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Mendocino County Today: December 30, 2020

Afternoon Rain | 16 Cases | Greg Grantham | Grey Fox Rd | Mullis Memories | Xmas Lights | Weed County | Mannix Building | Ed Notes | Ferndale Hate | Local Author | Dream Winners | Beautiful Poetry | Pike Attack | Young Pharmacist | Yesterday's Catch | Unhappy Words | Awesome Dude | Old Structures | Found Lyrics | Carine's | Various Columnists | Near Dimmick | Toney Towns | Palace Hotel | Profoundly Dysfunctional | Grey Whale Inn | Microwave Wanted | Mendo House | Payback Time | Railway Barn | Fire Regs | Suck King | Killing Candida | Vanilla ISIS | Expropriating Hag | Scare Word | Cosmetic Cabinet | Generational Difference | Stop Drilling | Nothing TV | Making Leonora | Firing Squad | Dog Poop | Found Object

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RAIN IS EXPECTED in Del Norte county by mid morning and spreading south and east through the afternoon and evening. Some showers may linger Thursday morning, however mainly dry weather is expected through the day. Wet weather will return late on Friday and periods of rain will persist through early next week. (NWS)

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16 NEW COVID CASES reported in Mendocino County on Tuesday, bringing total to 2441. 

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Gregory Stephen "Greg" Grantham, loving husband and father, passed away peacefully at his Fort Bragg home on November 25, 2020, after a short battle with esophageal cancer. 

Greg was a kind and gentle soul, with a great sense of humor, adventurous nature, and artistic sense. He had enormous passion and integrity in all that he did. He touched many lives and will be greatly missed.

Greg was born in Oakland, on November 29, 1948. He grew up in Pleasant Hill, and graduated from College Park High School in 1966. He enlisted in the Army and served in Vietnam, arriving there during the Tet Offensive. Surviving the horrors of war and befriending many Vietnamese people fed his deep sense of compassion for others. Greg settled in Mendocino and worked various jobs over the years at Grader's Fish House, Navarro Winery, City of Fort Bragg, and in construction. He attended College of the Redwoods, Mendocino Coast and transferred to Sonoma State, where he received his Bachelor's in Biology and Geography. He graduated with a Master's in Marine Science from Sonoma State in 1983. It was at Sonoma State that he met the love of his life and future wife, Sarah Quentin. They married in 1988, settling in Inglenook. Their daughter, Kelly, was born in 1993.

Greg was a professor of Biology and Marine Science at College of the Redwoods, Mendocino Coast from 1984 to 2012. He pioneered the Marine Science Technology program, allowing many students to pursue higher education or careers in marine science. He also taught two summers in Palau, Micronesia-one of the highlights of his teaching career. Greg was an inspiring, challenging, and entertaining teacher, and took enormous pride in his work. His hobbies included world travel, scuba diving, ocean kayaking, and bonsai. He travelled the world with his family to remote locations and made many friends along the way. He revisited Viet Nam with his wife, Sarah, in 2017.

Greg is survived by his wife, Sarah Quentin, daughter, Kelly Grantham-Rinehart (Ian), brother, Ronald (Claudia), sister, Sandi, sister-in-law, Amy Murphy, and nieces and nephews. His family would like to thank Mendocino Coast Hospice for their services.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to local scholarship funds in his name, Noyo Center for Marine Science, or Mendocino Coast Hospice.

* * *

BOONVILLE NEWS FLASH, JUST IN FROM BOB ABELES: Denizens of Boonville were surprised today to see a new street sign. The old back fair road intersecting Lambert Lane is now named Grey Fox Road. The meaning of this new moniker remains a mystery.

* * *

STEVE HEILIG re the smartest guy in Navarro ever

Nice photo of Nobelist Mullins. I was once on an AAAS conference panel with him, wherein he denied HIV had anything to do with AIDS, saying it was all from drug abuse-related immune suppression (an utterly nonsensical belief). It was midday and he reeked of booze. He said “I’m thirsty”, looked around, saw a half empty cloudy water bottle on the floor in the corner, walked over and drank it down, then said “I’m building up my immune system!” All the scientists present were shaking their heads, disgusted/sorry for him. I said “Any physicians in the audience might diagnose this as ‘Nobelist Syndrome” (wherein said prizewinners suddenly believe they know everything about everything). Loud laughter ensued, but it was actually quite sad.

Mark Scaramella notes: Back sometime in those days, the late Kary Mullis’s controversial views on AIDS were so well known and disputed that KZYX actually set up an hour-and-a-half debate between Mullis and Bay Area physician Dr. Mike Alcalay, competently moderated, if I remember correctly, by Yorkville resident Jill Hannum. Alcalay won the debate with ease as far as we were concerned, but Mullis made his points and did not sound drunk. (And I’ve seen him quite drunk at his then-home on Gschwend Road.) That debate was the first of four (that’s a total of four) KZYX-hosted local debates in the station’s 32-year history, or about one every eight years. The other three were when then-private attorney Keith Faulder debated John McCowen, KC Meadows and Ross Liberty on the subject of the cannabis re-regulatory Measure B (not the later one on mental health), which turned into a fiasco when the station suspended Meadows for voicing her opinion [gasp!] whereupon she rightly quit. The third one was when Ted Williams debated Jim Little on the subject of Measure V, the standing dead trees/nuisance initiative which Williams seems now to have abandoned as a sitting supervisor. All three programs were proof that KZYX could be a forum for proper discussion and debate of local issues, but seldom even tries. Oh, there was one more semi-debate when pre-blackballed programmer John Sakowicz had me on to debate Richard Shoemaker and Sean White on the subject of wine grape water usage and regulation. I would venture an opinion on who won that one, but I’m biased. Needless to say, of the two, White was the much more formidable debater. 

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Boont Berry Xmas Lights, Boonville, 2020

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WRAPPING UP the December 16th Cannabis Ad Hoc Committee’s virtual town hall, Supervisors Ted Williams and John Haschak tried to take a practical look at Mendo’s pot permit program problems:

