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MCT: Wednesday, August 12, 2020

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WARM, DRY CONDITIONS will continue through Friday across interior areas. Overnight clouds and fog will dissipate during the late morning along the coast, leaving sunny skies and mild temperatures during the afternoon. A warming trend is expected Friday and into the weekend. There is a slight chance of thunderstorms on Saturday in the interior. (NWS)

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(So why the continued use of “interim”?)

Interim Police Chief John Naulty Commits To Another Year 

John Naulty returned to the Fort Bragg Police Department on February 3, 2020, to serve as Interim Chief. The position was temporary until the City could fill the position vacated by Chief Lizarraga. Chief Naulty had retired as the Lieutenant with the Fort Bragg Police Department in April 2015 after 35 years in law enforcement. Naulty began his law enforcement career in 1980 as a Reserve Officer with the City of Fort Bragg. After graduating from the Police Academy, Naulty became a Police Officer with the Department. Over the next two decades, he held a number of positions in Fort Bragg and rose up through the ranks. 

Naulty received multiple commendations for his heroic actions in March 2014 in response to an incident involving an armed robbery and kidnapping suspect. Naulty was the first officer on the scene after Mendocino County Sheriff’s Deputy Ricky Del Fiorentino was shot and killed by the gunman just a few miles north of Fort Bragg. 

The arrival of the pandemic in March, social unrest following the killing of George Floyd at the hands of a Minneapolis police officer, controversy over Fort Bragg’s association to Confederate General Braxton Bragg and the continued struggle to keep the Fort Bragg Police Department staffed, trained and adapting to new expectations and revised policies, was certainly more than Chief Naulty signed on for or could ever have expected. City Manager Tabatha Miller continues to praise Chief Naulty’s leadership of the department. “I can’t imagine the last six months without Chief Naulty. I am so proud of his progress with the department and how well he has managed all that has come our way since the beginning of the year,” Miller said. 

On March 16, 2020, Governor Newsom issued Executive Order N-25-20, which included a provision to allow Retired Annuitants to exceed the 960-hour annual limit without reinstatement and/or benefit disruption. As a result, Chief Naulty is able to commit to the department for more than the 960 hours in fiscal year 2019-20 and 960 hours in FY 2020-21. So long as the provision in the Executive Order remains in place, Chief Naulty stated he is committed to serving Fort Bragg until July 2021. 

“As challenging as the last six months have been, I am so grateful for the opportunity to serve Fort Bragg again. The support that this community has shown me and the rest of the department is overwhelming. The thanks, the meals, the treats, the cards and the praise we have received, especially in the last couple of weeks, is so appreciated by all of us. We truly are honored to serve this fine City,” stated Chief Naulty. 

Questions regarding this information should be directed to Tabatha Miller, City Manager, at or (707) 961-2829. 

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The U.S. Census Bureau (USCB) recently announced that they will stop collecting responses one month earlier than previously planned, with the new closing date of September 30. Despite this, the Mendocino County Complete Count Committee (MCCCC) wants to remind people there is still time to respond to the 2020 Census. Education, healthcare, and wildfire protection spending over the next 10 years are just some of the areas impacted by Census data. Filling out the Census is the first step in helping Mendocino County prepare for a brighter future. 

It is in this spirit we wanted to highlight some of the local individuals who have partnered with MCCCC and have reached out to their networks to encourage them to respond to the Census. We know that friends trust friends more than anyone else. That’s why community influencers make a difference for causes they support. Here are just some of the stories that emerged, making us proud of the caring community we live in.

Devon Jones, Executive Director of the Farm Bureau of Mendocino County, shared the Census via the organization’s email and social platforms to reach county-wide. 

In Covelo, Jessi Alvarado of Full Circle Trading Post created a lively video showing friends how to complete the Census and MaryLou Mileck of True Value Hardware created flyers for her feedstore counter and displayed a Census banner at the entrance. 

Farmer and co-owner of Penny Royal Farm in Boonville Sarah Bennett and colleague Joslyn Thoresen responded about the Census, “We can include something in our next farm box email.” The area also got a boost in Census activity from community members including Fabi Cornejo of Anderson Valley Health Center, Val Muchowski of the Mendocino Women's Political Coalition, and Courtney Bailey of the Anderson Valley Food Bank and Giving Tree Farms.

Traci Pellar, a realtor in the Laytonville area, said, “Just sent out 80 emails. We'll see how it goes, fingers crossed!!” Joseph Feigon, an Internet service provider and active community member sent an email to thousands of customers encouraging Census completion. 

Edenia Maldonado is a nursing assistant who reached out via text to her Hopland network about the Census. Julie Golden of the Golden Pig Restaurant and the Hopland Municipal Advisory shared on her Facebook and to 10 area representatives. 

