Press "Enter" to skip to content

MCT: Monday, August 31, 2020

* * *

HOT AND DRY weather will continue across inland northwest California through the weekend. After some sun early in the week, marine layer cloudiness will tend to expand along the coast mid to late week. (NWS)

WIDESPREAD HAZE & SMOKE most of next week, possibility of reduction later in the week. Inland highs in the 90s; lows in 50s and 60s. Not as hot, not as smoky/hazy on the coast. Generally clear and dry and light winds.

* * *

photo by Dick Whetstone

* * *


This morning around a dozen residents of the Calpella area gathered to protest the Mendocino Forest Products wood pellet plant, claiming the plant is releasing dangerous emissions. Protestors, citing health, safety, and environmental justice concerns, are asking that Mendocino Forest Products suspend operations of the plant and provide details about its emissions history.

* * *

COVID-19 DAILY UPDATE – 8/30/2020: 7 additional cases of COVID-19 have been identified in Mendocino County, bringing the total to 696.

* * *


Measure B funds for Item 5f: These funds for housing are coming from the service fund not the facility fund. So we are now spending service funds on facilities because "housing is the best service we can provide and all that money is piling up and not being spent." This was the answer I was given when I questioned chipping away at the money in small pieces leaving nothing left for the big picture items. For example a county PHF.

* * *

ONE OF THE DOZENS of photos from my new book, Mendocino Inspirations. 

Each photograph is partnered with relatively brief text relating to some aspect of the picture. From history to whimsy, locals and those from far away are sure to enjoy this new collection of photographs of familiar sights and some scenes never before captured. This limited edition book is only being sold through my favorite independent bookstore, Gallery Bookshop in Mendocino. Visit them at 319 Kasten Street. Phone orders are accepted at 707-937-2665 or order at Just put Mendocino Inspirations in the search box and the rest is as easy, if not easier, than the corporate giant online system. You'll feel better about yourself for supporting a truly independent, locally run book store. All profits go to the Little Scottish Orphan Fund.

— Malcolm Macdonald

* * *


To the Editor:

During our recent move from Ukiah, many personal possessions were stolen from our home. Here are just a few of the items that would be easily noticed. First, there was a case of Appleton Estate Rum from Jamaica. It is very doubtful that anyone in all of Mendocino county has a case of this rum, so someone out there has seen this.

There were also two noticeably recognizable watches. One was a Mendocino Sheriff’s Dept. watch that I won at a charity auction, and the other was a Gibson guitar watch in the shape of a Les Paul guitar. This was given to me by an old dear friend. I want this back.

There was also a silver KitchenAid mixer, with all the accessories. This item we had promised to the Ukiah Senior center, so the thieves stole this from seniors in actuality. Also stolen was a bunch of my wife’s sweaters, size medium, including a peach one with sequins that she loved, and whoever the thief is even took four large black planting pots. Someone spent a lot of time shopping through our personal items, as well as taking items from all over the property, including three propane tanks. They also took a large box of assorted small solar lights which were to be a gift to Tom Allman.

I fully intend on catching these criminals and recovering our items, and I do not give up too easily.

We are offering a $500 cash reward for the arrest and prosecution of whomever stole these items. Turn them in, and you can keep the rum, whatever is left, and the $500 if they are arrested and prosecuted, no questions asked. Please contact the Sheriff’s office (Matt Kendall) with any information pertaining to this theft. Just mention Lake Ridge Road Theft.

Or (to the thieves) give the stuff back, and we will waive pressing charges, and not waste our further time and expense in pursuing your apprehension. Drop it off in the Sheriff’s parking lot.

Someone stole from the wrong people and we will make extensive efforts in hunting these thieves down. Someone knows where some of these items are. Turn them in. If they would steal from us, then they would steal from you as well, and I want to know who they are and this is worth $500 to me.

Thanks for your concern.

— Johnny Keyes, Ukiah

* * *

GORDON HUNT RANCH, 1914 (later flooded by Lake Mendocino)

* * *


To the Editor:

I am a member of the Ukiah Rifle and Pistol Club, (URPC). I disagree with a letter written from another local resident. What was stated about the URPC is just not true and has no data to support such statements. The URPC is regulated by County, City and State agencies, just look in the public records. The URPC goes above standards for keeping our water clean. No one wants to drink dirty water!

The URPC has so many positive aspects that are offered to club members, as well as the Ukiah community and visitors. Some URPC members and visitors come from out of town, spending money in our community while here in Ukiah. They may go to a grocery store, a sandwich shop, gas station and local hotels. This is supporting our Ukiah businesses.

The URPC has programs for all ages. URPC offers programs to teach citizens firearm safety by NRA certified instructors. Many Law Enforcement agencies utilize the URPC for required monthly training. URPC also has specialized shooting programs such as Jr. Trap, Boy Scouts of America and Toys4Tots, just to name a few.

We have members who come and enjoy the club for a weekend and some have stayed at Vichy Springs Resort which is owned by Gilbert Ashoff, who continues to complain about the URPC. His complaints have become a costly burden on our community. I would personally encourage the out of town members to stay elsewhere. You cannot have it both ways, complaining about our club and having a member stay at Ashoff’s resort.

Penny McIntosh


* * *


* * *


by Tommy Wayne Kramer

Baseball is a great big mess right now, but at least this time it’s not all baseball’s fault. Mostly, but not all.

