoc Committee Report. 

Marie notes that Agenda Items 5,6, & 7 are all linked. 

Receive Report and Consider Adoption of a Resolution Declaring that Climate Change is an Emergency and Consider Recommending that the Board of Supervisors Adopt Same (Action). - Presented & Facilitated by Susan Sher. 

This item was presented by Susan Sher who expanded on Cathy Monroe’s initial draft of the document. Cathy Monroe, John Nickerson, Jennifer Mayne and Patrick Hentschel participated. 

Susan mentioned that Supervisor Ted Williams made one revision on the document and has committed to holding space for the resolution during a future Board of Supervisors’ Meeting. 

Committee had a discussion about rewording line 75 to read: Whereas, the County of Mendocino must do everything in its power to swiftly convert to an ecologically, socially, and financially sustainable economy. 

Michael Potts made a motion to adopt the Resolution Declaring that Climate Change is an Emergency. Cathy Monroe seconded the motion. Marie Jones conducted a roll call vote: 

The Resolution Declaring that Climate Change is an Emergency was adopted unanimously by the committee. 

Michael Potts volunteered to finalize the resolution (moving the footnotes, revising the language per above, keeping sideline numbers). Michael will send the final document as an attachment to all members of the Board of Supervisors, and ask Ted Williams for the date of the Board of Supervisors meeting during which the Resolution will be put forth. Michael will report back. 

Agenda Item 5 was looped into Agenda Item 6 per John Nickerson’s comment above. 

Receive Brief (10 minute each) presentation from each Ad Hoc Committee Regarding Proposed Work Plan and Activities to Date. 

Receive Report and Consider Possible Action on Climate Change Baseline Analysis (Committee presentation) (See Attachment Item 5). 

Presented and facilitated by John Nickerson. Report Participants: Walter Smith, Cathy Monroe, Ellen Drell, Javier Silva and John Nickerson, with Elisha Hardy as an adopted member from the public. The participants have met three times since the last full committee meeting. 

The Ad Hoc Committee developed a rationale for why there’s a baseline of emission in carbon storage on the county level to establish mitigation and test how we’re doing in the future by monitoring against the baseline. The county has a mandate that a baseline be developed. John reviewed the report, fielded feedback and discussion from committee members. John noted that this represents a desired strategy, noted the committee recommendation to not push sewage down, and to be cautious in what we endeavor. Marie Jones and Michael Potts volunteered to help the Ad Hoc Committee. 

Public Comment received via chat by Neil Davis recommending the Mendocino Council of Governments as a reference for the transportation analysis. 

Receive Brief Presentation and Prioritize First Recommendation Action Items and Develop Strategy to Present the Items to the Board of Supervisors Presented by Coast Ad Hoc Group (See Attachment Item 7) 

The Coast Ad Hoc Committee presented an update on the First Recommendations Document, presented by Michael Potts. Jennifer Mayne, Marie Jones and Patrick Hentschel will submit recommended language, John Nickerson and Tess Albin-Smith will work together on the fire safety element. Michael asked the committee to send comments about specific and additional elements to him via email. Michael to check all the links. Michael to help capture an introduction of the purpose of the document. 

Receive Report and Consider Proposal to Work on Establishing a Public Bank. Presented by Patrick Hentschel.

This item was presented by Patrick Hentschel for initial consideration on working to establish a public bank and divestment. 

Public comment received by Madge, who recommended a regional effort with Sonoma County and others, supporting the idea. 

Discuss ways to better involve the public and develop a strategy to track and record specific ideas and suggestions from the public. Discussion facilitated by Michael Potts and Jennifer Mayne. 

This item was presented by Jennifer Mayne. Committee discussed ways to further involve the public, including roundtable meetings, virtual meetups, notation of public follow up in the minutes, participation on Ecology Hour with Patrick Hentschel volunteered to be a resource on. 

Public comment received from Richard Hubacek regarding the Little River Environmental Action Committee at the Woods and some of their overlapping efforts including fire safety. 

Public comment received from Madge regarding the North Inland Group and using Zoom as a public forum. Ellen Drell to follow up with Madge. 

Election of Officials: Chair, Vice-Chair and Secretary (Action). 

Next meeting confirmed for Friday, July 17, 2020 from 1pm to 4pm.

ms notes: The Climate Change “Action” advisory committee was voted into existence a year ago and had their first meeting in November of last year. They have still not presented anything to the Supervisors including their long-awaited resolution declaring that climate change was an “emergency.” They have not discussed a single specific proposal which, if implemented, would make even the slightest difference to Mendo’s carbon footprint or contribution to global warming, much less presented anything to the Supervisors, despite the “emergency.”