The Census has also gathered steam on the Mendocino coast through the tireless advocacy of Javier Chavez of Redwood Coast Medical Services and Board Member of the South Coast Latino Coalition, Paula Cohen of the Community Foundation, and Cindy Plank of the League of Women Voters, among others.

All of these efforts are intended to drive Census participation before the USCB begins their Non-Response Follow Up (NRFU) operation starting August 11. During that time, USCB enumerators will deploy across the county going to homes that have yet to complete the Census form.

There are three easy ways to complete the 2020 Census and make a difference today.

  1. Online at 
  2. By phone at 844-330-2020
  3. By mail if you received a paper form

For every person left uncounted, Mendocino County could lose $1,000 per person each year for the next ten years. Take the Census now to and help us Make Mendocino Count! 

For more information on the 2020 Census or to get involved, visit or email Paloma Patterson,

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MSP noted Monday the court appearances for fatal hit & run suspect Gina Bean had "disappeared" from the August court calendar. She had two appearances slated.

MSP emailed the Mendocino County District Attorney's Office and "ever-efficient" DA spokesperson Mike Geniella got back to us saying: 

"Here's the info via DA David Eyster: Co-defendant (Ricky) Santos filed a motion to continue the jury trial because his attorney had two scheduling conflicts that he said were unavoidable, conflicts that would have disrupted the second day of jury selection and then the actual trial on another day. That defense motion to continue was heard on July 30th. Co-defendant Bean joined in her co-defendant's request to continue. The DA objected to the continuance. The court granted the motion over objection and reset the following dates:

October 15th -- Further Pretrial Conference

November 12th -- Motions in Limin

November 16th -- Jury Trial"

We appreciate the prompt response (it always is) from the DA's office.

Bean, Santos

In case you are unfamiliar with the case, here's a CHP press release on the incident from December 2019:

On July 18, 2019, a hit-and-run traffic collision occurred on Highway 1 at Little Lake Road, resulting in fatal injuries to 21-year-old Calum Pulido [Hunnicutt], from Mendocino County. The suspected driver, 41-year-old Gina Rae Bean, from Mendocino County, was traveling northbound on Highway 1, when she struck Pulido as he was skateboarding westbound on Little Lake Road.

Bean subsequently fled the scene in the suspect vehicle, a 2006 Toyota Tundra. As a result of a quick response and follow-up investigation by the California Highway Patrol, Bean’s Toyota was located at a local auto body shop. Upon locating the Toyota, it was determined that Bean’s boyfriend, 36-year-old Ricky Santos, from Mendocino County, had attempted to repair Bean’s vehicle in an effort to destroy any evidence.

As a result of an ongoing and thorough investigation, the California Highway Patrol submitted multiple charges to the Mendocino County District Attorney’s Office on Bean, including Felony Hit-and-Run and Vehicular Manslaughter. Multiple charges were also submitted on Santos, including Conspiracy and Destroying or Concealing Evidence.

On November 27, 2019, the Mendocino County District Attorney’s Office issued arrest warrants for both Bean and Santos.

On November 27, 2019, investigators from the California Highway Patrol located Santos and placed him under arrest. With the persistence of the California Highway Patrol investigators pursuing Bean, she turned herself in to the Mendocino County Jail on December 2, 2019. Bean then posted a $50,000 bail and was released on bail.


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DAN O’NEILL WRITES: Protest in Nevada City Tuesday. Big ugly Trumpers attacking women, children in the march, and Nevada City cops standing WITH the Trumpers letting them punch and shove people. It's all over the local facebook, more demonstrations and more Nazis and KKKs coming to Nevada City from Auburn, Colfax. It's building.


What began as a peaceful demonstration against police brutality in a small Northern California city turned tense and at times violent when a contingent of counterprotesters showed up to confront them.

The second group waved flags, snatched away cardboard signs and at least two men threw punches, shouting at the first set of demonstrators to get out of “our town,” dramatic videos posted online show.

It was one of two recent incidents in Nevada County where demonstrations went off the rails.

Read more here:

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by Pebbles Trippet

I live where the Navarro River meets the ocean, where the tides ebb and flow, animals come and go, and I am a part of that natural flow close to nature on the California Coast, more than a stone's throw from where I grew up near the Arkansas River with the proverbial quicksand patch we were told to stay away from if we wanted to make it out alive. Revering nature vs fearing nature.

I used to think animals don't speak our language, but I've learned from experience, we don't speak theirs. My life over several generations has made this turnaround toward respectful relations with all living beings and I am profoundly grateful to have come to this realization.

I live in two locally crafted cabins on six feet of stilts in the flood plain for protection from roiling flood waters breaking the river banks from time to time, threatening my precarious existence.

Animals include cats, skunks, raccoons, birds, frogs, slugs, worms and the like, amidst plant-based gardens of green endocannabinoid life forms, cannabis nutrition and medicine, eucalyptus, onion, garlic, cale, tower of jewel, lemons and the like… Plus humans.