Williams: In the big picture, the goal here is to legitimize an industry and have it be regulated. We are fortunate that we have so many players who want to come into regulation and be above board and pay taxes and protect the land and lookout for the environment and be good neighbors. We need some way to separate them from what Sheriff Kendall points out is real outlaw activity and organized crime, and gunshots at night, activity that's a nuisance and affects public safety. The mechanism we have to separate them is permitting and licensing. Yet the state has created a system that nobody can get licensed. So we are about to push the entire industry back into outlaw status where we lose the environmental oversight and the tax base and the protections of regulation. There may be some opportunities in the year ahead. It may not be the Department of Food & Agriculture (CDFA) that we are working with directly. The state is talking about merging the agencies. It may be an opportunity to reconsider some of this regulation. Mendocino County is in a unique position in that we have a large legacy industry. A lot of people ask me, Well, look at this other county and how they're doing it. Take Nevada County, I think they had 38 permits. When you are working at that scale the thousands of dollars you lose on each one isn't that big a deal. You have more of an administrative cost and you get the work done. But when you have 1100 applications and thousands more behind them and it's new development, we are not looking back two years or three years but we are looking back 30 years or 50 years on some of these parcels. There is a lot of development to document. So we have a unique problem. Compounded on top of that is our county has some culpability. I went in thinking CDFA was creating problems for us. But look at it from their perspective. They gave us about four years to connect the dots. We are three years in and we are saying, Hey, we can't do this. They would have stepped up. They are now wondering why did Mendocino County commit to this if they couldn't follow through? Obviously we didn't understand the extent of it and the disruption of having it implemented by the Ag Department and then moving it to the CEO’s Office, and then people coming and going -- there's all sorts of reasons. But the bottom line is it's not just the state. The legislature through SB 94, the voters through prop 64, made it very difficult for small farmers to transition into the legal market. But we certainly haven't helped. The people we have on this today are part of the solution. Megan Dukett is working incredibly hard, understand the details, pulling in Trent [Schultz, Director of Planning and Building] as necessary, looking at why the system has failed before and being honest. It's a lot harder to stand up and say this is not going to work than to say, Hey we are working on it, we are streamlining it, we will get through this. I think we should take note when staff is basically 100% in the camp of, this won't work, we should not shrug that aside. A year from now we may look back and say, Hey, it didn't work and they told us as much. There may be a point in time when we have to be honest with ourselves and realize that this is Mendocino doing something different than the rest of the state. We are not going to get the same sort of support as other counties that are all in line with each other.

Haschak: Someone brought up a situation the other day in Monterey County, Salinas area. They were working with a mitigated negative declaration and they had a process that was approved by CDFA. It was like 34 applicants and the total square footage was 4.1 million square feet. Doing the math, each applicant was averaging over 200,000 square feet for each one of those grows. That's kind of the conundrum we are in. It’s a situation that favors the big grows and the smaller guys are — We are trying to find a pathway through it and it isn't easy.

(Mark Scaramella)

* * *

Mannix Building, Boonville

BONUS QUESTION: Any idea what the word under "Mannix" was on that storefront? and how about the graphic in the middle?

* * *


IT TOOK ME three (count 'em) transferred calls to finally get the Public Defender's voice mail, and his voice mail voice was female, which wasn't his voice unless someone happened to have his nuts in a vice when I called. Mantra time: In a county of 90,000 people and a small legal apparatus one would think it would be possible to reach one of their majesties without a lot of phone menu tag and muzak holds. I was calling for a Yes or a No on the recurrent rumor that Tim Stoen, 83, has returned from his Colorado retirement to work as a public defender.

WELL SHUT MY MOUTH! Got an almost immediate call-back from the PD himself, Mr. Aaron, who told me the Stoen hire, if it is a hire, "is a personnel matter" and therefore not to be revealed until it is, one way or the other.

FIRST CALL-BACK from the PD's office I've received in a quarter century, at least. Under the late Linda Thompson none of them were allowed to talk to anybody associated with the Boonville weekly, your basic self-defeating policy since we're basically sympathetic to the Defendant Community, some of whose cases would be helped by sympathetic coverage. 

MY FAMILY has produced two public defenders, one who thinks he's never defended a guilty party, the other who said he got so tired of representing guilty parties he went to work for Kamala Harris in SF as her domestic violence guy, the irony inside our family being that we considered him a victim of domestic violence given the monstrousness of his wife at the time.

THE REDWOOD DRIVE-IN is closed this holiday week. I'm not surprised at how many people seem discombobulated by the temporary and well-deserved vacation that Ricardo Suarez and Company are enjoying because the Drive-in is even more central to the life of Boonville than ever, what with Pic 'N Pay destroyed by fire, and AV Market on reduced hours. The Drive-in being directly in my office viewshed, I see people peering in the darkened windows and rattling the doors all day, not quite believing that the business is temporarily shuttered.

ARE WE GETTING THE TWO GRAND? Trump told Mitch McConnell Tuesday to pass the $2,000 relief check legislation, "Unless Republicans have a death wish, and it is also the right thing to do, they must approve the $2000 payments ASAP. $600 IS NOT ENOUGH!" Trump added his usual Queeg-ish remarks about how Republicans have to stop Democrats from "stealing" the election and demanded that Congress stop protecting "big tech."

(UPDATE: MITCH BLOCKED IT. Won’t even permit a debate.)

FROM THE WSJ: "A sustained effort is under way to deny children access to literature. Under the slogan #DisruptTexts, critical-theory ideologues, schoolteachers and Twitter agitators are purging and propagandizing against classic texts—everything from Homer to F. Scott Fitzgerald to Dr. Seuss. Their ethos holds that children shouldn’t have to read stories written in anything other than the present-day vernacular—especially those “in which racism, sexism, ableism, anti-Semitism, and other forms of hate are the norm,” as young-adult novelist Padma Venkatraman writes in School Library Journal. No author is valuable enough to spare, Ms. Venkatraman instructs: “Absolving Shakespeare of responsibility by mentioning that he lived at a time when hate-ridden sentiments prevailed, risks sending a subliminal message that academic excellence outweighs hateful rhetoric.” The subtle complexities of literature are being reduced to the crude clanking of “intersectional” power struggles. Thus Seattle English teacher Evin Shinn tweeted in 2018 that he’d “rather die” than teach “The Scarlet Letter,” unless Nathaniel Hawthorne’s novel is used to “fight against misogyny and slut-shaming.”

IF THE GUY would rather die than misunderstand English lit, can someone please kill him? But seriously, kill him.

ON THE OTHER HAND, torture him first by reading Hawthorne to him on a week-long loop.

NO SURPRISE that the intersectionality nonsense is of major concern to the titans and would-be titans of capitalism because, very generally speaking, the rightwing is hostile to the academic world because it's hostile to them, the intersectionality fascists beging especially hostile to them. But really, much ado about nothing as that racist, sexist, homophobic dog-pig Shakespeare said five hundred years ago.

FROM THE LEADERSHIP-ELECT: Biden tottered out Monday to read off the wrong teleprompter that the Nashville bombing was “a reminder of the destructive power an individual or a small group can muster and the need for continued vigilance across the board.” Thanks for the heads-up, Joe. I'll be extra-vigilant. Promise. 

DARREN DELMORE'S latest memoir is called Unplanned Parenthood whose title alone is sure to resonate with millions of Americans but is notable to us Mendos because it's set, mostly, right here in the Anderson Valley's wine industry. The ol' jive juice biz may look placidly tidy on the surface, but boyoboyo don't let appearances fool you dear prospective reader.

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A COMMENTER SAYS, “Whoever did it deserves some kind of special credit for managing to come up with a botched message that could mean either of two wildly different things--people here are assholes, or I’m an asshole who wishes people here were assholes. Well, technically the person who did it is an asshole in both cases, since they’re defacing a small town billboard either way, the former case just means they weren’t specifically trying to brag about it.”