We can’t blame a pandemic on the people running the game, not yet anyway. Even so, the smarties in charge are taking advantage of the crisis to make stupid changes. If you were in charge of Major League Baseball would you make stupid changes?

1) Play games in empty stadiums? I understand and endorse social distancing but how would allowing 12,000 properly masked fans into the Oakland Coliseum (it accommodates 55,000) threaten public safety more than mingling at Walmart?

THE FIX: Have fans sit three chairs distant, two rows apart, require they line up at concession stands the way they line up at banks, and to please depart the ballpark in orderly, distant fashion. Repeat tomorrow, the next day, and at Sunday’s doubleheader with the Angels.

2) Would you force the National League to adopt the much-loathed (by purists) Designated Hitter? It’s imposed in the name of consistency between leagues, and I sure do favor consistency between leagues.

THE FIX: Eliminate the DH in the American League. Consistency achieved. The DH is outmoded. It was dreamed up 50 years ago to cure anemic offensive output.

Baseball today suffers from many ailments, but “Lack of Offense” isn’t on the list. Kill the DH.

3) When a game goes extra innings would you upend tradition by starting each half-inning with a runner on second base? Of course not.

The game is perfect. Tinkering with one problem, then solving it with another, throws things off balance.

THE FIX: Play the game as God intended. A runner at second must earn his way on.

4) Another COVID-inspired rule forbids players from spitting. But ballplayers chew tobacco; how else expectorate tobacco juice?

THE FIX: I’ll support a ban on chewing tobacco when players are allowed to smoke cigarettes on the field.

Oh there’s more. There’s the incremental drive to blur and eliminate the two leagues because those in charge see no point in keeping the NL and AL separate.

Games are now scheduled geographically to save teams travel money, a strategy that will also save money in the future. Doubleheaders are now a pair of seven inning (!!) games. The horror.

Baseball is run by people who don’t care much for baseball, and do much damage to the game. Corporate owners analyze the sport like this:

A) As a profit-making entertainment enterprise, and

B) That’s it.

Wizards who run baseball are slaves to Twitter, streaming, Instagram and polling. They believe crowds will fill parks as long as teams give out bobblehead dolls and t-shirts, and play “We Will We Will Rock You” 25 times a game.

These guys think traditions are quite useful for marketing tie-ins, but really now, there’s no point in getting carried away by all the nostalgia stuff.

Sure, sure, Babe Ruth, Wally Johnson and Jackie Robinson were big shots back when people cared about statistics and history, they owners say, but that was 20 or 30 years ago.

Those old players are dinosaurs, frankly. With some creativity and outside-the-dugout thinking we can manufacture even bigger, shinier stars.

Their theory is that fans love home runs and lots of scoring, so baseball thinks it should cater to this demographic. Well, no.

NBA fans love seeing fancy dunks but no one is suggesting rims be lowered to seven feet.

Football fans like high scoring games but the NFL isn’t contemplating reducing defensive units to two linemen and a cornerback.

But in baseball the push is always for smaller ballparks and juicier baseballs, which means more fly balls drop over fences. The other emphasis is on extreme power pitching, which results in more strikeouts.

Owners are thrilled with a future of 20 homers and 30 strikeouts a game. Whee. It’ll be like Home Run Derby but with batters wearing blindfolds.

We can imagine them sitting around a big conference table rubbing their hands together and chortling over their schemes:

“We’ll move fences 40 feet closer next season and have pitchers throw golf balls. It’ll be great. Fans’ll love it.

“Dozens of players will hit a hundred homers a year. We’ll add three extra DHs to every lineup and make up for increased scoring by shortening games from nine innings to six. It comes out exactly even: Add three, subtract three, that’s how. You must not understand math.

“And we’ll tie it all together with a new marketing slogan about baseball’s history, tradition and integrity.”

(Tom Hine is beginning to see himself as a former baseball fan but please don’t quote him. It’s just that he hasn’t watched or listened to a single inning of baseball this year, doesn’t even glance at the sports page and has no idea if the A’s and Indians are in first place, last place, or the National League. TWK thinks he needs a therapist.)

(Courtesy, the Ukiah Daily Journal)

* * *


* * *


WATER THIEVES? In Anderson Valley? A facebooker reports, “Just tossing this out there — we seem to have a water thief up on Mountain View Road. Three of our tanks have been pilfered over the last 2 weeks. We think we know the culprits, but no proof. Just wondering if anyone else has had water hijacked. It's the new Oil/gold. We've put surveillance up there, but of course the water is gone, so I'm not expecting ‘them’ to be back anytime soon.”

BETH SWEHLA, AV HIGH SCHOOL AG TEACHER noted: “I think we have been losing water on the school farm. Dry tanks 2-3 times for no reason. Latest I found no water Saturday morning. 20,000 gallons gone. We are not using that much water. Time to set a trap. I should say, I do not know how they are getting in. Gates are supposed to be locked.”

YET TO SEE a single Biden yard sign or bumper sticker. Anywhere. Of course I haven't seen Val Muchowski or Joe Wildman lately, but even Mendo's middle of the road extremists, the fifty people who attend Democratic Party meetings, seem to lack enthusiasm for their candidate. Meanwhile, as the first shots are fired in Kenosha and Portland, the Trumpers, as predicted in Yeats' famously prescient poem "The best lack all conviction, while the worst are full of passionate intensity."