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CATCH OF THE DAY, July 24, 2020

Delvalle, Edge, Gonzalez

AMANDA DELVALLE, Ukiah. Suspended license (with priors), probation revocation.

LEGAN EDGE, Fort Bragg. Criminal threats, disobeying court order. 

MINDY GONZALEZ, Ukiah. DUI-alcohol&drugs, no license, paraphernalia, failure to appear.

Hidalgo, Johnston, Lilly

THOMAS HIDALGO, Ukiah. Domestic abuse.

DESI JOHNSTON, Laytonville. Burglary.

MATASHIA LILLY, Willits. Disorderly conduct-alcohol.

Linton, Ramirez, Zambrano

CHRISTOPHER LINTON, Ukiah. Domestic abuse, false imprisonment, protective order violation.

BERNABE RAMIREZ-SANTACRUZ, Modesto/Covelo. Controlled substance while armed, loaded handgun-not registered owner, paraphernalia. 

JAIME ZAMBRANO, Ukiah. Domestic battery, parole violation.

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In Monday's San Francisco Chronicle there was a front page article about a study done about the Bay Area in 2050. It projects the Bay Area's population to increase from 7.66 million in 2015 to 10.33 million in 2050.

I expect Marin County where I lived to have low population growth until 2050 due to its exclusive nature. I guess that Sonoma County where I might end up living will have at least modest population growth.

I took a drive over to the East Bay last week and stopped at a very large shopping plaza in Pinole right next to the I-80 freeway. For in few minutes while driving in the huge parking lot searching for a space I felt overwhelmed by the relentless stream of cars and pedestrians on all sides of me. I wanted to use a Wells Fargo ATM but there were six people in line. So I left the shopping plaza.

The East Bay of course is more urbanized than Marin County in terms of the number and density of people and traffic. In the I-80 corridor where I was in Pinole there are always going to be additional people and vehicles from outside the immediate region, from Alameda County, Eastern Contra Costa County, Solano County, the Central Valley and even from out of state (long-haul trucks).

For me the issue of overpopulation goes beyond obvious concerns like food production and housing. It goes to the psychological and emotional strain of nonstop overstimulation and competition, competition not just in the areas of employment, social status and finding mates, but everyday realities like space on streets and highways, parking spots, tables at restaurants, seats at a ballgame or concert or movie theater.

In other words, more people equals more competitors.

I know some people, especially a certain type of male, get off on a reality of constant competition and running on adrenaline. But to me when urban civilization feels like being in a psychic war zone most of the time, I do not believe that's really a "civilization."

Keith Bramstedt

San Anselmo

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VACCINE DEBATE with Robert Kennedy, Jr., environmental attorney, and Alan Dershowitz, constitutional attorney...

Marco McClean:

So neither one knows jack squat about medical science. One of them is famous for being a rabid anti-vaccination propagandist and conspiracy theorist and the other one is a right-wing blowhard militantly Zionist close friend of child-sex-trafficker Jeffrey Epstein, not to mention a competing conspiracy theorist. Furthermore, "The deposition of Virginia Guiffre and other materials that include sex allegations made against Alan Dershowitz have been ordered unsealed by a federal judge today." (2020-07-23)

There's a cartoon where people sit on either end of a park bench. One is a woman dressed like a normal person, and on the other end is a man in an elaborate comic-book-person costume with gauntlets, knee-high boots, domino mask, and swept-backwings for ears on the helmet. Masked man says, "My superpower is to turn everything into a conspiracy theory." I'd say his work is done here, in this timeline; he can retire.

I've been thinking about small-time, short-term money making opportunities, surveying how others do it, for a model to work from. People on the listserv make money showing other people how to bend over and stand up again and how to sit on the ground and pull their leg up behind their ear, for health, and there's a woman renting out her psychic horses for you to hug them and learn equanimity, hence the term. That's kind of sweet and likely really works; who doesn't like a nice horse? For awhile there was a man who would, for money, tell you to shout Hah! or Sah! or Kah!/--something Ah!-- and get your arm in the way if someone ever tries to punch you in the eye, or use the edge of a book or clipboard to stop an attacker's or an insulter's breath by whacking them in the windpipe. Again, useful. I know there used to be people who claimed to massage your cancer away without even touching you, or turn your eyes an entirely different, much lighter color by reaching up inside your butt (!) and pulling out something to disparage as not the optimum kind of shit, but that's not in style anymore, and thank Christ, because I don't even like to think about that; I recognize my intolerance on the subject.* Also foot reflexology, which the shit-quality critic and eye-color guru also did, as well as palm reading. There was a tarot card reader and "rune stone" (colored pebbles) reading fortune teller.