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AARON OLIVIER of the Anderson Valley: "I am a local author, just trying to spread the word on my first publication. Did you know that DNA is 5D. You can learn about how the tree of life is a 2D representation of a 5D substance that is found all over the earth. It also tells us how the tree of life is related to human DNA. The Philosophy of the Universe and the Dimensions of the Multiverse. A Unified Theory of Everything. ISBN: 9781649903556"

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WOULDN'T put it this harshly, but a reader does: "I see your Measure B fiasco, canna-can-can-chaos, hopeless services, and KZYX/county administration ass-licking circle jerk, and raise you the 'Team1DreamWinnersAwards12_06_20'”:

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I never understood wind.

You know, I know

windmills very much.

I have studied it

better than anybody

else. It’s very expensive.

They are made in China

and Germany mostly.

Very few made here, almost none,

but they are manufactured, tremendous

if you are into this…

tremendous fumes. Gases are

spewing into the atmosphere. 

You know

we have a world


The world is tiny 

compared to the universe.

Tremendous amount of fumes

and everything!

Talk about the carbon footprint!

Fumes are spewing into the air 

like it’s spewing!

They’re noisy. 

They kill the birds.

You wanna see a bird graveyard?

Just go. Take a look.

Go under a windmill someday

You’ll see more birds 

than you’ve ever seen

ever in your life.

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On Sunday, December 27, 2020 the California Highway Patrol received a 911 phone call from someone at a residence located in the 26000 block of Sherwood Road in Willits.

The caller reported Kevin Pike, 37, of Willits, was out of control and destroying items at the location. At about 11:45 AM Mendocino County Sheriff's Deputies arrived and were invited inside the residence by the caller.

Kevin Pike

Deputies noticed numerous items had been damaged inside the residence.

Almost immediately both Deputies were confronted by Kevin Pike, who they knew from prior contacts.

Pike was verbally abusive towards the Deputies as he came at them and began physically attacking them.

During the attack, Pike slammed a screen door into both Deputies and also spit on them. During a subsequent struggle, they all then fell to the ground just outside the front door where both Deputies sustained visible injuries.

Both Deputies did not require medical treatment and were able to take Pike into custody.

Pike was arrested for assault causing injury, threatening or using violence against a Peace Officer, and resist or delaying a Peace Officer in the performance of their duties.

Pike was booked into the Mendocino County Jail where he was to be held in lieu of $15,000 bail.

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On Sunday, December 27, 2020 at about 12:35 PM Mendocino County Sheriff's Office Dispatch Center received a 911 call at a residence located in the 24000 block of Lilac Drive in Willits.

Sheriff's Deputies were advised there was a verbal argument between subjects at the location.

Sheriff's Deputies arrived and contacted a 17 year-old juvenile male and his girlfriend, Isabelle Burton, 19, of Willits, at the location.

During the contact it was determined the juvenile male was on juvenile probation with terms to submit to search, no drugs, and obey all laws.

A search of the juvenile's person was conducted with Deputies finding blue pills, a digital scale with a white residue on it, large amount of small zip lock type bags (commonly used to package controlled substances for sale) and US currency.

The juvenile male's bedroom was searched and Deputies discovered Burton lived in the bedroom with the juvenile.

In plain view in the bedroom, Deputies discovered marijuana honey oil (Concentrated THC), which was being use to make edibles and some edibles packaged in various forms for sale.

Also in the bedroom Deputies found marijuana, psilocybin mushrooms in individual bags for sale, cocaine, LSD, numerous prescription pills, more honey oil, two zip lock bags of "DMT" and more US currency.

The juvenile male was medically cleared and then transported to the Mendocino County Juvenile Detention Center for booking on all the listed charges.

Burton was arrested for possession for sale of a controlled substance and possession for sale of marijuana.

Burton was released on her signed promise to appear in the Ukiah Superior Court due to recent COVID-19 outbreak in the Mendocino County Jail.

Ed note: According to the Willits News, Isabelle Burton was awarded prizes and gifts from Willits area businesses for her 2017 tenth grade science project: “Using Daphnia to Monitor Water Toxicity.”

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CATCH OF THE DAY, December 29, 2020

Sanudozavala, Valente, Vargas

JORGE SANUDOZAVALA, Ukiah. Failure to appear; probation revoked.

MICHAELA VALENTE, Ukiah. Domestic battery.

NATHAN VARGAS [from yesterday's catch], Las Vegas/Dos Rios. Attempted murder, robbery, kidnapping for robbery/rape, use of weapon during felony, and several related special allegations and enhancements. [More info:]

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To the AVA,

You put a lot of space into making me look worse than I really am even though you did not print The Stagnation of Human Evolution or the Domestic Enemies of the Manifest Tenor of the Ratified Constitution.

I probably deserved some of that since I did kill my dishonest stepson. But you are bearing false witness too. I no longer expect you to print the truth, but this is for your information.

The closest I came to anti-gay speech was when I submitted an argument to the Supreme Court as speaker for the United States People's Sphere of Action claiming that America judges had made the gay god Pan the sovereign God in our land when they used force of arms to make the Christian bikers bow down and bake his servants a cake. Getting them to reverse those decisions and telling the judge that it is not within their authority to interfere with religions. Freedom of religion is for all of the gods, even the biblical God and even for the most powerful god on earth called money.

Okay, on my side of this story: In 2010 I had my first heart attack. In March 2011 my wife Barbara Wilcox died from a heart attack. This was Jamie's mother. Later that year I made my Oregon property into a family property putting Shawn Wilcox, Logan Kerr and Brandon Jones on the deed. Shawn was with us and we raised Logan, our daughter's son. I encumbered that property with a clause that the two city lots could not be divided: and all property decisions require a 100% approval from the owners. Jamie was not put on that property because at that time he was a registered sex offender and always in trouble with his parole officer. My daughter was buying her own house.

In 2012 I got my job as a welder for a subcontractor for the Fleetwood company, building travel trailers and moved back to Ukiah to help take care of my mother as she died from Alzheimer's. Soon after that I started a project called R.O.C.K, the Religious Order of Christ the King, and filed a claim on the long forgotten People’s Check in Congress to promote the United States People's Sphere of Action and the biblical God. Both can be found on facebook as a photo album. Thomas Jones, Western Oregon. 

I believe in letting the dead bury their dead in peace with a little rebuke: I preach that freedom of religion is for all of the other gods of men too. I never used the word "fag.” My vocabulary is better than that. If I was homophobic I would not have convinced my sister that the Jamies were family who could be trusted after my mother died.

However I digress. As a king's man, nothing on or made out of this planet actually belongs to me under the rule of kingdoms or corporations; everything is community property. When my mother died she left the California property to my sister Jeanine. My parents had already given the Oregon property left to them by my father's grandmother to me. I was executor of my mother’s estate, though. My sister is disabled, never married or had children, so I talked her into doing something with their property as I did, making it a family property bringing three of my kids on to help her keep the property. However, she chose to go to legal aid to get the deed redone and this person rejected encumbering the property. In place of that she convinced my sister that giving the kids resident tenancy was better at protecting her from greedy people.

