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MCT: Thursday, September 17, 2020

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LOCAL EARTHQUAKE felt around 6:40 yesterday evening, magnitude 3.3, epicenter beneath Bailey Ridge, which is up behind Holmes and Nash Mill ranches, basically halfway between Navarro and Montgomery Woods (as the raven flies).

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AREAS OF SMOKE AND HAZE will continue for the interior through the next few days. Low pressure currently offshore will bring a chance of light rainfall north of Mendocino County tonight and Friday as it moves onshore. (NWS)

The first seasonal rain of the season will arrive tonight into Friday as an upper-level low moves over the region. The majority of the rain is forecast to accumulate on Friday. This will be the first wetting rain of the season for much of Northwest California which means roads will be slick due to oil build up from cars over the summer. We highly encourage motorists to slow down and take their time getting to their destinations if the roads are wet. (NWS)

SMOKE & HAZE DISPERSED somewhat this week but is expected to return to the area over the weekend as conditions shift. Patchy morning fog. Chance of showers inland Friday morning. Highs in the 70s and 80s; lows in the 50s. Light winds. 

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NINE MORE COVID CASES in Mendo reported on Wednesday. Most from Ukiah area. 

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Blue skies
Smiling at me
Nothing but blue skies
Do I see

Singing a song
Nothing but bluebirds
All day long

Never saw the sun shining so bright
Never saw things going so right
Noticing the days hurrying by
When you're in love, my how they fly

Blue days
All of them gone
Nothing but blue skies
From now on

I never saw the sun shining so bright
Never saw things going oh-so right
Noticing the days hurrying by
When you're in love, my how they fly

Blue days
All of them gone
Nothing but blue skies
From now on

— Irving Berlin

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AV HEALTH CENTER is testing for COVID this Thursday 9/17 at 9-10am at the high school. First-come, first-serve. If you had any risk from labor day, it's a good time to test!

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An old friend of Our Valley, Todd ”Cappy” Capazelo passed away yesterday, F-ing Cancer! May he Rest in Peace!

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JOINT PRESS RELEASE between the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office, CALFIRE, and the Humboldt County Sheriff's Office — August Complex - West Zone

SAFETY MESSAGE – The public is reminded to stay vigilant on current fire conditions. Please continue to adhere to road closures and any evacuation orders or warnings. If you see electrical wires on the ground, stay clear and contact 911 immediately. Trees and poles with deep charring, particularly if still smoking, should be considered hazardous. Please drive slowly and yield to emergency personnel in the area.

View the most current evacuation map at:

To learn more about wildfire preparedness visit:

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Crouch's engagement with American culture spanned over five decades,

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by Tabatha Miller, Fort Bragg City Manager

Evacuations and Wildfires

The Oak Fire that threatened homes and lives last week in the Brooktrails community reminded many of us that we need to be prepared not only to shelter-in-place, but also to evacuate at a moment’s notice. There are a few easy things ( that can be accomplished in an evening that will better prepare you to evacuate if it becomes necessary. First, sign up for the MendoAlert, this is the primary system used to notify the public during emergencies and disasters in Mendocino County. The system allows you to register to receive phone calls, text messages and emails based on location. This means you can register to receive notifications about your workplace, home, kid’s school or other family member’s location. 

Second, make a plan to protect your family. Remember, your family is your people and may include pets and close friends. Communication is key to that plan. Make sure you have contact information and note that local cell and data connections may get overloaded and not work in an emergency. Often it is easier to contact someone outside the area than locally. Designate an out-of-the-area person who can relay messages between your family. My person is my little sister who lives in the Midwest. Consider establishing a meeting place and a backup plan if that location is unsafe. 

Third, pack an emergency Go Bag. There are couple of versions of a Go Bag. One type that assumes you have a vehicle and some room and another that you want to be able to carry with your person, such as what can fit in a pack bag. Start simple and include important documents such as identification, passports, insurance information, medical prescriptions, a credit card and contact lists. Also important is spare cash, keys, phone, charger, medications, eye glasses or contact lenses, and maps. Extra clothes (including jackets), flashlights, batteries, sleeping bags, comfortable shoes, a tent, food and water are items to keep in your vehicle. A rule of thumb is to have three days’ worth of supplies for each household member. If you have kids or pets, plan for their needs with pet food, leashes, toys and entertainment. Also remember to pack hand sanitizer, disinfectant wipes and facial coverings for each family member. 

A good source of information on preparing to evacuate in case of wild fires is If you want information on preparing for any type of emergency is a great resource. Track local air quality at 

Water Emergency 

As everyone, at least in the City limits, should be aware the City Council declared a Stage 2 water emergency on August 31, 2020 and implemented mandatory Stage 2 water conservation measures. Stage 2 water conservation measures target a 20% reduction in water usage. For information on the City’s water sources and uses, including daily tracking, check out the City’s website at This last week, the cloud and smoke cover and lower temperatures raised the water levels in the Noyo River, allowing the City to pump more water. That plus reduced usage kept the City’s 22.6 million gallons of storage at capacity. High tides are expected this week starting Wednesday and may detrimentally impact the City’s ability to take water from the Noyo River. If water storage levels can remain stable, staff will recommend that the City Council reduce the water emergency to a Stage 1 on September 28th. 

As a side note, the most common water conservation question this week has been whether you are allowed to wash the ash and smoke off your vehicles. The answer is yes, so long as you use a hose with an automatic shutoff nozzle, or better yet a bucket of water. Another option is to go to the car wash, where the water comes from a well with storage on site and not from the City’s water supply. 


The City’s last three tests of sewer for COVID-19 have resulted in none detected for both strains of COVID-19. The most recent test was pulled on September 1, 2020. Consistent with that result, Mendocino County Health & Human Services reported that as of Friday positive cases of COVID in the 95437 zip code. 