THE SMART TRAIN debacle is three years old. (Rail “service” began in 2017; the District was formed way back in 2002.) $653 million for a train that goes from lightly populated to nowhere, avoiding areas whose commuters might actually welcome a train that got them out of their cars. While other countries build rail networks for high speed trains, we build this thing that isn't even popular with weekend tourists. It’s broke of course because the windy predictions that it would be heavily patronized haven’t materialized. And with the plague having put huge dents in sales tax revenues, that forlorn train station erected at Cloverdale thirty years ago will remain your basic symbol of giddy optimism. Now a high speed train running up and down the middle of 101 between SF and Cloverdale…

WHAT I like about DA Eyster is his willingness, nay eagerness, to engage. Criticize him and standby for the counter-blast sure to come. Criticize the Public Defender and you can hear the whimpers clear over in Boonville. “Why do they hate us?” goes the typical whine. Most people occupying our public positions are incapable of adult give and take, and wholly unable to defend the actions they take theoretically on our behalf. Be that as it is, the other day we made the obvious point that wealthy people seldom get prosecuted in the county. Or anywhere else. The DA quickly pointed to his prosecution of a well-to-do Ukiah kulak named Nix, and to his prosecution of the late Dr. Keegan for murdering his wife, Susan. And there was another prosecution of an outback tycoon whose name I can't remember. (Nix never did any jail time, natch.) Three out of hundreds, which only proves the original statement of the obvious. But I'll also say this for Eyster: He won't duck a fight as his predecessors invariably did, and he works hard, prosecuting a lot of cases himself where most DA’s are content with merely administering their offices. Note to the Defendant Community: If Eyster himself prosecutes you it means he takes you personally, and you're probably going to soon be on the southbound bus to San Quentin. Note: He prosecuted me once for his then-boss Susan Massini who wanted me on that southbound bus. But all he could get out of that righteous jury of my peers was a bunch of misdemeanors and a month at Low Gap.

NOW THAT the shooting has started in Portland and Kenosha, I predict a lot more lone wolf gun violence before it escalates to running gun battles in the streets between organized groups. It’s clear from the internet chat that a lot of people have group combat as their intention. The drift of events is ominous indeed, and with the orange bellerer cheering them on, the magas will strike first, the downed maga in Portland their first martyr.

* * *

CATCH OF THE DAY, August 30, 2020

Alonzo, Arens, Beck

EZEQUIEL ALONSO, Willits. Disorderly conduct-alcohol.

CARMEN ARENS, Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-alcohol.

WARREN BECK, Ukiah. DUI-alcohol&drugs.

Brown, Delapuente, Dolenz

BENJAMIN BROWN, Ukiah. DUI-alcohol&drugs.

MATHEW DELAPUENTE, Reno/Ukiah. Fugitive from justice.

ROB DOLENZ, Willits. Unlawful display of evidence of registration.

Hamm, Hill, Hogan

AARON HAMM, Ukiah. Controlled substance, resisting.

BOBBY HILL, Ukiah. DUI causing bodily injury, suspended license for DUI, paraphernalia, controlled substance, no license.

ALAN HOGAN, Willits. Disorderly conduct-alcohol, failure to appear, resisting. 

Landry, Madrigal, Marino

JACOB LANDRY, Ukiah. Domestic violence prevention protective order violation, child endangerment, probation revocation.


SAMUEL MARINO, Santa Rosa/Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-alcohol, controlled substance, paraphernalia.

Moore, Seale, Yeomans

KYLE MOORE, Lakeport/Ukiah. DUI.

ERIC SEALE, Fort Bragg. Domestic battery, failure to appear, probation revocation.

DANIEL YEOMANS, Fort Bragg. Disorderly conduct-alcohol, probation revocation. (Frequent flyer.)

* * *


Not that it gives any comfort for it shows the collective ability of people to lie to themselves, but who really believes that the current festivities in all those cities is really about Black lives mattering, especially as most of the rioters are White? 

Do you think that Black lives matter to those White kids acting out and busting things up? Do you think that Black lives matter, or EVER mattered, to the legions of legislators that manned those august chambers all through US history including the present day, or to the state governors or city mayors, or state assemblymen who act as if they really give a shit about Black people? They don’t because if anybody in power ever gave a damn, it sure isn’t evident in the conditions that Blacks live in considering that for a good forty years, things have been getting worse for them. 

And it’s been getting worse for most Whites, for who really believes this notion that wages have “stagnated” since the 1970s? They haven’t “stagnated”, they’ve plummeted, California construction workers being one example, for in the 1970s construction work provided a living wage. No more though. 

Which is what all this violence is really about, the severe compression of life prospects for ordinary citizens. The only lives that matter are those of the thin upper crust, typically college educated, that comprise either the Donor Class or those in the managerial clerisy that minister to Donor Class needs and interests. 

But times they are a changin’, people are onto the con, Republican voters twice nominating for the presidency a non-Republican if I ever saw one, and one that doesn’t abide by the usual Republican nostrums, people in Democrat states taking to the streets in nightly rock pitching competitions. I wonder if those in power recognize the peril that’s brewing. There’s a saying in Old Blighty, before you enter the yellow box make sure your exit is clear. Have the anointed made sure the exit is clear? 