The Jamies agreed to this quickly and came down promising that they were both here to work so that I would not have to. They were not very good at doing this however, not having very much money themselves and having two cars already which did not run very well and broke down. Right off the bat they took and sold the wheelchair-converted Dodge Ram van with a 459 engine that we got for mom for $17,000 they sold for $1000 and when I found out we had unhappy words.

They also did not want mom’s old car so that was put in my name because Jamie needed rides to and from his job. Little Jamie refused to work for quite awhile, not even helping with yard work or reroofing the main house they were living in. He was too busy playing computer games with his online friends.

I soon came to refer to it as the hormonally imbalanced id-ridden child who was prone to raging to get his own way. An abused child who became a well-trained abuser. He has no respect for himself or honor for his words.

As anyone looking through my facebook pages can see, I preach freedom of religion for all of the gods created by man. Pan and Daphine, the gay and adulterous gods have been served since even before the apostate’s Bible was created in 320 A.D..

As for the Jews I got upset at facebook for suspending me for 30 days when I made the comment that the God of the Jews who killed 3000 of them for taking one extra Quarl, had set Hitler on them after they became renowned worldwide for Jewing people out of their earthly treasures. A well known fact to many older people Hitler even mentions this in his book.

Logan Kerr was living with me in the A-frame cabin. The Jamies were paying the power, but sometime in May the Jamies said something that made him decide to go back to Oregon. Around this same time I found out Mike had lost the house he was buying in Brooktrails due to a divorce. Since I would be the only one in the A-frame, I thought I should move to the motorhome and let him have the house since he is also a resident tenant. I asked Jamie about it and about using the main house for food and a toilet and got his approval even before I asked Mike if he wanted to move in there.

However, shortly after Logan left, the first of July, and I started moving to the motorhome. I ran afoul of Jamie's hormonal raging by coming into the house while he was masturbating in the front room too many times and he told me he was going to get rid of me. He cut the food supply, hiding the salt and complaining about me even using the coffee and creamer dumping full containers out because I opened them. He took the toilet paper out of the bathroom and when I brought a new roll over he soaked it. Several other petty little things. I ignored all of this even though I lost 20 pounds. They started breaking community property when the electric bill went up blaming me when I only had a lamp, a TV, and PlayStation in the motorhome. We later found out that a pipe sitting on top of the pump fitting on top of the well had cracked and then broke all the way off. But it was still all my fault according to them.

I never woke them up at 5 AM but sometimes their dogs would bark when I went to take a shit. I peed outside so as not to disturb them too much. Jamie started kicking and hitting his dog and trying to sic it on me, but the dog was not aggressive and I was the one who played with it, throwing sticks and balls for it to chase. So all he did was confuse it and make it think he was going to rage at it every time it saw me. 

Then they tried to get a restraining order to keep me off the property but found out they could sell their resident tenancy for $86,000 and screw my sister too. However, I was responsible for them being there. So I sacrificed my life and Jamie’s to stop it.

Thomas Jones

Mendocino County Jail, Ukiah

Thomas Jones

* * *


by Joe Munson, as told to Jonah Raskin

Here’s a question for readers of the Anderson Valley Advertiser. Why is a white boy like me, who was raised in segregated Virginia, celebrating the birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr? One answer to that question is that I’m celebrating because I am a white boy who was raised in the segregated South. When I was growing up in Virginia, I saw ugliness in the form of the racism that was expressed by uneducated rednecks and also by some educated folks. I was an army brat and got to see a lot of people of color. A Black kid named Benjamin Franklin lived with my family and I grew up with him. At 6’ 6,’’ with an 8-inch Afro, he towered above me and my siblings. Benjamin was a star on the baseball team, which my father coached. I was the lowly bat boy.

When I was fifteen, I went to a Job Corp school in Pennsylvania. There were 1200 Black kids, 600 Mexican kids, 100 Asian kids and 16 white kids. I was kicked out for fighting with a total asshole white kid. But I learned that you judge a person by their behavior, not their skin color. Later, I left the South and moved to California because I thought California would be free of racism. I found the same old shit out here. Indeed, I found unjust laws, especially as they related to marijuana, and I saw young Black kids arrested and jailed for simple possession when white kids only got a slap on the wrist. 

When I was a pot farmer I had different kinds of people working for me. I was an equal opportunity grower. If you sucked I cut you loose. If you were honest and worked hard you were part of the team and were paid well. It was a kind of model of the way things should be.

My longtime friend, Dave Goldman, who is Jewish and gay, explained that when he smoked a joint he was practicing civil disobedience. I began to read and to study about civil disobedience. I learned about Henry David Thoreau, the New England guy who wrote the essay “Civil Disobedience,” and who went to jail rather than pay taxes which supported the U.S. war against Mexico. Then I read about Gandhi, who led the nonviolent resistance movement for Indian independence against the British Empire. From Gandhi, I moved on to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. He’s my favorite. King wanted to make people equal and to be treated with respect. Of course they killed him. They killed Kennedy, too. If King were alive today, I think he’d want to level the playing field so everyone, no matter what their race, gender, social class or ethnicity, would be treated fairly. 

My teenage daughter, Millie, brought up a good point the other day. “When slavery was legal in the U.S. people formed groups to end it,” she said. “Now, there are groups that aim to make things equal for everyone.” 

So we are slowly progressing, because of people like Thoreau, Gandhi and King. Two of the people in Millie’s core group are Black, one of them is Vietnamese and another one is Mexican. Millie looks white, but she’s actually half-Japanese. When she and her friends hang out they talk about racism, gender equality and other pressing issues. They protested in the streets after George Floyd’s murder. Millie and her friends go to Tech High. They tell me that there’s racism in the school and that some kids use the “n” word. That’s shameful. I asked my 12-year-old-son, Milo, Millie’s younger brother, what he thought about King. He said, without hesitation, “He’s was an awesome dude and helped thousands and thousands of people fight racism, which really sucks, Dad.” Milo is on the right track. 

Sometimes I feel a bit uncomfortable as a white boy talking about racism. I expressed my feelings to Jordan Williams, who is Black and who I met at Dave Terrell's Jiu Jitsu school. We hit it off immediately, though he laughed at first when I mentioned my feeling uncomfortable. He said, “It’s all good, Joe. It doesn’t matter what your skin color is.” 

Jordan likes the fact that my wife and I are raising our kids to treat others with respect. I think this is the basis we can build on to create the kind of loving society that King wanted for the whole world. 

(Joe Munson and Jonah Raskin are the authors of Joe Munson's Adventures and Misadventures.)

* * *

Barn, Highway 128

* * *


by Fred Gardner

In my two cartons marked SFDA I find some lyrics. (Instead of keeping a diary, I used to write songs.)