There has been a lot of news about how elections, ballots and polling places will change this November as a result of COVID. Just a reminder, City Hall is an official drop off spot for mailed ballots. Once the County installs the “Ballot Drop Box Here” signs out in front of City Hall, you will be able to place your ballot in the City’s drop box 24/7. The City Clerk and one other person will be responsible for checking the drop box for ballots several times a day, including weekends. Two persons are required at all times to do the daily counting of ballots and transfers from the drop box to the sealed ballot box. Ballots are tallied and recorded on a County ballot form and dropped into the sealed box which is maintained in a locked and secure location at City Hall until an employee of the County Elections Office comes to pick them up. For more information check the Mendocino County Elections webpage. 

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On Monday, September 14, at approximately 10:56 pm, a UPD officer was patrolling the area of 400 Mason Street when he came into contact with a 2006 Honda Civic for a traffic violation.

The officer contacted the driver and sole occupant of the vehicle and identified him as 19-year-old Jonathan Cervantes of Ukiah. 


As the officer was explaining the reason for the stop, he observed an open bottle of alcohol on the back seat of the vehicle. The officer detained Cervantes to further investigate and a search of the vehicle revealed a loaded 9mm handgun with an attached 32 round magazine tucked under the driver’s seat.

Upon further inspection, the handgun, which resembled a Glock, was found to be a completed and functional 80% build with no serial number or unique markings. These guns are commonly referred to as 'Ghost guns' due to their inability to be traced.

Cervantes explained that he had illegally obtained the gun from another individual and also knew that he was not of age to possess the gun. Cervantes was arrested for numerous weapons-related charges which included Carrying a loaded firearm in public) and Carrying concealed firearm. Cervantes was transported to the County jail where he was booked and lodged.

(Ukiah PD Presser)

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On Tuesday, September 15, 2020 at approximately 9:50pm, Ukiah Police Department was notified of a large fire in the area north of Mason Street between Clara Avenue and Ford Street. UPD Officers arrived on scene to find the wooden railroad trestle and multiple trees above the trestle fully engulfed in flames.

UPD Officers worked to evacuate nearby residents and businesses while Ukiah Valley Fire Authority and Cal Fire personnel worked to extinguish the blaze.

Once the fire had been extinguished, UPD Officers determined that the fire had been intentionally set and began investigating the fire as an act of arson. Anyone who may have witnessed any of these fires or any individuals who may be responsible for setting them is urged to contact the UPD at 707-463-6262.

The Ukiah Police Department would like to thank the Ukiah Valley Fire Department, Cal Fire and the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office for their quick response and assistance with these fires.

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CalNeva Broadband just announced it will end Internet service in Gualala CA (95445) at the end of September. Below is some background information about the situation, which you may probably be familiar with: Gualala is a low-income and remote town in the southwest corner of Mendocino County and Coast north of Sea Ranch. The estimated number of people affected is in hundreds and the affected people live mostly in heavily wooded neighborhoods that are served by 1970s-era cable. The only cable internet provider is CalNeva Broadband LLC. As of today, CalNeva has mailed USPS notices to its customers that they will no longer be providing services as of September 30, 2020. Are there currently any broadband initiatives or potential infrastructure applications for this area that the North Bay North Coast Broadband Consortium is working on or will be working on? I want to check with you to see if NBNCBC can help this community to apply for infrastructure grants and have any information/resources that can help them through the situation. Below is the contact information for the two Gualala residents who made the inquires. Can you please contact them to discuss any solutions?

Tom Murphy, murphy(@), Vice Chair Gualala Municipal Advisory Council

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EXCELLENT REPORTERS like Justine Frederickson of the Ukiah Daily Journal work within the straitjacketed strictures of "objective" journalism. Some people in this business, a business evolved from unemployables getting drunk with cops and phoning in their stories to the fully literate woman at the re-write desk, believe in objectivity, especially the C students with diplomas from college journalism schools. Ms. Frederickson is no dummy, but she works for a newspaper chain that compels her to stick to the facts even when she knows in her bones the facts, as presented by official Mendocino County, are laughably, demonstrably false, but not exactly untrue either. 

SO, the sorely put upon Ms. F is assigned to write up the latest in County homeless strategies, and out of the box many of the people reading this know in our bones homelessness is likely to increase, maybe even double. “The introduction to the plan,” Ms. F begins, “described it as being 'developed by the Strategic Planning Committee of the Mendocino County Homeless Services Continuum of Care (MCHSCoC), a collaborative of more than 31 public agencies and private non-profit organizations throughout the county that serve the unsheltered population. The plan was reviewed by the MCHSCoC governing board and formally adopted on April 27, 2020.”

31 SEPARATE ENTITIES, in a county of 90,000 people, are selflessly going about the thankless task of getting the unsheltered indoors. If each of the dedicated (as they routinely describe themselves) “helping professionals” committed to this selfless work ran out of homeless reimburseables they'd all be out of work themselves. The trick, then, is to convert the walking wounded to cash.

THE COUNTY OF MENDO has spent a lot of money studying homelessness. The Supervisors even invited a portly Republican named Robert Marbut to take a look at homelessness and make some recommendations. Before Marbut nobody knew for sure how many people were outside every night all night, but every year our helping pros would fan out in the early morning and, uh, count homeless heads. “There's one, Debbie! That guy!” Male homeless enumerators would even stride manfully, but not too manly lest hand-to-hand combat, jump off into brushy areas to see who was calling them home. This official homeless count was conducted by the people serving the homeless, sooooooooo. The count was wildly inflated. The more “homeless” there were/are the more money flows into Mendo from the state and federal governments into the pockets of Biden voters.

MARBUT, who couldn't help knowing he'd landed in a county heavy on featherbedding feebs presided over by elected featherbedding feebs — 31 separate nests of them, plus the Ukiah City government and the County Supervisors — was immediately told he could find a whole village of the homeless under a Hopland bridge. Marbut drove down for a look, and found no one at home and no evidence anybody had been at home there recently. 