There was an old woman who had an $800 electric thing to shock your feet and so put your chi-path molecules into healthful alignment and incidentally protect you from 5G rays, but she screwed off to the supportive listserv where there's no discouraging word for that sort of nonsense. There must be tons of money in that if you can afford $800 for a broken heating pad, but she threw in also teaching people to hop up and down, so. There's a woman who sells fertilizer with a drop of special Russian magic in it that turns away arrows, throwing stars, revolution, and 5G. It's not all about 5G, but this is clearly the time to focus on that. Essential oils also fight 5G; though you might think the tradeoff of, say, lavender essential oil being as powerful an endocrine disruptor as epoxy resin would put a kink in sales, I guess nobody cares about that, and they line up to buy it and wait by the mailbox for it to come. I wouldn't be surprised if it works equally well against 6G and COVID-20 through 25 too.

With all that in mind, here's just one of my ideas: I think I can pretty reliably align you with your true spirit furniture. I'm sure you've had the experience of getting a piece of furniture that looked clever in the estate sales store, but when you got it home and sat in it, displayed your dishes on it, or put your underwear in it, or lay down across it, it was off somehow, the ghost of the old person who died owning it was oppressive, or the style didn't match the drapes, or it reeked of lavender --whatever, it was too much trouble to reverse the process and get it out of your life, much less get your money back from the sort of people who, you know, sell real things, and you can't be arsed to bury an egg and a valuable earring in a cemetery at midnight or any of that stuff from the Old Country. This is the new age and the whole style is different (*see above).

Here's how it works: Send me a digital image of the furniture you're thinking of buying, and send it with a story about you and some triumph or trouble in your life, or maybe a poem. I will read your writing on the radio (safe, familiar zero-G radio), carve mysterious figures in the air with my fingers and meditate on the whole situation of you, and I will tell you whether that is your true spirit couch, or spirit armoire, or spirit spatula or blender or car --it can be anything. When you buy it and get it home, if I'm right, and I will be right, and you continue to love it and have no buyer's remorse, you can mail me a check for ten percent of what you paid for it, and we'll call it square. If I'm wrong, you pay me nothing. This is a much better deal than you'll get from your doctor or veterinarian or therapist or just about any other professional, where your dog or your middle child dies or you're stuck addicted to alcohol or porn and/or personal drama, and somehow we've all been trained to not think there's anything weird about how you still have to pay them thousands of dollars for botching the one job you gave them, in the worst way possible. With me, when you lose, I'm sorry for your loss and you can keep your money and buy a pizza, or a whole herd of pizzas.

But there's more: I'm sure I'm not the only one capable of confidently imagining he has this talent. For a fee, I will certify you to go into business and cash in on this and other opportunities on your own, to the un-limit of your potential. Manifest Your Spiritual Thing. Imagine yourself a certified practitioner-- pay the very fair fee-- and you are! Get in on the ground floor, put a twist on it, make it yours, call it anything you want, and license and certify others.

There. A bright future, if only you have the (figurative) balls to reach out and squeeze some money out of it.

* * *

PALM SPRINGS is where Nixon came to lick his wounds after resigning the presidency, Mamie Eisenhower to get tanked and Betty Ford to dry out. It’s also where JFK had his fateful assignation with Marilyn Monroe on March 25, 1962, at Bing Crosby’s estate.

It wasn’t supposed to come down that way. Frank Sinatra, who had shuttled dozens of starlets to the Kennedy brothers, had been expecting JFK to make his house a presidential getaway. Indeed, Sinatra had sunk a lot of cash into a new security system and a helicopter pad just for Kennedy’s benefit. Then pious Bobby intervened, citing Sinatra’s fruitful relationship with Sam Giancana, among other mobsters. Sinatra fumed and shifted his loyalties to the Republicans. In 1969, he hosted Spiro Agnew, who, upon arriving in town, announced to the press corps: “It’s nice to be in Palm Beach.”

One redeeming virtue of old Palm Springs is that it served as a relatively safe harbor for many Hollywood gays, from Rock Hudson to Liberace, who partied at places like the Desert Palm Inn and the New Lost World Resort (formerly Desi Arnez and Lucille Ball’s compound), which has become one of the most opulent gay and lesbian getaways on the planet. (Of course, the city was also a refuge of last resort for wealthy butchers, such as the family of the Shah of Iran. But out here that just comes with the territory.)