I've come around to these relations over time. Raccoons were my first encounter and it didn't bode well. They entered my space looking for food, crashing glass jars, dragging garbage around, making a mess. It felt like rape. I didn't like it a bit. I yelled at them to stop and bitterly complained, but I didn't get it. 

Since they're scavengers, all they wanted was to be fed. So I thought about it, came to my senses and decided to feed them. But with what? I decided against leftovers, which was not sustainable. Instead I began to feed them dry cat food, the same nutritious stuff I feed my beloved cat, Ma (which translates to cannabis in Chinese). I stopped yelling at them and instead fed them a plentiful helping every nite. They liked it. I liked it. We came to an amicable understanding.

Then along came the skunks. Now the skunk is a truly mature animal, a mammal of the weasel family, with long necks, short legs, weird hands, stripes and art patterns down the length of their backs, and an outsized bushy white tail. Oh, and a gland on the back of their tail that emits a “fetid” smell if attacked or displeased. It's better to get along, which is what I set out to do.

I was charmed by them, delighted by the way they scurried around so quietly and unobtrusively. I opened my office door where I set aside a bowl of dry cat food. If it was empty they'd climb up my leg to my knee and tug on my pants to alert me to the dire situation or pop my door to get my attention, and never spray me. Sometimes they leave a lingering aroma which I love. I don't yet speak fluent skunk but I'm open-minded and they are patient.

After the 2019 flood I went through, I needed three weeks of recovery waiting for Mother Nature to settle back into the ebb and flow I know. A true friend took me in along with Ma, offering me a separate room with a couch and a lamp for my late nite forays. I wrote up the experience for AVA and remained productive.

There came a time when I felt a need to go home and face the mess in my backyard. I decided to make a major change by opening my bedroom door a crack, an inch, inviting little animals like skunks and cats but not bigger ones like raccoons. 

There's no heat in my bedroom so I tend to bundle up. On my first night home, one of the three baby skunks came to greet me. I heard her pit-a-pat and sat up straight in bed. Here she came, up close and personal, reached out her arm and stretched her entire weird hand across my face, as though to say, "Welcome home. We've missed you. Now fill our bowl, would you please?" She also combed my hair from the back of my head with her claws, kneading like cats do.

Interacting with animals through a crack in my bedroom door has opened me up to a new community. I am sharing my life with them and they are sharing theirs with me. It is fascinating to be alive to the ways of the world in the wild.

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My name is Anthony Eugene Blakesley and unfortunately I'm stuck in the Lake County Hill Road correctional facility. However, I was blessed with an opportunity to read your Anderson Valley Advertiser July 29 edition with the report concerning the Measure B Committee stumbling on a good idea.

That article talked about a pilot crisis/mobile van program which is meant for 5150 individuals who are a danger to themselves or others which would operate on only one 40 hour shift a week.

It is a complete blunder that this project has not become operational. Why does this project have to be just a mobile van for only one shift for only one county? 

I live in Lake County where there are numerous calls per day for mentally ill individuals. I personally know quite a few of them. In all honesty, my mother Candise May Henderson is one of those people who is homeless and 5150. I haven't been the best son to my mother because of my alcohol and drug addiction. I have neglected my responsibilities as a man and son to my mother. I have tried with determination to help my mother get back on her feet and off the street where she is homeless. SSI and the community here in Lake County don't seem to care about this battered, drug addicted and severely mentally ill individual on the street. It turns my stomach and causes my blood to boil red hot. Fortunately, some of the other homeless people here in Lake County actually have a heart and mean to look after my mother to some extent. I express my gratitude to those individuals. My heart goes out to all of them. But I wish the system wasn't so coldhearted and could have better judgment, and better understanding and more consideration for the mentally ill and for the homeless here in Lake County. I can't express how much weight is on my shoulders and how much remorse and resentment I feel for allowing my everyday convictions to sway me away from my responsibilities as a man, a son, a and father with my off the record qualms with myself and my family and my community.


Anthony Blakesley

Lake County Jail, Lakeport

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On August 11, 2020 at approximately 0538 hours Officers of the Fort Bragg Police Department were conducting patrol in the area of Alder and Morrow Street. Officers observed a subject they recognized as Shawn Spiller, 32, of Fort Bragg, who they knew to be on active probation with terms including search and seizure. 


Officers contacted Spiller and performed a search of his person and property per the terms of his probation. During the search they recognized several items of property which had been reported stolen from a vehicle the previous day. Spiller was detained for possession of the stolen property while Officers continued their investigation. While being detained Spiller attempted to secrete a small bag containing methamphetamine and paraphernalia by throwing it under the Officer’s vehicle. 