* * *

“SORRY to have to provide the reality check again. Are you ready for a Trump victory? Are you mentally prepared to be outsmarted by Trump again? Do you find comfort in your certainty that there is no way Trump can win? Are you content with the trust you’ve placed in the Democratic National Committee to pull this off?” — Michael Moore

* * *


On my way to get a burrito before work, I was detained by the police.

I noticed the police car in the public lot behind Centre Street. As I was walking away from my car, the cruiser followed me. I walked down Centre Street and was about to cross over to the burrito place and the officer got out of the car.

“Hey my man,” he said.

He unsnapped the holster of his gun.

I took my hands out of my pockets.

“Yes?” I said.

“Where you coming from?”


Where's home?”

“Dedham. [Massachussetts]”

“How'd you get here?”

“I drove.”

He was next to me now. Two other police cars pulled up. I was standing in front of the bank across the street from the burrito place. I was going to get lunch before I taught my 1:30 class. There were cops all around me.

I said nothing. I looked at the officer who addressed me. He was white, stocky, bearded.

“You weren't over there, were you?” He pointed down Centre Street toward Hyde Square.

“No. I came from Dedham.”

“What's your address?”

I told him.

“We had someone matching your description just try to break into a woman's house.”

A second police officer stood next to me; white, tall, bearded. Two police cruisers passed and would continue to circle the block for the 35 minutes as I was standing across the street from the burrito place.

“You fit the description,” the officer said. “Black male, knit hat, puffy coat. Do you have identification?”

“It's in my wallet. May I reach into my pocket and get my wallet?”


I handed him my license. I told him it did not have my current address. He walked over to a police car. The other cop, taller, wearing sunglasses, told me that I fit the description of someone who broke into a woman's house. Right down to the knit cap.

Barbara Sullivan made a knit cap for me. She knitted it in pinks and browns and blues and oranges and lime green. No one has a hat like this. It doesn't fit any description that anyone would have. I looked at the second cop. I clasped my hands in front of me to stop them from shaking.

“For the record,” I said to the second cop, “I'm not a criminal. I'm a college professor.” I was wearing my faculty ID around my neck, clearly visible with my photo.

“You fit the description so we just have to check it out.” The first cop returned and handed me my license.

“We have the victim and we need her to take a look at you to see if you are the person.”

It was at this moment that I knew that I was probably going to die. I am not being dramatic when I say this. I was not going to get into a police car. I was not going to present myself to some victim. I was not going let someone tell the cops that I was not guilty when I already told them that I had nothing to do with any robbery. I was not going to let them take me anywhere because if they did, the chance I was going to be accused of something I did not do rose exponentially. I knew this in my heart. I was not going anywhere with these cops and I was not going to let some white woman decide whether or not I was a criminal, especially after I told them that I was not a criminal. This meant that I was going to resist arrest. This meant that I was not going to let the police put their hands on me.

If you are wondering why people don't go with the police, I hope this explains it for you.

Something weird happens when you are on the street being detained by the police. People look at you like you are a criminal. The police are detaining you so clearly you must have done something, otherwise they wouldn't have you. No one made eye contact with me. I was hoping that someone I knew would walk down the street or come out of one of the shops or get off the 39 bus or come out of JP Licks and say to these cops, “That's Steve Locke. What the FUCK are you detaining him for?”

The cops decided that they would bring the victim to come view me on the street. They asked me to wait. I said nothing. I stood still.

“Thanks for cooperating,” the second cop said. “This is probably nothing, but it's our job and you do fit the description. 5' 11”, black male. One-hundred-and-sixty pounds, but you're a little more than that. Knit hat.”

A little more than 160. Thanks for that, I thought.

An older white woman walked behind me and up to the second cop. She turned and looked at me and then back at him. “You guys sure are busy today.”

I noticed a black woman further down the block. She was small and concerned. She was watching what was going on. I focused on her red coat. I slowed my breathing. I looked at her from time to time.

I thought: Don't leave, sister. Please don't leave.

The first cop said, “Where do you teach?”

“Massachusetts College of Art and Design.” I tugged at the lanyard that had my ID.

“How long you been teaching there?”

“Thirteen years.”

We stood in silence for about 10 more minutes.

An unmarked police car pulled up. The first cop went over to talk to the driver. The driver kept looking at me as the cop spoke to him. I looked directly at the driver. He got out of the car.

“I'm Detective Cardoza. I appreciate your cooperation.”

I said nothing.

“I'm sure these officers told you what is going on?”

“They did.”

“Where are you coming from?”

“From my home in Dedham.”

“How did you get here?”

“I drove.”

“Where is your car?”

“It's in the lot behind Bukhara.” I pointed up Centre Street.

“Okay,” the detective said. “We're going to let you go. Do you have a car key you can show me?”

“Yes,” I said. “I'm going to reach into my pocket and pull out my car key.”


I showed him the key to my car.

The cops thanked me for my cooperation. I nodded and turned to go.

“Sorry for screwing up your lunch break,” the second cop said.

I walked back toward my car, away from the burrito place. I saw the woman in red.

“Thank you,” I said to her. “Thank you for staying.”

“Are you ok?” she said. Her small beautiful face was lined with concern.

“Not really. I'm really shook up. And I have to get to work.”

“I knew something was wrong. I was watching the whole thing. The way they are treating us now, you have to watch them.”

“I'm so grateful you were there. I kept thinking to myself, ‘Don't leave, sister.’ May I give you a hug?”

“Yes,” she said. She held me as I shook. “Are you sure you are ok?”