THE ENSUING Marbut Report scared the bleep out of the 31 apparatuses helping the homeless, scared them so bleepless that they convened a mass meeting in the ghostly, basement-like murk of the Ukiah convention center, a project of Westside libs who assumed the outside world was eager for the splendors of the County seat. Anyway, the 31 agencies turned out en masse to denounce Marbut as “cruel” and “heartless” and “heartless” and “cruel” for recommending what any rational person with or without Mendo-level compassion would recommend: Concentrate “services” on homeless persons with local roots and dispatch the legions of professional mooches north on 101.

BOILED DOWN, Ms. F's report means a buncha meetings between the 31 helping agencies and the heavy hitters from the City of Ukiah and the County of Mendocino. Her story could have been called, “Cops Prepare for Big Increase in Unseemly Street Behavior” or “Marbut-Shmarbut” or “Pass the Government Donuts, Please.”

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Shall we rip the pages out of Boonville schoolbooks or expand coverage of Chris Columbus, Robert E. Lee, Redskins and others where statutes, monuments have been torn down? 

Latinx means both male and female latinos and latinas. Political correctness says not to use Latinx.

Jim Hightower will be the guest on Ralph Nader’s Radio program on Saturday, Sept. 19 at 5am (KZYX).

Ralph Bostrom


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by Bruce McEwen 

(January 2009; McEwen’s first court report)

Blind Justice

As the court bailiff told me when I first took this beat, “It’s mostly the working poor who come through here.” Build your own gallows, dig your own grave and don’t forget to tip the hangman! But as a result the cops and the judge are being made to work harder for their money. 

Effective January 1, 2009, the Ten Mile Court has been collecting new and increased criminal and traffic fees, penalties and assessments. There are new civil fees, as well. The changes result from enactment of Senate Bill 1409 (Perata) on September 26, 2008. This legislation authorized up to $5 billion in lease-revenue bonds to finance the construction, rehabilitation, renovation and replacement of state court facilities.

Parking penalties went up too.

Consider a simple moving violation like easing through an empty intersection without coming to a complete stop. In days past you might contradict the officer and grumble sourly at the citation, but you’d probably just go ahead and send in the fine.

Not now. When the fine is $182.50 with a $20 security assessment and a $35 construction fee, making your failure to stop total $237.50 in fines and fees plus a possible boost in your car insurance with another $54 in court fees and $25-$50 more for traffic school, you are probably inclined to go to court. 

On Friday, January 9 most of the morning was taken up with disputed failure to stop violations. Two of the defendants brought photos as evidentiary exhibits to prove their points. One guy’s hearing was continued to another date when a witness could be in court.

All to no avail, however. The verdicts were all guilty and the money comes rolling in for newer, safer and more lavish temples of law where we may go in the future to pay tribute to the Goddess of Justice. Oh, and remember this before you go to a lot of trouble and expense to bring photos: Lady Justice wears a blindfold. 

The Wild Pig Caper

Judge Jonathan Lehan referred to the case as “the wild pig caper.” It involved three defendants charged with taking game after dark using inappropriate methods. The first defendant, David Covey, explained to the judge what happened. He said his neighbor, Will Dennison, owns a vineyard on Old River Road. Dennison, asked for help with wild pigs that were rooting up his vineyard and Covey and two friends had come with his dog to do something about it. It was dark, past 10pm, when the dogs caught a pig, and due to the resulting melee Covey felt it would be too risky to dispatch the pig with a firearm so he killed it with a knife.

Apparently game warden Dan Powers arrived at about this time and cited the three men for taking game after dark and using inappropriate methods. The other two defendants, William Knight and Lewis Scott, both corroborated Covey’s story and they all pled no contest.

Deputy District Attorney Tim Stoen, following Warden Powers’ suggestion, recommended the minimum fines and sentences, with the exception of Lewis Scott who had no hunter safety card. The judge ordered Scott to complete a hunter safety course, fined the three defendants $545 each, and sentenced them to 12 months probation.

Badger v. Badger

There wasn't much on the docket at the Ten Mile Court in Fort Bragg last Tuesday morning and, all other business being taken care of by 9:30am, we were ready to hear the case of The People versus Badger. However, the defendant, Renee L. Badger had phoned to advise her attorney, Deputy Public Defender Thomas Croak, that she was running late, coming from Cloverdale. Judge Lehan called a recess until 10:30am, Deputy District Attorney Timothy Stoen being amiable about the delay.

Ms. Badger arrived at 10:30am. After a brief conference with Mr. Croak, public defender, the trial began at about 10:55. She was visibly upset and had cried and complained to her probation officer as she angrily enumerated her troubles. Mr. Croak beckoned her to the defense table and asked if she was okay.

“No, I'm not okay!” Ms. Badger responded, daubing her nose with a tissue.

Deputy DA Tim Stoen called the first witness, the defendant's father, Ronald Badger, who testified that on or about April 8 of this past year his daughter, Renee, the defendant, had come to his Fort Bragg home, ostensibly to feed the cat while Mr. Badger and his wife went to Santa Rosa for medical appointments where Mr. Badger and his wife stayed with the wife's mother until on or about April 21. I say “on or about” because the witness proved to have some difficulties about dates, especially when he was being cross-examined by Mr. Croak. When the couple returned to their Fort Bragg home their daughter, the cat sitter, was gone and their house had been burglarized. The bedroom door had been forced open and the valuables Mr. Badger had locked away in there were gone.

Mr. Stoen presented Exhibit A to the witness — against the repeated objections of Mr. Croak, all of which were overruled by Judge Lehan. The exhibit was a list of items allegedly taken from the bedroom. Mr. Croak maintained that the list, compiled by the witness, Mr. Badger, and prepared by Deputy Sheriff Walmsley, had no foundation and was therefore inadmissible hearsay.