If gays were tolerated, the same can’t be said for other oppressed classes, such as Jews and blacks. Until the early Fifties Jews were permitted to stay in only one hotel in town and that one discreetly identified them with a “J” beside their names in the desk ledger. Blacks were simply not welcome at all, except as golf caddies, as Jack Benny discovered when he tried to book a room for his partner Rochester.

But the great Palms Springs dream is distilled to its essence in this passage from Mungo describing The Cloisters, Liberace’s house: “The house is across the street from a Catholic church, Our Lady of Solitude, where sandwiches are passed out daily to the homeless who loiter in the vicinity. Inside, Liberace’s toilet is a throne, with armrests and a high back done up in red velvet. The shower curtain features replicas of Michelangelo’s David, while the wallpaper is decorated with Greek couples fucking in every imaginable position. There is a Gloria Vanderbilt suite, a Rudolph Valentino room (Liberace’s middle name was Valentino, and the Great Lover was an early Palm Springs celebrity who made several pictures here in the twenties), a room wallpapered in tiger skin, a Marie Antoinette suite, a bath with mirrored walls and ceiling and a pool-sized Jacuzzi, and a collection of strange bric-a-brac and junk no thrift could unload, including plastic birthday cakes and a life-sized stuffed male doll with erect penis. Into this world he introduced his young escorts, took his pills and kept his cranky mother.”

Yes, those were the halcyon days; it’s all been downhill since. 

— Jeff St. Clair

* * *

* * *


by Paul Modic

(I have a “me too” moment)

I swear I didn't intend to sexually harass the attractive intake worker at the doctor's office but now she refuses to see me and they send this big beefy guy instead. It all started a couple weeks ago when I went in for a blood draw and saw her wearing yoga pants. A couple weeks later when she was taking my vital signs I happened to mention that I enjoyed seeing her in her yoga pants. (Don't worry it gets way worse.) One symptom of this mysterious and undiagnosed illness is reduced libido but seeing those yoga pants kind of woke me up.

“Yeah I like to keep 'em guessing,” she said.

“Really.” I said. “I've been having reduced libido with this cold or whatever it is and those yoga pants might just snap me out of it. You are sexy!” There, I pretty much told her I wanted to fantasize about her. (Which I did of course so really she's a healer before her time, si?)

The next time I went in I had my apology all ready but I got the big dude again so I had to pass it on through him. I mentioned it to the doc and he said he heard something but what was the story? I gave him the basics and said, “Can't I plead temporary insanity? Blame it on my illness?” After all, she had checked my vitals at least ten or so times over the last couple years and I had always behaved acceptably.

My blood pressure was up and the doc had to recheck it. Had the big Humboldt boy mixed up the numbers on purpose? Or was I affected by being rejected by Angela? Oh well…

* * *


by James Kunstler

When Portland, OR, Mayor Ted Wheeler dropped in to check out the “peaceful protest” action down at the Federal courthouse Wednesday night in his spiffy REI riot casuals and dual purpose Covid-19/riot mask with matching riot goggles, he seemed a little surprised to find himself in the midst of… a riot. Perhaps he had not been following all the Twitter videos of what looked like a Road Warrior free-for-all, what with the Antifa soldiers ripping down fences, banging wrecking bars through the ground-floor protective barriers, shooting roman candles and laser-beams at the pitifully small crew of federal officers, and hurling rocks, bottles, human waste, and anything else at hand at them in their determination to bum-rush the entrance and burn the place down.

Mayor Wheeler also serves as the city’s police commissioner, but he apparently forgot to notify the department that something might require their attention down there on SW Third Ave. The Feds were on their own. Mayor Ted made his way to the front of the mob, pulled on his chin while surveying the colorful scene and then — surprise — the mob discovered he was among them and turned its ire on him, crying, in Antifa vernacular, “Fuck you, Ted” and “Resign, asshole!” As a few bottles and gobs of suspicious liquid flew his way he began to comprehend that his grandstanding wasn’t appreciated, and he withdrew to the safety of his nearby mayoral aerie with his security detail.

Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler trimmed for speed, with security back-up.

Afterward, in a press release, he observed: “What I saw last night was powerful in many ways. I listened, heard, and stood with protesters. And I saw what it means when the federal government unleashes paramilitary forces against its own people.”