Spiller was arrested for possession of stolen property, possession of methamphetamine, possession of paraphernalia, and violation of probation. He was transported to the Fort Bragg Police Department for processing. While processing Spiller the owner of the stolen property arrived at the police department and identified the recovered property as his and valued it at over one thousand dollars. 

Spiller was processed at the Fort Bragg Police Department and transported to the Mendocino County Jail where he was booked on charges of receiving stolen property, possession of controlled substance and paraphernalia, and probation revocation. 

If you have information related to this investigation please contact Sergeant Rafanan at (707) 961-2800 ext. 140 or 

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THE DEPUTY DIRECTOR OF HHSA over Public Health Nursing quit this morning after just 6 weeks on the job.

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Unsolicited media report -- Morning TV. Channels 2, 4, 5, 7. In order to get 10 minutes of news you are required to watch and listen to 50 minutes of bullshit. MSNBC and CNN are better but not much. Liberal bias. NPR radio gives you the most news for the amount of time you listen. Very cautious. No outspoken voices allowed. Afternoon and evening news. PBS channel 9 best TV news of the day, 3pm and repeats at 6pm. NPR radio at 5pm to 6pm is most news coverage.

PD: Seems like best letters to the Editor come from Sebastopol. Columnists: Reading Pete Golis is a waste of time. Jonah Goldberg is interesting and is worth reading. New ideas. Trudy Rubin boring. Best thing about Press Democrat is reprinted news stories and columnists from the Times and Post. Too expensive. Three month subscription costs $180.

The Electoral College problem! As one of the few who voted for Henry Wallace in 1948 (I didn't know he was a communist) I thought he was Secretary of Agriculture and vice president during the Roosevelt administration. What I learned during that election was that the Electoral College had to be eliminated. It's hopeless to expect the government to do anything about it. Have to go around the government. Requires bold action. There are anti-electoral college groups in every state except Wyoming. Will take some time. Maybe 2026-2028. Will any AVA print readers still be alive? How about a boycott? Chevrolet, Ford and Plymouth? Peanut butter, tuna fish, and macaroni and cheese? Where is Eugene Debs when we needed him?

Ralph Bostrom


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AS THE WORLD knows by now, Kamala Harris is Sleepy Joe's pick as his vice-president. It also means that Kamala will soon be president given Biden's obvious senility. It will be interesting to see how the fascisti go about attacking her. Kamala isn't a flaming lib who would make a big target. In fact the flamers damn her simply for having been a prosecutor, as if it's a character flaw to understand that some people have to be separated from the herd. I thought during the debates she didn't seem like she'd thought much about the Big Picture stuff, but she's very smart and, presumably, fully prepped by now on the DNC worldview — protect Wall Street, prevent single payer, blank check for plucky little Israel, lottsa cash-free rhetoric of the uplift type without doing anything in the way of help for the struggling millions. Kamala was probably picked because, of all the possibilities, she was the most conservative. Her upside is she isn't crazy and she isn't stupid, but life in America as we knew it having ended, there's no indication from anything Kamala has ever done or said that she has the faintest idea of how to make the ongoing catastrophe less catastrophic. Libs always say, "Yeah, yeah. Biden's out of it but he'll have good people around him." Names! 

NAME DROPS. I've met Kamala Harris through my connected nephew. I got a good hit off her, as the hippies used to phrase favorable impressions. And my cousin James Rowland worked for Kamala in San Francisco as her Domestic Violence guy. When I met her I mentioned that Cousin Jimmy worked for her. "Oh, I love James!" Kamala exclaimed. "He's in charge of my domestic violence unit." To which I responded, "Our family suspects that Jimmy himself is a victim of domestic violence," but Kamala had moved quickly on with a puzzled look on her face before I could explain that Jimmy's ex, a woman we called The Barracuda, was quick with a punch, and generally more violent than any ten Mendocino County pacifists.

THE NEW US POSTMASTER GENERAL, Louis DeJoy, has quickly proved he's DeShits, as he undermines the mission of the Postal Service, which is to deliver mail to Americans in a timely fashion, including the ava which it takes about a week to do to the East Coast or more, four or five days to Southern Cal.

BUT WITH DeJoy at the helm, mail delivery has dramatically slowed. As you know, or should know, DeJoy is a Trump megadonor, who has no prior experience with the Postal Service, and was appointed by Trump simply because he'd shoveled a lot of money to the Dear Leader. The worry is that DeJoy will have the Post Office so screwed up by election time that Trump will be re-elected. 

THAT TWO-HOUR power outage Monday has been attributed to a downed power line near the CalTrans yard at the north end of Boonville. Fortunately, no fire on a hot afternoon with a stiff breeze blowing in off the Pacific.