“No I'm not. I'm going to have a good cry in my car. I have to go teach.”

“You're at MassArt. My friend is at MassArt.”

“What's your name?” She told me. I realized we were Facebook friends. I told her this.

“I'll check in with you on Facebook,” she said.

I put my head down and walked to my car.

My colleague was in our shared office and she was able to calm me down. I had about 45 minutes until my class began and I had to teach. I forgot the lesson I had planned. I forgot the schedule. I couldn't think about how to do my job. I thought about the fact my word counted for nothing, they didn't believe that I wasn't a criminal. They had to find out. My word was not enough for them. My ID was not enough for them. My handmade one-of-a-kind knit hat was an object of suspicion. My Ralph Lauren quilted blazer was only a “puffy coat.” That white woman could just walk up to a cop and talk about me like I was an object for regard. I wanted to go back and spit in their faces. The cops were probably deeply satisfied with how they handled the interaction, how they didn't escalate the situation, how they were respectful and polite.

I imagined sitting in the back of a police car while a white woman decides if I am a criminal or not. If I looked guilty being detained by the cops imagine how vile I become sitting in a cruiser? I knew I could not let that happen to me. I knew if that were to happen, I would be dead.

Nothing I am, nothing I do, nothing I have means anything because I fit the description.

I had to confess to my students that I was a bit out of it today and I asked them to bear with me. I had to teach.

After class I was supposed to go to the openings for First Friday. 

I went home.

— Steve Locke,

* * *


* * *


"For now, the best way to understand where Mr. Biden stands today is to look at the people with whom he has surrounded himself. If personnel is policy, so far it looks like we’ll be getting little more than a rehash of the Beltway consensus.

"Jake Sullivan, the vice president’s former national security adviser, is now senior adviser to his campaign. Writing in The Atlantic last year, Mr. Sullivan argued that the United States must re-embrace American exceptionalism, returning to a foreign policy of global leadership with “a renewed belief in the power of American values in the world.”

"Many of Mr. Biden’s other advisers also seem to want to return America to the pre-Trump interventionist consensus. Nicholas Burns — a formal campaign adviser — was a strong proponent of the 2003 Iraq War. And Antony J. Blinken, who preceded Mr. Sullivan as Vice President Biden’s national security adviser and is now a top foreign policy aide on the campaign, co-authored an essay in 2019 with the neoconservative Robert Kagan condemning Mr. Trump’s willingness to consider removing troops from Afghanistan and criticizing Barack Obama’s decision not to intervene in Syria."

* * *

* * *


I was able to find the film I had often heard about but never seen before by going to and entering the subject:

The Oberg Color Film Footage Of Pearl Harbor - December 7, 1941

Hal and Eda Oberg were living about a mile and a half from Pearl Harbor's Battleship Row in Army Air Corps housing. Much of this is explained in the video moderated by a military historian who kept calling her "ada" (a-dah) instead of ("e-duh) which is the correct pronunciation. 

On Dec. 7 my father had already been in the Air Corps for several years and was stationed with the 95th Medium Bombardment group up in Oregon which supplied most of the crews and planes for the Doolittle Raid. Not sure when my parents and the Oberg's meet but Hal and Eda were to become my "godparents" when I was “churched” without my consent when I was one year old in 1945. I assume that this is when Hal and my dad were probably stationed together at Hamilton Field.

I would see the Obergs from time to time over the years. Hal who by the late 1950s had become a Chief Warrant Officer in the USAF and had served at the US embassy after Batista had a discussion with me about Fidel Castro. Oberg told me that Fidel Castro was the best best thing that ever happened to the Cuban people and cited the elimination of prostitution, the closing of the mob run gambling industries, and the goal of universal education. 

By the fall of 1962 while still enjoying a 12 week holiday in the San Diego resort known as MCRD and fresh off my administrative victory against mandatory religious observances, the Cuban Missile Crisis came down. We the attendees were asked who spoke Spanish, and that the Spanish speakers would be distributed among the various squads because we might be going to Cuba. The resort counselors said we were going to have a free and open discussion about the Cuban situation. I repeated my take on Oberg's arguments and positions giving his credentials and the free and open discussion suddenly came to an end.

* * *

* * *


A bill that is expected to clear the Legislature this week would significantly expand what treatments are considered medically necessary for health insurance coverage.

* * *

IT'S THE BIRTHDAY of American cartoonist R. Crumb, born Robert Dennis Crumb in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (1943). "I was born weird."

Here's his observation of Donald Trump in 1989 from Hup Magazine.

* * *


by Paul Modic

I realized the other day that I have a racist friend.

“Dude, you're a racist,” I said. “Why don't you just admit that you like Trump?”

“Everyone likes Trump!” he said.

“No,” I said, “most people hate him, like me.”

He's the kind of racist who tries to deny it or pretends to himself that he's not. He brings up race a lot. He might be one of those “fragile white guys” who's way of thinking is under attack with all the BLM stuff going on. 

He's been talking like Trump for awhile and I try to steer the conversaion to something less polarizing. Finally I said, “Hey just don't talk about politics because you don't know what you're talking about. Talk about what you know about, like growing weed, women, and cattle. Otherwise you're just another asshole with an opinion. Dude, you're ignorant and uneducated and you live in a rural area. Trump's your guy. Quit trying to pretend.”