Willie Brown took the American flag

Turned it into a shopping bag

Come on baby let’s go downtown

Spend a little, spend a lot

Bring your card for medical pot 

Let’s spread a few dollars around 


Gray Davis told the National Guard

Stand on the bridge and look real hard

At every SUV Frisco bound

Might be nothing you can do

But the camo’ed sight of you

Will spread a few dollars around


Rudy went to ground zero,

turned into a national hero

Only yesterday he was a clown

Talks the talk, walks the walk,

Come on to New Yawk New Yawk

And spread a few dollars around


George Bush is shrewd and bold

Don’t talk down to an 8-year old

About the evildoers underground

Take a pen, write a card

To a pen pal in Kandahar 

Spread a few dollars around


Congress votes billions more

Whatever it takes gotta win the war

And keep the economy sound

Pay by card, pay by check

It’s all made in China so what the heck

Let’s spread a few dollars around


Inner Sunset

I used to have the real estate knack

but all that I gaineth, I giveth back

only to wind up with you in this cozy old

shack in the Inner Sunset years


Obviously I did everything wrong

Except one or two that strung me along

the road to a club called Chez Nancy Wong

—a shack in the Inner Sunset years.


Where there’s noodles at midnight

if you are in need of a treat

Where the Judah car makes an ‘N’

‘n careens down the street


I still believe that it’s all within reach

a big enough place between here and the beach

and from each and according to each

a shack in the Sunset in the sunset years


The blood orange sunset years…

The cool gray sunset years


Haul of Justice


There's a big gray building Eight-fifty it's called

In the name of justice, that's where people get hauled


Thirty judges in their courtrooms, two floors for the cops

Plus the sheriff, the DA, the morgue, and the jail on top.


They say "good guys" and "bad guys," white hats and black

Walk into any courtroom, any morning, look who's sitting in back.


Eight hundred and fifty that's how many tears

The average person's gonna cry when they walk in here


At Café Roma the defenders and the DAs dance

It's a dispo disco, they know the steps, nothing's left to chance


Eight-fifty days away from my wife

Eight-fifty days away from my life

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Carine’s, Fort Bragg

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There are anti-vaxxers in Willits. They are counterproductive. They should be isolated and quarantined. Did you read Tom Friedman's column in Thursday's paper? How Democrats can take the rural voters away from the Republicans. Times reporters and columnists should be read daily. Dowd, Collins, Krugman, Gruden, Bruni, Brooks who is supposed to represent the conservative viewpoint, but what he writes makes perfect sense. The most interesting writer in the PD is Jonah Goldberg. Once in awhile TWK does a good column. Where is Rex G.? Flynn? McEwen?

Ralph Bostrom


* * *

Highway 128, Near Dimmick State Park

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I noticed that you printed my letter about San Anselmo traffic in the AVA a few weeks ago. I had figured Anderson Valley residents wouldn't be interested in the topic but after reflection it occurred to me they might read my letter and say to themselves, "Thank God I don't have to deal with the nightmare of Bay Area traffic even in toney San Anselmo!"

I was in the even more toney town of Mill Valley a few days ago where the traffic is even worse than in San Anselmo, especially where I was at Tam Junction. (I have read that there are no stoplights on Highway 1 from Tam Junction to the village of Mendocino, and as far as I can recall that is accurate.)

Most of Marin was developed in the railroad and streetcar era before in World War II. (Terra Linda and Novato are exceptions.)

These older places were not laid out with the automobile and 21st-century traffic volumes in mind. Most of Sonoma County on the other hand was developed in the automobile era, therefore there is an abundance of cities, towns and neighborhoods planned around automobile use. Also, urbanized Marin has a lot more varied topography, for example hills and mountains, than urbanized Sonoma counties.

It's a lot easier to build subdivisions and wide thoroughfares in a large flat plane like the one that Santa Rosa, Windsor and Rohnert Park lies on.

Enjoy your rural traffic volume!

Keith Bramstedt

San Anselmo

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Palace Hotel & Stagecoach

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by Dave Zirin

This cursed year of 2020 should be remembered as the time when sports was put in a meat grinder, mixed with all manner of offal and served to us as hope.

Professional sports, we were told, represented a “return to normalcy” in a time that was anything but normal. “The games must go on” was the mantra, with athletes presented as “essential workers” by sports leagues and colleges desperate for their billion-dollar fix of television cash.

Think about how quickly sports were shut down in March after Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert tested positive for Covid-19, sending a warning to the country that tough times were ahead. Then think about how in a matter of weeks, sports were repackaged and games resumed for our collective distraction.

NBA and WNBA players were sent to live in a hermetically sealed bubble, locked away from their families and the outside world. College players in the revenue-producing sports were involuntary guests of honor at an infection frat party, with no pay, no semblance of union protections, and no voice. Instead, they were put on the field to keep the rickety financial tentpole of college football erect on the neoliberal campus.

Major League Baseball gave us tradition freaks a Dodgers World Series victory, only to have it marred when third baseman Justin Turner took the field after the game to celebrate while knowingly having Covid and proceeded to embrace everyone within spit-bubble distance, including his cancer-survivor manager, Dave Roberts.

Think of the games played in front of empty stands, giving an I Am Legend, post-apocalyptic field to the contest. What a bizarre scene, as coaches wore ill-fitting masks, flapping in the breeze, as announcers spoke to each other through plexiglass, again pushing an illusion of safety while players sweated and expectorated all over one another on the field and court. At least the Thunderdome had fans.

Sports, as scribe Jane McManus reminded us early in the year, is a sign of a functioning society. Our society is profoundly dysfunctional, ripped apart by disease and inflamed by racism, and sports reflected that. Far from being a respite of hope, it was a sclerotic reminder that so many of us lived this year either in a state of isolating agony or abject and dangerous denial. They served us slop and called it hope, which provokes the question about whether that’s crueler than serving nothing at all. Some of us believe slop is superior to starvation, yet 47 percent of the American public said to the Marist pollsters that they were watching less sports than a year ago, showing that many pushed away their plates.

Meanwhile a new crypto-fascist strain of sportswriting appeared to blame the low ratings on Black athletes. The hate-tract analysis—always presented without facts—was that ratings were down not because of Covid’s sucking the life out of our society but because “fans” (read “white fans”) were repulsed by Black and white players’ speaking out in solidarity with Black and brown people after the police murder of George Floyd. This explanation failed to account for why ratings were down so dramatically for golf and NASCAR, sports not exactly delivering sermons on the mount. It was just more profitable poison to pour into a body politic barely able to stand.

The players, however, withstood the avalanche of hate and did more than send tweets with hashtags, amplifying the latest atrocity. In a sports world built this year on an altar of false hope, the players gave us something real. The very same week that the Republicans used their national convention to bleat about “law and order” and “Black Lives Matter anarchists burning down our cities,” the players went on strike for Black lives in August, after the police shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wis.

These athletes changed the conversation, reminding all of us that the problem is not protesters but police violence. They also brought the question of the strike into the struggle for Black Lives and gave many of us a sense of hope. Real hope, completely unprocessed and unfiltered. It was hope not staged by league marketeers hoping to attract a young and diverse fan base. It was real struggle—substantial, authentic—and it sparked rage in all the right people. To see it cascade over the course of days from basketball, to baseball, to soccer, to tennis was to see labor at long last flex its power against state violence.

Yes, we don’t have a functioning society at the moment. But maybe—just maybe—the actions of athletes as workers, played a vital role in something more important than just merely a return to normal. Sports didn’t deliver normalcy in 2020. But they did nudge us toward justice.