Every time the District Attorney tried to question the witness about an item on the list the public defender would object and the judge would overrule the objection. This went on until considerable hostility between the defense attorney and the witness, Mr. Badger, developed. 

During the course of the testimony, it was established that the witness was a retired corrections officer. The presumption was that no hostility existed beforehand between defense attorney and Mr. Badger. By the time Mr. Croak had an opportunity to cross-examine the witness, Mr. Badger’s difficulty with recalling dates had metastasized into an inability to remember even approximate timeframes and even at the end of the trial it was impossible to tell whether the defendant had been staying at the home before the parents left or if she'd remained afterwards.

Allegedly two firearms, a .45 and a .22, both handguns, some jewelry, assorted stereo equipment and some miscellaneous tools were missing — along with a credit card.

Another document, Exhibit 2, was presented by the prosecution — and it too was objected to by the defense. It was a statement from the credit union and represented some $200 in charges attributed to the witness, holder of the missing card — namely, daughter Renee. On cross examination, Mr. Badger acknowledged that he had in his wallet another card with which he could access the account in question. But when Croak asked if he'd been using the card while he was in Santa Rosa his memory failed again.

During the time that Mr. Badger was on the witness stand he and his daughter glared at one another with such hateful intensity that it was something of a relief in the ambient tension when he was obliged to leave the courtroom after his testimony was concluded.

The next witness was Deputy Sheriff Walmsley, the officer who had investigated the case. From his testimony it became apparent that Ms. Badger, the defendant, had not been at the Fort Bragg residence during the period of Mr. and Mrs. Badger's absence — that she may possibly have been there on the 17th or 18th when a call to Mrs. Badger from Renee allegedly told Mrs. Badger the .22 was stashed in the carport at the center of the house and that she “should use it on herself.”

This dreadful remark inclined the judge to find Ms. Badger guilty on the grand theft charge. (It is prima facie grand theft to steal a firearm.) The judge also found her guilty of first-degree burglary and, count three, unauthorized use of a credit card. She was scheduled to be arraigned on some five other misdemeanor charges on February 2 at 1:30pm.

I overheard Renee venting in the foyer afterward to the effect, “It was disgusting that this dispute had ever come to trial.”

As for myself, I was disgusted that the cat apparently starved for two weeks. 

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CATCH OF THE DAY, September 16, 2020

Bennett, Chapman, Grinsell

ROBERT BENNETT, Ukiah. Domestic battery.

JONA CHAPMAN, Point Arena. Controlled substance, paraphernalia, parole violation.

SKYLA GRINSELL, Point Arena. DUI, suspended license.

Jenkins, Last, Pelfry

GLENN JENKINS, Willits. County parole violation.

DRINDA LAST, Fort Bragg. Disobeying court order, failure to appear, probation revocation.

ANTHONY PELFREY, Ukiah. Battery with serious injury, use of tear gas for other than self-defense, commission of felony because of race, color, religion, etc. Punishment.

Perez, Robles, Woldt

DANIEL PEREZ, Ukiah. Probation revocation.

SILVINO ROBLES, Salinas/Ukiah. DUI, controlled substance, no license.

DANIEL WOLDT, Fort Bragg. Failure to appear.

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The Mendocino County Office of Education (MCOE) is currently enrolling students for its Dental Assisting Vocational Training Program. Applications are due by September 30 and are available online at

Dental assistants are in high demand, locally and nationwide. Dental assistants often work in dental clinics or dental and specialty dental offices performing both administrative and clinical duties. They prepare patients for treatments and teeth cleanings, process x-rays, and work with patients on billing issues, among other responsibilities. For some, becoming a dental assistant is the first step on the road to becoming a more highly trained registered dental assistant. 

MCOE’s Dental Assisting Program runs from October through March. Classes are Mondays and Wednesdays from 5:15 pm – 9:15 pm. The 18-week course prepares students for all aspects of front- and back-office dental assisting, including chairside assisting. At the conclusion of the classroom training, students must complete a 120-hour externship with a dental practice. The program costs $4,000 and is limited to eight students. 

Applicants in this competitive process must possess a high school diploma or the equivalent and complete a medical screening. Once students successfully complete the program and 11 months of employment, they are eligible to challenge the State Dental Board exam to become registered dental assistants. 

For more information about MCOE’s workforce development programs, call 707-467-5123.

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by Joan Didion

I had told Jann Wenner of Rolling Stone that I would cover the Patty Hearst trial, and this pushed me into examining my thoughts about California. Some of my notes from the time follow here. I never wrote the piece about the Hearst trial, but I went to San Francisco in 1976 while it was going on and tried to report it. And I got quite involved in uncovering my own mixed emotions. This didn’t lead to my writing the piece, but eventually it led to—years later—Where I Was From (2003). 

When I was there for the trial, I stayed at the Mark. And from the Mark, you could look into the Hearst apartment. So I would sit in my room and imagine Patty Hearst listening to Carousel. I had read that she would sit in her room and listen to it. I thought the trial had some meaning for me—because I was from California. This didn’t turn out to be true. 

—March 23, 2016 

Jill Krementz

The first time I was ever on an airplane was in 1955 and flights had names. This one was “The Golden Gate,” American Airlines. Serving Transcontinental Travelers between San Francisco and New York. A week before, twenty-one years old, I had been moping around Berkeley in my sneakers and green raincoat and now I was a Transcontinental Traveler, Lunching Aloft on Beltsville Roast Turkey with Dressing and Giblet Sauce. I believed in Dark Cottons. I believed in Small Hats and White Gloves. I believed that transcontinental travelers did not wear white shoes in the City. The next summer I went back on “The New Yorker,” United Airlines, and had a Martini-on-the-Rocks and Stuffed Celery au Roquefort over the Rockies.

The image of the Golden Gate is very strong in my mind. As unifying images go this one is particularly vivid.