A REEL QUICK movie review: "Richard Jewell," a Clint Eastwood production about the poor shlub the FBI fingered as the man who planted the bomb at the '96 Summer Olympics in Atlanta when in fact Jewell, a security guard tending heavily to a bumbling officiousness, behaved heroically in shooing people away from the device before it exploded, killing two people and injuring several hundred. Jewell saved innumerable lives. The bombing was in fact the work of a white supremicist called Eric Rudolph, but the unfortunate Jewell was put through the media wringer, vilified internationally as a murderous lunatic. The guy who plays Jewell, Paul Hauser, is absolutely brilliant in the part, and the rest of the cast is pretty good, too, especially Kathy Bates as Jewell's mother and Jon Hamm as an FBI agent. Olivia Wilde, my late friend Alexander Cockburn's niece, and one of two celebs known by the editor, and don't you dare say WTF cares?, the other being Charlie Musslewhite, is gratuitously foul-mouthed as the ruthless reporter who first identifies Jewell as the likely perp. It's an interesting movie because the story it's based on is interesting, but what most interested me was Eastwood's depiction of the FBI. As a well known conservative, Eastwood comes down surprisingly hard on the feds as the malicious bumblers they've always been and especially in the case of Jewell. (Hold your groans for the following riff: The FBI's role in the Bari Bombing case was jaw droppingly rancid. In that famous Mendo interlude the Hoover Boys managed not to consider the ex-husband as the primo suspect, although the ex had a history of violence going back to the sixties. That ex, former Mendo trash czar, Mike Sweeney, is now a resident of New Zealand.) Anyway, Eastwood lays it on the feds, lingering in several shots of the Atlanta FBI office on a framed Confederate flag! One final parenthetical: Sweeney serves nicely as that old fact of Mendocino County life, the only place in the world where you are whatever you say you are, and history starts all over again every day.

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CATCH OF THE DAY, August 12, 2020

Barth, Camacho, Casey

KARL BARTH, Fort Bragg. DUI, probation revocation.

PHILIP CAMACHO, Willits. Domestic abuse, false imprisonment.

HUNTER CASEY, Fort Bragg. Burglary tools, false personation of another, resisting, probation revocation.

Dalbasio, Delmonte, Hill


SKYLAR DELMONTE, Laytonville. DUI-alcohol&drugs, probation revocation.

MATTHEW HILL, Ukiah. Vandalism.

Martin, Perez

RICHARD MARTIN-TUSO, Redwood Valley. Probation revocation.


Sanchez, Vannote, Vargas

SAMUEL SANCHEZ, Ukiah. Battery. Parole violation. (Frequent flyer.)

JOHN VANNOTE, Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-under influence of drugs, resisting, probation revocation.

JUAN VARGAS, Ukiah. Unspecified violation.

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I wonder if Biden was surprised.

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by Gary Kamiya

The Point Cabrillo Lighthouse has guarded lumber schooners and trading ships on the Mendocino coast for the past century. The restored head lightkeeper's home opened as a bed-and-breakfast inn last fall.

The Point Cabrillo lighthouse and ocean seen from a bluff near the lighthouse. 

At 9:30 p.m. on July 25, 1850, the 210-ton brig Frolic, a former opium clipper bound for San Francisco with a cargo of silk, chinaware and other goods from China, struck a rocky shelf about 400 yards off the Mendocino coast. The crew abandoned ship and the mortally wounded Frolic washed into a cove just north of Point Cabrillo, where it would eventually sink.

That might have been the end of it. But through a peculiar series of events, the shipwreck turned out to play a key role in the development of California’s economy. The story of the Frolic — which involves the Chinese opium trade, the Pomo Indians, “Two Years Before the Mast” author Richard Henry Dana, Alta California Consul Thomas Larkin, one of the first American residents of Yerba Buena and San Francisco’s most infamous businessman — is one of the most unlikely maritime tales in the annals of California.

As Thomas Layton writes in “The Voyage of the Frolic: New England Merchants and the Opium Trade,” the Frolic was built in Baltimore in 1844 by Boston’s Augustine Heard & Co. to engage in the lucrative opium trade with China, which was legal at the time.

That trade had begun in the late 18th century, when British ships started carrying opium from India to Canton (now Guangzhou), receiving millions of dollars of silver in payment. After monopolizing the opium trade for decades, in 1838 the British began allowing American ships to carry opium from India to China.

The fastest ships made the most money, so the Heard company commissioned Baltimore’s Gardner shipyard to build a “Baltimore clipper,” a class of ships renowned for their speed, called the Frolic.

The Frolic’s captain, Edward Faucon, had made three voyages to California from 1829 to 1835 on Boston ships engaged in the hide-and-tallow trade. On his last voyage, Faucon made friends with a 19-year-old Harvard freshman named Richard Henry Dana, who was to immortalize him as the benevolent skipper in his classic “Two Years Before the Mast.”

When the hide-and-tallow trade began to decline in 1837, Faucon embarked on a new career in the China trade. In 1844, the Heard company hired him to helm the Frolic on opium runs from India to Canton.