* * *

Grey Whale Inn

* * *


Turns out, I still need a free old microwave oven. 

I need your old microwave oven. Perfect would be a smaller, lower-power one but that a normal Mason jar full of water can still be put in and taken out, but I'd accept a bigger one. The one offered me several weeks ago is still where it was; the generous giver and I can't seem to ever be both on the coast in the same week. I'm home in Albion for work this week and next and maybe more. If you have an old microwave oven to give away that works and has no rust inside, I can come and get it at night on a Tuesday, Wednesday or Saturday anywhere from Albion to, say, Fort Bragg. 

I'm not saying free-or-cheap this time; it has to be free. Car-part thieves damaged my car several thousand dollars'-worth, and other reasons. 

Marco McClean,,

* * *

Mendo House, Man & Dog

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Donald Trump was/is a modern version of the old ink-blot test. What image do you see in all that muddled ink splat? Savior? Devil? Business tycoon? Huckster? Preserver of America? Destroyer of America? That boss you always hated? Fulfiller of prophecy? Bankruptcy king?

What he was/is remains the same of what he always is: A ceaseless self-promoter who seems HIMSELF in all things and does everyone with the goal in mind of helping himself or a member of cherished set of family members and insiders and enablers and lackeys.

Drain the Swamp? Lock her up? All those big promises along the way? All of that playing up to the cheering, adoring crowds of fans and worshipers? His real score card: A great big flop. Just like Obama was to his same kind of crowd of sad worshipers and lackeys.

As for President Trump, “has ever a president been lonelier at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave?” Maybe not, but he has only himself to blame. When you spend four years insulting everyone and everything around you then it’s no surprise when no one is there to come to your aid when you need help. Instead, it’s “Payback Time!” And all of these many targets of Trump’s ire are now relishing their chance to stick it to him in every way possible.

There is something to this thing… working together. Compromise, the good kind. Treating people with respect (even if they don’t “deserve” it). Acting the leader. Leading by example.

Did Mr. Trump do any of these things? No, not when there’s all those people to attack on social media platforms endlessly all day. And who suffers most? Sure, Trump does. But his supporters suffer worse. They believe/believed in this man. They took four years of abuse from friends and family for this man. They placed their faith in this man. And he left them down. Oh sure, supporters may blame the Evil Dems and Gutless Reps who did not work with Trump. And they do get their big share of the blame. But bottom line, you reap what you sow. Trump sowed chaos and anger and smirking and working angles to bring benefit to his insiders for four years and now it’s harvest time of a tarnished legacy and millions of heartbroken and disillusioned supporters who still wear red caps and want to believe… because they have nothing else left to believe in.

* * *

Old Railway Barn

* * *


Laura Schroeder Writes:

Last Tuesday, the California Board of Forestry (BOF) held a public workshop to discuss its proposal to revise the State Fire Safe regulations. The draft rulemaking is set to be heard by the BOF at its January 19th meeting, and another on January 20th for submission to the Office of Administrative Law. This latest workshop was held in response to concerns expressed during the December BOF meeting at which staff initially presented the specific regulation changes. After more than eight hours of discussion, staff was directed to schedule another public workshop prior to the January board meeting, in order to solicit additional feedback from both the public and attending board members.

The State Fire Safe regulations set forth basic wildfire protection standards for development in State Responsibility Area (SRA) and, beginning July 1, 2021, the Very High Fire Hazard Severity Zones of the Local Responsibility Area (LRA). The changes made in the draft rulemaking, will have extraordinary impacts on housing production, not only in rural areas of the state, but also in more urbanized regions of California. For instance, the draft regulations would prohibit any future building construction on property served by a road that has not been upgraded, or that cannot be upgraded to meet current standards, such as dead-end roads. These upgrade requirements include road widening, re-surfacing, leveling grades and curves, and bridge improvements, from the property line to the nearest fire station, and apply to the building of a single residential unit or any business increasing its "service capacity." All required upgrades would be at the expense of the property owner.

RCRC staff has been in discussions with the BOF since April of this year on proposed revisions to the State Fire Safe regulations and have offered both written and oral comments on the preceding emergency rulemaking that ultimately made more minor changes to the regulations. RCRC has formed a working group of local government partners and other interested stakeholders, to provide coordinated comments on the current draft regulation.

For more information, please contact Tracy Rhine at

* * *

* * *

TED DACE tidies up his little intestine: "As 2020 comes to a close I'm grateful for my health, not just for so far being spared the touch of covid but because the long occupation of my intestines by fungal Candida is at an end. What finally worked was the GAPS diet, which promotes healing of the small intestine so food can be absorbed before the fungus eats it. The last nail in the coffin was something called Oxy Powder, which cleanses the colon of compacted waste, robbing the fungus of its last food source. The final die-off was brutal, and my small intestine still has a ways to go to fully recover, but the alien within is dead. It would have been 28 in January."

* * *

* * *

MATTHEW MEYER on Merle Haggard: "Anti-hippies often try to put Hag in their corner, but the effort requires ignoring a lot of the evidence from his life and lyrics. It seems, for example, that the “Okie” single was paired with “Fightin’ Side of Me” on the B side because the record company liked the reactionary image for marketing purposes. Hag’s desire, apparently, was to put “Irma Jackson,” a song about a doomed interracial romance, on the backside. And he later quipped, about weed and Muskogee, “that’s the only place we don’t smoke it.”

When the narrators of Hag’s songs mention hippie culture, they take a stand toward it that’s neither dismissive nor especially enthusiastic. In “Big Time Annie’s Square,” for example, the narrator, an old “Checotah boy,” tells about travelling from OK to CA to encounter his friend, who has become a hippie mover-and-shaker: 

“I came back to find my Annie’d moved away

To some town in California called ‘San Something’

Somewhere close to East LA

Don’t think finding her was easy

‘Cause something sure had changed my Tulsa girl

But I came here to show my love

And try to understand her crazy world”

It’s a tone more bemused than condemnatory, miles from where appropriators of the “Okie” legacy would place Hag. He’s not about to join the hippies, and may feel judged by some of them (“I’ve even been to Frisco, wearing regular clothes / With them modern hippie folks, starin’ down their nose”), but if you actually listen to his catalog, you can’t really sustain a view of him as a reactionary. 

Of course, it’s a mistake to think of his lyrics as strictly autobiographical (Hag was born in Oildale, CA, after all, not Oklahoma), and the guy who pined for Irma Jackson is just as fictional as the Okie is. But you don’t even write that kind of song if you’re a reactionary anti-hippie bigot.

And, it seems that Merle Haggard liked weed, at least in his later years. I know a guy who claims that some of his weed went to Hag back in the day, and the late-career song “Laugh it Off” (which does sound autobiographical), gives this advice: “Get some Humboldt marijuana, guaranteed to make you cough / And laugh it off.” Then he joined his stoner pal Willie Nelson in telling us “It’s all going to pot.”

The cops can have Ted Nugent, but they need to back off the Hag."