At the Sacramento Union I learned that Eldorado County and Eldorado City are so spelled but that regular usage of El Dorado is two words; to UPPER CASE Camellia Week, the Central Valley, Sacramento Irrigation District, Liberator bombers and Superfortresses, the Follies Bergere [sic], the Central Valley Project, and “such nicknames as Death Row, Krauts, or Jerries for Germans, Doughboys, Leathernecks, Devildogs.”

Arden School class prophecy:

In Carnegie Hall we find Shirley Long
 Up on the stage singing a song.
Acting in pictures is Arthur Raney’s job,
 And he is often followed by a great mob.
As a model Yavette Smith has achieved fame,
 Using “Bubbles” as her nickname…
We find Janet Haight working hard as a missionary,
 Smart she is and uses a dictionary…
We find Joan Didion as a White House resident
 Now being the first woman president. 

Looking through the evidence I find what seems to me now (or rather seemed to me then) an entirely spurious aura of social success and achievement. I seem to have gotten my name in the paper rather a lot. I seem to have belonged to what were in context the “right” clubs. I seem to have been rewarded, out of all proportion to my generally undistinguished academic record, with an incommensurate number of prizes and scholarships (merit scholarships only: I did not qualify for need) and recommendations and special attention and very probably the envy and admiration of at least certain of my peers. Curiously I only remember failing, failures and slights and refusals.

I seem to have gone to dances and been photographed in pretty dresses, and also as a pom-pom girl. I seemed to have been a bridesmaid rather a lot. I seem always to have been “the editor” or the “president.”

I believed that I would always go to teas.

This is not about Patricia Hearst. It is about me and the peculiar vacuum in which I grew up, a vacuum in which the Hearsts could be quite literally king of the hill.

I have never known deprivation.

How High the Moon, Les Paul and Mary Ford. High Noon.

I have lived most of my life under misapprehensions of one kind or another. Until I was in college I believed that my father was “poor,” that we had no money, that pennies mattered. I recall being surprised the first time my small brother ordered a dime rather than a nickel ice cream cone and no one seemed to mind.

My grandmother, who was in fact poor, spent money: the Lilly Daché and Mr. John hats, the vicuña coats, the hand-milled soap and the $60-an-ounce perfume were to her the necessities of life. When I was about to be sixteen she asked me what I wanted for my birthday and I made up a list (an Ultra-Violet lipstick, some other things), meaning for her to pick one item and surprise me: she bought the list. She gave me my first grown-up dress, a silk jersey dress printed with pale blue flowers and jersey petals around the neckline. It came from the Bon Marché in Sacramento and I knew what it cost ($60) because I had seen it advertised in the paper. I see myself making many of the same choices for my daughter.

At the center of this story there is a terrible secret, a kernel of cyanide, and the secret is that the story doesn’t matter, doesn’t make any difference, doesn’t figure. The snow still falls in the Sierra. The Pacific still trembles in its bowl. The great tectonic plates strain against each other while we sleep and wake. Rattlers in the dry grass. Sharks beneath the Golden Gate. In the South they are convinced that they have bloodied their place with history. In the West we do not believe that anything we do can bloody the land, or change it, or touch it.

How could it have come to this.

I am trying to place myself in history.

I have been looking all my life for history and have yet to find it.

The resolutely “colorful,” anecdotal quality of San Francisco history. “Characters” abound. It puts one off.

In the South they are convinced that they are capable of having bloodied their land with history. In the West we lack this conviction.

Beautiful country burn again.

The sense of not being up to the landscape.

There in the Ceremonial Courtroom a secular mass was being offered.

I see now that the life I was raised to admire was infinitely romantic. The clothes chosen for me had a strong element of the Pre-Raphaelite, the medieval. Muted greens and ivories. Dusty roses. (Other people wore powder blue, red, white, navy, forest green, and Black Watch plaid. I thought of them as “conventional,” but I envied them secretly. I was doomed to unconventionality.) Our houses were also darker than other people’s, and we favored, as a definite preference, copper and brass that had darkened and greened. We also let our silver darken carefully in all the engraved places, to “bring out the pattern.” To this day I am disturbed by highly polished silver. It looks “too new.”

This predilection for “the old” carried into all areas of our domestic life: dried flowers were seen to have a more lasting charm than fresh, prints should be faded, a wallpaper should be streaked by the sun before it looks right. As decorative touches went our highest moment was the acquisition of a house (we, the family, moved into it in 1951 at 22nd and T in Sacramento) in which the curtains had not been changed since 1907. Our favorite curtains in this house were gold silk organza on a high window on the stairwell. They hung almost two stories, billowed iridescently with every breath of air, and crumbled at the touch. To our extreme disapproval, Genevieve Didion our grandmother replaced these curtains when she moved into the house in the late 1950s. I think of those curtains still, and so does my mother. (domestic design)

Oriental leanings. The little ebony chests, the dishes. Maybeck houses. Mists. The individual raised to mystic level, mysticism with no religious basis.

When I read Gertrude Atherton* I recognize the territory of the subtext. The Assemblies unattended, the plantations abandoned—in the novels as in the dreamtime—because of high and noble convictions about slavery. Maybe they had convictions, maybe they did not, but they had also worked out the life of the farm. In the novels as well as the autobiography of Mrs. Atherton we see a provincial caste system at its most malign. The pride in “perfect taste,” in “simple frocks.”

In the autobiography, page 72, note Mrs. Atherton cutting snakes in two with an axe.

When I read Gertrude Atherton I think not only of myself but of Patricia Hearst, listening to Carousel in her room on California Street.

The details of the Atherton life appear in the Atherton fiction, or the details of the fiction appear in the autobiography: it is difficult to say which is the correct construction. The beds of Parma violets at the Atherton house dissolve effortlessly into the beds of Parma violets at Maria Ballinger-Groome Abbott’s house in Atherton’s The Sisters-in-Law. Gertrude’s mother had her three-day “blues,” as did one of the characters in Sleeping Fires. Were there Parma violets at the Atherton house? Did Gertrude’s mother have three-day blues?