In the next two years he captained three voyages, dropping off opium and receiving tons of silver bullion in return. But in 1847 steamships began carrying opium more cheaply than sailing ships, and the Heard company started looking for other commodities to trade.

Its golden opportunity — literally — came in spring 1848, when gold was discovered in California.

In January 1849, two pioneering and wealthy California businessmen, Jacob Leese, the second American resident of Yerba Buena, and Thomas Larkin, former U.S. consul to Mexican California, purchased a brig called the Eveline. They dispatched it to China with $24,000 to purchase a cargo and return to California, where payment could now be made in gold, not hides. Leese himself sailed on the ship as its purchasing agent.

When the Eveline docked in Canton, John Heard, head of the Heard operation in China, eagerly seized the opportunity to buy its cargo so the company could get into the booming California market. He was not disappointed — the cargo his agents secured earned huge profits. After that success, Heard dispatched his company’s Frolic on an equally lucrative voyage to California, and soon made plans to repeat it the next year. On June 10, 1850, laden with silks, chinaware and even a portable house, the Frolic departed Hong Kong for San Francisco with 26 officers and crew.

The voyage was uneventful until the ship approached the Mendocino shoreline. Relying on an outdated chart, Faucon did not realize his course had taken him dangerously close to the coast.

On the night of July 25, the Frolic crashed against rocks. After Faucon and his crew escaped, the ship was washed into a cove, just 100 feet from shore and in shallow water — its cargo easy pickings for whoever came along.

The first to come along were Pomo Indians, who carried away large quantities of pottery and other goods. A year later Indian women were seen wearing elegant silk shawls from Canton, and pottery fragments were found in Indian villages.

Word of the wreck soon spread, leading to more pillaging. In 1851, a government agent described visiting an American pioneer’s house on the Russian River, close to 100 miles from the shipwreck site. It was a crude building, the agent said, made of poles, clay and tule, on whose earthen floor “stood huge china jars, camphor trunks, and lacquered ware in abundance, the relics of some vessel that had been wrecked on the coast during last spring.”

The most consequential visitor to the wreck of the Frolic, however, appeared when there was nothing left to remove.

When San Francisco entrepreneur and Bodega Bay sawmill owner Henry Meiggs learned about the wreck in August 1850, he dispatched a trusted employee, Jerome Ford, to see if anything could be salvaged. When Ford arrived, he found that the Frolic had been completely stripped. But he discovered a far more valuable treasure: the surrounding redwood and fir forest, which no American had ever seen.

After Ford returned and told Meiggs about the mighty groves of trees he had stumbled upon, Meiggs started a sawmill there in 1852. A small town grew up around the sawmill, which was briefly called Meiggsville before becoming Mendocino City. It was just as well it changed its name, since “Honest Harry” Meiggs failed to live up to his name, absconding in 1854 to South America after embezzling $800,000 from San Francisco’s coffers.

Meiggsville was the first city on the Mendocino coast and became the first focal point of the Pacific coast lumber trade.

The wreck of the Frolic turned out to be boon for all concerned. Its owners made more money from an insurance payout than the ship was worth. And the Frolic was indirectly responsible for kicking off what was to become one of California’s leading 19th century industries.

(Gary Kamiya is the author of the best-selling book “Cool Gray City of Love: 49 Views of San Francisco,” awarded the Northern California Book Award in creative nonfiction. )

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In WIRED’s latest issue, contributor Daniel Duane examines how San Francisco’s history combating the AIDS epidemic helped inform its response to the Covid-19 crisis. The city, which many believe reacted more efficiently than any other major American city at the onset of the global pandemic, has never had more than 100 patients hospitalized with Covid-19. That number dipped into the low 30s in June and, even during a midsummer bump, never became unmanageable.

Duane speaks with San Francisco mayor London Breed and the director of the San Francisco Department of Public Health Grant Colfax, along with numerous other medical experts and officials to piece together a detailed recounting of the city’s effective response, and explain why San Franciscans were able to take the pandemic seriously.

As hundreds of healthcare workers nationwide lost their lives, San Francisco flattened its early infection curve at a blessedly low level. Meanwhile, in New York City, where the pandemic hit almost simultaneously, more than 14,700 residents died of Covid in the first two months of the initial outbreak. The comparable death toll in San Francisco, which would have been 1,470 when adjusted for population, was 35. And, even as one of the country's densest cities, San Francisco maintained a far lower total mortality rate than less dense cities nationwide—with 5.9 deaths per 100,000 residents. (The figure for Dallas was 6x that; for Los Angeles and Boston, 17x; Chicago, 45x.)

The city fared as well as it did particularly by the lessons learned through its experience with the last great global pandemic: AIDS. The quality of openness that made San Francisco an early cradle of LGBTQ life inspired a response to HIV/AIDS so vigorous that it transformed this city’s entire public health landscape into one of international significance—helping to equip it to deal with this latest global pandemic.