* * *

* * *


The “whole structure of American life must be changed." Dr. Martin Luther King

A Facebook friend--was that you, Tom Huenink?--asked me what I thought about Biden's choices for his important team members. I begged off, not having studied the people. I should say that my litmus test for who is good and who is bad could be expressed as who has the revolutionary understanding of American affairs?" I mean by that, that in the face of fast-failing, fast-falling humankind, who has sufficient grasp, initiative and ferocity to take on the Powers That Be and (excuse my old-timey language) VANQUISH them? Does Kamala? One hopes. Sometimes the job actually changes the person. My point is, this is no time for half-measures. It may be that the world's tilt toward elimination of homo Sapiens is irreversible, but, if there's still a chance for us, it won't be found in old army or air force generals or warlike civilians.

Having said that as introduction, here's an article just published this morning: 


Joe Biden has nominated Avril Haines as Director of National Intelligence and retired Gen. Lloyd Austin as Secretary of Defense — the first woman and African-American in Biden’s diversity effort for the National Security establishment.

This is not an historic step: Biden’s choices are cosmetic in nature, and U.S. addiction to war will not change because there are more women and blacks in power.

Haines follows powerful females such as Democratic war hawks Hillary Clinton, Samantha Power, Susan Rice, and Anne-Marie Slaughter, whose capitalist and militarist ideology is a root cause of U.S. wars in Africa and Asia.

Philosopher Franz Fanon’s assertion about race applies equally to Austin and Haines: “What matters is not so much the color of your skin [or your gender] as the power you serve.”

Haines was CIA Deputy Director under Obama. She refused to discipline agency personnel who illegally hacked the computers of Senate Intelligence Committee staffers as they were writing a report that documented the CIA’s illegal torture regime.

She also worked closely with CIA Director John Brennan on Obama’s targeted drone assassinations — strongly condemned by the American Civil Liberties Union. Haines was also an outspoken supporter of Gina Haspel as CIA Director, despite the latter’s involvement at secret torture sites and assistance in destroying videotapes of CIA agents engaged in that illegal practice.

Media pundits celebrating Haines’s and Austin’s appointments ignore their murderous careers. As head of the U.S. Central Command, Austin attempted to resurrect the Pentagon’s “spectacularly failed program of trying to arm” the so-called “moderate rebels” in Syria to fight ISIS who turned out to be al-Qaeda and other Islamist terrorists allied with ISIS (Caitlin Johnstone, Dec. 8). Despite the fact that thousands of Americans have been killed in our illegal regime-change wars in Iraq and Syria, the U.S. armed these very same Islamist jihadists it vowed to destroy.

Matthew Hoh, Marine Iraq War combat veteran who resigned his State Department position in Afghanistan in response to the escalation of that war, writes that Austin’s decades of military service “do not seem to have imparted on him the wisdom of the folly, destruction and immorality of war.” Austin “was integral in the disastrous wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria and Yemen, as well as the escalation of the vicious, illegal and counter-productive drone wars” (Institute for Public Accuracy, Dec. 9). Afghan-Iraq War veteran and West Point history instructor Danny Sjursen condemns the diversity bankruptcy of Austin’s appointment: “That a black man might [lead] the war machine that effectively chews up black and brown bodies is an obscenity.” (, Dec. 13).

After retirement, Austin became a board member of Raytheon Technologies, the world’s third- largest merchant of death. Along with American planes and attack helicopters, Raytheon’s bombs are used by the U.S.-backed, Saudi-led coalition in its criminal air attacks on Yemen, causing the greatest humanitarian disaster in the world and the worst famine in decades. This aid, begun under Obama with Austin in command, was opposed by every congressional Democrat in 2019.

What would Dr. King say about Austin’s nomination? In his 1967 oration, “Beyond Vietnam: A Time to Break Silence,” King denounced the U.S. as the “greatest purveyor of violence in the world,” so it’s doubtful he would fall for the diversity gambit. He saw Vietnam — as he would see Iraq, Libya, and Syria — as “a symptom of a far deeper malady within the American spirit,” asserting that “the evils of racism, economic exploitation and militarism are all tied together.” The “whole structure of American life must be changed.” Our forever wars and domestic injustices speak to the truth of his charge.

Biden’s victory rid us of the despicable Trump, but it’s delusional to think that his administration will even consider King’s plea for fundamental change. Biden will not move to end racist and imperialist wars that have left a trail of death, devastation, and Islamist terrorists — who have often been recruited, trained, and armed by Washington. He represents the Democratic establishment; as chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee he supported G.W. Bush’s illegal and unconstitutional invasion of Iraq — other than Vietnam, the greatest foreign policy disaster in our history.

When our drones and cruise missiles devastate entire nations, and Saudis use U.S. weapons to kill Yemeni, will the victims grieve less knowing the attacks were approved by an African American or a female? Will anti-war marches arise in Ashland to protest these atrocities? Or will there be silence and complicity from those who profess their opposition to racism and violence?

* * *

* * *



End the drilling

Regarding “Newsom OKs big jump in drilling permits, I read with dismay your recent article about the new drilling permits being issued by the state. If it’s a “climate damn emergency” as Gov. Gavin Newsom has said, why are new drilling and fracking permits being issued? We have to take real action, not go ahead with business as usual. We should put a stop to fossil fuel extraction completely.

I am supportive of the new rule requiring electric cars, but it is going to take many, many more steps in the right direction to get on the road to ameliorating climate change. Granting more drilling permits sends us in absolutely the wrong direction. Our governor and legislators must have the courage and foresight to do the right thing!

Anne McClain

Forest Knolls

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* * *

WHEN ASKED to describe the circumstances of her birth, Surrealist painter and writer Leonora Carrington liked to tell people that she had not been born; she had been made. One melancholy day, her mother, bloated by chocolate truffles, oyster puree, and cold pheasant, feeling fat and listless and undesirable, had lain on top of a machine. The machine was a marvellous contraption, designed to extract hundreds of gallons of semen from animals — pigs, cockerels, stallions, urchins, bats, ducks — and, one can imagine, brings its user to the most spectacular orgasm, turning her whole sad, sick being inside out and upside down. From this communion of human, animal, and machine, Leonora was conceived. When she emerged, on April 6, 1917, England shook.

— Merve Emre

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Pick up the Poop!

Henry, Herman (my dogs) and I walk the trails nearly every day. We go anywhere from the Haul Road off Ward Avenue to the Highway 1 trail off Cypress and nearly all in between. If there is an ocean view, we are there.

One constant we see everywhere, even on the MacKerricher Boardwalk. Dog feces. Fresh, dried, squished, plump, piled or scattered, there is evidence of someone’s dog’s undigested food fiber just lying there.

No matter what you call it: waste, feces, turd, dodo, stool, etc. If it is ejected from your dog’s digestive system and lands on the Earth, it now belongs to YOU. Don’t pretend you don’t see it happening. You do.

Be a responsible pet parent, owner or whatever you call yourself, bend down pick it up and dispose of it properly. No, that doesn’t mean leaving it in the bag right where you scooped it up. It isn’t anyone else’s responsibility to handle your dog’s business. Find the nearest garbage can (not recycle) and throw it away or pack it home.