Yes, it was a “teachable moment” for Mayor Ted, as so many acts of violent idiocy are supposed to be in this summer of social justice, a national struggle session à la Mao Zedong to re-educate the obtusely privileged multitudes to the insidious menace of “systemic racism.” 

How’s it working? Well, those multitudes are taking it all in, for sure, and perhaps concluding on their own that a teachable moment is not exactly the same as a leadership moment, and that this phantom of systemic racism may not be all that it’s cracked up as.

Anyway, Mayor (and Police Commish) Ted soon hurled his own thunderbolt at the Feds — a citation for obstructing a city bike path by placing protective fences on it. There’s leadership for you! Take that, Donald Trump, you big Hitlerscheiss

Perhaps Mayor Ted is thinking his exemplary valor may put him in a position to replace the mentally-disabled Democratic Party front-runner, Joe Biden, as the nauseating task of actually daring to nominate him approaches in just a few weeks (and if She-Whose-Turn-Was-Cancelled stands aside).

As for the Antifas, a tiny corner of one’s moral sensibility must be reserved to pity their plight. Nobody can say for sure how many are drawn from the student body of nearby Portland State University — a hothouse of Wokesterism — a few blocks from Riot Central. But I bet a lot of them. There, they have been rigorously trained in critical race theory, intersectionality, gender studies, and all the other preparations for a fruitful adulthood in Wokesterdom, and now, alas, the diversity departments all over the land are not hiring! What to do?

The global economy is in a tailspin from corona virus, actually close to augering clean into ground-zero, and their services may not be required… for anything! I’d be demoralized, too, were I twenty years old. To make matters worse, the cafes, craft beer joints, and twee little vegan lunch bars are shut down, along with the music halls and every other arts venue, and who has any money? Their intersectional bodies are roiling with youthful hormones, with an assist from weed and other stimulants. What better way to work off all that energy on a warm summer night than to riot in the streets against a society that has actually prepared them for nothing except protesting the unfairness of life.

Back in what’s left of the real world of adults ‘n’ stuff, though, there is the age-old question of public order. Evidently, the Democratic-brand mayors and governors think they see a political advantage in chaos, the destruction of property, and bodily injury to citizens, including murder. What exactly was Mayor Ted Wheeler doing at the riot down at Portland’s Federal Building on Wednesday night? Was he showing support for the action? Sure looked like it. And is it possible that Governor Kate Brown approves and encourages it, too? She has not used the Oregon State Police to restore order. Maybe it’s time to just bypass the game-playing before any more people get hurt and charge these politicians with assisting insurrection under federal law (18 U.S. Code § 2383). And put them on trial in the same building that their Antifa mob is trying to burn down.

(Support Kunstler’s writing by visiting his Patreon Page.)


Portland Mayor Wheeler actually got up and spoke to the crowd, like that other political failure, Mayor Jacob Frey of Minneapolis. Wheeler declared his support for BLM. He was asked if he would “defund” the police. He said no, he would not. He was quickly shouted down. He had a group of plain clothes police officers around him the entire time to protect him since the rioters next to the Mark O. Hatfield Federal Courthouse have repeatedly and violently assaulted numerous persons, some quite egregiously, often at random. He was later pelted with water and water bottles and had to be shielded when he was grabbed by several rioters as he returned to the “Justice Center”, ie. the central police station, located next to the Hatfield Courthouse.

Background on Ted Wheeler: He is the descendant of the founder of one of the six companies that were combined to created Willamette Industries, a large timber company that was purchased by Weyerhaeuser in 2002 for nearly $8 billion. He possesses an elite educational trifecta pedigree, having earned degrees from Stanford, Columbia and Harvard. He is personally worth north of $10 million. His mother just passed away, so perhaps he stands to inherit more money. His wife of many years has announced she is divorcing him, and thus he has moved out their house. 

He faces a close run-off race for reelection as mayor, having failed to garner >50% of the primary vote total. His opponent is far further left politically than he is, so it is plausible that he is attempting to carve off a piece of her supporters by showing some sympathy towards their support for anarchical behavior that has been tolerated in Portland for the better part of four years.

On balance, Ted Wheeler has been the worst mayor in Portland in a long, long time. However, there are a number of mind-numbing radicals lining up to serve on Portland City Council, intent on implementing all sorts of social planning schemes to satisfy their moralization in the midst of this Great Awakening religious revival.

* * *

* * *


In Sonoma Valley about an hour north of San Francisco, there are many reminders of the immigrants who built California's wine industry: tasting rooms that look like Italian villas or signs bearing French names. But you won't see any vestiges of the group that made up an estimated 80 percent of the workforce that first put Sonoma vineyards on the map: the Chinese.