“If a doctor who was part of what was happening in San Francisco during the AIDS crisis is telling you, ‘You got something to worry about,’ then you got something to worry about,” says Mayor Breed.

It also helped that the city’s major public health institutions had unusually close ties to one another. As thousands of San Franciscans lost their lives to AIDS, the collaboration between the city’s municipal public health department and the UCSF School of Medicine proved a powerful magnet for ambitious researchers all over the country. Eventually, San Francisco had developed the global standard for AIDS care—with teams of nurses, social workers, nutritionists, doctors, addiction specialists, and psychiatrists all working together—allowing it to become the world’s most mature hub of research and practice addressing the epidemic. This feat, combined with a tide of computer scientists and venture capitalists who began integrating with the medical community during the tech boom of the early 2000s, transformed the city into the biotech capital of the US.

Still, one of the lessons of the so-called San Francisco model of AIDS care is that experts can be a lot more effective against an epidemic if they join hands with community leaders who already have the trust of populations at high risk of getting infected. Key to the playbook of these experts is recognition that you cannot truly save anybody without at least partly saving everybody. And you can’t do the latter without help from activists in the LGBTQ, Latinx, and Black communities.

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NOT ONLY are we perfectly willing to toss grandma in an early grave on Trump’s say-so, but we are supine as he openly engineers the destruction of social security and medicare, and of the post office, on behalf of himself and the billionaire class he represents. That is after we sat by while he completely gutted all environmental regulations that got in the way of corporations making money off poisoning us. I don’t think the neutering of the EPA has even been reported on daytime cable news, though the prime time magazine shows on MSNBC have at least brought it up. 

Americans imagine themselves rugged individualists. A cartoonist did a satire on us showing brawny guys, shirts off, with the logo “Rugged individualism works best when we obey.” 

In fact, Americans are masochistic sheeple who let the rich and powerful walk all over them and thank them for the privilege. 

We have become wimps. The word wimp may come from “whimper.” It was used in a newspaper 1920, and then not again until 1960. Since then it may have been influenced by the character of “Wimpy” in the Popeye cartoons, who did not have much gumption. He was only good at mooching off people in search of a hamburger. 

— Juan Cole 

* * *

“Well, we aren’t particularly excited about him, but rumor has it that he’ll have an exciting, female No.2.”

* * *


“I spent thirty-six years as an editor at the New York Times. There were so many rounds of layoffs, and so many buyout opportunities -- but I kept turning them down. I was terrified of retirement. I never wanted to ‘retire.’ The word sounded terrible to me. It meant going to Florida and dying. It meant sitting in a chair and watching daytime TV. It meant not working anymore. Not thinking anymore. Nothing but play and relaxation. And that wasn’t enough for me. That’s not living. You always need to have a goal. Grandchildren are great, but they're not enough. You need something to wake up your brain. A reason to focus. A reason to get out of bed and use everything that you’ve ever learned. I’ll never see myself as retired. Right now I’m trying to become a fiction writer. I love it because my brain is always working. Some days I think about my work so much, that when I finally sit down to write, it just comes pouring out my fingers. I’d love to finish a book one day. Something that people enjoy. And I’d love to have it published. Maybe a hardcover from Random House. That gets optioned for a movie. And wins an Oscar. Oh it’s exciting, isn’t it? I could go on and on.”

* * *


• “I believe this every fiber of my being. We’re posed..[loses sentence, meant to say poised] …. what I’ve proposed is…[loses sentence]…it [what?] can be done! I think we’re in a position to really make it [what?] happen and my team and your team already working closely together to light up the path forward here. Critical lawks like the pro-act to strengthen collective bargaining. On politics, like prevailing and fer….[loses train of thought and frowns-]…look, I’m taking too much time here.” 

• “I had a nurse, uh, nurses at, uh, [looks lost]…Walter Reed Hospital who would bend down and whisper in my ear, and go home and get me pillows…they would make sure they’d, actually, probably nothing ever taught in, uh, you can’t do it in the covid time, but they’d actually breathe in my nostrils to make me [arms in the air] move, to get me moving.” 

• This, when asked by a reporter if he had followed Trump in taking a basic reasoning exam investigating his mental functioning: “No, I haven’t taken a [cognitive] test. Why the Hell would I take a test? Come on, man. That’s like saying you — before you got on this program, you take a test where you’re taking cocaine or not. What do you think? Huh? Are you a junkie?” 