When I contrast the houses in which I was raised, in California, to admire, with the houses my husband was raised, in Connecticut, to admire, I am astonished that we should have ever built a house together.

Climbing Mount Tamalpais in Marin County, a mystical ideal. I never did it, but I did walk across the Golden Gate Bridge, wearing my first pair of high-heeled shoes, bronze kid De Liso Debs pumps with three-inch heels. Crossing the Gate was, like climbing Tamalpais, an ideal.

Corte Madera. Head cheese. Eating apricots and plums on the rocks at Stinson Beach.

Until I read Gertrude Atherton I had never seen the phrase “South of Market” used exactly the way my grandmother, my mother, and I had always used it. Edmund G. “Pat” Brown was South of Market.

My father and brother call it “Cal” (i.e., the University of California at Berkeley). They were fraternity men, my father a Chi Phi, my brother a Phi Gamma Delta. As a matter of fact I belonged to a house too, Delta Delta Delta, but I lived in that house for only two of the four years I spent at Berkeley.

There used to be a point I liked on the Malibu Canyon road between the San Fernando Valley and the Pacific Ocean, a point from which one could see what was always called “the Fox sky.” Twentieth Century Fox had a ranch back in the hills there, not a working ranch but several thousand acres on which westerns were shot, and “the Fox sky” was simply that: the Fox sky, the giant Fox sky scrim, the big-country backdrop.

By the time I started going to Hawaii the Royal Hawaiian was no longer the “best” hotel in Honolulu, nor was Honolulu the “smart” place to vacation in Hawaii, but Honolulu and the Royal Hawaiian had a glamour for California children who grew up as I did. Little girls in Sacramento were brought raffia grass skirts by returning godmothers. They were taught “Aloha Oe” at Girl Scout meetings, and to believe that their clumsiness would be resolved via mastery of the hula. For dances, later, they wanted leis, and, if not leis, bracelets of tiny orchids, “flown in” from Honolulu. I recall “flown in” as a common phrase of my adolescence in Sacramento, just “flown in,” the point of origin being unspoken, and implicit. The “luau,” locally construed as a barbecue with leis, was a favored entertainment. The “lanai” replaced the sun porch in local domestic architecture. The romance of all things Hawaiian colored my California childhood, and the Royal Hawaiian seemed to stand on Waikiki as tangible evidence that this California childhood had in fact occurred.

I have had on my desk since 1974 a photograph that I cut from a magazine just after Patricia Campbell Hearst was kidnapped from her Berkeley apartment. This photograph appeared quite often around that time, always credited to Wide World, and it shows Patricia Hearst and her father and one of her sisters at a party at the Burlingame Country Club. In this photograph it is six or seven months before the kidnapping and the three Hearsts are smiling for the camera, Patricia, Anne, and Randolph. The father is casual but festive—light coat, dark shirt, no tie; the daughters flank him in long flowered dresses. They are all wearing leis, father and daughters alike, leis quite clearly “flown in” for the evening. Randolph Hearst wears two leis, one of maile leaves and the other of orchids strung in the tight design the lei-makers call “maunaloa.” The daughters each wear pikake leis, the rarest and most expensive kind of leis, strand after strand of tiny Arabian jasmine buds strung like ivory beads.

Sometimes I have wanted to know what my grandmother’s sister, May Daly, screamed the day they took her to the hospital, for it concerned me, she had fixed on me, sixteen, as the source of the terror she sensed, but I have refrained from asking. In the long run it is better not to know. Similarly, I do not know whether my brother and I said certain things to each other at three or four one Christmas morning or whether I dreamed it, and have not asked.

We are hoping to spend part of every summer together, at Lake Tahoe. We are hoping to reinvent our lives, or I am.

The San Francisco Social Register. When did San Francisco become a city with a Social Register. How did this come about? The social ambitiousness of San Francisco, the way it has always admired titles, even bogus titles.

All my life I have been reading these names and I have never known who they were or are. Who, for example, is Lita Vietor?

C. Vann Woodward: “Every self-conscious group of any size fabricates myths about its past: about its origins, its mission, its righteousness, its benevolence, its general superiority.” This has not been exactly true in San Francisco.

Some Women:

Gertrude Atherton

Julia Morgan

Lilly Coit

Jessica Peixotto

Dolly Fritz/Lita Vietor/McMasters/Cope

Phoebe Apperson Hearst

Patricia Campbell Hearst

Jesse Benton Fremont

Part of it is simply what looks right to the eye, sounds right to the ear. I am at home in the West. The hills of the coastal ranges look “right” to me, the particular flat expanse of the Central Valley comforts my eye. The place names have the ring of real places to me. I can pronounce the names of the rivers, and recognize the common trees and snakes. I am easy here in a way that I am not easy in other places.

(Note: *Gertrude Atherton (1857–1948) was born in San Francisco and became a prolific and at times controversial writer of novels, short stories, essays, and articles on subjects that included feminism, politics, and war. Many of her novels are set in California.)

* * *

* * *



How do they come to be, these cops who shouldn't have a badge, let alone a gun? How do they get hired and get the power of life and death over others? By far, most of the men and women with badges serve honorably and with compassion. But, somehow, others seem to slip in.

Well, the "somehow" is because that's how it has always been. I was hired as a cop in 1966. I took an easy written test, answered some questions from the old chief and was sworn in.

After I patrolled the streets and handled all manner of incidents for five years, they sent me to the nascent police academy, where the use of force was only lightly addressed. At no time, at the academy or in my department, was the issue of race relations addressed other than fellow officers making remarks revealing their personal biases.

Over the years, I watched a few of them rise in rank, even to the position of chief, and higher, in my city and others, taking their prejudices with them to set policy as well as interviewing and hiring new applicants, many of whom, no doubt, shared prejudices to pass further on.