Please do your fellow trail users and the planet a favor. Pick up your dog’s droppings. Make sure you have plenty of bags, too. Recently I admonished a woman because she picked up her dog’s poop and threw it over the cliff into the ocean. Really. “I only have one bag and he always s—ts twice,” she explained. Oh my.

Thank you for being conscientious about your dog’s cr-p. We appreciate it.

LeeAnn Dickson

Fort Bragg

* * *

FOUND OBJECT (you supply the caption)


  1. Marco McClean December 30, 2020

    Re: the Trump-quote poem about about wind-power electrical generators killing birds and poisoning the atmosphere with toxic fumes.

    In the real world, no toxic fumes come from windmills, and everyone knows that. Even Donald Trump knows that, as he likely knows something of the truth of everything he lies about anyway. He lies like a rug. He can’t help it; he’s a hardwired crooked bullshitter self-salesman. He’s been that way all his life, and now that he’s near the end of it the process is accelerating. As we age and our prospects and ability to skate diminish, we become more and more who we are. Even considering all the damage he’s done and can still do to so many people, I pity him. Imagine what it must be like to be him.

    As I pity the piece of shit who royally fucked up my car in order to sell the parts he took for an amount so low that if he had come to the door and begged me for it I might have just written him a check. It would have bounced, but what an Xmas story that would be.

    Wild birds fly into glass windows and die. Cars hit birds. Poison products of fossil fuel use kill birds. Cute cuddly pet pussycats kill 2.4 billion birds every year just in the U.S. And, sure, some birds are killed by a windmill. Here’s a thing science has just found out but for some reason it isn’t getting much traction in the press: When you paint only one of a windmill’s two or three blades black, something about the contrast with the white blade(s) warns the birds away. The kill rate goes down more than 70 percent. And new giant windmills benefit from big slow blades that make very little noise and rather sound like the wind in trees. They’re one part of a peaceful sustainable free energy future totally worth building. With money taken away from subsidizing oil companies and taken away from people profiting from war.
    Here’s a joke I heard about windmills: A water well asked a windmill what kind of rock music it liked best. The windmill said, “Well, you know I’m a big metal fan.”

    And re: the business of thieves mangling my car, I wrote a short essay on the subject. It’s in the notes on my KNYO-LP MOTA radio show of two weeks ago, here:

    I’ve already got several offers of a microwave oven, from my notice on the MCN Announce listserv. Thank you, AVA, for helping me by reprinting it. I’ll get one of them and reply to everyone else to let them know.

    Marco McClean,

  2. dbyron December 30, 2020

    Scientific American (the well-known magazine) says beware of 5g

    https://blogs. observations/we-have-no- reason-to-believe-5g-is-safe/

  3. Kathy December 30, 2020

    The wildfire problem in California is a land-use problem. When homes are developed in very high fire hazard severity zones, when fire strikes protecting lives and structures with limited resources reduces firefighting options for controlling the blaze early. The increase in development in rural areas has contributed to increased deaths and loss of homes. Can a solution to our wildfire problems be found without addressing the problem of people putting their homes in harm’s way?

    • Rick Weddle December 30, 2020

      This brings to mind the wildly inappropriate populating of North America’s Gulf coast, against a couple centuries’ informed advice of First Nations folk, who’ve counseled that it’s o.k. to put up a temporary fish-camp or two, but you wouldn’t want to actually put time or resources into anything permanent, because seasonal storm WINDS would likely take it, or at least ruin it. Ever since we ‘civilized’ types have ignored such warnings, we hear well-educated ‘science’ guys grieving about ‘Natural’ disasters, pretty regularly. Let’s call ’em what they are: UNnatural disasters; y’all just keep putting your ‘improvements’ in the wrong lane…

    • George Hollister December 30, 2020

      Good point, but the wildfire problem is also a land management problem unless we think it is fine to have intense mega fires burning millions of acres in a single year, just in California.

      • Harvey Reading December 30, 2020

        Gonna have ’em anyway. Ever hear of catastrophic climate change? Hint: it’s happenin’ right before your closed eyes.

  4. Douglas Coulter December 30, 2020

    Of course it’s safe!
    Smoking was safe, nuclear power was safe, asbestos was safe, DDT, was safe, Agent Orange was safe, because experts told us so.
    Now only product liability lawyers are safe until we figure a way to sue them for the toxic fog they cover us with.
    “Is it safe” the theme of Marathon Man with Dustin Hoffman

  5. Lazarus December 30, 2020


    Hey H.
    I wonder if this is what the grandkids get…?
    Be Swell,

  6. Bruce McEwen December 30, 2020


    The Unearthing of the Garden Gnome and the invention of the theory of ergonomics: The garden gnome is a comfort to the gardener; ergo, it is ergognomic. From thence forward the arrow of time pointed to domestication of plants and animals, irrigated agriculture, the rise of the political state, real estate tycoons, entropy and doom; and only fanatical zealots continued to hunt and fish…

    • Bruce McEwen December 30, 2020

      The sour cynic will howl in outrage that the image in the painting looks more than anything like a child the savages are exhuming, rather than a gnome. To such callow critics and their friends, if they have any, I would be only too pleased to point out that the brutes are burying (metaphorically) their innocence at the same time and in the same place as they dug-up said gnome. So there, you literal ignoramus pragmatical scrubs!

      • Douglas Coulter December 30, 2020

        Honey, does this bearskin make me look fat?

  7. Craig Stehr December 30, 2020

    Quotation from Venerable Tripitika Master Hsuan Hua (founder of The City of 10K Buddhas, Talmage, CA)

    “The affairs of the world are impermanent;
    don’t be attached to them.
    In dreamlike samadhi, one is free and at ease.
    Roaming playfully with spiritual powers,
    One accords with changes and transformations,
    In stillness, contemplate all things;
    How their glory fades by itself.”

  8. Bruce McEwen December 30, 2020

    As to the Inner Sunset, I had a Judah Dog (best hotdog in the City, IMHO) at the Sunset Cantina (Outer Sunset) yesterday, and watched the moon rise through the towers of downtown on my way home afterwards.

  9. Ted Williams December 30, 2020

    “which Williams seems now to have abandoned as a sitting supervisor”

    Mark, I couldn’t count to three. New board next week.

    • Mark Scaramella December 30, 2020

      Yes. I know. One of Supervisor McCowen’s less than stellar moments.

      But I was talking mainly about the lack of ordinary follow-up to Trent Taylor’s unproductive visit to Terry deSelkie’s (complainant) property. The entire Board agreed that he should check, but nobody asked him to try again after his first visit produced nothing but a report that nobody was home. Not exactly the way “code enforcement” is supposed to be conducted. Without that as a starting point it became difficult, even backed up by Christian Curtis’s refutation of MRC’s lame “exemption” argument, for the issue to be pursued with the 3 supes who were ignoring the public vote.

      I could go on, as I’m sure you could, but yeah, let’s see if the new Supes have any backbone.

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