* * *

* * *


August 11, 2020

Contact: Cal NORML director Dale Gieringer 510-540-1066

Deputy Director Ellen Komp 510-725-7084

Biden Picks CA Senator Kamala Harris as Running Mate

Presumptive Democratic Presidential nominee Joe Biden has named California Senator Kamala Harris as his Vice Presidential Pick

As San Francisco’s District Attorney and California’s Attorney General, Harris upheld California’s medical marijuana law. Since being elected to the Senate, she has come on strong for federal marijuana law reform as the Senate sponsor of the Marijuana Opportunity, Reinvestment, and Expungement (MORE) Act to remove marijuana from the Controlled Substances Act, enabling states to set their own marijuana policies and reinvesting funds in communities of color that have been impacted by laws against marijuana. 

During her Presidential campaign, Harris said on a radio talk show she was “absolutely in favor of legalizing marijuana,” harkening to her half-Jamaican heritage and citing the mass incarceration resulting from cannabis prohibition, particularly of young black men. Harris admitted she smoked pot when she was in college, and when asked if she might start smoking again, said, “I think it gives a lot of people joy, and we need more joy in the world.” 

“We’re hopeful that Harris will nudge the next administration’s cannabis policy in the right direction,” said Cal NORML director Dale Gieringer. 

NORML has partnered with HeadCount on a Voter Registration Tool to make it quick and easy for supporters to get registered and vote in the November election. NORML’s Smoke the Vote Guide ranks candidates based on their records and positions on marijuana reform at the federal, state, and local levels. 

Founded in 1972, Cal NORML is a nonprofit membership organization advocating for the rights of cannabis consumers in California. 

Ellen Komp, Deputy Director

California NORML

* * *

* * *


Still need a Good Worker

Still in need of a Great Worker on the South Coast.

Really need someone now for split wood, haul brush, garden, etc.

HELP! He must be a nonsmoker, please, and not a rip off like the last guy who still owes me money.

707-884-4703 let ring 5 times, please. Thanks.

Peace, Yasmin

Yasmin Solomon <>



  1. George Hollister August 12, 2020

    In this moment it is safe to assume Kamala Harris will be our next president. She is politically ambitious, but without a strong demonstrated ideological vision. She has also never demonstrated toughness when it counts. So Harris is an enigma. She is the government’s choice, and the government assumes she will let them play. We will just have see.

    • James Marmon August 12, 2020

      How can we have a president that was only able to get 2% of the democrat’s votes during the primaries? The DNC chose her, not the voters.

      • George Hollister August 12, 2020

        The government and the DNC are the same thing, and yes they did pick her. Trump has done a lot while in office, but has demonstrated himself to be an on going political train wreck. Voters see that. So the party of the government is running against that train wreck, and at this point is favored to win despite government’s overtly obvious catastrophic shortcomings. The big question is, is Harris prepared to deal with those shortcomings? To do so would show a different Kamala Harris than we have seen.

        • James Marmon August 12, 2020

          What train wreck? I don’t see a train wreck

  2. Eric Sunswheat August 12, 2020

    RE: Masks

    -> Electric dry heat cooker easy way to reuse N95 masks multiple times without loss of shape or efficiency, study from University of Illinois finds, reported by Illinois News Bureau.

  3. chuck dunbar August 12, 2020

    Sweet little piece on her wildlife friends by Pebbles Trippet.

  4. Lazarus August 12, 2020


    “Two shrimps walk into a bar, and the bartender says, “I’m sorry, … but we don’t serve food here…”

    Be Swell,

  5. Eric Sunswheat August 12, 2020

    RE: Found Object

    ->. Mr. and Mrs. Technocrat appear to be thinking of fools, manipulated by baseless COVID-19 manipulation flawed test results and deceptive forms documentation causal death reporting, as peer reviewed by ethical scientific professional research scholars.

    As Bill Gates said in his blog reported by Forbes, in essence is that inconvenience of the coronavirus pales in comparison to the pending long term climate disruption doom.

    Draw your own conclusions.

  6. Lazarus August 12, 2020

    What happened to the other comments?

    As always,

  7. Marshall Newman August 12, 2020

    RE: “Ed Notes.” In my view, the only place where name calling is acceptable in journalism is in reportage of people doing it. Sad to see such appear here.

  8. AVA News Service Post author | August 12, 2020

    Note to all: The website experienced an unsolicited “update” this morning which severed connection with many of our past comments. The comments still exist in the database, but they are not currently appearing on the site.

    Once we discovered this issue we reverted back to the previous stable version of software, and newer comments are now appearing again.

    Many older comments remain invisible for the moment. We apologize for their absence, and hope to remedy it soon.

    • James Marmon August 12, 2020

      Thanks, I thought I was going crazy or something.


  9. Lazarus August 12, 2020


    “Two shrimps walk into a bar, and the bartender says, “I’m sorry, … but we don’t serve food here…”

    Be Swell,

  10. George Hollister August 12, 2020

    There is a billboard along Highway 395 near Reno for a Mexican restaurant that says:


    The best Mexican food this side of the wall

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