“How about just give every black $50,000 but then they have to shut up about everything forever!” he said yesterday. “If Trump doesn't get re-elected he might go to jail and if he wins a lot of people are going to jail including Hillary because of China and,” he said.

“Stop,” I said. “You don't know what you're talking about. You know nothing about 'Hillary and China.' When you talk about things you don't know about it just makes you sound stupid. Disliking someone because of the color of their skin is just stupid. I don't think you really want to be racist, you just listen to the idiots on right-wing radio or what your buddies say. You keep telling me all this bullshit you heard somewhere.” (Jerry Philbrick's letters-to-the-editor are his favorite feature in the Anderson Valley Advertiser.)

“You're one of those far-leftists,” he said.

“No, I'm actually pretty middle-of-the-road,” I said. “I watch the NBC nightly news, read the New York Times, and I never listen to Amy. Jeez, I just trashed a far left person for maligning Biden! Look, I know you're pretty harmless, you're not out there committing any overt racist acts, but stop talking politics to me because it's boring. Ask me if you want to know what's going on. How were you brought up anyway? Was your family racist? I was brought up anti-racist. My mother and I sat there in 1964 watching the march on Selma, Alabama on our little black and white TV. I was taught that if anyone said the word “nigger” to write them off, forever. So yeah, I didn't have many friends growing up in Indiana. This is a racist country, founded on slavery, we're all a little racist.” I told him an anecdote, a racist thought I had twenty years ago. “See, even me!”

I do want to keep my racist friend, we go way back and he's a good person who's helped me a lot over the years. The way I look at it I'm his best friend, ie, probably the only one to call him on his bullshit. 

* * *

* * *


by Lawrence Reichard

It's been a tough year for almost everyone, but 2020 has been particularly hard on Nordic Aquafarms, the Norwegian company that wants to build a $400 million industrial land-based fish farm on the Samoa Peninsula in Humboldt Bay.

In March, Nordic made a surprise announcement that it was converting its commercial production unit in Fredrikstad, Norway to a “research and training” facility. The company has been tightlipped about the reason behind the sudden change, but the move might have been less than entirely voluntary.

As a Maine-based journalist, I have been covering Nordic Aquafarms since the company's February 2018 announcement of plans to build a $500 million industrial land-based fish farm in my small town of Belfast, Maine, population 6,700. Before the sudden March announcement of the Fredrikstad conversion, I was unaware of any Nordic statements about creating a research or training facility in any of the three countries where Nordic operates: Norway, Denmark and the United States.

Indeed, six months after the surprise Fredrikstad announcement, Nordic's website still said its Fredrikstad plant “has complete grow-out infrastructure and on-site fish processing” and “will deliver its first high-quality salmon to selected European customers in Q2 2020.” There is no mention of research or training at any of its facilities.

Hinting at possible reasons behind the Fredrikstad move to research and training, quoted Nordic CEO Bernt Olav Rottingsnes as saying: “We see that on the equipment side it is not worthwhile to buy the cheapest equipment when the facility will last for several years. The facility is characterized by some of the equipment being on the cheapest side.”

According to a plant neighbor I spoke with in Fredrikstad in September 2018, one of the two buildings designed to hold Nordic's massive fish tanks now lies idle.

Rottingsnes' statement raises again longstanding questions about Nordic's overall competence in building and running large-scale industrial fish farms. If Nordic's Fredrikstad plant is plagued by problems arising from cheap equipment, why did Nordic choose such equipment in the first place? Land-based fish farms are capital-intensive projects that require years of operation to recap initial construction costs. Nordic says its proposed plant in Belfast, Maine will be operational 20-30 years. Was Nordic unaware that its Fredrikstad plant needed durable equipment?

But Nordic's Fredrikstad plant has been plagued with problems since before its construction was even completed. Nordic sued Graakjaer, the plant's Danish construction firm, alleging Graakjaer should have known the site's soil couldn't handle the plant's weight, a fact that became apparent when the plant's buildings started sinking into the ground. Graakjaer then countersued Nordic, alleging that Nordic should have known the site was unsuitable. A lower court found for Graakjaer, awarding Graakjaer 2.2 million euro, and the case is now on appeal.

Another possible reason for Nordic's Fredrikstad woes is financial difficulty. As of February 11, 2020, Nordic had only $8 million on hand - that's less than one percent of the $900 million it needs to build the two industrial land-based fish farms it has proposed for Maine and Humboldt County. The Maine and California projects combined would amount to about 10 times the planned production level of Fredrikstad, and it's possible Nordic is concentrating its limited financial resources on its U.S. projects.

Adding to Nordic's financial challenges is a recent, apparently coronavirus-related plunge in European prices for farm salmon. From mid-June to mid-July Europe's wholesale price for farmed salmon plummeted a whopping 43 percent. Trade journals have linked the price collapse to countries closing their borders to fresh fish, over COVID-19 concerns.

Even if prices recover, such volatility could send would-be investors fleeing for the exits.

And then there's Nordic's problems with its Fredrikstad neighbors. A residential neighborhood organization has formed specifically to fight Nordic over its Fredrikstad noise levels, which violate county laws. According to neighbors of the plant I interviewed in September 2018, Nordic told them pre-construction that the plant would be “silent,” but county officials have cited Nordic for violating noise limits and have ordered Nordic to fix the problem.