Wayne Minson

Santa Rosa

* * *

* * *


You claim that mail-in voting is full of fraud and there are several cases of filled-out ballots. The word "several" means two or three. And you also cite no credible sources for your claim. Since I've read numerous investigative reports from the Brennan Law Center–and I just pulled up a 381 page report from the Heritage Center as well–there is only a handful of voter fraud cases each year–not enough to affect any voting total or election outcome. 

Los Angeles County–not the entire state–last year began removing inactive/dead names from the voter roles. There were 5 million of them but the news reports said that only 1.5 million would be removed. The removal was the result of a lawsuit brought by Judicial Watch, a CONSERVATIVE organization. Fraud was never mentioned.

As usual, you dumb fucks do no research because you want to believe it's all the Democrats' fault. However, nearly all of the election fraud (not voter fraud) has been done by Republicans. I could give you the list, but nobody is paying me to waste my time to further explain facts to you. 

And don't get me started on climate change, because I've read the scientific papers and you climate deniers are soon going to watch your homes burn or float away, thereby saving me time and trouble to explain that as well.

* * *


by Dr. Nayvin Gordon

If Covid-19 was as lethal as Ebola, the six million US infections registered on 9/1/20, would have already resulted in _3 MILLION COVID -19 DEATHS. This is the reality of the murderous; let them die “herd immunity” policy the administration is intentionally following, by forcing us back to unsafe work/school. How many deaths will they accept with this abuse and misuse of science? [1]

“Herd immunity” is a concept primarily used for the _SCIENCE _of vaccinations to PROTECT THE PEOPLE from dangerous infectious diseases such as measles and smallpox. Greater percentage of vaccinations (90% plus), mean greater protection for the population, or herd immunity.

If no vaccine is available, we use the SCIENCE of Public Health to PROTECT THE PEOPLE WITH testing, contact tracing and isolation. For a hundred years this SCIENCE has been used to treat and prevent infectious disease such as sexually transmitted diseases and tuberculosis. The robust Public Health

System in Taiwan has been able to suppress and eradicate Covid-19.

“Herd immunity” that follows as a RESULT OF DELIBERATELY ALLOWING AN INFECTION TO SPREAD THROUGH THE COMMUNITY DOES NOT PROTECT THE PEOPLE, IT ALLOWS THEM TO SICKEN AND DIE. This policy is responsible for the Deaths from Covid-19 in the US now approaching a quarter of a million. ONLY THOSE WHO SURVIVE may have herd immunity. This is the horror people faced in the 1800’s before the development of the science of Public Health. This is not science but a deadly return to the Dark Ages.

Over the last 40 years the politicians have closed public hospitals and massively defunded and cut back on the people’s Public Health Facilities to privatize the health system. Now that the for-profit system is clearly _unable to protect the people_, the government has abused and misused the science of “herd immunity” by intentionally promoting this homicidal policy as a legitimate scientific approach to the pandemic. It is simply eugenics, homicidal criminal negligence, and a crime against humanity.

The government did NOT spend $Trillions on the people’s Public Health System

The government did NOT spend $Trillions on a massive national strategy to test, trace and isolate infected individuals.

The government DID give $Trillions to bail out the financial elite of Wall Street.


Time for a radical change, towards a society built on the people’s health needs and an egalitarian world.

— Dr. Nayvin Gordon lives in Oakland and writes on politics and health and can be reached at

* * *

* * *

NEARLY TWO-THIRDS of US young adults unaware six million Jews killed in the Holocaust.

According to survey of adults 18-39, 23% said they believed the Holocaust was a myth, had been exaggerated or they weren’t sure.

* * *

THE WORSENING INEQUALITY CRISIS is fueled by an economic model that allows large corporations to prioritize shareholder payouts over employee wages, Oxfam reports.

Businesses with ‘windfall’ pandemic profits are showering them on investors, study finds.

* * *

* * *



"This year the Point Arena City Council has three seats open for election. However, only two candidates filed to run - Scott Ignacio and Olivia Ford. 

Since the City only had two candidates for three seats, there is still an opportunity for interested residents to run as a 'Write-In' candidate, which provides a way for voters to support a candidate not officially on the printed ballot. 

Those seeking to run as a Write-In candidate need to file nomination papers in order to have their names counted toward possible election. 

Those requirements include obtaining at least five signatures from registered voters in the City and filing a Declaration of Write-In candidacy. 

Write-In candidates who do not file by October 20 will not have their names counted towards election. 

Write-In nomination information can be obtained in the Office of the City Clerk, 451 School Street; Point Arena, CA between the hours of 9:00 a.m. and 4 p.m. Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays and 9:00 am to noon on Fridays. Please note that City Hall offices are closed on Wednesdays. 

For more information, contact City Hall at 882-2122.

* * *

* * *

PIERS MORGAN: Protests comes in many guises. Today, a large number of celebrities are boycotting Facebook and Instagram, which Facebook now owns. Reality TV wastrel Kim Kardashian West led the “movement” by posting the following message to her gazillions of followers: “I love that I can connect directly with you through Instagram and Facebook,” she wrote, “but I can't sit by and stay silent while these platforms continue to allow the spreading of hate, propaganda and misinformation - created by groups to sow division and split America apart — only to take steps after people are killed. Misinformation shared on social media has a serious impact on our elections and undermines our democracy. Please join me when I will be “freezing” my Instagram and FB account to tell Facebook to #StopHateForProfit. Link in bio for more info on how to preserve truth.” Powerful words, and ones that were quickly embraced by scores of other famous names. One of them was comedian Sarah Silverman who is also very keen to #StopHateForProfit. Ms Silverman knows all about spreading hate on social media. In the past few years she has tweeted that Donald Trump is a “pathological nasty pig” and a “c*nty fear monger,” and called his father a “racist c*nt.” Amy Schumer has also joined the boycott.