* * *

DON'T WAIT to be hunted to hide, that's always been my motto.

— Samuel Beckett

* * *



  1. George Hollister July 25, 2020

    “Columbus opened the New World gates to Europeans. and immediately commenced slaughtering the welcoming committee.”

    Not true. Christopher Columbus was a Portuguese trained mariner from Italy who convinced the King and Queen of Spain to fund a financial venture that would find a shorter sea trade route to Asia. What he inadvertently did in the process was discover two new continents. He died not knowing this. He did not commence slaughtering anyone. But what he did do was change the course of history like no man has ever done. Remove all the statues of Columbus, for whatever boneheaded reasons, this reality can not go away. We can blame Columbus for everything bad, and everything good since 1492 because there is little that has happened since that has not been greatly influenced by what he did.

    • Harvey Reading July 30, 2020

      Tear ’em all down. George is peddling pure BS, as he always does. North America was known of long before Columbus landed, just as people knew the world was spherical long before he did. He treated the native people like dirt, too, selling their women into sexual slavery and claiming their lands in the name of the eurotrash Spanish monarchy (after “informing” them of what was happening by reading some edict written in Spanish). Read some real history people. Columbus was nothing more than greedy eurotrash; nothing worth memorializing about him.

  2. Eric Sunswheat July 25, 2020

    RE: So neither one knows jack squat about medical science. One of them is famous for being a rabid anti-vaccination propagandist and conspiracy theorist…
    (Marco McClean)

    —> July 06, 2020
    Olive leaf extract has only recently come to the scientific fore to assess its role in immunity. Known as antioxidant-rich, olive leaves contain a polyphenolic compound called oleuropein. In 2016, New Zealand researchers gave 20 ml/day olive leaf extract to 29 healthy men for eight weeks.20 They found the group taking the olive leaf extract had a significant response within the type of white blood cells called peripheral blood mononuclear cells, which includes T cells, B cells, NK cells and monocytes. Analysis of genetic behavior showed the olive leaf extract turned on genes responsible for promoting immune balance.

    —>. February 15, 2019
    Squats will always light up your glutes and quads. But the cardio king of the squat family—the squat jack—does so much more. For starters, it burns calories like crazy. And since you crank out tons of squats in a short amount of time, the squat jack will set your entire lower body on fire, says Jenna Epperly, ACE-certified trainer at Jim White Fitness & Nutrition Studios in Virginia Beach, VA.

  3. Lazarus July 25, 2020


    With everything that’s going on in that town, this Lightfoot/lightweight mayor is worried about a long-dead Portuguese explorer?
    Bring back the Gumba’s, they’ll take care of this BS…

    Be Swell,

  4. Louis Bedrock July 25, 2020

    [post removed]

    • Bruce McEwen July 25, 2020

      As Grandpa McEwen always used to say, “The only guy who’d try to predict what a woman might do is either a fool or a closet-tranny”

      Now, you’ve printed your creds on this page so often, we can be fairly assured you don’t fit the first part of Grandpa’s dictum; so that leaves …well, there you have it old boy.

    • chuck dunbar July 25, 2020

      I am very sure that neither Bruce nor his wife Marilyn needs me to support or defend them, but for my own sake I choose to say this:

      Louis, this post is among the nastiest, most mean-spirited comment I’ve seen. How in the world you justify writing, then actually posting, it is beyond imagining. Were you just feeling shitty this morning or were you drunk or ????. For shame. You often write with intelligence and breadth of understanding. But this is simply beneath you. Get a grip, man.

    • George Hollister July 25, 2020

      Is anyone going to come to LB’s defense? We are waiting.

  5. Michael Geniella July 25, 2020

    Bob Harrah, Max McKee and Earl Maize, large figures in the North Coast timber industry, were partners in Eden Valley Ranch. Harrah later became the sole owner. His wife Jayne Harrah was a pilot.

    • Lazarus July 25, 2020

      They land jets out there or used too. I’ve known several caretakers and guys who worked out there back in the day. Money, Money, Money, it always has been. There’s not much talk about the place these days though, at least to the likes of me…
      Be Swell,

    • George Hollister July 25, 2020

      Another era. A time of easy money in the timber industry, for local people. I have often thought it must have been similar to the black market pot economy 20 years ago. The margins were so good few bothered to keep track of expenses. Of course that changed, and the survivors were business people like Bob Harrah who went on to other ventures.

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