The plant neighbor I spoke with in 2018 says the Fredrikstad plant's noise violations stem from a giant fan placed at the end of one of two fish-tank buildings to ventilate the building. The fan is on a side of the building that faces the residential neighborhood now fighting the plant. The plant neighbor says plant workers he has spoken with have shrugged, shaken their heads and said the fan could just as easily go on the other side of the building, facing an industrial park instead of facing a residential neighborhood. This failure raises yet more questions about Nordic's competence.

On August 29, I emailed Erik Heim, head of Nordic's U.S. operations, about these challenges facing Nordic in 2020, but Heim hasn't responded. In 2018, Heim told me Nordic would no longer speak with me because I don't appreciate the wonderful opportunity Nordic represents for the people of Maine.

Heim's right. I don't.

[Article text was updated September 7, 2020.]

(Lawrence Reichard is a freelance writer and editor who splits his time between Maine and Latin America.)

* * *

* * *


The recording of last night's (2020-08-28) Memo of the Air: Good Night Radio show on KNYO-LP Fort Bragg is right here:

The my-fault-one-week-belated San Francisco Mime Troupe Tales of the Resistance Episode 4 is half an hour into this show, so all is forgiven, I hasten to insist. There's Chapter 16 of Jay Frankston's book El Sereno, the biblical poetry of dice-throwing algorithms, Harper's Weekly Review, Major Mark Scaramella of the Anderson Valley Advertiser on local Measure B developments, Scott M. Peterson on the subject of the Newcomb-Benford law applied to nonprofit corporate bookkeeping crookedness, a one-armed schizophrenic UK rollerskater's spring-powered superhuman stabbing spree, murder, mayhem, sundry petitions to reach in and save the world from its cruel and bizarre self at various crucial access points of its anatomy (such as the elephant-abusing Monterey Zoo) and a Steve Heilig rundown of a single week of slightly pre-Reichstag-fire Trumpian shenanigans. John Sakowicz on the sabotage of Jackie's historic rose garden. QAnon for, if possible, even dummier dummies. Prototype microscopic semiconductor doctor robots that, when activated by lasers, march through flesh to do their tiny but essential surgical work. One solution to the ethical problem of Dark Batman. Numinous childhood half-memories of family road trips. Paul Modic's apple-picking three-way unprotected sex adventure. Sports strikes, dreams, delusions, a tourist guide to the very real and ever-enlarging Shrieking Black Portal of Ashtabula, and finally Greg and Sharon Ross' Futility Closet Podcast, this time about Saint Nicholas Winton and the Czech Kindertransport that saved thousands of children from the inevitable result of /last/ century's time of putting unlimited power in the hands of a racist, narcissistic madman in a man-girdle and lift shoes. 

Besides all that, here are some links to worthwhile items that I set aside for you while gathering last night's MOTA show together, found mostly thanks to the fine websites listed to your immediate right: 

Furthermore, at you'll find a fresh batch of dozens of links to not necessarily radio-useful but nonetheless worthwhile educational items I set aside for you while gathering the show together. Such as: 

The soft, sad story of John Wanda and his Wandaland.

"It's like being blasted in the face with a firehose all the time."

I'm thinking of starting a campaign to get one of these instruments for Carl Shoen. He could blow the fricking flup out of something like this:

I know it's just a tree on fire, but what it looks like is a giant right hand made of hot lava karate-stabbing up out of the earth like Uma Thurman in Kill Bill.

Apropos of little, just today I was thrilled to learn that Firesign Theater once made a movie of their album Everything You Know is Wrong. Their cinematographer, Allen Daviau, went on to cinematograph E.T., which, like Everything You Know Is Wrong, involves a visit by space aliens; he made Empire of the Sun, The Color Purple, and many other fine films. But, as thrilled as I was to find all that out, I'm even more saddened to learn that, like 180,000 other Americans, Allen Daviau just died of COVID-19. Watch the film of Everything You Know Is Wrong on Youtube. Note: They left some parts out, and somehow the link deposits you in the middle so you have to drag the line back to start at the beginning. That said, here it is: 

And the kid should see this. All these things.

— Marco McClean,,

* * *

THE SOCIAL FABRIC of the U.S. Is Fraying Severely, if Not Unravelling

A full 10 percent of the U.S. population had seriously contemplated suicide in the month of June. In a remotely healthy society, one that provides basic emotional needs to its population, suicide and serious suicidal ideation are rare events. It is anathema to the most basic human instinct: the will to live. A society in which such a vast swath of the population is seriously considering it as an option is one which is anything but healthy, one which is plainly failing to provide its citizens the basic necessities for a fulfilling life.

* * *



  1. George Hollister August 31, 2020

    JEFF BLANKFORT says much truth about Biden, and it means the Democratic Party would be better off losing. Trump has turned a page in American history, and we aren’t going back. But how well will either Biden, or Trump; Democrats or Republicans deal with what we have in store in the next 4 years? Most is Covid-19 related, but not all. We also have government funded, and supported urban dysfunction; an expensive and increasingly meaningless education system; a potential currency crisis; expensive government funded pipe dreams that are nightmares; a dysfunctional election process; an undermanned and over priced military; etc.

    If Trump pulls it off, Democrats will have dodged a bullet. Biden can ride his bicycle into the sunset, and talk about how it could have been if only it had been him.