* * *


* * *


Ellsberg and Goetz Refute Informants Were Harmed and That Assange Was First to Release Their Names

* * *



  1. Eric Sunswheat September 17, 2020

    RE: If no vaccine is available, we use the SCIENCE of Public Health to PROTECT THE PEOPLE WITH testing, contact tracing and isolation. For a hundred years this SCIENCE has been used to treat and prevent infectious disease such as sexually transmitted diseases and tuberculosis. (DEADLY DARK AGES USA–“HERD IMMUNITY” by Dr. Nayvin Gordon)

    ->. September 14, 2020
    According to Dr. Anthony Fauci, most “so-called immune boosting supplements” actually do “nothing.” However, there are two vitamins Fauci does recommend to help keep your immune system healthy.

  2. Douglas Coulter September 17, 2020

    Two thirds of a red nose

    Adolph the bitter Nazi
    Had a very stiff right arm
    And when he saw the Hebrews
    He conspired to do them harm
    All of the angry Brownshirts
    Gathered round and said siekhile
    They followed after Adolph
    Marching in the goose step style
    Sometime after Krystalnact
    Adolph came to say
    Himmler with your Zyclon B
    Won’t you gas those Jews for me
    Then all the world denied it
    Swore it simply could not be
    Even today so many
    Would erase it from our history


  3. Lazarus September 17, 2020


    Hey H.

    That ole Sinatra movie, “The Manchurian Candidate”, just before the shoot’n started…pretty good huh?

    Be Safe……

  4. James Marmon September 17, 2020


    I have to side against Trump regarding his view on masks and take up for CDC Director Redfield’s previous stance that masks might be more effective than a vaccine. I do see Trump’s point though, he doesn’t want to see people refuse to take his vaccine after all the work he did to get us one.

    The Telegraph:

    Face masks could be giving people Covid-19 immunity, researchers suggest.

    Mask wearing might also be reducing the severity of the virus and ensuring that a greater proportion of new infections are asymptomatic

    If this hypothesis is borne out, the academics argue, then universal mask-wearing could become a form of variolation (inoculation) that would generate immunity and “thereby slow the spread of the virus in the United States and elsewhere” as the world awaits a vaccine.

    James Marmon
    Mask Maker

    • Stephen Rosenthal September 17, 2020

      “I do see Trump’s point though, he doesn’t want to see people refuse to take his vaccine after all the work he did to get us one.“

      Ah, the bums rush vaccine. I assume you’ll be at the front of the line to take it.

      • Harvey Reading September 17, 2020

        I believe he prefers the bleach-injection alternative…and more power to him.

    • George Hollister September 17, 2020

      “If this hypothesis is borne out, the academics argue, then universal mask-wearing could become a form of variolation (inoculation) that would generate immunity and “thereby slow the spread of the virus in the United States and elsewhere” as the world awaits a vaccine.”

      A good test group for this theory might be orthodox Muslim Women.

      • Harvey Reading September 17, 2020

        A better test group would include racists and white power enthusiasts. Thought you’d slip that one about Muslims in, didga? Not even a good try, even for a conservathug, and that’s saying something. You’re not nearly as clever as you think old man…

    • James Marmon September 17, 2020


      How much of the coronavirus does it take to make you sick? The science, explained

      “Infectious respiratory diseases spread when a healthy person comes in contact with virus particles expelled by someone who is sick — usually through a cough or sneeze. The amount of particles a person is exposed to can affect how likely they are to become infected and, once infected, how severe the symptoms become.

      The amount of virus necessary to make a person sick is called the infectious dose. Viruses with low infectious doses are especially contagious in populations without significant immunity.

      The minimum infectious dose of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes Covid-19, is unknown so far, but researchers suspect it is low. “The virus is spread through very, very casual interpersonal contact,” W. David Hardy, a professor of infectious disease at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, told STAT.

      A high infectious dose may lead to a higher viral load, which can impact the severity of Covid-19 symptoms.

      Viral load is a measure of virus particles. It is the amount of virus present once a person has been infected and the virus has had time to replicate in their cells. With most viruses, higher viral loads are associated with worse outcomes.

      “The more viral particles that get into the lungs, the more damage to the lungs that is probably happening,” said Hardy.”

      James Marmon
      Mask Maker

  5. Harvey Reading September 17, 2020

    “According to survey of adults 18-39, 23% said they believed the Holocaust was a myth, had been exaggerated or they weren’t sure.”

    How many of those dummies own AR-15s?

  6. Joe September 17, 2020

    You have 2 cows.
    You give one to your neighbor

    You have 2 cows.
    The State takes both and gives you some milk

    You have 2 cows.
    The State takes both and sells you some milk

    You have 2 cows.
    The State takes both and shoots you

    You have 2 cows.
    The State takes both, shoots one, milks the other, and then
    throws the milk away

    You have two cows.
    You sell one and buy a bull.
    Your herd multiplies, and the economy
    You sell them and retire on the income

    • Douglas Coulter September 17, 2020

      Traditional capitalism?y
      Your cows milk is better than my cows so I poison your herd with Roundup and sue your ass.
      Then I retire and bitch about Socialists

  7. Douglas Coulter September 18, 2020

    The Jews make the same error as BLM making the holocaust all about them. Jews were less than half of those who died in the camps. The number is clearly over 12 million. Hitler made clear his intention of ruling a master race and eliminating all who stood in the way.
    Adolph made the world ashamed of its antisemitisim and Israel became a nation as a direct result. Read book of Esther for ancient glimpse of government and wealth working against the needs of common man.
    Jews are trying to attack comedy, banning free speech, this weapon failed in Hilters hand and it will fail in others. A joke is not racist, or antisemitic it is a joke. A joke reduces hatred, reduces grief, helps trauma heal quickly.
    Martin Luther said, “they are dogs, burn them out, seize their property” one of Hitlers favorite quotes. We react to a joke but ignore a tyrant!

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