  2. David Eyster August 31, 2020

    It was written in The AVA …

    Be that as it is, the other day we made the obvious point
    that wealthy people seldom get prosecuted in the county.
    Or anywhere else. The DA quickly pointed to …

    Bernard “Bernie” DePaoli … the former elected DA of Humboldt County who embezzled from a personal injury client – lost at trial, was eventually sent to state prison;

    Kenneth “Kenny” Rogers … you know who he is – has received enough coverage in The AVA;

    Benjamin Meyer … doctor guilty of shooting neighbor’s dogs in Potter Valley;

    and the list goes on and on (Mike G. doesn’t have the time to do ALL of your research).

    Nevertheless, while I get the point at a macro level of the sentiment that you were attempting to convey, we work hard to be fair so that we can be in a position to disagree with your premise on a micro (Mendocino) level.

    In the words of Hunter S. Thompson, “Justice is expensive in America. There are no Free Passes… You might want to remember this, the next time you get careless and blow off a few Parking Tickets. They will come back to haunt you the next time you see a Cop car in your rear-view mirror.”

    And that haunting at all levels, certainly beyond the simple parking ticket, applies to one and all in Mendocino County, including the wealthy and those of supposed status who break the law.

    P.S. As I remember it, you (and your attorney Karl Leipnik … RIP) technically won your trial in Point Arena … though it probably didn’t feel like a win while you were doing county time out at Low Gap. And what happened to the picture of David Colfax sitting in the back of the Sheriff’s vehicle taken at the close of that trial? Seems to me that would be a great image for “Found Object.”

    • George Hollister August 31, 2020

      There are also all those, if not wealthy, at least very monied cannabis growers who paid restitution money for their overly overt straying outside the law.

      • Lazarus August 31, 2020

        The way I saw it was, some in the County were enhancing their budgets by selling get out of serious trouble deals. I get it, and in some ways, I admired their inventiveness. It was troubling when other County departments went wanting while others were hiring additional staff or purchasing new vehicles. From my limited awareness, the inventively acquired wealth of that era was not shared…

        Be Well, and Stay Safe.

  3. Lazarus August 31, 2020


    Hey H.
    In 2016 the media laughed at this guy, in 2020 they’re scared he’s going to win, again.

    Be Swell,

    • Randy Burke August 31, 2020

      FOUND OBJECT: “Hurry, fire up the copter, leave him here and signal it is ok to flood the valley.”

  4. Eric Sunswheat August 31, 2020

    Was it COVID-19 concerns, limited budgets, or stay at home freedom to learn nutritional economic factors online, that caused price collapse of farmed salmon in Europe?

    RE: From mid-June to mid-July Europe’s wholesale price for farmed salmon plummeted a whopping 43 percent.
    Trade journals have linked the price collapse to countries closing their borders to fresh fish, over COVID-19 concerns. (Lawrence Reichard)

    -> August 8, 2020
    Colombo’s team purchased six types of salmon fillets available in Canadian grocery stores to compare their nutritional information.

    They analyzed farmed Atlantic, farmed organic Atlantic, farmed organic Chinook, wild Chinook, wild Pacific pink and wild Sockeye..,

    Wild Sockeye and wild Chinook fillets were the most nutrient-dense and had the highest omega-3 fatty acid content.

    However, for frequent consumers, the study suggested farmed Atlantic salmon as an affordable, nutrient-dense, low-mercury alternative to Sockeye or Chinook.

    Future research should consider the nutritional content of farmed salmon fed sustainable plant-based diets in comparison with traditional fish-based diets.

    -> August 24, 2020

    Here at Enterra Feed Corporation’s research facility near Vancouver, British Columbia, they don’t grow flowers or vegetables.

    Instead, they farm soft-bodied, legless consumers of decomposing matter. My guide, Andrew Vickerson, prefers that you not call them maggots…

    In the larval stage, they are packed with protein and are high in fat, including the omega fatty acids highly prized by the aquaculture industry and consumers alike.

    Native to the Americas, black soldier flies now range throughout the warmer parts of the world, although they do not naturally occur in Canada.

    In 2014, Enterra opened this football field–sized facility and began producing black soldier fly grubs (dried, whole), plus protein powder and omega-rich fatty oil made from ground-up grubs for aquaculture.

    The protein powder and oil have caught the eye of the industry.

    “We started the company to address two major global problems,” Vickerson explains. “One is the need to feed a lot more people.

    By 2050, we need to make 70 percent more food. At the same time, we have limited resources and 30 to 40 percent of the food we produce is wasted.”

    The bulk of this is “pre-consumer” food waste, Vickerson explains, food that either goes bad between the farm and the market or is a byproduct of food production.

    Enterra turns that waste into fat and protein that can be sold to fish-feed manufacturers for use in the aquaculture industry as a replacement for fish meal, which typically consists of ground-up fish and fish oil.

    -> October 06, 2016
    Levels of beneficial omega-3 oils in farmed salmon have fallen significantly in the past five years, a study shows.

    BBC News has learned that, on average, levels of omega-3s halved in the fish over that period…

    Omega-3 levels in farmed salmon have dropped because of the industry’s success.

    The farmed salmon get their omega-3s from smaller oily fish such as anchovies, which have been ground up and added to their feed.

    The more oily fish that goes into the feed, the more omega-3 the salmon contains. Not long ago, 80% of the feed was made up from oily fish. Now, it’s more like 20%.

  5. Stephen Rosenthal August 31, 2020

    Penny McIntosh and Tommy Wayne Kramer couldn’t have stated their respective opinions better. Kudos!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.